Spring Cleaning #amwriting #TalismanChronicles

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Spring is in the air and we’re jumping for joy that it is school holidays. That means spring cleaning! Not just the house – although that did kick off today. The dress up box is now down to a usable size! Anyway I really want to use sprint to clean out my stories. Complete my editing – yep I still have three children’s novels to edit. Get myself organised (hahahahahaha I say that, it never happens) and work out what I want to achieve for the rest of this year. Funny how the warmer weather helps your motivation in an instant! Feel so fresh and ready to get writing, sorting and editing. Hope it continues to last. Need to get to it, the first task it to type my little one’s story for The Talismans Chronicles. She is keen to get it illustrated. So it must be typed. Then it’s time to work with the big kid on hers – least she has written most, just needs some help to fine tune it. Don’t we all? Until next time – have fun!

TGIF

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Yep thankfully it’s Friday! It has been one of those weeks – too much to do, never enough time. Plus because it’s the last week of term the kids go crazy. They’ve had enough, as have the dogs. My two girls are certainly ready for a break as are their teachers. I could also use some time just to sort myself out. I am working on Monday, but that’s okay. I just need some time not having to do school drop off and pick ups, a few days where I don’t have to watch the clock! What do I have planned? Well there are a few writing projects I need to finish. A flash fiction piece for the Keepsakes project and the kids stories for the Talisman Chronicles for starters. Also really want to get stuck into the editing and I will be making an announcement here next week for a fundraising idea I have that involves writing! Lots to do, still not enough time, but no clock to stick too for the next two weeks! That will help. Until next time – have fun!

Happy birthday #labslife

Today would have been Obi’s 11th birthday!

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It was not a day for sadness – we miss him everyday, but instead a day to remember his amazing attitude to life. As such I asked people to get his Face book page to 100 likes before the day ended. We got there! Thanks for the support everyone. This page is not just to promote his books, but to keep the memory of Obi alive. It is also where the students who worked with Obi can touch base and see his photos, find out about Stitch and all his friends too. If you would like to join the fun then check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Obi-the-Super-Puppy/575191985848747

Until next time – have fun!

Author Interviews: Jemima Pett #amreading

Once again Stitch Says is taking part in a blog tour hosted by Mother and Daughter Book reviews. this time we get to meet Jemima Pett the author of The Princelings of the East!

The Princelings of the East by Jemima Pett

About the Book

Title: The Princelings of the East (Princelings of the East Trilogy, Book 1; 2nd edition)

Author: Jemima Pett

Year published: originally published 2011

Publisher: Princelings Publications

Number of pages: 103

Recommended age: 10+

Summary (Amazon):

The Princelings of the East is the first of a trilogy telling of the adventures of Fred and George.

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I decided to write a story about my guinea pigs, Fred and George, and almost immediately decided to make it a trilogy. Then friends liked them and said I should publish. Eventually I decided it was good enough to publish, but agents didn’t think it was commercial enough, which I agree with, so I self-published. It was probably after that I decided to become an author – so around December 2011. Although I should say that I wanted to become an author when I was about eighteen, but my friend told me my story was rubbish, so I thought I was rubbish, and left writing fiction to others for years! Changing to being an author means that writing part-time between my other job and interests has stopped. I don’t have much time for other interests or my old job – I write and promote my books!

I love that this is about your guinea pigs – that’s so cool!

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I have an end point for the Princelings series, and I’d like to know how to get there and still stay in the MG genre – I’ve already strayed outside it with the Talent Seekers. I have an ambition to do a horse book and also some children’s books.

Best of luck, sounds like you have lots of great ideas.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I must be influenced by all the books I’ve ever read, but as I’ve read a lot of fantasy and scifi that’s probably what I feel happiest with. I’ve also had a number of careers and there’s a wealth of training and study (and writing) associated with those, so I have some background in a range of subjects that is pretty wide. They say ‘write what you know’ and I try to use what I know in the books, even if it is transposed into fantasy worlds. For example, in the latest book (work in progress) George is testing a flying boat, which has developed from the biplanes that were introduced in the third of the trilogy. One of the things I’m doing in real life is editing my Dad’s memoirs into a book – he was involved with the Imperial Airways flying boat service before World War 2. I’ve always had an interest in them, but now I know more about flying boats and can put that into my stories. I do find my characters tend to write my books for me, though – I just put it down in words.

I often start with a character too and then the story just happens.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
Read more widely, and do writing challenges. I found Chuck Wendig’s weekly writing challenge (he’s not for kids, btw) and it constantly challenges me to write flash fiction on subjects or in styles I may never have even heard of before! Sometimes I have to let the challenge fester for a few days before I come up with an idea – sometimes you just have to sit down and write something and see what happens, though.
I also check a couple of trusted publishing advice sites to remind myself of all the bad habits I have to edit out before letting the book go free… i.e. publishing it!

What are the names of your books?
The Princelings of the East
The Princelings and the Pirates
The Princelings and the Lost City
The Traveler in Black and White
The Talent Seekers

What works best for you when writing? Meaning do you outline or write freely when you feel inspired to do so?
I tend to start out with a vague idea, but these days I often turn that into a five sentence outline; the situation, three turning points, and the resolution.
One thing I find important as I’m writing is to keep a timeline going, who is doing what with whom, where and when. That was essential for the first book, with time travel in it, but it’s needed for the others too, since people go off an side adventures and you need to know if and when they can get back together. Sometimes it works wonderfully – I had three different groups all going through one place on the same day in Lost City – that meant bits of plot could pass along without them actually meeting each other.
I find as the world I’m writing in gets more complex more planning is needed – heroes now have children, other events have happened; reasonable time needs to have elapsed for inventions to have spread; social change as a result of that needs time to fester… but that’s context rather than plot planning.

For other authors who may be struggling what advice can you on handling rejection?
Read Stephen King’s On Writing, and JK Rowling’s interviews on getting started, and accept rejection is normal. It’s not personal. Unless you sent a request to someone who said they aren’t taking requests, or not for your type of writing. Then you asked for it.

Thanks for choosing Stitch Says and some wonderful advice. To check out more about Jemima and her book check out the blog tour! In the mean time keep reading, keep writing!

Cool webpages for books #amwriting

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I have a webpage and it serves a purpose. All my books are there it has links to purchase and also links to all my social media. It looks okay, you can check it out at:
http://ahowland.org/

It needs a face lift and an upgrade. I have some ideas – need to get my husband on board too, because he is the one that makes my page. I have no idea how to make a webpage. Any way here are some things I am thinking about adding:
1. The videos for my books
2. An activity page for each book
3. Links to my pinterest boards
4. Blog roll
5. Links to my amazon author page
6. A link and page to advertise my Stitch Says blog where I do author interviews and reviews.

What do you think??? What would really make my page stand out? What would make you want to buy my books? I’d love some advice, ideas. Anything really. This is going to be one of my goals by the end of the year I want to launch a super dooper webpage that people love to visit…. Would love any suggestions… Until next time – have fun!

Book Review: Young Knights of the Round Table The King’s Ransom #amreading

Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Button

Stitch Says loved this book, here is my review:
This was a wonderful book with fascinating characters. The young Knights all have their own stories that are combined into a rich adventure as they try to rescue a common friend. There are twists and unexpected turns with every page. Kids will enjoy reading The King’s Ransom; they will have trouble putting it down!
Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!

 

About the Book

The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello Title: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Author: Cheryl Carpinello

Publication Date (Kindle): May, 2012

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Number of pages: 84

Recommended age: 9+

Summary (Amazon):

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

 

Purchase

Amazon * Muse it Up * Barnes and Noble

 

The Buzz

“The King’s Ransom is a fast-moving story, a tale of knights and castles and villains. As Gavin, Phillip, and Bryan set about to save their friend, the reader is brought vividly into the medieval world of King Arthur. There is just the right balance of action and character development to entice young readers and reluctant readers to pick this book up, as was the author’s intent. I recommend it to all middle grade readers.” ~ Laurie C., Amazon, 5 Stars

The adventures these future Young Knights of the Round Table experience in their quest to save their friend are filled with the fantasy and adventure story elements that children love to read. There’s a villain, secret passages in castles, swordplay, and even a witch. And with King Arthur’s appearance, astonishing secret identities being revealed, and a happy ending, what more could anyone want in a good read?” ~ Tyler T., Amazon, 5 Stars

“This was a great book! I liked all of the action and excitement in it. Ms. Carpinello wrote this book really well and it was very appropriate for kids even though it deals with fighting and a wrongfully accused person. Ms. Carpinello described the time period really well, I felt like I was a knight in medieval times! I really love that the story features a bit of King Arthur legends in it! The ending had a couple fo great twists that had me totally surprised!.” ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books, 5 Stars.

 

Awards

2013 EVVY Finalist and EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/Young Adult from Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.

2013 Ariana Cover Finalist

2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from Children’s Literary Classics and the CLC’s 2012 Seal of Approval.

2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards

 

About the Author: Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello, Author
Cheryl Carpinello

Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns and knights!

She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other. Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Author Site: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com/

Author Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

Facebook page: Author Cheryl Carpinello

Goodreads author page: Cheryl Carpinello

Twitter: @CCarpinello

Google+: Cheryl Carpinello

 

Don’t forget to join in with the giveaway and blog tour:

*** Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Giveaway ***

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

Contest runs: September 9 to October 6, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: WW

How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to contact Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always keep reading, keep writing!

Talk Like a Pirate #amwriting

Nothing gets my writing bug like International Talk Like a Pirate day… I love pirates, well okay in theory I love pirates. I think Captain Hook was the first villain crush I ever had. Must admit it has continued with Once upon a time!!! Then of course there is Captain Jack Sparrow… what’s not to love. Well walking the plank for one…

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I love writing about pirates. My girls also love the whole pirate thing. I had to make Snow White and the seven Smurfs on a Pirate Ship as a cake!

Snow White and the 7 smurfs on a Pirate Ship

Of course they dressed as pirates for the Neverland Party and we even had a Pirate ship Pinarta! Lots of pirate fun around here. So not surprisingly I have written a Pirate adventure for the Crock of Charms story. This will be made into a chapter book at some stage too! Plenty more pirate stories to come. In fact I have one brewing right now – until next time, have fun!

Book Review: Cedric the Shark Gets a Toothache #amreading

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Cedric the shark loves to eat fish and candy – even though he knows sharks don’t eat candy. He eats too much and gets a toothache. His Sea lion friend takes him to the octopus dentist (having eight arms would be very helpful). This is a delightfully colourful story that rhymes well. The pictures are fantastic and the book is wonderful for pre-schoolers.

Stitch Says gives Cedric 4 woofs!

There are two other Cedric the Shark books by Kay Carter – you can check them out here: http://www.amazon.com/Kay-Carter/e/B00DUNQCVU

Remember keep reading, keep writing!

Kids and dogs #amwriting

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what was that saying??? Something about never work with kids and animals… Mmmmm think I lost the memo. What about never live with them??? Just kidding I wouldn’t survive without my girls or Stitch, although it would be a lot quieter! Any way not to get sidetracked. I have blogged before about writing with my girls. It’s so much fun. They love to make scrapbooks of all their stories and of course take them to school. The teachers possibly get sick of them, but hey I was there once… Anyway last night while they were all sleeping I found this from the lovely Becky: http://yourkidscreations.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-talisman-chronicles-anthology-by.html
I instantly signed my two up and chose the dog for Munchkin (6) and the paw print for Smudgekin (5). They were over the moon this morning. In fact I had trouble getting them ready for school because the stories ideas were exploding out of their brains at a million miles an hour. Once they were dressed they sat down and began. Munchkin has already written two pages of a dog pirate story, staring Obi, Stitch and of course the two of them. Smudgekin took a different route, she began to draw all the animals with paws that Stitch could meet in her adventure!

Funny to watch and so exciting for them. Of all the thinks I have ever done, even more than publishing my own stories I am most proud of my girls. They love this sort of activity. It is a great thing we can share now and I hope it continues into the future. No doubt there will be more writing when they get home! Until next time – have fun!