Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Angeline Jellybean has arrived

I'm hosting Angeline today. My job is to post a review.

Angeline Jellybean review
By Crystalee Calderwood
4RV Publishing LLC
October 2008

Reviewed by Elysabeth Eldering

What happens when too much of a good thing becomes too much? Angeline Jellybean is a girl who only likes to eat jellybeans. She wants them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Everyone knows that you can only eat so much of a good thing before it makes you sick in some way or other.

Once Angeline discovers that there are other things to eat besides jellybeans, everything turns out okay for her.

This delightful children's book is written in rhyme and is beautifully illustrated. It shows how too much of a good thing can really not be so good for a person.

Remember to tune in tomorrow and find out what is on Angeline's plate. Susan Thompson is bringing in the new year. Stop by and remember to leave comments. Hope you enjoy the tour - see you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

On the radio for real

I will be making an appearance on the radio on December 30th from 8:30 to 9 PM (EST). Hope you all will come out and listen to the interview. See you then - E :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hosting Angeline Jellybean

Another new tour is coming soon. I'll be hosting Crystalee Calderwood and Angeline Jellybean. I'm hoping Stephen will stop by as well. The schedule is as follows:

Angeline Jellybean Blog Tour

DECEMBER 28, 2008 Ransom Noble

DECEMBER 29, 2008 Vivian Zabel

DECEMBER 30, 2008 Laura Peters

DECEMBER 31, 2008 Elysabeth Eldering

JANUARY 1, 2009 Susan Thompson

JANUARY 2, 2009 Sarah Adkins

JANUARY 3, 2009 Lea Schizas

JANUARY 4, 2009 Crystalee Calderwood

Come ring in the new year with this delightful new children's book published by 4RV Publishing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Radio time postponed

Okay I know I said I was going to do a radio spot today and I had all intentions of doing so, was told we wouldn't even eat dinner until late afternoon or closer to actual supper time because my brother and sister-in-law wouldn't be here until late afternoon. Well, they came about 2 o'clock this afternoon and we ended up having dinner at 4:15 and therefore, I missed my 4:30 time. I'll post when rescheduled, giving everyone a link to listen. Hope your Christmas was a merry one and that you all had a blessed day.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Holly Jahangiri's character, Trockle, just gave me the “Your Blog is Fabulous” Award!! I'm told the rules of the award are simple: Write about 5 addictions (not sure I can really come up with five addictions) you have and then pass the award on to the 5 blogs (that can be tough when everyone keeps nominating the same ones) that you think are Fabulous… So here goes:

Five addictions:
1. Chocolate, white, dark and milk (in that order, even though I know white is really not chocolate).
2. Computer games (spider solitaire and freecell mostly but addiction solitaire is right up there)
3. Grape Nuts hot

I'm at a total loss for items 4 and 5 (it's much harder to come up with things I'm addicted to than fun info about myself. I'll try to keep working on this and may edit it at a later date.

Five fabulous blogs:
1. Mr. Hughes
2. Batya's UPositive blog
3. Cassie Litton Gregory
4. Katie Hines
5. Rena Jones

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Musing our Children Holiday issue newsletter

For your reading pleasure, pop on over to Musing Our Children's and enjoy the holiday issue of the newsletter we have put out.

My interview with Cheryl and her review are in the issue. Remember to share with other teachers and parents who would like to get their kids interested in reading and writing.

We are looking to do school visits in May (some authors charge fees to do presentations, which from my understanding is where the money can be made in the book industry, but during this week, we are offering free visits. There is a link for scheduling school visits at other times, so check us out. We have a lot to offer - a variety of authors and types of books published as well as different types of workshops. We also encourage kids to review books and have their parents and/or teachers post to the site. This is a great way to get the kids reading and keeps them involved in the process. There are tips and helpful hints and all kinds of things going on. Check us out and remember to keep checking back every so often for updates. Keep May 4 through May 8 in mind for school visits. See you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

An award for my blog!!!!

Who'd a thunk, we received an award.

Vivian Zabel, my publisher, has honored the JGDS series blog with the Honest Scrap award. Scrap means left overs, fragments, discarded material, and many times truth and honesty is discarded material, considered fragments and left over. So, we need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will.

According to Lea's blog,The Writing Jungle, the guidelines for winning this award include the following:

1. List 10 honest things about yourself (make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!)
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers

Kind of like being tagged again except now I have to post something honest about myself, not that I have been dishonest in the tags.

1. I hate my mouth (in dire need of repairs or having them all taken out) so I don't smile as much as I used to.
2. I love receiving hugs from friends.
3. I hate kissing though.
4. I used to be really shy - when I was in school, before college days. People find that hard to believe since I am such a people person now.
5. I want to travel to every state before I die; if for nothing else but to just say I've been there. I have had extensive travels up and down the eastern seaboard and a few states out west, but with my series, I now have more of a desire to visit every state. I was glad when my father retired because it meant no more traveling and now I want to travel again.
6. I'm weird when it comes to snow. I love snowflake designs and would trim my tree (if I were doing a tree) with lots of different snowflake ornaments but I don't like snow much. I only like it for the time it has come down and enough to say it has snowed and then I want it to go away. If it lasts more than a day, then I'm tired of it.
7. I hate shopping - I've never felt a need to really do the girly shopping thing. Run in, get what I want or need and then out again. But I don't mind wandering through the store and looking at everything every once in a while, just out of curiosity.
8. When I make a friend, it is for life. There is no friend for a season or just in my life briefly.
9. My godmother was more like my mother than my real mother is. I felt I could confide in her without a problem. I miss her tremendously.
10. I'm at a loss for what to put for this one since it seems all my bases are covered with the list above. It's fun to receive an award just because.

The 7 blogs and people I will nominate are:

1. Batya Wininger
2. Janelle Dakota
3. Cassie Litton Gregory
4. Chai
5. Vonda Skelton
6. Mr. Hughes

The problem with 7 is that I visit many blogs but only consider a handful true friends. I am not sure who else to put here. Forgive me my friends. See you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PIVTR appearance

Just announcing that the JGDS series will be doing a spot on the above internet radio on Christmas day from 4:30 to 4:45 EST. I'll be promoting the series as a whole and talk a bit about the upcoming books. Tune in by clicking the title link and join Lillian Cauldwell and others all afternoon and night Christmas day. Spots start at 4 pm and run until midnight. Hope you all will come and listen - see you in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Virtual class visits continue with some fun writing

It's been a while since I've posted anything about what is going on in the 6th grade class in Utah that I'm visiting via Internet (Smartboards and Google Talk). The last writing we really did was when I posted some of the pictures from the Harris Burdick Mysteries and tried to get some of you to participate by writing a start based on the lesson for the time. I had a few of you respond. So for December, the writing projects are as follows:

1) Write a letter to Santa - You are to write a letter to Santa Claus explaining what you want for Christmas and why you should get it. Remember to use good examples and reasons. Remember our 6-Traits lessons.

Length: 1 page Story board: Yes Rough Draft: Yes Editing Kit: Yes

2) Acrostic poems: You are to write 3 ACROSTIC POEMS using any of the words below:
Winter, Christmas, Snowflake, Snowman, Santa Clause, December, Holiday, Sharing, Fireplace, Sledding. You MUST choose from these words. Circle your three choices. The words you use to create the poems must be words or sentences that represent your thoughts and feeling about that word. Don’t just use a word because it fills the space!! Also illustrate each poem to match the words.

Length: 1 page each Story board: No Rough Draft: Yes Editing Kit: Yes

3) Short essay: You are to choose 1 of the following options and do it for your 3rd project. Write about your favorite family traditions OR your favorite Christmas memory. Remember you are to choose only one.

Length: 1 1/2 pages Story board: Yes Rough Draft: Yes Editing Kit: Yes

Now I don't much about writing poetry and don't know about storyboards for such short projects. So I've written my letter and one acrostic poem. For your viewing pleasure, here they are:

Snowflake (because I am partial to them in the winter - they are unique just like everyone in the world is)

Soft like a flower petal
Neatly falling
Over the
Falling from the sky
Landing in wet patterns
Across the still earth
Knowing that you will blanket the ground
Ever quiet the Snowflake

My letter is rather lengthy - was a page and a half single spaced but Mr. Hughes said it was okay to be longer than the 1 page he has on the project:

December 9, 2008

Dear Santa,

It's been a long time, over thirty-five years, since I've written a letter to you asking for anything. Believe me when I say it isn't because I stopped believing in you but it has more to do with lack of wanting anything. I have my family and semi-good health and a vehicle to get me from point A to point B, so I really haven't had anything I could really ask for. This year is different. I've had a pretty good year and I think I have been a good girl but the end is drawing near and I do have some needs. I am really not asking that you visit me but more my friends and family. So here is my list for them:

For my oldest child, Jonathan, I ask that you put a job in his hands, one that is fitting for his talents. He is frustrated having no funds to do the things he really wants to do. So bring him a good job.

For my other two children, Hailie and Benjamin, give them the wisdom to continue doing well in school and to know right from wrong as they grow to adulthood and start making it on their own.

For my friend Batya, I ask that she get a break in getting her business started and that she have an abundance of clients that she is never wanting anything. I also ask that something be done about her neighbor who is bound and determined to run her from her home. Please make him an offer he can't refuse, maybe a new housing area to live in or a change of heart. (From what I've heard the man is warped and needs a good whipping, so I guess he really gets the stocking full of coal this year.)

For my friend Jane, please bring her some joy. She's had such trials and tribulations this year that she really could use something good. Maybe an offer on one of her novels.

For my publisher Vivian, please bring her income to not have to worry about possibly shutting down the business. I don't think she realizes how the company will start turning a profit but it needs to be sooner rather than later. Her health is failing her and she is struggling. I am trying hard to stay on top of things because I am selfish, I have a large contract and I want to see her succeed, not only for me but for herself as well. I'd like to see every author she has contracted do well in their own rights (doing well is so subjective). I hope that all her illustrator needs are met and that she can get all the upcoming books out without too many problems. I know it's a business but she needs to be enjoying herself and right now, she is frustrated and talking of throwing it all away. I really don't want to be tossed in the trash. So send her something to keep her from losing it and to help give her a positive outlook on things.

For my friend Mr. Hughes, bring him a new laptop so we can continue having our virtual class visits. For his class of students, please bring them some books and good cheer, time with their family and lots of new ideas for future writing projects.

For my adopted children, I wish for them to always have a hug available when they need it. I wish for them to just have a fun holiday season. Their needs are all so different, I can't even fathom individual gifts for them.

For me, I would like a few things but I'll understand if you can't bring them. I'd like enough money in my checking account to live comfortably and be able to help the kids with college if they decide to attend. I'd like either a house that is ready to live in or a redo on this house with a bigger bathroom, a laundry room that is separate from the kitchen area, and storage spaces, closets or whatever. I'd also like an actual room for my bedroom and a room for my office. That way the kids can watch TV without disturbing me while I'm writing or working. I'm in dire need of a new vehicle, a mini van preferably. I also would like to see my geography series really take off and be in fourth through sixth grade classes around the country. I can hope for some awards on the first book but if nothing comes of that, I'm okay with it. I'll keep trying for those.

So you see, Santa, I'm not asking for too much this year, just hoping for a small break for lots of people. I wish for my friends and family a joyous and peaceful holiday and that all their dreams and wishes do come true.

Yours truly,

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the JGDS 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Hope you enjoy and maybe some of you will write a poem or a letter or even your favorite memory. Go on, I dare you to post your writings - E :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Review for State of Wilderness

Wow - the reviews are still coming in and they are all just as wonderful as the first five star one on Stories for Children. Check out the newest one on The Book Connection. Cheryl did an interview with me last week and it was very good. You can still find the interview on the blog as well.

Hope all you readers out there are still enjoying State of Wilderness. Be on the lookout for State of Quarries coming soon. And yes, state #3 is right behind it (tentatively titled State of Reservations), so not to disappoint you all. The series is progressing. See you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interview with Cheryl from Book Connection

If you haven't visited the Book Connection blog yet, you should. Cheryl does interviews and reviews of books of all kinds. Yesterday, I was the feature interview on the blog. Cheryl has some tough questions but they were good. Check out the interview here. If you like books, there is something for everyone featured on The Book Connection, where readers and writers connect.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Geography Awareness Week

November 16-22 is Geography Awareness Week. I was supposed to have my virtual tour this week and it would have been a perfect week to tie in both the series to be used as a geography supplement in classes as well as learning some new information about geography. Education World has a slew of lesson plans, activities and projects, map resources and other items to use in teaching about our local world as well as the world beyond our borders.

Teacher's guides are now available (see side bar for more info on how to get a copy with special orders).

State of Wilderness is should be available again in the next couple of weeks. State of Quarries should be available either late December of early January.

Stay tuned for some geograpy fun this week - E ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm at a loss

Some things transpired the last couple of days that have set me back a bit. I promise the situation will be rectified and I will be back in full force. For now, not much to report on the JGDS series. More when I can - E :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cybil who?

Who is Cybil? Or should I say what is Cybil. Cybil is an award (stands for Children's and Young adult Bloggers' Literary award). For information, click on the title of this post and you can read more about this award.

State of Wilderness is one of 132 nominated for this award in the Middle Grade Fiction category. This is one of three 4RV books that has been nominated. The other two are Trockle in the Fiction Picture Books category and a new release, Prairie Dog Cowboy in the Middle Grade Fiction category.

It wasn't intentional that two books be in the same category but it happened. State of Wilderness needs its own classification being that it is part fact (the clues are all general information that can be found anywhere about the state) and part fiction (my characters are all fictional and interact). I've heard the term "faction" given to this type of book so maybe next year they will open a new category and I won't have to worry about competing against other 4RV books. It's hard when you have so many good books out there deserving of awards and then to have to go against your own companies books. Now it is up to the panelists to read and review. Finalists will be listed in January and award winners will be announced on February 14.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mini update

State of Quarries is now at the editors (my friends Lana and Batya) and should be completed when I return from my trip (see below). Once I get it back, I make my revisions and send it on to Vivian for her editing.

Class visit happened today after a long absence (a week). Mr. Hughes' class had "fall break" last weekend - Thursday and Friday and then his wife's grandmother passed away and they had to make a trip out of town to go to the funeral, so no class time Monday and Tuesday. It was a good visit. We are starting on dialogue and the kids seem to be picking it up for the most part.

The SCWW writer's conference is this weekend and I will have limited or no internet access so won't be able to do any updating until after the conference Sunday night.

Remember that Vivian's Midnight Hours tour starts Sunday. See my other blog for details on that.

You all have an enjoyable weekend. See you next week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where did the time go?

Ten days and I've not posted anything on this blog. I haven't even posted any more challenges from the class visit. I will post the rest of the Harris Burdick pictures shortly and let you readers write leads to them as we did in class. We have been moving on since the kids have another challenge from me to write a short story like a mini contest. Mr. Hughes is working on dialogue and a few other things to do with writing a story from start to finish. I won't be in class but one time this week due to a family emergency on Mr. Hughes' side and my going to the SCWW writer's conference at Myrtle Beach. I'm so looking forward to this. I get to have fun.

State of Quarries update: Six more clues and a few interactions to put in and the story will be finished. It will be with Lana and Batya before I leave for the beach and hopefully upon returning they will have sent me suggestions/corrections to make and then I can fix them and get it to Vivian. I probably won't have internet connection or if I do, won't be very much, so won't be able to do any updates during the time I am gone. I will, however, have all my research with me to start working on State #3 - so hopefully most of the clues will be decided upon by the end of the weekend.

Will get Harris Burdick pictures posted before I leave and then no updates until I return from the conference. See you all then - E :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

He's here, He's here - finally!!!!!

Trockle has been touring cyberspace again and has finally made it to my blog again. See I hosted him just a couple of weeks ago but this time, no interviews, no reviews, no articles. We are going to challenge you readers to something fun.

Holly Jahangiri created "Trockle", the little monster who lives under Stephen's bed. What about you? Do you have a monster aching to get out? Let's go trick-or-treating with Trockle and see what other kind of ghouls and monsters live in this world.

My friend Batya at UPositive Creative and Life Coaching has put out a challenge in her newsletter. So here it is to you all: Halloween is just around the calendar corner. The first challenge issued is to invent a new monster. You might want to drag one out from your own stash of "goblins" who inhabit and inhibit your mind, or conjure one from thin or thick air.

Post your created monsters in the comments and see how many of them can befriend Trockle.

Remember there are prizes on this tour too. Here are the rules for Holly's contest. You must do both steps in order to be eligible for the prize (purchase a copy of the book and answer the question).

Grand Prize: A customized Halloween short story featuring your child (or grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend) with Trockle - written by Holly Jahangiri and illustrated by Jordan Vinyard.

Second Prize: A $20 gift certificate to

To enter, complete the following steps:

(1) Purchase a copy of Trockle directly from 4RV Publishing (4RV Store) between 12:00 AM October 5 and 11:59 PM October 13, and

(2) Send an email to with your answer to the question posted at Trockle promo question.

You may enter as often as you like, but all completed entries must be received before midnight on October 13!

Winners will be announced at Holly's blog and at Vivian's website.

The winners will be chosen randomly from all correctly completed entries (see "To enter" above) and winners will be notified by email. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Grand Prize winner will need to work directly with the author and illustrator to create a memorable gift for that special child. To include the child's likeness in the illustration, you will need to provide a digital photo upon notification that you have won. Every effort will be made to deliver the prize prior to Halloween, but circumstances beyond our control may prevent that and we do not guarantee that it will arrive by October 31.

The schedule is below: (you can still check the previous postings to see what Trockle was up to, even though it's been a bit scary this week what with computer gremlins attacking several of the blocks and some possible alien abudctions, too).

October 5: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 6: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 7: Janet @ Janet’s Book Nook

October 8: Kimberly @ All About Kimberly

October 8: Jen (Pantheistic Mom) @ My Terrene Reality

October 10: Elysabeth Eldering @ the Junior Geography Detective Squad

October 11: Ron Berry @ The Surreal Writer

October 12: Lynne Thompson @ La Vida Es Un Sueno

October 13: Wrap-up by Holly Jahangiri and Jordan M. Vinyard

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Three more days until Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour

We are having fun right? Trockle will be visiting us again in three days and the challenge will be on. We want you all to be creative for this Halloween season. Don't worry, there are prizes and everything. In case you missed the posting about the contest Ms. Holly is running, here it is again:

Grand Prize: A customized Halloween short story featuring your child (or grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend) with Trockle - written by Holly Jahangiri and illustrated by Jordan Vinyard.

Second Prize: A $20 gift certificate to

To enter, complete the following steps:

(1) Purchase a copy of Trockle directly from 4RV Publishing ( between 12:00 AM October 5 and 11:59 PM October 13, and

(2) Send an email to with your answer to the question posted at

You may enter as often as you like, but all completed entries must be received before midnight on October 13!

Winners will be announced at and at

The winners will be chosen randomly from all correctly completed entries (see "To enter" above) and winners will be notified by email. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Grand Prize winner will need to work directly with the author and illustrator to create a memorable gift for that special child. To include the child's likeness in the illustration, you will need to provide a digital photo upon notification that you have won. Every effort will be made to deliver the prize prior to Halloween, but circumstances beyond our control may prevent that and we do not guarantee that it will arrive by October 31.

And if you haven't seen what Trockle looks like, we thought we'd help you out here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Second week - virtual class visit

Second week, same as the first only a little bit faster now (sorry couldn't resist that Henry VIII song running through my head - had an image of Mr. Hughes singing it only substituting our situation for the words). In reality, I think the visits are fun and the kids are still doing their writing challenges and I'm giving them some feedback (we have a private spot where we can communicate outside of class time and I asked them to post their story leads so I can read and give some advice on how to make it stronger or more along the lines of the lead. I've read four students' postings today so I've commented on eight postings.

The leads to start a story are, in the order they are studying them and doing the writing exercises to the Harris Burdick pictures: 1) Action - the lead starts immediately with something happening and pulls the reader in from the beginning; 2) Dialogue - the lead starts with someone speaking immediately, which means even if there are no characters in the story, you have to create at least two characters in order to have a conversation going (this is one of my favorite ways to start stories but I've also noticed that mine are dialogue/action started because my first dialogue tag usually is an action to lead in to the story); 3) traditional - setting and time are what brings you in to the story (It was a dark and stormy night - very basic example but you get a feel for the setting and time of when the story starts); 4) one sentence wonder - speaks for itself - draws the reader in because it is profound and leaves a lot of questions unanswered; and 5) reflective - the narrator describes feelings and thoughts (to me this is kind of a backstory lead; you are reflecting on something that occurred that leads you to the main part of the story - what happened).

So today we got to do three pictures. The first one we did we knew which lead we were doing - Reflective. This was the last of the five to write about. So here is the picture and my lead. Take the challenge and using reflective lead in (the caption for the picture doesn't have to be used; it is basically to give you an idea what the picture is about) and write for three (3) minutes. Set your timer and see what you come up with.



He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.

My attempt at this: Reflective:
If I had only listened to Mr. Linden. He made his point over and over, trying to persuade me not to buy this particular book. Mr. Linden could have used more forceful words. I was only looking at the cover and was entranced by its beautiful cover and the magical vine swirling around the words. Jack and the Beanstalk had nothing on Mr. Linden's book.

He knew I would be taken to a place I could never return from and that the book would overtake me. I should have listened. Why am I so stubborn? All I want to do is get back to where I was before. Home. No place like it.

Okay for the next two pictures, before scrolling down and seeing what they are, you have to pick one of the five leads, make note of it and then look at the picture and write for 3 minutes the lead to the story in what you decided to do. Once you pick a lead, you cannot use the same one for the next picture. You have to go with a different one. Of course after a couple of the kids read aloud to the class, the rest of them were guessing which lead they had used. Mine should be pretty obvious, but have fun. Write for 3 minutes and see what you come up with.

My lead in:
"My Lord, will you look at Sister Kathleen," Father Dominique looked towards the ceiling of the cathedral. "I think she is trying to impress us with her newfound learnt magic tricks."

"I don't think so. She seems to be too high for us to know it is magic." Father Henri replied.

"Well, I know she's been practicing her magic and the other chairs ended up out of country. She has been trying to get them to disappear and reappear but she sent one to Italy and one to Germany."

"Maybe. I don't see how she does it though

And the picture:


The fifth one ended up in France.

Last one, same as the one above: You pick a lead and write for 3 minutes and see what you come up with.

My lead: I knew that the balmy weather would be enticing. I just wanted to see if the folktales were true. Listening is the key. I had heard the birds tweet at various times in my life but could never see them move or flap their wings. But I learned rather quickly in that cool blissful evening. The birds came to life one at a time, flying out the window. I should have never allowed them to escape. The wall is so bare now.

And the picture:


It all began when someone left

the window open.

Have fun and post your lead-ins in the comments section. I know I have some writers out here. Even you go over 3 minutes, take the challenge and share; I'll post in the class private forum so they can see what my friends come up with. I dare you to share. Be creative and have fun - see you in the postings - E :)

PS: Since I put the wrong picture up for the third one, I'm going to leave it here and if you want to write something for it, then that's okay. This was the first one they did with action - but you are free to write whichever lead you want.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stories for Children Magazine review is up

in th
If you click on the title of this posting, it will take you directly to the review. This is one of the first 5 star reviews I received. I'm very pleased on the write up from this magazine. If you look to the right of the postings and scroll down some, you will see the banner that will take you to their website directly. This is an online magazine for kids and it is done very well. A little bit of everything. Poetry, coloring pages, puzzles and games, stories, illustrations. I think any child would like having these well done ezines as their very own. So stop on by and check them out. Sign up to receive your copies in email. Enjoy. - E :)

Virtual Classroom visit Day 3

Yep, I was in class again today. We got two pictures done and two more leads for stories done. I found the second one much harder to do. So if you would like to take the challenge (3 minutes writing time on the first one and 1 minute writing on the second), then please share with us what you come up with. The first picture is a bit freaky but it does have a lot of possibilities. The kids had some humerous things and some not so humerous but I think they are doing well considering they are learning about writing stories.

Lead #3 (I didn't get to participate in Lead #1, which is action and the one yesterday was starting with dialogue that we did yesterday) Setting and Time - this is the more traditional way to start stories and might be the easier for a good many writers. For me, it was a tough challenge because I tend to lean toward action and dialogue for starting off my stories (or so it seems). Here is the caption from the picture:



She lowered the knife and

it grew even brighter.


Jennifer's knife glowed brightly on that eerie Halloween night. She needed to get the pumpkin pie made but the lights had gone out and the only glow was from her knife. She will never forget the feel of the knife in her hand as it glowed hotter and brighter.

The closer to the pumpkin the knife came the brighter it glowed. The blackout allowed the glow to be the only light seen for many blocks.

How had she gotten this magical knife?

Lead #4: The one sentence wonder. This takes longer and more thought to come up with a sentence to start a story. The caption above the picture was as follows:



He swung his lantern three times and slowly the schooner appeared.

My starter: Not very good by any means but this was tougher (1 minute to come up with this)

Jason looked out in the fog and jumped when he saw what appeared out of nowhere only to be stopped by the firm grip of the old man.

Share what you come up with. Keep checking back for the classroom visits and what we are doing. Don't forget next Friday is the Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour stop on this blog. We have been preparing for your creativity by giving you a few simple challenges here but next one will be a fun writing exercise for you - E :) and the JGD Squad

Virtual classroom visit day 2

Today I was a student and got to write with the class. This was fun and challenging to me since I have never written anything from a picture prompt before. Backing up, Mr. Hughes teaches the five ways to start a story (action, dialogue, setting, one sentence wonders - the opening paragraph is only one sentence long and it is provocative, and reflection); today's lesson was on starting with dialogue. He uses the Harris Burdick Mystery pictures. They have captions or descriptions and then you formulate a way to take the picture. Anyway, this is the caption that accompanied the picture today with the picture below:



She knew it was time to send them back.

The caterpillars softly wiggled in her hand,

spelling out "goodbye"

The assignment was to start with dialogue and we only had three (3) minutes to write something. I came up with the following off the top of my head. The class really liked it but it was strange for me to do this since I had never really used a picture prompt before.

"Why do I have to send them back?" She looked down at her hand. "Why, Mother?"

"They have to go back to where they came from."

Susie's tears fell down her cheeks. "Goodbye, my friends. I will miss you. Grow into your beautiful selves." She placed the caterpillars on the flower next to her.

"Come now, dear. They will come back some day." Mother said.

So let me know how you would have started this story with some dialogue - post your comments, be creative and have fun. - E :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Virtual Classroom tour

When I first contacted John Hughes via his blog and asked him to host me on his blog during my blog tour for State of Wilderness, never did I think at the time I would be doing a 2-month long classroom tour to be a pre-blog tour test. So yesterday, Monday, I had my first visit with Mr. Hughes' 6th grade class in Utah. It was very surreal. I hooked up my microphone and John and I had done a testing the night before just to make sure everything was good on my end. So I did my thing all day and then at about 3 pm, I got an email asking if I was about ready. His class was in computer lab and so he couldn't access Google talk but could send an email. I waited for them to get back to class and for him to "call" me via Google Talk. Now for the surreal part - I was talking to the class and they could hear me and Mr. Hughes was typing questions and other things in the chat box. I had no way of gaging the response on the other end because I couldn't hear them.

Last night Mr. Hughes found a microphone at home and we were up late chatting and discussing things for the tour and his writing workshop and all. So he took his microphone to school today and we tested it out after school - Everything works. So tomorrow when I am visiting the class, I will be able to hear them and vice versa. It will make the experience so much better.

We are going to do some writing challenges for the kids to tie in with his writing workshop curriculum that he teaches. I am looking forward to being a part of this classroom visit and working with the kids on developing their writing skills.

Honestly, my publisher wanted me to do school visits, and I was preparing myself to do them starting in the spring of 2010 but I think if this works out I may try to do more virtual class visits - lol (of course there is nothing like going into a classroom and really seeing the kids faces), but who knows - authors may now have another venue to explore to get into classrooms now. The downside is that if you are paid for school visits, that you could never be compensated for this. If I develop my platform and start doing real school visits, I would expect at least compensation of some sort for travel and maybe a bit of my time. We have had this discussion before on one of the forums I am a member of and it seems the longer you do school visits, the more you can make. I know schools aren't rich but they should pay their guest speakers accordingly.

On to finish work and to bed - will keep you updated on the virtual tour. See you all in the postings - E :)

Trockle Trick-or Treat tour

Don't forget to follow the Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour and see what each host has in story for us. Remember there is a grand prize of a story featuring your child (or a child in your life) with Trockle for Halloween. Here is the schedule again so you all can start on the trek with Trockle: (Friday's stop with us seems Ms. Elysabeth is going to challenge your creativity and it's going to be fun. Ms. Holly and Ms. Jordan should get tons of new books from the challenge - lol)

October 5: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 6: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 7: Janet @ Janet’s Book Nook

October 8: Kimberly @ All About Kimberly

October 8: Jen (Pantheistic Mom) @ My Terrene Reality

October 10: Elysabeth Eldering @ the Junior Geography Detective Squad

October 11: Ron Berry @ The Surreal Writer

October 12: Lynne Thompson @ La Vida Es Un Sueno

October 13: Wrap-up by Holly Jahangiri and Jordan M. Vinyard

Need opinions on cover

I've printed them out side by side and still am in favor of the original one posted here but my illustrator and now publisher are saying otherwise. So I post it to you all - Which of the two Quarries covers when put out there next to Wilderness do you like better? I can see the reasons both of them gave and all but I still like the first one. So be objective, please - let me know - E :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour prizes

This is just about the prizes for the tour - Good luck to everyone - E :)

Grand Prize: A customized Halloween short story featuring your child (or grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend) with Trockle - written by Holly Jahangiri and illustrated by Jordan Vinyard.

Second Prize: A $20 gift certificate to

To enter, complete the following steps:

(1) Purchase a copy of Trockle directly from 4RV Publishing ( between 12:00 AM October 5 and 11:59 PM October 13, and

(2) Send an email to with your answer to the question posted at

You may enter as often as you like, but all completed entries must be received before midnight on October 13!

Winners will be announced at and at

The winners will be chosen randomly from all correctly completed entries (see "To enter" above) and winners will be notified by email. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Grand Prize winner will need to work directly with the author and illustrator to create a memorable gift for that special child. To include the child's likeness in the illustration, you will need to provide a digital photo upon notification that you have won. Every effort will be made to deliver the prize prior to Halloween, but circumstances beyond our control may prevent that and we do not guarantee that it will arrive by October 31.

Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour coming

Trockle is making a second appearance with us and Ms. Holly and Ms. Jordan are planning a wonderful fun tour this time around. (Not that the first one wasn't wonderful or fun). You can follow the tour by making stops at each person's blog during the week of October 5 through October 13.

We have a special treat (so Ms. Elysabeth tells us) planned for our stop. There is also a super special prize being offered this go-round - so make sure you get your Trockle book from Ms. Vivian and well, you'll see when the prize information is posted what you have to do. You have to order a copy of Trockle and answer the question to be entered. So don't forget to stop by and leave comments and have some fun. We'll leave the porch light on and the Jack-O-Lanterns glowing. Oh yeah, and the Monster Mash will be playing so come by and visit a while. Dance a little, bob for apples and have fun - the JGD squad

October 5: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 6: Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors

October 7: Janet @ Janet’s Book Nook

October 8: Kimberly @ All About Kimberly

October 8: Jen (Pantheistic Mom) @ My Terrene Reality

October 10: Elysabeth Eldering @ the Junior Geography Detective Squad

October 11: Ron Berry @ The Surreal Writer

October 12: Lynne Thompson @ La Vida Es Un Sueno

October 13: Wrap-up by Holly Jahangiri and Jordan M. Vinyard

Traveling the States book tour coming

The JGDS series, book 1 - State of Wilderness will have a virtual book tour in November. The stops on the tour include two homeschoolers, three children's authors, and a teacher in Utah. I found Mr. Hughes blog on blogcatalog, thinking that having teachers' blogs would be my best bet to do the tour. I visited his blog and left a comment as I couldn't find an email for him and asked him to host me during the tour. Grant it, he was hesitant and unsure about having an author contact him and wanting this small favor done. He emailed me and asked for more info and after about two email exchanges, he was excited that he contacted me via Google Talk and we spent several hours two nights in a row chatting. We have decided to make his hosting day as a wrap up of a class project we will be collaborating on - a virtual classroom visit working on writing and a small class contest. So we are bringing together the JGDS series on tour, using the contest format that led to my second place win on Armchair Interviews in 2005 and a challenge from my good friend Batya's newsletter to participate in a 2-month long build-up to my book tour. The kids will be excited as I've felt Mr. Hughes excitement through chat about working with a real author and someone who has a book that appeals to their level. I know that 6th grade in his school study World History for their social studies curriculum, but he is willing to do something out of the norm to teach the kids and even go back to a little bit of 5th grade US History for the project to work.

I will do a weekly update on how the project is doing leading up to the tour dates. So be on the lookout.

Virtual classroom visits begin Monday, September 29 and will end about the time the book tour starts on November 17. Looking forward to sharing what this 6th grade class gets out of the pre-tour visits. -- See you in the postings - E :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Slide of Aiken Book Festival

The first few are from Friday's workshop with Jefferson Spurlock and Vonda Skelton. The Cat in Hat ones are from the Friday's author reception, and then the rest are just different booths around the book festival. I was trying to get everyone's booth but again, I had the camera on the wrong setting and it kept saying I was running low on my battery. But I did get some good ones (Hailie said a lot of them blurry and she didn't put them on the disk which is fine).


If you would like to check out all the authors that were set up at the book festival, you can always check the Aiken Book festival page and click on their names to check out their websites.

Aiken Book Festival success

I met up with some old friends and made some new ones. I had a blast. I may not have had many sales but I think the contacts and information I gathered from other authors will make up for it in the long run. One homeschooler from Georgia is going to give all my information to the homeschool folks she works with and see about getting the books used in their curriculum. Georgia apparently is pushing for social studies to be more on the history of the state and she feels that even the one book about Georgia would be a step in the right direction. But my feeling is that it's more fun to collect all 50 states and learn about all the states as you go along.

I am willing to change the order of the states written if I am contacted with information about how they would like to get the story that covers their state out in the second year. This is only fair since the first six are pretty much set and I can't do much changing now. Otherwise, it may take a few years to get your state out. I have a list of how the states will be written from here on out but that is only between my publisher and my illustrator and myself. The reason is that the fun of the series is guessing the states along with my characters and if everyone already knew what state it was, I probably wouldn't sell any (okay I would sell a few but not many local sales and the sales would probably only be reflective in that particular state).

I also received some other information from other authors of places to try to get myself known in order to get into the schools and be seen there (which is ultimately my goal - to be in the schools and have the state stories used as a supplement in the Social Studies classrooms, particularly whatever year they are doing US History, as they can learn some fun interesting facts about the states without being bogged down in a lot of detail. Most of the clues can be used as projects of some sort so really the stories can be used cross curricula.

Next posting will be some pictures I took around the festival but I had the wrong setting on the camera and it kept saying my batter was low. I had tried several times to call Hailie to find out what it should be on but she never answered her phone, so I just picked a setting and went with that. What do I know, I'm not very good with some of these mechanical objects as I don't use them too often. There were several folks taking pictures throughout the festival and I'm sure I'll get some of those to be able to post as well.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that I stayed at the Howard Johnson's in Aiken, possibly considered South Aiken (I saw a sign for S. Aiken Elementary School near where I stayed) and compared to my bad experience in February with hotels, this was a much better experience. The staff were really friendly, the continental breakfast was pretty good (except they were out of apple juice, wahhhh :() and location was not bad. I was right behind the high school and if I had stayed on my balcony area, I could have watched the rest of the football game but I didn't. Once I closed my door, I never even heard the noise from the football field. I do have to tell you that when the desk clerk gave me my room key and after we had stood there for a while chatting, I went back like she said to get to my room. I got my stuff, trekked up the stairs almost to the top only to realize I must be in the wrong area - my room was 408 and at the top of the stairs was 208. Now there are only two floors in the building. So I put my stuff back in the car, go back to the front and find out that there are actually two buildings to the hotel and my room was in the back building. I felt really stupid, but I really hadn't seen the parking lot area continue to the other building. I was tired and just ready to go to my room. Other than being a dummie, I had a wonderful stay (can't beat that my room was complimentary either). I would recommend this hotel to everyone.

See you all in the postings - E :)

State of Quarries cover

We have a cover for State of Quarries, book 2 of the JGDS series. What do you all think. Can you guess the state from these clues - Diamond mines, Chalk, and excavating quarries (can't reveal what is excavated as this will definitely give it away)?

I can't wait to see the other illustrations for the story. You all let me know what you think of the cover - likes, dislikes, et cetera - see you in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Aiken bound

The Squad and I will be in Aiken this weekend for the Aiken Children's Book Festival. If you are in South Carolina and in the lower part of the state, come visit over 30 children's authors and some fun characters like Cat in the Hat, Schmooney and Amadeus the Traveling Dog. If you happen to be there, stop by the JGDS table and try to win a puzzle or a state related item, maybe even pick up a copy of State of Wilderness and get it signed.

Hope to see you all there. For more information, go to the Aiken Book Festival site and see what's going on - E :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Congratulations and moving to the next stop

My time for hosting Trockle has come to an end. It has been a fun day. Thank you to all who visited my blog today. Don't be a stranger now that you know where I am.

I had 90 hits with 40 comments total, with thirteen commenters and fourteen comments that were not from Vivian, Jordan or myself. (Rena posted a comment on each article.)

Now for the good news; congratulations goes to Chris Redding for winning the tote bag. Congratulations, Chris. Enjoy it. (Vivian will email you for your mailing address).

Now it's time for me to get serious and get some work done - see you all in the postings and be on the lookout for some updates on the states soon.

Next stop on the tour, tomorrow, Monday, September 15: Aidana's Cover Chat blog - Stop over and see what interesting article or other information Aidana has for us.

Monsters Under the Bed, part 2

by Jordan Vinyard

I am not a parent, so I haven't had any first hand experience combatting monsters under the bed. That being said, I do understand the notion of monsters. No, not the orange horned kind, but illogical lurking beasts just the same. Everyone has fears, and often we can't even explain the basis for those fears and concerns.

When I first read Trockle, I was immediately captivated by the developing relationship between monster and boy. The aspect I liked best, was that this was not just a lesson for children. This was a lesson for everyone. I began thinking about all the times that I had pre-conceived ideas about a person, and how worried or fearful I was that I wouldn't get along with them or we wouldn't like one another. Often, I found that they had the same worries or concerns. Like children, our imaginations often get the best of us. We let our minds run wild, and get in the way of realizing the commonalities between ourselves and others.

Don't forget the comments - see you all in the postings - Ms. E :)

Monsters Under the Bed

Monsters Under the Bed: Don’t Bother to Look for the Logic
by Holly Jahangiri, author of Trockle

It’s pointless to argue with a child who believes there are monsters under the bed. Parents who try to apply rational logic to an irrational fear are setting themselves up for frustration and sleepless nights.

Imagination and fear make powerful allies. It’s dark at night. Suddenly, the child is deprived of sight – a whole sense gone in the flick of a light switch. And mom or dad insists that darkness is a good thing – you need darkness to sleep. (In fact, we all know that it’s just because Dad doesn’t really own stock in the electric company, and we don’t need light to see when our eyes are closed. Already, the parents’ credibility is going down the drain with the sewer monsters.) The house creaks. Grandpa snores. The water heater gurgles. The faucet drips. The refrigerator downstairs crackles and growls as it goes into the defrost cycle. A branch taps against the glass on the other side of the curtains. Children are smart, but their imaginations know no bounds; it’s just unthinkable to them that the adults they trust can’t see the monsters that lurk beneath the bed, in the closet, down in the basement, or up in the attic. Don’t they know that the darkness draws them out of their cool, dark hidey holes? Surely they’re not in league with the monsters…
Apply all the logic you like; it’s just not going to convince anyone under the age of ten. I suspect it won’t convince anyone over the age of ten, either, but middle schoolers are too cool to admit to having irrational fears or believing in monsters. Authors like R.L. Stine and Stephen King know better. We never outgrow our monsters – not really. Mine masquerade as spiders and hypodermic needles.

But we can make peace with them.

We can try to be equally irrational and spray the room with Monster Repellent (Febreeze makes a good one with a nice fresh scent that also helps to eliminate funky tennis shoe odor) or we can go with the flow and offer up the monster’s side of the story.

That’s what I did with Trockle. Of course, my sole intent, at the time, was to see to it that a sleepless night with the ceiling light on was at least not wasted time. William could practice reading. I started out writing the story of a little boy named Stephen who didn’t want to go to bed because he was afraid of monsters. Suddenly the little monster under the bed piped up and insisted I tell his story, too! He told me that his name was Trockle. He liked Choco-Tacos. (My son and I were standing in Ace Hardware one day after Trockle was published, and he was looking for an ice cream treat in their freezer. “Mom, they have Choco-Tacos!” Imagine my surprise – I didn’t know there was such a thing! William and I had to try them, of course. Thanks, Trockle – they’re pretty tasty!) Trockle showed me what it was like for him, under the bed. He didn’t want to go to sleep, either. I smiled as I watched his mother tuck him in. She gently reassured Trockle that Stephen – the great big, scary boy over the bed – wasn’t so terribly different from him. Once you got past the rather startling differences in their appearances, they had more in common than they realized. Trockle thought it was just hilarious that Stephen was afraid of him.
See? Grown-ups aren’t stupid. We know all about the little monsters under – and over – the bed. And we love them, icky sticky hands and all.

Don't forget - leave comments or questions (and don't forget the email addy) for Ms. Holly or Ms. Jordan and your name will go in a drawing to win a Trockle tote bag.

Trockle is available at 4RV's site,, and bookstores everywhere.

Next stop is Ms. Aidana's Cover Chat blog tomorrow. Hope to see you all in the postings and following the tour. - Ms. E :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One more day!!

Did we tell you we were hosting Trockle here? Well if not, you should know we are. So we thought we would introduce the creator and illustrator of the book by giving you their bios and a picture (we tried to upload the back cover of the book but it is not wanting to do so, but you can check out the the 4RV site to see it). You can also find the first blog posting on Ms. Vivian's site along with how the story came about. Tomorrow, an article by Ms. Holly and Ms. Jordan will be posted, but it is our understanding that Ms. Holly is without power right now due to Hurricane Ike being a brat (kind of like Mary Beth over here) and coming up through Texas area where she lives. So we don't expect her to stop by to make comments, but maybe her sister-in-law can post something to keep us updated on what is going on with Ms. Holly. Hopefully Ms. Jordan won't be too busy and can take a few minutes to come visit us and leave some comments.

Remember everyone who leaves a comment and a valid email address will go in a drawing for a tote bag with the cover of the book on it. It is so cute since it has both front and back covers on it. Remember to ask questions and leave comments for them so we know that you are following the tour.

And now Ms. Holly and Ms. Jordan -

Ms. Holly:

Holly Jahangiri is a professional writer with over twenty-five years’ experience: In technical writing, freelancing, and editing, which feeds the family, and in creative writing – fiction and poetry – which feeds the soul.

On a really good writing day, she claims (tongue-in-cheek) to be channeling the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, Erma Bombeck, and O. Henry. Her writing has been compared to Spider Robinson’s and Douglas Adams’s. On a really bad writing day, she claims to have poured every last ounce of her creative ability and energy into childbirth, and has two wonderful children – her son, William, and her daughter, Katie – to prove it. But regardless of whether it’s a good day or a bad day, she’s grateful for her friends, and for the love and support of J.J., her husband of nearly a quarter century.

Ms. Jordan:

From small awkward sketches at the age of five to highly detailed photorealistic drawings, detail oriented paintings, installation projects, and colorful illustrations; Jordan Vinyard’s pursuit of art has been ever prevalent At the age of 24, Jordan graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and was honored by the College of Arts, Media, and Design with the Award of Excellence, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Scholarship, and was the fall 2007 Class Marshall. Upon graduation Jordan become an illustrator for 4RVPublishing as well as continuing studio work and mural painting. In the winter of 2008, she had an exhibition, Dichasms, at the Indpendent Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, as well as marking the completion of her first book, Trockle. Shortly afterwards she was included in a group exhibition, Opposites Attract, at the Arts Alliance Center in Houston, Texas. She also received the Momentum Spotlight Honorarium, in which the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition funded an installation and drawing proposal for Liggett Studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As the fall of 2008 Jordan prepares for another group show, 12X12 in Oklahoma City, and the completion of her second book, Prarie Dog Cowboy. Jordan’s goal is to continue her multifaceted pursuit of art, and exemplify her passion for it.

Tomorrow, a couple of wonderful articles - enjoy - the JGDS and Ms. E :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pictures from the booksigning that didn't happen

As promised, I have the slide show together, so here are the pictures Hailie took Saturday at the booksigning.

Announcing title of second book in series

Well, after brainstorming with titles based on some of the clues already in the story, Aidana and I have come up with State of Quarries. Another friend suggested State of Mines but I like Quarries better. We tossed around a few others - State of Pits, State of Dredgers - but we both liked Quarries. So the next book will be State of Quarries and it is being worked on. Aidana has several of the clues to start working on illustrations and the cover, which means I might have a cover to show by the end of the month. More updates as I get them. - Ms. E :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trockle is coming!

September 13 - 21, 2008

Trockle - author Holly Jahangiri and illustrator Jordan Vinyard

(click on host name to go to site)

Sept. 13 Vivian Zabel

Sept. 14 Elysabeth Eldering

Sept. 15 Aidana WillowRaven

Sept. 16 Steph Cardin
Also Miguel de Luis Espinosa

Sept. 17 Ian William
Also Lea Schizas

Sept. 18 Susan Thompson
Also Joyce Anthony - first of 4 days to host
1st day - Introduce book, synopsis, etc.
2nd day - Author/illustrator bios
3rd day - Author/illustrator interviews
4th day - Author's choice of guest-blogging, an excerpt from book, or book review by host

Sept. 19 Beverly Stowe McClure and Beverly's 2nd Blog
Also Joyce Anthony - 2nd day (see first day)

Sept. 20 Joyce Anthony - 3rd day (see first day)

Sept. 21 Karen L. Syed
Also Joyce Anthony - 4th day (see first day)

Be on the lookout over the next couple of days leading up to the Trockle tour for bios and pictures of both the author and illustrator.

On my day of hosting, Holly will present a short article with comments from Jordan as well as replies to comments left here. Everyone leaving a comment on the 14th of September during my hosting time for Trockle, Holly and Jordan, will have his/her name go in a drawing for a Trockle bag. So remember to leave a valid email address so that if you are the winner, you can be contacted and have your prize mailed to you. Thanks for coming to see us - Ms. E

Book signing update

So I had my first, on-my-own, real book signing yesterday. I tried to give away another puzzle but the four people that guessed the state, none of them got it correct, so no one won the puzzle. I also tried to have fun and games for everyone there and had a few snack things. Trisha, Hailie and I were there pretty much by ourselves for the afternoon. So Hailie took pictures of the displays and I did a mock reading to both the girls and she took some pictures of me reading and then I was told I could leave 10 signed books, so I had her take a picture of me signing one of the books. I will post pictures later when she returns from church and puts them on a disk so I can put them on my computer.

Hopefully the next event, which is in two weeks, will be better. See you all in the postings - Ms. E :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Invitation to book signing

Elysabeth Eldering, author of the Junior Geogrphy Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery trivia series

Cordially invites you to a Back School Presentation/
Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday, September 6, 2008
WHERE: The Open Book
110 S. Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC
TIME: 3 to 5 PM
WHY: Launching of Book 1 of the JGDS series

· Learn a bit of trivia of one of the states
· Play games
· Enter to win a United States puzzle
· Listen to a reading
· Get your copy of "State of Wilderness" signed

This is open to teachers, parents, grandparents and students, so please come visit me on Saturday, September 6, from 3 to 5 PM and find out more about the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia books.

Congratulations to Jordan H.

This weekend at Decatur, I had this puzzle up for grabs. Well the contest was simple enough, guess the state based on one clue from the book on a bookmark. I had five entries and of those five, three had the correct state guessed. So upon returning home last evening, I let Hailie draw from the three correct guesses and she pulled Jordan H.'s paper. Congratulations to you, Jordan. The puzzle will be put in the mail today.

(this picture is the inside part of the puzzle because my scanner won't scan the whole thing in one piece; but it does give you an idea of what the puzzle looks like)

See you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Decatur and Back

Ms. Elysabeth has been so busy she has kind of left us hanging. We knew she would be right up until leaving for the book festival. So a bit of a rundown of what went on from your favorite kids.

Funny how you plan things in your head and want to do some fun stuff and then you never get around to it.

Ms. Elysabeth had some plans to do some matching games and fun things with the bookmarks and perhaps some state related giveaways but she was so out of her element that she didn't get to do what she wanted. Hopefully next weekend she'll be better prepared for the book signing at The Open Book.

This is Ms. Elysabeth and Ms. Jacque and Ms. Vivian right after Ms. Elysabeth had been unloaded and got to the booth. She had called Ms. Vivian to tell her she was going to get some ice and that she would be back to help fix the booth up. So she gets there and these two women had already done all the work.

Sunday night packing up was the same way. She had a good time and if nothing else she did get the bookmarks in the hands of the kids. Started a guess the state based on the clue the child had to give away one of the puzzles.

She wore us out but all in all it was a very good trip - For more information you can hop on over to Ms. Vivian's site and check out some pictures and other things about Decatur.

Next up we are going to be doing a book signing at the Open Book on Saturday so come see us from 3 pm to 5 pm and have fun, learn some geography factoids and who knows, you may even win a puzzle - see you then - the JGDS

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guess the State from the clue

Ms. Elysabeth says that Google alerts are not hitting on her blog much. She is allowing us to offer two clues for the readers to guess the state. Email her at with your answer. Feel free to comment about any aspect of the clue or the book in general, but if you know the answer, don't tell everyone. We're betting if you guess correctly we can persuade her to send you a state related gift. Remember, no looking at maps, no searching the internet, just make your guess like we do. Send it and see if you know your geography - the JGDS

CLUE #1: This state’s landscape includes fast rivers, evergreen forests, steep waterfalls, canyons, plateaus, and lakes. Some of its more famous places are Shoshone Falls in which the water cascades down 212 feet, which is a greater drop than Niagara Falls and Hell’s Canyon, which is 7900 feet deep, the deepest canyon in North America.

CLUE #2: The Lemhi Pass is most notable for the Lewis and Clark expedition, which entered this state in 1805. Now, the Lemhi County Historical Museum contains artifacts and information about Sacajawea, the Native American woman who helped Lewis and Clark discover the Northwest Territory.

Have fun and hope you all know it - the JGDS

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Belton Center for the Arts pictures

As promised, here are the pictures from the Belton Center for the Arts summer camp. The theme this year was storybook and this session was from The Very Hungry Catepillar. The best one is the group picture because I am hidden. The first one is me reading a selection from the book. The second one is the group picture.

Viv has already threatened the camera for Decatur, so I'm sure I'll have some pictures to post from that. See you all in the postings - Ms. E :)

Decatur bound, here we come

We are going to Decatur. The anticipation and excitement continue to build. Ms. Elysabeth and her kids volunteered last year and this year, she is going to be in her publisher's booth. We have so much to do to get ready for the upcoming events. Ms. Elysabeth has some geography games and fun things related to the series. We hope she sells out again. The first order is almost gone - less than 15 left but we've lost count.

If you happen to come by the booth, make sure you tell Ms. Elysabeth, Ms. Vivian and Ms. Jacque that you heard about it online. We might be able to talk Ms. Elysabeth into having some special gifts available just for mentioning finding out about the book festival somewhere online. There are lots of places the event is being posted, so come on and say you heard about them online.

For more information about the festival, click here. Click the book and street fair link and you will see a list of all exhibitors and booth numbers. 4RV is booth 114. See you all there. Hopefully the weather will stay like it has been the past couple of days. the JGDS

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Noteworthy News

We apologize for being absent so much of late. Ms. Elysabeth has been busy (see her posting on the other blog for how busy she has been).

Ms. Elysabeth has done three summer camp presentations at the Belton Center of the Arts and although the kids haven't been buying the books yet, they have been pretty receptive to her reading. Ms. Stephanie took pictures yesterday and we are hoping she remembers to email a copy to Ms. Elysabeth so she can post here. (Will let you know when they are available).

Ms. Vivian is back from vacation and at least one school will be showcasing several books from 4RV Publishing including the JGDS series. We can't wait to get into the schools and show the kids how much fun learning geography can be.

So far, Book 1 has been selling very well. We are pleased with how she is getting us out there. It seems she has sold 35 books total (including a few books on hold that she is awaiting to see the persons or receive their money). Viv had to order another 50 books sent to Ms. Elysabeth for the Decatur Book Festival. We hope she sells all 50 there and has to place another order for the Aiken Book Festival. We are looking forward to being in Decatur. It seems like it is shaping up to be a very big festival.

Book 2 clues are being placed in the story but nothing else has happened. Matt and Mary Beth are playing the game this time and they haven't told Ms. Elysabeth much as to how they are interacting or what the end result will be (of course she has been a bit busy to really sit down and listen to them). The book will be ready on time for publication in January.

The cover didn't win this time but maybe the next one will. We can only hope. We are being urged to get off now so we will sign off and will post more when we can.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sales and other good news!!!!

I'm so excited about how the book is doing. I can't wait to get caught up on my regular work to get the second one finished.

Since the books arrived, 50 in the first order which was supposed to be put aside basically for Decatur Book Festival, 35 have actually been requested or sold. I sent Vivian monies last week for about a dozen books and at the same time, she ordered another 50, because in talking to several friends of mine online or via email, I realized I had maybe 7 books left in the box from the original order. In total that makes 120 books in less than a month having been ordered (she forgot to order some to keep with her so she could send out for anyone who orders from the website, so had to place an order for 20). My second 50 arrived Thursday and I promised not to sell from that box and put it aside for Decatur. So, hopefully this trend will continue through the end of the year and we sell like crazy.

Yesterday, while out running around, we ran into one of Hailie's friends who bought a copy of the book. She's such a sweetheart too. She was my 34th copy sold. And then while talking to one of the band members at the grocery store, Hailie sold another one to a friend's mother out in the parking lot (she was getting a copy of the book to show the friend in the store and ran into her other friend who said to hold a copy a copy out since she did not have the cash at the moment - that was the 35th one). I am down to 5 in the box and 10 on consignment at the Belton Center for the Arts and if those don't sell by the end of the month, I'll pick them up to take with me to Decatur.

Vivian is on a mini vacation visiting her son in Colorado. Her daughter-in-law is an administrator in one of the elementary schools and read the book and absolutely loved it, so my series may make it into the schools, one school district at a time but I have a feeling that they will eventually make it into the right hands in each of the states to get distributed in the schools massively (that would be great to see my books used to supplement the geography teaching and having the kids learn things about the states they normally wouldn't pick up in their normal day-to-day routine schooling).

Now for the guesses - most everyone who has read the book gets to about Clue #25 (out of 27 clues) before they really know the state. I did two presentations last week at the Belton Center for the Arts summer camp (the theme this year is story time) and had a blast. Stephanie wanted me to read clue #25 so the kids could guess the state but I didn't want to, really wanted to entice them to buy the book, or get their parents to buy the book, so that they could read the book for themselves and make their guesses like my characters do.

I will be doing one more presentation next Wednesday to the last of the summer camp sessions at the Belton Center for the Arts. I will probably read the first part and the first two clues and let them get the books to read the rest themselves. Definitely Clue #25 is a dead giveaway clue (26 and 27 are basically the common, known facts of the state so everyone should know by the last clue or the next to the last clue for sure).

One of the band member's mother bought two copies and informed me last night while at the store that she guessed the state from the cover. I don't know how she did but she did. The cover depicts Clue #2 (Sacajawea), Clue #14 (the Appaloosa horse) and Clue #20 (the Birds of Prey Wildlife area in this state being the home to world's most dense population of nesting eagles, hawks and falcons). Way to go Faith from knowing from the cover what state it is. You get a gold star.

Everyone come over to the 4RV website and place your order today. If you know me, you can get an autographed copy from me directly (remembering I only have about 15 left I can actually sell before Decatur Book Festival). If you are in the Atlanta area over the Labor Day weekend, stop by the Decatur Book Festival and come visit the 4RV booth. You can pick up your copy of 10 of the books that 4RV has published this year, some actually signed by the authors who will be available (Viv, Jacque Graham and myself). So see you all in the postings or at the book festivals - E :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last five days to vote

If you haven't voted yet, remember to go to the Author's Lounge monthly cover contest. Voting ends midnight July 31, so you still have a few days to get your vote in. I hope you all like the cover and will place your vote. If you have already voted, many thanks to you. Don't wait until it is over. Go now and vote - E :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First review of State of Wilderness

Well here it is folks - the first review of the first book. It's such a wonderful review -

“Elysabeth has created an intriguing storyline to encourage youngsters to learn about our United States. The relationships of her four characters add depth to the stories; they are true to their age and situation. Interesting and educational, State of Wilderness is a wonderful first book in the Junior Geography Detective Series: I’m looking forward to the next 49 books!”

--Batya D. Wininger, UPositive Creativity and Life Coaching

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