Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

As any year 2009 came with many blessings and challenges, all to be learned from.

While going through difficult challenges the blessings tend to be overshadowed.

I hope for you all you have overcome or are working through your challenges and blessings abound as we enter 2010.

Take the time today and reflect on 2009 and remember the positives and let go of the negatives. Tell your loved ones you love them even though you believe they already know this. Nothing is more uplifting for an individual to be acknowledged with the three simple words, I Love You!

To each and everyone of my family members, friends, and new found friends from the writing community I love and cherish each and every one of you and look forward to a prosperous 2010.

God bless.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing - New Releases

Guardian Angel Publishing - New Releases

September & October 2009

Author/Artist: Eugene Ruble
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-90-0; 1-935137-90-5
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935137-91-7; 1-935137-91-3

Use as an introduction to our past by studying cave drawings, ancient symbols and alphabets. Professor Hoot teaches with remarkable renderings of numerous artifacts of man's past.

Humberto, the Bookworm Hamster, Littlest Angel
Author: Mayra Calvani
Artist: Kit Grady
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-92-4; ISBN 10: 1-935137-92-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935137-93-1; ISBN 10: 1-935137-93-X

Humberto loves books so much; he reads all day long. His neighbors, the squirrel, the rabbit, the skunk, the hedgehog and the beaver want to become his friends, but Humberto doesn’t have time for them. He’s too busy reading! Then one day, disaster strikes and he must choose between saving his books and helping them.

Secret Service Saint, Wings of Faith
Author: Janet Ann Collins
Artist: Eugene Ruble
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-98-6; 1-935137-98-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935137-99-3; 1-935137-99-9

Loosely based on legends about a famous saint, this book tells the story of Nicholas, who discovered the fun of doing secret good deeds. Kids who read or hear the story at any time of the year will be challenged to do the same.

Baby Jesus Is Missing, Wings of Faith
Author: Dixie Phillips
Artist: K.C. Snider
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-000-2; 1-61633-000-7
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-001-9; 1-61633-001-5

The annual Christmas decorating contest left no room for Jesus until little Josiah Carr teaches his mommy and daddy the true spirit of Christmas is finding Jesus. This captivating story is guaranteed to warm the coldest heart and become a Christmas favorite for families everywhere.

Rainbow Nights, Littlest Angel
Author: Sally M. Harris
Artist: Kit Grady
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-002-6; 1-61633-002-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-003-3; 1-61633-003-1

Dreams can be filled with fun and adventures! This bedtime story helps children look forward to going to sleep at night. This is a delightful rhyming story with colorful art to capture the imagination of the youngest readers.

Tiny Angel, Chapbook for Tweens
Author: Nancy Carty Lepri
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-94-8; 1-935137-94-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935137-95-5; 1-935137-95-6

When her dad is transferred to a new town, ten-year-old Macy Carver leaves behind her best friend and everything she knows. Suddenly she’s the new girl…alone and bullied. An unexpected flash announces guardian angel Jody, who teaches her how to fit in and become a forever friend.

November 2009

Natalie's Ark, Wings of Faith Chapbook for Tweens
Kevin & Kristen Collier
Print: ISBN: 978-1-61633-007-1; 1-61633-007-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-008-8; 1-61633-008-2

A dam above a small town threatens to burst and Natalie finds herself adrift in a rickety boat surrounded by animals plucked from the raging flood. Natalie's journey leads her to discovery of faith, friendship, love and home.

The Legend of Lumpus & Ogols, Chapbook for Tweens
Author: Mel McIntyre
Artist: David McQuillan
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-96-2; 1-935137-96-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-935137-97-9; 1-935137-97-2

Lumpus and Ogols discover that by working together and using their special gifts they can defeat the evil Glotabull, the monster responsible for the death of their parents. They hatch a plot and follow it through, helping to make their land a safe place for all who live there. Suggested age for readers: 9-12.

There's A Beetle In My Bed, Academic Wings
Author: Bill Kirk
Artist: Suzy Brown
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-005-7; ISBN 10: 1-61633-005-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-006-4; ISBN 10: 1-61633-006-6

Imagine how surprised a little boy would be if a beetle suddenly appeared in his bed at bedtime. Just look at how big it’s getting! Beetles are cute but couldn’t it find somewhere else to sleep? Maybe Dad will know what to do. Keep reading to find out what happens. Factoids, Glossary and educational pages, too.

If I Could Be Anything, Littlest Angel
Author: Kevin McNamee
Artist: Marina Movshina
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-011-8; 1-61633-011-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-012-5; 1-61633-012-0

If I could be anything, what would I be? I think that eventually I would be me … a boy pretends to be different animals in this warm, rhyming, picture book. In the end, he chooses to be exactly as he is. Love is the anchor that draws him home.

Smileytooth and Bushwhack Plaque, Health & Hygiene
Author: James Gary Nelson
Artist: Debbie Bumstead
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-009-5; 1-61633-009-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-010-1; 1-61633-010-4

In Smileytooth's next adventure, Bushwhack Plaque and his Cavity outlaws kidnap children from the schoolhouse play yard. Sheriff Smileytooth, his deputies Toothpaste and Toothbrush along with Schoolmarm Sarah, capture the outlaws and save the children. Join in the fun when reading this good dental hygiene book.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A Christmas Prayer

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,

Help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels,

the gladness of the shepherds,

and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate

and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift

and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing

which Christ brings,

and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning

make us happy to be thy children,

and Christmas evening bring us to our beds

with grateful thoughts,

forgiving and forgiven,

for Jesus' sake.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Morning Nudge by Suzanne Lieurance

Can't get your pen and inspiration to budge. Sign-up for the daily Morning Nudge by Suzanne Lieurance and become inspired. What better way to start you day off with an inspirational nudge to get your creative juices flowing. Much better than the terrible SPAM advertisments that slip through our email filters.

Unsolicited and unpaid endorsement:

"I receive “The Morning Nudge,” and want to thank Suzanne for her wonderful tips and help. Thanks to her continued motivational emails, I’ve finally taken the “bull by the horns” and finished my children’s picture book and am having it published.” Donna McDine

Sign-up today for daily'll be happy you did!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Children's Writers' Coaching Club

Join the Children's Writers' Coaching Club and you'll learn everything you need to know to become a published children's book author.

As a member of this club, you'll work with both published and aspiring children's writers and illustrators to create the children's writing or illustrating career of your dreams.

And the best part is, you won't ever have to leave your home to do it - so you can enjoy your coaching club sessions in your pjs or bathrobe, if you like.

What could be better than that?
Just look at all you get for only $27.00 per month when you become a member of this fantastic club:

LIVE teleclasses EVERY month. Each teleclass is taught by a successful children's book author and/or illustrator who knows the "tricks of the trade" of children's writing, illustrating, and publishing.

A monthly writing assignment, designed to become a finished project ready for submission to a publisher, usually be the end of the month, although some projects take longer. Each month we focus on some area of publishing. For example, one month we study how to write short fiction for children's magazines. Another month we focus on writing nonfiction for children's magazines. Another month we target writing picture books, etc

The opportunity to have a manuscript professionally critiqued every week.

The opportunity to network daily via an online discussion list with other members of the CWCC, as well as the instructors.

And Much, Much More...

My personal unsoliciated and unpaid endorsement:

"The guidance and support at the CWCC has been instrumental in the success of my writing career. My first story book, due to be released in early 2010, is a direct result of an assignment through the CWCC. The weekly tele-classes and monthly assignments certainly keep you on task, even when you think your inkwell has run dry.

Writing can be a lonely business, but with the expert coaching from Suzanne Lieurance and camaraderie of the CWCC members you will no longer feel adrift in a sea of jumbled words." Donna McDine, Children's Author

Visit today and sign-up: 

Speaking of your ink well going dry, I'll share with you the Morning Nudge on December 22nd.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Writer's Digest Best Websites of 2008

I am going to shamelessly request your assistance:

If you appreciate Write What Inspires You Newsletter please consider nominating it for the “Writer’s Digest Best Newsletters for Writers.” Send an email to: with your comments and nomination and be sure to note “Writer’s Digest Best Newsletters” in the subject line.


If you find the blog associated with Write What Inspires You helpful please consider nominating it for the “101 Best Websites for Writers.” Send an email to with your comments and nomination and be sure to note “101 Websites” in the subject line.

Deadline: January 1, 2010.

Thank you in advance if you are so inclined.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks - Part 3

I'm happy you stopped by again to learn more about the Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks e-course. Thank you. Now onto the remaining three weeks of this informative e-course.
Lesson Four: Writing Nonfiction for Children

  1. How to write a winning query letter.

  2. How to study the nonfiction markets.

  3. How to Structure Articles and provide sidebars.

Lesson Five: Breaking into the Magazine and Book Markets

  1. Understanding the power of networking.

  2. How to Find Writing Assignments online and quickly gain publishing credits.

  3. How to work with Editors.

Lesson Six: The Final Steps to Starting Your Writing Career

  1. How and Why to Track Submissions

  2. Self-editing techniques.

  3. The importance of joining or starting a critique group.

I cannot stress enough how vital the printable .pdf lessons and audio coincide. It's imperative you use both at the same time to make this e-course a true success.

Now it's up to you, you must take action consistently to turn all this valuable information into a children's writer career. Have additional questions, ask away...I'm happy to respond.

After the 6-week is complete you may opt to continue with the expert guidance of Suzanne Lieurance. This opportunity is available through the CWCC program. More information on this additional exciting club on December 20th.

Best wishes in fulfilling your dream!

Discover more at:

Learn to Write for Children in Just 6 Weeks

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks - Part 2

As promised I'm back again today to discuss the first three weeks of the Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks. Remember each lesson is accompanied with an audio giving you the feeling that your instructor, Suzanne Lieurance is right in the room with you.
Lesson One: The Basics of Writing for Children
  1. How writing for children is different from writing for adults.
  2. How publishers group books and other materials for children according to age and grade level, subject matter, etc., and why this information is important for children's writers.
  3. The most common fiction mistakes made by new children's writers.
Lesson Two: Grammar & Punctuation Basics
  1. How to format manuscripts.
  2. Tips for following submission guidelines.
  3. Tips for correctly punctuating dialogue, paragraphing, etc.
Lesson Three: The Elements of Good Children's Fiction
  1. What is Point of View.
  2. How to Add Conflict to a story.
  3. Why Sensory details are important.
The subject matter covered in the first three weeks will provide you with a sound foundation to keep the wheels of your creativity spinning for weeks 4-6. Visit again on Friday, December 18th and learn more about Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks.

I personally refer back to my lessons, guidelines, and tips on a consistent basis to keep all I have learned fresh.

Can't wait, discover more at:

I'm open to your comments and questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks

We all know how quickly time flies. Here we are with 2009 rapidly coming to an end. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine where you envision your aspiring writing career to be in three months, six months, a year. Not sure what steps to take to make your dreams come true? Well look no further. Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach, will guide you in her virtual classroom with printable .pdf lessons and an accompanying audio. Each lesson is curtailed to specific topics to bring your dreams of writing for children to fruition.

I’ve personally have taken the e-course and I’m a member of the CWCC. The expert guidance from Suzanne and the cyberspace companionship of the other CWCC members is invaluable. My short story, “The Golden Pathway, from an assignment with the CWCC placed 12th in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the Children/Young Adult category and after a few rounds of further editing, the same manuscript was accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing as my first story book to be published in 2010.

Discover more at:

Learn to Write for Children in Just 6 Weeks

I’ll be back again on December 16th and 18th to provide you with a further glimpse into this essential e-course.

Please feel free to ask questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winner Announced: Holiday Traditions

Congratulations to: TERRY LYNN JOHNSON

Kindly please forward me your snail mail address at: so I can mail out the book and journal:

You Are More Than Enough, Every Woman's Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power


Achievement Journal

One and all, please join me in extending congratulations to: Terry Lynn Johnson

Thank you...I've enjoyed reading about everyone's holiday traditions...absolutely delightful!

Wishing you all a Joyous Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

Warmest regards,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Traditions


Family traditions vary from home to home. Each family having their own unique way of celebrating the joy of the season. Growing up my dad always saved his last week of vacation for the time between Christmas and New Year's.What cherished memories of having dad around for a full week. The pond near our house was a special spot to go ice skating and upon our return home, mom always had hot chocolate and fresh warm cookies straight from the oven ready for us. Yummy! I've continued this tradition with my own family and always take the time off between Christmas and New Year's. It's a wonderful opportunity not to be scheduled and taking the time to go with the flow and enjoy what the day brings us with no set plans.

Please share your family traditions. I'd love to hear all about them. You never know, your family traditions may become mine too. I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to enjoy the magic of the season.

Leave a comment and automatically be entered into the DRAWING for “You Are More Than Enough, Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion & Power,” by Judi Moreo and as an added BONUS Moreo’s Achievement Journal will be included. Even if you are a male writer, please be sure to comment. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

God bless you and your families during this holiday season and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Book Review: The Canada Goose and You by Jennifer Burrows

Title: The Canada Goose and You

Written by: Jennifer Burrows

Illustrated by: Margery Day

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: E&E Publishing

ISBN: 0-9791606-9-3

Published: October 2009

Hardcover: 32 pages

Price: 15.95

Canada geese are found across the United States. Many people don’t give them a second thought, but this book will change all that.

Come along on this wonderful journey into the life of Canada Geese, starting in spring with nest building and laying as many as 12 eggs. Through the summer months and what it takes to care for their young to their physical features, and migrating routines.

Accompanied with a glossary, suggested reading and website list, you will never look at these fascinating geese the same way again. The Canada Goose and You is a delightful introduction to the beauty that surrounds us each day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Review: Ten Hats ~ A Counting Book

Title: Ten Hats – A Counting Book

Written by: Carolyn Mott Ford

Illustrated by: Jack Gordon

Ages: 4-5

Publisher: E&E Publishing

ISBN: 0-9791-606-2-6

Published: September 2009

Hardcover: 34 pages

Price: 15.95

Ten Hats – A Counting Book is a whimsical rhyming story teaching how to count. Featuring animals in colorful outfits from various professions, parent and child will find themselves reading Ten Hats – A Counting Book over and over again, almost to the point of wearing it out. The reader will also sing along to this perfectly written rhyme story jammed packed with fun.

A pig police officer crossing ducks across the street will have you laughing out loud. To join in on the fun and adventure you’ll have to add this delightful book to your home library and discover what the other hysterical animals are up to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Poets Suggest The Real Thing Should Compete with Greeting Cards

Media Release


Carolyn Howard-Johnson e-mail:


Magdalena Ball e-mail: 

For Immediate Release

Poets Suggest The Real Thing Should Compete with Greeting Cards

Award-winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have developed a new concept for inexpensive holiday gifts--an idea for poetic greetings apart from greeting cards.

They suggest a real chapbook of poetry and have released the first two in a series in time for the holidays. So far the series includes Cherished Pulse (for anyone you love) with artwork from California artist Vicki Thomas and She Wore Emerald Then (for mothers on your gift list) with photographs by May Lattanzio. New booklets are coming for Father's Day and for Christmas 2010.

The small books, a tradition in the poetry world since Elizabethan times, are priced to compete with greeting cards. The poets' idea is that, in general, cards from the rack seldom say what we'd like and that a small book of poetry would be more thoughtful.

Cherished Pulse may be ordered from Amazon at and She Wore Emerald Then at

This us the second edition of Cherished Pulse. The first may well have been the first e-chapbook of poetry. This edition comes in paperback with a newly-designed cover; Ball and Howard-Johnson felt issuing a paperback essential considering the popularity of the e-book version. That e-book was offered by online gift-giving giant of 35 years, Celebration Express to its clients in 2007.

Magdalena Ball runs the highly respected review site. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Quark Soup, which won a 2006 "Noble" Prize from MyShelf's Back to Literature site, and a poetry book Repulsion Thrust, due out in December 2009. Her novel Sleep Before Evening, published in 2007, was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings ( ), was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America. She is also an award-winning novelist and short story writer and instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

For more information on any of the chapbooks in this poetry series, contact

Celebration Express can be found at: 

Learn more about Howard-Johnson in the media room at . And more about Ball at


Support material available electronically or by post on request.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Virtual Tour: Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

I'm delighted to host today, multi-published author, Beverly Stowe McClure. Sit down for a spell and enjoy this delightful interview with Beverly and my book review of Just Breeze.

DMc: The emotions of 13-year-old Breeze jump from the pages in Just Breeze. How do you stay so well taped into the life of middle school students?

BSMc: Even though it’s been many years since I was in middle school, I still recall the ups and downs, highs and lows of entering the teen years. Also, teaching fifth-grade students who are fast approaching those in-between years of not being a kid, but not being a grown up either, kept me in touch with how crucial every event is to them.

DMc: When creating your characters do you interview them with a complete outline? Or do you go with the flow?

BSMc: A little of both. I like to interview each character because they sometimes tell me unexpected things. I also make profile sheets for each major character, with physical characteristics, likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, family, etc. With both interviews and profiles I add to them as my characters reveal more about themselves and do the unexpected, which I love. For my YA wip I’m letting the main characters keep journals. Not sure how this will work, but thought I’d try it.

DMc: You have several novels under your belt. All of which are not published by the same publisher. How do you go about determining what publisher to submit to?

BSMc: It mostly depends on what a publisher wants. Are they looking for contemporary or fantasy or historical? What age are most of their books written for? It’s a waste of my time and an editor’s time to send a YA story to a publisher that does PB or early readers.

DMc: What tips would you offer to an author to make their relationship with their publisher a success?

BSMc: As in any business you have to have mutual respect for each other. You have to listen to advice and suggestions. You and the publisher don’t always have to agree on every little detail, but there must be give and take, and understanding. You both want the same thing: the best book you can produce. The only way to accomplish that is to cooperate so the end result is a book you and everyone involved—writer, editor(s), illustrator, and publisher—are proud to show the world.

DMc: No pressure here...LOL. But what can we expect from you in the future?

BMSc: What? You expect something from me in the future? I thought I’d retire. LOL. Just kidding. I do have some stories that will be out in the future. My Civil War novel for YA readers, Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, has been delayed and will be out, I think, in spring 2010. A chapter book, Kate, Little Angel Sometimes, two MG books, I Live in a Doghouse and Scattered to the Winds, are forthcoming, as well as my first PB, Frankie’s Perfect Home.

Now to my book review of Just Breeze...

Title: Just Breeze

Written by: Beverly Stowe McClure

Soft back: 196 pages

Ages: 9-12

Publisher: 4RV Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9840708-2-4

Published: November 2009

Price: $12.99

Breeze Brannigan has high hopes for her last year at Whispering Springs Middle School. It becomes quite clear on the first day nothing has changed, except for her grade level. Unable to tame her wild curly red hair she feels her awkwardness of her height and large feet as she navigates the school hallways and social scene.

Several new students arrive and life changes quickly. For better or worse is the question. The new girl, Allison, becomes the nemesis of Breeze’s best friend, Amy and the new boy, Cam, befriends Breeze. Compared to the other boys at school, Cam stands out with his polite behavior. Breeze is swept away by this unusual boy. Can boys actually behave like humans? He must be from a different country, more like another planet.

Current circumstances and history collide and what Breeze believes to be true is the farthest thing from the truth. Will Breeze be able to keep Cam’s deepest concerns a secret for his protection or will outside forces uncover what should not be revealed?

Step into Breeze’s shoes and delve into her inner most thoughts, her family and friends, and why she is truly blessed. Beverly Stowe McClure provides the reader with such detail and conversation throughout Just Breeze the reader will feel has if they are walking the halls with Breeze and feeling the essence of her life pouring through their veins.

To learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure’s accomplished and fascinating career visit:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nicole Weaver Introduces Fun with French and Spanish

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Nicole Weaver, Children’s Author



For Immediate Release

Nicole Weaver Introduces Fun with French and Spanish

“Where there is a will, There is a way” is ingrained in children’s author and veteran teacher, Nicole Weaver. Her determination and fluency in four languages has helped shorten the barrier between teacher and student. Weaver’s versatility and teaching style breakdowns the apprehension of learning a new language. Bring your willingness and aptitude to learn as Weaver shares shortcut techniques through articles and information at her new blog Ready Able to Learn French and Spanish

Fun is the name of the game, which doesn’t stop at this wonderful new resourceful blog. Imagine how you will impress and astound those around you with your new found language skills.

Ms. Weaver’s first book entitled, Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle, was published in March 2009 through Outskirts Press accompanied with delightful illustrations by Ruben Chavez. Weaver’s next picture book “My Sister is my Best Friend/Mi hermana es mi mejor amiga/Ma soeur est ma meilleure amie,” will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

To learn more about Nicole visit: 

Thank you in advance for your interest.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: Bitter Tastes by V.B. Rosendahl

Title: Bitter Tastes

Written by: V. B. Rosendahl

Ages: 8 to 12

Publisher: Stargazer Press

ISBN: 0-9734940-9-3

Published: January 2007

Softcover: 108 pages

Price: $15.00

Kathy Harmon struggles with her parents new found wealth after they announce they are to move from their home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey to paradise…Warner, North Carolina. Her attempts to come to grips with being the new girl in sixth grade and living in the “grandest” home on the Outer Banks are overshadowed by the death (or is it murder) of her new friend and cooking class instructor, Janine McCallum.

At first all Kathy wants to do is “blend-in” and not be noticeable to her new classmates. However, an unexpected friendship is developed with Martha Cunningham. Kathy’s need to put the so called jigsaw puzzle together to discover the identity of the murderer is pushed further along with Martha’s adventurous personality. Before Kathy knows it she is lying to her parents to go on her investigating journey with Martha. The girls meet many obstacles along the way, but their determination is not to be thwarted.

V.B. Rosendahl takes the reader for an unforgettable ride of acceptance for who you are and a mystery of murder and deception. Told through the eyes and thoughts of Kathy Harmon, you will find yourself cheering for Kathy and Martha with each step they take. And with the hair-raising events throughout you will be surely disappointed when the story comes to its conclusion. A must read for mystery lovers.

Visit V.B. Rosendahl at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seven Tips for Contest Entries

*Unless it’s edited, perfected, and the best you can offer, don’t hand in something half done and not up to your standards.

*Research the contest. Make sure no warnings are out there before you fork over any entry fees.

*Check and see what rights they are asking you for and if you agree with them. Unless they pay you a nice sum for ALL RIGHTS, I wouldn’t hand over my stuff.

*Define your entry to suit the best genre category if the contest offers several. Handing a juvenile mystery to an adult mystery judge may eliminate you if there’s a children’s judge waiting for your manuscript to come to them.

*Please follow the guidelines. Such an easy task yet many believe their “great” story will more than make up for it. Wrong! It may never be read if you went over the allotted word count, if you formatted the way they asked you NOT to, or if you send an attachment where they stated NO ATTACHMENTS WILL BE OPENED.

*If they request a payment entry make sure to include it with your submission. And follow tip #2. Also make sure the entry fee is justified compared to the winning prize.

*Before your tongue approaches the seal to close the envelope, go over your manuscript just one more time. Make sure all the guidelines were followed. Check and see if the word count is within their limits. And make sure you have the right mailing address. How sad if it ends up anywhere but its projected destination.

Lea Schizas - award-winning author & editor
Pen Perfect Associates

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sell Your Book

After months, or possibly years, writing your book, it’s finally published. You’re all gung-ho in the beginning to promote it, then suddenly sales ebb. Why? A few answers may be:

* because you didn’t budget correctly

* because you didn’t sit down to write your marketing goal plan

* you didn’t research where to find your target audience

* didn’t realize it takes more than one book signing to get your name out there

* didn’t consider sending out releases to promote your newly released book, a signing, workshop, interview, appearance

* didn’t consider getting reviews or testimonials from readers

Every single item above helps to keep a book in the limelight. But it needs a promotional consistency and that’s where many writers fall short. They believe once the book is up in the publisher’s website, Amazon, Barnes * Noble, or anywhere else, that’s enough to direct readers to them. No. The writer must direct readers and educate them of the value to purchase the book.

Marketing must begin once you begin writing. This may sound silly but building a buzz is a necessary step. To build this buzz a writer needs a website. Within this website they can post a short blurb about the book. Once the cover is done, promote it on the website, linking it to the publisher’s COMING SOON page.

Don’t be shy. Try to get interviews on various sites, newsletters, blogs…it’s your book. Let others know about it. Remember, that if you ain’t gonna promote don’t expect the neighbour to do it for you.

When emailing make sure to add the link to your site in your signature. I can’t believe how many writers omit this FREE thing. Wonder if they had to pay for it if they’d use it.

For more postings, please visit Pen Perfect Associates

Make sure to download your 2 FREE gifts on the sidebar for following the blog. Further down you'll see resources to help you in your career. More to come.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Lord, so often times, as any other day

When we sit down to our meal and pray

We hurry along and make fast the blessing

Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing

We're slaves to the olfactory overload

We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold

But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more

To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for

For my family, my health, a nice soft bed

My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head

I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those

Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know

Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure

Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place

And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace

So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided

And bless each and every person invited


--Scott Wesemann

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Write What Inspires You Newsletter

In celebration of the 1st Anniversary of the FREE Write What Inspires You Newsletter a unique issue will appear December 2009 profiling three writers from the Children's Writers' Coaching Club. The celebration continues in January 2010 when a complete e-book issue of the 1st year of the Write What Inpsires You Newsletter will be made available.

Each month featured interviews include prominent and upcoming children's authors, illustrators, and editors in the Children's Publishing industry. The inside look from each interview will provide you with terrific advice and inspiration as you continue down the path of publication (even if you have been published).

To top off the newsletter there are several additional columns:

Book Review(s)

Proclaim Your Successes

Reflections or Dreams


Supporter Advertisements

The continued response and participation has been outstanding and I look forward to a wonderful 2010.

If you are interested, please feel free to submit your name for an interview, an essay and/or your successes to:

Please share this newsletter with your peers in the writing industry and encourage them to opt-in as a monthly subscriber.

Here’s to your inspiration and continued success!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Guest Interview: Renee Hand, Children's Author

On the tail end of my book reviews from last on Renee Hand's Crypto-Capers Series I felt it warranted to re-run an interview I conducted with Renee a while back. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Take this opportunity to ask Renee your questions or to leave her a comment. She will be checking in throughout the day.
DMc: Renee, you are an award-winning Romance Novelist and Children’s Author. What techniques do you use to shift between the genres?

RH: It isn’t difficult for me at all to switch gears from one genre to the next. I actually have more fun writing for my children’s series then I do for my romance so I do more with it. The major difference in writing for adults and writing for children is the audience, so I have to make sure that my topics and verbiage are appropriate for the right audience. I still do the same amount of research for both. My romance novels of course are much thicker than my children’s books so they do take me longer to write. But whenever I write a story, no matter if it is a romance novel for adults or for my children’s series, I put a lot of heart in it. When a reader gets done with reading one of my books, they are not just going to set it down and say, “That was a good book!” and walk away. They’re going to say that my stories meant something to them in some way and they will remember them. I love to have that connection with my readers. I have had children come up to me and say they love the series and want more. I have had adults come up to me and say that my romance novels have touched their lives in some way and that is what my writing is about.

DMc: On your website you encourage children to submit suggestions for future characters. Have you ever developed a suggestion further?

RH: Yes, and my readers are going to see this in book 3 which comes out in the fall. I can’t give too much away now unfortunately, but I do choose the character descriptions sent to me based on my need for them at the time. When I wrote book 3, two boys sent to me their descriptions which fit in with my story line perfectly. I am doing something special for the children who take the time to send me their descriptions. Again, what I do for those special children can be seen in book 3. Every description I receive I also keep, so I may not use a particular description now, but I might use it in a future case. Right now I am currently working on book 4 so I am looking through my character descriptions to see who I can use. Now would be a good time for readers to send more character descriptions to me.

DMc: Are your characters based on yourself or anyone you know?

RH: The only character based on myself is Mia Holmes. She is very much like me in certain aspects. I developed Nellie Holmes (aka Granny) to resemble my grandmother who was a spunky and energetic woman. Max and Mia Holmes are the great-great-great-grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes. They have is observation and reasoning, especially Max. Morris is the computer genius of the group and he was created based on how I saw him to be. Granny and Morris are unique characters because they are the ones that change the most. Max and Mia are exactly what they are, there is no different side to them. But Granny and Morris are not what they appear to be and they do things that are unexpected.

DMc: Are the writer’s you showcase on your website strictly students or can anyone submit to you?

RH: I only showcase students and the reason for that is because I want to help and inspire the youth of our country. There are a lot of budding writers out there and if I can help them in some way with their dreams of becoming an author when they get older, then I will do it. I was the same way that some of these children are today. I was an avid writer who spent most of my time writing.

DMc: When you conduct school visits, do you develop your visit by the requirements of the school or do you have a specific visit planned out to present to the school for approval?

RH: When I go to schools they are contacting me because I have a set program that I run. I do have a list of topics that I discuss and there are many things that I can do or change based on the schools needs. I am a versatile speaker.

DMc: On your blog, you provide a Cryptogram a week, has a child ever stumped you? [Love the idea of winning a free signed copy if you are stumped!]

RH: No, not yet. I am a cryptogram junky, I love to do them and do them everyday. Children are pretty clever so I do have a set of rules they must follow in order to create a cryptogram for me. If I didn’t have rules I would have children come up with some pretty strange things. What I want children to benefit from while doing this activity, is I want them to get familiar with the cipher that I use in my books, how to create them and how to solve them. If my readers know how to do that then they will understand how and why they are used in the book. It gives them a better understanding. Everything I do is for a reason. Children are always learning something.

DMc: Please share with us the idea behind your series, The Crypto-Capers Series.

RH: There were two reasons why I wrote this book. One, I love reading mysteries. I also love to figure out cryptograms, I am a cryptogram junky. So I thought what a great idea it would be to combine the two things I love to do and make it into a story where kids could interact with it. Two, I wanted children to be involved with what they were reading. This series is fun and entertaining, always keeping the reader’s attention. Not only does the series challenge the avid reader, but also keeps the reluctant readers attention. As soon as the reader picks up the book, they have instantly joined the team as a detective. The reader will be asked to look up different things and to participate in the story on different occasions. My goal was to have kids remember what they were reading because they are learning information with value, yet having fun at the same time. I am all about having fun in my stories and the activities I create for it.

DMc: Are you a disciplined writer?

RH: Yes and no! I usually try to write every morning, but I do like to take breaks to recharge my creativity. I need to have breaks in my writing and when I do my writing always turns out better.

DMc: Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, what works for you to break through the block?

RH: Every once in awhile I get stuck on an idea, not that often. When that happens there are two things that I do. One, I look through the list of information that I keep from my research on that particular book to help pump my creativity. Two, I refer back to my idea wall. In my workspace I have what I call an idea wall. Whenever there are things for me to remember I write them on this wall. I currently have sticky notes all over it. Whenever I get stuck on an idea, I write the problem on my wall and put it at eye level. Since I pass my workspace several times a day, I constantly think about the problem I am having. The wall has never failed me yet!

DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc..., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Renee, can you please share one with us?

RH: I am not quite sure which story to tell you. The biggest thing that surprises people about me is that I love to have a diversity of things going on in my life to keep me challenged, otherwise I get bored. I like to know about a lot of things. I am not the kind of person who focuses their knowledge on a few things and that’s it, then can’t function anywhere else. I like to know about a lot of things to keep me diversified. I don’t like to carry all my eggs in one basket, if you know what I mean.

I love to write children’s books because it is challenging for me and I can do so much with it. I designed my series so I could think out of the box and be unique and fun. I love to write and being an author. I enjoy traveling to different schools, libraries and various other events doing presentations. I love coaching and playing tennis, which I do a lot come spring, summer and fall. I also love to teach. Even though my life at times seems to be constantly on a roller coaster that takes me in and out of crazy town, the one thing that I must have is stability in my home. So I am also a devoted wife and dedicated mother. My life is constantly full of responsibilities, but my family always comes first and is of the highest priority to me. I am not perfect in any way, I am flawed and can always use improvement. I try constantly to improve myself to become a better person, trying to learn more, but I am also proud and confident of who I am. That is the one thing I know, and it took me awhile to figure it out, but I believe in myself and what I can do, and when there is something that I am determined to do, there is no stopping me.

To learn more about Hand’s writing career visit

Renee, it was a pleasure having you here today...thank you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thank You

A special thanks goes out to the following people where I entered contests and won:

Sherry Dale Rogers
Contest: Photo Caption Contest
Comment: Go check the photo at Sherry's blog, it's a real hoot
Visit Sherry at:

Terrie Hope hosted Phyllis Pollema-Cahill, Always My Brother Virtual Tour
Contest: Commented and drawing of name
Prize: Lovely holiday cards illustrated by, Phyllis Pollema-Cahill
Visit Terrie at:
Visit Phyllis at:

Stephanie Chandler
Contest: Name drawing for Marketing Audio Course
Place: The Muse Online Writers Conference
Visit Stephanie at:  

All women are special breed and I appreciate getting to know and staying in touch with each of them. Even if I ended up not winning a prize. The true prize is making a wonderful connection to build upon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Red Rock Canyon

Title: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Red Rock Canyon

Written by: Renee Hand

Illustrator: Alla Dubrovich

Soft cover: 135 pages

Ages: 8-12 (grades 4-7)

Publisher: North Star Press of Saint Cloud Inc.,

ISBN: 978-0-87839-304-6

Published: March 2009

Price: $12.95

Once again The Crypto-Capers find themselves hired and on the road to Las Vegas to solve The Case of the Red Rock Canyon. The stolen item in this case, an Orchid Ruby Necklace out on loan to producer, Mr. Cross for his latest play, The Orchid Menagerie.

With each case The Crypto-Capers accept the cryptograms become more mysterious and increasingly difficulty to solve. They are not be thwarted. Their determination in not being dubbed, Max, Mia, Morris, and Granny (Nellie Holmes) find themselves thrown into the dramatics of theatre and life threatening circumstances. Deciphering clues is always a challenge and add in whose acting and who is telling the truth proves to be the biggest obstacle. Will the detectives solve this case before it’s too late?

Come along for the perilous adventure into the theatre world. The performances and clues will have you guessing at each curtain fall as to who is behind the theft of the Orchid Ruby Necklace.

Author, Renee Hand cleverly blends a mystery and cryptogram clues throughout her series The Crypto-Capers making the adventure of solving a mystery more exciting. To learn more about Hand’s writing career visit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock by Renee Hand

Title: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock

Written by: Renee Hand

Illustrator: Alla Dubrovich

Soft cover: 105 pages

Ages: 8-12 (grades 4-7)

Publisher: North Star Press of Saint Cloud Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-87839-304-6

Published: October 2008

Price: $12.95

Many of us remember the challenge of cryptograms with fondness. In The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, and no it didn’t get lost in the washing machine, the Holmes siblings find themselves in their latest caper. Blending their skills of puzzle solving, deduction, and reasoning with their best friend Morris’ computer know how the trio along with Granny are hired by Mr. Delacomb to find a single sock. At first they are baffled why a single sock would be stolen. Until they have their first meeting with Mr. Delacomb. They discover words sometimes do not explain the value of an item. It’s up to them to uncover the what, why, where, and who and they soon find themselves traveling to Florida to discover the answers. Of course, the muscle of the group, Granny travels with them for guidance and protection.

Come along for this exciting adventure of mystery, intrigue, and puzzle deducing techniques to solve their latest case.
Author, Renee Hand cleverly blends a mystery and cryptogram clues throughout her series The Crypto-Capers making the adventure of solving a mystery more exciting. To learn more about Hand’s writing career visit

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Write What Inspires You Blog Events

Write What Inspires You
Donna M. McDine, Children’s Author


For Immediate Release

Come Explore Write What Inspires You for Book Reviews, Guest Interviews, Media Releases and Virtual Tours

Cruise on over to Write What Inspires You at: and learn about Book Reviews, Guest Interviews, Media Releases, and Virtual Tours for November and December 2009.

Take the time out and follow along with the schedule below:

Monday, November 16th – Fish For a Free Book by Lori Calabrese

Wednesday, November 18th – Book Review: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, by Renee Hand

Friday, November 20th – Book Review: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Red Rock Canyon, by Renee Hand

Monday, November 23rd – Guest Interview: Children’s Author, Renee Hand

Tuesday, November 24th – Write What Inspires You Newsletter

Thursday, November 26th – Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 30th – Book Review: Bitter Tastes, by V.B. Rosendahl

Tuesday, December 1st – Media Release: Nicole Weaver Introduces Fun With French and Spanish

Wednesday, December 3rd – Virtual Book Tour and Book Review: Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

Monday, December 7th – Media Release: Poets Suggest The Real Thing Should Compete with Greeting Cards, Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Wednesday, December 9th – Book Review: Ten Hats A Counting Book by Carolyn Mott Ford

Friday, December 11th – Book Review: The Canada Goose and You by Jennifer S. Burrows

Monday, December 14th - Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks – My personal experience Part 1

Wednesday, December 16th - Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks – My personal experience Part 2

Friday, December 18th - Tricks of the Trade: Learn to Write for Children in Just Six Weeks – My personal experience Part 3
Mark your calendar today, stop by for a spell, and comment if you are so inclined.

Thank you in advance for your interest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fish For a Free Book by Lori Calabrese

Ever wish you had a go-to place to find all the latest children's literature give-aways on the web?

Look no further! Lori Calabrese has started a new monthly meme (if there's enough interest, it might possibly become a weekly meme) in which she links to book giveaways around the Kidlitosphere and web.

If you are hosting a children’s- young adult book-related giveaway, sponsoring a giveaway, or just found a really awesome giveaway that you’d like to share, please leave it at Fish For a Free Book!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Yes, Just Breeze will be on tour from Dec. 1 - Dec. 16. For more information, check Pump Up Your Book Promotions. We hope to see you there. We'll post the blogs as soon as they are available.



Contact: Beverly Stowe McClure


Iowa Park, TX, September 2009. Beverly Stowe McClure's tween/young adult novel, Just Breeze, goes right to the heart and heartache of being a teen and trying to 'fit' in.

Eighth grade starts out the same as every other year for Breeze Brannigan. She's still the tallest student, boy or girl, in her school, wears shoes that would fit an elephant, and her smile reveals dazzling braces that blind anyone within ten feet.

Then she meets Cam, the new boy in school, who speaks with an accent and must be from another planet, for none of the earthling boys she knows are so polite. He also has a secret, a secret that could mean life or death for Cam and his mother and that Breeze must help him keep.

Many young girls entering their teens will relate to Breeze and her struggle to be pretty and popular and to understand the world of middle school, including boys.

Just Breeze

by Beverly Stowe McClure

Publisher: 4 RV Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 978-0-9840708-2-4

Ages: Tween/YA

196 Pages

Trade Paperback $15.99

Beverly Stowe McClure is the author of four novels for young adults and numerous stories and articles in children's magazines. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and a PreK-K Scott-Foresman Anthology. She's a former teacher and lives in North Texas with her husband, Jack, two cats, and a variety of wild critters.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Many Blessings on Veterans Day



We truly take a lot for granted. Forget the football 'heroes' and movie 'stars'.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you,

Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul; the other for your freedom..

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing - West Coast Gathering

In September 2009 writer's and illustrators of Guardian Angel Publishing
conducted a gathering of fellow "Angels" in Bend, Oregon and held
a group book signing at the loca Barnes & Noble.

To learn about this extraordinary event visit:

Friday, November 6, 2009

St. Louis Children's Illustrated Art Museum in the Art Space in Crestwood Court.

St. Louis Children's Illustrated Art Museum in the Art Space in Crestwood Court.


37 Crestwwod Court
Crestwood, MO



The St. Louis Children's Illustrated Art Museum is a hands on museum built for children, featuring artist who are published in children's books. We will have special exhibits, host field trips, birthday parties and more!

Several illustrators are from the talent pool at Guardian Angel Publishing Want to know who? Go have a gander at:
Learn more and become a fan at Facebook:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Award-winning Poets from Two Hemispheres Awarded for Chapbook


For Immediate Release

Contact: Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Reflections on Motherhood a Prize Winner

Award-winning Poets From Two Hemispheres Awarded for Chapbook

"a different kind of future
airy and permanent
the dry bliss of yellow bows
and shiny shoes"

She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections on Motherhood was conceived by Californian Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Aussie Magdalena Ball as part of their poetry chapbook series designed to commemorate holidays; their efforts were rewarded October 19 when it was named as a finalist for poetry book by USA Book News.

They believe that many need an alternative to the cloying greeting cards usually available for mothers' birthdays, Mother's Day and other holidays in card shops for about the same price as a card but--being poetry--with a high perceived sentimental and monetary value..

Howard-Johnson's first chapbook, Tracings (Finishing Line Press) was honored for excellence by the Military Writers Society of America and named to Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads. Her poetry has also been published in journals like Pear Noir, Montana State University's literary magazine, Writings from the River, Mt. St. Mary’s College journal Mary, The Pedestal magazine and in the soon-to-be released anthology by UCLA’s own Suzanne Lummis. She is the author of several other award-winning books. She is also an instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

Ball’s novel Sleep Before Evening received unanimous 5-star reviews for its linguistic beauty and the intensity of its plot. She is also the author of an award-winning poetry chapbook Quark Soup, and a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment: How to Review Anything. Her website The Compulsive Reader,, has become a benchmark for high quality online literary criticism.

Artwork for She Wore Emerald Then is by May Lattanzio. She is a freelance writer/photographer, and author of Waltz on the Wild Side -- An Animal Lover's Journal and contributor to Native West's anthology Least Loved Beasts of the Really Wild West - A Tribute".

Learn more about Magdalena Ball at

Learn More about Carolyn Howard-Johnson in the Media Room at

Find a catalog of Lattanzio's writing at and her photographs at or

Find She Wore Emerald Then is available on Amazon at:  


Support materials are available on request.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dynamic Media Release Services

Overwhelmed? Don't have time to write and post your media releases. Let the panic settle and don't fret any longer. Let Donna take the pressure off. Writing a media release requires a certain technique and online media distribution can be quite time consuming. Coupled with her marketing manager experience at Stories for Children Magazine, Donna is uniquely positioned to help provide you with a top notch media release.

You’ll discuss your good news and happenings to get a clear indication of your direction. Your valuable information will then be written into a dynamic media release. Even if you don't have publishing credits under your belt, announcing guest interviews or your topic of choice will help draw traffic and recognition to you and your writing blog.

Don't wait. Let Donna take the pressure off you today.

Contact information:

Donna McDine

References furnished upon request.

Friday, October 30, 2009

SFC Magazine Announces Stanley Bookman's Surprise Interview

Stories for Children Magazine is Thrilled to Announce Stanley Bookman’s Surprise Visit to the J.C. Lamb Morning Show

Stories for Children Magazine’s mascot, Stanley Bookman recently made a surprise visit to the J.C. Lamb Morning Show and delighted the studio audience with his rendition of the SFC theme song written by SFC’s poetry and fiction editor, Gayle Jacobson-Huset.

Producer, LeFerna Arnold Walch was delighted to have Stanley Bookman stop by especially since he stopped by on “Knowledge” theme day which fit in perfect with J.C.’s love for book collecting! Stanley told us all about the magazine’s book The Best of Stories for Children Magazine and introduced us to his new music video and sing-a-long song. We really enjoyed our interview with Stanley and we think you will, too.

Be sure to listen in at: and learn all about this exciting day at the J.C. Lamb Morning Show.

You may download his free coloring page, the ten simple rules and the lyrics to his new song with this podcast, or go to Stanley’s new artist page at The Character Studio Dot Com.

Please feel free to leave your comments!

Be sure to check out the entire current issue of SFC Magazine for all the outstanding articles, stories, and featured guest interview with Debbie Dadey.

Learn more about Stories for Children Magazine at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2010 The Muse Online Writers Conference

If you missed the 2009 Muse Online Writers Conference

be sure to check back in November for registration to the 2010 conference.

Don't miss out on this one of a kind conference.

To be held October 11-17, 2010

Block out the week so you have the chance to

snuggle into your most comfortable clothes and slippers.

That way you are your most comfortable while navigating

the cyberspace hallways of the Muse Online Writers Conference.

Jammed packed with week long

workshops, lectures, pitch sessions, networking.

You name it the Muse Online Writers Conference has it.

Check out the testimonials coming in for 2009 at:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall 2009 Issue of Pages and Pens Newsletter - Now Available

A FREE publication offered to parents, children, and teachers. Several writers work hard to bring you interesting material to read and use within your homes and classrooms with your children.

Our Fall 2009 Issue of Pages and Pens- your tools to imagination! is now available. Please download your FREE copy below:

Pages & Pens Fall 2009 Issue

The Summer 2009 issue is still available. Email with "Pages & Pens Summer 2009" in the subject line if you would like a copy.
Find out what all the excitement is about and download your issue today. If there are topics you would like covered please feel free to contact Cheryl Malandrinos at

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reflections on Breast Cancer Research by Sue Chehrenegar

I am pleased to welcome guest author, Susan Chehrenegar today to provide a glimpse behind the scenes of research in the right against breast cancer. Her unique perspective will enlighten you and may just give you inspiration to support this worthwhile cause.

Reflections on Breast Cancer Research
by Sue Chehrenegar

During the week of October 5, 2009, word came from Stockholm, Sweden that three scientists would share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine. That trio of researchers had made a noteworthy contribution to the growing body or scientific knowledge, as it relates to the human chromosome.

This blog post hopes to draw attention to the fact that recognition of three chromosome experts came at the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The writer of this blog post had her first close hand look at breast cancer research while conducting an investigation of chemically induced chromosome damage.

In late 1974, as this writer peered into a microscope and looked for signs of chromosome damage, the woman who sat across from her was helping to add to the still small pool of information about human breast cancers. Since then, the analytical efforts of that laboratory co-worker have provided medical science with information on the frequency with which chromosome damage can be found in the cells of breast cancer patients.

By 1977, this writer had moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There she worked in a research department where one group of investigators was working with a special type of cell structure. That structure, called a “spheroid” sought to copy the collection of cells in the human breast. The researchers who worked with those spheroids wanted to learn how different chemicals and nutrients could have an effect on various cells within a typical human breast.

Just after this writer married and became a mother, she began working in an amniocentesis lab. While functioning in the role of cytotechnician, this writer did not manage to have any contact with scientists who were conducting breast cancer research. She did though enjoy frequent contact with such scientists in the final decade of the 20th Century.
During a large part of that decade, this writer was responsible for growing certain types of breast cancer cells. Some of those cell lines had originated with cells from whole breast tissue. Other cells lines had been started with a limited amount of tissue, tissue from a breast duct. At one point, this writer worked closely with a scientist in the biochemistry department at a biotechnology company.

That scientist was trying to develop a new and better way to diagnose breast cancer. She was hoping to discover a protein—something like the PSA used to test for prostate cancer. This writer worked on development of a way to grow breast cancer cells in serum free medium. It was hoped that this tool could aid the identification of a particular protein.

The effort sited in the above paragrapn underlined the difficulties that face any scientist who chooses to pursue some type of breast cancer research. When the chosen breast cancer cells were grown in serum free media, the researchers found that the serum substitute contained a sizable amount of an unwanted protein. This writer sought out and provided the biochemistry department with a method for removing that protein from the media, once it had furnished growing cells with their needed nutrients.

After reading the above recollections, readers of this blog should better understand just how much patience must be displayed by the scientist who truly wants to hasten the advancement of breast cancer research. Hopefully, the world will one day hear that a Nobel Prize has been awarded to a scientist who has made a significant contribution to the fight against breast cancer.

Chehrenegar spent 30 years doing biomedical research. Now retired and a freelance writer she writes for her local paper, the Internet, and children's magazines. Her latest to be released in a soon-to-be published anthology, a book titled THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE.

Visit author, Susan Chehrenegar at: