Monday, September 30, 2019

New Beginnings at Promise Lodge VBT

Blurb:
Recently widowed after twenty years of marriage, Frances Lehman is only just tasting the freedom and opportunity that her Promise Lodge friends enjoy. So she's not about to be pressured into marriage by her widowed brother-in-law, even if she and her daughter have no real means of support. Much more promising is her new friendship with Preacher Marlin Kurtz, though their respective families don't see their relationship as proper . . .

When Frances suffers a serious injury, she's determined to prove she can recover—and remain independent—without burdening Marlin. Now, with his steadfast belief in real love tested, Marlin's hope is that Promise Lodge's irrepressible residents can help him restore Frances's joy—and that faith will show them a way to turn their fragile second chance into a blessed and abiding future together.


And don't miss the first three books in the Promise Lodge series!








Excerpt:
Frances shaded her eyes with her hand, enthralled with what she saw. “It doesn’t seem like you and I have walked such a long distance, yet from here, the lodge and our homes look like part of a toy village.”

“We’ve come a long way,” Marlin remarked softly. “I’m glad you’ve walked with me, Frances. Our community has taken on even more of a glow because I’m seeing it through your eyes.”


The tone of his voice made Frances’s pulse thrum with an unusual sense of energy, as though the preacher had something on his mind besides the view.


We’ve come a long way.


# # #


Allen treasured Phoebe’s rapt expression and the closeness of her slender body as she leaned against him. He’d given her a gift by showing her Promise Lodge from this hilltop vantage point.


“What about that parcel of land behind the Lehman places?” she asked dreamily. “We’d have a beautiful view of the lake. What do you think, Allen? Should I ask Mamm if I can have it?”


Allen’s throat closed with a sudden case of nerves. He eased away from her, pretending to look at something near the lodge so she wouldn’t see how she’d startled him. Their relationship, which had felt so comfortable over the past week, now gave him the sensation that an invisible halter had been fastened around his head—and that Phoebe was holding the lead rope.




a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


About the Author: 
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Website: http://www.charlottehubbard.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.hubbard1

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MKX3NTT/
Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MKX3NTT/
Kindle Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07MKX3NTT/
Kindle Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07MKX3NTT/
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge/id1448128057?mt=11
iBooks UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge/id1448128057?mt=11
iBooks Canada: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge/id1448128057?mt=11
iBooks Australia: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge/id1448128057?mt=11
iBooks New Zealand: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge/id1448128057?mt=11
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge-charlotte-hubbard/1130055278?ean=9781420145137
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/new-beginnings-at-promise-lodge
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Charlotte_Hubbard_New_Beginnings_at_Promise_Lodge?id=bNqBDwAAQBAJ

Order Print
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=142014510X/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ISBN=142014510X
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ISBN=142014510X
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781420145106
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781420145106
IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781420145106
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781420145106

Friday, September 27, 2019

Movies, Moonlight, and Magic Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
Book two in the Manitoba Tea and Tarot Mysteries series

Charm McCall can solve a small-town murder, but can she figure out how to stop a man-stealing interloper?

A movie production company has come to town…and so has an old family friend of the town’s sexy new Mountie, Ace Collins. His “old pal” turns out to be a scheming long-legged blonde who throws Charm right off her game. Even Auntie T.J. playing the bagpipes down Main Street to drive the trespasser away doesn’t work.

Between catering for the world’s hungriest film crew, trying to solve the murder of the unit accountant who hired her and dealing with her new magical gifts, Charm’s a tad busy. But too bad, because she’s soon facing off against a bigger threat when more people become ill with suspected poisoning—and her own sister’s in the crosshairs. Charm’s left wondering if even Agatha Christie could have seen this one coming.

But with so much working against them—including the whole town being dead set against them consummating their relationship—do Charm and Ace stand a chance?


Excerpt:
“I’ve got it, Charm!” Star flew into the Tea and Tarot café, the ever-present star-pendant swinging wildly about her neck and a piece of paper clutched in her hand. The angel chimes holding court over the doorway accompanied her arrival, singing with enough enthusiasm to awaken the dead. Before I could move, she pulled me into a crushing hug, doing a spectacular impression of one of the black bears that our part of the world is renowned for.

“Slow down, sis. What’s going on?” I pulled away to pick up the faded tea towel I’d dropped in the brouhaha.

“I got the part! You know, the movie? Witches and Wolves! Get with the program, sis. See? I got confirmation right here.” She waved the crumpled piece of paper about as if it was a stock certificate. Maybe it was, for her. I had absolutely no interest in being in a movie, now or ever.

“What kind of part? Witch or wolf?” Tulip asked, shutting the lid of her laptop for once and joining us in the huddle. She and Star were gorgeous. Both blessed with blonde hair and tan-able skin while I looked like Snow White, only lacking the seven dwarfs, summer or winter. Go figure, and us triplets.

“Duh! Witch, of course. And it’s a period piece, too, so we get to wear awesome costumes.” Star gave a faux-waltz step, obviously in love with the idea. As the town’s resident country and western singer and songwriter to boot, she was into looking good. Sometimes a bit too into it—she attracted more than her fair share of jealous stabs.

“What’s it about?” I asked, squinting through the window at a couple who had just appeared walking down the street. They were looking rather chummy, if body language didn’t lie. Is that Constable Ace Collins? With a female? I slipped on a pair of polar ray sunglasses to sharpen the image.

“A company coming to town to develop a tourist mecca by selling the outside world on the natural hot springs in the area having magical properties.”

Hot springs laced with minerals we had for some weird reason, even though Snowy Lake perched on the Canadian Shield. Add in Skull Cave for the wolf clans, and the choice of location was now making a whole lot of sense. I shuddered. Caves gave me the willies. A nightmare left over from childhood.

But the sheriff—as I liked to call the constable—and an unknown female? Who was she? Tall and slender with her golden-brown hair tied up in a ponytail, she had the best tan. She also made it easy for the males of the species to appreciate those long, bronzed legs, in her short shorts. Maybe it was time to try the spray tan special that Susie was offering at the Clip Joint this month? My blue-white legs could use some help. Desperately.

Star, of course, kept droning on while I sidestepped to the front picture window for the best surveillance. “And it’s the werewolves’ territorial land, while the witches are upset they’ll be exposed, so they have to build an alliance to fight the conglomerate. But not everyone’s ready for a truce and all kinds of problems develop. It even features the use of arsenic by a suspected serial killer. They’ve got a poison expert on the set too, the daughter of the actress with the lead role—you know, Mimi Blake. Her daughter knows all about its uses. I forget her name. Oh, they need more billets for some of the extras. Can you think of people who might help with that?”

The pair vanished into Snowy Lake Hardware, with Ace holding the door open with a flourish for Miss Perfect Tan. They shared some comment that made her smile, and possibly giggle—I was too far away to be certain. The hackles on my neck prickled. A light fixture blew out over the first booth in a cascade of exploding sparks. I sighed. Now I’d have to scout the street to find the ladder to change the bulb. Seemed someone was always borrowing the handy-dandy climbing device.

“Sorry, what did you say about a serial killer and arsenic?” I focused on the part of Star’s intel that intrigued me.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


About the Author:
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

Blog: http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain

Buy Links:
Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/book/movies-moonlight-and-magic
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Movies-Moonlight-Magic-Manitoba-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07VQ8S65W/ref=sr_1_4

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fire Song Book Blast

Blurb:
Praised for her beauty and grace, deep down, Seren Pendragon fears a tempest rising inside her. Her mother is a witch, her sisters are in peril, and she has been promised to a beast of a man who's already murdered one king. When she and her youngest sister seize the opportunity for escape neither realizes how much their struggle will cost, and it will take a terrible tragedy to unleash Seren’s inner fire and true nature.

The Bastard of Warkworth is no stranger to misfortune. Everything he held dear vanished one night in a wisp of smoke and fire, and he has been scarred by his encounters with Seren's own mother, Morwen Pendragon. Even so, when one of the witch’s daughters finds herself in trouble, Wilhelm must find the champion within and ride to her rescue.


Excerpt:
“Where are you going?” she asked in surprise.

“Home,” he said irascibly.

“Nay, my lord—not lest you mean to go by ship. And you’ll not put me on another one after what I have witnessed. You would have to gag and bind me, and tis not very likely I would stand still to allow it.”

“I am not your lord,” he said again. “I’m no man’s lord.” And he kept riding, without bothering to turn back. Seren cast Jack a bewildered glance. The boy shrugged.

It was her habit, she supposed, to call every man of consequence lord. Somehow, it seemed better to give Wilhelm deference, but he clearly did not like it. And yet, he behaved like a willful lord, doing whatsoever pleased, keeping whatever pace he saw fit, and never bothering to ask what Seren would like to do. Hadn’t he said he was here to help? Well, he hadn’t had very much to say since insisting she accept his aid.

“Wait here,” she said to Jack, and spurred her mare to catch up with the sour-faced lout. “I do not mean to disparage you,” she confessed. “Tis but that you seem more a lord to me than most lords do.”

He grunted in answer, but kept going, and Seren frowned.

How was she supposed to travel with his man, who seemed so intent upon ignoring her? He hadn’t said much of anything since retrieving Jack.

“What in the name of St. Afan would you have me call you if not lord?”

“Wilhelm,” he replied. “And since when do you Pendragon sisters swear by the name of saints?”

Seren lifted her chin. “I lived most of my life in a priory,” she informed him. And then she whispered, “I cannot very well swear by the Goddess, can I? Else Jack will wonder.”

“Well,” he said. “That’s your fault. Had you left the boy in Dover you wouldn’t have to pretend you are someone you are not. And anyway, I doubt he knows St. Afan, either.”

Had he somehow taken offense? “Do you know St. Afan?”

“Nay,” he said. “And neither do I aspire to. He’s some Welshman, by the sounds of him. But, more importantly, do you know who he is?”

Seren frowned. “Nay, sir. I do not,” she confessed. “Though I did hear Father Ersinius invoke him on occasion. I am not so much impressed by saints.”

“What are you impressed by?”

Seren bristled. She was not going to confess herself to this impertinent stranger. “What I wouldst like to know is what you wish me to call you if not lord—can you, please, stop! Please?” She reined in her horse, peering back at Jack, who was staring at them with furrowed brows.

“Nay,” he replied, without turning.

Seren sighed, and moved forward once more. “Where are you going?”

“Home, I said.”

She furrowed her brow. “You are not going home! Did you not read that sign? You are going to Ramsgate, returning to the ocean, and, once again, I will remind you that lest you have a ship, or you and your horse would like to have a good swim, the road to Canterbury is the road best traveled.”

Finally, he stopped, turning to look at her, and his cheeks appeared to bloom. Without a word, he spun his mare about, trotting back toward Jack, who was still waiting right where Seren left him. Wilhelm passed him by, never sparing him or the signpost a glance.

He couldn’t read, she realized, with blinding insight.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


About the Author:
Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times/USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including works of women’s fiction, suspense, historical romance and fantasy. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, she is an award-winning author, and her stories have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews.

Tanya has been featured in magazines, such as People, Romantic Times and Publisher’s Weekly, and her stories have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel (Angel of Fire) was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where she was hailed as “one of Avon’s fastest rising stars.” Her fourth book (Once Upon a Kiss) was chosen to launch the company’s Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. She and her writer husband currently split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tanyaannecrosby/
Website: https://www.tanyaannecrosby.com/

Buy Links:
Amazon     |     Kobo     |     B&N

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Witches Protection Program Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.

The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches…and believe in himself.

Filled with adventure and suspense, Michael Okon creates a rousing, tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern-day New York City.


Excerpt:
The narrator filled in more information. “It wasn’t until this land became my land that the government decided to create an organization to protect women at risk. The Davina Doctrine went against everything that the Willas stood for. Even though they ran the risk of persecution, the Davinas chose to work with law enforcement to expose the evil deeds of the rival sisterhood. President George Washington established secret legislation under Title VI of the Control Act of 1792. The law was enacted to protect the good witches that exposed the evil deeds of their sisterhood.”

The screen went dark. There was only a chair in the center of a dimly lit stage. A single spotlight focused on the top of the blond actress’s head. Wes was right; it was the actress he’d suspected. She had a hit sitcom and two Emmys, and there was some recent Oscar talk about her last movie.

“Yes. There are witches. Living among us. They are women who believe in using their power to protect love and life. And then there are some who use their powers for all the wrong reasons.”

The camera came to rest on her beautiful face. She winked saucily as she placed a triangular witch’s hat on her head. “Welcome to the Witches Protection Program.”

Alastair smiled broadly. “I love that part.”

“That was Jennifer Anis—”



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


About the Author:
Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Webpage: http://www.michaelokon.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Okon/e/B0752THRZV
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IAmMichaelOkon
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/iammichaelokon
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/iammichaelokon
Snapchat: http://www.snapchat.com/add/iammichaelokon
Email: michaelokonbooks@gmail.com

Amazon Buy Link

Monday, September 16, 2019

Challenging Mountains Review Tour

Blurb:
By 1840 the colony of New South Wales was expanding. Transportation of convicts to the east coast ended, and many free squatters set out to settle on lands to the south. In 1836, the Government in London authorised Governor Bourke to establish a settlement in The Port Philip District of New South Wales, and an Association was formed to make the district a separate colony.

Timothy, Tiger and Bella Carstairs eldest son has turned 21. Bored with his Government job and intent on seeking adventure and a new life away from Sydney, Tim decides to journey south in an endeavour to find this adventure, accompanied by his Uncle Carlos. Where else to find it, but in a newly formed settlement.

In the 1840s the road south might not be as hazardous as the one across the mountains travelled by his parents when he was a child, but the month long journey overland holds many dangers and challenges to be faced. Escaped and ex-convicts seek the easy life by forming gangs to take what they can where they can. Forced to fight off the intruders who take claim to the land they have cared for over many, many generations, the Indigenous people are faced with many trials and battles of their own.

Not the least of Tim’s personal challenges is a young headstrong woman who, uninvited, takes it upon herself to join him on his travels.  When they reach their destination, their troubles have only just begun.


Excerpt:
He walked off, but Tim lingered. He knelt to stroke Bracken’s ear as Josephine approached. “Can I come with you?” she asked.

“And just where do you wish to accompany me, young Jo?”  Straightening, he began to stroll towards the house with her at his side.

“Rude of me, I know, but I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion with your uncle.” She lowered her voice and bent closer. Tim caught a scent of lavender. Carefree of feminine ways she might be, but she smelt as good as any young miss. “I shouldn’t sound so ungrateful, as your aunt ensured I had employment in her emporium when I arrived here in town, but the tasks are so tedious. I am bored. I thought of running off and making my own way in the world.” Her face grew comical as she wrinkled her pert nose.

“Silly chit. Don’t you dare even contemplate such a rash move,” he scolded. “You are not naïve, I think, and must know the dangers that exist beyond the sanctuary of a safe home. Anyway, I could not consider taking you along on such a dangerous journey.”

She made an unladylike noise. “Don’t you dare suggest I could not cope with such a journey. I roved free for all of my childhood while my parents worked their mine. I told you, my father treated me more as a son than a daughter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


Author Bio and Links:
Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations, especially elephants and orangutans who seem to be getting the raw end of the deal even in this enlightened age. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”

Website     |     Blog     |     Facebook

Buy links for Challenging Mountains

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fragments of French Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
After a harsh brush with her mortality, shadowed by a premature divorce, Wanda St. Hilaire pledges to be true to her primary passion—living ardently through travel. On the fateful day her life intersects with Jean-François, a charming Frenchman, on a bustling street in Lisbon, every fiber of her being feels as though she has finally entered the doorway to a magical world that she knew existed since she was a young girl.

St. Hilaire turns a complicated romantic ballet full of missteps into a collage of people, places, and cultures. Fragments of French is an exquisitely detailed travelogue of Portugal, Canada, France, and Mexico, filled with minor characters who delight with their humanity. However, what really makes this tale a standout is a gift for pacing and description to rival Tom Wolfe.

The hero’s journey is not only for the characters of our favorite stories or mythical legends. At some point, each of us receives the call to adventure. Fate summons the hero; we can refuse the call, or step into something that will turn our lives upside down, and potentially change everything we know to be true.

From feeling “completely disarmed, no fortress standing”, to embracing her untethered strength, the author turns this account of living life out loud into lessons for us all.




Excerpt:
French words from my childhood pop into my head at opportune moments, surprising me. On our family visits, my French grandfather whom, to my seven-year-old eyes, looked like a wizened turtle, walked me to the cheese factory near his home. Hand in hand, we would saunter ever so slowly, and he would mutter foreign words to me. His horrid wife, Step grand-mère—the Wicked Witch of Winnipeg—made the grandchildren speak only French in her presence, and I am oddly grateful to her at this moment.

Jean-François asks if I am concerned about our age difference. To my mind, age is determined by the essence and energy of a person. I have known people who are biologically thirty, yet exude the air of a person many decades older. I know my energy is younger than my thirty-five years, and this is what concerns him, but the eight years between us is as insignificant as dust in the wind.

The castle looms over this ancient section of the city, making the evening more dream-like. The cultural blend and integration of the inhabitants creates an exotic atmosphere. With Brazilian, Latin, and African influences from the former Portuguese colonies, I am moved by the cadence and archaic soul of the music. My body involuntarily sways to each new rhythm, and I close my eyes to breathe in the antiquity of my surroundings.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


About the Author:
Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.

Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.

Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.

Website    |    Blog    |     Facebook    |    Twitter

Fragments of French on Amazon

Companion Poetry Book, Of Love, Life, and Journeys on Amazon: Inspired during the story of my travel memoir, this collection of poems and verse was first published in 2004 and became a Canadian bestseller for poetry. This second edition was created as a companion book to Fragments of French.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sophie Washington: Mismatch

Blurb:
Game. Set. Match.

Sophie Washington is trying out for the tennis team, and she’s excited to get a chance to play with her good friends Chloe and Mariama. That is until wacky Coach Quackenbush matches her with school misfit, Mackenzie “Big Mac” Clark, and things quickly go downhill. Sophie has nothing in common with her partner, who does odd things like run off the court in the middle of practice, and she’s disappointed when Mackenzie shows no interest in the secret handshake she made up. After getting called out by the coach, being hit on the head with a tennis ball, and jokingly called the “most valuable player,” by mean older girls on the team, when she’s clearly not, Sophie’s ready to throw in the towel. Trying to fit in with the mean girls by making fun of Mackenzie behind her back makes things worse. Mackenzie starts skipping practice, and then gets sick at school, and Sophie realizes that there’s more to her doubles partner than meets the eye. What started out as a total mismatch could be the best partnership of all.


Excerpt:
To get us ready for our upcoming match against our rival school, St. Regis, Coach Quackenbush has us play practice matches. Valentina’s grandma has to work late and is picking her up at four-thirty this afternoon, and Toby and Nathan’s track practice was cancelled because their coach is out of town, so they come to watch us.

“Do good for me guys!” says Valentina from the nearby mini bleachers. “Let’s go! Vamanos!”

 “All right, we’ve gone over the rules of tennis earlier today, so you know how to keep score,” says Coach Quackenbush. He’s wearing a whistle around his neck and carries his usual clipboard. “I want you to play each other, and the team that wins two out of three games will be declared the winner. Since we only have three singles players, I’ll work with Kennedy while Lindsey and Jackie go against each other. All right. Let’s see how we do, team!”

“All right!” we all parrot.

“Good luck in your matches, guys,” Chloe says to the eighth-grade girls.

“We don’t need luck unlike you little sixth graders,” says Kennedy. “We have talent.”

She and the older girls flounce off to their courts.

“Whatever,” says Chloe with a roll of her eyes.

“They think they are ‘all that’ just because they were on the team last year,” says Mariama. “I’d love to beat them in a game.”

“Forget them,” I say and pick up a can of new tennis balls Coach Quackenbush left on the court for us. “Come on, let’s get going.”

 “Okay, let’s get started,” says Chloe. Her frilly red tennis skirt swings around her hips as she smacks the ball to us for the first serve. It bounces high in the air toward me.

“I got it!” I race forward.

“Mine!” Mackenzie comes over to my side of the court from the other direction. Surprised at her quick movement, I stumble.

Wham!

We run into each other. The ball bounces off my head, and I stagger to keep from falling.



My Review:
4.5 stars

This is the fourth book in this series that I’ve reviewed as this is one of my favorite series for middle grade readers because it tackles real-life issues in creative, realistic ways while teaching important life lessons.

This time around, the lessons are about taking the time to understand and accept others who are different than you as well as dealing with peer pressure. It also delves into health and wellness issues, which is all I’m going to say to avoid spoilers.

As someone who has gone through the struggle of trying to get a medical diagnosis while dealing with others who didn’t understand what I was going through, I related with Mackenzie 100%. It was refreshing to see how this was handled in a way that both makes sense for the target audience without hiding the struggles and not-so-fun parts.

The only odd part of this story to me was the hyper focus on sports. After reading three books in the series which focused more on academics, it was a little odd to see such a shift in the opposite direction with apparent balance of sports and academics. I also found some of the word choices a little odd. However, these were minor things I noticed in the story, which was overall a great teaching tale and another great addition to the Sophie Washington series.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.


Author Bio and Links:
Tonya Duncan Ellis is the author of the Amazon bestselling, Readers' Favorite "Five Star" rated, Sophie Washington children's books series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has received awards for literary excellence, worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer, and is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Sophie Washington book series recounts the adventures of a precocious African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn't Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane, Mission: Costa Rica, Secret Santa, Code One and Mismatch.

Tonya loves to travel and has visited 49 American states and three continents, but some of her best journeys have been between the pages of a novel. As a girl she could always be found with a book in her hand, and reading is still one of her favorite hobbies. When she's not reading or writing, the author likes to ride her bike, swim, and spend time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City, TX.

Facebook    |    Twitter    |    Instagram    |    Website