Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stardust Summer by Lauren Clark - Top Ten Excerpt and Giveaway!

On Tour with ABG Reads Book Tours

This Top Tens List on Vacationing for a Few Dollars so so timely!!!  What a great time to plan some fun vacations... and there are so many great options that don't have to cost a bunch! Please welcome Lauren Clark and her new book!!

Title: Stardust Summer
Author: Lauren Clark
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Number of Pages: 280

Single mom Grace Mason doesn’t believe in miracles, magic, or love at first sight. She likes the quiet life, complete with her eight-year-old son, their tiny house, and her teaching job. For Grace, happiness means that nothing much ever changes in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Then, one thousand miles away, tragedy strikes. A massive heart attack leaves Grace’s estranged father comatose in an Upstate New York hospital. While a team of doctors fight to keep Henry Mason alive, Grace and Evan rush to his bedside to say their final goodbyes.

Henry’s passing brings little closure for Grace, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to her new surroundings. What begins as a short trip results in an entire summer spent with Henry’s second wife, Kathleen, and her next-door neighbor, Ryan Gordon, the town doctor. When a series of unlikely events lead to Evan’s disappearance, Grace must face her worst fears to find her son and bring him back home.

Stardust Summer explores the complexities of forgiveness, what it means to be a family, and the fabulous possibility of falling in love—again

Buy Links:
Stardust Summer for Kindle
Stardust Summer for Nook  

Vacation Fun for A Few Dollars

My latest novel, Stardust Summer, takes place in Upstate New York on the shores of Keuka Lake. The area is a fabulous vacation spot, and features a plethora of Inexpensive activities for families and couples alike.

When I was a child visiting Keuka Lake every summer, my parents sent us outside to play all day—with a few water toys and our imaginations. As a result, I have great memories of swimming, skiing, and skipping rocks along the water, then watching the stars and talking during evenings around the campfire.

So, if your family is planning a getaway, but your budget doesn't stretch very far, consider heading outdoors for some quality time together. I’ve put together a list of my boys' favorite activities to help get you started.

1. Plan a picnic. Grab your picnic basket and head to the nearest park for an outdoor lunch. Plan ahead with fresh fruit, homemade cookies, and easy sandwich wraps for a easy family outing. Don't forget to pack the Frisbee and a kick ball.

2. Go to the Library. Pick out five "new to you" books and spend a lazy afternoon reading outside. Consider checking out a book about the history of the region your visiting. Take turns reading chapters aloud and talk about the books over dinner.

3. Have a water balloon fight. Your family will enjoy cooling off together. Many toy companies have created small, inexpensive devices that allow you to easily fill and tie water balloons.

4. Play in the rain. Put on your favorite rain boots and go puddle jumping together. If it's really warm outside (and not thundering!), fill up a kiddie pool and get splashing while the drops come down!

5. Go Camping. Even if you set up camp in your own backyard, it will be an adventure your kids will remember. Don’t forget the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Have the entire family search for dry twigs for kindling and long roasting sticks for the s'mores!

6. Bird watch. Check out books from the library on local birdlife. Grab some binoculars and spend some family time learning about our feathered friends. Be sure and smell the flowers along the way. Pick a bouquet to take home.

7. Host an outdoor movie night. Set up a projector screen in your backyard for a family friendly movie night under the stars. Invite the neighbors or just cuddle up under blankets with some homemade popcorn and lemonade.

8. Fly a kite. Make and decorate your own kite out of common household items like fabric, paper, plastic, and ribbon. There are many tutorials online with instructions; here's just one: Homemade Simple.

9. Start a family rock collection. Collect a few pebbles and keep them in a vase as a reminder of your family time together. Pick up some tempera paint from a craft or dollar store and have your children decorate the rocks. Use them as paperweights or make a display in your home.

10. Visit a national or state park. You'll find the listings online. Google "Parks" or "Recreation" along with your state's name. (i.e.:  New York's website is Some parks are completely free and many offer free days.

Which are your favorite outside activities from childhood or things you do now with your own family? Please share your favorite free or inexpensive outdoor adventures!

Where to find Lauren:

Tour-Wide Giveaway - see Rafflecopter for details. All my rules under the About tab apply, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops:

February 20 Chick Lit Goddess Guest Post
February 22  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer  Author Interview
February 23 Hanging With Bells  top ten list
February 24 Reflections Of A Bookworm Review
February 25  Book Reviews by Dee Guest Post
February 26 The Book Bag Review
February 27 A Buckeye Girl Reads Top Ten List
February 28  Chick Lit Cafe Author Interview
March 1 Happiness, Passion, Love & Faith Top Ten List
March 2  Books, Etc. Review
March 4 My Devotional Thoughts Author Interview
March 5 Amys Booket List Guest Post
March 6 Chick Lit Plus Excerpt 
March 7 Colorimetry  Excerpt Or Top Ten List
March 8 Christine Raines Guest post
              Tracie Banister Character Interview
March 9 Kaisy Daisys Corner  Review Guest Post
March 10 Reflections of A Book Addict Guest Post
March 13 A Bookish Affair  Review
March 14  Reading Reality Review/Guest Post
March 16 Jersey Girl Book Reviews Guest Post/Review/Excerpt
March 18  The Romance Bookie Review
March 19 Chick Lit Reviews & News Author Interview