Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Conch Bearer

I often read Middle Grade fiction because I’m still a kid on the inside.

I just read Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

As you can guess by the author’s name, the story takes place in India.

The book about a poor boy, Anand, who is given the responsibility of caring for a conch shell that has magical powers.

The plot is so exciting that I read all 265 pages at one sitting. 

I also learned something about the culture of India.

I hope to read more books by this author in the future..

Saturday, September 14, 2019


I’ve always been fascinated by languages.

When my baby brother was learning to talk I could understand him when the grown-ups couldn’t. 

When I was four years old we moved from the East Coast to California and I was surprised to discover people here had different words for some things.

I decided I wanted to learn every language in the world, but I had no idea how many languages there are.

I did study several languages in school, but the only one I’m fluent in besides English is American Sign Language.

The way languages change and develop over time has always fascinated me, and I took elective classes in Historical Linguistics in college.

I still wish I could learn more languages, but, since I’m officially old, I don’t have the time or patience to do that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


I have a VERY extended family. When I first got married my husband gave up trying to distinguish between cousins, second cousins, cousins once removed, cousins of cousins, aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, etc., etc. so he called them all “step neighbors in law.

Now that many family members in my generation have become mothers or fathers-in-law and grandparents, the family has become even more complicated.

And I have relatives living thousands of miles away and some in other countries.

But family is family and I love them all, even though I can’t see them in person. 

I’m grateful that many of us are able to keep in touch through the internet.

There are lots of problems in our modern world, but improved communication is one thing not to complain about.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Fair is the Fair

I can hardly wait to join other members of the Gold Country Writers at the Gold Country Fair tomorrow afternoon!

Of course I hope to sell lots of my books, but even if I don’t there’s something special about spending time with other writers. And county fairs are lots of fun.

I’m glad I live in a semi-rural area so things like that happen here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Cottage in the Woods

Although Katherine Coville’s husband Bruce is a well known (and excellent) author of books for kids, this is Katherine Coville’s first book. And it’s wonderful!

The story is about the Vaugn family of bears who accept the human child, Goldilocks, as their foster child.

The main character, Ursula, is a bear and she must solve a complicated mystery, cope with her own romantic feelings, and try to protect Goldilocks from some evil humans.

The story is exciting, the characters are believable, and … I could go on and on about the great things that make me love this book, but it would be better if you read The Cottage in the Woods yourself.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Hi, Ho, Come to the Fair

I’m excited because next week on Sunday afternoon I’ll be working at the Gold Country Writers’ booth at the Gold Country Fair in Auburn, CA.

The fair goes on for several days and I’ll only be there for a few hours, but it will be fun to hang out with some of my writer friends.

All of our books will be available during the whole fair, from 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, the fifth until 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, the 8th.

There’s something about the tradition of county fairs that reminds me of our country’s history - and even the history of the world. Fairs have been going on for centuries and I’m excited about participating in this one.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marigold And The Snoring King

This cute book by J.D. Remple reminds me of the classic stories I used to hear when I was a kid.  It has the typical three act structure with the first thing not working, the second thing not working, and the third succeeding.

But in this book the one trying the three things isn’t the main character. It’s the king, who snores so loudly he keeps the entire kingdom awake at night and can’t stop.

The real main character is Marigold, who has a solution for the problem, but isn’t allowed to share it until the climax. And she does solve the problem, but I won’t give away the secret of what she does.

J.D. Remple has done a great job of telling a story kids will love and the illustrations by Kim Sponaugle show the characters and story perfectly.

Marigold And The Snoring King is a book kids will love to have read to them at bedtime again and again.