Thursday, 21 August 2014

"Finding Fuzzy - a You Decide Tale of a Lost Friend", Free Short Story Offer and $30 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

It's often hard to find good new books that are suitable and engaging for your kids. I have had so much fun over the summer, working with Mother Daughter Book Reviews to bring you lots of great new books that you can share with your children and give you opportunities to enter fantastic giveaways too.

Today's review is a delightfully illustrated book that your kids can really get involved with by deciding the ending! The book is designed to get kids thinking about decisions and consequences, by using critical thinking skills and working through dilemmas. Gorgeously illustrated with watery colours that evoke long days at the beach, the book is an easy reader for children starting out, or as a relaxing, gentle bedtime read. Lovely!
The author, Cat Michaels, is giving away a free short story for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings. So you won't miss out on any of the fun either! Scroll down for more details on how to claim your copy.
And don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a $30 Amazon giftcard (or equivalent). Don't fret if you're not based in the US - everyone can join in the fun wherever you are in the world.
Finding Fuzzy by Cat Michaels  
Title: Finding Fuzzy: A "You-Decide Tale" of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales)
Author: Cat Michaels
Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns
Publication Date: March 26, 2014
Publisher: 2101 Ink
Pages: 44
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: Illustrated chapter book for early readers (Gr. K-3) Blue sky ... Warm sea ... Sugar-sand beach ... The perfect family vacation on the Carolina coast ... Except the trip takes a nosedive when Jenna loses Fuzzy, her plush blue rabbit pal. Jenna learns to carry on without him. But when she stumbles across a secret, she faces the toughest decision of her young life. And YOU, the reader, will help her make that choice and come up with the ending of this You-Decide tale. Don't worry. Cat shows you how in her book and on her website. So, slip on your flip-flops and join Jenna at the shore. It's time to decide YOUR ending for Finding Fuzzy. Caution: Irene A. Jahn's ocean-themed watercolors have been known to cause beach fever.

"Finding Fuzzy" placed second in the Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books.

Purple Dragonfly Award - Second Place - Finding Fuzzy  

Book Preview





What People Are Saying

"Finding Fuzzy is an early chapter book featuring the opportunity for children to create their own ending to a sweet, summertime story. The main character, Jenna, has a decision to make when she discovers that her beloved stuffed bunny she had lost is now being used to protect a litter of kittens. After weighing out all of the possible outcomes, it is up to the reader to decide what happens next in the story. I thought this was a unique concept that will interest children, especially ones who are interested in writing their own stories (like my daughter!). I recommend this book to parents, homeschoolers, and teachers with children between the ages of 5 and 10." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"The story is sweet, and suitable for all children. The book is set up to get kids to think and discuss what they would do in a certain situation--in this case, giving up a precious friend (the stuffed bunny.) I could see using this in either a classroom setting or as a bedtime story. The watercolor illustrations really capture a beachy mood and create a great visual for kids as well.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Nikki B., Goodreads
"Cat Michaels has put young readers in a position to solve the dilemma. Readers must brainstorm and utilize their critical thinking skills to write the ending to Jenna's story. This quick to read chapter book has small colorful illustrations that help readers imagine the beach. Readers will also find that the author has created a world where they use all five senses. The back of the book has tips for parents and teachers to help their readers.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Kristi B., Goodreads
"This is a book with a difference. The space where the ending should be is blank, leaving readers with the opportunity to take a far more pro-active role in the unfolding of the story. It's time to get creative. It's time to give the story your own ending! There's room for a picture as well, so the budding author can test out their illustration skills too!" ~ 5 Star Review, Peachy Emma, Amazon
"The genius here is that Cat has picked the perfect storyline to make your would be writers put themselves into Jenna’s shoes and truly understand how she feels.It’s the stuffed animal, every child has one and every child is very attached to it. This is a great book for it's educational value as far as letting the kids use their imagination to come up with their own conclusion. ----5 stars for this one!" ~ Bookroom Reviews, Amazon

About the Author: Cat Michaels

Cat Michaels Author
CAT MICHAELS started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. After earning an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas, she spent two decades helping students from kindergarten to college reach their potential. She also managed communication and resource development programs for an international high-tech company that included writing press releases and articles for trade journals. After recession and downsizings, she returned to her education roots, serving at a community college as a writing coach and learning specialist for students with Asperger’s syndrome and learning disabilities. Cat spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or twinge of mystery, that open young minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Illustrations by watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns help bring that world to life. Cat and her family live in North Carolina where she designs playful gardens, dabbles in all things digital, and writes.

* Download free pdf of chapter 1 and You-Decide pages by visiting *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+


FREE Short Story Offer

Subscribe by email to Cat's Connections to receive updates, special offers, and to be among the first to hear about new releases by Cat Michaels. PLUS, when you sign up, you will receive a short story penned just for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings by Cat Michaels. Click on the cover below to subscribe to Cat's Connections.

PLUS... email subscribers to Cat's Connections will also receive 5 extra in the giveaway below.

Driving to Dillon by Cat Michaels  

* Giveaway *

Amazon gift card - 30
Prize: One winner will receive a $30 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 19, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cat Michaels and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Back to School Boost Sale and the Latest Jack Templar Novel
Today's the day! It's the Back to School Boost Sale at TPT! Everything - yes everything - in my store is discounted at 20%. And if you use the code BOOST at checkout, you'll bag an additional discount, making a total of 28%.

All of my newest Common Core "I Can" Statements and Checklists bundles - usually selling at $10 each - are now available for just $8. When combined with the additional discount at checkout, this works out at around $7.84. That's amazing! They're available for all four strands (language, reading, writing and speaking and listening) for Grades 1-5, and language, reading and writing for Kindergarten.

Grade 5Grade 3

Grade 2Kindergarten

Why not take the opportunity to stock up for Christmas now? Take a look at these tasty morsels...

Father Christmas goes on Vacation -  and character exploration ($4 before additional discount)

The Polar Express - activities to accompany the book and film ($4 before additional discount)

Jesus' Christmas Party - nativity play with a difference ($4 before additional discount)

Jesus' Christmas Party - activities to accompany the book and the play ($4 before additional discount)

Now to my book review.

I am pleased to be joining in with a Book Review Blitz for “The Templar Chronicles” middle grade/young adult book series by Jeff Gunhus.  I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing each of the three books.  They are FANTASTIC!

"Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first...and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke."
We all know how difficult it can be to engage reluctant readers, especially boys. If you're anything like me, you spend hours and hours scouring book shops, libraries and any other nook or cranny for the golden nugget that will appeal to these children. So imagine how thrilled I was to find the Jack Templar Chronicles.
This series of books charts the adventures of Jack, who discovers on his fourteenth birthday that he is a monster hunter with very strange powers. The books are thrilling and keep the reader captivated from cover to cover. Full of energy and adventure, the plots are well-written and the characters believable.
The books were well written and fun to read, with more than a dash of humour. I challenge any young person not to get dragged into the world of Jack Templar and love it!
All three Jack Templar books that I reviewed are available on Amazon.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book Review Blitz - Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

I am delighted to bring you news of a fabulous book in the Frankie Dupont series by Julie Ann Grasso.

My Review

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a frank and honest review.

I am always on the look-out for new books to use with my class, so I was excited to be able to review this one. I read the book in one sitting.

Frankie is a detective in training. He is called to a case at Enderby Manor, a large hotel close to his home, where his cousin Kat has mysteriously disappeared. Enderby Manor isn't all it seems, and Frankie has to delve deep into the evidence, assume nothing and read between the lines if his he to find Kat. Time is running out - will Frankie succeed...?

A fantastic book for boys and girls of 7-11, and sure to engage the most reluctant readers.
You can get a copy of Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor from Amazon by clicking below.

Back to School Boost Sale

Yay! I'm joining in with the great back to School Boost sale! Everything in my store is discounted at a huge 20%, and you can get a further discount at checkout when you quote code BOOST.

I missed the first Back to School sale because I was on holiday, but here's a second chance to grab anything and everything in my store at a huge discount.

My "I Can" statements and checklists for Common Core literacy elements are among some of my bestsellers. Up until now they have only been available individually, but I have been promising for sometime to post combined packs for each grade. These are now available on TPT in time for the sale. Individually they cost $3 each, with the combined bundle at $10 - that's a saving of $2. Purchased in the sale, you can get each bundle for around $7! What are you waiting for...?

See you there!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Blitz Review - "Dream Warriors"

I am so happy to be joining in with a Book Review Blitz for the new Young Adult book by D. Robert Pease (author of the Noah Zarc series) “Dream Warriors: Joey Cola, Book 1″

Dream Warriors by D. Robert Pease

 My Review

Having read the blurb I was really looking forward to getting my teeth into this book. And it didn't disappoint. A thrilling story of adventure and intrigue with more than its fair share of twists and turns. Joey Cola is a new breed of hero. I couldn't help but notice the parallels with the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours - second youngest of twelve brothers, bullied because he was given preferential treatment by his father, thrown down a manhole and transported to Egypt where he experienced remarkably lifelike dreams.

Fabulous book, believable characters and gripping plot. I loved it!

About the Book

Title: Dream Warriors (Joey Cola, Book 1)
Author: D. Robert Pease 
Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC 
Pages: 232 
Recommended Ages: 12+

Summary:  Joseph Colafranceschi is a fifteen-year-old, self-described geek, living in the Bronx. The second youngest of twelve sons of the former U.S. ambassador to Italy, Joey discovers that a small Egyptian statuette, given to him by his father, endows him with power to control his dreams.
After his brothers throw him down a manhole, Joey is drawn into a hidden society of warriors who have been battling a reincarnated Egyptian Pharaoh for over 3,000 years. In the dream world, everyone is not what they appear to be, and it’s impossible to tell who to trust. As Joey slips deeper into a world of gladiator battles and clandestine missions within other people’s dreams, he catches the eye of a beautiful Egyptian princess.
The only thing that keeps him grounded in reality is his best friend Alex, but even she may not be who he thought she was.

About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease
D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he creates.
D. Robert lives in the grey-skied world of Northeast Ohio with his wife, two kids (a boy and a girl) and two pets (a dog and a cat) and a pond full of goldfish. When not writing he loves to travel the U.S. via RV with his trusty Jeep in tow, or ride the hills of Ohio on his bike..

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