Tiffany Turner To Teach Online Spooky Story Writing Workshop

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It’s getting near that spooky time of year. After over 15 years of teaching a spooky story workshop to my students, I’m offering it for the first time online. Bring Halloween indoors in an academic way, and keep this season spooky, fun and safe! It will be available two ways.

1) This first way to sign up for this workshop is as a full online in-person experience taught by myself live on Zoom. It will be available through the tutoring center called Knowledge Quest. I’ve worked there now for 3 years tutoring students in person and in local schools before the pandemic.

Now, the opportunity to learn from myself, a published author and certified teacher, is through Knowledge Quest. It starts on Oct. 5 through Oct. 29. There are two sessions, one for grades 3-5 and the other for grades 6-8. Each session will have one hour a week for four sessions. Kids will have an hour of instruction and will be walked through activities and given assignments to continue writing between sessions.

**Some at home support, such as looking over the story and doing feedback with your child, will be required.

I’ve taught and developed this spooky story unit over the years and I have put up some parts of it FREE to do through my website. But this is the full unit, developed by me, and available only this upcoming month of October. By the end of the sessions, all the students will have written their own stories that they can share on Halloween night. They will learn character development, create a plot with problem/solution structure, study the spooky genre, and have a lot of fun! They’ll have a chance to unlock the creativity within them.

**Note times are Pacific Daylight Time since I’ll be teaching the workshop live through Zoom. Sign-ups for the live Zoom instructional spooky workshop is through Knowledge Quest.

Find out more and REGISTER HERE!

2) The second way to take the workshop, especially if it would be difficult to in your time zone, is to sign up for my online writing school course. It’s the first course available, and I plan to develop more through the next several months. I’ve decided to develop the spooky story writing workshop first since the basic posts on the blog are so popular, and my students loved it as their favorite story during the school year.

Here is the blurb from my writing school “Keep On Writing”:

Ready to have some fun writing? Here’s a course to help children love writing and enjoy it. I often found children didn’t get to enjoy the writing projects assigned when I was a teacher. So, I developed an, exciting “Spooky Story” writing project for the month of October that I taught for over fifteen years in my classroom. Now, your child can experience the joy of writing and using their imagination.

Taught through a Writing Workshop format, I go over all the steps of writing, prewriting, drafting, revision and proofreading and creating a final draft. Each lesson includes mini-lessons on the craft of writing including organizing ideas through graph organizers, writing dialogue, “Show, Don’t Tell”, plot creation, character creation and conflict, and problem/solution story structure.

Write your own Spooky Story in either a live workshop with Mrs. Turner or in her online writing school. Get spooky and stay safe this Halloween! Use your imagination and write!

When your child finishes the course, they will have a fantastic story of their own creation to share with family and friends. As they go through the writing process, they are asked to work with a family member or guardian with the writing process in which they learn to gain feedback on their writing and make changes. Anyone in the family or through Zoom can fulfill this role making it a bonding activity with your child.

Whether this course is being used during the fall for a Halloween project or any time during the year to engage children in writing, or help adults write for children, it has always been a student and child favorite. I now present to you, the “Spooky Story” Writing Project to help bring the joys of writing to your child.

The online writing school course is $19.99.

LINK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE & REGISTER!

**Happy Halloween!

-Mrs. Turner

Interview with Melinda Rapp

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Melinda Rapp is the author of the children’s book, “Pretty Girl Pledge.”

During the beginning of the school year, I think it’s so important to instill positive images of self as the classroom community is built among students, teachers and parents. Today, I have a fabulous author with her new book release on Sept. 13. Her book is called Pretty Girl Pledge, a book that builds the self-confidence in every girl to be your best and beautiful self. The author is Melinda Rapp. She resides in Maryland and wears many hats, wife, mom and teacher. She has a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership. She uses her expertise in her new book to build integrity, faith and substance in young girls.

I had the chance to talk to Melinda about her childhood reading memories, her favorite authors, and what surprises she has in store for us.

What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Melinda Rapp: My favorite memory from reading as a child is reading all my favorite chapter books especially the series, Baysitters Club, I read them all! So you can just imagine how excited I was to watch the new series on Netflix!

Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Melinda Rapp: My favorite author as a child was John Steptoe. He wrote Mufaros Beautiful Daughters. He influenced me a great deal because he taught me the significance of teaching life lessons through simple stories. I was captivated by the beauty of his illustrations of the African culture, and his story made an impact on my life that I will never forget. It is truly timeless piece that has inspired me to create pieces, transcend time, space, and generations.

Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Melinda Rapp: I like to write in the middle of the night when it is completely quiet, my mind is clear, and my heart and mind are open. As a mom of four children, this is a rare opportunity for me to release my thoughts, and since most of my ideas come to me while I am sleeping, these night time writing sessions work for me.

What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Melinda Rapp: In the future I would like to write about the women of the bible. I have a few ideas, but I need to put it all together. I would also like to write affirmations for children. It is so important that we teach our children to speak highly of themselves, the earlier the better!


What is writing to you in one sentence?

Melinda Rapp: Writing is your heart, mind, and soul, all on display.

Pretty Girl Pledge is an ode to the pretty girl encouraging girls to be more than just a pretty face, but of substance and faith.

Available at Amazon.com.

New Picture Book Release: “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!” Coronavirus Pandemic Back to School Support

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I have a surprise for everyone. I have written a picture book to help support all the parents and teachers during these strange times. It’s called “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!”. It helps children validate their feelings with all the strange routine changes, and models a parent lovingly supporting and validating their little one’s emotional turmoil. With all the different return-to-school programs through out the country, structure and safety is what kids need to help them right now. I wanted to help reassure them, and support their emotional needs.

“Back to School” has never been so difficult. Some school districts are returning to in-person school, some are remaining online with distance learning, and others are doing a combination of both depending on their communities. With so many changes, parents and children need support in adapting to these new structures. So, I wrote a loving and supportive book to help children understand the changes around them.

I targeted the preschooler and kindergartener, even though the book could be read up through third grade. It will hopefully lead to discussions and communication with parents, teachers, and the children that are going through this huge, educational upheaval together.

Tiffany Turner is the author of “I Don’t Want to Wear a Mask!” and head editor/writer of this blog.

I am an elementary teacher that has been writing and self-publishing for children since 2007. I’ve also been a teacher for 20 years. I have a middle reader series, and another self-published picture book called “Pumper the Pumpkin.” For this new book, I hired a fabulous illustrator from Columbia, Natalia Cuno. She captures the beautiful warmth and caring that I wanted to convey with this book.

I invite you to check out the book on Amazon.com. It is available as an ebook for many tablets and the Kindle phone app as well as a print edition. I welcome feedback in its many forms, such as reviews or as comments below in this post. I would love to hear what you think and how your child reacts to the book.

We can all get through this together, and remember to wear a mask.

-Tiffany Turner

Interview with Semara Moffitt

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As we continue this unusual start to the school year, I’d like to present another self-confidence book to build character and help with problem solving skills. Semara Moffitt is the author of the book, “Marissa’s Scrunchie Collection”. It’s a marvelous story in which a girl learns that inner beauty is more powerful than outer beauty, and that choices can make a difference. Its print edition is a coloring book, and will make a great activity during pandemic indoor days. I had a chance to talk to Semara about her favorite authors, writing routine, and what projects she has in store for us.

  1. Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Semara Moffitt: “I Am Enough”, by Grace Byers, is such a wonderful book! It demonstrates excepting yourself as who you are no matter what anyone thinks or says.

2) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Semara Moffitt: Usually, I will write down the first idea that comes to mind and work out the details little by little overtime. My first book took about 3 months for me to write.


3) What projects are you working on now? What subjects would you like to write about?
Semara Moffitt:
I am currently working on a Christmas book. I’m not quite sure if it will be ready this year, but I’m very excited to share my work.

“Marissa’s Scrunchie Collection” is about the choices we make in life and how they can affect how we feel about ourselves. Marissa has a drawer full of different scrunchies. There are shiny ones, patterned ones, and sparkly ones. Picture day is here, and she needs to pick out just the right one to look beautiful and perfect. But she can’t seem to find the right one? Will choosing a scrunchie be the right choice? Or will Marissa come up with the perfect look all on her own?

Marissa’s Scrunchie Collection is available on Amazon as an ebook or paperback book. The print edition makes a great coloring book gift.

For more information on the author, Semara Moffitt, visit her author’s page at: https://www.amazon.com/S-M-LiteratureLLC/e/B08GH9J845.


Interview with Louisa Mastromarino

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As we ease into a new school year, kids are likely missing things about traveling, their friends, and having fun. I have managed to find a fantastic book about dogs on motorcycles sightseeing around the United States. Hopefully, it can bring a little fun and charm back into your little ones day.

In the book, “Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups go to Washington, D.C.”, kids will get a chance to explore the United States capital city and discover the history while having fun with the pups. I had a chance to talk with the author, Louisa Mastromarino. She is a certified counselor educator. She uses her specialized expertise to create her children’s books and contemporary artwork. Louisa shared with me her favorite authors, future projects, and what writing means to her.

Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Louisa Mastromarino: One of my favorite authors is Maya Angelou. I love her work because she writes about socially relevant themes such as racism and tolerance. Key themes today include such areas because we all know that literature has the capability of empowering others during challenging times. I love to write about these key areas and hope that the Cycle Pups travel series empowers others to work together and create social peace.

What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Louisa Mastromarino: Subjects that I would like to write about in future projects include inclusion, tolerance, which I am working on Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups Teach Tolerance now, family cohesion, and self-identity. These areas are key, especially for teens and children.

What is writing to you in one sentence?

Louisa Mastromarino: Writing to me in one sentence is extreme joy in spirit.

“Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups go to Washington, D.C.” is a fabulous adventure with the Cycle Pups through our country’s capital, Washington D.C. Travel on max cycle bikes as the leader, Spifford Max, takes the pups on an adventure over stairs, through rivers, and even through history. Filled with love and friendship, this book is sure to bring a little adventure as your child learns about historical landmarks of Washington D.C.

“Spifford Max and the Cycle Pups go to Washington, D.C.” is available at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

For more information on Louisa Mastromarino, please visit her website at: https://www.intuitivegalleries.com/.

Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway Winner Announced!

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Greetings to everyone that stopped by and checked out the blog tour last week. I appreciate all of my followers that read my blog and have followed through the years. It makes it especially important since I’m trying to support all the teachers, parents and children going through the strangest Back to School in our life times.

With the pandemic, we are looking at things differently, facing new challenges and just trying to support each other to get through all the challenges this year. From the pandemic to natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves, 2020 has unleashed a fury. I hope the tour this year helped connect you to authors and their books that will give comfort, help teach your little ones, and inspire your classroom.

With that said, I’d like to announce the winner of the giveaway for the blog tour this year. I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to help give a shopping spree to the lucky winner. Hopefully, they can use it to support authors and maybe enjoy some of the fabulous books featured this last week.

And drum roll please, the winner of the Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card is:

April P.

Congratulations! You’ll be contacted by the email on file for the giveaway.

To everyone else, thank you so much for stopping by and making last week a fabulous event again. Until next year, stay safe, wear a mask, and take care of your family and friends.

-Mrs. Turner

Day 5: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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Welcome to the last day of the Back to School Blog Tour. I hope you have enjoyed all of our featured authors this week, and have added to your home or class online library. I’d like to wrap up this fabulous week by introducing you to my last featured author, Thomasina M. D’Arezzo. She is a published poet, and has written children’s books and women’s fiction.  She lives in New England citing autumn being one of her favorite seasons. She enjoys hiking, acting and listening to music when not involved in writing. She’s proud of her recent college graduate son.

Thomasina M. D’Arezzo is the children’s author of the mystery children’s book, “Marco The Mini Sleuth: Where did the Kitten Go?”

Her recent book, “Marco The Mini Sleuth: Where did the Kitten Go?” is a fun mystery adventure that any kid can get lost in. Great for writing assignments or studying the mystery genre, this book will introduce your child to her fantastic Marco The Mini Sleuth series. I had a chance to talk to Thomasina about her childhood reading interests, writing process, and what writing means to her.

1) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Thomasina M. D’Arezzo: For Children’s books there are multiple that I like. I enjoy a lot of classic tales. I particularly enjoyed “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter and “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll.

2) Do you have a writing routine?

Thomasina M. D’Arezzo: When writing a novel I have a routine where I try to write 5000 words per day. When writing a children’s book, I will sit on the idea for a while in my head before I bring it all to life.

3) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Thomasina M. D’Arezzo: It’s a beautiful escape from reality! A world where you can create what you want!

“Marco The Mini Sleuth: Where did the Kitten Go?” is a great mystery for any child to get lost in. Marco’s cousins have recently lost their new kitten. Marco is on the case. By using his magical magnifying glass, he goes out looking for clues. They all work together to solve the mystery, but they get side tracked along the way. Will the clues lead them to the kitten in time?

“Marco The Mini Sleuth: Where did the Kitten Go?” is available at Amazon.com.

To close out this year’s blog tour, I’d like to announce two things.

  • It’s not too late to still enter the Back to School 2020 Blog Tour $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. The giveaway will be open through the end of the week, and will close for entries on Sept. 7, 2020. The winner will be announced next week on the blog. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
  • New picture book release: I Don’t Want to Wear A Mask

I’ve been working feverishly on this project the last few months, and I’m happy to announce it’s release during this year’s Back to School Blog Tour. This picture book is a great way to help children validate their anxiety and concerns about the pandemic and how it is changing our lives.

A little about my new book:

Trying to teach your child about the importance of wearing a mask in school?

Albert is returning to school. But this year is different than all others before. He has to wear a mask. The COVID-19 Virus has spread around the world in the first pandemic in one hundred years. He has been studying at home, and has missed a lot of things. He misses his friends in preschool. He misses his teacher. He misses being outside and playing on the playground. But for his first day of Kindergarten, he has to wear a mask. Will talking with his mother about the reasons to wear masks help Albert understand how he can be a superhero?

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This picture book helps children understand the importance of wearing a mask in school. They can be a superhero just like Albert as they wear a mask like other adult heroes in grocery stores, post offices or libraries. Teach your little one the importance of mask wearing as they return to in-person school or prepare for online distance learning. Help children understand the new normal happening around them and why it is important. This book is recommended for ages 3 to 8. It’s available on Amazon.com as a print or ebook edition.

I want to thank all of the participating authors for sharing a little of themselves and their fabulous books. I look forward to this blog tour highlighting unique, Indie children’s authors at the beginning of each school year.

This year is so very different than many others, and I hope the book recommendations, interviews and my resources are supportive and helpful to parents and teachers during this school year of 2020 -2021.

***Please follow my blog to find out about wonderful, fabulous Indie children’s authors and their books all year long!

Until next year, remember to keep reading and writing,

-Mrs. Turner

Day 4: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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Welcome to Day 4 of the Back to School Blog Tour. I’ve got an inspirational author that is also a teacher and principal. He is going through all the educational changes with parents, students and teachers. Craig Hazen was born and raised in Canada, but has made his home in Australia. He’s an experienced Primary School Principal with a Master’s Degree in Education. He loves to write books that help grow confidence and inspire children with a humorous flair.  

“My Dad is Braver Than Your Dad” is his latest book just released on Sept. 1, 2020. This book tells the story of show and tell in the classroom leading to the bravest dad of all? Can you guess who it might be? Also coming up, Craig’s second novel, Anzac Brothers, will be released by Austin Macauley Publishing later this year. He is excited to share his narrative about resilience and bravery.

I got the chance to talk to Craig about his childhood reading memories, what he does as his writing routine, and what writing means to him.

  1. What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?
Craig Hazen is the author of the children’s book, “My Dad is Braver Than Your Dad”.

Craig Hazen:  As a child I loved reading Canadian author Robert Munsch books because of his insane imagination and how well he developed his characters. The Paper Bag Princess and Mortimer Be Quiet are still two of my favourites to this day.

  •  Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Craig Hazen: I am normally inspired to write about things that are personal to me or happening in my life. My Dad is Braver than Your Dad was inspired by my job as a school principal and my incredibly strong mother. I am also currently working on My Radioactive Brother which is about dealing with cancer which has sadly impacted by family.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Craig Hazen: Writing is my third space and allows me to reconnect with friends and family.


“My Dad is Braver Than Your Dad” is available at
Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Connect with the author by following his Facebook Page.

For today’s supportive materials, I’d like to offer the link to my list of posts and activities that are supportive for parents during these crazy times. From activities to some keeping-sane advice, look over the different posts that other parents/teachers/guardians have found helpful on my blog over the last few months.

Helpful Suggestions for Readings and Activities for Parents

Plus, there are just a few more days to enter the Back to School 2020 Blog Tour Giveaway. Enter by doing simple activities such as tweeting about this blog tour, commenting on how you are enjoying it, and signing up to follow my Facebook page.

ENTER $25 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY HERE!

Tomorrow will be the last day of the blog tour. Please, stop by for the last fabulous children’s author interview, and a very special announcement.

Until then, stay safe and keep reading and writing,

-Mrs. Turner

Day 3: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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back2schoolbanner2020Welcome to day three of the Back to School Blog Tour. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the featured author for today, Devin Martin. During the day he’s his school community’s “Mr. Lunch Lady”. At night, he writes up a storm of stories to emphasize empathy, understanding, self-awareness, and reassure the next generation. In his book, “Mama Nuni”, he’s brought to life a fantastic character in Mama. Mama Nuni’s ranch is her version of heaven where she teaches her students lessons of life. When she hires a clumsy ranch hand, he becomes the catalyst for teaching kindness and empathy. This book is a teaching treat for many instructors and parents.

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Devin Martin is the author of the children’s book, “Mama Nuni”.

I had the chance to talk to Devin about his childhood reading memories, writing process, and what he has in store for us with future projects.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Devin Martin: My favorite memory from reading as a child, would have to be my 3rd grade teacher reading Witches to the class. She would get all animated and creep through the rows of desks, and use crazy witch voices. She was awesome! She would make us read a paragraph, so I would try to jump ahead and memorize my paragraph so I didn’t mess up when it was my turn. Never worked. HAHA!

 2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Devin Martin: My favorite author growing up those early years would have to be Joanna Cole. “The Magic School Bus” was my go-to-the-T.V. show. Matched up with the books, I just retained so much information. After that, I really didn’t start reading for fun again until late in high school. I got into autobiographies of people and athletes I was interested in.


3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Devin Martin: All of my stories start as a poem. I like to think, they are better described as allegories. I use thesauruses often, to help with imagery in the words. Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes. Sometimes it takes me a week to write one story.


4) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Devin Martin: All of my books will be related to reasoning with the human condition. We, as parents, often have a hard time reasoning with our kids (for obvious reasons ;-), let alone trying to educate them on what it means to be reasonable and self-aware, especially in those elementary age years. So in the future, you will see more content related to attitude and effort, understanding, empathy, personal accountability, etc.


5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

Devin Martin: For me writing is what binds emotions and logic.

MamaNuniCover-DevinMartin“Mama Nuni” has a big heart, and loves teaching valuable lessons on her ranch. It’s her heaven on Earth. When she hires a clumsy ranch hand, she discovers that her students are teasing him. Seizing the opportunity to instill a lesson of tolerance, kindness and empathy, she works towards showing her students the importance of standing up for others. This heartwarming story shows the power of showing kindness to others and the ability to use the power of love.

“Mama Nuni” is available at: Amazon.com.

For more information on Devin Martin, please visit his Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/jrshoocreativeinc.

Don’t forget, there is still time to enter the Back to School Blog Tour Giveaway. You can enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card hosted by Rafflecopter.com.

LINK TO WIN YOUR $25 BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING SPREE!

Plus, each day I’m including links to help parents and teachers with distance learning. Back when everyone went into the pandemic lockdown during the spring, I wrote up a complete on-line novel to go along with my first book, The Lost Secret of Fairies. 

Here is the link for the full FREE online novel study. Download all the helpful graphic organizers for journal entries, character traits essay responses, theme & message exercises, and an essay short answer test at the end of the study. I developed it over the last couple of years I taught in the classroom, and offer it for free to go along with my book. Hopefully, it will be helpful in your distance learning planning.

ONLINE NOVEL STUDY LINK!

Tomorrow, another children’s author interview and more links to help support distance learning during these crazy, pandemic times. Until then, keep reading and writing!

-Mrs. Turner

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Back to School Blog Tour 2020

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back2schoolbanner2020Welcome to the second day of the Back to School Blog Tour 2020. This is such an unusual year. So, I’m gathering fantastic authors to help support children and parents during this crazy, pandemic. I’m sure between supervising instruction at home and helping your child, you’d love to hear about how to support their mental wellness. Maybe even your child misses their extra curricular activities such as sports, classes or even music. Supporting children with problems that may still occur is a great way to continue their emotional development, especially if it can be through literature.

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Karen Goeller is the author of the children’s book, “Missy’s Voice”.

Karen Goeller has an athletic background to bring to her authorship. She has taught gymnastics training and coached several State Champions. She has also appeared in many TV shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gotham, Law & Order and other commercial appearances. Her love for writing arose when she had an accident in 2000, and found writing to be a therapy while she was bed-ridden. From her struggles growing up, she has written many gymnastic-themed books to help children through their growing pains. Her book, Missy’s Voice, tells the story of a young singer dealing with bullying at school.

I had a chance to talk to Karen about her childhood reading memories, her writing process, and what writing means to her.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Karen Goeller: I did not like reading as a child, but I enjoy writing and have over twenty published books.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Karen Goeller: I do not have a writing routine. I write when I have the creative bug or when I feel I have something to say. Once I start a project I push through, almost non-stop until finished. 

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Karen Goeller: Writing is expressing thoughts and sharing with the world.

KarenGoeller-missys-voice-coverMissy’s Voice is a story that tells about a young girl that loves to sing. She became popular from the local school talent show, and some of the other girls start to bully her. Will she be able to show them that she is unique? Will jealousy lose to positive kindness as Missy faces her tormentors?

“Missy’s Voice” is available at Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com, and at the author’s website, www.MissysVoice.com.

For more information about about the author, please visit her website at:

www.KarenGoeller.com.

Remember, you have all week to enter the blog tour giveaway for the $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Here’s the link to enter:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e21/

Plus, to support parents, I wrote a blog post a few months ago to help you set up a structure for your little ones to do distance learning at home.

Here is the link to the blog article:

Tips for Parents During the Long Distance Learning During Corona Virus

  • Has downloadable home study rules.
  • Tips to help create structure for learning at home.

More still to come. Check back daily and follow the blog!

Until tomorrow,

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer/Editor

Indie Children’s Authors Connection Blog