Blog Tour: Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service

BEN Fox(1)Today I’d like to introduce you to Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service by Daisy Whitney.

“Ten-year-old Ben Fox has good friends, a great dog, and a lightning-fast little sister who drives him a bit batty. The only thing in the fifth grader’s life that’s truly annoying–well, besides having to wear braces on his feet every day–is the family’s wily Siamese cat, Percy.

Ben has always suspected something was off about Percy, who has never shown him or his beloved dog, Captain Sparkles, much affection. But now he’s sure something is off–Percy has raised an army of squirrel zombies in the backyard and they’re ready to take on the dog.

It’ll be up to Ben to figure out how to stop the dastardly cat before the dog falls prey to the feline’s nefarious plans, especially since Percy and his newly reanimated squirrel friends are gunning for nothing less than a full-scale Animal Zombie Apocalypse–when all the dogs start to behave like cats.

If only Ben could enlist his mom’s help in the undead animal war. But his mom is petrified of things that go bump in the night, so Ben’s only hope is to team up with his little sister. The battle won’t be easy though, because squirrel zombies are the most dangerous of all…”

About Daisy Whitney

Daisy Whitney is also the author of the young adult novels THE MOCKINGBIRDS, THE RIVALS, WHEN YOU WERE HERE, and STARRY NIGHTS. Her books have received critical acclaim including NPR Best Teen Read, ABC New Voices Pick, ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, an NCIBA Book of the Year Honorable Mention, a Romantic Times Best of YA, and a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best.

ARCs of Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service have already been shipped, and are also available via NetGalley. For future reference, or to request an ARC of this book, please use the Reviewers link.


For more about Daisy, visit her at

Twitter @DaisyWhitney

Facebook Author page

Book notes:

Title: Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service

Author: Daisy Whitney

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Price: $9.95

Pages: 158

ISBN: 9781939392190

Categories: Authors, book covers, giveaway, new books!, writing for children | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 questions for Laura Diamond, author of The Zodiac Collector

As many of you know, half of my life is spent writing and editing books for Spencer Hill Press. A while back I signed this awesome author, Laura Diamond, and I want to introduce you to her and her wonderful book, The Zodiac Collector, which just came out on September 23rd!

Zodiac-collectorfullcoverflatBook Blurb:

“For almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance Faire means three things—her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her and her twin sister, Mary.

This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she’s going to do things her way.

On the eve of the Faire, Anne (along with a reluctant Mary) conjures up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event. Little do they know that it’s a literal request.

After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize they’ve invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. That’s the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac—and the world—will be hers.

Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena, they’ll get a 16th birthday they’ll never forget.”

1– What was your inspiration for writing the Zodiac Collector?

Quite simply, the Renaissance Faire. Seeing the little patch of forest transformed into another era with tiny shops, folks in costumes, and, of course, the jousting arena really helps to invoke a sense of magic and fantasy. I knew I wanted to craft a story with such a fun setting and that’s how Zodiac Collector was born.

2– What is your writing process like? Are you a “pantser” or an outliner?

Well, I’ve done both, but I started as a pantser and I think there will always be a part of me that will stay a pantser, even when I draft an outline. Somehow, no matter how carefully I outline, when I’m in the midst of drafting, the outline goes out the window and the story takes over.

3– What was the best piece of advice you received about writing?

Listen to feedback and don’t take it personally. It’s hard not to when someone is ripping apart your work, but they’re not doing it to hurt your feelings! The awesome thing about writers, editors, etc, is that they are genuinely willing to be helpful and most critiques come from a place of caring. Think about it, if a writer is giving a crit or advice, it’s probably because they’ve encountered the same issue before. They’re trying to help you climb one of the many learning curves the writing has to offer.

4– What advice would you give to beginning writers?

KEEP WRITING. No matter what. The highs are high and the lows are low, so keeping a steady head is important too. With perseverance, progress is made…and rejection doesn’t sting quite as much after a while. ;)

5– Besides writing, what kind of hobbies do you enjoy?

Sleeping, lol! Besides that, I enjoy reading, music, movies, cuddling with my fur babies, and spontaneous day trips. I’m also s-l-o-w-l-y renovating a 225+ year old house (money pit, yikes!) and it’s quite rewarding bringing the old gal back to her former glory.


More about Laura:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult Laura-diamondparanormal, dystopian, and horror. She’s a lucid dreamer, meaning she can direct her dreams while they’re happening. When she’s awake, she pens stories from her dreams and shares them with her readers. Laura has many published titles including the Pride Series (New Pride, Shifting Pride, and Tsavo Pride), the Endure Series (Endure and Evoke), The Zodiac Collector, a novella Sunset Moon in the Lore anthology, and several shorts stories. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond–Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

For more about Laura, visit her at

blog link (

Twitter (

Facebook Author page (





Categories: Authors, interview, Renaissance, writing, writing for children | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Hapenny Harvest!

Join us on November 15, 2014 for:


Categories: Faerie, Fundraising, Hapenny Magick, Jennifer Carson, Party!, William Ogmundson | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal, Freaks of Nature by Wendy Brotherlin

Most of you know that I edit books for Spencer Hill Press. At the NESCBWI conference in May of 2013, I met this really cool writer when her manuscript was sent to me for a critique. I instantly fell in the love with the story, and after meeting Wendy, I fell in love with the author too. Check out this really awesome cover that artist Lisa Amowitz designed for Freaks of Nature!

Freaks of Nature

Freaks of Nature

Here’s what the story is about:

The global Ebola-X pandemic of 2022 lasted five months, two weeks and six days before a cure could be found. In its wake, it left a generation of psionic freaks who can turn a single thought into a weapon… or worse.

Fifteen-year-old Devon McWilliams is one of those freaks, but instead of some awesome ability like telekinesis or telepathy, he talks to plants. In other words, Devon rates a big fat zero on the scale of cool psychic abilities. Days after escaping from his psionic detainment facility, the military intercepts him. Regaining consciousness, Devon finds himself restrained aboard a military airship headed toward lifetime incarceration or certain death.

Also aboard this one-way flight to doom are six other psions. One of them, a telepath named Bai Lee, claims to have the means to escape. All the others have to do is convince her that they’re worthy of freedom. This is not good news for Plant Boy. The last thing he wants to do is reveal his useless plant-talking prowess to this kill-you-with-a-thought crew. To complicate matters further, he’s crushing hard on Alya, the lovely healer.

Devon knows he must keep his wits about him if he’s going survive this wild ride. And that’s going to be a tricky thing to do around a determined telepath who seems to have a diabolical agenda all her own.


About my author:
Wendy Brotherlin is a screenwriter, music enthusiast and all around geek-goddess. She earned a Masters in Screenwriting at the University of Southern California and went on to write for children’s television including Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Today, she lives in Manchester, Maine with her husband and two little super-heroes-in-training. Freaks of Nature is her first novel.

Learn more about Wendy!

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Free sewing pattern, primitive rabbit

bunniesI made these adorable bunnies from a baby quilt I found at a vintage/junk store in northern New Hampshire. They have rusty jingle bells for eyes and a scrap of homespun for their bow with an embroidered nose, ear and leg. Fill them with lavender for a cute sachet or toss them in a chair as decoration. You could even put a bell in them for a child, just make sure to embroider the eye if you make one for a kiddo.Download the primitive bunny pattern here. And if you like to make rabbits, be sure to check out these patterns!


Spring Rabbit                             Fall Hare–Free!                         March Hare


Spring Rabbit Sewing Pattern

Fall Hare, October's free softie sewing pattern!

Fall Hare, October’s free softie sewing pattern!

The March Hare, a new sewing pattern for March 2014

The March Hare, a new sewing pattern for March 2014

Categories: animals, creativity, fiber art, free sewing pattern, handmade gift, Jennifer Carson, sewing, Softie of the Week, Upcycled | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BABY debuted at Boston Comicon!

Last fall I was approached about making a pattern for a character in George O’Connor’s comic BABY illustrated by Griffin Ess of course I said yes! If you aren’t familiar with this comic it is about a baby sea monster who

“stumbles onto the Jersey shore, chaos ensues. Local cryptozoologist, Dr. Trent Headley, sees the monster as his ticket to the fame and fortune he’s always craved. And Detective Frank Welker just tries to survive the day – his last day on the job before he retires.”

How could I say no to that??

So anyway, it was George’s sister who made this request, and after finding the perfect material I got to work. Here is a picture of BABY at the Boston Comicon with his illustrator behind him! You’ll be able to meet BABY at a comicon near you! He’s coming to New Hampshire this month at the Granite State Comicon!

baby debut(1)

Categories: art, Custom book characters, dragons, Jennifer Carson, sewing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Country Gentlemen, a new sewing pattern for a dressed up rabbit and pig

IMG_6099These two little country gentlemen are ready to frolic and play. You can make them from a variety of fabrics. The directions include instructions for jointing the head with safety lock joints, but you have the option to joint the legs and arms with thread jointing instead of safety lock joints. Eyes shown in photo are vintage shoe buttons– there are also directions for needle felting the eyes. Safety lock eyes can be used as well, but there are no directions for those.

These two lovies don’t stand on their own, but will sit on their own. They are 11″ tall. Noses and mouths are embroidered. Patterns and directions for their jacket and pants are included. Wired ears for posing.

Finished gents can be sold for profit– no mass production. Doll can be made for children if safety lock joints are used and eyes are needle felted or you use safety lock eyes.

You can purchase Two Country Gentlemen on Etsy or Patternmart!





Categories: animals, fiber art, Jennifer Carson, new sewing patterns, sewing, Soft dolls and toys for kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sybil, A Faerie Mother and Her Child, new sewing pattern

A faerie mother and her child.

A faerie mother and her child.

Sybil stands at 12″ tall and carries her newborn all swaddled up. Easy to follow directions with illustrations and suppliers list.

Shown made from hand dyed wool, but can be made from Dolskin or craft velour as well. Needle felted eyes, dress made from a fat quarter of cotton. Sybil is not jointed.

Limited numbers can be sold for profit. NO mass production.

This pattern is intended for intermediate to advanced doll makers. If you have trouble turning small parts, please enlarge pattern. A set of tiny turning tubes (from Dollmaker’s Journey) are HIGHLY recommended.

You can buy and instantly download the pattern on Etsy or Patternmart!

Sybil, A Faerie Mother and her Baby, PMRT

Sybil, A Faerie Mother and her Baby, PMRT

Sybil stands at 12″ tall and carries her newborn all swaddled up. Easy to follow directions with …

Price: US$14.00

Click for details


Categories: Faerie, fantasy creature sewing, fiber art, Jennifer Carson, new sewing patterns, sewing, soft art doll | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sir Tenderheart, New sewing pattern

IMG_5544Now available!

Sir Tenderheart is a 10″, fully jointed lion. The directions include illustrations and full size pattern pieces. Directions in pattern include instructions for glass eyes, but other methods/eyes can be used. You will find a tutorial for needle felted eyes on my website,

This listing is for the downloadable sewing pattern only– this is not a listing for a finished lion.
Finished projects may be sold. Please do not give finished lions to children if you have used glass eyes. This lion is child-safe if you use safety lock eyes or needle felt the eyes.

Find him in my Etsy store or at Patternmart.

Categories: animals, new sewing patterns, sewing, soft art doll | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

New sketches and a new t-shirt design for the Hapenny Magick Series

Besides trying to finish up the new sewing pattern for Leif, a character in Hapenny Magick, I’ve been working hard trying to finish the dummy of Bedtime for Little Owl to send it to the interested art director that I met at the New England Society for Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators conference. Here are a few new sketches! And I promise after BEA to have some new sewing patterns out!

titmouseand owlforweb

Little Owl and the Tufted Titmouse


Snuggles with mom and siblings.










A little double marketing effort here with this new t-shirt design for Hapenny Magick, Tangled Magick ( the sequel out next year) and the game, Hapenny Magick: A Troll’s Afoot. Not to mention that Pat Ann outdid herself on the illustration! You can buy a t-shirt for yourself or a little Hapenny you know through Redbubble.

T-shirt now available

T-shirt now available











Categories: A Troll's Afoot!, Bedtime for Little Owl, Faerie, Hapenny Magick, Jennifer Carson, Pat Ann Lewis, Prospero's Pen Games | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment