• Art,  Events,  Fun,  Writing

    Announcing #QueerKidlit

    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.


  • Books,  Updates

    Wednesday Updates

    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. 

    Creative Goals:

    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. 

    Currently Reading:

    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.

  • Books,  Uncategorized

    2020 New Titles – July 31st

    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


    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

    Buy the Book: https://rebellionpublishing.com/product/the-chimera-code/

    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.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Magic-Supernatural-Beings-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07YMTM4LW

    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.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Ups-Downs-Norman-Drudge-ebook/dp/B084VBR6XQ/

    Iain’s Twitter: https://www.amazon.com/Ups-Downs-Norman-Drudge-ebook/dp/B084VBR6XQ/









    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

    UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088C5N42V

    US: https://amazon.com/dp/B088C5N42V

    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/



  • Updates

    Wednesday Updates

    Creative Goals:

    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!

    Currently Reading:

    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!

  • Books

    2020 New Titles – July 23rd

    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.

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Such-Library-Yiddish-Folktale-Re-Imagined/dp/195136502X/

    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!





    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.

    Buy the Book: https://www.suefliess.com/flash-and-gleam-light-in-our-world

    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/

  • Fun,  Uncategorized

    Wednesday Updates

    Creative Goals:

    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!

    Currently Reading:

    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

  • Uncategorized

    2020 New Titles – July 17th

    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:

    🇬🇧 http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B086N1M4QF/…

    🇺🇸 http://amazon.com/dp/B086N1M4QF

    It’s FREE on #KindleUnlimited

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/EHollandAuthor







    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...

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-You-Emma-Locke-Book-ebook/dp/B0888LV1T1/

    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/

    Kidlit Books

    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.

    Buy the Book:

    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

    Fussy Flamingo by Shelly James illustrated by Matthew Rivera

    Meet Lola, the “no, no” flamingo. Lola will NOT eat shrimp, thank you very much. She does NOT care that it will turn her feathers pink. It is just plain yucky. But when Lola sneaks other snacks, she discovers that you really are what you eat. This very silly story will delight even the pickiest of young readers and resonate with parents eager to see just one bite.

    Don’t miss the fun flamingo facts in the back!


    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Shelly-Vaughan-James/dp/1728209706/


    Author’s Website: https://shellyvaughanjames.com/

    Illustrator’s Website: http://matthewdidit.com




    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.


    Illustrator’s Website:https://www.jackfosterart.com/

    Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

    Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.ca/Five-Minutes-Alfie-Lily-Walters/dp/1681607077








  • Art,  Books,  Writing

    Wednesday Updates

    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.

    Creative Goals:

    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! 

    Currently Reading:

    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

  • 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/