Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New Releases from Spork

Today I'm reviewing two new picture books from Clearfork Publishing, Spork Imprint. Both are available from the Clearfork website, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

First up is Sarah's Song by Rosie Pova



Music is the key to life. So says Sarah’s Grandmother, a loving woman who shares music with her granddaughter. Day-after-day they sing, dance, chant, and croon…until one day Grandmother becomes too tired to sing, and she can no longer dance. She needs a cane to walk. So Sarah sings and grandmother claps. Even Sarah’s silly songs can’t get Grandmother to sing again. So Sarah devises a surprise for her Grandmother and one again her heart is light and sways to Sarah’s song. Pova captures the special relationship between a child and her grandmother and shows how that relationship never fades. And Allen’s colorful illustrations add sweetness to Sarah’s Song.

FIVE STARS *****





And the second book is It's Time by Julie Pepper

As a former Early Childhood Educator and Pre-K Director, I can heartily recommend Pepper’s new picture book to parents of preschoolers. It’s a perfect read on the night before the first day of school. It encourages the child’s imagination as they create their own personal scenarios for each of Steele’s bright and colorful illustrations and will help ease the transition into school.

FIVE STARS *****



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fantasy, Game, or Real Life?

You don’t need to be a gamer to enjoy OTHERWORLD. Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have created an alternate reality that very well could be our future, in just a few short years. The story is told through the eyes of 18-year-old Simon Eaton as he strives valiantly to save the girl he loves, Katherine Foley. Though her body is encapsulated in a science/programming lab in the real world, supposedly suffering from a debilitating brain syndrome, her life force is in Otherworld planning and strategizing to stay alive long enough for Simon to find her. But she can’t leave unless he dons the same type of electronic device that allows him to jump in game. But what he finds there is NOT what he expected.


Excellent pace, rich characters, wild settings that could just as well be a fantasy world…or the real world…you just have to live long enough to see it!



Coming November 7, 2017
Delacorte Press/Random House Teens

Monday, August 28, 2017

How to Write the Perfect Book Blurb!

So you’ve sold your book. Now you need to write a blurb. It will be an important part of your marketing. Its function is to get a reader’s attention and hopefully entice them into purchasing your book.

A few tips for creating a GOOD blurb.

1.   Make first sentence enticing, clever, and creative.
2.   Keep the blurb short. (< 200 words)
3.   Cut out sub-plots.
4.   Introduce the story’s setting.
5.   Add tension to make it dramatic.
6.   Stay true to your voice.
7.   Try not to mention more than two character’s names, and promise your audience a read they won’t forget.
8.   Never give away spoilers.
9.   Stay away from clich├ęs.

Blurbs from my books:

YA Dystopian – RATGIRL: Song of the Viper

Sixteen-year-old Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he orders the kidnapping of her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent.

Jax disguises herself as a world-renowned exterminator and barters with the mayor for her brother’s freedom. To fulfill the contract she lures the rats to their death in the toxic river with her mesmerizing singing in exchange for gold to pay passage for her brother and herself to the New Continent. But when the corrupt mayor reneges on their agreement, Jax has no choice but to stage another daring coup.

She draws upon her musical gift once again and this time leads not only her brother, but all of the city’s children to safety, with the help of a ragtag band of friends and a handsome stranger, who holds the secret to her past and the key to her heart.

YA Fantasy - Scheherazade's Secret 


The age-old Arabian Nights tale has a new twist in this fast-paced novelette. When a beggar girl in the streets of Parsa discovers the royal prince is returning to the city, she wishes to be his wife, but her wish gets twisted. She and her younger sister find themselves in the harem of his father, as the latest of a long line of brides that never live to see the day after the marriage. Herazade must think fast to save both her sister and herself, so she relies on a mysterious genie in the dented, old lamp.


MG Historical Fiction – Twice Betrayed

The thread of friendship is stretched to the breaking point…

With the spark of independence crackling in Colonial Philadelphia, Perdy Rogers chafes under the strict rule of her Quaker grandmother and the endless duties of her apprenticeship in Betsy Ross’s upholstery shop. So when her best friend shares a secret and invites Perdy to help plan an elopement, she’s thrilled to be with her friends again. But Perdy has no idea that one favor will unravel the stable fabric of her life and involve her in a tangled web of deceit, lies and treachery.

Disguised as boys, three girls head to the river to put Perdy’s plan into action, but only two return. When the third, a young milliner’s assistant, is found drowned with gold coins sewn into her hems, coded spy letters in her bodice, and a journal implicating another sewing apprentice as her co-conspirator, all eyes turn to Perdy Rogers. But she’s no spy!

Accused of treason, she struggles to prove her innocence with the help of a handsome stranger and learns the hard way that freedom, whether an individual’s or a country’s, comes at a cost.

Picture Book – Daddy, Can You See the Moon? (COMING in 2018)

A young boy and his soldier dad share special moments by looking at the moon each night. But when Dad comes home a wounded warrior, his son discovers it’s the power of love that kept them connected all along, and he plays a major part in his father’s recovery.

Picture Book – Rock Star Santa



It’s Christmas Eve and children await Santa’s arrival, only they’re not tucked snuggly in their beds dreaming of sugarplums. They’re stomping and clapping at a Christmas concert with a rowdy reindeer band, where Santa is the “ROCK STAR.” It’s an original, modern day retelling of a Christmas classic, but what happens on this night before Christmas is rockin’.





If you’d like me to give you personal feedback on your book blurb, you can send it to me at info@gayleckrause.com


Happy Writing!