Thursday 14 December 2023

Delaware from Railways to Freeways by Dave Tabler


Book Details:

Book Title:  Delaware from Railways to Freeways / First State, Second Phase by Dave Tabler
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 110 pages
Genre: American History, Colonial
Publisher: Dave Tabler
Publication Date: Nov 1, 2023
Content Rating: G. None needed. Works for all audiences.

"Delaware from Railroads to Freeways by Dave Tabler is a visually stunning book that takes readers on a captivating journey through Delaware's 19th-century history. With engaging narrative and stunning graphics that seem to leap off the page, this book provides an immersive and enthralling reading experience as Tabler chronicles the rich history of Delaware. This is his second installment of a three-part series on the history of Delaware – the First State.... For Delaware natives and enthusiasts, this is probably one of the best-illustrated background books of Delaware's 19th-century history as you can find about the First State. It is truly a captivating book." -- AuthorsReading

"Dave Tabler’s Delaware from Railways to Freeways is a fascinating history text covering important sites and artifacts from the first state. The book includes a wealth of historical and social insights into the production techniques and ultimate significance behind the early Delaware artifacts and events it covers. It makes note of the geographical importance of certain buildings and landscapes as well. Detailed images appear on each page of the book alongside brief, evocative descriptions of their meaning and significance. The result is an involving pictorial history of the evolution of Delaware, complemented by distinguishing coverage of the development of the state’s transportation infrastructure." -- Foreword Reviews

"Tabler’s second entry in a trilogy covering the history of Delaware rides the rails into the First State’s storied past, covering the tumultuous yet prosperous 19th century and the dawn of the 20th, that era of iron, steam, Civil War, suffragettes, technical marvels, and surprises both fun—like the history of scrapple, or the suspender-and-pants rig known as a “breeches buoy” used to rescue mariners—to the morbid, like public whipping posts or the jolting tale of a child’s corpse being sent through the mail. The stories of trends, people, and material goods that Tabler highlights, in short and inviting bursts of text, are interesting and well buttressed by the copious illustrations." -- Booklife

"The contents are entertaining and varied, offering glimpses of little-known aspects of American history, from Colonial-era enmity between Whigs and Tories to inventions such as the Manby mortar, a cannon-like device used in rescuing people from sinking ships, to a bartending goose.-- Kirkus Reviews
Delaware from Railways to Freeways is the second book in a series that began with Delaware Before the Railroads and whose planned conclusion is Delaware from Freeways to e-Ways. In his preface, author Dave Tabler touts the advent of the railroad, saying that it “ushered in a prosperous era for the First State” due to Delaware’s “strategic location” on the Delaware Bay. The book is mostly photographs, all of which are vibrant and compelling and include objects that would not be present in most histories of the state, such as John Jones’s adjustable peach sorter: an 1874 invention that revolutionized peach sorting. Or the crawlspace in the home of Quaker couple Daniel and Mary Corbit, in which they hid a fugitive slave in 1845. Tabler’s captions are bite-sized yet satisfying, offering readers a plethora of history without making them feel overworked. ...More a coffee-table book than a proper history, Dave Tabler’s Delaware from Railways to Freeways is a worthy read for any devotee of Delaware’s past." -- Indie Reader
Delaware from Railways to Freeways offers readers a captivating journey through Delaware’s lesser-known history. It is an excellent choice for those who relish reading about unusual facts and harbor a passion for history, even if it occasionally leans toward trivia. This book provides a valuable contribution to understanding Delaware’s rich heritage." -- Literary Titan

Book Description:

Delaware from Railways to Freeways covers eye-opening information about the region and its residents from 1800 to 1907. Laying out a captivating journey through pictures and offering up little-known anecdotes, entertainingly educational stories, and a comprehensive deep dive, Tabler gives insightful commentary on inventions, contributors to society, and transformative technology. History lovers of all ages will immensely enjoy this trove of 19th-century lore.
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Author Interview with Dave Tabler
Have you ever been on any sports teams? If so, what sport?
I lettered on the varsity tennis team in high school. I tried wrestling but was no good at it. I tried track but got shin splints. I was never that interested in big team sports. No wonder I ended up loving writing and photography! Just as in tennis, you can sometimes opt to work with another person in a two-person unit (editors), but much of the time you’re on your own. Sports participation is a great way to learn self-discipline. When you’re out on the court playing singles, there is no hiding. You've either prepared or you haven’t, and it shows immediately. Sports training also showed me how to deal with losing, and how to deal with coming back from being in a dip, both of which occur to writers and photographers.

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
That would be Dr. John A. Munroe, who to this day is one of Delaware’s most respected historians. He taught history at the University of Delaware for over 6 decades. The university recognized his deep influence on generations of students by conferring on him the title of H. Rodney Sharp Professor of History. His writings were accurate, authoritative, dependable, and at the same time informative and entertaining. He is remembered as a gentleman scholar—a title bestowed upon him reflecting both his scholarly achievements and his dignified persona. Two of his later books, "Colonial Delaware: A History" (1978), "History of Delaware" (1979) remain the definitive works on the early development and historical significance of the state, reflecting Dr. Munroe's deep understanding of Delaware's past.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I write for an audience. Their interest, their appreciation, their curiosity about what I’ll do next is my inspiration. I always keep an image of the reader before me when I write. I’ve been fortunate to be able to speak about my work in museums, libraries, and civic groups, and so by now I have a clear sense of exactly who my reader is. I will often read my writing out loud to get a sense of pacing, and whether the storytelling clips along or lags. I picture saying something I’ve just written before a live group. Will they perk up? Will they drift off?

Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?
I played classical guitar for many years, and so my listening choice much of the time is music for that instrument. Specifically, I love Heitor Villa-Lobos, Fernando Sor, and Francisco Tarrega. These three have pieces that I have played, but they also have pieces such as "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" that set the bar at the highest level (no, I’m not talented enough to play that one).

What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?
The answer to this question is a combination of who my writing heroes are and where I draw inspiration from. Success for me is not monetary. Success for me is to command respect from those I consider top authorities in my arena of the history field. Success for me also involves somehow making an impact on the lives of my readers. Were they moved? Were they delighted to encounter some new tidbit of history they hadn’t known? Did they come away from my book hungry to learn more?

Meet the Author:

Ten year old Dave Tabler decided he was going to read the ‘R’ volume from the family’s World Book Encyclopedia set over summer vacation. He never made it from beginning to end. He did, however, become interested in Norman Rockwell, rare-earth elements, and Run for the Roses.

Tabler’s father encouraged him to try his hand at taking pictures with the family camera. With visions of Rockwell dancing in his head, Tabler press-ganged his younger brother into wearing a straw hat and sitting next to a stream barefoot with a homemade fishing pole in his hand. The resulting image was terrible.

Dave Tabler went on to earn degrees in art history and photojournalism despite being told he needed a ‘Plan B.'

Fresh out of college, Tabler contributed the photography for The Illustrated History of American Civil War Relics, which taught him how to work with museum curators, collectors, and white cotton gloves. He met a man in the Shenandoah Valley who played the musical saw, a Knoxville fellow who specialized in collecting barbed wire, and Tom Dickey, brother of the man who wrote ‘Deliverance.’

In 2006 Tabler circled back to these earlier encounters with Appalachian culture as an idea for a blog. today reaches 375,000 readers a year.

Dave Tabler moved to Delaware in 2010 and became smitten with its rich past. He no longer copies Norman Rockwell, but his experience working with curators and collectors came in handy when he got the urge to photograph a love letter to Delaware’s early heritage. This may be the start of something.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a paperback copy of Delaware from Railways to Freeways / First state, Second phase by Dave Tabler  (one winner)  (USA only) (ends Dec 22)


Friday 8 December 2023

Marianne Scott's Mystery / Thriller Novels


Books Details:

​Book Title:  Finding Ruby Draker, Shadows in the Aftermath, Reinhardt, and Underneath the Fireflies by Marianne Scott
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+)
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher:  Crowe Creations
Release dates:  Re-release 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13. Occasional colloquial language is used in dialog. Nothing that would offend the most discerning reader/s.

Tuesday 5 December 2023


Book Details:

Book Title:  The Psychologist's Shadow by Laury A. Egan
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 336 pages
Genre:  Psychological Suspense
Publisher:  Enigma Books, imprint of Spectrum Books, UK
Release date:   Nov 18, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13. One scene of violence, no sexual scene

“…a ‘I-read-it-in-two-days’ book. Egan creates a gifted analyst and gripping case studies of her clients, one of whom is a disturbed admirer. The novel delivers chills in a highly sophisticated, wise, and ultimately poignant psychodrama.”—Karla Linn Merrifield, author of Psyche’s Scroll

Book Description:

In October 1992, Dr. Ellen Haskell begins a new therapy practice in Princeton after a tragic error with a former client. Demoralized by her failure, Ellen strives to restore her emotional and professional confidence. Her parents have departed for Greece, leaving Ellen alone in their secluded country house. As the reader is introduced to her roster of clients through their individual sessions, Ellen becomes unnerved when she receives hang-up phone calls and a series of bizarre gifts from an anonymous admirer—at first at her office and then at home. As the obsessive lover increasingly invades her life, Ellen’s anxiety crescendos and she begins to fear the stalker’s behavior will escalate into violence.

The Psychologist’s Shadow is a portrait of a compassionate, introspective therapist who finds herself in a dangerous struggle with an unknown stalker. The novel is a simmering literary suspense, one in which tension accumulates as the reader gains insights during sessions with clients—one of whom may be the psychologist’s shadow—and through the stalker’s journal entries, which serve as a discordant counterpoint.
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An Interview with Laury A. Egan, author of The Psychologist’s Shadow

1. What was the inspiration for writing your novel?

The inspiration for the novel originated in my college interest in psychology. During my later years at Carnegie Mellon University, I selected all of my course electives in that field. Upon graduation, the head of the university’s counseling center, who had been one of my professors, urged me to apply to a master’s program, with the goal of embarking on a career as a therapist. I was tempted but didn’t go that route, yet I continued to read books and to follow changes in psychology. When I began this manuscript in 1992 (a second novel except for a childhood effort), my goal was to meld my interest in psychology with my writing, depicting how a therapist would react in sessions and what her thoughts would be during them as well as during her private life. In other words, I was able to take the road not taken and try on a career I hadn’t chosen. In addition, when I first began writing fiction, I was reading all of Patricia Highsmith’s psychological suspense novels, so this genre felt like a natural choice.

2. The cover illustration—one of your photographs—is very dramatic. Why did you select the Venetian masks as a subject?

Dr. Ellen Haskell, the therapist, has a wall in her office devoted to her collection of Venetian masks. The clients face the masks during sessions and sometimes use them during therapy, for role-playing. The masks are also interwoven into the mental imagery of the stalker, so a still-life study was very appropriate. At home, I have a collection of masks purchased during multiple visits to Venice, and once the novel was written, I bought the dagger to add an ominious note. As a former book designer, I was also able to create the design and typography—something my publisher, Spectrum Books—has kindly allowed me to do for this title; a previous one, The Firefly; and two forthcoming publications. Nothing pleases me more than marrying my book design and photographic experience with my writing.

3. Describe your writing area and its location.

My office is in a guest room (seldom used for visitors), with a wall of bookcases built around a window facing the road and a forest beyond. Behind and around me are walls of my photographs as well as a childhood portrait my mother created when I was almost twelve, an image I’m using on a forthcoming literary work (December 2023), The Black Leopard’s Kiss & The Writer Remembers. I have rolling tables on two sides and a twin bed—all of which are piled high with manuscripts, books, correspondence, and numerous notes to myself (most of which I throw out later because I can’t recall what the notes were about). On the far side of my house, is a view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Manhattan skyline, and an enormous expanse of sky. This view is very similar to my childhood house, which was situated one town north. When I returned to the area in 1995 (coast of New Jersey), I felt a renewed passion for writing and vowed I would begin working in earnest, inspired by being reunited with the beautiful location. 

4. Who are your favorite authors?

As mentioned, Patricia Highsmith was an early influence, although my first novel, written when I was twelve, was a reworking of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I’d seen the musical Oliver! in New York and had become so entranced that I read Dickens’ novel several times. Currently, my favorite authors are Kate Atkinson, who is a brilliant plotter, stylist, and laugh-out-loud funny, and Mari Hannah, though I’m also on a Scandi-Noir binge mixed with some UK books, most in the suspense/mystery category. Outside of these, Virginia Woolf was a major influence. My novel, Wave in D Minor, featured a young composer writing an opera about the relationships between Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis and between Sackville-West and Woolf. For the sporadic lyrics, I attempted to write in the style of the women, using their letters and journals—and, yes, I had a splendid time doing so! The Black Leopard’s Kiss & The Writer Remembers incorporates a Mrs. Dalloway-style beginning and has Orlando-esque touches of magical realism. So, when I’m in a literary mood, Woolf is perched on my shoulder.

5. What are you next projects?

My new publisher, Andrew May, has become a wonderful colleague and friend, who enthusiastically accepted four manuscripts over this last year, thus clearing off my desk except for one early work that may remain unpublished. The first book, The Firefly, is a coming-of-age portrait and a romance, which appeared in August. The Psychologist’s Shadow is the second. Before Christmas, two linked novellas, The Black Leopard’s Kiss & The Writer Remembers, will be published—this is a work of which I’m very proud. Next April, I return to psychological suspense with Jack & I, the story of a teenage boy with dissociative identity disorder. The book is narrated by the “host” and then the “alter” personality, the former in first person and the second in third person. This manuscript required a great deal of research on symptoms and treatment of DID as well as on New Jersey’s foster care system (Jack is an orphan). I hope these next two outings will interest readers who love unusual projects.

6. If you could have three authors to dinner (living or dead), who would you invite? 

First, Kate Atkinson. I’m certain she is a brilliant raconteur, especially after a glass or two or three of wine. Second, Virginia Woolf, though I would be so intimidated that I would simply listen to whatever she said. Third, perhaps Damon Galgut, a South-African author who creates solitary individuals touched by sadness. I’d like to know what makes him tick.

Thank you!

Meet the Author:

Laury A. Egan is the author of eleven novels, The Firefly; Once, Upon an Island; Wave in D Minor; Turnabout; Doublecrossed; The Swimmer; The Ungodly Hour; A Bittersweet Tale; Fabulous! An Opera Buffa; The Outcast Oracle; and Jenny Kidd; in addition to a collection, Fog and Other Stories. Four limited-edition poetry volumes have been published: Snow, Shadows, a Stranger; Beneath the Lion’s Paw; The Sea & Beyond" and Presence & Absence."She lives on the northern coast of New Jersey.

connect with author: website ~ X/twitter facebook instagram goodreads

Monday 4 December 2023

Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times, Vol. 1 by Pam Gittleman


Book Details:

Book Title:  Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times®, Vol. 1 by Pam Gittleman
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 2 to 5), 46 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Kids, an imprint of Amplify Publishing Group
Release date:   Oct 3, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

What happens when Three KIND Mice put their heads (and bodies!) together to get some cheese on top of the counter? Will Humpty Dumpty be left in pieces when his friends notice that he's fallen off the wall? And who will get bags of wool--and toys and books--from Baa Baa BRIGHT Sheep? Read all about the beloved characters from traditional nursery rhymes in this endearing collection of eight updated rhymes that nurture kindness, empathy and gratitude!

Author Q&A with Pam Gittleman
 What was the inspiration for your book?
As a preschool music teacher for the last 20 years, I was surprised by the fact that students were increasingly unfamiliar with many nursery rhymes/songs. After all, nursery rhymes have always played such an important and whimsical role in supporting language development and musicality, not to mention stimulating imagination and fun. Well, it didn’t take long to realize that millennial parents, teachers, and caregivers were avoiding those stories because so many of them are “dark” and outdated:
Three Blind Mice get their tails cut off by a carving knife! Ouch!
Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall and can’t be put back together again. Bummer!
“Ring Around the Rosie” is reportedly about the circular red rash that developed on bodies infected with the plague. The posies were the flowers carried in pockets to mask the smell of the dead bodies and their ashes that “all fell down.” Yikes!
I realized that as a genre that benefits the development of language, literacy, musicality and imagination, nursery rhymes could be modified to have positive messaging and a strong impact. That’s why I decided to leverage the inherent appeal of traditional rhymes in a way that would be more socially responsible and compelling to everyone and created Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times®.
What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?
There is a wealth of compelling research on the importance of social and emotional intelligence. That research indicates that social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical for high-quality early childhood education and foundational to improved academic, behavioral, and lifetime outcomes. I really wanted to create fun, memorable, easy-to-access SEL content for preschoolers and the adults who love them. Updating nursery rhymes to be more relevant, putting beloved and whimsical familiar characters in situations that would model and convey messages of kindness, empathy, and gratitude, and pairing the rhymes with tools for SEL (an emoji chart and guiding questions) were important ways for me to retain the educational, memorable qualities of traditional rhymes for a new generation of young readers. Making sure the rhyming and musicality of these new rhymes were on point was also an important goal so that the rhymes would support the language development that young children’s brains are hard-wired for when it comes to hearing rhyming words and processing rhythm and music.
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book, and for the series?
I really wanted to strike the right balance between a fun book to read and a book that stimulated young children and their grown-ups to engage in conversations about situational and emotional awareness as well as about compassion and caring. I wanted the situations and characters to model what children can aspire to, not lecture about what not to do. And, I wanted to make it easy for parents, teachers, and caregivers to build strong, positive relationships that are so critical to their children’s growth and development by having rhymes they could read together, talk about, and recall when the children found themselves in similar situations to the characters.
When will volume two be available? Can you give us an idea of what favorite nursery rhymes you will be adapting?
Volume one includes eight of the fifteen rhymes that were recorded on the Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times album by Raffi and Lindsay Munroe ( If volume one does well, I would hope to have volume two available in late 2024. It would likely include some or all of the 7 remaining rhymes from the album including, “Rock-a-Bye Baby,” “Sing a Song of Six Cents,” and “Old Mother Hubbard.” But there are also lots more rhymes that I’ve adapted, so we’ll see how things play out for volume two and beyond.
Which was your favorite children’s book growing up?
I was always a fan of Harold and the Purple Crayon because it really stimulated my imagination. I loved how Harold could create the world around him and that opened up a world of creative thinking for me.
What in your background attracted you to the idea of creating new nursery rhymes?
I was always very musical. From the time I was quite young, I had good rhythm and an ear for music that allowed me to participate in choruses, bands, and other musical ensembles, playing flute, piano and guitar. That joy for music led me to leave the corporate world and become a preschool music teacher. Creating updated nursery rhymes allowed me to combine my love for music, rhythm and rhyming with my passion for having joyful experiences with the population of learners that I knew and loved best: preschoolers!

Meet the Author:

Pam has been an early childhood music educator for over twenty-five years with a passion for singing, rhyming, reading stories, and making music with preschoolers.

When Pam noticed that some children seemed unfamiliar with traditional nursery rhymes, and that parents and teachers were avoiding them because of their outdated, dark, and inappropriate nature, she set out to modernize them. Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times® provides a memorable way to build language, musicality, and literacy through songs, stories and rhymes that nurture kindness, empathy, and gratitude. The inclusion of resources that support social and emotional learning (SEL) make it easy for parents and teachers to engage with the children they love.

The rhymes in the book can also be enjoyed as songs on the Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times album recorded by Raffi and Lindsay Munroe, as well as in videos on the Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times® Show on YouTube. (

Aside from making music with young children, Pam loves dogs and dark chocolate. She lives in New York with her husband, and loves when her children, grandchildren, and granddogs come to visit!

Pam collaborated with Dan and Catherine Markowitz for art and design of the book.

connect with author: website X/twitter ~ facebook ~ facebook instagram instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times®, Vol. 1 by Pam Gittleman (one winner) (USA only) (ends Dec 15)


Friday 1 December 2023

And the Trees Talked Back by Frederick J. Burns

Book Details:

Book Title:  And the Trees Talked Back by Frederick J. Burns
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 48 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Frederick J. Burns
Release date:   Nov 4, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

Meet Amanda, an extraordinary child with a unique gift — she can talk to trees.

Living in a quaint village with a mystical forest, Amanda's life takes an enchanting turn when she seeks out her inquisitive cat, Daisy. As the sun sets and the moonlight casts its glow, the duo embark on a thrilling night-time adventure.

As Amanda encounters ancient trees, she uncovers a world she never knew existed, where wisdom and acceptance coexist with fear and hatred. Amidst the rustling leaves and haunting shadows, she confronts the duality of nature, discovering the true meaning of good and evil. Her bonds with nature deepen and she learns to navigate the world where choices shape destinies.

And The Trees Talked Back is a heartwarming tale of wonder, friendship, and self-discover that will captivate readers of all ages.
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Author Interview with Frederick J Burns
Q 1.  Your book is set in Longmeadow.  Have you ever been there?
A 1.  Yes. As a matter of fact, there were three periods of time during which I lived in Longmeadow.  First, from the time I was born and came home from the hospital until I graduated from college.  Then after I married, my wife and I moved back to Longmeadow for a few years before moving to a nearby city.  Finally, after my dear wife passed away, I moved back to Longmeadow for another few years before meeting and falling in love with the love of the second part of my life. 

Q 2.  How did you do research for the book?
A 2.  My research took the form of going for many walks, while searching and being aware of the older trees that had interesting character.  Of those older trees, I looked for ones that had faces of some kind.  Though my book is not scientific,  I did read research about how trees may communicate through the underground mycelium or fungus. 

Q 3.  What is your next project?
A 3.  I am currently working on my next project, and it is not a book.  Instead, it is a self-portrait.  It is a rather unusual painting that, by itself, tells many stories.  I intend to submit it when it’s completed to the Outwin Portraiture competition, run by the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. That portraiture competition’s purpose is to award and honor the best portraits and just as important, to extend the boundaries of what constitutes portraiture.

Q 4.  Where do you get your inspiration from?
A 4.  I am open to being inspired by the natural world around me. Trees are so inspiring, as are rocky formations, flowers, leaves, animals, and even clouds.  I try to paint or draw so the viewer sees something they have never seen before or have seen but never noticed the beauty before.  You may be interested to know that the inspiration for the self-portrait mentioned above in question 3, came from a cloud formation that I saw by pure chance. However, it led to the creation of a figurative painting only because I was open to the possibility. 

Q 5.  The characters in your book ask a lot of questions.  Why is that?
A 5.  Haha … good question.  Asking questions is the way to learn about one another.  Obviously not just asking any question, but asking deep questions, the right questions. Equally important is listening to the answer, trying to understand the answer.  That way we can appreciate others and build friendships.

Meet the Author:

Burns, always an artist on the inside, breaks through his trial attorney exterior at age 63, to write and illustrate his first children’s book, AND THE TREES TALKED BACK. Three years in the making, Burns strives to convey a world where commonalities are more important than differences, where empathy is more important than distain and where making friends is more important than creating enemies. With no formal art training, Burns enjoys working in and learning new mediums and styles. His art has won awards in juried competitions, been displayed on billboards, in government offices, the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art, and now graces the cover of Dave Brinnel's second CD, ALONE. His detailed illustrations of trees using pen and ink with washes of watercolor have been compared to the fantastical illustrations of Arthur Rackham and Maurice Sendak. Burns lives in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts with his wife, Heather and two dogs, where he is developing ideas for his next book.

connect with author: website ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of AND THE TREES TALKED BACK by Frederick J. Burns (one winner) (USA only) (ends Dec 22)

AND THE TREES TALKED BACK by Frederick J. Burns Book Tour Giveaway

Thursday 30 November 2023

Santa's Magical Reindeer: Becoming Pen Pals by Michele Monaco

Book Details:

Book Title:  Santa's Magical Reindeer: Becoming Pen Pals by Michele Monaco
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 38 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Mascot Kids
Release date:   Nov 7, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

Right after Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year for Santa and his crew of eight famous reindeer! Every year, the Famous Eight sleigh team from the North Pole eagerly helps Santa by going on a quest to find kids who believe in Christmas magic. In Santa’s Magical Reindeer: Becoming Pen Pals, Prancer, Vixen, and Dasher go on an adventure in search of eager pen pals. On their journey, they find three rambunctious girls who eagerly exchange letters with them and become lifelong friends.
Buy the Book:
Mascot Books

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Guest Post by Michele Monaco
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays because there's a certain magic in the air. The smells, the colors, the music, and the time with people you love! People reach out to friends and family, they're generous with their time and it's a time that people start thinking about others. I love the baking and the preparation that goes into the holiday and the magic, mystery, and creative wonder kids bring.  
The inspiration for the story stems from my children Corryn, Kylie and McKenna. With my love of Christmas, I wanted to bring a whole different magical component to Christmas. I wanted my girls to be so enveloped in the magic of Christmas.  We lived in an area that had woods behind it and deer would be a common sighting on our lawn. I got the idea of these deer coming and watching my kids and reporting back to Santa. Before I knew it, it evolved into me playing the role of these reindeer and writing letters to my kids. My kids loved it and they were immersed in the idea and they were waiting in anticipation for their next letter so I encouraged them even before they could write to draw letters to their reindeer.  In a flash of an eye, my kids were writing letters back and forth to their reindeer and built such a beautiful relationship with them that I kept the tradition alive ever since then.  
Christmas traditions are dear to my heart. Some of the traditions that I had growing up as a kid are more specific to Christmas Eve. My parents are from Slovakia but my siblings and I were born and raised in the United States. We were raised with some of these Christmas traditions family would work together to make tons of homemade pierogies and we would all work together to make these for a good majority of the day. Making perogies brought our family together.  On Christmas Eve after the meal that is when we would open our Christmas presents followed by going to midnight mass.  
These recipes have been passed down to me and my siblings and we have integrated them into our families as well. These recipes are not written down they are all done by memory taste and texture. And that is how I pass the tradition down to my girls.
Another tradition that I have is that the family gets Christmas pajamas. We start off Christmas Eve morning with a large cup of hot chocolate and we pile into the car with snuggly blankets and we drive through Valley Forge Park where there are a lot of deer in the open lands and people walking on the open trails. My girls and I play Christmas music and we wish the reindeer good luck as they prepare for Christmas and we shout out the windows Merry Christmas to everyone that we see. In next year’s book, you can discover why this is done!

Meet the Author:

Michele Monaco has a great love for the Christmas season. She embraces the Christmas spirit all year round by remembering to look at life through the eyes of a child. As a mother of three beautiful and exuberant daughters, she believes in the magic that the holiday brings. Michele lives in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and enjoys traveling, reading, running, and enjoying the outdoors.

connect with author: website facebook ~ instagram 
Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Santa's Magical Reindeer: Becoming Pen Pals  (one winner) (USA only) (ends Dec 18)

Santa's Magical Reindeer: Becoming Pen Pals Book Tour Giveaway