Sunday, July 27, 2014

A personal apology from Teddy O'Malley

Hi everyone, I'd like to personally apologize for how long it's been since Destiny and I have made a post. Those of you who know me personally know that I was in a pretty bad car accident a few months ago. I won't share the details, but it has been a long road to recovery!

Now, I wanted to make a post because it's been a while since Destiny has checked her mail (sorry!), but I will try to review all the books in her inbox. After that, we'll only be accepting picture books and easy readers. Again, I'm sorry! But we would have trouble handling anything else right now.

We'll let you know if and when we start reviewing YA or Middle Grade novels again. But don't worry if you already sent us your book (as of yesterday or earlier today). We will get to it!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Author Interview With Priscilla Whitaker

Hi Priscilla!

Thanks for taking the time to interview me.  First, thanks for taking the time to read my book.  I think it is fantastic that I am being interviewed by a children’s book character.

What inspired you to write your first book?

It really happened by accident.  I was taking walks around my pond every morning with my neighbors.  This beautiful bird would fly and land three to six feet away from us.  I didn’t know what kind of bird he was at first.  I started learning everything I could about him and then I wrote a story for the little girls I babysit.  When other people saw my pictures and read my story they encouraged me to get my book published.

When did you start considering yourself a writer?

I have a hard time viewing myself as an author or photographer. 

What are you working on next?

Currently, I am not working on a new book.  I still take a lot of pictures and think about different ideas.  I just haven’t decided on anything new at this time.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My best advice is that you really must enjoy what you are writing about.  How can you expect someone to like your book if you don’t like it?  Next, have a really nice book cover because that is the first thing anyone will see.  Also, be willing to go to schools and libraries to read to children.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

My favorite book growing up was “Ferdinand the Bull”.  I just loved how he was sent into a bull fight because they thought he was fierce.  Instead, he was a gentle giant and he was returned home safely to his field of flowers.  

Anything you would like to add?

I truly love my life!  I babysit two wonderful little girls.  (They must be a lot like you and Faith.)  My favorite part about being an author is visiting schools and reading to children.  I also love meeting other authors.  I spend a lot of time outside working in my garden or chasing critters with my camera.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mr. Blue by Priscilla Whitaker


Mr. Blue is the fantastic story about the life of a great blue Heron. The book is written in a fun, interactive voice that invites the reader to answer questions. Here is an excerpt of the text:

"Mr. Blue is four feet tall and still growing! He can grow as tall as five feet! How tall are you?"

Priscialla Whitaker's photography skills are amazing and really bring this book to life. The book is also filled with fun facts like the facts above. By the time you're done reading this book you'll know everything about the great blue heron!

This book is fun and educational, which is what make this book Top Shelf!

*This book is a winner of Destiny's Top Shelf Book award

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Odd Sock's Big Scottish Adventure by Melinda Kinsman - Book Giveaway and Contest Announcement

Melinda Kinsman's latest book features one of my good friends. Odd Sock!

My review: In her latest book, Odd explores Scotland and learns many facts about hill-walking and exploring in general. The book also includes tons of adorable photos of Odd.

Sorry about making this review so short. I am very tired right now, so am going to wrap it up with news of Melinda's giveaway. 

That's right. The chance to win your very own Odd Sock stuffed plushie! I know I want one. 

Good luck!

Oh, I almost forgot. The book is free until the 4th of July! 

* * *

(Please follow instructions on the photo to enter Melinda's contest)


Friday, June 6, 2014

Elias Zapple's Rhymes From The Cabbage Patch by Elias Zapple

Elias Zapple has a very witty (and a bit dark) sense of humour, which is exactly why I love his work so much. I am not usually a fan of the twisted, but this book had me laughing out loud at a few spots! Some of the poems rhyme, some do not. Some rhyme and then have a sudden, deadpan line at the end which I love.
The fairytales are new takes on old classics. If you've ever wanted to see Cinderella get her revenge or Little Red join forces with the wolf ala Bonnie and Clyde, then you will love this book. Check it out or be slimed!
This book is top shelf!

P.S this book is free for today. Click here to get it!
*winner of the unofficial Top Shelf book award

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Think I've Lost My Bottom by Darren Lewis


If you're tired of traditional poetry and nursery rhymes, then I Think I've Lost My Bottom is the perfect book for you. The rhymes range from funky to completely zany.

If you felt sorry for the big bad wolf, then you will be fascinated by the way Darren Lewis believes it should have ended.

All in all, a fun rhyming book that we believe you should add to your poetry collection.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Is YA Day! Hat Girl By Camac Johnson


Hat Girl is a short story, but not one that should be overlooked. I thoroughly enjoyed it while I was supposed to be doing my chores. Oh well!

Hat Girl tells the story of a young girl who is bullied for having to wear a hat every day. Unfortunately, she gets sick very easily. But eventually Juliette outgrows her need for hats as she goes off to college and studies art design.

When a crisis threatens the design company she works at, will hats play a part in saving the company? You will have to read it and find out!

Hat Girl is a delightful read and one I highly recommend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hobbs Goblin In The Treasure Adventures by Joseph Foster


Joseph Foster is a new talent to watch out for! In his new, beautifully illustrated book Hobbs Goblin In The Treasure Adventure, our friend Hobbs Goblin takes us on a fun and exciting adventure. 

One of the many things I liked about this book is that the entire page is full of colour. The background is beautifully painted and Hobbs is adorable.

Another great thing about this book is that he speaks to you throughout the book, making you feel like you are entirely part of the action. This also encourages younger readers to answer Hobbs and to talk about the adventure.

When you're done reading this, you'll want to go on your own treasure hunt adventure!

This book is Top Shelf!

***This book is a winner of the unofficial Top Shelf book award***

Monday, May 12, 2014

The T-Rex Who Wanted To Be A Long Neck by Valerie Harmon


T-rex has anger issues, and it's more than he can stand. He would really like to be a long neck. They're peaceful, after all, and he would like to be peaceful, too.

He tries everything to become a long neck from stretching his neck to walking on four legs. But it's what he learns he along the way, while working on his anger issues, that truly transforms him.

This book was an excellent read and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to read it. It shows that changing who you are into who you want to be starts from the inside, and I think that's a great message.

Valerie Harmon is an excellent author. She portrays the T-Rex and his anger issues as well as his trouble with self-esteem into a simple story that will be easy enough for children to understand, but one that even adults can take away from.

All things that make this book top shelf!

*this book is a winner of the unofficial top shelf book award

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Little Miss History Travels To Sequoia National Forest

I am in love with Barbara Ann Mojica's book, Little Miss History Travels to Sequoia National Forest.
Barbara Ann Mojica makes learning so much fun with her Little Miss History series.
History, the main character, loves to travel and explore new places. She also loves to learn about the past. That's how she got the nickname "History".
As History travels from place to place she gives us fun facts about the place she's visiting. So we can learn and have fun at the same time! And as we all know, I'm a big fan of learning. Especially when it's fun.

In this book you will learn the difference between sequoias and redwood trees, how big a sequoia gets, and how long they live. You'll also learn tons of interesting historical facts!

Ready to fall in love with History?

Then check this one out!

You can learn more about Little Miss History at

This book is top shelf!

*this book is a winner of the unofficial Top Shelf book award

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Don't Grow Up Without Me by Christie Blackwell

Don't Grow Up Without Me is the beautiful story about a mother's love for her children. Every night Mom prays a special prayer for her children so that they won't have to grow up without her. I loved this book for so many reasons!
My mom and I are super close so it was really great to read about a mother-child bond. You can really feel the love a mother has for her children. I really loved the fact that this story had twins in it! How awesome!
This beautiful story will touch the heart of both Mom and child (and maybe Dad, too!) as you read it together and cuddle. Check it out.

Don't Grow Up Without Me is an inspirational book. Perfect for after you say your bedtime prayers.
This book is top shelf!
Mothers and children will enjoy reading this beautiful book together.
You can learn more about the book at.

(This book is a winner of the unofficial Top Shelf book award)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Review and a CONTEST!

Hola, everyone! I just read Monster Poems For Monstrous Kids and it is a great book.
This cute book is full of funny Monster Poems and adorable illustrations all done in Melinda Kinsman's unique style.
There's a kid who lets way too many monsters stay with him and another who likes to go looking for them.
Guess what else? Melinda Kinsman is running a fun contest, so that you can have your own real life Odd Sock!
All you have to do is answer this question.
How many heads do Big Jim's monsters have?
Don't worry, though. You can find the answer in Monster Poems For Monstrous Kids which will be free May 4th, 5th, and 6th.
So pick up your copy, find out how many heads Big Jim's monsters have and send your answer to
You can win a 2nd entry by leaving a review on Amazon!
The prize winner will be drawn on May 9th!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Goo And Spot In The Do Not Wiggle Riddle by Elsa Takaoka

Goo and Spot in the Do Not Wiggle Riddle may be one of the most adorable books I have ever read. This cute rhyming book isn't just cute. It teaches the important skills of listening and being patient. The story is unique in that it feels as if Elsa Takaoka is speaking directly to you, the reader! I loved that about this book.
This book is full of adorable illustrations by Catherine Toennisson that support the text very well. The children in the illustrations are very diverse as you can probably tell just from looking at the cover.
This book is definitely worth picking up. In fact, it's top shelf!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Interview With G. Eric Francis

And now meet chicken-loving author

G. Eric Francis

Image of G. Eric Francis

What inspired you to write your first book?

I have been writing since I was 8 years old.  When it comes to the first book, “A Prayer For The Dying”, it was based on stories that I wrote when i was in college, which in turn was based on an old friend who went into law enforcement.  I originally planned to write a screenplay, but once I got out of college , things sort of went dry for about a decade and a half.  While at work one day, the memory of those old stories came back, and I just started typing between working.  The rest just sort of took care of itself.

When did you start considering yourself a writer?

Since the day I put pen to paper…:)
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

8 months ago, I would have said “Prayer.”  But I have had so much fun with “Cluck The Undercover Chicken” I have to say it’s more personal, since it is based on stories I told my son.  That, and the fact that I feel the book can appeal to folks of all ages, as that “Prayer” is for an adult audience.
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)

Well, the wonderful thing about talking to someone who can, well, literally be anything they like (only limited by the imagination) is that you don’t have the flaws that we humans have.  It makes it easy to say what is on your mind and be comfortable about it.

What are you working on next?

Well, that depends.  I have 3 books that are being worked on; hopefully the 2nd book of Cluck’s adventures, another a baseball story for young people, and a sequel to my first “Prayer” book.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Well, I can say this.  Cluck is one of the most arrogant characters I’ve ever come up with.  In his first book, thinking that he knows everything (especially when he goes against his latest adversary, “The Fan”) gets him literally in hot water…or oil, in this case.  Being a chicken, that isn’t a good thing…:)

Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

Well, it used to be the main character in my first book, Dionne Richards.  But I think Cluck is quickly catching up.  He’s the great “Antihero”; a character you don’t like per se, but you can’t help rooting for because you know he’s basically good.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

3 Words…Write, Write, Right!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I try to do the best for my boys, especially my youngest, who has special needs (Down Syndrome and Autism).  There are times things are rough because of his lot in life, so being his Dad is truly a full time job.  I hope that my writing will allow me to be a full time stay at home dad so I can be there for him.  In the meanwhile, besides working for a living like everyone else, I collect a copious amount of music, enjoy sports, and I am a decent cook.

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

Ah…well, as I always wanted to be an action star, I think I would have to be “Prayer."

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

You are going to laugh…I didn’t necessarily have one.  I mean, I read plenty of sci-fi books (especially spinoffs of either the “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” Universe).  But my big thing was anything mythology.  I received this huge volume of Roman and Greek Mythology when I was a kid, and I read that over and over again.  Absolutely loved it.  Oh, and this kid’s version of the Bible with illustrations that my grandparents had…loved those as well.

Anything you would like to add?

I wanted to share this with your readers.  I have so many ideas floating in my head, and I am particularly excited about continuing the “Cluck” series.  But I can’t do that without your support.  I am a writer that depends on folks to read his work as much as I depend on air to breathe.  So I hope you check “Cluck” out; with you he has a long way to go.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cluck The Undercover Chicken by G. Eric Francis

Cluck is a crazy undercover Chicken who has to take down his formidable foe called the Fan.

We liked the unique style of this book where the author, known in the book as ST, interacts with the main character Cluck. Their dialogue is pretty funny and breaks up the action a bit (which there is quite a bit of). G. Eric Francis is creative and entertaining.

The book seems to be geared more toward boys and particularly older children (it's a little violent), but if you love action, laughs, and if you aren't chicken, check it out!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once Upon An Island by D.M Potter


Once Upon An Island is the perfect bedtime read if you dream of going on adventures. And as we all know, I love a good adventure. D.M Potter's book is unique and creative because a combines an older concept (a choose your own adventure) book with a newer concept (the eBook)

This is actually better than the traditional choose-your-own-adventure, because instead of having to flip to a certain page, you are presented with two links. 

You can take option one.

Or you can take option two.

In this book you travel to an island called Arapawa, and if you're not careful, you may even end up going back in time. There are fun twists at every corner, so definitely check this book out.

Unlike other books, I find myself reading Once Upon An Island a lot, because each time you read the book you can have a different adventure.

D.M Potter's brilliant writing makes you feel like you are really there. She has a style that is all her own.

This book is definitely top shelf!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bing & Nero, Boy + Robot = Fun by I.L Williams

Although I think Bing's statement that having a robot is "even better than a dog" is a matter of opinion, I definitely enjoyed this book by I.L Williams about a boy who builds a robot, because he can't have a dog.
There are probably a lot of kids in the world who can't have a dog. Maybe their parents are allergic or maybe they're allergic. But Bing decides that he can do something about it and builds himself a robot friend!
I.L Williams has a fresh writing style that makes this book very easy to read. The text is simple and ties well with the fabulous illustrations provided by Inci Alper. They portray the creative Bing and his robot in a fun, unique style.
If you have ever dreamed about having your very own robot, then you will definitely want to read Bing & Nero, Boy + Robot = Fun.
One of the biggest reasons we like Bing & Nero here at Destiny's Book Dig Up is because the main character Bing is smart, inspired, and creative. (And he wears glasses. Glasses are cool!) He uses his imagination to problem solve and he gets things accomplished.
We think that I.L William's fresh writing style combined with Inci Alper's unique and fun illustrations make this book top shelf!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Always Be Us Three by Natalie Finnigan

Always Be Us Three
A review by Teddy O'Malley
Normally, I let Destiny do all the reviews. This is her blog, after all. But I wanted to review this one, because the book touches a subject that I've been personally affected by. Explaining divorce or separation to a child.
This book and the parent doing the explaining will make a great team as it's written in simple, rhyming language in Natalie Finnigan's very unique style.
We've actually interviewed Natalie on our blog a few weeks ago and you can read our interview with her here.
I'm excited that Natalie dared to go there, because this book is much needed for many reasons. The most important being that separation is confusing and scary to a small child.
Natalie's book reminds the child that both parents will always love them and be there for them. Nothing the child did is responsible for the break-up.
Excerpt from the story
"Your daddy loves you very much and, yes, I love you too. And we want to be the very best that we can be for you."
The book also touches on some more tense moments of parents separating, such as the fighting that often comes before the actual split.
Natalie's witty rhyming explanation takes a friendly and un-scary approach and most importantly, reminds the child that they are loved.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interview With Bonnie Ferrante

Meet The Author Who Inspires Self-Esteem Through Humour
Bonnie Ferrante
What inspired you to write your first picture book?
I wanted more books for young children that merged good values and female protagonists into fun and interesting stories.
When did you start considering yourself a writer?
When I was hired to write a weekly humor column for a regional newspaper which I did for more than three years.
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?
Rumpelstiltskin's Child is my favourite because I enjoyed researching medieval items and illuminated manuscripts for my illustrations.
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)
It's charming. :-)
What are you working on next?
I have several irons in the fire. I'm illustrating my children's book "No More Red". I'm sketching ideas for my protagonist and her pet for "Where is Jayda?".  I'm practicing drawing cats for "Pirate Smells." All are picture books. I'm also working with an editor to finish my YA book for Tradewind Books.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
"No More Red" is about a little boy who dislikes red so much he wants it to disappear.
Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?
I love Sunny in "Rayne Shines." She brings her own fun wherever she goes. She's happy with what she has and she's patient with Rayne, who has been taught to be unappreciative and gloomy.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take classes and read books. Treat it like a career. Join a critique group. Get a lot of feedback on your writing. Do not try to jump straight to self publishing. The market is flooded with work that was released prematurely.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read a lot. I love playing with my granddaughters. I illustrate. I've changed from acrylics to digital illustration because I've developed Parkinson's Disease (like Michael J. Fox).
If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?
The Amida Tree.
What was your favourite book when you were a kid?
I loved old fairy tales. I read Heidi eight times.
Anything you would like to add?
I was a grade school teacher for thirty-three years. One of the things I miss the most is reading to the class. I love public readings with small children. That's when my books really come to life, when they are read aloud.
Thanks for joining us, Bonnie! It was great to have you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rayne Shines by Bonnie Ferrante

Rayne Shines is a book with a hilarious twist on learning to count your blessings.
Rayne is a young frog whose family always complains. Mom complains about movies. Dad complains about music. Everybody has something to complain about. Rayne was brought up to complain right along with them.
But one day new neighbours arrive. Their little girl, Sunny, always sees the positive in everything. Maybe after playing with Sunny for a while, Rayne will learn to see the positive side of things, too.
This is a great way to introduce to introduce any child (or even an older person) to positive thinking. Rayne Shine shows how much fun it isn't to hang out with people who do nothing but complain!
When Rayne alters her perception by seeing the positive in everything, instead of the negative, thanks to her friend Sunny, she learns that it can alter your mood and make you feel better and happier!
The book is simple and can deliver its message to even the youngest of readers. The illustrations were wonderful and matched the story well. I really enjoy looking at them as I read through the story.
The positive message in Rayne Shines make this book top shelf!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Interview With A.J York

Meet The Author Who Makes Us Want To Dust
A.J York
What inspired you to write your first book?

I was about to move out of a flat that I had been renting. It was an old place with a room off the kitchen, where the maid would have once slept. I was giving the place a good clean, when I started to wonder who the maid might have been and what her life would have been like. I was disastrously dusting a book shelve when I started to imagine Delilah and her special powers over dust.

When did you start considering yourself a writer?

I guess this would have been after I published Delilah Dusticle, as I started to add writer to my professional profile.

Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

I love The Delilah Dusticle Adventures, but my favourite piece of writing I have done so far is actually a poem called The Exhausting Perils of Should. It is about what we feel we should be doing/not doing/thinking/not thinking/being/ not being, etc. I have uploaded it onto Goodreads for anyone to read.

How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)
I think it is great! I studied drama at university, so interacting with a children’s book character is a lot of fun for me.
What are you working on next?
I am busily writing Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest. I have added a sample chapter at the end of book two to whet your appetite.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The next story is set in India and I am doing quite a bit of research. I have been looking at the landscape, types of storms and what regions they affect. I am also reading up on Indian myths and Hindu gods. It is very interesting and I would love to travel to India one day.

Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

The spiders. I am actually quite afraid of them in real life, yet they keep appearing in my stories.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I still feel very new to writing to be giving advice. The best advice I have received was from another author. She said that I should write about things that genuinely interest me, and not what I think others think I should be writing.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love hanging out in cafés and luckily for me Gothenburg is full of them. Some cafés have special afternoon tea events, others have piano players and fantastic cakes!

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

I think it would be Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure. I would really like to go to the Hallow Eve Ball and join in with the food fight.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

I love Pippi Longstocking. When I was very small I would visit my Grandmother in Sweden and watch Pippi programmes in Swedish. At that time I only spoke English and I had no idea what they were saying. It really didn’t seem to matter as I still happily watched all the episodes.

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having me on your blog!

Thank you for joining us! It was good to have you!

A.J York's website:
Twitter: @delilahdusticle


Friday, March 14, 2014

Delilah Dusticle by AJ York

“Truth is, everyone has something special, Abi, and they usually overlook it looking for something they think is grander or fitting in some way.” - Delilah, Delilah Dusticle
Delilah is a young girl with the special ability to eradicate dust. She is one of the best dusters in the world until her heart is broken. Then everything she touches seems to gather dust instead of becoming cleaner.
What I really like about Delilah Dusticle is the underlying message. Because even though her heart was broken, Delilah eventually moves and finds work and friendship elsewhere. This is a message that everyone needs to hear. Life isn't over just because your heart aches.
A.J York delivers this message in a fun and sometimes very funny way. Delilah is a very relatable character and we all might have felt like we've been in her shoes at one point. Being depressed over something can make it seem difficult to move on with life. But Delilah learns, as we all must learn, that sometimes starting over is the first step to moving on.
"The ordinary can be extraordinary overlooked." - Delilah

Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview With Author Carmen Parets Luque

And now for our interview with witchy author
Carmen Parets Luque
Image of Carmen Parets Luque
What inspired you to write your first book?

The mountain that appears in the story is fully real and is located in the village where my father was born. Since childhood I was struck by its strange form of witch hat and around it there were legends of witches and giants that lived in it. I always loved those old legends which I was listening with open mouth.
One of them relates that the witches went down to scare the village's residents and hence it was born the character of Naia.
When did you start considering yourself a writer?

I think it all started at the beginning of my studies as a child educator. Many of the jobs they entrusted us with were the creation of invented storytellings and I greatly enjoyed producing them, in fact it was my favorite activity. I love the stories since child, that magical atmosphere that is created while listening or reciting it, remains stuck in the memory of one, no matter how much you grow up. As a writer I want to awake or stir feelings and consciences. In addition, if it deals with children's books they are an essential tool to teach good values since childhood.
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

My favorite is a story that deals with the "SuperGranny" types that exist and is inspired by my own grandmother. Right now I'm waiting to receive news about its possible publication and it would be a great tribute to her memory.
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)

I think that's the perfect person. Who better than a character out of a book? It is also my first interview, I am very excited!
What are you working on next?

I am working in three languages, Spanish that is my native language, Catalan and English. Right now I'm engrossed in my blog stories and in my Youtube channel carrying a lot of work. For now I'll see how things go with my two books published in English, ‘’Naia The Witch’’ and ‘’Paula and her multi-coloured hair’’ before starting another.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I can talk you about ‘’Paula and her multi-coloured hair’’. It is a story to teach and identify the emotions. Emotions are part of our everyday lives, but unfortunately sometimes we do not give them the importance they deserve. We think in the importance of children learning colors, numbers or seasons, without thinking that emotional education is one of the most important and valuable subjects in the personal growth of a child for their present and their future.
Ideally, what we all seek is to keep a fluid and open communication with children, in order that they tell us what they worry about and how we can help them. But sometimes express their emotions and frustrations is very complicated, that is why it is born the story “Paula and her multicolored hair”.
This story is thought-out so that while the child is having fun with the story of Paula, also learns to recognize the most basic emotions, accepts them and can express and channel them positively and healthy.
It is a story written in simple language and is recommended for children from two to three years.
Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

The Naia witch for being my first character and because she is a lot like me when I was a little child, very naughty but without malice.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Feel what you write, never force yourself to write anything, things should come naturally and should always be a fun experience.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read a lot, I consider myself a “books devourer”.

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

In ‘’Naia The Witch’’, I always wanted to be a witch and have powers.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

The Little Mermaid. She was different to other more bland princesses, I admired the strength she had and the more adventurous she was.

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity. It is very hard to get noticed without a publisher to back you, but I'm glad to find people like you who are willing to listen to people starting. It has been a pleasure to participate in your blog.
And thank you for joining us, Carmen. It was a pleasure having you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Naia The Witch by Carmen Parets Luque

Many children will relate to the very spunky Naia. After all, she would rather play pranks than go to school. She uses her spells to play pranks on people, but one day her spell goes horribly wrong and she learns a very important lesson.
This book is adorable and Naia is a great character. My only complaint about this book is that it is too short. I would have liked to read a little more about Naia and gotten to know her character a little better. But the overall message is that while it may be fun to play pranks, it will not win you friends. And that school is important.
My favorite thing about Naia The Witch is the artwork. The artwork is very fun, and I found Carmen's illustrations fascinating. The text lying over the images gives this the feel of a traditional picture book.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview With Author Gia Volterra de Saulnier

Meet Jazzy Author
Gia Volterra de Saulnier
What inspired you to write your first book? 
 This was actually a project for a class I took at Bunker Hill Community College in 1999.  The project was to write and draw a picture book for children.  My concept was “Journey to Jazzland” about a Flute named Windy who gets a little bored in Orchestra and wants to learn more about jazz. 
When did you start considering yourself a writer? 
Actually, I’m really a musician and performer, I never (ever) dreamed I would get this book published and now I have been encouraged to write more.  However, I did start writing some in High School and then later on, when I was asked to do the promoting of our events (Renaissance Faires and Festivals we do in MA and NH –USA) I had to do a lot of Press Releases and writing.  I joined LiveJournal and found a few groups to join that was looking for short fiction pieces.  I did do some writing and was encouraged to do more.
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite? 
This is my first book I have ever gotten published so it will always be my favorite as well as my “baby”.
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? 
 I think it would be a neat idea to be interviewed by a book character, it’s not happened in the past, but I have been interviewed by a “cat” (Cefa the Cat) and a “dog” – (Stiches the dog) so it would be cool if I could get interviewed by a character.  Maybe Red Riding Hood?  I would love to get her perspective on jazz. J
What are you working on next? 
I wanted to see what the response was for my picture book “Journey to Jazzland” since I’m still an unknown author, but I’ve been encouraged to do a sequel and I’m already working on ideas for “Journey to Dixieland” but also I have a YA Renaissance Faire love story that I just started out.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
Sure, here is a blurb: One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander.  Over and over, she had practiced the piece and played the piece.  Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.  Then something special happened.  She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand!
Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite? 
 I suppose since I am a flutist myself that Windy Flute is my favorite.  She’s spunky, sassy and very curious – kind of like me!
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
 Look, I’m really new to this business, but here is what I do know.  Do your homework and research your genre!  No matter if you get a publisher or you do self-publishing, YOU have to be the one to plug/promote/market your book.  NO one else will do this for you!  Get reviews of your book!  If you don’t get a great review, just say thanks for the review and take it with a grain of salt.  Not everyone is going to LOVE your book.  Yes, it’s your work, but review it yourself and get a professional editor if you are not one.  Even having someone to review your mistakes can be the meaning of WORD to WORLD (see what I did there?).  Also, no matter what you do, please make sure you copyright your work!!!
What do you do when you are not writing? 
Like I mentioned before, I am really a musician and performer.  My husband and I promote small Renaissance Festivals here in New England area: Black Swan Inn Renaissance Festival coming to Tilton, NH in late June, possible one for Hammond Castle in July and Silver Kingdom Renaissance Festival in Charlton, MA coming in mid- August.  I am also a mom, wife and looking for a full time day job doing Accounts Payable here in MA area.
If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be? 
One of my books? I’d love to visit Jazzland!  It looks so cool!!! Oh I would love to perform for that audience too!
What was your favourite book when you were a kid? 
My favorite picture book has to be “The Giving Tree” by Shel Siverstein
Anything you would like to add? 
 I just want to inspire kids by learning a little bit about music and jazz with my book and hope that music teachers read it to their classes!  I have inspired a few kids but would love more!  Thanks for this opportunity!!! :D