Author Guest: Paul R. Hewlett

 

Lionel is a character to love!

Hi everyone!  I hope your Fourth was great!                                                                                                                          Paul Hewitt and son

I am happy to introduce Paul R. Hewlett.  I thought it fitting for Paul to be my guest today.  He is an Air Force vet.  Thank you so much, Paul, for your service, and for keeping us safe and free.

Paul has written a series for children called Lionel’s Grand Adventure.  A young boy named Lionel is the main character in the stories.  Lionel will steal your heart as he has mine.

All of Paul’s books are written for children.  His aim is to write books that are constructive for them.  He wants it to be a book that encourages the child to read, even if reading is not their thing.

I have to add that this is a wonderful collection of books for parents to have in the home. Grandparents, you can have the books on standby for those weekends or holidays you have the grandchildren.  I recommend these for classroom teachers and in early childhood settings as well.

Paul lives in the mid-west with his wife and a “senior” dog he rescued from a shelter.  He’s a salesman during the day and a writer at night.  At least he is when not helping raise his adorable and handsome grandson!

Read on and see what Paul has Lionel up to!

 

About Lionel’s Grand Adventure 

The Golden Rule

Meet Lionel, a lovable bully-magnet, as he arrives in Larrystown and discovers a magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot. Follow Lionel’s fun misadventures as he uses the foot’s faulty protective power and learns a valuable lesson about helping others. Lionel and the Golden Rule is the first book in the Lionel’s Grand Adventure series, perfect for young and even  reluctant readers at home or in school.

 

Turns the Other Cheek

Lionel’s back and his Magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun Foot is up to its old tricks. Lionel heads off to summer camp and has to room with the meanest, biggest bully there. Young Readers will love Lionel and the lesson he learns this time.

Lionel Turns the Other Cheek is the second book in the Lionel’s Grand Adventure series, great for getting kids to read at home and  for families to read aloud

 

True Meaning of Christmas

Have you ever wanted something you couldn’t have? Lionel desperately wants a new sled and he will do almost anything to get it. This fun Christmas story follows Lionel from Larrystown to the North Pole. Filled with great Christmas imagery, this book is perfect for young readers and school or family story time. This holiday season, be careful what you wish for, you never know what might happen!

 

PAUL R. HEWLETT

In addition to writing the Lionel’s Grand Adventure books, Paul co-authors a middle grade/young adult blog called Sher A. Hart: My Written Art.

 

Here is a link to my blog: http://sherahart.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lionels-Grand-Adventure/351949984835429

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R.-Hewlett/e/B0077S3988/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

My books are available for purchase on Amazon as e-books, and Lionel’s Christmas Adventure is available as a paperback on Amazon as well as signed copies on my blog.

***

Thank you for being on my blog and sharing your stories!

Sara   🙂

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Meet YA Author Guest – Julie Cassar

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I am extremely excited to introduce my author guest today.  Her name is Julie Cassar.   Her writing is being enjoyed in many parts of the world.  Julie has written a fantasy all ages will enjoy.  I have read the first in the series called “Ruby Blue” .  I plan to read the other books soon.  From the beginning you will be hooked with the teenage girl named Ruby.  Without giving any of the plot away, let me go ahead and turn it over to Julie.

Welcome, Julie!

1. Tell us a little bit about you and the series you have written. 

Julie Cassar’s debut Young Adult Fantasy “Ruby Blue” Series has been met with rave reviews and has spent weeks on Amazon‘s Fantasy Series Best Seller List as well as it’s Top Rated list. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, specializing in Graphic Design, Cassar has also worked as a production artist, designer, painter and photographer. She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, “Outdoor Athlete,” and publishes a monthly blog.

I began writing in 2010. My first novel is non-fiction and still unpublished, but it led me to start up my blog and gave me the courage to try writing fiction. I’ve actually had the story of Ruby in my head since 2004, when my son was born. I always thought it would be a children’s book, but as I thought more about the story and what the characters wanted to say, I realized it was more YA. I published Ruby Blue in February of 2012, and followed up with the sequel, “Deja Blue” in August of 2012. I just released book 3, “Sky Blue” in January of 2013

2. Julie, tell us about each book you have written from the “Ruby Blue” Series. 

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RUBY BLUE: Meet Ruby. She’s your average (somewhat dorky) ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and, oh yeah…she sees fairies.
After Nick Martino (possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known) finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when a bizarre incident strikes their lakeside town.Stumbling bare-foot through some interesting dates, will she ever find love? And what does Ruby do when more strange events continue to occur? Will she keep her gift of Fairy Sight a secret? As an ancient myth unfolds and new mystic fairy tales come to life, Ruby and her menagerie of friends tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale. See what legends come to life in “Ruby Blue,” a young adult fantasy fiction novel and the first installment of the Ruby Blue series.

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DEJA BLUE: Ruby’s back with her fairy friends and this time, she stumbles upon some of the mysteries of the Water Court. Now, being pursued by an unknown force, Ruby’s fairy friends step in to protect her. However, trouble seems to follow Ruby around every corner and even her fairy guardians need to call in reinforcements…but at what cost? Faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, Ruby must decide if and how she will help out her fairy friends. Will she pledge her allegiance to the Earthen Court? Or will she find new comfort and protection in the Water Court? Become entangled and entranced in Ruby’s latest adventure and relive the magic in “Deja Blue,” the second installment of the Ruby Blue Series.

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SKY BLUE: Something strange is brewing in Lake City… as the summer comes to a close, Ruby finds herself caught in a torrent of trouble when a stranger blows into town. Relationships are put to the test, lines are drawn and a choice is made when the ways of the Royal Sky Court rain down upon Ruby and the gang. Weathering through a storm of secrets, spells and yet another life-changing adventure… who will survive in its wake? Find out just what mysteries are revealed in this third, magical installment of the Ruby Blue Series!

me_fall_10FOREVER BLUE: COMING SUMMER/FALL 2013!!!  

 

3. List any websites or social media links for yourself or your book.

My Website: www.juliecassar.weebly.com

Twitter:https://twitter.com/jujabell

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/julie.cassar.7

My books are available at Amazon and B&N.

Ruby blue Link: http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Blue-ebook/dp/B0075M2D1U/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1372521538&sr=8-1&keywords=Ruby+Blue

*You can get to all of the books from there.

My author page at Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Cassar/e/B00AM0VXOU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Thank you being my guest today, Julie!  I will be sure to look for your 4th installment of the series in the fall!

Sara Stinson  🙂

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Kai Strand – Visiting today on her Blog Tour

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Please welcome Kai Strand!

Hi, Kai.  It is so wonderful to have you here!    Take it away!   Sara   🙂

***

Hi! My name is Kai Strand. I’m a children’s writer. There is a character in my new middle grade fantasy, Beware of the White, who readers fall in love with. Well, in crush with is more accurate. Skim the reviews on Amazon and you’ll find Frank mentioned a number of times. When I tried to figure out why readers are so drawn to Frank I realized it’s because he is the best of what I know.

Let’s do an exercise. Think about the loved ones in your life. What is it about them that makes you glow when you think of them, or grin, or melt, or snicker?

Make a list for each person. They will look something like this (except your lists will be true – I made these up for demonstration purposes. I don’t even have a brother):

Husband:

Lights up when I enter the room.

Belly laughs when truly amused.

Lip twitches when concentrating

Always seems regretful when he has to let go of my hand.

Best friend:

Hums aloud – everywhere

Skips a couple steps before she walks

Makes up funny terms of endearment

Smells like a Creamsicle.

Brother:

Is always in a bad mood along with me, even when he isn’t

Emails in text talk and texts in full words

He remembers minute details about Dad.

Keep these lists handy and add to them whenever you think of something. You can even have a list of random actions that you love, even it they aren’t done by people you love. For example, I LOVE when a man guides me through a door with his hand gently resting against the small of my back. It makes me feel SO feminine.

Now, when you are developing the characters in your book, pull things from the different people in your life and from your favorites list. Since you’ve observed them over and over in life you’ll be able to write them in a natural manner so these little quirks/habits/foibles will feel genuine to the reader. And chances are, if you love these things, so will your readers. Next thing you know, your readers will fall in love with your characters as much as you have.

Share a habit a loved one has that makes you grin or fall in love all over again.

Beware of the White Final

Kai Strand, author of: 
 
Beware of the WhiteThis book was sooooooooooo good it was mind blowing. The details that were in every sentence made me jump into the book and I felt like I was in the book and living terra’s life!” –A Kid’s Review
King of Bad, coming July 2013 – Jeff Mean wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie, until he’s recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Jeff wonders is he bad enough for SVA?

 

About the book

As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Buy It:

MuseItUp

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Or look for it on iTunes

June 17th is the last day to enter to win in my big book launch giveaway! Hurry and hop over to my blog and get your entries in!

Enter to win one of three book related prize packages: http://bit.ly/16q8PZu

About the author

Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.

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Author Guest today: Sharon Ledwith

Sharon_Ledwith_Headshot

This week I am excited to be a part of the 1st Anniversary of Sharon Ledwith’s Book          Release Celebration!  The entire month of May is dedicated to her release!

So happy to have you, Sharon!  Take it away!

Sara  🙂

WRITING A SERIES

Face it. If you’ve written a great book filled with equally great characters, readers will want more. Much more. And the sooner the better. Then, you start to panic. Sweat drips off your face and onto your keyboard. You’re committed now. Legions of readers are waiting in the wings for your next installment.

Stop.

Don’t worry.

You’ve got this.

The most important thing to remember in creating a series for any genre is to connect the dots, create a common thread to tie your individual stories together into a nice, shiny bow at the series end. Complicated? Not really. Read on…

First: Make sure your characters have enough problems going on both individually and together to carry through at least five books. The entire series needs to get from A to B to Z dragging your characters along (sometimes kicking and screaming) until, by the end of the series he or she or they need to come out changed. They need to have shown growth, they need to have evolved through the course of their adventures.

Second: Don’t put any elements into your first story that you don’t want to live with through five or more books. It’s a long haul to drag unnecessary fillers such as a troublesome pet, a psychotic boyfriend or an ongoing health problem for the ride. Like they say, “Use it or lose it”.

Third: Don’t solve the big mysteries or resolve all their problems in the first book. Too much, too soon. The idea is to hook’em with that first book, and get your readers begging for more. Your characters should still have dreams and goals and ambitions to work toward through the length of the series. Oh yeah, and as you do answer the burning questions and resolve the terrible conflicts, make sure you replace them with additional—hopefully more serious—ones.

Fourth: Remember—it’s all about building relationships between your characters. Throw obstacles their way and create the necessary tension between them to get your readers to care about them. It’s all about the journey and how they work together to resolve their problems. You want readers to be as invested at the end of the series in how that relationship is working out as they were in the first book.

Fifth: Keep a series guidebook stuffed with all the vital information on your main characters— and recurring side characters. The color of their hair and eyes, their brother’s or sister’s names, or any allergies is vital to log. Believe me readers know when something is amiss and will call you on it.

Sixth: Make sure you’re writing a series for the right reason—because you love your characters enough to tell their story over a period of years to come. And hopefully, that could be a long, long time.

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. Her debut novel, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, is the first in the series. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

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Blurb for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Connect with Sharon Ledwith:

Sharon’s Website

Sharon’s Blog

Sharon’s Facebook Page

The Last Timekeepers Series Facebook Page

Twitter

Goodreads

Buy Links:

Musa Publishing Buy link

Amazon Buy link

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

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Welcome My Guest Today: Author Rita Monette

Rita Monette
Hello Everyone!  Today I have a fun and wonderful guest.  Her name is Rita Monette.  She is the author of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.  
 
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and paint.
Five long years later, Musa Publishing offered her a contract for her debut middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, which also includes her artwork. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. 
Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.
 
Welcome, Rita!  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cover of Legend of Gh Dog Island
 
 
 
Please click on the above links and check out her information on her book!  🙂  
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
 
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Super Spies Author Lisa Orchard

 

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Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m Lisa Orchard the Young Adult author of The Super Spies series and I’d like to take a minute and thank Sara for allowing me to be                       her guest today. Thanks Sara!

You’re welcome, Lisa!

Sara read this excerpt on another guest post that I did earlier this year; she really liked it and wanted me to share it with all her followers. So, to anyone who has seen this before, I apologize and for all the newbies it’s a humorous post so you’ll probably enjoy it. J

I wanted to take a few minutes and explain why research is very important when writing a novel. It’s important because even though an author is writing a fictional story she wants it to be authentic. In my opinion, the more authentic a story is the more the reader is drawn into it.

These days, research is so much easier with the internet. An author can google a topic and find all kinds of information. However, for me I like that personal contact so when I was doing research for my first novel, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” I called down to my local State Police Post. Since I’ve never found a dead body before, I thought I should talk to someone who has.  After all, who knows more about finding dead bodies than the police?

Here’s what transpired. It’s good for a chuckle!

When the officer answered the phone, I politely introduced myself and explained the reason for the call. When I told the officer that I was doing research for a book, he paused and cleared his throat. While he paused I heard him fumbling around.

I imagine he was turning on a recorder, because the next thing he did was ask in a cautious tone, “This is fiction, right?”

I laughed and said, “Yes it is.”  I took a few minutes to explain that I really was writing a story about teenage girls finding a dead body and I needed to get realistic details about the crime scene.

After he was reassured, he sent me to the Sergeant who was more than willing to provide me the information I needed. She was very helpful and encouraging. I’m thankful that I made that call because it made my story that much more believable and my characters that much more authentic.

Now, whenever I need some information I know where to go. They know me by name and get me to the Sergeant right away. I’m grateful for the relationship because I’ve learned a lot about crime scenes and dead bodies. The information she has provided has been instrumental in making my stories realistic. I appreciate the relationship and who knows if I’m every in hot water, I know whom to call!

So check out my story, and let me know how I did!

Wonderful story all ages will enjoy!  Return to your youth and read!   By:  Sara Stinson

BOOK ONE!

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Back cover Blurb:

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

BOOK TWO:

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This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

You can find me at these social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Orchard/328536613877060?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisaorchard1

My website is www.lisaorchard.com

Buylinks for my books:

“The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”

Amazon buy link:   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JZH61K

Barnes and Noble buy link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-super-spies-and-the-cat-lady-killer-lisa-orchard/1109518725?ean=2940014338202

“The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”

Amazon buy link:

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Spies-School-Bomber-ebook/dp/B008P8O7OY

Barnes and Noble buy link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-super-spies-and-the-high-school-bomber-lisa-orchard/1112263058?ean=2940014992244

Wonderful visit!  I am so glad you were my guest.  I know I will be seeing more of your work.  🙂

Sara Stinson

 

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Parents – Two Pet Peeves

Hi Everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter and your week has started great.  Today, I want to talk more about children and reading.  It could make a difference is your child’s life.

Literacy doesn’t start when your child starts to school.  It starts at birth.  Babies and children are learning skills they’ll use in reading.  I have two Pet Peeves I want to discuss today.

1.  ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS – No Experience

The best way to instill an interest in reading is to READ to your child. You would be shocked at the number of parents I have talked with during my career who didn’t read to their child.  Many parents have told me, “Oh yes, Little Johnny has many books at home.  He has torn almost everyone of them apart!”  After asking some more pertinent questions, I discover the parent isn’t taking time with the child to teach the basic skills needed and the child is Developmentally Delayed because of environmental factors.  The child is delayed because of the lack of experience.

2. VISION AND HEARING SCREENING – If you feel there is a problem, Don’t Wait

The years between ages 3-5 are critical for reading growth in a child.  Do know that children who are having difficulties with reading are usually not tested until the first grade. Parents, you can help.  (Sometimes the cause may be a vision or hearing problem.)

1.  Have the child’s vision and hearing checked.  (I have had many students who were hindered during the 3-5 critical years because they had not been checked.)  Many children are not screened until they enter a private school program or public school.  If you feel your child is having difficulties, don’t wait.  Be aware and look for the signs.

VISION

  • squints or blinks often
  • rubs his eyes when not sleepy
  • has trouble naming objects
  • avoids scribbling on paper
  • has trouble following an object with his eyes
  • more medical concerns are a wandering or crossed eye, drainage

Of course, ask your pediatrician.  There could be other symptoms.

HEARING

  • not reacting to loud noises
  • not responding to your voice
  • making simple sounds that taper off

Ear Infections can cause a hearing loss.  This could affect the child’s learning.

  • pull or rubs on ear
  • constantly irritable
  • become inattentive
  • does not understand directions
  • often asks for television, radio, and other devices to be louder
  • has a fever
  • has ear pain

Again, it could be something else.  Ask your doctor.

Parents, I encourage you to share your story if you have been through any of these situations.  I feel it would benefit another parent or guardian.

AND OF COURSE:

Please go to sarastinson.com and visit Finger Bones!

Links to Amazon are on the Home Page.  Finger Bones loves visitors!  PLEASE SHARE!

Finger Bones can now be bought at Barnes and Nobles too!

Until next week,

Sara

 

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