First Chapter Review: The Stolen Herd by K. Madill (Win $25 Amazon GC)

1st Chapter Review TC&TBC

K. Madill is touring with Pump Up Your Book this month with her young adult fantasy novel, The Stolen Herd. Read to the end to see how you can enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]

BLURB: Mandamus is only a foal when his herd is captured by the terrible Rakhana Army. Rescued and raised in secrecy, he knows nothing of his heritage until a dreadful incident in the woods brings him to the attention of the Forest council – and everyone else. Sent away for his own protection, he is determined to seek help on behalf of the many animals who have gone missing from the forest, including his own family.

With the help of a troubled man and a stout-hearted bat, can Mandamus save his fellow creatures before it’s too late?

COVER: I’m not usually a fan of dark covers, but this one is stunning. The black of the horse, the white glint of his eyes, and the purples and pinks of the sky make for a fabulous piece of art that attracts readers.

FIRST CHAPTER: As the Rakhana Army closes in on the herd, Gideon takes their foal and dashes him to Daleth and Mareva to raise in secrecy.

KEEP READING: Filled with flowing descriptions and a multitude of characters, this opening chapter sets the scene for what will become of Mandamus after his herd is captured by the Rakhana Army. A butterfly, a bat, a herd of horses, a ruthless human army, and a special foal with white eyes who may be the stuff of legends make for an interesting cast. The strength of the world building is easy to see early on.  The hint of magic and the elegant writing in this first chapter definitely encourage me to follow along with the rest of Mandamus’ story.

 

Title:  The Stolen Herd

Author: K. Madill

Genre: Young adult fantasy

Paperback: 181 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace (February 20, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1482640023

ISBN-13: 978-1482640021

Kindle:B00GBQ9V8O

Purchase at http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00GBQ9V8O

 

I received a copy of this book from the author. I have been paid a fee to promote this book with a book tour through Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

A chronic “head in the cloudser” K. Madill lives in a rickety house on a well treed street in British Columbia, Canada.  When she’s not hanging out with her best equine friend in the woods she can be found trying to stay upright on her roller skates or mediating the affairs of her various furred and feathered friends that rule the aforementioned rickety house. 

K. Madill’s website: kmadill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-Madill/161159890706088

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraiMadill1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643483-the-stolen-herd

 

Pump Up Your Book and K. Madill are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms and conditions:

    • By entering, you confirm you are 18 years of age or older.
    • Raffle runs from 12:00 AM EST on June 2 through 12:00 AM EST on June 28, 2014.
    • Winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter.
    • Winner will be notified by email and has 72 hours to claim the prize before a new winner is selected.
    • Prize will be sent via email from the author’s representative.
    • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Stolen Herd Banner

Interview with Anita Banks, author of Tanner Builds a Block Tower

AnitaAnita Banks has lived in Alabama since she was six years old, she raised three children and has  four grandchildren. They are the inspiration for her writing. She likes the adventures and escapes that stories allow you to explore and the myriad of emotions you feel. Anita loves to travel, read and has recently started running.

http://www.anitabanks.com/

Thank you for joining us today, Anita. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me here. I am a new author with my first picture book titled, Tanner Builds a Block Tower. I am excited as puppy with a new toy. I am a wife, mother, grandmother. My favorite new activity is running, I started because I needed to get some activity from sitting in a chair for more than nine hours for my day job. I started two years ago, and have found the running community where I live to be a great group of people that are passionate about the sport and are supportive of new runners. I started with a training program to run a 5k and have progressed to three half marathons so far. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

          I have loved reading since my introduction to Dick and Jane and Dr. Seuss. I am constantly reading something all the time. When I was in  junior high school, I had a creative writing class. That was when the writing bug stung me. But when family and life took over, I put the dream aside and just occasionally thought of it.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

          Probably for the simple joy children’s books give to a reader. I enjoy reading to children and seeing their smiles and their happiness in asking you to read to them. I wanted to contribute to  that happiness. And it’s fun.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

         I personally have nothing to compare it to, yet. Maybe I will give another genre a try someday. The other writing I do is journaling for myself.

Anita 2What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

          I like the writing, I like putting the words to paper, or rather the screen. They have to be edited  quite a bit before I’m done. But seeing the story unfold on the screen is probably my favorite part.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Tanner Builds a Block Tower is about a little boy who is determined to build a tower with his blocks. But on the way to his destination he get distracted by different animals and insects. He  also loses some of his blocks. So he has to find them to finish what he started. Determination and perseverance is the theme.

What inspired you to write it?

          The inspiration for this book, was my grandson, Tanner. On a visit when he was about three        years old, he loved to play with his building blocks and build towers, over and over. He was fascinated with this repetitive play. We also went on numerous walks, he loved to explore the outdoors, and still does. So it seemed a natural fit to combine the two activities.  

What is up next for you?

I am shopping out two more picture books, and writing a chapter book right now.

Do you have anything else to add?

          Thank you so much for having me. I hope you enjoy my book.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Anita. We wish you much success.

 

Book of Dreams by Sylvie Michaud

Book of Dreams coverAn adorable bedtime story awaits you and your child in Book of Dreams, part of the Ringtail Family series by Sylvie Michaud.

Baby Raccoon asks his mama and papa why every cloud is a different shape. Responding that clouds are pictures in the sky to help us dream, Mama and Papa share with Baby the different things they dream about when they see certain types of clouds. This lulls Baby right to sleep and into dreamland.

Short, sweet, and charming are all words to describe this lovely picture book. Slowly flowing prose and pastel colored illustrations help your little one settle down for the night and fill her head with beautiful visions for a peaceful night. I love the way Michaud’s descriptions paint pictures for little ones that are complemented by the lovely artwork. Probably more description than usually found in a picture book, but it works well here. This is definitely a book I’ll be saving for my future grandchildren.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Crafty Canuck Inc. (March 28, 2012)
Language: English ISBN-10: 0978295587
ISBN-13: 978-0978295585

File Size: 3020 KB
Print Length: 21 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Crafty Canuck Inc. (March 13, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00BTPBX0Q
Purchase at:
Amazon soft cover: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-The-Ringtail-Family/dp/0978295587

Amazon digital: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-The-Ringtail-Family-ebook/dp/B00BTPBX0Q

B&N soft cover: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-of-dreams-the-ringtail-family-sylvie-michaud/1110202903

 

I purchased a copy of this book for my Kindle. The publisher paid me to promote this book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which have not been compensated in any way. Book of Dreams banner

From the Family Bookshelf – June

childrenreading000006462340xsmall1

 

 

Crazy life means not as much reading. I can’t stand it. Actually, my girls are reading, I’m not–at least, not as much as I would like. Since my last update I’ve read:

Where Do Belly Buttons Come From? by Jeffery Warren Scott
I Am Abraham by Jerome Charyn
Sleep Tight, Anna Banana! by Dominique Roques
Self-Publishing a Book by Hank Quense
Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
The Coziest Place by Jamie Michalak
The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu
A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Steam & Strategem by Chris Hoare
Do’s and Don’ts by Hayley Rose
Murder in the Worst Degree by F.M. Meredith
A Comedy of Erin by Celia Bonaduce
The Author’s Training Manual by Nina Amir
Eat Like A Woman by Staness Jonekos
Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic
Man’s Rejection of God by RL Keller
The Education of George Washington by Austin Washington
Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Dad finished off The Candy Bomber: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlight and America’s Finest Hour by Andrei Cherny, which led to us learning some interesting local history. We didn’t know our hometown of Chicopee, MA was so instrumental in this mission The residents of the city–even school children–got involved in receiving candy shipments and attaching the candy to parachutes for them to be flown out to where they needed to go. He’s now reading Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King his favorite author.

The Lil’ Diva has discovered that reading is a great way to pass the time, so she’s devouring books lately. After polishing off the Matched series, she moved on to The Mortal Instruments series. She also read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and saw the movie this weekend. Other books she has read lately: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. She’s currently reading, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I’ve lost track of all that the Lil’ Princess is reading. She has no less than six books in her backpack right now. At home, we’ve read The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy and last night finished Pie by Sarah Weeks.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’ll share some of your most recent reads.

Interview with Darlene Laney, Author of The God Squad: Mission Him-Possible, the Distorted Mirror

darleneDarlene Laney is a wife, mother and grandmother residing in Fresno, California with her husband Carlos Laney.  She holds a Master’s degree in Education-Counseling and is a Board Certified Christian Counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors as well as a licensed Evangelist.  She is the developer and facilitator of Color Me Beautiful, an etiquette and social skills development program for tween and teen girls.  When Darlene isn’t facilitating her program, she enjoys reading, drawing, writing and spending time with her three grandchildren.   

You can learn more about the author and her books at: http://www.darlenelaney.com and http://www.godspecialforces.com      

Thank you for joining us today, Darlene. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I’m a passionate person.  I don’t believe in doing anything half-heartedly.  When I’m in, I’m in all the way.  That’s how I have been with my writing.  I don’t approach it casually; it is something I do every day regardless of how I’m feeling.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I guess I had to be eight or nine.  My favorite thing to do was writing about the “Rat Family.”  I could spend hours making up stories about them and I even put illustrations with the writings.  I stopped writing stories when I got in my teens but I kept a diary and later journals.  I gave up writing for a time when I was told by a writing instructor that I could not write. However, I kept writing my journals and made several attempts at starting a romance novel.  It wasn’t my best work but I kept on writing because I enjoy putting stories down on paper.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

After I finished the God’s Special Forces (GSF) Manual.  I had been working with girls teaching etiquette and social skills and wanted to come up with a way to make learning about self-esteem, body image, peer pressure and the like easier to understand.  I had been working on the God Squad for some time and decided to create a story about them that centered on challenges faced by tweens and teens today.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

It’s harder but a lot more fun!  Tweens and teens are full of surprises.  You can’t just put them in a box and come up with a standard response.  No, there can be a hundred different ways for them to respond to a particular situation. So when I’m developing the story, I will write an interaction or reaction over and over until it just sounds right.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?god squad

Developing the characters and making them believable. I want my characters to be memorable and someone the girls reading my books can identify with and hopefully want to emulate.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Six ordinary girls ranging in ages from 12 – 15 years attending Carver Preparatory going about their ordinary lives.  Then they get the call…Calling all girls! Calling all girls!! And things become anything but ordinary.  Transformed, empowered, and dressed for battle, they become the God Squad on a Mission Him-Possible.  Their mission is to befriend and help a fellow student overly concerned with being accepted by the popular group and willing to do just about anything to belong.

What inspired you to write it?

My granddaughters and all the girls that have been a part of the God’s Special Forces program.  I’ve watched these girls be transformed by the Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit and learn to walk in the knowledge of who they are in Christ, God’s workmanship—his masterpiece—go on to be the confident and capable young women God intended them to be.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and my website: http://www.darlenelaney.com

What is up next for you?

The next episode of the God Squad in Mission Him-Possible.

Do you have anything else to add?

I hope everyone reading this interview will buy a copy of my book; but I especially hope that if you know of a girl that has a negative self image or is being challenged by the pressure put on her by her peers, I hope you will get them a copy of this book.  It’s an easy and enjoyable read!

Thank you for spending time with us today, Darlene. We wish you much success.

Thank you!

Interview with Stephanie Ward, Author of Wally, The Warm-Weather Penguin

Steph ProfileStephanie M. Ward is the author of the children’s book, Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin. Stephanie has been writing in various forms over the last 20 years. Most notably she spent over 15 years in PR and Marketing at Amazon and Fujitsu writing everything from press releases to white papers, executive bios to product blurbs. Stephanie’s wanderlust finally got the best of her and she spent a year traveling across all seven continents. It was then that she decided to focus on writing stories for children about amazing places around the world. Stephanie currently lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and young son.

Author Website & Blog –  http://www.stephaniemward.com

Facebook Fan Page – http://www.facebook.com/wallythewarmweatherpenguin

Twitter – http://twitter.com/stephmward

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Spokane, Washington on the west coast of the U.S. but left for college in California and have been living in various places around the world ever since.

When did you begin writing?

As a child I loved to read and write and in school I excelled in English classes. Not surprisingly, my professional work involved a lot of writing. Then in a break between marketing jobs, I started writing for an online travel magazine and contributed to the book Tana’s Habitat: The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Affording Your First Places. I started writing children’s stories on a year-long honeymoon traveling around the world and that’s when I decided that some day I wanted to be a writer. “Some day” came two years ago when I left the corporate world to focus on publishing Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin.

What is this book about?

Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is the story of Wally, an Emperor Penguin from Antarctica, who is always cold and dreams of life on a tropical island. When Wally learns about the Galapagos Islands, he sets sail immediately and discovers an amazing world of tap-dancing crabs, racing hundred-year-old tortoises and diving birds with bright blue feet.

What inspired you to write it?WallyCover

Visiting Antarctica and being amidst Emperor Penguins in the icy conditions made me wonder why they didn’t just pack up and go somewhere warmer. A couple of months later, I was in the Galapagos Island and saw a colony of Galapagos Penguins and there was the story: What if an Emperor Penguin learned that he could live on a warm, tropical island?

The Galapagos Islands is an amazing place with so many unique plants and animals. In publishing Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin, I wanted to give back to the place that inspired the story. To that end, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is donated to the Galapagos Conservancy (galapagos.org) to support conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

We took a fairly unique approach to publishing Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin and issued an ebook edition first. The full-color illustrations are arranged in a fixed format and optimized to be read on a tablet or computer, so each spread is perfectly laid out on any device. Once we learned how to create this layout, it was smooth sailing.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin is available on Amazon websites worldwide.

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1q0qzoc

Amazon.ca: http://amzn.to/1t50d2w

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/1iYsY9o

Amazon.com.au: http://bit.ly/wallypenguin

Amazon.de: http://amzn.to/1lPKKjS

Amazon.es: http://amzn.to/1iYtkNf

Amazon.fr: http://amzn.to/1lPL8i8

Amazon.in: http://bit.ly/wallypenguinINDIA

Amazon.it: http://amzn.to/1lPLk0Z

Amazon.co.jp: http://amzn.to/1jVLiFy

Amazon.com.br: http://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00JN79R0K

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book?  If yes, where can readers find it?

Yes. I created a “teaser trailer” before Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin was published. It’s available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apbBIngs4Wk.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write your story. If your story can’t be defined in a specific genre or written in the traditional format, there are many options for authors to get a book into readers hands. I have met some talented indie authors whose wonderful children’s books are longer than the 1000 word maximum that an agent will accept for review. And I recently read a fantastic novella that is the perfect length, but in traditional publishing may have been expanded or reduced to a short story or looked over completely due to the number of pages. It’s a whole new world in publishing today, so don’t worry that your idea doesn’t “fit”, just write your story!

What is up next for you?

Currently, I’m working on a picture book version of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin for older children. I hope to have this edition out by the end of 2014.

Beyond that, there are so many interesting (and warm) places that Wally wants to visit! I’ll be writing Wally’s next adventure in the coming months.

Valcoria: Children of the Crystal Star by Jason King

 

“Jason King weaves powerful stories that grip the reader to the last word with a perfect blend of amazement, fear, love, and destiny…” ~James Wymore, author of Theocracide and The Actuator 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

History repeats itself like a song. The verses may vary, but the melody is always the same. 

The eastern empire of Aukasia has a new leader, a man who means to bring war to all the land. Yet, even in all his bloody ambition, he does not realize that he is but the puppet of a greater evil. 

Only the Kalyra – The Children of the Crystal Star – can stand against what’s coming. Only they can protect the world of Valcoria from the mad hatred of the fallen god, Aedar. 

A new verse of the song has begun. The last verse…

 

 

 

 

PURCHASE

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Jason’s Website Twitter Facebook / Goodreads 



*Jason King is the author of Valcoria, Lure of Fools, and Thomas Destiny. Other books attributed to him are an error. 

Jason King wishes he was raised on a desert planet by his aunt and uncle and watched over by a mysterious old recluse, but his life is much duller than that. He supposes that’s why he started making up stories. Born in Salt Lake City Utah, Jason grew up on a steady diet of anime, science fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, JRPG’s, and chocolate cake donuts. He pretended not to be a nerd just long enough to get married and start a family. And although dismayed by the revelation that Jason was a geek, his wife stuck with him and they are now the proud parents of four beautiful children. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in I.T. Management and is currently the Internet Marketing Manager for a local bookstore chain, but he is determined to one day quit his “9 to 5” and write full-time. Jason has two indie books; “Valcoria Children of the Crystal Star” and “Thomas Destiny,” but “The Lure of Fools” is his first published novel.

 

 

This tour was hosted by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

 

Follow the rest of the Valcoria tour here!