Thursday, December 30, 2010

Guys Read

And that is what my series seems to be geared toward so I'm hoping that the Guys Read blog will help promote the series on their site. If you are interested in finding a wonderful list of books for boys, check them out and recommend books you feel boys would like to read, hopefully you will recommend my series if you enjoy it and see that it could be on a list for boys to read. Thanks - see you all in the postings - hope you have a wonderful new year (starts in 32 hours) - Mrs. E :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

So Ms. Elysabeth and the JGDS took a much needed trip to visit parents in the Lenoir-Boone, NC area. The prediction was for snow Saturday (Christmas day) and Sunday and maybe even some on Monday. I had already planned on not heading home until Monday, so I'm good. We did an early Christmas eve service at my dad's church, starting about 7 p.m. and then had to take Ms. Jane home and stopped at a "Coffee House" for something to eat (it was about 10 o'clock when we had dinner or breakfast for supper kind of thing since I had French toast, mother had a waffle and father had loaded hash browns). The temperature was droppinng a good bit by time we got to the house. We did gifts this morning about 8is and so sometime between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. it started snowing - so we have a white Christmas day at least. It has been about 23 years since I've actually seen snow on Christmas day. So my once every blue moon white Christmas is happening now. Of course I forgot my camera as I wanted to take pictures of the family and the snow - maybe another time.

Wishing you all a wonderful, day and hope all you receive exactly what you wanted Santa to bring you - Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Geographic Alliances (to me at least) and Book Updates

Okay, I know I should have been working but when you come across some interesting postings in your yahoo forums (one from elementary-lesson-share, which is cross posted on abc-usa) and you get to finding some new sources for the series, you just can't help playing around and exploring.

One of the postings on the forum that came in the daily digest listing of all the postings was for a "toolbox for teaching geography" by the North Carolina Geographic Alliance. I explored, signed up for membership, which of course led to another road - the National Geographic EdNet, which led to exploring states around me for ohter geographic alliances and lo and behold, Georgia did a Geofest this past April (hoping it is about the same time next year and that they allow vendors to come participate) that is similar to the South Carolina's Alliance Geofest. So now I have three states in my driving range (South Carolina held in Columbia about 2 hours from where I live, North Carolina looks to have workshops up near where my folks live and if that is the case, I have a place to stay and that is only about 3 hours from where I live, a bit further to Boone though; and Georgia's Geofest, held in Athens but could possibly be held in different locations and this is about 3 hours from here) to participate as a vendor - exposure, exposure, exposure. It only takes one really good link to get the ball rolling.

An update on State of Heights - it had been released earlier this month but while I was reading through it trying to come up with some questions for the study guide last week or the week before, I found some problems in the words - like when Heather had copy and pasted from the original document, some things got double wording or some lines got a little messed up. I took it off the market, had her fix those few things I noticed and ordered a second proof copy and found a place where I had made a parenthentical to her that got in the book - ooops - nothing bad but it wasn't part of the story, so will be ordering a third proof copy Wednesday and hopefully when I return from my parents' for the Christmas holiday will be able to really officially release State of Heights to the public. This is really book 5 in the series, so anyone who has the first three in the series and needs book 4 or 5, let me know. We are on schedule, otherwise, so far to release the next 5 books within the next year (the plan is 5 a year so that by November of 2019 book 50th will be released along with a supplement to check to make sure you have all the books in the series which will include the silly law and the bonus clue along with which territory the bonus clue was for).

Also, State of Wilderness will go out of publication with 4RV Publishing June of 2011, but will be re-released as a second edition, with a new cover and new illustrations to fit the books that Heather is illustrating. Hopefully, there won't be much lag time between it going out of publication with 4RV and me having it available to the public again. State of Quarries will be re-released in April or May of 2012 and State of Reservations will be re-released in June of 2013. These will all be in addition to the five new titles coming out each of those years. As it is right now, the 2011 schedule is as follows: State of Nature (#6) is slated for February; State of Acceleration (#7) is slated for April, State of Wilderness (#1) to be rereleased in June, State of Imagination (#8) is slated for about July, State of ?? (#9 - as of yet is untilted as I haven't completely put all the clues in place) to be released in September and State of Production (#10) to be released in November.

Also, check the website for updates on upcoming events. My Calendar is starting to look full as I have something scheduled almost every month so far. I also have added some info on school/class/homeschool co-ops purchasing large quantities of any title and as soon as I figure out what direction to go with a "unit study" I plan to have that available to schools and/or teachers and/or homeschooling co-ops or parents. This is something that will pull the supplemental study guide a step further and will combine the creative writing side of things with the geography and mystery of the states. I will keep you posted on this.

Hope you all have a blessed holiday no matter what you are celebrating and that your new year is blessedly wonderful and that all your goals come true. Mrs. E :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Aerial Views of the World

Thanks to Five J's Homeschooling blog for the link to this amazing view. There were actually a couple of pictures of some places in the United States and so I thought I would give you all a bird's eye view of what a couple of places look like.

This is Denver, Colorado

Of course, when I get to doing Colorado, you all know Denver will show up in the book since it is the capital of the state. Of course, this view won't be part of the book but it is interesting to see how the town looks from the sky.

This is the freeways in Los Angeles and not surprising there are many interesting highways.

I don't think I would ever want to drive in the area since I would be confused which road I should be on, but I guess if you live in the area and grow up in the area that you would get used to this.

Now this is one of my favorite shots, even though it isn't even in the United States - looks like a bunch of sand castles - It is the ruins in a town in Egypt but pretty cool looking -

- I really like this even though I'm not a beach person. I much prefer the mountains. This just has a unique appearance to me.

For more views of different cities and areas, click here. A virtual global visit.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I've just checked and only two persons have been added since posting my little "contest", so I think I'll extend this until the end of the year and do my drawing in January. Come on teachers, homeschoolers, and anyone who likes geography - follow the blog or even sign up for the email notifications to be kept abreast of what is going on with the squad and new title releases. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Come find out what "The Perfect Gift" is all about

Come visit me on Donna McDine's Golden Pathway blog and see what the perfect gift is, just in time for the holiday giving season - hope to see you all there - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Savannah Children's Book festival

I'm a little late posting this but overall the day was fun. I talked to a lot of people, sold a few books and had a good contact, although I wish I had gotten more contact information from him so that I could followup on his statement. Mr. Bob bought a copy of Train of Clues to take to school, stating that he was a 5th grade teacher (yay!! because the series are perfect for that grade) and that he was on the committee that buys books for the classes and library, not sure if it is district wide or just his school. Anyway, he said they had a meeting last week and that he was definitely going to make sure my books made their way into the school. So, hopefully that will be coming soon. I'm sure it is a process to go through to get books approved for classroom use and to have in the library and all, but this could be a little break that I need to get started.

I'm glad Benjamin went me this year as having him sitting at the table allowed me more freedom to walk around and see some acquaintances and friends and make a few new ones on the way.

I saw some signage I would like to have - Meet the Author, book signing type things but that will have to wait until I get some decent orders and the series starts taking off or until next spring when I start all over again with the homeschool conferences and other events I plan on attending.

Here are a few pictures from the event - enjoy - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

This is my table setup from the front side showing my map. The map is getting a bit used since I am hanging it on all my table displays wherever I go; I'll have to replace it with a new map soon - lol (thank goodness for Dollar Tree - yep, that map came from Dollar Tree with my wording added to it).

This is the "freebie" banner I ordered from vistaprint (my cost came out to about $10 for shipping and the plastic grommets that are self adhesed to the banner - not bad for a "freebie") Eventually the banner and map will be together as a meet the author type banner on a stand -

A friend of a friend (a new friend to me) took this one while I was away from the table of Benjamin - as you can see there was a bit of a crowd there while I was gone.

Overall it was a good day and hopefully Mr. Bob will come through with a nice order for the first five books for the school/district/libraries. See you in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fifth book - State of Heights - released

In honor of the fifth book being released, I'm going to conduct a little contest. Between now and the end of the month, my goal is reach 100 followers on the blog. Winner will win a copy of "Train of Clues" and a USA map puzzle along with a few other goodies. I only need 62 more followers, so tell your friends. Don't forget to sign up for email notifications too so that you can keep abreast of the upcoming releases and all things to do with the JGDS series. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS - :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Savannah bound

This weekend is the Savannah Children's book festival in Savannah, Ga. Last year was my first year to attend this gathering and I only had two copies of books going down with me (although I did find out about two weeks after that I had more copies in my car which I could have sold at the time) and sold both of them and would have sold more had I had the five copies I found later. This year I'm going down with proof copies of State of Successes and State of Heights along with about 12 copies of State of Reservations, four copies of State of Wilderness and only two copies of State of Quarries. I also have two copies each of "Train of Clues" and of the Passport booklet. I've been having dreams that several teachers have stopped by and ordered "class copies" (that's at least 10 of each title, but some have been more), and hope this means that the weekend proves to be better than last year's events. If you are a teacher out there, you are always welcome to check out my website for all the specials I'm running. I'm offering a 10% discount on multi-copy orders of one title (at least 10 copies must be ordered to receive the discount) and I've got a special deal on the first three books in the series when ordered together along with a deal for ordering the remaining 47 books in the series with the 47th book being published about this time in 2019.

I am also hoping that my books do really take off that by the time my son graduates in 2013 I can quit working full-time and start traveling. I'd love to do several weeks a month of just visiting schools and traveling to all the states.

If you are in the Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida area and would like a fun place to be, come visit all the authors and illustrators at the Savannah Children's Book Festival this Saturday from 10 to 4. There are all kinds of activities for the kids and I'm sure there is a little something for everyone's interests.

Friday, November 5, 2010

State of Heights proof copy ordered

State of Heights was proof copy ordered today so hopefully that will be released next week for purchase. This is the fifth book in the series. So far this year, State of Reservations, State of Successes and State of Heights have (will be) released along with Train of Clues (the story that started it all) and my Passport Across America (a supplement to keep track of the books in the series or to use for a traveling companion). Next year, we will release State of Nature, State of Acceleration, and State of Imagination between January and June and two others later in the year (as of yet they are untitled, although a tentative title for book #10 is State of Production, but that will be after I finish tweaking the clues and run it by my friend who usually comes up with my titles; this particular title is because Benjamin got to hear the clues and thought some of them were pretty cool and State of Production was descriptive of the state in more ways than one). I do have a cover for State of Nature, which will be released in January. Did I mention that Benjamin actually picked which clues would be on the cover and came up with the title for this one? I think Heather does a great job blending the items so they look like they belong together as can be seen on State of Heights with the tunnel going into the mountain and the bridge looking like it comes off the mountain. Mind you they are totally not in the same region of the state but they look like they could be found together from her cover. You can check out all the information on all books available now on my website. All orders placed from the website will be autographed copies except for the Passport Across America as this is not really a story, just an activity booklet to supplement the series.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants?

Come visit me at Robert Medak's blog and see what kind of writer you are, written in honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) which is coming up in a couple of weeks. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Please come visit me

I'm featured on J. Aday Kennedy's blog today, even though I'm out of town and will be back later this evening. Please come visit and leave a comment - thanks everyone - see you in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

SCBWI Carolinas conference bound

SCBWI = Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. As a member of the local group, the Carolinas, we have a conference in the fall. This year's is in Charlotte, NC (my guess is this is fairly central to both states). The workshops will be held at the Marriott on Tyvola Road. I came up early so I wouldn't have to get up like at 5 in the morning and head up the road. I checked in sometime around 7ish this evening and was heading to the lobby to get my dinner microwaved since there are no microwaves in the room and none available to be brought to my room. Getting off the elevator, I met up with a friend - someone I actually know. I can't wait for the workshops this weekend. What I'm taking are geared for marketing to the educational market and marketing in general and the PAL (SCBWI has a group of members who are published and listed (PAL) and so that intensive will be geared more towards marketing too.

I'm open to new ideas on getting my books out there.

Sunday, two of the books in the series (State of Reservations and State of Sucesses) will be reviewed on J. Aday Kennedy's blog. She will also be running a marketing idea on the 29th, so come see what she has in store for us (even I don't know what she is planning to do on the 29th, other than to say she has an idea for getting something for free having to do with my series). Guess we will find out next week what she has up her sleeve. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS - :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Geofest and home again

It's hard to determine how well one does at events like this but maybe by Monday I'll know better. Most of the folks that stopped at my table really didn't have any buying power and I met a lot of younguns who haven't even graduated college yet but they are heading in the right direction. I did sell two copies of State of Successes, so that was a good thing but figure that there will be more looksees to the website and possibly orders after teachers return to school Monday.

The one time I forgot my camera and my table really looked good. Oh well, maybe next time I'll remember my camera. There is another event by the same folks in February, so glad the SC Book Festival isn't in February in 2011. Not sure February will be a better time but I think this will be a good event for me the more books we get out.

One good contact came out of today, which is talking with the guy in charge of vendors for the SC Council of Social Studies conference which is in October. Unfortunately, I can't make it that weekend but next year the conference will be in Greenville and he's got my information and will keep me informed. He did tell me I could send him some bookmarks and my sell sheets and he would make sure my stuff gets out. The guy across from me in the area we were displaying our wares is from the same area and they carry books from all kinds of publishers, so I may get my books out there a different way. I'll keep you posted on what transpires with that.

Next weekend is the SCBWI conference in Charlotte and then I have some down time. The Sugarfoot Festival in town the end of October (okay the weekend before the actual end of October) and then Halloween, which is a break and then two wonderful big events, a new one in Charleston and the Savannah Children's Book Festival. More as those approach. Wish I had a few pictures to share with you from today, but I'll do better for the next one - see you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

GEOFEST bound (that's in Columbia)

(picture of Reedy River Falls, which is in Greenville County, near the Governor's School for Arts and Humanities, which is where my oldest attended for his final two years of high school; very beautiful area)

I'm heading out of town again this weekend for the SC Geographic Alliance's GEOFEST #40 today. The event is actually tomorrow. Here is the website's brief description of GEOFEST:

Every spring and fall SCGA hosts this professional development conference, usually located in Columbia, SC. K-12 educators, pre-service teachers, college instructors, media specialists, curriculum coordinators, and the general public are invited to attend. A typical Geofest offers content lessons presented by USC geography faculty, standards-based teaching strategies for the elementary, middle and high school classroom, and sessions on using the SCGA teaching materials.

I'm really looking forward to this event since it puts me in the middle of the folks who can use my books the most. Hoping to come back with many sales. Will check in either tomorrow evening when I return or Sunday when I get a chance - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Native Americans, ghosts and monsters - oh my!

You may ask what all these things have in common, so I'll be happy to tell you. The Celebration of Books festival was held this weekend in Highlands, NC, at their civic center/rec center (depends on who you talk to what the building is called). Among the authors and vendors available we had Native Americans, a real ghost tracker (Micheal Rivers - author of a fiction title called "The Voyage of the Black Witch) - and a teacher who has written a story about monsters - but not in the sense that we think of monsters.

I think the crowd would have been better if folks knew we were there, but overall I think it was a good day. I did a partial workshop since there weren't too many kids there - had four young girls in with me - 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and 5th grade. We only did the writing part, so I did get a little out of them.

Here are some pictures of my table. I got the letters at Dollar Tree and did the sign up the best I could. (I ordered a banner from vistaprint last week and it should be here this week hopefully, but Hailie said I should use this sign too since it turned out pretty good). When we were leaving or packing up, one of the authors said I should have won most patriotic table - lol. Since I'm all about the United States, I try to keep my theme the same - red, white and blue or flag looking or something like that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

State of Successes officially on now

Sometime between the first part of this week and now, State of Successes has gone live on You can order from there but if you want autographed copies, need to get from my website or directly by emailing me with request (instructions on how much to paypal will be sent and once books are paid for I will ship out).

Heather is feeling a bit under the weather, so ya'll send some well wishes her way please. I need my illustrator to be in good condition - lol. Feel better girl.

Finishing work stuff and then heading out to Highlands, NC, as soon as Hailie gets out of school. Hope we do well this weekend. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS -

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Highlands, NC bound -

The first annual Celebration of the Book festival will be held this weekend in Highlands, NC. Here is the link to Highlands so you can find the Civic Center once you come into town. We are heading out Friday afternoon and will be back Saturday. The even has been advertised all over the area so hopefully there will be plenty of children there for my workshop. Putting the girl to work for me this weekend too - lol. Anyway - see you all there - Mrs. E :)

(just a side note - State of Successes and the other Train of Clue books I ordered earlier this week won't be here until probably Monday - but that's okay I have proof copies so we should be good) - E :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

State of Successes officially released

Proof arrived today and it looks gorgeous - I must say - so far I'm impressed with everything Heather has done. Taking orders through my website and via email. Should be available on amazon soon and in the next couple of weeks (if both events that are coming up go well) I should be able to upgrade and have the books listed in library and educational facilities. Be on the lookout for State of Heights to be released about the middle of next month hopefully - See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

More literacy and reading sites

I follow several blogs and this one just came in my email and thought I'd share with my readers. It's another roundup of places to go - Check out the Scrub-A-Dub Tub blog for a short list of recommended places for the month of September.

State of Nature cover

She's done it again - lol. Heather is doing such a wonderful job that I can't wait to see the whole series but alas that will be at least 8 or 9 years for that to happen. So without further ado - I give you the cover for State of Nature - Do you think you know which state it is from the cover? Let us know what you think of the cover - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reading and Writing Celebrations

My friend, Carol Baldwin, has listed a few reading and writing events coming up in the next two months that you don't want to miss. If you are interested, pop over to her blog and check it out.

I have a few to add to the list, which are smaller but probably worth the looksee - next weekend will be the Highlands, NC Celebration of Books festival (this is a first year event, but they are doing a bang up job of advertising and making it known that this event is going on; it is nestled in the mountains of North Carolina and the weather is turning just a bit so shouldn't be too hot up there right now); The SC Geographic Alliance's Geofest in Columbia, SC (geared more towards educators and others who are into the geography aspect of education), a new one in Charleston, SC, this year which has had some good exposure up north in previous years, and of course the Savannah Children's Book Festival in November (this one boasted over 10,000 folks visiting this past November so should be a wonderful turnout this year (hoping the weather is like it was last year)).

Maybe you have a list of festivals in your area that are a book lover's delight. Don't be shy and share with the rest of our readers. You never know who will show up at an event near you - Mrs. E :)

State of Sucesses released

I ordered the proof copy of Succcesses today, late afternoon (almost 4 pm) and just received an email about 8:30 this evening saying the proof copy has shipped. Wow talk about a fast turn around. It doesn't hurt that the printers are in the same state only about 4-1/2 hours away. So provided there are no glitches and I have the proof copy Saturday morning, I can release it as available Saturday. So for all intents and purposes, State of Successes is now available - lol. And starting with this book, all orders will include the study guide in PDF format on CD.

I've also updated my website address to not be so long - so if you are following my series on its website, please be aware that the new addy is (with an http:// in front of it). You can still find me on facebook with the series having its own page as well. For teachers, schools and homeschooling co-ops interested in using the series as part of a United States Unit Study type program, I have added info about ordering multiple copies with discounts.

Heather is working on the cover for State of Nature now, so we may get ahead of schedule and end up having more books a year come out, but for now, I'm satisfied with five a year coming out. As soon as she has the cover finished, I will have a new bookmark as well, so there will be two bookmarks available soon - the first one which has the covers of the first three books (Wilderness, Quarries and Reservations) and the second one will have the covers of Successes, Heights and Nature on it. Can't wait to see that too. I'm so pleased with Heather's covers so far, anxiously awaiting to share Nature's with you all.

Stop on over to the website for more special deals - see you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mint Hill Pictures

And the few pictures I took last weekend at the Mint Hill event:

My table set up -

Shelley's table -

Benjamin reading his book and Shelley at the table -

Shelley did very well and I did okay. There was a crowd but not as many homeschoolers or kids as I would have thought but it was a good day overall. No events scheduled for Labor Day Weekend but then I'm hitting the road full force for September and then a couple of weeks break and four events basically back to back, so keep an eye for more pictures of future events - see you in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Love to Learn conference pictures

As promised a couple of weeks ago - Love to Learn conference from 08/14/2010:





This young lady is only 10 years old and was selling jewelry she made herself - very bright young lady and I think she will do well if she continues coming to the conference as a vendor

The button makers - they were here last year too.

This young man had a few of his paintings last year but added a few other things this year. I so wanted one of his purses with a rainbow on it but it sold before I had a chance to get it.

Springwater festival

Today was the Springwater festival in the town about 15 miles from where we live. I don't usually get to attend this particular festival because of marching band and school activities but this year, the kids are not in band and therefore my weekends are pretty full with events. Heidi told me about having some books up at a flower shop in the town called "Something Unique" and they had asked Heidi to be up there for a book signing. Heidi told me and I sent her a couple of copies of "State of Reservations" to have on hand. Heidi and I were there for a book signing today and I could hardly get folks to come to the table and play my games to win a prize - lol. Anyway here are a few pictures of the tables and where we were - hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mint Hill success/license plate game

Mint Hill Sunday in the Park was very successful this year (not as much as I would have liked to seen for my books in the way of homeschoolers, but still succesful). I took Benjamin with me to help out; he stayed to himself most of the day - did set up the canopy and went to get some pizza and ice cream later in the day for us and helped Shelley take her stuff to her car.

Shelley was selling like a madman - she sold 7 copies of Radium Halos and 2 copies of "The Moose Next Door" (an interative write and illustrate your own essay story book for grades 2 through 4).

I sold my special deal (the first three books with study guides), a copy of "Wilderness" and a copy of "Train of Clues".

The booths on either side of us housed a young girl who is homeschooled selling "dragon eggs" and hair ribbons (flowered and ribbons hanging down type of things) and they were fun to talk to. Ms. Gabrielle, the 4-year-old sister to the girl selling, opened up to me as we were getting ready to leave or close to that time; she just pulled her little Disney Princesses chair next to me and gave me a life story. She was so cute. The young fellow next to me on the other side was doing macrame type parachute cord bands (wrist and keyrings) to benefit the military fallen heroes funds or something like that - he was an ex-marine. He also told us about a festival in Banner Elk, which is in October - the Woolly Worm Festival. It is held at one of the schools in Banner Elk and I've made contact and am hoping to add this to my events this year. So be on the lookout for more information on this if I get in and can possibly do a school visit the Friday before the event - that would be awesome.

I've already added another festival to the October line-up - so check out my website for the calendar of events. This one is very local - right in the town where I live so no major travel time and no staying in a hotel or with friends or anything like that; just need Benjamin to help set the canopy up and take it down but that should be an easy setup.

After getting the car packed up and heading out, Benjamin started checking out license plates on vehicles as they passed us. We saw a good many of the different states - 11 in total, not including South Carolina and North Carolina (obviously being in those two states, those two tags were expected to be seen). One trucker we passed actually had an Ontario plate - so we actually saw international plates - lol.

The states we saw included Ohio, Virginia (heading south for whatever reason, must be going back to school somewhere down this way), Mississippi, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, New Jersey (again, heading in the wrong direction - since Jersey is north of us), Tennessee and Georgia (this is pretty much expected coming from North Carolina to South Carolina on I-85, which is a direct route to Atlanta. We saw two cars together with New York plates and one of them actually said "DR BOOK" - now how cool a plate is that. I'm thinking of doing a vanity plate for me but I don't think anyone would really get it (I want it to look something like this but may be too many letters - JGDS ATHR). And the winning plate from the furthest place is Washington state. He really is a long way from home so hoping his trip is successful wherever he was heading. It was fun to see several different states from many different regions of the country.

Remember on any trip you take - play a game and have fun. Mrs. E :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mint Hill bound

Sunday in the Park (was called Art in the Park previously) is upon us again. I will be heading to Mint Hill, NC, which is about 20 or 30 minutes or so on the other side of Charlotte. Last year was a good time and the weather was perfect, hot at times but plenty of breezes to help keep the heat and humidity at bay. I'm hoping this year with more to offer that I do well. I can only hope. Benjamin is going with me to help me out, so this will be a new exciting adventure for me since my son hasn't participated in any of my events before. I think the mention of paying him to help out was the reason he decideed to go. I get to spend the day with my baby (not so much a baby any more - lol as he is at least 6 feet tall and weighs in at 160 or so pounds). I'm looking forward to Sunday in the Park - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :) & the JGDS

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Passport proof has arrived

This morning I decided to go to the post office - to get a money order and check the mail. I knew that was fast in shipping the proof copies as I'd already experienced such with "Train of Clues". So in my box was a yellow card (package too big to fit in box indicator) and so I went inside and picked up the package and lo and behold - Passport proof copy was there. I must say it really is gorgeous and now I have an actual copy to take with me tomorrow (had printed out a large version of the file to take with me but having the proof is so much better). Folks will see what the actual booklet looks like, but coming in at 134 pages long, it really isn't a booklet. Now, must order some copies to send to Ms. Elise who is planning a trip up and down the east coast right after Labor Day. I'm excited about having this.

Don't forget to check out my website for all the special deals going on right now - preorder the rest of the series and you will receive one copy of the Passport book free with a discounted price on extra copies (these are consumable so each child will need their own copy); preorder the rest of the series (47 books total) for a special price and the special deal on the first three books to include the study guide on CD. Looking forward to seeing you all at upcoming events - Mrs. E :) & the JGDS

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Want to find new indie authors?

Check out the new forum for readers and authors alike. You never know which new author will strike your fancy. Enjoy - Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love to Learn conference

So this past weekend I was a vendor at the Love to Learn conference in Charlotte. It was really busy. A lot more people this year than last; saw many familiar faces and lots of new ones. I got to do my workshop after lunch (1 pm) and had about eight kids and their parents come in there. Well I think I had as many adults in the room as I did kids - lol. Some were just observing. I had seven kids but one was a bit younger so she just got to be there with her big sisters and parents. I had two come in late so I let them play the game to win a prize.

I hadn't done any business until the end of the day - one lady who remembered me from last year did buy my special deal (the first three books plus study guides on CD) and preordered three copies of the Passport booklet as well as a copy of State of Successes. I would have liked to have sold more but I'm thankful to her for purchases.

I will post pictures when I get a chance. I think overall it was a good day for all. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Charlotte bound for homeschool conference

It's finally upon us; the Love to Learn Information and Resource Homeschool Conference in Charlotte, NC. I've been watching the list of presenters and vendors lately and lots of folks I met last year or at another conference this past June are going to be there - so yay for that. This year, I'm prepared with books 1, 2 and 3, covers for 4 and 5, a few copies of "Train of Clues", cover for my Passport booklet, my goodie box (prizes for the workshop game - just hope I have enough prizes or that I am not overwhelmed with kids being in the workshop) and my mindset. This is going to be a great weekend. I'm hoping to do well and that all my friends do well also. I am taking over 100 basket weaving kits with me and since it is a small priced item, it should do well. This is the craft idea for book 4 - State of Successes - that will be in the study guide for those of you who are keeping track of the series. (yes, that is a new thing for this particular book - just so happens one of the clues for Successes is about basket weaving and my favorite craft website had a mini woven basket for Thinking Day under the Girl Scouts swaps (under more Thinking Day, Philipines) - it was perfect for my book, so figured I would use it. I did vary the supplies a bit - instead of using raffia I decided to cut strips from plastic shopping bags (the handles work great for the mini basket, as you can get four strips out of one bag). If using the larger circle pattern, it takes two strips I believe. I'd like to see some orders for upcoming books, if not the rest of the series come in but I'll take any and all sales equally - lol.

Heidi Ippolito will be there also and she's going to watch my table while I do my workshop. I'm hoping to pop in the fun nook during a couple of the events they are doing - the chenille crafty thing and the sock puppet one - just to see what kind of ideas I can come up with.

The next six or seven weekends finds the JGDS out and about several places, except Labor Day Weekend - a small break. For more on the schedule of places we will be visiting or having fun, check out my website under the Calendar of Events page. I'm ready mentally but not with books. I know I'll have to get more of Wilderness, Quarries and Reservations from Vivian soon (hope she is doing well from her recent knee surgery). Next month I'll have books on hand, at least Successes and the Passport booklet. October is a break for me and then the fun begins in November - Charleston and Savannah. See you all in the postings or at a conference/festival near you - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Passport booklet uploaded

I'm excited. Heather and I finally got the page numbering and the puzzles straightened out for the Passport booklet and I just uploaded the files to, so now it's a matter of waiting to make sure we have the layout to their standards, et cetera.

I have a meeting in the morning (well in less than 7 hours from the time this post is being done) with the elementary school librarian here and hopefully she will have some funds to start getting some books as she had talked about last year. I know they (the art instructor and the librarian) were trying to get a grant to get copies of the books to have on hand for the students for giveaways like AR prizes or other things, so I'm hoping that tomorrow she will say yes, they received the grant and would like to proceed with getting books in. If that is the case, we can start getting more books in the series ready for publication. The process is taking about 6 weeks total right now - but that is because Heather and I are still learning each other's styles and we have both had other things going on during this time. She also has been doing double duty the last month for me - creating the Passport booklet and doing everything for State of Successess (layout, interior illustraions, cover, design, et cetera plus deal with me changing my mind on something or making her life more difficult - not really; - lol). She truly has been wonderful to work with, very much wants to make sure I am satisfied. Her mother is thrilled with the series and is excited to be receiving items to use with Heather's younger siblings. So Ms. Mary, be patient - you will get the books, study guides and fun activities as I can get them published and sent to you - lol.

Keeping with the excitement today, my first official order of "Train of Clues" arrived this morning - looks pretty awesome. I will head to Charlotte this weekend with probably 4 or 5 copies in hand - sold a copy today, have three spoken for (will get with Anita tomorrow or Friday) and have one for the winner of my blog comment contest, Ms. Carol, whom I will see this weekend. May have another copy of the book sold Thursday when I go to school to teach class. I will order more copies probably next week unless the librarian has funds available to purchase books. I am taking orders for "Train of Clues" now and when I have at least 10 copies ordered, I will submit the order and ship the books out within a couple of days of receiving them (I've been getting books the day after an order is placed, which is a huge advantage of having books printed in the same state - only 4 or so hours from where I live).

Mr. Hughes and Heather will have to wait on their spoken for copies until the next order goes in - lol; sorry ya'll but you will get them -

Okay - need some sleep - just reporting on updates - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Successes interior - woohoo

Saw the interior for State of Successes this morning and I must say the change in the game console really did wonders for the layout. It isn't completed yet, but hopefully it will be this evening or early morning for me to upload to get a proof copy ordered so I at least will have that to take with me next weekend to the Love to Learn Homeschool Resource & Info conference in Charlotte.

(this is the almost final cover for the front of the Passport Across America booklet - the final version has my name moved down as close to the bottom as possible and perhaps a tad smaller)

Heather is diligently working on two projects at the same time tonight - the Passport Across America booklet; I've added a few more games/puzzles to that and we are good on the cover almost (she had to do a spine since this will be a few more pages longer than the books themselves, but I think you all will be super pleased with that once she gets that one to me) as well as tweaking State of Successes. Things are moving along. If all goes well, these two will both be published after the conference next weekend. I'm hoping that having the proofs will entice people to do preorders or at least several items at once so that as soon as they are published I can drop them in the mail. Passport will only be available through me but the rest of the books in the series will be available through as well as libraries & educational institutes; and I'll be offering copies of the Passport booklet for free for any preorders (47 books) or large quantity orders for each child in the family.

When she takes a short breath from these two projects, she will do the cover for #6 - State of Nature - and then will work on the interior of State of Heights. So it looks like the end of September for sure I should have another book published.

Looking forward to getting more books in the series available to you all - Mrs. E :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Congratulations to Carol

Congratulations GraphicsAs per the Random generator, the lucky winner of a signed copy of "Train of Clues" is #12, which is Carol. Thanks for stopping by everyone. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

LAST DAY - Train of Clues drawing Monday

Last month when I hit 4500 visitors to my blog, I posted a random note of encouragement for everyone to consider leavinng a comment to be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of "Train of Clues." Today is the last day to leave your comments on any post since June 24 through tonight. I had stated I would do a drawing for every 25 comments left and so far I have had 20 comments on various postings, so there will be a drawing for one copy of "Train of Clues" (unless a plethora of comments come in on the postings from yesterday). Good luck to everyone and winner will be contacted Monday - see you in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, July 30, 2010


"Train of Clues" is available for orders as per my website. If interested in a copy, please either order from website or email me at and request your signed copies. This will not be available other than through direct orders. When I have at least ten copies sold, an order will be placed. Notification will be made when I send orders out.

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

State of Heights, first view of "passport", and final State of Successes covers

Heather is doing such a wonderful job with colorful, eye-catching covers. I'm sharing with you all the latest cover designs received.

Here we have the final cover for State of Successes. We only had to come up with five tries to get the font that everyone seems satisfied for the word "State". I like it. Very colorful. Very eye-catching. Super kid friendly. Even my daughter who doesn't really pick up books or look at covers too often likes it.

This is the first cover for the "passport" booklet. I've made some suggestions for changes - but this is what we are looking at for now.

And finally, the latest addition to the series, book #5, State of Heights. Hailie loves the font for the word "Heights" on this one. I love how Heather made it look like the tunnel and bridge were part of the mountain (they are not really connected in any way, shape or form in the state this title represents).

Drop me a note and let me know what you think - Mrs. E :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Looking ahead to 2011 conventions/conferences

(picture from the SC Home Educators' Association convention June 2010 - Jess made my sign for me and I need to get a banner is what I need to do but she did a good job with what she had)

A few weeks ago (probably right after the 4th of this month), I decided I would start looking for homeschool conventions and conferences for 2011. I found a couple listed and am excited to say that after making contact with the people in charge of the Great Homeschool Convention group (their online contact form had a glitch but I found them on facebook and left a message getting a reply of who to contact directly) my series has been approved to be an exhibitor/vendor. The cost is a little steep but no more so than most book festivals that I would consider attending. And the best part of this convention is that it is local, literally just 45 minutes from my house. I don't have to stay at a hotel for that time and can work Thursday until lunch time or mid afternoon before heading over there to set up (I have it easy since I don't have a lot to load). I also have requested to do my writing workshop for the kids (no cost to me except the prizes I keep on hand for the game part of the workshop) and have a good chance of being able to do the workshop. My biggest problem is that this occurs during school hours and I've got to figure out who I trust enough to pay to help me out Friday, especially if that is the day I do my workshop. Wonder when AU's spring break is; guess I'll have to check with my wonderful helper, Jess in the next few weeks to know if maybe she can help me.

When I spoke with Kim today, she felt they were looking at possibly 2500 homeschool families attending the event which is great. She also said that from other conventions they do, they have had small companies/individuals who have been listed as exhibitors receive orders prior to the convention (one guy apparently had 40 orders from the advertising the Great Homeschool Convention coordinator does). Now to be so lucky as that - I'd love to go to the convention with many preorders and all I'd have to do is deliver the goods during that time.

Stay tuned for more updates on this convention as they develop. Keep checking the convention's website for more info. If you are local or at least in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, possibly Florida and homeschool, you may be interested in attending as an attendee. Hope to see some fans/readers of my series there.

(picture of books on table and map from SC Home Educators' Association convention June 2010)

The other one I've found is in Pennsylvania and it is done through the Antiochian Orthodox Church (my father is in an Antiochian parish and the Orthodox Church local to me is also in the Antiochian diocese, so I feel I have good foot in the door and should be able to get some references from Father David and my Father). It's called the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschool Conference and the most information I've found so far can be found here. This one is apparently held at the Antiochian Village which looks to be a wonderful retreat center, located about an hour and a half southeast of Pittsburgh. This one falls the last weekend of March/first part of April, which is right before our spring break starts here (actually that Friday at end of school day is the beginning of the spring break) and I told Hailie about the event and she said she wanted to go with me because she wants to go to Pennsylvania - lol. I told her she would end up missing some school since I'd have to leave early Wednesday, as it is a long drive up there and since the conference is Thursday, Friday and Saturday with probably something church related on Sunday. It's been a while since I've been to Pennsylvania so this would be a nice trip for me - kind of getting back to where I sort of grew up. So far, I've tried to make contact using their online forms but haven't received a reply.

I know it seems far away but I need to start planning for events so I have all my ducks in a row and can send in the vendor applications on a timely basis. The other events I hope to do in 2011 will be the Chattanooga one in July, as I didn't get my application in early enough for that one this year, the Sumter, SC, event that I got to do this year (they may be changing location and time when it is held, so as soon as I know when and where, I'll post), the Love to Learn conference in Charlotte (that one is in August, the second Saturday every year), and of course the Savannah Children's Book Festival with school visits the Friday of the event. I'd like to try to make it to Memphis and a couple of other ones, but those aren't on the radar yet so I have to just bide my time.

Keep checking my website for updates on the calendar of events pages as new events come to my attention that I see I can do. See you in the postings or at an event near you - Mrs. E :)

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