Boo’s Bad Day by Penny Lockwood: Red Carpet Day

Boo’s Bad Day


Penny Lockwood

Boos Bad Day - cover resized

Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Alberta:  I have read this book  and have to say it is quite enchanting, from the storyline to the delightful illustrations.

Boo a bored small kitten who longs to explore the great outdoors.  The story line is just right for children being read too and also for those who are spelling out books for themselves.  The illustrations are beautiful, very simple, and full of colour, movement and expression.

Today I am welcoming not just Boo but also author Penny Lockwood onto


Red carpet at night.

Alberta:   I am so pleased to welcome you on the Red Carpet today, Penny.  I do hope your tour is progressing well.   Now Boo’s Bad Day. Poor Boo has an amazingly scary and exciting time of it when he slips out of the house, doesn’t he? I can see children shuddering in sympathy. It has been a while since I have had to read to a small child but I don’t believe they have changed too much.

 Penny:  Alberta, thanks for hosting me and the lovely review.  At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only.  If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book.  So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

 If your readers missed yesterday’s post, they can catch up at Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting with

 Alberta: Now for the cross examination:): What inspired you to write this tale?

Author Photo Pen smiling copyPenny: Many years ago, we had a black kitten named Boo.  At that time, we allowed our cats to go in and out of the house.  Even though Boo was a teenager, he happily followed the adult cats outside.  One winter, during an ice storm, Boo went out, but he didn’t come back. We called him in the evening, but when he didn’t come, we assumed he was hiding in a barn in the neighborhood.  When he still didn’t return the next day, we went searching and located him by his cries, stranded in a huge fir tree.  My husband got out his 50-foot ladder but couldn’t reach him.  We tried calling the fire department, but they told us they no longer rescued cats from trees.  Poor Boo’s cries were getting weaker and weaker, and it was freezing cold.  We ultimately called a friend, taller than my husband, who worked construction on multi-story buildings.  By climbing to the top of the ladder and stretching, he reached Boo, grabbed him, and got him down.  Poor little Boo spent the next week curled in front of our woodstove with no desire to go outside.

 My grandchildren are of an age to enjoy picture books, and when I wanted a new  writing project, Boo’s story came to mind.  I thought it would be a perfect tale for little people.

 Alberta:  Is it intended to be just a tale to amuse or did you intend it to serve as any kind of lesson?

Penny:I wrote it more for entertainment, but there are definitely lessons to be learned and things parents and teachers can speak to their kids about.

      If you had a pet, what do you need to do to take care of it?

      Why would you need to do more for your pet than just give it a hug once in a while?

.      What kinds of dangers are there on a busy street?

      Why shouldn’t you cross the street by yourself?

      Why do you think a big truck or snowplow wouldn’t be able to see you if you were outside by yourself?

                    What do you think is a safe place?

      What do you think is an unsafe place?

      What do you think could happen if Timmy couldn’t get Boo out of the tree?

      Have you ever had a pet sneak out of the house?  What happened?

  What do you think makes a pet feel safe?

 Alberta: There is a great deal to think about, especially if contemplating having a pet , but there  are I agree lessons for the child to absorb as well.

The illustrations are as I said delightful, how closely did you work with Deborah  Johnson with them?

Penny: Thank you.  I love the illustrations, too, and I believe Deborah must have cats in her life to be able to catch their expressions so well.  I actually did not work with Deborah and only saw the illustrations when they were completed, and the final galley proof was sent to me.  This is my publishing house’s rule.  I believe this is similar for other houses as well.

Alberta: You write in other genres as well. I’m wondering how different/difficult you found the process of writing for such a young age group?

Penny: This was my first picture book, however, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a submissions editor and read a lot of books for young children.  I’ve learned to spot what makes a good manuscript and what makes one mediocre.  I’ve also had many years of reading stories to my children and now my grandchildren. I didn’t find the process particularly difficult, but it was different.  With a picture book, an author is limited to a very few words, yet must create obstacles, develop a character, and have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It can be a challenge!

 Alberta:  Do you have a preferred genre to write in?

Penny:I enjoy variety in my writing and have penned romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, contemporary children’s, paranormal children’s, and non-fiction.  I think my favorite, though, would be fantasy, since this is the genre I most enjoy reading for pleasure.

 Alberta:   When not writing what do you most enjoy doing for relaxation?

Penny: For relaxation, I enjoy a number of things including gardening, playing with my grandchildren and pets, reading, crocheting, walking, spending time with family and friends, and attending water aerobics classes.

 Alberta:   Do you enjoy music? If yes, what kind and do you use music to aid your writing?

Penny: I enjoy classic rock, but I don’t like to have distractions when I’m writing, so I don’t listen to anything as I work.  I do enjoy writing outside, though, and the music of the birds in the trees is very soothing.

 Alberta:   Do you have favourite author/authors?

Penny:There are so many it’s hard to choose favorites, but I do enjoy Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Terry Brooks, George R. R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Devon Monk, and Jim Butcher.


Boos Bad Day - cover resized

By Penny Lockwood

 Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.

Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years

Published by 4RV Publishing

ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

4RV –

$8.99 includes s/h

Look inside at Amazon

Dianne Gardner interview: The Dragon’s Shield

A big welcome for Dianne Gardner today on the Red Carpet.  I am very pleased to have Dianne here, not only is she a great writer of YA stories she is a very talented artist as well – well worth a look.  Today she has kindly agreed to be interviewed.

Red Carpet day

Dianne Gardner

Red carpet at night.

Author of

THE Dragon’S Shield


I have been venturing back into the world of YA just recently after nearly a 60 year gap! to see how teenage books have changed since I was one.  I have been impressed by the good ones, and The Dragon Shield is one of the good ones. Exciting enough for the age group, with a great mixture of traditional type fantasy and modern technology.

I found I could still relate to a growing teenager’s anxieties – the problems may be modern but the feelings remain the same. I think Dianne Gardner manages very well to convey these mixed and emotional states of mind as a child steps over that threshold into adulthood.  She handles that aspect and combines with the story – what we would have called a ripping yarn when I was young:)  very adroitly.

A satisfying read for this old lady and I can imagine it being more than satisfying for the YA reader.

So now back to the author herself, this week she has agreed to be interviewed so we can find out more about her and The Dragon’s Shield.

It is so nice to welcome you here today on the Red Carpet, Dianne. I hope your tour has been going well?

I read a review from your grandson the other day and found myself agreeing with him when he said he was telepathically screaming at the book asking . . .          I had done the same at the end of the book ‘what was going to happen?’ – I was telepathically screaming at you:) I guess you have written a good part two of a series if a teenager and an old lady both want to know what happened:) I understand the third in the series is almost done and dusted, so hopefully we wont have to wait too long to find out.

Dianne: Thank you for having me! I’m glad you enjoyed the book! And now, Rubies and Robbers is being edited by the publisher even as we speak.

Alberta:   You have raised a large family and so I guess you have a lot of insight into a child/young adult life and  culture.                                                                           

Q:  Do you have any problem keeping up with their rapidly changing lifestyles?

Dianne: Fortunately, being grandmother, all I have to do is enjoy their rapidly changing lifestyles. My job is completed having to keep up with them!

People passing through their teenage years today aren’t much different than we were, or our parents were. Everything is more high-tech on the outside, but what’s inside is very human and very real and not any different from when I was growing up. Kids today have the same insecurities and awkwardness we experienced in our adolescence.

 Alberta:  There is a difference of a few years between the first and this book.  Ian is a little older, wiser but with some way to go yet.  It is a large step from young teen to adult man.  A coming of age journey.                                                       Q:  Do you think it is more difficult now, than when you were young, to make that journey?

Dianne: It could be. The years between 15 and 18 are so very awkward. I remember feeling like a child half the time while everyone around me was expecting me to act like an adult. Then when I tried to, that didn’t work either because I was too young, lacking wisdom and experience to make an adult decision. I remember just wanting those years to pass.

 Alberta:  I have been reading some of your experiences and how you have managed to meld them into your writing. For you this seems to have been essential to the storytelling.                                                                                                           Q:  Do you think the storytelling would have been so successful without a personal first hand experience or could it have been researched from book/internet?

Dianne: I don’t think research through books and media can ever replace personal experience. You can know the facts, but how can you know the taste? The smells, the emotions involved with the event and the environment surrounding it? You can say the journey on horseback was long and tiring. But from book or Internet research do you know how riding in the saddle felt? Can you taste the sand that is grinding into your teeth on that hot dusty trail? Or feel the burning in your eyes? Can you feel your feet hurt as they’re pinched from pointed boots? Good writers could probably get close to the real thing, but I think the best writers try to go and live it first. Then they have something to bring to the table.

 Alberta:  One of the aspects I enjoyed was the use of technology in this tale of fantasy.  The contrast between it and the world Ian went to.                                    Q:  How difficult was that to meld together?

Dianne: I had help. When it came to the technical part, I went to a young man who knows a lot about programming and just what a hacker would need to do to get into a portal, and how to avoid it. It was great working with him. I think my own computer is better protected now!

 Alberta: Do you know how much time you spend on writing, including editing and day dreaming each day? 

Dianne: Well, each day is different of course. Right now I’m on a hiatus from writing anything new because I have so much rewriting to do. I like to spend at least four hours a day on the project I have going. Marketing has taken me away from those hours, but I hope to be back on track soon. When I was writing the drafts to Ian’s Realm conditions were so that I could spend six hours a day easy. Rubies and Robbers was drafted during NaNoWriMo. It was written in 27 days.

 Alberta:  I was always told if one wants anything doing always ask a busy person:)  You seem to be a very busy person, so                                                                Q: What are greatest pleasures and means of relaxation not counting family, writing and painting?

Dianne: Walking. We have some beautiful places to walk here in the Pacific Northwest. You’ve seen some of them in the story! The woods especially is the greatest place to unwind, relax, get inspired, and work the knots out so to speak.

Alberta: Because I am a nosy old woman:)                                                                         Q:  Who are your favourite authors, the genre you usually read?

Dianne: My favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, C.S. Forester, Lewis Caroll, Mark Twain, and Tolkien. As you can see, I love the classics. For contemporary authors I love Gary Schmidt and Matt de la Pena. Give me a book that will make me laugh and cry both, and I’ll be happy!

Q: And your favourite type of music, musicians/singers?  Do you listen to music when writing?

Dianne: I listen to music when I’m thinking about my stories but not usually when I’m writing. I love Il Divo, classical violin and classical/Spanish guitar. Anything moody. I also love haunting Celtic music like the song that Lexa Rose sang for The Dragon Shield Trailer, which by the way she wrote with the lyrics in the book. We hope to make an album this summer with all the songs in Ian’s Realm.

Alberta:Thank you very much for popping in and talking to us:)

 dianne paintingDianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

She’s been a painter all her life having started at the age of 12 under her mother’s supervision. Her first private art lesson was with a sculptress in California. Excelling in art in school and on to college, her portfolio includes portraits, inspirational works, and plein air landscapes. She was the portrait painter for the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Fair for several years painting 20 minute oil paintings during the fair. She has just recently started illustrating books, beginning this endeavor with a 9′ triptych of Stenhjaert the Dragon, the antagonist in Ian’s Realm
Dianne is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. Besides the Ian’s Realm Saga (Deception Peak, The Dragon Shield, and Rubies and Robbers which will be released in 2013) she boasts authorship to four short stories titled A Tale of the Four Wizards Series which interweaves with the Saga. She writes for middle grade and young adults targeting boys and adventure loving girls, but adults are some of her most zealous fans of all Her writing definitely falls under the ‘family friendly’ category!
Ian’s Realm Trilogy
by Dianne Gardner

If you want to be involved in the series, help with the music recording or own one of Dianne’s unique paintings -Dianne and Ian’s Realm are involved in a kickstart project, details can be found here
















The World at War by Pamela Michele Dorsey-Funke:Red Carpet Day

The Red Carpet is hosting The World at War

by Pamela Michele Dorsey-Funke today

with an interview by the author


Red carpet at night.

The World at War by

Pamela Michele Dorsey-Funke

The World at War by Pam Funke book trailer

The second book in the exciting Four Horsemen Series. Join General Alexander Ludlow as he continues on his mission to save the world. At least that is what he thinks that Operation Dark Angel is all about. He is however starting to suspect that this mission is not all that it’s cracked up to be. The world is in complete chaos as major nations wage war on each other and the world is on the brink of World War III.The Group is secretly continuing Operation Dark Angel with much success. Unknown to the rest of the world they are the ones who are behind the strange and devastating attacks on Israel and around the world. What is it that they are really after when they are supposed to be bringing peace to an out of control world?

Italian President Nicolaitanes Balac is steadily gaining political power and recognition. The entire world is watching this one man and wondering if he will be the one to save them from the chaotic spiral that the world is headed towards. Is he really who he appears to be or is he something much more sinister? Can he save the world? Do we even want him to? Is this who mankind should rely on for help or will this be the worst mistake that mankind has ever made?

  • Excerpt:

    Chee Tsang, China’s Chief Executive, gathered the country’s military officials together. He was ready for payback. How dare Israel attack his beloved country? Beijing is now just a smoldering disaster zone. This fact alone both angered and saddened him.

    General Baojia Chan stood nearby looking over intelligence and working out a war strategy in his head. First we will attack Israel with missiles then a surprise attack with our massive army.

    “General, I want your opinion about something. What will we gain from this? How will this attack on Israel benefit the people of China?” Chee Tsang asked.

    General Chan looked back at the papers he was reviewing before looking at Mr. Chee Tsang. “Well, I think that this will only work as long as we contain the element of surprise. We then enter the country from here and here,” Baojia said pointing at the military map.

    “I see. But would we not have a greater advantage point from here and here,” Chee asked.

    “I have planned for the Immediate Action Unit to drop forces in at those locations,” General Chan replied.

    “But I thought that we primarily used them to protect the country from terrorism, riots, and the like. If we use them in our attack, won’t that leave the country defenseless?” Chee asked.

    “Yes, the IAU is primarily used for that purpose but as they are extremely good at tactical maneuvers we will be using them to strengthen our military forces. The Snow Leopard Commando Unit will be protecting our country while the military is deployed,” Baojia replied.

    “Very well then, how long before we can make this happen?” Chee asked.

    “It is being done as we speak sir. In a matter of hours we will have our troops in the air,” Baojia replied.

    General Chan has done well, although I wish that he had waited for my approval. Chee turned and faced General Chan. “You are doing a fine job. As I am not needed here I will be off taking care of more pressing issues. Do not disappoint me,” Chee said. He then turned and left the room.

    General Chan turned back to his staff. “How much longer before the planes are loaded with the troops and equipment?” he asked.

    “Sir, they will be ready for takeoff in approximately two and a half hours,” the young soldier replied.

    “Excellent. Now I want you to launch the missiles at Israel. We will start by creating chaos and panic and then the real fun begins,” General Chan ordered.

    “Yes sir,” the soldier replied. He then typed in the target locations, the order codes, and hit send.

And now Pamela has kindly allowed me to ask a few questions about her latest book.

Alberta: Operation Dark Angel left the world and us readers teetering on the brink of a hell inspired world war, so presumably as this was the start of a series we will travel further into this hell with the second?

Pamela:  Unfortunately, yes we will journey further into a war; the beginning of World War III.

Alberta: Is this series specifically based on the apocalypse or generally on the fight between good and evil?

Pamela: While the apocalypse is a big part of the story, it is specifically based on the fight between good and evil.

Alberta: Now, this is marketed as a Christian book and you are a committed Christian, is your intended audience a Christian one or would you think this series could appeal to a wider audience?

Pamela: Although the book is marketed as Christian Fiction, it has appealed to a wider audience that has included those who are not Christian.

Alberta: The first book was very dark indeed the issues at stake dictated this – is this how you view the way the world is going?

Pamela: Unfortunately in our current world, there is a lot of darkness in it. A lot of bad things are happening on a daily basis. Things are going to get a lot worse whether we want to accept it or not~ as it was all stated in The Bible.

Alberta: What are the lessons, if any, you hope your readers would take away from the series?

Pamela: I hope that people will realize that our days are numbered and to live each day as fully as you can; to treat each other with love, compassion and kindness. That they will each decide for themselves to either start a personal relationship with God or to strengthen the relationship that they already have.

Alberta: You have many ideas for future work apart from this series, although where you find the time I am not sure:) will you be exploring new genres and themes, will they be stand alone or maybe another series for your readers to look forward to?

Pamela: Yes, I have two new series in the works for Young Adult (although I hope that they will appeal to others as well). I also have some standalone books that will be coming into the picture.

Alberta: Is there anything else you would like to add about this or future publications.

Pamela: While I know that this series is not for everybody as it touches on some topics that some people just aren’t ready to deal with. I hope that it is enjoyable to those who do read the series and that they will come back to read other books that I write.

Thank you very much, may I wish you all the best with The World at War.

Pamela Michele Dorsey-Funke

Author Bio:Pamela Michele Dorsey-Funke

Pam Funke is the grand-daughter of a Pastor and was brought up in the church. Her love of reading led her to write. She lives in Hinesville, Georgia with her son and daughter. This is her first novel.


Book trailer: