BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Marty’s Mission, An Apollo 11 Story by Judy Young

TITLE: Marty’s Mission, An Apollo 11 Story

AUTHORJudy Young

ILLUSTRATOR: David Miles

PUBLISHER: Sleeping Bear Press, 2019

SYNOPSIS:

It’s 1969 and Marty’s family lives on the U.S. island of Guam, where his father manages the NASA tracking station. It’s important work and never more so than during the Apollo 11 space mission, where the tracking station relays signals back and forth between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas. Along with the rest of the world, Marty listens to every mission update, including the historic landing on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps. But during Apollo 11’s return to Earth, something goes wrong. There is a problem with the tracking station’s antenna during the final hours of the mission. The problem must be resolved–the antenna is the only way Mission Control can communicate with the astronauts before Apollo 11 splashes down. Marty finds himself playing a key role in helping bring the craft safely back to Earth.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : I was young when Apollo 11 took its trip to the moon. I didn’t fully understand what was happening and I certainly wouldn’t have had the maturity of mind and courage of spirit to do what young Marty did to help the astronauts of Apollo 11 to return home safely. Author Judy Young has woven a wonderful story about how one young boy’s chance to help with the lunar mission turns the tide and guarantees NASA lives to dream another day! A nice addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars****

RATING SYSTEM

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Boycott Blues, How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney

TITLE: Boycott Blues, How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

AUTHORAndrea Davis Pinkney

ILLUSTRATOR: Brian Pinkney

PUBLISHER:  Greenwillow Books, 2008

SYNOPSIS:

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, and the Montgomery bus boycott began. So did the boycott blues. In the days that followed—382 days to be exact—many people decided they’d rather walk than take city transportation.

Some started taxis, some rode bikes, but they all walked and walked. With dogged feet. With dog-tired feet. With boycott feet. With the boycott blues.The Montgomery bus boycott finally ended when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize there are some moments in time that should never be forgotten. Some moments because of the great joy connected to it. But then there are those moments in history that come with great sorrow before the triumph over adversity. Author, Andrea Davis Pinkney, has managed to help remind all of us of not only the struggle for some people to be able to live with dignity, but also of the many, many “dog-tired feet” who stood up for what they believed in. Rosa Parks may have started the spark that became the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, but it was all those other “feet” who helped change a nation and ended up walking their way right into the pages of history! A strong addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****

RATING SYSTEM

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: Meet the Publisher, Donna L Martin

I have been writing and publishing for such a long time that I sometimes forget there are many people out there who might not know my author to publisher story…

Author Hat:

I’ve been writing ever since I was eight years old. Over FIFTY YEARS of creating stories out of pure magic and my imagination.

When I was eleven years old, I entered my first writing contest sponsored by my hometown library and I won first place! Right then I knew I would see my own name on the cover of a book some day. During my teenage years I wrote A LOT of poetry…sometimes collaborating with my sister …but usually all on my own. I was also working on my sketching skills, but wasn’t quite ready to share my works in progress with the world.

My twenties came along and I finally dared myself to submit some of my poetry for publication. A couple of my poems were accepted for inclusion in an anthology and I thought I was on my way to a writing career.

But a newbie writer’s ego is a fragile thing and harsh words can sometimes do long-lasting damage. When family members began to ridicule my work…to ridicule me, I decided to lay down my pen, to lay down my sketch pencil for the next TWENTY-FIVE years! I thought my dreams of becoming a sketch artist and author of children’s books were lost forever. But LIFE is funny that way…just when you think your boat is settled on a steady course in one direction, a squall rises up to toss you in an entirely different direction.

Fast forward to 2010 and a chance encounter with Tara Lazar and a funny little picture book challenge coming up where I was supposed to write down thirty ideas for stories in thirty days. I wasn’t going to join…until I dreamt of nothing but PICTURE BOOK IDEAS every night for two solid weeks prior to the challenge! I saw it as a sign that I needed to give my childhood dream a second chance and I signed up for the challenge before I could change my mind.

One of the story ideas to come out of that STORYSTORM challenge was a book about a girl named Addie who wanted so badly to learn how to read, but the words kept seeming to run away from her every time she sat down with a book. Five years later, in 2015, THE STORY CATCHER about Addies struggle with dyslexia was picked up during a Twitter Pitch and later traditionally published, which eventually led to my signing with a literary agent.

By the time 2017 came along, I realized that my agent’s vision of my writing future and mine wasn’t meshing too well so we parted ways as friends to pursue our own destinies which led me straight to my publisher’s path!

Publisher Hat:

With no agent and many, many manuscripts written over the years, I decided to look into indie publishing. Prior to then I had swore to myself I would never self-publish because the industry had such a negative connotation and most of the books I saw at the time just didn’t meet my personal high standards of what I wanted MY books to look like. But by the time I opened the door to STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING in January 2018, the indie industry was slowly improving the overall quality and standards of what would be put out into the world.

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound was the first book I released under my new publishing house. It is a young adult fantasy novel full of magic, mermaids, fairies, dark lords, mythical creatures, light romance, piracy, portal travel, and the ultimate battle to save the secret heir to the land of Lunadar. I was proud of the hard work I put into this baby, all the while still working full-time running a martial arts school five days a week.

Next came a historical fiction chapter book series called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES that was written for 7-12 year olds, but has become very popular with readers of all ages. Each book in the series is thoroughly researched and has a blend of fictional as well as historically depicted characters. I’m currently working on book four with many more titles to come!

Then came the release of my memoir (part one) of growing up among the Cajun people and the bayous of southern Louisiana. I had found my design team and started fine tuning the publishing process to make the most of both KDP for ebook files and IngramSpark for softcover and/or hardcover production. What once took me weeks to fight and figure out how to create, format, and design the files for production now takes days because I’ve delegated that side of the business to my design team who you will get a chance to meet next week.

Story Catcher Publishing 2022

Last year I introduced my picture book line to the world and ramped up working with my lead illustrator on the design team.

Now I’m ready to expand Story Catcher Publishing into realizing another dream I’ve had for almost five years now. I want to help strong writers publish THEIR stories under the umbrella of the SCP family, but all while teaching those writers how to set up their own author platform to take their careers to a whole new level! It will be a partnership where my design team sets up production, and I offer FREE services for helping create websites, blogs, social media sites, sales sheets, marketing plans, author events, book awards and much, much more! It’s my way of giving back to the KidLit community that has supported me for so many years, I’m really excited of what the Fall will bring!

Don’t forget to stop by next week to meet my design team and see what is on the horizon for Story Catcher Publishing…

**************

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Mermaid’s Purse by Patricia Polacco

TITLE: The Mermaid’s Purse

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Patricia Polacco

PUBLISHER:  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016

SYNOPSIS:

Young Stella loves books so much, her books begin to take over the farmhouse. “Why, Stell, you need your own library to hold those books,” her pa tells her, so he and the neighbors build her one! She calls it “the Mermaid’s Purse,” since the midwife said Stella was born in one. Stella opens the Purse to her neighbors and travels around the countryside, sharing her books door-to-door. Not everyone gives them a chance at first, like grouchy Pig Ears Lonsberry. But farmer Dunkle sure changes his mind when information in a book saves his sick sheep. Eventually, everybody comes to love the Mermaid’s Purse—so when a tornado destroys it, scattering Stella’s precious books far and wide, the whole community rallies to help.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : There are so many things I liked about this book, I’m not quite sure where to begin. New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Polacco, takes her readers on a journey of discovery into the life of her grandmother, Estella Barber. From the moment she was born to her great love of reading to her massive book collection that was housed in a library her father built for her. I loved how she traveled all around the countryside with a goat cart full of books to share with her neighbors. I love how Estella persevered the ridicule of people who either didn’t have time for books or didn’t believe they could learn anything new from them. And when disaster destroyed the Mermaid’s Purse and all the books, Estella witnessed a community coming together to restore her faith in the power of books! A great addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****

RATING SYSTEM

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

TITLE: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

AUTHOR: William Joyce

ILLUSTRATOR: William Joyce & Joe Bluhm

PUBLISHER:  Moonbot Books, 2012

SYNOPSIS:

Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.
But every story has its upsets.
     
Everything in Morris Lessmore’s life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds.
     But the power of story will save the day.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : If there is only one children’s book you could take on a desert island, this might just be the one! I have been delving into the world of words ever since my older sister taught me to read when I was four years old. It was the same age my own son learned to read. I could always be found with my nose in a book. Where wide, sweeping adventures took me to far off lands…where my imagination could run free, and ANYTHING was possible. THIS is the gift author William Joyce gives all readers with his story about Morris Lessmore. One young man’s journey to capture all his life’s moments in a journal is swept away in an instant and he goes in search of what he thinks he has lost. The reality is that all he needs to do is look up to find all that really matters in his world is still right in front of him! The vibrant illustrations masterfully depict one man’s life richly blessed to be surrounded by books! A fabulous addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****

RATING SYSTEM

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: Picture Book Submissions

Last week I shared with you how Story Catcher Publishing will be opening up to chapter book and novel submissions beginning in the Fall of this year. Indie authors will have a FABULOUS opportunity to find the support they need to build their future writing careers. If you missed last week’s post, click on the link…https://storycatcherpublishing.com/2023/01/11/story-catcher-publishing-expansion-chapter-book-novel-submissions/

I have dreamed for years of giving back to the KidLit community for all the love and support everyone has shown me. Beginning this Fall, each picture book selected for publishing under the SCP umbrella will reap the following benefits, depending on whether you are a writer in need of an illustrator, or you are a writer/illustrator yourself.

If you’re a writer/illustrator:

  1. A publishing package for picture books will cost only $550 TOTAL! This covers proofreading, ISBN, cover design, formatting, and production set up for both ebook and paperback titles. This will initially be offered to the first 50 titles accepted by Story Catcher Publishing so we can make sure this pricing covers basic industry costs before rolling it out to the general public. After prior cost analysis, it appears this pricing should be viable, but this model needs to be tested in real world applications.
  2. Ebook distribution will be through Amazon KDP. Paperback will be through IngramSpark to ensure availability to 80,000+ online retailers including B&N, Books A Million, Walmart and others.
  3. Payments (via Paypal) will be divided into three installments of $150 due with signed contract, $250 due with completion of cover design, and balance of $150 due with completion of paperback production files. (The industry average for these services ranges anywhere from $1,350 to $6,100 or more depending on who you hire to help you.)
  4. SCP authors will retain 100% royalties to their paperback titles.
  5. SCP authors will also receive FREE access to support covering websites, author platforms, marketing, sales sheets, blogging, author events, etc.
  6. SCP authors will receive FREE promotion through our website, blog, online store, and any SCP events including festivals, contests and giveaways.
  7. If a SCP author should sign with a major literary agency, or a medium to large traditional publishing house where the agent or publisher is interested in re-releasing their existing SCP title, we will amend OUR existing contract and remove the paperback title from our inventory upon proof of a signed contract.

If you’re a writer in need of an illustrator:

  1. A publishing package for picture books will cost only $1100 TOTAL! This covers proofreading, ISBN, cover design, 15 hand-drawn & fully colorized illustrations, formatting, and production set up for both ebook and paperback titles. This will initially be offered to the first 50 titles accepted by Story Catcher Publishing so we can make sure this pricing covers basic industry costs before rolling it out to the general public. After prior cost analysis, it appears this pricing should be viable, but this model needs to be tested in real world applications.
  2. Ebook distribution will be through Amazon KDP. Paperback will be through IngramSpark to ensure availability to 80,000+ online retailers including B&N, Books A Million, Walmart and others.
  3. Payments (via Paypal) will be divided into three installments of $300 due with signed contract, $500 due with completion of cover design & 15 initial b/w illustration sketches, and balance of $300 due with completion of paperback production files. (The industry average for these services ranges anywhere from $5300 to $20,100 or more depending on who you hire to help you.)
  4. SCP authors will retain 100% royalties to their paperback titles.
  5. SCP authors will also receive FREE access to support covering websites, author platforms, marketing, sales sheets, blogging, author events, etc.
  6. SCP authors will receive FREE promotion through our website, blog, online store, and any SCP events including festivals, contests and giveaways.
  7. If a SCP author should sign with a major literary agency, or a medium to large traditional publishing house where the agent or publisher is interested in re-releasing their existing SCP title, we will amend OUR existing contract and remove the paperback title from our inventory upon proof of a signed contract.

It has always been my hope and dream to support other indie writers on THEIR journey to publication. To me, that means not standing in the way of their future, wherever it may take them.

Well, there you have it. The basics of what Story Catcher Publishing will offer picture book writers and writer/illustrators starting this Fall. I will share more updates next week.

I hope you are as excited about the future of Story Catcher Publishing as I am. Any questions, just drop them in the comments below or send me a private message. I want this to be as transparent as possible.

************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Nurse, Soldier, Spy–The Story of Sarah Edmonds: A Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss

TITLE: Nurse, Soldier, Spy…The Story of Sarah Edmonds: A Civil War Hero

AUTHOR: Marissa Moss

ILLUSTRATOR: John Hendrix

PUBLISHER:  Abrams Books For Young Readers, 2011

SYNOPSIS:

When Frank Thompson sees a recruitment poster for the new Union army, he’s ready and willing to enlist. Except Frank isn’t his real name. In fact, Frank is really Sarah Emma Edmonds, in disguise.
 

Only nineteen years old, Sarah has already been dressing as a man for three years and living on the run in order to escape an arranged marriage. She’s tasted freedom, and as far as she’s concerned, there’s no going back.
 
Eager to fight for the North during the Civil War, Sarah joins a Michigan infantry regiment. She excels as a soldier and even takes on the grueling task of nursing the wounded. Because of her heroism, she is asked to become a spy, cross enemy lines, and infiltrate a Confederate camp. For her first mission, Sarah must once again disguise herself and rely on the kindness of enslaved people to help her do her job.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : I’m currently in the middle of writing my own Civil War book, so of course I’ve heard of Sarah Edmonds. Author Marissa Moss has tastefully created a story that covers this woman’s amazing true story. While Sarah wasn’t the only woman to disguise herself as a man in order to fight on the battlefield during the Civil War, she was probably the most famous to come out of that time period. Young readers will find this nail-biting, page-turner a great addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The William Hoy Story by Nancy Churnin

TITLE: The William Hoy Story

AUTHOR: Nancy Churnin

ILLUSTRATOR: Jez Tuya

PUBLISHER:  Albert Whitman & Company, 2016

SYNOPSIS:

All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder―eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William “Dummy” Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : My interest in baseball began in high school when I played short stop and second base during high school physical education class. I was good in those positions and enjoyed the game. When my son was in middle school, he wanted to play baseball as well and ended up being the pitcher for his team. He was good at it. But while the Martin family has a love for the game, it didn’t compare to the passion William Hoy had for playing baseball back in 1886 when he was signed to his first professional team. What a shame he couldn’t hear the cheers of the crowds because William was deaf. Author Nancy Churnin takes readers on the journey to how one deaf baseball player went from enjoying the game to changing how the entire world views the game. And baseball was never the same again! A nice in addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



*************************

Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: Chapter Book & Novel Submissions

Last week I announced the BIG NEWS that Story Catcher Publishing will open its doors to submissions in the Fall of 2023. But I also said SCP would be offering a different way of supporting indie writers than what other small press publishing houses currently do.

How, you ask?

One way is to publish books WITHOUT future profits in mind. SCP profits, that is. Let me explain…

Indie authors currently have three ways to publish their books:

  1. Traditional publishers, which usually are closed to anyone not represented by an agent and THOSE creatures are almost as elusive to connect with as running into a leprechaun!
  2. Self-publish through retailers like Amazon’s KDP. While this doesn’t usually cost much, if anything, to create a book, the entire burden of proofreading, editing, formatting, production set up and marketing is left up to new authors who may not have the training or knowledge to set up their author platform correctly. Amazon also likes exclusivity which can limit an indie writer’s choices of markets or selling opportunities.
  3. Hybrid-publishers who will publish your book (usually for a hefty price to cover all services needed) but still won’t necessarily have YOUR interests in mind.

This is where Story Catcher Publishing will be different. I have spent the past four years fine tuning and streamlining the publishing processes so that I can release quality picture books, chapter books, and novels at bare bones costs.

I have dreamed for years of giving back to the KidLit community for all the love and support everyone has shown me. Beginning this Fall, each chapter book or novel selected for publishing under the SCP umbrella will reap the following benefits:

  1. A publishing package for chapter books and novels up to 60,000 words will cost only $550 TOTAL! This covers proofreading, ISBN, cover design, formatting, and production set up for both ebook and paperback titles. This will initially be offered to the first 50 titles accepted by Story Catcher Publishing so we can make sure this pricing covers basic industry costs before rolling it out to the general public. After prior cost analysis, it appears this pricing should be viable but this model needs to be tested in real world applications.
  2. Ebook distribution will be through Amazon KDP. Paperback will be through IngramSpark to ensure availability to 80,000+ online retailers including B&N, Books A Million, Walmart and others.
  3. Payments (via Paypal) will be divided into three installments of $150 due with signed contract, $250 due with completion of cover design, and balance of $150 due with completion of paperback production files. (The industry average for these services ranges anywhere from $1,350 to $6,100 or more depending on who you hire to help you.)
  4. SCP authors will retain 100% royalties to their paperback titles.
  5. SCP authors will also receive FREE access to support covering websites, author platforms, marketing, sales sheets, blogging, author events, etc.
  6. SCP authors will receive FREE promotion through our website, blog, online store, and any SCP events including festivals, contests and giveaways.
  7. If a SCP author should sign with a major literary agency, or a medium to large traditional publishing house where the agent or publisher is interested in re-releasing their existing SCP title, we will amend OUR existing contract and remove the paperback title from our inventory upon proof of a signed contract.

It has always been my hope and dream to support other indie writers on THEIR journey to publication. To me, that means not standing in the way of their future, wherever it may take them.

Well, there you have it. The basics of what Story Catcher Publishing will offer chapter book and novel writers starting this Fall. Next week I’ll share what we will be able to offer writers and writer/illustrators of picture books.

I hope you are as excited about the future of Story Catcher Publishing as I am. Any questions, just drop them in the comments below or send me a private message. I want this to be as transparent as possible.

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Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Helen’s Big World, The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport

TITLE: Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller

AUTHOR: Doreen Rappaport

ILLUSTRATOR: Matt Tavares

PUBLISHER:  Disney*Hyperion Books, 2012

SYNOPSIS:

Blind, deaf, and unable to speak since toddlerhood, young Helen Keller lived in a dark, silent world. Despite her handicaps, Helen wanted to experience every part of life; with her passion for discovery and the help of an unrivaled teacher, Annie Sullivan, Helen found that knowledge would soon lead to freedom. And with knowledge and freedom came wisdom. And with her wisdom, Helen knew she could change the world by speaking out against the injustices she witnessed.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : I read about Helen Keller often as I was going through elementary school, but Ms. Rappaport’s book covering this remarkable woman’s life shared many aspects of Helen Keller’s life I never knew about. Like the fact she had very few books written in Braille so she read them repeatedly until the raised letters were worn out from her touch. Or riding in a sailboat with Annie Sullivan during a raging storm. Young boys will love reading about her many adventures while young girls will dream of following in her footsteps to conquer the world! A great addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



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Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927