SACRED by Elana K. Arnold


R. Litfin


Daniel Logan


MarcyKate Conolly


George Herbach


Ralph Hardy


Chandler Baker


Helen Scheuerer


Teri Bailey Black


Chelsea Sedoti

AS YOU WISH Nerd Blast

Monday, May 21, 2018

Jigsaw Jones Mystery: The Case of the Glow-in-the-Dark Ghost by James Preller Review

Book Nerd Review by Jordan

Missing hamsters, lost coins, haunted houses...Jigsaw Jones has seen it all before. With his top-secret detective journal, eye for detail, and ace partner Mila, Jigsaw is always ready to take on a new case. Unless it means staying after school! Jigsaw and Mila's new case has them searching school buses, spying on classmates, and dusting for fingerprints in the school cafeteria. Yuck! Will the hunt for clues help them solve this back-to-school mystery? Or just land them in detention?

This book was very mystifying. I never expected a human to be the ghost.I loved this book so much! My favorite part was when Hillary just ignores Jones when she was fixing her hair. I recommend this book to every one who loves mysteries.

Here are Jordan's written reviews as he reads per chapter. Just click the picture to enlarge. ***WARNING** Review Contains SPOILERS. Do NOT click the pictures if you do not wish to be Spoiled.


You can purchase Jigsaw Jones Mystery: The Case of the Glow-in-the-Dark Ghost  at the following Retailers:

Author Spotlight
Photo Content from James Preller

James Preller is the author of the popular Jigsaw Jones mystery books, which have sold more than 10 million copies since 1998. He is also the author of Bystander, named a 2009 Junior Library Guild Selection, Six Innings, an ALA Notable Book, and Mighty Casey, his own twist on the classic poem, “Casey at the Bat.” In addition to writing full-time, Preller plays in a men’s hardball league and coaches Little League. He compares coaching kids to “trying to hold the attention of a herd of earthworms.” He lives in Delmar, New York with his wife, three children, cats and dog.


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Friday, May 18, 2018

{Nerd Blast} Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog by Ralph Hardy

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 27, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006239679X
ISBN-13: 978-0062396792


Hand this one to die-hard readers of the “Percy Jackson” series who are looking for a more traditional rendition of the Greek tales. ―School Library Journal

Inventive retelling of Homer’s Odyssey ―ALA Booklist

Argos offers mythology-loving 9- to 12-year-olds a fresh point of access to the great story. ―Wall Street Journal


This is a Nerd Blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required. Please mark your Calendar.

From a compelling new voice in middle grade comes a reimagination of The Odyssey told from the point of view of Odysseus’s loyal dog—a thrilling tale of loyalty, determination, and adventure.

For twenty years, the great hero Odysseus struggles to return to Ithaka. After ten years beneath the walls of Troy, he begins the long journey back home. He defeats monsters. He outsmarts the Cyclops. He battles the gods. He struggles to survive and do whatever it takes to reunite with his family.

And what of that family—his devoted wife, Penelope; his young son, Telemachos; his dog, Argos? For those twenty years, they wait, unsure if they will ever see Odysseus again. But Argos has found a way to track his master. Any animal who sets foot or wing on Ithaka brings him news of Odysseus’s voyage—and hope that one day his master will return. Meanwhile, Argos watches over his master’s family and protects them from the dangers that surround a throne without its king.

You can purchase Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog at the following Retailers:

Book Nerd Spotlight
Photo Content from Ralph Hardy

Ralph Hardy graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in English and received his MFA from Columbia College, Chicago. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife and children and a dog named Harvey, who is nothing like Argos. He is the author of The Cheetah Diaries, Lefty, and a number of short stories.


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Guest Post with Justin Joschko

Photo Content from Justin Joschko

Justin Joschko is an author from Niagara Falls, Ontario. His writing has appeared in newspapers and literary journals across Canada. Yellow Locust is his first novel. He currently lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.


Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Series: Yellow Locust
Paperback: 305 pages
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC (May 8, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946700630
ISBN-13: 978-1946700636


"In a dystopian future North America, Selena, a young white woman who is an adept street fighter, is sent across the country on a critical mission to save the world with her younger brother in tow. Born into the elite, Selena's parents—as part of their underground fight against a tyrannical regime—have gained access to insider information about yellow locust, an extremely toxic weed infesting the country. This weapon of biological warfare has choked out crops and fouled the water supply. Selena's mission is to carry information about plans for a new, terrifying weapon west across the continent on a data stick to the one governing body, the Republic of California, that could possibly combat this evil. The plot may have a familiar ring and feel not-so-original, but fans of female brawlers will find ample thrills in the gritty recounting of numerous fights: Selena is a tough scrapper. She also meets serape-draped knife fighter Marcus Ramirez from Juarez, raising the possibility of a romance. Cursing abounds, but the occasionally challenging vocabulary doesn't always sit comfortably with the depiction of prairie wastelands. Secondary characters from lands akin to Mexico and Japan add diversity to the cast. The complex plot and vivid sense of place are strengths; will appeal to those who like kick-ass heroines. (Science fiction. 14-18)" —Kirkus Reviews


Yellow Locust changed a lot between its first and final drafts. In the final version of Yellow Locust, the protagonists, Selena and Simon Flood, are fleeing from the tyrannical state of New Canaan, where their parents were executed as dissidents. They stumble across Fallowfield, the bucolic village where much of the novel is set, on their long journey west. In its initial form, Selena and Simon were actually from Fallowfield, and the action centered less around their efforts to get to the coast than the longstanding mind games between them and the town’s leader, a strange man known only as The Mayor.

Few characters outside of these three appear in all iterations of the story, with one notable exception: Marcus Ramirez. A talented knife fighter from the mysterious south who drifts through Fallowfield and the far-flung communities of the Middle Wastes, Marcus was, in his initial form, a villain. An opportunist who used Selena to his own ends, he runs afoul of her and gets what’s coming to him. He was a menacing figure, but also a slightly bathetic one—significantly, I took his surname from Tuco Ramirez, the eponymous “ugly” from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

But as the story evolved, so too did Marcus. While still conniving and dishonorable at times, he began to accrue a certain integrity, alongside a genuine paternal affection for Selena. Instead of dying at her hands, he becomes an unexpected ally, his peerless speed and knife-work harnessed for good in much the way a mill harnesses a river’s fierce current. He also gains unexpected depth. In a scene I hadn’t planned, he confesses to Selena the reason for his endless drifting. And while doubtlessly filigreed to reflect him in the best possible light, his admission stands in the novel as ultimately true, and absolves him, in Selena’s eyes, of some of his worst traits.


I’m a sucker for slick prose, and I try to pay attention to the cadence and imagery of my writing. My style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—one man’s poetry is another’s purple prose—but I’ve worked at it for a while and like to think I’ve grown better at using these elements in my fiction. Below are ten examples I’m particularly proud of.

1. Selena and Simon trudged west. Cracks snaked across crumbling asphalt, hemorrhaging weeds singed crisp by the sun. Neck-high stalks of yellow grass choked the once wide road into a claustrophobic pathway, its overgrown edges ragged and swaying in the frugal breeze.

2. The grass followed the siblings into town, looming silently along the highway shoulders, lancing up through broken sidewalk slabs, squatting in the cavernous lobbies of derelict skyscrapers. It stalked them all the way to the city center, where a square kilometer of turf and asphalt had been pared away to uncover the silty soil beneath.

3. Frank’s mouth shrank to a thin black line. His nostrils flared. He raised one hand and swished it forward, aiming to backhand this impertinent little bitch across the temple. His knuckles found only air. He raised his hand for another strike when a red geyser erupted from his nostrils and the ground rose to meet his back. He stared up at the sky, as if unsure what had happened. The girl stood above him, observing her bloody knuckles with distaste.

4. The manor stood on the crest of a grassy hill. It was a building on a grand scale, three stories tall with clapboard siding and a steeply gabled roof. Giant windows gazed northward toward the town square. Columns of ivy wriggled up wrought iron trellises, giving the building a semi-herbaceous cast, as if it and the hill had merged into one entity. Still, it seemed somehow wrong amongst its bucolic surroundings, a stoic sojourner standing mutely outside of time.

5. The paper grew heavy and slick with graphite. Soon the whole thing would be one mass of black lines, and he’d be reduced to scribbling on the stained wooden board he used as a makeshift drafting table. For Simon, drawing had always been an act of almost sublime tranquility. It was the only time that the nerves in his belly ceased their constant sizzling, the only place where tremors never troubled his hands. He could do one thing truly well, and that was make pictures. At everything else, he faltered

6. The air in the Salters’ circle was fetid and heavy. The stink of a hundred soiled bodies dribbled from the concrete ceiling and soaked into the dirt floor, a mingled stench of piss and sweat and blood and bile. Selena forced it down by the lungful, inoculating herself. She would not reveal her disgust to the leering eyes that surrounded her, that named her rich girl, Seraphim spawn, pampered and soft-skinned. The first two might have been true, but her skin was anything but soft.

7. Lanterns suffused the bar with greasy light. They hung from the walls and the pillars bisecting the long, low-ceilinged room, and squatted in the centers of wooden tables around which shaggy men grumbled and played cards and drank. Their dim glow draped a flattering veil of shadows over the stained floors and scarred faces and nicked furniture. The bar smelled of beer, whiskey, and tobacco. Sawdust covered the floor, soaking up the pools of spilled liquor and masking scabs of old vomit.

8. The ring grew still. The air pressure seemed to drop, sucking the crowd closer to the action. Only the thin man seemed calm. He paused to nibble on the cuticle of his middle finger, checked his fingernail, and took a single step forward, bringing him within range of the giant’s maul. The giant struck. It was a backhanded swing, the fastest strike the giant had thrown, delivered beautifully and without any warning. By the time most of the onlookers even saw it coming it had already failed.

9. The big man moved with studied efficiency, a smile playing on his lips. Crawley floundered like a drowning man, limbs flailing fruitlessly, his face a patchwork of bruised and ruptured flesh. At one point, he tried to claw his way through the crowd, but the merchants shoved him back, hooting laughter. The farmers clenched their fists at the spectacle. Some turned away, others watched with grim determination, their presence a kind of vigil.

10. The world was a vista of featureless grey. It permeated everything, saturating her until she couldn’t distinguish herself from the nothingness around her. She was a space so vast she was meaningless, a size so large she was invisible, a signal so intense and all-encompassing, she may as well not exist, for she drowned out the universe.

Selena Flood is a fighter of preternatural talent. But not even her quick fists and nimble feet could save her parents from the forces of New Canaan, the most ruthless and powerful of the despotic kingdoms populating America-that-was.

Forced to flee the tyrannical state with her younger brother Simon in tow, Selena is now the last chance for peace in a continent on the verge of complete destruction.

In her pocket is a data stick, the contents of which cost her parents their lives. Selena must now ensure it reaches the Republic of California—a lone beacon of liberty shining across a vast and barren wasteland—before it’s too late.

Between New Canaan and California stretch the Middle Wastes: thousands of desolate miles home to murderers, thieves, and a virulent strain of grass called yellow locust that has made growing food all but impossible. So when Selena and Simon stagger into Fallowfield, an oasis of prosperity amidst the poisoned plains, everything seems too good to be true—including the warm welcome they receive from the town’s leader, a peculiar man known only as The Mayor.

As Selena delves deeper into the sinister secrets of this seemingly harmless refuge, she soon learns there is a much darker side to Fallowfield and the man who runs it. Before long, she must call upon the skills she honed in the fighting pits of New Canaan to ensure not only her own survival, but that of her brother, in whom the Mayor has taken far too keen an interest.

And she’d better act fast, for an all-out war inches ever closer, and New Canaan is never as far away as it seems.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop
Hosted by BookHounds

Praise for AS SHE FADES

"If you’ve never picked up an Abbi Glines book before, you should definitely start with As She Fades. If you have, then you won’t want to miss her latest and greatest. ... I highly recommend reading As She Fades before reading any reviews. It’s a damn good story with an interesting twist that dramatically changes how the story moves forward."

“Romance fans will love the relationship between the protagonists and be sucked into the story line of the circumstances that bring them together.” ―School Library Journal

"This novel explores what happens when lifelong sweethearts Vale and Crawford are separated by a tragic accident on graduation night that leaves one of them in a coma. They had plans for their future: go to college, have fun, start a great life together. But now Vale spends her days in a hospital, waiting for Crawford to awaken." VOYA

From the #1 New York Times- and USA Today-bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach and The Vincent Boys series, Abbi Glines delivers another smoldering, compulsively readable YA romance with As She Fades.

On the night of her high school graduation, Vale McKinley and her boyfriend Crawford are in a terrible car accident that leaves Crawford in a coma. They were supposed to spend the summer planning for college, for a bright future full of possibility. Together. Instead, Vale spends long days in the hospital, hoping Crawford will awaken.

Slate Allen, a college friend of Vale's brother, has been visiting his dying uncle at the same hospital. When he and Vale meet, she can't deny the flutter of an illicit attraction. She tries to ignore her feelings, but she's not immune to Slate's charm. Slowly, they form a cautious friendship.

Then, Crawford wakes up . . . with no memory of Vale or their relationship. Heartbroken, Vale opts to leave for college and move on with her life. Except now, she's in Slate's territory, and their story is about to take a very strange turn.

You can purchase As She Fades at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a copy of As She Fades by Abbi Glines.
As She Fades will be purchased through Book Depository. 

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