Review: I’m Going to Be Famous

I'm Going to Be FamousTitle: I’m Going to Be Famous
Author: Tom Birdseye
Publisher: Holiday House
Release Date: October 1986
Length: 160 pages
Genre: Middle Grades, Humor

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Determined to achieve fame by breaking several oddball world records in an upcoming contest, Arlo Moore and his friends practice fiendishly under the disapproval of parents and school principal.


I also read this book with my intervention class. They enjoyed it very much.

In this hilarious book, Arlo is determined to beat a world record, and when he hears the word “can’t” he looses it. He made some bets he probably couldn’t keep, even after his dad and the principal made them off-limits.

Arlo’s determination draws friends and even his pesky sister into the world-record breaking attempts. They set a specific date for the world record breaking performance and train almost daily until then. Arlo learns the Positive Brain Approach from his friend Ben to get himself in gear to beat the record.

Did I mention all of their records are crazy food records? Arlo has to eat seventeen bananas within a very short time frame. One friend has to eat lemons – whole – in a short time frame, and the other has to eat so many quarts of ice cream in a short time. Kerry, Arlo’s sister, was the only one who selected a world record attempt that did not involve eating food.

At first, Arlo’s attitude about his sister is VERY “ugh, sister” like, but as the novel progresses and he and Kerry spend more time together, I think she grows on him a bit. By the end, he’s cheering her on in her world record attempt. Arlo also grows in his relationship with his older brother, who he has a strong bet with, and his brother’s girlfriend turns out to be Arlo’s cheerleader.

Arlo also makes an enemy at school – the nerd of his class, who is also a snotty snitch. Arlo is in love with a girl in his class (think wind blown hair, shining glow with a halo, crystalline music playing when he thinks about or sees this girl), and she winds up being the subject of a bet that brings it crumbling down around Arlo’s ears.

My kids loved this book, and I did too. I highly recommend this book to anyone 4th grade and up.

About the Author

I grew up in North Carolina and Kentucky, an ardent fan of anything that smacked of sports, crawdads, mud balls, forts built in the woods, secret codes, bicycles without fenders, butter pecan ice cream, and snow. I was, however, decidedly uninterested in writing-or any academic aspect of school, for that matter-never imagining that at the age of thirty-five I would become a published author. And yet after two unrelated college degrees, a year living in Japan, and ten years of teaching experience, that is what happened. Life, it seems, is full of who’d-a-thought-its.

I live in Corvallis, Oregon, with my wife, Debbie. Our two daughters, Kelsey and Amy, are both off on their own, living and working in Portland. When not writing, working at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in creative writing, or in classrooms talking with children and teachers about the writing process, I enjoy rock climbing, alpine ascents, scaling big trees, ski mountaineering, snowshoeing, backpacking, mountain biking, running, playing the string bass, and reading.

Even after many books published and awards won, at times it still amazes me that writing is my profession. It was such a difficult process for me when I was a kid; I can really identify with the reluctant writer in school today. Everything seemed to get in the way of my completing stories: from being left-handed, to my poor spelling skills, from punctuation woes, to especially a lack of ideas. Fortunately, the right people came along at the right time and helped me see past the hurdles, emphasizing instead the joy of the work and the satisfaction to be had in trying to uncover the important truths that can come out of fiction. Now I carry a small notebook at all times and am always on the lookout for material I can use in a story: ordinary people that would make good characters, the funny, telling, or poignant glimpses of life that are triggered by what I see and hear, and the wonderfully wise things people will say at the most unexpected times.

True, I still labor through my stories, wrestling with the spelling beast and the punctuation monster, writing and rewriting, then rewriting some more, until I glean my best, but the process has become one of pleasure instead of pain. I love doing it, and I love sharing it with others. The boy who couldn’t imagine himself a writer, now can’t imagine himself anything else.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Must Love Otters is the NOOK DAILY FIND! Only $.99!


Remember when I reviewed Must Love Otters? That book with the cute cover written by husband and wife? No? Go check out my review, and if you’re interested, it’s only $.99 because it’s the NOOK Daily Find!

Guest Post by author Eliza Gordon

When you sit down to read Must Love Otters, I’ll bet you aren’t expecting to learn something along the way. I’m not a writer who seeks to hide secret messages in the material. Readers are smarter than that. The savvy writer works to infuse meaning and subtlety in their words without smacking folks over the head with an unspoken agenda.Elfin VanAqua August 2013

But a book isn’t a success unless the reader, who grants the writer the privilege of time, walks away with something. And with this book, I wanted that something to be more than a smiling face or a filled heart—I wanted to share a little love with the animal kingdom.

I know, I know—you’re reminding me that Hollie Porter is not a fan of Yorkies. Sorry, pups. No offense. You’re cute enough and lots of people love you. But what about the endangered sea otter? Enhydra lutris has three subspecies: the Southern sea otter (found in California, concentrated in the Monterey area), the Northern sea otter (Washington, Canada, and up into Alaska), and the Russian sea otter (off the coast of eastern Russia with reported sightings as far as Japan). We’re not talking huge numbers, though—the temperate central California coast iKatmai and Tanu DSC_2394s home to only about 3000 otters. While the Pacific Northwest boasts a healthier population of 65,000 to 78,000 critters, we’re talking about close to 3000 miles of coastline. When you do the math, that’s a lot of beach, and not a lot of otters.

Since Must Love Otters hit the digital shelves (and some wooden shelves for our diehard fans!) in October 2013, folks have shared their otter pictures, memes, and stories on our Facebook and Twitter feeds—which is awesome. I follow Friends of the Sea Otter, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium,, and Michael Yang Photography (he specializes in photographing California’s otter population) and I love hearing news like what came through this morning—two orphaned and rescued pups, rehabilitated by the folks at Monterey Bay, have found their forever homes in Oregon. The Oregon Coast Aquarium welcomes Otter 649, now Elfin - DSC_2453named Oswald, and the Oregon Zoo welcomes little Juno, just six months old and ready to meet her adoring fans.

If writing a silly love story about a girl who loves otters means more people take notice of the plight of the beloved sea otter, then mission accomplished. Awareness is the first step toward conservation—and I’m proud that Hollie Porter is doing her part.

Thank you for reading!

Note: Pictures of the otters were taken by Eliza Gordon and are of Elfin (male) and Katmai (female) who live at the Vancouver Aquarium.

About the book:

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon is an adult romantic comedy that released in October 2013.

Must Love Otters coverHollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBookstore

Eliza Gordon is a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday Post (May 18)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Life is rushing head-long into summer! I am swimming at least 2 times per week (last Saturday I fell asleep at the pool – nice little sunburn) and eating lighter and healthier. My kids are winding down in their book clubs – several have finished and are now on to projects – and are chomping at the bit to get out of school.

Last Week on G1000W

Review: Mudshark by Gary Paulsen

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Black Orchid by Abigail Owens

Release Day Blitz + Guest Post + Giveaway: As Is by Rachel Michael Arends

FREE Audiobooks for Summer!

Review: Enough Rope by P.L. Doss

Blast & Giveaway: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

NOOK Daily Find: Must Love Otters – $.99 sale!

This Week on G1000W

Review: I’m Going to Be Famous by Tom Birdseye

Review: Banished Love by Ramona Flightner

Blast: The Duchess by Nicolette Andrews

Around Town in the Spotlight

Tara reviewed Life by Committee, where teens exchanges secrets online for dares! Before clicking on this link, get a glass of wine. 🙂

Tara shined the spotlight on the phenomenon of blog tours.

Katie put up the first mini challenge for the Summer Reading Program.

Brooke shared The Book Splash 2015 Author Signing Cruise.

Nicole peruses the how fast to review a book.

Giveaways All Around!

Blitz + Giveaway for Dead Girl Walking – $10 Amazon GC

Blitz + Giveaway for The Blink Tour – 9 winnders of YA books from authors on the tour

Grand Finale Giveaway for Meant to Be Mine – $50 Visa GC with a copy; Starbucks coffee and signed copies; See’s Chocolates and signed copies

Review + Giveaway for Rebel – copy annotated by author

Review + Giveaway for Broken Arrows – $10 Amazon GC

Guest Post + Giveaway for Chasing Prophecy – (3) $50 Amazon GC

Giveaway for Camp Payback – Kindle, $50 Amazon GC, print copy, t-shirt

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway for Second Chances 101 – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Kid Lit Giveaway – $15 GC and book of choice

Giveaway for Mrs. D’s Books – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Children’s Book Hop Giveaway from Brooke Blogs

Jen Minkman Giveaway 

Giveaway for Mouseheart – 3 middle grades books (including Mouseheart)

Release + Giveaway for Bait Shop Blues – (2) $15 Amazon GC, (2) ebook copies

Giveaway for Twelfth Sun – 3 ebooks of Weathering Rock

Guest Post + Giveaway for Scents and Senses – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Blitz + Giveaway for Wonderfully Wicked – $10 Amazon GC and ebook

Review + Giveaway for Shelter – $25 Amazon GC and copy

Review + Giveaway for Hypocrisy – copy of book

Giveaway for Fields of Elysium – signed Special Edition, Italian silver butterfly charm

Review + Giveaway for Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Cover Reveal + Giveaway for A is for Apocalypse – ARC

Excerpt + Giveaway for Scary Modsters…and Creepy Freaks – signed copy, SWAG pack, author donates $20 to charity in winner’s name

Giveaway for Running in the Dark – $15 Amazon GC, beaded book thong, signed bookmark

Blast for Prom Impossible – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Guest Post + Giveaway for Love, Lucy – $15 Amazon eGC

Cover Reveal + Giveaway for Forever Kinda Love – FKL Swag Pack, FKL Swag, (2) FKL bottle caps, (5) FKL signed bookmarks

Blitz + Giveaway for Deliver Me – Amazon Kindle

Review + Interview + Guest Post for Redesigning Rose – $50 Amazon GC

Review + Giveaway for Assured Destruction – $25 Amazon GC, 25 complete series ebooks

Excerpt + Giveaway for Taking Angels – ebook copy, $25 Amazon GC

Guest Post + Giveaway for Bob at the Lake – $25 Amazon GC

Giveaway for Inquisitor – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Turning Pages May Giveaway – 2 sets of ARCS

Giveaway for King of the Mutants – 1 ebook copy and $10 Amazon GC

Giveaway for The Monster Within – signed copy, bookmarks, mask, mood ring, triquetra necklace, paperback ARC, hard cover YA, $10 Amazon or B&N GC

Giveaway for Lancaster House AND The Middle Aisle – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Giveaway for Laugh – $25 ebook card, tote and mug, two other titles by author

Giveaway for Renegades – ebooks and paperbacks (multiple dependent on # of entries)

Review + Giveaway for Finding Fuzzy: A “You Decide Tale” of a Lost Friend – (2) signed copy, $10 Amazon GC

Excerpt + Giveaway for In A Wolf’s Eyes – $50 Amazon coupon, $30 Amazon coupon

Giveaway for Since You’ve Been Gone – signed copies, swag

Review + Giveaway for Camelot Burning – book copy

Blitz + Giveaway for Kissed – 50 gorgeous roses

Giveaway for Mrs. Poe – 5 paperbacks

Giveaway for Chasing Prophecy – (3) $50 Amazon GC

New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonder

A lot of romance in the air just in time for summer!

I actually bought a book this past week. OK, actually, two books. The Burgess Boys and Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits

Always With You The Secret of the Missing Locket How (Not) to Kiss Your Dog Second Chance Ranch (The Circle D, #1) The Heart Stone Unraveled (Holding On, #3) Weathered Too Young Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid (Kellington, #1) Petty Cash A Reason to Live (Marty Singer #1) The Big, Not-So-Small, Curvy Girls Dating Agency (Plush Daisies: BBW Romance, #1) Alex Driven to Date  Let Love In (Love, #1) My Sweet Valentine: A Pride Series Novel (The Pride, #6) Love and Relativity Remember Me (Darlington and Montgomery Families, #1) 3 A.M. Forever Young Unwrapped (Beachwood Bay, #2.5) Invitation to Seduction (Open Invitation, #1) Another Chance Island Fever The Black Owls: An Oxford Nightmare I Married a Billionaire (I Married a Billionaire, #1) Snowbound with a Stranger Claiming the Duchess Secrets (The Seaclusion Series, #3) Crimson Gold Patriotic Duty  Living for Love and Dying for Loyalty Unfiltered & Unlawful (Unfiltered, #1) The Hostage (Sarah Roberts, #4) Blast of the Dragon's Fury (Andy Smithson, #1) Fillies and Females (Racetrack Romance, #2) No Way to Die (Danny Logan Mystery, #2) Both Sides Now In Search of a Love Story (Love Story, #1) Sliding Beneath the Surface (The St. Augustine Trilogy, #1) Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, #1) When I Married My Mother: A Daughter's Search for What Really Matters - And How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo Sabrina's Man Luck of the Devil: My Life as a Drug Smuggler The Deepest Waters Surrender (The Ferryman and the Flame, #1) Weddings Can Be Murder The Lies that Save Us (Broken Heart #1) THE BARREL MURDER - a Detective Joe Petrosino case (based on true events) Love In Touch Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery, #1) Keep Breathing Tennessee Bride The Burgess Boys Lady Blues: forget-me-not: A Gus LeGarde Mystery (LeGarde Mysteries) Dying to Get Published (Jennifer Marsh Mysteries, #1) Total Victim Theory New England Witch Chronicles (New England Witch Chronicles, #1) In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman #1) Amulet (DragonBlade #1) Born (Born, #1) Lost Through Time Never Say Never: Part 1 The Wrong Girl (Freak House #1) Moonlit Veined (Guardian of the Angels, #1) All Roads Lead Home (Bellingwood, #1) It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family #2) School for Adventurers: The First Fight 365 Inspirational Quotes of Eastern Wisdom Remember the Moon Killer Cupcakes (A Lexy Baker Bakery Mystery, #1) Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii Your Eyes Don't Lie

Blast + Giveaway: The Almond Tree


The Almond TreeTitle: The Almond Tree
Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Publisher: Garnet Publishing
Release Date: December 2013
Length: 353 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: ebook
Source: I Am A Reader

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Can I just say I love the cover? It is a beautiful cover that I think represents the book well. It has a foreboding and haunting effect to it.

“An epic drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner… Grabs you from the first page… A gripping and compassionate work of fiction” —Huffington Post
The unforgettable story of a young Palestinian boy whose mathematical gifts allow him to escape the difficulties of life as an Arab Israeli, The Almond Tree is a beautifully crafted debut novel written by a Jewish American woman from the perspective of a Palestinian Muslim male. It is about the power of love, the price of hatred, and the possibility of redemption.
Even as a young boy Ahmed Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Coming of age under Israeli martial law, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other.
On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality.
With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his beloved brother Abbas succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed must find a way to care for his family and find a better future for himself. Gifted with a mind that can solve mathematical equations, he uses his intellect to take an inspiring journey that will lead him from his war-torn homeland to a life in America he could never have imagined for himself.
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of half a century of conflict, The Almond Tree is a powerful novel that allows us to walk in one extraordinary Palestinian’s shoes and see the world through his eyes.
“Corasanti’s accomplished debut novel offers a humanistic look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…Sensitive, moving…” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Almond Tree

“The story is spell-binding with universal appeal…” –The Daily Star
” …a strong addition to coming of age fiction collections, highly recommended.” –The MidwestBook Review
“…one of the most riveting books I have read…Corasanti takes a realistic premise and builds an interesting and highly believable story that only gets better as the pages fly by. While “The Almond Tree” is a fictional tale, much of it is based on the truth of what is today’s world, and as such there is also an important message located within. I highly recommend this book.” –Charline Ratcliff / Rebecca’s Reads

About the Author

Michelle Cohen CorasantiMichelle Cohen Corasanti received a BA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MA from Harvard University, both in Middle Eastern Studies. A Jewish American, she lived in Israel for seven years and was married to a Palestinian Muslim for several years afterwards. Nearly a decade in the making, The Almond Tree grew out of the many stories Michelle heard and witnessed while living with Palestinians and Israeli friends and family she knew and loved in Israel and at Harvard. She currently lives in New York with her family.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Go enter the GIVEAWAY!

Book Review: Enough Rope

Enough RopeTitle: Enough Rope
Author: P.L. Doss
Publisher: Mayfair Press
Release Date: October 2013
Length: 322 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Format: e-book
Source: The Editorial Department

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


During an early morning jog, Atlanta attorney Tom Halloran discovers the body of his friend and colleague, Elliot Carter, hanging from a tree in Piedmont Park. Even worse, the private and dignified Carter is grotesquely dressed in women’s clothes. Halloran is convinced that Elliot’s death is murder, not a tragic accident of autoerotic asphyxia-gone-wrong. 

But the medical examiner’s investigator, Hollis Joplin, is skeptical. He knows how difficult it would be to fake that kind of death, and he’s seen too much in his years on the Atlanta streets to be surprised by what people are capable of doing—to themselves or others. Then two more people die, and the clues lead back to a twenty-year-old kidnapping. 

The under-staffed Atlanta PD can’t give the case attention unless Carter’s death is ruled a homicide, so Joplin, with an eidetic memory that allows him to recall in three dimensions everything he’s seen, sets out to investigate it himself. Piece by piece, he and the relentless Halloran unravel a tale of greed, revenge, and family secrets—and put themselves right in the crosshairs of a calculating and ruthless killer.


I did it. I judged this book by its cover – P.L., get a snazzy cover! – and was I ever in for a surprise! From page one I got up in this mystery with Hollis Joplin and Tom Halloran. It seemed that with every page I turned the mystery of the murders became more complex and the plot thickened. I could not put this book down at all. Any spare moment I got, I was reading this book – even at stoplights to and from work. Sometimes I’d even avoid taking the highway and instead take the service road filled with lights just to get in a few more minutes of reading (thankfully it’s only a few exits to my house!).

When Hollis arrives at the scene of Elliot’s death he tells Halloran that no matter how well you think you know a person, you don’t know them all that well, which is the big idea that leads Halloran through most of the book.

The novel follows a few of the characters, primarily giving insight into the murders and furthering the development and formulation of solving the murders. The novel follows both Joplin and Halloran, and even for a brief moment the new pathologist intern Carrie, who works alongside Joplin’s best friend Jack, conducting autopsies. Halloran is out “playing detective” as Joplin calls it, and eventually shares all of his information with Joplin, but at one point he overplays his hand – and that’s when things start spiraling. Despite that, he and Joplin are in it together to solve the string of murders – and predicting who will be next.

Pictures from long ago resurface – pictures that Joplin’s Chief has seen before when working on a kidnapping twenty years ago, and pictures that Elliot Carter’s wife took to a private investigator. The pictures are an odd twist, but ultimately what helps both Joplin and Halloran put the pieces together.

Joplin and Halloran both set their sights on one particular suspect who is very close to Elliot’s wife. Then Halloran discovers a curve ball, and he and Joplin are left with two prime suspects, but they’ve got a hard judge who won’t grant a search warrant based on what they’ve got, so they riddle it out some more. This is when the two align exactly in concluding who the murderer is and determining the motive. Joplin figures it out first and decides to catch the murderer alone before he/she can strike again…except, he didn’t quite bargain for what he got. 

There is a definite focus on prestige, money, appearance and reputation in this book. There is a lot said about Elliot’s wife, Anne, and the circumstances of their marriage, birth of their only child, and recent separation. 

I thought I was figuring things out on my own, and knew who the killer was, but I was wrong. I never would have even suspected the killer, not in a million years.

This was a thrilling and wonderfully written murder mystery read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.

About the Author

P.L. DossWhile completing a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Georgia State University, P.L. Doss served a graduate internship at the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office. Assigned to the investigative division, she discovered how important the duties of the investigators were in helping the forensic pathologists determine the cause and manner of death. She was also able to observe the autopsies—an experience that proved to be invaluable in toughening her up for her career in law enforcement, first as a volunteer analyst in the Missing Children’s Information Center at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and then as a probation officer and supervisor of officers at the Georgia Department of Corrections. She currently lives in Atlanta.

Find the author: Goodreads

FREE Audiobooks for Summer

Looking for a great FREE promo for summer reading?

Try SYNC, an outreach from the Audio Publishers Association!

Each week during the summer, SYNC provides two FREE audiobooks – one classic, one current YA – for anyone to download. Yes, it’s totally free!

This great summer freebie program starts TOMORROW, so go check out the specifications to download your FREE audio books. 

You can text syncya to 25827 for title updates and alerts when the new books are out. To sign up for email alerts and learn more, visit

Here’s the complete line up:


May 15 – May 21

  • WARP: THE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN by Eoin Colfer, Narrated by Maxwell Caulfield (Listening Library)
  • THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells, Narrated by Derek Jacobi (Listening Library)

May 22 – May 28

  • CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge, Narrated by Elizabeth Knowleden (Harper Audio)
  • OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles, Performed by Michael Sheen and a full cast (Naxos AudioBooks)

May 29 – June 4

  • CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, Narrated by Emma Galvin (Hachette Audio)
  • MURDER AT THE VICARAGE by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Richard E. Grant (Harper Audio)

June 5 – June 11

  • ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill, Narrated by Meredith Mitchell (Tantor Audio)
  • JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare, Performed by Richard Dreyfuss, JoBeth Williams, Stacy Keach, Kelsey Grammer, and a full cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 12 – June 18

  • CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, Narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell (Bolinda Audio)
  • THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie Ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, Narrated by Bernadette Dunne (christianaudio)

June 19 – June 25

  • I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter, Narrated by Renée Raudman (Brilliance Audio)
  • ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by Lucy Montgomery, Narrated by Colleen Winton (Post Hypnotic Press)

June 26 – July 2

  • FORGIVE ME LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, Narrated by Noah Galvin (Hachette Audio)
  • OCTOBER MOURNING: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman, Narrated by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Christina Traister (Brilliance Audio)

July 3 – July 9

  • TORN FROM TROY by Patrick Bowman, Narrated by Gerard Doyle (Post Hypnotic Press)
  • PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Narrated by Jim Dale (Brilliance Audio)

July 10 – July 16

  • CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Narrated by Channie Waites (Brilliance Audio)
  • WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George, Narrated by Felicia Bullock (Oasis Audio)

July 17 – July 23

  • THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)
  • THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

July 24 – July 30

  • HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)
  • THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

July 31 – August 6

  • DIVIDED WE FALL by Trent Reedy, Narrated by Andrew Eiden (Scholastic Audio)
  • THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane, Narrated by Frank Muller (Recorded Books)

August 7 – August 13

  • LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS by Ben Lesser, Narrated by Jonathan Silverman and Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publishing)
  • THE SHAWL by Cynthia Ozick, Narrated by Yelena Shmulenson (HighBridge Audio)

What other FREE summer resources have you found?

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Black Orchid


Displaying Masq Tour Button.jpg

Title: Black Orchid
Author: Abigail Owen
Publisher: Diversion
Release Date: May 2014
Series?: Svatura #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Find the book: Website | Goodreads 

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Adelaide Jenner feels nothing… she is completely numb inside. Her te’sorthene, her fated love, abandoned her and joined their enemy. On that day her sister turned off all Adelaide’s emotions in order to save her from a heartbreak that could push her over the edge of sanity. But great power wielded without compassion or love can only lead to pain.


Nate Pierce believes Adelaide used her extraordinary powers to deceive him all these years. So he destroyed a relationship he thought to be false and hungers for revenge. Now, Nate serves Maddox. He is unaware that his new leader is using him as a pawn in a bid to enslave all Svatura.


The only hope of finally defeating Maddox is for Adelaide and her sisters to combine their growing powers against him. But the the key to a Svatura’s power is the heart, and Adelaide’s is still missing.

About the Author

Displaying Abigail Owen.JPGAward-winning author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe. 

Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by obtaining a degree in English Rhetoric/Technical Writing. However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


Release Day Blitz for AS IS + Guest Post + Giveaway

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I am so happy to share with you all this goodiness today! Today is the release for AS IS and I have Rachel here at Land of 1000 Wonders to talk about character development and there is a giveaway!


Gwendolyn Golden and Armand Leopold have been America’s go-to couple for home decorating tips, letting the cameras into their So Perfect house, their So Perfect life, their So Perfect marriage.

One problem: it’s all an act.

Actually, two problems: America just found out it’s all an act.

When a picture of Armand kissing another man hits the newsstands, everyone knows the jig is up. Both are evicted from their home and eviscerated by the press. While Armand deals with his very private life becoming very public, Gwen Golden returns home to Riveredge, a quiet town where her sick father, her angry sister, and the guy who got away still live.

After years of pretending, Gwen has to rebuild her life for real. But while turning a new house into a home, and starting the next chapter of her life will be tough, reconnecting with the man she once loved may prove to be the most difficult of all.

Displaying As Is (Medium).jpgWith humor and charm to burn, Rachel Michael Arends has written a beautiful novel of rekindled romance, home improvement, and how only the truth can really set you free.

Title: As Is
Author: Rachel Michael Arends
Publisher: Diversion
Release Date: May 2014

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon 

GIVEAWAY! Go enter!

Guest Post 

Thanks for inviting me to guest post on your blog! You asked for insights on developing a strong character, so I’ll do my best to give you some.

For me, it all starts with a voice. When I’m developing a character, I try to hone in on what makes her special: what annoys her, cracks her up, frightens her, turns her on, etc. I need to not only know these things, but convey them so convincingly that the reader knows them, too. Organically, without being told.

I don’t know how typical this is for writers, but each character tends to come to me in a fell swoop. All at once. BAM! So I don’t have to do a whole bunch of thinking about it, I just start typing what the character says. And I start seeing him, based on what he sees in the mirror, and what’s on his schedule for the day, and what has got him pissed off, or uptight, at the moment.

My debut, AS IS, as well as my next novel coming out in August, HELP YOURSELF, were written in multiple, first-person perspectives. Writing a character in first person, to me, makes a voice come alive right away. It has to jump off the page or you never get off the ground. “I…” what? You have to know from the get-go who that person is, because you’re in his head, you are him. You can’t even get away with beginning by describing the room he’s in, or the landscape, or the supermarket, because to do so you have to be in his head; you have to know not only what he sees, but how he sees it.

The more alive a character is, the more believable. The more believable, the weirder the situations you can throw him into and get away with it. The weirder the situations, the stronger the character needs to be.

At least that’s what I think. I’ve never been asked about developing a strong character before, and I honestly haven’t given it much thought until now. The only rule in fiction is that it has to work, right? So I just try until I think something works. The most important thing to me in writing has been to write each character in such a way that the reader will hear their voice the way I do: unquestioningly believing this person is real, complete, and as full of right and wrong and conflicting feelings as any other human being out there.

They are real to me. I think they have to be to do them justice, to have them breathe heavily when they’re running, or bleed when they fall down. If I don’t believe it, how could I ever expect anyone else to believe it?

Thanks again for inviting me to guest post! It was a pleasure.

About the Author

Displaying Arends_authorphoto.jpgRachel Michael Arends lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her husband and three children, including twins. She has been a public library director, a corporate consultant, and she silently co-owns a successful software firm.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review: Mudshark

MudsharkTitle: Mudshark
Author: Gary Paulsen
Publisher: Lamb Books
Release Date: May 2009
Length: 96 pages
Genre: Middle Grades

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Mudshark is the go-to guy for any mysteries that need solving. Lost your shoe? Can’t find your homework? Ask Mudshark. That is, until the Psychic Parrot takes up residence in the school library and threatens to overturn Mudshark’s position as the guy who knows all the answers. The word in school is that the parrot can out-think Mudshark. And right now, the school needs someone who’s good at solving problems. There’s an escaped gerbil running rampant, an emergency in the faculty restroom, and all the erasers are disappearing from the classrooms.

When Mudshark solves the mystery of who’s stealing the erasers, he discovers the culprit has the best of intentions. Now he has to think of a way to prevent the Psychic Parrot from revealing the eraser-thief’s identity. With a bit of misdirection and a lot of quick thinking, Mudshark restores order to the chaos . . . just for the moment.


I read this book to my intervention class. I thought it would be a light and funny read, but I felt it went a little over my 6th graders heads. Of course, these are students who need intervention, so that might be why they could not put together the pieces of what was happening in this book. There is quite a fair amount of sarcasm in this book, coupled with a very distinctive 3rd person point of view with complex syntax that at times was hard to follow.

Mudshark has an uncanny knack for telling students where they last left an item. He has trained well with running crowd control with three baby triplet sisters and two pretty absent and absent-minded parents. He’s the go-to guy at school, and almost revered for his talent, until the librarian gets a parrot who can tell students before Mudshark can.

Overall, there is not much character development except for a glimmer of unknown information about the janitor. Instead, it is just about the plot of the missing erasers and the craziness that is happening at Mudshark’s school.

Each chapter opens with the principal giving an announcement for the janitor to bring some crazy and odd assemblance of items to clean up a mess in a particular area, rantings and beratements about the gerbil on the loose, for erasers to be returned to classrooms and for Lyle (Mudshark) to come to the office.

In the end, Mudshark and a small group of students devise a plan to set several things in their small school to rights, and they pull it off marvelously.

I have read and enjoyed several of Gary Paulsen’s many books, and this is a light and quick read for middle grades. I would recommend for 6-8 grade.

About the Author

Image of Gary from GutsBorn May 17, 1939, Gary Paulsen is one of America’s most popular writers for young people. Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read — along with his own library card — he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his powerful stories.

Paulsen’s realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never to return. He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, working on his own writing every night. Then he left California and drove to northern Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake; by the end of the winter, he had completed his first novel.

Living in the remote Minnesota woods, Paulsen eventually turned to the sport of dog racing, and entered the 1983 Iditarod. In 1985, after running the Iditarod for the second time, he suffered an attack of angina and was forced to give up his dogs. “I started to focus on writing the same energies and efforts that I was using with dogs. So we’re talking 18-, 19-, 20-hour days completely committed to work. Totally, viciously, obsessively committed to work, the way I’d run dogs….I still work that way, completely, all the time. I just work. I don’t drink, I don’t fool around, I’m just this way….The end result is there’s a lot of books out there.”

Gary PaulsenIt is Paulsen’s overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write. His intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them has brought him both enormous popularity with young people and critical acclaim from the children’s book community. Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today and three of his novels — HatchetDogsong, and The Winter Room— were Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

Paulsen has received many letters from readers (as many as 200 a day) telling him they felt Brian Robeson’s story in Hatchet was left unfinished by his early rescue, before the winter came and made things really tough. They wanted to know what would happen if Brian were not rescued, if he had to survive in the winter. Paulsen says, “Since my life has been one of survival in winter — running two Iditarods, hunting and trapping as a boy and young man — the challenge became interesting, and so I researched and wrote Brian’s Winter, showing what could and perhaps would have happened had Brian not been rescued.”

Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between a home in New Mexico and a boat in the Pacific.

Find the author: Website | Goodreads

Sunday Post (May 11)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on G1000W

Review: Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

Review: Broken Arrows by Chelsey Butler

April Releases from Diversion Books

$.99 Sale!

Review: The Stargazer by Michelle Jaffe

This Week on G1000W

Review: Mudshark by Gary Paulsen

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Black Orchid by Abigail Owens

Release Day Blitz + Guest Post + Giveaway: As Is by Rachel Michael Arends

Review: Enough Rope by P.L. Doss

Around Town in the Spotlight

Bout of Books 10 read-a-thon! Go sign up!

Faye invited bloggers and readers to participate in a read along.

Katie’s 5 star review of a book that follows a reality star teen who wants to escape the limelight.

Isabel talked about the disappointment with novellas in this review – but this book doesn’t fit the novella mold!

Tara’s reflected on her appreciation of April’s LGTB (with more recommendations!).

Mommabel mused about why we still love “real” books.

Mysti wranged a guest post from Christopher Kokoski about a bestseller’s secret to selecting unforgettable settings.

Ren Garcia shared about shutting people out due to writing, and how it all changed.

Katie gratefully gave her tips and tricks for BEA 2014.

Emily expressed her response and reflection of women in the workplace.

Maria got personal with a book dedicated to the author’s late wife and her struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Mysti hosted a reviewer interview with the first candidate.

Giveaways All Around!

MOTHER’S DAY – Hallmark Card and Surprise Givewaway

Interview & Giveaway for Sweet Reckoning – Prize Packs & Bookmark Bundles

Excerpt & Giveaway for The Prophecy of Arcadia – $50 Amazon GC

Review & Giveaway of for Under the Never Sky – signed copy

Excerpt & Giveaway for Cutlass – 2 signed copies and 1 ebook copy

Excerpt & Giveaway for Meant to Be Mine – $50 VISA GC and a copy, Starbucks coffee and signed copies, See’s Chocolates and signed copy

Review & Giveaway for Shadow Fire – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Giveaway for Synchrony – $25 Amazon GC, Swag Packs, various ebook copies

Blitz & Giveaway for Summoned – (2) $50 Amazon GC

Excerpt & Giveaway for Fields of Elysium – special edition charm for the book

Review & Giveaway for The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey – $10 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash and a copy

Blast & Giveaway for I’m With You – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Review & Giveaway for Lethal Lily – Peggy Lee tote with a few goodies!

Excerpt & Giveaway for Fruit of Misfortune – signed copy, Swag Pack, other signed books

Review & Giveaway for Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew – $25 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Giveaway for The Widow’s Walk – copy of MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY

Giveaway for Royally Lost – $20 Amazon GC

Blast & Giveaway for The Jamett & Joseph Series – your choice of book!

Interview & Giveaway for Compulsion – signed copy and other signed books, a necklace based on the book and Compulsion bookmark

Interview & Giveaway for Only Everything – signed copy, Orion’s Arrow necklace

Excerpt & Giveaway for Something to Lose – $50 Amazon or B&N GC

Excerpt & Giveaway for Tragic Silence – $15 Amazon GC

Review & Giveaway for GG and Mamela – $50 Amazon GC

Giveaway for One Lucky Night – (2) $15 Amazon GC

Giveaway for Beyond Desire – Kindle Fire HDX + $25 Amazon GC

Giveaway for Port Starbird – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Giveaway by Mokobi Scribe – $100 Amazon GC

Giveaway for Fledgling – (4) ebooks, (5) paperbacks, (1) copy AND $10 Amazon/B&N GC

Review, Interview & Giveaway for Mine to Spell – (3) ebooks

Review & Giveaway for Lamb to Slaughter – Set

Giveaway for Curse of the Granville Fortune – 1 copy and $10 Amazon GC

Review & Giveaway for Cloaked in Danger – $20 Amazon or B&N GC

Review & Giveaway for Pulled Beneath – digital set of memoirs collection, print copy and ebook

Giveaway for Marriage Isn’t For You – $50 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Review & Giveaway for Odin’s Promise – copy and $10 Amazon GC or PayPal Cash

Giveaway for Love’s Paradox – $25 Amazon or B&N GC

Review & Giveaway for Renegade (MILA 2.0) – 2 sets of MILA series

New Arrivals to Land of 1000 Wonders

Contents Under Pressure (Britt Montero, #1) Chasing the Sun: A Novel All My Life (First Things, #1) Dog Park The Edge of Light (At Home in Beldon Grove, #1) Flicker (Flicker, #1) Out of Darkness (The Starborn Saga, #1) Mr. Love: A Romantic Comedy Raising John Seven Days of Friday A Bridge to Love Habit Mine to Tarnish (Mine, #0.5) Off the Grid (The Jamie Keller Mystery Series, #1). The Vengeance Squad Goes To England Merlin's Blade (The Merlin Spiral, #1) If Only I Could Talk: A Canine AdventureSpellweaver (The Spellweaver Chronicles, #1) All for a Story Sara in Montana - A Christmas Wish Lady Justice and the Organ Traders (Lady Justice, #16) The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #1) Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles, #1) The Time Baroness Until Forever The Gift Beckoning Light (The Afterglow Trilogy, #1) The Christmas Catch (Holiday Brides #1) Suncatchers Taking Chances A Perfect Fit (DiCarlo Brides #1) People Like Us Lucky Man (The Tubby Dubonnet Series) Autumn in the City of Angels (The Autumn Series, #1) Sweetwater Springs Once Upon A Lie (Alistair Fitzjohn, #3) The Bewitching of Alison Allbright Heart of Gold Consider It Pure Joy (Heart of America Series) The Sometime Bride The Glass Girls (Missing in Action, #1) White Girl Problems Sunder The Light of the World (Light, #1) Lush The Promise of Paradise Harbored Secrets