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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Found! Ancient Greek Gold Wreath Crown

Truth can be stranger than fiction sometimes, but the news surprisingly mirrored my fiction this week. The Daily Mail in the UK posted a story about how a gold leaf crown was recently found in England. Take a look at this beautiful object from over 2000 years ago, just like the gold leaf crown in THE LOST CROWN OF APOLLO. Exquisite!

This real McCoy was found in a cardboard box under an old guy's bed, not hidden under a marble bench like the one found by my main character, Elias Tantalos in THE LOST CROWN OF APOLLO. This amazing, very real discovery just a few days ago underscores the character's timeless, human dilemma: What should he do with such a priceless object? Finders, Keepers? Sell it and get rich? Tuck it back where you found it?

Elias feels like a bad luck magnet. Finding such an object was his lucky day--or was it?

  • What would YOU do if you found such an object? 
  • What would it feel like to put a solid gold crown on your head? A king? A Greek god? 
  • Are you going to volunteer to clean under your grandparents' bed?
Here's a link to the full story.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

SNEEZE-FIRE Dragon book is flying in Bologna, Italy!

Willard the Dragon's first picture book in a new series, SNEEZE-FIRE, is making a big debut in Bologna, Italy this week at the International Children's Book Fair. 

The fantastic, appealing cover artwork by Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki is sure to attract attention. At bookstores, library story times and book signings this winter, kids have enjoyed meeting 
Willard and his friends--and his big, hot fiery sneezes!


The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators gave 
Willard prime spots on their beautiful displays!

A very happy writer, living her dream!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Introducing Willard and his dragon friends!

I'm very excited to reveal the cover of a long-awaited friend of mine, Willard the Dragon. Willard and his dragon friends will be starring in their very own series, published by 4RV Publishing. SNEEZE-FIRE is a hardcover picture book especially for preschool through 2nd graders. In the story, Willard has a very bad cold. Can he help it if his sneezes blast fire? Willard's bad cold does not mix well with a snow day playing with friends. Uh-oh, better watch out!

$14.99 including shipping                   ISBN: 13-978-1-940310-38-1

Retail Price from Amazon and other online sources will be $20.99, but good news! The 4RV price $14.99 for this beautifully illustrated hardcover picture book will continue for orders directly from the publisher through the links above.  Bulk orders through 4RV may be given special discounts. 

Schedule your winter story and craft time

The next book in the Willard the Dragon Series coming Fall 2016

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Introducing New Friends!

Did I mention they are headless?
Now that The Lost Crown of Apollo is being whisked through printers in the UK, I am so thrilled to share this Greek island adventure with you!

When you embark on this fictitious journey with the Tantalos family, you will meet real headless statues like your new friends here. You'll also become fast friends with the Mykonos mascot--a pelican named Petros--and a couple of wonderful lizards nicknamed Highway and Sunny.

These creatures help our hero, Elias Tantalos, discover the many wonders of Greek islands, its food, fishermen, mythology, antiquities and ancient pirates. Your new friends also help him gain a new perspective on his troubles and get him through his new ones. When you are a bad luck magnet like Elias, trouble is always lurking around the next headless statue.

Will the sun god Apollo's Crown of Victory be enough to ward off his bad luck magnetism when he and his sister, Lily, get too close to some modern pirates?

The Lost Crown of Apollo is hurrying its way to cyberspace bookstores and to my local bookstores signings in CT, OH and NY. Here's the schedule:

Sunday, Aug. 2 Mystic, CT 1-3PM Bank Square Books
Friday, Aug. 7 Hudson, OH 1-3PM The Learned Owl
Tuesday, Aug. 11, Lakewood, NY 1-3PM Off the Beaten Path Bks

Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece is weighing heavily on my mind this week. Family over there will continue to struggle in these very difficult economic times, and these picture-perfect island streets may be uncomfortably empty during the summer tourist season, which will add to the miserable economic situation.

If it isn't a good time to go there physically, you may travel to Greece in your mind! Experience the adventure, sights, good food and unbelievable beauty of land and sea in my debut novel, The Lost Crown of Apollo. For kids ages 7-12.

By this week's end, I'm thrilled to be able to reveal the amazing, fun cover art of my novel set on the fabled islands of Mykonos and Delos.

The Lost Crown of Apollo is a boating adventure for kids ages 7-12, Climb aboard! This debut novel will be available at all the usual online locations and through Sunpenny Publishing group. Check out their blog at

Monday, February 2, 2015

Willard the Dragon

Just like other dragons his age, Willard likes playing with friends and eating hot pepper jelly on firecrackers. Most of all, Willard likes a day of fun outside in the icy snow.

One winter day, Willard wakes up with a bad cold. Ah-ah-ah-chooo! He decides to go play with his friends instead of staying inside his snug Dragon Cave with Mother Dragon's special hot pepper-minted cocoa.


Ah-ah-ah-chooo! Willard's fun snow day melts into disaster when he can't control his fiery sneezes. His unhappy friends act colder than ice. Can everyone become friends again?

Sneeze-Fire will be released by 4RV Publishing in 2015

Check out more fun with Willard the Dragon at his very own blog!

Sneeze-Fire will be available for sale at the 4RV Bookstore later this year!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speed Up Your Writing

Do not Pass Go, Do not Collect $100

What is the fastest way from Point A to Point C? Generally speaking, a straight line through Point B does the job. Like pawns in a board game, characters move from one point to another around the story—but their writers should be warned. Mobilizing a main character from the breakfast table to school to a post-game pep rally should not, literally, take all day.

Is it part of the game? If not, skip it. I’m a wordy writer. My first drafts are complicated affairs with blow-by-blow action determining what each limb is up to (“with one hand, the protagonist did x but with the other, he did y!) and so on. Boring! It is not necessary (or desirable) to report every turn of the doorknob between Point A and Point C (unless, of course, the knob-turning is a vital part of the suspense you are creating). Learn easy techniques for speeding up your scenes at my publisher's blog today! 4RV Publishing newsletter for writers and artists