Friday Kids Book Roundup

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m going to highlight some titles for the young and young at heart!

First up my little kitty story, Cecilia’s Tale, is currently 99 cents on Amazon. The book which features watercolor art from local St. Louis artist and friend Victoria Szulc is based off the true story of how my kitty, Cecilia found me in Jerusalem. Sadly Cecilia crossed the rainbow bridge several years ago but her memory lives on in this picture book available in Kindle, paperback and audio book.

Bonus just for readers of this blog — hop over to Story Origin and pick a free audio review copy of Cecilia’s Tale.

Next up – do you have children learning at home due to the pandemic? Pick up this awesome Picture Book for Kids by Lisa Strattin that teaches a host of interesting facts on all 50 US States.

This educational book presents facts along with full color photographs and carefully chosen words to teach children about the 50 States of the USA. Packed with facts about each state from coast-to-coast, your children or grandchildren will enjoy learning from start to finish while they read this book.

Do you know which state has a Peony as their State Flower?

Or how many states have named the Cardinal as their State Bird?

Learn these and many more interesting facts and see some beautiful photographs of State Flags, State Flowers, and even State Birds. In addition, your child or grandchild can learn the State Capital Cities, the order of when each state was admitted to the Union and each State Motto!

Note: This book is suitable for intermediate readers (children books ages 6-8 years of age) although younger preschool children (ages 3-5) will enjoy it if you share it with them.

Older children (ages 9-12) will even find the information helpful if they need some help with research for their geography class homework.

Grab your copy NOW

And now for three freebies available over at Story Origin. Each of the titles highlighted below are free for readers who sign up for the authors’ newsletters over at SO.

Wouldn’t you like to take a family vacation to a place you’ve never been, right now? You and your entire family are invited to come and experience, learn, feel, and imagine what life in other countries all over the world is like from other kids! Visit fascinating countries around the world without ever having to leave your home with a kid’s documentary series that teaches an appreciation for both cultural & biodiversity by country worldwide. In this one-of-a-kind kids’ documentary series, let local kids be your guides as 2 kids from each country take you and your family on an unforgettable private guided tour of their lives via cultural traditions, food, clothes, history, economy, music, beautiful landscapes, animals, plants and more!

In this book, Joaquin and Yocsary take us on an exciting and unforgettable adventure around the unique Central American country of Costa Rica. Are you ready to take a majestic walk in the cloud forests and visit tropical blond and black sand beaches all in the same country? Feel free to jump in the ocean and go surfing. Visit hot spring sites and learn more about the wonderful biodiversity in the Costa Rican jungle. Joaquin and Yocsary are so excited to give you a taste of the food they eat, the languages they speak and the clothes they wear as they dance in the street! Don’t forget your sun hat and comfortable shoes and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica. There’s a bonus quiz at the end of every book.

Sensei Publishing provides kids with a series of books for generations of people encouraging exciting curiosity and interactive discovery. Please join us on this unique journey around the world where kids teach other kids about the wonders and treasures of their home countries – are you ready? Get your family’s copy of Kids on Earth: ‘Costa Rica’ today!

The beautiful fairy Elvia is lost! Her family and friends are worried. Can they find her?

Sign up for author Emma Harper’s newsletter and Read this free tale to find out!

Do you have little ones just learning to write? This is for you! 120 pages of Writing Paper with Lines for ABC Kids from author, Jake Dennis. Sign up for his newsletter to pick up your freebie.

And last but not least — something for the parents! Oodles of free audio books in all genres. Click on the banners below to pick up yours.

Fiction Friday – Visiting Corfu!

Happy New Year, folks. Today begins a new feature “Fiction Fridays”. Every other Friday this year I pledge to introduce a new and unique author that has crossed my path recently.

First up is Effrosyni Moschoudi  who writes a fantasy romance series set around the Greek island of Corfu. I visited Corfu several times as a kid with my parents and fell in love with the island. So, I picked up this book and am excited to dive in for the memories alone.

So what’s it about? Here’s the blurb:

A terrible evil lurks in the mountain…

Lizzie is not your average tourist. She may have just arrived on the idyllic Greek island of Corfu, but her mind is not on having a good time. Far from it, Lizzie has a daunting task to undertake: to claim back her twin brother who was kidnapped twenty years earlier on her previous visit. In a cave. By an evil witch.

When Lizzie sees her brother again, she receives the shock of her life. The witch has tricked her… As if this weren’t enough, Stamatis, a handsome local, steals her heart to complicate her life even further…

Set in the enchanting village of Messonghi, this highly imaginative Greek fantasy romance will intrigue and uplift you, making it feel like you’re on the island of Corfu, experiencing it all with your senses. It is also guaranteed to leave you longing for a visit to your closest Greek restaurant!

The Raven Witch of Corfu is a compelling series of 4 kindle episodes. Purchase episode one for 99 cents on Kindle and let your most enthralling Greek holiday begin! 

Happy Birthday To Me (and a Sale for You!)

All books – 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time!

Hey Everyone – it’s my birthday! So to celebrate I’ve put ALL 6 of my P.A.W.S. Saga on sale for just 99 cents/99p. It’s been a long and crazy year and hopefully 2021 will be a whole lot better. So snuggle up and read and in the meantime I’m scribbling away in the next couple of books in the series!

Step into the World of P.A.W.S. right here!

Also I’ve got together with a bunch of other awesome indie authors to showcase our books. Click on any of the banners below for reads from FREE to 4.99. You’re sure to find something you love.

My Year in Books!

Hi everyone, welcome to my annual run down of my favorite books I read in 2020. I completed my Goodread Challenge of 24 books this year (only just!) You can see my whole year of reading over here on Goodreads. Below are the highlights, the ones I adored, that made me think and made me smile.

I started off the year reading NIGHT CIRCUS and this was probably my favorite book of the year. I’d had it in paperback for a while and was excited to read a book that I knew had started off as a NaNoWriMo project as I have started all of mine.

My Goodreads review:

Simply wonderful.

I read very few books that I consider my all time favorites. The Night Circus will forever be on the list. And I imagine that over the years like the visitors to the circus I will revisit this wonderful book and discover new wonders that I didn’t pick up on the first time.

All the stars. 

I read this book back in march just when we were starting to cope with the realities of COVID-19. As I said in my review this book put me in my happy place. For a little while each day while I was reading as was able to forget the too real world around me and concentrate instead on something magical at HAWTHORN ACADEMY.

THE HATE U GIVE was by far the most important book I’ve read this year. The one I believe everyone should read. It’s a tough read but worth it.

As I write this year end review I’m currently reading book 3 of this awesome series from E.A. Copen. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy this is some of the best. Start at the beginning with DEATH RITES.

And no for something completely different! As some of you may know when I’m not writing (and reading) fiction I write puzzles for magazines and my sister website, Paws 4 Puzzles.

DOWN AND ACROSS was a treat for the puzzly part of my life. A wonderful character driven story which even mentions the National Puzzler’s League – a group that has become very important to me this year as the world shut down but we were still able to get together and play via Zoom.

Last but not least I returned to Charlie N. Holmberg this year with a new book that sets an intriguing magical world. Highly recommend SPELLBREAKER and look forward to book 2 coming out in the spring.

So what were your favorite books this year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And a quick reminder that this is the last day to pick up all six of my P.A.W.S. Saga on Kindle for just 99 cents each.

Meet Julie Gilbert

Today on Paws 4 Thought I’m happy to welcome fantasy author, Julie Gilbert.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Julie.

I’m a high school chemistry teacher, a writer, and a Christian, not necessarily in that order. I also enjoy doing puzzles. Usually 1-2K pieces is a good amount. In my spare time, I review clean audiobooks in several genres. Pre-pandemic, I used to see a lot of movies in theaters. Perhaps I’ll return to that someday.

2. When did you first start writing?

The fascination with stories started when I was a kid, listening to my mom read to me. Eventually, that changed to me reading a lot on my own. Finally, around the time I was headed off to college, I decided to try to write something for fun. First story was pretty terrible, but the process taught me a lot. Taking that knowledge, I dove into a new project.

3. Who are your favorite authors?

That’s always a tough question. Brandon Sanderson and Dee Henderson come to mind as default favorites. They write very different kinds of books. Brandon Sanderson’s all about the epic fantasy, big worlds, cool magic systems, and so forth. Dee Henderson’s early works like the O’Malley series were absolutely amazing suspense books with a dash of romance.

4. I know you listen to a lot of audio books. What for you makes an excellent narrator?

While reviewing, I often change the speed, so reading cadence is a tad less important, but I still make snap judgment calls about whether I love their voice or not. In terms of skill, I look for whether the person can do a wide variety of credible voices for the characters.

I’m a tad pickier when it comes to choosing people for my own process. There’s the easy things like sound quality of the auditions and whether or not I like the narrator’s voice. Then, there are the more technical things like how many mistakes are made in the reading, what are their reading instincts (how they interpret the manuscript), and can they do a wide variety of character voices.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with nearly 20 awesome voice actors. Each has their strengths, and I’ve gotten a lot better at picking people over time. All have beautiful voices and immense talent. Of those I’ve worked with recently, Liz Brand (Reshner’s Royal Ranger, Shadow Council Series) and Reuben Corbett (Spirit’s Bane) stand out as people I would listen to read just about anything. I’m pretty sure they could make a calculus textbook sound good.

5. What inspires you to write?  

I love almost every aspect of writing. Once upon a time, I think it was about trying to prove writing could be just fun, not something that needed to have every little color of pants mean something. Over time, it’s grown into exploring the characters and the themes, and just telling an entertaining tale. There’s a fun challenge to the task of crafting a tale, then commissioning an audiobook and hearing it come to life.

6. Tell us a little bit about your process when creating audio books.

Having an audiobook created is an expensive, addictive hobby. It starts with obtaining a narrator. That begins with claiming the book and extends to the grunt work of putting in the details. The most important step of that process is selecting an audition script that will show off the main character, some normal reading sections, and a few different characters.

After choosing somebody there’s a bit of back and forth boringness about contracts and dates and such before one simply steps back and lets the narrator do their magic. I prefer having the raw files uploaded so I can listen for odd noises and places the audio differs from the manuscript. Sometimes, these variances are fine, and other times they change the intended meaning.

What happens next depends on the narrator’s process. Some outsource the editing, and others do it themselves. If there’s an outside editor involved, it typically takes longer because you have to wait for this other person to go through the files.

7. What are you currently working on?

In audiobooks, I’m nearing the end of the audition phase of Princess Melia’s Plight. I’ve chosen three people out of 112-ish. Just need to get that down to one.

As for writing, I’ve sort of put it on hold for a few months. I’m working on a super-secret nonfiction project that’s mostly being done for the cathartic benefit. Meanwhile, I’m throwing my efforts into learning to run amazon ads. I’d like to see if it can be done profitably with my current works.

When I return to writing fiction, I’ll finish Devya’s Children book 5, then re-evaluate my goals. If I’m truly in it for the money, I may see which genres are hot early 2021. If my attitude remains as it was, I’ll let my heart (not my wallet) decide which project gets aired next.

8. What do you like to do to relax?

Most of my review listening happens while taking long walks. That’s one benefit of the pandemic and this virtual teaching thing. I am in my room so much that I have to force myself to get out and move. Luckily, I like walking. Once all of the Mandalorian Season 2 is out, I’ll probably watch that in a week. Other than that, I occasionally do jigsaw puzzles. (Best ones have mostly been Ravensburger.)

9. If you could have any superpower what would choose?

I’m gonna be lame and say healing. While flying could be cool, I’d probably just get motion sick, which would be not so great for those below. Sort of afraid of healing as a gift though. I write about enough characters with the healing gift, that I’ve probably done more thinking about the costs and consequences of such a thing. Still, it would be awesome to be able to right some wrongs diseases have wrought upon the world.

11. How can readers connect with you?

The easiest way to catch my attention is to email devyaschildren @ gmail.com. However, the best way to stay on top of news, new releases, random musings, cool giveways, and such is to subscribe to the newsletter, which can be found on my website.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

Very happy to have you, DMK

Do you like audio books? Check out two awesome promos this December, one for children’s titles and one for short stories for everyone. Click on the banners below for more details.

Black Friday Book Sale

Hi folks, hope you had a happy, safe and yummy Thanksgiving. The best way to shop this year is right here from your computer and I’ve got together with a bunch of other awesome indie authors to offer a couple of my titles for just 99 cents this weekend.

Check out the 99 cents Book Blast. Truly something for everyone in here from children’s books to sci-fi, to fantasy, to romance.

Also check out these other awesome promos by clicking the banners below. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list!

A Disgruntled Ghost and A Vampire’s Apology!

Hey, everyone. I hope you had a good Halloween. Normally around Halloween I get to hang out with my local author friends at The Book House in Maplewood. This year because of COVID, our Candle Game event took place online last Friday evening. As with many online events we started with some technical difficulties but those were overcome and in the end oodles of spooky tales were shared.

In case you missed it, here is the link to the Facebook Live video. My two stories, A Spirited Request (about a recently deceased bored ghost dude) and Vlad (about a vampire who took the wrong job) are early on in the recording. Take a listen.

Like what you listened to? Both stories are part of my collection ANOTHER CUP OF TEA that was published earlier this year.

You can pick up a copy in ebook, audio book or paperback!

This is Halloween!

Hi folks, it’s almost Halloween and to celebrate the holiday I’m having a very busy evening tonight!

First off at 6:30 pm (CST) I’m popping into Maria’s Spells – Reader’s Group on FB to help Maria with the release of her awesome new fantasy titles. I’ll be playing some games and running a giveaway. Please come by and say hi!

Next up at 7:30pm (CT) I’ll my reading in a live stream of local St. Louis authors. For those of you who live in St. Louis you may now that every year around Halloween, The Book House hosts a special event called The Candle Game. This year because of COVID we cannot do this in person, so instead we are running the event on Facebook Live.

First, the Facebook event link:https://www.facebook.com/events/652230235486266
Second, the livestream link itself (it’s listed on the event page, but, hey, let’s make it easy for everyone)https://facebook.com/LegendaryPlanet/live/

The event will also be recorded so that if you cannot check in live you’ll still be able to watch.

Closing up the evening with a trip to Courtney Cannon’s wonderful annual Halloween bash. I’m joining a bunch of awesome indie authors playing games and having fun. My spot is at 9:00pm (CT)

Come join the fun in C.L. Cannon’s Unforgettables group on FB!

Networking for Writers by Lizzie Chantree

Hey folks, this is one for the other authors out there on my blog. I’m happy today to help spread the word about Lizzie Chantree super useful book NETWORKING FOR WRITERS.

Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation. 

This book will show you:

How networking can help you sell more books.

Why author branding is important.

How networking hours work.

Specific Facebook groups for writers

How to utilise social media to grow your readership.

How not to waste valuable writing time.

How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more.

Pick up your copy today!

About Lizzie Chantree

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantreehttps://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: viewbook.at/BabeDriven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewbook.at/FindingGina

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizzie-chantree-03006425/

The Alchemyst’s Mirror

Today on Paws 4 Thought we’re happy to welcome fantasy author, Liz Delton who is releasing her brand new title, THE ALCHEMIST’S MIRROR.

Isn’t that an awesome cover? So what’s the book about?

Well …

Petra and Maisie Everturn just want to run their family’s tea shop, but when their explorer brother Jiordan goes missing while looking for an alchemycal artifact, none of them are safe.

The sisters must enlist the help of another explorer in order to find Jiordan or the artifact—before the mysterious alchemyst society finds them first.

However, when one of the sisters stumbles into the clutches of the most dangerous alchemyst in the city, the race to unravel the clues becomes desperate. And when they discover the truth about the artifact, their quest to infiltrate the alchemyst’s secret society becomes a matter of life and death.

Sounds awesome – where can you get it?

Buy it on Amazon!

A bit about Liz

Liz Delton writes and lives in New England, with her husband and amazing son. She studied Theater Management at the University of the Arts in Philly, always having enjoyed the backstage life of storytelling.

She reads and writes fantasy, especially the kind with alternate worlds. Liz is the author of the dystopian Arcera Trilogy, and the fantasy Realm of Camellia series, and the new steampunk novel, The Alchemyst’s Mirror. World-building is her favorite part of writing, and she is always dreaming up new fantastic places.

She loves drinking tea and traveling. When she’s not writing you can find her hands full with one of her many craft projects.

Visit her website at lizdelton.com

https://storyoriginapp.com/to/eh7GW6P