Monday, May 4, 2015

STEPPING INTO THE PAST TO SEE MY FUTURE




Years ago my son and I used to watch the TV show DR WHO. Who doesn't know about the famous time-portal tardis? Well, this weekend I didn't use a tardis but I did go back in time when I ventured downtown to check out the activities.




 Even the buildings were celebrating the past as this one let the world know it's been around for more than 100 years!


 

 There were also many people celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the contributions made by both Caucasian and African American soldiers in this time of civil unrest. Ben Vereen, known for his role as "Chicken George" in Alex Haley's ROOTS, was in town to talk about the struggle of slaves on the road to freedom as well as his role in the epic movie.  Locals chatted with Confederate soldiers while I tried to chase down a Union Captain but he got away from me.



 


 There were many musicians celebrated their own musical "roots" and I got the chance to listen to everything from Bluegrass on the left to old style Country on the right.




 In case you were wondering where he was, I even found Elvis! The guy on the right was a little Jewish fellow playing beautiful Hebrew music on his violin and singing in his native language.




 People's toes were tapping when the Ragtime band got started but it was the Scottish performer that had me glued to my seat. I had already circled downtown trying to find the way back to my car and was on my  second trip after getting directions from one of the street vendors when the sound of bagpipes literally stopped me in my tracks. I would have recognized that sound anywhere and made a beeline to Krutch Park where I listened to this lovely man with the Scottish accent play and chat with the crowd about the upcoming Scottish Games that will be happening in a couple of weeks in Maryville. I even have a recording of him playing the bagpipes but it wouldn't load properly so you will just have to imagine it.




There were street vendors everywhere selling everything from handmade pottery to veggies to beautiful jewelry. There was something for everyone and reminded me of a time long ago when there was no money and people bartered for the things they needed.




I even ran into this unique street vendor. There was a huge line waiting to belly up to the bar which surprised me. People in Knoxville really enjoy their liquor but it was nice to see there were still plenty of people, like myself, that enjoy a cold beverage of another type!



 













After getting yet another set of directions...this time from two police officers...I found myself heading in the right direction towards where my car was parked and stumbled into a lovely indie bookstore called Union Ave Books. Of course I just happened to have one of my cards on me and chatted with the lovely ladies behind the counter about my picture book, THE STORY CATCHER. They gave me information to follow up for an author visit and I got a chance to check out their inventory. Of course, I made a beeline to the children's section. Union Ave Books had part of the back of the store set up for picture books and another section set up for chapter books. I saw a lot of books from many of my author friends and even saw some that were calling my name to take them home!  I'm currently doing research on one  aspect of the Titanic that has never been covered and I was pleasantly surprised to actually find a Titanic book there I didn't have so I quickly grabbed the only copy to take with me.




Union Ave Bookstore even had a local author section that I will try in the near future to convince those lovely ladies to add my book to that shelf...;~)

 I had a wonderful "play" day Saturday but I realized by stepping into the past, hearing the sounds and seeing the sights of another time, I ended my day being more focused on where my future lay. I heard stories that I wanted to share with future generations. I saw memorials to the human spirit that made me proud to call myself a writer because I will be able to share those lives with others so that they may not be forgotten. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, I will have more stories to add to the shelves of bookstores like the one I found on Union Ave to be discovered by young readers some time in THEIR future...





Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords



JOIN THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB!

Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

A To Z Challenge: BOOK NOOK REVIEWS "Z"






Title:  Zephyr Takes Flight
Author/Illustrator: Steve Light    
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

Zephyr loves all kinds of planes: toy ones, paper ones, and real ones too! And she loves to fly. When doing her triple loop-de-loop spectacular off the living-room couch gets her sent to her room, a paper plane leads her to a secret door…behind which lies a great adventure. 

Why you should read it: 

With a name like Zephyr, I just knew the kid in this book was going to have a grand adventure and I wasn’t disappointed. A magical door combined with one girl’s imagination takes readers on a fanciful journey to a land of flying pigs and amazing flying machines that can do a triple loop-de-loop spectacular! Mr. Light’s illustrations are both whimsical and reminiscent of Leonardo Da Vinci’s own aerial artwork. Children will enjoy joining Zephyr as she takes flight into the world of her imagination.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
 5 out of 5...grab it!

 4 out of 5...think about it.

 3 out of 5...take or leave it.

 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.

 1 out of 5...forget about it!






Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords



JOIN THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB!

Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A To Z Challenge: BOOK NOOK REVIEWS "Y"







Title:  Yoko Learns To Read
Author/Illustrator: Rosemary Wells  
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion Books
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

When Yoko reads her three favorite books from Japan with her mama, she earns three leaves on the book tree at school. But Angela already has six leaves, Olive and Sylvia together have nine, and Yoko has no other books to read at home. Yoko is worried she will be left behind. Mama is worried too because she can’t help Yoko read English words. How will she collect her book tree leaves?

Why you should read it: 

I have an autographed copy of Ms. Wells’ book, VOYAGE TO THE BUNNY PLANET, so I was pretty sure I was going to like this one and I wasn’t disappointed. Yoko’s journey of learning to read more books is not unlike the main character in my own book. 

In THE STORY CATCHER Addie thinks the words are too wiggly to catch until she begins to believe in herself. In YOKO LEARNS TO READ, Yoko discovers the words of her new books are like faces and easy to remember. Beginner readers of all ages will be able to relate to Yoko and her desire to add more leaves to her classroom book tree.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
 5 out of 5...grab it!

 4 out of 5...think about it.

 3 out of 5...take or leave it.

 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.

 1 out of 5...forget about it!





Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords



JOIN THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB!

Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A To Z Challenge: BOOK NOOK REVIEWS "X"






Title:  Xander’s Panda Party
Author: Linda Sue Park
Illustrator:  Matt Phelan
Publisher:  Clarion Books
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

Xander Panda is planning a party, a dandy panda party! But he has to change the plans and send more and more invitations as the guest list grows and grows. Xander is frantic. His party won’t stay planned!

Why you should read it: 

This cute book reminds me of another great zoo book…One Zany Zoo by Lori Degman. But in this zany zoo tale, Xander Panda is trying to have a simple party for all his panda friends. There’s only one problem. Xander is the only panda at the zoo. 

What starts out to be a simple party ends up being a glorious celebration for everyone at the zoo. Author Linda Sue Park writes a delightful rhyming story sure to amuse young readers of all ages while illustrator Matt Phelan’s whimsical artwork entices readers to join in the fun. A great addition to any library.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

 5 out of 5...grab it!

 4 out of 5...think about it.

 3 out of 5...take or leave it.

 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.

 1 out of 5...forget about it!






Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords



JOIN THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB!

Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A To Z Challenge: BOOK NOOK REVIEWS "W"








Title:  Winnie
Author: Sally M Walker
Illustrator: Jonathan D Voss        
Publisher:  Henry Holt & Company
Ages: 7-9

Synopsis:

Who could care for a bear? The remarkable true story of a bear that one day became a household name and the soldier who cared for her.

Why you should read it: 

I originally had another story in mind for my “W” book review but when I came across this one I knew I had to tuck it in my list of books to write about. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t heard of Winnie the Pooh, but I don’t think everyone knows the Winnie character was based on a real, live bear. Ms. Walker’s book is based on the true story of a bear rescued by a soldier. The soldier, Harry Coleburn, decides to raise the bear and forms a friendship lasting several years before Winnie finds a new home at the London Zoo. 

As a writer of creative fiction, I found the authenticity of this story fascinating as I’m sure readers of all ages will be interested in finding out the history behind the classic stories of Winnie the Pooh.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

 5 out of 5...grab it!

 4 out of 5...think about it.

 3 out of 5...take or leave it.

 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.

 1 out of 5...forget about it!




Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.




Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords



JOIN THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB!

Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!