Friday, June 29, 2012

New Release: July ummer Reading



New YA fantasy to be released by Twilight Times Books in July 15th, 2012

Seth Bauman has issues. His Mom split ten years ago, right after his birth, and guardian Uncle Troy won't discuss the past. Seth's only friend is Mexican immigrant Elena, whom he must walk home from school through Silverlake's gang-ravaged streets. When Elena is abducted by local gang 'the Mayans,' Seth has no choice but to follow the Boatman of the L.A. River into the sprawling network of sewers and metro tunnels concealing Mayan headquarters. To Seth the great labyrinth unfolds as a magical realm called 'the Interior,' whose residents immediately deem him the 'Nameless Prince' of prophecy, sent to save them from peril.

    To find Elena, Seth embarks on an odyssey of riddles and self-discovery. Only in 'Interia' is it safe to discover the truth about his past, and the forgiveness that will set him free. In rescuing Elena he rescues his own innocence. In fulfilling prophecy by learning his name, Seth discovers the greatness that lies within.

About the author:

Dominick Domingo is a veteran Animation Artist (Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback, Tarzan, Fantasia.) who's illustrated YA books for Penguin, Random House, Lowell House, Disney Publishing, Hyperion Books, and Harcourt. Developing original screenplays as a filmmaker led to a growing writing resume. To capitalize on it, Dominick recently penned a collection of Narrative Nonfiction essays titled "Jesus Shoes," two of which have been included in anthologies. One of the essays, 'L'Epiphanie,' was awarded the 2011 Solas award in the humor category for 'Best Travel Writing.' The Nameless Prince represents Dominick's foray into Young Adult urban fantasy. He'd be happy to retire as a full-time author. He lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of L.A., surrounded by hipsters.

Book info:

Title: The Nameless Prince
Author: Dominick Domingo
Author web site:
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-243-6
Format: 5.5 x 8.5 trade paperback; 236 pages; $16.95 USD
Distributors: Brodart, Follett, Ingram

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-242-9; 254 pages; $6.50 USD
Format: ePub, Kindle, .mobi, pdf, .prc
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; eReader; Fictionwise; Kobo Books; OmniLit; Sony eBookstore, etc
Release date: July 15, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Author Jo Linsdell


'Out and About at the Zoo'

The first book from the 'Out and About' series of rhyming children's picture books was officially released 1st June 2012.

Join in this fun day out and discover different animals at the zoo.

1477446591 / 9781477446591
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Full Color with Bleed
Related Categories:
Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse

My review:This is a clever story in fun verse that will keep children engaged. The colorful illustrations and the perfectly timed meter of the text will be a fun read for kids over and over. A great compliment for your summer list of books for kids.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with Viji Chary, Children's Author

Joining us today is (Viji Chary), author of (Picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds).

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

I’ve lived in California nearly all my life. I went to school and college here. I also worked in the science field here. My husband and I raised our children with emphasis on science and music. In the process, I’ve learned to be curious about various subjects. This is great for writing.

Now my two teenage children and two young nephews keep me busy. My nephews love to read. They keep me in touch with my target audience.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I first became interested in writing in sixth grade. Our English teacher asked each student to write a story. At that time, I used to read the same books that I loved over and over again. I found it hard to find other interesting books. I felt a story should have excitement. So, in my English assignment, the MC and her friend had a swimming race across a lake. While the MC was swimming, ‘something’ pulled her leg. Scared, she hopped out of the lake and ran to the other side. The class voted my story the best! But, the story had holes in it. I didn’t know what pulled the MC’s leg. I just wanted excitement. And the resolution in the story was not strong enough. But, I enjoyed writing it so much that I decided be an author when I ‘grew up’.

Why did you decide to write stories for the (young children’s) market?

When I was very young, I loved Curious George, Amelia Bedelia and Little Bear books. Although, writing is no longer in that format, I wanted to create something that is that long lasting.

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

My favorite part of writing for this group is creating a text that flows smoothly. This kind of writing is deceptively simple. With a few words, a writer must creative strong characters, a plot, a conflict and good resolution. It takes a lot of re-reading and re-writing.

The greatest challenge is to find a story that rings true with this audience that has not been overdone. It cannot be ‘babyish’ and should not be beyond the audience’s grasp.

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

My latest book is Porcupine’s Seeds. In this book, Porcupine longs to grow beautiful sunflowers in his garden, just like Raccoon. When Raccoon gives Porcupine seeds, she says that all they need is soil, sun, and water. But growing sunflowers is not easy for Porcupine.

Porcupine’s Seeds also connects to early elementary science curriculum.

What inspired you to write it?

When my son was four, we planted seeds in small pots. As he went inside the house, he tripped over the threshold and the soil and seeds scattered. This incident sparked a story idea that became Porcupine’s Seeds.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Porcupine’s Seeds is available at

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My web-address is Here you can find more about my publications.

What is up next for you?

I just finished writing three ESL readers. Writing these high interest books for new English speakers and readers was an exhilarating challenge. I may write more.

Do you have anything else to add?

I’d like to thank you for interviewing me.

Thank you for spending time with us today, (Viji). We wish you much success.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest Post by Author Laura Smith

Please help me to welcome Laura Smith to our blog today as a guest author. She is the author of In All Things: Give Thanks When Hope Seems Lost

Welcome Laura!

Writing from the Heart:  Laura Smith, author of

“In All Things; Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost”

I write very honestly and hold nothing back. I believe that by the power of our testimony others can find healing. I also believe sugar coating things makes for a nice story but has no impact. Of course this depends on the type of books that are being written. Creativity plays in more so in some writing genre’s than others. Writing came easily for me as it came from my own personal experiences and a deep place within me.

When I was very young, I remember sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen on the floor while my grandparents and their friends sat at the table playing cards. They would play for hours and hours and often times into the night. While I would sit there on the floor, I was very content in doing so because I was in my own little world doing what I never imagined would be my heart’s desire later in life. I was writing stories and songs and reading them or singing them out loud for my card playing family to adore. Now, thinking back to that time and the fact that I was only about 4 years old and had no idea how to even write my name let alone a story or a song, I’ve concluded that it had to be God planting within me the inspiration and desire to write.

Fast forward to my teen years I remember wondering why I was even on this earth, or why would God put me in a family that didn’t seem to even want me. I was always called a mistake and they would tease me when I was younger that they found me on the streets of St. Paul. It’s no wonder that I married the town rebel two weeks after my high school graduation! Finally someone loved me and I wasn’t going to let that go.

Again, fast forward 18 years and two daughters later, I’m re-married. My youngest daughter was molested by her biological dad, is diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and Bipolar disorder, my oldest daughter diagnosed with neurofibromatosis and going through numerous back surgeries, many other trials and then being told that my husband and I will never have a child of our own. But wait! After weeks of being sick a random pregnancy test to rule out that possibility, I’m PREGNANT! A miracle! It took us weeks to absorb this miracle and with growing excitement from our entire family, I lost the baby 3 months into the pregnancy.

While some write to entertain, I found the writing process was very healing for me. Journaling through trials helped me to empty the pain of the day from my heart to paper so I could start fresh the next day. As was the case when I initially started writing “In All Things”, it was simply in a journal and was a way for me to try and process the grief of going through miscarriage. Later my original intent was not to publish a book however; when I had one person read it and then another, and another, the feedback was amazing! It was like a sense of urgency that the message within was something people needed to hear. And even the men who have read it have been profoundly affected.

Since the publishing of this book, I have had inspiration for another book to be a second in the “In All Things” series. The next one will be “In all things; Expect A Miracle” which will be an account of the amazing two years going through my dad’s cancer journey with him. Also since publishing, I have been asked to speak at a few local events and my desire is to be able to do that more. I feel that when you can share your story in person, it can touch people more deeply.  At one of events where I shared my story, there was a lady in the audience that was healed instantly from the pain she was suffering for two years! I would love the opportunity to see others find that same healing and freedom to live again. I encourage others with a personal story to get it out there, the reward and I don’t mean monetary is far greater than the fear. 

Author Bio: Laura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. In All Things is a witty and raw account of an otherwise normal life filled with incredible challenges that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and tears of sorrow. Her little family had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the near death of her oldest daughter.

Author’s Facebook:
Author’s Twitter:!/LauraMStorrs                          Book Trailer:                Link to Purchase: also available at all major online book sellers.

Thank you Laura for your honest post about your writing and your life. I think all of us who write can learn something from these heartfelt words.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: Sir Licksalot & The Island Fools

Sir Licksalot and The Island Fools

Author: D.L. Carroll

Illustrations: Teri Cuneo

Publish America- Baltimore


ISBN: 978-146-2680924

This is an adventure book for kids 8-12 years old and such a fun book. From the magic fountain which takes Blaze, Danny, Bobby, and the rest of the gang to a volcano on a Hawaiian Island to everyday peer conflicts, this book entertains and engages the reader from the first page. The title even is mysterious as the reader discovers what Fools really stands for.

Woven throughout the story are real life struggles for Blaze. He is in a new town, new school, and making new friends and seriously missing his old friends. Combined with a bully, a nerd, and a girl named CiCi who finds the need to tag alone, these characters will win your heart as they all build trust and friendship throughout the adventures provided from the magic fountain. And the addition of Sir Licksalot is heartwarming and funny.

The author has also included within the story great tidbits on Hawaiian history and folklore and as well as native language translations. It enhances the story line while demonstrating the history of friendship and very subtle life lessons. Readers will read it again and look anxiously for the next book in the series to follow more adventures with the characters and their dog, Sir Licksalot.

 For Authors: This book is a great example of taking a common plot (ie: magic fountain, magic tree house, magic wardrobe) and putting a unique spin or twist making it a completely original work that grabs the reader. It has depth within character development, a unique setting, and threads of interesting history and life lessons woven tightly into an adventure that kids will love. Even if you don't write fantasy or magical stories, this is a good example for writers to study to help learn the techniques of writing for kids.

Also check out for another source for your publishing needs.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Post: Children's Author Viji K Chary

Science And More

When my son, Hrishikesh, was young, my husband and I encouraged him to explore and discover the world around him. We did as many math, science and art projects as we could. One afternoon, Hrishikesh and I decided to plant seeds in small pots. After we were finished, he walked proudly towards the house with his pot. He tripped over the threshold. The soil and seeds scattered all over the floor. This was the incident that sparked this story.

As Hrishikesh attended preschool, kindergarten and first grade, I noticed that the science curriculum covered plants and their growth each year. In first grade, the textbook publisher recommended specific picture books that correlated with the chapter.

As the years passed and this story grew in my mind, I decided to tie the incident to elementary science. For a young child, reading Porcupine’s Seeds would reinforce the idea that soil, sun and water are needed to sprout seeds.

As I finished the manuscript, I realized the book had more to offer than just the science concept. In this fast-paced world of instant gratification, Porcupine works hard to plant the seeds. He knows it will take weeks for the first flower to bloom, yet he is willing to put it the work. He waters his seeds, “today, the next day, and the day after that”.

Problem solving is a great asset in the world of children and adults. Porcupine has problems at each turn of events. Yet, Porcupine finds a solution for each one.  Even after his greatest setback, Porcupine finds a way to grow sunflowers.

Finally, Porcupine’s Seeds shows a growth in Porcupine’s self-esteem as he realizes that he can grow seeds. His internal conversation grows more positive as he solves each problem. Hopefully, young readers and listeners can reflect this in their own lives.

Porcupine’s Seeds has much to offer – learning science concepts, appreciating hard work, and building self-esteem.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spotlight: New Release Shadow of Kings

Steel and sorcery clash as the Harhn incursion sweeps through the Hugue. Mankind faces its greatest peril without the Order Knights of legend to defend them. Crusading deep in the frontier, the Order is unaware of the savage beasts threatening their homeland as the Hugue realms muster their armies for war.

Between a cunning Harhn sorcerer, and an alliance forged with the decadent Darkfey, the horde threatens to extinguish the domains of men. Only Lord Baudouin and Lady Lucia, a Dragon Maiden from the Order, stand in the enemy’s path. One must find the strength to unify the realms. The other must discover the strength within her, while coming to terms with the agendas of her Order. But only together will there be any hope to repel the onslaught, and preserve the future for a mysterious girl they do not know.

Author Bio:

Jack Whitsel is a native Californian, but has made Oregon his home since 1982. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Finance from Portland State University, but studies medieval history in his spare time.  His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shadows of Kings, the first novel of the Dragon Rising Series is the love child born of these two passions.

“I love the elements of fantasy when mixed with the gritty aspects of a medieval society,” states the author.

Purchase info:

Title: Shadows of Kings
Author: Jack Whitsel
Author web site:
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Fantasy
Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-223-8
Format: trade paperback
Distributors: Brodart, Follett, Ingram

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-222-1
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.

Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; eReader; Fictionwise; Kobo Books; OmniLit; Sony eBookstore, etc.

Release date: June 15, 2012
Price: $17.95 trade; $6.50 ebook
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 270

Chapter excerpt:

Author Jack Whitsel has a new release this week that will grab the attention of all those interested in reading and writing fantasy and historical fiction. Shadow of Kings will be released June 15th. for middle school/YA readers everywhere. Join me in congratulating this author for his successful new book. Check your local book store or preorder at

Jack is a native Californian, but has made Oregon his home since 1982. He holds a Bachelor's Degree of Finance from Portland State University, but studies medieval history in his spare time. His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shadows of Kings, the first novel of the Dragon Rising Series is the love child born of these two passions.
"I love the elements of fantasy when mixed with the gritty aspects of a medieval society. In the worlds I create, there are neither citadels of shimmering glass nor any utopian realms."
The final contributing catalyst to Jack's creative process comes from his two sons, Josiah and Noah. They remind him how important an active imagination can be, and are the first to hear his tales of diabolical wizards and valiant knights.
"Because of my boys, I still believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy."

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Author Spotlight: Viji k Chary

Author Spotlight for Viji K Chary:

Please check out the other blogs on the tour for Viji K Chary. Her children's book, Porcupine Seeds has beautiful illustrations that enhance this adorable story about planting seeds. The underlining meaning of nurturing seeds will be appreciated by adults too as well as the darling porcupine.  The author, who lives in California, has done a great job with this book for children. Add this to your summer list of books for kids.

June 8th

The Writing Mama – Interview

Home School Blogger - Book Review

June 9th

Stories a la Mode – Book Review & Giveaway

June 10th

Utah Children's Writer Blog – Guest Post

June 11th

Strands of Thought – Interview

4 the LOVE of BOOKS – Book Review & Giveaway

June 12th

Fran Lewis Book Reviewer

The Patient Dreamer - Interview

June 13th

American Chronicle - Spotlight

June 14th

Writing to the Hearts of Children – Guest Post

June 15th

Families Matter - Book Review

June 16th

1st Time Mums – Spotlight

Rambling of a Coffee Addicted Writer – Guest Post

June 18th

The Maggie Project – Guest Post

June 19th

MayraSecretBookcase – Guest Post

June 20th

Inspiring Books & Products - Interview

June 21st

Writing to the Hearts of Children - Interview

June 22nd

Mommy Has to Work – Book Review & Giveaway

June 23rd

BlogCritics: Author Spotlight

June 24th

Tidbits From A Mom – Book Review & Giveaway

June 25th

Fran Lewis Book Reviewer – Interview

Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview

June 26th

Mymcbooks Blog – Spotlight & Giveway

June 27th

The Crypto-Capers Book Review

Blog Talk Radio: Stories for Unknown Authors Show at 8pm EST

June 28th

Fran Lewis Book Reviewer – Guest Post

June 29th

BlogCritics Book Review

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book Review: In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost

Author: Laura Smith

Book Title: In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost

 Genre: Christian faith, Inspirational, Family/Parenting/Child Birth &
 Loss, Relationships, Memoir

 Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.

ISBN Number: 978-1612440408

 Facebook Fan Page URL:

Book cover is attached

About the book:

Experience an incredible journey that will make you laugh out loud and  cry tears of joy and sorrow. Learn how one miraculous encounter with God  created an unshakeable faith that would later give Laura Smith the
strength to face the near death of her oldest daughter.

Review: This book is a must read for all mothers. It describes so many of life's parenting issues including a difficult and strong willed child, depression, and miscarriage. If  you haven’t experienced them yet, as a parent you have certainly worried that they would occur. The book is an inspiration as it expresses the feelings of loss and sorrow that come before the joy at periods of any parent’s life journey as part of an extended family. 

Author Laura Smith is honest, her words are heartwarming, and her life lessons are true to her word. This is an amazing summer read that will serve to strengthen your faith as a person and as the parent you want to be and encourage those who feel like a failure as a parent, have experienced a miscarriage or loss, and who strive to understand where God is in the mix of lifes hard parts. It is a true life story.

Follow the World of Ink Tours


Book 'tour for Award Winning Author Nancy I. Sanders

It's A Book Launch Party You Don't Want to Miss


Welcome to the Book Launch Party: Come join in the fun. Nancy I. Sanders is an award winning author, teacher, and friend. Please visit her sites too for all of the fun she shares during her Book Launch for Frederick Douglass for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities

Featured Book:

Frederick Douglass for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities

By Nancy I. Sanders

Author’s site:

Purchase the book at:

Book Synopsis

Few Americans have had as much impact on this nation as Frederick Douglass. Born on a plantation, he later escaped slavery and helped others to freedom via the Underground Railroad. In time he became a bestselling author, an outspoken newspaper editor, a brilliant orator, a tireless abolitionist, and a brave civil rights leader. He was famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the years leading up to the Civil War, and when war broke out, Abraham Lincoln invited him to the White House for counsel and advice.


Frederick Douglass for Kids follows the footsteps of this American hero, from his birth into slavery to his becoming a friend and confidant of presidents and the leading African American of his day. And to better appreciate Frederick Douglass and his times, readers will form a debating club, cook a meal similar to the one Douglass shared with John Brown, make a civil war haversack, participate in a microlending program, and more. This valuable resource also includes a time line of significant events, a list of historic sites to visit or explore online, and web resources for further study.

Author’s Bio

Nancy I. Sanders is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 80 books including the well-loved homeschooling curriculum to teach kids how to write, WriteShop Primary (Grades K-2) and WriteShop Junior (Grades 3-5). She teaches other writers how to launch their career to the next level based on material found in her groundbreaking book for writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career. Nancy and her husband, Jeff, live in southern California.

Interview with the Author

What grade level is Frederick Douglass for Kids geared toward?

This book is an excellent book for students in third grade and older. Teacher-led activities are perfect for students in elementary and junior high. The in-depth and informative text can be read in chunks by students in upper elementary and middle grades. This book is the perfect reference book for students in high school who are studying American history and especially the era of the Civil War. Utilizing university-level research, this book presents amazing facts not found in other textbooks in a kid-friendly format.

How can this book be used by homeschooling families?

In Frederick Douglass for Kids, there are numerous biographies of famous African American leaders in the Civil War era which are helpful for writing reports about the Civil War and the years leading up to it. Plus, it includes a detailed timeline of the Civil War featuring little-known information about the important role of black troops. And as in all books in this series, there are numerous hands-on activities accompanying this informative text to help history come alive during units when homeschooling families are studying American history or the Civil War.

Do you have any other books on African American history that could be incorporated into the homeschooling curriculum?

I’ve written several books on African American history, all of which are perfect to include in the homeschool classroom.

D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet

This beautifully illustrated picture book illustrated by E. B. Lewis highlights many of the remarkable achievements of and contributions from African Americans throughout our history. The poem for each alphabet letter can be read aloud to kindergarten students and older. Detailed sidebars along the side of each page add important content for discussion or reading by older students. Awarded the 2008 Teachers’ Choice Award (IRA), the 2007 USA Book & News, the 2007 NAPPA: National Parenting Award, and the 2008 Notable Social Studies Trade Award.

A Kid’s Guide to African American History

For parents and teachers interested in fostering cultural awareness among children of all races, this book includes more than 70 hands-on activities, songs, and games that teach kids about the people, experiences, and events that shaped African American history.

America’s Black Founders: Revolutionary Heroes and Early Leaders with 21 Activities

America’s Black Founders helped build a nation that would become one of the most influential countries in the entire world. Even though many traditional history books have been silent concerning the important contributions and amazing achievements accomplished by African Americans during the founding of America, these men and women were not silent. America’s Black Founders documents how these true American heroes influenced the new birth of a nation in powerful and far-reaching ways. Winner of the Best Books 2010 Awards in children’s nonfiction.

Readers Theatre for African American History

Readers experience the founding of the North Star by Frederick Douglass, the famous concert of Marian Anderson, and other memorable events in this book of readers theatre plays for students in grades 4-8.

What are you doing to celebrate the release of your book, Frederick Douglass for Kids?

I’m hosting a two-week virtual Book Launch Party! There are prizes to win, fun facts to learn, and lots of inside peeks and helpful tips about how a book is born. Stop by my site today to join in the party and a chance to win a set of full-color autographed bookmarks of the book at:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

15 Day Challenge to Declare That I am a Writer

I am joining Jeff Goins in his 15 day challenge to become the writer I need to be. Writing is in my heart and soul. Like miost writers, I have written everything from a diary in 4th grade to poems, journals, stories, essays, and book manuscripts. I am a writer.

But I need more... more writing, more audiences, more hearts to reach, more writing gigs, and I want to make money with my words. I have spent the better part of 35 years doing more than one job and writing on the side. Nursing has served me well.

But I need more...I need and I want to write full time. So I declare I am a writer and I will continue to be a writer.... And I will move forward today taking direct actions to be a published author producing wonderful products for children. Keep checking at my progress, I am a writer.


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