Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Matterhorn the Brave" Book Review and Giveaways!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Sword and the Flute (Matterhorn the Brave Series #1)

Amg Publishers (January 22, 2007)

Yes! Here we have a series of books designed for young readers (and old too!) that will keep them on the edge of their seats without scaring their pants off! The Matterhorn the Brave Series is full of mystery and danger but is family friendly and great for reading aloud like I did for my kids. We loved the characters - Matthew Horn (aka Matterhorn), Aaron the Baron, Queen Bea... come on, isn't that too cool :-) And in addition to being totally unique and inspired (Four young people are recruited to keep an eye on the portals of earth that connect all space and time), Mike Hamel is gifted in the art form of leaving the reader gasping for more! The chapters are just the right length to give lots of info and adventure, but not too long that my kids would start losing their focus and then all of a sudden - BAM! He drops the perfect cliffhanger to the chapter and you just have to read on to the next chapter - sheer genius! My kids were always saying... "Just one more chapter!?!"

We still have to get the rest of the series, but with such a great start, my kids are begging for more Matterhorn adventures! Check out the great deal that Mike is offering too...
While we are at it... would you like to check out Matterhorn for your own family, or know a family that might like it? Then leave a comment telling me your favorite family read aloud series and I will enter you to win a copy! Mike has kindly offered to give away 3-5 copies! I know! Isn't that awesome! Here's the thing - I want to really get the word out about this series, so you can earn some extra entries....

1) Leave your answer to the above stated question (1 entry)
2) Blog about this contest and book and link back to this post (2 entries)
3) Facebook or Twitter about this contest and book (2 entries)
4) Refer anyone back here and when they mention you in their entry, you get entered again (3 entries)

Leave a separate comment for each of the items you do (I'll take care of #4 for you, if someone mentions you, I'll add 3 entries automatically!) and July 31st I'll pull some lucky winners! For every 10 entries I'll add another book until we pass 50 entries and then all 5 books will go to lucky winners! Come on everyone, let's get the word out about Mike's great series and be sure to read the first chapter (below) and get pulled in to the world of Matterhorn!


From Mike's Blog's About Me:

I am a professional writer with over a dozen books to my credit, including a trilogy of titles dealing with faith and business: The Entrepreneur’s Creed, Executive Influence and Giving Back.

My most enjoyable project to date has been an eight-volume juvenile fiction series called Matterhorn the Brave. It’s based on variegated yarns I used to spin for my four children. They are now grown and my two grandchildren will soon be old enough for stories of their own.

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado with my bride of 35 years, Susan.

In July of 2008 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer—Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of the Diffuse Large B-Cell kind. I started this blog to chronicle my journey toward the valley of the shadow of death. I wanted to de-mystify the disease by sharing what I was learning and experiencing.

After several rounds of chemo I was tumor free for the first few months of 2009, but the cancer has returned so the adventure continues.

As you read this blog, remember that I’m a professional. Don’t try this level of introspective writing at home. You might suffer a dangling participle or accidentally split an infinitive and the grammarians will be all over you like shoe salesmen on a centipede.

Mike's Blog, OPEN Mike, is an online diary about Wrestling with Lymphoma Cancer.

To order a signed edition of any of the 6 Matterhorn the Brave books, please email the author at emtcom@comcast.net.

His website: Matterhorn the Brave Website is temporarily down.



Personalized Autographs

Matterhorn Readers – In addition to lowering the price on the six books in print, I am making the last two volumes available as e-books for the same low price of $7.

AMG is not going to publish books 7 and 8 but I will no longer keep my readers in suspense while I look for a new publisher.

E-books of volumes 7 and 8 are now available at www.MatterhornTheBrave.com.

#7 – Tunguska Event

Matterhorn and his friends travel to Siberia to try and prevent the largest natural disaster in history: The Tunguska Event! But despite help from a legion of fairy folk, they fail to stop the blast, which hurtles Matterhorn and Nate into the distant past.

The Baron, Jewel, Sara, Kyl, and Elok search through the centuries for their missing friends, taking incredible risks that will leave two of them dead! Queen Bea and Rylan return to First Realm to persuade the Curia to send the elite Praetorian Guard to Earth.

The inevitable showdown comes inside the sealed tomb of the Chinese Emperor Zheng. The future of the human race will be determined by what happens inside this eight wonder of the ancient world.

#8 – The Book of Stories

The thrilling conclusion of the struggle to control Earth’s destiny between the heretics from First Realm and the human Travelers: Matterhorn, the Baron, Nate the Great, and Princess Jewel.

The year is 1983. The setting is Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois; location of the most powerful machine in the world, the Tevatron particle accelerator. The heretics plan to use the Tevatron to make Carik the unchallenged ruler of the planet! Learning of this plot, Matterhorn and his friends must save themselves before they can save the world.

The Book of Stories is full of surprises, including the most important revelation of all—the identity of the Tenth Talis!

Order copies of all eight books by emailing the author at emtcom@comcast.net as his website, www.MatterhornTheBrave.com, is temporarily down.

And spread the word!

~Mike Hamel

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 181 pages
Publisher: Amg Publishers (January 22, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0899578330
ISBN-13: 978-0899578330


Emerald Isle

Aaron the Baron hit the ground like a paratrooper, bending his knees, keeping his balance.

Matterhorn landed like a 210-pound sack of dirt.

His stomach arrived a few seconds later.

He straightened his six-foot-four frame into a sitting position. In the noonday sun he saw they were near the edge of a sloping meadow. The velvet grass was dotted with purple and yellow flowers. Azaleas bloomed in rainbows around the green expanse. The black-faced sheep mowing the far end of the field paid no attention to the new arrivals.

“Are you okay?” the Baron asked. He looked as if he’d just stepped out of a Marines’ recruiting poster. “We’ll have to work on your landing technique.”

“How about warning me when we’re going somewhere,” Matterhorn grumbled.

The Baron helped him up and checked his pack to make sure nothing was damaged. He scanned the landscape in all directions from beneath the brim of his red corduroy baseball cap. “It makes no difference which way we go,” he said at last. “The horses will find us.”

“What horses?”

“The horses that will take us to the one we came to see,” the Baron answered.

“Are you always this vague or do you just not know what you’re doing?”

“I don’t know much, but I suspect this is somebody’s field. We don’t want to be caught trespassing. Let’s go.”

They left the meadow, walking single file through the tall azaleas up a narrow valley. Thorny bushes with loud yellow blossoms crowded the trail next to a clear brook. Pushing one of the prickly plants away, Matterhorn asked, “Do you know what these are?”

“Gorse, of course,” the Baron said without turning.

“Never heard of it.”

“Then I guess you haven’t been to Ireland before.”

“Ireland,” Matterhorn repeated. “My great-grandfather came from Ireland.”

“Your great-grandfather won’t be born for centuries yet.”

Matterhorn stepped over a tangle of exposed roots and said, “What do you mean?”

“I mean we’re in medieval Ireland, not modern Ireland.”

“How can that be!” Matterhorn cried, stopping in his tracks. “How can I be alive before my great-grandfather?”

The Baron shrugged. “That’s one of the paradoxes of time travel. No one’s been able to figure them all out. You’re welcome to try, but while you’re at it, keep a lookout for the horses.”

Matterhorn soon gave up on paradoxes and became absorbed in the paradise around him. The colors were so alive they hurt his eyes. He wished for a pair of sunglasses. Above the garish gorse he saw broom bushes and pine trees growing to the ridge where spectacular golden oaks crowned the slopes. Birdsongs whistled from their massive branches into the warm air. Small animals whispered in the underbrush while larger game watched the strangers from a distance.

The country flattened out and, at times, they glimpsed stone houses over the tops of hedgerows. They steered clear of these and any other signs of civilization. In a few hours, they reached the spring that fed the brook they had been following. They stopped to rest and wash up.

That’s where the horses found them.

There were five strikingly handsome animals. The leader of the pack was from ancient and noble stock. He stood a proud seventeen hands high—five-foot-eight-inches—at the shoulders. He had a classic Roman face with a white star on his wide forehead that matched the white socks on his forelegs. His straight back, sturdy body, and broad hindquarters suggested both power and speed. A rich coppery mane and tail complemented his sleek, chestnut coat.

The Baron held out an apple to the magnificent animal, but the horse showed no interest in the fruit or the man. Neither did the second horse. The third, a dappled stallion, took the apple and let the Baron pet his nose.

“These horses are free,” the Baron said as he stroked the stallion’s neck. “They choose their riders, which is as it should be. Grab an apple and find your mount.”

While Matterhorn searched for some fruit, the leader sauntered over and tried to stick his big nose into Matterhorn’s pack. When Matterhorn produced an apple, the horse pushed it aside and kept sniffing.

Did he want carrots, Matterhorn wondered? How about the peanut butter sandwich? Not until he produced a pocket-size Snickers bar did the horse whinny and nod his approval.

The Baron chuckled as Matterhorn peeled the bar and watched it disappear in a loud slurp. “That one’s got a sweet tooth,” he said.

The three other horses wandered off while the Baron and Matterhorn figured out how to secure their packs to the two that remained. “I take it we’re riding without saddles or bridles,” Matterhorn said. This made him nervous, as he had been on horseback only once before.

“Bridles aren’t necessary,” Aaron the Baron explained. “Just hold on to his mane and stay centered.” He boosted Matterhorn onto his mount. “The horses have been sent for us. They’ll make sure we get where we need to go.”

As they set off, Matterhorn grabbed two handfuls of long mane from the crest of the horse’s neck. He relaxed when he realized the horse was carrying him as carefully as if a carton of eggs was balanced on his back. Sitting upright, he patted the animal’s neck. “Hey, Baron; check out this birthmark.” He rubbed a dark knot of tufted hair on the chestnut’s right shoulder. “It looks like a piece of broccoli. I’m going to call him Broc.”

“Call him what you want,” the Baron said, “but you can’t name him. The Maker gives the animals their names. A name is like a label; it tells you what’s on the inside. Only the Maker knows that.”

Much later, and miles farther into the gentle hills, they made camp in a lea near a tangle of beech trees. “You get some wood,” Aaron the Baron said, “while I make a fire pit.” He loosened a piece of hollow tubing from the side of his pack and gave it a sharp twirl. Two flanges unrolled outward and clicked into place to form the blade of a short spade. Next, he pulled off the top section and stuck it back on at a ninety-degree angle to make a handle.

Matterhorn whistled. “Cool!”

“Cool is what we’ll be if you don’t get going.”

Matterhorn hurried into the forest. He was thankful to be alone for the first time since becoming an adult, something that happened in an instant earlier that day. Seizing a branch, he did a dozen chin-ups; then dropped and did fifty push-ups and a hundred sit-ups.

Afterward he rested against a tree trunk and encircled his right thigh with both hands. His fingertips didn’t touch. Reaching farther down, he squeezed a rock-hard calf muscle.

All this bulk was new to him, yet it didn’t feel strange. This was his body, grown up and fully developed. Flesh of his flesh; bone of his bone. Even hair of his hair, he thought, as he combed his fingers through the thick red ponytail.

He took the Sword hilt from his hip. The diamond blade extended and caught the late afternoon sun in a dazzling flash. This mysterious weapon was the reason he was looking for firewood in an Irish forest instead of sitting in the library at David R. Sanford Middle School.


Lora Lease said...

This is an unfair question! LOL We read aloud as a family a LOT, and have tons of series we've enjoyed. Some of our favorites are: "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe", "Little House on the Prairie", "Anne of Green Gables", and the "Terrestria Chronicles".

I just did the FaceBook thing. :)

Please enter me in the contest. :)

Pam said...

I would love to have this series to read aloud in our family. At the moment, my kids are too young for these books but they could definitely be added to the list! I remember reading The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, The Wind and the Willows as kids (I have all of the above for when my kids are old enough). I also think the Harry Potter Series and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy will be great read-alouds.

melacan at hotmail dot com

M. C. Pearson said...

Isn't Mike awesome? I love his stories too. Don't sign me up, as I have all of the books already. I just wanted to leave a comment saying thanks for posting about these great books.

bigguysmama said...

I would love all the books. Sent book 1 to my nephew for his bday last year!! Please enter me.

Mimi B
mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

bigguysmama said...

I put a link to your giveaway at the end of my review of this book for FIRST. You can check it out at my blog wovenbywords dot blogspot dot com.

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

bigguysmama said...

just twittered about your giveaway. i believe you can find me under bigguysmama or Mimi B. not even sure how to find me on Twitter. Sorry.

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

bigguysmama said...

Headed to Facebook and put your giveaway in my status with a link. I just love giveaways!

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

PS I'm Mimi B from MN at FB

Anonymous said...

Love The Narnia series for Read-alouds!
rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Anonymous said...

I tweeted about it!
rebornbutterfly (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Jolene said...

We have read lots of series-little house, narnia, and The Magic Bicycle series

Cathy Bryant said...

Hi Janna,

Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog! I've nominated you for a blog award at WordVessel (http://wordvessel.blogspot.com).

Many blessings,

Carol said...

My daughter just told me that she is reading the Little House on the Prairie series books to my granddaughters. I know they would love this series, too.

Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis

We all love to read 2 books The 1st Where the wild things are
2nd I'll love you for forever
Thanks for this wonderful giveaway!!!!

MoziEsmé said...

Christmas in My Heart series compiled by Joe Wheeler...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Abi said...

Laura's Little house books is always a favorite here.
I'd love to win this contest. Thanks.
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

abi said...

I posted about your giveaway at my blog and put it in my side bar

Edna said...

just put you on my blog and would love to win the books.


Anonymous said...

blair lewis

our family loves to read Dear dumb Diary the girls just get a kick out of it. thanks for the chance to win this amazing book collection WOW!!

Val8200 said...

Valerie Weyand
We love to read the Boxcar Children series but would LOVE to check this out!

Janna said...

And the winners are...