December 15,  2011  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club


Dear Readers,


In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors,

you'll meet:


...Evangeline, who's given a necklace with an antique key (what will it open?) in Nancy

Richardson Fischer's novel PANDORA'S KEY   


 ...Rose, asleep for 62 years (!), in Anna Sheehan's novel A LONG, LONG SLEEP  

...Gwen Frost, warrior-in-training at the Mythos Academy in Jennifer Estep's KISS OF FROST                      

...and Timo and Val as they challenge the establishment in Oliver Neubert's The Wind of Life - THE FLYERS.

Warm wishes,
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


Block1Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction   


Win a set of PANDORA'S KEY for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (please write "KidsBookClubbing" in the subject line.) 


Dear Reader:


The idea for PANDORA'S KEY came from two things:  My fascination with unwilling heroes and my love of Greek mythology. 


On her sixteenth birthday Evangeline is given a necklace with an antique key charm.  Everything changes.  Her looks morph from geeky to stunning.  Her mom is hospitalized.  Her godmoNancyther attempts murder.  An ancient Order tries to kill her, and a lethal Sect to kidnap her.  Evangeline must use the magical key to unlock an unbelievable mystery tied to the myth of Pandora.  But can she accept who she really is and save the world?  


PANDORA'S KEY is an edge of your seat ride with enough magic, mystery and action to satisfy any teen that loves Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins.


Read on!


Nancy Richardson Fischer



Book reviews:  

"For any teen that enjoys action, suspense and mythology, PANDORA'S KEY is the perfect read. With compassionate characters and exciting plot twists, it truly kept me on the edge of my seat.  PANDORA'S KEY is action packed, filled with magic, and has just the right amount of romance mixed in to make it a wonderful coming of age tale. 

--Abby Dennis, age 14


"The thing that strikes me most about PANDORA'S KEY is that it's such a sophisticated YA book that I'm 40 and couldn't put it down. Fischer's debut urban fantasy novel seamlessly blends Greek mythology with a gritty, modern world.  There's something for everyone -- a teenage girl coming of age and forced to accept a terrible gift and burden; a doctor drowning from loss and struggling to find something to believe in; and an antagonist who is brilliant, desperate and devolves into pure evil. There are enough magic, ancient curses, Gods and Goddesses and powerful talisman to create a story that travels at a breakneck pace.  Bravo Nancy Richardson Fischer - now get busy writing the sequel!"

--Ashley Anderson, age 40+


Discussion questions:    

  1.  What is an unwilling hero and how does Evangeline fit into this description?  Do you know any unwilling heroes?
  2.  What are your favorite myths and why?  If you haven't read any myths, Google Greek Mythology, read a myth and share it with the group!
  3.  Evangeline's looks change radically in PANDORA'S KEY.  What would you do if your looks changed - for better OR for worse?  How would you feel inside?
  4.  Evangeline is forced to fight for her life in the story.  What would you be willing to fight and even die for? 
  5.  What do you think is in store for Evangeline, Olivia, and Dr. Sullivan in THE KEY TO TARTARUS, BOOK II of The Key Trilogy?

To read an excerpt from THE KEY TO TARTARUS, BOOK II of The Key Trilogy, enter contests for signed books, and follow the author's blog, please visit her website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Nancy Richardson Fischer is happy to call in or Skype with your bookclub.  Email the author to submit your request. 


Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / Candlewick Press 


Win a set of A LONG, LONG SLEEP for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (please write "KidsBookClubbing" in the subject line).


kids Dear Reader,     


How do you come to terms with the world changing around you? That was the question I tried to answer as I wrote A LONG, LONG SLEEP. During Rose's 62 year sleep in stasis, the times had changed without her. But it isn't only time and technology that changes. The world can change in an instant, even with your own perception. AnnaSheehan

For myself, I was a miserable teenager, seemingly trapped out of time. Most of my friends were miserable too, and abuse victims as well. This book, which had at first been an exploration of the effects of a specific technology on the individual became a deeply personal exposition of love and stagnation, dreams and reality, life, death and what it means to be human. Rose is a character whose story you won't forget in a hurry.



Book reviews:


"Beautiful and bittersweet, romantic and riveting, with characters I didn't want to leave behind when I reached the end, A LONG, LONG SLEEP is my absolute favorite kind of book!"
--Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Magic Under Glass and Between Sea and Sky

"Enjoyable and thought-provoking, Sheehan's intriguing blend of science fiction and 'Sleeping Beauty' combines original world-building with a heart-wrenching examination of the consequences of a fairy-tale life."  

--Elizabeth C. Bunce, William C. Morris Award-winning author of A Curse Dark as Gold and StarCrossed

"With well-developed characters, a touch of romance, and a believable future that, for once, is not entirely dystopian, Sheehan's tale should please many readers."

--Publishers Weekly


Discussion questions:


By Dr. Jennifer Stackhouse, PhD in Education.

 1. On Rose

There have been several recently published YA books with passive female characters in them. Does the character Rose fit this archetype? Does her background justify her passivity? How does her background differ from other passive characters in YA? What alternatives could you envision for Rose? In the broader context, is there a risk of glorifying passivity among female teens through exposure to passive female characters? If so, do we similarly evaluate masculine characterizations in YA literature? What is the role of YA literature in shaping the lives of teens and tweens?

2. On Otto

The character Otto is owned by UniCorp. Is this akin to slavery? Are there differences between Otto and his family and slaves of the past? How is the genetic engineering of Otto similar or different to in vitro fertilization or current genetic engineering activities? In what ways are Rose and Otto similar? In what ways are the different? Who has the harder life? Does Otto's understanding of his subjugation and Rose's initial unawareness of hers change this equation? Is it better to know you are enslaved or to be blissfully unaware...which would you rather?

3. On Xavier

What do you think of the relationship between Rose and Xavier? In their teen years, is this a healthy relationship? Do you believe they would have stayed together had the dark times and Rose's Stasis not occurred? What is your feeling about the resolution of their relationship in the book? What does the ending say about love and family? Can we have healthy unromantic relationships with people we once were in love with? Could you determine a better solution for who should be Rose's guardian?

4. On Rose's Parents

How would you characterize the relationships Rose had with her mother and father? What were some of the motives behind the parents' treatment of Rose? Do you feel the relationship is abusive? Is the desire on the part of a parent to take a break from parenting wrong? If you were Rose, what would you do in her situation?

5. On UniCorp

Do you believe a Dark Times series of events is possible? Can you see a possible solution to avoid Dark Times events in our future? If a Dark Times event occurred and you had a Stasis machine, would you use it? Do you believe there is a difference between Stasis for those with medical needs vs. those "needing a break" or is this just a slippery slope? Would you want to live in ComUnity? What current communities is ComUnity similar to? Is there a difference between UniCorp and a monopoly?    

To find out more about the author and the book, visit Anna Sheehan's website or follow her on Facebook.  

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Anna Sheehan is available to email with your bookclub.  Email the author to submit your request.




Ages 14 and up / Paranormal / Urban YA Fantasy / Kensington (KTeen Books)

Win a set of KISS OF FROST by Jennifer Estep for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).  


Dear Reader,

Ever since I was a kid, I've always loved mythology and all the stories of the various gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and monsters battling each other and going on amazing adventures. My interest in mythology inspired me to write KISS OF FROST, the second book in my Mythos Academy series. The book focuses on Gwen Frost, a seventeen-year-old Gypsy girl with psychometry magic. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen gets shipped off to Mythos Academy, a schooJenniferEstepl for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Amazons, and Valkyries.  


Here's a little more about the book:  


I'm Gwen Frost, a warrior-in-training at Mythos Academy, and I have no idea how I'm going to survive the semester. One day, I'm getting schooled in swordplay by the guy who broke my heart -- the drop-dead gorgeous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invisible archer in the Library of Antiquities decides to use me for target practice. And now, I find out that someone at the academy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead.

I'm afraid if I don't learn how to live by the sword, I just might die by the



Happy Reading!  


Jennifer Estep


Book Reviews for TOUCH OF FROST, the first book in the Mythos Academy series: 


"An amazingly addictive new series."



"[TOUCH OF FROST] has literally everything: mystery, romance, mythology, boarding schools . . . What could be better?

--Simply Nerdy


"Jennifer Estep did a fantastic job plunging into this genre."

--Fiction Vixen


"A great introduction to a new world that fans of dark fantasy should enjoy. Definitely pick this one up."



"TOUCH OF FROST gives us an extremely likeable and levelheaded female protagonist, the ultimate bad boy romantic lead, and an epic battle between good and evil.  It's fantastic fun from start to finish."

--All Things Urban Fantasy


"[TOUCH OF FROST] has just a little bit of everything, engrossing new mythology, intriguing mystery, and a touch of romance that all blend together to make an irresistibly new series."

--A Bookworm's Haven


 "Full of mystery, adventure, drama, and a bit of romance - fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this exciting story. With a surprising and climactic ending, readers will be left eagerly awaiting the next installment."



Discussion questions: 


1.     What would your definition of a warrior be? What do you consider being brave?

2.     What would you do if you had the power to uncover people's secrets like Gwen does? How  would you use that power for good?

3.    What would you do if you had to leave your friends behind and go to a new school? How would you feel? How would you handle those feelings?


To read excerpts and keep up with the author via her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, please visit her website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Jennifer Estep is happy to call-in to your club. She can also meet with groups in Tennessee. Email Jennifer Estep to submit your request.  



Ages 10 and up / Middle-grade / YA fiction / Purple Branch Publishing


Win a set of The Wind of Life - THE FLYERS for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (please write "KidsBookClubbing" in the subject line).


Dear Readerflyers,


I love to walk through snow, to climb mountains, to smell the fresh air and I love to dream about flying. Soaring through the air, watching the earth from above, feeling the wind in my face and touching the clouds would be an amazing experience.


Timo experiences this every day; his wings are strong, his mind is clear and his connection to the elements allows him to communicate with the wind. But when he is confronted with the old, brutal laws of the mountain world, he finds himself dragged into a plot that could cost him his life. By befriending the beautiful flyer Val, Timo enters the world oOliver f friendship, betrayal, loyalty, hatred and first love. They both challenge the  establishment and thus become the target of the merciless Lord of the War Flyers, who will stop at nothing to kill everyone who stands in his way.




Oliver Neubert


Book reviews:   


"I like that Timo takes calculated risks. He is aware of his limitations but has the confidence to push the boundary to see where his talent and skill meet in order to move forward and learn."

--A comment from a reader


"This book is fast paced with relatable characters. The adventure is great by itself but the lessons about accepting different cultures (in this case those with wings and those without them) make this story even better. Timo and Val are very spirited individuals who I loved to read about. I also found the mountains where they lived and the descriptions of flying really original. Eagerly awaiting a sequel!"           

--A review at   


"This fast-paced hero quest is guaranteed to please any adventure reader. Author Oliver Neubert provides an exciting plot. His characters are interesting and endearing. Using a simple writing style, Neubert's Chantel's Quest: The Golden Sword appeals to reluctant readers. This novel would make an excellent choice for a classroom novel set."

--Resource Links  (Review for "Chantel's Quest" series)


Discussion questions:


1.     Where does hatred come from?

2.     Why don't we learn from each other and become stronger by celebrating our differences?

3.     What does nature mean to us and to our understanding of life?

4.     Why do some people always need to be in control?

5.     How can we identify old, outdated laws?

6.     What would it be like to fly using your own wings?  What would the wind tell us if we would be able to listen and understand it?


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Oliver Neubert is happy to call in, email or Skype with 

your bookclub.  Email the author or call 604-731-2037 to submit your request.   

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.

  • Contest entries are sent directly to the authors administering each contest.  Our Privacy Policy does not apply to emails sent as contest entries.  You must be 18 years or older to enter the contests.

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