New book alert: Spirited narrator introduces kids to genealogy

Gianna just wants to know about her ancestors, but she has to join an after school history club (yuck!) to do it. Now, she’s about to embark on a journey that will change everything she thinks she knows about her family.

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With Giana, a spunky fourth grader, author Becky Villareal has created an instantly likeable and sympathetic heroine. I was immediately charmed by Giana’s zest for learning about her heritage and her original–and often funny–approach to life. Combine these elements with the mystery of Giana’s family and her mother’s reluctance to discuss her background and you have an instant page-turner, keeping readers of all ages entertained. My one complaint is that the book ended on a cliffhanger; however, that only adds to the fun of seeing how the story will conclude. Highly recommended!

Copy of GIANNA THE GREAT - author bio picAbout the author

As a missionary’s kid Becky Villareal grew up all over the state of Texas learning that each person is special in the Lord’s eyes. As a twenty year veteran teacher she learned how to bring out those gifts in children. As a ten year genealogist she learned how wonderful finding out about the family background can be especially when the knowledge is shared with others.

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 $25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/30/15

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

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Goodreads Review: Fantasy and History Blaze with Steamy Romance

Ascension (The Demon Hunters, #1)Ascension by A.S. Fenichel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Lord Gabriel Thurston, the Earl of Tullering—his formidable title is equaled by his handsome, powerful bearing—returns from a French battleground, he finds his fiancée, Lady Belinda Clayton, greatly changed. Gone is the sweet, innocent debutante he knew before leaving for war, replaced by a strong, secretive beauty with a bravery to match and a tendency to explore London’s seamier neighborhoods late at night.

So begins A.S. Fenichel’s adventurous novel—the first in the Demon Hunters series—and what follows is a page-turning blend of historical romance, fantasy, and mystery, mixed with steamy passion.

Soon Gabriel discovers that Belinda has joined forces with an army of demon hunters to battle the evil hordes overtaking Great Britain. He enlists on the effort, and together they confront a force that might tear them apart. The combat takes them to Scotland, where Belinda unearths a dark family secret, and risks her life to destroy a demon sect.

I strongly recommend this novel. Hidden below the intrigue and bloodshed is a deeper message, connecting the shadowy demons lurking in Belinda’s England to the evil hidden in our own world. Its heart-pounding action, romantic hero, stereotype-breaking heroine–stronger and more adept at fighting than most men–will have you looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway: Sci-fi Graphic Novel Features Brave Young Heroine

Title: Pyra and the Tektites (volume 1)

Author: Story by Tyree Campbell; illustrations by 7ARS

Publisher: Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2011, $6.95, Buy

Ages: For readers 10 and older. Excellent selection for reluctant readers: story will pull them in and keep them reading.

Giveaway details: 1.) leave a comment, along with your email address, on this post by March 20  OR 2.) subscribe to Word Crushes by March 20 (current subscribers are automatically entered). A copy of the 12th issue of Crow Toes Quarterly (see my post) will also be given away. A winner will be chosen at random with the help of Random.org. And be sure to visit the other Lucky Lepechaun participants.

From the publisher: Thirteen-year-old Pyra lives and goes to school on Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Because she has received a couple of bad grades, she fears her parents may send her down to Mars to continue her education. Pyra, however, has other ideas. She runs away from home. She stows away aboard a cargo shuttle, falls asleep, and awakens in free fall. The shuttle has been stolen by a smuggler, and she is now in outer space.

Review: So begins this exciting graphic novel. Readers will not only cheer for the brave young heroine but will also want to join Pyra on her adventures.

Pyra and the smuggler Flanagan–a touch of Han Solo with a zig-zag scar on his cheek–fall into a testy friendship. He teases her, yet she brings out a protective side of his personality. Pyra finds herself confronting  fear, pitching in when blasts from an energy weapon threaten their lives. Danger, however, never leaves them alone, and Tektites eventually capture Pyra and Flanagan. They end up in Kublukan, where a mysterious woman tries to buy Pyra.

In a world created with precise details–complicated yet believable–author Tyree Campbell takes readers on a wild ride to the future. Characters with names like Mr. Block and Lay By come alive through 7ARS’ illustrations. Pyra’s pert bob and mischevously-tilted eyes reflect her personality to perfection. Each character is subtly revealed through the drawings–Mr. Block’s bald head gleams and Lay By furrows his unibrow.

Bottomline: Pyra is recommended for all readers who like fast-paced stories with strong drawings. It’s the first volume of her adventures and ends on a cliff hanger which leaves readers looking forward to the next installment.

And there’s more:  Serialized Pyra adventures can also be found in Sam’s Dot Publishing’s Beyond Centauri (a science fiction and fantasy magazine for all ages.)