June 7, 2015

One Busy Day by Lola M. Schaefer.

I've been reading (and writing) a lot of picture books lately, so the next few posts are going to be picture book heavy.

A great picture book that discusses the relationship between brothers and sisters is One Busy Day by Lola M. Schaefer.

Synopsis -  All Mia wants is for her big brother, Spencer, to play with her. But he's always too busy! So Mia paints, and dances, and explores, and keep busy all by herself. But with a little imagination and a lot of love, Mia might just be able to show Spencer that it's a lot more fun to be busy together.

The story is cute and really hits home for my girls.  My 5 year old Bid loves playing with her older sister, but sometimes her older sister just wants a break.  She likes to read this book when she is a little sad.   We read the book, then she thinks of something fun to do.  After a little quiet time. her older sister always wants to get in on the action.

As much as she loves  the story, Bid's favorite part of the book is the pictures on the back end pages.  She loves to see all of the fun things the siblings ended up doing together.

To Buy - If your kids need a little help remembering how to play nice together, One Busy Day can definitely help drive the message home.   It retails for $16.99, but you can get it right now on Amazon for $12.75.

June 6, 2015

Author Feature - Yvonne Ventresca

Author - Yvonne Ventresca - www.YvonneVentresca.com

Book - Pandemic

Genre - YA

Publisher -
Sky Pony Press

Road to Publishing -
  I've been writing seriously for about ten years. Although I had some success getting two nonfiction books published, writing a good novel was much harder. Pandemic was actually my fourth attempt at a novel. (I'm currently going back and revising number three.) It's been a long process, but a rewarding one.

Book Synopsis - Pandemic is a contemporary, realistic young adult novel about an emotionally traumatized teenager struggling to survive a bird flu pandemic.

In Pandemic, only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. After her parents are called away on business, Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness. With her worst fears realized, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

More Info - I have a blog for writers at www.yvonneventresca.com/blog.html. You can also find me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/YvonneVentresca), Facebook (www.facebook.com/yvonne.ventresca.3), Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/author/show/317481.Yvonne_Ventresca) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvonneventresca).

Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.

June 5, 2015

Author Feature - Roseanne Cheng

Author - Roseanne Cheng - www.teachablelit.com

Book - The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High

Genre - Middle Grade/Young Adult

Publisher - Wise Ink

Road to Publishing - I shopped my book out to many traditional agents, and was met with a lot of interest. After a long process of back and forth, the consistent feedback I got was, "it's great, but we don't know if we can sell it". My book for young people contains no sex or violence, no gratuity of any kind. I am a teacher, connected in education, and knew my book would serve a great purpose in a classroom setting. So when I got the feedback I needed-- that the story was good-- I contacted a local business that helps people like me self-publish. Nowadays, you don't need the backing of a major publisher to be a successful author. You just need a good story and the determination to make it happen.

Book Synopsis - Lincoln Junior High is out of money. For Andrew and Hannah, this means no sports, no music, and no fun. That is, until the principal begins a corporate sponsorship program to “Take-Back” the school. A few advertisements in exchange for cool programs and new technology can’t be that bad. Or can it?

Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.

June 4, 2015

Author Feature - Sheila Kelly Welch

Author - Sheila Kelly Welch - www..flavors.me/sheilawelch


Genre - Upper MG/YA

Publisher - namelos

Road to Publishing - When I was in junior high, I thought that someday I'd write and illustrate for kids. But it wasn't until after I'd had open heart surgery and could hear my artificial valve ticking that I decided someday had arrived. My first short story was published two years later. Since then, I've had a lot of stories and books published but I always wanted to work with Stephen Roxburgh because I'd heard him speak at a conference and liked his independent ideas. In 2009, I completed a novel that I thought he'd appreciate and when I sent it to namelos, he wrote back within a few weeks with an offer to publish it. His acceptance was the quickest of any I've ever had. I sent the sample chapters on January 12, 2010 and signed a contract on January 29, 2010. The book was released on October 1, 2011. My advice would be to read a lot, write a lot, and aim high. But give yourself time to relax and enjoy life., too.

Book Synopsis - WAITING TO FORGET takes place in a hospital where twelve-year-old T.J. is waiting to see if his little sister will regain consciousness after a bad fall. While he waits, T.J. recalls the traumatic life he and Angela led with their neglectful birth mother and how they were eventually adopted by a childless couple. But T.J. isn't sure he wants to be part of this family with Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy and Dan, who seems to want a more responsible son. Their birth mother often lied because it was easier than telling -- or facing -- the truth. Back and forth between then and now, T.J.'s story unfolds until the past catches up to the present. And T.J. is faced with his own truth.

 WAITING TO FORGET has been chosen for the following lists:

Best Books of the Year, 2012 edition: Bank Street College

Best YA Books of 2011: Pennsylvania School Library Association

South Carolina's Junior Book Award Master List 2013/ 2014

#1 of 50 books: Realistic Middle School Fiction: Goodreads List

Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.

June 3, 2015

Author Feature - Sheila Duncan

Author - Sheila Duncan - www.troublethedog.net

Book - Here's Trouble!

Genre - Picture Book 

Road to Publishing - I self published because I was working at the time with an outstanding illustrator, Annette Nicolas and a fabulous printer, Jerry DiFazio of Daily Printing. Initially, I thought of going the traditional route; but after a meeting with a Random House executive, I realized my message of hope might be better received by the masses than the publishing houses. She absolutely loved the concept but felt at the time it might be a little out of the box for old school children’s publishers. So I forged ahead and got it done on my own.

Book Synopsis - When Sheila Duncan’s niece was 12, she found herself surrounded by adversity. The family experienced three cancer losses in a very short time. This devoted aunt then suggested they sit down together and write a book about it. The result was the creation of a gutsy, huggable, inspiring dog named - Trouble. As the book begins, Trouble finds himself abandoned on the streets of New York City with his siblings in a box. The story is about hope and resilience and how you can never give up. Trouble is eventually adopted by a kindly grandmother and he then makes sure two other pups in need are adopted as well. The ending is a happy one with this very unusual family curled up, warm and safe, with the words “hope … believe and dream” written in stars in the night sky.

There are slogans that accompany Trouble The Dog which are so important for children in today’s world. They are “Where There’s Trouble, There’s Hope”; “When Trouble Comes, You’re Never Alone”; "Trouble Can Help With What's Troubling You".

More About Trouble -  Trouble The Dog has gone from the drawing of a child trying to help other kids going through tough times to a global symbol of hope. The book was such a success that a Trouble plush toy was created, along with Trouble-inspired jewelry, and T-shirts and quite possibly, an animated children's television series. Quite simply - Trouble helps kids deal with things that are troubling them.

Author Sheila Duncan spends countless hours reading the Trouble story and donating Trouble plush dogs and books. She has been warmly received when presenting Trouble The Dog to families affected by overwhelming circumstances – including victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and the Haiti earthquake.

She has generously given Trouble toys and books to families at children's hospitals, residents of nursing homes, VA Hospitals and over a hundred plush Trouble dogs and books were given to the Shriner's Hospital For Children and the Children's Miracle Network. Sheila is constantly on the go - performing readings, guest speaker engagements, author signings and visiting children at hospitals across the country.

Sheila and the character she created, Trouble The Dog have been featured on CNN’s American Journey, The USA Love List, Magic 106.7’s Exceptional Women Entrepreneurs, MSNBCs Your Business as a Socially Conscious toy; North Shore Magazine’s Top Women Entrepreneurs, a Finalist in Martha Stewart's “Made in America”, and Success Magazine’s “Seniorprenerus” series.

It is Sheila’s mission to brand Trouble The Dog as a global children’s character, giving hope to kids around the world.

 Disclosure - The questions were answered by the spotlight person in conjunction with my new feature.  I have not read the books.  I received nothing for this post.