Tag Archives: children’s writing

UPDATE: The Lost Secret of Time: Final Book in Crystal Keeper Series Due out Spring 2018

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Working cover for the last Crystal Keeper Chronicles book, The Lost Secret of Time. 

I wanted to give everyone an update on the progress of the last book in the Crystal Keeper series, The Lost Secret of Time. I’m proud to announce that there has been a schedule set up for it’s completion. It is outlined, and has 9 chapters of the 14 written thus far. It’s scheduled with my editor for the end of October, and I’ve been working hard with the help of Camp NaNo to get it completed.

I have to thank all of my fans for your patience. I know this one is taking longer, but sometimes life throws things at you that can’t be planned for, like a heart attack, going septic in the hospital and having acute pneumonia. I’m just happy to still be alive and be around for a second chance to finally complete the series.

I also have to mention I did try to end the series with the third book, but the characters WOULDN’T let me. They insisted that the story carry on. So, that is why the third book ends the way it does in a cliffhanger. There was just more story to tell.

Plus, once I wrap up this series, I’m planning a prequel in which Brewford, the cat sorcerer, will be the main character. There are a lot of things hinted about his past in the series, and I want to write a prequel that explains it all. So, the ending of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles won’t be the end of Wanda’s fairy world. It will continue in other forms.

It has been an amazing ten year journey so far. I’m sure many of you fans have grown up waiting for the books to be written. If anything, you’ve learned that writing is a process and takes time, an average of two years per book at least. The biggest thing that a reader needs to possess is patience for your favorite books. I know your pain. I’ve gone through the same thing with my favorite authors, Anne McCaffrey, Anne Rice and Mercedes Lackey. I think the secret is having LOTS of favorite authors so you can switch between them between new book releases. It’s how I cope. 😉

Until then, take care, and I hope you enjoy your other favorite authors until the new and last book in the series is released next Spring. Stay tuned for fun summer reading activities and giveaways. Have a fabulous summer.

-Tiffany (Mrs. Turner)

 

Back to School Blog Tour: Day 4

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backtoschool2016We’re already up to Day 4 of the blog tour. I hope you have been enjoying the daily featured authors. There has been a wide range of books, from Middle Grade to Reading instruction readers, to a picture book. Today, I share with you the author of a fabulous Middle Grade reader, Sandra R. Anderson. She is the author of Konrad and the Birthday Painting. She is a mother of two boys who fortunately have yet to show any interest in art. They are too busy catching Pokémon.

After several years of translating other people’s books by day and reading tons of children’s books every night at bedtime, she decided that she had some stories of her own to tell. She first got started by taking a course in writing for children at the cultural center Näs, right next to Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home.

She writes books for children and for grown-ups and anyone else who likes stories that are about something more than at first glance. She still works as a translator. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, and Postcrossing, although not simultaneously. She is an accidental stamp collector and keeps forgetting to water her potted plants, particularly when she’s working on a new book.

I had the chance to ask Ms. Anderson about her thoughts on writing, her favorite school memories, and what she is up to right now.

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Sandra R. Anderson is the author of Konrad and the Birthday Party available on Amazon.

1) Who was your favorite children’s author and how did they influence you?
I was the type of kid that read everything I could get my hands on, so I couldn’t name just one. I loved the classics, wandering around on that deserted island with Robinson Crusoe and exploring the oceans with Captain Nemo, but I also solved mysteries alongside Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys, discovered smugglers and hidden treasure with the Famous Five and slept with my feet on the pillow and baked gingerbread cookies on the floor with Pippi Longstocking.
I honestly can’t imagine the person I would have grown up to be if I hadn’t had all of these characters in my life as a child and am eternally grateful to the authors who created them. They opened my eyes to other people’s lives and experiences and made me see things differently. They broadened my horizons and made me a far better person than I would have been otherwise.
2) What is your most memorable school moment?
The best time I ever had in school was when I lived in Norway for a few years and went to school in a tiny school building with the sea on one side and tall mountains on the other. One time the entire school (not that many kids, perhaps 60 or 70 in all) rode a bus to the next valley over and then went on skis back over the mountains. Eating my school lunch at the top of a mountain is a memory that I will treasure forever.
3) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
My best writing gets done really early in the morning, before the rest of my family wakes up. I’m an early bird and often wake up at 4 or 5. When everything is quiet, and the whole family is tucked away in bed, that’s when I can give my undivided attention to the characters in my stories and go on adventures with them. That said, if that wasn’t an option, I would write with blunt crayons on wet napkins up in a tree in the middle of a hurricane. Sometimes a story just needs to be told.
4) Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?
Sure. I’m not very good at a lot of things. I’m pretty good at reading and writing, but that’s about it. When it came to the more practical subjects, I was all thumbs, and I am still capable of burning a salad or sewing a shirt to my trousers if I try to replace a lost
button. But the thing I found most difficult in school was the social aspect, the unwritten rules that govern the playground. We moved a lot, so I was always the new kid, always failing to fit in.
5) What is writing to you in one sentence?
The magic that allows us to see the world through someone else’s eyes, explore places and situations that would otherwise be out of reach, and be anyone we want to be.
6) What projects are you working on right now?
I’m writing the next book in the Artworld series, of course, to find out what Konrad gets up to now that he has discovered an exciting new world inside of paintings. I’m also working on a science fiction story for ages 9 and up and have a coming of age saga for the same age group on the back burner. I  like to work on several different projects simultaneously, to avoid writer’s block, but there are only so many hours in a day, unfortunately. I also write for grown-ups under a different pen name, and have a few projects I’m working on there, as well. The most urgent is a ghost story that I hope to have done in time for Halloween.
To connect to Sandra R. Anderson, find her at:

Her website: www.sandrarandersson.com

Her Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorSandraR

 

BOOK REVIEW: KONRAD AND THE BIRTHDAY PAINTING

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Sandra R. Anderson writes a brilliant fantasy world in this Middle Grade Book available on Amazon.

***** Five Stars

Konrad and the Birthday Painting is a fast and fun fantasy adventure for middle graders. Konrad, a second grader, finds some mysterious glasses that allow him to look into a painting in the school office that, by chance, is like a map of the real school. He witnesses the taking of the Fifth Grade field trip funds, and has to stop his friend, Casper from being blamed for the theft.

Along the way, he discovers that the glasses work on other paintings at a nearby museum. This introduces him to the virtual world of “Artworld”. Will he want to come back to reality once he discovers this amazing new place?

This is a real creative fantasy that plays with the concept of the real world and a virtual world. I love stories that play with a fantasy world just on the edge of the real world. Anderson does a brilliant job of creating the world and the tension that Konrad has to struggle with. He has to think about his family still in the real world, and make a choice between the two. With wisps of Narnia, I recommend Konrad and the Birthday Painting to readers that love to play in fantasy worlds.

As part of this week’s special discounts and giveaways, you can download a free copy of Konrad and the Birthday Painting HERE!

**The giveaways are still up and going. Here is a list of all the books on discount/free and the big $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.

**Also available on Amazon.

GIVEAWAYS and DISCOUNTS

Here is the current list of freebies, discounts, and giveaways during the blog tour. All discounts, freebies and giveaways will be running through the blog tour dates: 9/12-9/16.

  1. Win a $25 shopping spree on Amazon! Link to the Rafflecopter giveaway link here!
  2. Download a free copy of Konrad and the Birthday Painting HERE!
  3. Philip Gibson’s Graded Word For Word Reader 1 & 2 Free
  4.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZQQ98C
  5. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019J1U2RQ
  6. The Lost Secret of Fairies: Discounted to $0.99
  7. Win a notebook set, bookmarks or the book Tinker Bee by Erin Liles: http://erinbethliles.weebly.com/blog/back-to-school-blog-tour-giveaway

For an interview with Martine Lewis on Erin Liles’s Blog, LINK HERE! 

Come back tomorrow for the final post to wrap up this week of Back to School celebration!

 

 

My Year of Writing: Starts with Back to School Blog Tour Planning

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Tiffany Turner starting her year of writing. Let's see what can become of it. ;-)

Tiffany Turner starting her year of writing. Let’s see what can become of it. 😉

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s mostly because I’m trying to get back into a routine after going through a summer of physical therapy. There has been good news. I’m out of the critical range. My heart has finally started to pump stronger. I’m not out of the woods yet. It still isn’t normal, and my doctor has me on a regiment of heart medicines and I’m doing regular physical cardiotherapy. Otherwords, taking care of myself is a job onto itself now.

I’ve also taken off the next year from teaching to work on my health and spend a year writing. I’m going to live the dream of being a full time writer and try to get my health back in order as much as possible. My first week of writing has been filled with participating in a live Writer’s Digest webinar on Middle Grade novels with an agent, writing romance and more of The Lost Secret of Time, and planning the 2015 Back to School Blog Tour.

Join in on the Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 7-11, 2015

Join in on the Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 7-11, 2015

It feels good living the writer’s life. It is a dream that I’m finally able to live, thankfully. I’m glad that God gave me this second chance, and I’m going to try to make the best of it. I want you to join along in this new adventure. Plus, join me in the Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 7-11. I’m still taking sign-ups for participating authors. Email me at: tiff (at) tiffmeister(.)net. I’d love to hear from you. I’ve got space up to 10 participating authors. Hope you can join me.

Most of all, here’s a salute to all those teachers out there starting the 2015-2016 School Year. I can’t be in the trenches with you, but at least, I can help support you all. I’ll be writing down a lot of my lessons I’ve developed over my 18 years of teaching, and will be posting them to TeachersPayTeachers.com. Plus, I’ve developed a unit to teach my novel THE LOST SECRET OF FAIRIES over the last two years in my classroom. I’ll be posting information on that when it becomes available. I know with Common Core it will be important to have curriculum to teach novel studies. I’ve done that in my classroom annually for 18 years. I’m happy to share my knowledge in future posts and with lesson plans on TeachersPayTeachers. Until then, take care, and have a great start to the school year.

HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!-Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Update: The Lost Secret of Time is Coming!

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Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Greetings Crystal Keeper Fans! I’ve been rejuvenating my efforts to get back into the swing of writing. As always, life has thrown some curves at me. And they were some pretty big curves. There were a lot of changes in education, namely the Common Core, that has made it difficult for me to keep up with all my writing and still give all my efforts in teaching. Transitions are really hard in education, and this has been the worst and most difficult that I’ve seen in my career.

Then, I got blindsided by illness in December 2014. I got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. While there, I went into Code Blue and cardiac arrest. Basically, I almost died, and the doctors were trying everything to help me pull through. I also had the complication of septic shock and the discovery of a heart blood clot. So, it was discovered that I have cardiomyopathy, a heart failure condition where my heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the rest of my body.

My monitors in the hospital.

My monitors in the hospital.

This has made it difficult for me to do much else but get better. I’ve been on medical leave from teaching, and I’m taking a year of absence to get my health back. The bonus of all the health issues is that as I start to feel better, I can start writing again.

So, over the next year, I’ll be working on The LOST SECRET OF TIME and finishing the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I’ve always intended on doing so. But sometimes life just throws you a curve ball, and you have to adapt, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

All the encouragement is always helpful and appreciated. I’ve got a start on THE LOST SECRET OF TIME, and signed up for Camp NANO in April to make progress on the book. Things are underway, and I’ll be sure to give you updates as I move through the process. As for now, I’ll be continuing with featuring more Indie Authors once a month, and will try to get back into doing Indie writing posts to help out other authors.

So, hug your parents, kids, and pets. Positive thoughts can do so much. You just never know what path will lay before you. And with writing, everyone is on a different writing journey. I’m glad to be sharing mine with you.

Take care!-Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

#SampleSunday Jan. 1, 2012 Sneak Peek Into Dragonfire

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I’ve been busy writing the third book in my Crystal Keeper Chronicles, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire. Here is a sneak peek into my current draft. The last look was in May 2011. Wanda had her little brother break her crystal pendant. So, she was off to visit master miners and makers of crystal pendants, the dwarves.

A Look Into the third book of the Crystal Chronicles: The Lost Secret of Dragonfire:

There was a sudden flare of light. Then, I saw standing in front of us, a shaggy man as tall as me. He had a long, brown beard, a bulbous nose, and beady brown eyes. His eyebrows were beyond bushy, and he held a torch flooding the corridor with enough light to make the crystals glint in all directions. His cloths looked like a peasants drawing from one of my fairy tale books. You know, long following sleeves, vest, drawstring at the collar, and brown baggy pants. But the most distinguishing thing was his hands. They were large and beefy. It made him look out of proportion. I saw the glint of boots under the cuff of his trouser.

“Welcome to the City of the Dwarves. For a human child, to be this close, you must be a Crystal Keeper and on fairy business. I’m Clarkson. The Watch for the Western Edge of the Dwarf Capital. Be what business ye on?”

I cleared my thought and stood up a bit. I tried to sound official by saying, “I am a Crystal Keeper of the Western Realms of Fairy. You are right. I have come on fairy business. I be named Wanda.” Flashbacks of the visit to the Renaisance Fair came flooding back to me. I pointed down at Brewford. “This is my cat sorcerer and assistant, Brewford.”

And instructor, guide, and general reference for advice. Brewford nodded. His head voice was filled with cat dignity.

“What is it that you wish of the Dwarf Kingdom?” The dwarf folded his arms. “It is my job to find the best resource to guide ye.”

I couldn’t continue with the Faire language. I was going to have to switch to normal talk. “Well, Clarkson, my little brother totally broke my crystal. I need a new one. My unicorn guide said this was the best place to come.”

He answered with a gruff affirmative that ended in a grin. “Good to switch into the informal language. I was never good at it in school, you see. Your unicorn was right. We supply the Fairy World with most of their crystals for Keepers, healing, building, and pretty much anything else that could be needed. If a dwarf knows anything, it’s crystals, stones and the earth. It is our speciality. If you need it, we can mine it.” He gave me a wink and motioned to follow. “I think the Dwarf King would be interested in hearing your problem. Maybe you can help us with ours.”

We did notice a magical imbalance in the paths on the way here Dwarf Clarkson. Brewford had taken the lead in front of me. He slipped right next to the dwarf. If I’m not mistaken, the energy flow is being interrupted. Have you found the source?

“That is the problem Cat Sorcerer. We can’t find the interruption point. If we knew where it was, we could fix the imbalance. It’s as if someone has found a way to divert power from the paths, and it’s starting to affect the roots. We need to find it, or the fairy paths themselves will start to collapse. The Fairy World would be divided permanently from the Real World. The imbalance could destroy both worlds.”

There was a tisk, tisk from Brewford. It is more serious than I thought. You’re right in taking us to the Dwarf King. I’m going to need to ask some questions as well.

This sounded like some kind of Fairy Armageddon. I had to get this straight. “Do you mean, the Fairy Paths would collapse? Be destroyed? How would the fairies travel and communicate?”

It’s worse than that Wanda. Brewford’s head voice actually held a note of concern. The fairy paths connect the World of Fairy, but it is also the conduit for all of the Fairy Magic. Without the Fairy Paths functioning correctly, Fairy World magic will be cut off or worse, fade from the World of Fairy.

“And the World of Fairy,…” I left it hanging in the air as it started to settle into my mind.

“…would die.” Brewford’s words were more chilling than the air around me.

Oh boy. Not good. I hope we could find this Dwarf King fast. I was right that I felt a need to go quickly.

We arrived at the corridor end. It opened up to the glow at the end of the tunnel, and I couldn’t speak. We were in a cavern, the largest crystal cave I had ever seen. The walls were lined with crystals and structures of crystal, stone, and rock. It was beyond cave dwelling and cave man like. It was a catacomb of crystals and caves.

In and out of different level openings, dwarves moved in and out. Some had beards. Some had long walking sticks, carts, baskets, and even small mules. The rush of industry was about this place, and dwarves were everywhere.

“Welcome to Geldenar”, said Clarkson. He waved his hand about and grew with a big smile. “I can tell this is your first visit to the Dwarf Nation. Your eyes are huge. Glad that you seem impressed.”

Look for other sneak peeks and release information for The Lost Secret of Dragonfire through this blog.

**The Crystal Keeper Chronicles are available on Amazon.com as paperback or Kindle editions.
Also available on Smashwords.com.

J.K. Rowling is Self-Publishing Ebooks through New Pottermore.com Website

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Amazing as this sounds, it’s true. J.K. Rowling announced yesterday in a press release and a YouTube video on her new innovative website to be launched in October 2011. It’s called Pottermore.

J.K. Rowling has developed an on-line experience to hearld Harry into the digital age. Armed with new writing material, the website will feature a way to interact with the characters/places/objects found in the Harry Potter books. It will soon include an Ebook Store that will sell the series in ebook format. It is in partnership with Sony and her publishing partner, Scholastic.

What makes this such a phenomenal milestone in self-publishing is that Rowling’s publishers get a percentage for assisting in marketing and promotions. She’s calling the shots now, especially since she owns her digital rights. She is also bypassing big on-line retailers such as Amazon.com, to sell directly from an on-line ebook shop on her website.

What does this all mean? First, I’m stunned. I knew self-publishing was starting a new age, but now that an author as big as J.K. Rowling has started to take advantage of publishing herself, keeping her digital rights, and launching a site like this. There. That stunned moment again.

For children’s authors, it might mean a lot. She has changed the face of children’s publishing and created a series in which she broke and created rules. Now she’s out to create a new publishing platform, shaping a future generation by reaching out through technology. I love the possibilities of what she can do with her site; the building of a Harry Potter world on-line, feedback from her readers, that creative control so often enjoyed in self-publishing and doing things yourself.

I wish her the best, and await to see what will happen next in the publishing world. Look out, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.