Thursday, 30 January 2014

An Enjoyable Day at St. Ambrose Elementary School

 
 
 
I would love to give a big THANKS to St. Ambrose Elementary School for allowing me to give not one, but two readings on Monday, January 27, 2014. It was so much fun and the children were so engaging. The students asked many questions and they seemed to express a genuine interest in Declan the Kid Detective. They are so smart! I was completely blown away by their knowledge on a variety of topics. You little guys and girls are awesome! I will see you again in spring 2014 to give a writing workshop.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Reading on Kidnapping of the Diamond Eyes Gingerbread Penguin


Happy 2014! I will be starting off this New Year by giving a reading on the first book of the series Declan the Kid Detective at:
St. Ambrose Elementary school, January 27, 2014

St. Roch Elementary school, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Heaven Really is for Real

What I needed as a side companion reading Heaven is for Real while commuting to and from work was a box of Kleenex. I cried like a child reading many sections of this book.

For two years I planned to read it, but I just got around to it now. And boy am I glad I did. This is just the spiritual inspiration I need in my life at this very moment.

This true story about Colton Burpo’s visit to heaven and his encounter with Jesus Christ happened when he almost died of a ruptured appendix at just three-years-old.  During his visitation to heaven, Colton attended school and meet John the Baptist and family members who passed on well before he was even a thought in the physical world.  He even got to meet a sister he never knew he had. 
After his recovery, bit by bit, Colton started to share various aspects of his encounter in heaven with Todd and Sonja Burpo, his parents. At first Colton’s parents, paid their toddler no mind and chalked up his evangelistic ministering to great Sunday School teachings, but as the stories became more detailed, complex and way too sophisticated for any three-year-old to comprehend, let alone retain, Todd began to probe his son on theological doctrine only to discover his son was indeed in heaven.

This beautiful revelation of Colton’s is delicately unwrapped in Heaven is for Real. It is inspirational for Christians, non-Christians, agnostics and atheists. Readers get a firsthand account of a toddler’s journey into the supernatural world and the solidification and confidence of his father’s faith in our Creator.
The events of Colton’s encounter in heaven were not shared with his parents in one sitting, but throughout the course of a few years after his surgery. This is one of the reasons why it took as long as it did for Colton’s father to write a book on it. 

I can’t see anyone not being blessed after reading this book. This is one book that will not disappoint. Visit Amazon.com to learn more.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Conversation with Layla Price of Declan the Kid Detective

Here is my interview with Layla Price, assistant and best friend of Declan McLeod, of the new mystery series Declan the Kid Detective. We sat down at Latín Chisporroteo - Good Sweets & Eats to talk about her role in the series.

MD: “So, how are things with you?”

LP: “Great and very busy,” Layla sighed and then chucked one leg over the other. She was quite pretty with her tight ringlet afro reaching just below her chin and her delicate features resting on coco skin.
 MD: “Why is that?”

LP: “I’m a committee member for the Keep Cherryfield Clean organization, belong to the regional chess club, take lessons in a couple of things, work as an assistant for a detective agency and have a ton of homework. You know I’m in grade six now.”
MD: “Yes, I know. Let’s talk for a bit about your work as an assistant at the detective agency. What does that entail?”

LP: “The grunt of the work is gathering information on the suspects,” she placed her mug filled hot chocolate on the table. “In order to figure out who committed the crime we need to know the suspect’s history. This allows us to see if there’s anything in their past that gives them a motive to commit the crime in question. Declan and I then question each suspect to gather additional information and hope they accidently slip-up and reveal something that will help solve the case. I also take notes. We like to have all sides covered. There are other things I do as an assistant, but it varies from case-to-case.”
MD: “It seems like a pretty demanding job. You sound as if you like it a lot.”

LP: “I love it,” Layla beamed! “It’s the best job a girl could have.”
MD: “Speaking of girl, I hear you’re a girlie-girl.”

LP: “I hate that term,” Layla rolled her eyes, then shook her head. “I’m girlie, but I’m no girlie-girl. There’s a difference you know. I like fashion, wearing jewellery and painting my nails, but I also like to climb trees, jump off things that are not too high, skateboard and climb fences. I also watch sports. Girlie-girls are delicate and don’t do stuff like that.”
MD: “Yes, I see what you mean. Before we finish up, can I get your feelings on why I made Declan the protagonist of the book instead of you? There are a lot of people out there who say there are not enough girl protagonists in plum roles like Declan’s, especially girls of color.”

LP: “Maggy, it’s your book! I’m not a writer, I’m just a kid. But I do know writers are inspired by what is presented to them creatively. Obviously, Declan came to you as a detective and I came to you as his assistant. No biggie.
“However, if I was the protagonist of the book I would be a great one. But I know I make a better assistant then I could possibly make as a detective because it suits my personality and skill set. And Declan makes a great detective for the very same reasons. Plus, you have a new series on the horizon that has a female protagonist of color, so it’s all good.”

MD: “Thanks, Layla for your candidness and support of my creative choices. It was a pleasure speaking with you. We must do this again, and good luck on the book.”
LP: “Thanks!”

MD: “That wraps up my conversation with Layla of the new mystery series Declan the Kid Detective. To learn more about Layla and Declan’s adventures, read the first book of the series Kidnappingof the Diamond Eyes Gingerbread Penguin."

Saturday, 26 October 2013

An Interview with Declan McLeod of Declan the Kid Detective

I caught up with Declan McLeod, the protagonist of the new book series Declan the Kid Detective, at Starbucks to talk about the first book of the series.

MD: “Hi Declan. Thank you for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to meet with me. You must be so excited about your new mystery series Declan the Kid Detective.
DM: “You’re right on both accounts, Maggy,” Declan ran his hand though his thick curly golden blonde hair. “I’m so busy right now. I’m in grade six now, so the homework is way more than I’ve ever had before in my whole life. I’m a member of Inspire Children to Read Book Club, play soccer, take swimming lessons and solve crimes. And about the book series, yeah, it’s pretty awesome.”

MD: “Do you get paid to solve these crimes?”
DM: Declan tensed up a little at the question. “Yes and no,” he answered. “But as I told you before, I don’t want to reveal too much about the book.”

MD: “Yes, I do remember you mentioning this. I guess I got a bit carried away with my questioning. I’m new at this. What can I say?”
DM: “It’s okay. No worries.”

MD: “Thanks! Declan, without revealing too much, I do think it would be beneficial if the public knew a little something about the main characters. Would you share with me your impressions of them?”
DM: “Out of Samantha’s friends I would say Javier is the quiet one. I don’t know if it’s because of his home life or if it’s part of his DNA. Personally, I think it’s a bit of both. He works at his father’s café a few days a week. And boy is he lucky to have a father who can bake sweets like that,” Declan digressed. “I just love that stuff.  And he takes Spanish lessons once a week. Other than that, he only hangs out with Sam, Chris and Addison. Those are his friends. He’s pretty exclusive in that sense.

“Addison is a combination of the class clown and school jock. He almost single-handedly won Cherryfield Elementary School its first basketball trophy. He’s popular, a bit of a smart-alec, but always so cool.
“Christina, oh, Christina,” Declan rolled his eyes at the thought of her. “She can be difficult at times and quite demanding. She has a bit of a temper, so you don’t want to get her mad. But if that’s your goal, make sure to be next to an exit so you can get out of her sight before she deals you her wrath. Personally, I think Christina has way too much on her plate. She’s quite the ambitious one.”

MD: “Sounds like an interesting group of kids you go to school with. What about Samantha, the victim in Kidnapping of the Diamond Eyes Gingerbread Penguin?”
DM: Declan’s facial muscles softened. “I knew little about Samantha until I became a member of Inspire Children to Read Book Club four years ago. Like me, Samantha is an avid reader. Unlike me, Samantha is an A+ student. She’s very nice. She loves animals and cares about people. But she’s too trusting and too sensitive. She always cries.”

MD: “She sounds like a real fluffy roll of Cottonelle toilet paper. How sweet.”
DM: “Yeah, I guess so!” Declan let out a faint laugh.

MD: “I can’t let you go without asking you about Layla. What’s she like?”
DM: “She’s cool!” Declan smiled. “She’s different from other girls I know. I mean, she’s kinda a girlie-girl, but she likes sports, video games and climbing trees just like Nigel and me. She’s also really organized, which I’m not. And she rarely ever loses her cool. Whenever Nigel and I argue over something Layla’s always the one to rationalize it.”

MD: “She sounds like a pretty level-headed girl.”
DM: “Yeah, I think so. She’s a lot of fun and a great assistant.”

MD: “One more question. Would you tell us a bit about yourself? After all you are the protagonist of the series.”
DM: Declan was wearing a matter-of-fact smirk on his face. “Maggy, I’m no good at talking about myself. They’re just going to have to read the book to find that one out.”

MD: “Well everyone, it sounds like that’s it for now. Thank you very much, Declan for being a guest on my blog, and good luck to both of us.”
DM: “Thank you!”

MD: “Join me next week for my chat with Layla Price, Declan’s assistant and best friend.”

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Do you have Kindle?

Kidnapping of the Diamond Eyes Gingerbread Penguin is now available in Kindle version for the special price of $2.99.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Hooray for the Girl How Could Fly

Let me start off by saying Victoria Forrester is an exceptional storyteller.

Eleven-year-old Piper McCloud lives in Lowland County on a farm. She has been gifted with the extraordinary ability to fly since birth.

When Piper learns about her unique talent she decides to hone her God-given gift by flying from her parent’s roof top.  That is until her parents learn about it and put a complete stop to it, well they tried to anyway.  But like any tenacious child that went in one ear and came out the other. ‘How could she stop flying? She was made for this,’ Piper thought.

However, when the people in Lowland County learn about this the gossip mill goes so far out that it reaches the headquarters of the Institute of Normalcy, Stability, And Non-Exceptionality (I.N.S.A.N.E), a government institute for children with extraordinary talents. Naturally, Piper becomes the latest recruit to join this talented pool of children.

Happy to be surrounded with children like herself, Piper settles into her new life at I.N.S.A.N.E. But just before Piper becomes all-too comfortable, her fairy-tale world begins to crumble, leaving her with shattered dreams and an urgency to get back home to her once simple life.

This story is so gorgeous and rich with quality writing. I could not put this book down. Each page came to life for me. It is a turn pager for sure.  I fell absolutely in love with the children, especially Conrad. There was a poignant part in the book that just left my heart broken in two.  

I highly recommend The Girl Who Could Fly for children both young and young at heart.

I hope she makes this into a series.