Friday, December 30, 2011

January Giveaways in exchange for reviews

I was going to post this on LibraryThing but it wouldn't let me post, so I'm going to post as a blog on both my blogs. I will start taking requests January 2. I hope that all the librarians and teachers out there will take advantage of this.

I have six titles in my state series available for review as well as three other titles available. I will offer 100 copies of each title in exchange for reviews.

The state series is geared for 3rd through 5th grade level, would make a great supplement to a US History social studies curriculum or an individual state social studies. Each book comes with its own study guide which supplements the book and should not be used without first reading the book or it makes no sense. The books are written like a handheld game that gives the kids clues (facts and trivia) about a state and the readers and characters have to guess the state being described. Each book is one state and all the clues will pertain to that specific state. There are bonus clues highlighting one of five US territories (Washington DC, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and US Samoan Islands) as well as discussion questions. The study guide takes some of the clues in the book and turns them into deeper discussion questions or research projects, either a science project or map/math skills project or social studies project or ELA project, and then there are bonus things like secret message puzzles (state motto is the secret message), a craft idea (based on clues but not in every study guide - only as the clues are fitting), and a trivia game that is designed to show that the students or child read the book.

Titles available are State of Wilderness (ID), State of Quarries (AR), State of Reservations (OK), State of Successes (SC), State of Heights (CO), and State of Nature (WY). I will send a PDF file to the 100 persons requesting any of the titles available. You can request more than one.

My other titles include Finally Home (a YA paranormal mystery), The Proposal (an April Fools Day Story, a humorous romance ebook), and The Tulip Kiss (a paranormal romance). Available in January will be Bride-and-Seek (a paranormal romance ebook) and Butterfly Halves (a YA fantasy ebook). Again, I will take 100 requests for the three titles available in exchange for reviews. Please email me at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com with the "free books in exchange for reviews" in the subject line. In the body of the email, please list the titles you are requesting or all titles if you would like all nine available right now.

This promotion will be valid for the month of January only. Once the 100 requests per title have been met, no other requests will be taken. I will also have available the next two short stories (hopefully) by the end of the month and if you request those ("Bride-and-Seek" and "Butterfly Halves") and they are not available at the time of the request, as soon as they are available, I will send you the file - Ma America & the JGDS

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
"The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
"The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal mystery ebook
"Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal mystery ebook (coming in Janaury)
"Butterfly Halves", a YA fantasy ebook (coming in January)
Elysabeth's other blog
Elysabeth's non-JGDS writing website

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series and "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story and predecessor to the JGDS, state series)
Where will the adventure take you next?
JGDS blog
JGDS website

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christ is born. Ma America and the JGDS wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May you be blessed no matter which event you celebrate. We will return after the first of the year with new books and contests. If you are traveling, may you have a safe journey. Keep an eye on my other blog for updates on other writings and some possible contests coming up. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Congrats to Karen

I forgot to do my random draw Saturday for the dilemma question I posed last week. This morning I pulled up, put in the perimeters of 1 and 5 and the lucky number picked was 3, which is Karen. She was the third person to respond on the question. So congratulations to Karen for winning a copy of one of the state books. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fiction vs Nonfiction Dilemma followup

I sent an email to the librarian who does the cataloging in our local library asking her about classifying the books as fiction versus nonfiction as she has them catalogued. Her answer, though a bit surprising to me since I was not familiar with really how books were shelved in libraries, was very helpful.

She said I could share her reply with all of you since I had posted this asa dilemma question to everyone. In essence, shelving books is a subjective and depends on how the librarian feels the books should be shelved. There are about as many ways to classify a book as there are books out there. So, here is her reply:

My first email to her:

Hey Susan,

I see that you have my books listed as nonfiction. This is incorrect. I publish them as fiction since the storyline is fictional characters playing a fictational game that is giving them factual clues. I would appreciate it if you could fix this.
(I also had some other concerns in the email that affect only the listings in the local library, so will not bother posting that info.)

Susan Manalli replies:

Hi, Elysabeth,

We do appreciate your gift of your clever and educational books to the ACL system, and I, for one, am convinced that children will find them delightful. Your goal of covering all 50 states and, at the same time, make learning fun, is commendable.

As for your concerns: with all due respect, you view your creations as fiction, but if you ever study the Dewey Decimal System you would see that all of fiction is really 813 (American fiction in English), but because the section becomes so large, convention has it pulled out of the 800’s (Literature), dropped the number, and put it into a section all its own called Fiction.

There are multitudinous areas within nonfiction that deal with fictionalized subjects. Consider mythology, short stories, nursery rhymes, poetry, cosmology, etc. There are even fictional Manga characters teaching algebra as a graphic story. So, although your characters are fictional, the content requires it to be NF because its main concentration is an adventure/mystery game on information, trivia, geography, and history of a state, and that is considered NF. 793.93. You state it yourself: “factual clues.”

I recall that at the beginning you were most insistent that the state not be mentioned in the subject tracings, and so I acquiesced. With this particular wish of yours in mind at that time, Donna Long, the ACL Head of Childrens, and I spoke about it, and decided not to catalog them by the state, but that 793.93 would be the most appropriate for our system to keep them on the shelf in an area where children find all sorts of literature trivia games, etc. In a more recent email, you said you didn’t mind if I now put the state in as a subject for each book. I have not yet have time to do so, but it would immensely help students who are studying a particular state find them.

A library can classify it as it chooses for their collection. Who knows but that that eventually Donna might decide to move them into the individual states classification, which would make the SC book 975.7, a Montana book 978.6, etc., because any local library system cataloger can decide, within the rules of the Dewey system and the intellectual content of the book, what to assign as a classification number so as to be the most accessible to the system’s patrons and be the most appropriate for the local system. Other libraries and other vendors can catalog them as they chose.

(more info on the second issue not necessary to this dilemma of classifying my books as fiction or nonfiction)

My reply:

This helps tremendously as I had posted this question on my blog for teachers and librarians to respond to and the general consensus was that the books were fiction with state facts and they were similar to The Magic Treehouse books - fictional characters exploring real history or events that have occurred or they have even likened them to Historical Fiction - again using the real history but fictional characters and the author's creative licensure to embellish on the actual facts or real persons used in the books.

Do you mind if I post part of your response on my blog as an answer to my posting? I guess not being a librarian and not really knowing how you all catalog books it has put me in a different mindset.

When I publish them, should I change the books to nonfiction to be consistent with your classifications? The other two libraries that I know have copies of some of the books also have them classified as nonfiction and here I was listing them as fiction and selling them as fiction. This may help more librarians along the way. (just to let you know the other two libraries have the copies in the 910 and 913 numbers, so from your explanation, they are in the state section but not by individual states?) - anyway - I just need all the classifications to be consistent because whatever I list them as on createspace is how they get processed in the listings for Baker & Taylor and Ingrams and createspace's distribution -
(some other information concerning "publisher listing" - not necessary for this posting)

Susan replies again, clarifying the dilemma even more:

Hi, Elysabeth,
Feel free to quote my response!

Are you required to provide a specific Dewey classification on your postings with vendors? Can you provide several suggested Dewey numbers?

These are general possibilities for your books:
793.93 [Mystery games]
910 [Geography and travel]
913 [Geography of and travel in specific continents, countries, localities]
Each state in the 970s has its own Dewey number, which places it first in a US region and then provides a number for the state after the decimal. Attached is a Word document (I've printed it out and the states go from 976.1 - Alabama through 978.7 - Wyoming, and everything in between those numbers) of the states with their Dewey numbers which may be of some help to you. Of course these would all have subjects subdivided as “Juvenile literature.”

I did send Susan one more reply to which she responded but not directly answering my questions:

When I publish the books, I have to classify them from a drop down menu - fiction, nonfiction, et cetera and then each of those categories has subcategories - I try to put them out as far as I can to make sure that all bases are covered. I don't know how libraries and schools place orders for books and that is where my concern is. If they order from Baker & Taylor or Ingrams when they go looking for my stories, they are right now listed under fiction, children's, mystery & detectives and I add other tags - geography, games and puzzles, et cetera -

If the libraries who actually have copies on hand are listing them as nonfiction therein lies my dilemma - either I'm misclassifying my books or the libraries are. But since receiving your explanation, I feel maybe it is on my shoulders to make sure that I list them in the correct place. I don't want any confusion - lol. Now I know a little bit more about the Dewey classification, that also helps. I will post these two email explanations on my blog - - giving credit to you and will share with other librarians and teachers on my social network so that we all will be on the same page. I'm doing a presentation at the SCASL conference in March and this may be my new presentation - classifying books such as mine. I guess there is no definite way to shelf books like mine, and that it is a subjective thing - each will put them on the shelf where they feel best suited? - You really have given me a good bit of helpful information. I appreciate it and I'll double check my print copies to make sure they have the line that says published by Elysabeth Eldering with the correct listing so that I can get those to Cheryl for ya'll to have copies that reflect that 4RV is no longer the publisher of the books (except the copies of State of Wilderness, State of Quarries and State of Reservations you have - those are published by 4RV with State of Wilderness having been republished since it went out of contract, so there is a second printing of that out - new cover, new illustrations, et cetera). Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to me why the books are classified as they are in the three different libraries - E :)

To which Susan sent this very brief answer:

My pleasure, Elysabeth. That’s why, although I have a Masters in Library Science MA/LS, it is from the Liberal Arts Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cataloging is not just a science; it is an art.

Susan Manalli, Head of Technical Services
Anderson County Library
300 N. McDuffie Street
Anderson, SC 29621
864-260-4500 ext. 169

Susan and I were on the spelling bee team together this past March, which I hope to be able to participate on again this coming March. I've enjoyed it and Susan is very knowledgeable and someone I feel I can take these questions to.

So, now, how do you all feel about the ways my books are being classified in the different libraries that have them on their shelves? E :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fiction versus nonfiction dilemma

Here is a question and problem for all you librarians out there. My state books are now listed in three libraries, two in South Carolina (Anderson County and Pickens County) and one in Georgia (Live Oaks Library system in Savannah).

When I publish my books and I have to categorize them, I choose Juvenile fiction/mysteries and detective stories. The characters are fictional, the storyline of them playing the game is fictional but the clues given by the game are factual (the facts and trivia leading to the characters guessing the state).

I checked the library listings and all three are saying the books are nonfiction. Savannah Library has my books in the 910 section; Pickens has my book in the 917 section and Anderson Library has me in the J 793 section.

So now my dilemma comes as to who is correct in classifying the books. Are they really nonfiction because they contain facts about the states or are the fiction because the storyline is fictional? Which section do they really belong in? 790s, 910 or 913? Is categorizing per each individual library system or is there a rhyme and reason for the way the books get shelved?

I know there is a term for the type of books my state stories are and that is "faction" (a book that is part fiction and part fact) but there isn't a category in the publishing industry for these types of books nor is there is a library shelf dedicated to faction books that I'm aware of. So where does the Junior Geography Detective Squad fit in?

I'd appreciate all my librarian and teacher friends out there to leave a comment on this subject, so for the week ending next Saturday, December 17, I will have a drawing for a copy of one of the six states completed and published to all who leave a comment. For every 25 persons commenting, a drawing will be done for a copy of one of the books. That means that if 50 of you comment, I'll do two drawings; 75 comments three drawings, et cetera. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic. - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Afghan Drawing

Congratulations to Karen S. from Davidson, NC for winning the afghan. The afghan will either be mailed out tomorrow or next week when I get paid. Hope you enjoy your lap throw, Karen. - Mrs. E :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Afghan drawing reminder

Just reminding everyone who has purchased any of the state books since the end of May through next Tuesday that the drawing will be on December 1. If you met me at any events and were going to check the books out on my website, you still have a few days to place your order. So far, I have 20 entries. Good luck to everyone entered.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Savannah Children's Book Festival

The day started a bit rough with being woke up by either a TV or radio at about 5:30 but once that got taken care of the rest of the day was gorgeous. Many kids at the book festival today; I probably handed out 250 bookmarks today - so yay me. I did sell four state books (I think I sold three of Successes and 1 of Wilderness), one of my YA paranormal mystery and 42 bookworms - yes I started with 59 and ended with 17 - totally was so worth making up those bookmarks. I had started with 72 Wednesday morning and in just three days - sold almost out. I took Benjamin out for supper and we went to the movies tonight (I saw Happy Feet Two; Benjamin saw In Time) and afterwards stopped by Walmart to pick up some more yarn - couldn't find the colors I had used for winter previously, so that will be changed and I wasn't really liking what I had started with for spring so got something different for spring. I'll post those changes when I've made some new bookworms. All in all, a good weekend - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Largo-Tibet Elementary School visit

I'm in Savannah for the Savannah Children's book festival this weekend. This morning I had a school visit with seven, yes you read that correctly, seven, third grade classes at Largo-Tibet (thankfully the librarian divided them into 2 groups - 4 classes for the first hour and 3 classes the second hour). I read them my story - Train of Clues - and they had a great time trying to figure out where the train ended up. In the first group, I think a couple of them guessed or got close - I did get them to say a Mountain or that mountain with faces on it. The second group had a bit harder time guessing but they did get close as well. They all were like, "Yeah, that's what I was thinking" when I told them it was Mt. Rushmore. Benjamin took pictures but since I'm at the hotel, I can't upload them to the computer, so they will have to wait until I return home Sunday. Overall, I think the school visit was a success. I hope a good many of the kids show up tomorrow. I actually had one of the students ask me if I would be selling my YA tomorrow and he said he was definitely going to get a copy.

They all loved the fact that my illustrator, Heather, was only 17 and that she wants to work for Disney/Pixar. So maybe we have some future illustrators come out of the group of kids. Heather, you may have been an inspiration without being here -lol. Good job - see you all tomorrow in the postings after the event. Hoping to see lots of kids and lots of sales tomorrow. (I hope that the librarian will add my state books to her library collection although I couldn't sell anything to the school today but did let her know that my books are all available through B&T which is where most schools order their books from so she might check into it at least.)

See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GIS Day and the Scavanger Hunt

We were asked to participate in a scavanger hunt for GIS day - We had to provide questions for the kids to find the answers to - My questions were - Find Ma America. Who is she? What does she do? The kids had to find my table and then ask the questions and interact with me or read my signage to get who I am and what I do sort of - Author wasn't all it was - they had to tell what kind of books I wrote as well. Anyway - to reward them for finding me, I gave them all a bookmark (my printed series bookmarks) and their choice of an Idaho pin (the little potato pins I received when I first started the series) or a Minnesota bookmark. Most chose the Idaho pin, but a few did select the bookmark.

I must have talked to 100 kids and teachers throughout the day; they ranged in groups from 3rd grade to high school seniors. Plus, I had a few adults just come to my table and show a serious interest in my books. The biggest problem I have with sales right now is that I have a Square (to take credit cards) but no device to use the Square with (need an ipod touch, ipad, iphone, smartphone, or any other device that can download the app for the Square, which I can't afford right now). I'm guess if I had had the ability to take credit cards today I would have probably sold several copies of books. I do hope that the folks who showed an interest will place their orders tonight or tomorrow morning so I can put their books in the mail before heading to Savannah tomorrow. I really need some book sales tonight to help fund the trip to Savannah - what with taking a $31.70 loss today (had to pay for parking - $16, had to purchase some snacks - $2.75; had to purchase a late lunch/early dinner on my way home - $6.55; and had to put some gas in the van before getting home - $20; and only selling 13 bookworms - $10.50) - hurts big time.

I'm glad for the opportunity to get my name out there and hope in the future that things work out like they should so I'm not stressed out about upcoming events and how to pay for them. I hope to do GIS day again next year - we shall see - Ma America & the JGDS - :)

Geography Awareness Week - GIS Day 2011

Today, I'm in Charlotte doing presentations to teachers and students to help bring the JGDS series and geography awareness together. If you are in the Charlotte, NC area stop by and say hello. For more information, check out the GIS Day page.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week

Today is the official start of GAweek - the theme this year is "adventure in your community." What are you doing around your community to become more aware of the geography around you? Are you exploring? Taking any of the challenges I've posted? Joined any geography type groups?

This week, Ma America & the JGDS will be exploring the geography of other areas, outside of the immediate community. Wednesday, they will be traveling to Charlotte, NC, for GIS day (posting to follow on GIS day on Wednesday). The word is that there will be about 200 to 300 students participating in the activities for GIS Day; we can only hope to have a few of those teachers buy a couple of books and bookworms throughout the day. Thursday, we are heading to Savannah for the Children's Book Festival and there are several other authors Ms. Elysabeth had recommended who will be there, some old acquaintances and some new ones. Ma America will make an appearance at Largo-Tibet Elementary School and will do a reading of her book, Train of Clues, to seven, yes you read the correctly, seven 3rd grade classes. The group will be split into two groups so as not to be overwhelming all at once. If regular work isn't too overwhelming after the school visit, Ma America is hoping to be able to explore Savannah a bit as this will be her third year there and she has yet to do any sightseeing.

So, what adventure is going on in your community for GAweek? How about telling us about some of them here - see you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bookworms 3

I was in Walmart again today and picked up my yarn for the spring bookworms. I also liked the one that is labeled "primary" so picked up a skein of that. My autumn colored ones sold well last Friday at the teachers' conference so I picked up one more skein of that color and was going to get another one of the Christmas colors but they were sold out. Anyway, here are my spring and primary colored bookworms:

Spring bookworm

primary bookworm

I do like how the spring one is really the pastel looking colors and does remind me of springtime. I don't know why I like the primary colored one so much but I do. So what do you all think? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know.

All six choices side by side - :)

See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Saturday, November 5, 2011

SCISA Teachers' Conference

The day started at 5 in the morning. It wasn't raining or anything but felt like a Friday the 13th once getting to Columbia. Thursday evening, Ms. Barbara, a member of the local Sisters in Crime group, had written a check for two copies of Finally Home for her granddaughters and some bookworms she had purchased; she banks at Bank of America. I knew I wouldn't be able to cash the check at my bank since I would already be in Columbia by the time the bank opened. I decided to cash the check in Columbia at a Bank of America because I knew I needed to stop at Walmart and pick up a few items for my workshop. We got to Columbia about 10 minutes before 8 and found the Bank of America (which happened to be almost across the street from Walmart) and was going to sit in the drivethru until they opened (the thinking being that since my bank opens at 8 AM so would this one). The drivethru didn't open until 8:30. So we headed over to Walmart and got the items we needed. I went back to the bank about 8:25 to wait in line. I finally get to the window and then they tell me that I have to come inside because they need to fingerprint me since I don't have an account with them; well, how fun the inside doesn't open until 9 AM (now I'm supposed to be at the conference about 8:30 so I could set up and help my friend Shelley while she did her workshop). So naturally I sat in the parking lot waiting for the inside to open. That said and done, I went back to Walmart and made my purchases and then headed to the school. It was a bit drizzly on the way over to the school, but we made it about 9:30 and got the table set up. Had a few teachers walk by the table and pick up bookmarks and sold 7 bookworm bookmarks.

About 11:15 I headed to the building where my workshop was and had a few teachers waiting for me - lol I wasn't late really but just had to walk a mile to get from the gym to the multipurpose room (okay not that far but it felt like it) and they were early. In all, I had 7 teachers come in for the workshop. I hope they took away enough information to help them with the writing process that they can help their students. They all enjoyed the make-and-take and playing my Road Trip game. Those teachers were as competitive as the students who have participated in my workshops and played the game. After the workshop, we basically had to head home. No time for workshop attendees to do any shopping (that was a bit disappointing as I got back to the gym and I was basically the last one still set up - lol). No one bought any books but I'm hoping that enough people picked up my bookmarks and have information to take back to their schools that their social studies or ELA or other teachers can use the information.

On the way home, we decided we needed lunch as we hadn't eaten anything but a banana which I grabbed off the refreshments table when I walked through the building after parking the car. I called my finance guy to find out about the van I had looked at Thursday (found out on Wednssday that daughter just got a job and with her in classes in the mornings and now starting a second shift job I knew I had to seriously look at vehicles and get something by the middle of the week coming up). I had gone to a car place last Friday (the 28th of October after having my eyes dilated) and they were trying to get me in a PT Cruiser - not really what I wanted and my finance guy couldn't get it approved because they weren't willing to take what he could pay on the vehicle. So anyway, I had looked online at a couple of places in our small town and found a Kia Sedonia EX van at one of the places. After receiving the text from my daughter Wednesday about her getting this job, I went Thursday before the Sisters in Crime meeting to test drive the van. I loved it. I contacted my finance guy and set the wheels in motion. I called Friday on our way out of Columbia and he said everything seemed to be a go - yay! I had a van and I was on my way to get it as soon as I got back in town. I had to call the insurance company and get the insurance put on the van and all but I didn't tell them to fax the proof of insurance to the finance guy so by time I got back in town and got te van and got over to the finance place, the insurance place was closed. Sad thing was that the finance guy called the car place and told them the situation and he said I had to bring the van back until I could proceed with the paperwork Monday - wahhhh :(( - I didn't get to bring my van home yesterday. I totally wanted to cry. But not to fret, Dennis has assured me that the van is mine but it's a matter of getting the proof of insurance and filling out the paperwork first thing Monday morning. So the good news even after the harrowing day I had is that I get a new van and it's all me - no one had to cosign for me, no one had to put their name on the van but me - first vehicle I've ever had that I can actually call my own.

Monday will be here soon enough and I will be driving my new van and not be carless any more. The last couple of months of not being able to run errands during the day and having to wait for my daughter to get home from classes have been weird for me. You'd think that with me working at home that I wouldn't really miss the car during the day but it's the whole idea of not being able to go anywhere and if an emergency happened at the school not being able to get my son or just running to the grocery store when I wanted something to munch on that bothered me the most. I'm very dependent on having transportation for anything and have felt the helplessness the past couple of months. Now I will no longer feel that way - so yay!!!! - new vehicle coming to my house Monday - lol.

See you all in the postings and keep your chin up and happy writing - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

10 Ways to increase your "GQ" (geo-literacy quotient)

1. Bring the world into your home.
Do you own a globe, maps or world atlas and use them to look up places in the news? Check out the mapmaker kits from National Geographic Education.

2. Check your family's knowledge.
Test your family's global knowledge. Do you and your family know the fundamentals of geography from the local to the global? Find games and activities here that teach about the world.

3. Know what's going on.
Do you and your family watch news programs, listen to news radio, and read the newspaper? Don't forget to check the new kid-friendly web sites like BBC Newsround, Time for Kids, and National Geographic Kids News. Talk about what's going on - not just in your community but also in your state, your country, and all around the world.

4. Get out there.
Have you tried EarthCaching or geocaching? They are great outside activities. Visit new places - nearby towns, different neighborhooods, local and ntional museum exhibits, and other countries - on day trips, weekends, or vacations. Learn more here.

5. Understand your own community.
Everything is connected. Make it a family mission to know your community - why it's where it is, how it was settled, who lives there now and its connections to the world through business, arts, music, technology and sports.

6. Know where things come from.
What are the global connections in the food your family eats, the clothes you wear, the games you play and the music you listen to? Make a map that shows your interactions with the world every time you eat or get dressed.

7. Broaden your family's horizons.
Courses, research projects, and extracurricular activities expand kids' understanding of their world - as do books, magazines, videos, and games that feed their natural curiosity.

8. Support your schools.
Does your school have what it needs to teach about the world? does it offer geography courses? Does it have up-to-date maps, globes, atlases, and software? Find your local school or parents' organization and get involved. Start a geography club and celebrate Geography Awareness Week!

9. Spread the word.
Contact your state's members of Congress by sending a letter here asking them to support legislation that would fund efforts to improve geography education nationwide.

10. Sign up for National Geographic Education Compass e-newsletters. (Family or Teacher edition)
You'll get helpful tips, the latest news, links to great resources and fun gamves, information about contests and offers, and much mure. Sign up here - and discover the power of global knowledge.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bookworms 2

I went to Walmart today and picked up some more yarn for bookmarks. I couldn't find exactly what I would call "winter" but maybe a varigated color called "Shaded dusk" will work for the winter bookworms. I also picked up the Christmas colors called "mistletoe". To order bookworms, please visit my website and click on the gift page. I've got one more to add to the collection and that will be the "spring" one which I think I'm either going with the yarn called "primary" or "bikini" - those were the most spring like colors to me. I will probably pick that up tomorrow, if I sell a couple more books when I pick up my new car.

Do you think this looks like winter colors? Leave a comment and let me know -

Here is the Christmas colors bookworm:

Hope you all like them - please leave a comment and let me know what you think. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Monday, October 24, 2011


I found some red/white/blue varigated yarn at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and started making some different items. I had found a pattern years ago for a crocheted bookworm. I searched and found the pattern again. While in Walmart with the girl Friday I found this autumn looking colors of varigated yarn and picked up a skein. I made a few bookworms (4) Friday night and put them on the table Saturday morning and sold 3 of them. I also had to make up at least 1 of the red/white/blue because the previously done ones had been sent to Mr. Hughes' class for a prize for a contest I had run for the kids.

Upon returning home, I got to thinking, now would be the time to snatch up some Christmas varigated yarn and make some Christmas bookworms, and then I thought, "Why stop there? why not make some for every season?" There are many varieties of varigated yarn that the possibilities are endless. So when I get a chance, I'll snatch up several skeins of Christmas colors, pastel/Easter/spring colors and more of the autumn colors and keep using my 40% coupons for the red/white/blue skeins to get a supply of that going. I think I'll post the bookworms on my website for teachers to order as gifts for their classes.

Let me know what you think? Do you think teachers would order small gifts like these to give to kids for birthdays, Christmas or other times during the school year? Leave me a note and let me know - Mrs. E :)

Here are an autumn and a red/white/blue colored one:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sugarfoot festival and new banner

This weekend was the Sugarfoot festival, which in the past had been called the Honey Soppin' festival.  There were lots of vendors there this weekend and next year I intend to request a center of the street spot so I can do something differently with my setup since I have a screened tent (I keep referring to it as a screened in porch although there is no flooring; it's a simple screened tent) that opens front and back.  I had an idea after coming home tonight.  If Hailie continues to sell her bows and other hand painted or personalized items on a table, then we would need to utilize both front and back openings so she can have her side and I can have mine; this also means investing in a couple of smaller tables for displays and work areas.  Here are some pictures of my setup from both Friday and Saturday - enjoy - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

One of my two new banners (and I have an idea for my banners at the Savannah Children's book festival so that both my banners will be visible around the park, but don't tell Benjamin)

For other images and non-JGDS related info about the Sugarfoot festival, please visit my other blog - E :)


What is Geo-Literacy?

Geo-literacy is the ability to apply geographic knowledge and skills to make important decisions.

The three components of geo-literacy are:
1. Systems understanding. An understanding of human and environmental systems and human-environment interactions.
2. Geographic reasoning. The ability to reason about location and make connections between places.
3. Systemic decision-making. The ability to systematically collect, evaluate, and weigh the tradeoffs in decision making.

Geo-literacy is important because it empowers people to steer away from choices that will be costly for themselves, other people, and the environment. While the impacts of any particular far-reaching decision may be small, the cumulative impact of the decisions made by millions of people is enormous. In order to make these decisions, people must understand:
- how our world works
- how our world is connected
- how to make well-reasoned decisions

Geo-literacy provides the tools that enable communities to protect natural and cultural resources, reduce conflict and improve quality of life worldwide.

Schools are not the only place to learn. Part of becoming geo-literate is exploring the world around you. Get out and explore!.

For more information visit the NatGeo Educational site.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Geography?

In preparing for Geography Awareness Week events, I thought I would define and build up some activities towards the goal of Geography Awareness Week.

As a series that is tauted as being a Geography series (United States), I should have an explanation of what geography is.

I received a brochure and poster for National Geography Awareness week in the mail on Friday, September 9, from the Georgia Geographic Alliance. The brochure has one flap dedicated to what geography is and why it is important.

Let's explore what geography is (dictionary definition versus GGA brochure definition).

Dictionary definition:
1. The study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries
2. The nature and relative arrangement of places and physical features

Web definitions:
study of the earth's surface; includes people's responses to topography and climate and soil and vegetation

Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geographia, lit. "earth describe-write" ) is the study of the Earth and its lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". ...

the region of the Earth where we live that includes our natural environment, climate, vegetation and landforms.

From the GGA brochure:
What is Geography Anyway? For most people, for far too long, geography has meant memorizing facts, but it doesn't have to! The potential for geography is endless for exploring and explaining our world. More than physical, human and biological systems, more than a perspective or way to look at the world, geography is something to do. Geographers identify relationships, explain spatial distributions, analyze patterns and locations, solve problems, and make decisions. Geographers predict and plan for the future. Geography is something you do, not just something you know. Geography helps you understand how the world works. It explores different systems, the physical, human and biological, through space. However, geography is more than just systems. Geography helps you to examine the world using a spatial perspective. For example, an ecologist might study how individual species depend on one another, while a biogeographer might study how those dependencies influence and are influenced by location.

Why is it important? We live in an increasingly globalized society. Geographic knowledge, skills and technology provide a means to understand the rapidly changing physical and cultural environments of the world. Geography allows us to comprehen the complex connectivity and interdependence of peoples and places of our world. Geography prepares us all to be better global citizens in a globalized world.

Basically, what geography is is the study of people and places and how they act and react and interact with each other. Although my series doesn't go into depth in the study of people and places, it does provide a small window of insight in how geography has evolved just in the United States alone.

Stay tuned for Geography Awareness week activities and ways to earn some badges - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week press release



HONEA PATH (October 13, 2011)—(SC) will participate in several community activities as well as online activities as part of Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19. “Geography: The Adventure in Your Community” is the theme of Geography Awareness Week 2011, which is supported by National Geographic and partner organizations. This year’s sponsor is the Geo-literacy Coalition Founding Council, composed of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, CH2M HILL, Esri and the National Geographic Society.

Established by presidential proclamation in 1987, Geography Awareness Week is an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs that encourages citizens young and old to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to geo-literacy, the interconnectedness of our world and the importance of geography education.

“This year’s theme explores the idea of community geography and promotes geo-literacy by showing one can discover a nearly unlimited amount of new and amazing things, right in one’s own backyard, just by using geographic skills and perspectives,” said Danny Edelson, National Geographic’s vice president for education.

The Geography Awareness Week Web page hosted on National Geographic Education Programs’ new award-winning website offers access to activities, lesson plans, games and more, relating to community geography. The site features contributions from National Geographic and partner organizations such as Newspapers in Education, World Savvy and National Council for Geographic Education. Educators and parents will find valuable lists of recommended books, videos, geographer profiles and family-friendly games. The website also features opportunities to join nearly 100,000 geography supporters in promoting geo-literacy. Resources are provided on how to host a local Geography Awareness Week event, such as a community festival or a Geography Trivia Night.

Site visitors also can read and contribute to a Geography Awareness Week Blog-a-Thon, updated multiple times daily with commentary and multimedia features.

A link to National Geographic’s Global Action Atlas offers connections to people and organizations that are improving their local areas through community-based projects. Another link, to Speak Up for Geography, invites visitors to write to their senators and representatives to request federal funding for geography education.

To celebrate Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic is partnering with the U.K.-based nonprofit organization The Geography Collective, a group of geography teachers, academics and activists who are encouraging young people to see the world in new ways. Through the group’s customized Geography Awareness Week website, kids of all ages will find home- or community-based activities to explore how photography, storytelling, mapping and taking action can open new worlds. By completing a series of “missions,” individuals or teams can earn badges in each of these categories. Earning all four badges will show they are able to see their community and the rest of the world with deeper understanding.

Additionally, during Geography Awareness Week, grassroots organizers around the country will host events, workshops and contests at local schools and community centers.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit National Geographic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Geography Awareness week is coming

Over the next four weeks, through the 19th of November,  there will be several posts about Geography Awareness week coming.  This year, the week of November 13 through the 19th is dedicated to GA week.  I've received the same poster twice with some cool ideas about getting involved in GA week and things you can do with your family or in school with classes.  The theme this year is "The Adventure in Your Community."  What better way to get involved in your community awareness than checking out the JGDS series and learn about different states.  Community is not just your immediate town or state; it is world-wide.  Take the challenge and become more aware of the adventure in your own backyard as well as places a bit outside of your town.  Read a geography based book.  Do some activities.  Earn some badges from the National Geography Educational website.  Remember to have fun and share what you learn during this week of "Adventure in your Community."  See you all in the postings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Vistaprint is always running special deals (read as freebies) on many of their business related items (business cards, flyers, banners, et cetera). I had ordered a banner last year for events and have gotten my money's worth. Yesterday, I received another email from vistaprint and of course the banners are "free". I decided it was time to upgrade my banner; actually the thinking was creating a new banner for use in their stand to place at my table or in my booths when I do events for my new YA novel (see my other blog for that banner). In the process, I thought why not do two banners I can get both for free by placing the order at different times and that way I have new signage for either side I am promoting or both.

So here is the old banner, which is a hanging banner but if you have seen my pictures of previous events, I've taped it on a foam board and placed on my tripod since it seems I've not had many places to really hang it:

Although I love the design of this one, when going from horizontal to vertical, the same designs are not offered for the banners, so I have decided to go with this one:

                                  (#1 - banner with logo)

or maybe this version - I'm going to leave it up to my readers - voting ends Thursday night, October 6, at midnight.

                                (#2 - banner without logo)

Leave a comment on which you prefer - 1 or 2 and don't forget to check out my other blog for the banner for my other stories. See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS

UPDATE: Mr. Hughes commented saying he liked the 2nd one but then asked if I could add the logo under the wording, so here is the revised banner - with the logo:

                           (#3 - banner with wording and logo)

Don't forget to vote by leaving a comment which is the one you like the best - thanks - see you all in the postings - Ma America

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How many states can you name in under 10 minutes?

I found this quiz online (well it was actually posted from a friend on plurk) and since I'm writing about the states, I couldn't not take the quiz. I answered all 50 in 5 minutes 36 seconds. Do you think you can do it in the same or better? - Let me know

I named 50 US states in 10 minutes How many US states can you name in 10 minutes?

On the same side, how about how many state capitals can you name?

I named 49 US capitals in 10 minutes How many US capitals can you name in 10 minutes?

This one isn't as accurate as it should be as you have to add words like South, North and West to those states that start like that and it doesn't let you add City on some of the capitals or a second word (ex: Santa Fe will only be Santa) - so have fun and see how many you can name. I probably could have named all 50 if it had let me enter just the capital without all the extras - How well can you do? Leave a message - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WOTM afterworkshop information

For those of you who planned to attend the workshop but could not or didn't register and would like the information from the "self-publishing using createspace" workshop, please stop by the Writers on the Move blog for the after workshop package. You can get a copy of the handout and the transcript (with bonus links) for only $2. The previous workshop packages are available on the same page as well. See you all soon - Mrs. E :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Writers on the Move article and free workshop

I've posted an article about self-publishing on the Writers on the Move blog that works into the free workshop I'm copresenting this coming Friday with Nancy Famolari. If interested in the workshop, please don't forget to register by sending an email to eeldering at gmail dot com with the subject "Createspace Worshop" so I can make sure you receive the necessary information before the workshop. See you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Geofest fun

Upon returning from Geofest, I decided to take a nap. That nap time turned into a full night's sleep (at least 8-12 hours, give or take an hour to get up and go to the restroom or readjust my position). I think part of the sleep time was being tired from not sleeping well Friday night and partly due to depression (depressed at how the event went for me).

As events go, this was definitely not one of my better ones but it's all good. Bookmarks were put in several folks' hands and some new contacts were made. No sales this go round. I did something different yesterday - just because I didn't feel like sitting in the room and not having something to do. One of the vendors in the room had a presentation right before lunch, and since it was an area of interest to me and my books in particular, I decided to go sit in on the workshop. I enjoyed it very much and actually walked away with some useful information for my upcoming presentation for teachers at the SCISA teachers' conference in November. The presenter is also a teacher and uses "foldables" in her class all the time. I'm taking the foldable idea and using it as part of my presentation to teachers.

After lunch, I sat in another workshop, put on by sisters, both of whom are teachers, called Fun With Geography - and it was really about keeping the classroom interactive when it comes to geography. Things like "Mystery Cruise" and 20 Questions and "Where Am I?" were introduced and attendees actually participated in the activities.

I'm thinking I need some new signage to show what I'm about but not really sure what it is I need. Sales need to really pick up dramatically for me to continue with the series. I am still hearing the same comments - "that's a great idea" and "wish someone had done something like this when I was growing up" and others on the same lines but they aren't buying books. I've lowered prices for in-person events and yet books aren't selling that well. At this point, I'm open to ideas from my readers to change up something, anything, that will really get folks interested in buying books for classrooms or schools. Any and all suggestions are welcome in the comments section. So what are some of the ideas you all have out there that I can try to implement and change things up a bit? - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Friday, September 9, 2011

Geofest time

So it's Geofest time again. I'm looking forward to this event since I will actually be giving a set of books minus State of Reservations (I'm totally out of copies of this book right now) to the SC Geographic Alliance to be listed in their reference library. I found the reference list quite by accident and contacted Jerry and was told that the list of books that are available through them for teachers to check out. So I will be adding a copy of the five of the six books available in the series this weekend. In February, when the event occurs again, I will be adding the third book (will probably end up getting some more books in the near future since I have events planned and my contract doesn't run out until 2013 for this book) and hopefully the seventh in the series. Twice a year, I'll add the books that are published between times to the collection.

See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDs

Friday, September 2, 2011

WOTM free workshop on self-publishing using createspace

Please stop by the Writers on the Move blog for information on the upcoming workshop about using createspace for self-publishing. Remember that createspace can be used by publishers as well as indie authors, for a fraction of the cost that other sources charge. Hope to see you all there - E :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

SCASL workshop proposal

I've been asked to do a presentation at the SCASL (SC Association of School Librarians) conference in March and had to turn in a proposal for my intended workshop by today. I finally figured out a new workshop to do for librarians and got the proposal turned in last night. The Workshop is titled "Digital Reports: From Book to State Reports" and will utilize "paper slide videos" for the basis of creating digital reports. This is a brand new workshop and will be presented for the first time at the conference. I hope the school librarians in South Carolina who will be attending this conference will come visit me during my workshop. Looking forward to meeting new people who can help get my books out there. See you all in the postings - Ma America :)

Art in the Park (or Sunday in the Park) Mint Hill and Hurricane Irene

As of noon Friday, it looks like we are still going to Mint Hill Sunday for Art in the Park (I believe in the past it may have been called Sunday in the Park). Ms. Faye Tollison, author of To Tell The Truth will be joining under the tent Sunday for this event. We have been keeping an eye on Hurricane Irene and hopefully wherever it lands tonight or tomorrow all will be safe and we will still be heading to Mint Hill to do this fun event. Shelley Stout, author of Radium Halos, may join us again this year but she may have another commitment. We shall see Sunday. Hope you all will join us for Art in the Park in Mint Hill, North Carolina, this coming Sunday for the next adventure.

State stories suspended until 2012

I will not be publishing any more state stories in 2011. I have been behind and have decided to catch up on some loose end projects (Finally Home, my YA paranormal mystery and fixing "Train of Clues" and republishing it as it has not been available pretty much since April of this year) before moving forward with more state stories. There will still be updates as to where the JGDS will be in the next five months. For now, the next book slated to come out will be State of Acceleration in January of 2012.

Hopefully my readers are following my website as well for updates, and will continue reading this blog for updates on events. Thanks for all your wonderful support - Ma America & the JGDS

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I received my Square today. What you may ask is it for? Well, I have been asked at several events if I take credit cards but prior to now I hadn't been able to. Square is a small device that hooks to either iPads, iPhones, iPod touches and some Android devices that is a card reader. I can accept credit cards at events now except I don't have any of the devices that Square should be used with.

Am looking into either an iPod touch or an iPad that I can get rather inexpensively to use with my Square. May be able to download the app to my computer and use my computer at events to accept credit cards (looking into that possibility now). If someone would like to gift me one of those devices as an early Christmas present or make a large order of books so I can afford to buy one, I'll be a happy camper - lol.

Hopefully I'll be able to start using my Square with the computer for now and eventually be able to buy a needed device. See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


By the name, one would think that kindlegraphs are just for ebooks, but that isn't the case. Kindlegraphs are available for all books even if not available on kindle. This is a cool way to get an electronic signature to any person who purchases your book not from a direct sale. I've put the JGDS books available so far on kindlegraph so anyone who has purchased a copy not directly from me can now receive a personalized message from me electronically (can be sent to your kindle or to your email and will be a PDF file with the cover of the requested book's kindlegraph and my message). All my author friends out there need to sign up and list their books - the process is very easy and there are some updates coming soon.

See you all in the postings - Ma America, The Travelin' Maven :) & the JGDS

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love to Learn conference and NC Technology Expo GIS day

The Love to Learn conference was held yesterday at CPCC's Overcash Building as it had been for the previous two years. This was my third year participating, and the crowd seemed a bit bigger this year. It also seemed we had fewer vendors this year than last and more informational type exhibitors than folks selling curriculum related items (just how it seemed to me). Even though the attendee numbers seemed to be a bit more than last year, the feeling was that there were many first time homeschoolers, about to embark on the homeschooling adventure and those kind of thinking about homeschooling. I was a bit disappointed in my workshop attendance as there were plenty of kids there but I had only two kids show up for my drawing workshop and one for my writing workshop. This was in part due to a little miscommunication in the wording from the online description of my workshop and the printed schedule where there was no description - just the workshop title. I had a couple of parents thinking the workshop was geared to giving them direction on how to get their boys interested in writing. So I'm thinking for my workshops to be effective, I need to go back to doing games at the table and offering prizes there and doing workshops for the parents. Now that I'm developing a workshop for teachers and librarians, it shouldn't be a problem to do a workshop for parents on writing and getting the kids interested in writing. If I do any homeschool conferences next year, this will be what my workshops will be geared towards, instead of the kids, since this type of workshop is not netting me sales. It was a long day but I did make some good connections.

I know you are thinking "What does the NC Technology Expo GIS Day have to do with a homeschool conference?", and it's simple. Thursday afternoon while I was registering my youngest son for school, I received an email from a Mr. Paul Martin from the Meckelenburg County government offices. He stated he came across my books and was trying to think of a way to bring me up to participate in their Geography Awareness activity on November 16th (GIS Day). I invited him to come observe my workshop and he showed up. We chatted a good bit, he checked out the books and feels that I can offer something to the teachers and parents and students who attend GIS Day. Geography Awareness week falls November 13th through the 19th this year, that Wednesday falls right before I would leave for the Savannah Children's Book Festival but it should be a doable and relatively lucrative day. The only problem I have at this moment for being able to get to Charlotte on the 16th of November is transportation. With my daughter starting college on the 24th of this month and her class schedule being on campus Monday through Thursday, I'm pretty much carless during the day (from the time I drop my son off at school and return home for her to head out until she returns right before school is out for Benjamin), but he did say that there was the possibility of them offering me a stipend to get a rental car for the event. So looks like one more event has been added to my busy calendar, but I'm very excited for this new adventure. Stay tuned for more information as the time draws closer. - Ma America & The JGDS :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Love to Learn homeschool conference

It is that time of year - time for the Love to Learn homeschool information and resource conference. We will be making the trek to Charlotte Friday evening, meeting up with a friend of mine for dinner and then some rest and relaxation Friday evening. Saturday, I will be presenting both workshops for the kids - Draw-and-Tell (ages 5 to 8) and Writing Roads (ages 9 to 12). Jess will be helping me out again. I'm looking forward to the weekend.

If you happen to be in the Charlotte area and are a homeschooler, come visit the JGDS booth. For more information on registration, please check out the Love to Learn webpage. Hope to see you all there - E :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

State of Wilderness rereleased

As State of Wilderness went out of contract in June, Heather and I worked diligently to get it rereleased in July. After a few bumps, we have finally got it the way it should be, so State of Wilderness is available for purchase as of today. Just got the proof copy from the post office and it looks good. Still working on State of Acceleration so be looking for that in the next few weeks (hopefully by the middle of September) and State of Imagination right behind that.

My next fix has to do with Train of Clues - I haven't reviewed it since the Read Across America progam in March but there are some doubled paragraphs in there so that will be rereleased very soon. Happy reading, ya'll - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SCISA, SCCSS and GCSS conference updates

I called the SCISA today to find out if I could get more information about their teachers' conference or workshop coming up in November. They are going to email me the information as soon as they have everything fixed up. She also said she would love to have me do a presentation. So now the wheels are turning on what to present to a group of teachers. As a writer, I don't really feel I have much to offer teachers, but I'm going to go for it - a writing workshop for teachers. This one will be held at Ben Lippen School in November. So I'll make the trip to Columbia the first week of November.

As I'm not coming up with the funds for either of the state Council for the Social Studies conferences, I've decided to forego them this year and hope that maybe next year I can afford them and hook up with the social studies teachers. I'm happy with being able to get involved in a teachers' conference.

I'll keep plugging away, doing what I'm doing - homeschool conferences, independent school teachers' conferences and hopefully the council for social studies conferences with an occasional book festival thrown in there (can't let the Savannah one go because that is an opportunity to do school visits before the event).

Stay tuned for more updates as I get them. Ma America & the JGDS

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SC Geographic Alliance newsletter

Last year I hooked up with the SC Geographic Alliance during the SCHEA convention in Sumter. That led to Geofest in September and February. The quarterly newsletter came out today. I love finding new leads for my books. Not only does the SC Geographic Alliance provide information and resources for SC teachers and schools, but they provide other leads that help me expand. I just checked the resources listed and they have a listing of children's literature that can be used in schools, so my next project is to find out how to get listed as a resource - lol.

The biggest news pertains to the new SC Social Studies standards and that definitely helps me with my study guides and other aspects of the books.

The calendar was showing an entry for the SC Independent Schools Association on November 4. So what do I do? I explore. I find the website and explore it. It seems that November 4 is the date of the State Teacher's Conference. Guess where I'm going to try to be with my books? You guessed it - at the SCISA teacher's conference. With over 1100 teachers in attendance, I should have a pretty good turnout at my table.

Also in November it shows SEDAAG. Again, I had to explore but don't think they have exhibitors at the conference but when I can find out who to contact, I'll see. The biggest problem with this conference is that I will be in Savannah for the Savannah Children's Book Festival the days before so I would be there already but I don't know if I can afford to stay three or four extra days. Everything will be dependent on how things go at events in the next couple of months.

I also found out that Geographic Awareness week is November 13 through the 19th. I'm planning on some activities during the week with some giveaways, so stay tuned as Geography Awareness week approaches.

See you all in the postings - Ma America (Mrs. E) & the JGDS

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book review: Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi

Walking Through Walls is Karen's version of a Chinese folk tale. I felt that Ms. Cioffi did an excellent job of making of the reader feel as if he were experiencing everything Wang was. The dragon in the dream. The colorful animals that were there on Wang's journey. The magic Wang saw and experienced.

Wang was but a poor farming boy who wanted to become an Eternal, someone who has lots of power and magic. He wanted to use the newfound powers for evil, to become rich by stealing from the rich people in his village. He set out on a journey to discover the Eternals. He worked much harder than he did at home but in the end, the journey of leaving home for a year turned out to be the best thing for Wang.

Wang needed to really discover who was inside and by trying to have things he wasn't meant to have, he learned his lessons well and came to the realization that no matter whatever power you may desire, the power of good always trumps out.

Ms. Cioffi follows the story with some reading comprehension questions and some history about the Chinese culture and how life was in the time of beliefs such as magic and mythical creatures. Karen's writing flowed and allowed me to experience some of the journey in Wang's life in becoming who was truly to become.

Title: Walking Through WallsAuthor: Karen Cioffi
Illustrator: Aidana WillowRaven
ISBN: 978-0-9826594-7-2
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
Price: $14.99
Genre: MG/YA

Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

You can find Karen at the following places:
Karen's Writing and Marketing website
Karen's blog
Karen's DK Writing site
Karen's linkedin addy
Karen's twitter account
Karen's facebook page

Walking Through Walls blog
Day's End Lullaby

Please be sure to stop by Susanne Drasic's blog on July 21st for the next stop on the Walking Through Walls Tour.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Global Read Aloud and Skype

The Global Read Aloud project is coming to a school near you very soon (starts September 19th and runs through October 14th). We have over 200 participants so far and would love to add more schools and teachers and/or librarians and even volunteer readers. Click on the title to go to the GRA blog and sign up area. We have a created a wikispaces page for both age groups (the K through 3rd will be doing two Flat Stanley books this month long reading time; the 4th grades on up will be doing Tuck Everlasting) as well as a Google group for the project.

What does this mean to teachers and schools out there? Ma America, The Travelin' Maven (Ms. Elysabeth/Mrs. E) will be offering free Skype virtual classroom visits during this month long project. She will start reserving time slots the 1st of August for free Skype visits during the month of September and this will carry through the end of the project (October 14th). If you are interested in having Ms. Eldering in your class or school during the GRA project time or even before that during September for free, please contact her via email (eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com) to set up your free-of-charge virtual visit. After October 14th, fees will be applied as per her School Visit website page. Hope you all will join us in this world wide project. See you all in September.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SC Festival of Discovery

So Saturday, Jess and I trekked to Greenwood to set up for the festival, which happened to be outside. The crafters were in a parking lot along Main Street in front of a couple of buildings and on the other side of the street, the stage and performances and first aid area as well as all the BBQ pits were. It was very hot Saturday, this being July and all. Anyway, right after we set up the tent and got the tables semi-situated, it started to drizzle (thankfully we had a screened tent). The rain didn't last long and not much was affected - mostly the one table where Jess had set out the games for the kids to play but I had laminated everything and the bingo pieces and prizes were in plastic boxes so nothing really to get ruined. I did walk the craft tables once and let Jess walk them and get our food and stuff at lunch. We sold four books for the whole day but I had several teachers and librarians and a couple of homeschoolers or someone who knew a homeschooler stop by the table and ask all kinds of questons and took my contact information. I think in total we had nine serious inquiries of the folks who are teachers, librarians or homeschoolers. Fingers crossed all those leads do pan out. The guy next to me who was selling marshmallow guns took a handful of bookmarks because he said he was the custodian at his school and he would pass my info to the media specialist at his school.

Here is the table, after we pulled it inside the tent because of the sun and heat (we originally had it facing out at the doorway but the sun was coming down on the display, we just moved it inside. We didn't really have it arranged too well since you can't see the new cover for Wilderness, but it's all good.

This is the other table with Ms. Faye's book on it and my afghan which is the prize for the drawing I will be doing on December 1. Jess had her game pieces on the other end of the table. We had a few people pick up Ms. Faye's book but no one bought a copy. I'll put her bookmarks in the library when I go up there next week.

Only one man played the State Capital Quiz - not sure what he won because I had stepped away to the restroom. I did hear him say he almost majored in geographic studies in school.

I did meet one lady who was doing face painting and she painted my arm as advertisement for her - I got this beautiful red, white and blue butterfly done. She is quick and very good at what she does.

Jess saw the bushes that had been cut as "monsters" and decided to take pictures. The green one was at the end of the parking lot and the red and white one was kind of behind us but to the left (as you were facing the tent). Greenwood sure has changed since I attended school at Lander eons ago. But it is a very nice town and the upgrades do wonders for the economy.

We stopped at DQ on the way home to get something to cool us off and that ice cream cone hit the spot. Overall, I think we had a very good day, although the heat did get to me. After I dropped Jess off, I kind of fell asleep in my car (took the key out of the ignition, was about to get out and had opened the door a tad, but I think I passed out for a bit - not really fell asleep), came inside and crawled on the bed for about an hour or so and then got up and checked emails and was right back to bed within a couple of hours. I thought I really had drank plenty of water but apparently not enough or my body doesn't adjust to extreme temperatures very well any more. Yesterday was kind of a blur. I couldn't even really start work until late evening. I will think about doing this event again and if I do, I will have to get some personal battery operated fans and hope we are on the other side of the parking lot where all the shade trees were. Have a year to decide whether we do this one again or not - :) See you all in the postings - Ma America!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Drawing prize (red, white and blue afghan) finished

(this is folded in half but the total length is about 45 inches and about 36 inches from top red strip to bottom blue strip)

I had this red, white and blue yarn to do something fun for promoting the books but wasn't sure what I would do. I decided in May to make a mile-a-minute afghan (see posting here). The afghan is finished and we have at least six people in the drawing so far. The deal is for any purchase one makes, either directly at events or through or by way of the website you will be entered in the drawing. The afghan will be on display through November with the drawing being held on or around December 1st with the prize being mailed on or about the 7th of December. If you order from online (amazon), please be sure to email me your contact info so that I may put your name in the drawing. Good luck to all who are entered.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

amazon search widget

I've become an associate on and if you check my side bar you will see above where the email subscriber is a search box. You can search for my books specifically or you can search for whatever you would like on amazon. Check it out when you get a chance - Mrs. E :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi


CONTACT: Karen Cioffi-Ventrice
Author, ghostwriter, freelance writer
Email: karencioffi at ymail dot com

For Immediate Release

Chinese Tale: Walking Through Walls travels on a majestic virtual tour
Patience and fortitude are essential attributes to achieve life as an Eternal

(New York, New York) – The ability to slip into different eras and cultures through reading is the most glorious way to enjoy literature. Travel along through cyberspace to learn more about this 16th century ancient Chinese based tale, Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi when it releases July 15, 2011.

To celebrate this unique ancient Chinese tale’s book release, we welcome your visit and encourage you to follow along through the below tour. Leave a comment with your email address and automatically be entered at a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate, Writing for Children One Step at a Time e-Book, or Writing, Publishing, and Marketing – You Can Do It e-Book.

July 1 - Kelly McClymer - Book Review

July 2 – Renee Hand – Book Review

July 5 - Deb Hockenberry – Book Review and Interview

July 7 - Kathy Stemke – Book Review

July 8 - Donna McDine – “An Effective Book Marketing Strategy: Joint Ventures”

July 9 - Dianne Sagan – “Writing for Children: Finding Age Appropriate Words”

July 11 - Stephen Tremp – “Rewriting a Folktale”

July 13 - Heidi Thomas – “Book Promotion: The Foundation”

July 15th - Nancy Famolari's Place – Book Review

July 18 - Kristin Johnson – “Is Your Character One, Two, or Three Dimensional?”

July 19 - Elysabeth Eldering – Book Review

July 21 - Susanne Drazic – Book Review

July 23 - Margaret Fieland – “Writing Focus, Determination, Perseverance, and Positive Thinking”

July 25 - Maggie Ball – “Successful Writing Strategy: Know Your Intent”

July 27 - Susanne Drazic – “Storytelling – Keep Your Reader Engaged”

July 28 - Farrah Kennedy - Book Review

July 30 - Beverly McClure – “Writing for Free – A Means to an End: Visibility”

Title: Walking Through Walls
Author: Karen Cioffi
Illustrator: Aidana Willow Raven
Genre: MG/Tween/YA
ISBN: 978-0-9826594-7-2
Publication Date: July 2011
Pages: 61
Price: $14.99 paperback
Publisher: 4RV Publishing

Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.

Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

The book will be available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and book stores by July 15th.

You can preorder it through Walking Through Walls today at 4RV Publishing

To learn more about Walking Through Walls check out some reviews

To find out more about Karen and her books, click here

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