Category Archives: book reviews

Back-to-School Blog Tour in Full Swing!

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A page from The Night Before First Grade of teacher greeting students back to school.

As kids head to school for the first time, or back to school for a new year, I’ll be touring mommy and writer blogs offering anecdotes and discussions of my school-themed Night Before books. So won’t you stop in at these blogs and have a good read? And please support these bloggers by signing up and/or sharing their post with other mommies, parents and teachers. Thank you, and happy back to school!

August 22 – Morgen Bailey’s Author Spotlight

August 27 – Colorado is for Writers!

September 1 – Melissa Northway (win a set of my Night Before school books)

September 2 – Word Spelunking

September 3 – Gidgets Bookworms

September 5 – The Book Faerie

September 6 – From Tots to Teens (win a The Night Before First Grade book)

Check back for updates…

Mommy Poppins blog is giving away back-to-school swag during their Swagapalooza through September 15 – but mine ends Sept 9th!  I’m giving away a Night Before book package along with a classroom Skype visit. You can enter here.

Kinder

                                                          1stGrade200x200Preschool copy

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Discover More Colorado Authors

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For the past 12 days, I spotlighted Colorado authors living in the Fort Collins area. But there are certainly more of us out there! If you’d like to learn of other Colorado authors, check out Patricia Stoltey’s blog.

Patricia is a published mystery writer who has created a blog to help promote the work of other authors as well as her own books. With a special interest in Colorado writers of most genres, she regularly features guest posts, favoring articles that intrigue readers and encourage beginning writers. Patricia features one to three guests per week and invites authors to contact her through her blog (e-mail link is in her profile) if they would like to schedule a guest appearance.

In addition to her own blog, Patricia contributes a Tuesday post to Chiseled in Rock (the official blog of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers). She’s the Member Liaison for Northern Colorado Writers and a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America.

Thanks, Pat, for offering this great service and supporting creatives in Colorado!

The Twelfth Book of Christmas

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This is the final day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. For the past twelve days I showcased a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like cozy mysteries, then you’ll love…

For teens and adults who love crafts.

The Home Crafting Mysteries are contemporary, cozy mysteries in which crime and mayhem play out against the backdrop of different colonial home crafts. Join amateur sleuth Sophie Mae as she juggles murder investigations with her Winding Road Bath Products business, soap making, preserving food, spinning, cheese making and learning about making mead. Along the way Detective Barr Ambrose, her best friend Meghan Bly, and Meghan’s young daughter, Erin, help her track down the truth and bring killers to justice in the small town of Cadyville, Washington.

Wined and Died is the fifth in this mystery series. Something is brewing in Cadyville, and it’s not only dandelion wine. Sophie Mae is intrigued by a recently discovered cassette recording in which a therapist fearfully contemplates her client’s murderous threats. When the same therapist ends up dead, Sophie Mae is lured into another intoxicating investigation, one that explores the age-old arts of mead and wine making.

These books have a wide appeal among anyone interested in cozy mysteries or crafts, from teens to older adults. Library Journal says “Fans of Rosemary Harris and Maggie Sefton will appreciate McRae’s crafty series.” Most books in the series have also been published in large print editions.

Cricket McRae

Cricket McRae has always dabbled in the kind of traditional home crafts that were once necessary to everyday life. For two years she managed her own soap making business, and has worked at a variety of other jobs, ranging from driver’s license examiner to program manager at Microsoft. This fulfills her mother’s warning that she’d never have a “regular” job if she insisted on studying philosophy and English in college. For more information about Cricket or her books, visit her website at www.cricketmcrae.com or her blog at www.hearthcricket.com.

The Eleventh Book of Christmas

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This is the eleventh day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like sci-fi, you’ll love…

First in a series

Sixteen years ago, Waverly and Kieran were the first children born in space. Now a perfect couple, they are the pride and joy of the whole spaceship. They represent the future. The ship is their entire world. They have never seen a stranger before.

Old Earth is crumbling, and the crew is hoping to reach (and colonise) New Earth within fifty years. Along with their allies on the second spaceship – who set off a year before them and whom they have never met. One day, Kieran proposes to Waverly. That same morning, the ‘allies’ attack – and Kieran and Waverly are separated in the cruellest way possible. Will they ever see each other again?

Amy Kathleen Ryan

Amy Kathleen Ryan is the acclaimed author of VIBES, ZEN AND XANDER UNDONE, and GLOW, the opening salvo in the SKY CHASERS series, which has been chosen by School Library Journal as a Best Book of 2011.

The Tenth Book of Christmas

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This is the tenth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like period romances, you’ll love…

A true WWII story

Remember Wake is that rare book that women pass to their husbands, and husbands pass to their wives. It’s the true story of the civilian men taken prisoner by the Japanese on Wake Island at the outset of World War II, and the women they left behind. Based on interviews with real people, this page-turning novel is at once authentic and inspiring. Though written for adults, it is gaining a new following among teenage boys and girls, making it the ideal holiday gift for anyone on your list. Remember Wake is a book club favorite. Author Sandra Dallas called it, “A compelling story of young lovers caught up in the events of wartime that will haunt you long after you’ve finished the book.”

Teresa Funke

Teresa Funke is the author of five books about World War II, including Remember Wake, the true story of the Wake Island survivors, and Dancing in Combat Boots: and Other Stories of American Women in World War II, a collection of eleven narratives based on real women whose wartime experiences were both ordinary and extraordinary! She is also the author of the Home-Front Heroes series for middle grade readers, including Doing My Part, The No-No Boys, V for Victory and the soon-to-be-released Wave Me Good-bye. Teresa’s other writings have appeared in numerous national publications, and two of her essays were honored as Notable Essays by the prestigious Best American Essays series. She is popular speaker, presenter, and writer’s coach.

The Ninth Book of Christmas

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This is the ninth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like how-to books for writers, you’ll love…

SEIZE THE STORY: A HANDBOOK FOR TEENS WHO LIKE TO WRITE is an award-winning book jam-packed with info and exercises for teens who want to write that novel. Dive into characterization, dialogue, setting, plotting, point of view, and other topics, including suggestions for how to break free of writer’s block. Interviews with dozens of YA authors such as TA Barron, Joan Bauer, Lauren Myracle, Todd Mitchell, and Laura Resau add perspective and encouragement for those starting out on the writer’s path.

Victoria Hanley

Victoria Hanley loves to nurture emerging writers. She is an award-winning YA novelist published in thirteen languages around the world. Growing up, Victoria lived in California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Oregon. She now lives with her family at the foothills of the Rockies. www.victoriahanley.com