Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Curse of Captain La Foote

Ahoy yea Mateys - here is a book that you land-lubbers are sure to enjoy! Eddie Jones' The Curse of Captain LaFoote is a new book on the market that I will be sure and share with my male readers! Because yes, I am always on the lookout for boy lit! This is a young adult/tween novel that starts off in the very beginning with a fire that burns down an apartment building and quickly turns to a novel where the main character, Ricky, is thrust into the creek while saving a dog and dies and then becomes a novel where Ricky is given a choice - return to his former life or become a sailor on the high seas. He chooses the new life on the high seas and his real adventures begin. What a fun story - full of adventure and excitement! I do think it will be a pleaser - for boys and girls - and it's a great novel by Jones for the world of teen lit.




AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Tell us about The Curse of Captain LaFoote.
EDDIE: When my boys were young, I'd tell pirate stores on the bow of our sailboat. The lead character was Captain Stinky Foot. Captain Stinky Foot was named after my youngest son. If you've ever spent any time on a boat in August with a crew of unwashed young males then this needs no further explanation. I've always been fascinated by the stories of boys snatched away from London and Bristol and forced to serve before the mast. Seems to me life at sea was more fun than peeling potatoes. And more dangerous.

So The Curse of Captain LaFoote is a pirate tale awash in buried treasure, romance and dead men's bones. The truth is, this book and the ones that follow in the Caribbean Chronicle series are love stories. For Ricky Bradshaw, the hero of the book, the story is a quest to find his father, soul mate, and purpose in life.

What is your lead’s wound?
EDDIE: A friend suggested that I let my lead have epilepsy. She said when she has an episode she sort of zones out—like daydreaming except she can’t stop it. She also said she knows when it’s about to happen. That she smells something like burning wires. So I gave Ricky epilepsy and finished the story.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized the book had a larger purpose. I met another woman at a writer’s conference whose son has epilepsy. During the conference, her son suffered a seizure — the first one he’d ever had without his mother present. The look on her face that morning convinced me that Ricky Bradshaw could be a champion for those suffering from epilepsy.

It’s not cancer or heart disease but over three million Americans live with epilepsy. If the sale of this book can raise awareness, then the book has done its job. For each book sold, the publisher and I will donate “a few pieces of eight” — half a sandy dollar — to the foundation’s Heroes Among Us program. Our goal is to raise ten thousand dollars in honor of Ricky Bradshaw.

What is the spiritual message in your book?
EDDIE: That courage cost. Near the end of the book Ricky has the chance to go back to his old life. We get to do the same thing, go back to our old way of doing things. But Christ says there is a cost for doing the right thing. Ricky faces that choice.

What takeaway value do you hope readers receive after reading this novel?
EDDIE: There are a lot of other deep and important themes explored in the book too. Things like what the poop deck is and why cruise ships no longer use them, the secrets inside Davy Jones' locker, and why you shouldn't walk downwind of a pirate who's just eaten turtle soup.

Seriously, my goal in writing this book was to spur the imagination of young readers. Boys especially. I wanted to create within them a desire to read and set sail for a life of adventure, wherever that journey may take them. Even now I can see Ricky standing on the sugar-white sands of that island just south of Hispaniola. I am that boy. And so are a lot of other boys.


And there is a Grand Prize Package with this blog tour!!!
To enter just leave a comment on this post. To gain extra entries:
1 - Tweet it and then come back and leave a comment.
2 - Join In The Pages Facebook Page and come back and leave a comment that you did join.
3 - Post about it on Facebook and come back and leave a comment.

******************Grand Prize Giveaway
All you need for a PIRATE PARY!
• 8 invitations
• 8 - 9" party plates
• 8 - 9-oz. cups
• 16 luncheon napkins
• 16 pc. blue cutlery set
• 1 red plastic table cover
• 2 rolls of streamers, 1 blue and 1 red
• 12 each of blue and red balloons
• 2 pkgs. of confetti, 1 blue and 1 orange
• 4 yds. deluxe creepy cloth
• 12 pirate swords with eye patch
• 72 pirate tattoos
• 8 dessert plates
• 16 beverage napkins
• 8 treasure chest-shaped filled treat boxes
• 1 10 ft. pennant
• 12 child-size pirate hats
• 1 photo door banner
• 1 piƱata and toy & candy asst.

Winners will be chosen on June 3.



*I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes.

Amazing Work of Lifesong in India

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog postings to share this!

Imagine living in a house made entirely out of concrete, that heats up like an oven in the hot sun. Imagine a bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling as your only light. Imagine having no toilet facilities or running water, but instead getting all your water from a community hand pump. Imagine having parents who worked in the field, barely able to provide from day to day. Imagine no hope, growing up in a hope of idolatry and severe poverty.



To Sindhu Babu this kind of life was normal. It wasn't until he (at age 10) came to Lifesong India that he knew there was something better. Something far better.

Today, at age 18, Sindhu Babu not only has a hope for a future as he studies to become an electrical engineer... not only does he live in a clean home with clean running water... and not only has he heard the word of God, but in 2003, his parents, who for years worshipped idols, gave their lives to Christ!
Praise God that He continues to replace hope for despair in the nearly six hundred children we work with and their families!

Thank you for your continued prayer and support as we serve children in India!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Okay for Now

When I say Gary Schmidt - I hope you smile!! If you are clueless, then I say - GET ON BOARD! He is a fabulous author that has captured me with every book he has written! I pass them along to my boys and they love him as well. DO NOT MISS THIS AUTHOR!!! (I would say it louder if I could, but this will have to do!)


His latest title, Okay for Now, kept me laughing and crying - he really is quite an author! This is the story of Doug Swieteck, who we first saw in The Wednesday Wars. You certainly do not have to read Wednesday Wars to know what is going on in this book - they are both stand-alones. (But if you do not read Wednesday Wars in your lifetime - that would be a horrible sadness!!) Doug's life is not an easy one - his father is a total loser of a father - he is abusive and mean. His mom tries hard to be a tender mom, but she seems powerless in the face of his father. And then his brother, seems to be taking after his father - mean and abusive as well. And another brother that is in Vietnam fighting and returns home - to teach us all the realities of what happened to many of our vets when they returned home, scarred and sad.

So that leaves Doug on his own, trying to get through school with some teachers that are even against him. His bright spots seem to be Lil, his adorable girlfriend that is just the sweetest character in this novel, and the customers that he delivers food to each Saturday - yes, even dear Mrs. Windmere! I could go on and on on this one - I will just say - it resounds with readers - you find yourself laughing along, shaking your head "yes" - because you just "get it." OH, and I almost forgot - I loved the WONDERFUL bird-theme in this one as well!! I love everything about it and I will sing Schmidt's praises until I rest in my grave - he is a master storyteller!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bitter Melon

Cara Chow's Bitter Melon was an interesting read to me. After just having read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, this book really got me to thinking again. It is the story of Frances, a high school student, that is torn between trying to please her mother or choose her own desires for her future. Frances' mother is not an easy woman to please, she is a Chinese mother that reminded me of Battle Hymn....she can be mean, verbally and physically abusive, and there was not a bone of me that liked her by the end of the book. And yet, I could see how she did love her daughter and want more for her life than she had in her own life. It is a hard read - I hate seeing difficult relationships between daughters and mothers, but it was a good read - I was always challenged to think...and I like that! My favorite character was Ms. Taylor, the speech teacher, she is what I love to see in teachers - they get to know their students personally and encourage them in their talents and skills. This is worth the read - certainly take the time for it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miles From Ordinary

I am a fan of Carol Lynch Williams - and her latest, Miles From Ordinary, is another great read! This is a story that is NOT easy to read - I will say that right from the start - 14 year old, Lacey's life is one that no child should have to live - especially on their own. She is left as the only one to take care of her mentally ill mother. But you can imagine - life is not easy when you are trying to make it through school, support your family financially, and take care of a mother that can not take care of herself. It is such a gut-wrenching story - it is raw and real. HIGHLY recommend it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Huge the Night

I am quite excited about this new book, How Huge the Night, by Heather and Lydia Munn. It is set in France as it is falling to the Nazis and is based on a true story - the town of Le Chambon - the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust. This is a book geared at teens and helps them get excited about this time period AND also challenges them to think about the choices they make everyday based on some of the choices Julien and Nina have to make to survive. I appreciate the ethical challenges the authors portray in the novel - it really makes you think and question what you would have done.


Here is what the publisher says about the book:

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens. Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

This is a compelling read - I was glued from the first page and I know teens will be just as engrossed as I was! In fact - I am on my way to pass it along to my teen boys to read!

Here is a bit about the authors:

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.

Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.

Here's Some BIG NEWS!!!

Kregel Publications is sponsoring an $50 Amazon.com giveaway open to blog readers.

About the Giveaway!

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #litfuse) about How Huge the Night or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use the hashtag (#litfuse). If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know (info@litfusegroup.com). Easy.



*I was provided a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Franklin Goes Ebook!!!

I remember reading Franklin books to my boys, in my classroom, in my story hours, and now to my girls as well. So when I heard they had gone to Ebook as well - I was thrilled! BIG Franklin fans here and what a treat to have it available as an Ebook.



If you'd like to win a copy of the Ebook - just leave a comment! I will take comments until next Wednesday, the 25th!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Unplanned

Focus on the Family and Tyndale have produced a DVD that will change the way you see things. Unplanned is a powerful DVD! The story of Abby Johnson and her journey into working for Planned Parenthood and then coming out of it after being so convicted about what she was telling women. The story is honest and well-told. The DVD is interesting and honest. I commend both Focus on the Family and Tyndale for great work on this project - I hope it touches lives and changes opinions on both sides of the abortion issue.


GO HERE to see the book - which I would just LOVE to read as well. I have heard great things about it.



Learn more about the Unite for Life Webcast coming up on May 17.

HERE IS THE FUN NEWS!! I have a certificate to give away for a copy of the DVD. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog with your email address.

For extra entries - leave separate comments after you have:
1) Subscribed to my blog.
2) Signed up for the Webcast mentioned above.
3) Posted the giveaway on your blog or Twitter.


*I was provided a copy of the DVD by Tyndale for review purposes.

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