Sunday, December 9, 2012

This and That

I've been neglecting the JGDS series and blog postings for a while. So, since it has been over a month since I last posted here, I'm going to do a brief "this and that" posting here.  For more details of what has happened this week, please stop by my other blog and check out today's "This and That" posting as well as a special deal I have going on for this week on books and bookworms for the last minute gift on your list.

This past week, I sold four copies of State of Successess to the Belton Museum along with three copies of Finally Home

The weekend of November 16-17 I did an event at Cascades Verdae and sold a total of 17 books - 15 of them state books.  My best event to date.  It doesn't come to enough to really pay Heather and get more books published but that day will hopefully come.  I would love to get more states published but right now they will remain on hold until I start seeing orders of at least 1000 per title or larger.  I need some serious print runs in order to get back on track. 

I also am available to do school visits so if you are a teacher or librarian following this blog in the Tri-State area - NC, SC, GA - and would like to book me for your end-of-year fill-in, I'm available.  See you all in  the postings - Ma America

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sugarfoot Festival Update

For all the details from this weekend's event, please stop over to my other blog and read the This and that posting.  It was warmer than it was last year and the crowds just didn't seem to be there but overall it was a good event.  Mrs. E ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sugarfoot Festival

It's that time of year again and our small town is gearing up for the Sugarfoot Festival, basically your street fair where folks come from all over to enjoy the entertainment and check out the vendors hocking their wares.  This year is going to be a little different and as I drove into town today to go to the post office I saw them setting up the mini carnival rides and what not.  Tonight is family night so hopefully that will boost the town's economy a bit. 

Once again, I will have my tent set up and will be selling books - everything published to include the republication of a corrected version of "Train of Clues".  If you are in the upstate area of South Carolina and don't mind traveling a bit, stop on over and visit.  I'll be in booth #56, right near the old flower shop (or so I've been told).  See you all in the postings - Ma Amrerican (aka Mrs. E) and the JGDS :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Georgia COMO update

Last week was the Georgia combined librarian event in Macon, Georgia. The trip down there wasn't too bad except my GPS took me the round about way to get to Anderson to get to the back road to head down to Macon. The traffic was light until I got around Athens but then again, that is the home of Georgia University (or maybe it's the University of Georgia, whatever it is - home of the GA Bulldogs) and I had missed a turn which would have taken me directly through downtown Athens. Coming back, the GPS wouldn't let me go the back way around Athens and on Friday afternoon the weekend of the GA-Carolina football game at 3 or so in the afternoon - not a good time to travel through Athens. The drive was really rough on my knees for some odd reasons and next year, I need to remember to make several stops along the way so as to get out and stretch my legs so I won't be so stiff. My left knee is finally recovering almost a week later. The school librarians weren't really at the event as expected but overall I did make some good contacts. Met Mimi from State Standards Publishing who led me to Follett (a distributor). I was supposed to be in the SELA booth but when I got there Thursday morning (after setting up my table Wednesday evening), I had been reduced to a corner that was totally invisible to anyone. Gordon was nice and said he had a cancellation and he was going to put me in that booth, which just happened to be next to Rainbow Books (another distributor) and about three tables down from Davidson Title (another distributor). When I found the Follett booth and talked with them a few minutes, they directed me to the Mackin table which is yet another distributor. Now why are distributors important to me and those four contacts especially important? These are the folks who can get my books in the schools because the schools tend to get their books from distributors directly rather than from the authors or through Baker & Taylor directly. During the authors' reception, I shared a table with Minnie P. Harmon and have got her working on publishing her books through createspace (she is published with xlibris right now and her books are expensive - $30 for a hardback and $20 for a paperback - with no margin for profit or any real way to cut her prices). We are also considering sharing a booth next year at the event and hopefully that will help. I also talked with a lady from Surpass Software who is a retired librarian or teacher and has written some jingles on how to remember what a dictionary is, a thesaurus, et cetera. She will be publishing her compiled songs into a book through createspace as well. I had two ladies attend my workshop and they were pretty good at shelving my books. One of them said the whole reason she was in my workshop was because apparently my books were being talked about from one of the schools in their district. I contacted the librarian in that particular school but she said they didn't have my books in the library but that wasn't to say that a teacher may have bought them and has them in her class, so there is no telling who has any copies of my books and where they got them from. I'm just glad someone is talking about my books. So as you see the contacts were well worth the trip. I'm looking forward to next year's event and will hopefully have a big foot in the door if the distributors carry my books. (That's the hope and then I can start publishing more states and pay Heather, so keep those distributors in mind and send some prayers up that they start carrying my books.) The next event is next weekend - the Sugarfoot festival and I would love to see my afghans sell (that will get me back on track with my car payments) and some books as well. If the weather stays cool like it has been since last weekend, then my afghans should be a big hit as people will be looking for a way to stay warm. Until next week - Ma America (aka Mrs. E) and the JGDS :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gearing up for GA COMO

This is the week. I'm making a trip to Macon, Georgia, for the GA Librarian conference. There will be at least 12 states represented in the SELA booth, which I'll be sitting in to help man the booth. If the SC School Librarian Association conference is any indication of what to expect, I should do well. I'm heading out Wednesday about midday and should return Friday evening some time. I will be away from the computer but will have my tablet, which is mostly for taking credit cards but also will be entertainment for me during down times. Afghans are almost completed. I have 3-1/2 skeins left on the one I'm working on now (Mirage, which is similar to the Aspen colors but with more blue and tan than the tans and browns that the Aspen has in it). I've finished all the other afghans I'll have on display for sale and I need to work up some bookworms in the Mirage color. I'm so looking forward to this event since it promises to be quite a large event and hopefully a way for me to get my foot in the door. Will post pictures and more information next weekend. Hope you all have a great week - see you in Macon - Ma America (aka Mrs. E) :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: State of Successes by Elysabeth Eldering

Tried to post this review the other day but my internet was flaking out - stop over on Susanne Drazic's bloc and leave a comment about the series or this particular book.  See you all in the postings - Ma America

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: State of Successes by Elysabeth Eldering: State of Successes By Elysabeth Eldering Illustrated by H.C. Paye Published: September 2010 Publisher:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Event Season Has Begun

As with previous years, this year is jammed pack with events. There have been a few minor changes this year and hopefully I will keep doing some of them into the upcoming years.

There are really two event seasons for me - March to June and end of August/first part of September through November.

In March, I participated in the SC Association of School Librarians conference which was a good event and I have a feeling that next year will be even better. In May, I participated in the SC Book Festival which was pretty good other than having too many folks in the booth but we have parted ways and it's time to move on to other things. The homeschool conference in June wasn't held this year since USC-Sumter was remodeling the building where the event is usually held so I had no events over the summer to speak of. I had previously done a homeschool event about the middle of August in Charlotte - the Love 2 Learn conference - but didn't get to do that one this year since I was busy with work and have been taking a friend of mine to her doctor's appointments and money was tight.

The first scheduled event this season (the August to November time) is the Sunday in the Park in Mint Hill. This is held the 3rd or 4th Sunday of August every year and is one of the least costly events for me, other than travel time (gas is going back up again - but I have had success covering gas at least at this event). Since this is a day event, I don't have to pay for a hotel as the event is only about 2 or so hours away from home. So, Sunday, August 26, I will be heading to Mint Hill, NC, for the event and I hope my son will go with me to help set up the tent and just man the tables. He said he would go but he's been sleeping a lot during the day and getting up late at night to do whatever so I'm hoping tomorrow he gets on a better sleeping pattern and goes to bed and sleeps during the night so he can get up early Sunday to go with me.

Right after the Sunday in the Park event is Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. The last time I did this event was in 2008 and that was when State of Wilderness was first released. Since then, I have had five more state books published and Finally Home plus a few short stories are ebook published. So in 4 years, I think that is pretty good.

Between the beginning of September and beginning of October, I don't have anything planned since the Geofest will be at the SC Council for Social Studies conference the end of September and I can't afford an exhibitor booth for that event ($450 is a bit steep for me right now).

October is a very busy month for me as I have the Georgia Librarian Associations (it's called Georgia COMO - combined SELA (Southeastern Librarian Association), GMSA (Georgia Media Specialists Association) and GLA (Georgia Librarian Association)) conference the 3rd through the 5th. I lucked out on this one as I was fretting how I would come up with the exhibitor booth cost and put the dilemma to the director and he came up with a solution for me - I get to man the SELA booth and display my books to sell at no cost to me. I also have been accepted to do a presentation Friday morning and get to participate in the Author Reception Thursday evening - so my only costs will be hotel and gas and food - and I've booked a suite so I can take inexpensive food to have for my meals (breakfast is at the hotel and I may even purchase Lunch to Go, depending on cost for my evening meals). Everything works out as it should and I think this will be an excellent group to get in with.

I'll return Friday evening and then Saturday, the 6th and the following Saturday, the 13th, I hope to be in a "ghost hunting" course - and get to participate in the field trip to do some ghost hunting.

The weekend of the 19th-20th of October is the Sugarfoot festival and that is here in town, so my expense is table ($25 and already paid) and my time to set up and be out there.

The next one I hope to participate in will be the last weekend of October which is the Georgia Council for Social Studies but again - everything will depend on funding in September and if I can swing the exhibitor's booth cost.

I won't be able to do the SCISA teacher's conference this year since it is in Charleston and the overall cost for me to take that trip, stay overnight in a hotel for a half day conference wouldn't be worth it. I hope next year they will move it to the upstate area - either Anderson or Greenville would be perfect for me.

I also won't be able to do the Savannah Children's Book Festival this year as they have moved it to the same weekend as the YALLFest and the cost would be more than it would be worth it.

I'm going to talk with Sybil about splitting a table at YALLFest and seeing if she can get me a hotel room on the cheap that weekend since she lives in Charleston. I will try it this year and go from there.

I think that pretty much wraps up the Fall Event Season for me. Don't forget for every book purchase you will receive 5 chances for the red, white, and blue afghan and extra chances are only $1 each. For every 25 chances purchased, you get 5 extra chances (so you pay $25, you get 30 chances; you pay $50, you get 60 chances; you pay $75, you get 90 chances; you pay $100, you get 120 chances) - The drawing will still be held the 1st of December with the afghan being mailed out about the 7th of December. See you all in the postings. Reports after the two upcoming events - Ma America

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Last Week

This is the last week of my Christmas in July sales going on. For more details, please see my July 1 This and That posting over on my other blog.

I'm also looking for suggestions for Kelly and Emma to make a series out of their little adventures. You can post a comment on the This and That posting from this past Sunday on my other blog if you've read the book and have any ideas for them.

Hope you all check out the special deals and don't forgeet that the chances for the red, white, blue afghan drawing have been permanently reduced to $1 per chance with bonus chances for every 25 purchased. The more chances you purchase, the better your chance is for winning.

Next month, I should be starting regular postings again. It's summer and hard to concentrate on blogging in the summer - see you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Education in America

Recently I've been seeing commercials regarding the new Core Curriculum Standards (used to be National Standards) and a commercial about a World Science event in which students from all over the world participated. The Science event commercial shows that the USA placed 17th; the gist being that we need to help our teachers help our students do better. Here is an infographic highlighting more on the Education in the United States.

Educated America

I'll share more of these infographs as I get them - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Specials

July 1 - wow, the year is half over. So for my July specials I thought I would just do a giveaway here celebrating the 4th of July and my state books. Not onl do I still have my special deal for the state books going on, but I'm also running specials on several other things.

So let's kick off the holiday with a giveaway - Pop over to my other blog and tell me the color of my newest color for the afghans and you will be entered to win a red, white, blue crocheted kindle/nook or tablet sleeve. All you have to do is leave a comment here with the name of the newest addition to my collection of yarn colors and you are entered. That's it, simple, easy as pie, no purchase necessary.

I'm also doing a special for my red, white and blue afghan drawing, which will take place in December, with all the tickets being $1 each and with the purchase of 25, 50, 75, et cetera (in batches of 25), you will receive 5 extra tickets for the drawing (30/$25, 60/$50, 90/$75). Just paypal me at and place your order. This deal is only good for this week, so hurry and get your chances.

The last special is my Christmas in July special. During the month of July you can order an afghan/tablet or kindle/nook sleeve/bookworm combo for only $60 plus shipping and tax (total $70). Colors completed are the Bonbon print and Melonberry with the Primary being 5/6ths of the way finished (lacks 1 skein) and Aspen started (1 skein in) with Marrakesh and Woodsy with enough yarn to complete those and Monet and the newest color needing to get yarn and completed. For any of the afghans not completed or started, I do need a 3-week lead time to complete the afghan. This special is good for the whole month of July.

Happy 4th of July, happy specials and hope you all stay cool - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homeschooling VS Public Education

I was recently contacted to view and share an infographic on homeschooling versus public education. It is pretty interesting to see that homeschoolers are excelling in areas as compared to their peers. I think a good bit of this has to do with parents who really care about their child(ren)'s education and who are dedicated to providing quality learning materials to help move their children forward as well as dedication of their time and the ability to personalize the education to the learning style of each child.

Here is the infographic:

Homeschool Domination
Created by:

If you are looking for some supplemental social studies books exploring United States History and factoids, my JGDS series would make a perfect fit for homeschoolers just starting in a state study. Books can be used as an overall course supplement (all United States) or as individual state studies (as completed). Each book has a supplemental study guide which explores several of the clues in the books a bit further, developing research and thinking skills as well as other curricula, thus tying geography or state studies in with math, ELA, science, arts & crafts, and game skills.

If you are interested in getting started, there is a special deal going on for the next week - buy 2 get 1 for 1/2 off ($25 total for three books); buy all six states available for $50 which is like buying five and getting the sixth one for free. It's never too early to start your series. The series will hopefully pick back up in 2013 but finances right now prohibit from getting more books published. For this special, you will get five chances for the afghan drawing for every three books purchased and if you refer a friend and that friend purchases and they let me now you referred them, I'll give the referer five more chances for the drawing. The referee will also get their five chances per three books purchased. See you all in the postings.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mid Year Sale

I've not done much on this blog in a while so thought I'd do a little promotion and see how it runs. I have 20 copies of books 1, 4, 5 and 6 each and 4 or 5 copies of books 2 and 3 each.

I'm offering a B2G1-1/2 sale - Buy any two books, get the third one for $5. If you buy all six, that is like buying five and getting the sixth one for free. You can order your signed copies via paypal - $29 (price plus shipping) at This special will run through July 7th midnight.

For more on the state series, please visit the JGDS website. While there, why not check out the gifts page and order some bookworms or an afghan or even a kindle/nook sleeve or tablet sleeve. It's never too early to start your Christmas shopping.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Train of Clues

I'm almost ready to re-release "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story, the predecessor to the JGDS series). We've had a few glitches since its original publication in 2010, but I think Heather has finally fixed everything (removed all the doubled paragraphs/pages) and we have moved things around so the book is longer page-wise but the story is the same length. I hope to re-release it this week or next. I'm even thinking this one may go up as an ebook just to test the waters with it, being that it is also illustrated and I'm not sure how it will work as an ebook. I will keep you all posted on this. Ma America (aka Ms. E)

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Ma America, aka Ms. Elysabeth, will be turning 50 in a few days. As a celebratory measure for her half century, she will be giving away goodies for 50 days. Some of the giveaways will occur on her blog and a few will be done on the Writers on the Move blog during those 50 days. The giveaway starts on Tuesday, June 5 (the actual birth date of Ms. Elysabeth) and runs through August 2. There will be no giveaways on Sundays and maybe a special giveaway on July 4th.

All you have to do is leave a comment, answer a question or two along the way and then there will be a random drawing for whatever the goody of the day is. Hope to see you all in the postings - Ma America and the JGDS

Monday, May 21, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Random Act Of Kindness - Elysabeth Eldering

Last week the ladies over at Bookshelf Muses ran a Random Act Of Kindness blitz to celebrate the publication of there emotion thesaurus.  People who follow the blog picked some of their friends to bestow some kindness on.  Susanne Drazic, who is a regular follower of my blogs featured Karen Cioffi (creator of the Writers on the Move blog) and myself.  This is her post about me.  - Mrs. E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Random Act Of Kindness - Elysabeth Eldering: Elysabeth Eldering is one of two people that I chose to honor for the Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ!  If you didn't get a chance to see the ...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Welcome Center Success

Yesterday was pretty successful as far as visitors coming to the Welcome Center and lots of comments on how nice the welcome center is and how friendly everyone is. The highlight was being next to McGee's Pub folks who brought in some homemade corn beef hash and some Irish cream (non alcoholic of course) coffee for the travelers. The hash was delicious; I could've easily eaten a whole plate of it without even blinking. The welcome center folks had put out some watermelon as well and that was very tasty. Sometime around noon, one of the local hotels' (as in Greenville local, since Anderson doesn't really have much going for it but it is growing and some new hotels have been added in the last couple of years or so) representative brought in some Dunkin Donuts donut holes, yum yum.

I had printed up 25 travel activity booklets and handed out about 10. I left five with Amos.

For a full report on sales, please stop over and check out my other blog and read today's This and That posting. Safe travels and Happy Mother's Day from Ma America - E :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End-of-School Year Bookworm Special Deal

Teachers, are you looking for a small gift idea to give your students for the end of the school year? Librarians, would you like to show your appreciation to the teachers at your school?

I have a special deal on my bookworms for the end of the school year. The bookworms are normally priced at $1.50 each and for orders over 20 I've got them priced down to $1.25 each. For one week only, you can place an order and get 25 bookworms for $30. This is like buying 24 and getting the 25th for free plus free shipping. This is a $13.75 savings from regular price including the shipping. Shipping outside the United States is $5 for the completed package.

Colors available include Aspen, Melonberry, Primary, Woodsy, Marrakesh, Old Glory, Christmas, bonbon print and Monet. For pictures of the actual colors, please visit the JGDS website, gifts tab and check them out there. This offer ends at midnight EST May 17, supplies are limited so hurry and place your order. All orders must be paid for via paypal ( prior to shipping. Please indicate how many of each color you would like. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Travel and Tourism Week

Today is the beginning of Travel & Tourism week. Each year the Welcome Centers across the country have special events for travels. The first year I participated in the Fairplay SC Welcome Center's event, I met the real "Radio" and Coach Jones as well as my husband's aunt, uncle and cousin who were traveling from Florida to North Carolina to get the other cousin who had been staying with my sister-in-law and (who passed away last March, God Rest her Soul) helping her out. The freaky thing about knowing who she was (Aunt Toni) was that I had only met her 15 years prior to that at the memorial service for Bill's grandmother; the year I was pregnant with my youngest child.

I didn't get to participate last year secondary to no funds and a couple of conflicts in my schedule. This year, I do get to participate and will be at the Fairplay Welcome Center Saturday, May 12, from 10 AM to 1 PM.

This year, not only will I be representing the JGDS series but I'll also be promoting the SC Author Connection Group. This is a group of four authors at the moment who are trying to get in with the schools during their book fair weeks. At this time, we would like to limit to South Carolina schools and gradually move out to the other states. If you are a teacher or school librarian or any school or district authority figure, please stop by and pick up a flyer to see what each author has to offer. We are offering something for everyone from elementary through high school. We would love to hear back from you if you happen to be traveling in the great state of South Carolina or if you know teachers or school librarians in the state.

I'll have some travel related handouts for the kids, so make sure you stop by and say hello and receive your goodies. Travel safe. See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bookworms and Afghans

Ma America has been busy prepping for the SC Book Festival. She's been crocheting up a storm. It looks like she will have over 100 bookworms going with her to the festival and six afghans for her "curl up with a good book afghan" program. Over the next couple of weeks or so, she hopes to have all the afghans completed with bookworms almost completed.

In case you have forgotten, here are the colors of the bookworms and matching afghans on most (the Christmas colored one doesn't make a good afghan because of the spacing of the colors and only being three colors in the varigation; the Old Glory also does not have a matching afghan as that will be the giveaway for 2013; and solids don't have bookworms unless requested by the person making the afghan; and the Monet afghan has een sold but there are plenty of bookworms available).

The newest addition to the collection is Aspen:

bonbon print (which reminds me of cotton candy)


Marrakesh (looks like the leaves changing color so appropriately called autumn or fall)

Melonberry (which has a spring look to it)

Monet (has an Easter look to it; also spring colors)
(sorry this afghan has already been sold but I wanted you to see the colors)

Old Glory (this is the red, white, blue varigated of which the afghan will be made for the annual drawing; this is also called summer)


Woodsy (this is an earth-y looking color scheme so I've called this one Earthworm or Earth-y)

Yarn was being purchased at Walmart but it looks like they are discontinuing the varigated colors and may eventually do away with all yarn but that remains to be seen. If the varigated colors disappear and cannot be purchased at a reasonable price, the afghans and bookworms will no longer be available. So, for at least 2012, everything is available aas is. The afghans retail for $60 plus tax and shipping ($70 total) if ordered from my websites or directly from my blogs (paypal funds to my email address eeldering(at)gmail(dot)com) indicating color of afghan. With each afghan purchase you do get a matching bookworm. Bookworms retail for $1.50 plus shipping ($2 total if mailed within the United States; $2.50 if mailed outside the United States). You can find both afghans and bookworms on the JGDS website under the gifts tab and orders can be made directly from the website as well.

Special orders can be made of solid colors (1, 2 or 3 different colors, your choice) with a 2-row, 4-row or 6-row change out of colors (samples can be seen on the JGDS website but those colors are not the choices as I only did examples using what yarn I had available, except the 2-color, 6-row change one as that is a special order for a friend's birthday present). See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curl up with a good book afghans

I liked the quickness of the alternating V and shell stitch for the 2013 red/white/blue afghan, I decided to do that stitch with the colors of the bookworms.

I've made samples of the afghan colors available and will make the full afghans as I get orders for them. Remember it is never too early to start thinking of those hard to buy for folks on your Christmas list or for a reader who has a birthday coming up. The turnaround time on the afghans is 3-4 weeks, so plan accordingly. If you need an afghan in June, now is the time to place your order. See the pictures of individual samples on the JGDS website under the gifts tab. There are also solid colored afghans available but the sample pictures depicted do not reflect the colors you are limited to.

I'm excited about this new program I'm offering and hope it will enhance book sales. See you all in the postings - Ma America :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

SCASL pictures

I was pretty slack at the conference in my picture taking. As a matter of fact, I took no pictures at all. I handed my camera to Sarah when I was heading to the restroom after we had the table set up for her to take a few pictures. I really thought she would have taken a ton of pictures, but she is young and still learning the ropes - lol. This is what our booth looked like:

We were right next to Scholastic who had a double booth but ours looked pretty good sized considering we had paid for an extra table and ended up with 3 tables in our booth some how but only two were for display at the front.

Here is Sarah's end of the table:

Here is Sybil's section of the table:

And my end of the table:

The next event the SC Author Connection will be together is the SC Book Festival in May and I'm thinking if the person we just added also joins us, we will need to do the table a bit differently. I'm thinking we will do racks (I'll need to buy a couple between now and then since Sarah's third book is so thick and that way we can put two racks up and use the sides as display space for other things - bookworms, afghan samples, Sarah's tigers and t-shirts. I'm also thinking of getting some plain white clothes or sheets to use for our table cover since we all have different looks; this way we can have a bit of unity going on. See you all in the postings - Ma America - :)

Pictures of afghan for drawing

(this is a small section of the afghan)

I know, Finally! lol. I had been asking my daughter to take pictures of the afghan for well over a month, since I completed it and she kept putting it off. So after asking her to take the pictures and getting no response and since I've been working on my "curl up with a good book" afghan samples and needed pictures of them as well, I took the bull by the horns and went out to the van and started taking pictures of the red, white, and blue granny square afghan as well as the mini sample afghans of the colors I'm working with. But this posting is only about pictures of the afghan for the drawing. Remember this is an ongoing, yearly event. You can purchase chances for the drawing on the JGDS website under the calendar of events tab. Each chance is only $1.50, with 5 chances for $6, 10 for $12 and 25 for $25 (best deal - you get chances for $1.00 each). Chances can be made through Thanksgiving, with the drawing occurring on December 1 and the afghan being mailed out on or around December 7 (payday unless it is a weekend, then the Friday before or Monday after). You also earn a chance for each book purchased including my YA paranormal mystery, Finally Home. Chances are not available for ebook purchases of my 99 cent stories.

(this is draped across the middle seats in the van and hangs over a little bit on each side, so you can see it is a very large afghan; this is folded in half longways)

(another small section view of the afghan)

It's very difficult to get the whole thing in when it is such a large piece. I've completed the afghan for the 2013 drawing and have an idea for the 2015 drawing, because I've started the 2014 afghan and will work on that once I've built a cache of afghans to sell at events. If you are interested in those afghans, they can be found on the JGDS website under the gifts tab. For the most part, they match the bookworms. I've added some that are solid color samples so they don't have matching bookworms since I've been doing varigated colored bookworms. These are still my best selling item at events. Stop over to the website and see what all has been added. See you all in the postings - Ma America :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Celebrate Earth Day With Pictures

Come check out Kathy Stemke's book on tour - E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Celebrate Earth Day With Pictures: Welcome to the first day of award winning author Kathy Stemke’s book tour for TROUBLE ON EARTH DAY! Her charming picture book, which doubl...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SCASL conference update

Overall, I consider this is a successful event and we are planning on being at next year's event as well, which is on the calendar for March 6 through the 8. It will be held in Columbia and Sybil has already booked our hotels. Sarah and I will be staying at the Hampton Inn Vista and Sybil will be staying at the Embassy Suites (Sybil's husband works for the Hilton group of hotels, so she can discounted rooms for events like this - $29 or $39/night - yeah - who wouldn't take advantage of booking rooms a year in advance?).

I sold ten copies of State of Successes and two copies of Finally Home and maybe eight or ten bookworms. I did sell one extra chance for the afghan drawing in addition to the chances I gave away with each book sale. I also talked about the plan of going interactive ebook for the state series and the librarians all think this is a great idea.

Basically this is in the baby stage but Heather and I have talked about it and she is in the process of developing the prototype for the interactive ebooks. I'm not sure how much we would sell the apps or whatever we come up with for the ebook program for and not sure how we will market it but all that will happen as things develop.

We were right next to the Scholastic booth and they were a busy booth because the librarians were using all their "Scholastic bucks" to add new books to their libraries. Sybil came up with a similar idea for our group, "SC Author Connection", to help get us in the schools around the state of SC. We talked with the ladies in the Scholastic booth and they suggested that we try to get in the schools at the same time that Scholastic book fairs were occurring and that way we would feed off each other, and we can offer them something that Scholastic can't - authors to do book signings and presentations/workshops because the authors through Scholastic are very expensive and schools can't pay for them (at $5000/event, I guess that's a bit much). So we are going to start recruiting a few more authors to join our group and participate in book fairs. This will be a growth over the next year and we hope to build up to a group of ten authors from different parts of the state so that we would be available everywhere. We are going to create a flyer/order form and a brochure for our group to be sent to the schools in advance.

Sybil had great sales (last I heard was over 35, and could have been close to 40) and Sarah had pretty decent sales (I didn't ask her what her final count was but it seems she sold over 20 books over the course of the three days). I was the one who sold the least amount but I think in the long run the contacts and school visits will be worth it.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on what takes place with the SC Author Connection and where the JGDS series goes. Stay tuned - Ma America :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

SCASL Conference

If you happen to be a school librarian and will be attending the SCASL conference next week (March 14 - 16, 2012), stop by booth 25 and visit the SC Author Connection (Elysabeth Eldering/Ma America, author of Finally Home and the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series; Sybil Nelson/Leslie Dubois, author of the middle grade level Priscilla the Great series and several YA novels; Sarah Renee, author of the middle grade level Saderia series).

Elysabeth will be doing a presentation on how to shelf faction, in particular the JGDS series, for the librarians on Thursday at 3:15.

Stop by and see what we have to offer. See you all there - E :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


For those of you who don't speak French - that means finished. The afghan is done - all bordered up and ready for pictures. Unfortunately, daughter is in classes today so I'll have to wait until she gets home or when I get home from a meeting tonight for pictures to be taken and posted.

If someone else had made this afghan and was selling chances, I'd so be buying what I could afford. It is gorgeous. You can purchase your chances here or here - both under the events page. Chances are only $1.50 each or 5 for $6, 10 for $12 and 25 for $25 - the more you buy, the better chance you have of winning. Chances are on sale at live, in-person events as well and will be sold through the end of November with the drawing on December 1 and afghan sent out around the 7th of December. Tell your friends. Tell everyone you know. Thanks for your support - Ma America & the JGDS - :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Afghan update (should be last one)

For all intents and purposes, the red/white/blue afghan is completed save the border. I have four rows (two white and two blue) left to do but each row is taking me upwards of 2 hours to complete since I'm double crocheting in every stitch around the squares (on the open granny squares, two double crochets go into the spaces and then a double crochet everywhere else; the corners get one double crochet, a chain and a second double crochet (closing up the holes a bit)). I've got the tickets, receipt books and everything but pictures of the afghan ready to go. My next posting on the afghan will be the finished project's pictures. As large as it has turned out, I'm trying to figure out the best way to take pictures to get full view of the afghan's size and pattern (the alternating open/solid squares and the red/white/blue alternating colors), so once all that is figured out, then pictures will be posted.

I've decided that in addition to purchasing chances for the afghan that for every book purchase either through the website or in-person, the purchaser will receive one chance with additional chances available for purchase. You can find the link to purchase chances on both websites, the JGDS one and Ms. Elysabeth's other writing site under the events link.

Good luck to everyone who enters to win the afghan. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Series update

I've been thinking of some ideas to make my stories more fun and interesting for the kids. With this technological age, I've felt that the stories are flat and are not really getting the participation from the readers as I had envisoned. So I'm talking with Heather and thinking we will go a different route for future books, so right now, new stories are on hold. I will keep you updated when I decide what route I'm going with the stories and changes as they happen. Until then, just keep reading and if you have any ideas to share that would make the series more fun for kids to read or how to incorporate the stories in your classroom, please don't hesitate to leave me a message or you can send me an email to eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com - thanks - Ma America :)

Afghan update

I've had all the squares for the rows sewn together for a whlie now and had two rows sewn together and another two row section started; well, this evening I got those two rows together. I have one more section of two rows to sew together and then to put the sections together. Add a border of red, white and blue all around and then it will be completed. I'm ready to post pictures of the completed afghan but am afraid it won't look good doing the whole thing - but I'll see what I can do to get some pictures posted here soon.

Don't forget this is a raffle - one chance = $1.50; ten chances = $12 and with any state book purchase you get a chance. If you need to find the pay buttons for the chances, you can find them on the events pages of either the JGDS website or on Ms. Elysabeth's website. Drawing to be held December 1 with afghan mailed out around December 7th.

Good luck to all who enter - Ma America :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writers On The Move: Interactive eBooks: The Next Generation of Childre...

What an interesting article. Heather, if you are reading my blog we need to talk about the possibility of going interactive "app" for my state stories - lol. I know I've been trying to think of a way to make the stories more interesting and this has come at the appropriate time.

What do you all think? Would you be willing to purchase my state stories if they were "interactive" apps or ebooks for devices instead of print copies?

If you think this is a good idea, please leave a comment here and let me know what kind of things you would like to see in interactive state stories keeping with the theme that the game is still the primary character and giving the kids the "clues" for them to guess the state. I think this may be the next wave of state books instead of print books. I'll see what Heather has to say and what we can come up with, but with her in school and all, we may not have time to dedicate getting interactive books out as opposed to print books. I wish I had a device to download the book from this article so I could really get a feel for how it works and if this would be a better fit for my state stories or not - anyway, ya'll let me know what you think - and stop over on Writers on the Move and leave a comment for Kevin - Ma America & the JGDS (Mrs. E :))

Writers On The Move: Interactive eBooks: The Next Generation of Childre...: During the past few months, I have been forsaking many of my writing related activities to explore the possible future of children’s books. ...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Afghan raffle tickets

Ms. Elysabeth was at the grocery store (Bargains in another small town from where she lives) this morning and was walking up the aisle that holds all the nonfood junk stuff. Wandering the aisle on the top shelf there sat some packs of tickets. The rolls are not as big as the ones seen at Staples for like $10 or $15 but for $2.99 for a couple of hundred tickets, she picked up three rolls. So now, we have tickets for the afghan drawing. To purchase tickets, drop by Ms. Elysabeth's website or to the JGDS website. They are only $1.50 each or 10 chances for $12. - see you in the postings - JGDS

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I've not posted here in a while so thought I'd let everyone know we are still alive and doing well. More state stories coming soon.

The red, white and blue afghan is almost completed (two rows are actually sewn together, four left to go plus the border). I have taken some pictures but haven't had a chance to post them yet.

I have to have it completed by the 17th since my first event is the 18th and I hope to do well at the Geofest, especially since I can now take credit cards at my events.

Not much going on with book sales so far (and that's all around - Ma America's short stories and YA novel or any of the JGDS series). Hopefully this will pick up soon.

More when there is news to post or at least the pictures of the afghan. Don't forget to check out the events page on the JGDS website for ways to purchase your chances for the drawing for the afghan. See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Afghan drawing is now a raffle

While sewing the rest of the third row of granny squares together, I decided that since I've had no sales so far on any of the state books and no sales really to speak of on any of the other titles I have available, I decided to do a raffle for the afghan this year. This is a pretty large afghan and I hope before the end of Wednesday to have all the rows together so I can post pictures of each row and then the completed afghan. As soon as I have the afghan completed with a border and all, I will put a raffle option button on both websites - the JGDS website and Elysabeth's other writing site. Raffle tickets will be $1.50 each or 10 for $12. Drawing will still be December 1 as I'll be selling raffle tickets at all my events for the drawing. Afghan will be sent out about the 7th of December. Good luck to you all. Ma America - E :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Granny Square afghan update

Decision to only do one drawing a year has been made. Even if I have other afghans started and/or completed. I will store them for display for the year of the drawing.

I'm at the putting together stage on the granny square afghan. Two rows are completely sewn together with the third started and 1/3 complete. This afghan is going to be a lot larger than I anticipated but I hope it will attract some sales along the way.

I'm in search of a large ziplock storage bag. I know either Ziplock brand used to make them or one of the other brands did at one time, but I'm not finding them in the storage bag/container aisles at the grocery store. If anyone knows where I might find these large ziplock type bags (I remember seeing them advertised on TV years ago), please send me an email at eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know. I did, however, find Ziplock brand 2-1/2 gallon sized baggies, but after getting just two rows sewn together, I don't think the 2-1/2 gallon sized will be large enough to hold the afghan. I do think that it will be large enough to hold the round ripple as I don't expect to go much past 15 or whatever my yarn will last through rounds on that one. These 2-1/2 gallon bags may also be just right for the Alternating V Shell stitch I'll do for the 2014 drawing.

I'll post pictures of the completed rows and the complted afghan as soon as they are together - Ma America :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

54 squares

I've crocheted the last granny square for the afghan and now am in the process of putting them together. I have all my rows fixed so it's a matter of sewing them together. The first row is sewn together alreayd and 9 squares long is pretty big - I was amazed. When holding the row, it stretches exactly the length of my arms spread out straight to my sides; I know when measuring material my mother told me eons ago that usually a yard is from my outstretched arm to the tip of my nose with my head turned to the opposite side - 36 inches plus between 25 and 30 inches (I've not done the exact measurements) the dimension of the row (It's probably close to 55 inches long and will be about 40 or so inches on the short side.

I will try to take and post pictures of the individual rows as they are completed and then when the whole thing is finished. See you in the postings - Ma America

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Afghan drawing

I've got all but five squares completed for the granny square afghan and even started a second red, white, blue one in the "round ripple" pattern. Once I get the squares completely put together I'll finish the round ripple one. Daughter thinks I should have two drawings this year but I'm still not seeing sales so probably will save the round ripple for next year and I've got a third pattern (will need to collect yarn over this year) to do for 2014. If I decide to do two drawings this year, I will let you all know. Mostly this will depend on how sales go and from the looks of it, there will only be one drawing a year. If I have an overwhelming response at my in-person events, I will change my mind.

So here are the pics of the squares. I've started sewing some together so I won't be totally overwhelmed by that task (the most time consuming part of it). No pictures of the sewn together pieces yet but these are the squares.

Enjoy. There will be pictures of the finished afghan later. - Ma America :)

Upcoming Events

It's that time of year (really I'm behind because usually I start planning where we'll be in October and November) to let you know some events that are coming up.

January is almost over and unless I get a last minute call to do a presentation or something, there are no events scheduled. February brings Geofest and that is the official start of my selling season. This is a twice a year event and unless something comes up to conflict, I will probably continue going both times. March is the South Carolina Association of School Libraries (SCASL) conference where I'll be doing a workshop on shelving faction books, in particular the JGDS series. I'll also be an exhibitor/vendor with Sybil Nelson and Sarah Renee (we are calling ourselves the SC Author Connection). April looks to be pretty quiet and then May is a busy month. The Travel & Tourism week usually comes the first week of May but I need to check exact dates with Amos; I've tentatively put it on my calendar as the 12th. The weekend of the 18th is the SC Book Festival; again, this will be a split booth with Sybil Nelson and Sarah Renee as the SC Author Connection. We are tentatively looking at sharing a booth at the Decatur Book Festival which is in September and of course Savannah is on the agenda again this year. I'm going to try to do YALL fest which is the week before Savannah. In August, possibly the Love to Learn homeschool conference and hopefully we will be able to do the Mint Hill Sunday in the Park event again (hoping Ms. Faye will go with us again).

So not as busy as previous years but some bigger events this year. I'll keep you updated as events are added to the calendar. Ma America & the JGDS :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Giveaway 2012

I decided this weekend that my afghan was a pretty good deal so I'm at it again; this year's afghan will be a different design (not the mile-a-minute style, probably granny squares checkerboarded pattern). To be entered for the drawing, any purchase of any of the state books made at any event, in person, ordered directly from me via email or any purchase made online with receipt emailed to me as proof of purchase (eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com without the spaces and the correct symbols with Proof of Purchase in the subject line), will be put in the drawing. Last year from May through December, I had 20 entries. I'd like to see at least 50 or more entries this year. This will be open through the 1st of December with afghan mailed out around the 7th of December as last year. I will post pictures as soon as I have enough squares made up and done in a pattern that I'm satisfied with. Good luck to all who enter. Ma America :)

UPDATE 01/10/2012: I was sitting here trying to figure out how to make my granny squares look different than the normal open granny squares I'm used to doing. So I went on a search for granny square variations. I found an easy "solid" pattern that looks really cool and so I've made up one of the solid squares and have two of the open ones made up and now have my pattern. When I get at least one row done, which will have the sketched out pattern and figure out how to connect the squares (funny thing is the open square has 25 stitches from corner to corner and the solid only has 21 stitches - so that's 4 stitches on each connected side per square I have to figure out how to compensate for even though the squares have turned out to be the exact same size measurement wise). My pattern will be this: 1st row = R(o)W(s)B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s); 2nd row = W(s)B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s)R(o); 3rd row = B(o)R(s)W(o)B(s)R(o)W(s); 4th = colors same as 1st with alternating squares same as 2nd; 5th row = same as colors on 2nd row and alternating squares same as 1st; 6th row = colors same as 3rd with alternating squares same as 2nd (o = open square, s = solid square, r = red, w = white, b = blue). This is going to look pretty cool and I'll take some pictures of the squares as I accumulate them. Each square is 6 x 6, and I will have 9 squares on the long side and 6 squares down on the short side, so 54 x 36 (connections may add something but it may only be minimal). I really can't wait to get more squares done in each of the colors now and start putting them together - lol. Ma America

UPDATE: 01/13/2012 - One row of granny squares is completed (pictures to follow shortly); and racing thoughts about afghans. I decided last night to make this an annual giveaway but would like varying afghan patterns every year. I will also try to get a collection of the varigated red, white and blue yarn (see my bookworms under the gifts page on my website) and do some in varigated, some in the solid red, white and blue colors. As soon as I have this year's completed, I'll start on next year's. Don't forget any purchase of any state book available puts your name in the drawing for the afghan. Ma America - :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Goals and New Stories

I set some new goals and posted on my other blog and have been concentrating a lot on my other writings. I've neglected my state stories way too much. One of my goals this year is to write the next four books in the state series so that Heather can illustrate them and do her thing on a more timely basis. I've already failed part of one goal and we are only three days into the new year, but not a complete failure. The goal to write everyday is something I need to work on more. I also need to be a more regular blogger.

I didn't really write yesterday, mostly fought with my computer but I did get some preposted blog postings ready on my other blog and last week I did start a new story, tentatively titled Imogene: Innocense Lost (you can find a brief description of the book here under the label WIPs), which I hope to get back to after writing my four state stories slated to come out this year. They are started for the most part but I need to fill in the story part. Have an idea what State of Acceleration and State of Monuments will be written like, it is just a matter of sitting down and writing them. I will keep you apprised on my progress with them as I get closer to release dates and have new covers for them.

So far I've had no requests for any of the PDF files of any of the books in exchange for reviews as posted last week. So my biggest goal is trying to find readers and followers to both my blogs since I need to boost my sales for both my print and ebooks.

If you are a librarian, teacher, parent or anyone who enjoys the variety of stories I write and would like to read any or all for free in exchange for posting a review of the books, please email me at and let me know in the subject line which title you would like to receive to read. Your choices are State of Wilderness, State of Quarries, State of Reservations, State of Successes, State of Heights, State of Nature, Finally Home, "The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), "The Tulip Kiss" and hopefully later this week and by the end of next week "Bride-and-Seek" and "Butterfly Halves" will be available, both of which I do have the word doc files and can convert to PDF if need be but those reviews can't be posted until the stories are available on Nook and Kindle and Smashwords. Thanks everyone.

First event is the Geofest in February and then the big event of the SCASL conference in March. I'm also going to try to be a presenter at the SC Book Festival in May, but if that doesn't work out, I'll be splitting a booth with two other authors hopefully. From there, it looks like Decatur may be the next big event of the year as well as the Savannah Children's book festival and YALL fest (the last count I had was possibly 10 events total where I will be making appearances so that is something else I need to work on is scheduling events this year and posting my calendar of events on my JGDS website; so keep an eye out for that).

Of course in order to do these events, I need to sell books to help cover costs. That goal is right now to sell 15 of each title per month consistently - which I'm nowhere near at the moment. That is roughly 34 books a week for the nine titles I have available, and this week is young. Remember for any print book you order directly from me, I will sign it. For any book or order made via createspace pages (you can find those on the JGDS website) or as well as ebooks via kindle or nook, you can get an e-signature by dropping by my kindlegraph page and requesting a free kindlegraph. These are not just for kindles as you can have the file sent to your email and then you can send that directly from your email to your nook or other device.

The author of Near Death (her blog is called Keystrokes and Word Counts) posted on her blog last week about using kindlegraphs during her blog tour, which I'm going to try. Every time I do a blog tour, I'll use the kindlegraph requests to thank my hosts as well as offer them in conjunction to the blog tour. The thing is that you the reader has to directly request the kindlegraph; I can't just go in and sign a whole lot of them and just send them out.

I hope you all will continue to follow the adventures of the JGDS as well as Ms. Elysabeth in this new year. Looking forward to great things in 2012. Ma America :)

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