Thursday, August 29, 2019

Total Blueprint for World Domination by Jolene Stockman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $75 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

In Total Blueprint for World Domination, I wrote all the things I had wish I’d known sooner: that you don’t have to wait to be a grown up; you can write your book, plot your adventures, and take over the world – starting now! We all have so much more power than we know or appreciate. And if I can be a tiny part of helping people discover that? What total magic! Even though I write for young adults, I get amazing messages from parents who read my books and tell me they see their kids differently, and adults who change their lives because of what they read. How cool is that? I’m very, very grateful to be a writer in 2019!

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I was a weird kid (I still am!) I read Asterix books when I was four and The Neverending Story at eight. I loved the big words and intense themes. I recently read A Wrinkle In Time with my son – I would have loved that as a kid! Science, philosophy, empowered kids, world-changing words. The way books crack open space and time to show you a world bigger than yourself.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

I started writing this book as a teenager. I knew that when I grew-up I was going to write a book. So, I figured; why not start now and save myself some time? I wrote all the things I wish I’d known sooner. It still makes me laugh when I re-read the book now and see how much of the content I still need to know! That everything is possible, it’s okay to change your plans, it’s important to be happy, you can say no… All those bite-sized life jewels that kids should get alongside ABCs and broccoli!

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

Design your dream world and make it happen!

Favorite class in high school. Why?

My favorite class in high school was Latin. Along with words that dance on the page (just, you know, the very foundation of science, law, language, art, and everything!) Latin class had violent and spectacular myths and legends, complex social and political structures, art, writing, and so many goodies that bring it all vividly to life. So much of the content of my Asterix books came together here, the gods and goddesses still gracing pop-culture thousands of years later. And better than all of that? We had Mrs. Hill; the most passionate, and completely on-her-path person I’d ever met. She spoke to us in Latin, wore Greek-inspired Jewellery, she showed us pictures of her actual trips to Italy. She loved and lived her passion with every cell, she glowed with it. And she encouraged us to treat our assignments the same way – jumping all in and bringing the stories and culture to life through our own art, construction, even cooking. I think teachers with absolute passion in any subject inspires the students they come into contact with. (Although, our gym teacher was super-intense, she never did fill me with a need to jump or run…! So, personal preferences definitely come into play!)

Total Blueprint for World Domination is a motivational non-fiction book for young adults. Design your dream world and make it happen! Bursting with full-color superheroes, boosted with online learning, the new edition of Total Blueprint for World Domination - illustrated takes you from this very second to your greatest dreams. So, are you ready?

About the Author:
Jolene Stockman is a multi-award winning author, speaker, and business owner. She is also tangata whaitakiwātanga; an autistic person. Since her adult diagnosis, she has gone public with her experience - its challenges and superpowers as a TEDx Talk Her books let you uncover your superpowers to design (and dominate!) your dream world.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Review: Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath by Annette Oppenlander

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"...will grip the reader's total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for school and community library..." -Midwest Book Review

" entertaining and fast-paced read that guarantees to thrill any young reader's/gamer's wish to be a hero in faraway time." -Historical Novel Society

When nerd and gamer, Max Anderson, is lured into trying an experimental computer game, he doesn’t realize he's playing the ultimate history game, time-traveling into the past...anywhere...anytime. Survival is optional. To return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions--if he lives long enough. Tofail means staying in the past--forever.

Now he’s trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is the year 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst

Read my Review

Enjoy a rollicking lesson in history? Then you should try Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath. From the start I was hooked on this story. Max keeps remarkably calm for a young boy thrust several hundred years in the past. I'm not sure I would be able to do the same. Of course, at first he's thinking it's still all just a video game, but eventually he realizes the error of his assumption... largely based, I think, on the smell of 1471! The stench and the horrible food (at least that "enjoyed" by the lower classes) were vividly described and incredibly off-putting (as they should have been). While I'm certainly no history buff, I have read extensively in the genre and it seemed quite accurately described, without much of the glamour many other historical books seem to use to make the past appear a lot more romantic than it actually was.

Max is clever, sneaky and so very brave. He does things several times that horrify his new friend from the time, Bero, but those are the very things that lead to his advancement in the time. At first, he just wants to get home, but eventually he resigns himself to living there and begins to make a very solid life for himself. It was quite interesting to watch the change in him, as well as in Bero and Bero's family.

I know we have to take an incredible leap of belief to honestly think a video game could be a time machine... but, heck, who'd have thought a DeLorean could be one? I had to suspend my belief other times, as well, because Max was very mature in ways most kids today are not. But without that ability, he likely would have been dead on the fifth page and then where would we be?

I really did enjoy this story. While certainly written for a youthful audience, I don't know why adults couldn't enjoy it as well. I did, and I'm many years out of my first decade. I'm absolutely looking forward to seeing more from this author, and from Max! Now that he knows what he's actually dealing with, things should get interesting...

4 stars from me!

Read an Excerpt

The guard ignored me and stared over my shoulder. I thought of my comment to Bero on how to speak up to the Lord. It had been easy to say. Bero would laugh at me now.

“What seems to be the matter?” a voice called from behind.

“My Lord.” The guard bowed his head. “We caught a suspicious intruder, a probable spy. We await your orders.”

“He came from yonder.” The second guard, who’d returned with a huge sour-looking youth, pointed in the general direction of Bornhagen.

“Then there is no better time than now, say I. Turn him ‘round.”

The guard shoved me to face the group. Not ten feet away towered one of the largest horses I’d ever seen. Its humungous head swung back and forth as if it were proud of the armored breast and nose shields. On top soared Knight Werner whose piercing blue eyes searched my face. For a moment, the world retracted into stillness. I felt my knees wobble.

Any second now they’d cut off my head. Hadn’t Bero said the Lord would kill me? Yet, the Lord of Hanstein neither showed anger, surprise nor fear. Nobody spoke as I stood pinned between the guards, their hands iron cuffs on my arms. I smelled them, their unwashed bodies and filthy hands. I wanted to leave the game. Return to the safety of my former life. Now! All I could do was suck air. My room might as well have been on the moon. Werner’s men waited, probably ready to charge on command.

“Your name is Nerds,” Werner finally said. The blue eyes were unsettling.

I stared up in surprise. “I’m Max.”

About the Author:
Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, won multiple awards, including the 2017 U.S. National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries, festivals and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.


Barnes and Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: Taking Wing by Clemency Crow

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Clemency Crow will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Twelve-year-old Freya enjoys karate and is the only one in her class who’s trusted with a part-time job. But everything changes when she meets a boy with yellow eyes. She learns about the guardians, and how an age-old fight has prevented them from fulfilling their purpose.

Freya finds new friends in the Crow tribe, but not everything in the castle is blissful. A destructive shadow lies within her and all she needs to do to release it is close her eyes.

But as the guardians’ war rages on, Freya realises that, although the shadow’s power can be useful, it can’t create peace. To do that, Freya and her friends must solve the mysterious crime that began the war. Can they bring the guardians together before they destroy each other

My Review

Freya takes off on an adventure of a lifetime when she is attacked and then saved by a boy with yellow eyes. She discovers herself in another world--one of people who can transform themselves into birds (or, more correctly, birds who can transform themselves into people). She learns these bird clans have been tasked to be the guardians of humans, but for generations have been too busy fighting among themselves to do what they are supposed to be doing.

This is an exciting book - and would be even more so to kids middle-grade and a little older. There are many twists and turns as well as valuable lessons (all without being preachy). I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. It was good to see kids realizing that just because someone is different than you, does not mean they are less than or to be despised.

I'm looking forward to reading more of Freya and her friends' adventures.

Read an Excerpt

“You’re not used to it, Freya.” Winnie said. “We, each of us, have a soul. What you saw was simply an embodiment of your soul. They have been called many things over the years - conscience, spirit guides - almost every culture has a name for it. Only a handful of people, though, listen to them, and very few humans can summon them. I’ve never seen one summoned so quickly.”

“Can I trust it?” Freya could hear her voice shaking. “Is it good?”

“It isn’t good, or bad. No one person is entirely good, or bad.” Elialdor smiled. “But you can trust it for it cannot lie. But you must be careful - it’s motives are your deepest inner-most desires. Desires that even you don’t know you have. And you may be concerned to discover what they are.”

“I don’t think I ever want to close my eyes again,” she shuddered.

“It will help you defend yourself.” Winnie clasped Freya’s other hand. “It will guide you through learning your abilities - until you can command it as it now commands you.”

“And what happens if I can’t control it?”

There was a silence. Winnie looked at Elialdor, who stared back. Freya thought she could see a trickle of fear in their eyes.

“You’re a strong person, Freya,” the prince said at last, “you will control it.”

About the Author:
I can't remember when I wrote my first story. We had a word processor when I was very little. It was an archaic piece of technology with no mouse, which meant you had to know the codes for it to work. My sister, Judith, and I wrote several stories using this. I think one of my stories was about a mammoth, probably during my I-want-to-be-a-mammoth-when-I-grow-up stage.

When I was a bit older, during Year 3 at Primary School, another sister brought home several A5 grey jotters and gave one to Ginny and Judith to plan and write their stories in. Naturally, I wanted a notebook too, so I said I was writing a story called "The Rule of the Unicorns". I never finished that rather peculiar tale, but it meant I got one of those A5 grey jotters!

A good few years down the line and I'm a Primary Teacher in the tip-top north of Scotland. To encourage a love of reading in my pupils, I write a story with them in for their Christmas present. The first thing they do is flick through and try and find their name - but I hope they enjoy the story too!

When I'm not teaching, I love writing, working on my allotment and I'm crazy enough to be doing a Science degree at the same time.>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Julian Fox: The Dream Guardian by E.J. Miranda

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. E.J. Miranda will be awarding a 1st prize: $50 Amazon e-gift card, and a 2nd prize: $40 Amazon e-gift card, to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It is said that dreams are just that: only dreams. But believe me, this is not always true. Some dreams are as real as the dreamer.

Thanks to their dreams, dreamers can receive the special visit of eternal wisdom that has inspired the creativity of great inventors, scientists, musicians, and even writers throughout the ages.

This creative wisdom is not always the type that appears to the eager conscience. Sometimes, a Defiler, a destroyer of dreams, is the one who tries to appear before the dreamer. These creatures were once humans, but they allowed their pain and desire for revenge to take over and seek the same miserable fate for the one who dreams.

You must not fear — Dream Guardians, also known as Kelsdrant, will always protect the one who dreams, even with their own life. They are people of flesh and bone, just like you and me, or at least they are on Earth.

The following story is dedicated to the fun, extravagant, and enlightening life of Julian Fox, the Dream Guardian.

Be prepared, dear reader. It is time to dream, laugh, reflect, and even maybe cry.

Welcome to the Land of the Wise Dreams.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 3: Alminrach Kelsdrant

Solidarity transcends the differences caused by fear.

The excitement became smiles, and the happiness turned into an invitation. Enthusiastic about the upcoming tour, Brenda joked with Julian,

“I will serve as a tour guide.”

They happily walked the few feet that separated them from the Palace. The end of the road revealed the surprise, and the magnificent edifice made one’s heart alternate between feelings of fascination and disbelief. Born of marble and sculpted with the most exquisite inspiration, what towered before them was a work of colossal proportions and delicate details.

The Guardians slowed their pace to admire such grandeur. Brenda took a deep breath and proudly presented it to her pupil:

“Julian, this is Alminrach Kelsdrant, our Palace.”

The surprised Guardian admired it in silence until he could speak:

“It’s exactly the same as the Parthenon, only much bigger.”

“You're right, Julian, but the construction of our Palace precedes the appearance of man on Earth. As you might guess, it served as the inspiration for such a magnificent building.”

“How is that possible?” Julian asked in amazement, without lifting his eyes from the Palace.

Brenda simply replied:

“All in good time, Julian. What I can tell you is that in Mikangly Greydalash you'll find many surprises and the origin of many things you've seen or read on Earth.”

About the Author: E. J. Miranda is an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and a passionate author. Her great sense of humor and love for nature have granted her a rebellious writing style: Her approach describes the adventures of life but in such a way that each reader can have an individual take on the matter. Her inspiration comes from her curiosity about other countries’ cultures and peculiarities. A few countries in particular that spark her curiosity are Colombia, Italy, Costa Rica, England, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. Her favorite places to visit are historical sites and museums, locations that allow her to explore important and even overlooked details. She currently lives with her husband in Colombia but frequently travels to Houston to visit her daughter and son. E.J. Miranda has a degree in tax accounting, but she prefers interacting with people to calculating their taxes. To learn more about her life and work, visit


Barnes and Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway