Thursday, August 5, 2010

Karen Kostlivy: Author Supporting Authors Tour Stop

Genre: Children's Books/Adventure
Publisher: 3L Publishing
ISBN Number: : 0615362265

Mason Witt, a skateboarding American teenager, catapults himself into the greatest adventure of his life after reading the plight of a new Cyber Writer from Africa. Lutalo knew he would come so he sent Mason an urgent plea for help. His village has lost its precious Zebra of Life -- and his father has gone missing in the pursuit of the evil men who stole it. Here begins this thrilling adventure of two boys, a smart-talking panther, and an amazing zebra that sustains life.

Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life is a book that takes middle grade students on an entertaining journey through Africa where talking animals and magic arrows help the young readers track thieves to try to save the village.   At the same time, the kids are learning the value of friendship, teamwork, trust and exercise.  They are also learning a lot about Africa.

This book is the first of a series of books that hopefully attract reluctant readers to reading.  At the same time they will be learning a lot and having fun doing it.  Each book in the series will be set in a different country and involve Cyber Writers having the adventure of their young lives.   My dream is that my website: will become a hub of learning for students and their teachers whether in traditional classes , personal enjoyment, or home schooling.  I wanted to have games and puzzles on my site, and lesson plans to go with my book. Little did I know that it would become so much more.

  When the idea of promoting my book became a bit daunting,  I hired  a virtual authors assistant,  Janis Friesler   (  to help me.   Janis is a retired teacher who started her company really to help a childhood friend of hers also an author.  She liked doing the work so much that she took in other authors and a new company was born. Then she took in a former student of hers to take over the website part of the company.   Being a former English teacher with an advanced degree in computer science, Janis really got what I was after in my book series and my website.  My ideas of puzzles and lesson plans were expanded in the vastness of her experience and imagination.

 Now my website has the start of being a real hub of learning.  Although my puzzles are still there, Janis integrated a whole project based on best practices, integrated learning , complete with video, lesson plans, interactive activities, research, maps, national standards, learning targets and more.  She took my adventure book for middle school aged kids and gave them a doorway to participate actively in the adventure while opening a pathway to deeper thinking and skill strengthening.  Now my series has been put on the path that I hoped for and my website will become an extension of all my books.  I hope all of the readers and authors here especially those that are teachers or parents will visit my site to see why I am so excited about what it has become.   Please visit my site and go to the "Just For Kids" page.

Karen Kostlivy was born and raised in Northern California. She graduated from the University of California Davis with a degree in Rhetoric and Communication. She enjoys spending time with her family and listening to her two sons Camron and Masson play guitar. After a successful career in the private and public sector, Karen decided to return to a former passion, writing and creating stories for readers of all ages. She is currently happily residing in Yuba City California with her husband Davis and son.
My Book can be purchased on and my site

VBT Banner

“I give Cyber Writers and The Zebra of Life ***** (5) Stars,  Daniel Dietz,  children's book reviewer for BK Walker Books.”  Read the full review by clicking the link.
Daniel Dietz , B.K. Walker Books

“The first thing you notice is the careful character name selection that has been put into the names of some of this book's characters. I absolutely loved it.

She mentions a cute family tradition, which of course, would never work in my home -- paying for small favors with hugs and kisses.

This is a very creative and adventurous book, with emails, penpals and a trip to Africa. It's a wonderful exploration of pieces of another culture.There's even a surprise of a little magic involved.

A fun adventure and great unexpected new friends in this must have great read. A real page can't wait to see what will happen next. Your child's book collection cannot miss this book.”

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥
A Moment With Mystee

“This was a cute young reader/middle grade book! The author created a world intertwined with fantasy and a little magic that kids are sure to enjoy. This is probably a good one for those reluctant boy readers since there is plenty of "action!"

I enjoyed watching these characters come together despite their differences to save a village. It had a great message of working together to overcome obstacles. I think kids will definitely find this one exciting and entertaining!”

Kris, The Cajun Book Lady

“Often times, young boys dislike reading. It’s a sad truth. If given Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life, young boys would likely actually enjoy reading! This is just such a cool story about a young boy who is magically transported to Africa and undertakes a heroic adventure with a friend found through Cyber Writers, an electronic penpal circle. The pair (Mason and Lutalo) take on the African jungle and dangerous kidnappers to save Lutalo’s father and the magical Zebra of Life.

This story is full of imagination and would easily transport a young mind straight into the heart of Africa puts the reader right in the action. I would easily recommend this book to any boy…likely ages 8-13 would enjoy it best…or any young reader for that matter. Parents, if your son is reluctant to read, try handing him this book and watch as he finds out what a book can do for a young mind.”
Lindsay Chung, Lindsay Reviews

Hello, fine friends! Thank you so much for your patience with the Blogger fiasco yesterday. Very glad it's not today as I have a LOVELY guest author I'd like you to meet! Here's something I didn't really grasp until recently... Middle grade fiction... sounds like it means... you know, somewhere between literature and pulp, ne? In actuality, it is literature for the MIDDLE GRADES. Who knew!? These are the bridge between 'kids books' and YA—the 8-12 range, depending on your reader. (and I know SEVERAL of us have kids that age--I've got my own 11...)  Karen is my first Middle Grade guest... meaning guest who writes for middle grades... not that she is any less that TOP grade quality... if youknowwhatImean...
Hart Johnson

Karen's book is the first of a series of children's adventure books geared to children who are in the middle grades.  Click the link to read the full interview:

If anyone wants a book to attract their middle grade boy to read, buy this book. It has everything that boys like, adventure, skateboards, humor, friendship, exotic locale, familiar situations, computers, magic and fantasy. The best thing is that it is the first book in a series. This one is set in Africa, but each one will have a different country as a setting from what I understand.  As a teacher, I can see my students talking about this book.

Janis Friesler, Middle School English Teacher

“Karen Kostlivy spins a fine yarn that your son or nephew or daughter or niece are going to love. She knows young people, and she knows how to tell a story. Young readers will adore these action-packed adventures that have something for everyone -- including parents.”
Timothy May, Professor of English

“Middle-grade fiction -- that genre between early readers and young adult novels -- must accomplish an often difficult task; engage reluctant or struggling readers. Cyber Writers, by Karen Kostlivy, does just that. Teenager Mason Witt teams up with a fellow cyber writer for an incredible adventure through the heart of Africa. Kostlivy’s rich descriptions put the reader into the story as Mason and his friend experience the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and the strength of family. But the best news about Cyber Writers is that it’s the first of a series.”
Denise McDonald


Az Publishing Services, LLC said...

Sorry for delay Karen. Here is your post for today's tour stop. Welcome and good luck in getting some viewers. This automatically ads to my Facebook page and I have been very successful in getting readers looking at these posts on Facebook.

Patti Hultstrand
Az Publishing Services, LLC

Cyber Writer said...

Hi Patti,
Thank you for having me as a guest today. I love your site.

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