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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Flock of Fun Blog Tour (guest post & giveaway)

I'm excited to have the A Flock of Fun Blog Tour stopping by today! This tour is hosted by The Children's Book Review and sponsored by Doodle and Peck...

Written by Raven Howell 
Illustrated by David Barrow 

A young child discovers the solution for falling asleep is not always quiet and silent, like counting slow, slimy snails. Sometimes, a room full of happy dances, shirts in a tie-dyed swirl, and mischief-making sheep are just the ticket! 
Ages 3-8 | Publisher: Doodle and Peck Publishing | February 2, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1733717083 

Available Here: 


In the distance I hear the alarm clock buzz. It must be sometime between 8 and 9 a.m. But that’s my husband’s wake-up call for work, not mine. I’ve been up since dawn, writing, working on children’s crafts I’ll be sharing in my kids’ story time and upcoming book events, and baking 3 dozen cupcakes. Cupcakes at dawn? Well….yes 

 I prefer presenting children’s events in the first half of the day since, depending on the age group, kids become tired out and need naps when heading toward later afternoon hours. I, myself, am spunkier and more energetic with the rising sun, so happily this schedule works in my favor. Preparing and having that special “time for myself” in our household happens to be in the quiet early a.m. 

 I’ve been experimenting with the ingredients in my “Baa Baa Brownie” cupcakes, inspired by the mischievous sheep I’d written about in my latest children’s book. A new book for me is almost always celebrated with a light-hearted book party. I’ve had book parties hosted by bookstores, libraries, gift shops, and even held a book party during a second grade assembly. And what’s a children’s book party without cupcakes and balloons? 

 In January, my publisher released my bedtime sheep-themed picture book, A Flock of Fun. Now the fun begins!  

 An author can spend years with an idea, rough drafts, flushing out story lines or organizing chapters. Then after revising and editing over and over again, polishing to perfection, it’s time for submission. If you’re fortunate and an editor happens to have an opening for your subject matter, or is interested in the genre or style of your manuscript, and then you also pass the critical eyes and ears of the sales and marketing teams and various other publisher departments, you just may snag an acceptance and book contract. Whew! Are you exhausted yet?  

 But it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling when the creative work you’ve coddled, nourished, nursed, and watched grow up gets adopted for a publisher’s catalog. Now it can finally reach its audience and potential, hopefully picked up and read by other book lovers. 
 With A Flock of Fun available and garnering some 5 star pre-release reviews, we’re feeling upbeat and it’s certainly worthy of a cupcake celebration. Here is how I baked my Baa Baa Brownie cupcakes.  

 First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and use cupcake liners for your cupcake tray (a dozen). I like to go the extra step to spray the liners with a little non-stick spray so the cupcakes are easier to peel out. 

 Beat together ½ cup of softened butter, 1 cup regular sugar, and ¼ cup of brown sugar until well blended, a couple of minutes. 

 Beat in 2 large eggs, ½ cup of milk and a full (if not overflowing)  teaspoon of vanilla. 
 Keeping your mixer on a lower speed, gradually add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, then 1¼ cups flour (white flour or one of your choice), a ¾ teaspoon of baking powder and a dash of salt. 

 When all is mixed, (and I use a cookie scooper here) fill your cupcake liners with the brownie batter and bake for 20 minutes.  

 Pull them out of the oven and allow your cupcakes to cool before you start moving them around to a plate, or frosting.  

 I made a simple frosting on the thicker side because the gist of the Baa Baa Brownie cupcakes is to use the frosting simply to hold the marshmallows on top (to depict the sheep’s wool) in place. Decorate however you’d like! 

 I was surprised that even though I baked and brought 3 dozen Baa-baa Brownie cupcakes with me to the book party that afternoon, I still ran out! But who’s complaining  - I’m happy they were a hit.  

 I think children of all ages enjoy having fun with their food. So why not have a little edible treat to pair with your book? Why not add a little bookworm whimsy to a birthday cake if your child is a fan of Rainbow Fish and present them with a rainbow cake? Create a “cupcake” caterpillar pull-apart cake of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a summer 4th of July picnic! If a middle school book  club is discussing the works of J.K. Rowling, consider a variety of cute Hogwarts cookie cut-outs to purchase inexpensively. Press out some dough, bake enough for a tin, and bring them in to the school if allowed for a snack or special treat.  

 It makes me smile when I see children reading books. And preparing and sharing a slice of fresh applesauce cake while one is studying Johnny Appleseed’s biography may end up being a yummy addition. 

 - Raven Howell 
Children’s author and poet 

Raven Howell is an award-winning children’s author and poet of nine picture books. She writes poetry for a variety of children’s magazines including Highlights, The School Magazine, Humpty Dumpty, and Cricket. Frequently sharing book presentations and writing workshops with children in schools and libraries, Raven also serves as Creative & Publishing Advisor with Red Clover Reader. Her family, long dawn hikes, being at the beach, and munching on warm butterscotch chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven are all sources of writing inspiration. Visit her website: 


Enter for a chance to win a Raven Howell book prize pack! 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 
  • A copy of A Flock of Fun autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A copy of Glimmer autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A copy of Shimmer autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A copy of So You Want a Puppy? autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A copy of Greetings! autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A copy of My Community autographed by Raven Howell 
  • A Flock of Fun throw pillow 
  • A Flock of Fun jigsaw puzzle 
  • A pair of sheep socks 

Nineteen (19) winners receive: 
  • A copy of A Flock of Fun autographed by Raven Howell 

Giveaway begins March 2, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 2, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT. 
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are eighteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. 
Doodle and Peck is responsible for prize fulfillment. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Darlene said...

I have a new puppy and would love the puppy book. I do not count sheep.

Sherry said...

I would love to win because my niece and nephew would love them.

Julie Waldron said...

I would love this to share with my daughters daycare. I count sheep sometimes.

Deb said...

This would be a great addition to my school library!