Book Promo Day: 29th August, 2013

A Dozen Shorts by J. H. Bogran

An eclectic collection of short stories coming from the mind of J. H. Bográn and his muses.

This collection comprises diverse characters on both sides of the law, from rogue FBI agents, to professional assassins, and everyday men and women facing impossible odds.

The Author strongly recommends popcorn and soda as companions while delving into these stories.

Purchase from:
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E3HMCNE/
The collection is priced at $0.99 through August 31, 2013.

More information:
Author’s website


LITTLE MISS HISTORY LIBERTY Little Miss HISTORY Travels to the Statue Of Liberty by Barbara Ann Mojica

Since her last trip to Mount Rushmore, Little Miss HISTORY has journeyed more than 1700 miles over land, sea and air to reach her second destination, The Statue of Liberty. This national treasure stands proudly in New York Harbor welcoming all people to the land of freedom and opportunity. In this second book of the series, Little Miss HISTORY will help you discover who thought of the statue in the first place, the values she symbolizes, the architects and engineers who built Lady Liberty, and the little known individuals who contributed their pennies to make her debut in New York’s harbor possible. You will learn about why she remains a promise and symbol of the hopes and aspirations of many people around the world and not just to immigrants coming to America. Come now and follow Little Miss HISTORY as she enlightens you about The Statue of Liberty!

Purchase from:
CreateSpace

More information:
Author’s website
CreateSpace


For the Sake of Mercy by Steve K Smy

Merchant Captain Henri Duschelle, a man Union Fleet wish they had, must lead his loyal, hard fighting crew on a seemingly impossible mission: to deliver a vital organ to the dying son of one of his crew, across the longest span of the colonised worlds – to an insane deadline. He is convinced that only his ship, the stunningly beautiful Persephone, can make such a journey in the time allowed. But dangers lie in wait on this, perhaps the greatest voyage ever made by humans…

The first novelette in the series: The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories.

More information:
Author’s website/blog


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Book Promo Day: 22nd August, 2013

Astonished!

I am truly astonished, and not a little disappointed, to be honest.  I have received a total of ONE submission for this week’s Book Promo Day!  Given that this is free advertising, I really don’t understand why authors don’t leap at the opportunity.  In future, if I receive anything less than three submissions, the event simply won’t happen that week.  Any that have been received will be carried over until such time as three or more entries will be possible.

So as not to disappoint Alex Shaw on this occasion, I have added two books myself!  I believe that these will be of interest and I hope that you will understand why I’ve done this.

===0===

Cold Black by Alex Shaw

Former SAS trooper Aidan Snow returns in the thrilling follow up to the Kindle bestseller ‘Hetman’.

Now an MI6 operative, Snow must locate and rescue an old SAS colleague before an Al-Qaeda splinter cell can carry out acts of unprecedented horror. But who is covertly funding these new attacks and why?

Abduction

Veteran SAS trooper, Paddy Fox has lost his job, his wife and his temper. Whilst bitterly job hunting, Fox witnesses a car crash and finds himself rescuing a kidnapped Saudi Royal. Persuaded by MI6 to accept a job as security adviser in Saudi Arabia, Fox travels to Riyadh.

Assassination

In Kyiv, a director of the Belorussian KGB is gunned down whilst trying to pass shocking intelligence to his counterpart in the Ukrainian SBU. Intelligence, which if verified, sets out plans to commit international acts of terror.

Al-Qaeda

In Saudi Arabia, an entire British Trade mission is taken hostage by a new, highly trained, group aligned to Al-Qaeda. But who is covertly funding this new insurgency and why?

An International Conspiracy

Former SAS Trooper turned MI6 operative, Aidan Snow is caught in a maelstrom involving East, West and Middle East which endangers the world’s supply of oil.

More information:

http://amzn.com/B00408A6C0


Shade of Evil (Being Part 1 of G1: The Guardians) by Steve K Smy

The 2nd edition with a dramatic new cover, with an illustration by Chris Graham.  Some fundamental changes have been made to the novelette’s story, particularly in respect of the Guardians.

A simple man bears a terrible burden, unknowing. Now, that burden is killing him, seeking freedom from his exhausted hulk. Freedom to satisfy its evil hunger.  And its food is Humans!

A darkness dwelt there, a vile miasma of misery that gnawed at the very soul of the man. It had been there for years, growing like some parasite, growing bloated with every bit of melancholy that was sucked from him. Worse, it was taking on a life of its own, a substance that should not exist. And the man was becoming something less, something hollow.

More information:

Author’s website/blog


Yule Pause and Frosty Claus (The Owl Wood Publications) by Ian Hutson

Yule pause and Frosty Claus is the second of The Owl Wood Publications and tells the story of two dogs, Pipsqueak and Toby, an owl who’s a hit-man left over from the Cold War, four chickens of dubious IQ, several of the bravest pheasant you’ll ever meet – and a monastery populated by little rat monks with little rat tonsures and little rat sandals. Father Christmas gets his just deserts and the rats get the Harrods Christmas Hamper. All is well that ends well, and this all ends well.

No sex, very little violence and none of that “Hollywood style” and only a hint of the mildest of everyday English gentlefolk cussing.
15,000 words or thereabouts allowing for the cold. More words than you could shake a stick at.

The Owl Wood is a real-life tiny patch of woodland set aside in Lincolnshire, England, for owls to nest and do owlish things. Since the miserable little souls have steadfastly refused to nest for the past five years I rather thought I ought to make up some action instead. Blathering nonsense, but fun.

Why not have a look at the others in the series too while you’re at it? There are sheep in the next one. Sheep I tell you, lovely sheeeeeeep.

More information:

http://www.amazon.com/Ian-Hutson/e/B00C6XFRBG


What a Shame!

Blog Browser Day

It strikes me as being a shame that nobody nominated any blogs for Blog Browser Day this week.  To me, this opportunities to bring the spotlight of free advertising to bear are priceless.  Okay, so this one is really intended to direct folk to blogs that we, ourselves, like, but I would have thought that there’s no shortage of those!  Please, my friends!  Don’t be shy about these chances!

What the…?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook too will know about this.  My feelings are, however, still strong on the whole thing!

Yesterday, while doing a quick check on my Smashwords Dashboard, I discovered a whole bunch of my books had been taken off “Premium”!  Now, that setting means that the books can and are sent to numerous other online bookstores.  A very desirable state of affairs, of course.  So removing books from it is devastating!  But why?  Well, all but one had, according to the Smashwords ‘autovetter’, a very, very tiny fault.  Now hang on!  I was under the impression that this system was part of the initial submission process for books.  All of these books have been available for several months!  So why did this happen?  I’d love to know but, to be honest, the folk handling such questions at Smashwords get very defensive and I’m really in no mood for such nonsense.  Suffice it to say that it took me bout 11 hours to make the amendments!

On a Very Much Happier Note…

I was delighted to discover that my short story, Skylord, had received another 5 star review!  It’s on Smashwords (yes, that same place) but I repeat it here:

Skylord is a short story depicting the plight of a young dragon nearing adulthood who is testing his mettle. When he flies too close to Ydren and makes an enemy of her, he tells his parents a lie about their encounter. There is an overabundance of dragons and not enough open territory. His lie leads his parents to go to war over territory. When Skylord learns that he cannot fly in the Phalanx and do battle because he is not yet an adult, he despairs that others will die and he cannot right his wrong. He flies off to the Lost Caverns and meets Belarth, a wise old dragon long presumed to be dead. Belarth gives him some valuable advice which gives Skylord the answer to the problem for which he as been searching. Great adventure fantasy for children ages ten and up.

Barbara Mojica on Aug. 16, 2013 : starstarstarstarstar

Thank you so much, Barbara!

And Finally…

Apart from being able to get the brand new ebook version of Shade of Evil from Smashwords or any Amazon store, with the great new cover by Chris Graham, the 2nd Edition paperback is being prepared right now.  In addition, my new novel is with skoobebooks and will, hopefully, be available in paperback by the launch date of 10th September.  In fact, and this is very exciting, it may also be available in hardback!  The ebook will be processed on the launch date, simultaneously at Amazon and Smashwords.

More exciting news:  I have an artist friend looking into producing illustrations and a new cover for Skylord!  The illustrated version, a fully fledged children’s book, will, I’m afraid, not be available as a free ebook, and the text only version will be withdrawn at the end of this month.  This will reflect the additional work involved in producing an illustrated book.  I will do all I can to keep the price down but ebooks generally can’t be priced below $0.99 USD.

~ Steve

Press Release: Clive the Magic Camel – A Guest Post

clip_image002.jpgclip_image004.pngClive the Magic Camel
– At the Zoo

Clive the Magic Camel – At the Zoo is a very old story about a camel that meets various animals and wishes for one of each of their attributes that he thinks will improve his personality. The name ‘camel’ changes as each attribute is added until he becomes so absurd that he realises that he was better as he was, and not something/somebody else.

The book is written to be read by 6 year olds and upwards, but it can be read to, or told as a story to, children from the age 3 upwards. This book, based on an old nonsense fun story, can even be enjoyed by those in secondary school. It can be read to groups of children to aid discussion on the subject raised.

The story was told certainly in Victorian times when there was no or very little entertainment in the homes. The writer has been telling this and other stories for many years to children and young people of all ages in schools, churches, and youth organisations.

A few years ago the author was told he ought to write down his stories and he has written Clive the Magic Camel – At the Zoo as his first book.

The book was published by Diverze Publications and was released on 14th February 2013.

The book is available in Stroud at ‘The Children’s Bookshop’, Union Street, ‘The Centre Bookshop’, London Road, and at ‘Come into the Light’ High Street, Stonehouse.

It is also available online at: www.diverze.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.waterstones.com, etc.

Comments on the book (most recent first):

· Sarah, Milford VA, USA (Goodreads)

I have an 8 and a 9 year old daughters. They read the book together and they really enjoyed reading it. They had so much fun sounding out the animals name.

This would be a great book for the author to present at a school and read to students and celebrate everyone’s differences. We had a local author come to our school that did that and the children loved it. This is the perfect book for such a presentation and for children to learn about writing. I look forward to checking out more books from the author.

· Mary Jane Calara, London (FaceBook):

“Great book, the moral lesson is not just for children but for grown- ups too. Proud to have one! Thanks Clive Dale!”

· Janet O’Shea, St Ives (Facebook):

Nina, Morgan, Finley and Aidan really enjoyed this book. It was funny when mummy couldn’t pronounce the words! We are looking forward to reading Clive the Camel at the Seaside.

· Colin Morgan, Bristol (Diverze):

Great story with brilliant illustrations. My grandchildren ages 7 and 9 just loves Clive the Camel they think he is so cute. Hope the next adventure is just as good.

· Current rating on Goodreads is 4.75 out of a maximum 5.

Cotswold Life Magazine, August 2013
selected for an article on children’s books

Cotswold Life Cover Article Cotswold Life

More of Clive Dale’s Books in the Pipeline

Written, proofread and awaiting illustration and publication:

Clive the Magic Camel – At the Seaside
Johnny and the Rice Pudding

Being Written:

Ollie the Onion
Grub the Dog

About the author Clive Dale

Clive currently lives in Stroud, and has worked in the computer departments for various companies including: Purnells, Paulton; Rank Xerox, Mitcheldean; Brann Direct Marketing, Cirencester; and British Energy (now EDF) Gloucester while living in the West Country.

Someone told him he should write his stories down and get them published. ‘Clive the Magic Camel – at the Zoo’ is the first to be published, with ‘Johnny and the Rice Pudding’ and ‘Clive the Magic Camel – at the Seaside’ currently awaiting illustrations.

Clive is now retired and is able to find time to write his stories. He is a member of Ebley Chapel, and a Trustee of the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion. On 2nd April 2013, he was inducted as President of the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion for a two year term.

For over forty years he has been a leader in various children’s and youth organisations (mainly Boys’ Brigade) and has told his stories in those organisations, schools, and Sunday Schools.

He was invited to Longney School, Gloucester on 7th March 2013 for World Book Day when he told the story to four classes and answered their questions on writing a book.

Ben Gander his illustrator for the first book is an avid artist, having produced various murals for children’s bedrooms, a pub and a toyshop, as well as selling various cartoons, caricatures and portraits

clip_image006Contact Information:

Clive Dale
Website: www.dales-tales.com

More Useful Links:

www.facebook.com/clivesDalesTales
www.facebook.com/clive.dale
www.facebook.com/pages/Clive-the-Magic-Camel
www.pinterest.com/clivemdale/
www.goodreads.com/author/show/7035116.Clive_Dale
www.twitter.com/C_DalesTales
www.twitter.com/clivemdale
www.twitter.com/CliveTheMagicc

Meeting Victoria Zigler – A Most Remarkable Lady

Tori Zigler  “My name is Victoria Zigler, but most people just call me Tori.”  So says my very special guest for today.  Tori is a remarkable lady, and I use that term meaning all it infers, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself…

==0==

When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?

“I’ve loved to read and write since I first learned how to. I was taught to read and write at the age of three because I wanted to do “homework” like my big brother. By the time I was in full time school shortly after turning four I was in love with the written word and already attempting to write short stories and poems. None of them were any good in those first few years, but by the time I was about seven I could write a good enough story to earn a medal in a writing competition. I still have the medal.”

Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?

“I’ll read almost anything, but my favourite books are fantasy books and children’s books, and since I write children’s books – often with a fantasy theme to them – I’ll have to say, yes.”

Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?

“Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, Beatrix Potter’s animal themed Peter Rabbit series, and both Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl’s books were a big influence to me growing up, and I think still influence my writing today.”

Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?

“Yes, past events influence my writing. I think past events often influence someone’s writing. It’s something you can’t avoid happening. Although, with my Toby’s Tales series it was intentional.”

Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?

“I don’t think one author stands out. I have a few favourite authors, but if I pick one of them I’ll feel bad for not having picked the others!”

Have you got both printed and digital books published?

“No. I only have digital books published. It’s not that I don’t want to have my books available in print, it’s just that it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe one day, but not yet.”

Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?

“I write what I have ideas for. If what I write is fashionable, great, but if not then I just have to hope it’s good enough to interest people. Besides, fashions change so quickly that keeping up with trends is difficult to say the least. Also, working with ideas that pop in to your head of their own accord is usually easier than working with ones that someone forces on you.”

How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?

“I don’t actually have set times for anything. I tried routines, but they don’t work for me, partly due to an irregular sleep pattern. The only way things get done at specific times in my house is if someone else sets the times (for example, medical appointments we have to get to, events we want to go to, or trains we have to catch to get to somewhere before it closes). So, I just write when I feel it’s a good time to write, which can be any time of the day or night.”

Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?

“Yes. I have my ‘notes and ideas’ file, with snippets of ideas for potential future stories and notes on ones I’m working on in it.”

Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on a piece?

“I write freeform. I’ll just let the words flow freely on the first draft, not even stopping to check for typos or spelling and grammar mistakes. Then I slowly go through it a few times until I think it’s done. Then I go through again just to be sure. I think I end up doing about five or six drafts before I’m completely happy with something. But one thing I don’t do is plan out the story. I tried planning, but I felt it took the life out of the story. I prefer to just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. I mean, I’ll have an idea in my head of where I want to end up at the end of the story, but how I’ll get there is usually a mystery even to me until it’s written.”

When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?

“I’ll write using any means available to me, but most of the time I use a computer. I have a laptop intentionally so I can have it to hand and take it with me if I go away somewhere. Not that I go away that often, but since my family is spread all over the place I want to have the option.”

Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?

“Yes. I get unbelievably excited if I find a copy of a book I’ve been failing to get hold of. Discovering books you’ve been looking for is more exciting than Christmas!”

What is your greatest ambition in writing?

“I’d love to be a well-known author. I’m not searching for enormous amounts of fame or anything like that – though it would be nice. I just want to be well-known enough that there are several people waiting eagerly for my next book. And I’d love to be in the top sellers list somewhere.”

Where can readers find out more about your works?

Website
Smashwords
Goodreads
Facebook author page
Twitter

==0==

Tori: In Her Own Words

“My name is Victoria, but most people call me Tori. I’m a blind, vegetarian author of children’s books and poetry. Born in the shadow of the Black Mountains in Wales, I now live in the South East of England with my husband, Kelly, a West Highland White Terrier named Keroberous, and four degus whose names are Jacob, Jasper, Jenks and Joshua.

“My favourite things to do are reading and writing, but I also enjoy watching movies and some TV shows, listening to music, doing various crafts (such as knitting and cardmaking), playing roleplaying games (such as Dungeons And Dragons), playing figure games (such as Monsterpocalypse and Classic BattleTech) and doing the odd bit of baking. I also have an interest in history (especially Stone Age and Egyptian history) and love almost everything to do with animals and nature (except spiders and creepy crawly bug things).”

==0==

The Books of Victoria Zigler

The Magical Chapters Trilogy:

  1. Witchlet
  2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
  3. A Magical Storm

The Toby’s Tales Series:

  1. Toby’s New World
  2. Toby’s Monsters
  3. Toby’s Outing
  4. Toby’s Games
  5. Toby’s Special School

The Kero’s World Series:

  1. Kero Goes Walkies
  2. Kero Celebrates His Birthday
  3. Kero Gets Sick
  4. Kero Celebrates Halloween (due for release October 2013)
  5. Kero Goes To Town (due for release November 2013)
  6. Kero Celebrates Christmas (due for release December 2013)

Stand Alone Stories:

Bluebell The Fairy Guide

Frank The Friendly Ogre

The Great Tadpole Rescue

Asha’s Big Adventure (due for release August 2013)

Snowball The Oddball Kobold (due for release September 2013)

Poetry Books:

Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems

My Friends Of Fur And Feather

The Light Of Dawn And Other Poems

Waves Of Broken Dreams And Other Poems

The Leaf Monster And Other Children’s Poems (due for release September 2013)

“Sunflower” Blog Tour

Sunflower by Cass J. McMain

Final Digital Cover Published June 15th 2013

Hardback (203 x 127mm):
£19.99 / USD $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-44-7

Paperback (203 x 127mm):
£11.99 / USD $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-45-4

Kindle
£3.99 / USD $5.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-46-1

ePub
£3.99 / USD $5.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-47-8

BIC Code: FA

Michael is a metalworker with a name for building good fences. He’s even known by some neighborhood kids as Mr. Fence Man. But he wants to be something more: an artist like his former business partner, Alex. An artist, like his girlfriend, Jess, wants him to be. The commissions are starting to come in, and along with steady work making fences, things are looking good. The only problem he has is with his closest neighbor, who won’t allow visitors to pass through a gate between their properties. This dispute becomes a fight and Michael, enraged, makes a wrong choice.

Haunted by the result of his choice, Michael starts to fall apart: a death weighs down on him, exposing the weaknesses in the persona he was creating for himself, the weaknesses at the heart of him.

Sunflower is a story about a man having a bad day and making one bad choice. But underneath that, it also about his coming to terms with himself: who he is – and who he is not. Ultimately, Sunflower is about how we define ourselves as people, and how we seek to be what we are not.

An extraordinary and beautiful novel.

Editor’s Review:

I was pointed in the direction of Sunflower by a friend who had seen it on a writing forum. Within a couple of pages I was sure that this was worth reading, and approached Cass through the mutual friend. She duly sent me the manuscript, apparently a little surprised at my interest.

I realised then how long it was – 140,000 words, a real epic. Too long, according to conventional wisdom – surely too long unless it contained suitably epic events and huge cast of characters.

One Saturday late morning I opened the Word document and, seated at my desk, began reading. I read straight through, stopping only for coffee. 140,000 words in one day. Very little happens in the book, to be truthful, and what there is doesn’t happen quickly. Characters? Well, there are maybe three or four who are central, and perhaps a dozen (including a waitress and a salesman who appear for a few lines) in all. The style is simple, and there are no great phrases, no extended analyses, no bravura passages. I felt as though I had read a brief, simple book, and as though I had been immersed in another life.

Above all I knew this should be published.

It is hard, though, to describe or characterise. If it was a painting it would undoubtedly be in the impressionist style – or some midway point between pointillism and the obsessive twisting strokes of Van Gogh. There is a rhythm and a repetition, an extraordinary care with each word, each sentence, each punctuation mark, but it is true art, for one is never aware of the effort nor of the innate skill.

The reader is taken into the lives of the characters, the life, above all, of Michael. Like most lives his is composed of small moments, small worries, and small ambitions; as with most lives there is a fragility to his. The fragility is in part due to a fault line in him – the kind of fault line we all have. One particular small moment has a butterfly effect on the whole; the structure begins to crumble, quietly, almost unnoticed, and a life of quiet desperation emerges.

Throughout there are those moments that strike home and for me there was one particular moment: a telephone call, innocuous and unimportant, that made me stop reading for a little while, so personal was the recognition. There is throughout a kind of gentle descent – and the most gentle dissection of a person one can imagine. Yet in the end this about strength and hope, about life-giving light as well as life-denying darkness.

It is indeed a story of small things and profound truths.

Robert Peett

image About the Author

Cass McMain was born in Albuquerque and raised in the far North Valley, among the cottonwoods. Her first love was always houseplants, and she now maintains a house full of them.

Her background as a greenhouse manager led to a long career in garden center management, but when the bottom fell out of the local industry, she took a new path. Or rather, an old path; Cass started writing at the age of six, knocking out stories on her typewriter.

While her love of nature came in part from her father, a man with the heart of a farmer and the soul of a philosopher, much of the writing Cass did as a child was done to please her mother, a woman with the heart of a philosopher, the soul of a demon and the unquenchable thirst of the mind reserved for the brilliant.

Recently, Cass’s writing muse has again been speaking to her: a voice she stopped paying attention to a long time ago. Her plants, some of which she has had since she was nine years old, remain the heart of her life, but now she has a desire to express herself in other ways.

Bowed, but not broken, Cass keeps her eye on the horizon, looking for a greenhouse to manage. Her favorite saying these days is “that was then; this is now.”

An Excerpt from Sunflower:

Michael got home late in the afternoon, and he was worn out. He didn’t feel like working on the Tragedie piece. But if he didn’t do anything on it, he knew Jess would nag at him. Maybe he could sort of review it, without a lot of work. Those guys had taken a lot of energy out of him. He mixed himself a gin and tonic and walked out to the shed.

The piece stared at him. He wondered again why the owner of this restaurant was so determined to have such a somber image as their icon. That reminded him about the curls he was going to try on the cheeks. He set his drink down and took up the coil he had experimented with before. The heat from the torch had definitely brought out some different coloring. Michael decided to give it a shot on a grander scale.

Working with a much larger strip of metal, Michael fashioned a coil about a foot across and two inches thick. To change the color of it he fired up his torch and played the flame across the metal. This gave the coil some irregular markings that brought out depth and made it more interesting. Michael ran his hand along the edge and realized it was dangerously sharp, so he ground down the edges and ran the torch over it again. He doubted anyone would be actually petting the artwork, but it wouldn’t be smart to take the risk.

Once the metal was curled, he welded it to the cheek of the mask, under the left eye. The mouth was unevenly curved by design and as Michael worked he came to the conclusion that the second curl should be placed lower, to follow the direction of the mouth. He stepped back to look at the piece from a distance, and bumped into the table which held his drink. Michael caught the drink before it spilled, and absent-mindedly swallowed it at a gulp. The ice had melted; he had not realized how much time had passed, and it was now after 5:00.

Michael set down the glass again. It can’t be that late, he was thinking, when he heard Jess pull into the driveway. It was indeed that late. He went out to meet her.

She stepped out of the car. Her cotton skirt blew out behind her as she moved toward him, making her look almost like she was floating.

“Hi sweetie,” he called to her. “How was your day?”

“Was OK, how about yours? Get anywhere on your mask?” She caught up to him and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“Yeah, come look at this idea I got,” Michael said enthusiastically. “I really think this helps the piece look less formidable.” He led Jess to the shed.

She looked in at the mask. “The curlicue?” she asked. When Michael nodded, she said “I like it. Doing another on the other side?”

“Yeah,” Michael said. “Down lower though, to keep with the mouth.” He pointed at the spot. “Think it helps?”

Jess agreed that it did make the mask less frightening. “But it still looks mean,” she said. “It isn’t supposed to look mean, it’s supposed to look sad.”

“Well, I don’t know what else I can do,” Michael said. He was irritated, but he tried not to let it show. Easy for her to say, he thought. “What do you think I was trying to do with the curls?”

“Honey, don’t get upset,” Jess replied. “I just mean—well here, why don’t you add some turned down eyebrows?” She took up a notepad nearby and sketched. “Like this.” She held the pad up for Michael to view.

It was perfect. It would only take a couple of hours to do, and it would completely change the piece. Michael was stunned and, he hated to admit, resentful. She did in three seconds what I couldn’t do in three weeks, Michael thought. Just like Alex.

Purchase Sunflower from:

http://bookShow.me/1909374458 (this is a new system that should allow whoever clicks on it to reach their local Amazon site)

Barnes & Noble
Waterstones
Foyles

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

About Return to Cardamom

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso Title: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2)

Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Publisher: Independent

Publication Date: July 17, 2013

Pages: 136 (Paperback)

Recommended Age: 9+

Summary:
Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

Purchase

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

The Buzz About Book 1: Escape From the Forbidden Planet

Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso“Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars It’s part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books. Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!” ~ Michael S., Amazon, 5 Stars “I loved this book. Super great series for middle graders. I loved Caramel. She has a great attitude and determination. I really admired how she was focused on getting home, saving her family but also made the best of being stuck on an alien planet. Definitely a book with great role models for kids. I really hope there is more to come where this came from. Kids need books like this with catchy stories, solid characters who have good values that they can relate to.” ~ Unorthodox Mama, Goodreads, 5 Stars.

*** Get your FREE COPY of Escape From the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso July 17 to 21, 2013. Available for 99 cents after July 21, 2013. ***

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

About the Author

Julie Grasso - Author Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.

Book Website: http://www.julieannegrassobooks.com/

Author Blog: WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books

Twitter: @Jujuberry37

Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

July 17

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)
The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day (Review)
Jemima Pett (Review)

July 18

Amanda’s Books and More (Review)
Tales of a Bookworm (Review)
InkSpired: A Blog (Review)

July 19

Sher-A-Hart (Review)
This Kid Reviews Books (Review)

July 20

Fiona Ingram (Review)
swlothian | author (Review)
A Library Mama (Review)

July 21

Imagineer – ing (Book Spotlight)
Stanley and Katrina (Review)

July 22

Published Bestsellers (Author Interview)
The Jenny Evolution (Review)

July 23

Word Spelunking (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Author Interview)

July 24

Nik’s Picks Book Reviews (Review)
R.K. Grow- reading.writing.blogging. (Author Interview)
Diane Estrella @That’s What I’m Here For… (Review)

July 25

Guiltless Reading (Review)

July 26

Kid Lit Reviews (Review)
BeachBoundBooks (Review)

July 27

Mel’s Shelves (Review)
Learning and Growing the Piwi Way (Review)

July 28

My Devotional Thoughts (Author Interview)
Daisha Korth Books (Review)

July 29

Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)
Published Bestsellers (Review)
Bookworm for Kids (Review)

July 30

Nayu’s Reading Corner (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Review)

July 31

Cheryl Carpinello’s Writing Pages (Guest Post)
Nayu’s Reading Corner (Review)
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog (Review)

*** Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Giveaway ***

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne GrassoAmazon $50 Gift Card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prize:

One winner will receive a copy (print in U.S./Canada & e-copy internationally) + a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

Contest runs:

July 17th to August 7th, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open:

Worldwide

How to enter:

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions:

A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

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Recalling the Past

Book Covers - May 2013 Overwhelmed!

A brief note of thanks to Deanie Humphrys-Dunne!  Deanie, who has created some lovely characters for children in her books, did me the great honour of interviewing me for her blog.  Thanks, Deanie!  I don’t know what I’ve done to be featuring on sop many blogs at the moment!!

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Recollections

Yesterday, I was chatting, via email, to Chris, of The Storytelling Ape fame, about children and the books they love.   In fact, as Chris had been kind enough to invite me to make a suggestion or two for his special Kids Korner blog, in terms of books recommended, I was sent into a lengthy reverie.  Emerging from this happy state, I was able to name one book, My Cat Beany by Jane Feder (illustrated by Karen Gundersheimer), which my eldest son adored above all others and which was one of three that I was required to read to him at bedtime, even though we were both word perfect on it!  The other two were A Wet Monday by Dorothy Edwards (famed for her My Naughty Little Sister tales) and, at the right time of the year The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.  In the course of this chat, I recalled not only these three great favourites, particularly for bedtimes, but also something which might seem contradictory to a subject I’ve discussed previously.

When our eldest was still little, Marshall Cavendish released certain partworks.  One was Story Teller and the other was Little Story Teller.  These featured stunningly illustrated stories, old and new, and each issue came with an audio cassette (for those now thoroughly lost, they predated CDs!).  We mortgaged our souls, virtually, to buy Little Story Teller!  We even bought the beautiful, strong, padded plastic covered binders (they could have done with being a bit more able to store the magazines without bulging!) and the equally excellent quality cassette cases.  Why?  Because we acknowledged that our son’s appetite for reading far exceeded the time we could devote to reading to him, especially as his brother and then his sister put in their appearances.  When there was no alternative, he would lie on the floor, on his belly, with an old portable cassette player, listening to tape after tape, and following the tales in the magazines.  I couldn’t begin to guess at how many hours he spent like that!  We also acquired odd issues of Story Teller from charity shops.  Theoretically, they were well beyond his age.  He still consumed them eagerly!  Then, as a result of the chat with Chris, and recalling how our son had fallen in love with a tale about Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat, I just had to explore a bit.  As a consequence, I came upon a wonderful blog that’s devoted to Story Teller/Little Story Teller!  If you’re an addict of the partworks, or if you’re just curious, please do visit the blog!  There are even some Youtube links for some of the tales from the series.  (My son was thrilled when I sent him the link!)  Partworks are everywhere, these days, but I know of none that represent such excellent value as these old ones.

The aforesaid isn’t a contradiction!  I don’t believe that audiobooks are evil replacements for human interaction!  I simply believe that they must always fit a role in which they are an accessory – something that adds to genuine story times between parents and their children.  I would have been so full of guilt if I had abdicated my responsibility as a father by pushing my children to these cassettes rather than reading to them myself!  Worse, if I had so abdicated, I would have been deprived of very special times. So, my message is, and always will be, that there’s no substitute for parents reading to their children, whenever it is humanly possible!

There’s one final thing I’d like to say about KidLit.  I have, in the past, overheard parents in bookshops who, while browsing impatiently through a plethora of books for kids, that they must find the award winning books!  Why?  Surely, they should be looking for books that they know their child/children will like?  An award winning book on ‘good dental health – essential – educational’ may be a critically acclaimed volume, backed by every possible authority, but it may well not interest children as much as the adventures of a worn out old tractor or a rather less than clever dog!  Personally, I’d rather keep children eager to read than simply ‘well read’ and ‘well informed’.

~ Steve