Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Odd Job Squad by Karl Fields - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Today author Karl Fields visits on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the middle grade novel, "The Odd Job Squad".

One commenter from each stop will win a box of "Pinks," which are pink fortune cookies that Ander, the main character has a fondness for. One $25 Amazon gift card given to one random commenter at the end of the tour, so comment today AND follow his tour! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning.  Click the above banner for a list of his tour stops.

Karl was brave enough to share five things we might not have ever guessed about him!

1. I’m an army brat and by the seventh grade, I’d attended six different schools in three different countries – the United States, Okinawa and Germany, where I studied the local language for almost three years. Sadly, I’ve forgotten almost all my German except for the ability to count to twelve, say “I love you” and a few assorted bad words.

2. I don’t know how it started but I have a fascination with USB drives. Not your run-of-the-mill kind from Staples or Office Depot; there has to be something unique, or just weird, about them. I began collecting them several years ago and have about 20 at this point. The newest additions to my collection are one shaped like a Taco Bell hot sauce packet and another shaped like Gibson Les Paul guitar.

3. When I lived in Los Angeles, I was in a Blockbuster video store and, across the way, saw this woman I recognized. It was none other than Jamie Lee Curtis. I approached her, said I was having trouble picking out a movie and asked whether she’d recommend “Trading Places” or “True Lies.” She laughed and said, “Rent ‘True Lies.’”

4. Also during my time in Hollywood, I was once an extra on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” On an episode entitled “The Checkbook” (season 2, episode 16) I play a bank teller. Most of the time, extras are hard to pick out, but I got some good screen time because of my close proximity to Patricia Heaton. For a few years after that, I could always tell when that episode aired because someone I knew would inevitably come up to me and say, “I saw you on ‘Raymond!’”

5. You know how people say, “I wish I had a nickel for (fill in the blank)”? At 6’5”, I’m quite tall and people love to ask me if I play basketball. A few years back, I decided to set aside a nickel every time I got asked that question to see how much money I’d have at the end of the year. It started out great, but petered out after about four months and I only wound up with $1.15.

Thirteen-year-old Ander Cartwright is an expert on two subjects: fortune cookies and payback. Especially payback.

When he’s not struggling with algebra, Ander is the leader of an anonymous revenge club that operates within the walls of Marina Middle School. Got a beef with a classmate? Shoot Ander’s crew an email and, if your case if legit, they’ll deliver some retribution on your behalf.

It’s not easy to right wrongs and stay under the radar at the same time. That’s why Ander developed three simple rules designed to keep him and his friends from blowing their cover.

But when Ander spots the opportunity to settle an old score of his own, he ignores his own rules, setting off a chain of events that threatens to blow his cover, and it’ll take all the butt-kicking, detention-dodging skill he can muster to keep a lid on his secret.

I put up my hand, cutting off his chatter. Seth had been rubbing his thumbs against the sides of his index fingers when he passed me. Most people wouldn’t have even picked up on such a little thing, but I’d seen it before. A year ago, at the fall dance. A bunch of us guys were standing around the punch bowl when Seth started doing the thing with his thumbs…right before he made the long walk across the gym to ask Suzanne Reynolds to dance.

Uh oh.

I spun and saw Seth, hands stuffed in his pockets, making a stealth approach toward Shooter. Just as she finished with her laces and got to her feet, he slid up next to her. While I couldn’t hear the conversation, I guessed it had nothing to do with layups or three-point shots. It was easy to see that Shooter wished she were somewhere else, far away from Seth. So, hurrying back down the hall, I did the only thing I could think of.

“There you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.” I stepped between them and gently locked fingers with Shooter. I turned to Seth, lifting mine and Shooter’s hands just a little, hoping we looked like a couple. “See ya.” Christian fell in next to us as we walked down the hall.

I expected something different – maybe because of all the basketball she played – but Shooter’s hand was soft. Really soft.

The three of us were silent until we turned the corner near the front of the building. That’s when Shooter said, “Thanks, Ander. You can let go of my hand now.”

Karl Fields is a writer of fiction for teens and young adults. His other interests include jazz, golf and collecting flash drives, the more unusual the better. He was an army brat and by the seventh grade, he had attended six different schools on three continents. His first book, The Odd Job Squad, is about the exploits of three eighth graders who operate an anonymous revenge club at their school. He recommends that you not attempt the stunts portrayed in this book. His second, Instant Preplay, is about a boy who discovers that his DVR records shows before they air. He recommends that you get one of those if you can.
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  1. Just wanted to thank you guys for being today's host. I'll gladly answer any questions anyone has, if I haven't already given you TMI, that is.

  2. This sounds really cut and quite humorous.
    Thank you for the giveaway

  3. Enjoyed reading your list of things we don't know about you.

    #1 - Of course you remember the most important things!

    #2 - Do you also collect PEZ dispensers too?

    #3 - Loved your unique approach to Jamie Lee. Lots better than asking for her autograph outright!

    #4 - Unfortunately, I'll never see you on TV since I don't watch sitcoms. Now if you did a bit part on Criminal Minds or NCIS, that's a whole different story!

    #5 - Just think of how much you would have had if you put a $10 bill in the jar each time you got that question. So, DO you play basketball?

    1. Re: #2 - No, but I have seen USB drives shaped like PEZ dispensers, so you never know.

      #3 - Yeah, I didn't want one of those people who walks up a celeb and goes, "I know you," or "You're famous, aren'tcha?"

      #5 - I used to. And make that $1.20 now.

  4. I enjoyed the five things about you. It's always fun to learn more about the author.

  5. Omigosh! You have a very interesting life! Jeze!! I'm super jealous! lol

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  6. Congratulations on the publication of The Odd Job Squad! It sounds like a fun read. Enjoyed the post and excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Cool you were on a tv show

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. HA! Those are some wacky-fun facts! Also very cool. Thanks for sharing!!



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