Monday, July 22, 2013


I love blog hops! My friend ,Donna Shepherd, asked me to participate in this “blog hop interview.” The idea is this: She sent me some interview questions, which I answer, and then at the end I tag  one  other writer who will in turn answer the same questions on their blogs next week.    Please be sure to check out  Donna's interview

1. What are you working on right now?

I am re-editing a middle grade historical novel I wrote two years ago.
I am also working on writing a fourth picture book.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

These books will be a series.

3. What experiences have influenced you?

Having taught middle school for 15 years and now high school influenced much of what I write.

4. Why do you write what you do?

I write mostly trilingual children’s books in English, French, and Spanish with all three texts on each page. I am totally committed to writing in this fashion because I want to expose young children to a foreign language.     I want to make it easy for parents and educators to have access to a book with all three languages as opposed to buying three different books.

5. How does your writing process work?

My writing process is very simple. I get an idea and I start writing. I hate outlines. To me, an outline stifles my creativity. I do several re-writes. I am a very intuitive person; I usually know when a manuscript is ready for submission.

6. What is the hardest part about writing?

I am very bad with grammar and punctuation. I am not a native speaker of English, so I often get very frustrated with making sure I do not have too many errors. Honestly, it is a major job finding the right individual to edit my work.

I find it very difficult making edits. It is hard to make changes after having poured your heart and soul into a manuscript. A part of me dies when I have to do re-write. It has taken me two years to rework the historical middle grade novel because the writing instructor told me to start over again.

7. What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet?

I would love to write a non-fiction book one day.

8. Who are the authors you most admire?

Alexandre Dumas. He is Haitian like me. I have read all of his novels in French. I also love Anna Maria Matute, a Spanish novelist from Barcelona Spain. She is the most prestigious voices in contemporary Spanish literature.
Ana MarĂ­a Matute, is mostly known for her sympathetic treatment of the lives of children and adolescents, their feelings of betrayal and isolation, and their rites of passage. She often interjected such elements as myth, fairy tale, the supernatural, and fantasy into her works. In her novel, Primer Memoria, she chronicles the lives of children who have been victimized and their fear of becoming adults.

9. What scares you?

I have many phobias. I am afraid to drive on the freeway. My husband does all the driving. I am able to drive to and from work since I do not need to take the freeway. I am afraid of snakes and have a fear of heights.
From a writing point of view, I am terrified of making too many grammar errors. I think this fear comes from when I was in catholic school. One nun in particular always made me feel stupid, because she often gave me a hard time about my writing. I learned to speak English fluently in six months, but it took me a lot longer to learn how to write well. My native language French is so different from English; consequently, it took me a while to learn the nuances of English grammar.

Next interview will be posted on Friday, July 26: Penelope Anne Cole

Thank you for coming back to read her interview!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Hello all, I want to share with you a great read! I had a chance to write a review for this timely book: ' I AM MIXED' written by my favorite Haitian actress, Garcelle Beauvais and co/author Sebastian A. Jones. I am Haitian American and also have three mixed children. I recommend the book for all children, because it teaches children from all races that we are all the same. Hope you enjoy reading the review.

My heart is singing with glee after reading I am Mixed. I am especially happy for the many mixed race children, because they now have a book they can identify with. I wish this book was around when my kids were young.

The authors Sebastian A. Jones and Garcelle Beauvais have done a great job writing this important book. The story is about twins Jay and his sister Nia. The authors portray the twins like any other children, living life and doing the same type of things all children do, regardless of race, creed, or color.

I love the part of the story where Nia talks about being asked funny questions. Here’s an example:

When I go to school, I get asked funny things. Like, Your hair is bendy like curly, wurly straws. It is not straight like Sally’s or thick like Lenore’s.

The reply Nia gives is right on:

I say, I am all these things and so much more. I am all things fine and fair and coarse. And beautiful brown.

After having raised three mixed race children, I have learned to be kind when people ask stupid questions. I still remember, the day one woman, had the nerve to ask me if I was my daughter’s nanny. I did not get upset; I simply smiled and said no.

Mixed race children often have a difficult time identifying with their parents, because society wants to define which parent they should identify with. I loved it when Tiger Woods took a stand and said he is both black and Asian. My three children had to deal with the same type of issues.

I think the best way to help mixed children handle the pressures of being mixed is for the Mom and Dad to have a strong love for each other. All children regardless of race need to observe a strong family bond. That type of stability will help weather all of society’s curb balls. In my family, hubby and I often spoke honestly to our children about any questions regarding race issues. We were able to diffuse all the negatives that were hurled their way.

I believe strongly in the old adage: A family that plays together stays together. In the book, the authors did a great job showing the family having fun together.

This charming book will be a great resource for all families. People in general need to learn we are all the same. I think the authors portrayed that very well.

My favorite part of the book is:

I am the best from all over the world. I am like every boy and girl.

The illustrations by James C. Webster are top notch. As you move through each page, the artwork grabs and holds your attention.

I recommend this book for every home, because all children can learn that we all the same.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review: ‘ Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage’ by Nancy Stewart

I love inspiring stories, especially ones that are true, not fiction.Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage, by Nancy Stewart, is a true story of a girl born with a birth defect. Reading the story made me stop and think of the difficulties kids with disabilities face.

Katrina, fitted with a prosthetic leg, must learn to cope. She is self-conscious about walking with a limp. Life is not always fair, but we do not have to let life’s curve balls define who we become in life.

This story pulls at my heartstrings.

Lucky for Katrina, during a vacation trip, she meets Winter, a rescued dolphin with a stump of a tail. Katrina’s true character shines through as she gets inspired by Winter. Katrina is blown away with Winter’s ability to learn how to swim.

After visiting Winter, whenever Katrina is faced with self-doubt and worry, she thinks about Winter. What follows is a girl who achieves goals beyond her wildest dreams. Katrina participates in Jump Rope Club, horseback riding, gymnastics, and even modeling school.

This incredible story is an inspiration to anyone with disabilities. The author was very clever to include personal photos that present Katrina and Winter in real-life scenes.

The ultimate lesson one can learn from this great story is hard work does pay off. The book will be a great addition in any classroom. Teachers can use the book to help children understand how far a “can do” attitude can take one.

Lastly, Katrina’s courage will inspire both adults and children. Personally, I learned the value of not allowing life’s curve balls to define who you become in life.

Friday, July 5, 2013



Award-winning author Nancy Stewart has done it again. Her book, Bella Saves the Beach, is another masterpiece. As a parent, I like the idea of teaching kids the importance of taking care of the environment. It is in my opinion, a good idea to teach that lesson early on.

In Bella Saves the Beach, Bella wants to help clean up the litter left by people. She is quite upset that people are not using the trash bins. At first, she is not very successful in getting others to help her pick up the trash.

Goal-oriented and very determined, Bella comes up with many ways to achieve her desire to clean up the beach.

It is very refreshing to see a child put out a concerted effort to make a difference. Bella Saves the Beach is a story that teachers, parents, grandparent, and guardians can use to teach young children about helping make a difference.

There are many lessons children can learn from this inspiring story. Here are the lessons that stand out:
Goal-orientation: Bella is determined to find help and does not give up even though she encounters a few setbacks.
Being environmentally aware: It is a shame that people do not use the trash receptacles to dispose of trash. The author explains that trash can harm land, air, and sea creatures. It then becomes the responsibility of humans to keep the beaches safe for all to enjoy.
Children have the power to make a difference too: This angle of the story is my favorite. Too often, children are not considered mature enough to make a difference. Bella Saves the Beachshows that kids and adult have the power to make a positive change that everyone can benefit from.

The illustrations bring the story to life. The soft watercolors transport me back to my favorite place, the beach. They serve a twofold purpose. Children can enjoy the beauty of the beach while learning the value of helping keep our environment a safe place for everyone to enjoy.

To learn more about Nancy Stewart visit her website.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I am happy to announce newly released books from my publisher, Lynda Burch of Guardian Angel Publishing.

Land of Lost Socks:  a children’s historical musical
Angelic Harmony
by Jane Tesh and Jonie Klein-Higger

Kangaroo Clues
Academic Wings
by Margot Finke, illustrated by Mustafa Delioglu

Scriptures for Kids hardcover and softcover
Wings of Faith
by Barbara Arbo, illustrated by Melissa Ross