Friday, January 27, 2023

Daryl and the Dancing Dolls: A Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Story for Young Movers by Once Upon A Dance #childrensbooks #dance #spotlight



Once Upon a Dance donates all proceeds to charity.


Daryl’s ordinary life takes an adventurous turn when fairies cast their magic.

Kids dance along with the story characters and a professional ballet dancer in this interactive story designed to get kids up and moving. Ballerina Konora joins the pages with photos and suggestions for movement exploration. 

Three books in one: readers can enjoy the story, act out the tale in their own way, or try Konora’s suggested activities, designed by an award-winning ballet teacher to develop body awareness and movement knowledge.

Daryl and the Dancing Dolls is ideal for kids who have had earlier series’ success or for children 6+. It features Daryl (no pronouns), Penny (she), the dolls (10 female, 2 male), and the creatures Daryl meets on the road. Dance-It-Out!s are above level (language-wise) as they’re intended to be initially enjoyed with a caregiver/teacher. 

Main elements include Fairies, Magic, Ice Skating, Trucks, Helping Others, and Developing Friendships.

This movement journey is ideal for dance, creative movement, physical education, homeschool, kindergarten, first-grade, or second-grade activities. The book features diverse characters. 


Once Upon a Dance is an award-winning mother-daughter collaboration.

Ballerina Konora climbed the ballet ladder to pro, and she’s thrilled to be living her dreams dancing with Ballet Idaho. Along the way, she danced iconic roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella.

Teacher Terrel taught dance for decades and was honored by her City Council for “embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children in our community” for her work with young dancers. She’s breathed ballet from every angle and worked in early childhood education, for non-profits supporting kids, and as a university English teacher as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Once Upon a Dance 2021/2022 Awards: Mom’s Choice Gold Award, Family Choice Award, Royal Dragonfly First Place, PenCraft Award First Place, Firebird First Place, Pinnacle: Best Book Juvenile Fiction, Independent Press Award Winner, International Impact Book Award Winner, Outstanding Creator Awards Winner, Readers Favorite Certified Great Read, Indie’s Today 5-Star Recommended, The Wishing Shelf 5-Star, Literary Titan 5-Star Award.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Guest Post: The Train by Cendrine Marroquat #giveaway #interview #spotlight #shortstories

Today I am hosting my blog for a book called The Train. My guest blogger has interviewed the author and I am posting that interview here. Check out all the details, the interview and of course, enter the giveaway if you would like to. Without further ado...


Genre: Literary Fiction 

Release date: January 20, 2023

You never know what a train ride may have in store. Maggie is about to find out as she journeys to Coueuses to visit her family.

**Only .99 cents!**

Amazon * Goodreads


Hello, my name is Cendrine Marrouat (“san-drEEn mar-wah”). I am a poet, photographer, fiction writer, and the co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms and A Warm Cup of Cozy. I have authored and co-authored more than 40 books, including A Particle of You: Love Poetry (2022),  Tree Reflections (2022), In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories & Flashku (2022), After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine (2021), Songs in Our Paths: Haiku & Photography (2020- 2021), Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography  (2021), Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku  (2020), Walks: A Collection of Haiku (2019-2020), and In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play (2018).

My work has appeared in many publications, including  Synkroniciti Magazine On Landscape Real Creative MagazineSpillwords, Sweet Deluge, Life PixelStill Waters Run Deep  (Lovely Silks Publishing, 2016), and eight cuts. I am the creator of the Sixku, Flashku, Sepigram, and Reminigram; as well as the co-creator of the Kindku, Pareiku, Vardhaku, and Hemingku.

I live in Winnipeg, Canada.



How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

For many years, I had wanted to write a complex short story that encompasses several

generations. I also wanted the setting to be in a fictional town in France, my birth country.

The only things I did not have were the names of the characters and their purpose. When I sat

down to create the outline for The Train, Maggie was still a secondary character and the third-

person POV seemed inescapable.

Everything changed during the first draft. There was something logical, albeit powerful about

telling this story in the first person.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

How challenging it was! As soon as I started writing, I realized that I had a unique concept that

needed to be taken to its conclusion. But it took me many drafts to get it right. When I showed

the manuscript to my beta readers, they only had great things to say. The more readers share

their feedback with me, the happier I am that I released the book.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as

you write?

Usually, one character comes to me before the others. The rest of the cast and their actions

kind of fall into place as I write the first and second drafts.

There has been one exception to that rule: In the Silence of Words, which is a play I wrote in

2007. Before outlining the story, I knew exactly how many characters there would be, the roles

they were supposed to play, and how most scenes would unfold.

Describe your writing style.

I am a minimalist; I write in a haiku-like fashion. I rely on dialogues and the unsaid to deliver

stories with uplifting and/or inspirational conclusions / lessons.

I visualize all my scenes, speak every bit of dialogue out loud, move with my characters, and

feel all their emotions.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I believe that fiction should not just entertain. It should also convey important messages or

lessons to the reader. (The same goes for non-fiction.)

Unfortunately, it is something that we do not see enough in modern indie fiction. I try to focus on

topics that people might be uncomfortable to discuss, so I can change the status quo one story

at a time—and in my own way.

As the great Toni Morrison said: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been

written yet, then you must write it.”


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tales From the Otherworlds edited by Antoine Bandele #giveaway #anthology #MiddleGradeFantasy #spotlight


 Stories by:

Antoine Bandele, K.R.S. McEntire, Jessica Cage, Kish Knight, Ken Kwame, Francesca McMahon, Ryan J. Schroeder, Zia Knight, Brittany Hester, Loup Gajigianis

11 marvelous stories of mystical portals, magical lands, and mythical creatures.

Journey with children, fae creatures, and gods alike as they navigate the joy of friendship, the struggles of finding identity, and the unclear pathways of strange new worlds.

From bestsellers to rising voices, 11 terrifically talented authors explore the many faces of whimsy and wonder, mischief and misdoings.

The Otherworlds call to the brave, the extraordinary, and the fated. They call to you, adventurer. Will you answer?

The anthology includes:

Will of the Mischief Maker by Antoine Bandele

What happens when a deity needs a human body? They go to the source, of course.

The Queen’s Kitchen by K.R.S. McEntire

When young Joy opens a secret door to her basement, she finds herself in a world she might not be prepared for.

A Trip to Sunma by Jessica Cage

Twelve-year-old Ameer takes an unexpected trip to an alien world and learns that you can make friends in unexpected places.

The Guardian’s Twin by Kish Knight

When strange new friends come around claiming to know her, Kayla joins them and discovers a magical secret about her lost sister.

No Way Out by Ken Kwame

Celine Musa steps into a world where nothing makes sense and where dangerous creatures want to harm her, or worse.

The Green Man Falls by Francesca McMahon

When the creatures of the Otherworld go missing, it is up to Cernunnos, the God of All Wild Things, to seek out answers, that is, until he gets sick.

The Beams of Faelleria by Ryan J. Schroeder

When a middle school science fair contestant finds himself transported to a fairy kingdom, he’ll need science, magic, and a new friend to find his way back home.

King Impulu & The Sky Pearl by Zia Knight

Twelve-year-old Ruby Freeman and her best friend Jabari Lee travel to the Kingdom of Life to recover a magical pearl in order to save her family’s farm.

The Portal to Aril by Brittany Hester

Keke’s powers are the key to bringing justice to her race. There's only one problem, she has no idea how to be a necromancer.

Fae-Took by Marie McHenry

What’s a girl to do when she finds herself trapped within the fae realm?

Magiks and the Tale of Two Kings by Loup Gajigianis

One wizard, one warrior, and two kings. Will trust win over treachery?

**Also available in Paperback & Audiobook at Books2Read !**

Amazon * Goodreads


He was born and raised in Los Angeles, though he spent one year in Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington while his father served in the U.S. Army.

He lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and cat. You can find him producing videos all over YouTube, including his own channel (which you should totally check out). He is also an audiobook engineer.

Website * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Review: Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo's Ice Worm Intervention by Oneeka Williams, MD #childrensbooks #childrensfiction #bookseries #girlpower #superheroes #autism



I have loved every single one of this author's book series, this one is terrific too. I love that the author mixes science and real-life events to attract young readers, especially girls, to the field of science. In this case, Cordova Ice Worm Festival is a real event that, at this review, is happening now.

I love that Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is not your normal everyday action hero. She is a young girl who lives with her mom and dad but just happens to also be a surgeon with extraordinary powers. She sets out to fix planetary problems and her family is encouraging for her. 

In this episode, Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is tasked with fixing the melting glaciers of Alaska which are causing ice worms (which by the way, are a real animal) to be upset. In addition, other arctic animals are having problems and need this fixed too because they are losing their habitat. Positive affirmations are provided throughout which is a keystone for the fictional character as well as the real author.

This was a little more complex that the books I have read before from this author. The science behind the problem was explained in much more detail and aimed at a bit older kids. This book is targeted for 6-12 year olds and is aligned with Common Core for the sciences in schools. Some words are a bit difficult to pronounce and read but the author does provide a glossary reference in the back as well as words for learning. In addition, the author has added links to be used as a resource guide for teachers and parents alike. This would be perfect for home school too.

5 stars!


Where you can find the author: 

DISCLOSURE: I was given a copy of this book by the author. The review here is 100% my own opinions and may differ from yours. ~Michelle, Reading Authors Network

Monday, January 23, 2023

#Spotlight Leave Your Sh*T Here: Write, Release and Destroy by Jackie Wallace & Elizabeth Reed



Book Details:
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  64 pages
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher:  Yorkshire Publishing
Release date:  January  2023
Content Rating:  PG
Book Description:

Leave Your Sh*T Here is a workbook that helps people to understand that it's normal to face adversity in life and that in the end, everything will be just fine. The workbook also provides a safe space to release those feelings in confidence and dispose of them in a manner the reader chooses, releasing all emotions privately into the universe, ridding them of all toxic thoughts and feelings.

Besides being a book with facts and best practices with highlighted topics, Leave Your Sh*t Here provides teachable moments covering subjects such as inner strength, how to face emotions, self-reliance, and investing in yourself.

Meet the Authors:

Jackie Wallace is a serial entrepreneur, author, and podcaster. With over 35 years of leading and coaching people and over 250 interviews as a podcaster, she enjoys exploring how everyday people figure out their purpose and pursue it. Her superpower is curiosity which makes her an avid learner. Wallace has embraced her failures and learned to rewrite the narratives acknowledging the blessings in the lessons. In addition to business, she is a wife and mother of three.

connect with the author: facebook

Monday, January 16, 2023

2023 Challenges and New... #RomanceTours #spotlights #booktours

Hello everyone and Happy Middle of the New Year 2023!

The end of 2022 went awry for me and my usual  end of year stuff and beginning of new year stuff went with it. I am just not getting back to blogging and catching up with all that is for 2023.

So, what is that you say? 

Well, I did not complete the majority of the book challenges I set out to do. I did finish the Goodreads challenge and I feel good about that. At this moment, I have not signed up for any book challenges including the Goodreads but I will. I am just not sure that I will push to do more than a couple of them. I will let you know in a future blog.

I have however, already begun signing up for new blitz, spotlights, and reviews. I simply love reading and need to get on with this year. I have a ton of reviews coming your way soon. I hope you enjoy them and of course purchase the books from the authors that work so hard to give us readers a bit of pleasure.


I will be creating and posting to a new sister blog. This blog will be strictly for romance (novels and historical romance etc). As you know, I never posted this genre before but want to do so for 2023. I can change my mind...right?  These will be spotlights only.

***Having said that, AUTHORS if you would like to do a spotlight tour for your romance novel, let me know. You can email me at nailamoon1968 at gmail dot com. I will be accepting now for tours in February.

ALSO:If any other genre would like a SPOTLIGHT TOUR or REVIEW (reviews are free) on this blog, email at above as well. I pretty much read anything. Just email me and we can talk.

For now, that is it.

Happy reading!

Michelle from Reading Authors Network

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

#Review In the Nick of Time Too by Deedee Cummings #Christmas #Santa #multicultural

Book Details:
Category Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 28 pages
Genre Children/ Holiday
Publisher Make A Way Media
Release date:  November 2019
Content Rating: G. Children's Holiday Book.

Book Description:

Nick Saint and his best friend, Cooper, reunite in this warm holiday story about the magic of Christmas. A surprise visit leads to a journey of self-discovery and a deeper understanding of the true meaning of the holiday spirit.
Nick and Cooper receive a charge to spread kindness and hope in their everyday lives. Will Cooper listen to his friend and help Nick save the day again? Will you also be moved to action and accept Santa's challenge to spread kindness wherever you go?
My Review:
In this follow-up, to her original book (my review found here), I have to first mention the cover. I generally don't mention covers too much but this one opened my eyes. It prominently features a Black Santa which I think is fantastic! The author, writing for her own child, wanted her son to see himself in the books she writes. She accomplished that before I opened the book and I am here for it! Kudos!
Now, the story...
One of the best lines out of this story, " comes in all shapes and colors...Santa always looks like love." This quote came nearer to the end of the book and truly sums up the whole book.
The two character boys, are best friends who do everything together. However, Cooper, the white boy,on one Christmas Eve, learns that not everything is his color or celebration but that with acceptance, friendships can grow and that learning about others should never stop.
My review can't even do justice to the above message. It is beautiful from cover to story. It is a beautiful message that if truly listened to by the world, it would be a better place.
I will just leave it simply at that. Purchase this book for your kiddos, it is worthy of the 5 stars I am giving it.
BONUS:In the back of the book, there is a recipe for Nickydoodles. Don't know what that is? Well, my dear readers, but the book and find out!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. The review here is 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle, Reading Authors Network
About the author:

Deedee Cummings believes in love and hope. Even when love and hope are hard to find. Young readers who see themselves in a book, and see what is possible, will develop stronger self-esteem, increased empathy, and an excitement for their future. These are the beliefs that drive Cummings to keep writing. As a mom, therapist, attorney, CEO of Make A Way Media, and award-winning author of more than fifteen diverse books, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. Her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, but they also work to teach therapeutic coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings is also the founder and creator of the Louisville Book Festival; a national literacy-based celebration that will occur every year in Louisville, Kentucky.