Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reluctant Readers and the 79th Kid Lit Blog Hop

Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers is proud to announce the 2nd re-release happening the end of September—should the stars be in alignment.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend 
 will soon be sporting this new cover and the new branding.

And now,

Welcome to the 79th Kid Lit Blog Hop! On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews:

MG/YA Author Steve Altier 


MG/YA Author Michael Thal 


We want to welcome you to the September 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop. Fall is finally here...YAY! There are some really great Autumn books out there for children. We have seen some list already. How about you share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid's literature.

This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Have you seen the new Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.

Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one-two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Our next hop will be October 19, 2016.  Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Host

Julie Grasso


Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

Meet MG/YA Author Michael Thal

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes MG/YA author Michael Thal. Michael is one of my favorite types of authors: a retired school teacher!

First, a bit about Michael:

Michael is the author of five published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura SeriesThe Legend of Koolura, Koolura and The Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner (online) writing articles about parenting and education.

Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.

Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade and YA?

I taught elementary and middle school for almost three decades. I know how these kids think. Therefore that audience was a perfect fit for my imagination to reach out to.

What types of books do you like to read?

To keep up with what’s happening in the YA/MG community, I read a lot of books from that genre. I also like science fiction, action adventure, and legal dramas, like John Grisham’s books.

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

I make sure I work out at least 5 days a week. I also enjoy spending time with my daughter and my grandkids.

Tell us about Koolura and the Mayans and how the story came to be.

The roots of that story go back to when my oldest daughter was in sixth grade. She didn’t want to read. So I said, “If I write a really cool book will you read it?” To which she said, “Maybe.” So I gave it a shot. The Legend of Koolura was published seventeen years later. True to her word, Channie read it. Koolura and the Mayans was inspired by a family trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. In book two of the Koolura Series, Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback, Koolura’s dad announces his engagement to Terri Lather. Since my cousin Adam was married in Oaxaca, why couldn’t Koolura’s father? Also, throughout the series the source of Koolura’s powers keeps on popping up. In Koolura and the Mayans that alien technology is explained.

Here's a peek at Koolura and the Mayans:

Koolura is no ordinary girl. Neither is her best friend Leila. While visiting Mexico, the girls discover a device which hurtles them back in time to an early Mayan civilization. The Mayans have troubles of their own—the alien Aquari people have all but enslaved them. They need a goddess to set them free. Could Koolura be the one?

Enjoy this excerpt:

“Oh, my God!” Leila exclaimed. “This is a Mayan crypt.”

“How do you know?” Koolura asked.

Leila pointed to a wall etching. “That’s a drawing of a Mayan nobleman or king. Crypts like these were reserved for them.”

Leila stood in the room’s center and reached out. She touched the cool rugged walls with the palms of her hands. The length of the room was twice as long, and the ceiling was about twelve feet over their heads. At the apex of the ceiling shone a bright light.

Koolura pointed toward it. “What’s causing that?”

“I don’t know.”

“There’s only one way to find out.” Koolura took Leila’s hand and the girls levitated slowly to the cavern ceiling.

As Koolura got closer to the light, her face turned white as ash.

“What’s wrong?” Leila asked.

“Oh no! This can’t be!”

As Koolura edged away, Leila grabbed the plastic device hooked onto the ceiling, and they descended to the crypt floor.

Noticing the device in Leila’s hand, Koolura backed up against the stonewall, her face still white. “Be careful with that,” she gasped.

Leila studied the device. It looked like a gun used by the early North American Pilgrims, but this one emitted a steady beam of light from its barrel. Then she looked at her friend. “You know what this is?”

Koolura nodded. “It’s a Decoolerizer.”

“I thought you said you destroyed this last year in Las Vegas.”

“This must be another one!”

Koolura paced up and down the narrow room thinking as Leila examined the gun and noticed alien writing on its underside. “Look at this.”

Koolura shook her head. “I’m not going near that thing.”

“Did Neb’s Decoolerizer have writing on it?” Leila asked.

Neb, a wayward transient, had stalked Koolura and her father for years with the Decoolerizer, the device capable of absorbing all of Koolura’s psychic powers. Neb planned on stealing her psychic gifts and making them his own.

“I never got that close enough to check. When Neb came at me with that thing, I thought ‘hot sun,’ and the device melted.”

Leila studied the Mayan hieroglyphics. “I think it says, ‘Help!’”

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

Goodbye Tchaikovsky is the story of an eleven-year-old violin virtuoso who on his twelfth birthday wakes up deaf. A virus that left me deafened during the prime of my life inspired it. I was curious how a child would handle such a catastrophe. The novel takes readers through David Rothman’s middle school/high school experiences until he graduates from high school in search of a career.

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

My fiancé died last year from cancer. Jila and I were together for 16 wonderful years. She grew up deaf and Jewish in an Islamic state. Jila’s childhood in Iran wasn’t easy, but she came out of the experience a warm-hearted and loving woman. My newest novel with the working title, Gem of Peace, will take about two years to write after interviewing Jila’s family and researching life in Tehran during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I must have sent out close to 200 queries to agents and publishers regarding The Legend of Koolura. Finally, Solstice Publishing accepted it in 2011 for publication. So my advice to other authors is to NEVER give up.

Anything else you want readers to know?

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom started with a dream when I was in my twenties. It finally was published 40 years later. So I strongly suggest to any budding authors out there to write down those dreams, and then flesh them out. Also, never give up on your dreams. Go through life with a smile. Even when you speak to someone on the phone, wear that smile. They can hear it in your voice. You’ll be happier with yourself, and with everyone else.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Good question. Readers can find me and my books at the following links:
Web site
Pop’s Blog
Goodbye Tchaikovsky
Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Meet MG/YA Author Steve Altier

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes author Steve Altier. Steve recently switched from writing Middle Grade stories to YA.

First,  a bit about Steve:

I was born in a small town in central Pennsylvania. I currently live in the Tampa Bay Metro area with my wife. I have four daughters and three loving cats. I enjoy writing YA and MG stories.

Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?

I started out writing MG children’s books. This recent story is a YA. I wanted to step up and try something a little different and expand my horizons.

What types of books do you like to read?

I read paranormal stories, YA thrillers, and Dystopia. I’m a BIG science fiction nut. I just finished the 5th Wave and currently I'm reading the 2nd book, The Infinite Sea.

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

I love reading and bowling, spending time at amusement parks. I love to travel and take trips to the beach, that’s why I live in Florida.  I also enjoy spending quality time with friends and family.

Tell us about Lizardville - The Ghost Story and how the story came to be.

I grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania; it was out in the middle of nowhere. The road I lived on was called Lizardville Road. The story contains some of my childhood memories along with many things that never happened. This story came to me one day when I was chatting with an old high school friend on Facebook. They mentioned how many people can say "they grew up in Lizardville" and the light bulb went on. I knew I had to write this story.

Here's a peek at Lizardville - The Ghost Story:

The world outside sounds menacing as loud thunderous cracks rained down on the home. In the middle of this fierce raging storm with no electricity, siblings Zack and Daniel turn to their father, John Malone. Feeling the boys are now old enough to learn the truth about his childhood, John decides to share a family secret that he’s kept locked away, a secret that changed John’s life forever.   

In a small Pennsylvania town called Lizardville, a young boy named Johnny and his friends set out on a weekend camping trip along the banks of Big Fishing Creek. On the first night, as the boys gather around the campfire, Parker shares a story that happened nearly eighty years ago, the legend of the Ax Factory murders. 

Soon after, strange, mysterious things begin to happen. Little do the boys realize they have awakened the spirit world! Jimmy, unable to sleep, comes face to face with a ghost named Annabelle. She is searching for something and knows the boys are hiding what she seeks. Could the secret lie in an old puzzle box? As this spine tingling, edge of your seat adventure unfolds, one question remains: Will they survive the weekend?

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

This is my fourth book; the first three are MG chapter books. In We Can’t Move at Christmas a family struggles with moving at Christmas. Readers meet two young children, Gabby and her younger brother, Maddox, who worry that Santa won’t find them at Christmas. They have no new address. Will Santa have to deliver their presents to a hotel, they wonder? Luckily for them, Santa’s Family Moving Department, an elite group of elves, is on the case.

I used the same characters in the second book Gabby and Maddox: Adventures in Italy. It's a story that takes our siblings back in time to the days of Ancient Rome and the great chariot races and gladiator battles.

My third MG book is called Blast Off with Gaby and Maddox, which is a space adventure where the children join the C.A.P, Children’s Astronaut Program, and travel to space and get to meet some friendly aliens.

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

I've thought about a sequel to Lizardville, but I’m not sure I want to do that at this time, but I haven’t ruled it out. I’m currently working on another YA paranormal story. I don’t have a title for it yet. The story takes place in a library where a lot of strange things continue to happen. Most of the story is about the library and the group of teens that study there.

What advice do you have for other authors?

The best advice I can give is write daily, even if it’s only a few paragraphs and read every chance you get.

Anything else you want readers to know?

A lot of work goes into writing a story. I always thought it was an easy process. Wow, was I wrong. It’s a fun experience and very gratifying when you see the finished product. The best part I enjoy is reading the reviews from the readers. Good or bad, I enjoy them all, and I learn from them.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My Website: Steve Altier

My books:
Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and other online booksellers
Also in select Barnes & Noble stores in the Florida market