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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Real Santa Blog Tour Giveaway

Real Santa


Excerpt

                                                                                    The Question
“SO, IF ALL the icecaps are melting, where will Santa Claus go to build his toys?”
Barbara Worthington frowned at the boy in the back row. Leave it to Josh Pataki to throw the class into a tailspin. The fourth graders had been sedate, even bored; now their little hands were shooting up all over the classroom.
“Well, Josh, think about it. How cold do you think it is in the North Pole? Those are incredibly hostile conditions. How long do you think a man with a beard and a red suit could survive up there?”
Mrs. Worthington looked at her class, and Josh Pataki in particular.
She was at the long end of her tether. Next year she would retire after forty years of teaching. Forty years. And for forty years she had been fielding questions about Santa Claus.
“I don’t understand what you mean,” Josh said through his coke-bottle glasses and stoppered nose. He had been a walking plague all year, and now he was doing the wrist roll with his nose.
Mrs. Worthington handed him a Kleenex, walking in front of the twenty-five sets of eyes of Ridgeland Elementary.
“Well, Josh, Santa Claus supposedly lives in the North Pole in brutal subzero temperatures with an ice pack surrounding the pole and unbelievable snowstorms. Not much lives up in the North Pole
even with global warming, which by the way has not been proven. So my question is simply, how would Santa Claus survive up there?”
Josh rolled his shoulders. “He would live in his complex built by elves like in Santa Clause 2.”
“Hmm … and how do these elves build this complex up there? Where do they get their funding? Where do they get their skill set to create this mythical complex? Where would they get building materials, electricity?”
More hands shot up.
“Children, we are not going to stop our science hour to talk about Santa Claus.”
The hands started to fall until there was only one arm still up in the back. Mrs. Worthington motioned her hand down, but the kid’s hand stayed up there anyway. This was all Megan Kronenfeldt. The girl was bright, independent, and as literal as an accountant. She had a habit of calling out points that contradicted what Mrs. Worthington had mentioned a week before. She was almost a savant.
“Yes, Megan,” Mrs. Worthington said wearily.
“Then what I understand you to be saying, Mrs. Worthington, is there is no Santa Claus in the North Pole because no one could survive without a facility and you don’t believe there are the elves or anybody else to build that facility.”
Mrs. Worthington stood with a faint blush coming to her cheeks.
She saw the e-mails raining down from above. Parents would crash the school server with their onslaught of indignation that she dared to destroy the myth of Santa Claus. Deloris Ketchum had been forced into early retirement for saying that Santa Claus was a myth. The parents had e-mailed the district, the superintendent, even the mayor. Deloris retired five years early with just half of her pension.
And now Mrs. Worthington was standing in the same crosshairs. “Well, Megan, I’m just saying that weather conditions are harsh in the North Pole and that people must be prepared to meet those conditions … including Santa Claus.”
Megan stared at her, and Mrs. Worthington had a sudden image of Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street staring down her mother and saying, “He’s just a nice old man with whiskers, but he’s not really Santa Claus.” Megan’s eyes stared at her in the same disbelief as that young child star.
“That is not what you said, Mrs. Worthington,” she countered, shaking her head. “You told us to think about it and inferred it was too cold for Santa Claus to survive and that elves could not really build a facility for him to build his toys, therefore, ergo, there is no Santa Claus.”
Ergo! Ergo! Where do these children get their words? Maybe it was better she was retiring. These were not the same children she started with in 1975. These children surfed, texted, tweeted, Skyped, downloaded, and used words like ergo.
“Now, Megan, I did not say that,” she replied, smiling icily. ”Let’s not put words in my mouth.”
“Yes you did. You said that, Mrs. Worthington,” Josh chimed in. She glared at Josh Pataki, and he slumped down in his chair. She turned to Megan sitting at her desk with her hands clasped and her two pigtails sprouting like antenna. “Now, Megan, of course there is a Santa Claus. I was just pointing out that there are certain conditions we must be cognizant of and with global warming—”
“You didn’t say that, Mrs. Worthington. You said that elves couldn’t build the type of facility that Santa Claus required. I think what you are really saying is that you believe there is no Santa Claus.”
Mrs. Worthington stared at the child. This was the same one who corrected her explanation of the Internet, saying the Department of Defense had this capability much longer than people knew and the network had been in place for a long time except they didn’t want to release the technology to the general public. This walking science book was now boring down with her hard twenty-first century logic.
“Megan, that is not what I said.”
“Mrs. Worthington, you said, think about it, there are very hostile conditions in the North Pole and that a man in a red suit and a beard really couldn’t survive—”
“Megan, that is not what I said! There is a Santa Claus! He lives in the North Pole with his elves in a facility built by elves! I am retiring at the end of this year! There is a Santa Claus, and he will give me my pension and I WILL RETIRE!”
The fourth grade of Ridgeland Elementary stared at her. Megan tilted her head and squinted.
“I didn’t think Santa Claus gave financial products, Mrs. Worthington. Mrs. Worthington stared at Megan as the bell rang. She sat down behind her desk while the children put on their hats and gloves. She closed her eyes and felt the stare. Megan Kronenfeldt stood by her desk.
“Yes, Megan.”
“Mrs. Worthington, I thought pensions were regulated by the state. I’m not sure Santa Claus could provide you with one of those.”
“Believe me, Megan,” she said wearily, “he’s bringing me a pension.”
Megan rolled her small shoulders fitted to her purple backpack.
“Oh, well. He must have filed an exception then to state laws.”

  Real Santa
Real Santa by William Hazelgrove 

George Kronenfeldt is an unemployed engineer with one shot to keep his daughters belief in Santa intact. When Megan tells him the only way she will believe in Santa is if she can videotape him and then tells her fourth grade class she will prove the existence of Santa Claus by posting her video to YouTube, George realizes he must become the Real Santa. He devises a plan to land nine reindeer on his roof and go down his chimmney, hiring a broken down movie director who eventually has him funding a full scale production that bankrupts him and and threatens his marriage. When George goes to find the Real Santa to help him, the line between what is real and magic is crossed. Real Santa is a funny heartwarming story of parenthood gone wrong and illuminates what lengths parents will go to keep their children happy.


Praise for Real Santa

STARRED REVIEW BOOKLIST

"If somebody doesn't make a movie out of this book, there's something wrong with the world. This could have been played as an out-and-out slapstick comedy, but instead the author approaches the story like a character study: a portrait of a man with the best intentions in the world watching those intentions collide with reality. It's a steamroller of a story, starting small, with George's idea, and getting bigger and bigger as George tries to put the elements together, as his obsession takes him further and further away from reality. Beautifully done." ~David Pitts Booklist

"The author marries the everyday dramas found in the novels of Tom Perrotta and Nick Hornby to the high camp of Carl Hiaasen or Dave Barry. Adults looking for a funny holiday-themed tale that doesn't lose its sense of wonder in the face of realism will find a treat here. A lovingly crafted comedy about the madness that fatherhood inspires." ~Kirkus Reviews

Best-selling author Hazelgrove (e.g., Ripples; Tobacco Sticks) captures the human need to believe in something good. This book will satisfy readers looking for a happy Christmas story. ~Library Journal

"Hazelgrove's lively improbable narrative will appeal to the readers in the mood for holiday fiction." ~Publishers Weekly
   william
Author William Hazelgrove 

William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of eight novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa and the forthcoming Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly,Kirkus and have been selected as Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. His most recent novel, The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway's Attic.


  25_Amazon_Paypal
Blog Tour Giveaway 
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 12/29/14 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. 
No purchase necessary. 
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
 The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. 
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. 
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Amazon Kindle Voyage Giveaway

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Urban Decay On the Run Palette Giveaway

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Kindle Fire HD7 Tablet Giveaway

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spell for Sophia Blog Tour Giveaway

Spell For Sophia


SpellForSophia_453x680 

  Spell for Sophia 

Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.

Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving.
Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.  


  Book Trailer:
   

Excerpt

Two-and-a-half years ago
I'd thought escaping would uncoil the fear and worry squeezing my heart. I figured I'd stop looking over my shoulder once I crossed the California state line, or Arizona's, or New Mexico's, or the border between Texas and Louisiana. But I hadn't. Terror and hunger dogged me. I reeked of desperation. My head throbbed from all the bad decisions I had made since I'd found my bio-parents.
I could still pull out of this; save Christmas. Call Ainslie, the voice inside my head urged. I bet he'll loan you his phone. My gaze zeroed in on the leader of a ragtag group playing basketball on the schoolyard. His short black curls had been coaxed away from his face, revealing warm nutmeg-colored skin and kind, dark eyes. Fifteen years old? I wondered.
He handed the basketball to a young white girl, then glanced my way. His head-to-toe sweep took in my gaunt face, long inky hair, grungy jacket and jeans, scuffed ankle boots, and the school backpack at my feet. He glanced protectively at the little kids who shouted at the girl to pass the ball. Then his gaze migrated back to me. His mouth twisted to one side. I could hear the word tolling inside his head. Trouble.
I hunkered against the side of the school building and tugged my gray knit cap low over my forehead.
"Who's she?" A little kid with Christmas bows stuck on her wooly ponytails wrapped herself around the teen's leg. Her fearful stare gutted me. I'm pretty sure I had worn the same expression the first time I'd entered foster care.
Kick it. I pushed away from the wall. My vision blurred. My hollow stomach whirled and the schoolyard spun like a carousel ride. I braced myself against the cool bricks until the dizziness passed. Pull it together. It will be dark soon. I needed to find a restaurant or fast food joint — any place open on Christmas where I could dumpster dive for food scraps.
I lowered my eyelids and tried to picture the route I had walked from the train station. I hadn't planned on wandering through a lush Louisiana neighborhood. The children's shouts and laughter had lured me to the brick school and its asphalt playground. School had been my favorite place, before…
My thoughts torpedoed back to the barren southern California desert. Some developer had gone bust, and all that remained of his planned subdivision was a paved road dead-ending in sand. "Hide in plain sight," Mamá had said as Papá parked their pink-and-white vintage camper. The vehicle stood out among the sagebrush and creosote like a slash of bubblegum paint.
Hide what? I had wondered. I soon had my answer: a methamphetamine lab.
I rubbed my arms, creating an X over my chest. Embarrassment heated my cheeks. How stupid and naïve I had been. My parents hadn't gone legit. They were trying to evade the local cops and the Drug Enforcement Agency. They had planned to flee northern California without phoning my caseworker or me. If I had waited just one more day to contact them…
"See, the cops would be looking for a couple, not a family," I later overheard Papá boast to his boss.
"Weren't you worried they'd issue an Amber Alert?" one of the boss's henchmen asked, casting a sideways look at me.
"For a foster teen?" Papá scoffed. "They run away all the time."


  teen wytch saga new 

  The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon 

Think magic will solve your problems? 

Bring you love? Cure you? Protect you? Help you find someone who is lost? 

Think again. 

Magic tests friendships. It hisses, chirps, stinks up the room, backfires, and explodes. Magic forces you to make tough decisions. Shatter limitations. Discover your true self. When you use magic, expect results in the ultimate triple-un—unpredictable, uncontrollable, and so undeniable. 

And you thought navigating high school was tough.  

  ariella
Author Ariella Moon 

Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press. 

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

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      25_Amazon_Paypal 
  Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 1/19/15 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. 
No purchase necessary. 
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. 
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. 
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. 
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Cranberry Bluff Blog Tour Giveaway

Cranberry Bluff

Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner 

Molly Elliott's quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie's bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful - that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden agenda.

Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly's past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?


  Cranberry


Excerpt

Sadie Kramer was the next to arrive, bustling through the entrance thirty minutes later. A plump woman in her mid-sixties, she wore a floral dress in fuchsia tones that clashed violently with her red, bouffant hair. Knitting needles stuck out of an oversized tote bag that hung from her left arm. A bit of yarn drizzled alongside. In contrast to the first guest, Sadie was outgoing and friendly, fawning over the inn’s décor. She complimented Molly on everything from the vase of fresh snapdragons on the registration table to the soft jazz that flowed from overhead speakers. She wasted no time scurrying to the appetizer table, demonstrating uncanny dexterity as she wedged a Brie-covered cracker between her lips while pouring a glass of wine.
Had Molly been able to hear the effervescent personality in Sadie’s voice on the phone, she might have put her in a more flamboyant room – the Tulip Room, for example, with its multi-colored throw pillows or the Bistro Room, with its wine-labeled wallpaper. But a last-minute switch would be difficult. The Battenberg Room would have to do, white lace and all.
“I love every inch of this place!” Sadie exclaimed. Her tote bag smacked the cheese and cracker tray as she twirled around, causing her knitting needles to click together. “Are there other guests staying here tonight?”
“Yes, a few,” Molly said, reaching out to catch a wine glass that Sadie’s elbow had nudged. She placed it back on the table. “Let me set the tote bag aside for you.”
“No, dear, that won’t be necessary.” Sadie pulled the bag in closer to her side as she reached for another cracker. “I’ll just have a couple more bites and then settle in for the evening.” She flashed a bright smile at Molly. 
Sadie embraced the Battenberg room eagerly; she gushed over its details with enthusiasm that equaled what she’d exhibited in the parlor. “What lovely trinkets! What sweet doilies! What an adorable miniature tea set!” The woman patted the quilted bedding with one hand, nodding in approval. Molly watched the wine sway in the glass Sadie still clutched in her other hand. Sadie poked her head in the bathroom and popped back out. “I love that claw foot tub! And who would have thought to put teapots on a shower curtain? It’s delightful!”
Leaving the exuberant woman to get settled, Molly returned to the kitchen. She dumped the coffee in the sink and poured herself a glass of wine. It was going to be a long evening.


Author Deborah Garner

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.


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  Blog Tour Giveaway 
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 1/19/15 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. 
No purchase necessary. 
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. 
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. 
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. 
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.