Old Tune Tuesday – Me and Julio

Feel like a little Paul Simon? He is always a for a few good old tunes though he is quite young in this video!


Published in: on August 25, 2015 at 11:26pm08  Comments (3)  
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Old Tune Tuesday – Tell Somebody

This really isn’t my attempt at a commentary on government cover ups or Edward Snowden. I haven’t educated myself enough to comment on these items, but I do believe in free speech.

What this is here for mostly is because I like the song.

Published in: on August 19, 2015 at 11:26am08  Comments (3)  
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I’m looking for help with my latest book

Calling all readers of middle grade fiction!


I am looking for people to be beta-readers (meaning reading something that isn’t quite ready for the great out there) for my latest book project.
Yes, I have finished my Agnes Kelly book and I need people to give me feedback.
I think the title will be “Intrigue in Istanbul: An Agnes Kelly Adventure Mystery”

It is about a 12 year old girl who gets taken to Istanbul by her grandmother and gets pulled into a mystery. I don’t want to give away too much so that’s all you get.

If you are interested in helping me out, go to my book page and sign up for my Readers Group.
In a couple days, I’ll contact you all telling you how to get the book and the kind of feedback I’m looking for.

I would appreciate as much feedback as I can get, since this is my first foray into MG fiction, so I hope to see you there!
Thanks everyone!


Again – here’s the link to Sign Up!


Published in: on August 15, 2015 at 11:26pm08  Comments (7)  
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Photo Phriday – Grim

Christine Keleny:

Great image, though it looks like this man wasn’t too pleased with having his picture taken.

Originally posted on Joshi Daniel Photography | Images Of People:

Black and white portrait of a Sadhu in Mumbai, India Sadhu | Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

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Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 11:26pm08  Leave a Comment  
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When a smile breaks your heart

Christine Keleny:

Take a read.

Originally posted on Daily Echo:

Nick, Bournemouth, Nick, Bournemouth, before the attack

I frequently write about my son… as I see him every day, it is natural that he is very much part of my everyday life, even without the story of his incredible journey to tell. But I have two sons, and my younger son’s story is a quieter tale.

Alex is three years younger than his brother and they were inseparable. When Nick, always the daredevil, climbed trees and got into scrapes, Alex was with him. Nick loved books and taught his little brother to read, blond heads together, poring over the pages of Dr Seuss and the Narnia stories. Where Nick was always sharp, brilliant and bright, Alex was a warm, golden glow. Apparently alike in many respects, they approached life from opposite angles; they were very different. Even so, together they managed to get into… and out of… huge amounts of mischief as…

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Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 11:26pm08  Comments (3)  

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan



I am writing a MG story so I want to read MG stories. My daughter read this and recommended it.

Stats: published in 2002, audio is 4′ 42″ (4 discs), print is 288 pages.

Blurb:Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

What I liked: It was an interesting story throughout. It was well written and educates the young reader about the life of the produce/fruit farm worker in California. Her description of the lives of the Mexican farm workers feels very real, and you find out after you read the story why that is – her grandmother was such a worker and Ryan talked with others who also did the same work. I like how she disperses a few Spanish words in on occasion. It helps make the story feel  more authentic. Having Trini Alvarado read the story helps as well. She did a lovely job with the narration.

What I didn’t like: As I was reading the story, I was never quite sure what time period the story took place in. Since Okey’s were coming to work on the farms and were willing to be paid less than the other Mexican or Asian workers, I assumed it was in the 20’s or 30’s but from the story, it’s hard to know. I only know it was around the depression because the book blurb tells me this fact.

Rating: 4/5  Of the MG stories I’ve read lately, this is one I think a child may want to read on their own, rather than one a teacher might require a child to read.

Old Tune Tueday – Boogie on Stevie

I wanted to play some Stevie Wonder for my birthday. He is one of my early favs. I also like this video. Kind of an old Women Power montage.

Boogie on Girls!

Published in: on July 28, 2015 at 11:26pm07  Comments (2)  
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Flint and Silver by John Drake

6467836Another of my audio book library roulette picks. Note: This is not a child’s pirate story. This is for adults.

Stats: Audio book – Narrator: Tim Gregory, 9 or 10 discs – I don’t remember, print 359 pages, published 2009

Blurb: John Silver had never killed a man. Until now, his charisma, sheer size and, when all else failed, powerful fists had been enough to dispatch his enemies. But on a smoldering deck off the coast of Madagascar, his shipmates dead or dying all around him, his cutlass has just claimed the lives of six pirates. Finding himself surrounded by their revenge-thirsty crewmates, Silver fears his promising merchant navy career is at an end. But then the pirate captain makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

On the other side of the world, Joseph Flint, a naval officer wronged by his superiors, plots a bloody mutiny. Strikingly handsome, brilliant but prey to sadistic tendencies, Flint is regarded as the most dangerous bandit on the high seas.

Together these gentlemen of fortune forge a deadly and unstoppable partnership, steering a course through treachery and betrayal while amassing vast treasure. But the arrival of Selena, a beautiful runaway slave with a murderous past, and Flint’s schemes to secure the pieces of gold for himself trigger a rivalry that will turn the best of friends into sworn enemies.

What I liked: I think Drake did well in capturing the feel of swash-buckling pirates and the time period and making up a good story for John Silver and Captain Flint pre-Treasure Island. He probably makes John Silver a little to good, but he does well with the nasty Mr. Flint. It really makes you want to read Treasure Island again, and I probably will. I just picked up an original book at a estate sale last weekend. He also makes Selena – the woman Silver loves – more of a character and more sexy than she was in  Treasure Island, which would make sense since TL is a children’s book and this is not. Tim Gregory does a fine job narrating this tale. It must have been fun doing the pirate voices, especially Flint, who he makes the typical growly pirate voice – arrrg.

What I didn’t like: It was a bit slow to get into – partly the story was slow but also it took a bit to get into the pirate lingo.

Rating: 4/5

John Drake has a sequel – Pieces of Eight, which I will probably listen to as well.


What Was Said About “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960

PBS NewsHour did a piece about how To Kill a Mockingbird was talked about in 1960 when it first came out.

Harper Lee said:

“I would like to be the chronicler of something that I think is going down the drain very swiftly. And that is small town middle-class southern life,” Lee told Roy Newquist of the New York radio station WQXR. “There is something universal in it. There’s something decent to be said for it and there’s something to lament when it goes, in its passing.”

photo by James Hansen courtesy of PBS NewHour

photo by James Hansen courtesy of PBS NewHour (Harper Lee is on the right, James Flynt – who assists Ms Lee – is on the left)

Flynt said he and many others initially thought “the book was really about race.”

“As time went by, I think the book transcended race,” Flynt said, adding that he had asked Lee the very question that many critics, columnists, essayists and civil rights leaders have debated over several decades: What is the book about?

“‘Oh, you know what the book’s about,’” Flynt said he remembers Lee telling him. Flynt said Lee then asked him the same question.

“I think it’s about power,” Flynt said.

“Of course,” Lee said.

Here is the whole report: PBS NewsHour

Published in: on July 15, 2015 at 11:26am07  Comments (3)  
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Presenting… Christine Keleny!

Christine Keleny:

I nice post Kevin Cooper did for me.

Originally posted on Kev's Great Indie Authors:

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents: 

Christine Keleny

my image

New Glarus, WI, USA

 A Short Bio

Christine is a writer, reader, author, editor, book designer and publisher. But her main loves are writing and helping others publish the book of their dreams through her publishing company: CKBooks Publishing. She offers editing, book formatting and design, and writing services. She started writing stories in college (a while ago!) and hasn’t stopped since. She had published 6 novels to date and is working on number 7. Her first book: Rosebloom, won a national IPPY award for historical fiction and her latest book: Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up is a finalist for a Midwest Book Award for historical fiction. Her publishing company is at http://www.ckbookspublishing.com. Her book blog is at http://www.ckbooksblog.wordpress.com.

Kev: What is your latest book about?

Nancy cover sample 10

If you always wondered how the plucky, intelligent, resourceful, and famous girl…

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Published in: on July 13, 2015 at 11:26pm07  Comments (5)  

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