Hello From Kah Choon Yang, Fellow Booklovers!

*This is a guest post submitted by Lim Ting Hui Lucas*

Many a times, indulging in a great book is a fantastic way to kickback and relax for the evening..

If you enjoy reading action-packed adventure series, this gripping fantasy series is a must-read!

Titled Tommy Weaving, a boy had a past life in an old kingdom almost two thousand years ago. Bearing an unfinished mission, we follow him on his journey to save the trapped kingdom, ruled by an evil lord who led with madness and cruelty.

In this first book of the series packed with swashbuckling encounters and fantasy adventures, Tommy began his steps on the path leading him to a challenging and fascinating fate when he discovered an ancient parchment – containing clues that would guide Tommy to the tasks that were destined for him.

The best part, Book 1 (Tommy Weaving and The Mysterious Parchment) and Book 2 (Tommy Weaving and The Adventures at Sea) are both released at the same time so that you can get more of the exciting development!

Feast your eyes on our little teaser for Book 1 – Tommy Weaving & The Mysterious Parchment

Chapter One – First 2 Pages (Sample)

The Magical Chair                       .

On a starry night, while many were watching their favourite television programmes in their cosy living rooms, a boy was scouring stubborn stains on the floor of a flashy restaurant.

The boy’s lungs were pumping, as if all the air was trying hard to force its way out, as he scrubbed the tough stains determined to stay on the fake marble floor of the restaurant.

The boy was Tommy Weaving, twelve years of age, a bit skinny and looking as though his spirit had just been put into a foul-smelling prison cell at that moment.

His head was covered in dust and spider web from the cleaning work underneath the over-decorated tables, making his jet-black hair look mouldy and chalky. With sweat and dirt smearing his otherwise fine-looking face, his normally brilliant hazel-brown eyes looked empty and dull from the work that was threatening to wear him down.

Tommy and his parents had moved to Great North Road only a few weeks ago in their family station wagon, which was so dilapidated that it could easily convince anyone it was scrap salvaged from a junk yard.

With holes eating through the soles of their shoes, his family had flitted around a great variety of places for a number of years in several countries, where his father had worked. It had been nearly a year since they returned to New Zealand. They had moved to different parts of the country, with Tommy’s parents hoping to find better jobs than the ones providing them with below average incomes, but were still left searching.

The travel expenses had aggressively drained his family finances to an alarming level, haunting Tommy’s parents into settling in a place fast before their options were totally flushed away.

That meant Tommy’s family had to reluctantly settle into a shabby old weather-board house with wonky floors and doors, together with a new hefty home mortgage they had obtained from a private moneylender as a last resort. Saddled with an impressively wide selection of personal loans, Tommy’s parents could only take out a loan from a private moneylender instead of a regular bank.

The private moneylender, after learning that Tommy’s parents were overloaded with many other personal loans when he granted the mortgage to them, behaved more and more like a loan shark. He came every few days to remind them not to miss even the first monthly instalment on their mortgage, or they would have to face the prospect of living in their old family station wagon, with their luggage piled dangerously high on the roof of the vehicle.

Left without much of a choice, Tommy’s parents had to let their only child take on part-time work at the restaurant after school, since they had already worked to the point where they could feel weariness marching well into their bones, yet were still barely keeping up with the family expenses.

Their home mortgage was the most burdensome. Coupled with the monthly interest, it was growing speedily like weeds in the wild.

Tommy’s boss, Mr Martin Lawrence, owned only a moderate fortune but was keen on associating with very wealthy people. His ‘ostentatious’ restaurant had been given several makeovers, with as many fake and cheap sparkling decorative materials as he could afford, so that he could fulfil his desire of outshining the middle-class neighbourhood he was in. He had lived in this area for a long time, and had a gift of ascertaining fairly accurately who the truly desperate job seekers that came to him were.

He had a near-perfect idea of the situation Tommy’s family was marooned in after barely a minute into the first conversation with the boy. He moved to further grasp the extent of Tommy’s plight with his usual speedy background check done expertly on him the following day.

Therefore, he knew he would have the upper hand in making Tommy work considerably harder with excessively low pay. Tommy’s boss was a middle-aged man with a big belly. In fact, nearly every part of his body was big, and his fat head with a huge double chin easily gave others the impression that it was simply mounted on top of his shoulders—hardly any neck could be detected.

Mr Lawrence was fond of shiny stuff, which he thought would be particularly good for his restaurant’s image and would bring him great fortune, even more than his big head could imagine. His big eyes had noticed that many shiny things tended to be high-value items, like jewellery.

Therefore, besides keenly making his restaurant sparkle noticeably, he often spent an excessive amount of time turning his clothes and shoes into.. (to be cont)

Chapter Two- First 2 Pages (Sample)

Departure of the Old Man

Tommy gasped at the mention of the wizard’s extraordinary old age. He had heard of some very old trees that could live for hundreds of years, or close to a thousand years, but he had never realised, even in his wildest dreams, that someone could live for so long. The old man noticed the astounded expression on Tommy’s face and chuckled.

‘Yes, he was very old, but he looked like he was only about eighty years old then. I had quite a shock at knowing his age too. The duels he was involved in took place about a thousand years ago. I guessed he wasn’t an ordinary wizard, but I didn’t ask too much about that, since he didn’t seem keen on discussing it in detail, and he looked extremely tired after performing the charm on my rocking chair.’

The old man looked up from Tommy’s face, and through the gaps in the canopy of trees, he stared at the silvery moon shining softly in the calm night sky, recalling how similar it was to the night he had met the old traveller.

Speaking heartily, the old man added, ‘I had a very enjoyable conversation with him on that night, because it’s been a very long time since I last had a pleasant chat with anyone.’

The old man dropped his gaze to look at Tommy and said with sheer pleasure in his voice, ‘That was a wonderful time. He told me a lot of stuff that I hadn’t been aware of and I truly regarded him as my best pal. During our conversation, I asked him why he was travelling around and not resting in a safe place.

‘He told me he was trying to contact some of his fellow wizards again, and most importantly, he was searching for someone he had been told about by his grandmother when he was very young. He briefly revealed to me that the person would save the old kingdom he was from, as it is still cruelly ruled by an evil and mad lord.

‘However, he wasn’t certain where that person would be and didn’t even know if he had been born,’ the old man paused, shrugged and continued slowly, ‘well, if you ask me, I’d say that it would be a hard job finding someone under those circumstances, not even knowing if he was born yet. It was definitely a tough mission…very tough.’ The old man shook his head as he pondered over what he had said. Tommy shared the concern, shaking his head as well.

‘Oh, where was I…yeah, I got it…he told me he was on a search mission; and considering the fact that he was my best pal, I volunteered to help. However, what he did was to give me a scroll of old brown paper, telling me it was a very precious ancient parchment. He said that by leaving it with me in this suburb, according to his last calculation, it would help him accomplish his mission of seeking the person out, even after his approaching death. I couldn’t really understand what he wanted me to do, but he told me there was nothing further he could say, only indicating that we should leave things to fate, and then his face became stone calm.

‘Soon after, he just went straight to the room I had prepared for him, all the while looking deep in thought about something important. The next morning, before leaving, he stared at the rocking chair so intently as though all his hopes were pinned on it, and that was the last time I ever saw him.’ The old man raised his head, looking grimly at the shining moon, recalling the very last moments he had with the old traveller.

After staring at the moon for a short while, which somehow diluted the feeling of missing his old friend, the old man faced Tommy again and continued, ‘After that, the rocking chair kept me company. It really made me feel terrific as if I had gone to a wonderful world. Whenever I rocked in it, happy thoughts and feelings flowed like pretty pictures and beautiful songs in my mind, taking away the loneliness and grievances that usually haunt my life. My personality was no longer considered bland by many, and I started making more friends.’

‘Wow! What an amazing story about your charming chair. But, how did this special chair get damaged?’ Tommy asked, his eyes glinting keenly at the old man’s tale.

The old man gave a long sigh and replied in a sorrowful tone, ‘Soon after my rocking chair had become my closest companion, some people in this suburb discovered that I had a chair with magical charming powers and became very interested in it. They sent someone over trying to play hardball by making a lousy offer for it, thinking they could force me to sell my chair by behaving aggressively, but I flatly rejected their offer.’

‘Oh! So, they retaliated against you?’ Tommy blurted out anxiously.

‘Yes, and it was nasty.’ The old man’s answer came with a nod and an agonised look. ‘Several days after I’d turned them down, they found an opportunity to sneak into my house while I was out and tried to steal my chair, but.. (to be cont)

Hungry for more? Get it Now to get a FREE A5 Poster and Dive into Tommy Weaving Series! 

Loving the 1st Book?

Decided that you want to get it?

Check out Tommy Weaving and The Adventures at Sea (Book 2) here!

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Let us know, down below!
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Meet Superhero and Author Lee Marsh

Like BananaBoy, Lee Marsh is a special kind of superhero I was happy to connect with. She is a wonderful person and author but her superhero status tripled with me when I discovered she’s donating some of her sales from the book The Magic Within – Deception to very worthy causes.

Read on to see where she lives, how she was inspired and where she gives back.

Q1) Do you believe in magic? How have you seen signs of it in your own life?

  1. Yes, I do believe in magic. But then it all depends on how you define magic. It’s everywhere if you take the time to find it. As Roald Dahl once said, ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ It’s everywhere, the flowers and plants that grow from very small seeds, seeing through a child’s eyes etc. Mind you, having a magic wand to twirl around to do the housework etc, would come in very handy.

Q2) THE MAGIC WITHIN: DECEPTION is about a young girl who has moved in with her grandmother. Did you have a close connection and/or live with your grandmother at a young age?

 

  1. No, I didn’t have a close connection with either of my grandmothers, they died when I was very young. One grandmother I remember, on my mother’s side, was lovely, kind, tall, and I remember her wearing long skirts, but she died when I was very young, so unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to really to know her. The other grandmother was the complete opposite. Very strict, tubby although short, and quite frightening. So, I suppose Grandma Megan in the stories The Magic Within are loosely based on my first grandmother.

 

Q3) You co-wrote Mirimuss The Forgetful Wizard with your husband – was this easy to do? What did you struggle with the most?

 

  1. Richard, my husband, thought up the idea and jotted down the basics of the story. Then I just filled in the rest and the story was born. There wasn’t any struggle of sorts. Once we got going it just sort of flowed.

Q4) The Magic Within is a series, can you tell us if you always planned it that way or was the second and third book a surprise to even you?

 

  1. My good friend Lorraine persuaded me to write a children’s story. It was only meant to be one small book, but once I got started it took over. There were so many ideas tumbling out of the end of my pen to put it all into one book, so I decided to make it a trilogy. I usually write in longhand first and then transfer it to my laptop. Yes, it was a big surprise, and I still can’t quite believe three books have emerged from a small idea. But there are still so many adventures they are getting up to, so I will probably write more tales of Rosie, Grandma Megan, and Wolfric the wood elf, in the future.

 

Q5) You say this fantasy trilogy is based in magical East Sussex, what do you find most magical about your hometown and have you always lived there?

 

  1. I was born and raised in East Sussex and have lived here most of my life. After we were married, my husband and I moved to Southern Ireland for a couple of years and enjoyed our time there. It’s a lovely place, but I was very homesick so we came back to East Sussex. Richard was born and raised in West Sussex so he was quite happy to do so.

We have everything here. The beautiful south downs on one side where we can go for long walks, with forests, woods, wildlife and farmland together with farm animals. I love seeing the new born lambs, foals and calves in the spring.

Also, we are only about five miles from the sea, so we have a pier, beautiful flower gardens, theatres, and everything else in a bustling town.

 

Q6) What do you hope your readers get from these stories?

  1. I like to write family friendly stories, so I tend to write similar tales along the lines of those I loved to read when I was young. My sister always received dolls for birthdays or Christmas and I received books. I wasn’t at all upset by this and could lose myself in adventures for hours.

I hope my readers enjoy the adventures the characters get up to. There is fun, laughter, and mayhem as well as the main story.

Q7) Why should parents buy your books?

 

  1. There is so much death and destruction all around these days, as well as in books. All I can say is if I had a child looking for a good read, I would rather they read something like The Magic Within and Mirimuss The Forgetful Wizard, than anything that would give them nightmares.

 

Q8) When did you know writing was your passion?

 

  1. I have always enjoyed writing and did so mainly for myself, When I was away from home my mother always said she enjoyed getting my letters, it was like getting the next chapter in a book.

But since I have starting writing seriously, it’s like a drug really and I must write daily or I feel something is missing.

 

Q9) part of your sales for The Magic Within: Deception is going back to your local animal sanctuary and Cancer support – tell us more about that.

 

  1. I decided I wanted to do some good with any royalties I may receive. I chose MacMillan Cancer Support because they do such important work helping people who are battling this awful disease. My husband Richard’s best friend died in his early forties from cancer and his father also had it when he passed away. The MacMillan Cancer Support just can’t have enough funds to help in their good work as with a lot of charities. The animal sanctuary always need funds to help with vet bills, feed and everything else that is needed to keep these beautiful rescued animals fed, sheltered and healed from the trauma and injuries they have suffered in the past. Like my own pets, I see past the outer body and see the person inside. They have feelings and hurt the same as we do.

 

Q10) Any advice you have for reluctant readers or writers?

  1. A) I think if reluctant readers find a book on something they really have an interest in, say sport or a hobby, they will find they enjoy reading about their favourite topic, learn from it, and look for more. Maybe once started they will get hooked and try other books they like the look of. The same with writing, just sit down with a pad and paper and write anything that comes to mind. You’ll be surprised, I’m sure, at what ends up on the paper. I sit down to write and many a time what comes out is nothing like I intended in the first place. Exciting really!

 

Bravo and cheer’s to continued success, Lee and thanks to my readers for welcoming you to the site!

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland


Meet Author Kerryn Ponterart – Superhero of Another Kind!

I first met Kerryn through a Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Facebook group when she posted a very simple yet effectively inspiration picture of her three little ones and writing about her accomplishments. I immediately knew I wanted to ask her how she does it and share it with you, my lovely readers.

Thankfully she was able to find the time to answer a few questions for us which I invite you to enjoy:

1) The mother of three boys, plus a writer and illustrator – first things first – I am in awe! Any tips on how you balance being you while still being a mom?

Thank you! Being a mom is and always will be my first priority, if that was all I was doing, I would be just as happy. Over time I have learnt to work quickly, I make use of every half an hour I can find. If I need me time, I will use that time to eat chocolate and watch youtube, and if I feel inspired, I will get a bit of writing in. I feel I have a pretty good balance… it works for me anyway.

2) Was being an author always your dream or was that inspired by your family?

I always had this idea in the back of my mind that one day I would like to write a book for my kids. So one day when they were both napping, I began writing my first book. Initially it was just a little home made book with rough pen drawings. Soon after that, my friend said she had sent in her book submission to the publishers, so I decided to do the same. To my surprise, Penguin Random House decided to publish my book. I think my books work because they are inspired by my children and the things they can relate to.

3) What advice would you give to one of your sons if they wanted to follow in your footsteps?

As long as they know there isn’t much money in it and they aren’t going to bum off me forever- I’d say go for it 😉

4) If not a writer, illustrator or a busy mom, what would you love to do?

I would love to travel more with my husband. or be a full time artist.

5) As a woman who wears many hats metaphorically, do you like to wear actual hats?

I don’t even own a hat. My two year old however, is obsessed with wearing hats.

6) After a hectic day how do you unwind?

Haha everyday feels like a hectic day! My husband and I unwind together once the kids are in bed at 6pm. On very hectic days we collapse on the couch together, watching series. .

7) Your main character in your books is an owl – is that your favourite animal/ bird and why?

When I was a very young child my grandparents rescued a barn owl. I named it ‘owl’ and considered it one of my first pets. My grandparents always had a lot of respect for owls though, so I think that is where my love for owls comes from.

8) Anything else you’d like to tell new readers?

If I had to give one piece of advice it would be something my great gran once said to me “if you move your ass you can do anything.”

For more please visit her on Facebook and check out her books on Amazon!


Meet Children’s Author Shari Tharp

1) Congratulations on your success with your following thus far, Shari! Which social media avenue you do prefer to focus your efforts?
– Thank you!
– I probably use Facebook more than anything else. But I am really trying to use Twitter more.

2) Did you always want to write for children or did your son inspire you?
– My son definitely inspired me. I’ve always loved books and loved to read, but I never consciously decided that I would write a book. It came about quite by accident as I was telling my son a story one night. Each consecutive night the story grew, until the characters began talking. That’s when I said, “I better write this down!”

3) On Goodreads you mention your ideas come throughout the day when you see a drawing or picture that inspires you… has this always been your method or do you try to sit down and write a story from scratch?
– I do now sit down and write stories ‘from scratch’. I think about what children like – such as pirates and giants. And I also think about what skills children are learning to master in kindergarten, such as cutting paper, drawing people, writing their name, identifying and sorting colors and shapes, etc. Then I try to write books related to those things.

4) Your favourite fictional couple is Frog and Toad – what should new readers of this old series look forward to about their personalities and/or relationship the most?
– Frog and Toad is actually a series of books originally written and published in 1970. I read them in the 1st and 2nd grades. I thought they were funny and I enjoyed the relationship between Frog and Toad. They were best friends, but sometimes had ‘problems’ with each other that they needed to work through. They razzed each other a lot and I thought that was funny. Those books are still in print and I’ve recently seen them at my library. I love frogs, so I wrote some stories about a Granny Franny frog. They’re still works in progress.

5) Your Granny Franny series, be honest, is it based on someone you know?
– Ha! Sort of. I originally wrote the story based on this picture:

But, then, yes, I did loosely base it off my mother and just grandmothers in general!

6) What do you love most about writing for kids?
– I like to sneak in some adult humor. So that the adult reader and child are both entertained. 😉

7) Would you love it if your son becomes an author? Does he love writing now?
– Ha! After listening to me talk about books and stories for the past 3 to 4 years, he’s quite tired of it. He is now a teenager and while he enjoys writing, he doesn’t so much enjoy reading (or hearing about book stuff in general!). But when he was younger, he loved for me to read him stories at night.

8) Tell us about the best time you’ve had reading a book in public?
– I was at an elementary school getting ready to read my book, Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure, to a 2nd grade class. I was telling the kids about Gertrude and Toby and how they like to sneak off the farm to go on adventures and a little boy raised his hand and asked, “Is this a movie?” I said, “Not yet.” The teacher laughed hysterically and I thought, Hey, it could happen! 😉

9) Besides yourself, who is your favourite children’s book author and/or book and why?
– Oh, that’s a hard question. Of course, I like Dr. Seuss books. All my favourite authors would be older ones, like Madeleine L’Engle. When I was in middle school, she and Judy Blume were two of my favourite authors. I don’t read as much nowadays, because I am busy writing. That’s one thing they don’t tell you: Once you start writing, you stop reading (as much). In other words, you lose one of your favourite passions, but in the process gain another.

10) Any advice for the parent of a hesitant writer and, the opposite, one who can’t stop writing?
– Keep writing and keep learning about the business of writing. And after you write your story, find a critique group. The best thing I did was join SCBWI [Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators]. Writing is like any other job. The longer you do it, the more you learn and the better you become. When I started writing, I thought that my love of books and reading was all I needed to know; I thought I was well equipped. But I really didn’t know anything. There are word counts and genres and … rejection. Then once your book is written, there’s marketing; how do you let people know your book exists?

Thanks for joining us today, Shari and much success for you going forward!

Sarah Butland


Meet D.H. Gibbs!

It has been a long time since I’ve posted and I wish I had a better reason than I do but I’m back at it and would love to introduce you to a fellow children’s book author – D.H. Gibbs. Let’s celebrate her newest book – Don’t Go Mango Picking – and show her a great welcome by sharing and commenting.

1) How do you prefer to write- pen to paper or computer?
I prefer to write on paper. Something about scrawling all my thoughts across that white sheet of paper helps my creativity. Also it helps to increase my word count as I am always in transit.

2) What do you find different about writing children’s books versus young adult?
The most difficult thing about writing for children is remembering that this is a younger audience. Their attention span is shorter so everything has to be simplified to hold their attention.

3) You share on your site that you are honing your graphic design skills – do you create your covers, too? And do you offer your services to other authors for their covers?
Yes I do create my covers as well as illustrate my children’s books. I have never offered my services to other authors because I’ve never been asked. I suppose if someone wanted me too we could work something out.

4) You’re an explorer- where is your favourite and where do you want to go and haven’t yet?
I don’t think I have a favorite just yet. There are so many place and countries I want to visit that I can’t keep track. But for sure I want to go to Italy and see the Sistine Chapel, France and of course Amsterdam.


5) Has your family always been supportive of your writing goals?
Yes they have been. They try to help me out in whatever way they can.

6) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I have the most cliché advise, but it’s cliché for a reason. Never give up. Keep trying and learning about your craft. Indie authors are the most welcoming group out there and they are a great support system for your writing. You can do it if you want to.

7) You’ve written poems for ages 0-3 in your book Danny the Firefly – tell us what inspired that book? Danny was inspired at a time when I was now venturing into officially publishing my books. Many of my friends were having children and read to them before bed. As I result I wanted something short and exciting they could use as a bonding moment with their children.

8) Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite book?
Harper Lee and To Kill A Mocking Bird

9) Do you remember the first book you cherished as a child?
The first book I cherished was given to me as a gift. It was a huge hard cover book, I could not hold it in my lap. I had to sit on the floor with it to read. I think it was either Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty was the story.

10) Tell us about your writing routine – what keeps you motivated and are you an early writer?
My routine is spotty at best. LOL. But I am an early writer, I try to squeeze in writing whenever and wherever I can. For me, writing motivation comes from reading and sometimes the stories themselves because I think by they stalk me. When I a story has me in its grip I can’t help but write it.