Lilly Belle: A Damsel Not in Distress by Joanna Pastro, Illustrated by Jhon Ortiz
When faced with the danger of giants, ogres, and witches, other damsels might quake with fear . . . but not LillyBelle!
At the School for Damsels, LillyBelle enjoys many damsel-in-training classes, like cake baking and vocal training, but the rule that a damsel must be in distress . . . not so much. When she’s captured by one villain after another, LillyBelle will need to use her charm and her wit to save herself and prove once and for all that damsels don’t have to be in distress–all in time for tea!
Joanna’s Website: http://www.joanapastro.com/
Jhon’s Website: http://www.jhonortizart.com/
Lani: The Girl Without Fear by Dan Cole
In a world controlled by fear, Lani is unique: a teenage girl who feels no fear, and often gets herself into dangerous situations because of it. Lani feels stifled by her overprotective and terrified parents, and after learning about family in a distant city, Lani plans to leave. Her faithful Minotaur bodyguard, Brutus, helps her escape the Great City of Ghal. In the Wilds, Lani learns much about love, herself, and her world. Mostly through a young woman named Kas who shows her what it’s like to live in the wilds and to feel something for another person. Death follows Lani though. Leaving Ghal wasn’t only to find family, but out of necessity after Lani hurt another student at her school. Fear Mongers, or Mongers for short, sent by her parents dog her steps and leave a trail of death searching for her. Lani must learn that although her lack of fear is quite the power in this world, it can be a burden.Especially to those important to her. Marauding robots, dangerous monsters, animal and human amalgamations known as Primals, and learning about her world makes Lani’s journey across the Flatlands a dangerous adventure. Lani also meets a mysterious warrior known as the Wanderer, who teachers her and her friends about the past, and about herself. After suffering great loss, and learning great truths, Lani’s plans have to change, and death creeps ever closer.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Lani-Girl-Without-Dan-Cole/dp/B087L6SF5J/
Dan’s Website: https://www.dancoleauthor.com/
Audrey Orr and the Robot Rage by Jenny Moore
When Audrey Orr’s mum wins a luxury cruise to Norway, Audrey thinks she’s won the jackpot — until she realises it’s during term-time. With her no-nonsense headteacher, Mr Stickler, on her case, she has to resort to something a bit unusual: a robot clone! But can she trust Awesome the clone to stay home and pretend to be her or will Awesome turn out to be a bit… Awful?
Jenny’s Website: https://jennifermoore.wordpress.com/
The Girl Who Stole the Stars by Corrina Campbell
Corrina Campbell is the third Little Door Debut to be published by Little Door Books. She is a highly talented new author/ illustrator with a wonderfully quirky style, bringing to life her colourful world. This is a perfect alternative seasonal tale about friendship, love and happiness, and doing the right thing. Everybody loves the stars but have you ever loved them enough to steal them? Not just one or two, but all of them? When a little girl decides she wants a real star of her own she can’t resist taking them all. What she doesn’t realise is that taking the stars will have disastrous consequences for her and millions of other children around the world. But what will it take for her to give them back?
Corrina’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/corrinacampbell
Sunny By Celia Krampien
Most people would say there is nothing good about trudging to school on a rainy day.
Most people would say that being carried away by the wind and dropped into the middle of a tumultuous sea is a very bad sort of situation.
No, most people wouldn’t like that at all.
But Sunny isn’t most people. Sunny likes to look on the bright side. And when things get exceedingly bleak?
Well, isn’t that what friends are for?
Buy the Book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250316608
Celia’s Website: http://www.celiakrampien.com/
Grama's Hug by Amy Nielander
May and Grama are a team. They do everything together, from inventing creative projects to going birdwatching to preparing for the annual space fair. And they never, ever say goodbye without a hug. May’s love of science takes her far as her inventions win year after year, helped by Grama’s support, effort, and love. She travels to space camp and eventually beyond, earning her spot as the first kid astronaut to journey into space. As May prepares for her mission to explore the cosmos, she seems ready to go without looking back, making Grama worried that she will leave without a hug.
This picture book explores the importance of treasuring even the smallest moments with people you love with heartwarming illustrations, expressive characters, and delightful touches of whimsy.
Buy the Book: https://www.amynielander.com/index#/gramas-hug
Amy’s Website: https://www.amynielander.com/
The Ugly Doodles by Valeria Wicker
After an inspiring visit to the local art museum, Raven Rembrandt is eager to create her own beautiful masterpieces. But the only thing she can seem to draw are ugly doodles—and they won’t go away, no matter how hard she tries to discard them! After a few increasingly inventive attempts to get rid of them, Raven realizes that the only way to learn to love her art is to just create.
Valeria’s Website: http://www.valeriawicker.com/
The Third Sun by Victoria J. Price
After the death of her sister, eighteen-year-old Fia Aldridge knows one thing for certain: she doesn’t belong anywhere. But then she tumbles into the parallel world of Ohinyan—a world where angels and witches walk amongst mankind.
An ancient darkness is taking advantage of the dying sun, and Ohinyan needs Fia’s help. She soon learns that her arrival is not entirely by accident and that Alexander, leader of angels, is not the guardian she thought he was.
Torn between their feelings and their duties, together they must find a way to return Fia to London before the darkness consumes her and she is trapped in Ohinyan forever.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0837XVS7W
Victoria’s Website: https://victoriajprice.com/
The Last Witness by Claire McFall
Heather agrees to go camping with Dougie and his friends because she’s desperate to get closer to him, and a secluded beach sounds like the perfect place. But the trip takes a sinister turn that brings Heather’s plans to a violent end.
One by one, the group begins to vanish.
A year later, Heather knows she’s just lucky to be alive. And now, people are asking for answers, or else she will be the one to take the blame. But the truth about what happened on that trip is far more terrifying than anyone knows…
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y5NMLCK/
Claire’s Website: http://www.clairemcfall.co.uk/
Broken (The Stolen Series) by Marlena Frank
A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory, but at what price? Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?
Marlena’s Website: https://marlenafrank.com/
I want to invite you all to a new Twitter chat! The chat is called #QueerKidlit and will be Wednesday nights 5:30pm PT/ 8:30pm ET. It’s hosted by Jenette Bradley (@jeanettebradly) and myself (@daniduck). The very first event will be Wednesday August 12th! All LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome! This event is for both kidlit writers and illustrators.
There are lots of things we are working out about this chat. Please come with ideas for things you’d like to see!
Logo art by Jeanette Bradley.
I published this and realized that I forgot to mention that I’m going in for sinus surgery on Monday August 10th. It’s a minor surgery, but I have no idea how I’ll recover from the surgery. I’ll try to set up posts for next week if possible, but it’s possible it may be a couple weeks before I’m able to post again (but that’s the worst case scenario).
I have a big announcement for Smart Dummies this year, but I will save this for a bit later in it’s own post. The only thing that I’ll say now is that the event will be a little different this week.
I need to go back and edit some of the images I was working on for my comic. I believe I’m done with the current ones, but the older images need some work. After that I need to add in text and edit the images I created.
I worked on a promo piece this weekend for the SCBWI spectacular. I like it, but I feel as though the coloring is not quite what I want to do for this, so I’ll be trying some other things before settling on a style. If I go with this one I’ll be developing the colors/shading further.
I’m currently reading Thorn by Intisar Khanani. It’s a wonderfully magical story about princess Alyrra who finds herself in an arranged marriage she has no say in. Though she does not want to leave her home, she is relieved to get away from her abusive brother.
Before she arrives at the castle a witch forces Alyrra into body of another person. She soon finds herself in the role of a servant cleaning up after geese and spending her time among common folk. Alyrra loves it all!
Alyrra doesn’t want her old life back. She may not have a choice where she stays, because the fate of the Kingdom may depend on her retaking her old body.
I am only halfway through this book and I do not know how things are going to end up! This is a wonderfully fun adventure. Here is a link to the book if you want to pick it up: https://bookshop.org/books/thorn-9780062835703/9780062835703
More Fun Stuff:
It’s been quite the week! I attended the SCBWI Summer Spectacular and it was Spectacular. Lots of great advice and fun with lots of wonderful industry people. Here is the link to the registration: https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-summer-spectacular-2020/#event-registration
How about an LGBTQIA chat for kidlit? It’s happening soon. I’m still planning out the details with Jeanette Bradley. The first Twitter Chat is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday August 12th at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET with the hashtag #queerkidlit. Since this is a new chat there may be changes. I’ll officially announce the chat here in it’s own post when we get everything sorted out.
Lots more books this week. I keep thinking I’m getting close to the end of the list, but there are just so many books! I’m not complaining. This week is books for older audiences. Next week will be books that are picture books – young adult.
The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos
EVERYTHING’S FOR HIRE. EVEN MAGIC.
If you need something done, Cloke’s one of the best; a mercenary with some unusual talents and an attitude to match.But when she’s hired by a virtual construct to destroy the other copies of himself, and the down payment is a new magical skill, she knows this job is going to be a league harder than anything she’s ever done.
“A full-throttle magical cyberpunk superhero thriller” – Peter McLean
Wayne’s Website: https://www.waynesantos.com/
Seven Settings by Watt Morgan
It’s been a year since they graduated high school, and to celebrate their reunion, eight old friends take off to a cabin by the lake. And despite threatening omens from the locals, the party must go on. Until, one by one, the friends begin dying off in horrible ways. Are they the victims of a science experiment–one with the potential to destroy the fabric of reality itself? Will they be able to survive at the hands of the masked Hazmat? Or will they succumb to their own stoned and drunken idiocy? Prepare to simultaneously laugh and cringe with this comedy-horror novella.
Watt’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWattMorgan
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084FQGV4Z
From Ashes to Magic (A Supernatural Beings Anthology Book 1)
It’s when they creep out of the shadows that you should beware. The good ones will hold your hand when you’re having a nightmare; the bad ones BECOME your nightmare, seeping into your very soul and burrowing in the darkness until they’ve completely taken over.
Ten authors. Ten stories. Many supernatural beings you’ve come to know and love.
Once you plunge into these pages, you won’t want to leave.
Mikki Noble’s Website: https://www.mikkinoble.com/
Jennifer C. Covin’s Website: https://twitter.com/JennWritesVamps
Nita Pan’s Website: https://nitapanwrites.com/
Melony Paradise’s Books: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melony-paradise
Adi Denner’s Website: https://adidenner.com/
Abby Paul’s Website: https://twitter.com/APaulWrites
Carmen Adam’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Adams/e/B07ZXL2GWY/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_7
Ryen Lesli’s Website: https://ryenlesli.com/
Evelyn Chartres’ Website: http://evelynchartres.com/
Ari Meghlen’s Website: https://arimeghlen.co.uk/
The Jealousy of Jalice (A Disaster of Dokojin Book 1) by Jesse Nolan Bailey
The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.
The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.
It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.
Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land.
Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085BCZDT5
Jesse’s Weblinks: https://linktr.ee/JesseNBailey
Buried Alive: A Story of Hate and Acceptance by A. James
This remarkable true story of adolescent sexual abuse, survival and triumph offers realistic hope to all victims of abuse – both for recovery, and for a fulfilling life no longer defined by an abusive past. The author’s courageous struggle to achieve insight and awareness, and eventually see justice done, points a way for others to overcome childhood trauma and victimisation.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088TJSRWF
A. James’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajames_buriedalive/
The Ups and Downs of Norman Drudge by Iain Dalgleish
A story of loneliness, friendship, love and a library.
Twenty-five year old Gemma Davies lives alone in her flat in Ealing where she likes to read and watch old movies. On weekdays, she works at the local library and on Saturdays works at the nearby charity shop.
Her only friend is recently widowed Mrs Dawson, a seventy-something-year-old pensioner who visits every Thursday on Gemma’s day off when they put the world to rights, drink tea from china cups, watch an old film or visit the nearby duck pond.
Sitting in Gemma’s kitchen window, they become obsessed with a neighbour whose life seems to involve just looking out onto the street while drinking tea and eating biscuits. They nickname him ‘Norman Drudge.’
When the local council decides that the library has to close, Gemma and Mrs Dawson hatch a plan to save it.
Meanwhile, Gemma finds herself falling for the local shopkeeper, Mr Patel.
Elowyn of Avalon: Tales of Avalon: Chronicles of a Forgotten Land by Wallace R. Hanson
Elowyn is an ordinary girl: studious, bright, and pious, an asset to her community and a willing volunteer to join the Youth of Promise, an elite group of ecclesiastical students. She leaves for her education and is trailed by her headstrong sister Windine, who is punished for her transgression with a secret quest in the Mother Land south of Avalon. Both sisters experience a swift and brutal crisis of faith due to corrupt leadership, aggrandized world views, and an introduction to a society and people they had been sheltered from. Elowyn finds herself gifted with enormous power she did not know she had within her and embarks on a worldwide ministry to inform the human race of their own divinity outside of the rule of heaven. Danger stirs in the west as Avalon’s sister country Atlantis mounts an attack on heaven itself led by Nimrod the Mighty Hunter, whose affront to the deities may mean the destruction of the entire world.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087RC7LB6
Wallace’s Website: http://www.wallacehanson.com/
Atonement (Heaven Sent Book 1) by JL Rothstein
To Hell, this world is fractured and faithless, perfectly ripe for the picking. Sent by Heaven, Guardians defend against a malevolent onslaught of demonic intrusion. For hundreds of years the nine siblings of the O’Mara family have been engaged in this merciless battle, fighting to protect the souls of all humanity.
Heaven and Hell have been waging this infernal war bound only by the rules of a contentious accord. On the anniversary of her husband Gabriel’s disappearance, Genevieve O’Mara’s lingering sorrow manifests into a murderous rage unfurled upon a demon. Vengeance is coming, not just for Genevieve, but for all those she loves.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088JZQ9LN/
JL’s Website: https://www.jlrothstein.com/
The Adulterer's Trial by Sam Anthony
Everyone has a secret. How much would you pay to keep yours?
Lee wakes from a coma to find himself on trial for double homicide.
His lover is dead. His wife is dead. His lawyer is hot! His girlfriend is jealous.
And, to make matters worse, the Alphabet Killer remains at large.
Find out what ensues in this the fourth instalment of The Adulterer Series.
Buy the Book
Sam’s Website: https://samanthony.net/
The Beloved Fire: The Beloved Series: Book 1 by Chelsii Klein
Mikayla has been stalked by the supernatural all her life. They’ve waited patiently for her 21st birthday. When her one night of freedom goes wrong. Purgatory is where she is taken and she soon discovers the real identities of the dream walking twins, Blake and James. They aren’t her only problem. In her new captive realm she discovers the very real existence of Angels, Demons, and the Magical.
Purgatory, a mansion filled with endless hallways and doors leading into any souls greatest nightmares, is ran by one irritatingly handsome Anock, Prince of Hell. Finding a way out may not be her only problem once she discovers why the supernatural is after her soul. She will have to put attractions aside if she’s to make it through this game. The world she never knew existed now lays at her feet. However; Purgatory is just the beginning.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086H54JXY/
Chelsii’s Website: https://www.authorchelsiiklein.com/
I’m pretty much finished with 2 of my spreads for my graphic novel. That means I’ve got one left to do, plus some (hopefully minor) edits on the 2 spreads that are already in my portfolio! After I’m done with this I’ll be moving on to my character sheet and maybe a drawing of the interior of the library that’s the setting for the whole story.
I’ve also got inks done for 2/5 of the illustrations for another graphic novel project. Hoping I can finish at least the first one soon!
Since last week I’ve read Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen. When Cori decides to stay home from a party her friends Maritza and Jakory think Codi isn’t ready to grow up. Cori ends up at the party anyway (as her friends are too drunk to drive) and ends up making a friendship with a boy that takes her on a journey of self discovery.
Cori is lesbian, Maritza is bi and Jakory is gay. The story does a wonderful job of talking about queer relationships. I love the relationships that Cori makes, and how supportive everyone is of each other.
This is a book that’s about discovery and acceptance of one’s own queerness and a coming of age story. I wont say that there is no sign of queerphobia in this book, but it is pretty positive overall. Most of what happens is microaggressions and ignorance of the characters being queer. I love the supportiveness of the main and side characters. The ending of this story is pretty magical.
More Fun Stuff:
Looking for art events? Abelle Hayford has put together a great list of Twitter hastag events for artists: https://twitter.com/abellehayford/status/1283566529544503296?s=20 It’s a WIP so keep checking back for more events. If you know of something not on the list. Please let Abelle know!
I am only featuring 3 authors today because 2 of these authors have released so many books this year! Congratulations to all of you plus the illustrators as well!
Such A Library!: A Yiddish Folktale Re-Imagined by Jill Ross Nadler, Illustrated by Esther Van Den Berg
An old Yiddish folktale in a modern-day library… with a magical librarian! Stevie craves quiet until Miss Understood, a magical librarian, wreaks havoc in this modern-day twist on an old Yiddish folktale.
Jill’s Website: https://jillrossnadler.com/
Illustrator’s Portfolio: https://www.plumpuddingillustration.com/work/?page=1&artist=174&name=&cat=1&id=137
Layla and the Bots: Happy Paws by Vicky Fang. Illustrated by Christine Nishiyama
Layla and the Bots are in an awesome rock band! They also use problem-solving and creativity to build cool inventions. When a local amusement park is in danger of shutting down, Layla knows just how to bring in the crowds… build an amusement park for DOGS! But will cool doggie rides like the Rub-a-Dub Mud Slide and the Tummy Rubbing Machine be enough to keep the park open? With full-color artwork on every page and speech bubbles throughout, this early chapter book series brings kid-friendly STEAM topics to young readers!
This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!
Layla and the Bots: Built for Speed by Vicky Fang. Illustrated by Christine Nishiyama
Blossom Valley is hosting a go-kart race! The go-karts are provided for all the kids in town. Layla and the Bots can’t wait for race day! But one racer, Tina, needs their help. She needs a new cart that uses hand-controls and other cool features. Layla and the Bots know just what to do… they will build her a brand-new cart that’s even faster than her wheelchair! But will Tina’s go-kart have enough speed to win the race? With full-color artwork on every page and speech bubbles throughout, this early chapter book series brings kid-friendly STEAM topics to young readers!
Buy The Books: https://vickyfang.com/books/layla/#happy-paws
Vicky’s Website: vickyfang.com/books
Christine’s Website: https://might-could.com/about/
INVENT-A-PET By Vicky Fang, Illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarog
Katie is an ordinary girl who longs for an extraordinary pet—something more spectacular than a simple goldfish. Then one day Katie comes home to find a gift from her mother: a mysterious machine designed to help her create that one-of-a-kind creature. Each time she feeds different items into the machine, out comes a marvelously colorful new animal—like a purple monkey, rainbow-spotted horse, and green bunny! But none of them is just right. Through trial and error, Katie figures out the formula for her absolutely perfect SURPRISE pet.
Buy The Book: https://vickyfang.com/books/invent-a-pet/
Tidawan’s Website: No website yet!
I CAN CODE: IF/THEN and
I CAN CODE: AND/OR
Written by Fang, Illustrated by Jade Orlando
Written by an expert, I Can Code: IF/THEN uses simple text, colorful illustrations, and interactive flaps to help little ones discover the building blocks of coding all around them! As they follow along with an adorable story about cause and effect, they’ll explore fundamental concepts like conditions, rules, and logic―and have fun doing it.
Educators are saying every child needs to know the basics of coding―and this book will get them started as early as possible!
Buy the Books: https://vickyfang.com/books/i-can-code/#if-then
Jade’s Website: https://www.jadefrolics.com/childrens
How to Meet a Mermaid by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo
Legend has it that the only way to meet a mermaid is to know where to look and how to craft a beautiful gift that shows her you care. If you’re lucky, she may even take you on an adventure to explore the ocean!
Mermaids are rarely seen, and even more rarely met. But, if you gather some natural craft supplies–seashells, grass, pieces of coral, driftwood, and sea glass–you might just get to befriend one!
If you look closely, you just might discover a mermaid out in the waves at the edge of the shore. And if you do, you’ll need to be ready! By being observant, resourceful, and friendly, you can make a beautiful crown from natural beach materials that will show your new mermaid friend you truly care, and then you’ll be taken on an incredible adventure through the ocean’s depths, past ancient shipwrecks, and across the waves. You just might get to experience what it’s like to be a mermaid yourself, too!
Sue Fliess’s poetic read-aloud text and Simona Sanfilippo’s vibrant, whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to meet their own mermaids! Also included are guides for teachers and parents about how to engage children in building mermaid crowns themselves and how to interest them in the natural world, the history of mermaids, and the many cultures that have believed in them.
Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/how-to-meet-a-mermaid
Sue’s Website: https://www.suefliess.com/
Simona’s Website: http://www.tissi.altervista.org/
How to Find a Unicorn by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo
Legend has it that the only way to find a unicorn is to know where to look and how to craft a beautiful gift that shows her you are a friend. If you’re lucky, she may even take you for a ride!
Unicorns are excellent judges of character. So, gather some natural craft supplies like daisies, sugar cubes, ivy, ferns, apples, grass, and straw, and get ready to find a magical new friend!
If your heart is pure, you just might discover a unicorn out in the mystical forests of the mountains. And if you do, you’ll need to be ready! By being resourceful, careful, and kind, you can make beautiful riding gear from nature that will show your unicorn friend you truly care, and then you’ll be taken on an incredible ride through sunny meadows, over sparkling oceans, and along the brilliant arcs of rainbows!
Sue Fliess’s poetic read-aloud text and Simona Sanfilippo’s vibrant, whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to find their own unicorn friend! Also included are guides for teachers and parents about how to engage children in building unicorn-riding gear themselves and how to interest them in the natural world, the history of unicorns, and the many cultures that believed in them.Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/how-to-find-a-unicorn
Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Khoa Le
The soft glow of a candle, the blink of a firefly, a burst of fireworks―light is everywhere in our world! Rhyming text and luminous illustrations follow four children as they experience many different forms of light.
Khoa’s Website: http://khoale.daportfolio.com/
The Princess and the Petri Dish by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis
Pippa isn’t your usual princess. She prefers petri dishes to perfecting her curtsying. And when she realizes that she doesn’t like peas, she gets a sweet idea that consumes her and almost the whole kingdom.
Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/princess-and-the-petri-dish
Petros’ Website: http://www.petrosbouloubasis.com/
I’m getting really close to finishing up the images for this cat comic I’m working on. Just need a few more hours I hope. I’m hoping to finish the 3 I’m working on. I’ll have to finish the other two in my portfolio as well, but I’m happy I’m almost there!
I’m currently reading A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. I just summarized the story for a friend so I’ll post it here. There is a minor spoiler in the text about an event that happens within the first few chapters. I’ve whited these areas out.
It’s from two perspectives. A magical being takes Malik’s sister as his prisoner. Malik enters a deal with a magical being to save his sister. The deal is to kill Karina who is the Crown Princess of Ziran.
Karina’s mother is murdered and Karina wants to bring her back using dark magic (which could end up with her killing Malik). She also has to contend with her council who seems to be working against her and undermining everything she does. She has to hide her mother’s death and deal with a unknown traitor.
Malik is chosen by a goddess to enter the Solstasia competition. This gives Malik a way to get to Karina, but everything gets more complicated when the two meet and start having feelings for one another.
I’m almost done with this story and I’m so excited to find out how it’s all resolved!
More Fun Stuff:
My son was asking for math worksheets to do over the summer. He loves math. I remembered my friend Evelyn B Christensen does some wonderful puzzle books for kids. She has logic, math, word and other puzzles in her books. Evelyn has all kinds of puzzles on her website for kids to do and sample sheets from each of her books. There is lots to for free on her site that will keep kids busy for hours. I printed up a bunch of sheets to see what my son likes so I know which books to order for him! http://evelynchristensen.com/index.html
I have switched the book day to Friday. I moved it so I can use Wednesday as a permanent update day to talk about what I’m doing, what I’m reading and any fun writing/illustration events (or any other fun stuff I find). You can see the update here: https://www.daniduck.com/wednesday-updates/ There is a big list of books I’ve been reading there!
Kidlit books are included at the bottom. I have done my best finding illustrator websites. I believe these are the correct websites for each book’s illustrator. In some cases it was difficult to determine if the illustrator (though having the same name) was definitely the illustrator for the book mentioned. If you see any mistakes please let me know and I’ll fix them!
The Balance Between Life and Death by Elizabeth Holland
The balance between life and death can be precarious. Ana Adams wakes up every morning, goes to work and comes home at night to her dog. That doesn’t mean she’s living. After suffering the worst pain imaginable Ana is trying to make it through each day. The smile on her face means nothing, all that matters is the turmoil that is going on inside her head.
As Ana learns to open up to others and embarks on a new relationship she finds that letting life in is harder than she anticipated. Perhaps she’s moved too fast and needs to focus on healing before opening herself up to more pain and disappointment.
Will Ana learn her lesson or will it be too late for her?
This novella focuses on the importance of putting your mental health first.
A reminder that you never know what someone is hiding beneath their smile.
Buy The Book:
It’s FREE on #KindleUnlimited
Harbinger by Olga Gibbs
“I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends, and I’m coming to take what is mine!”
The clash with Baza and his angels had demonstrated to Ariel that Earth (Apkallu) is not the safe heaven she hoped it would be, and it is only a matter of time before she is hunted and dead.
The only way to survive is to accept her destiny and to fight back.
But upon her return to Uras, Ariel is rejected in her own domain and has to suppress the revolt against her reign. The angels refuse her and her lead, abandoning her and Uras in favour of another ruler.
She knows that without an army of followers she won’t stand a chance against Baza or Mik’hael, so now she needs to go into the most unexpected places to find it.
Halo: The stage is set. The armies are in their positions. However, what Ariel had gathered hardly can be called an “army”, maybe a mob at a push, but it’s all she has. This handful of the fallen is her only chance for survival in the final battle. The pages of the final book of the “Celestial Creatures” are full of betrayal, power struggle, heartache and fulfilling one’s destiny: becoming the feared archangel, the sole ruler of Heaven.
Buy the Books: https://books2read.com/u/bx8n1l
Author’s Website: https://www.olgagibbs.com/
I Know You by Louise Mullins
A mother’s world falls apart the day the police come knocking to tell her that her son is dead. Murdered, apparently without motive, outside a fast food restaurant. But when a witness comes forward, Honour realises her beloved son had a secret life beyond anything she imagined...
Author’s Website: https://www.louisemullinsauthor.com/
Red Moon by Sein Ares (Author), Big Bann Studio (Illustrator), Michele Sagan (Editor)
Have you ever imagined, the End of Man?
A world where Magic is life and Demons thrive?
Have you ever imagined, if it would be a better world?
I know I did, until the Red Moon.
Ice fell like rain, waves eclipsed the skies and death upon death.
All the while, Gods silent.
Then Saisho jumped into the pit, and a ripple began.
The First Hellbrids walked, and the ripple flourished.
Ten thousand years passed, and the ripple faded away.
Until the Red Moon again, and Chaos began,
The ripple again, and an Era began,
With the world echoing again,
“Those who sin die by the way they sinned!”
Illustrator’s Website: https://www.facebook.com/bigbannstudio/
Five Sisters by Stephanie Campisi illustrated by Maddi Andronic
When a great white oak gifts an old man a branch imbued with magic, he carves five wooden matryoshka dolls, “each smaller than the last.” The wooden dolls take on a life of their own as they frolic from one season to the next, bringing the old man and his wife a joy they had always longed for. Beautiful verse and stunning, traditional illustrations full of woodland creatures and playfully painted matryoshka dolls explore a tale of heartache, hope, and love.
Author’s Website: http://www.stephaniecampisi.com/
Illustrator’s Website: https://madiandronic.com/
Piglette by Katelyn Aronson Illustrated by Ava Byrne
Will a pristine piglet find perfection in Paris?
Piglette can be a bit particular by her siblings’ standards. She always wants everything to be perfect. While her many brothers and sisters like rolling in the mud, Piglette prefers pampering in a mud bath. While her siblings eat slop, Piglette prefers pastries. But what she’s most passionate about is flowers. She loves to smell the lilies and lilacs in the pasture. So Piglette decides her precise nose is destined for the perfume shops of Paris!
But Piglette soon realizes that there’s nothing more precious than the pleasant scents of home, and she finds a way to bring a little Parisian perfection back where she belongs. Debut author Kateyln Aronson and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Eva Byrne have created an unforgettable, playful piglet who stays true to herself and the message that home is where the heart is.
Buy the Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/622563/piglette-by-katelyn-aronson-illustrated-by-eva-byrne/
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MademoiselleK8
Illustrator’s Info: https://thebrightagency.com/uk/illustration/artists/eva-byrne
My Breakfast With Jesus by Tina Cho Illustrated by Guy Wolek
Children around the world share Jesus’ love through their different breakfasts, inspired by the iconic moment in the Bible when Jesus makes breakfast for the disciples on the beach.
Buy the Book: https://www.tinamcho.com/my-breakfast-with-jesus.html
Author’s Website: https://www.tinamcho.com/
Illustrator’s Website: https://guywolek.com/home
The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho illustrated by Jess X. Snow
A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world.
Buy the Book: https://www.tinamcho.com/the-ocean-calls.html
Illustrator Website: http://www.jessxsnow.com/filter/illustration
Five Minutes Alfie by Lily Mae Walters illustrated by Jack Foster
Alfie snuggles down in bed,
dreams still in his little head.
He dreams he’s a king going out for a ride.
“A dragon sleeps in front of the gate,” they cried.
How will they succeed in waking him up?
By helping each other and lots of luck.
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1
I’m going to start doing weekly updates again! I will be posting my own creative goals (and maybe some artwork), my current reads, and any art/writing events and fun stuff that’s coming up. The format and name for this may change a bit, but I’m really excited to have time to do these updates again.
I just got an iPad Pro. I’m currently using it to work on some illustration work! I have a cat book that I think will work well with on the iPad.
I have another cat graphic novel that I’m doing on my desktop. I am almost done with the images for this, but it is taking some time. I’m hoping that the work for this will give me more things to share for Smart Dummies later this year!
I have honestly not had much time for reading in recent years and that’s been very sad for me. I am listening to a TON of audiobooks right now. It’s easier for me to listen to something while I’m working on art or cleaning the house than it is to sit and read. I can read so much faster than I can listen, so I was resistant at first. I found that I do love listening to these books. I’ve had so much fun hearing these stories.
Stories I’ve read in the last little while:
Full Disclosure by Cameryn Garrett
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosilee Thor
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow
The Black Flamingo By Dean Atta
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Most of these are by Black authors other than Tarnished are the Stars and The Henna Wars. These are both queer stories! I highly recommend reading all of these books.
Currently Reading: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
This book is different from all the books I’ve been reading lately, because it’s nonfiction. It’s a memoir/manifesto. I’d also say there are CW for this book of sexual abuse, general abuse, homophobia, transphobia, racism and repeated use of the f-word and n-word. The writer of this book is Black, queer and does not put the bad things that happened in his life in a good light.
More Fun Stuff:
Just around the corner is the SCBWI Summer Spectacular conference! I’m attending this event. It starts Friday July 31st and runs through August 4th. I’m very excited for this to start. I honestly keep forgetting the start date, so posting the date here is as much for myself as it is for you! https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-summer-spectacular-2020/
The Children’s Book Academy is having their Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books starting August 31st. This is an absolutely fantastic class. You will learn so much in this class. The fantastic Larissa Marantz is a new teacher in this course. She is absolutely fantastic! It will be the best year to take this class. ADs, Editors and Agents will be looking at your work at the end of the course so sign up now! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2020-craft–business-of-illustrating-childrens-books.html
A new list of books for you today. These books are generally more for adults than kids this week! I still have several books to post. I’m going to be switching this up to Fridays. So the next post you’ll see from me on 2020 books will be on the 17th.
Little Book of Video Games by Melissa Brinks, Illustrated by Paulina GanucheauRevisit your favorites, find something new, or play your way through this light-hearted guide to the most celebrated and iconic arcade, console, and computer games from the 1950s to the 2000s.An accessible, informative look at the history and evolution some of the most popular and iconic video games from their early beginnings up to the 2000s. Author Melissa Brinks explores each influential game and its impact on they would have on the games that would follow, with brief, engaging profiles and surprising trivia that is perfect for fans of all levels.
Melissa’s Website: https://melissabrinks.com/
Paulina’s Website: https://paulinaganucheau.com/
Sebastian the In-Between by Vanessa Dun
Sebastian is an outsider bullied by everyone because he is very different than us. There has always been something off about him. His best friend is his overprotective mother, Samantha. She is all the family that he has, or so he thought. At the age of 13, he witnesses a gruesome murder by a supernatural being that no one else can see, but him. That night he learns of his abilities, about what he really is, and about his mother’s lies. As his world crumbles, Sebastian’s newfound gift quickly becomes a curse, when he realizes that he can’t control his growing powers. Especially when he almost kills his mother. Now he doesn’t know who to trust, especially himself, which forces him into hiding with a stranger, who is the only one that understands him, but has an evil past of her own. Sebastian realizes that he must evolve from a shy, newly angry outcast to a fierce warrior–or die trying. As an old enemy stays close in the shadows to exterminate him, and everyone in his bloodline. Everyone that is an In-Between.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086JTZH4K
Vanessa’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanAspacia
Touch of Pestilence Series by V.K. Pasanen
About The Accidental Healer: Mears County, Colorado, is locked down following deaths from an unknown biological agent. A mysterious woman rescued from a local lake appears to be the source. Now her rescuer, Ryan Mender, a descendant of a legendary Ute medicine man, finds himself and his family caught in a terrorist conspiracy. But more than that, he finds himself altered in ways he doesn’t understand.
Visions of the woman’s past now haunt him. Compulsion to protect her consumes him. And dark thoughts and dreams of her strangle his sanity. What follows shakes reality to its core and sends Ryan, the woman, and everyone he loves on a collision course with Destiny and Death.
V.K. Pasanen’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/PasanenVk
Deviously Sincere (Demented Minds Collection Book 1) by Alayna Hallward
The media has compared the FBI’s current serial killer to Jack the Ripper. Not because of the way he kills, but because he can evade law enforcement. This killer has an agenda, he believes his acts will purify women right down to their corrupt souls. While his work is well known, the FBI still cannot do anything. That is until Agent Tilda Wain decides to think outside of the box. The best way to catch a serial killer is to seek out the help of another. The only killer that can be of assistance is one that holds the same beliefs. Even though Hyde is their ideal helper, his views and time in the asylum make him unreliable. While Hyde does hate women, Tilda knows a way around such trivial matters. In her attempt to gain more information, Tilda soon finds herself in the line of fire. If she persists in her search, more than her honor will be lost.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VXYYZX/
Alayna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ahallward1
Dreamland by Barry Z. Brunswick
Eric now has to travel across Dreamland to find the other two Dream Queens and complete his training. The only trouble is, the Dark Lord Hermantrude and his Nightmares have a plan to take Dreamland before Eric’s training is complete. Will the boy’s biggest test be his last?
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086JTZH4K
Barry’s Website: https://imaginationgeneration.fun/
Blurred Lines by Remy Marie
Every great love story needs a beginning. This is theirs…
Jake Johnson is running from his horrible past as a New Orleans police officer. He thinks starting fresh in Norfolk will get his mind off the mistake that still haunts him. Commended for his bravery in the field, Jake gets promoted to go undercover as a member of the Ragin Cajun MC to take down the notorious drug kingpin, DeAndre King.
Aaliyah Washington’s life isn’t the best. She’s trapped in a low paying job and living in the projects of Norfolk. Her one beacon of hope is her best friend, Jada. However, when she losses her best friend in a drive by shooting, she vows revenge. After finding out the person who ordered the hit was her ex-boyfriend, DeAndre, she takes matters in her own hands to avenge her fallen friend.
After the same ruthless criminal, the two cross paths. Unexpectedly, they are forced to share a bed together by the one person they’re both after. Little did they know that their one sensual night together will be the foundation of their powerful relationship. As their love builds, so does the tension from Jake’s secret of being a cop. Will this secret ruin their relationship before it has a change to begin? Or will their love overcome all obstacles?
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088Y9MKJ5/
Remy’s Website: https://remymarieromance.blogspot.com/
Unsettled by Jennifer Mooney
When things get difficult, the best thing is to run away from your problems. At least, that’s what Ainsley thought.
It’s much harder to come back and face all of your demons.
Coming back to Tennessee to handle some family issues was so much more than she expected. There were so many memories and then her first love in her space was enough to make her run again. There were also new friends that welcomed her with open arms and offered something that she’d been missing for so long.
Would she make it here this time?
Would the past be too much to bear?
Could she find love underneath the scars on her heart?
Jennifer lives in Northern California with her small family that includes a teenager and three cats. She has been writing her entire life in one form or another and this is her debut book.
Thank you for reading!
Jennifer’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritergirlJ
The Dying Lamp by Shashank Singh
As we advance as a civilization, we are in a state of perpetual regress as a culture and as a race. Tales of war, revolution, reminiscence, religious fanaticism bedeck this collection, as the author highlights the dehumanization of Man, who has been reduced to a being consumed by his vices, viz. gluttony, avarice and bloodlust.
Has the lamp died out? Let us find out!
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088F2QHQD
The Tattler: Cancelled by Chad Descoteaux
The 3rd book in ‘The Tattler’ series…
In just a few years, The Tattler has grown from a small print tabloid publication, reporting on strange phenomena few believed (aliens, Big Foot, unicorns etc.), into an online news streaming network. This is mostly thanks to Nikki Graves, the mastermind behind TTLR News. But also, because Earth has gotten much, much stranger since the invasion.
A mysterious time traveler has been helping President Lee Finn hunt down monsters, made from a mineral that can repair the alien invaders’ home world. Barry Young has quit TTLR News to pursue a career in artsy photography, leaving Nikki with unresolved feelings. Will Barry and Nikki get back together? Will the aliens go home? And what of seductive, snake-haired media mogul Lenee Medusa, who wants to add both TTLR and Barry to her list of conquests?
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086HWJC3K
A Fire That Whispers by Cully Mack
War has begun, and the destined Voice of Thunder foretold to save the world is nowhere in sight.
Mirah is an elemental wielder whose extraordinary magic has proved too powerful for the Immortal Watchers to ignore.
Captured, they demand she destroys their portals. If she yields, it will trap her friends in the immortal realm forever.
As shocking discoveries unfold, it forces Mirah further under her enemies’ control. Flames once thought dead arise and test the bonds of love and sacrifice.
But not everyone once trusted is pure; not everyone once despised is vile… and Mirah must unravel the lies.
One truth she knows: The Shadow Beast lurks beyond the portals. The Immortals dread its arrival, but is the Beast more of a danger to them or to herself?
A Fire That Whispers is the third novel in the Voice that Thunders epic fantasy series wherein hope hides in the darkest of places and honour-bound promises seal your fate.
Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0847ND935
Cully’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/CullyMack