Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Signing Event for the Holidays

I am going to be at Chesaning Middle School for their 26th annual Chesaning Music Boosters Christmas Art and Crafts Show, which is going to be held on November 27th and 28th. The show will be in two areas, Chesaning Middle School at 431 N. 4th street and the High School 850N. 4th street. The show times are Friday 10-5pm and Saturday 10-4pm. I look forward to seeing you there for great holiday shopping. I will be signing my children's mystery series, which makes great gifts for the holidays.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Signing Event for The Crypto-Capers Series

Saturday November 21st is going to be a busy day for me. Starting from 9am-3pm, I will be at the MBT Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Monroe Michigan for their Craft Show signing my Crypto-Capers Series. From 4-6pm I am going to be at Barnes and Nobles in Ann Arbor also signing my children's series. Please stop by and say hello and get your copies of the series.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review for Too Many Visitors for One Little House

Too Many Visitors for One Little House

The crabby neighbors of El Camino Street do not like kids, do not like pets, and do not like big happy families. When a new family on the block moves in — a mom, a dad, three kids and a fish, the neighbors are NOT very happy. And as cousins, aunts, uncles, nannies and grannies arrive for a big family reunion, the neighbors are in for quite a surprise.

Booksicals, the Children’s Book Division of State of the Art — Bringing Stories to Life, was founded by Susan Chodakiewitz in 2008. Susan is the author of Too Many Visitors for One Little House, her debut children’s book.

Booksicals founder Susan Chodakiewitz believes that children learn best when you engage their imagination: “I believe you can develop a child’s love for reading by expanding the world of a book beyond its pages. Bring the characters to life and bring reading to life. ” And this is precisely what inspired her to create Booksicals.


Too Many Visitors for One Little House is a cute and wonderfully illustrated picture book that talks of family and the love that holds them together. The neighbors of El Camino Street do not like visitors of any kind, so when a new family moves onto the street, they are very curious to know more about them. Life on El Camino remains the same, lifeless and boring, until the visitors start to arrive at the new family's home. With each new family member comes more noise and more disruption to the neightbors, but for the family inside, it fills their hearts with joy. Just when the neighbors have enough of the chaos, the new neighbors come over and offer them friendship in the way of some apple streudel. From that point on, the neighbors begin to accept their new neighbors by coming over and joining the gathering. This book talks of acceptance and love, not only of neighbors but of family members. Family gatherings, though chaotic at times, are worth having in the end. The time you spend together are moments that last a life time. Great picture book!

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 11, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419654705
ISBN-13: 978-1419654701

Price: $13.99
Book can be found on

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interview and Review for The Birth to Five Book

Brenda Nixon 's The Birth to Five Book


When should we start our baby on solids? What do I do if my toddler bites another child? Will the "why" questions ever end? Ask any parenting question and you're sure to get lots of answers--from magazines, your in-laws, your sister, even complete strangers! But with all the conflicting advice, what's a busy parent to do? The Birth to Five Book gives you practical, down-to-earth help and success strategies for this big res
ponsibility. Forget the ivory tower childrearing theories and the old wives' tales. Whether raising an infant, toddler, or preschooler--or all of them at once!--you'll love this collection of commonsense advice from a parenting expert. From feeding and reading to discipline, toilet training, and play, it's all here in simple terms that any parent can put to work immediately. "Child problems need parent solutions. That is exactly what Brenda Nixon helps you create for your child. Her easy-to-read style calms you as you learn to guide and support your child."--Sally Goldberg, PhD, early childhood author, educator, speaker, coach "Brenda's practical and wise advice will give great peace and knowledge to every parent."--Kathy Collard Miller, speaker, author "Nixon cuts to the core of exactly what parents need to know in a balanced way that is rooted in wisdom."--Debra White Smith, author, speaker, mom Brenda Nixon, MA, is a frequent media guest sharing childrearing insights and encouragement, and a popular speaker to parents and professionals who work with children. She has spoken at MOPS International and Hearts at Home national conventions, AEYC conferences, and citywide parent expos. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a CLASS graduate, Nixon is a contributing author to dozens of books and has extensive training in child development and parent empowerment.


The Birth to Five Book is a must have for all parents. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I have young children so I can relate to the book and the information in it perfectly. Many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement. The book was informative and interesting. The information listed in each chapter is there to encourage, help and support parents. Brenda does a wonderful job incorporating the parent into the parenting process instead of making them an outsider of it. She guides parents through each step of a child’s early development, helping them to be the best parent and child they can be. Every parent has questions and it is nice to know there is a book out there that has the answers.


Welcome, Brenda. It’s great to have you with us.

Thanks for the invite, Renee, and for reading The Birth to Five Book.

Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
Here's what one press release says; As the former Kansas City FOX TV4 parenting expert, Brenda is the author of the award-winning The Birth to Five Book. Recently quoted in Parenting and Good Housekeeping magazines, she is a frequent media guest and popular speaker to parents and childcare professionals. From schools to synagogues, businesses to bookstores, conferences to churches, audiences rave that Brenda "engages, educates, and encourages!" As a writer, Brenda is a contributing author to 25 titles, is co-author on A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, and a freelance writer for family publications. She often instructs at writers conferences. In September, Brenda was named "Mom of the Week" by Lifetime Entertainment. She lives in Ohio with her husband and near her two grown daughters.
Quickly, I’m a mom, an educator, and it’s my passion to build stronger families through parent empowerment. I fulfill this passion through my writing and speaking coast-to-coast. If you want more info you can go to

How did your writing career begin?
In 1996, as I was speaking to audiences I realized the marriage between speaking and writing. People wanted something beyond the platform. That's when I went to work writing my first book for parents.

Tell us about The Birth to Five Book and what inspired you to write it.

When I was starting my parenting career, I felt dumb as a doorknob. I had questions and doubts. We can have all the academic, book knowledge in the world but, that "Mom" confidence comes from experience and support from others. Well, since I speak to and work with parents, I know many feel vulnerable to doubt. So I gathered the most common issues in raising a tot from the crib to kindergarten and wrote The Birth to Five Book. The subtitle, Confident Childrearing Right from the Start, is my goal. Hopefully it will inform and inspire parents, giving them not only knowledge about child development but practical solutions and guidance in childrearing right from the start.

In what forms is your book available? Is it available in e-book, hard cover or traditional paperback, or all?

Funny, you should ask; a friend of mine just told me she saw it on her Australian friend's bookshelf. There is a kindle version. The paperback edition is available at bookstores nationwide, online, and anyone can order an autographed copy by contacting me off My publisher also tells me that there's a contract for a Korean-language edition of The Birth to Five Book. Translation is in progress. I'm grateful this book is making its rounds internationally.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us about them.

Yes. The easiest way to answer your question, Renee, is to invite people to "Brenda's Bookstore" To date, I've contributed to 28 books and am contributing to another one now. Although, I love to speak and write to parents, I try to expand my craft to writing in other genres. For example, I'm co-author on a popular holiday giftbook, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, and to several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, and women's devotional books.

Parents often doubt that they’re doing a good enough job in raising their children. What do you say about that?

Join the club. LOL Seriously, trust your gut. Even though parenting is a doubt-producing profession, usually what you feel is the best for your child really is.

Parents often have a hard time getting small children to mind. Why is that?

Youngsters are egocentric, they hate it when adults thwart their agenda, and curiosity driven. These two combine factors combine to produce most of the discipline battles. Although their behavior may be normal, it's not always pleasant. For anyone who wants discipline encouragement I offer a free Discipline Tip each week via email. To subscribe send your email address to

How can parents encourage their children to love reading?

A couple ways; be a good role model by reading in view of your kids, and begin reading to your children even when they're babies to nurture their love of literature. In my presentation, "Read to Me!" I talk about the multiple benefits of reading aloud to children and suggest ways to make reading more fun. Often parents think they must sit down every day for 20 minutes to read to their kids, but that becomes work and loses it's luster. Parents can read aloud when they receive mail, their recipes as they cook, read the road signs as they drive. Basically, by reading everything aloud it shows to kids that being literate is a key to success and functionality in our society.

What role do fathers play in their child’s development? How can they make sure that they’re involved and their children know that they love them?

Thanks for asking this question Renee. It's amazing how and how much of an impact fathers make on their children. I encourage several ways to be involved in a child's daily care (plus it gives Mom a break) and reveal the research on pages 71-73 of The Birth to Five Book. I've found that men never regret being involved in their child's life.

What aspects of a child’s behavior may parents not be aware of are completely normal?

Oh my, usually all the behaviors that drive us nuts are normal - the tattling, thumb-sucking, biting, tantrums, whining, back-talk, power struggles. However, that doesn't mean we sit idly by and allow the behavior. It is our job - our responsibility - as parents to teach our children appropriate ways to gain satisfaction and how to be self-disciplined.

For any parent, raising a child is stressful, what can parents do to relieve some of that stress so they don’t take it out on their children?

Just as no human parent is perfect, so no child is perfect. We need to remember that kids have bad days just like us. One way to relieve stress is to give yourself and your kids permission to mess-up. Humor is another way to relieve so stress - find the humor in a situation, or at least tell yourself, "When they're teens this'll make a great story." Speaking of humor, on page 185, I write about the "Am I a normal parent?" syndrome and list comical ways we're all pretty much the same. On a more serious note, I list ways to be a "successful" parent on pages 183-184.

How do you suggest parents teach their children to be grateful, rather than greedy?

An attitude of gratitude starts with the parent. I encourage moms and dads to demonstrate thankfulness to others - including their kids - by saying "thanks," and by commenting on how blessed they feel. There's something to be thankful for in every situation. Also, parents can teach children to share excess clothes and toys by donating to a shelter. And the big one is to remember that a birthday or Christmas list is a suggestion only list - never a Mommy-do list! Don't get kids everything their little heart desires; it isn't healthy nor realistic.

How long did it take you to write The Birth to Five Book and how much research did you have to do?

I gave "birth" to this book in 2000 when I wrote a similar book (now sold-out). My agent learned that I wanted to revised, update, and refresh that book, For about a year, I reviewed my information, research, and statistics plus added more chapters and we sold this manuscript to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The Birth to Five Book released in January 2009 to strong reviews and sales. In October, it was awarded the 2009 Good Parenting Seal. I bring it with me on speaking engagements so I can autograph copies for audiences.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our readers today. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. Please check out this amazing book by Brenda Nixon.

Thank you Renee, it's a pleasure chatting with you. Continued good wishes on your service to readers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Interview on Blog Talk Radio

The interview was fabulous! I hope that everyone was able to hear it, if they wanted too. I had such a good time and Barry was such a great host. If anyone gets a chance to be on his show, he is a lot of fun and full of such charisma. He is the host of Across the Pond.

You can listen to the show at

Direct location you can link to is:

or on Barry's "new radio show blog" blog at

Or there is an mp3 file which can be downloaded or linked to

Thank you again Barry for the wonderful interview experience. You are the greatest!

Coming tomorrow is an interview and review for Brenda Nixon's A Birth to Five Book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Book Review for Legend of the Golden Monkey

Come and check out a new review for book 3 of my Crypto-Capers Series-The Legend of the Golden Monkey by the Children's and Teens Book Connection blog. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Interview on Blog Talk Radio with Renee Hand

Hello everyone,
I am going to be on "A Book and a Chat" with Barry Eva on November 10th at 6:30pm EST

Please listen in if you would like.


Thank you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Come see me at Huckleberry Railroad! Book Signing Event!

Come and join me at Huckleberry Railroad in Flint Michigan for Ladies Night Out. I will be signing all three of my children's books for The Crypto-Capers Series at this special event.

Shopping and a Sneak Peek at Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic
Monday, November 16, 2009
Time: 5 – 9 pm • Cost: $5
Come and experience Ladies’ Night Out for a shopping experience that cannot be duplicated in a mall or big box store! Your shopping experience will take you throughout the Village to experience:
• Food samples
• Free ride on the 1912 Parker Carousel
• Demonstrations
• Free gifts
• Craft demonstrations
• Free and low cost make-it-and-take-it craft projects
• Reindeer photo opportunity
Admission is just $5.00 (per person for all ages)
AND, if you spend $25.00 or more in one of their stores, they will apply that $5.00 toward your purchase (does not include tax).

More information can be found at


Visitors coming from the North, head south on I-75/US-23 toward Flint. Merge onto I-475 exit 125 toward downtown Flint. Take the Saginaw Street exit 13 toward Mt. Morris. Turn left onto N. Saginaw. Proceed 1/4 mile morth to the corner of Saginaw and Stanley Road, turn right. Take Stanley Road 2 miles to Bray Road. Turn right on Bray Road; Village is 1/2 mile south on left-hand side.

Visitors coming from the West, head east on I-69 toward Flint. Merge onto I-475 exit 137 toward Saginaw. Take the Saginaw Street exit 13 toward Mt. Morris. Turn right onto N. Saginaw. Proceed 1/4 mile north to the corner of Saginaw and Stanley Road, turn right. Take Stanley Road 2 miles to Bray Road. Turn right on Bray Road; Village is 1/2 mile south on left-hand side.

Visitors coming from the South, head north on I-75 toward Flint. Merge onto I-475 exit 111 toward downtown Flint. Take the Saginaw Street exit 13 toward Mt. Morris. Turn right onto N. Saginaw. Proceed 1/4 mile north to the corner of Saginaw and Stanley Road, turn right. Take Stanley Road 2 miles to Bray Road. Turn right on Bray Road; Village is 1/2 mile south on left-hand side.

Visitors coming from the East, head west on I-69 toward Flint. Merge onto I-475 exit 137 toward Saginaw. Take the Saginaw Street exit 13 toward Mt. Morris. Turn right onto N. Saginaw. Proceed 1/4 mile north to the corner of Saginaw and Stanley Road, turn right. Take Stanley Road 2 miles to Bray Road. Turn right on Bray Road; Village is 1/2 mile south on left-hand side.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review for Charlie and Mama Kyna

The Summary:

I had the pleasure of reviewing Charlie and Mama Kyna by Diana Rumjahn. This story reminds me, to a degree, of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Charlie is a cute little frog who accidentally breaks his mama’s favorite vase. Believing that his mama (Mama Kyna) would be very upset, and fearing the consequences for what he had done, Charlie decides to run away. On his journey he meets two other animals, Leo the lion and Joe the giraffe, who are also without a family and a home. They make their new home in a tent outside of Mrs. Cupcake’s Bakery, instantly becoming best friends who rely on each other.

After some time passes, Charlie begins to miss his mama and realizes that he had made a mistake in running away. Charlie decides to return home, bringing his new friends with him. Not quite sure what to expect upon his return, and yet willing to face the consequences for his actions, he knocks on his mama’s door with flowers in hand, ready to beg for forgiveness. Instead of being upset, or punishing Charlie for breaking the vase, Mama Kyna wraps her loving arms around her son, assuring him that he was terribly missed, and forgiven. Mama Kyna expresses to Charlie that losing a vase was not important, but losing him, was devastating. Charlie realizes how much he is loved and that he should have believed in that love to guide him when he had broken the vase. He never should have run away from home.

Mama Kyna accepts Charlie’s new friends into her home and invites them to stay forever. As time goes by, Charlie, Joe and Leo revel in the warmth of being a part of a family, and feeling the strong bond of love that only family and friendship can provide. Charlie promises to never run away from home again.

The Review:

Overall, this was a wonderful picture book. The illustrations were delightful, enhancing the words of the story beautifully. My younger son has a zoo of stuffed animals in his room so he really enjoyed the pictures. The downside was that the story didn’t read as smoothly as I would have liked, but it does have wonderful meaning that children can relate too. The bonds of friendship, family and love are unbreakable. Sometimes children don’t see just how important they are to their parents and why parents go to the lengths they to protect their children. Children are very important in every parents lives and forgiveness is something every parent is willing to give, regardless of the circumstances. What a great moral!
The Author:
Diana Rumjahn is an international award winning filmmaker and author of imaginative films and children's picture book who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through creative mediums. Her works are often noted for their unique style, elegance, and technique. Diana has developed an innovative style that blends film, art, realism and social themes. Her use of vibrant colors and strong lines make her work unforgettable. Her films have been shown worldwide and her latest book is receiving acclaim everywhere.
Paperback: 38 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (January 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419656872
ISBN-13: 978-1419656873