I have always been drawn to children. If friends ever came over, it wouldn’t be long before I was on the floor with the younger ones.
I often walk into the children’s section of a library or bookstore and page through the books. Sometimes I’ll just sit in the corner and watch the children play or talk. It’s such a joy to me to see these young lives rejoicing in their day, to see these young personalities developing and stretching, and their young souls searching for answers.
I have always had the idea that one day I would write for children, but I hadn’t thought it would happen right away. I had originally had the vague thought that The Tales of Ambia was more for a young adult audience (I’m terrible about placing age ranges on books), and I was quite surprised when I discovered that a lot of my readers were reading The Reluctant Godfather aloud to younger siblings.
I don’t know all their names, but I love these young readers so much. Every reviewer means the world to me, but I can’t say how my heart turns over when I hear that children are reading the Tales of Ambia. Three young ladies in particular have been a blessing and an encouragement to me (check out the dedication of A Royal Masquerade). A Royal Masquerade was written and edited during a very difficult period, and those three girls inspired me to keep going even when I didn’t think I could. Thank you, Lake, Annabeth, and Mary – it means so much to me that you are reading my books and I am absolutely delighted that you enjoy them!
Recently, I was blessed with a little video from one of my favorite readers (looking at you, Annabeth!) and the desire of my heart was satisfied to see the joy on her face as she opened up my latest book. To be able to enchant children with words is such a blessing and a huge responsibility that I do not take lightly.
Being young is hard, and it’s getting harder all the time. Good books arm us as we step into the future. All the good stories with themes of truth are woven together into a picture of how to be brave in hard times. Good characters inspire us to be good, to be courageous, and to persevere.
I remember every book that did this for me – and it is my dream to do this for someone else. To give a story to a child to hold to their heart as they grow up would be my idea of true greatness.
While I was reflecting on all this, something occurred to me. I get to interact with lots of readers on social media, and have been able to read the reviews of many of my wonderful older readers, but I’m not hearing a lot from my younger readership!
Frank Baum (the author of the Wizard of Oz series) is my personal inspiration. Like him, I aspire to interact with the children reading my books and use their suggestions and feedback as inspiration for further Ambian adventures.
And I want to hear from these special young readers. Who are you? What are your favorite books? What do you like best about Ambia so far? Is there anything you want to see happen next in Ambia?
I’d love to talk to you more and get to know you – and . . . I also want to host a giveaway just for these young readers! Just because you’re not on social media yet, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you!
You might not know this but Valentine’s Day is actually International Book Giving Day, a day that promotes giving books to children.
I can think of no better day to host a giveaway – because I love these young readers and I am passionate about writing good books for them and I would love to express it to them on Valentine’s Day. And so, we have The Children’s Giveaway! You can enter the giveaway now and the giveaway will close on Valentine’s Day!
– The Prizes –
1st Prize: A signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather. A $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. Mini jade Paperblanks journal/notebookknow.
2nd Prize: A signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather and a $5.00 Amazon gift card.
3rd Prize: A signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather.
Now, I need my older readers to help me. You, reading this post right now. 🙂
Since individuals under a certain age aren’t allowed by law to enter giveaways, I need YOU to enter it on someone’s behalf.
If you have a little sibling, niece/nephew, child, or friend who has read The Tales of Ambia (or The Tales of Ambia has been read aloud to them) – can you enter this giveaway for them? This giveaway will operate on the honor system that if you win the giveaway, you will give the prizes to the young person in your life!
– How to Enter –
The giveaway and prizes are intended for a child 14 years or younger.
How to enter: The entrant must give their name, their age, and then make a comment and ask a question. If they’d like to include anything else, I’d love to see it! I really want to interact more with my younger readership.
Have the entrant tell you what they would like to say or what question they would like to ask. (Not a generalized comment, but verbatim). Then, email me the comment and question.
If the entrant prefers, they may also send send a letter / card to my PO Box!
Just let me know in the comments below if you want to enter the giveaway and I will send you either my email address or PO Box address.
Note: Open to residents of the US only. :/
What Happens On Valentine’s Day:
On Valentine’s Day, I will post a vlog responding to all the entrants comments and questions and announce the winners!
So what do you think? Are you as excited as I am? Are you ready to help me give a child a book on Valentine’s Day and encourage the wonderful gift of reading? I can’t wait to host this giveaway!