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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:22 am | Fair 54º


Lucky Penny Press Publishes Book by 14-Year-Old Nashat Zaman of Santa Barbara

Lucky Penny Press, the innovative publisher of eBooks for children, proudly announces the release of The Scorch of a Skilten, a middle-grade novel written by Santa Barbara middle-grade author Nashat Zaman.

Set in a fictional country, The Major Land, Scorch tells the story of a young, orphaned heroine-with-an-attitude, who discovers too late that the prestigious academy to which she’s been admitted is actually a front for a more sinister undertaking.

Each year the school sends two of its most capable students to spy on the nefarious Queen Muscaria. None of the young spies has ever returned — and now it is up to our heroine to not only free them, but free herself.

Zaman is the 14-year-old daughter of Bangadeshi natives who now reside in Santa Barbara. She began writing fiction in first grade — although she says “the writing was terrible.”

Her favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, John Flanagan, Avi, Trenton Lee Stewart and Agatha Christie.

The idea for Scorch first came to her “in a dream,” Zaman says. “It wasn’t even a very vivid dream. But then I turned some random objects into humans, and here it is!”

The book took her 10 months to write — from the beginning to a completed first draft — and then, like many more-accomplished writers, she spent a year editing afterward. A friend, Maleeha Mustafa, provided the charming illustrations.

Scorch is definitely not an autobiographical novel, but the heroine does share certain similarities with Zaman. Both are high-spirited, courageous, adventuresome girls.

Zaman shoots eraser-tipped arrows and has a red belt in karate, while her heroine, Clara Skilten, battles animated wolves in the Fighting Arena, befriends a cheetah cub, and fends off library vandals with projectile staplers.

Like all Lucky Penny titles, The Scorch of a Skilten is available for immediate download for numerous eReaders. Click here to download the book.

Proceeds from the sale of Scorch will benefit Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pa. Four Diamonds’ mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research.

Lucky Penny Press is a children’s eBook publisher founded by Melissa Marsted, a longtime Santa Barbara resident and author of Pablito and the Speckled Bear. Lucky Penny Press, whose motto is “Nurturing the creative spirit,” publishes books written by both adults and children. Each book has a professionally recorded audio version. As part of LPP’s cultural fabric, each book is connected to a nonprofit organization, which receives a portion of book sale proceeds.

LPP sells eBooks in numerous eReader formats including those for iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Nooks, MP3 players and any computer. Every eBook can be downloaded in either eReader or audio format, or both.

Click here for more information about Lucky Penny Press. Connect with Lucky Penny Press on Facebook. Follow Lucky Penny Press on Twitter: @luckypennypress.

Melissa Marsted is the founder of Lucky Penny Press.

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