Tag Archives: ebooks

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

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!

 

 

Back To School Blog Tour: Day 2

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backtoschool2016Welcome to the second day of the Back to School Blog Tour. The featured author today is Philip Gibson. He is a teacher and author that has more than 35 years’ experience teaching English to children and adults in 7 countries. Mr. Gibson spent the next 30+ years traveling the world teaching English to children and adults of all nationalities.

He now lives in Laos where, for the past 12 years, he has been researching, writing, and improving his Word by Word series of illustrated, graded readers for English-speaking children learning to read and children learning English as a second or foreign language. Mr. Gibson continues to teach, to write, and expects to be able to make the complete 12-book series of books available during the course of the next few months.

I was lucky enough to interview Mr. Gibson, and get his take on his school memories, favorite children’s authors, and what writing means to him.

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Philip Gibson’s Word By Word series teaches English reading to ELD and early readers.

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

The earliest books I remember enjoying were the first books in the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme.  In the U.K., they were known as the Peter and Jane books.  I believe in the U.S. a similar series known as the Dick and Jane books were widely used during the same time.

Those books used a systematic, step by step introduction of key words alongside attractive colorful illustrations.  The books are now criticized for their lack of phonics emphasis as well as old-fashioned, 1950s cultural stereotypes.  They are now largely ignored and out of print.  However, they did make learning to read an easy and rewarding process and certainly did the job for me and those of my generation (now in our 60s.)

So now I am developing a new, 12-book series of illustrated early readers using a similar, but updated, format.  This new series contains not only systematically introduced sight words, but also phonic emphasis at every stage.  They are also culturally appropriate for the modern age. The first 8 books have now been completed and are available.  I have made the first two e-books permanently free so that parents and teachers can try them out at no cost.

2)   What is your most memorable school moment?

I remember when I was 5 or 6, a classmate coming over and looking at a page I had been writing on.  She expressed surprise that I had filled the entire page.  It had never occurred to me that I might be more advanced in reading and writing than my classmates.

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

I write every day, usually between midnight and dawn when everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet.

4)   What is writing to you in one sentence?

Writing to me is about trying to put out something into the world that will be of actual practical benefit to people… especially children.

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The Word By Word Readers Collection bundle is available on Amazon.

Today, his Word by Word series is featured. As a teacher of 18 years, finding a useful and engaging reading program is important. Mr. Gibson does this while instructing the difficult points in learning English. This is a great series for beginning English learners of all ages. The first two books of the series are FREE! Plus, you can also get the first several books in a bundle HERE! The series is great for teachers and parents to work with their children.

Book 1: Lee and Pat – http://amzn.to/1Nh0M3Q

Book 2: Lee and Pat Like to Play – http://amzn.to/1QAcTwZ

WORD BY WORD readers bundle-https://www.amazon.com/Word-Readers-Childs-Introduction-Reading-ebook/dp/B01BQUCBYK

See all the readers and collections at his website – http://www.wordbywordseries.com/

**As with yesterday, 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.

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

Back to School Blog Tour 2016: Day 1

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backtoschool2016It’s here! The blog tour starts today. We start out with a feature on a fabulous author, Marcy Blesy. She is a published author of over ten children and young adult books and short stories. By day she runs an elementary school library. By night, she writes up a storm for children. She has written a book series called Evie and the Volunteers. Here is her take on her school memories, volunteering, and writing for children.

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

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Marcy Blesy is the author of Evie and the Volunteers: Animal Shelter. It’s available on Amazon.

I loved Beverly Cleary books as a child. There is something very endearing about Ramona.

2)   What is your most memorable school moment? 

In third grade every student got to be the VIP for the week. Each student in the class wrote a special page about the VIP that the teacher put in a VIP book. Talk about a self-esteem booster! Plus, the VIP got to keep a Ziggy water globe on her desk during the week.

3)   Do you have a writing routine?

Share what works for you. I work fulltime and have two teenagers with busy schedules. I write when I can and I’ve learned that that’s okay!

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

I never was a fan of science. Chemistry—ugh!

5)   What is writing to you in one sentence?

Writing is a therapeutic way of tapping into myself while developing a character, flaw and all.

6)   What projects are you working on right now?

I just finished book 3 in the Evie and the Volunteers series, for ages 9-12. Book 4 will be a winter project.

**Here is a link to Marcy Blesy’s Amazon Author Page to check out all of her fabulous books.

Book Review of Evie and the Volunteers: Animal Shelter Book 1

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Evie and the Volunteers: Animal Shelter is available on Amazon and as a Kindle Unlimited title.

Evie and the Volunteers: Animal Shelter is a heart warming book that is the start of a series that will teach children the meaning of volunteering. It starts with Evie, a girl getting into all sorts of trouble. Unsure of why her veteran Dad has returned to the hospital again, she lashes out turning irresponsibility into a new art.

But when her mother comes up with the punishment to volunteer at the local animal shelter, her world changes when she learns what it is like to care for another. You’ll be cheering her on as she tries to add another furry member to her family and is stopped at every turn. It take her father’s return to solve everything.

This is a great book to share with your child the responsibility of giving back to the community while going along with Evie’s inner journey.  I really enjoyed this cute story that teaches that you can open your heart to others and heal yourself at the same time.

**** Four Stars Middle Grade Reader

LINK TO AMAZON:

https://www.amazon.com/Evie-Volunteers-Animal-Shelter-Book/dp/153522147X

 

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

***BOOKMARK and come back daily to see more featured authors, book reviews and fun!

Back To School Blog Tour: Slots Still Open

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backtoschool2016

Back To School Blog Tour 2016 is Sept. 12-16.

Greetings everyone. Plans are underway for the 4th annual Back To School Blog Tour coming up on Sept. 12-16. All week, authors will be featured with interviews and reviews of their books. Giveaways are also in the works. So, please stop by on Sept. 12 for a week of fantastic children’s literature to start off your school year.

Plus, there are still some slots open for this event. If you are an Indie children’s author and are interested, please email me at: tiff@tiffmester.net. Let me know you’re interested, what type of children’s book you have, age level, and any promos you might be interested in doing. Authors can set up their own giveaway, and I’ll be promoting the links. I’ll also be setting up a Back To School Blog Tour Giveaway that everyone can put on their blogs. The deadline to get back to me is Aug. 25.

To all the teachers and students going back to school over the next few weeks, have a fun and safe return. Happy reading!

-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!

Read An Ebook Week: Specials to Promote Reading March 3-7

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readebook2015bannerIf you picked up the special free copy yesterday, I promised an extra surprise today. To continue with the reading support, I’ve set up a special deal to go along with the Smashwords “Read An Ebook Week” all week along. So, I’ve included the second book in the series, The Lost Secret of the Greenman to be free for only this week. Here is the code to pick up your free copy of The Lost Secret of the Greenman: RAE75

Here is the link to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/6090

I hope you enjoy your free copies of both books to help celebrate ereading this week. If by chance you liked them both, please remember that a book review is a great way to say thank you. Plus, I enjoy hearing what you thought about the books. Happy Ebook Reading!

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1076313.Tiffany_Turner

Back to School Blog Tour 2013 Featured Authors: Scott Pixello and Becca Price

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Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6 Featured Authors: Scott Pixello and Becca Price

Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6 Featured Authors: Scott Pixello and Becca Price

Welcome to day four of the Back to School Blog Tour 2013! I’d like to thank everyone that has stopped by, participated, and spread the word about this blog tour during the week. It has been a big success budding from the idea on Kboards.com to a full, fledged blog tour. Thanks everyone! If I have the energy, let’s do it all again next year. 😉

**Note: The winner of the Back to School Giveaway Bundle will be announced on Monday, Sept. 9. You still have time to enter until 11:59pm PST.

The 2013 Back To School Blog Tour Big Book Giveaway

For a list and link to all the authors participating and tour giveaway, link to the Back To School Blog Tour Page here.

Today’s featured authors are Scott Pixello and Becca Price.

Our first author is Scott Pixello.

1) Who was your favorite teacher, and how did they influence your writing?

I had a couple of inspirational teachers but probably key for me was a lovely lady called Mrs Beatty, who really encouraged me to write. Most important for me was that any praise on offer was not unconditional and from behind her steely-rimmed spectacles she would point out areas to improve too so I knew she’d definitely read what I’d written and tried to ‘connect’ with it. This was when I was in the upper year of Junior School in Britain, so I’d have been about 11 then and although I didn’t necessarily write much in the years immediately after that, the idea that I could write, that somehow I had ‘permission’ to use words like this, stayed with me into adulthood.
I also took great inspiration from a visiting poet, who seemed immensely brave to me, not just for earning a living through the power of his words but for being prepared to open himself to be judged by new people every day. He was also (& probably still is!) black and I grew up in a predominantly white area and this man’s stories of little children staring and pointing at him an the street as if he was a space alien, only made him even more amazing to me.

2) What advice would you give children for the beginning of school?

I’m sure plenty of parents and teachers say this but ‘do your best’. What they don’t often add is no-one knows what this is- not even you! Some of you are growing so fast that teachers won’t recognize you between years and the amazing thing is NO-ONE knows what you’re capable of (in every sense) so go out there and AMAZE people. That doesn’t mean get top grades for everything (although that would be nice, of course). It means be the best you can be in every way- the most thoughtful, the best friend, the most reliable.

3) Did you have any role models growing up? Who were they? Why did you admire them?

I think it’s important to have people around you who may be family, friends, characters in books, it doesn’t really matter, but people with whom you can identify and who offer you potential paths to follow. It doesn’t have to be a matter of wanting to be like someone, just the sense that you do have options, often many more than you realize. For boys, who may not always have fathers in the family home, this is particularly important, so male teachers carry a special burden of responsibility. For me, my father who was a teacher, was more of a touchstone than I ever realized at the time. And it’s worth remembering kids that however much you fight it, however depressing a thought it is, eventually you turn into your parents.

4) Do you do anything to help organize your writing or inspire a story?

I always have a notebook with me as my memory is very bad and as soon as I think of something I have to scribble it down or it’s gone.

5) What is the kernel of wisdom you have learned about writing?

Stick at it and keep doing it. It took me many years to get my first book published and I was rejected countless times. So was JK Rowling (not that I’m saying I’m that good).

6) What other projects or books are you working on right now?

I’m writing several different books- one is a love story about a school exchange (From Brighton to Berlin), one is about a boy forced to ‘go undercover’ as an actor in a Shakespearean theatre (A Boy Called Juliet) and another is about the last three members of the human race, stuck on the dark side of the moon (Losers in Space). These are not part of a series.

Rainbow is a new book release for the author Scott Pixello.

Rainbow is a new book release for the author Scott Pixello.

Mr. Pixello has recently released the book Rainbow.Taking place in Scotland, a Highland calf is born that is unlike any ever seen before. It seems the animal can predict football (soccer) scores. In the eye of a media storm, Jess must fight to keep Rainbow safe from frenzied outside interest, a life-threatening illness and even a gang of ruthless kidnappers.

Potential study questions on Rainbow

(Some points for parents/teachers to consider/discuss in school)

Rainbow is quite short (33,000 words) but it’s a serious-minded book and raises a number of

issues:

• What difficulties does Jessie have living on a farm and how is she different to other

students at school?

• Although Rainbow cannot talk, she represents a number of ideas about what ‘normal’

means. Can you think what they might be?

• The main character, Jessie, has a close relationship with her dad- can you find

examples of when she feels close to her father and how does this change/develop over

the course of the story?

• Do you really know where all your food comes from?

• Research examples of celebrity animals, especially surrounding the prediction of

sporting results.

• Highland cattle are a very specialized breed- what can you find out about them?

• Jess meets a group of rugby players- how do you play this game and how is it different

from American football?

• How does the British English in the book differ from American English in terms of

grammar, especially spelling?

• Why is the cow called Rainbow?

• Has the book made you feel differently about life on a farm? Is it a lifestyle you would

like yourself? If so, why?

**For more information on Scott Pixello and his books, link to his Facebook Page.

Our second featured author is Becca Price

1) Who was your favorite teacher, and how did they influence your writing?

I had several favorites.

My 7th grade English teacher was, I believe, Mrs. Roeder, although I may be misspelling her name – it was a long time ago. She recognized that my reading and comprehension levels were way beyond the class, and she let me write my stories and poetry in class, as long as I gave it to her to read when I was finished. She encouraged me to submit various (bad) poetry to the school magazine, and some of it was even published, although most of that was pretty much doggerel – I never submitted the good stuff, it was too personal for me.

I forget my 10th grade English teacher – he started out the school year by having us write a list of everything we’d read (even magazines) over the summer. My list was 63 items long, because I’d just discovered Sherlock Holmes, and not only read everything I could by Conan Doyle, but everything about him, and about Victorian London and the history of the era. My teacher took me aside, and told me that when ever he assigned a book report, I could ignore the assignment, and could read anything I wanted in class.

I took creative writing in high school, as well, and got a lot of encouragement from my creative writing teacher. I never had the courage to submit anything, in those days, however – I was never sure that anyone would ever want to read the sorts of things I wanted to write. Of course, I’m still not sure that anyone would ever want to read the fairy tales I write, and I’m always touched and gratified whenever somebody that doesn’t know me buys a copy of Dragons and Dreams, or downloads The Snarls.

2) What advice would you give children for the beginning of school?

Two pieces of advice: read, read, read everything that interests you. Don’t let anyone tell you that the books you like to read aren’t worth reading – read and enjoy it!

The other piece of advice is to always be open to opportunities – don’t let anyone scare you or discourage you. I had my share of bad teachers (one of whom I had for 2 years, and who really didn’t like me for some reason and did everything she could to try to convince me that I was stupid.). Take risks, be creative. Don’t just use school to mark time, but take the opportunity to take as many unusual classes as you’re interested in. There’s no such thing as wasted information, only information you haven’t had a reason to use yet. You’ll never know when an odd piece of information, picked up casually on your way to something else, may come in handy. It always seems to for me!

3) Did you have any role models growing up? Who were they? Why did you admire them?

I think I’d have to say my parents. They never discouraged me from reading anything I wanted, even when they feared it might be too old for me. My mom especially was always there to answer questions I had about something I read, or to discuss my latest book. They never asked me “what use is it?” when I wanted to take classes like creative writing or shop or Latin – they always encouraged me to follow whatever enthusiasm I had at any given moment.

4) Do you do anything to help organize your writing or inspire a story?

When my kids were little, I would make up stories to tell them at night, when I’d get bored with the 17th time re-reading Goodnight Moon or whatever. Many of those stories are the roots of the stories in Dragons and Dreams. One of my stories (“Sunflower”) was inspired by a particularly much loved toy cat my daughter had. Inspiration is everywhere.

When I get a random idea, I sit and sketch it out – I used to keep a notebook for such things, now I have a computer file. It might be only a random title, or a paragraph notation of how a story might start or something in the middle of another story, but just a little something to help me remember an idea I had. I’ve got a whole list of story titles that I wish I’d written down a bit more on, because I can’t remember the story that went with the title!

5) What is the kernel of wisdom you have learned about writing?

Oh, this is hard to boil down into one thing! I guess the main thing about writing is to write, and write, and write some more. And read everything you can, and then write still more. Don’t worry about how good it is at first – first drafts are made to be revised and re-written. I’ve heard it said that you have to practice something like 10,000 hours at any one thing to be good at it, or to write over a million words before you start to be good. Don’t be discouraged by that, but also don’t be discouraged if you read something you’ve written and don’t like it. Don’t let anybody – anybody! not even yourself – discourage you.

6) What other projects or books are you working on right now?

Well, right now my day job is being particularly demanding, but I’ve been asked by one of my beta readers to write a sequel to “Sunflower” and so I’ve been working on that (it will be called “Pussy Willow”). I’ve got two longish fairy tales written out, one that is still being revised, and two more in sketches that I need to write out. I’m hoping to have my second collection of fairy tales pulled together by Christmas, but it all depends on how the day job goes. I’m a professional writer of non-fiction in my day job (see, I still get to write, even though it’s not always my fairy tales!) and I love what I do, but that’s the job that pays the bills, and so I have to give it first priority before I can sit down and work on the next collection. That collection will be called Heart of Rock and Other Stories.

Dragon and Dreams is a collection of bedtime stories by Becca Price.

Dragon and Dreams is a collection of bedtime stories by Becca Price.

Dragon and Dreams is available at Amazon.com. For more information on Becca Price, visit her website at: http://www.wyrmtalespress.com/.

***For all of the featured author blog links and blog tour giveaway information, link to the Back to School Blog Tour 2013 Page.

2013 Back to School Blog Tour: Featured Author Victoria Jeffrey

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Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6 Featured Authors: Victoria Jeffery

Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6 Featured Author: Victoria Jeffrey


Welcome to day two of the Back to School Blog Tour 2013!
Every day I will be featuring the authors in our tour with an interview and links to their books and blogs.

For a list and link to all the authors participating and tour giveaway, link to the Back To School Blog Tour Page here.

Today’s featured author is Victoria Jeffrey. She has always had an interest in writing fairy tales. Influenced by authors from Tolkien to Shakespeare, Victoria shares some of her role models, inspirations, and how she writes her fantastic tales.

Victoria Jeffery is the author of the book, The Green Tree.

Victoria Jeffery is the author of the book, The Green Tree.

1) Who was your favorite teacher, and how did they influence your writing?

Mr. Jones. He was my English teacher. Also, he was my Japanese language teacher. He expected excellence from everyone in class and did not allow me to get away with slacking off. He loved the English language and he loved books and this love came through in how he taught the class. Of course we read some of the classics but it was never boring, stilted or dreary because he had interesting and sometimes divergent insights on the authors who wrote the classics we read or the history and lore surrounding the books we read in his class. Classics came alive in Mr. Jones’s class.

2) What advice would you give children for the beginning of school?

View each day as an adventure! View each teacher as someone who has something important to give you. Often in stories when a hero goes on an adventure there is a sage old character who has wisdom or a wondrous device that the hero needs in his or her quest. View your teacher as that sage imparting wisdom or giving an important gift for the journey and your whole outlook in school should be a positive one.

3) Did you have any role models growing up? Who were they? Why did you admire them?

My mother for one. But there was also Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders series and Margaret Weiss and the Dragonlance Chronicles. When I was a kid I didn’t know that women wrote fantasy or science fiction. Seeing women writers in those fields who wrote books that so many people loved was a huge inspiration for me as a girl who loved speculative fiction. I only wished that I had known about Octavia Butler when I was a girl.

4) Do you do anything to help organize your writing or inspire a story?

The single best thing that has helped me when writing a story is creating an outline. Once I started making outlines (and mine are not long or highly detailed) Writer’s Block went away. I stopped writing myself into corners or starting a story and then getting bored midway through and leaving it to start on another. Outlines help me organize my thoughts and how I am going to plot the story. It’s a roadmap that shines light on where you are going and it prevents my writing time from being wasted. It makes writing the actual story quite easy and enjoyable instead of a chore.

5) What is the kernel of wisdom you have learned about writing?

Outlining as well as reading good books – mostly books you love to read. I grew up reading Tolkien, Herbert, Grimms’ fairytales. I write the kinds of books that I like to read. Good writing starts with reading lots of good books. That is one of the best places to get new ideas for your own stories and how to plot and create interesting characters, all the basics of storytelling. You learn from other more experienced storytellers. Like with any craft, you learn from those that are more experienced.

6) What other projects or books are you working on right now?

Currently I am working on a science fiction short story and the Red World trilogy, the last book, Rise of the Red King. After this, I plan to work on a steampunk science fiction series.

As an added bonus, Ms. Jeffrey has agreed to a special coupon on Smashwords of her first three books in her secret Doorway Tales series! The special runs for this week only!

The Green Door is available on Amazon and Smashwords as a free ebook.

The Green Door is available on Amazon and Smashwords as a free ebook.


The Green Door (Flesch-Kincaid reading ease: 85.6, Average grade level: 5.7)
The Pumpkin Princess (Flesch-Kincaid reading ease: 84.4, Average grade level: 5.6)
Coupon code for The Pumpkin Princess: HR77Z

The Winter Wolves (Flesch-Kincaid reading ease: 88.6, Average grade level: 4.6)
Coupon code for The Winter Wolves: XC55L

**For more information on Victoria Jeffery, please visit her website at: http://epistlepublishing.com/.

Plus, we are having a giveaway for a bundle of featured books donated by the participating authors. Below is the link to enter through Rafflecopter.com.

The 2013 Back To School Blog Tour Big Book Giveaway

Included in the bundle are:
1) A Paperback signed set of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles
(3 paperbacks)
2) YN Hanna: Big Honey Dog New Book (Ebook or Paperback)
3) Ebook: It’s a Castrophe by Sibel Hodge
4) EBook: The Night Clock by W.N. Rae
5) Book: Dragons and Dreams Bedtime Stories

***For all of the featured author blog links and blog tour giveaway information, link to the Back to School Blog Tour 2013 Page.

Last Day of the Magik and Mayhem Blog Tour

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Starts July 15 and runs through July 19

Starts July 15 and runs through July 19

Welcome to the last day of the Magik and Mayhem Blog Tour. Today, the blog tour starts to wind up. I’d like to thank my fellow fantasy/sci-fi bloggers for organizing and putting on a fun, exciting blog tour for the week.
Maybe we should all do it again next year?

I also wanted to link to some of the other awesome posts that have happened this week.

Blog Links

1) Interview with the Magik and Mayhem Blog Tour Authors-This is a mass interview with 5 authors, including myself, to kick off the blog tour. Still awesome to read, even after the blog tour is over.

2) How to Dame a Dark Elf-another idea of how to have elves relate to you, but good luck. Dark elves are tricky.

3)Magic System in Valkia-curious about how to set up a magik system in your world of fantasy? Here is a good reference as the author, Ryan Sullivan, explains how she set up her system of magic.

4) A New Take on Elves: A Step Away From Tolkien-Author Chrystalla Thoma has created a new way to think about elves. She takes a step away from the Tolkien vision, and creates her own.

Giveaways

So, to close, I’m going to repeat some of the giveaways going on. There is still time to enter, by end of tonight, 11:59pm.

1) Win a paperback set of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles-Fantasy/Adventure Series by Tiffany Turner

All books will be mailed in paperback format. The lucky winner will receive an autographed set. Here is how to enter:

Win the Crystal Keeper Paperback Set Here!

Now for the second awesome giveaway! This is the Grand Prize. All the authors in the blog tour have chipped in for this one. There is an age limit to enter. You must be 18 years or older. The prizes include:

Ebook Yseult by Ruth Nestvold
Ebook bundle Season 1 Boreal and John Grey by Chrystalla Thoma
Ebook bundle Dark Elf by Willo Nonea Rea
Ebook Caitlin’s Book of Shadows by Juli D. Revezzo
Print book Raingun by John Blackport
Ebook Aundes Aura by Ryan Sullivan
Ebook Seeking a Scribe by Marsha A. Moore
Ebook Her Master’s Madness by J.E. & M. Keep
Ebook Wings of Shadow by Anna Kyss
Ebook Rune Breaker by Landon Porter
Ebook Judgement Rising by Tracy Falbe
Ebook The Chosen by Annette Gisby
Ebook New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer by John & Annette Gisby
Gift certificate

Entry form below. Good luck!
Magik and Mayhem Grand Prize Giveaway

Plus, the Kboards.com Welcome giveaway for a $75 Amazon Gift card continues for a few more days. Enter and win! It’s sponsored by Tiffany Turner, Endi Webb, and H.M. Ward.

Win a $75 Amazon Gift Card

I hope you enjoyed stopping by this week and enjoying the focus on elves, magik, and fantasy books. Will it happen again next year? Time can only tell. Have a great weekend!

***There is still time to visit the other Magik and Mayhem Blog Tour sites. Posts will remain up even after the blog tour ends.