31 Jan, 2024 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the FAERIE TALES FROM THE WHITE FOREST SERIES by Danika Dinsmore Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Books:


Author: Danika Dinsmore

Pub. Date: August 16, 2014

Publisher: Hydra House

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 610

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/FAERIE-TALES-FROM-THE-WHITE-FOREST1

Brigitta of the White Forest / The Ruins of Noe / Ondelle of Grioth

A collection of the first three books in the Faerie Tales from the White Forest series.

For those who enjoy fantasy adventure, Faerie Tales from the White Forest offers a new twist on the traditional faerie tales so loved by young readers.

From devastating curses to death-defying quests, Water Faerie Brigitta and her growing collective of misfit friends face greater and greater challenges when destiny calls upon them to “make the balance right again” after the Great World Cry has left their world in elemental chaos.



Author: Danika Dinsmore

Pub. Date: September 5, 2023

Publisher: Hydra House

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 673

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/FAERIE-TALES-FROM-THE-WHITE-FOREST2

Continuing the saga of Brigitta of the White Forest, this Omnibus contains books 4-6 of the series.





About Danika Dinsmore:

Danika Dinsmore is an award-winning author, performance artist, and educator. Over the past 30 years she has developed content for the page, stage, screen, and web. Danika writes literary and speculative fiction with an emphasis on juvenile & young adult literature as well as working as a story editor for other writers. She often takes her interactive Imaginary Worlds Tour events on the road, performing and teaching world-building & creative writing at schools, conferences, and festivals across North America. She has delivered her quirky and innovative curriculum to thousands of young writers.

Subscribe to Danika’s newsletter!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Brigitta of the White Forest Facebook Page | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of the omnibus FAERIE TALES FROM THE WHITE FOREST SERIES, US Only.

1 winner will receive an eBook of the omnibus FAERIE TALES FROM THE WHITE FOREST SERIES, International.

Ends February 20th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Two Chicks on Books

Interview/IG Post


Kountry Girl Bookaholic

Guest Post/IG Post


Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post


YA Books Central

Interview/IG Post



IG Post

Week Two:


#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Blog Spotlight/IG Post


A Dream Within A Dream

Guest Post


Little Red Reads

Guest Post/IG Post



IG Review


Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

Week Three:



IG Review



IG Review


Callisto’s calling

IG Review


Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post



IG Review/TikTok Post


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post

Week Four:


Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s

Review/IG Post


Confessions of the Perfect Mom

Review/IG Post



IG Review


Books and Zebras

IG Review



IG Review


The Momma Spot


Author Guest Post

Middle Grade – What?

Ages ago when the first book in my series was released, I told a friend I had a “middle grade” novel coming out. He told me I shouldn’t sell myself short. 

Although the term middle grade has become more common since then, I think there’s still some confusion about what it means. I still see The Hunger Games on middle grade books lists. Just because 10-year-olds can and have read something doesn’t make it a middle grade novel. 

First off, middle grade literature is not a genre; it’s a market that contains numerous genres. From historical fiction and science fiction to fantasy and even horror (think spooky rather than splattery, like Coraline or The Jumbies). I think of middle grade (also referred to in libraries and bookstores as “juvenile” literature) as a guide for shelving books or as a marketing term. There is an understanding and expectation that book aimed at a specific age group will have particular vocabulary, themes, subject matter, and language.  

Middle grade literature has loosely been defined as geared toward the 8-12 year old reader. That means encompassing 3rd through 7th grade, which is a large reading discrepancy. Many authors, including myself, will refer to their books as either “lower middle grade” or “upper middle grade.” 

What makes Middle Grade Lit Middle Grade Lit*

A publisher at the Los Angeles SCBWI conference once said that Middle Grade lit is about the protagonist “fitting into” the world at large as opposed to YA literature is where the protagonist becomes an individual from the world. I see this as the difference between a character finding her place in the world and a character making a name for herself in the world. 

There are numerous things that define this market other than just reading level. In children’s lit the protagonist is generally a few years older than the intended audience. As a 10-year-old, what 12-year-olds are doing is extremely interesting. As is what a 16-year-old is up to when you’re 14. 

Language steers away from vulgarity. Publishers don’t like a lot of swear words in MG lit. Case in point, it was suggested that I take the word “Chrysalis!” out as a faerie swear word because it sounded too much like “Christ!” A few damns and hells seem to be okay in upper grade.

Middle grade lit doesn’t contain sexual situations. If there is romance, it’s about friendship and loyalty and trust. Budding romance works for upper middle grade fiction, and a great example of this is Scott Westerfeld’s fabulous Leviathan series. If you want to know how to handle MG romance, read that series. There’s a whole lot of lead up to the girl’s “first kiss.” 

Please don’t confuse any of this with censorship. It’s simply addressing the interests of that age level and helping bookstores and libraries shelve books in a way that parents will understand what they’re getting. If your 10-year-old is ready for Lolita, by all means, you know where to find it. By having a MG market, we’re not telling parents what they can and can’t buy for their kids, rather informing them as to what kind of material they are likely to find in that section. Both Crank and Hunger Games are in the YA shelves if you think your child is ready for either.

In terms of violence, I’ve been surprised at what’s become acceptable on middle grade shelves. More often than not, though, even in upper middle grade, it’s closer to action than violence. 

Upper and Lower Middle Grade

Because middle grade spans a time when maturity levels vary so drastically, this market is often subdivided into lower middle and upper middle grade. In lower middle grade there is less grey area between right and wrong, time and distance can be truncated to move a story, and characters can be less complex, even cartoonish. I think of The Night Fairy, Wonder, Ivy and Bean, and The One and Only Ivan

Lower middle grade is not a derogatory term. Kate DiCamillo writes some of the most beautiful lower middle grade stories (Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, anyone?)

Somewhere in between you might have Percy Jackson or The Mysterious Benedict Society, which may have more complex characters, but still contain that “cartoonish” feel to them compared to books like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. or Jacqueline Woodson’s middle grade books (Brown Girl Dreamng, Harbor Me, etc)

So, what about Harry Potter . . . some of those rules I just mentioned don’t apply, do they? In book one, Harry is 11 years old and the book carried a lot of humor and whimsy. Little Harry is more interested in magical candy than snogging a girl. This makes complete sense, because what matters to a 6th grader is much different than what matters to a 12th grader. For those kids who read along as the series was published, Harry grew as his fans grew and they all lost their innocence together. 

I asked an editor about this phenomenon. If one is writing a middle grade series, “is it all right” or “what happens if” the characters grow older and suddenly they’ve stopped playing hide-and-seek and are now into young adult shenanigans. All she said was, “Yeah, that happens.” She didn’t say it was wrong to do, but she did imply that it was a bit of an issue for publishers. 

Stellar Middle Grade Reads

There are so many amazing middle grade reads. I don’t want anyone to dismiss a book by saying “oh, that’s for children.” I think there’s a middle grade book out there for everyone. My father, an engineer, never read fiction, but loved the Oz books and the Harry Potter series. 

If you want a great list of popular middle grade stories, CHECK THIS ONE out. A few of my personal favorites that I haven’t included above are The Phantom Tollbooth, Liar and Spy, The True Meaning of Smekday, Harriet the Spy, and the true story The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

(I also love, love, love the His Dark Materials trilogy, which is often shelved with middle grade books due to the age of the protagonist, but I am of the camp this is not a middle grade book. It’s super layered and sophisticated.) 

*There are always exceptions to every rule in literature, so apply the word “generally” throughout. 

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