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Saturday, June 25, 2011


KidSmart Books invited author Kelly Kizer Whitt to give us some insight into her novel. THE Gathering Storm, which was picked as a Book Of The Month, summer read for June by Book Reviewer Max Nightjar.

KSB: What inspired you to write The Gathering Storm and how long did it take? What's different about your protagonist, Evelyn Ashcroft.?

Kelly: I was inspired to write The Gathering Storm for a variety of reasons. Having been a writer for more  than a decade, I was focused on science and other non fiction topics. Writing a novel gave me a chance to use my imagination and explore my creative side. I had a dream that was basically a scene in the book where Evelyn goes down to the tent afer the Garden Ball, and when I woke up, I continued to think about what might have led up to the scene and what happened after. Pretty soon, I had the basis for my storyline.
      It took approximately nine months for me to write the story, which is a little ironic, because it can start to feel a bit like a pregnancy and having a baby - when you present your work to the world. By the end, its hard for me to believe that these characters who are alive and active in my head don't actually exist. At some point the characters did become real, and I was just the one in charge of writing their story.
     Evelyn, my protagonist, is a relatable character, because she is honest with how she feels. I give logical reasons behind every action she tskes, so that she is not seen as unrealistic or overly frustrating to the reader. She is both innocent and naieve, two characteristics often equated or portrayed as stupid by other authors, but Evelyn manages to be both intelligent and  pure. One of her flaws is she allows the more powerful people around her to direct or control her llife. In the sequel, she begins to become a force in the Ashcroft household - for better or for worse.

KSB:  Are you a Traditionally published author or an Indie?

Kelly:  I self published THE GATHERING STORM because of how much faster l could reach an 
audience. I  had another book published via traditional methods, but it takes a long time to find a publisher and then for the book to be released.

       I finished THE GATHERING STORM a few years ago but hadn't been persistent in finding a publisher or agent. The independent route also allows me to spend less time writing and sending out queries and more time writing - which is what I prefer to do.

KSB:  How many books have you written, and what is your favorite genre?

Kelly:  Besides THE GATHERING STORM, I have collaborated on one other book, traditionally published a second,  and have a third coming out next year. In 2001, I wrote the terrestrial planet section of the book, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of The Universe",  published by Harper Collins. In 2007, Trails Books, published my book, Badger Brain Twisters: Wisconsin Trivia, Games and Puzzles, and more. In 2012, my children's book, about weather on other planets will be published by Sylvan Dell.
        I also wrote a yet-to-be-published YA novel titled A Different Sky that combines romance with an end-of-the-world setting. I am still deciding whether I will pursue the traditional route in publishing that book, because young adult books with an apocalyptic theme are very popular right now.
       In the mean time, I am working on a sequel to THE GATHERING STORM, which I hope to have finished by the end of the year, so I can sell it as an ebook as well.

      My favorite fiction genre is YA Romance, because everyone can relate to those powerful feelings of the first time they fell in love.

KSB:  What kind of PR do you use to promote your books?

Kelly:  I'm still learning about the different outlets for getting the word out about my novel. I have networked among friends and family, through social media, and by reaching out to book bloggers. I admit that promotion is not my strong point, because writing is so much more fulfilling to me than marketing, so I have to force myself to do the leg work.

KSB:  I want to thank Kelly Kizer Whitt for giving us insight into her writing life and style,  and for sharing her views on Indie vs traditional publishing. We wish her much success with the THE GATHERING STORM and the sequel.

      A NOTE TO AUTHORS: Children, YA, Middle Grade
 Marketing your book is a Necessary Evil of selling, presenting and exposing your works  to the public. IT IS BASIC Public Relations..  If you need assistance in promoting your book, please contact GreenAnts Consulting and Marketing, Inc, for a consultation.


KidSmart Books is a subsidiary of the KidsmartFdn. Registered TM & Copyright: KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A. McKain, 2002-2011. GACMINC.. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Reviewers Reads and Recommends: The GATHERING STORM By Kelly Kizer Whitt

A Book Reviewer's Book Of the Month "The Gathering Storm"by Kelly Kizer Whitt

     I am always pleasantly surprised when I come across an author who has the ability to spin an entertaining yarn and modern day Victorian,  romance - that reminds me of Dickens, Dickerson, and Richard D. Blackmore's "Lorna Doone" - with a mastery of prose and with such ease. I would have thought I was taken back to the nineteenth century were it not for the silver Rolls Royce parked on the burial grounds.
       THE GATHERING STORM is both refreshing to read (it takes you back to your youthful dreams) and  entertaining, because of the unique main characters (a seventeen year old girl, and three young brothers) who demonstrate their wit, charm, and humor in remarkable ways, and never weigh you down with gut wrenching agonies of love and deception. I think it has something to do with being real and unpretentious, which is evident throughout the work. It also shows another side of wealthy people we never hear or speak much about, their vulnerabilities. As if money could do away with the fact we are all mortal souls with issues.

 Seventeen and a half year old Evelyn has just buried the source of her life, her (literally poor) mother, after a long battle with death. Because she is a minor she must stay with very... very distant relatives, "The Ashcrofts," until her eighteenth birthday.  Evelyn learns of the arrangements made by her mother,(before her death), from her mother's clergy prior to the burial. Evenly is the daughter of Mr. Thomas Ashcroft's dead brother. With much reservation and no other resources Evelyn agrees to the arrangement. Her first encounter of the Mr. Thomas Ashcroft family, minus Mr. Thomas Ashcroft, (away on business), is at the funeral.
Slowly, Evelyn begins to accept that her life has changed, and that she must adapt to new people and a new world. Exhausted and in mourning, she is badly in need of sleep, and when awake, a strong loving and guiding hand to teach her about her new world.
      Instead she finds the mischievous shoulder of strength, in her roguish, eccentric and non conformist cousin, Ervin, the most likely to be called the lazy Prodigal Son.
       In her search and struggle to find a new place in the world, Evelyn also uncovers, the inevitable hidden family secrets, that inspire hatred, confusion, and guilt from different members of the Ashcroft clan. A near death incident in the family pool, after a drunken lesson in the family winery  with the matron of the estate leaves Evelyn lost in a maze of confusion and love. She escapes to the gardens - a place of solitude, beauty, and reflection where she can lose her anxieties, and explore her feelings.
     THE GATHERING STORM is a romantic tale about a young girl, three brothers and a remarkable group of supporting characters that make for a very compelling story full of intrigue and revelations. THE GATHERING STORM, by Kelly Kizer Whitt is a book Reviewers, Book of the Month. We Read It and We Recommend It.

Genre: Romantic Fiction ( Middle School & YA).
Kelly Kizer Whitt has been a professional writer for more than a decade. Her writing topics cover science based articles and do-it-yourself home decorating. She received her degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in English and a minor in science - astronomy.
She published Badger Brain Twisters ( trivia, games, and puzzles) in November 2007, and worked for Astronomy Magazine, editing and writing articles.

The Gathering Storm is available on Kindle @,

Max Nightjar, Book Reviewer

KidSmart Books, is a subsidiary of the KidSmartFdn. Registered (TM) KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A.McK.(P)2002-2011 Copyright(s) 2002-2011, GACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 10, 2011

1-Author Profile Daniel B Ferry/2011/06/ Tumblweed Forts

Daniel B Ferry author of Tumbleweed Forts, was born in Panama in the 1950's. He traveled extensively due to his families military background. He has a BA in Journalism, and is a graduate of Cal State, Northridge. He resides in San Diego, CA..

KidSmart Books, is a subsidiary of the KidSmartFdn. Registered (TM) KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A.McK.(P)2002-2011 Copyright(s) 2002-2011, GACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reviewer Fran Lewis Book Of The Month, TUMBLEWEED FORTS by Daniel B. Ferry

Tumbleweed Forts by Daniel B Ferry is a Read and Recommends sci-fi, fantasy; book of the month, and great summer read, for children of all ages, and YA.

 Picked by top book reviewer Fran Lewis,
 "TUMBLEWEED FORTS" explores the world through Time Travel and much, more. We hope it inspires U to read and explore it's possibilities.
The following is an abbreviated synopsis of Fran's original synopsis of the book. You can read the complete synopsis on her website.

 Imagine if what you see is not what really is. What if you could travel through time in the blink of an eye - revisit your past, or flash ahead to your future and learn the secrets of life, hoping to create within yourself not only an understanding of who and what you are but others too.
     Protected by his mother keeps the planet of his family intact and aligned. She realizes Joshuas  desire for adventure and exploration, and his ability to disappear at will, and  the fact it needed nurturing. Still she allows him to explore it one more inevitable time.

Imagine learning the lessons of life from an angel or vision.
     Imagine leaving a desert world filled with armies; creatures that Joshua could defeat, and living among "The Clan of Desert Warriors" that he belonged to only to find himself going on a one time journey back in time. He sees himself as he  travels through time, almost like an outer body experience into other dimensions and different worlds.

Tumbleweeds don't grow near other plants or where the ground has been disturbed. Creating a tumbleweed fort is an art form, and the creation of these forts for children of the desert as depicted in this novella was nothing new. Children, as the author calls the knights, created the forts. Describing the construction and purpose was fascinating and sets the stage for our adventure.
  By changing dimensions; the boy Joshua, leaves the protection of his parents and his home, Joshua goes in search of his Tumbleweed Fort.  Before his family is forced to leave, and move to yet another world, kingdom, and life.
      In his travels, Joshua meets Zaleen, our guide. Zaleen is not what she seems, but I think everyone could use a companion like Zaleen in their life. Zaleen is our narrator and Joshua's protective friend. She points out dangers that keeps him centered and focused. Realities are quite different in each dimension Joshua enters, but the dangers are real. So he must find solutions for dealing with the Durs. Will the Durs capture them both, or will they remain together, traveling in the different dimensions eternally?
     What would you do if the only way to understand others was to read their minds and thoughts?
Take the journey  with Joshua into his past, present, and future. Let Zaleen guide you through the forests, the waterfalls, the mountains, visions of gray, and the many other places Joshua visits. You decide what kind of world you want to live in, and what us humans still need to learn. As he visits
 many places,  he learns much more. Just how this all comes together, you will have to read for yourself, and take a trip to the Tumbleweed Forts.
Author Daniel Brian Ferry gives the reader much pause for thought. This is a great book for kids and adults to read.
Fran Lewis - Book Reviewer,  (for the complete synopsis)

KidSmart Books, is a subsidiary of the KidSmartFdn. Registered (TM) KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A.McK.(P) 2002-2011.  Copyright(s) 2002-2011, GACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lorna Doone, Book Reviewer's Reads and Recommends: Book Of The Month

June1, 2011

Greetings to all from Magpie,

We have a Plan.

      This month not only will we feature a classic geared towards, middle grades and YA, titled Lorna Doone, we will also feature 3 new or established author's. The Book Reviewer's  Reads and Recommends - Book of the Month is a new approach for us to get the word out There will be four authors per month, chosen by top book reviewers for the summer. The genre is either YA, middle grades or children.
Each week we'll invite a book reviewer to pick her favorite young adult, middle grade, or children's book from new authors out and about in our literary and social networking  community. This will allow parents and kids of all ages to get alternative ideas on good reads from authors you may not know yet or "newbies" as we call them (newly published authors) of all genre's and we'll get profiles of these authors.

Review Policy

Our review policy states, that we are not reviewing certain genre's on this blog.
KidSmart Books is not inviting reviews on adult novels; occult/paranormal, related to demonism, blood and guts, werewolves,  spiritism, zombies and vampires. Otherwise, the possibilities are endless.

Hopefully the books and storytelling are both, spirit enhancing and teach children to develop integrity and character, against all odds or some kind of lesson about life, coming of age, overcoming adversity,  and interacting with others through wholesome communications.
    Mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, non fiction, historical, documentary, humor, animated - graphics,
 romance and poetry to name a few.

Thank U for your support and following, and we hope that children and young adults benefit from the fine works of literature we present on this blog.

                                                          Lorna Doone
                                          a novel by Richard D. Blackmore,

      The copyright is 1869 and it is a YA, romance, work of fiction based on a group of historical characters from the 17th century. The setting is Exmoor, in London, England around either towns in Devon or Somerset.
     The author had difficulties finding a publisher, and so he published the book anonymously (Indie Style) with 500 copies (print on demand). Only three hundred copies sold that year. Then, the following year, 1870, the book was picked up by a publisher, Sampson Low & Son, Marston and revised from a 3-volume book, to a single novel (2,168 word count) with much success. The original has many illustrations. The book has never been out of print since it's first publication in 1869.

That's what I'm talking about!

take care, (as we bring U excerpts from this classic book, Lorna Doone.


KidSmart Books, is a subsidiary of the KidSmartFdn. Registered (TM) KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A.McK.(P)2002-2011 Copyright(s) 2002-2011, GACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.