“Road To Reviews,”Iggy Loo, Day 13


Here I am in Oregon! Not only was there a crater moon in Idaho but there is a crater lake in Oregon.This happened from a collapse of a volcano 7,700 years ago. It’s the deepest lake in the USA fed by rain and snow.

With my travels I thought it’d be appropriate to stop at Lewis and Clark’s National & State Historical Park. Then I explored the Sea Lion Caves. It’s America’s largest cave and home to the Stellar sea lions. The cave was formed 25 million years ago and is as high as a 12 story building.

The day would not be complete without a visit with my Oregon friend Heather. Here she’ll share her reviews about my new holiday book, Iggy Loo.

Heather writes:  A tender, delightful story of the impressions family traditions have on children. The soft classic Holiday colors illustrated create a story to treasure. Iggy Loo reminds us to embrace family, cherish Holidays and pass on traditions.  

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 12


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 11

p20Where here in Montana where my morning started out at 39 degrees. Brr…just like I like it. With such a brisk morning I thought I’d explore Glacier National Park where there is over 1500 square feet of wilderness. A ranger took me to native American Speaks even though they’re closed. He felt bad I came all this way. There the tribes shared their knowledge of the history and culture of Native America. Quite interesting. I think I might come back this winter for their Ranger-led Snowshoe Walk.

I made one pit stop to The Big Dipper. Not the star but for ice cream!  I tried the Mango Habanero Sorbet. Spicy!

My last stop was to visit my friend Lara. She wanted to tell you about my new holiday book Iggy Loo but she’s not answering her door. Maybe I’ll try again later.

So I’ll tell you a bit about my book. I had spent a lifetime in my snow globe being admired by the little redhead. But more than anything, I envied the world that surrounds me and craved to experience life outside my globe. Through one shattering event I got my wish. See what happened next in my holiday picture book.

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

“Road To Review,” Iggy loo, Day 4

p19I made my way to North Carolina home to Nascar’s Hall of Fame. It’s everything you wanted to know about racing. Then I cooled off in Looking Glass Falls. The name “Looking Glass” comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. Then I visited the USS North Carolina Battleship Museum. I even got to steer the ship, start its engines and even fired the guns.

Sad to say my next mommy was not able to review. Stomach bug at their house. I hope their tummies feel better. I thought it was best to finish visiting the sites and not stop at their house. I have too much traveling to do. Come with me on my next stop tomorrow in Georgia to meet my next book reviewer.

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

Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . .Kathi Appelt

kathi Kathi is the author of more than 30 books. She writes novels, picture books, poetry, and nonfiction for children and young adults. Her publishing credits stem way back to 2006, stacking up a slew of writing credits under her belt. Her books have been translated into several languages: Spanish, Chinese,French and Swedish.when-otis-courted-mama

Her first novel was The Underneath, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008. It features a cat and dog who live mainly beneath an old house in the Louisiana–Texas bayou. For that work she received the annual Children’s Literature award and she was also a runner-up for the National Book Award and the American Library Association Newbery Honor Book. Her recent works include Counting Crows and When Otis Courted Mama.

She has two grown children and lives in Texas with her husband. Visit her at KathiAppelt.com.

And now the tiny talk. Enjoy!

ME:  What is your greatest accomplishment?

KATHI: Raising our two brilliant sons with my brilliant hubby.

ME:  Do you have a special talent?

KATHI: I think I’m good with cats and small children.

ME:  If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?

KATHI: I’m working on a new story now, so I’m spending a lot of time with that main character.  It would be so great if she were a real person and could just tell me her story.  Then I wouldn’t have to make it up.  But . . . wait . . . that’s the fun part, making it up.

ME: Tell us five words that describes you as a writer.

KATHI: Tenacious, avid, slow, serious, muddled.

ME: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?

KATHI: I’d say I’m a bit of both, but at the end of the day, I appreciate an outline.

I am privileged to had the chance to interview Kathi. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Tiny Talk Tueday with . . . Jessica Lanan

I gal from Colojessicarado spent her free time drawing pictures. She created her first picture book at age eight, called “Skeleton Dog.”

Later, she earned a BA in fine art with a focus on sculpture. She was the recipient of the 2011 Portfolio Mentorship Award at the SCBWI Los Angeles conference, and is currently working on a new picture book with Lee & Low Books, slated for sometime in 2015. Jessica has written picture books, Good Fortune In A Wrapping Cloth and Great Uncle Alistair.

I noticed Jessica’s work through Facebook. Her black and white drawing were so detailed. They evoke a lot of emotion. Her color drawings are just as wonderful. Jessica does her work from Denver, Colorado.jessica 1

And now for my Tiny Talk interview with Jessica.

ME: How do you want to be remembered? 

JESSICA:  I think I’d like to be remembered as someone courageous, who wasn’t afraid to break the rules, and who wasn’t afraid to fail spectacularly. There’s a lot of rejection and self-doubt that comes along with writing and illustrating, and I think it takes courage. I think there’s something respectable about someone who can fail, then pick themselves back up and keep going. 

ME: Great advice to us writers and illustrators.

ME: Finish this sentence: A perfect day would involve…

JESSICA: Coffee, spending time outside, my husband, laughter, good food, and a sense of accomplishment, chocolate.
ME: Can’t forget the chocolate!

ME: Who influenced your writing career/passion?
JESSICA: My grandfather loved illustrated books, and when I was a kid he would send my sister and I the most beautiful picture books he could find. I treasured these books and still have most of them. I feel a little sad that he was never able to know that I pursued illustration as a career path.

ME: That is the best answer ever. A great memory.

ME: Where do you get your inspiration from?
JESSICA: Creativity is something that grows organically for me. I really can’t force it. All I can do is try to foster an environment where it can grow. It helps when I get up early and create something just for me before the day begins. I’ll sit down with just a pencil and paper and think “where do I want to go? Who do I want to meet?” Often those morning doodles and drawings are much more interesting and have a much truer sense of voice than my other work. They might not be finished illustrations or ideas, but can end up being the seeds for future projects.

ME: And it truly shows in your work. They’re beautiful.

ME: If you could sit and have a drink with a famous artist or illustrator dead or alive, who would it be and why?
JESSICA: Just one? I guess I’d have to go with Trina Schart Hyman. I’ve adored her illustrations since I was a kid. I’d have her sign my battered copy of “Saint George and the Dragon.”

ME: Perfect!

I want to thank you, Jessica for taking time out of your day to answer my questions. I look forward to more of you beautiful work. Good luck in your future successes.

Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . . Bob McMahon


I noticed Bob’s illustrations while doing an illustrator search. Then I asked him to be my friend so I could get a first hand look at his WIP (work in progress). His illustrations have a certain quality that makes you want to squeeze the cheeks of each character he illustrates. His digital artwork is expressive and full of detail.

For 20 years, Bob McMahon’s work has ranged from advertising, toy concepts, movie posters, educational and children’s books. Bob enjoys creating his unique humorous illustrations from his home studio in Southern California. He is represented by Ronnie Herman.

I hope one day one of my manuscripts can be Bob McMahon illustrated. I’m just in love with his illustrating style.


ME: How do you want to be remembered?

BOB: I would like to be remembered as an artist who drawings make you smile a little. Maybe that’s a pretty modest goal but seeing the horrific things that are happening out there in the world it’s pretty important accomplishment.

ME: Your work brightens my day!

ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . .

BOB: My perfect day would involve sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and working full time on my own children’s book ideas. As fun as it is doing illustrations for other peoples books, I really yearn to work on my own lunatic ideas.

ME: And I look forward to that book that says written and illustrated by Bob McMahon.

ME: Describe your illustrating style.

BOB: Fun. I hope people can see how much fun I have doing these illustrations.

ME: Your work is definitely full of life and vibrancy.

ME: What book character would you be and why?

BOB: Most definitely I would be Harold with his purple crayon. I would love to bring my artwork to life like he does!

ME: Who doesn’t love Harold?

ME: If you could sit and have coffee with another artist dead or alive who would it be and why?

BOB: I would love to sit and have coffee with Chas Addams. I love the dark and completely original way he looked at the world.

Thank you, Bob for taking the time to chat with me. It was a pleasure, and I hope one day we can meet in person to get a photo. Good luck with all your future endeavors.

For my readers, please leave a comment if you enjoyed the Tiny Talk interview and don’t forget to check out Bob’s work.

Tiny Talk Tuesday With Debbie Ridpath Ohi


When you visit any of Debbie’s social media pages you get a strong glimpse of her bubbling personality. Those big dimpled smiles are for real. I met this energetic bundle at a Los Angeles conference. I introduced myself, and she was exactly what I imagined. We chatted about her baby Sea Monkeys. I was impressed with their growth. She took top-notch care of those little floaters. But what Debbie is really known for are those adorable inked illustrations.

She’s a Japanese-Canadian children’s book writer & illustrator living in Toronto with her husband Jeff. She’s the founder of Inkspot and Inklings, one of the very first online writing communities and electronic newsletters for writers. Debbie ended up selling to a U.S. company, so she could focus on doing more creating and less administration/managing.

Debbie illustrated I’M BORED and NAKED!, two picture books written by Michael Ian Black, as well as some Judy Blume chapter books and middle grade titles. Debbie’s first solo book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? comes out from S&S Books For Young Readers in May 2015. You can find her on Twitter at @inkyelbows and at DebbieOhi.com.

As you can see she is soaring in her writing and illustrating career. Now to learn a little bit more on Debbie.


ME: How do you want to be remembered?

Debbie: With laughter.

ME: You easily got that covered. You’re a bundle of smiles.

ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve…

DEBBIE: A perfect day would involve reading an entire book for pleasure in a comfy chair, an afternoon nap and a two-player evening board game with my husband in front of the fireplace.

ME: Now all you need is a little snow to fall outside the window.

ME: What book character would you be and why?

DEBBIE: Douglas Spaulding from Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, so I could see Green Town, Illinois through his eyes.

ME: Love his stuff.

ME:  What motivates your illustrations?

DEBBIE: Depends on the day and my mood, plus whether the illustration is for a book project. So motivation can range anywhere from joy, sadness, discovery, experimentation, an occasion and deadlines. But these are just a few reasons. Mostly I draw because I can’t help myself.

Me: I can relate.

ME: If you could have lunch with a famous artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

DEBBIE: Dead artist: Edward Gorey, because I’m such a huge fan of his work and am so curious about what he’d be like in person.

Living artist: Dan Santat. Same reasons as above but also because I love his social media posts, which are fascinating and funny and insightful. I’ve chatted with Dan online but haven’t had much chance to hang out in person yet.

Thank you so much Debbie for being part of my blog. It was a pleasure getting to know you, and I wish you many more successes. I look forward to our next meeting.