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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lucky Midas - Blog Tour

Back Cover Blurb:

Eight-year-old Lily loves animals, but can't have a pet because of her Mom's allergies. When Lily and her older brother rescue a stray dog, can they find a way to keep him? 

Lucky Midas is an easy chapter book with pictures for kids ages 6-8. There are ten chapters and several colorful illustrations in this kids book for kindle. Children who like kids books about pets will enjoy reading about a brother and sister as they rescue a stray dog. It appeals to readers of girl books and boy books alike. The sentences are short and the vocabulary appropriate for children in first through third grade. 

Chapter One

The Stray

“There it is again! See?” Seven-year-old Lily pointed to the yellow brown tail just visible behind the truck’s tire. “I told you it’s a stray. It’s here everyday when we walk home from school.” The yellow lab peered out at them.

Lily scrunched her eyebrows together.

“Maybe it belongs to one of the shop owners,” her nine-year-old brother Scott said.

“Which one?” She scanned storefronts. “Grouchy Mr. Smith chased it with a stick yesterday.”

“So yeah, it’s not Mr. Smith’s. What about Mrs. Lee?”


“The lady with the nail shop. I saw her put out some scraps of food for it yesterday morning on our way to school,” Scott said. 

Author Bio:

Kate Palmer is the mother of six learning to live in the country surrounded by in-laws. She is married to the amazing Nate Palmer who is teaching her how to be a farm girl. She knows how to butcher a chicken, but can't saddle a horse.

Social Media Sites: 

Where to Purchase:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Monster That Ate My Socks

Book Synopsis

A young boy, who is about to be grounded for going through so many socks, discovers that a monster has been eating them.

Max is a young boy who is constantly getting in trouble for his socks disappearing. He doesn’t know where they go, but he does know that if he doesn’t do something quickly his mom will ground him for summer. Max soon discovers that a little green monster is sneaking into his room at night and eating his sweaty socks. His mother, of course, doesn't believe him, so Max calls on his best friend to come for a sleepover to catch the monster.
They devise a trap and capture the monster only to learn that the creature can speak. It hasn’t meant to cause any harm, it's just trying to feed its family. The monster shows them his home and his three little children and begs the boys not to turn them over to the adults. Adults, he says, want to destroy monsters

The boys are left in a pickle. Allow the monsters to be and get grounded, or turn the monsters in knowing what will happen to them? Neither idea seems good, so they come up with a new plan!

Where to buy the book

Author's Bio

A.J. Cosmo's stories are crafted to help parents teach their children simple everyday lessons in an easy to understand manner. By artfully marrying beautiful illustrations and language, children are challenged to explore his magical worlds. Written for the transitional reader, A.J.'s stories allow your child to develop and master a new level of reading.

Connect with A.J.:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

What made you write a book about sock monsters?

I was doing laundry one day and couldn't find one of my socks. I knew as an adult that it had gotten lost between the walk to the dryer (I was in an apartment at the time) and my front door. However, the child in me imagined what else could have taken it and the story spawned from there. I wrote the first draft that afternoon and spent the next week illustrating it. I had the book out within two weeks. This is not my usual process. I wish it were always that easy.

Do you have another profession besides writing? 

Currently this is my only income. I have done everything from giving tours of movie studios to doing airbrush art on T-shirts near the beach. Writing is by far the most difficult and rewarding of everything that I have done.

What is your writing schedule? 
I work on project sets and schedule them loosely much like a manager would do for a team. I know that I have X large projects I'd like to do over the year and Y number of small projects I'd also like to tackle. I also estimate things like research, revisions, and feedback, and come up with a rough estimate for due dates. I then throw all of that out the window and work on something else entirely.

Do you snack while writing?  
I'm constantly eating. I think I may be part marmot. Favorite snack? I just had a Starbucks "Marshmallow Dream Bar" before writing this, also known as a Rice Crispy Treat. I also have an unhealthy love for Halva (shout out to everyone who knows what that is!)

Favorite travel spot? 
I haven't had a chance to travel much in my life other than the places I have moved to. I do however, have a love for theme parks and currently have a season pass for Disneyland. ;)

Favorite dessert? 
Halva, gelato, frozen yogurt, marshmallows, macaroons, and anything else that my ridiculous food allergies will let me have. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Aoléon The Martian Girl - Part 2 - Review

Book Details:

Book Title: Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga - Part 2: The Luminess of Mars, written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur
Category:  Middle-Grade, 90 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Release date: February 23, 2015

Book Description:

Aoléon and Gilbert receive a special mission from PAX, a wanted criminal and leader of the Martian resistance movement to investigate the Luminon of Mars, who he suspects is planning an invasion of Earth to steal its milk cows. Gilbert has an encounter with the Luminess (the mate of the Luminon) and discovers something strange about her during a procession, and the duo are chased by the Royal Paladin Guard. 

At Aoléon’s home, Gilbert meets Aoléon’s family, her sister Una, mother Phobos and father Deimos as well as her overzealous pet Zoot. He is also introduced to Bizwat, a covert operator and Procyon Commando, who uses his Saturn Pizza delivery job as a cover. 

Gilbert then gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates. After class, Gilbert and Aoléon get to train in zero-G and Gilbert is treated to a Psi-ball match between Martian Space Academy and Martian Science Academy.

Buy the Book:

Pre-order your copy today!

​  ​

My Thoughts:


This is the second book in a 5 book series about Gilbert and his adventures with Aoléon on Mars. In this instalment we are introduced to a few more characters, Aoléon's family, her nemesis Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, and an interesting character called Bizwat who is an undercover agent and Procyon Commando.

We learn a little bit more about how Aoléon lives and eats (let me tell you if you are lactose intolerant you don’t want to live here !) and Gilbert has the opportunity to go to the Martian Space Academy, and watch Aoléon play Psi-ball. We learn more about the special mission and have a rather creepy experience with the Luminess.

This book has been written in wonderfully short bites that is easy to follow with captivating imagery and believable dialect.

As with book 1 the illustrations in this book are AMAZING.

Brent LeVasseur has captured the essence of each character and the surrounding landscape and draws you into the world where you forget it is only imagination.

I am thoroughly enjoying this series, and am looking forward to reading future instalments following the adventures of Aoléon and Gilbert.

Pinky’s rating (out of 5): 4.5 dragonflies

Buy The Martian Girl Song!

Another World - Single

Featuring Élan Noelle

Meet the Author:

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl 

If you haven't already had the opportunity - here's a look at Part 1

Book Description:

Crop circles magically appear in Farmer Johnson’s field. A mysterious light sweeps over the night sky and awakens Farmer Johnson and Gilbert, the boy next door. 

Curious, Gilbert ventures out to discover the source of the light and stumbles into a beautiful Martian girl sitting in a crop circle. Farmer Johnson also investigates the strange light, and thinking that Gilbert and Aoléon are vandals, he chases them. But they sprint to Aoléon’s saucer and escape only to be pursued by the U.S. Air Force. 

Gilbert has never been attacked by swarms of giant killer robots. Never met strange aliens from other worlds. Never skyboarded across a megalopolis hidden deep inside an extinct volcano. Never trekked across a vast Martian desert. And never been eaten alive by a gigantic slor (well, almost never, unless you count Billy the fat bully at school). 

And luckily, he has never ever confronted an evil ruler of Mars bent on conquering the Earth to steal its cows. 

Never...until now! 

This may be the adventure Gilbert always wished for. 

If only he can survive.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Jaguar Stones, Book Four: The Lost City

The epic conclusion to the exciting Jaguar Stones series and a rip-roaring adventure into the heart of America!

With his parents in jail and the Maya Death Lords in possession of all five Jaguar Stones, fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is pretty sure that he'll never get to leave the rainforest. 

But the Lords of Death have a problem--a new king calling himself Great Sun claims to have the Jaguar Stones, too. And they want Max to prove the guy's a fraud. Or else.

Now, Max, and Lola, the mysterious girl who befriends him, are off on another wild adventure that will take them from Central America to New Orleans and up the Mississippi to the lost city at the heart of America's past.

But one thing Max should have learned after all of this dealings with the Death Lords -- they never keep their promises.


About J&P Voelkel

Jon Voelkel grew up in Peru, Costa Rica, and Colombia, all the while dreaming of a boring life in suburbia. Eventually, having survived monkey stew, an attack by giant rats, and a plane crash in the jungle, he rolled up his hammock and decamped to Europe. Meanwhile, growing up in a sedate seaside town in northern England, Pamela Craik Voelkel was dreaming of travel and adventure. The pair met in London, where they both worked in advertising. They went on to help found an award-winning agency, for which Jon was named one of the fifty most creative minds in Britain by the Financial Times. The authors' first book in the Jaguar Stones series, Middleworld, was an Al Roker Book Club pick. The Voelkels now live in Vermont with their three children. You can visit them online at

Tell us your latest news? 
We are thrilled, astonished, and a little bit sad to announce that our Jaguar Stones series is finished. The fourth and final book, The Lost City, comes out in February 2015. To celebrate this momentous event, we'll be signing at our hometown Norwich Bookstore on March 7th, then heading out to the Tucson Festival of Books in mid-March, immediately followed by a book tour that takes in California, New Orleans, Mississippi, Iowa, and Texas!

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
THE LOST CITY is the fourth and final book in the Jaguar Stones series. It follows the adventures of Max, a city kid from Boston, Massachusetts, and Lola, a girl from a traditional Maya village. Together they've been trying (and failing) to stop the ancient Maya Lords of Death from staging a comeback. 

However, these days, you can't conquer the world without conquering social media. So now, the battle is on for hearts and minds. With the Death Lords on a charm offensive, Max and Lola try to warn a gullible public not to believe everything it reads on the internet. They journey across the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi to the Native American city of Cahokia, before facing one final heart-stopping showdown at Fenway Park in Boston. 

So many readers have made this journey with us and we wanted to give them an ending that is at once satisfying but unexpected. We're hoping they'll agree that The Lost City is the fastest, funniest, most fantastical, most feel good Jaguar Stones book yet. It's got a  parade of Maya monsters, a roller-skating monkey, an alien spaceship, and the Boston Red Sox - what more could anyone want?

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
What's unusual about the Jaguar Stones books is that many of the main characters are Maya. When all-American boy Max arrives in the rainforest, he assumes that the locals will be envious of him -but soon learns there are more important things than money. Lola has her own problems. She respects the values of her elders but has very different dreams for her own future. Together Max and Lola are drawn into an epic battle between good and evil. But along the way they discover that nothing is black-and-white.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Yes. But we live in a small town so we can't elaborate on that.

Where do your ideas come from?
A lot of the background story was supplied by Jon's real-life childhood in South and Central America. The adventures of Max and Lola were inspired by the Maya myth of the Hero Twins. Many of their adventures along the way, like canoeing the underground river or tracking howler monkeys in the jungle, came from our travels with our own children. Lola's story came from talking to modern Maya teenagers. And, of course, the more you learn about the amazing Maya, the more your head fills with stories and wonders and astonishing true facts.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself? 
No, Jon does all the illustrations inside the books, but the covers are commissioned by the publisher. The cover of The Lost City was  illustrated by Sam Hadley. It shows Max and Lola arriving at the great pyramid of Cahokia (a real-life Native American city near St Louis), which has been taken over by a mysterious character who claims to be a Maya king.

Ok, now some fun questions…

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Jon: Milk
Pamela: Dark

What is your favourite colour?
We agree on Maya blue.

Winter or Summer?
Summer in Vermont.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Pamela would choose time travel so she could try to stop the Spanish burning the Maya books.

Jon would like to be able to stop time altogether, as he has several deadlines looming.

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
When we're on a book tour, that would be a glue gun, a bag of fried mealworms, and a dongle.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?
Yes, we're both suckers for anything with an Apple logo. Jon is also easily led astray by catalogues of gizmos for electric guitars.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?

We've been watching Running Wild With Bear Grylls, where the fearless former British army soldier takes quivering celebrities into perilous environments and teaches them to survive. Bear's adventures inspired us to film ourselves eating bugs in the rainforest for the entertainment of kids on our school visits! (Or, to be more accurate, Jon ate the bugs and Pamela bravely volunteered to film him.)