Category Archives: Children’s author

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).

 

 

Chesterville ~ November 7th

Today’s stop on my fall/winter tour was at the Royal Canadian Legion in Chesterville, Ontario.

This is the second time I’ve done this event and it was so much fun the first time around last year, that I had to come back.

My strings of battery-operated LED lights are wrapped around the books although they don’t show up well in these photos.

The plan was to bring along my inspiration board for A Shadow in the Past – I packed the easel in the car, but wouldn’t you know it – I forgot the inspiration board. I realized that shortly after getting on the highway and wasn’t about to come back for it. Oh well, I’ve got plenty more shows remaining this year so I’ll just have to remember to put it in the trunk of the car.

Chesterville
My display
Chesterville
My display
Chesterville
Me with my display

All in all, it was a great day. I met many interesting people, including a friend of my mum.

I sold 3 copies of A Shadow in the Past, 3 copies of Tim’s Magic Christmas and 2 copies of The Consequences Collection.

I’ll definitely be back here again… that is, if they’ll have me.

WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT by Beverly Stowe McClure ~ COVER REVEAL

weird noises in the nightBlurb:

Weird noises in the night send the imaginations of three young girls soaring. Is it the rain, a dragon, an alien from outer space, or a ghost? As Olivia and her best friends seek the source of the sound, they discover that the truth is not as scary as their imaginations.
~~~~~~~~~~
Title: WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
Print ISBN: 9781616336066;1616336064
eBook ISBN: 9781616336073;1616336072
Ages: 6-9
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Links:
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About the Author:
weird noises in the night
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.

For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

For a chance to win a PDF or Paperback copy of the book answer the question: What do you think the weird noise is that the girls hear? 

 

Brady’s Lost Blanket by Stephanie Burkhart

BradysLostBlanketCover.inddBLURB:

Brady is a sensitive young boy who takes his blankie wherever he goes. After traveling with his parents to visit his new cousin, Brady accidently leaves his blanket behind. Can Brady learn to get by without his blankie?

~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to Celtic Connexions, Stephanie. I’m always happy to host a fellow 4RV author here. I’m sure everyone wants to know the story behind the book and more…

What inspired you to write the story?

One of my husband’s relatives mentioned their grandchild had a blankie and was having a hard time without it. I drew on my own childhood memories of having a blankie. I think letting go of the blankie is the first step in growing up.

How long did it take?

It took about a week to write the story. I have to thank 4RV Publishing for publishing Brady’s Lost Blanket. It took about 2 weeks back and forth with the editing.

Did you pick the illustrator?

No, I did not. 4RV Publishing selected the illustrator. I think Bridget McKenna did a great job with the illustrations. They have a very whimsical feel and compliment the story well.

What makes this book special?

Brady’s Lost Blanket has a message for all young children who become attached to “something” (be it a blanket or something else) because they want to feel secure. It’s okay to let go of our “security” nets and move forward. It maybe a little scary at first, but once you go without it, you learn you can live without it.

How long have you been writing children’s books?

About 5 years now. My first children’s book, “The Giving Meadow” was published with 4RV Publishing in 2010. It has a great message about sharing and caring for young children as well as telling about Caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. It’s perfect for Easter as it helps young children understand Jesus’ story.

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My review:

Brady’s Lost Blanket is a delightful children’s story about growing up and moving on from the security of a ‘blankie’ to not needing it anymore.

It’s a well-written book and thoughtfully told story.

~~~~~~~~~~

Inspiration comes in small packages

By: Stephanie Burkhart

One of my husband’s relatives told me a story about her grandchild who was attached to his blankie. He left it behind when he was visiting relatives and was having a hard time without it. That brought back memories of the time when I was a young girl and had a blankie. My blankie was soft blue with silk blue trim. I loved to rub it against my face. It was very soothing. My blankie was my security net. It was always there for me. I could count on it to relax my ruffled feelings or frustration – until it mysteriously disappeared. One day, when I was five, my blankie turned up missing. I had no idea what happened to it. I felt “out of sorts,” “uncomfortable,” and “anxious.” (My mother hid it on me. She decided it was time for me to learn how to get along without it.)

Those first couple of days without blankie was rough, but I soon learned other age appropriate coping stragedies. I played with Barbie and her Beach van. I picked up a book. I began coloring. I loved playing with Matchbox cars. Soon my imagination grew and I didn’t need blankie anymore.

Giving up blankie was my first step to growing up.

Brady’s Lost Blanket is about taking that first step. It’s a great message for children. Growing up isn’t easy. There are all kinds of challenges, but learning how to get along without a blankie is usually the first one a child faces. In the story, Brady has a lot of support from his parents who offer him other ways to deal with the anxiety of losing his blanket. I hope that when other children read the story they realize that while it may be upsetting at first, letting go of blankie and embracing new things can be fun and they’ll be all right.

ABOUT STEPHANIE:

steph7Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, but now calls California her home. She currently works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Stephanie has been writing since she was five, when she crafted homemade comic books on the kitchen table. Her previous books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow, and First Flag of New Hampshire.  Stephanie enjoys coffee, adores chocolate and is currently the Den Leader for her son’s Cub Scout Den.

BRADY’S LOST BLANKET is available in print from 4RV Publishing.

BUY LINKS:

4RV PUBLISHING BOOKSTORE

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

FIND STEPHANIE ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

GOOD READS

YOU TUBE CHANNEL

PINTEREST

Did you have a blankie growing up? Did you know someone who had a blankie?