Since the back of the shed gang are like children(no wait, that is an insult to children) I wanted to step outside of my usual adult content reading and pick up the latest from one of the greatest, Diane Major and her brand spanking new series designed for those who have a license to act like children, because, they are children.
Diane was scheduled to come by the shed of solicitation but the plane that she was on took a wrong turn, and instead of taking her to this most easterly point of North America, took her to Caroline Island, in the Pacific ocean. So why she relaxes on one of the most pristine tropical islands Mother Nature has to offer, I have the pleasure of introducing book one of her children’s series for her.
First let us learn more about her:
The lovely picture of a lovely lady.
Diane grew up in Horden, a mining village in the North East of England. She is happily married with two grown daughters and two grandchildren.
Diane gained her professional qualification in Youth & Community Work at Durham University in 1988. Once qualified she worked in the voluntary sector and then for local government which offered her the opportunity to develop many skills. During her career, Diane worked in Community Development, Youth Work, and Adult Learning. She has enjoyed watching staff, and service users, gain skills and grow into confident and articulate people.
It was not until Diane was in her 50’s that she returned to study and was delighted when she successfully gained a BSc Open Degree (Hons) and a PGCE in Leadership and Management.
Diane took early retirement in 2011. She now enjoys spending time with her family, writing, and gardening, as well as fundraising for a local charity that works with children and young people.
Although Diane has written several books this is her first one for children.
All of Diane’s novels are an escape from reality, if only for the time it takes you to read one of them.
Launch date: 12 March 2013
Target Age Group: 9-12 years
This is a modern fairy tale.
About the series in the author’s words:
“Everyone loves a fairy tale. As a teenager I wrote such a story. My mother can still remember the hand written notebook full of information gathered from my imagination. Unfortunately those notes are long gone. My vivid imagination never faded.
After writing several fantasy adventure books, I decided it was time to write something for children, although it bears no resemblance to the one I wrote all those years ago.
Mason lives with his Mom, and their cocker spaniel named Bess. The little family live in a small town and Mason attends the local school. Without his Mom’s permission, Mason takes part in the annual Sports Day. Mason’s actions trigger a series of events which will dramatically change their future…
I have dedicated this book to my nephew’s son. It is a pleasure to look after him two afternoons every week. As for the dog in the book, it is based on my daughter’s cocker spaniel, named Bud. I dog sit every day.”
To spark your interest(like it is not sparked already) Dianne has generously provided an excerpt from book one of MASON AND BESS THE ADVENTURE BEGINS:
Excerpt – Chapter 1
Anna shouted at her son, “Why did you do that! I told you that you couldn’t!”
Mason was twelve years old, had short brown hair and soft brown eyes. The boy was decidedly fed up, and was only too aware that he had never been allowed to take part in Sports Day at School. Well, that was at least for the past five years. Mason couldn’t actually remember anything before he reached his sixth birthday.
The fact he wasn’t allowed to take part in the Sports Day at School just wasn’t fair; he knew how good he was at all sports.
“Are you listening to me Mason,” Anna said angrily.
“Aw mom,” Mason responded in a deflated tone.
Mason was thinking about how his Mom never let him play with other children when he was at home. He had to stay in and play on his computer, or tablet. It was all so very boring. The only time he could show off was in the play yard, when he would race the other children and always win. All those times he played football in the yard, he was the star who scored all the goals. So, Mason had always been frustrated about his Mom never letting him take part in the Sports Day, when all his friends did.
This year had been different. Mason decided not to tell his Mom it was Sports Day and he entered all the competitions as did most of his closest friends. He knew if he asked his Mom, she would simply stop him. She would, as always, write a note to the school insisting that he did not take part. Mom’s excuse was always that he would make himself ill, but Mason knew that wasn’t true. He had played rough games, ran races, and took part in ball games with his friends during sports lessons, and in the school yard. During all his years at this school he had never even had a cough.
“Mason, I have told you, you will make yourself poorly doing all that running around,” stated his Mom.
Mason looked up at his Mom with his soft brown eyes narrowed and said abruptly, “That’s not true! I run about and win everything in sports lessons. The only time I get to show off is at the Sports Day and you never let me compete.”
“It’s for your own good. Besides, if you’re ill I have to lose work,” his Mom replied sheepishly.
Mason noticed that her cheeks had gone a colourful shade of pink.
“Be a good boy Mason and go to your room while I finish tea,” said Anna trying to change the subject.
Mason dropped his shoulders and lowered his head as he thumped up the stairs. On reaching the top of the stairs he turned and shouted for Bess. Bess was his best friend at home. In fact, he couldn’t remember ever not having Bess. A bouncier, black and white cocker spaniel didn’t exist. Bess of course responded in a second and came hurtling up the stairs.
Anna shouted, “And don’t you let her on your bed. She leaves hair everywhere.”
Mason thought, “Whatever,” as Bess followed him into the room.
As soon as the two friends were inside, Mason closed the door shut and slumped on the bed. Bess sat looking at him with her huge, droopy, dark brown eyes, those eyes that flickered with orange when she got annoyed. The cocker spaniel’s beautiful black and white face was pleading for the comfort of his bed.
“Come on girl, you know I love yeah to bits.”
Bess didn’t have to be told twice. She jumped onto the bed and enthusiastically licked Mason’s face.
“I know girl. It’s awful having to stay here all day on your own. Not to worry, its Saturday tomorrow, so we will have the whole weekend together.”
Bess wagged her black and white tail, and licked Mason again.
In due course, Anna shouted Mason down for his tea. Mason and Bess bounced downstairs together. Normally, after tea, Mason would tell his Mom about his day. Because he had disobeyed her, and joined in the Sports Day, it was time to disappear and head for his room. Mason slipped up the stairs with Bess tracking his every move. At nine o’clock Anna looked into the room and sighed. Mason was fast asleep with Bess cuddled in tight.
As soon as Anna woke up the next day, she called for Bess, and let her outside. Anna put the kettle on for her morning brew and let the spaniel come back in. When Anna held her cup of hot, refreshing tea, she sat at the kitchen table, and opened the local morning newspaper. Anna couldn’t believe her eyes. There on the front page was a picture of Mason crossing the finishing line at Sports Day. The article said that her son had excelled in every race. She could feel her face distort and her heart began to bang. This was the last thing she needed. The damage was done!
Anna had kept Mason a secret for five long years and all she could do was hope no one from their past discovered the article. If anyone found out then they would all be on the run. Anna sighed and decided to carry on as usual. After all, what would be the point of creating a fuss if no one saw the story in the newspaper? She prepared scrambled eggs on toast and gave Mason a shout.
After a few minutes, Mason was at the bottom of the stairs, and then arrived in the kitchen. Anna pointed to the paper. Mason ran over with a huge smile spreading across his face.
“See Mom, I told you how good I am. The man from the paper said he was going to use my photograph, but he didn’t say it would be on the front page,” Mason said excitedly.
Anna looked despondent and replied, “Yes, I know how good you are, but you must never do it again. I hope no one puts two and two together.”
Anna looked from Bess to Mason.
“Why, Mom? It’s great; I want the whole world to know how good I am.”
“It’s not that straight forward. Promise me you won’t do anything like this again,” said Anna.
Mason kicked the air and looked at the floor.
“I mean it Mason. You have no idea what kind of trouble this might cause.”
Bess sat looking at Mason, her tail never moved.
Mason’s face hardened and he said sadly, “OK Mom, but I don’t understand.”
Anna looked at Mason and said softly, “I know. When the time is right, I promise, I’ll explain.”
Thank you for dropping by the shed and getting to know Diane and her series debut!