Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Meet MG Author Heather Brainerd

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Heather Brainerd, author of MG and YA stories. Heather is a fellow MuseItUp author.

First, a bit about Heather:

Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers' compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn't quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Then, a few years later, she was swept off her feet by the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.


Why did you pick to write books for MG and YA?


When I started writing my first book, I happened to be reading a lot of YA paranormal and YA fantasy. I really loved both genres and wanted to try my hand at something along those lines. Later, when my kids started reaching the middle grade years, I co-wrote my first MG book with my brother, David Fraser. He also has kids in that age range, and we wanted to write something that they would enjoy.

What types of books do you like to read?

I’m most likely to pick up a mystery, fantasy, or sweet romance. However, I’ll give just about anything a try.


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

I LOVE Disney World and am constantly concocting some sort of excuse to try to get myself there. To tide me over between trips, I have a Disney blog.

Tell us about Shadows of New York and how the story came to be.

This book is MG paranormal, but more importantly, it’s a story about friendship, acceptance, and doing what is right. That makes the book sound kind of preachy. It’s not, though. There’s a lot of humor in it. As for how it came about… well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say I had a dream that set me on the path to this novel.


Here a peek at Shadows of New York:

What do you do when your view of the world gets turned on its head? Eleven-year-old Josh Cooper is surprised when his new nanny ends up being a dude, but that pales in comparison to how he feels when he learns the nanny, Aiden, is also a werewolf. Aiden teaches Josh about the Imaginary World, even introducing him to his friends Larry Fancypants (a suave-yet-goofy vampire) and Steve Lickerman (a tall-yet-meek leprechaun). This fascinating world seems harmless, until Josh learns of the shadowy wraith that’s stalking New York, attacking creatures and stealing their powers. As werewolves are ideally suited for fighting wraiths, Aiden is called upon to help capture the elusive Mr. Midnight, unintentionally drawing Josh even deeper into the strange and mysterious.


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

My YA paranormal romance, Dream Shade, is the story of a teenaged girl who is being haunted. She has to figure out how to help the spirits in order to put them back to rest. Also, she’s crushing on the cutest guy in school, who actually seems to notice her. My José Picada, PI series, co-written with my brother Dave, is a paranormal mystery series with a somewhat slapdash female lead character, Josie Cates. She’s really fun to write!


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


Dave and I are working on the third and fourth installments of the José Picada, PI series. Big things are coming Josie’s way! After that, we’re planning a sequel for Shadows of New York.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write what you know, what you love, and what intrigues you.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My links:

Blog
Facebook author page
Twitter

My books:

MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meet MG Author R. M. Clark

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes R. M.  Clark author of MG mysteries. His reading favorites fit right in with ours!

First, a bit about R. M.:

I am a computer scientist with the Department of Navy and a children’s mystery writer. After graduating from the University of Idaho, I moved from the Gem State to northeastern Alberta to Southern California before settling into a cozy town in Southeastern Massachusetts, where I live today with my wife and two sons.

Why did you pick to write books for middle grade?

My first two books were written for an adult audience, but more than one agent noted that my voice was better suited for the younger crowd (not an insult—just a true observation). From that point on I channeled my inner ‘tween and wrote seven middle grade novels. I guess those agents were right!




What types of books do you like to read?

I mostly read adult thrillers and mysteries by stalwarts like John Grisham, Michael Crichton, and David Baldacci, but I venture into middle grade and some lower YA books to “keep up” with the genres.

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

As a family, we like to go geocaching (www.geocaching.com), a high tech treasure hunt using a GPS device, which gets us out to many different places on the weekends. As a New Englander, I’m a diehard Red Sox and Patriots fan. Of course, that means a lot of people don’t like me already!


Tell us about The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery and how the story came to be.


I spent nineteen years as a baseball coach—from T-ball to American Legion and most levels in between. From my typical place in the third-base coach's box, I imagined a baseball mystery told from the viewpoint of a modern-day bat girl (April) who happens to be a baseball savant. I wanted to include a reference to the Negro Leagues and its players because their history is so important to the game, so I created Flash Henderson, a speedy outfielder from 1941 who befriends April and her best friend, Darren. When they become entangled in a mystery involving the owner of the team, their passion for the game and its history take them (and the reader) on the journey of a lifetime.

Here's a peek at The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery:



Twelve-year-old April O'Day's summer has gotten off to a flying start. As the new bat retriever for the Harpoons, her hometown's minor-league team, she's fetching bats and doling out great advice to players and coaches alike. In a word, she's becoming indispensable. But mysterious things are happening at Haney Field, which April and her best friend—and fellow baseball enthusiast—Darren Plummer are determined to uncover. As they quickly learn, this is no ordinary season. In fact, it's a whole new ballgame!






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

I’ve written nine books since I started writing seven years ago. My first one was “practice” and lives forever in the trunk. My next adult work, Center Point, was published last year. My debut middle grade book, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, was published in 2012, but the publisher went AWOL, and I recently got the rights back for it. I have two ready for submission: The Right Hand Rule, a mystery about four science fair winners who use their project knowledge to solve a mystery.  Then there’s The Tick Tock Man, in which a boy, CJ, is thrust into an Alice In Wonderland-type world whose citizens are mostly clock parts and whose job is to keep all the great clocks in town running smoothly. Things get even stranger when CJ uncovers a centuries-old feud between neighboring clock villages. Besides those, I have a few other manuscripts in various stages of readiness.


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


I’m always writing (or re-writing) something. My latest manuscript is about Devin, a middle school boy who dreams of being a magician, but he performs badly under pressure. After opening a special magic box from a famous magician, Devin is convinced his brain is occupied by an 19th century kid magician named Ehrich, who just may be the key to Devin’s success and who just happens to be a young Harry Houdini.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Get to know the business before you get too far into your writing career. Know what agents can and can’t do for you. Know the difference between large and small presses. Never sign a contract without knowing what every paragraph means. Be aware that there are good reasons and bad reasons to self-publish. It’s a slow business, so there’s no excuse for being ill-prepared for the journey. Oh, and never forget that writers are the most important links in the publishing chain.


Anything else you want readers to know?

Thanks for having me. This is a wonderful site.


Where can readers find you and your books?

Read more about me and my books at my website, www.rmclarkauthor.com.

Touching My Heart and the Kid Lit Blog Hop #50

For the Last Hop of 2014, I want to share with you those places we visited in the UK that have touched my heart. 


 Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain with all of its magic.

                             








Kensington Palace and













Diana's Memorial Fountain




















 Walking Hadrian's Wall













 The Tower of London's Tribute to the Fallen Men and Women of WWI




  




            Those Magnificient Elgin Marbles














And this man is who as different from me as Scotland is from England, but we still belong together and would be lost without each other.





















 

To his sometimes dismay, he does follow me everywhere:








From the shores of Lake Nassar, Egypt











to the Seawall on Caernarfon Bay, Wales off the Irish Sea!















And now....

Welcome to the 50th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

This Hop Carpinello's Writing Pages brings you interviews with two MG authors:

So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors! We are pleased to be welcoming a new Permanent Hostess to the Hop. Please welcome Naila from Reading Authors, a fabulous book blog. Welcome Naila! Also, please note that for the month of December, we will only be hosting one Kid Lit Blog Hop which will be open for 2 weeks, instead of one.

  Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
 

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we've added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick "follow" or "like" that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks! :-)
Hostesses:
2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!
4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!
5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? If you've joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Shadow of the Unicorn Book Blast

The Shadow of the Unicorn - cover  

About the Book

Title: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy (The Shadow of the Unicorn, Book #1)
Author: Suzanne de Montigny
Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Number of pages: 124
Recommended age: 9+

Summary: A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror. Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Goodreads

*** For those of you living in British Columbia, you can grab a print copy of "The Shadow of the Unicorn" from the local Kidsbook Bookstore in Vancouver. ***  

FREE Study Guide

There is now a FREE 36-page reproducible study guide to The Shadow of the Unicorn complete with integrated activities for kids and a complete answer key for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Click on the image below to download your free copy. The Shadow of the Unicorn Study Guide by Suzanne de Montigny  

Book Preview


Global gold
Winner of the 2013 Global E-book Award for Best Fantasy/Alternate History
 

The Buzz About the Book

"The Shadow of the Unicorn provides an innovative and interesting plotline exploring how the fictional unicorns, the extinct dinosaurs, and early humans may have interacted if they co-existed in a post-apocalyptic world. Suzanne de Montigny does an excellent job of exploring the themes of natural disasters and environmental change, human greed, compassion, and courage. At the end of the day, The Shadow of the Unicorn is an entertaining read that I think will be enjoyed by children who love the fantasy genre and are keen on reading about unicorns. Ages 9+" ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Kudos to Ms. de Montigny for writing an original variation on the fantasy epic--unicorns intermingling with dinosaurs! The book's themes include the humane and environmental concerns that Watership Down and the films of Hayao Miyazaki have in common. If you have a middle grader or are just young at heart, pick up The Shadow Of The Unicorn." ~ 5 Star Review, Stuart W., Amazon

"The Shadow of the Unicorn is a must-read for all unicorn lovers, but even more so for the ones, like my self, who hadn't read anything about them yet. It is a thrilling and encouraging story about a young unicorn that has to save his herd after a meteor nearly destroyed their environment and killed the dinosaurs. Suzanne de Montigny created a compelling universe with believable characters and a great adventure story to challenge them with. While the story finishes in this book, I can't wait to read about the new adventures the unicorns will face.." ~ 5 Star Review, Antje H., Amazon

"This story pulled me in with a beautiful portrayal of a time and place where unicorns and dinosaurs live side by side. It moved me forward with unexpected twist and turns (a requirement in any good story). I found it hard to put the book down and was totally engaged in seeing the young characters (unicorns and dinosaurs) survive and grow because of the challenges they faced." ~ 5 Star Review, NW Harris, Amazon

"What a delightfully unique book. Unicorns and dinosaurs facing changing conditions. Darius is a young dinosaur capable of seeing the future. Azaria is a young unicorn who becomes a friend and learns from Darius. Yes, there are humans in this book. They are the villains of the story. Greedy beasts. I think both boys and girls will love this story. Very quick paced and easy to read. A delightful story, and I look forward to more from this author." ~ 5 Star Review, DM Lawrence, Amazon
 

About the Author: Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny[caption id="attachment_15106" align="alignleft" width="167"] Suzanne de Montigny[/caption]   Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys. For more information about Suzanne and The Shadow of the Unicorn, please visit http://www.suzannedemontigny.com

Website | Blog | 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 27, 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, Suzanne de Montigny 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

Friday, November 28, 2014

Meet British Children's Author David Chuka

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes prolific British Children's author David Chuka and his newest book, Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost.

First, a bit about David:

I live in London with my beautiful wife and two adorable children. They’re usually the first to hear my funny stories. I grew up in Nigeria but moved to the United Kingdom when I was seventeen. London is such a beautiful city to live in as it’s a melting point of so many different cultures. Something most people may not know about me was that I really loved wrestling when I was young and dreamed about flying from the top ropes at Madison Square Garden during the main event at ‘WrestleMania.’ Let’s just say I’ve moved on.

Why did you pick to write books for Children?

There are many reasons that led me to write children’s books. However, chief amongst them was the fact that I couldn’t find appropriate books on the Amazon store that I could download for my daughter who was a beginner reader. There was just this one book which she could read, and when I saw the joy in her eyes as she read to her grandparents, I knew I had to write a book to help her. This all evolved into me writing my first book If You See a Doctor. I really loved the whole experience of writing that first book and getting glowing reviews on the Amazon store that I’ve gone on to write 10 more books with more in the pipeline.

What types of books do you like to read?

I tend to read all sorts of books and go through various phases. I love a good mystery thriller and funny books for kids in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid ilk. I just finished reading Six Years by Harlan Coben.

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


When I’m not writing, I’m usually chilling with my family playing tickle monster and having fun.


Tell us about Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost and how the story came to be.

Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost was a book I wrote on the train on my way to work about four years ago. I believe on that day, I didn’t have any books or newspaper to read, so I resolved to do some creative writing. Mind you at this time, I didn’t have the foggiest idea that I would one day be a children’s book author. My mini exercise produced a story about a sea dragon that got lost while playing hide and seek with his best friend. In his bid to win a game of hide and seek, Kojo ventures to the South side of the Zakari River where his Mom had warned him never to go to. An invisible force pulls him towards a dark hole when he gets to the South side. Kojo fights against this force, but his efforts seem futile. At the point where Kojo thinks all hope is lost, he feels a tug on his tail and turns around to see his Mom and the community working together to rescue him.

Later that day, I typed this story, saved it, and forgot about it. Fast foreword to just a couple of months ago when I was looking for a letter on my hard drive. I stumble upon this document titled Kojo the Sea Dragon. I opened it and got really excited about editing and making it my next publishing project. I guess the moral here is to always save stuff that you write. You just never know how valuable it will be one day. The reception to Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost has been so good that I’ve just completed writing the second book and have more adventures planned for Kojo and his friends in the Zakari River.

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

So far, I’ve written eleven books. Five of them belong to the series The Fartastic Adventures of Billy and Monster. These are funny books for kids and reluctant readers. The first book in the series is titled - Billy and the Monster who Loved to Fart. It’s a story about a little boy who is an only child and has this imaginary monster that does everything with him. There is just one thing that hinders Billy from living the perfect life. Monster farts a lot and everyone blames him for it. After an unforgettable episode involving a symphony of butt whistles during the visit of an inspector to his class, Billy learns that night how to behave in social situations when he feels the desire to release gaseous fumes of the smelly and colourful variety.

Other titles in the series are Billy and Monster: The Superhero with Fart Powers, Billy and the ‘Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs and Billy and the Monster’s New Neighbor Has a Secret. The latest book in the series – Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – was released on November 25th. The next title in the series will be Billy and Monster Meet the President. I’ve also written two non-fiction Animal books and a counting book for pre-schoolers.

 

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

I just published the latest book in the Billy and Monster series – Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas – a few days ago. The main question I was trying to answer in this book was ‘what do we do when we get a present at Christmas that we really don’t like?’ Are we
- Grateful
- Pretend to be happy with the gift or
- Do we express our dissatisfaction?

In this book, Billy receives a present from his Uncle Leland from England that he really doesn’t like, especially as his Uncle gave his cousin a Monster truck. Billy gets to learn a main importance of Christmas or any holiday. Fans of the Billy and Monster books also get to see where Monster came from in this installment. I worked with a new illustrator on this book – Renato from Australia – and I hope readers love reading it as much as I loved writing it.

What advice do you have for other authors?


One thing I can attribute to my success is the fact that I belong to several author groups. There is something inspirational, energizing, and fun about being in the same community of like-minded people. I would advise every author, particularly if you’re new to the publishing game to find a group of authors on the social networks or in your local community you can meet regularly and exchange ideas with. Iron sharpens iron, and you’ll see a significant improvement in your writing and hopefully book sales as a result. Also, keep on writing. Farmers farm. Teachers teach. Builders build. And writers?…well we write.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Just wanted to say a big thank you, Cheryl, for featuring me on your blog today.

I would like to give readers of your blog a little gift to show my appreciation. Simply go to davidchuka.com and enter your name and email in the top right hand corner. You’ll be sent a free coloring book you can share with a loved one in your life. I also love hearing from my fans and readers of my books. Use one of the links provided to get in touch or leave a comment/question in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you.

Where can readers find you and your books?

You can discover more about me and my books on my blog at davidchuka.com You can also connect with me at one of the links below

Facebook
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DavidChuka
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6872534.David_Chuka
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/boldtrends/

And you can grab a digital or physical copy of my books by clicking the link below

David Chuka on Amazon

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 Audible.com), 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 Audible.com

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 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/braewyckoff.

Where can readers find you and your books?


Website

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?


Chris:

Website

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

School of Deaths:
 
Muse It Up 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Trailer




Pembroke Castle in Wales and the Kid Lit Blog Hop #49

Pembroke Castle is the home of Prince Gavin in Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom. A visit here was a must on our trip to Wales in September 2014.

Today, Pembroke Castle sits on a hill on the edge of the town of Pembroke. The main entrance for visitors sits on the street. We walk around the entire structure, and at times we are well below the castle walls.





From the top of the battlements, it is easy to imagine we are looking at the land as it might have existed back in 400-500 A.D.




Those same battlements are from where Prince Gavin watched as his father King Wallace, his brothers, and the rest of the knights returned with The Wild Man.


It is from the Great Keep of Pembroke Castle that Gavin first enters the story.


I had envisioned Pembroke Castle being larger than Manorbier Castle (see http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com/2014/09/manorbier-castle-and-kid-lit-blog-hop-46.html), and I found this to be true upon our visit. Here is the inside of the castle grounds.

Also, as with Manorbier Castle, Pembroke Castle in the days of my story would have been made of wood, and little—if any—remains of that Pembroke. I hope you've enjoyed this visit to historical Pembroke Castle.

AND NOW:


Welcome to the 49th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

This Hop brings you an interview with two YA authors Christopher Mannino and Brae Wyckoff. And, for a special treat, MG/YA author Marva Dasef stops by to talk about what it takes to produce an audio book and has a surprise for readers..

Remember, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!


*** We are looking for a permanent host who is willing to be part of our regular group. The responsibilities include posting about the Hop, entering your link early in the Hop, and hopping around to between 10 and 15 blogs as ambassadors of the Hop and leaving comments on links entered in the linky list. Please contact me if you are interested. ***

 

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
 

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we've added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick "follow" or "like" that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks! :-)
Hostesses:
 
2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!
4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!
5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? If you've joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Adventure Quest Books Book Blast & Giveaway

This Book Blast is brought to you courtesy of Adventure Quest Books. Answer the hero’s call to adventure and enjoy more tales, legends and myths from the ancient and medieval worlds for MG and YA readers.

 






 

About the Books

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram

 

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur - coverTitle: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles of the Stone, Book 2) | Author: Fiona Ingram | Publication Date: October 6, 2014 | Publisher: The Educational Publisher / Biblio Publishing | Pages: 399 | Recommended Ages: 10+ Summary: Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.
Amazon Buy Button
   

 

Max's Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-Porter

 

Max's Arabian Adventure by Wendy Leighton-PorterTitle: Max's Arabian Adventure | Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter | Publication Date: July 16, 2014 | Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing | Pages: 82 | Recommended Ages: 7+ Summary: In this spin-off adventure from the Shadows From The Past series, Max the talking Tonkinese cat goes on a solo mission without his usual time-travelling companions. Snatched from the house where he lives with eleven-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, Max is dragged back into the past by an evil magician who has lined him up to perform a special task. Torn away from all he holds dear, the despondent cat fears he may never be able to return to the present and his beloved owner, Jemima. What will become of him? Will he make it back or will he be condemned to remain forever in a distant time and place, far from home?

Amazon Buy Button

 

 

Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

 

Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello Title: Sons of the Sphinx | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Publication Date: October 10, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 182 | Recommended Ages: 10+
Summary: Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

Amazon Buy Button
   

 

About the Authors

Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram, Author
I love ancient history, mystery, legends, and travel. Join my young heroes Justin and Adam in an exciting quest as they search for the Seven Stones of Power. Each book is a new adventure, so be part of it! Website: http://www.fionaingram.com    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Leighton-Porter

Wendy Leighton-PorterI spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, but now write books for children instead of teaching them. I take young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past and hope that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them. Website: www.wendy-leighton-porter.com  

 

 

 

Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello Author
I’m a retired high school English teacher. My hope is to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales and soon a series of stories from ancient lands and legends that will take readers on adventurous quests throughout history. Website: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com    

 

 

 

 * $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card 

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Contest closes: December 9, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open to: 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 Fiona Ingram, Cheryl Carpinello, and Wendy Leighton-Porter 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