Monday, June 17, 2013

National Eat Your Vegetables Day Launches Kids' Book

Today is national Eat Your Vegetables Day and the launch of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle print book. Originally published as an interactive picture book on the Apple AppStore, the book is now available in print.
The book app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times AND hit the #1 Spot in Top Free iPad Book Apps during a recent Memorial Day promotion. The print edition of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle hit the Direct-to-Consumer market June 15th. Visit the website

From the Press Release:
Brought to young readers aged 2 – 8 by the independent publishing partnership of Purple Carrot Books and Possibility Books. For founder/author and wellness coach and blogger Chris Pedersen, creating children’s healthy eating books is all about getting kids to learn good eating habits now so they won’t face the life-altering cancer she fought by changing her diet completely. Says Pedersen, “I have a passion for healthy eating and teaching others how to be healthy. Out of this passion, being a children’s writer and wishing to contribute to the fight against childhood obesity, I wrote The Prisoner of Carrot Castle.”
Have you read The Prisoner of Carrot Castle? Love to hear your reaction.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Through the Fire FREE Download

Through the Fire by Shawn Grady
Download Through the Fire (First Responders Book #1) by Shawn Grady for FREE from now through the month of June. I posted a review of Through the Fire back when it was released. This  book will bring you up close and personal to several fire scenarios. Shawn's skillful storytelling will not disappoint as firefighters search for an elusive arsonist.

Download at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors and Kobo Books.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

6 Tips for Parents Who Want Their Kids to Read

teaching children to read
Image courtesy of Ambro/
This list is inspired by Richard Peck, an avid proponent of reading and highly respected writer for children.

"I read because one life isn't enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody."
~Richard Peck 
  1. Start early and read aloud to children as often as possible. Some begin reading to their babies before they are born. Continue even after they have learned to read for themselves.
  2. Encourage memorizing short passages of books and poems.
  3. Play word games with your kids to increase their vocabulary and yours.
  4. Model reading to your children. Let them see you reading books, magazines and newspapers.
  5. Avoid saying, "My child just isn't into reading." There are books for every field of interest. Be an encourager not a discourager.
  6. Be wary of labels like "gifted" or "accelerated." They may limit you or your child's outlook. Help your child learn that reading can help them achieve or be whatever they aspire to.
Case Studies
My mother's dad loved words. He would add funny sounds to words and twist them to be non-sensical.  It made an impression on us. My mother, although not college educated, respected language and words as a result. She constantly corrected misspoken words, making sure we communicated proper English. That love of words stuck with me.

When our son was small, we read to him at bedtime. He looked forward to it and acquired a love for reading as a result. In high school he went beyond the required reading list and voluntarily read classics, such as Moby Dick, as well as current best-sellers like Michael Crichton's The Lost World. He's still an avid reader at 31.

My brother is a self-taught mechanical engineer. With only a high school diploma, he has become a very successful engineering consultant boasting many clients and patents to his credit. Achieving all this through books he read.

As they say, readers are life-long learners.

What tips can you add for getting kids to read?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Unveiling The Prisoner of Carrot Castle Book at A Day on the Farm

Soil Born Farm


A Day on the Farm Learn, Eat & Celebrate! Sunday • May 19 • 10am - 3pm • $5 per person American River Ranch • Next to Hagan Park • Rancho Cordova
Soil Born Farm
$5 per person kids & adults
(2 yrs and under free)
pay at the gate (cash only)

proceeds benefit
  Soil Born Farms
Soil Born Farm
The Day's Events Include: 
Farm Stand
 Purchase fresh, local, organic vegetables & fruit
Cooking Classes & Workshops
Farm Tours & Nature Walks
Kid's Garden Activities
Face Painting & Photo Booth
Community Education Tables
Local Arts & Crafts
Live Music: Mind X Quartet & More!
Morning Food, Snacks & Lunch 

Learn About:
American River's Native Plants
Gardening • Composting
Raising Chickens
Beekeeping • Cooking
Native Edibles • More

Mark your calendars! I will be at A Day on the Farm at Soil Born Farm in Rancho Cordova. Buy a copy of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle and get it signed. Buy carrots and broccoli. Enjoy a salad toss. Juggle veggies. Lots of fun things to see and do.
The Prisoner of Carrot Castle Book
To celebrate the launch of the book in print, the iPad version is FREE for the first time ever! Hurry! FREE offer is good from May 16-19!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tribute To a Dog Named Brandy

Brandy (2001? - 4/25/2013)
Our hearts are broken. We said good-bye to our sweet girl today.

Brandy came to us through Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue (CCLRR). We fell in love with her when we went to meet her at the home where she hung out with several other foster labs and the foster parents' dogs.

CCLRR rescued her from the Sacramento County pound who picked her up on the streets, wearing a choke chain with no tags and signs she had puppies recently. We adopted her July 25, 2004 and she was a love from the start. She returned a charming smile every time we showered her with pets and tummy rubs. Yes... she actually smiled.

The first book I wrote (not yet published) contains a section on Brandy. From my perspective, it gives a glimpse of how dogs, one of God's finest creations after man, can bring an awareness and understanding of God's love and care for us.
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
Dog story
She was my running partner and ever-present furry companion. Brandy will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One?

Karen Robertson is a pioneer in developing picture books into apps for children. She has added speaker and coach to her roll of children’s book app author through her workshops and ebooks. As a result, Karen has helped many writers fulfill their dream to see their books released as apps to a worldwide audience of children.

Just released and now available FREE for a limited time (through April 13), What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One? How 27 Writers Did! This 5-star rated ebook is essential to any children's writer considering digital publishing for their book.

In this ebook, Karen, explains what is a book app, why it’s such an exciting publishing option, what you need to know about this opportunity, and how it's done so you can decide if it’s right for you to publish your children’s book as an app.

The highlight of the ebook is personal stories of 27 other writers who've turned their books into apps. After reading each account, you’ll see there are lots of ways to make a book app happen in a way that meets your objectives and budget, even if you aren’t technically inclined.

Now for the exciting part! Did you notice I am one of those 27 writers? What is a Book App... tells my story of turning The Prisoner of Carrot Castle into an iPad app. Of course readers to this blog for a while were able to follow my story in the series: Developing an iPad App. Use the search box on the right side of this blog to find the posts for the series.

This ebook is available exclusively on Kindle and FREE to download until April 13. You don't have to have a Kindle reader. Download the free Kindle app from your device's store (e.g., Apple App Store for iPad) that allows you to read books from the Amazon Kindle store on your Apple or Android device. It's super easy and the app is free.

Check back after you've read the book and let me know your thoughts about developing an app of your children's book.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Plastic Polly: Book Review and Launch

Plastic Polly Middle Grade Novel
Book Launch
Last month Jenny Lundquist's latest middle grade novel, Plastic Polly, was released and I attended her boisterous and fun Barnes and Noble launch party. A corner of the store buzzed with activity as Jenny's fervent fans and groupies, chatted and snapped picturesall wearing "I < 3 #plasticpolly" dark-blue t-shirts.
What would we do without our groupies? Our family and friends who believe in us and support us throughout our crazy writing journey.

Here's to friends and family!
Book Review
Plastic Polly is the #2 popular girl in middle school at Winston Academy. Most popular is Polly's best friend, Kelsey, who doesn't take to those who would differ with her. Polly is quite comfortable being a follower until she is forced to look at the reality of things. Mending a broken relationship, living up to her mom's expectations and suddenly finding herself as the PlanMaster for the most important event in Maple Oaks presents some challenging character building opportunities.
Jenny Lundquist holds strong to her inner-middle-school persona in this book, her second, for that awkward age-group. With lines like, "My voice is so sugary, I'm probably giving myself cavities," how could you not feel the attitude with angst that surrounds a young girl trying to find her own path.

This book is a must for all girls (or boys who need a clue) who are in or looking towards middle school.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Could You Create a Book App?

Have you written a Picture Book and wondered if you might want to turn it into an app? Here's a great resource to help you think through the possibilities. Karen Robertson just released her latest eBook "What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One? How 27 Writers Did!"

This eBook is a must read for any children's writer considering digital publishing for their book. You'll learn from children’s book app author, speaker and coach, Karen Robertson:
  • What is a book app
  • Why it’s such an exciting publishing option
  • What you need to know about this opportunity
  • How it's done, so you can decide if it’s right for you
After reading the stories of 27 writers who've turned their books into book apps, you'll see there are many ways to achieve this publishing dream and deliver your book to a worldwide audience. You're sure to identify a story or two that makes a book app happen in a way that meets your objectives and budget, even if you aren’t technically inclined.

Ah hem! Did you notice that yours truly is on the cover of this awesome eBook? Yes, I am one of the 27 writers featured in this book. Read my story and those of my brave fellow app developers in this valuable eBook.

Download What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One? How 27 Writers Did! for Kindle on Amazon.

If you don't have a Kindle reader, you can download the FREE Kindle app for iPad, iPhone and iTouch and for Android.

If you haven't already, download The Prisoner of Carrot Castle iPad book app.

Go on! Take the leap. Test the waters. Have you ever thought about creating an app of your book?


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Celebrating a Birthday!

Today marks 1-year since we launched The Prisoner of Carrot Castle on the AppStore and we're gonna celebrate. All week you can download the storybook about Aiden and his imaginative adventures as he tries to escape the clutches of an angry king for $0.99.

"All this happening over carrots and broccoli." ~ Aiden

Hurray for SALES!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Author Interview: Chris Pedersen for The Next Big Thing

Tag... I'm it! As part of The NEXT Big Thing blog event to bring awareness to authors books, I'll be sharing about my next book release. I received my tag from author Karen Robertson and just as Karen did, at the end of the interview I'll tag a few of my friends so you can see what they have written when they blog NEXT week.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The Prisoner of Carrot Castle, already an iPad app, is arriving in print January, 2013. In this first book of the Veggie Chronicles series, kids discover that eating vegetables is what heroes do, that is, if they want to eat their way out of a wicked King's clutches. The book is beautifully illustrated by Kate Jeong. With vivid colors and new discoveries at every turn, readers quickly become invested in Aiden's delimma and want to help him along in his adventure.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

A late-in-life discovery found me with cancer from a genetic condition. Believing that my healthy lifestyle had saved me from a more serious prognosis, I radically changed my diet, beat the odds and returned to a healthful state. Now I want to make others aware of healthy eating, especially at this time of alarming childhood obesity trends. I love crafting stories for kids. Out of that love I wrote the first in the adventure series The Veggie Chronicles, called The Prisoner of Carrot Castle.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

A children's picture book AND interactive digital iPad app.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I think the child actors Gattlin Griffith or Jake Vaughn look a lot like Aiden in the story.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book series?

Aiden's dislike for vegetables takes him on adventures to far away places across the globe and throughout history.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

All future books and apps are being published by Possibility Media Group and their collaborative partners.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I wrote the first draft of The Prisoner of Carrot Castle in about 20 hours over a two-month period.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Here are a few picture books that may inspire healthy eating in kids: Jody's Beans: Read and Wonder by Malachy Doyle, Pickin' Peas by Margaret Read MacDonald, Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin. Different from these books, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle is the first in a series about Aiden and his imaginative adventures involving vegetables that subliminally encourage kids to eat vegetables.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I desire to teach kids about the life-giving qualities of vegetables and fruits in a fun and engaging way that doesn't feel like teaching. After I wrote the story, my husband and son spurred me on to pursue publication of the book as an interactive iPad app.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

The book will include curriculum for teachers and parents emphasizing aspects of the story as well as the health benefits of the featured vegetables, which are carrots and broccoli in The Prisoner of Carrot Castle.

Now passing it on to the following authors for their Next Big Thing blog post.


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