Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Penny Predicament by Veola Vazquez

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're diving between the pages of a Middle Grade Fiction selection with a dash of diversity and a heaping dose of love from the Big Man upstairs.  If I had to guess, I'd say it'll attract everyone from the Wimpy and MacKenzie fans to those who simply love a good story with heart.  It's the second release in the Coin Chronicles series, and though I've not read the first, it worked quite well as a stand alone.  So throw those reservations to the wind and join me as we discover today's book of choice...



The Coin Chronicles, Book 2
by
Illustrated by
9780692394908
Double Letter Press

About the book...
What would a 12-year-old boy do to help save his family from financial ruin? In Jake King’s case, he’d do just about anything. But uncertainty sets in as his plans go awry, his friendships start to fail and his faith takes a few hits. Finding a rare coin worth a fortune might be the answer. But what if it’s not real? Will Jake lose his best friend and his family’s future at the same time? Only God knows and, hopefully, he’ll let Jake in on it.





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This is a story that hits close to home for many while reminding us to not sweat the small stuff, and that EVERYTHING is small stuff.  It allows readers of all ages to share in Jake's very personal struggle to overcome his family's circumstances while at the same time shining a light on the fact that while we can affect SOME things, we can't change everything...only HE can...and putting our faith in His power in times of hardship though difficult is exactly what we're suppose to do.

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Jake is a wonderful lad.  Model student, perfect brother, best best friend ever...okay, let me stop there because if He is involved in this post, fibbing should be kept out of the mix.  *smirk*  Jake IS a wonderful lad but perfect, he is not.  He gets into disagreements with his brother, unintentionally ignores his best friend when those cooler than them (seemingly) come calling, and gets up to what could be considered mischief despite his intentions.  He's a kid; normal, average, everyday, but that's all a part of his charm.  It makes him easy to relate to and for our male readers, that's something not always easily attained.  Getting back to Jake, outside of his normal-ness, he has something that he definitely owns...his coin collecting.  Yes, my friends, he has a penchant for collecting coins anywhere, anytime, anyhow and some of those "hows" are exactly why he lands in sticky situations.  The collecting urge itself, though, might just be what the doctor ordered to get him and his family out of the circumstances that have befallen them...but not without some well-meaning yet misdirected antics first.  *giggle*

I'll admit, despite the Godly mention in the synopsis, the religious aspect, the beliefs shared actually took me by surprise.  They weren't unfounded or something I've never heard, I just didn't see the story taking that turn and after the initial jolt, it felt like the perfect match-up for Jake and friends.  After all, who wouldn't want to team up with the big G-O-D, right?  The author took it not in the preachy direction it could of went but more in a reminder fashion as to the fact that we are not alone in our struggles, there IS always someone to turn to in our times of need, and that we're never given more than we can truly handle.  (I can't say I always remember that, especially in those actual trying moments, but the reinforcement of the ideals never hurt anyone.)  She let's Jake take his own responsibility for his actions despite his good intentions but also shares that lesson learned with his parents, something that translates well from the page to a real life call to action...and the ending?  Well, you'll have to read it to believe it because while being a total surprise, it reinforces once again the "leave things in His hands" thought pattern.

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In the end, it's a story filled with heart that tells us to hold our loved ones close and never forget how truly special we are.  There may be difficulties that we have to face in our lives, but we're never truly facing them alone...a comforting thought for all, but especially for kiddos that may be going through similar experiences.  The author has done a fine job of creating a realistic tale of fiction with the occasional illustration to raise a smile to your lips that will stick with you after the final page has been turned.  Recommended for the target MG audience as well as though readers a bit more beyond in years.



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About the author...



Dr. Veola Vazquez, the mother of two boys, uses humor, personal experience and insight to captivate young readers. As a Christian psychologist, she approaches the difficult issues of young life in a way that encourages and instructs the children who read her books. Her witty and fun stories build on real life issues to teach lessons about faith, friendship and family. 

In addition to her works for children, Dr. Vazquez maintains a website and blog where she provides tools for parenting and devotionals to encourage Godly living. With a specialty in childhood issues such as AD/HD and childhood depression, anxiety and trauma, she has special insight into the ways parents can be most helpful to their children. Also, as a mother herself and a wife of over 20 years, she uses her personal wisdom in conjunction with her professional experience to guide and inspire families.

With a passion for helping both children and families, Dr. Vazquez is also a Bible teacher and inspirational speaker for women's events and mom's groups. In addition to her inspirational teaching, she is also a professor at a Christian university in Southern California where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate psychology courses. 

Finally, Dr. Vazquez loves to spend her time reading and taking walks with her family and wiener dog, Paco.


SITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK


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Special thanks to author Veola Vazquez for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or the series, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Double Letter Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  Don't miss book one in the series, The Nickel Nuisance, available now and the forthcoming book three, The Quarter Question, a perfect addition to your wish list.

Until next time...happy reading!




Friday, July 29, 2016

FIRST LOOK: All Shook Up by Chelsey Krause - EXCERPT + CONTEST!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


Today, we're joining other fab sites throughout the blogosphere and Barclay Publicity to bring you a FIRST LOOK at a new title coming your way next month via Tryst Books! This time around "...friends become lovers over a whirlwind summer of rockabilly rhythms, twirling skirts, and a mystery that takes them hilariously far out of their element in this humorous and heartwarming romantic comedy!" Need I say more? Oh come on, you KNOW I'm going to anyway! ^-^




All Shook Up
by
Chelsey Krause
Tryst Books
9781988387048
Release Date: August 17, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the book...
Natalie’s world is shaken to its core when she discovers an old photo of a woman who looks like her. Could this woman be related to her birth mother, who put Natalie up for adoption as a baby? When she tracks down the person who dumped the photo album at her thrift shop, she’s shaken again. Especially when the gorgeous fire-fighting guitarist offers to help her find the owner. They quickly become friends – which is all they’ll be, as far as Natalie’s concerned. Her rebellious youth turned her off cheating men, and the new Natalie is looking for true love and a family of her own – something Casey isn’t willing to provide. But how long can Natalie ignore her undeniable attraction to the man with the Irish accent and the broken-down ’57 Chevy?

In Chelsey Krause’s second novel, friends become lovers over a whirlwind summer of rockabilly rhythms, twirling skirts, and a mystery that takes them hilariously far out of their element.







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~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
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I stare up at the house for a moment, my hands shaking on the steering wheel, wondering what I’ve got myself into. I do some breathing exercises to calm down, pick up the box, and get out of the car. I can barely stand, my legs are so wobbly.

Maybe I’m working myself up over nothing. So what if the woman in the picture looks like me? It could be a coincidence.

Or maybe, just maybe…

I walk slowly up the driveway and knock on the door, my heart racing. After a couple of minutes, I knock again. Maybe they aren’t home? Maybe they didn’t hear me? I try the doorbell.

After a minute, I hear heavy, muffled footsteps.

Oh god. I should have worn a better outfit. I quickly smooth my hair with my free hand and stand a bit taller. Am I going to meet my birth mother? Or, at the very least, an aunt or something? Or my grandmother? Although, if someone cared enough to take these pictures and put them in an album, why would they throw them away? Is that the sort of person I want to meet?

The door swings open. The person standing in front of me is most definitely not a granny.

“Can I help you?” he asks as he rubs his eyes.

“Oh, I, umm…”

My brain has stalled.

He shouldn’t be the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. But for some reason, he is. He looks like he’s in his late twenties, maybe early thirties. He isn’t wearing anything that spectacular, just a plain T-shirt and fleece pants. And his dark eyebrows are a bit thick for my liking.

But those lips…thin on top, full on the bottom, framed by a cleft chin and dark stubble. And those brown eyes fringed with black lashes…

He blinks. “Okay, then. Well, if that’s all…” He starts to close the door.

“Does this belong to you?” I yelp. I shove the box into his chest. He takes a half step back and sneezes as the dust flies up around him.

He frowns. “Is this the crap I took to the thrift store?” With a confused look on his face, he hands the box back to me and crosses his arms. He leans on the door frame, making his biceps strain against his T-shirt. His entire left arm is covered in swirling blue and green tattoos. “How did you find where I live?” he asks cautiously. He has a hint of an accent. Scottish, maybe?

I roll my eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself, I’m not stalking you.”

He smirks. “Good. I’ve already got too many stalkers.”




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About Chelsey Krause:


Chelsey Krause has a thing for thrift stores and used bookshops. A nurse, wife, Starbucks addict, and mom to two children, she can often be found repurposing other people’s junk or considering whether the library would let her move in. The rest of the time, she’s reviewing for Chicklit Club or writing. All Shook Up is her second novel.


Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon



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Special thanks to the Barclay Publicity team for the chance to bring this promotion to you!  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to release August 17, 2016, so mark your calendar or pre-order your copy today!  Now, for the piece de resistance...



All Shook Up First Look Celebration Giveaway!

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Tryst Books is offering one (1) lucky grand prize winner a paperback set containing the following titles: All Shook Up, Sweet Bliss, Drawn Through You, Ms. Conception, & Lessons in Pure Life and ten (10) runner-ups will win an eBook copy of their choice from the Tryst Books publishing catalogue! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:



Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!



BLOG TOUR: The Quirky Quiz Show Caper by Sally Carpenter - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Hiya folks!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're joining a Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour already in progress for a Cozy Mystery released a little earlier this year.  It's the fourth title in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries and, from the sound of things, it's got a lot going for it....including TROUBLE for the leading man.  Ladies and gents. ready or not, here comes today's blog tour guest...


QQSC front cover
Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries, Book 4
by
Sally Carpenter
1939816870
Cozy Cat Press

About the book...
38-year-old formal teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show–and the first category is murder! When his brother, a college professor is framed for the murder of one of his students, Sandy investigates, in between fighting with his ex, visiting his kids, wooing his new girlfriend, and presenting a concert at a black tie gala to save his father’s orchestra. Sandy’s ready to tear out his long blond hair as the game points and suspects pile up.


AMAZON  |  B&N


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Ooh...sounds like more than the game is at stake here, but family DOES come first so I applaud his potential efforts on his brother's behalf.

Now, we've an EXTRA special treat for you today.
Thanks to Dolly, we had the pleasure of connecting with the author for a GUEST POST created just for you and, if I do say so myself, ironically befitting my site outside of the bookish nature of things.  Please join me in welcoming, today's author in the spotlight...Sally Carpenter!


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GUEST POST:  Food for Thought 
by Sally Carpenter


Image result for food
Fictional characters need to eat.

I get tickled watching detective/adventure movies and TV shows because it seems the characters never stop to eat.

How do they run all day and night on only a cup of coffee?

But in a book, the reader is more aware of the passage of time and the fact the characters haven’t had a bite to eat in one hundred pages. So in my novels, I either find a way for my characters to get their three squares a day or have a good reason why they miss a meal, such as getting tied up the villain.

I try not to repeat the same meals as not to bore the reader, so I think up new foods for each meal. I didn’t give anyone a food allergy, so my choices were wide open, but I stayed away from foods I don’t like, can’t pronounce or just don’t know what they taste like. My latest book, “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper,” covers twelve days, so that’s a lot of noshing.

My hero, former teen idol Sandy Fairfax, is a bachelor, so when he’s home alone his meals are pretty simple: sandwiches, pizza, and leftovers. Those were easy to write!

I use meals to further the story. I don’t write scenes where characters sit around in a coffee shop shooting the breeze. Who has time for that? There’s a murder to solve. During my meals the characters are either discussing the mystery, engaged in some sort of conflict, or learning more about each other—or sometimes all of these.

Due to the nature of Sandy’s career, and also that he really doesn’t like solo meals, he eats out a lot with other people. This gets the story moving because Sandy isn’t spend a great time of time cooking (and I don’t have to think up recipes). In this book he eats at a college cafeteria, a Hollywood deli, the executive dining room of a movie studio, an Italian restaurant, and Sunday brunch at the home of a fellow teen idol.

The book ends at a gala banquet at a black tie event. With all this fine dining, it’s no wonder Sandy has to work to keep his weight down.

There are only a couple of meals at Sandy’s home involving other people (to say more would be a spoiler). It’s not surprising because as a celebrity, he guards his privacy. He only lets people he trusts pass through the security gate of his home.



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About the author...

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Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.  
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.  Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.  She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series is comprised of: “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), “The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper” and “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper.”  She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.”  Carpenter penned chapter three of the Cozy Cat Press group mystery “Chasing the Codex.”
To atone for her sins of killing fictional people, she also writes the monthly Roots of Faith column for the Acorn Newspapers.

BLOG  1/2  |  FACEBOOK



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Special thanks to Lori as Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the chance to bring this promotion to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on THIS TOUR, the title, author, publisher, or those tours on the horizon, please feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Cozy Cat Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.





BEFORE YOU GO...

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DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO ENTER THE TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY!  UP FOR GRABS ARE TWO PRINT COPIES OF THIS VERY TITLE!  CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM!


Until next time...happy reading!


Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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