Sunday 25 December 2016

A Fun Sale

We had a lot of fun at a YardSale on Friday. A few potential buyers were looking at some of the art at the back of the table. One lady decided she would like an Oriental drawing. As she debated whether or not to purchase it, the gentleman next to her decided he would like it too. It was funny to hear the interchange. I do admit I considered raising the price and turning it into a mini auction. Needless to say the first buyer made her purchase and the gentleman and his wife began to browse to see if there was anything else they would like. All of a sudden there was a hoot of delight on discovering "Relationships" by R.A. Kahn.

What was the excitement we wondered? Had they heard of the book? Did they know the author? Did they like the title or the cover design?

I mentioned that they would be purchasing from the author....

They looked at each other and asked who the author was. I introduced her standing on my right. They were very excited. Evidently they have a relative who is also R. Kahn.

One never knows what will inspire a sale. For one, it is the title of the book. For another it is the cover design. For another it is the blurb on the back cover, in this case it was the author's name.

What inspires you to purchase books? Let us know in the comment section below.

Have a wonderful week

Monday 19 December 2016

Interview with Author Robert Skead

It's always wonderful to come across an author who has a motive to inspire others, especially that they should use their gifts too. This next author is just such an author. Enjoy the interview that follows.

Q1) Hi Rob, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our blog. I loved to read on your website that "Writing is your gift". When did this begin? Or how did you discover your talent in writing?

A: My writing gift began in second and third grades when I always received As in Creative writing. I never thought much about this until I was in my mind 20s and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I spent a lot of time praying asking God to show me what my talent was. Soon thereafter I started getting ideas for stories but I didn’t know what to do with them. Still frustrated, I did what any 20-something year old boy would do—I went crying to my mommy. She reminded me about those As in Creative Writing in Elementary School and suggested I go back to school and get a Masters and focus on writing. Her recommendation combined with the ideas I was receiving made me feel this was a revelation.

I later took my Mom’s advice, went to grad school, and focused on writing.

Q2)   On your website you state: "I also love to inspire others to discover their gifts. Because when we use our gifts and talents to help others, purpose is born and life is fulfilled." This is such a beautiful message. Can you share something about this? How did you develop it and what can you share with our readers to help them to want to help others to achieve their talents too.

A: Lots of people want to be rich and famous—they think that will make them happy and give them purpose.  It’s so far from the truth. I’ve discovered purpose comes from discovering your talents and using them in life—that brings pure joy. My parents’ generation used the word vocation, which implies a calling to one’s work. I believe that is true and when that happens and we use our gifts to benefit others, life also has joy and others get blessed from our talents. 

I always encourage others to find their talent, develop it (practice) and find ways to use that talent for the good of others (this doesn’t even take a lot of work—we all have skills and gifts that can be used somewhere in a volunteer or other capacity) – and then joy will be the result. We are blessed to bless others.

Q3) On your website you state that when you were at school you did not enjoy reading. However, your creative writing was your strong point. That is fascinating. Authors / writers are usually told that you need to read a lot in order to be a good writing. What are your thoughts about reading now and how would you inspire children to improve their interest in reading.

A: I disliked reading as a child, mostly because I never connected with any books that moved me or grabbed me.  I liked biographies on Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. That’s pretty much it. Today, there are so many great books in so many varieties of genres to appeal to any kid—that wasn’t the case in the 1970s.

The first book I read that I couldn’t put down was The Hobbit.

Then school work took time from reading for enjoyment.

But I agree—to be a great writer one has to read a lot. I became a voracious reader beginning in my 20s—for enjoyment and to study storytelling to get better at my craft.

To improve your interest in reading, it’s simple---find a writer or type of story that interests you and try it. Professional booksellers at B&N are great about giving great recommendations.

Q 4)  Who inspires you as a writer? Do you have a role model or someone you admire that inspires your writing?

A: No one person inspires me as a writer. But I do aspire to be as good as authors like Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, Rick Riordan and John Grisham.

Q 5) Did you take any courses to further your writing or was it more a case of you loved to write and got on and began producing books?

A: As part of my masters’ degree I took courses in screenwriting and story structure. Since then I’ve learned by reading and studying how best selling books and their stories are set up, characters created, etc..

Q 6) I notice your books are historical fiction and sport. Can you share about these Genres. What do you love about them?

A: Historical fiction: I am an American Revolution buff and when we I visited a house that General Washington used as his headquarters for two days in 1777, a story idea was born. That story took greater shape when my father discovered our ancestor fought in the American Revolution for the Continental Army and Connecticut Militia, and our book Patriots, Redcoats & Spies was born.

Sports:  I love baseball and since we should write about what we know and love, several stories birthed from this interest.

Writing is fun—and even more so when we write about things we love.

I hope that love shines through in the storytelling and that all those who read my books finish each book with a great feeling. 

If you would like to learn more about Rob and his books, you can visit him on his

This interview was carried out and compiled by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Sunday 18 December 2016

SLOW READER AT WORK - in praise of the Reader's Digest.

I am lucky enough to be a relatively fast reader, which allows me to get through masses of "stuff" on the internet each week plus at least two full length books.  However, I came across this delightful item the other day and thought it might be of interest to others.

"All my life I have been the victim of a senseless and superstitious feeling that once I start to read something I must finish it verbatim.  There can be no turning over two pages at a time, no peeking ahead to see if there's a happy ending.  Possibly there lurks in my subconscious the fear that if I skim lightly through a printed work the author will turn up to haunt me in some nasty way.  Or it may be an exaggerated sense of guilt like the remorse one experiences after cheating at solitaire.

This conscientious thoroughness has resulted in a good many hours of ennui and the dubious satisfaction of knowing that I am fulfilling a cockeyed duty toward some writer who doesn't give a hoot anyway.  For I am a slow reader.  As a child I never learned the modern streamline method of absorbing an entire paragraph at a glance. My father was my instructor. We used a small yellow volume entitled "The Land of Song: Book One" and we lovingly spelled out each sentence, word by word, syllable by syllable.  I still catch myself muttering aloud over posers like "phthisis".  It takes me a week to read a novel and ten days for the average biography.  This naturally narrows down my selection of reading matter.

But now comes The Reader's Digest to keep me abreast of the times and to shrive my conscience.  The cutting and skipping has been done in advance by the editors - let the printer's ink be on their souls!  The pieces are of such compactness that even I can finish three or four in a taxi on my way to a party and arrive sparkling with information.

Looking back on the days when there was no Reader's Digest is much like looking back on the days when there was no such thing as air conditioning.  One wonders how one ever got along without it - at least this one does."

Written by Cornelia Otis Skinner - in 1944!!!  And produced here for the comfort of all slow readers, by Rosemary Kahn.

Friday 16 December 2016

Give Away on Good Reads has Ended

Over the past week, we have had a Give Away campaign on the go on Good Reads for the book Relationships by R.A. Kahn . The campaign has now ended and the winner has been drawn. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this. We are very excited to say that 527 people entered to win this book. That is so amazing and very encouraging.

We are waiting to receive information as to who the winner is and will share once the book is ready to send. Maybe we can put up a pic or make a short video. We have to see. In the meantime, thank you again to everyone who participated and a very big Congratulations to the Winner!

Do let us know when the book arrives and how you enjoy it. We love to hear from our readers.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday 5 December 2016

Win A Copy of Relationships by R.A. Kahn

After much debate, some research and figuring out how to use GoodReads, we are excited to announce our upcoming GiveAway on GoodReads.

If you have an interest in the Teenage Novel, Relationships by R.A. Kahn, here is your opportunity to win an autographed copy.

So click on the link, visit the competition and you stand a chance to win.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Relationships by R.A. Kahn


by R.A. Kahn

Giveaway ends December 15, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

The competition begins on 7th December and will be ending on 15th December 2016.

Wishing everyone who enters much success. It's an excellent book and very well written. Remember to tell your friends about it.

Shoshanah Shear

Interview with Children's Book Author - Susan Ross

The interview that follows is of a retired education teacher with a degree in psychology and specialty in primary education who spends her time writing children's books. 

Q 1) Hi Susan, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. You have a lovely website, can you tell us something about how you came up with the design. I love the idea of the train at the top with each compartment representing a different tab.

A: Thank you very much, Shoshanah. The train is taken from the last page in my first book, The Great Bellybutton Cover-up. I put it on the website to make sure the page looked gender neutral. I love bright colours for children and that's why the website is so colourful.

Q 2) How did you start writing books?

A: I have always been a story teller. One day, at an event at Fanshawe Pioneer Village a woman came over to me and said I should write my stories down for future grandchildren. So I started but only got so far. Then I saw the movie The Bucket List. That's when I started writing in earnest. (If you haven't seen the movie, you should. That's where the term "Bucket List" came from.)

Q 3) Can you share something about what inspires your stories?

A: My first three stories were created for children's events at Fanshawe PV. They were inspired by a sheep shearing event, a Halloween event and a strawberry festival (although in The Rose and the Lily the prince searches for the perfect hairpin, instead of the perfect fruit). Emma the Mouse Brings Joy to the House was initially inspired by their corn festival but then I remember my friend who died of leukaemia and incorporated her into the story.

Q 4) I noticed you have set up your own publishing company. Can you tell us about this process?

A: As I only publish my own books it was fairly simple. I searched for names that weren't already registered and came up with Giggle Press after many searches for other names I wanted. Then I registered the name with the government, and secured the domain name and the e-mail address.

Q 5) How do you find a suitable illustrator for your books or do you have one that you work with?

A: I used one illustrator for 4 books. I found Megan Stiver in a program called BealArt at local high school. I had called the school and arranged to meet with the students. The next illustrator, Nick White, was found on-line. My current illustrator, Stephanie Amatori, is a student at Western University. I called the school and they sent out my request for an illustrator to their art students. (These schools are both in my city, London, Ontario.)

Q 6) I noticed that you give book-talks. Can you tell us more about these talks?

A: In Canada they are called "author visits." I do presentations for children from junior kindergarten to grade four. I discuss how I came up with the idea for the book I'm presenting, the writing process, the illustration process (emphasizing that both the writing and illustrating take a very long time) and the publishing process-printing, marketing, etc. All this is done on their level and with a great deal of humour and energy.

Thank you Susan, for sharing about your books and your writing. Do you have a message for the parents purchasing your books or for the children who will listen to the stories or perhaps learn to read them too?

A: My books are written to bring joy into a child's life with delightfully comical stories and a creative craft activity at the end of each book. I envision your child(ren) curled up beside you, giggling while you read the story together. Then I see you working on the craft together, using your imaginations to embellish my ideas. If I've given your child the gift of giggles, my job is done.

For those interested in finding out more about Susan or visiting her delightful, colourful website, her books can be seen on her website:
This interview was carried out and compiled by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Thursday 1 December 2016

A Little Bit of Family History

I had two great aunts called "Bertha" but the one I knew best and was very fond of, was Bertha Lazarus, my paternal grandmother's sister.  I think they were close friends as well as sisters, although my gran was seven years older.  Theirs was a large family of nine children, as far as I can remember but there could have been more!

I was thinking of great aunt Bertha today whilst doing some mending, using the compact sewing kit which she designed and made out of lovely soft leather.  These kits were known throughout our family as "the Aunty Bertha", as in "have you seen the  Aunty Bertha?" or "Where could I have put the Aunty Bertha?  I know I had it last week!" Mine is about 63 years old now and a little worn, but I love it. I gave another one that I had, a lovely yellow one, to my granddaughter.  I think she was quite amused when I arrived in Australia and told her that I had not come on my own because I had brought "Aunty Bertha" with me! Mira was only 9 at the time but loved sewing, so I thought she would enjoy the company of her very own sewing kit.  I know she has been looking after it very carefully.

As a young woman, Bertha took up nursing as a career and never having married, she worked for most of her life in a large hospital in London, where she became head matron.  She lived in an hotel, the Hotel Vanderbilt, 76 - 86 Cromwell Road in South Kensington, which was an imposing Georgian Mansion, once the home of the Vanderbilt family.  It was later converted into an hotel.  

I, of course ,only met her once she had retired and come to live in Cape Town, South Africa,to be near her sister, my grandmother. She spent her days doing handwork, making stuffed felt toys; weaving; doing leather work and other crafts. She made a handsome toy camel for my young brother, David, which he aptly named "Humpy".  I received books from her as regular gifts.  Even then she knew of my love of reading. 

I was eight years old when my family left Cape Town and settled in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia as it was then, and I only saw Aunty Bertha again when I was eleven and about to go to boarding school.  However, she had continued to supply me with books during those intervening years and I remember them well.  I usually enjoyed the stories but the illustrations were boring, mostly black and white or ink sketches and some were quite alarming.

My beloved grandmother died on the 7th August 1955 and sadly Aunty Bertha passed away twenty days later on the 27th. In the  short time I had known her she told me many  things about her life as a nurse and then as a matron.  She was always keen on handwork and she encouraged many of her patients to to take up various crafts to suit their abilities.  She said it was an important part of their healing process to keep as active as possible. 

My younger daughter is an Occupational Therapist and she knows the value of this too. In fact, she has just published a book on the subject, called "Healing your life through Activity".  I wonder if Aunty Bertha knew of Occupational Therapy as a profession all those many years ago?  It's an interesting thought and connection, isn't It?  That relatively new profession when my Aunt started nursing has grown tremendously and now covers almost every aspect of life, from before birth until the inevitable end, as my daughter has so carefully pointed out in her book.  Read it, if you can!


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