Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to a most delightful cast of characters in DAISY AND BARTHOLOMEW Q., Author Margot Finke's latest story for children.

Daisy suffers from procrastination—putting off until later, things she should do RIGHT NOW. Her mom nagged, but Daisy had not started the essay that was due tomorrow. Bartholomew Q. accepted no excuses. After muttering a magical mantra, he whisked Daisy off to find fabulous words for her essay. Who knew that Oogledorks, Dynoroars, and wild adventure could be found where adjectives and verbs hung out—not to mention trees that talked. And Black Crow? He was pure evil. Will Daisy gather wonderful words? Will she survive being kidnapped? Absolutely. The Green Fishbait and his henchmen have it under control!
My Review:
By Margot Finke
Illustrated by Ioana Zdralea
From the title of the first chapter, “Procrastination is a curse, yet green worms that surprise are worse,” in Award Winning Author Margot Finke’s new book, DAISY AND BARTHOLOMEW Q., I knew this story was going to be a fun read. I was not disappointed.
Daisy’s essay is due tomorrow and the teacher said the students have to use a thesaurus. Daisy has a problem using a thesaurus, so what’s a girl to do? Enter a bright Green Worm named Bartholomew Q. Bookworm (of course, what else could his name be?) to the rescue, and almost anything can happen and does. From the time he appears to help Daisy, there’s never a dull moment. The author has created delightful characters that will have young readers giggling and turning pages to see what happens next. Along the way, the readers just might learn a few new words, right along with Daisy, as they together, discover the magic of a thesaurus.
Cute black-and-white illustrations by Illustrator Ioana Zdralea add a whimsical touch to the story.  The question is, will Daisy complete her essay in time? Only Daisy and Bartholomew Q. know, and those who read Daisy’s story.
DAISY AND BARTHOLOMEW Q. would make a great addition to school libraries, school classrooms where the teacher and students can read the book together, public libraries, and of course your own personal library.
The author provided me with a PDF of the book for my honest review.
Available at:
Amazon  Powells (the link there says they're moving to a new website and temporarily unavailable) and other places.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Quote for the week:  You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandi

Have you ever sold books at a Craft Show? How'd it go? I have at our local library and at the Optimist Club. The Craft Shows are fundraisers for the organizations, so the money goes for a good cause. I've had a booth the past couple of years. I don't sell a lot of books, but meeting the kids is priceless.

First, my teen books don't sell. Teens seldom attend these shows. So, my target market is the moms and dads of young children. I only have three picture books, but they are my best sellers.

I also give little trinkets away. Kids may not notice the books so much, but they like the finger puppets, and they don't even have to purchase a book to get one. The puppets are freebies, and more often than not, the parent will buy Frankie's Perfect Home. I have a large armadillo puppet that greets the parents and children as they pass my table. Most of them stop. At least for the freebie.

The show was fun. I made a little money. The best thing is I made some new friends.

Frankie says "Hi!"
A lot of the kids have never seen a live armadillo. Have you? We have them in our pasture. They're weird little animals.
One more thing is on my mind. I've been very fortunate to have wonderful publishers that believed in my work. I don't talk about my own stories often, but I just have to share recent happenings with you.
STAR OF THE TEAM, my MG contemporary story, won Gold in the 2015 Children's Literary Classics Awards, Fiction Preteen Category. Thanks to my granddaughter and her friends, the inspiration for this story. 
I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE, another MG contemporary story, won Silver in the 2015 Children's Literary Classics Awards, General Preteen Category. Thanks to a little voice that whispered his story in my ear.
Now, I'll crawl back to my computer and get busy.
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


In just ten days, the ghosts and pirates, zombies and vampires, along with princesses and skeletons, pumpkins and witches will be out, gathering loot (candy). Today the kids' trick-or-treating is pretty much under control, with stores and malls and haunted houses and places like that providing the treats. In my day, which was quite awhile ago, we went around the neighborhood, sack in our hands and knocked on people's doors. Most of the neighbors gave us candy. The ones that ignored us, we left confetti on their porches. We were really mean kids.

Sometimes we had parties, and I really enjoyed those. Dunking for apples and scavenger hunts were a lot of fun. For our church department luncheon last Saturday, I dressed up in my fringed vest, jeans and cowboy boots. Everyone thought I was Annie Oakley. Who was I to argue?

So, what are your plans for Halloween? Going trick-or-treating with the kids? I used to take my boys around the neighborhood, and we lived where a lot of kids lived. I usually ran out of candy.

From my ghosts to your ghosts, have fun, but stay safe.
Happy Reading!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Quote for the week: There is no joy in Mudville (Texas) tonight, for mighty Casey (Rangers & Astros) has struck out. Thanks to Casey at the Bat, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer (with an addition or two of my own.)

It's been many years since I did a school visit, and times have changed a lot. My transparencies that I used are really outdated. I'm not familiar with the modern equipment, so I won't be using Power Point and whatever else teachers use today. But I am having fun deciding what to tall about with the kids and how to get them involved in the presentation. I'm even thinking of having us sing. Ha, ha. That should be an experience since I can't carry a tune in a paper bag. Anyhow, I'm working to make the visit entertaining. Will do three different talks for the three different grades.

I'm also trying to catch up on reading and reviews. The edits the past week have slowed down my reading time. I will catch up, hopefully by the end of the year.

My writing has been neglected lately, so hope to get back to my characters and see what they're up to this week.

What are your plans for this week?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


It's Wednesday, Oct. 14, already. This month is flying past. It's a busy month for me. How about you? I suppose from now until the end of the year will be hectic. Isn't the fall season fun?

I'm behind on my reading and reviewing. One day I'll catch up. So today I have only a few things to post about, instead of reviews and cover reveals and such.

First, working on edits for my forthcoming YA novel. They're due next week. There aren't as many as I expected.

The cover is looking good. Can't wait to show it to everyone.

Second, I've also scheduled a school visit for November. It's been a long time since I did that. Need to prepare my presentations. Need to order books, waiting for the order forms to come back so I'll have the books for the visit. I'm a bit, no a lot, nervous. What if no one wants a book? What if the kids are bored? Any advice is appreciated. I've been scanning the Internet and found some really good information. This is an elementary school, so the books I'm talking about are my middle grade books.

Third, I'm selling (I hope) books at a craft show later this month.

Fourth, My Sunday School has our department meeting this month, and my Sunday School class has our class meeting this month. My Saturday's are full.

That's my exciting life.

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 12, 2015


Quote for the week:  The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket. Will Rogers

Today is the second Monday in October, which means it's also RIPPLES IN THE INKWELL day.

Ripples in the Inkwell #inkripples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the second Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. Simply compose your post using the monthly theme, grab the image and link back to the three of them. Make sure to use #inkripples when you play along and promote your posts. The idea is to toss a word, idea, or image into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There's no wrong way to do it.

October's theme is fears/things that go bump in the night.
November: Remembrance/Thankfulness
December: Celebration/Gifts

Fears? I have a few. I guess my greatest fears are elevators and submarines. What do these have in common? They're suffocating, at least to me. When I'm in an elevator, I imagine all sorts of things could happen. The electricity goes out and I'm stranded not only in the elevator, but in a dark elevator. Shudder. Or, the person on the elevator with me is a mass murderer, carrying a knife that he's going to slash my throat with. Shiver.

Then there's the submarine. Have you ever been on a submarine? I was once, for about five minutes. On a visit to our son and daughter-in-law in Charleston, SC, we went to Patriot's Point where they have all these old airplanes and ships. They also have the first nuclear submarine, and visitors can go on board all of the planes and ships. So, we decided to see what a submarine was like.

First we walked down the steps into the sub. No windows. People strolling through it. No windows, like you're underground, suffocating. I tried to enjoy the experience. I really did. No windows. Finally, I told the others to go on, I'd wait for them outside. My son thought I was joking, until he saw my face. I must have looked horrified, because he said, "You're not kidding, are you?" That was my first and last adventure on a submarine. I have a lot of respect for the men and woman that spend weeks and months confined to a place where you can't see the trees and clouds and sky.

These are my greatest fears. I don't care for the dark, either, and keep candles and flashlights handy for emergencies.

What are your greatest fears?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


September sure flew past in a hurry, and now it's the first Wednesday in October, which means ... Yes, Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Visit other writers in the group here.

Awesome Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG. His awesome co-hosts for today are TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Am I insecure? Doesn't that just go along with being a writer? We wait and hope for a contract. When we get it (yes, I have a contract for my YA contemporary novel, yay), we worry about getting the edits just right. We worry if anyone will read it once it's published. I say "we", maybe it's only me. So ...

I'm taking a lesson from my favorite baseball team -- go Rangers. They started the season so badly most people gave up on them from the beginning. I didn't even watch their games that much. But the team members worked together. The coaches worked with them, and in spite of one injury after another that sidelined some players for the season and others for many games, they never gave up. They worked hard. Every win was a victory. A loss made them more determined to make it to the playoffs.

Well, they did. They won their division, and it went down to the last game of the regular season. They never gave up. How far they'll go in the playoffs no one knows. But they achieved their goal.

I hope to be like the Rangers. Bring on those edits. I'm ready. And the rough sketch I saw of the cover is fabulous. My family will read the story. What more could a writer ask for?

So don't be insecure. Never give up.

Happy Writing!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Quote for the week:  You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the roses along the way.
Walter Hagen

The month of October is one of my favorites. One son has  a birthday and two granddaughters have birthdays. The weather begins to cool off. The monarchs fly south, as do some of the birds.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
There's Columbus Day

Plus  a bunch of holidays that sound like fun.

And we must not forget the World Series Baseball Games. They start next week. Go, Rangers!

What is your favorite thing about October?

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 2, 2015


For Fun Friday today I have a fun story to tell you about. Take a look at Author Karin Larson's new picture book. Eugene Ruble is the talented illustrator. Just wait until you meet Little Bug.

Isn't he cute?
By Karin Larson
Illustrations by Eugene Ruble
Little ones, whether they’re children or animals, need friends. They need food and water. They need lots of things life has to offer; they especially need a home where they feel safe.
In LITTLE BUG, Author Karin Larson’s new picture book, Little Bug goes in search of a friend to play with. When he doesn’t find anyone, he decides he’s hungry and goes hunting for food. Again, he’s not successful and thinks, well, he’s thirsty, maybe he’ll search for a drink of water. Nope, no luck there, either. He is having a bad, bad day. What’s a little bug to do?
Karin Larson has written a sweet story about accepting things we can’t change and making the best of a situation. Little Bug doesn’t get angry and have a tantrum when he can’t find what he’s looking for. Instead, he keeps on trying. Will he ever find what he’s seeking? Or will he be content with what he does find? Only Little Bug, and you, the reader of the story know.
Eugene Ruble’s winsome illustrations show Little Bug’s different emotions with each situation just perfectly. You gotta love a little bug with big eyes and a heart full of hope that he’ll find what he’s looking for. Does he? I’m not telling, but Little Bug will.
I recommend LITTLE BUG for school libraries, public libraries, and of course your own private library. The book will be fun for parents and children to read together, or just to read by yourself in a quiet corner of your house.
Congratulations, Karin.
Available at Amazon     Guardian Angel Publishing
Happy Reading!