Happy Leap Day! Plus, a shout-out for Nanny X Returns, for MMGM

It’s that magical day that we all get to time travel forward an extra day!  None of this mundane aging stuff for us today.  Thanks to a bit of creative calendaring,  on February 29th we leap through the day, glide through time, and zing through space on a giant floating ball that suddenly feels younger.

Or, so my imagination paints it. 😀  Our family celebrates each Leap Day with a time capsule that we’ve kept tucked out of sight for the last four years.  This year, we’ll be adding to it again–but we won’t be looking at the treasures which have been hidden since 2012.  Since our son–in S. Korea–isn’t here to look with us, we’ll wait to peek until the next leap day.  Four. More. Years. Away.

I support that decision.  It’s what I want, in fact!  But, I was never a great kid for staying out of my Christmas presents, so I think I’ll have to ask my hubby to hide this one from me.  It’s killing me not to peek!  I can’t remember what we added last time! lol

This year, we’ve added treasures that feel more representative of this moment in our lives, and are perhaps less concrete.  My daughter is still deciding on her selections, but here in this pic are the things we know are getting buried deep within the confines of our dark, dusty under-the-bed or back-of-the-closet chamber, until they’re drawn from the deep in four years hence.

Time Capsule 2016

The ninja you see there is for a ‘book ninja’ text analyzer web site that my husband is working on–very cool–but do you see what’s just behind that?  Yes, indeedy, that is my very first book contract!  I signed it this week, and it’s for a romantic suspense novel written under my adult fiction name, Lily Black (note the one L in the middle, not two!).  Not a middle grade, but something I’m immensely proud of, all the same.  And, why yes, you are welcome to click through on that name and Like my facebook page!  I won’t be mentioning Lily’s work over here, since the thought of romantic suspense–however clean–showing up on a MG site makes me squeamish, so this is your probably-one-and-only chance to know the secret handshake and get to know my alternate self and secret identity. 😉

Speaking of middle grades, I’d like to give a quick shout out to Nanny X Returns!  I recieved my copy from the lovely Rosi, over on The Write Stuff, and thoroughly enjoyed it!  As you can see from the cover, it’s aimed at the younger crowd, and a fun romp.

Nanny X Returns

I really enjoyed both the main jist of the story and the amusing asides–like a squirrel that likes lentils a la art–and also really enjoyed the small twist at the ending, and the way they…sped to the finish to address that twist.  You’ll know it when you get there!  I also had to laugh each time Nanny X, who you should know is a secret agent hidden in plain sight, as a nanny, used things like teething rings as hand cuffs.  Very cute.

However, I had trouble with the switching povs–despite the fact that multiple povs don’t usually bother me.  The two kids, Jake and Alison, take turns telling the story from their pov in each chapter, but it was easy to mix up which kid you were with.  It might have helped if the names at the beginning of each chapter had been printed closer to the text and therefore easier to catch.  It’s also possible I only had trouble because I read it in spurts, picking it up and setting it down frequently.  But, I do think that the two character’s voices were mostly interchangeable, once you got past Alison being the one who didn’t like worms, and distinguishers like that.

Still, it was a super cute, fun little story that I’ll bet would pull in both boys and girls!  I won’t hesitate to recommend it to the younger readers in my life.  This sequel would make an absolutely perfect read for any kid heading off for a class trip or family vacation in DC, since it’s set there and did a marvelous job of showing off the various museums and monuments.  In fact, it made me homesick…until I remembered the traffic, and got over it. 😉

I realized too late that I should have read something featuring Leap Day!  Know any good books that focus on this special day?  My TBR pile is pretty high, so why not start planning for the blog I’ll do four years from now?

Thank you for joining me for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!  For more MMGM spotlights, reviews, interviews and giveaways, stop by Shannon Messenger’s blog, and happy reading!


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