Halloway Hills Middle School Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, October 04, 2021
I'm excited to announce a blog tour with author A.J. Kormon. We're going to be touring with her books, Hiding Out on HalloweenCreeping Up on Christmas, and Veering Off on Valentine’s. These books are perfect for resistant readers who enjoy fast-paced, short mysteries featuring seventh graders and their cats.  

Join us today as we share more about these adorable books, interview the author, A.J. Kormon, and give away an Amazon gift card and copies of these books for our lucky readers.

First, a little bit about the books:

Three short, page-turning mysteries for ages 9-11 featuring mischievous cats and their middle-grade owners.

In Hiding Out on Halloween, Avery Mcintosh borrows the Super Ultimate Minecraft Hacks book from the school library, much to the dismay of the school bully, Becky. When Avery accidentally splashes Becky with an invisibility potion that he learned from the book, she not only disappears from Minecraft, but from the real world, too.

Trying to ease his guilt about Becky’s disappearance, with the help of his friend Jordan and a black cat who appears to be stalking him, Avery sets out to find Becky.

In Creeping Up on Christmas, it’s time for the Halloway Hills Middle School Christmas fair and Violet Sidhu and her friends have planned to sell crocheted hats to raise money for charity. There’s just one problem—the hats are missing!

When Violet discovers what’s happened to her hats, thanks to the new guy at school, getting them back turns out to be harder than she thought.

In Veering Off on Valentine’s, Jordan Cartwright learns the meaning of true love . . . from her cat! After feeling rejected by her best friend Avery because of Valentine’s Day, Jordan wonders if she can still be friends with him.

As she tries to avoid Avery, Jordan witnesses some strange behaviour from her cat Blizzard. When Blizzard goes missing during a snowstorm, Jordan enlists Avery’s help to find him and learns an important lesson in the process.

Includes bonus cookie recipe and word search!

Purchase all three books for Kindle on Amazon.com and make sure to add these books to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, A.J. Kormon

AJ Kormon started out writing books about money to help explain the concept to her kids. As her kids got older, they showed signs of not wanting to read, so she enlisted their help creating a series for resistant readers. This is how the Halloway Hills Middle School Mysteries were born. When AJ isn't writing and cartooning, you'll find her losing to her kids at Uno.

Find A.J. Kormon at: 

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First, congratulations on your book! I loved reading that you write this with your family. How do you all work together to write these stories? 

AJ: My boys help me come up with characters and story ideas. They are also the ultimate beta readers. I read the books out loud to them and judge by their reactions what I need to edit. Hopefully, they laugh at the funny parts! For books with illustrations, I also ask for their opinions on things like colour or poses of the characters. They are nine and eleven, which is the same age as the kids I write for. 

WOW: How wonderful you get them involved like that. What led you to write middle-grade fiction? 

AJ: Until the pandemic hit, my kids were in French immersion. That was no longer an option during the pandemic and because they'd been learning to read and write in French, it was like starting over for them with reading English. We read a lot of books together, but when it came to getting them to read on their own, it was a challenge, because most of the books at their reading level felt too young for them. The Halloway Hills Middle School Mysteries are simple stories that are short and easily digestible, but there are no illustrations like books for younger kids might have. 

WOW: I love that you turned a challenge into a positive. What was your path to publishing like? 

AJ: The first children's book I wrote was a picture book. I sent it to two publishers that, at the time, accepted unagented submissions. It's a fairly niche book with a story that focuses on taking care of your money, so I wasn't sure there would be a market for it, and I decided to self-publish it so my kids could see it in print. With the Halloway Hills books, I decided to do the same since they are so short and not a typical middle-grade book. I liked the idea of being able to do what I wanted with the font in the paperbacks to make it easier for some children to read. I'm not against traditional publishing. I have other stories I'd like to try and get published through the traditional route. 

WOW: I think that's an awesome route you took! What does your regular writing habit look like? 

AJ: That I am regularly irregular! I've tried to set the same time aside to write every day, but it never seems to work out. I've accepted that it's okay not to have a regular schedule as long as I keep moving forward on my projects. I do most of my writing on the weekends and the rest I sneak in here and there.

WOW: I struggle with keeping to my own writing schedule, too. How did COVID impact your writing (and/or publishing plans)? 

AJ: When COVID hit, I was teaching adult special education at my local college. Everyone had to work from home, and my students didn't have access to the technology required to continue in an online learning environment. I thought about looking for other teaching jobs, but everything seemed so uncertain that I decided to focus on my writing instead. That being said, I've just started teaching online and back to juggling all the things. 

WOW: That must be a challenge! So, what is your revision process like? 

AJ: I love revising! When the words aren't flowing in the writing, I start editing. This means my process can change depending on the book I'm working on, but mostly I start by reading through what I've written in Google Docs and making changes as I go. This can happen at any point I feel I'm stuck in the writing, but for sure once the whole draft is finished. Then I go through a checklist I have with the common errors I make. Some are things I discovered on my own, and others were tips from editors. Once I feel like I've made the necessary corrections in Google Docs, then I download the manuscript as a Word document and email it to my ereader. I read ebooks on my phone, so the screen is really small and it helps me catch even more things, especially typos and word repetition. Once I'm reading on my ereader, I try to read the whole thing in one day. I use the highlight and notes functions to mark any further edits. Then once I've read the whole story, I go back to my notes and highlights and start correcting things in the Word doc. 

WOW: You have great process! What's next for you? 

AJ: I write books for adults as myself (Michelle Cornish) and I have promised my readers the next thriller in one of my series, so I need to make sure I deliver on that promise! For AJ, though, I have a series planned based on Daniel from Creeping Up on Christmas. It will be another mystery series, but geared more toward the older middle grade reader, so it will be longer with a more involved plot.

WOW: Best of luck to you and I can't wait to see what you come out with next! 

--- Blog Tour Calendar

October 4th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of the Halloway Middle School series. Read our interview with author AJ Kormon, and enter to win the giveaway too. One winner will receive all three copies of the books and a gift card. Three winners will receive one book from the series. Join us today!

October 8th @ Madeline Sharples' Blog
Join Madeline as she shares a guest post by AJ Kormon about things kids learn from entrepreneurial parents.

October 10th @ What is That Book About
Visit Michelle's blog where she shares a guest post written by AJ Kormon that talks about the best books for kids who don't like to read.

October 12th @ Lisa Haselton's Book Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog where she interviews AJ Kormon, author of the Halloway Hills Middle School mystery series.

October 14th @ Cover 2 Cover Blog
Join Stephanie as she shares her thoughts about the charming Halloway Hills Middle School mystery series.

October 16th @ Reading in the Wildwood
Join Megan as she shares a guest post by author AJ Kormon featuring must-have Halloween books to read with your kids.

October 20th @ Lisa's Reading
Join Lisa as she reviews the Halloway Hills series on her blog today.

October 22nd @ Quill and Books
Visit Kathryn's blog where she reviews Hiding Out on Halloween by AJ Kormon.

October 22nd @ The Frugalista Mom
Join Rozelyn as she features a guest post by author AJ Kormon about navigating first crushes. She's also giving away a copy of the Halloway Hills Middle School series as an e-book to one lucky reader.

October 25th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog today as she reviews AJ Kormon's Halloway Hills Middle School series books and gives away a copy of the books for one lucky reader.

October 28th @ Knotty Needle
Judy delights us today with her and her granddaughter's review of AJ Kormon's Halloway Hills Middle School series books.

October 31st @ Look to the Western Sky
Join Margo as she reads and reviews AJ Kormon's delightful middle-grade book Hiding Out on Halloween part of the Halloway Hills Middle School series.

November 3rd @ Fiona Ingram's Blog
Join Fiona as she shares AJ Kormon's guest post about why your child should read to their pet.

November 4th @ CK Sorens
Visit CK Sorens' blog today and read her review of AJ Kormon's Halloway Hills Middle School series books.

November 5th @ Quill and Books
Join Kathryn again as she publishes a guest post by AJ Kormon about fun Christmas books to read with your kids.

November 5th @ Bookworm for Kids
Join Tonja as she reviews Creeping Up on Christmas over at her blog today. A perfect book for the holidays!

November 7th @ Jill Sheets' Blog
Visit Jill's blog today where she shares AJ Kormon's guest post about how to help your child deal with a bully.


Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and copies of Hiding Out on Halloween, Creeping Up on Christmas, and Veering Off on Valentine’s by AJ Kormon. Enter the Rafflecopter form by October 17th for your chance to win! We will choose two lucky winners and follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


AJ Kormon said...

Thanks so much for the interview, Nicole...and for organizing this giveaway and tour! AJ :)

elizabeth miller said...

My granddaughter would be over the moon to read these. They sound so wonderful for kids.

Patricia Gable said...

My granddaughter has learning issues. She is in fifth grade and is just now able to read certain books. These books would be good for her because it says"Middle Grade" and that will increase her confidence.



Patricia Gable said...

My granddaughter has learning issues and she is just now reading chapter books like Junie B Jones with help. She would gain confidence by seeing the words MIDDLE GRADE on the cover. So I think she will dive into these books.


Patricia Gable

kywave said...

Thanks for writing this with a cat! So many series are dogs

CB said...

These page-turning mysteries are perfect reads just in time for Halloween!

TRIPPER2365 said...

My niece loves these books .

RyanB said...

Finally, we get to see some more stories about cats, which is really exciting!

Anonymous said...


Athena Graeme said...

These look incredible! My daughter is going to love them, can't wait for her to read them!

Antoinette M said...

These sound like wonderful books. Thank you for the giveaway!

xjanelx78 said...

My daughter would love to read this series!

LauraJJ said...

Oh these look like great books! My grandson started middle school this year and loves mysteries! I think he would love these.

Sunnymay said...

Adorable cats grace the covers of the books. It looks like a fun read for 4th to 7th graders.

Jeanna Massman said...

My grandson would love these books! They are exactly the right reading level for him!

Renee T said...

Thanks for hosting the giveaway. My daughter would love to read these books.

Brandon Sparks said...

My daughter really loves your books..

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