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 :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Delay for Train of Clues

Due to a problem with the printing of one of the illustrations (and lack of funds at the moment), "Train of Clues" will not be available until August 13th. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

See how the page looks like someone had ink fingers?

And then when I showed the interior to Hailie and then closed the covers and she saw it near the first proof, she asked why the cover was so much lighter. So a second call to createspace and Ashley told me to document the differences so that in case this contnues to be an issue is documented. So here are the comparison front and back covers:

And then while I was holding the books like they would be on a bookshelf, I realized that there was a difference in the cut. See how the book on top looks like it has been cut at an angle? Not a good thing. I definitely didn't have the excited feeling when I opened the second proof as I did for the first one. Now I know why, colors are off, the edges are slightly different and the one interior illustration is smudged.

Guess this is why they call them proof copies - get all the kinks worked out before getting the real thing - Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy dance time!!! State of Successes cover arrived last night

Heather has been a busy young lady (I still can't believe she is only 16 years old). Not only has she completely done "Train of Clues" from illustrations to layout/design and cover, she has been working on getting the next book in the series completed. Sometime this weekend she sent me three illustrations which are to go on the cover, and what a difference a little color makes, even though I do know the illustrations I got were not complete. So last night I get an email from Heather and it says - Look what I got for ya! - and it was the front and back cover (incomplete back cover but I know why she did that so she would have everything ready to put on the back cover) - and all I can say is - Woohooo!!!!! - You Go, Heather! - Excellent job and I can't wait to see the interior illustrations.

So for your viewing pleasure - here's the cover for State of Successes -

Drop me a line and let me know what you think of it or if you feel so inclined to drop Heather a note personally, you can reach her on her website - I'll pass all the comments to Heather as well

Now that I have a cover, I'm running a preorder special for the remaining books in the series on my website. Orders can be placed from my website for only $419 (this is a savings of $98). This will include the accompanying study guide for each book and each book will be autographed to whomever you indicate when placing your order - one child, all children or to the family. As a new title comes out, you will be one of the first to receive your copy. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reservations' first review

Cheryl Malandrinos from The Children's and Teens' Book Connection has posted the first review for State of Reservations. Overall, the review was good other than comments about the illustrations (Cheryl stated what I feel about them) and the back cover having Jolene's name misspelled twice and missing the word "Detective" from Junior Geography Squad. For the complete review, go here. Enjoy - Mrs. E :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Proof arrived

I've been about town showing it off to folks - the post office people, the librarians, the workers at the dentist office who are fans and following my series. I got home and started checking it more closely and dang if I didn't goof. I kept looking at the wig illustration, thinking "I know Heather moved it down since it was so high on the page" but thought maybe it just wasn't moved enough and showed up different. I started reading the inside and the bio page and realized I uploaded the wrong "final" version of the interior I had in my files. So I have to re-order my proof hopefully tomorrow and next week I'll be able to do a complete order of 50 for the first run. But I do like how it looks. Thank you, Heather. She was the first person I called when I opened the package. I can't wait for her to see the final book. She is going to work out well for the series.

She did assure me that she is working on the covers for "Successes" and "Heights" and hopes to have them to me soon and so I may have new covers to share with you all. Stay tuned - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Impressive turnaround for Train of Clues proof

I sent the order for the proof this morning about 8:30 or 9:00 EST. Got my email notifications that the order had been placed. I've got it to do the slowest shipping which states I should have my order by July 23. I left about 10:45 to go to bank and run a couple of errands before heading to College to teach class (well actually had to meet a student to get her started on transcription). After class, went to the grocery store as we had no groceries in the house really to speak of. (Bear definitely needs to start providing grocery money for the summer since I can't do it all.) Came home, unloaded the car and checked my emails. I had one that says my proof has been shipped - So looks like I should have my proof copy Monday or Tuesday or Wednesay at the latest - lol. Talk about quick - I hope it's as good as it should be and I can't wait to get that one in my hands. So next week I should have proof copy. A 50-copy order will be placed on the 22nd so should have those the following week. I'll be happy to sign copies for anyone who is wanting one. Contact me via my website or directly by email for your copy (see profile for email addy). Remember to let me know who to make the books to. Until next time - Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Modern day pirates: aka smugglers

Max Anderson, an acquaintance from several forums, writes books geared for boys. His latest will be available August 1 - check it out.

Lost Island Smugglers is a new action-adventure that kids will love. Find out more here.

"Sam Cooper Adventures are like good, family movies . . . as an ordinary kid finds himself in exciting and extra-ordinary adventures!" Bill Myers - author

"Max Elliot Anderson brings a lifetime of dramatic film and video production to the pages of his action adventures and mysteries." Jerry B. Jenkins, Author

PS. You can also go to the Lost Island Smugglers UPDATE page for more information.

*The above was taken from Max's blog. For more information about Max and his works, follow the links noted above.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Train of Clues" proof

So Thursday, when I get paid a small check (work had a change in paydays recently due to a merge) I get to order the proof copy of "Train of Clues." According to, I should have the proof by about the 21st or so and then I can place an order if everything looks good. A 50-print run will be placed on or about July 22nd, if everything looks good, and I should have books in hand by August 2. I'm so excited to see how quickly this booklet came together. "Train of Clues" is 32 pages long and will be sold via my website or email only - for $5. This is the story that started it all. I'm looking forward to seeing the completed book and to start promoting it. "Train of Clues" is available for preorder on my website and will be shipped to anyone who orders a copy the day they arrive in my hand.

Heather is diligently working on covers for State of Successes and State of Heights, so hopefully before too long I'll have two new covers to show everyone. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Heather's work as I'm pleased as punch with the interior of "Train of Clues."

I'm also starting my search for some homeschool conferences coming in 2011, so if anyone knows of any in their area and would like to see the JGDS series participate as an exhibitor/vendor, please drop me a line and let me know so I can start making contacts about exhibitor spots. I also will do my "Writing Roads" workshop for the kids at any homeschool conference I participate in, if vendor workshops are available. I'd like to stay within the southern states for now until I can really build my readership and have some income from the books to support me instead of me supporting the books, but if it looks to be a good one and looks to be doable on my end (expenses are not too high), then I will be happy to consider it. - See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

MoonZeLent - a new vampire novel

My new illustrator, Heather Paye, has an interview with one of "my favorite authors" (per her) on her blog. Check it out on her blog. The cover for this new novel can be found on her website. Make sure to leave her a comment.

She will be working on covers for State of Successes and State of Heights over the next week or so, and then I get to share more good stuff with you. I'm really looking forward to more from Heather as the JGDS series progresses. Heather is aspiring to work with Disney/Pixar and hopefully by doing covers and inside illustrations for my series along with the other projects she takes on she will have a decent start to getting her foot in the door.

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

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