April 12 x 12 Update

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It’s the last day of April, which means another chance to pat myself on the back for meeting a writing goal. As a 12 x 12 participant, I am writing 12 books over 12 months. I’m pleased to announce that I made great progress this month. In March, I didn’t quite finish Crabby Cathy, so that story was the one I worked on first. Though I had been very discouraged about writing in general through part of the month, after much prayer and some great encouragement, I completed Cathy’s story. I’ll see what my critique group thinks of it.

Next, I moved on to a story that is tentatively titled, The Other Sister’s Story. This is the Cinderella story from one of the stepsister’s perspectives. I’ve seen a book written from the stepmother’s point of view – http://www.amazon.com/Seriously-Cinderella-Annoying-Wicked-Stepmother/dp/1404870482/ – but not one of the sisters. The first challenge was that I didn’t know if the sisters had names in any of the stories other than the Disney movie version. This was truly a departure from my usual message type book. This one is just meant to entertain. It’s something I’ve never done before and that makes me a bit nervous. What was encouraging, however, is how much my girls liked it. They haven’t read the entire story, yet–I typed “The End” last night–but I’m going to share it with them today and see what they think. This is by far my favorite story and I already have an agent in mind to which I would like to submit it.

For May, I am working on another untitled story that is a departure from my regular work. It is the story of an ingenious turkey who comes up with unique and funny ways to avoid being part of Thanksgiving dinner. This one should be a blast.

 

Interview with A. R. Tally, Author of David’s Song & Giveaway

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A. R. Talley (April R Talley) received her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass media communications from the University of Akron, in Akron, Ohio. Previous to the completion of her degree, she was employed by Osmond Productions working on the production staff of The Donny and Marie Show and several other shows produced at Osmond Studios in Orem, Utah. She later worked as vice president and part owner of a dance and sportswear clothing boutique. She has been married for over thirty years, the mother of seven children, and grandmother to six. Now, she keeps herself busy caring for the two children she still has at home, volunteering for her church, reading and writing.  David’s Song is her debut novel and the first of a trilogy. You can follow April on her blog – talleyar.blogspot.com, or on twitter – A.R. Talley@ARTalley13, or on Facebook – ARTalley7 

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

 Well, as the bio said, I am a wife and mother and grandmother…although I don’t think I’m old enough to be the latter. I was born in the month of April, that’s how I got my name.  My mother was very original – good thing I was not a boy.  I live in Ohio with my husband and two of my children who are still in school. I am relatively new to the writing game.  I started writing about 5 years ago. I wish that someone would have told me when I was much younger that I could write down all those stories I had floating around in my head, because I LOVE doing it.  I also love music and reading. I play the piano.  I also enjoy poking around in the garden, decorating, and traveling (especially cruises because I can sit on the deck of a ship and read…best of both worlds!)

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

 Like I said above, I started writing about 5 years ago. And I guess you could say that the bug bit hard. In the last 5 years I have completed 4 novels and have the beginnings of 2 more.

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

 I don’t consider David’s Song a YA novel, but I have written one.  I wrote it after finishing the David’s Song Trilogy.  And I decided to write in the YA genre for two reasons. 1. I enjoy reading YA fiction. And 2. I really like teenagers.  I think they are  interesting and fun to be around. 

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

 My favorite part of writing for the YA group is also the most challenging part – and that is getting the language right. Teens and Young Adults speak very differently than I did when I was that age.  I found myself asking my teenagers and college age kids if I was getting right.  When I did, it was fun to play with the language.

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

 By latest book, I assume you mean David’s Song.  This book is about a young woman, Annie, who while in college meets and falls in love with two men. One breaks her heart and the other marries her.  Several years later, while on a get away with old college roommates, Annie meets up with David, the boy who broke her heart. At this time, she’s having some marital difficulties and is feeling insecure and vulnerable.  David feeling a spark of old feelings, courts and attempts to woo Annie away from her troubled marriage.  The story culminates as Annie is faced with the choice of her marriage – or a chance at lost love.  You’ll have to read the book to find out which she chooses.

What inspired you to write it?

 I was inspired to write the story after meeting up with a man who I had a crush on in college.  We were nothing more than casual friends at the time.  But I started wondering what would have happened if things had worked out differently.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

 Readers can purchase a print or ebook copy online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon (look for it under the author name of A.R. Talley), or at Authorhouse.com.

What is up next for you?

 Up next is getting the second book of the trilogy printed.  It’s titled Jeremy’s Promise, and readers can actually get a sneak peek at the end of David’s Song.  I’m hoping to release Jeremy’s Promise this fall. 

Do you have anything else to add?

 Just want to thank you for this chance to share a little bit about me and my work.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

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

 

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD OR PAYPAL CASH. ENDS 5/12/13. CLICK HERE.

davids-tour

Guest Book Review: Under the Universe: The Skymasters Series Book 2 by Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot

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Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (January 17, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1481227939
ISBN-13: 978-1481227933
Preteen
Four Stars

Reviewed by Fiona Ingram

In the first book of the Skymasters series, (Galaxy Girl), preteen Allie Henderson discovers an intergalactic visitor named Eilla, who looks just like her. She is Allie’s galactic cousin from a parallel universe. In the second book, Under the Universe, things get even more interesting. It has been a year since Eilla returned to her parallel universe and Allie is eager for an adventure of her own. She gets just such an opportunity when the MIT science team tells her they are ready to transport her to Eilla’s planet. Allie must then chose between the safety of the known and the potential adventure another universe. Allie and Eilla visit Stonehenge and discover a subterranean world in which nothing appears as it does on the surface. There, they meet a pair of hermit crabs who clue them into some of the secrets of the universe.

There is much to charm the young reader in this book, including enchanting illustrations. Although this is the second book in a series, the story can stand alone. This is an adventure of inner and outer exploration as the author highlights the thirst for knowledge in this age group, and the cousins absorb facts like sponges. There is just enough space ‘stuff’ and quantum physics for kids to make it fun and adventurous rather than boring. But the adventure is not just about time travel. In both worlds, the girls have a disabled sibling, and author Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot handles this with tact and sensitivity. I enjoyed the empathy between the cousins. Allie goes on a learning curve as she discovers the differences between her world and her cousin’s with snippets of geography, history, science, economics and social change, and astronomy filtering through. The author has popped some famous modern and historical names into the mix, with amusing characters that give their own opinion of life. There’s a nice blend of facts, fantasy, and legend (Atlantis and Mu). The story ends with clearly more investigation planned and a hint of danger. My only criticism is there is perhaps too much information for this age group to absorb.

First reviewed for Readers Favorite

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Blogger’s note: The reviewer mentioned problems with the formatting when downloading from Amazon onto a Kindle on her PC. This may be a technical issue that may or may not already have been addressed.

Interview with J. Q. Rose, Author of Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women

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After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction by crafting cozy mysteries published by MuseItUp Publishing. With Girls Succeed she returns to her first love, writing about real people.  Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter. 

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/

Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/

J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/jqrose

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/janetglaser/

 Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town in Central Illinois where the rich, fertile soil of the plains yields productive corn and soybean crops. My dad was the town undertaker and my mom taught second grade. That means I had to be a very good girl or everyone in town would tell my parents about me. There was lots of pressure to be good too because I felt if I messed up, it could ruin my father’s business.

When did you begin writing?

My mother was my teacher when I was in second grade, so in order to stay out of trouble, here I go again, I started writing stories. When I was in seventh grade I wrote my first “novel” which suspiciously echoed my favorite book, Black Beauty. My grandmother typed up the story I had scawled on a yellow tablet. The moment I saw my “manuscript,” in neatly typed paragraphs, I envisioned myself as a writer.

What is this book aboutGirls Succeed Cover 333x500 picnic

Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women, a non-fiction e-book about careers, includes interviews with fifteen remarkable women who have achieved recognition for accomplishment in their occupations. This diverse group of careers encompasses women in the arts, business, science, medicine, ministry, entertainment, and sports. Stories include women who have stamped out disease, made people laugh, earned Olympic and Paralympic gold medals, crossed the country in the cab of an eighteen wheeler, and many more chapters to inspire and empower girls to reach for their dreams.

What inspired you to write it?

I was stirred to write a book for girls after working four summers at Camp Newaygo, a girls’ residence camp in Michigan. I met the most amazing young women who were counselors and energetic campers. They kept my life interesting! I marveled at the potential for the futures of these smart, enthusiastic girls. Faced with so many possibilities for careers, I wondered what choices they would make. This e-book is a good reference for them to learn about a career, and the women’s stories inspire and empower girls to follow their dreams.

How is it similar to other books in its genre? How is it different?

Girls Succeed is similar to other career books for children because the chapters discuss various careers and the responsibilities of the job, but very different because the women I interviewed also told me about the careers they dreamed about when they were little girls. They share how they made the dream come true. I purposely chose women who are respected in their fields of work, but they are not nationally known celebrities. (Unfortunately this was cited as a reason for publishers not to accept the book for publication. So I published it myself.) I include their advice about perseverance, determination, and dreaming big.

This e-book is different in many ways. Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote. Many books include books and magazines for resources, but my little twist is possible because it is an e-book. I  added live links to websites about each woman and her career. With one click the reader, if she is connected to the Internet, is linked to a cyberspace filled with facts, guides, and articles. Not only can the reader discover horse woman Pati Pierucci’s story in the e-book about how she became a horse trainer and an award winning dressage competitor, but she can also click on a website to watch the Olympics dressage competition, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0te-vc_O04k&feature=related and learn about riding at the Young Rider site http://www.youngrider.com/ .

Girls Succeed Study Guide Kay's 333x500What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?

Besides learning about a career, the reader may identify with the situations in the childhood stories. Living in a home with alcoholic parents, fighting illness, being smart and trying to hide it, or being a star athlete were some of the difficulties for these now successful women to overcome. Even with obstacles in their paths, the women did not give up on achieving their dream careers. It is my hope readers will be inspired and empowered by their stories.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Smashwords Link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241825

Amazon Link  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NY6ZAS

Kobo Link http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Girls-Succeed/book-myLEkD3MME6d8UiRBgthtQ/page1.html?s=lrOG8bTJ60qkeMkE-Y96Vg&r=3

Barnes and Noble Link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girls-succeed-jq-rose/1114041658?ean=2940045118033

Sony Link https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/j-q-rose/girls-succeed-stories-behind-the-careers-of-successful-women/_/R-400000000000000883970

What is up next for you?

The Girls Succeed book is published, but I continue to find stories about careers and about women both past and present who are considered trailblazers breaking down barriers for women. I feel I have to share their stories, so I began blogging about them on the Girls Succeed Blog. http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/  I enjoy doing the research on these amazing women. I have a few trailblazers which I plan to feature in another book. Of course I will continue writing mysteries…one about an undertaker’s daughter perhaps???

15-Girls Succeed in Picnic

Is there anything you would like to add?

Readers who are interested in obtaining a study guide for the e-book can email me for a FREE guide this month. My e-mail addy is jqrose02 at gmail dot com

Thank you so much, Cheryl, for hosting me today so I can get the word out about this inspirational book. If anyone would like a copy to review, please email me at jqrose02 at gmail dot com

Meg the Egg Book Blast & Giveaway – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card or Free EBooks

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Meg the Egg coverLittle Meg finds the outside world a bit too loud and far too scary! So, she’s going to stay inside her safe white shell, thank you very much. But then the Howl breaks into the barn and steals Mother Hen! What is she supposed to do, still holed up in that egg of hers? She can’t run and she certainly can’t fly. Well, never get between a chick and her momma, cause this little bird’s got a can-do spirit and a whole lot of courage that she didn’t know she had before!

A tale of self discovery that speaks to all children’s fears of the unknown, Ms. Borg delivers a great read-aloud resource for parents and teachers alike. With an onomatopoeic construction that gives life to the story and encourages children to participate through repetition of words, noises, and actions, MEG THE EGG is the perfect story for beginning readers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Rita Borg photo new

Rita Antoinette Borg was educated in New York and now resides on the Mediterranean island of Malta. She performs storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools across the country and works as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers. Ms. Borg has published four picture books aimed at early readers as well as an anthology of short stories for older children. Her books have been recognized by the Malta National Annual Literary Awards. Her book “Don’t Cross the Road, Holly!” was chosen as the year’s best Children’s Book in English. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.

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Pump Up Your Book and Rita Antoinette Borg are teaming up to give you a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from April 22 – May 17, 2013. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on May 20, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, you can visit the Meg the Egg tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-rita-antoinette-borgs%E2%80%99s-meg-the-egg-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card-and-free-books/ for your chance to enter and win!

MEG THE EGG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 22nd

Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, April 23

The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection

Wednesday, April 24th

The Writer’s Life

Thursday, April 25th

As the Pages Turn

Friday, April 26th

The Busy Mom’s Daily

Monday, April 29th

LadyD Books

Tuesday, April 30th

Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, May 1st

Classic Children’s Books

Thursday, May 2nd

My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, May 3rd

Review from Here

Saturday, May 4th

Bea’s Book Nook

Monday, May 6th

Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

Tuesday, May 7th

Paperback Writer

Wednesday, May 8th

Read For Your Future

Thursday, May 9th

Freda’s Voice

Friday, May 10th

Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 13th

Books for Kids

Tuesday, May 14th

Wednesday, May 15th

Literal Exposure

Thursday, May 16th

4 the Love of Books

Friday, May 17th

The Crypto-Capers Review

Guest Blogger: Nancy Stewart, Author of Bella Saves the Beach

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Bella and Britt are worried about all the trash appearing on their beautiful beach. But what can they do? Britt is leaving on vacation, and Bella can’t solve the problem alone. Without adults to lend a hand, can they possibly save their beach?

Purchase from:

NANCYSTEWARTBOOKS.COM

 GUARDIAN ANGEL PUBLISHING 

AMAZON

 BARNES AND NOBLE

Earth Day—Every Human’s Responsibility
by Nancy Stewart

Ah, yes, Earth Day.  We think about it once a year.  Celebrate it?  Let’s not go overboard.  After all, aren’t the governments of the world doing something about it—whatever it is?

Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the plane.  It has come a long way from then with one hundred forty countries around the globe participating this year.  And counting.  Earth Day, very much like Earth Hour, has taken on a life of its own.

Here is one of the most outstanding projects we should be talking about for Earth Day, 2013. It is The Canopy Project. Over the past three years, this project has planted over 1.5 million trees in 18 countries.  In the US, projects to restore urban canopies have been completed in many large cities.  In Haiti alone, where earthquakes caused landslides on deforested hillsides, leading to horrific devastation, Earth Day Network planted 500,000 trees.  In three high-poverty districts in central Uganda, they planted 350,000 trees to provide local farmers with food, fuel, fencing, and soil stability.

Climate change can seem like a remote problem for our leaders, but the fact is that it’s already impacting real people, animals, and beloved places. These Faces of Climate Change are multiplying every day. What can be done about it?  Each of us, individually, can make a difference.  When we all do our share, the entire world can begin to heal itself.

I’ve pledged to not use plastic bags, to using cold water in the washing machine and to using earth friendly cleaning products.  We’ve changed all light bulbs to save electricity, and they are turned off when leaving a room.  I remind students when doing a book signing that turning off a light helps save a polar bear!

But it’s more than these things, isn’t it?  Helping save our planet is really a state of mind.  It’s being in the flow of good ecology every day, even every minute. And soon, it’s a way of life.  Living this state of mind will help save all our lives and the lives of those to come, our children and our grandchildren. What better ongoing gift can we give to anyone than a sustainable, green and whole planet?  Oh, and it’s not, of course, just April 22.  It’s every day, every minute for the rest of our lives.

 

Nancy Stewart photoNancy is the bestselling and award winning author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children:  One Pelican at a Time (eighteen weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, (which won the Children’s Literary Classic Gold Award), Bella Saves the  Beach (which won the Gold)  and Mystery at Manatee Key.  The authorized biography, Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage, is the story of Katrina Simpkins and Winter, the dolphin. One Pelican at a Time and Nancy were featured in the PBS Tampa special, GulfWatch.   All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing.  

Nancy is a frequent speaker and presenter at writer’s conferences throughout the United States.  She conducts workshops and seminars and speaks to school children on writing and helping save their planet.  A blogger with a worldwide audience, she writes of all things pertaining to children’s literature. 

Nancy’s travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.   She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis. 

 Visit her online at www.nancystewartbooks.com and her blog at http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com

 

Bella Saves the Beach Tour Schedule

 

Monday, April 22nd

Guest post at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Tuesday, April 23rd

Book trailer feature at If Books Could Talk

Wednesday, April 24th

Book review at On Words – Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts

Thursday, April 25th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

Book review at Shannon Hitchcock Pen and Prose

Monday, April 29th

Book review at Hook Kids on Reading

Guest post at The Pen and Ink

Tuesday, April 30th

Guest post at Write What Inspires You

Wednesday, May 1st

Book review at LadyD Books

Thursday, May 2nd

Book review at Kid Lit Reviews

Friday, May 3rd

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 6th

Interview at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Tuesday, May 7th

Book reviewed at The Picture Book Review

Wednesday, May 8th

Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, May 9th

Book review at It’s About Time Mamaw

Friday, May 10th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Monday, May 13th

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

Tuesday, May 14th

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Book review at The Jenny Revolution

Wednesday, May 15th

Guest post at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, May 16th

Book review at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Reviews

Friday, May 17th

Book spotlight at I’m A Reader, Not A Writer

 

 

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Guest Book Review: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

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Age Range: 9 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (May 28, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0375971424
ISBN-13: 978-0375971426

Julian Twerski isn’t a bully. He’s just made a big mistake. He has done something he is deeply ashamed of, something that goes against the grain of his conscience. When he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade—blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he’s still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can’t bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

There’s nothing like a ‘real’ story to bring a smile to one’s face. The book was inspired by author Mark Goldblatt’s own childhood growing up in Queens during the 1960s. Reading it, one can’t help being taken back to the ‘growing up’ years, when everything is confusing, nothing goes right, everyone else is cooler/faster/cleverer and girls are an unfathomable mystery. Told from Julian’s point of view in typical middle-grader stream of consciousness, the author takes the reader on a trip back in time. Incidents pack Julian’s life and he reacts to them in a visceral and sometimes confused way. Life lessons can be hard, and Julian rolls with the punches, doing his best. He doesn’t always pull it off, but he does make sense of things where he can. Julian is a likeable character and he truly does want to make amends. Kids will enjoy this, but I think their parents will also relish this trip down Memory Lane. Times may change, but kids don’t. Author Mark Goldblatt’s style is quirky and different, but appealing with a touch of nostalgia. Five stars.

About the author: Mark Goldblatt is a lot like Julian Twerski, only not as interesting (that’s what he says!). He is a widely published columnist, a novelist, and a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Twerp is his first book for younger readers. He lives in New York City.

Please note that I reviewed an ARC. The book will be available on 28 May 2013.

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.