Tag Archives: Carol Ottley-Mitchell

Free Stuff!

The Blessing of Charlie Sand CoverPublishers make mistakes. My daughter takes great pride in pointing out errors in the books that she reads and there are many, regardless of whether the book is published by large, medium, or small presses. I won’t get into the fact that small presses are held to a much higher standard than large ones so even the most minute of errors are highlighted as an indication of ineptitude. This post is not about that particular soapbox.

We have made errors at CaribbeanReads, not many, but they have existed. I remember publishing my first book, Adventure at Brimstone Hill and going back and forth with the printers about having a spine on the book although it was less than 100 pages. I was so focused on the existence of the spine that I did not notice a spelling error on it until after the first run.

Luckily there has not been anything quite as dramatic since, or at least none that we care to mention. That is up until the publication of The Blessing of Charlie Sand. We loved this story by Amanda Smyth right away, hunted down and hired the incredibly talented illustrator, Colin Bootman to do the illustrations, but for various reasons the execution of the first edition was not up to our usually high standards.

My dad used to tell the story of a Mercedes Benz breaking down and Mercedes replacing the car immediately and disavowing any knowledge of the incident whatsoever. We would love to do the same. We will be releasing the second edition of Charlie Sand in a few days, replacing all book store copies of the first edition, and obliterating the memory of edition one.

So, what about the free stuff? We’ll be hosting a giveaway in March for Charlie Sand. All you have to do is enter the contest, visit our FaceBook page and you will be entered to win a copy of the book. The giveaway starts on March 1 so keep a look out for more information.


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Expanding Our Mission


CaribbeanReads Display

CaribbeanReads participated in the Baltimore Book Festival in October. It was on the beautiful Inner Harbor in Baltimore, a promenade that attracts a lot of people, so in addition to people who came to the festival, there were many others just wandering by.


Build a Cell From Candy

Many of these people stopped to take a look at the CaribbeanReads booth. We had a display put on by Zapped! author, Jewel Daniel. We invited children to make a model of the cell using candy. This drew a big crowd, but most of the people who stopped just to ask questions about the books were people with Caribbean roots. One elderly couple drifted near the booth and as they moved away I overheard the woman say:

“Oh, those are books for people who want their children to go to the beach.”


“These are books for people who would like to expose their kids to Caribbean culture,” I retorted. Perhaps not the most professional approach, but my aim is to educate.

She kept walking.

I wish that I could convince myself that her attitude was a minority one, but the evidence did not bear this out. People who took our cards and flyers were sure to promise to pass the information on to their Caribbean contacts. Why not to their American, European, African, and Asian friends? I really hope that our customers can break the mold, share Caribbean books with their non-Caribbean friends and bring a little Caribbean warmth into the lives of the rest of the world.

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Caribbean Adventure Series’ Facelift

When the Caribbean Adventure Series first launched back in 2007, I was doing everything myself including cover design. I’ve always been the first to admit that I have little talent when it comes to the visual arts and I have never been quite happy with the covers. Now that CaribbeanReads Publishing has been launched, I no longer do cover designs, I leave that to experts such as Kathryn Duncan of Karibgraphics. She recently worked with me to redesign the covers for the Adventure Series and I am very pleased with the results. See for yourself.

Let me know what you think and visit our book store to purchase these and others from our catalogue.

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New middle-grade book available in July

Cover Front onlyLooking for something to keep your middle-grade children’s brain active this summer? Check out “Zapped! Danger in the Cell”. (Pre-order your autographed copy today.)

When  a mysterious machine shrinks Sonya, Lynelle, and Giselle to microscopic proportions they become so small that they slip through the walls of a cell and the three girls find themselves caught up in a roller coaster of an adventure that has them running for their lives.

Do they ever escape?

Pre-Order Zapped! to find out!

Zapped! is the first book in the Small Worlds series written by Jewel Daniel and Lynelle Martin. The book is being published by CaribbeanReads and is illustrated by Ann-Cathrine Loo. It is aimed at middle-grade readers and will be available in July.

St. Kitts born Jewel is a cell biologist, author and educator who combines her love for science and books to teach kids about the exciting microscopic world of the cell. She already has three publications under the pen name Jewel Amethyst, A Marriage of Convenience, Holiday Brides, and Pretty Little Liars: Indiscretion. Zapped is her first children’s novel.

Lynelle is the star of this show. She is a rising middle school student with an avid interest in science and adventure. Zapped is her debut novel, but she has already written the sequel and plans to work on book 3 this summer.

Visit our Order page to reserve your autographed copy of Zapped! for $6.99. Shipping charges may apply for non-US customers.


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CaribbeanReads author nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award

On October 10, 2013 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the list of nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Award were announced and CaribbeanReads author, Carol Ottley-Mitchell was among the awardees.

The Award, which was created in honour of the famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, creator of the Pippi Longstocking and one of Sweden’s most important authors, is billed as the world’s largest children’s literature award.

Ottley-Mitchell was nominated for her popular Caribbean Adventure Series, four books which feature the adventures of three Caribbean children and a mischievous vervet monkey. The first book, Adventure at Brimstone Hill, is set at the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts.

The other books are each set in a different Caribbean island, Jamaica, Trinidad and the latest book, Fury on Soufriere Hills, is based in Montserrat. Children reading these adventure books are exposed to the culture, history and geography of the Caribbean.

The Kittitian is one of a few authors from the English speaking Caribbean who have been nominated for the prize in the last ten years.

Mrs. Mitchell said that it was indeed an honour to be nominated, to have the books reviewed by an international audience, and to be listed alongside best-selling children’s author such as the award-winning Beverly Cleary.

Astrid Lindgren Booklet

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Montserrat here we come!

CaribbeanReads author, Carol Ottley-Mitchell will be traveling to Montserrat to promote her new book based in that island.

“I am very excited and pleased to be going to Montserrat this evening. Tomorrow, August 10, I will be presenting a copy of Fury on Soufriere Hills to the Montserrat Public library.

“This will be my first visit to Montserrat and I am very grateful to the library for inviting me and organising the visit.”

Look out for photos of the visit coming soon!

For more information, go to TrulyCaribbean.net.

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My favorite things

I think I have said this many times, so pardon me if you have heard it before. One of my favorite activities is conducting author visits at elementary schools. Continue reading

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Chee Chee in the BVI

Chee Chee, the vervet monkey featured in the Caribbean Adventure Series and Chee Chee’s Adventures, was due to arrive in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands last week (in his book form, of course). It was just a stopping point, he was intransit to bigger things, but of course, being Chee Chee, he could not travel without drama.

You know how when you try to save a buck you always end up spending a mint? Well, I decided to send the books by the US post. I chose a method that promised 4-6 days and I wanted to believe it was possible. Four days passed, Chee Chee had not arrived. Six days passed, Chee Chee had not arrived. Ten days passed and panic ensued on both sides of the Atlantic. We waited one more day, then just one more before I threw in the towel and did what I should have done in the first place, used a courier service.

You all know what happens next, right? No twists in this story. The very next day, the first package of books arrived in Tortola. I still wonder if they would have arrived if I had not sent the second package, because it feels like it was meant to be. This story has a happy ending because one set of books will travel on to their final destination and the other package of books will be included among books that the BVI Reading Council will use in their reading programmes at the Public Library and community centres. Some will be read by volunteer dads who meet and read with children 4 to 12 years old on select Saturdays.

I can almost see Chee Chee beaming and saying “This is what I’m talking about!”

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And then there were nine…

Caribbean Reads’ ninth book, Seascapes, is now available on Amazon just in time for the holidays. It has been hailed as a delightful collection of beautifully illustrated stories about friendship. Great for children 8 and under although my 12 year old loved it. Get your copy today!

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Seascapes Proof is in my hands

Last night before I went to bed I checked (for the 100th time) on the status of the delivery of the proof of my latest book, Seascapes. Imagine my surprise when I noted the status as “delivered”. The notes read “Delivered to Customer Boy”. It took every bit of restraint in my body not to get him out of bed to ask him for the package. Luckily good sense prevailed and I decided to look for it myself. Sure enough, lying on the floor in front of the TV was the usual brown cardboard packing that has come to mean “Proof”. Thankfully the proof was error free, imperfect, but probably only in my eyes and so the book should be available on Amazon in a day or two. Yippee!

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