|Photo by Maryellen Photography|
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Anyone who knows her, is familiar with Michele Spry's random acts of kindness - often toward complete strangers. She has lived her life paying it forward throughout her community over the past several years. However, when she was inspired by a close friend, Tom Trabue, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in May 2012, it led to her writing her first book. His positive, selfless and courageous behavior during a difficult time in his life has been an inspiration to many others as well.
Tom T's Hat Rack: A story about paying it forward follows 10-year-old Shelby Summers through her summer vacation before entering the fifth grade. Shelby's 4th-grade teacher, who will also be her 5th-grade teacher next year, gives her students an assignment over summer break. Their task is to write an essay about something they do over the break that will forever change their lives for the better. Although Shelby would not be taking a summer vacation as many of her friends would. Shelby leaves school ready to enjoy her summer break with two of her favorite people while her parents were at work. Shelby didn’t know she would be experiencing a life-changing event right down the street at the home of Mr. and Mrs. T.
Shelby's retired neighbor Mr. T, who has been battling cancer, recruits her to help him with a special project. Mr. T doesn’t tell Shelby what their project is but explains every step of the way until it is finished. A very patient Shelby returns each day, excited to spend the summer with two of her favorite people. Upon completion, Shelby learns how such a small act of kindness can affect a large number of people and even puts her own touch on this project thus creating her own give back.
Although this book is written for younger audience of children ages 7-12 years, parents will enjoy the message just as much. Michele hopes her readers of all ages are inspired to make a difference in the lives of others. Included in the back of the book are plans to build your own hat rack with the help of an adult encouraging both adults and children to take pride in making something together.
As a Partner in Education, Michele Spry is heavily involved in her community in a variety of ways. She is active in the Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Ambassadors, Women’s Network and recently co-created a program for the University of Missouri Athletics Department called the Mizzou Ambassadors which greets fans/guests at all home games. In February 2013 the Boone County area received a major snow storm that knocked out power to thousands in central Missouri, Michele recruited several volunteers to help purchase and prepare meals for linemen and other personnel at her local electric cooperative over a 3-day period while they worked around the clock to restore power. If you're ever in the drive-thru line at Starbuck’s in the Columbia, Mo. area, and the person in front of you pays for your coffee, well that just might be Michele Spry. After the shooting in Newtown CT, Michele wanted to show respect to the 26 lives lost and paid for food and drinks for 26 cars that went through the Starbuck’s drive-thru. The best part of this is that it took 5 cars to go through to get this started as everyone kept paying for the car behind them.
For more information please visit Michele Spry on her webite.
As a side note, everyone that has read Tom T’s Hat Rack wants to know about Mr. T; Michele is happy to announce that as of December 25, 2012 Tom Trabue is cancer-free.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
We are co-authors of the Robby’s Quest children’s storybook series. To date we have written and self-published three titles including Robby’s Quest for Seed, Robby’s Quest: OceanBound, and Robby’s Quest: Return of the Cat.
Robby’s Quest for Seed begins in
About the Authors
Don and Cathy both 61 years old; and they met and got married in Phoenix, Arizona where Don was a Manufacturing Manager at AlliedSignal Aerospace and
Lucy Rivas Enriquez is a businesswoman who has worked in the field of human resources for more than 17 years. In that time she has learned a thing or two about people, diversity, and the human condition. Writing has always been a part of her life and now she weaves real-life experiences and lessons about diversity, acceptance, adoption and people into her children's books.
In her debut book, DJ's Lullaby, Lucy shares the bedtime story she created when DJ joined her family. It is a heartwarming story of love for her adopted son. Lucy and her husband became foster parents when they learned there was a baby coming into the world who might need a home. They welcomed baby DJ into their lives when he was 10 days old. One year later, DJ's two older sisters joined him. Today, Lucy, her husband, and three (now) adopted children live in Illinois, where running around, being silly, and singing songs are an important part of daily life.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Interview with Diane Rose-Solomon, author of JJ The American Street Dog - winner of a Mom's Choice Honoring Excellence Award
2) You are a Certified Humane Education Specialist, what does that mean?
3) The story of JJ is one you speak of from the heart because you rescued the real JJ 17 years ago. Tell me a little about JJ.
The real JJ was such a sweet dog. I’ll never forget my husband bringing him home for the first time. Not too different from the book except he was on my husband's lap. I fell in love instantly. He was a gentle soul and very sweet with our cats and then we had kids and he was sweet with them too. He was a funny mix of a bunch of dogs and looked most like a cross between a Sheltie, a Shepherd and a Lab. But that’s just a guess. As I said in the back of the book- it didn’t matter what kind of dog he was- he was just a love. He gave lots of love and I believe he knew he was rescued and was so grateful.
4) What do you want your readers to learn from this book?
I would like for people to learn that there are millions of amazing animals in need of good homes. If you choose a rescued pet from a shelter or rescue organization you are literally saving a life. Conversely, when people buy pets from a breeder, or worse, from a pet store, there’s a pet whose time is up at a shelter which didn’t get a second chance. Many people have a certain breed in mind, which is fine if they go to their local breed rescue- and there are even many pure bred dogs at the local shelter. We have the power to make a difference in the lives of voiceless animals. Children are the voice of the next generation, which is why I wanted them to become aware of this important issue.
5) Congratulations on receiving a Mom's Choice Honoring Excellence Award! What's next for JJ? Is this the beginning of a series about JJ or dogs?
Thanks for the nice words about the Mom’s Choice Award! JJ The American Street Dog is the first in the JJ series. The next four books all address different animal issues including Basic Training, Bringing a baby home to a house where there is already a dog, Service and Therapy Animals and Misunderstood Breeds. JJ, Maya and her family are the stars in all of the books!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Lannah is a 57 year young Australian author with two published titles to her name and four more ‘works in progress’. She originates from a sheep station in the outback of Australia and is absolutely passionate about this area of Australia – and writing. Married with two adult daughters Lannah does work part time but all her ‘spare’ time is devoted to her writing – both books and several online publications to which she contributes.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Leuven's book journals a seven day tour of Cornwall, UK and serves as a guide and quick hands-on historical and cultural information for the tourist who is about to explore this region of the world. Leuven's journey took him on a historical adventure, touring ancient archaelogical sites, delving into medieval history of the origins King Arthur of Camelot and the legendary tale of Jack and the Bean Stalk.
If you're planning a visit to Cornwall soon, use Lance's Travels Does Cornwall to give you a guided tour of historical sites, and locations of spectacular beaches and coves! Insightful, edudational, and a very informative!
Here's what we're reading next for Reading Challenge 2013: The Shades by Anup Dhirwan.
Monday, April 1, 2013
April's issue of The Books Magazine is now available! This month we celebrate National Poetry Month, and we highlighted some great poetry reads for you with a list of giveaways.
Take a look at our top picks in book reviews this month, and see some of the new authors we featured:
In our WishList
1. Michelle Booth author of Mo The Talking Dog
2. Diane Rose-Solomon author of JJ The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House
In What Are We Reading Now
1. Lance Leuven author of Lance's Travels Does Cornwall
Don't forget to subscribe to our magazine!