• Books

    2020 Book Boost – July 7th

    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 Ganucheau
    Revisit 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.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Video-Games-Classics/dp/0762496576

    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.

    Buy the Books: https://www.amazon.com/V-K-Pasanen/e/B084T85TX9/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

    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!

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Unsettled-Jennifer-Mooney-ebook/dp/B087ZPYS2H 

    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

  • Books,  Spring into Writing

    2020 Book Releases – June 30th

    I’m reading so many good books right now. How about you? I’m still working on getting through the pile of books on my TBR list. It’s always hard having a TBR is hard, because so many other books get in the way. A lot of my TBR pile can be seen here: https://www.daniduck.com/black-lives-matter/ I’ve read quite a few already!

    These are all kidlit books. Next week will be all adult (and possibly YA) books.

    New Children's Books



    Emergency Kittens and Who is Jackie Chan? by Jody Jensen Shaffer, Emergency Kittens illustrated by Dave Mottram

    Jody’s Website: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/

    Dave’s Website: http://www.davemottram.com/

    Buy Emergency Kittens: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/books/emergency-kittens/

    Buy Who is Jackie Chan?: https://jodyjensenshaffer.com/books/who-is-jackie-chan/




    King of the Swamp by Catherine Emett and Ben Mantle

    Catherine’s Website: https://catherineemmett.co.uk/

    Ben’s Website: https://www.benmantle.co.uk/

    Buy King of The Swamp: https://www.waterstones.com/book/king-of-the-swamp/catherine-emmett/ben-mantle/9781471181696




    Surgery on Sunday by Kat Harrison and Shane Crampton

    Kat’s Website: https://www.katwritesforyou.com/

    Shane’s Website: https://www.shanecrampton.co.uk/

    Buy Surgery on Sunday: https://www.katwritesforyou.com/book.html




    A Whale of a Mistake by Ioana Hobai

    Ioana’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ioanahobai

    Buy A Whale of a Mistake: https://bookshop.org/books/a-whale-of-a-mistake/9781624149276




    The Starkeeper by Faith Pray

    Faith’s Website: https://www.faithpraybooks.com/

    Buy The Starkeeper: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/604696/the-starkeeper-by-faith-pray/



    The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore, Illustrated by Zoe Persicoe

    Emily’s Website: https://www.emilykilgore.com/

    Zoe’s Website: http://www.zoepersico.com/

    Buy The Whatifs: https://bookshop.org/books/the-whatifs/9781499810295




    Frederico and the Wolf by Rebbeca J. Gomez Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

    Rebbeca’s Website: http://www.rebeccajgomez.com/

    Elisa’s Website: http://www.elisachavarri.com/

    Buy Frederico and the Wolf: https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/Federico-and-the-Wolf/9781328567789




    Another Dreadful Fairy Book by John Etter

    John Etter’s Website: https://jonetter.com/

    Buy Another Dreadful Fairy Book: https://www.amazon.com/Another-Dreadful-Fairy-Those-Books-ebook/dp/B082BKBQXZ/


  • Books,  Spring into Writing

    More 2020 Books!

    2020 Kidlit Book Releases

    I had a minor family emergency yesterday for my 4 year old. He’s fine. Just needs to be on antibiotics for a week. I didn’t get a chance to put these up yesterday, so here they are late today. I’m going to continue to post these on Tuesdays until I get through my list! 

    Little Monster Trucks by Doug Cenko


    Buy the Book: https://bookshop.org/books/little-monster-trucks-go/9781936669837

    Doug’s Website: www.dugduggoose.com

    The Boy Who Thought Outside the Box: The Story of Video Game Inventor Ralph Baer by Marcie Wessels and illustrated by Beatriz Castro 


    Buy the Book: https://www.sterlingpublishing.com/9781454932598/

    Marcie’s Website: http://marciewessels.com/

    Beatriz’s Website: https://beatrizcastroilustracion.com/

    No Party Poopers by Gretchen McLellan and illustrated by Lucy Semple


    Buy the Book: https://bookshop.org/books/no-party-poopers/9781499809886

    Gretchen’s Website: http://gretchenmclellan.com/

    Lucy’s Website: https://www.lucysemple.co.uk/

    I've Got A Tail! by Julie Murphy and illustrated by Hannah Tolson 


    Buy the Book: https://www.amicuspublishing.us/books/amicus-ink/ive-got-tail-terrific-tails-animal-world

    Julie’s Website: https://juliemurphybooks.com/

    Hannah’s Website: https://www.hannahtolson.com/

    Benny's True Colors by Norene Palson illustrated by Anne Passchier


    Buy the Book: https://bookshop.org/books/benny-s-true-colors/9781250207715

    Norene’s Website: http://www.norenepaulson.com/

    Anne’s Website: http://www.annepasschier.com/

    WHAT A PRICKLY PEAR by Tina Mowrey, Illustrated by Sarah Williams


    Buy The Book: https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/store/p154/What_a_Prickly_Pear.html

    Tina’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/tmowtx

    I could not find Sarah’s website. If you know Sarah, please send me a link to her website!


    Two Dogs on a Trike by Gabi Snyder illustrated by Robin Rosenthal


    Buy the Book: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/two-dogs-on-a-trike_9781419738913/

    Gabi’s Website: https://gabisnyder.com/

    Robin’s Website: https://www.robinrosenthal.com/

    LLoyd Find His Whalesong Skylaar Amann


    Buy The Book https://www.skylaaramann.com/shop

    Skylaar’s Website: https://www.skylaaramann.com/

    Hello, New House by Jane Smith


    Buy the Book: https://www.albertwhitman.com/book/hello-new-house/

    Jane Smith: https://www.superjane.com/

  • Events,  Spring into Writing,  Uncategorized

    This Page was (Un)intentionally Left Blank – Plus Winners

    Things have been so busy for me lately. I keep thinking that I was going to be able to make time to put up a list of new books this week and I failed. I have less involved things this coming week, so I will be able to pick back on the list next week.


    Prize Winners:


    Website building or consultation:




    3 pieces of promotional material:

    Linda Hofke

    Thanks so much with your participation in Spring into Writing!


    I will attempt to contact you both shortly. You will have 1 month to pick up your prize after notification and 6 months to use your prize. 

  • Books,  Spring into Writing

    Black Lives Matter

    In Support of Black Lives Matter I’m posting about books by Black authors/illustrators. (I will be posting the rest of the books on my list later.) Right now Black creators need our support. This list are books I’d like to read and are mostly 2020 releases. There are so many more new books out there this year so follow these people on Twitter, because they are constantly posting great Black reads this year!

    The first book is by Kacen Callender is about and written by a trans Black person. Recently the trans community received a big hit by JKR’s comments on Twitter. This isn’t right and it’s caused a lot of pain. I want to show my support, respect and love to trans people! 


    On My TBR Pile

    Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender (Queer, Trans, Romance, YA)

    Felix Love has never been in love–and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many–Black, queer, and transgender–to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

    When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages–after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned–Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle….

    But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

    Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

    Buy The Book: https://bookshop.org/books/felix-ever-after/9780062820259

    Kacen’s Website: https://www.kacencallender.com/

    Kacen’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/kacencallender





    The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (Sci-fi, YA)

    Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

    Today, seventeen-year-old Ellie Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie still keeps a secret library.

    When young Ilori commander M0Rr1S finds Ellie’s library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more.

    Humanity’s fate rests in the hands of an alien Ellie should fear, but M0Rr1S has a potential solution–thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous journey with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

    Get the Book: Signed + Swag: https://www.onemorepagebooks.com/book/9781335911551

    For more places to buy the book go here: https://twitter.com/alechiawrites/status/1238622395856019456

    Alechia’s Website: https://www.alechiadow.com/

    Alechia’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/alechiawrites

    Given by Nandi Taylor (Fantasy, YA)

    As a princess of the Yirba, Yenni is all-but-engaged to the prince of a neighboring tribe. She knows it’s her duty to ensure peace for her people, but as her father’s stubborn illness steadily worsens, she sets out on a sacred journey to the empire of Cresh, determined to find a way to save him at any cost, even though failure could mean the wrath of her gods and ruin for her people. One further complication? On the day she arrives at the Prevan Academy for Battle and Magical Arts, she meets an arrogant dragon-shifter named Weysh who claims she’s his “Given”, or destined mate. Muscular, beautiful (and completely infuriating), he’s exactly the kind of distraction Yenni can’t afford while her father’s life hangs in the balance.

    But while Yenni would like nothing more than to toss Weysh the man into the nearest river, Weysh the dragon quickly becomes a much-needed friend in the confusing northern empire. Yet when her affection for the dragon starts to transfer to the man, Yenni must reconcile her duty to her tribe with the call of her own heart.

    Buy The Book: https://hypel.ink/given

    Nandi’s Website: https://nanditaylor.com/

    Nandi’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/nandi_taylor


    You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (Queer, Romance, YA)

    Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

    But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down… until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

    The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams—or make them come true?

    Buy The Book: https://linktr.ee/byleahjohnson

    Leah’s Website: https://www.byleahjohnson.com/

    Leah’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/byleahjohnson

    A Song Below Water by Bethany Morrow (Fantasy, YA)

    Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore―soon Portland won’t be either.

    Buy the Book: https://bookshop.org/books/a-song-below-water/9781250315328?aid=4807

    Bethany’s Website: https://www.bethanycmorrow.com/

    Bethany’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCMorrow 


    A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (Fantasy, YA)

    In a world inspired by West and North African mythology, where magic and spirits lurk behind every corner, two teens on opposite sides of a thousand-year-old conflict must kill each other to save the ones they love —even if it means fighting the blossoming connection that ties them together.

    An explosive new Young Adult Fantasy novel by Roseanne A. Brown, perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes!

    Buy The Book: 

    Signed copy of the book: https://bookswithapast.com/home/bookdetailsin/0062891499

    Other places to get the book: https://roseanneabrown.com/books

    Rosanne’s Website: https://roseanneabrown.com/

    Rosanne’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosiesrambles

    The Gilded Ones by Namia Forna (Fantasy, YA)

    Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

    But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

    Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

    Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

    Buy the Book: https://www.getunderlined.com/books/600179/the-gilded-ones-by-namina-forna/

    Namia’s Website: https://naminaforna.com/

    Namia’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/NaminaForna






    Manifique Noir by Briana Lawerence (Fantasy Graphic Novel)

    “It’s all fun and games until you question the magic.”

    Our favorite magical girl squad is back for their regularly scheduled program.

    Kind of.

    After the last colossal battle, Marianna, Bree, and Lonnie are trying their best to recover, but the daily monsters don’t give a lick about self-doubt and personal struggles. Fortunately, Prism Pink is there to lend a hand, turning the trio into a courageous group of girls who can take on whatever threat comes their way.There’s just one problem: they still don’t know who Prism Pink is or where she came from.

    In fact, where did any of this come from?

    The monsters. The magical powers. What does any of it mean? It’s time to start getting answers, but are the girls ready to hear the truth? Knowledge is power, as they say, but power is fickle and can be corrupted so easily. After all, Blaze never said what happened to the previous generation of magnifiqueNOIR, did she? 

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0999398326

    Signed Copy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/706866544/magnifiquenoir-you-are-magical-book-2

    Magnifique Noir Website: http://www.magnifiquenoir.com/

    Brianna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrichibiTweets


    Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett (Fiction, Queer, YA)

    Simone Garcia-Hampton is absolutely positive that having a crush is more dangerous than having HIV; after all, she’s got her viral load under control. Simone knows that her status isn’t a death sentence, as long as she remembers to take her medication and go to her doctor’s appointments, she can live a long, healthy life. There’s just one problem: she wants to have sex. Badly.

    She knows abstinence is the safest policy, she’s heard it almost every day of her life from her sweet and well-meaning Dads, and up until now, she’s been able to handle it herself, but Miles Austin has ruined that. He’s hot! He plays lacrosse! He asks Simone about her favorite plays because of how it lights her face up! What’s a horny (but responsible) teenage girl to do!?

    Simone is already agonizing about how to tell Miles about her status, but she’s been burned before when she told people that she loved that she was positive—she even had to switch schools over it, leaving her boarding school when there was a huge public outcry from uneducated parents, not to mention a scarring shunning from the people she cared about most. She’s determined to keep her status a secret, but the cardinal rule of dating-while-positive is disclosure. Allowing herself to get close to Miles would be a gigantic risk.

    Before she’s able to figure out what to do, Simone finds a threatening note left in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know, too.

    Buy the Book: https://www.camryngarrett.com/full-disclosure

    Camyrn’s Website: https://www.camryngarrett.com/

    Camyrn’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/dancingofpens





    Books I've Read and Love




    Clyde the Hippo: Clyde Goes to School by Keith Marantz, Illustrated by Larissa Marantz (Fiction, Picture Book)

    Meet Clyde, a lively (and often worried) hippo with a heart of gold who’s always eager to go on new adventures, in this fun-filled 8×8!

    Clyde can’t believe his mom is making him go to school. He has so much fun at home—what could a classroom possibly have to offer? As his mom lists all the activities he’ll get to do, Clyde only imagines the worst possible outcomes. He’s so caught up in what could go wrong that he’s determined to turn around and go home. But when he comes across his kind teacher and the butterfly habitat she’s carrying inside, it might just be enough to convince him to stay!

    Buy the Book/Clyde’s Website: http://www.clydethehippo.com/index.html

    Larissa’s Website: http://larissamarantz.com/index.html

    Larissa’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarissaMarantz

    Odd One Out by Nic Stone (Fiction, Queer, YA)

    Courtney Cooper and Jupiter Sanchez (Coop & Jupe!) have been next-door neighbors and best friends since they were seven-years-old. She’s his partner-in-crime and other half. But lately, Cooper can’t ignore he might want something more than friendship from Jupiter.

    When Rae Chin moves to town she can’t believe how lucky she is to find Coop and Jupe. Being the new kid is usually synonymous with pariah, but around these two, she finally feels like she belongs. She’s so grateful she wants to kiss him…and her.Jupiter has always liked girls.

    But when Rae starts dating Cooper, Jupe realizes that the only girl she ever really imagined by his side was her.

    One story. Three sides. No easy answers.


    Buy the Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/534051/odd-one-out-by-nic-stone/9781101939567/

    Nic’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/getnicced

    Nic’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicstone/




  • Books,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    2020 Book Releases!

    I had so wanted to do a Black only book release post today to support Black Lives Matter.  Unfortunately, I didn’t responses to my Tweets yet (I’m still going to try). It’s expected because it took me some time to get responses to my author posts. If you are Black you can still comment here and hopefully I can get several people for a dedicated post.  https://twitter.com/DaniDuck/status/1267504987367587847

    Even if I’ve already posted your work please feel free to submit you book again for a second post! 

    I do have some Black authors below, and am also including other POC to the list. I may have missed a few people, so feel free to let me know if I missed you!


    Books for Grown-Ups

    Dragonborn by Whitney Rines

    Five Amaranthine coveting godhood commit horrific actions against mortals and the world they share and are granted twisted versions of their desire.
    Dragonborn follows the story of Fayet and his own journey to humanity, by watching mortals over time. He eventually falls for a mortal woman named Ayshir and assuming a mortal shell builds a family and home with her.

    However, the events preceding their union and the ones that that follow after, slowly bring a darkness that threatens to destroy his family.


    Website: https://www.whitneyrines.com/

    Buy Dragonborn and preview Whitney’s Other Books: https://www.whitneyrines.com/publications



    This is My America by Kim Johnson

    Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

    Preorder the Book: 


    Kim’s Website: https://www.kcjohnsonwrites.com/



    I Should Have Worn A Curtain by Samyra Alexander

    This quick read follows one woman’s struggle to accept her childhood trauma, face her relationship with food with honesty and bravery, and overcome an illness that has kept her silent too long.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KBYT6C

    Folow Samyra: https://twitter.com/SamyraTell





    Fears and Love by Halima ADISA

    Get the Book: https://twitter.com/leemah_deesah/status/1256860072401006593

    Follow Leema: https://twitter.com/leemah_deesah





    Island Seas by V.E. WilchCombe

    Can 12yr old Michael Jones survive the night alone on Lightning Cay? It belongs to them, everyone knows this! Island myths and legends come to life in my new fantasy novella.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LL15MD

    V.E. Wilchcombe’s Website: https://starbeam88.wixsite.com/mysite-4




    Calculated Murder by H.G Ahedi

    In New York, Roumoult Cranston is infamously known for his keen interest in bizarre cases. So, when Garner Moss, a millionaire playboy is murdered by rich ex model, he is not intrigued. Fate intervenes when Roumoult becomes a prime suspect who was not only at the crime scene but also benefits from the dead man’s will.

    With only seven suspects, including Roumoult, who killed Garner Moss might be a simple question to answer, but why? When motives like jealously, revenge, lust, money, power do not apply, the quest to answer this question will open a Pandora box because, in the case of the Calculated Murder, the living and the dead tread on dangerous terrain.

    Buy the Book: amazon.com/H.G-Ahedi/e/B0


    H.G’s Ahedi’s Website: https://harbeerahedi.wordpress.com/hedi


    Older by Emily Schaubeck

    A collection of poetry and prose for the lost and broken hearted. As everyone is on their journey to healing as I am.

    Buy The Book: https://www.amazon.com/Older-Emily-Schaubeck/dp/1082090662


    Kidlit Books

    Not Your American Girl by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang

    Lauren and her best friend, Tara, have always done absolutely everything together. So when they don’t have any classes together in sixth grade, it’s disastrous. The solution? Trying out for the school play. Lauren, who loves to sing, wonders if maybe, just maybe, she will be the star instead of Tara this time.

    But when the show is cast, Lauren lands in the ensemble, while Tara scores the lead role. Their teacher explains: Lauren just doesn’t look the part of the all-American girl. What audience would believe that she, half-Jewish, half-Chinese Lauren, was the everygirl star from Pleasant Valley, USA?

    From amidst the ensemble, Lauren tries to support her best friend. But when she can’t bring herself to sing anymore, her spot in the play and her friendship are in jeopardy. With the help of a button-making business, the music of Patsy Cline, and her two bickering grandmothers, can Lauren find her voice again?

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VVTB9Q2

    Madelyn’s Website: http://www.madelynrosenberg.com/

    Wendy’s Website: http://wendyshang.com


    The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

    Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled, but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.

    As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

    Buy The Book & Adiba’s Website: https://adibajaigirdar.com/the-henna-wars

    Adiba’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/adiba_j


    The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho Illustrated by Jess X. Snow

    Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.

    Buy The Book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/609075/the-ocean-calls-by-tina-cho-illustrated-by-jess-x-snow/

    Tina’s Website: https://www.tinamcho.com/

    Jess’ Website: http://www.jessxsnow.com/


  • Events,  Spring into Writing,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    A Spring into Writing Thank You!

    Thank you so much for participating in Spring into Writing this year! This was only the second year for the event. I have a survey you can fill out if you’d like: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCTXW3Q

    Here is a badge for anyone who wants an “I Won” badge. If you did any writing at all this month, congratulations you won Spring into Writing!

    You have until next Monday (June 8th) to enter for the following 3 prizes

    1. A critique with Kaitlyn Sanchez of your work.


    2. Website building help from Dani:





    The third prize is 3 pieces of promotional material for your book!

    If you have a book coming out soon you might need help with making post cards, bookmarks, posters, book plates ect. I will do the set up and design for these with simple art if wanted. (If you have a different business I can help with that as well).*

    To enter: Comment below to tell me how you liked Spring into Writing!

    Please comment on as many posts as possible! 

    *If you would rather me help you set up a website I can do that. Prize winner must contact me 30 days after winning. Prize must be redeemed within 6 months after  prize is announced.


  • Art,  Books,  Spring into Writing

    Superhero on the Side: Cyndi Marko

    Cyndi Marko puts the POW in Kung Pow Chicken — The book series, not the food (maybe also the food). She is a writer and illustrator. She started off her career hoping to sell picture books. Things don’t always happen the way we plan, but Cyndi did end up selling books. Just not the picture books she had planned. 

    Cyndi has now created a wonderful collection of superhero chicken books called Kung Pow Chicken. This was my son’s first chapter book. I read them to him when he was in kindergarten. It’s still on the top of my list for fun chapter book series! Cyndi’s new book Kung Pow Chicken: Jurassic Peck comes out in September.  The Kung Pow Chicken Collection can be now bought as a 4 in 1 book!

    Check out Cyndi’s Website here: https://www.cyndimarko.com/


    The Kung Pow Chicken Collection Cover!

    Dani: Besides writing and illustration, What is your superpower?

    Cyndi: Well, I’m actually pretty put out that I can’t fly or shoot lasers from my eyeballs, but I am a fairly decent cook. I love to put on loud music and just lose myself in the kitchen, and I always sing while I cook.

    Bread made by Cyndi!

    Cooking is a creative outlet for me separate from book work stuff. I’m particularly good at creating dishes from whatever’s on hand when there’s almost no food left in the house because I haven’t gone grocery shopping (which I hate doing), and I’m also good at recreating dishes I’ve had at restaurants. I hardly ever use recipes (except for when baking because science) and prefer to just go by instinct as I’m cooking. (Pro tip: there’s no such thing as too much garlic!)

    I love to bake as well, and have been making sourdough from my own starter for about a year now. I think I most enjoy making soups (I save bones and make my own stock) and baking fancy cookies at Christmas time. I think this love of cooking comes through in my books because I almost always find a way to incorporate food into my stories. There are candy corn cupcakes in KUNG POW CHICKEN and stale jelly donuts in THIS LITTLE PIGGY.


    Dani: How has your process changed since you first started creating books?

    Cyndi: I’m much faster now, for one thing. It used to take me months to make a sketch dummy for a picture book, and writing was like pulling teeth. But now I can sketch a dummy for a picture book in about a week, and a book like KUNG POW CHICKEN in about two weeks.

    The biggest difference is scale, I think. I used to sketch at full size and it led me to be a perfectionist. Over the years my sketches got progressively smaller. Now I sketch at thumbnail size and then enlarge when I scan. I can then edit the composition in PhotoShop, and print off and trace using my lightbox when I go to final art.

    As for writing, I’m much more likely to start with a loose outline before jumping into a first draft, which has totally helped my productivity. Also, I found a writing partner who writes and illustrates the same types of books as I do and getting feedback from a peer has been invaluable. (Hi, Troy!)


    Dani What’s it like writing your 5th book in a series? Is it hard keeping a series fresh so far into the series?

    Cyndi: It had been about five years since KUNG POW CHICKEN 4, so it was interesting to jump back in with book 5 (JURASSIC PECK). I had to reread the previous books to make sure I got all the details right. It surprised me how little I remembered writing the words or painting the art!

    But I had SO much fun working on book 5. We had more time in the schedule for each step of the book, and I found I was faster and more experienced. KPC 5 also has dinosaurs, and I have always wanted to do a book with dinosaurs so I was pretty much geeking out the entire time. I really love the end result and I hope we get to do many more KPC books. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of adventures for those plucky little chickens!

    Kung Pow Chicken: Jurassic Peck Cover. Coming in September!


    Dani: What is your favorite way to relax?

    Cyndi: Reading a book while having a glass of wine and eating Sour Patch Kids (pairs nicely with merlot) or spending time with friends. During social distancing I’ve found ways to spend time with friends online: playing tabletop games on Roll20 or watching a series or movie at the same time and chatting about it over messenger.


    Dani What are you working on now?

    Cyndi: So many things!

    Not Kung Pow, but still amazing! This Little Piggy: An Owner's Manual. Cover

    First there’s SLOTH SLEUTH, a graphic novel series about a sloth named Paz who solves mysteries on the fantastical island of Winklefuss. The first two books will come out in 2021 and 2022, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I’ve also got BOO! HISS! (Aladdin, 2021), about a ghost and a snake who are roommates in a haunted (by them) house.

    I also have a couple dozen (I’m not kidding) WIPs—works in progress for the layperson—on the go. I’m working on picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, middle grade novels, and maybe a humorous coffee table book for grown-ups. I am sometimes overwhelmed by so many ideas that I am dying to work on that I end up working on none of them and just drink too much coffee and share too many memes. But I am determined to prioritize!

    The covers to all four of the published Kung Pow Chicken books.
  • Art,  Spring into Writing,  Writing

    The Not So Whiny Whiny Lisa Chen-Wing

    Lisa Chen-Wing is just hilarious. Anyone can write a story about their life, but it takes a special kind of person to make other people laugh about that experience. Lisa’s  webcomic Whiny Whiny Pancakes is all about Lisa’s life with her kids. This comic is hilarious and very dear to my heart. I love reading this comic and I hope you will too!



    Lisa’s website: http://whinywhinypancakes.com/


    9 Reasons Why

    By Lisa Whiny Whiny Pancakes


    2 Reasons why I started a semi-autobiographical web comic

    1. My friend looked at a web comic and said ‘Hey, you could do that!’
    2. I said ‘Hey, I could do that.’


    5 Reasons why you should start a web comic.

    1. Making more social media accounts is extremely easy.
    2. The best way to get better at something is to do it regularly.
    3. It’s a great way to practice new skills and techniques.
    4. Getting a few likes from randos on the internet is a great ego boost.
    5. It’s not a huge time commitment.


    1 Reason why you shouldn’t start to draw a web comic

    1. Nobody really cares about your web comic.


    1 Reason you should draw your web comic anyway.

    1. Outsider artists, the ones who toil their whole lives in obscurity, are the real heroes. 

    Since I don’t have the integrity of an outsider artist, only the same number of followers: (Instagram @whinywhinypancakes, Twitter @WhinyPancakes, Facebook @whinywhinypancakes, URL: whinywhinypancakes.com, other URL: elsiedub.com)