Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yvonne Perry and the Sid Series interview

I had a chance to visit with Yvonne about her new series, and here are her answers.

1. Tell us a little bit about your series, Yvonne.

The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children is a collection of body-mind-spirit stories that focus on life skills such as overcoming fear, helping others, being true to one’s self, following inner guidance, caring for the body, having self-worth, appreciating diversity, dealing with change, accepting pet death, being environmentally conscious, and using spiritual gifts.

  • Sid’s Fairy ~ Learning about Inner Guidance teaches children to meditate and sense the small voice of guidance inside.

  • A Stormy Adventure ~ Facing the Fear of Storms. How have you overcome your fear of storms or the fear of something else?

  • The Pirate’s Treasure ~ Finding Treasure Within. What is the greatest treasure and where is it found? How did you find it?

  • You Can Be! ~ Understanding Destiny and Making Choices. What would you like to be when you grow up?

  • Ask Your Body ~ Understanding the Body’s Needs. Do you know what your body needs to be healthy? How are you helping meet your body’s needs?

  • A Ghost in My Closet ~ Communicating with Angels. Have you ever seen or heard a ghost or angel? What did he or she say or do? Do you hear your inner guidance?

  • A Powerful Potion ~ The Power of Imagination. Do you believe in magic? Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

  • My Friend’s Skin ~ Accepting and Appreciating Diversity. Do you have friends of a race different than your own? What do you like best about that person? What have you done to show love to someone who is not like you?

  • Puppy Love ~ Dealing with the Death of a Pet. Has a pet or someone you love died? What does it mean to die? Tell about your experience.

  • Old Things New ~ Learning About Recycling. Do you recycle? What are you doing to keep the earth clean and safe?

  • Always Be Honest ~ Learning to Tell the Truth. Have you ever told a lie? How did it make you feel? How did you resolve the situation?

  • Making Room for Brother ~ Coping with Family Changes. Has your family gone through a big change? Perhaps a new person came into your life, or maybe someone moved out of your home. Tell or draw what happened.

2. Yvonne, what inspired you to write The Sid Series?

Spending time with my first-born grandson, Sidney, opened communication about some pretty “adult” topics that many parents and teachers are hesitant to discuss with children. I started writing the stories when Sid was about three years old. He and I regularly enjoy one another’s company and now that he’s almost nine years old, he has started helping me write the stories for a future book. By sharing the stories in The Sid Series I hope to reinforce and enhance these and other life lessons for other children and parents.

3. I see that the print version of the book includes all the stories, so they are basically short stories. How long does it take you to write the stories themselves?

Yes, the printed book is a collection of short stories that can be read to younger children or read alone by children who have obtained a second grade reading level.

The stories only take a few minutes to write once the idea comes to me, but the process of bringing them to the market is much longer because it involves working with illustrators and having a knowledge of the publishing industry. And since I self-published, I worked with a graphic designer to set up the files for Lightning Source.

4. Writing a series takes a lot of time. You are busy with many other writing related things. How do you find the time to write a series with everything else you have going on? What do you do to balance family, writing and life in general?

I’m in front of the computer working 50+ hours a week because I’m either marketing my business or books, or I’m doing writing/editing work for clients. When I take on an extra project such as writing and publishing my own books, I have to work nights and weekends to get it all done. I still manage to spend time with my family, but it takes some pre-planning and organization.

5. How are you marketing the series? What kind of book events are you participating in to get the word out about your series?

This interview is the last day of a 31-day virtual tour in which I participated as a guest blogger on about 20 blogs. I’ve also used video, audio, media releases, and flip-book widgets during the tour.

Next comes my children’s art showcase for which I am inviting kids (ages 3 through 9) to send their original work that demonstrates a lesson he or she has learned by reading The Sid Series.

This is NOT a contest. I don't believe children should be judged or rejected for their heart-felt creativity. Instead, every piece of artwork I receive will be included in an e-book and given to each participant. I will post more information about the art showcase on the book marketing blog I am using to launch The Sid Series:

6. Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

I encourage children to start working now on their art or writing for the art showcase. You may send it to me between December 26, 2009 and January 25, 2010. I plan to have the e-book ready February 5 so folks can give it as a Valentine’s gift! Check out The Sid Series at

Thanks for visiting the JGDS, Ms. Yvonne. Good luck with your series and hope you have had a great book tour. Mrs. E and the JGDS

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thank you Mr. Hughes

We now have a book trailer and Mr. Hughes created it instead of working on his homework. Thank you very much. Hope you all like it. Please comment and let me know what you think. Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Come visit with Yvonne Perry on Sunday

Find out about her new series, the Sid Series, based on her oldest grandchild's holostic experiences. For any of you have ever believed in reincarnation and have had deja vu experiences, come see what Yvonne is all about. See you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Re: [JGDS] New comment on Meeting Katie Hines' character Drew from Guardian.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and getting a glimpse of Drew and Katie's new book (hopefully to be released soon).  Can't wait to see it in hands - lol - see you all in the postings - E :)

On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 7:31 PM, Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children <> wrote:
Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children has left a new comment on your post "Meeting Katie Hines' character Drew from Guardian":

Great interview and what a great character!

Katie, your book sounds intriguing. I think my 9 year old great nephew will love it.

Great post, Elysabeth!


Posted by Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children to JGDS at December 1, 2009 7:31 PM

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series

STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of 50 now available.
STATE OF QUARRIES, book 2 of 50 now available
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, book 3 of 50 coming 2009

WHERE WILL THE ADVENTURE TAKE YOU NEXT? (series newsletter forum)

member Sisters in Crime, Greenville Chapter
member South Carolina Writer's Workshop, Greenville Chapter

Meeting Katie Hines' character Drew from Guardian

Thanks for stopping by and posting comments everyone.  I'm still having trouble opening the actual blog to respond to anyone.  Katie will be in and out this afternoon.  I'll be leaving in a few hours to go to a party.  I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.  See you all in the postings - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series

STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of 50 now available.
STATE OF QUARRIES, book 2 of 50 now available
STATE OF RESERVATIONS, book 3 of 50 coming 2009

WHERE WILL THE ADVENTURE TAKE YOU NEXT? (series newsletter forum)

member Sisters in Crime, Greenville Chapter
member South Carolina Writer's Workshop, Greenville Chapter

Meeting Katie Hines' character Drew from Guardian

Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect determined to claim the treasure and power themselves.

“This is a story about a real-life treasure story. It is about a boy who struggles with guilt and a personal destiny, and it is a story about family, love and making commitments beyond yourself. The cast is replete with four teens, a professorial grandfather, a wacky grandmother and a mysterious knight, whose very life is dedicated to ensuring the safety of not just one, but two treasures.”

Today, we meet Katie Hines' character, Drew. The young man who makes a promise to his dying mother.

Guardian is Katie's first published novel. It is due to be released very soon (a little birdie told me it might be a nice little Christmas present for Katie). I had the chance to catch up with Drew, the main character in Katie's novel and ask him a few questions. So without further ado, let's get some info from Drew about the debuting book, which happens to be about him and his fight with evil.

Mrs. E: First, let's meet Drew. Tell us a little bit about yourself (age, what you look like, where you live, and anything you might thing the readers would like to know about you).
Drew: Hey, my name is Drew and I’m 14 years old. I have longish blond hair, and green eyes that the girls tell me are to die for. It’s kinda embarrassing, you know? Right now, I live in Maine, but I’ll be visiting my Grandpa Ian and Grandma Linzi in Nova Scotia, Canada, soon.

Mrs. E: How fun, heading to Canada. You know I've visited quite a few places but I've never been to Canada. It's funny that my grandparents lived in Maine all their lives and I visited them several times but never made it to Canada. You sound excited to go.

Mrs. E: Drew, when we look at your picture, we see a young man who looks angry. What, in your opinion, is the first impression people get when they first meet you?
Drew: Of course, my picture looks like that, but I didn’t have a choice as to which picture was used. Actually, the first impression is that of a guy who has a secret, because after all that’s what my story is about.

Mrs. E: Who are your best friends? How long have you been friends and what does it take to be a best friend for you?
Drew: My very best friends are Javon Manson and Mattie Royze. I’ve known them like forever. Even though they argue a lot, they’re pretty good about rallying around me during my adventures. A sense of humor always helps, too.

Mrs. E: Do you have any enemies?
Drew: I do! You wouldn’t think that at the age of 14 that would be the case, but it is. The very worst enemies are the Brotherhood of the Holy Chalice.

Mrs. E: What is the most traumatic thing that has happened to you?
Drew: Being with my mom when she died of anaphalytic shock.

Mrs. E: That must have been very terrible. But you are here now and that is a good thing.

Mrs. E: What is the best thing that has happened in your life?
Drew: Ending my adventure that my book tells about all in one piece.

Mrs. E: What is one wish you have for readers?
Drew: That they have a good time with us as we end up in Nova Scotia on Oak Island.

Mrs. E: Is Ms. Katie difficult or easy to work with?
Drew: I’ve heard she uses commas a lot in writing my story. We’ve had a few arguments along the way but everything works out in the end.

And one final question for Ms. Katie:
Mrs. E: Katie, do you have any last minute thoughts on your book, your characters, the inspiration for your book, that you would like readers to know?
Ms. Katie: I am of course, thrilled to have my book almost out. I hope that everyone who reads it will be entertained and feel like they’ve gone on a great journey. There were times when my characters wanted to go in a different direction than I wanted them to go, but we worked it out in the end.

Guardian can be ordered from 4RV Publishing LLC or any oneline store or bookstore.

Check out Katie Hines' blog or her website for more writing tips and interviews with some up and coming authors.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A semi-landmark number

Today my counter shows 3500 even. That is pretty impressive but not quite where I really need to be. I've had this blog almost two years now and should have seen closer to 7500 views in the two years or over 10,000 would be nice. But seeing a number ending in a 500 is nice. I also had 25 hits on my blog on the 18th (just two days ago) as well as some pretty high hits on my website that same day - so not sure if those were from this weekend (hoping it means we will be seeing some orders from that for the first two books at least). I would love to see all that hard work, albeit fun, from Savannah pay off. I am so looking forward to next year's children's book festival. I hope I can find someone to take me with me to afford me some breaks to walk around and visit with folks and eat lunch, et cetera. But that is a year away and anything can happen before then. See you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trying to get to my blog and can't

It seems someone who is following my blog here is freezing up the blog so I may have to remove my followers (I've removed everything else that could possibly be the culprit already). I hate to remove my followers but I can't not access my blog. So for now, my faithful readers will either have to subscribe using the email subscription on the side and get updates in the inboxes or they will just have to check the blog daily to see if I've posted anything. I so apologize for this right now. I will be updating some things about the series soon, so please check back soon - E :)

Spider in My Mailbox

Let's take a quick peek at Linda Asato's Spider in My Mailbox.

What the book is about: Children will love this delightful picture book where they can learn the days of the week as well as colors and numbers up to 7. They will also learn about the different objects that one child sees on the way to get mail from the family mailbox.

For a sneak peek inside the book, check out Linda's Writing Web and see two delightful pictures from inside the book.

This is a delightful looking book and I wish I had some young children in my life to give this book to but all my younguns are grown up and the little ones in my life, I don't have much contact with. I think any child just learning about numbers, animals and the days of the week will enjoy Spider in My Mailbox.

Enjoy a glimpse into Linda's children's world.

Meet children's author Linda Asato

Biography – Linda Asato

Linda grew up in the Canadian woods on her father’s lumber camp. She and her younger sister shared a bedroom in a 3-bedroom house that her father and his men built on the edge of a small river within sight of the saw mill and planer mill. Her family life was one of security, encouragement, and love, which helped to foster her talents of writing and playing the piano. Not having access to TV or other entertainment sources, Linda found herself interested in life itself, and when she wasn’t taking long walks in the woods with her two dogs, she became interested in oil painting landscapes, taking photos with her camera, fishing, playing the recorder as well as the accordion and piano. Helping her mother with the huge garden in the summer and harvesting the crops in the fall nurtured her love of plants and gardening, which later became her area of study at the university in Edmonton, Alberta.

She began writing poetry at the age of nine and shared her poems daily with her Grade 3 teacher who supplied her with fancy notepaper on which to write them.

Later, she took to writing short stories, and her teacher at that time mentioned to her parents that she had a unique way of viewing things from the other person’s perspective.

During her 3 years of attending University, she wrote numerous poems, two of which appeared in two separate anthologies of poetry. During the last year, she married Brian Smith and completed her Bachelor of Science. Moving to Thompson, Manitoba, the couple had two kids, a boy and a girl that kept Linda busy raising a family for the next few years. She was divorced years later and raised her two kids mainly on her own while running her own Janitorial business to keep the family financially afloat.

As her own kids grew up and left home, Linda worked for many years both as a teacher and also as an executive at a boarding ranch school where kids lived and worked together as well as studied. It was here that she wrote many courses including workbooks for the education of the students.

Years later, she moved to Florida where she endeavored to continue her writing and even editing for others. As a ghost writer, she wrote a book on mortgage traps as well as a book on improving one’s credit score, plus many other shorter reports. She has edited for others over the past 4 years.

Her first picture book for children, “Spider in Our Mailbox,” is now published by 4RV Publishing and is illustrated brilliantly by Ryan Shaw.

For more on Linda, her publisher or illustrator, you can find them at the following places:

Website: Linda’s Writing Web
Blog: Linda’s Writing Desk
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
Illustrator: Ryan Shaw

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Correction on name from SCBF dinner table/add-on info

I found Ms. Coffey's business card and her name is actually Sheron; but in an email she said that she does use the name Sheri and as you can see, her last name is Coffey not Coffee or however I had it. She is the author of the Hannah Banana book.

The illustrator we sat with was Michael P. White and he does "The Library Dragon" illustrations.

So coming back up the highway to home, I was flipping through the radio stations until I got close enough to pick up the one I usually listen to - magic 98.6 out of Greenville and now it's two weeks from the official start of the Christmas Season and all they were playing at the time was Christmas music. I wanted to scream. What's up with playing Christmas music this far out from the beginning of the Christmas season? Do they think we want to hear that music for six weeks? Last year with the marching band's theme being Christmas music - Winter Dreams was the actual theme - I was sick of hearing Christmas music by the time the official season started and this year, the radio stations have already started, not to mention the ads for layaway already but you have to love the elves shopping for "Santa but don't get their bonus checks until December" at one of the large appliance stores and the mention of layaway - the head elf loses all control of the others - and they forget they are supposed to be buying for Santa and think only of getting stuff for themselves.

As previously posted, the weekend was wonderful and the area was absolutely gorgeous. I'm hoping next year to be able to spend a little bit of time exploring and seeing the sights. Hopefully I will receive pictures from the school visit this week and will be able to post them and maybe some from the festival too - see you all in the postings - E and the JGDS - :)

Savannah Bound and Returned

There was supposed to be a preposting about heading to Savannah for the weekend but my schedule has been a bit messed up of late. I can't seem to do much of anything in a timely manner like I used to but hopefully that will be straightend out soon.

So I headed to Savannah, Georgia, on Friday, November 13 and have returned home today. It was a very good trip.

I left the house about 6:15 Friday morning to meet up with one of the librarians at a branch library in Savannah to get some info to take to the school I was visiting. I got to the school about 5 minutes later than I was supposed to get there but they were okay with that because I had a mix-up about meeting the librarian as the branch is closed on Fridays and I didn't know I was supposed to knock for them to hear me. I really had a pretty good drive down there, followed my Google printed out map and it was perfect (I'm sure my GPS, had it been working would have taken me a different way to the branch library and the school).

The school visit was awesome. Joseph Martin Elementary School teachers are doing many things right in my book. The kids were great and helpful and very smart. There were about 90 something fourth graders and four teachers, the art teacher came in and the media specialist (I think the media specialist said there was one other adult there, possibly the principal). I started out my presentation with a little background about my stories and asked them if they knew what geography was and one little boy answered with the perfect answer. So it made me feel very proud that the teachers were actually teaching geography to the students. Then we talked about writing some and they all knew characters and setting but struggled with plot, but eventually came around to it.

I left the school and headed to the hotel. Now I've never been Savannah and had I not needed some downtime to rest before dinner, I would have done some more exploring of the area because it is an absolutely beautiful area. Heading to the Hotel on I-95 I saw this sign for "book warehouse" and "uniform outlet" in a factory outlet place coming up. Now you all know me, I love to read and seeing a sign for a book warehouse was something I couldn't pass up too easily. I stopped in to see what they were about and my, my, my you wouldn't believe the kinds of things they have there. Hardbound books for 99cents and $1.99 and other things for 50 cents and fun stuff for less than $3 - VBS packets that had like 12 or 24 projects for $1.99; canvas tote bags (small maybe 6 x 6 or a little bigger) for 50 cents. I picked up some of the canvas bags that had USA flags on them (30 at first) thinking I would send them to the kids in Mr. Hughes' class for participating in NaNo this month. But then an idea struck me Saturday morning, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway I purchased the thirty bags and thirty (30) little book things for keeping track of music and your friends' music and magazines and whatever - favorites a kid might want to keep track of (I think they can put a picture in the front of them). These include little pens and they weren't be 50 cents - a real bargain. I also picked up a couple of Christmas mini totes (I'm talking not much bigger than a business card size, if that) that contained some Christmas note cards, a mini frame, and a pen for like 99 cents. I also bought a mystery novel paperback for 99 cents. I walked out of the store having only spent about $38 total - 30 bags, 30 mini notebook things, 3 Christmas mini totes/cards/frames things, and a novel - lots of stuff for the small price; possibly one more thing but I can't remember right off the top of my head.

I left there and headed to the hotel. I was worried that my cards wouldn't take and that I'd end up spending the night in my car again - not something I would have done. I got to the Hilton Garden Inn by the airport a little before 5 and checked in. Kimberly was behind the desk. She was super nice to me and helped me with a ton of stuff. My fear of cards not going through as a credit card was right. I asked Kimberly if she would possibly take a check, knowing that I would definitely be good for it Monday since that is payday. She didn't even flinch. She said, yes she would take a check. Yay!!!!! So I got checked in and then she asked if I was planning on eating at the hotel for the weekend. She comped me breakfast for both mornings. How super cool is that? (Apparently the breakfast, since they do not have a continental breakfast at this particular hotel, runns about $9.95 for all you want of the oatmeal, grits, paastries, cereal, and then special orders of eggs, french toast, and other things on the menu - cooked to your order. It was great getting up yesterday and having breakfast at the hotel, not that I wouldn't have been okay with stopping at McDonald's or something for breakfast, but this was so much better.) Connie was very sweet in the American Grille (which is the restaurant in the hotel). She brought my french toast to the table, chatted with me, was very pleasant and helpful too.

Friday night I headed to the Live Oak Bull Street Branch Library for the authors' dinner, a low country boil meal that was very awesome. I met up with some folks I knew (Elizabeth Dulemba, illustrator and author of Soap! Soap! Soap!, and Karen Petit, author of the Shandon Ivy League mystery series). I met a couple of other folks but didn't really get a chance to meet up with them on Saturday (it was busy). In the library, there is a room where authors and illustrators get to sign the walls and decorate with their art. I signed under Karen's name because it was a pretty open space there. I wrote my tag line - Where will the adventure take you next? and signed it adding Author of the JGDS 50-state series, and of course dated it. Karen's message had been up since 2007 which was her first time being there. Karen and I sat together for dinner (which was kind of buffet style and we sat wherever we could find a seat) in the "reading room" (this is the room were everyone was signing and drawing). We sat with Sheri Coffey (sorry if it is misspelled, Sheri, as I haven't got your card with me right now, but will correct it if it is incorrect) and her friend (both local authors from Savannah) and an illustrator and his wife and daughter joined our table (I think his name was Michael something - but he drew pictures and labeled things as the "The Library Dragon"). They were cool to chat with. They were from Atlanta.

After dinner I headed back to the hotel. I got back to my room about 9:30 or so and was very tired. I think I was online for about half an hour or forty-five minutes before I shut down and went to bed. I was overtired so didn't sleep well. But I did get up and was ready for the day or so I thought I was.

I headed to the Forsyth Park in Savannah after stopping at Walmart for a couple of items. The Live Oak Libraries Savannah Children's Book Festival is awesome. I am so looking forward to next year's event. I will probably try to get a couple of school visits in next year (going down on Thursday night and spending the weekend down there).

I was running a bit late getting to the park and in the process of setting up, the crowds started almost immediately. I had about 350 bookmarks with me and some stickers and other state stuff that I usually give away as my freebie promotional items. Well the idea struck me on the way to the festival to use the bags and some flag pens (I had those from previous events) as prizes for a little contest I could run. That was the highlight of many folks' day trying to guess the mystery states to win a prize. I signed and gave out over 325 bookmarks (give or take a few either way). The library had also provided the kids with these little "autograph" booklets they had made up - some construction paper covers with several sheets inside, put together with those brass brads. So not only was I signing my bookmarks and handing them out, I was also signing the booklets. I didn't keep track of how many I signed but I know it was a ton of them - lol. At any given moment, it seemed I had about 10 or 20 people (adults and kids) around my table which was great (exposure for me and the company and my illustrator). I had a hard time taking a break. Finally one of the librarians or volunteers came to my table and allowed me to take a bathroom break. I got to talk with a couple of authors on that side of the fountain near where the portapotties were set up - Karen included.

After the festival, I had decided to go back down the highway (opposite direction of the hotel) to the book warehouse and snatch up some more tote bags. I bought every one they had (about 18) and a couple of other things spending about $13 this go round. I wanted to try Perkins' Restaurant for dinner which happened to be right in front of the outlet mall area. So I was heading that way anyway and it just made the voyage better that they were right there together. I ate dinner first and then went to the book warehouse place. Perkins' was great - I had country fried steak (not had in a long time) and for dessert had a Chocolate Chipper Sundae (two good sized chocolate chip cookies on the side of a bowl of ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream and chocolate chips; now this was not a small bowl by any means - it was a cereal bowl or even what some would consider a soup bowl.) I was satisfied when I left there.

Got up this morning about 6:45 (had a wake up call in for 6 this morning but somehow I had put the phone on hold and so nevver got my call - I had placed the phone on the bed since it was on the table on the side I don't sleep on and I knocked it during the night and when I put the handset back on - I must have hit hold or something). So I made it home about 12:15 or so and the drive home was perfect - hardly any traffic, bright and sunny and no problems on any road I was on.

If you all want to visit any place, I recommend Savannah as a must see. Next year, I plan on allowing myself some extra time to explore a bit more and see more of the beautiful area. I also recommend staying at any of the Hilton Hotels (become a Hilton HHonors member and earn points for free nights) because they really know how to treat people. Connie of the American Grille of Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport was very personable and Kimberly, she was personable as well, and seemed to bend over backwards to help all the people.

I've been told I will be invited back next year so I'm glad to hear and I'll be staying again at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport. As soon as I know what date it will be, I plan on making my reservations. See you all in the postings, and if you happen to be in the Savannah area next November, come join the JGDS at the Savannah Children's Book Festival at Forsyth Park in Historic downtown Savannah.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I tried to put the NaNo info in my side bar

Unfortunately, it kept locking my blog up and so I've removed them. I will just have to keep you posted every few days on my progress with my story. Or if you really want to know, join NaNo and add me as a writing buddy - elysabeth42 - and that way you can keep track of my progress as well. More later - E :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has begun

So I'm a little behind because officially NaNo started the 1st of the month. If you look to my side bar, you will see the Region word wars for SC. I will figure out how to post a personal widget so you can see my updates along with my NaNo writing buddies. So I had a scene pop in my head and wrote 522 words. Finished working and then went back to my story and have logged 1440 words today. Now you may say to yourself that is a lot of words or if you are a writer, you are probably thinking that's nothing. NaNo challenges writers to write a novel (okay the beginning of a novel really and it's not a final draft, it's more like an outline for a future novel) in a month. That's right - 30 days to write 50,000 words. I am a short story writer and so 50,000 words scares me. I am participating as the official cheerleader for the Greenville region of SC (and word keeper/poster to encourage the rest of the WriMos). I am also participating with Mr. Hughes class who are writing on the young writers program. Mr. Hughs and I decided that their goal would only be 6000 words and some of those kids have already put me to shame in that they have been getting some decent words in. On the YWP for NaNo you can set your own goal of how many words you will write ver teh course of 30 days. I set mine for 25,000 which is probably more achievable for me than the 50,000 words. So tonight I actually started and therefore logged 1440 words on my NaNo story. This is an accomplishment for ms since it is the 6th of November and I hardly ever participate in NaNo as a writer. So write on, more word counts to come and I'll try to put my personal widget on the sidebar too so you can see where I am with my goal. E :)

Follow the VBT- Writers on the Move tour this month

Today, I am being hosted by Margaret Fieland. Stop by and leave a comment. Remember if you leave a comment, you are eligible for a prize. There will be a drawing every day this month during the tour since it is our one year anniversary and we want you the readers to benefit. So stop by, leave a comment and maybe tomorrow your name will be drawn for a prize - E :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

VBT - Writers on the Move celebrates one year!

For more information on the schedule and prizes available this month, please see my other blog.

Leave your comments on each stop and be eligible for some great prizes (books, gifts related to authors' books, a guest spot on the VBT - Writers on the Move site and the super duper mystery site prize of a $25 (US) Gift Card - per Karen).

I will be hosting Linda Asato, author of Spider in my Mailbox on November 18th on this site. Please stop by then and see what we have in store for you and remember to leave your comments to be eligible for the prizes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Freaky Tuesday?

Yesterday, while in class with Mr. Hughes during writing time (we are now working on the Harris Burdick projects - lots of fun) I was asking him to resend me the info about leads (I can't find mine from last year) and in mid sentence, I lost the class. I checked all my connections and he was showing idle but still online and then finally offline. Apparently there is some construction going on in their area and they sheared a pole and it knocked out another pole so the whole area was out of electricity for about 4 or 5 hours. Their kids got released right after lunch since they couldn't do much in the dark. I'm glad to know that everything is fine and we will be back to normal today hopefully.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

VIEWPOINT: The difference between children's/MG/tweener/and YA

VBT - Writers on the Move monthly viewpoint:

This topic has come up several times in the recent past on several forums I belong to. The question posed was what is the difference between MG and YA novels. I've been following the postings and gathering information to distinguish the two.

There are no clear definitions as some YAs will overlap into MG and vice versa. There are age limits but even those don't seem to be true boundaries in distinguishing the two genres.

In our little town, elementary school is kindergarten through fourth grade, middle school is fifth through eighth gradea and high school is ninth through twelfth grade. In other towns, elementary may include fifth grade and even sixth grade. I even know one town that only has two schools, the elementary school and the high school so their high school includes seventh through twelfth grade.

So how is one to define the markers between MG, tweens and YA? As an author, I think content plays a big role. My books are classified as middle grade, ages 9 to 12, which is probably appropriate, because from the information I've gathered the last few years, it seems fifth graders are studying US History, which my books would fall in that category since they are basically historical (facts include some history and other types of info about the states that are not well known unless a student is actually doing a report on the state), and they are also part fiction in that the interaction between my characters is fictionalized.

I've written two stories that I call YA since the characters are a bit older and the themes seem to be more fitting for upper middle school girls, even into high school aged girls. But actually after looking through several definitions, I think I should reclassify these stories as tweens since they are geared for girls about ages twelve to fourteen, and YA classifications seem to include up to age eighteen or nineteen, with some folks including up to age twenty-one in the YA category.

My view on this would be that I guess it really depends on how the publisher classifies the book. What's your opinion of classifying books for children/young adults? What would you call your book, if writing one for this group?

Leave a comment and post your opinion on this topic.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pages & Pen newsletter

Hey everyone. I'm a member of the Musing our Children yahoo forum, created by Lea Schizas, and we have a quarterly newsleter available for teachers and parents and librarians. Anyone interested in the fall issue, please click on the title of this post and you will be taken directly to the newsletter. There are coloring pages, games, puzzles, some fun info. Stop by and let us know what you all think of the website. We also have several authors in several states who will do school visits. If interested in having an author visit your school, please sign up using the online form or contact an author in your local area. See you all in the postings.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) was in South Carolina this weekend. This is an opportunity for independent book sellers to find new books for their stores. They are a wonderful bunch of people as they support new authors a lot. The idea is for authors, publishers, and other groups to get recognized and gain the support of the indies around the south. I volunteered at the Sisters in Crime/Southeastern Mystery Writers of America table (being that I am a member of Sisters in Crime). So, naturally, being that I was in the booth today, I was supposed to have books on hand to "give away" to those coming up to the table.

We had scheduled "signings" at the table, mine was at 11 a.m. I had seven copies of Quarries and 3 copies of Wilderness (my entire stock) and gave everyone of them away. I was trying to reserve a copy of each for another member of SinC who was supposed to be in the booth helping out. It was fun. This is me holding my two books (had I thought it about it, I should have held the covers I printed out of all four books) in the SinC booth. I'd like to see more pictures Ellis took of the trade show and the booth area. We even had one of the members pose for an outline of a dead body in front of our booth. It was pretty cool.

More later - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last week to vote

You have one more week to vote to get 50,000 books sent to one state. As of this morning when I voted South Carolina had moved up to 25th spot and North Carolina is in 4th behind Kentucky, Hawaii and Oklahoma. At least we have moved up to the top half of the states. Come on folks, click on the title of this post and cast your vote for which state you would like to receive the books. It is painless. Takes about a minute of your time and it's for a good cause. We need books for the kids to read - E :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Altitude anyone?

It's official. The fourth book in the series is now with cover. That doesn't mean it is completed by any means (I've got to write the story around the clues now) but we are getting closer. I've been informed that State of Reservations will hopefully be published by November 1. I hope so since I have an event the middle of November.

So without further ado, here is the cover for State of Altitude:

And for comparison, here are the first four covers side by side:

What do you notice about the covers? Do the cover clue illustrations help you guess the state or do you need to purchase a copy of the book to read more to figure out which state is being described? Which is your favorite so far? Drop me a line and let me know.

See you all in the postings - E :)

Have you voted?

The voting is still open for the states to receive the 50,000 books. Come on folks. South Carolina has move up slightly to 29th. North Carolina is in the top 10 as of this morning. Kentucky, Hawaii and Oklahoma are the top three so far. I've heard that Kentucky won last year. I think there are about ten days' worth of voting left. Click on the title of the posting to be taken to the site and cast your vote. Let's see how high we can get South Carolina. Do it. Go vote today and every day until the end of the month - E :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day has come and gone as has the CLF/carnival

I was supposed to be a vendor at the Charlotte Literary Festival this past weekend but that changed due to the fact that the CLF folks decided to change venues and make it no longer a "literary festival." It was turned into a street carnival to "attract the non-readers and allow the opportunity for more people to attend since they wouldn't have to pay at the door to get in".

I've been hoodwinked, bamboozled and whatever else you can imagine here. I've been told so many things since first contacting these people about getting a spot (which originally was "guaranteed" to be inside at the Charlotte Convention Center) that I am putting them on Mr. Hughes' "don't like" list or whatever he has it labeled (lol). "Jaz" is supposed to be this druggie who turned his life around to encompass reading but trust me, it seems his old life has a way of sneaking out and showing its true colors in a matter of seconds. He is a non-truth sayer and until I see the refund I won't believe him or anyone else associated with the CLF. I will never look at participating there ever. They couldn't pay me to be a guest speaker or anything.

It's a shame that this has happened because that area would have been a great place to really get the word out - and it isn't that far from me. As a matter of fact, I made two trips up that way in August and was pleased with both of them. I look forward to being up there for other opportunities but will never even consider the CLF again.

(Going to post office after being in class with Mr. Hughes to see if monies are there.) -- See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Plan ahead!

First, an event coming very soon - The Roald Dahl day. This is September 13 and you can find activities and other info here.

Two events coming in October. First, Eric Carle, author of "The Hungry Catepillar" day, October 8. Check out the info here.

And something closer to my heart, National Day on Writing, October 20. For more info, tips, and flyers, click here.

So mark your calendars and plan on participating in one or all events. Mrs. E :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mint Hill Art (or Sunday Afternoon) in the Park

Through an accidental finding from another author's website, I found this little outdoor activity. I will be participating this coming Sunday with a table set up with activities for the kids and chances to win puzzles and flag pens. If you are in the Charlotte, NC, area or even close to Mint Hill, stop by between 1 and 6 p.m. and visit with the many artists who will be there. I will hopefully be sharing a tent space with Joyce and Jim Lavene. Hope to see you all there - E :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

AnAuthor World Conference

What can I say, this was awesome. I met Carol Baldwin who has a curriculum for teachers to teach students to write short stories, and this was perfect since I'm working with Mr. Hughes and his sixth grade class during their writing time. I did purchase her book but after going through it, it looks like I may need to purchase another copy so that he can have a copy and I can have one and hopefully this will be some guidelines to help the students write the best stories they can this year.

Vonda Skelton was the keynote and she was awesome as well, even though she did get a bit emotional when talking about her sister and something that just dawned her while she was speaking.

I sat in Pam's morning class about writing articles or stories for magazines. That was very informative too. I don't have much time to write articles or stories for magazines but it could be something to fall back on.

I met some really cool people and gave my books to a retired school teacher in Atlanta area who is going to put them in the hands of the right people - lol. See contacts and getting in the right hands is everything - right place, right time.

If any of you are in the area, I suggest you follow the link (please click on title to be taken to the website for AnAuthor World) and keep checking back for updated events occurring with these folks. Talk was in November they are doing an illustrator's conference with the possibility of having Melinda Long there. I met her at the SCWW conference a couple of years ago. I hope I get a chance to catch up with her then. Fingers crossed.

Overall, this was an awesome, awesome, day. Check back for more updates - E :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

SC Welcome Center event

The Welcome Center was steady busy at times and then slow at times. I think Lynda did well because she was going out to meet the folks with the dogs and giving them dog biscuits. I found it more difficult to give away my freebies but I did get my bookmarks in the hands of a few good folks. And to you all, I thank you for stopping by. I hope you will keep me in mind and had fun taking my quiz and winning a puzzle. See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Masons weblog - check it out

Yvonne Mason, from the ning social group Book Masons, has started a weblog - featuring all the authors who have joined the ning group. Click on the link to check out all my info in one spot. I'm impressed with her doing such a wonderful job of featuring authors. Check out all the wonderful books and authors she has listed on her site - E :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Love to Learn Homeschool Info and Conference

I had a pretty decent time at the above conference. I would have liked to have seen more sales but such is life. I think making contact and seeing how people were reacting to the books and all is helpful. I may need to make my study guides longer because they seem to pale against others I've seen out there. I just don't know how to do that yet. I think having more books out next year will be helpful and so my goal is to be ready next year. I hope to see lots of new faces next year also. I think the crowd was a lot less than expected for several reasons but maybe next year will see double or triple folks.

While I was away this weekend, not having internet access, I topped 3000 hits on my blog - so a milestone was met and I missed it - lol - Next one 3500; so I am on my way - see you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Followers, readers, et cetera?

Looking at my stats, I have 25 followers on this blog, three email subscribers and only 30 members on my newsletter forum. I'm open to suggestions to get more readers/email subscribers here and more interested in my newsletter. I haven't really done a formal newsletter of late because of there not being much news going on.

I hope you all are anticipating new books in the series as they come out. If not, what can I do to make the blog more interesting and keep you coming back and referring this blog and my website to your friends? The series is geared for fourth through sixth graders but everyone who has read the first two books has enjoyed them. I have several folks begging me for the next one.

Please comment here or send me an email ( with any suggestions on how to get more traffic to my blog and to my website as well as interested in the newsletter. I appreciate all you readers and followers. Please bring some more in. - Mrs. E :)

JGDS newsletter of sorts

This is a busy month for the JGDS and me personally. I've fallen behind on my newsletter but figured I would do an update here and hopefully folks will see what's going on.

August is one of those crazy months and now that we are getting back into the swing of band camp and other activities, things are even crazier.

The JGDS will be making several appearances over the next few weeks so hopefully, we will be recognized soon.

August 8th - Love to Learn Homeschool Info & Resource conference, Charlotte NC, from 8:30 to 5. This will hopefully be my break and allow me to get my foot in the door. I don't feel I have enough books and teacher's guides going but I can't afford more, so I'll have to hope I sell out and am taking orders which would be a good thing. The flip side would be not to sell anything but I have hopes, so we should sell something at least.

August 8th - 4RV will be at the Eastern Oklahoma Author Festival in Tahlequah, OK. So if you are in the area, stop by and visit with Vivian and other 4RV authors who will be present. My books will be there but I won't be able to sign them - sorry guys.

August 14 - Katie Hines (4RV author), Lynda Lippman-Lockhart and I will be at the SC Welcome Center in Fairplay (I-85 northbound coming in from Georgia) from 1:30 to 4:30 promoting all books. The theme this month for the welcome center is "Cool it in South Carolina" and so we are adding a twist to that by saying - "Cool it with a good book in South Carolina". So if you are interested in having some books to browse through, stop by and see what 4RV has to offer.

August 15 - John Jeter (another author) will be at the SC Welcome Center promoting his books, again from 1:30 to 4:30. Stop by to see what he has to offer.

August 15 - I will be attending the AnAuthor World mini conference in Greenville, SC. This is more for fun for me but also hopefully an in to doing some guest speaker spots too. I know one of the coordinators of this program.

September 5-6 - Charlotte Literary Festival, Charlotte, NC - 12 noon to 6 p.m. both days. This is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center. 4RV will have a booth and hopefully Katie Hines (Guardian) and Rich Aaron (Would A Kangaraffe Make you Laffe?) will be able to make appearances and help out in the booth over the weekend. More on this as details are revealed to me.

My August calendar really looks full because of Sisters in Crime meeting, SCWW writers group meetings, school registration, school starting and doctors' appointments, along with eye appointments for new glasses for everyone. Of course with school starting comes band stuff, so my weekends from the middle of September to the end of October will be full, either with competitions or appearances.

4RV News: We have had several titles released in the last couple of months. Check out the website for more details to see what is availble. Vivian has closed submissions for children's books until sometime next year but is still looking for other genres. If interested, check out the website for the submission guidelines.

State of Reservations is supposed to be in the process of being edited but apparently the edits have been lost in the mail and so I don't have the second set yet. As soon as they come to me, I will work on getting them completed and back to the editors for one more edit (I think that is the process). I don't know where Aidana is on the illustrations for that so not sure when State of Reservations will be released. Will keep you all posted on that.

If you haven't had a chance to check out my website, take a gander. I've added all the state activity booklets for you to print to keep the kids occupied. You can print several of the states or just the state you are from. That is up to you. I also have added a buy button on the front page to order State of Wilderness and State of Quarries. Let me know what you think of the website.

And last but not least, we have a title for state #4. I liked my choice of State of Heights (elusive and not really giving anything away), but Vivian didn't like that and neither did Aidana, so they decided it would be titled ------ State of Altitude (I'm afraid too many will know from the title alone and not pick the book up to read it, but that is my opinion). I know what the cover illustrations will be and can't wait to see the cover. I think Aidana has her "models" ready and is ready to do the cover.

That is the update of what is going on with us - see you all in the postings - enjoy - Mrs. E and the JGDS - E :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

State of Wilderness review

If you click the title of this posting, you will be taken to Beth Bence Reinke's page where she has posted a review for State of Wilderness. I'm glad to see folks are still enjoying the first book. I would like to see more sale but alas for now I have to be happy with what I have.

Thanks to all the folks who have reviewed the first two books. See you in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogtalkradio - kickoff show for the Robin Falls Children's Stories show

For any of you who would like to listen to the show, click here and scroll down to the on demand shows section and you can listen there. I think the kickoff show went well. I don't think we had many listeners as we didn't have many questions at all. Hope you all will tune on a later date to hear other authros. E :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Looking for the perfect job - a tour with Dilly


As adults, we all have had many jobs in our lives. Most young adults start working around the time they start driving. Children don't really have to worry about jobs. Their occupation is limited to being a student. That in and of itself is a tremendous job.

What would you do if you really wanted something and you needed a way to get it? In A New Job For Dilly, we find Dilly, the rat in a predicament of loving pickles and not able to obtain them without "stealing" and we all know stealing is wrong. Dilly goes in search of the perfect job by going through the alphabet. He finds the perfect job, so all will end well.

So if you love something and want it bad enough, how about trying out a job to fit your needs.

Don't forget the contest for a signed copy of A New Job For Dilly by leaving comments on at least four of the seven blogs for an entry in the drawing.

Meet the author and creator of Dilly


Rena Jones always loved writing. She spent most of the 1990s writing letters to pen pals. Around the same time, she self-published three newsletters for pen pals. She began writing for children in 2003, after visiting Glacier National Park in Montana. A little mountain goat inspired her to write a story about him and her love for writing children’s stories began.

Rena lives in Bigfork, Montana with her husband, four children, and two cats. She is a home educator to her children and has been doing so for 11 years. She also enjoys photography, wildlife watching, camping, national parks, kayaking, music and even sour pickles. When not writing or taking pictures, she is usually being entertained by the crazy wildlife that frequents her mountain home.

A New Job for Dilly is her first published work.

A New Job for Dilly --Written by Rena Jones and Illustrated by Lisa Oakman

Published by 4RV Publishing, LLC

Product Details
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (April 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0981868533
ISBN-13: 978-0981868530
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.7 ounces

Rena Jones’ Website

Rena Jones’ Blog

Lisa Oakman’s Website

Monday, June 22, 2009

Looking for the perfect job - a tour with Dilly

Dilly the rat is looking for the perfect job in order for him to obtain the thing he loves the most - pickles. See what all he goes through to find the perfect on the blog tour of A New Job for Dilly. Stop by the following blogs and be entered for a signed copy of A New Job For Dilly.

Author Rena Jones will be giving away a copy of her newly released book. See below how to enter the drawing -

Blog tour schedule for A New Job for Dilly
Week of – June 21st to June 27th

June 21st – Sherrie Petersen (author interview)

June 22nd – Beth Reinke (pickles)

June 23rd – Elysabeth Eldering (jobs)

June 24th – Sharon Spray (reading to children/ABC books)

June 25th – Adrienne Saldivar (rats)

June 26th – Nikki Shoemaker (interview)

June 27th – Vivian Zabel (Dilly interview)

Win an autographed copy of A New Job for Dilly! All you need to do is leave a comment on at least FOUR of the seven blog stops. Rena will put your name in a pot and a winner will be chosen at the end of the tour. Please make sure she has a way to contact you by leaving your email in the comments (you can do this as such - eeldering at gmail dot com - to avoid spammers). But remember, you have to reply to at least FOUR different stops to qualify. Rena will contact the winner at the end of the tour to find out how they'd like the book to be signed. Thanks and good luck!

Hope you all enjoy the tour - see you in the postings -

Summer Reading Blog Talk Radio Show


Tune in every Wednesday, starting June 24, for seven weeks of fun and getting to learn more about children's authors. The Red River Writers will present five authors each week as per the schedule below. This is a facebook event but the link on the title will take you to the blogtalkradio site where you can listen to the shows. All comments will be pulled from the facebook event wall (looking for kids to ask questions of the authors, which will be read on the air).

I will be making the first appearance on Wednesday, June 24, at 10 a.m. central time (11 a.m. eastern, 9 a.m. mountain, and 8 a.m. Pacific time). I am scheduled to do a reading but my presentation will be more of how the JGDS series came about fromthe original story, Train of Clues. Hope to see you all there - E :)

All references are to the facebook event page. To leave comments on the event's wall, you must have a facebook account. The call-in number and the blogtalkradio site are not part of facebook.


Host: Red River Writers - Works of Writers & Artists Worldwide
Type: Music/Arts - Exhibit
Network: Global
Start Time: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:00am
End Time: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 10:00am
Location: Central Time at Online link or by phone number provided in event


The Wall (on the event page on facebook) is reserved for comments from kids ages 2 to 18. All comments left on The Wall will be read over the air at one of the shows. These comments should be either a statement or question. If possible, it needs to be directed to a particular guest. We need only the following information: first name (this can be a nickname), age, and State. Example of a comment: April Robins, is the deer a girl or a boy? (OR) April Robins, I like the picture on your book cover. My name is Austin. I am eight years old. I live in Texas.

Any adult with a question or comment that they would like to ask, can do so at:
Robin Falls Kids Story Time Questions

WIN 20+ free Children's or Young Adult book! Go find the following book covers in the “Photo” section and leave a comment:

I'LL TUCK YOU IN, DEER by April Robins
THE MOONQUEST by Mark David Gerson
REBEL IN BLUE JEANS by Beverly Stowe McClure
SILLY KITTY by Irene Brodsky
THE GREAT DOG WASH by Shellie Braeuner
GONE FROM THESE WOODS by Donny Bailey Seagraves
DOGGIE DAY CAMP: Verb and Adverb Adventures by Cynthia Gagnon Reeg
SUMMER LOVIN' by Laurie J. Edwards
MYTHIKAS ISLAND by Diana Hurwitz
ROAR OF A SNORE by Marsha Diane Arnold
DAY'S END LULLABY by Karen Cioffi-Ventrice

Margot Finke intends to give all who call in a FREE Audio of her reading one of her stories + illustrations.

April Robins will give away 3 copies of "Keeper of Happy Faces" in a drawing taken from comments on "The Wall."



I want to welcome you into our Summer Reading Program for school age kids. We have a wonderful line up of Children’s and Young Adult Authors who will read from their books to you. Many will even tell you how their story came to life. Some will read a story to you that has not been published. We will call those are “Unread” stories. This means that you are one of the first to hear them. The book covers of their books they are reading from are posted under“Photos.” You can learn more about each author at their website or blog list under “Links.”

Robin Falls Kids Story Time Host are April Robins, Barbara M. Hodges, Dellani Oakes, J.D. Holiday, and Laurie Zieber.

June 24 - Children's Book Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Elysabeth Eldering - "Train of Clues" (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series
Barbara Ehrentreu - "The Trouble with Follow the Leader"
Ginger DeVine - "Hooray for the Circus"
Dawn Stephens - "The Little Pot"
Margot Finke - "Rattlesnake Jam"
Jay A. Miller - "Bingo the Banjo Picking Bear"

July 8 - Children's Book & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Edna Cabcabin Moran - "THE SLEEPING GIANT: A Tale From Kaua'i"
Karen Cioffi-Ventrice - "Day's End Lullaby"
Jan D. Holiday - "Janoose the Goose"
Sue Dent - "Forever Richard"
Mj Gillot - "Zola Yearned for an eXcellent Waffle: A Backwards Alphabet Story"
Laurie J. Edwards - “Summer Lovin”

July 15 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Linda Bryan - "The Sound Snatcher, How the vacuum got its Noise."
Candy O'Donnell - "Where is God, Grandfather?"
Laurie Zieber - "Do You Know what I Know?"
Cynthia Gagnon Reeg - "Doggie Day Camp: Verb and Adverb Adventures"
Scott Heydt - Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken (Due out Spring 2010)
Judy Cox - "Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!"

July 22 - Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Donny Bailey Seagraves - "Gone From These Woods"
Barry Eva - "Across the Pond"
Mark David Gerson - "The MoonQuest"
L. Diane Wolfe - "Circle of Friends, Book III...James"
Dellani Oakes - "Indian Summer"
Vonda Skinner Skelton - "Bitsy & The Mystery" series for kids

July 29 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Shellie Braeuner - "The Great Dog Wash"
Beverly Stowe McClure - "Rebel in Blue Jeans"
Fran Lewis - "Bertha Speaks Out"
Irene Brodsky - "Silly Kitty"
Diana Hurwitz - "Mythikas Island"
Katie Davis - "The Curse of Addy McMahon"
Barbara M. Hodges - Wynd Stallion (Work in Progress)

Aug 5 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Lisa Cottrell-Bentley - "Wright on Time"
Marsha Diane Arnold - “Roar of a Snore” & “Prancing, Dancing Lily”
Crystalee Calderwood - "Angeline Jellybean"
Deb Lund - "Monsters on Machines"
Virginia S Grenier - "Babysitting SugarPaw"
April Robins - "I'll Tuck You in, Deer"
Michelle Buckman - "My Beautiful Disaster"

To attend and participate in the shows dial the
Call-in Number: (646) 649-1005
To view or hear the shows online, go here


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Crypto Capers series reviews

BOOK 1: The Case of the Missing Sock
AUTHOR: Renee Hand
RATING: 3 stars

Product Details
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0878393048
ISBN-13: 978-0878393046
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces

This is a new series using cryptograms to help lead the reader to the resolution of the case. Max and Mia, and Granny Holmes (all descendents of Sherlock Holmes), along with their friend , are known as the Crypto-Capers. They hail from England and work closely with Scotland Yard (for those of you who don't know what this entity is, it is like the FBI in the United States). Their skills at cracking puzzles and solving cases is well noted. They have been recommended to Mr. Delacrumb to help him solve the case of his missing sock. This is not an ordinary sock nor was it the only item stolen.

Follow the gang as they travel around to different places to solve miniature cases of missing items with the help of puzzles.

I give the first book in the series a 3 stars as I felt everything was readily handed to the reader and you didn't really need to solve the cryptograms throughout the story to figure out where the "clues" were leading you to next.

BOOK 2: The Case of Red Rock Canyon
AUTHOR: Renee Hand
Rating: 3-1/2 stars

Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. (March 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0878393099
ISBN-13: 978-0878393091
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces

This story takes the gang to the United States to solve a mystery.

Again, this story was fun but I felt all the cryptogram clues were just readily handed to the reader because as you read the following passages you pretty much knew what the cryptogram spelled out. The series is fun if you like puzzles and working a bit to get the answers.

Ms. Hand has a new series out as well and not sure how many more are available in the Cryptogram Capers series, but for an enjoyable quick read, pick up the series and have fun.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Where are the readers?

I have 22 followers and only two of you are subscribed to my email subscription. For updates in your email box, click the box to the right and sign up and you will be notified on the days I update. I hope you all are still interested in what is going on with the states. How about leaving some comments on what all you would like to see on this blog. I need feedback from my fans (the few I have so far). Remember to tell your friends and family and teachers and homeschoolers - anyone who works with 9-12 year old or has kids in that age group who would be interested in my series. Come on folks - I know you are out there. Please leave comments and let me know what you want to see me post about - E :)

Stories for Chldren Magazine announces two new contests

I would love to hear from some of my readers who enter either contest (children get permission from your parents to leave a comment and let me know what you came up with), drop me a comment - see you all in the postings and good luck to all who enter - E :)

For Immediate Release - Contest for Adult writers

Stories for Children Magazine Announces Amazing but True (nonfiction) Contest

For this new annual contest, send Stories for Children Magazine an amazing event or true story (nonfiction) for children. What age group you choose—3 to 6, 7 to 9, or 10 to 12—is up to you, but remember the event or story has to be true and for children, which means no sexual content, violence, or anything related to drugs.

Submissions will be accepted between May 4, 2009, and July 30, 2009.
Who may enter? Adults (18 and older)

Contest Fee: $10

Contest Prizes:
The top article in each age group category will be published in the following months:

Ages 3-6 winner: September SFC issue
Ages 7-9 winner: October SFC issue
Ages 10-12 winner: November SFC issue

The SFC Amazing but True Grand Prize Winner: December SFC issue

In addition to being published in Stories for Children Magazine, all winners will receive a Winner’s Certificate and

SFC Grand Prize: 3 months’ membership in the Children's Writers' Coaching Club (an $81 value).

1st Place in each age group category: a one-year subscription to Children’s Writer (a $19 value).

All entries may be considered for publication in Stories for Children Magazine at a future date.

Contest Rules:
Your article must be for one of the following age groups at Stories for Children Magazine:

DISCOVERY (ages 3-6): Learning about the world around them. WORD COUNT: 150 to 400

HOW AND WHY (ages 7-9): Understanding the how and why of things. WORD COUNT: 400 to 800

TELL ME MORE (ages 10-12): Covering the basics and digging deeper for a better understanding of their world. WORD COUNT: 500 to 1200

Your maximum word count, not including your title and byline, may not exceed the word count listed in the age group you choose.

Winners will be selected based on quality and appeal to our readership here at Stories for Children Magazine.

Go here for submission guidelines.


For Immediate Release --- Contest for young writers

SFC Magazine Announces Stanley Bookman Spooky Sounds Young Author Contest

Contest Description:

The Stories for Children Magazine mascot, Stanley Bookman, needs your help to write a story about the spooky sounds you hear at night, in the backyard, or when you are camping.

Your story needs to be original, unpublished, and written by you. A parent/guardian may help type your story, but you have to write the story yourself. Make sure you use your imagination!

You must email all stories, along with the attached permission form signed by a parent/guardian, by midnight on August 30, 2009. Stories will not be returned, so make sure you keep a copy for yourself. Please send only one entry and make sure to put your name, age, email address, home address, and parent/guardian name in the top right hand corner on the first page of your story.

Will you help Stanley by writing a story between 500 and 1200 words long?

Submissions will be accepted between June 1, 2009, and August 30, 2009.
Who may enter? Young Authors (17 and under)

Contest Fee: No Entry Fee (Parental approval needed)

Contest Prizes:
The top three stories will be published in the following months:

1st place in the October SFC issue
2nd place in the November SFC issue
3rd place in the December SFC issue

In addition to being published in Stories for Children Magazine, all winners will receive a Winner’s Certificate and:

1st Place: a 6 months’ personal membership to (a $30 value).

2nd Place: an autographed copy of Babysitting SugarPaw by VS Grenier (a $14 value).

3rd Place: a McDonald’s Book of five $1 Gift Certificates.

Go here for submission guidelines.

All the best,

VS Grenier
Founder & Owner, Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

Editor-in-Chief, Stories for Children Magazine
a division of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

SFC Newsletter for Writers
a division of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC
Voted one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest 2009

SFC: Families Matter
a division of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

VS Grenier Children's Author
Critiques, School Visits, and more

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

One more 5 star review

I have been given permission to use Wayne Walker's review (which will be posted on Stories for Children Magazine as well as and b& when they get it in the schedule).

Here is Wayne's review:


BOOK: State of Quarries
AUTHOR: Elysabeth Eldering
ILLUSTRATOR: Aidana WillowRaven
PUBLISHER: 4RV Publishing LLC (2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0-9797513-9-4
ISBN-10: 0-9797513-9-X
RATING: 5 stars

REVIEWED BY: Wayne Walker

Do you think that you know the United States? Then maybe you would be willing to take the "Junior Geography Detective Squad" challenge. Thirteen-year-old Matt Patterson's mother has given him a hand-held geography game that has both a screen and a voice. It gives a set of clues, going from obscure to more well-known, about one of the fifty states. There are also "bonus clues" about one of the five territories which are part of the United States. I had the privilege of reviewing the first book of the "Junior Geography Detective Squad 50 States Mystery Trivia Series," which was entitled State of Wilderness, for Stories for Children Magazine back in October of last year, and it was fascinating.

In State of Quarries, the reader follows Matt and his eleven year old sister Mary Beth as they listen to the clues and try to guess the state. The challenge is to determine which state is being described before they do. Like its predecessor, this book is written in a very interesting style, and the drawings by Aidana WillowRaven help the reader see what the "Junior Geography Detective Squad" is experiencing. At just 69 pages of text, it is perfect for young readers, although there are additional pages at the end with more information about the state, discussion questions, and a bibliography of resources for further study. Statistics show that the average high school student cannot go to a globe or world map and point out where Russia is located. This series won't help you find Russia on the map, but it will give you a better understanding of American geography. What a fun way to learn more about our country! The next book in the series will be State of Reservations.

Related websites: series website, series blog, publisher's website

A new 5 star review

If you click on the title of this posting, you will be taken to another review of State of Wilderness and State of Quarries. I'm very pleased with LadyD's reviews as I had no idea what she would say until the message showed up in my email this morning that she had posted.

I also am part of the Summer Sandbox Reading Festival this summer with Rhonda Clark on her Beach Reads blog, but she has been swamped with many other things of late and so hasn't had a chance to get me scheduled in. When she does, I will be running contests on a weekly basis for the kids to answer some trivia type questions. I will have the state bird listing and questions pertaining to that; state flowers and trees and state butterflies and insects. The prizes will be a USA Map puzzle and some state related items - pencils, pins, stickers, et cetera.

I will keep everyone posted as to when reviews and contests are up on her blog, so keep checking back.

On another note, State of Reservations has finally made it to my publisher for her edits and hopefully Aidana will be able to work on the illustrations soon and then we can have a publish date ready. I'm looking forward to getting #3, #4 and #5 completed and published.

Friday, May 29, 2009

And if posters are what you like:

How about a poster of the front cover of State of Wilderness with the logo behind it:

JGDS Poster print
JGDS Poster by WillowRaven
Browse other fine art prints on

As soon as she gets the size thing worked out, I'll be ordering a couple of these for upcoming shows (hopefully she'll have 2 and 3 done up as well by then).

For more products - both JGDS series related and non-JGDS series related - check out her home page and see what she has to offer. Remember to check back regularly as new products are being added all the time. - I am going to be ordering a few things coming up soon, hope you all like what is being offered - E :)

I'm really liking the looks of Zazzle products

Aidana created the skateboard with an eagle on it (design from State of Wilderness) and she has two options - one without the logo behind it and one with the logo behind it: I like it with the logo behind, even though you cant really tell it is the logo but it looks cool. You all can decide. Post a comment with which one you like better: #1 (without logo) or #2 with logo.


'Eagle' skateboard
'Eagle' by WillowRaven
Make skateboard decks online with


Monday, May 25, 2009

Aidana's selling again

Aidana has created a store through Zazzle and is putting images from some of the books and other things she has on T-shirts, shoes, tote bags, mousepads, et cetera. Check out her store and see what is being offered from State of Wilderness.

willowraven's Store at Zazzle

The shoes are pretty cool and the girls will love them. There is a 70% off sale that ends today - so bebop on over and see what might interest you - E :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Honea Path Idol and book signing

One performer (I understand the preacher) bought a copy of State of Wilderness. But there was quite a crowd and Honea Path has had it's first Idol - and the weather held up for the whole event. I got worried when I picked the kids up from band practice as it started to rain a bit but it moved on rather quickly - check out the talented folk - I should have videoed the performances but I didn't think of it - so you have still shots - E :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fair Play Welcome Center slide show

This was fun and I'm looking forward to being there in August for the "Cool it in South Carolina" themed month along with Katie Hines and hopefully other authors from the area. The authors will be themed - "Cool it with a good book in South Carolina" and hopefully we can serve some homemade peach ice cream during our time there. See you in the postings - E :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Radio and relatives?

The Welcome Center promotional event went well. Katie Hines and I have been asked to come participate in the August themed event (every month the staff at Fair Play Welcome Center have a theme they present to travelers). By then, State of Reservations should be out and book #4 (tentatively titled State of Heights) will be close to out or out. Just have to see how far I get in the next few days writing wise. The staff are already trying to predict what South Carolina's book will be titled - and have suggested State of Rebellion - but I don't work off titles since my titles are reflective of the clues inside the book and Batya helps come up with my titles. So I will refer my clues to her when I get them in place for that book and let her come up with a title - lol.

I did get to meet Radio and Coach Jones and they will be here in Honea Path in July doing an event for the Outdoor Dream Foundation (similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in that they do things for the kids). For more information, check out The Outdoor Dream Foundation and see what all they have coming up.

Now for the most awesome thing that happened to me - I was standing at my table talking a gentleman. I probably had been talking for 3 or 4 minutes when he says, "I'm traveling with two women who are teachers. You should talk to my wife about your books and schools." I said okay, then his wife came out and he called her over to the table and started telling her what I was doing. She looked at my cover of State of Quarries, and looked at me and asked, "You're an Eldering?" and I said yes. She pointed at me and stammered, "You're... you're.... you're..." and I was going, yes I am and replied, "Oh my gosh." She continues with "You're Bill's wife and I'm..." and I was like "Yeah, you're" and she says, "I'm Aunt Toni." They live in Florida. I have met them one time in my 20 years of marriage and that was 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest child. They were traveling with one of their daughters, Joanna, who is a teacher in, get this of all places, Gwinnett County Georgia, which is only about 2-1/2 hours from Honea Path, to visit with Bill's youngest sister who lives in North Carolina, this side of Charlotte. So my most awesome experience was running into relatives of my husband's on their way to get their other daughter and visit with one of his sisters.

Overall, I do believe the contacts will hopefully get me into the schools nearby and then move out from there. They say you have to start at home or close to home so hopefully this will be the leg up I need - Pictures to come soon (daughter has to download them from her camera to a CD so I can put in my computer (I'm having printer problems again). Will post when I can - E :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hobknobbing with stars

Saturday, May 16th, 2009, I will get to hang with a couple of stars. I'll be at the Welcome Center promoting my books during the tail end of the National Travel & Tourism week. I will be handing out goodies, state related, of course and have some activity booklets and a few other things to hand out.

If you're traveling Northbound I-85 from Georgia, the Welcome Center is in Fair Play, South Carolina. I will be inside with a table set up and ready to receive visitors.

Which stars, you may ask, will I be hobknobbing with? Well, if you saw the movie "Radio", it seems that the real Coach Jones and the real Radio will be at the Welcome Center welcoming visitors as well. It looks to be a good weekend. There were will be some B&B's available with info and hopefully "Skin's Hot Dogs" will be there. Be sure and stop by and say hello and come get some goodies for the kids.

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