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Friday, 19 December 2014

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer

Publication date: October 3rd 2013
Publisher: Erie Island Media, LLC
Pages: 208
Age group: Children
Genre: Middle grade

Format: Review copy
Source: Author
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N 


A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh.

This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life – a conclusion they only discovered because, as Max and Maggie say, “Mom Made Us Write This.”


Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is a wonderful journal style book that focuses on a brother and a sister who happened to be twins. The story started off with them having to write twelve entries in a journal throughout the summer as a form of punishment for not behaving well. 

Neither one of them are excited about this assignment at first. Initially, they argued a lot, with a lot of blame being tossed about. As the story progresses, I begin to see how the twins come to understand and appreciate each other better. I loved how the characters grew over the course of the twelve entries.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The format of this book is clever because of the switching viewpoints which allow readers to hear from two different perspectives. This format allows me to get to know the characters' personality better and it helps me to connect with them more through the journal that they shared.

Overall, this is a great book for kids. Aside from the writing, this book includes lovely illustrations that will stir up readers' interest and keep them from drifting away. I would highly recommend this book if you have not read this book yet.

about the author 

Ali Maier was born in Johnstown, PA. In high school she spent a lot of time with children, working as a summer camp counselor for many years, volunteering to teach Sunday school at church, working in the local day-care center, and working as a kindergarten aide.  

She went to John Carroll University and earned a BA in Elementary Education. Throughout college, Ali worked at a local toy store then worked in product development at a company making art and craft kits for kids.  

Eventually Ali left her job to work full time with her husband, Mark, at their marketing company.  When her children were born, she worked from home.  Ali lives in a Cleveland suburb with her husband and two children. She loves to read, write and spend time with her family.  

Ali chose to write the Mom Made Us Write This series to encourage young readers to do something she loves – to read! Ali wanted to write a book series that would allow readers to laugh & encourage them to write and share their own stories.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Two Sons | Press Release

Two Sons
by Stewart Gill Owen
Release date: July 23rd 2014
Publisher: Silverwood Books Ltd
Genre: Historical fiction
Buy the book: Silverwood Books Ltd | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Waterstones
Book trailer: YouTube


It's 1932 and Hitler and the Nazi Party are threatening to take control of Germany. There is a growing fear of another war. 

Two families from vastly different backgrounds make their way to visit their sons' war graves in the Flanders region of Belgium. John and Annie Williams are on their annual trip from England in memory of their son, Herbert, who had been killed while fighting at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Erich and Martina Lehmann have travelled from Germany to pay their respects to the memory of their son, Kurt who died in the same campaign. During their visit, the couples meet and in the wake of such devastation, confrontational events take place.

'Two Sons' moves from the war on the western front to the domestic lives of both families over a period of two decades. Having lost their sons in one conflict, both families fear that they may have to make further sacrifices in light of the growing threat.


“Some of my family history forms the basis of this book,” says Stewart, “I changed some of the characters, added to the detail of events and changed the name of the family. I wanted to tell a story that promoted the experiences of joy, pride, despair, love, grief and the fear of loss. Two Sons is about those emotions, it’s about the passion and the feelings that many of us share, regardless of nationality, class, faith and status.”
It’s a story about the consequences of the battle of Passchendaele that took place in Flanders in 1917. The book is based on a number of confrontational encounters that takes place between a British and a German family in Belgium in the summer of 1932.

“I chose the date because, in July of that year, Hitler and the Nazi party were threatening to take control of Germany” says Stewart, “and there was a growing fear in Belgium of the possibility of renewed hostilities.” During the visit, heated disagreements and arguments take place. The story moves from the battlefields of the Western Front to the domestic life of the families over a period of two decades.

The choice of the battle of Passchendaele as the main campaign theme of the story was very deliberate. “Passchendaele or as it was also known, the Third Battle of Ypres,” explains Stewart, “became it’s known, not only for the scale of the carnage and the high level of casualties, but also for the mud and the creation of a desolate landscape that is so recognizable as a typical image of World War One.”

“Although it’s a work of fiction,” continues Stewart, “I wanted the detail to be as accurate as I could make it and this involved considerable in-depth research. My view is that this is a story that has never been told in any depth before. This is my first novel I know it wont be my last I’m already working on a sequel.”

about the author 

Stewart Gill Owen was born in Blackburn and grew up in Lancashire. After art school, his career was in design and advertising, and as a lecturer in further and higher education. He now lives in Somerset with his wife Jessie. Their two daughters often visit, bringing the five grandsons with them. Stewart is a keen historian. It is the most immediate and 'living' history that has inspired Two Sons, which is his first book. Many of us still have links with the First World War. Stewart lost an uncle in Flanders and one of his ancestors was the poet Wilfred Owen. Something that happened so long ago is in many ways still with us.

Facebook | Twitter

This press release was organized by Authoramp.
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Monday, 8 December 2014

Music Monday #2

The Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence

I just watched this movie and enjoyed it so much. It was as true to the book as it could possibly be. One of the scenes I was looking forward to was definitely 'The Hanging Tree' scene. And lets just say that I'm remarkably impressed by it. Firstly, the music was less haunting as compared to what I expected. It's a good thing, actually. Secondly, boy can Jennifer Lawrence sing!!!!!! I'm madly in love with her voice because it's raspy and it gives off this haunting vibe which I totally love because the movie's narratives very dark and emotional. I especially love the part of the song where there was the choir chanting. It sounds like a marching song and it gave me the goosebumps because that part felt so powerful and empowering.

Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde

Because of the Mockingjay movie hype, I've been listening to this song a lot. I just love the beat and Lorde's haunting voice. I feel like the song tells a story that is someone relevant to the movie or Katniss' plight. The starting of the video reminded me of a Calvin Harris' music video with Florence Welch, Sweet Nothing. I get that Lorde's trying to project Katniss' emotions through the music video and I guess it's evident. My most favorite part of the video would be when Lorde was standing in a ballroom full of people and all of a sudden she fell into this dark, black hole. That was just so cool!!!!

Blank Space by Taylor Swift

This song is seriously catchy. I always find myself singing along even if I can't relate to this song. It's such a fun song to sing along to and the music video is hilarious. It's meant to be funny because it depicts what the media perceives of Taylor Swift — this overly emotional girlfriend who dissesher exes. I think the setting is stunning. It's so grand and I love it. Also, I like that Olivia Benson made an appearance! Let's not forget about the incredibly dashing Sean O'Pry. 

Hate to See Your Heart Break by Paramore ft. Joy Williams

I just realized that this is the first time I've seen Paramore do a collaboration. This song and this collaboration is a genius!!! I love this version and the original one equally. I think Joy Williams' vocals pairs so well with Hayley William's. And oh my god, the share the same surname! Wow! I just noticed that now! Cool! I'm really hoping to see more of Paramore collaborations in the future because I'm such a huge fan of this band. Hayley Williams is like my favorite singer because she's got the best vocals and she's always able to nail high notes during live performances which I absolutely solute! 

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