Friday, January 30, 2009

Booksigning January 24, 2009 slideshow

Katie was so kind to bring her camera (too bad we didn't think to get some of the two of us while there). Here is the slide show from the pictures she sent me. Enjoy

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Award winning author Lea Schizas on Bullying

Lea is my guest today. Her book Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us deals with bullying and how it can make bad situations worse, even deadly, if the bullying isn't prevented. I asked Lea to write an article about bullying to tie into her book. Hopefully, we will reach folks who feel that they have been bullied at some time or another and put an end to this cruelty.

Bullying is an act that needs to be observed closely by parents and by school administrators. It’s not a subject to be taken lightly because bullying in elementary school is a bit of name calling, light pushing, and shunning friends. Once in their teens, bullying becomes aggressive: stealing money from students, use of weapons, ambushing victims and beating them to a pulp. As adults, their aggressive manner can escalate to more serious crimes.

When you sit down and think that if someone intervened a child who would push, call names while in elementary school, you would be giving them a chance to see life from a different and peaceful perspective.

Have we all become blind to our surroundings? Do we not see children hitting and punching each other as we drive/walk by school grounds? Would it take that much of our time to go into the school, notify the person in charge/or look for teacher supervisors on the school grounds and inform them a child is being hurt? Are administrators afraid of the children? Of the parents?

My kids experienced light bullying (if there is such a thing) while in elementary school and I wanted to write a story where kids can relate not only to the victim (Giganto), but to the bully(Jason) as well. There is always a reason for a bully’s actions but it is how everyone deals with those emotions I am showing my readers.

Here in Montreal, schools are trying to combat bullying by in-school suspensions, expelling the students, after school detentions, bringing in the parents to talk to them, and other ways. It’s never too late to talk to a child about the consequences and dangers of bullying but this lesson should begin from an early age.

Tired, worked long hours, need to prepare supper, I’ll take a quick nap – all excuses I’ve used in the past and know others have, too. Yet, our children were not asked to be born, we gave them the gift of life and as parents we need to continue mentoring them until the day we believe we’ve done all that we can.

For more ordering, contact the publisher or you can go to I believe Lea also has a teacher's guide available; for more information, contact Lea via email at

What Bubba and Giganto are about

Here is the synopsis of Bubba and Giganto. Find out more by ordering the book:

Bubba & Giganto: Odds Against Them
By Lea Schizas

Synopsis of Book:

Bubba hates it when his dad gets a contract for a new project. That means uprooting the family from one city and moving to another. Attending a new school is a major pet peeve of his. His smart alecky nature attracts the bullies in every school he’s attended.

On the first day of school, Bubba bumps into this rather large student. Fearing a confrontation, he wears his tough guy attitude and waits for the punches to begin. Remarkably, the new student apologizes, and Bubba and David (aka Giganto as Bubba eventually nicknames him) become best friends.

Bubba and Giganto try out for the high school soccer team, and that’s when trouble begins. Bubba knew eventually he’d meet the bullies of the school, and he was right.

In the first initial weeks, Bubba learns about a death that occurred the previous year; faces the bullies on several occasions; helps Giganto practice soccer before tryouts; and challenges the bullies to a scrimmage.

Little does Bubba know Giganto holds a secret - one that will place Giganto in a deadly situation.

Meet Lea Schizas

Lea Schizas is a mother of five and tenderly referred as ‘Mother Hen’ by many writers.

Many have asked me where I find the time to do all that I do. Easy, when you have a deep passion for your work, you will always find time to complete your projects.

Lea Schizas

Lea Schizas is an award-winning author and editor, a short story competition winner, living in Montreal with her husband Jimmy and five children. She describes herself as “finally woke up after a 23-year self-induced coma taking care of the family, and rediscovered my passion for writing.”

She is the Founder and Editor in Chief of two Writer’s Digest 101 Top Writing Sites since 2004 and recipients of several Preditors and Editors Awards: Apollo’s Lyre, an online writer’s Zine and the online writing critique community The MuseItUp Club, founder of The Muse Online Conference, founder of The Muse Marquee, founder of The Muse Book Review, reviewer for the award-winning All Book Reviews site, editor for Double Dragon Publishing, and Submissions Editor for Red Rose Publishing.

She is the author of the Young Adult paranormal suspense/thriller “Doorman’s Creek”, co-author and editor of the nonfiction writing reference book “The Muse On Writing” and the fantasy “Aleatory’s Junction”, and author of “The Librarian Who Wasn’t”, a short story appearing in the EPPIE award-winning Anthology “Twisted Tails II”, and an article published in the book, “Hollywood Experts” a Silver Foreword award winner.

You can read more about Lea here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bubba and Giganto: Fact Sheet

Bubba & Giganto:Odds Against Us
by Lea Schizas

4RV Publishing LLC

PO Box 6482

Edmond, OK 73083-6482

ISBN: 978-0-9797513-6-3


Available at:

4RV Publishing store

Barnes & Noble

The Reading Warehouse


E-Mail Author :

Award Winning Lea Schizas tours with Bubba and Giganto

Lea is going to be even more busy than normal these next few days (and I'm a little late in getting this posted, sorry ya'll). She's taking her book, Bubba and Giganto on tour around many blogs. You can check the schedule below and see where she's been and where she will be heading for the rest of the week.

January 24
Dianne Sagan

January 25
Chris Chat Reviews
Chris Speakman's twitter

January 25
Ginger Simpson

January 25
Joyce Anthony

January 26

January 26/27
Nancy Famolari

January 27
Beveryly S McClure

January 28
Elysabeth Eldering

January 29
Joy Delgado
Joy Delgado

Penny 2nd day

January 30
Abandoned Towers

Holly Jahangiri

February 1
Ransom Noble

There are several days she will be making two stops. Hope you will join us on finding out more about bullying and how we can end this cruelty.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Travel the states wind down

Back home again and it has been a whirlwind week. We started our travels to the Book Roast Blog (and I think that the "owners" of that blog are in different states so I really can't say where we started). We saw about 200 visitors on a Saturday, which according to Chris E. they hadn't done a roast on Saturday before so for being the first one, to me that's a big success. The comments left were great, as we learned about a few of the states and who knows, some of that trivia may show up in the book about that state.

Sunday we took a break. Monday we went to Montana and visited with Rena. She was such a delight with her questions. Being a homeschool mom, I think Rena's site see lots of visitors too. Speaking of which, the winner from her blog has not contacted me and I will need to pick another winner.

Tuesday saw us in New York with Donna McDine and an article about what inspired me to write the series. Since it was also inauguration day and most folks weren't visiting blogs because they were watching history unfold before their very eyes, many thinking they would never see the day when an African-American would be President, but it happened. The festivities of the day made it difficult to concentrate on the everyday things, like work. Since Donna had so few commenters, we waited until Wednesday to do her drawing.

Wednesday brought us to South Carolina not far from home with a visit on Katie Hines' blog. The interview was good and we had a blast. As Katie's blog is still new and she's feeling her way in blogger land, the visitors were probably not as many as we could hope for but I think overall it was a great day.

Thursday, well what can I say. We went to Texas to visit with Holly and she saw 110 page loads, with 56 visitors and 47 of those being first time visitors. Only 9 of us were return visitors. All in all a good visit and a good day.

Friday we traveled up to the cold northwest and visited with Suzy (Susan Marlow) who looks like a kid. I've seen pictures of this woman and she looks very young but she has grandchildren, so I know she isn't a kid. Suzy did a wonderful review of State of Wilderness. Not sure how many visitors she had but with her also being in the homeschool field, I can imagine many stopped by and read but didn't comment.

Saturday we went to Utah and visited with Mr. Hughes. It was a weird day. I knew he was in class but wasn't sure how long he'd be gone during the day and I knew I would be gone for the morning and part of the afternoon for a live book signing. When I returned about 5 pm (Eastern time), there had been no comments left the whole day other than the one I left before leaving to let the readers know I would return and get back to them as soon as I did. A few trickled in and when Mr. Hughes returned he posted a comment and called his sister to get on there and post (as she had told him she would). Since I had so few comments on his blog, I decided to make each of the posters a winner. I was tired and didn't really have anyone to pick numbers for me, so I said - all of them would be winners.

As stated, we also had a live book signing on Saturday. I think even though there was only one sale, the signing was a success in that I had two teachers or retired teachers and a mother whose son's teacher has been looking for things to supplement the after school program come to the tables and show some interest and a chance to get in the schools. The retired teacher has seven grandchildren and took my postcard and said she would definitely contact me with an order. She just didn't have any money at the time. Katie joined me for the book signing and it made the time go by quicker. After packing up, we went to lunch and had a great time. Her husband, Bill, thought of some ways to make my board (which I put together Friday night at like 1 AM) better and stand out. So he's going to create me another board that can be used to try to attract more visitors and hopefully gain more sales. So another good thing which will benefit me in the long run.

Today will be a quiet day due to the fact that I have over 100 jobs waiting for me and I will be concentrating on getting them out as much as possible today. I will stop by throughout the day to comment back to my posters but don't panic if I don't show up immediately. I will be here.

If you'd like to see the postings that occurred around the states this week, scroll down to the posting - Travel the States posting that has the schedule. Everyone is linked and all the posts are still available for viewing. Come on out and leave your comments and I'll still do a drawing from my blog tonight. So leave a message and who knows, you may be the winner on this last day of the Travel the States virtual book tour.

Remember to preview your posting so you can mark the email when new comments are made box so that you will receive notiication of the winner and everyone who comments.

If you have already won a prize on another stop this week, you will not be eligible for today's drawing but your comments are welcome. See you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last official stop on the Travel the States tour

Today is the last stop and it's a good one. I'm the guest on Mr. Hughes' blog. He has a delightful write up about me and helping in the classroom via the internet. I love it when the enthusiasm of a teacher comes through and they really enjoy what they are doing.

I'm off to a live book signing today and will be back to check comments afterwards. Remember leave your email addy in the comment to be eligible for the drawing.

And just to tease you all a bit, Aidana has finished the cover for book #3 and so I thought today would be a good time to unveil the next book in the series. Hope you all enjoy it. I really like #3, don't know why but it is my fav so far, even though I really like her Sacajawea drawing a lot on book #1.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wordle - fun for everyone

I stopped by Idea-Girl's blog and saw her Wordle and decided to try one on for size. Here is what mine looks like for January's postings:

You can create your own Wordle here.

Thanks Idea Girl for putting some fun in our lives - E :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ALA announces winners and honors

As the media is full of negative news concerning CPSIA, the ALA will announce the Newberry, Caldecott, and other awards as offered on their page.

For your viewing enjoyment, you may watch the announcements live at 7:45 AM MT Monday, January 26.

State of Wilderness was submitted for three awards - the Caldecott (this is for illustrations, but I just saw a list of possible contenders and didn't see State of Wilderness on there), the Newberry (for best written literary children's book, again I don't feel we have a chance for this one) and the Sibert Medal. This is the one I really feel we have a better chance of maybe taking an honor award or being high up in the rankings, but then again, you never know. I hope you all will join in and watch the live streamline video Monday morning and see if State of Wilderness is named as a Sibert medal winner or honor book.

I hope that the series will endure and will eventually be eligible for the Laura Ingalls Wilder award, but that is all contigent on getting more books out and the kids reading them over and over again, long lasting series.

For more on the different awards click here.

Don't forget to vote for the covey award also - I'd like to see some awards coming in for the series but it will take time since only one book is out right now.

Travel the States book tour

Hope you all have been following the tour schedule below. I'm having fun. Stop over at Holly Jahangiri's blog today and see what she's cooked up for the JGDS in Texas. Don't be shy. Remember all comments are entered in the drawing for some prizes. (Don't forget to leave a valid email addy in the comment to be contacted if you win) Come on over, we'd love to have you visit for a bit. See you in the postings - E :)

The JGDS is traveling around the states to promote State of Wilderness and State of Quarries (hopefully with a release date in January). Follow us and see where the adventure takes you next.

Book Roast blog

MONDAY, JANUARY 19 - Visiting Montana on Martin Luther King, Jr's Day
Rena's multiply site
Rena's blog A cross posting where comments will be used for the drawing

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20 - Visiting New York
Donna McDine

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21 - Visiting South Carolina
Katie Hines

THURSDAY, JANUARY 22 - Visiting Texas
Holly Jahangiri (Holly will also issue a challenge for commenters to leave an interesting, fun, or wacky fact about the state in which they live)

FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 - Up to Washington state
Susan Marlow

SATURDAY, JANUARY 24 - and down into Utah
John Hughes

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 - Wrapping it up in South Carolina and Tennessee
Elysabeth Eldering and Aidana WillowRaven

There will be prizes offered for each stop. I'll be giving away USA map puzzles and a few state related items. The following are the rules to giveaway:

Rules for drawing:
1. Each person who leaves a comment and a valid email address in the comment will go into the drawing.
2. Only one entry per stop. If you leave several comments on the same stop, your name will only go in once.

A valid email must be left within the comment or the person is ineligible. I need a way to contact the winners so I can get mailing address to send their prizes. Winners will be announced in the comments section the next morning first thing.

So come follow us and see what we are up to. - the JGDS

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Covey anyone?

Aidana submitted my cover for State of Wilderness back in August and received notification this past weekend that it was posted for the January awards. So pop on over to the Covey Awards blog and cast your vote. Be prepared that mine is the only children's cover nominated. See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Travel the States tour is coming!

Be sure to follow the tour as we make our way around cyberspace to different blogs and different states. Tomorrow Ms. Elysabeth will be roasted on the Book Roast Blog, so stop on over for a fun time and see what roasting really involves. See you all there - the JGDS

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I just signed up on titlez to follow the books from 4RV Publishing and when I signed up a couple of hours ago, State of Wilderness was up at 2,500,000 something and I just looked a few minutes ago and now I'm back down to 3,400,000 something. Even with four 5-star reviews, I'm not getting enough exposure. I would love to see my ranking on jump up to low numbers (the higher the number, the lower the ranking; the lower the number, the higher the ranking). So come on folks, keep checking us for updates.

Maybe my upcoming blog tour will help boost sales and move me up in the rankings. Maybe the release of the second book will do so. Maybe if more schools got on board and would use the books to supplement their social studies program, then rankings will be greater. Who knows what will bring the rankings to the lower numbers (in the hundred thousands as opposed to the millions)? I hope I still have readers out there. I haven't reached nearly enough people with my books and we are really just getting started with the series.

I also would encourage my readers and followers to sign up for my monthly newsletter, posted on the yahoo forum I created every month with a message to your mailbox letting you know the file is posted, to keep abreast of what is going on with the books and series. I try to keep the newsletters fun and interesting and if anyone has any event in their local area they'd like me to feature, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll see about putting it in the newsletter.

Book tour starts on the 17th, so don't forget to stop at all the blog stops listed below and leave comments. There will be a prize offered at each tour stop, but leaving a comment is the only way to be eligible for the prize. See you all then - E :)

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