The New Timebenders Series is HERE!

Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Nook Edition, $3.99.

Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Nook Edition, $3.99.

The NEW revised and updated Timebenders series has arrived!

Thanks to the excellent work of my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company, the Timebenders science-fiction adventure series is back and better than ever, and the first two books are available in all popular ebook formats.

The Timebenders series presents the adventures of Max McCrane, a young inventor who just wants to fit in with his fellow students at Victor Appleton Middle School. Trouble is, Max isn’t your run-of-the-mill middle schooler. He’s a boy genius who has invented his own time machine—Timebender!

That rusty orange Volkswagen Beetle may look like it belongs in a junkyard, but under the hood, Max has installed a photon-powered, Einstein-defying, time-warping power plant that jaunts across the centuries with ease. Don’t believe me? Well, climb aboard Timebender and plunge into Book 1: Battle Before Time!

Journey through time with Max and his friends—Allie O’Dell, Grady Stubblefield, and Toby Brubaker—as they confront mankind’s most ancient enemy in a place before time began. Follow them into the fourth dimension as they face otherworldly dangers armed with nothing but courage, loyalty, and the power of belief! Join Max and his friends on a fantastic voyage that sends them hurtling from primeval Earth … to a long-lost Planet Mars … to the Garden of Eden.

Along the way, these young heroes encounter rampaging dinosaurs, unearthly beings of golden light, and the most deadly opponent of all—the fiendish Silver Dragon! Battle Before Time is a wild roller-coaster ride through time and space, a page-turning adventure rooted in timeless truth.

In Book 2: Doorway to Doom, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby tumble into a perilous new adventure when they enter a doorway to an ancient, evil kingdom, ruled by the shadowy figure of the Silver Dragon. Within the dark, forbidding walls of Castle Serpenfane, they meet evil King Wyvern, his wizardly alchemist Doctor Delyrius, and the strange and mysterious Lady Galatea. The ruthless king confronts Max with a seemingly impossible choice: either help him in his mad pursuit of weapons of mass destruction—or watch his friends suffer a horrible fate.

Meanwhile, Allie must discover the secret that is hidden among the slithering worms and silent crypts of the midnight maze. Worst of all, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby are stranded in the past without Max’s Volkswagen time machine, Timebender. They have no hope of ever returning home!

timebenders-book-3So open the Doorway to Doom—if you dare! Then take a thrill ride through an age of castles and kings, knights and fair ladies, chivalry and superstition. This action-packed tale sweeps you along to one of the most unexpected endings you’ll ever read.

Young readers love Timebenders: “The Timebenders books are so awesome! They really encourage me,” writes Chloe. And Ben writes, “I’ve read all the Timebenders books! My mom reads them to me at bedtime and I take them for independent reading at school.” And Elliott says, “The Timebenders books are great! Now I’m writing my own book about time travel!”

And parents love Timebenders: “My son has devoured the Timebenders books,” one dad writes. “They really entertain him. We hear him laughing out loud as he reads.” A mom writes, “Thank you for books that are both exciting and appropriate for young readers. As a mother of three and a lover of books, I’m thrilled with Timebenders!” Another mom writes, “My son spent most of his vacation reading Timebenders—the first time he’s read an entire book without skipping pages! His video games are all but forgotten.”

timebenders-book-4The next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia, were released on Christmas Day 2012. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the news through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments here at my Timebenders blog. Post your reviews on the Timebenders pages at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Visit my Author Page at Amazon.com. Let’s get acquainted.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Submit Your Story to the 6th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

INTERNATIONAL CONTEST

Open to Young Writers
Ages 9 to 21 from any Country

Deadline: June 30, 2013

Finalists Announced:
September 20, 2013

Winners Announced LIVE at the Junior Authors Writers Conference on October 19, 2013 (You do NOT have to be at the conference if you win. You will be contacted by email or phone and will get your prize.)

COMPETITION AGE CATEGORIES

Category 1 — Ages 18 – 21*
*You can be no more than 21 years old as of June 30, 2013.

Category 2 — Ages 15 – 17

Category 3 — Ages 12 – 14

Category 4 — Ages 9 – 11

The first place winning entry in each category will be published on the Junior Authors Contest website and the author of that entry will receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Thomas. The top six writers in each age category will receive Amazon Gift Cards in the following amounts:

1st place – $100
2nd place – $25
3rd place – $25
4th place – $25
5th place – $25
6th place – $25

For complete rules, go to the Contest website.

(Do you need some pointers and tips on writing so that you can be inspired to write? Check this page for Jim Denney’s Advice for Young Writers. If you’re a teen writer, here are some resources to help you get started: Websites and Resources for Teen Writers.

So, young author, start stretching your imagination—and start writing!

The New, Revised and Updated Timebenders Series is HERE!

Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Nook Edition, $3.99.

Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Nook Edition, $3.99.

The NEW revised and updated Timebenders series has arrived!

Thanks to the excellent work of my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company, the Timebenders science-fiction adventure series is back and better than ever, and the first two books are available in all popular ebook formats.

The Timebenders series presents the adventures of Max McCrane, a young inventor who just wants to fit in with his fellow students at Victor Appleton Middle School. Trouble is, Max isn’t your run-of-the-mill middle schooler. He’s a boy genius who has invented his own time machine—Timebender!

That rusty orange Volkswagen Beetle may look like it belongs in a junkyard, but under the hood, Max has installed a photon-powered, Einstein-defying, time-warping power plant that jaunts across the centuries with ease. Don’t believe me? Well, climb aboard Timebender and plunge into Book 1: Battle Before Time!

Journey through time with Max and his friends—Allie O’Dell, Grady Stubblefield, and Toby Brubaker—as they confront mankind’s most ancient enemy in a place before time began. Follow them into the fourth dimension as they face otherworldly dangers armed with nothing but courage, loyalty, and the power of belief! Join Max and his friends on a fantastic voyage that sends them hurtling from primeval Earth … to a long-lost Planet Mars … to the Garden of Eden.

Along the way, these young heroes encounter rampaging dinosaurs, unearthly beings of golden light, and the most deadly opponent of all—the fiendish Silver Dragon! Battle Before Time is a wild roller-coaster ride through time and space, a page-turning adventure rooted in timeless truth.

In Book 2: Doorway to Doom, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby tumble into a perilous new adventure when they enter a doorway to an ancient, evil kingdom, ruled by the shadowy figure of the Silver Dragon. Within the dark, forbidding walls of Castle Serpenfane, they meet evil King Wyvern, his wizardly alchemist Doctor Delyrius, and the strange and mysterious Lady Galatea. The ruthless king confronts Max with a seemingly impossible choice: either help him in his mad pursuit of weapons of mass destruction—or watch his friends suffer a horrible fate.

Meanwhile, Allie must discover the secret that is hidden among the slithering worms and silent crypts of the midnight maze. Worst of all, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby are stranded in the past without Max’s Volkswagen time machine, Timebender. They have no hope of ever returning home!

timebenders-book-3So open the Doorway to Doom—if you dare! Then take a thrill ride through an age of castles and kings, knights and fair ladies, chivalry and superstition. This action-packed tale sweeps you along to one of the most unexpected endings you’ll ever read.

Young readers love Timebenders: “The Timebenders books are so awesome! They really encourage me,” writes Chloe. And Ben writes, “I’ve read all the Timebenders books! My mom reads them to me at bedtime and I take them for independent reading at school.” And Elliott says, “The Timebenders books are great! Now I’m writing my own book about time travel!”

And parents love Timebenders: “My son has devoured the Timebenders books,” one dad writes. “They really entertain him. We hear him laughing out loud as he reads.” A mom writes, “Thank you for books that are both exciting and appropriate for young readers. As a mother of three and a lover of books, I’m thrilled with Timebenders!” Another mom writes, “My son spent most of his vacation reading Timebenders—the first time he’s read an entire book without skipping pages! His video games are all but forgotten.”

timebenders-book-4The next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia, were released on Christmas Day 2012. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the news through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments here at my Timebenders blog. Post your reviews on the Timebenders pages at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Visit my Author Page at Amazon.com. Let’s get acquainted.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The Callahan Kids: Tales of Life on Mars

Stories by Ben Bova, Marianne Dyson, Jim Denney, Michael Carroll, Brian Enke, Rebecca K. Rowe, and Tom Hill, lavishly illustrated by Michael Carroll and Phil Smith

FearTerror-04-w-4FCc_tnWhat would it be like to live on Mars? Find out in The Callahan Kids: Tales of Life on Mars, an anthology for middle-school readers created by science fiction writers and a team of engineers at 4Frontiers Corporation.

The stories take place at Bradbury Base, a realistic Mars settlement that is full of surprises for the first kids growing up there. The nine original tales in the book are beautifully illustrated by Michael Carroll whose artwork has flown in space.

Proceeds from sales of the books will support educational projects to promote the human settlement of the space frontier—and the kids who read this book may be the very ones who open the final frontier to human settlement!

Contributors include Hugo-winning author Ben Bova, Timebenders author Jim Denney, Rebecca Rowe (author of Forbidden Cargo and Circle Tide), artist Phil Smith, former NASA flight controller Marianne Dyson, space scientist Brian Enke, and aerospace engineer Tom Hill. For more information about The Callahan Kids: Tales of Life on Mars, visit the 4Frontiers Authors’ Page.

And visit the Crazy4Mars site for free games, comics, and more!

50 Years of Wonder: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

A Wrinkle in TimeIn September 1962—fifty years ago this month—my third-grade class filed into the school library in search of adventure. I found mine almost immediately—a book called A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. In my new opinion piece at FoxNews.com, I recall the profound impact this one book had on my life and career. I hope you’ll read it and let me know what you think. —Jim Denney

Timebenders Mailbag

“I love letters from little kids. Adults never proclaim themselves ‘Your Number One Fan!'”
Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of The Sisters Eight series

Doorway to Doom

One of the best things about being a “kid lit” writer is getting mail from Timebenders readers and their parents. I write these tales in the solitary confinement of my little office, and sometimes it amazes me that people, young and old, in all parts of the world, are actually reading and enjoying my stories!

The Timebenders books, beginning with Battle Before Time, are about the adventures of Max McCrane. I tried to make his invention—a time machine called Timebender—seem plausible and believable. Apparently, I succeeded. One young reader wrote me and said, “I liked the first two books a lot. Have you ever built a time machine like Max did?” A question like that reminds me of my responsibility as a children’s author, because kids take these stories very seriously.

I wrote back to this young reader and said, “Thank you for writing to me. I’m glad you liked the books! I have never built a time machine like Max did. I don’t think anyone knows how to build a real time machine, not even our smartest scientists. I think it would be fun to hop into a machine that could take me anywhere in time, and that’s why I wrote the Timebenders stories–because time travel is so much fun to imagine. I think if I could build a real time machine, I’d probably get into all kinds of trouble, just like Max and his friends! The other day, I went to a museum and saw the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and those bones were huge! I’d hate to meet a real dinosaur face to face.”

A young lady, age twelve, living in Malaysia, wrote to me for advice about writing. “If I wanted to write a book,” she said, “how long are the chapters supposed to be?” In my reply, I told her that her chapters should be as long as needed for the story she’s telling—just don’t make them too long, because readers like to feel they are making progress through the story. I imagine that, within a few years, we may be seeing this young author’s books in print.

One of my favorite emails was a single sentence from a boy in Minnesota. The subject line read: “Toby,” which is the name of a selfish, surly, irresponsible boy in the Timebenders series. My young correspondent wrote: “Thank you for writing such exciting books, but why did you put in such a jerk like Toby?” I wrote back and explained that while Toby is, indeed, rather unlikeable, his bad behavior always helped to launch our heroes off on an exciting new adventure.

I was surprised how much mail I received from readers who are outside the “target demographic” of the series, which is roughly ages eight to fourteen.

A father in Australia wrote to me, saying, “My six year old son has devoured your first three books and is now into number four.” Six years old? A first grader—and he’s reading chapter books on his own? I was impressed. The dad continued. “It’s hard getting him to shut off his reading light because your books really entertain him. I often hear his laughter from upstairs—and every so often he comes out of his room and reads to a passage to us that cracked him up. And he has given your books to me as a reading assignment!”

At the other end of the age spectrum, I received an email from a software designer in Missouri. He wrote, “I was in the bookstore looking for some grownup reading fare when I spotted the cover of your Timebenders book, Doorway to Doom. I picked it up on a whim, started reading, and loved the story line. I forgot about all the other books I had picked up and I just grabbed up the rest of the Timebenders series. I’m 28 years old and married, and probably not a typical Timebenders reader. But now I’ve got my wife reading the series, and I wanted you to know how much we are enjoying them.”

As you can see, I enjoy getting mail from readers and parents. So, please write soon. Post a comment or use the form below to email me with questions, comments, or (sure, why not?) complaints. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Timebenders 3 and 4 are Coming Soon!

Timebenders 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers

Timebenders 4: Lost in Cydonia

Very soon, I’ll announce the release of two more revised and updated ebook editions in the Timebenders series—Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Book 4: Lost in Cydonia. To be notified when they are released, find the “Follow This Blog By Email” box in the sidebar to your right and click “Follow.”

 

The NEW Timebenders Books are coming!

Battle Before Time

For the past few weeks, I have been working closely with my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company of North Carolina, to bring back my Timebenders science-fiction adventure series for young readers. I am revising and updating each book, and my friends at Greenbrier are repackaging these tales as ebooks with stunning new covers. They will be available in all popular ebook formats.

After more than a decade, I finally feel these books are exactly as I want them. I am extremely grateful to my Greenbrier publishers, Ron and Janet Benrey, for producing these new and improved editions of my Timebenders series. Very soon, I’ll be announcing the release of the first two books in the series, Timebenders Book 1: Battle before Time and Timebenders Book 2: Doorway to Doom. And just look at these incredible covers!

Doorway to Doom

Within a few weeks, I’ll also be announcing the release of the next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the word through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other young readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments right here at my Timebenders blog. Tell me what you think of the Timebenders books. If you’re interested in writing books and stories, send me your questions. Let’s get acquainted.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Dazzling NASA Video of the Transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus is one of the rarest of events that can be predicted by astronomers. It takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, so that it can be seen silhouetted against the disk of the Sun. The entire transit lasted 6 hours and 40 minutes, and this video speeds up and compresses the transit to a matter of seconds.  The video below shows the Transit of Venus that occurred on June 5 and 6, 2012—the last Transit of Venus in our lifetime. The next Transit of Venus will take place in December 2117. Watch the beautiful NASA video:

Mars in a Minute: How Do You Land on Mars?

In two of my four Timebenders books, Book 1: Battle Before Time and Book 4: Lost in Cydonia, our heroes—Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby—journey to Mars. Each time they get there in a wildly improbable but exciting way.

When real-life astronauts eventually go to Mars, they will have to solve problems of motion, gravity, air friction, heat, and so forth in order to land safely on the Red Planet. Click the image below to watch a 60-second video from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It explains three ways to land safely on the surface of Mars.