Sunday, October 31, 2021

~ MMGM GOBBLEDY BLOG TOUR STOP ~

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~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY BLOG TOUR STOP ~
 --  'GOBBLEDY'  --
AUTHOR LIS ANNA-LANGSTON
  ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio, Unique Author Guest Post
& Giveaway~
 
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Gobbledy: A Novel by Lis Anna-Langston
 
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About Gobbledy

                                
Holiday Middle Grade Reading age: ‎ 8 - 11 years 
Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 6  
Publisher ‏ : ‎ SparkPress (October 20, 2020) 
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 232 pages ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1684630673 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1684630677  
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B084JRC21K 
 

Ever since eleven-year-old Dexter Duckworth and his brother, Dougal, lost their mom, everything has been different. But “different” takes on a whole new meaning when, one day just before Christmas (or Kissmas, as they call it), Dexter finds a golden rock in the forest that hatches into an adorable alien. Gobbledy is smarter than he seems and is lost on planet Earth. Before long, Gobbledy takes Dexter, Dougal, and their best friend Fi on an adventure of friendship, family, and loss—one that requires them all to stay out of trouble, protect Gobbledy from a shadowy group called the Planetary Society, and prepare for their school’s Winter Extravaganza Play, where Dexter has to be a dreaded Gingerbread Man.

Gobbledy is a fun-filled holiday story that adds up to two brothers, three friends, unlimited jars of peanut butter, a ketchup factory, and one little alien far, far from home.

2021 Independent Press Awards Winner in Holiday: Children's 2021 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver Winner in Young Reader: Fiction (8-12 Years) 2021 15th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in Holiday 2021 Book Excellence Awards Finalist in Holiday 2020 New York City Big Book Awards Winner in Holiday 2020 Wishing Shelf Book Awards Gold Winner in Books for 9-12 year olds

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The Moons of Jupiter

by Lis Anna-Langston

Before I could write full-time, I worked at a greeting card company. Christmas started in May when catalogs and holiday material went to design. From design to proof, proof to print, print to customer. Christmas in July was real. Sweating out the summer with tasteful snow-filled farmhouse scenes, Santa cartoon reindeers, navy blue, gold-embossed linen paper cards wishing you a season of celebration, I loved the endless options.

The novelty of snowflakes in summer was fun. I liked it. It was a welcome change. Helping my clients create a holiday plan perfect for their business, from car dealerships to retail boutiques, was interesting. I created campaigns to match sensibilities and preferences. From Hanukkah to Holla It’s Christmas, Yo, I bravely rose to the challenge.

Knee deep in snow-covered scenes of the North Pole, I thought the holiday demand would disappear with the heat, but then it ramped up again. Smaller orders, but more of them. Constant. All day. Every day. When I wasn’t at work, orders rolled in online. I loved my job, and I loved my clients, but the constant celebration was a bit much.  We talk a lot about the commercialization of Christmas but, until you’re elbow deep in gold tinsel, it’s not as obvious.

There was Christmas in July. And August. And September. By October, my holiday cheer thinned out. People who work in retail long term expect those schedules.The company I worked for was swimming in debt and wasn’t going to make it long term. This was less about adjusting my long-term goals to include a holiday season that lasted half the year, and more about trying to get to Halloween so I could eat Sweet Tarts at my desk and hope the company stayed in business until the end of the year. For half a year, I’d been in holiday mode for something I wasn’t even sure I wanted to celebrate.

My family never celebrated holidays together, so a week before Christmas, I got in my Honda and drove from Asheville, NC to southern Mississippi, where I crossed into Louisiana and drove through southern Texas. My dog and I stopped at roadside motels and drive thru coffee places. I jotted poems and stories on paper bags with stray fries hanging out in the bottom.

I was exhausted.

I remember sitting in a diner in Shreveport, eating French fries and realizing I didn’t know what day it was.

I kept going.

I plowed on across Texas, where I had to stand for hours waiting for my dog to come back, because I’d let her out to go to the bathroom in the desert and she chased wild bunnies out into dark tumbleweeds.

Convinced that somewhere in the world meaning and miracles intersected, I kept driving. I’d always been charmed by the desert. That massive, waterless expanse of shrub and sand lights up my imagination every time. The further I drove, the more I started to form an idea for a story. Like, a real holiday story. A story about a little boy who finds something in the forest. It was right there. Pieces of a story, floating around inside the car. A boy and his brother. A forest. A find. And it had something to do with holidays. I kept driving. I swept through El Paso. I passed the border and drove out to Deming, to White Sands, to where Billy the Kid was jailed. I ate way too many avocados. I drove to old Indian sites and hiked up cliffs and down into caverns. I blazed my way through barrels of fresh salsa, red and green. I started to get the feeling that I was closer to Christmas than I’d ever been.

I bought a telescope and took it out into the desert. It wasn’t sophisticated, but it was portable. From a dirt road in the middle of New Mexico, I could see the moons of Jupiter. Seeing those moons locked in the pull of a planet so far away created a shift in me. A shift that pushed me closer to a magic I’d never been able to define. Not hocus-pocus magic. Real magic. The kind that exists when flowers turn to face the sun. Beyond science and stars and moons, out into the subatomic world of sheer possibility. I could feel it... like it was just around the corner, watching me.

I put my dog in the car and headed out towards Tucson. It was beautiful, but not my destination. I headed north, towards Flagstaff.

The first time I saw the Grand Canyon was at 3AM, under the light of a full moon. It had just snowed. The streets were clear, but a white blanket covered the ground. Enormous elk stood under the moonlight, so huge their bellies came up to the top of my car. Coyotes roamed the wide-open spaces. The world was aglow and alive in that strange canyon. Cold and clear and perfect. I drove to a hotel and prayed they had a vacancy.

I rolled my suitcase up to my room and while my dog sat in a chair staring out at that new world, I sat awake in bed and wrote down the beginning of this story, shaped by my winter in the desert. A story inspired by the moons of Jupiter, life in other star systems, strange findings in the forest. Blue moonlight illuminated an unknown future right there at the edge of a canyon. A snow-swept landscape of stunning beauty that proved the sparkle of golden wrapping paper or the smells of fresh-baked popovers extend outward to reach new places of possibility. To a place where the first glimmers of this story began.

This story combines some of my favorite things: holidays, ketchup, and aliens. Join me in grabbing a copy and a telescope and hitting the trail for a new holiday adventure.

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About Lis Anna-Langston

 

Lis Anna-Langston was raised alongside the winding current of the Mississippi River on a steady diet of dog-eared books. She attended a creative and performing arts school from middle school until graduation and went on to study literature at Webster University. She is a Parents' Choice Gold and a Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner. She draws badly and sings loudly, and loves ketchup, starry skies, and stories with happy endings aliens. Lis Anna-Langston lives in Columbia, South Carolina. You can learn more about her at www.lisannalangston.com.  

Author Links--
Pinterest handle:@LisAnnaLangston  
Twitter handle:@LisAnnaLangston

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Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo iBooks Alibris IndieBound  

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a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS-- 
October 25 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT  
October 26 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW  
October 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT  
October 28 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST  
October 29 – FUONLYKNEW - SPOTLIGHT  
October 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  
October 31 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT  
November 1 - Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
November 1 - Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW  
November 2 - I'm Into Books – SPOTLIGHT  
November 2 - Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW November 3 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
November 3 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
November 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
November 7 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT  
 
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Thursday, October 28, 2021

~ FRIDAY FEATURE FIRST KISS AT CHRISTMAS ~

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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'FIRST KISS AT CHRISTMAS'  --
AUTHOR LEE TOBIN MCCLAIN
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Excerpt,
Author Bio & Giveaway~
 
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First Kiss at Christmas JustRead Blog Tour 

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for First Kiss at Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

first kiss at christmas

Title:  First Kiss at Christmas 
Series:
The Off Season #5
Author:  Lee Tobin McClain
Publisher:  HQN
Release Date:  October 26, 2021
Genre:  Clean Contemporary Romance

At 25 years old, preschool teacher Kayla Harris is embarrassed to admit she's never been kissed. When Tony DiNunzio and his grieving nephew show up in her classroom, she can't help being drawn to both of them. If only her insecurities-and his guilt over his sister's death-would stop standing in their way. 

As Christmas approaches, can these three come together to form a family... not just for the holidays, but forever?
 
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PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub

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EXCERPT:

Dancing at the community Christmas event

A familiar fast song was starting up. Most people seemed to know it and came onto the floor, making it even more crowded. Groups of women put their hands in the air and laughed and danced their hearts out.

Kayla’s eyes sparkled and her cheeks were pink. She moved with easy rhythm, and Tony was hard-pressed to keep his gaze above the neck, but he tried. Her hair whipped around, and he realized he’d never seen it loose before. What would it feel like, he wondered, to run his hands through it?

They touched hands, backed off, touched again. Tony liked to dance, and it was clear that Kayla did, too. He even managed to twirl her a couple of times despite the press of the crowd. When the song ended, people clapped and started to leave the dance floor.

“Uh-uh, don’t stop yet, folks,”Bisky called from the stage. “We’ve got a couple of slow songs before we head over to see Santa at Goody’s. One last chance to hold your girl close, fellas.”

Tony looked at Kayla. She bit her lip and backed away.

“Will you dance a slow song with me?” he asked.

Their eyes met and held, and it felt like he was asking her for something more than a dance.

“What about Norleen?” she asked.

“I’d rather dance with you.” He held out his open hands.

She stepped closer, and he wrapped his arms around her as the little band started a popular slow song.

She fit against him perfectly. She wasn’t tall; the top of her head was at chin level. She felt warm and womanly in his arms. They swayed together, and there was that sense of rhythm he’d noticed on the fast songs, now close up.

Around them, other couples were locked together. He caught a glimpse of Paul and Amber. Mary, the head of the Victory Cottage program, was in the arms of a tall, bald man who looked extremely happy. Norleen was wrapped around Evan, who didn’t seem to mind.

It made his body happy to hold Kayla; he couldn’t deny it. She was all female, and they were dancing pretty close. But that was an experience he’d had before, many times.

What he’d never experienced was the caring he felt—both for her and radiating from her. Long before this moment, he’d learned she was a wonderful person. Jax adored her; all kids did. She was unfailingly kind, but also fun and lively.

He rested his cheek on the top of her head and closed his eyes, just for a moment, savoring her. Yeah. This felt different. This was different.

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MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Tobin McClain 

Lee Tobin McClain is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. A professor-turned-writer, she finds inspiration in her beautiful and brilliant daughter, her goofy goldendoodle, and her aptly named cat, Trouble. Learn more about her books at www.leetobinmcclain.com.

CONNECT WITH LEE:  Website | Facebook | Instagram
 
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TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of the first four books in The Off Season series, a Christmas ornament, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

First Kiss at Christmas JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 26, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 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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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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~ GREAT ESCAPES WHERE THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH ~

  ~ GREAT ESCAPES BLOG TOUR STOP ~ --  'WHERE THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH'  -- AUTHOR KATHLEEN BAILEY ~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight +...