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Kids Turn Book News

Between a Roc and a Hard Place

Between a Roc and a Hard Place

By: Danny Birt
Illustrator: Richard Svensson

Release Date: November 1, 2010
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Toy Box Books


Young Dragon Learns A Family Is What You Make It;Tale With A Twist Coming Soon From Cyberwizard Productions

Winston Salem, NC (August 19, 2010) – Given the choice of texting, tweeting or TV, today’s youngsters are purposely choosing to curl up with a good book! It’s no wonder with the bevy of adventures and fantasies written for inquisitive young minds – the literary success of Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter top the list. Cyberwizard Productions is adding one more title to the bookshelf, Danny Birt’s Between A Roc and A Hard Place.

With themes of abandonment, adoption and creating an inter-species family, the quick prose takes children outside their comfort level and stretches their imagination and vocabulary. But humor and detailed illustrations (by Swedish illustrator Richard Svensson) make this chapter book a quick read:

By the way the timbers creaked under the pressure of Rose Quartz’s talons when she alighted, Rocky should have known that he was in trouble. But Rocky was in a word, dumb.

“Hi sweetie,” he said.

“Thanks for coming back and telling me the coast was clear, Rocky,” she snapped.

“But I didn’t,” he said in confusion. Her utter lack of response and continued silent glare made him realize that something more was expected of him. He thought carefully. “Oh wait … that was … don’t tell me …Sore Chasm, wasn’t it?”

“Sarcasm,” she corrected him. “And yes, it was. Why didn’t you come back and get me? You had me thinking that dragon had roasted drumsticks for lunch!”

“Hey,” Rocky said, taking umbrage. “I’m no chicken.”

As they prepare for parenthood, the Great Stork delivers an extra egg to the nest of Rocky and Rose Quartz and an adventure of nature versus nurture begins. Author Danny Birt brings his fondness for fantasy to a younger audience, having already penned three books of the Laurian Pentology -- Ending an Ending; Beginning; and most recently, Beginning an Ending – published by Ancient Tomes Press, a division of Cyberwizard Productions.

“The number of individuals who will readily admit to being fans of fantasy has never been higher,” explains Birt, who is also an accomplished composer and lyricist.

“Virtually every fantasy-genre movie that has been produced in the last decade has been based off of a book in the same genre. Movie producers find a bestselling fantasy book, adapt a screenplay from it, then produce it. As a bonus, the movie has a preexisting audience of the book’s readers.”

“These movies have propelled the fantasy genre from relative obscurity in the back corners of bookstores to the New York Times bestseller list.”

The author hopes to entice a new generation of readers with his dragon fantasy that has been sprinkled with some very human themes of being adopted, not fitting in and what constitutes the ever-changing phrase, family. With an adopted niece and nephew among his family, Birt is sensitive to and familiar with these feelings and issues, and hopes that school counselors and parents may employ his book as a helpful tool.

Between A Roc and a Hard Place is published by Toy Box Books, a division of Cyberwizard Productions, a traditional, royalty-paying small-press publisher that provides high quality, enjoyable reading material for children and young adults. The 89-page paperback book is retailed for $12 and can be pre-ordered online at The official release date of the book is November 2010. Children as young as 9 will enjoy reading the book with their parents, and young adults will devour it like a dragon. Keeping younger readers in mind, Birt intentionally wrote each chapter as a self-contained short story which adds to the whole, making it appropriate for families who want to read a chapter at each night’s bedtime.

The author appears at Festivals and Conferences regularly for book and CD signings. Look for his calendar of appearances, starting with the NC Fantasy Festival on October 3, at his website,

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By day, this Renaissance man is a music therapist at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Music therapists use live music activities to help patients manage their pain or stress, decrease their anxiety or agitation, increase self-expression or motivation to participate in therapy regimen, and more.
Danny has played the roles of author and editor in science fiction, fantasy, and professional publications such as The Raintown Review, Strange Worlds of Lunacy, Flashing Swords Magazine, and Musica Ficta. His fantasy series "The Laurian Pentology" is being published through Ancient Tomes Press, with the books "Ending an Ending," "Beginning" and “Beginning An Ending” already in print. Two more titles to complete the pentology are forthcoming.
In addition to literary publication, Danny composes classical and folk music, such as his nonstop hour-long piano solo "Narcoleptic Pianist," and the ever-peculiar and hilarious album "Warped Children's Songs." In his spare time, Danny's hobby is finding new hobbies.