Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage by Morgan Huneke Blog Tour

Carrie Mouse Blog Tour Graphic

Carrie Mouse has been told by her parents never to go down the hill to the big house where the humans live. But Carrie Mouse is curious, and her friend, Martha Squirrel makes going down the hill seem like such an exciting adventure! So one day, Carrie disobeys… but will her curiosity lead her on the adventure she is searching for, or will she learn a far more valuable lesson?

I have to preface this by saying that this is the first thing I’ve read by Morgan Huneke. I know! This author of sci-fi, fantasy, and fairy tale retellings has been on my TBR list for a while, now, but – as with many things – well… you’ve seen my TBR pile of just the books I own that I haven’t read yet. I’m working on it, okay?!

So, when I got the chance to be an ARC reader for her new children’s picture book, I jumped at it, because I KNOW I can read children’s books pretty quickly! haha.

This is a super cute story about a little mouse who, like many children, struggles to understand why she needs to obey her parents. Especially when they are telling her not to do something that seems like a lot of fun. But as Carrie finds out by the end of the story, her parents are not trying to ruin her fun, they are merely trying to keep her safe. This is a story that can help children easily grasp the concept of how there can be unexpected consequences for their actions, and illustrates how boundaries are meant for their good.

In a way, the story reminds me a little bit of Christopher Churchmouse books, but the story is shorter and conveys its message in fewer words.

The illustrations are adorable and reminiscent of claymation cartoons such as Wallace and Grommit. The flat-clay style really brings this story to life, and bright colors are sure to delight younger audiences.

I am definitely going to get a copy of this for my own kids!

7999012_origPurchase Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage


 

Follow the Carrie Mouse blog tour!

Giveaway!

Morgan and Rebekah will be giving away a signed copy of Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage with a handmade Carrie Mouse doll! Second prize is a signed copy of the book only. Be sure to enter the giveaway!

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Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

IMG_4127 croppedMorgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. She is the author of several middle grade novels including the Time Captives fantasy trilogy and one YA fairy tale retelling novella entitled Twisted Dreams. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first picture book.

To learn more about Morgan and her work, visit:

www.morganhuneke.com

or

www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com

 

About the Illustrator

IMG_4522 - Copy croppedRebekah Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia with her parents, sisters, and yellow Labrador named Sophie. She has been working with Sculpey since age nine, and sells her creations in the Klay Kottage Etsy shop. She also creates and sells stuffed animals and knitted goods. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing cello and piano. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first book.

To learn more about Rebekah and her work, visit:

www.etsy.com/shop/klaykottage 

or

follow @klaykottage on Instagram

~ jenelle

Blog-o-versary Planning Committee: ask me your questions!

Good morning, dear Reader!

It has come to my attention that this blog will be turning 6 years old on December 4!

Now, technically, I’ve been writing blog posts on an author blog for far longer than that. My very first blog post on my author platform was way back on August 23, 2007! Wow. That seems like a really long time ago. But I don’t count that as my blog-i-versary for a few simple reasons:

  1. I had no idea what I was doing, and I’m pretty sure that the only people who read my blog back then were my mom and a couple of friends.
  2. It wasn’t on THIS blog. Yep, my first author blog was my little blogspot blog.

So THIS blog went live with little-to-no fanfare and its very first post on December 4, 2012.

At that point, I had published exactly ONE book – King’s Warrior.

Since then, I have published the rest of the Minstrel’s Song series, won the Rooglewood Contest of Five Enchanted Roses, and published two short stories through the Fellowship of Fantasy.

I’ve written 835 blog posts here on this blog.

I’ve received 61,000 views and 5,360 comments.

My best day ever was 258 views.

My best month ever was July 2017.

I’ve featured 80 artists/authors on this blog over the past 6 years.

I’ve reviewed 96 books and 48 movies.

I’ve shared approximately 17 short stories.

I’ve participated in 19 tags.

This blog now has 253 email subscribers, and if you add the people who could follow the blog through my facebook page, that number hits very close to 1,000!

These are big numbers. Numbers worth celebrating! And they are all due to YOU, dear Reader. Without you, this little blog would just be my own exercise in futility.

So, thank you, dear Reader.

Now… on to the party planning element… on December 4th, I’d like to have a little celebration of all these lovely numbers, and… eep… I’m thinking about STEALING TRACEY’S IDEA and doing my first-ever vlog. (There will be other things to go along with that, as well – but I’ll announce those things closer to the actual blog-o-versary)

Ahem.

But while the idea of chatting with you all around a campfire and talking about various things is really appealing, the idea of creating a vlog-post is terrifying. And I need time to get it together, which is why I’m posting about it now… so I can try to get it done by Dec. 4. Thus, I’m appointing each and every one of you to my party-planning committee and asking you to shoot questions my way so that I have something to talk about. Otherwise, I’m just going to ramble about my favorite books and movies and be my scatter-brained self… which could be entertaining, I suppose… but I’d rather talk about stuff YOU care about… so fire away!

And… since a call for questions is usually all it takes for my brain to go completely blank… I’m stealing even further from Tracey and giving you a list of topics to get you started:

living in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Indiana, or Illinois
books
movies
being homeschooled/homeschooling my kids
my kids
my reputation for getting lost every time I get in a car
real-life adventures I’ve had
um… books?
authoring stuff?
future plans
Stormcave
my MBTI type…

Feel free to make up your own questions! And I promise that if I get tons of questions I’ll keep the vlog to a reasonable length of time (or at the very least, break it up into reasonable bite-sized pieces and post multiples if that’s what needs to happen).

 

~ jenelle

Word Poem

First of all, last week’s giveaway ended and I want to extend many congratulations to SARAH for winning a paperback copy of Because… Anonymous by Diana Sharples!

Now, on to today’s post…

One of the fun things about being a home-school mom is that sometimes I get to “tag along” on my children’s creative writing exercises. A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter had to write a word poem. The exercise called for her to pick a word, then follow a series of prompts about it to craft the poem. I thought it sounded like fun, so I tried my hand at it. (But instead of picking my own I used her word, because I loved it).

Felicitous Poem (1)

~ jenelle

Interview with Jenna

My InterFiction badge fades to dark and I find myself standing in an apple orchard. I make my way along the rows of trees, ducking my head to avoid low-hanging branches. The apples are not quite ripe, but from what I can see it looks like a good crop will be had this year. Up ahead, I spot Jenna, and approach.

Jenna stands before an apple tree that bends at an awkward angle.  The tree digs into the ground with firm roots.  Despite it’s bent status, it is a majestic tree.  She is trailing her hands along its trunk, and a wistful smile plays upon her lips.  She reaches her groping hands upward, fingering a jagged hole where a branch once perched.  She lowers her head sadly. 

I approach her and introduce myself, “Good afternoon.  My name’s Jenelle, and I’m with the InterFiction Gazette …”

Jenna turns slowly, blinking in confusion.  I take an involuntary step back as I notice the scars around Jenna’s eyes. “F-Forgive me.  I didn’t mean to–”

“You are from where?” Jenna frowns and grips the sturdy stick she carries.  “I didn’t mean to startle you.  I thought you were my sister.” She sighs ruefully.  “She doesn’t think I know that she follows me.”

I clear my throat.  “Um, I didn’t see anyone else around.”

Jenna laughs.  “Oh, she’s here.  Don’t you hear her picking apples? She always picks apples this time of year.” In the silence that follows, I hear muffled thumps that create a background rhythm to the music of the birds.  I strain my eyes, and in the distance, I see a young woman gathering fruit.

“But, the apples aren’t quite ripe,” I say, a bit surprised.

Jenna nods.  “Poppa loves green apple cider.  Mirabel gathers the apples, and Reinhardt helps her to press them.”

“Reinhardt?”

Jenna shifts her weight from one foot to the other.  “He’s a physician,” she says shortly.  She raises her right hand toward her face then abruptly lowers it.  “He’s kind and helps us.  I get angry at him sometimes, but that’s only because he can’t help me to–” She blinks rapidly and turns back to the tree.  “Where did you say you were from?”

“The Inter-Fiction Gazette.  We love interviewing new people.  Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”

Jenna frowns.  “I suppose not, but I’m not very news worthy.” She laughs. “Now, the boy I met last year? He’s much more–” She abruptly stops talking and turns back to the hump-backed tree.  “Yes.  I will answer your questions,” she says.

“Wonderful!” I grin.  “Will you start out by telling me a little about yourself?”

Jenna nods.  “I live near this orchard, about a stone’s throw away. But, I used to live in town.  My father’s a merchant.  We owned many lovely things.” She bows her head.  “But, we had to leave our home after my mother’s death.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I reply earnestly. “May I ask if she was ill? D-Do you mind explaining about your–” She pauses.

“You can say it if you want,” Jenna says a bit sharply.  “You want to know about my blindness.”

Jenelle clears her throat.  “I-I didn’t mean to offend–” 

“You didn’t,” Jenna says softly.  “I don’t appreciate people being afraid to mention it.  At least you didn’t cluck at me like the villagers do!” She laughs and turns back to her tree.  “Ill-bred hens,” she whispers through clenched teeth.  Softly, she says, “Our house caught fire, and my mother was killed.  I was burned very badly. It was a fire that I cau–” She abruptly turns back to face me. “What is your next question?”

I bite my lip, deciding whether or not to follow up on that particular thread, but then decide to try a different tack. “What are some of your goals and dreams?”

Jenna’s taut features relax.  “I always loved to read,” she murmurs. “I cannot do that now, but I would love to find a way to learn again. I’d love to somehow teach children how to read.  And, I’d love to travel somewhere mysterious, somewhere where I’m known for more than my loss of sight.  I’d like to meet the boy again, the one that Poppa claimed was a–” She sighs.  “I’d just like to be seen as an ordinary person.”

I nod, wincing a little.  “Are you certain you don’t mind answering these questions?”

Jenna raises her head and smiles.  “I don’t,” she says.  “It’s nice to talk to someone new.”

I chuckle at that.  “Will you tell me about your world? My readers are not from here and they would love to learn more about this place.”apple-693995_640

Jenna smiles broadly, the first self-assured smile of the meeting. “Floraine is a beautiful place,” she murmurs reflectively. “Especially in the spring.  Mother used to say that the fragrance of spring is the fragrance of love.  Tecoptra guides us and helps us. Poppa says that if it weren’t for Tecoptra, we’d be in worse shape than we are.  We have Flower Masters and Flower Mistresses here.  They care for plants and trees.  Sometimes, flora can be a bit unruly. It’s alive here, you know.” She smiles.  “Sometimes, I think this tree wants to speak to me,” she whispers conspiratorially.  “But only Flower Masters or Mistresses can understand their language.  There are Fauna Masters and Mistresses, too, but we don’t hear as much about them.  Flower Masters have magic to deal with plants, but it is the only magic they possess.  I have heard talk of enchanters and enchantresses, but they are very rare.  As for daily life, we tend to our land.  I help my sister Mirabel in the garden and with household chores around our cottage.” She laughs ruefully.  “I remember the first time I had to iron a dress.  I’d been used to servants doing that work.  I burned both my hands.” She bites her lip.  “Mirabel won’t let me near heat anymore.”

“Ouch. I’m a bit afraid of irons myself. I can’t imagine doing it if I couldn’t see what I was doing,” I exclaim. “What are some things you enjoy doing for fun?”

“Oh! I love climbing trees,” Jenna says.  “This used to be my favorite tree to climb, but the boy I met that day broke the branch.  He said he could make the tree let me go, and–” She sighs.  “I love sledding on winter days, and I love helping Mirabel make peppermint drops.” She reaches into the folds of the frock she wears and withdraws two pieces of candy.  She pops a piece into her mouth and proffers the second piece toward me.  “They’re my favorite sweet.  Would you like one?”

I take the candy, a bit hesitantly because sometimes fictional food just tastes downright weird, but as the burst of flavor hits my tongue, my skepticism falls away.  “It’s delicious!”

Jenna smiles.  “Do you have any more questions?”

I clear my throat.  “I have one, but you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want too.  If you could change anything about your life, what would it be and why?”

Jenna turns back to the tree and fingers its rough bark.  “I need to get back to the cottage,” she says.  “I need to help Mirabel start supper.” She turns around and trails the stick she carries along the ground.  She begins to walk, the stick brushing the ground in front of her to help her avoid obstacles.  “Thank you for talking with me.”

“I’m sorry if I offended you,” I say softly.  “I know that was a stupid question.  I would want to see again, too.”

Jenna whirls around, her scarred eyes wide with surprised anger. “That’s not what I want!” she says harshly.  “I would change the day of the fire.  I would fix it so that my mother would still be alive. I wouldn’t have killed her.  And, I would help the boy that the villagers wounded.  I would keep him safe, even if Poppa did say he was a beast.” She turns around and walks away from the tree.  After a moment, she turns back around.  “I’m sorry,” she says softly.  “Please come back here sometime.  It’s nice to talk to someone.” She smiles slightly.  “But next time, let’s talk about you.  I’d like that.” She raises her hand in a gesture of farewell and shuffles away.

I’m left with a sense of sadness — not pity! — this character has a strength I’m sure most of her friends and family cannot see, but there is a bittersweet tang to her story, kind of like the gentle aftertaste of the candy she shared with me, and I can sense that she has more trials to face before she gets her happily ever after. I hope she does get her happily ever after… I can’t wait to get back to my world and grab a copy of her story to find out!


If Jenna’s story intrigues you, you can read more about her in Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption, a compilation of short stories by Meredith Leigh Burton. The book is available on Kindle and Paperback, and the Audiobook is coming soon!

Ms. Burton also has another Snow White retelling releasing next week — Oct. 25 — as part of the Magic Mirrors release. This novella, The Princess and the Invisible Apple Treecurrently available for pre-order for just 99 cents, is one I’ll be reviewing as part of the blog tour for the release, and I can already tell you that you DO NOT want to miss this one!

https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Invisible-Apple-Tree-ebook/dp/B07H2NY5JN/

About the Author

Meredith Leigh Burton is a voracious devourer of fairy tales. She is a motivational speaker, writer and teacher. She attended the Tennessee School for the Blind and Middle Tennessee State University. She received a degree in English and theater. Meredith hopes to convey through her stories that those with differences can contribute much to the world. She resides in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Ms. Burton recently had an article about her story published in an online journal. In the article, she talks a little bit about the inspiration behind the apple orchard in this particular story, as well as her view and tips on writing descriptively. It is a great article and I highly recommend it!

~ jenelle