Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue Cover
Title: KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue 
Series: KidVenture #1 
Author: Steve Searfoss 
Publisher: Independently Published 
Release Date: Jan 26, 2020 
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction 

Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances. 

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story. 


Just then my sister Addison walked in and poured herself some orange juice.
I cleared my throat dramatically. “What I propose is a pool cleaning service, where you don’t have to worry about your pool being clean, you don’t have to ever remind me. Instead, I guarantee that the pool will be cleaned every week by noon on Friday, so it’s ready for a weekend of swimming action.”
“That sounds interesting.” My dad raised an eyebrow. “Go on.”
“What I’m offering, then, is not just a clean pool, but peace of mind. You don’t have to worry again whether the pool will be clean, and you don’t have to remind me to do it.”
“I like it,” my dad said.
“And you can have this peace of mind for the small sum of ten dollars a week.” I smiled broadly, proud of myself. I was particularly proud of the for the small sum bit. I heard that on the radio once and liked it. “So $20 total.”
My dad whistled his surprise. “So you’re doubling the price?” he challenged.
“Small price to pay for peace of mind,” I countered.
“Fifteen,” my dad said.
I mumbled for a bit, unsure of what to say. I finally recovered enough to blurt out, “But the price is 20!”
I stared at my dad intently, narrowing my eyes and furrowing my forehead, much the way I imagine a cheetah does when it spots a gazelle that looks like dinner on the African savanna. Did I mention my middle name is Robert? That’s French for dangerous.
My dad stared back. He didn’t scowl like a cheetah. He simply stared at me, to see if I would flinch.
I gulped.
The stare-down continued. Who knew a gazelle could be that fierce?
“The price is $20,” I said evenly.
“I’ll do it for $10!” my sister suddenly interjected.
“What?!” My dad and I said at the same time and turned towards her.
“Addison!” I shouted. “You stay out of this.”
“I’ll do it for $10,” she insisted. “I’ll clean the pool and also that whole peace of mind thingamajig.”
“Fine! $15 and not a penny more!” I stretched out my hand and walked towards my father. “But you must decide now.”
He looked at me and smiled. “You have a deal.”
“We have a deal.” I shook his hand very dramatically so he wouldn’t change his mind.
“No fair!” Addie cried out. “Why does he get to do it? I offered to do it for less.”
“Well, I already know he can do the job, and I rather stick with one vendor right now.”
“What’s a vendor?” Addie asked.
“A vendor is someone who sells you a product, or in this case a service,” Dad explained.
“In other words, I am a vendor and you’re not.” I smirked.
“But I want to be a vendor!”
“You didn’t even know what a vendor was five minutes ago and now you want to be one,” I said.
“Daddy! No fair, why does he get to be a vendor and I don’t?”
“We’ll think of something for you Addie, don’t worry.” My dad poured himself a second cup of coffee.
“Hey Dad, if you know I can do the job and you trust me as a vendor already, why don’t you pay $20?”
“It’s called leverage, Son.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means there are two possible vendors bidding for the same job. Two vendors, only one client. Two of you, and only one of me. Who has the power to say no?”
I swallowed slowly and thought about it. “Um...uh...I suppose you do.”
“And why’s that?”
“Because if you say no to me, then you have Addie who can clean the pool. But if I say no to you, I don’t have anyone else and I’m out of a job.”
“Smart kid. Leverage is about who has more options.”
“Thanks a lot Addie! Thanks to you I just lost five dollars a week.”
“That’s a small price to pay to learn about leverage,” my dad said. “You’ll thank your sister one day.”
“I doubt it.” 


steve searfoss

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they'd ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, "Let's pretend you have a business that sells..." and off we'd go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important. 

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

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(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift card! (10) winners will receive a paperback copy of Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue!

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN/UK/AUSTRALIA only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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