Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nail Soup

I just posted this "author insight" about The Riddle of Penncroft Farm on Bublish and I decided to post it here, too. I had forgotten all about this "nail soup" bit!

Here is the excerpt I was writing about:

Suddenly hoofbeats clattered on the lane. A single horse cantered up. With eyes wild at the sight of the flames, it reared, hooves slicing at the smoky air. The two riders managed to slide off the horse’s back unhurt. For the moment, I had eyes only for the taller of the two. It was Will, dressed from head to toe as a Continental cavalryman. In his hand was his old hand-carved
cane, which he brandished over his head in fury as he shouted at the mob. “Shame, shame on you all! Is this how we are to build a new nation? By burning one another’s homes?” Under his torrent of scathing words, the rampaging mob rapidly dwindled into a knot of ten chastened men.
   - The Riddle of Penncroft Farm ©1989 by Dorothea Jensen

Remember the story in which a penniless man cozened everyone into adding vegetables to what he purported to be "nail soup?" (The very last thing he did was to remove the nail on the sly and eat the fine soup.) That is what this excerpt amounts to.  I saw a Revolutionary War drum in a museum and it was one large spur to my writing this story. I was going to have Geordie be a drummer boy in Washington's army, then I decided to have Ned Owens be one instead, which makes Geordie jealous. For the big finish/reveal about Sandy, I had her beating on such a drum as she rode behind Will to Penncroft Farm. Which was ridiculous. It would just not have been possible, especially as she would have been perched behind him with both legs on one side because she was wearing a dress. (This was called riding "aside" rather than "astride", I believe.) The very last thing I did before this book went to press was take the drum out of Sandy's hands. (So glad I did.)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

OK, people, here we go!

Now that Christmas is over, I'm turning my focus away from my Izzy Elves and their blog, twitter, website, etc., to the historical fiction part of my writing. (Although I'm sure that the Izzies will soon make their feelings known about this.)

In less than four months (April 22, 2016, to be exact), A Buss from Lafayette, my new historical novel for young readers will be released by BQB Publishing.

About the Book

Fourteen-year-old Clara Hargraves lives on a farm in Hopkinton, a small New Hampshire town, during the 19th century. She has a couple of big problems. First of all, she has a stepmother, Priscilla, who used to be her spinster schoolteacher aunt. Clara, still grieving her mother, resents that her late mother’s older sister has not only married her father but is about to have a baby. To make matters worse, “Prissy Priscilla” keeps trying to make the rambunctious, clever, and witty Clara act like a proper young lady. Secondly, Clara has red hair, making her a target for teasing by a handsome older boy, Dickon Weeks, and by her pretty seventeen-year-old Dread Cousin Hetty. Clara, however, has a secret plan she hopes will change this.
During the last week of June, 1825, Clara’s town is abuzz because the famous General Lafayette is about to visit their state during his farewell tour of America. In those eventful seven days, Clara learns a lot about her family, Hetty, Dickon, and herself. In addition, she hears many stories from her family, neighbors, veterans, and from Lafayette himself. Through these tales, she comes to understand the huge and vital role the French aristocrat played in America’s Revolutionary War. She also comes to see that her problems might not be quite so ter bile after all.

A Buss from Ladfayette is available for pre-order right now, as both a paperback and as an e-book.  Yes, yes, I know that the buy links are posted on my blog (just look over to the right, unless you are on a mobile device, in which case I have no idea where these will show up).

I am putting them RIGHT HERE ON THIS POST to make it easier for you, however!

Here they are:

Paperback from BQB Publishing

Paperback and Kindle book from Amazon

Paperback and Nook book from Barnes and Noble

Kobo e-book from (naturally) Kobo

It can also be bought as an e-book from iTunes but I can't figure out how to get an actual link for that so you iBookers are on your own. Sorry about that.

I am waiting to get the e-pub file from my publisher so I can start writing "author insights" on Bublish.com. I have so enjoyed writing these "Bubbles" about my classic historical novel for kids, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, and two of my Izzy Elf stories.  I think others enjoy reading them, too.  Here is how many "hits" I've garnered so far:

I have no idea who these people are, but I'm grateful to everyone for reading what I write!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Izzies' Big Finish!





Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wow! Can you believe it? Age and Experience Help!!

I spent a number of years as an actress/singer in Gilbert and Sullivan troupes in Philadelphia and Minneapolis, as well as in a baroque opera company called Ex Machina.  After I moved to rural New Hampshire, I did not have the chance to perform any longer, and have missed it terribly. (It still seems odd to think that none of my New Hampshire friends, whom I have known for 25 years, have ever really seen me on stage.)

The surprising thing is, that quite without planning to do so (as my husband recently pointed out) 21st century technology is allowing me to pull all of my past experience together. My acting “chops” have made it easy for me to record audiobooks of my stories and to create video blogs about my writing. My singing background means I am able to record and post songs online that appear in my stories. (I certainly never envisioned doing this when I wrote these books!) My unusual family life, both growing up and raising kids, has given me a skill at playing with words. This makes it relatively easy for me to make people smile, not only in my published writing, but also in my blogs, tweets, websites, Bublishing, etc. 

Frankly, I write to entertain myself, my family, and my friends and hope it entertains those who accidentally come across my stuff on the internet and on paper. I am continually amazed to find that this actually works!

I think that all of these “life skills” have helped me garner thousands of hits on my web “platform” – more than 60,000 so far! No mean feat for a grandmother who was born just after World War II!

I am so grateful to those of you who have helped me reach this number.  Thank you!


Monday, December 14, 2015

I Give Up: Christmas Countdown in Verse #3

So from now until after Christmas, I will just let the Izzies take over my own personal blog.  They can be quite insistent for such little guys!

Here is their latest blog:

Christmas Countdown in Verse #3

Today we will focus on Frizzy a bit
Her new girl-type trucks seem to be a huge hit.
So now she is madly a-working away
To ready them all to arrive Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Izzies Post Second Christmas Countdown Verse!

 OK. I know that the Izzy Elves are supposed to stay on their on blog.  However, as you all know, it is That Most Wonderful Time of Year!

So from now until Christmas, I'll be sharing posts from the IzzyElfBlog.




 * * *


Christmas Eve Countdown: #2

You might have noticed that the first of our "advent" calendar poems we published yesterday was one day short of a regular advent calendar. That's because we Izzies are all about The Deadline, which for us is Christmas Eve. That is when we all stop working, help Santa load up the sleigh, and start celebrating.

This is not to say that we consider Christmas Day in any way unimportant!  No sirree! Christmas Day is what gives all of us our purpose in life.

Having said that, back to the Christmas Eve Countdown!  (Here's one about Blizzy!)

* * *

We are all quite amused to watch Blizzy the elf
Hang mistletoe bunches up all by herself.
And she's hung up so many that she cannot miss:
Her Tizzy will give her a mistletoe kiss!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Rhyming Advent Calendar (Sorry about the chocolate.)

The Izzy Elves have starting writing a rhyming countdown to Christmas in their Spare Time. (It's hard to imagine that they have any, given their work load at this time of year.)

However, here is the first verse (I'm quoting from their blog):

‘Tis twelve days til Christmas and at the North Pole
We Izzies are working away, with one goal:
To make the right gifts for each child on the list.
(We want to make sure not a one has been missed.)
S.C. has examined each one of your letters
And scanned the web wishlists of online go-getters.
So our task is quite huge, and time’s wasting away.
We’d better get busy and fill Santa’s sleigh!

Much love,
Santa’s Izzy Elves

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A real life boy talks about his ride in Santa's sleigh!

I don't feel like writing a blog post myself this morning, so I'm just passing along one that the Izzy Elves wrote this morning!


* * *

As some of you may know, several of our Izzy Elf adventures have included some of Deedy's (Dorothea Jensen to you) grandsons. Her oldest grandson, Stuart, (also known as the Senior Cousin) and his little brother, Drake, "star" in Dizzy's story (along with Dizzy himself, of course, not to mention Santa Claus).

Recently, Deedy interviewed Stuart about Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf, in which he, Drake, and Dizzy take a wild ride in Santa's sleigh.

Here is the magic link to watch this!

Deedy's Grandson Guest Blogging 



The Izzy Elves