2014 Advent Stories #ChaBooCha

I hope you enjoyed story number one in the 2014 Advent Stories:

2014 Story advent-calendar

http://chapterbookchallenge.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/story-advent-calendar-blog-hop.html

This one is a bit of fun!

Reindeer Boot Camp
By Ashley Howland

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“Drop and give me fifty,” shouted Commando Elf.
The little reindeer groaned, but they did as they were asked. It was tough being a reindeer in training.
“Time to fly three laps then hit the hay!”
Three little reindeer struggled to their feet and took to the sky. They flew as fast as they could around the training grounds. It felt good to have the crisp air on their faces. They landed together and staggered into the stables.

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The reindeer attendant elves had certainly made sure the reindeer in training were looked after. Their trough was full of water, laced with fairy dust to help them fly, their food buckets were packed to the brim with juicy carrots and their beds were made of fresh hay.
The three little reindeer drank, ate and collapsed in their stables. They looked up at the posters above their heads of Dasher, Comet and Blitzen. Closing their eyes they drifted off to sleep, dreaming of becoming part of Santa’s team.

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Let the story magic continue – have fun!

2014 Advent Stories – The Christmas Wish #ChaBooCha

We love Christmas, it’s a great time of the year. One of our favourite parts is reading all the Christmas stories. So naturally I jumped at the idea of being part of the 2014 Advent Calender for the Chapter Book Challenge:

2014 Story advent-calendar

http://chapterbookchallenge.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/story-advent-calendar-blog-hop.html

Here is my first contribution…

The Christmas Wish

By Ashley Howland

“There are only so many ways you can wish for the same thing,” said Dad.

Maddy and Aijay nodded, it wasn’t going to stop them from trying. So far they had made a wish on Aijay’s birthday cake. They were very careful not to touch the bottom. They had broken the wishbone on the chicken. Maddy had the bigger piece, but they had rehearsed their wish and always used the same words.

Aijay had left a note for the tooth fairy, asking for a wish instead of money. Maddy had wished on shooting star. That morning Aijay blew on a dandelion seed and Maddy threw a coin into a wishing well. Now it was time for the big one. The great big man in red, Father Christmas, Santa, Saint Nicholas himself.

The girls stood in line. They linked their pinkie fingers and made a promise to ask for exactly the same thing. This was their last chance to make their Christmas wish.

Later they carefully put out a plate of chocolate chip cookies and an unopened, but cold beer. Santa couldn’t drink and drive, but he’d enjoy it later. On the lawn sat a bucket of water and nine juicy carrots, just in case it was a foggy Christmas Eve.

Maddy and Aijay lay snug in their beds. Their hearts pounding and minds racing. Every little sound made them stir. Eventually they must have drifted off. They were awoken by crying.

The girls excitedly jumped out of bed. They raced shoulder to shoulder up the hallway and into the lounge. Their Christmas wish had come true. There sitting in a basket next to their big dog Stitch was a small puppy Labrador. He was chewing on some tinsel and crying for attention.

Chewie

“Thanks Santa,” called the girls as they dived in for some puppy kisses.

“Ahhh all that wishing worked,” laughed Dad as he and mum entered the room.

“What are you going to call him?” asked Mum.

The girls looked at the yellow ball of fluff, who was now chewing on Stitch’s ear.

“Chewie!” they both yelled!

 

zChewie

Story number two will be up soon – can’t wait to read the rest, have fun!

Goal Achieved #PiBoIdMo

I did it; I managed to come up with 30 picture book ideas. That may not sound like much, but this month has been crazy and I still achieved my goal. This year I took on the PiBoIdMo instead of writing 50 000 words in the NaNoWriMo.

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I am glad I did. Simply because I had no time to get the writing done. I have done lots of editing and am a lot closer to publishing three books. So all in all I say a successful month.
The best thing about doing this challenge is I now have thirty new ideas for stories. So in 2015 I am thinking about doing my own anthology. I will also be writing stories for a few others and now I have made my start. That’s pretty cool!
I even managed to do this while starting a new job, recovering from surgery and preparing for Christmas. I guess it just goes to show things can be done when you put your mind to it. Well onwards to December and all the fun it brings… have fun!

Stitch Says: Book Review Lobo’s Howliday #Christmasbook

Stitch here:

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I have my Christmas hat on for a really cool Christmas story!

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo – Lobo’s Howliday by C L Murphy

Lobos Howliday - cover

A pawfect Christmas story!
Lobo has another grand adventure. This time he and Roxy need to help Santa deliver the presents. Kids will enjoy the bright pictures and the simple text. They will also love Lobo’s unique way of saving the day!
Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!

You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Adventures-Lovable-Lobo-Howliday-ebook/dp/B00OJOXG4A/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

More to come – keep reading, keep writing!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: The Shadow of the Unicorn #kidsbook

Hi Chewie here:

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I love unicorns – they are like big dogs with a horn…. Check out this book!

The Shadow of the Unicorn - cover

 

About the Book

Title: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy (The Shadow of the Unicorn, Book #1) | Author: Suzanne de Montigny | Publication Date: October 15, 2014 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Number of pages: 124 | Recommended age: 9+

Summary: A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.

Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Goodreads

*** For those of you living in British Columbia, you can grab a print copy of “The Shadow of the Unicorn” from the local Kidsbook Bookstore in Vancouver. ***

 

FREE Study Guide

There is now a FREE 36-page reproducible study guide to The Shadow of the Unicorn complete with integrated activities for kids and a complete answer key for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Click on the image below to download your free copy.

The Shadow of the Unicorn Study Guide by Suzanne de Montigny

 

Book Preview

Global gold

Winner of the 2013 Global E-book Award for Best Fantasy/Alternate History

 

The Buzz About the Book

The Shadow of the Unicorn provides an innovative and interesting plotline exploring how the fictional unicorns, the extinct dinosaurs, and early humans may have interacted if they co-existed in a post-apocalyptic world. Suzanne de Montigny does an excellent job of exploring the themes of natural disasters and environmental change, human greed, compassion, and courage. At the end of the day, The Shadow of the Unicorn is an entertaining read that I think will be enjoyed by children who love the fantasy genre and are keen on reading about unicorns. Ages 9+” ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“Kudos to Ms. de Montigny for writing an original variation on the fantasy epic–unicorns intermingling with dinosaurs! The book’s themes include the humane and environmental concerns that Watership Down and the films of Hayao Miyazaki have in common. If you have a middle grader or are just young at heart, pick up The Shadow Of The Unicorn.” ~ 5 Star Review, Stuart W., Amazon

“The Shadow of the Unicorn is a must-read for all unicorn lovers, but even more so for the ones, like my self, who hadn’t read anything about them yet. It is a thrilling and encouraging story about a young unicorn that has to save his herd after a meteor nearly destroyed their environment and killed the dinosaurs. Suzanne de Montigny created a compelling universe with believable characters and a great adventure story to challenge them with. While the story finishes in this book, I can’t wait to read about the new adventures the unicorns will face..” ~ 5 Star Review, Antje H., Amazon

“This story pulled me in with a beautiful portrayal of a time and place where unicorns and dinosaurs live side by side. It moved me forward with unexpected twist and turns (a requirement in any good story). I found it hard to put the book down and was totally engaged in seeing the young characters (unicorns and dinosaurs) survive and grow because of the challenges they faced.” ~ 5 Star Review, NW Harris, Amazon

“What a delightfully unique book. Unicorns and dinosaurs facing changing conditions. Darius is a young dinosaur capable of seeing the future. Azaria is a young unicorn who becomes a friend and learns from Darius. Yes, there are humans in this book. They are the villains of the story. Greedy beasts. I think both boys and girls will love this story. Very quick paced and easy to read. A delightful story, and I look forward to more from this author. ~ 5 Star Review, DM Lawrence, Amazon

 

About the Author: Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny
Suzanne de Montigny

 

Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys.

For more information about Suzanne and The Shadow of the Unicorn, please visit http://www.suzannedemontigny.com

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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

Contest ends: December 27, 11:59 pm, 2014

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, Suzanne de Montigny 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Keep reading, keep writing!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: The Jewel of Peru #adventurebook

Chewie here:
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My book blasts are going to be fast and exciting to finish the year, hope you can all keep up!

The Jewel of Peru

About the Book

Title: The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru | Author: Sharon Skretting | Publication Date: September 20, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 317 | Recommended Ages: 8+

Summary: The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents.

After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents, or will all be lost for ever?

* You can purchase an e-copy of “The Jewel of Peru” for only 99 cents from Amazon for the duration of the blast, so grab your copy now! *

Amazon | Teachers Pay Teachers | Goodreads

 

The Buzz

“Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas. I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ Sara Marschand, Quiethouse Copy Editing

“Engaging and meaningful, the author does an excellent job crafting this story. I don’t usually read middle school novels but made an exception for this one and will be passing it on to all the children in my life.” ~ 5 Star Review, Love Reading, Amazon

“The Jewel of Peru is a wonderful piece of educational fiction that blends fact and fantasy to create a literary journey that is both informative and exciting for young readers… It’s every bit as much of a page turner as it is a learning experience…” ~ 5 Star Review, Kelley, Amazon

“Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas… Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ 5 Star Review, Sara M., Amazon

 

About the Author: Sharon Skretting

Sharon SkrettingSharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat, named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon. Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged nine to ninety nine and make them want to read more!

* Teacher support materials to go along with the novel can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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

Contest ends: December 25, 11:59 pm, 2014

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, Sharon Skretting 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Keep reading, keep writing!

Nightmare Before Christmas #partytime

We missed our Halloween party this year, so decided to do it in combination with an early Christmas party… The result a Nightmare Before Christmas party!

the girls loved the idea and came up with some great ideas for cakes. Somehow I managed to pull off a scary Christmas tree and Mummy cupcakes to go around the bottom.

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When else can you dress up in your Christmas best by wearing half of your Halloween costume and half Christmas colours??? They even drew on the pavement and we decorated the house. Again with had pumpkins, bats, elves and reindeer all together. It was lots of fun!

Speaking of which – have fun!

Do your Christmas Shopping from Home #soeasy

Christmas shopping is an interesting thing. Some people, like me tend to get it done throughout the year. I buy things as they go on special and put them away. Then when the time comes I pull them out and often find that I am completely done. I do keep a record of what I have bought and who I might give that too. This way I don’t double up. It certainly makes life easier. Other people like to do it all at the last moment. The shops here are open all hours near Christmas and are always busy. So I guess lots of people enjoy doing their shopping that way, or that’s the only way they get time. Who knows.
Any way now lots of your shopping can be done from home. Online shopping is cool for the organised. I mean you need to know how long it will take things to be delivered. Of course there is always the choice they won’t turn up, but it can be easier than going to the shops and chasing the crowds.
If you are looking for some books to buy for children then check out these:

2013 Xmas

Happy shopping and have fun!

Writer’s Reveal – Starting point #amwriting

This month’s prompt comes from Melissa – here it is:

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All writers start somewhere. What is the first ever piece of writing you had published? This could be fiction or non-fiction, something at school, or later. Let us know your definition of being published for this prompt too 🙂

I guess I will start with my definition of being a published author – basically it’s able to hold a book (digitally now included), with your name on it and to have that book available to others for purchase. So essentially this includes self publishing, traditional publishing, but not just printing a book for your own shelf. I do include having stories or articles published in anthologies. Your name will be on there somewhere.
So in that sense I was first published in 2009 with Ghostnapped.
However from this prompt I felt this needed further exploration. Publishing can also mean having a story or article published in a newspaper, magazine or the likes. So I guess technically if you have had this then you could claim to be published… there you have it clear as mud!!!!
Okay so where did I start? That’s interesting because I have always written. Just for fun, to entertain myself, because if I don’t the stories burn my brain. As a student at school I often had stories published in newsletters and school magazines. At the time I hated that, I didn’t like other people reading my work. Now I love it – times change as you grow and become more experienced.
Later as a teacher I had articles published in various places, including newspapers, community newsletters, education forums and the like. None of these were terribly exciting, although I have kept the first article I wrote about Obi!
I have kept all my school stories – at some stage I will go through them and I will work on a few to publish. If I ever get the time that is!
Okay so where did the writing thing really start for me. I was bored… that’s how most of my grand plans start. I possess a creative mind, one that seems to think it can do far more things than I can physically do. Writing and getting published was one of those things. Fortunately I persevered and managed to achieve this goal multiple times!
In order to achieve this I did a writing course – mainly to get over the fear of having people read my stories. Since then I have done lots of webinars and looked at lots of writing resources. I am even writing my own. I believe in lifelong learning… you can always get better at things!
Anyway I have to get back to my long list of things I feel like doing… check out all the other posts here:

Melissa Writes http://melissawrites.com.au/
the Wolfe’s Den http://jaycwolfe.com/
Imagine! Create! Write! http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com.au/

Have fun!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: Best Book to Read Aloud #kidtales #readingwithkids

Hi it’s Chewie again.

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Now I love story time, especially when everyone joins in. One of the best books to read aloud is The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland.

Bear aloud

It takes place in a Jingle, Jangle, Jungle, where there is no where warm to play. There are great pictures and an awesome rhyming text. Oh and you might even learn a lesson or two. Personally I like the cranky bear – he reminds me of Stitch when he’s sleepy. Just kidding big fella.
What’s your favourite book to read aloud???
Keep reading, keep writing!