Book Blast + Interview + Giveaway: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks


Title: The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks | Author: Alvita Mack | Genre: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 26 pages | Publisher: Mindstir Media | Release date: Sept 26, 2016

Description: This story is about a little boy who is fascinated by fire trucks. Throughout his early life, he has dreams about the adventures at the station and the exciting life of a firefighter. The little boy holds his dreams close until one day they become a reality.

To follow the tour please visit Alvita Mack’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:
Watch the book trailer:  

Meet the Author: 

Alvita is a lover of writing, a teacher, and most importantly, a mom. Writing has always provided a creative outlet for which she finds sensible solutions. Having a son with developmental delays was very challenging for her. However, she used books and original stories to help him overcome the obstacles he faced at an early age. Alvita believes that the imagination is truly a key that unlocks the doors to an endless journey.
Alvita was kind enough to answer some questions for us, so here’s a bit more information about her…


Do you have another profession besides writing?  I am actually a full-time teacher in New York City.

How long have you been writing?  I have been writing since I was a little girl but I started seriously writing ten years ago.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?  I get writer’s block from time to time but when that happens, I take a break and I work on something else or do something that has nothing to do with writing, so I can clear my mind and relax.

What is your next project?  I am actually working on a book that features a little girl and her dreams. I am all about girl power. I think girls and women are phenomenal and we can do anything we out our minds to, so I wanted to have something for young girls to relate to and be inspired by.

What genre do you write and why?  I like right fiction because it allows me to explore my imagination.  A fun fact is started off with writing poetry in school because I was inspired my Langston Hughes. His words gave me comfort and I wanted to do that, but somehow I began creating full lengths stories in my head, so I ran with the idea.

What is the last great book you’ve read? The last great book I ever read was TRUST by Iyanla Vanzant

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

Enter the Giveaway! Win a copy of The Boy Who Dreamt of Fire Trucks + a $5 gift card (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers – 1 winner) Ends June 30, 2018. CLICK HERE TO ENTER. Good luck!



Blog Tour + Giveaway: David Travels to the Past

Bossy Flossy Blog Tour + Giveaway


Title: Bossy Flossy | Author: Paulette Bogan | Publication Date: July 19, 2016 Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | ISBN: 978-1627793582

Book Description: Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She’s bossy at home and she’s bossy in school. She’s bossy to her friends and she’s bossy to her cat. Sometimes she’s even bossy to her teacher! Flossy doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her. One day, Flossy meets Edward, a boy who may be just as bossy as she is. Has Flossy finally met her match?


My thoughts: Everyone has met Flossy. Or is Flossy! Come on, you know who you are. Flossy is definitely bossy. She even bosses around her toys. Though you may be charmed by her crazy, curly hair and that bright, I-know-what-I’m-doing look in her eye, eventually you will tire of doing everything Flossy’s way. But Flossy has never experienced this so-called bossy fatigue, not until another little boss, Edward, shows up. As Flossy and Edward become instant frenemies, they recognize the bossiness in each other. And in what I think is a clever, no-easy-solution ending, these two children don’t find a magic answer. They are who they are and they work it out between themselves. So refreshing! Shout out to the bold, colorful illustrations that work perfectly with the story by author-illustrator, Paulette Bogan.

Available on Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Chapters Indigo

paulette-boganAuthor’s Bio: Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator of Virgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children’s books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children’s Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they’ve never told her to go to her room!

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Giveaway: Win a prize package of THREE children’s books by Paulette Bogan: Bossy Flossy, Virgil & Owen, and Virgil & Owen Stick Together plus a $20 Amazon Gift Card (Open to USA & Can). Not one but TWO winners will be chosen. Hurry, the giveaway ends Oct 8th!

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Bossy Flossy in exchange for an honest review.


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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Review + Giveaway: To Be A Child by Debra Schoenberger

As a constant traveler, I’ve taken my share of photos in the places I’ve visited. And I can attest to the fact that from dozens, if not hundreds, of photos there will be one or two gems (at least in the eye of the beholder). So I’m truly in awe of To Be A Child by Debra Schoenberger. She is an incredibly talented photographer with an eye (and I suspect heart) for capturing the essence of a child in any environment. I’m thrilled to have had the chance to review To Be A Child as part of the book tour coordinated by iRead Book Tours.

To Be A Child by Debra Schoenberger

Title: To Be A Child Author: Debra Schoenberger | Publication Date: November 30, 2015 | Publisher: Blurb Publishing | ISBN: 978-1364706685

Book Description: Give a child a cardboard box and his imagination will turn it into anything but!

Today, it is less common to see children playing in the streets, especially in urban areas. The plethora of ready-made toys should make any child happy.  What usually happens is that the box the toy came in becomes the toy!

This book documents children at play (and at times at work) from 10 different countries. A child’s ingenuity never ceases to amaze me and I hope you will share these images with your children as well.  

Buy the book:   Website   Amazon

My thoughts: This book is a treasure, a visually stunning collection of photos of children around the world.

I marked so many favorites that I had to break them into categories:

– Close ups: In a broad sense, I most loved the images of just a child (or sometimes multiple children) and their personal sense of wonder. Sometimes we don’t even see what they are doing, but the emotion is clear. And it’s beautiful.

– Location: Some specific locations stood out…

Nepal is such a mystery to most that it was incredible to witness the juxtaposition of simple, familiar scenes of children playing with a completely unknown place.

Mongolia, with its visually stunning scenery, offered a dramatic backdrop to the images. The green grass of the vast plains against a cloud-filled blue sky is amazing.

– Quiet Moments: The category “Quiet Moments” contains a number of photos that have stuck with me since I first saw them.

Beyond these details, there is a sense of closure as To Be A Child somehow weaves all these images into something bigger. By the end of the collection, I really felt that I had been following a story that had come to an end. And it’s a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

***Grab a FREE preview of To Be A Child on BookGrabbr. Visit***

Author’s Bio: Debra Schoenberger aka #girl with camera

Debra Schoenberger

“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.  Plus I usually have a lot of scars on my knees. (le sigh…)

I live with my creative director, Miss Pickles (my budgie) in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter  Facebook

Connect with the photographer’s website:   Website

Click here to enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY for your chance to win one of two Amazon gift cards.

Note: I received a free digital copy of To Be A Child in exchange for an honest review.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse by Gwyneth Jane Page

I’m always looking for great books that introduce children to different places around the world. So I was thrilled to be able to participate in the book review tour for two wonderful books in the Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse series coordinated by iRead Book Tours.

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Canada

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Canada (BOOK ONE):

PJ Mouse, an adorable little stuffed animal, was lost and alone until young Emily heard his cries for help. Now, along with his new family, PJ gets to travel the world-discovering exciting new places and people along the way!

Come join PJ on his first adventure across Canada as he hikes on a glacier in the Rockies, finds a salt lake in the prairies, and walks on the ocean floor in Nova Scotia.

My thoughts: In PJ Mouse’s very first adventure we meet this delightful little stuffed animal under a park bench. Fortunately, he is found by the lovely Emily who brings him along on family vacations. Our first destination? A drive across Canada! From well-known attractions like Niagara Falls to the stunning Butchart Gardens, PJ Mouse zigzags through incredible Canadian scenery and even learns a few words of French in Quebec. With a knack for getting into dangerous predicaments, PJ Mouse gives children unique experiences in each place and often meets a native animal friend. The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Canada is a wonderful book to introduce children to the concept of travel, experiencing new places and meeting new people. The lovely illustrations are colorful and perfectly compliment the story. I really enjoyed the story and learning tidbits about Canada as I traveled along with PJ. The perfect gift for any child who plans to visit Canada. Definitely recommended!

Buy the book: Author’s , Barnes & Noble

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Queensland

The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Queensland (BOOK TWO):

PJ Mouse, an adorable little stuffed animal, was lost and alone until young Emily heard his cries for help. Now, along with his new family, PJ gets to travel the world – discovering exciting new places, people, and animals along the way!

​Come join PJ on this, his second adventure, along the coast of Queensland, as he snorkels at the Great Barrier Reef, chats with a Loggerhead turtle in the midst of a great undertaking, and explores the tropical rainforest until he has to be rescued by one of the local friendly wildlife.

My thoughts: PJ Mouse, Emily and the family are off again, this time on vacation in Queensland, Australia. The second book in the series includes many of the same wonderful elements of the first book — charming artwork, meeting (and being saved by) native wildlife, visiting well-know sites (The Great Barrier Reef) and lesser known attractions (Mon Repos), and getting into lots of trouble. The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse in Queensland gives children a chance to visit an amazing area of Australia that doesn’t always get its fair share of publicity beyond The Great Barrier Reef. In addition to the fun story, I’m so impressed with the extras available for PJ fans including a passport, stickers and a stuffed version of PJ himself. The whole kit makes a lovely gift to inspire wanderlust in a child. Recommended! (P.S. I’ll be giving a copy of book two to my niece this Christmas.)

Buy the book:  Author’s Website – AmazonAmazon.caBarnes & Noble

Brand Products: PJ Mouse Stuffed Toy, Customized Stickers, Passport


Author’s Bio:

Gwyneth Jane Page (Jane), who holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University, has called many countries home. She grew up in such places as England, Peru, the USA, and the Caribbean, and has also lived in Australia and Canada. She now resides in Victoria, BC with her husband and four children. The PJ Mouse books are based on Jane’s family trips with the real stuffed animal, PJ, who was found by Emily, Jane’s youngest daughter.

Megan Elizabeth, Jane’s second oldest daughter, has lived in Canada and Australia and travelled extensively with her family and PJ. Having been artistic since she was a little girl, illustrating the PJ Mouse books has enabled her to combine her love of travel with her love of art. Megan completed her studies at VanArts and is now building her career as a professional photographer as well as an illustrator. She currently resides in Victoria, BC with her family.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook


Prize: ​Win Book One (Canada) of The Adventures of PJ Mouse + PJ Mouse Stuffed Toy + Passport Sticker Book (Open to USA & Canada)

Click HERE to enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY. Good luck!

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Birds of Passage by Joe Giordano

I’m pleased to be participating in the blog tour for Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story by Joe Giordano coordinated by Italy Book Tours.

Title: Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story | Author: Joe Giordano | Publication Date: October 8, 2015 | Publisher: Harvard Square Editions | Pages: 272 | ISBN: 978-1941861080

Birds of Passage by Joe GiordanoSynopsis: What turns the gentle mean and the mean brutal? The thirst for wealth? The demand for respect? Vying for a woman? Birds of Passage recalls the Italian immigration experience at the turn of the twentieth-century when New York’s streets were paved with violence and disappointment.

Leonardo Robustelli leaves Naples in 1905 to seek his fortune. Carlo Mazzi committed murder and escaped. Azzura Medina is an American of Italian parents. She’s ambitious but strictly controlled by her mother. Leonardo and Carlo vie for her affection. Azzura, Leonardo, and Carlo confront con men, Tammany Hall politicians, the longshoreman’s union, Camorra clans, Black Hand extortion, and the Tombs prison.

Kirkus review“With Birds of Passage, Joe Giordano delivers a rollicking, wholly entertaining take on the Italian immigrant story. His rich cast of characters arrives seeking the usual: Money, honor, love, respect, a decent shot at the pursuit of happiness. But things get complicated fast as they plunge into the rough-and-tumble world of rackets, scams, and politics of early 20th-century New York City. Giordano serves up a thick, satisfying slice of the entire era in all its raw and brutal glory.”

Joe GiordanoAuthor’s Bio: Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. His father and grandparents immigrated to New York from Naples. Joe and his wife, Jane have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas with their shih tzu Sophia. Joe’s stories have appeared in more than sixty magazines including Bartleby Snopes, The Newfound Journal, and The Summerset Review. Connect with the author:  Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook

My thoughts: As an avid traveler and self-proclaimed “writer with wanderlust”, I am always on the look out for books that have a strong sense of place. Plus, being of Italian heritage I hold a special place books that give me a new perspective on Italy or Italians. So I was thrilled to join the blog tour as a reviewer for Joe Giordano’s Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story.

The book takes readers on a journey from Italy to New York through the eyes of young, ambitious Italians. I really appreciated that these characters and even the back stories of their families, were anything but typical. Yes, there are the ever-intriguing topics of organized crime, love and betrayal, as well as family loyalty, but with new complexities. How loyal do you have to be when your family holds onto Old World traditions? How far does a man go to protect is father’s estate? What makes a person “good” v. “bad” and does a well-intended motive change that?

Through the talented pen of Giordano, readers follow Leonardo Robustelli through the drama of leaving his family behind for the New World to find a better life. I enjoyed the variety of characters in this book – from a not-so-traditional Italian mob leader to an independent Italian-American young woman and from a good man pushed to defend his family to a seemingly evil one protecting a friend. And I absolutely adored the phrases — often in Italian — and details like Italian mannerisms that make this such an authentic read.

Recommended for anyone that enjoys historical fiction, especially Italophiles.

GIVEAWAY: Win 1 of 3 copies of Birds of Passage (print book USA & Canada, ebook international). Click here to enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

GET YOUR FREE COPY! The Kindle edition of Birds of Passage will be free to download Saturday, November 7th through Wednesday, November 11th. Or if you can’t wait, Birds of Passage is now available on Amazon.

Note: I received a free digital copy of Birds of Passage in exchange for an honest review.
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