Thursday, December 20, 2018

All Eyes on Alexandra

Anna Levine’s
All Eyes on Alexandra

Book summary
 In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it's time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel's Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub
ISBN-10: 1512444391
ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and NobleTarget and Thrift Books.

About the Author, Anna Levine
Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe.  She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at --

Author website:

Twitter: @LevineAnna 

Instagram: @booksfromanna 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto,
Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. Since 2008 she's been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at -

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, by Karen Brown Tyson

What happens when some part of your life comes to a screeching halt?

Time to Refresh: A 21- Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, highlights Karen Brown Tyson's journey through the Bible following one of three layoffs in her life.

Watch how God leads one woman on a 21-day journey through the Bible and teaches her how to G.L.O.W.— gratitude, listen, observe and witness.

Print Length: 68 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help
Publisher: Constant Communicators
ISBN: 978-0692170489

Time to Refresh is available to purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

For the past 25 years, Karen Brown Tyson worked for Fortune 500 companies in the fast food, pharmaceutical, and telecommunication industries. Today, Karen is the founder of Constant Communicators, a lifestyle business that helps people improve their business writing skills. Time to Refresh:  A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined was released in August 2018.  Karen lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

How to become a fearless writer
By Karen Brown Tyson

Trust me, I get it.

Life as a writer can be both exciting and terrifying.  You love being able to transform your innermost thoughts into words.  But you can’t help being nervous about sharing your innermost thoughts with readers.  

You constantly wonder what people think about your writing.  And you worry your writing isn’t as good as other writers?  

You are not alone.  I felt the same way.  But I had to tell myself, ‘Enough is enough.’ 

After years of doubt, I realize I cannot control what people think when they read my material.  I cannot control their comments or how my writing makes a reader feel.  The only things I can control are my approach to writing, how I see myself as a writer and the material my writing produces. 

It was time to quiet the negative self-talk and think like a fearless writer.   

In doing so, I moved from thinking entirely about my wants and wishes of the reader to the only thing I could control: me.  I stopped saying, ‘I want,’ or ‘I wish,’ and said, ‘I will.’  Below are the ‘I will’ statements I use as part of my writing life.  

I will understand my feelings
The road to fearless writing calls for understanding any concerns you have about your writing life. Whether it's uncertainty about grammar, spelling, style or feeling confident enough to submit your work, you must come to grips with the areas that cause you the most concerns.   

I will create a writing routine
As a corporate communicator, I had no problem writing content anywhere and everywhere. But as a writer, I struggled to make time to write articles and books.  No more.  I created a writing routine where I write for a minimum of two hours every morning.  It doesn’t matter whether I write 500 words or 2,000 during this time.  What matters most is showing up every day to write.  

I will embrace the journey
Writing is a journey filled with trials.  One day your work is being applauded and the next day everyone with an opinion finds fault in your writing.  Some days you love writing… other days you can’t think of anything to write.  But I learned to accept and embrace everything about the writing life.  

I will know the difference between critique and criticism
Part of publishing your book or blog posts means opening yourself up to other people’s feedback. I accept and understand that criticism looks for what’s missing while a critique points out what’s working.  As a fearless writer, I will not crumble or quit when readers offer criticism or a critique.

I will learn to let go
Every writer thinks of their work as the baby they never want to leave home.  I’m no different. I used to spend a lot of time rewriting and revising before I hit publish. No more.  I created a streamlined process where I edit, revise, proofread and submit within days rather than weeks.  I had to learn to let go.  

The road to becoming a fearless writer takes time.  Be patient.

But remember: you have the power to shape your writing life into what you want it to be.  

I invite you to be fearless.

Karen works online, in person and by phone as a communication and writing coach. Karen helps her entrepreneurial clientele focus on business and nonfiction writing.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Wolfborne Series Book 1- Defiance: by Cheree Alsop

Werewolves are the guardians of sleeping vampires, protecting their masters during the deadly light of day. But what happens when a werewolf gets fed up with the persecution and tempts fate by breaking his chains and fleeing while his masters sleep?
Wounded and desperate, Zev finds himself at the mercy of a family who stumbles upon him during their own quest for vengeance against the demons of the night.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Orion’s Fall by Cheree Alsop

The fall of Orion was the prophecy all of Earth awaited, but when the constellation vanished instead of the great ruling ship of the overlords, chaos fell across the savage land.
Zyla had always felt a connection to the constellation. While experts were busy speculating about vanishing star systems, astronomical impact, and the longevity of the battle that began as a result, Zyla started searching for Orion because, if the nightmares she kept having come true, they were in desperate need of a hero.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Why I Went From Teaching Tales & Legends to Writing Them By Cheryl Carpinello

Why I Went From Teaching Tales & Legends to Writing Them
By Cheryl Carpinello

As a high school English teacher for over 20 years, I worked with literally thousands of students. (Boy, that sounds daunting, doesn’t it!) Together, we read and discussed stories and poems from around the world. Authors like Hemingway, Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Homer, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, William Golding, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, William Harding, Chaucer, and Tennyson. And we wrote. Some did more than others.
I’d always had avid readers just as I had those students who struggled or refused to read. Thankfully with the right encouragement, my students wrote. It was reading that taxed my skills, particularly with my freshmen…until one year.
One of the anthologies that I’d used had a section on Arthurian Legend. So I thought, why not? I had stumbled upon a gold mine. My freshmen readers loved exploring the stories. Even better, my freshmen who struggled with reading sat by themselves or in small groups to read the stories.

I was elated, but I had another test for Arthurian Legend…my juniors. Together we travelled through the ancient stories and plays. They enjoyed these once into them. We always did these as a whole class. However, my struggling readers still would not read on their own. Until…you guessed it…I gave them Arthurian stories to read. It amazes me to this day. The fascination for Arthurian Legend still appeals to so many. (You can read my blog post Some Legends Do Live Forever at
While I was thrilled that something encouraged my students to read, there is another reason why I decided to write Tales & Legends. When introducing the Arthurian stories, I would ask the kids what they knew about King Arthur. I received a barrage of information. Then when I asked what they knew about Guinevere, I was given the same three pieces of information. She married Arthur; she cheated on him with Lancelot; and she caused the downfall of Camelot. One or two years I could see getting those answers, but year after year for 10+ years? This was the deciding point for me.
When I contemplated retiring, I gave a lot of thought to what I would do. I decided to use the gold mine I had found so many years before and hopefully help kids not only get excited about Arthurian Legend, but to get excited about reading. And I decided to start with Guinevere, a seemingly misunderstood woman from the Legend. Starting at the elementary school level gave me the opportunity to introduce kids to a younger, more innocent Guinevere and build on her character.

I would be able also to reach those Reluctant Readers much sooner. Maybe, just maybe, those young reluctant readers would become readers by the time they reached the high school.

Cheryl Carpinello’s Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend

Cheryl Carpinello’s

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend

Book Summary

His one desire...To be a knight.
His future queen...At times reckless.
Best friends…Bound by Friendship and Loyalty.

When their adventure turns deadly & dangerous, Guinevere & Cedwyn find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle.

Not only are they in danger, but so are the kids of Cadbury Castle.

Renegades--foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess--steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger.

As the plan quickly unravels, Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality.
Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?
Print Length: 150 Pages
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Publisher: Bublish, Incorporated (May 2017)
ISBN: 978-1946229441

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is available to purchase on 

Awards for Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend
2018 Gold Global eBook Award—Juvenile Fiction
2018 Gold Global eBook Award—Children’s Literature
2018 Bronze Evvy Awards—Fairytale/Folklore/Mythology
2018 Bronze Evvy Awards—Juvenile Fiction
Short-Listed for 2019 Chanticleer Int'l Awards
2018 Honorable Mention Purple Dragonfly
100 Most Notable Indies for 2018
2018 Wishing Shelf Finalist
2017 BookLife Quarter Finalist
2017 Apple eBook Children's Official Selection

About the Author
Cheryl Carpinello is an author, retired high school English teacher, and Colorado native. Since retiring from teaching, she's been able to devote her time to writing and traveling. Although she may be away from teaching, she is still a teacher at heart and especially enjoys meeting with kids and talking with them about reading and writing. Cheryl hopes through her books she can inspire young readers and reader’s young-at-heart to read more.  

You can find Cheryl at –

Amazon Author Page:
Twitter Home Page:

1. The Goddess Speaks:

Many trials await the two of you. Perhaps the hardest are the ones you will have to endure alone.
“You, Guinevere, will find yourself lost. You—who are destined to be a great queen—will have to traverse a journey of immense pain and self-doubt. You must let your inner feelings guide you. The journey will be hard and painful. You must summon the courage of your soul to sustain you.
“You, Cedwyn, faithful friend of the princess and the queen. Your journey may be the hardest of all. You will be sent far from those you serve and love. Your duty will demand that you see this most difficult journey to its end. Whether it be death or life for you will depend upon many things. Your courage must also come from deep within your soul for one so young. Your love of family and friends must be great. But greater still must be your loyalty to the knight’s duty. For your knight’s vow comes soon. You must embrace it. You must defeat the temptations to turn aside for your own safety.

2. Great Sadness and Danger:

With saddened and heavy hearts, they left the gruesome glen behind and rode for the castle.
Samuel followed Guinevere, having chosen to ride beside Aaron. His tears dried, but the anguish not buried with his family. The grief was clearly evident in his hunched body, the anger in his clenched fists on the pony’s reins. Cedwyn worried about the boy’s state of mind.
Guinevere now led the trio, concern for the safety of the castle and the people there were marked by the hard set of her chin. Worry etched lines in her wrinkled brow and deepened her hollowed eyes.
Cedwyn brought up the rear. His eyes noted every movement. Ears tuned to the echoes of the forest, head swiveling at each movement and sound. Fear had taken permanent hold over his body—a feeling he was certain should have been as foreign to him as it would have been to Arthur’s knights. Cold fear tightened its grip on his heart and throat. Those who would kill the gentle monks would stop at nothing. Now the little group rode in the dark, a time when all earthly creatures took on the pallor of ghosts, and hidden danger lurked all around them.

3. Fathers and Daughters:

His finger on her lips stopped her rebuttal.
“Not now. Other issues demand the attention of the knights and kings.”…
“But Father…I promised.”
“So you did, daughter mine, but kings must rule with their heads not their hearts. This discussion is over. You are dismissed to go to your room. I have a knight there who will make sure your rest tonight isn’t disturbed.”
Her legs refused to move. She opened her mouth, but no words came.
“Go. Now Guinevere. Before I forget you’re my own flesh and have you flogged for the dangers you’ve brought upon us. Go!”
Guinevere ran from the room, fists clenched, tears streaming down her face.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Game Breaker by Cheree Alsop - GIVE AWAY

Breccan has struggled to adjust to his new life after a tragedy that cost him more than just his arm. To help him cope, his cousin introduces him to the Edge, the virtual reality world teenagers plug into when their bodies are sleeping. Avatar battles, mind-blowing levels, and a girl with a secret challenge his perspective. But when the security in the Edge begins to kill off avatars, Breccan finds himself caught up in a virtual battle that will impact their entire world.

Audio Book Give Away:
Leave a comment with contact for a chance to win The Girl from the Stars Book 1: Daybreak

Cheree Alsop website:

Interview - How My Writers’ Club Changed My Life - All Is Assuredly Well

How My Writers’ Club Changed My Life
“I’m hosting a wine and read-around at my house,” said our writers’ club powerhouse, John.  “I have room for the first dozen who sign up.”
I signed up. 
Several years earlier, my “like-a-second-father” and I had written a picture book depicting King Phillip and his husband, Don Carlos Emiliano Felipe Compañero y Campañero.  They lived contentedly for decades until King Phillip was called to the Hero’s Journey to earn the right to a baby girl to complete their family.
A retired teacher and professor of 36 years, I knew our book was exquisite and lyrical, one that would contribute to a canon in desperate need of books: the canon of picture books for the young children of same-sex parents. 
Having had five non-fiction books published by traditional publishers, and with my books shelved on more than 1200 libraries on every continent except Antarctica, and the rights to one of those books sold to a publisher in France, I knew I would have easy time finding an agent.  I sent the manuscript to seven agents who said they were seeking picture books about diverse families.  I never heard back from any of them.  Apparently diverse exclusively meant ethnically diverse.
I put the manuscript away.
But I retrieved and read it at John’s event.
The members asked, “Why isn’t this published?”   I told them. 
The members said, “You need to self-publish this.”
I rolled my eyes and said, “Self-publishing is the last bastion of the untalented.”
They rolled their eyes and disagreed.  “Millie, the publishing world has changed in the last decade.  You don’t know what you’re talking about.  Self-publishing is perfectly respectable.”  They began to share stories with me. 
And some of them said that they had self-published.  I wanted to crawl in a hole.
The following week, I started looking for an illustrator. 
Two years after I’d found my illustrator and she’d completed nine stunning paintings, and before I’d absolutely, positively made my final decision to self-publish, I attended a conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and purchased a ten-minute slot for $30 to pitch my book to a young book editor from a MAJOR publishing house whose books you have on your children’s shelves.  And maybe your own. 
When I say young, although she didn’t tell her age, in addition to the fact that she looked 18, she was wearing a Hello Kitty tee-shirt, ripped shorts, flip-flops, earrings that looked like crayons, and was chewing gum when I pitched my book to her.
Although I knew that publishers didn’t typically purchase a manuscript and illustrations together unless from an author/illustrator like Jan Brett, half of my illustrator’s breath-taking paintings were finished, so I showed the editor the illustrations and the manuscript.
Still chewing her gum, she said, “I’ll buy the story, but not the illustrations.  You’ll have to cut the illustrator loose.  I have a completely different vision for the book.”
I said, “I won’t sell it without the illustrations.  It’s all or nothing.”
She said, “I won’t buy it with the illustrations.  If I buy it, it becomes my baby, and I create it with an illustrator I choose to make it into the book I envision.  My baby.”
I said, “Then I won’t sell it to you. I’ll publish it myself.”
“Good luck,” she said.
A few days later, I started talking in my mind to a distinguished Choctaw writer friend who had died the year before at 91.   “Owanah,” I said, “Should I do this?”  I heard her say, “Email my Choctaw ‘son’ (Bishop Steve Charleston).”  I knew Bishop Charleston, and I knew he had started a publishing company for his eight books, but you don’t just write a bishop…  I ignored Owanah. 
A couple of days later, I bought a refrigerator magnet of an owl that had fierce, piercing eyes. I bought it because its eyes looked exactly like Owanah’s.  I hate refrigerator magnets, but I brought it home and put it at eye level on my pristine refrigerator door.  Owanah’s strigiformic eyes glared at me from that magnet every time I walked by, waiting for me to get off my ass and DO something.
The following day, I called my favorite cousin and said, “Aunt Doris (from whom my cousin and I had inherited some money) was an entrepreneur.  Do you think she would want me to use my inheritance to start a publishing company?”
“I know she would,” said my cousin. “She borrowed money to start her antique business back in the 1930’s when EVERYONE told her that she should stay home and bake pies and take care of her husband. She’d want you to use her money this way.” 
Right after I hung up, I reached down into the bottom of my Hermione Grainger-type bag for my keys and stuck my thumb on something sharp.  I yelped and jerked my hand out. Stuck into my thumb was a pin that had been on a card of four pins I’d bought at Books-a-Million weeks earlier.  I’d worn the pin I wanted (Nice women seldom make history) and when I’d pulled the card out to throw the other pins away, this one must have fallen off.  I glared at it as I sucked the blood from my thumb.  It read, It’s not what you think or say, but what you actually do that matters.
I knew prickly Owanah had stuck me with this pin, and I heard her say to me, “Get off your ass, email Steve, and start your goddam company.”  
So that’s what I did.  Bishop Charleston wrote me back a long email saying that he didn’t give business advice, but he would tell me about his personal journey.  He had bought Self-Publishing for Dummies and followed every word.  He said that his journey was rewarding, and that the two hardest parts were figuring out where to store his inventory and keeping up with the computer “stuff.”
I’ll be honest.  I’ve spent $25,000 to date on my micro-publishing company.  First was the $7000 I paid my wonderful illustrator, and she was worth every penny.  Her asking price was $385 per painting.  I’ve already promised her $500 per painting on the next book because her illustrations are the key to the success of our book.
Then I hired lawyers and accountants to do some of the things other people do for themselves.  I hired two marketing firms and have spent nearly $10,000 on marketing.  I hired a company to put the book in paper and e-form to be published (doing a picture book is a much more difficult process than a novel), and then I paid another company over $5000 for the first run of a thousand books. 
I’m not through paying out money yet, but thanks to the quality of our book, knowing a market niche in desperate need of development, and spending liberally on marketing, the money is starting to come in little by little.  I’m not thinking of the money as being $25,000 I should have left in mutual funds and bonds.  I’m thinking of it as a $25,000 investment that will bring me, my colleagues, and the children and families who need this book a lifetime of returns.
The takeaway?  If I hadn’t joined a writers’ club, my story would still be in the tombs of my computer instead of having won a Kirkus star; being for sale on Amazon; being on this blog tour; and with library book signings (including the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library) coming up next month. 
So find a good writers’ club.  Join it, commit yourself to it, and see what happens next. 

Professor M. C. Gore holds the doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas.  She taught first grade through graduate school for 36 years in New Mexico, Missouri, and Texas.    She was a professional horse wrangler and wilderness guide and continues to play clarinet in two community bands.  She is Professor Emeritus from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas where she held two distinguished professorships. Her books for teachers and parents are shelved in over a thousand libraries throughout the world.  She is retired and lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Maestro Phillip Wilson was a public-school band director, music teacher, composer, and arranger for 28 years.  His primary instrument is the trumpet, and he is also a campañero (bell ringer). Although he is over 80, he continues to serve as Music Director and Cantor at his church.   He is a life-long resident of New Mexico and was born in Santa Fe. Although his genotype is Dutch and Scotch-Irish, his soul is Hispanic.  He was Professor Gore’s music teacher and band director, and although the loving biological father of seven musical children, he is a soul-father of the hundreds of students he has taught.

Artist Angie F. M. Trotter holds a BA in Religion and Fine Art. Her pen and ink illustrations are a fusion of icons, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass window design, and her spiritual life. She is also a chronic migraine suffer and her art helps calm her symptoms. Her mother was a folk artist; her father was an architect and fine artist, so she has been surrounded by art her whole life. Her work has been compared to the masters of the Golden Age of British book illustration.  She lives in Arkansas.

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