Monday, April 29, 2013

Discover Author Penny Lockwood

Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.
It is my distinct pleasure to feature a brand new picture book by Penny Lockwood today. Penny has an information-packed article on Crafting a Picture Book for you AND a giveaway! Thanks so much, Penny!

Janet, thanks for hosting me. I’m thrilled we are able to do a blog exchange and that your fans can find you today on my blog at Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz Blog

At the end of my blog tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

If your readers missed my post yesterday, they can check it out at C.K. Volnek's Blog
Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting at Hazel Nutt's blog
There is a review of Boo’s Bad Day posted at Sue's Book Reviews 


Have you considered venturing into the world of picture book writing. Writing a couple hundred words is not as easy as it may appear. According to Lee Wyndham in Writing For Children and Teenagers, Dr. Seuss guessed he wrote and drew more than 1,000 pages for each 64-page book he finished! Picture books require a plot, strong characters, a beginning, a middle and an end. Putting all of those pieces into a book of less than a few hundred words can be a daunting task.

There are several types of picture books. This subject is covered in depth by Laura Backes in her article, “Understanding Children’s Writing Genres.” (Writing World, Once you choose the type of book you wish to write, you’ll know how many words you have in which to create your story. Third person voice is typical for most writers. It allows for a broader look at the story and characters. If your story isn’t working in the third person POV, try rewriting in the first person, second person, or as a letter, journal or diary. Most publishers don't want rhyming stories as they are the most difficult to properly craft.

You need a strong plot to keep the reader’s attention. What your character wants and how she gets it moves your story forward. Solving that conflict should take at least three tries, with each attempt becoming harder to accomplish. There are several conflict scenarios: conflict with oneself, with others, with the larger world, and with nature. Most often plot material consists of everyday situations such as play, family, pets, toys, friendship, and fears.

Moving the story forward can sometimes be the most difficult, but if you have your ending in mind, you'll know where you're going. There are several successful endings to your book:
1. Your main character solves the problem;
2. Everything leads to it;
3. Your main character changes;
4. No lucky coincidences or adults to save the day; and 5. Give the reader hope.

When you're writing your story, focus on telling it and don't talk down to the kids. You need to write clearly, so your illustrator will be able to see the story in his or her head. The words in a picture book are only half the story. The illustrations will bring the story to life, especially for the very young.

Read other books written for the same age group, both the ones which are good and those which are not. Take note of what makes one a winner, while the other mediocre. Have a firm grip on grammar and punctuation. Listen to the children around you. See what makes them laugh, cry, or be afraid. Learn to connect with your readersno matter what age they are. Read your finished manuscript out loud, give it to a trusted critique partner to read, read it to children (other than your own), then let it sit for a week or more. Study the picture book markets as carefully as you would any other market.

Some writers choose to self-publish their books, while others publish with traditional publishers. Explore your options to find what is the best fit for your book. Most traditional publishers use their own illustrators, so if you want to do both the illustrations and the writing, you may be better off going the self-published route. If you choose to submit your picture book to a traditional publisher, is there a market for it? Yes, but the number of people who believe they can write a good picture book is greater than the number of small presses that will take children's picture books. If you’re willing to work to sell your book once it’s published, approach the small independent publishers. It isn't always the writer who is best who succeeds, but the one who is ready to work at being the best.

By Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 7 years
Back of the Cover--Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house. Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home. When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house,
Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.
Published by 4RV Publishing
Look inside at Amazon 


Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non- fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.
Connect online with Penny:

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Come and Visit Me at the Children's and Teens' Book Blog

A non-fiction book to inspire and empower girls
Come on over to Cheryl Malandrinos blog featuring books for children and teens, the Children and Teens Book Connection. Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a writer, blogger and book reviewer. Her first Christian children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released by Guardian Angel Publishing in August 2010. Cheryl is a member of the SCBWI. She also writes under the name C. C. Gevry.

The ladies in the book

She interviewed me with questions that made me think and gave me the opportunity to tell readers about my non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. Check out the interview, then email me to receive a FREE study guide to accompany the book. C ya' there!!

My email addy is jqrose02 at gmail dot com

The ebook is available at

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Doing the Right Thing

Spectators, runners, workers, medical teams were all in the wrong place at the wrong time on Monday when they attended the Boston Marathon. The wrong place because downtown Boston was the location for a pair of mad men to set off two bombs in the midst of a spectacular day of celebration at the Boston Marathon and the wrong time because it was four hours into the running of the marathon when most runners finish the race. 

However, throughout this terrorist-born tragedy, the people in Boston did the right thing by not running away from the bombs nor losing their resolve to be strong and stand up to the terrorists. In fact when the bombs went off, people at that location gathered their senses and raced in to help the injured. They did the right thing. In this clip from NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, the worker at the Forum Restaurant where the bomb exploded pointed out they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they did the right thing.

Our hearts and prayers are with you all, dear Boston. 

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Five Star Reviews for Coda to Murder

You can pick me right up off the floor right now. I landed here when I checked out the reviews for my new cozy mystery/sweet romance novel, Coda to Murder. I discovered two more FIVE STAR reviews were added to the review section at for Coda to Murder!

Reviewer M. L. Lanouette said, "I enjoyed this mystery on so many levels. The mystery drew me right in, as did the romance and the inspirational message of the story. I read it in one night, couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this story."

Reviewer Rochelle Weber said, "It was a fun read about a woman who lives and practices what she believes. I can respect that, and enjoy my friend's talent for spinning a tale that keeps me on the edge of my seat wondering who did it and laughing out loud at the same time. Yeah, it's a great Contemporary-Cozy Mystery-Romance with a bit of Inspiration thrown in if you want some. I highly recommend Coda to Murder."

Download a sample of Coda to Murder at MuseItUp Publishing,, and all major online booksellers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome Spring Celebration Sale and Giveaway

Welcome Spring! The daylight is longer and the breezes warmer as we enter into anticipated Spring weather. Oh I know Spring is a bit temperamental at times. Last year in Michigan March was warmer than April fooling the fruit trees in to blooming early. An unusually cold April came along and froze the blossoms. Farmers had a bad year due to the capricious spring weather. 

I'm looking forward to a wonderful spring full of flowers and foliage and a summer brimming with abundant  fruit and veggies.

 To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I am offering my book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women at a 25% discount. The price was $3.99, but now is available for  $2.99. 

This e-book about careers includes interviews with fifteen remarkable women who have achieved recognition for accomplishment in their occupations. This diverse group of careers encompasses women in the arts, business, science, medicine, ministry, entertainment, and sports. Stories include women who have stamped out disease, made people laugh, earned Olympic and Paralympic gold medals, crossed the country in the cab of an eighteen wheeler, and many more chapters to inspire and empower girls to reach for their dreams.

Here's what reviewers say about this non-fiction book for girls 9-14 years old.

Review by: Sue Perkins on Dec. 14, 2012 : star star star star star
How many of us have dreams when young which we never realize? The women in this book have all achieved their dreams and are to be applauded for their efforts. All worked hard to get to the level they desired, but some had to work harder than others when life put obstacles in their way. They're not all high flying professional women, their goals range from chef, to minister, to scientist to gold medallist.

This book is well written and very informative. If you have a dream you don't think you'll be able to attain I suggest you have a look at this book. It will certainly give you inspiration for your own goals.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Rochelle Weber on Nov. 18, 2012 : star star star star star
This is a wonderful book. It contains the stories of several women in many walks of life who have pursued their dreams and succeeded in reaching them. Each story starts with the age at which the woman decided what she wanted to be when she grew up, and then tells how she reached her goal. In some instances the women went to college and got one or more degrees in order to pursue their dreams. In other instances they practiced daily at athletics or music. There was even the story of a woman who became a truck driver. Yes—a woman who drives a big rig. I’m pursuing my dream of writing and being published, and even I found it inspiring and empowering. Thanks, Ms. Rose.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)


If you are interested in a Study Guide to accompany the book, email me your request for a FREE guide and save $.99. My email addy is jqrose at gmail dot com. I will send you a PDF copy suitable for printing.

Here are the Links to download a sample or to purchase the book at Smashwords and 

Amazon as well as Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Sony.