Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Magic Carpet Holiday Season

BOOKS Make Wonderful Gifts.

They are a Magic Carpet Ride to Fun and Adventure

These books are already loaded onto my Magic Carpet!


( $2 under list price )

Autographed hard copies
of my YOUNG TEEN books below are $6.95 +  $2 postage.
http://www.margotfinke.com   -   Also available on Kindle.

This year, give a
Magic Carpet Ride

of BOOKS to the the kids in your life!


Skype Makes it Happen
School Author Visits

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BOOK REVIEW - A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear

Today I am reviewing a picture book for my good writing friend.
Mayra Calvani

We have worked together, share a publisher, and both of us love writing for kids. She
lives in Belgium, a country I have visited and wish to see more of. 
Talent and generosity are Mayra's middle names.


I Give You. . .

By  Mayra Calvani   
Illustrated by KC Snider

We have ALL had days like Mama Bear is having.  The author “gets” the disaster mood exactly right.  Readers will giggle at the fuss, mess, and calamity that trails Mama around all day. And the capital “D” in her day of ongoing disasters is a visit from the Baboon family.  K.C Snider is a master at illustrating books for children.  The emotions shown are both facial and physical, making sure the reader knows exactly what Mama is feeling. Snider’s illustrations partner perfectly with Calvani’s  strong  story.  A delightful read for kids, and for the many parents who have been through it all themselves.  

I loved this book because it had terrific kid appeal, and the story and illustrations appear meant for each other.  It is on my Holiday gift list for my own two granddaughters.
I give this picture book 5 ***** stars. 

Available through Amazon:

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others. 

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 25+ years, two wonderful kids, and her two beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She's represented by Serendipity Literary.

Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits
Manuscript Critiques - Help for Writers


Wednesday, October 30, 2013


A New Zealand School - Auckland: 
Here in Oregon I have just finished an hour and quarter SKYPE session with the most charming and enthusiastic 10 and 11 year olds I have ever met – their teacher as well. 
I have scattered some Auckland pictures throughout, so you can see what a lovely city Auckland is. 

Walking tours of Auckland

The boys were reading my Taconi and Claude - Double Trouble, and the girls were reading The Revenge of Thelma Hill.  I talked about what makes a great book, the importance of hooking their reader, and powerful and active words. I offered sentence examples and what makes a great HOOK into a story. Baiting Your Writing HOOK so to speak. 

 The Kiwi Bird of New Zealand

They soaked this all up and asked lots of questions.
I read to them from my latest young teen book, Down Under Calling.

The Aussie aboriginal artifacts I showed were a hit with the boys reading Taconi and Claude. And the idea of the Ghost in Thelma Hill being based on my Mom (even her name) pleased the girls reading it.  They were full of questions about each book. To top it off, they sang  a special song they created about me and my books + a lovely traditional Maori song.

Te Hana Te Ao Marama is Auckland's leading Maori cultural centre,
offering a comprehensive range of Maori cultural experiences and more.

Their teacher was as keen for the session to go well as were the kids.  A participating and enthusiastic teacher makes all the difference, and Harini Karan jumped in and played her part to perfection.
Tours of Auckland City

The whole experience left me thrilled and humbled, all at the same time.  This New Zealand Skype class visit was one of the highlights of my writing career.  The class rendered me speechless!!

And you can do it all from the comfort of your own writing nook.  No travel, hotel bills, or suitcases to lug about. YEA!!  Skype Education is very helpful.  It also pays to court teacher sites world wide. Linkedin is a good place to begin your Skype campaign. Skype gives us a chance to visit schools that are not on the usual author circuit. These kids are SO appreciative and eager to partake. The same goes for the teachers. Private as well as public schools are keen to have Skype author visits.  Plus the US is a vast untapped source. I will also be writing a further blog about the nuts and bolts of organizing a Sky Visit.

These are the books this class is now reading:

The young people in this Auckland class are diving
into books, writing, and reading up a storm!


Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits

Download a FREE "Sneak Peek" inside ALL of my books


Saturday, October 26, 2013


I could never have done it without the skills
and talents of Awesome Agy Wilson

Done what you ask?

Published my latest young teen book.

 Kindle - soft cover coming
Agy not only did the cover, she also set it up for Kindle and CreateSpace.

This is the second young teen book Agy has done
the cover for and helped me publish. The first was
  my ghost mystery, "The Revenge of Thelma Hill."

Self-publishing is a new gig for me ( I have 11 traditionally published ), but I wanted to give
it a go, as they say.  Agy has struck some problems with the covers for the CreateSpace versions of both books but this will be mastered soon (knowing Agy), and available in soft cover, ASAP.

SYNOPSIS:  When a reluctant grandson in Oregon is pressured into writing to his grandma in Australia, wonderful things happen. Both have a need for love and reassurance as they deal with the problems in their daily lives. Back and forth the letters go: Andy shares the problems his dad's downsizing caused, and Grandma Rose shares past memories that astonish her grandson and his friend, Kelly.  Googling the weird and wonderful Aussie critters that visit Rose's garden becomes a hobby for Andy and Kelly.  Together they use their letters to shrink the Pacific Ocean into a puddle they can easily ford. 
I have to admit that writing this book took me back to my Aussie roots. Once I started, memories flooded in, warm, funny, and sometimes a little sad. In some ways Down Under Calling  is tribute to my mum. She was the heart of our home, and the stories Grandma Rose tells Andy in her letters are ones Mum told me when I was a child, or that Mum and I experienced together. Mom was an extremely shy lady. She wold never be able to tell you these stories herself.  So that left me to fill the gap, and offer her wonderful stories to a wider audience than she could ever have imagined.  I still miss her.

                                                                                                          Mum and Dad

I hope young teens will enjoy Grandma Rose's stories, and identify with Andy and Kelly about divorce and blended families, and the heartache of having a parent downsized, and then losing your home because of it. Down Under Calling brings together two generations, across an ocean and across time.  It shows that families who pull together with love and honesty can make it - no matter what.


OTHER BOOKS by Margot on Amazon

The Revenge of Thelma Hill

Picture Books

Kangaroo Clues 
Mama Grizzly Bear
Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D
Rattlesnake Jam