Book Spotlight: The Unhappy Little Dragon Lessons Learned by Carolyn Wolfe

This is the tale of a little Dragon who has a big problem; he cannot control his fire!  After a major mishap, he runs away into the forest and has a wonderful adventure where he meets new friends, learns that every creature has a unique gift. He also finds out the special way in which he can use his own remarkable gift of fire. His forest friends help him understand that he really is a very special dragon indeed!


Little Dragon Excerpt

Shelley asked, looking at Happy expectantly.

Shelley The Turtle  said,”Let me ask you something son, when you practice your fire burning skills-what do you tell yourself?”

“Tell myself? What do you mean?” asked Happy not understanding what his new friend was getting at.

Shelley answered, “Well, maybe I should ask instead, how do you feel when you practice holding in your flame?

“Oh that! I feel scared, so scared that I will fail and burn everything up!” Happy answered sadly.

“Well now, I have a suggestion for you. Try feeling like you will not burn everything up. Instead tell yourself you will succeed in keeping your fire to yourself!” Shelley told him.

“But I am so scared. I really don’t think I can tell myself that I won’t burn everything up when I know I will!”

Happy argued in a worried little voice.

Shelley looked at Happy’s very unhappy face and said,”I have news for you Happy, and I want you to listen to me now!”

Then Shelley continued to explain.

“Dragons aren’t the only ones who have special gifts, Happy, no, no! All of the animals were given a special gift of one kind or another. All of us had to learn how to use it wisely, just like you. You sort of have to grow into your gift, like growing up! That’s why the animals need a teacher.

Can you guess what my special gift is?” Shelley asked, expectantly.

Happy didn’t know the answer so he shook his head and just kept quiet.

“Why Happy, I am a teacher!” Shelley said proudly.


Carolyn Wolfe is a freelance writer, poet, and author of six books including her collection of poetry, short stories and bedtime stories for children. In this, her sixth book, “The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned” she reveals the journey of Happy, The Unhappy Little Dragon, who, while trying to understand how to master his uncontrollable gift of fire, has an exciting  adventure in the woods. His forest friends help him understand his gift and that he really is a very special dragon indeed!  Ms. Wolfe lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her Photographer, husband Scott, and her houseful of animal companions.

You can visit her website at When the Moon Speaks.

Look for our interview with Carolyn, coming soon!


Interview with Jeaninne Escallier Kato, Author of Manuel’s Murals

Jeaninne Escallier Kato is a 33 year veteran California public school teacher with a master’s degree in education.  She grew up in a multi-cultural, blended family in Southern California, and is married to a Japanese American.  Because of her mother’s Hispanic roots and her father’s French and California Indian blood, diverse cultures have always fascinated her.  Manuel, the protagonist, in her book, Manuel’s Murals, was born out of her love for Mexico, a culture that has impacted her life deeply.  Jeaninne speaks Spanish and teaches 4th grade in a predominantly Latino school in Northern California, where she also runs a Latino mentoring program.  Her passion for the artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, inspired this book.  Jeaninne spent a whole day sitting in front of Rivera’s “History of Mexico” murals at the National Palace in Mexico City, absorbing his message, when she heard Diego whisper, “Teach the children about their past.”  Manuel’s Murals is an homage to all children who dare to dream. Visit:

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

Wow, where do I begin…Okay, I’ll start off by saying that I have always been identified as a person with an immense amount of energy and an unabashed thirst for living her life out loud.  Coming from a working class family, I have always had big dreams for my life.  Those dreams included a life centered around education and helping others.  School was where I shone; my teachers were my role-models and the people who encouraged me to reach for the stars.  Travelling the world always factored into my childhood fantasies, as well.  I can honestly say, I have fulfilled all the dreams I imagined as a young child when my family life was often in turmoil.  I knew I had to work hard to realize the life I wanted because my parents and step-parents could not afford to hand them to me.  I have been blessed with a strong drive, a deep work ethic, and limitless energy.  I am ultimately blessed to be given the best job in the world:  helping children to learn, grow and realize their own dreams.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I truly believe good writers are born with the predisposition to write well.  That strength comes to fruition when we are put in environments that encourage our writing talents.  Again, my teachers, all through school, complimented me on how well I wrote, whether it was poetry, short stories, essays or reports.  I also believe that all good writers are insatiable readers.  The moment my mother began to read to me as a toddler, I was captivated by books and the places I could go in my head when I read.  Words, in many forms, excite my creativity and allow me to live many lives.  My broad background in the dramatic arts has gone hand and hand with my writing muse.  Acting is just another outlet for using words.  I suppose sometime in the not too distant future, I may even dabble in script writing and screen plays.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

As soon as I started my student teaching, I was introduced to a plethora of children’s books.  I was smitten by all genres of children’s books; and, I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of these books out loud to my prospective, and eventually, my actual students.  Three books that still stand out as my seminal favorites are The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis; Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White;  and, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  Throughout my 33 year teaching career, I often visualized the kind of children’s book I would write.  But like life often has a habit of doing, other factors interceded and put that dream on hold.  (I might add, teaching full-time and attending night school for many, many years, made it difficult to devote the few hours I had left at the end of a week for anything but sleep.)  Life also has a wonderful sense of whimsy.  Manuel’s Murals was not a planned project.  It came to me as I sat on the cold, hard steps of the National Palace in Mexico City for six hours.  I simply couldn’t tear myself away from the massive murals painted by Diego Rivera.  Only through my tears of sadness for the history of the ancient Mexican peoples, did this book appear to me in a whisper by El Maestro himself, Diego Rivera.  He simply said, “Teach the children about their past.”

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

Since I have devoted my life to children and teens (I taught in a continuation high school for seven years and had my own radio talk show on KVMR community radio in Nevada City, Ca. called, “Teen Scene With Jeaninne” from 1987 to 1990), writing for a younger audience is extremely natural for me.  It is easy for me to see the world through a younger perspective since I live it every day in my work as a fourth grade teacher lucky enough to be given that role.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part is writing about making a dream turn into reality.  Think back to your own childhood and all the things you wanted to be and become.  The sky was the limit, verdad?  All good children’s lit is filled with dream-like fantasy worlds.  It doesn’t get any better than concocting your own worlds in living color, without the parameters of day-to-day reality.

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

I will give you my synopsis off of the back of the book, which says it in the style in which I wrote the book:  “Manuel Jesus Ramirez Rodriguez, a passionate nine year-old boy from Mexico City, loves to paint murals like his hero, the legendary 20th century Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera.  He dreams of the day he will become as famous as Diego Rivera so he can take care of his family and never have to watch his father clean other people’s building ever again.  However, because of this single-minded quest, Manuel learns how his actions can affect the lives of others in ways he never imagined.  Manuel takes a solo journey to learn more about Diego Rivera’s art, but what he finds is a greater understanding of his own culture.  The theme of this picture book revolves around family; however, an appreciation of who we are emerges as colorful as the soul that is Mexico.”

What inspired you to write it?

The theme of the book was inspired by my love of Mexican muralists, especially Diego Rivera.  However, Manuel is an amalgamation of all of the joyful, loving, feisty, and uniquely wonderful nine year-old boys I have taught for the past eleven years.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Readers can purchase the book via my publisher at:

Also, directly from my website:

And, from

Soon, it will be available at a major bookstore near you.

What is up next for you?

I am working on a second book about Manuel’s journey to find himself; I started a young teen novel about the life of a California mission Indian and her journey to become a teacher (based on my great grandmother, Dominga Ayala, a Pechanga mission Indian), even before Indian women could achieve such a career; and, I will continue to journey into Mexico to find my own roots.

Do you have anything else to add?

Yes, I would like to share with your readers that there is a common theme to actualizing your dreams.  If you live your passions, they will take you to places and people unimagined…

Thank you for spending time with us today, Jeaninne Escallier Kato. We wish you much success.

No, thank you for giving me this time and space to introduce Manuel to your readers.

Back to Bataan – New YA Novel Coming in July from Jerome Charyn

I’ve been a fan of Jerome Charyn’s work for a while. Right now I am reading one of his older books, Blue Eyes, which has recently been released in a Kindle version. Today I am pleased to announce that Charyn’s latest book, a young adult novel entitled, Back to Bataan, will be released on July 1st.

Hiding out in Riverside Park after lashing out at the boy who stole his girlfriend, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, a charismatic ex-convict. You can add the book to your to-read list on Goodreads at

Visit Charyn online at

Interview with Alicia Rivoli, Author of Mere Enchantment

Alicia Rivoli is a stay at home mom, currently living in beautifulNorthwest Arkansaswhere the weather is ever-changing!  She loves to write, read, spend time with her family, and travel. She also loves chocolate, and gooey caramel, together they make the perfect candy.  Visit her author blog at

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

I am busy stay at home mom.  I am constantly running around from baseball practices and games, soccer games and practices, cub scouts, and school activities.  I love chocolate, and think the best candy ever is a Caramello. There is just something fantastic about the chocolate, caramel combo. I find myself constantly daydreaming, which is the main reason I decided to write.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was lying in bed one night, unable to shut off my thoughts, when the story of Mere came to my mind.  The next afternoon, after I laid my son down for a nap I began writing.  That was seven years ago now.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

A lot of books I read are from the YA genre, so I felt it was the best option for the book that I was writing.  Although Mere Enchantment is targeted towards the YA market, it’s also a good fit for the Juvenile market as well.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

My favorite part is I can be more open.  Young adults usually have more of an open mind, and can think a little outside the box.  The challenge I have found is actually also that they can think outside the box.  It makes it challenging to find a story that will appeal to this age group and hold their interest.

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

My new book is actually a magical tale of five friends who have to fight for their freedom in a kingdom that they never really knew existed. They find that they are being tracked down by a man that betrayed the crown and knows that their presence in Mere threatens his plans to overthrow the entire kingdom.  They have many challenges that they must overcome, but the biggest one is discovering who they really are, and who and what they think their friends are.

What inspired you to write it?

I have always loved stories where I could be swept away from wherever I am and taken to a land that only exists in my imagination.  Being part of a royal family, and having the ability to make something magically appear, is something that I always find myself dreaming about.  To write down my imagination and share it with those willing to read it seemed like the best way to have someone else escape into their own imaginations.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Mere Enchantment can be purchased in Paperback,  Kindle and Nook editions.  I also expect it to be available for iPhone, iPad, and other reading devices soon.

Paperback/Kindle – Amzon:

Nook – B&N:

Paperback – CreateSpace:

What is up next for you?

I am currently writing the 2nd installment of The Enchantment Series to hopefully be released this fall, if all goes well.

Do you have anything else to add?

I would love to receive feedback on Mere Enchantment, what you liked and didn’t like about the book, what you hope to have happen as the series progresses, etc… You can contact me on my author blog at and tell me all about it!

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


Interview with Dave Becker, Author of The Faustian Host

Dave Becker is an author and artist living in Pennsylvania, trying desperately to avoid all plagues, curses, and monsters. The Faustian Host is his first novel.

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

I’m an artist as well as a writer. I’ve worked in marketing for decades, doing graphic design as well as copywriting, and a host of other skills that simply make me a fantastic liar.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve been dreaming up various stories and characters since before I could actually write them down. Like many people, I toyed with it for years, but became serious about becoming a published author about 10 years ago. Funny how these things take a lot longer than we plan.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

It’s probably the market that currently offers the most freedom, variety, and reach right now. Basically, it’s just the most fun. Plus, I wanted to write something that my kids would enjoy reading, which I hadn’t attempted before.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group?

Teens have a passion for everything. I’ve been a youth leader at my church for over 20 years, working with every age group from sixth grade to college, and the kids are infectious. They provide a revitalizing view of the world, and they’re more honest and loyal than oldsters. I’m not sure why we lose that just because we age.

What is the greatest challenge?

I’m an old geezer now (to them) and have to constantly remind myself to make my characters speak, think, and act like teens, not miniature adults.

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

Plymouth Rock is bleeding. Day has turned to night. Hundred-pound hailstones level buildings. The small town of Clement seems cursed, and the residents know who’s to blame: the new kid, Tony Marino.

After losing his family and his home, 14-year-old Tony is forced to move from Florida to Massachusetts to attend Kalos Academy, an unconventional school for gifted children. Strange things begin to happen the day he arrives, and soon stories of plagues, monsters, and mystical objects surround him. Refusing to believe superstitions, Tony struggles to explain the occurrences logically, until he comes face to face with a satanic cult determined to bring about the end of the world.

The Faustian Host follows Tony and his friends as they race against evil forces to find Biblical relics hidden around the world that possess unspeakable power. Whoever holds these objects has the power to control the world, or destroy it.

What inspired you to write it?

After reading several paranormal novels, I decided to try my hand at the genre. But after too many unoriginal concepts, I bagged the idea and started to develop the story of a group of gifted kids at a special school. I needed some inciting incident, and for whatever reason, I imagined Plymouth Rock bleeding. That led to other bizarre “plagues,” and the next thing I knew, my characters were dealing with black magic and the end of the world, and I had created a paranormal story quite by accident.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The book is available for Kindle and Nook:


Barnes & Noble:

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?




What is up next for you?

In November I plan to release an adult, psychological thriller entitled Mindfront. And the sequel to The Faustian Host is scheduled to be released next summer.

Do you have anything else to add?

Just in case I’ve worried anyone, rest assured, the world’s not going to end with the strange plagues in The Faustian Host. It’ll be those infernal penguins. They’re coming for us, and someone needs to stop them!

Thanks for being with us today, Dave. I wish you the best.

Interview with Greg Blok, Author of Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue

Born and raised in Canada, Greg began writing shortly after graduating from Lakehead University and teaching a class of exceptional children at Maplecrest School in Kingston, Ontario.  The first time the writing bug caught was when he composed a complete play for his grade six class in 2 hours to the amazement of his students. It was an original script, custom written for each students characteristics and laced with humour, that was funny to both students and adults. 

A few years later, Greg began the manuscript that became Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue. It was put on the back burner for five years as Greg pursued his career and had three fantastic children with his wonderful wife. 

A chance meeting with a friend pushed Greg to re-read Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. He realized the first time he read the book, he didn’t understand the messaging and immediately picked back up the manuscript and began to re-write. A more mature and more focused manuscript appeared, like magic. 

With the support and love of his wife, Greg took the leap and decided to publish his book on Smashbooks and Amazon after reading a twitter article on Amanda Hocking. The story Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue is the culmination of dreams and hard work. I hope you enjoy it!  To post a review or check out Greg’s upcoming events, please check out his blog  

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

I am a father of three children under four and run a company for a living, but my real aspiration is to become a full time writer.  I didn’t take the traditional route to writing a book and probably was one of the least likely people to publish a novel, but I always remember my high school English teacher saying something to the effect of ‘How can I tell you your writing isn’t good, because someday you might grow up to be the next Shakespeare’.  I think I am a quite a distance from that, but I believe it is just another way of saying never stop believing in your dreams.

I was a college baseball player and one day got hit in the shoulder and suffered nerve damage.  That effectively ended my baseball career and changed the course of my life drastically.  Sometimes the unexpected twists and turns lead you somewhere special.  If that baseball hadn’t hit me, I wouldn’t have likely written a book, so it seems now quite fortuitous, whereas at the time, it seemed dreadful.

After finishing school, I was a teacher for two years and have always worked in the service and sales industries, so I pride myself on being a good observer of people.  This translated into being able to produce more life-like characters and reactions to situations.   

When did you first get bit by the writing bug? 

I was a late bloomer in the writing category, I suffered from a lack of confidence in my writing and never really pursued it.  I was looking for a play for my class to perform at the annual Christmas concert and couldn’t find anything I like and that suited my students.  I had a student teacher with me, so I had her teach spelling that morning and in under two hours I wrote a complete half hour play, customized with roles for each student.  It was loosely based on Scooby Doo and incorporated spin offs of many different characters.

At the end of the school year, we did a large scale class project and I conceived of doing a ‘choose your own adventure novel’.  Together, the grade six students and I developed a complete story, created a storyboard and wrote the whole novel.  We had it professionally bound and all the kids gave it to their parents as a gift at the end of the school year.  It was a very cool experience.  After that, I was hooked! 

Why did you decide to write stories for children? 

I think my decision was made for a few reasons, the first being my familiarity with the age group.  My parents decided to have additional children when I was eleven years old, so I watched my younger brother and two younger sisters grow up while I was in my teenage years.  I then went on to be a teacher and was surrounded daily by young people.  My dad always said follow your dreams and that was another inspiration that kept me young and open minded.

As a reader, I prefer that age group.  Stories like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, et al are some of my favourite books.  I do like adult fiction as well with Dan Brown and Michael Lewis as two of my favourite writers in that genre.

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

It is very different.  I feel that adult fiction is vertical in nature, whereas young adult fiction is horizontal.  What I mean by those terms is that an adult novel usually probes deeper into a subject, hence more research and becoming a greater expert in one topic, whereas a younger audience book tends to move faster and cover more ground.  I have an active imagination, so writing a fast paced novel is much more appealing to me. 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people? 

The fantasy of creation is my favourite part.  Children have great imaginations and are unspoiled by the constraints of adulthood.  It allows for the whimsical and the extreme to be common place.  I think getting a child hooked onto reading can really have a positive effect on their future.  Reading is a great way to increase vocabulary, develop creative problem solving and the ability to communicate effectively.

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

You’re commanding a tall ship on the ocean, with the greatest naval captain in the fleet hot on your tail. He has a bigger ship, which is faster, with more guns and a seasoned pirate crew. They’re closing fast! He has been sailing the high seas for over thirty years, more than twice your age, your men are staring at you, waiting for you to tell them what to do next. What do you do?

This is but one of the dilemmas facing young Otto DeGraff in Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue, the story of a young boy from humble beginnings, who escapes an arranged marriage, becomes a stowaway on a battleship and unknowingly stumbles into the biggest act of treason in the history of the Dutch East India Company. The novel is set during the grand era of the high seas, at the height of the Dutch East India Company, when tall ships sailed the ocean, men made their living on the high seas and pirates terrified even the bravest of souls.

Otto faces insurmountable obstacles in his quest to find Mal Goue, the mythical artifact that turns dirt into gold and will ultimately save his family. Along the way Otto has to use his cunning, strength and nerve to overcome the cast of scoundrels including Mr. Landseer, the corrupt magistrate, the Pirate King and the treasonous Captain Vanderzee. In the exciting climax, Otto has to face his fears and his toughest adversary in a stunning sword dual to save his life and the lives of his crew. 

What inspired you to write it? 

This is a tough question.  It was a variety of factors, I have always enjoyed writing and had put writing a novel on my “bucket list”.  I also am really drawn to the idea of living the life less ordinary.  In marketing, to be successful, you often have to do what others are not doing.  This was an outlet of doing something less ordinary that could develop into something extraordinary.

I also enjoy things like adventure and travel.  I remember teaching for a summer in London, England and going to a pub in Bristol, that’s claim to fame was Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island in that same pub.  My friend and I sat in front of a fire place and I thought to myself, this is likely where one of the greatest adventure stories in history was written.  During that trip, we visited Kings Cross station and saw the café where J K Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter novel.  That whole trip was incredibly inspiring. 

Where can readers purchase a copy? 

Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue is available on Smashwords and Amazon online.  Recently, Borders and Apple have both accepted my novel into their catalogues.   

What is up next for you? 

Deciding between a sequel to Otto and the Hunt for Mal Goue or doing a teenage coming of age story.  My wife and I have some awesome ideas for a picture book series that I want to work on before my children are too old to enjoy it. 

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

Interview with K.L. Glanville, Author of 2108: Eyes Open

Joining us today is K.L. Glanville, author of YA book, 2108: Eyes Open.

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

Sure! I live in sunny Southern California. I love to travel, garden, read and try new things. And I obviously love to get lost in my imagination and write. I was a teacher for a few years, but now I get to pretty much work full time on my creative endeavors.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I have always loved being creative and letting my imagination go a little wild. My best friend and I tried writing a story together as teenagers, but couldn’t agree on the plot. We grew up telling stories together, though. Her family would often tell stories in the round: one person would start, another would add on, and then another, until the story ended. I loved being a part of those story times. As I got older, I wrote in my journal a lot and would occasionally write something for others to read. I think I’ve always enjoyed writing or storytelling in some form or another.  

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

It’s the most fun for me and probably the most natural. I’ve worked with children and teens most of my life, so it seemed an obvious avenue to pursue.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love delving into unexplored territories and dreaming up exciting worlds and storylines that will fascinate young people. The greatest challenge is probably keeping the tension and excitement level high at all the right times and places. I remember an editor going through the manuscript of my first novel marking all the places he was getting bored and wanted more action. I learned a lot from those comments.

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

I’m so excited about 2108: Eyes Open. It’s a fun, thrilling and adventurous coming of age story about Jewel, a sixteen year old, who lives in the year 2108. She gets herself into trouble . . . with international implications, all because she’s curious and wants a date to her best friend’s party. The world of 2108 is filled with fun and surprising technology as well as Aliens, Bionics, and Half Breeds. Jewel is a Natural, someone who has kept herself genetically and technologically pure. But trouble can change things.

What inspired you to write it?

A number of things inspired me. I had read a lot on what people thought about aliens and found it interesting. It seemed like a great topic to explore. I love futuristic technology too, and liked the idea of getting to dream up all kinds of fun gadgets and devices. I enjoy researching predictions of where science and technology are headed . . . most of the time anyway. There is a lot of fun and wild stuff out there to read and watch! In the back of my mind, I also had a niggling desire to try writing something in first person, present tense. All these thoughts and desires got mixed together . . . and out came 2108: Eyes Open.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The paperback can be bought on my website, on Amazon or ordered through your local bookstore. The ebook versions should also be available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Googlebooks, etc.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, I have a website/blog where you can find more behind the scenes info on 2108, as well as info on my other books and products. There’s a weekly blog on there and a newsletter that you can sign up for too to get even more. The website is If you “like” my facebook page or sign up for the newsletter on the website, you’ll be able to read the first chapter of 2108.

What is up next for you?

Well, now that I have two series going, I need to go back and edit book two of my first series (The Realm) so I can get that out. Then it will be back to work on a sequel for 2108. I’m excited to see what happens to Jewel next!

Do you have anything else to add?

A friend of mine and I are working on a fun project related to 2108. There is some music mentioned in 2108 that Jewel and her friend, Maggie, like to listen to. My friend Andi and I are working on producing some of that music. You can find out more about that on my website too.

Thank you for spending time with us today, K.L. Glanville. We wish you much success.

Thank you so much! It’s a privilege to stop by.