The Great Disneyland Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour + Giveaway

After recently returning from a rain-filled day at Hong Kong Disneyland — which was, of course, magical despite the weather — I can already see my next Disney adventure at California’s Disneyland with this handy guide in tow. What a brilliant idea to lead visitors through a somewhat overwhelming array of activities by coordinating a scavenger hunt.

The Great Disneyland Scavenger Hunt

Book Description: See the enchantment of the Disneyland resort in a whole new way with “The Great Disneyland Scavenger Hunt.” From Main Street U.S.A. to New Orleans Square, Walt Disney lovingly designed every detail to immerse guests in the magic of his theme parks. If this is your first visit or your five hundredth, you will discover something new with “The Great Disneyland Scavenger Hunt.”

See Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure through new eyes when you discover fantasy, thrills, and dreams around every turn. Whether you’re perusing the shops, waiting in line, or riding attractions, there’s plenty to uncover for even the most knowledgeable Disney fan.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Books-a-Million  ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Powell’s Books  ~

Catherine F. Olen

Author’s Bio: Catherine Olen has enjoyed a love affair with the magic of the Disney theme parks for as long as she can remember, counting herself among Disneyland passholders for the last twenty-five years. Previously, Olen owned and operated Hollywood Grave Hunter and is the proud author of The Final Curtain: Celebrity Deaths and The Upside of Undertaking, chronicling her previous career experiences. She has been a correspondent to Entertainment Tonight (US and France), The Biography Channel, Reelz Network, and the Mark & Brian radio show.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Instagram

WIN a Disney Prize Pack with a print copy of The Great Disneyland Scavenger Hunt, a “Mickey” or “Minnie” Disney plush toy and a $10 Disney gift card (10 winners total, open to USA & Canada). Ends July 30!

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

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World Book Review: The Croc and the Platypus


This delightful, rhyming picture book follows two unlikely Aussie friends on an impromptu journey to the red center. Along the way, they play an indigenous instrument (didgeridoo), eat local sweets (lamingtons) and meet a new mate (Australian for “friend”). Finally, the duo set up camp under the famed Southern Cross enjoying the night alongside a wonderous red rock.

A joyous tale in perfect rhyme, The Croc and the Platypus is a fun read-aloud story that includes an incredible number of Australian icons. The stunning artwork beautifully compliments the simple story as it introduces young readers to the wonders of the Australian outback.

Recommended, especially for anyone who wants to introduce young children to Australia.

The Croc and the Platypus
Written by Jackie Hosking
Illustrated by Majorie Crosby-Fairall
ISBN: 9781922077-60-8
Available at Boomerang Books

Help create a school library for kids that don’t have one

Reposted from Z is for Zambetti Blog. Great timing for Children’s Book Week!

Help! PS191 in NYC needs a library

Today I found out that my school is lending a helping hand to a neighboring school by hosting a book drive to help create a school library. How great is that?

So, in the interests of spring cleaning, my local friends – not-so-local friends can help out, too – won’t you give a book to a school?

Without further ado, from MV4NY and the amazing PS166 PTA:

Spring Break is a great time for cleaning out your book case

From May 9th-20th, the PS 166 PTA has organized a Book Drive to benefit PS 191 — an under-funded public school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The school enrolls students in Pre-K through Grade 8, and has very limited resources from within the school community.  For this reason, the school has existed without a library and learning center for years.  As a Title 1 school, the large majority of students at PS 191 come from low-income homes, and 50% + of the kids qualify for free lunch.  What’s remarkable is that this is the case for hundreds of kids living just blocks away from us.

So, today, let’s build a library together and give the children of the school access to books that will help them at school, and beyond.  Please know that you will be bringing a great gift to a local school.


I’m going to be donating the pile of wonderful donated duplicates I’ve been hoarding in my library supply closet (and a few of my own beloved books, too). Because PS166 already *has* a library. PS191 deserves one, too.

Actually, ALL schools do. But you meet big goals by taking one step at a time. Think global, act local, right?:-)

Won’t you lend a hand with me?

Source: Help! PS191 in NYC needs a library

You can also send donations directly to the school at this address:

Damaris Carrion, Parent Coordinator at PS 191 – Museum Magnet School
210 West 61st Street
New York, NY, 10023

I’ll be donating a pack of books and thought I’d share this opportunity to spread the love of books to children in need.

Warm wishes,

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop

I have a copy of The Foot Book by Dr. Suess that my mother read to me when I was four years old. Now I’m reading it to my own four year old. And, hopefully, he’ll read it to his child someday. That’s the magic of children’s books — they hold memories and feelings inside their covers for decades.

So I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate in the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop. My giveaway includes three children’s books about adventures, a topic that fascinated me throughout my childhood.

Obookne signed, paperback copy of Barney and Barry The Hitchhikers (chapter book) by Sharon Powers. In this clever book aimed a kids aged 7-10, two bickering barnacles, Barney and Barry, attach onto an unsuspecting sea turtle named Fletcher. The adventure takes the trio on a journey through the sea with a cast of memorable characters as Fletcher learns hope to cope with two uninvited hitchhikers.

WallyBoardBookCoverFINALOne signed, paperback copy of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin (picture book) by Stephanie M. Ward (me!).  The rhyming tale of a penguin who doesn’t like the cold and leaves his home in Antarctica in search of warm weather. But when he arrives in the Galapagos Islands he discovers an amazing world filled with tap-dancing crabs, diving birds with bright blue feet and racing 100-year-old tortoises.

ThreeOne signed, hardcover copy of Three Little Shrimp (picture book) by J. Steven Spires. The charming tale of three shrimp who get separated from their troupe (yes, that’s what a group of shrimp are called) and narrowly avoid danger at every turn.


And it’s all packed up in a “Say Yes to New Adventures” Canvas Tote Bag with some fun extras including postcards and a bookmark!

Wally Giveaway


CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter! (U.S. residents only this time.) Ends May 9th at midnight.

Thanks to Wishful Endings for hosting this giveaway. Pop over and visit their great blog and then hop to the 20+ bloggers participating with their own Children’s Week giveaways.

Thanks for visiting and GOOD LUCK!

Warm Wishes,

1. Wishful Endings (INT)

* 8. Writer with Wanderlust (US) * You are here🙂

Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin now on Kindle Unlimited

To kick off Children’s Book Week (May 1 – 8), I’m excited to announce that the Kindle edition of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is available for FREE to lots of Amazon customers. Here’s what that means to you, dear readers…

Own/Buy the Paperback Edition –> Get the ebook for FREE
Have you previously bought the paperback edition of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin? Thanks very much! Now you can get a copy of the Kindle edition for free. Just go to Wally’s detail page on Amazon (here and you’ll see that Amazon remembers your purchase and you can download the ebook in one click. The offer stands for future purchases of the paperback as well.

Read the Kindle edition for FREE with Kindle Unlimited
Are you a Prime member or subscriber to Kindle Unlimited? Good on ya. That means you can now read the Kindle edition of Wally for free too because Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is now part of the Kindle Unlimited library. Just click the “Read for Free” button on Wally’s Amazon detail page (here


Lend a friend a copy of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin
Want to lend your Wally ebook to a friend? Great, thanks again. Now Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is available through the Kindle Lending Library, so share away.

Have any questions about how to download your free ebook edition of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin? Just let me know and I’d be happy to help.

Warm wishes and Happy Reading!

Blog Tour: Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Mae Robinson



The award-winning Pen Pieyu Adventure Series continues with the self-assured Princess Petra setting off to save her knighthood in the third book, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission. This highly original early chapter book series focuses on a princess who wants to be a knight. With perseverance, bravery and intelligence as well as kindness and loyalty, Petra conquers each obstacle in her own unique way to achieve her goal.

In Sir Princess Petra’s Mission, a new royal creed (dreamed up by her father, King Longstride) demands that Petra capture a car-panther or lose her knighthood. So, together with her trusty “steed” Snarls, Petra heads to the land of the Boogy Gobees to attempt fulfill her mission. But will old friends in need and new surprises make this mission impossible?

Book 3 illustration 12


I enjoyed Sir Princess Petra’s Mission in so many ways that I think a list is in order:

  1. Originality: This book is simply a breath of fresh air; a completely new take on the princess story.
  2. Lively Characters: Petra is a contemporary heroine stuck in a traditional role and a strong leading lady. Snarls the dragon and Bograt the bog witch are just two of the colorful supporting characters in the series.
  3. Language: Lots of zany antics and silly wordplay will keep young readers highly entertained throughout the book.
  4. Zero Predictability: Just when you think you may know what’s coming next, a wonderful twist will take you by surprise.
  5. Topicality: With so many YA novels touting strong, young women as the protagonists, it’s great to see younger readers get a taste of girl power.

As a new reader of this series, I worried that starting with the third book would leave me a bit confused. But thanks to the extensive summaries of book one and two at the beginning of Sir Princess Petra’s MissionI was able to jump straight into the story. That said, reading the third book only made me want to go back and read the first two books to understand all the details of this charming series.

I can see why The Pen Pieyu Adventure series continues to win awards, most recently Sir Princess Petra’s Talent (B00k #2) won an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Los Angeles Book Fair. It’s a charming, original, entertaining series that will have broad appeal to early readers.

For more information about The Pen Pieyu Adventures, including a free PDF download of Princess Petra coloring pages, visit:

Note: I was pleased to be invited to participate in this blog tour hosted by Sue Morris at  KidLitReviews. I received a free copy of Sir Princess Petra’s Mission in exchange for an honest review.

The Pen Pieyu Adventures #3: Sir Princess Petra’s Mission
Written by Diane Mae Robinson
ISBN: 9781681870724
Available at Amazon 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Nora & Kettle

I’ve heard so much about the new YA book, Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, and am so looking forward to reading it, that I jumped at the chance to participate in the book blast and giveaway coordinated by Xpresso Book Tours. If you have (or do) read it, I’d love to know your thoughts on the book, so please leave a comment.

Nora & Kettle
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 29, 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?




Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Author Bio:

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Enter to win a Mystery Box of great reads courtesy of Clean Teen Reads. Click here to enter the GIVEAWAY!

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