Sunday, October 28, 2012


- Win a copy of TOBY GOLD AND THE SECRET FORTUNE (Ends 10/29)
- Win a copy of THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen (Ends 11/2)
- Win TONS OF BOOK PRIZES in the YAMAZING RACE! (Ends 10/29)
- Win ASHES and SHADOWS by Ilsa J. Bick ( Ends 11/14)

Kathy Rygg
Muse It Up Publishing
Middle Grade

Ten-year-old Andy Ohman is spending his summer working at the Aksarben City Zoo where his dad is curator. There are rumors the city might close the zoo due to budget cuts. An anonymous donor has given the zoo an antique animal carousel, and Andy’s dad is hopeful it will help boost attendance. Andy’s doubtful that an old kiddie ride will make a difference. He doesn’t see what’s so special about it. But when he takes it for a spin, he unlocks the magic that will help save the zoo.

I don't often spotlight independently published books, so when I do it's because I think the book has a particularly unique story to tell, and ANIMAL ANDY does. I invited the author, Kathy Rygg, to join us today to tell us a little bit about herself and her book. Following the interview you'll find an excerpt from ANIMAL ANDY and a chance to win one of 2 e-book editions of ANIMAL ANDY! And since they're e-books, the giveaway is open internationally! Yea!


Describe Animal Andy in one sentence.
A zoo keeper’s son discovers a magical antique carousel and must use it to save the zoo and its animals.

What inspired you to write this book?
My kids loved the Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborn, and I wanted to write a story that could transport kids to another world—the world of animals! Our city zoo has a beautiful menagerie carousel, and during a visit there with my kids I thought it would make the perfect magical device.

What books did you enjoy when you were younger and how did they inspire you?
One of my favorite books series growing up was The Borrowers by Mary Norton. I loved the creativity behind little people living in the walls and “borrowing” household objects. I also loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books growing up. Again it was the creative premise of an eccentric adult who helped solve kids’ problems in magical ways. In fact, my children’s chapter book, Tall Tales with Mr. K, is my modern-day version of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle—it’s about a magical third-grade teacher who helps children with their academic problems by taking them on adventures in the teacher’s lounge.

Share a little about your road to publication.
A fellow Nebraska author has had several of her middle grade books published with Muse It Up Publishing and recommended I send them the manuscript for ANIMAL ANDY. I was delighted when they accepted! Working with their editors and cover artists was a great experience, and their network of authors is so supportive and helpful with marketing efforts.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I just completed the first book in a middle grade adventure series that involves the sport of geocaching, and I’m currently writing the sequel to Tall Tales with Mr. K.

Book Excerpt:

Andy’s knees wobbled and buckled as he stumbled off the carousel’s platform. He thrust forward, collapsing into a heap on the ground. Shaking his head a few times, he flinched when a snort escaped his mouth.

A flash of turquoise caught his eye. He scrambled up as a skinny-necked bird with short legs and a long, plump body strutted over. It stopped a few inches away and let out an ear-splitting squawk. Only a peacock could make that sound.

“What are you doing over here?” the bird asked. “Are you out of your mind? Don’t you know this is the kind of thing that gets all of us into trouble?”

Andy froze. He was sure the peacock had just spoken to him.

“Well, don’t just sit there, zebra, we need to get you back to the pen,” the bird snapped.

Andy whipped his head from side to side. Nobody was around, and he didn’t see a zebra.

“Did you just talk?”

"Don't get all high and mighty on me," the peacock said. "It's socially acceptable for a peacock to speak to a zebra."

"Why do you keep calling me a zebra?" Andy narrowed his eyes at the bird.

“Well, I don’t see any other escaped animal standing in front of me,” the peacock said. Andy lowered his gaze and saw four black and white striped legs beneath him. He craned his neck and saw a thin, black tail swishing behind him. Puzzled, he glanced at the carousel and saw an empty brass pole where the zebra had been.
He stumbled backward. "No, no, no,” he said, shaking his head. "How…it can’t be,” he breathed.
“There’s just no way. I…I…I’m a zebra!”

Animal Andy is available as an ebook (all formats) from Muse It Up Publishing and in print from Amazon.
Follow Kathy Sattem Rygg at
Facebook under KSR Writer
Twitter @kathyrygg


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me! "Animal Andy" is a fun book for anyone who loves animals and a little bit of magic--it's perfect for kids ages 7-10! Kathy Rygg

  2. This sounds like a fun book. I liked hearing what inspired the author to write the book. I remember going on the carousel at a local amusent park. It was old, but the animals were beautiful. I rode on a white horse that went up and down. It was such a thrill.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Ohhh! I love carousels. I think the first one I road was at a local amusement park called Lagoon. To this day it is one of my favorite rides. I confess I still like to pretend I'm Mary Poppins and the critters will jump off and take me for a ride. ;)

  4. I don't remember the first time, but I do always remember waving to my parents each time I came around.