Friday, February 25, 2011

Check out Green Living Tips

I want you to take a look at: Green Living Tips 

Arts and Crafts for Everyone: Arts and Crafts - Something for Everyone

Take a look at the new blog... going to use it to promote the craft ideas and quilting stuff I will be weaving into my stories. Feel free to comment and offer ideas for posts. It is wide open right now as I use this as a sounding board for my Christian fiction story I am writing based on the fabric shop I owned and the numerous characters it drew in. Stay tuned.

Arts and Crafts for Everyone: Arts and Crafts - Something for Everyone: "I have a passion for arts and crafts including quilting, painting, scrap booking, soap making, candle making, dried flower arranging, bead..."

Book Review: Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism ....

Book Review: Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog

Author: Sandra J. Gerencher

ISBN: 9780981461922

Pages: 28

Tribute Books- 2008

I had a chance to review Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog. The book was a heartfelt story of how the boy blossomed and the dog found a loving home. It depicts the influences having a pet can have on a child and does so in an honest and loving way.

Here is the synopsis provided by Tribute books:

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog

by Sandra J. Gerencher

The timeless tale of a boy (with autism) and his (shelter) dog. Over the past 10 years, author Sandra Gerencher has been on a mission to save dogs from high-kill animal shelters. Her first rescue was P.J., the black and white Pomeranian in the story. She also adopted the orange Pomeranians Shelby and Lil Rascal, and of course, Chance, the big black Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix. All characters in the story are based on Sandra's real life family. The book is filled with softly blended watercolor photos of her loved ones. Her most significant adoption was her son, Terry. He was considered a special needs child because he was born with a genetic disorder known as Fragile X Syndrome. The disorder can cause many cognitive disorders, such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation and depression.

My opinions only:

I think the story would be difficult as a read alone book for those children under the age of 8 but it would be a treasure to read together with your child. Older children will find the story a good read and will long for a dog of their own, but some may miss the deep rooted message the author intended. All in all, a heartwarming honest and loving book about both animals and children who need to find a place called home. It will act as a spring board for discussions with children about adoption, special needs, and making one feel loved.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: King by Right of Blood and Might

Book Review: King by Right of Blood and Might

Author: Anna L. Walls

Pages: 319

Author House: 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4343-6866-9

This book is the interesting and adventurous story of a world created thousands of years after a nuclear death of the old world. It has a long list of characters from the King and Queen of Pennland to their son, Harris, the Prince and a world full of unique beings the reader will meet. Each character has something to contribute to the new world as illness, anger, and both physical and emotional conflicts arise.

The plots are complex and well written depicting the life questions of the prince who will someday become king of the land. Poor Harris has no idea what that really means and sets off to find answers on his own. The storyline follows good and evil within the characters and their actions as the prince explores the new world and forms his own life values with those he encounters. It realistically depicts the characters and their mindset, their emotional and physical failures, and the healing that takes place on both levels. I found some places within the story that seemed to parallel Biblical examples, but I believe that was a personal feeling and not the intent of the author.

I enjoyed the story, although I have to admit I did get the long list of characters confused once or twice and had to reread to get them straight in my mind. That too is a personal issue I have when I am reading and reviewing outside of the normal genres that I write or read.

Keep in mind that my lack of focus does not take away from the fact that Ms. Walls is an excellent storyteller and writes with eloquence and style.  I think young adults/ adults will find the book facinating. This story will resonate in the readers heart long enough to wet their appetite for the next book and next world in Ms Wall's rich imagination.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Become a Fan of Children's Author Pamela Hamilton

Welcome to day six of Pamela Hamilton’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

I am a social person and love interacting with friends and family, and always have. Before

Facebook and email, I wrote letters to friends all the time. That all started when I was a Girl Scout and decided to earn my pen-pal badge. I wrote to a girl in Wales and one in Germany for many years, and for over three decades now, my pal Ange and I have written, emailed, Facebooked, and called between the United States and Australia.

Now I am anxious to share the publication of Snow Day with friends and soon-to-be friends via all these new wonderful outlets known as social media. I want to hear what readers think of Snow Day and share the ups and downs of the writing life with other writers from around the United States and the world. So, to quote the old telephone commercial, reach out and touch by:

Friend me on Facebook at

Leaving a comment and follow my blog at

Visit my website at

Email me at

The more the merrier and I will do my best to respond to all emails.

Thank you for following Ms. Hamilton on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Become a Fan of Children's Author Nancy Sanders

Welcome to day six of Nancy Sanders’ 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

You can be a fan of Nancy’s and follow her posts in cyberspace!

Blog for children’s writers:

Inspirational photoblog for writers:

Facebook is for family and friends. Visit the all-new hilarious, yet practical, site for children’s writers, as written by Nancy’s cat, Humphrey:

Other sites of Nancy’s include:

Nancy’s books:

Teachers and librarians:

America’s Black Founders:

Book for children’s writers:

Writer’s Group:

Writer’s Group:



Click here to go directly to the site.
Thank you for following Ms. Sanders on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beome a Fan of Children's Author Laurie Monopoli

Welcome to day six of Laurie Monopoli’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

Laurie Monopoli is an educational specialist, children's advocate and founder of The Learning Station, a multi award-winning children’s educational music company. She has devoted 27 years to creating, healthy music for a child’s heart, body and mind. As a member of The Learning Station, the quality of Laurie's work in the fields of early childhood education and children's music are beyond comparison.

Her most recent accomplishment was to bring the much-loved characters of The Learning Station’s internationally acclaimed song, Tony Chestnut to life, in "The Book About Tony Chestnut." The highly anticipated story was created from her intuitive understanding and respect for children. As she lovingly embraced her mission of lending faces, personalities and characters to the children, Tony Chestnut, Eileen, Neil, Pat, Bob, Russell and Skip, she drew upon her own childhood experiences. The story's compassionate message of friendship, kindness and sympathy speaks to children in a language they can understand, and conveys just the right blend of entertaining, gentle humor with a meaningful, true-to-heart message.

Her ultimate goal was to creatively capture the young reader's attention with a complete sensory experience in children's literature. She achieved this by combining a child's natural love of music and movement, with a beautifully, illustrated picture book that actually invites youngsters to actively interact with the storyline, unite in dance with the characters and as a result, stimulate a lasting experience that will foster a life-long love of reading.

Interested in knowing more about Laurie Monopoli and The Book About Tony Chestnut be sure to visit her at:!/pages/The-Learning-Station/115732872904!/LearningStation

Official website for Tony Chestnut:
The Learning Station site promoting The Book About Tony Chestnut:

The Book About Tony Chestnut fan tee shirts:-

Thank you for following Ms. Monopoli's on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 6 for Michelle Hall- Children's Author

Welcome to day six of Michelle Hall’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

Let me just tell you a bit more about this great book:

Sassy the dog and Frisky the cat are two very special friends. Unfortunately for this special pair they become separated. Now, just think back or imagine that for some reason, that special someone in your life went away, and you could no longer see them. How very sad that would be; you would be lonely with them.

Well that’s exactly what happened. Frisky the cat was taken to the country to live, while Sassy the dog remained in the city. Things were not so bad in the country at first for Frisky, but then Frisky did something frisky, and everything changed.

Oh boy! Things started to get really bad for Frisky. She was even given a tub bath, which of course she did not like. Now girls and boys usually like their tub baths but can you imagine that? Can you imagine giving a cat a tub bath? Frisky decided she had to run away before she got another bath.

In this book you can follow Frisky as she journeys down lonely paths, across dangerous woods, hungry and afraid. Keep her company as the night owl hoots and other animals laugh at her.

But wait! Did she die and go to pet heaven? She must have because at the end of her journey who comes running to meet her? She must be dreaming, if cats had dreams. Running towards her is her very best friend Sassy. What a great reunion for the city dog and country cat, and so they meet again.

We all have had a special friend, that best friend in our class, our next door neighbor, someone we played sports with and for one reason or another we had to separate. Just like Sassy and Frisky we miss each other and wish we could see each other again. As children read this book I want them to know that true friends will always be able to find their way back to each other again, even if only in their hearts. And so we meet again.

I hope that you will become a fan of City Dog and Country Cat “And So We Meet Again”. Look for other City Dog and Country Cat books in the future. I am open to school visits or group visits to speak about my writing, including my poetry which is an enjoyable part of my writing as well.

You can follow me at:

Visit my blog at:

For more information email:

Thank you for following Ms. Hall on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 6- Become a Fan of Children's Author L.S. Cauldwell

Welcome to day six of L.S. Cauldwell’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

I hoped to have The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure translated into Spanish. I have placed the book in Amazon's European divison. I, also, plan on doing readings on Internet radio and pick up some fans from across the pond.

At this time, I don't have a website or a Facebook fan page. People keep promising me that they'll help me set them up, but somehow they and I never got around to it. I am on Authors Den and I do own an Internet talk radio station where I sometimes direct people to.


L. S. Cauldwell

Move over Nancy Drew, there's a new girl in town!


Thank you for following Ms. Cauldwell on her NWFCC Author Showcase tour. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review Frederico, the Mouse Violinist

Great book review of Author Mayra Calvani's book. Check it out.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Book Review Frederico, the Mouse Violinist: " Frederico, the Mouse Violinist Author: Mayra Calvani Illustrator: K.C. Snider Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing Inc., 2010 ISBN-..."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Interview with Author, Mayra Calvani

Many of you may have missed the great interview of Mayra Calvani on the blog of Publisher Virgina Grenier earlier in the week. Please join me in welcoming Mayra.  Read her answers here to learn more about the fabulous author of Fredrico the Mouse Violinist and Humberto the Bookworm Hamster.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first stories when I was about 12. I have been writing ever since.

What inspires you to write?

Reading great books; books about writing and creativity; violin music; falling snow; grey, cold, misty days; walking by myself, alone with my thoughts; a cabin in the woods; a balcony or terrace with a lovely view; a glass of wine; vacationing in a French chateau…

What was the first thing you ever had published?

A short story in a literary magazine. I was nineteen, in my second year of college. I screamed and jumped up and down. Nothing like that first publishing credit.

Can you share with us a little about your current book(s)?

My latest books are How to Turn Your Book Club into a Spectacular Event and Fredrico, the Mouse Violinist.

How to Turn Your Book Club into a Spectacular Event is a 50-page chapbook for girls ages 9-12 on how to start and manage a book club from start to end. It also includes an explanation of the various genres and a resource section with a list of popular authors who write for young readers, including the titles of one of their books and website links. The book encourages a love of books and reading and also social and leadership skills.

To find out more about it, readers can visit my website at:

Frederico, the Mouse Violinist, is a 24-page picture book that teaches the parts of the violin to beginner players and entertains them with a fun, educational story.

Blurb: Frederico is a little mouse with a big dream: he wants to become a violinist. Each day he watches as Stradivari makes his famous violins. Each night, he sneaks into the workshop to play. But the violins are too big! Then, unbeknown to Frederico, Stradivari sees him playing and begins carving a tiny device. Could it be a famous Strad especially for Frederico?

It is available in ebook, hardcover and paperback.

Purchase link:

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Nothing beats being able to work in my pajamas all day. 

What is the most difficult part of writing?

For me, following a disciplined schedule, fighting procrastination, and shutting down my inner critic.

What is the best writing advice you ever received?

“Leap, and the net will appear.” I have a sign on my desk.

What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?

The very, very basic?

1. A sympathetic protagonist. If you don’t like the character and can’t identify with him, you won’t care what happens to him enough to keep reading.

2. A compelling conflict. Give your protagonist a big problem, the bigger the better. A strong conflict forces the protagonist into action so that those good and bad qualities I mentioned come through for the reader.

3. Rising action. As the protagonist tries various ways to solve the big problem, other obstacles or smaller problems arise, thus creating escalating tension. This is what keeps you turning those pages late into the night.

4. A satisfying ending. Just when you think all will go wrong, the protagonist solves the problem, everything falls into place, and we can sigh, relaxed, knowing all will be well (well, at least, in most cases!).

What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?

Any believable character must have a combination of both good and bad qualities, just like a person in real life. No one likes a character that is all good. The same goes for villains. A villain who is all-evil is a flat, non-dimensional character. That said, great protagonists, are also bigger than life and possess a few admirable qualities that come through at the climax of the story. This quality is what makes heroes and heroines stand out. As readers, we want to see protagonists do things that we wouldn’t have the guts to do ourselves.

Have you received any awards?

My nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award winner. It was also nominated for three other awards.

My children’s picture book, Humberto, the Bookworm Hamster, was nominated for an EPIC Award last month. Winners will be announced this spring.

I intend to enter Frederico, the Mouse Violinist, in several awards this year.

Thanks to Mayra for sharing so many helpful tips for those wanting to write for children. Best wishes for continued success.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day to all of you. It only takes a click of the mouse to find online sites that are celebrating today. All kinds of fun give aways, book reviews, and gift ideas can be found for the search. For the writer, the Valentine stories would need to have been written months ago for submission. So for all you writers, start thinking  Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving if you have a story to submit to a publisher.

In the mean time, keep writing. Check back here all this week for author interviews and book tours. Starting on the 18th you can join each author we feature and friend them on Facebook. Become a fan and join the fun. See you here. Be sure to leave a comment, you just never know when there will be a give away for a book or a free class from one of our authors.

Have a great day. In the spirit of Valentine's day, tell someone you love them.

Search for christian romance

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Interview with Bree Ogden

Check out our post on the Stories for Children Magazine blog: Families Matter for another good interview with an award winning author/agent. Great tips for writers and what to submit.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Interview with Bree Ogden: "If you are new to writing for children or are an aspiring author feverishly working away, there comes a time when you finally finish th..."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Meet Author Mayra Calvani and Learn More About thi...

This is a great author who knows how to write for children and keep them reading. Check out her interview by clicking the link.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Meet Author Mayra Calvani and Learn More About thi...: "Welcome, Mayra. We are so glad you are here. Could you tell us a little about yourself? I started writing when I was about twelve years o..."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Red in the Flower Bed- Book Review

Red in the Flower Bed
Andrea Nepa

This is a simple book with a grown up and inspirational message that I was both surprised and impressed. It follows the journey of a poppy seed through many places where it would not bloom to the unlikely yet perfect place for it to be planted. Just like in interracial adoptions, a child might feel transplanted into a different culture, yet it becomes the perfect place for that child to bloom.

Andrea Nepa wrote the book for her adopted Vietnamese daughter, Leah. Her little girl made the long journey first to the United States and into a new family. Then later, her journey led her down a medical pathway when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Now in remission, Leah blooms.

The story is easy to read with simple words yet resonates an emotionally impacted message for adults ands children about belonging. Read it over and over, and in the words of Mary Englebright- "Bloom where you are planted."

A great story for the hearts of children and especially touching for those children blessed to be adopted.


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