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Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm a NaNo Winner!!!!!

If you had told me in May that I would do NaNo this year and win I would have told you that I could never accomplish this now. But somehow I have done it!!! I got to over 50,000 words on the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, "Jennifer's Story". Is it finished? No, but at least I have the skeleton and that can be changed with revision. I will put it away for a month or so and look at it again, But at least it is a finished manuscript and I am so excited that I am a Winner. I even changed all my profile pictures. At least for a few days. 

So that's it. Just wanted to get on here and post my certificate for my followers. I will be having more guest authors and will be writing more posts now. But winning NaNo is a big accomplishment for me. It is like standing on the top of Mt. Everest for a writer. 

I have been on the radio a couple of times this month, once with my show, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages and again on Dellani Oakes' show, What's Write for Me. I hope you will listen to both of them.

Until the next time, hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. My daughters and I spent it together and we had a great meal. Here is a photo of it. My daughter took it, because all I wanted to do after cooking for eight hours was eat! We made all of it and I even did the cranberry sauce on bottom of the photo. As I said on my radio show a few years ago, it doesn't matter how many people you have to your dinner. it should always be the same size. Just make more food, though we could have had three or four more people there. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome Author Cheryl Carpinello

Friends, today we have the pleasure of welcoming an author who is going to take us on a tour of the sites left over from ancient Egypt. She has included photos and we are going to learn more about her. 

Welcome to my blog, Cheryl. I am very happy to introduce you to my readers. It isn't often that I get someone with so many awards on my blog. Today, Cheryl has brought along one of her characters, Rosa, who will give us the tour. Welcome to Rosa too. So nice to meet you. 

A Virtual Tour of the Settings of Sons of the Sphinx
With Rosa

Most of us only dream of walking the streets of Ancient Egypt, viewing the sphinx and pyramids of Giza, discovering the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and sailing on the Nile. I actually did all of these, and Id like to invite you to join me for a virtual tour. 

Hi. Im Rosa, the one with the gift in Sons of the Sphinx. Im grateful to Barbara (aka Lionmother) for inviting me to her blog. Before we get started, though, I have to confess that I havent sailed on the Nile. We used another form of transportation in the story. However, my author Cheryl Carpinello has, and she told me all about it. Ive borrowed some of her photos for this tour, although she visited Egypt a few thousand years after me!

First stop is Akhet-Aten:
OMG. Its sad how little of this beautiful city built by Tutankhamens father remains. This was once a city of white, lit up by the sun and where its people worshipped the Aten, the sun disc. I remember the laughter and the scolding of the children running in the streets, oblivious to the carts full of fruits and vegetables pulled by donkeys. In modern times, all that remains are remnants of that glorious time. No photos exist; no pictures, except in my mind. I have surfed the internet and found a photo to share with you, but its not the same.

Second stop is the Giza Plateau:

To this day, Ive never seen a sight such as I saw that day with Tutankhamen. It is only when I look at the old texts of explorers like Napoleon that I see the Sphinx and pyramids of my time in ancient Egypt. It is still a breath-taking sight today, as Cheryl found out.

Here is an overall view the plateau:


And, here is the Sphinx. Notice the stele (slab) that sits between its paws. This stele holds great importance for Tut and me.


Third stop on our tour is the Valley of the Kings:

Tut called this place of burial Ta-Sekhat-Aat, or the Great Field. I simply called it magnificent, barren, hot, desolate, but OMG what a discovery this had to have been! It was impressive even 3000 years ago. The tombs of pharaohs. The treasure of kings. The valley of death. And not just of pharaohs! Oops, cant reveal too much. Better get to the pictures.

Here is the pyramid-shaped dome that watches over this valley:

                                                                                                                                                                                                               This steep staircase leads up to another just as steep that marks the entrance to the great-great-great grandfather of Tutankhamen. At least, I think I got all the greats in there!

Here is a better view of just how tall the Theban hills are in the Valley of the Kings.

Thats right. Thats a tomb entrance and goes down deep into the base of those hills. Trust me. I know.

Okay, Cheryls telling me that we are out of time and space!

Last stopThe Nile:

Cheryl took these pictures of the vegetation along the banks near Thebes to show that not much as changed since I visited there 3000 years ago. OMG, that still sounds strange!


Beautiful, isnt it. I will never forget my time there, even when I didnt think Id come home alive!

I hope you read Sons of the Sphinx. I’d love to share my adventure with you. Thanks. 

Thank you, Rosa. I know I really enjoyed seeing all of these places. I can't believe you have been to all of them. Now I guess we have to read the book to find out more about you. Lucky Cheryl has provided all this information to me.

Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

2014 Literary Classics Silver Award for PreTeen/YA

2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Back Cover Copy

Two souls
Separated by three millennium
One with a gift that is more like a curse
One on an almost impossible quest
Destinies entwined; one seeks to find herself while the other seeks his lost queen. To succeed, the pair must right the injustices 3,000 years in the past.
Only together can they fulfill The Prophecy, but in the process they must defeat the Pharaoh Horemheb.
Dishonor and death are the fate of the defeated.


Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

Buy Links: Sons of the Sphinx

Author Links

Author Sites:

Other Books by Cheryl Carpinello

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend - Amazon

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom - MuseItUp Publishing book page:

Tutankhamen Speaks - Amazon

Author Bio

I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. On Carpinello’s Writing Pages, I interview other children/MG/Tween/YA authors. At The Quest Books, I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

Thank you Rosa and thank you Cheryl for bringing her here to tell us all about ancient Egypt and what is left today to see. Your book sounds fascinating and I can see why it has won so many awards. 
Cheryl is going to give away a free book to the lucky person who wins the comment drawing. Wouldn't this be a great gift for that teen who loves history?

Until the next time when I will be hosting another excellent guest author here on the blog. 

Red River Radio Tales from the Pages will be moving to November 19 due to Thanksgiving. I hope you all will tune in to hear what our author is saying. 

Happy writing to all who are doing NaNoWriMo. I am doing it and as of now I am over 31,000 words on what some of you will be very happy to see, the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor called Jennifer's Story. It's all told in Jennifer's point of view. 

Happy Poeming to my poeming friends who are writing as many poems as they can for the month.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

After Release Party Continues Here!!!!

Thank you to all who came to the party on Facebook. I have decided to add one here too, because it is so hard to answer questions on Facebook!!

I am posting all of them here and you can answer all or as many as you want. Whoever has the most points will win a free copy of After

Here is the first question. Whoever answers correctly wins a free copy of one of my stories.
What is the name of Jennifer’s friend in If I Could Be LikeJennifer Taylor?

Each question you answer correctly you will get a point and the one with the most points wins a free copy of AFTER.

Second question. What does Carolyn wear to school the first day in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Third question. What does Carolyn want to be more than anything else in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Fourth question. To whom is If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor dedicated?

Fifth question. What problem does Carolyn have that causes her to be bullied in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Sixth question. What does Carolyn want to learn from Jennifer in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Seventh question. Where does Carolyn tell Becky and Janie the truth about Jennifer’s problem in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Eighth question. What kind of dog does Carolyn have in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Ninth question. What is my favorite animal?

Tenth question. What is Carolyn’s favorite cookie in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Please put your answers in the comments. I will get in touch with you if you are the winner. I have Moderated Comments so you won't see your comments right away.

Please also enjoy the party on Facebook:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guest Author Penny Estelle: Bumped Back in Time Blog Tour Stop!!

Today I welcome Penny Estelle who is stopping by to visit on the blog tour for her new book:
Bumped Back in Time.

Penny has prepared a few words to tell us about her book. I can't wait to learn more about it. The title is very intriguing!!

September 13, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort McHenry and the writing of what would eventually become the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.  

But once again, historians have left out some important information.  Sammy (Samantha) Brown, a 7th grader in Miss Wickware’s history class, played a key role in the whole process.  Without her, Mr. Key may have never been on the boat that gave him a bird’s eye view of the whole battle which prompted the famous poet to….maybe you just have to read the story yourself.

Bumped Back In Time Book 4 of The Wickware Sagas.  Take a look at 

A full moon lit up the bedroom.  Sammy lay on the feather mattress in the dark, staring at the ceiling.  The window was wide open, a breeze stirring the curtains, though it did nothing to take away the mugginess of the night air.  The nightgown Sarah had given Sammy was drenched with sweat and it stuck to her like a second skin. 

She got up and walked to the balcony.  Dr. Beanes had been right about his wife.  Sarah had sat Sammy down and got her a bowl of left over wild turkey and boiled sweet potatoes, which she inhaled.

The older woman tisked her tongue and her head shook in sympathy, distressed at the poor girl’s story.  “Your mother must be worried beyond belief,” Sarah said.

“Oh, I’m sure she’s freaking out all over the place,” Sammy snorted.  “And like she’ll ever buy this story!”

“I don’t understand.  You write stories to sell to your freakish mother?”

Sammy had to chuckle at that one. “No.  She’s just going to kill me.”

Outraged, the woman came to her feet.  “She will do no such thing.  William will make sure that you are safe!”

Staring into the night, Sammy smiled at the memory.  She had assured Sarah it was only a saying, but the woman did not seem convinced.

The sound of horses, riding up to the Beanes’ home, brought Sammy out of her reverie.  At least ten men, all in red coats, jumped off their horses and headed toward the house.  
A serving girl tapped on Sammy’s door before opening it.  “Please ma’am, Mistress Beanes would like you to come to her room, quickly.”  She turned to lead the way without waiting for a reply, Sammy, hurrying to catch up.

The scene that greeted Sammy when the bedroom opened had the hairs on the back of her neck, not only standing straight out at attention, but screaming “run…hide…wake up!”  Goose bumps broke out on her sweaty body.

Dr. Beanes was sitting on a chair putting on his shoes while Sarah was wringing her hands and pale as the snow-white nightgown she was wearing.

Before Sammy could utter a word a BANG BANG BANG came from the door downstairs and that’s when all hell broke loose!

* * * * 

Thanks to everybody for stopping by to take a look.  Bumped Back in Time is the fourth story in the Wickware Sagas.  There are five all together.

Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare
Ride of a Lifetime
Flash to the Past
Bumped Back in Time
Riches to Rags

These are all short, time travel adventures involving seventh graders in Miss Wickware’s history class.  They must draw a name from a box and do an oral report.  SOMEHOW, they end up back in time to get up close and personal with their drawn subject!

I also have a printed version of the Wickware Sagas.  This can be found at

 Due to the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner, MuseItUp is offering Bumped Back in Time for 99 cents for the first two weeks in September.  Check it out at

Thank you Penny for stopping here on your tour. I wish you lots of luck and plenty of sales!! As a former teacher I would love to have had such exciting historical novels to offer to my students. 

Until the next time, I will be speaking with Penny on my Blog Talk Radio Show Red River Radio Tales from the Pages on Thursday, September 25 at 4PM EST. Also on the program will be Ken and Anne Hicks and Lorena Bathey. 

Thank you to all of you who continue to enjoy this blog. As I mentioned in my last post, I was too sad to post this summer, but things are better now. Learning to live without my husband has been tough and continues to cause pain, however, I am very thankful I have my two daughters and the rest of my wonderful family to help me through it all. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guest Author Barbara Ehrentreu with Her After Cover Reveal!!

First of all, let me say how sorry I am for not posting this summer. It was not an easy summer to get through and all that I had to say was very sad. So I decided not to blog until I had something great to tell you and here it is.

My new YA novel, After, is being released on October 24th by MuseItUp Publishing!!! It will be in ebook form for awhile. If you pre-order now on the MuseItUp Publishing website you will save about $2.50.

Here is the cover for After, the blurb and an excerpt. I am actually my own guest author this time!! As you can see I also have my photo here as well!!

I have a few questions that I have answered by myself:

Why did you write this book?
Actually the events in this book were inspired by own husband's heart attack and bypass surgery. I started it during NaNoWriMo about eight years ago and it kind of follows what actually happened in my own life. I didn't have a chance to finish it then, but a few years ago I picked it up and used the first sentence for one of Margot's workshops. She loved it and also Lea loved it too. So I decided to go back and polish it. I had already finished it and had it critiqued and beta read a few years before. However, I didn't think it was ready. I was right, because it needed to be updated and also the characters needed to be tweaked a little too. It took me two years to get up the nerve to send it in for publication and then it was accepted! I was able to share the joy with my husband last fall, but he is not here to share in the excitement of publication. I know he would be thrilled for me, though.

Why did you choose the title After?
Originally the title was When My Life Changed, but I realized that all the events took place after the phone call. So I decided to try a simpler one word title that would convey what the book is all about. It is about everything that happens to her after her father calls. 

What are you working on now?
I have another YA novel which is called Footsteps on the Sand and it is about a 16 year old boy whose parents inherit a beach house in the Hamptons. He meets this cute surfer girl, Kristen and he wants to learn to surf. While trying to surf he has an accident and needs to rest in his room after coming back from the hospital. He opens his closet and finds an old surf board and his grandpa's journal. When he opens the journal his grandpa's ghost appears and this begins an incongruous friendship when he asks his grandpa to help him surf. There is romance and a little bit of conflict in it too. I am bringing this to the Children's Novel Workshop in Santa Cruz, CA in October where some professionals will critique it. I am very excited about going to this!!

Have you ever thought of writing a sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?
Actually I had not thought about doing that until a friend's granddaughter asked her after reading it if there was a sequel. If I do, it will probably be set a couple of years later and probably be in both POV's. Of course this is just in my head now. I am really trying to concentrate on one book at a time.

Now I am very interested in learning more about After.


After is a story about the struggles Lauren Walstein, a fifteen-year-old girl, has to go through when her father suddenly has a heart attack and undergoes bypass surgery. In one phone call her life changes completely. Lauren is a character with whom most teens will relate. Her best friend since kindergarten, Joey, is going out with her enemy and they have grown apart. Before the phone call all she thought about was getting a scholarship for softball, and the Mets. Suddenly she must deal with both her father’s illness and being in school. The demands on her from both ends complicate the story. In the middle of all this, she finds she is developing feelings for her best friend that are more than friendly. Is he feeling the same or is he just comforting her? In addition there is Joey’s mean girl friend Amber, who doesn’t appreciate Lauren being in the picture. Will Lauren’s father recover? How will Lauren cope with her new feelings for Joey?


     Let me go back and tell a little bit about myself. First of all, you might be thinking I’m a boy, but you’re wrong. My name is Lauren. I’m fifteen, and my sister is seventeen. I’m one hundred percent female. We learned about stereotypes in social studies and thinking sports can be only a boy’s thing is one of those. The teacher used blondes—and how people think they’re dumb or playing dumb—as an example. We had to come up with a few stereotypes of our own as our ticket to leave that day. It was then I realized my own parents thought in stereotypes.
     I go against the stereotype for girls. I’ve always loved baseball. Joey loves it differently than I do. He likes to play it, but he memorizes all the facts and can spew them out any time they’re needed. I like the flow of the game and the feel of the perfect pitch leaving my hand.                                     Our friendship goes against the stereotypes, too. He and I clicked in kindergarten. The first day of school, Joey and I sat together and didn’t stop talking the whole morning. My parents told me that when the teacher tried to separate us we both put our feet on the ground and refused to be moved. She let us sit together for the rest of the year. But the next year the teachers were onto us and separated Joey and me for the whole year into different classes. We’d see each other in the hallway and wave. Sometimes I’d have a little tear in my eye when I saw him and it didn’t go away for a long time.
      Before the phone call, there I was, eyelids drooping, in front of the TV, about to go upstairs to bed. Mom joined me for the last couple of innings. It looked like the Mets might do it. Though I tried, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was in the process of raising my tall, lean body off the sofa and placing one foot on the floor when the phone rang. Dad usually called Mom late when he worked nights, so I handed the phone to Mom and started upstairs. I didn’t get far. As soon as my foot touched the first step I stopped in mid-step. Mom was screaming into the phone.
    “What? You want me to go out now and buy you Alka-Seltzer? You have indigestion?”
     Dad never has anything wrong with his stomach. You could say it’s made of iron. I turned around and went back to the living room, catching bits of Mom’s conversation as I approached her. Even though I didn’t understand the reason for the phone call my heart started pounding and a sick feeling started in my stomach. I stood behind Mom.
    “You have pain in your back, and indigestion? Go to the hospital! No, I’m not going out to buy you Alka-Seltzer.” She slammed down the phone and gave into hysterics.
     “That stupid man. He has to go to the hospital. He’s having a heart attack. He is so insufferable. I’m calling the doctor.” Tears rolled down her face as she frantically punched in the number for the doctors we use. She described Dad’s symptoms to the answering crew and they put her through directly to the coronary doctor on call.
     “Okay, I’m calling him back. He’s insane,” she said to no one in particular, but really to me and my sister. Diane, hearing all the screaming, had run down the steps and put her arms around Mom, who was now sobbing uncontrollably, but still punching in Dad’s number.
      Holding the phone and wiping away tears she spoke to him again. This time it sounded a lot more like the way she spoke to my sister and me when she wanted something done for her. I wrapped my arms around myself and prayed this was a nightmare.
     “I called the doctor and he said you need to go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible.” Then she added her own Mom advice. “Take two aspirin and we’ll meet you there.”
     My life changed at that precise moment: 9:30 p.m. Sunday, September 24.And I never even realized it had happened.

You can find After for pre-order as mentioned before on MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore.
Also if you want to read her first award winning YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, you can find it here:

Thank you, Barbara for being my guest author and I wish you a lot of luck and great sales with After.
Until the next time, my guest will be Penny Estelle, who will be talking about her new book Bumped Back in Time.  She is stopping by as part of her month long blog tour. Also my Blog Talk Radio Show, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages will be on Thursday, September 25 at 4PM EST with guests Ken and Anne Hicks, Lorena Bathey and Penny Estelle. 
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