Not Dead Yet Blog Tour, Author Interview, Review, and Giveaway

Monday, June 27, 2022


ABOUT THE BOOK
Cassidy Edgemont has been dead for four years. At least, that is what the world has been led to believe. After becoming unwittingly entangled in a group called the Coalition, known for using fake news to generate political unrest in the United States, Cas was offered a devastating choice: stage her own death and join her rescuers, the guardians, or risk the wrath of the organization she betrayed. She chose death.

As an invisible government operative, Cas has been living in Paris with no complications—until her family pays an unexpected visit to the European city, changing everything. They think Cas is dead, and she has to keep it that way. But when a bomb is detonated nearby and fake news incites riots in the city, Cas recognizes the mark of the Coalition.

Donovan, a fellow guardian, is summoned to join her in Paris to attempt to untangle the intricate web linking Cas’s past with the recent bombings. But as the threat level escalates, Cas must again make an impossible decision: face possible exposure to her family in her race to uncover the truth or risk the loss of innocent lives.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe). Safe House won Whitney Awards for both the mystery/suspense category as well as 2017 Adult Novel of the Year. She added two additional awards in 2019 (Mistaken Reality - best mystery/suspense and Sanctuary - Adult Novel of the Year.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and recently retired from coaching high school swimming.


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Life Is What It's Called -What inspired you to write this story? 

Traci Abramson - I had met the main character, Cas, in previous guardian books, and I knew that I wanted to tell her story. Originally, I had planned to set it in Sarajevo, but my research trip was cancelled because of Covid. When I sat down to write this one, it was shortly before the George Floyd riots. After that incident, I saw the impact that the media, especially the rampant amount of misinformation, was fueling the problems, I integrated a piece of those challenges into my plot. 

Life Is What It's Called - What did you learn from writing this story? 

Traci Abramson - Because I was writing characters of color, I took extra care to chat with friends who came from similar backgrounds to my characters. It was interesting how appreciative these friends were that I would take the time to listen to their experiences to make sure I was as authentic as possible while writing Not Dead Yet. 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you think readers will like most about this story? 

Traci Abramson - I think readers will really enjoy the interaction between the main characters and how much they come to appreciate and respect one another. The cameo appearance of Cole Bridger from Heirs of Falcon Point was a fun addition, and there is a fun shout out to a couple of my favorite authors. And then there's the food. Donovan loves his food, and several readers have mentioned that reading this book made them hungry. You've been warned! 

Life Is What It's Called - How is this similar and different to the other guardian books? 

Traci Abramson -The main similarity between Not Dead Yet and the other guardian books is the desire by the main characters to protect others. This one did have quite a few differences though. First, the main love interest is another guardian. Also, this is the first time any of the guardians have had to deal with the potential of being found by their family members and others from their past. Even as I wrote the book, I didn't know how the story would resolve itself in the end. 

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on now? 

Traci Abramson - Right now, I'm co-authoring another Falcon Point suspense novel with Sian Ann Bessey. This will be the second in the series that spins off of Heirs of Falcon Point. The first, The Danger with Diamonds, will release this October. 6. 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you want your readers to know most about you? 

Traci Abramson - That's a hard question. People who follow me on social media already know a lot about me. I'm pretty open, except when it comes to my former career with the CIA. I write because I love it, and I'm as eager to discover the stories as anyone who reads my books. Shoes are an optional accessory, sort of like earrings. I don't wear earrings very often either. And even though I'm far from perfect, I do my best to create a positive environment for everyone around me. 

Life Is What It's Called - What authors inspire you and why? 

Traci Abramson - I have such a long list for this question. 
  • Booker T. Washington - I love the way he encourages everyone to become a contributing member of society and the way his love for education is so contagious.
  • Jane Austen - Her stories are timeless and have become a way for so many people to connect.
  • Sarah M. Eden - I don't know if I've ever met an author who works so hard despite facing constant challenges. And she is such a quiet supporter of so many others. 
  • Sian Ann Bessey - Sian is so humble and yet so talented. And she has become one of my greatest cheerleaders when I need one the most.
I could go on, but I will say that my favorite part about being an author is the people. Other authors in the writing community inspire me in how they support one another, and the readers who continue to ask for more make all the hard work worthwhile.


REVIEW
Not Dead Yet engages the reader in an exciting and suspenseful read. The main characters dodge dangerous thugs as they try to unravel the mystery of who's out to kill Cassidy and why. The author creates villains that fuel the media with misinformation to cause confusion and to mask other nefarious schemes. The story is well-told with a quick pace that's just right for an adventure and suspense read. The main characters were likable and the romance between them develops at the right pace - not too quick and not too slow. I really enjoyed the character Cassidy who seemed to understand characters around her, cared about those she loved, and knew how to stand her ground when needed. I would like to see her in more books. This novel is part of the Guardian series, but it could be read as a standalone or along with the series. Overall, I found it to be a fun read for the summer. To learn more about Not Dead Yet, click here.





Please note that I received a free ebook to review, however, I shared my honest opinion. This post is in coordination with the publisher and author. This post also contains affiliate links. The giveaway is run by the publisher.

The Golden Quest: Your Journey to a Rich Life Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Friday, June 3, 2022



ABOUT THE BOOK

The Golden Quest: Your Journey to a Rich Life

Written by David Delisle

Illustrated by Travis Hanson

Ages 5-18 | 108 Pages

Publisher: David Delisle | ISBN-13: 9781777718909

Publisher’s Synopsis: The Golden Quest is an illustrated adventure about a young boy who embarks on a Hero’s Journey with his dog Shelby to discover the Golden Rules of Money. Along the way, he encounters a dragon, flies on an airship, spots an elusive stone whale, saves an alien, and learns the secret to living a rich life.

The lessons taught are universal and will help children of all ages, from 5 to 95, achieve financial freedom through Money Mindfulness. And don’t worry, there’s no math, budgeting, or complicated charts. Your journey has just begun…

Available on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes and Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Delisle is the author of The Golden Quest, a graphic novel that teaches kids about money based on the simple idea of “only buying the awesome stuff” and creating the freedom for what’s most important to YOU. His goal is to teach an entire generation of kids how to live a rich life and he’d love to have you join him in this journey.

You can learn more and order the book at, www.theawesomestuff.com.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write The Golden Quest?

David Delisle - My boys, 6 and 9 at the time, were the inspiration for the Golden Quest. I wanted to teach them the most important habits and mindset so that money was never a cause of stress in their lives.

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to make the format a graphic novel?

David Delisle - I volunteer at my kids school library. While volunteering, I would watch the kids continually get drawn towards the graphic novels section of the library. As this continued to happen and I began to talk to them about what they were reading and read the books myself, a seed of an idea slowly grew until it hit me all at once that the lessons I was trying to teach my boys could be written as a beautifully illustrated adventure in a fantastical world full of dragons, castles, and amazing creatures. And from there, everything just clicked and fell into place. It really was one of those instances that Elizabeth Gilbert describes in Big Magic, where the idea found me…like magic.


Life Is What It's Called - How do you see this book being used in homes, schools, or classrooms?


David Delisle - I recommend reading each chapter out loud as a family or to a class... then following it up with a 20-30 minute discussion about what you just read. It's so much more powerful when this is read & discussed together as a family or group and can result in some of the most ground breaking conversations you’ll have.

Life Is What It's Called - What do you want kids to learn from this book?

David Delisle - The habits and mindset to truly live a rich life.

Life Is What It's Called - What do you think kids will like most about this book?

David Delisle - That they will feel like they are on the adventure themself.


Life Is What It's Called - Why is the topic of money important for kids to learn?

David Delisle - Because most of us never learn these lessons even as adults.

Life Is What It's Called - Are you like the character in the book?

David Delisle - Not exactly. But many of the questions are things I have asked or thought. And of course, I have some very similar blue glasses :)


Life Is What It's Called - If you were going on a quest, what would you want to discover now? And as a kid?


David Delisle - I wish we could all discover how special we are and truly love ourselves. This is just important now as when we were kids and something that I’m still discovering. Maybe that will be the next book…

Life Is What It's Called - What authors and illustrators inspire you?

David Delisle -
  • Bill Watterson creator of Calvin & Hobbes
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Jen Sicero
  • Charlie Mackesy
  • Dr. Seuss

Life Is What It's Called - What are you working on next?

David Delisle - I’m focused on sharing the message in The Golden Quest and inspiring others to “Only buy the Awesome Stuff” so that they can also share this message and change the way an entire generation thinks about money and what it means to live a rich life. For now, that’s enough :)


GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Golden Quest!

Four (4) winners receive:
The Golden Quest: Book Giveaway

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and David Delisle. This post also contains affiliate links.


Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Monday, May 16, 2022




ABOUT THE BOOK

Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday

Written by Alysson Foti Bourque

Illustrated by Chiara Civati

Ages 3-8 | 32 Pages

Publisher: Pelican Publishing | ISBN-13: 9781455626489

Publisher’s Synopsis: Alycat wakes up to seafood gumbo for breakfast, and even though her house is the first stop for the school bus, the bus is already full when she boards. Alycat’s whole day is turning topsy-turvy. What is happening? Young readers will tag along on Alycat’s adventures during her very “cattywampus” Wednesday and learn that a little help from some friends and a good attitude can make your day.

Available for purchase on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes and Noble.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Award-winning author Alysson Foti Bourque is a certified elementary education teacher and earned a law degree from the Southern University Law Center in 2007. After practicing law for six years, she traded writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson collaborates with non-profits to support philanthropic initiatives and enjoys speaking with children and teachers at schools and libraries, where she is accompanied by the life-size Alycat mascot.

For more information, visit the author's:


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday?


Alysson Foti Bourque - I was inspired to write Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday during the pandemic when the world seemed strange, odd, and a bit skewed. I knew that readers needed a resource to cope with an abnormal world, and this story is written to provide comfort and grace on any unusual or strange day for them. 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you think readers would like most about this book?

Alysson Foti Bourque - I believe readers will gravitate towards the innuendos and wacky events that occur on each page and enjoy guessing how Alycat will react to each wild encounter. There are literary Easter Eggs hidden throughout, and I hope readers enjoy finding them!

Life Is What It's Called - What lessons can readers gain from reading Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday?

Alysson Foti Bourque - Readers can use this book as a tool to gain the confidence to conquer a day where things just aren’t going right. Alycat could get frazzled and upset by the changes and uncertainties throughout the book. But she relies on her friends and family for comfort and stability to get through the strange day. I hope readers will use this book as a tool to know that they can get through whatever life throws at them and find solace in knowing that sometimes things are out of our control, and we can’t plan. 

Life Is What It's Called - Why do you feel it is important to utilize positive thinking with change?

Alysson Foti Bourque- It appears that everywhere you turn— the news, social media, friend conversations—the topic of discussion is always geared toward what’s wrong with society. We can change that narrative by employing positive affirmations and anticipating good in the world and teach our kids to be leaders of positive thinking. Our children hear our conversations and mimic what we, as adults, conversate about and believe. The world is always changing, that won’t change, but we can correct the way we deal with uncertain situations. By being a leader of positive thinking, we can encourage an upbeat attitude among others around us, keep morale high, increase productivity, and encourage growth with their energy, interests, and their actions.

Life Is What It's Called - What are some discussions that parents or teachers can have after reading your book at home or in the classroom?

Alysson Foti Bourque - No matter how backward Alycat’s day gets, friends and family are still there for her, and she can rely on them. Kids need their own security and people who are constants in their lives. Hopefully, parents can use this book in conversation to remind their children to turn to loved ones who have and will always be there for them when their day goes cattywampus.

Life Is What It's Called - Do you have any suggestions for other tools parents can use to help children cope with change?

Alysson Foti Bourque - Change can be difficult for children. Whether it is a change in weather or a change in schools, it can be overwhelming for a child to cope with. Parents can help alleviate the stress of change by doing the following:
  • Create a diversion. Take their mind off the situation by redirecting their attention to happy thoughts or an activity that they love.
  • If the change involves a new setting, visit the place together several times before the start of the change. If it’s a new school, schedule play dates with other children who are in the same class. Or tour the school several times to create a sense of belonging and homeliness.
  • Have the child write a letter or draw a picture of what he/she is feeling. After several months, have the child draw or write a letter again of how they feel to see how time heals all. Keep these entries for the future to reinforce that “this too shall pass”.

Life Is What It's Called - How have your experiences helped you to write this book?


Alysson Foti Bourque - I wrote this book during the pandemic when I felt that the future was uncertain, and every day felt different than the last. Not knowing when the world would feel “normal” again, I began to wonder how kids must feel. They were suddenly pulled from school and their friends with no end in sight. I found so much comfort in relying on the fact that if I picked up the phone and called, my friends were still there to answer. And my family was still there—just at a distance. We went through each day, taking it one day at a time, and accepted that sometimes a day or year may be cattywampus. This experience led me to write Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday where Alycat is faced with a backward day and must take it one step at a time. She finds comfort in relying on friends and family and “rolls with the punches”. 


Life Is What It's Called - Would you like to tell us about some of the other books you have written?

Alysson Foti Bourque - The Alycat Series features five titles: Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day (2016), Alycat and the Monday Blues (2017), Alycat and the Friendship Friday (2018), Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday (2020), and Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday (2022). The series has won over 17 awards, has original songs on iTunes and YouTube, and has been featured in the Official Grammy’s Swag Bag and Oscar’s Gift Bag.


Having a background in elementary education, I know the importance of connecting the reader with the story emotionally and physically. By adding a craft or activity at the end, readers can continue the journey with the character after finishing the book and foster a greater love for reading. In Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day, there is a recipe to make Alycat’s Popcorn Popsicles in the back of the book since she made this dessert in the story. Alycat and the Monday Blues has a song with lyrics that the reader can sing as Alycat did in the story’s talent show. Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday has a glossary of golf words to entice readers to pick a club and try something new. Alycat and the Friendship Friday has instructions to make Friendship Friday Bracelets as Alycat did to solve her friendship problem. And the new book has tips for dealing with a cattywampus day. By connecting crafts and activities to their reading, it increases reading comprehension and a love for literature.

I believe books are a powerful tool and resource for our young generation, and The Alycat Series aims to bring more positive, self-motivating stories into children’s lives. This series reflects on themes of friendship, imagination, creativity, and problem-solving and I hope Alycat and her friends will encourage young readers to find their special gifts, shine brightly, and support their peers around them.

GIVEAWAY



Enter for a chance to win a copy of Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday and a plush Alycat!

One (1) winner receives:

  • A copy of Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday by Alysson Foti Bourque
  • A plush Alycat

One (1) winner receives:

  • A copy of Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday by Alysson Foti Bourque

Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday: Book Giveaway

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Alysson Foti Bourque. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links.
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs