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It’s a Tag Party – And You’re It!

Happy Monday! This week we’re starting off with a fun way to support your favorite authors from the site – A Tag Party. All you have to do is follow the links below to each book. Be sure to sign in with your amazon account before you go any farther. Scroll down to where it says, “Tags Customers Associate with This Product.” Now you have an option to “Agree with all tags” or to add your own. Try to think of all the words or phrases you might use to describe the book or to search for it. This will help others find the book when they are looking for a “teen fantasy” or a book about “teen secret agents.” Even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, you can still hit “Agree with all tags”.

How does this help the authors? It gets their book moved up higher on search lists. This helps them to sell more books. It’s an easy way to make a big difference for an author you love. So, now that you know the game, get busy tagging because YOU’RE IT!

Heather Sutherlin    A Light In The Darkness (Light Series Book 1)

Joshua Unruh          TEEN Agents in The Plundered Parent Protocol 

Jessie Sanders          Into The Flames (Grover Cleveland Academy Book 1)

Keith Robinson       Island of Fog (Book 1)

S.M. Boyce              The Grimoire: Lichgates

Roger Eschbacher    Dragonfriend (Leonard the Great)

Brian Clopper          Graham the Gargoyle (Cascade)

Christine Locke       Open Door (The Legacy Series)

S.R. Johannes          Untraceable (The Nature of Grace, Book 1)

 

And since it’s a party, there must be treats, right? So, to celebrate our first Tag Party, I’m giving away a free ebook! You can choose either A Light In the Darkness or its sequel which is coming soon (I still haven’t released its name!) To win, tag all the books on the list and leave me a comment here letting me know you’re a Tag Party pro. Bonus points if you tweet about it or give us a shout out on facebook. Don’t forget to include the link when you share, that way your friends can find us and I’ll know who to watch for the win!  The more taggers we have playing, the easier it will be for our friends to find these fabulous books on Amazon next time they’re hunting for a great book. I will choose one winner at the end of the week. Let the games begin!

TEEN Agents

Throw a Book Party!

Book Party: T.E.E.N. Agents 

This weekend a few of my young writer friends joined me for an awesome good time as we celebrated Joshua Unruh’s TEEN Agents.  If you haven’t read the book yet, you are missing out!  It is a fun spy-fi filled with action and a hint of romance.  This group of girls ate it up and came with books in hand to talk about their favorite parts, and join in Agent Training for a day.

We started by writing Questions for the Author.  If you could ask a favorite author just one question, what would it be?  Well, our girls came up with a long list!  They had character questions like, “How do you pronounce Hea Joung Noone? and “Will Saturday and Nathaniel ever get together?”  They wondered about some of the words used in the story, like ASAP and “cramazing”.  The questions that made me really proud were about the writing process.  “How do you know when to put the right kind of suspense and where?”  and “How did you come up with the character names?”

Then, they filled out a Character Quiz to see which of the main characters in the story they were more like.  This had them giggling and arguing with each other over the results.

Next up: Agent Training.  We ran them through an obstacle course which included avoiding a water trap, testing your balance across a stony walk-way where you could only step on tiny, marked stones.  And then, a race through our backyard complete with an over-friendly dog to throw them off balance as they hurried to avoid the little “traps” she had left for them along the way.

Since everyone survived training, I let them cool off in the dining room with a few treats and came back to find them reading aloud to each other their favorite parts.  They were incredibly passionate about what they loved and when I saw how some of them had marked or highlighted several sections of the book, I wished fervently that all authors could see such love for their work.

It was time for their Briefing from HQ.  Imagine their reaction when they realized the briefing was a video Q&A with the author himself, Joshua Unruh! Isn’t Skype amazing?  Priceless.  He read through the questions they had written and answered them all as well as he could without giving away too much of the future plotlines.  They were thrilled to hear that he has a lot more planned for the girls of TEEN Agents.  I had planned about twenty minutes for this part of the party, but the girls kept him talking for nearly an hour!  Do not underestimate the power of a reader’s love for their beloved authors.

Finally, our new agents were ready for their first Mission.  They followed clues hidden all over our house, using their books as a guide to discover where each new clue was hidden.  At last, they recovered the Top Secret, Confidential files.

Inside they found postcards that they could send to all their friends.  Each card had the book title, author and where you can buy the book.  Then, the girls wrote notes to their friends describing what they loved most about the book and why they think their friends will love it, too.

We talked about how to show love for our favorite authors and artists by buying their work and telling friends to do the same.

Do you have a book you love?  Why not throw a book party?  Invite a few friends, plan some story-related fun, and have a blast.    I’m thinking I need to plan a few more.  I have a little one here who would LOVE me to plan a few mysteries for her to solve with friends now that they have read the Investigator Anne books.  Or maybe I’ll throw a dragons and knights fest when my son finishes Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbacher.  I’m sure you can think of more fabulous book party themes.  What will yours be?

Are you an independent author who would like us to throw a book party for you?  I have readers of all ages here who love good books and can’t wait to share new favorites with all of their friends.  Leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to share with you how we can make that happen.

Free book giveaway, Friday, Indie Authors, inspiration, Joshua Unruh, TEEN Agents

>Friendly Free Book Friday

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****Comment below to win a copy of TEEN Agents in the Plundered Parent Protocol.****
This week we are excited to introduce you to Joshua Unruh, author of the fabulously fun TEEN Agents series.  Today he shares with us how his childhood interests influenced the writing of The Plundered Parent Protocol.  (This is my daughter’s new favorite book!  And she is “totally a huge fan of Mr. Unruh.  He’s so cool!”  Well, there you go.  I can’t top that as an introduction.  Here’s Mr. Totally Cool himself, Joshua Unruh.

Sausage Innards
Heather asked me to talk a little bit about how the things I liked when I was a pre-teen and teenager (I’m old enough that there wasn’t a questionable label like tween when it would have fit me) fed into my fevered brain and came out as TEEN Agents in the Plundered Parent Protocol.
Well, this ought to be easy. A lot of the stuff I liked then is stuff I still like now!
I like it in a different, more grown-up way (or so I’ve convinced myself). But it’s still a lot of the same stuff from back in the day. That age is when I started to discover things other than superheroes that were going to gnaw into my brain like a worm and stay there forever. The second most important of those discoveries was espionage fiction. More specifically, it was Spy-fi.
For ease, I’m going to use the Wikipedia entry’s definition of Spy-Fi:
It often uses a secret agent (solo or in a team) or superspy whose mission is a showcase of science fiction elements such as technology and ideas used for extortion, plots for world domination or world destruction, futuristic weapons, gadgets and fast vehicles that can travel on land, fly, or sail on or under the sea.
My dad was a HUGE Man from U.N.C.L.E. fan when he was a kid. He got me watching it and, for some reason I still can’t understand, whatever channel ran it had Avengers afterward. No, not the superheroes with Iron Man and Captain America. Rather, a British male and female duo calmly and coolly handling all of Britain’s weird scientists and would-be worldbeaters. The godawful movie Wild Wild West, a Western Spy-fi, also came out around this time and, thank goodness, my dad was there for me on that one too. He let me know the seed was a television show that was not godawful.
Spy-fi felt to me like spies, which I loved, married with superheroes, which I loved EVEN MORE. The final nail in the coffin was discovering Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD. This was superspies set in a comic book universe with existing superheroes and supervillains. Peanut butter meet chocolate.
My favorite Young Adult literature will always be superheroes. But when I decided to have female protagonists, I had to deal with the fact that the ladies don’t really dig on superheroes. But heroines have always had a strong place in Spy-fi. Emma Peel was at least as popular as John Steed. Contessa was a supporting character for Nick Fury, but she still managed to get a lot of solo stories. There was even a Girl from U.N.C.L.E. spin-off that I liked as much as the Man.
In the modern era, you have Bond girl Wai Linn (Michelle Yeoh) showing up the titular character. You’ve got Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) leading an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Spy-fi show called Alias for five seasons. There was a La Femme Nikita remake starring Maggie Q. Batwoman is the best Bat-Family book on the shelves. ABC Family, of all places, gave us Natalie Morales in The Middle Man, which feels like TEEN Agents after it graduated from college.
Clearly if I wanted to write a book with female protagonists that would appeal to young ladies as well as 12-year-old-me, it had to be a Spy-fi book. And that’s a biggest part of how TEEN Agents was born.
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book reviews, Indie Authors, Joshua Unruh, new authors, TEEN Agents, you gotta read

>You Gotta Read: TEEN Agents

>TEEN Agents in The Plundered Parent Protocol by Joshua Unruh is a fabulously fun adventure.  It tells the story of Elly Mourning, Hea Jung Noone and Saturday Knight, best friends who are all about to celebrate their thirteenth birthday.  A mysterious teenage boy decides to crash the party with an army of robots, and boy do they crash it!  The robots capture the girls’ dads and carry them away.  The worst part?  No one believes it happened!  Only the girls saw the robots and their handsome leader.  Who is going to believe a few thirteen year old girls crying about evil robots who swoop down from the skies?

With their dads missing, and presumed dead by all the adults in their life, the girls decide it is up to them to play rescue party.  That’s when they are approached by the director of a top secret agency, T.E.E.N.  The Teenage Extranormal Emergency Network will help them in their rescue mission, that is if  they can pass the dangerous obstacles that will test their skills.  They will have to work together if they want to survive and become agents.  Can they pass the test?  Will they ever see their fathers again?  Can they find the villain behind the kidnapping and stop him before he completes his evil plan?

My daughter and I both loved this book.  It was a fast read, fun and exciting as the adventure carries you through chapter after chapter of tricks and traps, drama and daring.  The girls are like most thirteen year old girl.  Best friends, they still manage to squabble once or twice and spend a fair amount of time thinking about boys all while wanting to save the world.

The eleven year old girl in this house thought this book was “awesome!  The best book ever!”  She has now read it three times and is planning a birthday party with this book as her theme.  If she could, I know she would send a copy to each one of her friends.  In her words, “every girl will LOVE this book.  So, they should go get one right now.  And I mean RIGHT NOW!”

Well, you heard the girl.  Go get yourself a copy!  You can find it at Amazon, both in paperback and in Kindle edition.  Don’t own a kindle?  That’s okay, they’ve got an app for that!  You can download the Kindle app for almost any digital device.  Go check it out and then come back and tell us how much you loved it.

Gotta Read,
Heather