Stay Faithful to the Stories in Your Head
Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms follows the king and queen of Lamellia as the kingdom is dealing with the appearance of a human child. What was the direction that you wanted to take this book that was different from The Wicked Queen?
Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms is the prequel to Lamellia: The Wicked Queen. There was no direction for the plot except that I honoured the file downloaded to me by nature. The story line seemed absolutely piffle but it nudged to be told and I had to respect the idea as it came to mind. Perhaps I was paying tribute to Paula Hawkins words “Stay faithful to the stories in your head.”
In this book we get to explore more of the king’s backstory. What were some themes you wanted to capture in his character?
I recall seeing this big, ugly and brown mushroom during a forest walk. As I sat down to write the story based on that particular mushroom, it seemed natural that regardless of its appearance it’s going to be the story lead because I saw it first and the idea of the book followed.
Why did you choose mushrooms to be a large part of your world?
This book was not planned at all. I got the idea while out in the nature. One could say that the inspiration was fuelled by my husband, who likes to point out names of wild plants in the forest.
Being authentic with this story was important even though to some people it seemed ridiculous or not one to pay most money.
Some parts of the books might appear harsh to a child. I am not keen to block truth and reality from a child such as there are poisoning mushrooms out there or some human behaviours have negative impacts to nature.
I also remember one marketing person who saw the draft and told me that their child did not like the story and went further to suggest I write a different book based on trending topics at that time which made more money. It did not put me off because humans are different and our motivations are diverse. A child who is not raised to explore nature and its residents will probably not be excited by this book. It was essential to tell this story without money being the motivator.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on two projects simultaneously. One is a children’s Swahili book co-authored by Tanzanian writers. The other is of course the continuation of Lamellia story. For the latter, I am open minded to receive ideas for where Lamellia story should go but I trust to know when the end has come.
Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website
Can a lost baby girl find a new home in a world of enchanted, talking mushrooms? King Polipoli is kind to all who enter his magical kingdom. When he learns that a human baby girl needs his help, he sends out all his mushroom troops to rescue her. But the journey wont be easy. After all, how can the little fungi carry a baby? Or feed her? Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, and species must use teamwork and creativity to bring the girl safely to the kings castle. Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms is a delightful educational picture book for children. During the fun-filled adventure, your children will discover the importance of kindness, tolerance, and acceptance. If your child likes seeing beautiful illustrations, learning about nature, and using their imagination, then theyll love this charming fantasy tale. Journey to Lamellia today to have a fun time with fungi!
Posted in Interviews
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One of the joys of childhood is sitting with someone and reading a favorite story over and over again. The kind of story that sticks with you, and works it’s way into your heart. The Grumpface is that kind of story. It is about a grumpy old man that is cursed and lives in the forest of Ho. He captures unsuspecting travelers that get lost in the forest and they must complete a challenge to earn their freedom. If they cannot complete any of the three challenges they are trapped in the forest forever. In this story an inventor named Daffy Dan is looking for a rose to win the love of a girl named Bella. Bella sells flowers in the village but longs for a rose that she cannot grow. Dan thinks that if he can bring Bella a rose, he will have the courage to finally speak to her and win her heart. As he searches the forest of Ho, he gets caught by Grumpface and must find a way to escape or he will never have the chance to see Bella and tell her how he feels.
The first thing that grabbed me about this book, was the amazing illustrations. Grumpface at his worst is still funny enough to not frighten my four-year-old daughter. She fell in love with this book the first time she saw me reading it and saw the bright pink bird in the first challenge. The images throughout are all done with detail and colors that draw you into the story more. They complement the text in an artistic way as well as helping convey the emotions. The rhythm of the rhyming makes the story entertaining and flow smoothly. It is perfect for young readers, but not too silly that it will make parents want to hide the book after a week. One of the great morals of the story is to find the humor in life even when things don’t go your way. Daffy Dan is clumsy and riddled with bad luck it seems, it makes him relatable to young readers that are often clumsy themselves. Dan’s creative inventions all sound like great ideas and spark the imagination of readers as well. Grumpface is like the teacher or parent that just stares in disbelief at the crazy things Dan does. Together the pair make a memorable story that will leave you laughing.
B.C.R. Fegan and D. Frongia have created a beautiful and enchanting tale with The Grumpface. They manage to convey the fear and concern of Dan throughout the story, the disappointment he feels as things don’t go his way, and the joy he feels as he thinks he finally got it. The story touches the hearts of adults and keeps children entertained. It the teaches morals of persistence, compassion, and friendship. This is a book you will want to keep on hand to read for years to come.
Pages: 34 | ASIN: B06XFFK7VZ
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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Lucy Finds a Home
Lucy Finds a Home by Rolynda Tassan features an adorable little grey kitten who got lost in the forest after climbing out of the basket she shared with her siblings. It is a short and sweet tale about a lost animal searching for it’s place in the world, and comes across many different animals and struggles as it looks for a family and a home to call it’s own. It rings true to classic children’s stories that revolve around discovery and identifying animals, and the kitten Lucy goes through a series of emotions as she tries to find a family with the forest creatures.
This book is good for children because you can show them that hard-work will always bring in good results. Most children books have simple meaning to them, and the story about Lucy is the same. You can teach a lot of different easy to understand life lessons by following Lucy’s quest for finding a home in the world. When the story begins, Lucy is in a basket with her other siblings, and the picture shows that the kittens are free and available to be taken in by a good home. Of course Lucy doesn’t read the sign, and wanders off to go explore.
In her exploration, Lucy comes across animals like turtles and deer, whom all welcome her into their lives. Unfortunately, Lucy finds out that she doesn’t quite belong with the woodland animals as she tries out their different food and living situations. This can be a great way to help children learn more about animals and their habitats, while also encouraging them to be brave and try new things.
The plot of the book is centered around the lost kitten Lucy and her struggles to find a home. You can get your children involved with the storytelling by asking them who they think Lucy should live with and why. As the story gets closer to the end, Lucy has to deal with scary parts of the adventure like a rushing river and losing her dry place to sleep. Remind your children to be brave, just like Lucy was in the story!
This is an adorable, sweet little book that children will love. I liked the adventures that Lucy went on, and how it showed she wasn’t afraid to try new things, but was also brave enough to admit when something didn’t work out. My favorite thing about the story, and that I hope to see featured in the rest of the line of books that Lucy will be featured in, is that she never gave up. This is a great thing to see in children’s books, and as a mom personally, I’m always encouraging my kids to stay strong. Having a kitten like Lucy to remind them of when times get tough is a great thing, and I love that it is shown here!
Pages: 28 | ISBN: 0998331805
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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Things have gotten worse for our protagonist since we saw them last in Lord Athina. Danny C. Estes outdoes himself in the second installment of his trilogy: Lady Athina. Our protagonist, Jim, who was whisked away from the world as we know it and plunged into the body of a sixteen-year-old high-born woman who has just given birth is not out of the woods yet. Lady Athina follows Jim’s trial in the body of Athina as he tries to make sense of what happened to him at the end of the previous book. Feeling more isolated than before, Jim finds himself meeting both of Athina’s parents and realizes that he is now an eligible female whose parents want her wed. Still struggling to accept the fact that he is no longer a man in his late thirties but a woman in her prime, Jim rejects everything and everyone with the entirety of his being. Assassination attempts have him learning how to use a knife but he’ll be damned before he lets himself be married off.
Lady Athina is much more of an emotional ride than the previous tale. Even though he is in a woman’s body, Jim’s male mind is still infatuated with breasts and women so the very thought of marrying, and consummating said relationship, with a man makes the very heterosexual Jim balk. In fact, we learn that Jim would rather get naked with Renault, a female guard who is staying with Athina’s family since she saved Athina’s life, than with Wendell; the young man Athina was apparently smitten with many years before she was married off.
Jim struggles in this tale with the fact that he is not used to the frail female body he’s trapped in, but he also struggles in dealing with trauma from his former life. Dealing with flashbacks of his youth growing up in a household ruled by domestic violence, it is clear to see that his distaste for how Athina’s father treats her is founded in personal experience. There are some things that will translate no matter what sex you are.
In an attempt to flee marriage to Wendell, Jim/Athina finds himself/herself running from the safety of Athina’s father’s walls and out into the unknown world. Jim receives kindness from strangers who basically keep him alive long enough to be sucked into an enchanted forest and into the hands of the wizard who rules there. It is here that Jim reunites with Renault and discovers parts of himself he thought were long buried. With his newfound understanding of himself and his relationship to the body he now inhabits, Jim forges forth to write a new tale for Athina.
This installment in the Athina series is a refreshing change from the obsession with the female-form that the first had. Estes has a clearer grip on Jim as a person as he guides the story over more realistic emotional hurdles that the first book lacked. Picking up smoothly from where the first book ended, Lady Athina is a welcome tale of adventure and defiance that leaves readers begging for more.
Pages: 224 | ASIN: B00JSQ5XHW
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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