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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

6th MMGM: Mayday by Karen Harrington (guest post, giveaway)

Welcome to Day 22 of the 6th Annual March MG Madness, featuring Karen Harrington her book, Mayday!

By Karen Harrington
May 24, 2016
Little Brown BFYR
MAYDAY features, Wayne Kovok, who  lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate ("Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?"). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It's not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn't say.
MAYDAY was selected as a Best Children’s Book of 2016 by Smithsonian’s AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE and was a 2016 Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book.

by Karen Harrington

Because MAYDAY is a book featuring a fact-loving seventh grader, I thought I’d share five behind the scenes facts about the book.
1. The main character, Wayne Kovok, actually first appears in another middle-grade book , COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS.  He was that guy at the lunch table who served as a little comic relief for the other friends at his lunch table. But there was something so intriguing about him that I wanted to learn more about his life. Turns out, his comedy and recitation of facts served to hide a pretty anxious, confused young dreamer.
2. The original working title was WAYNE KOVOK FLIES AGAIN
3. I wrote the final sentence of the book early in the drafting process and it remained until the end. I’d challenged myself to follow author John Irving’s process of waiting to begin writing until you know the final line. He said everything that comes before that line must naturally precede it.
4. There are more than 70 confirmed facts throughout the book. I’ve always collected facts!
5. I included the last name of my favorite middle-grade author on page four of MAYDAY. It’s a hat-tip to author Gary Schmidt!

Karen Harrington is an author and former speechwriter. Her books include SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY (2013), COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS (2014) and MAYDAY (2016) all from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Her books have appeared on nine state reading lists.
Sure Signs of Crazy was also a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the year, a 2014 Notable Children’s Book selection from the Children’s Literature Assembly and a 2014 Bank Street Children’s Book Committee Best Book of the Year.
Karen lives in Dallas, TX with her family, where she enjoys reading, writing, cooking and long walks with her rescue dog, Sam.  Website * Twitter * Facebook

Win 1 of 3 signed copies of MAYDAY!
Karen has generously offered three (3) copies for three winners.
-ends 4/5/17
-three winners will each get one signed book
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrate Easter With Put Me In The Story (review, giveaway)

Looking for non-candy treats and gifts to give your little ones this Easter?! Put Me In The Story has some cute and fun items perfect for your Easter baskets...

All Personalized Easter Books & Gifts from Put Me In The Story

$34.99 hardcover
$44.99 gift set

The perfect Easter treat to add to your little “honey bunny’s” basket! I Love You Honey Bunny by Sandra Magsamen is a fun and heartfelt story to remind your little one just how much you love and cherish them. Cuddle up close and enjoy something sweet together!

Celebrate your child by letting them know how they fill the world with love! Personalize this book with your honey bunny’s name, photo, and sweet message on the dedication page. You will also have the option to customize the pronoun in this book to become “I” or “We” Love You, Honey Bunny. A darling tale with a loving message that will stay with your little one forever!

$14.99 paperback, $24.99 hardcover
$35.99 gift set

Help your little one grow in faith with a personalized edition of My First Book of Prayers. This collection of blessings features simple, illustrated rhymes about the everyday moments that make life so special. Teach your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew to greet the new day, offer thanks for friends, and settle down to sleep with a grateful heart. Your little blessing will build trust in God as they learn to approach God with each new day:

The sunlight shines across my bed.
It wakes me up. It warms my head.
It makes my world a lot more fun.
Thank you, God, for your bright sun!

Create the perfect  gift for those special milestones such as baptism and communion with My First Book of Prayers. Personalize this book with your child's photo and name, and a dedication message to create an extra special keepsake.

$19.99 paperback, $34.99 hardcover
$44.99 gift set

This Easter, take your little one on an “eggs-traordinary” egg-hiding adventure around the world!

As fun and festive as an egg hunt, An Easter Surprise gives your child the chance to plan his or her very own Easter mission! Soaring as high as the moon in a hot air balloon, delivering eggs all over town, and stashing tasty treats all down the streets, your little one will be thrilled at the surprise twist in this Easter adventure!

Make Easter morning extra magical! Personalize this exciting Easter storybook with your child’s name and hometown, along with a special message and photo on the dedication page. A sweet Easter surprise your little one will cherish long after the holiday is over!


"God loved us so much he wanted us to always be with him too. That’s why God knew he’d need to give us Easter.”  This personalized edition of God Gave Us Easter will take your child on an adventure through the Arctic to learn how Easter came to be.

In this story, your child will become the main character, a curious polar bear cub, while Papa Bear explains that Easter is more than egg hunts and bunnies, and even better than Christmas! Personalize either the boy or girl version of God Gave Us Easter with a child’s name, photo, and a special dedication message.

Perfect for snuggling up in springtime, God Gave Us Easter will gently guide young minds and explain all the questions surrounding this very special day of the year.


Create an adorable keepsake with your favorite Mother Goose nursery rhymes with gorgeous, original illustrations…personalized just for baby! Make this collection of classic nursery rhymes your very own with a special dedication page: include a baby photo, write a sweet message, and record a celebration date (e.g. baby’s birthday). This collection of nursery rhymes includes favorites such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Humpty Dumpty, Rock-a-bye-Baby, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star…and more!


Looking for a new way to get inspired? Boost your creativity with a personalized Keep Calm and Color On coloring book! Enjoy over 60 beautifully designed patterns and discover inspiring quotes throughout. From cool little kids to artsy adults, everyone deserves a few mindful moments for themselves. Keep your creations bound in the book or decorate your space with your colorful masterpieces. The creative possibilities are endless with this hands-on way to have fun and keep calm.

Personalize this intricately designed, completely calming coloring book with a name and dedication message for the creative person in your life, or gift yourself a much-needed getaway.


Breathe… and take a moment to make something beautiful! This wonderfully drawn, stress relieving Keep Calm and Color On coloring book is perfect for all ages. Plus, it’s packed with over 60 full-page patterns and calming quotes. Fill in the beautifully crafted designs and carve out a special place to relax. Escape for a few minutes or a few hours as you color your way to calm.

Personalize this coloring book with a name and dedication message… then enjoy the fun of just relaxing.

$19.99 paperback, $34.99 hardcover

Play a game of hide-and-seek with the Baby Looney Tunes! In Find Me If You Can: Baby Looney Tunes, your child stars alongside some of their favorite cartoon characters. This interactive book asks your little one to find their smiling face in playful pastel scenes featuring Bugs, Tweety, Taz, and the rest of the Looney Tunes crew. With options for 1, 2, or 3 faces to find as well as simple, rhyming text, your child will come back to this one-of-a-kind, personalized adventure again and again!


Tote around toys in this personalized toy caddy!

Help your little one stay organized with our versatile personalized toy caddy. Great for holding toys, books, or school & art supplies, this caddy is perfect for toting items from room to room. Personalize the front to encourage your little one to put away her favorite toys, books, and games. The special bunny graphic is an applied, permanent decal.


Comes in blue or pink!

Your child will be proud to use their own personalized Easter Basket!
We embroider any name in coordinating thread to make this Easter Basket extra special. The name appears on the ear. A keepsake that can be used for many Easters to come.


Little ones will love filling their own personalized Easter Basket with sweet treats!

We embroider any name in coordinating orange thread to make this adorable personalized Easter Basket extra special. A keepsake that can be used for many Easters to come. Great for boys and girls.


Little ones will love filling their own personalized Easter Basket with sweet treats!

We embroider any name in coordinating white thread to make this egg-shaped Easter Basket extra special. A keepsake that can be used for many Easters to come. Great for boys and girls.


This Burrow Bunny Rabbit Plush is the perfect reading buddy for your little one! With floppy ears and soft fur, this cute critter will find a place in your child's heart. Sit him up in the playroom or tuck him under the covers to make your child want to "hop" right into bed at night. His sweet face and big feet are sure to make Burrow Bunny & a favorite at storytime.


This cute personalized bib will steal the show!

Decorated with an adorable bunny eyeing their breakfast, this personalized bib is perfect for Easter – but can also be enjoyed throughout the year. Enter the name of your choice and it will be added in blue or pink letters above the bunny's plaid ears.


This sweet personalized wall art is the perfect addition to her bedroom.

Our exclusive design features the verse "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep." We make it extra special by adding any name at the top.


The adorable lamb blanket can be used as a toy or a blanket!

Features a lamb head on one end and feet on the other for lots of play. Ivory satin underside makes it comfortable for peaceful sleeping. Includes a stitched nose, eyes and mouth. We embroider a name and date in coordinating brown thread.

About Put Me In The Story:
Put Me In The Story takes bestselling books and beloved characters and creates personalized books complete with the child’s name, photo, and a message from the gift giver! Reading becomes more fun and engaging for kids when the book stars them!

Put Me In The Story was kind enough to send me a personalized I Love You Honey Bunny and Plush Gift set, which includes the book and bunny plush, for my niece.

This gift set is just too adorable for words! With simple, yet sweet, heartwarming, and captivating text, I Love You Honey Bunny celebrates all the reasons your little one is special and so loved. The gorgeous pastel colors and charming, endearing illustrations will delight little readers. Of course, your child will be overjoyed to see their picture featured throughout the book.

And the cuddly plush bunny is so so so soft, lovable, and of excellent quality. I know my niece (and your little ones) will just love snuggling up with their bunny and reading I Love You Honey Bunny!

Put Me In The Story was also awesome enough to send a personalized Loppy Bunny Easter Basket (in pink) for my niece and it is unbelievably cute! It's the perfect size for Easter treats, toys, and eggs, it's really sturdy, and the embroidered name on the ear adds the perfect personalized touch.

I cannot wait to see my niece's face on Easter when she receives the gift set and basket full of goodies. I know she's going to love it all!

Disclaimer: I received the products above, for free, from Put Me In The Story for review purposes. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

One winner will receive a personalized “An Easter Surprise + Plush Gift Set
from Put Me In The Story
ends 3/30/2017 at 11:59 pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms & Conditions
No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 years or older. Giveaway begins 2/27/2017 at 12:00am EST and ends at 3/30/2017 at 11:59pm EST (“Promotion Period”). Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by submitting the entry form. The entry form can be found on the following website at Winner will be selected by and be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. One (1) winner will receive one (1) personalized gift set "An Easter Surprise and Plush Gift Set" (approximate retail value or "ARV": $44.99). By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Put Me In The Story. Put Me In The Story does not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of this giveaway. (Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads) are in no way associated with this giveaway.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

6th MMGM: Dragonwatch Blog Tour (review)

Welcome to Day 21 of the 6th Annual March MG Madness, featuring the Dragonwatch Blog Tour, from author Brandon Mull and Shadow Mountain Publishing!

(Fablehaven Adventures #1)
by Brandon Mull
March 14, 2017
Shadow Mountain
Source: ARC from pub for review
In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies....

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

Watch the Dragonwatch Book Trailer

With the demon battle behind them, fifteen year old Kendra Sorenson and her thirteen year old brother Seth Sorenson, are adjusting to their new abilities as fairykind (Kendra) and a shadow charmer (Seth), and settling back into life at Fablehaven. But with the demise of one winner, comes the rise of another: dragons! The dragons are tired of being confined to the hidden sanctuaries and Celebrant, King of the Dragons, has plans for revenge and world domination. Dragonwatch, an ancient order responsible for keeping the dragons tamed and confined, is needed again. Kendra and Seth must learn to work together, combining their impressive powers, to become a dragon tamer and stop Celebrant and his dragon horde from destroying Wyrmroost and bringing the Age of Dragons back to the world.

In Dragonwatch (Fablehaven Adventure #1), Brandon Mull returns to his fantastically captivating world of hidden sanctuaries for magical beings. I LOVE the original Fablehaven Series and was super excited for this sequel and I’m so happy to report that it does not disappoint!

With a charming and enchanting pitch-perfect middle-grade voice, Mull once again lays out an irresistible, smartly crafted and complex, and endlessly entertaining story. With wonderful and detailed world-building, this magical world, and all its sanctuaries, people, and beings, burst off the pages. Part Hogwarts, part Narnia, Fablehaven, with its fairies; satyrs; golems; nipsies; dryads; magic barrels, and more,  is such a fun, thrilling place to explore. And, in Dragonwatch, Kendra, Seth, and readers get to explore even more of the mysterious and danger filled dragon sanctuary, Wyrmroost.

Most of our favorite characters from the Fablehaven Series are back in Dragonwatch, and we get to meet a magic barrel full of new, eclectic characters to love, hate, be fascinated and amused by. Readers will have a blast joining Kendra and Seth on their unforgettable journey in this book, from meetings with demons and dragons, to rides on griffins, visits to the fairy realm, scary dream adventures, and more!

While Dragonwatch does a great job of summarizing much that happened in the Fablehaven Series, and can certainly be read on its own, I definitely recommend reading the previous series first. I loved Dragonwatch just as much as I loved Fablehaven and cannot wait to read the rest of the series!

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. Brandon has worked as a comedian, a filing clerk, a patio installer, a movie promoter, a copywriter, and briefly as a chicken stacker. For a couple of years, he lived in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile, where he learned Spanish and juggling. He currently lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and dog named Buffy.  Facebook * Twitter