JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans. Join now (it's free).
Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Mary Cunningham, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 53
How to use this Page
You are viewing the most recent posts tagged with the words: Mary Cunningham in the JacketFlap blog reader. What is a tag? Think of a tag as a keyword or category label. Tags can both help you find posts on JacketFlap.com as well as provide an easy way for you to "remember" and classify posts for later recall. Try adding a tag yourself by clicking "Add a tag" below a post's header. Scroll down through the list of Recent Posts in the left column and click on a post title that sounds interesting. You can view all posts from a specific blog by clicking the Blog name in the right column, or you can click a 'More Posts from this Blog' link in any individual post.
Magical costumes, disappearing stairs and a spooky attic filled with dusty antiques–what more could two, adventurous, young girls ask for? Best friends, Cynthia and Gus as she prefers to be called, are as "different as bubble gum and broccoli." They are, however, equal in their ability to get into trouble without much effort.
In trying to escape the "boring summer" of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls stumble upon a trunk in Cynthia's attic that has been in her family for three generations. They discover its mystical qualities when they are swept into the trunk and whisked back to 1914, literally into the lives of their twelve-year-old grandmothers, Clara and Bess.
The mystery of a missing family locket is revealed. Their quest takes numerous twists and turns, including a life-and-death struggle on a large steamship traveling from England to America. Along with perilous escapades, they make important, sometimes humorous discoveries about their ancestors, and even manage to change history–for the better–along the way.
Author, Mary Cunningham, is excited to announce the release of the 5th and final book in the award-winning series, Cynthia’s Attic.
Cynthia’s Attic: The Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5) Book Blurb.
Cynthia and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously wrong and things are beginning to unravel.
Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And now they are wondering if Blackie is still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie.
This time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in search of answers.
From Aunt Belle’s cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.
Read an excerpt from Cynthia’s Attic: The Legend of Lupin Woods
My back pressed against a small tree as I peered over one shoulder, then the other. More blackness. I pulled my knees tight to my chest to create as small a target as possible. If I could keep still until morning, this place might be less formidable.
Those eyes …did they just move? Hair stood straight up on my neck as a low growl inched ever closer. I sucked in one last breath and hid my face waiting for a fatal blow or bite.
“Well, well. What do we have here?” My head jerked skyward. Yellow eyes hovered over me. “Cat got your tongue?”
The creature bent down and poked my upper arm with a furry finger. I wanted so badly to run, but sheer terror kept me plastered to the tree.
The hulking figure straightened and chuckled. “I’m not planning to hurt you. What are you doing in Lupin?”
Lupin? I tried to answer, but dryness gripped my throat as if I’d swallowed an entire sandbox. Plus, an ominous word jumped into my brain. I’d heard something that sounded a lot like lupin once before. It was at the movies! Wolfman. Oh, no. Lupine is another name for wolf! Was I in a wolf forest?
My eyes scanned the treetops. I might be saved if the sun rose soon, but light would have to pass through the dense canopy, and from where I sat, that seemed doubtful. The beast must’ve read my mind.
“If you’re waiting for sunrise, you’ll be disappointed.” It smiled–or made a weak attempt–revealing huge, pointy teeth. “Instead of night and day, around here we have night and black.”
I gulped and finally manufactured enough spit to choke out four words. “Why-am-I-here?”
Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s house.
It's been one hair-raising, fun-filled adventure after another for twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus. I've penned (okay...typed) five...count 'em...FIVE books taking the girls through a magic trunk in Cynthia's attic back more than 50 years to the Louisiana Bayou, Switerland, France, a steamship crossing the Atlantic, and even Southern Indiana, the original setting. They even traveled forward 50 years, meeting another pair of best friends.
Leading up to the release of the final book in the series, Cynthia's Attic: The Legend of LupinWoods, I'm highlighting some of these colorful characters (my relatives!).
Great Grandpa Charles:
As one of the early music teachers in Southern Indiana, he was a pioneer in his field. His enthusiasm for all things music inspired others to make it their chosen field.
He was also one of the first to turn his passion into a business, Conrad Music; still going today! He's shown in this picture driving the buggy he'd use to transport musical instruments he sold throughout Southern Indiana.
His love for music, and the fact that I've heard through many stories what a loving and generous man he was to his family and the community, is the main reason I decided to showcase Grandpa Charles in Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle.
In this story, Grandpa Charles is taking an organ to the circus for the evening performance. What he didn't know until after he delivered the organ, is that his daughter, Bess (earlier post), her friend, Clara, along with Cynthia and Gus, hitched a ride.
Stepping outside the main tent, we spotted Papa Charles leading a procession consisting of two muscular men pulling a 4-wheel cart that held the organ.Bess and Clara followed sullenly behind.
I pulled Cynthia behind a deep fold in the heavy canvas seconds before the procession marched by, and as we watched, it was pretty obvious from the pained look on Bess's face that her father hadn't been at all pleased with the unexpected company he'd found hidin
Add a Comment
Turkey dinner with all the fixin's around 2:00 PM topped off withlemon meringue pie!
Turkey sandwiches around 7:00PM (Yummy!!) Nature's sleeping pill!
Turkey sandwiches with mayo, lettuce, and cranberry sauce for lunch (still tasty!)
Turkey dinner with all the fixin's (round 2) plus pie, ofcourse! (Next-day leftovers are even better, don't you think?) Day 3.
Turkey salad sandwiches for lunch. (Lovin' me some turkeysalad!)
Turkey Caesar salad for dinner (Finally, something green that isn't soaked in Campbell's mushroom soup and French's onions!) and, oh yeah…pie. Day 4.
Turkey salad sandwiches for lunch (Not lovin' the turkey salad so much and there's still half a bowl).
Turkey pot pie for dinner and the last of the lemon meringue. (sigh)
Note: There might have been Day 5 except that on day 2 I was smartenough to vacuum seal a couple bags of turkey pieces for some time in May, (theearliest possible date I figure we'll be able to look at turkey, again, withoutgagging).
Btw, our furry daughter, Lucy, requested a 22-pounder next year because she doesn't feel she got her share.
It’s been two and a half years since we lost our 16-year-old terrier mix, Molly, and more than two years before we even considered adopting another dog. We’d casually talk about it but, just over a week ago, I announced to my husband that I was “putting the word out” to various pet rescue sites.
A few days later we saw the picture of a little black and white puff ball named Gigi. For whatever reason, her owner abandoned her at a Pets Mart. I choose to believe this person simply couldn’t take care of her and thought, what better place to leave a dog? Surely some kind soul would take care of her.
Lucky for Gigi and lucky for us, 1 Lucky Dog Rescuepicked her up, got her shots up-to-date and groomed her for what might be a long adoption process. Not so. The moment we spotted the picture that a friend posted on my Facebook page, we knew she was the “daughter” we’d waited for.
Oh, but getting her wouldn’t be that easy. First, she was in South Florida! Logistics were against us, but fate intervened. A rescue transport volunteer just happened to be driving to the Atlanta area the next day! Within 48 hours of seeing her picture, we had a new member of the family. We decided that, although the name Gigi is cute, it just didn’t fit, so she is now, Lucy. Like the Beatles song, she’s our diamond. WOOF promotes adoptions and rescues. Please do your part and help dogs like Lucy find good homes. You won’t regret it. If you don’t believe me, just look at these pictures. Who could resist? And, please, if you're thinking of getting a furry friend for your family - ADOPT!
In 2004, fresh off the excitement of my first 2-book publishing contract for Cynthia’s Attic, I began establishing an online presence at my publisher’s request, uh…insistence.
One of my first tasks was to explore author websites and chat groups. Believe it or not, I didn’t find one blog! Blogging had not reached the manic stage of today, with most bloggers simply writing online journals; but networking sites were hot.
I joined a children’s chat group in order to schmooze with other young reader (‘Tween) authors and immediately related to one particular author. Both of us had first-time multi-book contracts, the idea for our series’ sprang from recurring dreams, and our stories were fantasy/fiction. A perfect networking match.
We chatted, online, for several months, and then lost touch. I can’t quite remember why, but I’d guess it was because I was in the middle of editing my first book, The Missing Locket, deadlines approached, and time management was crucial. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Stephanie Meyer’s schedule. Wonder what ever happened to her? I do hope she had some success with her series about…vampires, I think.
Speaking of vampires, I was recently asked why I chose to write books for ‘Tweens that are lighter; vampire-less, werewolf-less, zombie-less…you get the drift. I can’t really say. It just happened. Cynthia’s Attic does delve into magic and spells and such, but the scariest monster, so far, is Stony, a rock monster who attacks twelve-year-old Gus, in an enchanted garden in The Magician’s Castle. Other than that, a nasty, bad-breathed clown, a sinister stranger on horseback and a friendly alligator are as menacing as Cynthia’s Attic gets. Until Book # 5.
Yes, I’m crumbling. In the next book (title TBD), a werewolf pops into the lives of best friends, Cynthia and Gus. Not your typical werewolf, mind you…a more congenial, helpful type, but a werewolf to be sure. Stay tuned!
Cynthia's Attic Series The Missing Locket The Magic Medallion Curse of the Bayou The Magician's Castle
Blurb: The Magician’s Castle
In trying to escape the boring summer of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls discover a trunk in Cynthia’s attic that her family has possessed for three generations.
Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle (Book Four): Sebastien the Great, a magician whose fiancée, Kathryn, disappears through the magic trunk, vows revenge. If Cynthia and Gus don't find a missing page from the “Book of Spells,” Cynthia’s family could face financial and personal ruin.
The twelve-year-old best friends walk through miles of tree tunnels, stumble on an enchanted garden ruled by a cranky rock monster, and receive clues from an eccentric fairy named Eloise Elloway. They get the surprise of their lives when they're sent fifty years into the future, have a shocking encounter with another set of best friends, and gather a fresh set of clues that could lead to breaking the magician’s spell.
For over 40 years, Earth Day—April 22—has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. Take small steps to save our earth!
This touching "memoir will warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere; Slugger is the heart and soul of the book, and his dedication,devotion, and love make him an unforgettable character. . . . will appeal equally to readers interested in coping or helping others cope with disabilities. . . This stirring, inspirational story will appeal to teen dog lovers, too.”
“This is the true story of author Leigh Brill and her trained service dog, Slugger. With Slugger's help, Brill, though struggling with cerebral palsy, was able to complete college and earn a masters degree. Now a counselor and motivational speaker, Brill tells how Slugger's help and friendship changed her life.”
Leigh Brill Bio:
I was born in North Carolina and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Growing up amid the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I developed a love of nature along with a passion for writing. I left the valley in 1988 to study at Roanoke College. In spite of the challenges posed by my congenital cerebral palsy, I graduated with honors.
With my first service dog, Slugger, by my side, I went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Counseling from James Madison University. I worked for several years as a therapist in community agencies and then for Ronald McDonald House Charities before deciding to embrace my writing career in earnest.
Now in the company of both my second service dog Kenda, and her working successor, Pato I am writing my next book; Miranda and Charlie and the Great Cupcake Caper is the first in a series of fictional juvenile stories featuring an energetic kid-detective and her service dog.
I have to admit to knowing very little about the training and duties of service dogs, but after reading A Dog Named Slugger, I've received a valued education on the trials of those who rely on the performance of these wonderful animals.
From the author's, sometimes, heartbreaking childhood, to the discovery that she could find true companionship and independence with Slugger by her side, this book captures every emotion.
I was heartened to read that, although these dogs maintain a "working relationship" with their partners, they are also allowed to have fun and just be dogs. The sock game that Brill and Slugger played is a perfect example.
I look forward to reading Leigh Brill's new juvenile series, beginning with Miranda and Charlie and the Great Cupcake Caper.
In trying to break a spell put on Cynthia's family by a magician, Cynthia and Gus find themselves in a magical garden filled with frightening stone statues.
I jumped at the sight of more than a dozen hideous statues, faces frozen in fear. A contrast of white flowers, from Aron's description–edelweiss–surrounded them. We moved close to Molly for protection.
"Wh…what are they?" Cynthia gasped. "And, why do they look so afraid?"
I'd never been quite this unnerved in all our travels, even when staring down Jack LaBuse and his band of pirates. "C'mon, Molly," I urged. "Let's go." She didn't budge. I tugged her collar, but couldn't move her massive size. She did a little circle dance, stamping the ground to make a bed, and then laid down for the night. There had to be better places to sleep.
I shrugged and gave a resigned smile. "At least she still acts like a dog. Looks like we're here for the night."
"But, Gus! Look at this place. I won't shut my eyes with those things staring at us!"
"I agree, but let's face it, it's getting dark and cold, and Molly is warm and furry. I'm sleeping right here." I curled up next to her, my head resting in the scruff of her neck.
Cynthia stamped her foot. "Have you seen how much she sheds? My clothes will be a mess. And, who knows what she's rolled in recently." She sniffed. "Eww. She smells…doggy."
"She's a dog!" I was in no mood to argue. "Suit yourself. I'm comfy and warm. What about you?"
Cynthia settled in, her head resting on Molly's shoulder. She sighed and moments later, started to snore.
Rat-a-tat-tat. Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom. Drumbeats? Band practice? I played the snare drum and Jimmy Mathews pounded steadily on the bass to the ‘Panther Fight Song.’ Hey! What the… My head came under attack by a felt-covered drum beater.
Molly's heartbeat pounded in my ear…faster and faster. She raised her head and stared to the left. No, I did not want to know what she sees! Nope, not gonna look! But, like anticipating a train wreck, I couldn't help myself.
Cynthia, too, must've felt Molly stir, because she peered over the dog's shoulder. "What is it?"
I shook my head. Molly focused on a huge rock formation down on one knee, with its chin resting on disfigured knuckles. My eyes locked on the frightening eyes staring back. A thin stream of moonlight landed directly on this fearsome creature.
Molly stood, quivering and faced the giant statue, and the rhyme we found in the metal box popped into my head. Search among the edelweiss. There was certainly enough of that around. Turning once, then turning twice. Molly turned, first in one direction then twice in the other.
In the moonlight you will see…that's it. Moonlight! The beam shining on the giant's face moved ever so slightly toward its knee. "Cynthia," I whispered, "the giant's knee. The one in the riddle."
Right on cue, Molly wriggled forward and we went with her. No way did we want to lose her protection. The statue didn't budge, and the dog did what dogs do: she (should She be capitalized?) dug a hole, right beside the giant's bended knee.
Search among the edelweiss, Turning once, then turning twice. In the moonlight you will see, Yonder looms the giant's knee.
Molly dug furiously taking no time to rest. A dog on a mission. Then she sat, turned her head to one side–just as before–and looked into the hole. I patted her dirt-splattered muzzle and reached inside the hole.
We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes, but the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese. You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice, yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen? If I speak of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth? Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England . We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on. And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?
0 Comments on An ode to English Plurals as of 1/1/1900
"Yow! Sam? What the heck are you doing, boy? Get off my chest!" I awoke to find my corgi-beagle-whatever dog sitting on my chest, and trust me, he was a load. "I can't breathe, Sammy. Move. A gentle shove coaxed him to the other side of the bed where he wagged furiously, panting for attention.
"Go get Mom. She'll let you out." Surely someone was up and moving around. I shaded my eyes from the sun shining full-fledged through the venetian blinds. It must be at least 9 AM. "Mom?" I yelled, "Will you let Sam out?"
No answer. Oh, yeah. She's working today. I sighed, but could never be mad at my short-legged, floppy-eared buddy waiting impatiently for me to get out of bed. I knew from experience that one slight twitch and I'd be toast. He would fly over my head, off the bed and down the stairs, expecting me to be right behind him. Oh, yeah. I knew the drill.
I shut my eyes in a vain attempt to go back to sleep when the pitiful whining began and I admitted defeat. "Okay, you miserable mongrel." I gave the top of his head a pat and hit the floor, running, but he easily beat me down the steps. I'd barely cracked open the door when he sprinted into the fenced back yard; a fence my dad was forced to build because of Sam's escapades around town. Wish I had a doughnut for all the phone calls we'd gotten from business owners.
"This is Drummad's Auto Parts. Your dog is guarding our front entrance and we haven't had a customer in more than an hour. Come over and get him or I'm calling the pound!"
Or, Flora’s Bakery. "Sam's at the back door begging for cookies. We've already given him three, but he won't leave."
0 Comments on Cynthia's Attic: # 5 - Excerpt as of 1/1/1900
From the Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum, Planet Explorers Chicago by Laura Schaefer, brought up fond memories of my first visit to the Windy City when I was about eight years-old. I’ve never forgotten that trip to one of America’s most impressive cities, and this book reinforced those memories.
Explore the planet with this Chicago guidebook written just for kids. This 60 page ebook includes everything your 8-12 year-old needs to know about Chicago and nearby attractions, in addition to the ones listed above, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Six Flags Great America as well as notable buildings, parks and stadiums like Wrigley Field. From fun facts to history, from attraction highlights to pictures, maps, and quizzes, Planet Explorers guidebooks have it all.
But, in case you think this is simply a guide/travel book, you’ll also read facts and see pictures of some pretty notorious characters like Al Capone, John Dillinger, and even deep dish pizza! LOL!
Chicago boasts a famous resident, too. Barack Obama, our 44th President lived there, and his hero, Abraham Lincoln, was chosen as the Republican candidate for president in the country’s first national political convention in Chicago.
Fun facts and pictures make Planet Explorers Chicago, a must-read if you’re planning a trip. Even if you’re not planning to visit, after exploring this book, you’ll swear you’ve been there.
Author, Laura Schaefer, got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin's student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Match.com.
She is the author of The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), Planet Explorers Chicago (Planet Explorers Publishing 2011), Planet Explorers Walt Disney World (Planet Explorers Publishing 2011), The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2008), and Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005).Add a Comment
Does Walt Disney World need an introduction? Probably not, but author, Laura Schaefer give us a super intro!
Planet Explorers: Walt Disney World 2011, a guide book for kids, has as many fun facts, trivia, and links as you need to create the perfect vacation to one of the most popular destinations on earth. You’ll see inside the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, the water parks, Downtown Disney, and the resorts.
She even rates the rides and attractions with symbols throughout the book:
S = Scary D = Dark A = Awesome: don’t miss this attraction T = Thrilling: think roller coasters W = Wet: you might get soaked
Looking for tips on characters? The best food? Live shows? You'll find it all. She even offers tips on keeping your wait at the most popular attractions to a minimum. A timeline, pictures and tons of details make this book a mustread before you book your next trip to Disneyland. Whether your favorite is From Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, or one of my favorites, Big Thunder Mountain, this guide has all the information you need.
Author, Laura Schaefer, got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin's student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Match.com.
She is the author of The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), Planet Explorers Chicago (Planet Explorers Publishing 2011), Planet Explorers Walt Disney World (Planet Explorers Publishing 2011), The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2008), and Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005).
GLAMOUR GIRL FROM THE STARS-- Out of this world rhyming story about a 3 foot tall alien girl named Plee-Dee who borrows her father's flying saucer to visit Earth hoping to enter the Miss Universe Pageant in LA. She visits different cultures around the world realizing she feels good about herself without having to enter pageants. The book intends to teach little girls self esteem. Illustrations in colored pencil and photos from the author.
As a kid, I loved anything to do with space. At risk a revealing my age, the first poem I ever wrote (around age 9) began, "When I was a little girl like you, I went up in Sputnik # 2." For those of you younger than 60, Google Sputnik.
I can only imagine how much I would've loved Glamour Girl From the Stars, by Carlton Scott. Heck, I love it now at a much-advanced age.
Looking through a telescope across the Universe, Plee-Dee, an alien girl from across the galaxy, spots Earth and likes what she sees. Convincing her father that she's only shopping for a new spacesuit, she takes off in his spaceship toward the blue planet. After a time-traveling mistake sends her back to dinosaur age, she sets course for 2010 Las Vegas where shoes, clothes, Elvis impersonators and the Miss Universe Pageant (imagine the irony!) is her first stop.
After realizing Area 51 is onto her, she zips across the Pacific to Waikiki Beach, China, Africa and exciting places all over the world.
The illustrations, also by Scott, are colorful, pleasing and beautifully drawn. His style blends well with the storyline.
All his books are now autographed and shipped to people’s homes from his website: www.carltonsbooks.com
At the age of 33, Carlton Scott was pursuing a second degree in nursing when he had a case of misdiagnosed glaucoma and lost the vision in his left eye. To help deal with the stress of being visually impaired, he would hike in the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado where he lived. He then took off to Southeast Asia, backpacking and venturing through Thailand; Cambodia and Bali, Indonesia to decide what to do with his future.
During this time, he finished his second children’s book, Little Big Wolf, based on his drawings and collection of hiking photos. He published both Grin’s Message and Little Big Wolf in hardcover and sold 2000 of each through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, craft shows and street fairs. He then returned to Florida and finished his second degree (a bachelor’s in nursing) and accepted a job at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Pediatric ICU.
Today, Carlton travels with his wife, Annie (also a nurse), throughout the United States providing critical care services to hospitals from Alaska to Los Angeles. His newest children’s book, Glamour Girl From The St
Display CommentsAdd a Comment
After many decades, I still have fond memories looking back on my scout camp experience. I was probably 10 or 11—at that vulnerable age just shy of the terrible teenage years.
I went to camp two years in a row and the first year was, by far, the best. Although, the 2nd year taught me much more about life and relationships.
The first year, four of us friends who grew up together, went to school together and played sports together, resided for two weeks in a three-sided Gypsy Camp cabin. While there was some mild bickering amongst our quartet, we remained fiercely loyal to each other and pretty much stuck together. As I remember, we came in 2nd in the end-of-camp talent contest performing a skit to the tune of Junior Birdmen.
This is the way I remember it:
Up in the air Junior Birdmen Up in the air upside down Up in the air Junior Birdmen Keep your noses off the ground
When you hear the doorbell ringing And you have your badge of tin Then you know, Junior Birdmen That you sent your box tops in.
(If you have another version, please post it, or post your favorite camp song)
The 2nd year wasn't quite as much fun. We graduated to the next level; a full-size cabin with 8 scouts, one of which was the daughter of the head counselor. "Lynn" (not her real name - I'm afraid she'll find me and beat me up, again) was a real, uh...snot. It was either done her way or she ran to her mother to squeal on how mean we were being to her. Like the four of us who grew up together, "Lynn" had 3 life-long friends in the cabin with her. Only difference was, they couldn't stand her either.
As stressful as that was, I learned some valuable lessons:
1) Those in charge are not always kind to the masses. 2) Life is not always fair. 3) I'm never going to be able to get along with everyone. 4) I can rise above injustice and have fun in spite of disagreeable people.
So, to all you Junior Birdmen out there..."Keep your noses off the ground!"
I have no idea what that means, but it seems like a good way to end this blog post.
I'm thrilled to welcome one of my favorite young authors, Iris Black. When you meet Iris, it's impossible not to feed off her energy and enthusiasm. Enjoy the interview!
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined.” - Henry David Thoreau
Iris Black is a young adult author and a young adult! Juggling school projects and college applications with her laptop full of bright characters and fun stories guarantees she will have an eventful senior year.
Your character, Sam, has tons of friends, but is no longer content with being "Just One Of The Guys." What inspired you to write Sam's story?
I guess the inspiration was in my own experiences. Most of my close, longtime friends are guys and they range from all types: computer nerds, science and math geeks, athletes, and especially band kids. We’ve had some fun adventures - and misadventures. Being the only girl in the group put me in the interesting position of having to keep up while being the go-to guru for relationship advice. Despite the fact that they all had girlfriends before a guy ever asked me out. So Sam is the product of some of the things girls like me go through. I just hadn’t found a young adult book that dealt with the issues - the romance and the adventure and the conflicts - that can and often do happen to real girls.
You're a young author trying to balance school with writing. Do you see a career in writing, or will it be your "secondary passion?"
I am going to keep writing and I hope to make it a big part of my life and not let it slip into a hobby. Still, I enjoy the more academic side of life. I plan to pursue a full career apart from writing, but I’m willing to adapt those plans if my writing situation changes.
E-books are booming and you're reaching a huge audience. To what do you attribute your success? Any marketing tools you'd care to share with other authors?
Honestly, I have to lay my success at the feet of my readers. I think there’s a big demand for young adult e-books - most teenagers have access to a computer or even iPhones and iPods that are equipped with e-readers. Being able to read a book on the same device that plays your music or lets you check Facebook is a big draw for teen readers. The best tip I can give on marketing is to find a need and fill it - but fill it with what you know and like. I was in the marching band at my old school and we had a ton of fun adventures, so I knew exactly what my characters needed to experience to make the story feel real. Add a touch of imagination and you have a realistic escape - something that appeals to most teen readers.
Any plans to expand Sam's story? Are you working on any other writing projects?
I am writing a sequel to Sam’s story and plan to continue chronicling the adventures of her and her friends. Like you mentioned before, I’m balancing school and writing. I started at a new, more rigorous school this past year and it’s been a bit of an adjustment digging out some time to hang out with Sam, but I’ve got a better handle on things now. I’ve also been playing with urban fantasies and even a historical fantasy. I hope to have at least one of those bigger projects completed sometime next summer.
What one piece of advice would you give young writers starting out?
Don’t lose your imagination, loose it. In school, the focus is going to be on academic writing - analyze this book, anal
Molly mulling over her next role in "Cynthia's Attic" # 5!
Without further ado, the winner of the Choose the next character in Cynthia's Attic (Book # 5) is...Veronika for her passionate plea for Molly to be a recurring character!
I have a feeling Molly would approve too, Veronika since you described her as pretty, clever, funny, nice, etc. :) I'm sure she's excited to be in the next book since she had so much fun in "The Magician's Castle."
Anyway, gotta get busy writing Molly's scenes along with the NEW character, Veronika!
I'll keep you posted. Thanks, everyone who participated on my blog, the Quake blog and facebook!
I'm thrilled to be returning to the Savannah Children's Book Festival after a 3-year absence! The last time I was there, I had 2 Cynthia's Attic books. This year, I'll be signing 4 books in the series and writing Book # 5!
If you're in the area, stop by Forsyth Park from 10:00AM-4:00PM. The weather is going to be fantastic!
Barack Obama is the forty-fourth president of the United States. Born in Hawaii to a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, he himself is now the father of two daughters, Malia and Sasha. It was spending time with them that inspired him to write Of Thee I Sing. After Barack Obama became president, he and his wife, Michelle, and their daughters moved into the White House in Washington, DC, where they currently live with their dog, Bo.
About the illustrator:
Loren Long is the bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of many beloved books for children, including Drummer Boy and the New York Times bestseller Otis. Born in Missouri and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, he is also the illustrator of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could, as well as Toy Boat, I Dream of Trains, and Wind Flyers. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Tracy, their two sons, Griffith and Graham, and their dogs, Elle and Moon.
About the book:
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children. This book was written before Barack Obama become President. All proceeds from the book’s sales go to a scholarship fund for military children with a parent who was killed or disabled.
My love of books began many years ago. I can’t point to a specific book that captured my interest, but I can say our house was always filled with books. My parents were avid readers. They set a good example by reading every night, even if all they had time for was the daily newspaper.
Who knew all those years ago that my love of books would turn into a fabulous and satisfying career?
After graduating from the Breaking into Print program (now called Break into Print) from Long Ridge Writers Group in 2005, I started blogging. Mostly it was about me, my articles for Writer2Writer, and my works in progress.
In the spring of 2007, Pump Up Your Book! (formerly Pump Up Your Book Promotion) opened its virtual doors and I began hosting authors at my blog. Being a tour host offered my readers interesting and regular content. Learning about all those good books made me realize how much I missed reading daily. Yes, I still read from time to time, but many months could pass between books. I wanted to carve out a career in writing and I didn’t feel I could do both well. One thing I kept hearing over and again, however, is the importance of reading what you wish to write. That made sense, so I decided if I wanted to be successful as a writer, I must make the time to read.
So I did.
The more authors I hosted, the more inspired I felt to keep plugging away at my works in progress. I began reviewing books at my blog, which is how I discovered the publisher who would eventually release Little Shepherd, my first children’s picture book.
A few months after I started hosting authors for Pump Up Your Book! I became a member of their staff. I’ve been coordinating virtual book tours for authors in a variety of genres for over three years now, and I love it more each day. I tend to work with clients who write in the genres I am interested in writing and reading most frequently: Christian fiction and non-fiction, mystery and crime, historical fiction, and books for children and teens.
Has this influenced my writing? Most definitely.
I learn from every author I work with. I discover what I love about my clients’ books, and sometimes, what I don’t like. I’ve seen how important it is when you’re writing a series to keep track of the major characters and the need to develop them as the series progresses. I’m learning how to sprinkle in just the right amount of backstory and details so that the reader gets to know my characters and feels like she is right there alongside them.
Can you name some authors who inspire you? How have they influenced your writing?
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
She is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book!, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in
Display CommentsAdd a Comment