Tag Archives: Burton W. Cole

Did You Ever Want a Chocolate Milk Cow?

Baxh Chocolate Milk CowsAbout a week ago, I got a package in the mail that I wasn’t expecting, but was thrilled to see. It was an autographed copy of Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows by Burton W. Cole. Yay!

It was almost as good as getting a copy of a book with my name on the cover because I was blessed to be part of the critique group that gave input on all three Bash stories. And I loved every one!

You can read about the first book in the series, Bash and the Pirate Pig, here. Such a great story of fun, adventure, misadventure, and a few lessons along the way.

Weirdness always rules when Beamer visits his crazy farm cousin Bash, and the story about the Chocolate Milk Cows is no exception. This time, Bash is scheming a way for the cows to give chocolate milk on April Fool’s Day — because who wouldn’t want chocolate milk straight from the cow? Add to that the fact that his dad, Uncle Rollie, hasn’t outgrown April Fool’s shenanigans either, and you never know exactly what craziness to expect. Bash and Uncle Rollie are definitely a case of “like father, like son”!

I won’t give away the fun by telling too much of the story — because you (or an upper elementary/middle school kid you love) will want to read it yourself. But having chapter titles like “The Chicken Shuttle Space Coop,” “Run for Your Life or Punishment,” “Hunting Bears and Praying for a Mantis,” and “Gideon’s Kazoo Meets the Goat of Many Colors” gives a good idea of the crazy stuff Bash and the gang are up to. It’s no ordinary spring break! And, yes, the laughs and lessons found in the other Bash stories continue with Chocolate Milk Cows and leave you thirsty for more. 🙂

Burton W ColeTo keep up with Bash and his author (who might’ve filled his farm-boy days a lot like Bash does), visit Burton W. Cole on Facebook. Enjoy!

Your turn: What’s the craziest (but family friendly) April Fool’s prank you ever pulled?

14 for 2014

Every January, I think about how fun it would be to keep a list of all the books I read that year. That’s as far as it usually gets – an idea that gets lost in the shuffle of life – but maybe this will be the year I actually do it!

2014

To kick things off, I thought I’d share some books I’m looking forward to diving into this year. 14 books, to be exact – which you probably figured out since this post is titled “14 for 2014.” Some of these books will be new to me even though they’re not necessarily new titles. Others are on my waiting list because they won’t be released until later in 2014. And a few will be re-reads of books I enjoyed years ago.

Of course, I’ll read some nonfiction along the way, too, but this list is focusing on fiction. Partly because I read a lot more of it and partly because it’s easier for me to come up with 14 titles. So, here goes (in no particular order)!

 

New (or new to me) titles

Bird FaceThe Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson (a medieval retelling of the Cinderella story)

Bird Face by Cynthia Toney (a young adult book by one of my critique group partners; this will be her debut novel – I’m so excited for her!)

Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper by Burton Cole (the second in Burt’s middle grade series about zany cousins Bash and Beamer – and I’m proud to call him a critique group partner, too!)

Doon by Carey Corp and Laurie Langdon (a young adult fantasy that has two friends traveling to an alternate world in Scotland)

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill (nerdy girl Ellie writes her first novel and learns that her real and imaginary worlds might intersect more than she thought)

DoonThe Selection by Kiera Cass (dystopian romance that I’ll probably enjoy so much that I’ll read the entire trilogy)

A Beauty So Rare by Tamara Alexander (the latest historical romance from one of my all-time favorite authors)

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (the latest in his Heroes of Olympus series with Percy Jackson and friends – my son and I will probably spar over who gets to read it first)

 

And a few classics

Pride and Prejudice (I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I’ve seen a couple of movie versions but have never actually read the book)

The Scarlet Letter (I remember loving this book in high school once I slogged through the beginning – we’ll see if that still holds true)

Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle in Time (I read this one, but don’t remember much about it – time to change that!)

Fahrenheit 451 (another one I enjoyed reading in high school – plus my son will be reading it next semester so I thought it’d be fun to run through it again)

The Hobbit (yes, this is partly because of the movie series – it’s been so long since I read the book that I can’t remember which parts of the movies are accurate and which are just Hollywood)

To Kill a Mockingbird (I liked this in high school and my son really enjoyed reading it last year; since it’s on our bookshelf, why not enjoy it again?)

 

Your turn: What books are you planning to read in 2014? Any particular reason why? I’d love to know, because then I’ll probably add them to my own list! 

Happy New Year! 🙂

Book Review: Bash and the Pirate Pig

Bash and Pirate PigToday I’m reviewing Bash and the Pirate Pig written by Burton W. Cole and published by B&H Kids. You might remember that I mentioned it a few weeks ago after seeing it on the local LifeWay store’s shelf.

I’ll confess that I knew I would love this book before I ever got a copy. Burton Cole is the fearless leader of an online critique group I’m part of, so I’m one of the lucky people who got to read the story from the very beginning. I could hardly wait to get a new chapter every week because I knew something crazy was about to happen. And it never disappointed.

So – now that my disclaimer is out of the way, I’ll tell you about the book.

*     *     *     *     *

Raymond is a video-game loving, chips eating city kid. His plans for a lazy summer with his favorite comic books go kaput when his parents tell him the worst news ever – he’ll be spending the summer with his cousin Sebastian – otherwise known as Bash – on his farm in a town so small that even Google can’t find it.

Bash is a goofy free spirit who’s always looking for something new and fun to try. He just knows that an adventure is always waiting to happen, and he’s ready to find it.

Of course, Bash’s adventures usually turn into misadventures – or even full-blown catastrophes. Things like …

  • Bringing a skunk and brown mice to Sunday school class
  • Late night cow tipping
  • Flying from the barn’s hay loft
  • And his crowning achievement for the summer: transforming Gulliver J. McFrederick the Third – otherwise known as the farm’s hog – into the Pirate Pig on the Lake

Raymond already thinks that Bash is crazy and annoying before he goes for the summer visit. But despite his tendency to be a rule follower and his new belief that Bash is certifiably insane – Raymond usually get stuck going right along with all the crazy ideas. And as scary as it might sound, some of the things Bash says actually start to make sense to Raymond before the summer is over.

Raymond’s self-proclaimed Summer of Doom turns into a summer he’ll always remember – and not just because of the Pirate Pig.

*     *     *     *     *

Burton W ColeI can honestly say I laughed my way through much of this book, and I think kids will too. But the author isn’t trying to just write a story to get some laughs. There are some great messages for kids, too – things about friendship and family and God. The nice part is, they’re not preachy messages that will turn kids off because they’re worked into the story from Bash’s crazy point of view.

Bottom line: This is a book I would highly recommend for upper elementary or middle school readers. Whether they’re city kids like Raymond or small town farm kids like Bash, they’ll find something to laugh at and enjoy. My bet is they’ll keep reading right past the end of the story to the sneak peek at Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper – the next book in the series that will be released in the spring of 2014.

Here’s where you can learn more about Bash and the Pirate Pig or author Burton Cole:

Your turn + giveaway: What’s the craziest adventure you were part of as a kid? Did you do it alone, or drag people along like Bash does Raymond? If at least 6 people share their stories in the comment section by Friday, November 8, one of you will win a copy of Bash and the Pirate Pig!

Look for These New Books!

Bash and Running Lean 2

Bash & the Pirate Pig by Burton W. Cole and Running Lean by Diana L. Sharples

I had a few minutes to stop by the closest Lifeway store and was thrilled to find two special books on the shelf — Bash and the Pirate Pig by Burton Cole and Running Lean by Diana Sharples.

Let me tell you a bit about them and why I was so tickled.

Diana and I have seen each other’s names through online writing groups and classes for quite a while and have met and had the chance to talk at a couple of writing conferences. She’s a gifted writer and artist with a heart for teens and has worked hard at this publication game. Running Lean is her debut YA novel about Calvin and Stacey, a high school couple who balance each other out while they each battle private demons. Calvin still grieves for his brother’s death in Afghanistan and Stacey is succumbing to anorexia. Tough topics, but very real life for teens today. I’m only a few chapters into the book, but am enjoying it very much.

Burt is the fearless leader of an online writing critique group that started a couple of years ago for a few of us who were writing middle grade fiction. We read and critiqued Bash and the Pirate Pig from page one, celebrated with Burt when he signed with a literary agent, and threw another online party when he signed a publishing contract. Bash is the story of Raymond, a somewhat dull city kid who gets packed off to spend the summer on the farm with his cousin Bash (Sebastian). Nothing is dull after that! Burt uses lots of stories from his own childhood as the basis for escapades Bash and Raymond (aka Beamer) get pulled into. Cow tipping, cow riding, skunk tracking, hayloft flying, and more had me laughing every time Burt sent a chapter for us to read. It’s a book middle school kids (especially boys!) will love — and the best news is, another story about Bash and Beamer is also under contract.

I’ll post more official reviews later, but for now just know that these are two great books you don’t want to miss. If you see either of them in the store or decide to pick up a copy, come back and let me know what you thought!

 

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