Tag Archives: Children’s Picture Books

Evolved Publishing Releases 4 New Books May 19, 2014

It’s Launch Day!

We really love these days, when we bring new books into the world for your reading pleasure. In this case, this is just the first of 2 book launches 2 weeks apart, so it’s a fun time.

This time around, we have a children’s picture book for the tikes 3-6 years old, a literary saga for readers 13 and older, and a pair of erotic romances for the adult crowd. So you parents can find 2 great books for your kids, and 2 great books for yourselves.

So gear up! We have many hours of relaxing escape from the daily grind now available.

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK (3-6 Years Old):

Gould_TTT_300dpi_200x286Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle by
Jonathan Gould (Author) and John Cardinal (Illustrator)

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When Thomas finds a talking turtle in his yard, he’s amazed and surprised—especially when the turtle insists, “I’m not a turtle. I’m a tiger!” After a visit to the zoo and a fun chase, the turtle—or is it a tiger?—discovers an important truth and makes a fast friend.

Storyteller Jonathan Gould crafts a humorous and heartwarming tale about friendship, acceptance and self-esteem, colorfully illustrated by John Cardinal.

LITERARY SAGA (13 and Older):

Litwack_DSS_v2_300dpi_200x300The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack

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After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.

Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.

These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself “The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.” A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.

But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE (Adults Only):

HomeIsWhereTheHeatIs_300dpi_200x300Home Is Where the Heat Is by Amelia James

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The Twisted Mosaic readers’ favorite, Claire, has some twisted fun of her own.

Dependable paralegal Claire O’Connor knows the man of her dreams is out there waiting for her, and she’s ready for him. Imagine her surprise—and delight—when she discovers not one but two men who lust for her. One adores her; the other challenges her. One makes sense; the other is a gamble.

Despite the family tragedy that shaped his past, JT Luck has only known success professionally. His personal life, however, is a failure. He doesn’t want a relationship, and while his ‘let it ride’ attitude keeps most women at a distance, Claire is eager to roll with him.

But when she finds out Kurt Langston, the office’s resident computer geek, harbors a secret crush on her, she wonders if he’s the safer bet. Kurt doesn’t get close to people, and his feelings for Claire make no sense in his carefully ordered life. His unexpected bond with JT pushes him to take chances he never imagined.

Go all-in or go home? Either way, the heat could be more than they can handle.

EROTICA / EROTIC ROMANCE (Adults Only):

Protecting_Portia_300dpi_200x300Protecting Portia by Pavarti K. Tyler

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This is the second of the erotic romance series of Sugar House Novellas.

Jackson Grady met the love of his life. Unfortunately, he was running drugs for a pimp named Sasha at the time, who asked him to keep an eye on their new acquisition from Russia, the bedraggled beauty named Portia. She touched his heart and forced him to confront the kind of man he’d become.

Now, Portia and Jackson both work at The Sugar House. He continuously looks out for her, and longs for her with his every breath, but knows he is unworthy of such an angel. What will Portia do to win not only the heart, but also the body, of the man she loves?

Welcome to the world of The Sugar House, and the men and women who will fulfill your every fantasy. But can they find a way to fulfill their own?

Be sure to check out the other Sugar House Novellas, starting with Sugar & Salt, already available, and ending with Dual Domination, coming in December 2014.

Author Jonathan Gould Discusses the Making of “Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle”

This book launches in 2 days, on May 19th!

Gould_TTT_300dpi_200x286This children’s picture book is ideal for kids 3-7 years old.

When Thomas finds a talking turtle in his yard, he’s amazed and surprised—especially when the turtle insists, “I’m not a turtle. I’m a tiger!” After a visit to the zoo and a fun chase, the turtle—or is it a tiger?—discovers an important truth and makes a fast friend.

Storyteller Jonathan Gould crafts a humorous and heartwarming tale about friendship, acceptance and self-esteem, colorfully illustrated by John Cardinal.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GUEST POST
Bio_Pic-Jonathan_Gould_300dpi_760x790Author Jonathan Gould has dropped by to talk a little bit about his writing of Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle. This is the first of what we hope will be many children’s picture books by Jonathan, providing a fun lesson for kids about the importance of friendship and self-esteem. Anyway, we’ll let Jonathan tell you how this entertaining book came to be.
 
 
 
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Turning a Turtle into a Tiger – or Vice Versa

I’m really excited to be writing this post today. The release of my first picture book is a special occasion for me, and I’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone on the Evolved Publishing team for making it possible.

What was my inspiration for Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle? Where did the idea come from? Was it possibly modelled from life? Did I actually walk out the back door one day to discover a spectacularly colourful turtle nibbling at the grass in my yard?

The truth is, the story isn’t quite a reflection on real-life occurrences (although I do at times see spectacularly colourful creatures when I walk out the door—but that’s another story). The idea actually emerged from a little story idea game I like to play.

Generating story ideas is always a bit of a challenge. How do you come up with that brilliant idea that nobody else has ever thought of before? Especially in such a crowded field as picture books? That’s where my game can be really handy.

It’s a very simple game. All you need to do is write down a title—any title. You don’t have to have the slightest idea what the story is about. You just think of a combination of words that seem to fit nicely together, that catches in your mind and rolls off the tongue. I tend to go for alliteration, but that’s a personal preference. Once I get rolling, I can usually reel them out quite quickly, often doing ten or twenty at a time.

Once I’ve written down a bunch of prospective titles, I like to put them away for a while and come back to them later. I usually find that most of them are just random collections of words and nothing more. But every so often, there’s one that will catch my eye, and I’ll think I can do something with it. Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle was definitely one of these.

The next stage is to try to figure out how the title can be converted into a story. I’ll look closely at the words I’ve chosen, particularly those that pertain to character. What on earth is a Tiger-Turtle? What does it look like? What does it want to do, or to be? And who is Thomas, and how is he involved? Gradually, as these questions spin around in my mind, a story begins to emerge. A turtle that is convinced it’s a tiger, and a little boy who is convinced it’s his mission to make the turtle realise its true identity—now there’s a story.

Seeing the characters come to life under the brush of an illustrator has been just as much fun. I’m not a particularly visual person—I’m much more focussed on the word side of things. So seeing Thomas and his friend the turtle appear on the page has been an amazing experience. I’m really indebted to John Cardinal for his lovely, colourful illustrations.

So that, in a nutshell (Or should I say turtle-shell?) is how Thomas and the Tiger-Turtle came to be. I hope you enjoy it, and if you should ever see a turtle with a brightly-coloured shell, think about what you say to it. Turtle feelings are important too.

Steff F. Kneff (aka Stevie Mikayne) Is Coming Out… as a Children’s Book Author!

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This guest post brought to you by author Steff F. Kneff.
 
 
What? Aren’t you a literary fiction author?

Yes! Mostly.

But after my daughter Emlyn was born, my aunt handed me a copy of The Jillian Jiggs Treasury….

I had no idea how impactful this bright, funny, slick-rhyming series of books would be on my pint-sized bundle. When we started reading, she practically took flight. She wiggled. She squirmed. Her arms rotated like propellers on a helicopter. I couldn’t even get a still photograph—her hands were nothing but a blur.

And that’s when I knew that I wanted to write something to make her smile like that.

Celebrating the Diversity!

— In the little blue house with the weathervane loose,
— Emlyn lived with her Mummy, her Mama, and Moose.
— That big old Blue Dane was a chicken at night.
— He hid in his fort when they turned out the light!

Emlyn has two mums (yep, that’s how her family is packaged), and while this is an important part of the story—especially for alternative families looking to see themselves reflected honestly in literature—it’s not the main point.

The story—captivating and original—is the main point.

I think diversity in literature is incredibly important, not only for children growing up in alternative families, but for all members of society. Why? Because diversity is not a politically correct catch-phrase, it’s our reality. Families come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Let’s have that represented on our library shelves.

The most important thing for me, though, was to write a fabulous children’s story—one that spotlighted the focus on the main kid character—her adventures, her quirks, her interests. A classic in the making….

Who’s Going to Love this Book?

Kids! And parents!

Emlyn and the Gremlin is a series with mass audience appeal.

Does your child enjoy fun rhythmic writing? A cast of quirky characters? A giant scaredy-cat dog? A sarcastic little Gremlin who tosses a grappling hook over the window ledge to sneak in and play with forbidden toys?

Then Emlyn and the Gremlin is for your family too.

Children’s picture books aren’t just about the kids— they must appeal to the adults reading aloud every night, too. Parents will enjoy reading Emlyn and the Gremlin as much as the kids. (They might even sneak in a quiet preview on their way home from the bookstore.)

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Happy reading!

I hope to see you all at book signings in July.

<3 Steff F. Kneff

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Author Majanka Verstraete Discusses Why She Writes Kids’ Books

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“Why I Write Kids’ Books” – A Post by Author Majanka Verstraete

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, by my friends and family, even by complete strangers, why I write kids’ books. People seem to think it’s an easy question for me to answer, but it isn’t.

I started out writing young adult novels. When I started writing these novels, I’d barely grown out of the young adult stage of life myself, so it was easy to relate to the characters and to describe their day-to-day world. But the more I wrote in this particular genre, the more I wanted to expand my horizons.

The day I came up with the story for Valentina and the Haunted Mansion was a dreary, rainy afternoon. I should’ve been studying for an important test for university, but instead I thought about this book. The idea was simple: a vampire girl moves into a mansion and finds a ghost, aimed at kids—the picture book I would’ve died to read back when I was a kid.

I hesitated though, because it had been years since I’d even touched a picture book. But I figured, since picture books are short, why not give it a shot. A few revision rounds later, I submitted the manuscript, and here we are.

After finding a home for Valentina and the Haunted Mansion with Evolved Publishing, I was inspired to keep writing for kids. I came up with the idea for the Weirdville lower grade chapter book series, starting with The Doll Maker, not long after signing the contract for the Valentina series.

In the Valentina series, it’s all about how even monsters can be scared of other monsters. It’s about showing kids that they shouldn’t be afraid of imaginary monsters.

I wanted to bring some of that magic to an older audience in the Weirdville series. The books’ protagonists are all kids, and they’re struggling with something dark and evil. Through their courage, intelligence and determination, they fight this evil—and they may or may not win.

When I was a kid, I loved scary books—the scarier, the better. There aren’t enough scary books out there for kids—preferably the kind that gives them a slight scare, but doesn’t keep them up all night—and the books that are there, like the Goosebumps series and Christopher Pike’s series of kids’ books, all date back from the 1990s. Kids want something new, something fresh, with protagonists who have cell phones and know how to use the internet. I wanted to fill that gap with the Weirdville series.

Like I said, it’s not an easy question to answer. On the one hand, I feel like there aren’t enough kids’ books out there in the genre I want to cover—speculative fiction, horror in particular—and on the other hand, I want to show kids that you’re never too young to overcome your fears, and to fight evil, in any shape or form.

One thing is for sure, though: I love writing kids’ books. It allows me to use my creativity in a way I never thought possible. For young adults, you have to explain stuff, like why there would be a monster under the bed. Kids don’t need explaining—they already know the monster is there, they just have to figure out if they’ll be afraid of it, or if they’ll befriend it.

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Majanka Verstraete’s series are expanding in December, with the addition of Valentina and the Whackaddole Witch, House of Horrors, and Fright Train, all releasing on December 9th.

FIND MAJANKA’S BOOKS HERE:

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4 New Books from Evolved Publishing on September 23, 2013

2 books for the kids, and 2 books for adults.

As is our custom, we’re offering here great entertainment for readers of all ages. Just click on the covers below, or the corresponding titles, to navigate to the product page, where you’ll find a tab with all the retail links.

Ricky_the_Runt_300dpi_200x286Ricky the Runt by Emlyn Chand (Illustrated by Noelle Giffin)
[Children’s Picture Book]

Ricky so very badly wants to be scary like his parents and big brothers. There’s just one problem: he’s tiny! Terror birds are supposed to be terrifying—it’s in the name—and even though his dad insists that Ricky’s fine just the way he is, Ricky would give anything to fit in with the rest of his family.

Frustrated and impatient, he departs from his nest and embarks on a quest to scare at least one animal, and prove himself as a Terror Bird. Does he really have to frighten somebody to fit in, or will Ricky discover another way to belong?

There’s only one way to find out: join Ricky in his prehistoric adventure in this edition of the color-illustrated Bird Brain Books series for children 4-8 years old.

 

Weirdville_Doll_Maker_300dpi_200x320The Doll Maker (A Weirdville Book) by Majanka Verstraete
[Lower Grade Chapter Book]

Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.

When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.

Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because….

…the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.

Carry_Me_Away_300dpi_200x300Carry Me Away by Robb Grindstaff
[Literary Fiction / Coming of Age / Women’s Fiction]

Carrie Destin, a biracial military brat, learns the injuries she sustained in a car accident will prove fatal before she reaches adulthood. She accelerates her life and sets aggressive goals: college, connecting with her Japanese roots, and the all-consuming desire to find her soul mate. A kid from nowhere, she travels the world with her Marine father and Japanese mother.

Facing an abbreviated life with a brash attitude and a biting, sometimes morbid sense of humor, Carrie races to graduate high school at age fifteen. College is her marker of adulthood, when she can smoke in public and order dessert before dinner. She tosses out her adolescent wedding scrapbook for a funeral plan. A teenage crush on Paul, a family friend and a widower seventeen years her senior, develops into a fantasy that takes on a life of its own.

As she outlives the original prognosis into her early twenties, her life goals evolve—always short-term. The longing for love stays constant, yet she walls herself off from others. Relationships end in betrayal, abandonment and violence. When love reveals itself, she pulls away, fearing that an early meeting with Death is on the horizon.

Carrie’s frantic desire to experience life before it ends spirals out of control, leading to a physical and emotional collapse. Her grandmother’s wisdom points her toward acceptance, but first she must break through her walls before she can give the gift of ‘til-death-do-us-part.

The_Twisted_Mosaic_Omnibus_300dpi_200x300The Twisted Mosaic – Special Omnibus Edition by Amelia James
[Erotica]

All three Twisted Mosaic books (Her Twisted Pleasures, Their Twisted Love, and His Twisted Choice) in one volume, plus a deleted scene, and three exclusive bonus stories!

Dirty little secrets.

Talia indulges her sexual pleasures, turning her life into a twisted mess. Sleeping with Alex is dangerous and reckless, and she craves that excitement. Loving Will is comforting and safe, and she needs that stability. Why can’t she get everything she wants from one man?

All the wrong reasons.

Alex has everything he wants. He loves the power that comes with his job, and fooling around with his boss provides the illicit kink he needs. He’s in charge and trusts no one.

When Alex’s case forces them back together, Talia discovers she still craves both her former lovers. Can only one love her enough to satisfy her twisted desires and provide the stability she needs?

Love takes an unexpected twist.

Will loves Talia, and he’s willing to give up everything to be with her. Their future hinges on her answer to one simple question. But when he leaves his life behind to pursue her, he’s confronted with choices he didn’t expect.

No more secrets. No more lies. Old love? New love? Or do they have a third option?

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These new books are sure to bring you or your loved ones many hours of reading pleasure. Please enjoy!