Monday, April 8, 2024

The Family the Finds Us by Phoenix Blackwood

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Phoenix Blackwood will award a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

I’m heavily drawn to YA because most readers come across these books in such a pivotal time in their life. They’re books that can change people’s lives, and they touch on topics that are so close to my heart. Of course, there’s adult books about being trans, about overcoming trauma, but YA has something special that I can’t quite put my finger on. There’s a raw, vulnerable aspect to it that I don’t see in a lot of adult fiction. This vulnerability is something that really draws me in, both in reading and writing.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Phee’s locker is pretty bare – not for a lack of personality, but in the way that she denies herself so many things that she likes in an attempt to run from who she is. There’ll be textbooks, a dent in the front panel from her being thrown into it by bullies multiple times, maybe a cutout picture of a pro skater – she says it’s because she looks up to him, but she’s really got the biggest crush.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

A Series of Unfortunate Events were my absolute favorite books as I was growing up. I wasn’t a huge reader when I was younger, as my spark for reading didn’t really happen until I discovered the world of queer literature. But, that series holds a special place in my heart, I still have the entire thing on a bookshelf and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I loved how strong the characters were in the face of adversity, how inventive and resilient they were. The ways adults continued to fail them really resonated with me, and it can be seen in my own books as well.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Currently, I’ve got If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude. I love it so far, I’m not too far into it because I paused it to read a couple other books, but I actually just finished the last one last night and I’m excited to get back into it. It has all the elements I love in a book, mental health struggles and representation, secret pining after a crush, all the big emotions of a world that’s about to end. I have a feeling I’m going to finish it pretty quickly.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

First part’s boring, I’d pay off my student loans, credit cards, mortgage and car. No more stress! Then I’d buy a little oceanside cottage in Maine with a big fenced in yard and have all the doggos. I’d pay for the two years of my master’s degree to become a licensed therapist. I’d save a little for emergencies, and donate the rest between friends and reputable LGBTQ+ or animal charities.

Phee hides her secrets well, until they become too much to bear. Her biggest secret is one she’s kept even from herself. Her longest-kept secret is one that hurts her every day. Her final secret is one that will set her free.

In a school that doesn’t accept them, Phee, Theo, and Alex fight for a community close to their hearts. The community desperately needs the trio to help the rest of them leave the shadows without fear of violence and discrimination. Through some heroic activism, the three push the school officials to their limits — forcing them to act — for better or worse.

For Phee, the fight for a place where she can be herself doesn’t stop when she gets home. The strain of taking care of her alcoholic and abusive mother threatens to break Phee away from her family bond forever. Her mother can go from a messy drunk to an angry one in an instant, turning Phee’s home life from an obligation to a war zone.

Theo’s house offers respite to Phee. With compassion scarce in her life, Alex and Theo are Phee’s light in the dark. They protect and cherish her. At Theo’s, Phee is free to be herself and explore her identity safely — her chosen family ready to catch her if she falls. That’s what family does, how family finds us when we feel lost and alone.

Read an Excerpt

“No!” I screamed, flailing against her as she pinned me down with one arm and cut with the other, lock after lock of black hair falling to the ground and into the sink.

Tears came next, as I fought the futile fight to get her to stop. I shrieked, begging for her to stop, but she just kept going, until there was nothing left. Just jagged tufts of hair sticking straight up from my scalp. She let go of me, throwing the scissors back into the drawer and slamming it shut without a word. She looked at me with the most haunting gaze I’d ever seen out of her, shook her head, and then walked into her room, slamming her door behind her. My knees grew weak, and I fell to the ground, clutching the discarded chunks of my hair that lay strewn about the floor. My wails could’ve been heard a block away. I’d found two things I liked about myself last night, and now one of them was gone.

Eventually, I dragged myself into my room, picking up my phone and texting Theo through my tears to come get me. Not even ten minutes later, there was a knock at the apartment door. I was still crying as I opened it to watch Theo’s face morph in horror as they caught sight of me.

“Oh my god, Phee, what did she do?”

I shook my head, staring down at the floor as tears fell from my face. Theo wrapped their arms around me, and I choked out, “She was sober.”

Theo rubbed my back for a minute, then guided me towards my room, “C’mon, get your stuff. You’re gonna stay at my house.” I grabbed the discarded makeup from my floor and stuffed it into a duffel bag, along with a couple changes of clothes. Then, I grabbed my backpack and solemnly followed Theo out the door, locking it behind me.

About the Author:
Born and raised in New England, Phoenix has always been a creative – whether it’s painting or writing. From a very young age, Phoenix has envisioned and created characters, writing them into existence and exploring them through visual arts. Having graduated to first-time short story author, Phoenix is embarking on a journey towards novel writing as they finally bring characters they’ve known for years into the world. Phoenix is neurodiverse and intersex and hopes to bring more representation to both topics with their writing. They believe in creating relatable characters that people can find themselves in and empathize with.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Greystone by B.L. Ryan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. B L Ryan will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

All Mouse could remember about her father was sitting on his lap while he told her stories. She wished she could remember what he looked like. When she hangs a white pendant that belonged to her father in her bedroom window, this wish becomes the key to great adventure in another world. A gate appears with a dragon twirling in the air above a colourful garden on the other side of the gate. Zeeta, the royal dragon, greets Mouse and invites her into the garden. The garden is part of Sweet Water holding, home to Lady Jane, who is the seer for Prince Ruler Jared.

As Mouse and Zeeta struggle to complete a quest, Mouse searches for her father. Their journey takes them across the plains of Norlanda and south to the Border Mountains.

The seers have foretold that a far traveller will appear and lead Norlanda against its enemies. This does not seem likely, as Norlanda is prosperous and peaceful at this time. Meanwhile, dark forces gathered in the Border Mountains have recognized the presence of Mouse in the lines of destiny and have started to move towards her.

How will the presence of a child, a far traveller from another world, affect the destiny of this world?

Read an Excerpt

Six Turns Later

The sky was cast with bands of pink and yellow as the sun set. It was an exceptionally clear evening, and it was possible to see the Singing Mountains across the horizon to the north. As Jared gazed absently at the fringe of jagged peaks, Lord Ravenstock entered the room silently. He waited for Jared to address him.

Without turning, Jared asked, “What have my esteemed councillors decided?”

Lord Ravenstock’s eyebrows rose briefly. His face became an expressionless mask as he related the decision of the Council of Five.

“It has been six turns since the death of your father, King Henry. The Council has decided that the Prince Ruler must select a woman to be his Lady Consort or they will be obliged to select a suitable woman on your behalf.”

The Prince snorted. “They have already given me a list of women they deem suitable.”

About the Author:Born in Saskatchewan, Betty has lived in several areas across Canada, from Ottawa to Vancouver Island while growing up. Her fondest memory as a child is of her father building a tent trailer and her mother sewing yards and yards of canvas for the tent. The family travelled across Canada and down the eastern seaboard of the United States for several summer vacations.

Betty worked as a drawing office assistant in Oxford, England, for almost two years before returning to Canada to work as a topographical clerk in Edmonton, Alberta. She pursued a BSc. in Agriculture with a major in Horticulture from the University of Alberta. While raising her children, Betty worked as an Office Manager for a non-profit society and took writing courses at night school and from the Institute of Children's Literature, Connecticut.

The garden has always been a source of inspiration and joy for Betty, as are all the beloved cats and dogs who have walked into her life. Betty believes stories are the foundation of our life. The stories we enjoy, the stories we tell ourselves, our children and others, reflect how we view the world around us. She enjoys writing fantasy for the youth genre because she feels there is still so much of the wonder of life, and the attitude that anything is possible, from this age group.

Greystone is her first novel. She is currently working on the sequel, Greystone: A New Beginning.

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Toothbrush Animal Hunt by Carleen Dehaney

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carleen Dehaney will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Embark on a delightful adventure with Toothbrush Animal Hunt, the perfect children's book to encourage daily toothbrushing habits in a playful and enjoyable way.

From a clapping sea lion at the beach to a cheeky squirrel in the forest, children will be fascinated as they learn about toothbrushing through the actions and antics of these charming creatures. And don't forget to spot the toothbrushes hidden throughout the pages, making this hunt, a delightful game of discovery.

Say goodbye to toothbrushing struggles and let the adventure begin!

Enjoy an Excerpt

About the Author: Meet the author, Carleen Dehaney! Carleen is a mother and wife. She hails from the UK but now calls Canada home. This enchanting book draws inspiration from a tenacious 2-year-old in need of some toothbrushing magic. Carleen embarked on a whimsical journey, incorporating playful animal sounds into her daughter's brushing routine, and thus, the idea for this captivating book was conceived. Today, her little one, who has since outgrown her toddler years, recites this tale back to Carleen, forging cherished moments between them.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Out of Body by Kimberly Baer

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Those weird dreams Abby Kendrick has been having? Turns out they aren’t dreams after all. They’re out-of-body experiences, like the ones her cousin Logan is having. At first Abby has fun with her new ability, using it to spy on her neighborhood crush and spook a mean girl. But when Logan gets in trouble on the astral plane, the game changes, and Abby must bend the rules of out-of-body travel as she journeys to a distant realm. Her mission is a perilous one, and success is not guaranteed. Can she save Logan and find her way home again? Or will the cousins be lost forever on the astral plane?

Read an Excerpt

The girl slept on, never stirring, breathing deeply. Arms and legs akimbo, hair spread out like disconnected wires, mouth hanging open. Was that how I looked when I was sleeping? It wasn’t pretty.

Something twinkled below me, a translucent silvery cord tethering me to my body. I’d never noticed it in my dreams-that-weren’t-really-dreams, maybe because I hadn’t realized I was out of body. The cord, thick and round as Italian sausage, was weird but reassuring. I assumed it would keep me from getting lost, because no matter where I went, I could simply follow it back to my body.

But how did the cord work? Was it retractable like the cord on our vacuum cleaner? Stretchy like a bungee cord? If so, how far could it stretch? I wanted to test it for myself, but before I could do that, I needed to figure out how to move. For now, I was stuck in place like a stalled weather front.

A few nights ago, I’d traveled all the way to Sorcery Place. I’d gone to Sophia’s house, to Grandma’s. How had I done it?

More important, how could I get back into my body? I gave a psychic grunt, straining toward that sleeping form, but nothing happened. I was anchored to the ceiling as firmly as my physical body was anchored to the bed.

What if I couldn’t get back? What if I was stuck up here forever?

About the Author:
Kimberly Baer is an author and professional editor who was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a town marginally famous for having endured three major floods. She even lived there during one of them. She enjoys power-walking on days when it’s not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you're likely to find her hard at work on her next novel or binge-watching old episodes of Survivor, her favorite guilty pleasure.

Kim has had her nose in a book practically since birth. Her first story, written at age six, was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl’s Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. These days she writes in a variety of genres, including adult romantic suspense, young adult, and middle-grade. Her books are published by The Wild Rose Press and have won several awards.

Out of Body Book Trailer:


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Monday, February 12, 2024

Go, Gabbie, Go! by Hollie Noveletsky


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Go, Gabbie, Go was written as a gift to my illustrator and friend Gabbie Studley. Gabbie is a young woman with a big dream to fly. The only thing bigger than Gabbie's dream is her heart. Read along as Gabbie achieves her dream of flight. Thank you, Gabbie, for your beautiful illustrations and friendship.

About the Author:The author is an ornery old woman who lives with her crotchety old husband in the woods of New Hampshire. Her greatest joy is watching her grandson, Pip, on his great adventures.


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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Hudson at the Track by Alexis Levesque

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions Alexis Levesque 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.

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

I wrote Hudson at the Track primarily for my son, Hudson, who is the main character in the book! I wanted him to have his very own book about something he likes to do, riding his dirt bike.

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

I wanted to be a doctor because I always wanted to help people. Now, I am not a doctor, plans changed overtime I would say ahah I am now a military engineer who strives for success.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I am currently reading Think and Growth Rich by Napoleon Hill. Review on Goodreads to follow! By the way, readers, if you are a Goodreads member, please to visit my page and add my book to your ‘To-read’ list and leave a positive review! See you there!

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

That is an easy question to answer for my as I would want all the characters mentioned in my book as they are my real family! ;) My spouse, my two sons Hudson and Hayden are all mentioned in my book. That would be like a fun family adventure! ahah

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

I would give some of that money to family members and invest the rest for my kids future.

Discover the importance of safety gear, perseverance, and bike maintenance in this thrilling motocross adventure. Let the story be the starting point of your child`s imagination. Encourage them to step outside of the book into the world of motocross where they set the limits and make anything possible.

About the Author:
Alexis Levesque is from Québec, Canada, and always had an interest in motocross. Fueled by this passion, he embarked on a creative journey to craft a children's book centered around motocross, featuring his son Hudson as the main character. Today, Alexis, along with his family of four, resides in New Brunswick, Canada.



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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Rocketship Ride by Franco D'Auria


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Come for a journey through the minds of two loving brothers as they explore the world around them using their imagination!

Join them in their rocketship as they barrel through space, meet with remarkable aliens, get in and out of extraordinary situations, and find the time to enjoy the company of amazing friends and family.

Let them take you on this incredible journey, and hopefully they inspire you to have your fantastic adventures too!

About the Author: Franco D'Auria discovered a passion for writing and world-building through his long career as a game designer for HitGrab Labs. Lending his voice to the game MouseHunt and its whimsical fantasy world of Gnawnia, his imagination was bursting for new creative outlets.

What started as an innocent request from his children to sing a bedtime song about rocketships gradually evolved into this book. It celebrates the boys' love of books, their special relationship as brothers, their adventures with family, and the spark of imagination that they share.

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