Jun 12, 2015

Giveaway & Guest Post: Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra de Winter and Bram Broen by Eve Yohalem

Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra de Winter and Bram Broen
May 19th, 2015 from Dial Books

A tale of pirates, mutiny, and friendship on the high seas, perfect for fans of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

It’s 1663 and there is an extra passenger on board a Dutch merchant ship setting sail for the East Indies. Twelve-year-old Petra has stowed away to escape her abusive father. But she quickly realizes that surviving for months at sea will be impossible without help. So when Bram, the half-Dutch / Half-Javanese son of the ship’s carpenter, finds her hiding spot, Petra convinces him to help her stay hidden . . .and help disguise her as a boy.

If Petra is discovered and exposed as a girl, she could be tossed overboard, or worse . . . returned to her father. And if Bram is exposed for helping her, he could lose the only home—and family—he has. As tensions rise on the ship, with pirates attacking, deadly illness, and even mutiny, Petra and Bram face impossible decisions that test their friendship and threaten their dreams of freedom.

Told in alternating voices and filled with secrets and intrigue, this richly researched novel is historical fiction at its best.

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You can find Yohalem at her website

Jun 10, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
March 2016 from Viking Children's Books

Something is not right at Rookskill Castle, a rundown Scottish manor shrouded in mystery. The castle is a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz, but soon it’s clear there is something terribly wrong. There are clues hinting that a spy is in the house, and there are undeniable signs of a sinister magic. When the children in the castle’s temporary boarding school begin disappearing one by one, it’s a race against the clock for twelve-year-old Kat Bateson, her two younger siblings, and their new best friend.

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You can find Fox at her website

Yay, Janet Fox has a new book coming and it's her debut middle grade! Scottish castles, magic, and hopefully really cranky and sinister teachers are in store for us. I also hear that this will be available in audio as well - cheers to you, Janet!  

Jun 9, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu #DevotedBook

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
June 2nd, 2015 from Roaring Book Press

Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.

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You can find Mathieu at her website

Man, does this book have perfect timing or what? With the Duggars in the news (daily), and the public glued to news soaking in the awfulness that is that situation, it really has brought to light this way of life. I'm talking about the ultra-conservative, authoritarian, male centric, the-devil-is-everywhere, cultish sect of Christianity. I'll be honest, I read the book for two reasons. A) I love me some Texas authors and B) this is all fascinating stuff. I was raised in a strict Catholic home and there were times when family members would lay hands on my head and pray for healing - "rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus" and all. (Yes, for headaches and colds) So, I was prepared to not be so surprised when I heard things along those lines. Funny enough, the reason I enjoyed it so much and couldn't put it down was because of Mathieu's choice in Bible verses and the almost uncomfortable way they were used and thrown in Rachel's face. I was utterly fascinated and wondered if Mathieu grew up that way. I mean we're friends but I've never asked if she grew up in super strict house with Quiverfull type of upbringing. It was so real, like Mathieu chose real-life situations and made them Rachel's. Or stole someone's diary. #we'llneverknow