End of June #wherehastimegone

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The year feels a bit like this. As it’s the middle of the year I thought it would be a good time to review my goals and see where I am sitting.

Goals Achieved:
1. It’s What You Do Next That Counts is published
Cover final

2. My first three books are now mine and will be republished in the next few months – just working on their new covers.

3. I have drafted two of my trilogy – Pieces of 8. This was part of the Chapter Book Challenge.

4. I have two books that are awaiting covers then they too can be published.

5. One of my fairy tales is written and the second is planned.

And that’s just my writing.

So the goals I still need to achieve are:
1. Getting my five books that are waiting for covers out there and published.
2. Continue marketing all my books.
3. Complete my trilogy draft.
4. get my super heroes series ready for editing – hoping to publish 2016

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In reality I am doing pretty well. I was hoping to be ahead of where I am, but work, kids and life gets in the way. I have lots to work on this year and am keen to tick off a few more goals. How are you traveling?

More to come, including a few more writing challenges. Have fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: The Working Writer’s Guide #workasawriter

Hi Stitch here;
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That’s me snoozing while my human writes. I prefer when she goes out as a writer because I get to go along as her writing buddy. Anyway today I have a review with a difference for you. This is a book about working as a writer, check it out:

The Working Writer’s Guide – Simon Rose

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Name and author who doesn’t wish to make a living out of writing… Well the Working Writer’s Guide by Simon Rose is a great way to get some ideas. Simon has some excellent ideas to gain employment and he also has a wealth of experience. This is certainly a good resource for writer’s looking to advance their career.
Stitch Says gives it 4 woofs!

You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Working-Writers-Guide-Published-Professional/dp/1511647019/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Keep reading, keep writing!

Stitch Says: Amberly Kristen Clowe author of Axel and Theo

Stitch here with an interview and a review:

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Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the lower middle grade book “Axel & Theo: My Dog is The Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy” by Amberly Kristen Clowe from June 22 to 28, 2015. This one is a great choice for reluctant readers!

Axel and Theo - Blog Tour Button

 

About the Book

Axel and Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy

Title: Axel & Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy | Author: Amberly Kristen Clowe | Publication Date: November 15, 2014 | Publisher: Smooth Sailing Press | Pages: 44 | Recommended Ages: 6to 10

Summary: Theodore Howard wants a white flag. The kind of white flag that will show Riverwood Elementary’s biggest bully, Theo’s given up on ever surviving the fourth grade, and achieving his dream of becoming a real-life astronaut. But, Theo’s seemingly pathetic future gets a glimmer of hope in the form of a very talkative weenie dog named Axel. Theo learns that his best friend on four legs, is actually an alien from the planet Doglin, and just when he begins warming up to the idea of having an alien for a best friend, Axel is kidnapped by two cats from the planet Catlat. Theo chases after Axel and his kidnappers, embarking on an adventure he could have never imagined.

Amazon * Goodreads

 

Book Preview

 

* INSERT REVIEW/INTERVIEW/GUEST POST/EXCERPT HERE *

 

More Buzz About the Book

“When I saw the subheading of this book — My dog is the Emperor of a faraway galaxy, I knew I had to read it. After all, how often do you see a sci-fi kid’s book? Being the sci-fi nut that I am, I couldn’t pass this one up. I was not disappointed.”~ Shari T., Amazon

“Fun book!! The story is imaginative but told with enough familiar themes to make young ones think, “I can see how this could happen!!” And in a world jam-packed with princesses and girl power, it’s nice to see fun stuff for boys, too.” ~ Valerie S., Amazon

“What a nice story! Got this for my son and he chuckled through it all. He loved the characters and their adventure. He is looking forward to the next one.” ~ Nathalia G., Amazon

“It is a great book! My kids loved it (as did I).
I can’t wait for the second adventure!” ~ John, Amazon

 

About the Author: Amberly Kristen Clowe

Krissy-CloweAn avid story writer since elementary school, Amberly Kristen (Krissy) Clowe truly discovered her passion for writing after enrolling in a college, children’s literature class, where they read and analyzed children’s books. After completing her BA in early childhood education she began her teaching career.

“After my first year of teaching second grade, I had so many ideas swirling around in my head, I had to write. I might have gone crazy if I didn’t!” Clowe tells.

Axel & Theo is the first chapter book series written by Clowe, though she already has two other children’s picture books in print, and another due for publication in 2015. Today, her children provide the inspiration to her many stories, along with everything else she loves in life.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Axel & Theo Blog Tour Schedule

June 22

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Author Interview)

Lian’s Summer of Fun Blog (Review)

Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)

June 23

Hide-n-(Sensory)-Seeking (Review)

Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

June 24

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Review)

The Blended Blog (Review)

June 25

View From the Birdhouse (Review)

Tots & Tales Reviews (Review)

June 26

2ReadBook (Review)

Where Connor and JT Go (Review)

June 27

Eloquent Articulation (Review)

We Are The DinoFamily (Review)

Lisa’s Research and Reviews (Excerpt)

June 28

Stitch Says (Review & Author Interview)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

 

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: July 5, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: 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 publisher, SmoothSailing Press 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

We had the pleasure of chatting with Amberly Kristen Clowe, author of Axel & Theo My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy… Let’s hear what she had to say

Axel

A dog who is also an emperor… that’s pretty cool. Chewie and I are super heroes so we love to read about other awesome dogs. Let’s hear what Amberly has to say:

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I had jotted down ideas here and there in college, but I seriously decided to pursue a writing career after my first year of teaching. Kids do and say hilarious and heartfelt things every day. This, coupled with the awesome job of reading books and books and more books, finally pushed me over the creative edge.
This decision has completely and forever changed my life. For a busy mother of two, I spend nap times and many evenings, brainstorming, outlining, furiously tapping away a plot, editing or marketing. It can be very consuming. I actually have to make myself turn that off sometimes, because I really do love it. I love creating crazy worlds, and I love how passionate kids become about the story and the characters. That’s some exciting stuff.

I love it when the kids act out new adventures of their favourite characters – Chewie and I get to play too!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
My latest published work is Axel and Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy. It’s my first published chapter book and the first in the Axel and Theo series. Theo, a fourth grade boy, who discovers his dog, Axel, is not only an alien, but actually the emperor of a distant galaxy. Axel is soon kidnapped by the story’s bad dudes, the cats, leaving Theo only one choice—to save his best friend. They meet some pretty wild space creatures, and throughout the journey, Theo realizes exactly what he’s made of.

My Review is also in this post, keep reading.

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I am excited to continue this series. Just this week, I wrapped up the initial draft of the second Axel and Theo book. It is now in the amazing hands of my wonderful editor. I have a picture book, releasing this year also. It’s titled Miss Clara Lily’s Gift. This one is super special to me. The story is about how we all have different gifts and, when used together, can create such beauty. I can’t wait for that one to be published. After that, we will just have to see. I really do love chapter books, so I will probably try to continue down that path. I also like the young adult genre, so who knows?—I may end up giving it a go.

Try it all!

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
My students inspired my first picture book, Katie Ling Fashion Queen. They’re passion for fashion was pretty contagious. My son and family inspired my second picture book, I Really Love You, Ava. This book really displays the love in a family. The Axel and Theo series stems from my love of science fiction and my history with animals. I grew up around goats, horses, chickens, cows, and, yes, especially dogs. Telling a cow about my day while I bottle fed her, was my most comfortable place. So the leap from talking to a dog to having a conversation with a dog, wasn’t a giant one for me to take.

Everyone should talk to their dog – we love to chat

What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
I read, read and read more. That really seems to help my inner voice. I can also see what is marketable and what has been done. I’m a part of various online groups where we have open discussions about the publishing industry. I enjoy reading blogs by other authors and publishers. The help I have received through critique groups has also been invaluable.

It’s great to get help from other authors and of course to help others.

What are the names of your books?
Katie Ling Fashion Queen
I Really Love You, Ava
Axel and Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy

Where can people contact you?
www.amberlykclowe.yolasite.com
www.facebook.com/amberlykclowe
www.amberlykclowe.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/AmberlyClowe

For other authors who may be struggling what advice can you on handling rejection?
First and foremost, stay true to what you enjoy. This may be a bit more of a struggle. For example, if you love, love, love to write picture books, do it, but do know it’s a pretty tough genre to break into. The best shot you have is to join critique groups and keep using constructive feedback to tweak your stories. Be patient and keep working away.

Excellent advice. Now here is my review of Axel and Theo

Axel and Theo: My Dog is the Emperor of a Faraway Galaxy by Amberly Kristen Clowe
Theo’s dog Axel is more than he seems, he is an alien from the planet Doglin. Axel takes Theo on an amazing adventure through space. This book is lots of fun. It is Science Fiction for kids, which is a great start. It was a weenie dog that is actually an Emperor and then there is Theo. He’s a character that many kids will understand. Then to cap it all off there is lots of adventure. Kids will enjoy this fun and exciting book.

Stitch Says gives it 4 woofs

So go and check it out today and enter the competition:

Thanks for joining us Amberly, keep writing, keep reading!

Writing Challenge 1 #getwriting

I have been running some writing challenges with my students and thought I would begin to share a few here on my blog. This is a bit of fun and I would love some people to email me their attempts – happy to feature writers, bloggers, anyone who is willing to have a go.

Email me at ashley@ahowland.org to feature. This is all in the name of learning more about writing…

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CHALLENGE NUMBER ONE

Imagine you live in a world where the complete vocabulary consists of only 20 words…. What words would you choose?

The challenge is to record your 20 words and use them in a short story (one paragraph – 4 to 5 lines).

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Who is brave enough??? Sit down have a go and as always have fun!!!

The boys #lovemydogs

Writing seems to be taking a back step at the moment. I have been working so much that I just haven’t had the time. There are other things that have to take priority and two of them are the boys…

Stitch

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and Chewie

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No matter how much I work they still need their run at the park,

Stitch and Tug

Stitch needs his time with he brother Tug and Chewie… well he just likes to do his own thing.

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The boys are an important part of my life and my writing. They do provide most of the material. With each trip to the park I get a better understanding of their personalities and get to meet some new characters. This is all vital because I am working on my Obi series and I have some ideas for Stitch and Chewie’s own stories too. If only I had some time to write… Better get back to it because tomorrow is park day! Have fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Flashback #awesomebook

Hi Stitch here:

Stitch web

If I could go back in time I’d go back to last Friday – yep it was park day. Everyday should be park day. Anyway here’s an awesome book all about going back in time…

Flashback by Simon Rose

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Fourteen year old Max visits a cemetery with a friend and finds himself caught up in the adventure of a lifetime. He suddenly gets flashbacks and discovers the fate of another boy lies in his hands. Max must travel back in time to right the wrongs of the past.
This is a great book for teenagers and will appeal to both boys and girls. I generally find books that involve time travel become confusing and to farfetched. Flashback is the exception. Simon Rose manages to keep it simple enough that the reader doesn’t need to get caught up in the details. They simply get to enjoy a good story.

Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!

You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Flashback-Simon-Rose-ebook/dp/B00U9PUKOW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Keep Reading, keep writing!

Chewie’s News Book Blast: Luna’s Lost Ball #childrensbook

Hi Chewie here,

Chewie web2

Sorry I was looking for something and am a bit late posting this but it is worth a read!

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the picture book “Luna’s Lost Ball” by R.A. Milnes II (June 18 to 20, 2015).

Luna's Lost Ball by R.A. Milnes II

 

About the Book

Title: Luna’s Lost Ball (Shiloh and Friends | Author: R.A. Milnes II | Publication Date: April 30, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 36 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

Summary: Luna is a Labrador retriever and she has lost her most favorite ball. Follow Shiloh and her friends in a tale of friendship, teamwork, sharing, and reward as they help Luna find her lost ball.

Amazon * Goodreads

 

The Buzz About the Book

“Wonderful book for small children! My twins are 4 years old and loved the story and colorful backgrounds! We are anxiously waiting the next in the collection!” ~ Marianne H., Amazon

 

About the Author: R.A. Milnes II

R.A. Milnes

I am a business professional working in the healthcare industry. Luna’s Lost Ball began as a gift to my niece and nephew. I have such love for them that I wanted to give them something that they can hold on to. The beauty of this work is that I am able to incorporate my dogs, Shiloh and Luna, into telling a story of friendship, teamwork, sharing, and reward.

I hope that you enjoy this story and it brings your family joy each time you read it. My goal is to continue to write more stories under the Shiloh and Friends brand.

Website | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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

Giveaway ends: July 2, 11:59 pm, 2015

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, R.A. Milnes II 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!

Stitch Says Book Review: Nobody’s Poodle #wooftasticbook

Stitch and Chewie here:

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We’ve joined forces for this review because it’s a dog book! We love dog books and this one is even better than most. It’s all about Gizmo the Labradoodle. Naturally this got our interest…

Here’s our review

Nobody’s Poodle by Nikki and Richard Attree

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This is the story of Gizmo, a Labradoodle. Poor Gizmo finds himself abandoned and looking for a new family. His journey is interesting, fast paced and full of action. This book is written by Gizmo (he is narrating the story), which is a great way for the reader to get into the dog’s feelings. The only slight downfall for me was the swearing. It seemed unlabradoodle like to me… but that’s easily overlooked because in every other way it was pawfect.
Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!

Yep it’s worth a read s check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Nobodys-Poodle-Nikki-Attree-ebook/dp/B00D7G8QOG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434540082&sr=1-1&keywords=nobody%27s+poodle&pebp=1434540083983&perid=0W0FHZV6PX5ZFZ7M52AV

Lots more to come, keep reading, keep writing!

Always at the Wrong Time #amwriting

Today I got the best idea for a new book…
Awesome, I have had this book circling my brain for a while, but every time I come to write I feel like this

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Of course the idea, the very way to put it all together, the answer to my confusion…

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happened right as my first Physical Education lesson was about to start. Yep that’s right 27 kids are running into the gym and I get the idea to solve my writing dilemma…

Arrrrghh!

I did manage to get a few notes written on my one note folder later in the day while my two were at gymnastics. However I am sure there is more that I thought about this morning. It’s better than nothing, but of course I still have the idea floating in my brain and it’s itching to come out. In the meantime I have reviews to write, books to edit and my stories to get back into circulation. So much to do, good to be busy.

What’s the worst time you have come up with a great story idea???

Have fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Bubbles #kidsbook

Hi Stitch here:

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Today I have a book that Chewie could relate too:

Chewie web2

He is a bit stinky and if you like stink then this is the book for you:

Bubbles - cover

 

About the Book

Title: Bubbles: Big Stink in Frog Pond | Author: Ben Woodard | Illustrator: Fran Riddell | Publication Date: June 15, 2015 | Publisher: Miller-Martin Press | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 7

Book Description: Bubbles is causing a stink. And the other frogs are not happy. They tell him to stop bubbling the water or he’ll have to leave Frog Pond. But he can’t help it. He’s been bubbling since he was a little tadpole. Will Bubbles have to leave Frog Pond? Where will he go? And what happens when danger comes? Find out in this fun picture book about friendship and self-respect for preschoolers and all ages.

Amazon * Goodreads

 

About the Author: Ben Woodard

Ben WoodardA spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben Woodard has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii.

Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children’s writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children’s stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain.

Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

Here is my review:
Kids love books about animals and they love jokes about smells. This book will entertain plenty of kids because it has both of those elements. Poor Bubbles the frog has caused a big problem in frog pond. His friends have finally had enough of his stinky ways. Will he ever find the place where he belongs?
This is a cute story that will make kids laugh.
Stitch Says gives it 3 woofs!

Keep reading, Keep writing!