Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just In Time For Black Friday!

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Picture it: Thanksgiving morning you wake up and get a lovely email from Jennifer Bardsley, aka "The YA Gal," telling you that you won $220 to spend on a book buying shopping spree on Amazon. Wouldn't that be fun? That lucky person could be you!!!

I've teamed up with twelve YA and KidLit authors to cosponsor a raffle. The grand prize is a $220 USD e-gift card to Amazon. There are multiply ways to enter the giveaway. You can sign up to follow author newsletters, follow them on Twitter, or add a new release to your Goodreads TBR pile.

Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter.

Would you like to know more about the authors involved? Check out their websites to find your next favorite book.




NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
1. Promotion Description: The '$220 Amazon Gift Card!' ("Sweepstakes") begins on 11/09/2016 at 06:00 PM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 11/24/2016 at 08:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the "Promotion Period"). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of ("Sponsor"), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA, Australia, Canada, England who are Must be 13 years or older or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the "Promotion Entities"), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.
3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively "the Prize Claim Documents"). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

**GOOD LUCK!**

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Friday Five - Millicent Marie Edition

Happy Friday! It's been an exciting couple of weeks with lots of MILLIE news ... so much, that I needed a Friday Five to get it all out there...


1. MILLICENT MARIE: JUST MY OPINION (Millicent Marie - Book 2)

It's here!! You asked, and I wrote. I know it took me a long time and a lot of convincing, but in the end, you were right—Millie's story was not finished, and I had a lot of fun hanging out with her again.  Here's the scoop:

The Story Continues!
Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie Harris thought her advice giving days were over. After all, her blog had been an epic disaster. But when her former crush convinces her it's time to take her skills to the big league, aka the school newspaper, she decides it might be worth giving it another try. It seems life might finally be getting back to normal for this sixth-grader.
However, there are other big problems brewing at Springside Elementary. Mr. Stiles, the school's long-standing and beloved principal leaves abruptly—replaced by Dr. Feather Foster, a newcomer with a harsh rule list a mile long. To make matters worse, there is trouble with the school play and suspicions that Millie's brother is still sneaking around her diary. Enlisting the help of her friends, Millie sets out to find the truth, in hopes of restoring peace to Springside Elementary before the school year is over and any more disasters occur.

2. COVERS!

While writing Book 2, I decided Book 1 deserved some love. That's when I contacted Najla Qamber from Qamberkids.com (Najla is the amazing cover designer behind my Whispered Wishes Series). She put me in touch with artist Danielle Styles, who worked her magic creating the fabulous color illustrations. Then Najla turned them into covers with her special touch. They did a great job, right?






3. PRETTIES!

The other day the postman brought me a big fat box of bookmarks, and now I want to give them to you! To get one, head on over to my Facebook page (Karen Pokras Toz, Author) and drop me a private message with your address (U.S. and Canada only please). A signed Millie bookmark and maybe one or two from my other books will be headed your way. I know you love your swag - what other Millie swag would you like to see?




4. GET YOUR COPY!

Want to see what Millie's up to in MILLICENT MARIE: JUST MY OPINION or catch up with Book One: MILLICENT MARIE IS NOT MY NAME?  They're both available! You can read them on their own or together. Perfect for your middle grade reader!

AND for a limited time, Book One is available in digital format for just 99 cents.

Available at AMAZON, B&N, & KOBO

PLUS For a chance to WIN a signed copy of MILLICENT MARIE: JUST MY OPINION, enter the Goodreads GIVEAWAY !



Goodreads Book Giveaway


Millicent Marie by Karen Pokras Toz

Millicent Marie

by Karen Pokras Toz


Giveaway ends November 03, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter Giveaway





5. JUST FOR YOU!

Want to get a sneak peek at MILLICENT MARIE: JUST MY OPINION?  Sign up for my newsletter and get chapter one delivered to your inbox!


Email Address


So there you go! My Millie Friday Five. Thanks for being a Millie fan … I hope you enjoy reading her new story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a great weekend.

xo
Karen

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shredding the Gnar

If you read my Friday Five last week, you know that my oldest son is currently driving cross country with a friend. Every day he texts me about his adventures, along with pictures from the day. Most are fabulous, wondrous, and of places I've never been to myself. It is truly the trip of a lifetime, and I'm totally jealous.

His text from St. Louis over the weekend had the expected picture of the famous arch. It also had a video of him skateboarding, with the caption "Shredding the gnar in St. Louis." While someone of my generation might think his auto correct went cuckoo, I knew better.

According to the Urban Dictionary (THE source in these types of matters), shredding the gnar originated in the early days of skateboarding and is now popular when referencing other extreme sports. They give the the following example:

"dude, let's go shred the gnar!
bro, i can't
last gnar session i tweaked my dome.
bummer."

Tweak my dome? No. This is a family friendly blog!  Plus, I still wasn't clear on the shredding the gnar thing. But, then further down the page, another definition:

"To go big, never stop or give up; accept the reality that anything is possible, and everything can be accomplished if you set your mind to it."

A-ha! That I understood, and suddenly it all made sense, because that is MY motto in life. DREAM BIG! So yes ....

SHRED THE GNAR, PEOPLE ... SHRED THE GNAR!  

I wonder if I should change this sign hanging in my office to read "No shred is too gnar ... " (or it is "No gnar is too shred?")




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http://bit.ly/KPTbooks






Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Trailer Reveal! Joshua and the Arrow Realm



I’m thrilled to unveil the trailer for book two in Donna Galanti’s fantasy adventure Lightning Road series,  JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM, arriving August 30th. My nine-year-old LOVED book one and we can't wait for book two! The Midwest Book Review calls book one, JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD, “a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.”  Grab book one for just $.99cents now through September 20th.

Be sure to enter the fun giveaway package at the bottom of this post that includes a paperback of book one, poster of the Lost Realm, bookmarks, and a $25 B&N gift card (U.S. only). Sign up for Donna’s Thunderclap book release campaign and help her zap the world through social media with her lightning message!

ABOUT JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM:


On August 30th take the lightning road back to a world of beasts, bandits, and heroes in book two of the Lightning Road series. Join Joshua in a new fight for power in the Arrow Realm. Can Joshua and his friends conquer an unstoppable evil?
Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos but is soon called to the Arrow Realm to free his imprisoned friend, King Apollo, kidnapped as a power pawn in Queen Artemis’s quest to conquer every realm. With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs and save all those enslaved. But when he finds himself abandoned in his quest, he fears he cannot only save those imprisoned—but himself as well.

“Fast-paced and endlessly inventive, Joshua and the Arrow Realm is a high-stakes romp through a wild world where descendants of the Greek gods walk beside you, beasts abound, and not everything—or everyone—is as it seems.” ~ Michael Northrop, New York Times bestselling author of the TombQuest series

JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM BOOK TRAILER:





EXCERPT:

A faint rumble groaned through the whistling wind.

Boom!

Thunder ripped the sky overhead.

Charlie reached the frozen pond, spinning across it. “Woohoo! I win! You Americans can’t beat us at speed!”

Lightning flashed. It zinged across the pine trees like brilliant sunlight. A seed of terror flickered inside me.

Boom! Boom!

Another flash scorched the sky.

Charlie’s smile fell to a frown as he raced across the ice, peering up into the swirling clouds.

We both knew what lightning could do.

Suddenly, sneaking outside for a moonlit sled ride before Bo Chez got home from his monthly poker game didn’t seem so smart.

The sleet turned to snow. Icicles flew off trees like glass splinters, shattering on the hard snow. As I shot toward the pond, a tree on the edge moved. Its branches swayed in the swirling snow.

It wasn’t a tree, but a girl! She stumbled through the mad flurry, arms outstretched.

“Charlie, look!”

Gusts snatched the words away as my sled hit the ice and careened out of control on the bumpy surface. The girl staggered and fell onto the pond. I twisted my sled away to avoid hitting her and smashed right into Charlie. With a yelp, he pulled me up, and we clumped toward the girl. We lifted her up, half dragging her back up the hill to the house in the pelting snow and sleet.

“Who is she?” Charlie yelled.

“No idea,” I yelled back.

He said more, but his words were lost in the wind.

My lungs burned with the cold and effort. There was only one reason someone would appear with lightning—to steal us. This girl might appear like a waif unprepared for a storm but I couldn’t trust that’s all she was.

PRE-ORDER JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Joshua-Arrow-Realm-Lightning-Road/dp/0996890491?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/joshua-and-the-arrow-realm-donna-galanti/1123486660?ean=9780996890496

MEET DONNA GALANTI:


Donna Galanti is the author of The Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. You can find her at www.donnagalanti.com.

BOOK REVIEWERS:

E-book ARCs are available for this next thrilling book in The Lightning Road series! Email donna(at)donnagalanti.com for copies and specify the format you’d like.

GIVEAWAY:


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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http://bit.ly/KPTbooks





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Crazy Game Called Life

Last night, I took my three kids out to dinner. Let's forget for a moment that in a completely empty restaurant they gave us the table closest to the bar. I'm chalking that one up to me looking worn out and them assuming I might need a drink or ten. (FYI I only drank water).



We were in one of those restaurants that had a game console on the table. Normally, I say no to that sort of thing, but despite my haggard look, I was in a particularly good mood. I was with all three of my children … a rare occasion these days … and I was in air-conditioning. Did I mention my AC broke? Did I mention we were in the middle of a heat wave and it was a holiday weekend? Again, I would like to say that I did in fact only drink water.

The kids decided to play The Game of Life. It seemed like a fun and harmless game. More importantly, they all agreed on it without any arguments. It started out innocent enough. Two of my children chose college paths, one became a professional athlete. They each got married and bought houses. But then talk of babies started. Everyone wanted one.

"How do you get a baby?" I asked, followed quickly by, "Don't answer that." Okay, so my nine year old and I have already had talks, but I wasn't in the mood to re-hash it all around the dinner table in a restaurant. Although, we were in air-conditioning.

My fifteen year old, not missing a beat, responded with, "You have to land on a space … just like in real life." She smirked. Oy.

My youngest, nodded and added, "I'm going to name my first child Peter Parker. Then I'm going make him get bit by a radioactive spider."  Seemed like a reasonable response.

Also heard around the table was:

"'Can I buy your children off of you?" ... from my fifteen year old and

"I keep having kids! I'm getting a vasectomy." ... from my eighteen year old.

Seriously, where was that waitress with our food?

Finally, the topic moved away from baby making and baby preventing. You see because in this version of Life, you can sue people. Oh yes, my kids thought that was awesome!

The new conversation went like this:

"If I can sue someone I will!"

"Sue! Sue! Sue!"

"I will not hesitate to take all your money!"

When finally I made a comment about how complicated this game was compared to the version I had when I was a kid, my youngest replied with:

"You need Life to be easier, you're old."

And that my friends pretty much sums it up, don't you think?

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Conversation With My Nine Year Old: The Evil Dudes

It's been a while since I've posted a conversation with my youngest - we have some great ones. They usually take place while walking to and from the school bus stop. What I love about our conversations is that no matter what I ask, he has a response. It's often hard to keep a straight face, and I usually lose it somewhere by the end. That's the point where I rush to scribble it all down...

C: [Friend] and I started a club called the Evil Dudes. We're going to build a house then build the most powerful machine in the world.

Me: That sounds expensive.

photo credit: piles-o-cash money via photopin (license)
C: Yes, but we're going to raise a trillion dollars to make it happen.

Me: How? I could use some good fundraising tips.

C: Through recruits. That's why we need the house. So they can live there.

Me: Listen, do you think once you raise all this money, you can maybe loan your mom some? Maybe just a little, like $10,000 or so?

C: Nope.We're going to need it all.

Me: How about if you raise your fundraising effort? I mean a trillion dollars is kind of a lot. A trillion ten thousand is just a tiny bit more at that point.

C: No can do. This thing is going global and will be going on for generations to come.

Me: That's a lot of Evil Dudes. Why so evil?

C: We're not really evil. Our machine will save the planet. We just needed a cool sounding name.

Me: Why not Cool Dudes?

C: That's already taken ... Some guys in Antarctica.

photo credit: El verdadero Kowalsky via photopin (license)

Well  … okay. At that point we were home. I quickly jotted down the conversation,  knowing I just had to blog about it. We started homework and got into our usual after school routine. The next morning, I added "blog post about Evil Dudes" to my to-do list. However, I wasn't expecting this added gem when it was time to leave for school.

Me: What's that? (Pointing to a rolled up piece of paper in my son's hand)

C: Evil Dude plans for an underground bunker. Sorry, I can't disclose the location. It's a secret. We'll need $500 mil to start. We have to eat you know.

Kid's got a point.

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http://bit.ly/KPTbooks

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ramblings of a Sentimental Mom

Can I get sentimental for a moment?

It's been that kind of week so far. It all started with the emails. There was the one reminding parents that cap and gown orders were due for my high school senior (done), the one that said there were mandatory religious school confirmation rehearsals for my fifteen year old (noted), and the one that said fourth grade graduation would be starting at 9:15 (got it).

Within the course of one week, all three of my children will be hitting milestones. It is a week that will involve a LOT of tissues.

photo credit: Graduation Cake Guy via photopin (license)
The thing is, that emotional week is still several weeks away, and the waterworks have already started. Like yesterday. I went to Walgreens to buy cards. As soon as I saw the first graduation card, I knew I was going to lose it. I quickly put it down and decided it was a task for another day.

Maybe my sentimental craziness is because I've been reading a lot of my old blog posts lately. Last week, I listened to a podcast about social media. One of the things discussed was recycling older entries that readers might still enjoy/find relevant. Since I have over 400 posts, I thought why not? So I started at the beginning and started reading. There were so many about my three children. Memories came flooding back as if the events I wrote about happened yesterday. Except they didn't. Years have passed, and the tweens I wrote about are now teens. One is eighteen, works, has his own car, and is getting ready to graduate high school. The other will be sixteen this summer and is already thinking about colleges. And that toddler who I wrote about? The one who was worried that the Tooth Fairy didn't get help the way Santa did and wondered if maybe she could borrow an elf or two? Well, he's almost ten and getting ready to enter the tween years himself. Like most parents, I had a "wait, what? when?" moment trying to figure out how they aged when I didn't (snicker). Of course, there were tears thinking about it all, but there were also laughs … because so many of the memories made me smile.

So if you see me on social media being more social with old posts, it's just me being a sentimental (older) mom.


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http://bit.ly/KPTbooks

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