Looking back and moving forward #newyear

2013 is almost over, just a few more hours and possibly lots of shouting. It is that time to take a quick look back and then jump to the future. What did 2013 bring to me?

1. The Homework Goblin – my third book was released
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I even had a book launch this time – that was a first.

2. I became a member of the Chapter book challenge – which not only lead me to finish the draft of Obi the Super Puppy and the Quest for the Last Laugh (to be released 2014), but also to become involved in three anthologies.
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3. I developed some new characters and two new series of books which will hopefully be release in 2014, but are definitely going to be lots of fun writing!
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4. I edited another longer book that is going to be a bit different.

5. I started my Stitch Says blog for author interviews and reviews. Which is a lot of fun and a great way that I can support other authors.

There was of course the horrible moment when we found out that Obi was on limited time. He lasted as long as he good, but eventually we had to say goodbye.
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He was such a big part of our lives that it was really difficult. Obi would not have wanted us to sook though! He will be forever remembered in his books. I have a lifetime of material to write about this special boy!!!!

Recently we took a fantastic holiday to the Gold Coast – which was great to get away and refocus for the new year. I met some really cool new characters too!
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Of course we also introduced Chewie to our family. He’s such a sweety that it’s almost like he has always been here!
Chewie

It has been a great year for me as an author, one I am really proud of. There are so many new ideas, characters and stories that I am looking forward to getting to know in 2014. I will also be updating my website and making it more interactive so watch out for that. I am actually really excited. I have a few personal goals and some things I need to do aswell, but all that will come. I feel as if I am starting 2014 with a fresh outlook and am ready for any challenge thrown at me!

I would like to thank all the wonderful people who support me here, on Facebook and twitter. It’s great to read your comments and get to share things with you all. I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe New Year’s Eve and looks forward to achieving your dreams in 2014 I know I am! Until next year – have fun!!!!

The Best of 2013 #amreading

Stitch Says only started this year and already I have met some wonderful authors and read some fantastic books. I can’t wait to continue this blog in the new year. While there have been far more books and authors here than I ever imagined I thought I’d wrap up the year with some of the books and I interviews I loved the most:

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Stitch met the Sock Kids in a really fun Character interview:

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One of the best books I read was:
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We met another really cool dog!
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Read some heart-felt rescue stories

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And travelled into the realms of Science Fiction:
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They were just a few great moments here on Stitch Says. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took time to contribute and join us for some fun. It is after all about authors helping authors. I am looking forward to seeing what Stitch and Chewie bring to this blog in the new year!

Stitch is already for a fun party night!
Stud Muffin Stitch

Watch this space in 2014, email me at Ashley@ahowland.org to be involved and remember always keep reading, keep writing!

Book Review: Zoe and Zak and the Yogi’s Curse #amreading

Yogi's Curse Blog Tour Banner

About the Book

Title: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #2)

Author: Lars Guignard

Publishers: Fantastic Press

Publication Date: September 9, 2013

Pages: 340

Recommended Age: 8+

Summary

Zoe and Zak are back in India. Again. And this time they’re attending Moonstock Himalayan Boarding School, which might seem fun except for the fact that the school itself is a little strange. Students ride elephants instead of school buses, snarling monkeys work as security guards, and angry parrots monitor the halls. And even when they manage to get used to the wildlife, the food is absolutely terrible. But living with a bunch of other kids their age can be a lot of fun, too, or at least it seems that way until Zoe’s roommate goes missing. Following the directions written on a steamy bathroom mirror, Zoe and Zak fly through the clouds on their magic carpet to learn that the two of them have been chosen yet again. This time they’ve been asked to lift the Yogi’s Curse. It’s not going to be easy. Zoe and Zak don’t even know what the Yogi’s Curse is let alone how to lift it, but like it or not, they soon discover that a whole lot of people are depending on them. Now, if they’re going to save the day, Zoe and Zak are going to have to fool the monkey guards, avoid the nasty parrots, and maybe even develop a supernatural ability or two. Because lurking beneath Moonstock is a powerful new enemy. And if Zoe and Zak can’t stop him, nobody can.

 

Here is what Stitch thought:
Zoe and Zak are sent to boarding school, only to be lead on another swashbuckling adventure to ignite your imaginations. This time they need to break the Yogi curse and rescue a magical egg. This book has more than your wildest dreams. From flying elephants, security guard monkeys, to mysterious monsters. Kids who love to live in their own worlds will enjoy venturing into Zoe and Zak’s second big adventure.

Stitch Says gives it 4 woofs!

 

Purchase

Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)

 

The Buzz

“I have a 10 year old son who is an avid reader!! He loves books, (but he’s picky too) he loved Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. He was so excited to read the 2nd book in this series! When I presented him the first book he was not sure he would like it but changed his mind quickly, then when I heard about the 2nd book being released he almost jumped out of his chair! (no exaggeration) He is anxiously awaiting the 3rd book! I would say that any child who enjoys fantasy/adventure books should read this series! It is a well written page turner! It’s a fun story that adults can even enjoy the storyline without getting bored! According to my son, ‘every kid should read this series’. ” ~ 5-Star review from SavyGreenSaver, Amazon

“I loved this book, even as an adult reading it. I was completely sucked into the plot and was constantly finding myself staying up “just a little longer” to read one more chapter. Different twists and turns in the book have you constantly guessing who is behind what and who Zak and Zoe can trust. I could definitely see myself being involved in this series as a middle schooler considering how much I enjoyed it even now. Another thing I liked about it is if you missed the first book, you could still follow along with this one and not be lost.” ~ 5-Star review from Staci, Amazon

“Lars Guignard has done a fabulous job with this series. I loved the `Ghost Leopard’ & love this one even more. For late-elementary to middle school age readers, you can’t beat this series. It’s fun and fast-paced. Even my picky fifth grader enjoyed every page. There are bits of magic thrown in keep the action exciting. Mr. Guignard has a brilliant imagination & readers are blessed that he’s chosen to use it for YA fiction. If you’ve yet to read the first installment in this series, do yourself a favor and read these books back to back. Don’t limit it just to kids! Adults will have a blast reading these too!” ~ 5-Star review from Liz Terek, Amazon

 

About The Author: Lars Guignard

Lars Guignard
Lars Guignard

Prior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the Zoe and Zak series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range.

For news about new releases, please join his email list here: Zoe&ZakAdventures@gmail.com

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

The Yogi’s Curse Blog Tour Schedule (2013/2014)

December 15

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

December 16

Brooke Blogs (Review)

December 17

Houseful of Chaos (Review)

December 18

For the Love of Books (Review)

Mary-andering Among the Pages (Review)

December 19

Giveaway Breaking News for Indonesia (Review)

December 20

Fiona Ingram (Review)

December 22

We are the DinoFamily (Review)

December 24

Fantasy Fun With Kirstin Pulioff (Review)

December 26

Black Words – White Pages Kids (Review)

December 29

Victoria Simcox (Review)

December 30

Stitch Says (Review)

December 31

Bound 4 Escape (Review)

January 2

The World of ContestPatti (Review)

January 3

Carpinello’s Writing Pages (Review)

Best Kids’ Reads (Review)

January 5

Bibliothecary Prescriptions (Review)

January 6

InKspired: A Blog (Review)

January 7

GeoLibrarian (Review)

January 8

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

January 9

Generation iKid (Review)

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

January 10

Books, Reviews, Etc. (Review)

January 11

Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom (Review)

January 13

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

January 14

Dalene’s Book Reviews (Review)

Leave No Book Behind (Review)

 

** Be sure to look for the upcoming Blog Tour for Book 3 in the Zoe and Zak Series, “Tiger Temple” coming January 15, 2014. **

 

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Go and check it out for yourself and in the meantime keep reading, keep writing!

Research trip #zoodays

I love the zoo – so do my superhero kids. We go fairly often and it never gets boring. There is always something new that makes life interesting. Today however we also had a mission. I am setting up my chapter book for March. Yep getting in early. I may even be writing the sequel by March – that would be awesome. Not going to get ahead of myself lots can happen between now and then. Anyway it is the first in my super hero series. Book one of The Lighting Lilly and Princess Seea Chronicles. Tentatively called The Great Zoo Heist. So today we were doing some research about which animals may appear.

The Meerkats always get a look in – they are so cheeky. Pretty sure there can be some fun between these little guys and Super Stitch.

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This goat just made me laugh…. May well get a gig somewhere. Sure there is room for a fat goat…

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Otters need to be in the story. They are my favourite and I have also already written a chapter about them for the SuperHERo Tales.

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Pretty sure there is room for a giraffe or two – they make pretty good lookouts for my two super heroes.

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I may need to do another zoo story at some stage… What animals would you like to see???

Love these days so much fun. The best bit was my girls when they came home they put on their superhero capes and rescued all the zoo animals. Lots of material there, solid gold stuff. Need to get my notebook out! Until next time – have fun!

Introducing Chewie’s news #amreading

Stitch Says would like to announce a new initiative and a whole bundle of fun. I was going to wait until the new year, but good things just need to happen. So here it is welcome to a new segment of this blog:

Chewie’s News!!!!

My boys

So what is this? Well apart from my beautiful little boy it is also going to be room for more fun here on Stitch Says. I will still be doing interviews, book blasts and reviews. Now I am also going to add guest posts, themes and sometimes just tributes to awesome authors and books! This is all part of Chewie’s news. If you want to be involved email me at Ashley@ahowland.org I am also welcome to any suggestions to make this segment even more exciting. So jump on over and join me and my boys for lots of fun in 2014. As always keep reading, keep writing!

The First Christmas #merrychristmas

I love Christmas – everything about it. The stories, the songs, the tree, the whole magic of the day. I have loved having the girls because I get to make Christmas magic the way I always wanted it. I have been through my family traditions before so won’t do that again. Needless to say the beer (not opened – no drunk Santa’s driving), the homemade choc chip cookies, the carrots and the water are ready. As is the magic key… we are all set for that all important sleigh landing!

So I thought I would share some very important first Christmas photos. The first is our special boy – Obi. This will be the first for a long time without him. We miss our boy, but he still brings joy to us with our memories and of course all those wonderful stories he left us with. His first Christmas was in 2002!

Obi

Then came my Little Man Stitch (2010). He is not a brave dog, but he has a heart of gold and a never-ending energy tank. Super Stitch will run all day and as such is in my superhero stories and of course is never far from his girls!

Stitch

Now we get to the little fella – Chewbacca (Chewie). He has so far shown us to be calmly confident and he loves the girls. He also loves Stitch. It is going to be lots of fun learning what his role in our lives and my stories will be. However for now e is just plain cute!

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I hope everyone has a magical Christmas – keep believing and always have fun!

Goofy goes to the Gold Coast #holiday

Goofy is a well-travelled boy… This year he got a Christmas makeover and had lots of fun. He went SeaWorld.

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Met a Dinosaur…

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or two…

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He became a decoration at Movie World…

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Went to Australia Zoo and met a really cool family…

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Also a big crocodile…

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Visited the Tigers…

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Goofy even met the big man in red!!!

Santa

In case I don’t get to my blog tomorrow I wish everyone a fantastic Christmas… As always have fun!

Merry Woofmas! #labslife #christmas

Stitch would like to wish everyone a very Merry Woofmas!
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Thanks for joining us all here on Stitch Says for all our fabulous interviews and reviews. There is still lots of come this year, but just wanted to say thanks for choosing us. It has been a lot of fun and we are getting excited about some new things next year. Stitch will be introducing you all to a new segment: Chewie’s News!!!

Chewie

Little Chewie will be joining us. This sweet boy and his big buddy Stitch are joining forces to help lots of authors promote their wonderful stories! Remember to email me at ashley@ahowland.org to join the fun.

HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!!!! Remember keep reading, keep writing!

Book Blast: The Escape of Princess Madeline #amreading

Stitch has another fantastic book blast for you today!

About the Books

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #1) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 4, 2012 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 138 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom… a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture; her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure full of twists and turns as she tries to find her freedom and answers to her questions about life and love.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

 

The Battle for Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Battle for Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #2) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: May 21, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 159 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: The Kingdom of Soron bustled with activity as preparations for the Fall Festival began. Lively merchants, hardworking farmers, and musicians eagerly awaited this event of harvest and joy. This year’s festival was even more important, as they celebrated Princess Madeline’s betrothal to her knight champion, Daniel. Celebration quickly turns to disaster as Prince Paulsen returns with curious demands, either Princess Madeline will be his, or no ones. Rejection turns to obsession and battle is declared.

In a tense struggle to decide her future, Princess Madeline must choose where to put her trust… in the king’s tried and true plan, the wizard’s cryptic messages and maps, or her own sense of bravery. Follow Princess Madeline on this adventure as she battles evil in an attempt to create a future of love and magic.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

 

Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin PulioffTitle: Princess Madeline and the Dragon (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 26, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 135 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration. When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future. Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

 

The Buzz

Book 1: “Well-written, fast-paced, and entirely appropriate for its target audience (middle grade fantasy), this short but succinct novel (novella? It was maybe a little between a novella and a novel) tells a delightful tale of a naive princess who learns the real meaning of freedom. Kirsten gives her characters a sufficient amount of depth to make them genuinely likeable, and she leaves room for much, much more to come.” ~ 5 Star Review, Ally, Amazon

Book 1: “An inspiring thought provoking, and wonderfully written fairy tale by an author who transports us to a time in our imagination where everything is magical and possibilities are real.” ~ 5 Star Review, kathyls, Amazon

Book 2: “Fairy tales are filled with knights and princesses and castles and a special magical feel that takes the reader far, far, away into another world, another place, another time. The Battle for Princess Madeline fits the bill to a tee! Author Kirstin Pulioff has created a special feel to the tale of Princess Madeline with her own special talent for using words to paint pictures in our minds.” ~ 5 Star Review, Dii, Amazon

Book 2: “The story is well developed and easy to follow. The vivid scenes will transport young readers into the magical world of fairy tales with thrilling characters that have come to life. Another splendid read for young readers! I can hardly wait for a new book, Princess Madeline and the Dragon. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mrs. D., Amazon

Book 3: “The story is engaging on many levels, as is Pulioff’s writing, but on this occasion I was mostly drawn into the action and the mystery as how to prevent the worst from happening. This is great entertainment and should do well across a wider age range.” ~ 5 Star Review,ChristophFischerBooks, Amazon

Book 3: “Kirstin Pulioff has saved the best for last. ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ is the final instalment in the ‘Princess Madeline Trilogy’. I thought the first two books were finely wrought stories, but this novel surpasses its predecessors. Prophesies, family tragedies, magic and – of course – dragons, combine to produce a tale that is an instant classic. Written with a great deal of charm, ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ will not disappoint Ms Pulioff’s young fans. I look forward to seeing where next her imagination will take this natural storyteller. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Diogenes, Amazon

 

About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff
Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: December 18, 2013 to January 16, 2014, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 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. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Looks great, I can’t wait to read it. While you check it out make sure you keep reading and keep writing!