“Amidst all the pain intertwined with beauty, Driew finds his voice and place.”—Edith Wairimu, Readers’ Favorite

G'DAY-Aints-www.mwa.company-Flat Book
Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite

In the fascinating Kentucky Outback, Driew Qweepie’s world is filled with beauty, tranquility, and incredible ways of experiencing nature. Surrounded by his loyal mates, Cain, Able, and Gulia, Driew gets the opportunity to grow and discover his wild side. With incredible strength, agility, optimism, and charisma, Driew can withstand everything in his life, even the cruelty of Gayle and Payne, his older siblings, except for the heart-breaking condition of his mother, Nieve. The family tries to hold it together, especially Marq, Driew’s father, but even fortitude sometimes has limits. Amidst all the pain intertwined with beauty, Driew finds his voice and place. Remarkably, nature seems to listen to his voice too through his sing-song. G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams is a brilliant fusion of real life, amazing culture, and an incredible wild setting.

Every moment contained in G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams seems to be magical. The book is set in beautiful scenery which adds to the depth and uniqueness of the story. M.W. Adams does a great job presenting a story filled with simple yet breathtaking moments while still presenting Driew’s real-life situations. The youthful Driew is also very relatable and likable. With his kind, hardworking, and witty nature, he is a powerful key character. Overall, G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams is a rewarding and inspiring story. It helped me appreciate beauty and virtue even in the presence of distress. It is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you have read it. Reading it also helped me relive my youthful days and cherish the wonderful—even though simple—moments which surround me.

Advertisements

“Beautifully written and well worth reading even more than once.”—Melinda Hill, Readers’ Favorite

G'DAY-Aints-www.mwa.company-Flat Book
Reviewed By Melinda Hill for Readers’ Favorite

The youngest of five siblings, Driew feels like he doesn’t fit into his family in this coming of age story, G’DAY: Aints by Mark Wayne Adams. Now with his mother failing quickly from her Caddywompus, a brain tumor, Driew has lots of feelings and emotions to process while he deals with his sinister and bother (sister and brother) who resent him for being born and go out of their way to make his life difficult. Driew’s best friend is the girl next door, Gulia, who is from Australia. She shares her experiences with the Outback and native traditions, and Adams blends them with small-town life and Dawson Springs history and lore to help Driew find his path. As a result of some special powers, Driew has a connection to nature that is extraordinary; he can ‘sing song’ natural items to make them move or even provide him with light. This phenomenon, along with Driew’s ability to see the Magic Man, convinces Gulia that he needs to take off on a Walkabout, a traditional aboriginal quest to find oneself.

G’DAY: Aints comes directly from the soul of Mark Wayne Adams and connects us all through his characters into the greater world around us. The story represents a beautiful acceptance of life, family, things we can’t control, and, most of all, the ability each of us has within to come to terms with the ups and downs of life. While some characters take longer to evolve than others, just as in real life, the process is shown to be difficult yet fulfilling as Driew tries really hard to accept his siblings and other relatives for who they are—looking at things from their perspective. Beautifully written and well worth reading even more than once for its deep insights and loving advice, G’DAY: Aints works as a stand-alone story even though it is the fifth in the Family Tree series of novels by Mark Wayne Adams. Just like a song line from the Outback, you can pick it up here or there and still appreciate the unique gift within.

“…fascinating and intriguing characters and a thread of humor runs through the plot.”—Mamta Madhavan, Readers’ Favorite

G'DAY-Aints-www.mwa.company-Flat Book
Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Set against the backdrop of Outback Australia, G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams takes readers along with Driew to explore life events and myriad chaotic journeys as he takes them through his story. Driew has secretly vowed to leave the Outback family and wants to heal his family relationships. His mother Nieve’s time is limited because the doctor cannot operate to remove the tumor resting upon her brain. Their home phone rang nonstop ever since Nieve collapsed in the town square. As the book progresses, readers get to see Driew’s progression from boyhood to manhood, and a move from Australia’s Outback to rural western Kentucky, an aint who helps him discover his past and find himself, and Gulia who encourages him to take control over his story and embrace the Magic Man’s purpose.

The story is adventurous and educational to a certain extent as it speaks about fun facts in the Outback and Dawson Springs, Kentucky. It is entertaining not only because of its story line, but also because of the interesting and informative facts the author has woven into it. The many layers in the plot make it a compelling read and readers are introduced to American, Australian, and Qweepie vernacular. Family bonding, the adventurous Outback world, and the Qweepie family moments make the book real and memorable to readers. The story line and the characters are fascinating and intriguing and a thread of humor runs through the plot and characters, making them tangible to readers. The story also stresses the importance of family, roots, and home, which sums up the daily lives of most readers.

“…leads a young man on a journey to become the man he was destined to be.”—Kathryn Bennett, Readers’ Favorite

G'DAY-Aints-www.mwa.company-Flat Book
Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

G’DAY: Aints by Mark Wayne Adams introduces us to Driew and the adventures he finds himself in within the Australian outback. G’day might be the way to say hello in Australia, but for Driew it causes torment in the form of the Qweepie twins and oh so much more. When the girl next door gets involved, things become even more complex for Driew and, in the end, he must make the choice of exploring a love that is starting to blossom and going on a walkabout that traditionally leads a young man on a journey to become the man he was destined to be.

This book stood out to me as something that would be different and interesting to read when I looked at the description. I am happy to say I was right about that in many ways and, in other ways, it is a traditional coming of age story, making this book a great blend of familiar and unfamiliar. Once I got around some of the slang terms, I really got into the book and enjoyed the adventures. I have always been interested in the idea of a walkabout and the mysterious ways of the Aboriginal people of Australia. I feel that author Mark Wayne Adams has given us a peek inside of that mysterious world through the eyes of Driew in this book, and I love that! I don’t want to give away too much of the journey that Driew must take. Like so many of us, choosing between new love or a harder path that we aren’t sure where it will lead, this read is a solid, enjoyable one. It might be a YA story, but as an adult I enjoyed it and I know others will too. It is well written and has a flow to the story that is enjoyable. I didn’t like setting this one down to go and do adult things; I just wanted to read it straight through.

“G’DAY is a truly breathtaking story with a unique style.”—Liz Konkel, Readers’ Favorite

GDAY 3D-book-no background-150DPI
Reviewed By Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite

G’DAY: Aints by Mark Wayne Adams is a stunning coming of age journey following the life of Driew Qweepie. Driew’s life was fairly ordinary, dealing with bullies, siblings that don’t seem to want him around, and growing up. When his mom is diagnosed with a brain tumor, his life is flipped around and it seems like his siblings are keeping secrets from him. His best friends and his Tasmanian Tiger named Dingo are always there when he needs them. He finds solace in the woods and his tree house, using them to bask in the safety net of his childhood. His family doesn’t mention those they’ve lost. He’s never known the names of his grandparents or deceased relatives, but when he finds a family memoir he uncovers surprising family secrets. Gulia is his charming and brazen neighbor who convinces him to follow where the Magic Man leads, on a journey to find the Outback, an Australian song line. The more he learns about his family, the more he finds out about himself and discovers a connection to Gulia that he doesn’t expect.

The structure of G’DAY is an intriguing one that is broken into moments with every moment serving a purpose. Mark Wayne Adams delivers spectacular details with descriptions like “wrecking ball personality” and larger than life characters. Adams has a quirky style that gives a playful quality and a certain lightness to the story. G’DAY has many layers, a story of family, bullying, loss, growing up, friendship, and first love. Driew feels like an outsider with his siblings, but he finds comfort in the relationships he has with his friends and the bond he has with his Tasmanian Tiger. He also finds solace in the country, in books, and in words. He seems to find magic in every aspect of his life, which gives a beauty to Driew’s world.

Driew has a complicated relationship with his family as his siblings often seem to shield him from anything bad while also taking some of their pain out on him. His mother’s health slowly degrades throughout due to a brain tumor and this greatly affects the entire family. G’DAY puts a great deal of focus on childhood and the carefree magic that comes with it, referencing acclaimed novels The Outsiders, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Peter Pan. Driew finds himself captivated by the wonders of the woods, which is where the Magic Man and Australian lore ties into the story. The wonder of it all will pull you into his world. G’DAY is a truly breathtaking story with a unique style, quirky language that finds the magic in words, the memory of the past, and the struggle of life and death.

“A great story about discovering the world around us.”—Ryan Jordan, Readers’ Favorite

down-under-kussins-3d-book-cover-9781596160385-www-mwa-company-72dpiReviewed By Ryan Jordan for Readers’ Favorite

DOWN UNDER: Kussins by M.W. Adams is the second book in the Family Tree Novel series and is a collection of moments, basically chapters centered around one particular scene in the life of Driew and his family, such as his brother Pester who calls Driew his little bother. Each scene stands alone, but together they make up the life of a young boy in Australia as he meets new people and learns about the world around him. This is a fictional reinterpretation of the life of the author with a lot of clever twists and fun moments that helped bring the stories and volume to life.

I liked the way in which each chapter could stand completely on its own, and the titling of each as ‘moments’ worked really well. Each was a moment in time unto itself, and the self-contained nature inside of the wider theme of the story did a lot to make it interesting. I think my favorite moment was “Hunter” because it had a little bit of everything. There is also a smattering of strange vernacular that I didn’t recognize, and I found the glossary to be tremendously helpful in learning new words or different uses of things I’ve seen before. I think that there is enough fun and educational information in this work to entertain any children, and even adults could easily find quite a few things to love about it. Down Under: Kussins by Mark Wayne Adams is a great story about discovering the world around us by looking at small snippets in time.

Beta Readers for Writing Success

Below is the information you requested regarding the importance of Beta Readers:

What are beta readers and why use them?

Beta Readers are non-professional readers who read a prerelease manuscript or sample book to find and improve such items as: grammar, character suggestions, or assist in fact-checking. Beta Readers should not be used as proofreaders or editors.

Who should your beta readers be/how do you select them?

Beta Readers vary depending on genre and reading level and should be selected accordingly. The number of Beta Readers needed varies depending on the length of the manuscript. Here are examples of how they are selected based on genres:

  • Picture Book: children’s public librarian (2–3 readers), certified preschool teachers (2–3 readers), elementary school library media specialist (2–3 readers), and/or a professional illustrator.
  • Juvenile Chapter Book: children’s public librarian (2–3 readers), board certified teacher 3rd–5th grade (2–3 readers), elementary school library media specialist (2–3 readers), and genre interested readers 3rd–5th grade readers (2–3 readers).
  • Young Adult YA: YA public librarian (2–3 readers), board certified teacher 6th–12th grade (2–3 readers), school library media specialist (2–3 readers), and genre interested readers 6th–12th grade readers (2–3 readers).
  • Genre Specific Fiction: public librarian (2–3 readers), residents in the city/region of the story (2–3 readers), and genre interested readers (2–3 readers).
  • Avoid Using Relatives: Relatives as Beta Readers they are not the most objective readers.

How much time should you give your Beta Readers?

Consider the word count of your book. Manuscripts that are 30,000–45,000 words may only require two weeks to read and review. Books over 50,000 words allow  four weeks or more.

What are some ways you can get their feedback?

Be creative but focused. If the reading experience is enjoyable, then participation and feedback happen more quickly.  Here are two favorite examples:

  • Host a Party: Invite the Beta Readers to a comfortable quiet location. For the first hour allow each Beta Reader to 1 to 2 chapters and complete a questionnaire. The next hour is book discussion over pizza, pastries, coffee, etc. Take notes on the beta readers conversation.
  • Invest in ten (10) POD (Print On Demand) Sample Books: Use these to test consumer appeal and get Beta Reader feedback. Mail copies to the beta readers to comment inside the book on cover image, book summary, interior errors, and favorite sections. Use a few samples to get consumer feedback without reading the book.

What types of questions should you ask your beta readers?

Beta Readers‘ time is valuable. Asking specific questions regarding their interest level to character development is important. Not only ask for the negative parts of the book, but also items that are strong. This helps an author build on the weak sections and recognize writing strengths. These are questions to consider:

  • Would they like to receive a complimentary book upon release?
  • Would they like to provide an endorsement quote for this book?
  • Would they like to participate in future beta reads for this book series.
  • Reader Name and Reader Profession/Title: a professor of professional beta reader’s endorsement could boost sales.
  • Address, State, and Zip: is important when mailing a complimentary book or personal thank you.
  • Email Address: is important for contacting the beta reader to read future books in the series.
  • Content: ask that the beta reader please rate each area from 1–10 (10 being excellent). Also ask them to provide any suggestions or accolades regarding each section: Editorial, Design, Front Cover, Back Cover, and Spine.

While Beta Readers are reviewing the manuscript, compare similar books in the manuscript genre using these techniques:

Free Reader Comparison:  Place your book with books of similar content at the public library. Lay three books including yours on a table or face out on a book shelf. Sit far enough away to observe and not look like a stalker. Take notes. Do library patrons overlook, preview, read, or check out your book? Feel honored if your book reach the circulation desk.

Bookstore Comparison:  Visit your local book retailer. Ask for the top three books in your genre. Find a comfortable corner and critique your book. Don’t mark in the bookseller’s books, only your own. Is your writing professional (typos, misspellings, etc.)? Does your layout follow industry standards (margins, text flow, etc.)?  Do your illustrations/photos match or exceed the professionals? Place your book on a bookshelf next to the competitors. Which book is most easily read from twelve feet away? If your book is week in any area, make adjustments now!

Education Considerations:

1.  Readability Score: Use the Readability-Score.com text scoring tool to tell you how easy a piece of text is to read and if it is grade and/or reading level appropriate.

2.  Sight Words:  vocabulary words for age appropriate grade levels

3.  Historical and Scientific Facts:  topics that are specific to readers of a certain age woven within the story line

4.  Nationalities:  character diversity within stories

5.  Human Geography:  the incorporation of financial, environmental, and industrial cause and affect on the success of cultures.

Editing Books:

Fire Up Your Fiction: An Editors Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, Jodie Renner

Captivate Your Readers: An Editors Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, Jodie Renner

For more information about Beta Readers visit Gina Edwards’s blog and listen to the Around the Writer’s Table Radio Show Interview with Mark Wayne Adams.

Review: The Rocket Ship Bed Trip

The Rocket Ship Bed Trip 3D-bookThe Rocket Ship Bed Trip describes a young boy’s dream about floating into outer space on his bed— an exciting fantasy that has got to appeal to young readers.

This beautifully illustrated book stimulates a child’s imagination with colorful depictions of meteors, asteroids, and the Milky Way. The simple language and rhyming text make it easy to understand and fun to read.

Subjects like gravity, galaxies, and nebulae are introduced, arousing the curiosity of young space enthusiasts. Actual photographs from space are included at the end of the book adding a learning opportunity to this captivating read-aloud book.

This book reinforces several concepts that are included in early primary school curricula, such as: observing big and small things in the sky; recognizing that there are many stars in the sky; and identifying information in pictures. By including educational resources with a delightful story, N. Jane Quackenbush has written an award-winning children’s book that both captivates and educates.

Reviewed by:

Jane R. Wood is the author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors and an award-winning series of chapter books: Voices in St. AugustineAdventures on Amelia IslandTrouble on the St. John’s RiverGhosts on the Coast, and Lost in Boston.

Website(s): www.janewoodbooks.com

Teacher Resources for Jane’s Books

Wood-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-templateSocial Media:

Book Review: A Hand Truck Named Dolly

A Hand Truck Named Dolly 3D-bookKay Whitehouse has written an empowering chapter book about a loving blue hand truck named Dolly. Dolly’s adoption comes with a unique set of challenges brought on by Bear, her new family’s standard poodle puppy. Her story is filled with amusing sibling pranks and humorous puppy accidents.

A Hand Truck Named Dolly has short chapters, age appropriate text, and entertaining illustrations for young readers. The story engagement continues with activities like: Fill in the Blanks, a Crossword, Word Scramble, and Word Search. Free printable versions of these activities are available at the author’s website: www.ahandtrucknameddolly.com.

Dolly’s helpful, pleasing personality is a fresh perspective. Families, students, and teachers should adopt this insightful story and its educational activities into reading time!

Hand trucks have been a part of my business and home for decades. Since reading Dolly’s story, my three loyal hand trucks have received names: Tiny, Flip, and Mo.

Reviewed by:

Mark Wayne Adams is an award-winning illustrator, author, and publisher of more than 40 children’s books. View Books and Awards

Website(s):  www.markwayneadams.comwww.mwa.company

Social Media:

Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.”—Gracie Bradford, Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-book
Reviewed by Gracie Bradford for Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is written by Linda Smigaj. This 50-page fiction book written for 7-10-year-olds by a retired elementary school teacher of 34 years conveys a powerful lesson. The main characters are Professor Beatrice Fuddy-Duddy and Anna, a cheese fly. The story dates back 400 years, starting in the year 1620 to chronicle the arrival of a ship called the Mayflower. Anna is a cute little character dressed in a stunning, colorful outfit; she wears a bow tie and displays colorful wings. The book contains journal entries about what transpires on the ship as seen through the eyes of a fly. Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.” I think this book would be an excellent addition to classrooms of a younger age group, given the exceptional illustrations throughout the book and a well-developed story line.

Linda introduces a lesson on early American history with a twist to make learning fun. This book has pictures throughout, making it easy to comprehend concepts. Equally important are ten non-fictional facts elementary school kids probably did not know about the journey of the Mayflower. A glossary provides additional insight into the story. The highlight of the book is illustrations of six flies dressed in an array of colors with unique shapes and forms. Kids will love these characters, and the questions associated with the pictures are sure to generate interesting discussions. The illustrations are outstanding. The main character is well developed and lends itself to a book series.