Archive for June, 2011


Please join me in welcoming the talented, Jessica Aday to my blog.   I decided to interview Jessica after reading and reviewing her newly released book:  Stella the Fire Farting Dragon.   It is always such pleasure learning about how authors get inspired.


What inspired you to write Stella the Fire Farting Dragon?

I was inspired by a nephew’s smelly reaction to pizza when I was brainstorming for a topic that would induce laughter and be attractive to reluctant readers. [WARNING -Be careful what you do in front of writers it might end up in print.]

Can you tell me about your background?

I’m a closet historian. I wanted to teach history in a way that would make children love it and not dread it. I got a stroke. Unable to teach, I began writing. I started writing for adults, but found writing for children was a perfect fit. I have the heart (and mind) of a child.


How long did it take you to write the book?

It took a day to write the basic story, but it took about three months of editing, tweaking, and allowing the book to sit between drafts.

 Tell about your journey to publication?

My first foray into publishing began with a humorous story about tying dozens of red ribbons in my dad’s hair when he was on a business phone call. I wrote for adults in magazines and newspapers until I became determined to write for Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.  My adult works revolved around my faith and inspiring others.

I began writing for children in 2008. I’ve taken dozens of classes, researched writing techniques and read more children’s books than I can count.  All of my picture books are reluctant reader friendly, humorous and teach a positive lesson.

Thank you for doing this interview Jessica. Anything else you would like to say to my readers?

I sell whoopee cushion with Stella’s picture imprinted on them.


I also have temporary tattoos with Stella’s picture.  I give them away to anyone who sends me a SASE.


For more information about Jessica you can visit her sites:


Please join me in welcoming Renee Hand to my blog today.

Please explain your background?

I write because it is a passionI have. I’m a homeschool parent and like to create books that educate and inspire the children of today. I was born in Michigan and still live there with my husband and two children. I have a degree in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry. I’m the author of the amazing mystery series known as the Crypto-Capers Series that encourages children to read by incorporating several topics of interest. The reader participates into the story by solving cryptograms and puzzles to solve the case. I also the author of the Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series, which focuses on animal detectives. Book 1 in my series is about animal tracks while the other focuses rocks and minerals. This series is a great way to teach children about animals in a fun and interesting way that captures the reader’s attention and yet fills them with knowledge they will be learning about in school. All books are great to use in a classroom setting to supplement various topics or to just enjoy. I’m an award-winning author, receiving awards such as a Best Book Award, a National Literary Award and a Preferred Choice award for my children’s series and adult books. I have also won a Seal of Excellence award in Storytelling for my Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series. Not quite sure what a cryptogram is and want to learn more? Visit my website  to learn about cryptograms and how to solve the ones that are in the books.

How long have you been writing and do you write in only one genre?

I’ve been writing for over twenty-five years. I mainly write in the mystery genre writing children’s chapter books

.What inspired you to start writing? 

When I was younger my family moved around a lot. I didn’t like it but couldn’t do anything about it so I began to write. Writing for me became a way to express myself and my feelings. Sometimes I was expressing things I could not say. Then my ramblings started forming into stories, and from there another world opened up for me.

How many books have you written?

 I currently have 9 books published with another one coming out in the fall.

How do you come up with the names of characters for your books?

 Some of my characters are created based off people I know or run into, family members and experiences. Others are based off what I feel they should be and find interesting. I try to have the name fit the characters.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on book 5 of my Crypto-Capers Series, The Peacock Diaries, which will be coming out in the Fall. In this story the Crypto-Capers are going to England in search of a missing inventor who leaves them clues about the true identity of the Panther, who is the main villain in the series. Many obstacles are thrown in their path, and a truth is revealed that will haunt them all.

Can you explain where one can purchase your books and find more information about you?

My books are available at Barnes and Nobles Booksellers, Borders, Amazon and other book stores and places on-line and off, big or small. My books are also available through my website where I will sign copies and send them out the very next day.


Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to do this interview.My pleasure, Nicole, I greatly appreciate the opportunity.



                                                MY BOOK REVIEW




As a teacher I am always in search of books that will keep my students captivated. Even though I do not teach science, after reading Renee Hand’s book The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Case # 2: Mineral Mischief, I am certain this fun book can be used as a resource to get second and third graders interested in science.

This book satisfies the requirement of the National Science Education Standards for Earth and Space Science. The author uses animal characters to introduce in concrete ways information about rocks. The story starts with Maple Moo, a cow whose rare mineral goes missing.

Maple Moo seeks the help of two famous detectives, Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, to help her recover the missing mineral. Will the detectives be able to find the missing mineral? The twists and turns will keep the young reader in suspense until the very end, all the while he or she will be learning about minerals and rocks.

I am hugely impressed with the author’s abilities to present a wealth of information in a hands-on way. Most children are visual learners, and this is what makes The Adventures very valuable in a science classroom.

The author also includes a picture of the rock cycle, terminology, a ‘Did You Know’ section, which gives tons of extra information about rocks and minerals.

Various experiments and works on inquiries, creating charts and using variables and constants to determine an outcome of particular rocks and elements are also included at the back of the book.

The humorous illustrations by Jake Karwoski make the book even more appealing to the reader. The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Case # 2 is a book, in my opinion, every science teacher should have in her classroom.

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