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.
Website building or consultation:
3 pieces of promotional material:
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.
The winner of Kaitlyn Sanchez’s prize A CRITIQUE is:
Congratulations! You will be contacted soon about your prize.
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.
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
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.
Follow Emily: https://twitter.com/EmilySchaubeck
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.
Tina’s Website: https://www.tinamcho.com/
Jess’ Website: http://www.jessxsnow.com/
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.
While writing this intro for Robin Stevenson I can’t help but hear the song, “Rainbow Connection” in my head. It’s not just because I’m listening to the song while I’m writing. Robin just gives me all the warm feeling I get when I hear the song.
I wish that I had Robin’s books when I was a kid. I also wish that my parents and the world would have been supportive in me reading such books. It’s wonderful knowing that not alone in this world. I love that feeling and I know that Robin’s books will help our and future generations feel this way as well!
Robin’s Website: https://robinstevenson.com/
Hello! Hope you are all doing okay and finding support and ways to cope during this strange pandemic spring. Despite having lots of time due to cancelled tours, launches and events, I’ve been finding writing rather difficult lately…so I was glad to get an email from Dani asking me if I would share something about why I love writing about LGBTQ+ characters and themes in my books.
Over the last few years, I seem to have become known for writing LGBTQ+ books. My first non-fiction book, PRIDE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-celebrating-diversity-and-community/), came out in 2016 and was a Stonewall Honor book. Many of my novels include LGBTQ+ characters and several, including INFERNO (https://robinstevenson.com/books/inferno/) and UNDER THREAT (https://robinstevenson.com/books/under-threat-2/), have been selected for the ALA Rainbow List. My board book PRIDE COLORS (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-colors/) is currently a Lambda Literary Award finalist, my picture book GHOST’S JOURNEY: A REFUGEE STORY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/ghosts-journey-a-refugee-story/) tells the story of two gay men and their cat, and this spring I launched a second, expanded edition of my original Pride book: It is called PRIDE: THE CELEBRATION AND THE STRUGGLE (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-the-celebration-and-the-struggle/).
(I was also going to launch my latest– and very queer– YA novel, WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE (https://robinstevenson.com/books/when-you-get-the-chance/) , co-written with Tom Ryan, but due to the pandemic it will now be delayed until spring 2021).
So…why LGBTQ+ books? Well, when I wrote my first novel fifteen years ago, I drew heavily on my own experiences and memories of being a queer teen. Of course, that was a long time ago—I was in high school in the 1980s. It wasn’t a great time for queer teens: we didn’t talk about LGBTQ+ identities, we didn’t have books about LGBTQ+ characters, and many of us didn’t even have the language that might have made it so much easier to talk about these subjects, to understand our own identities, and to find community.
So my first novel, OUT OF ORDER (https://robinstevenson.com/books/out-of-order/), came from that place and those memories. It is about a bisexual teen, Sophie, who is just beginning to figure out who she is and how she wants to be in the world. After it was published in 2007, I began hearing from readers who related so strongly to Sophie—and I began realizing how important this kind of representation was. The following year, my novel BIG GUY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/big-guy/) came out. It was about a gay teen boy, and again I received emails from readers to whom this novel really mattered. One young gay man told me that he read it over and over– and that it helped him to understand and accept himself.
And of course, it isn’t just important for LGBTQIA+ kids and teens to see LGBTQ+ characters in books: I think all children, parents and teachers need these books. For young people who don’t know a lot about LGBTQ+ people, books can help them learn, have empathy, and hopefully care more about issues of human rights. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still common, and they hurt people—and I think books can be an important part of working to change that.
Although I started out writing for teens, I have begun writing LGBTQ+ books for much younger kids as well. Things are getting better but when I visit schools and talk to students, I still meet many who are afraid that if they come out as gay, or bi, or lesbian, or trans, that their parents won’t support them, or will be angry or disappointed. So I think kids need to hear from the people that love them that it is okay for them to be themselves and to love who they love. Our teens and our older kids need to hear that, of course—but there is no age that is too young to begin giving your kids that message. So I wrote my board book, PRIDE COLORS (https://robinstevenson.com/books/pride-colors/), for the very youngest kids–babies and toddlers. I hope it gives parents an easy way to tell their children that it is okay for them to be who they are, love who they love, and that they will always be accepted and adored.
My picture book, GHOST’S JOURNEY: A REFUGEE STORY (https://robinstevenson.com/books/ghosts-journey-a-refugee-story/) , is for slightly older kids. It tells the story of two gay men, Rainer and Eka, who fled Indonesia and came to Canada as refugees—along with their cat, Ghost. It is based on a true story and the illustrations are created from Rainer’s photographs. I wrote it to raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people around the world, and my hope is that it can be used in classrooms as a gentle introduction to human rights issues. All my royalties from this book go to support LGBTQ+ refugees—I am hoping it will raise funds as well as awareness!
Writing about LGBTQ+ history and rights has strengthened my own connections to the queer community. It has led to so many conversations with queer young people, peers and elders; taught me more about my community’s past and its ongoing struggles; made me part of a wonderfully supportive group of queer writers; and connected me with other LGBTQ+ people around the world. And of course, all of that makes it even more likely that my future books will include LGBTQ+ characters…because my writing reflects the world I live in.
I am curious about the stories and books that will come out of this current period in our lives. How will the pandemic and all we are experiencing filter into our writing? For myself, I am returning to a long neglected and half written mystery novel this week and am hoping that the words will start to flow again…wish me luck! For those of you that are also finding writing challenging this spring, I hope you will be gentle with yourselves and do what you need to do to cope. The words will come eventually. They always do.
The winner of the $25 gift card is Tonnye Williams Fletcher!
A Look at the Week May 10th - 19th:
Monday, May 11th: The hilarious Henry L. Hertz talks about writing Humor. This is not a how to be funny post. It’s an in depth look at the different ways you can write humor. http://www.henryherz.com/
Wednesday, May 13th: Intisar Khanani is all about mighty girls in magical worlds. She’s here to talk about the strength and equality in being female.: http://booksbyintisar.com/
Thursday May 14th: Helena Ku Rhee talks about our wonderful world. She finds excitement in everything and writes about it. You’ll learn how you can see the world in a very magical way: http://helenakrhee.com/
Friday, May 15th: Renee La Tulippe talks about writing and creating books in a fantastic interview. Find out the mistakes writers often make, and learn all about the rhyming classes that Renee teaches. This is a must for those wanting to write in rhyme! https://www.reneelatulippe.com/
Saturday May 16th: A Look At the Week May 17th-23rd.
There may be more surprises later this week. Keep checking back (or look in your mail) for more fun!
I just can’t wait until Spring into Writing. It is going to be a fantastic event. I have so many wonderful people sending me their posts right now. Things are happening. You can register here if you haven’t yet: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-spring-into-writing/
So what I should have done for the last few weeks is set up posts. What I have been doing is working on artwork. I swear sometimes I’m the only one who procrastinates working on work with other, more complicated work. I mean it makes no sense. There it is. I’ve been skipping out on my blogging duties with my art drawing.
I am currently working on a graphic novel pitch. If you don’t know I have been working on picture books for the longest time. I was so devoted to making the picture book that I created the event Smart Dummies to help others do so as well.
Now I’m just cheating on picture books with my love of the graphic novel. My work is still for children. I’m working on a middle grade graphic novel, so that’s fun, but I didn’t know what I was doing when I started.
I started in Mira’s Children’s Book Academy making this book. https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/ I took the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books. I finished two spreads and went blissfully on creating lots of sketches to send in. The graphic novel package is pretty open to interpretation and there is no one size fits all.
I was pointed here not long ago http://www.mariavicente.com/blog/graphic-novel-pitch-package This isn’t a new site to me, but I didn’t think that my book pitch would be longer than a picture book. Or at least not enough to change my submission style. I think I was wrong, so now I’m finishing up 3 more spreads for my submission. I am a bit frustrated that I spent so much time doing all those extra sketches, but I think it’s going to benefit me in the long run. It’s going to help me edit my story better. When someone picks up my story, I will have extra preliminary work done. In the end it’s a win-win for me. Now to work on setting it aside so I can get Spring into Writing up and running!
Sign up for Spring into Writing runs through May 7th. Find out more and sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-spring-into-writing/
The song “If I could save time in a bottle” by Jim keeps playing in my head. For those of you who don’t know the song I’ve plugged in the Youtube link to the right so you can hear it. If the link doesn’t come up you can go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzLS5hUMdQo
I don’t know about you but I feel like I haven’t been able to spend my days as I’d like. It would be nice to stick my time into a bottle and save it for a later date. Even if the day itself wouldn’t change at a later date.
I have a page that I want to put into my booklet that’s called Idea Jar. I don’t know if the idea came to me because of this song or from another writer’s post. It’s funny where we find ideas sometimes, and hard to remember where we found them. The whole idea behind the idea jar is to have that idea where you can find it!
I put on that song just before I started writing this post, and one line from the song is “If I had a box just for wishes”. What a neat idea! A box for wishes. I think I’ll add that as a page in the upcoming booklet!
A Page From Last Year's Book
Want to get a feel for what Spring into Writing is like? Here is a page out of last year’s booklet. Feel free to print it out!
I just realized that my post about Spring into Writing registration being OPEN may not have been sent. You can register at the link below.
Help me get the word out about Spring into Writing and you could win a $25 USD gift card to an indie book store of your choice! You can enter every day by mentioning the event on social media.
Spring into Writing is a free event to help writers have fun while writing. Since it’s all about having fun you win just by being a part of the event. There will be a free downloadable workbook.
I can manually add in entries, so if you’ve gone over and beyond what’s in the Rafflecopter please let me know! Also let me know if you have any trouble entering.
You must be signed up to Spring into Writing to enter. The new guest list is up, but still in progress! Sign up to Spring into Writing here: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-spring-into-writing/ (Signing up is absolutely free!) Feel free to use any of my Spring into Writing images to share with your social media posts!
Register for Spring into Writing Here: https://www.daniduck.com/register-for-spring-into-writing! Challenge starts May 1st.
If you have trouble registering (or anything else) you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The free version of the writing workbook/planner will be available for download before the event starts!
Find me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SmartDummies <- Page will be edited soon to add things for writing supporters!
To Sign Up for Spring into Writing: Sign up by commenting below!
I will be using this list of names to choose the prize winners. Most of the prizes will be given to those that complete the challenge, but there will be some prizes for everyone. Sign up starts now and runs until May 7th. There will be a list of guests added to the bottom of this page soon!
Also plug your email in to the right bar where it says “Enter Your Email Address”. If you have already signed up to my old blog, you’re in luck. I’ve transferred everyone’s name over here.
To Win Spring into Writing:
You chose your own goals in this event. Get halfway through and can’t make your goal? Change it. It’s done and you didn’t finish? Change them again. The most important thing is to have fun!
Spring into Writing on Discord: https://discord.gg/mEt4PGr
Spring into Writing Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1117605075090170/ (the name will change for the group later, but the group itself will be at this link).
You do NOT have to identify as an writer to participate in this challenge. It helps to have a love of writing! If you do not have a love of writing, then a love of writing will be assigned to you soon.
Spring into Writing 2020 Guest List TBA
Last Year’s Guest List:
Nancy Vo — http://www.nancyvo.com/
Becky Fyfe — http://chapterbookchallenge.blogspot.com/
Julie Hedlund — http://12x12challenge.com/
Kensia Anske — https://www.kseniaanske.com/
Mason Deaver — https://www.masondeaverwrites.com/
Ken Rolston — http://kenrolston.com/
Yvonne Mes — https://www.yvonnemes.com/
Nick Patton — https://www.patreon.com/picturebooking
Jennifer Cole Judd — http://jennifercolejudd.com/
<pMelissa Stoller — https://www.melissastoller.com/</p
Robin Martin — http://sbpra.com/robinmartin-duttmann/
Jennifer Ward — http://www.jenniferwardbooks.com/