ALA Mid-Winter Preview Post

Sky Pony is very excited that we’ll be attending ALA Mid-Winter this year. Here’s all the information you need to know about booth number, panels, signings, and giveaways.

For more on the books, look below the schedule.

Stop by the booth and say hi!  We can’t wait to see you!

ALA Mid-Winter

Friday, January 20 – Sunday January, 23

Booth #1944

Friday, January 20

6:00-7:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Ender Eye Prophecy by Cara J. Stevens, art by David Norgren and Elias Norgren (Middle Grade)

6:00-7:00pm GIVEAWAY: Gorillas in Our Midst by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones (Picture Book)

Saturday, January 21

ALL DAY GIVEAWAY: Touch the Earth Mini Poster

10:00-11:00am GIVEAWAY: Rock Away Granny by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Mike DeSantis (Picture Book)

2:00-3:00pm AUTHOR SIGNING: Sarah Reida, Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production (Middle Grade)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Project Droid #2: Soccer Shocker! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran (Chapter Book)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson (Chapter Book)

Sunday, January 22

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Melissa E. Hurst, The Edge of Forever (YA)

12:00-12:50pm PANEL: “YA Gets Real: Character Driven Contemporary Fiction” at the Pop Top Stage – J.C. Davis, author of Cheesus Was Here (YA)

2:00-3:00pm AUTHOR SINGNING: J.C. Davis, Cheesus Was Here (YA)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson (YA)

4:00-5:00pm GIVEAWAY: Abigale Hale by Lauren A. Forry (Adult)

Monday, January 23

10:00-11:00am GIVEAWAY: Secrets of an Overworld Survivor Book #1: Lost in the Jungle by Greyson Mann, illustrated by Grace Sanford (Chapter Book)


Throughout the weekend we will be raffling off a

SPECIAL EDITION LIMITED giclee print from TOUCH THE EARTH.

You must be an attendee at the show to win. Stop by our booth for a chance to win! 

TouchTheEarthCoverHighRes


 

The Ender Eye Phrophecy by Cara J. Stevens, art by David Norgren and Elias Norgren

This advenEnder Eye Prophecy 9781510714830ture series is created especially for readers who love the fight of good vs. evil, magical academies like Hogwarts in the Harry Potter saga, and games like Minecraft, Terraria, and Pokemon GO!

Peace has finally been restored in Xenos, but Phoenix longs to return home to her family of miners. Sheltered by the monks who guard the border world, she spends her days searching for clues about her real identity.

Just when Phoenix is losing hope that she’ll ever discover the truth, two miner ambassadors arrive at the monastery, looking for a girl from their ancient legends who is said to wear an enchanted Ender eye necklace and is destined to save their village. Could that girl be Phoenix?

Determined to follow every clue that could set her free, Phoenix decides to join them on their quest to restore peace to their land. But along the way, zombie pirates attack, capturing Phoenix and taking her to the Nether. Now it’s up to Xander to convince the villagers and miners to put aside their differences and come to Phoenix’s rescue. The fate of their world depends on it.

Fans of Minecraft will be on the edge of their seats in this thrilling follow-up to Quest for the Golden Apple and Revenge of the Zombie Monks!

 

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Gorillas in Our Midst by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

Gorillas can be hard to spot, because they are masters of disguise and really good at hiding. Gorillas often have jobs where they get to wear masks—that’s why so many gorillas are surgeons, astronauts, scuba divers, and ninjas. There are adult gorillas and kid gorillas. There are even gorillas that go to school with you. You may think you’ve seen a gorilla swinging by before, but it’s much more likely that he was an orangutan—orangutans are terrible at hiding. You will know when there are lots of gorillas living in your midst because the grocery stores will be entirely out of bananas. In fact, you should always carry a banana with you, because you never know when there might be a gorilla around.

Gorillas in Our Midst is all silliness and fun, and is destined to become a new favorite. Comic artist Richard Fairgray’s illustrations are filled with wonderful details for kids to discover with each read. Kids will love spotting the gorillas on each page and are sure to laugh out loud at the gorillas’ many disguises. And, of course, a story like this can’t end without a surprising twist!


TouchTheEarthCoverHighRes

Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon and Bart Davis, illustrated by Smiljana Coh

Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it.

The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet.

Fly to the top of a mountain. Send clean water to thirsty people. Dive deep into the ocean (the Flier turns into a submarine!) to pick up pollution and bring back the fish.

Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place.
An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children.

The book includes words to a special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Touch the Earth.

Touch The Earth is the first book in a planned trilogy.

A portion of the proceeds from books sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation.


 

Rock Away Granny by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Mike DeSantisRock Away Granny Cover (2)

Getting dropped off at Grandma’s house could be a total snooze. Hours of sitting in the rocking chairs. But not this Grandma. Up she hops to wheel out the record player. And then, with kitty as the DJ—a dance party! The twist, the swing, the Monster Mash—they rock, rock, rock, at Granny’s house tonight.

Then right as Mom returns, everyone crashes out in the rocking chairs. Just another boring night at Grandma’s (Mom thinks). Wink!

Includes pictures of easy to follow dance steps like the side pass, cuddle, and underarm turn.

 


monsterville-9781510707337Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production by Sarah S. Reida

Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.

 


Soccer Shocker 9781510710191

Project Droid #2: Soccer Shocker! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran

When Mom tells Logan that Java is joining his soccer team, the Purple Wombats, he’s not thrilled. It’s a lot of work teaching his new robot cousin how to act like a human—and keeping him out of trouble—and Logan needs a break.

Still, being programmed for success means that Java’s also great at scoring. He might just turn the Wombats into a championship team, beating Sherry and Jerry Silverspoon and their Red Polar Bears . . . if he’d just let the other kids play, too. After being replaced as the Wombats’ MVP, Logan’s had enough.

But when Java gets wet and goes on the fritz, can the whole team—even a short-circuiting Java—come together to score the winning goal?

The second in a fantastically funny new chapter book series by internationally bestselling author Nancy Krulik and her daughter, Amanda Burwasser, Soccer Shocker is destined to win tons of fans.


Harper and the Scarlet UmbrellaHarper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Once there was a girl named Harper who had a rare musical gift. She heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain, and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.

Harper lives in the City of Clouds, an enchanting place where it rains every day and an umbrella is always a good idea. With her Aunt Sassy, her beloved cat, Midnight, and all of her neighbors in the Tall Apartment Block, every day is full of possibility.

But when every cat in the city goes missing—including Midnight—Harper is determined to find all of the precious pets. And she’ll need a magic, flying umbrella to help in her search. Recruiting friends from her building to help, the magic umbrella whisks them into the sky on the trail of the cats and adventure.

They stumble on the Midnight Orchestra—tabbies on triangle, Siamese singing, Persians on piccolo—all under the direction of its fearsome, wild conductor. But can the group use their talents, quick thinking, musical skill, and a little magic to stage a rescue like no other?

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is a spellbinding tale of friendship, music, and magic featuring a diverse cast, brought to life through stunning illustrations. A perfect book to be shared and treasured.


The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. HurstEdge of Forever 9781632204240

In 2013, sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

In 2146, seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.


Cheesus Was Here Cover Cheesus Was Here by J. C. Davis

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


That Burning Summer by Lydia SysonThat Burning Summer 9781510711723

It’s July 1940 on the south coast of England. A plane crash-lands in the marsh, and sixteen-year-old Peggy finds its broken pilot—a young Polish airman named Henryk. Afraid and unwilling to return to the fight, Henryk needs a place to hide, and Peggy helps him find his way to a remote, abandoned church.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s eleven-year-old brother Ernest is doing his best to try to understand the war happening around him. He’s reading all the pamphlets—he knows all the rules, he knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s prepared, but not for Peggy’s hidden pilot.

Told in alternating points of view, this is a beautifully written story about growing up in wartime and finding the difference between following the rules and following your heart.


Abigale Hall FINAL

Abigale Hall by Lauren A. Forry

Amid the terror of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca have had their share of tragedy, having lost their mother to the Blitz and their father to suicide. Forced to leave London to work for the mysterious Mr. Brownwell at Abigale Hall, they soon learn that the worst is yet to come. The vicious housekeeper, Mrs. Pollard, seems hell-bent on keeping the ghostly secrets of the house away from the sisters and forbids them from entering the surrounding town—and from the rumors that circulate about Abigale Hall. When Eliza uncovers some blood-splattered books, ominous photographs, and portraits of a mysterious woman, she begins to unravel the mysteries of the house, but with Rebecca falling under Mrs. Pollard’s spell, she must act quickly to save her sister, and herself, from certain doom.

Perfect for readers who hunger for the strange, Abigale Hall is an atmospheric debut novel where the threat of death looms just beyond the edge of every page. Lauren A. Forry has created a historical ghost story where the setting is as alive as the characters who inhabit it and a resonant family drama of trust, loyalty, and salvation.

 


Secrets of an Overworld Survivor #1: Lost in the Jungle by Greyson Mann, illustrated by Grace Sanford

Will has spent his whole life in the shadow of his older brother, Seth. Sure, his brother is a master buildLost in the Jungleer who is known throughout the entire Overworld, but Will knows he could make his own mark in Minecraft if anyone would give him the chance to prove himself. So when Will gets the chance to go on his first solo adventure, he jumps at the opportunity.

Seth urges Will to stay at home where he’ll be safe, or at least take some time to prepare for the journey, but Will knows he has the courage and strength to face whatever strange biomes or hostile mobs the Overworld has in store for him.

Will’s quest gets off to a great start when he meets Mina, a fellow adventurer, and they decide to look for excitement together. But when the two get separated and night starts to fall, Will realizes he is lost. With spiders and creepers spawning all around him and no shelter in sight, can Will survive the night all on his own?

Beginning readers—and gamers—will be on the edge of their seats in this thrilling first installment in the Secrets of an Overworld Survivor chapter book series!

 

 

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Behind the scenes of Leonard’s Beard with Nancy Cote

We’re so excited to welcome author and illustrator Nancy Cote to talk about her new book, Leonard’s Beard, and the real-life inspiration for the character of Leonard.


real-leonard

As a creator of children’s books, I find inspiration everywhere, especially through the people and places that I am most familiar with.

My newest book, Leonard’s Beard, is a perfect example of how a writer taps into their familiar surroundings, and with an open mind, lots of imagination and a heightened sense of exaggeration, a story with universal appeal emerges.

The idea for my newest book, Leonard’s Beard, began on a windy day in the fall. Leaves were falling from the trees in my yard, and I jokingly remarked that there was no need to rake them, since they would all end up in my neighbor’s yard at the bottom of the hill. Suddenly, I envisioned my neighbor Leonard, who wore a large unruly beard, standing in his yard with leaves and debris trapped in his beard. My imagination took hold as I visualized not only leaves, but objects of all kinds, landing in that big red beard.

The story written in rhyme, blew into my thoughts as organically as the wind blew into my studio on that fall afternoon, and I was hooked.

My neighbor Leonard was a professional writer. He worked in a little studio behind his house, which was located at the bottom of a steep hill along the Taunton River in Somerset, MA. He was a free thinker and gentle soul who lived by his own standards.

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Because he looked a bit eccentric, he was somewhat misunderstood, and other than his family, Leonard never appeared to have many friends. We both enjoyed talking and sharing our appreciation for nature and animals and he was fascinated by my work in children’s books.

I had the opportunity to tell Leonard about the story I had in mind featuring him, and he was humbly honored. He invited me to visit his studio, which overhung the river, and gave me permission to take photos. It was during that visit that the story came together for me, but before I had finished the manuscript, Leonard unfortunately passed away during open heart surgery. From that moment on, I was determined that this story would be the best I could write and be published as a tribute not only to Leonard, but to freelancers and those of us, who sometimes find ourselves isolated due to life’s distractions.

In the story, Leonard is a happy and successful writer who is passionate about everything in life. He begins to isolate himself so that he can write more, but instead, he discovers that he no longer has anything to write about.

but-soon-all-that-mattered

As he becomes distressed over his situation, he doesn’t notice a storm that is brewing. When the wind blows down his door, it carries with it an array of outrageous objects from a can of peas to a wonderful cello which all land in Leonard’s beard.

from-every-direction

As he untangles the mess, the preposterous objects he removes all serve to help him to rediscover what’s really important.

Although the story was inspired by my neighbor, it is a story about the dangers that accomplishment and complacency can have on the creative process.
Simply put, we all need to find something to be passionate about, and never allow ourselves to lose perspective.

Writing and illustrating children’s books is a perfect outlet to deliver profound concepts in a simple way through joyful language and pictures.now-he-makes-time

It doesn’t have to take a wind storm to remind you to be yourself, but sometimes it helps!

 


Leonard’s Beard by Nancy Cote

Leonard is a writer with many stories to tell. In his house on a hill, with his dogs and his frog, he writes stories of adventures and excitement. He is so consumed with his stories, though, that he loses touch with all of his friends and feels very lonely.

Each day Leonard’s beard grows longer and longer, and more wild and untamed, as he fills up pages and pages of stories. His life becomes dull and much less exciting as he focuses too much on his writing. Leonard is so busy that he doesn’t notice a storm is brewing until the wind shakes the windows, the roof, and the floor and a strong gust knocks off his door. Once the storm passes, Leonard discovers just how out of control his beard has gotten. He finds strange things that have gotten stuck in there, including a mouse, a bird, and some apples. As Leonard removes the items from his beard, he comes to realize that being consumed with writing adventures has prevented him from having his own.

Leonard’s Beard is a story about discovering what is important in life. The rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud, and the illustrations of all of the silly things that wind up in Leonard’s beard will have little ones giggling on each reread!


About Nancy Cotenancy-cote-headshot

Nancy Cote is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator who finds joy in the smallest things. She is the author and illustrator for numerous picture books, including Watch the Cookie!, Watch the Birdie!, and Puddle Jumpers (all published with Sky Pony Press). Nancy lives along a river in the historic village of Somerset, Massachusetts.

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NCTE Preview – All the Sky Pony Details You Need to Know

Sky Pony is very excited that we’ll be at NCTE this year. Here’s all the information you need to know about booth number, panels, signings, and giveaways.

For more on the books, look below the schedule.

Stop by the booth and say hi!  We can’t wait to see you!

NCTE

Friday, November 18 – Sunday November, 20

Booth #236

 

Friday, Nov 18

1:00-2:00pm GIVEAWAY: Project Droid #1: Science No Fair! by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran (Chapter Book)

3:00-4:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs (Adult)

 

Saturday, Nov 19

8:00-9:15am PANEL: Making Space for Advocacy in YA Speculative Fiction – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B218 (YA)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Melissa Hurst, The Edge of Forever (YA)

12:30-1:45pm PANEL: Diverse Voices in YA Historical Fiction Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – B402 (YA)

2:00-3:00pm GIVEAWAY: The Phantom Virus (Middle Grade)

2:45 – 4pm PANEL: Authors Exploring Diverse Perspectives in the Classroom – Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper – A404 (YA)

4:00-5:00pm AUTHOR SIGNING: Tara Sim, Timekeeper (YA)

 

Sunday, Nov 20

9:00-10:00am GIVEAWAY: The Inspired Teacher by Donna Quesada (Adult, Educator)

10:00-11:00am AUTHOR SIGNING: Sarah Reida, Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production (Middle Grade)


science-no-fair-9781510710184When you have an android cousin, losing your head takes on a whole new meaning.

There’s nothing Logan Applebaum has ever wanted more than to have another kid around the house. So when his inventor mom builds him a robot cousin, Logan’s really excited–until he finds out that it’s not so easy keeping Java;s android identity a secret. Because even though Java is really smart, he doesn’t seem to understand anything.

Still, with the third grade science fair coming up, having a cousin with a computer for a brain just might come in handy. Does having Java around mean Logan finally has a chance at winning first prize? Or will those nasty, super-sneaky Silverspoon twins outsmart him again?

 

 

 

hamilton-affair-9781628727203


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of legendary characters, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from passionate and tender beginnings to his fateful duel on the banks of the Hudson River.

Hamilton was a bastard and orphan, raised in the Caribbean and desperate for legitimacy, who became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and improbable—heroes. Admired by George Washington, scorned by Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the new nation. Elizabeth was the wealthy, beautiful, adventurous daughter of the respectable Schuyler clan—and a pioneering advocate for women. Together, the unlikely couple braved the dangers of war, the perils of seduction, the anguish of infidelity, and the scourge of partisanship that menaced their family and the country itself.

With brilliantly drawn characters and an epic scope, The Hamilton Affair tells a story of love forged in revolution and tested by the bitter strife of young America.

 

 


timekeeper-9781510706187-2I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now. 

An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time–and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.

A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.

A boy who would give anything to relive his part, and one who would give anything to live at all.

A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

The first book in a dazzling new steampunk-fantasy trilogy, Timekeeper introduces a magical world of mythology and innovation that readers will never want to leave.


In 2013, sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

edge-of-forever-9781632204240In 2146, seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.

 


phantom-virus Herobrine has crafted an evil game for Gameknight999 to play.

Herobrine, the artificially intelligent virus, was deleted. The computer it resided in was completely destroyed. Without their leader, the few survivors of its evil army were cast away into the shadows. It looked as if there would finally be peace and happiness throughout the servers of Minecraft.

But suddenly, and mysteriously, software began misbehaving. Sheep fell from the sky. Snowballs appeared out of nowhere. What seemed at first like harmless glitches quickly became dangerous. Pigs begin walking backwards, it starts to snow in the middle of the desert, and sheep are falling from the sky.

Gameknight999, the User-that-is-not-a-user, has no choice but to investigate. But the odd yet harmless pranks are turning deadly, and it’s not long before entire villages are completely destroyed. Examining the arrogant clues, Gameknight is no longer so sure that Herobrine was destroyed after all. Is it possible he escaped? Everything points towards a deadly trap far worse than anything that Minecraft has seen before. Will Gameknight solve the puzzle before the Overworld is destroyed?

 


9781632203410-frontcover

Donna Quesada had been teaching for about a dozen years when the first signs of burnout hit her. Rather than give in to her frustration, she reached for Buddha’s teachings, the Zen wisdom that formed the basis of her own longtime spiritual practice. She survived the semester and gradually rediscovered the joy in her job that had been progressively declining. In this wise and inspirational book, she shares the lessons she learned—lessons that revealed, time and again, that no matter the situation, it’s always about getting your head in the right place first. Resolution begins in our own minds. Some days, some semesters, and even some years will be more challenging and more wearisome than others, she warns. But in The Inspired Teacher, Quesada offers a lasting source of encouragement and Zen. Although the book draws from Eastern teachings, the wisdom is for everyone, regardless of personal background, creed, or faith.

With elements of The Last Lecture as well as Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul, this is the perfect gift for teachers—but also for anyone needing inspiration.

 


monsterville-9781510707337 Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.

Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship, family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.

 

 

 

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Author Mark Eastburn Takes on the Sky Pony Press Q&A

Sky Pony author, Mark Eastburn takes on the Sky Pony Q&A and talks about his debut novel, Earning My Spots. Check it out!


Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I teach science to kids in the middle grades, so writing a book with characters who change into animals was a natural springboard to literature. I’ve always been fascinated by other living things, as well as world cultures, and Earning My Spots gave me the opportunity to learn more about both. The original inspiration for this story came through watching how my dog moved, and wondering how that might feel, but I didn’t want to write a typical werewolf (or weredog) story. The history of Africa is something that I’ve studied in my spare time, with a focus on the Jewish people of Ethiopia, and as it turns out, they are sometimes considered bouda, or “hyena people” in that part of the world. It was believed that they held special powers because of their abilities to make iron tools, and that they could transform into hyenas. Of course, a lot of this mythology is based on anti-Jewish bias, which unfortunately exists all over the world, but I decided to turn that superstition into a positive by showing hyenas to be the proud, intelligent, and brave hunters that they really are. In Africa, spotted hyenas and lions are in constant competition, and in some areas, lions scavenge far more than hyenas do. Hyena society is also dominated by females, who are larger and stronger than their male counterparts. I thought that would be an interesting contrast with most other predators—especially lions and wolves.

eastburnandrocky
Our Newfoundland dog has been my family’s faithful companion for the past six years, and he keeps my feet warm while I write!

 

Q: What are you reading right now?

At the moment, I am reading Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv, since I’m convinced that kids these days really need to reconnect with nature. As a teacher, I know that there is a lot of enthusiasm for learning about the Earth’s fellow creatures, and I am trying to find more opportunities to make that possible. I’m also reading lots and lots of research papers on jumping spiders, ants, and acacia plants, since I’ve been doing research on the world’s only known vegetarian spider for my master’s degree.

Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

I’d be Nate Twitchell from The Enormous Egg, or Louis from The Mysterious Tadpole. They’ve been favorites of mine for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always hoped to make surprising discoveries like they did.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

I write in the room with my tortoises, who are named Leo and Josephine. They have deformed shells because they didn’t get proper care with a previous owner, but I’m trying to ensure that they get the best treatment possible. I also share the room with Green Fruit Loop, a little lizard that one of my students discovered in salad greens last year. That story made international news, and there is a whole list of articles about her on my website.

eastburn-tortoises
Leo and Josephine are still kind of shy, unless I’m bringing them food.

 

Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?

My favorite movie of all time would have to be Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, although I’m also a huge fan of the Star Wars movies and the original Jurassic Park . . . even though it had a lot of incorrect information about dinosaurs. For example, T. rex probably had some of the best eyes in the animal kingdom, and it wouldn’t have shaken the ground when it moved.

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

Given my previous answers on favorite books, I guess it’d be cool to have a pet Triceratops or Loch Ness monster, but I’ve already got lots of animals in my home. I’ve been thinking long and hard about getting a group of spiny tailed monitor lizards, because they look so cool, although I doubt that I have space with all of my other reptiles, including ten turtles, seven snakes, and my wall lizards from a small island off the coast of Italy. They’re actually bright blue!

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As soon as I learned about these blue wall lizards, I couldn’t help but buy a few. Last summer they laid eggs, so I might be getting more!

 

Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Dark chocolate, because it’s supposed to be healthier than the rest. It also needs to be sourced from Central America, since I used to walk through chocolate farms while I was living and working in Panama. I’m always looking for ways to help those farmers out, since their plantations can help protect the rainforest and the beautiful frogs that live on the tree trunks and forest floor.

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Poison dart frogs love to hop around under chocolate plants!

 

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving, because it’s the time when people get together and nobody has to worry about gifts. It’s all about sharing time, and not material things. I also love the food!

Q: What’s your favorite emoji? OR What’s your favorite GIF?

Anything with a jumping spider in it, like this one:

via GIPHY

 

Or this one:

spider

 

I also really like pufferfish:

via GIPHY

Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were Sam’s age?

I wanted to be an exotic pet veterinarian, and work with reptiles. The part about working with reptiles came through, although I never found the time to go to veterinary school. Maybe I will someday!


Earning My Spots by Mark Eastburn

earning-my-spots-9781510707788Sam and his family are the only werehyenas in their town, and they do their best to keep up their cover in front of the humans while the other more aggressive shifters mock the werehyena family for being weak and passive. But Sam sees no other life for himself, as he believes what he is told: he is inferior to the other shifters.

One night, a pack of shifters raids Sam’s house and takes his family, leaving him all alone. With the help of some new friends, Sam sets off on a journey from Vermont to South America to rescue his family. Along the way, he meets various shifters who aid him on his quest. He even meets a tribe of werehyenas in Louisiana who teach him how powerful his kind actually is and how far his ancestry goes back. From them, Sam learns he has a great destiny to fulfill.

As Sam draws closer to finding his family, he begins to understand how different the world of shifters is that exists outside of his small hometown. Shifters are tired of humans destroying their homes, and they want not only revenge but also to force humans into submission. It becomes clear that Sam is the only one who can stop a war that’s on the brink of erupting.

Fans of the Spirit Animals and Warriors series will enjoy accompanying Sam on his quest as he discovers not only that his destiny and inner strength are greater than he thought, but also that being a werehyena is not as laughable as he assumed.

 

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Author Chantele Sedgwick takes on the Sky Pony Q&A

Chantele Sedgwick takes on the Sky Pony Q&A! Check out her answers below!


Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I write young adult because I think teenagers are amazing, intelligent, wonderful people. Being a teen is hard. They have so many emotions zipping around their bodies, they’re trying to figure out their place in the world, and they deal with some pretty heavy things. I love first experiences and young adult fiction has helped me put some experiences teens go thorough on paper. I love the stories of first love. The first kiss. Going through trials and growing from them. Relationships with parents, friends, siblings. I love it all.

Q: What are you reading right now?

I just barely started Gemina (Illuminae Files book 2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I absolutely LOVED Illuminae, so I’m hoping the sequel will be just as awesome.

Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

Hermione Granger. She’s loyal, brave, smart and can be fierce if messed with. Plus, she’s a witch and can do magic!

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

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Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?

The Sound of Music. Hands down. (I’m a big musical fan.)

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

Cheetah.

Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Milk. Although, I do love white too.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?

Christmas. I love being with my family.

Q: What’s your favorite emoji? OR What’s your favorite GIF?

via GIPHY

Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were Oakley’s age?

I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I became a mother and an author instead and I love it.


Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

love-lucas-revised-9781510709928A 2015 Whitney Award Nominee!

A powerful story of loss, second chances, and first love, reminiscent of Sarah Dessen and John Green.

When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.

In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.

If only it were that easy.

But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?

With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?

Chantele Sedgwick is a young adult author, harpist, wife to one and mom to four. She loves fairy tales, happy endings, Kit Kats, and (judging by her bookshelves) buying way too many books. She lives in Roy, Utah, with her family and can usually be found reading, or talking her husband’s ear off with her endless supply of book ideas.

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Jasper the Dog is Betrayed, Again

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Author Beth Vrabel’s lovable dog Jasper wrote a guest blog post for us earlier this year. Now that he’s had a chance to read Beth’s newest novel, A Blind Guide to Normal, he’s back with another guest post! Check out his thoughts below!


 

Jasper the Dog is Betrayed, Again

I am betrayed once more.blind-guide-to-normal-9781510702288

Not only does my human’s latest book have guinea pigs on the cover—guinea pigs!—the story also features a…

No, I can’t bring myself to say it.

But I must.

Deep breath.

It features a cat.

Not just any cat, either, as despicable as that might be. No, it features a cat based on one she actually once knew. Her latest book, A Blind Guide to Normal, includes a cat named General MacCathur II. And it’s based on Goldie, a cat her grandparents had when she was a pup (or whatever humans call puppy versions o9781510703827-frontcoverf themselves).

Goldie even gets a shout out on the dedication page, which I know because I heard the Littlest Human ask why it wasn’t dedicated to him.

Great question, Littlest Human, but you got the dedication in my human’s book Pack of Dorks. Did I? No, of course not. I’ve simply dedicated my life to keeping her warm and cozy while she writes, defending her from Vacuum, adding my personal musk to our favorite chair and bringing her the toy she so loves to throw again and again.

Yet I’ve never gotten a dedication. The closest acknowledgment to my influence is the golden version of me on the cover of her book A Blind Guide to Stinkville. She told me that Tooter, the dog in that book, is based on me, but her description of him (a fat, farting dog who goes where he shouldn’t) sounds pretty far off from me.

Yet this Goldie gets a whole dedication.

Okay. If she likes cats, fine.

I, Jasper the Dog, will become a cat.

 

Day One

I consult with Winn-Dixie and Pippin the Guinea Pigs, who lived in a pet store among other animals, including cats, when they were guinea piglets.

“What do you know about cats?” I ask.

“They’re horrid,” they squeak.

“That’s what you say about humans.”

“Yes,” they squeak.

“And dogs.”

“Yes.” Pippin scurries into their hut and away from me. Winn-Dixie darts in and flips the hut. Pippin screeches and chases Winn-Dixie. They do this all day.

“But what do cats do?” I call above their screeches. “How do they cat?”

The pigs pause. Winn-Dixie says, “They sit high on top of things.”

Pippin adds, “Aloof! They’re aloof!”

Winn-Dixie pipes in. “They have beautiful singing voices!”

“They have no need for the humans. They can take ’em or leave ’em,” Pippin adds.

“Take,” I say.

“No, take ’em or leave ’em,” Winn-Dixie says. “Both.”

“I choose take. I’ll take humans. Humans are my favorite.”

The pigs sigh. “Cats are cats’ favorite,” Winn-Dixie says, and resumes their chase.

I’m sure the pigs are wrong. Humans are always favorite. Even so, I can do this, I tell myself. I can cat.

I assume my position atop my human’s favorite chair.

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“Get down, you silly pup,” she says. “You are not a cat.”

Not yet, Human.

Two hours later, I’ve become wedged between the cushion and the chair and cannot move. I am, however, extremely comfortable.

Twenty minutes later, my human yells, “What have you done to my chair? You’re ruining the cushion!” When she notices that I’m stuck, she pulls me free and gives me some pepperoni. Do cats get pepperoni?

This thought troubles me.

I will resume efforts tomorrow.

 

Day Two

I shall be aloof.

I’m going aloof all the way over here, away from the Littlest Human and his even littler friend, away from the Monopoly game and all of its interestingly smelling pieces and their deliciously smelly toes.

jtd-3

Aloof.

Aloof.

Hold up. They’re leaving the game! They’re going to the OUTSIDE! I love that place! I love The Outside!

We’re going to Play!

This is awesome! This is fantastic!

jtd-4

I chase leaves and shred them to bits! I bounce through snow and make it splash and splash! I chase the basketball!

This is… not what cats do.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

 

Day Three

I try this singing of which the guinea pigs have spoken.

The humans tell me to Be Quiet and Go Lay Down.

I sing louder.

The humans say Stop It and No.

Soon after, my human leaves for a long time. I am not worried. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.

I’ll just sit here on top of her chair and look out the window.

Still looking.

I’ll take a small nap. I’m sure she’ll be here when I wake up.

She’s still not here! I am not long for this world without her!

I run from room to room to make sure she isn’t just hiding. I even jump up onto her bed, which is a No, Jasper!, and pull back the blankets but no human! I roll around a little on her pillow, just to remember her scent.

I hear the door open but I’m too exhausted from my hunt to find her.

“What are you doing on the bed, Jasper the Dog?” she asks.

jtd-5

I just roll over.

I’m getting better at catting.

 

Day Four

I smell pupcakes! Is today birthday?

Every other month or so, it’s my birthday. Poor Little Humans only have one birthday a year. I don’t think the big humans have any birthdays. But Jasper the Dog? Seven birthdays every year.

I bet today is birthday.

Pupcakes!

jtd-6

Troubling thought: Do cats have birthdays?

I run to the kitchen. The Little Human asks, “Can I have one of the cupcakes?”

My human says no. “These are for the party we’re going to later.”

I wait for my pupcake and my pupcake hat and my birthday song. The little human puts dog food in my bowl. Dog food? The injustice!

The biggest human comes home and puts a box on the table. “I’ve got the hot wings!” he says.

Then all the humans shuffle on coats and grab bags—including the cupcakes—and leave without Jasper the Dog.

But then I smell something even better than pupcakes. Hot wings.

“Don’t you eat those!” Winn-Dixie the Guinea Pig squeaks. “Cats don’t eat hot wings.”

I sniff. Somehow I find myself up on a chair.

I sniff again. Somehow my nose has opened the box. I’ll just grab one little hot wing. Nom, nom, nom.

Nom, nom.

Nom.

The garage door is opening! My human runs inside!

I jump from the chair!

I hide behind the couch as my human opens the lid of the box.

“Jasper!” my human yells. “Why are six hot wings missing?”

He calls me Bad Dog. He never calls me Bad Dog.

I am worse than Bad Dog. I am also Bad Cat.

And my belly is on fire.

 

Day Five

The vet says dogs aren’t supposed to eat hot wings.

He gives me medicine.

The only perk is my humans are now properly interested in the gifts I leave for them in the yard.

My human claps for me to sit with her on her chair.

I jump up and think about jumping further to sit above her head like a proper cat.

Instead, I sit across her lap. She puts away her laptop and rubs my ears and pats my belly. “Silly, pup. You know you might be the best dog ever?” she says. “Love you so much.”

jtd-7

I sigh and press my head against her shoulder. Best Dog Ever.

That’s me.


blind-guide-to-normal-9781510702288

A Blind Guide to Normal by Beth Vrabel

Richie “Ryder” Raymond has a gift. He can find the punchline in any situation, even in his limited vision and prosthetic eye. During the past year at Addison School for the Blind, Ryder’s quick wit earned the respect and friendship of his classmates. Heading to mainstream, or “normal,” school for eighth grade is going to be awesome.

After all, what’s not to like? At Addison, Ryder was everyone’s favorite person. He could make anyone laugh, especially his best friend Alice. So long as he can be first to make all of the one-eyed jokes, Ryder is sure he’ll fit in just as quick at Papuaville Middle School, home of the Fighting Guinea Pigs. But Alice warns him fitting in might not be as easy as he thinks.

Turns out, Alice was right. In just the first hour of “normal” school, Ryder is attacked by General MacCathur II (aka, Gramps’s cat), causes his bio teacher to pass out cold, makes an enemy out town hero Max, and falls for Jocelyn, the fierce girl next door who happens to be Max’s girlfriend. On top of that, Ryder struggles to hold onto his dignity in the face of students’ pity and Gramps’s non-stop practical jokes.

Ryder quickly sees the only thing worse than explaining a joke is being the punchline. But with help from his stuck-in-the-70s Gramps and encouragement from Alice, Ryder finds the strength to not only fight back, but to make peace.

 

A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

9781510703827-frontcoverBefore Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.

For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time.


pack-of-dorks-9781629146232Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel

Lucy knows that kissing Tom Lemmings behind the ball shed will make her a legend. But she doesn’t count on that quick clap of lips propelling her from coolest to lamest fourth grader overnight. Suddenly Lucy finds herself trapped in Dorkdom, where a diamond ring turns your finger green, where the boy you kiss hates you three days later, where your best friend laughs as you cry, where parents seem to stop liking you, and where baby sisters are born different.

Now Lucy has a choice: she can be like her former best friend, Becky, who would do anything to claim her seat at the cafeteria’s cool table, or she can pull up a chair beside the dorks. But can she really be seen with the likes of dinosaur-obsessed Sheldon and nose-picking April? And how will she survive doing a research project on wolves with the super-quiet Sam Righter? Lucy’s about to find out what being a dork is really about—and it might just surprise her.

 

Camp Dork by Beth Vrabelcamp-dork-9781634501811

Lucy and her pack are back, in this sequel to Beth Vrabel’s heartwarming and humorous debut, Pack of Dorks. Sheldon convinces Lucy, Sam, April, and Amanda to join him at Camp Paleo. Like cavemen, they’re going to have to make do without air-conditioning, and they’ll dig for fossils during the day. And Grandma’s coming too—as lunch lady for the camp next door.

But Sam backs out at the last minute to attend a gymnastics camp instead. Lucy wonders why she misses him so much—it’s not like he’s her boyfriend. And why does the word “boyfriend” make her blush? She needs a distraction.

Enter Mr. Bosserman, the grouchy camp leader who won’t budge on the caveman aspect of the camp. The old man needs some softening up, and Lucy knows just the person for the job: Grandma.

One successful match made, Lucy starts to see potential lovebirds everywhere. But when the wrong campers pair up, the pack falls apart, all under the watchful eye of a secret blogger who’s been writing about the camp’s activities. Even worse? A thief is targeting everyone but Lucy, setting her up to look guilty. Soon Lucy finds herself alone, left to fix the messes she’s made. If she fails, the pack may be splintered for good.

 

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Live Chat with FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP Author Sarah Glenn Marsh

Here we go, folks! Please feel free to jump into the chat! And the transcript will live here after!

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“Haunting—gripping—beautiful. So powerful!” —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper trilogy

Live Blog Live Chat with FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP Author Sarah Glenn Marsh
 

And there’s more! We’re running a Rafflcopter! Sarah’s graciously agreed to sign a copy of Fear the Drowning Deep and we’ll be giving it away to one lucky winner. Enter below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP

Some secrets are better left at the bottom of the ocean.

Sixteen-year-old Bridey Corkill longs to leave her small island and see the world; the farther from the sea, the better. When Bridey was young, she witnessed something lure her granddad off a cliff and into a watery grave with a smile on his face. Now, in 1913, those haunting memories are dredged to the surface when a young woman is found drowned on the beach. Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her Granddad to leap has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, people in Bridey’s idyllic village begin vanishing, and she finds an injured boy on the shore—an outsider who can’t remember who he is or where he’s from. Bridey’s family takes him in so he can rest and heal. In exchange for saving his life, he teaches Bridey how to master her fear of the water—stealing her heart in the process.

But something sinister is lurking in the deep, and Bridey must gather her courage to figure out who—or what—is plaguing her village, and find a way to stop it before she loses everyone she loves.

e2bade3aa4885e31996644816c7838a0-300x300 Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she s been making up words and worlds ever since. When she s not writing, she s most often engaged in pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures and dungeon crawls. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and four rescued greyhounds.


Fear the Drowning Deep is gorgeous. Lyrical. Atmospheric. Magical. Sarah Glenn Marsh’s debut is perfect for anyone who’s ever looked out at the sea with awe, and wondered what kind of creatures lurk in the deepest places. Utterly haunting.” —Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate trilogy, the Orphan Queen duology, and My Lady Jane

“Beautifully-written with mysteries and love lurking within the pages as dangerously as an ancient evil waits in the drowning deeps of Sarah’s unique setting on the Isle of Man. Don’t miss this one!” —Martina Boone, author of Compulsion and the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy

“Readers will be swept away by Bridey’s love story, every bit as thrilling and mysterious as the Isle of Man’s deep, dark sea.” —Tricia Rayburn, author of the Siren trilogy

“Sarah Glenn Marsh’s debut is a captivating tale of love and loss, fear and doubt, monsters of the sea and inside ourselves, and the strength it takes to endure and conquer them all. Hauntingly written with a richly developed setting of the Isle of Man in the early 1900s, you can smell the salt of the sea with every page you hungrily turn.” —Lori Goldstein, author of Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn

“[A]tmospheric historical fantasy . . . evocative setting, memorable characters, and use of obscure folkloric elements all contribute to the novel’s strong sense of place.” —Publishers Weekly

“[T]his watery take on “Beauty and the Beast” will be catnip to paranormal-romance readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

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Join us for a Live Chat with A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT author Kristina McBride!

September 28, 2016 

8:00PM EDT

Join Sky Pony editor, Alison Weiss, as she chats with A Million Times Goodnight author Kristina McBride about her latest release, her publishing path, and what you can expect from her in the future. The only thing we still need? YOU!


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You can find the chat right here next Wednesday. Click on the box below and it will even send you a reminder!

Haven’t read A Million Times Goodnight yet? No problem. You have a week! And we’ll attempt to keep the chat spoiler free. Emphasis on attempt.

If you can’t make it, no worries. Feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below, and Alison will work them into the conversation.

Live Blog Live Chat with Kristina McBride
 

And that’s not all! We’ll be giving away a signed copy of A Million Times Goodnight and a sweet secret surprise! Rafflecopter right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

A Million Times Goodnight_cover-REVISEDOne Night. Two Paths. Infinite Danger.

On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her on the internet for the entire senior class to see.

Now she has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far way from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends. spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, struck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As the events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She has a thing for music, trees, purses, and chocolate. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites, and One Moment. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children. Visit her online at www.kristinamcbride.com or follow her on Twitter at @McBrideKristina.

 

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Q&A with MONSTERVILLE author Sarah S. Reida

We’re delighted to have Sarah S. Reida, author of Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production joining us today on the blog. We can’t wait for her to share a little more about herself with us!

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stitch hi

1.. Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

I grew up in a pretty rural area, and some of my best memories are of finding new hideouts in our woods, where I’d stay for hours to read. Fuzzy book memories!

Also, when I was in grade school, I connected so much with books. I was moved by them, read the same ones over and over, wanted to know the characters. . . . I write books for middle schoolers because of how much books meant to me when I was that age.

2. What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading The Clinet by John Grisham. I’m a lawyer, so it’s fun to read fiction about the legal field and be like, “THAT’S NOT HOW IT GOES DOWN!” Grisham’s pretty good, though. And hey, I like Legally Blonde, and we all know THAT’s not accurate.

3. If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

Hmm. Harry Potter came to mind first, but there’s so much responsibility for poor Harry. Probably Charlie Bucket, after he got the factory. Maybe my decision shouldn’t be based on candy, but when I was growing up, my dad owned a convenience store and we went to candy conventions every year. That was pretty much the best experience a kid could have.

 

candy ya

 

4. Where’s your favorite place to write? (Please include a picture!)

Aw, I don’t have some picturesque place to describe. Usually I hang out on my porch, or I go to Panera Bread Company and fill up on bagels and coffee. There’s also my office, but where’s the fun in that?

5. What’s your favorite classic movie?

I really enjoyed Whatever Happened to Baby Jane with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. They’re both so good in that! That’s one of the rare ones I think could be re-made successfully, though I hope that doesn’t happen because of the risk.

6. If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

I immediately thought “squishy white bunny trained to hug and sleep in bed with me,” but that was followed by the image of what my cat, Wyatt, would do to it. So I’ll go traditional and stick with cats. I’m a writer. We’re cat ladies.

cat computer morning

7. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Dark chocolate, unless it’s Christmas, and then white peppermint bark.

8.What’s your favorite holiday?

Guess!

Here are some hints: my husband and I were married on Halloween, my debut book is all about Halloween, and my first child is expected around Halloween.

9. What’s your favorite emoji? OR What’s your favorite GIF?

To be honest, I’m not a fan of those, BUT when I was in law school and used IM a lot. I had an IM avatar that looked like a white baby seal with huge eyes that made the cutest expressions. I called him Mopsie.

animals baby snow white seal

(Editor’s Note: Not Mopsie, but terribly cute.)

10. What did you want to grow up to be when you were Lissa’s age?

Oh, I always wanted to be a writer. Always.

 


 

monsterville-9781510707337

Monsterville: A Lissa Black Production

Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure!

Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is miserable when her parents force her to move from New York City (the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress) to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s nothing to do there, except play her little sister Haylie’s favorite new game, Monsterville, and hang out with her new neighbor Adam.

But when a walk in the woods lands her face-to-face with a swamp monster hungry for brains and then a Sasquatch that moos, even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring. With Adam’s help, she catches the culprit behind the drama: a shape-shifting goblin who’s fled from the monster world of Down Below.

And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? Make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will the the secret to her big break.

But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and the monster must venture Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game.


“The perfect book for the director who might have to take on a starring role.” —Kelly Jones, author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

“An absolute delight. Full of humor with a fresh voice, and just plain fun to read.” —Penny Warner, Two-time award-winning author of The Code Busters Club series

“Chutes and Ladders with monsters–and an aspiring filmmaker determined to capture them all. Monsterville is creepy good fun!”—Caitlen Rubino-Bradway, Mark Twain Award finalist for Ordinary Magic

“Overflowing with humor and fabulous in its overturning of many movie clichés. Kids will love puzzling over the chain of clues that lead Monsterville‘s lovable heroes through the world of Down Below.” —Claire Fayers, author of The Voyage to Magical North


Sarah S. Reida loves Halloween, classic movies, and fostering underdog animals. Growing up in the Midwest (Illonois, to be precise), she read everything she could get her hands on and watched many, many movies during her parents’ “camping” trips involving electricity and s’mores in a microwave. By day, she is an attorney and lives with her husband, dog, and four cats with big personalities in Marietta, Georgia. By the time this post goes live, they will probably have acquired another animal. Monsterville is her first novel.

Visit her online at www.lissablackproductions.com or on Twitter at @SarahSReida.


Not Blue and Haylie, but they could be:

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Q&A with Project Droid Authors Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser

We have a special treat today. We’re interviewing not one, but two authors on the blog!. The first two books in the Project Droid chapter book series, Science No Fair! and Soccer Shocker! just hit the shelves. Authors Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser were kind enough to sit down and answer our questions to give us a little bit more insight into who they are and how they came to write these hilarious books. They’ve known each other forever—they’re mother and daughter, after all—and now they’re going to answer our questions!

 

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1. Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?

Nancy: I think, deep in my heart, I am a third grader. And I love watching kids discover that reading is fun. Chapter books are the first books kids gravitate to once they’ve stopped decoding and begun comprehending. Also, I don’t have the patience or stick-to-itness for the time it takes to write a whole novel.

Amanda: I work with children and wanted to be able to write things my students would enjoy.

2. What are you reading right now?

Nancy: Max Perkins, Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg

AmandaWaging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

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3. If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?

Nancy: Nancy Drew—she’s smart and funny and she used to drive a roadster. Not that I know what a roadster is exactly, but still, it sounds super cool.

Amanda: Max imaxn Where the Wild Things Are, because like Max I like create my own little worlds inside in my head.

 

 

 

 

4. Where’s your favorite place to write? 

Nancy: I always write in our piano room—partially because it’s right next to the kitchen which is great for snack and coffee breaks, and partially because it’s bright and right in the center of things.

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Amanda: Under my apple tree in my yard.

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5. What’s your favorite classic movie?

Nancy: Does The Rocky Horror Picture Show count as classic? If not, anything with the Marx Brothers (I was raised on their films).

AmandaBreakfast at Tiffany’s—I’ve loved that movie since I was a little girl.

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6. If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?

Nancy: I think I would stick with my dog, Josie. She’s a crazy beagle mix, and she makes me nuts, but I’m pretty crazy about her.

Amanda: A unicorn.

7. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Nancy: Dark chocolate is healthier, but milk chocolate is the ultimate treat (especially with raisins and almonds!)

Amanda: Milk chocolate.

8. What’s your favorite holiday?

Nancy: My kids’ birthdays! (And Halloween.)

Amanda: Halloween.

9. What’s your favorite emoji?

Nancy: I love the food ones—particularly coffee. coffee

Amanda: Rock On!  rock-on

10. What did you want to grow up to be when you were Logan’s age?

Nancy: I wanted to be an actress—or, more accurately, a movie star like Katharine Hepburn. (I told you I was raised on old movies, right?) But I am the world’s worst actress, ever! Amanda, on the other hand is extremely talented in the theater arts.

Amanda: Either a member of the Spice Girls or an actress.  I actually was an actress for a while, but I never became a Spice Girl.


Science No Fair 9781510710184 Science No Fair!

When you have an android cousin, losing your head take on a whole new meaning!

There’s nothing Logan Applebaum has ever wanted more than to have another kid around the house. SO when his inventor mom builds him a robot cousin, Logan’s really excited—until he finds out that it’s not so easy keeping Java’s android identity a secret. Because even though Java is really smart, he doesn’t seem to understand anything.

Still, with the third grade science fair coming up, having a cousin with a computer for a brain just might come in handy. Does having Java around mean Logan finally has a chance at winning first prize? Or will those nasty, super-sneaky Silverspoon twins outsmart him again?

 

Soccer Shocker 9781510710191

Soccer Shocker!

The Purple Wombats’ secret weapon has a really big secret.

Anyone would love having a super-scoring robot Java on his soccer team. Well anyone except Java’s human cousin, Logan. That’s because, up until now, Logan has been the Wombats’ top scorer—and he has no desire to share the field with the team’s new start player. Especially because Java won’t let the other kids get near the ball—never mind score any goals. If it were up to Logan, he would just kick Java right off the field. Because as far as Logan is concerned, there’s no I in team, and there shouldn’t be a droid on one, either.

 

 

Praise for Project Droid:

“This quirky new chapter book series is fast-paced and full of Amelia Bedelia–style gags. Moran’s black-and-white cartoon drawings add to the humor and appeal. Java is an endearingly naive and enthusiastic character, and Logan is believable as a frustrated kid trying to keep his cousin’s robot nature a secret. VERDICT This entertaining new series will appeal to fans of funny stories and robots.” —School Library Journal

[F]unny enough to keep fledgling readers turning pages.” —Kirkus Reviews


Nancy Krulik is the author of more than two hundred books for children and young adults including three New York Times bestsellers and the popular Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo; George Brown, Class Clown; and Magic Bone series. She lives in New York City with her husband and crazy beagle mix.

Amanda Burwasser holds a BFA with honors in Creative Writing from Pratt Institute in New York City. Her senior thesis, a screenplay entitled Born to Me, earned her the coveted Pratt Circle Award upon graduation. This former native New Yorker is now a preschool teacher residing in Santa Rosa, California.

Mike Moran is a dad, husband, and illustrator. He has worked for really fun clients, and his illustrations can be seen in children’s books, animation, magazines, games, World Series programs, and more. He often dreams of playing first base for the New York Mets, being a songwriter in Nashville or the fifth Beatle. He lives in Florham Park, New Jersey.

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