Friday, November 29, 2013

Review & Giveaway - Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard

Ghost Leopard - Blog Tour Button

Title: Ghost Leopard (Zoe and Zak Series, Book #1)
Authors: Lars Guignard
Publication Date: July 21, 2012
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Pages: 338
Recommended Age: 8+

Summary (Amazon):
Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing… …Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that wants to rule the world. When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom’s business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool… She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas… and a crazy snake charmer tells them they’ve been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world. As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they’re going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed. Because if they don’t, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.
My Take

Ghost Leopard was a fast-paced adventure story that is perfect for the 9-12 set!  It follows Zoe and Zak on a mystical adventure through India, where they find that they are expected to protect a mysterious creature called the Ghost Leopard.

The negatives:
  • The beginning.  I thought that the book started out just a little bit slowly with a little more detailed explanation than a 9-12 year-old might prefer at the beginning of a book.  While I loved that the book had lots of details about India's culture (see below), I thought that this level of detail worked a bit better once we were into the meat of the story and in the midst of the kids' adventures.  The very beginning felt just a little bit rambly to me.  I also thought that the way that Zoe and Zak ended up on their adventure in the first place was a little strange - I kept wondering why they wouldn't have tried a bit harder to get themselves out of their predicament (and the explanations given just weren't enough for me).  Still, once the adventure truly started, I was definitely on board!
What I loved:
  • India's culture.  I loved that this book contained lots of information about India and its culture. Zoe gives a lot of details about what she sees around her and about what she has learned about India (from her research before she made the trip).  I love the vivid descriptions of India and its people!  I also really enjoyed learning a bit about the culture and the gods.  Kids will be so wrapped up in the adventure story that they won't realize they're learning, though!
  • Zoe and Zak's friendship.  I loved how Zoe and Zak's friendship grew throughout the book.  It started out as more of an acquaintance.  Zoe knew Zak, but she didn't even particularly like him.  She thought that he was a bit too hyperactive and impetuous and didn't really appreciate his constant enthusiasm for life.  As the book went on, though, she really started to see that Zak's "flaws" could sometimes be benefits and she gradually came to see Zak as a true friend.  I loved seeing this friendship grow!
  • Nonstop action.  Once Zoe and Zak are off on their adventure, the pace never lets up.  There are constant dangers lurking all around them and they are pretty much constantly fighting for their lives.  Throw in some really interesting mystical creatures and you have a recipe for a great MG novel!!
I highly recommend Ghost Leopard to MG adventure fans.  They will not be disappointed! 4.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Ghost Leopard - Zoe and Zak by Lars Guignard 


Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


The Buzz

"Awesome! ~ I am 11 and I liked the book because I love adventures. It was a different kind of adventure from what I usually read and it was funny too. " ~ 5-Star Review from J. Olsen, Amazon
"This was a fun read. This book was like a kid's version of Indiana Jones. It's also very educational as Zoe tells you real facts about what she sees and the history. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have a 10-12 year old child that loves adventure books, this is definitely a must read. " ~ 5-Star review from Simone Lilly-Egerter, Amazon
"I'm sure this book was written for children who are around the age of the two children in the book, 11 or so. But, this 35 year old loved this book! It had action, adventure and imagination galore! It was exactly the kind of adventure that a lot of kids that age dream of." ~ 5-Star review from The Novice Christian, Amazon

About The Author: Lars Guignard

Lars GuignardPrior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the Zoe and Zak series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple. He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range. For news about new releases, please join his email list here:  

Connect with the author:
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Ask Lars Guignard a Question on Goodreads

Goodreads Fantastic Press is pleased to announce that Lars Guignard will be answering questions about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard throughout the day on Monday, December 16th, 2013 on Goodreads. If you have any questions for Lars or just want to introduce yourself, you can head on over to Goodreads and say hello now. Also, everyone who joins the Forum will earn an entry into the Ghost Leopard Blog Tour giveaway (see below for more details).

Click on the Goodreads Button to the right to go to the Mon, Dec 16 - "Ask Lars Guignard about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard" event and leave a question for the author anytime from now until December 16th, 2013.


The Ghost Leopard Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

November 15
November 16
November 18
November 19
November 20
November 21
November 22
November 24
November 25
November 26
November 27
November 28
November 29
December 1
December 2
December 3
December 4
December 5
December 7
December 10
December 11
December 12
December 13
December 14

** Be sure to look for the upcoming Blog Tour for Book 2 in the Zoe and Zak Series, "Yogi's Curse" coming December 15, 2013. ** 

* Ghost Leopard Blog Tour Giveaway *

Ghost Leopard - Zoe and Zak by Lars Guignard Prize: Three winners will receive a print (U.S. & Canada) or electronic (international winners) copy of Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard. Contest runs: November 15 to December 17, 11:59 pm, 2013 Open: Worldwide How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winners will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Lars Guignard and Fantastic Press and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Kid Lit Book Promotion Services - Button FINAL

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Blast & $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! - Lord of the Vampires by Jeff Gunhus

Lord tour

I LOVED the first two books in this series, so I was happy to feature the next book on my blog!  Make sure you scroll down to enter the giveaway!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00007]  Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires Jack is back. After his adventures at the Monster Hunter Academy (which included fighting a goblin army, befriending an ancient werewolf, and battling two fire breathing dragons), Jack Templar was hoping for a rest. No such luck. In Book #3 of the Jack Templar Monster Hunter series, Jack embarks on a quest to track down and acquire the first of the five mythical Jerusalem Stones, an ancient power found by his ancestors the Templar Knights. Only the reunited Stones can stop Ren Lucre, the Dark Lord who holds Jack’s father hostage and prepares for an all-out war against an unsuspecting human world. But each Stone is held by a different Creach Lord and recovering them will not be easy. Jack and his friends begin their quest by seeking out one of the most powerful and dangerous keepers of the Stones, the Lord of the Vampires. The fate of the world rests on Jack’s shoulders and he will be tested like never before. But true monster hunters always do their duty…come what may. Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires.

Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2) After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter (Book 1) Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him. As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
Jack Templar Monster Hunter was chosen as a Book of the Year Finalist by Foreword Reviews.

Author Jeff Gunhus Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

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 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/31/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Blast & $50 Gift Card Giveaway - Keeper of Reign by Emma Right

I'm very happy to present Keeper of Reign on my site today.  This book looks amazing to me and I am definitely looking forward to reading it!


Keeper of Reign 

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.  


 Author Emma Right 

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one. Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Keeper of Reign copy
  BookBlast Giveaway 

 $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/5/13 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review, Guest Blog & Giveaway - Lucky Phoo by

I am very excited to review Lucky Phoo - an adorable new book that's perfect for middle grade girls!  Make sure you scroll down to see a guest post by Stacia Deutsch and an awesome giveaway!

Title: Lucky Phoo
Lucky PhooAuthor: Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon
Release Date: August 1, 2013
Age Range: 9+
Pages: 109
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: When luck and the magic of friendship combine, anything is possible…

Seventh graders Caylie Jiang-Kahn, Lauren Blindell and Sabrina Robinson are making a movie about their friendship when a dirty stray dog shows up and ruins the day. In frustration, Lauren mutters, “Oh phooey,” which leads to the girls naming the dog “Phoo.”

When Phoo is caught and taken to the animal shelter, the girls agree to foster him until he can be adopted. They immediately notice something strange. Every time the dog is around, lucky things seem to happen. The moment he’s gone, the luck disappears. 

What happens when they all need the dog’s magic at the same time? It’s up to Caylie, Lauren and Sabrina to decide once and for all: Is Phoo truly a lucky dog?


Lucky Phoo was a really adorable story that is sure to be a hit with middle school girls.  I usually try to post some positives and some negatives about every book that I review, but I honestly can't think of any real negatives when it came to this book (without really stretching it - um, boys probably won't like the book that much?  It's not written for boys, so that doesn't seem like a valid point).  So, instead I'll just list the positives!

What I loved:
  • The family dynamics.  All three girls have some troublesome family dynamics that they have to work through.  Caylie's parents are divorced and things are often tense between them, Lauren's mother has cancer and Sabrina's dad is almost completely focused on his daughters' budding tennis careers (which Sabrina isn't 100% sure that she even wants).  I love that the book showed how these girls all have difficulties, but Deutsch & Cohon didn't portray any of the parents as mean caricatures (or as super-sweet, understanding parents who don't show their children anything but constant love).  These families felt real and I think that kids will relate to them and to the issues that the girls are having.  The book tackled real issues without getting dark or sappy.  A real treat!
  • True friendship.  I loved that the girls learned the meaning of true friendship during the course of the book.  At one point in the book, all three girls have determined that Phoo must be lucky and they each decide that they must have Phoo with them in order for good things to happen to them.  They end up arguing over who gets to keep Phoo on a particular weekend and almost lose their friendship over it.  I loved that they learned to band together in the end and that friendship wins out!  (Oh, there actually was a small negative here as well for me - I wished that there had been a message about the fact that the girls didn't need Phoo for luck and for things to turn out positively in their lives, but that actually isn't the way the books ends up - that was just my own personal preference, though and I don't really feel like I can take away even a half star for it).
  • The fun videos.  The girls are trying to make a movie about their friendship.  Sabrina is a budding filmmaker who edits their movie blooper into a crazy movie clip and posts it up on the internet.  Immediately, it goes viral and the girls start to feel famous.  I loved all of the movie making in the book because it felt real - like something that three middle school girls would really love to do.  The clip that Sabrina puts together is described in hilarious detail too!
  • Phoo.  Such a cute puppy!  Your middle school girls will be in love!
I would highly recommend this book to any young girl.  Lucky Phoo is a sweet, funny, sometimes touching story that is sure to engage young readers!   5/5 stars

**Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

Find the book on Amazon here.

Guest Post

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. 

This is a book of my heart. When I partnered with my friend Rhody Cohon to work on LUCKY PHOO we fell in love with the idea and the characters. Three girls, a magical dog, fashion, movies, and romance – what wasn’t to love. 

The characters were kids we knew. The complexities of their lives felt familiar. This cute little dog comes in and seems to make everything better for a while. Who wouldn’t want a little Phoo?

I’ve been published for more than ten years and have been on the New York Best Seller List twice, but always wanted to reach out to the electronic market and to work with a smaller publishing house. When LUCKY PHOO was finished, I knew it was the perfect book to use to explore this frontier.

Although the book is available in paperback, I am really hoping to attract young readers to it as an eBook. The electronic market is exciting and it’s my hope that this book will break barriers for younger readers who are just starting to find eBooks. The 7-11 market is a tough one for electronic reading and I was warned before I started this venture that it would be an uphill climb, so I did a little research. I asked my friends if their kids were reading electronically – like my daughter. The answer was a resounding “Yes” and gave me the motivation to press through with my plans for the book. 

I really love this story. It’s fun and filled with adventure, friendship, and a touch of magic. I hope the tweens in your life enjoy it too.  

The book is on sale for 0.99 cents for the month of August. 
Find out more at

Find the book on Amazon here.

About the New York Times Best Selling Authors:
Image of Stacia Deutsch 
Rhody Cohon wishes she could adopt a million pets! Until her house is big enough she'll pamper the few she has and help others find the perfect home.
Find Rhody at

Stacia Deutsch sits at the keyboard crafting stories all day and then, plays with her own crazy, lucky, dog at night. She and her three kids live in Southern California. 
You can visit Stacia at or on twitter at @staciadeutsch.

Twitter: @staciadeutsch

Facebook:  or to post your own pet photos and videos


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 15, 2013

$100 Gift Card Giveaway - Blucy by Julia Dweck

Blucy by Julia Dweck

About the Book

Title: Blucy
Author: Julia Dweck
Illustrator: Erika LeBarre
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Xist Publishing
Number of pages: 21
Recommended age: 3+

Summary (Amazon): Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along. When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn’t realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Features full screen images and pop-up text. 

Purchase & Special Offer

Xist Publishing is pleased to offer you a special Buy One Get One FREE (BOGO) offer when you purchase Blucy by Julia Dweck.  The Deal?  If you purchase Blucy (e-book) through Amazon, you will receive a FREE electronic copy of Julia Dweck’s newest book, Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep (released September 5, 2013).  All you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation email to and Xist Publishing will send you a complimentary copy of Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep.  Don’t wait to take advantage of this great deal! 

The Early Buzz
“Julia Dweck scores another winner Blucy! This book is beautifully illustrated, features solid rhyming verse, has a most unusual main character in Blucy the cat, and will surely be loved and appreciated by all cat-lovers! I would recommend this wonderful picture book to children who love cats and for their grown-ups who will recognize their own cat’s behavior in this funny story. .” Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Ms Dweck and Ms Lebarre have created a delightfully humorous read that will no doubt capture the attention of every little mischief maker. The rhythm and rhyme are wonderful and flow so beautifully throughout the book. The illustrations are absolutely exquisite. I honestly wish I could purchase every one of them to put upon my toddlers walls.” WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook
“The illustrations are amazing and beautiful and the story pulls you in and had Dino telling Mandy and Blucy what to do and got upset when they didn’t listen to him. He was hysterical with some of Blucy’s antics and wanted to know if Balboa could do that to. Really and truly a cute book and one that Dino will keep reading, especially now that he think he’s a catosaurous.” Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
A blue cat? I love color – lots of color and these illustrations are exactly that. The rythmic method used by Julia is perfect for all ages and the content is entertaining for all – including adults. My daughter loves mood rings so she found this book particularly interesting – what about a “mood cat”. I am also a firm believer and supporter of pet adoptions – so another plus for this story…That Blucy is quite a mischievous cat. Blucy has special facts at the end of the story as well as a game for the kids to keep them thinking. I love this book as I have all of Julia’s books and so do my kids. The Stuff of Success
A Phenomenal Children’s Classic. Children & Adults will love and cherish this beloved tale. Julia Dweck has always amazed me with her talent at writing children’s books and Blucy is by far my favorite one yet. I laughed and giggled my way through the whole book and had to read it again several times for the pure joy of the story. The illustrations are fabulous and very colorful and I found myself staring at each page as I read and just loved the details in the illustrations. This is a RECOMMENDED MUST read story that adults and their children will fall in love with. This book will become the best bedtime story that children will want to hear over and over again. ~ Back Words, White Pages
About the Author: Julia Dweck
Julia Dweck, Author
Julia Dweck‘s background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read and what makes them giggle. She’s collaborated with leading artists in the world of children’s literature to produce over 20 Amazon eBooks. Her titles have garnered placement on Amazon’s bestsellers in children’s color picture books multiple times with two #1 bestsellers: PIE-RITS and Zombie-Kids. These titles have been chosen by Amazon Editors for the prestigious “Kindle Daily Deal.” Many of Julia’s titles have earned placement on Amazon’s top ranked lists based on customer review. In her spare time, Julia is a designer of educational adjuncts for children’s literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers. She presented at the 2011 National Center for Family Literacy for her creative use of technology in the classroom.
For more information about Julia Dweck and her books, please visit her website, Jule Loves 2 Write

*Where's Blucy?*
Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you.  If you head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page, you will find the “Where’s Blucy?” contest.  Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of “blue” places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis’ blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre.  Head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page to enter and… 

Pssssttt... if you enter the contest before August 20th, 2013, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!
Julia Dweck - Blucy

*$100 Gift Card Giveaway*

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) 
Contest runs: August 13 to September 15, 11:59 pm, 2013
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email!
* This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julia Dweck and by Xist Publishing. *