Blog Tour – Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers

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Hi sweeties! Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers. This book tour is hosted by Algonquin Young Readers and for my stop, I have a fun EXCERPT to share with you.

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Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Genre(s): Children’s, Middle Grade, Fantasy

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

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AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLEGOOGLE PLAYBOOK DEPOSITORY

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Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world?

Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.

It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.

A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it?

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KIT’S MOM HAD A TATTOO THAT WOUND AROUND HER LEFT WRIST.

The ink was faded like something that had been washed so many times it had gotten thin and holey and was now just a blurry memory of black.

If you looked closely at the tattoo, you could see that the leafy, twining ink wound its way around three tiny, fancy letters—k and i and t—which stood for keep it together. It also spelled kit’s name, which was kit, not Kit, because when kit was a baby, her mom said she was much too small for capital letters. Back then she fit inside her mom’s two hands, a funny wrinkled thing that looked not-quite-ready to be alive, more like a hair- less baby animal than a human being.

“My little naked mole rat,” her mom would say every time she saw the first photo ever taken of kit, which had been stuck on the fridge for most of kit’s life. Then she would put her hand on her heart.

One day, kit took the picture down and slipped it into a drawer and her mom didn’t say it as much any- more, which was good because it didn’t exactly feel like a compliment.

Kit’s mom had had the tattoo for years before kit existed at all.

“Because I knew you were coming,” she said.

Kit’s mom often told people that she was searching for kit for her whole life and the tattoo was the map that she followed to find her. She said that when she found kit, she was saved.

Found made it sound to kit like she was not someone who was born, but instead someone who just appeared, maybe in a box on the doorstep. Even though kit knew this wasn’t true, she sometimes dreamed of scraping her fingernails against cardboard walls, scrabbling to get out.

She also thought that being responsible for saving her mom was an awful lot of pressure. Not that she’d ever say anything; she knew her mom loved that story and the way she told it made kit feel things she didn’t usually feel. It made her feel heroic and kit normally had a pretty hard time imagining that she’d ever be able to save anyone from anything. She was too small to be a hero.

She could still sometimes fit into clothes labeled 6x.

That’s how small.

“The size in your shirt should be the same as your age,” Clem told her once when they were shopping at the Brooklyn Flea, which was the best place in the world to find stuff you didn’t know you needed, and kit had felt worse than if Clem had reached over and punched her right in the nose.

Clem was also small, but not nearly as small as kit. She was normal-small. Like kit, Clem and her twin brother, Jorge, had been born too early. But unlike kit, the only fallout for them was that Clem had super bad allergies and Jorge had had to wear glasses since the age of two.

Small-ish and small were two  different things. That was the day kit had bought her favorite hoodie, the black one with the small rainbow star on the front and the bigger rainbow star on the back. The color was as faded as kit’s mom’s tattoo. It had cost $5, which was the exact amount their moms gave them each to spend. “That looks . . . comfortable,” Clem observed, but she meant, “That looks old.”

Kit didn’t care that Clem didn’t like it. It was big and soft and as soon as she saw it, it looked like it belonged to her. It was already familiar. The fact that it was way too big only meant she wouldn’t grow out of it anytime soon. Clem had spent her $5 on a small glass turtle. “It’s not a very turtle-y turtle,” she said. “Don’t be such a turtle!” she told it.

A lot of what Clem said didn’t make sense, but it was funny anyway or maybe it was just funny because it didn’t make sense. They had both laughed so hard that they had to sit down, right there on the pavement, the crowd parting around them. Clem clutched the non- turtle-y turtle, tears running down their cheeks, while Jorge looked dreamily off into the distance, not quite paying attention to what was so funny. Jorge was like that. There, but not always entirely there.

“He has a rich inner life,” Clem said, which made kit picture a whole miniature world existing inside Jorge. “But his outer life needs work.”

Then she laughed.

Clem was someone who was almost always laugh- ing, at least back then. At first, kit had been friends with Jorge because she was friends with Jackson and Jackson was friends with Jorge. It had been the three of them. Clem had bugged her, with her always-laughing thing. But after not very long, kit started to find the same things funny that Clem did, and soon kit and Clem were the closest friends. Their friendship grew to be the biggest and the best. So even when Jackson and Jorge were busy—Jackson with his sports and Jorge with his “rich inner life”—Clem and kit were either together or talking on the phone.

Clem was the most important person in kit’s life, other than her mom.

And Clem got it. She understood what kit’s mom was like. She knew what kit’s life was like and that kit had to look out for her mom because her mom had issues.

Kit’s mom’s main issue was that she was afraid. She was scared of cancer and bad guys and fire. She was ter- rified of traffic and heights and crowds. She was afraid of spiders and germs and blood. The list was pretty long and always growing.

“K.i.t., keep it together,” kit would say, and her mom would put on her brave smile and hold up her wrist so that kit could see she was trying.

Sometimes, kit and her mom would go in the bath- room and perform magic over the tub or sink so the oils and “potions” didn’t spill anywhere that couldn’t be eas- ily cleaned up. They had a whole glass shelf of bottles and jars, labeled with things like bravery and truth or rosemary and sage.

Kit’s mom owned a hair salon. She was a hairdresser, not a witch, but kit thought her only employee (and her best friend), Samara, might be both. If you didn’t know Samara, you’d think she was just a nice, funny person— she loved riddles—but once you got to know her, you’d find out that she also believed in magic the same way kit did. She believed in spells, believed they could give them courage or love or money or luck, believed in the possibility that herbs and oils and words could really and truly fix any problem.

Mostly it seemed to be luck that kit’s mom was con- juring, but kit thought she should specify whether she wanted good luck or bad. Everything was either one or the other, if you thought about it.

And anyway, details mattered.

“You’re as small as a detail and the details tell the story. You are the best story of all,” kit’s mom liked to say. “I’m not a story!” kit used to always say back, but now that everything had happened, she wasn’t sure this was true anymore.

After all, everybody has a story, even if the story doesn’t feel like a story when you are the one who is living it.

It’s only afterward, in the telling, that it becomes the thing it was meant to be all along.

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abouttheauthor

(Author Bio taken from her Website)

karenrivers

I was born, grew up, and currently live in British Columbia, where I take a lot of photos, walk a lot of paths, and write books for children, teens and adults.

The stories I tell are emotionally honest, but they aren’t about real people.   Fiction has a way of telling the truth though, don’t you think?

I believe that readers are always asking the question, “Am I OK?”  I write characters who suspect that they are not OK, but who eventually find inside themselves the strength to change that belief.

Growing up is harder than ever.  The world is often egregiously unfair.  Things can seem impossible.

How do we go on?

I believe in the power of stories.  I think that stories will save us.  They can show us the way.

Novels are magical.  Books can be mirrors or windows.  We sometimes need to see ourselves.  We always need to understand others.

Stories are all secret passages to alternate worlds where we can be safe to explore the unsafe, the unsettling or the unfair hands some people have been dealt.

In the pages of a book, we can be braver than we are, we can go further than we’d normally dare, we can understand more than we know.

Books make us better, period.

I believe in magic.  Do you?

Be brave.   Be kind.   And believe this:  You are OK.

I believe in you.

authorlinks

WEBSITE – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – GOODREADS

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Thanks for stopping by and reading lovelies. I hope you enjoyed this post.

As always, take care and have a wonderful day!!!

sincerelykjologo

ARC Review – The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews

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Happy Friday Lovelies! I hope you all had a fantastic week. Today, I have my review for The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews. This book is adorable, hilarious, sweet, and just so much fun. It’s a wonderful holiday romance and I definitely think you can cozy up with this charming love story any time of the year. divider3

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Published: September 24, 2019

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Holiday

Format: Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

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All Suzanne St. Michelle wants is an over-the-top, eggnog-induced holiday with her best friend in Credence, Colorado. But when her hoity-toity parents insist she come home for Christmas in New York, she blurts out that her sexy landlord is actually her boyfriend and she can’t leave him—Joshy loves Christmas. The more twinkle lights the better.

Rancher Joshua Grady does not love Christmas. Or company, or chatty women. Unfortunately for him, the chattiest woman ever has rented the cottage on his ranch, invited her rich, art-scene parents, and now insists he play “fake rancher boyfriend” in a production of the Hokiest Christmas Ever. And somehow…she gets him to agree.

Apparently, he’ll do anything to get his quiet life back. At least there’s mistletoe every two feet—and kissing Suzy is surprisingly easy. But in the midst of acres of tinsel, far too many tacky Christmas sweaters, and a tree that can be seen from space, he’s starting to want what he lost when he was a kid—a family. Too bad it’s with a woman heading back to New York before the ball drops…

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A fun holiday romance with plenty of laughs, swoons, & heartwarming moments.

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This book makes my heart so darn happy. It’s hilarious, snarky, sexy, and oh so sweet in the best ways. The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews is absolutely the perfect holiday romance story that will keep readers delightfully entertained and engrossed with all the silly shenanigans and the wonderfully touching moments.

Suzanne St. Michelle is convinced that a change of scenery is exactly what she needs to awaken her muse. She rents a cabin in Credence, Colorado and hopes to paint the beauty all around her. But, her muse has other plans and inspires her to paint Joshua Grady, her handsome and sexy Scrooge-like landlord who wants nothing to do with her.

With Christmas just around the corner, Suzanne’s mother is insisting that she come home. However, Suzanne doesn’t really want another boring Christmas with her parents, so she blurts out the first thing that comes to mind – her landlord is actually her new boyfriend and she really wants to spend time with him. To deter her mother from wanting to visit her, Suzanne exaggerates and explains that Joshy is super in to the Christmas spirit and has gone over the top cheesy with all the decorations. But, Suzanne’s scheme backfires and she has to do everything she can to convince Grady to play along with her lie cause her parents are spending Christmas with them.

Having lost some very important people in his life, the holiday season is difficult for Grady and he just really wants to be left alone to do whatever he wants. The last thing he needs is an outsider disturbing his peace and complication his simple life. However, Grady just can’t stop thinking and fantasizing about Suzanne, the most annoying woman he’s ever met who can’t seem to stop chatting or pestering him. Grady knows she’s nothing but trouble and unnecessary distraction. Willing to do anything to get his quite life back, Grady agrees to go along with Suzanne’s scheme and pretend to be her fake rancher boyfriend who’s crazy in love with Christmas.

Amidst all the mistletoes, sparking lights, Christmas traditions, and tacky couple activities, Suzanne and Grady suddenly realize that there’s something special between them. What happens when they can’t pretend anymore and deny their feelings for each other?

I am utterly over the moon smitten with this cozy and fun holiday romance story. Suzanne and Grady are sooo great together and their chemistry is swoony to the max! The writing is fantastic, the pacing is just right, the setting is gorgeous, the characters are charming and loveable, and the fun surprises throughout the story will definitely make you smile. I enjoyed the bantering, the humor, the romance, the hooky Christmas parts, and all the touching moments. I honestly loved everything about this book, even had a few tears, and the ending is just so adorable and heartwarming.

Loved all the characters in this book. Suzanne and Grady are complex and interesting characters that will steal a piece of your heart. I loved watching them challenge, inspire, and slowly trust each other. There’s definitely some hesitation, conflict, and drama between them, but I loved the way they came together. They’re so precious and perfect for each other and they deserve to have their happily ever after. They made me laugh out loud, swoon like crazy, and smiled like a dork. And if you want a little steam and sexy time, no worries… I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

With plenty of heart-melting swoons, hilarious scenes, and sweet moments, The Trouble with Christmas will sweep you off your feet and have you turning the pages past your bedtime. It’s irresistibly charming, entertaining, emotional, and romantic. Amy Andrews has written a beautiful story that brings so much warmth, joy, and love and I just can’t rave about this book enough. Definitely add this wonderful gem on your TBR or grab yourself a copy now!

I received an advance reader copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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abouttheauthor

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heartsdividerAmy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. She loves frequent travel, good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She’s just moved back to her central Queensland roots taking a sea change in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day.

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As always, thanks for stopping by and reading. Hope you get to visit Credence and fall in love with this holiday romance.

Have a lovely weekend sweeties and don’t forget to add this book on your TBR!

sincerelykjologo