Something a little different today. Picture book author, Henry Herz has a new book out.
I AM SMOKE is a spare, lyrical, “autobiographical” account of the life cycle and beneficial uses of smoke across the globe and throughout the ages. The creative nonfiction picture book offers science, history, and global cultural studies appeal to young readers.
Smoke speaks in mesmerizing riddles: “I lack a mouth, but I can speak. I lack hands, but I can push out unwanted guests. I’m gentler than a feather, but I can cause harm.” When smoke speaks, its messages swirl and shift like smoke itself—playful, challenging, devious. Smoke has been borne aloft from flames, and its elements returned to earth, since before recorded time. Its cycles never end. Smoke was here before us. It helps us when we’re wise but hurts us when we’re careless. Do not treat me lightly, it seems to warn.
This rhythmically powerful narration is complemented by illustrations in which swirling smoke was captured on art paper held over smoky candle flames, and the dancing smoke textures were then deepened and elaborated with watercolors and Photoshop finishes. With this unique method, illustrator Merce López “let the smoke decide how the idea I had in mind would dance with it, giving freedom to the images.” The resulting illustrations are astounding, and they resonate with the otherworldly text.
Happy Friday, Folks. I have a mixed bag of reads for you this fair Friday.
First up, do you like dragons? Of course you do!
Check out this first of an awesome new series by J.A. Cullican, HEIR OF DRAGONS, just 99 cents on Kindle for a limited time or FREE on KIndle Unlimited.
Her bloodline says they should be mortal enemies. Her heart swears otherwise. Will her torn loyalties leave her vulnerable to a rising evil?
Minx’s hunting and fighting skills are legendary. But when adversaries trespass on the royal Fae lands, she’s nervous about her mission to restore the defense wards by slaying a dragon and returning with its powerful hide. And the ferocious warrior grows desperate when neighboring clans demand that she defeat not one, but two of the fearsome beasts in fights to the death.
Angered by the coercive demand, Minx tracks down her first red-scaled monster—only to be stunned when it shifts into a stunning young man. And when her handsome foe claims they share a common adversary, her attraction tempts her toward an unheard-of alliance against a dark new threat.
Will Minx’s quest to save her species drag them into a bloody war?
How to Kill a Dragon is the breathtaking first book in the Heir of Dragons epic fantasy series. If you like fierce heroines, forbidden romance, and magic gone awry, then you’ll love J. A. Culican’s fiery tale.
Next up, a treat for those with KU who love to binge on fantasy box sets!
Chaos. Magic. Adventure. – Three things this princess isn’t ready for.
When dark magic brings destruction and chaos down on her kingdom, fae princess Dana’s life takes an unexpected turn. To save her, the king begs her to leave him to his fate, and she must now step away from every comfort she’s ever known.
Dana is left to unravel the mysteries of her powers while dealing with an annoying wolf shifter whose secrets set her blood on fire. He’s either the ally she desperately needs or the most dangerous man she’s ever met.
Moonstones, a witch, dark elves, and a wolf shifter all stand in her way as she tries to absolve her father of the atrocities the fae folk accuse him of.
But wait, there’s more! I’ve got together with a bunch of awesome fantasy authors ALL free on Kindle Unlimited. Check them out by clicking the banners below and find your next fantasy binge.
And now something for the little ones …
Jake is off to daycare, but he’s worried about what’s in store. Going somewhere new can be scary–trying something different, even more. How will he get ready, and what will help him through? What will bring him comfort and help prepare him for something new?
And last but by no means least a freebie for Earth Day this week.
Adana is a small, brown, earth dragon. She longs to play with the other dragons, but none of them will accept her as a friend. One day a giant wanders into the land of the dragons and scares all the other dragons. Can Adana save the day and prove that even a small brown earth dragon can do big things? An elemental tale from the author of P.A.W.S. and Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip. Illustrated by Tina Wijesiri.
“This is a wonderful story that kids will fall in love with. Beautifully written and illustrated. ” Cindy Shirley, The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick
Hi folks, Happy Friday! I hope you’re all keeping warm during this nasty cold snap we’ve been having. I know I’m ready for spring. So what better way to keep your little ones engaged through the winter than with a book or two.
First up my own kitty story, Cecilia’s Tale is on sale this month for just 99 cents for the ebook. This is the story of a street cat in Jerusalem who went out one day to find and tame her own human. It’s roughly based on how my cat Cecilia originally found me and includes wonderful water color illustrations by a local St. Louis illustrator, Victoria Szulc.
And now I’m pleased to highlight some other charming and funny titles from indie picture book authors:
Lucy and her favorite stuffed animal, Lou, do everything together. While on a family cruise, the wind sweeps her stuffed animal off into the ocean where is lost forever.Join Lucy in a story about grief and loss, as she navigates moving forward while honoring her beloved stuffed animal.
This book is a great tool for parents to jumpstart the conversation about life and death. Helping our young readers to begin exploring the understanding of grief, Lost takes loss and puts the experience into a palatable story for young readers.
The next three titles are available FREE via Story Origin in exchange for signing up for the authors’ newsletters.
Why have one Superhero when you can have two? Introduce the kids to The Super Twins with a fun and action filled Activity pack. It includes word searches, a maze, colouring sheets, make your own Superhero mask and more! Loads of entertainment to keep your little ones occupied.
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! 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!
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.
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.
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?
Hi everyone, thank you so much to everyone who picked up Wanda’s Wand! I hope you enjoy my story and if you do please leave a review. It really helps get more eyes on my work.
Also if you want more I have two more of my picture books on sale for the next week for just 99 cents a piece.
First off – CECILIA’S TALE – This one was inspired by my own kitty, Cici, who found me while I was living in Jerusalem. She sadly passed over the rainbow bridge a few years ago. But her memory lives on in this picture book.
Next up is little tale of silliness from the world of P.A.W.S. Resident clown, The Great Bobbert has lost his weasel again. Where can Popgoes be?
Prefer to listen to your stories? Or would like an audio book to go along with the text. I can do that. Click the banner below and apply for a free copy of either of these titles or a bunch of other kids’ books on Audible.
Hi folks, got a little freebie for everyone today AND a 99 cents sale.
First up WANDA’S WAND is FREE on Kindle for just a few days. Pick up a copy for your little ones and please be sure to leave a review!
Whiskey the kitty in Wanda’s Wand is based off of my own Whiskey. Here she is with her copy of the book!
Wanda’s Wand is the second picture book I have created that features a real kitty that has shared my life. The first was CECILIA’S TALE — and for a limited this book is available for just 99 cents on Kindle.
Like to listen to your books? To coincide with this sale I’m offering audio book review copies of both titles. Click on the banner to get yours!
Woke up to an awesome five star review on Readers’ Favorite for my upcoming picture book, Wanda’s Wand.
“Independence is a good thing, but sometimes we’re all just a little too independent. When something goes wrong or gets broken, we feel compelled to fix the problem ourselves. But sometimes our fixer-uppers just don’t work right. That’s what happened to Wanda. While playing with her cat, Whiskey, Wanda Wizzlewoop (I love the last name, great alliteration!) broke her wand. She concocts a means to fix it, but her fixer-upper wand does everything backward, upside down and really strange – like casting a spell to stop the rain and instead it rains frogs and toads. Not exactly what Wanda had in mind. Upset, she’s startled when Whiskey asks her what’s wrong and then informs her, quite simply, that “it’s okay to ask for help”. And it is okay. Something we all need to do from time to time.
“Deborah Kupfer’s picture book story, Wanda’s Wand, is a fun read. Young readers will find Wanda’s situation both sad and, at times, rather funny. Accompanied by colorful illustrations by artist Tina Wijesiri, the story is full of silliness as Wanda’s situation worsens with each attempt to make use of her broken (and then mended) wand. Part of growing up is learning how to fix things, how to solve problems, but it’s also about learning to ask for and accept help when the need arises. A powerful message shared with the love and compassion of a young witch and her treasured cat. The language is simple to appeal to young readers and may also be used as a read-along, early reader for those beginning to read.”
Thank you Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
If anyone would like a PDF ARC for review let me know.
Hi folks, I’m off to ARCHON this weekend with my son and co-puzzler, Joey and my friend and author and youtuber, Steven Thomas.
We’ll have a table in Author Alley plus you can find us at a number of cool panels throughout the weekend.
On Friday evening at 8pm learn to Publish Your Book (Without Spending a Fortune) in Marquette B (Gateway Center) with Steven Thomas. Steve has run this seminar in many locations around St. Louis and St. Charles and is now taking it to Archon. You can also pick up some of Steve’s awesome action adventure novels from our table in Author Alley.
On Saturday morning (10:00 am – Doubletree Madison C&D) Steve will also be joining me, Jennifer Lynn, and TW Fendley in a panel about Audio Book Creation.
Who likes puzzles? A few years ago at Archon, Joey and I ran a successful panel about puzzle construction. This year we’re back, but instead of learning about puzzles we’re running an interactive puzzle event, ESCAPE FROM ARCHON. It seems the Plutonians have got news that the people of Earth do not take the planet as seriously as they should, so they’re journeying to Archon to help educate the Earthlings.
Come join is in Madison C/D at the Doubletree at 4:00 pm to help save planet Earth.
Back over to the Gateway Center (Marquette A 6:00pm) and I will be joining Jennifer Lynn, Jessica Matthews and TW Fendley for a panel about Speculative Fiction for Children and Teens.
Finally on Sunday morning I’ll be reading stories with Jessica Matthews in Children’s Programming at 11:00 am. Come listen to my brand new tale, WANDA’S WAND and take home your own wand and coloring sheet. Unfortunately I won’t have copies available for sale yet, but I will be taking preorders.
Not able to make it for ARCHON?
Well just for this weekend I have all my P.A.W.S. Saga books on sale for just 99 cents each on Kindle.
Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome, children’s author, Rich Linville.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Rich.
Born in 1946. Graduated and Married in 1968.
Wife: Sulastri Two sons: Jon and Kris
Two grandchildren: Mia and Kai For 48 years, I enjoyed teaching elementary, middle school, high school, and college. I retired in 2016. Since 2016, I have published on Amazon over 70 ebooks and paperbacks. Plus, I have published over 50 audiobooks.
That’s an awesome and inspiring list, Rich. Tell us when did you first start writing?
When I retired from teaching in 2016, my wife suggested that I start writing children’s books. I asked my grandchildren what kinds of books they liked.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) and Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). Both reread many times.
(Two of my favorites – in fact I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over and over again when I was a kid and made it the favorite book of my main character in my series. DMK)
You have a LOT of books out. How do you come up with your ideas? What inspires you to write?
I might start with a question like “Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them.” Also, when I taught a fable or a folk tale, I would ask the students to think about its meaning. We would discuss it at the next class meeting. At that time, each student would give what she/he thought was the meaning. I explained that the meaning of a fable or a folk tale has changed over centuries. It means what you think it means.
Which is your favorite book or books you have written?
The one that I’m writing at the time is my favorite. (Is that a writer’s cliché?) If I had to choose, they would be “Growth Mindset for Kids” and “Why Are There Bullies and What Can You Do About Them.”
How are your books illustrated? Do you illustrate them yourself, hire an illustrator or something else?
As a teacher, I used PowerPoint with clipart when it first came out because I could teach using the Socratic Method. On the first slide with pictures, I asked the students a question, let them discuss and guess the answer. On the next slide I would show possible answers with pictures. For my ebooks and paperbacks, I set up PowerPoint slides set at 6.138 inches width and 9.250 inches height. I purchase clipart and use Photoshop Elements to modify the clipart if needed.
What are you currently working on?
“Murphy’s Laws for Kids”
If you had a superpower what would it be?
The ability to stop all wars.
(Yep, that definitely would be a good one. DMK)
Do you have any pets? (Feel free to include pics if you do. My readers love pet pictures.) And if you do have any of them ever appeared in your stories?My wife and I have five rescued cats and one dog. Choco is short for Chocolatte. He’s half hairless chihuahua and half toy poodle. We think he’s a gremlin because of his ears and fur. We don’t give him baths or feed him after midnight (LOL)