Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's here!

Here we are--release day #2!

For all those of you who have been waiting with bated breath, Halitor the Hero released today!

http://www.amazon.com/Halitor-Hero-Rebecca-M-Douglass/dp/1502738597/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1417361431&sr=8-1
I am a Hero! I AM a Hero!



Halitor has failed at every apprenticeship his parents can imagine. He figures it’s his last chance when they foist him on Bovrell the Bold as an apprentice Hero, and he eagerly studies the Hero’s Guide to Battles, Rescues, and the Slaying of Monsters. But Halitor infuriates his master when he drops his sword and gets rattled around Fair Maidens. When his master abandons him at an inn in Loria, Halitor is ready to give up and just be a kitchen boy. But Melly, the young kitchen wench, has other ideas. She wants to go find her father, and soon the two are battling monsters and worse on a wild journey to her home. Before they are done, Halitor has learned more than just how to be a Hero.

For ten-year-olds of all ages.

Read a great review by Jemima Pett!

And follow the links to get your own copy:
And any e-reader format your little heart could desire, at Smashwords.com

While you are at it, don't forget to check out the BookElves Anthology!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction

Oops!  Lost track a little, so I'm late with today's story!

The final installment of the Douglass-Pett challenge involved writing a story using five random items. I'll include the list at the end. By coincidence (I wrote it before Wendig's challenge came out) it can also be interpreted to fit the Wendig Challenge, which was to write a superhero story in one of ten sub-genres. I sort of cheated--this doesn't quite fit his genres, but really it's just like space opera, only at sea...

 It's a bit over the word count, at 1128

Adventure at Sea


Captain James stood on the deck and surveyed his ship, his kingdom. It had been a long voyage, and a hard one. The Warhammer had been storm-tossed for weeks, and of all the sailors aboard, only James had been spared the dreadful, wrenching sea-sickness. If not for him, the Warhammer would have been lost, and its precious cargo with it.

Captain James thought about that cargo now, as the sun came back out at last and shone on the damage the storms had inflicted. The glorious Window of the West, hundreds of panes of colored glass, lay in the hold, swaddled in layer upon layer of protective wrapping. The crystal perfume bottle in his own cabin was strictly his own business, and he would not think about the beautiful Madeleine. The window, that was what mattered. The Window was for the Nation. But she would like the perfume bottle.

Through storm after storm he had stood on that deck and called out orders as calmly as if he sat under the apple tree in his father’s yard. The men had looked up and seen him and taken heart to overcome their sickness and carry on. They’d furled the sails and set the rudder and run before the wind and puked, while Captain James looked on impassively.

But the storm had blown them far off course! The Master’s Mate had come to Captain James.  “Captain, sir, I cain’t rightly say where we are.” The man had trembled violently while he made his confession, but Captain James was never unreasonable.

“You cannot be blamed for the storms. But do your best, and do not speak of this,” he commanded, dismissing the Master and looked about for his First Lieutenant. There he was. Lt. Cornwall, the closest thing to a friend James could have. He nodded, and the Lieutenant hurried over.

“Sir?”

“Walk with me a bit, Corny.” This was their signal to look calm, no matter what was said. Whatever was to come, the men must not be frightened. They had suffered so much, it would take very little to make them give up.

“We have been blown far off course, and the chronometer was smashed. Will Smith cannot tell for certain where we are. What is the state of our supplies?”

Lt. Cornwall paled, though he remained outwardly calm. “We’ve little enough, Captain. Some of the water barrels were smashed or contaminated during the storm. And the salt beef is running low. We have perhaps enough water for three days, and less food. We still have three of the pigs, but they won’t feed this crew even a whole day.

Captain James nodded. The young pigs had also been seasick. Three scrawny little pigs they had been when they came aboard in the Islands, and three scrawny little pigs they remained.

“We won’t eat them unless we have to. Have we rum?”

“Aye, sir! One small cask.”

“Order a ration of grog all around. That will put some heart into the men. Then fall in the men to put the ship in order. I shall call for gun drill at four bells.”

“Aye aye.”

Captain James smiled to himself as the Lieutenant hurried off. Cornwall thought his Captain was driving the men too hard, but James knew that they must be kept busy, or they would grow frightened and restless. And they must be ready if the enemy should appear.

Hours later the Warhammer sailed smoothly north—they didn’t know where they were, but had a general idea where they needed to go—when the lookout called, “Sail, ho! Off the starboard bow on the horizon!”

“What flag?”

“Can’t make it out, sir!”

The Captain hid another smile as he reached for the ratlines and began to climb. He swung himself into the crow’s nest and took the glass. Focusing on the approaching ship he muttered, “British, no question.” The sailor next to him went pale, and Captain James handed him back the glass. “Buck up, man! We’re fast enough to outrun any Limeys, and tough enough to fight if we must.”

The sailor grinned. “Right you are, Captain! We’ll give ’em hell, hey?”

“Aye, we will.” James could feel the man’s admiring eyes on him as he swung out and slid down the stays to the deck, already bellowing orders for the men to make all sail. They moved fast, but not wildly. Their training held.

As the British ship drew closer, Captain James knew that they would have to fight. And they were badly out-gunned. He went below and put on his best uniform before giving the order to clear for action. When the men saw him, dressed defiantly in the uniform of a Captain in the U. S. Navy, they gave three cheers.

Training or no, when battle was joined it was chaos. James still stood bravely on the deck, controlling the battle as best he could. He never saw the musket ball that took him down, only knew he was falling. Lt. Corny was there, appearing out of nowhere to ease him to the deck.

“Easy, Captain. We’ll stop the bleeding and get you below.”

“No. I must stay on deck, where the men can see me!” Captain James closed his eyes for just a moment. He could hear a voice crying, “Jimmy! Jiiiimmmy!”

Jimmy opened his eyes and saw his mother. “You need to get those cows, and get them now. This is no time for daydreaming!”


Jack rose from his place beneath the apple tree, grimacing as he put his hand down in a rotten apple. “Right, mother. I’m off then.”

He closed his eyes briefly as he headed for the pasture. Back on the deck of the Warhammer, the sounds of battle had faded with the roaring in his ears.  But he heard Corny’s voice, frightened but also commanding. “Don’t let go, Captain! We need you!”

Captain James opened his eyes and looked at his worried second in command. “All right. I’m still here.” His voice was a croak, and Corny gave him some water. “Help me up!”

“But sir!” Lt. Cornwall protested. “Your leg!”

James glanced at the bandage around his leg. “It will do. I have work to do!” He forced himself to stand, and the men cheered, and fought on harder for his sake.

He could feel the wind…it favored them. There was another squall coming. They could make their escape behind it.

Captain James leaned heavily on his Lieutenant, and smiled a little. They would deliver the Window. And when they had escaped this battle, they would eat the pigs. No injury and no enemy could bring him down! He was Captain James, the invincible Hero of the Warhammer.

Where were those dratted cows, anyway?

###
©Rebecca M. Douglass
P.S. The five elements were a sailing ship, a perfume bottle, three little pigs, a rotten apple and of course a stained glass window.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MG Review: Fearless Joe Dearborne


Fearless Joe Dearborne by Lisa Whitney Mitchell



Title: Fearless Joe Dearborne
Author: Lisa Whitney Mitchell
Publisher: Independent; 2014. 198 pages
Source: Electronic Review Copy

Publisher's Summary:
Some might say he’s courageous, while others would say he’s daring, maybe even a little crazy. But when Joe Dearborne risked his life and ran into a burning building to save a puppy, the local newspaper referred to him as “fearless”—and that’s a pretty big title for a sixth-grader to live up to.
 
Plus, Joe already has plenty else to worry about. After other daring feats in the past, Joe promised his father he wouldn’t do anything dangerous again, and, alas, he’s just broken that promise.

But whatever trouble he expects to get into with his father, and despite the dangers he’s triumphed over in the past, nothing could prepare Joe for what he’s about to encounter when a cold, bitterness creeps into his home.

A mysterious and peculiar woman named Mrs. Chill has just been hired to care for Joe while his father is away on business. In no time, however, Joe discovers that she’s up to more than cooking and cleaning, and she has plans to destroy his family. Joe’s effort to save them results in perilous, sometimes humorous, encounters, and leads him on a journey through the threatening wilderness where he faces his greatest challenge yet.

My Review:
This was a quick read that kept me turning the pages. It wasn't quite what I expected from the summary--I think I expected more slapstick humor. But despite the over-played Mrs. Chill, the story really is the tale of a boy who's suffered a lot of loss and is trying to figure out who he is. Joe has been dealing with it--or not--by being recklessly brave, until he goes too far and loses his fearlessness. Now he has to learn that courage is going on even when you are scared.

My biggest criticism of this book lies in the contrast between the stock characters (Mrs. Chill and dotty Aunt P) and the very human boy at the center of the story. Mrs. Chill is like every other evil boarding-school mistress of literature--from Mrs. Minchen (A Little Princess) and Mrs. Monday (Nancy and Plum) to Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events): her perfidy is obvious to both Joe and the reader, but the adults in the case seem oblivious. I think this is intentional: the comedic aspects tone down what could otherwise be a pretty intense story. But I'm not sure it's necessary. I'd like to see how Joe copes with his real-world problems in the real world.

Recommendation:
This is a fun and easy read for kids from about 8 and up. Kids are apt to really enjoy the goofy aspects, though older children (used to books with more intense issues) may share some of my complaints.

Full Disclosure: I was given an electronic ARC of Fearless Joe Dearborne by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Guest Post from A Year in the Secret Garden



A Year in the Secret Garden - Blog Tour Button 



I am happy today to host Valarie Budayr, co-author of the beautiful and charming book, A Year in the Secret Garden, a companion to the beloved classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden
Author: Valarie Budayr Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters
Publication Date: November, 2014
Publisher: Audrey Press
Pages: 144 
Recommended Ages: 5 to 99


Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.

And now, a word from Valarie Budayr!

A Year in the Secret Garden - coverThank you Rebecca for inviting me today to be a guest blogger today on Ninja Librarian. It is such an honor and I'm so happy to be here.

Over the past year I've had the great pleasure of working with Marilyn Scott-Waters aka The Toymaker as we created our book A Year in the Secret Garden.

One of our favorite childhood books is The Secret Garden. We wanted to bring the book to life for a new generation of readers. We've created a month by month guide to the Secret Garden bringing this magical story to life. Inside are crafts with step by step instructions, easy-to-make recipes, gardening activities, beautiful and fully illustrated paper toys to download, and historical information. We've even added a Yorkshire dialect guide. It's our wish that you have many magical moments inside the Secret Garden.

Today let's go exploring into the month of July. July is a beautiful sunny month in the Secret Garden. The garden is in full bloom, the bees are buzzing and there is always a gentle breeze found under blue skies. The Secret Garden is fully awake in summer and beckoning one and all to enter it's walls. July holds many wonderful adventures to be add as well as many wonderful things to eat. July explores the world of  The Secret Meal with a tin foil breakfast. Also included in July are Colin's exercises, a blindfolded garden walk, creating a garden journal, a character study on Susan Sowerby, creating beautiful affirmation stones and eating some lovely scones and ginger tea.


affirmation stones
Today I'd like to share some fun eating with a real Secret Meal, our tin foil breakfast. Mary, Dickon, and Colin enjoyed eating a breakfast by the campfire. It's one of my favorite things to do as well.

campfire 2 Tin Foil Breakfast

Makes enough for 1 person per foil package. Ingredients
  • Hash brown potatoes
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1 sausage link (optional)
  • Feel free to add ham, cheese, or bell peppers as well
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aluminium foil
  • Cooking Spray
Instructions Tear off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold your eggs and potatoes. Spray the non-shiny surface of your foil with cooking spray. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them until well mixed. Place potatoes, beaten eggs ( uncooked), sausage, and salt and pepper to fast in the aluminum foil. Wrap securely Place on hot white coals of your campfire or grill for approximately 15 minutes. Turn and rotate as needed.

Wishing you many happy adventures inside the Secret Garden.
--Valarie Budayr

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website, www.jumpintoabook.com, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure.
She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.

Book Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads



About the Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters

Marilyn Scott-WatersMarilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website, www.thetoymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.
She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).

Website | Facebook | Google+

* $100 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 7, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Year in the Secret Garden Rafflecopter Giveaway!

A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

EXPLORING SEPTEMBER
November 1
Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)
WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)
November 2
Hope to Read (Excerpt)
November 3
Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)
EXPLORING OCTOBER
November 4
BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)
November 5
Monique’s Musings (Book Review)
November 6
SOS-Supply (Book Review)
EXPLORING NOVEMBER
November 7
Randomly Reading (Book Review)
November 8
Adalinc to Life (Book Review)
EXPLORING DECEMBER
November 9
100 Pages a Day (Book Review)
November 10
Edventures With Kids (Book Review)
EXPLORING JANUARY
November 11
November 12
Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)
EXPLORING FEBRUARY
November 13
Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)
November 14
Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)
EXPLORING MARCH
November 15
Pragmatic Mom (Illustrator Interview)
November 16
Stacking Books (Book Review)
EXPLORING APRIL
November 17
Oh My Bookness (Book Review)
November 18
EXPLORING MAY
November 19
The Blended Blog (Book Review)
November 20
All Done Monkey (Book Review)
November 21
Geo Librarian (Book Review)
EXPLORING JUNE
November 22
My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)
November 23
November 24
Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)
EXPLORING JULY
November 25
Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)
November 26
Jane Ritz (Book Review)
Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)
November 27
EXPLORING AUGUST
November 28
Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)
November 29
Mommynificent (Book Review)
November 30
This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)
Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)
Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway! #MGBookElves

I don't usually review my own work...and I'm not. But I'll review the other 6/7 of the book!







Seven stories, seven situations threatening the festivities. Will the holidays be a disaster?  Will families be left out in the cold? Will there be tears before bedtime, or will there be happy endings all round? The MG BookElves group brings you its first anthology of tales to enjoy during the holiday season:
* Reliable Clooney Dockins delivered his town's mail on time for thirty-two years, until that strange and impossible Christmas Eve when he woke up late. M.G.King (Fizz & Peppers at the Bottom of the World, Librarian on the Roof)
* Max the Tonkinese cat finds Santa Claus on the roof and is whisked away to retrieve a very special message from another time and place. Wendy Leighton-Porter (The Shadows from the Past series)
* Shirley Link is an amateur sleuth who lives in a town that could use all the sleuths it can get! What is it about Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts that makes it such a hotspot for dastardly deeds? Even on Christmas Day? Ben Zackheim (Shirley Link Detective Series, The Camelot Kids)
*Champ may be a rescue dog, but he’s the best person around to stop the dognappers and save heartbreak at Christmas. Fiona Ingram (The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Champ: My Story of Survival)
* When the railroad gets snowed under, the two bit town of Skunk Corners has to play host to a load of mighty difficult strangers.  Can Big Al and the Ninja Librarian keep the season of goodwill from breaking into a riot? Rebecca M. Douglass (The Ninja Librarian, Halitor the Hero)
*Far away on the west coast of a western Scottish island, Dylan and Dougall face yuletide in Castle Haunn with no heat, light or food.  Can Dylan get the message through to the mainland for help, or is there something nasty waiting for him in the hills? Jemima Pett (The Princelings of the East series)
*It’s Christmas holiday and Lily is stuck in a remote mountain village. With school out for a month and no internet connection, at first she wonders how she will fill the time. In this sweet romance, Lily discovers there’s more to gift-giving than just the giving.  S. Smith (The Seed Savers series)
Each tale weaves its own seasonal magic.  Each magician has already warmed the hearts of thousands of young readers with their stories. Enjoy these frantic races to meet the Christmas deadline while you curl up in your favourite reading spot this winter.

Details: 40,000 words (approx); 157 pages (approx, ebook)/ 184 pages (paperback) ; grade 4 +; ages 8 to 108.


Title: BookElves Anthology, Vol. 1
Authors: Jemima Pett, Rebecca M. Douglass, Fiona Ingram, M.G. King, Wendy Leighton-Porter, S. Smith, Ben Zackhiem
Publisher: Princelings Publications, 2014, 184 pages.
Source: I got to proof the book for our group!



My Review:

 There really is something in here for everyone. The stories are very different, but I enjoyed every one, and each had something to offer the reader: humor, inspiration, food for thought, and a faint whiff of candy canes and chocolate. Most of the stories are spin-offs or bonus tales from series, from my own Ninja Librarian to the guinea pigs that inhabit the world of the Princelings of the East to Max the Tonkinese cat and Shirley Link, kid-detective extraordinaire. I have read some of the series, and for others this was my first encounter, and all the stories read well as stand-alone stories, as well as tickling my desire to delve further into their worlds. It's nice bunch of stories to curl up with as the holidays approach!

Recommendation: 
It really is for kids from 8 to 108, though some stories skew more to the younger or older child, largely through variations in reading level. I recommend this for anyone, of any age, who just wants to spend a little time with some heartwarming holiday stories!

Like it? Buy at Amazon in paperback or Kindle, or enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a copy all your own! 

And while we're on the subject of great new books...
http://www.amazon.com/Halitor-Hero-Rebecca-M-Douglass-ebook/dp/B00O7WX8Q0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416807222&sr=1-1
 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Split Second: A Xavier Xanthum Story

It's Flash Fiction Friday, and I've taken up another of the Douglass-Pett challenges. The title for this week was "Split Second," and the comment that it had been a long time since Xavier Xanthum had made an appearance gave me direction. Kitty Comet made his first appearance around Christmas time last year...


Split Second

Xavier Xanthum, Space Explorer, lounged in his PT pod, watching the nearby planetoid and playing with his cat. The pod had the best view window on the Wanderlust, and made a nice place to help Kitty Comet learn to cope with low gravity. And if watching a kitten play on a planet’s surface was amusing, watching one play in free-fall was even more so.

“Just one more try, Kitty,” he encouraged.

Larry’s voice came over the speaker. “You need to exercise in at least ¾ Earth Gravity, Xavier.”

Xavier looked around and spotted Larry. The disembodied eyeballs that were the computer’s manifestation floated behind him. “I’m helping Comet adjust to Zero G.” Xavier held up a string, which followed his hand in a lazy ripple. The cat leapt from the wall, trying to grab the string before she floated on to thump gently on the opposite wall. “I didn’t come in here to work out. I came for the view. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Xavier gestured at the view window, and Larry’s eyeballs rolled a bit in that direction.

“Under the definition of ‘beautiful’ constructed from your preferences and those of others, yes. Are you going to land?” Larry never could quite forget that he was a computer, though a thoroughly self-willed computer.

“Don’t know. Is it mapped?”

“Negative. It does not appear to be included in the quadrant maps for this System.”

Xavier sat up, interested. He let go of the string, which began a very slow drift toward the recirc intake. Comet snatched it, and kitten and string tumbled in mid-air, tangling together. Xavier watched with a smile, but his mind was already on the possibilities the planet presented.

“This could be our big break, Larry,” Xavier said. “Who knows what might be down there?”

A silence ensured, during which Larry ran something through his electronic mind. He liked to pretend that he thought at human speeds. “I wish you hadn’t said that,” was his eventual and un-computerish response.

Xavier noticed his computer’s odd response, and didn’t rush. He did find that thinking first increased the chances of survival, in any case. Scooping up the kitten, he pushed off toward the control room, thinking. Whatever Larry had noticed, it hadn’t been definite enough for him to say right out. But he’d seen something.

An hour later, Xavier gave up. “Larry, I can’t find a thing wrong with this planet. What has you so jumpy?” He maneuvered the ship into a somewhat closer orbit, in hopes of learning more without actually landing.

“I'm not sure, Captain.”

Xavier whistled softly. Larry calling him “Captain” was a bad sign. Larry admitting to not knowing something was worse.

“Look at the cat,” Larry commanded suddenly. Xavier spun around, grabbed a grip-bar to stop his spin, and spotted the cat. Comet was staring at the small view window, and her fur stood up all along her back. Her tail was twice as big around as usual, which made it huge, because in low gravity her fur stood out a lot in any case.

“You don’t like it, Comet?”

“Meow!” The fur-ball turned her back on the window. The control room had just enough gravity for her to sit, raise a hind leg, and wash her unmentionables, in a clear act of defiance. Her fur did not settle down.

“Wow.” Xavier wasn’t sure if he’d said it or Larry. The cat had never reacted like this before, and both the human and the computer eyes lingered on her before turning to consider the orb beneath them.

“Still, I’d like to go down,” Xavier said. “I can’t really let a cat make my decisions for me.” He looked at the cat again. “Full scan of the surface, Larry, with everything we have.”

Man, floating eyeballs, and cat stared intently at the views and data that filled every screen in the control room. Then the cat backed up, fur again standing on her back, a low growl coming from her throat. A bit later, Xavier thought he saw something. Again, the cat growled.

“Larry, did you see what it was? I just caught a flash—something on screen 3B for a split second—out of the corner of my eye.”

“I will replay that segment.” It was as close as Larry would come to saying he had missed something. A computer ought to be able to see everything, but computer scan was not the same as the old Mark I eyeball. Even if the eyeball was disembodied. This time, as the scan ran, Larry kept one eye on the cat, and the other tracked where the cat was looking. Nothing happened.

“Okay, we might have to go down just to see what’s happening.” Xavier had a hunch they shouldn’t, but he couldn’t run from a planet because something down there scared his cat. He began the descent sequence, while Larry and Comet kept watching the surface.

Xavier’s hands were on the controls to bring them into the final swing around the planet when Larry said, “Pull up now. Now.” His voice had lost all human tones. That, combined with Comet’s yowling, convinced Xavier. With less than a second to spare before he was committed to landing, he grabbed the direct controls, breaking the orbit just as…something…reached for the ship.

Shaken, Xavier stared at the vid screens. “What—what was that? And how did you know?”

“The space body appears to be sentient, not planetoid,” Larry’s flat computer-voice reported. “The cat saw it blink. It reached for us. It is good you have quick reflexes.”

“And that gave me a split second to pull out,” Xavier said. He buried his shaking hands in the cat’s fur. “That was close. Thanks, Comet. Larry, file a report with the proper authorities, and take us out of here. Comet and I are going to take a nap.”

The cat was already curled up on nothing, nose to tail, ready to sleep off the effects of so nearly ceasing to exist.

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2014


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Redwall Audio

 281954    7983    281959

This isn't a conventional review. No one needs to be told that Brian Jacques' Redwall books are fantastic for older children, especially those who like adventures, battles, and all the other trappings of high fantasy (including death-or-glory charges and the loss of some good beasts, thus the "older children" label). But I hadn't done the audio books until recently. We tried once on a car trip, and the road noise made it too hard to understand some of the undeniably challenging (for this west-coast US sort, anyway) accents some of the animals use.

[Okay, a note just in case someone is unfamiliar with these great books. The world of Redwall is something like Narnia, in that it is full of anthropomorphic animals, though without the pesky humans than show up in Narnia. These mice, hares, hedgehogs and other good British animals (and make no mistake; the good animals ARE British) are frequently under attack by hordes of evil and violent weasels, stoats, and above all rats--you see how we get an easy good and evil divide, though I could go on a bit about vilifying predators! Each type of animal speaks with a different accent, some very thick.]

Recently the topic of audio books for road trips came up in a Goodreads.com discussion Forum in which I participate, and I remembered our difficulty listening to Redwall, as well as how much we enjoyed reading the books aloud with our boys (I'm sure our attempts at rendering the accents--which Jacques indicates very clearly with spelling, etc.--would have had any British listener rolling on the floor). I thought I should give them another try, without road noise--and got hooked! I've now listened to three of the books, which are done with a full cast (though in many, including Redwall, Jacques himself is the main narrator). A fourth somehow got started this week...

These audio productions are wonderful! The accents do cause some issues, but the majority of voices use more standard speech (what we recognize from British TV shows and the BBC), and the reading is excellent. Music adds a nice touch, though the songs (the books are full of songs sung by the beasts) don't quite fit my mental image (what is the word for an auditory image?) of them. It can be very hard to stop listening once begun! That is of course a tribute to both the writing and the performance, and I have to say that both are fantastic.

One note about the series: I felt when we first read them, and that feeling was confirmed this go-around, that the first book, Redwall, is the weakest and one in which Jacques was feeling about for just how the world would look and feel. Even by the end of that book I think he had it down better than at the start, and the other books in the series have a much more consistent and convincing world. Although by the last book in the series there is a certain feel of sameness--the general structure of each, with its dreadful threat to goodbeasts from an evil Horde, is predictable--the adventures and characters are so compelling that you really don't care!

A second note on the series: as mentioned, these are not for young children. The fighting is not precisely graphically depicted, but it's pretty violent. There is a lot of death and not just of the evil creatures. There is no sexuality, however (maybe an occasional bit of falling in love, but it's pretty much passed over, and animals seem to largely appear as dibbuns--youngsters--without any process for getting there).

Recommendation:
I give this series a hearty two thumbs up whatever form you take it. I'm a bit dubious about the video and graphic novels, but I've seen some testimonials that those made people start reading, so I won't judge.  But if you like listening to books and want some rousing adventures, check them out on audio! Just don't try it in a noisy car :)

Full Disclosure: I checked the Redwall books out of my (digital) library, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


©Rebecca M. Douglass





Monday, November 17, 2014

Great offers and other business

I don't have any reviews ready to go for today, but that's okay, because I need to remind you all about a couple of great offers.

First: today is the last day to enter my Goodreads Giveaway for the humorous middle-grade fantasy Halitor the Hero! Open to all US Residents (international fans--watch this space--I'll be running an ebook giveaway in the first weeks of December!).


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Halitor the Hero by Rebecca Douglass

Halitor the Hero

by Rebecca Douglass

Giveaway ends November 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win  



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#MGBookElves
Seven stories, seven situations threatening the festivities – a postbag that gets bigger, a Santa in summer, the strange disappearance of the gifts, a petnapping gang, a snowstorm in the wilds, a kidnapped messenger, and a whole raft of celebrations that are too strange to contemplate.  Will the holidays be a disaster? Or will seven bookelves weave seasonal magic?
Next: The BookElves Anthology #1 is available for pre-order! Ebooks are just $0.99 at Smashwords and Amazon, with paperback available on the Nov. 25 release date (price TBD). Fellow BookElf Jemima Pett is offering the book as part of a bloghop giveaway right now through Nov. 29 (along with another great looking book)!

BookElves Anthology #1
Seven stories, seven situations threatening the festivities – a postbag that gets bigger, a Santa in summer, the strange disappearance of the gifts, a petnapping gang, a snowstorm in the wilds, a kidnapped messenger, and a whole raft of celebrations that are too strange to contemplate.

Will the holidays be a disaster? Or will seven bookelves weave seasonal magic?

Here's the scoop on those 7 stories:

* Reliable Clooney Dockins delivered his town's mail on time for thirty-two years, until that strange and impossible Christmas Eve when he woke up late. M.G.King (Fizz & Peppers at the Bottom of the World, Librarian on the Roof)

* Max the Tonkinese cat finds Santa Claus on the roof and is whisked away to retrieve a very special message from another time and place. Wendy Leighton-Porter (The Shadows from the Past series)

* Shirley Link is an amateur sleuth who lives in a town that could use all the sleuths it can get! What is it about Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts that makes it such a hotspot for dastardly deeds? Even on Christmas Day? Ben Zackheim (Shirley Link Detective Series, The Camelot Kids)

* Champ may be a rescue dog, but he’s the best person around to stop the dognappers and save heartbreak at Christmas. Fiona Ingram (The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Champ: My Story of Survival)

* When the railroad gets snowed under, the two bit town of Skunk Corners has to play host to a load of mighty difficult strangers. Can Big Al and the Ninja Librarian keep the season of goodwill from breaking into a riot? Rebecca M. Douglass (The Ninja Librarian, Halitor the Hero)

* Far away on the west coast of a western Scottish island, Dylan and Dougall face yuletide in Castle Haunn with no heat, light or food. Can Dylan get the message through to the mainland for help, or is there something nasty waiting for him in the hills? Jemima Pett (The Princelings of the East series)

* It’s Christmas holiday and Lily is stuck in a remote mountain village. With school out for a month and no internet connection, at first she wonders how she will fill the time. In this sweet romance, Lily discovers there’s more to gift-giving than just the giving. S. Smith (The Seed Savers series)

Each tale weaves its own seasonal magic. Each magician has already warmed the hearts of thousands of young readers with their stories. Enjoy these frantic races to meet the Christmas deadline while you curl up in your favourite reading spot this winter. 

(Yes, we have favourites and a touch of humour, because our beloved Editor-in-Chief, Jemima Pett, is British).
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And, of course, we have the incredible Read Tuesday event--more authors featured every day!

http://readtuesday.com/2014/08/22/read-tuesday-2014/

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: The Winter Sleep

Another week, another entry in the Douglass-Pett Random Title project! This one--"winter sleep"--gave me a lot of ideas, including doing a non-fiction piece on hibernating bears. But in the end, my science fiction gene won out. It's 1005 words, including the title.

The Winter Sleep


No one and nothing moved across the surface of Malna during the Winter Sleep. The toxic snow piled a dozen feet deep, and all life ceased under the double burden of toxins and cold.
All surface life ceased.

The Malnese called it the Winter Sleep, irony firmly in place: anyone caught out in that winter would sleep all right, and never wake up.

Under the surface, the planet hummed with life, where ships from the Empire couldn't see any of it.
At the end of a long hall buzzing with activity, Jake studied the plans for the dozenth time. It was only a few months now to the final test, by which the Malnese would live or die. It was Jake’s responsibility to be sure they lived. He wanted to wait for spring, but no one knew when—or if—Malna would see another spring. Nor did anyone know when the Empire would return to confirm they were dead. They couldn't afford to wait.

“Alexa, can you double-check my figures? If my calculations are off by even a tiny amount—” He didn’t have to finish that thought. Everyone knew how much depended on getting this right the first time, because there would be only the one time. The female next to Jake turned to study the figures, her crest of hair turning from blue to red as she concentrated. She was an Arebulano by ancestry, while Jake’s forebears came from Earth, but both were Malnese. Neither had ever seen any other planet.

The planet had been settled generations before by representatives of every known sentient race, brought there by the Empire. It was an experiment in peaceful co-existence, and it had been meant to fail. The colonists had nearly died the first Winter, when the toxic snows began, for they’d had no warning. No one knew for sure if the Winter was unknown to the designers of the experiment, or if it was their final guarantee of failure. In the other seasons, the surface was generally Earth-like, if by Earth you meant Minnesota. 

Those who were not killed when the Snows began went underground, and adapted. That first Winter lasted a single Earth year, which wasn't long enough to destroy the surface colony. When the Winter ended, the colonists moved back to the surface and began to plant again.They had learned to live furry cheek by green jowl. They had already found that sexually compatible didn’t necessarily mean cross-fertile, which provided a form of population control that made their underground periods possible.

For a time, ships from the Empire had brought necessary supplies, and taken only what little the colony could spare. Later, they had brought less and taken more. Then the third Winter came, and it lasted longer. Long enough for a ship to come while the planet was in its Sleep. The crew had just time enough to report the colony had vanished, before they perished in the toxic snow. After that, the Empire stopped sending ships, and the Malnese managed on their own. It had taken a long time to learn what they needed to make use of that ship.

Now they were ready. They might have chosen to rejoin the Empire. Instead, they spent half a life-time reading history—and chose to leave the Empire.

“We get one chance. We launch at the right spot, and we will pass the limit of the Empire in two Earth-years. In three, we will reach the target planet.”

“And if we are wrong about the planet,” Alexie said softly, “we will die.”

“We will die,” Jack agreed. “And if we intercept a ship of the Empire we will die. But if we don’t leave here, we will also die.” That was what only a few of the Malnese understood: their underground life was not sustainable. Each winter had been longer than the one before, and the periods between shorter. Jack’s father had experienced three winters; Jack had already lived through 5, and if the patterns held, there would be a dozen more within his lifespan. The planet’s orbit wasn’t just erratic, it was decaying. They drew closer each pass to the source of the bizarre toxic “snow.” They could leave, or they could join the planet in a permanent Winter Sleep.

“Why are we doing this?” Alexa wondered.

Jack shrugged. “Seems to me that life likes living. It’s the nature of any living thing to cling to life. Look at how the native plants have adapted, building roots that go deep beneath the reach of the Snow. And I can't just lie down and give up.”

“Me either.” Neither commented further. They concentrated on preparing for the Exit.

***
“I can’t believe we’re really doing this.” Jack looked around their compartment for the last time. It was little larger than a room on the ship, so there wouldn't be any problem adapting to that. They had done their adapting during the Winter Sleeps.

“Are you sorry?”

“How can I be? I won't stay here and die. We have to leave. No other considerations matter.”

“And yet?” she suggested.

“And yet,” he agreed. “Awful as this place can be, it’s home. It’s the only planet we know, ’Lexa. I’m not an Earthling. I’m Malnese. Even when Malna is trying to kill us with the gawdawful Sleep, it’s home.”

“And we aren’t members of the Empire, either,” Alexa added. “A whole people with no home.” She picked up her bag. "Let's go find one."

A few people were staying, mostly the old, who had little life left and little to gain from making the Exit. The rest were doing what Jack and Alexa were doing: walking away from everything they had. A long line of them filed through the sealed passage to the ship. For Jack and Alexa it was one last trip. As members of the planning team, they’d been aboard often. This time felt different.

“Don’t look back,” Jack whispered as the ship lifted from the surface. “Never look back.”
###

©Rebecca M. Douglass

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Don't forget the Goodreads Giveaway--through Nov. 17!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being an author-publisher looks a lot like work...

I don't have a review ready to go today. I could blame it on having been on the road with my oldest son, visiting colleges (colleges? We're just getting some traction on this parenting thing, and it's almost over?). That would even be partly true. But I'm also working hard on all the final details for Halitor the Hero, which is still on schedule for its Nov. 30 release date!

There's a lot to do. Once the MS is clean and lovely as far as content goes (got there last week), the formatting begins. I spent yesterday in battle with MS Word getting it to where the ebooks should be perfect (I often wish my books had illustrations, but I admit that it is easier to create an ebook without them!). Now I'm working on the print version, which is easier in some ways (no need for live links!) but requires more of what I'm less good at, i.e. an artistic sense. This font or that? And I set myself a big challenge this time: I hired my amazing cover artist, Danielle English, only for the front cover. I'm doing the back and spine myself. In theory, this is well within my skills. In practice...the jury is still out!

Once that's done and all the chapter heads are just as I want them (and headers! footers! page numbers!), and I upload the whole thing, I'll finish that short story for Friday's blog and get back to your regularly scheduled entertainment!

Oh, and about that "NaNoEdMo" idea, where I was going to get Death By Trombone through the first round of edits by the end of the month? Not looking so good! But I am working on it, so I know I'll get there eventually. Maybe even by the end of the year (just in time to start the second round of edits in the new year).

Meanwhile, you can pre-order the ebook of Halitor from Amazon AND from Smashwords!


And don't forget the exciting pending release of the BookElves Anthology! I'll link up as soon as we have a pre-order page, because there are some cool holiday stories in there! Huge thanks to Princelings of the East author Jemima Pett for all the work she's doing on this!


And don't forget that Goodreads Giveaway for Halitor!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Mystery Monday: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

18693750

Title: Queen of Hearts (Royal Spyness series)
Author: Rhys Bowen
Publisher: Berkely Prime Crime, 2014 295 pages

Summary:
It is July 1934, and Lady Georgianna Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, is relaxing after her last adventure. But her mother puts an end to all that, and in minutes Georgie is packing to sail for America. Her mother is headed to Reno for a divorce, but she meets Hollywood movie mogul Cy Goldman on the ship, and soon Mummy and Georgie are off to Hollywood to make a movie with Cy. Georgie couldn't be happier, especially when her sweetheart, Darcy, shows up. Even murder, arson, and theft can't completely dim her pleasure in his company.

Review:
This is another fine addition to my favorite of Bowen's three series. Lady Georgianna is a lively and humorous narrator, with a keen eye and a dry sense of humor. The plot is, as usual, a bit intricate and characters are sometimes over the top, but that is not so much a flaw as a deliberate stylistic choice. I think I prefer the books set in England--maybe because England is exotic and Hollywood is just down the coast. Of course, for Georgie it's just the opposite, and American fashions and manners give her all sorts of fun troubles. I enjoyed the entire romp, and only figured out part of the mystery, and that only about half a page ahead of Georgie.

Recommendation:
The "Royal Spyness" mysteries aren't for everyone, but if you enjoy a bit of absurdity with your murder and mayhem, you are the right audience. This is a worthy addition to the series, which I recommend reading in order. Queen of Hearts may have a greater appeal to English readers than American, but I could be wrong. The author certainly captures the period well, whether in the US, aboard ship, or in Hollywood--or that wild frontier town of Reno, Nevada.


Full Disclosure: I checked Queen of Hearts  out of my library, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday! "The Vintage Explorer"

This week Jemima Pett and I joined forces to give each other a flash fiction prompt, since Chuck Wendig didn't provide one (he's giving people a chance to share and talk about their NaNo Novels instead). Since we aren't participating, and because we really like doing flash fiction, Jemima and I exchanged prompts. She sent me a couple of titles and a challenge, which I will be using over the next few weeks.  Her title for the week is "The Evil Locket."  And today, I give you 962 words of...

The Vintage Explorer

Algernon picked his way among the casks, ears swiveling and whiskers alert. It was here somewhere, the source of the new and intriguing smell that had tormented him all day. He’d been lying up in his nest, trying to sleep, and all day his nose had kept twitching. It was no good going out in the day, though. Even if he didn't get stepped on or have a cask dropped on him, someone might see him. Then they would set out traps for him to stumble into, or even bring in a cat!

Dreadful things, cats. A cat might appear to be a big ball of sleeping fur, but in an instant it would become all sharp teeth and sharper claws. No, Algernon was too wise a mouse to go out in the day time. It wasn't as though he needed light to find his way around the cellar. He waited patiently until all the large bumbling humans went away before he stuck so much as a whisker out of his hole.

Algernon's nose led him down among the great casks. Those all smelled as usual. Nothing interesting about the wine in them—until he reached the small cask at the end of the row. There, his nose twitched more fiercely than ever. This was the one.

The humans had been agitated about it all day. There had been much coming and going up and down the line of casks, every crashing passage of tramping feet awakening Algernon in his nest. He was safe in his home inside the wall but he couldn't sleep on account of the noise. And the scent.

Algernon gave a great yawn. Then he walked around the small cask, sniffing as he went. This one might do. It really might. The humans had seemed somehow distressed about it. They could tell that it wasn't going in quite the usual way. But they were too senseless, poor creatures with great useless noses, to notice what Algernon did. This was the wine he'd been seeking all his cellar-exploring life.

At that moment, Algernon heard footsteps approaching, and he had just enough time to hide under the wooden walkway before the door opened and a blinding light came on. Two humans came down the walkway.

“This is the one, Boss,” said the human in a shirt that stood open at the neck. “We were trying for something that would go well with some of the new cheeses from the dairy.” He shrugged. “But sometimes experiments just don't work out.”

“I’m disappointed, Charlie, but I understand. After all, that's why we experiment in smaller quantities.” The man wearing a suit and tie pried open the top of the cask and sniffed. “It's not awful,” he said.

The other man unhooked a small cup from his belt and dipped it carefully in the liquid. “Taste it. You'll see.”

The suit sipped, swirled the drink about in his mouth, and spat onto the floor, to the evident distress of the other man. Algernon was shocked. What kind of person would spit in the very place where the most amazing wines were made? Who would spit out that heavenly brew in the small cask? Surely even humans were better than that! The spattered liquid spread the smell more strongly than ever. Algernon held his breath and kept listening.

“Take it and dump it tomorrow,” Suit ordered. “You'll probably have to burn the cask. You'll never get that cheesy overtone out of the oak.”

Dump it? Get rid of the best wine they'd ever made, and destroy the oak for a cheesy overtone? Algernon stiffened in shock.

“Right, Boss,” Charlie answered, tapping the lid back in place on the cask. As they walked away, he cast one look back, and shrugged. He turned off the light and closed the door behind him.

Algernon came out of his hiding place. He took one final sniff at the keg, and the wine that had been spattered on the floor, and flicked his tail in satisfaction. Then he ran to the far end of the cellar, crept into a large hole, sat back on his haunches and gave a mighty squeak.

A veritable battalion of mice appeared from all directions. Working quickly at Algernon’s direction, they tipped the cask carefully on its side, rolled it the dozen or so feet to the hole, which several mice were quickly enlarging by removing several loose planks, and rolled the cask down a long passage into a surprisingly large room in the heart of a wall built to look like the thick wall of a castle. Setting the cask carefully upright on a small dais, the stepped back. Another team of mice appeared from the other direction, rolling a pair of immense wheels of cheese.

“The humans rejected these. They said these cheeses smelled too strongly of cheese!” All the mice laughed. Humans were weird.

“Roll them right here up next to the wine,” Algernon ordered. “And let the feast begin!”

“Three cheers for the explorer of the best vintages!” called an old mouse, and the room filled with enthusiastic squeaks.

#
“Hey, Charlie, didn’t you say to haul that experimental keg off this morning?” A worker called across the room.

“Yeah, the boss said to get rid of it.”

“It ain’t here.”

Algernon sat up feet thudding past his hole, making his head ache worse than ever.

“Huh. Boss must’ve sent someone down earlier to make sure. Fine, less work for us. Though you know, I kind of liked the stuff,” Sam said under his breath, casting a glance around the room.

Algernon lay back down with a smile. Once again they had outwitted the humans. The mice would party for a year on that cask.

###
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest!




Thanks to Jemima Pett for tipping me off about this one! It's a brilliantly simple concept: Bloggers D L Hammons and Nicole Zoltack invite you to sign up on their linky to join the party. On December 19, instead of writing a brand new blog post, re-post a favorite from earlier in the year, maybe one that didn't get as much attention as it deserved. Then use the time you saved to hop around and see some of the best posts of the year, and maybe discover some new blogger friends. Oh, and grab the badge and spread the word! That's all there is to it.

The 19th is a Friday, so I will pick one of my stories to post again. A quick look through the year gave me a short list, so I will emulate Jemima and see if any of you have a favorite. These are all stories I liked a lot, but that didn't get many, if any, comments (so I will presume they got few readers).
  • Cartographer's Potion (fantasy)
  • Twisted Love (a tribute to L.M. Montgomery's gothic side)
  • ...And His Dog (a tale from Skunk Corners)
  • Under the Oak (a love story in 10 chapters)
  • Battle Dogs (another sort of fantasy)
Leave a comment if you remember one particularly fondly!


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I like this idea, and I like the reminder that sometimes it's okay to go back and give something another chance at daylight. Maybe I should make that my A to Z theme...recycling!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Enter to win an advance copy of Halitor the Hero!

http://www.amazon.com/Halitor-Hero-Rebecca-M-Douglass-ebook/dp/B00O7WX8Q0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414966997&sr=8-1&keywords=halitor+the+hero


A Fair Maiden who breaks all the rules.  A would-be Hero who fails everything by the book.  It’ll be the adventure of a lifetime…if they survive past breakfast.

Halitor wants to be a Hero and ride through the world rescuing Princesses and Fair Maidens in distress, but he’s hindered by his tendency to trip over his own feet and drop his sword when he gets excited. So when his Hero apprentice-master abandons him at an inn in Loria, he resigns himself to life as a kitchen boy. But he’s reckoned without Melly, the young kitchen wench. She wants his help finding her father, and she won’t quit until she has it. Soon Halitor is tramping through the mountains fighting ogres and dragons and just trying to stay alive. Along the way he learns a lot more than just how to be a Hero. This fun fantasy adventure has a good dose of humor and plenty of excitement to keep kids turning pages.

 Enter now to win an advance review proof copy, signed by the author. Offer open only to residents of the US (or people with a US mailing address).

Not a US resident? Don't despair--I'll give away some electronic copies after my November 30 release date, so watch this space!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Halitor the Hero by Rebecca Douglass

Halitor the Hero

 

by Rebecca Douglass

Giveaway ends November 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win