All Because of Chickens by G. L. Miller

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Returning to the family homestead intensifies twelve-year-old Sammy’s longing for the family heritage—farming. But Dad’s ultimatum, “… no crops, no animals, no barn…” shows Dad wants nothing to do with farming, for himself or Sammy. Then why did Dad insist Sammy join a farming club?

Permission slips for Ag club summer projects are due. Sammy defends his project choice with, “Technically, Dad, chickens are birds not animals.” Miraculously, he wins Dad’s approval.

Sammy’s problems begin with the early arrival of his peeps and the loss of his best pals.   His ingenuity to care for his chicks, make a new friend, and design a compost bin win him a new name. His biggest challenge—can he butcher his roosters?

Summer’s many adventures include solving a mystery, fighting a hawk, and being disqualified at the County Fair.

At the end of the project, has he won…or lost…the thing he wanted most—Dad’s change of heart about farming?

Excerpt

During a lull in the suppertime conversation, Sammy found the courage to broach the subject. “Dad, Mr. Conklin said we had to bring our signed summer project paper to next week’s meeting.”

“And what have you chosen to do?” asked Dad, sipping his coffee.

“Raise chickens,” mumbled Sammy. Afraid of Dad’s reaction, he toyed with the last of the peas on his plate.

“What?” Dad almost sloshed his coffee as he set down the mug. “I thought you understood there would be no animals.”

“Yes,” Sammy admitted, “but I thought—”

Sammy saw Dad’s angry frown and tightly drawn lips. He decided to try a different approach. “Dad, I’m confused. You’re the one who wanted me to join the Ag club of CAYC, the County Agriculture Youth Club. You said you belonged as a boy. Surely you remembered there were summer projects?”

In silence Dad swallowed another sip of coffee. “I remembered,” he said. “But, I was hoping you would get interested in growing flowers for your mother or vegetables for the kitchen. Couldn’t you do that as your project?”

“Well, you said there would be no farming, either,” Sammy pointed out.

“What I meant by that was fields of plants, not just a few around the house or in a small garden.”

“In that case, yes, I probably could.” Then, with heroic effort he blurted, “But that really wouldn’t be any fun. All plants do is sit there. You have to water them and feed them and weed them. And they still…just sit there.”

“You have to feed and water chickens, too,” Mom gently reminded. “And clean their house and take care of them.”

“At least they move. And I could play with them. I know they’d be work, but I hope maybe some fun, too.”

“What made you decide on chickens?” she asked.

“Well,” said Sammy, “first I thought of a foal, but I knew Dad wouldn’t approve of that,” he added quickly, stealing a glance at his father. “Besides, we don’t have a barn or any place to put a young horse. True, during the summer he wouldn’t need much more than a lean-to. Still, I would hope to have him longer than just this summer…” Sammy’s voice trailed off.

“Then I considered a puppy.” How am I going to explain this to Mom? Sammy took a drink from his water glass and quickly got his thoughts together. “I would probably want to have him in the house, though. You know, to play with and sleep on my bed.   But dogs get fleas and shed their hair so I didn’t think you’d permit that.”

Mom’s smile confirmed his supposition. “So that’s when you thought of the chickens?” she asked.

Sammy nodded.

“But they’re still animals,” prodded Dad.

Turning his attention back to Dad, Sammy defended himself. “Not really, Dad. Technically, they’re birds.”

Sammy watched the astonishment in Dad’s face turn to amusement.

Technically, they are not birds, they are fowl,” Dad replied.

Embarrassment tightened Sammy’s jaw. “You’re laughing at me.”

Sammy felt Dad’s hand gently clasp his own, causing him to focus on what Dad was saying.

“Never, Sammy. I would never laugh at you. I love you. You are growing up and using words that surprise me.   I enjoy your ingenuity. I’m laughing in delight of you, but never at you.”

Sammy grinned and ducked his head.

Mom pushed back her chair and stood up. “Let me get dessert, and then you can tell us more about this project.”

“I’ll get my stuff.” Sammy ran to his room for his club materials and the form he and Gran had filled out earlier. He also swooped up his drawings and the copies of the Internet pages. Spreading everything out in front of his dad, he explained what Mr. Conklin was encouraging them to do.

“And Gran said I could use that old lumber behind her shed to make the house.   I mean, coop,” Sammy corrected himself.

“I thought I smelled my mother in this,” muttered Dad.

“Oh no, Dad,” Sammy hurried to set things straight. “I thought of all this myself. When I told her today, Gran asked me the same things you did. All she did was help me to look up some information on her computer and to fill in my form.”

Sammy looked through the papers he’d put on the table. Choosing two, he placed one before Dad.

“See, I’ve even drawn some plans for their coop,” Sammy said. Putting the second page on top, he explained, “And I have enough money in my bank to pay for the chicks, their equipment, and part of their food. I plan to sell their eggs to get more food money.”

Sammy watched Dad’s face for signs of approval. He didn’t realize he was holding his breath until Mom spoke.

“How many peeps are you thinking of getting?” she asked.

“Mr. Conklin said we can buy as few as twenty-four or twenty-five,” Sammy answered. “He’s bringing catalogs to the next meeting so we can see what breeds are available. But, I think I already know what kind I want.”

Sammy searched through his computer printouts. Pulling a couple of pictures from the stack, he handed one to Mom.

“Gran and I looked at different kinds on the computer,” he said. “These Golden Comets seemed to be the most interesting. You can see in the picture that the roosters are white and the hens are red.” Sammy chuckled, and then added, “With that sort of help, I won’t be asking a rooster why it isn’t laying an egg.”

“Good thinking,” agreed Dad. “A beginner needs all the help he can get.”

“That’s what Gran said,” admitted Sammy.

AVAILABLE AT:

MuseItUp Publishing ~Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ Apple iTunes~ Omnilit ~

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Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors

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Friday was my day to blog at Christian Children’s Authors. I discussed a youth ministry resource I am using in our tween/teen Sunday school group. You can find out more about The Story of Jesus: Teen Edition from Zondervan at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2016/01/15/the-story-of-jesus-teen-edition-from-zondervan/

This Little President by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode – Book Blast & Giveaway

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the newly-released board book, “This Little President: A Presidential Primer” by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode.

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About the Book

Title: This Little President: A Presidential Primer | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Daniel Roode | Publication Date: January 12, 2016 | Publisher: Little Simon | Pages: 26 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 6

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Goodreads | Indiebound | iBook | Kobo

Book Description:

A board book primer on presidents

Learn about the US presidents with this bright and playful board book! Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and little leaders-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

Leading our country.
Helping you and me.
Keeping all fifty states
safe, happy, and free.

Little presidents have a great big job.

See more at Little Simon

 

Sneak Peek

This Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page AThis Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page B

 

About the Author: Joan Holub

Joan-Holub-GG-264x300Joan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the Mini Myths series of 8 board books: Be Careful, Icarus!, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!, Make A Wish Midas! Joan also authored the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan also co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books).

Author Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

Goodreads | Facebook

 

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: January 26, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Coming Soon!: Bathtime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba

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Beau is dirty. Theo is dirty. It must be BATHTIME!

The only thing better than watching Theo the dog (part-Boxer, part-Shepherd, part-Labrador, part-Sharpei) curl up for a nap with his best friend Beau (a two-and-a-half year old toddler) is watching them having a blast together in the bath. The strong friendship, trust and love that was so visible in Naptime with Theo and Beau, is once again on full display in Jessica Shyba’s absolutely adorable and unbelievably charming photos.

Prepare to have your heart stolen all over again by these world famous viral sensations!

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250059070
ISBN-13: 978-1250059079

Available January 19!

Pre-order:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

New Release: Blue in the Face by Gerry Swallow

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When Elspeth Pule, an eleven-year-old brat, wakes up one day in a strange forest, she finds some familiar faces around her–those of the nursery rhyme characters she grew up reading about. But as she soon learns from Humpty Dumpy, a suave, tuxedo-wearing egg, what she knows is a twisted version of the truth concocted by the evil Old King Krool–and none of the characters are who she thinks.

Elspeth couldn’t care less, but she soon gets pulled into the fight against Krool’s tyranny. And if she wants to get home, she’ll need to learn some compassion–and teach the characters that sometimes a good old-fashioned tantrum is exactly what’s necessary.

Told in a hilarious voice and with black and white illustrations throughout, this “revolutionary” tale is perfect for fans of Pseudonymous Bosch and Lemony Snicket.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619634872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619634879

PURCHASE AT: Amazon, Barnesandnoble, Bloomsbury Publishing

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF

Gerry Swallow is the author of A Whole Nother Story–which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was an Al Roker Today Show pick–and its sequels Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story, all written under the pseudonym Dr. Cuthbert Soup. He began his career as a stand-up comic, making numerous appearances on NBC’s Tonight Show. He then turned his attention to writing movies, including the blockbuster hit, Ice Age: The Meltdown.
http://www.awholenotherbook.com.

Valerio Fabbretti is the author and illustrator of children’s books and comic books in both the USA and Italy. He was born in Rome and currently lives in San Francisco.
http://www.valeriofabbretti.com/.

 

 

Interview with John Calicchia, Author of Mirror World

John Calicchia

John Calicchia writes stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 his book Mirror World was released! It’s a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It’s a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades Dr. C. felt his writing was not helping the young people he loves to work with. So, he took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plots in Mirror World to help with real life issues. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the tale!

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

For More Information

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story in sixth grade, and the class loved it and laughed so hard, I was asked to be the first one to read my stories for the rest of the year – motivation for an aspiring writer?

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Usually mornings are best, but when I am in the flow it can go on all day long. The rest of the time I’m writing this story in my head endlessly.

What is this book about?

What would you do if you saw the future apocalypse of the world in a mirror? Would you try to save the world and those you love, or die trying?
Welcome to my life, this is the vision of the future I’ve been cursed to see.
– Cailyssa Larkin

Cailyssa hates mirrors because someone evil is staring back at her from the other side.  One day, she gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

What inspired you to write it?

I was always disappointed in science fiction and fantasy books because of a lack of strong female lead characters. Before Katniss Everdean and Tris Prior, few books or movies ever featured a strong female in the lead role.  I love the fact that my book is told from the first-person perspective and has two exceptionally strong female lead characters, who of course also have their vulnerabilities. I also have two wonderful daughters that are exceptionally inspiring as I watch them continue on their way to developing into strong, young, and capable women.Mirror World

Who is your favorite character from the book?

It depends on what day you ask me, but for today it’s Terry. She’s Cailyssa’s sister and a ton of crazy fun, with wings like an angel and 12 inch razor-sharp blades that come out of her knuckles she takes on any evil foe! But like all superheroes,  she has hidden weaknesses.

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

Both.  I was able to dictate the whole book using Dragon Naturally Speaking so the first draft went remarkably quickly.  The revision process and the multiple levels of editing took a long time!

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Use as many beta readers as possible, and get ARC’s out earlier.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Follow me and you can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website www.johncalicchia.com

twitter: @jacalicchia

youtube: https://youtu.be/8ezO9nWm9UY

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Time will tell.  I’m hoping it’s the current book tour!

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

Write what you love and you will love what you write ( and some other people will too)

What is up next for you?

The Users Guide for Mirror World is almost finished.  It has the secrets to where the psychology  studies are hidden in the book. You can get more information at my website or my blog.

There will be two more books in the Mirror World series. The next book Angelus starts literally in Hell with a dark angel being tortured for failing to destroy Cailyssa Larkin. Cailyssa has returned from Mirror World and is trying to finish her senior year in high school, when she discovers the war of the Angels she became involved in has followed her home. The Angels in this book are not what you think of in pictures or the Bible.  Angels have been living among us and walking the earth for thousands of years – you probably even know a couple – hopefully they’re not the evil ones.

Here’s a biblical quote that starts off the book:

His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And Lucifer stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

After the Mirror World Series I have plans for a psychological thriller PSYOPS which is a dystopian world in which the government and the military control dreams through neuroscience and psychology.

I better get writing!!!!!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I hope my book is a somewhat unique stamp. First of all I hope it’s a fun and exciting story that entertains you. But I know as a  professor that the psychology studies hidden in the plot are very helpful for people’s lives. So I really hope it’s a wonderful tale, that has a free self-help book hidden in the narrative. Please get a copy of the users guide at my website after you read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the meantime, read the book and keep guessing about the psychology behind it!

Warm Regards,

John

For More Information

  • Mirror World is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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From the Family Bookshelf – January 2016

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Hard to believe a new year is upon us. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Instead of the usual From the Family Bookshelf column where I talk about what we’ve read, I’m going to share the books we received for Christmas.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t get Daddy any books for a present. I bought him some neat toys instead; things that would remind him of his childhood.

I received one book this year: The Christmas Star by Ace Collins. I’ve wanted it for a while now. Christianbook.com had a special offer, so I bought it for myself and had Daddy stick it under the tree.

The Lil’ Diva was happy to receive the entire Harry Potter series, as well as, The Shadowhunter’s Codex. This book is a tie-in to The Mortal Instruments series.

The Lil’ Princess received the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Old School.

Did you receive any books for Christmas? If so, happy reading!