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March 30, 2012  |   Posted by :   |   Blog,Friday Five!,Uncategorized   |   0 Comment»

Friday Five!

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    What’s on my iPod: “We Found Love” by Key to Awesome
    What I’m reading: The Hunger Games 
    The last person I followed on Twitter: @wellreadwife

    1. GIRL UNMOORED on Laura at a Novel Review

    The reviews keep pouring in for author Jennifer Gooch Hummer‘s new novel GIRL UNMOORED! This time the novel was reviewed by Laura at a Novel Review. Don’t forget to send your receipt to contests@booksparkspr.com once you buy/download GIRL UNMOORED – You increase your odds of winning a Kindle Fire exponentially! Details here and here is a highlight of the review:

    “Apron Bramhall (yes that’s her name, Apron) is a girl unmoored. She recently suffered the loss of her mom, and now her father is preoccupied with his new girlfriend “M”, and her bff, Rennie has dumped her for a chance to be more popular. What Apron really wants is someone to save her…and who better than Jesus. More like Mike, an actor who plays Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. Mike and his boyfriend Chad show up in Apron’s life when she needs it the most. They are there for her when no one else seems to be. They hire her to help them out in their flower shop. The biggest truth is Apron seems to be the only one who understands what love really means and everyone around her needs her to help guide them back to safe waters.

    What a great book. I personally find coming of age books to really be hit or miss and this was a hit. Apron is one of those characters you just can’t help but root for and I can honestly say I was frustrated by the adults around her. But here’s the thing, all the adult characters were so well written that as an adult you get that they are struggling with their own lives and problems.”
    More about GIRL UNMOORED

    Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. It’s 1985 and her mom has passed away, her evil stepmother is pregnant, and her best friend has traded her in for a newer model. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ, Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike (no one should look that much like Jesus unless they can perform a miracle or two), but suddenly he’s everywhere. Until one day, she’s stuck in church with him—of all places. And then something happens; Apron’s broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift.

    Mike and his grumpy boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, coming of age becomes almost too much bear. She’s forced to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means and who is paying too much for it.

    Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, comments, “Love, loss, and the coming of age of one remarkable girl blaze through this haunting debut like a shooting star you’d wish upon. It’s tough and tender, funny and smart, and it frankly took my breath away. I loved it.”

    2.  THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME on the Well Read Wife

    Another good review for one of our clients – this time Allison Winn Scotch! Her new novel THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME is taking off with lots of book blogger buzz. Here is an excerpt of the review from Well Read Wife:

    “Throughout The Song Remains The Same Allison Winn Scotch weaves a captivating mystery around the past of the novel’s protagonist, Nell Slattery. Nell, unable to remember her past, awakens from her tragic accident to find that she was in the midst of a life in transition before the accident. A transition to and from what she cannot be sure. Nell entrusts her sister Rory, her mother, and her friend Samantha to fill in the memory gaps. She also leans on her husband Peter for support. However, it turns out that not everyone is as forthcoming as they seem, and her childhood relationship with her reclusive father may be the key to remembering her past.”

    More about THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

    Coming April 2012

    From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a novel that asks the question, who are we without our memories?  And how much of our future is defined by our past?

    One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas.  She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering…It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband.  In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

    3. AURYN in School Library Journal

    Digital children’s app publishers AURYN and their MIKO series were featured in the School Libary Journal – so much buzz for these innovative and pioneering storybook tellers! Here is a highlight:

    “Resourceful and oh-so-charming Miko the mouse, and his faithful friend Mimiki, a stuffed animal, star in four tales. In Double Birthday! (2005), Miko receives a number of presents and finds a way to share them with Mimiki, while a game of ball in the house and a broken vase lead to a confession—of sorts—in It Was Me, Mom! (2005). When Miko Goes On Vacation (2006), he makes sure Mimiki is safe before venturing off to enjoy the beach. And after another wonderful day outdoors, the youngster worries that he will wash away all the traces of fun he had in No Bath! No Way! (2005, all Minedition). The stories are true to the original books and feature situations and sentiments familiar to young children.

    The viewing/listening options are the standard “Read To Me,” “Read Myself,” and “Auto Play.” Children can also choose to narrate and personalize the stories. (Reverting to the original text requires a tap to the screen.) In all modes, the names of objects are labeled and voiced when they are touched. Movement through the book is achieved by a swipe to the screen or a tap on the mouse icon at the bottom of the page.”

    More on AURYN

    The future of storytelling is here!

    Auryn is a premiere digital publisher focused on creating award-winning interactive children’s stories for the iPad and other tablet devices. We collaborate with authors, illustrators and publishers to turn their stories into educational, engaging and entertaining experiences. Auyrn’s patented technology (Aurynization) brings any illustration style to life through animation and interactivity. Kirkus Reviews, Fast Company, NPR, PadGadget and Animation Magazine all herald Auryn as a leader in creating sophisticated and immersive “app” experiences.


    4. Dr. Mark McKee in Book Dealers World

    Our most mindful client Dr. Mark McKee – author of RAISING A SUCCESSFUL CHILD THE MANUAL –  is featured in this month’s issue of Book Dealer’s World. Be sure to pick up a copy and find him on page 3 to find out more about this child-raising expert!

    More about RAISING A SUCCESSFUL CHILD

    The award-winning parenting book, Raising A Successful Child (The Manual), gets to the heart of what every parent needs to know to have a warm,loving relationship with their baby and raise a happy,healthy,secure child. Based on past successful parenting practices, and even more excitingly on recent research findings that point to new directions in parenting, this book provides in clear and simple language a roadmap and tools for raising successful children. “The Manual” introduces parents to the idea of a balanced life for a child–work and play are equally important at all stages of development.

    Exploring all the things that can go wrong and what families should do to avoid these problems does little to build confidence in parents or children. Unlike other books which focus on specific diagnoses or “problems,” this book is centered around the theme of building a strong and healthy parent-child relationship.

    5. Allison Winn Scotch on Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
    Allison Winn Scotch – author of THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME – stopped by Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews for a lovely Q&A. Here are two of the five questions and answers that give readers a little look into one of our favorite authors:
    Sharon: At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
    Allison:  I think I always wanted to be a writer but realistically didn’t think – or realize – that it was possible until my mid-20s. I’d grown up writing, in journals, for my school paper, and later in college, a fairly prestigious op-ed column in the campus paper, but…I mean..really? Getting paid for it? It just seemed outlandish even though a lot of people suggested I pursue it! I wasn’t until I was, I think, 26, and was started to take on freelance PR clients that I realized it might be feasible – I started doing a lot of web copy and eventually magazine articles, and one thing led to another and I tried my hand at fiction. Four books later, I sincerely still can’t believe how fortunate I am.

    Sharon:  What three important facts do you want readers to know about your books?

    Allison:  Oh gosh. That’s a hard question! Hmmm, okay (I don’t know if these qualify as “facts,” but here goes):
    I try to write from a very personal place. This doesn’t mean that my books are autobiographical. (After all, I’ve never survived a plane crash only to lose my memory!) But I do feel like it’s my responsibility to open up my emotional reservoir and write honest characters. So that means that at times, the characters’ choices might be the same as my own, if I found myself in their shoes. I suppose in that way, that all of my protagonists give you a little bit of insight into who I am.
     I also weave my love of pop culture and music into almost all of my books. For SONG REMAINS THE SAME, this meant that I really researched music from the decades in which my protagonist, Nell, was a child, as well as really considered what the pop culture influences were at the time. Like, if you lost your memory of the 90s, you’d get to watch Friends all over again. Because, like it or not, that really was a cultural icon from the time when I (and my heroine) came of age.
    I hope that when you read the very last page, you feel like you’re a little wiser for it. NOT because I am teaching you anything!! But because I think that the best books take the reader on a journey and hopefully shift their perspective just a teeny, tiny bit. Even if only for a day. I love nothing more than finishing a book and having the characters or the story or even the message behind the story linger on in my mind. As both a reader and a writer, I think you WANT that sort of connection, and I hope that my books provide it