Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Dragon's Ring by Debra Daugherty

The Dragon's Ring

Debra Daugherty

Upper Middle Grade/YA Fantasy/Fairytale/Romance
Clean Reads
Coming: August 28, 2016

Sir James Trueblood is determined to capture a unicorn so he can marry Princess Isadora. The knight begins his quest, not realizing the Princess is following him in disguise. On his journey Sir James tangles with a witch and fights a dragon. With the dragon’s ring the knight’s mission is a success, but then he learns the unicorn will die if not set free. Now he has a dilemma, marry the Princess or free the unicorn.


A loud, deafening roar pierced his eardrums, and he felt the ground beneath him shake. James whirled around and found himself face to face with the most ferocious creature he had ever seen.

He had never encountered a dragon before, but he had heard all the stories about them from other knights at the castle. Nothing he had been told prepared him for this sight.

An enormous and fierce green dragon with thick, scaly skin glared at him. The dragon, at least twenty feet tall, swished its long tail back and forth, and each time the tail hit the wall of the cave, the room shook. James noticed that the tail ended in a sharp point, just like a spear.

The dragon roared again, and flames spewed from its mouth, while huge puffs of smoke seeped out of its nostrils. When the dragon opened its mouth, James saw that its teeth were sharp and jagged. His legs trembled. He could hear his knees as they knocked together, and for a moment he thought he was going to faint.

As the dragon inched closer, James took a step back and then moved to the left. The dragon did the same. He dashed to the right and so did the dragon.

James decided to run and hide from the dragon until he could devise a plan on how to defeat it. He ran as hard and as fast as he could, but the dragon was right on his heels.

Deeper and deeper into the cavern James went until he could go no further. He had reached a dead end. There were no more tunnels to explore, and the dragon was blocking his only way out. James was trapped and the dragon knew it.

About the Author

Debra is from Central Illinois and a member of SCBWI. She enjoys living in the country with her two dogs, a Chihuahua named CeCe, and a rescued American Stratford Terrier named Honey. Besides writing children stories, Debra loves to travel, browse through antique shops and spend time with her family. Publishing credits include CALAMITY CAT, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, found at She’s also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kids’e-zine.

Debra Daugherty's social media info:
Twitter: @dmddeb

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Elect by Laura Wadsworth Carter

The Elect

Laura Wadsworth Carter

YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Clean Reads
Coming July 14, 2016

One small crack and the Foundation will crumble.

For the past thirteen years, the Foundation has ruled Belstrana with an iron fist and has protected its reign with an army of meticulously programmed child soldiers. As one of those soldiers, seventeen-year- old August has done terrible things to innumerable people, though he wasn’t aware of it at the time.

But when one small accident leads to a major awakening for August and three other Young Ones, submission is the last thing on their agenda, and they soon find themselves at the front of a growing rebellion. Embroiled in a fight they have little chance of winning, they soon realize that deception hides behind the most unlikely faces and desperation leads to unthinkable acts. But all they need is a crack, and the Foundation will crumble.

About the Author

Laura Wadsworth Carter is a native of Oxford, Alabama, and is a graduate of the University of Montevallo. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2008 and a Master of Education in 2009. When not teaching American history to teenagers, hunting for caffeine, or writing fiction, she spends her time with her musical husband, their hilarious toddler whose energy knows no bounds, and two ridiculous dogs. Together, they live in Huntsville, Alabama.

Twitter: @MrsCarterWrites

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Princess Plume by Dean Lombardo

I'm pleased to welcome Dean Lombardo, author of Princess Plume, to the blog today. I was lucky enough to work on the edits for the novel, and I fell in love with Sara and her kitty, Princess Plume. This is an uplifting read for all ages!

The Protective and Therapeutic Power of Animals on Our Children and on Us
by Dean Lombardo

I’m a firm believer that domestic animals provide a social and emotional support system for people in need, particularly children. A pet seems nonjudgmental to a child, and is perceived as comforting, raising the child's self-esteem and making it easier for the child to express his or herself.
Whether it’s a cat or dog, horse or pony, or even a pig or goat, pets literally provide that warm and fuzzy affection that a troubled child might need when he or she gets home from a bad day at school or team practice.
You’ve heard that dogs are man’s best friend, and this is true with children as well. Our canine friends follow us around, play with us, beg from us, lay with us, and protect us by barking, growling, and acting as a deterrent against home entry or attack.
Cats play with us, entertain us, cuddle with us, soothe us with their purring, and keep our homes safe from rodents and other pests.
Horses, ponies, and donkeys, in addition to serving as steeds and work animals, are beloved by the majority of owners, adult and child alike. Riding these animals not only gets us from one place to another but also gets us outside and in tune with nature, away from an addictive digital world that would otherwise hold us prisoners.
Horses can have a magical effect on people, especially kids, which is a major reason they are used in child enhancement programs such as PEGASUS. Horses don’t care who were are, what our background is, or how popular we are in school. Children with disabilities benefit from the emotional, motor, and sensory sensations that come with horseback riding, and the child can learn to care for the animal through patting, petting and brushing.
And then there’s the donkey. Donkeys make us smile, and they make us laugh. Many of us grew up on Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and my own kids were entertained by the hilarious character from Shrek known simply as Donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy. Donkeys also are said to be able to predict the weather, and provide protection for farm animals from predators such as coyotes. Like horses, they can kick pretty darn hard and even mountain lions have been dispatched by their hooved blows.
Adults, too, can benefit from animal therapy. Dogs can provide a sense of security, serenity and healthy exercise for PTSD sufferers, including soldiers and victims of violence, abuse, and other traumatic experiences. Dog can be trained to respond to the needs of the PTSD sufferer, preventing further physical and emotional harm, bravely leading the way around the unknown corner, quelling our fears. The elderly enjoy the companionship of pets, such as dogs and cats, and the physically handicapped can be guided and otherwise assisted by their canine friends.
My own outlook toward life has changed for the better since I provided a home for a feral, barn cat, now named Padme. With definite Turkish Van genes in her bloodline, Padme displays all of the characteristics of the breed: she likes water and is loyal to one person in the household: Me. When I’m brooding late at night, she leaps on the bed and falls asleep on my chest and she soothes my troubled mind and soul.
In my novel, “Donkey Sense,” eleven-year-old Timmy Unterkanz has lost his father to illness, is in a strange new town, and suffers from extreme teasing and bullying. There’s no Fairy Godmother to come to this boy’s rescue, but there is a rather special donkey named Pedro. Pedro offers Timmy companionship and confidence, and helps him to relate better to other children, such as Kelly, who finds similar comfort in the ponies she rides.
So whether it’s under the fluff of a purring cat, against the greedy but reassuring bed-hog pressure of a dog, or atop the sheen or mangy coat of a member of the equine family, each one of us can ease our troubled minds and hearts with the companionship of a pet.

Princess Plume

Dean Lombardo

Middle Grade Contemporary
Clean Reads
June 22, 2016

Eleven-year-old Sara Massey feels neglected and depressed. After a haunting near-crippling crash from the uneven bars years earlier, Sara can’t return to her favorite sport of gymnastics without risking death or complete paralysis. Or can she? In a flicker of her desperate heart and soul, she adopts the kitten of a wild barn cat, and the feisty kitty gives Sara all she can handle, plus a jolt of confidence.

But as Sara begins her risky comeback in gymnastics and life, an imposturous Turkish sultan calling himself Orkhan Hamid arrives to claim the kitten for his own. Desperate for the kitten’s rejuvenating power, Hamid will even steal to turn his fortune around. Can broken-hearted Sara stop him and keep the cat of her dreams?

A fun and meaningful read for all novel readers.

Connect with the Author

Amazon author bio and bibliography:

Facebook author page


Dean Lombardo blog site, aka Dean's Den: