New Paperbacks!

January 17, 2018

New Paperback Books!

Introducing the paperback versions of The Brown Sheep Prank and A Foundling Furball!  These two short chapter books are parts 2 and 3 in The Devonians (following #1, Daydreamer).

Christina Tart did the illustrations except for Rebeccah’s design of Tawny, the “foundling furball” in book 3.

The Devonians are space castaways who have made their own life on a new planet called “Devonia” in a village named “Covenant.”  Each book follows the adventures of some of the younger colonists.  Daydreamer introduced the Taylor family with their five boys and baby Rose.  The Brown Sheep Prank highlights on the Summers’ family farm because Alena’s family keeps the only herd of Brown-Sheep.  Alena Summers and Joseph Taylor are best friends.  Alena gives readers a tour of her snug little house and you get to see where Alena, her two sisters, and younger brother, Michael, sleep.  In A Foundling Furball, the older of the Taylor and Summers children find a strange orphan animal at their favorite fishing spot!  Matthew Taylor and Janine Summers have a fun way to catch fish using teamwork.   Mr. Summers, Alena’s dad, tells the children stories as he tries to decide what they have to do with this unexpected little creature.

Enter the world of Devonia and be ready for engaging stories of adventure and friendship.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

 

New Story Release!

December 17, 2017

New Story Release!

Yippee!  My illustrator team (Christina and Rebeccah) did some awesome cover art (Rebeccah just had to get Tawny perfect) on the newest chapter in the story of The Devonians!

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The Devonians are space castaways who have developed a colony on a strange new planet (they name it Devonia).

This newest story, A Foundling Furball, begins a few days after the end of The Brown-Sheep Prank.  Joseph Taylor, Alena Summers, and some of their siblings are meeting at the fishing spot on Ice Cube Creek after helping with Washing Day (everyone in Covenant, it seems, washes clothes on Wednesday).

While fishing, they chat, argue, and tease each other.  (Not much different than Earth, is it?)  This is until Alena hears a strange noise and investigates.  Joseph joins her.  They find an injured baby animal – which they realize is a dreaded dengee after it is protectively cradled in Alena’s arms.

On Devonia, dengees are formidable foes.  The tallest stand five feet at their shoulder!  They resemble wolves in most of their hunting and communication techniques yet they are ruled by a protective pack male much like a lion pride.  They often raid Covenant’s wachick flocks and Brown-Sheep herd.  Because of a long-ago attack where early settlers were injured and killed by a pack of dengees, most of the adults in the village hate them.

But today, Alena found, Joseph rescued, and Alena claims she will nurse and care for a blind baby dengee.  How will this be received?

For a peek into Devonia, read this excerpt from “A Foundling Furball!

 “Janine!  Keep hold!” Matthew yelped and jumped into the water to grab her fish.  Janine giggled and wrestled the long creature toward the creek bank.  With teamwork, they managed to catch, unhook, and plop the fish into the vine trap. 

“Wow, that one’s way bigger than my best!” Michael grinned, “way to go, Janine!”

“They love the black-spotted grasshoppers,” Janine giggled.  “Thanks for tossing him, Matty!”

Alena set her pole down and wandered toward the far bank.  There was a clump of water-bushes that blocked up the far edge of the fishing spot and tangled in a long stretch about fifty feet down the creek bank.  The children weren’t allowed to go beyond the water bushes. 

“Alena!” Joseph called after her, set his pole down, and followed.

“Joseph!” Stephen taunted, “you go past the water-bushes and I’m telling Dad!”

“What are you doing?” Joseph asked.

“Do you hear it?” Alena returned.  They both ignored Stephen’s threat.

“The crying baby sound?” Joseph did hear it.  It was a soft, watery cry that sounded like a newborn baby’s very tired, almost asleep, “feed-me” cry. 

… (continued reading A Foundling Furball here!  Or browse all titles and formats here!)

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

 

New Story Release! The Brown-Sheep Prank

December 13, 2017

New Story Release!

There’s a new chapter in the continuing story of the Devonians!  The Devonians are space castaways who have developed a colony on a strange new planet (they name it Devonia).

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The soft-crayon illustration is done by Christina Tart. (She is a published illustrator who wisely takes commission for her work!)

This newest story, The Brown-Sheep Prank, begins the day after the end of Daydreamer. Alena Summers, whose family husbands (takes care of) the village’s herd of Brown-Sheep, is very excited about her second-favorite time – Shearing Day!  (It just so happens, that’s the day covered in the story!)

Alena loves the busy time when all of her neighbors will be gathered at her family’s house, trimming the wool (called Shearing), washing fleeces (a fleece is the wool from one sheep), preparing food (Alena’s job is to assist here), and stacking the finished fleeces in the big barn (this one is shared by the entire village).  The boys and overgrown boys (men) love the table of ready-to-eat food that those on refill duty (Alena and Butterfly) have to keep stocked.

Devonia travels in a longer solar orbit so has the equivalent of 499 Earth days in the Devonian year – so when Alena says “5 years 8 months” it really means “about 7½ Earth years.”  Just a little hint about the world of Devonia!

Now to get an idea of how busy Shearing Day is in Covenant, read this excerpt from “The Brown-Sheep Prank!

Everyone was so busy that Alena had barely stopped moving since Mother had called her away from the Brown-Sheep observation this morning. 

It was nearly lunchtime. 

Alena’s stomach growled. 

“Oh my!” Cried Butterfly in fake shock, “you’d better feed that monster!” 

Alena laughed.  She and Butterfly were on refill duty.  This meant they helped in the kitchen and ran back and forth from the big table refilling the food baskets and bowls.  For Shearing Day, everyone snacked whenever they were hungry from the long table outside.  The unwed boys had brought it over from the meetinghouse before Alena awoke.  She grabbed a carrot stick and quickly ate it.

Alena’s Father and most of the other men plus a few older boys were cutting each Brown-Sheep’s wool close to the skin but taking care not to cut the soft skin.  This was called shearing.  This formed what they called a fleece.  The fleece was the shape of a flat sheep without legs or head.  The Brown-Sheep’s head and legs didn’t have wool like the rest of the body. 

A cluster of two men and three women with a few of the older boys and girls were thoroughly washing each fleece to make sure they would get clean. 

… (continued reading The Brown-Sheep Prank here!)

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

 

New Story Release!

October 30, 2017

New Story Release!

Welcome to the ninth book in the “Five Alive: Stories of the Funny Sisters” series.  The title is “Happy Hurricane Helpers.”

Following Hurricane Irma’s attack on their town in Florida, the sisters join with their neighbors and help clean up.

Hurricane Irma was a powerful storm that did reach category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (over 155 mph).  Hurricanes usually decrease in power as they travel over land.  Hurricane Irma had traveled almost straight up Florida’s peninsula from the Keys.  When this storm hit Saint Augustine, it was a category 1 storm (75 to 95 mph).

In coastal areas like Saint Augustine, most hurricane damage is caused by flooding.  The strong winds can fell huge trees, rip debris off houses, throw limbs through windows, and cause heavy damage as well.  Trees falling on power lines caused the sisters to be out of power.  For more information about hurricanes in general, see “Hurricanes,” one of my Home-Edge Readers!

For now, how about a preview of two scenes from “Happy Hurricane Helpers!

Kim awoke this morning before the sun even started to turn the edge of the sky pink.  Last night, the power had gone off and the sisters had camped out in their sleeping bags under the huge, sturdy wooden table in the safe room where there were no windows.  Last night they had heard the deep rumbling that sounded like standing next to train tracks when the train raced by.  Last night Hurricane Irma had hit Saint Augustine. 

   As soon as the tree on the dirt road was clear, Tina, Becky, Kim, Ellen, and Jill followed Mom and Daddy and started helping with limb cleanup.  Some of the Tree family kids were out cleaning limbs too.  Two other children from a house down the paved road joined in the fun.  The Tree men had left a trail of sawed-off branches scattered where the big trees had fallen.  They had stacked big round stacks of trunk wood by the road because those were too heavy for little kids.  But the branches were perfect for kids! 

   Six-year-old Kim flexed her muscles. 

   “I can drag this BIG one to the road!” She challenged, dragging a limb to the edge of the road. 

   “I got a bigger one!” said Tina. 

   Becky and Ellen laughed.  “We are doing teamwork!”  Ellen announced.  She was four and her blankie was draped over her shoulders like a boa.

   “Me too!” Jill called.  Jill was only two but she loved to help.  She had a two-year-old-sized branch and was making funny faces as she fought it to the edge of the road.

   “Let me help you, Jill,” offered Tina. 

   “No!” Jill yanked the branch and it flew out of her hands and right to the edge!  Jill stood up straight, brushed her hands on her jeans, and said, “I can do it myself!” 

   … (continued reading Happy Hurricane Helpers here!)

 

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

 

New Story Release!

September 27, 2017

New Story Release!

I’m excited about a new release!  This is the eighth book in the “Five Alive: Stories of the Funny Sisters” series.  The title is “Gale at the Ghost Town.”

In this story, the sisters walk through their town as a gale is descending upon them.  A gale is a storm with winds between 50 and 65 miles an hour.  It is a nautical and meteorological term.  Most people refer to this today as “tropical storm force winds” because a tropical storm is defined as a storm with sustained winds between 39 and 74 miles an hour.   (www.amol.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/A5.html)

The storm in this story is Hurricane Irma, a powerful storm that did reach category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (over 155 mph).  Hurricanes generally lose power once they travel over land, so when Hurricane Irma hit Saint Augustine, it was a category 1 storm (75 to 95 mph).

Although the winds from hurricanes can be powerful, in coastal areas, it is usually the flooding that causes most damage.  Residents in low-lying areas try to protect their houses or businesses with sandbags to keep the water out.  For more information about hurricanes in general, see “Hurricanes,” one of my Home-Edge Readers!

For now, for a preview of “Gale at the Ghost Town” read below:

This day was when the colors on the radar map hid the entire Florida peninsula.  Schools were closed for the hurricane, but Becky’s school didn’t take a break.  She was nose-deep in her science book when Daddy announced, “Let’s go see downtown!”

“Yeah!” Shouted Kim, darting into the room in shorts and a workout top.  “I’m ready!”

Becky laughed.  It was cold for Florida summer and Mom came around the corner with “oh no you are not, young lady.  If you are going out in this storm, you are wearing long pants, a jacket, and socks and shoes.”

Jill, who was two, came to the shoe box and grabbed her Minnie Mouse flip-flops.  “Flip-floppies! Ready!”  She squealed. 

Tina, who was the biggest at ten, laughed and said, “but you need real clothes” and hopped like a bunny rabbit into the bedroom to find Jill’s clothes.  Pull-up-only-clad Jill followed in her best froggie-attempt at bunny impersonation.  

While the girls scrambled to find jeans and convince four-year-old Ellen that party dresses were not suitable for walking about in stormy winds, Mom pulled out the winter suitcase.  This big fat, suitcase smelled like Grandpa and baby powder.  It held all of the snow clothes.  They lived in Florida so this was the bag they grabbed in winter when they decided to drive to freezing climates like Middle Georgia.  The snow clothes were water resistant.

 … (continued reading Gale at the Ghost Town here!)

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart