Author Archives: Literary_Titan

The Scary Snakes

Shelly is terrified of snakes, so much so she is unable to enjoy outings with her family for fear there is a snake everywhere. When out on a picnic with her family, she is afraid to even walk on the ground, and her dad has to carry her all over. She is worried that when she gets bigger and her dad can no longer carry her that she will not be able to go out with her family on these adventures. When she gets home, she calls her Grandma to tell her how upset she is, but Grandma has a plan to help her. The next day Grandma shows up with her yarn and knitting needles and together work out a plan to get past her fear of snakes.

The Scary Snakes by Tuula Pere and illustrated by Catty Flores is a creative picture book about one girl overcoming her fear of snakes. With her help of her, Grandma Shelly knits all sizes and colors of snakes to put all over her house. Seeing the harmless, fun snakes all over helps her overcome her fear.

What I love about this story is that no one makes fun of Shelly’s fear; it is taken seriously, and instead of making her feel bad, her family does things to help her overcome them. In addition, there is a strong bond between Shelly and her Grandma; it is heartwarming to see them connect over making snakes.

I loved how Catty Flores gave the characters so much energy. You can feel the excitement as Shelly gets over her fears and has fun with her Grandmother. The illustrations are colorful and have great details bringing the knitted snakes to life.

The Scary Snakes is a beautiful children’s book about overcoming fears and building confidence. This is an excellent story for kindergarten and young elementary students to learn how being afraid of things is normal.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 9523572989

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I Wanted to Contribute Something New

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Mortal Vampire follows a 300 year old vampire that slowly starts to regain parts of his humanity, including the ability to love again, can he figure out what is causing it? What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In the beginning of the story, the vampire Remy has no idea what’s causing the unwelcome physical and mental changes he’s experiencing. All he knows is that the changes seemed to have begun when he first met the mortal Angela. He had pursued Angela in the hope that she might’ve been able to shed some light on the cause of his strange, new illness. She was, but not in the way he’d thought she would. As to my inspiration, I love the horror genre. I’ve always felt the urge to write a vampire story, but I held off because I wanted to contribute something new to the vampire mystique. I didn’t just want Remy to be a lustful, bloodthirsty vampire. I also wanted him to be vulnerable, to have a conscience, and for some part of him to subconsciously be tethered to a past that was completely at odds with his current vampire persona. The idea for a large part of my story came from a zombie movie I’d recently watched.

Angela is mysterious and compelling, drawing Remy in. What was the inspiration for the relationship that develops between the characters?

I’ve always been inspired by love stories that start off in a tumultuous way, but end on a high note. In the beginning of The Mortal Vampire, the relationship between Angela and Remy is strained, mostly because Remy is afraid of the influence that the mere mortal Angela has over him. It was no small feat for him to overcome this fear, but gradually he did. His fear was replaced by trust, and that trust blossomed into love. By the end of the story, Angela had become a sort of spiritual beacon to Remy, a guiding light that helped him find his way out of the darkness. A true soulmate. I wasn’t able to see their relationship developing in any other way.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Redemption. Faith. The power of love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

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Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.

A Special Sweater 

Eddy is creative and enthusiastic about knitting. After making a pot holder decides he will knit a sweater. He starts by looking at designs in a magazine, then he draws up a plan. Unfortunately, he hits roadblocks towards his goal. His family thinks this project is too much for him and that he can’t get the right yarn and needles to make a project this large. Rather than giving up, Eddy finds ways around these problems and never gives up on his vision. Even when it takes him months to complete the project, he keeps going and finding solutions to every problem he encounters. In the end, Eddy is proud of his hard work and dedication; nothing anyone says will diminish his happiness.

A Special Sweater by children’s author Tuula Pere is a heartwarming children’s book about dedication and determination. Eddy learns to knit, and even when everyone around tells him making a sweater is too much work or trouble, he refuses to give up. Instead, he makes the best of the supplies he is given, even if they are not what he needs or wants for his vision. The ability to adapt to his situation and the make the best is a valuable lesson that children can learn from.

I love how Eddy keeps going, takes every obstacle, and finds a way around it. So many books have things work out easily. This one really showcases how important a good attitude is to turning something into a magical experience. When things don’t work out how he wants he adjusts his vision and perspective to see the project through.

A Special Sweater is an inspirational picture book that will show children that they can achieve their dreams even when there are obstacles in the way. They will learn that having a good attitude is key to finding a way through challenges in life. This is an excellent book for families and classrooms to have.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09K6M3CHL

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Write a Children’s Book Was on My Bucket List

Cindy Van Rooy Author Interview

Ten Precious Pigs follows a family of piggies as they finish eating and head off on their own adventures, eventually all coming back together at bedtime_._ What was the inspiration for your story?

I knew I wanted to write a children’s book, and of course I love numbers and counting (I’m an accountant). I have loved anything to do with cute little pigs since I was a little girl. So, I decided to write a book about counting and cute pigs who go on exciting adventures.

What was your favorite scene in this story?

I had so much fun creating each pig’s adventure scene, but I think my favorite scene in the story is when all the pigs come home. They are all exhausted from their fun escapades and they pile up together by the fireplace to sleep.

What inspired you to become a children’s author?

A long time ago, I was in college studying for a degree in Elementary Education. One of the assignments in my Children’s Literature class was to use any means available to create artwork for a scene of a children’s book. I enjoyed this assignment so much that I decided to add “write a children’s book” to my bucket list.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Actually my husband, Bill, and I are working on a book together. It’s going to be a series of books. The series is going to be focused on a variety of everyday life events which cause children to be nervous or have anxiety. The first in the series is about a brother and sister going to daycare for the first time. I am hoping we will have it ready to publish by the end of 2022.

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Ten precious pigs are munching at the trough. One by one, each pig runs off to go on an adventure. What fun adventure does each pig choose? After each pig runs off, can you count the pigs still munching at the trough?

Ten Precious Pigs is an adorable picture book for children ages 3-5 years. It tells a story full of the fun and silly adventures of ten pigs. By using rhymes and repetition, the story teaches young children how to count to ten.

If you like counting, pigs who do funny things, and adventures, this book is for you!

To complement learning, ask your child the name of each animal in the farmyard.

Weaving History Into My Story

Ellen Read Author Interview

The Feathered Nest follows Alexandra as she’s wrapped up in a murder mystery involving bird smuggling. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Norfolk Island itself was my initial inspiration for The Feathered Nest, and because the Green Parrot is endemic to the island, it seemed obvious to revolve the story around the parrot. Also Norfolk Island is the home of the descendants of the HMS Bounty.

Without using the names of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, and by imagining a couple of extra seamen, I was able to weave the history of the island into my story. Preceding the arrivals of the Bounty descendants, Norfolk Island was a penal settlement for Australia early days. For a small island, it possesses a huge history.

Alexandra Archer is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

In the first book of the series, and all are standalone with a new murder mystery in each, Alexandra had just finished a season in Melbourne’s society. However, she tired of endless lunches, dinner parties and other functions, and wanted to work in her family’s antique business. Set in the 1920s, Alexandra is nevertheless a modern woman.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In The Feathered Nest, Alexandra is made the expedition’s official photographer as they head off to Norfolk Island. I wanted to explore women’s roles in the late 1920s and I did this through fashion innovations and roles in society. Alexandra is always looking at new fashions that offer freedom of movement and style. She has clothes designed for her trip that include culottes and men’s style of boots for walking through the rainforest. I also wanted to highlight bird smuggling, which still happens today with exotic birds such as parrots. I also mention whaling, which in the 1920s was still practised on Norfolk Island. Alexandra is at first appalled until it’s explained to her that whaling was only undertaken by seamen in small boats with a harpoon. No whaling on a huge commercial scale that we know today was carried out on Norfolk Island.

What can readers expect in book 5 of your The Thornton Mysteries series?

Book 5 is set at Thornton Park where a conference is being held. Experts from around the world are going to speak about their myths and philosophies concerning immortality. No one, least of all Alexandra, expects it to become a deadly search for the secrets to eternal life. Alexandra is pregnant. Caught up in a miasma of myths and dark tales, she comes to believe that for her baby to live, she must die.

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Murder comes to Norfolk Island, but is the killer after Alexandra Archer’s Tahitian black pearl or a lost illustration of the rare green parrot?
The Thorntons mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, a small island in the South Pacific, to study the green parrot and set up research programmes to help protect it and other endangered birds. As a birthday surprise, Alexandra’s father tells her she is to be their official photographer. He also gives her a black pearl brooch that Alexandra’s great-grandfather had bought off a merchant in Hong Kong in the 1850s. The pearls are Tahitian black pearls.
Before they depart Melbourne, they learn that Norfolk Island has had its first murder. It sends ripples of unease through Alexandra. She hoped she could escape murder on this small island paradise.
Alexandra is astonished to learn that the main inhabitants of Norfolk Island are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Once on the island, she wonders if this is why her Tahitian black pearl brooch causes such interest.
A chain of events is set in motion, commencing with a threat on the life of one of their expedition members, followed by intrigue surrounding bird smuggling and a lost illustration of the green parrot. Then two of their team are murdered.
Alexandra is determined to find the answers and nearly loses her life in the process.

Count and Play with K Dot

Count and Play with K Dot, The Little-Bitty Learning Ladybug: Learning Numbers 1-10 is More Fun with a Friend! by author Kimberly Becker is a colorful and fun way to introduce the concept of counting to children. K Dot the ladybug wants to be your friend and together you go on an adventure to learn to count from one to ten. How many new friends can you make as you learn the numbers 1- 10?

This engaging picture book is filled with bright colors and K Dot is a welcoming and friendly character that children will be drawn to right away. Each page has a simple illustration, perfect for babies and toddlers. From the beginning of the story, young readers will be asked to engage in the story as K Dot asks what their name is and if they want to be friends. This makes the book an active reading story from the start and encourages children to do more than sit and listen.

The story’s rhyme is a classic children’s song that the author has turned into an imaginative story. Adults will recognize the nostalgic rhyme while giving children a fresh look, thanks to K Dot’s jovial personality. Becker has done a great job bringing this classic to the next generation of children. I am happy that she kept the last line, “sit on a big fat hen,” which has always been my favorite part.

Count and Play with K Dot, The Little-Bitty Learning Ladybug: Learning Numbers 1-10 is More Fun with a Friend! is an excellent book for preschools and one of a child’s first books. The creative illustrations and musical rhymes will provide entertainment, and with so many new friends joining K Dot, the story will never get old or boring to read. Children will enjoy counting the bugs sounding each number as K Dot signs her song.

Pages 42: ASIN : B09Z2733SZ

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The Fox’s Palace

Francis the Fox is living in the city near the sea. He wants his family to be proud of him, and he sends them photos and letters saying how wonderful he is doing. The problem is, it is all a lie, so he doesn’t want his family to come to visit him. Francis, however, comes up with a plan to make all his lies the truth and build his dream of Fox’s Palace. He makes some poor choices and tricks people into trying and making his dream a reality, but in the end, he discovers it doesn’t pay to lie and cheat people.

Children’s author Tuula Pere has written yet another fantastic and meaningful children’s book. This story teaches kids about the value of being honest and how being untruthful will only cause more considerable trouble in the end. Francis learns this by ending up in jail. While the message is important, it is told gently so that kindergarten children and young elementary students can comprehend it.

I loved the artwork done by Andrea Alemanno, the seaside was beautiful, and the characters really came to life. The colorful images will draw in children and the detailed work will keep them engaged throughout the story. Despite Francis being a sneaky fox, he does not come across as scary or evil. This helps to show that even when people make bad choices, they are not bad people. Mayor William Wolf allows Francis to see what he did was wrong and forgives him while ensuring that the fox knows he can not treat people so poorly.

Tuula Pere has taken some challenging topics and presented them so that children can follow along and understand actions have consequences. This beautiful children’s book would make a great addition to a classroom or library with an important message on how people should treat one another and the value of honesty.

Pages: 44 | ISBN : 9523572865

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I Believe In The Power Of Words

Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Fox’s City is the delightful tale of one fox’s plan to outwit a city and have his way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The adventures of Francis the Fox reflect social and political setups in many countries as well as in international contexts – unfortunately. Stories start to live in my head when I read or hear something absurd, annoying, or unreasonable in the news or public discussion.

My background as a Ph.D. in Law is sometimes reflected in my fox stories, where the appropriateness and legality are constantly tested, and the boundaries are sometimes crossed. Social justice and the rights of individuals are valuable to me, and I want to speak for them. As my tool to influence, I have chosen the one I feel most comfortable with, the use of words.

I believe in the power of words. I want to write about social and political problems in a way that works for children. I think children’s books can prepare them to meet certain realities they encounter in the world – at least as they grow up.

When reading “The Fox’s City” with adult eyes, we find some severe themes between the lines. It talks about the pursuit of power by any means, societal manipulation, and limitations on freedom of speech. Telling about the activities and wrongdoings of this power-hungry fox makes children think about justice and the effects and consequences of different actions. Nothing wrong with opening one’s eyes already at an early age!

All of your books are so artful and creative. What is your writing process like?

Thank you! Hearing this makes an author happy! As I write books, I try to give my best. I genuinely value children as a target group. I try to reach a level that is more than pure entertainment – though I understand it’s needed, too. I have been fortunate to find skilled and ambitious illustrators for my books. They add their spices to the stories and interpret them in a visually exciting way. I find this co-operation very stimulating.

In my stories, I want to combine child-like and free imagination and creativity with the knowledge and experience of life I have gathered. There is so much to remember and share!

Sometimes it feels like having an endless story library or warehouse in my head. I can adventure there alone and taste the content, or I can pick something out and write a story for others if I feel like that. I can honestly say that writing is like breathing for me—an equally important and equally natural way to live.

I write when I am happy, excited, sad, or irritable — whenever there is a lively movement in my mind and thoughts need to be expressed in words to others. But I also write when there is peace of mind and a calm feeling prevails. Emotional states affect what kind of things I want to write about and how I do it.

Often the stories are almost ready-made packages in my head. I can take them out whenever I need to. The stimulus can come from inside or outside of me. When writing starts, it’s a go! I enjoy the flow of the story, and I can’t stop in the middle. The time for a more detailed examination and corrections will come later. Before that, the intense feeling must calm down.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?

As a continuation of the previous answer, I could say that the most challenging stages in my work are placed on both sides of the actual writing stage.

Before the story gets on paper, the biggest dilemma is the overwhelming amount of ideas. I’m so excited about so many writing possibilities all the time that it’s hard to choose which one to tackle first. I would like to accomplice so much simultaneously that it exceeds the strength of one person. I have to limit and control my enthusiasm!

The congestion of ideas I described above is a positive dilemma that I actually enjoy. More problematic is the phase after creative writing, where you have to delve into grinding, editing, and proofreading the text. It would be wonderful if I could leave that later stage more in the hands of others, and I could just grab another inspiring story and write a new book about it.

Will readers be able to see Francis the Fox in any of your future books?

I have already published two books about this fox villain, “The Fox’s City” and “The Fox’s Palace,” and the following three books are in the process already.

Francis the Fox has become such a “friend” to me that I must continue with him! I completed the Finnish version of the third book in the series yesterday, and the next two are waiting for my “summer vacation.” The following subjects are also captured from the society and politics around, and the storylines are ready in my head for writing out.

Writing about society and politics in a child-appropriate way will be much fun again! I believe a suitable amount of satire also works in children’s books! Especially if the protagonist is a villain like my Francis the Fox. I have to admit, writing about villains and various bad guys is sometimes fun. I can bring up contradictions and create moral tests for the readers. But goodness and honesty always win at the end of my stories.

Interestingly, some of my readers have wished Francis the Fox “tougher penalties” in the end. In real life, it might have happened. But a fairy tale is a fairy tale, and Francis continues his journey into new attempts and mistakes. Just wait for the following three books to come! Very current subjects!

I think children need clever books about society, too. After all, we have to try to understand this strange world starting from our childhood.

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Francis the Fox has great plans for the future. Leaving his den behind, he marches to the city in his shiny boots to meet the mayor, William the Wolf.
When the old wolf mayor goes on a fishing trip on a deserted island, Francis talks him into letting Francis serve as substitute mayor. But Francis’s greed for power and actions quickly make city residents uneasy. There’s something suspicious going on in the library attic, and the city’s carrier pigeons have disappeared mysteriously.
Will Francis ruin the upcoming soccer match with a rival team? And will it be a friendly match as always before?
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