Friday, July 30, 2010

Marshmallow Books

I've heard a lot of people talking about going camping this summer. What is something that you will find in most campsites? Marshmallows!

I thought it would be fun to see how many children's books there are with the word marshmallow in the title. There were a lot more than I had expected! Here is just a sampling of some of those books.
  • Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry
  • Marshmallow Kisses by Linda Crotta Brennan
  • Marshmallow Clouds by Dr. Leslie Parrott
  • The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett
  • The Marshmallow Man by Rena Jones
  • What if Marshmallows Fell From the Sky? by Michelle Joy Becker
  • Marty and the Marshmallow Tree by Annie Fergen
  • Marshmallow Muscles, Banana Brainstorms by Karen T. Taha 
I've not read any of these books, but don't these sweet titles make you want to read them? 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I have to say that I was surprised to learn that my blog was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award. My blog was actually nominated twice, which was a pleasant surprise. The nominators are (click on the name to go to their blog):
The Story of a Writer (Beverly Stowe McClure)
One Writer's Journey (Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz)

Part of the fun of The Versatile Blogger Award is thanking the person who presented it to you. (Thank you Beverly! Thank you Penny!) Then, you must share seven things about yourself, give the award to 15 other bloggers you admire, and then drop by and visit those you've nominated.

Seven things about myself:

1. I've had all four wisdom teeth removed.
2. I am the oldest of my siblings.
3. I went to Washington, D.C. when I was in fifth grade.
4. I played the clarinet when I was in junior high.
5. My husband and I got engaged about two weeks after our first date.
6. Whenever I go to the movies or watch a movie at home, I fall asleep.
7. Sometimes, when I'm feeling frustrated or stressed, I pull out a box of crayons and a coloring book and start coloring.

Fifteen blogs I follow and admire (click on the name to go to their blog):
1. Thing 1 and Thing 2
2. Jacqui's Room
5. Breakthrough Blogs
6. Nina's Blog
7. Positive letters ... inspirational stories ...
8. Art, Words, Life
10. Fox In Socks
11. Martha Ramirez
14. pbjunkies

Please take a few minutes to visit these wonderful bloggers.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Contest At The Book Connection

The Book Connection 2010 Summer Book Giveaway

The Book Connection's Summer 2010 Book Giveaway started July 19th! These giveaways will run once a week through Labor Day week. There will be a total of 10 Book Packs up for grabs.

This week's book pack includes:
- Review copies of the three-book Emily the Chickadee series by Carol Zelaya
- Are You Ready for Bed?, a board book by Jane Johnson
- Two books from the Bella series: The Fairy Ball and The Birthday Party by Mandy Stanley 

The retail value of Book Pack #1 is $73.70!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Klutzy Kantor Mouse Pad

J. Aday Kennedy, the author of Klutzy Kantor, had a contest during her Klutzy Kantor Virtual Book Tour and I was one of the lucky winners. This Klutzy Kantor mouse pad was one of the prizes.

I hope everyone will take the time to check out J. Aday Kennedy's blogs. She is a very talented woman who is also quite inspirational.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ten Questions with Beverly Stowe McClure

I'd like to welcome Beverly Stowe McClure to my blog today. She is the author of several books, the most recent being a YA Historical Fiction titled Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines.

1. Beverly, could you tell us a little about yourself?

You bet. If anyone had told me I'd be a writer someday, I'd have thought they were crazy. When I was a kid, I hated to read. School book reports were a nightmare. Even though my eighth-grade teacher sent my poem "Stars" to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings, I hated to write. In spite of my rocky relationship with books, I attended Midwestern University, read more books than I could imagine and wrote more papers than I ever believed possible, graduated and became a teacher. What was I thinking? However, I loved teaching. I loved listening to my fifth-grade students reporting on their favorite books. And I loved reading to them, as well as to my sons. It took many years, but I finally discovered that books were fun. I also started to write. Now my nose is either in a book or in front of the computer screen.

2. What is your favorite quote?

From my mother: "If it doesn't get done today, it can wait until tomorrow. And if there is no tomorrow, then it won't matter anyway."

3. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?

Jesus Christ because he is a true friend, one who cares for me above Himself.

4. What are your top five favorite books and why?

Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell: The Civil War era is one of my favorite time periods. Scarlett is a memorable character. You love her. You hate her. You want to shake her and tell her to wake up and see what she has. And Rhett - well, what can I say about him.

A Family Apart, (The Orphan Train Quartet), Joan Lowery Nixon: This is a series about children who rode the Orphan Trains west. This part of American history is dear to me because my mother rode the Orphan Train from Brooklyn to Texas in 1921.

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott: Another book set during the Civil War. It's a lovely story about a family of four daughters that are so real, with their joys and sorrows.

The Stand, Stephen King: A great story that so easily could happen.

Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater: Though I'm not normally a vampire or werewolf fan, I love the different take on the werewolves in this story. It's also a lovely romance. Looking forward to Linger, the next book in the series that will be out soon.

5. What is the best advice you've received?

I can't recall anything specific, but my second cousin, who passed away a couple of years ago at age 98, always told me to "Have fun." I think that's true about life. Look on the bright side when possible and treasure each moment of every day.

6. Where do you find inspiration?

All around me. My family. The trees. The animals. Long walks. History.

7. Your latest book, recently released, is Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. What are your marketing strategies for the book?

I've been sending out copies for reviews, entering contests, and posting on my blogs. I had the contest on my blog and also have set up book signings for July, August, and September. These will be announced on my blogs and Facebook. I will be calling and sending information to historical sites, museums, gift shops, and other places that deal with history and the Civil War. I hope to do a virtual tour, perhaps in August, so I'd better get started on that. Also I've placed ads on teen sites, such as TeensReadToo and Flamingnet. Also, interviews like this one and on Cave of Dreams.

8. Can you share about some projects you are currently working on?

My most recent completed work is a MG story. A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and a Cat (all ghosts), about a boy who hates South Carolina, where he and his mother move after his parents separate, and makes a deal with ghosts to return to Texas. And his conscience only bothers him a little.

I'm also working on a YA contemporary novel, titled The Survivors' Club, about four teens who form a club to survive their families.

Also in the works is Princess Breeze, a sequel to my recent tween novel, Just Breeze. It's still in pretty rough form.

For a change of pace I've written a couple short stories for the Chicken Soup series of books. They're fun to do. I'm waiting to hear if they're accepted. 

9. Where can people learn more about you and your books?

My website is
My blog is

I'm on just about every site, Facebook, LiveJournal, MySpace, Gather. Google me.

10. Is there anything else you'd like to share? 

I'm so happy I learned the value of reading. I'm so happy I decided to write. The authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers I've met (mostly in the virtual world) are the nicest people in the world. Everyone else helps everyone else.

Beverly, our time has come to an end. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. 

Thank you, Susanne, for letting me visit with you today. I wish you much success in your ventures.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the interview as much as I have. Please leave any questions you have for Beverly. She will be stopping by to answer them for you.  

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Review of Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines

Beverly Stowe McClure

Young Adult Historical Fiction
ISBN 978-1-60619-112-5
Twilight Times Books

To read an excerpt from Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines:

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford is a 14-year-old girl who is torn between being the proper young lady her family expects her to be and her secret desire to enlist in the Confederate Army, disguised as a young man. She has strong beliefs of what the Yankees are like and she wants to join her two older brothers, who willingly enlisted, to defend her beloved Vicksburg and their way of life. Why shouldn't she be allowed to join in the fight?

The American Civil War and the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi was a time when families were torn apart, shelling occurred almost daily, food was scarce, and living conditions were difficult. As homes were damaged in Vicksburg, families took shelter in caves. Lizzie's family was no exception.

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is a YA Historical Fiction about the American Civil War and the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1863. The author did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. The descriptions and details of the time period could only be told by someone who had thoroughly researched her subject. 

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to young adult readers, and to anyone who enjoys reading about the Civil War era. I had a hard time putting the book down.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Review of Rebel in Blue Jeans

 Rebel in Blue Jeans

Beverly Stowe McClure

Young Adult Fiction
ISBN 978-1-933353-49-4
Twilight Times Books

To read an excerpt from Rebel in Blue Jeans:

Sixteen-year-old Rebel Ferguson has a wonderful life. She lives on a large farm, has lots of animals that she loves and cares for, friends she can always count on, and parents who love her. One day, without warning, Rebel's world is turned upside down. Her mother has run off with a drummer in a rock band, her father has turned to alcohol, and she is left feeling alone and unwanted. What is Rebel to do?

I think that Rebel in Blue Jeans is a book that all young adults will relate to. The author tackles the difficult subjects of divorce, young adult relationships, and discovering oneself in an uncertain world. 

I would recommend this book to all young adult readers. I wish Rebel in Blue Jeans had been in print when I was sixteen and tackling some of the same difficult subjects that Rebel faces.


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