Posts Tagged ‘middle grade’

About the Book

Title: The Peacock Door

Author: Wanda Kay Knight

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.

 

Author Bio

Wanda Kay Knight lives in the Pacific Northwest, teaches literature, strives really hard to keep up with her adventurous/competitive family, makes things out of yarn (mainly unique hats), enjoys collecting pretty rocks, and writes a lot.

Word from the Author:

I have to admit that I am not an organized person—not at all.  I keep my house clean and I like things tidy, but my car is a mess and I tend to get caught up in my everything else instead of doing what I need to do. Then, I become a furious rush of activity and make everything appear like it was clean and sparkling all along.

Now, the truth is that I feel really good when all my tasks and goals are finished.  I love it when my house is clean. I love it when I have finished enough exercise to keep myself from feeling guilty. I absolutely love it when I have finally organized that new knitting project and the yarn and the needles are sitting beside the couch begging me to continue the project every time I sit down. And once I get started, I have a hard time stopping.

Well, it’s the same with writing.  Once I get myself to sit down and write, I have a hard time putting it down.  I love it. I come away from a writing session or even a writing marathon with a sense of relief and excitement that I have accomplished a goal. And furthermore, if I could just stay awake all night and keep writing, I would do it (until the next morning when I have to start the process of getting started all over again).

For any others out there like me, I have one suggestion that seems to work. The one thing that kept me consistently writing was meeting with a group of would-be authors once a week with the specific goal that we have to read something—just a page or so—but something each week. After we read, we accept some criticism, listen to the others, and come back in one week prepared to it all over again.

Sometimes in those weeks between meetings, I would only get a couple of pages finished. Other times, the story would take over and I would write furiously and get pages and pages done. But, that once a week meeting really did force me to do something each week, and that was enough to build on until I finished. I found that I needed to be held accountable once a week—every other week did not work.

And, if you hate meetings (as I do), and avoid them at all costs; you should know that for some reason, this particular type of meeting with a few other people constructed around a defined goal was quite pleasant with just the right amount of motivation.

And so, as I begin the process of writing book two, I know that it is once again time to find a couple more would-be authors and once again meet once a week.  For me, it is bonding, creative, and motivating experience, and without it, book two just might not get written for a long, long time.

Links

Website: www.thepeacockdoor.com

Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VAx9k2_2eU

Youtube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVRFqy5_hko&t=30s

Email address:    wandakayknight@thepeacockdoor.com

My personal email:  wkayknight@gmail.com

 

 

 

The giveaway is for an eBook copy of the book:

CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Excerpts

Grizzles and Lola:

He hobbled and wobbled when he walked as though sharp tacks protruded from the floor; his shoulders were hunched, and his head bent forward; he was ancient, no doubt about it—he was an ancient, old man. Giant folds and wrinkles covered his face; his white hair fell in large loopy whorls about his head, and they might have redeemed the face if it were not for the huge bulbous nose and the tiny squinty eyes. But the part they noticed the most was the fingers; gnarled, wrinkled fingers with long, yellowed talons for fingernails.

He twisted around and snarled at them; his raspy voice interrupted by his own heavy, noisy breathing, “Can’t you see that I am busy? I don’t like people, and I especially don’t like children. I ate the last child that came here.” He picked his tooth with a dirty fingernail. “What do you want?”

Icy Stone Steps:

A full moon had risen in the cobalt sky casting a bluish glow over the icy, snow-swept mountainside, illuminating the entire hamlet. Icicles dangled from the steep, high pitched roofs of cottages nestling here and there, jumbled together at odd angles wherever the mountainside allowed. Jagged, ice covered stone steps, cut into the mountainside, curved up and around the icicle laden cottages until finally reaching a summit—a high, flat plateau. And it was on that plateau—high overhead and overshadowing the village—that a Citadel, a snow-covered stone fortress—overwhelming with its massive and imposing presence—rose up out of the mountain as though etched and carved from the rock itself.

They stood exhaling puffs of frosty mist; entranced by the ethereal beauty of their snow laden destination and shocked by the terrible price they must pay to get there. Finally realizing the price for warmth and comfort for the night so they would have an audience with the Oracle tomorrow was a midnight climb up jagged icy stone steps tonight. It was foreboding and frigid; it was ethereal and sublime.

“We can do this,” Eleanor whispered. She slipped over and laid one arm on Ivan’s shoulder and the other on Tilly’s. Addison silently reached down grabbing Brody’s hand—and he let her do it. Claire moved over to stand beside Levi who had taken Esmé back into his own arms. He smiled a grim smile, and then he turned, planting his foot on the first jagged, icy stone step as each of the cousins formed a silent line behind him, breathing in the cold, frosty air, and preparing to follow.

The Citadel:

Nothing, nothing at all, not the ancient tales of lore, nor the fables of old could have prepared the cousins for the imposing power or the exquisite beauty of the Citadel. It rose up out of the snow like an elaborate ice sculpture, with belfries and pinnacled towers climbing into the clouds and reaching higher than the peaks themselves.

There were arches and turrets and cupolas, and parapets and round keeps with lanterns flickering in spade shaped windows, and all of it as pristine and intricate as though carved from ice and decorated with snow.

The castle was hewn from the mountain itself, forged from the stone so that the posterior of the castle was fused into the rock face of the mountain. A high, thick stone wall with ramparts and battlements like the strongholds of old, curved around the castle, surrounding it like a giant horseshoe with the massive gatehouse setting the center and the two prongs fusing back into the mountain.

The Doors:

The others smiled, nodding innocently. Gramma laughed and turned to go out the peacock door; but, as soon as she grabbed the handle, she pivoted back facing them.

A bizarre expression clouded her face. “Whatever you do,” she said, “Whatever you do—listen to me!” She pointed her finger at each of them, and after staring directly into each set of eyes, she continued. “There are journeys and treasures beyond those doors,” she said, “There are long forgotten wisps of alchemy and lost keys and crystals and mirrors of illusions; but, you must not go out any of those doors. Her voice lowered as she leaned forward. “I gotta tell you—those keys are especially hard to find. You think it’s easy; but, nooo, it is not! Everything is fine as long as you don’t go out any doors except the peacock door, right here. This is the door to use—only this one.” She patted the door.

Her voice lowered even more—almost to a whisper. “You see, kiddies, even if you’re ready to search for the keys, it’s real hard to—um—well—to—to feel them—to experience them.” She rubbed the fingers of each hand together, rotating the thumb around the fingertips. “Yeeessss, to feel them; it’s just not the time to feel them. That’s the hard part. Do you understand?”

 

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Middle Grade Science Fiction
Date to be Published: December 6, 2017

For Explorers of All Ages!
Tumble forward in time with the fourth collection in the series Kirkus Review called “a must-have in science fiction collections.” These twenty-four imaginative, entertaining tales take readers of all ages to exciting places — from star ships to Mars to alien adventure!
“There are not very many action, adventure, superhero, or sci-fi stories that feature girls, but there needs to be. I have read this whole book and now I have become even more interested in space and robots and things like that.” ~ Lily F. (10 years old)
Excerpt from one of the Short Stories
THE GREAT BROCCOLI WI-FI THEFT
 by Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing.  Her work has won six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.  Most recent works are the Nebula-winning novella “Yesterday’s Kin” (Tachyon, 2014) and THE BEST OF NANCY KRESS (Subterranean, 2015).  Forthcoming in 2017 is TOMORROW’S KIN (Tor), the first novel of a trilogy based on “Yesterday’s Kin” and extending its universe for several generations.  Kress’s work has been translated into Swedish, Danish, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian, Chinese, Lithuanian, Romanian, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Russian, and Klingon, none of which she can read.  In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig.  Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.
Do you know what a pas de chat is?  I didn’t either, two months ago.  But I know now, and it’s going to make me a hero.  Really!  Everybody will applaud for me so hard their hands will sting—especially Mom!  They’ll give me a medal!  It’s going to be great!
I’m going to solve a mystery that nobody else can solve.
Just as soon as I figure out how.
#
My name is Nia.  I’m ten.  I live sometimes on the moon, at Alpha Base, and sometimes on Earth, in Illinois.  I like both places, but Illinois has a big problem: GRAVITY.  There’s too much of it here.  I wish they could just ship some of this gravity to the moon and even things out a little bit, but it doesn’t work that way.  On the moon there isn’t enough gravity to keep human muscles strong unless you exercise a lot, and I got lazy.  So now I’m back on Earth because my mom’s job moved us here—again!—and my muscles aren’t strong enough.  Which is why I was in ballet class doing a pas de chat.  It was not my idea.
“No, no,” said Mademoiselle Janine, who was in charge of the class.  “Nia, you must land lightly.  Lightly!  Ellen, show her the pas de chat.”
Ellen smirked at me and raised her arms.  Pas de chat means “step of the cat,” which is a really stupid name because it doesn’t look anything like a cat.  I know—we have a cat.  In the pas de chat you bend one leg, jump off the other leg, bend that one in the air, then land lightly.  If you can find a cat that can do that, I’ll give you a million dollars.
Ellen did the step.  She landed lightly.
“Now you try, Nia,” Mademoiselle said.
I landed like a baby elephant.
“Well…” said Mademoiselle.  “These things take practice.”
Did I mention that ballet class was definitely not my idea?
#
“I want to quit ballet,” I said at dinner.  “I’m no good at ballet.”
Dad said, “You’re probably better than you think.”  Dad is always on my side.
Mom said, “You might not be good at it, but you can’t go on quitting things when they get hard.”  Mom is always on the side of doing hard things.
“But I stink at ballet,” I said.  I pushed my mashed potatoes around with my fork.  “I’m not good at anything.”
“That’s not true,” Dad said.  “You’re good at a lot of things.”
I said, “Name three!”
“Well…you’re good at spelling.”
“Nobody needs to spell good.  Autocorrect fixes it.”
Mom said, “Nobody needs to spell well.  ‘Well,’ not ‘good.’”
“See?” I said.  “I’m not good at sentences, either! I’m not good at anything!”
“Yes, you are,” Dad said.  “You’re good at training our pets.”
That was true.  We have a dog named Bandit, a robot-dog named Luna, and a cat named Pickles.  I trained Bandit to fetch.  I programmed Luna, which is the closest you can get to training a robot.  I couldn’t train Pickles to do anything, but…cats.  They do what they want.
I said, “That’s only two things.”
Mom smiled.  “You’re good at getting into trouble.”
Dad said warningly, “Angela…”
“I’m teasing!  Nia, I just wanted to make you laugh!”
I wasn’t laughing.  Mom never understands!
But then she said, “Look, Nia, everybody has to practice and work hard in order to get good at something.  Do you know how many times my broccoli has failed?”
Mom is a plant geneticist.  That means she changes plants’ genes to make them better.  Right now she’s changing broccoli, which in my opinion can’t ever be made better no matter what you do to it.  I hate broccoli.  She was just making me feel worse.
She knew it, too, because she put her hand on mine and said, “Nia, honey, after dinner let me show you something.”
I said, “As long as it’s not broccoli.”
To be continued in the 2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide!
Contact Links
 
Twitter:  @dreaming_robot

 

Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Dr. Iris Mack’s financial literacy book “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” is focused on teaching students that math can be fun and key to understanding money and interest.

Book Details:

Book Title: Mama says, ”Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”
Author: Iris Marie Mack, PhD, EMBA
Category: Middle-Grade Non-fiction, 48 pages
Genre: Financial and Math Literacy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: January 14, 2011
Tour dates: April 17 – 28, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Globe Newswire reports that Dr. Iris Mack’s mathematics edutainment book is “turning heads across the country in a response similar to the widely promoted ‘Hooked on Phonics,’ that improved children’s reading skills.” Her unique approach to math became one of Xlibris/Random House Publisher’s top children’s picture book royalty earners.

If there is one word that sums up our recent economic woes, it is interest. There’s interest on credit card balances, student loans, car loans, home mortgages, corporate borrowings and most prominently, on state and national debt. But there is surprisingly little interest in this interest. We all pay it. But not many of us really understand how it works. Dr. Iris Mack has filled the gap – and for young consumers.

Her financial literacy book “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” is focused on teaching students that math can be fun and key to understanding money and interest. In today’s world of subprime mortgage crises, bankruptcies, massive credit card debt and predatory lending, Dr. Mack’s book is more relevant than ever. In “Mama Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!” a group of smart, animated characters explain how money and interest work, as young consumers are introduced to mathematics and financial literacy. Professor Ø, Ms. Madonna Sorenson and Dr. Mackamatix lead students Al G Bro, Frakshun, Nada, Queen% and Material Girl Ma$ through a fun-filled math class all about how money and interest work in their everyday lives.

Learn more: MathQED TV

Praise for this book:
“I think the work you do showing how math can be beautiful and practical is great, keep it up!” says Javier Tordable, Senior Software Engineer at the Google Corporation.

“Making math fun and relevant is a real public service. Old fashioned, boring textbooks aren’t the thing that will capture the imagination and engage our children in the fun and yes, joy, in math and problem solving. Iris Mack has created a group of characters and scenarios that will draw young people into the fold of knowledge.” says Karen Pritzker– Producer of The My Hero Project and Editor of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity website.

Buy the Book: Amazon 

 
Meet the Author:

Iris Marie Mack, PhD, EMBA, earned a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. She was also awarded a Sloan Fellowship Executive MBA from the London Business School. Dr. Mack worked at various energy and financial institutions, acted as a faculty member at MIT, and worked at NASA and AT&T Bell Labs – where she obtained a patent for research on optical fibers.
Dr. Mack currently lectures on Energy Trading and Risk Management for the Fitch Learning Certificate in Quantitative Finance Program on Wall Street and at Tulane University. Because of Dr. Mack’s extensive knowledge of the derivatives, energy trading, and investment banking world, she has been invited to write opinion columns for the UK edition of the International Business Times.

Dr. Mack has also been named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 Working Women, and she is no novice writer. This publishing will be her third financially-focused and published book – including her energy trading book published with Wiley Finance and a financial literacy book for teens and adults. With this breadth of experience and sheer intellectual prowess, Dr. Mack is more than able to help readers reach the financial stability they deserve.

In addition, Dr. Mack founded The Global Energy Post and MathQED – a homework help site for K-12 and college students. Previously known as Phat Math, this service has even been named one of the Top 50 Social Sites for Educators and Academics, 25 Savvy Social Media Sites for Grad Students and 25 Useful Networking Sites for Grad Students. Such accolades illustrate Dr. Mack’s ability to clearly inform the masses.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 17 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 17 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight
April 18 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 18 – Divas With A Purpose – book spotlight
April 19 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway
April 19 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – One Frugal Girl – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – Books for Books – book spotlight
April 24 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – The All Night Library – book spotlight
April 25 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 27 – Lukten av Trykksverte – book spotlight / giveaway
April 28 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – book spotlight / giveaway

 

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends May 6

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