Friday, November 29, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Jo Malizia (Author of Wands and Wings) +Giveaway

So, it has been a little over a month since I was last able to do an All About Middle Grade Interview. Allergies, life, puppies, and a broken email account kept me from getting things done. On a happier note, I am excited to welcome Jo Malizia, author of Wands and Wings, to keep things back into gear.

About the Author:
Jo Malizia grew up in Minnesota. She has been an ASL interpreter for many years and loves to translate stories into sign language for children. She is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). She currently lives on the Central Coast of California.

She still remembers.

You can haunt Jo Malizia at-

1.    Could you introduce the Faylinn sisters and share a little about each of the girls? 

The five Faylinn sisters come from a long line of Fairy Royalty. Their 16 times Great Grandmother, the Fairy Queen, fell in love and married a human prince. This threw a wrench into the royal Fairy line, so it was decided Fairy Queens would only rule until their 13th birthday. At the moment they turn 13, they lose their wands and wings and become fully human with no memory of the Fairies or The Realm.

Aubrey, 16, is the oldest sister - she wears that badge proudly and takes full advantage of her “being the boss” rights.

Regan, 15, is a cheerleader in every sense of the word. Her head is in the clouds and her feet are at the nearest mall.

Next is Tia, our 12-year-old protagonist. She is the current Fairy Queen and tries to balance those duties along with life in middle school. Her ability to lead the Fairies is severely tested when the very essence of life on Earth is in peril.

Allie is next in line to be Queen of the Fairy Realm. She is an 8 year-old gymnastic whiz and an honor roll student at Neptune Falls Elementary.

And last, but certainly not least, is Fairy Princess Rory. This feisty kindergartener is usually in the middle of the commotion in the Faylinn household. Tia and Allie have to constantly keep an eye on Rory and her magic.

2. While writing Wands and Wings, what was your favorite part when it came to building the fairy world part of your book?

Oh, this is a tough one! There are so many components to this world. While it was great fun to build the Fairy Palace and the shops and eateries in the village of the Fairy Realm, my favorite part was crafting Fairy Central (the high-tech center of The Realm.) The Fairies who work there and the branches it holds, such as The Birthday Wishes Bureau and The Fairy Godmother Department were so much fun to create.

3. Why fairies?

They fly at the speed of light, wear gorgeous gowns, pop in and out of Fairy Tales, and have glistening wands which hold incredible magic. They use this magic to make wishes come true and bring all types of beauty to Earth. Fairies live in an enchanted Realm where every day is one big party. It sounds pretty sweet to me.

4. Keeping with the theme of fairy books, what are your three favorite books featuring fairies?

My very favorite book featuring a Fairy is Cinderella. Without her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella would still be sweeping around the hearth of her stepmother’s house! I’ve always adored Tinker Bell from the Peter Pan stories, except when she is being mean to Wendy. And my third favorite Fairy is The Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. I know I’m letting the movie version creep in here, but it is so enchanting when she turns Pinocchio into a real little boy.

5. Song(s) that you think best describe the Faylinn girls?

“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. I know all the Faylinn gals would love singing, “I got all my sisters with me.” There is even a line in this song that says they “fly like birds of a feather.” I can imagine this song playing in the background as the sisters soar across the sky.

6. So, Jo, could you share with us why you write?

I write because I love stories. It doesn’t matter if it is a story from literature, history, a movie, or a 90-year-old grandpa – a great story is a treasure.
For me, the best part of writing is when I first come up with the plot of a story. The ideas tumble into my head faster than I can type. I live in that world as I write and it is a magical place to be.  

7. Last book you wanted to fling across the room and why?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – because it ended.

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose? 

Well, since the Faylinn sisters are busy with their battle in the Fairy Realm, I’ll go with Supergirl. She would take care of those robots in no time at all.

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?

Oh, how I wish I had a writing cave! My cave is wherever in my house I land with my laptop. Now all I can think about is going into the woods and finding a cozy little cave somewhere…

10. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us? 

Yes! I’m currently working on another Wands and Wings book. I have many ideas about this magical world, so I can’t wait to see where the Faylinn sisters take me next!

Thank you so much for your questions, Orchid. You have a fabulous blog and I’m grateful and honored to be included in it.

Jo, thank so much for stopping by and answering some questions. The final Chronicles of Narnia book always leaves me feeling like I want to throw it because I hate that it ended.

Readers, today is your lucky day to win a copy of Jo Malizia's middle grade book Wands and Wings. A big thank you to Ms. Malizia for offering up a copy of her book for a giveaway.

Just fill out the Rafflecopter form (at bottom of post) to enter. Open to US only.

Wands and Wings by Jo Malizia, September 8, 2013.
How does a 12-year-old girl manage life with four sisters, middle school, and being Queen of The Fairy Realm?

Tia Faylinn comes from a long line of Fairy Queens. She and her two younger sisters live a magical life between Earth and The Fairy Realm. But Tia's reign is about to come to an end because she will soon turn 13 - the age a Fairy Queen loses her wand and wings and all knowledge of the Fairies to become fully human.

However, Tia's final days as Queen are not very enchanting. A split that occurred in The Fairy Kingdom 400 years ago produced a bitter descendant who has returned to reclaim the throne.

Queen Tia must now convince her two older teenage sisters to remember they were Fairies so that all five Faylinn sisters can return to The Realm. The girls must rely on their magic, wits, and cheerleading skills to battle the evil queen, Neferria. It's a battle that affects Wishing Stars, Fairy Tales, the Birthday Wishes Bureau, the Department of Fairy Godmothers, and the very essence of life on Earth.

You can add Wands and Wings to your Goodreads shelf.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic, 1) by Patricia C. Wrede, April 15, 2009. Published by Scholastic.
Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.
Why: Well, so far, I have really enjoyed what I've read by Patricia C. Wrede which is why I'm interested in checking out her book Thirteenth Child. Plus, it just sounds like an interesting fantasy read.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mission One of Auggie the Alien: Blog Tour Review

Missions One of Auggie the Alien (Auggie the Alien, 1) by Leah Spiegel and Megan Summers, June 6, 2013. 146 pages. Source: blog tour.
This is the humorous story of a 4th grader, seen through the eyes of a human hybrid alien child, sent to Earth to study our culture - to see if they could coexist with the humans. Auggie has to try and understand 4th graders slang, body language, and the unwritten protocols of the classroom; all in an attempt to blend in. He upsets his teacher, Mrs. Malumrector, who constantly thinks Auggie's trying to get smart with her when getting stupid with her would be counterproductive. Not only does Mrs. Malumrector not get Auggie's literal logic, nor do any of the other students in his class. That is except for Left Hand Chuck who thinks Auggie's hysterical and helps him by teaching him how to use human slang. But if Auggie truly wants to complete his mission of blending in with the other children he needs to cheer for both teams, except if they're losing. He needs to learn not to wear the 'P and the J' with the feet conveniently attached to school because they're for sleeping in only. That ironically enough, Grandpa isn't going to faint from low blood pressure even though his eyes often tend to roll upwards whenever Auggie is speaking. 'Pop-a-Squat' isn't a good name for a dog, even though he's great at it. And under no circumstance is he to bring his pet to school even if his teacher has her own pet there, Emily, another student in his class who is neither a gerbil nor a fish.
First Sentence:
Hello, my name is Auggie, and this is my log book. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, April 8, 2014. Published by Putnam Juvenile.
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
Why: I have just one reason for wanting to read Rebel Belle, and that reason is... it's a new Rachel Hawkins book. Seriously, I loved the Hex Hall books and cannot wait to read more of her work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 18, 2013

ARC Review: The Fury

The Fury (The Fury, 1) by Alexander Gordon Smith, July 23, 2013. 688 pages. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). Source: Publisher.
Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you, if every person you know, every person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage . . . That’s the horrifying reality for Cal, Brick, and Daisy. Friends, family, even moms and dads, are out to get them. Their world has the Fury. It will not rest until they are dead.

In Alexander Gordon Smith’s adrenaline-fueled saga, Cal and the others must uncover the truth about what is happening before it destroys them all. But survival comes at a cost. In their search for answers, what they discover will launch them into battle with an enemy of unimaginable power.
First Sentence:
It was an ordinary afternoon in June when the world came to kill Benny Millston.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hyperion Keats by Molly Zenk: Cover Reveal + Excerpt

About the author:
Molly Zenk was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee, before finally settling in Colorado.   She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Creative Writing.  She spent six years using those degrees teaching High School English, Poetry, and Creative Writing before going on “hiatus” to focus on being a stay-at-home/work-at-home Mom.   Molly is married to a Mathematician/Software Engineer who complains about there not being enough “math” or info about him in her author bio.  They live in Arvada, CO with their  young daughters, one dog, and one cat.

You can haunt Molly Zenk at-
Website | FB |
Hyperion Keats by Molly Zenk, December 4, 2013. Published by Highland Press.
Three modern teens, a 200-year-old diary, a literary mystery to solve.

Twelve-year-old Hyperion Frances Keats, great-great grand niece of poet John Keats, hates tip-toeing around her older sister's “medical diagnosis”.  Why is Isabella so determined to turn her back on what makes her unique in a sea of wannabes?  Is popularity more important than the truth?

The sisters and boy-next-door Will find themselves in the middle of a mystery after discovering a 200-year-old diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet “To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall.”   The teens aren't the only ones after the answers found in the pages from the past, though.   The LBT Brotherhood – a secret society dedicated to preserving the Romantic Poets three creeds of  love, beauty, and truth – want the secrets contained in the diary to remain lost to time and will stop at nothing to silence Hyperion, Isabella, and Will forever. 

I barely crack the door open before Neighbor Boy launches into a spiel that may or may not be rehearsed—I can't really tell because he's talking too fast for me to guess one way or the other. “Hi, I'm not a stalker or anything so don't get freaked out, okay? But I saw the historical marker in your front yard and had a couple of quick questions if you, uh, don't mind me, uh, asking. You don't mind me asking stuff, do you? I can go away if you do.”  He blinks nervously a ton of times in anticipation of me either saying yes and waiting for his couple of supposedly quick questions or no and slamming the door in his face. Why would I say no? He's the prettiest boy I've ever seen up close. Even if boys don't like to be called pretty, with his huge blue eyes and unruly, anime character hair, that's the only word that comes to mind. Pretty. My heart does this funny little fluttery jump like I've run a mile in under five minutes and I'm positive my palms are too sweaty to shut the door. Even if I wanted to, shutting the door means he'd go away and there's no way I'm letting that happen. Especially not on my birthday.

“Go ahead. Ask your questions,” I whisper because I seriously doubt I can say it louder even if I wanted to right now.

 “Great.” He flashes a lopsided grin that makes my heart fluttering turn into a hammering. “Is this really the George Keats House? Like the real George Keats, brother to the poet John Keats’ house, and you actually live here-live here and not keep it up like a museum or something? Do I have to buy admission because I'm, like, standing on your yard?”

“Um, yes, yes, no, and no,” I field his jumbled together questions in order. 

“Really? Are you like direct descendants or did you just buy the house from someone else and decided the historical marker was a cool trick to attract fan boys like me?”

His rapid fire, excited delivery is getting easier to understand. For a second, I think about Isabella by the window seat with her natural light waiting to make her good first impression, and about how Mom always tells me not to talk to strangers because she reads way too much of Nancy Grace's child snatching Headline News blog, but it's like my mouth is on auto-pilot as my heart ratchets away in my chest and I answer anything Neighbor Boy asks. “Direct,” I say. “Or Dad is, which makes us too. Mom was just a Romantic Poets fan girl who lucked out by meeting Dad in some college class and marrying in. They both teach at the university. British Lit.”

Neighbor Boy pushes his sandy blond hair out of his face with one long-fingered hand and, I think, even if I don't like to do manual labor on my birthday, I got the better deal by agreeing to open the front door. While Isabella is hanging out in the kitchen imaging what he's like, I don't have to imagine. I know.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

Bitterblue (Seven Kingdoms, 3) by Kristin Cashore, May 1, 2012. Published by Dial.
Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea, still under the influence of her father Leck, a violent psychopath who altered minds. Her advisers want to pardon evildoers and forget everything, but she sees the past holds fast. Two thieves, who only steal what has been stolen, hold the truth and change her life. One, his Grace skill unidentified, has a key to her heart.
Why: While it has been a couple years since I last read Graceling and Fire, I quite interested to see how Kristin Cashore ends her epic fantasy series. I'll probably end up borrowing this from the library before I get to buy it, but either way, I cannot wait to read Bitterblue.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Down a Dark Hall

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, October, 1990 (originally published in 1974). 181 pages. Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. Source: bought.
The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit knows that evil waits for her in the dark halls of Blackwood School for Girls. But she doesn't know it has already entered her life. Who will believe her if her fears are real only when she sleeps? 
First Sentence:
They had been driving since dawn, and for the past two hours, since they had turned off the highway onto the winding road that led through the hill country, Kit Gordy had been sleeping.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, 1) by Tom Pollock, September 8, 2012. Published by Flux.
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.
Why: To keep it short, it sounds like a potentially interesting read and I'm curiosu to see what the author will do with the premise.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Osiris Curse

The Osiris Curse (Tweed & Nightingale Adventures, 2) by Paul Crilley, October 15, 2013. 290 pages. Published by PYR Books. Source: Publisher.
When Nikola Tesla is murdered and blueprints for his super weapons are stolen, Tweed and Nightingale are drawn into a global cat and mouse chase with his killers. What's more, it seems that the people who shot Nikola Tesla are the same people responsible for Octavia's mother's disappearance. As the two cases intertwine, Tweed and Nightingale's investigations lead them to a murdered archeologist and a secret society called The Hermetic Order of Set. Fleeing the cult's wrath, they go undercover on the luxury airship, The Albion, setting out on her maiden voyage to Tutankhamen's View, a five star hotel built in the hollowed-out and refurbished Great Pyramid of Giza.
     In Egypt, the duo begin to unravel the terrible truth behind Tesla's death, a secret so earth-shattering that if revealed it would mean rewriting the entire history of the world. But if the cult's plans aren't stopped, Britain may lose the future.
First Sentence:
Death stalks the streets of London.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Feature: Galactic Cross T-Shirt

Thought I'd start the weekend off with something a little different than usual. Usually, I post solely about books...with the exception of the first year of blogging where I reviewed a whole bunch of superhero movies that I owned. So, I bet y'all are wondering what does she have in mind that is not bookish, well, my lovely readers I'll show you.

Starting today, a couple Saturdays out of the month I am going to share one or more items that my sister has designed for her Zazzle shop, All Was Bright. Now, I'm not doing this simply because she's my sister, but because I love what she has created and want to give y'all a chance to check out her shop.

Galactic Cross

Don't forget, you can check out the Galactic Cross shirt, as well, as all her other designs at All Was Bright.

Tell me, what do you think of Galactic Cross shirt?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Last Child of Hamelin by Ray Ballantyne: Cover Reveal

Guess what guys, I have another really pretty cover that I'm helping to reveal here on the blog. This time, we have the cover for The Last Child of Hamelin by Ray Ballantyne. 

The Last Child of Hamelin by Ray Ballantyne, August 2014. Published by Spencer Hill Press.
Sixty years have passed, and the people of Hamelin have yetto heal from the loss of their children to the Pied Piper. Pieter hasgrown up in a town without joy, without hope, without music. Yet hisheart is full of songs and tunes he cannot express.
He often escapes to the side of Koppelberg Mountain, thevery spot where the children disappeared, and there he can hear whathe thinks no one else can—the notes of the Piper’s song still floatingon the air. But there is another who hears: Old Simon, who as a boy,was left behind.
Pieter’s musical gift creates a connection with the piper oflegend, but will Pieter be able to control the magic of his music orwill it control him, as it did the Pied Piper?