Friday, June 28, 2013

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday -- "The Moon" by Robert Louis Stevenson with pictures by Tracey Campbell Pearson.

Pearson's watercolor paintings provide readers with a contemporary feel for this 1885 classic verse when she interprets the poem as a visual story a father and son's late night adventure where they discover that the ordinary daytime world is infused with mystery as they follow the moonlight across land and water.


Thursday, June 27, 2013



I'm happy to announce that today I'm hosting THE NEXT BIG THING blog campaign.
This is my opportunity to be part of an international campaign that began in Australia.  Authors and illustrators of books for kids and young adults talk about their recently published books and/or those that are soon to be released.  Each author who has been nominated turns around and nominates other authors.  We all respond to the same questions about our work.  Think of it as a global game of "Tag."


My next big thing is the true story of Monty, a remarkable rescue dog with an international following on Facebook.  From Nicole who rescues him, Julie who nurses and loves him, Dr. Balfour who treats him, Ginnie who adopts him, to his fans around the globe -- Monty's loving spirit captures hearts with his I-can-do-it grin and a wagging tail.

What is the working title of your next book?
Monty: A True Survivor's Story

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was a part of Monty's social networking campaign and I knew the moment I heard his story that it was one that must be told.

What genre does your book fall under?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?
Monty should play himself at least part of the time.  He has charisma, good looks, and that famous Monty smile.  As for the human cast.  I polled a few of Monty's friends and here are the results-- Nicole: Melissa McCarthy, Mel: Eliza Dushku, Dr. Balfour: Gerard Butler or Paul Rudd, Ginnie: Kristen Davis.  Julie suggested a contest to fill her character's role with an unknown.  Perhaps there should be a role for Sandra Bullock who has adopted two special needs dogs -- Poppy, who lost a hind leg do to an accident and Ruby, born with only her two back legs.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I worked about 6 months on the first draft.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Abused, shot and left for dead in the desert, Monty is taken in by dedicated animal rescuers who launch an eighteen month long campaign via social networking that saves his life and makes him a world-wide celebrity with thousands of fans.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

In content and style, MONTY fits between "Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance” Walker and Co.  2011 and  "Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again" Scholastic 2009 (feature film 2011).


Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've long had an interest in dog rescue and welfare issues.  I've fostered numerous dogs in addition to the rescue dogs that are part of my family.  I've walked picket lines to raise awareness about puppy mills, bailed dogs out of shelters, bottle-fed orphaned puppies, cared for the sick and injured, assisted at births, and shed tears over abandoned or abused dogs that didn't survive in spite of heroic efforts by veterinarians.

 What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Even though Monty eventually lost a leg, he was adopted into a loving forever home. That could have been the happy-ever-after ending to his story, but Monty had more to share.  He went on to inspire others who are struggling to recover from devastating injuries and he leads the way in the annual Wag 'N Walk put on by Animal Rescue Volunteers Simi Valley, CA to raise money to aid other abused and abandoned animals.

 The Next Big Thing: Laurisa White Reyes is known by her writing friends as "the one with five kids." The most common question she's asked is "how do you find time to write?" to which she replies, "I don't. So I have to make time." After earning her B.A. in creative writing too many years ago than she cares to remember, she spent more than a decade writing for magazines and newspapers, and even worked two years as an editor for a small press. She gave up all that six years ago to live her dream of writing novels. Her first book, The Rock of Ivanore, published in 2012 with Tanglewood Press, began as bedtime stories for her son. The sequel, The Last Enchanter, comes out this October. Laurisa lives in Southern California with her family, 5 fish, 4 birds, 2 turtles, 2 bearded dragons, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.
See Laurisa's blog July 11at
Her next book is The Last Enchanter

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Shelf-employed.


Drummond's first person narrator describes how the small Danish island of Samso achieved energy independence and became known as Energy Island.  Drummond's description of an ordinary place with ordinary people going about their ordinary lives emphasizes the fact that energy efficiency is within the reach of anyone willing to make the effort and highlights the results that can be achieved when individuals and communities work together for a common goal.  Sidebars define and elaborate on terms such as Nonrenewable Energy and Energy Independence.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Reflections on the Teche.

Poetry Friday -- "I Didn't Do It" by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest ; illustrated by Katy Schneider.

Distinct canine characters shine through these verses as MacLachlan and Charest explore the experience of sharing a home with a dog as told from the puppy point of view. 

Shhh . . .  I'm Here


Shhh . . .

I'm here,

Born in the soft overcoat quiet of someone's closet

With brothers and sisters

So like me I can't tell where I end

And they begin.


Anyone who has ever enjoyed the companionship of a dog will smile at the canine view point on "Rules" . . . no fun,  "Names" forget Rover and Rex . . . try Big Bad Bob, and "Rain" there's nothing better than a nice roll in your good wool sweater to dry off.

Schneider's bright-eyed portraits are the perfect companion to the verses.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Writers Wednesday

Quote for the day:

Here's a thought about finding your voice, developing self-confidence, and having faith in your writing.
“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that - but you are the only you.

Tarantino - you can criticize everything that Quentin does - but nobody writes Tarantino stuff like Tarantino. He is the best Tarantino writer there is, and that was actually the thing that people responded to - they’re going ‘this is an individual writing with his own point of view’.

There are better writers than me out there, there are smarter writers, there are people who can plot better - there are all those kinds of things, but there’s nobody who can write a Neil Gaiman story like I can.”
― Neil Gaiman

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by PracticallyParadise.

For Nonfiction Monday --  "The Polar Bear Scientists" by Peter Lourie.
Lourie enables readers to feel as though they've joined an expedition to study polar bears as part of the Alaskan Polar Bear Research Project.  Written at a 7th grade level, this book details the methods scientists use to identify and track individual animals, collect medical samples, and quantify data under the direction of Dr. Steven Amstrup. 
Lourie goes on to explain the results of this ongoing study and conclusions that have been drawn.  Glossary, polar bear field guide, suggested readings, websites, quoted sources, and an index provide ample enrichment as well as opportunities for follow up. Color photographs document the field and lab work.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.
With summer vacation just around the corner, I'm looking at the books I'm going to purchase for the next school year and this one is definitely on my list.

"Whisper and shout: poems to memorize" edited by Patrice Vecchione.

Vecchione has collected poems in a variety of forms and grouped them by themes to provide an entertaining selection of poems that would be fun to memorize and a pleasure to recite aloud.  Sections designate poems about life, wordplay poems, poems of family and friends, humorous poems, the natural world, and wisdom and wonder to fill 85 pages.  Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg, E.E. Cummings, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Paul Fleischman, John Updike, and Lewis Carroll are only a few of the notables represented.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Writers Wednesday

I just finished reading "The USP: What is it, and why do you needs it, my preciousss?" by Christian Schoon, posted today at Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing.

Schoon discusses finding your USP, Unique Selling Proposition, and honing it to the perfection required by agents and editors.  Yes, you've probably heard this before.  I have.  But it's worth considering  at every step of the writing/editing/submitting process regardless of the audience--children, YA or adult. Schoon's light conversational tone makes the read fun even while he's making some important points and providing information that is worth serious attention.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Jean LittleLibrary.

For Nonfiction Monday --  "Monster hunt: exploring mysterious creatures" written and illustrated by Jim Arnosky.

Here's a book sure to be a hit with my many mystery loving nonfiction readers. 
Arnosky, well-known for his many books on nature, takes a look at the fact and fiction surrounding some of nature's mysteries.  Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Giant Squid, Coelacanth (once thought to be extinct) and an assortment of other creatures real? or imagined? fill the pages.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer