Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know Blog Tour (And Giveaway)

Monday, June 07, 2021


Now announcing a blog tour featuring two clean and sweet books:

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection and Only My Horses Know

Both books are perfect for parents who worry about the material their children are reading or they are reading to them. Both are clean and sweet. 

Published by Editor-911 Kids, an imprint of Editor-911 Books, a small, independent press owned and operated by Margo L. Dill that publishes books that readers love but aren't traditional. 

Join us as we interview the authors, share more about the books, and give you the chance to win a copy! Also, by actively participating in this tour, you have the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection by Fred Olds with a story by Margo L. Dill, editor (stories for kids ages 3-9):


In this full collection of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, we have included all six stories from volumes 1 and 2, a bonus story "Looking Inside" by Margo L. Dill (only available in this collection), and a foreword by Margo also. Each story has an illustration to start the story along with a question for children to consider while the story is being read aloud to them (or older children can read to themselves). These stories are perfect for parents and grandparents to read to the children in their lives.

The stories are:

"Looking Inside" Join a kindergarten class as they learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how he believed all people were the same on the inside.

"Ben and the Terrible Red Card" Ben is always getting in trouble at school, but he feels his teacher just misunderstands him. He's trying!

"The Hobbling Hermit" The hermit's feet hurt, and he takes out his grumpiness on his new housemate, a small, smart mouse.

"Sammy and the Cross-eyed Crow" Sammy lives in the jungle and talks to animals! What happens when he meets a crow who can't fly straight?

"Ben and the Bully, Billy Bob" Here's another Ben story, and this time, Ben's in front of the principal's office for a run-in with Billy Bob the Bully!

"The Cheerless Chairmaker" Fred Olds has written a new fairy tale with a poor, sweet chairmaker and a smart, savvy princess!

"Sammy and the Royal Rabbit" Sammy is back in the jungle with Jonathan the crow, and this time, he is visited by a rabbit who thinks he's a king!

This is a very special collection of short stories by two experienced children's authors. Don't miss out on getting this collection today! 

Purchase Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. Be sure to also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Only My Horses Know (middle-grade contemporary novel) by Cinda Bauman


Life on a Montana horse ranch has always been the best for twelve-year-old Kylie Hannigan. She bonds with the horses, rides them with her friend Joey, and helps her mom train them. Plus she barrel races her favorite horse, Kiwi, and with plenty of practice and grit, they will definitely beat her rival Olivia this year.

But then, something starts happening with Kylie’s mom. She sleeps all the time, and Kylie has to do the chores, the training, and all the care for the horses--and it’s too much! At least it’s summer, so she doesn’t have to worry about school, and she can spend time talking to her favorite animals. One day, a strange-behaving horse with an even stranger name shows up for training but is only ignored by Kylie’s mom. Training a difficult horse used to be a fun challenge Kylie could share with her mom, but that’s not even happening now.

Then her mom changes again, and she’s up doing everything—including cooking and cleaning in the middle of the night. Kylie still gets no rest because Mom thinks Kylie should be able to do it all, too. So when school starts and Mom’s behavior goes back and forth and back and forth, and then embarrasses Kylie in front of Joey more times than she can count, Kylie decides the only thing she can do is hide everything from everyone—accept her horses.

Kylie’s life spins out of control along with her mom’s. She can’t train for the barrel races with Kiwi or keep up with homework or talk to her best friend. What will it take to get her life back to the way it used to be? Or is that even possible?

Purchase Only My Horses Know on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. Be sure to add this to your reading list on GoodReads.

About the Authors


Fred Olds has crafted dozens of stories over the years and has been involved with various writing and critique groups. At the age of 92, he is a devoted husband and proud father and grandfather living in Central Illinois. After retirement from the Postal Service as an electronic technician, he finally has time to concentrate on writing. A true storyteller at heart, his first love is writing children’s books with an occasional murder mystery thrown in for a change of pace. Check out his kids’ short story books, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, Vol. 1 and then Vol. 2, and his first book for adults, The Hobo Who Wasn’t, an exciting detective story. He's also the author of The Dog and the Flea: A Tale of Two Opposites and The Cat, the Mouse, and the Neighbors' Dog, two books of the Perky Pet Problems picture book series.


Margo L. Dill is the CEO and owner of Editor-911 Books in St. Louis, MO. She is also the author of the American Civil War Adventure Series with two books, Anna and the Baking Championship and Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg, for middle-grade readers. Her other books are That's the Way It Always Happened and Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies, which are illustrated picture books, and she has a short story about kids learning about Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings in Fred Olds's collection of short stories, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Vols. 1 and 2. Her next book is for teachers and parents and is out in June 2021, It's Not Just Academics: A Guide To Teach Kids' Health, Communication, and Social Emotional Skills. She lives in St. Louis with her tween daughter and lively rescue dog, Sudsi. 

Find out more at:

Her website: www.margoldill.com


Cinda Jo Bauman lives in Central Illinois with her husband and dogs. During her high school years, she took every art class offered along with every child development class. After a class where she spent part of the day at a daycare, child development won out over art. Years of story time led to a love of children’s picture-books, which made her wish she had stuck with art. 

Flash forward to today, and she still loves children’s books! After researching and much study; learning about writing and illustrating children’s books, she joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and found her passion. Besides writing children’s picture books and middle-grade novels, Cinda also creates with cut paper sculptures and paints in oil and acrylic. She loves iris flowers and the color purple.

Only My Horses Know is her debut middle-grade novel.

Find out more about Cinda:

Cinda's website is: https://kidsillio.com/

Make sure you follow along and leave a comment on participating blogs. At the end of the tour, we'll be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner who has commented on at least one blog post throughout the tour.  Tour ends July 11th. You have until July 15th to submit your entries on this Google Form to be eligible to win. The winner will be announced on July 16th. 

Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First off, congratulations on the release of these two sweet books! What inspired you all to write these books and stories? 

Cinda: I have always dreamed of writing and illustrating children’s picture books. After working on a few, I just wondered if I would also be able to write a novel. I had the characters. I had the horses, but I struggled to find the plot. Only My Horses Know was written after remembering a character on an old medical series called ER. One of the nurse’s moms struggled with a mental illness. It made me so sad for the character, how she had kept that secret all her life. I could just feel her pain. I kept wondering what sort of life the character would have had as a child, pre-teen. I decided I would write what I imagined life would have been like for her. 

Fred: Well when our [my wife Jean and I] kids were tots, like most kids at bedtime, they pulled every trick in the book to keep from going to sleep. “Tell me a story, Dad,” they’d beg. So with a bit of imagination, (something I’m fortunately blessed with), I’d conjure up some tale about a past pet, embellish it a lot, and begin. 

“Close your eyes first,” I’d say. My stories rarely got to the end before they were asleep. (That should have told me something!) 

By the time I neared retirement, and with a mental library of stories already, (coupled with the convenience of a computer word processer; my handwriting is awful!), I decided I’d like to take a shot at writing kids’ books. 

But first I needed help, and after a complete and total humbling from my teacher’s constant criticism during a writing correspondence class at Parkland, I knew I needed to join a critique group. The rest is history. 

Margo: I have the honor of publishing these two wonderful authors’ stories, and then in Fred’s collection book (Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Vols. 1 and 2), I slipped in a story of my own. “Looking Inside” is possibly more relevant today (unfortunately) than it was when I wrote the story. The inspiration came from a magazine ad where two kids (one Black and one White) were pictured, with one looking inside the other’s wide open mouth. I thought to myself, What is that kid looking for? Then being a former elementary school teacher and a current parent, I knew what it was like to want to really share a message with a group of YOUNG kids and for them to be very curious about everything BUT what you are trying to teach them. So I combined the ad image with my experience and set the story near Martin Luther King, Jr. Day while this poor teacher tries to share Dr. King’s message and wonder if the kids are ever going to understand what he was trying to teach about race. 

WOW: What inspiring stories of how you all came to find your ideas! How are you all “related”? 

Margo: Besides all being published by Editor-911 Books (which is a traditional publishing company I started in 2020), we were in a critique group through SCBWI back in the mid-2000s when I lived in Champaign, IL. We used to meet at a Borders bookstore with a few other wonderful writers and critique each other’s stories. We grew close like a family, and even though I moved away when I had my daughter, we stayed in touch. 

Fred came to me in early 2020 (pre-pandemic) and asked me to help him publish his stories. I’d been wanting to try indie publishing, and so with his encouragement, I did. I loved Fred’s storytelling style, and I was always a huge fan of Cinda’s book, which we had critiqued back at Borders, and I had edited for her when she revised it. So I asked her, and she said yes. 

WOW: I love how close you all became! Cinda, In Only My Horses Know, you have the challenge of tackling the issues of mental illness, as well as discussing your main character's faith in God in your book. How did you balance both of these potentially challenging subjects in a book meant for middle-grade readers? 

Cinda: I think the hardest part to balance when writing for a young audience about mental illness was the ending. You want your book to have a happy ending, but sadly mental illness isn't something with an easy cure that makes it just go away. So, I decided I needed to find a way to end it that would bring at least hope to the family and to the community. The second problem was that I did not want Kylie's story to be such a downer that readers would get really tired of her and stop reading. But I also thought it was important for them to get to know her and see her and her mom's struggles develop. 

Adding faith to my story came natural for me. But when I look for faith-based books for young readers, it's hard to find books that are not written for an audience who already has faith or a relationship with God. I decided I want my writing to appeal to youth who have no faith. I hope to introduce my readers to God without them even knowing it! I wanted to make sure my characters were flawed and relatable, not perfect goody-two-shoes. 

WOW: What a balance you found with both topics! Fred, your stories range from realistic, humorous school stories to new fairy tales to talking animals in the jungle! How do you come up with your ideas?

Fred: Some ideas are born from incidents in my personal life and some from family members. Sometimes, ideas pop into my head spontaneously, often quite inconveniently. For instance, I’ve often sprung from my bed, just after settling down, when an idea pops up in my head. I’ve learned never to sleep on an idea, for it will vanish forever overnight! And try to keep an idea in your head while on the interstate until you get to a place to pull off! 

WOW: Margo, you just started your new publishing company, Editor-911 Books. What led you to start this and what have you learned so far? 

Margo: Besides what I mentioned about Fred and I having a conversation about his remarkable stories and picture books, I had gone to the 20Books to 50K conference in Las Vegas in 2019. This is a conference for indie authors and publishers, and I was amazed and educated about how far the self-publishing world had come since I had a book traditionally published by White Mane Kids in 2012 (Finding My Place). I was listening to story after story about all the control and creativity that these authors and publishers had, and although my publishers have all been fantastic, I wanted that control back, and my creativity to soar. So I have been learning all I can, and still so much more. 

Then of course, a pandemic hit--we published our first book in June of 2020. But that’s okay because there’s really very little upfront cost. Most cost goes to marketing, and I am having so much fun. I love publishing other people, and the whole creative process of starting with an idea and finishing with a product that someone buys and reads! 

I have plans to grow, grow, and grow. I have two other authors signed, Terrill Martinez and Amie L. Merz. We just published Sioux Roslawski’s book, whom many of you know from her blogging here (Greenwood Gone: Henry’s Story), and I’m hoping when I get a little more experience and no pandemic, to open for submissions a little more. Authors who are interested in finding out when that happens can join the reader newsletter here or the writer newsletter here. Both have “free” gifts with them, and both have different content if they want to join both! 

WOW: From what I know myself, I'm imagining the marketing angle is so big but you are doing so well with both books! So, Cinda, why is it important to have clean books for children, like your Hope and Horses series? 

Cinda: There is so much negativity in the world now. Kids are exposed to violence everywhere they turn and choices that can lead them down a path of lifetime struggle. I hope my readers appreciate that in my books, yes, things sometimes stink, but there's always hope if you are open to it, and if you rely on your real friends, your family, and your faith. 

WOW: I agree! There is always hope. Fred, I'm so inspired that you followed your dreams at 92! What advice do you have for others who feel it might be "too late" for them? 

Fred: It's never too late to do something you really want to do. For instance, when I was 85, I heard someone play a beautiful song on the piano, and it touched my heart. I thought to myself, If I'd only started when I was younger, I could probably play that song myself now. Well here I am, seven years later, and still active; but I still can't play the piano! So quit telling yourself, I'm too old to start something new. Age is just a number, so go for it! 

WOW: Absolutely! What's next for all of you? 

Fred: Well I’ve got Read Aloud Vol.3 and Vol. 4 nearly done, plus The Mortimer Kidnapping, a mystery story that’s ready to go. Plus I’m trying to complete a semi-fictional love story, (¾ complete) woven around my experiences in post-WWII Japan. 

Cinda: I've been working on book #2 in the Hope and Horses Series and jotting down ideas for cover art, as they cross my mind. The themes for the series are: book #1 acceptance and healing, book #2 handling anxiety and loving yourself, book #3 forgiveness and moving on. Book #3 is already written, but I'll be anxious to start on the revisions once #2 is finished. I’m still pinching myself that I’ve been given this opportunity! 

Margo: As I said, growing the business and selling books to readers. I am also finishing up my own title which is a book for homeschool parents and teachers called: It’s Not Just Academics: A Guide to Teach Kids Health, Communication, and Social Emotional Skills, out this summer. I also want to write book three of the Finding My Place series, and I have a YA romance series with book one and a middle-grade mystery series with book one almost done. So many ideas, too little time! 

WOW: Best of luck to you all and congratulations again on your books!

  --- Blog Tour Calendar

June 7th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of this incredible blog tour. Find out more about the authors, their touching books, and enter to win books for yourself. Become an active participant in the tour, and you can win a gift card.

June 8th @ Lisa's Reading
Visit Lisa's blog where she shares a guest post about clean, sweet, books and how to find them (and why kids will love them too). 

June 8th @ Pages and Paws
Come by and read a review of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred

June 9th @ Create Write Now
Mari shares a guest post today about tackling the stigma of mental illness.

June 11th @ Pages and Paws
Come by to Pages and Paws again and read a review of Only My Horses Know

June 13th @ AJ Kormon's Blog
Join us at AJ Kormon's blog where you can read a guest post about finding problems kids will relate to. A must-read post for children's book authors!

June 14th @ AJ Kormon's Blog
Join us again at AJ Kormon's blog today where you can read a review of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

June 15th @ Lisa Haselton's Book Reviews and Interviews
Join Lisa as she interviews author Fred Olds about his book Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection.

June 16th @ Words from the Heart
Linda reviews the book Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection by Fred Olds.

June 17th @ Literary Quicksand
Join Jolissa as she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection by Fred Olds.

June 18th @ Words from the Heart
Linda shares a guest post about tackling Christian themes in secular books.

June 20th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra as she features Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

June 21st @ Lisa Haselton's Book Reviews and Interviews
Join Lisa as she interviews author Cinda Bauman, author of the book Only My Horses Know.

June 23rd @ Bring on Lemons
Visit Crystal's blog today where she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know.

June 26th @ Shoe's Seeds and Stories
Join Linda as she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

June 28th @ Jill Sheets' Blog
Visit Jill's blog where she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 1st @ What is That Book About
Michelle shares a guest post about following your dreams at 92. What an inspiring story!

July 2nd @ One Writer's Journey
Visit Sue's blog where she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 6th @ McFly's Book Bliss
Join Marisa as she reviews Only My Horses Know.

July 9th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Join Wendi at her blog Strength 4 Spouses where she shares her review of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 10th @ Shoe's Seeds and Stories
Visit Linda's blog again where she shares a guest post about finding a good critique group.

July 11th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Join Wendi again at her blog where she shares a guest post about the importance of communicating in families.



***** BOOKS & AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY *****


Make sure you follow along and leave a comment on participating blogs. At the end of the tour, we'll be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner who has commented on at least one blog post throughout the tour.  Tour ends July 11th. You have until July 15th to submit your entries on this Google Form to be eligible to win. The winner will be announced on July 16th. Good luck!


Enter to win a print copy of these clean, sweet, and exciting children's books: Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway ends June 20th at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be announced the next day in the Rafflecopter widget and we will follow up via email. Thank you, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

Margo Dill said...

Thank you, Nicole, for this lovely interview you did for us. We are super excited to be on the tour! :)

Kristine said...

These two books are well-written and highly enjoyable. Two thumbs up!

Angela said...

Wonderful interviews! :)

Cinda ~ I always enjoy hearing about the inspiration behind someone's book, and your story about a character from ER sparking a story is so unique! I'm glad you're highlighting mental health because it's been so stigmatized and we need more of these stories, especially for kids. My mom was not diagnosed but suffered from extreme delusions, and I had no idea what was happening at the time, so thank you for writing about it, AND for including horses! Your cover is beautiful, too, and that is done with paper cuts? You're very talented. :)

Fred ~ My father used to read the classics to me before I went to bed and that's what led me pursue writing. Your Read-Aloud series is such a great concept, and you're an inspiration. You're right, age is just a number! :)

Margo ~ Your story, "Looking Inside" sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it. I'm also excited to hear about the other authors you signed on as well. I know publishing is a LOT of work and you're doing an amazing job.

Good luck on your upcoming projects everyone! And have fun on your tour! It looks like a great one. Cheers to your success. :)

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to have books for kids that are both clean, kid-oriented, plus entertaining to read!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--Great interviews.

Fred--I admit, before I first read your stories, I was skeptical. An elderly man. Bedtime stories. I was sure they would be predictable and dull. However, your stories won me over and made a (mental) liar out of me. There were twists in your stories, clever plots. I'm sorry I was unable to leave a review on your latest collection on Amazon--they refused to post it. Good luck with this new book... and for the future books you're working on.

Margo--Soon (I think) you won't be able to call yourself a small publisher anymore. I'm glad I got you to say "yes" before you got too big. I don't need to wish you good luck. You have talent and drive...

Cinda--I checked out your website. You do AMAZING things with paper and scissors. One book published and another in the works--a series. Congratulations.

Fred and Cinda--Are we brilliant authors? We all decided on Margo as our publisher...

Margo Dill said...

Thank you to everyone for all the nice words! It’s just fun to write and publish books for kids and even though the work is hard, it’s still fun! :) we are all 3 looking forward to this blog tour!

Fred said...

A big 'Thank You' to all of you who took time out of your busy days, to post comments about the books featured in this blog. As an 'old' (92) 'new' author, I'm greatly encouraged when praised about my writing (who doesn't love praise?) and also encouraged when criticism is honest and kindly.
My Best Regards, Fred

Cinda said...

Nicole, thank you for interviewing us! It was super fun, and I also really enjoyed reading Margo's and Fred's answers. I agree with Fred, the interview and positive comments are so encouraging. I also agree with Sioux, we MUST be brilliant authors to all have been lucky enough to be published by Margo! I feel more blessed with every email I get from her. Thank you again to everyone!! Cinda :)

bn100 said...

nice interview

kellyr78 said...

These books look cute. I always enjoyed the Berenstain Bears books.- Kelly D

steve weber said...

I was a huge fan of the choose your adventure books!

sparkedcat said...

One of my favorite childhood characters was Curious George.

Athena Graeme said...

My FAVORITE book growing up was the Little Red Hen. It was just so cute.

traciem said...

I love Biscuit series!

Angelica said...

My favorite book growing up was Harold and the Purple Crayon. I also loved Dr. Seuss and all of the Eric Carle books.

elizabeth miller said...

My granddaughter is 7 but is an advanced reader and she would love "Only the Horses Know." We have over the years gone through several series types that she as well as I have loved from Mouse a Muffin series to Junie B Jones and others.

RyanB said...

Goodnight Moon was always one of my favorites!

Antoinette M said...

Thanks for the review. My niece would enjoy reading this book!

Kari B said...

My niece loves books about horses. Only My Horses Know would be a perfect gift for her.

Renee T said...

I enjoyed "The Trumpet of the Swan"

J Renee W said...

I loved Charlotte's Web and the Wind in the Willows.

Margo Dill said...

Thank you to everyone for all these comments and interest in the books! We appreciate it. :)

Patsy said...

Great interview!They look like cute books:)Thanks!

Cinda said...

Thank you, I hope she gets to read it! My daughter also loved the Junie B Jones series.

Cinda said...

Thanks, I hope your niece gets to read it!

brendaelsner said...

I love the Dr. Suess books and still do!!

brat52101 at yahoo dot com

Cinda said...

Angela, thank you so much for your sweet comments. ❤Yes, the cover was created using torn and cut paper. Though, I did end up painting her face after many failed tries at cutting teeny features, lol!

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