Friday, September 27, 2013

Review of 'Not Even The SKY Is The LIMIT!' by Denise Zarrella

Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN: 978-1-61244-199-3 
Hardcover, $14.95

Down Syndrome is a sensitive subject, especially when you need to explain it to your children. This book makes the process easier. Filled with colorful photographs showcasing people with Down Syndrome and what they can accomplish, the book demonstrates that, in fact, not even the sky is the limit. Young minds will better understand the nature of this disease by studying the pictures and engaging in conversation with the adult. 

Not Even The SKY Is The LIMIT was inspired by the author's daughter. An important, thought-provoking book that brings awareness. Recommended. 

Note: A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to organizations that improve the lives of people who live with Down Syndrome.

The author is presently on tour with World of Ink Tours. See her complete schedule HERE

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet Patti Brassard Jefferson, author of 'How Long Will You Love Me?'

Patti Brassard Jefferson lives under a palm tree in sunny Florida with her husband, Ken and their 2 rescued mutts. How Long Will You Love Me is the first children's book that PBJ has written and illustrated. She began drawing when she was a little girl and forgot to stop when she grew up. She thinks doodling is a lost art and has a special place in her heart for the smell of a new box of crayons.

Follow Patti Brassard Jefferson:

Twitter URL: pbjmosaic
Facebook URL:
Facebook Fan Page URL:

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?

Definitely by pencil and usually on a drawing pad. As an author/illustrator, I write visually so I tend to need lots of space to think it out both in text and in doodles. I don't do anything on the computer at all until I am figuring out the fonts or laying out the title with the cover illustration.

How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic and print on demand?

When I was deciding formats for How Long Will You Love Me? , I almost decided against making it available in an e-reader format. I just could not picture parents cuddled up to their kids at the end of the day reading a story on a Kindle. I took a very unscientific poll on my Facebook page asking for the opinions of new parents and grandparents. I was surprised how many people requested having an electronic version available. I guess I am a little old school and just the feel of a book and the smell of the pages is magical to me . I predict that as our society gets even more mobile in the future, we may even see more compact, mobile ways to read books. In the end though, all that really matters is that the stories are out there and are available in what ever format works for the reader. 
What happens before sitting down to write? 

I really have to go through a virtual isolation process which is why I think I write best when the house is quiet and everyone else is done with the day. I also have to make sure I have everything I need before I sit down because I will stop before will I get up to get something I can't find or reach. I need pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, drawing pad, something to drink and maybe a chocolate. Oh and I need to give myself permission to just write -- not think about the bills, not run through what I have to get done tomorrow, not wonder how my book sales are going on Amazon -- just write in the here and now.

Do you do a lot of research for your book(s)?

There really isn't a reliable way to research a shopping frog or what goes into a hippo's party but I do try to pay attention to details. Obviously a dolphin doesn't really sit on a beach chair, but if it did, there would be some challenges like how uncomfortable a dorsal fin might be. I am proud to say that I have created the first beach chair with a dorsal fin slot in the back.

About the Book:

Whether it's a question from a child to a parent or an adult to their significant other, the question “How long will you love me?” probably gets asked more than you think...even if it just stays in your head and you are the only one who hears it. Patti Brassard Jefferson's creative first book starts with the question and each page gives a warm, rhythmic reassurance --- "I promise I will love you 'til..." It's the perfect book to read to someone to let them know your love is endless.

So, just how long WILL I love you? The answer is perfectly clear in this book!

Title of Book(s): How Long Will You Love Me?
Author & Illustrator: Patti Brassard Jefferson
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
Genre: Children's book
ISBN Number:  ISBN: 9781612441658
Publication Date: June 2013

BONUS: Each page also has a heart drawn in it somewhere. While they are not very difficult to find, the search will also take the reader through some of the other subtle jokes such as a banner behind the bunny band that promotes Carrot-oke or a whale who's reading Moby Dick on the beach.

Places where available for sale:

You can find out more about Patti Brassard Jefferson, her work and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at 

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Author Dorit Sasson

Today, I’m hosting Day 3 of a 5-day virtual tour sponsored by the Working Writer's Club, for Dorit Sasson’s two new books:
Speaking and Writing for English Language Learners: Collaborative Teaching for Greater Success with K-6
Reading and Listening for English Language Learners: Collaborative Teaching for Greater Success for K-6.
Dorit offers Some Tradebook Tips for Teachers
Because these two books were written for teachers of K-6 English Language Learners, naturally, they are jam-packed with lesson planning templates on how to collaborate with a general education teacher in addition to checklists, charts, discussion questions, weblinks and templates – everything a busy newbie and veteran teacher needs to start the school year off right!
Here are two main ways teachers can use this book, and note that some of the categories can also overlap:
Option #1 – With the collaboration piece in mind:
There are resources that solely focus on the partnership between teachers and administrators without the focus on the skill sets and resources that have the skill set embedded. (see below.) Teachers who want to enhance their collaboration may also want to start off with some of the informal discussion questions as a way to jumpstart the topic. 
Option #2 – With the targeted skill sets in mind:
ESL or general education teachers who know for example, that their K-6 English learners are struggling with specific areas of reading from the beginning of the year, may want to use some of the diagnostic pages to assess their areas of weakness. They also may want to zoom into read-alouds as a supplemental way to deliberately teach targeted vocabulary.
Since listening is not a deliberately taught skill, teachers may want to brush up on a few ways to teach dictations as a way to augment their listening vocabulary and reading skills.
Because every checklist, lesson plan template and chart was designed with both the collaborative and skill sets in mind, teachers can use each of these resources to track their progress using a specific skill or sub-skill and/or use the resources as a way to discuss how to improve the way they approach teaching that skill.

To learn more about Dorit and her writing, visit  

Follow her tour tomorrow at!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: ‘Dragon Fire’ by Dina Von Lowenkraft

Dragon Fire coverSet in the mysterious, alluring Arctic, Dragon Fire is a mesmerizing debut novel about a girl torn between the shape-shifting dragon she loves and the best friend she must stay loyal to.
When Rakan is sent to Tromso high school by his mother in order to restore their family’s honor and destroy their enemy dragon Jing Mei, he never thought his attraction to Anna, a human, would complicate matters. But, for one thing, Jing Mei — aka June — is none other than Anna’s best friend, and to make things worse, Rakan’s mother expects him to seduce and deceive Anna to get information.
In fact, she expects him to stop at nothing and to stay loyal to the dragon code, which includes disregarding humans and using them as pawns. Yet, something different about Anna touches a deep core within him, and even though loving a human is punishable by death, he can’t stop.
When Anna first sees Rakan, she immediately senses the strange animal-like energy emanating from him. He seems to like her, but his mood swings leave her hurt and frustrated. What is going on between him and her best friend June? Do they share a past? If yes, is it a romantic one? What, in fact, does Rakan want from Anna? Does he really care about her, or is he only using her for his own ends?
Dina Von Lowenkraft’s world-building is rich, original, and fascinating. The setting is vividly laid out, transporting the reader into a genuinely different world. There are also an array of intriguing, interesting characters, such as Rakan’s wilful half-sister Dvara, and Anna’s predator-like soon-to-be-stepfather Ulf.
The prose is beautifully clean and the dialogue sparkles. Filled with intrigue, romantic tension, and sensual imagery, this is a must-read for fans of dragon stories and young adult paranormal!
Learn more about the book from Amazon.
Visit the author’s website.
My review was first published in Blogcritics Magazine.