Saturday, December 20, 2014

How can Ashton run so fast?-Faster than USAIN BOLT?

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Extract from  Ash the Flash

"Kenroy was the first to spot the very mysterious green bottle sitting inside one of the  cupboards. The glass door of the cupboard was dusty, but he could see that it was about the size of a small ketchup bottle, partially covered in cobwebs. The top was small and the bottom jutted out like whatever was inside was causing the plastic to bulge. Kenroy rattled the cupboard a little and whistled with delight as the door easily creaked open.

“Hey Ash! Guess who just found Aladdin’s Magic Lamp?”

Ashton was across the room, busy looking at tripods, old Bunsen burners and other junk strewn all over the musty room. Kenroy examined the strange bottle, it didn’t have a label like most of the other vials and jars in the lab, and he couldn’t see what was inside it.

As Ashton came over to have a look, Kenroy began shaking the bottle vigorously. Then he started laughing like a maniac, like he’d seen mad scientists do on television shows do. Ashton jumped back, knocking over a small skeleton that had an arm and a few ribs missing.

“See what you made me do? Careful with that!” he cautioned as he picked up the skeleton. “You know Uncle Norman told us not to touch anything.” With a silly grin on his face Kenroy crept closer to Ashton, still shaking the bottle and laughing crazily."

Get it at

Sunday, December 14, 2014

DROG the Dreggen

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Three Jamaican Musketeers - Porty, Atty, Ram (and Darty)

I have several of these shorter ( Hi/Low) stories so I decided to put them up as ebooks on amazon and see what happens..

Originally this was to be a one off story then I decided to make it a Three Jamaican Musketeers series  This is the first, entitled Shiney is Missing.

New to the seventh grade, Porty, Atty and Ram become close friends and are nicknamed after the Three Musketeers in Alexandre Dumas' Story. They decide to try to solve  mysterious happenings at their school, as well as the disappearance of a girl named Shiney. Along the way they are joined by a fourth very amusing boy, nicknamed Darty. To solve the mystery they have to go to their school at night to keep watch. This leads to a scary adventure.

Lots of things to chuckle at in this story which should appeal to boys, in particular. Recommended for Grades 4 to 6. Age range (approx) 9 to 13.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Diane Browne's two new ebooks on amazon

  The Ring and the Roaring Water

Age range  10 to 14 years

Diane Browne has just published as ebooks on Amazon the first two books in her Time Mill Adventure series. Their titles are – A Tumbling World… A Time of Fire and The Ring and the Roaring Water. Both books are in the historical sci-fi genre as the protagonists travel through time in a machine dubbed the Time Mill.
Vanessa and Kerry two early teen girls are sent to spend their summer holiday in a rural area of Jamaica with their Uncle George and Aunt Edith. What started off as a boring holiday turns out very differently when they discover that Uncle George, who they think is an unsuccessful scientist, has actually built a time machine (the Time Mill)  which actually works. 

They agree to test the machine, and in the first of the adventures, in A Tumbling World … A Time of Fire, they are taken back to the past when a devastating earthquake struck the city of Kingston in 1907. How they survive the dangers of that experience and manage to return to their own time makes very interesting reading.

In the second book, The Ring and the Roaring Water, they once again enter the Time Mill, this time to go back to try to solve the mystery of a lost ring which had created a rift between the families of both Uncle George and Aunt Edith. The lost ring has turned up in present time in a desk in their room, but someone in past time had been accused of stealing it and somehow Aunt Edith was involved. The girls feel they that if they can find out the truth of what happened, they can relieve Aunt Edith of the blame she has carried for a long time.
The Time Mill takes them back to the onslaught of Hurricane Charlie, a devastating hurricane which did a lot of damage to Jamaica in 1951. They meet a family of strange children and experience several terrifying events as they, along with the family, struggle to survive the hurricane. Eventually they find out the truth of the lost ring and return to their own time.
The settings in Past Time in both books breathe life into these two important historical events for the reader. Vanessa and Kerry are lively teenagers, and the people they meet in the past are quaint, fascinating, helpful, sinister – a full range of characters who pull the reader into the stories.
At the end of the books, writer Diane Browne explains her interest in the two historical events and what she did to ascertain their accuracy even while writing fiction.
We don’t often get stories in the sci-fi genre coming out of Jamaica. Making the time machine resemble an old sugar mill is a bit of creative genius as that, in itself, links it to our history.
These stories grab and keep the readers interest. I look forward to the next book in this series as Vanessa and Kerry continue their adventures via the Time Mill.

Check these books on amazon
  The Ring and the Roaring Water


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Check the intended age for children's books before purchasing

Why won't people read the description of books before buying them for what turns out to be the wrong expectation or for the wrong people? My ebook, Mr. King's Daughter, very clearly talks about getting the protagonist a husband. It is clearly identified as a  YA (Young Adult) story. One reviewer had already described it as a good coming of age story. Bedtime story??? Clearly NOT
Yet here is a reviewer's comment. He bought it as a bedtime story for his daughter!!! Cheez!

"I had bought this book to read it to my daughter for her bedtime story. Thankfully I browsed through the book before telling her about this book. I couldn’t even go through the entire book. Never reading any such book to my kid or letting her read it, ever! "

So he gives it a one star rating. I hope he gets back his 99 cents!

But this brings up the continued confusion in some people's minds about the different classifications for children's books.

I write for different ages from picture story books to Young Adult in what is broadly the children section of literature. There is a vast difference in the books for the age groups and some overlapping in all the groups. As we know, children mature at different rates and books should be chosen to match the level they are at.

In Jamaica, as soon as one mentions children's books, most persons immediately think of picture books. My fellow writers have had similar experiences of promoting a new Middle Grade book and being invited by a book store to read. The announcement that there will be a reading invariably brings out mainly the very little ones. Since the Middle Grade book is not suitable for this age group, we have to do a shift and choose a book suitable for the age group from the shelves. End of promotion. No use telling the store that the book is meant for an older age group.They will say it's not them it's the parents, who think that since the reading is of a children's book, it must be for the younger ones. Very frustrating. 

When YA(young adult) books are projected to cover the age range 12 to 18 years, it is easy to see an immediate problem. There is a difference in orientation/life experiences between a twelve year old and an 18 year old. It is all very confusing. Should a story for an 18 year old be judged in the same category as that for a twelve year old?

Here's a quotation from an earlier post on this blog about this and other challenges relating to classifying children's books

0- 3 years –picture books
3-6 years – picture books
6-8 years – picture story books/ early chapter books
8 to 12 years – chapter books/novels
12 to 14 – chapter books/ novels

These age divisions may vary for different publishers. For example, some publishers now use 9 to 13 as a ‘tween age – not quite young adult not completely past chapter books.

These divisions are necessary as guides to writers, illustrators, and readers/purchasers of books. Children's reading readiness, their interests and needs vary from one group to the next, and books should reflect this.