Interview with Chelsea Walker Flagg, Author of Tinsey Clover

Chelsea Walker Flagg is an award-winning, best-selling author of adult and children’s books alike. She’s very passionate about encouraging kids to write, and even helps them publish their own books. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and three practically perfect daughters. She also lives at https://chelseaflagg.com. You can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chelseaflagg, Instagram at https://twitter.com/chelseaflagg and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chelseawalkerflagg.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Back in second grade, I’d bring in little stories I’d written (mostly about cats) to my classroom and beg my teacher to let me read them to the class. Things didn’t stop there. I wrote my first novel in middle school, although I sadly never published it. My life continued along and I fell into the trap of people telling me writing was a worthless occupation. I bounced around from job to job, and always found myself gravitating toward the writing piece of any project. Finally, I took the leap and allowed myself to really call myself a writer. I haven’t looked back once.

What is this book about?

TINSEY CLOVER is the story of a little elfin girl in the Icelandic Bungaborg Forest. She feels frustrated because her corner of the forest isn’t allowed to leave or interact with anyone else. Using her great math skills, some quirky magic, and some unlikely new friends, Tinsey goes on an adventure to learn that sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem.

What inspired you to write it?

Kids listen, you know? Whether we think they do or not, they hear about the exclusion and segregation in our world these days. I just thought a story about a spunky little girl rising above stuff like that to make a difference in her own life would be a breath of fresh air. An inspiration that all kids can be a little light, no matter how small they are.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

I feel a very special place in my heart for Tinsey, because I think she is me in a lot of ways. Most of my young readers have really loved Sky, the bunny rabbit who’s way too fluffy for his own good, though.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

You can find TINSEY CLOVER online at Amazon. It’s also available on Barnes and Noble, and a few Colorado bookstores right now. (More to come!)

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

KEEP WRITING! It’s the same advice I try to give every single kid I encounter. There have always been plenty of people along the way who discourage writers or convince them it’s not a worthwhile activity. Those people are lying to you. If you’re passionate about writing, keep writing. You will find so much power, self-awareness, and joy when you put your words down on paper. And no, it’s never going to be perfect. And yes, some people won’t care for your style or your stories, but that doesn’t matter. Write. Anyway. I can’t emphasis that enough.

What is up next for you?

I’m excited to get pen to paper on a TINSEY CLOVER sequel! I’m equally excited to announce my intention to set up a service to help young writers publish their own books! Follow me for more information on that soon.

Book Blast & Giveaway: Immortal Girl5 by Griffin Stark

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Griffin Stark will be awarding a copy of the book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

Immortal Girl5 (January 22, 2019) follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

Excerpt

“Wait! Now look, please, just let me explain!” he begged her, while shielding himself from the next imminent attack. Even if he’d had the desire to fight back—which he certainly did not—Luke wasn’t sure how easy it would be. After all, she’d survived more than a thousand years from what he’d been told. For being that old, this girl looked beyond amazing, with her blonde hair that fell into curls at the ends, angelic looks, and a flawless, pale complexion that held two stormy blue eyes of unusual intensity. Skylar seemed to accept Luke’s sincerity, at least for the moment, and slowly put her fist down by her side.

 

 

About the Author:

GRIFFIN STARK is an American author who proudly lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Even as a young child, Griffin had an active imagination. As an author of young adult fiction, he has harnessed his creativity to tell memorable stories filled with important life lessons.

Griffin served as a combat medic in The United States Air Force and later founded THE SHEEPDOG MOVEMENT to join in the fight against bullying of teens worldwide.

Visit http://immortalgirl5.com/ to learn more about Griffin and his YA fantasy novel, Immortal Girl5.

Watch the Immortal Girl5 book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C184CfqO380

And purchase a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Girl5-Griffin-Stark-ebook/dp/B07JZ52226

Enter below for your chance to win a paperback copy of Immortal Girl5!

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini

If Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini doesn’t melt your heart and make your eyes glisten, you might be the Grinch.

It has been hard for Maggie to watch her beloved Nana becomes ill and bedridden. She believes wishing on stars is too risky, so, with her mother’s help, she writes down her wishes for Nana and plants them where they can grow.

It’s not often that a children’s picture book can make you pause, appreciate life and your loved ones, and truly make you think. Where Wishes Grow is able to do that and more. It is a profoundly touching story, clearly born out of someone’s heart, that shows how caring for and loving each other can turn one child’s dismay into happiness. Artist Pauline Aksay is able to capture all this emotion so beautifully with the artwork for Where Wishes Grow. Her unique style is soft and warm.

My children are too old for this book now, but I might have to keep it because it is too beautiful to give away.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 56 pages
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing (August 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1988856000
ISBN-13: 978-1988856001

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis

If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.

Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.

If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.

EXCERPT:

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”

“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.

There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.

Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…

Ding Dong!

The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.

“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”

I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”

Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.

I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?

My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”

Who could this be from?

I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.

“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.

“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.

“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.

“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.

Dear Sophie,
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Language: English

Digital version available for only 99 cents!

Also available in softcover!

Website: tonyaduncanellis.com

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp is a sweet and encouraging story about friendship and kindness.

When Hornsby loses his horn in a fight, he is no longer accepted by his herd. Struggling with a sense of belonging, he wanders off and winds up finding some new friends that teach him a valuable lesson.

Between the cute story and the delightful illustrations, there’s a lot to like about Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness. It has a terrific message and even includes some discussion questions and an activity at the end. Kids will love this one and parents can use this as a way to discuss friendship, kindness and belonging with their young ones. The colorful illustrations by Taryn Cozzy will keep readers turning the pages. Definitely a fun read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari, LLC (November 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989013456
ISBN-13: 978-0989013451

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 

 

Interview with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of Amos Faces His Bully

Thought I would have a little fun interviewing myself today. It’s not often I have a chance to do that. Probably better off that way. People will think I am crazy. 🙂

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ and her children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

 

 

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

I’m a wife and mother of three: two teenage girls and a son who is married. In addition to being a published children’s author I am a licensed REALTOR® in Massachusetts, a blogger and a book reviewer. I tend to be a glutton for punishment, so I overcommit myself on a regular basis. At least I’m never bored.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I’ve been writing since I was teenager, but it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that I began making writing a career choice.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

The children’s market chose me. I was trying to finish a Christian fiction story for adults one year for NaNoWriMo. It simply wouldn’t come together and, when I shared the story idea with my pastor, he asked if it was a children’s book. That made me rethink what I was doing and I began writing it as a children’s picture book. That was my first book. I’ve published three other books since then.

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

A good story is required for any market. You just have to be careful not to talk down to your readers and to make sure the young people in your stories sound and act their age, not yours. 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

It’s fun to interact with young people at author events. They seem so excited about your ideas.

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

Amos Faces His Bully is about a boy in Bethlehem who is bullied because he’s small. When he hears about his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he wonders if the same God who helped David face his bully can help him.

What inspired you to write it?

I was bullied as a kid and one of my daughters has been bullied. I wanted her to realize God is there to help her deal with any challenges that come her way. Putting your faith in God can give you tremendous peace.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Amos Faces His Bully is available at:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

What is up next for you?

I polished up a cute and funny picture book idea that I want to pitch to agents and I’m over halfway done with a middle grade historical that is long overdue to be finished.

Do you have anything else to add?

I hope you’ll let me know if you have enjoyed one of my stories.

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

 

The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown

The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown is a book whose mission is to empower young people to care for our planet. It is the final book in the author’s The ABC’s of Everything series. Like How to Eat Your ABCs–which we reviewed here–this is an ABC book told in rhyme. From “awaken” to “zen” and everything in between, readers will enjoy turning the pages of this beautifully illustrated book.

I have to applaud the author’s dedication and desire to reach children with important concepts as early as possible. In this particular case it’s to get young people to realize how vital caring for the planet and each other is. This is a book I could see being displayed on a coffee table because the artwork is lovely. This would also allow for regular discussions on the ABCs on this topic.

One thing that distracted from the book for me is how prevalent the author’s presence is throughout it. From the very opening the author is talking about her mission to educate all and to share the things she has to say (Awaken). The author wants to convey the meaning of living green (Green) . The author deplores when people consume beyond their needs (Quality).  Children want to learn for themselves. They want to come to their own conclusions. By nature, their immature brains are self-absorbed. So how is a child going to be invested in this mission if she can’t see it as her own?  McKeown easily makes her point in several other areas where the author’s presence is totally invisible. It is in those moments she’s chatting with her readers, not speaking at them.

The ABCs of Living Green is a good addition to the series. Just like The ABCs of Being Me and How to Eat Your ABCs, there is tremendous value in taking time to read this final installment. Lyrical prose combined with stunning artwork are a win-win.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Publisher: The ABCs of Everything, LLC (2018)
ISBN-10: 0692939652
ISBN-13: 978-0692939659

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.