Monday, March 21, 2022

Are You Okay, Elliot Hart? by Kate S. Martin

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kate S. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"You keep it on the inside because that's the safest way to hide."

Fifteen-year-old Elliot 'Matchstick' Hart spends his days caring for his mum and hiding from the school bully.

Fifteen-year-old Josh McBride spends his days tormenting Elliot and avoiding his abusive stepdad.

Hoping to save his mum, Elliot embarks on an adventure inspired by a picture in an old newspaper. Little does he know that Josh has decided to join him.

On their journey, strangers and surprises force them to look at each other in a different light. As secrets are revealed, will they reconcile their differences or will the secrets tear them further apart?

Read an Excerpt

I’m walking faster than usual, not only because it’s raining heavily, and I am soaked through, but I’m angry. I’m not sure if I am angry at my mum or the whole damn situation. I want to get home, get out of these stupid clothes, and hide under a duvet with my book. I’m reading To Kill a Mockingbird now. Mr. Marshall recommended it to me, so Sydney found a copy at the library and put it aside. I’m up to the part where Miss Maudie’s house has burnt down, and I’m eager to know what will happen next.

Marching past the terraced houses, I can’t help but sneak another look in. I see one house where two boys are running around their living rooms with lightsabers; I see dads working on computers in their offices and mums coming home from work being greeted with hugs and laughter. I see lives upon lives that I don’t have and what I want, so very, very much. I want a home with noise and chaos and giggles. I want younger brothers that annoy the hell out of me and a dad that lifts me up onto his shoulders and ducks down, so I don’t hit my head on the door frame. I want family dinners around a kitchen table, where someone shouts at you if you leave without asking permission. I want. I want. I want. I once heard Tom say I want, doesn’t get but it’s not like I’m asking for lots of money or a new house. I want a normal family.

About the Author:
Kate grew up in a small town in Lancashire, England with her mum, dad, and two older brothers. A bit of a tomboy, she loved nothing more than going out for adventures with her brothers, as long as she was back before dark.

She studied English at Reading University and gained a teaching qualification at Manchester. Nowadays, Kate spends her days teaching English at a local high school in Cheshire and her evenings are spent writing stories close to her heart.

She believes teenage years can be particularly difficult and wants to create stories that show empathy and hope for her readers. She lives with her husband, two children, and Jessie, the miniature schnauzer.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Eating These Foods Makes Me... by Kalifa Rodriguez

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalifa Rodriguez will be awarding a $15 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.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a doctor. From a very young age I was always fascinated by the human body and I knew I wanted to help people. I looked forward to biology class and I naturally excelled in the field of science. My family always supported my dream. It was only in college that I became more intrigued by the field of nutrition. Now I’m a clinical nutritionist, basically, the food doctor, while doctors primarily treat medical conditions with medicine, I treat them with food!

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I would love to have the ability of telepathy. Even to this day I sometimes struggle to effectively communicate my thoughts, clearly and articulately. I can think of so many instances where telepathy would have solved a lot of issues I’ve faced. I wouldn’t want the ability to telepathically read someone’s thoughts, just the ability to direct my thoughts or feelings with someone without the need for speech, writing or any other normal means of communication.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Psycho cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. How a plastic surgeon was able to discover and explain the secret behind how shifting our thoughts and perceptions of ourselves can completely alter who we are from the inside out is incredibly intriguing to me.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Oh my gosh!!! This question is so hard to answer because I have so many favourites, it truly depends on the season. For example in the fall my favourite hot beverage is a pumpkin spice late, especially on a damp chilly day, it’s just heavenly.

Ideal summer vacation.

I’m a Caribbean girl, so I love the sun and the beach!! I would say my ideal summer vacation would be visiting a romantic couples resort with my husband, exploring a new island where I can explore the local highlights by day, enjoy trying new foods and relax on the beach while we watch the sunset by night.

Favorite pizza toppings.

Pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, olives, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, hot peppers and pineapples. I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t even think of a pizza topping I dislike!

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Science class was always my favourite. It was one of the only classes that I found fun! I loved that there was always something new to learn and honestly, science always felt magical to me…although something may seem strange or peculiar, you know there is always a logical explanation for why it is the way it is. Science always engaged my curiosity in a way other classes didn’t.

Is your kid a picky eater? Do you want your child to enjoy eating a variety of foods? Reading can be a proactive way to introduce your little one to the amazing world of nutrition! In this book, readers will explore healthy foods and learn how key nutrients benefit the body. These pages repeat positive affirmations that will empower and build your child's mindfulness about the foods they eat.

It is never too early to instill life-long healthy eating habits. Happy reading! Or should I say, happy eating!

Read an Excerpt

Fun Learning Activities to Promote Healthy Nutrition

1. Using paper and crayons or coloured pencils, draw a rainbow, and then draw a fruit or vegetable that is the same colour as each colour of the rainbow. You can even use this book for ideas. Remember to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (at least 5 servings) each day! How many have you eaten today?

2. Do you like to play any sports or games? Do you like to walk to the park? Help your parents choose and prepare an energizing snack before the next game or walk to the park.

3. Eat your water? That sounds silly! Did you know that some fruits and veggies such as celery are mostly made up of water and can also help to keep you hydrated? Can you think of any others? Now try adding those slices of fruit or even cucumber to your water bottle to give it some pizazz.

4. Try introducing interactive sensory play for preschoolers (age 3 and older). Gather a variety of beans, nuts, or seeds on a tray or in a bowl with a spoon. Under adult supervision, let the preschooler feel, grab, and scoop the legumes, nuts, and seeds. See if the toddler can separate them based on different colours, sizes, and textures while the adult names each food and talks about how these foods make us strong from the proteins and smart from the healthy omega fats.

About the Author:
Kalifa Rodriguez is a registered dietitian and certified breastfeeding specialist. She currently works as a clinical nutritionist in Montreal, Canada. After receiving her bachelor's degree in nutritional biochemistry, she went on to complete a master's degree in human nutrition and dietetics at McGill University. Kalifa is passionate about promoting healthy lifestyle choices through nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. She also hopes to leave a positive impact in the community through her work by giving nutrition education sessions to community groups and organizations. Kalifa and her husband are parents to their delightful toddler, who is the inspiration for this book.



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Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Order of Time series by Scott P. Southall

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could have one paranormal power what would it be?

Telekinesis – the power to move things with your mind alone. I have always loved the idea that humans have not figured out how to use the majority of the grey matter in their brains. That somehow if you could tap into it we might be capable of incredible things like manipulating matter with only our brainwaves. How great would it be to do things like take out the garbage and put dirty clothes in the hamper with having to get up?

What are you passionate about these days?

I am becoming more and more passionate about child literacy. I think reading, or literacy, is core to learning for kids. Strong literacy skills allow kids the opportunity to be everything they can be in terms of education. I also think reading expands a child’s world view, it gives them an opportunity to understand or aspire to things that might be foreign to their household or community.

One of my colleagues in the United Arab Emirates is named Vikesh Gadhia. He and his daughter Kushi started a project called Old Books for New Eyes. They collected used books in Dubai and shipped them to Kenya to establish physical libraries for underprivileged schools. They have collected more than 60,000 story books and commenced more than 30 libraries. A key challenge in the process has been the physical logistic of shipping books.

They recently created a new venture called Kupepo which is a free digital platform that aims to provide access to ebooks for children who have limited access to libraries. I’m excited to say that I have donated my books into the project and will be working with Vikesh as they try to scale the platform.

If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

While I had always been an avid reader, I knew very little about how the book publishing industry worked when I finished the first draft of The Order of Time. I didn’t know how the industry was structured in terms of authors, agents, publishers, distributors and retailers. I count myself lucky that I was able to ask someone about the process because I had a colleague whose wife worked for a publisher. That was really helpful. The one thing I would change if I had to do it all over again would be to have started writing a decade or two earlier. I hate to think about how much better I could be and how much more I could have learned if I had listened to my impulses and put pen to paper much sooner.

Ebook or print? And why?

Print hands down. It’s the feeling of a book in your hand and the smell of the paper. There is a character to a physical book that I don’t find in ebooks. I don’t deny the utility of being able to read an ebook on my phone while commuting on the train. Ebooks are incredibly practical; however, if I had unlimited shelf space they would all be physical books.

What is your favorite scene in this book?

I think one of my favorite scenes is when Ivar, the young Viking boy, recounts the story of Nidhogg’s attack on the Great Hall of Jernhus to Anastasia, Edward, Erik the Red and Soren the Viking Jarl. To me it was a very powerful scene that makes the reader feel Ivar’s excitement at getting to be part of the gathering, the terror of the dragon’s unexpected arrival, and the pain of losing his father. The scene also creates a real sense of intrigue and sets the stage for what’s to come when Edward reads the mysterious inscription on the stone platform within the ruined hall.

Yggdrasil’s power through all realms flows
From its source all life grows
It runs like blood beneath the surface
So our Jernhus was built with purpose
That we can protect Odin’s Door
Which brought Mímir’s wisdom to the fore
When Odin’s key is put to lock
All our foes will be made to stop

About the Series

Picture two twelve-year-old fraternal twins who are like night and day. She is a smart and highly organised MMA fighter. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover of history, art and Star Wars. Despite their differences they are one formidable team. Together Anastasia and Edward Upston travel through time and navigate ancient civilisations, angry gods and mythical monsters in their quest to protect the integrity of human history.

About The Order of Time

Anastasia and Edward Upston are eleven year old twins who are different in almost every way. Despite this they are inseparable and he best of friends. They tackle the highs and lows of sixth grade together whether they are fending off bullies at the elite Blake Academy or examining rare antiquities at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Then: life gets complicated.

They discover that their friend and mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is part of a secret society called the Order of Time. It turns out that time is not fixed, it’s a fluid continuum where changes to the past can create ripples all the way through to the present. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Together Anastasia and Edward must navigate all obstacles to preserve the past and find their way back home.

About The Order of Time and Odin’s Door

The orange light bathed the snow-covered fields as the fiery globe began to dip below the horizon. It was strange that something so beautiful could signal the arrival of something so evil. One thing twelve-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward Upston knew for sure was that when mortals were caught between two bickering gods nothing good would come of it. Surviving the Viking Age may be the hardest thing they ever do, if they can…

Read an Excerpt from The Order of Time and Odin’s Door

“Um, Anastasia, can I talk to you for a minute? Alone?” Edward asked as he grabbed his formerly sane sister by the elbow and led her away from Erik. “What in the heck are you thinking? Help them kill the dragon?”

“I said we’d help Erik try to convince Soren to leave first. We’ll only help them kill the dragon if Soren won’t listen,” his twin explained, as if it should all make sense now.

“Have you lost your mind?” Edward snapped.

“It’s a really simple plan. Don’t overthink it,” Anastasia said, looking at him like he was the one who was crazy.

“Ahem,” they heard Erik interrupt from behind them.

“I’m sorry, but we’re a little busy here at the moment,” Edward called over his shoulder at the red-haired Viking with the big sword.

“While you’re talking to the slow one, I am going to find the Jarl. He’s also fixated on getting killed by Nidhogg. Perhaps you’ll have better luck talking some sense into her,” Erik said, shaking his head dismissively.

Edward watched the big Viking follow Soren’s footprints until he disappeared into the underbrush before turning back to Anastasia. “We’re supposed to be in Strasbourg earning our entrance into the academy. We don’t even know why we’re here and you’re talking about killing dragons,” Edward whispered harshly just in case Erik was still in earshot.

“I know we’re not supposed to be here but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help someone who needs our help,” his twin whispered back, her posture stiffening.

“You know we can’t risk changing what happens here. How many times has Dr. G told us that the ripples from any change in the past can completely change the future? That red-haired dude is Erik the Red, the man who colonizes Greenland. His son Leif Erikson was the first European to sight North America: five hundred years before Christopher Columbus. Assuming we could help kill this dragon, just imagine what changing the past related to that guy might do. Dollar bills could say In Odin we trust and we might not even exist!” Edward was no longer whispering as he threw his hands in the air in exasperation.

About the Author:
Scott is an American author and banking executive who lives in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and attended Georgetown University. While he loves his job as a global banker, his true passion is making up stories with his children. His debut novel, The Order of Time, reached #1 in its category on Amazon and was the 2021 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Children’s – Mythology/Fairy Tale genre.

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