So many wonderful books launching today (or near today)! I want to send special greeting to Evelyn Christensen, a long-time moderator on the SCBWI Discussion Boards. Evelyn runs a fantastic site for children’s writers, including her list of links to children’s magazine websites and to their submission guidelines, and a list of educational markets with links to publisher websites and their online submission guidelines, as well as other helpful resources. If you haven’t been there, please take a look!
Merry Christmas from the Bluegrass State! Come along on a fun ride through Kentucky as Marybeth introduces her cousin Martin to all her favorite places, activities, and foods. While they travel from Louisville to Lexington to Paducah, Marybeth gives Martin some really cool gifts—like 4 lucky horseshoes when they visit a horse farm and 10 lumps of black gold from the Coal Mining Museum in Benham.
This joyful entry in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas in America’ series features terrific art and lively text by a native Kentuckian that perfectly captures the state’s spirit.
A boy and his grandfather remember those who served.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Cody’s family has all gathered for their traditional Christmas party—all except Grandpa, who is sitting quietly in his room, looking out his window at the cloudy sky. Grandpa tells Cody about his time in Vietnam and the Christmas Eve when a bright star appeared through the clouds, giving the soldiers hope. All of the men promised to look for the star every year and remember each other and those who didn’t come home. Cody makes a new tradition: now the whole family will join Grandpa in looking for the star. This touching family story, accompanied by rich illustrations, tells the importance of traditions and honoring those who served their country.
Buy the Book! Pelican Publishing Barnes & Noble Amazon
FLUTTER, THE BUTTERFLY
WITH THE DULL BROWN WINGS
By Haskell and Judith-Ann Saks Rosenthal
Flutter, a leafwing butterfly enters a beauty contest where she is booed because of her dull appearance. How does she save the butterflies from Boris, the evil dragonfly? How does the beauty contest turn out? The story helps build a child’s self acceptance and esteem by showing that one’s inner qualities are more important than outside beauty. Flutter was different from the other butterflies, but this difference turned out to be her strength. In addition, it gives an opportunity to teach and identify butterflies since most butterflies depicted in this book are real and labeled.
Buy the Book! Blue Willow Bookshop Indiebound Amazon
Written by Wendy Tugwood
Illustrated by Sheila McGraw
Published by Firefly Books
As every parent knows, there is nothing more stressful than being away from a child even if it’s only for a few days. This heartwarming bedtime and counting book perfectly captures how the love between a mother and child copes with separation.
When we’re apart I miss you so
I wish I didn’t have to go
I miss your face, your touch, your smell,
Your silliness I know so well.
I think of how you sing to me,
“I love you too… I love you three!”
On goes our love and counting game
A game that always ends the same.
Needing to express how much they love each other, parent and child play the old familiar counting game. The child says “I love you,” the parent replies “I love you too,” and the child, gleefully, replies “I love you three!” From there they continue counting until they reach “I love you ten.”
McGraw is also the illustrator of Love you Forever (Robert Munsch), celebrating 30 years as one of America’s favorite children’s books with more than 30 million copies in print.
Buy the book! Blue Willow Bookshop Brazos Bookstore Firefly Books Indiebound Barnes & Noble Amazon
Written by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
Buy the book! Blue Willow Bookshop Murder By The Book Brazos Bookshop Indiebound Barnes & Noble Amazon
OCTOBER 5, WEDNESDAY, 10:00 AM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHOR
Katy Budget Books
OCTOBER 8, SATURDAY, 2:00-6:00 PM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHOR
Barnes & Noble, First Colony Mall
Maria Ashworth, local author of STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR, and MY BIG TREE will read for a special storytime. One little bluebird is disappointed when she has to share his favorite tree. When she’s pushed to the “edge” she sets out to find her NEW favorite. In her journey she learns there are a few things missing.
Blue Willow Bookshop
Lolly Hopwood and Yoyo Klusters introducing an ingenious way to help kids get the 60 minutes of active play they need each day. MOVE is a book that combines imaginative play with movement. Hold it up to your face like a big pair of jaws and ROAR and STOMP like a dinosaur. Hold it by the die-cut handles to swing in a hip-to-hip motion while ROWING like a canoe. Or hold on tight and SPIN like a flying saucer.
OCTOBER 8, SATURDAY, 11:000 AM: DEE LEONE, PB AUTHOR
Local author Dee Leone will be reading during a special story time at Books-A-Million in the Katy Mills Mall. Bizz and Buzz are two bees who want to make honey buns. So, they ask their friend Bear for his recipe. Although the directions seem simple, Bizz and Buzz make mistake after mistake, like finding a little “flower “instead of adding a little “flour.” What will “bee”-come of the honey buns?
OCTOBER 9, SUNDAY, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHOR
Katy Rice Harvest Festival
COST: $10 for adults, FREE for Children 10 and under; FREE for Seniors, Military, Law Enforcement, and EMS personnel with proper identification FREE.
Join Maria Ashworth, local author of STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR, and MY BIG TREE at the annual Katy Rice Harvest Festival is two big days of excitement and family fun with two stages of continuous live entertainment, craft and food booths, and more. STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR takes a lighter approach to a child’s life altering event, and looks at the positive aspects of having a growing family.
Off the Vine Bistro, 2685 Dulles Avenue, Missouri City
Local author Debbie Frontiera will be headlining the this week’s coffee house series with a selection of readings. Come out and cheer her on, and maybe perform some of your own 13+ work during open mic. There will be prizes, drink and food specials, and a fantastic gathering of artists and audiences!
The Women’s Institute of Houston
Ever read a book or article and sit back and sigh at what a pleasure it was–how it made you think, how it made you feel, how it made the world melt away–and then moments later wonder how the author made that happen? All writers have tools that they use to engage their readers, express ideas, and make them sigh. From voice to dialogue to description, we will explore masterful examples of writers using their tools and then try to use them ourselves. Each week, the class will focus on one characteristic of powerful writing. We will read short articles about craft, study examples from famous writers, and exercise our own writing muscles in fun, collaborative activities in class. Then, writers will be able to take the ideas home and do a little practice of their own in order to bring it back to the class and get praise for the way they’ve sharpened their skills. Writing can be overwhelming, but with a few key tools, writers will have the confidence and inspiration to get started. Hopefully, after the class, we’ll also have a group of friends to help us continue!
COST: Early-Bird Pricing until October 3: $55 Members, $75 Non-Members. After October 3: $70 Members, $90 Non-Members
Learn how to create a historical narrative that is vivid, compelling, and credible in this full-day course on researching and writing historical fiction. Whether your story takes place in prehistoric Eurasia or pre-9/11 New York, research will underpin your writing. Instructor Marian Szczepanski will explore both expected and surprising places you can find information and share ways you can transform what may seem like term paper drudgery into a thrilling scavenger hunt. Then we’ll cover how to use just enough—but not too many—facts in characterization, dialogue, and scene-setting. We will also discuss how to avoid committing an “info dump” on readers. Handouts of all examples and extensive bibliography will be provided.
St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, 6819 Louetta Road, Spring
COST: Members $25, Non-members $35
The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers presents a mini-conference on Indie Publishing. This event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end with a book signing from 2:30 to 3:00. You’ll hear from a host of speakers on topics such as formatting and uploading, designing your cover, choosing a freelance editor, nuts and bolts of indie publishing, creative marketing strategies and much more.
For more conference information, visit the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!
EDITORS: Diana Gill/Tor/Forge/Tor Teen; Miriam Weinberg/Tor Books/Tor Teen; Stephanie Pitts/Schwartz & Wade Books
AGENTS: Melissa L. Edwards/Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency; Mark Gottlieb/Trident Media; Steven Hutson/Wordwise Media Service; Heather Flaherty/The Bent Agency; Hannah Fergesen/KT Literary; Lori Nowicki/Painted Words
This virtual conference will consist of three days of fellowship (Gathering), having fun (Enjoying) and becoming enlightened! (Learning!). You’ll find newbie authors, seasoned authors, and readers of all stages and interests, in one arena, teaching, learning and growing.