Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Jewel of Peru Book Blast

The Jewel of Peru

About the Book

Title: The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru
Author: Sharon Skretting 
Publication Date: September 20, 2014 
Publisher: Independent 
Pages: 317 
Recommended Ages: 8+ 

Summary: The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher's missing parents. After his father's ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents, or will all be lost for ever?

* You can purchase an e-copy of "The Jewel of Peru" for only 99 cents from Amazon for the duration of the blast, so grab your copy now! *

Amazon | Teachers Pay Teachers | Goodreads


The Buzz

"Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas. I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale." ~ Sara Marschand, Quiethouse Copy Editing

"Engaging and meaningful, the author does an excellent job crafting this story. I don’t usually read middle school novels but made an exception for this one and will be passing it on to all the children in my life." ~ 5 Star Review, Love Reading, Amazon

"The Jewel of Peru is a wonderful piece of educational fiction that blends fact and fantasy to create a literary journey that is both informative and exciting for young readers... It's every bit as much of a page turner as it is a learning experience..." ~ 5 Star Review, Kelley, Amazon

"Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas... Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale." ~ 5 Star Review, Sara M., Amazon

About the Author: Sharon Skretting

Sharon SkrettingSharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat, named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon. Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged nine to ninety nine and make them want to read more! * Teacher support materials to go along with the novel can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest ends: December 25, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 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. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Sharon Skretting and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MG/YA Author Marva Dasef Explains Audiobooks

Carpinello's Writing Pages brings readers a treat this month. Fellow MuseItUp MG/YA author Marva Dasef has hopped in to talk about the third type of books: The Audio Book. You may know a young person who doesn't read, but might listen to an exciting adventure!

Here's Marva:

I thought I’d talk a little about the process of producing an audio book. Since I now have six audio books, I’ll call myself experienced enough to offer advice. Five out of my six audio books are definitely in the childrens’ division. Four of those are in the same series: The Witches of Galdorheim.

Now, down to business.

First, make sure you have the audio rights to your book. This seems a no-brainer, but when’s the last time you read your contract? If you’re an independent author, then you’ve obviously got your audio rights even if you’ve published your book through Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. (if an ebook) and anywhere you might have used if you have a print book as well. I use CreateSpace myself, and it’s been functioning well for me for several years.

I searched around for audio production companies and saw several vanity press types.  No way.
I’ve been spoiled by Kindle (plus those other guys) and CreateSpace. I never pay a penny upfront. I do a lot of the work, then the distributor takes their cut when a copy sells.

Pondering all this took me to ACX. Ta da! Wouldn’t you know it. Amazon also has an audio book production company. Why am I not surprised?

I checked it out and found it’s kind of like a dating site. You, the author, auditions narrators/producers. Pretty easy to do. Check the rather huge number of producers and start paring it down. What’s your genre? Do you want a male or female narrator? What age sound do you want your narrator? Accent? And other potential criteria.

You should also check what terms the producer will accept. I selected split royalties since that costs me nothing up front (my favorite mode of operation). To split royalties, you’ll also need to give up a bit of autonomy, that is, you need to assign exclusive distribution to ACX. But that’s not so bad a deal. Your audio book will appear on Amazon (click to buy directs you to, on Audible, and on iTunes. That covers a huge bunch of the audio market.

After pondering the complexities of distribution contracts, you need to create a parking place for your audio book. ACX makes it easy by linking your audio book to your print or ebook Amazon page. Add a few other pieces of information, then upload (a Word file is fine) a couple of pages of your book for audition material. While you might have found the perfect voice, you really want to know how the narrator sounds doing your material.

Why is this? Well, once you’ve uploaded your book info, the people who want the job are looking for good matches to what they offer.

My producer did just that. He courted me. Aw, gee, gosh. The dating game is afoot. I’m easy, and my producer was good, so we paired up. The rest, as they say, is history. I now have five audio books released, plus one more on the way.

Here are the main points to consider:

What kind of contract can you live with? Pay a fixed rate per finished hour (that’s the other method) and you get to keep all the royalties, OR split the royalties, and both you and the producer take the risk and share the rewards.

Think hard about who your narrator is. I know you’ve got a voice in your mind, even when writing in 3rd person, and you’ll want a voice to match your main character.

Surprise for Readers:

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A FREE AUDIO BOOK? Comment here to win your choice of any of my audio books.

Where to find Marva and her audio books:
Find me on my blog or my website.

Find all my books at

Meet YA Fantasy Action Author Brae Wyckoff

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes YA author Brae Wyckoff and his books from the fantasy series The Horn King.

First, a bit about Brae:

Brae Wyckoff, an award winning author, was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jill, for over 20 years, and they have three children. He has a beautiful grandson named Avery. Brae has been an avid RPG gamer since 1985. His passion for mysterious realms and the supernatural inspired him to write The Orb of Truth, the first in a series of fantasy action adventures.

Why did you pick to write books for YA?

I love to write what I call Destiny Books, an epic fantasy genre that is really a draw for the youth. Why? The youth or young at heart want adventure; they want purpose; they want a heroic lifestyle for themselves. By pulling the reader into a fantasy world, I take them on an amazing adventure.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love to read epic fantasy books. My favorite author is RA Salvatore. He writes Dungeons and Dragons novels for Forgotten Realms. I have read other genres and enjoy a good story in any environment, but my love is always fantasy.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I love to travel with my wife. We have gone to Mexico, Ireland, Tahiti, Hawaii, Philippines, and our next adventure will be to Austria and Italy.

Tell us about The Orb of Truth and how the story came to be.

I worked on The Orb for over 20 years until finally it all magically came together. It is an epic fantasy adventure where there are dwarves, elves, and halflings. You will be whisked away into the amazing world of Ruauck-El and take part in an adventure of prophecy and destiny. It is book one of The Horn King series.

Here's a peek at The Orb of Truth:

In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding.

Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history.

An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth?

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

The Dragon God (sequel to The Orb of Truth) has been voted 'Best New Epic Fantasy' and rated Top Fantasy Book. I really enjoyed writing the sequel because we get to go back to Ruauck-El and visit our friends from The Orb. It is a new adventure that takes off right where we left off in the first book.

Here a peek at The Dragon God:

As the heroes of Ruauck-El emerged triumphantly in The Orb of Truth, the first book in The Horn King series, they could not have imagined that an even greater evil still lay ahead of them. 

Raina has discovered a new threat to the realm, and teleported King El'Korr - against his wishes - to the West Horn King's capital city, Tuskabar, in hopes of thwarting an evil Mystic's plan to acquire the five dragon stones. Each relic harbors an ancient dragon spirit, and, if combined, would unleash a multi-headed deity beyond imagination, to begin a reign of terror upon Ruauck-El.

Meanwhile, Bridazak and friends are in search of Spilfer Teehle's missing family. Their quest leads them to visit old enemies, travel through beautiful but deadly locations, and will ultimately take them
on an adventure of new discoveries of themselves. 

Each group is on their own mission, but as destiny would have it, their fates are more entwined than they could possibly know. 

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

Oh yes. The 3rd of the series is almost complete. It is called The Vampire King. What we thought to be a throw-away character in the first book, a young boy named Jack, is the center of attention is this epic tale. We still have all the favorite characters back, and it is an all-out-wonderful adventure riddled with intrigue and suspense. I can’t wait to get it edited and published. It should be out late 2014 or early 2015.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write what you know and then make up the rest. Be serious about your craft and understand that this is a business, and there are ugly sides to it, but don’t be afraid to chase after your dream. Be professional in all you do. Don’t skimp on editing costs or cover art costs. Invest in your work and yourself. Get your work critiqued if at all possible before you release it or even before you have it edited. That way you can make changes and make it as best as possible before the editor takes it.

Anything else you want readers to know?

The Orb of Truth won Best Christian Fantasy Award for 2013 and has been voted #1 in several categories, including Best Indie Fantasy Book, Epic Fantasy Worth Your Time, and Fantasy Book That Should Be Required Reading.

I’m also a radio show host for Broadcast Muse where I interview amazing people from around the world. I have interviewed Academy Award Winners, American Idol Contestants, authors such as William P. Young of The Shack, and others. All the shows are recorded. and you can find them on

Where can readers find you and your books?


Buy Links for The Orb of Truth:

Amazon Ebook

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Audiobook

Buy Links for The Dragon God:

Amazon Ebook

Amazon Paperback

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Meet YA Fantasy Author Christopher Mannino

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes fellow MuseItUp YA fantasy author Christopher Mannino and his first book School of Deaths.

First, a bit about Christopher:

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Why did you pick to write books for YA?

I am a teacher, and have worked with teens and other kids most of my professional life. I spend more time with kids than I do with adults. It seemed a natural place to start my writing career.

What types of books do you like to read?

Nearly anything, though fantasy and historical fiction tend to be my favorites.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Theatre is my other great passion. I love to work on shows, teach theatre, and perform. I also have a great passion for traveling, and travel helped inspire this novel.

Tell us about School of Deaths and how the story came to be.

The idea for School of Deaths emerged when I was finishing my graduate degree at Oxford University. I spent four months abroad, far from everyone I knew. Every week, I traveled somewhere I had never been before. I would climb castle ruins in Wales and visit cathedrals in England. One of my favorite trips was to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. After misjudging the time it’d take to get there, I became stranded. The tourist office was closed, and I couldn’t find a hostel. I walked from pub to pub asking if I could sleep above their bar.

The next morning, having slept none, since I’d found a room over a noisy pub, I crept to Barras Nose before dawn. Barras Nose is a stone peninsula, or rocky outcropping jutting into the Celtic Sea, just north of Tintagel. Tintagel itself is a small island with castle ruins on its cliffs. Some believe it to be the birthplace of King Arthur. When I reached Barras Nose, the winds howled so fiercely that I had to crawl on all fours to keep from being blown into the ocean below. Then dawn broke. No other humans were in sight. I struggled to keep my balance, but watched the sun rise on the ruins of the ancient castle, listening to the thunder of waves pounding the fifty foot cliffs I clung to. Wind battered me with ferocity, and I imagined a character being buffeted by winds, completely alone. I envisioned  Suzie, alone in a world of men, buffeted by sexism.

Here's a peek at School of Deaths:

Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who subjugate a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn't an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she's been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

School of Deaths is my first published novel. The print book will be released this winter.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I am currently working on a sequel for School of Deaths, told from three points of view, which expands greatly on the world introduced in the first novel. Sword of Death is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Never give up.

Anything else you want readers to know?

It’s great to sometimes combine my two passions, theatre and writing. The book trailer for School of Deaths features students I’ve taught and was filmed by a former student.

Where can readers find you and your books?







School of Deaths:
Muse It Up 


Barnes & Noble

Book Trailer