As required by the industry, all books must be classified by genre and even more narrowly defined by reader age brackets. Although The Time Seekers is classified as a ‘children’s novel’ for readers beginning in fourth or fifth grade, this is a story to be enjoyed by readers of all ages. So, I hope you’ll take a peek inside the book and just maybe...you will want to join Alexandra, Jaclyn, Theo, Nicolas, Taco and Noir on their adventures, along with your children or grandchildren! A ‘good yarn’ –a story that pulls at heartstrings and compels the imagination to take flight—is for the child inside all of us.
Happy New Year!
Fall Winds ~ 2015
I’m delighted to welcome you to the magical world of The Time Seekers!
A classic tale of adventure in the genre of The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, and Charlotte’s Web, at the heart of The Time Seekers are two very special birds: Taco, a blue and gold macaw parrot and Noir, a common raven (who only speaks French). The anthropomorphized birds possess unusual intelligence and compelling personalities, and their relationship forms the broad arc of the story. Plot threads are made from an alchemy of magic and human emotion, woven into a tapestry of classic New England locales—Dark Harbor, Maine and Chatham, Massachusetts (Cape Cod). Ups and downs and mysteries propel the characters on a flight path filled with headwinds, as they time travel to a Salem Witch Trial, and then to a very different location in time and place, where they make an astonishing discovery. Join the cast of characters on an exciting ride—the first seat is filled with four young people and two birds, and the second seat is reserved for—you!
With more than 500 pages, (sixty-four chapters, Prologue and Epilogue), The Time Seekers’ Map, and over thirty pen and ink sketches, The Time Seekers is a children’s novel, for readers from about fourth or fifth grade through middle school. Yet, it is a story that will also be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and truly belongs on the family bookshelf.
Sample chapter pages and the Contents pages, along with artwork from the book may be viewed on the Order page. The paperback is now available and may be ordered via the link to Amazon on the Order page, or directly from Amazon (as will the Kindle eBook when available). The hard copy with dust jacket will be available for purchase through the website, via a link to Ingram Books, and will be available soon. Please check the Order page for the activated links to Ingram and to Kindle.
I look forward to hearing from you via the ‘Contact’ area of the website (located South on the compass page). Most of all, I hope you enjoy The Time Seekers, and will tell your friends and relatives about it . . . and I would be most appreciative if you will take a few moments to review the book on Amazon! Merci beaucoup!
“You have no idea where childhood ends and maturity begins . . . it is all endless and all one.”
P. L. Travers
Author of the Mary Poppins series
***Special Note ~ Book Signing***
~ On Saturday, December 5th, I will be having a book signing at the Prawnbroker Grill, 3754 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there! ~
New Year’s Eve found me under the weather (sans party hat and champagne) . . . and watching It’s a Wonderful Life. I had not seen this movie in many years, and found myself transported to Bedford Falls, NY and under the spell of . . . a wonderful story. It reminded me of how good stories never grow old or out of fashion, and that contrary to what one might think, they get better with age and repeat performances. It is a simple truth that you never grow tired of a good story, whether read aloud, read in silence, listened to via audio book, or watched as a movie. This is my wish for The Time Seekers . . . that it will slowly gain the patina of a well-read book on the family bookshelf, complete with folded corners and the other telltale signs of a book that has been held by many hands.
As soon as I was able, I sat at my computer desperately wanting to learn more about the movie, especially the author, and to my complete surprise (I did not remember this)—one very handsome RAVEN. He has many cameo appearances in the film, some longer than others, inside the Bailey bank building. Not surprisingly, he is very cool and calm as he surveys all the drama unfolding around him and should have had star billing, because he was a very big star in his day: ‘Jimmy the Raven.’ Jimmy Stewart said about the bird, “When they call ‘Jimmy’ on set, two Jimmy’s answer…” His footprints are next to Lassie’s in some Hollywood locale . . . an utterly remarkable bird. (And he would have been a parfait Noir.)
Who wrote this classic Christmas story? Philip Van Doren Stern. And how was it first published? As a Christmas card . . . 24 pages, 200 copies, given away to friends, neighbors, and his daughter’s school teachers in December 1943. It was called The Greatest Gift. Mr. Stern was a published author of non-fiction, but one day while shaving, the idea for the story popped into his head, and he said he instantly knew the beginning and the ending. (I found this very interesting, as the same was true for me—I knew the start and the finish immediately.) He took five years to draft the story, rewrite, set aside and think about, and then when he was finally satisfied, gave it to his agent. Apparently, no one saw much in the (very) short story, as it was rejected even by magazines. Then one day—and this is right out of the movies—he received a Western Union telegram from his agent. The head of RKO Studios somehow had received the Christmas card and wanted to buy the screen rights. $50,000 was offered and accepted for a . . . Christmas card. On December 20, 1946, the movie had its world premiere at the Globe Theatre in New York for the benefit of the Boys Club of New York.
The rest, as they say, is history. If you do not own a copy of this slim volume, I would highly recommend purchasing. Be sure to order the book titled, The Greatest Gift, by Philip Van Doren Stern, published by the Penguin Group in 1996 with an Afterword by the author’s daughter, Marguerite Stern Robinson. Many books have the title of the movie, which is not the original. (This is a very good example of how screen rights can alter original work; however, most agree the treatment was handled superbly and the heart of the story was very much protected and preserved. And who does not fall in love with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and the whole ensemble each and every time?)
Here is a photo of ‘Jimmy,’ or as I now think of him, Noir:
Kelly Arnold and D. A. Squires signing books for the holidays.
I am already looking forward to next Christmas. To catch a glimpse of a debonair, black-feathered actor, and to hear the sweet bell ring at the end . . . we need more angels, with or without wings.
Please check back on the ‘Order’ page over the coming weeks for the hard copy with dust jacket and the Kindle eBook, which will have colorized illustrations (assuming the stars, moon, and megabytes align).
Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season, and to those who braved the rain and wind and attended the recent book signing, thank you so much for your interest and enthusiasm! As you and others read the story, I hope you will write a review on Amazon and will tell your friends and family about The Time Seekers! It is still true (thankfully) that word of mouth and personal recommendations are the gold standard for books.
This snow globe was a Christmas gift from the illustrator to the author! It is an exact replica of what the author imagined as a very special Christmas gift, including the blinking lights outlining the sails of the Windswept (with concealed battery pack!) On the right is the matching Kindle eBook colorized illustration! Handcrafted, requiring much research, waterproof materials, creation of sailboat and sails, multiple tools, and countless hours of work, the author is thrilled to have such a meaningful part of the story come to life, now twinkling (year round) in her home. Merci beaucoup, Kelly!
The winds are blowing again, and a particularly strong gust recently swept up an eBook from the illustrator’s magical laptop and delivered it safely to Amazon!
The Time Seekers is now available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook! AND the interior illustrations are enhanced and colorized! Sample eBook illustrations are below ~ we hope you will agree the color gives a visual richness to the story, and as an entirely different medium, the Kindle version would make a wonderful companion to the paper copy.
Real books are irreplaceable and extremely important for young readers to hold, borrow, and own. However, it is also true eBook readers, iPads, and other tablets are all becoming increasingly important for reading: they permit customization of settings to enhance readability, allow books to be more accessible to those with learning or physical challenges, and are increasingly finding their way into classrooms, even for young students. Readers of all ages can enjoy and benefit from the electronic format. (Kindle offers an app for purchasing and downloading Kindle eBooks on iPads. Also, please remember that if you have an older eBook reader, or one that only permits black and white, the ‘color’ illustrations will be in gray scale.)
Please note ~ for schools, libraries and bookstores, The Time Seekers will soon be available to order via Ingram wholesale distribution, both in paperback and hard copy.
Any comments, please write to me through my website, I would love to hear from you!
I would like to thank all the readers who have let me know their thoughts and feelings about The Time Seekers in personal notes, emails and in person. After so many years of work, it has been incredibly rewarding and gratifying to know this story is resonating with so many people, from pre-teen to grandparent! That this is a book for all ages has become rather quickly apparent and is probably the best news any author can receive. How wonderful to know The Time Seekers will be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of readers—boys and girls, men and women, young and old. (And, if you have not yet written a review on Amazon, I will so appreciate this! As a new author, these reviews are critically important—they are really more meaningful than anything else because they are written authentically, with the unique perspective of each individual reader.)
In December, I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed and featured on a website which showcases children’s book authors. The website is www.writingforchildrencenter.com. The audio interview is about thirty minutes, and can be heard by clicking on the link. Also, under the tab (on homepage) “Virtual Book Tour,” I wrote five blog posts about various subjects that may be of interest (with photos!) I hope you’ll visit this website to learn more about my journey of writing The Time Seekers.