Monday, August 24, 2009

A Contest For Kids! Winner gets to co-author next Casey and Bella book!

That's right, Casey and Bella are back! And this time author Jane Lovascio had help. A fourth grader named Autumn, is the proud co-author of Casey and Bella Go Green. How? She entered the Casey and Bella Writing Contest!

It's contest time again! All children in grades 3, 4, and 5 are able to enter. This is a great way to get our kid's creative juices flowing after a long summer.

Want to know more? Here are the basic rules:

Contest begins September 1, 2009 and ends April 15, 2010..

The 10 Finalists will be announced on May 15, 2010, and notified by phone and e-mail. Winners will be selected and notified beginning June 15, 2010. Finalists and winners will also be announced on

The Casey and BellaTM Story contest was created to foster creativity in 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Therefore, entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  1. Creativity and originality of title and adventure.
  2. Creativity and originality of the 3 new characters introduced in the story.
  3. The moral or lessons learned in the story.

Questions as a guide

  • Where, when, or how do Casey and Bella travel?
  • Whom do they meet on their journey?
  • What lessons do they learn?

*Casey and Bella must be the main characters in the story.

  • No rhyming.
  • Describe your idea in 1000 words or less.
  • Full page format or page breaks accepted.
  • All entries must be the fully original creations of the entrants.

For complete rules and an Casey and Bella Writing Contest entry form please go to:

My daughter and I had the pleasure of meeting Jane Lovascio, Casey, and Bella ( yes, they are real, adorable pups) at BEA in New York City. We loved her two previous books, Casey and Bella Go to Hollywood and Casey and Bella Go to New York. For my reviews follow this link:

( )

So of course we are excited to read about their newest adventure. My daughter is already thinking up her own ideas for the contest. We are also getting my niece into it. Share this with a child you know.

Good Luck to all of the kids entering!

~Kristin : )

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CBRS: The Pink Locker Society by Debra Moffitt

Attention parents, caregivers, school teachers, and counselors: Are you looking for a book that helps preteens and tweens understand and deal with physical and emotional changes? One that looks at the time in a child's life before they are exposed to sexual activity and substance abuse issues? If your answer is yes, The Pink Locker Society is for you!

The Pink Locker Society (also known as PLS) by Debra Moffitt is a story about 4 girls, (Kate, Jemma, Piper, And Bet) who are chosen as new members of a secret society. They are expected to help other girls by answering their questions about changing feelings and body issues. Most of the questions involve the common things on most girls' minds; the PBBs (Periods, Boys, Bras). The problem the girls encounter is, how do they help other girls with issues that they are just learning about themselves?

In order to provide the best and most accurate information they research every topic they are asked about and are surprised with how much they learn along the way. But this book covers much more than body changes and first crushes. There are also important lessons about friendships and Internet scams.

The Pink Locker Society by Debra Moffitt was inspired by actual questions asked by tween and teens on a website with the same name.

This website was developed by the creators of to provide a safe haven for kids to feel comfortable about asking questions and getting accurate and straight forward answers. It is directed at kids, but can be a great resource for parents and teachers as well. A great way to find out what your kids are concerned about and to get some ideas on how to answer if you are asked similar questions.

I finished this book with a few questions in mind and thought what a great idea it would be to ask the author on line. We are both on Twitter, so I decided why not do a TwitterView. If you are on Twitter you can view the whole interview by entering this hash tag into the SEARCH box on your Twitter home page. #TV-PLS (It stands for TwitterView-PinkLockerSociety)

Please enjoy my TwitterView with Debra Moffitt, also known as @PinkLockerSociety

KCBOOKS: Q1. Are there more adventures planned for The Pink Locker Society?

PinkLockerMom: Yes, I'm working on book 2 now. The first one was periods, bras, and boys. This one is a lot about BOYS!

PinkLockerMom: Often, they [girls] don't feel comfortable talking to their moms. For instance, they're scared to say they have a boyfriend.

KCBOOKS: Q2. What issues, other than boys, would you want to cover in future books?

PinkLockerMom: Friendships are very important.I'd like to help girls get beyond the drama & know that friendships change. It's normal.

KCBOOKS: Great point, esp. when boys get involved. Changes occur in friendships & it is normal.

PinkLockerMom: Re: Boys have questions too... Here's a blog post from a boy. 51 girls were happy to help.

KCBOOKS: Boys on PLS website goes w/Q3. Do you think the girls [in the book] might recruit a boy to encourage more male participation? #TV-PLS

PinkLockerMom: A boy in the PLS? Not sure they'd give him full member status. But he would be a great advisor.

KCBOOKS: yes and could make a great tie in w/the girls having their first group crush & how to handle it.

PinkLockerMom: Exactly. In book 2, something just like that is brewing up!

KCBOOKS: oooo...we just got a sneak peak! Can't wait to see how it's handled.

KCBOOKS: My last question involves something I worry about as a mom. Internet safety. Between child predators & scams, there are real dangers.

KCBOOKS: Q4. PLS touched on computer safety & scams. Today's tweens live in a tech world. Are there plans to cover these issues more?

PinkLockerMom: RE: Internet safety, I agree. That's why we put a subtle message in the book. Don't want to overdo bc kids will tune out.

PinkLockerMom: I think kids see the Internet/texting like we viewed the phone. It just IS. But we do need to help them be safe.

I had a lot of fun talking with Debra over Twitter. I hope to do more interviews like this in the future. I would love to hear what you think about the book, the website, and the Twitterview.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep in touch.

Kristin : )

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Come and join me!

Hi, I am not on my blog today. Leave a message and I will be sure to get back to you when I return. Actually you can come and join me. I am the guest on a fellow author, Leah Braemel's blog today.

I am revisiting a question that I asked here a few weeks ago. What do you do when a great idea hits and you're still working on something else? You don't want to miss this sneak peek into the battle that ensues between my inner writer child and my outer rational mom when this happens to me. For those of you who missed it, here is the original blog and the great comments and ideas I received.

Now, hurry over to Leah's blog before all of the snacks are gone! I'll see you there! Oh, and bring a fan. It tends to get hot over there... *wink*

Kristin : )

Monday, August 17, 2009

This One's For The Readers

I read a lot of different authors and enjoy different genres and subjects. So I would not have a problem following an author outside of my usual reading scope, for the most part. I do have my limits. I don't like horror, ghost stories, or extremely erotic books. Not to say there aren't some really great authors out there who write these types, and write them very well. I am a self proclaimed WIMP when it comes to scary books or movies. And as far as erotic stories, I would rather read a book that left some of the romance to my imagination. So, although I love an author I would most likely not be interested in reading their books in these categories. With every rule there are exceptions, right? Here are mine...

I would have to rethink my previous statement if Sidney Sheldon, while alive, ventured out of his genre to explore some more extreme ones. However, if Hemingway wrote in any one or all of these categories I would, without a doubt, read them. Partly out of curiosity of how he would approach the subjects, but also because any author that can keep me completely engrossed in books about ex patriotism and war has earned my loyal following.

Of course this is only my opinion. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I have asked many questions about writing. Now I have one for all of us readers...

Are you strictly a genre/subject reader or would you follow an author no matter what they wrote?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and time!

Kristin : )

Friday, August 14, 2009

Children's Book Review Series: Hey Dad! Let's Have a Catch by Harold Theurer Jr.

Hey Dad! Let's Have a Catch by Harold Theurer Jr. and illustrated by William Baxter Bledsoe is a nonfiction children's book about a father and son.

The story is told by the son, who waits eagerly everyday for the brief time that his father is home between his day and night jobs. In this time they play catch, and for a few minutes a day the son feels all of the love, pride and bonding that will last a lifetime.

When the son gets older and has a son of his own he shares this simple game of catch with him. But there is nothing simple about the message that a few minutes of face to face interaction can create a tighter bond and more meaning memories than any thing money can buy.

Hey Dad! Let's Have a Catch is a touching story about the importance of spending time with your children, even when time is hard to find. I had the pleasure of meeting Harold Theurer Jr. at BEA09 in New York City and had him sign this book to my son. I think all parent/child relationships are very important. They have a great impact on what kind of adult and parent a child will become. But a bond between father and son can be magical, because it can be forever formed with few words a few moments a day.

More information about Hey Dad! Let's Have a Catch by Harold Theurer Jr. can be found here:

and at the author's website:

Do you have a favorite memory of doing something special with your dad or mom? My favorite memories were with my grandmother. She had a great love of life and took every opportunity to enjoy it. I can remember dancing with her when I was young; no rhythm just being silly. I love that now with my kids.

Feel free to share a favorite moment of yours.

Kristin : )

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Virtual Vacation! Join Me!

It's almost time for my long awaited beach vacation and I figure why not share a little of it with you (virtually). So grab a towel, some tanning lotion, and your tongs (the flip floppy shoes, not the bathing suit nonbottom) Sorry, but this is a family vacation ;)

The best part of this being a virtual vacation is you get to pick where we go. Maybe Hawaii, the Florida Keys, Jamaica, Canary Islands, the South of France... It's your choice as long as it's a beach.

Here we go...cue the sea gulls, salt scented breezes, and gentle lapping waves...

We follow a path through the tall, swaying sea grass. The path, made of sun bleached pieces of shells and rocks perfectly rounded and shined by the ebb and flow of countless tides, crunches and sways under foot. At the crest of the dune we are greeted by a dazzling light show of a million splintered sun rays reflecting off the endless ripples. Each new movement looks like gem stones dancing on the water's surface. Stunned, we pause here, take a deep breath and feel the first layers of stress melt away.

We walk down the path and get chills as our feet move from the hard, cool path onto the warm sand. At first, the temperature change is welcome along with the sand crystals that have spilled onto our sandals and under our feet. Very quickly the heat becomes almost too much and we are forced to run to the water's edge to cool off. The kids are already elbow deep in the wet sand, digging out the prefect foundation for their mermaid castle.

We find a spot a little further back in the softer sand and spread our blankets and sit back to enjoy the views; the children forming a water chain to fill their mote, the water swelling and gently crashing on the shore, dolphins playing in the distance...

At this point the word stress no longer has any meaning, besides to describe the lines on the binding of the book in my lap.

Ahhhh...... wasn't that nice?

Ok, so now that I've shared a virtual vacation with you it's only fair I share a little of the reality vacation too. For this one you will need: a towel, (if they're all not in a funky wet heap on the bathroom floor from yesterday's beach day) real sun block, (SPF 100 or higher, the real sun is a killer) a sturdy pair of water shoes (those rocks and broken shells are not a natural surface your tender feet are used to) and you might as well grab the thong swim suit. Chances are all of last year's look like a thong this year anyway ;)

We arrive on the soft, hot sand and still get chills, but this time they're from the blood curdling screams of the kids who are acting like we have just sent them across molten lava. We drop everything and rush them to the water's edge. Now it's our turn to scream. the water is so freakin' cold our ankles feel like they will shatter if we walk too fast. The kids start splashing and screaming wildly and we high tale it back to the warm sand. When we reach the pile of our blankets we see that they have been trampled into a gritty mess by the bus load of camp kids that just arrived.

We toss the blankets aside and sit right in the sand, take a deep breath, and look around. The kids are digging in the wet sand, oh and now they are throwing the little sand ticks and crabs at each other. The water swells up and crashes down on a poor unsuspecting man, who I now see is my husband. Wasn't he wearing sun glasses a minute ago? And that dolphin in the distance? Yeah, the life guards just blew the whistle for everyone to get out of the water. Stress is once again a living and breathing 5 letter word...SHARK!

Funny thing about the beach though, whether it's virtual or reality we find a similar outcome at the end of the day. That moment when you take a deep breath, shut your eyes, smile and remind yourself that any day at the beach is a good day :)

Thanks for coming along.

Kristin : )

Friday, August 7, 2009

Children's Book Review Series: The LadyBug and Me by Michael Soler

The LadyBug and Me by Michael Soler and illustrated by Serge Eisenberg is about a child who meets a special new friend, a LadyBug. This ladybug teaches her that anything is possible when you use your imagination and believe. Before flying away she tells the little girl something every child should know.

"Your life is a gift and has a great story to tell."

The LadyBug and Me is designed for early readers (age 4 - 8) and includes a simple question that can be used to get kids thinking and sharing ideas or even be used as a classroom writing exercise starter for older children. The question is, "What do you believe?

I always love a book that encourages children to use their imagination and reminds them that anything is possible if they believe in themselves. I also love the way the illustrator, Serge Eisenberg combines real photos with his art work. It really helps children make the connection between the worlds of reality and imagination.

More information about The LadyBug and Me by Michael Soler can be found here:

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you and your child enjoy this book. I would love to know what you believe. Leave me a comment. I have left mine below.

I borrowed this from a Whitney Houston song because it fits perfectly with this book and my own belief...

"I believe that children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

Kristin : )

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great advice to stay safe!

I received an email from a friend and had to share it. This is such a great idea, not only for those of you living alone but for families too. The email said to keep your car keys next to your bed at night. Most cars today are equipped with a panic alarm that can be activated from your car keys, so if you hear someone near your house or see something suspicious you press the button. The alarm will probably scare away any would be criminal, curious critters, or at least get the attention of neighbors.

Of course this is only ideal in neighborhoods where people still look out the window when car alarms go off. This is not going to work in a city; where residents just curse and throw a shoe at the wall to be bothered by yet another annoying car alarm.

For those who live near people who have been desensitized to car alarms, might I offer further advice. Keep a fog horn, pepper spray, and a high powered flood light (flashlight will do) next to your car keys. Assault all of your intruders senses, while renewing those of your close neighbors. You're not going to make new friends by doing this, but on the bright one will come to your door to complain. Well, at night anyway.

I joke, but your personal safety is important. It seems like every time you turn on the news there is another home invasion or burglary attempt. We have had some horrifying ones here in Connecticut. So, do what you can to keep you and your family safe.

If you have any good ideas related to this please let me know.
Stay safe,

Kristin : )

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back To Writing: New Ideas

Ok, It's time for some talk about writing. I have been posting a lot of reviews lately, which I have really enjoyed, but realized I haven't actually talked for a while. So here's a quick run down of what I have been doing.

  • Still waiting on word from the film producer about The Truth Lies in the Dark. If you haven't entered my Book 2 Movie contest hop on over to my contest page and leave a comment. It's that easy, and there are many prizes planned.

  • Almost finished (less than 100 pgs. to go) on my WIP. I hit a lull in my writing. Not sure if it was because I didn't like the story direction, had a hard time switching back and forth from marketer/promoter of my first book to writing this one, or if my self doubt was trying to sabotage my creativity. Most likely it was a mix of all of these and a sprinkling of family responsibility. But I found my writing mojo and am now whipping through my WIP. How did I find it? A had a new idea for a book. This idea came on fast and furious; the entire story outlined (in my head) in two days. I can't wait to start it, but have made a deal with myself that I can not until I have finished my WIP. Believe me it's a hard bargain. This story has been a challenge and part of me wants to take it out back and shoot it with flaming arrows. The other (rational side) wants to see it to the end. This brings me to a question for all you writers out there.

What do you do when a great idea hits and you're still working on something else?

Do you?

A. Stop what you're doing and start the new idea?

B. Finish what you're working on and hope the new idea doesn't loose it's shine?

C. Work on both simultaneously?

I am curious what your answers will be. I will be discussing this more in a guest blog I am doing for author Leah Braemel on August 19. ( )

Make sure you stop over there and catch my conversation with myself :) Yup, that's right, I said with myself.

Take care and keep writing!

Kristin : )