Tag Archive | Childrens Book

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Haunting of Room 909 by Michael James

(Junior Paranormal Investigators Book 1)

The Haunting of Room 909Summer is usually a time of fun and games for most children, but Hanna and Ben Littleton are not your average eleven and twelve-year-old. Their father is Percy Littleton, a famous paranormal investigator, and this summer they are traveling to different locations to investigate unexplained phenomena. Things are rather boring until they stop at Castleridge Hotel.

Though warned by their father not to meddle in his investigation, the brother and sister are convinced they can prove their worth as true investigators. Their eagerness soon turns to terror when Hanna begins having visions about a certain former employee of the hotel, the elevator takes them to the ninth floor on its own, and ghosts interact with them. The building seems to have a mind of its own as Hanna and Ben are forced to figure out what really happened one hundred years ago at Castleridge Hotel, before the spirits trapped inside decide to make them permanent residents.

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My Review:

A wonderfully spooky book for youngsters

After their mother disappeared in unusual circumstances, Hanna and Ben’s dad became a paranormal investigator. His latest case is the haunting of a hotel, and although their dad doesn’t want them anywhere near the centre of the paranormal events on the ninth floor, the hotel has other ideas. As Hannah is sensitive to some of the ghosts and Ben is excited to help investigate, the two youngsters are drawn into the events.

This was an enjoyable, fast-paced book with a great mix of supernatural creepiness and humour. Just right for youngsters 8/9 and above.

 

About The Author:

Michael JamesMichael James is an author from the prairie province of Alberta, Canada. He is an avid golfer, cyclist, mountain climber, and astronomy enthusiast.

Junior Paranormal Investigators: The Haunting of Room 909 is Michael’s debut novel for middle grade readers. After absorbing all things paranormal while growing up, he knew he had to share his fascination with ghosts and other-worldly-creatures with the next generation of kids.

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When I Grow Up by Jon Hales

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front“What if there was something more, not found within a book?
I closed my eyes as tightly as I could and took a look…”

Mr Dove’s class is trying to decide what to be when they grow up but Annie has some ideas of her own. Alien Hunter? Master Ice Cream Taster? President of the Universe? With a little imagination, anything is possible…

Beautifully illustrated, expertly rhymed, with a powerful message about the importance of imagination and dreaming big dreams, this picture book will delight again and again. Perfect for ages 4-8.

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Excerpt:

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My Review:

Another entertaining and imaginative children’s picture book from Jon Hales.

Annie’s teacher has tasked the class to write about what they want to do when they grow up, but Annie can’t decide what she wants to be.

Written in rhyme,  the story is a wonderful read for youngsters, and for adults to read to their children/grandchildren.

The beautifully drawn illustrations are delightful and an integral part of the book!

 
Meet The Author:

6595516Jon Hales is a British author, English literature graduate and former English teacher who learned first-hand the power of a great picture book while teaching in Taiwan, reading stories to his younger students. The capacity for a well crafted turn of phrase, captivating character or hilarious illustration to capture the imagination of its audience was fascinating to him. Jon dreamed of crafting stories that would bring joy to both children and adults, stories that could be read again and again without losing their charm.

Jon lives in London with his wife Annie. He would like to stress that no animals were harmed in the production of his debut picture book, Mathimals.

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Also by Jon Hales: Mathimals

 
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The Day That A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan

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The Day That A Ran Away is a 32 page children’s fiction.

 
The Day That A Ran Away

 

Master Jet has forgotten to complete his homework… or has he? Jet’s teacher is surprised to find that instead of the alphabet, his page is completely blank. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!

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Excerpt:

‘Oh no!’ said the teacher. ‘Master Jet,
You haven’t written the alphabet.’

‘I did, Mrs May,’ said Jet in dismay, ‘but…
Today was the day that A ran away.’

B was so sad that she didn’t stay.

JetC left as well; he wanted to play.

D‘s scared of school and went into hiding.

E followed next. I think he went riding.

 

Illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Published by TaleBlade Press.

 

My Review:

Red-AAnother wonderful and fun picture book from B.C.R. Fegan.

We enter Jet’s imagination as he explains to his teacher why he hasn’t written the alphabet.

The book takes you through the alphabet, with super reasons as to why the letters are missing, and ends with Jet ‘paying’ for not doing the work.

A great rhyming book to read to your youngster, with cute and colourful illustrations.

 

Author Information:

BCR-FeganBCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.

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The Day That A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan

The Day That A Ran Away Banner

The Day That A Ran Away is a 32 page children’s fiction
To be released on September 1, 2018.

 
The Day That A Ran Away

 Master Jet has forgotten to complete his homework… or has he? Jet’s teacher is surprised to find that instead of the alphabet, his page is completely blank. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!

Pre-order:

AmazonB&NBook DepositoryFishpond
Add to Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt:

‘Oh no!’ said the teacher. ‘Master Jet,
You haven’t written the alphabet.’

‘I did, Mrs May,’ said Jet in dismay, ‘but…
Today was the day that A ran away.’

B was so sad that she didn’t stay.

JetC left as well; he wanted to play.

D‘s scared of school and went into hiding.

E followed next. I think he went riding.

 

Illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Published by TaleBlade Press.

 

My Review:

Red-AAnother wonderful and fun picture book from B.C.R. Fegan.

We enter Jet’s imagination as he explains to his teacher why he hasn’t written the alphabet.

The book takes you through the alphabet, with super reasons as to why the letters are missing, and ends with Jet ‘paying’ for not doing the work.

A great rhyming book to read to your youngster, with cute and colourful illustrations.

 

Author Information:

BCR-FeganBCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.

WebsiteTwitterGoodreads

 

 

Great Summer Reads 2018 Countdown Blitz: Day 12

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The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

Chronicles of the Stone: Book 1

 

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In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life.

Scarab cover frontA scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs.

Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler.

They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!

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authorI am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir….

Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3!

I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

Author Site • Books Site • BlogTwitterLinkedIn

 
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Top Ten List:

My Top Ten (in no particular order):

  1. Travel
    I have been fortunate enough to visit many countries but there are still more on my list.

  2. Animals
    I love animals and wish I had tons of money to donate to many of the causes I read about. One day, I will!

  3. Movies
    I LOVE movies. Detective, thrillers, animal feel goods, historical series, adventure, action, marvel character movies, I love it!

  4. Books
    I LOVE books, of course, and still have many of my old childhood favourites inherited from my parents and grandparents.

  5. Music
    Listening to music, mainly classical and movie themes, is very relaxing.

  6. Theatre and ballet
    Would you believe it I started out studying drama at university, went to drama school in London and mime school in Paris, came back home and ended up in writing and publishing.

  7. Writing
    Not just writing middle grade adventures though. I have an alter ego named Arabella Sheraton who writes Regency romances and has actually written more books than I have. Arabella is the proud author of eight books so far. Do I have a problem wearing two hats? Not at all. I love jumping into a historical fiction romance and having fun.

  8. Antiques and collectibles
    I have inherited so many beautiful antiques (furniture and collectibles) but that hasn’t stopped me browsing flea markets and antique shops to enjoy the beautiful items of yesteryear and sometimes buy.

  9. Friends/family
    Getting together with good friends is something that can’t be beaten. I love having friends/family over and making a great dinner for us to enjoy.

  10. Giving talks on child literacy
    I didn’t start off as an expert on child literacy, but after I fostered and later adopted my daughter Mabel (a disadvantaged young African girl) I had to learn pretty quickly because she came to me just about illiterate at age eleven. From my experiences in teaching Mabel to read, I then was asked to address many institutions and groups on the topic. I enjoy helping parents and teachers to get kids to love reading.

 

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Go To Sleep by Marion Adams

Go To Sleep

 

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Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong…

The award-winning bedtime story with a humorous twist that children will love!

 

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My Review:

A cute bedtime story about a little sheep who couldn’t get to sleep. Counting sheep takes on a new twist in this fun read.

Aimed at children 3 – 7 years old. This is a wonderful story to read to your little ones, and for the older range of the age group to read themselves.

The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills are delightful.

 

Author Bio:

MA author pic 2Marion Adams has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day (and eat dark chocolate). Over the years, she’s written all kinds of things for both adults and children, some serious and some less so, with published work including magazine stories, articles, poems, plays and non-fiction books.

Marion lives in Devon, UK, and when she’s not reading or writing (or eating dark chocolate), she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep! is set.

Where Can We Have The Party?

by Deb Hockenberry

Where Can We Have The Party

 

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Giraffe wants to have a party for his friend, Chimpanzee. There’s one problem with this idea, though. Where can he have the party? He asks his other friends for ideas.

They all sit and think about it. Giraffe’s friends do think of some ideas and they’re great ones! But there’s another problem. For one reason or another, none of the ideas will work. Where will they have the party?

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Where Can We Have The Party?  is aimed at three to eight-year-old children.

 

Meet The Author:

MeDeb has always wanted to write for children since she was a child. She loved
making up stories for her siblings, and neighborhood kids.

She has taken a course at the CBI Clubhouse  and multiple courses from The Institute for Children’s Literature, to keep up with the ever-changing children’s market.

She is a regular contributor to her church newsletter, sending out announcements
and reminders on MailChimp, and keeping the church website updated.

In her spare time, Deb enjoys knitting, crocheting, music, movies, and reading.
She and her cat, Harry, currently reside in the inspirational mountains of Central
Pennsylvania.

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Guest Post by Deb Hockenberry:

Writing Process

All stories start with an idea. ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ came to me when I was a child and this idea never let me go.

1. Take a course in writing.

Starting in 1988, I took multiple courses from The Institute of Children’s Literature. I’m also taking an ongoing, online course from CBI Clubhouse. I wanted to learn how to write this story down properly so a publisher would accept it.

 
2. Outline. 

I did outline “Where Can We Have The Party?” I would suggest anyone who wants to try their hand at writing to do both: be a pantser. That is, just write down the story as it comes to you (this is called free writing), then do your formal outlining.

 
3. Make a book dummy.

This is time consuming, but it really helps you catch those mistakes! You do this by taking several sheets of blank notebook paper or copy paper and printing out your manuscript and fold them all in half. Don’t forget leaving pages for the title, copyright, and dedication pages! Take your manuscript and cut it how you think each page would be. It also helps you catch where your flow breaks, where your characters don’t speak or act natural, or where you forgot something. Your errors stick out like a sore thumb, then. For exact instructions on how to make a book dummy go here.

 
4. Repeat.

‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ is written for ages 3-8. You have to have a certain phrase or word and repeat it 3-4 times throughout the book. For ages younger than that, you repeat a lot more!

 
5. The Rule of Three. 

What I mean by this is after you state the problem, have the main character try three times to reach the goal and fail finally trying again and succeeding. For the age group of 3-8, you keep it simple. I did the power of three with Giraffe asking his three friends, having all of their ideas fail.

 
6. Join a critique group. 

Critique groups are so valuable giving you great feedback. They also pick up some minor problem and give you suggestions for fixing it. If your area doesn’t have a physical critique group, you can easily find one online. Go to your favorite search engine and search “children’s writers critique groups.”

 
7. Get it professionally edited. 

Before I started submitting, ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ I had it professionally edited before sending out into the world. I fully recommend getting your story or article edited. Freelance editors are just as good but much cheaper than the editors who do it for a full-time job! To find editors or freelance editors, do a search on your favorite search engine.

 
8. Let it rest. 

Put it away and do something else for a few days or whatever time you think is best, and tape record it, read it aloud, or read it to your pet (don’t laugh, it works)! This helps you to hear the mistakes.

 
9. Listen to your feelings. 

I used this story as an assignment for The Institute of Children’s Literature. I sent it in with the talking animals and they loved it. Except, that it had talking animals. They suggested re-writing it with children as main characters since publishers weren’t accepting books with talking animals. Well, I made the changes, sent it back to them, and they were thrilled with it!

Well, during that time, publishers weren’t accepting stories with talking animals. This is why ICL asked me to re-write the story with human kids. That taught me something. Always listen to your feelings when it comes to writing. That’s the story talking to you. It told me it didn’t want to have human kids for characters.

 
‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ and every other story or article I’ve written has gone through the same process.

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