Book Review: Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story

Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story

By M.C. Arvanitis

Do your children like mermaid, fairies and other mythical creatures? Do they enjoy adventure? Do they have amazing dreams they’d wish come true? Well then they would enjoy reading Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story.

It is the story of Princess Nadeea, a mermaid who dreams of flying. Her wish takes her and some fairy friends on an amazing journey. The meet some fantastic friends and have some incredible adventures along the way.

M.C. Avanitis has produced a children’s novel that can be enjoyed by many. Some may find the speech a bit challenging at times, but overall it is an entertaining read.

Stitch Says gives Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story three woofs!

To find purchase your copy today check out:


Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story

Stitch Says would like to introduce you to M. C. Arvanitis, the author of Forbidden Wings a Mermaaid’s Story:

M. C. Arvanitis resides in Newport, Oregon. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught preschool and early elementary for over thirty years until her retirement. She now spends her time writing elementary mid-grade fables and historical novels for upper teens. Her short stories have been published in Skipping Stones Magazine, Totline Teaching Tales (Warren Publishing Co.), and Building Blocks for Bright Beginnings. Along with this book she has e-published another mid-grade book: The Legend of ELPanda Paws. She is now working on fable number three, Pixies of the Ferns – Fernella’s Magic.

Watch out later in this week for the review of Forbidden Wings a Mermaid’s Story!

Goal Achieved!!!!

Last night I got the writing bug. I sat and polished off the last 3000 words in my novel for the NaNoWriMo challenge. So I managed to achieve my 50 000 word target in less than a month. Now I have to edit the thing!!!!! Oh well it can’t all be fun. Still I am hopeful of getting this book edited and published in 2013. I also have a short chapter book that has been edited and is ready to go. I just need to finish the illustrations and now that I have achieved my goal I have some time to do that!

 It’s great to be able to set myself a task and actually finish it. Also good to know I can write that much when I put my mind to it. I have had a busy month. There have been reports to write, conferences to go on and getting the kids ready for Christmas. I have also done a book review which will appear on my Stitch Says blog later this week. This blog is moving along nicely I have an interview to post next week and another review to complete. Lots to do. Not to mention the marketing for Ghostnapped and Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. They would make great Christmas presents by the way (

With only a month until Christmas I need to get a move on with all that stuff too. Today was the pageant, lots of fun and this week there is a kindy concert. Of course the big excitement comes on the weekend. It is time to make the sleigh landing area on the lawn. I will post photos!!!!

 I am looking forward to showing off some of the Christmas craft and the fun around here, so will blog more often. I’ve actually missed doing this and I am looking forward to reading some other blogs too. Lots to do. Until next time – have fun!

Writing Like Crazy

My next character – Stitch!

I haven’t had time to blog, which is a shame. I love getting in and just writing about whatever has taken my fancy for the day. Life has been hectic. I spent last week on a conference in the beautiful Gold Coast. Yes I did actually attend the conference. Although I also managed to enjoy swimming before my buffet breakfast, going to the gym, having dinner by the pool and shopping. Oh and yes I worked. Some of the networks were made from the comfort of the pool, but I am sure Labs ‘n Life will benefit from this adventure. I also spent time writing. I am now over 36 000 words into my NaNoWriMo challenge and loving every second I can spend writing. I can see the finish line in sight, it is actually a fantastic way to go. I didn’t realise having a target would help me write so much, but I guess when you are swamped for time then targets are important. I am going to bring this into my writing for 201.  I think I will set myself a goal for each week as see how it goes. Any way enough for now, I have heaps of work to do from the conference and still more to write tonight. Until next time, which will hopefully be soon – have fun!!!!!

Phone Number for Santa Please?

I took my girls to see Santa on the weekend. It’s always fun, my little one will still only go up if her big sister takes her. They love the whole Christmas thing, but it amazes me how it doesn’t matter how often I ask “What do you want for Christmas?” they always come up with something new for Santa!!!! So I’m standing there thinking I had finished the Christmas shopping, only to discover once again I have more to do. I wouldn’t bother too much, except they don’t actually ask for a lot. I also love the whole magic of Christmas, so you plea to Santa is obviously the thing you want most. Within reason of course. So Sunday I stood staring at the Barbie toys trying to get my little one to help Santa by telling me which one she wanted. She finally chose and we walked away. Then it was off to find a special pony. Now my big girl has a great imagination and I am convinced she made up this toy. Neither of us could find it any way. So I asked if she would like something else from Santa. Her response was “yes, but I’ve already asked him.” I told her I could call Santa and change it if she wanted. She agreed. I left them with Dad so I could go and call Santa!!!! Well I went and bought the Barbie and the Vet kit she had decided on!! The things you do.

Still if you don’t keep the magic alive while they are young what would the fun of Christmas be??? At least I have Santa’s phone number!

Until next time have fun!

Introducing Freddie Spaghetti

Today Stitch says would like to introduce you to Brandy Herr, the author of The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball!

Brandy welcome to Stitch Says;

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?

I have always had a knack for writing, from school essays to short stories.  My mother has always encouraged me to get more into writing, but I had other interests I wanted to pursue.  I guess I just never really had the right story that would motivate me to stick with it before moving on to something else.  However, when I decided to start working on this story, something changed.  I realized I had a winner with this one, and it made me excited.  I’m not exactly a famous author; my book has only been in print for a few months and I’m still trying to get it in front of as many people as possible.  But just having something I’ve written in print, it’s given me confidence, makes me feel like I’ve really done something, and I FEEL famous, if only to myself.

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:

This book, The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball, is my first published book.  It’s a children’s picture book for around ages 6-9.  It’s the first in a series where a talking noodle and his meatball dog sidekick travel to different locations and meet the food from that area.  All characters are food items and there are plenty of food puns throughout.  In this first book, Freddie and Meat Ball travel to Mexico where they meet Enrique Enchilada and Teresa Taco and help them out with a problem.

My granddaddy is actually what motivated me to write this book.  I can’t take credit for creating the character of Freddie Spaghetti.  When I was a little girl, I was over at my grandparents’ house, sitting on my granddaddy’s knee, when he reached over, grabbed a sticky note pad, did a little doodle, and gave it to me.  The doodle was of a stick figure with a squiggly body, and it said,

“To Brandy,

Freddie Spaghetti

Love, Granddaddy”

It was just a completely random moment.  I still have that doodle in a scrapbook and cherish it to this day.  I lost my granddaddy to cancer in 1991, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.  Then one day, it hit me.  My granddaddy’s greatest passion was children.  He loved children more than anything else in the world.  So what better way to commemorate his legacy than to write a children’s book based on the character he created?  Even over 20 years after his passing, he can still make children happy!  So The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball was born.

What are your future aspirations as an author?

My greatest desire is to see the Freddie Spaghetti series continue.  I have written three more books in this series, though only the first one is published so far.  I would love to see it grow into a franchise, for Freddie Spaghetti to become a household name for children all over the world.  Of course, I know that’s a long time off after a lifetime of hard effort, and I am prepared to do what it takes to see Freddie and Meat Ball through to the top.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?

I really have a very random brain, so usually ideas tend to just “pop” into my head, as I like to say.  They usually come to me at night as I lay in bed trying to sleep.  In fact, that’s how all four of my books have been written.  I’ll lie in bed and practically write the entire thing down in my head.  Then the next morning I’ll get up and scoot on over to the computer and write it all down.  Generally it starts with coming up with a place I want Freddie and Meat Ball to travel to, then the characters they could meet.  I’ll let those brainstorms stew in my head for a while (I currently have several floating around in there already) and then one night something will finally stick and the story will form.  It always seems to start with just one aspect, a name or even a cute joke I think would go well in the book, and then it snowballs into a whole plot.  Current events, either my own or something happening in the world, will also influence me.  One of the books I have finished was inspired by a recent trip I took, and one of the brainstorms I’m working on is inspired by stories I’ve been reading about what some children have to go through.  I don’t want to say too much to give anything away before that story is complete.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?

I guess you could say I’m not your typical writer, since I’m not constantly toiling away at writing and perfecting my craft.  I don’t like to get into the technical aspects of it; I just like to keep it natural.  When you get too much into fine-tuning an art form, it becomes so formulaic, and it takes away the heart.  So I just try to keep an open mind to allow the ideas to flow through.  I don’t force it, I don’t worry about writer’s block, I just let it come to me and allow it to form organically.  Because of that, I try to spend more of my time on the marketing side, trying to get my book out there and in front of the eyes of the public.  Writing is only half the battle.  You have to make sure people know about your book and are interested in reading it.  I graduated from Penn State with a degree in public relations, so luckily I’m pretty good at pounding the pavement and getting the word out.  So I’m just constantly looking for outlets to showcase my book and make the public aware of its existence.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!  I really enjoyed your questions and appreciate the opportunity you are giving to me and other writers.

Thank you for joining us here on Stitch Says. We all look forward to reading The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball and many more adventures in the future! To find out more about Brandy or Freddie Spaghetti check out the following links:

Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball Facebook Fan Page (we need Likes!)

Freddie Spaghetti’s Twitter Feed or @FreddieMeatBall

Christmas Shopping Fundraiser!

Get Your Christmas Shopping Done and Help Place Three Companion Dogs!

Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist

 By Ashley Howland

Obi is a yellow Labrador who loves adventure, helping people and solving mysteries. He also loves his kids, Maddy and Aijay. This is the story of his first adventure, his new family and how a mysterious red mist entered into his life. The evil red mist has many scary abilities, it can possess animals and toys, but who is behind it? Obi and some new friends must save the day before it is too late. Maddy and Aijay listen patiently as Obi relives this amazing tale and they learn how their faithful friend became a real super puppy!


By Ashley Howland

Get ready for a ghastly, ghost-hunting mystery that will chill the very marrow in your bones! Ashley Howland makes her debut with a sensational spectral adventure that will ‘fright and delight’ kids and teens everywhere. Ten-year-old Alex loves to explore, but when her younger brother is mysteriously ghostnapped on their camping trip at the beach, it is up to Alex and her trusty Labrador, Thuds, to investigate her brother’s sudden disappearance. As she surveys the grassy hills and dangerous rocky cliffs near their camp, Alex uncovers a hidden secret to other disappearances that occurred at the very same campsite – over 50 years ago! A chilling mystery that can only be solved by Alex, Thuds, and a ghost girl named Susan, Ghostnapped! explores mysteries of the past, present and beyond the grave.

$16 each

For a short time $1 from every book sold (or ordered) will be donated to Labs ‘n Life to go towards the placement of Tug, Tramp and Scrooge.

To purchase a copy please contact Ashley at:

 Promotion runs from 1/9/2012 to 1/01/2013 and includes orders placed during this time if available copies are sold out.

The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball

The Adventures of Freddie Spaghetti and Meat Ball, is my first published book.  It’s a children’s picture book for around ages 6-9.  It’s the first in a series where a talking noodle and his meatball dog sidekick travel to different locations and meet the food from that area.

To find out more check out this blog later in the week for a full interview with the author: Brandy Herr.


Big Week Ahead

It’s the first week of November and there is so much to do. This week I need to email in my entrance to Tales 2 Inspire. it is finished and ready to go. I am also organising an exciting six month marketing plan for both Ghostnapped and Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. I have plenty of work to do as well. Last week Labs ‘n Life got the go ahead for Recognition of Prior Learning into TAFE here in SA. This is very exciting for our students and a great reward for the effort I have put in designing and organising the curriculum. I am so happy our students will now get recognition for their work and learning. It does mean some extra work for me to get the process complete, but at least we have lift off!

The first week in November also means Christmas is coming. So I need to dig out all the Christmas decorations, the tree, the lights and get the kid’s craft underway. Lots of fun, but the initial re organising of the house to fit in the tree is always difficult. Still I love Christmas, so I am looking forward to getting started.

I am also doing the NaNoWriMo and have made a solid start. Over 8000 words in the first four days of my re write of It’s What You Do Next That Counts. I’ve never done a re write from scratch before. This is uncharted territory for me, but I am loving it. In October I re read my previous work, which has now been put in a drawer so I don’t look at it. I have to say I am loving how I have these characters in my head and they sort of have an existance, but second time around I can give them so much more. It is a really interesting way to write, but I am loving it. I have to take a break now though I have a late volleyball match tonight, lets hope it’s a good one! Until next time – have fun!