Released Today – “Finding Granny”

FindingGranny“Finding Granny”, one of EK Books’ series of picture books, deals with the re-discovery of a grandparent who’s suffered a stroke, and has the person the child knew “locked in their own brain”.

Meeting a grandparent soon after the stroke can be scary for the child who has been close, and now sees their grandparent changed.

Within this wonderfully illustrated and written picture book, the authors show the reader Edie and her Granny enjoying each other’s company before the stroke. Then, to Edie, Granny doesn’t look like Granny anymore. The doctor shows Edie and her Mum what has happened to Granny, and Edie joins Granny during art therapy. Gradually Edie realises her granny is still there. Life will be different, but just as good.

spread_Saving Granny

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Simpson always thought writing was something ‘other’ people did, until she gave it a try! She got her break in publishing when she won the Pitch Your Manuscript competition run by the NSW Writer’s Centre at their Kids and YA Festival in 2016. Kate also publishes a Kid’s Lit PODcast called One More Page – more info at Kate’s FaceBook Page . This is her first picture book.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Gwynneth Jones drew all through her maths book at school, so left to study art. Since then, Gwynneth has been imagining and drawing madly, exhibiting, and creating picture books, among them the highly acclaimed Don’t Think About Purple Elephants (also by EK Books).

EKBooks NZ
Published July 2918 by EK Books, Exisle Publishing
an Imprint of Exisle Publishing, Auckland, NZ,

Finding Granny is one of a series of ‘Books with Heart on Issues That Matter’.
Teacher notes are available. Recommended Age Group 4-8 years.
Finding Granny is available from wherever great books are sold…
www.EKBooks.org and Amazon.com

Interviewing author Deryn Pittar

deryn-croppedI asked Deryn Pittar, author of this week’s featured new release Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South, to share her thoughts on her writing with us.

 

Deryn, tell us about the first book you had published.
Love’s Bright Star was published by Secret Cravings in 2012. It was a huge thrill and from that experience I learned about the editing process, prior to publication.  They also published the following four books in the Future Movers series; but unfortunately Secret Cravings closed down in 2015. These futuristic romances are being republished over a six weeks’ time span in June/July this year with Junction Publishing. I am reading through them again (yet another editing process) and I’m delighted that I don’t have the desire to change anything. Because they are set in the future, luckily, nothing has dated!

Six years later, with their republishing, I will have had published a total of eight novels, with a ninth one coming out in October. But I have had many short stories and poems published in between times, in a variety of genre.

Was ‘Love’s Bright Star’ the first novel you’d written?
I’d love to be able to say ‘yes’ but in truth it was about the fourth. One of them I rewrote five times and it still sits in my files. (I can’t bear to delete 70 thousand words. I might need a bit of it one day.) I tried to write for Mills and Boon to begin with, but my mind refuses to stick to a formula; this is probably why I often set my stories in the future, where there are no restrictions on my imagination. However, I consider all those original unpublished manuscripts as a learning curve I had to travel, and not one word was a wasted effort.

Do you write today in the same genre as your first published novel?
Sometimes, but I jump about. I’ve written and had published a few contemporary romance novellas and lots of short stories, some sci.fi., some a comment on a serious subject and a few light romances. I tried to write horror (with a friend) and we ended up with a black comedy. I like to put a twist at the end of my short fiction. I’ve also dabbled in haiku and other forms of poetry, plus I love a writing challenge. Often a contest’s premise is a good reason to try another genre.

What authors have  influenced your choice of genre?
Asimov’s science fiction novels gripped my imagination as a teenager, opening up the possibilities available to a writer. Then Anne MacCaffrey came along with her Dragons of Pern series, which introduced dragons instead of robots.

LutapoliiHow long did it take from when you began Lutapolii’s manuscript to launch date?
I wrote Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South quite quickly, over a few months, about two years ago. He grew from a short story, which became chapter one. He took on a personality and had a life plan I simply had to follow. Once told, his story lurked in my files for a year as I searched for a cover, then Junction Publishing said they’d like to take him and they found his picture. I had to change one scene to fit in with his final appearance, but he’s such a magnificent fellow I didn’t mind at all. I’m thrilled with the response to his story. It’s not often you get to read a story written by the dragon himself. It’s written for adults, but it fits just as well into the Young Adult classification. There is a mating scene in it, but that’s all noise, smoke and frightened sea birds. I don’t know how dragons mate and Lutapolii refused to tell me.

What is your latest project – or projects?
I recently co-wrote a novella with Meg Buchanan, about an angel who falls in love with a soldier. It centres on Halloween, her brother’s plans for that night and the soldier’s decision to prevent her being harmed. Angelfire is a quirky love story and was fun to write. I had a short story which became the premise for the story. We shared further plot lines and wrote the scenes we each had ideas for; then shuttled the manuscript back and forth to be read, changed and added to until it all hung together. This will be released in October this year, with promotion beginning in September. Perhaps when Meg has time in her busy publishing schedule we will write a sequel.

I have just finished a novella for a winter anthology submission call for Roane Publishing. I called it Thunder Makes Me Cry and I’m hoping it will get accepted. I wrote it with a winter theme, just for their submission call. Heaven knows what I’ll do with it if they don’t want it. They are releasing another novella of mine, Escorts for Hire….Heartaches Free, in their summer anthology in August.

What question do you always wish an interview would ask you?
You often hear writers moan about ‘writer’s block’ (no ideas) or the editing process and how they hate cutting out words and scenes; and how dreadful it all is. Yet no one actually asks them if they enjoy it!

I‘m asking you now. Do you enjoy being an author?
Yes, I love it. Sometimes I run out of ideas, but I never panic. Eventually something will pop into my mind; a kernel that grows into a scene, which might develop into a novel. I love the craft of tightening a story, getting rid of extra words, paring it down to say as much as possible with as few words as you can. Of being able to give the readers a time, place and setting that will drag them into the story and, best of all, hold them there.

Through writing I’ve met a wide group of people I can correspond with, and share work and ideas with. To know there are like-minded people out there, tapping away, feeding their mind-pictures onto the page is a comfort because writing can be a solitary hobby – if you let it. I don’t.

What are you currently reading?
I belong to two book clubs, so often have to read a book that is not of my choice. This doesn’t do me any harm and often leads me to discover new authors. I’ve just read The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, with beautiful language. At page 30, I decided I was reading too fast, so I began again and took my time to savour every page.

Daniel O’Malley has written two fabulous science fiction/fantasy novels: The Rook and Silhouette. I’m waiting for his next novel. I also enjoy Robert Galbraith’s series (JK Rowling) and I’m waiting for Lethal White to be released. I think the lady at the library is tired of me asking if they have it yet.

Thanks, Deryn, for giving us this time. I’ve learned more about you than I knew!

 

Interviewing author G P Gadbois

crop-soft-portrait_G D Gadbois

G P kindly spoke about herself after the launch of her latest novel, Trust Me, released on Monday. She is shown here reviewing her earlier novel Caught Between Worlds.

What made you choose to write in the romance genre?
The idea for my first novel came from a reoccurring dream I had a few years back. At first, I thought I’d purchase a dream analyser book to find out what the dream meant. Instead, as I wrote down the highlights, and shared my dream with family and friends – it became clear, I had to write the story. So, the genre kind of chose me.
Like many women I work full time, so when I read I want to relax and escape.  Although I enjoy suspense and mysteries, I love a story with a happy ending.

In what other genres have you written / or can you see yourself writing in the future, and why?
Many, many moons ago, I wrote a weekly column, in the French newspaper of my hometown, describing the highlights of my high school. On my Facebook author page, I write and post a monthly short family story. It is nonfiction; however, my children have questioned some of the details…
One day, perhaps when I retire from my day job, I might try my hand at short thrillers or write a novel based on true story – I’ve started gathering information.

Of the two books you have had published, which would you most like adapting to see on screen? How would you adapt it?
I find this question amusing. When I finished the first draft of my first novel, Caught Between Worlds, I asked my youngest son to proofread it. I even bribed him; but when he saw the stack of papers I held, he said, “Mom, I’m sure it’s good, but I’ll wait and see it in the theatres.” – I told him not to hold his breath.
I have no idea how I’d adapt my story; however, I’d be willing to review the manuscript as suggested by the experts in that field. I’d also ask my son to be my date on opening night and he’d say, “I told you so.”

Tell us about an exciting, surprising or stressful aspect of the lead-up to or after your first book launch.
I stress over the unknown. Until the first book launch in 2016, my mind had a field day. I worried about everything, including the release blitz and reviews. I still do today, but at least I know what to expect. On this note, I enjoy hearing from readers, whether good or bad. I am after all a novice, and the feedback helps me improve.

Who is your writing hero/heroine (author)? Why?
Nora Roberts and Kathy Reichs. I love their characters and the stories. They make me laugh, they make me sad and they keep me interested.

What are you currently reading?
Your questions. 😉
Before I tackled the final round of edits for Trust Me, the last book I read was my own, Caught Between Worlds. I wanted to make sure my main characters had remained the same.

What is your latest project?
Book 3 of the series ‘A Moment in Time’. This one will be the story of Wendy, and I challenge you to guess who her happy ever after partner will be? 

What question have you always wished an interviewer had asked you? And, please answer it.
I have never given it any thought, but I’ll be creative:
Q: Which actor would you like to see as your main character?
A: A young Richard Gere. ❤


You can find Ms Gadbois at FacebookTwitter, and her publisher’s site


9aa15-trustme_slideshowimage

Releasing Today – “Trust Me” by G P Gadbois

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO G.P. GADBOIS
AND “
TRUST ME”!

Trust Me
A Moment in Time Novel
by G.P. Gadbois
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Publisher: Roane Publishing
 

The attraction Suzanne feels towards Bill is intense when their paths cross again. Because he is seeing someone else, she keeps her feelings bottled up and leaves. To heal from the heartache, she turns to family, her girlfriends, and her horse.

Bill knows he’ll never settle for another, but trusting Suzanne has its risks. He listens to his heart, breaks up with his current girlfriend, and takes a trip to Canada to woo Suzanne.

Bill must return home. Unable to deal with the separation and a long distance relationship, Suzanne makes a life changing decision and moves to Bill’s home town.

Will the nasty graffiti, the threatening notes, the interference of Bill’s ex-girlfriend, and the tragic break-in impact Suzanne’s decision and send her back home for good?

 
Excerpt:


The sky grew dark, the wind picked up, and it started to drizzle. Bill hurried, bought a burger, fries, a drink and returned to his bench at the top of the bleachers. On fairgrounds the further away he was from the horses, the better, he felt. He pulled his jean jacket on, put on a baseball cap, and kept his head down. He munched on the greasy food, and watched the Flag Races.

Suzanne’s turn came up once again. Her skill, speed and accuracy to pick up and drop off the flag into the barrel in 9.352 seconds got her the fourth place. Bill found her results amazing since this class had a larger number of participants, both male and female.

It poured rain during the Keyhole race. The spectators thinned, only the die-hard stayed to watch. Bill kept his eyes on the gorgeous cowgirl waiting near the gate. He kept his head down as Suzanne scanned the bleachers often. I’m a sitting duck here. To his relief, her name was called. She patted her horse’s neck and readied herself. She raced between the four barrels. Cinderella turned sharply, slipped and bumped into a barrel that wobbled but didn’t tip over. Bill stood holding his breath until he realized Suzanne was safe and the race was over.

Only a couple races left before I surprise her. Bill wiped his sweaty hands on his damp jeans. To calm his nerves and stretch, he left his seat. I should have brought flowers. The muddy path leading to the carnival area didn’t have one single wild flower, not even a dandelion. I’ll get her a teddy bear instead.

“Everyone wins.” The girl at the dart booth shouted, waving her arm. “Come here, give it a try. You can’t miss.” She convinced him.

He handed her five dollars and she gave him three dull darts. He burst two out of three balloons and walked away with a plastic mini-dinosaur. If this doesn’t win Sue over, nothing will. He shoved his prize into his coat pocket and returned to the bleachers.

The rain stopped, but the sky remained grey. In the arena, the Pole Bending races were taking place. Bill decided this race was his favorite. Cinderella and Suzanne raced to the far end of the poles, maneuvered around each pole with skill and grace once, then again in the opposite direction and raced back to the finish line at a high speed. Suzanne hugged Cinderella when she stood in the ring with her second-place ribbon.

The Dash Race was the last game of the day. Speed being the main objective, Bill thought it breath-taking. Cowboy hats flew off as riders and horses sped from one end of the ring to the other. All-in-all he found this race demonstrated the strength and speed of the horses more than the skill of the riders. Suzanne and Cinderella were good, Serge and Alexander the Magnificent were better in this race, finishing three seconds sooner.

Games are over, it’s show time. Bill followed Mr. Martin’s instructions and found Suzanne in between trailers, brushing Cinderella. Although the horses appeared to be tied safely to the trailer, Bill froze; too many horses in the small, confined area. You came this far, don’t let this stop you. Bill’s pep talk was interrupted.

“Sue, are you hungry?” A voice boomed from behind him.

“Only if you’re buying.” Suzanne replied without looking up.

“Come on, you won more than I did.” The man squeezed past Bill and stopped beside Suzanne.

Bill envied and hated the guy all at once. He’d moseyed in and stolen his moment.

“Brian, stop whining…” Suzanne said as she stood and turned to face the intruder. She closed, and then opened her eyes. “Bill!”

Brian followed Suzanne’s gaze and his eyes narrowed as he examined Bill.

“Is it really you?” Suzanne moved around Brian. “How long have you been here?”

“All day. Please come closer?” Bill ignored the intruder, and sprung his declaration for all to hear. “I’d like to take you up on that second chance offer.”

Her eyebrows rose for a split second before she smiled, and ran into his open arms.

“God I’ve missed you, Sue.” He lifted her off the ground.

“Sue, will this reunion be long?” Brian barked.

“I hope so,” Suzanne replied without looking at the guy.

Bill set Suzanne down and pulled her against him. She was finally where he wanted her.

“Fine, I’ll see you around.” The intruder took his leave.

Suzanne ran her hands up and down Bill’s back. “I’m so glad to see you, but I can’t believe you’re here.”

He’d waited so long for this moment, and didn’t want to waste it with explanations. There would be plenty of time later. He tilted her chin up and kissed her. She tensed, but didn’t fight it. A hint of peppermint lingered on her soft responsive lips and the combination excited his senses. Horses neighed and Bill’s head shot up. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath when he saw no one around. His promise to Mr. Martin would be hard to keep.

“Bill, are you okay?”

He nodded. “Let’s go grab a bite to eat. I’ll buy.”

~~~oOo~~~

About the Author:

G.P. is a Canadian wife and mother of three who works in school bus transportation. In her last year of high school, she enjoyed writing a weekly column published in the French newspaper in her home town. Writing took a back seat for years and now her children are grown, it’s become her favorite hobby.

Entertaining others is like breathing – it is part of who she is.

LINKS:

 

 

Three Wonderful Children ‘s Picture Books, by Australian Authors

Presented by the publisher, Exisle Publishing, with these three new releases for review was an instant delight. Beautifully bound, delightfully illustrated, and all with a story both entertaining and enlightening… they are ideal for a shared reading experience for non-readers.
Such fine books are they, that they were immediately snagged by an Early Childhood Education teacher trainee for use at her pre-school centre. I had to fight to retain them until this review was written! For each book, I have summarised the story outline, and included the official blurb provided by Exisle. I have also calculated the “Initial Independent Reading Age” (using NZ’s Noun Count method) so parents may allow an older child to read it to the younger child. Refer to * notes within each book’s details.

Click on each title to Buy
or visit the www.ExislePublishing.com site.


cover_Grandma Forgets Grandma Forgets, a journey of love by Paull RUSSELL & Nicky Johnston

Exisle says: A warm, uplifting picture book about a family bound by love as they cope with their grandmother’s dementia.
When your grandmother can’t remember your name it should be sad, but maybe it is just an opportunity to tell her more often how much you love her. Over the years, the little girl in Grandma Forgets has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms. But now, Grandma can’t remember those memories. She makes up new rules for old games and often hides Dad’s keys. Sometimes Dad is sad because he has to hold onto the memories for both him and his mother now, but fortunately his daughter is only too happy to help him make new memories to share. This is a warm, hopeful story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care. She might not remember any of their names but she will always know how much she is loved.
Red says: So many children have grandparents going through this stage, bewildering to the children. This book is perfect for helping them understand.
Hardbound ISBN 978-1-9235336-47-7
Paperback ISBN 978-1-9253358-1-1
* Initial Independent reading age 7 ½ to 8 ½


cover_Visiting YouVisiting You, a journey of love by Rebecka Sharpe SHELBURG & Andrea SIMMONDS

Exisle says: A heart-warming celebration of the power of love, and how it’s our similarities, not our differences, that matter most.
Setting out to visit their loved one, a child curiously asks a fellow commuter, ‘Who are you going to visit?’, and in answer to this simple question, the child learns about the love and loss in the life of a stranger. A father who lives apart from his small daughter, a husband who has lost his wife, a granddaughter who is forgotten by her grandfather, and a mother who fears for her son’s recovery. After each conversation, the child understands that the other commuter has someone in their life that they love ‘as much as I love you’, and it is this understanding that allows the child to explore the most universal of human experiences: the power of love in the many different forms that it can take. Visiting You also explores a sense of community. Under his mother’s supervision, a young child reaches out and connects with the people around them; they’re not scared of strangers, or people who might ‘look’ scary, or people who are different to them. Sometimes it can take conscious decision and determination to look past outward appearances. Visiting You encourages us to find the similarities between people instead of focusing on differences, to recognise some part of ourselves in the life of a stranger.
Red says: One of a child’s social challenges is accepting differences with their social environment. This book introduces them kindly to people who are not so different from anyone else.
Hardbound ISBN 978-1-925665-66-8
* Initial Independent reading age 9 to 10 years


cover_Art GardenThe Art Garden, sowing the seed of creativity by Penny HARRISON & Penelope PRATLEY

Exisle says: A whimsical story about friendship and nurturing our creative flair.
Sadie wants to be a painter, just like her best friend, Tom. She loves playing with colour and finding shapes in unlikely places. But whenever Sadie picks up a paintbrush she makes a big mess. So instead, she spends her time working in the garden or playing with Tom. But, one day, Sadie gets a look at things from a different perspective — and makes a big discovery about herself and her own creativity. The Art Garden is a whimsical story about friendship and finding our creative flair. It encourages children to explore different ways of expressing themselves and celebrates the importance of individuality and self-acceptance.
Red says: Some children soon realise they cannot “do” what others can; this book helps them understand that it is not necessary to give up on what a child can do, for struggling to imitate what another child can do – all children have different learning styles, and different ways of expressing their creativity.
Hardbound ISBN 978-1-925335-59-0
* Initial Independent reading age 11 ½ TO 15 ½

 

 

“Caught Up In Time” by Paora Panadelo

New book takes a look at usFinal Front Cover_Caught U I Time

TITLE: Caught Up In Time

AUTHOR: Paora Panadelo

A cleverly constructed walk down memory lane spanning four decades – with much of the action obviously involving Wairarapa – promises to appeal to those who like a good, racy story based on actual events.
Although marketed as a work of fiction, the underlying theme of this just-released book is strongly influenced by actual happenings, and actual people.

New author Paora Panadelo, a pen name being used by a former Masterton journalist,  has managed to merge events covering the 1940s to the 1970s into a riveting read for those who don’t mind acquainting themselves with not only the smooth but also the rougher side of life.
The era is the domain of the baby boomers and life in those now far-off days bears little resemblance to what young people believe life to be today.
It can be categorised as a time of far less affluence, a time when our country was not only recovering from the effects of World War II but was trying to find its feet socially.
Panadelo pulls no punches, whether it be chapters that involves poverty, hooligan behaviour, broken  relationships or under-age sex.
The book also has its softer side, a caring side – and looks at issues such as the union movement, the somewhat contentious arrivals of “yankee” servicemen and their impact on New Zealand women.
The author has interlaced the various stories that interlock in the book with verse and song lyrics to match the era, along with an array of photographs that will re-kindle many memories in readers.
All-in-all it’s a good first-up effort and, at 212 pages, is an easy and entertaining read.

REVIEW: Don Farmer, Wairarapa Times-Age
Posted with permission
Caught Up In Time can be purchased at bookshops in NZ featuring Local Books,
or by contacting the author directly.

(paul hyphen baker at xtra dot co dot nz)