Book Spotlight: DANIEL THE CAMP_ER by S.J. Henderson

One of the best things about being a writer is connecting with other writers. Today I am proud to have a talented author and her book on my blog. So, without further ado…

Let’s give a big Camp Bigfoot hello to S. J. Henderson’s brand new Middle Grade novel, DANIEL THE CAMP-ER! Stick around the bonfire, here, to learn more about this deliciously fantastic tale, and be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon card or your very own copy of DANIEL THE CAMP-ER.

Now grab a S’more and let’s get this party started…


DTC cover

There are a few simple rules Daniel follows.

Rule One: never let an adult see your weakness. Daniel made that mistake and look where he ended up—summer camp.

Rule Two: never make fun of the person who feeds you, unless you like Miss Gunderson’s peppery pancakes and green hamburgers.

Rule Three: stay away from girls who love Glitter Ponies. They have cooties, after all.

And Rule Four: never, ever lose your magic pencil.

But Daniel has broken all of his own rules. Now he’s stuck and starving at Camp Bigfoot with the school bully as his bunkmate and an ooey-gooey girl who won’t leave him alone. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, his prized possession, a pencil that brings his drawings to life, has gone missing and wacky creatures are popping up all over camp.

Can Daniel survive Camp Bigfoot and find his magic pencil before it’s too late?

About the Series

DANIEL THE CAMP-ER is the second book in the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series. The first book in the series, DANIEL THE DRAW-ER, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

Although Daniel’s adventures were written for boys and girls between 6 and 12, readers of all ages have found themselves swept up in these silly and imaginative stories. Fans of Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will appreciate the humor in the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER books, and parents and teachers will appreciate the lack of potty humor and themes of friendship and loyalty. And fun. Can’t forget fun.


Annie catches up with me as I creep closer to the edge of the forest. Her eyes grow wide. “Why is there a moose wearing a cowboy hat here?”

“He likes soccer?” I shrug. “And that’s a sombrero, not a cowboy hat.”

“Whatever it is, I know you did this, Daniel. Are you crazy?”

“I didn’t mean to, but I must’ve grabbed the wrong pencil when I was getting my things ready. Oops.”

“Yeah, oops.” She rubs her face with her hands. “At least he looks friendly and doesn’t shoot laser beams from his eyes.”

I cringe. “Oops.”

“What do you mean, ‘oops’?” Annie latches onto me with her fingers and squeezes so tight my arm goes numb for a second. I wish people would hurt me in other places besides just my arms. There are lots of other parts of my body they could pick, but no. Everyone picks the arm, which gets super-sore, and then I start drawing stuff like a-moose-that-should-be-a-bear. So, if you ask me, this isn’t my fault.

The moose lifts up his head and snorts, sending balls of green flame into the dirt.

“Oops,” I say again, flashing a guilty smile.

Annie ducks behind me to protect herself from the moose’s attack. “Erase it, Daniel.”

Which is what I mean to do, really. I have the eraser on the pencil line making up the moose’s right nostril when he looks me right in the eye and says, “Stop! Please!”

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Meet S. J. Henderson


S. J. Henderson is the author of the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series, as well as several not-yet-published Young Adult novels.

S. J. lives in Michigan with her husband and four wild boys. When she is not writing about talking cats and magic pencils, S. J. can usually be found riding one of her family’s horses or drinking a little bit of coffee with her creamer.

Connect with S. J.







Eighteen Years

Eighteen years ago I was a high school freshman. This cute boy in my drama club asked for my phone number. Shy me thought nothing of it, but my mother caught the exchange and teased me that the boy liked me. A few days later he called and we talked on the phone for three hours, until my mother told me to hang up and go to bed.

This man is now my husband. I’ve known him, been involved with him, for over half my life and his. We’ve grown, we’ve changed, we’ve fought, we’ve loved. We’ve stayed together, broken up and helped each other through some dark times.

As a romance writer I believe in young love and won’t ever forget that teenagers can and do fall in love. I have someone I can turn to and ask, “what was I really like at sixteen?” Even if I may not want the answer. I know love is universal, it grows with a person, with a couple, if they continue to work together.

But, eighteen years. It’s mind boggling. I mean, our relationship can vote, pretty cool. There’s comfort in the years, but comfort doesn’t mean settling. At least not yet. Ask me in another ten years or so.

“Mommy, can you find this?”

I was looking through my old posts and found this one. Just about a year ago and he has not stopped. My son is still asking us for help finding items, only now we’ve moved onto to Superheroes and Lego figures. And since I’ve been on the search and rescue team for over a year, I’ve hung up my hat. I tell my son it’s his toy and his responsibility. The stomping and tears? That continues, but he is getting better at finding his misplaced Superheroes.

Laura Brown

I spend my days listening to “Mommy, can you find this?” Sometimes that is the exact phrase. This. With my son looking at me like I should know exactly what he is talking about. Ten minutes later, after many answerless questions, I have a vague idea. Sometimes.

The house is a mess of small toy parts in every room, wishing they were part of Woody’s crew from Toy Story and had a buddy. They are all afraid of being lost in a black hole for all eternity and mourn the loss of their fallen friends each time we talk about why shiny take and play Thomas is still MIA. (Personally I suspect he got smart and ran away, lucky bastard).

So the house is a mess, the kid refuses to clean, and the parents are too wiped of energy to care most days. To find anything is a search and rescue…

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What The Movie Clue Teaches Us About A Synopsis

Writers tend to see the world a little differently. I find myself critiquing movies that my husband watches and problem solving it the same way I problem solve my own writing. (No, the killer really should have been the little girl, and people don’t really use names that often in regular speech…)

Over the weekend we watched Clue together. When Wadsworth, played by Tim Curry, began explaining the whodunit I sat there, blinked, and then yelled out, “Synopsis!”

Because this is, ultimately, what Wadsworth is doing. He’s running through the entire plot, stopping at the key points, and ignoring the rest. He’s also talking a mile a minute, so I’m sure his “synopsis” still needs some trimming.

Think about it. Not only is he explaining everything that happened, we’re riveted. Glued to the screen, because the audience wants to know who did it just as much as the characters on screen. (Side note, we watched the ending first, wrote down who killed who, and then paid attention in each scene. Each killer explained their own actions in real time, and most used the weapon they were given at the beginning of the film. My husband and I were laughing at how obvious it was and yet able to fool us each time.)

The words, the delivery, are entertaining. He’s not telling us who looked down Yvette’s maid uniform, because everyone did. He’s finding the key plot points that led to the murders, the driving points of the movie, and telling us only these points.

Clever. I may need to pretend to be Wadsworth the next time I write a synopsis. My new motto? What Would Wadsworth Do? (WWWD?). Hhmmm, it has potential.


Magic of Early Readers

A few weeks ago I picked up a library book to read with my son. It was a book set up for adults to read one page, and kids to read the other. I started off reading both pages, then when I noticed the easy repetition, let my son take over the kid’s page.

He read the pages. More, he wasn’t just repeating what I had read, he was actually reading.

The moment was a proud one for me, watching my five-year-old starting to read. Seeing him sound out words and putting things together based on what was going on in the story.

As a writer I’ve noticed many differences in the writing of children’s books as opposed to adults (adverbs, enough said). The simplicity in the language is a bit of a culture shock after spending hours working on complex sentences. But hearing the simple words from a child’s voice…magic.

All of a sudden, I’m given a huge amount of respect for the simple words my child can read. I love hearing his voice put the words together and discovering the joys of reading.

Reading is about discovery. Discovering a world, a character, a story. It’s about learning and growing and entertainment. My son sometimes makes up the words on the page, using his deductive reasoning skills to figure out what comes next. Any writer who has found a typo in their thirtieth time reviewing a document knows how powerful those deductive reasoning skills can be!

And I need to be more careful about writing in front of him. The days of joyfully writing a sex scene, or one with foul language, while my son is in the room are numbered. Unless I master the split-second-close-the-laptop maneuver.