Tuesday, March 30, 2021

~ GREAT ESCAPES FINAL HARVEST ~

 ~ GREAT ESCAPES BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'FINAL HARVEST:  A
FINDING HOME MYSTERY'  --
AUTHOR BARBARA HOWARD
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Excerpt,
Author Bio & Giveaway~ 

 

Final Harvest (Finding Home) by Barbara Howard

About Final Harvest

 

Final Harvest (Finding Home)  

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  

Publisher: Independently Published (August 1, 2020) 

Paperback: 164 pages ISBN-13: 979-8655968134  

Digital ASIN: B08BKZ58YF 

 

Traci Simmons has been fired from another job and must decide if it’s time to give up her home and start fresh in another town. But, when her elderly neighbor dies mysteriously, she is pulled into leading a crusade to save the neighbor’s urban farm and find the killer. Through her new and unexpected relationship with these invisible people, Traci faces her own insecurities to learn what home really means.

 EXCERPT:

       The seat in Moe’s old pickup truck was worn through so badly that the foam padding pushed out of the ripped seams. He laid an empty feed sack over it to protect Traci’s legs from being pinched by the tattered brown vinyl. The roof liner hung down and brushed the top of her head, and the rear-view mirror was missing. There was a rancid odor that she dared not ask about. Despite all of that, she was grateful for the ride. Moe had not hesitated when she approached him that morning at the farm. He dropped everything, lifted her into the cab and got them down the highway.

       There was no one stationed at the Rest Haven receptionist desk when she arrived. Traci glanced down each corridor for assistance until finally one of the attendants stepped away from his task cleaning the window cocoon and approached her.

       “Hello, can I help you?”

       “Hello,” Traci said reaching for her wallet. “I’m here to see Mr. Earl Garrett. I apologize for not calling ahead. It was a last-minute idea to drop in for a visit.”

       “I’m sorry, Mr. Earl is no longer with us,” the attendant said frowning. “We’re all very sad about that. But we know nothing in this old world is permanent. Still, you get attached to the residents. Some more than others.”

       “Oh, I didn’t know.”

       “They usually contact family members first,” the attendant said looking her over. “Are you a relative? Wait, I think I remember seeing you here before. What is your name again? Wait, it’ll come to me.” He studied her face for a few minutes. “Boy, Mr. Earl really enjoyed your last visit. After you left all he did was play his music. It was so loud that the other residents complained about it.” He laughed and shook his head. “But next thing you know, they were dancing in the hall. It was something. I sure am going to miss that old man. But when it’s your time to go …” 

       He shrugged and wheeled the service cart to a spot along the wall. “We should have some paperwork for you to complete, though. Give me a moment to take care of Miss Clarice down the hall here and I’ll be right with you.” He walked away toward the office. “In the meantime, go ahead and sign the book for me, please.”

       Traci rushed back to the parking lot and climbed into the truck.

       “What happened?” Moe said helping her pull the door closed.

       “He’s dead.”

       “Are you sure?”

       “Pretty sure,” she said patting her forehead. “They wanted to give me some paperwork or something. I don’t know. I just make a mess of everything. What was I thinking about coming here in the first place? Instead of helping, I just make things worse.” She grabbed a fistful of her hair.

       “Listen, Miss Traci,” Moe said and loosened her grip and pulled her arm down to her lap. “Ain’t nobody mad at you but you. Everything you did was to help us and to keep alive what Miss Rowena started. And we appreciate that. Everybody does. Don’t get down on yourself about nothing.”

       “Wait here,” Traci said and took a deep breath. She climbed out of the truck and slammed the rusted door behind her.

       She walked back to the reception desk and waited for the attendant to return. There had to be something that she was missing about Earl Garrett. If she had gotten this far, what did she have to lose to ask a few more questions?  She glanced down at the Visitor Registry. And there it was.

About Barbara Howard

Barbara Howard is a "not-so-cozy" mystery and YA author of a dozen books, including her most recent trilogy, Finding Home Mystery Series; Final Harvest, Charlotte's Revenge, and Milo's Journey. She is a first-generation tech geek turned master gardener with a passion for fresh air, vegan cuisine, and tracing her roots. A big city girl with a small town heart, she returned to her family home in the Midwest after an extensive career as a Department of Defense Project Manager at the Pentagon and spends most of her time treasure hunting, spoiling her fur-babies, growing veggies, and raising chickens.

Author Links:

Purchase Link - Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS:
March 24 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
March 24 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
March 25 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT 
March 26 – Here's How It Happened – CHARACTER INTERVIEW  
March 27 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 28 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT 
March 29 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 29 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
March 30 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
March 31 - Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
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April 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT  
April 2 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT  
April 3 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
April 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - SPOTLIGHT  
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Sunday, March 28, 2021

~ MMGM THE HANDMADE CHARLOTTE PLAYBOOK

 πŸŽ¨πŸŽ✂πŸ₯£πŸͺ🍳🍲🍰🌚🎈

 ~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE ~
MONDAY S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE
--  'THE HANDMADE CHARLOTTE PLAYBOOK:
CRAFTS, GAMES & RECIPES FOR FAMILIES
TO DO TOGETHER THROUGHOUT THE YEAR'  --
AUTHOR RACHEL FAUCETT
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, 
Author Bio & My Review~ 

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ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

A magical treasure chest of fun-filled family activities with over 100 projects to do together throughout the year

From scrumptious holiday treats and mantle-worthy craft projects to delightful games, TheHandmade Charlotte Playbook is a must-have resource for parents seeking great ideas for family together time.

Equal parts instruction and inspiration, this book will guide readers of all experience levels to successfully execute and enjoy page after page of the whimsical and imaginative projects including:

- Moon in Your Room
- Night Sky Flashlight
- Paper Bag Puppets
- Tie-Dye Tapestries

In a high-speed world where family time is the most precious time of all, The Handmade Charlotte Playbook will be a source of merriment and laughter all year long. 

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MEET THE AUTHOR {from her website}:

Rachel Faucett is the mother of five ridiculously cute children and loves everyone she meets. When she is not in her garden or pottery studio, she’s moving furniture about the house. Named one the top 20 most influential Pinterest users by Business Insider, the author-designer she also keeps herself busy designing for brands like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn Kids.

LINK TO HANDMADE CHARLOTTE WEBSITE:

https://www.handmadecharlotte.com/

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MY THOUGHTS:

This book is filled to overflowing with over one hundred recipes, crafts, games, and activities. The book focuses on plain, simple, old-fashioned fun that families or other groups can work on and play at together.

This book is well-organized and user-friendly from start to finish. The excellent photography with stepped-out instructions for each project invites children, tweens, teens, and adults to gather together to reach a common goal and to enjoy the joy found in time spent together.

The book is organized in alphabetical order with the activities organized by the first letter of the project's name. The recipes, games, and crafts are blended together in each chapter. Some of the projects are basic craft projects, and others are intricate art projects or artistic food recipes you can use for parties, etc.

One of my favorite recipes is the Daffodil Cupcakes recipes. This pretty cupcake would be perfect for a spring bridal shower, baby shower, or Easter dinner. Other awesome food recipes are the Cucumber Cakes, Granola Bars, and Zucchini Bread.

You knew I wouldn't forget to mention the clever sewing projects the author has included in this book, right? The Kitten Clutches, Easy Embroidery, Cross-Stitch Magnets, and Friendship Bracelets are inexpensive and easy ways to ignite your child's interest in needle and thread crafts.

The author's website has a broad range of resources, including many of these projects, available for public use. Her creative designs along with her warm, welcoming writing style make this book a great resource for families, teachers, librarians, scout/day care/camp/youth group leaders, and others interested in creating their own fun.

I borrowed this book from our local public library where it is catalogued under the Juvenile Non-Fiction section in the Children's Collection.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog. 
 
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Thursday, March 25, 2021

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE A TAPESTRY OF LIGHT ~

 ~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'A TAPESTRY OF LIGHT'  --
AUTHOR KIMBERLY DUFFY
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Excerpt,
Author Interview + Recipe, 
Author Bio & Giveaway~ 

A Tapestry of Light JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

A Tapestry of Light

Title: A Tapestry of Light
Author: Kimberly Duffy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Calcutta, 1886. 

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women. 

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie's English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home. 

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn't forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land. 

 EXCERPT:

Ottilie set her packages on the table beside the settee and drew the shawl from its wrapping. She carefully unfolded it and laid it over Mrs. Winship’s lap. As Ottilie pulled the reticule free, she watched Mrs. Winship’s fingers trace the intricate embroidery edging the ruffle, her nails catching the elytra splayed in a floral pattern.

“Your mother was quite good. How do I know she didn’t do this work?”

Ottilie’s brows rose. “You don’t, I suppose, but why would I take on work I’m not qualified to do?” She held out the reticule.

Mrs. Winship didn’t reach for it. She picked up the shawl and shoved it at Ottilie before leaning back against the settee. With an elegant yawn, she gave a wave. “I’m sure you’re qualified, but I’m looking for something exceptional. Damaris is reaching an age where even our money won’t be enough to turn a man’s head. She needs to look spectacular. Especially with all those Fishing Fleet girls coming and stealing the Raj’s best men.” She pressed her fingers to her temples, and her eyes drifted shut. “It’s a shame your mother is no longer here. I had something spectacular in mind.”

“Mother!” Damaris’s rebuke covered Ottilie’s small gasp.

Ottilie focused on the paper-wrapped shoes she held in her arms. She didn’t want to show this foreign woman the gift she’d made for the most precious person in Calcutta. Didn’t want her pale fingers prodding the embroidery and picking apart the memories Ottilie had tucked away of hours snipping wings and beading thread and giggling in the lamplight, impatiently anticipating Maji’s joy and pride and the sight of her small, perfectly arched foot slipping into something beautiful again.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Duffy 

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.

 

Welcome to Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic, Kimberly. Congratulations on your new release, 'A Tapestry of Light'.

JUNE:  Do you have a desire to write in other genres of fiction? Do you have any goals for writing books for children? Are you interested in writing non-fiction? If yes, what subject would you write about?

KIMBERLY:  I occasionally write short contemporary romances and I have two contemporary romance novels, as well as an overlong fantasy, but I’m pretty happy writing historical fiction. I do have plans to write for children (specifically in a ministry capacity) and am working toward that end. I would love to write non-fiction as well—mainly in the areas of parenting, travel, and faith—but that wouldn’t happen for a good long while.

JUNE:  What types of research did you perform for your newest release, 'Tapestry of Light'? Is researching a task you work on before you sit down to write a story, or do you research topics as they come up in the story? Please feel free to offer any research tips you may have for those of us who also write historical fiction.

KIMBERLY:  I do big-picture research before I ever sit down to write a book. That consists of reading books and scholarly articles. Watching videos and documentaries. Interviewing experts. And then I research little things as I go along like dress styles of the era I’m writing in or street names of a particular area of the city I’m setting a scene or train schedules (train schedules are the bane of my existence.)

One of my favorite tips for research is to look at photographs from the time (if you’re writing in an era that had photography.) You can often gather a ton of details that will lend authenticity to your book. They give a glimpse into dress and hairstyles and interiors. You can see business signs and the way a street may have looked. You’ll be able to sprinkle these things into your story and transport readers. Another tip is to read autobiographies from the time. I read one written by a woman who had traveled from India to England and it was full of interesting perspectives that I would have never considered. I also like putting real people and places into my books where I can. When I’m reading, I often pull out my phone and Google things so if I stumble across something that actually existed, it sends me off on a happy little rabbit trail. If you Google many of the places mentioned in A Tapestry of Light, you’ll find a lot of them were real.

JUNE:  I noticed that both of your books are set in India in the late nineteenth century. Is there a time period in history you would like to write about in the future? Is there a place in the United States or somewhere else in the world that you would like to write about in the future?

KIMBERLY:  I think the late 19th century is my favorite era to write about. So much was changing. Technology was just exploding. Women were really fighting for their futures. People were exploring and traveling more. I do have a couple ideas set in the early 20th century and I’ve been mulling over a series of books set in ancient times. I think that’s a time period, outside of late 19th century, that I would most likely consider writing in. I love ancient history. In particular, ancient Roman history.

I have a book already written set in 19th century Ohio. I’d love to publish it one day. If you read A Mosaic of Wings, it’s Rose’s book. That won’t be for a little while, though. And I’m planning on my next few books being set, at least partially, in the United States.

I’d love to write a book set in Italy (I’m working on getting dual citizenship and my family is from Sicily.)

JUNE:  I noticed on your website you mentioned that you enjoy collecting historical cookbooks and cooking. What styles of cooking do you and your family enjoy? Do you have a favorite family recipe you would like to share with us here?

KIMBERLY:  I love cooking! It’s my favorite thing after writing. I know it’s a chore for most people, but it feels like rest to me. I really enjoy cooking foods from other countries—Indian is my favorite but I also regularly make Cuban, Turkish, and Greek food (now that I think about it, maybe Mediterranean food is my favorite. Or maybe I just don’t have a favorite. It’s all my favorite.) I really love historical cookery. One of my favorite recipes (yep, it’s all my favorite) is from a medieval cookbook. It’s chickpea stew, which sounds bizarre, but it’s so good. Especially in the winter. It is full of warming spices and just feels cozy. I think food connects people across countries and times. When you make something someone would have eaten three hundred years ago or enjoy a meal someone right now is preparing for their family across the globe, it knits you to them.

My kids aren’t allowed to be picky. That was really hard to stick to with one of my children who has sensory processing disorder. It took five years to get her desensitized to eating meat. But we persevered and now they’ll all mostly eat anything (except the littlest who acts like vegetables were put on earth to torture him. He’ll get over it eventually.) They’re pretty adventurous eaters, though. We all just love food. But we’re snobs about it. My oldest once cried when her father brought her to Pizza Hut (her great-grandparents wanted to go.) I’m from NY but now live in Ohio. I make my own pizza every Friday. It’s a lot better than Pizza Hut. ;)

RECIPE:

A great, quick recipe I make often is shakshuka. You just cook up a mess of bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Add some spices (usually I use cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Salt and pepper, of course, too), and canned tomatoes. Cook it all down. Make a few holes in it and crack an egg into each hole. Then bake it for about eight minutes on 375 until the eggs are set. I like serving it with crusty bread, olives, and feta cheese.

JUNE:  One of the characters in this book is skilled in the art of beetle-wing embroidery. As someone who has enjoyed hand embroidery since I was a child, I am interested in knowing what prompted you to include this beautiful technique in your story. Do you work in any types of needlework yourself?

KIMBERLY:  I went to an Indian fabric exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center a couple years ago with my husband and stumbled on a length of beetle wing embroidery. It was so beautiful! At least a couple hundred years old, the fabric was fraying and thin, but the beetle wings were as vibrant as the day they were sewn on. I knew right away I would use it in a story one day. I’ve always loved fashion and fashion history in particular. During the time Tapestry is set, women were doing all kinds of crazy things in the name of fashion. They would wear massive stuffed birds on their heads and let exotic insects attached to chains crawl around their bodices. Using beetle wings seems, to me, the least offensive way to adorn oneself with living creatures (or parts of them.)

I don’t do any type of needlework but I admire the skill in other people. I can sew a little, but I don’t love it. I’d rather design something and have someone else worry about all the details of putting it together. I do collect patterns, though. I have boxes of them. I’ve only ever actually used one or two when I made doll clothing for my kids at Christmas one year. The rest just sit there and taunt me.

JUNE:  What is your favorite thing about being an historical fiction author?

KIMBERLY:  There are so many favorite things (this is a lot like food for me. How can I choose?) I love that I get to share my love of history and story with people. I love the Christian publishing community. It’s so supportive. Some of my closest friends are other writers. I love that I get to research a million things I find interesting and call it work. I love that I can travel back in time and live vicariously through my characters.

JUNE:  What are your plans for your next writing project?

KIMBERLY:  I’m finishing up edits on book #3. It’s called Every Word Unsaid and releases November 2, 2021. It’s set in Poona (Pune today), India and features a heroine who is a kind of early-prototype travel blogger and a doctor hero who is adorably nerdy. I was also able to write in one of my real life heroes—Pandita Ramabai. And it has the prettiest cover.

 

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Tapestry of Light, A Mosaic of Wings, and Recipes from an Indian Kitchen!

A Tapestry of Light JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 22, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 29, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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Monday, March 22, 2021

~ GREAT ESCAPES BOARDING WITH MURDER ~

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~ GREAT ESCAPES BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'BOARDING WITH MURDER'  --
AUTHOR KATHRYN LONG
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio & Giveaway~
 
  🏑🏑🏑🏑🏑🏑🏑🏑🏑
 

 

Boarding with Murder by Kathryn Long

 

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About Boarding With Murder

 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Publisher: Camel Press (March 9, 2021)  
Paperback: 220 pages ISBN-10: 1603817301  
ISBN-13: 978-1603817301 Digital ASIN : B08SHLHD2D 
Take one quaint B&B, two kind but quirky caretakers, a dead aunt, a murdered friend, and you have mystery. Ali Winston finds she's inherited trouble along with her aunt's B&B, but can she reveal the killer before the curtain closes?

About Kathryn Long

Retired teacher, Kathryn Long now spends her days plotting and writing mysteries. Her most recent credits are romantic suspense novel, A DEADLY DEED GROWS and mystery, BURIED IN SIN. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Under the pen name, Bailee Abbott this author writes the Paint by Murder cozy series, starting with A BRUSH WITH MURDER soon to be released. Kathryn lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio.

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Author Links:

Author website:https://www.kathrynlongauthor.com  

Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/KathrynLong.Books  

Twitter:https://twitter.com/klongauthor  

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4203129.Kathryn_Long

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kathylong7487/ 

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Product Links:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS:
March 22 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST  
March 22 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT  
March 23 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT  
March 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
March 24 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE  
March 25 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT  
March 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 26 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
March 26 – Tea Book Blanket – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
March 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
March 28 – The Book's the Thing – SPOTLIGHT  
March 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
March 29 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT 
March 29 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW 
March 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
March 30 – Literary Gold – REVIEW  
March 31 - My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
March 31 - FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT  
April 1 –The Avid Reader – REVIEW  
April 1 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT  
April 1 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW  
April 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW  
April 2 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT  
April 2 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
April 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW  
April 4 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT  
April 4 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

~ MMGM S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE GARDENING WITH EMMA ~

 πŸŒ±πŸŒ½πŸŒΏπŸ…πŸ†πŸ‡πŸˆπŸ‰πŸ“

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE

MONDAY S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE ~

πŸŒ±πŸŒ½πŸŒΏπŸ…πŸ†πŸ‡πŸˆπŸ‰πŸ“

--  'GARDENING WITH EMMA:  GROW 

AND HAVE FUN -- A KID-TO-KID GUIDE'  --

 AUTHORS EMMA BIGGS & STEVEN BIGGS

~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, 

Author Bios & Review~

 πŸŒ±πŸŒ½πŸŒΏπŸ…πŸ†πŸ‡πŸˆπŸ‰πŸ“ 


 πŸŒ±πŸŒ½πŸŒΏπŸ…πŸ†πŸ‡πŸˆπŸ‰πŸ“

 

ABOUT THE BOOK (FROM GOODREADS):

National Parenting Product Awards Winner!

Thirteen-year-old Emma Biggs is passionate about gardening and eager to share her passion with other kids!

Gardening with Emma is a kid-to-kid guide to growing healthy food and raising the coolest, most awesome plants while making sure there’s plenty of fun. With plants that tickle and make noise, tips for how to grow a flower stand garden, and suggestions for veggies from tiny to colossal, Emma offers a range of original, practical, and entertaining advice and inspiration. She provides lots of useful know-how about soil, sowing, and caring for a garden throughout the seasons, along with ways to make play spaces among the plants. Lively photography and Emma’s own writing (with some help from her gardening dad, Steve) capture the authentic creativity of a kid who loves to be outdoors, digging in the dirt.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS (FROM STEVEN'S BLOG):

'Who We Are'

--Steven Biggs:

Steven’s passion for gardening is rooted in over 40 years of growing, a decade as a horticultural educator, and a dozen years writing articles and books on how to grow fun, delicious, and exotic specialty crops. He is a horticulturist, college instructor, broadcaster, speaker, and author. He was recognized by Garden Making magazine as one of the “green gang” of Canadians making a difference in horticulture.

Steven’s passion is incorporating edible crops into the landscape to create beautiful, edible landscapes with a long and varied harvest. His own yard includes a driveway straw-bale garden, rooftop kitchen garden, wicking beds, an edible-themed front yard, and fruit plantings.

--Emma Biggs:

Emma is a Gen Z gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2019—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many of her stories—and the source of produce that she sells in her neighborhood.

Emma, who is (now) 15 years old, gives talks at libraries, seed exchanges, garden clubs, and garden shows. She is the co-host of The Food Garden Life Show. Emma’s Gen XYZ Blog for Harrowsmith magazine is about growing tomatoes and other food crops.

In 2020 Emma received the GardenComm Emergent Communicator Award, which recognizes a member under the age of 40 who demonstrates exceptionally high degrees of skill and professional ethics.

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MY REVIEW:

Because this book was written by then twelve-year-old Emma Biggs with help from her father, the book takes on an appealing, kid-centered perspective that one doesn't usually see in books written by adults.

In the 'Why I Wrote This Book' introduction, Emma shares that she has always wanted to write a book about her favorite pastime, gardening. When she was younger, she made books by stapling her gardening drawings into little books. She helped her father, Stephen Biggs, when he had a table at gardening events or gave talks about gardening. Now he has helped her write this fabulous book for middle-graders and tweens!

First of all, perhaps my favorite element of this book is the fantastic, colorful, entertaining photography included throughout the book. Most of the photos are of Emma's garden, she and her brothers, and their outdoor antics in their yards.

There are four chapters in the book:  'Garden ABC's', 'Great Gardens for Kids', 'A Bit of Practical Advice', and 'Fall and Winter Garden Fun'. In Chapter 1 Emma covers the definitions of annuals, perennials, weeds, volunteers, eating weeds (kids will love this section), soil, sun, light, water, garden supplies, insects in the garden, and much more.

In 'Great Gardens for Kids' the author shares why she likes growing vegetables, an A to Z garden of edible flowers and vegetables, and rainbow veggies. She includes tips on growing a flower stand, a tickling garden, and tomatoes. Readers will quickly learn that Emma loves tomatoes! One of my favorite ideas in this chapter is the 'Grow a Pizza' themed garden which includes tomatoes, chives, basil, and oregano. She also talks about birds and how to attract them to your garden.

The 'A Bit of Practical Advice' chapter is a heart-to-heart from one young person to another—how to make a new garden using pots, digging out a new space from a lawn, or making a raised bed, how to start seeds indoors versus sowing seeds outside, and caring for your own garden.

The final chapter, 'Fall and Winter Garden Fun', is about leaf composting, loosening up the soil, planting for next year, and a delightful section about bird-watching, birdhouses, and hand feeding. She finishes the book with some tips about growing flowers from bulbs inside the house and planning for next year's garden.

Highly-recommended for gardeners of all ages, families, teachers, librarians, scout/youth groups, camp counselors, and anyone who is interested in gardening and spending time in nature.

I borrowed this book from our local public library system.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.

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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE WHERE HE LEADS ~

  🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎   ~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~ --  'WHERE HE LEADS'  -- AUTHOR LYNN LANNING ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Ex...