Monday, September 29, 2014

NEW BLOG LINKS ADDED!

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything here, but I assure you that the blog listings are always being updated. In fact, just this week several new blogs have been added including Kelly Hess, author of The BlackMyst trilogy, which is getting great reviews, and Mark Feggeler, author of The Psi Squad, perfect for kids who love spy books.

We've also added several new review sites including Literary Hoots, Seraphina Reads and Kid Book List.

Please support our middle grade bloggers by checking out our lists and sharing them with a friend. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ATTENTION BLOGGERS - UPDATING THE SITE

Hi Bloggers!

If you're blog is listed on Middle Grade Mania, please note that I will be visiting every site over the next couple of months. Blogs that have posted about middle grade books less than once a week over the past 3 months will be moved to a new category - OCCASIONAL MG POSTER

Those blogs who have posted about MG books less than 3 times in the past 3 months will be removed from the list.

Middle Grade books are fiction and non-fiction books written for ages 8 to 14.

Thank you.

Friday, March 7, 2014

NEW AWARD FOR MIDDLE GRADE BLOGS

A hearty congratulations goes out to the fifteen blogs awarded "BEST OF THE BLOGS" in the March/April issue of MIDDLE SHELF MAGAZINE!!!  This award is given in recognition of blogs who promote and exemplify the spirit of middle grade books.

In addition, Geo Librarian and Walking Brain Cells each had a review reprinted in this issue:  http://issuu.com/middleshelf/docs/middle_shelf_march-april_2014



You'll find links to them all on pages 52 - 53 of the magazine:

The Write Path
Always in the Middle
Becky's Book Reviews
Boys Rule! Boys Read!
Carnival of Children's Literature
Middle Grade Mafioso
Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Ms.Yingling Reads
Project Mayhem
Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe
Sharon the Librarian
Sweet on Books
This Kid Reviews Books
The Book Monsters
Word Spelunking

Congrats to you all!!!

MIDDLE SHELF MAGAZINE - Cool Reads for Cool Kids

The new issue of Middle Shelf Magazine went live today!!! Featured author interview: Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman! Also look for reviews, excerpts, character spotlight w/ Sew Zoey, Publisher's Corner w/ Peachtree Publishing, and more!

Middle Shelf is a digital review magazine about books for middle grade readers. And subscriptions are free!!!

http://issuu.com/middleshelf/docs/middle_shelf_march-april_2014

Saturday, October 12, 2013

THE LAST ENCHANTER BLOG TOUR



Welcome to the official blog tour for 
THE LAST ENCHANTER, 
Book II of The Celestine Chronicles
a fun-filled fantasy adventure series for middle grade readers!  
_______________________________________________________________

In Book I, THE ROCK OF IVANORE, enchanter's apprentice Marcus Frye and five other boys set out on a dangerous journey to locate the Rock of Ivanore and bring it back to their village.

In THE LAST ENCHANTER, months have passed since they succeeded in their quest. One of the boys, Kelvin, is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Lord Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, the Enchanter Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.

In addition to THE LAST ENCHANTER being released on OCTOBER 15th in hardback, THE ROCK OF IVANORE is also now available in paperback! Both titles can be purchased at bookstores nationwide and online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound. They are available as E-books, too.

To celebrate the release of her newest book, author Laurisa White Reyes is giving away a brand new 16 GB NOOK HD!!!  Details on how to enter the giveaway can be found at the end of this post. In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from THE LAST ENCHANTER followed by an interview with the author, Laurisa White Reyes.


 

EXCERPT from THE LAST ENCHANTER

Marcus waited until he heard Zyll turn the lock in his door before heading back down the corridor. Zyll had told him to do what he thought was best, and that’s exactly what he would do.

He passed several armed sentries, one at every door, as he made his way through the lower level of the Fortress. Kelvin was determined not to let the Agoran rebels get inside again. Maybe Marcus shouldn’t worry about his brother. With all these guards around, Kelvin was far safer than Fredric must have been. Still, he deserved to know how their grandfather died. Secrets had nearly destroyed Marcus and Kelvin’s relationship during their quest eight months ago. There would be no secrets between them ever again.

Marcus didn’t want to go back to the dining room. Kelvin and Jayson were probably still arguing over dinner, and what Marcus had to say was private anyway. He would go instead to Kelvin’s council chambers and wait for him there.

Other than the sentries, the interior of the Fortress was quiet. Most of the servants had already retired to their rooms for the night. Marcus hurried across the vast entry hall toward the east alcove where the offices were located. He had made it halfway when he suddenly had the feeling that he was not alone.  He turned and looked behind him, but there was no one beside the guard standing at the Fortress’s main door. The light from several oil lamps left the corners of the room hidden in darkness. Someone could easily conceal himself in one.

This is silly, Marcus thought. I’m letting my mind play tricks on me. Still, he walked the rest of the way as fast as he could without actually running.

The door to Kelvin’s council chambers stood just inside a narrow alcove. To Marcus’s surprise, the sconces on the wall were not lit. The alcove was dark except for a weak glow from the lanterns in the great hall.  He had expected to find a guard here, too, but the alcove was empty—or was it?

Near the door to Kelvin’s chambers Marcus saw a large, dark clump of something on the floor. He approached cautiously and touched it with his foot.  An arm fell forward, hitting the floor with a dull thump. Marcus stepped back, his breath quickening. The dark clump was a sentry. In the dim light, Marcus couldn’t tell if he was unconscious or dead.

Behind him, Marcus heard the sound of footsteps which stopped abruptly.

“Hello?” Marcus called out hoping it was one of the other guards. “There’s a man here,” he said. “I think he’s hurt!”

When no one replied, Marcus realized once again that his imagination was running away with him. But he did need to find help for the sentry. He was about to leave when he heard a new sound coming from inside the chambers: an unmistakable rattle as if something had fallen and rolled across the floor.

Marcus stepped over the guard’s body and took hold of the door handle. Slowly he turned it, pushing open the door just an inch. Candlelight spilled through the narrow crack into the alcove. Marcus saw now that the sentry’s eyes were open, staring dully up at nothing. He was most certainly dead. And Marcus suspected that whoever was inside the room had done it.

Pushing the door open a little further, Marcus stepped inside. Large tapestries hung floor to ceiling against the walls. Three stories above, the stained glass ceiling looked like a patchwork of black and gray. Charred remains of a log stood cold in the fireplace, though six candles burned in an ornate candelabra beside Kelvin’s desk. On the floor lay an ink bottle, dark liquid trailing from it like a tail. This must be what had made the noise. Marcus bent to pick it up. The glass bottle felt warm to the touch.

The air in the room was chill. So why would the bottle be so warm? Someone must have been holding it, Marcus thought, but who?

As he set the bottle back on the desk, he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. A tapestry fluttered ever so slightly. Marcus’s heart raced. He reached for his knife, but then remembered he had left it in his room for he had thought he was just going to talk to Kelvin. What would he have needed it for? He reached for the tapestry with trembling fingers and jerked it aside, but the only thing behind it was a bare wall.

All of sudden, something heavy hit him from behind. Sharp pain exploded across his shoulders, and Marcus’s face smashed into the wall. He felt drops of hot blood trickle onto his lips. Licking them, he tasted copper, and he wondered if the loud crack he’d heard had been his back breaking or something else. He turned and saw Kelvin’s chair in pieces behind him on the floor. Someone had thrown it at him! He had only a second to think before something else came flying at him, but this time it was a man.

The man yelled. Marcus caught the glint of a blade in his hand just before it came down on him. Marcus twisted away just in time, the blade grating instead against the stone wall. But the man did not stop. He sliced his dagger wildly in every direction. Marcus jumped and slid his way across the room, doing his best avoid the attacks. The man was slender, almost frail-looking, and yet was surprisingly fast and strong. He lunged at Marcus, not with the dagger, but with a set of blood-stained claws extended for the kill. It wasn’t a man at all, Marcus realized. It was an Agoran.

Marcus grabbed the candelabrum. As he swung it in an arc, the candles flew off. Two went out as they hit the floor, but the other four stilled burned, casting long, unnatural shadows onto the tapestries. One lit the corner of a tapestry on fire, the flames soon licking the woven patterns like a hungry snake. The candelabrum hit the attacker with a force that would have knocked most men to their knees, but this one didn’t even flinch. When the Agoran took hold of it, Marcus expected him to yank it out of his hands. Instead he thrust it forward, pushing Marcus off balance. He fell onto his back, sending a fresh tremor of pain through him. A second later, the attacker was on top of Marcus, holding the point of a blade to his throat. Damp tendrils of long, shaggy hair clung to his face. His pupils, narrow like a cat’s, peered at Marcus, recognition slowly dawning.  The Agoran and Marcus stared at each other, both remembering the day months earlier when they had first met.

Just then the door to the chamber flew open. A guard rushed in, his sword raised. Behind him came Kelvin and Jayson. The Agoran leapt off of Marcus and crossed the room in half a breath’s time. The guard ran after him, but the Agoran tore the burning tapestry free from the wall and flung it at him. The guard screamed in pain as fire engulfed his uniform. The tapestry dropped to the floor, the flames trapping the Agoran at the back of the room. Marcus managed to roll clear of it, though he felt his skin blistering with the heat and smelled the guard’s scorched flesh.

Jayson ripped the burning fabric from the guard’s body as Kelvin picked up his fallen sword. Kelvin slashed at the tapestry, trying to make a path through the fire. As he broke through, Marcus looked up to see what would happen next, but to his and everyone’s surprise, the Agoran was gone.

 INTERVIEW w/ LAURISA WHITE REYES

What books influenced you most when you were growing up?
My favorite series for years was the TRIXIE BELDEN MYSTERIES. I still have the entire set of books in a box in my garage. Some of my other favorites included ROBINSON CRUSOE, OF MICE AND MEN, GONE WITH THE WIND, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and ROOTS.  Heavy duty stuff for a kid, I know, but I loved them. Still do. As an adult I learned more about writing from Dan Brown (THE DAVINCI CODE, ANGELS & DEMONS) than anyone else. He is a master of suspense, every chapter a cliffhanger so that you just can’t put his books down. Period. And I love how he weaves multiple points of view together until they all collide at the end. I wish I could write like that.

What gave you the idea for your book series The Celestine Chronicles?
I’ve always enjoyed reading to my kids at night before they go to bed. When my oldest son was about 8 years old, he asked me to make up a story instead of read one. So I told him about an enchanter’s apprentice who botched his spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear that night, whether it was dragons, or magic, or sword fighting, and I’d weave it into the story. Eventually I started writing it down. A year later I had a completed manuscript of THE ROCK OF IVANORE. I wrote THE LAST ENCHANTER two years later.

What is your writing day like?
I don't have a typical writing day. As a mom of five kids, I actually have very little time to write. Years ago I used to stay up late at night to write, but I now I try to wake up an hour before the kids do and get a little work done then. On a good day I might write 1,000 words -- the equivalent of about 5 printed pages.

Who are your favorite characters in THE LAST ENCHANTER?
That's a tough question. While I like all the characters (I wouldn't write a character I couldn't like) Lael is new to this book. She wasn't in Book I. Lael is Marcus's age but wasn't included in the original quest because she is a girl. She really proves herself, though. While the boys use swords and bows and arrows, Lael is adept with the sling. Also, Bryn (the Groc who parades around in the form of a little boy) is particularly fond of her. And any friend of Bryn is a friend of mine.

Will there be a book III in The Celestine Chronicles?
Yes. The Seer of the Guilde is tentatively slated for 2015. However, in the meantime, I am working on the parallel series called The Crystal Keeper, which chronicles Jayson's years in exile in Hestoria. Anyone interested in the story of Jayson and Ivanore will want to read it. In the meantime, I hope everyone will enjoy THE LAST ENCHANTER.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Laurisa White Reyes, author of THE LAST ENCHANTER, 
is giving away a brand new 
16 GB NOOK HD!!!  

There are many ways to win:

1) Take a pic of you and your copy of THE LAST ENCHANTER - post it on the web (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, a website, etc.) and email the link to:  laurisawhitereyes(at)yahoo(dot)com

2)  Follow Laurisa's blog and/or Facebook page

3) Tweet about this giveaway

4) Leave a comment below

The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. 
To enter the giveaway, fill out the form below. 
U.S. residents only, please.  
This giveaway will end on November 6th. 
 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

INTRODUCING MIDDLE SHELF MAGAZINE: COOL READS FOR KIDS



In 2010, a new digital literary magazine hit the web with the gale force of a typhoon. Shelf Unbound introduced readers to the wealth of quality books produced by small and indie presses, and provided a needed and deserved outlet for promoting these books. Three years later, Shelf Unbound has over 125,000 subscribers in 62 countries. Publisher’s Weekly called the visually dynamic magazine “richly designed,” and Shelf Unbound is a 2013 Maggie Award finalist for Best Digital-Only Magazine and a recipient of the Alliance of Independent Authors' Honoring Excellence Award.

After enjoying this level of success, the magazine’s founder and editor, Margaret Brown, decided it was time to take Shelf Unbound’s vision to a new audience: middle grade readers. Like Shelf Unbound, Middle Shelf will feature the best reads, whether from large publishing houses or small and indie presses, all directed to readers between the ages of 8 and 14. Each bi-monthly issue will include author interviews, reviews, excerpts, and cover artist spreads. And like Shelf Unbound, subscriptions are free.

At the helm of Middle Shelf is Laurisa White Reyes. As a published children’s book author, small press editor, and the mother of five children, Laurisa has her finger on the pulse of the children’s book industry and hopes to connect kids, parents, librarians and educators to wonderful books that don’t always get the attention they deserve.

The inaugural issue of Middle Shelf comes out this October. Features will include interviews with Margaret Petersen Haddix (author of Shadow Children and The Missing series), cover artist Gilbert Ford, and 12-year-old author MacKenzie Wagner. Top reads for the Halloween season will be included along with spotlights on non-fiction, graphic novel, poetry, and novelty titles.

To subscribe to Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids, visit Shelf Media Group’s website:  http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/introducing-middle-shelf.html. And please spread the word.

Find Middle Shelf on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/middleshelfmagazine
Email the Editor in chief:  Laurisa at shelfmediagroup dot com

           

Saturday, August 31, 2013