Thanks to The Musings of a Book Addict!

A big thank you to Sandra Stiles for taking the time to review The Magician’s Doll on her blog, The Musings of a Book Addict. I’m thrilled the book is on her shelves at school and available for her students to read! If you’re looking for good children’s books. Sandra has provided lots of reviews, not only her own, but from kids in her class as well! It’s a wonderful thing to get first-hand impressions of a children’s book from young students, and their contributions are an invaluable read. Thank you again to Sandra and The Musings of a Book Addict. It’s an honor to have The Magician’s Doll reviewed on your blog!

This Fan Girl Friday

Boy did we have a deep freeze this past week! I remember the one we had about twenty years ago, and I have to say, this one was just about as cold.

To prepare this time around, I made myself an extra double fleece no-sew blanket to curl up with on the couch and for bed. In bed I was cuddled under two double fleece blankets and two down blankets. Now I know that might seem excessive, but I gotta tell you, I was snug as a bug in a rug. While it was hard getting out of bed and into the cold of the room, being warm under all those blankets was entirely worth it!

So I am now a fan girl of double fleece no-sew blankets. I know, it’s not all that exciting, but snuggling under them makes me sigh with contentment. The weight feels good, like I’m really being covered, and the warmth makes me feel like I’m cocooned in coziness.

They’re easy to make too! You can get instructions just about anywhere online, and it’s so much fun to go to the fabric store and pick out fabric designs you like. They take a couple of hours to make, but the good news is that it only takes a couple of hours to have a good-size blanket to use when you’re done – talk about instant gratification!

I arranged my two no-sew blankies on my sofa and felt like I was on a writing throne! I put one behind me to cover my neck and shoulders and another one in front while I worked on the sequel to The Magician’s Doll. One day I even had a mug of hot chocolate beside me!

I hate the cold, I really do, but making my blankets really helped make it – dare I say it? – a bit of a fun adventure 🙂

Shelter from the cold while I write!


Continuing Adventures!

Oh my, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, hasn’t it? I will have to try to get back on the ball with this because the next story is coming along, and I’m hoping to be able release it in 2014!

I’m very excited about Natalie and Phillip’s next adventures. I do love these two characters, and I’m having so much fun putting them in interesting situations and seeing what they do. They still bicker and clash, but boy are they there for each other when the going gets tough – which it often does!

As you might have guessed from the end of The Magician’s Doll, this story will be about the search for Phillip’s father, and it will be told from Phillip’s point of view. It seems appropriate to tell the story through Phillip – it is, after all, his father they’re looking for, so naturally the stakes are highest with him. But never fear, Natalie is equally important and the two function very much as a pair.

In this story you will meet another major character who joins in Phillip and Natalie’s adventures; we will explore the evolution of Natalie’s and Phillip’s “gifts”, follow as they experience new places, overcome many challenges, encounter old nemeses :o, and throughout it all, endure tests of friendship and character.

I will leave it at that for now, but stay with me! As I get closer to finishing, I’ll reveal bits and pieces of the story – not giving away too much, of course, but enough to give you an idea.

Until then… 🙂

At The Book Bin in Northbrook!

Whoo hoo! The wonderful folks at The Book Bin in Northbrook, IL have kindly added The Magician’s Doll to its shelves! I am so excited that my book is now available there. Do you like personalized service and being able to talk with staff who are helpful, knowledgeable and more than happy to talk books? The Book Bin is warm, inviting and the perfect place to find The Magician’s Doll as well as any other book you could want. I’m so happy to be able to say you can purchase my book there now. Many, many thanks to The Book Bin!

The Magician’s Doll at Town House Books & Cafe

I just got word that Town House Books & Cafe in St. Charles, IL has agreed to carry the paperback version of The Magician’s Doll! I am so thrilled and thankful to owner David Hunt and staff for kindly adding my book to their wonderful nook of a bookstore. If you’ve never been to Town House Books & Cafe, you won’t find a better book shopping experience, or a better place to just sit back and enjoy a good book and a meal. Ambiance makes all the difference, and the old-world charm of Town House Books & Cafe has the very best kind. If you’re in the area, check it out. I’m sure you’ll love it. Thank you to David Hunt and everyone at Town House Books & Cafe!

Interview for The Kane County Chronicle

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Joan Arteberry for her weekly column, Joan Knows, in the Neighbors section of the Kane County Chronicle. I enjoyed our conversation immensely, and her article was published today! It’s available online here and in print. Check it out, and if you have a chance, check out Joan’s past pieces which are available from the Kane County Chronicle archives. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the Kane County area!

A big thank you to Joan and the Kane County Chronicle!

Visiting Cahokia Mounds

Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

I recently made a trip out to Collinsville, IL to visit the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. My next book references a “lost world” and while I was doing research, I stumbled onto information about Cahokia Mounds. I’m really surprised I hadn’t heard about it before; the archeological site houses the remains of the largest, earliest and most sophisticated pre-Columbian civilization north of Mexico, and the site is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. After reading up on it, I had to go! Continue reading

Clinging to Cursive

I made a decision the other day. I am going to write in my journal using cursive as often as possible.

Usually I mix things up in my entries. My handwriting has consisted of the use of all caps, sometimes proper capitalization with small letters following, sometimes messy script, and sometimes careful cursive, although my use of cursive has been less and less.

Then I heard that schools were phasing lessons in cursive out of their curriculum. I guess it’s easy to see why. Most communication today involves the use of devices and typing, and now those devices are easy to carry at all times. No need to jot a quick note on paper when you can pull up an app for that, no need to mark a hanging calendar when you can do it online and sync it to all your family members, no need to leave a message on the refrigerator when you can send a quick text instead. Communicating through technology is much faster and efficient which, ironically, was the purpose of cursive when we used it.

It’s hard not to feel a sense of loss. Continue reading

The Magician’s Doll Review Published in the San Francisco Book Review

Looks like the Sacramento Book Review published its review of The Magician’s Doll in its sister magazine, the San Francisco Book Review! Subscription details and information on how to purchase individual issues can be found on its site, You can download issues of the magazine to your Ipad or Android tablet – including Kindle Fire – or as a PDF. For those of you who love to read, the magazine is chock-full of information about books, from the classics to the latest, in virtually all categories. Check it out if you have a chance!