Book Review Of Women Who March By: Adena Raub Dershowitz

Author: Adena Raub Dershowitz

Illustrator: Heather Workman

Publisher: Adena Dershowitz

ISBN: 9780692053782

Length: 28 pages

A child-friendly story of the 2017 Women’s March with an inclusive message.

Through simple rhyme, Dershowitz, presents a complex topic about a historical day in an easy to understand format for children. The illustrations and verse enable the reader to effortlessly journey with the character as she marches through the pages, while teaching us about diversity and inclusiveness.

Not only does the book pay tribute to this important day in a respectful and thoughtful way, the events are presented accurately: the signs, the flags, the messages, the unity of people, from all walks of life, lifting up their voices to demand equality and fair treatment for everyone, as well as, drawing attention to the rapid environmental changes we are experiencing; I witnessed similar sights at many marches.

One unifying theme I particularly enjoyed, was the encouragement of children to get involved in the political process and the list of age-appropriate ways for them to accomplish this task. I feel this expectation offers wonderful validation to children as citizens of the world.

Another element I appreciated was the suggestion that children ask questions. In an age where facts have been diminished or downright ignored, it is crucial that children learn to think for themselves.

Heather Workman’s soft-hued illustrations are charming, appealing, diverse, and offer a wonderful element to the book. Children will enjoy viewing the positive images of people of all colors smiling and working together to make the world a better place.

As an early childhood teacher, I would definitely use this book for social studies lessons on cooperation, acceptance, social activism, and current events followed by the meaningful conversations this book so clearly provides. I highly recommend!

Women Who March on Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Interview With Author Carla Vergot

Recently, I had the good fortune to get to know author, Carla Vergot, a little better. Carla grew up in the great state of North Carolina, but now  lives with her very loving and very supportive husband in Virginia.

She is a self-employed author with a B.A in Language Arts, Writing, and Editing and a Master’s Degree in Education and Special Education.

She enjoys driving Jeeps off road  and visiting graveyards. An honest woman who speaks her mind, she is superstitious, witty, and pays special attention to the details in her writing.

 

Photo courtesy of: Carla Vergot

Her debut novel, Lily Barlow, The Mystery of Jane Dough is set for a December 4, 2018 release.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Carla, let’s get to know a little more about this busy woman.

Hello, Carla, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

Q.  What inspired you to be a writer?

A.  As a kid, I wanted to be an artist, go to Paris, and paint the Eiffel Tower. When I realized I couldn’t draw, sketch or paint, I was bummed I’d never be an artist. At that point in my life, someone told me writing is painting with words. I’ve been painting ever since.

Q.  Is writing your full-time profession?

A.  Yes. I was teaching special education when my husband encouraged me to take a sabbatical to write the book I always wanted to write. Upon completion, I loved it so much, I resigned from teaching and started working on Book 2 in the series.

Q.  Have you won any awards?

A.  Not for my writing. Come to think of it, not for anything else either. Although, I think I deserve Best Hill Climb on a Bike and Best Use of Blue Painter’s Tape.

Q.  How long have you been writing?

A.  I got a degree in Language Arts, Writing & Editing from North Carolina State in 1990, so on and off since then.

Q.  How many books have you written?

A.  One book so far, but it’s freakin’ awesome! It’s the first in a series, and I have started on the second book.

Q.  Which genre do you write for?

A.  I think the best description is women’s fiction. I’ve been calling my story a low country boil of mystery, comedy and romance. None of those three categories by itself represents the novel, though.

Q.  What do you find most rewarding about writing in this genre?

A.  I like exploring humor in my stories, and other genres don’t always lend themselves to a funny storyline.

Q.  What do you find most challenging?

A.   My biggest challenge is moving the story forward without a formal outline. I often don’t know what will happen next, until the characters work it out for me. Aside from that, the technology piece has been challenging for me. I’m not a very savvy computer person to begin with so things like building a website are exhausting (both for me and for the friend who has to answer all my technology questions).

I can totally relate to the technology challenge. Luckily, I also have a wonderful friend who helps me with my website.

Q.  What are you working on now?

A.  I’d like to say that Book 2 has my full attention, but in reality, there’s so much that goes into promoting a book once you write it—building an online community, establishing social media platforms, scheduling engagements, blogging… I guess it’s fair to say I’m promoting the first book while writing the second.

Q.  What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

A.  I partnered with Jesse Krieger at Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press to publish my book. This past May, Jesse invited me to attend Book Expo 2018 in NYC with four other authors. I was signing Advance Reader Copies of my book in close proximity to big name authors like Nicholas Sparks. It was incredibly fulfilling and an experience I’ll never forget.

                    Wow! Nicholas Sparks!

Q.  What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

A.  Don’t be afraid of the hybrid publishing model (in between traditional publishing and self publishing). However, if you chose this route, interview your hybrid publisher very carefully, because they do not all offer the same level of service, professionalism or attention to detail.

Q.  Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

A.  My story has a little something for everyone, and it doesn’t require a big commitment. Think of it as a Jell-o shooter—it goes down easy, it’ll make you laugh, and at the end of it, you’ll say, “Well, that was fun.”

Q.  Do you have a website/facebook page, etc?

A.  I would love for y’all to visit my website at CarlaVergot.com and sign up for my newsletter. I haven’t figured out how to send one out yet, but I will! My Facebook account is https://www.facebook.com/carla.vergot.1.

Links

CarlaVergot.com

https://www.facebook.com/carla.vergot.1

https://publishizer.com/lily-barlow/

The Publishizer campaign started yesterday (9-11-18). I believe it runs for 30  days. By way of promoting advance sales of the book, readers can purchase packages that include things like signed copies, a sneak peek at Book 2, and an original story by me.

Thank you, Carla, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you lots of luck in the future and continued success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With Author Jensen Reed

Jensen Reed and I took some time this week to discuss her busy life and ever-growing publishing accomplishments.

A full-time mom by day, she burns the midnight oil to run her newly co-founded publishing company, Pixie Forest Publishing, and doing what she loves most (besides loving her children)—writing.

Originally from Nebraska, Jensen grew up on large ranch helping her family run a horse rescue for nearly a decade. This altruistic spirit has carried over into her writing career.

Jensen is committed to helping promote other authors and offering them support and inspiration in their writing endeavors. A self-proclaimed nerd, some of Jensen’s favorite books include Wheel of Time Series, Throne of Glass Series, Darwath Trilogy and Harry Potter.

Author Jensen Reed
Photo courtesy of: Jensen Reed

Now that you’ve been introduced to Jensen, let’s get to know a little more about this busy woman.

Hello, Jensen, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

Q.  What inspired you to become a writer?

A.  I have always loved words. I love weaving them together and making a story flow.

Q.  You seem to enjoy compiling anthologies.  How many include your work?

A.  I’m published in five with three more coming out soon.

Q.  How long have you been writing?

A.  I wrote poetry in Jr. High and published some in high school. I’ve been writing fiction for about ten years now.

Q.   How many books have you written?

A.  I have written one book three times. HA.  I am editing that and writing book two of the zombie series now.  I have a TON of flash fiction and short stories written and a handful published.

 

Pixie Forest Publishing
Photo courtesy of: Jensen Reed

Q.  Can you tell us a little about your publishing company, Pixie Forest Publishing.  I love the name by the way.

A.  Thanks and of course! It began in April 2018 when my partner-in-crime Donise Sheppard and I got to talking about anthologies and how we both have always loved the idea of creating our own. Our main focus is our writers, our contributors. We feel writers should always be paid for their hard work, so we work hard to ensure they are!

Q.  You write for several different genres: romance, horror, dark fantasy, and YA.  Which genre is the easiest for you to write? Which is the most challenging?

A.  I LOVE this question. I feel like it really just depends on the story. I dabble in so many because they just come to me. I have all of the above genres on my blog under “flash fiction”. My published ones are mostly horror though. I don’t really write sci-fi, just because I’m not inspired? Though I love to watch sci-fi movies with my husband.

Q.  What are you working on now?

A.  Revising Ranch, the first book in my Refuge Series. Writing Recourse, book two. Also working on the plot for the short story I will be putting into Pixie Forest Publishing’s second anthology that is modern fantasy themed. Plus I run several writing groups (Writing Bad, Writing Bad Promotions, Never-Ending Nano to name a few) and a parenting one that has been going longer than the writing ones.

Whew! I told you guys she was a busy woman!

Cocky Tales
Photo courtesy of: Jensen Reed

 

Q.  What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

A.  Holding a book in my hand and seeing my name in it.  MY words! IN A BOOK.  It’s…indescribable. Being able to stack all five books (and knowing I have three more coming out soon) and see them is just happy making. Ha, Ha!

Q.  What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

A.  Don’t stop writing. Find a tribe of betas who like your style and understand it, and keep  them. Use them. Show support to others in the writing community and it will come back to you. PFP wouldn’t be where it is now if we didn’t show support to our followers and contributors.

Q.  Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about?

A.  I am a huge nerd. Doctor Who, Supernatural, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, and  on and on and on. If you find a meme or something and want someone to squee or cry with you, share it with me! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, I don’t care. I love sharing the nerdiness with other nerds.

Q. Do you have a website/facebook page, etc?

A.  Hahahaha, I have like twelve since I admin everything for Pixie Forest and Writing Bad.

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjensenreed/

Blog: https://authorjensenreed.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjensenreed/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthrJensenReed

I am on Goodreads and Amazon too!

 

Pixie Forest Publishing links

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pixieforestpub/

Website www.pixieforestpublishing.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pixieforestpublishing/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pixieforestpublishing/?hl=en

Twitter https://twitter.com/pixieforestpub

 

Writing Bad

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WritingBad/

Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WritingBad/

Promo: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writingbadpromos/

Website: www.writingbad.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingBadAdmin

Thank you, Jensen, for spending time with us and sharing your story.  We wish you lots of luck in the future and continued success!

Author Jensen Reed
Photo courtesy of: Jensen Reed

 

Interview With Children’s Author Dianna Wyles

I recently had the good fortune of interviewing author Dianna Wyles.  A native of Northern California, Dianna is a Christian writer with two book publishing credits to her name: Heart Blessings: A Children’s Seek and Find and Beautiful Blessings & Babbling Brooks. Through her books, Dianna hopes to inspire a positive attitude and a gratefulness for life.

When she isn’t writing, Diana teaches, actively participates in the worldwide online ministry, Refreshing Hope Ministries, blogs, meditates, pursues her passion for photography, and spends time outdoors. Diana has a powerful belief in God that has nurtured her creative spirit.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Dianna, let’s get to know a little bit more about this busy woman.

Hello, Diana. Welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.


Hi, Ellwyn. Thank you for having me.


In addition to being a published author, you are also a teacher.  Why did you pursue a career in education?

I became an early educator years ago. When my own children were old enough for school I loved helping in their kindergarten classes so much that I started taking classes to become a teacher.


What grade do you currently teach?


I teach Preschool. This year I’m teaching three and four-year olds, but I have experience with ages ranging from birth to 12 years.

How has your teaching experience influenced your writing?


Well, since I am a Preschool teacher, it seemed easiest to format a children’s book. As a teacher I understand how important it is for children to have a high self-esteem, as well as, to be trained in coping skills and healthy life choices.

Inviting children to find the good in their daily lives is a wonderful way to cultivate the important attribute of gratitude. My intent was to create something that is simple and childlike in format, yet ageless in content and inspiration. I think both of my books deliver powerful inspiration in a way all ages can understand and appreciate.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I was going through a season of struggle with multiple family illnesses, eventual loss, grief and into healing. I meditated and prayed my way through that time! In one particular meditation (I always meditate on God’s Goodness, Love, Peace, and Healing for all) when I was done, everywhere I looked I saw hearts…in the sky, in the trees, on the rocks…everywhere!

I felt like I had just been hugged by God and a sense of peace beyond understanding came over me.  I still see those hearts each day.

Tell me a little about how you wrote your first book?

Heart Blessings: A Children’s Seek and Find came to me after praying a lot about the writer’s block I was having. I was trying to write an adult inspirational book describing my experiences and how blessed it all leaves me feeling.

It took about an hour to put together and then about three to four months to format and perfect.

I my opinion, it was a gift from our loving Heavenly Father for me to share with the world; to teach from a very young age, that if you search out His blessings daily, He will not disappoint you.

Your books have a strong spiritual theme. Can you tell us how your beliefs have impacted your writing?

I am a Preschool teacher and a photographer in search of God’s blessing in everything. I enjoy spending time hiking, birding, mining and taking pictures in the great outdoors. I use this time to reconnect with our Lord through his beauty and wonder.

Humbled and amazed by the beautiful signs and gifts given by God, I have a unique gift of seeing heart blessings in nature and my surroundings. I love to capture these heart blessings with my camera and share them with others to strengthen faith and give hope where needed.

I am a naturalist by nature. I love God, family, kids, hearts, wildlife, and all things related to these subjects.

It is my heart’s desire for my books to somehow show God’s beauty and wonder to a world that has yet to meet our awesome creator, and to touch the hearts of those who already call him Father.

What are you working on now?

I have a third children’s book in the works. It’s a counting book where we count heart rocks, but I must admit to writer’s block with the formatting section of this project. I promise I will get past my block and publish, Counting Blessings 1, 2, 3, Rock Hearts, Rock Hearts, Can You See?

Can you tell us about this upcoming book?


In the book my grandchildren and husband go on an adventure to find and count heart rocks. It’s a fun rhyming book where counting your blessings is the name of the game. Look for it in the near future!

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?


I think giving my books to people in need has been my most rewarding experience. My vision is to take my books to hospitals in my area like Shriner’s and UC Davis Children’s Hospital, to read and gift to children battling serious illnesses.

I’m still working on that vision, but I have sent copies to of my books to people battling cancer and other serious health concerns.

That my books can bring peace and hope has been a great blessing.

What advice would you give to writer’s just starting out?

Just write! Write about things that have meaning to you. Write about your passions. Write because you have something to say! Write because you can. Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself and your dreams! Just write!

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I am an active member of Refreshing Hope Ministries, a worldwide online ministry system where I lead a photography group called, “Creation Photographers”, a private group for victims of abuse called, “Haven of Hope”, and I write a blog now and then. Our wonderful Pastor Dion Todd leads a live interactive service each week, as well as, daily devotions, a prayer team, and so much more! Come check out our ministry at https://www.refreshinghope.org/.


Do you have a website/facebook page?


You can find my books on Amazon.

Book Review of the Big, Bad, Sad, Mad Meany

The Big, Bad, Sad, Mad Meany, by Mary Griffith Chalupsky, is a rhyming story about a group of rodents living happily together in a dumpster. Everything changes one day when a large rat named Tim comes along and takes over.

Tim uses his great size and weight to intimidate the smaller rodents into following his rules and giving him their food. While Tim languishes about growing fatter, the other rodents are forced to do all the work.

Anyone who questions Tim’s harsh actions is punished, sometimes severely. Things become very grim for the rodents, who long for a hero to save them from their predicament with Tim.

One night Tim holds a Ball and another, larger rat named Marco shows up.  Marco chastises Tim for his bullish behavior and tells him he must respect everyone or leave the dumpster.

The rodents applaud Marco’s heroism and once again the dumpster becomes a blissful place with enough food and equality for all.

I enjoyed the moral presented in The Big, Bad, Sad, Mad Meany, that everyone is equal and bullying is wrong. The illustrations by Yuffie Yuliana added a colorful element that reinforced the actions and emotions of the characters.

Reading a book like this is a great way to introduce young readers to a difficult social issue like bullying. It can also spark meaningful conversations between parents and their children or teachers and their students.

In terms of content, I felt the resolution to the characters’ problems was a bit too easy, and didn’t allow them any control of their situation. I would have liked to see the smaller rodents be more self-reliant in solving their problems with Tim, rather than waiting around for a hero to rescue them.

Often in life, we have to be our own hero.

Children need to be taught the skills to advocate for their own safety and well-being. They must learn to speak-up for themselves by asking a grown-up they trust for help or by working together with peers to find a fair and just resolution to their problem.

All in all, The Big Bad, Sad, Mad Meany is a story with a good premise and a positive message.

 

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Aunt Neny from Claremore Little Free Library Read Kamyla Chung and the Creepy-Crawlies

Click the link to hear a lively reading of Kamyla Chung and the Creepy-Crawlies!