Category Archives: Events

Picture Book Review: Elijah and the Key of Knowledge & Elijah and the City in Danger

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Elijah and the Key of Knowledge starts this fresh take on exploring reading skills.

I had the pleasure of reading Elijah and The Key of Knowledge for this June’s featured children’s book to get your summer reading started. The author, Zachariah Rippee, does a masterful job of pulling readers into the idea that reading gives you knowledge. In fact, the whole Elijah series is full of themes to get kids reading.

The series begins with the picture book, Elijah and The Key of Knowledge. This book starts out with Elijah as an adventurer like in the Indiana Jones movies. He takes his animal friends, ie Calvin and Hobbes, on an adventure with many obstacles blocking the way. He has to enlist the help of his friends to best the things thrown into his path. It all ends when he finally discovers the secret to the key of knowledge. You guessed it, reading.

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Elijah and the City in Danger is the second in the Elijah series.

The second book in the series I liked better than the first. It has Elijah now using his imagination to become a superhero in Elijah and The City in Danger. In this picture book, Elijah is now a masked hero charged with the safety of THE CITY. He must fight giant dinosaurs, robots and aliens to keep the City safe all while using his imagination, the biggest super power of all.

I really enjoyed the spontaneous joy in these two picture books. Mr. Rippee presents a fun, playful world in which a child uses his reading powers to create big adventures and be the star of his own imagination. The series would make a great read-aloud for teachers wanting to emphasis reading skills, and parents wanting to motivate their little ones to read. The Elijah series would be a great way to start off your summer reading as well.

I give both these picture books a FIVE STARS out of FIVES STARS rating. *****

Elijah and the Key of Knowledge is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Elijah and the City in Danger is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer and editor of the Indie Children’s Authors Connection

*Tiffany Turner is the head writer and editor for the Indie Children’s Authors Connection and author of her own middle grade children’s fantasy adventure series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has taught elementary students the love of reading and writing for 18 years, and currently has moved to writing full time. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and cat. The cat, of course, is the center of attention.

 

 

Self-Publishing Speaking Engagement for Tiffany Turner

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ebookmarketTiffany Turner will be speaking on the self-publishing panel at the AODSF conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Sunday, March 19 at 10am-11am Live Event Rm 4.

Come find out the exact steps you’ll need for self-publishing you’re own book. From your beginning ideas to pushing the button to self publish, Tiffany Turner will join in a panel to walk you through the process. Ask questions and find out all the publishing platforms, how to hire you’re own editors, formatters, cover designers, and start that important step to building your author platform. Ask questions and get started from the information you’ll receive from this talk.

AODSF Conference Schedule/Website

http://aodsf.org/events/list/

Tiffany Turner Titles During “Read An Ebook Week” March 5-11 on Smashwords

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ebookweekbanner20172I love being someone to encourage new things. Once a year, Smashwords holds a big sale to motivate people to try to read ebooks. This has been going on for SEVERAL years now, and I’m happy to be supportive again of this great event.

IF you have children that go through books quickly, ebooks are a great way to keep them supplied. Plus, this sale will be a way to get them on the road to some new great books, many of them for FREE!

I’ve decided to list the first in my Crystal Keeper Series, The Lost Secret of Fairies, for FREE during this week. The second in the series, The Lost Secret of the Green Man, will be on a 50% discount at 0.99. It’s a great way to get them started on a fantasy adventure series that will feed their love of reading.

To further promote reading this week, I’m including a sneak preview of my upcoming fourth book in the series, The Lost Secret of Time. I do apologize for the slow progress on this particular manuscript. I did suffer some medical issues a few years ago, and they’ve taken a very long time to recover from. You can read all about it in this post. But I promise, it will happen. And to my shock, the characters are telling me there should be a fifth most likely. They just can’t stop the adventure they are on. It should all be blamed on them. After all, I just write down what they tell me. 😉

The Lost Secret of Fairies (FREE)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/6090

The Lost Secret of the Green Man ($0.99)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115942

NOTE: Deals start on Smashwords at midnight in your time zone.

Here is the excerpt from the first page of The Lost Secret of Time:

The Lost Secret of Time

By Tiffany Turner

©2017, All Rights Reserved

Chapter 1

“Mom?” I looked at the girl in front of me. I couldn’t believe what had happened. The girl looking back at me had my Mom’s eyes. In fact, she could have been my sister. She was my age, and looking like a total throw back to the eighties. Her brown hair was clipped back with a barrette with ribbons woven around it. Her clothes were very retro, with a rainbow t-shirt and jeans. Her shoes were tennis shoes, but not designer like Nike. I think they were just regular tennis shoes made of blue denim. My Mom looked totally different. Or rather I was totally not where I should be. I was in 1983.

 

I read the year from the calendar hanging in the office. It all looked super retro to me. I was having trouble absorbing the fact I was in the eighties. In fact, I might be stuck in the 80s.

 

I’d traveled through a time portal, chased by the evil sorcerer Balkazar, as he battled with my friend and allie, Brewford, a cat sorcerer. I don’t know who won. And now I was looking at my mother in the front office of my middle school, 30 years in the past.

 

“You got your pass?” My Mom says.

 

I struggle to remember her first name. “Katrina, right?” I look at her to see if I got it right.

 

“Yeah. It’s Katrina. How did you know?”

 

“I think I heard it from the office lady.” There. Good cover. I hope she buys it.

 

“OK. Come on. I’ll be your buddy to get you to your homeroom. Which one is it?”

 

It was all happening so fast. If I gave her my regular homeroom, it would probably not work. I wasn’t even born yet, let alone really enrolled in the school. So, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. My normal sanctuary at school seemed like the best place to start. “The library. I start my day there.”

 

“OK,” she answered. “Let’s go.”

 

We walked out of the office, and down the corridor towards the cafeteria. I looked around at my school, 30 years in the past. All the shrubs and trees in the quad looked new. Grass was starting to grow, and signs were up to stay off of certain sections. It looked like there had been a complete landscape.

 

I thought trying to make some conversation might help. So, I turned to my Mom. “So, when did they put in the new plants?”

 

She shoveled her shoulders. “Yeah. They’re trying to spruce up the place after shoving us all into it. They just turned it from a high school into a Jr. High. We’ve got 9th graders here too. The Freshman think they own the place. You just move here?”

 

“Yeah. Just moved here over the weekend.” I played it dumb. I thought it would be best.

 

“You’ll like this school. Most of the teacher’s are pretty awesome. They totally like listen to you. Like they really care, you know?”

 

I nodded. I still was a little freaked out about seeing my Mom as a 13 year old. We could have been sisters. She had the same long brown mousey hair that I did, and glasses. Except mine had no frames around the lenses. Her glasses did. We were a total “Revenge of the Nerds” type casts. It was a bit weird.

 

We neared the doors to the library which ended our awkward silence. She started with the good-byes first. “Well, here’s the library.” She handed me a schedule list.

 

“This will help you sort out where you need to go after here. Good luck at Drexel Junior High.” She gave me a wave and walked back heading towards the office. I put my hand on the knob, not sure what I would find in there.

 

Drexel Junior High? This was a middle school during my time period in the future. I looked down at my schedule for a moment and was happy to see that “Library Assistant” had come up as my first class. Wow. Something was up. I had no choice but to follow through with fate. In fact, I got a weird déjà vu feeling as I opened the door and walked into the library.

 

I felt a warmth from my pendant. I held it to get in touch with the crystal fairy within.

 

“Yes. I helped schedule you here. You’ll see why.” The crystal fairies high tinny voice echoed in my mind. I’d almost forgotten I was not totally alone.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Thanks for all the support through the years, and enjoy “Read An Ebook Week”! -Tiffany Turner

Speaking Engagement for Children’s Author Tiffany Turner

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Tiffany Turner will be leading a Creative Session at the SCBWI Asilomar Children’s Writing Conference. The session will be entitled: Writer’s Block Walk and will be on Saturday, March 4 at 3:15pm-4:00pm.

writerblockwalkDescription: Got writer’s block on a project? Bring your project for a walk around Asilomar along the beach and dunes. Brainstorm with other writers, and take some time in nature to write and release new ideas.

Still time to sign up for this excellent children’s writing conference at: https://sfsouth.scbwi.org/events/2017-golden-gate-conference/.

A message from Tiffany Turner:

“I’ve been attending the SCBWI South San Francisco Asilomar Writing Conference for over 10 years. Each year it is a shot in the arm to help get my creative juices flowing. It is also a great opportunity to mingle and pitch to children’s editors and agents. It’s a small conference, and many times it’s a nice family and friend-like atmosphere that is great for children’s writers just starting out to the seasoned veteran like myself. Great weekend getaway and chance to focus on your children’s writing career.

Still time to sign-up, and if you are coming already, please join me for the walk. It’s something similar to what I’ve done and I’ve heard others do during this writing conference. Except I’ve taken it to a new level by giving this walk some structure and applying it to something I think a nature walk helps with the best, writer’s block. It should be a fun writing activity. I look forward to meeting you.” -Tiffany Turner

Summer Reading Discounts Through June

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Summer reading was always something I encouraged when I was teaching. So, it’s something that I think is important, and I’m going to try my best to support that idea. To make it easy for you to read this summer, or help your child read, I’ve lined up to participate in two promos through the month of June. Look for the Crystal Keeper Chronicles to be on sale for $0.99. Plus, several other children’s books will be linked and listed along with mine for free or at a discounted $0.99. The first promo starts this weekend June 18-19. Look for more information starting on June 18.

***The next promo will be June 28-July 1.

**Each promo will be featuring different children’s books along with mine. It should give a boast to any summer reading list. Happy reading! You all come back this Saturday. See you then!

TV Appearance For Tiffany Turner

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HarpwalkerTiffany Turner is appearing on the TV show “On The Move” on KMVT Channel 15 in the San Jose/Silicon Valley region. It is airing during the month of February 2016. It is also available to watch on YOU TUBE.

The episode explains the challenges Mrs. Turner has had through last year recovering from a blood clot in the heart. It share her story of triumph and how she survived a heart attack and blood clot in the heart. She tells her story of her rehabilitation and the things that inspired her to keep going, including her writing. All in the spirit of Heart Health Month for February!
Link here to watch episode: https://youtu.be/fo5vvYw9EEw

TV Appearance on Dec. 14, 2015

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Beating-Heart-GraphicsI hope everyone is having a fabulous Holiday Season. I know some of you have been following along with my recovery from septic shock, cardiomyopathy, and the blood clot in my heart. I’ve spent the last year working so hard at physical therapy to gain strength back. I have gotten out of the critical range, and have no need to wear the vest defibrilator.

In fact, today is the anniversary of my Not-Dying-Day. A year ago today, Dec. 11, I went into septic shock and cardiac arrest. So, it’s always going to be a day that means my second chance. My second chance to be here and write more books. So, of course, I have been doing that. I have been working on the rough draft of The Lost Secret of Time. I am hoping to complete it and publish next year.

To make things extra exciting with this anniversary, I’ve been invited to appear on a local community TV show called On The Move. It’s a show that helps people tell their story on how they are living and overcoming their disability. This will be their first show on women’s heart health. I’ve learned so much about dealing with heart disease, and I’m excited to be able to share it with others. It will be live on KMVT Channel 6 at 8pm in Mt. View, CA. It also appears on other local cable channels through the Silicon Valley. I’m also noticing things might be listed differently next week due to the Holidays. So, here’s a link for the schedule on their website. Check for the show: ON THE MOVE. Here is a listing for the area:

Campbell: 1st and 3rd Wed. at 6pm Channel 34A TCI Channel

Cupertino: Thurs. at 8:30pm on TCI Channel 26

Los Altos: Thurs. at 8:30pm on TCI Channel 29

Palo Alto: 1st and 3rd Wed. at 6pm on Channel 50

San Jose: 1st and 3rd Wed. at 6pm on Channel 34A

Saratoga: Tuesday at 7:30pm on KSAR Channel 6

Sunnyvale: 1st and 3rd Wed. at 6pm on TCI Channel 29

It will also be uploaded to YouTube to be watched by people around the world. So, I’ll be adding a link to it when it is available.

This is a great way to celebrate being a survivor and spread the word about heart disease in women. There was a lot of things that would have helped me, like knowing some signs something was going on. Shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, dizziness, nausea and swelling in my ankles and hands. I’d get puffy and thought I was gaining weight. These were all signs something that was happening. I thought I was getting older. I’m a teacher. I’m always tired. I have acid reflux. So, my dizziness and nausea I thought was from that. Any angina, that feels a lot like heart burn, had to be my stomach issues.

So, I want to get the word out of what to look for and be aware of. It will be so healing for me to share what I learned and hopefully help others in dealing with their heart disease. I hope you can join me next Monday at 8pm. -Tiffany Turner

 

 

Write Your Own Spooky Story Day 6: The Final Draft

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Look for other story writing projects on my blog in the coming months. Please follow to not miss them!

Look for other story writing projects on my blog in the coming months. Please follow to not miss them!

So, now that the trick-o-treating is done, did you get a chance to recopy your story? If not, and you got swept up into the Halloween spirit, don’t despair. You can write a Spooky story any time of the year. It’s called Horror Fiction, and people like to write and read it all year round. So, even if you got distracted by the Halloween excitement, sit down now and recopy your story out into a nice, final draft.

There. How do you feel? You actually wrote a fabulous, spooky story you’ll have to share with others every Halloween. How do I know? I wrote my first spooky story when I was 10 years old in Mrs. Williams class. The story has changed many times over the years, but it became “Pumper the Pumpkin.” If you didn’t get a chance to download it this week, it’s still on Amazon for $0.99. I didn’t price it too high on purpose. There is such joy in being able to share a story with people, and I hope you are able to enjoy mine.

On Halloween Eve, Pumper is trying to be a jack-o-lantern. Only he needs to find the right family to adopt him. Will he in time? Join Pumper in this amazing Halloween quest of being a part of something bigger.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Thank you for joining me in this writing adventure this week. I do plan on some more to be posted in the next coming months, starting with how to write you’re own Mystery story as the next project. So please follow my blog so you don’t miss it.

Have a fabulous November! -Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

My Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin is be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

 

Write Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading Your Story

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Writing Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading

Writing Your Own Spooky Story Day 5: Revision and Proofreading

Welcome to Day 5 of writing your own Spooky Story. Well, tomorrow is the big day, Halloween. And I’m sure if you’ve been working hard all week, you’ve got your rough draft done and ready to polish today. This is when you need to find a partner to listen to your story, and give you some feedback. Feedback is comments about what the person liked, what works, and what might need to be changed. They should listen to and let you know if anything is confusing or hard to understand. I’ve always taught this aspect through the writing workshop process, and often gave my students a feedback worksheet to work with. Below are the questions I would include on the sheet for them to fill out.

Your partner can be an older sibling (brother or sister), cousin, Mom or Dad, Grandparent or even Aunt or Uncle. You can also have your friends work with you as well. Writer’s call this a critique group. We often have a network of fellow writers, or betareaders, that read through our stories and give us feedback on what to improve.

You might also notice I mentioned listened. It’s best that you read your story out loud to your partner. That way, it is easier for you to hear what works, check on how dialogue flows, and how your descriptions read. You can often catch awkward and hard to understand sentences this way.

So, here is a list of questions for your betareader(partner) to answer as they listen to your story:

  1. What was your favorite part? Why?
  2. What would you want to know more about in the story?
  3. Is there anything, words or sentences, that were confusing in the story?
  4. What details in the story stood out the most?
  5. What would you want to see in the next story?

After you’ve had a chance to go over some revision, only then let your partner look over your story for corrections in punctuation or spelling. They are welcome to look through and catch any changes they may find. Then, it’s your turn to go back and rewrite the parts and make changes they suggested. When you’re done, show it to them again. See if they suggest anything else.

Most writers do this about 4-5 times. I know, you think, wow, that’s a lot. As a beginning writer try this at least once. Make changes, and show them to your partner one more time. In the last rewrite, they should probably be less often. That’s when you know you’re ready to copy from a revision draft to a final draft.

When you get to that point, you’re ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow, it’s all about copying into a nice final draft to read for friends and family on Halloween. You’re ALMOST there! Have fun today and tonight! You’re in the home stretch.

Meanwhile, looks like I got my phone working. So, I’m going to try the Periscope Broadcast at 3:30 pm PDT. Look for @Tiffmeister. That’s in about 1/2 hr from uploading this post. So, I’ll be going over the steps the last few days, answering questions you might have, and enjoying any comments you have for me. I would love the feedback. Again, Periscope is an app. that is available on Android and iPhone. I’m sure it’s also on iPads too since it’s in the iTunes store. Just head over to the apps section, type in Periscope, and you’re there. So, hope to hear from you. Until then, happy revising! -Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 4 Your Rough Draft; Adding Dialogue and Getting Unstuck

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Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Welcome to Day 4 of writing your own spooky story. Today, it’s time to work on connecting those middle events to lead to your solution in your ending. It’s going to be a busy day. Before I start, I have to announce the HUGE issues with my phone. It completely has died. I have to take it to the CPR phone store. So, I’m going to have to postpone my Periscope broadcast until tomorrow at 3:30 pm PDT. Sorry folks. When the electronics act up, it affects everything. But of course,  I can still answer questions and comments on the blog. Feel free to ask advice as you progress through your project this week.

Today is the second day of writing your rough draft. It’s the time you need to connect your introduction and problem you wrote yesterday to the rest of the story. You need to write the middle events that lead your characters to the solution, and end your story with the satisfying bang that they crave. In this section, you have to leave clues that your character can find or have events that push them along to the ending. Think of all those other spooky stories you may have read. They will help you get some ideas. Writers are active readers as well as observers. A lot of the time, a good book in the same genre will jog an idea for you. If you get stuck, try remembering some of your favorite books and try the same thing(s) with a twist. All you have to do is something similar but with twists and changes.

Another thing that helps me get in the zone for writing is to put on some music. If it’s difficult for you to concentrate without noise, that’s normal for some people. Some people need a background noise, like music, to concentrate. Some people need complete silence. If you’re having trouble, and know you need quiet or music to write, try making an environment for writing. For example, I have made several playlists for different projects using Youtube. I find the video for a song and put them in a playlist. Right now I’m playing a Halloween playlist to get me in a spooky mood. It includes Panic at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Theme song from “Tales of the Crypt” and “Ghostbusters”. If I get stuck, I watch the video and listen to the music, and it gets my concentration going again. This works for me. But if you have other ways that help you as you write, please feel free to share in the comments section.

As you’re writing, be sure to check your story map to check off things as you add them. They will help you guide yourself to the ending. Also, to avoid telling too much, try using dialogue. Sometimes it’s easier to have your characters talk about something than just describe it. Here’s an example:

Mark and Becky walked up to the house at the end of the street. No one liked to trick or treat at this one house, because it looked too haunted. It had a older man that lost his wife a few years ago. He never appeared except to water his lawn now and again. Becky thought one more treat would be good. Her candy bag looked a bit small. Not many people had been home in her neighborhood. Maybe they could get something at this house after all.

Now, let’s add some dialogue to the paragraph.

Mark looked at Becky. “You think we should trick or treat at the house at the end of the street?”

Becky felt ill. “Really, no. I mean, that old guy never appears since his wife died. He only comes out to water his lawn. He’s not very nice when he does it too.”

Mark grabbed his bag looking inside. “It’s been slim pickings this year. Not many people have been home, Becky. Why don’t we try one more house? It couldn’t hurt, right?”

Becky shrugged her shoulders. What did she have to loose? One more house couldn’t hurt. 

Adding dialogue makes the scene come alive, and you’re no longer telling the action, it is being done by your characters. Dialogue can make the action propel into the next scene. Next, I’d have them walk to the porch and try to trick or treat. Since this would be my haunted house setting, somehow they’d end up inside the house. And then the real fun begins.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Enjoy finishing up your rough draft today. Tomorrow, we’ll work on revising and proofreading to ready you to get that final copy done for Halloween. Ask around and see if someone is willing to listen to your story for tomorrow. And I’ll post questions and tips for them to look for. Until then, happy writing!- Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Plus, for this week only starting, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A