Wednesday, November 3, 2010


What happened to the old-fashioned
2-D side-scrolling games?
(from my trusty computer Guru Kim Komando)

They were a ton of fun to play. And they were safe for the whole family to play. Unfortunately, 3-D games seemed to kill them off.
However, thanks primarily to mobile gaming platforms, 2-D games are back. The graphics are better than ever. And there are some impressive game play options.


is a particularly cute new game.

You control a cute frog on his fun adventures. There are coins to collect and enemies to defeat.
The game play borrows from many classic games like Super Mario and Kirby. But it has some modern techniques like wall-jumping.

Hitting the Escape key brings up the settings panel. This lets you change the controls. You can also turn off the music if you like. It is portable, which means it doesn't need to be installed. This can cause a false positive with some anti-virus programs. Don't worry, though. The program is virus-free. The game also sends anonymous data back to the developer's servers. This helps them refine the game. Your firewall should alert you to this, but you can block this with no repercussions.

Enjoy Good, Old-fashioned Family Fun - Again!



In Bookstores and Amazon

Read this rhyming book to a dyslectic child.
If Horatio can triumph, so can your child.

If you know of, or have a dyslectic child,
reading Horatio
together will bring hope to both
child and parent – including

a helpful parent-teacher diagnostic guide.

Christmas is Coming!

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"
(All about BIG changes)

"Rattlesnake Jam"
(just for boys!)

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Virtual Field Trips for Kids

A young philanthropist talks about her project "Halloween Helpers."
Learn the many ways kids can get involved in giving back to their communities.

Watch the fun Video.

Other fun websites about giving include:
* Learning to Give,
* Do Something
+ a link to a new book:
*Mommy and Daddy Do It Pro Bono.

See the list of recommended books on how kids can volunteer,
and a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities about this episode.


Boys ARE affected by violent content:

From my trusted Guru of all things teckie,
Kim Komando

A new study found a link between violent content and aggression in boys. Repeatedly viewing violence desensitized the boys. They were more likely to consider using violence themselves. Violent video games can cause a lot of problems for children. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them around. Here are some popular video games your kids should not play.


Get your kids

instead of Video Games

For young boys who are reluctant readers, try:

"Rattlesnake Jam"

Wild rhyming fun, while Pa catches rattlers, and Gran cooks
them into her "cure-all" rattlesnake jam.
But will she ever cook Pa the
rattlesnake pie he craves?

For sheer rhyming fun, or if your child has
been affected by a
BIG CHANGE in their life, try:

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"

Moving far from friends and family turns Ruthie into a brat! Her parents tear their hair. Then something wonderful happens, and changes Ruthie back into the lovely daughter they remember.
** Parent/teacher guide includes helpful Q&A


SUPER Reviews!

Autographed Copies
from my website
+ bookmarks and coloring sheets

and. . .
Christmas is Coming!


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques


Friday, October 8, 2010

Now You Can READ to KIDS from FAR AWAY

This is for all the parents, grandparents and relatives who live far from the kids in their lives. And especially for a parent overseas in the military.

there is a way for your child
to SEE you reading a story to them.



Contact: Lynda S. Burch, Publisher
(314) 276 8482

"Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc."
teams with
"Be There Bedtime Stories
new technology, to bring families together from around the globe.

St. Louis, MO, USA:

In a time where families are spread further apart than ever before ‘Be There Bedtime Stories’ is a technology that puts video of a Storyteller onto the page of a children’s book, to be displayed on a computer and read to your children.

“We are very excited with this new adventure,” said GAP President and CEO Lynda Burch. “Our partnership with Be There Bedtime Stories will allow for an unprecedented availability of family sharing reading time with kids and grandkids around the globe. What a wonderful way to “Be There” for your kids whether on assignment out of the country, traveling for work, or just wanting to participate daily in your children’s reading habits; encouraging reading skills that will last a lifetime. It increases literacy awareness and wellness and strengthens family bonds.”

The Sedona International Film Festival, Tuesday night cinema film series displayed the concept, with 5 local leaders, including the Mayor of Sedona. They recorded a bedtime story for presentation that was made for the audience of nearly 500 patrons, right on the big screen of a movie theatre!


For more information on Guardian Angel Publishing
or to schedule an
interview with the publisher,
email Lynda S. Burch at


G.A.P. Books

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"
"Rattlesnake Jam"

Coming soon:

"Horatio Humble Beats the BIG D"
Mid-grade for boys:
"Taconi and Claude - Double Trouble"


Books for Kids + Manuscript Critiques


Monday, September 27, 2010

"Horatio Humble Beats the BIG D" - Dyslexia!

I just heard from my publisher, that my 10th rhyming picture
book, "Horatio Humble Beats the BIG D."
is on their publishing short list - YEA!!

Remember school, and how all of you dreaded being sent to Special Ed Classes - for whatever reason? Well Horatio is no exception. Sure he can't read well, but that's preferable to going to THAT class and being thought dumb by his schoolmates. But a dreaded parent teacher meeting set his fate, and whine or not, he was enrolled in THAT class. However, instead of wearing an instant "dumb" badge, and being laughed at, Horatio discovered that Dyslexia was only a word - one he could learn to spell AND read.
A Parent-teacher guide comes with "Horatio." It show k
ids with Dyslexia that the fun and joy of reading wonderful books is just a Special Ed class away. There are also links to more serious help for parents who feel their child needs more than Horatio can offer.

Oh. . . and don't forget these two:

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"

(Parent teacher guide included)


"Rattlesnake Jam"

Great for Boys!

Rhyming stories are a great way to get
reluctant readers reading

- especially boys!


Soon I will be promoting 3 books from home -

by the seat of my pants!

And I mean that LITERALLY, mates!!

My messed up knee replacement surgery still has me hobbling around using a quad and a cane. It's slowly improving, but the accent is on the S-L-O-W part. Bottom line. . . no one can promise me I will ever be able to walk any distance again, or stand for very long. I have to deal with what IS, and not what I would like it to be.

That means getting the news out about my latest
two books + another one in the pipe-line, a mid-grade adventure for boys, using any means at my disposal!

The seat of my pants is actually wearing out from sitting at my desk, pounding the keys, and my brains, scrambling for ways to let everyone know I have two, NEW, rhyming books out, just longing to be read by oodles of kids.

What a sob story you say!

Hey! Please give a dedicated author a break!
The internet is the only way for me to GRAB your attention.


I promise that a quick look at BOOKS on my
website will not waste your time - honest!!

I had great fun writing verses for
"Ruthie" and that sneaky pink Hippo of hers.

And the crazy antics of Gran and Pa, in
"Rattlesnake Jam," made even my husband laugh.

"Horatio" and his Dyslexia challenge was a labor of love -
based on similar problems I saw first hand, as a teacher's aid.

All were written with the idea of fun reads for kids
- especially reluctant readers and boys.


So I guess if this sob story drags you to my WEBSITE for a quick peek,
and you end up buying an autographed copy for a kid you love,
( coloring sheets + bookmarks included!), my sobs were worth it.

ALSO: Amazon - Powell's Books - G.A.P etc.

Please leave a comment

and let me know if my sob story worked.

I love each one of my books, and hope you and the kids in your life will love
them also. Listen, you can't really blame me for wanting my books
to reach the kids I wrote them for - now can you?

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Authors Must Do to SELL Books - Fun Stuff + Hard Work.

Okay, let's get the important things
out of the way first.

I am this week's guest on

With host:
Suzanne Lieurance.

Date / Time: 9/2/2010 12:00 PM
Call-in Number: (646) 716-9239

This week's show is a previously recorded
interview with me, chatting about

my 9th book + other fun stuff.

I am the featured author this week on

National Writing for Children Center
Adding a comment could win you one of my books!

Read their terrific review

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind."

I am still basking in the afterglow!


for some serious business . . .

School Visits

This week, an author's list I am on has been
batting around the pros and cons of
doing school visits.

Here are my thoughts:

A few years ago, many authors made a lot more doing school visits than they did on royalties. This has changed. As daily newspapers, CNN and radio news tells us, public schools are in deep financial trouble. Most don’t have the big bucks to spend on our fees, and many parents can’t afford to buy our books. However, if you are lucky enough to live in a more affluent school district, remember that each school has its own ideas about how to handle an author visit. There is NO one rule that fits all schools. What I advise, is to personally contact whoever is in charge of author visits, and ask what they want from you: time allocated, any small teaching element needed, the number of classes you will visit, etc. Then you have to negotiate until you are both satisfied with what YOU bring to their table. Fees are very negotiable.

Never do it for free. It is very true that people do value what they pay for – schools included. Yet where once you might have received $500 for the day, now you might only receive $100.
Yet remember, whatever you are paid, you are still putting your name and titles out there in the hope of HOOKING KIDS on READING.

Always ask for some sort of fee when you go to a school, visit classes, read your books, and provide whatever else the school wants you to do for each class. Even if it is only $50.00. Schools will really value you , your time and your writing talent, if YOU put a dollar value on it as well. For some reason, many writers feel what they do is somehow unworthy of payment. Their time and talent is not worth hard cash. PHOOEY! If we don’t value ourselves, then no one else will either.

When schools are in an affluent area, they should pay a reasonable fee for your services – at least several hundred dollars for a well presented visit and book reading. In the less affluent areas, negotiate a fee you are both comfortable with. But some fee should be paid in acknowledgment and respect for your services, time and talent.

If you are famous, with awards and lots of books, you can probably charge big bucks - and get it! However, in these tough times, look into the financial situation of the school districts you plan to visit. Then negotiate you fee. Sometimes, you have to negotiate what they want from you, with what you are prepared to do. These days you need to go in with negotiating everything a probability – especially your fee.

Once you get the go-ahead, consider
pre-selling your books to the school.

When I did school visits, I gave them order forms ahead of time, to send home with the kids. This listed my books, a small blurb about each book for the parents information, + the prices. It also had my e-mail address, and the website where parents could go and view the books and illustrations for themselves.
I knew ahead of time the number sold, and ordered them from my publisher in one large lot. Some publishers, like mine, offer schools a nice discount. This worked well for me, and saved the teachers having to make up the order forms themselves.


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

My 9th Book

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

SCBWI - Authors that HOOK KIDS on READING.

(Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators)

Nurtures a Hotbed of Writing Talent.

Maybe it's the rain, or the snow capped forested mountains,
the trout streams, or simply something writerly in the air,
but these Oregonians write books kids love to read.

I offer you just a few of the titles that will be available this fall:

These are authors who know how to
Hook YOUR KID on Reading,

OR - Lure that reluctant reader into
turning page-after-page.

Inara Scott

"Delcroix Academy: The Candidates"

Release date: August 24, 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

ISBN: 978-142311636-3
Can buy anywhere

@inarascott (Twitter)

Inara Scott (Facebook)

Must view Book Trailer


David Michael Slater

"The Book of Maps"
(Sacred Books, Volume III)

Illustrator: David Michael Slater
Publisher: Blooming Tree Press/CBAY

ISBN 978-1933767031
All fine bookstores!

Margie Boule writes of the increasingly controversial Sacred Books series:
"What would you get if you combined Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes?...If you were David Michael Slater, you'd get the 13-year-old Wax twins, Dexter and Daphna. The intrepid stars of David's "Sacred Books" adventure series. These books...are starting to make waves." The Book of Nonsense and The Book of Knowledge pleased and teased readers with a provocative blend of action and intellectual thrills. The Book of Maps (Sacred Books, Volume III) launches the twins on an even greater and more perilous journey of discovery. Oct. 16th,


Carol Riggs

"Junction 2020: The Portal"

( young adult novel )

Cover designed by Carol Riggs
ISBN/EAN13: 1453730877 / 9781453730874

Publisher: Create Space

Where to BUY:
Carol's Website

When 16-year-old Mari Stratton attends a New Year's party with her brother and her hearing-impaired friend, she joins in a game outside in the dark fields. As midnight strikes, she finds herself and four others propelled by a violent green storm into a confusing landscape of beauty, danger, and mystery. In this alternate world, ruthless black-cloaked riders on horseback hunt them down, and Mari encounters the very things she fears the most. Somehow, she must discover how they can get back to the real world.


2 Books

Judy Cox

"Carmen Learns English"

Picture Book

Illustrator: Angela Dominguez

Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2174-9


Bookstores and online booksellers
.Judy's Website

The first day of school can be scary, especially when you don't speak English. But when the time comes for the class to learn a new lesson, Ms. Coski needs help, and Carmen's special talent just might come in handy. "This charming celebration of bilingualism captures both the fears and delights of learning a new tongue."--School Library Journal

PLUS. . .

"Nora and the Texas Terror"

Chapter Book - Ages: 6-9

Author: Judy Cox
Illustrator: Amanda Haley

Publisher: Holiday House
.ISBN: 978-0-8234-2283-8

Bookstores and online booksellers

Judy's Website

Nora tries to be a good sport about having Ellie's family as long-term guests now that her uncle has lost his job. However, her brash cousin Ellie, the Texas terror, is taking over Nora's life! This warmhearted chapter book about families doubling up during hard times is timely and engaging. A Junior Library Guild Selection.


Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

"Sonia Sotomayor: Supreme Court Justice"
(also available in Spanish)

Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5795-4


A Children’s Place Bookstore
Carmen's Website

In elegant free verse, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand describes Sotomayor’s remarkable journey from her childhood in the projects near Yankee Stadium to her stellar academic achievements at Ivy League universities to her rapid rise in the legal profession.


Tom Birdseye

"Storm Mountain"

Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN 978-0-8234-2130-5

.Online and local booksellers
Tom's Website

A muffled whump beneath her feet cut Cat short. She looked down to see a jagged crack shoot out across the surface of the snow. . . . Avalanche!

The world went dark. Blocks of wet snow pummeled her from all sides. She tumbled as if tossed by a giant ocean wave. Crashing, spinning, Cat couldn't tell up from down. . . . Gagging, frantic for air, Cat grabbed blindly, pulling, swimming, clawing to get to the surface, but seemed to just sink deeper. . . . Like a fool she had walked right into the dragon's trap. . . . Stupid, she thought, as the dragon's fist closed in on her. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It was Cat's impulsive, irrepressible cousin Ty's harebrained idea to spread the ashes of their late fathers from the summit of the same treacherous mountain that had claimed both their lives. Now Cat must put all of her mountaineering knowledge to work if she and Ty are to survive Storm Mountain.

with some of these terrific books!


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"

Saturday, July 31, 2010

DESPERATE DILEMMA Fuels the Promotion of 9th Picture Book.

Okay folks, this is my Desperate Dilemma
Knee surgery grounded me for the last 6 months of this year, and I can see no end in sight. My 9 th. picture book is just out, and my 10th book, a mid-grade adventure for boys, is due for publication.

My Dilemma:
How to promote these two books from the seat of my pants
- literally! Pilots fly planes by the seat of
their pants, but authors must have
two good legs to get out
there and SELL!!

This means that between countless daily exercises, I sit at my computer and scrounge for ways of putting "Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind" on bookstore shelves, in children's hands, and on the minds of children's relatives as possible gifts.

My damaged knee gets a rest, but trying to
"sell" by the seat of my pants
really DOES give me
a pain in the ass!

I have Twittered and Tweated endlessly. "Ruthie" and I are Facebook regulars. Even Linkedin and JacketFlap have "Ruthie" posts galore. I sent Press Releases to Indie Bookstores, hoping they might bite: no takers so far. I had friends and relatives phone some of these bookstores, asking for "Ruthie," just to give them a nudge in the right direction.

I even sent specially designed Press Releases to
Realtors and Moving Companies, because Google Alerts told me "Ruthie" showed up on a few of their sites - due to the MOVING theme - ZERO response.

All the children's writing lists I am on receive notes about my "Ruthie" Blog posts, and I am religious about "pinging" after every Blog entry. Newspapers have received their own Press Releases.

Home Schooling lists are in my sights as well. To top it off, I have a bunch of terrific reviews posted on Amazon,
Powel's, my website, and elsewhere.

I have done BookTours for previous books, with no noticeable upsurge in sales - though they did get the title and my name out there. Maybe I need to go this route once more - for "Ruthie's" sake.

So , with desperation kicking in, on Friday I blogged on HOOK KIDS on READING -
(the entry just below this one)

I offered FREE copies of "Ruthie" for some comments, + a coloring sheet, bookmark , and a personalized autograph for those who bought "Ruthie' from my website. So far there are just 2 comments - and one is my answer to the first. YIKES!!!

What's an author do for sales ideas,
when she is stuck behind a desk
without a leg (again literally)
t0 stand on?

Everyone who reads "Ruthie" loves it - the wonderful illos by K.C Snider, the pink hippo, even the rhyming story. And the parent-teacher guide helps kids and parents deal with the big changes in their lives - like those in Ruthie's life.

I want this fun book, with its helpful message, to make kids giggle. I want them to remember the rhyming verses and root for the pink hippo. I want them to learn that change is not always bad - it can be fun, adventure, or a wonderful new experience.

I KNOW it could become a favorite book if only . . .


Pink Hippo's of the world UNITE!!

Show me how to sell you to . . .


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

Did I mention "Ruthie," and that scene stealing Hippo's Fat Behind?