Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YO! A Lizard's Tail and Bish Denham, y'all.

The blurb: When a feral cat threatens the lives of all who live at Stone Wall, Marvin knows his destiny has finally arrived. But how can a vain young lizard get rid of such a dangerous enemy?

Does that sound good or what? Come on! Well, it is MORE than good. It's SIMPLY BODACIOUS! You MUST buy. (And check out the cover.) WOWEE!! 

My review:

I've seen it called a picture book by some bloggers. It's a chapter book. Bish has outdone herself. Marvin P. Tinkleberry (love that name), a daydreaming show-off who has the perfect tail and wants everyone else to know it sets off on a great adventure not of his making. It seems that Marvin is descended from Prince Leopold. So it is up to him to save the bougainvillea from the CAT! Bish's writing is so delightful, so delicious, so engaging that I predict kids will not be able to put this book down. Her characters are endearing and captivating. Her description, dialogue, and narrative are so charming that A Lizard's Tail will become a classic in family libraries in no time at all.  Our family laughed with Martin and worried over him. He's an honorary member of our family now. Thank you Bish!

Linkage to buy A Lizard's Tail:


Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Linkage to visit Bish:

Bish's house, y'all

Her Goodreads place

Her Facebook page

Bish Denham was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Her mother's side of the family has lived in the Caribbean for over one hundred years and she still has plenty of family there whom she visits regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. Life for me was magical, and through my writing, I hope to pass on some of that magic."

Bish has known many lizards in her life. Marvin and Leeza are based on two that lived in her bedroom.

She is the author of Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Folk Tales which you can find on Amazon.com.

Go buy it, people. It's well worth it. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

*Looks To The Left* *Looks To The Right* Just Where In The World Is Lenny Lee??

Have you seen him? You know. He looks like this.  *whips out a photograph* Yeah, I know. He's got that great smile. All sunshiney and everything. So? Have you seen him? He's been AWOLFB (now that's a mouthful). You know what that means. ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE FROM BLOG! DUM
DUM DUM!! I'm Investigator Robyn bloggingforth. I am searching for Lenny because he is missed by his writerly pals. They love him and as such they want to see his writing/any kind of posts over at his house: 192 Lenny's World Avenue. Today is his birthday too.

We miss him because, well, let me count the ways:
#1 He is just a hot diggety dog wonderful person to know.
#2 He knows a lot of stuff about raccoons (this can come in handy). *nods*
#3 He is a FANTASTICAL writer.
#4 He is the type of friend who is always there when you need him (that's a great type).
#5 He is such a doggone nice person.
*Looks to  the left* *Looks to the right*
Have you seen him? If you do will you give us all a holler? We want to sing him the happy birthday song. And we want to say, HAPPY FIFTEENTH BIRTHDAY, LENNY!!!!!!!!! Oh, and please tell him I have some REALLY PRETTY BALLOONS! Scroll down to see the cake and balloons. (Blogger was NOT cooperating with me.) I wanted to arrange the pictures in an eye-pleasing way. *Bangs Blogger over the head with a frying pan*


Monday, October 13, 2014

Write for Life Volume One YaY Karen Lange!!! It's a Mini Blog Tour. *applause* A Review and Questions With Answers, too.

Okay, so. I had the review scheduled for this past Friday. So. I wondered on Saturday why it didn't post. Hmm. It was saved as a draft. WHAT A DOOFUS I AM! I am posting the review today. (Enter the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post.) 

(Isn't she beautiful?) :-) My review

I loved this wonderful book on writing a research paper. It's written like Karen is sitting across from you with coffee in one hand and dark chocolate in the other having a conversation with you and your teens. That's exactly how I felt as I read it. Karen easily brings the readers through the shaky/creepy haunted path of writing research papers. In other words, she takes the ghastly horror out and makes it more of a blissful, happy dance kind of a time. :-) It's broken down into bite-sized portions from choosing a topic (broad topic, narrowed focus, narrowed further) to writing guidelines and outlines and writing plans. And so much more! This book is not just for homeschoolers either. It's for all teens. Public schooled and private schooled. This is something they have to grasp before college. Be assured, if they read this book they will zoom through writing a research paper. Do you know any teens? Mention this book to them and their parents. They will pat you on the back for it. ;-)  

(Isn't it beautiful?) Drum roll please!

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by! The lessons in Write for Life Volume One are ones I use with my teen homeschool students in an online writing co-op. I’ve long wanted to convert the lessons into book form for use at home or with student groups. These are lessons I wish I’d had when homeschooling my children. They break writing the research paper down into more manageable, less intimidating steps, offering tips, advice, and insight into the entire process.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

My hope is that readers, students in particular, will come away more confident in their research and writing skills. I believe that with practice and encouragement, every student can write. Certainly not everyone will become a bestselling author, but they can learn to express themselves better through writing. Improving communication skills helps students gain an edge for future pursuits. My philosophy is that everyone has something to share with others, and writing is one way to do that.

Who was Write for Life written for?

The book is designed for group, family, or individual student use.  This includes homeschoolers and public and private school students. It can be used anytime to help students brush up on their research paper writing skills.
Write for Life includes an instructor guide with information and advice on how to help students through the process. While best used with parent or other adult supervision, self-motivated students can work through the lessons themselves. I've had a writer tell me recently that the lessons would also be suitable for anyone wanting to brush up on research skills.

Since Write for Life is more of an educational resource, how do you plan to market it? 

That’s a good question! I am exploring different options as we speak. They include doing articles and guest posts, spots on Blogtalk Radio, and of course, social media. In addition, I may offer some workshops in the future. I will also do another blog tour when Volume Two, Essay Writing, is released.

You mentioned that there is a Volume Two of Write for Life.  What will that include? When will it be released?

Write for Life Volume Two’s topic is Essay Writing. It will follow the same format, offering ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that will guide students through the essay writing process. The lesson topics include:   
  • Essay basics and structure   
  • Choosing topics and sources
  • Taking good notes
  • Thesis statements and outlines
  • Developing content
  • Revision and editing
  • MLA style source documentation
  • Preparing for the test essay

Three Tips to Use to Encourage Children to Write
By Karen Lange
Teaching children to write can be intimidating, especially if you don’t feel like you are a good writer. Here are some tips you can use to encourage your children to write. Grade school, high school - age doesn’t matter; it’s never too late to develop good writing habits. A seventy-year-young gentleman I know took some writing courses and got published. You’re never too old to learn!
Tip #1 - Read to your children. Make family reading time a priority, if only once a week. It’s a great way to share quality time together. It provides opportunities for discussion. The benefits of exposure to literature are endless. It broadens perspectives and lends to a sense of adventure; this can enhance content when they write.
Tip #2 - Set a good example; let your children see you writing. Even if the only things you write are emails, letters, lesson plans, and grocery lists, you are still writing! It’s important to remember that no matter what we do in life, it is necessary to communicate.
Tip #3 - Find writing projects to do together. Writing activities in a standard curriculum are great, but sometimes they don’t spark a student’s creativity. When it comes to writing, especially for the reluctant writers, fun is the key. Engage children by finding short, interesting activities to start. Try writing a continuing story, silly poetry, or a family newspaper together. For ideas, I recommend If You’re Trying to Teach Kids to Write, You’ve Gotta Have This Book! by Marjorie Frank.
It’s worth a little time and effort now, for strengthening their writing will enhance verbal and other interpersonal skills, preparing children for a lifetime of good communication.

Isn't she awesome? She's super fantastic! She's super de duper. Love my amigo! :-)

Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper
This book offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guide students through the process of writing the research paper. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the process from start to finish with helpful instruction, encouragement, and practice.
Lesson topics include: 
  • MLA style research paper basics, topics, and sources
  • Thesis statements
  • Outlines
  • Developing content
  • Rough and final drafts
  • Citing sources

No matter what we do in life, good communication skills are an important ingredient for success.  Strengthening students’ writing enhances verbal and other interpersonal skills and helps prepare them for a lifetime of good communication.
Since 2005, Karen Lange has used these lessons to teach homeschool teens at the Homeschool Online Creative Writing Co-op. She believes that everyone can improve their writing skills with a good balance of instruction, encouragement, and practice.
Purchase Write for Life on Amazon
About the Author
Karen Lange is a homeschool veteran and consultant, freelance writer, editor, and online writing instructor for teens and adults. Her articles appear in parenting, homeschool, and other publications. Homeschool Co-ops 101, her first book, was released in 2013. She and her husband homeschooled their three children for grades K-12 in southern New Jersey. They now live in north central Kentucky where Karen enjoys reading, walking, and playing with her grandson. She is a fan of dark chocolate, hockey, and historical fiction.

Visit Karen
Twitter - @KLELange

Giveaway Information
One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card & a copy of Write for Life ebook.
FYI: For those who do not have a Kindle, you can download the Free Kindle App for your computer, phone, or tablet at this link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

How I Found The Write Path

It's here! The book we've ALL been waiting for, peeps. Thanks to Carrie Butler and PK Hrezo for putting this together. More than sixty authors (including yours truly) wrote letters about their writerly journeys to their newbie selves. It turned out BODACIOUSLY wonderful. Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously beautiful! It's for all writers, not just newbies. Inspirational, uplifting, and downright fun to read. And guess what? IT'S FREE!!! WOWEEEEE!!

Head over to your friendly neighborhood e-book seller and download it. 

IT'S FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a cookie while you're reading. Cookies and reading just go together. Yanno

P.S. I have no idea why the background on some of the font is white. Anyone know what's going on?  


Amazon UK

Amazon AU





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cancer and the Whoopee Cushion

Michael Di Gesu is hosting the Big C bloghop. The stories will be published in an anthology to help pay the medical costs for Melissa Bradley's cancer treatment. I am proud to be included, even though my story is a day late. I hope you enjoy it. It's dedicated to my daidí (daddy). 


                                          Cancer and the Whoopee Cushion

“It’s cancer,” Dad’s voice sounds steady and unwavering.
Mine, on the other hand, is as shaky as the California ground I’m standing on. After listening to him explain the chemotherapy versus radiation, I finally manage to say something. “I’m coming home. I’ll grab a flight out asap, Dad.”
After I hang up, I call my husband.
“You should go. I hold the fort down here.”
“Then it’s settled,” I mumble.
I make reservations and pack my bag. Before I know it, my plane lands in my hometown, Key Largo Florida.
I check my face in the mirror before moving off the plane. Red, swollen eyes, won’t do. I grab a wipe from my purse and clean my face with it before snapping my purse shut and trudging down the ramp.
There’s Dad. Shaking his head at me.
“Last one off the plane. It figures.” He smiles and pats me on my back. He’s still my dad−still so strong. How could he have cancer? He’s never been sick a day in his life.
The treatments begin right away. There is no time to lose when you’re facing the big C, Dad’s doctor says.
Dad has always been a stout Irishman living life to its fullest. He’s the go to person in our family when someone needs a boost. But as I look at him now going through the chemo he seems so fragile. Like he could break.
“Dad, eat a little more than that,” I urge him on. But it doesn’t work.
“Sorry, honey. No appetite.”
Day after day we traipse into the cancer center for his treatment. Night after night he’s in the bathroom throwing up.
And I clean. Because he’s my dad. I scrub the bathroom at least five times a night. While he goes back to bed, I sit on the floor and feel the cold sweat mixed with warm tears seeping down my face. I call my husband for comfort. He always says the right things.  
Dad’s skin is the color of paste. He is a shell of his healthy self. I thought the treatments were supposed to make him better. I suck it in and smile at him. He needs to see a positive attitude.
It gets harder and harder to do that. But I keep on.
For him.
Until finally, the chemo ends.
I wait to see if he regains his strength before deciding when to fly home.
He doesn’t. Not really.
But the thing that amazes me is his sense of humor. He’s still pulling the same jokes on me that he always did when I was a kid. He’s made great use of the whoopee cushion.
He still tells his endless stories about the good old days.
He still chuckles in that same way he always has, and the most important part is his eyes still have that sparkle. Never mind the pasty skin. Those eyes of his still gleam when he looks at me.
I dub Dad my inspiration. He is serious about kicking cancer.
He wakes up early and brings me breakfast in bed.
I hear him humming during the day, so I start singing our favorite song Danny Boy. The next thing I know we’re dancing through the living room.
“I wonder if the neighbors hear our shenanigans?” I ask him.
“Don’t mind if they do,” he says.
Every day we dance through the house singing Danny Boy at the top of our lungs. Never mind that we can’t sing. We think we can.
Every trip back to the doctor brings news we’d rather not hear. But it doesn’t affect our dispositions. We stop at a restaurant and have coffee and pie, and he tells me his stories. I map them out in my head. I don’t want to forget any of them.
He laughs his Irish belly laugh and the entire restaurant turns and stares. Dad doesn’t even notice.
We take walks in the rain.
We buy balloons and write notes to God and send the notes to Heaven.
We eat ice cream at three o’clock in the morning because we can.
Sometimes I think he’s cured. But even if he isn’t. He believes in his head that he is. So he has me believing it too.
He is beating the cancer one story at a time. Every time he tells another one he says he feels better than the day before.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I only see the glow in his face today. That’s enough.
My attitude gets better. Now I only scrub the bathroom once or twice a night. I always walk him back to his bed after washing his face, and I listen to his stories about the old days. Even though it’s dark, I can feel the sparkle in his eyes as he watches me double check for that whoopee cushion.