Tag Archives: Tantrum Books

Super Middle Grade Mondays: Author Spotlight – Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays @Tantrum Books @Month9books

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Vanessa Barger

author of Super Freak from Tantrum Books.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

 

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Describe yourself in three words.

Weird Writing Nerd

 

Describe your book in three words.

Geeky Puzzle Solver

 

Tell us about your day job.

In my day job, I’m a high school Technology Education teacher. Which means I do nothing with writing, except run a writer’s club once a month or so. I teach 9-12 graders practical physics (which sounds like an oxymoron, but itsn’t really), engineering, robotics, work skills, 3D modeling, architecture, drafting, and computer stuff. Depending on the year and what classes I have, anyway. I also run a gardening club and we play in the dirt sometimes. J

 

Which writers inspire you?

There are so many! Shakespeare and Austen are always at the top of my list. Tolkien is up there too. In the YA/MG world, I love the way that Lisa Ann Sandell’s words just flow, and I love Rick Riordan’s imagination. And…well, let’s just stop there. I love so many!

 

What is your writing process like?

My writing process is in flux. I am making “office” hours for myself after work, but in a general sense, I keep a writing journal with me all the time. I write notes to myself about things I’m working on or thinking about. When I have enough of an idea that I feel like I can start writing, I try to make sure and sit down and write out the main points. It’s a really basic outline that I go back and add to until its fully fleshed out. But I’m not married to it. If I write and end up somewhere else, I just adapt the outline to work. When I finish a draft, I go through and the first things I do for edits is a search through the document for words I know I use too many (that, just, etc) and then I sit down and try to read it through, looking for mistakes. Once I’ve got it as good as I think it can be, I send it to critters and see what they say. Then I start again!

 

What are you reading right now?

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

 

Do you have an author crush?

Neil Gaiman.

 

Quick questions:

Physical books or eBooks?

Physical Books, though I love my ereader too.

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke! Really, root beer, cause I don’t drink caffeine anymore.

Twitter or Facebook?

Both for different things? I like the immediate gratification of Twitter, but I like FB too!

Song you can’t get out of your head right now?

Well, I was doing fine until you asked that. Now Steampunk Revolution by Abney Park is back in my brain. Grrrr.

Sweet or salty?

Sweet.

Coffee or tea?

TEA.

Write on computer or notebook paper?

Blank. Even though I can’t write in a straight line.

 

Super-Freak-Cover

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

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Super Middle Grade Mondays: (Also, I LOVE these people!) Meet the Staff behind Tantrum Books @Month9Books with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

For our previous Super MG Mondays, we’ve featured some of our amazing middle grade authors. Today, we thought it’d be fun to feature publicity team!

And can I just say again… you have no idea how much I love these people!

It’s Staff Day! YAY! Introducing:

Jaime and Stefani!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Jaime:

 

Jaime (1)

Describe yourself in three words. Easy Going, Social, Hard working.

Tell us about your day job. I am the Publicity and Marketing Director for Month9Books and Tantrum Books so I get to work with awesome authors and help their dreams come true all day long J

Which writers inspire you? There are too many to mention but all of our GMMG authors inspire me on a daily basis!

What are you reading right now? Winter by Marissa Meyer then Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes.

Do you have an author crush? Hahahaha yes I have quite a few! For their writing here’s just a few but definitely not my complete list because that would go on forever! Veronica Rossi, Leigh Bardugo, Naomi Novik, Maria V. Snyder, Jennifer Jenkins, Brynn Chapman, Julie Reece, Cindy Pon, Jennifer Davis, & Sarah J. Maas.

Now actual crush, crush? OMG have you seen Pierce Brown? He’s gorgeous!

Quick questions:

Physical books or eBooks? Physical books all day!

Coke or Pepsi? Neither. I rarely drink soda and when I do it’s Orange Soda.

Twitter or Facebook? Twitter.

Song you can’t get out of your head right now? Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett. He’s a cutie and I freaking love this song!

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Sweet or salty? Both I love salted caramel and chocolate covered pretzels!

Coffee or tea? Tea.

Write on computer or notebook paper? I don’t write lol but I do make a to-do list for each day and that’s on paper. Just like I still keep an old school paper calendar instead of a google calendar.

Find Jaime online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Tsu

Month9Books

 

Stefani:

 

Stefani

Describe yourself in three words. Bookish, hard-working, wanderer.

Tell us about your day job. I’m the Publicist for Tantrum Books, so I get to promote a group of wonderful middle grade authors, and a Youth Services Librarian in Mississippi, where I get to plan, promote, and host programs for an amazing group of teens plus a lot of other librarian activities.

Which writers inspire you? So so many. Any author that has written a book and put it out into the world inspires me.

What are you reading right now? Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson, The Selection by Kiera Cass (my teens at the library have been trying to get me to read this one for months), and Fairest by Marissa Meyer on audiobook.

Do you have an author crush? Um, duh. On their writing? Maggie Stiefvater, David Arnold, Becky Albertalli, Renee Ahdieh, Matt Haig. On the actual person? In a totally non-romantic way, Jeff Zentner – he’s hilarious and his book is incredible.

Quick questions:

Physical books or eBooks? Physical, hands down.

Coke or Pepsi? Gross. Neither.

Twitter or Facebook? Twitter, all day every day.

Song you can’t get out of your head right now? R.I.P. 2 My Youth by The Neighbourhood.

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Sweet or salty? Depends on what time of day. I like a bit of both at every meal.

Coffee or tea? COFFEE, she types as she takes a big sip of coffee.

Write on computer or notebook paper? Computer for blog posts and such, but actual paper for planning.

 

Find Stefani online: Twitter | Blog | Instagram | Goodreads

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Super Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight – Donna Galanti with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Donna Galanti

author of Joshua and the Lightning Road
from Tantrum Books.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books) and blogs at Project Mayhem. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com.

Praise for Joshua and The Lightning Road:
“Vividly imagined characters in a gripping action fantasy that never lets you go until the very last page.” —Jenny Nimmo, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlie Bone series

“Joshua and the Lightning Road is a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.”The Midwest Book Review

Watch the Joshua and The Lightning Road book trailer.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Would You Rather Questions by Donna Galanti

 

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?
Never have to speak again! If others knew all my crazy thoughts, I might not have any friends or family left. Ha ha! At least I could still write. J

 

Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)?
Read, absolutely! To read means to explore other worlds, create movies in your mind, find deeper meaning in life, experience self-awareness, and go through transformations. I would be afraid to read minds to see truly what people are thinking. I definitely do not want to know what goes on in many people’s heads (especially my son’s)! Besides, it’s more fun to imagine what is in other people’s heads and create character stories about them to entertain myself.

 

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?
Be the best in the world at…playing the violin! I can challenge myself to learn new languages, but I’ve always dreamed of having musical talent – and I adore the violin. Writing and music go hand in hand for me and I want to play and inspire myself, and others.

 

Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?

What a terrible dilemma! As many as I want. Even if I don’t remember them, at least I can experience new worlds through them in the moment.

 

Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page?
Definitely the last page! I have a habit of flicking to the back and reading the last line of a book I pick up to possibly buy. If that last line pulls me in and connects to the first line then I am good to get it!

 

Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 pages per day. I am a speed reader and if I were to read 5 books a week, I know I would skim them and not get the full experience each one. To read 5 pages a day I could immerse myself in the story, slowly, and reflect on it and its journey.

 

Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once?
I would rather never read the same genre more than once. I lost my love of reading when I became an author and couldn’t figure out why. Then a friend made me aware that as an author I now needed to expand what I read. She was right! I had always read the same one or two genres and had simply gotten bored. Now I like to sink into books that challenge me in new ways, to read things I never would have before: non-fiction, science fiction, historical, horror, etc. In reading across genres it helps me expand my skills as an author and also brings a richness to my own writing.

 

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?
Invisible! Then I could sneak around and grab private conversations of people to churn my brain with ideas for stories! (a spy but for educational purposes, of course).

 

Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?
That’s easy. TV. I am not much of a TV watcher – and could always catch up on my favorite shows on the internet through Netflix.

 

Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years?
Definitely three in ten years. My desires and needs may change across the years. Something I desire today, may not work out for tomorrow!

 

Would you rather know it all or have it all?
Have it all. If you have it all, that’s wonderful to not worry about material things and still explore the world to seek knowledge and meaning – and know it’s a vast, never ending tide of information. But if you know it all, what left is there to discover? Life would be very boring. There would be no challenges! No amazing discoveries! No transformations! It would be a life without curiosity and that would be a very sad life indeed.

 

Joshua-Cover

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

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Super Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight @SteveBryant52 with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Steve Bryant

author of Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
from Tantrum Books.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Middle School Thoughts

 

What is your favorite memory from school?

My favorite memory from middle school days was spending time at Verble’s Café, a hangout run by a classmate’s mom. It had snacks and a juke box, and we learned to slow dance with the girls we had grown up with, to songs by Johnny Mathis and Jimmy Clanton.

What is something you know now that you wish you knew in middle school?

I know to have paid attention to everyone, especially the shy or quiet kids who often turned out to be special adults. The most important was that girl with the blond ponytail, a seventh grader when I was an eighth. I eventually married her, but I hate it that we wasted what might have been an amazing school year.

Tell us your favorite book when you were in middle school.

I loved all the so-called Robert A. Heinlein juveniles, such as Time for the Stars and Tunnel in the Sky. If you had asked me then, I would have said I liked them because I liked science fiction. Years later I realized that I liked them because Heinlein always pitted boys and girls together against formidable odds, and romance ensued. I have always remembered to make romance a key part of any stories I write.

What was your favorite subject in school?

I equally liked math, because I was good at it, and English, because I loved it. All those books and poems were written for our entertainment. My eighth-grade English teacher lived to be 103, and to the end she would admonish us for spelling or grammar errors.

Any advice for kids heading back to school?

Enjoy every day. Middle school was my favorite time ever. Keep a diary or journal, and write down each night what you appreciated about that day. Even better, use your iPhone and take lots of photos and videos. How I would love to have those from my school days!

 

Lucas-Cover

Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.

But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.

Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?

If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.

When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?

Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.

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M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal – Return of the Jed (DEAD JED 3) by @Scott_Craven2 with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Return of the Jed (DEAD JED 3) by Scott Craven

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Dead Jed 3.Ebook

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along.

In Mexico, fitting in might be easier than Jed imagined, with holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.

But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight!

Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the “you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost?

Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

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Return of the Jed (Dead Jed 3) by Scott Craven
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

Chapters | Kobo | TBD

 

About-the-Author

 

Scott-Craven

Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

 

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Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight – Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #MGMondays

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Welcome to the first Official Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz #MGMondays
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal in a “Would You Rather” Q & A with

Vanessa Barger

author of the upcoming book, Super Freak, from Tantrum Books.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

 

Would You Rather…

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?
Oh, probably never be able to speak again. I could learn sign language, but people REALLY don’t want me to say whatever I’m thinking all the time. That would get me in so, so much trouble.

Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)?
Definitely would rather be able to read. Reading minds is cool and everything, but never be able to read a book? No way!

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?
This one is tough. I think I’d rather be able to speak fluently in every language. I mean, think of what kind of traveling you could do! You’d never need to worry about what you’re eating, or how to ask for directions, or anything like that. It would be pretty fantastic!

Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?
Hmmmmm… I think I’m going with as many as I want. I suppose if I never remember what they’re about it might be sad, but I wouldn’t know that, because it would be a new book every time! One book would get really boring, I think.

Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page?
The first page. There are so many more possibilities you can come up with if you’re given the question. When you’re given the answer, you’re limited, because you already know where you’re going.

Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
5 books per week. No question. Then maybe I’d FINALLY get through my “to-read” list!

Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once?
Ooooo…. Another hard one. I think I’d rather read one genre forever. There are lots of books in each genre, but if I could only read one from each genre ever, I’d quickly run out of genres and books.

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?
Read minds. Hands down. Know what you’re thinking? That has such possibilities…..

Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?
Never watch TV. But this is a cop out, lol. You can watch many things on the internet, and I don’t watch much TV as it is!

Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years?
Three in 10 years. My wish today might not be a good one. But the other way, I’d have some space in between to think about things and try to make a good one.

Would you rather know it all or have it all?
Knowing things is fabulous. But being rich has its perks…… I can learn things, so what the heck, let’s go with have it all. After all, people don’t like a know it all. 😉

Super-Freak-Cover

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

add to goodreads

Super Freak by Vanessa Barger
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Genre: MG, Fantasy

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M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter Reveal – Super Freak by Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing CHAPTER ONE of

Super Freak by Vanessa Barger

an MG title presented by Tantrum Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Super Freak

 

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

add to goodreads

Super Freak by Vanessa Barger
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Genre: MG, Fantasy

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

excerpt

 

Chapter One

Twenty-five feet into town. That’s as far as we got before the first disaster happened. Dad turned onto Main Street, and just as we pulled up next to Greywolfe’s Spells and Supplies, a huge puff of smoke and flame burst from the front doors. Shattered glass and a large, hairy man shot into the path of our over-packed SUV.
Dad slammed his foot down on the brakes and jerked the wheel to the left, throwing us around the inside of the car. In the back, I covered my head, expecting the piles of wedged boxes to topple over, burying me in an avalanche of dishes and teddy bears.
“Caroline! Are you all right?” Mom reached into the back seat, her horn-rimmed glasses dangling from one ear.
“I’m good. Did we hit him?” I craned my neck, looking to see out the front window. Dad unbuckled and leapt from the car to help the man who had flown in the road to his feet.
“I think he’s fine. You’d think he’d at least have the decency to let out a warning before coming out like that. He could have been killed! We could have been hurt! Dishes might have fallen on you and broken!”
I rolled my eyes. The dishes would be a high priority.
Mom shook her head, letting loose a shower of tiny green leaves. It always happened when she was stressed. Dryads weren’t really known for their calm temperaments. You’d think, being tree spirits, they’d have that stoic thing going for them. Maybe it was because Mom was a weeping willow, but calm wasn’t really part of her vocabulary. Dad on the other hand, was solid as an oak.
Because he was an oak. After unhooking my seatbelt, I slid from the car. Mom followed suit. Her lips compressed into a tight line and she shed another couple handfuls of leaves, but for the moment, she contained herself.
Dad stood, tall and wiry, one arm hooked around a large, barrel-chested man with more facial hair than I’d seen in my life. Had to be a werewolf. He pulled away from my dad and brushed at the gravel and purple residue covering his gray suit.
“Thank you, Mr. …” The stranger held out one hand to my dad.
“George Bennings,” Dad said, shaking the stranger’s hand. “And this is my wife, Grace, and our daughter, Caroline. We just moved here from Lost Creek.”
“My name is William Grouseman. I’m thrilled you’ve come to town, but glad you didn’t pull in a few moments sooner.”
I wanted to warn him that sarcasm was lost on my parents, but he seemed to get the message when they didn’t share in his chuckle. They exchanged a confused glance and smiled blankly at him.
He offered his hand to me and I shook it. “Nice to meet you, sir.”
He frowned, looking between my parents and then back at me.
Mom’s arm curved around my shoulder, nudging me forward. She sniffed. “She’s just a late bloomer. We’ve got great hopes for her future.”
I sighed. She meant well, but it never failed. Supernatural people could sense the paranormal on each other. But when they got to me there was nothing. A void. A great, empty space where everyone expected some sort of natural magic.
The supernatural had been the normal since 1978 when an explorer by the name of Albert Merriweather stumbled into a cave in Greece and found Pandora’s Box, and then opened it. Apparently the myths about the box were off a little. Instead of holding all the evils of the world, it held all the magic that had been pulled out of it. Releasing magic out into the world, well, now every person was a little bit paranormal. It didn’t mean everyone could cast a spell or levitate. But everyone had something. Kids were tested in elementary school.
The ones with lots of magic were usually the popular crowd. The rest of the population lived with it, picking up what they could, where they could. You could ask to be retested anytime. Sometimes people really did make progress.
Except me. I hadn’t just tested low, I’d flunked. So badly they brought in national analysts to make sure there wasn’t someone tampering with the tests. It was a relief really. I mean, my parents were powerful. Who wants to try and beat that?
My lack of powers drove my parents batty. Most people figured I was adopted. Two dryads–tree spirits who could change shape, manipulate the natural world, and talk to trees–produced a normal child? Impossible.
My parents were convinced I would show signs as I matured. I didn’t have the heart to tell them differently, but I really didn’t think it would ever happen. And that was fine by me. Magic was great–when it worked.
Maybe when I turned forty my parents would figure it out. Until then, I’d smile and nod when they gave me their speech about reaching my potential and discovering hidden talents.
I met Mr. Grouseman’s chocolate eyes and gave him a weak smile before he turned to my parents.
“Ah, well, it happens sometimes. If anyone can draw out her gift, it’s our teaching staff at the school. I’m the principal at Stein Middle School.” His eyes moved from them to me. I wished I were small and hidden under a rock. “You look like you’re about middle-school age. What grade will you be in?”
I swallowed. This was not how I planned to meet the school principal. “I’m supposed to start eighth this year.”
“I thought so. You’ll love the school. Excellent courses and teachers, and the students are some of the best.”
Just like every other school I’d been to. They always said that. It must be in a rulebook principals get when they start their jobs. Luckily, that was the end of his conversation with me. He told my parents where the school was, and what the summer office hours were, then waved at us as he headed back into the shop.
Mom raised a tentative finger and cleared her throat. “Are you certain it’s safe to go back in?”
Mr. Grouseman loosed a deep peal of laughter. “Of course! My nephew runs the store. What you saw was an accident when a new display tipped over. Have a great day!”
I didn’t buy his story, and I didn’t think Mom and Dad did either. But clearly he wasn’t going to share family quarrels with the new people in town. With a shrug, I climbed back into the car, put my cryptogram book away, and watched the town unfold outside my windows. The buildings wound around a central park with huge old-growth trees and the county buildings were the same as they’d been when the town was founded in the seventeenth century. My Dad gave me tidbits about the history of Hecate Bay for the last two weeks, trying to pump up my anticipation. History was one passion Dad and I shared.
Spell suppliers, voodoo parlors, psychic readers, and magical bookstores rubbed elbows with Food Lion, florists, and churches. The human and the paranormal had merged and become just like the country–an inseparable mix.
We headed for our new house. As we turned away from town, the library caught my attention. A huge stone building that, based on the size, I knew held thousands of books. I started to drool at the prospect. As I watched the people wandering down the street, and we passed another spell shop and magical supply store, my excitement began to fade. I thought about what I’d seen so far, the encounter with my new principal, and the new school year approaching, and my stomach churned with dread. I knew that no matter what, Hecate Bay wasn’t the restful small town my parents told me about. I’d hoped for one of those rare towns populated with only a few magical creatures and big magical talents. This place, well, I could practically taste the magic in the air.
I was doomed.

 

About-the-Author

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

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Middle Grade Mondays: Strange Country Day by Charles Curtis #MGMondays

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Welcome to Middle Grade Mondays!

This week, we are doing a featured spotlight on

Strange Country Day by Charles Curtis

an MG title presented by Tantrum Books!

 

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Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

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Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.

Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.

As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.

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Charles Curtis

 

Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.

In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

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M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal – Super Freak by Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Super Freak by Vanessa Barger

an MG title presented by Tantrum Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Super Freak

 

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

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Super Freak by Vanessa Barger
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Genre: MG, Fantasy

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About-the-Author

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | YouTube

 

Giveaway

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Titles not yet released will be upon its publication.

 

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M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: The Pretty Dark Nothing Series by @HeatherLReid with Giveaway #T4T @chapterxchapter @tantrumbooks @Month9Books

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Pretty Dark Nothing series by Heather L. Reid!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

 

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It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

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What Readers are Saying:

 

“This is a surprisingly very psychologically draining book and reminded me of the first season American Horror Story and Stephen King’s Carrie.” – Syahira – Requiem for More Books

 

“The characters, the world building, the plot… I really think the author had great control over her craft.”Alyssa – Eater of Books

 

“This is a thrilling story that will keep you up at night!” Katie – Curse of the Bibliophile

 

 

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It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.

Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron’s memorial, convincing her he’s still alive.

When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophesy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife.

If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment.

All it will cost is her blood.

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What Readers are Saying:

 


“A love story that lasts for eternity.”
Sherry, Fundinmental

 

“This book was engrossing and engaging, and functioned well as a sequel novel.”Alyssa – Eater of Books

 

“…I definitely recommend giving this series a try if you’re looking for a refreshing take on demons or like paranormal romance.” – Analee – Book Snacks

 

 

about-the-author

 

 

Heather

 

Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing new tales of fantasy and horror.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Giveaway

 

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