Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Princess Who Rescued Herself: A List Of Princess Books to Inspire

If you are raising a girl, then I'm sure you've heard of "princess culture", but who wants their daughter to end up with a Cinderella complex? That's why I've put together this list of princesses who can rescue themselves. Some of them even rescue others. Overall, this is a list of books with princesses AND positive messages.

#5 Don't Want To Be A Princess by Kally Mayer

This little girl isn't sure why she would even want to be a princess! Are princesses allowed to fart or do fun things. The whole book is a fun romp for those who don't REALLY want to be a princess. This book also shows that girls can be whatever they want to be and shouldn't just limit themselves to princesses.

Amazon Link:

#4 The Smartest Princess by Mary Lee

You don't need to be pretty or dainty in The Smartest Princess. You just need to be smart. Princesses compete in an annual competition and if the winner is not already a princess, then she will become one.

Amazon Link:

#3 Princess Charlotte And The Pea by Sally Huss

The prince wants to find a girl sensitive to find a pea under dozens of mattresses. You know, the classic story. And he finds her, but the story doesn't end there. Oh no. Princess Charlotte would also like to test the prince on how sensitive HE is. And that's why I love this retelling of The Princess And The Pea.

Amazon Link:

#2 A Moat Is Not A Goat: Poems For Clever Little Girls By Elsa Takaoka

While this book isn't completely princesses focused, it does include princess characters, which is why I chose to include it on this list. It's also completely focused on empowering girls and encouraging them to be their authentic selves. I have a paperback copy of this book and I treasure it.

There are lots of adorable poems and the stories will make you feel proud to be a girl!

Amazon Link:

#1 The Mystic Princesses And The Whirlpool

This is one of my absolute favorite princess books for a multitude of reasons. The biggest one is not only are the princesses in this book capable of rescuing themselves, but they also rescue someone else. A girl named Harmony needs protection from the children of Ares and the princesses are up for the job. Kids who read this book will learn about important life skills like self-defense and being aware of your surroundings while sliding down rainbows, riding dolphins, turning into birds. What more could you ask for in a princess book?

I own a paperback of this one too and cherish it as well!

Amazon Link:

I'd love to hear from you. What books would you add to this list?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Disney's Zootopia Sends A Much Needed Message For Everyone

Disney's Zootopia is cute from front to back, especially with an adorable bunny as the lead character. All Judy Hopps has ever wanted is to be a police officer, and she'll stop at nothing until she achieves her dream. Despite several setbacks, such as being beaten up by a bully, being told by her father, "It's okay to have dreams, as long as you don't believe in them to hard", and being pushed around in the police academy, Judy never gives up.

But that's not the only take home message in this great movie. There's a not-so-subtle message in this movie about how prejudice can hurt groups of people. And it's a message that kids today need to hear. I won't get too deep into detail, because I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but I will say this. In this movie, predators and prey live together in "harmony" in the city of Zootopia. However, prey still have some internalized beliefs about the predators that may be harmful. But here's the question, can they overcome their prejudice to once again live in harmony? Or will the predators be banished.

Aside from the good messages, the movie is cute, funny, and smart. And while the ending is somewhat predictable, the movie is still sure to become a favorite of kids and adults. 

Upon checking other reviews, after writing this one, I've noticed that some people think Zootopia's anti-prejudice message is a miss. I disagree.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts on Zootopia?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Book Announcement: THE FAIRY'S BUBBLE WAND

I'm pleased to announce that over the last few months I've been working on a new children's book, The Fairy's Bubble Wand. 

In The Fairy's Bubble Wand, two girls from entirely different worlds must go on the journey of a life time and learn to believe in themselves while they're at it.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Fay feels like a fairy failure when she doesn't pass her test. Because her father is the king, she worries that she'll just be a disappointment to everyone. But when her father turns out to be missing, Fay knows she's the right person to search for him. 

Vidaya doesn't want her sister to go away for college. She has very few friends and is worried that she'll be lonely. But things change for Vidaya when her sister's gift opens up a magical new world. 

Vidaya and Fay go on a journey to remember, taking on marshmallow pirates, ice fairies, and even a changing forest. 

99 cents until April 5, 2016 only! Regularly priced at $2.99

Why do I believe this book is so important? It's essential for kids to learn to become independent, and in order to become independent, they need to believe in themselves. I hope that kids will read The Fairy's Bubble Wand and absorb that message. I can believe in myself. I can be independent. I can do anything I put my mind to.

The Fairy's Bubble Wand is now available for pre-order and will be released on March 25, 2016.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Book That Made Me Smile

If you look at the date of the last post on this blog, you will notice that it was quite a while ago! I haven't really blogged since the car accident I was in 9 months and a day ago. Thanks to a very dear friend, PJ LaRue, there was a blog blast hosted by Mother Daughter book reviews. If you are curious about what happened to me you can read more here. 

By this time you're probably wondering why I'm blogging. To tell you about my accident? No, I'm not ready to rehash that yet. 

Earlier today I passed photo of myself taken shortly after my accident. In this photo, I hadn't woken up yet. It's a very somber photo and it's also a cruel reminder of things lost in the accident. I can't tell you why, but I broke down and I began to cry very hard. I could no longer focus on my art which is what I was originally intending to look at. So I closed that folder. 

When I closed it there was a book up on my Kindle Cloud Reader. It's called Doc Tails: Snow On My Face.

So I started reading this book, and then my tears dissipated. I broke into a grin. When that silly dog licked his face I started giggling. This book erased every bad feeling I was having and reminded me that life is great.

It is a short, sweet, and simple book about a dog named Doc playing in the snow. The pictures are bright and the text is very easy to follow. I loved this book and it now holds a special place in my heart.

Who knew a happy puppy playing in the snow would get me blogging again?

You can find Doc Tails: Snow On My Face on Amazon.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Featured In The Gaurdian Witness! Plus, representing underrepresented characters.

Destiny and Faith love to explore and love to learn. But there's something else that makes these girls and their friends unique. They are rare in children's books.

"Mixed race twins go on a ghost hunt, accompanied by a friend who happens to be deaf. Lots of fun, with useful ghost hunting hints plus a sign language diagram." is how Destiny And Faith's Summer Adventures is described on the GuardianWitness site, submitted by Magiciansfire.

Why were the twins featured on this website. Because they are the answer to a question that many readers have been asking. Why aren't there more characters like me?

Not too long ago there was a huge Twitter campaign with the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks and many Tweeters sent in reasons why they think we need more diverse books!

The Guardian's campaign has extended to include #diversifyyourshelves and is having people send in their books with underrepresented characters.

You can see a list of their featured diverse books here.

You can visit my friend Magiciansfire here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

13 Crazy Promotion Ideas For Your Book!


I try to dream up ways to get a book noticed. I am thinking of them all the time. Here are a few things (not all are crazy) that I have thought up, some of which I've tried and some of which, I have not.

# Donate a copy to the library

# Request small or second hand book shops carry a few copies and share the profit. (This would probably work best with the smallest, personally owned book shops.)
Shops that carry my books
(Notice they're not all book stores? Not every place you approach has to be a bookshop!)

# Slip flyers, bookmarks, or business cards with your website/book name on them into similar books at the library. (For example, if you write mystery then slip it in a mystery book)

# Ask the library if you can do a reading. My local children's library likes to have people come in and read picture books to the children.

# Email everybody in your address book about your new book or your website

# Blog about it (Isn't this one mentioned way too much)

# Make trailers (using copyright free material) and post them on Youtube. I actually did this for Tokka Tuomela: Sixth Grader At Large

# Someone in this forum mentioned standing near a stop-light and selling books to passing cars. People in my town sell newspapers this way and I would consider also handing out flyers to passing cars (since it's quicker and flyers are free)

# Have an author website. If you don't have one you should get one. I use weebly as a host. They have a very user-friendly interface.

# Have an eBay auction with a signed copy of your book as the prize. You could also include other prizes such as related bookmarks and a signed photo of the author. You could include a better known book (and auction it off as a two book set). You could consider giving all or part of the money won to a charity.
#Consider Doing a giveaway with a noteworthy blogger. I did a giveaway of a signed Tell Me How You Say Good Night with Marilyn Panton of Storywraps.

# Ask local bookshops and your library to post flyers in their windows/on their bulletin boards. A lot of the places in my small town have bulletin boards full of flyers. In some small towns, especially where the internet is still not in every household, a flyer may be worth more than a website.

# Ask review sites/review blogs to review your book. It's better to go to the smaller, independent blogs. They have more time and are more likely to get to your book. They tend to have dedicated readers as well.

# Post a free sample chapter of each book on your website or blog.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

10 Sites That Every Author Should Know About!

This list was inspired by a few author friends. So I hope you all enjoy it and find it useful!
First, I'll start off by listing the places that you need to catalog your books.
Shelfari is great because not only can you catalog your book, but you can build up the value of sharing your book there by adding fun quotes from your book and facts about your characters. There is also a place to add related tags. Readers can edit your book's listing on Shelfari and add reviews as well as quotes or tags that they think are relevant.
This is probably one of the most important sites you will catalog your book on.
There is also a nice little forum where you can exchange writing advice, swap reviews, and hang out with authors.
Shelfari is fun because it's interactive in a sense, allowing the reader to add things they feel are important.
Goodreads is the other "most important site" to list your book on. You can list your book, add information about it, write a good description (just like the others), but you can also add your book to relevant lists. If there isn't a list that your book fits into, you can always create one.
Like Shelfari, Goodreads also has a forum where you can hang out with authors, exchange writing advice, and swap reviews. Goodreads' forums seem to be a little more active than Shelfari.
Jacketflap is a great little place to list you book, because alongside your description, it also lists places your book is sold as well as the reviews you have received there. You can also add links to any site that has reviewed your books.
You can also share book trailers, readings, and interviews in the video section.
Like the others, you can share the title and description of your book. But on bookdaily, you can also share a first chapter excerpt of your book. This is great, because it gives readers the chance to get hooked.
Bookdaily has a paid option (you don't have to us it), to promote your book to 50,000 readers for about $47 USD. This could be a deal, but I have never tried it so cannot vouch for it. If anyone has tried it and found it useful, please let me know in the comments!
I can't say a whole lot about this one, because I need to investigate it some more. But it is a place to add your book, title, description, and some tags. It appears that you can add your books to lists on the site as well. It's worth at least listing your book on the site!
You've heard the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Get ready to ignore that advice, because the whole point of Wise Gray Owl. You are shown a selection of books and pick the ones you are interested in based on the cover. It's that simple! So go add your book.
One of the first books I saw when I entered the site was Our Poems For Kids by my friend, Melinda Kinsman
Second, places where you can lend your book out.
Book Lending is a virtual library, which I discovered the way I discover most great things, completely on accident. Booklending is essentially a virtual library where you can "check out" Kindle books. The way this works is pretty simple.
1. List books you own on Amazon so that others can borrow them.
2. Search for a book you want. If somebody owns it they can then "Loan" it to you.
3. You can keep the book for 14 days. Then is returned to its owner automatically.
The other virtual library,
This "virtual library" has the same concept as Booklending, although there is a limit to how many books you can check out before you have to upgrade to a pro account.
Why add your book to a virtual library? A few reasons.
1. It's an easy way to share with someone who might be interested in reviewing it.
2. Just like a real library, it's a great way for new potential readers to check out your work. If they love it, they may just want to keep it for more than 14 days!
3. Having your book in any kind of library increases your exposure and the possibility of new readers!
Last, but not least, book trailers!
This might be obvious to some of you, but probably not to all of you. Raise your hand if you didn't even think of creating a book trailer before I mentioned it. You should definitely consider creating (or hiring someone to create) a book trailer for your book.
It gives you exposure to a new audience (the video viewing audience which makes up a large part of the internet) and gives your fans an easy way to share your work with their friends without having to pitch it themselves, though fans are often better at that than the author!
Youtube is a good first place to upload your book trailer because of it's versatility. You can then easily share the trailer on many other sites (Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, etc)
Book Trailer Central,
This is a site that is dedicated to book trailers. So far it's pretty simple and mainly about book trailers, sharing and watching them. I believe in the future they may have book trailers compete against each other. (Feel free to correct me if I'm thinking of the wrong site.)
And that's all I have to share for now. Those are some great links to get you started! Even if you're not a new author, you're sure to find at least one or two of them handy. So go check them out. And let me know if there are any useful, important, or in your opinion, completely necessary sites for authors to be on!
Till next time,