Spotlight + Giveaway: Rice & Rocks


Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards

Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.


Praise for Rice & Rocks

“I feel as if Rice & Rocks was written for the 7 year old me stuck in a foreign country. I wish I could have read it when I was a kid since it would have really helped me to feel a lot more comfortable with my roots, my traditions, in a foreign place with people of other colors & customs.”
– Melissa Robles, The Reader and the Chef

“Rice & Rocks is a beautifully illustrated, culturally diverse children’s book centered around my favorite topic…food!…Parents will enjoy reading it with/to their little ones because the illustrations compliment the story perfectly. This book will also work as a good conversation starter for acceptance of self and others for school age children.”
– D.S. White, Divine Perspective


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sandra-smallAuthor Sandra L. Richards

Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Website * Twitter * Facebook


Blog Tour Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! Ends 10/28/16.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Good luck!

Spotlight + Giveaway: OMG… I Did It Again? by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

OMG… I Did It Again?

April Appleton wakes up to quite the sight: a herd of elephants marching down her street! She realizes that her powers of witchcraft have done it again. With her friends, Grace and Eve, April must figure out how the elephants got to her town in the first place and then how to get them back home. But with elephants playing in the neighbor’s pool, sitting on cars and eating everyone’s trees, how will they do it? Early readers will delight in the misadventures of this reluctant witch and her plucky friends as they try to figure out how to use April’s powers to do good in the world.

Available on Amazon.

taliaAuthor Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. They live on a river in Connecticut with their kids.

Website * Twitter * Facebook


Blog Tour Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! Ends 10/31/16

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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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Book Blast + Giveaway: Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence

I’m pleased to participate in the Book Blast and GIVEAWAY for the picture book Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence by the mother-son writing team of Lisa Cohn and Michael Cohn (November 3 to 5, 2015) coordinated by Mother Daughter Book Reviews.


About the Book

Title: Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence | Authors: Lisa Cohn & Michael Cohn | Publication Date: September 10, 2013 | Publisher: Canines And Kids Publishing | Pages: 34 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: Bash and Lucy — whose authors were featured on the Today Show — is a Mom’s Choice Silver Award Winner and Finalist 2013 USA Best Book Awards. In this contemporary boy-and-dog tale, talkative Bash has a big problem in soccer: His beloved dog, Lucy, is a pro at nabbing the ball, but sometimes at the wrong moment. Coach wants to ban Lucy from soccer practice and games, separating Bash from a companion who boosts his confidence in sports and life. In this picture book for kids age 4-8, Bash and friends help Coach understand that with Lucy by their side, they feel more confident, laugh more often, and are comforted when they make mistakes.

Award-winning author Lisa Cohn and her 5-year-old son (now 7), Michael, wrote the book and started “Michael’s Dog Blog” to help overcome their grief over the sudden death of their dog, Lucy.

Amazon (Print) * Audible

The Buzz About the Book

“Bash and Lucy,” an endearing story about a boy and his soccer-loving dog, is a book that kids (and the adults who read it to them) will enjoy. Any kid who plays soccer, any parent who’s watched or coached soccer, and anyone who’s loved a dog will find something to love about this book! ~ Susan Moshofsky, teacher, parent, and former soccer mom

“Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence” is a wonderful story that teaches kids and their families about the important relationships we can have with dogs and illustrates beautifully how there can be more than one way to do something…and that the best way isn’t always the obvious way! It promotes relationships above results and creative thinking above the status quo. A great read for any dog lovers! ~ Phoebe Spier, Musician and Child/Youth Development Professional

In this charming and humorous tale about a boy and his dog, the authors cleverly show us, through the eyes of the boy and his dog, the beautiful life lessons learned about friendship, love and sportsmanship. Lucy-dog embodies the spirit of teamwork as she builds confidence in a boys’ soccer team and encourages them to work together without saying a word! Age-old values such as respect, love and non-violence punctuate the pages. Young or old, one cannot help but smile at the antics of Lucy and her teammates. Bravo! ~ Laura Stipkala, teacher and parent

Such a cute book…awesome illustrations, too. I really like the idea of using the dog to help teach the concept of teamwork, the importance of confidence, and how the dog represented to the boys these ideas. I also enjoyed the flow of the book…It’s a nice story that can teach some great lessons to kids in sports. ~ Kirk Mango, National Champion, Hall of Famer, & author of “Becoming a True Champion”

“Bash & Lucy Fetch Confidence” is a winning picture book that teaches children about the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship while also revealing the close bond between children and their beloved pets..a. great choice for kids age 4-8. ~ Erin MacLellan, author and parent

“Bash and Lucy” drives home a valuable lesson — kids will have the best opportunity to thrive in sports and life if their adult role models provide a comfortable environment that engenders confidence. I highly recommend including this book in your family’s bedtime collection.” ~ Jack Malley, youth sports coach and author

About the Authors: Lisa Cohn and Michael Cohn

Lisa Cohn and Michael CohnLisa Cohn and her son, Michael, age 7, are co-authors of the “Bash and Lucy” book and audiobook series. They have appeared on the Today Show, on SiriusXM Radio, in Disney’s Babble, in The Oregonian and other media. Their audiobooks feature the voices of Michael and friends, age 7-10. Lisa and Michael’s mission is to share their love of books and dogs. They recently launched featuring YouTube book reviews by kids, KidLit author interviews by children, and a kids’ reading club. You can also visit them at Watch them on the Today Show here:

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice.

Giveaway ends: November 16, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Lisa Cohn and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Just click here to enter: RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY Good luck!

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