Monday, September 25, 2017


Thanks for joining me today, this last Monday of September. It's now autumn, even though the temperatures are still in the 90s, at least here in Texas. Cooler weather is on the way.

I have a delightful story to share with you today. Let's take a look at REY ANTONIO & REY FEO by Author Kena Sosa, illustrated by Jessica McClure.

Aren't these boys adorable. And what about the crowns? You'll soon find out. 

Here are my thoughts.


By Author Kena Sosa

Illustrated by Jessica McClure

Would you like to go to a fiesta? How about watching a parade? Sounds like fun to me. We can do it too, just climb aboard the truck with Rey, his older brother Antonio, and their parents and off we go to San Antonio, Texas.

In Author Kena Sosa’s picture book, REY ANTONIO & REY FEO we join the family on their exciting journey to the Fiesta, Rey’s first time there. He’s waited seven years for this big day to arrive, and now he’s excited. Boys will be boys, of course, and the brothers soon get into an argument about who will be King. They both want the honor, but there’s only one king. Then the boys learn the meaning of the names Rey Antonio and Rey Feo. I did as well, which is quite interesting.

Kena Sosa has written a delightful story of a family enjoying their vacation together. And what’s really neat, on alternate pages the story is told in Spanish for readers that speak Spanish and for readers that would like to learn to read Spanish.

Illustrations by talented Jessica McClure add just the right touch, along with the excitement that the boys experience on their holiday. I love the expressions on their faces as they watch the parade. And the pictures show scenes of San Antonio, like the Alamo and the River Walk, giving the reader a bit of history too.

REY ANTONIO & REY FEO would make a great addition to elementary school libraries and classrooms as well as your own library. Recommended.

Available at    4RV Publishing      Amazon    And other places.

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 18, 2017


Quote for the week:

Ahoy there, Mateys. September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Okay, I know today is September 18. Just posting a day early.  You can wait until tomorrow to read it if you like.

On Talk Like a Pirate Day everyone's supposed to say "Ahoy Matey" instead of "Hello." How did this  holiday get started?  In 1996 during a racketball game between John Baur and Mark Summers one of them was injured, and someone reacted with an "Aaaarrrr" and the idea was born.

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002.Barry liked the idea and promoted the day. Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry's column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website. Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attributed to non-restriction of the idea or non-trademarking, in effect opening the holiday to creativity and "viral" growth.

"Cap'n Slappy" and "Ol' Chumbucket", the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day

The association of pirates with peglegsparrots, and treasure maps, popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island (1883), has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture.Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated with hidden Easter egg features in many games and websites, with Facebook introducing a pirate-translated version of its website on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 and publisher O'Reilly discounting books on the R programming language to celebrate.

Source: Wikipedia

Oh, yes, I have a pirate story too, with Bonnet and Blackbeard. A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and a Cat for tween/teen readers. (You knew there had to be a cat somewhere, of course.)

The ebook is just 0.99 for now. A bargain.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I am delighted to be a part of the cover reveal for FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY, the latest middle-grade novel from Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson. Look at that cover. Don't you know something exciting is about to happen?

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow had no clue that moving from Manhattan to the small town of Ashpot, Connecticut, would lead to an unsolved mystery. Her parents’ dream of renovating a crumbling Victorian, called the Begonia House, into a bed and breakfast had seemed like treachery at the time. But Fairday found out that her new house kept secrets, and once inside its twisted front gates, anything was possible.

When mysterious notes start showing up warning that a librarian is in trouble and a bookworm is eating words, Fairday thinks the Begonia House has more skeletons in its closets. She notices a passage in her favorite book has been changed, and she’s certain something is dreadfully wrong. What happens to stories when their words get eaten?

The Detective Mystery Squad is ready to investigate! Fairday, Lizzy, and Marcus take off on a sticky trail and tumble into Nowhere. Like Alice in Wonderland, Fairday finds herself in a world where nothing makes sense and the lines of reality are blurred.

The three sleuths discover amazing things about themselves as they unravel more secrets within the walls of the Begonia House. Follow along with Fairday and friends as they open the next case in the DMS files to unlock the mystery of the Talking Library.

~ ONE ~
Strange Notes

Fairday Morrow woke to a loud crack of thunder. As she bolted upright in bed, her gray eyes flew open. Rain pelted against the window. Electricity charged the air. Lightning flashed, and she saw the old willow tree in her backyard lurching wildly. A whip-like branch smashed the glass and the storm raged into her room. BOOM! The sky lit up. The wind blew in like a tornado, tossing wet leaves and sticks around. Fairday shrieked and ducked under the covers.

“Fairday! Are you okay?” her dad shouted from the hallway.

Auntie Em, the family pug, was barking her head off.

“Yeah, I’m alright,” Fairday answered in a shaky voice. She peeked out from the blankets as a burst of light split the dark. For an instant, glass shards twinkled like stars across the tattered lion-and-unicorn carpet; the heavy drapes flapped, twisting in the wind. On the next lightning strike, Fairday saw a paper blow in through the broken window. But the second she glimpsed it, thunder boomed, the house shook, and everything blacked out.

Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library

Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, Co-authors 
Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson have been friends since they met freshman year of high school. After discovering they both loved the same books, their friendship grew, and they went on to co-author The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. The first mystery in the Fairday Morrow series, released with Delacorte Press in December 2015. Stephanie and Jess are excited to present the next case in the DMS files. Having the brilliant illustrations created by their close high school friend, David SanAngelo, has made bringing the story to life magical. To contact Stephanie and Jess or learn more about their journey, please visit:

David SanAngelo, Illustrator
David SanAngelo is an award winning illustrator, and a two-time Emmy nominated director of animated shows for children and he won a kite flying contest in the fourth grade. Dave attended high school with Jessica and Stephanie, and they've all been friends for a billion years. Some of Dave's favorite things are: old monster movies, superheros and shred-a-licious rock music. Although he grew up in New England, Dave currently lives with his wife and sons in Decatur, GA. To learn more about Dave's illustrations, please visit:

Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library 
Book 2: Fairday Morrow series
Release date: October 2017
Age Range: 8 years old and up
Grade Level: 3-9
Publisher: Willow Press


Catch the first mystery before the next case in the DMS files opens on October 23rd!

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
Publish date: December 2015
Age Range: 8 years old and up
Grade Level: 3-9
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Monday, September 11, 2017


Since Sunday was Grandparents Day and I'm a grandmother, I thought this novel would be great for today's post.


Christiano Gentili


A baby is born. The parents have waited for months for their precious new daughter. But wait! Something is wrong. The father is not happy. He calls his baby daughter a curse, a judgment. What a horrible thing to say.  In THEN SHE WAS BORN, by author Christiano Gentili, this happens. 
The newborn is a zeru, zeru, a “white shadow,” an albino. She brings bad luck to not only her family, but to the whole village. In Tanzania, they believe she belongs to the spirit of the lake so they take the newborn to the lake and leave her for the spirits to determine her fate: life or death.

I cannot imagine believing a baby is evil. I cannot believe parents would leave a newborn to the fate of wild things and nature. I understand, however, that customs differ from country to country. Beliefs can change, however, and I pray that in countries like Tanzania, they will. For children like Adimu, who does not understand why no one loves her and why her skin is different, customs need to change.

 I love her innocence, and I admire her grandmother, NKimba, who risked all to raise the child. This is a tender story of family, love, misunderstandings, and changes. And someday, for all the children around the world like Adimu, I pray that they will not face the same problems that she faces.

THEN SHE WAS BORN would make a great addition to high school classrooms and libraries. Recommended. I was given a copy of the book for my honest review.


From the cover of the book we are allowed to show the background of the story. 

"This is a work of fiction based on true events. A girl named Adimu, the protagonist of this novel, does not exist. Both Adimu and the succession of events narrated in the story are fruit of the author’s imagination. However, every individual among the thousands of individuals with albinism living in sub-Saharan Africa— and this is a fact— has experienced at least some of the episodes the character Adimu faces. In this sense, and only in this, are the events in this novel to be considered absolutely and incredibly true."

Cristiano Gentili. Then She Was Born   

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Welcome Wednesday. Another INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP day.

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!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Our leader is the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh

His awesome co-hosts for the September posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

  Be sure to visit the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!! 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!

September 6 question.

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

Yes,  I wrote an historical fiction novel in 2010. All my other work had been contemporary. I really had no plans to write historical because it takes so much research. But on a visit to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where there is so much about the Civil War, I heard where the citizens lived in caves when the city was under siege. How horrible that sounded. So I had to learn more and ended up writing CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl whose brothers went to war and her father was a doctor. I wrote the story about how it affected this family, with very little about the actual battles. What would it be like to live in a cave? I couldn't imagine. 

And, to my surprise, the novel has won several awards. Who would have thought it?

So, when an idea comes to you, give it a try. You never know.

Happy Reading.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Quote for the week:  To  the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.  Brandi Snyder


#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic.

The idea of #InkRipples is to toss a word, idea, image, whatever into the inkwell and see what kind of ripples it makes. You can spread your own ripples, just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai, and Mary.

Or you can share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #InkRipples. Tag Katie, Kai, or Mary and they'll share your posts.

The topic for September is World Building
October is Career vs. Hobby
November is Finishing that book
December is Goals

So, when I first thought of World Building, my life came to mind. We build our own worlds as we grow older and leave the comfort of our parents. That idea did not last long. Aren't you grateful? Then I thought of my stories. I build a world for each of them, the way those of you who are authors do. Without a world, whether it's the real world, a fantasy world, or any of the many kinds of worlds out there, our characters just float around in nothing. I think, anyhow. That's the fun part about writing. We can create any world we want to, as long as it makes sense and works with the story.

My imagination does not come up with other worlds like in science fiction, however, so my novels are all contemporary set in the real world. I do have a couple of stories with ghosts in them, but they're a part of this world. I'm working on an idea now with an angel as one of the characters but the story takes place in the real world.

Usually, my work starts with the characters, then I place them in their world. Most of the time it's a present day world, though I do have a couple of historical novels, which called for a world different than today's world in many ways even though they're still the same in some ways. Anyway, the fun is planning the world that the characters live in, because it affects their lives. If they live in the city their lives will be different to those who live in the country. If they're young or old, their world will be different. My world today is a lot different than when I was in school, or even when I was teaching. Yes, the physical world may still be the same, but what about a person's place in that world. What if they live in the slums of a big city? Their world is totally different to the characters that live in mansions.

World Building tells us a lot about people and their lives, whether we're reading a book about someone or creating our own world. Now, those of you that write fantasy and science fiction create fabulous worlds that put your characters in new worlds.

And now that I've totally confused you, I'll stop because I have no idea what I'm talking about. One thing I'd like to say, however, the cover of your novel can tell the reader a lot about the world in that story. For example, look at the cover for UNDER A PURPLE MOON. Doesn't that old house give you a clue or hint about what might be happening in the novel?

Anyhow, happy reading.

The old house is an important part of the story.