Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: Hiro Loves Kite by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

BY POPULAR DEMAND: HIRO LOVES KITE



Author Lauren Nicolle Taylor holding Nora and Kettle in print for the first time.
It isn't every day that you get the chance to read a novel that sticks with you for days, months, and years. That's exactly what readers have described Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor as. Requests for a follow-up story poured in after the release of this Award-Winning and Best-Selling novel that was written as a stand-alone, and requests have continued to flood author Lauren Nicolle Taylor's inbox up to two years later. Readers and well, even us here at Clean Teen Publishing, wanted to know where Nora and Kettle's story would take them. Thankfully Author Lauren Nicolle Taylor listened to her many fan requests and wrote an amazing follow-up novel that will not disappoint. Hiro Loves Kite is scheduled to release on September 17, 2018 in digital format. Be sure to add this title to your To Be Read List on Goodreads and check out the cover reveal below. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this cover and what you think about this exciting follow-up novel. Please drop us a line or two in the comments.

COVER REVEAL: HIRO LOVES KITE by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Available in digital format on September 17, 2018 and paperback on March 4, 2019.

Pre-order coming soon! ADD TO YOUR TBR LIST: GOODREADS

The captivating story of Nora and Kettle continues in Hiro and Kite, the second installment in the award-winning Paper Stars historical fiction series by Lauren Nicole Taylor.
We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that is part of what makes us beautiful.
Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back, but that's just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite; a stronger, more independent version of herself — a king and a guardian.
Kettle has Kite's heart. But something holds him back; a feeling that he doesn't deserve good things. It's a looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.
Hiro loves Kite — but Kite won't wait forever for him to tell her. And now they're standing on icy ground. The leverage they had on Kite's abusive father has wavered, and life on the street is affecting Frankie's health. Snow is gathering at the station doors, and doubts are piling high…they must rely on each other; believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don't, it's not just their future in jeopardy—but the fates of all the street kids in their care; all the Kings.
Fans of Nora and Kettle have asked for more of their story since it first hit shelves. By popular demand, Lauren Nicolle Taylor has written this follow-up that is sure to please her readers. Find out why reviewers are calling this series "unforgettable," "powerful," and a "remarkable reimagining of Peter Pan."
 

START READING TODAY!
Nora & Kettle Lauren Nicolle Taylor Published by: Clean Teen Publishing Genres: Historical, Young Adult
2017 IPPY Book Awards Winner! A “remarkable” (Booklist Magazine) reimagining of Peter Pan. After World War II, orphaned Kettle faces prejudice as a Japanese American but manages to scrape by and care for his makeshift family of homeless children. When he crosses paths with the privileged but traumatized Nora, both of their lives are forever changed... Lauren Nicolle Taylor’s Nora & Kettle is a heart-wrenching historical fiction novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Beginning of Everything, Eleanor & Park, The Book Thief, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.



 
And here she is. . .
Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology. She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is an IPPY Award Winner, Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist, and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.



Did you add Hiro Loves Kite to your TBR List?



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Review: How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell


HOW TO TRICK THE TOOTH FAIRY
by Erin Danielle Russell
Illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
Aladdin
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!

But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!



MY TIDBITS

Two star pranksters go head-to-head, and the results demand gasps, giggles and fun.

Kaylee is a serious prankster. She pranks in the morning and at night. No one is safe from her. But when she decides to pull one over on the Tooth Fairy, something unexpected happens—the Tooth Fairy is a prankster herself. The two battle it out, leading to disaster and something more.

The cover and title already demand attention, not only thanks to the little girl's sinister smile, but glitter abounds on both sides. This isn't a pink, glittery book. Rather, it gets pretty gritty. Kaylee isn't one to trust, and the first pages make that clear. Her pranks aren't harmful or spiteful, but she's got a slightly devious side. It makes it hard to like her and almost brings a sense of justice when the tooth fairy fights back. It's clever and silly in a slightly devious way.

The battle which follows is funny and a chaotic disaster. While I, as a mom, wasn't sure what to think of the back and forth, my daughter loved it. The Tooth Fairy definitely looses her sweetness in this book, and shows a slightly naughty side. While the pranks mount, they are never mean or hateful, even when they end in near disaster. But it's exactly this which turns the story around and leads to a more encouraging ending.

This isn't a loving, warm, sweet book. . .not at first, but it does have an important message and will have young listeners laughing.

I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
 





Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Golden Sparkles by Catarina R. Peterson


GOLDEN SPARKLES
An Introduction to Mindfulness
by Catarina R. Peterson
Illustrated by Matega Aikova
Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd
Picture Book
28 pages

“Listen to your body. It isn’t hard to do. All it takes is a minute, even if you’re feeling blue”.

Golden Sparkles are in every child’s heart, a gift from the universe connecting them to others and to their own feelings. Colourful, energetic artwork by Mateya Arkova, 2017 International Book Awards Winner and 2017 Gold Medal Reader’s Favorite in Children’s Nonfiction, brings to life the adventures of Dahlia, Victor and Bluu as they grow in mindfulness, learning to listen with all of their senses to what their bodies have to tell them each moment of every day.

Through its transporting story and included glossary and exercises, Golden Sparkles offers a brief and beautifully illustrated introduction to key mindfulness concepts such as breathing, being present, and addressing emotions non-judgmentally for children from ages 5 to 10. This accessible book can be shared by a teacher or parent or read by children on their own to discover and practice a valuable tool that helps them respond to challenging emotions and thrive.
 




MY TIDBITS

With lots of happy feelings, this book offers a way to help children be aware of their own feelings and those of others by remaining mindful.

After a foreword from the author which explains mindfulness and the purpose of the book, it dives into the heart. Every page uplifts with its words, concentrating on the happiness and not being afraid of listening to the feelings inside. at the end, there's a glossary as well as several exercises adults may use to help further mindfulness in children.

The text is short, sweet and always encouraging. It closely snuggles with the idea of sparkles, giving inside feelings a cheerful glow. It's easy for even younger listeners to understand and offers lovely imagery.

The illustrations are beautiful and dance through various cultures and races, allowing not only the people but, through small details, a bit of the foreign settings, to shine through. The illustrations alone are a treat and echo diversity.

With the intent of this book in mind, it is nicely done. It offers a tool to help children become more mindful of themselves and remains in a very positive light.

You can find out more about Catarina here. . .

 http://www.catpeterson.co.uk
 Children’s Author and Mindfulness Educator
 Facebook: @CatRPeterson








Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: The Unknown Sun by Cheryl Mackey


THE UNKNOWN SUN
The Destiny Series, Book One
by Cheryl S. Mackey
YA Fantasy







A strange boy who knows too much about Moira’s tragic past wants her dead. Rescued by winged twins Airi and Belamar, she is taken to safety in their world.
Skyfall is in ruins, its vast, beautiful, wilderness only a decayed shell of a once vibrant and magical world. Guided by destiny, Moira, Airi, and Belamar must find a journal left by the twins' deceased mother, Tanari, that tells them how to save their world.
Dark secrets unravel around the three friends as a revolution led by the strange boy threatens their lives…and the quest to save Skyfall.
 



MY TIDBITS


After multiple deaths in her family, Moira has lost almost everything. Even life is a struggle as people question why she survived the deadly accidents, while the rest of her family died. When she's suddenly attacked by a strange man with green eyes in her living room, two angle-like creatures come to her rescue and take her to another world, Skyfall. There, she discovers that there's so much more to her than she ever suspected. . .or wanted to know. Now, she's expected to save an entire world.

Moira hits with sheer loneliness and isolation. The baggage from especially her sisters' deaths has left her in a serious state of self-doubt, and this reflects heavily on the scenes at high school as she's shunned to the extreme (at times, excessively so). These first chapters are raw, and the attack from the stranger grabs with tension pure. And this has a great contrast with Skyfall, where she wakes up and finds herself in light and with a sudden pair of very close friends.

The tale keeps a nice pace. Most of the high action doesn't happen until the later chapters, letting the plot concentrate on Moira and her search for the truth. The search involves more of a logical discovery than real action, something which will delight fans of character depth and emotional bonding more than fast-paced hopefuls. There are many layers of secrets and these are laid out nicely, while holding several surprises. There's still enough left open to lead into the rest of the series.

Friendship is key in this book, one that happens instantly. The reasons for this are laid out, but especially the bond to Belamar (a romance) is rather sudden. Still, it's warming as the tale goes on and builds a nice set-up for tension at the right moments.

This is a prophecy book but does hold several refreshing and new twists. The author does a lovely connection to Greece and builds a beautiful world and history. While some areas could flow better and there are typos, the story is entertaining.

It's a nice start to what appears to be an interesting series.


Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks with Giveaway!



NIGHT STALKER
Dead Love Lives Book 1
by R.L. Weeks
YA Paranormal Fantasy



Winner of Best Paranormal Fantasy by Virtual Fantasy Con Book Awards 2017



Casey and George are traveling around Japan's notorious suicide forest when they see something move in the tree line and Casey can't shake the feeling that someone has been following them.
Later that night, Casey wakes up to find a woman in their room. After breaking free of the woman's entrancement, Casey wakes George, who convinces her it was just a dream. 
George has been acting off since their visit to Japan. Now they're home, the worst happens and George is killed in a freak accident.
It's one year later and she's about to leave her small hometown, Pleasant Springs - in hopes that her nightmares would end. Since his death, her dreams have been haunted by a mystery guy who is hellbent on causing her pain, but, before she makes it to the airport, Casey is kidnapped and taken to the hotel from her nightmares. 
She is plunged into a creepy world filled with the supernatural, underground cities, and sick games. 
Her mystery guy tells her he is trying to save her from the others. However, her ex - George could be behind her kidnapping in the most sinister way. 
Nothing is as it seems in the dark world of the Stalkers.






R L Weeks is the bestselling and award-winning author of the Dead Loves Life Series, Bloodlust, The Fallen, Willow Woods Academy for Witches, Cursed, and the owner of Enchanted Anthologies, publisher of Fractured Fairytales Books 1 & 2, A Deadly World: Vampires in Paris, Things Only the Darkness Knows, and Christmas Nightmares.

She lives in a small village in the UK.
When she's not writing, she's traveling, reading (paranormal, fantasy and horror being her go to genres) and designing covers for Dark Wish Designs.




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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sneak Peek: Dog Eared by Jojo Debrazza




DOG EARED
by Jojo Debrazza
Children's Fiction
140 pages
ages 8 to 12






Dogs can’t read. Right?

When Sophie’s grandfather moves in to a retirement home, Sophie is delighted to take over responsibility for his super obedient dog, Lector. Her grandfather also gives her two journals for Lector and tells her how important they are. But listening isn’t one of Sophie’s strong points.

Sophie’s dream-come-true turns into a nightmare when the usually well behaved Lector turns super-bad overnight. After midnight on his first night with Sophie, Lector gets himself into all kinds of trouble and leads Sophie into a run-in with the local bully. Dogs in the town have been going missing too. Could there be a dog snatcher on the loose?

Sophie desperately needs Lector to return to his former obedient self, especially when her dad and step-mum-to-be announce, to Sophie’s horror, that they are having a baby.  Lector’s future with the family is in danger. If Sophie can’t retrain Lector before Sophie’s new half sibling is born, he’ll have to be rehomed.

Can Sophie discover the magical secret to training Lector, and keep him away from the dog snatcher, before it’s too late?
SNEAK PEEK

Sophie felt like she’d only been asleep for ten minutes when she woke to find it was morning.
“Lector,” shouted Emma. “Come back here with my shoe.”
Sophie opened the curtains and looked down into the small back garden. It had rained heavily overnight. The grass glistened in the morning sun. Even the normally dull concrete path seemed to shine. Emma hopped across the grass towards Lector. She was only wearing one black work shoe. Lector was carrying the other shoe in his mouth.
Lector froze like he was playing musical statues. His front legs were flat on the ground and his back end stuck up in the air. He watched Emma and wagged his tail as she moved closer. Leaning on the wooden shed, Emma reached forward to take the shoe. Lector sprung to the side, just out of Emma’s reach.
Sophie raised her eyebrows, she’d never seen Lector being naughty before, but she couldn’t help letting out a laugh.
Emma looked up. Sophie’s face reddened as she realised her window was open.
“Sophie, can you help, please? I have to go to work,” said Emma.
Emma closed the back door behind her as Sophie entered the kitchen. “Got it,” she said. She grabbed a piece of kitchen roll and began wiping her shoe.
Sophie stood at the back-door window. Lector ran around the garden, darting from an old worn out football to a shrub in a pot then to a white plastic garden chair. He was acting like he’d never seen anything so exciting. How odd, thought Sophie. He’s been here loads of times before.
Sophie’s mouth fell into a wide-open O as she watched Lector pull up a plant and dance around with it. She checked whether Emma could see Lector destroying the garden. Emma was red-faced from chasing down her shoe but blissfully unaware of the new damage to her plants.
“Where’s Dad?” said Sophie.
“He’s gone to the job-centre, he’ll be back soon,” said Emma.
Sophie’s dad had taken to going to the job-centre early, so he could be back before Emma left for work but sometimes he was a few minutes late. Sophie didn’t mind. She was grown up enough to look after herself.
“Will you be okay on your own for a bit?” said Emma. “Toby’s still in bed. You can sort your own breakfast and Toby will make himself some Marmite on toast. I’m going to be late.”
Toby was two years below Sophie at school and seemed like a nice kid, but Sophie hardly ever saw him. He was always in his bedroom playing video games.
“Yes, no problem,” said Sophie. “Did you oversleep?”
“No, I’ve been clearing up after Lector.” Emma picked up her travel mug of coffee. “I’ll tell you about it later. I’ve got to go. I don’t want to miss the appointment. Your dad will be on his way.”
“On his way where? I thought he was at the job-centre?” asked Sophie.
Emma looked away. “Oh, he is yes. He’s at the job-centre now and then meeting me. It’s nothing to worry about and it shouldn’t take long. He’ll be back within twenty minutes. Call one of us if you have any problems.” She shuffled to the front door in her slippers and pulled on her still soggy plimsolls. “See you later.” Emma hurried out of the front door.
Sophie stood for a moment wondering what appointment Emma was going to and what she meant by clearing up after Lector. She shrugged her shoulders, guessing she’d find out later, and opened the back door to let Lector in.
He stood, wagging his tail, with a flowery plant between his teeth. A big clump of wet soil clung to the plant’s roots.



All about. . .

Jojo Debrazza is a writer from St Neots in Cambridgeshire, England—although she mostly lives in her head, a carefree happy place where everything is bright and fluffy. 

Her debut novella, The Charm, was published in 2014 and the sequel, Mind Games, in 2016.

Jojo likes to take photos of her dog and post them to Instagram and Twitter @jojodebrazza

More Jojo Debrazza stuff can be found on her facebook page, and her blog: https://jojodebrazza.com


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: A Girl Named Blue by Cecilia Randell with Giveaway!





A Girl Named Blue: The Adventure Begins
The Adventures of 
Blue Faust #1 

by Cecilia Randell

July 15th 2017 
YA/NA Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction






Blue Faust considers herself an ordinary girl. A little shy, maybe, and a smidge isolated. But she’s got a plan for that, and a list.
When she and her mother move to a new city, she implements it. This will be The Year of New Things, and there will be adventures. Little does she know just how right she is.
While out hiking one day with new friends, she finds herself in a strange world. She is confronted with kidnappers, stubborn beast-mounts and killer crystals. Throw in an assortment of hooligans, mercenaries and clansmen, and Blue has all New she can handle.
New List:
Learn to ride a horse-like thing
Find friends
Stop kidnappers
Get home
Easy, right?
*** Please note that this is the first book in a slow burn reverse harem series, there are no sexy times till a few books down***
**Also, there is violence and some swearing, so, yeah.**


MY TIDBITS

This is a book with stumbles, oddities, a parade of beginning glimpses into certain characters, and yet, it grabbed me to the point where I couldn't put it down.

Blue Faust is still battling with the loss of her father and trying to find footing along with her mother to jump start their lives again. After a move, she's about to enter a new school and has a list of ways to go beyond her boundaries and attack life head-on—a way to honor her father's memory. When a hiking trip with her new found friends lands them on a different world, they find themselves caught up in the middle of a huge, 'alien' conspiracy. Blue's idea of finding new adventures in life now takes a spin which isn't only beyond her wildest dreams but is simply dangerous.

Blue is a strange girl and was hard to connect to at first. She supposedly has switched schools many times in her life. . .so should be a fairly normal teen but with issues. Instead, she comes across as extremely naive, socially challenged (at best), and almost as if she as no idea how life in high school normally functions. Still, there's something about her which was intriguing, and as the story continues, she grows and matures. Not completely but enough to make it hard not to cheer for her.

This is a reverse harem romance and a very slow burner at that (something I appreciate). From the guys' side, it's love at first sight. Always. Instantly. Without question. Which made me wonder if there is/will be some sort of alien power about her later on. . .or maybe not. In any case, despite her lack of any special traits (except blue hair and being relatively small), guys can't resist her. That is something some readers will be okay with and others not. However, from Blue's side, there is little to no interest during this first book. Another thing I appreciated. She has her hands full, completely. She's dealing with her father's death, finally connecting to her mother, figuring out where her life should go, caught up in an alien world, thrown into deadly dangers. . .yep, she has enough on her plate without heading into romantic tug-a-wars too.

While the first chapters hit teenage drama in a high school setting, the exciting, sci-fi action starts a little later on. And it works. The author takes the time to let Blue and the 'normal' earthlings gain a sure footing before fantasy sets in. And when the other worlds unfold, it's no problem to sink right into them. The settings are well described and the logic founded enough to make it pretty easy to follow along. As the layers of conspiracy and intrigue later start to unravel, it does get more complicated, and there are enough levels left to hit off to the rest of the series. One that promises to be interesting, especially when taking into account the extreme corners Blue's future harem of men seem to be coming from. It will be interesting to see how all of this somehow pulls together.


And here she is. . .
Cecilia Randell is the pseudonym for a lady author that has not quite worked up the courage to give you all her real name. She loves a good story, and often finds herself thinking “what if…”, so decided to put some of her ‘what ifs’ down in words for others to, hopefully, enjoy. 





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