Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Interview with Children's Author Lisa Umina

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
 I am an award-winning author and independent international publisher. I am currently living in Mexico for seven years and have had the opportunity to share my books with audiences around the world.

2. Describe your desk/workspace.
 I am surrounded by positive books. and my favorite pen.

3. Do you have a favorite quote?
How you do anything is how you do everything.

4. What are you currently reading?
 A Little Faith by Mitch Albom

5. What is the best advice you've ever received?
 Believe in yourself and not be scared to take risks.

6. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
 I would love to have coffee my father. He passed away a few years ago and that’s one of favorite things to do.

7. What are your top three favorite books and why?
For One More Day, this book reminds us how important our mothers are in our lives and not to take them for granted.

The Shack, the book was a tear jerker throughout. I love how the author showed the humanization of God, where man meets God and they have a relationship.

The Last Lecture I loved this story because it reminded me to have faith under all circumstances.

8. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
 Green Eggs and Ham. I love books that rhythm I would use my different voices when reading a loud to my parents.

9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
 My most interesting quirk is I write in odd places. I am not the sit down and write at a desk kind of gal.

10. Do you write full-time or part-time?

11. What are your current marketing strategies for the books?
 I am expanding the Milo series into bilingual books to be scheduled to release in Mexico May 2011?

12. Could you share about any current writing projects?
 I am focusing on translating my all books into Spanish.

13. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: Milo Finds His Best Friend

Milo Finds His Best Friend

Author: Lisa Umina

Illustrations by: Chad Thompson

Publisher: Halo Publishing International

Picture  Book

ISBN: 978-1-935268-15-4

Synopsis: Milo looks high and low for a best friend. The story follows Milo in his search for friends with a surprising twist.

My view: This story is adorable, has a smooth rhythm for reading aloud to young children, and has a variety of characters introduced that give very good reasons for being unable to be a best friend. The wonderful twist to the ending is that Milo asks God for answers only to realize the God is the answer. No one ever needs to feel alone as long as they have God. Perfect for young minds.

The story is honest, kind, and respectful. It is a golden opportunity for parents to introduce God to the child and to open the conversation about what beliefs are important to the family. I loved the story and I believe kids need this kind of material at a young age to establish the practice o simply talking to God.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review: Walking With Sophie

Walking With Sophie

Author: Adam Webb

ISBN: 978-1-4610-7697-1

Lazy River Books

Picture Book

Ages 3-10

From the back of the book: Take your child on a special journey, with an enchanting girl. Explore the magic of childhood memories and the imagination that captures each precious moment. Tiptoe into Sophie's world once. Keep her in your heart forever.

My view: This book is just what it says it is...enchanting. But it is so much more. The reader follows Sophie to all her favorite places and you sense the importance of everyday quality time spent with a child. It is not until the end that the reader understands that Sophie is in spirit and what a wonderful way to ease the pain of the loss of a child.

This story is written with simple words and on the surface it has a simple concept following a child to all her favorite places. The after affect and take away value of this story is enormous. Any adult reading the story with their child will come away with a renewed sense of the importance of everyday things and the quality time your child deserves. The story is a gentle reminder that you only have today, not sure of tomorrow, and to make every moment memorable.

This enchanting story also can be used as a stepping stone to open conversations about life after death. The story is so warm, loving, and enchanting that it erases the negativity associated with talking about death. As a nurse who has cared for children who are terminal, this book would be such a blessing for both parent and child going through this trial.

I give the book 5 stars. This book is a must have for anyone who collects children's books. I can only hope that author, Adam Webb, will be writing more of these enchanting books about meaningful life experiences for children.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meet Children's Author Steve Cormey

Get to know more about Children's author Steve Cormey and Illustrator Ronda Eden
This is the book cover: doesn't it look fun.

 Author Steve Corney has an impressive background. Illustrator Ronda Eden also has fun facts she shares here in her biography.

Meet Children's Author Steve Cormey

Third generation Coloradan, Steve Cormey has entertained the people of Grand County and Colorado for over thirty years. An award winning songwriter, he has written, produced and released six very successful CDs while playing an always full schedule of live performances.

His background in Folk ,bluegrass, rock and traditional music is evident whether live or on CD. Colorado Blue, Somewhere with a Beach, Never Summer..forever home, Walking Stick and the all solo-acoustic Pure & Simple CDs offer a potpourri of musical styles, and his Old Fashioned Christmas is a Yule Tide favorite. Steve’s live performances show off a talented mix of danceable music, humor and fun!

Steve makes his home in Grand County, Colorado. Although he has entertained in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and around the country, you can usually catch his act in the shadows of the Never Summer Mountains of Colorado.

Ronda Eden was born in Adelaide, South Australia and spent her childhood dreaming about horses. She’s spent most of her adult life wandering around in a state of confusion over what she really wanted to do and now, middle-aged, she’s living her childhood dream. Ronda’s been a factory worker, Chinese cook’s assistant, pharmacy assistant, teacher, storyteller, writer, waitress, bartender, dishwasher, cleaner, touring art curator, gallery owner, horse trainer and artist A.O.T. (Among Other Things).

Ronda’s hobbies include the joy of hiking, climbing, wind surfing, belly dancing, jogging, traveling, swimming, daydreaming, listening to music and of course, horse riding. Apart from the later, none of these activities get much of her attention these days. Especially travel! Ronda loves it right where she is, doing exactly what she is doing. Ya’see, Ronda lives in Laramie, Wyoming with her husband Mernie and together they run a horse boarding operation with 60 horses, 2 mules, a miniature donkey and a tough, bad boy tomcat. Ronda still manages to be an artist A.O.T (Among Other Things) in between feeding, riding and shoveling poop, but the horses come first. She does travel during the summers, but a couple of the horses go with her and together they cover hundreds of miles on the endurance trails of the Mountain Region. Ronda plans to be hoisting her creaky ole body onto a horse and riding high well into her old age!

Happy Trails to you, Ronda Eden aka Ronnie Roo.

Ronda Eden’s Websites:

 Follow along as they share articles on writing, read book reviews, interviews and much more.


Monday, May 2, 2011

R is for Revision...Can You Do It?

R is for revision. This is a tough one. Part of your heart and soul are on the written page as you place each word down in the first draft. It is difficult for beginning writers to go back and cut words, rewrite scenes, or delete characters that don't help the story.

Revision can also be the most rewarding part of the writing process. It is satisfying to cut empty words with little action and to change the scene with tighter writing that moves the story along. Crisp clear writing with specific action words that draw the reader into the story is a skill that can be learned with practice.

Tips for revising your work.

  • Cut the fat- delete any words that don't add to the story and replace those words with strong action words and specific nouns that don't need extra description or adjectives
  • Use simple sentences and avoid run on sentences that loose the reader
  • Take advantage of dialog to move the story along
  • Read your work out loud to get the feel for the sentence flow. Cut out or change what doesn't sound natural.
  • Put your work away for a few days or even a few weeks. Read it again and be open to revisions a second, third, or fourth time until you have clean crisp text that says exactly what you want it to say.
Revising your work may not be the easiest part of writing because it requires persistence, patience, even some research to get the details and just the right words. I promise you it is worth the time and attention you give it. A finished piece that has been revised and polished is ready for submitting which makes you available to start the next project. Remember, revising is part of the writer's life. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

SFC Blog: Families Matter: The Legend of Zelda series has sold well over 59 m...

SFC Blog: Families Matter: The Legend of Zelda series has sold well over 59 m...: "The Legend of Zelda series has sold well over 59 million copies since the release of the first game. Attn: Parents and music and ocarina..."

Q is for Query


Q is for Query. Why is it that  the query is such a puzzle for most beginning writers? It is an important piece of the publishing process and is a skill that can be mastered. Here are a few tips for the perfect query:

  • Keep it simple and direct- give just enough information to interest the editor but do not give your life story.
  • Clearly state the main character and conflict,  purpose of the book, or problem that the book will solve depending on if it is nonfiction or fiction.
  • Don't give the entire synopsis or list every twist and turn of the story. Leave the editor with a sense of wanting to read more
  • Pose an interesting question or two with the promise of answers in the manuscript.
  • Be professional at all times, respectful, and polite.
  • Spelling and typing should be polished. No room for error in the query.
The query is your first impression with this editor. Make it  impressive. It doesn't promise a publishing contract however a poorly written query most certainly does promise a rejection.


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