Children’s Literature Grows Diverse

January 27 is Multicultural Children’s Book Day when bloggers, authors and publishers unite to showcase multicultural books for kids, libraries, schools and parents. Multicultural Children’s Book Day creators, Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen, enlist authors in book giveaways for educators http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/.

Award-winning author, Karl Beckstrand is from San Jose, Calif., but he has lived in many places—including South America. He speaks Spanish and English and can grasp German, Italian, French, and Portuguese. Two companies published his early works. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing & Gozo Books, which features black, white, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian characters.

“Twenty of our titles have characters of color,” Beckstrand said, “including a Young Adult novel set in Nevada’s silver rush. Our newest book is ‘The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga.’ Many of our books are bilingual with a pronunciation guide in English and Spanish.”

“My first publisher died the day we were to print my first book,” Beckstrand said. “I had to learn the ropes of publishing and marketing.” With that lesson and experience with another publisher, Beckstrand has run PremioPublishing.com for more than ten years.

Premio Publishing has earned its share of recognition. “Bright Star, Night Star: An Astronomy Story” hit number two on Amazon’s Hot New Children’s Books list and won a 2014 UP Author’s design award. “To Swallow the Earth” is a finalist for the Laramie Award. “She Doesn’t Want the Worms – Ella no quiere los gusanos” was in ForeWord Reviews Magazine’s top 10 Best Books of 2011 and featured in School Library Journal. “Crumbs on the Stairs – Migas en las escaleras” consistently ranks in Amazon’s top 10 bestselling books for ESL, large print and Spanish children’s titles. “Bad Bananas: A Story Cookbook for Kids” was praised in Horn Book’s blog, and bilingual app/book “Sounds in the House: A Mystery” was given a nod by Kirkus Reviews.

“We’re working on a graphic novel and more multicultural/multilingual books,” Beckstrand said. “‘The Bridge of the Golden Wood’ teaches children how to earn and save money. ‘Agnes’s Rescue’ is the true story of a girl who walked a thousand miles across the plains into the Rocky Mountains in blizzard conditions (much of the way without shoes). ‘Butterfly Blink’ is the second in a wordless book series.”

All published titles can be found via Amazon/Kindle, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble.com/Nook, Brodart, EBSCO, Flipkart, Follett, Gardners, iBooks, Ingram, Inktera, Kobo, Library Direct, Mackin, OverDrive, Quality, SCRIBD, txtr as well as free ebooks at http://GozoBooks.com.

Multi Author Middle Grade Book Promotion!

I’m excited about this promotion because it’s geared to one of my favorite audiences: middle-grade readers! I’ve always been passionate about books written for kids ages 9 through 12. This promotion is dedicated to all readers who love and are searching for books written for middle graders. Most of the books listed here are free for the next few days. Enjoy!

Meet Mountain West Authors

Get gifts of fiction, non-fiction, teen fiction, and children’s books—autographed by their creators–at Local Authors & You. I’ll be participating with scores of other authors Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 West) in South Jordan, UT. There will be writing and publishing workshops, readings, and book signings. Come meet and mingle with writers.

It’s time for another HUGE multi-author promotion! We’ve gathered a robust collection of books for you to choose from, all of which are rated PG13 and below. There’s something here for everyone–we even have some non-fiction! Enjoy!

Discern

Andrea Pearson

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG – PG13 for fantasy violence
Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, Nook

As an FYI: Praxis, Perceive, and Observe, books two-four of this series, are available for $0.99 for the week of this promotion only (down from $4.99).

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

This doesn’t stop her from competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

Nicole turns to her best friend, Lizzie, for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

To Swallow the Earth
Karl Beckstrand and Ransom Wilcox

Original Price: $3.75
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG for violence
Genre: Western Suspense – Available on KindleNook

108 years in the making! What if you came home after a journey and your family was no longer there? What if someone else was living in your house, running what you used to manage—and trying to kill you?
Wade Forester must stay in the shadows because, it seems, everyone has reason to shoot him. His father has disappeared, and his sister won’t speak a word to anyone. Beautiful Patricia Laughlin is searching for her family as well. Few people gain her trust or approval, though powerful landowner Bridger Calhoun just might be the man to do it.
After a clash throws them to opposite sides, Wade must decide if risking his life to help Patricia is worth the trouble. Bridger must win Patricia’s heart, and Patricia must learn which killer to trust with her life.
Set in Nevada’s historic silver rush, and reminiscent of Crichton, Grey, and L’Amour, the writing comes from intimate knowledge of the era and area. Having lived off the land, Wilcox depended on his wit, grit, and strength—and that of his animals—for survival, just as these characters do. Wilcox and Beckstrand weave authentic detail and care for the terrain and its creatures into a mystery that will make your heart pound and fill your lungs with the “rarefied air” of the old Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Comes with additional short story.

Dissension

Adrienne Monson

Original Price: $8.99
Sale Price: $1.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for violence, two swear words, and sexual innuendo
Genre: Paranormal Romance – Available on KindleNook

Leisha used to be a loving mother with a perfect family, but that was more than 2,000 years ago. Though she holds the memory of that time dear to her heart, she must now focus on trying to escape the eternal and bloody war between her kind—the Vampires—and the Immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy her people. Leisha soon finds herself captured by the government, only to be saved by a young and mysterious human girl. What follows is the beginning of a long and tortuous journey as Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can bring an end to the conflict—the prophecy child.

Blood Crown

Ali Cross

Original Price: $4.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for violence and sensuality
Genre: Science Fiction

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Nook

Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them. But it wasn’t always so. Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorem was to be humanity’s crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space. But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead. Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight. When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes–but Sera’s Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence. Their only hope is the Blood Crown–but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

What If It’s Love?

Alix Nichols

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG13 for sensuality
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available on Kindle, Kindle UK

What If It’s Love? is Book One in the Bistro La Bohème series. Book Two, Falling for Emma, is on sale on Kindle for $0.99 (regularly priced $3.99) October 14-20.When the hottest man in Paris – Rob Dumont – shows interest in geeky, introverted heiress Lena, she suspects something fishy. And so she should.

A New Beginning

Amelia C. Adams

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG for light kissing and mild violence
Genre: Western Romance

Available on Kindle, iTunes

 Handsome young heir Adam Brody sees nothing but possibilities in the sprawling old building he’s just purchased. With a little hard work, he will transform it into a hotel to meet the needs of those traveling by railroad. Aunt Caroline believes he’s lost his mind, but she agrees to help him give it a try.
Left a widow with a small daughter, Elizabeth Caldwell must find work. When she sees an advertisement in the newspaper inquiring about cheerful young women to work in a hotel, she decides to apply. However, the hotel owner specifically requested single ladies, so she must hide her former marital status, and her child, if she wishes to get the job.
With cloudy pasts to overcome, both Adam and Elizabeth want to believe in a bright future. Will they find the strength they need in each other, or will their differences keep them apart?

Return to Moon Lake

Amy Gamet

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for behind closed doors sex
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available on Kindle, Nook

 Lisa Addario is struggling to make peace with her family and her own bad decisions, while ex-soldier Greg Mora is desperate to carve a new life for himself after war. Can two broken people heal the wounds from their past, or will their demons destroy their chance at happiness forever?
Books in the Love on the Lake series (each can be read as a stand-alone story):
Treasure on Moon Lake (Tori and Jed)
Fortune on Moon Lake (Melanie and Rafael)
Return to Moon Lake (Lisa and Greg)

The Superstitious Romance

Anastasia Alexander

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Sweet Romance

Available on Kindle, Nook

Friday the 13th has always been unlucky for history professor Camille Britain, and this one doesn’t seem any different. In an effort to escape her failed marriage, Camille is renting a cabin in beautiful Island Park, Idaho, where she meets wildlife photographer Jackson Armstrong, who scoffs at her superstitious ways and infuriates her with his offers of help.
Camille doesn’t need another man—not even one as compelling and attractive as Jackson. Especially when he seems hung up on another woman. And yet Camille can’t deny the passion between them or the way Jackson makes her feel.
This Friday the 13th upsets both their worlds by forcing Camille and Jackson to see things about themselves, their families, and each other that might—with a little help—change them forever. Maybe this time superstition is on their side.
The Superstitious Romance is a “sweet romance” about a strong woman who feels weak, a man who doubts himself, and a powerful love that changes everything.

Exodus

Andreas Christensen

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG13 for mild profanity and violence. No sex
Genre: Science Fiction

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, Nook

When mankind faces extinction, how can anyone survive?

In 2072, Earth faces the ultimate extinction event. In an America turned authoritarian, a race against time begins. To send a starship to a distant planet, where the remains of humanity can survive. Only a small number will be chosen for this final endeavor to save mankind from extinction, and among the contenders only the most resourceful will have a chance.

But while the government wants to choose loyal subjects in order to create another version of the society they have engineered, there are those who secretly conspire to let the starfarers choose their own destiny, free from the bonds of their mother world.

As mankind on Earth faces its final blow, the selected few set course for Aurora, more than 40 light years away!

Follow Tina Hammer, scramjet pilot and officer, Kenneth Taylor, Harvard professor and alienated by the nation he once held so dear, Maria Solis, daughter to one of the richest men in the world, a girl who would never have been chosen, except for her dad’s money, on their various paths toward the greatest adventure in human history.

The Captain of Her Heart, Vol I of the Buchanan Saga

Anita Stansfield

Original Price: $6.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG13 for mature content, mild language, and mild sexual implications
Genre: Historical Romance

Available on KindleNook

The year is 1777. As the brooding mists of war settle over a stark American battlefield, Captain Ritcherd Buchanan yearns for his native England—and for Kyrah Payne, the woman he loves. Wounded and disheartened, he eventually returns home, only to have Kyrah torn cruelly away from him and deported for a crime she didn’t commit. Desperate to bring her home, he joins a band of privateers and finds himself embracing the American patriot cause—a cause he’d once sworn to defeat.
All alone in a country at war, Kyrah becomes a victim of the breach between her own impoverished circumstances and the aristocratic upbringing of the man she loves. They had been best friends and confidants for more than half her life, but now she wonders if Ritcherd will ever be able to find her—or if he’ll even try. And she fears that the chasm between their worlds can never be bridged.
A powerful and deeply moving saga, its intricate plot expertly woven and guaranteed to keep any reader turning its pages. The only disappointment is that the book ends!

Moonlight

Ann Hunter

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for mild violence and romance
Genre: YA Fantasy

Available on Kindle

“My most beloved brothers, and father,
I feel as though I have failed you. With Mother’s death and the threat of Ciatlllait’s dark powers looming, I am not sure I am strong enough to save you. But I will try.
War is coming. I am just one girl. I feel so small, but I will draw strength from Mother’s final words: You are never alone.”
–Aowyn
One vow. One curse. One thousand moons.
While Princess Aowyn’s six brothers are favored by their father, Aowyn is the jewel in her mother’s crown. When the Queen dies, Aowyn takes a vow to protect her brothers and father from the hungry eyes of the queen’s handmaiden, Ciatlllait – who is more than she seems.
In order to save her family, Aowyn risks a dangerous deal with the dark creature Sylas Mortas. But magic comes with a price: and Aowyn soon realizes the one she has paid is too steep.
Only true love can reverse the spell…but it will take one thousand moons. Can she keep to her word with war and romance on the horizon?
Set in a Celtic world, “Moonlight” is the story of faith and true love woven through a breathtaking coming of age retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Swan Princess”

Dead Running

Cami Checketts

Original Price: $4.49
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG for mild violence
Genre: Clean Romantic Suspense

Available on Kindle

Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she’ll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them?
A light-hearted and clean romantic suspense, by #1 Bestselling Christian author, Cami Checketts, Dead Running will have you lacing up your running shoes and racing for the sequel, Dying to Run.

ConQuest

Dhayaa Anbajagane

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Science Fiction

Available on Kindle

An ordinary man would fear the realm of the unknown.
An extraordinary boy would conquer it.
Enemies can come from a different country, different continent or even a different planet, but what if they came from a different Universe? When a freak space phenomenon threatens to tear open the ancient seals of the Universe, teenage rookie Q and his crew are told to head out and gather vital data on the situation.
What they weren’t told is they wouldn’t be coming back.
Thrilling, adventurous and action-packed, ConQuest promises to be a page turning read that’ll always keep you guessing.

New World Orders

Edward G. Talbot

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for action violence and some profanity
Genre: Political (Action) Thriller

Available on Kindle

Killing Kennedy was only the beginning. . .
In the nineteen-sixties, a group of wealthy men concludes that it’s already too late to stop global warming from destroying the planet. But they have a plan to save themselves.
Twenty years later, Jack Crowley and Jim Patterson stumble onto the conspiracy, and every answer they find is accompanied by more questions – and more deaths.
Jack is a former idealist, turned cynical by his years working as a New York tabloid editor. But his enthusiasm returns as he looks into the work of a NASA scientist who tells Jack about cover-ups at the space agency. Jim is a detective with little patience for conspiracy nuts. But he hates loose ends, and is unable to let go of the inconsistencies in another suspicious NASA death. Soon, his investigation leads him to Jack, and they join forces.
As Jack and Jim dig deeper, they are targeted by the type of killers that don’t usually miss. From Washington to Las Vegas to the Middle East, they manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuers in a race to expose the truth, and maybe, just maybe, save the world.

With No Regrets

Julie N. Ford

Original Price: $4.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for mature themes, mild innuendo, farmer swearing, and a couple of passionate kisses
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Available on Kindle, iTunesNook

Living With No Regrets Is Harder Than It Seems
Finley isn’t exactly sure when her life began to feel unfamiliar. She suspects the transformation started long before she caught her husband and fellow garden club member doing the white-trash-two-step on her new Bernhardt sofa. Now free from the shackles of a loveless marriage, and with her children off to college, she’s finally able to go searching for the missing pieces of her heart.
Finley’s best friend, Cathyanne, is already working hard to ensure that Finley finds true love this time around. But when Finley is unwittingly tossed into the arms of two men—their sexy trainer and her neighbor, a popular country star—Cathyanne fears finding the right guy will be more complicated than she ever could have imagined.
For Finley, building a new life feels as impossible as flying a paper airplane to the moon. But maybe, just maybe, with the right help, she will find her whole heart—even if it’s in the very last place she thinks to look.

Cold River

Liz Adair

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: FREE until the 17th, then $0.99
Movie Rating: PG for some mild adult themes
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Available on Kindle

Mandy Steenburg thinks her doctorate in education has prepared her to run any school district – until she tangles with the moonshine-making, coon-dog-owning denizens of a tiny district in Pacific Northwest timber country. She’s determined to make a difference, but the local populace still looks to the former superintendent for leadership. When Mandy lands in the middle of an old feud and someone keeps trying to kill her, instinct tells her to run. And though she has to literally swim through perilous waters, she finds a reason to stay and chance the odds.

Finding Success in Failure

Lucas Carlson

Original Price: $6.49
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Non-fiction Business Advice

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, Nook

 Want to make millions (or even billions) as an entrepreneur in just 18 months?  So did I. And I used to read anything that promised it.
It was a constant disappointment. Time after time I would read these books feeling like I couldn’t apply or reproduce their efforts.
But after 10 years of struggling, something finally clicked. I signed up over 100,000 users for what started out as just a side project, raised almost $10 million, and ended up having my company acquired. So what did I do differently?
The real question you should be asking is what I DIDN’T do to find success in failure.
In every field, from chess to gymnastics, we can make bigger gains by reducing mistakes than by making winning moves. This is especially true in business. We study the greats, trying to extract valuable lessons, when avoiding a few key blunders would be more valuable.
Fortunately, advice on what not to do is universally applicable. The ways to fall down the mountain are shared by all climbers, no matter which path they’ve chosen.
This book is here to teach you how NOT to fall down the mountain.
How can you be an entrepreneur that beats the odds? How do you build a successful business that not only changes the world for the better, but creates generational wealth for you and your family? You simply need to avoid mistakes — and this book will show you how.

You Belong with Me

Melissa Storm

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available on Kindle

Would you let your dog choose your boyfriend?
 Maybe Charlie Rockwell should have thought a little harder before adopting the large, out-of-control rescue dog she saw featured on the local news—but, then again, her life has always been best with no waiting, no attachments, nobody to hold her back.
Will Porter lives a life of order and routine, so, of course, he’s miffed when a savage Rottweiler picks a fight with his golden retriever at the dog park. His anger quickly vanishes when he looks into the tearful eyes of the dog’s owner—eyes that look strikingly similar to his ex’s. Even though he’d like nothing more than to run in the other direction, he’s unable to ignore the beautiful stranger’s request for help in taming her new dog.
Can Will get past her resemblance to his ex and finally learn to love—and trust—again? And can Charlie find the fun in a simpler existence? Who knows, maybe opposites really do attract.

Paladin: Pawn

Michael Young

Original Price: $3.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG for some scary elements
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Available on Kindle

When nerdy eighth-grader Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a paladin, a white knight in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history, and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.
Rich’s grandmother leaves him one thing before disappearing for good—a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life-or-death contest against his nemesis, a dark knight in training. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead.

Paradise Lot

R.E. Vance

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: FREE Oct 12th and 13th, then $0.99 until the 17th
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Available on Kindle

The gods are gone. All of them.
Their last message to humanity was: “Thank you for believing in us, but it is not enough. We’re leaving. Good luck.” At first no one took them seriously. Until, that is, all the denizens of all the heavens and hells started showing up on people’s doorsteps.
Creatures that were once thought of as myth are now refugees striving to adapt to life on earth. Trouble is, after eons of living forever, they’re not very good at being mortal.
Caught in the middle is Jean-Luc, a struggling hotelier who (reluctantly) promised to help these wayward ‘Others’ live in this new GoneGod world. But taking care of his guests, keeping his hotel afloat and dealing with the constant drama of the Others’ lives is figuratively killing him. And now that an unusually strange Other is in town, his figurative demise might soon become more literal.
Paradise Lot is a new urban fantasy series by R.E. Vance that chronicles the adventures of the humans and ‘Others’ alike, as they struggle to navigate this strange, new post apocalyptic godless world.

The January Cove Series: Books 1-5

Rachel Hanna

Original Price: $6.99
Sale Price: $2.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for fade-to-black sex scenes
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Available on Kindle, iTunesNook

 The first 5 books of the January Cove series!
 Welcome to January Cove, a quaint beach town on the coast of Georgia where true love always wins and happy endings are the catch of the day.
In the first 5 books of the January Cove series, you’ll meet the Parker family. There are 4 brothers (Kyle, Aaron, Jackson and Brad) and one sister (Addison). Books 1-5 follow each of the siblings through the trials of falling in love, and you’ll also meet their mother, Adele, who raised her five children alone after becoming a widow at a young age.
These books will make you swoon and leave you wanting more. Don’t start reading them before bed or you may not get a wink of sleep!
The January Cove series books are the perfect beach reads. If you love small town romance set in a beach town with rich characters and amazing love stories, this series will be a new favorite!

Numbers Game

Rebecca Rode

Original Price: $2.99
Sale Price: $0.99
Movie Rating: PG13 for some violence and heavy themes
Genre: Dystopian (Science Fiction)

Available on Kindle

Treena isn’t sure she wants to be Rated anymore. Sure, she’s prepared for Rating Day her entire life. Sure, she’s one of the top contenders in Level Three school. But this number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. And then there’s the the issue of being within 100 points of her top-rated boyfriend if they’ll attend the academy together.
But Rating Day comes and her number is announced–and it shocks everyone.
To get her life and boyfriend back, Treena must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and gorgeous brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart.

The Change

Teyla Branton

Original Price: $4.99
Sale Price: FREE
Movie Rating: PG13 for violence
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Nook

Death, Life, or Love—Unbounded Always Play for Keeps
There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.
Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, the Emporium and the Renegades, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene.
As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her unique ability is vital to both groups in the race to secure an identification software that spells death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world. Some will stop at nothing to use Erin as one more pawn in a battle that has spanned centuries. Erin’s undeniable attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.
Non-stop action, terrifying consequences, and powerful romance make The Change an exciting addition to the world of romantic urban fantasy.
Flamingos book cover

The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga

MIDVALE, Utah, Sept. 9, 2015 — The world is pink. Pink with flamingos reveling on an imaginary lake—the creation of award-winning author Karl Beckstrand. Vivid images for the picture book The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga were created by illustrator Ashley Sanborn.

“The story is filled with frenetic flamingos swimming, swooping, and swaying,” Beckstrand said. “I think it will make anyone smile. Kids can count the birds, dances, and foods.”

Quirky birds with a zest for life, revel, and dance on the shores of a shimmering lake. “Pink! Pink birds on a walk, pink flocks in pink socks. Diving, dipping, drinking, dripping, flying, falling, flailing, flipping. Strutting, swaying, swooping, sunning, synchronized swimming—they shimmy. It’s stunning.”

The 24-page, 8.5-inch square soft cover picture book and ebook is for ages 3 – 7 (350 words for preschool to second grade) and has online extras. Beckstrand has 15 multicultural books and more than 40 online titles, many of which feature characters of color. Most end with a twist. His nationally-lauded books can be found at Amazon/Kindle, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble/ Nook, Brodart, EBSCO, Flipkart, Follett, iBooks, Ingram, Inktera, Kobo, Mackin, OverDrive, Oyster, SCRIBD, txtr, PremioBooks.com and select retailers. ISBN-13: 978-1512161786 (ebook ISBN: 978-1310478215)

Strange Inheritance

Man inherits–and publishes–manuscript 108 years in the making

MIDVALE, Utah, May 22, 2015 — What would you do if you came across an unpublished mystery manuscript? If it was good, you might just publish it. That’s what publisher Karl Beckstrand did when he inherited the silver rush thriller from his grandfather.

“It was typed and ready for submission to publishers,” Beckstrand said. But while the story, set in 1880s Nevada, was gripping, “there were holes in the plot and the characters needed to be fleshed out some more,” Beckstrand said.

Because Beckstrand’s author-grandfather had grown up in the back country of Northern California in the early days of the last century “his writing was filled with intense action, but also a real care for the land and its creatures,” Beckstrand said.

Being careful not to destroy the story’s folksy vernacular, Beckstrand decided to fill the gaps and burnish it a bit. “The language practically vibrated with authenticity,” Beckstrand said. “I really wanted to preserve that as I worked on it. I think it came out wonderfully.”

The result: “To Swallow the Earth,” by Ransom Wilcox. “It’s a thriller and a romance about man and a woman, each searching for missing family members, who clash amid a Nevada silver rush scheme that leaves both unsure who to trust — and scrambling to stay alive,” Beckstrand said.

“While it has the hardened male players you’d expect in a story about that era,” Beckstrand said, “it also has a strong female lead character.” Beckstrand is proud of his grandfather’s inclusion of a gutsy woman.

Beckstrand, who has more than 20 published titles, kept his grandfather’s name on the western novel. “I think it’s kind of fun that 108 years after his life’s adventure began, my grandfather’s mystery has been published,” he said.

Wilcox also has a book of short stories on the fanciful reminiscences of his early, rugged years in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada Mountains: “Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California.” Both books may be found via http://www.PremioPublishing.com, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble/NOOK, Amazon.com/Kindle, iTunes, Follett, Ingram, Mackin and select booksellers.

Goodreads giveaway has ended, but ebook will be available at 99¢ through August on most ebook platforms: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25486206-to-swallow-the-earth.

Family Stories

This month I shared with librarians around the country my adventures in Family History. Where is your family from? How can your personal or family story impact others? People of all ages find inspiration from the biographies of great men and women who faced difficulties. What many people don’t realize is that within their own families are stories of great courage and resilience. I grew up hearing the dry names of people I didn’t know—dates and places—that kind of bored me. But I also heard their stories. THAT always got my attention. My ancestors include pilgrims, Mormon pioneers, and possibly American Indians. I’m preparing the second book in a series on ancestors who immigrated to America as children. My roots are South African, Swedish, Scottish, Irish, and English. I read that a young man in prison said (after learning about his heritage), ‘Had I known who I am—who I came from—I would never had ended up here.’ Knowing where/who you come from can change you.

To start go from the known to the unknown. Find your oldest living relative and interview him/her!

  • Prepare questions prior
  • Audio/video record it!
  • Take notes too (for unplanned questions—and technology backup)
  • Start with geography
  • Have fun being a detective!

Research ONE person at a time (but know a few family names, in case you stumble across Uncle Bob. Names are often repeated across generations). Know town, township/city, county, state, region, and country of origin (where possible. Sometimes towns disappear, counties split or merge, and countries’ borders shift—be sure any map you look at is from the correct era). Sometimes, just by Googling a name and place, you find gems.

Before governments kept records, they were mostly collected in:

  • Church records (birth, death, marriage, ordination, bar mitzvah, adoption, service, cemetery/headstones)
  • Family Bible, photo albums, scrapbooks
  • Family letters & heirlooms
  • Diaries/journals/biographies (DAR, DUP. Don’t overlook those of siblings, cousins, etc.)
  • Announcements, phone books, bills, organization directories

The best records are official (and can substantiate or disprove rumors)

  • City/county/national records: Census, military, Social Security Index, taxes
  • Certificates: education, awards, achievement
  • Wills, deeds, lawsuits/probate/court cases/jails
  • Immigration records, passenger lists
  • Business records/lists, hiring/promotions
  • Adoption/orphanage or hospital records
  • News articles, obituaries, event ads, museums
  • Bank/Insurance records, ledgers
  • Funeral/cemetery records (headstones too)

Historical & genealogical societies can be more helpful than city/county/state clerks. Find them online (also family tree-building sites):

Queries: It is NOT unusual for a stranger to happily search records—even headstones in local cemeteries for you (offer to cover copy/travel costs). Families often have official sites or Facebook pages, you can query those page owners too. Have friends or family in an ancestral place (you’re not in)? Ask if they’ll look up data/certificates/headstones for you. When all else fails, consider hiring a professional genealogist (or get free help at any LDS Family History Center. Ask for a tour. Become a volunteer indexer).

What do you do with the data?

  • Put copies of everything in your binder (pedigree chart, family group sheets, individual timelines, and a source/research log)
  • Share it on Ancestry.com and/or a specific family site (create one if you want)
  • Have a reunion to meet, swap stories, share data, and get emails for ongoing collaboration
  • Set up a family site/FB page
  • Publish it as an ebook and even physical book (for posterity—and even the world)

Dead men (and women) tell no tales. Document your own history. On a sheet of paper, write the year of your birth and then (a few spaces down) write the year ten years after that (add ten and ten … until the present). Fill in major events, and you’ll soon have a quick outline of your life. Here are some data ideas (also good for interviewing relatives):

  • Birth date/place, Christening/baptism
  • Siblings, education, special/funny experiences
  • Marriage, career, military, hobbies, travel
  • Affiliations, talents, accomplishments, volunteer work, church service
  • Children
  • Places lived (where died/buried)

If you’d like more info on publishing your story. There is a free audio here: KarlBeckstrand.com/Presentations

Read a Book with No Words

MIDVALE, Utah, Nov. 26, 2014 — Want to help kids cement their vocabulary skills? A new book—without words—can do just that.  Polar Bear Bowler: A Story Without Words is designed to help children create their own narration to engaging, funny images. It is Karl Beckstrand’s eleventh book.

Illustrated by Ashley Sanborn of Lehi, UT, the story is about a Polar Bear that hitches a ride to Antarctica. He’s never seen penguins before; to him they look like something fun to play with. So, the fun begins. The new title has been translated into more than twenty languages.

What would you do if Old MacDonald’s animals ruined your catering business? Ma MacDonald’s response is pretty clever in Beckstrand’s twelfth book: Ma MacDonald Flees the Farm. Activities include finding and naming animals and foods (for ages 3 – 8). The 32-page, soft cover and ebook was  illustrated by Alycia Mark of Providence, UT.

True to its multicultural tradition, Premio Publishing’s books feature learning activities and characters of color. Premio’s mystery and language books, non-fiction, ebooks and app are nationally-lauded, invite family learning and together time, and often end with surprises. Premio is celebrating its tenth year.

Most titles may be found via http://www.PremioBooks.com, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble/NOOK, Amazon.com/Kindle, iTunes, Follett/Title Wave, Ingram, Mackin and select booksellers.

Spooky Halloween App & Mystery Books Teach Courage

Scared of the dark? Follow a gusty pup through an interactive Halloween app: Sounds in the House! Finally, an app that reveals what’s behind many, sometimes frightening, creaks and thuds that scare young and old on dark nights. Sounds in the House is a humorous interactive story with text and audio narration in both English and Spanish, a pronunciation guide, a finding activity and–of course–sounds.

Young children and adults will enjoy the jittery puppy, created by illustrator Channing Jones, who takes action and finds he is safe and loved. “It’s about facing fear,” says author Karl Beckstrand. “Once you know what causes those squeaks and bumps, you find there’s seldom cause to be afraid,” he says. Still, it is fun to see what makes a dog—or a person—jump, given the right start.

Not that anyone needs a comprehensive list of what keeps people awake at night, but Beckstrand’s mystery book Why Juan Can’t Sleep chronicles–with hilarity–every possible cause for insomnia. A finalist for a Utah Book Award this year, the newest edition in the Mini-mysteries for Minors series has finding activities and illustrations by Spanish artist Luis Sanz that grab readers and aid comprehension. From wild dreams to noisy neighbors, crazy critters and too much Chinese food, Beckstrand makes sure adults and kids are entertained at Halloween or any bedtime.

Beckstrand’s mysteries feature characters of color and usually end with a twist. They have been lauded by the Horn Book blog, ForeWord Reviews, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Many are available in English-only, Spanish-only, and bilingual versions–with full text and pronunciation guide in both languages–and as e-books (for ages 4 – 10).

Other mysteries include: She Doesn’t Want the Worms – Ella no quiere los gusanos, Crumbs on the Stairs – Migas en las escaleras. Sounds in the House may be heard in any home. Ask for the app or mystery books at: Sam Weller, King’s English, Premiobooks.com, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Brodart, Follett, Ingram,  EBSCO, Qualtiy Books, Premiobooks.com, Custamizabooks.com, Android and iTunes stores and libraries nationwide. The Sounds in the House app is compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Tablets and phones, Kindle Fire, PC/Windows and Mac.

¿Alguna vez, has oído en tu casa ruidos que te asustan? ¿De dónde vienen esos chirridos y golpes? Te encantará descubrirlo. No hay nada que temer; Sounds in the House – Sonidos en la casa es una aplicación chistoso que explica las causas de esos sonidos espantosos. Este Halloween, aprenda sobre el temor, el valor y la amistad — con un perrito bravo. Un misterio divertido para toda la familia (2 años y arriba), incluye una guía de pronunciación en inglés y español, un actividad de búsqueda, dibujos vividos para ayudar con el vocabulario — y sonidos. La aplicación es compatible con iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Tablets y telefonos, Kindle Fire, PC/Windows y Mac, y viene gratis con la compra de cualquier libro misterio por Premio (via Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Follett Library Resources/BWI Title Wave, Ingram, Barnes & Noble/Nook, EBSCO, Premiobooks.com, Sam Weller’s.) La aplicación puede ser comprado en Custamizabooks.com, Amazon/Kindle, Android y iTunes.

Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California: Short Stories & Poems

MIDVALE, UT, USA – Animal lovers can get a peek at life in rural California in the early twentieth century when animals played a critical role in human survival. Author Ransom Wilcox knows—he lived it.

Wilcox’s family moved to the Sacramento Valley from Canada in 1907. They farmed, tended livestock, and sometimes got by via hunting and fishing. Once, when the hunter became the prey—of a charging wild boar—Wilcox stuck a pole he was carrying into the ground and climbed up!

Wilcox’s stories in, Horse and Dog Adventures in Early California, tell of his great love for a beautiful filly and how he depended on horses in ranching and hunting. He also writes about the devotion of a special dog that saved his life—and how he was later able to return the favor, performing emergency surgery on the injured canine. “Doc” Wilcox, as his friends called him, was a chiropractor by profession, and grateful for his medical training when his rescuer needed help.

Wilcox’s love of animals and the great outdoors is evident in his nature-themed stories and poems (for young and old). They convey courage, devotion, and perseverance with warmth and sincerity.

Also from Premio Publishing: No Offense: Communication Guaranteed Not to Offend by Karl Beckstrand (also from California). In his ninth book, Beckstrand captures with simplicity and wit the essence of non-offensive, politically correct communication. Funny–and free of degrading bits–this is safe, entertaining reading for the whole family. Beckstrand encourages (in a clever way) the expression of important ideas and respectful dialogue—which often lead to serendipitous solutions that neither side would have arrived at without the other. He makes a strong statement about the problems with political correctness—especially unconstitutional limits on free speech. PremioPublishing.com

Originally posted by Karl Beckstrand at 9/21/2013 4:48 PM