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Showing posts from May, 2016

Commencement Speech - The Human Experience

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Let’s face it, it’s unlikely I will ever be asked to give a commencement speech, but this time of year all the You Tube links to inspirational speeches show up in my news feed and my very own son graduates high school in a few days, so I was inspired to give a commencement speech regardless of the lack of venue. Pretend we are in an auditorium packed with family, friends, and-most importantly-graduates. The Principal/Dean steps to the lectern…
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Today we present our graduates with a woman who is a wife, a mother, an author, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, an employee, and a friend. Welcome Kai Strand.
*Applause*
Thank you to the faculty, staff, parents, family, friends, and students for the warm welcome. You may be wondering why I’m standing here in front of you today. I don’t have major accomplishments to tout; such as, organizing clean water for people in remote African villages, or providing warm coats for homeless children. I don’t even have an impressive degree to accredit me.…

Three Times A Charm with Katy Newton Naas

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Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome middle grade author, Katy Newton Naas. Katy, can tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been creating characters and telling stories since the day I learned to talk. As a child, they sometimes got me into trouble. I knew I wanted to write books when I won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for my short story titled, "The Grape Pie." (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)
I devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though I continue to age, my true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.

I currently teach middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. I graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor…

A Rare Review - A Family for Leona by Beverly Stowe McClure

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When I helped with the cover reveal, I promised a review of A Family for Leona. And here it is!

Ten-year-old Leona Chapter doesn't understand why her papa left his six children at the Brooklyn Home for Homeless Children after their mother's death in 1921. Each day she prays he'll return and take his children home. God, however, isn't listening. Her brothers and sisters are either adopted or run away, leaving only Leona and Baby Mildred in the orphanage. Leona promises she and Mildred will be together for always. A promise she cannot keep, for Leona, along with her friend Noah, who she defends from the bullies Hiram and Jehu, and several other orphans, are soon on a train headed to Texas, while her sister stays at the orphanage. Leona vows she'll go back to Brooklyn, the first chance she gets. An Orphan Tran tale of the early 1900s

My thoughts:

I’d heard of Orphan Train novels, but I’d never read one until A Family for Leona. Though it’s hard for me to imagine the de…

Book Blast - Aqua by Katherine Armstrong Walters

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Aqua by Katherine Armstrong Walters Eighteen-year-old Marin has few clues about where she came from, outside of a recurring nightmare of a horrific boating accident. Determined to prove to the world and to herself that she can overcome her water phobia and lead a normal life, she enrolls in a summer internship at a marine research facility in California. When a cataclysmic accident suddenly brings her drowning nightmares into reality, she learns a secret about herself that begins to unlock the mystery lurking in her hidden memories. What she discovers could be the key to her past, but opening that door forces her to choose between two worlds and two hearts, and starts a chain of events that could destroy everything and everyone she loves.



Praise for Aqua: “This book grabbed me right away and never let me go! The characters were fresh and believable and immediately took you into their world. Not sure who the intended audience would be but I am 68 and enjoyed it immensely but my 16 ye…

Three Times A Charm with Jessica Calla and She Laughs In Pink

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Hey y’all! Welcome to 3x’s A Charm. I love, love, love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome new adult author, Jessica Calla. Jessica, wow us with a little about you, please.
I'm Jess! I write contemporary adult and new adult romance. My first book, The Love Square was published earlier this year by Limitless Publishing and continues to receive positive reviews. I am a provisional PAN member of Romance Writers of America, including RWA's Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, and New Jersey Chapters, and I hold membership in the Women's Fiction Writers Association. Recently, I became the oldest intern in history at Bookfish Books and a Team Member for the inaugural launch of FicFest, a Twitter contest to hook agents to writers. During the day I play as an attorney as well as deal with children, husband, and dog, and navigate New Jersey traffic.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say “play” and “attorney” in the same sentence! No…

New Release - A Family for Leona by Beverly Stowe McClure

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You know those people in your life who, with a mere mention of their name make your heart goes all squishy? My critique partner, Beverly McClure, does that for me. She's the real deal. True, honest, goodhearted. And you know what? That shows up all over the place in her books. It is my pleasure to share her newest release with you.

Ten-year-old Leona Chapter doesn't understand why her papa left his six children at the Brooklyn Home for Homeless Children after their mother's death in 1921. Each day she prays he'll return and take his children home. God, however, isn't listening. Her brothers and sisters are either adopted or run away, leaving only Leona and Baby Mildred in the orphanage. Leona promises she and Mildred will be together for always. A promise she cannot keep, for Leona, along with her friend Noah, who she defends from the bullies Hiram and Jehu, and several other orphans, are soon on a train headed to Texas, while her sister stays at the orphanage. Leon…

Three Times A Charm with Common Deer Press

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Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome publisher, Ellie Sipila from Common Deer Press. Thanks for joining us, Ellie. Tell us a little about you, please.
Hi there. I’m Ellie Sipila, and I’m the acquisitions editor/publisher of Common Deer Press.
On top of being a published writer myself, I hold a Publishing certificate from Ryerson University. Being the professional kind of nerd, after a short (and somewhat unfulfilling) stint in Engish Lit, I figured out that actually, my passions were with making books, not so much dissecting them. So I enrolled at Ryerson for all three kinds of editing, went on to get a specialization in editing books intended for young readers, then rounded out my education with courses in book design and physical and digital book production. Now, at Common Deer, I am living the dream by acquiring great manuscripts and making them as awesome as is humanly possible.
Oh that sounds b…

May #InkRipples – Memories

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I have to admit that I have a really cruddy memory. I’m that person that smiles and nods as you ask, “Remember when…?” Because chances are I’m barely remembering what happened. But I can usually remember how I felt while we did whatever it was we did together.
I’m the same way with books. When I sit down to write a review immediately after finishing a book – I have to look up the main character’s name. Sheesh! Before Goodreads, I re-read books all the time. And I wouldn’t figure it out until I was about a 1/3 of the way in the second time around. Wow! It isn’t a slight on any of the fine authors out there. I just don’t remember the details. Or some of the high level stuff, for that matter.
It’s great when a book is made into a movie though, because I don’t have to worry about getting all angsty when they stray from the book. And in the case of a series, I eventually remember enough detail of the earlier books as I read on.
But as I mentioned, I have feelings about books I’ve read a…