🌞 Middle Grade Summer Reading Sale 🌞 | 10-year anniversary of The Secret Lake and other news…

Hello from London where we’ve been experiencing extreme heat, epic rainfall and flash flooding in equal measure. It’s cold and grey in London as I write. I hope your summer is a little better! Thankfully, more governments are waking up to the reality of global warming. Here’s keeping fingers crossed that between us we can turn this around.🀞

I’ve had an especially busy first half of the year β€” hence the long gap since my last post! Since finalising the second edition of my non-fiction book for children’s authors (now out, all 420 pages β€” phew!), I’ve commissioned a fun audiobook of Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat (check out the free sample later on!) and have been working on plans for a new top secret middle grade title, on which more towards the end of the year. πŸ“š Now, back to more immediate news…

Middle Grade Summer Reading Sale

First things first! In the spirit of summer, and to encourage more Summer Reading, I’ve teamed up with a small number of bestselling middle grade authors to offer nine incredible eBooks, all of which are either FREE or just $0.99/Β£0.99 on Amazon.

Top notch books from top-selling authors!

I can vouch that all of these books are high quality, well reviewed, and you will not be disappointed! These deals, which are available for the next five days only (sale ends Thursday August 5th), offer a great way to sample new authors and stories. And, of course, you can always then buy them in print if your child prefers reading that way.

Your Children’s Summer Reads Amazing Line-up

β€’ Ben Archer and The Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly (Only $0.99/Β£0.99 Click here)

β€’ The Book of Chaos by Jessica Renwick (FREE Click here)

β€’ Brother Wars by Steven K. Smith (FREE Click here)

β€’ Eeek! The Runaway Alien by Karen Inglis 😊 (Only $0.99/Β£0.99 Click here)

β€’ Epic Zero: Tales of a Not-So-Super 6th Grader by R.L. Ullman (FREE Click here)

β€’ Jack Jones: The Pirate Treasure by Zander Bingham (Only $0.99/Β£0.99 Click here)

β€’ The Math Inspectors: The Case of the Claymore Diamond by Daniel Kenney (FREE Click here)

β€’ My Fox Ate My Homework by David Blaze (Only $0.99/Β£0.99 Click here)

β€’ Pumpkins by Kevin Miller (Only $0.99/Β£0.99 Click here)

These books are rarely discounted so please spread the word to your friends and family. I also encourage you to subscribe to each author’s newsletter to learn more about them and their new releases.

Eeek! β€” New Cover

Those of you who have been following me for a while, will see that Eeek! has a shiny new cover! That’s 11-year-old Charlie opening the door to the alien in the picture (with shorts and a scarf added for front-cover modesty!). For those not familiar with this story, it’s about a soccer-mad alien who runs away to Earth for the World Cup. Described as “laugh-out-loud funny” and great for keen and reluctant readers alike, it was featured as Book of the Month on LoveReading4KidsUK when it came out and remains hugely popular for both girls and boys ages 7-10 at school events πŸ™‚ It surely must be up there with every child’s dream to find a friendly young alien on their doorstep?!

In print, eBook and audiobook (narrated by the brilliant Ciaran Saward)

The Secret Lake: 10-year Anniversary

August marks the 10-year anniversary of the publication of my bestselling time-travel adventure The Secret LakeAt the last count it had sold over 320,000 print copies in the English language. I am truly honoured and humbled that so many children (and adults) have fallen in love with this magical tale. Thank you if your family has a copy! Look out for a separate celebratory newsletter in the next few weeks when I shall be giving away dedicated, signed copies in a special draw.

Meanwhile, the photo below was taken by my son when visiting his girlfriend’s best friend’s family home out in Wiltshire last weekend. I couldn’t believe how closely it echoes the lake in The Secret Lakenor could I resist superimposing the book cover! What a beautiful setting β€” a perfect location for a film of the book, don’t you think?! 😊 ❀️

The perfect setting for the film of The Secret Lake!

The Tell-Me Tree β€” incredible teacher and parent feedback

image of the book 'The Tell-Me Tree'
For ages 4-8 ~ with links to free printable activities

I continue to be bowled over by feedback to The Tell-Me Tree, which both parents and teachers are telling me has been brilliant for helping children share their feelings through writing, talking or drawing. Several schools say they have set up Tell-Me Trees either inside a classroom, or assigned a tree outside in their grounds. One parent in the UK has even painted a ceiling-height Tell-Me Tree into the corner of her young sons’ bedroom! (If you’re reading this, Amanda, do let me know how it’s going down with boys!)

Below I’ve included a few example comments from a Facebook promotion I’ve been running. As these were posted publicly I don’t think the readers will mind.

Children have the habit of storing up worries and the more we can encourage them to share feelings of all sorts β€” happy, sad, or anywhere in between β€” the better chances we have of resolving issues early on before they grow into something bigger.

If you’re a teacher, or have children aged 4-8 you can read more about the The Tell-Me Tree and its inspiration in my blogpost here. It’s available to order both on Amazon or from any other online store or high street bookshop, and comes with free printable download activities.

Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat audio sample

Finally, as promised, here’s a link to a free sample of Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat. While it has a reading age of 7-10, the audiobook can be enjoyed from age 6. British voice actor Ciaran Saward (who also narrated Eeek! The Runaway Alien) is absolutely brilliant! 🎩 😊

That’s it for now. Look out for my next post later this month or early September when I’ll be offering signed copies of The Secret Lake to a few lucky readers!

And remember: the Summer Reads sale ends on August 5th so scroll up to grab your copies now!

Happy reading, stay safe and have a great rest of summer!

Karen 😊

The Secret Lake audiobook, Australian log cabins, Albanian translation and other summer news…

Summer is here, it’s Wimbledon fortnight in southwest London and it’s not been raining too much for England! But that’s not the only reason to celebrate 😊. I’m thrilled to announce that the audiobook of my Amazon UK bestseller The Secret Lake has just come out and is available to sample for free or to buy now. With its summer mystery adventure theme, the timing couldn’t be better.

The reading age forΒ The Secret LakeΒ book is 8-11. However, the audiobook is perfect for ages 6 and above. (Grown-up fans of classic children’s adventure stories such as Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew love it too!) So if you have a car or other journey planned and would like to keep the kids occupied for two and a half hours, do check out the samples by following the links.

I am narrating so I do hope you and the children enjoy an English accent. It required huge amounts of practice and preparation but was worth every minute for the experience. Did you know that for every hour of audio recording there are typically six hours of editing and mastering involved?! Here are a few photos of me at the recording studio in Brixton with sound engineer Andy Marlow πŸ™‚

Untitled design (21)

The Secret Lake has continued to chart in the top 300-800 (mostly) on Amazon UK over the last few months, as well as fluctuating in the top 2,000-5,000 over on Amazon.com. It has also been ranked regularly in the top 2,000 for all print book sales (not just children’s or Amazon) for the whole of the UK in recent months, according to reports from Nielsen bookscan. As I have said before, when I first sent the manuscript out to publishers they told me that children were no longer interested in traditional adventure stories. How wrong they were!

The audiobook on Amazon hasΒ Whispersync enabled, which means the kids can swap between the Kindle version and audiobook and keep their place, or even listen and read along with word highlights on some Kindle models. I’ve not tested this yet but will do so and blog about it at a later date. I think you need to have the Audible app installed for this to work.

The Secret Lake, Australia and Ten Log Cabins πŸ•οΈ

Yes, this is a very unlikely combination, I have to confess! But my favourite email in this week was from a lovely Australian called Graham. It read as follows:

Hi Karen, We have just purchased a property in New South Wales, Australia and have named it Secret Lake. We saw your book and loved it. We will be building 10 self-contained cabins around our lake and will find and put copies of your book in each cabin.

Here’s a picture of the lake that was in the property details he sent a link to. I am still speechless but so thrilled πŸ™‚ As and when they are built I will share photos of the books in situ!

Image of lake from sky with trees all around
The owner plans to put a copy of The Secret Lake in 10 log cabins around the lake.

The Secret Lake in translation: introducing my first Albanian Fan

I was thrilled last Autumn to receive a rights request for The Secret Lake from Albania and even more excited when the book came out in June. Here’s a picture of my first Albanian fan at a book fair in Kosovo, which has a large Albanian population. The publisher Botart have many other English classics on their list, such as Michelle Magorian (Goodnight Mr Tom), Roald Dahl and David Walliams so I feel in good company and very safe hands. Next up is a Russian translation for which I have recently finalised a deal – more on this another time! In the meantime I hope you enjoy the picture and video below 😊.

Young girl holding up a copy of The Secret Lake in Albanian
My first Albanian fan πŸ™‚



The Secret Lake as aΒ Class Reader

I’ve been receiving increasing contact from primary school teachers saying they have been usingΒ The Secret Lake in class, including one Deputy Head of English at a school in Durham, UK who is now mapping out a full Scheme of Work based on the book to be taught across four classes from September. He has invited me to go and watch the sessions live once they are up and running – I can’t wait and will blog about this in more detail when the time comes.

And below is a lovely photo (for which I received permission to share) from a school in Wiltshire, where the children each sent me a handwritten letter telling me how much they had enjoyed the story. Getting feedback from readers and schools means so much. Please do email or write to me with any feedback you have for any of my books and I will be happy to reply and share. Anything I can do to help encourage children to read and write more is a pleasure!

hand written letters arranged with a copy of The Secret Lake children's book
Wonderful handwriting – and lots of requests for a sequel to The Secret Lake!

That’s it for now. I hope you have a wonderful summer (or winter) break!

Before signing off I just want to wish the Women’s England Football Team the very best of luck in their World Cup semi final against the USA this evening. May the best team win! Needless to say, Eeek is excited for more reasons than one! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask the kids if they’ve read the book…!) ⚽ πŸ‘½ πŸ†

Update: Eeek! sends congratulations to the USA Women’s Soccer Team for winning! “You were awesome!” ⚽ πŸ‘½ πŸ†


Happy reading and listening!


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