Thursday, May 26, 2016

Author Spotlight, Beverly Stowe McClure, on her award winning titles.



WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?:
When I saw how much my fifth-grade students enjoyed reading great books for fun and not just as an assignment, the writing bug bit me and I decided to try writing stories too. I hoped, through my stories, to help young readers discover that they were not alone in their troubles, and that there was hope in most situations.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Either a ballerina or an opera singer.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
The idea for Star of the Team came to me while I watched my granddaughter play basketball and saw how competitive the girls were. For I Live in a Doghouse, one night a little voice whispered in my ear, "I live in a doghouse." I asked the voice "why?" And a story was born.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED? 
I have published twelve books to date; two of which are also CLC award winners:
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?
Margaret Mitchell
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
Gone With the Wind
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Winning the CLC Awards, along with Sharp Writ and Next Generation Awards
HOW DID IT FEEL TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
Becoming published is one of the highlights of my life, right after giving birth to my sons and marrying a wonderful man.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
Try different things. If one promo effort doesn't work, there are a lot of other ideas. See what successful authors do. Make friends. Be friends. Help others.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Just enjoy and follow your heart.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
Yes, I'm delighted to say that my latest YA novel Under a Purple Moon has just recently been released. It's the story of four teens helping each other survive their families and school. The novel will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the publisher Dancing Lemur Press and just about everywhere.
I also have two Middle Grade novels due out in 2016. A Family for Leona, historical fiction about the Orphan Trains, loosely based on my mother's life, and Princess Breeze, sequel to Just Breeze.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Eventyr, by Ellias Quinn, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


Matil is a fairy, at least that’s what she presumes.  But it’s hard to say for sure because she has no wings, and no memory.  Aside from vague recollections which come to her as she dreams, Matil has no knowledge of her past.  Even her name has been given to her on loan since she can’t remember her own.  Determined to find answers, she is joined by an unlikely pair of allies, enemies who put their differences aside for the sake of their nameless and wingless friend.

Eventyr is an incredibly unique tale which is as suspenseful as it is unexpected.  With fabulously flawed, and genuinely likeable characters, this fantasy fiction novel is vividly insightful. Exhibiting exquisite depth, this delightful book leaves readers dangling at a precipice wanting for more.  Ellias Quinn exhibits rare talent as an author in this, her first book in the Eventyr series.  We look forward to reading more work from this extremely gifted writer.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Author Spotlight, Ann Dwan on her award winning books



WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
I caught the writing bug when I was battling breast cancer for the second time. Most of my time was spent going to doctors appointments and I needed something positive to focus on. I started writing about what I knew best; which was my children. I soon realized that this was something I enjoyed and it helped me take my mind off my health issues.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I had always wanted to become a teacher; however that didn’t happen. Instead I spent most of my working career in the medical field.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
My children’s book series Ali and Buddy was inspired by my own children. My two children Eric and Alicia, who are now adults, are the main characters in my books.
TELL US SOMETHING RANDOM/INTERESTING/FUNNY ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER:
It’s really fun to see the children’s reactions when they learn that Ali and Buddy are not fictional characters; and that they are my own children. Often times Eric and Alicia have joined me at book signing events and the children are so excited to actually get to meet the “real” Ali and Buddy. They get to meet story book characters and that really excites young readers. They have even asked to have Ali and Buddy sign their books!
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE? Chris Van Allsburg, I would have to say has influenced me and my writing. Like him I didn’t set out to write children’s books. I’m inspired by a child’s endless imagination. Chris Van Allsburg's writing takes the reader on an adventure. I hope children reading my books will want to follow many adventures with Ali and Buddy.
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
The Anthology of Children’s Literature (Fourth Revised Edition); my family had this book when I was a child and to this day I still have the book. I remember my parents reading this book to us and now I read it to my grandchildren. This book has a wonderful collection of some of the best in children’s literature.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
I’m relatively new to the world of children’s literature. I would have to say my greatest accomplishment so far was to be awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Then being selected as 2015 award finalist. Then ultimately my books were chosen for the Gold & Silver in their category; General/Preschool.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
Yes, my next book in the Ali and Buddy Children’s Book Series will be titled “Baby take a Bow”.
The manuscript for this book is almost ready to be sent to my publisher. I look forward to releasing this title in 2016. It will be available through Tate Publishing. I’m also working on another book which will focus mainly on Buddy. I hope to continue adding additional adventures of Ali and Buddy to this series.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Guess Who, Mr. Dinosaur?, by Christopher Isaiah Penn Smith, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Dinosaurs, although extinct, still have living distant relatives which bear some similarities to those grand creatures of the past.  Guess Who, Mr. Dinosaur? is a children's picture book which teaches young readers about dinosaurs while helping them learn about common characteristics shared with living breathing animals today.  This educational book is wonderfully illustrated with whimsical depictions of well known animals which may share a few things in common with dinosaurs of the past.

This book will hold great appeal to young readers, which is no coincidence since it was penned by a young boy when he was just four years of age.  Christopher Isaiah Penn Smith's  Guess Who, Mr. Dinosaur? is recommended for home and school libraries and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Trinity Icon, by Steve Wilson, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



The government of Poland has turned to NATO and the U.S. for protection in an arms war.  With Captain Michael Neill as liaison, (in Volume III of The Michael Neill Adventure Series) we encounter a tense stand-off. A valuable religious icon, missing since the 1600s, is suspected to be buried in a swampy area being excavated by a scientific organization. Meanwhile, an assassin has been hired to kill a newspaper reporter as international intrigue involving numerous nations comes to a head in this terrific action adventure story.

For those who enjoy military novels this is a must read. History buffs would also find this most satisfying. A sweet love interest is introduced which develops as our hero is facing life and death challenges. Murder, suspense, romance, attempted assassinations, enshrouded religious mystery; this book offers a myriad of topics which keep the story flowing. The action begins at the first page and continues through to the last. Religious quotes and occasional biblical passages are scattered throughout the story which add to the flow of the story and help develop the personality of our hero. Trinity Icon is a fascinating read and anything but predictable!


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Certainly Sensible, by Pamela Woods-Jackson, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.


Susan Benedict and her three daughters have been ousted from the mansion they call home.  It seems Susan’s ex-husband, Daniel, has just been remarried and his new wife seeks the social status which comes from living in their high-end neighborhood.  Adding insult to injury Daniel has pulled the plug on his daughters’ allowance and private school tuitions.  So with little warning, the Benedict ladies must learn to fend for themselves, making do with the few resources they have at their disposal.  Along the way, they learn to lean on each other while finding an inner strength to become better versions of themselves.

While set in modern times, this book felt slightly reminiscent of some of the stylized romance films of the 50s and 60s; but it also bears a striking resemblance to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.  For those who love a good romance (or two or three) along with a feel-good happy ending, this book will hold great appeal.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tempest of Fire, by Steve Wilson, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


The deserted Japanese Islands of Huo Shan are shrouded in mystery surrounding the Tempest Of Fire, a dangerous secret weapon which, once launched, cannot be contained.  Tempest of Fire, is an all-out adventure story with international intrigue. Michael Neill, a US Marine, the British military and the navy of Taiwan join forces to thwart a plot by China to overthrow Taiwan.

Author Steve Wilson introduces  readers to the intricacies of warfare and espionage while weaving an exciting tale of renegade factions within governments and the struggles to keep the world powers on an even keel. Written such that the layperson will easily grasp the concepts of military acronyms as well as hidden software and encryption challenges, this book will appeal to readers from all backgrounds.  Tempest of Fire is a wholesome story with just a touch of spirituality in the mix.  This is an exciting adventure with unexpected drama which comes highly recommended and earns our Seal of Approval.




LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

M.L. Roble, The Worlds Traveler, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


The Worlds Traveler is a continuation of the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol, teenagers who possess some pretty amazing talents. Phillip can travel by simply picturing or naming a location while Natalie can disappear at will and take others along with her. In this, book two of the series, the teens must hide from an evil foe who wishes to take their powers (as well as those of all the other gifted individuals). In trying to find Phillip’s missing father the teenagers discover marvelous places in new and fascinating worlds.

The reader’s enjoyment of the story will be enhanced by having read The Magician’s Doll, but this book can also be read as a stand-alone. Each adventure encountered by the teens is all-together enchanting.The worlds they visit are cleverly uncommon and their experiences are mind expanding. (Gazing at clouds will never be the same.) Teens will devour this book and are sure to love every exciting moment as Phillip and Natalie face up to the challenges which arise.

With characters which are well developed and entirely unique, this book will delight and engage young readers.  We loved this book as well as the author's style and we look forward to reading more of her work.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Cemetery Sleeper, by Susan Griner, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval




When ten year old Freddy Pesterfield's mother passes away he is sent to live with his aunt and twelve year old cousin, Emily.  Freddy soon befriends a boy, named Matt, who Emily simply cannot abide.  When Matt starts telling ghost stories Emily sets out to prove the boy's tall tales are lies.  In the process, she drags Freddy unwittingly into her scheme to expose the truth, that ghosts do not exist.  But before long the three find themselves caught up in a ghostly tale of their own with real-life hauntings involving the Pesterfield family over the span of generations.

Author Susan Griner's The Cemetery Sleeper is a highly suspenseful tale that will thrill and engage young readers.  Griner has crafted a plausible story with genuine characters in this fun, paranormal mystery.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Words on Wings Award Recipient, R.A. McClure on her Award Winning Title




WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
I’ve been told that as a child I would tell some “whopper” stories. That may have been a nice way to say that I told a lot of lies, but apparently I made them quite intricate! My teachers frequently commented to my parents that I had quite an imagination. By the time I was a teenager I was beginning to write poems and short stories. Somewhere along the way I decided that writing must be a part of my future. 
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
An actress, naturally! I’ve always loved “make-believe”!
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
I’ve always been fascinated by contrasts, especially between dark and light, good and evil. Human nature, with all of its complexities, has always intrigued me as well. The plot began to take shape in a series of recurring dreams. The series title, The Knights of Nevertheless, was a bit of an epiphany that came to me while listening to Dr. David Gibbs, Jr., deliver a key-note speech at a teacher’s convention. He spoke of the hope found in the word nevertheless. I was inspired!  
Originally, The Knights of Nevertheless was my book title, but an editor felt that it would make a better series title and that I should have the word shadow in my book title.  
TELL US SOMETHING RANDOM/INTERESTING/FUNNY ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER
I write best by candlelight with Celtic hymns or musical scores by Hans Zimmer in the background. 
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are my favorite fantasy writers; but my writing is also infused with some Orwellian influence. I’m an avid Jane Austen reader as well. She is the great master of characterization who is in a class all by herself!  
When I showed my first few chapters to my oldest son, he commented that my style reminded him of Tolkien. I took that as high praise! 
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
The King James Bible
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Winning the LITERARY CLASSICS 2015 Words on Wings Award. 
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Well… since I do not have a traditional publisher, I cannot offer any tips for getting published, except, never give up! Definitely make use of a professional copy editor. Also, don’t shrink from constructive criticism – it will make you a stronger writer! 
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
I’m still learning the ropes there too… 
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
I nearly lost my book to the nefarious intent of a person that I allowed into my life against my better judgment. This person gained access to my laptop and deleted my book, even from my network backup system and absconded with my flash-drive backup! Fortunately, this individual did not know that I had also saved the bulk of my work on some old floppy disks that had become partially corrupted by the time I discovered the malicious attack. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise when the last three chapters I had written were irretrievable because I wasn’t happy with them anyway. Some of my best inspiration seemed to come following that event and I was much happier with the turn in my story when I was able to take it up again. The moral of this story: always have multiple backups in multiple locations! 
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
Yes! I am currently working on Book Two of The Knights of Nevertheless: Piercing the Shadows.  
I hope to have Piercing the Shadows complete by the end of the year. Book Two will focus on Onar, Ava’s younger son. This will be my first attempt at writing from a first person point of view. I was inspired to make the attempt after teaching To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for a few years. It is such an intimate means of delivering a story. I hope to illuminate this character and his surroundings more fully from this angle.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Friday, May 6, 2016

Daniel and HIs Starry Night Blanket earns the CLC Seal of Approval


When one sibling is very ill it can be confusing and frustrating for another sibling.  Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket is a beautiful tale of a young boy whose sister is diagnosed with cancer.  At first Daniel is confused.  He doesn't understand why he's not being included in everything, which makes him feel unloved.  Daniel begins to wonder if he may have somehow caused his sister's illness; he even wonders if he might somehow get sick from her.  Then when his sister starts getting lots of cards he becomes a little jealous.   All Daniel's fears and concerns are common to siblings of cancer patients.  As Daniel works through the process of gaining a better understanding of what his sister is going through, while coming to terms with his own feelings, he finds a very special way to show his sister just how much he really cares for her.

Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket is an excellent book for home and school libraries and for use in clinical settings.  This book is highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Posie Pixie and the Fireworks Party, by Sarah Hill, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Posie is a pixie who lives in a teapot in the woods.  One day Mr. Bilberry, the blackbird who delivers mail in Whimsy Wood, delivers a letter to Posie Pixie.  Upon opening the message she learns that Ping Pixie will be paying her a visit to show off his new fireworks invention.  Posie decides to throw a party to help celebrate Ping's new fireworks.  She scrambles to prepare crackle-crunch-cake, sloe slush and a host of other delectable treats in preparation for the big event.  But she may have taken on more than she can manage.  Will there be enough time to get all the preparations in order?  

Posie Pixie and the Fireworks Party is an enchanting story which will delight young readers as they imagine a world in miniature where woodlouse, rabbits and dormice all enjoy the company of one another and live in a harmonious little world together.  Imaginations are sure to soar as youngsters envision the world of Posie Pixie and all her woodland friends.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Little Music Masters, by Elias and Lianna Berlinger, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


Playing a musical instrument can be a magical experience for children.  But getting past the logistics can detract from that, making the learning component a bit of a chore.  Little Music Masters addresses this aspect by making learning about music fun.  Authors Elias and Lianna Berlinger artfully introduce musical notes in a way which helps children commit note-reading principles to memory.  Through fun stories told in rhyme children are introduced to the notes and learn to recognize them by sight and sound.

Children will enjoy the illustrations which are a wonderful addition to this instructional book.  Also included is an audio CD which further enhances the learning process in a fun and educational way.  Highly recommended for music teachers as well as for parents looking to help their children better grasp musical principles, this book earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

The Stumps of Flatttop Hill, by Kenneth Kit Lamug, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


"They dared, declared that Florence was scared, to enter the house on Flattop Hill."  

It is rumored that people may go into the house on Flattop Hill, but once inside they never return. Florence becomes drawn to the idea of acting on a dare.  As she lies in bed she is taunted by the wind and she soon finds herself wandering the halls of this eerie house which has beckoned her.

The Stumps of Flattop Hill, written and illustrated by Kenneth Kit Lamug, is a deliciously macabre children's picture book which will capture the imaginations of young readers.  Children will thrill at the story of Florence as, trance-like, she defies common sense by acting on a dare.  Does she do it to prove she's not afraid; or is there another reason she embarks upon this frightful encounter?  Regardless, we are reminded that there are consequences to one's actions.  Hauntingly reminiscent of tales by the brothers Grimm, The Stumps of Flattop Hill will appeal to readers who enjoy a more unique spin on children's picture books.



LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Wish for You, by Nicole Henning, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


One day as a youngster is exploring the outdoors with his papa he asks him a simple question... "Papa, what do you wish for me?"  His papa replies with a lovely rendition of all the many ways he hopes and wishes the very best of everything for his precious child.  As the child continues to question, his papa further elaborates on all the many treasures this world has to offer, expounding upon the delights of this earth and the deeper corollaries between the treasures of nature and the strengths, joys and wonders of the heart.

Beautifully penned, with a simply wonderful message, My Wish for You is a celebration of love, life and nature.  Perfect for bedtime, reading this book is like being wrapped in a warm blanket.  Nurturing and comforting in every way, My Wish for You is recommended for home and school libraries, and is an excellent selection for gift giving.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org