The Literature Link – Against All Odds

The Leopard Tree

Written by Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu


Three African children meet while living at the Nyumba wa watoto orphanage in Kenya, Africa and become fast friends. Their favorite spot is a tree they call “the leopard tree.” Daudi’s mother died of Aids when he was two; recently his grandmother has died and left him orphaned and abandoned without medication. Masozi is blind and lost a leg to a land mine due to civil war in Sudan, and Ramla from Rwanda witnessed the rape and killing of her family in her village. The trauma from that event has robbed her of her speech. Daudi reads the story of the Wizard of Oz to his friends, which inspires them to seek a wizard who can make life better for them and the children of Africa. Rosa Carson is a photojournalist who often visits Africa in an effort to create awareness of the poverty and medical needs of children in orphanages throughout Africa; she is drawn to and takes a special interest in these three children.

On one visit to the orphanage, Rosa agrees to take the three children on a day trip to Nairobi airport. When Daudi finds a passport on the floor, the adventures begin. The children stow away on a jet flying to San Francisco. From that point they travel by bus to Reno, a minivan to Kansas, and a goat trailer to Missouri. They walk along railroad tracks and stow away in a freight train until they arrive in Pennsylvania. Where are they going? Daudi has learned there is a UN conference in New York. He is determined to plead his case to the Secretary General Akama. All along this journey, the children must hide from the immigration authorities while they face all sorts of personal physical danger. To make matters worse, Daudi has been without any medication and his medical condition is deteriorating.

Rosa desperately wants to find these children to keep them safe and eventually adopt them as her family. She uses all her resources and contacts in an attempt to track them down. All the odds are against them succeeding; will these three unlikely spokespeople for Africa’s impoverished orphans succeed in the quest?

This book is a powerful presentation of the issues that face so many children everyday. Characters are deftly created with powerful personalities. Heartbreaking twists and turns in the plot abound. The authors paint portraits of the best and worst of human nature. I found it difficult to put the book down. Young adult and adult readers should not miss this book.

Barbara Mojica
Author of the Little Miss HISTORY series:
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The STATUE of LIBERTY
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to FORD’S THEATER


Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer (The Adventures of Prince Iggy Book 1)

Written by Aldo Fynn

Illustrated by Richie Vicencio


Young Iggy attends the Naysayer Academy where all the boys and girls of the kingdom are forced to study. They never leave and must eat the same horrible porridge everyday. Miss Spitfire, their teacher, tortures the children both physically and mentally. To make matters worse, Iggy is teased and bullied by all the other children. In the land ruled by King Naysayer, disobedience is punished by torture. Dishonesty and selfishness are considered virtues not faults. Long ago Iggy had mysteriously floated to the shores of this kingdom; he does not know his parents or origin

One day the children decide to throw Iggy down a trash well. He screams for help. A man throws a rope down to rescue him, but then kidnaps the boy and throws him in the back of a wagon. Iggy can’t understand why; but the man named Captain Swell tells him that the ring Iggy wore on his finger proves that he is the prince from the Rose kingdom, who was kidnapped long ago. At first Iggy does not believe his good fortune. To gain back his power he must get back the ring that King Naysayer has stolen from him. Along the journey, Iggy meets a fortune teller, Professor Jones, and an eccentric named Henry O’Henry who will collaborate with him to restore his throne. Will Iggy triumph over adversity? Does he return to Naysayer and punish his tormentors?

This book is intended for tweens and young teens. The black and white line drawings with a graphic novel look break up the story and make the short chapters more visual and interesting. I must give warning that there is some rather coarse language and some pretty nasty examples of bullying behavior which make it inappropriate, in my opinion, for children younger than ten. Lots of adventure, mixed with twists and turns in plot, a bit of magic and fantasy, and the type of humor that appeals to this age group make the book a nice package for the middle grade reader. Parents and teachers might want to preview the book if children will be reading the book independently.

A review by Barbara Ann Mojica,

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Attention teachers, librarians, tweens, and parents of tweens! Announcing a contest just for you…

The Emblazon authors are giving away a brand new touch screen Kindle loaded with over 50 of their books. That’s a $300 value and hours of reading entertainment!

Emblazon is a collection of authors who seek to create lifelong readers by creating top-notch literature for kids. They have a particular focus on ages 11 to 14. They’re hosting this fabulous giveaway to celebrate their first year and to treat you, the readers.

The Rafflecopter contest runs November 3 through November 17 and is open to anyone who loves tween literature.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Signing up for the catalog is required for entry. Current subscribers are also eligible for entry. Winners must reside in the United States or Canada. 


List of Stops on the
Blog Tour:

November 3rd:

November 11th:

November 12th:

November 15th:

You can help even more by sharing this post with your friends and family. If you know teachers or librarians let them know about how awesome the Emblazoners are by sharing the link to their website:



The ULTIMATE READING QUEST STARTS HERE! Click on this button to join the Ultimate Reading Quest. Find authors who write the kind of books you like!


Today I am excited to launch the Ultimate Reading SPRING QUEST for middle graders and beyond!  Why? Because this is the reason that I write for young people.  Our youth are the leaders of tomorrow and our hope for the future, so they need to read great stories!  And that’s why I write!   Stories that will shape their lives and help them through tough times. Stories that will introduce them to  characters with whom they can connect, cry, laugh, and shout out their indignation at injustices in their world. I believe that a great story can be an escape, a safe haven and a learning experience all at once.  Young people deserve literature that will engage, inspire and inform them as well as it entertains them.  That’s why I write for young people. Because the stories of today will inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

I am on a personal quest to give my students and yours only the very best to read! That’s why I wrote the Jewel of Peru and the sequel will be coming soon.  I want The Quest series to take my readers on an unbelievable journey and have them experience stories that they will remember for the rest of their lives.  The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents.

Click the cover to learn more!


“Jewel was an enthralling story from start to finish.  Once I started this book, I did not want to put it down.  Sharon did a fantastic job of creating a unique story that left me wanting more. I haven’t read another book like it, and that is what I loved about it.”–Kristina Snyder, Quiethouse Copy Editing

“This book has sparked my daughter to enjoy reading as she is on her fourth read of it! As a reader, it is a great read and keeps you wanting more at the end of each chapter! A difficult book to put down!”–Tammy Reiling

I know that the other authors involved in THE ULTIMATE READING QUEST feel the same way as I do.  By joining this QUEST you will find many excellent authors whose stories  are filled with adventure, intrigue, danger, mystery, laugh out loud humour, imaginative worlds, and facts about our past, present and future. These stories are indeed a TREASURE that will fill your minds and hopefully, inspire you to keep seeking!   Seek your next Ultimate Read by finding authors who write in a style that you prefer. Just click the gold bar above or below and it will take you one step closer to a whole treasure store of Ultimate reads!  Don’t forget to come back here to  leave a comment to say which author most intrigued and what you  liked about the QUEST. Then enter the contest for a $10 Amazon gift card and a surprise “gift” from a participating author!

Enjoy the QUEST!

Sharon Skretting


The ULTIMATE READING QUEST STARTS HERE! Click on this button to join the Ultimate Reading Quest. Find authors who write the kind of books you like!

The Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale


It’s that time of year when we start to think about the long winter ahead and planning to cozy up with the good book!  That’s why we’re throwing the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale! You can get started shopping at the CLEAN INDIE READS FALL SALE  but before you go shopping, let’s have some fun blog hopping! Keep reading…

To celebrate the ongoing sale, the authors at CLEAN INDIE READS have created a blog hop that answers the question: Do the changing seasons influence your writing and/or choice of books to read?

My answer is … You bet!  In the fall I like fantasy… something I can curl up with and let my mind go into another world.  A world that doesn’t remind me that impending snow and cold are coming! Yes, that’s right, I’m Canadian.

In the winter, I am curled up by my fireplace enjoying a cozy mystery or  an historical fiction or two.  Something with a Christmas flavour—about love, kinship and good will toward others and it must have a happy ending.

Spring is a time of hope, renewal and anticipation so with my spidy senses tingling, I get itching for suspense. Something edgier to keep me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages. It has to be a page turner.

Lazy summer days lead me to seek the more humorous side of life.  I want a book that gives me a full out belly laugh!  A smile with my morning coffee. What more could I ask for?

One thing is for sure. No matter what your taste in reading, some great reading material to suit any mood can be found at the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale! Stock up , fill your Kindle or ipad and you will have reading material ready for any season!

When I’m not busy in the classroom, teaching or cozied up with a good book, I’m writing myself!  I’m excited to have my debut novel: The Jewel of Peru featured in the  Clean Indie Fall Sale. Please look for it and get it until October 11th, for 99¢.

Get it until Oct.11th for 99¢

Click here to get the New Release of The Jewel of Peru for only 99¢

The Jewel is a fantasy middle grade fiction that is filled with danger, intrigue and non-stop page-turners.  After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes and unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents or will all be lost forever? I invite you to read the reviews at: , see the trailer and more at my author page at :

The Fall Sale is  a great place to get dozens of clean reads for a great price. For those of you who have kindly stopped by this blogpost, go to my facebook page and like it during the Clean Indie reads sale for a fabulous chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card that you can use to buy more books or whatever you wish!  The contest is open to anyone, anywhere that contests are legal.  Please note the disclaimer below. To enter, please like my Facebook QuestTeaching Page at:  and leave a comment on the page saying that you found me while shopping at the Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale.  While you’re at it, please let me know how you found out about the Clean Indie Reads Sale AND tell us if the season change your reading habits!  Then post your email so that if you are the lucky winner, I can gift you the card! (or if you don’t want to publicly post it, just private message me on facebook or hit the contact [gold envelope] at the top of this website to let me know that you liked the page) The contest will be open until the end of the sale on October 11, and a winner will be announced on October 13.

 Before you go, leave a comment and connect with me here, too. I would love to hear from you and answer any questions.  Then keep on hopping to get to know more fabulous indie authors on this Blog Hop. Please join the discussion on the following blogs, and you might win a prize or two! You can find the Hop schedule here:


Happy Hopping!  I hope you FALL into your next great read!

* Disclaimer: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Central time on October 10, 2014 for your chance to win. Please leave your email address with your comment. Winners will be contacted by the blog owner by October 13, 2014. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers unless stated by the blog owner. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. The giveaway is the sole responsibility of the blogger. Clean Indie Reads is in no way responsible for providing prizes during this blog hop. Void where prohibited

Novel Launch – The Discovery Set’s Sail!

Click to get your copy!

I am so proud to announce that  the 2nd Edition of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru is now available  on Amazon and Teachers Pay Teachers! Here are just a few of the responses  from independent critics so far :

“Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas.   I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.”   —Sara Marchand, Beta Reader

Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents. After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board – The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Unwilling to believe his parents could be dead, Christopher and his friends set sail in pursuit of The Ultimate Treasure with the hope that it will lead him to his mom and dad. When a savage pirate and a corrupt business man join forces to steal The Ultimate Treasure for themselves, the gang must come face to face with the devastating impact of human greed on our planet and figure out a way to reverse decades of ecological devastation before it’s too late. Expertly crafted with young readers in mind, Jewel of Peru is as educational as it is entertaining. Deftly imparting the value of environmental conservation, readers will journey through the stunning landscape of Peru as Christopher and his companions learn what it means to become Master Keepers of the Earth’s greatest treasures.  

—Kelley Fitzpatrick Holland, Quiethouse Copy Editing

Jewel was an enthralling story from start to finish. Once I started this book, I did not want to put it down. Sharon did a fantastic job on creating a unique story that left me wanting more. I haven’t read another book like it, and that is what I loved about it. I loved how readers will learn important concepts throughout this story. The importance of sharing, protecting the environment, etc. Children will also see how greediness can affect others. Sharon did a fantastic job with the world-building. It was well crafted and well thought out. I was able to vividly see everything going on around me.              — Kristina Snyder, Beta Reader

I am excited and pleased with the response thus far, but I want to hear what you think of the Jewel of Peru.  Get your copy today and kindly leave an honest review or post your comment here! I want to know if you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks all,


Introducing Lynn Horn to The Quest Teaching Team!


Click to learn more!


The Jewel of Peru was written for all readers who love a great story,  but also for teachers who want an effective way to hook students into learning! Here is what a recent reviewers had to say:

The educational value of many of the places and objects that are so well-described here cannot be overstated – from 18th century sea craft to gemstones to the wonders of Peru and the perils the natural world is facing, there is learning material for readers of any age. —Kelley Fitzpatrick Holland

Teachers are always looking for ways to ‘hook’ their  students on reading. Here it is-adventure, danger and intrigue wrapped into one super book!”    —Carol Jones

To provide even more educational value to the novel and its use in the classroom, I am honoured to announce that I have teamed up with  Teacher/Author Lynn Horn to bring you more excellent teaching materials.  She has joined the Quest Teaching team as the creator of teacher products to support my novel, The Jewel of Peru.  She also has many other quality educational products that you might find helpful in your classroom so give her store a look today! The 2nd edition of  the novel has just been released and  is now available for a short time at the introductory price of  99¢.


Click for Teaching Resources for the Jewel of Peru

“Hi, I’m Lynn from TiePlay Educational Resources. I’ve worked with kids for over eleven years, and I have recently decided to homeschool! I’m a certified teacher for elementary grades PK-6 and SPED Pk-12. I have a B.S. in Exceptional Child, M. Ed, and an Ed.S in Curriculum and Instruction. I have four wonderful children, a great husband, and two fluffy cats. I have many hobbies, cooking, reading, gardening, traveling and creating educational materials for teachers. I am a big history buff and I learn new things each and every day.”
Thank you, friend!
Check out all of Lynn’s teacher products at: