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Books for Children and Young Adults

Pauly Wants to Doodle All the Day

Orphan Train Riders: Three Historical Fiction Stories For Children

The Birthday Cache

Breaking the Surface

Bridging the Tides (sequel to Breaking the Surface

Under Construction: A Young Writers Workbook

Books for Grown Up Readers

Champion Chocolatier

Champion Chocolatier: Reality Bites

** More information, including covers and blurbs can be seen below! All books are available in both paperback and digital format. Happy Reading! **

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Often times people ask me for book suggestions, and after I recommend my books I launch into a list of my most recent and favorite reads. So, I decided to keep a running list here, on my website. Below you will find the books I have read (or listened to via an audiobook) and very much enjoyed so far this year (2019). If you click on each title it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase it, and thus, through their affiliate program providing me with a teeny, tiny commission. Consider it a mini-thank you, to me, for the reading recommendation.

Happy reading! - Amanda


(In no particular order…)

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (middle grade, realistic fiction)

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (middle grade, realistic fiction) Winner of the NEWBERY AWARD!

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (adult, nonfiction)

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (adult, magical realism) If you like the Game of Thrones, you will love this series!

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (adult, magical realism)

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (adult, magical realism)

Hope in the Mail by Wendelin Van Draanen (memoir, writing advice book) I read an ARC of this fabulous book and will share my thoughts about it on my blog closer to it’s January 2020 publication date.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendenlin Van Draanen (middle grade, realistic fiction)

West of the Moon by Margi Preus (middle grade, historical fiction)

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (adult, historical/realistic fiction)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (adult, historical fiction) - I read this ages ago, but listened to it again this summer, and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Sovereign by Jeff Hirsch (middle grade, science fiction)

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (adult, nonfiction/self- help) Read my thoughts about this great book HERE!

All the Walls of Belfast by Sarah Carlson (YA, realistic fiction)

** I will continue to add to this list, so check back for new titles! **

Books by Amanda Zieba

Reality Bites, the sequel to Champion Chocolatier!


Emmy Dawson is in over her head. This time she’s not just trying to convince herself she can run a successful chocolate business, nor is she cooking to impress a stuffy board of directors. This time she’s competing in a reality candy making championship and is trying to win over all of America. The Vanderbilt Valentine’s Day Candy Making Competition, held at the famous Biltmore Estates, will host eight talented candy makers – all with jumbo sized hopes and dreams… and egos. Emmy wants desperately to win, and to prove to her tiny town she is more than a stay afloat business owner and just the girl who dates Eddie Edwards.Even though the North Carolina weather makes for easier winter driving, Emmy’s road to victory is paved in potholes. A snarky TV producer, a real-life baker Barbie, and a talented pool of candy makers, not to mention a healthy dose of stage fright, stand in her way. Being filmed for Prime Time TV in sunny North Carolina might sound more glamorous than Duluth in February, but Emmy is about to learn the hard way that, sometimes, reality bites.

In this sequel to Champion Chocolatier, readers will find all of the sweetness and fun they fell in love with in the original. New locations, new characters and new challenges thicken the plot and will have Hallmark lovers and reality show junkies begging for another round of foody fun and delicious disasters. To read the first chapter, click HERE. And to find all sorts of delicious extras (like a book club discussion guide, character profiles and behind the scenes inspiration, click HERE.)

Champion Chocolatier

Emmy is a thirty year old stuck in a dead end job she hates, but life takes a pleasantly unexpected turn when she wins a Facebook contest to own and operate a chocolate shop in northern Minnesota. When she leaves the big city for a fresh start (despite knowing nothing about business or candy making) fun, romance and little mystery follow. Will her new business succeed before the December thirty first deadline? Will the cute guy from the store-next-door add to her sweet rewards or will he only be a disaster level distraction? Two tablespoons of big dreams, a dash chocolatey goodness, and a pinch of love. Step inside Sweet Shores Chocolate Store and enjoy this winning story recipe. For delicious extras like a book club discussion guide and access to my Pinterest pages full of story inspiration and recipes, click HERE.

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The Birthday Cache

While twelve year old Mason Miles and his parents love their nomadic lifestyle living and working across the nation in their RV, his twin sister Molly is craving a normal life and scheming to put a stop to their endless road trip. For their twelfth birthday the twins open a GPS receiver and fall in love with the sport of geocaching. When they stumble upon a mysterious puzzle cache will their travels become interesting enough to change Molly's mind? In this first installment of the geocaching series Adventures Await, author Amanda Zieba weaves an exciting middle grade story full of geocaching adventures; geography, technology and national landmark content; and family fun. Join the Miles family for the first of many geocaching adventures to come! “Through their conflicts, adventures, and fun, the close-knit, but realistic family in this fast-paced chapter book sucked me into their world and made me care.” - Jan Fields, author of the Monster Hunter Series

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For educational materials to use with this story, including journal questions, chapter quizzes, vocabulary work and discussion guides, click HERE.

The Orphan Train Riders Series


Three Historical Fiction Stories for Children

"These stories are wonderful, believable and historically consistent with many of the true stories. They brought a tear, goosebumps and the chills." - C. Warren Moses, retired Children's Aid Society CEO and Archivist Charles, William and Joanna all find themselves alone and in need of help. Thanks to the Children's Aid Society and the orphan trains they are given a second chance at a happy ending. In each of the three historical fiction stories in this collection, readers meet an orphan train rider and follow them on their journey. Can Charles find a new home before Christmas? Will Joanna ever find a place where she belongs? Can Irish William find a way to fit in America? (Target age 7-11)

The Surface Series (YA)

The inventive undersea world of Amanda Zieba’s BREAKING THE SURFACE and BRIDGING THE TIDES should appeal to fans of Ally Condie’s ATLANTIA.
— Polly Holyoke, author of THE NEPTUNE PROJECT

Breaking the Surface

When Flynn gets the chance to leave her home on the ocean floor to spend some time on the surface, she has a long list of things to do. Things like: make friends, eat a cheeseburger, go to the beach, shop, go on a date and get her driver's license. She didn't really expect "reverse a science experiment gone wrong" or "save family from impending doom" to show up on the list. But now that they have, what will she do? This book is author Amanda Zieba's young adult debut. It is an original dystopian that promises to deliver readers with drama and adventure. Join Flynn as she navigates the perils of high school and as she figures out how to define "home". (Target age 10-16)


Bridging the Tides

When you’re 16 it’s supposed to be you against your world history test, you against the mean girl, you against your fear of rejection by the cutest guy ever. For best friends Flynn and Nora, these are battles they fight every day. But they aren’t the only problems they face. Due to an experiment gone wrong, they have much, much bigger fish to fry. They’re going to need the help of all their friends, above water and below, as well as a few new ones, to solve them. Bridging the Tides picks up where Breaking the Surface left off. Flynn and Professor Sorenson have arrived at the ARK to help Caspian and the rest of the crew battle Adonis and his army of Water Warriors. Dark and dangerous deeds are happening underwater, but not all the fish in the sea are pleased with Adonis’ plan. When new recruits join the ARK Allies and new information is discovered, the crew finds reasons to believe in a bright future. Will the crew manage to find their parents, stop the evil underwater? Will they find the bridge leading to their happy ending above water and below?

This sequels tops the first and readers who love adventure, romance, science fiction, action and suspense will not be disappointed. (Target age 10-16)

Pauly Wants to Doodle All the Day


Poor Pauly. All he wants to do is draw and doodle all day long! But he has to go to school and do chores. Will he ever find time to just do what he loves? Read and sing along with Pauly to the classical folk tune: Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day.

This picture book is perfect for anyone who wants to pursue their dreams and needs a little boost when it feels like real life is getting in the way. (Target age 4-8)

Interviews with Amanda Zieba