My list of recommended children's and YA adventure books is up on Shepherd.com! After reading my list you can navigate the site to find a page about submissions if you'd like to create a list of your own. It's open to authors who can create a 5-book showcase centered around a theme that ties into one of their own published books. (Does that sound wordy and clunky? Well, I'm probably not good at explaining it. Just click on the link and read my list and once you have seen it, everything will be clear.)
The best amazing children's adventure books about family and exploring.
I've read a lot of wonderful books that couldn't make it onto the list. For one thing, because the list allows only 5 books on it--that one is pretty obvious. If you've read more than 5 books in your life, which I hope describes all of you, then some will have to be left out of such a small, to-the-point list. But also I've read a number of books that aren't in the same genre as mine and the point of the list is to line up some books that resembles one of yours, so you can both praise other authors who have done good work and give readers an anchor for defining what sort of book you've written. I don't have any nonfiction or fiction for adults in my repertoire, but I have written lots of young adult books and books that walk the murky tightrope between children's and young adult.
Since I've read many juvenile fantasy books, I chose one for each of the last 5 years and linked one of my younger, more MG titles (Ryan and Essie) into the theme. So the first book on the list was my top children's book pick from 2017; the next one is my top pick from 2018; and so on. The last book is my favorite of books I've read so far this year. I know I still have a couple months before the years ends--but I'm pretty sure this book will stay near the top no matter what else I read this year. My goal was also to include an example of every age division in the kid's fiction I've read, from picture book to lower YA. (So you can actually get a feel for what I've been reading.) I really should create some recommended lists for the other genres I've read. But that will be for another day.
Review copies for this week are Ryan and Essie and The Birthday Present. If you complete a 5-star review and put it on 3 or more retailers, you can email me with your mailing address and links to the reviews and I will mail you a complimentary signed paperback copy of the book you reviewed. This isn’t an “incentive” just a thank you, and should not encourage you to put up a favorable review unless it is your real opinion. (It's great that Ryan and Essie is one of the books for this newsletter, because it is also the book that is featured with my recommendations list. I've just been doing the review copies in alphabetical order and the list publication coincided with it this week. Nice!)
Ryan and Essie Review Copy
The Birthday Present Review Copy
And there will be more updates.
A Family Episode
This week was my youngest sister’s birthday. Like Hobbits, we are very fond of birthdays in my family and we celebrate everyone’s no matter what their age. My father had a little birthday party in the summer as he turned 69 and for my youngest sister’s birthday in October, my next-youngest sister (I have 3 sisters) took her on a day of shopping around Waco. They visited consignment stores, flea markets, and boutiques, picking up an assortment of small gifts as well as random purchases. It was a very fun day for both of them and it was a lot more about the bonding and friendship than about the gifts. Additionally, they brought back some munchables like good old-fashioned licorice all-sorts and homemade wild plum jam. They remembered reading about how children in the vintage era would have licorice all-sorts. I’m not sure if the candies of that time tasted like the ones we had—which varied from great licorice flavored ones to strange ones that tasted like a collision of laundry detergent and anise. 😊 But we had fun trying them!
My gift to her was a multi-screen (including digital edition) of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent and some earrings. She recently got her ears pierced so earrings were actually a necessary purchase as she has to wear them 24/7 for 6 months and I chose ones that were understated and elegant to match the DVD. We’ve recently almost doubled our digital movie collection by using an inexpensive program called Disc to Digital. We were slow to use digital at first and lethargically redeemed codes that tagged along with DVDs, rarely watching the digital. But once everyone in the family upgraded some of their DVDs, a great variety of movies started to pop up in our phone app and the app was suddenly more interesting. I didn’t know we had even owned some of these movies before! However, Sleeping Beauty is not available via the program we’ve been using and it’s one of my sister’s all-time favorite movies. So of course—I was really glad we do birthdays in our family.
Review copies for the next 2 weeks are Consuela and Facets of Fantasy. If you complete a 5-star review and put it on 3 or more retailers, you can email me with your mailing address and links to the reviews and I will mail you a complimentary signed paperback copy of the book you reviewed. This isn’t an “incentive” just a thank you, and should not encourage you to put up a favorable review unless it is your real opinion. (Consuela is one of the most light-hearted and family-friendly of my books. Facets, on the other hand, has only mild content but heavy undertones that deal with death, grief, and anger. So, if you are triggered by any of those things, be aware before taking the book.)
Consuela Review Copy
Facets of Fantasy Review Copy
And there will be more updates
Young Adult Fiction Writer
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Check out my list of Top 5 Best Children's Adventure Books About Family and Exploring I've Recommended on Shepherd.com!