Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
A signed copy of my book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, goes to Julia Faye Smith.
And since Sharon Ledwith is the only one that answered the question about what was in the blue bottle, she gets the stuffed Snooper, along with a key on a string.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Rather than the latest toy or gadget, have you ever thought what the gift of a book has to offer, especially to a child, a tween, or a young adult? This is the age when young folks are dealing with so many issues. A book can become a comfort in a time of transition. It can become an escape into another world. It can become a learning tool, while getting to know interesting characters. Or it can be just darned good entertainment. Here are eleven great reasons to give your middle grader or young adult a book for Christmas.
Leave a comment here for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island. But that's not all. Mention the object that Nikki finds in the blue bottle, and win that item, along with a chance to win a stuffed Snooper!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
This is a re-blog from Erik's (A super reader) blog: http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/ Go there and comment to help him raise money for this boy and his family.
I want you to meet my friend Renn.
He gets seizures every day. They tried all kids of medications that didn’t work. Renn has had all kinds of tests and procedures done and they didn’t work.
On October 28th the doctors are going to put some kind of grid in his brain to figure out what part of his brain is doing it and then they are going to take that part of his brain out. They may have to take a whole section out.
As if having part of your brain taken out at 6 1/2 years old isn’t enough, the Telles family has to deal with living pretty far away from the hospital that Renn gets the procedures done at and there are a lot of medical bills.
This is all really hard for me to think about (I can’t imagine what Renn’s brother, Eli is going though). Renn is so young and he is facing some scary stuff. His whole family is. I saw that the Telles family set up a donation page to help with Renn’s medical expenses (click HERE) and I wanted to help, but I am an 11-year-old kid and I felt pretty helpless.
I thought about what I could do to help Renn and his family. I thought about what I can do, what I can do better than anyone I know. I came up with…
READING.This gave me an idea. I am the fastest reader of anyone I know.
I thought about how I could turn my super reader power into something helpful and I came up with “Reading for Renn.”
I am asking people and businesses to sponsor me for the month of October. Sponsor me for every AR point I get. For those of you who don’t know AR is Accelerated Reader. AR is a program that some schools do. Kids read books, take tests and get points. The goal set for me by the school this year, as a sixth grader, is 60 points. My personal goal for this year is to get 1505 points (just enough to beat the district record I set last year ). For Reading For Renn, my goal is to get 150 AR points for the month of October. You can follow my progress right here. I will keep track of the points I get and I’ll have a little widget on my side bar too.
FOR EXAMPLE – If someone sponsors me for 10 cents for every point and I get 150 points they donate $15.00 to Reading for Renn which goes to the Telles family to help cover Renn’s medical costs. On November 1st I will announce the total AR points I earned for the month of October. Please think about sponsoring me, spreading the word or just cheering me on!
If you would like to sponsor me, please leave a comment in the comment section. You don’t have to leave your name if you don’t want to, just an email address I can contact you at the end of the month with instructions on how to make the donation to Reading for Renn. If you’d like to make a donation directly, you can click on the PayPal** button at the bottom of this post (you don’t have to have a PayPal account to make the donation).
Please share my fund-raiser with the people you know. I was really surprised at how serious Epilepsy can be. I didn’t know all of this until I met Renn. I think more people should know about it.
All money I raise will go to helping the Telles family pay medical bills and stuff related to Renn’s care. If they have more than they need, I will ask them to donate the rest to The Epilepsy Foundation. A great organization dedicated to finding a cure for Epilepsy.
I want to give special thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill for giving me advice and suggestions on this Hare-Brained Scheme. Thanks to Julie Rowan-Zoch for designing the awesome Reading for Renn button (that you are welcome to share and link back here) and the image for the point counter!
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Now excuse me, I have to get back to reading!
UPDATE! Want the code for the Reading for Renn Button?!?
Click HERE to hop on over to S&K’s blog post with the code they developed and copy it for you to use!
Thank you to Cool Mom of the S&K gang for writing this! Check out Stanley and Karina’s book and blog by clicking HERE!
Monday, September 30, 2013
And the winners are:
Paula Bowron, of Lexington, KY
Congratulations! Your copies will be sent out tomorrow, October 1. Enjoy your free book!
Monday, September 16, 2013
Thanks to everyone that joined in this fun event, and for visiting all of the authors that participated!
Until next time....happy hopping.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Back to school means different things for different people. I remember my own children getting excited on the first day back to school. New clothes, new supplies, new books, and catching up with their old friends.
But in many cases, back to school doesn't always mean the first day of school. It might mean the first day in a brand new school, or it might mean entering a new school nearing the end of the semester or school year.
For ten-year-old, Nikki Landry, from The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, her houseboat settles into a new bayou at least twice a year, and a new beginning means the end of her old school and her old friends. She has to deal with the sadness of losing her closest friend, and the fear of what bullies might await her in her new school. Nikki lives on the wrong side of the levee and gets the brunt of being called names, such as Levee Rat.
My childhood was much like Nikki's, and starting a new school several times a year was a challenge. But now that I look back on it, my growing up was riddled with new adventures with every new place we settled. As an adult, it has made me more flexible in the working world, which is always full of change.
For every child that has ever had to change schools in the middle of the year, this book will hit home. Join Nikki as she adapts to her new surroundings, and as she and her new-found friends search out clues to learn the truth about Ghost Dog Island's legend.
Buy links, reviews, and a book trailer are on the right side bar, along with a current giveaway on Goodreads.
After you check those out, go visit the rest of the middle grade and YA writers on this hop on the link below. Don't forget to leave a comment here before you go to be eligible to win a free copy of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
When seventeen-year-old Nissa leaves at her father's insistence, she believes the trip to Idari will be a short one. But when she meets a young dragon exile, Edgeshifter, her life is thrown into chaos. Along with danger and mystery, Edgeshifter brings word of a legend as old as time itself. Nissa is forced into an adventure she isn't sure she wants. With only Edgeshifter and her heart to guide her, Nissa must embark on a journey full of destiny, danger, and legend. Her quest will require her to prevail over the shadows covering the land and save both the elves and dragons from ultimate destruction.
Segolia: Daughter of Prophecy is the story of a young princess's journey to become a true hero and follow her heart.
Buy now at Tate Publishing.
Like Brittany's Facebook page.
About the Author
Brittany Oldroyd has had a passion for writing since middle school, where she began to write Segolia: Daughter of Prophecy. Since then, she's experienced many trials that have tested her determination, including a truck fire that destroyed all of her work. Like her characters, she believes in dreaming big and never giving up. She recently graduated high school and plans to go to BYU-Idaho in the fall. She wants to major in English Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Along with her passion for reading and writing, Brittany has a love for night skies, music, and thunderstorms.
Monday, August 19, 2013
I was invited by my friend, Sharon Ledwith, to participate in a “blog hop interview.” Sharon sent me some interview questions, which I answer here on my blog. Following my answers, I tag 3 other writers who will, in turn, answer questions on their blogs next week. It’s been fun checking out the Blog Hops to see what other children’s authors have posted!
Sharon posted her answers to the questions at her blog, on Aug 12. If you like, you can leave a comment on her blog and tell her that you connected to her through my link here!
Now here are my answers:
1. What are you working on right now?
Currenly I am working on two middle grade novels. One of which is a sequel to The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, The Legend of the Ghostly Pirates (working title). In the sequel, the characters investigate another legend, which involves a treasure that was rumored buried on a swamp island by a band of Jean Lafitte's pirates.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
As with the first novel, it is set in the bayous of Louisiana and in the 1950s. The kids are on their own without cell phones and other technologies. They have to depend their curiosity, wits, and bravery to get them into and out of their dilemmas.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I write middle grade because I love that age group. Their curiosity, honesty, and innocence, and their willingness to jump into the pages of strange worlds with odd and interesting characters amazes me. Don't write for middle graders if you don't want honest and thorough feedback and questions. I write about Louisiana and its culture because it's what I know, and because it is still facinating to me.
4. How does your writing process work?
I am mostly a pantster (seat of my pants writer) for my draft. If I try to lock myself into an outline, I get stuck. Once the draft is done, I can diagram in order to fine tune the plot.
The next part of this blog hop, is that I tag three children's authors to take up the torch. Unfortunately, I could only pin down two. Their posts should go up a week from today. Thank you ladies.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! Don't forget to check out Sharon's blog, along with Serena's and Brittany's.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Recently, I’ve been stuck in a writing rut. I Can’t seem to get past the middle of any of the novels I’m working on. So I did a Google search to see if there were some remedies out there. I stumbled upon this bit of advice, from i09.com (see link below) and narrowed my problem down to number four of their list of ten possible problems.
4. You're stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.
Either you don't have an outline, or you ditched it a while back. Actually, here's what seems to
happen a lot - you were on a roll the day before, and you wrote a whole lot of promising developments and clever bits of business. And then you open your Word document today, and... you have no idea where this is going. You thought you left things in a great place to pick up the ball and keep running, and now you can't even see the next step.
If it's true that you were on a roll, and now you're stuck, then chances are you just need to pause and rethink, and maybe go back over what you already wrote. You may just need a couple days to recharge. Or you may need to rethink what you already wrote.
If you've been stuck in the middle for a while, though, then you probably need to do something to get the story moving again. Introduce a new complication, throw the dice, or twist the knife. Mark Twain spent months stuck in the middle of Huckleberry Finn before he came up with the notion of having Huck and Jim take the wrong turn on the river and get lost. If you're stuck for a while, it may be time to drop a safe on someone.
The other ideas are worth taking a look at, but I think I’ve found my problem. I need to take Mark Twain’s advice and go wreck someone’s day…in my story that is.
See the entire list at: http://io9.com/5844988/the-10-types-of-writers-block-and-how-to-overcome-them
Have you ever had writer's block? How did you overcome it? Share your ideas!
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Yes, I love America. Despite all its flaws, the awful things that some of our leaders have done, the criminal acts of some of our citizens --- there is no other nation with as many freedoms, or as much prosperity, as we have here in the U.S.
In America, I don't fear the military and I don't fear the police. I know they're not the answer to all our problems, but I figure they contribute to our welfare more than the scattered abuses you read about.
I love American "first responders" who will rush into danger to help out citizens in peril. I love America's teachers, who work for (comparatively) low wages to impart wisdom and learning to new generations.
I love that no other nation has people trying to get INTO it ... but plenty of other nations have people trying to get OUT.
God bless the USA.
photos from GoogleImages
Just found out Jeff has a couple of patriot books over at Amazon. I'm off right now to get them. Also check out his web site at http://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/freedom-and-independence/
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is indeed a personal story. I wanted to tell the story of the Louisiana Cajuns. Ask a child today about Cajuns and they may tell you that it is about hot food, or about shooting alligators (Incidentally, I started my book long before Swamp People over took the History Channel.) I figured there was no better way to tell the story than to start with my own childhood.
I was raised in the Louisiana bayous. My father trapped and fished crabs for a living, and moved our family three times a year in search of better fishing spots. Being new in school was common place for me. My father was also fond of telling legends about what might be living in nearby swamps. Perfect for a children’s story, right? My historical fiction novel, set in the 1950s, is told through the eyes of my ten-year-old protagonist, Nikki Landry. But it would be rather boring if she’d stuck strictly to my routine, so Nikki (braver than me) sets out to discover the truth behind one of the legends she feels poses a threat to her dog, Snooper. She gets herself into trouble more than once, and has many spooky mishaps and adventures, but in the end, Nikki discovers the truth and solves the mystery behind the decade old legend.
However, being true to my mission, I made sure to inject some of my father’s stories about the lifestyle and treatment of the Cajun (Acadian) people of his day, and about learning a new language… something today’s immigrant children might relate to. Heads up librarians! I’ve included an author’s page, which encourages more reading about the history of the Acadian people and their exile from their homeland in Canada.
I wish to thank Musa Publishing for believing in me and my debut novel The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, and the staff of wonderful editors and artists that helped put it all together.
Book Trailer on You Tube; http://youtu.be/iB51g_CnuNE
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Welcome to Sunday on the Bayou, folks. We'll have some cake later, but first of all, I'd like to introduce
Her book, Celestina Silvenfare: The Legend Begins, is...as the name indicates...the first in a young adult series, "Silvenfare." Published by Ink Smith Publishing.
Here's a blurb:
This book sounds great. You know I love legends!
Here are the links to buy this book!
Now that we have our books, let's have some cake fit for a goddess:
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamed honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 6-ounce custard cups.
In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar and honey until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides of bowl and beat until well combined.
In another bowl, stir together baking powder, salt and flour. Alternate adding the flour mixture and heavy cream to batter, beginning and ending with flour.
Fill each custard cup about 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let cool about 5 minutes then remove from pan and place each cake on a small lipped serving plate. Prepare glaze by melting butter in saucepan. Add honey and brown sugar. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Poke honey cakes with a toothpick all over. Brush or spoon glaze all over each honey cake until glaze is gone. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
It is said that this traditional practice was brought here by the Africans during the slave trade. In the Congo, Natives have hung hand-blown glass on huts and trees to ward off evil spirits since the ninth century, and perhaps earlier.
The Legend is told that the spirits are attracted to the sparkling color of the bottles, blue ones seemingly more enticing. The moaning sound made by the wind as it passes over the bottle openings are said to be proof that a spirit is trapped within.
Whether you believe the legend or not, the trees are a sight to behold, displayed in various shapes, sizes, and forms, as beautiful yard and garden decorations.
An excerpt from Eudora Welty’s short story Livvie, describes one such tree:
“…Then coming around up the path from the deep cut of the Natchez Trace below was a line of bare crape-myrtle trees with every branch of them ending in a colored bottle of green or blue.
There was no word that fell from Solomon’s lips to say what they were for, but Livvie knew that there could be a spell put in the trees, and she was familiar from the time she was born with the way bottle trees kept evil spirits from coming into the house – by luring them inside the colored bottles, where they cannot get out again.”
A bottle tree is featured in the movie, Ray, a Ray Charles biopic. And again in the Princess and the Frog, a cartoon movie set in New Orleans, where bottle trees hang in the bayou.
|Blue Bottles in my Dogwood Tree|
“What kinda dog?” The face pushed closer to the small window and into view.
Spikes took a step forward.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I’ve always been a storyteller and writer. But I didn’t consider becoming a professional writer until my oldest daughter and I became hooked on the Harry Potter series and we were between book releases (the fourth and fifth book, I believe.) I decided while I waited for the release of the next HP, I’d create my own characters and my very own world. In fewer than four months, I had completed my very first middle grade novel. Read more on my website.
Books by Kai Strand:
Suggested age for readers: 7-12
The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.
With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?
Coming July 2013 - King of BadJeff Mean wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie, until he's recruited by Super Villain Academy - where you learn to be good at being bad. Jeff wonders is he bad enough for SVA?
Visit Kai at http://kaistrand.blogspot.com/