Tag Archives | Jennifer Carson

Help the Elf!!!

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa’s NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I’ve been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that’s right…I found part of Santa’s missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:


NAME: Kris Asselin, Ansha Kotyk, and Jennifer Carson

LOCATION: New England



OBSERVATIONS: Kris, Natasha, and Jen are three of the best critique partners ever. But more than that they’ve turned into friends and that’s the best!

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa’s missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Guys, thanks so much for taking this journey with me and somewhere along the line turning into friends. Check your inbox today!

Photo credit:

assorted gold baubles (christmasstockimages.com) / CC BY 3.0
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HAPENNY MAGICK-What if trolls were to invade your village?

Welcome author Jennifer Carson and her soon-to-be-released middle grade novel! She’s a friend, crit partner, and an incredibly gifted artist and writer. You name it, she can do it. Read on to find out about HAPENNY MAGICK and Jennifer’s decision to fund her project with Kickstarter.


As the tiniest Hapenny, a race of little people, Maewyn Bridgepost spends her days from breakfast to midnight nibble scrubbing the hearth, slopping the pigs, and cooking for her guardian, Gelbane, who never spares a kind word. As if life as a servant isn’t bad enough, Mae learns that Gelbane is a troll—and Hapennies are a troll delicacy.

Years ago, a spell trapped Gelbane in Mae’s village. Ever since, Gelbane has been chiseling away the magic spells that guard the village and now Mae’s community is destined to become a smorgasbord for half-starved trolls.

Tell us a little history behind the story.

Hapenny Magick began its literary life as a picture book manuscript, which is kind of funny, because so did To Find A Wonder! I wonder when I’m going to learn that I’m long winded? Anyway, I had asked a writing friend, who is a picture book author, to look it over. I kept thinking that something was missing–it just wasn’t right. And she said, “It sounds like the synopsis of a longer story.” The lightbulb went on and three years later, here’s Hapenny Magick. Thanks, Deb!

How did your love for the Renaissance and Middle Ages develop?

I’ve been enamored with these time periods since I was thirteen. That fall was the first time my parents took my to the Ren Fair in Michigan where I grew up. It became a tradition after that to go on my birthday. I love the richness of the language and the fact that, before REAL scientific methods were introduced, anything was possible.

Why the decision to publish through a small start-up small press?

I tried for a couple of years to find a traditional publisher that would pick up HAPENNY MAGICK and run with it, but deep down I knew this book wasn’t meant for mainstream media. There were no farting dogs, butt cracks or vampires. The story unfolds like a classic fairy tale and the market for these kinds of books right now are seen by the mass media as too slow to gamble on. Mass media outlets are great, don’t get me wrong, but they tend to not take risks and to produce the same kind of media message over and over again–the “payday” message if you will. That’s why we have not just one CSI but three. HAPENNY MAGICK isn’t a trendy book. It is a classic story that I’m hoping will become one of your favorites.

I went through a small press with TO FIND A WONDER and I could have gone back to that same press and published HAPENNY MAGICK, but I decided to give it a shot myself. I had the art connections and a husband that was supportive of the idea. I just needed the money to get the project through its final stages, and that’s where Kickstarter.com came in.

What exactly is Kickstarter? I’m curious.

Kickstarter is a site where people can support the arts and invention through donations that earn them rewards from the creators of the projects themselves. And the great thing is, when you pledge your support, if the project doesn’t meet its funding goal, you don’t pay. So you aren’t donating to something that may not come to fruition.

You can check out my Kickstarter site here:


Thanks, Laura, for having me on your blog and for helping me spread the word! I’ve got 6 days to go to meet my goal!

Laura again. I’ve read this story from the first draft to the final. It’s a whimsical fun story filled with danger and magic. The illustrations through out the story are incredible. I’m buying one for niece. And for myself, of course.

And did you know that your donation will buy you copy? Pretty cool. Her first middle grade book, TO FIND A WONDER, is for sale on Amazon. The Kindle version is only 2.99! Check it out.

Please check out Kris Asselin’s blog for more information on Pugalicious Press. They are accepting submissions!

Here’s an illustration in progress from HAPENNY MAGICK.

And here’s the cover with Jennifer’s hand crafted doll of Maewyn, the hapenny.

Thanks Jennifer for sharing your work. I hope you get this book fully funded because kids are going to love it!

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Written words and songs on stage and humor.

 I attended Jennifer Carson’s book signing last fall. Huge event. Crowds. Cookies. And on the table where Jennifer signed the book were three little vials. I’m sure one of them said, love potion. More on that later.

On Thursday, I had the unique and great pleasure of watching her story on stage. At our local theater. It was packed out. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the book:

Jennifer spent a lot of time over the winter writing the script. I know. Pretty incredible. The playhouse hired a professional puppeteer and a song writer from NY. So cool. I have to say. I loved it!

But I want to focus on the part of the story that had the kids laughing the most. As many of us try to inject humor into our writing in hopes that kids will laugh (without bribing them).

Part way through the story, the squire, Mortimer, on his quest to find a wonder, stops at the cottage of a rather muddled wizard. Here’s what made the kids laugh:

Puns. When the wizard misheard Mortimer’s words and Mortimer grew frustrated.

Unexpected surprise and role reversal. The wizard demanded Mortimer’s help before answering his question. So Mortimer held up the frog prince, the wizard poured a potion over the frog, and . . . the frog prince fell in love with Mortimer. So funny. The kids and adults were laughing. They just weren’t expecting it.

Hyperbole and extending a funny situation. The play carried this aspect one step farther and had the frog prince dance with Mortimer and the wizard too.

It was fun for me to watch Jennifer signing and selling books afterward. 

Can you envision your story on stage or as a movie? Could you imagine trying to write the movie script! What book would you love to see as a movie?

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Marvelous Middle Grade Book Give Away!

Click here for the contest information. Contest ends Friday, June 25th!!

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Magnificent Middle Grade Book Give Away!!

Two incredible book packages!

 The brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner and To Find a Wonder by Jennifer Carson.  (Go to links to find full reviews)


The coveted arc of Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner and To Find a Wonder.


  • Follow my blog and leave a comment on this post with your email address.
  • For extra entries twitter or blog about the contest and leave an extra comment for each with the link.
  • Must have a United States mailing address.

Contest ends Friday, June 25th.   Winners announced on Monday, 28th.

 Head over to My Writing Journey for another fabulous give away!

And check out Ansha Kotyk’s blog for more details on Jennifer Carson!

Good luck everyone! Spread the word and help promote these wonderful authors!! Come back Monday when Jennifer Carson will be my guest!

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