A daring, compelling, and impeccably researched historical novel that offers dramatic new insight into the life of the greatest composer the world has ever known. Its fresh perspective and deeply felt understanding of Beethoven’s motivations, passions, and challenges speak eloquently to us today, connecting us to our own successes, failures, and dreams, and ultimately to the true consequence of our lives.
At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.
Read on for an interview with Howard, as well as an excerpt from his book. Continue reading →
Twelve year old twins Josh and Hannah travel from the USA to visit their Uncle Olaf in Norway. Olaf runs the Museum of Norse Antiquities in Oslo, and the museum’s greatest treasure-the Viking chieftain Leif Erikson’s fabled Sunstone-is stolen. Hot on the trail of the suspected thief, the twins ride on a dizzyingly high train through the Scandes Mountains to Norway’s largest fjord, a deep waterway which connects directly to the North Sea. While spying on the suspect’s suspicious behavior, the twins are suddenly kidnapped on the train! They elude their captors by breaking free, sneaking across the top of the train as it chugs through a tunnel, and tricking the kidnappers. Then they learn the thief’s true motivation: to use the Sunstone to interpret the coded Undredal Runes so as to re-create the Viking super-warriors known as Berserkers. Can the twins defeat the plot, return the stolen treasure, and save the world from the secret of Viking Berserkers which has been concealed for a thousand years?
The Rootlets are four fun-loving and adventurous kids, with veggie hair and healthy habits – whose lives, up until now, were undoubtedly ordinary. In their very first adventure, Brocc, Carrotina, Cornelius and Kaley overhear shocking news that’s most definitely NOT ordinary, and that’s sure to change life as they know it…forever! Could it be that the Rootlets are in fact superheroes with real super powers called Rootabilities? Using clues from an old legend book, The Rootlets get to work, determined to solve the biggest mystery of their lives.
Could a Pancake have the power to shape a child’s view of their world? It was a surprise to Ethan that his favorite breakfast, a stack of steaming hot pancakes, would reveal many ways that nature and people work together. He discovered that everyone has a hand in taking care of nature. Ethan would have never guessed that his simple, innocent act of tossing an oil can into the lake, just to make a big splash for fun, could change his whole wide world. The slippery journey of the oily OOZE leaking from the can, across the lake, down the river to the beaver ponds, and into the fields of grain brought all of Ethan’s friends together. Everyone pitched in to clean up the OOZE from the lake, the fish, and the fields, to get rid of the mess around the lake they all loved. They celebrated with a party and plenty of pancakes.
Jorge Armenteros is the author of Air, a novel about a student who leaves her home to get away from her oppressive boyfriend. This is Jorge’s second novel, and you may recognize his name from an earlier review of his beautifully lyrical debut novel, The Book of I. Here is the official description of Air:
Imena, a student of perfumery, arrives in Marrakech in an attempt to free herself from the overbearing intensity of her boyfriend Patricio, a philosophy professor at l’Université Paris-Sorbonne. She takes residence behind the red door of a hotel whose attendant, the striped tunic, officiates life under an aura of mysticism and danger. René, Patricio’s junior colleague, decides to leave for Guadeloupe in search of his gender identity, a painful transformative sojourn that delivers him beyond himself.
When Jackson St. James decided that six weeks in Vermont’s Green Mountains would help him get his life together, he didn’t anticipate replacing his craving for whiskey with a craving for his alluring new landlord, Gabby. Now, instead of prioritizing his sobriety and the resolution of the lawsuit threatening his business, he’s making excuses to spend time with the spunky young landscaper whose candor is more than a little addictive.
Gabby Bouchard refuses to let her pill-popping mother and unreliable baby daddy turn her into a cynic, so she doesn’t fight her attraction to her enigmatic new tenant. Although Jackson’s smile rarely reaches his eyes, his generosity and dependability make her willing to overlook his demons. But once she convinces him to give in to temptation, Gabby’s jealous ex threatens to disrupt the life she has built for herself and her son.
With so much at stake, Gabby and Jackson must decide if love is worth the risk.
Visiting Brazil, an earthquake hits and separates a family from their beloved cat, Purrball. Purrball’s mad dash leaves her lost in a jungle where she becomes fast friends with a very clever sloth named Burrball. The two quick-witted animals embark on a journey to find Darryl, the loving and loyal boy who longs for his adorable missing cat. Witty word rhythms and rich illustrations make Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazilan engaging read-aloud story. An alluring tale of friendship, family, ingenuity and persistence.
How can three brothers stop the plot against their father’s aircraft carrier? When he’s not excelling in soccer, 12-year-old Matt likes to pretend he’s a Force Recon Marine, along with brothers Ryan, aged 10, and Jack, who is 8. Their father is a Captain in the U.S. Navy, currently deployed on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Maryland, where they all live. Growing up in a military setting, the boys are familiar with armed forces strategy, tactics, and weaponry. They long for the day they can don uniforms themselves…just like the Marines on the navy ships they’ve seen. In a Recon game one day the three brothers scout out an abandoned airfield. They notice a team of skydivers mimic the classic military special operations tactic of jumping out of a plane at high altitude and opening the chute at the last possible moment to avoid detection before landing on an enemy target. Quickly the boys discover these are NOT U.S. military, but rather hostile agents training to land with guns and explosives on a navy aircraft carrier. Their Force Recon Marine play suddenly becomes very real as they struggle to determine the exact target and time of the coming attack, to evade the terrorist gang, and get their intelligence information back to the navy in time to save their father’s ship. Captured by the gang, can they use their junior Force Recon Marine skills to escape, get back to headquarters, and devise a plan to defeat the terrible plot without anyone getting seriously hurt?
You may remember Geoff Jones, author of the thriller The Dinosaur Four, from my last post where I happily reviewed his book. Geoff is so awesome that I had to interview him twice. The first time was for the podcast I make with my husband, I Know Dino, where we of course discussed the amazing dinosaurs in his book, and the second time, Geoff very graciously let me pick his brain and ask him a ton of questions about his work as an indie author. Geoff has 501 customer reviews on Amazon with an average of 4-stars, and he successfully sells his book in ebook, paperback, and audio formats, so you can see how I may have gotten carried away.
Anyway, Geoff, being the great guy that he is, kindly answered all my questions and shared all the secrets to his success. Read on for my interview with him. Continue reading →
Teenagers Tim and Martie are desperate to end their parents’ downward spiral. Between their father’s PTSD and their mother’s depression, their family has reached a breaking point.
Then an ancient Christmas ornament reveals its secrets, sending the siblings across the centuries on a search for hope. But Tim and Martie aren’t the only ones hunting through time. They’re being watched by dark figures—Trackers doomed to haunt history. These Trackers believe the teens’ ornament is their key to freedom, and they will do whatever it takes to steal it.
What begins as an exciting adventure becomes a deadly race. Can Tim and Martie find the answers they seek before their enemy finds them?