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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Spotlight and Giveaway: #BabyLove- My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder:  Put down our phones.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life is the second book in Corine’s #BabyLove Book Series.  The first book in the series, #BabyLove: My Social Life, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Picture Books 0-5.

Corine’s inspirations for writing and illustrating come from everyday life.  When she is not busy being creative, she is most likely having fun taking pictures of her family.

Corine is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Author Finalist for her debut children’s book Can We Play Again?. Her inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC. She is also the author of Buddy’s Dream.

Corine recently moved to Dallas, TX from NYC with her family. Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to

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Monday, December 5, 2016

A Boy Called Christmas Blog Tour {review and giveaway}

A Boy Called Christmas
by Matt Haig
November 1, 2016
Knopf BFYR
Source: from pub for review
Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.
Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.
Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .
Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.

“Irresistibly readable. Destined to become a Christmas and anytime-before-or-after-Christmas classic!” –Chris Grabenstein, New York Timesbestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

“Like stockings hung by the fire, this spellbinding opus may well become a yuletide tradition.” —Kirkus, Starred review

“Award-winning British author Matt Haig (To Be a Cat) writes with warmth, wit and irreverence.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred review

“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.”—Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

“The definitive (and funny) history of Ho, ho, ho! My children loved it.” —Yann Martel, bestselling author of Life of Pi

“Humorous and heartfelt, A Boy Called Christmas will grow your heart three sizes and make you believe in magic.” –Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump

“The most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades. Future generations will receive the same comfort and joy from A Boy Called Christmas that they derive from mince pies, snowmen and creamy liqueurs.” –Stephen Fry

“Matt Haig puts the Happy back into Christmas.” –Jeanette Winterson

“A new festive classic. Funny, sad and brilliant. It turns out we only knew half the story.” –Simon Mayo, BBC

“An instant Christmas classic… Nikolas is a terrific character, clearly the offspring of Gerda from The Snow Queen and Roald Dahl’s Charlie Bucket.”  –The Guardian

Nikolas is an 11 year old boy who lives in a tiny shack with his woodcutter father, only a turnip doll for a toy, and his only friend a mouse...but Nikolas, nicknamed “Christmas” is happy and still believes in magic and goodness. When his father disappears far up north, Nikolas sets out on a journey to the North Pole and the legendary Elfhelm (home of the elves) to find him. Along the way, Nikolas befriends a Reindeer named Blitzen, battles with a troll, contends with a tricksy pixie, and discovers that the land of the elves isn’t all he imagined. This is the story of how young Nikolas one day become the beloved Father Christmas!

Matt Haig’s A Boy Called Christmas is full of cheer, charm, and cheeky storytelling! Haig has created an imaginative and endearing history for Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus, and has brought even more wonderment, awe, and whimsy to the beloved character’s timeless story. Through a sweet, yet humorous and pitch-perfect voice, the story of Nikolas unfolds in a captivating and entertaining way, with plenty of moments full of laughs, excitement, and heart. The land of the elves, Elfhelm, is wonderfully imagined and brought to life! Young readers will not be disappointed in this wintery, wonderland bustling with magic and mischief.

Nikolas’ optimistic spirit, graceful heart, and bravery make him an endearing and engaging character, that young readers will root for. Haig also introduces Nikolas and readers to a sleigh full of fun, lovable characters, from a surly reindeer, sassy pixie, a sweet elf girl, a grumpy old elf, and more!

My final thoughts: A Boy Called Christmas is bursting with holiday cheer and merriment, and with its charming story and lovable characters it is sure to be a Christmas favorite!

5/5 Cupcakes

Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in 1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, riveting and heartbreaking'.

His novels for adults are The Last Family in England, narrated by a labrador and optioned for film by Brad Pitt; The Dead Fathers Club (2006), an update of Hamlet featuring an 11-year-old boy; The Possession of Mr Cave (2008), about a man obsessed with his daughter's safety, and The Radleys (2010) which won Channel 4's TV Book Club public vote and was shortlisted for a Galaxy National Book Award (UK). The film rights to all his adult novels have been sold. His next adult novel is The Humans (2013).

His multi-award winning popular first novel for children, Shadow Forest, was published in 2007 and its sequel, The Runaway Troll, in 2009. His most recent children's novel is To Be A Cat (2012). Website * Facebook * Twitter

Win a copy of A Boy Called Christmas!
Random House has generously offered one (1) finished copy for one winner.
-US only
-ends 12/11/16
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Five Days of Famous Blog Tour: Author Interview with Alyson Noel

Five Days of Famous
by Alyson Noel
December 13, 2016
Delacorte BFYR

From "New York Times" bestselling author Alyson Noel comes a fun, adventure-filled, contemporary novel that poses the question what would you do if your dream life became reality?

A dream is a wish your heart makes . . . when your life is in desperate need of a makeover. Nick Dashaway would know. Either he makes it big this year in seventh grade or he risks being a nobody forever.

Enter the Greentree Middle School Talent Show, hosted by teen sensation Josh Frost. The show might just be Nick s ticket out of loserville. But popularity doesn t come easy, and when Nick is forcibly ejected from the stage, he feels like he s out of options. Desperate to avoid a permanent seat at the geek table and continued inattention from the love of his life, Nick chooses the only option he has left: he makes a wish.

"Be careful what you wish for, " the old saying goes and Nick s about to find out why."

Q1.  What three words best describe your novel, Five Days of Famous?

A Fun and Funny Christmas Fantasy.

Q2. Grab a copy of Five Days of Famous and answer the following:

Favorite chapter? One of my faves is Chapter 20, #Lame-o, when Ezer reminds Nick of the responsibilities that come with fame and the possible repercussions of Nick’s wild night on the town with his friends.

Favorite page? Let’s go with page 180 (which spills over to page 181) when Nick has an insightful conversation with Plum.

Favorite setting? Nick’s mansion during his Winter Wonderland themed Christmas party. I would love to go to a party like that!

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: Page 1: “Ever have one of those days when you just knew that, by the time it was over, you’d never be the same? Only in a good way? For me, today was that day.”

Q3. What inspired Five Days of Famous? How did the story come to be?

I’d read an article a while back about a group of middle school kids who were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and an overwhelming number of them said they wanted to be famous. While I understand the need to be liked and to feel seen and heard by your peers, along with the more obvious perks that fame brings, I’m disturbed by the current reality TV climate that elevates people to superstar status just for being rich and pretty and little else. So, I decided to write a fun and humorous story that explored exactly what might happen when one is granted such a wish, and how they might respond when the darker side of the dream is exposed.   

Q4. Can you tell us about your main character, Nick Dashaway? What makes him unique and what do you love about him?

I love Nick because when we first meet him, he doesn’t see his real value. Also, the very things that make him wonderfully unique are the exact same things he desperately wants to rid himself of. He’s convinced that the route to happiness is a seat at the popular table and he’s determined to do whatever it takes to get there.

I’m sympathetic toward Nick because I understand his desire to not be invisible and his need to feel accepted by the crowd he admires. Nick has some very big lessons ahead of him, and in order to secure his true dream life he’ll be called to use his voice and risk revealing his true self, all the while knowing the risk could backfire in a way he’ll never recover from.

Q5. Fill in the blanks:

I’m really awesome at adding books to my TBR pile.

I’m really embarrassed to admit That there probably isn’t enough time to read all of the books in my TBR pile, but that won’t stop me from continuing to add to it.

The last great book I read was I love a good, dark, psychological mystery, so YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott did not disappoint.

Q6. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Five Days of Famous, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

I don’t think I could outdo Plum’s cupcake, so I’d go with red velvet with cream cheese frosting and add a big gold star on top for decoration. I’d also include a small birthday candle with red and green swirls, since it’s an integral component of wish making. It would look quirky and homemade because I have no kitchen skills to speak of, but it would taste like love, magic, and good intentions. I would call it Christmas Enchantment, and it would come with a warning to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.