Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 12, 2014

Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos


Melissa Iwai is participating in an AdventChallenge2014 this month and she sent me this fun illustration from December 3rd. Thought it might give you ideas for decorating your best friend. Melissa was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Now her husband has something to tout about below.

gayle Krauss

After being read and
reviewed by Karen Haas
in New Jersey, Cherry Money Baby by John Cusick took at trip to Pennsylvania and visited Gail Krause.

Gail is  pictured on the left holding Cherry Money Baby taken on Thanksgiving day in the Poconos.

Isn’t it a great holiday picture?

After Gail read it she wrote a review on Amazon and Goodreads, then set Cherry off on a trip to visit someone in Louisville, Kentucky.

We’ll have to wait and see where Cherry ends up traveling after that.

DenisMarkellKate Sullivan at Delacorte Press has won two middle-grade novels by Denis Markell (Melissa Iwai’s husband) at auction. The first book, Click Here to Start (a Novel) , is pitched as The Westing Game for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. In it, young Ted Gerson inherits “all the treasure” to be found in his great-uncle’s old apartment – only to realize the flat is actually an in-person “escape the room” game and the reward for completing it could be extraordinary. Publication for Click Here to Start is set for summer 2016; the second book is untitled. Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency sold world English right to both books.

chrisbehrensChris Behrens’ had good news. He received a letter from Barnes and Nobel’s Small Press Department in NYC saying they wanted to include his book, Savanna’s Treasure on their stores book shelves. I asked how this came about and he told me he had written a letter to B&N’s Small Press Department and sent them a book to review. I am sure this will help increase his sales.

Congratulations, Everyone!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. LOTS of Kudos all around! 🙂


  2. Thanks so much, Kathy, for sharing Denis’ great news! 🙂 So happy for him!


  3. Reblogged this on The Hungry Artist and commented:
    Nice post about Denis’ great news last month!


  4. Melissa,

    We can show it off again, when he gets the cover art.



  5. GO DENIS….and Melissa! SUCH a talented couple….. hugs


  6. Thanks, Kathy! I am hoping to attach a “hot link” here for my newest editorial review from Midwest Book Reviews. Hope it works. If not, it can be viewed in the Dec. issue of the Children’s Bookwatch on MBR.

    While I will continue to work hard at promoting my Indie Book, I hope it will find a home with a traditional publisher.

    Savanna’s Treasure



    Savanna’s Treasure features lovely black and white line drawings by Kim Johnson and offers a story in some ways classic for children’s books, covering a friendship between animals and people who discover that their unlikely association can change their world.

    While the story line may be classic for a young audience, it’s, in fact, a different approach because such tales are usually limited to the very simple picture book age group – and Savanna’s Treasure is directed to those beyond the easy reader stage.

    Lessons on friendship, perseverance, endurance, and handling adversity and surprises abound as the animals face down everything from poachers to pirates. Pair an overall powerful story line with fine drawings and you have a winning tale.

    Be forewarned, Savanna’s Treasure is about surviving adversity – and being an animal on the African plane, this includes a degree of violence – tastefully depicted, but present nonetheless: “…her grammy was struggling to get up while two poachers tried to remove her tusks.”

    These darker moments are more than offset by lovely images: “…two of the elephants lifted their trunks in her direction. Bahiti touched their trunks gently. “If you breathe into their trunks, they’ll remember your scent forever,” Madame Ardhi told the ranger.”

    As with any read (but especially true in a children’s book), it’s the protagonists that capture attention – and C. Behrens does a fine job of creating personable creatures that are engaging and fun.

    The ‘glue’ of any story is how its characters are depicted, how they react to one another, and how they bond: Savanna’s Treasure is all about these connections and how they play out in the world, and this lends to a fine read that takes an adventure story format and weaves it into something far greater than simple entertainment. Kids with good reading skills (likely, in grades 2-4) will relish this enchanting saga.

    —Senior Book Reviewer, Diane Donovan, MBR


  8. I have an interview for Savanna’s Treasure with IndieBrag set for December 18th. It can be viewed at Layered


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