Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Voyagers Author Rebecca M. Douglass and Her Middle-Grade Books

Currently the IWSG Anthologies
blog is featuring posts from 
the winning authors in 
Voyagers:  The Third Ghost.  

This week Rebecca M. Douglas, 
our Ninja Librarian, 
shares her published books.

Rebecca Writes...
I’m a huge fan of middle-grade fiction, and I have written several books for that age range (8-12). Lately more of my work has been for the parents (cozy mysteries, and they are about the Pismawallops PTA, so there’s still a school connection!), but today I want to highlight my children’s books, my first love.

My Favorite Series Starts Here:
The Ninja Librarian

My first published book kicked off the series I really do love the most! The Ninja Librarian is a collection of tall tales that fit together loosely to make a novel. That book was followed by two sequels, Return to Skunk Corners and The Problem With Peggy. Skunk Corners remains one of my favorite places on earth, or it would be, if it existed. You know what I mean! However, I find I have written all I have to say on the town and the characters, so consider the series complete as a trilogy. The episodic nature of the stories has proven appealing to kids who may not want to commit to a whole novel. Though the reading level is high, kids as young as eight have read and loved the books!

      Return to Skunk Corners                                 The Problem with Peggy
                    Amazon                                                                   Amazon

My other middle-grade novel is a fantasy adventure, written with tongue firmly in cheek (this is a pattern that attentive readers will begin to recognize). Halitor the Hero recounts the adventures of a hapless would-be hero who fails every time as he does everything by the book… but might just have what it takes anyway. I have a lot of notes and ideas for a sequel, but it’s never quite jelled, though I’ve written a couple of short stories for a sneak peak at the hero’s further adventures.

Halitor the Hero

Finally, I’m going to give a little love and a shout-out to a book that I really never intended to publish. I put together A Is for Alpine to share with some fellow backpacking parents, but eventually decided that the best way to share was to go ahead and publish it. There are slicker picture books out there, but I’ll bet mine is the only alphabet book that includes “krumholtz” and “victuals” among the featured words.

A Is for Alpine

Rebecca grew up in Idaho, Arizona, and Washington states, and now lives and writes in California. Her imagination resides where it pleases, in and out of this world. Her passions include backpacking, hiking, books, swimming, biking, and moderately adventurous travel. Rebecca is the author of the delightful Ninja Librarian books, as well as a picture book for outdoor families, a mystery series for the parents, and her middle-grade fantasy, Halitor the Hero. After more than seventeen years working at the library, she has retired still without learning all the secrets of the Ninja Librarian.  Learn more about Rebecca at her blog  Her website contains lots of resources, including reviews of children's books and adult books. 

Rebecca shares a book with a classroom of children.
Courtesy of RMD

A Young Fan
Courtesy of RMD

Past Anthology Winner
Rebecca is one of a few authors who has earned a spot in more than one IWSG anthology.  Her previous winning story "The Tide Waits" was in our mystery anthology Tick Tock A Stitch in Crime published in 2018 by Freedom Fox Press. She shared her reasons for writing short stories in an earlier IWSG anthologies post (11/7/18):  5 Reasons to Write Short Stories and Flash Fiction.  Obviously her reasons are working for her!

Currently Rebecca is polishing off her latest book Death by Donut.  Look for this fifth book in her Pismawallops PTA mystery series coming in the new year.

Pursuing Passions
Courtesy of RMD

Coming on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the next IWSG Day: 
Roland Clarke gives us the scoop on his novel Spiral of Hooves and shares his WIPs.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 

* * * * * * * * * *

If you haven't read Rebecca's suspenseful short story "A World of Trouble" 
in VOYAGERS:  The Third Ghost, you can find it here.

You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic

Rebecca's Story

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

IWSG Anthologies Author Sherry Ellis Releases Her Latest Bubba and Squirt Adventure

Congratulations to
Voyagers author Sherry Ellis
on the release of her latest book,
Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure.

If you have read this year's IWSG anthology VOYAGERS:  The Third Ghost, then you have already met the irrepressible Bubba and his plucky sister Squirt in Sherry's short story "Ghosts of Pompeii."

Bubba is no typical fourth grade boy.  He has a secret hole under a tree in the woods near his home in Ohio.  When Bubba dug the hole with a magic shovel his Grandpa found at a garage sale, he discovered a mysterious vortex, a portal that will take him anywhere he wants to go.  Sixth grader Squirt gets pulled into his adventures and does her best to keep him out of trouble until they find their way home.  But trouble and Bubba go together like spaghetti and meatballs, and impetuous Bubba doesn't always appreciate Miss Worry Wart's efforts.

Sherry Ellis introduced middle grade readers to Bubba and Squirt in her book Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China.  She has a knack for writing stories that appeal to young readers, especially those who are beginning to read chapter books.  Sherry's stories are fun, fast-paced, and entertaining.  What kids don't love volcanoes and earthquakes, ghosts and burial chambers, mysteries and high-stakes adventures?  Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure promises more fun and danger in exotic Belize.

An ancient Mayan civilization!

That's what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archaeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.

But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tate Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.

Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?

Sherry on Her Bubba and Squirt Stories
"I have always loved travelling and learning about the history, language, and culture of the places I visit. This prompted me to write a series of stories involving two siblings, Bubba and Squirt, who travel through a magical vortex and end up in places all over the world. It is my hope that these stories will teach kids about different countries in a fun way and help enforce what they learn in school.  I’ve been writing these stories for ten years. They are finally making it out into the world."


Sherry Ellis is an award-winning
author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano.

When she is not writing or
engaged in musical activities,
she can be found doing
household chores, hiking,
or exploring the world.

A Little More About Sherry Ellis
Ellis' books include Don't Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Mama is a Grouch; That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN; Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China; and Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure.

Sherry Ellis’ Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China won the Reader’s Favorites Silver Medal for the Children's Grades 4-6 category.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her websites at and

BlogFacebook| Goodreads| Twitter| Amazon

Some Short Reviews of Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure
“Readers will be mesmerized by the story. They’ll eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.” - children’s author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

“Highly-recommended for fans of middle-grade Latin American fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and Mayan Indian culture.” - June McCrary Jacobs, author

“It is a very exciting book… It is right for middle-grade readers who aren’t advanced but are just starting reading chapter books.” – Kids Book Buzz, 5 stars

Where to Find Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure
Release date - September 15, 2020
$7.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 96 pages
Juvenile Fiction - Action Adventure (JUV001000)/Legends, Myths, Fables-Caribbean & Latin American(JUV012070)/Fantasy & Magic(JUV037000)
Print ISBN 9781939844705 / EBook ISBN 9781939844712
$3.99 EBook available in all formats
Amazon -
ITunes -
Barnes & Noble -
Kobo -
Goodreads - 

* * * * * * * * * *

Coming on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 
Next week Voyagers author Rebecca Douglass will share some of the middle-grade books she has published.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Published Books, New Releases, and WIPs by the "Voyagers" Authors: This Week ~ Louise MacBeath Barbour

Over the coming weeks, the IWSG Anthology blog will be featuring posts from our winning authors in Voyagers:  The Third Ghost.  They'll be sharing their current works-in-progress (WIPs) along with other things they would like to share.  As blog coordinator for our Voyagers authors, I thought I should volunteer to go first.

First and foremost, I'm kicking myself.  Today is the deadline for the 2020 Anthology Contest, and I do not have an entry.  I didn't need a dramatic bolt from the black to get started like last year.  I was well underway.  I have a protagonist (Abby), a storyline (dark, existential matters), and a setting (a settlement by an underground lake in Planum Australe), and I've done a lot of research on Mars and the challenges of establishing a permanent human colony there.  But life intervened in July and into August, and I ran out of time. I'm still going to write my story:  It's a WIP.

Setting Near the South Pole Region of Mars, Planum Australe
Radar evidence at the site suggests the presence of an underground lake.

My problem is not so much WIPs as Works Finished.  I have a lot of irons in the fire, but I need to pull one out and hammer it into shape!  I've made some huge leaps forward this year, and it's all thanks to winning a spot in the Voyagers anthology.  I've moved from regarding myself as a writer to seeing myself as an author.  Right now I'm working on my author's website, and it needs more than a short story to showcase!

I'm moving forward with optimism and with goals.  This year I'm going to participate in November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and finish a project.  I've always hesitated to take NaNoWriMo on because November is such a busy month, but I figure I'll never have a better chance to do this than when stranded at home by Covid-19.  Furthermore, I've learned so much this year through the publication of Voyagers, that my confidence and belief in myself has soared.

My biggest WIP in my memoir of my family's time in Lansdowne House inland of James Bay in Northern Ontario, Canada.  I am currently taking a course from the University of Alberta, Indigenous Canada, because I want a better understanding of the First Nations peoples experience of that time.  Working on this memoir is certainly one of the most challenging things I have ever done, and I am determined to finish it.

My Brother Roy and I Canoeing on Lake Attawapskat
Lansdowne House, Northern Ontario, Canada
Spring 1961
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Another WIP of mine is a novel set in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Kansas. It is a multigenerational story of tragedy and perseverance connected to the Truxtun-Pollux naval disaster off Lawn on the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland on February 18, 1942.  I learned about this heartrending story when I worked as a field geologist in nearby St. Lawrence in the summer of 1972.  The grandson of a man who helped in the rescue of drowning sailors told me the story of the wrecks of the Truxtun and the Pollux while we lying at the top of the Pinnacles looking down into Chambers Cove where the disaster occurred.  I was too scared to stand at the top of this cliff, and I had crawled on my belly to look down.  (The Pinnacles is the highest point in the photo below).

Chambers Cove, Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland

A third WIP of mine is a picture book tentatively called Along Piney Creek.  I have been photographing and studying the animals and plants in this open space for a decade.  Really, I have enough material now!

Mama Red-winged Blackbird
Along Piney Creek, Aurora, Colorado
April 7, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

And I have more, but I won't embarrass myself further by detailing them.  What has been holding me back is a lack of confidence and a fear of failure.  But Voyagers and the journey it has taken me through this year has given me a huge boost, and I'm already hammering.

If you haven't read Voyagers:  The Third Ghost yet, I hope that you will.  Here's a blurb for my story which turned me from a writer into an author.  And there are nine other wonderful stories to go along with mine!

Who can resist a dare to enter a forbidden room?  Sara and her brother Kelsey find themselves in dire circumstances a long way from home after a rash "Dare" and "Double Dare."

Born in Nova Scotia and raised throughout eastern Canada, Louise is a writer and blogger who lives with her supportive husband in Colorado.  She writes fiction and nonfiction. Her love of reading, photography, geology, and travel rounds out her enthusiastic embrace of life.

Coming on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 . . .

Next up is Sherry Ellis who shares her new book Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure which will be released on September 15th.

* * * * * * * * * *

You can order VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost here: 

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press

Amazon - Print

Barnes & Noble -

ITunes -

Kobo -