Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway ($50 Amazon Gift Card)! Return to Cardamom Book Review: 5 Stars to Caramel and Her Friends

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour  

About Return to Cardamom

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne GrassoTitle: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2) 
Author: Julie Anne Grasso 
Publisher: Independent 
Publication Date: July 17, 2013 
Pages: 136 (Paperback) 
Recommended Age: 9+ 
Summary: Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.  

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Cool Mom's Review of Return to Cardamom

This was exciting for me to review, as I had never before had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader's Copy of a book. The summary above is perfect for the story and Caramel is one awesome elfin-girl. 

I read Escape from the Forbidden Planet, the first book in the Caramel Cardamom trilogy, and I enjoyed this one, Return to Cardamom, even more than the first book. It is exciting to visit again with characters that I have now become familiar with from book one ~ like saying, "Hi," to old friends. 

The beginning of the story hooked me right away, just like the first one. Julie Anne Grasso has a wonderful way to describe her characters, their thoughts, actions and their surroundings.  For example: 

"Caramel lumbered to the bathroom to splash some water on her face as the last mists of her dream faded." 

Near the end of the book, Caramel mentally battles a worm code hidden in technology. As Caramel travels through the wires in an effort to save everyone, the descriptions of virtual ham pieces flying toward her made my inner computer geek chuckle. 

Caramel is a fantastic female protagonist who is easy to route for throughout the entire book. There is an innocent romance budding  between Caramel and her friend, Jorde, that is purely sweet. I adore how much Caramel is able to accomplish despite her physical disability; and how she is able to use the gifts that she has been given. Trust me, this girl has been given more than her fair share of gifts: talking to trees, healer extraordinaire and oh, yeah, she can control technology. 

Two of my favorite lines from the book: 

"News travels faster than a brain synapse around here." 
 "Blazing elf cheeks." 

In late chapters of the book, Caramel's intuition is finally trusted by her elders. I actually said out loud, "Finally! It is about time." 

I happily give Return to Cardamom, a wonderfully clean read, five stars out of five and recommend it to ages 9 and up. Those who love science fiction and are looking for a female protagonist will be very happy with this book. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of Return to Cardamom. I received no monetary or in-kind compensation for my honest review.

Don't forget to scroll down to enter the giveaway!

Who is Cool Mom? Check our About Us Page.

Amazon(US) * Amazon(UK) * Amazon(Canada)

Extra Special Resources: Student Pages!

There is an additional resource available for our teacher, homeschooling and overall awesome parental friends - student work pages! I encourage you to visit Carolyn Wilhelms's The Wise Owl Factory blog tour post for links to her free student work page supplements for BOTH books. They are fantastic. 

free work pages for RETURN TO CARDAMOM, student work photo of some pages in printable

And a Recipe, Too? 

Yes, a recipe. I look forward to FINALLY making the Sticky Date recipe, once we are settled in our new home. This recipe was shared on Mother Daughter Book Reviews back in March: Get the recipe for Sticky Date and Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cardamom Sauce now. 
(Special thanks to Julie and Renee for the recipe link)

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The Buzz About Book 1: Escape From the Forbidden Planet

Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso
Interested in what I had to say about the first book in the series? 

Read my (Cool Mom's) review of Escape from the Forbidden Planet: A Fun Science Fiction Book for Tweens.

*** Today is the last day to get your FREE COPY of Escape From the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso July 17 to 21, 2013. Available for 99 cents after July 21, 2013. ***

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About the Author

Julie Grasso - Author
Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.   

Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books
Twitter: @Jujuberry37
Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013) 

July 17

July 18
July 19
July 20
July 21
July 22
July 23
July 24
July 25
July 26
July 27
July 28
July 29
July 30
July 31

*** Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Giveaway ***

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne GrassoAmazon $50 Gift Card
Prize: One winner will receive a copy (print in U.S./Canada & e-copy interntionally) + a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash 
Contest runs: July 17th to August 7th, 11:59 pm, 2013 
Open: WW 
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: 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. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday? Our Home Becomes the Land of Boxes.

Wordless Wednesday? Our owners thought it would be fun to move. I prefer empty boxes to these filled ones. Stanley seems happy either way even when his dog house is treated like this. 

Comments. On another note, our intenseblogger comments did not work on our last post and just when we were really getting to like them. If they don't work on this post, I guess Popcorn may need to find another solution for us. Let's see what happens for this post. 

New Cover. We are still on track to have our new cover and illustrations released by the end of this month and it is crazy exciting for us. The artist posted one of our illustrations on her blog, check it out here. Make her day and leave a comment when you stop by. Feedback on our special sneak peek of book 2, that will be included with this new cover, has been fantastic. Thank you to our wonderful editor friends!

Fun Writing. Neighbor Girl thought it would be fun, yesterday, to participate in Susanna Hill's Short and Sweet Assignment. View her entry and all of the creative writing samples here. Susanna explains the incorrect year in the image below as well. 
Well, this post isn't exactly wordless, but then, I have trouble with that as it is. 

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge

This post is part of the blog hop: 

Wordless Wednesday