A Time For Thanks

Like many I have been blessed this year.

I’m thankful for…

…my families constant support. For my husband who always sees my potential and tells me all the time how proud he is of me. To my children who inspire me. There have been so many times lately when they do without me. They understand when I cannot be there because of my weekend book signings and events. For their unconditional love I am thankful.

…my critique group who have been in my life for almost a decade. They are my weekly support system when I am in doubt of my work. I can count on them for encouragement, to listen and make me a better writer. They are like my extended family. I don’t know what I’d do without them. For their dedication I am thankful.

….my social media connections and friends. It’s my forum to vent, laugh and share. When I’m having a horrible day there is a word of encouragement. When I have something terrific to share someone is adding an emoji or a word of kudos. I don’t know 34,000 people and yet they still connect at one time or another. For my friends on these sites. You are consistent supporters of my work. I know some days you must hate seeing me once again in your feed. For their friendship and tolerance I am thankful.

…for my publisher who took a chance on me. Who believed my stories needed to be published. Who takes the time to answer my million and one emails. With that I hope to make Clear Fork Publishing rich someday! For their patience and open-mindedness I am thankful.

…for my illustrators who brought life to my characters. Andreea who made the characters of Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four memorable. Bailey’s darling drawings in My Big Tree delights me every time I read the book. She even made a snakes lovable. Sunny’s adorable penguin. Iggy Loo warms my heart every time I look at him. He’s going to be on my Christmas card this year! For their wonderful talent I am thankful.

…for my faith that gives me the strength to overcome my struggles and help me see my worth. For this I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

“Road To Reviews,” Iggy Loo, Day 12

p9

In Idaho today! I had to see the craters of the moon! Created over 15,000 years ago by lava flowing from the Great Rift. A sight to see.

And how can one not see the Idaho Potato Museum while in Idaho! The museum is dedicated to you guess it the spud. Did you know a potato is made up of 80% water? I didn’t know there was so much to learn about a potato. Hey, what do you call a baby potato? A small fry! Ha!

Okay, let’s get serious. I headed over to my friend Kayla where she is going to review one of my favorite holiday books, Iggy Loo.

Kayla: Maria Ashworth’s “Iggy Loo” will bring you back to all of your Holiday memories. The little red head knew just what to do with Iggy Loo to conserve his memory and pass him down to her own child. Such a well written children’s book and the pictures add a world of visual that bring the book to life. This is just what is needed to cherish the holidays. I enjoyed the “how to”, it adds a more personable touch to the end. Definitely adding this one to the collection.
http://www.projectmomdotme.wordpress.com, @pretty_L_mamas

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99

 

“Road To Reviews,” Iggy Loo, Day 10

iggy-3Who would of thought you could spend an entire day at a shopping mall? Well you can if it has a theme park! Yes! It’s one of the largest malls in the United States. Roller coasters inside the mall! It’s the largest Nickelodeon Theme Park with 28 rides including a Ferris wheel. I explored SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium Moose and Mountain Adventure Golf. So much to do in one spot.

Then I visited with my friend Meredith to share her review on my book Iggy Loo. Stop here to read, http://www.mommyinleggings.com.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99

“Road To Reviews,” Iggy Loo, Day 9

iggy-1Yee-haw! I can say that now that I’m in Texas. Here the humidity is high and the people are extra warm. I’m here in the hub of Houston. I spent the morning at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They Cockrell Butterfly exhibit where they have hundreds of species flying around. Next, I played at the Children’s Museum of Houston. They have a lot of cool hands on exhibits from water play, science and eco-stations. Of course I couldn’t leave without getting some good ol’ Texas BBQ. Boy, I’m stuffed. It’s true, everything’s bigger in Texas!

Finally I stopped in to see my friend William for his review of my holiday book titled Iggy Loo.

William writes: Let me say right off that I really enjoyed the book, as did my boys, Liam (2) and Lucas (4).

The story was entertaining, engaging, and heartfelt. As I read, my children immediately picked up on the enchanting name of the eponymous main character and repeated it to me every time I said it. Lucas even mentioned him after the fact several times.

The illustrations were wonderful. As a designer myself, I enjoyed the consistency of the art and overall page layout. Choi has a nice, delicate design sense and a consistent presentation of vision. Her images matched the story well.

The only issue I had was the font size and weight. It could have been larger and heavier without disrupting the overall design sensibility. Even so, it was not terribly problematic.

The instructions at the end were an inspired idea, by the way!

I’d give Iggy Loo an enthusiastic two thumbs up!
@WHSizemore1

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99

“Road To Reviews,” Iggy Loo, Day 7

p15Florida is know for being the home of Walt Disney World, the National Naval Aviation Museum and The Kennedy Space Center. So I thought I’d take you  Gatorland. It opened in 1949 and is considered one of Orlando’s best half-day attraction. When you arrive you enter through the mouth of a gator. Not a real one of course. You can wrestle and alligator, or be a trainer-for-a-day. I preferred to be part of the audience. Here they house the extremely rare”white” alligators.

I had to visit and tour the house of Ernest Hemingway’s. His house is furnished withhemingway_realax_198_325_s_cy_c_c_0_0_100_bor1_c3b8a5 European antiques. There are six-toed cats still lurking about Hemingway’s home. They are to be the decedents of the cat that
was given to him by a merchant sea captain.gatorland-mouth

Finally, I got to sit down with my new friend Amber from www.theovereducatedmother.com,  @overeducatedmom. I can’t wait to hear her review of my new holiday book, Iggy Loo.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99

“Road To Review,” Iggy Loo, Day 6

Next I traveled to Macon, Georgia, 85 miles south of Atlanta. p8moss. Did you know Macon hosts a International Cherry Blossom Festival in March where there is a 300,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees in bloom? That’s why it’s known as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the world.

Ocmulgee is their number one tourist destination. There I walked across Civil War battlefields and explored a North America’s only reconstructed earth lodge.

I’d end full day with a stop to hear a review from my friend Chris, www.middlegeorgiakids.com@HowDadDoesLife on my new book Iggy Loo. Next stop home of Mickey Mouse!

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99

“Road To Reviews,” Iggy Loo, Day 5

p6This morning I headed out to Atlanta, Georgia. Even though Georgia is known as the “peach state” it’s the not the largest producer of peaches. Georgia is know for its largest production of peanuts and  pecans.

Georgia has seven official natural wonders: Amicalola Falls, the Okefenokee Swamp, Providence Canyon, Radium Springs, Stone Mountain, Tallulah Gorge and Warm Springs.

I took in a movie in the world’s largest drive-in called The Varsity. On a busy day they can have over 300,000 people visit. A dose of Happy Feet never gets old.

Afterwards I visited the zoo. Took in a hay ride, ran through a corn maze and picked a pumpkin at Southern Bell Farm.  At The Rock Ranch I took a locomotive train ride, zip lined and walked through a miniature kid town. Perfect for penguins my size.

I ended my time here is Atlanta with listening to my review of Iggy Loo from Amber, www.chinupmom.com@ChinUpMom

Next stop, Savannah, Georgia.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clear Fork Publishing. Ask for it at your local book store and library.
Hard Cover $16.99
Soft Cover $10.99