book review, Cal Ripken, Elizabeth Varadan, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls, Jr., Kevin Cowherd, San Francisco Book Review, Squeeze Play, Teresa E. Harris, The Perfect Place

Squeeze Play — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“I just give myself permission to suck. I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts … so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just gonna delete whatever I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating. I also like to remind myself of something my dad
said in [response] to writers’ block: ‘Coal miners don’t get coal miners’ block.’”
~ John Green on writer’s block ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

The Writer’s Practice has a good post HERE on creating a menacing antagonist. Always a good idea. 
They say if you really want to be published the easiest way is through non-fiction. The first thing I had published was non-fiction, so there’s a little proof that it can work. Anyway, HERE are six reasons why non-fiction is easier than writing fiction.
Need to get your writing in shape? Check out Positive Writers 6 Quick Tips to Help You Tighten Up Your Writing HERE.
First, I’d like to wish all the mothers reading this a slightly belated Happy Mother’s Day. I had a nice day. I got to watch my San Francisco Giants win and I didn’t have to cook. I also was taken to a Sacramento River Cats game on Friday night by our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren as a Mother’s Day present. Saturday, I watched our grandson play a nine-inning scrimmage, and he played great. Yup, I do love baseball! All in all, a good weekend. I hope yours was nice as well. 

Last week, I offered a hardcover copy of The Perfect Place by Teresa E. Harris to one of you. This week’s winner is Elizabeth Varadan. You will hear more about Elizabeth here soon. I will be reviewing her wonderful new middle-grade mystery, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls. In the mean time you can learn more about her by checking out her two blogs — Elizabeth Varadan’s Fourth Wish HERE and Victorian Scribbles HERE. Congratulations, Elizabeth. I will get your copy of The Perfect Place to you soon.

In honor of all the baseball I’ve watched this week, I am sharing a baseball book this week. I recently discovered a series of middle-grade books by Cal Ripken, Jr. (yes, THAT Cal Ripken, Jr.) and sportswriter Kevin Cowherd. This summer, I am taking our grandson to a week-long baseball camp put on by Cal and Bill Ripken, so I was doubly excited to find out he is a writer. The first book in the series I read is Squeeze Play, and that is the book I’m featuring this week. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Corey Maduro should be having the time of his life. It’s baseball season and his team, the Orioles, are heading to a great week-long tournament. But Corey has been in a hitting slump of epic proportions. While he’s trying to work out of that, he has two other problems—his father has become a complete jerk at the games, embarrassing Corey no end, and Katelyn Morris, the only girl on the team, seems to try to humiliate Corey at every turn. Katelyn gives all the guys something of a bad time, but seems to really have it in for Corey. When Corey’s father films another team and tries to steal their signs at the tournament, all could be lost for the Orioles.
“If the verdict was no, they’d be sullenly packing up and hitting the highway in a matter of hours, with an abashed Corey convinced that he’d have to wear a paper bag over his head for the rest of his life”
Cal Ripken, Jr. and Kevin Cowherd certainly know baseball, and their knowledge

Cal Ripken, Jr.

steeps this book in the game. Kids who are fans of baseball will be completely engaged. The problems Corey faces are problems those readers will relate to and sympathize with. The writing is crisp, the story is compelling, and the characters are well drawn and believable. This series focuses on one player on the Orioles for each book and will have readers coming back for more.

I have a gently-read paperback copy of Squeeze Play

Kevin Cowherd

for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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