Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Radio Interview with Nancy Stewart for Sea Turtle Summer

Nancy Stewart

Check out Nancy's radio interview today at 2pm EST at http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors to learn more about this new release.

After having been an elementary school teacher, a management consultant with New Options, Inc. in New York City and a university professor of education, Nancy now writes children's books full time. She, her husband and children lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

Nancy is the author of two other Bella and Britt books: Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer, which will be published in 2011. The fourth book in the series, Mystery at Manatee Key, will be available autumn, 2010. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishers.


Nancy StewartOn a glorious summer day Bella and Britt walk the beach wondering what new things they were going to find. As they walked they came across a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs into a hole in the sand. Usually not coming onto a beach in daylight, the friends watch over the turtle. When it returns back into the ocean Bella and Britt try to find a ranger so they can mark off the nesting area so the nest wouldn't be disturbed by people. The problem was that the ranger had gone home sick so the job would have to wait till the next day. The sand cleaner would be coming around and the girls were worried that the machine would destroy the nest if it wasn't properly marked off. What were they going to do to save the turtles from certain destruction?

This is a great story that tells of the love and devotion it takes to help save a turtle's nest. Britt and Bella don't give up on their quest, even when people wanted to set up a volleyball net on top of or near the nest. The girls knew what was right and were determined to help save the nest and the eggs, and for their reward saw many turtles make their way back to the sea. This story brings great messages for children around the world who want to do their share to help save the animals. The back of the book also contains more information about turtles. Children between the ages of 6-9 will enjoy this 25 page picture book about friendship and courage, and will also enjoy the other book in the series as well, which also talks about the beach. Children who live on the beach, or visit one, will look at it's beauty differently and will get a better understanding of it's importance.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Interview for Bellyache: A Delicious Tale by Crystal Marcos

Bellyache: A Delicious Tale

Please check out Crystal Marcos' radio interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 2pm EST today to learn more about this wonderful book.

Bellyache by Crystal Marcos

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Cat Marcs Publishing (June 15, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0984389903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984389902

  • Bio:
    Award winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. Being the oldest of five children, she had a lot of entertaining to do. She is a member of SCBWI. Crystal lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband and their daughter, Kaylee. BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale is her first book.

    Visit her at www.CrystalMarcos.com


    A delicious tale that will delight children of all ages!

    Peter Fischer got a chance to do something that most children only dream of doing--he got to spend the day helping his grandfather in his sweet shop. Who could resist all of those delicious chocolates and candies? No one! Such temptation with each sweet and intoxicating smell that filled the senses would certainly be too much to resist. Peter couldn't. Before he went to the sweet shop he had made a mental list of all the things he was going to try, but when he arrived grandfather said that he could only pick out 3 chocolates to eat throughout the day. As an experienced sweet shop owner, he new the reason why, too much treats was not good for the tummy.

    Peter had other plans, however. Each time he helped his grandfather with something, he would sneak a piece of chocolate or appealing confection. It wasn't until lunch time that he realized that he had eaten to much sweets and was finding himself with a bellyache.  That wasn't going to do. Grandfather, knowing full well what caused his condition, told him to rest. Peter went into the back room and fell asleep. It was when he woke up that he discovered that his world had turned upside down. Lemon drop candies came to life talking to him. It was another world made up of living chocolates and candies. What did Peter get himself into? Will he be able to find his way home?

    This story has an interesting twist comparable to the zany tales told by Roald Dahl. It reminds the reader of the old adage, be careful what you wish for. Every child in the world has done it. Eaten too much sweets, but the reader will soon learn that there are times when we need to know our limitations. Sometimes our eyes are too big for our stomachs. Peter knew what he should and shouldn't do, but realized too late that he had been misguided by his decisions. This happens often in life as well. Readers will be able to learn from Peter's mistakes and yet will also find a great moral in the story that will touch the hearts of all. A delightful 154 page chapter book for children in 4th grade and up.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Review for Snow Day by Pamela Hamilton

    Snow Day

    Please check out Pamela Hamilton's radio interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 2pm EST today to learn more about this wonderful book.

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 7, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1432757431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432757434

  • Bio:

    Pamela Greenhalgh Hamilton is a Massachusetts native now living in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. "Snow Day" is her first picture book, written in December 2009 when the season's first snow was falling. Watching the snow fall, she remember building snowmen with her dad, ice skating at the golf course pond, and sledding with friends. Those memories turned into "Snow Day." Little did she know at the time, but the Shenandoah Valley experienced record snowfall that year, and children throughout the area had lots of snow days to enjoy.

    She has always wanted to be a writer and has worked as a staff writer for the weekly newspaper that served her former hometown of Westport, Massachusetts, and was a member of the public relations staff at a local community college. She currently is the academic counselor for adult students returning to college to complete their bachelor’s degrees. She credits their persistence to achieve their goals as the inspiration for finally seeing her first book through from idea to print.

    She lives with her three cats, Brillo, Bailey, and Chaucer, in a house looking out at the Shenandoah National Park. When not writing, she enjoys other creative endeavors, including cooking, gardening, and photography.

    Book Review:

    Snow Day is a simply told story that will remind every adult of their youth.

    Snow Day is about a day over at Grandma and Grandpa's House. Jake, Molly and Tessa have a day off from school because of a snow day. Wanting to enjoy the cold and tempting weather, the family goes outside for some much needed fun. They make snow angels, feed the birds, go sledding and of course, a day is not complete without a snow ball fight. What other adventures will they be apart of that will make the day over at the grandparent's even more memorable?

    How many times have children waited with bated breath for the announcement that school was cancelled because of snow? When that announcement came, children would already have the day planned with activities to do that involved getting wet and cold in the snow. This is a story that will remind every adult of their youth. Whether children are at the grandparent's house or not, it's making the memories that matter. The illustrations are charming, grabbing the reader's attention with it's simplicity and detail. Children will enjoy this 36 page picture book.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Radio Interview and Book Review for Miracles Loves A Believer

    Miracles Love A Believer

    Please check out Stacy Casaluci's radio interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 2pm EST today to learn more about this wonderful book.

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Eloquent Books (May 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612040942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612040943

  • Bio:

    Stacy Manning Casaluci always loved reading bedtime stories to her children. In this story, she says, “My daughter is the princess, Cirina Marie.” Her interest in horses began when she was a girl in Oklahoma, where she showed Appaloosas. She’s been a dance instructor for children and performs in musical theater. The author now lives in Palm Desert, California, and is working on the sequel.

    Book Review:

    Miracles loves a Believer is a touching story about how children should never give up on their dreams.

    In a kingdom far away lived a princess in a beautiful castle. Her name was Princess Cirina Marie. Her mother and father were the king and queen of the Island of Dreams. The princess loved to play with her stuffed animals, her favorite being a horse named Moondancer. Before she went to sleep, a guardian angel sat on her bed whispering in her ear, that miracles love a believer, if you choose to believe, anything you imagine, can become more than a dream.

    Princess Cirina believed that Moondancer could become a real horse, she believed and believed. When she opened her eyes and there he was, a full grown horse with wings, but where would they go on their new adventure? What will they learn along the way?

    This is a marvelous story of believing in ones self and never losing the faith in miracles. Children's dreams should never go a stray as they get older. We, as adults, had dreams we once believed in, but as we grew, compromised with our choices in life so much that many of our dreams have been forgotten. Children should know that their dreams do not have limitations. Anything they want to do, anything they want to become, should be a reality for those who really want it.

    Children of  all ages will enjoy this 32 page picture book.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Radio Interview and Review of Binkie learns to fly and Sports Lingo's Books

    Binkie Learns to Fly
    Image of Suzy Beamer Bohnert   
    Game-Day Youth: Learning Basketball's Lingo

    Please check out Suzy Bohnert's radio interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 2pm EST today to learn more about this wonderful book.

  • Perfect Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: B&B Publishing (March 30, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1424333555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1424333554

  • Bio:

    Suzy Beamer Bohnert launched her writing career with a job as a newspaper sports editor. During that job, she interviewed numerous coaches, athletes, and fans about sports, putting complicated games into simple words. She has written six books, including "Game-Day Goddess: Learning Baseball's Lingo"; "Game-Day Goddess: Learning Basketball's Lingo"; "Game-Day Goddess: Learning Football's Lingo"; "Game-Day Youth: Learning Baseball's Lingo"; "Game-Day Youth: Learning Basketball's Lingo"; and the fiction children's book "Binkie Learns to Fly."

    Book Review:

    Binkie butterfly wanted to fly, but was very nervous to be up so high into the sky. Mama encouraged Binkie to try, so he spread his wings and prepared himself to soar. But being afraid of traveling alone, he felt himself not wanting to go. So, mama decided to fly next to her son to ease his fear. But will flying be everything he expected?

    This is a delightful 16 page picture book which encourages young children to strike out and try new things, even though they are afraid. Encouragment and guidance from an adult can help a child realize their full potential, giving them the confidence to soar to any heights. Children between 4-8 years of age will like the simple, yet colorful illustrations, delivering the message that children need to believe in themselves and that if there is a will, there is most certainly a way.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Radio and Book Interview for The Night After Christmas by Michael Hebler

    The Night After Christmas

    Please check out Michael Hebler's radio interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 6:30pm EST today to learn more about this wonderful book.

  • Paperback: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Hebler (October 15, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0615395252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615395258

  • Bio:

    In addition to writing his series based on the legendary el Chupacabra and his children's picture book, The Night After Christmas, Michael also writes a blog, "My Little Obsessions" where he likes to muse about what distractions life has to offer. Michael, a life-long Southern California resident, is a former international publicist for feature films and screenwriter.

    Please visit my blog: My Little Obsessions at http://michaelsobsessions.blogspot.com/


    The Night After Christmas is an exciting and wonderful twist to a holiday favorite.

    Twas The Night After Christmas wheneverything was done, the toys were delivered and children who have spent the day enjoying their toys were happy and exhausted tucked into their beds. But what happens to Santa after he delivers all of his goods? He returns home of course, but the wait is excruciating for the elves and the Mrs. Claus who wait patiently for his sleigh to return home safely. A snow storm had begun to brew creating white outs. They were worried that Santa wouldn't be able to see where he was going. Of course, worried about Santa's safety, they ask Mrs. Claus what she thought. She believed in her husband and knew he would be home before they knew it sleeping warmly in his bed. They waited and waited, but will he return without any troubles at all?

    This is a wonderful tale of not only what happens to Santa after he delivers all of his presents, but it is also a story of love. Like most women whose husbands come home late, they wait up for their safe return, especially when the weather is awful. The loving relationship the Clause's have brings a nice ending to a busy night. The story embodies the Christmas Spirit we all expect when Christmas comes, and regardless of when this story is read, the reader will always feel it's warmth and tender quality, reminding the reader that giving to others is the best gift we can give ourselves.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Book Review for Day's End Lullaby by Karen Cioffi

    Karen Cioffi is an advocate of education, reading, and the environment. She loves how reading can spark a child’s imagination and bring him or her to new worlds and on amazing adventures.

    Along with writing children’s books, Karen is a ghostwriter and freelance writer, and has several nonfiction books on writing and book marketing. She has lived in New York City all her life, and two of her favorite sayings are:

    “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” American proverb
    “Be the change you want to see in the world.” M. Ghandi

    You can visit Karen’s blog at: http://karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com
    For more about Karen’s books and ebooks go to:
    Day’s End Lullaby Review:

    The time is 8 o'clock, the sun is setting, and with their favorite stuffed animal next to them, a child is ready for sleep. The moon is out and the toys are put away, ready for another day of play. A child goes to sleep, dreaming of the next days adventures.
    Day’s End Lullaby is a simple, colorful, 28 page bedtime picture book that combines easy to read text, with delightful pictures and lyrical phrases to create a relaxing lure toward sleep. Parents, who often sing their children to sleep, with find this story a great addition to their bedtime routine. As a special feature located a the end of the book, sheet music to the lullaby is included.
    Self-Published through BookSurge (now assimilated into CreateSpace) for Day’s End Lullaby

    ISBN 13: 9781419691577
    Publication Date: October 2008
    Genre of Book: Children’s Bedtime Story
    Author Website: http://karencioffi.com
    Publisher Website: http://4rvpublishingllc.com

    Next stops:

    November 15th
    Writers and Authors - Interview

    November 16th
    BlogCritics: Mom Prefers - Author Spotlight

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Interview with Dee H. Dodgson and Review of her Book Sherford's Lost Valley

    Sherford's Lost Valley-Bertrum's Story

  • Paperback: 68 pages

  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (September 22, 2009)

  • ISBN-10: 1449015581

  • ISBN-13: 978-1449015589

  • Bio:

    Dee has always loved bears; her furry friends were forced to be patients when she was just ten years old, so she could practice nursing on them! They were given injections, bandaged and stitched up so many times, they quivered every time she came near, but as with all teddy bears, they remained faithful and loving. Now Dee has grown up, she practices as a real nurse on unsuspecting humans, giving her teds a well earned break. They now sit in her home in the Sherford Valley, along with many other bears collected over the years, and inspire her with ideas for stories.


    This story is about Sherford's Lost Valley told by Bertrum. Bertrum is a Dinker, which is a tiny wild bear, a distant relative to the black bear. He and his sister Lilly tease each other and play on the hills of where they live when they hear Pikkamee, another Dinker, in an uproar about something. The siblings learn that humans were coming to rip up the forest, which meant that their beloved home was going to be destroyed. The bears realize that they were going to have to move out of Sherford Valley, but to where, they did not know. Then Bertrum had an idea. In order to save themselves from the humans the bears needed to get help from a human, and he knew exactly which one, a little girl who lived at a nearby farm. Her name was Kerrys. But how to contact her?

    Bertrum didn't know but then an opportunity opened and he decided to approach her at night while she was sleeping. It would be easy right? Well, not exactly. At first she didn't believe him, thinking he was a toy, but when she realized that Bertrum was real, her attitude changed and she was more than happy to help him with his quest to save the forest. Her plan was to sell the bears at a festival so the humans could learn more about them and change their tune about taking down the forest. But everything doesn't go as planned, and one thing after another begins to go wrong. Will Bertrum and Kerrys be able to save the forest?

    This is an interesting English tale which is partially based on truth. Some readers might have problems understanding some of the text but the author supplies in the beginning terms and definitions to help the reader, so the story can flow smoothly. Children who love bears will want to read this story again and again, wondering if Dinkers are real and what they can do to help save their habitat. Their are many meanings that readers can take away from the story and the biggest one is working together to solve a problem. One voice has a hard time being heard, while many can knock you off your seat. The main plot of the story is clear. As humans who share the land with the animals, we have a responsibility to protect the animals. The author does a great job creating interest about the Dinkers and weaves a wonderful 68 page compelling story children of all ages will enjoy. The author can even make a Dinker stuffed animal bear for anyone who would like one of their very own.


    Welcome, Debbie
    Thank you.

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
    I’m a fun loving, friendly nutter with a vivid imagination. I love reading and can’t get enough of books. I also like to paint/illustrate, make things, sew, go walking, flying; in a plane that is! Meeting people and going to new places.
    I’m married to the most handsome man in the world, and have three grown up sons; all equally gorgeous, and one granddaughter; she’s yummy.
    I trained to be a nurse in 1975 and have had a very exciting and varied medical career. I left nursing last year and took a part time job as a housekeeper in a small hotel/pub, so I could concentrate more on my writing; though I miss my patients, I don’t miss the stress!

    When did you begin writing?
    Ideas for stories blossomed in my head when the children were little, (mid 1980’s). I’d start to write them down but was too busy being a mum to really do much about them. I still have one little story in my treasure trunk though, and I just might pull it out one day, polish it and publish it!
    Latterly, I started in 2008.

    For those who don’t know, what is Sherford’s Lost Valley about?
    It’s about tiny wild bears called Dinkers, who live secretly in a small wood within a valley in South Devon, England. They’ve never been seen, though may have been heard once-in-a-while!
    They are living in dangerous times as development of a new town will wipe out their natural habitat, and they have to move on. It’s their adventures and struggles as they step out into the unknown.

    What exactly is a Dinker?
    A Dinker is a tiny wild bear originating from somewhere in America, high in some mountains, somewhere! (No one knows where)!
    When a black bear gave birth to 3 cubs, one of the female cubs was very small. Thinking it wouldn’t survive, the mother left her to die. A wise man that lived in the mountains found her and bought her home to live with him, along with a number of other strange creatures. She thrived under his care and was very healthy though remained very small.
    One day a small brown bear came to live with them and soon became good friends with the little black bear. Eventually they had cubs of their own, which were even smaller but had remarkable abilities to make up for their tiny size. They would mimic the wise man’s speech; which made him laugh and he called them his little dinky darlings.
    When he died, all the strange creatures had to fend for themselves, some died out and some are only heard of in legends. But the tiny bears thrived and became too numerous for the mountains alone, so spread out into the world.
    Calling themselves ‘His Dinkers’, they continue to communicate in his language; though they do have different names for some things.
    They’ve never tried to make contact with other humans, even though they prefer to live near them. Until now!

    Can you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book? I’ve heard it’s a true story. Is it?
    Well, is it true? It could be! But truth does come into the story as there is a new town about to wipe out this beautiful valley. Our home and land sits at the heart of this development so WE will have to move on.
    It was when we were told we had to go that the idea came to my mind. I wanted to do something to remember the valley by. At first I thought of making a bear collection and calling them ‘Sherford Valley Bears’, but then a story took shape and the ‘Dinkers’ where born.
    What breaks my heart is all the wonderful wildlife surrounding us that will be destroyed. There are many that live in the hedgerows surrounding the fields, and many that burrow underground. I can’t bear to think of those precious creatures suddenly being tossed in the air by the destructive teeth of a digger. At least in the books the Dinkers understand what is about to happen, and can get out.
    There are many species of animals still being discovered, so when you’re next out walking in a wood somewhere, take a look for holes dug out of banks, or under tree stumps, see if you can see a Dinker!

    What is your most favorite part about this book and why?
    I guess if I had to choose, it would be the introduction of Theo Beckett, a strange Dinker who visits them. (His character is based on one of the developers! With their permission of course)
    I like the way he talks and his nonchalant, matter-of-fact attitude.

    What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your book?
    A lot can be done when you pull together. No challenge is too big to overcome no matter how tiny you are. Care about what we do to our countryside and care about helpless animals.

    LOVE your bear, he’s a faithful, loving and forever friend and he may just know a Dinker or two!

    Is this a series? If so, what other books do you have?
    Yes. Although the stories do stand alone, the Dinkers are on a quest to find a new home and have many trials and dangers to overcome before getting there. Books 2 & 3 are already published; book 4 will be out next year.

    Do you have plans to write other books outside of this series?
    Possibly. I’ve been requested NOT to close the door on the Dinkers, so there may be some adventures to be told once they reach their new home!
    I’ve also had some seeds of an adult novel floating around my head, I’m not sure about that though, as I’m passionate about children reading, so may just concentrate on them.

    Do you have other writing accomplishments you would like to share?
    Only an in depth study I once did on ‘exercise and health’ during my nursing days, which was recommended to be turned into a paper to be published in a medical journal. Nothing else, yet!

    How is your book available? (Paperback, kindle, etc…)
    Paperback at the moment, but shortly I’m hoping to get them onto Kindle.

    Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
    The books can be ordered through any good bookshop, but Amazon or my website www.sherfordbear.co.uk is the best options. Though buyers must be aware that book 1, ‘Sherford’s Lost Valley-Bertrum’s Story’, has been revised and is a second edition. It should NOT be purchased through Authorhouse as this shouldn’t, legally, be available from them now.

    Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
    Yes. www.sherfordbear.co.uk my blog is on my website.

    Are you connected through twitter and / or face book?
    I’m on twitter @sherfordbear I’m also on LinkedIn but my Facebook page is friends & family only.

    Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
    I’m working on a storyboard for YouTube. I’ll announce it through my blog when it’s up and running.

    What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
    Oh, there’s so much I could say, but if it’s just one piece of advice it would be: BE PATIENT, do your research, always get professional editing and BE PATIENT. If you rush you’ll regret it and publish something less than you’re capable of.

    What is up next for you?
    Lots of publicity and marketing, and get started on start book 4. We’ll also have to find somewhere in the world to live soon!

    Is there anything else you would like to share with our listeners about you or your books?
    I will be giving a book away to the first ten people who go onto my website and leave me their details on the comments page, quoting your radio show. Thereafter, anyone wanting to buy one, and quotes your show, I’ll give a discount, especially if they want all three books.
    I’d also appreciate feedback, and a review on Amazon would be great.

    Is there anything that someone can do to help save the Dinkers?
    Tell others about them.
    I can also make one for anyone who’d like to have one to love!

    Thank you so much for the interview. It is appreciated.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Book Review for The Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog by Jan Britland


    Jan Britland is an author and artist. She lives in Punta Gorda, Florida with her husband Bill. They have a bulldog named Madison, a parrot named Lola, three red-eared slider turtles named Sparky, Luigi and hale. And last but not least Goldie a pond fish. All of whom are portrayed in her stories. When she is not writing Children's books, she teaches oil painting to adults. You can reach Jan through her website, http://www.rodgerdodgerdog.com.

    Paperback: 38 pages 
    Publisher: CreateSpace; Lrg edition (September 29, 2011) 

    ISBN-10: 1463715595 

    ISBN-13: 978-1463715595
    The Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog is a three story collection following the adorable Rodger Dodger Dog. The first story is about Rodger meeting a new friend. Rodger climbs up a tree where he comes face to face with an animal his own size. They begin to fight each other and the fur begins to fly.When the fight is over, what will happen to his adversary?
    The second story is about how clever Rodger is. A fish leaps onto the beach near where Rodger is walking, but the fish couldn't return to the sea, so Rodger had to help him. Rodger comes up with a brillant idea and has the fish bite onto his tail, but will his plan work out as perfectly as expected?
    The third story is about Rodger Dodger Dog, the strongest dog ever. Rodger digs into the dirt and picks up a flea, but is this flea more than what Rodger can handle? 
    These stories about Rodger are short and simply told for young readers to understand. This is book one of the series which introduces Rodger, his friends, and some of their adventures. Any child that has a dog or loves dog stories, will love the interesting and fun adventures that Rodger finds himself in. The illustrations are cute and detailed, matching well with the rhyming text. Young and older readers will look forward to the other stories in the series. 
    November 11th
    Maria’s Space – Book Review & Giveaway: Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Radio Interview and Book Review for Just Fine the Way They Are by Connie Wooldridge

    Just Fine the Way They Are
    Listen in on Connie's Radio Interview today at 2pm EST at http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors to learn more about her book Just Fine the Way They Are-From Dirt Roads to Rail Roads to Interstates.

    Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge's vivid imagination and spirited storytelling are fueled by her love of travel, adventure, and the unconventional way she embraces all life has to offer. She's lived in seven states, Washington, D.C., Athens, Greece and Seoul, South Korea; was a Latin major, a flight attendant for a major airline, raised four children who are five years apart in age, and worked at a job she'd dreamed of having as a little girl - a librarian in an elementary school. From the time she learned to read, Connie loved to escape into her favorite stories - mysteries and fantasies. While other girls were devouring Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventures on the American prairie, she lived in the fantasy worlds created by 19th Century Scottish writer George MacDonald or went sleuthing with Nancy Drew.

  • Reading level: Ages 6 and up

  • Hardcover: 32 pages

  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (March 1, 2011) 

  • ISBN-10: 1590787102 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1590787106

  • Review:

    Mr. John Slack, a tavern keeper in 1805, was not happy when two senators from Ohio and Connecticut had decided to  tell the U.S. Congress that the United States needed a National Road so the folks who lived in the East could get to the Ohio RIver. Wagon drivers would stay the night at his tavern while their wagons got stuck in the mud going up a nearby hill. It brought him business, a National Road would cost him money. In his mind, things were just fine the way they were.

    But Congress went and built a National Road in 1816. Unlike Mr. John Slack, other people wanted the National Road. It was where ideas  and people and things could be sold back and forth across the country. But soon the National Road lost it's newness and another idea came along in the 1830's. People began to be in awe of the steam locomotive. Once people began to see what it could do the thirst to be able to move faster to get from place to place took over.

    But, of course, you can't please everyone. The people who used the National Road were upset because they felt that it should be better maintained. It now had potholes and weeds in it during the 1850's, and when people began to ride a new invention known as the bicycle, a new wave of complaints came where Congress should build better roads, especially with the invention of Henry Ford's Model T.

    Because of the pressure from the nation. Congress agreed in 1912 to spend money for a national highway system that would include the National Road. Things began to evolve quickly combining innovation with the needs of the people. But people didn't expect pollution and other problems. Were things really fine the way they were?

    This is a wonderful tool for teachers and parents to use to teach social studies skills. Readers will learn more about how transportation has transformed America and how transportation is essential for expansion. The reader will be able to see how transportation has changed and evolved over the years and how communities are changed by transportation. Just Fine the Way They Are, is a well written account of the history of transportation which includes detailed and realistic illustrations that are appealing to the reader. Readers from 6 and up will delight in how America has changed, yet will also understand some of our current problems as well which involve the environment. People wanted progress, things to become faster and easier, but certain things weren't taken into consideration at the time. Wooldridge tells the history of transportation in a brief, detailed, yet fun way, that will suck in the reader, while the illustrator, Richard Walz, drives the message home. Highly reccomended for use in a classroom and homeschool setting. 

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Book Review for Cinderella's Wheelchair by Jewel Kats

    Jewel Kats, 32, is an award-winning writer. She’s also one tough cookie. At the age of nine, Jewel endured a car accident. Her physical abilities altered forever. She spent weeks in the Hospital for Sick Children recovering, has survived eight leg surgeries, and currently walks with a cane. (Note: It’s fashionably handpainted!) Nothing stops Jewel. For six years, she penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps-Howard News Service and TorStar Syndication Services. Jewel has earned $20,000 in scholarships from Global Television Network and Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. She’s penned three children’s books, including: “Reena’s Bollywood Dream” and “What Do You Use to Help Your Body?” She calls Toronto home.

    Publisher: Love Healing Press

    ISBN Number: 978-1-61599-112-9

    Publication Date: May 2011

    Genre of Book: Fiction / Disabilities

    Book Review:

    Living in a kingdom far away lived a girl named Cinderella. But this girl wasn't your ordinary shining princess that everyone expects, in fact, this Cinderella was in a wheelchair. She lived with her stepsisters and grueling stepmother. Well, the stepmother learned that the King was ill and that he wanted to see his only son married before he dies. So, a royal costume party was going to be held in the prince's honor where any and all interested girls could attend.

    Cinderella wanted to go, and being the sneaky and selfish woman that she was, the stepmother made a deal. Cinderella could go only if she made beautiful jewelry for her stepsisters to wear. I think we all know how this is going to go. When Cinderella shows up in a beautiful butterfly costume of her own creation, her family becomes jealous and sabotages her dress and wheelchair so she can't go anywhere.

    Sad and discouraged, Cinderella loses hope, until an upbeat fairy godmother in training shows up and repairs the damage to the wheelchair as well as to Cinderella's dress. She even upgrades the wheelchair to one that flies. But of course, the magic only exists until midnight, then all will go back to normal.

    Cinderella shows up at the palace and meets the prince, but what is interesting is that she gives him a get well card for the King in hopes that he will get better. Cinderella didn't think about her needs but the needs of others. The Prince saw this inner beauty and fell in love with her, but when the clock rung 12 will he be able to find her after she leaves him, determined that he wouldn't want  her as a wife because of her disablility?

     This colorful picture book provides a different twist to a well known story. Having a disability does not change a person's inner or outer beauty. This story shows how girls of varying abilities or disabilties can still find love and overcome the odds that are set against them. It is our strength and courage that defines us, not what we look like. Girls who are in wheelchairs, who have faced illness, or injury, will find hope and inspiration in this tale about how dreams can come true.

    Next Stops:

    November 9th
    Maria’s Space – Guest Post: Encouraging Children

    The Brain Fart Explosion—Guest Post: The Invention of the Wheelchair and Its Impact

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Radio Interview and Book Review for the Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos

     Please check out Cheryl Malandrinos' radio interview at   http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1pm EST.   

    Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor to Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group's quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book!, a book reviewer, and blogger. Her first children's book, "Little Shepherd", was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. Ms. Malandrinos is a member of the Soceity of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, three children, and four cats.

  • Paperback: 16 pages

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (August 21, 2010)

  • ISBN-10: 1616330856

  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330859

  • Little Shepherd is a story filled with obedience and faith.

    Little Shepherd is about a young boy named Obed, who is entrusted with his first flock of sheep to guard. Obed is proud of his new responsibility and takes it very seriously. His family depends on the sheep for food and wool. He is determined to make sure that no sheep are lost on his watch.

    That night angels came and brought news that a Savior has been born. Obed’s father wants to go to Bethlehem and see the new savior, but Obed has reservations about it. Unprotected, the sheep might get lost or eaten by the nearby wolves. However, Obed’s father is undeterred, believing that the sheep will not be harmed on such a special night. Though Obed doubts his father’s wisdom, he soon realizes that his father was correct. On the night the Lord was born, nothing would be harmed. It was truly a special moment of faith.

    Little Shepherd is a great Christmas story for children between the ages of 4-8 that inspires faith and trust in something that cannot be seen, but can be felt in the heart and in the soul. This book would make a great addition to any Christmas collection as well as in any religious setting.

    Here is also a link to Cheryl's YouTube Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA2KStzoCPo

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Radio Interview for Henry! You're Late Again by Mary Evanson Bleckwehl

    Henry! You're Late Again!

    Listen in on Mary Evanson Bleckwehl Radio Interview today at 4:30pm EST at http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors to learn more about her book Henry! You're Late Again!
    • Henry! You're Late Again! by Mary Evanson Bleckwehl, illustrated by Brian Barber
    • Reading level: Ages 4 and up
    • Hardcover: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press (November 10, 2010)
    • ISBN-10: 159298357X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1592983575

    Fiction Children’s Picture Book   


    As a child growing up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa, Mary loved school and had nightmares about not getting up in time to make the bus. She did make it to school every day and has now created Henry, an imaginative first grader who is in a predicament every morning as his family just can't seem to get him to school on time. Using years of teaching experience and stories from school children she taught, Mary has created a touching tale that will resonate with every child from 3 to 93, one that reminds our inner soul that there are things we just aren't in control of. Together with her husband, Mary has raised a daughter and two sons and lives in Northfield, Minnesota. She still spends plenty of time in schools as a substitute teacher and a volunteer. She attempts to be on time...but may be related to Henry a bit in that department!

    Henry! You're Late Again! is a charming and humorous story about the trials of tardiness.
    It's Monday and it's another crazy day at Henry's house. Henry tries so hard not to be late, but what's the use? Dad overslept as usual. mom forgot to set the alarm clock, and Isabela couldn't find her polka-dotted socks, that matched her polka-dotted underwear. It didn't matter becuase all Henry could think about was how Miss Timberlane, the school secretary, was going to look down at him in her frustrated way, reminding him in her most stern voice, how he was late again.  
    When his dad drove the car in front of the school and dropped him off, they noticed that there wasn't the mile long line as usual--that was strange, but it probably meant that Henry was really late this time. But when Henry went into the office, Miss Timberlane wasn't her usual self, in fact, she was quite different. She wasn't growling or snarling at him that he was late, instead, she had a pleasant smile on her face. Was Miss Timberlane ill, or was it a trick of some kind? Henry was surprised with the truth.
    This 32 page hardcover picture book will delight any child that has ever been late for reasons that were not under their control. The trials of tardiness affects us all, especially during the times when we are in a hurry to get somewhere. Children will be able to relate to Henry's plight. The colorful illustrations will bring a smile to the readers face as they follow along with Henry's adventure hoping that one day the poor child will get a break. What is interesting is that people are not always what they appear to be, and when we look deeper into someone's life, we begin to realize that most people are just misunderstood. A delightful read for all ages.