Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: Sparrow Alone on the Housetop

Sparrow Alone on the Housetop

Authors: Jean James and Mary James

Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC


YA/Adult Christian Fiction/

Sparrow Alone on the Housetop is the new release by authors Jean James and Mary James. It is a fast moving story about family, evil vs. good, and what happens when people with big money and power get greedy. It is the story of the good girl and her evil father. Does a good heart win over greed and money?

Anne Sumner has a heart for the mission field. Leaving her money and family name behind she sets out to improve the life for the poverty stricken in Mexico. At the same time, her powerful and greedy father uses money and corruption to almost destroy both the people that Anne was serving as well as his own family.

The authors do a wonderful job of creating emotional characters that resonate with the reader. Readers will find themselves loving and hating the characters and what they have done. Dialogue, details, emotions, and the real life characteristics of love, greed, and ambition bring the reader into the story from the beginning until the very end. Those who have a greedy or evil family member will relate to how difficult it is to love yet hate someone you should be able to trust and what this does to family relationships.

This story has it all, mystery, suspense, love, death, hate, and forgiveness. The reader will not be disappointed.

Check out the publishers website for more information at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: Missing in Mexico by Author Stuart Gustafson

Missing in Mexico

Author: Travel expert Stuart Gustafson

ISBN: 978-0-9771727-2-6

245 pages

January 2011

This is a fictional story about 19 year old Sarah who neglects to board her plane after a family vacation in Mexico. The story leads the reader through the process of the private investigator hired to find the young woman.

The author does a great job of weaving both mystery and suspense with the culture of Mexico with language and details in every chapter. Details include characteristics of Sarah throughout different stages of her youth that foreshadow some of the conclusions the author plants for the reader. The result is a reader that is hooked and wants to keep reading to the end.

Writers interested in both travel and suspense will do well to read this author's work. Mr. Gustafson shows great talent in bringing the reader into the story with details, dialog, and setting. He includes interesting facts about places and highlights of the area which brings life to the story and makes the reader feel like they are there on the page.

The most important thing the author does to keep the reader interested is to have created characters that one likes and wishes the best for. The reader turns page after page to make certain that this seemingly sweet young girl has not met with foul play, a fact that is not revealed until the very end.

If mystery and suspense is your favorite, then this should be included on your reading list this fall. Check out more about this author at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

book Review: Alaska's 12 Days of Summer

Alaska's 12 Days of Summer

Author: Pat Chamberlin-Calamar

Illustrator: Shannon Cartwright

Publisher: Sasquatch Books-2003

ISBN: 1-57061-341-9

When I travel, I try to bring back a children's book from wherever I visit. In Alaska I picked up a delightful children's picture book telling the story of the animals of the area.

Alaska's 12 Days of Summer by Pat Chamberlin-Calamar is a unique example of a wonderful story, a lesson in counting, and true facts about some of the animals that any teacher would appreciate all tightly woven into a good book.

The story counts one day of summer all the way to 12 days of summer adding one bear, two moose, three bald eagles... well you get the idea. There are caribou, cranes, wolves, grizzlies, frogs, and swans to name a few more of the delightful and interesting animals children will find in Alaska. And the best part is not only does the reader find a great counting tale, each page gives some wonderful and little known facts about the animals being counted. It even includes the lyrics and music on the back page for those who may read music or play the piano.

What a great addition to a classroom? This book is a keeper. And who doesn't like bears?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering September 11th, A Tribute Through Art



Foreword by Christy Ferer

Introduction by Alice M. Greenwald

"At least the Twin Towers have each other and could say their

last words. I would hope I could tell anyone I knew how much I cared."

— NYU Child Study Center participant, 12 years old

All of us were affected by the events of September 11th, but it was the youngest generation who was affected most of all. The innocence so profoundly disrupted that day is nowhere better demonstrated than in the drawings created shortly after the attacks by thousands of children. In their straightforward depictions, these works, both heartbreaking and heartwarming are testaments to the human instinct to bear witness, provide comfort, and attempt to make sense out of the unthinkable.

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11th, Assouline is honored to present a collection of these drawings in Art for Heart: Remembering 9/11. This exquisite tome includes selections of artwork and messages from the New York University Child Study Center, the Art for Heart Program of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Dear Hero and Notes of Hope collections, which have been acquired by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The book's proceeds are graciously provided to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a not-for-profit corporation created to oversee design, raise funds, and operate the Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site. The Memorial, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, will remember and honor the thousands of people who died in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. For more information on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum:

About the Authors:

Christy Ferer is an Emmy Award-winning political news reporter and anchor, who began her career in St. Louis before moving to New York as a lifestyle contributor to the network morning news shows. She founded Vidicom, a media services company, and Citybuzz, the nation’s first television visitors’ network, in 1982. She currently serves as a special assistant to Mayor Bloomberg on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks. Ferer worked as commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for five years, is Chairman of Development for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan and currently serves on the Board of the Jacob Javits Center, the 92nd Street Y, Global Green and American Corporate Partners.

Alice M. Greenwald is Executive Vice President for Programs and Director of the Memorial Museum at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. She previously served as Associate Museum Director for museum programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Executive Director of the National Museum of American Jewish History, and curator of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Skirball Museum.


ASSOULINE was chosen by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to create Art for Heart: Remembering 9/11 for their highly original graphic concept. ASSOULINE books and luxury gift items are works of art that capture culture and bring it to life. The spirit and savoir-faire of the company have contributed to the creation of a unique and eclectic, chic and elegant brand that is immediately identifiable. ASSOULINE has published over one thousand titles across international markets on subjects including fashion, art, architecture and design, gastronomy, photography, travel, and viticulture.

ASSOULINE books have been translated into more than ten languages and are distributed in the most exclusive retail destinations worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Sotheby’s, and Harvey Nichols, Dubai. ASSOULINE Boutique locations include Paris; ASSOULINE at The Plaza Hotel in New York City; ASSOULINE at Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas; ASSOULINE Books, Gifts & Gallery at South Coast Plaza; ASSOULINE Istanbul; and most recently, ASSOULINE at Liberty in London.

Art for Heart: Remembering 9/11 is available for purchase at ASSOULINE Boutiques worldwide and through and

7 ½ x 10 ¾ inches / 18.5 x 27 cm – 144 pages – 72 illustrations – hardcover ISBN: 9781614280323 – $35

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab- The Chronicles of the Stone: Book One

Author: Fiona Ingram

iUniverse Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-595-45716-8

Grades 4-6

Chapter Book

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is the first book in an adventure series. Cousins Justin and Adam travel with their aunt and grandmother to Egypt. They are both interested in finding adventure and in experiencing new things but they had no idea this trip would be a series of mysterious events.

The boys and their aunt were familiar with an archaeologist by the name of James Kinnaind and his work in Egypt. It becomes more fascinating to the boys when they discover that Mr. Kinnaind is missing. It becomes even more intriguing when the boys are given a scarab from a peddler and then get followed, vandalized, and targeted by unknown assailants.

The boys have more adventure and mystery than they could possibly imagine but they stick together and use courage and wit to solve the mystery of the missing scarab. They also aid in finding the missing archaeologist. Their vacation to Egypt turns into a dream of a lifetime and a personal growth opportunity for both Justin and Adam.

This book has just enough details about Egypt to be helpful to 4-6th grade students learning about ancient Egypt and enough adventure to keep the students reading for fun and entertainment. This is a great story and I believe kids will be anxious to read the series. I wouldn't be surprised to see this turn into a movie someday. It has all the excitement and mystery that kids will love. The author has done a great job keeping the reader hooked until the very end and those who want to write for this age group will do well to read and study Ms. Ingram.

Visit the next stop on the World of Ink tour at

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alaska is BEAUTIFUL....

Inside Passage in Alaska.. view from our veranda on our cruise ship.
Alaska left me speechless. As a writer I had difficulty finding the words to describe the beauty of the untouched lands. I have dozens of story ideas but will need to find the dictionary to find better words than beauty, untouched, nature, surreal, etc. It was just breath-taking. We saw a couple of bear, pods of whale, sea lions, seals, and more bald eagles than you can shake a stick at. Glaciers, mountains, 1200 year old spruce trees, hemlocks, pines, and too many types to count, rain forests, suspension bridges, and experienced the 1860's gold rush first hand.

In this wonderful world we live, I just can't imagine running out of ideas to write about. What I can imagine is becoming so overwhelmed with ideas, daily life, family life, bills, budgets, and bad days to put writing on a back burner SO my writing goal beginning in September is to reset my goals, re-commit to my writing dream, and to write like the wind.

Yikes, it is September...... Alaska stay in my heart as I write with a fresh outlook on my dream.


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