Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Perfect Trip, a Young Adult Novel with a Giveaway!

Today I’m excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE PERFECT TRIP by Stacy Barnett Mozer releasing March 24, 2017 from Spellbound River Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a little about the book and the author:
About the book: Sam Barrette’s life is finally going in the right direction. She’s made the boys travel baseball team, her friendship with Mike is turning into something more, and she’s even connected with her stepmother. But a family camping trip filled with secrets and surprises challenges everything she thought she knew about what the future will hold. To save her dreams, Sam must find a way to fix her perfect trip.
About the author: Stacy Barnett Mozer is a middle grade author, a book blogger, and an elementary school teacher. Stacy started writing novels when one of her third grade classes told her there was no way a real author who wrote real books could possibly revise as much as she asked them to revise. She’s been revising her own novels every since. Stacy is an active SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators) member and is an Assistant Regional Advisor for New England SCBWI, coordinating the region's critique groups. She is also the founder of Sporty Girl Books, a blog for anyone who loves to watch, play, read, and write about women and girls in sports.
THE PERFECT TRIP is the companion novel to THE SWEET SPOT, which released from Spellbound River in March 2016.
About THE SWEET SPOT: When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude’s holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team.
Finally, here is the cover of THE PERFECT TRIP, illustrated by Lois Bradley:

Like the cover? You can win an ARC of The Perfect Trip here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Garden of Her Heart: a WWII Romance


Thank you for hosting me today, Annie. It's such a pleasure to be here on your blog. I thought it might be fun for you and your readers to meet Captain Rock Laroux from Garden of Her Heart.

Thank you for joining us, Rock! 
Rock: Hello. Thank you for welcoming me here today. 
You're a captain in the US Army. Is that correct? 
Rock: Yep. I was a captain in the US Army Air Force until I crashed my plane and ended up in the hospital. 
We're sorry to hear of your accident. Were your injuries extensive? 
Rock: Thank you. I lost most of my eyesight for a while, had a side full of shrapnel, and then there's my arm. (Rock holds out his arm) I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to use it again, but it' starting to heal. 
Did you really check yourself out of the hospital? 
Rock: I did. By accident, I overheard my doctor discussing my case with a colleague. It sounded like he expected me to keel over at any moment, so I decided if I was doomed to die, I wanted to do it at home, not in the hospital. So I left. I'd probably be buried six-feet under right now if it wasn't for Miko coming along at just the right time. 
Miko? That's the woman who saved you? 
Rock: Yeah. She saved me, in more ways than I can explain. I was nearly delirious after walking in the rain for a while, trying to make it back to my family farm. I collapsed on the back step of her grandparent's farm. She found me there and nursed me back to health. Thanks to my presence and her refusal to leave me until I was well, things have gotten quite complicated for her. 
What do you think the future holds? 
Rock: (Chuckles) If I could foresee the future, I'd be set for life, wouldn't I. Unfortunately, I don't possess any supernatural abilities. But I hope whatever the future brings, Miko and I can face it together. 
Is there anything else you'd like to share with readers today? 
Rock: An invitation to read Garden of Her Heart. It's a romance, but it's also a story of hope and faith and courage - even in the face of great adversity. 

garden-of-her-heart-coverUSA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield joins us with her latest release, a sweet World War II romance.break-2 

Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese-Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive. After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life. A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Don't miss out on this beautiful happy ever after. Get your copy today!

Available on:


Join us for a Facebook Party today (December 7) from 4-7 p.m. (EST) to celebrate the release of Garden of Her Heart. Here is the link:

break-2 Excerpt: “Please, Miko? Would you at least consider marrying me?” She shook her head and tried to pull away from him, but he drew her closer, wrapping his arms around her and holding her. His breath tantalized her ear as he bent his head near hers. “Please?” “I can’t, Rock. I don’t want to be the cause of you missing out on the love of a lifetime.” She turned her head to the side and pressed it against his neck. Unintentionally, she heightened the yearning that already pulsed between them. Forcibly, he relaxed his hold on her. “Miko,” he whispered. “Look at me, sweetheart.” Unhurried, she tipped her head back, drawn into the bright warmth of his eyes. “Miko, if I didn’t want to marry you, I wouldn’t offer. I rather like the idea of spending my future with you. We have more going for us than many couples who wed. There is no doubt in my mind at all about your ability to be a good wife. Me, on the other hand…” His cocky grin brought an amused light to her eyes. “It might be challenging to be married to someone like me.” A smile curved her mouth upward and Rock tamped down the desire to kiss her again, even with the pastor watching their every move.

gohh-gif break-2 shanna-3
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | Audible
Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Newsletter | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Hong Kong was the afternoon I spent at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. Located outside the city in the New Territories area, the peace and quiet of this beautiful setting was a wonderful change from the hustle and noise of the metropolis.

For anyone who might want to visit, you'll need to take the light blue MTR line to Tai Po Market. (I was staying at Fo Tan, so it was pretty convenient.) From the Tai Po Market station, take exit 1A and go to the bus area (don't worry, it's clearly marked). Take bus 64K to Kadoorie Farm. 

The bus I was on did not announce the different stops, so you have to pay close attention, but it will be about a half-hour ride. This is how Kadoorie Farm looks from across the street. (It will be on your left as you drive up.) There is a sign, but it's a little beyond the main building, so you may not see it from the bus.

This is the view from the same spot as above, looking after the bus as it continues on its way. Note the hard-to-read Kadoorie Farm sign just to the left of the bus, by the cyclists. If you're close enough to read it, you've probably already missed the stop!

Kadoorie Farm was well worth it. I only had two hours to spend there, since I had a flight to catch that evening, but I managed to see most of what I would have wanted to anyway.

I spent most of my time walking around the grounds, enjoying the trees and flowers and a small stream. Apparently there was a longer hiking trail up to the top of a nearby slope (with a wonderful view), but I didn't see it and didn't have time anyway. If I ever go back, I'd like to do that hike.

I have no idea what this dragon thing was doing on its little platform in the trees!

This mountain boar is among dozens of animals (or maybe a couple hundred?) that call Kadoorie Farm home. Most were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

Hong Kong had just been experiencing a cold spell, so some animals were temporarily lodged in warmer quarters.

Informative (and sometimes interactive) displays accompanied most of the exhibits.

Indoor areas housed special exhibits of small reptiles and amphibians.

Several Chinese water dragons had a pretty comfy life there.

There was also a little building for fish and river-related displays.

Kadoorie Farm places great emphasis on ecology and protecting the environment.

Larger reptiles lived in outdoor enclosures. It was fun seeing some different species hanging out together!

There were several aviaries hosting a variety of birds, like this kite.

In a different enclosure, this cockatoo saw me walking by and came over to say hello (literally).

I could tell this mynah bird had also been somebody's pet. He was very friendly and wanted my attention!

I really enjoyed the insect display. It was quite educational (and not too creepy!).

I don't recall actually seeing any butterflies (it may have been too cold for them), but this display board was interesting.

There were several little deer in an enclosure there. They didn't want to stand still and pose for pictures, though!

I enjoyed the areas where guests could just walk through and see animals in a (sort of) natural habitat, as opposed to behind bars or glass.

They had a scenic pond habitat that housed a number of varieties of small wildlife.

I think the little waterfall was manmade, but it was still pretty!

Some animals at Kadoorie Farm were gifts from other countries.

These flamingoes, for example, were sent over from the Bahamas.

Kadoorie has its own little cafe on the premises.

Everything on the menu is vegetarian and fairly healthy (but tasty)! Prices are reasonable, too.

I heard the red rice with veggies in curry sauce (option B below) was really good. I had eaten a late breakfast and wasn't hungry enough for a full meal, though.

I ended up ordering the mushroom soup with garlic toast and a cup of hot citron tea. Tasty and satisfying on a chilly day!

All in all, my afternoon at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden was time very well spent. It would make a great school field trip (for any grade) or family outing. Young kids would love it (and I saw plenty of them having a great time there), but as an adult, I loved it too. With admission costing only 30 Hong Kong Dollars (with discounts for kids, the elderly, and groups), it was more than worth it.
Highly recommended for everyone!