Saturday 20 July 2013

Fantasy Kids Books--An Excerpt.

Sir Princess Petra's Talent - The Pen Pieyu Adventures (book 2)
by Diane Mae Robinson
Excerpt Chapter One
Pre-release, July 1, 2013
Offical release, Sept. 24, 2013
copyright 2013

       Excerpt from Chapter 1

The Royal Rule Book, Again

      Petra awoke to the sound of the royal councilman’s bugle. She hastily dressed in leggings and a tunic full of rips and holes from a recent jousting practice and scurried to the royal throne room.

     The king and queen of Pen Pieyu sat on their ragged,
leather thrones. Her mother had a  nervous look about her, and her father, a sly grin. The royal councilman was running in circles until he came upon the royal rule book, which lay under Claymore, the royal mastiff. Somehow,  Petra thought, the royal rule book looked much thicker than last she had seen it. That could only mean trouble. Petra rolled her eyes and gave a little moan. 

 “Father, Mother,” Petra said with a bow, “you summoned me?”

  “Yes, my little Princess Knight,” her father replied, rather surly, as he watched the royal councilman point to a section in the royal rule book. The king stood, cleared his throat, then bellowed out, “It is hereby written that all Princess Knights of the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu must attend Talent School before their tenth year of age. They will be sent to the Land of Lost Donkeys and, under the instruction of King Asterman, learn a talent fit for a princess. After which time, the hereby-said princess---meaning you---will return to the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu with a proper princess talent and a certificate."

  Petra felt her face flush and her manners fly out the window. “That is ridiculous! I am a royal knight since I have accomplished the deed of hushing the howling dragon, Snarls, in the Forest of Doom. I should be treated as a royal knight and not this sissy princess stuff! And, besides, you just wrote that part—”

 “Silence!” the king roared.

 The royal councilman’s eyes grew extremely wide. He flipped the page of the royal book and backed away.

 The king gave his you-had-better-be-quiet glare toward
Petra, then continued to read, loudly,   “The hereby-said Princess Knight will acquire a talent certificate or be in forfeit of this royal rule. Forfeiting this royal rule will entitle the royal magician to turn the hereby-said Princess Knight into a frog to live in the bogs for a period of five years.”  The king smirked and plopped back onto his chair.

.  “You made that all up!” Petra gave her best that’s-not-fair stare. “Our kingdom has never had a Princess Knight, nor any knight for that matter, before me. And as if a person can be turned into a frog.” She wondered about this for just a moment. “At any rate, I would rather be a frog than learn to crochet!” Petra blurted and crossed her arms.


For more information on this fantasy kids books series, visit my author's website:

For pre-release editions of book two:

Saturday 13 July 2013

When Authors Play.

And play they must. This week's post is a re-post from my friend's website at Kid Lit Reviews. Sue is a great book reviewer so please check out her website:

The only scary thing about being friends with a book reviewer---one day, they will have to review your second book. Yikes!

Oh, and they also have license to make fun of you. Read on.

Have you ever wondered what award-winning authors do on their day off? Or what they do to get inspiration, find those crazy characters they get us to love? Well, I have found the secret. While looking through some new folders my new email update placed, and added emails to, I found an email from an award-winning author. She sent me a card that was titled “Fun Fun Fun.” Well, she sure looks like she is having fun.
dianes unicorn.
Can you see the crazy characters following her. I knew it! I was told I needed my imagination to develop characters and the reality is, all I need is a unicorn, an enchanted forest, and some free time. Well, they did not tell me this in the course I took. Look at those characters lining up behind the author . . . you know who this is.
dunicorn 3
This happy-go-lucky, unicorn-riding writer is working hard, don’t you think? She is working those skinny little legs for all she’s worth. And for her efforts a bunch of forest creatures trail her, ready to jump into her newest book. She has one just about ready to hit the bookstores, and the review sites are anxiously waiting for the signal that says “go ahead, rip me apart.” These characters are not in the newest book so this must be a new series under wraps. Huh! There’s an owl, skunk, pig, raccoon – a blue raccoon – and I am not sure what else. What creatures do you see in these stop-the madness pictures?
Well, now I know what writers do to find their characters and how they spend their free time. Why I was sent this evidence is a mystery. Maybe the author will show up and explain her actions and give us aspirings a hint on finding those endearing characters and the unicorn rental service that will take me to the enchanted forest.
If you are a writer, how do you find your characters and inspiration? Do you need to gallop through an enchanted forest on a unicorn (while someone, who knows who, captures your adventure)? Or do you have other ways, ways that maybe finally you will share with us novices, the ones struggling to get that first book out, or maybe just cannot find the characters to fill the pages.
(Your secrets are safe here.)

  • And my response 

Play. That is my advice for children authors. As adults writing the children books, we forget how to play as a child, which in turn-turn lets us think like a child, which in turn-turn-turn let’s us create young characters for our children’s books.
I wrote an article entitled “Creativity In The Forest”:
that explains how I get into my right brain creative zone and where my characters come from, if anybody wants to check out what a ridiculous children’s writer has to say on the topic.

To view the comments on this post at Kid Lit Reviews:

To view Sue's review of my first book (before I knew her as a friend):

Visit my author's website at: 

Friday 5 July 2013

Book Review: Sir Nathan and the Troublesome Task.

Sir Nathan and the Troublesome Task: A Second Somewhat Silly Story 

By Mark Simon Smith

Cover art by Mark Simon Smith

Interior Illustrations by Derek K. Gebler

Published by Mark Simon Smith, 2012

302 Pages, Ages 8 and up

ISBN 978-1477680025

From the back cover:  Once again, trouble has darkened the colorful land of Mariskatania and it is up to the Hero, Sir Nathan, to save the day. There are stories of a terrible, awful, frightening beast roaming the countryside and Sir Nathan must hunt down this creature and return what has been stolen from Queen Gobbledeegook.

As always, he is hampered by evil and treachery every step of the way, as well as by an annoying tag-along who hasn't even taken the necessary two-hour training course to become a knight of Mariskatania.

About the story:  Sir Nathan is on another sillier silly adventure. The royal twins have gone missing---evil and treachery must surely be involved.

Sir Nathan and his trusty steed, Tupolev, are summoned by Queen Gobbledeegook to find the twins.  Early on their quest, they meet up with "Amazing " Grace. Grace wants to be a knight but hasn't taken the preliminary knight course and, she rides a mop named Flopsy.

Somehow, and not by choice, Sir Nathan finds Grace and Flopsy joining in on the quest.

The group encounters a timid dragon who is afraid to fly, a dragon mouth mouse that takes good care of the dragon's teeth, a tribe of dim-witted ogres,  and three witches that share one eyes, one ear, and one nose between them, and other silly and fun characters as they make their way through such land as: Whispering Wasteland,  Hundred-League Crag of Imminent Doom, and Downside-Up Lake of Most Terrible Screams.

Can Sir Nathan smite the evilness and treachery of it all? Can he save the twins and remain the Hero of Mariskatania?  And what of Grace---does she help or hinder the quest?

What I thought: I loved book two.  The silliness, the smiting, the dastardly situations, the humor, the unique characters, especially Sir Nathan  and when he has 'lengthy screaming fits about the dastardly tricks of evil and how it sneaks about, ruining everything'.

The author is a genius at humor and the writing is exciting and clever. The characters are well rounded and the plotting is sound. Several black and white illustrations are fun and enhance the story telling well.

I reviewed book one,  Sir Nathan and the Quest for Queen Gobbledeegook, Here. At that time, I said that book one was my favorite new book. After reading book two, this is now my new favorite-favorite book. 

Children and adults alike will laugh at the silliness and will love this book.

You can visit the author's website:



Visit my author's website at: