Darlene Foster – an update

Darlene Foster first visited Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014. She’s back now to tell us of the most recent addition to her Amanda series.

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Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
by Darlene Foster
Genre: Middle Grade fiction and travel, geography, culture

Amanda is on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. She is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Nuremberg, Germany. Not long after, a mischievous young boy attempts to take the instrument from her.

Amanda and Leah see some amazing sights as they explore Melk Abbey, the musical city of Vienna and the historical city of Budapest. Along the way, they meet a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, a kind violinist and the same nasty boy. While exploring the scary catacombs of St. Stephens Cathedral or wandering the cobblestone streets of Regensburg, can she keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy? Follow Amanda down the Danube as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes, but wonders who she can trust.

Amanda on the Danube is the 5th book in Darlene Foster’s series for Middle Grades.

You may be interested in reading a blog post Darlene wrote about promoting her book, Schools, Libraries and Bookshops – A Few of My Favourite Places.

Darlene was also a guest on Krysten Lindsay Hager‘s blog writing this post, ​How Writing This Book Kept Me Sane.

For more information and where to purchase all five books in the series, please visit Darlene’s blog.

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Lockard Young – update on a new print edition

Lockie Young has long been a friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations, was one of the first authors to be promoted here, in Dec. 2013, has come back with several updates, and is a member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of special authors who give back to me and their fellow authors more than they receive in promotion. I consider Lockie to be an integral part of my “writing family” – a number of authors I’ve met and worked with over the years, now a community, that came together for the mutual benefit of all. I think I speak for the other authors in this group, and for readers as well, when I say that Lockie’s friendship, collaboration and support is, and always has been, valued and appreciated by everyone –
Thanks, Lockie!

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Ryan’s Legend, The Early Adventures
by L.F. Young
Published by Morning Rain Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade

Ryan’s Legend offers the premise of a young boy finding an wondrous secret – yet it’s far more than that. As much as it’s a whimsical tale of a boy and a secret he must keep, it’s also an important education about the world around us, and how we treat each other and those that share the world with us.” – Danny Brown
“Though written for 7-10 year olds, this heart-warming tale about a young boy who befriends a mythical dragon will delight readers of all ages.” – Kate Bell

My name is Ryan, and this is the story of how I discovered a legend, and the biggest secret of my entire life! Just after Christmas, I saw these weird tracks in the snow, so I just had to check them out. You won’t believe what I found!

Deep underground, in a hidden cavern, I met the best friend a guy could have. The coolest thing of all was we used real magic to talk. He told me all about his life, and why I had to keep his secret.

I know keeping secrets from my family is wrong, but this is different. I just can’t have my parents or my annoying older brother figuring out what’s hidden in the old chicken coop. If anyone finds out about this legend, he might disappear from the world forever.

Ryan’s Legend is now also available in a paperback edition as well as eBook!
Amazon CA, US, UK
KOBO
Indigo/Chapters

Pamela McDowell – an update

Pamela McDowell was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in August 2014 when she published the first book in this series for young readers (7-9). She’s returning now to tell us of the publication of the second book in that                environmental fiction series, Orca Echoes.

Salamander 2

Salamander Rescue
by Pamela McDowell
Published by Orca Book Publishers

Cricket McKay has lived in Waterton all her life, so she is surprised to discover an animal she hasn’t seen before: the long-toed salamander. She finds a band of them migrating from the pond to their hibernation grounds at Crandell Mountain. Crossing the road that lies between the pond and the mountain is dangerous enough, but now a newly-constructed curb makes their journey even more challenging. Can Cricket and her friends come up with a solution to help the salamanders?

Salamander Rescue is the second book featuring Cricket and friends, following Ospreys in Danger.

Where to purchase Pamela’s books:
Orca Book Publishers
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Janice Spina – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Janice Spina has been a guest on Reading Recommendations several times – first in May 2014, then she returned for two updates in Dec. 2014 and Oct. 2015. I’ve now invited Janice to become part of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of Authors, because of her enthusiastic promotion of me, my work, this blog, and the many other Authors who are writing and publishing independently – from around the world! Janice is a valuable member of this writing community and I thank her for the support she’s given to “all a we”, as they say on Bequia!!

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RRR: Since your first promotion on RR, what have you been doing?

JS: Before I answer this question I want to express my gratitude to Susan Toy of RR who has been a wonderful support to me. She has tirelessly continued to post updates about my work. For her kindness and unending support I am truly grateful!1f44d

Since my first promotion on RR I have published three more children’s books, PS-Grade 3, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey.

I am currently working on a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, which I hope to publish this month or next. My husband, John, who is my illustrator, is working on my new children’s book about a cat. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detective Series is in its early stages as is a mystery/romance novel. I plan to publish Davey & Derek books 3 & 4 this year and the novel in 2017. I have a YA fantasy that needs serious editing which will be another project that I will undertake in 2017. A girl’s detective/mystery series is running around in my head for 2017 also.

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Writing keeps me quite busy but I do spend time posting on my blog JemsBooks writing about my books, helpful tips for authors, guest posts, author interviews, supporting authors, and my travels.

On my website I offer copy editing services for authors. My credentials and references are listed at my website.

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I am an avid reader and book reviewer on Amazon and Goodreads. If you look me up there you will see that I have read extensively and gave myself a reading challenge of 125 books for 2016. In the past few years I have surpassed each of my goals. My reading preferences are eclectic, from children’s books to mystery, thrillers, fantasy and historical fiction. Since I have a long list at present on my TBR list (to be read) I cannot promise to take on any more books for review at this time though.

RRR: What else have you been doing, outside of the writing?
JS: Hobbies: When I can I crochet hats, scarves, afghans, cowls, and amigarumis (animals & other characters) for my grandchildren during the winter months. This gives me a break from my writing and makes my grandchildren happy. That is what makes me happy too.

I plan to keep writing, entertaining and educating children about the importance of reading while teaching them important life lessons and family values.

Children are my main goal in my writing. I have donated my books to libraries and as gifts during Christmas. I recently blogged when asked for help obtaining books by the Civitain group in Arizona that helps special needs children to get up to their reading levels. This post was extremely well received and many authors have donated books to the Civitain group – 31 books at this time. I was thrilled to send copies of all my books to these children. It was a sincere pleasure to assist this group in procuring the books they needed. I thank all my fellow authors for their kindness and generosity in taking part in this needy cause.

I am happy to help any group that needs assistance in spreading the word about their group if it aids children in any way.

RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?
JS: I did a guest post on Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s blog about social media needs for authors. Here is the link in case you want to read the complete post.

I have found that when new or aspiring authors are just starting out they need to get their names and work out there on social media. That means starting a website and blog, signing up for FB, Twitter and other sites. Visit, follow and leave comments on other blogs and you will find that these bloggers will respond in kind and follow back. Helping others to promote their work will bring more followers to your blog. I have met so many wonderful people online through social media and many have become good friends and my wonderful support system, such as Susan Toy. It has been a joy to work together with other authors on group promotions and blog hops, etc. I have learned and grown with each new interaction. I look forward to many more rewarding experiences.

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year.
JS: Being an avid reader I have been fortunate to have met some creative and talented authors. There are so many of these authors’ books I have enjoyed and find it difficult to choose just three. If you will indulge me I will list three but also others that I have enjoyed.

These authors I list have many books to choose from and I have read a few of each of theirs. I have a good feel as to their distinctive writing styles. Here are my thoughts.

Robert K. Swisher, Jr. is a creative author who incorporates his wonderful sense of humor into his entertaining stories. His stories are eclectic and unforgettable. Robert’s Facebook Page.

Robert Thornhill is a talented author of the Lady Justice Series who mixes mystery/detective stories with humor. His characters are fascinating, well defined, memorable and fun to read. Robert’s Amazon Author Page.

These two authors I have recently discovered and only read one of each of their books.

Christoph Fischer is a talented storyteller of epic proportion. I read his incredible book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, that tells an unforgettable tale of life during wartime for a family trying to survive. He reminds me of best-selling author Jeffrey Archer. Christoph on Amazon.

Mae Clair is a creative author who knows how to weave a tale of mystery and suspense. I look forward to reading more from her. Mae on Amazon.

Some more of my favorite authors are Sally G. Cronin, Nicholas Rossis, Peter Cimino and, Don Massenzio. I could go on and on about many more wonderful authors. (Sally, Nicholas and Don have all been featured on Reading Recommendations!)

Thank you, Susan Toy, for inviting me here today to your fabulous blog. A special thank you for all that you do for me and other authors to help promote our work.

My slogan is: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Happy reading everyone!

Blessings to all!
Janice

Thank you, Janice!

Rick and Erica Bergh

BERGH ER12 Rick and Erica Bergh

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Mr. Lumberjack is a children’s book for ages 5-9 (illustrations by Franceska Dnestrianschii)

Quick description: Mr. Lumberjack is horrified when he discovers his forest in a shambles. A journey takes him to the culprit and a surprise ending that leads to a valuable lesson about being a steward of the environment. Includes a free sing-a-long song.

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Brief biography:
Rick Bergh has been telling children’s stories all his life – first to his own four children and now to his grandchildren. They are the inspiration behind many of his heart-warming and humorous tales.

Erica Phare-Bergh is an accomplished choral conductor, music educator and pianist. Her original songs that accompany these books include excerpts from classical composers in order to familiarize children with that genre of music.

Links to buy the Berghs’ book:
Mr. Lumberjack is available on Amazon.ca and Indigo online platforms as well as in select Chapter’s bookstores in Calgary.

The Berghs’ promo links:
Email: sunshine (at) songwitheverystory.com
Website

What are you working on now?
Our next children’s book is entitled The Stretchy Cheese Pizza. It’s based on an experience that our young grandson, Connor, had when making a pizza with him mom. When she left Connor for a moment, he dumped the entire package of cheese on top of the pizza despite a warning not to do so.

What ensues in our children’s book is the crazy adventure that the cheese takes Connor on when it explodes out of the oven and all over the neighborhood.

The Berghs’ reading recommendation:
I’m really trying to figure out how to best promote our books and have enjoyed Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Lockard Young – Just looked in to see what condition my condition was in

I have had the pleasure of “knowing” Lockie Young online since I first promoted him and his writing on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013. Lockie returned in Dec. 2014 as part of an anthology put together by another RR-promoted author, Tim Baker. (An anthology to which I had also contributed a short story!) Then he returned once again in Mar. 2015 to tell us of a new novella. Lockie has also been featured in the Reading Recommendations Revisited portion of the blog.

Throughout these past two-plus years I’ve been friends with Lockie, he has always been a bright light, full of fun, encouragement, comraderie and support for his fellow authors. He’s strived to improve his writing and find new readers for his work, all the while helping everyone else to get ahead, as well. I can see just from the number of comments he receives on Facebook whenever he posts, and what those friends say of Lockie and his writing, that he has touched many, many more people than just me. I am proud to be considered a friend of this fine man.

But, all this while, Lockie has been dealing with major health issues … life-threatening, in fact. He recently wrote a very moving, very poignant blog post that describes not only what he has been going through during a recent unexpected and lengthy hospital stay, but also how he managed to derive comfort from the one activity he has been engaged in for years now – his writing! I asked Lockie’s permission to run this post (a link to the entire post is below) so that my blog readers could read and see exactly how this very brave man is now coping with his life and the cards that have been dealt to him. He is an inspiration to me, and I hope he will be to everyone who meets Lockie through his writing here and in his published work and blog. Thank you, Lockie, for continuing to write and to inspire!

(When I first thought of posting an update about Lockie Young, this old song immediately popped into my mind so I just had to use the line for the post title. Lockie approved! Here’s a link to the original from The First Edition – and a very young Kenny Rogers! And there’s Mickey Jones on drums, Tim Baker!!)

Lockie Head Shot

Reflections from a Hospital Window
by L.F.Young

Streetlights blinking, winking and twinkling on the inky black stripe on the horizon, eyes of the city, waiting to greet the new day like a child in sleepy wakefulness. The first shades of bright above black ribbon, shot full of colors yet to grow into crimson, blues and purples, highlight the long thin clouds above in a sky just starting to lighten and asking the stars to please go to sleep, your time complete, now let the sun command.

Steam from a pipe on the roof below, a phantom, twisting and rolling into nothingness in the ice cold on the other side of the pane, makes me think of a dream, a fragile dream, escaping into unknown realms between here and there.
Shadow shapes now taking form, show their hidden likeness against the backdrop of night turned light, darkness no more. Black tree branches, devoid of leaf in this winter slumber, stretch gnarly fingers to the heavens in silent prayer.
A church spire, standing tall and pointed, protruding into the reds, competes with the reflection in the window of a walker and wheelchair, left abandoned in the hallway behind me, a reminder of the illusion in glass that seems so real, I need but just turn around to know where I am.

(To continue reading, please click through to the original blog post on Lockie’s Lectern.)

Book Covers

Lockie’s two eBooks are available to purchase here and here.

Lockie’s latest acceptance for publication was a short story called Old Memories. It will be published by the University of Saskatchewan in an annual journal on everything Hockey, titled Between the Lines A Journal of Hockey Literature Volume 3 2015/2016 edited by Dwayne Brenna and Sara-Jane Gloutnez. The journal features short stories and poetry from sixteen authors about the national sport.

Sending out good vibes and best wishes to you, Lockie! Readers, please post your wishes below or on Lockie’s original blog post.

Betty Jane Hegerat Recommends Glen Huser

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Book title and author:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow
Written by Glen Huser
Illustrated by Philippe Béhe
Music by Giannis Georgantelis

What genre is it?
A children’s book—the retelling of a myth— but one that will surely delight all ages.

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Quick description:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow is the retelling of the myth of Demeter and Perspephone. This book is the collaboration of author and lyricist, Glen Huser, composer and director Giannis Georgantelis and a choir of more than 180 Quebec children, and the Orchestre Symphonique Pop de Montréal. Illustrations are by Philippe Béha. The book includes a CD of the music, and narration by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. The book is an enchanted telling of the myth in narrative and song. As well as the story of Demeter and Persephone it is a contemplation of why seasons change; the cycles of plenty and scarcity, and joy and sorrow.

Far more than a children’s book, this is a work of multi-disciplinary art of the highest calibre.

Why I recommend this book:
Everything about Time for Flowers Time for Snow delights me. I believe the best of books for children are equally appealing to adults and beg to be read aloud and shared. This book has the added eloquence of song—opera by children. I recommend it because I want it in my own library and I want to give it to every special child in my life.

Links for people to buy it:
Always, I recommend that readers first seek books from local independent booksellers who are usually delighted to order the book if they do not have in stock.
Online: Amazon
Tradewind Books

HEGERAT BR09Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
My newest title Odd One Out (Oolichan Books) is a book for young teens to be released this spring 2016. Betty Jane Hegerat has been featured a number of times on Reading Recommendations, most recently announcing this new about-to-be-published book she mentions.

Sharon Clark – an update on two new books for children

Sharon Clark was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in May, 2014. She is back now to tell us about the publication of two new children’s books!

A Strange Guest in an Ant's Nest

A Strange Guest in An Ant’s Nest
written by Sharon Clark
illustrated by Roberto Gonzalez
Genre: Children’s picture book

A Strange Guest in an Ant's Nest-4This picture book will delight children between the ages of 5 to 9. It is told in a unique story format from the perspective of Amber, a meadow ant. Children will learn some fascinating facts and behaviours of this type of ant, as the story unfolds.

Amber has recently emerged from her cocoon and is amazed at her surroundings. She quickly learns how to help with various duties. She carries eggs to warm and dry locations within the nest and helps to feed growing larvae.A Strange Guest in an Ant's Nest-3

One day she needs to leave her nest to bring back food – the consequence of an ant battle. Most of her trips to and from the nest are uneventful. But one of them is different. She encounters a large and different creature that frightens her. Amber fills the air with alarm scents to call for help from other workers. But when they arrive, they don’t attack. Instead, they do something strange – they transport this odd creature into their nest.

A Strange Guest in an Ant's Nest-2This picture book illustrates how insects that are very different from one another can live together in harmony. Their peaceful co-existence benefits both species. Kids can draw on their example. This story will encourage children to embrace the differences of others. It will help kids to understand that people of other cultures, religions and races enrich our lives in many ways. Without them, we would never have the opportunity to experience their delicious foods, unique music and art, or their interesting ideas.

The Caterpillar That Learned to Fly

The Caterpillar That Learned to Fly
written by Sharon Clark
illustrated by Roberto Gonzalez
Genre: Children’s picture book

The Caterpillar That Learned to Fly-2This picture book will delight children between the ages of 5 to 9. It is told in a unique story format from the perspective of Cutter a caterpillar. Children will learn fascinating facts about this caterpillar as the story unfolds. They will also discover the amazing transformation of one caterpillar into a butterfly.

Cutter is a caterpillar that eats, grows and sheds his outer skin a number of times. Although he lives a simple life on milkweed leaves, it often is filled with danger. The Caterpillar That Learned to Fly-3

A few weeks later he feels different, and he senses that he needs a very long rest. This time, as he hangs upside-down on the stalk of a milkweed leaf, great changes occur to his body. Cutter transforms into Flutter, a beautiful Monarch butterfly. The Caterpillar That Learned to Fly-4

He wastes no time in exploring a vast new world that he never knew existed. This book will let kids see how wondrous the natural world can be. It will also encourage them to follow Flutter’s example and discover what is beyond the world they are familiar with.

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Where to buy Sharon’s books:
AmazonA Strange Guest in an Ant’s Nest
AmazonThe Caterpillar That Learned to Fly

Thomas Wharton – an update on a new children’s book

Thomas Wharton was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in August 2014, and is back now to tell us of a new illustrated book for children he has just published!

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Rutherford the Time-Travelling Moose
written by Thomas Wharton
illustrated by Amanda Schutz
Hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-9948434-2-5, 32 Pages
Website
Contact Information: info (at) rutherfordhouse.ca

Robin had no idea that a trip to Rutherford House with her grandma would lead to an adventure with a time-travelling moose! Come with Robin and Rutherford as they journey through Edmonton’s history, from the ice age to the present day, and discover how our city has changed through time. This 32-page adventure visits such sites as Rutherford House, the Alberta Legislature, Strathcona Library, Princess Theatre, the High Level Bridge and Garneau Theatre.

Available to purchase from:
Rutherford House – The Lilac Tree Gift Shop
11153 Saskatchewan Drive

Audrey’s Books
10702 Jasper Avenue

Tix on the Square
9930-102 Avenue NW

Carbon Environmental Boutique
12543-102 Avenue NW

Sally Cronin – an update on a new collection of short stories

Welcome back, Sally Cronin! Sally was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2015, and has featured me and my books numerous times on her own blog. As well, Sally has been a great support of this blog in reblogging many of the other authors’ promotions. Thank you, Sally!

Sally says: I am very grateful to Susan Toy for her continuing support of my books through the excellent Reading Recommendations. Being featured here in 2015 has certainly been a very positive experience.

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Tales From The Garden
– Behind the scenes
by Sally Cronin

Writing short stories has always been a way for me to escape for a couple of hours from more mundane but necessary tasks such as homework and then more fact orientated documents such as annual budgets or training manuals. I began to write a weekly short story for my blog as a way to keep me motivated whilst working on other longer term projects. It also provides instant feedback and hopefully keeps interest in my writing fresh.

About Tales from the Garden:

This collection of fairy stories was my surprise book of the year and I am so delighted with the response to its release.

Tales from the Garden is a collection of fairy stories and 80 illustrations, for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The tales reveal the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees and you will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
There are wicked witches, mischievous dwarves who also spend too much in the sneezeweed patch. Dragons, handsome fairy princes and wayward ladies of the court. The garden is a magic sanctuary and those in danger find their way through the gates to protection.

The guardians who have kept this sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

The book is available at a substantial discount via my own website
Also at Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon CA

DSC_0869 a About Sally Cronin:

Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.

She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.

All these can be found on Amazon or Smashwords.

For the last two years Sally has written a daily blog covering the subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music: Smorgasbord Invitation – Variety is the Spice of Life. You can link to it from here.

Connect to Sally on social media.
Website
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Google+

My thanks again to Susan for inviting me to update you with news of my latest book.

You are most welcome here any time, Sally! Thanks for visiting again.