Category Archives: Children’s author

Hooray for Read a Book Day! #amreading #amwriting

Hooray for Read a Book Day!

Hooray for Read a Book day! Here in North America, it’s our Labour Day weekend, so we can extend our “bookish” holiday into another full day of reading enjoyment.

Hooray for Read a Book Day!
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

What’s your preferred medium for reading? Are you a fan of ebooks or do you prefer print, either paperback or hardcover?

And then there are genres? Which do you like to read? Crime? Thrillers? Horror? Romance? Historical? Or a blend of all of the above.

I’m lucky in that being an author, I’ve met authors from other countries around the world – England, Scotland, Australia, France, the US, and back here at home in Canada.

I write in a number of genres, but my favourite is romance. You can see my books here. To find out more about any particular title, click on the cover and you’ll be taken to the book’s page where you’ll be provided with the description and buy links should you be so inclined to purchase.

possibly a title or two you might be interested in?

My brand “where fact and fiction meet” stems from the fact I take real events and spin fictional stories around them, changing place and characters’ names to protect the ‘guilty.’ 😉

Now before you think this blog post is all about me, I’m going to introduce you to two authors you might not have heard of before.

I’ll start with Chris Longmuir. Chris and I first met virtually in early 2001 when she contacted me asking permission to use a photograph. We met in person later that same year and see each other as often as possible.

Another is Wendy H. Jones. I’ve not known Wendy as long, but she Chris and I make up the Princesses of Pandemonium. While their books are crime – gritty, humourous or historical – we have a great time when we get together.

Here we are outside the Old Town Jail in Stirling, Scotland.

And inside one of the cells.

I hope you enjoy Read a Book day, and maybe even discover some new-to-you authors.

National Book Lovers Day

Think this girl will get through that stack of books today?

 

 

Another 5-star review for All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!

Another 5-star review!

another 5-star review

So thrilled that All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his four Fantastic Furry Friends! has received another 5-star review!

The illustrated book geared for children revolves around an unusual set of friendships.

Blurb

Can five completely different animals become friends?

Meet two dogs who befriend a moose on the train from Vancouver to Toronto. Along the way, a black bear and a grizzly join them.

Will the group overcome their differences and discover that deep down they’re all the same?

Review

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! by Melanie Robertson-King, is a wonderfully written children’s book about getting along with others, even if they’re different from each other. As an animal lover and someone born with a difference, I enjoyed reading about the friendships that developed amongst these four different kinds of animals. They were able to overlook their outside differences to see their similarities inside, where it counts. This is an important concept for children to learn —it’s what’s inside that matters. I highly recommend this book for parents to read to their children as a precursor to discussing the importance of acceptance of those who do not necessarily fit the norm. Plus it’s just a fun story! Shawn Simon 

Buy Links

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! is now available for the kindle and for the kobo.

If you’re interested in obtaining a print copy, email me for details at
melanie@melanierobertson-king.com

In these uncertain times, stay safe and healthy.

 

A warm welcome to 2020! What will you do in the new year?

welcome 2020

A warm welcome to 2020!

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be long since asleep. Thank goodness for the ability to schedule, so before I fall asleep, I wish a warm welcome to 2020!.

I’m not much of a night owl anymore. I prefer early to bed and early to rise. Those few hours when the house is quiet allow me to formulate ideas for my books, which is best done while working something ‘mindless’ like jigsaw puzzles online. I love doing them, and usually, during the process, I come up with some crackers!

My 2019 achievements

2019 was a great year for me. I crossed an item off my bucket list – train trip to and from Vancouver on The Canadian.

On our return trip, the idea for a children’s book came to me and All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! came to be. Currently, it’s only available in paperback from me, but in the new year, I plan on getting it formatted for kindle and kobo.

Something that is unheard of for me is I released two books in 2019. The above-mentioned children’s book and the second in my It Happened Series – It Happened in Gastown.

My crowning achievement, YESTERDAY TODAY AWAYS, received a silver Recommended Read Badge in the mystery/thriller category!

a warm welcome to 2020

So now that I’ve given you the highlights of 2019, let’s give a warm welcome to 2020!

I’m hoping to cross another item off my bucket list – The Ocean from Montreal to Halifax. That way I can say I’ve travelled across Canada from coast to coast by train.

Book three in the It Happened Series (It Happened at Percé Rock) takes place in the Canadian province of Québec on the Gaspé peninsula in the quaint village of Percé. A time-honoured tradition is to walk to the rock and back from the mainland at low tide. Needless to say, that event features heavily in the story.

Unfortunately, my characters aren’t cooperating at the moment and not talking to me. I have the plot outlined (sort of). Actually, I think they’re miffed at me because this was supposed to be book two in the series, but got shuffled back.

The idea for a third time-travel book featuring Sarah Shand, so perhaps it will be my 2020 release.

What are your plans/goals for 2020?

 

 

My Halloweenie #halloween # dachshund #wienerdog

There has been a multitude of photographs making the rounds on social media of wiener dogs in Halloween costumes – aka Halloweenies. Well, Buddy had to show off his costume and here he is – my little Halloweenie.Halloweenie Doesn’t he look cute dressed as a ladybug?

Little Seaumus, not to be outdone, had to have his own costume. What do you get a Scottie dog wearing a tartan coat? A vampire cape, what else?

Halloweenie

The two went to the market in costume with me this past Saturday to promote their book, All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!, but being outdoors and temperatures barely above freezing early in the morning, my phone locked up and I lost the picture of ‘the kids’.

Halloweenie

This picture was taken the previous week. At least the pumpkin lights were on the table and the spider web. You’ll have to use your imagination to see the two boys in their “Halloweenie” costumes.

Robbie Raven who promotes my novella, The Secret of Hillcrest House felt a little like a poor cousin because he didn’t have a costume. I let him try on the vampire costume. It suits him well, don’t you think? I might have to go buy him is own.

Halloweenie

If you’ve enjoyed my short story, A Halloween Tale, in the past, you can read it here.

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

5 stars for All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!

Three cheers for Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! Their book has its first review and it’s a corker. As in, it’s 5 stars! This is what the book is about…

Can five completely different animals become friends?

Meet two dogs who befriend a moose on the train from Vancouver to Toronto. Along the way, a black bear and a grizzly join them.

Will the group overcome their differences and discover that deep down they’re all the same?

5 stars

And now for the review…

5 stars! All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! by Melanie Robertson-King is a fun adventure story for children that demonstrates that friendship means you do not make fun of others. You accept the differences and never leave anyone out. Joan Y. Edwards

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! will be available for the kindle and kobo soon. When it is, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Actually, Buddy will. Since he’s received this review, the little diva’s head has swollen considerably to the point there’s no living with him. 😉 And then there are the four fantastic furry friends… but that will be another blog post.

 

All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends!

We started with two travelling companions – Buddy the Dachshund and Seaumus the Scottish Terrier. I know that’s not the traditional spelling for Seaumus, but there is a reason for that which I will reveal at a later date (and in another book).

While it’s not the book I planned on releasing by the end of the year, this one spoke to me on our recent trip to Vancouver and back on VIA Rail’s Canadian. Four days and four nights on the train in each direction.

 

Buddy

Here are the boys looking out the window in the dome car on our way to Vancouver.

It wasn’t until the return trip that we added to our little “family.” The first addition was Butterscotch the moose. She’s VIA’s little travel buddy. One of the employees on the train had one with her in the Park car, and I fell in love with it. Suffice it to say; it wasn’t long until the golden-brown moose became one of us.

At our stop in Jasper, we picked up two more ‘kids.’ This time bears joined the group. Jasper (aptly named considering where we picked him up), the black bear, and Banff the brown one who is quite likely a grizzly bear, given his colour.

 

Buddy

All five are in the window of the Park car watching the world go by.

One morning when we returned to our cabin after breakfast, as usual, the bed was put away, and the room back in its ‘daytime’ configuration, and all five of the ‘kiddies’ were arranged on the sofa.

Buddy

This note from Hollie, in our Prestige Travel Journal, was on our coffee table.

It was late when we arrived in Edmonton, like about four hours late. We put the kids to bed and got off the train for a breath of fresh air long enough to take this picture of them looking out the window. I think they’re looking worried, especially Buddy.

Buddy

We left them on their own again one more time when we arrived in Saskatoon.

Overall, they behaved well, although Hollie had to put Jasper and Banff on a time-out once.

A children’s picture book was never in the plan when we first booked the train trip earlier this year. Even on the way to Vancouver, it never crossed my mind. I planned to work on my novella, the second book in the ‘It Happened’ series set in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver.

At some point on the way home, the light went on, and in the space of one afternoon, I had the children’s book plotted and partially written. That, in itself, was quite the feat as we were hurtling across the prairies at breakneck speed at the time. Wendy H. Jones, I salute you for being able to write on the train. I could tune out the people around me, but trying to type and keep my MacBook Air from escaping from me was easier said than done.

If all goes to plan, by the end of this year, yes 2019, I’ll have an illustrated children’s book featuring the five stuffed animals which came home from Vancouver with me on the train. I’ve contracted the gal who is going to do the artwork for me through Fiverr. Her name is Aria Jones. I’m impressed with her work.  I know the size and format I want for the print version, so it’s a matter of adding the illustrations and finding a printer. I know, sometimes that’ s easier said than done.

The plan for this year also includes having Book Two of the It Happened series published. That means, head down, bum in chair, and fingers burning up the keyboard.

 

 

Warm welcome to Joan Y. Edwards, author, illustrator and motivational speaker

It’s my great pleasure to welcome author, illustrator, and motivational speaker Joan Y. Edwards to Celtic Connexions.

joan y. edwards

I’m dying to know, when were you first bitten by the writing bug?

When I was five years old, My parents bought the 12 book collection called MY BOOK HOUSE edited by Olive Beaupre Miller and a Grimm’s Fairy Tales Book. Mother read me stories. Babysitters told me stories. I made up stories. I started reading these stories at four years old. I made up a folktale about a little duck, Flip Flap Floodle, who never gives up on his song. I told it to everyone who would listen: my sister, my baby brother in the crib, my cousins, and neighbours.

Flip Flap Floodle came to fruition. Can you tell us about it?

In 1967, when I was married and expecting my first child, I wrote the story down I tried for many years to get publishers to publish this book, but it didn’t happen. When I retired from teaching in 1998, I promised myself that I would illustrate Flip Flap Floodle and publish it in five years if no one said, “Yes. We will publish your book.”  So, in 2004, I self-published Flip Flap Floodle.

Flip Flap Floodle is a little duck who is on his way to play a song on his new flute for his grandmother. His mother warns him to watch out for Mr. Fox. Flip believes his song will keep him safe from Mr. Fox. However, when Mr. Fox doesn’t even like his song, Flip finds himself in deep trouble.

joan y. edwards

What prompted you to write your elder care guide?

When I started taking care of my Mother in 1995, there were no books and the only local resource was Social Services in the county where we lived in North Carolina. I learned through personal experience that the most essential thing for a caregiver is to have time away from caregiving responsibility. With that, it is doubly essential to leave plans for the person taking your place. They must know what the usual routine is and what your elder can and cannot do. Before Mother died in 2009, I thought maybe other people would like to have resources to help them take care of their elder and take care of themselves, too.

joan y. edwards

Was it difficult to make the jump from writing a picture book to a non-fiction guide for adults?

Going from 1,000 words to more than 150,000 words was very different. There were many subjects and many words and many ways to organize them.  Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, the second-editor 4RV Publishing assigned to me, helped me immensely with organizing it into a very helpful resource for caregivers.

Are you working on a book now? Can you tell us about it?

I am working on the second of a series of three Gospel-based crossword puzzles books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study. I am working on the illustrations for a chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey. I am reformatting a screenplay comedy, The Perfect Couple.

What advice do you have for writers beginning their author journe

My advice for beginning writers:

Read 100 books in your favourite genre.
Make note of your 10 favourite first lines.
Make note of your 10 favourite ending paragraphs.
Make note of 10 of the best setups and payoffs authors used to create a need for change in the main character.

In September 2018, I published the first of three Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzle books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study.

Anything else you care to share about Joan Y. Edwards that isn’t already included in your bio?

I worked one year and two summers for the Department of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to earn money to pay my tuition for my last 3 years of college. I had a job as a typist. My boss, Lt. Col. Solossi, said you aren’t sweet enough to call you, “Sugar.” You’re not sour enough to call you, “Sour.” You are a little spicy, so we’ll call you, “Ginger.”

I received the Best Character Actress at Western Carolina University in 1961 for my role as Mommy in the Sandbox by Edward Albee.

Joan Y. Edwards is a motivational speaker, author, and illustrator who informs, inspires, and helps others to laugh and never give up. Her blog, joanyedwards.com/ has more than 521,000 views. She is the author of three books: Flip Flap Floodle, Joan’s Elder Care Guide and 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B

Edwards has a Master of Arts in Education. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Charlotte Writers Club. She and her husband, Carl enjoy humorous mysteries, like Columbo and Monk. They love being with family and friends at home, in the mountains, and on the beach.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Joan’s Elder Care Guide. This is my review.

Must have resource!

An invaluable resource for anyone who finds themselves looking after an elder. I wish it were available when I looked after my mother. While specifically written for a US audience, the same principles apply anywhere, maybe even some of the organizations exist in other countries – just under a different name.

PRINCESS BREEZE by Beverly Stowe McClure #CoverReveal

Woo hoo! I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of Beverly Stowe McClure’s novel, Princess Breeze – the sequel to Just Breeze!

princess breeze

I love this cover! Breeze looks so much more grown up here…

princess breeze

compared to how she looked when we first met her …princess breeze

So what’s the latest news with Breeze? Well, get a look at this…

For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school, who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye. On the night she graduates from middle school, however, he contacts her and invites her to visit Isla del Fuego, his home. Who could refuse such an invitation?

Breeze along with her whole family and best friends, Amy and Allison, soon sail to the island, where she and Cam renew their friendship. But danger lurks; a legend comes to life, and Breeze finds herself in the middle of a battle that can have one winner.

About the author

princess breeze

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears.  When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.

You can find Beverly here at her WordPress blog: beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com

or on Blogger at beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

LITTLE KITTY THE CAT BURGLAR by Caterina Longtail #Alzheimer’s #giveaway

Caterina Longtail

Little Kitty the Cat Burglar

by

Caterina Longtail

Caterina Longtail

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Release Date: 5th September 2015

Little Kitty wouldn’t exactly call herself a cat burglar. She just likes to bring back the occasional gift for her humans… A lovely story for younger readers and adults alike – perfect for reading together. Beautifully illustrated by Catie Atkinson and designed by Rachel Lawston.

WHATS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE BOOK?

The book was written by a group of authors who donated their time free of charge. Each author wrote a chapter of the book. 100% proceeds of the sale of the book are donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The authors are: Suzan Collins, Tottie Limejuice, Jo Wilde, JB Johnston, Lucy Rayner, Ros Lyons, Ann Bowyer and Tracy Terry. Together, they became known as Caterina Longtail! The book was edited by Jaine Keskeys.

ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH UK

Caterina Longtail

Check out Alzheimer’s Research UK http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/

‘We are the UK’s leading research charity aiming to defeat dementia. We power world class studies that give us the best chance of beating dementia sooner.

Our pioneering work focuses on prevention, treatment and cure. We are energising a movement across society to support, fund and take part in dementia research. We aim to empower people across all generations through greater understanding of dementia. Together we have the power to defeat dementia.’

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimer’s is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called ‘mixed dementia’. (all info taken from Alzheimer’s Research UK website)

 

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of the book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Organization is essential when travelling…

… no matter where you’re going – business, pleasure – organization is the key. It’s taken us the better part of the summer to come up with the way to pack the car so that everything fits in for our assorted “goods and chattels” that we haul to and from outdoor events.

black beauty

If not Black Beauty (pictured above), it’s the older sibling “Big Red” a 2006 version of the same car – 2-door Chevy Cobalt – that we use to go to the markets.

Other vendors have told me, they can’t believe how much I can get in to such a small space. I say the vehicle is just like Mary Poppins’ magic carpet bag.

This past Sunday when we loaded up to come home from the Mallorytown Country Market, I documented each step in the process. And yes, we used Big Red. It’s home every day and can be kept partially loaded during the week as I use Black Beauty for my work commute. And, hubby is retired so he came up with a way that he can get all the assorted accoutrements to fit in the trunk (boot) of this one.

organization

 

First in, the two boxes of canopy weights. They look much better than bags of bricks, water bottles, and any other heavy object you can anchor yourself down with. (The bottle of windshield washer fluid is a permanent fixture.) Setting up and tearing down does create some mess… dried dirt from parking lots (car parks) and bits of dried grass and leaves from natural settings.

organization

First in is the folded six-foot table.

organization

Followed by the smaller four-foot one. I know you’re thinking, why not put it in with the handle where you can reach it. We’ve tried turning it the 90 degrees and the rest of the stuff just doesn’t fit.

Add the smaller totes of books…

organization

organization

Followed by the table clothes and two of the larger totes. Keep watching… it gets better.

organization

Add another tote of promotional material, containing postcards, business cards, bookmarks and my assorted easels and business card holders for price tags etc., (even some WD40 for when the canopy gets a bit stiff)… but we’re not done yet. My author banner is tucked in there nicely on one side and so is my illuminated Secret of Hillcrest House sign.

organization

Add the box of tools (screwdrivers, lock nut remover for the wheels, and other assorted goods and sundries, most importantly the cash box) and that’s the trunk packed. Pretty amazing, eh?

Moving on to the back seat…

organization

There’s a folded tarp, and one of the white side panels for my “Wonderful White” canopy, my lovely squishy, anti-fatigue mats for venues on pavement, and two folding chairs.

organization

Fold up the canopy and shove it in on top of the chairs. Even my funky “bag holder” a piece of 4×4 with coat hooks on each side has a place…

organization

And finally, my purse and bag that has all my extra goodies in it (batteries and cables for my debit machine, wet wipes, safety pins, ledger that I keep track of my sales and mileage…)

This past Sunday, there was even room for a bag of corn on the cob and my track shoes (after Saturday’s rain, I wanted to be prepared for wet grass).