Forest Secrets: A Magical Mystery Novel

Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate your review. Happy blogging!


I received a copy of Forest Secrets: A Magical Mystery Novel free, to give a honest and unbiased review about. I really enjoyed this book. I was captivated from page 1 by this book and wanting to know what was going to happen. I love mysteries and fantasy books, and while this book would seem more appropriate for children it is enjoyable for adults that love both of those things. I have an 8 year old and 11 year old who I will be sharing this story with.

The story is about Daisy who has just recently moved to a new development with her mom after her parents got divorced. She is a lonely 11 year old who is very interested in adventures and she definitely found an adventure in the forest near her new home. Daisy met 2 friends Caliandra and Albert shortly after moving, and together they work…

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Agent Query: How To Shift From “Telling” To “Selling”

We writers may be creative but we also need to be business savvy.

Dan Alatorre

head shot Your humble host

My friend Molli Nickell, a veteran of the publishing world with over 30 years experience in the big leagues, drops by to impart a few nuggets for those of you pursuing the traditional publishing route, but there is wisdom in her words for indies, too.

Writers: your query AND your blurb need to SELL your product.

That’s a whole different skill set than writing a story.

Here’s Molli.


Dear Writer,

What prevents writers from becoming published authors? The culprit is the query letter. Arrgh! I understand the challenge, which is why I sent you a link to my Query Letter template on February 7. Use it to help you figure out what you need to put where in your query and why.

writers, including you, don’t give yourself enough credit for what you’ve accomplished (or are accomplishing)

It seems to me that writers, including you…

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Creating Space for Peace with Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

When peace surrounds a child, peace is within. A thoughtful article on how to create a calm environment.

Language for Peace Forum

One part of peace education is creating a classroom environment in which students can experience a peaceful space. In the often high-stakes world of language learning, testing, and curriculum goals, it can be a challenge to integrate opportunities for this.

Educator Lori Desautels suggests that a combination of brain breaks and focused-attention practice during the class can not only help to reduce stress, but also to enhance performance.

“When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.”

Many of the suggestions she makes would be excellent for the language classroom and provide opportunities for creative language…

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