Tag Archives: ebook

YA Book Review: An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann


AAE- KWittmanIt’s interesting to see what comes across my virtual desk as a blogger and children’s author. I had a recent submission for a premise that intrigued me, Gen X rocker-punk parents in conflict with their trying to be normal Millennial daughter. It’s called An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittman. With music references that brought back memories to me, I was wondering what a YA would be like with my generation as the “parental unit”. I wasn’t disappointed.

Silver Abelli is being a rebel against rebel parents. With Gen-Xer ex-rockstar parents, she feels trapped in her homeschooled anti-social and anti-establishment life. She yearns to go to high school like normal 15 year olds, and even maybe try out for cheerleading and date a football player. Normal American teenager stuff.

But there is one drawback. Her fabulous musical family is not normal. Her mother has a brain tumor and is going through recovery from its removal. Enter her rocker Dad, divorced from her Mom, Silver has to live with him for awhile until all is well with her Mom. Thus starts the beginning of everything, and also, be careful what you wish for.

Silver meets the gorgeous football player at the beginning of the book. Through all the struggles with her Mom’s illness and conflicts with her cynical Gen-X Dad, now Ipod alternative music expert, she finally meets Jake, that dreamy footballer via her cousin, Natalie. Ups and downs commence, in which the romance blooms, Dad wants to get the band back together, and her Mom goes through issues with her health.

But it all comes together in a horrible attack Silver must keep secret or it will ruin everything. But will she have the courage to come forward and accuse her attacker even at the risk of losing her boyfriend and her father’s chance at a reboot of his career?

I was hooked by the Gen X vs. Millennial generational conflict, which does become a basic thorn in the main character’s side. I mean, who relates with their parents? It had enough angst about this, but I kept enjoying and relating with the adults in the book far more than the 15 year old. Maybe it’s because of the 80s references, alternative music mentioned, or the feeling that the book was written by a Gen Xer. I enjoyed it all, but I didn’t get a real 15 year old vibe at times from the main character.

I did get a good up and down sense with the YA romance, but some of the conflicts were talked or told to me instead of shown. It could have used some real dialogue to show the evil of the Channing/villian character or the feelings grow more between Silver and Jake romantically. I just wanted a little more in those areas.

I did enjoy the conflicts between Silver and her parents, living with semi-famous 90s rockers and helping her mother through crisis was compelling writing. But I left wondering how a Millennial 15 year old girl would feel reading this. Would she care about the Violent Femmes references? Know that “Silver” was an Echo and the Bunnymen song?

I know that any Gen Xer that enjoyed alternative music back in the day would really enjoy this and get sucked into the story. Whether a teenager now would enjoy this? I think so. I think it captures enough of the ever happening conflict between generations, which is timeless.

Perhaps it will help bridge that mysterious gap between generations. Parents and children can read it together and have something in common to talk about besides everyone just looking at their phones. Think how the 1950s were looked at in the 1980s.

If anything, this reaches out to readers in two generations, and that is a good thing. Maybe the eighties references will get families talking about the past and how things in the end, don’t really change. Families are still families, and that seems to be a main theme in this book. In the end, teenagers could read this with their parents, and it would be mutually enjoyable.

***An Authentic Experience is available at Amazon.com.

To Note: I received a review copy for an honest review.


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


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 2016: Day 3


backtoschool2016The blog tour continues with today’s featured author, Erin Liles. Ms. Liles grew up in Northern California. In her twenties, she moved to Austin, Texas where it’s brutally hot in the summer, but life is a bit more relaxed. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in sociology, and after almost ten years working in family literacy and early childhood education, she took the plunge into writing and later, freelance editing.

Erin spends most of her time with her husband, kids, and pets. I had a chance to ask Erin about her opinions on writing, about some school memories, and what she will be working on next.


Erin Liles is the author of Tinker Bee, a delightful picture book available on Amazon.

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

As a kid, I loved Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. I still have my original books on my shelf (thanks for saving them, Mom and Dad!). As an adult, I love Kevin Henkes picture books and Laurie Halse Anderson’s YA.

2) What is your most memorable school moment?

I most remember my teacher writing lovely comments in the margins of the stories I wrote at school. They said things like Great imagination! and Terrific story! I always felt encouraged to write more.

3) Do you have a writing routine?

Share what works for you. I find that writing first thing in the morning works best for me. That way, I’m fresh and clear-headed (especially after my morning coffee!), and I don’t have to worry all day about when I’m going to get it done because it already is!

I write my drafts on Scrivener. For me, there’s no better way to organize the chaos of ideas flowing through my head, and I only have to switch screen views to see my plot all laid out for me.

4) Was there anything in school that was difficult for you?

Math! I still cringe at the subject when I’m trying to help my kids with their homework.


5) What is writing to you in one sentence?

I’m taking a writing course with Professor James Hynes, and he tells a story of his high school English teacher who once told him, “Fiction imposes order on the chaos that is reality.” That sums it up pretty well for me because writing means taking a chaos of ideas, picking the most important of those ideas, and corralling them into a logical, meaningful story.

6) What projects are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m working on a YA ghost story and a middle grade adventure.

***Here’s a chance to win a pen and notebook set, bookmarks or a copy of her new picture book, Tinker Bee. LINK TO GIVEAWAY HERE!

For more information on Erin Liles, follow this link to her blog/website.

BOOK REVIEW of Tinker Bee by Erin Liles


Tinker Bee is available on Amazon as a Kindle Unlimited picture book.

Tinker Bee is a dazzling picture book  about a bee that wants to be different. She wants to be a fairy. No matter where she turns, people are trying to get her to do things the way other bees do. She’ll have none of that. She does things the way she’d like, as a fairy. Then, one day, someone comes along and ruins their best pansy patch. Tinker Bee is off to solve the problem. Her unusual idea saves the day, and it took her fairy wand and imagination to do it.

Kids that love fairies are going to be enchanted with this book. It teaches some of the vocabulary with associated with bees like waggle dance. Plus, it does it all with a charming moral that being yourself is as important as others excepting you as such. The illustrations are beautiful, with cheerful and bright colors that would be part of a bees world. I recommend this picture book for kids 3-8 years old. It would make a great gift for any child learning to read or getting their first Kindle or ereader.

**** Four Stars

Tinker Bee is available on Amazon. It is a Kindle Unlimited title. It is listed for $0.99.

Link to purchase book: https://www.amazon.com/Tinker-Bee-Erin-Beth-Liles-ebook/dp/B01GLM3KQ6

Watch the book trailer on YouTube:

**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.


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 me, Tiffany Turner, head on over to Sandra Anderson’s blog HERE!

Back To School Blog Tour 2016: Coming Sept. 12-16


backtoschool2016Plans are underway for the Back to School Blog Tour 2016.

Save the dates: September 12-16. Get ready for giveaways, free and discounted books, interviews and reviews from participating authors. It’s going to be a fabulous way to kick off the 2016 school year.

Participating Authors and Featured Day:

  • Marcy Blesy -Monday, Sept. 12-Giveaways links posted
  • Phillip Gibson -Tuesday Sept. 13
  • Erin Liles -Wednesday Sept. 14
  • Sandra Anderson -Thursday Sept. 15
  • Wrap-up/Last chance for giveaways-Friday Sept. 16

**Come back in a few days for further updates. Everything begins September 12!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss: Celebrating Read Across America, Free Ebook Coupon

Happy Read Across America Day today on March 2. Read all week for free with ebook coupons.

Happy Read Across America Day today on March 2. Read all week for free with ebook coupons.

Happy Read Across America Day! To celebrate, I’ve got my first children’s novel set-up on Smashwords to be free this week. You can pick up your copy here at Smashwords.

Here is the coupon: FL57N

I also promised some information on fabulous gifts available this week. On Wed. March 4, a free book called: Taming Your Pet Monster: An Operational Guide is the trigger for all of the free gifts. You’ll be able to find it on Amazon. Inside the free copy will be a list of 25 books all free for that day. They range from picture books to middle grade. They are listed by the author below. So, you’ll see the link when clicked in the promo list in the book. So, the books that are free will be officially revealed that day. Can’t give it all totally away today! 🙂

The Lost Secret of Fairies is available for free on Read Across America Week with a Smashwords coupon.

The Lost Secret of Fairies is available for free on Read Across America Week with a Smashwords coupon.

Here is the list of authors so you can check out their books ahead of time. The books included in the March 4th promotion are listed by the number of each in the series by that author. Enjoy! Don’t forget, read, read, read!

  • Taming Your Pet Monster: An Operational Guide
  • Sarah Holmlund title #1
  • Sarah Holmlund title #2
  • D.C. Swain title #1
  • D.C. Swain title #2
  • Emily Martha Sorensen title #1
  • Louise Lintvelt title #1
  • M.J. Storm title #1
  • T.J. Lantz title #1
  • Rebecca Price title #1
  • Rebecca Price title #2
  • Jan Hurst-Nicholson title #1
  • Jan Hurst-Nicholson title #2
  • Jan Hurst-Nicholson title #3
  • Tiffany Turner title #1
  • Monica L. LaSarre title #1
  • 4eyesbooks title #1
  • Winston Rose title #1
  • Winston Rose title #2
  • Allira Bell title #1
  • P.M. Richter title #1
  • P.M. Richter title #2
  • Werner Stejskal title #1
  • Rhonda Tyler title #1
  • Little Chickadee
  • A Little Book About You

***Shhhh! There is another free ebook secret. It has to do with more free reading. I’ll be revealing all of the info in a post on the blog tomorrow. So, please check back!

Celebrate Read An Ebook Week 2014: Free promo copy available!


girlebookweek2014 2
—Read An Ebook Week-Special Coupon Code—
This week is Read An Ebook week. Smashwords.com is setting up a special promo which helps readers join in the fun filling their ereaders with great books.

For this week only, I will have my first novel, The Lost Secret of Fairies, as a free promotional special. It will only be available from March 2 – March 8. To get your copy, use the coupon code below and link to connect with the Smashwords website.

Here is the coupon code:

Smashwords Link:

This will be a chance for teachers to load up for novel studies. There will be discussion questions and a Novel Study soon for this book. So, check back for more info.
Happy Ebook Week!

Read an Ebook Week March 3-9 on Smashwords


Available at Smashwords for 50% this week in celebration of "Read an Ebook Week".

Available at Smashwords for 50% off this week in celebration of “Read an Ebook Week”.

It’s that time of year again. No, not for wearing green, but to head over to Smashwords and pick up those free and hugely discounted ebooks. This is probably the biggest promo that Smashwords does all year round, and it is a great tradition to be a part of. If you are a children’s author and have your books distributed on Smashwords, please leave a comment of where your book can be found. If you’re a fan of ebooks, or just want to see what they are all about, check out the many deals going on this week.

Smashwords has several formats that you can download for an ebook. If you want to pick up some bargains in children’s ebooks, Smashwords is the place to shop this week.

Plus, I’ve just received an official release date for my third book. The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is due for release in May this year. So, both books in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles are 50% in support of Ebook Week. Pick up the first two books in the series at an extra discount, and you’ll be ready for the third book in May.

Happy “Read an Ebook Week”. It’s a great way to celebrate literature in the digital age.

*The Lost Secret of Fairies and The Lost Secret of the Green Man are available this week only at Smashwords for 50% off.

Dolls Make the Best Travel Companions


A recent epicture book has caught my attention. Emilio by Silvina de Vita is a charming story about an ignored doll. Thoughts of the “Velvetine Rabbit” came to mind as this little rag doll is ignored by his owner. You want him to be loved. He tries everything, with adorable pictures to illustrate his plight. Finally, he is packed in a dark suitcase and travels to places that even the Travel Gnome would be jealous of.

This ebook seems like a great fit for young children 2-6 years old. It is also available in Spanish. It’s a great way to get children excited about travel, esp. if a toy is their favorite travel companion. Plus, it can be used to teach that travel can be fun, and that a special travel toy companion can bring security to a worried child.

**** 4 star rating. Available in English and Spanish editions at Amazon.com.

Blog Link: http://piopiobooks.wordpress.com/

A New Take On Friendship


The book, Jimmy Stone’s Ghost Town is a cross between the Wimpy Kid series and the TV series Ghost Hunters. Written by Scott Neumyer, this book takes the reader into a 10 year old boy’s world of childhood problems, an alcoholic dad, bully victim, and ghosts.

Jimmy has a lot of problems for a kid. His dad drinks, his mom is gone, and he’s getting bullied at his new school. But when a classmate decides to give him some pointers on how to save himself from the school bully, Jimmy’s life takes a turn for the better. But then, on an adventure together in the woods behind his house, Jimmy and his new friend, David, find a challenge that will test their friendship even further-ghosts.

This book starts out a bit slow, with a lot of background information telling why Jimmy is in the new town he dubs “Boredsylvania”. The story really starts in Chapter 7 where David saves him from the class bully gang in the boy’s bathroom. From there, things get a bit weird and interesting, like if the “Wimpy Kid” series involved ghosts. There is a lot of mystery to the secret world that Jimmy and David discover, but it really didn’t pull me in like some books do. However, the cliffhanger ending makes me wonder what will be in the set-up sequel. Plus, there was some mild swearing that might delight any upper grader, but should be acknowledged for parents.

Overall, this book is an exercise in friendship and boy bonding. I think the author’s voice is something a Tween boy could relate to. There is a good mystery plot to it since Jimmy has to save the fantasy world of “Ghost Town”. It’s worth a try on your list if you like some paranormal/fantasy fiction for your child’s bookshelf. Give the book a scan yourself before letting your 10 year old delve in to it.

*** Three Star Rating– Jimmy Stone’s Ghost Town is available as an ebook at Smashwords and the Kindle Bookstore.