Featured Author: Eric Litwin

eric litwin

Eric Litwin was born in 1966 in New York City.

Know as Mr. Eric, Litwin not only writes books, but he also plays several instruments, including the guitar and harmonica. He combines all of these things to create his best selling children’s books.

pete the cat

Among these books are the New York Times best sellers, Pete the Cat. Litwin is responsible for the first four books in the series and created some seriously groovy tunes to go with them.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

I’m currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education so I have read Mr. Litwins books A LOT. Some kids books you get sick of reading over and over, but these ones are honestly entertaining. Maybe it’s the fact there’s music involved too?

Whatever it is, he’s clearly doing something right because his books have sold over 13 million copies worldwide. He is also a well-respected voice for interactive literacy and music – two things proven to work well together, especially for children’s learning.

If you have children, or work with children, I highly recommend Eric Litwin’s, Pete the Cat, books. They are highly entertaining for children and not quite as repetitive as “Baby Shark”.

 

Check out Mr. Litwin’s website for more information!

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Names of the Week

Aria

Female

Alternate Spelling: Arya (pronunciation may vary with this spelling)
Pronunciation: Are-ee-ah

Origin: Italian
Meaning: song; melody

Well-Known Arias: Aria Montgomery (Pretty Little Liars, Author), Aria (Under the Never Sky, Veronica Rossi), Aria Torres (Grey’s Anatomy), Aria Johnson (Singer), Aria Wallace (Actress)
Fabian
Male
Alternate Spelling: Fabien
Pronunciation: Fab-ee-ann OR Fab-ee-awn

Origin: Latin
Meaning: Bean Grower

Well-Known Fabians: Fabian (Twelfth Night, Shakespeare), Fabian Prewett (Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling), Fabian Rutter (House of Anubis, Author), Fabian Cancellara (Cyclist), Fabian Marco Johnson (Soccer Player)
Giovanna
Female
Alternate Spelling: Giovana
Pronunciation: joh-van-ah OR jee-oh-van-ah
Origin: Italian

Meaning: The Lord is Gracious
Well-Known Giovannas: Giovanna Fletcher (Author), Giovanna Ralli (Actress), Giovanna Trillini (Olympic Fencer), Giovanna Amati (Racing Driver), Giovanna Marini (Singer)

 

Lucia
Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Pronunciation: loo-see-ah OR loo-sha
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Light
Well-Known Lucias: Lucia Honeychurch (A Room With a View, Author), Lucia Damora (Falling Kingdoms, Morgan Rhodes), Lucia Lucas (Mapp and Lucia Series, E.F. Benson), Lucía Etxebarríe (Novelist), Lucia Joyce (Daughter of Author, James Joyce)

January 2019 Book Releases

January

I love checking out what new books are going to be coming out each month and this month there are a ton! I only listed a few here, but there are so many good books coming out and I can’t wait to read each of them!

In Paris with You

 

In Paris With You, Clementine Beauvais

After so many years apart; after it all fell apart last time, is it possible to regain a love once thought lost? That is exactly the question that will be answered for Eugene and Tatiana after they meet each other again in Paris.

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder In Paris With You on Amazon


The Au Pair, Emma Rous

Mystery surrounds Seraphine’s family. After her mother’s death, following the birth of Seraphine and her twin brother, something changed. Something strange happened, but it will not be discovered until Seraphine is an adult and finds a photograph of her mother on the day the twins were born… but she’s only holding one baby?

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder The Au Pair on Amazon

Follow Emma Rous on Twitter


Two Can Keep a Secret, Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is a town full of secrets, and secrets can get you killed. Five years before Ellery moved to Echo Ridge, a girl went missing. Now she’s living with her grandmother, and another girl is gone. What is happening in this town and what is everyone hiding?

Release Date: January 8th

Preorder Two Can Keep a Secret on Amazon

Follow Karen M. McManus on Twitter


The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker

New York Times best selling author, Karen Thompson Walker, has written a book sure to keep you turning the pages for more. The Dreamers takes place in a small town where people are trying to figure out why their loved ones are falling asleep and not waking up. It’s not a coma, they’re simply asleep, and they’re dreaming.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder The Dreamers on Amazon

Follow Karen Thompson Walker on Twitter


Famous in a Small Town, Emma Mills

A small town, a girl with the perfect life, and the mysterious new boy next door are what awaits in Emma Mill’s upcoming novel.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Famous in a Small Town on Amazon

Follow Emma Mills on Twitter


Echo NorthEcho North, Joanna Ruth Meyer

Echo believed all was lost when her father went missing. However, when he turns up six months later, Echo has no idea of the adventure she is about to embark on. She makes a deal with a talking wolf – to live with him for a year –  but doesn’t realize just what she is getting into. Soon, Echo will discover there is more to the wolf than meets the eye and she must solve the mystery before it is too late.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Echo North on Amazon

Follow Joanna Ruth Meyer on Twitter


Stain, A.G. Howard

Stain wasn’t always known as Stain. Stain used to be Lyra, a princess banished from her kingdom and whose memory was wiped by the witch who saved her. Now though, Lyra must remember who she is in order to save her kingdom and prove that she is worthy of her title as princess.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Stain on Amazon

Check out A.G. Howard’s Website


Our Year of Maybe, Rachel Lynn Solomon

Sophie and Peter have been best friends for as long as she can remember, and Sophie honestly doesn’t know who she is without Peter in her life. So when she learns Peter needs a kidney transplant and that she can give him one, there’s no question. But things don’t go exactly as planned and the two friends drift along, torn between what they think they should feel and what they really feel. Soon they’ll face something neither of them expected and determine if it’s all really worth it afterall.

Release Date: January 15th

Preorder Our Year of Maybe on Amazon

Follow Rachel Lynn Solomon on Twitter


Even if I FallEven if I Fall, Abigail Johnson

When Jason confessed to the murder of his best friend, his little sister Brooke, lost everything. Now, with her family broken and seemingly beyond repair, and no one to talk to, Brooke finds solace in the most unexpected place – the younger brother of the boy her brother murdered. But not everything is as it seems and soon Brooke will need to choose between her new friend and her family.

Release Date: January 22nd

Preorder Even if I Fall on Amazon

Follow Abigail Johnson on Twitter


Only a Breath Apart, Katie McGarry

Scarlett and Jesse both have demons to face and secrets to keep. When they were children they were best friends, but that all changed when they started high school. Now the only way to escape this curse that is trying to consume them both is to rely on each other, but will they be able to? Or will it all go horribly wrong?

Release Date: January 22nd

Preorder Only a Breath Apart on Amazon

Follow Katie McGarry on Twitter


Death Prefers Blondes, Caleb Roehrig

Margo seems to have the perfect life: she’s a young heiress whose only job is avoiding paparazzi. However, Margo has a secret – at night she puts on a mask and robs high stakes locations. But will one job prove to be too much? Has Margo’s double life finally come unravelled? She will do everything she can to complete this one last job before turning it in, but will she and her companions all make it out?

Release Date: January 29th

Preorder Death Prefers Blondes on Amazon

Follow Caleb Roehrig on Twitter


I’m definitely going to be making quite a few trips to Chapters this month, how about you? See anything you want to pick up?

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What’s Coming in 2019?

2019

What’s coming in 2019?

That’s a question I asked myself a lot leading up to the new year. 2018 was pretty crazy with lots of ups and downs.

I went back to school for the first time in five years and successfully completed my first year working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. I worked basically non-stop.

My nephew was born; I attended Fan Expo again; I got to see Canada’s Gold Winning Olympic Figure Skating Team skate in person! And my laptop broke which had me doing a mad scramble to get it fixed while also borrowing a computer to complete my online assignment on time. Basically, 2018 was non-stop.

However, the one thing I did not get too much of this past year was writing. Between school, work, and family, writing in 2018 really got pushed to the wayside. I barely picked up my novel; fanfiction became a thing I would read on break, but did absolutely no writing of myself; and this blog because something I would look at, desperately wanting to work on, but having no time.

That being said, all throughout December I was able to prep and start writing so I would be ready for when 2019 arrived. And it is here, it is 2019, a New Year, and I am excited for all the things to come!

I have lots of things I’ve been working on; some new ideas, and continuing some old, and I’m excited to share all of them with you.

So thank you to everyone who has stuck with me so far! I hope you’re as excited as I am for what is to come.

I will be back tomorrow morning with a new post and in the meantime, I hope you all had a very Happy New Year!

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World Building: People

earth

What is a world without people?

Well, I mean, it’s probably a world with a lot more green in it and generally healthy ecosystem, but people aren’t reading your book for the trees are they? Unless your book is The Lorax, but as that’s already been written, we can assume that isn’t your book.

Odds are, people are reading your book for the characters; the people.

Now, this series is about world building, not character creation, so I’m not going to be talking specifically about how to create characters, but rather the different people that could inhabit your world (not including your main cast).

So, first things fist, are there are any important figures in your world? By this I mean, government or royalty figures.

Is your world governed by a monarchy? Is there a king or a queen? A prime minister? A president?

If you do have any of these characters, how big a role do they play in your story?

Are they central to the plot? Is your world in a dystopian state because of the government? Or are they a background character? One who isn’t even seen, but you know is there?

Remember, all aspects of world building are important, but not all of things you create for your world have to make it into the story.

If your story takes place on a lake, there might be fishermen; or diving instructors; lifeguards; a guy who rents scuba gear. If your story takes place in a castle, you don’t just have a king or queen. You have maids, servants, cooks, knights, squires, and so much more.

A lot of this might seem totally insignificant. Obviously there are servants in a royal castle, why do I need to acknowledge that?

Honestly, you don’t. However, I find it really helps me in developing my story to have an idea of the community within the story.

You never know when your main characters might suddenly interact with that random fisherman who you forgot about. You might be writing the story, but your characters control it.

What would Harry Potter have been without the teachers? Lord of the Rings without the villagers (and 10,000 other extra characters)? Chronicles of Narnia without the Narnians?

Your background characters give your main characters something to fight for.

I’ve said it a million times and I’m gonna say it again, all aspects of worldbuilding are connected. You might create most of your world and then suddenly get an idea for a character or an aspect of the world and then need to change some other things.

If you’re unsure of anything when creating your world, Google it! Honestly, I Google a lot of things when I’m writing. Like seriously, I’ve got some weird search histories and, talking to other writers, I know I’m not the only one.

What characters would you include in your world? Did any of your background characters suddenly become a bigger part of the story?

I’ll be continuing this series in a couple weeks with a post all about technology for your world!

Is there anything specific you want to talk about?

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World Building: History

earth

Developing the history for the world you’re creating is probably the aspect I have the hardest time with. But it’s also very important. The history of your world sets the foundation for events happening currently in your story.

While you do not need to have every tiny detail of your history hashed out, you should have a general idea of what took place in your world before your story starts.

For instance, if you choose a dystopian world, you should have an idea of what took place for the world to reach that point. If your world is magical, were there any significant events that took place that were caused by magic? Is magic accepted or feared? Harry Potter and Merlin both have magical settings, but very different reactions and understandings of that magic.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when building your world’s history:

  • What type of world do you have?
  • How did it reach that point?
  • Were there any major events that took place prior to your story?
  • Are there any historical figures who could impact the story or characters?
  • How has your world developed since the beginning?
  • How long ago was your world created? Five years? A hundred years? Five thousand years?
    • This is important for how developed your world and other aspects (technology, architecture, etc.) will be
  • If you world did have significant events prior to your story, how long did they last?

These questions are important to address no matter what type of world you are creating, though they are especially important in a fantasy world.

Your fantasy world is entirely your own and your readers have no knowledge or information about it. It is entirely up to you to show and explain what has happened prior to the story so they will have a reason to care about what is happening in your story’s present.

Now, like I said, it’s important to develop the history for your world, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Significant figures will also be developed through the creation of people for your world. The layout and geography may be affected by certain historical events. Technology you have may depend on how long your world has existed. All elements of worldbuilding are intertwined.

This was a short one, but like I said, creating the history for worldbuilding is an aspect that even still confuses me a bit so I didn’t want to include too much here. Worldbuilding is a pace you have to set for yourself so we’re really just covering the basics here.

Usually I’d only post one of these worldbuilding posts once a month, but since I’m just soooo good at keeping on top of my own schedule (can you hear the sarcasm?), there will actually be another of these posts up tomorrow!

I’ll be talking about people and the different types of people and figures you might want to consider for your world.

Let me know what you thought! Are there are questions you ask yourself when developing history for your world?

Is there are certain aspect of worldbuilding you struggle with?

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Names of the Week

Ah, February, the month of love. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching (though if you walked into any department store it’s been approaching since mid-January when all the red hearts and decorations came out.

This month, all names will be of French origin! As France is often called the city of love this seemed appropriate and was a lot of fun to find all these different names.

Amelie

Female
Alternate Spelling: Variation of Amelia
Nickname: Amy/Ami
Pronunciation: Am-ell-lee
Origin: France (Form of Amelia)
Meaning: Hard Working
Well-Known Amelies: Amelie (Morganville Vampires, Rachel Caine); Amelie Leslie (Bonnie Prince Charlie, G.A. Henty); Countess Amelie de Laville (St. Batholomew’s Eve, G.A. Henty); Amelie Nothomb (Belgian Novelist); Amelie Rives Troubetzkoy (American Novelist)


Beau

Male
Alternate Spelling: Bo
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: Bo
Origin: France
Meaning: Beautiful; Handsome
Well-Known Beaus: Beau Wilkes (Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell); Beau Hutton (Country Strong), Beau Berkhalter (The  Client List); Beauregard “Beau” Langdon (American Horror Story: Murder House); Beau Bokan (Lead singer of Blessthefall)


Charlotte

Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: Charlie; Lottie
Pronunciation: Shar-lot
Origin: France
Meaning: Feminine
Well-Known Charlottes: Charlotte Lucas (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen); Charlotte DiLaurentis (Pretty Little Liars); Charlotte York (Sex and the City); Charlotte Honoria Holmes (Charlotte Holmes, Brittany Cavallaro); Charlotte Bronte (Novelist), Charlotte Armstrong (Author)


Noel

Male
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: No-L (Holiday pronunciation, hard L), nol (one syllable, soft L)
Origin: France
Meaning: Christmas
Well-Known Noels: Noel Kahn (Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepherd); Noel Crane (Felicity), Noel Fisher (Actor); Noel Coward (Playwright), Noel Fielding (Comedian)


Clara

Female
Alternate Spelling: Considered a variation of Claire in some places
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: Clah-rah
Origin: France
Meaning: Bright; Clear
Well-Known Claras: Clara Radley (The Radleys); Matt Haig; Clara (Der Sandmann, E.T.A. Hoffman); Clara Boden (White Teeth), Zadie Smith); Clara Oswald (Doctor Who); Clara Bishop (Royals, Geneva Lee)


Fleur

Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: flur
Origin: France
Meaning: Flower
Well-Known Fleurs: Fleau Delacour (Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling); Fleur Forsyte (Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy); Fleur (Being Human); Fleur Jaeggy (Author); Fleur van Eeden (Stuntwoman)


Giles

Male
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: jiles
Origin: France
Meaning: Pledge; Young Goat
Well-Known Giles’: Giles Fletcher (St. George for England, G.A. Henty); Rupert Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); Giles Coren (Novelist); Giles Scott (Architect)


Juliet

Female
Alternate Spelling: Julliet; Juliette
Nickname: Jules; Julie; Julia
Pronunciation: Ju-lee-ett
Origin: France
Meaning: Youthful
Well-Known Juliets: Juliet Capulet (Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare); Juliet (“The Transformation”, Mary Shelley); Juliet (Love Actually); Juliet Burke (Lost); Juliet Grey (Novelist); Juliet Moss (Water Polo Player); Juliet Turner (Singer-Songwriters)

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