Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wicka by Christy Deveaux with Giveaway

The Chronicles of Elizabeth Blake
by Christy Deveaux
YA Paranormal Romance
304 pages

While mourning the loss of a mother figure, Elizabeth Blake, a smart but socially introverted seventeen year old girl from Ann Arbor Michigan, thinks she’s enrolling in an international school in the south of France to finish her final year of high school. Instead, she falls in love; finds out that she is a witch from an ancient family –– who weren’t thought to exist anymore; and discovers that her life is in danger, as the Elders believe that she is the heir to a legend they fear above all else.
Wicka, the debut novel by Christy Deveaux, has been compared to other fantasy paranormal tales such as Twilight, written by Stephanie Meyer and Harry Potter, written by J.K. Rowling. Young adults and grown ups alike are sure to love this adventure filled magical romance.
Grab your copy for 99¢ for a limited time only!

And here she is. . .

Christy Deveaux is the author of The Chronicles of Elizabeth Blake series. Her highly anticipated first book in the series, Wicka, was just released this spring (2014). Inspired by traveling across Europe solo at a very young age, and many travel adventures since, the character and story line behind Elizabeth Blake was born. Christy majored in political science and earned a cross-disciplinary degree from the University of Western Ontario. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three children and a fish named Cow.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Sneak Peek: Benjamin's Field Trilogy by J.J. Knights

Benjamin’s Field Trilogy By: J.J. Knights
Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions.


Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions. Benjamin’s Field: Rescue’ has been awarded a five-star review by the literary site ‘Reader’s Favorite’ ( Benjamin’s Field follows a rural farm family over the course of sixty years from the viewpoint of the youngest member, Jeremy Kyner. Beginning with America’s entry into World War I, Jeremy and his family are followed through war, peace, triumph, tragedy, heartbreak, and final happiness as the reader examines the role of family loyalty versus individual need, personal liberty and how it relates to society’s demands, religious prejudice, racism, intolerance, the role of charity, and the overwhelming need for humans to forgive one another. While still in manuscript form, Benjamin’s Field, Book One, Rescue, was advanced to the “Best Sellers Chart” of the peer review website In Book One, “Rescue,” a widowed farmer suffers an unspeakable loss during World War I. Burdened with grief, he learns from his nemesis, a dogmatic Catholic priest, that his son’s fiance has given birth to their crippled child. Unable to cope with the child’s deformity and confounded by his illegitimate birth, the farmer is battered by those closest to him with accusations of cruelty and intolerance until he finally reveals his true feelings and the reasons underlying his apparent bigotry. Set in a historical context, Benjamin’s Field is a compelling story about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving tale will take the reader on an emotional and sometimes humorous journey.”


In Book Two, “Ascent,” Jeremy Kyner, now a teenaged boy, becomes the focus of his teacher’s animosity because of his infirmity. With the help of two dedicated school friends and an unconventional Jewish blacksmith, he takes to the sky, defeating his teacher’s plans to institutionalize him and forcing her to divulge her own, dark, secret. Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving story will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.    



Book Three, “Emancipation,” opens as America is on the cusp of World War II. Jeremy Kyner, now a man, is barred from military service at a time when America is almost defenseless against marauding German submarines. Finally joining a group of volunteer civilian pilots that represents the country’s best hope to counter the Germans, Jeremy confronts a deadly enemy from an unexpected quarter and is offered a chance of achieving final emancipation.   Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving novel will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.    

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“Ben, what in blazes is going on?” asked Hiram. “Is that what I think it is?  I never saw one before.”   
“It sure looks like a flyin’ machine,” Benjamin answered. “I’m as surprised as you, but I’m gettin’ mighty damned mad that some fool just scattered my cows and knocked me into the dirt.”
Hiram doffed his hat and wiped his forehead.
“Why is that thing buzzin’ around here?” he asked.
“Hiram, you know as much as I do.  But if I get my hands on him, whoever is in that thing’ll wish he hadn’t come here to show off.  Damned idiot.”
Together, they watched as the machine flew east parallel to the field.  Then suddenly, just as they began to think it would continue on and leave them in peace, the strange craft turned left again and began to drop from the sky. As it neared the end of the field, it turned again, lowering its nose and aligning itself with the field. Just as it appeared to the two men that it would again scream over them, the tempo of the engine’s roar slowed.  The machine neared the ground and leveled off a few feet above the grass. The cows, now scattered, were no longer a danger to the flying machine.
Benjamin and Hiram stared slack-jawed as the boxy kite-looking thing approached them.  The roar of its engine dropped to a murmur and its wheels touched the grass. It bounced along the rough field, wings wobbling, toward the two gawking spectators.
Benjamin, alternately amazed and then angry at what he was seeing, began to allow his anger to hold sway.  Resentment was welling up inside him as if it had a life of its own; resentment at this intruder who surprised him; resentment at having to hurl himself to the ground like a frightened fawn; resentment at having no control over what was happening on his own land.  
Hiram, sensing Benjamin’s coiling anger, looked down at his fists. He placed his hand on Benjamin’s shoulder and said, “Ben, let’s take it easy. We don’t know what’s goin’ on here.  It could be he’s in trouble.”   
The quivering, cloth-wrapped machine trundled to a stop a few feet from Benjamin and Hiram. The long, slowly swinging wooden propeller emitted loud clicks at longer and longer intervals as it finally swung to a stop and puffed out one last gasp of blue-white smoke from the exhaust pipes on the top of the cowling. The machine had two wings, one above the other, just like in the newspaper photographs. Under the top wing, Benjamin could see two leather-encased heads protruding from the machine’s body.  One was a few feet behind the other. Both wore goggles that gave them bug-like appearances.  For the second time that day, Benjamin was speechless as the bug figure in front lifted his goggles to his forehead, waved at him and with a big smile said, “Hi, Pa!”

jj Author Info J. Knights is a retired FBI Special Agent. His assignments included violent crimes and fugitives, property crimes, civil rights investigations, and foreign counterintelligence. He was a surveillance pilot, SWAT sniper, media representative, and worked in the FBI's technical investigations program. Knights also volunteered as a Civil Air Patrol pilot, squadron commander and public information officer. He is an emeritus member of the Imperial Public Relations Committee of Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children. A native of New England, Knights resides in southwestern Pennsylvania with his wife and honeybees. He has authored several published articles on law enforcement recruiting. Benjamin's Field is his first novel.  

  Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook  

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sneak Peek: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Volume 1
by Mitchell Charles
Butterhorse Media
YA Fantasy
222 pages

The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles.

Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt--just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki's spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.

 from Ch. 1: Waimoku Falls

            We climbed the backside of the canyon, still winding through the singing forest. A sudden gust blew through the treetops, causing the tall hollow stalks to cry a warning and my heart to beat faster. What danger was Nahoa getting me into this time?
            By midday we reached the tree line, and the terrain became near vertical, with slabs of volcanic rock stacked in a series of small ledges and caves.

            I turned around, looking out over the green bamboo treetops. To my right, the towering snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea dominated the sky. It was the tallest and most sacred spot on the Great Island, and on rare occasions smoke and ash billowed from its peak, rising above the icy white snowdrifts. Fortunately, there had not been a major eruption or lava flow in many generations.

            “I’ll race you to the top,” Nahoa challenged. “I’ll even give you a head start.”

            We had always enjoyed a spirited rivalry, feeding off each other’s competitive nature. I surveyed the cliff, picking my route.

            “You’re on,” I said as I hoisted myself up and grabbed onto a small lava finger hold. Just above me was a long fissure in the rock, sloping upward to my right and then back to the left. While this path would take me on a longer course, it was less demanding, and my best chance to beat Nahoa to the crest.

            He saw my plan. “Good, little brother. That path is safer.”

            I carefully moved forward, while Nahoa soon got stuck above me on the sheer vertical wall of lava, his legs dangling and his feet probing the cliffside.

            “Fingers getting tired?” I asked him as I moved closer to the top. I was going to beat him, for once.

            “I won’t be here long,” he said.

            As I followed the crevice back to the left, Nahoa whipped his body to the right and leapt off the cliff, his foot landing on my shoulder. He pushed off my neck and hoisted himself onto the ledge above me, just below the crest.

            “Thanks, omo,” he said with a wicked laugh.

            As I pulled myself onto the ridgetop I saw Nahoa ahead, following a fast-moving river that disappeared in the distance.
            “Move it!” he yelled above the sound of the rushing water.

            I hurried to catch up and we crossed the river along a jagged path of partially submerged boulders smoothed over by the rapids.

            Before us, the river gained strength where it merged with a smaller tributary and formed a swirling vortex that plummeted off the cliff as Waimoku Falls.

            “That’s it,” said Nahoa, pointing at a small hill piled with rubble just in front of where the two rivers joined.

            There we found the remains of a crescent-shaped fortress made from stacked lava rocks. The curved wall was crumbling, with crusty orange lichen growing in the crevices and bright green geckos sunning themselves on top. The ground was littered with shark teeth, razor sharp and bleached by the scorching tropical sun.

            I was disappointed. I’d hoped to find a great temple with cryptic markings or intricate carvings. What lay before us was nothing more than a pile of weather-beaten rocks.

            “Well, this is a waste of time,” said Nahoa. He picked up a stone and hurled it at the remains of the fortress. From beneath the broken wall, a gathering of centipedes scrambled to escape the sunlight.

            An icy wind went through me. It wasn’t like a tropical breeze that cools your sweaty cheek. No, it pierced my flesh like I was no more solid than a palm frond. Disturbing the centipedes was a bad omen—they were minions of the shadows.

            “Did you feel that?” I asked.

            Nahoa stood frozen, the hair on his arms standing on end.

            He swallowed. “Feel what?”

            “I don’t think we should be here,” I said, motioning for us to leave. For once, I hoped he’d agree with me.

            “Do you want me to hold your hand, little brother? We’ll just have a look around, that’s all.”
            Nahoa walked over to where he’d thrown the rock and knelt to examine the rubble. He picked through and uncovered a wooden tiki head. The carving was badly weathered, its left ear missing. Its mouth snarled, and its eyes glared with menace.

            I looked at my brother’s face. He was in a trance, his head tilted down and his eyes looking up. They were cold and lifeless.

            “Nahoa,” I screamed. “Stop playing around. That’s not funny!”

            But he just stood there. I yelled again, “Nahoa! We shouldn’t be here. Let’s go!”
            He blinked, but otherwise remained perfectly still.

            As I stepped toward him, Nahoa pulled his knife and backed me toward the rushing river.

            “It’s you that doesn’t belong here, little brother,” he said in a hushed tone.

            Then he charged at me like a wild boar, knocking me into the water. I stood up, knee- deep in the fast-moving river, and dug my feet into the rocky bottom, bracing myself so the current didn’t pull me downstream. Nahoa leapt again and landed on top of me, sending us both tumbling into the whitewater.

            Since we were old enough to walk, Nahoa and I had been schooled by the masters in lua[4]—wrestling, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of our tribe’s most savage battle weapons. From years as sparring partners, I knew all his offensive moves and counter attacks as though they were my own. But as we raced downstream, bouncing off the rocks and plummeting down the rapids, I felt as though I was fighting a stranger. And I was fighting for my life.

            Up ahead, jagged rocks rose above the waterline. I flipped onto my back with my feet below me, struggling against Nahoa’s hands wrapped around my throat. I kicked free of him, but that only quickened my pace down the rapids. I slammed into a boulder, my feet bracing my impact. I was exhausted, but knew I had to get out of the water before I reached the falls. I managed to clamber partway up a slippery rock, then gathered the strength to hoist myself completely from the rushing current. Upstream, I saw Nahoa dangling from a tree branch, the rapids churning below him.

            My footing slipped and in an instant I was back in the river. The turbulence engulfed me, pulling me into the foaming whitewater. Then I was weightless, freefalling.

[4]Anicent Hawaiian school of martial arts


"This book is a real page-turner, full of action and adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope that there will be more books like this from Mitchell Charles in the future." – 5 Stars, Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

"Adventure, exotic places and animals, as well as a unique culture, will drag readers head first into this novel...The talent from this writer is amazing. I look forward to reading more by Mitchell Charles in the future."Danielle Urban, Urban Book Reviews

“Filled with names, vocabulary, animals, and customs that are related to the setting the book opened my eyes to the ancient world of the Pacific peoples. I can envision middle school students fascinated by the words of the text made curious to research to learn more about this unique time and place.” – Angela, The Teacher’s Desk 6

And here he is. . .

Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit

Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: The Bot That Scott Built by Kim Norman

by Kim Norman
Illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book 
ages 3 to 7
32 pages

When Scott builds a bot, a bippity-bot, sparks fly . . . and his entire classroom goes wild. Before long, fiery ants and carnivorous plants, a freaky frog, a big-bellied boa, and an exploding "volcano" have wreaked total havoc. Can Scott's bot, which started it all, manage the mess? Cheers for the handy hero! A cumulative story with fun that grows and grows and GROWS.

This funny and tongue-twisting story is a great read-aloud book for the whole family.


Full of gizmos, gadgetry and whimsical rhyme, this science fair adventure places inventions in a whole new light. . .and little constructors will love it.

The book starts before the story really even gets underway. Hammers, nuts, bolts, propellers and many other parts and do-dads, which bring small inventor's imaginations into swing, decorate the inside of both covers. When the title page appears, Scott is already drilling and building, caught up in his own construction world. And the scene is set.

It's the day of the science fair, and the kids have set up experiments through-out the room, things young scientists might even recognize. On center stage, taking his turn in the spotlight, is Scott and his bippity bot--and saying that already brings a smile to the face. A short explanation through rhyme soon turns into disaster. And it mounts and mounts into humorous chaos pure. These rhymes never skip a beat and dance around wonderful word combinations like 'the freaky frog from the bathtub bog...'. By the end, it's a hilarious mouthful.

It's easy for young listeners to understand, and fun to follow the silly phrases, while the illustrations offer the perfect backdrop. They are colorful, hold lovely details, which call for attention again and again, and incorporate the emotions and situations well enough that just flipping through the pages will tell a story all on its own. 

Young listeners and readers discover science from a whole new angle, which is sure to inspire the creator in them with all of its fun. And if nothing else, it's simply a joy to read, and not just for the kids. 

All about. . .

Kim Norman is  the author of several books for young readers, including This Old Van; Ten on the Sled; If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!; Puddle Pug; and Crocodaddy (all Sterling). Kim lives in Smithfield, VA and is available for interview. Visit her at and follower her on twitter at @KimNormanAuthor.

Agnese Baruzzi works as a book illustrator and graphic designer and has illustrated several picture books for publishers in Italy, the UK, Japan, Portugal, the US, and South Korea. Agnese lives and works in a little wooden cottage nestled in the hills near Bologna, Italy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: Me, Jill Robinson! The Christmas Pantomime by Anne Digby

Jill Robinson Series, Book Three
by Anne Digby
Strawhat Publishing
Upper Middle Grade/Lower YA Contemporary
131 pages

We're back in Haven after solving that seaside mystery - but there's no chance of a quiet life for us Robinsons, nor for my best friend Lindy. When a local gang leader starts making trouble at the Youth Club, it could mean curtains for our Christmas show - not to mention my dreams of stardom...

As told to ANNE DIGBY, bestselling author of the Trebizon series and the Further Adventures of Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl.


I have already read other books in the Jill Robinson series and was eager to dig into this one.

Jill and her friends at the youth group are getting ready to put on a pantomime, one that has the entire town eager to see the show. Meanwhile, a new gang of local teens has been causing trouble. When they make an appearance at the youth group meeting, things get heated.

Jill is an average, every day teenage girl who comes from a wonderful, wholesome family. In other words, this is a character with absolutely no extra baggage, and that alone is refreshing. She's on her toes, uses her head, and usually makes pretty thought out decisions. The support of family and friends plays a big role, as do topics such as trust. All characters, including Jill, are easy to sympathize with and cheer for.

The writing and story telling, in general, has a more traditional, clean, healthy feel than many modern YA books even though topics such as vandalism, teenage heart break and gang problems are touched upon.  This is a pure contemporary tale which hits upon true to life situations and real problems which teens might face, giving a great basis to take and relate to real life. But it's not the messages which stand on center stage. The story grabs, pulls into a understandably difficult situation, and has the reader wondering how things will work out. There's never a boring moment as the troubles mount, and Jill no longer is sure how to help those involved or even if she can. The ending leaves one caring for the characters and thinking about them after the book is closed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: The Silver Chains by L.J. Clarkson

Mastermind Academy, Book 2
by L.J. Clarkson
Illustrated by Denis Martynets
Middle Grade Fantasy
238 pages

Isabelle’s first year at Mastermind Academy starts with a bang, broken bones and her magic going wild. What a way to make new friends! To top it off, her enemies threaten to kill her family if she doesn’t help free them from prison. Left with only one option, Isabelle sets out to reign in her magic, secure a place in the advanced class and learn to fly a Mesura. But trouble is brewing and things are taking a very different turn.

Boldrick Cavendar hides a murky past. His actions are why Agartha is under threat from Terran invasion, why they stole and duplicate Agarthan technology for military purposes. A chance at redemption surfaces to stop these scoundrels declaring war on his home. But for some reason he cannot put his claws on, someone keeps stopping him at every turn, and that someone might be Lady Isabelle.


Packed full of fantasy, this book dives off into adventure with cute characters and a quick plot.

First, I didn't read book one in the series, which was a mistake on my part. Book two seems to start off where the first one left off. Although it wasn't too hard to get the general jest of things and dive into the adventure, there were big holes in the characters and background which I really should have filled in first. In other words, this is not recommended as a stand alone and should be read as a series.

Excitement finds Isabelle even before she hits the Mastermind Academy with a thrilling air-surf, which not only shows off some of her talents but introduces the lovely Boldrick (a cat who's not just that). Once at school, Isabelle is thrilled to learn more about her magic, but soon finds herself in a sticky situation. Boldrick isn't any better off as both land in a messes that might be over their heads.

There's a lot of good stuff packed in these pages, and the main characters, Isabelle and Boldrick, count to that group. Their reactions and personalities are simply wonderful, and although they lack a bit of depth, it's still fun to follow and cheer for them as they fight their way through. Fantasy thrives in this story and the pacing doesn't fall back into boredom even once. The writing could be a bit smoother, but in general, it's an easy world to fall into. 

Kids who love magic, fun and adventure are sure to enjoy this. 

All about. . .
LJ Clarkson!!!

LJ ‘fibber’ Clarkson tells everyone she gave up her Environmental Engineering career to write full time. But that's not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Playing spider solitaire consumes 5% (bad, bad habit). Running Indicated-a promotional and support site for authors-steals another 18.75%. In her remaining waking hours, she writes, laughs at her own jokes, reads and falls asleep whenever her boyfriend reels off geeky computer lingo (zzzzz). If she were a Mastermind, she’d uninvent early mornings, grammar, broccoli, cleaning and her dog’s fussy eating habits.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cover Reveal and Sale: The Neverland Wars Series by Audrey Greathouse

The Neverland Wars Sale

In celebration of the cover reveal for the second book in THE NEVERLAND WARS SERIES, the first book will be on sale for 5 days only! This sale is being ran during an exciting BookBub promotion that will showcase THE NEVERLAND WARS at an all-time low price of $.99 for the digital book! This title is typically $5.99. We highly recommend you take advantage of this $5 reduction in price by purchasing THE NEVERLAND WARS between 8/21/16-8/25/16 as the book will go back up when the sale is over.


We'd love to hear your thoughts on this new cover in THE NEVERLAND WARS SERIES. Please leave us a comment or two. Then head on over to our Clean Teen Publishing website to read an exclusive excerpt from THE PIPER'S PRICE.
Ebook - Pipers Price

THE PIPER'S PRICE (February 21, 2017)

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.
Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.
The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.


Audrey Profile Pic
Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at


Twitter Handle: @missaudreyjoy