Saturday, May 19, 2012

Read The Reviews!

I've been privileged to be featured on some great book blogs in the last two months, (still more to come).  It's not just having these great folks read my book, what I most appreciate is building relationships with them.  Over a lifetime we stand behind thousands of people in the grocery store line and only exchange a, "hello", or "what cute children you have", but seldom build friendships that last with these people. Conversely, my fellow book bloggers live thousands of miles away, and I'm fairly certain I'll never stand behind any of them in a grocery store line, yet I feel akin to them.  Relationships are intentional and the best of them  are nurtured, please know dear blogger friends that I will continue to follow your blogs and leave comments as often as I can.  You are great people who commit yourselves to helping others, and as Sue Morris of,  Kids Lit Reviews, points out, practices random acts of kindness.  Please know you are deeply appreciated and greatly valued.  As Oli and Geepa would say in the midst of their Fourth of July Feeling, "Blessings To You"!!

Here are some excerpts from the, Oli's Uncommon Cents, reviews:

Home Maid Simple
I truly enjoyed this book. It is written for middle grade readers with a simple writing style, and a great lesson to be learned. I love the thought provoking questions this book raised.  Just what kind of value do we put on things. Although money all has a specific value what kind of worth should we place on money? Is it more important than our relationships?  Do we give more worth and value to our money, and forget about those people in our lives who should be cared for and loved more than money?  I think this book should be one to find it's way into every middle school!

One Desert Rose
At first I was more fascinated by the fantasy aspect of the novel. But it is so much deeper than first realized.  There are so many virtues that children can learn and practice by reading this novel.  Some of which include trust, honesty, obedience, the value of money, not judging others by appearance, helping the homeless, choosing wisely, self-worth, and personal value.  What a treasure trove!

Living Better One Day at a Time
I read this book during a few of my feeding times with Benjamin (my newborn). This book caught my interest in that the story line sort of reminded me of the book Indian in the Cupboard, which was one of my favorite stories as a child. I must say that I was very impressed with Allen's style of writing and the content of this book. I felt that the story line was believable and that I really felt for the cents and how they were living. I love that the message of the book was about the value and worth of ALL things in life and in all LIFE in life! I will be adding this book to our home library to share with my daughter and sons as they grow up.

Kids Lit Reviews
Oli’s Uncommon Cents is enjoyable cover to cover.  It is short enough to read in one or two readings, yet long enough to tell a most engrossing story.  I would not pass this one up.  Middle grade teachers can find many wonderful lessons inside of Oli’s Uncommon Cents.  Some of those lessons could cover self-esteem, respect, generational differences, family relationships, divorce, and loyalty to name a few.  I think the kids would simply enjoy the story, the humor, and the, sometimes, crazy characters.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Blog Tour and May FREE-BEE Month

Join me on the, Oli Book Blog Tour!

Here is our schedule:
April 20th  Living Better One Day At A Time
April 26th  JenheadJen
April 30th  Home Maid Simple
May 1st     One Desert Rose
May 7th     Mumwrites
May 8th     Jagged Edge Reviews
May 9th     kid-lit-reviews
May 11th   My Author Interview kid-lit-reviews

The month of May will be FREE-BEE month.  Each week I will give away something that you AND your kiddos will enjoy.  
Contest Rules:
Every comment posted on my blog earns you a ticket in the drawing, you comment 10 times, you earn 10 tickets, it's that simple.  At 3:00 every Friday I will draw the winner and post your name on my blog.
Here are the FREE-BEES:
Week 1 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Pizza Hut and a free book, Oli's Uncommon Cents!
Week 2 $20.00 Gift Certificate to and a free book, Oli's Uncommon Cents!
Week 3 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Toys R Us and a free book, Oli's Uncommon Cents!
Week 4 $20.00 Gift Certificate to Dairy Queen and a free book, Oli's Uncommon Cents!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

6.01 Summer Reading Program

Anyone interested in joining with me to sponsor a kids summer reading program, if so please comment here.

What I purpose is that children's authors join together to offer a summer reading program for kids, ages K-12.  We could each provide a list of participating authors on our blogs and offer our books to kids, starting June 1st -June 10th and sell them for $6.01 each, including shipping, (within the U.S.).

 If enough of us participated in the program we could offer a wide selection of books to children.  To make it special we could sign the books we sell. No author participation fees would be necessary if we each managed our own sales and promoted the program on our social media sites.

We could keep kids reading, and even better, we could help them become acquainted with us, as authors, by visiting our blogs or websites. Wouldn't it be great if we could inspire a young reader to become a young writer!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Salt Candle

Moms!!!!  With summer on the way I want to give you a few fun, (and super easy), crafts that you can do with your kiddos.  Here is great project that requires nothing more than salt, paraffin wax or old candle, food coloring, a glass jar and a candle wick.

Using food coloring, color as many different shades and colors of salt as desired.  Layer the different colors by spooning a few spoonfuls of colored salt at a time until you reach the desired depth.  Force a candle wick, long enough to reach the top of your jar, into the center of your candle. Using a bamboo or metal shish-kabob stick, poke channels down the outside of the bottle, forcing the last color you layered into the channels.  The candle in the picture is supposed to look like fire.  My yellow layer was a less intense color and the black bled into the yellow.  If you don't want colors to bleed then use similar colors.  Once you have completed all the sand design then melt paraffin in a coffee can over a burner, (I placed my can in boiling water until the wax was melted).  You can also melt an old candle instead of the wax, this will give you color and perhaps fragrance if you use a scented candle. The wax seals the salt in place, once it has dried.

 You can really use your imagination with this project.  I discussed with the kids the properties of salt...will salt burn? 

Saturday, March 31, 2012


   4 Hoo-Rahs!

Masterpiece is a sweet book with a lot of cute illustrations.  The story line is interesting but slow.  Being an ADD personality, the books I read have to be fast movers or I'm likely to put them down and not soon return.  This book actually took me 3 months to read.  It wasn't that the story didn't interest me, it's just that it took a long time to get into the plot.

If you and your children are art lovers this book is perfect for you.  Marvin, the beetle, is an exquisite artist who's talents are undiscovered until James enters the picture.  James is a young boy living in New York City, his parents are affluent and his mother borderlines snobbish.  James, his father and Marvin visit an art gallery where Marvin's artistic talents, (in disguise as Jame's talents) are used in an undercover scheme to discover stolen art.  The antics are funny, conversations are great but the plot moves a little too slowly for me.
Overall, it's a fun book, but probably not one I would read again.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Number 4 of the Top 10 List

The, Top Ten, list of children's current issues are as follows:

10.Violence through Indoctrination
8.Life as Refugees
7.Lack of Access to Education
6.Child Neglect
5.Child Labor
4.Child Prostitution
3.Internet Child Pornography
2.Trafficking and Slavery
1.Military Use of Children

Child prostitution is becoming more prevalent in the United States.  Although we would like to think America is above such disgust, we are not.  In fact, the problem grows, exponentially.  There are things we can do as citizens to stop this horrible abuse to our young people.  Below is a link to a You Tube video that gives some excellent information about our vigilance to the issue.
I apologize for the profanity in the first few moments of the video, I wish the creators of the video would have bleeped it out. 

You Tube - Child Prostitution

Another great institution making a difference:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Star Girl

Rating: 5 Hoo-Rahs

In case you can't see in the picture, the dog-eared corners and edges show how much I love this book!!
Jerry Spinelli completely outdid himself on this one.  Even though its copyright date is 2000, this book should not be passed over.  The subject matter is appropriate for 10 year olds, even though it is written in a high school students voice.  This story is all about peer pressure. The amazing message that laces its way throughout this book is, individuality.  Stargirl is beautifully eccentric, as her name suggests.  She appears at Mica High School as a new student, a unique new student.  Someone forgets to give her the fashion memo, and even if they had, she'd have tossed it.  Stargirl lives HER life HER way.  Leo finds her unique qualities mesmerizing.  He is completely smitten.

What I love about this book is how confounded Mica High students become in the presence of someone who dares to be different.  Her strength of character is motivating, and the world she lives in is enchanting.  I wish every 10 year old would read this book, that is, before they enter mid-high school.  If one out of every 10 young readers felt prompted to live their life following their dream, rather than the crowd, then high school would look quite different.  Which, as I think about it, adult readers might change the way they lived  too.

 I don't want to give too much of the story away, I hope I piqued your curiosity ;-)