Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sweet T and the Turtle Team & $75 Giveaway

Today I'm stepping outside of my normal posts to support the release of an adorable new book. Cat Michaels and I have rubbed elbows on kidlit publishing social media sites, and I was excited to be included on the blog tour for her new book: Sweet T and the Turtle Team.

 Link to blog tour kickoff

First of all, I loved the book. It is a sweet educational story about a group of kids who work to protect sea turtle nests and help the hatched youngsters make it to the ocean. It is the third book in a series, but I never felt like I had missed out because I hadn't read the others--though you should read them too! The real Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program actually does this crucial conservation work and helped advise her on the content. If I have not made it clear, I highly recommend this book for readers young and old.

Second, Scroll down for more information about Cat and her new book...and for the Rafflecopter $75 giveaway. Someone's going to win. Might as well be you!

Title: Sweet T and the Turtle Team
Author: Cat Michaels
Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns
Publication Date: July 2017
Publisher: 2101 Ink
Number of Pages: 72
Recommended Ages: 6 to 11
Summary: It’s nesting season for loggerhead sea turtles on North Carolina's Gull Island. Nine-year old Tara (or Sweet T as her family sometimes calls her) is determined to see hatchlings make it safely from their nests to their ocean home.Summering on Gull Island with Great Aunt Mae could be tons of fun, but T is having a hard time making new friends with island children, let alone finding kids to help her monitor a sea turtle nest.There’s little sister Jenna, but Jenna is, well, little. Fuzzy is around, too, but Jenna’s blue stuffy rabbit gets lost all the time. Besides, a toy bunny can’t help protect turtle nests.Tara befriends Billy, a moody island child. He teaches her skimboarding and shows her the best shelling spots. But Billy stomps away when she asks him to read the “Turtle Team Guide” and join her in saving baby sea turtles. What’s up with Billy? He’s nice one minute and grumpy the next. And why does he refuse to join T’s Turtle Team? T can't figure him out. A tropical storm threatens Gull Island just as the sea turtle nest is ready to hatch. T must abandon the nest and prepare for bad weather.

  • ​Will Sweet T and her friends keep safe from the storm?
  • ​Will the sea turtle nest survive angry ocean waves?
  • ​Will Billy reveal his secret?
Dive into adventure, fun and secrets on Gull Island with “Sweet T and the Turtle Team” to find out! “Sweet T and the Turtle Team” is the third book of the Sweet T Tales Series of chapter books for early and reluctant readers by Cat Michaels, MS., Ed. With a glossary, comprehension quiz, sea turtle hatch photo gallery, and discussion questions, “Turtle Team” delivers powerful messages about protecting marine life while helping young readers empathize with children who struggle to read.

Pre-order Now ~ Available July 21, 2017

Author, blogger CAT MICHAELS, M.S., Ed., has more than two decades of experience helping students from kindergarten to college with learning disabilities and Asperger’s syndrome.

​Her chapter books and Sweet T Tales series for beginning readers tell of every day life with a twist of magic and mischief. Cat’s books encourage young and reluctant readers to use their imagination and solve kid-sized dilemmas as they enjoy reading.

Cat lives in North Carolina with her family, where she enjoys digital photography and graphic design, creates pocket gardens, works out as often as she can, and writes. ​
Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter Pinterest Instagram
Find Cat’s books on Amazon and iTunes
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift card or $75 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: August 9, 11:59 pm, 2017 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cat Michaels and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, here's a quick excerpt from the book for you to enjoy.

Follow the Tour

July 12, 2017
Blog Tour Kick-Off

July 12, 2017
Tickling Dragons (Excerpt)
Domestic Chanteuse (Promo)
The Blended Blog (Review)

July 14, 2017
Java John Z’s  (Excerpt & Promo)
July 15, 2017
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima (Excerpt & Promo)
PJ LaRue (Review)
Peggy’s Hope 4U (Excerpt)
July 17, 2017
Untamed Doodler (Review)
Bargnhtress (Excerpt & Promo)
July 18, 2017
A Wildflower Mom (Character Interview w/Sweet T)
July 19, 2017
Rockin’ Book Reviews (Excerpt)
July 20, 2017
Meg’s Blog (Review, Excerpt, Character Interview w/Sweet T & Promo)
Grab the Book (Promo)
Word Magic: All About Books (Review)
July 21, 2017
Sandra Bennett, Author (Review)
 Baby Boomer Bliss (Promo)

July 24, 2017
Raising Kids of Gratitude (Promo)
July 25, 2017
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog (Review)
July 26, 2017
Kay LaLone (Review)
July 27, 2017
Amanda’s Books & More (Review)
July 28, 2017
Deal Sharing Aunt (Character Interview w/Sweet T)
August 1, 2017
Stitch Says (Review & Character Interview w/Sweet T)
August 2, 2017
Eloquent Articulation (Review, Excerpt & Promo)
August 3, 2017
Reading Authors (Review)
August 4, 2017
Books Direct (Review & Excerpt)
August 7, 2017
Bound 4 Escape (Review)
August 8, 2017
Fundinmental (Review)
August 9, 2017
Bookworm for Kids (Review)
Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess Cover Reveal

There are stages in writing a book that bring extra excitement, a little giggle and thrill, and make it seem much more real and tangible than all those hours of slogging away and editing and revising. Seeing the book cover for the first time is certainly one of them. So I'll share it with you now!

I hope you love it as much as I do. My daughter Callista provided the drawings of the dragon and the princess (she did the drawings in Max's Wild Night and Dottie's Daring Day as well), and cover genius Kelsey Rice made it all colorful, textured, and beautiful.

For those of you who have followed the adventures of my real-life pets, this book is a new direction. It has actually been floating around and coming in and out of drawers in my desk for decades. I'm so happy to have it finally taking form to share with the world once and for all.

One of the things that always amazes school groups I talk to is the length of time it takes to publish a book. Not write it. Just publish it. Even when you do it yourself, there are many stages and steps that involve other professionals who have their own time frames and other projects to work on. With a publisher, authors often wait over a year to see their final book in print. Self-publishing can move a bit faster because you can focus on just that one project, but it is still a journey of many months. For Bianca, we are also going through the full six month review process that many publishers follow. If you want a book review from Booklist or Publishers Weekly or most other large (and influential) publications, they need the book six months before the publishing date. Bianca should be ready to hit the review circuit by August, so that puts us at publication in February or March of 2018.

Yes, it is a long process, but I'm sure I'll be keeping you up-to-date as reviews come in and we get closer to release day.

We are also stepping into new territory with a hardcover version of this book. That's what libraries really need to have on their shelves. Paperbacks are quickly torn and broken by young readers. So I will be figuring out that whole process at Ingram while reviewers are having their chance to read the book. I may even venture into audio book territory. It should be an interesting autumn this year!

I'll leave you with the teaser for Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess.

Princess Bianca had never set foot outside the castle walls. Not once in her over-protected, pink, fluffy life. But when a dragon is spotted in the land and fear spread that the monster has conquered the king and his brave knights, Bianca realized that it was her duty to protect her kingdom. She will have to prove that she can be braver and stronger than anyone believed because the threat outside the protection of her castle tower is more dangerous and magical than she ever imagined possible, except in a fairy tale.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Block Street Block Party

We had a blast this year at the Block Street Block Party in Fayetteville. I've had my eye on this event for the last few years, but there was always a schedule conflict. This year the weather was about as perfect as it can get, and the crowds were huge. It felt like the fall craft fair at War Eagle! Sales were great, which always makes Scott happy, and we met some wonderful people (and dogs).

View from in front of our booth. It went on for blocks!
I must admit, one of the highlights of my day was having a little girl pull money out of her own pocket to get a copy of Vacation Hiro. She had bought Why Kimba Saved The World at Springfest a few weeks before, and she loved it. Book 2 was now a must-have. That's about the best response an author can hope for. Makes it all worth it.

We will definitely plan to do this event again next year. Other authors have asked me if I'd recommend it for them. I have to admit, the children's books sell well, but my adult novel, not so much. So I'm not sure I'd recommend it for those who write for grown-ups. Maybe you could share a booth with other writers and split the expense. Always be sure you have something like a postcard or bookmark to hand out.  You always want to send folks home with some way to find you later, especially if they prefer ebooks. The day after this event, someone purchased a copy of each of my books on Kindle. It's hard to know for sure, but that could have come from a bookmark I handed out. I have bookmarks to go with each of my books. It's nice bling to send home along with a paperback, and it's good advertising for the future as well. That's my two-cents on that.

We take the summer off from events so we can keep up with the excitement at the guest house. June and July are already booking up as much as we'd like them to, so other work gets put on the back burner for a while. I'm really hoping to still get in some writing time each day. That's always the goal! But with guests coming and going, campfires, laundry and cleaning--not to mention the property still on the market and whatever editing work I'm up to--I never know what a day will bring.

My next book, Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess, is in the final gasps with beta readers and will head to the editor in a week or so. Yay! Callista has been working on creating the dragon for the cover, so all of that will be coming together over the summer as well. I'm sure you will be hearing lots about it in the fall. Never a dull moment on our mountaintop.

In closing, Hiro wanted me to share this photo of her lazing in the sun this morning. She thinks she looks fabulous and deserves to be admired. How can I disagree?

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and read something delightful!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Top Blogger Listing

I'm very excited to be listed as one of the top bloggers for kids about cats at Best for the Kids! You can find the link to all of us from this week by clicking here.

There are lots of other interesting bloggers featured, so be sure to check them all out.

I don't always blog about cats, but I may well have something to say after we attempt to clip Miss Fatty Cat's claws for the first time ever. She has gotten old enough that she doesn't care for them herself anymore and is getting stuck on furniture and bedding. This should be interesting!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Birthday Book Sale

As I mentioned last time, Kimba and Hiro are celebrating their 10th birthdays on April 18th. We are having a party over on Facebook, and you are welcome to join.

Also, just a quick note: I'm having two kinds of books sales during this birthday party (now through the 18th).

1) Why Kimba Saved The World is free on Kindle, and all of my other animal series books are 99 cents. 

2) Paperback are available at event prices for that same time frame. Single paperbacks are $10 and come signed with a matching bookmark. Event prices are--

Any 3 series books: $27
Any 4 series books: $35
Any 5 series books: $43
All 6 series books:  $50

My website shopping cart will not give you these prices, but if you send me an email at this link I will create a sale invoice for you. Payment can be made through PayPal or Square.

Now we just have to decide exactly what kind of cake to make these silly girls. Hiro has suggested that one made of Cheez-Its would be excellent.

Happy 10th Birthday, Silly Babies!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Service Dogs

If you've read Dottie's Daring Day, I hope you enjoyed the whole chapter about Champ, the service dog who works with a blind owner. When I first started drafting Dottie's book, I wanted to highlight all kinds of working dogs, but the story took off in another direction. Guess I'll have to write more dog books to get it all in. But I do want to take a moment to thank two of my best sources of information for making Champ a genuine service dog who is correctly portrayed.

First, here's a shout-out to my writer friend Ronda Del Boccio and her service dog, Jemma.

I snapped this photo of Jemma at a conference Ronda and I attended.
Look at that focus! She is READY.

Jemma is a wonderful example of a service dog. I have sat next to her at several all-day conferences, and she never makes a peep or distracts in any way. Okay, I may get distracted and take photos of how sweet she is when I should be listening, but that's not her fault. She and Ronda make a great team.

Ronda was a huge help in correcting my drafts and making sure that Champ and his owner were working together the way a service dog and a visually disabled human would. And I had quite a bit of it wrong. The axiom "write what you know" really means that you need to find out about those things you don't know as well and represent them accurately. I take that very seriously, especially since I write mostly for children. Thank you, Ronda and Jemma, for helping me get it right. You can follow Jemma's adventures on Facebook at this link.

Second, I am very grateful to the organization Leader Dogs for the Blind (who, coincidentally, trained Jemma). In my early book drafts, I reached out to them and asked what three or four things they would want kids to understand about how a service dog works with an owner. The number one thing they wanted to stress was that the dog doesn't do the actual leading. Service dogs are trained to watch for dangers, like cars in the street, but the owner is the one who decides where to go. In my story, Champ explains this to Dottie to make sure the point was clear. The group was a big help in directing my earliest drafts of the story and developing Champ's part in it. Thank you!

If you haven't gotten your copy of Dottie's Daring Day yet, my next public event will be Springfest on April 15th on Dickson Street in Fayetteville--right where the story takes place. We might even have Dottie come join us for part of the day!

I'll do another post closer to the date, but you can sign up now for Kimba and Hiro's 10th birthday party celebration coming next week on Facebook. 10 years old! There will be book giveaways and sale prices on kindles and kitten pictures galore. Even some fun videos. Join the fun yourself, and invite your friends. It's open to everyone! Click here for the Facebook event page. I've already started posting because I just can't help it.

This weekend, sweet Dottie and her human and diverse animal family, including Miss Slinky, will be moving again to a new (and much nicer) apartment in Fayetteville. I'm sure I will have many photos to share after that. Here's hoping for some better weather to make it all go smoothly. I think we are all ready for spring.

Have a great weekend!