Ellwyn’s Blog

My 2020 Reading Short List

I don’t set a certain number of books to read each year. I read what I want, when I want.

After reading several posts by other readers and the amount of books they read in 2020, I decided to tally up my own pile.

I came in at 27. Keep in mind, I read some of them twice.

It’s a habit I’ve developed over the years. The first read is for pleasure. The second read is to learn new writing/storytelling techniques.

If I really like a book, it earns a place of honor on my book shelf and is constantly taken down to be read again and again and again…

Here’s a list of five books I read in 2020 that were excellent.

1- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I was in the middle of reading The Hunger Games Series again when my daughter bought me this book for my birthday. Like every other book in the series, it was awesome!

2- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Due to Covid-19, my local library was closed.

Unable to scour the shelves there, I haunted a local thrift store. I came across this one and gave it a shot.

Such a great story about redemption and self-acceptance!

3- Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This was also a gift. I did an author Secret Santa and I have to say, my Secret Santa must have had direct access to my home library. I love retold fairytales and this one is at the top of my list.

4- The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw

I found this one at the thrift store too and really enjoyed it. I’m sure I’ll read it again soon.

5- Lily Barlow: The Mystery in the Mangroves by Carla Vergot

I received of an advance copy of this one way back in March 2020 and thought it was just as good as the first story in the series.

I have a few picture books lined up to review on my educational blog Lemon Drop Literary. After that, I’ll probably reread some of my faves before seeking out some new reads.

Happy Reading!

2020 Lemon Drop Literary Book Awards

I’ve taken all the Independently Published books I’ve reviewed from 2020 on my educational blog Lemon Drop Literary and awarded one a Certificate Of Excellence In Literature for its educational value.
When I review a children’s picture book, I strive to keep students, teachers and the rigors of lesson planning in mind.

A few of the questions I ask are: How will this book translate into the classroom? How will it help teachers meet their lesson plan objectives? Is it engaging and fun? Did I enjoy reading it and most importantly do I want to read it again?

Congratulations, Ansaba Gavor! In my humble opinion, Children Are Like Cupcakes, has met all the criteria to earn a place on my virtual classroom bookshelf!

Available on Amazon

This year I’d also like to recognize two authors who’ve created two wonderful educational learning series that also belong on my virtual classroom and home bookshelves.

Amelia Griggs’ The Bella And Mia Adventure Series and its companion workbooks Bella And Friends Learning Series. Each book is adorable on its own; combined they’re a complete set of learning fun with an extra scoop of sweetness!

Available on Amazon

Robin Woods Prompt Me Series. I’ve been using her Prompt Me Novel for my own story development and my characters are coming to life more than ever before!

Available on Amazon

Thank you, ladies, for all you do to help children and aspiring writers achieve their full learning potential. 

Reading In The New Year

Reading With Your Kids Podcast

Jed Doherty, Host, Executive Producer – jedlie@jedlie.com         

Alejandra Doherty, Producer of Special Events   

For Immediate Release


The Reading With Your Kids Podcast, host of the first “Reading In The New Year” Virtual Family Literacy Fair, has announced that Philadelphia resident Ellwyn Autumn, and their children’s book Teddy Bear Tea will be featured in this exciting event.

“We want to give families a way to say goodbye to the difficulties of 2020 and hello to a bright future in 2021!” said Jed Doherty, also known as Jedlie, the host of the Reading With Your Kids Podcast, an iHeartRadio Award Nominee.

“Since everyone’s holidays will look a little different this year, we wanted to give families entertainment that was educational and fun. We are creating an event that will feature some of the best children’s authors reading their books aloud, songs, and some downloadable activities for some off-screen family fun time. The podcast is about celebrating all of the benefits kids and families experience reading together and that is the focus of the fair as well.”

The event will be held online at www.ReadingInTheNewYear.com . It begins Christmas morning and will run until January 1, 2021. The event is free and open to everyone.

Ellwyn Autumn’s Teddy Bear Tea is an award winning book about friendship and diversity.

The Reading With Your Kids Podcast can be found on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and where ever you find your podcasts. To date they have published over 900 interviews with authors from around the World, including LeVar Burton, Brad Meltzer, Kate DiCamillo, Candice Cameron Bure and so many more. The podcast has been included on many “Best Podcast” lists and was nominated for the iHeartRadio Best Kids & Family Podcast Award. You can learn more by visiting www.ReadingWithYourKids.com

Align Ourselves Cover Reveal

Lex wants an alliance for his kingdom. Aria wants a safe place for her people to call home. Neither one wants to be married. But when Aria’s own people threaten the kingdom, she realizes that Lex is the man she’s always wanted. And she’ll do anything to save him.

Release Date: 01/14/2021
Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ND7878T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_oF53Fb3JENJS9
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55885124-align-ourselves

About The Author

Bio –
Adrianna is a 28-year-old wife and stay-at-home mom to her 1-year-old baby boy. She comes from a large Mexican American and was born with Cerebral Palsy. She also holds an MLIS degree and greatly enjoys getting to tell people she’s a librarian.

Facebook – facebook.com/authoraschuh
Instagram – authoraschuh
Twitter – author_aschuh
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55885124-align-ourselves
Author website – adriannaschuh.com
Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/align-ourselves-by-adrianna-schuh

Astrid V.J.’s The Apprentice Storyteller

FREE Today


The Apprentice Storyteller: The Alchemist meets fantasy with a splash of space opera. Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace.

For years, she’s been hounded by her past, never to find a moment’s rest. Then she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer, and she reluctantly yields, even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life.

As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she’s not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach, but Viola makes for a reluctant student.

Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she’s always wanted? Can she find the courage to embrace the principles that will transform her life? Can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep on running with nowhere to hide? And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?

About The Author

Astrid Vogel de Johnsson is an award-winning South African author, social anthropologist and transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and two children.

In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages–interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes high fantasy, exploring her passion for cultures and languages.

When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.


To purchase just click the ‘Shop’ tab above!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season and to let you know my books are FREE on Kindle until Thursday, December 17. Captain Hook is Permafree through Smashwords.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Excal’byr Book Tour


History is quite a fascinating thing. We know the stories that have been told to us since we were children, but there are secrets… Magical secrets that are desperate to be revealed.

Pompeii was a tragedy the world will never forget, but what really caused the volcanic eruption that ended it all?

Why was the great sword Excalibur really destroyed?

The rolling hills of Victorian England seem peaceful enough, but what secrets really lurk there?

And would it surprise you that there are darker secrets in Ancient Rome than people ever dreamed?

If the Great Fog of London isn’t what it seems?

You think you know Harry Houdini, but do you know the man behind all the tricks?

And what if the mystery of Roanaoke runs deeper than you could ever imagine?

Could Ireland’s potato famine really be caused by a mage gone mad?

What if a ghost ship off the coast of England was more than a phantom?

Want to find out the secrets behind each of these stories?

Read nine exciting tales where history and magic collide from authors Michaela Baker, James Quinlan Meservy, Ariel Paiement, Joshua Reid, Alicia Scarborough, Maria Vermisoglou, Joanna White, Kandi J. Wyatt, and Sara Zagorski.



James Quinlan Meservy loves literature! His favorite genre to read is classic literature (Charles Dickens is his favorite author), and his favorite genre to write is fantasy.

Even when he attempts to write something that is not fantasy, his work-in-progress becomes fantasy by the end of the first draft.

He lives in Southeast Idaho with his wife and children, and spent his childhood moving all across northern Utah. He considers his home town to be Mendon, Ut, a small community near Logan, Utah in the Cache Valley.

A few words of acknowledgement.

Arthurian Lore, especially Excalibur and Merlin, will always have a special place in my heart, and when I was asked by Joanna White and Ariel Paiement to join their anthology, Glimpses of Time and Magic, I considered what historical fantasy story I could create and set in the Realm of the Light.

At first, I wanted to use an old favorite story of mine about a Viscount in England who died on that realm’s version of the Titanic, but as I wrote and developed the story, it took on a life of its own, and became The Viscount of Sternboard, A Realm of the Light Novella, so I had to find a new story.

I thought about my favorite historical time periods and what lore and mythology I already had involved in the Realm of the Light series, and I realized that while I reference Excalibur briefly—okay, so I think I only reference it once—in The United, The Realm of the Light Book 1, I never developed any aspect of Arthurian Lore, and I realized that this anthology was an opportunity to explain the creation of Excal’byr, and the Realm of the Light version of Camelot.   

Thank you, Joanna White and Ariel Paiement, for inviting me to join Glimpses of Time and Magic. Thank you, Ariel Paiement, for designing this cover.

I would regret it if I did not take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Dorcia Beland for editing Excal’byr.  Further, I would like to express my gratitude to my BETA readers, Karen Eisenbrey, Tessonja Odette, and my wife for helping me to perfect this story.

Finally, I would like to thank my readers for their continued support.

You can connect with James on his website or through his author’s page on Facebook.

Website: https://jqmserv.wordpress.com

Facebook: @James.Quinlan.Meservy

For updates from James Quinlan Meservy, his Reader Group,

Friends of the Dominion of Rai, and to receive your free copy of The Viscount of Sternboard, A Realm of the Light Novella, go to http://eepurl.com/druDar.

I am James Quinlan Meservy, Fantasy author extraordinaire, creator of creatures, embellisher of events, and firebrand. “Stories that kindle imagination.”

Was the great sword Excalibur really returned to the Lady of the Lake, or was she destroyed?