As the author of Saltwater Taffy, I feel I have learned what it takes to create young readers.  Here are 7 Steps for Creating Young Readers:

1. START EARLY: Twenty-six percent of children between the ages of three and five, who were read to at least three or four times in the last week by a family member, recognized all letters of the alphabet.  This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.

2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: If you want your child to read, pick up and book and show them how enjoyable reading can be.  If you don’t like to read, change your mind and think again.

3. FIELD TRIP: Grab the kids and spend a few hours at your local library.  Sign them up for their own library card.  Check into events for children and sign up! Read more



In order to create more Tween Readers in our country, I sat down and wrote the adventure novel Saltwater Taffy so I could teach the ideal: Your life is up to you!

Nobody can do it for you.  Not your parents.  Not your teachers.  Not even your best friend.  If you want something special out of your life, the journey is entirely up to YOU.

Going after a dream that is out of the ordinary takes work.  You have to really want it.  Each moment in your life is an adventure and should be treated as such.  If you don’t, all that will show up in your life is more of the same.  If you want greatness, you have to start with thoughts about greatness.  If you want adventure, your thoughts need to be adventurous.  If you want happiness, your thoughts need to be about happiness.

Saltwater Taffy is an adventure novel for tweens and is endorsed by 12 Teachers of the Year around the country.  The book has become an Accelerated Reader title and tween reader favorite for children’s book clubs.



Saltwater TaffyCELL PHONE ADDICTIONS: Can you hear me now?

The topic of cell phone addiction couldn’t be more timely as our lives are now run by these so-called smartphones.  I think parents of Middle School Children should begin to wonder if their child is suffering from cell phone addiction.  Have we become so addicted to our cell phones that we are unable to notice what is happening around us.

Have you ever noticed the line at coffee shops where every person is on their phone, ignoring each other?  Have you ever noticed the driver next to you on the freeway madly texting with one hand on the wheel?  What about the very instant the plane lands at the airport and the race to check email begins?  I don’t know about you, but smartphone technology seems to be making us dumb and dumber, one text at a time.

As we continue to become more and more connected through technology, we are becoming more and more disconnected from each other.  While I like to pride myself on the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, any time, I have noticed a change in my own behavior lately.

I must confess that I love everything about the social media explosion.  I am on Facebook, Twitter, +Google and Klout.com.  I also confess that I really love my iPhone, but the instant it sends me an alert, I grab for it.  This makes me wonder if I am suffering from cell phone addiction?

The number one concern I have about all of this is distracted driving.  Even though Facebook and Twitter buzzes with PSA commercials about texting and driving, the freeways are still filled with distracted drivers.  I too am guilty of the activity and it scares me.  I have gone so far as to leave my phone in the trunk of the car on purpose because the impulse to connect is so great.  Have you ever honked at someone for driving while distracted?  I have, but when I do, the bird gets flipped, lickety-split.

I now have to constantly remind myself to leave my phone alone while I am behind the wheel or engaged in a face-to-face conversation.  During a recent lunch meeting, the guy across the table from me must have checked his phone ten times before our food arrived.  While this is rapidly becoming acceptable social behavior in the “I’m so important” culture we have, I find it troubling.

I wonder what would happen if the next time our phone sends us an alert, we finished our conversation or we waited until we arrive at our destination before grabbing for it like a gunfighter from the old west grabbing for his gun.

Let us please remember that emails, incoming calls, and text messages won’t die if they are left unattended.  Social media addictions and communication distractions are real, so let us keep our hands on the wheel, finish our conversations and not be afraid to say hello to that person in line at Starbucks.  And one more thing….oh, wait…sorry…I have to answer my phone.  Until next time.  E.

Guest Posting with BOOKMARKET.COM


BOOKMARKET.COM – Guest Posting

Bookmarket.com is one of the leading resources for book marketing on the internet.  John Kremer is THE #1 name in book marketing on the internet.  His book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books is the industry go-to for book marketing and used by independent and traditional NY publishers.  I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for his Bookmarket.com website; Self-Published or Independent: What’s In a Name Anyway?

Learning How To Read: Guest Writer

Learning how to readLEARNING HOW TO READ: Guest Writer

Learning how to read is becoming a bigger topic than we care to admit.  There is an amazing website out there that I want to bring to your attention.  Run by Bianca Schulz, The Children’s Book Review is a great stop for any parent looking for children’s books, especially Saltwater Taffy.  I recently had the pleasure of writing an article for the website about child literacy in America.  As an advocate of children’s literacy in America, this was the easiest article I have even written.  Together we can change the futures of our children, by teaching them to read TODAY.