Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Author Spotlight - Angela Blount, on her award winning book, Once Upon a Road Trip


WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?: 
I think I knew when I was in the sixth grade, and I couldn't stop narrating my own daydreams. (Fortunately I kept it all in my head, so I didn't question my sanity much beyond what seemed reasonable for a near-teenager.) I'd started asking "What if...?" questions to all kinds of scenarios--visualizing alternate endings to both reality and fiction. 
I'd been a voracious reader all through elementary school, but it suddenly occurred to me that I could try writing my own story. My first book was done all in pencil and filled an entire spiral-bound notebook. It was an adventurous tale about a group of kids (conveniently my age) who were valiantly attempting to save a herd of endangered white rhinos. It was terrible. Most authors have a starter book that should never see the light of day, and that one was mine. For some reason, the admitted awfulness only made me want to get better at it.  
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?:
I spent most of my elementary years telling people I wanted to be an Oceanographer. I didn't. It sounded impressive at the time, and I was one of those kids who didn't have some burning dream job I'd picked out early on. The idea of doing the same thing--all day, every day, 5 days a week--sounding dauntingly boring. For a time I gave serious thought to becoming an astronaut...until I found out how many math courses would be involved.  



HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?:
In my case, it wasn't so much a story idea as a piece of my life that happened to make a great story. Every time someone asked me how I met my husband I had to pause and decide how best to condense a novel-sized account down to a few tidbits...which inevitably made me sound a little crazy when I got to the "Well, technically I met him on the internet when I was 15--but I didn't meet him face-to-face until I turned 18 and went on this cross-country road trip..."
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED? 
Once Upon an Ever After (The sequel to Once Upon a Road Trip.)
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER:
Even after I realized how much I enjoyed writing, I resisted doing anything serious with it for many years. It was too impractical. So many articles I read made it seem as though I had a better chance of winning the lottery than I did of making a living off of being a writer. It took me a while to realize there was no shame in keeping my "day job" and working toward my writing career on the side. 
I realized this was meant for me when I tried to quit and discovered I couldn't. No matter how discouraged I was, I couldn't turn off the storytelling part of me. 
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?:
Offhand, I would have to say Lois Lowry's The Giver. That was my first taste of dystopian, and it hit me at an impressionable time in my mental and literary development. Lowry presented difficult but realistic subject material, and did so in a way that was impactful without being preachy. It haunted me for weeks. I knew after reading it that I wanted to write things that could make people think, or at least think about something important in a different way. 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?:
To date, I think my greatest moment was realizing I'd seen two of my books published by the age of 30. I hadn't set that as a goal for myself, but it was a deeply satisfying realization.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?: 
For me, becoming published was a 5-year intensive journey of learning, rejection, skin-thickening, and persistence.  
My personal tip for aspiring authors: Get connected. If you can't find a knowledgeable writing group that meets near you, join one online. Your skills will advance much faster within a support group that can offer you workshops and feedback. I didn't know how much I didn't know until I joined the RWA (Romance Writers of America). And honestly, that's probably for the best! If I'd realized the learning curve I was about to scale, I might have been intimidated into having second thoughts. 
Also, take the time to review books you're reading. Even if it's just for your own archival reasons on a site like Amazon or Goodreads, reviewing will help you analyze what you do and don't like about books and why. It has a lot of potential to give you a new insights into your own writing.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
For me, Goodreads has been an invaluable resource. They facilitate book giveaways that can offer noteworthy exposure, and a good number of their groups offer Read-to-Review programs that can help get the word out. 
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?:
Thank you for reading! :) Without you, I'm just a functional-eccentric who can't seem to stop telling herself stories.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?:
I do! Several, in fact. I've found myself alternating back and forth between an interconnected set of Contemporary YA books, and a YA sci-fi series. Drastically different genres, but strangely refreshing to have the variety. New developments coming soon on that front. Stay tuned!  
“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life 
are the detours you didn't mean to take.”
  ― Angela N. Blount, Once Upon an Ever After 



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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reset, by William R. Jones, earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


What if time travel were possible and you could go back to 1945 to eradicate nuclear weapons?  William R. Jones addresses this (and other scenarios) in his mind-twisting, scary-good science fiction novel which explores politics in relation to events throughout time.  As malefactors test the possibilities of rewriting the past, readers are taken on an introspective journey to an alternate reality.

This suspenseful novel introduces a "new future," beginning with the civil war and ending in the year 2026.  Author William R. Jones' depiction of greed, and the role it plays in the hands of those who would use a time machine to manipulate history, is a fascinating read.

Plans for a critical time travel mission are derailed to serve the unscrupulous contrivances of villains intent on re-writing history to serve their own interests.  Reset by William R. Jones is a thought-provoking science fiction novel which 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, October 15, 2015

Literary Classics 2015 Book Awards Announced!

Literary Classics Announces Youth Media Top Book Award Recipients



Literary Classics announced its 2015 selection of top books for children and young adults today.  Award recipients were selected from entries received from around the globe.  The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize the following titles in children’s and young adult literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics Awards committee.

A list of the 2015 recipients follows:

TOP HONORS BOOK AWARDS

Enchanted Page
Pitter and Patter
written by Martha Sullivan
illustrated by Cathy Morrison
Dawn Publications

Eloquent Quill Book Award
Charley
by Donna Marie Seim
Illustrated by Susan Spellman
Peter A. Randall Publishing

Lumen Award
Hope is Here!
by Cristina Kessler
Illustrated by Marcos Castillo
Little Bell Caribbean

Words on Wings
Knights of Nevertheless
by R.A. McClure
Self Published

YOUNG AUTHOR AWARD (written by an author under 21 years of age):
Outdancing the Universe
Lauren Gilmore
Hell Press

BEST IN CATEGORY
Best Illustrator  -  Christmas Nevermore, by Marc Cadieux and Herve Bastien, illustrated by Christina Zakhozhay - SRF
Best First Picture Book  -  Penny the Palomino Quarter Horse, written by Gary Scogin, illustrated by Alex Ray - Sarah Book Publishing
Best First Chapter Book  -  Naji and the Mystery of the Dig, Vahid Imani - Stormtop Publishing
Best First Novel  -  Bristol Bay Summer, Annie Boochever - Alaska Northwest Books
Best Picture Book Series  -  I Feel..., written and illustrated by D.J. Corchin - PhazelFOZ Company, LLC
Best Chapter Book Series - Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers, C.F. Crawford - Lauco Press

PRESCHOOL/EARLY READER
Picture Book Preschool - Gold,  Sheila and the Magnificent Tail, by Jeremy Shapiro, illustrated by MaryDeaton Heldman - IngramSpark
Picture Book Preschool - Silver, Odie’s Best Friend, Kristen Mott, illustrated Lowell Hildebrandt - Author House
General Preschool - Gold, Wishing Away, by Ann Dwan - Tate Publishing
General Preschool - Silver, Can We Keep Him?,  by Ann Dwan - Tate Publishing
Picture Book Early Reader - Gold, Pancakes with Papa, by Dena Albergo Jayson, illustrated by Rainer M. Osinger - Feme Press
Picture Book Early Reader - Silver, We Are Whoooo We Are, by Melinda Chambers, illustrated by Sue Ann Maxwell Spiker - Headline Books
General Early Reader - Gold, Birds of a Feather, by Karen Chacek - TechStudios, LLC
General Early Reader - Silver, Two Hoots and a Holler, by Karen Chacek - TechStudios, LLC
Health / Self Esteem Early Reader - Gold, A Filly for Laura, Ashley Hotter - Tate Publishing
Health / Self Esteem Early Reader - Silver, Her Pink Hair, written and illustrated by Jill Dana - Guardian Angel Publishing

PRETEEN / TWEEN
Chapter Preteen  -  Gold, Naji and the Mystery of the Dig, by Vahid Imani - Stormtop Publishing
Chapter Preteen - Silver, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent, by Diane Mae Robinson -  Tate Publishing
General Preteen  -  Gold, The 11th Year of Christopher Arthur McDaniels, by Marc Kuhn - Create Space
General Preteen - Silver, I Live in a Doghouse, by Beverly Stowe McClure - Muse It Up Publishing
Fantasy Preteen  -  Gold, The Hunter Awakens, by J.R. Roper - Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Fantasy Preteen - Silver, The Gift of Sunderland, by J.E. Rogers, illustrated by Guy Atherfold - Arcadia Publishing Group, LLC
Mystery Preteen  -  Gold, Fiona Frost, Shillingstone Witch, by Dr. Bon Blossman - Create Space
Mystery Preteen  -   Silver, Search for the Stone of Excalibur, by Fiona Ingram, Biblio Publishing
Fiction Preteen  -  Gold, Star of the Team, by Beverly Stowe McClure - 4RV Publishing
Fiction Preteen  -  Silver, The Castle Blues Quake, by Linda Covella - Beau Coup Publishing

YOUNG ADULT
General Young Adult  -  Gold, Old Earth, by Gary Grossman - Diversion Books
General Young Adult - Silver, Grog Wars, by Anne Sweazy-Kulju - Tate Publishing
Fantasy Fiction Young Adult  -  Gold, Oathtaker, by Patricia Reding - Create Space
Fantasy Fiction Young Adult - Silver, The Universe Builders, by Steve Lebel - Argon Press
Science Fiction Young Adult   -  Gold, The Clay Lion, by Amalie Jan - Bermlord Publishing
Science Fiction Young Adult - Silver, Breeder, by K.B. Hoyle - Writer’s Coffee Shop
Fiction Young Adult   -   Gold, Knights of Nevertheless, by Rachel M. Hough - Self Published
Fiction Young Adult  -  Silver, Strays, by Jennifer Caloyeras - Ashland Creek Press
Historic Fiction Young Adult- Gold, Shadow of the Hawk, by K.S. Jones - Astraea Press
Historic Fiction Young Adult- Silver, The Crimson Emperor, by Wim Baren - Self Published
Poetry Young Adult  -  Gold, Outdancing the Universe, by Lauren Gilmore - Hell Press
Poetry Young Adult  -  Silver, Kinyamaswa, by Andreas Morgner - Apprentice House Press

SPECIAL INTEREST
Biography Preteen - Gold, Evelyn and the War Effort, by Evelyn Rothstein, illustrated by Elizabeth Uhlig - Marble House Editions
Biography Young Adult - Gold, The Violets are Mine, by Lester Morris - Javelina Books
Cultural Issues - Preteen - Gold, Naji and the Mystery of the Dig, by Vahid Imani - Stormtop Publishing
Cultural Issues Young Adult - Gold, Yakimali’s Gift, by Linda Covella - Clean Reads / Astraea Press
Educational  -  Gold, Tame Your Manners, by Loretta Neff - Elegant Way Publishing
Environmental Issues  -  Gold, Christmas Nevermore, by Marc Cadieux and Herve Bastien, illustrated by Christina Zakhozhay - SRF
Faith Based Picture Book  -  Gold, Adoptive Father, written & illustrated by Kayleen West - Etrinity Publishing
Faith Based Young Adult - Gold, The Castle, by Lorilyn Roberts - CreateSpace
Female Audience  - Gold, A Time to Love in Tehran, by C.G. Fewston - Black Rose Writing
Health / Self Esteem - Gold, Strays, by Jennifer Caloyeras - Ashland Creek Press
Holiday Picture Book -  Gold, Ten Little Tricksters, by Penelope Anne Cole - Guardian Angel Publishing
Holiday Book - Gold, Christmas Nevermore, by Marc Cadieux and Herve Bastien, illustrated by Christina Zakhozhay - SRF
Horror - Gold, Unreal City, by A.R. Meyering - Innisfree Press
Inspirational / Visionary - Picture Book  -  Gold, A Story of Becoming, Ayne Cates Sullivan, Ph.D., illustrated by Belle Crow DuCray - Infinite Light Publishing
Inspirational / Visionary  Preteen  -  Gold, Mystical Rules for my Magical Daughter, by D.J. Corchin - PhazelFOZ, LLC
Inspirational / Visionary Young Adult  -  Gold, Ripples Through Time, by Ryan Jordan - LC Publishing
Interactive Book - Gold, Sherlock and Me, by Jeff Nathan, illustrated by Liz Ball - Chucklebooks Publishing
Male Audience  -  Gold, My Big Tow, by Kyle Chirgwin, illustrated by Joshua Otero - TT Publications
Rhyme Book - Gold, Little Bird Lost, by Kate Larkinson, photos by Steve Larkinson - Create Space

The 2015 Literary Classics book award recipients will be recognized during an awards presentation to be held on April 2, 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  A complete list, including links to Literary Classics' reviews of all award winning books, may be found at clcawards.org.

Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations.  Judging is based upon the criteria set forth by Literary Classics’ highly selective awards committee which honors books promoting character, vision, creativity and learning, through content which possesses key elements found in well-crafted literature.

The Literary Classics judging committee is comprised of experts with backgrounds in publishing, writing, editing, design, illustration, and book reviewing.   To learn more about Literary Classics, visit their website at www.literaryclassicsawards.com. 


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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Literary Classics International and Top Honors Book Award Finalists



To follow are the finalists for the 2015 Literary Classics Book Awards

Final award levels and categories will be announced October 15, 2015

Literary Classics is pleased to announce its 2015 selection of finalists for children's and young adult literature.  The list includes titles received by entries from around the globe. We commend all those who were considered for this year’s awards as the caliber of books received was quite impressive and competition was fierce.


The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize the following titles in children’s and young adult literature which exemplify the criteria set forth by the Literary Classics Awards committee.



Adoptive Father - Written and Illustrated by Kayleen West - Etrinity Publishing
A Filly for Laura - by Ashley Hotter - Tate Publishing
A Story of Becoming - by Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph. D. - Illustrated by Belle Crow DuCray
A Time to Love in Tehran - by C.G. Fewston - Black Rose Writing
Birds of a Feather - by Karen Chacek - Illustrated by Emilio Hern├índez - Tech Studios
Breeder - K.B. Hoyle - Writer's Coffee Shop
Bristol Bay Summer - Annie Boochever - Alaska Northwest Books
Can We Keep Him? - by Ann Dwan - Tate Publishing
Charley - by Donna Marie Seim -  Illustrated by Susan Spellman - Peter A. Randall Publishing
Christmas Nevermore - by Marc Cadieux - Illustrated by Herve Bastien - SRF
Evelyn and the War Effort - by Evelyn Rothstein - Illustrated by Elizabeth Uhlig - Marble House Editions

Fiona Frost, Shillingstone Witch - Dr. Bon Blossman - Create Space
Grog Wars - Anne Sweazy-Kulju - Tate Publishing
Her Pink Hair - Written and Illustrated by Jill Dana - Guardian Angel Publishing
Hope is Here - by Cristina Kessler - Illustrated by Marcos Castillo - Little Bell Caribbean
I Feel - Written and Illustrated by DJ Corchin - PhazelFOZ Company, LLC
I Live in a Doghouse - by Beverly Stowe McClure - MuseItUp Publishing
Kinyamaswa - Andreas Morgner - Apprentice House Press
Little Bird Lost - by Kate & Steve  Larkinson - Create Space
My Big Tow - by Kyle Chirgwin - Illustrated by Joshua Otero - TT Publications, Inc.
Mystical Rules for My Magical Daughter - by D.J. Corchin - PhazelFOZ, LLC
Naji and the Mystery of the Dig - Vahid Imani - Stormtop Publishing
Oathtaker - Patricia Reding - Self Published
Odie's Best Friend - by Kristen Mott - Illustrated by Lowell Hildebrandt - Author House
Old Earth - Gary Grossman - Diversion Books
Outdancing the Universe - Lauren Gilmore - Hell Press
Pancakes with Papa - by Dena Albergo Jayson - Illustrated by Rainer M. Osinger - Ferne Press
Penny the Palomino Quarter Horse and Her New Shoes - by Gary Scogin - Illustrated by Alex Ray - Sarah Book Publishing
Pitter and Patter - by Martha Sullivan - Illustrated by Cathy Morrison - Dawn Publications
Ripples Through Time - Ryan Jordan - LC Publishing
Shadow of the Hawk - by K.S. Jones - Astraea Press
Sheila and the Magnificent Tail - by Jeremy Shapiro - Illustrated by Mary Deaton Heldman - IngramSpark
Sherlock and Me - Jeff Nathan - Chucklebooks Publishing
Sir Princess Petra's Talent - by Diane Mae Robinson - Tate Publishing
Star of the Team - Beverly Stowe McClure - 4RV Publishing
Strays - Jennifer Caloyeras - Ashland Creek Press
Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers, Autumn Tales - by C. F. Crawford - Illustrated by L.H. Crawford - Lauco Press
Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers, Winter Tales - by C. F. Crawford - Illustrated by L.H. Crawford - Lauco Press
Tame Your Manners - by Loretta Neff - Illustrated by Anirban Mitra - Elegant Way Publishing
Ten Little Tricksters - by Penelope Anne Cole - Illustrated by Kevin Collier - Guardian Angel Publishing
The Castle - Lorilyn Roberts - Create Space
The Castle Blues Quake - by Linda Covella - Beau Coup Publishing
The Clay Lion - Amalie Jan - Bermlord Publishing
The Crimson Emperor - by Wim Baren - Self Published 
The 11th Year of Christopher Arthur McDaniels - by Marc Kuhn - Illustrated by Lynda Louise Mangoro - Create Space
The Gift of Sunderland - by J.E. Rogers - Illustrated by Guy Atherfold
The Hunter Awakens - by J.R. Roper - Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
The Knights of Nevertheless - Rachel M. Hough - Self Published
The Search for the Stone of Excalibur - Fiona Ingram - Biblio Publishing
The Universe Builders - Steve Lebel - Argon Press
The Violets Are Mine - Lester Morris - Javelina Books
Two Hoots and a Holler - by Karen Chacek - Illustrated by Emilio Hern├índez - Tech Studios
Unreal City - A.R. Meyering - Innisfree Press
We Are Whoooo We Are - by Melinda Chambers - Illustrated by Sue Ann Maxwell Spiker - Headline Books
Wishing Away - by Ann Dwan - Tate Publishing
Yakimali's Gift - Linda Covella - Clean Reads / Astraea Press


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

Ripples Through Time earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval


Calvin is near the end of his life... at least that's how he would have things.  His bride of nearly 60 years, Mellie, has just passed away and he plans to end things so they can be reunited.  When Calvin's friend, Edward, checks in to make sure he's alright, the widower starts to recall the events of his past.  The landscape of his life is portrayed through the eyes of those who have shaped his world. Sometimes joyous, some times melancholy, but always genuine; these revealing vignettes impart the many facets of one man's time upon earth.

Author Lincoln Cole's natural style offers a refreshingly honest look at life and humanity.  His novel, Ripples Through Time, is a study of the imperfections of family and those we choose to love, despite their flaws and failings.  Ripples Through Time 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

A Filly for Laura, by Ashley Hotter, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Laura's mother has passed away.  Now she and her brother live in a foster home on a ranch where they are expected to help care for the horses.  At first Laura is angry and withdrawn.  But then one day her foster father introduces her to Mae, a horse which, like Laura, lost her mother.  Now Mae will soon be having a baby of her own.  Laura hates to admit it, but she grows to love Mae, and as her bond with Mae grows, her bitterness begins to fade.

A Filly for Laura is a beautiful and touching story which will stir the hearts of readers young and old.  Author Ashley Hotter has created a simply moving tale that is uplifting and a joy to read. A Filly for Laura is recommended for home and school libraries and for use in clinical settings as an excellent means of helping kids work through anger and grief.  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