Monday, August 13, 2012

Nate Rocks the Boat by Karen Pokras Toz - Virtual Book tour and Giveaway!

Today we're welcoming author Karen Pokras Toz to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the middle grade novel, "Nate Rocks the Boat".

Karen is giving away a $25 Amazon GC, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Karen was brave enough to share a few secrets with us today.

Guest Blog: Five Things You’d Probably Never Guess About Me – by Karen Pokras Toz

I was given the choice of either being interviewed or telling the world five things (funny, embarrassing, or otherwise) that you would never guess about me. Since I write children’s books that are (hopefully) funny and my characters often complain to me that I embarrass them (yes, they speak to me), I thought it only fair that I embarrass myself a little. So here we go...

1. I cannot walk in high heels. Not even a tiny bit. It drives me crazy because I would love to wear them, but doing so, is a guaranteed ticket to the emergency room for me. Luckily I am tall, but still!

2. I was a radio DJ in college. I used to think this was cool and even had visions of telling my children about it and having them think I was the hippest mom ever, but now that my children are teens – me bragging about DJ’ing in college just makes me feel old and not at all cool. Especially when they point out that the music I played is what they now call “Old People Music.” Hrmph. I hope they have children who one day tell them that that guy ‘LMFAO’ is from the olden days.

3. I go through my kids’ Halloween candy after they’re asleep and take the good stuff. Then when they look for it the next day, I pretend I don’t know what they’re talking about. (Oh come on – you know you do it too!!)

4. I’m mildly obsessed with John Cusack. Okay – maybe slightly more than mildly. John, are you reading this? Call me!

5. I have no problem openly professing my love for my laptop and iphone. In fact, if I am separated from either for any great length of time, I start breaking out into a sweat. My husband finds this disturbing – even more so than my John Cusack obsession (see #4 above.)

So just to clarify... this stuff is just between you and me right? Thanks!

With fourth grade finally winding down, 10-year-old Nathan Rockledge is looking forward to a fun and relaxing summer at home with his friends. That is, until his mom decides he has to go to overnight camp with his annoying older sister. When his best friend Tommy decides to tag along, Nathan thinks maybe his summer won’t actually be so bad. After all, he does get to be away from his mom's awful cooking for an entire six weeks.

Amongst Color War competitions, a flaky counselor, and a bully named "No-Neck,” Nathan turns to his trusty sketchpad, transforming himself into Nate Rocks: 10-year-old extraordinaire. His speedboat ready for action, Nate saves the day time and again from the perils of floods, snakes, ghosts, and even the most wanted criminals.

Join Nathan, Tommy, Abby, and a whole new cast of characters as Nate Rocks once again proves nothing can hold him back in this second book of the Nate Rocks series.

Dad drives down the bumpy dirt road toward a group of wooden cabins. We look for the one with the “Welcome Hawks” banner, park, and start to unload the car.

Mom walks over to me and throws her arms around my body, in front of everyone... EVERYONE.

“Oh, Nathan!” she wails, “I’ve never been away from you this long! I’m going to miss you so much!”

I try to break free, but her clutch is too strong. The other kids have stopped what they are doing and are now all watching us.

“Now don’t forget,” she continues, still using her my voice gets louder and higher pitched whenever I get upset voice, “make sure you write home and don’t drink too much water before you go to sleep.”

“Yeah, Nathan,” Abby blurts just as loudly, “you know what happens when you drink to much water before bedtime. I just hope for the sake of the other Hawks that you don’t get a top bunk!”

“That’s not funny, Abby!” I break away and try to take a swing at her, but she jumps into the van too fast for me to get her and slides the door shut.

I look over at the other boys, who are now staring at me. Even Tommy has taken a few steps back, seemingly trying to disassociate himself from me.

“Now, Nathan,” Mom continues, only this time in a low voice so no one else can hear. “You know that’s not what I meant. I just know how sometimes you get the hiccups and can’t fall asleep.” Mom kisses the top of my head one more time and gives Tommy a normal hug. “You boys have a great time.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Rockledge,” Tommy replies.

Karen Pokras Toz is a writer, wife, and mom. Karen grew up in Orange, Connecticut and currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children. In June 2011, Karen published her first middle grade children’s novel for 7-12 year olds called Nate Rocks the World, followed in 2012 by the second book in the Nate Rocks series, Nate Rocks the Boat. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).



Barnes & Noble:


  1. A fun list of 5. I can't walk in heels either. I look like a new born giraffe weaving & wobbling all over the place.


    1. Yes! lol! That's what I look like too haha. Glad I'm not the only one!

  2. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

  3. Alas, heels always always manage to hurt my feet. Well actually most closed girly shoes give me blisters.

    1. Makes you wonder how something so pretty can be so uncomfortable - right?

  4. When I was younger I loved heels and the platforms that were popular wayyyy back then. :) Today I can barely walk in a shoe with a half inch heel to hear my kids. :)The "Old People Music" had me LMAO. Wait till you have a grandkid who tells you they need to do a biography on a historical person and they ask if it's ok for them to do one on you. lol lol My husband almost fell on the floor laughing so hard. I don't know why, since he's 3 years older then me. :0
    It's a great tour Karen.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Carol - that is SO funny! My oldest once asked me if I had electricity when I was a kid lol!

  5. Thank you for sharing the five things about yourself, I enjoyed reading them.

    1. I appreciate that - thanks for the comment

  6. I think everyone is at least a little bit obsessed with John Cusack. I mean come on. After watching Serendipity, how could you not be? ;-)
    Nate sounds like a super fun character! I bet he was nothing shot of a blast to write!


    1. Yes - that is one of my favorite movies - I've been a fan since Say Anything (dating myself now!)

      Thank you - Nate really is so much fun to write!

  7. I was a college radio DJ, too! And I think anyone who grew up with SAY ANYTHING or SERENDIPITY has to be at least slightly obsessed with John Cusack.


    1. lol! You know me well! Except I think my obsession is more than slight..

  8. I love these answers!! I am trying not to hiccup after i accidentally inhaled my Diet Coke (laughing). I thought Sean Cassidy was your crush? What's up with that, sista?? xx

    1. lol! Shaun Cassidy was my 10 yr old crush (as was Donny Osmond *swoon*).. I've moved on ;)

  9. I remember my first crush on a film star. Won't tell you who, as it would really give away my age. Still, I used to stare at his picture and almost swoon.

  10. Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?