Monday, October 31, 2011

Interview With Tiana Washington, author of Shanna's Lost Ribbon

Tell us a bit about you? Well I'm a single mother or two. I have a 12 year old son named Tylon and a 4 year old daughter named Thijs. I speak french, spanish, some chinese and japanese. I play the viola and the piano. I'm studying medical office management at Kaplan and I am a tomboy at heart!

What inspired you to write Shanna's Lost Ribbon? I wasn't really inspired to write Shanna's Lost Ribbon at all actually. I was a senior in high school and on my lunch break instead of catching up on some homework, I wrote the book. The other four books in my Shanna series are Shanna Goes To Camp, Shanna and the Whip-o-Whirl, Shanna and the Tag-a-Long Pup, and Shanna and the Big Race.

Are you planning to write any new books in the future? Can you give us a sneak peek? I am currently working on Crescent Sun: Sons of Blood and my suspense thriller, What She Knows. If you would like a sneak peak then my website is the place to go.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing? When I'm not writing, I am usually just being a mom, cooking, watching tv, hanging out with my friends and family, or snuggling with my cats.

Who was your favorite author when you were young? When I was young, I loved to read Judy Blume and Shel Silverstein.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? The only advice I have for aspiring authors is love what you do. If you don't feel it then your readers won't either.

Describe yourself with 5 words. To describe myself in 5 words I would have to say: funny, carefree, imaginative, creative, tomboy.

How did you get interested in writing children's books? I wasn't really interested in just writing childrens books. I write my dreams. I usually have very weird and vivid dreams and I turn them into stories. The other four kid books that are in my series are about me as a girl so it only took me two days to write them 

Do you have a web page or fan page?
I do have a web page and fan page. is my webpage and I have three fan pages on Facebook where my books can also be purchased. Author Tiana Washington will take readers to Shanna's Lost Ribbon, Vampires will take readers to Crescent Sun, and  Camden will take readers toRomance novel Camden.

Where can people buy your books?
I have actually written 9 books. Five childrens books and four novels. My novel Crescent Sun, which is a paranormal romance novel is available actually through my website,, B&,,, and of course, through contacting me on Facebook. My historical romance novel Camden, is available on my website only.

Anything else you would like to share? I am very excited about my work and I hope that parents will find Shanna's Lost Ribbon a true treat for their young girls and I also hope that women who love a fantastic story line will fall in love with my characters in my novels...they are truly a must read!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One

Grimsley Hollow is a wonderful story about Gage a boy with autism. In his world he is uncomfortable, has no friends and feels like a nobody. He is drawn into a magical world where there are vampires, witches, pixies, and dragons. It is up to him to save this magical world from an evil witch. In this world he gains confidence, friends and learns that being different is a wonderful thing.

This book shows us the life of a boy with autism. We are told the story through his perspective. I love how in the other world Gage learns to let go of his preconceived ideas of the magical beings there just like the reader will let go of their ideas of people with autism.

There was only one issue that some parents might have with the story and that is brief language. The words  "damn" and "hell" are in the story. It was not overly used but just letting you know because as a parent I want to know what my children are reading.

I look forward to the next in the series!
You can purchase this book in eformat and paperback format at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, CreateSpace, Abebooks, and many other places.

*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview with Nickie Storey- author of Grimsley Hollow-The Chosen One

Tell us a bit about you:
My name is Nicole Storey and I live in a small town in Georgia with my husband, two amazing kids, a cat that thinks she’s a tiger, and a bunch of goldfish. When I’m not in Grimsley Hollow planning adventures for my characters, I enjoy gardening, reading, blogging, cooking, and dreaming of my favorite holiday all year long; Halloween!

What inspired you to write Grimsley Hollow-The Chosen One?
This book was a mixture of many different inspirations. My love for Halloween and all things magical was the backdrop and setting for the book. My son, who has autism, is who the main character is fashioned from. My daughter is also in the book. I just took what I love and what I knew and threw them together. The book pretty much wrote itself! LOL!

What do you hope your books will impart to children?
I hope that after children read my book, they will see similarities between themselves and Gage, the main character, and realize that special-needs children are not very different from them at all. I hope that they will open their hearts and lives to special-needs kids, make friends with them, and include them.

What are you working on now?
I am working on the next book in the Grimsley Hollow series! It is called “Grimsley Hollow-The Search for Siren”.

What do you do in your spare time when you are not writing?
Is there a such thing as ‘spare time’? LOL! When I do have a few spare moments, I like to watch movies with my kids or read to them. My daughter and I love to go to stores and look at Halloween decorations this time of year. I also love to cook and bake. There’s just something about fall (my favorite season) that brings out the “Betty Crocker” in me!

Who was your favorite author when you were young?
Wow, I had so many! I have always been an avid reader and I read my first really long book (Jaws) when I was about seven years old. I would have to say that C.S. Lewis has always been a favorite of mine. I have read his book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” at least 100 times! I used to go around our house and open the closet doors all the time, looking for Narnia.

Do you have an advice for aspiring authors?
Never give up. If you want to write, then write. I would suggest joining a good book club or creative writing group and read as much as you can. Lastly, take chances and be bold! 

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Mother, Daughter, Wife, Hopeful, Happy

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I wanted to be a marine biologist or a writer for as long as I can remember. If I didn’t write, I would still want to do something in the writing business, or maybe I could combine the two; a literary agent that works with ocean animals in her free time! LOL!

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Tough one! I think I would choose one of my favorite authors, Kim Harrison. She is so personable and I would love to ask her why it is that as popular as she is, she is still so down-to-earth and approachable when so many other authors aren’t.

Where can people buy your books?
My book is available in e-reader format and paper back. You can get it on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, CreateSpace, Abebooks, and many other places.

Do you have a webpage or a fan page?
I have both, plus a blog.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would just like to say that writing this book has changed my life in so many positive ways. I have met such amazing people and made new friends. I feel like I am doing something now that belongs to me and makes me feel good about myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I love being a mom, but everyone needs something that is uniquely their own. It feels good to be able to contribute a little to my family’s financial needs and to know that my book might bring some joy to others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Trick or Treat on Milton Street by Lisa Bullard

This book is a delightful story that weaves in holiday fun with a story about new beginings. It is about Charley, who has moved to a new neighborhood with a new stepdad. He is not happy about it. He just knows that Halloween trick or treating this year is going to blow. 

Joni Oeltjenbruns illustrations bring the story to life on the page. This is not only a wonderful book for Halloween it is a wonderful book to give or read to a child who is experiencing a life changing event such as moving or a new parent.

You can purchase this book at Red Balloon Bookshop Amazon and B&

*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with Lisa Bullard- author of Trick-or-Treat on Milton Street

 Tell us a bit about you?
I wanted to be a writer from the time I first put the letters of the alphabet together to create real words. Then in 5th grade, a letter I wrote to the editor of our local newspaper was published, and I knew my dream was coming true! I practiced signing my autograph for a week. After college, I worked in the book publishing industry for many years. In 1999, while I was still a publishing employee, I finally got my first picture book published—a Christmas alphabet book called NOT ENOUGH BEDS! After a couple of years of working on both sides of the publishing equation, I decided to try freelancing, and I’ve been working as a full-time writer ever since. Along with picture books, I’ve also had lots of nonfiction titles published, including a book called YOU CAN WRITE A STORY: A STORY-WRITING RECIPE FOR KIDS.

What inspired you to write Trick-or-Treat on Milton Street?
NOT ENOUGH BEDS! had done well, so I decided to write another book along similar lines—but this time about Halloween. The problem was, I couldn’t make it work! After six months, I finally recognized that I was trying to force the story in a direction it didn’t want to go. I took a deep breath and let the book have its own way—and everything came together. It’s still a Halloween story, and a picture book, but it is much different than I first imagined. One of the things I love about it, though, is that it does contain elements from my own childhood Halloweens, from that same time when I had my letter to the editor published. For instance, we had a dentist in our neighborhood who always gave out toothbrushes for Halloween. He’s in the book, but I renamed him “Dr. Phang” and turned him into a vampire (that part is made up—as far as I know, the real dentist was just a dentist).

What do you hope your books will impart to children?
My hope is that my books will make kids love books and reading and writing as much as I always have—that kids will discover that “word play” is as much fun as other kinds of play.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on yet another revision of a mystery novel. It’s been an exciting challenge, because it’s for readers who are ages 10-14—a new audience for me. I’ve really enjoyed trying this new kind of writing, and I have to admit I crack myself up when I write the funny sections.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
Good question—as a freelancer, I don’t have a whole lot of spare time! Some days I may get to work in my jammies, but I still have to work many, many hours. But when I can get away from my computer, I like to take road trips to quirky places, I enjoy photography, and I love to hang out with my nephews and nieces.

Who was your favorite author when you were young?
The answer to that changed almost every week. I did love the Dr. Seuss books, and the Little House on the Prairie books, and Louisa May Alcott’s books, but I loved a whole lot of others, too.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My best advice is to read all the new children’s (or young adult) books you can—it’s really important to know the books that make up publishers’ current lists, and to immerse yourself in this world that you hope to become a part of.

Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you:
Well, I’m not sure they’re all that interesting, but they may be a little crazy:
1)      My two ears are shaped completely differently. Fortunately they’re fairly small, non-eye-catching ears, so most people don’t really notice that, but once in 9th grade biology the boy next to me announced it to the entire class and I was embarrassed for weeks!
2)      I live with a tailless, neurotic cat. It took me eighteen months to teach her how to drink water.
3)      I’m super careful around saws, knives, or anything with a sharp edge because I’m convinced that someday I’ll lose one of my fingers—it seems to run in my family (my Dad is the third generation in his family to have lost one or more fingers, so it seems to be a genetic predisposition).

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? 
People tell me I should have been a counselor because I seem to intuitively know how people are feeling and have good ideas for how they can solve their problems. But I think it sounds like a really hard thing to do as work—I think I’ll stick to doing those same things for my friends (and for the characters in my books—those are really handy skills for a writer, too).

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jesus—I have LOTS of questions, and he was a great storyteller, too.

Where can people buy your books? 
You can get them online through my favorite local bookstore,  Red Balloon Bookshop , through, and other places online as well.

Do you have a web page or fan page?
Yes, please visit my website at I also have a blog that’s called “Writing Road Trip” where I share tips for teachers and parents who want to help kids become better writers. But lots of “grown-up writers” tell me they enjoy my tips, too! It’s carried by Children’s Literature Network at

Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you so much, Donalisa, for letting me share this space with your readers. I hope you all enjoy reading TRICK-OR-TREAT ON MILTON STREET—Charley is one of my favorite characters!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Ode To Icky by Maranda Russell

"Ode to Icky" is cute and funny story about a girl, named Candy, who loves her lazy, smelly cat. Unfortunately he is so stinky that he can't live in the house. Candy is an imaginative girl that loves coming up with different schemes. Unfortunately the newest one is not all its cracked up to be. This story gently shows us that there are consequences for behavior.  You and your children will love this original story and the cool illustrations.

You can purchase "Ode to Icky" at  Amazon and B&
For signed copies visit the author at her Facebook page.

*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be deals with a tough social issue that is plaguing our young people today. The issue is bullying. The main character, Jessica, is picked on because of her weight. In this story she learns to stand up for herself  and how to educate others about her health issue. This book will be helpful for children who are victims of bullying and also give insight to those who bully others. 

This book is a great educational tool that teaches a valuable lesson about treating others with dignity and not  judging others by their looks. Parents and anyone that works with children should share this book with them. The Parent-Teacher Guide in the back of the book will encourage questions and discussions. There are also tips on how to prevent bullying and obesity.

My favorite part of the book is LaNiyah’s pledge.  “I am beautiful. I am loved. I will not let what others say define me. Bullying is not cool!!!” The book is a little long so if being used for younger children it should be read in parts. What an awesome book written by an awesome girl!

Want to win a free copy? Go to Wild About Reading
*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview with LaNiyah Bailey- author of "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be"?

How old are you? 
I am 6 years old, but I will be 7 on October 9th.

What made you want to write "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be"? 
I wrote this book because I was being teased and bullied a lot.

Tell me what the book is about
The book is about a fictional girl named Jessica who has a medical condition that makes her gain weight. She gets teased and bullied in school because she is bigger than the other kids. She is always sad and never wants to go to school because of it. So, one day she decides to stand up for herself and the bullying stopped. All the kids wanted to be her friend.       
What would you like people to know about you
I love to have fun, exercise, dance, sing, go to my karate class and  play with my frisky and crazy yorkie-poo Diva.                                                                                                            

What advice would you give other kids who would like to write a book? 
I would tell other kids that it is fun to write a book. If you have a story in your mind, just tell it to your mom or dad and they can help you. It helps you inspire other kids.

What would you like other kids who may be different to know?
 I want them to know that no one has the right to bully you. God made us all special and different from each other and if you are being bullied you need to tell someone. Tell your parents, your teachers or any grown person and they could help you.

 Who do you go to for help when you're being bullied? 
I went to my parents and they talked to the teachers and daycare providers.

What do you hope to accomplish with your book?  
I hope that I can help other kids open up and talk about what they may be going through and that it can make bullies stop hurting people.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
When I grow up I want to be a chef or a daycare provider and I want to have lots of books out.

 What do you like to do in your spare time?
 I like to read books, make up stories, dance, do Zumba with my mom and hang out with my dad and spend weekends at my cousins house.

 What's next for LaNiyah? 
Well, I just finished a coloring book called "Stand Up! Bully Busters...Coming to town" It's about Jessica and her pup Diva. They are superheroes that rescue kids who are being bullied.  This book will be out in two weeks. And after that we will be working on cartoon just like the coloring book.

How can people learn more about you or get in touch with you? 
They can come to my website and leave messages and comments. My mom always lets me read them. It is:

Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to say, thank you Ms. Donalisa for having me today and we wish you much success on everything!  LaNiyah

Vist LaNiyah on her facebook page LaNiyah Bailey Author
Click here to buy "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be"? Buy Now

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From My Bookshelf To Yours: "One Wish For Winifred Witch" by Cheri Hallwood

This is a delightful story about a little witch who has a secret fear. She finally trusts someone with her secret. They come up with a soultion to help her face her fears. I love how the story shows children not to keep their secrets to themselves but to trust an adult. It also shows that there is a way to overcome fears. This is a beautiful way to start a discussion with children who are afraid of things. The illustrations are very cute and the story flows readily from the tongue. It is written in a rhyming verse which made it fun to read to my children. "One Wish for Winifred Witch" is not only good for halloween but all year round! This is definitely one to have on your bookshelf.

One Wish for Winifred Witch is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award.

You can purchase this book at Forever Young Publishers , Amazon , Barnes and Noble.

*A free copy of this book was given to me for  a honest review.  No other compensation was provided for this review. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Interview with Cheri Hallwood- author of "One Wish for Winifred Witch"

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the proud Mom of three very talented daughters and six wonderfully imaginative grandchildren (all girls) ranging in age from 4 year old twins to an 18 year old. I have had the pleasure of being married for 45 years to a very special man that has always encouraged me to be myself. Without the support of family and friends, I don’t know if I would be living out my dream of writng for children.

Why do you write?Where do I begin? Writing for children has been a dream of mine since my children were quite young. To empower a child with the gift of reading is magical. . . . the world then lies at their fingertips. I want to get children excited about reading.

What else do you love to do, other than write books?I LOVE TO BAKE, just ask my family and friends! I also love reading, horseback riding, and ice skating.
But my greatest pleasure is spending time with my grandchildren.

What were some of your favorite books as a child?As a young child, I was read nursery rhymes, little golden books, and Disney stories. Then my grandma introduced me to children’s classics like Black Beauty (still my favorite) and Tom Sawyer. I was hooked!!

What is the best thing about writing books for children?

It has given me to ability to go back and once again view the world through the eyes of a child.
It seems surreal when a child tells you how much they enjoy your books.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

As a matter of fact I do! It was a very short, one paragraph story about a horse named Blackie! (As a young child, I wanted to be a cowgirl)

Describe yourself in five words. That’s difficult! Family-oriented, creative, outgoing, trustworthy, driven.
What do you love most about your book?
How Winifred discovers that sometimes it takes more than wishing and magic to make her wish come true. Finding a solution to a problem is an important lesson. And I love Patty’s illustrations, absolutely brilliant!

What are you working on now?
My grandchildren have asked me to challenge myself by writing my first Chapter Book.
Inspired by one of my granddaughter’s email names, I decided to meet that challenge and am currently writing a chapter book tentatively entitled “Frogwilla.” In this tale, a little frog discovers the true meaning of friendship, courage and acceptance.

What advice do you have for others on writing for children?
Write whenever and wherever you can. It is important to write something every day. In order to be a good writer, it is also important to be a good reader. Read lots of children’s books, especially the genre that you are interested in writing for. Join writing groups . . . the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is one of the best.

Do you have a website and/or fan page?
Yes, my website is; and you can visit and become a fan on Facebook at

Where can we find your books to buy?
My books are available through Barnes & Noble,,, my facebook page and website, and from your favorite bookseller.

Anything else you want to share?
To tell your readers to never give up on their dreams! I was 57 years old before I began this wonderful journey.