Sunday, 23 December 2012

How to train your Dragon...Dictate

Squee!!!! Guess what Santa gave me as a pre Christmas present. DRAGON DICTATE.

So for anyone who knows me pretty well, I have fairly severe tendonitus from years of cutting dressings as a burns nurse and typing of a book.

I was feeling pretty sad about not being able to finish book 2 ( Return to Cardamom, the sequel to Escape From The Forbidden Planet), so my hubby researched it and we found Dragon Dictate.

It takes a bit of time to train your dragon so that the program recognises your voice and gives an accurate dictation, but so far in the few days before we left on holidays, I was able to dictate about 2000 words. It takes a bit of getting used to saying things like, comma, and open quote's but I am a total fan. I have my sequel mojo back and I can't wait to get home after holidays to continue training and dictating to my Dragon.

Anyway, my wrist is getting sore even now, so I will leave you with an exciting announcement.
Free on Amazon Kindle 24 - 25 Dec
(Free Promo activates on US time Zone)

Escape From The Forbidden Planet
Click on link to go to Amazon store

And here is my cover......Again lol, see you in the blogosphere

Friday, 7 December 2012

Holiday Blog Hop Giveaway Dec 7-10

Welcome to the Kids Holiday Blog Hop Giveaway Dec 7-10 

A little about us. We are a group of Middle Grade Authors ( books for kids aged 9-12) who have got together to give away some great books that we would love to share with you. Just click on the button below to find your way to the other awesome blogs. Take your time to hop around and enter each competition and you could win some great books for your kids this holiday season.

Click on the link below to hop over to our host Deana to check out the other blogs.
A little about me:
My name is Julie Anne Grasso and I am an Aussie Independently Published Author. That means I do all the hard work myself.I have a background in paediatric nursing, so I have spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day I witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people I cared for, which inspired me to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, my love of science fiction and my desire to impart great values through my little girl elf Caramel and there you have it, Escape From The Forbidden Planet was the result.

How did I come up with the storyline:
As a kid I broke my leg falling off a trampoline, so not as dramatic as Caramel’s accident, but I spent many hours in hospital healing. It was then that I think my interest in nursing was engaged. I hope to capture the attention of children aged 9-12 through the journey that my little girl elf Caramel takes towards realising her true potential despite her disability. I also absolutely love sticky date and chocolate cake with caramel sauce, so I managed to weave that into the very core of my story. I also wanted to keep it light and entertaining for kids but at the same time, allow them to journey with Caramel as she struggles to overcome great odds to save her family and friends from the clutches of the evil Alexanders.

Enter to Win one of two copies of "Escape From the Forbidden Planet"
  Kindle edition or Paperback, you decide: Entries are open to UK/US/CAN/AU/NZ

Just put at comment at the bottom of this blog with your email address and I will contact you via email if you are the winner.

Here is my Amazon link if you would like to check out some reveiws as well .
But wait, there is more

Grand Prize Giveaway!

As part of the Kid's Books Holiday Blog Hop we are giving away a $30 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog along with your email address and you will be in the running to win. You can enter on all of the blogs – that will give you multiple chances to win!
The Giveaway starts 12/7/12 and ends 12/10/12 at midnight. I will notify the winner on 12/11/12 after noon. Good luck!

Here are all the other blogs, so be sure to hop around and enter as many as you like. Happy holidays and thanks for joining the Kids Holiday Blog Hop. Cheers Julie Anne Grasso

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Kidlit Blog Hop #6 Forbidden Foods

Hi Everyone, welcome back to the Kidlit Blog hop. Head on over to to leave comments and get to know people.


A few weeks ago I did a post about the names I used in "Escape From The Forbidden Planet," after I had a some cool comments about them so, I thought I would explain their origins.

Which brings me to my next bout of inspiration. 
(well not forbidden but from Escape From The Forbidden Planet foods, but you get the drift)

For anyone who has read my book you may notice that there is quite alot of chatter about Caramel cakes, Pizza, Cinnamon Apple ciders and Mulberry pie. I even had one reviewer tell me that she had to take her husband out for pizza the night she finished my book, as the pizza craving by the end was unbearable. 

Warning the next image may cause a "Pizza Craving".

Fresh Home Made Pizza with "Julianna Sauce"

In the story, Caramel visits her buddy Jorde at his parent's pizza shop. Mrs Oregano is busy making a pot of fresh "Julianna Sauce". So you may be wondering, just exactly what are the secret ingredients of this delicious sauce and why they made it into my book.

Well, Julianna sauce does actually exist, coined by myself and my husband because it is a mish mash recipe that i made up myself but it has become our staple pizza base sauce.  So enough chatter, here it is.

"Julianna Sauce Recipe"
4 Cloves of Garlic, a glug of olive oil, 2 bottles ( 600g) of Passata, 1 tin of diced tomatoes, 2 glugs of red wine, 1 glug of port, a huge bunch of Italian Parsley, a huge bunch of Basil, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder.

In a moderate pan, fry the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes until translucent,then add in the passata, tinned tomatoes, red wine, port, parsley, basil, sugar and chilli powder. Bring to a simmer and let bubble away for about an hour until it is thick. Stir occasionally. Freeze into tubs for future pizza shenanigans or glug over chicken schnitzel with jarlsberg cheese.

So why Sticky Date and Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cardamom Syrup. Well it is an actual recipe from a Tupperware cookbook called Cook. I can't obviously detail the recipe but it is as good as it sounds, with a little embellishment of adding cardamom to the caramel sauce. That was for the book lol. It is a cake that I have often made for family occasions and it is a hit every time.

So why Cinnamon Apple Cider. Well that is a slight embellishment from a Caramel Apple Spice drink that you can get at Starbucks. I used to travel extensively through the UK and US and the one thing that I wish we could get in Australia was a real Caramel Apple Spice. Sadly we just don't do them here but I of course had to put them in my book.

So why Mulberry Pie. I have to say that mulberries are so rarely seen on the supermarket shelves in Australia but when we were kids there were mulberry trees in every second back yard. They are divine and much sweeter than a blackberry. I miss them greatly but I think they leave alot of purple bird poop over cars and houses so mulberry trees are not so common. My parents have a air chalet in the country ( sounds very swish but its not really) and my Dad is itching to plant a mulberry, however the neighbours would probably complain. One day I will have a mulberry pie again, fingers crossed.

But wait, one more thing.

Be sure to check it out.
"Escape From The Forbidden Planet"

And here is my cover.....again...

Thanks for stopping by and see you in the blogosphere, Julie Anne Grasso

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Kidlit blog hop #6 :Purple Paw Prints

Hi Everyone, welcome back to the Kidlit Blog hop. Head on over to
 to join in the fun

Today and I am showcasing a wonderful picture book by a friend of mine Sarah Mounsey.
Here is a little about Sarah from her website
I have always loved to write for children and Purple Paw Prints is my first published picture book. I am an Australian and I grew up in Brisbane, although it has not been my home for over a decade. After spending eight years in London I now live in Singapore with my husband and my two young sons. I have always loved to read and write and credit my Mum for this lifelong passion. I remember getting into trouble as a child for sneakily reading books under the table at school and for staying up late at night writing diaries and stories!I am a primary school teacher and I have always loved sharing picture books with my classes. I also love it when my boys ask for “just one more story,” at bed time. My sons are certainly mischievous but I am very grateful that neither of my boys have ever painted a dog like Eddie does in Purple Paw least not yet
Eddie knew as soon as he finished painting Oscar purple that it was a big mistake! Join Eddie and Mia as they attempt to clean their lovable dog Oscar and along the way get into all sorts of wet and purple fun! Purple Paw Prints appeals to children because it uses humour, repetition and alliteration as tools to make it fun and interactive.
I loved this book. A truly engaging story that takes you on a fun journey of discovery as Eddie tries to find a way to fix a very colourful problem. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. My little Gigi is too young to understand, so I bought some copies for my niece and nephew and friends little boys too. The report was that they read the story at least 7 times the first day, and particularly love the hairdressing page. We can't wait for the next installment, Purple Paw Prints on the Sofa which will be availalbe early next year.
To buy in Paperback visit:
Or as an E-reader visit:
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Thanks for stopping by and see you in the bloggosphere, Julie Anne Grasso