Monday, November 30, 2015

Blog Tour for Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein (YA)

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 30 November till 13 December, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
So far this series contains 3 books: Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1), Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2) and Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3).

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar ConspiracyAmanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1)
by Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/ detective
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: May, 2015

A reluctant detective, a criminal mastermind, and . . . sugar?

Amanda Lester wouldn’t be caught dead going into the family business. Her ancestor, Sherlock Holmes’s colleague Inspector G. Lestrade, is a twit. Nevertheless her parents refuse to see his flaws, and she’s going to a secret English school for the descendants of famous detectives whether she likes it or not.  

When Amanda arrives at the dreaded school, she considers running away—until she and her new friends discover blood and weird pink substances in odd places. At first they’re not sure whether these seeming clues mean anything, but when Amanda’s father disappears and the cook is found dead with her head in a bag of sugar, they’re certain that crimes are taking place.

Now Amanda must embrace her destiny and uncover the truth. The only snag is that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty, a descendant of Holmes’s nemesis Professor James Moriarty, might be involved, and he doesn’t like nosy little girls interfering in his business.

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy American English vs British English excerpt:
When they’d gone, Amanda said, “Let’s go to the kitchen and see if we can sneak something delicious. I’m having sugar withdrawal.”
“Me too,” said Amphora. “You’re on.”
You weren’t supposed to go into the kitchen without a good reason. It was a school rule and the cook was very strict about it. But both girls were craving sugar so badly that they didn’t care, so they snuck off to see if there were any easy pickings.
They didn’t have much time. They’d have to be in class in a few minutes. As they approached they saw the cook in the hall talking to her assistant, a petite, dark-haired woman who obviously wasn’t happy about something. Good. The cook wasn’t paying attention to the other people around her. This would be easy. They opened the door quietly and tiptoed in.
The woman certainly was fastidious. The huge kitchen gleamed like the Taj Mahal on a sunny day. Gigantic iron pots were sitting on the stove, steaming, boiling, and sizzling away, and fresh, colorful vegetables that bore faint resemblance to the peas at lunch were laid out on the massive wooden cutting board in the center of the room. At the far end was a refrigerator the size of a semi-trailer.
“There,” said Amphora, pointing. “Let’s try the fridge.”
“You got it,” said Amanda, tippy-toeing toward the behemoth. “Hey, wait a minute. There’s the pantry. Maybe there are some cookies in there.”
“Cookies?” said Amphora. “Oh, biscuits. Right.”
“Biscuits?” I don’t want a biscuit. I want something sweet,” said Amanda.
“Biscuits are sweet,” hissed Amphora.
“No they’re not,” said Amanda. “I want cookies.”
Continuing to argue, the two girls entered the gigantic pantry, which was lined with shelves and cubbies of assorted shapes and sizes. It felt very homey, and Amanda thought that if she were stuck there for a week she wouldn’t mind at all.
“There!” they both said at once, running toward a shelf full of cookies of every variety—chocolate, vanilla, coconut, raisin, jam-in-the-center, marshmallow, sprinkle-topped—smashing into each other in the process.
“I thought you said you wanted biscuits,” said Amanda.
“These are biscuits,” said Amphora, grabbing a box.
“No, they’re cookies,” said Amanda, attempting to wrest it away from her.
“Uh uh,” said Amphora, grabbing back. “Biscuits.”
“Wait a minute,” said Amanda, letting her have the box. “You think these are biscuits?”
“They are biscuits.”
“Oooooh, I get it. That’s what you guys call cookies. To us, biscuits are dinner rolls. Or breakfast rolls.”
“Really? How peculiar.” Amanda wasn’t sure if Amphora meant interesting peculiar or get-it-away-from-me peculiar.
“Okay, what do you call that?” said Amanda pointing at some boxes of spaghetti. She was sure English people had some exotic name for the pasta but she couldn’t imagine what.
“Spaghetti. What do you call it?”
“Spaghetti. How about that?” She pointed to another box that said “Tea” on it.
“Tea. And that?” A brightly colored can.
“Mushy peas.”
“Mushy peas? Eeeeeeew.” Amanda looked at the picture on the can. It was a huge green splat that looked like the creature from the black lagoon.
“Why, what do you call them?”
“I don’t,” said Amanda, sticking her finger down her throat. How could anyone eat something with the word “mushy” in the name?
“They’re really quite good,” said Amphora, admiring the can. “You should try them sometime.”
“Ugh,” said Amanda. “They look like you-know-what.”
The girls burst into laughter.
“Say, look at that,” said Amanda, bending down to examine some pink powder on the floor.
“Hm, that’s weird,” said Amphora, peering down at the stuff.
“It’s pink. It’s nice.”
“Don’t touch it!” yelled Amphora, grabbing at Amanda’s arm. “It’s probably rat poison!”
“Rat poison in a pantry? I don’t think so.” Amanda shook off Amphora’s hand and reached closer.
“No, really. Don’t touch it. Come on, let’s go. We’re going to get into trouble.”
“Oh, all right,” said Amanda. “But I’m coming back later. I want to see what that is. It’s really pretty.” It was. It looked like cotton candy that had dried and shattered into tiny bits of confetti.
“Okay,” said Amphora. “You go back later. Got the biscuits?”
“They’re in my bag,” said Amanda, gripping the place where she’d stuck the cookies. “Let’s roll. Er, biscuit. No, roll.”

You can find Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy on Goodreads

You can buy Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy here:
- Amazon  

Later books in the series:
Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal CrisisAmanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2)
By Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/ detective
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: September 15, 2015

If only Sherlock Holmes's great-great-grandson weren't such a dork . . .

There’s a new student at the Legatum Continuatum School for the Descendants of Famous Detectives and Amanda is supposed to work with him. Scapulus Holmes is a descendant of the great Sherlock and he’s crazy about her. Unfortunately she thinks he’s a dork and would rather die than have anything to do with him.

But when the kids discover a dead body encrusted with strange living crystals, Amanda realizes she needs Holmes’s help. If the crystals fall into the wrong hands they could be used for nefarious purposes, and only he knows how to protect them.

Can the detectives keep the bad guys from learning the crystals' secrets? It would help if they could figure out who the dead body is too. Only if Amanda and Holmes can find a way to work together can they prevent a disaster, and it isn’t looking good

Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis silly plates excerpt:
When she arrived at the dining room she could see that everything looked different from the way it had earlier. The tables, which were arranged lengthwise at 8:00 a.m., had been pushed together to form geometric shapes. The sideboards with beverages and condiments now stood smack in the middle of the room and sported bright-colored cloths decorated with abstract designs. The normal silverware had been replaced with clunky implements that were so heavy and awkwardly designed that it was hard to eat with them. And each plate featured a great big hole in the middle. How you were supposed to eat off those was anyone’s guess. It seemed that the d├ęcor gremlins had lost their minds along with everyone else. Or was this supposed to be a test? Maybe the students were supposed to rig up something before they put food on the plates so it wouldn’t drip through. You never knew around here.
Whatever the intent, Simon had solved the problem by placing a glass over the hole in his plate, which seemed to do the trick. The other kids did likewise, except for Holmes, whom Amanda caught sticking a dessert plate under his. Typical. He had to do everything better than everyone else.
After placing a small portion of spinach lasagna around her glass, Amanda said to Ivy, Simon, and Amphora, “Something big is happening.”
“Something big is always happening around here,” said Simon. “That’s what it means to be a detective.” The sauce from his lasagna was starting to separate from the solid parts and roll toward the glass. Amanda wondered if it would make it through the hole.
“No, I mean something big and very bad,” said Amanda.
“Ah, this must have something to do with Nick, then,” said Simon, whereupon Amphora glared at him so hard that he stuck his tongue out.
“Actually, I don’t know,” said Amanda. “Maybe it does.” She didn’t like the idea that Nick had wreaked even more havoc than they knew about, but she couldn’t discount the possibility.
“Well, what is it?” said Amphora. She hadn’t quite managed to get her glass in the right place, and her food was definitely seeking the hole in the plate.
“Something really important to the school is missing and the teachers are going nuts. Thrillkill has completely lost it. When I showed up at his office this morning, he’d completely forgotten that he asked me to be there. He was like all, ‘Oh, hello, Miss Lester. Fancy meeting you here.’”
“Did he have his hair dryer?” Simon said. He was referring to the hair dryer the headmaster always carried in order to melt icicles. He had a morbid fear of them and destroyed them when they crossed his path. This late in the year (mid-April) there weren’t any, so Simon’s question was obviously designed to provoke rather than elucidate. Was something wrong with him too? Come to think of it, he was being more obnoxious than usual.
“Simon, cut it out,” said Amanda. “This is serious.”
“Sorry,” said Simon, looking down at his plate. The food had pooled around the sides of the glass, which were red with marinara sauce. It was getting to be a huge mess.
“Whatever it is, the teachers are fighting because of it.” Amanda’s food was pooling too. Simon was usually so good with engineering problems. Apparently his solution to this one needed some tweaking, however.
“Which teachers?” said Amphora, looking toward the kitchen.
“Scribbish, Hoxby, Peaksribbon, Mukherjee, I think Pargeter, and some others whose voices I didn’t recognize.”
“Were they yelling?” said Simon.
“Pretty much, yes,” said Amanda, trying to eat faster than the sauce could run. She wasn’t winning the battle.
“She’s right,” said Ivy. “I’ve been hearing things too.” Her plate was nice and neat. How did she do it?
“Oh?” said Amphora. “What things?” She looked at the kitchen again.
“Something important is missing and the teachers are blaming each other,” said Ivy. “I don’t know what it is or why it matters, but every time I hear them discussing it they act as if it’s a disaster.”
“Yes, that’s what I’ve gathered too,” said Amanda.
“Does this have anything to do with that phone call we heard Professor Feeney make last term?” said Simon, who now had a marinara mustache.
“What phone call?” said Ivy, who didn’t.
“When Amanda and I were analyzing the sugar virus in the lab, we overheard Professor Feeney out in the hall talking to someone about something that was missing,” said Simon. “She seemed upset.”
“That was quite a while ago,” said Ivy. “I didn’t hear anything last term. I got the impression this was all new.”
“It doesn’t seem so,” said Amanda. “What I can’t figure out is why things have exploded now, though.”
“We have to investigate,” said Simon, who was definitely looking clownish. All he needed was a red nose. “You don’t suppose this is another class project, do you?”
“Agreed, and no,” said Ivy. “The teachers can be diabolical but this feels like a real crisis. And I’ve never heard of a second class project for first-years. Fern would have told me.” Fern was Ivy’s sister, and a fifth-year student. She knew everything about the school and Ivy often relied on her for critical information. “But when we do investigate, we can’t let anyone know what we’re doing. We don’t want the teachers to know that we’re aware of whatever it is that’s going on, and we don’t want to alarm the other students.”
“We’re going to have to search the school,” said Simon. Amanda did not want to see what was under his plate. For that matter, she was afraid to lift her own. She hoped the teachers weren’t expecting them to clean the dining room after this little adventure.
“But we don’t know what we’re looking for,” said Amphora. She looked down at her plate. “Don’t you think this lasagna is amazing?” Everyone stopped eating and stared at her.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis on Goodreads  

You can buy Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis here:
- Amazon  

Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow PuzzleAmanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3)
By Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/detective
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: November 15, 2015

Purple rainbows, a mysterious crypt, and pots of gold . . .

Things are not going well for Amanda and the secret detective school. A priceless artifact has disappeared, a dangerous hacker is manipulating matter, and zombies are being seen all over the Lake District.

Then the real trouble starts. When her cousins go missing and her friend Clive is kidnapped, Amanda is forced to turn to someone she’d rather not deal with: her old boyfriend Scapulus Holmes. But then he vanishes too. Now’s she’s sure that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty is involved . . . or is he?

Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle newsagent excerpt:
When they arrived at Penrith they decided to reconnoiter for a few minutes, then start asking people if they’d seen anything strange. They were hoping they’d find zombies right away, which would mean they wouldn’t have to draw attention to themselves. However after ten or fifteen minutes they’d seen nothing but the usual small town activity so they split up, with Simon and Ivy taking one shop and Fern and Amanda another.
“Uh, hello,” said Amanda to the clerk at the newsagent’s.
“Hullo,” said the spotty young man. He reminded Amanda of the guy who worked at the ice cream store back home in Calabasas—the one who wouldn’t let her start a tab when she was hungry and had no money with her.
She hesitated. She didn’t want to just come out with, “Seen any zombies lately?” What should she say?
“We’re ghost hunters,” said Fern before she could decide. Amanda was shocked. Fern had done almost exactly what she thought was a bad idea.
“Do tell,” said the kid. “Aren’t yew a little young for that?” He spoke in a faint Scottish brogue. Amanda thought he was easier to understand than Professor McTavish, and way clearer than Mr. Onion.
“We’re prodigies,” said Fern, causing the kid to eye her suspiciously. “We’ve heard that there are a lot of haunted places around here.”
“We don’t want no prodigies around here,” he said.
“We’re licensed,” said Fern, pulling out her British Museum membership card. She waved it in front of his face, then quickly stuck it back in her bag.
“Ten quid,” he said.
Amanda and Fern looked at each other. Was he asking for a bribe?
“Five,” said Fern almost before he’d finished.
The kid didn’t flinch. “Eight.”
“Six and fifty.” They were in a rhythm now. Amanda wondered how long it would go on.
“Deal,” said Fern, ending the exchange.
“Pay in advance,” said the kid.
Shaking her head, Fern dug in her purse and gave the kid six pounds and fifty pence. “This had better be good,” she said.
He leaned forward conspiratorially. “Myrddin’s Wand.”
“Myrddin’s Wand?” said Amanda. “What’s that?”
“Myrddin is Merlin,” said Fern. “Merlin’s wand? What about it?”
“It’s a wee village four miles from here,” said the kid. “Stone circles. Haunted.”
“What kind of haunted?” said Fern.
“Ah, that’s for yew to find out, innit,” said the kid.
“Coordinates?” said Fern.
“Here,” said the kid, tearing out a page from a copy of Creepy Cumbria magazine and scribbling on it. “There’s a bit of a village there. No gift shops, though.”
“We’re not interested in gift shops,” said Fern.
“Well, there ain’t none.”
“Any zombies?” said Amanda, throwing caution to the wind. The kid already thought they were weird.
“Who’s askin’?”
Fern eyed the boy. “I am Morgan le Fey, and this is Rapunzel Silverstein.”
“You from London?” he said eyeing her suspiciously. Then he looked at Amanda. “You’re one of them Americans.”
“No, I’m from Dorset,” said Fern. “My cousin is Canadian.”
“Hm,” said the kid. “Tell you what. You buy me a pizza and I’ll tell you about zombies.”
Amanda was getting so impatient she wanted to scream. Now they were supposed to run off and find this jerk a pizza? What if none of his information paid off? She let out a huge sigh.
Fern, however, seemed unperturbed and said, “Where can we get pizza?”
The kid nodded toward the street. “Block down. Saccamano’s. Best pizza in Cumbria.”
“Hold that thought,” said Fern, grabbing Amanda and dashing out of the shop.
“What an idiot,” said Amanda.
“Yes, but he’s got to know something. If there’s anything weird going on around here the locals will know.” But will they tell? People in small towns could be secretive, or so Amanda had heard. She’d never actually lived in one, unless you counted Windermere, but that was different. She didn’t actually know anyone there except Eustace.
On the way to Saccamano’s, they ran into Simon and Ivy.
“Got it,” said Simon proudly.
“Zombies?” said Amanda.
“Yes,” said Ivy. “A man in the chemist’s told us that they’ve been seen around Myrddin’s Wand. There’s a stone circle there.”
“Myrddin’s Wand?” said Amanda. “That’s what we heard too. You’re sure he was talking about zombies, though. Not ghosts?”
“Zombies,” said Ivy.
“So we don’t have to get pizza,” said Amanda with relief.
“Pizza?” said Simon. “I could go for some pizza. Here’s a place right here.”
Amanda looked at Fern. “I don’t think we have to worry about Mr. Six and a Half Quid anymore,” said Fern. “Their story confirms what he said. Let’s eat and get out of here.”

You can find Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle on Goodreads

You can buy Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle here:
- Amazon

Paula BerinsteintAbout the Author:
Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:
- Website  
- Facebook  
- Twitter  
- Goodreads    

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy. These are the prizes you can win:
- paperback copies of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1), Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2) and Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3) by Paula Berinstein (INT)
- 2 winners will each win a paperback copy of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1) Paula Berinstein (INT)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

banner Lola's Blog Tours

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for being a host on my blog tour!!!!