Archives: fiction

15 {{Free}} Kindle Books for Kids

Image by Stacy Juba @

Here’s a fantastic book deal for you:


15 free Kindle downloads for children, tweens, and teens. *** 

Yep. Fifteen.


  • Picture books
  • Middle Grade novels
  • Young Adult books


All of the books are free today – April 19 – and you can download the titles to your Kindle or to your computer.

(A few of the titles are even free for the next couple of days. But why wait?)

Mystery and children’s author Stacy Juba  organized this great give-away which includes these award-winning titles:


The Pea Soup Poisoning  by Nancy Means Wright  (winner of the Agatha award for best Children’s/Young Adult Novel)

Captain Morgana Mason by Dorothy Francis (voted Children’s Book of the Year, Florida Historical Society) ****

Face-Off  by Stacy Juba (selected title for reference guide Best Books for Young Teen Readers Grades 7 -10)


So head on over to Stacy’s and snag some – or all – of these great deals


———– BUT ————

BEFORE you go, give me a bit of insight –


Is it harder to find titles for your child’s Kindle than for your own?


***Updated link 8:31 a.m. 4/19/12

****This title did not automatically turn free, so Stacy removed it from the list. 8:53 a.m. 4/19/12


The Power of Incubation

Periodically, I pull an internet skedaddle.

That’s what I call the whirlwind saving of contact info, web links, and bookmarks when my internet provider pulls the plug on its business.

One contact I always rescue is that of Daphne Gray-Grant. Her e-newsletter has followed me from email to email to email until I wised up and took advantage of a free email account services.

Ah, stability!

While Daphne targets corporate writers, her tips are useful for my freelance and fiction work, which is why I’m sharing her tips on incubation below. Helpful stuff no matter what we write.

What about you? Do you have a favorite blog, e-newsletter, or resource you’d save if your internet home was crumbling around you? Share in the comments below!


Power Writing
Super fast tips to punch up your prose
February 20, 2012


Here’s why I insist that you spend some of your writing time NOT writing but, instead, incubating…

Word count: 753 words

Reading time: About 3 minutes 

PW #313 – Become a better writer by incubating
When I was a callow teenager and completed my honours political science thesis in June 1979, I finished it only because my professor declined to give me another extension.

Although this made me furious, I’m now very grateful. If he hadn’t refused to molly-coddle my deadline-averse ways, it would have taken me the entire summer to write it. If then.

As it was, I wrapped up my writing in a three-day marathon during which I did not sleep. Instead, I moved between the dining-room table, which I had commandeered (I now can’t recall where the rest of the family ate!), the kitchen and the bathroom. I did nothing but write, edit, drink coffee, eat the odd crust of bread and, finally, finish the damn thing.

My professor gave me a 79% which was both generous (given my lateness) and a slap in the face (by scoring less than 80% I was awarded second class honours instead of first.) Of course none of this really mattered, as I had no interest in pursuing an academic career. I still recall writing that thing as one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

If only I had known about incubation!If incubation is not a tool in your writing quiver, be sure to pay attention now. When you incubate, you take a complete break from writing. This is one of the main reasons you should follow five guidelines listed here (none of which I knew about when I started my thesis):

1) Don’t write a word until you have finished the bulk of your research and know much of what you want to say. There is nothing to be gained by scribbling 750 (or more) words, early in the process. Do not assume that “getting started on writing” is a smart move. It is a colossally dumb one. Always research first, write later. This allows you to see your work as a whole, rather than just a word count.

2) Start your project early enough so that you aren’t forced to write and edit, as I was, in three days running. Or even one day running. After you finish researching, you need a stretch of time to think before you start to write. (If you think best with a pen, be sure to do a mindmap.) Otherwise, you can expect to spend a bunch of time sitting in front of a blank computer screen, fretting. This will make you feel panicked rather than in control. Not good. Instead, use incubation to avoid this terror.

3) Be aware that you will need another (longer) stretch of time to take a complete break after you’ve finished writing and before you start editing. Magic happens in the time when you leave your first draft in a dusty corner of your hard-drive or a vacant drawer of your desk. This is the only way to activate the “editing elves” who will come and do substantial work on your draft while you are away working on other things. Seriously, though, by taking a long break, you give yourself some much needed perspective so you can determine whether what you’ve written is any good and how it can be made even better. If you’re like me, you’ll frequently discover that some writing you thought was disastrously bad is actually pretty good. This has nothing to do with wearing rose-coloured glasses. It is simply the power of perspective. (The reverse is also true: The exquisitely good can, occasionally, become irreparably bad.)

4) Do I need to remind you again that you should never edit while you write? I consider this “global incubation” because it means you are not allowing yourself to “think” while you write. I always tell myself that I should write as quickly as I possibly can and edit as slowly as I can possibly bear. Writing and editing are two completely different tasks. Keep them that way.

5) Whenever you feel particularly stuck or puzzled, don’t force yourself to write. Instead, take a break – and by break, I mean do something completely different: for example, a walk, a drive, a bath, a book, a piece of music – and go back to writing only when you feel completely refreshed and, more importantly, distracted from your problem. Whenever Albert Einstein encountered a particularly tricky problem he always took a break to listen to some music. And we all know how that worked for him!

Incubation is not about wasting time. It’s about using it wisely.

Daphne Gray-Grant
Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing and editing coach and the author of the popular book 8½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better. She offers a brief and free weekly newsletter on her website. Subscribe by going to the Publication Coach