Tag Archive | Childrens book

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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Mathimals by Jon Hales

Mathimals

 

516ZpcaSs2L._SY371_BO1,204,203,200_Do you find it hard to add? Brace yourself for a slightly unusual and mildly chaotic lesson in basic addition!

What happens when you add 1 mouse + 1 sheep, for example? Or 4 caterpillars + 4 fish? You’ll find out in this hugely entertaining picture book filled with weird and wonderful creatures.

Packed with brightly coloured illustrations, clever wordplay and lots of fun details, this rhyming story is sure to capture the imaginations of young children and is designed to help simple sums stick in the mind.

Perfect for ages 2-6 but with plenty for older children and even adults to enjoy.

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Excerpt:

Are you afraid of scary snakes?

Well, my good friend, all it takes

To lose 3 snakes is to find 3 chickens.

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Illustrations by Charlene Mosley

 

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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mathimals-octopogsMy Review:

An entertaining and imaginative way to make addition, and reading,  fun!

It’s a simple read, with some challenging words – like the invented creatures.

The vibrant illustrations add to the enjoyment and are sure to spark the imagination.

I’m a good deal older than the book is targeted at, but I enjoyed the unusual animal combinations. My favourites were the Octopogs!

 

 

Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan

Door 32
Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 is a 32 page children’s fiction

To be released on March 14, 2018.

 

Door32 Cover.jpgThe magical Hotel of Hoo is a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As our guests explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.

This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.

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Excerpt:

Welcome to the magical Hotel of Hoo.
Where I’ll be your host, Mr Nicholas Noo.

I’m sure you’ll be happy in room number 1.
You’ll be my first guests; before you, I had none.
Please explore my hotel, but whatever you do,
Don’t ever look behind door 32.

Through door number 2 are the grumpy old clowns.
I don’t think they’re funny,
but they help clean the grounds.

Through door number 3 are the fidgety knights.
They itch and they scratch,
but they fix all the lights.

Through door number 4 is the room where we eat,
Door-32-BrotherWhenever you’re hungry, come in, take a seat.
But just a reminder, when done with your stew,
Don’t ever look behind door 32.

 

Illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Published by TaleBlade Press.

 

Quotes from Reviews:

“B.C.R. Fegan combines the whimsical spirit of a Dr. Seuss book with the spine-tingling mystery of a haunted house in his picture book Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32.” – BlueInk (Starred Review)

“Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 is both enjoyable and educational. With thirty-one doors to explore, the book is sure to entertain young children while also reinforcing early counting skills.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews

“What is behind door 32? The answer isn’t what readers will expect, and the finale of the charmingly rhymed book has a pleasing twist designed to make kids chuckle with relief that nothing really terrible is lurking.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The ending is excellent and unexpected. It is a good bedtime storybook for parents to read out at night and can be used for read aloud and story telling sessions in classrooms and school libraries.” – Readers’ Favorite

 

My Review:

Door-32-SisterA simple and fun story, that counts from 1-32
as you visit all the rooms in the Hotel of Hoo.
Along with two young guests we peek behind each door…
There are wonderful characters; goblins, ghosts, fairies and more.

The rhyming text is fun to read out loud, and for the most part it’s a fairly easy read although there are some challenging words for younger readers.

The book is filled, from cover to cover, with delightful illustrations!

An enjoyable and entertaining book.

 

BCR-FeganAuthor Bio:

BCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults. He is inspired by stories that resonate deeply with our desire for adventure, yearning for magic and search for meaning. When Fegan is not writing children’s books, he is forging worlds in the realm of Young Adult Fiction.

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Dear Diary by Susan Horsnell

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20938121_2394211580803929_219603118_nRebecca is an eleven-year-old girl whose father has taken a job in a new town.

This means she is forced into a new school.

Shorter than most her age, and not quite as intelligent, makes her a prime target for ongoing bullying.

The only thing she can trust in, confide in, is her Diary.

A story about the real danger of bullying which every child should read.

This story is fictional but based on a true to life event.

EBook – Pronoun Publishing

Paperback

 

About the Author:

21039650_2396089483949472_392531102_nI have written two children’s books during my career.
This is my second, dedicated to my nephew who took his own life just a few weeks after he turned twelve years old.

I have five grandchildren who are subjected to bullying, a coward’s way of displaying power over another and occurs at any age.

Hopefully through this book, both children and adults will learn how dangerous bullying can be. It’s not something which can be dismissed as a childhood ‘stage.’

My first book – Secret Beneath the House – is the story of two children left alone for the day. What they find under the house is another magical world.

I also write Best Selling/Award Winning Western Romance and Best Selling Contemporary Romance under a pen name.

I have been married for 43 years, have 2 married sons and 5 gorgeous grandchildren.

Hubby and I are retired and love to travel Australia with our caravan, our elderly Jack Russell dog – Caellagh (Kelly) and a very opinionated Cockatiel called Rocky.

You can take a look at my books through the following links:

Susan Horsnell Links

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A.L. Simpson Links

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Books I Read in June ’17

Only three books to mention for June.
I have read more than three, but can’t review them as yet, all will be explained in time!

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Last Rites

by Lily Luchesi

34888885Lily Luchesi took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride with this book. Books don’t often make me cry, but I’ll admit to shedding a tear or two while reading this one.

Lily has outdone herself again, with this ‘end of an era’ story, and I am sorry to see the last of Angelica and Danny’s story.

The book is full of action and unexpected twists, that make it impossible to put down until you’ve turned the last page.

I’ve been side by side with the wonderful people I’ve met within the covers of the first five books of the series and I miss them when they go.

I am, however, looking forward to getting to know the new characters introduced in Last Rites and finding out where their stories are headed.

 

Power is the deadliest desire.

With Leander put to rest and the Paranormal Investigative Division taken care of by the Coven Mistress, Danny and Angelica are finally ready to take some time for themselves while Angelica gets used to her new role as the Empress and they make their relationship official.

When people close to Angelica are murdered by what seems to be a rogue vampire, their sabbatical is cut short in order for her to find the perp and execute him or her.

But this is no ordinary vampire. When the truth is revealed and secrets come to light, it will prove to be Danny’s biggest test of faith yet, and Angelica’s reckoning of her past, present, and future. Most of all it will raise a single question: just what makes a monster?

***

Blood Rose

by Danielle Rose

34817962This quick and easy read was interesting and kept my attention.

The storyline is well thought out, well written and cracks along at a good pace.

You get a detailed insight into what it’s like for Avah, a witch who has been brought up to hate all vampires, to become a vampire.

The characters are well-developed and brought to life. Avah especially is an interesting and complex character.

I’d like to see what happens next.

 

There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

As one of the only spirit users in her coven, Avah has been chosen to wield The Power, the ultimate weapon against the immortal vampire species witches have been at war with for centuries.

But on the night of her birth rite, Avah’s coven is attacked. Forced to seek refuge among the very beings she’s sworn to kill, Avah vows revenge on those who took her former life from her.

As Avah slowly transitions into a life of blood and war, she realizes everything she’s been told is a lie.

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Diesel the Body Guard: No Bullies Allowed!

by Cindy Shirley

35291340A wonderful book for children, which deals with bullying.

The book has a great message about standing up for yourself and others, as well as showing that bullying other kids is wrong, and how it makes others feel bad.

The illustrations, by Cleoward Sy, are superb.

Although the book is aimed at 1st grade through middle school, the writing may be too small for young children.

 

Delilah Dillard is a young girl with red hair who is being bullied at school by two brothers, Richard and Jimmy. She has tried everything possible to avoid the boys which includes walking to school each day instead of riding the bus.

One day, a new student named Lilly Ann is introduced to the class. She has red hair, braces, and wears glasses. Delilah happily agrees to befriend the new student and offers to take her under her wing for the day. It is during lunch time when Richard and Jimmy made their move, and began to bully both girls. Delilah had grown used to being called names but when Lilly began to cry, Delilah decided it was time to get even with the bullies. “Lilly, don’t you worry about those boys. Just wait until you meet Diesel, my best friend and Body Guard,” said Delilah.

Knowing how protective her pet rooster, Diesel was, she set out to give the boys a taste of their own medicine. This would be the only way to end the bullying, and teach the brothers a lesson.

***