Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz-Guest Author/Calls for Submissions

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is a writer with a remarkable publishing history. She has written hundreds of articles as well as books for children and adults. Plus, she is an editor. Today, I’m so happy to have Penny as a guest author.

You have a beautiful picture book, BOO’S BAD DAY and an interesting young adult short story collection, A PAST AND A FUTURE. How do you decide if a topic is better for a picture book or a young adult story?
Boo’s Bad Day and the short stories collected in A Past and a Future are at almost opposite ends of the spectrum of books.
Boo’s Bad Day is the story of a young black cat that wants to have adventures, rather than be stuck in the house with no one to play with and nothing to do. When he gets a chance, he escapes, only to find that being on his own can be scary. He doesn’t know about fire trucks, snowplows, and loud barking dogs. Each time Boo encounters a new experience, he runs and hides until he finds himself stuck high up in a tree. This story is told from the cat’s perspective and while even adults may need a reminder that life can be scary, animal protagonists work better in books for young to middle grade children.
Boo’s Bad Day is published by 4RV Publishing and is available from 4RV  for $8.99 including s/h
Look inside at Amazon (prices vary here and is $11.83 right now)
This print book can also be ordered at your local bookstore.
A Past and a Future on the other hand is a collection of sixteen stories. The subject matter in each of the stories is not suitable for a young child. While some advanced middle grade readers might be comfortable and able to read these stories, the topics are geared toward the experiences of older readers.
As a reader, I enjoy fantasy above all else, however, I also enjoy reading soft non-technological science fiction. When I put the collection together, I decided to include stories from both of these genres. 
When writing fantasy, it’s important to create a believable story. The reader has to be able to think what you’re writing could happen. They have to suspend their disbelief long enough to be pulled into the story. Although there are fantasy stories for very young readers (think Where the Wild Things Are), my stories do not involve a child as protagonist. 

The same is true when I write science fiction. I am not a science person. I don’t understand quantum physics, but I do understand people and relationships. When I write science fiction, I place my characters in a place and time in the future. I write stories not about spacecraft but about how people will interact with each other. Most of my stories have a touch of romance in them, so again, these are not geared toward young children.
These are the stories in my collection: 

FLIGHT OF THE ROC – Lona is a budding sorceress, but her tutor isn’t too impressed with her skills. When he sends her off to collect a roc’s egg, she finds herself in a heap of trouble. Part of the trouble begins when she meets handsome young Tom. Tom agrees to help her collect the egg, but disaster strikes when the egg hatches. Will Lona chose the roc or Tom?
BLURRED VENGEANCE – Vain and aggressive, Temur ignores the warnings of his dream vision, as he seeks vengeance for his father’s death. With his friend and confidant, Jamthrak, Temur rides across the steppes toward town. On the way, unforeseen events cause him to lose focus. He regains his strength and continues on. Once in town, he meets Bota, a buxom woman unlike those of his village. He arranges to bring her back with him to be his first wife. Then, using his skills of magik, stealth, and cunning, he tracks down his father’s murderer. He completes his task, but encounters yet another young woman, Mira…this one a slave. He saves her, but in doing so, causes strife between Bota, Mira, and Jamthrak. He should not have ignored his dead father’s warnings.
WHO WILL HEAL THE HEALER – Niane, a young sorceress, is aware of her elderly mentor’s feelings for her, but she cannot return them. She trusts to the Moon Goddess to guide her and Marzan, her mentor, to train her as the next court sorceress.  Yet something, deep, dark, and disturbing has taken a part of Marzan. Can she save herself and her mentor when the powers of darkness threaten?
ASHLEY OF ASHLAND – Ashley is the younger son of Brandon, Duke of Ashland. His older brother, Gerand, has been betrothed to the lovely Princess Thalia since birth. Unfortunately, Ashley loves Thalia and she him. Gerand is a womanizer and a brute. When they devise a plan to run away, Ashley and Thalia encounter obstacles and terrors, not the least of which is pursuit by Gerand and the king’s troops. Will the plain, younger brother win the hand of the fair princess or be executed as a traitor?
THE WATCHER – Zerelda lives in a land of women. As a child, she has a vision wherein she meets and loves a young man. She believes her vision is false. Yet when the man of her vision appears, she is torn. No one has ever told her she is beautiful. No one has ever told her of life outside her community of women. Yet, Prince Ulric does all this and more. Will he cause her to become a betrayer of all she holds dear?  Can she be saved?
ENCHANTRESS – When Merlin meets young Viviane, a priestess of Avalon, he knows she will be his downfall, but he cannot ignore the pull of love she holds over him. They set out traveling, and as Merlin teaches Viviane more and more magic, he realizes the love he holds for her will destroy him, yet he cannot deny it. Will Merlin come to his senses before he is lost forever?
DRAKONI – Torn from her modern day world and thrust into a world of dragons, evil magicians, and handsome elves, will Farah succeed or die trying?  In her own world, she is a successful zookeeper working with lizards, but once a freak accident propels her into the land of Draknoll, she finds herself in a field, lost and alone, until Josef, an elf, aids her. With his help, they set off to his village. On the way there, the evil magician, Cor, attacks them and kidnaps Farah. Dragged before the king, she must defend herself and prove she is not who they think she is—a Dragon Woman. Of course, when Drakoni, a great bronze dragon, comes to her rescue, she, herself, begins to doubt who she is. Fortunately, Josef is there to help her embrace not only her new life but her new love, as well.
HESHE- Lyda’s stepfather sells her to the highest bidder after her mother dies, leaving her no choice but to flee her captors. To survive, she hides, disguised as a young man. Unfortunately, this disguise backfires when she meets the handsome, talented Garwen, who also has a secret to hide. Will the young noble woman tell her benefactor who she is, or will her pursuers capture her and take her back into slavery?
THE BABY MAKERS – In a world where cloning is possible, Reese and his wife, Akira take the chance to have a child they could never have on their own. Unfortunately in their part of the world, the government does not recognize these children as citizens. After the baby is born, Reese and Akira go through the necessary steps to acquire their new child. One of these procedures turns Akira into a robot that will do anything to keep Reese away from the baby. Loving both his wife and child, Reese has to make a decision to keep their family safe and intact. Will he make the right one?
3-D PICTURES – Avery sees people in 3-D pictures. The government thinks he is crazy and sends him to a psychiatrist. As he waits in the doctor’s office, the 3-D picture in front of him comes alive. Suddenly a beautiful petite woman appears perched on his lap. She tells him of his destiny and his heritage. Elvina and her people have been waiting for him for many years. Will he go with her through the picture, or allow himself to be “cured?”
SCREEN SAVER – Clancy works for an agent, Shianna, who represents the freaks of the world. With all the nuclear fallout, the agency is thriving. Clancy, however, longs to leave his world and travel the stars. The computer program arrives as a demo, promising instant transport. Will it be Clancy’s ticket to survival or a rip-off which brings him to destruction?
ISOLATION- The world as we know it is gone. The rich are isolated from the dying poor. Rader and Caryn are fed up with living in isolation, away from fresh air and real food. Rumors abound of places where people can still live. When they meet by accident, they decide to make a break for it. Unfortunately, outside their isolated living quarters, disease, for which they have no immunities, runs rampant. Their mutual attraction and determination keep them going despite the many hazards they face outside the walls. Will Caryn and Rader make the right decisions when they search for freedom?

LOVE IN A DIFFERENT HUE – Chiri and her husband are not on the best of terms. He married her for her connections. Her father is a leader in the robotics field. By marrying Chiri, Tevon was guaranteed a partnership in a very lucrative business. Shunned by her husband, Chiri becomes intrigued by her father’s latest creation, Devro. What would you do if a blue-skinned robot wanted to protect and love you?  Chiri isn’t sure until he takes her in his arms.
DOWN SO LOW, THE GROUND LOOKS LIKE UP – Sylvan is a telepathic empath and is hired by a mining company to help them ferret out swindlers. Unfortunately, something on her new world made her talents go ballistic. She drinks herself into oblivion to compensate for her psi talents. When Deveneaux finds her, he’s attracted, but he is also on a mission to find his dead brother’s daughter. Can Deveneaux save her from her demons, or will he lock her up for propositioning an officer of the law?
REBELS WITH A CAUSE – Shayleena is tired of living her life through holovision. She wants a real life with real people. When she sees an ad for volunteers to help with juvenile offenders, she signs up. She not only finds meaning in her life, but a connection to real people, including Bradon, a visual artist with a dream. Together, they hope to find a future for themselves and for the young people who’ve been thrown away by society.
CLOCKWORKS – John lives in Structured. His ancestors came from Upheaval, a country where time means nothing. He decides to take a trip—learn about his history and see Upheaval for himself. What will he do when he tries to trace his roots and finds his structured life is now in chaos?
A Past and A Future is available from Alban Lake Publishing: Digital $3.99; Print $12
And at Smashwords in digital for $3.99:
You can learn more about me and my other work at
Penny, your stories are captivating. I look forward to your visit next week when you discuss your role as an editor.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

INSIGHT WRITING CONTEST. Categories are student short story, general short story, and student poetry. Prizes range from $50 to $250. Winning entries will be published in Insight. You must be age 22 or under to enter the student categories. Short stories are limited to seven pages. Poetry is limited to one page.

Deadline July 31, 2014.

Submission guidelines at

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
FrostFire Worlds is a quarterly magazine for younger readers published by Alban Lake Publishing in February, May, August, and November.

FrostFire Worlds publishes original science fiction and fantasy short stories, poems, art, articles, reviews, and interviews. Preferred are adventure stories, space opera, and magic opera [like space opera, but fantasy]. Also preferred are stories that take place on other worlds. Stories must have the following: characters the reader cares about, plots and subplots, and settings that draw the reader into them. FrostFire Worlds is intended for younger readers, from ages 8-17 and up.
Submission guidelines at


  1. Hi Nancy, I thought I posted a comment earlier in the week, but it hasn't shown up yet, so I'm trying again. Thanks for hosting me this week and next.

  2. So glad to promote your wonderful books, Penny. I'm looking forward to your comments about being an editor in the post next week.