Hey everyone! Guess what? Remember a few months ago when I got to do a super cool interview as part of the Character Book Club? Well ... I think I must have done a pretty good job, because they asked me if I wanted to do it again. It's true. Yup! You don't see Nate Rocks here interviewing anyone do you? Nope - it's just me, Millie. Just sayin'....
Anyway - today, I have someone pretty awesome. His name is Erik Burks and he's from this great book called A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and A Cat, by Beverly Stowe McClure. If you haven't read it - you should. Trust me.
Welcome to the Character Book Club Erik! We're all really glad you're here. (Cue in the applause!)
So Erik - Your friend Star can read your thoughts, right? She calls them mind dreams. I'm really interested in hearing more about these mind dreams -- they sound pretty cool. Can you tell me about them?
Hey, Millie. Mind dreams, huh? Okay, here’s how they work. Star can read every thought in my head, good or bad. Sometimes it gets downright embarrassing. So, I try not to think. Have you ever tried to erase all thoughts from your brain? Impossible.
Yeah I think that would be pretty hard. Although, it would be kind of fun to know what my little brother Doogle is thinking.Especially if it involves snooping in my room. I may have to get together with your friend Star at some point and investigate this further.
Next question: When you & your mom first moved to Charleston did you think you'd be spending your summer looking for lost ships & pirates?
No way. I really wanted to stay in Texas and play baseball. Then stuff happened and I ended up in South Carolina, on a ghost ship with a pirate, a blockade runner, and a cat, sailing up the Carolina coast. Nobody would believe it if I told them.
You got that right. As soon as you said "ghost", my immediate thought would have been "oh sure you did..." but after reading your book, I'm totally convinced. You know - I thought I had a ghost in my house but it just turned out to be my brother Doogle sleep walking, but you met real life ghosts! How was that - I mean meeting James for the first time?
Ghosts, yeah. “Shudder.” Spooky, huh? The weird thing is most people can’t see a ghost. I didn’t even believe such a thing existed. So when I met James, I thought he was some guy playing a trick on us, until I tried to touch him. My hand went right through him, feeling nothing. Star finally convinced me he was a ghost and so were James’ cat and the pirate Bonnet. I figured I was going crazy.
CREEPY!! Then on top of ghosts, you had a hurricane! I experienced my first hurricane last year & we lost power for a week. It was fun at first & then it wasn't . What was it like being on a ship during a hurricane ? Did you get sea sick from all the jostling around?
Yeah, I know what you mean. Losing power sucks. You can use your cell for a while, then the battery runs down and you’ve lost touch with the world. Nothing but darkness around you, and being stuck on a ship, in the middle of the ocean, well, I don’t recommend it during a hurricane. I tried to pretend I was okay, but my stomach rolled and rolled with the ship, and I thought I’d … mmm, you get the idea.
Yup - I sure do. It seemed as if everywhere you all turned things got a bit more complicated. At what point did you realize maybe you got yourself in a little too deep?
Haha, a little too deep, yeah. When the pirate, Major Stede Bonnet, pointed a cutlass at me, sharp enough to cut off my head, I started questioning my sanity. What was I thinking? It was a little too late by then, since we were miles from land and no one had a clue where we were.
I gotta say, you handled that whole part pretty well. For me, I think I would have lost it at the webbing. Followed by the head in the backpack - Ewww - Nope - don't even want to go there. SKIP! Did any of that gross you out?
You would have to mention the head. I still have nightmares when I think about it. The eye sockets in the skull looked like they were watching me, and when the skull bounced across the deck, eyes glowing, I almost jumped overboard. It turned out okay for Blackboard. He got his head back, even if it was lopsided. Can you imagine drinking out of a skull, like people claimed they did? Double Ewww!
TMI dude T.M.I. !! So I have to say if I ran off like that with my friends, my mom would have killed me with a capital K- but you got off pretty easy. How'd you manage that? (& do you want to trade moms?)
“Snicker!” Yeah, I came out pretty good there. I could see myself grounded until I was as old as our neighbor, Mr. Casey, or older. I think Mom felt bad about moving me away from my friends and Dad so she went easy on me this time, to make it up to me. Nah! I think I’ll keep my mom, at least for now.
Smart move. I just got majorly grounded for running off for only a few hours. UGH! One more question -- the next time you & Storm & Star go off on an adventure, do you think maybe I can come along?
I don’t plan to go on any more ghost hunts with the twins. If I do, you bet you can come along. Umm, you don’t read mind dreams, do you?
Not yet - but I seriously want to learn! Hey thanks for stopping by Erik! You are way cool!
Enter the FAN ART CHALLENGE!
Do you love to draw? Are there times when you find yourself holding a pencil, not realizing that you had picked it up? Is there a scene in your head you just have to see on paper?
If so, why not enter the fan art challenge? Send us an original illustration of a scene from A Pirate, A Blockaderunner, and A Cat and you will be entered to win a signed copy of this new middle grade book.
Enter to win:
Scan and email your picture to: email@example.com
Snail mail your picture to:
6 Butternut Lane
New Fairfield, CT 06812
Fan art contest ends: Sunday, September 22nd
photo credit: pixel_bunny via photopin cc
Hey!! It's me! Millie!! So let's talk - because I've been getting some emails asking where I've been. I'M SO SORRY!! So the end of the year was just CRAZY. We actually had to take final exams this year. Can we say - NO FAIR?? Yeah - totally NO FAIR! Mom and Dad pretty much made me study 24/7 which meant no time for blogging.
Then, after school ended, Natalie (you remember - my best friend?)... Well her parents invited me to go on vacation with them. FINALLY! I was going to get to travel somewhere! I was SO excited!! Except, it was only camping, so it wasn't exactly as exotic as Paris or anything. But still, it was away from Doogle, right? Right. The thing is, I couldn't bring my laptop, so I couldn't blog about it. But it was only a ten day trip, so I figured, I'd go on the trip and then fill you in on all the details when I got back - right? WRONG! Here's what happened...
It started out kinda cool. Natalie and I got to have our own tent and stuff. We set it up all by ourselves - which took forever, but we did it. At first I had trouble sleeping. It wasn't exactly comfortable, and I have to admit, I was a little afraid of bears and other assorted creatures, even though Natalie's parents told me we were perfectly safe. Anyway, after a few nights, I got used to it all and was even starting to have fun. There were a bunch of other families in the campsite and even some other kids our ages. By the third or fourth day, we all started to get to know each other and were hanging out and stuff.
Anyway, at some point, one of the kids suggested going on a midnight hike on our last night there. I have to admit, it did kind of sound exciting in a I know I shouldn't but I sort of want to kind of way, ya know?
So on our last night there, we planned on meeting at the top of the trail after all our parents went to sleep. 1:00 a.m. was our official meeting time. We walked for about a half hour I think before the noises started - weird noises ... weird scary animal with sharp claw and teeth noises.
We all started running - in different directions. Natalie and I stayed together, but lost the rest of our group. In fact, we were completely lost all together. Yup. Lost in the woods - in the middle of the night - in the dark - with the sharp clawed toothy animals. It was not good. I'm not going to lie. I started to cry. Wail in fact. Loudly. And thank goodness, too, because thanks to my wailing cries, the park ranger found us. Well, Natalie says he probably found us because we were sitting on a rock about two feet from his door step. Oh yeah - I guess I forgot to mention that part. It's true. We sort of ran right back to our campsite without even noticing. Natalie's parents were there also. Apparently they weren't asleep yet after all. They weren't happy.
Neither were my parents. They heard the whole story the next day when Natalie's parents took me home. Of course Doogle thought it was hysterical. I wound up losing my laptop for the entire next month. I FINALLY got it back. Some summer this turned out to be. Whatever....
So what's new with you?
So remember how I had that little ghost problem and then last week I had the DMS (that stands for Detective Mystery Squad) here on my blog as part of the Character Book Club? Remember? No? Well go click on all the links and catch up... I'll wait.
Okay, well as you just read, they gave me tons of great advice, and guess what?
Here's the scoop:
So, it kept happening - every few nights - the noises, the shadows, the weird stuff left out on the kitchen counter overnight.
Well... I started going over the list of things the DMS suggested. On the first night, I found Mom's industrial sized carpet cleaner powder that she had stashed on the shelves in the basement - The container was HUGE & just what every family of four needs - you know, in case you need to clean carpets everyday for the next hundred years. I'm sure there must have been a sale involved. Anyway, I couldn't even lift the thing it was so darn heavy, so I took a cupful.
The next night I did the tape/string thing the DMS suggested. Since I knew the ghost was in Doogle's room, I once again waited until everyone was asleep. Then, I taped a piece of string across the hallway just outside Doogle's door. I tried to stay awake, but I was so sleepy. When I woke in the morning. The string was gone!
On to the next night. I decided to once again take the DMS's advice. This time I put a piece of masking tape straight across Doogle's door. Maybe I could get the ghost to stick to it or something! I made sure to stay awake this time. Finally I heard Doogle's door open. When I looked out, all I saw was Doogle walking toward the steps with the piece of tape stuck to his foot. I called out his name, but he didn't respond. So I followed him, down into the kitchen where he took out a plate and made himself a sandwich! When he finished, he walked back up to bed and back into his room. He was asleep the whole time! Turns out we didn't have a ghost at all - but we did have a sleepwalker and the DMS helped me figure the whole thing out. See? I told you they rocked!!
Hey guess what? Since I'm in such a good mood, I convinced that Toz lady to put my book on sale for you all! But you gotta act fast, because on Wednesday it's over. You can buy it HERE
Until next time -- Millie
Hi Everyone! OMG - I'm super excited today, because today I get to be the host for this month's Character Book Club meeting!! In case you missed it, last month, my buddy Nate Rocks was interviewed by the gang over on Fairday's Blog. You can catch up here...
Nathan was supposed to interview them this month, but ever since they made him a member of their Detective Mystery Squad, he's been off solving all kinds of mysteries, so he asked if I could host them instead. Well - duh - of course I can host them! They're awesome! Didn't you see my review?? I can't wait to get started, so let's invite them in!
Everyone let me introduce you the Detective Mystery Squad or the DMS ... otherwise know as Fairday, Lizzy, and Marcus! Welcome!!! So, for those folks out there who aren’t familiar with your story, can you tell us a little about the DMS?
Fairday: The DMS stands for Detective Mystery Squad. It’s a club that Lizzy and I came up with. We’ve been friends since the 1st grade, and we love solving mysteries. So, we decided to create a club where we uncover the truth in unsolved cases. We’ve been in business for 2 years, and have come across some really interesting mysteries!
Lizzy: Investigating the Begonia House was awesome, and it’s been fun having Brocket the Rocket in the DMS now- even though he isn’t as cool as he thinks he is. lol.
Marcus: I am as cool as anyone you know, Lizzy. : ) Tell them about the question, Fairday.
Fairday: Right! In order to get into the DMS, you have to guess the answer to an ancient riddle.
Lizzy: Should we tell them the riddle?
Marcus: Um, yeah! Here it is: What goes on four legs, then on two, and at last on three?
DMS: We’ll be waiting to hear from you!
Hey, Marcus, I think you're pretty cool. You all are actually. But speaking of cool, let's talk about those backpacks you carry – what exactly do you have in them?
Lizzy: Well, mine has a headlamp, tweezers, my older brother’s multi-tool key chain, and a digital camera. Fairday has the notebook, binoculars, finger-printing powder, black light, and small flashlight. We’re still fitting Marcus with his-even though he doesn’t need anything!
Marcus: Hey, what can I say? My dad’s in the FBI and I have some pretty cool tools that I get to “borrow”.
Wow - I need to get some of that finger-printing powder. It's the perfect way to finally prove my little brother is still snooping around my bedroom! So, just out of curiosity here - have you ever had a mystery that you weren’t able to solve?
Fairday: Almost! If it hadn’t been for my little sister, Margo, stumbling on a strange pair of sneakers, who knows what would have happened at the Begonia House!
HaHa - we'll see about that Marcus! Seriously, though, you all are pretty brave – I mean dealing with trees that come alive, shoes that are cursed, and a mirror you can walk through! Do you ever get scared?
Fairday: Well, sometimes. I mean, there was a point when we were working on the Begonia House case that I was really scared and I wasn’t sure if we were going to be okay. But, having my partners with me gave me confidence. We solved the mystery and no one was hurt- success!
Lizzy: I’m not really afraid of too many things. I get scared when I see other people who are afraid- though I must admit the willow tree coming alive was pretty freaky : )
Marcus: Me scared? No way!
Fairday and Lizzy roll their eyes again : )
Do you have any more mysteries in the works that will be made into books?
Fairday: Yes! We will be working on a case called The Talking Library next...
Marcus: You will not even believe what we have uncovered for this next case. It’s seriously going to rock.
Where can readers find out more about you?
Fairday: You can stop by my blog to check out the latest buzz on the DMS and find out more about the middle grade and children’s picture books that are haunting the shelves of book shops these days. : )
Lizzy: Stop by Fairday’s Blog! We would love to hear from you!
Marcus: You should definitely stop by. It’s pretty awesome.
Marcus: I am so psyched that Nate Rocks is in the DMS! He is such a cool character! You seem fun too, Millie. I hope you guess the riddle- man, it’s a tough question though ; )
Lizzy: Nate is really awesome. I know his imagination will come in handy solving cases. We would love to have you in the DMS, Millie! : ) Thank you so much for hosting the 2nd Character Book Club! It was great to be here with you today, and we can’t wait to find out where we are meeting next!
Hey - I DO know the answer to that riddle - you know why? Because I read it in your book!! But I don't want to just blurt it all out here, so I'll email you. I'm so glad you guys stopped by this was a BLAST!!
Before you go though ... I have a little problem I was hoping you could help me with. See I’m pretty sure there’s a ghost in my house. He (she?) only comes out at night, and I have to be honest. It’s kind of freaking me out. Any tips on how I can figure out the mystery and maybe get it to go away?
Marcus: Awesome idea, Lizzy. Something else I would try is lightly attaching a piece of string across the hallway. Don’t put it up too high in case it is a person, you don’t want them to get hurt-maybe around leg/thigh length. This will let you know if anyone walks past that spot. Oh and it’s really important to use tape to attach the string, and then no one will get hurt if they touch the string- it will just fall off. When you hear the sound and the tape falls off, then you know that it is a person- otherwise further investigation is necessary.
Fairday: I love that one, and it reminded me of another idea. Before you go to sleep, put a piece of tape on the outside of each door in the hallway- from the door to the trim- If the tape is broken in the morning, then you know who was walking around at night. Who knows, it could be a clue!
Marcus: If you have access to night vision goggles you can put them on and hide out in the hallway. This could be scary, and you may want to invite a friend or use a video camera that can record in the dark, so that you don’t have to stay in the hall. If you use a video camera set it up on a stand at the end of the hall and hit record. Maybe in the morning all will be revealed!
Fairday: We hope you will keep us posted on the investigation. If you need more ideas or some extra help, give us a call and we will see if we can get there to help!
Hey! Those are great ideas!! Thank you!!
And ... Guess what? We're doing ANOTHER Fan Art Contest this week! This time you'll be drawing the DMS solving a mystery to win a signed copy of THE SECRET DMS FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW!
Be sure to join us for next month's Character Book Club meeting! It's going to be awesome and you'll never guess who is getting interviewed .... ME!! Yup, I'm getting interviewed by Eric and his owl, Stig from The Deliverers by Gregory Slomba! I can't wait!!
Thanks for joining us today!!
Hey everyone! So I've kind of got a problem and I don't really know what to do about it! I'm pretty sure we've got a ghost in our house. That's right - I said ghost! Now I know what you're thinking - and normally I'd say you are absolutely correct. But weird things are happening around here - things that make me 99.9% sure we're dealing with a ghost!
Take last week - I was sound asleep, when suddenly I heard footsteps right outside my doorway. At first I thought it was a burglar, so I did what any twelve year old girl would do - I screamed. Loud. I sure did. Mom and Dad rushed into my room. I told them what I heard and Dad ran into Doogle's room, grabbed his baseball bat and went on a search while Mom sat with me. He came back with no signs of any intruder whatsoever. Mom and Dad said I must have just had a bad dream, but I know what I heard.
Then - a few nights later, I heard the same footsteps again - only this time I decided to investigate it myself. I tiptoed to my door and opened it just a tiny creak. The footsteps sounded like they were getting closer, but when I peeked out into the hallway, not a soul was there - only a shadow on the wall that vanished before my eyes.
Then - something even weirder happened.Yesterday when I went down to breakfast, all the glasses were out of the cabinet and were lined up on the counter. Nobody knows who did it. Well, except me that is - the ghost did it - I'm sure of it! Eep! What do I do now???
Until next time (if I survive that long) - - Millie
Hi - it's me Millie. Shhhh! I'm hiding from Doogle. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, it's just that he got this new board game for his birthday last week, called RISK, and I was trying to be nice and all, and told him I'd play it with him.
Well - I have to say, I really don't get why this game is so popular. It nearly bored me to tears. (Get it? Bored with the board game? No? Ok.) Not only that but it takes FOREVER to play. What ever happened to a good old fashioned ten minute game of Yahtzee? You know what I'm saying? I mean there's only so much togetherness time I can take with my little brother. It's no wonder Mom and Dad and all his friends keep making excuses not to play with him. Of course, this is all Mom's fault - she's the one who bought it for him to begin with, so why am I being the one tortured?
He keeps walking through the house calling my name, holding the box. I can hear all those little pieces rattling around. I just know he wants to play with me. Only, he won't find me because I'm hanging out here in my closet with my laptop (thank you wireless internet). I'm just being as quiet as a mouse and I'm as comfy as can be. I'm not even thinking about that huge cup of water I had before I ran upstairs. Nope, I don't have to go to the bathroom one bit.
Hey - you won't give me away or anything will you? You know, because we're friends and all. Thanks.
Until next time - - Millie
Hey everyone! I'm super excited today because I've got something really cool to tell you about! What's that? You want to know what it is?
Well... Okay... Here's the scoop:
You remember that awesome book I reviewed a while back: The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow? (Oh .. Here's the link in case you forgot) well anyway, me & Nate (yeah, we're kind of friends now ) ... Well we were talking & he loves that book too! So we decided to try to find Fairday & her pals Lizzy & Marcus to see if they wanted to hang out. Well guess what? It turns out they were looking for us! Before we knew it...BOOM ... The Character Book Club was created!
Anyway, since Nate's new book just came out, we decided he should go first (I'm nice like that you know). So today, the Detective Mystery Squad is interviewing Nate in a first ever Character Book Club Roundtable Meeting!
So head on over to Fairday's Blog to check it out! I mean go... Right now... What are you waiting for?? Just click HERE
Until Next Time - - Millie
Hi everyone... Okay, so I know I may have been a little - well, shall we say hesitant about talking about Nate's new book because well - - I was jealous okay? There I said it. But here's the thing. I read his new book, and I actually liked it! And I realized that just because I liked his book, it doesn't mean my book isn't any good, you know? So I decided to get over it and invite Nathan here on my blog to tell us a little about himself.. Yup, I sure did and that Toz lady didn't even have to make me do it this time. . So.... here he is: Nathan Rockledge.... (insert cheers and applause)
Hey - thanks Millie! That's really nice of you! Hi everyone – My name is Nathan Rockledge. I’m eleven years old and in fifth grade. Being in fifth grade is really cool. See my school is split up into different areas. The kindergarteners are kind of off on their own, I guess so that they can get used to being in school and all. Then the first through fourth graders have their own section of the school. When I was in first grade, I thought this was totally cool because we got to hang out with the big kids. I even liked hanging out with my older sister Abby back then. That was before she got all weird and stuff. Anyway, once I got into fourth grade everything changed. Now I was one of the big kids, but I didn’t want to be hanging out with first graders anymore! Plus, because we were with the little kids, we had to do dumb stuff like play kickball at recess. Yuk!
But this year, I’m in fifth grade, and so far it totally rocks. We no longer have to hang out with the younger kids. We get our own recess time, a school dance, and an overnight class trip. I know!!! I even have my best friend, Tommy, in my class again this year, which makes fifth grade even better.
There are some downsides though. Well for starters, I also have that annoying, know-it-all Lisa Crane in my class again. I swear that girl is out to get me. I’m not even kidding! Did you hear about the black eye she gave me last summer? I’m pretty sure she tried to kill me - It’s true! We also have a lot more schoolwork, which kind of stinks, but I guess that’s part of moving up. At least that’s what my mom says.
Anyway – even with the extra schoolwork and Lisa Crane, fifth grade is turning out to be pretty cool. I’m pretty sure this year is going to rock!
Well, I'm in 6th grade, Nathan, and I agree - 5th grade does rock, so have fun & thanks for coming on my blog!!!
Oh & hey - here's a giveaway you all can enter to win some cool Nate Rocks stuff:
Until next time - - Millie
Hey everyone ... I've missed you! School has been kicking my butt - sorry I haven't been around much. This 6th grade stuff can be really hard!. I promise I'm going to try to do better.
Anyway, it's not like that Toz lady has been around a lot either. She's all "Nate this" and "Nate that." I guess he's got a new book now or something. Whatever. Like this morning she said - "Hey Millie - would you mind posting about the party?" And I said "A party? Cool! I love parties - count me in! When is it?" And she said like "Oh - I'm sorry, Millie - it's for Nate. To celebrate his book release." CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? Then I find out I can't even go, 'cause it's during the day when I'm at school. Nice right? But you know me... I'm good ole Millie, so yeah - here's you invitation & stuff:
It's cool - I won't be mad if you go or anything...
Until next time - - Millie
Hey guys - it's me, Millie! Oh, you probably already know that since this is my blog and all. Anyway, I'm super excited today, because I'm posting my first ever book review on-line, and it's even cooler because it doubles as the book report that I had for homework. Score!
The book I read is called "The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow," by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson. Wowsa did I love this book! Okay, first of all - it had a girl main character and she is super cool. We actually have a lot in common. She has a cool best friend, a younger sibling, and has to deal with bullies at school. I think Fairday and I would be really good friends if we ever met. Oh yeah - back to the book review...
Well see, Fairday moves to a new house, and it's kind of spooky. It's really old, and when she goes upstairs, she hears music coming from behind a locked door! It's okay though because Fairday is part of the DMS - that stands for Detective Mystery Squad - and she is not afraid one bit. In fact, she wants to discover all the secrets of the house, so she calls on her best friend, Lizzy (also a DMS member) to come help. Along the way, she becomes friends with a boy in her class named Marcus who also gets to join the DMS. Then they meet an old newspaper reporter who gives them clues about a mysterious disappearance that happened years ago in the house. There's also a mirror that you can walk through and a tree that comes to life (but not in a good way). Sounds cool right?
Anyway, my teacher says a good book report is supposed to give a summary without giving away too much of the plot, so I'm no going to tell you anymore. Except I do want to tell you that this is now one of my favorite books - and I'm not just saying that because I want to join the DMS (but I kinda do!)
Oh yeah - I also want to tell you how lucky I was to get a copy of this book, 'cause it's not even published yet. The authors sent a copy to that Toz lady, and she let me read it. Pretty awesome, right? I just know this book will be published real soon - so keep an eye out fot it!
Oops - I almost forgot the coolest thing that Fairday & I have in common - - we both BLOG!! Here's hers: thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com Go visit & tell her I sent you!
I hoped you liked my first ever book report!
Until next time - - Millie
Hi - I'm Millie. Well, Millicent Marie really, but you can call me Millie. I'm twelve years old. This is my blog. I hope you like it. Tell all your friends, but don't gossip, because gossiping is wrong. So is bullying. I know this for a fact. If you want to know how I know, read my book. Thanks for stopping by!