Tag-Archive for » Fairy tales «

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,

A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
more »

Letters to Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon


Catie on the right

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio booksRecently The Eastford Elementary School in Eastford, CT began rehearsals for my children’ play, Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon, directed by Catie Protonson.  The kids have really been working hard and I have enjoyed every minute of watching them through FB.

I suggested to the young actors that they write each other a letter, in character.  Here are some of the letters….and photos from rehearsals. more »

Have you worked with an illustrator yet? Here are 12 Tips

Working successfully with an illustrator   I have used several artists, depending upon the project.  I have had wonderful response from my illustrators (free-lance) and as a team we get the job done!
David White has done several covers for me, most prominent and recent the newest in the World of Murder series.

The illustrator for my children’s books is brilliant in a different way.  He reads the story as I write it with clear instructions (from me) on where I want the illustrations placed in my story book.  Then he creates all these different perspectives that I would never have dreamed about.  They are truly wonderful.

So I thought I would share these tips, with you, about working with another artist.  Hopefully they are helpful as you work with your ‘image-maker’.

Tip #1:  Be patient.

Tip #2: They are artists, much like you, so they are sensitive about their art.

Tip #3:  Don’t push them; they have a time-table that might not be yours.  I do state my time-table in the beginning of a project and get some assurance that they will try to meet it.

Tip #4: Be patient.

Tip #5: Be certain that you give them at least two credits in your publication, book or script. I routinely credit them on the back (exterior) cover and on one of the first pages in the book.

Tip #6:  Pay them the most that you can budget.  Remember the old adage: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

Tip #7:  Because I am on a budget; I state my rates (per size of image) right up front.  Be honest.

Tip #8: Be patient.

Tip #9:  Don’t be afraid to use students at an art school.  I have used them (or graduates) from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  They are fresh, have the newest technology, and are the most excited by the project.  Do I occasionally meet a ‘prima dona’?  Who, without any work history, without any credits of any kind, without any life experience, behaves as if they work for a big city design firm, expecting top dollar and……. are confused when you don’t see it that way. (sigh) Yes,  I have!

Tip #10: Try to be as clear as you can on what you want in the image.  Don’t be afraid to tweak the work as you and your illustrator work together.  My illustrators appreciate the second set of eyes.Journal for Creative Writers

Tip #11: Pay the illustrator promptly.  As I have my illustrator working as I write; when I receive final images I pay him as we go along.  I don’t make them wait until the project is finished to be paid.

Tip #12: Be patient.

E. Van Johnson will be our January author!

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Researching Fairy Tales

fairy tales, books for children, children's books,bullying, literacy   When I decided to add some of the classic characters (from fairy tales we all grew up with) to my fourth fable,  I was amazed at the fascinating information I found….

I had so much fun researching characters like Little Red Riding Hood (Rhonda Rider in my story).  Where she originated..oh yes, way before Walt Disney was a twinkle in his Daddy’s eye.

While creating  “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys  I wanted to pay special homage to the classical fairy tales, by having some of the characters appear in my story and chat briefly with my friends in the Fabled Forest.  As seen here in this illustration, Druscilla, Cinderella’s stepsister, has stumbled into the Fabled Forest’s clearing. more »

Cheets, the Effervescent Elf

I haven’t talked about Cheets, the lovable elf for some time and less about the book I wrote just for him.

Cheets was the first character to hop into my brain one morning at 3AM.  By the time I had stumbled to my computer he had introduced me to several other of his friends in the fabled forest.   I began the series with Emma’s quest to help an enchanted unicorn, Rainey. After the ‘Exciting Exploits of….’, Stanley,  the Stalwart Dragon ran away from home and, lost, ended up in my forest.  The fourth book, ‘Bertie, the Bookworm….’ is the story of the reading group being plagued by BULLIES.

children's plays, kids, stage plays, new

“The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf”, with beautiful full color illustrations. Available here, www.amazon.com and your local book store.

In this stand alone sequel to Emma and the Lost Unicorn, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web. more »

Skip to the Head of the Line

bookstoreMy book store is just a click away!  USE THIS CODE 336699 AND GET 10% OFF of any BOOK purchase UNTIL November 31st.   The Web Site has a new feature: you can now buy an autographed copy of any book directly from the author using your Visa, MasterCard through PayPal. And you don’t need a PayPal account to use it. It’s so easy!

Scripts about bullying and other teen issues.  Great for the

Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III

Ten Minutes to Curtain, Vol. I, II, & III








Fiction.  The new mystery series, ‘The World of Murder’ with Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia.artofmurder_cover (2)



WOW.BanW._wow (3)Don’t miss “Women Outside the Walls” 





and”Wild Violetsfiction, women, flappers, prohibition, San Francisco, roaring twenties

more »

Self-published Authors! We are in Good Company!

peterrabbitIt was just a few short years ago that  being self published was a dirty word.  People would call your work a ‘vanity book’ or a ‘one book wonder’.  You would have to warehouse 10’s of thousands of inventory for your book and then schlep it around as far as you could.  All of that is in the past!  We can hold our heads up high, write our work and get it in the hands of our readers for, sometimes, as little as a few hundred bucks.  If you don’t hire a graphic designer for the cover, then publishing is literally FREE.

Now here’s the “Good Company” I claimed………….

How Beatrix Potter self-published Peter Rabbit
The aspiring children’s writer was fed up of receiving rejection letters – so on this day in 1901 she self-published a certain book about a naughty rabbit

So you think self-publishing is a 21st-century phenomenon? more »

What Inspired Me to Write a Play? part 2

Let’s see, where did we leave off?  As you can see by now truth is sometimes stranger than fiction….why make stuff up when the true stories are just standing there in front of you…waiting for you to write a play about them?  Or not….because about this time Cheets, the effervescent elf came into my life! 

greed, ecology, elves, warlords, love, friendshipThe Fabled Forest Series‘ was brought to me by my friend, Cheets, about three in the morning to be exact.  He put his over-sized elf feet in the middle of my back and pushed.  Yelling in my ear,  ‘Cheets has a story….write about Cheets!’
By the time I crawled out of bed, made a cup of tea and stumbled to my keyboard he was skipping along beside me, telling me about his friends in the fabled forest and about the unicorn that they must save.  No, I’m not crazy  (or if I am, I’m in very good company)  and yes I do hear voices (again, good company).  A few years and four children’s plays later ‘Emma and the Lost Unicorn‘ was produced outside of Boston.  The little actors in the show pleaded with me to write them story books based upon the plays.  That was my launch from playwright to author.

Two summers ago I was talking with some teachers and they were bemoaning the fact that ‘the arts’ budget was non-existent at theirteen run aways, running away, teenagers, classroom, short plays schools; anything that they wanted to do in that area; paints, music, scripts,  was out of  their own pocket I thought, what if I wrote several 10 minute plays for the class room, made them affordable, no sets, no costumes, no props?  Twenty-six scripts later and it’s definitely been a hit. While I did write some fun ones, I quickly learned that I needed to write about teen issues in real life.  Bullying, mean girls, dating violence, divorce, drugs, running away, cyber-bullies…the list goes on and on.

And as I am not a mystery writer but do love to stretch my creative wings, I thought I’d throw in a murder mystery play into the collection.  I knew the kids in the classroom would love it.   “The Art of Murder” was born.  Then some well meaning friends told me, after reading the play, “But what happened to Monty?” and “Who killed her?”  “You have got to tell us the rest of the story!”

‘Okay, okay!  I’ll write a novella for you.’   Well, it went pretty well and my friends and fans seemed to like it.  Just one problem, they came back again and told me,  “You’ve got a series here!  We want more of O’Roarke and Garcia, your murder cops!”   I objected:  ‘I’m not a mystery writer!’   Well, apparently I am since I’m currently writing the fifth in the series!Act.Murder.Cover.Book3

Book 2 takes place back stage on Broadway……so we’ve come full circle!

Want to read more?  Click here to read Part 1






In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  An Interview with Loretta Chase on May 29th.   Dean Koontz is my June author.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

“Emma and the Lost Unicorn” performing at the Villagers Theatre in New Jersey

NEWS!!  The Fabled Forest Series (children’s plays),   will be a part of 

Villagers Theatre’s  2013-2014  Season!  faeries, elves, warlocks, fables, riddles, fairy tales, theatre


Located in Somerset, New Jersey this community theatre has two stages and a diverse season.

March 8–16 with Fri., Sat., and Sunday performances

Tickets: $15.
Reservations:  732-873-2710

Visit their web site for more…

Rainey, the unicorn, is a prince who has been banished, for centuries, by the warlock, Hazard. He can never return home unless Emma solves more riddles than Kodak. Hazard’s Lieutenant reveals his secret weakness. The fable ends with a surprise twist more »

‘Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bullies’ FREE on Kindle today and tomorrow!

children's story books, fairy tales, bullying, literacy, new books for kids    FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!!!  Click here to get yours: 

Available on your Smartphone, Kindle, Nook!


Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures. Pansy, the pixie is a new character in this third of the Fabled Forest series. She is a defender of reading, truth, and Bertie. Cheets, our beloved elf from past books joins the wrong crowd and his friends are worried that he will become the newest member of the Bully Boys.

more »