Category Archives: Announcements

Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem is now available in paperback,

My latest book is now available in paperback.  The book is available in the Kindle Matchbook Program, buy the paperback and get the Kindle version for free.

 

Click on the pic to purchase the book in paperback.

The first paperback on my kitchen counter.

Also check out me opening the first proof copy.

Also if you pick up a copy please consider leaving a review.  The more reviews a book has the more Amazon promotes the book.

So thanks for all your help.

 

Paperback for Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem is coming soon.

I get behind sometimes.  Life gets in the way.  I get disorganized.

My latest book, Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem released a little over a week ago on Kindle.

I am currently formatting the paperback, and hope to have it ready next week.  Good and organized indie-publishers have their books ready at the same time as the Kindle version.

I am not that kind of publisher.

I am sharing a screenshot of me working in Indesign working on the book.

Someday I’ll be more organized.

But that day is not today.

Oh, and please pick-up my latest book.

Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem.

You’re elementary age kid will love it.

Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem is now available on Kindle

My latest book, my tenth book, is now available on Amazon for 99 cents.

I am really proud of this book.  As a teacher there was a lot of training on “Math Thinking” getting the students to express their thinking, how do they know the answer, how did they come up with their answer.

So, I wrote a character, Charlotte Morgan that just does that naturally.  The book is my first written in the first person point of view.  That was a challenge and yet a lot of fun.

Currently the book is available for 99 cents.  That can’t last forever.

The paperback is on the way.  I need to work on my organization to be able to have a paperback ready at the same time as Kindle.  But I am not there yet.

It will be coming soon.

Anyway, if you are a teacher please check this book out I wrote it with both kids and teachers in mind.

Visiting with Ecoff Elementary

I got to visit with fourth and fifth graders at Ecoff Elementary.

It was a lot of fun to visit with the resource staff and the teachers I got to see.

The fourth and fifth graders and I talked about how to come up with ideas for our writing.

The Lesson

This is a lesson I did as a fifth grade teacher.  On one side of our paper we would list things that we loved.  On my paper I would list Star Wars, baseball, pizza, among other things.  Students would share things that they loved.  I would always get students that listed basketball, football, or a video game.

Now, we have three things on the list.  I ask the students how many things we have to write about, they invariably respond with “Three!”

But I point out there is actually more than that.  I point to Star Wars and ask “Who is your favorite character in Star Wars?  Which movie is your favorite?  What is your favorite spaceship?”  Suddenly just writing about Star Wars expands into three more items.  We take a topic and then break it up into various details and write about the details.

We then add details to the other things on our Love list.

The Loathe List

On the other side of the paper we list things that we loathe.  Yes, loathe.

For me, that includes trips to the dentist, and Brussels sprouts.

And then I ask what is it the students don’t like.  And here is an important rule on this one, the students cannot name specific people.  We can’t have students naming other students or teachers on the list.  (Yes.  I did learn this rule the hard way, thank you very much.  Now move on.)

And just as we did on the Love side of the list, we can write about specific details.  For example, on my list a Trip to the Dentist is on my loathe list.  (Now, mind you I like my dentist and hygienist, they are both wonderful and nice people.)  But I HATE!  HATE! HATE! HATE! I TELL YOU! That thing that sucks the water out of your mouth, no I am not going to look the name of that devil instrument, but I despise with every fiber of my being the sensation of it my mouth.  A machine that turns my face into sour mouth.  So…I can write about that.

Combining Ideas

At the bottom of the students paper the students leave for them to combine ideas.  This is where the ideas take off.

I tell the students, “We take on thing from our LOVE list, and one thing from our LOATHE list and combine.  Now, why use something from the loather list?  Because writing about something you don’t like I find stretches your brain a little more.”

I admit.  I’ve done this lesson before, so I use the same example a lot.  I take the word BASEBALL from my Love list, and I take the word Brussel Sprouts from my Loathe list and I combine them.

Baseball and Brussell Sprouts.

Now, what appeared in your head?

For me when I hear baseball and brussel sprouts, I think of brussel sprouts playing baseball on my dinner plate.  They are using a fork or a spoon as a bat, and mashed potatoes are the bases and the pitcher’s mound.  Maybe the Brussel Sprouts are playing against the carrots, or something like that.

So we’ve taken the idea of baseball and Brussel Sprouts put them together and quite possibly come up with the idea for a new book.

Again, thanks to Ecoff and Sarah Takacs for having me!

 

 

The first chapter from my next book–Charlotte Morgan and the Great Big Math Problem

This is my next book.

It is currently being copy edited, (so there will be the occasional typo in this version).

The characters use math and describe their math thinking as they work through problems.  I am a former 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade teacher, so I used my experience and background from those years as I wrote this.

The book is also available for preorder on Kindle.

Summary:

Charlotte Morgan is a third grader who likes numbers, and she is in a club called The Number Investigators.

My name is Charlotte, and I have a great big problem.  You see in two weeks, or 14 days, or 336 hours or 20,160 minutes, or 1,209,600 seconds is our big Turing Elementary School Math Bee.  A math bee is like a spelling bee only with math problems.

Why is this a problem you ask?  This is a problem because I don’t like getting up in front of the class.  And if I do good in front of the class, then I have to go in front of the whole big school.  And most of the time I get the best math grade in my class.  There are twenty-two other students in my class, which means there will forty-four eyes looking at me.  I forgot, forty-six eyes, Mrs. King, my teacher, will be looking at me too!

And also, did I mention my dad is a math teacher?  That’s a lot of pressure.  He will be very disappointed in me if I don’t do well.

Parent’s Notes went home last week about the math bee, and my dad got really excited.  He teaches algebra and calculations at Middlebury High School, at least, I think it is called calculations.  Anyway, dad, or Mr. Morgan, as his students call him, has started quizzing me constantly throughout the day.  He’ll say, “Okay, Tambourine, what is 4 times 3.”  And I reply “12.”  It is getting annoying.

He calls me Tambourine because when I was little, like two or three, I would walk around the house shaking and banging a tambourine.  I don’t do that anymore, but the name stuck.

My mom calls me Charlotte, and Charlotte Morgan when I am in trouble.

I go to Turning Elementary School, and I am in the third grade  As I already said Mrs. King is my teacher.  She tells me I talk a lot.

But if it wasn’t for me she wouldn’t remember that she left her pencil behind her ear.  That poor pencil would just stay there all day—poor pencil.

Today is Friday, and school is about to start.  That means there are 14 days until the Turing Elementary School Math Bee.  That’s 336 hours.

Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4 is now available in paperback and Kindle

The latest book in The Dolbin School Series is here.

The Kindle version came out in December.

But the paperback version took a few tries to get the cover correct.  Come to find out there was a bug in the latest version of Photoshop that caused vertical type to be processed incorrectly when turning the PSD file into a PDF.  But now we have it fixed.

The book is enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook program, so you can buy the paperback and get the Kindle version for free.

Click here to get the book on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.

New School Visit Page

I’ve had a few people ask about visiting schools.  Which is very cool.

As a former teacher in Virginia, I have spoken at several different schools in Virginia and in New Jersey.

Each school has different needs for their lessons, so I have left the contact page simple.  Just reach out to me.

Click here to visit the page.

Or you can contact me through this form here:

The first chapter from my newest book Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4

Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4

This is the first chapter from my next book, in pre-proofed form.  It’s still in the final editing phase.

You can preorder the book on Amazon now.  I hope you check it out.

Chapter 1- Spring Time

Bam!  The sound of the ball hitting leather echoed through out the field.

Jake Cooper took the ball out of his mitt and shook his glove hand.  “Nice throw, Mark.  Have you been working out?” he said.  He went to throw the ball back.  “I’ll try not to hurt you when I throw it.”

“Just throw it!”

Jake adjusted the bandage on his nose before he threw the baseball to Mark.  His nose still hurt, from fighting Brad Cushing.

Jake threw the ball.  It zipped through the air.  The loud sound of the ball smacking Mark’s hands came from eighty feet away.  “Did that hurt?”  Jake asked.

“Nope.” Mark replied, gritting his teeth.

The warm weather on the first day of May, brought the student body of Dolbin School for the Extraordinary out.  Jake Cooper and his friends Mark Daniels, Bruce Johnson, Red, Cal Jacobs, and Henry Cho tossed baseballs between them.  There was no game planned.  It was just a lazy Sunday afternoon.

“Throw to someone else, I going to get out the PGX,” said Mark.  He put his glove down and walked over to his backpack.  He pulled out a drone.  It was white and shiny.  He pulled out a tablet and tapped in instructions.  The PGX hovered four feet above the ground.

“You’re not going to take our pictures with that? Right.” Bruce asked.

“No.  Did you forget to put on your make-up today?” Mark replied, without looking away from his drone.  “But we could record practices with it, or even games, and review defensive adjustments and other things.”

Bruce paused from throwing the ball.  “That’s not a bad idea, Daniels.”  He threw the ball back to Red.  “We need to remember that once we get to the 6th grade and are able to play D-Ball.”

“I would think the coaches in middle school would already have that idea, and that they would already be doing that,” Mark pointed out.

“I thought you guys would be here,” said a female voice.

The boys turned and saw Maggie Crenshaw running to the field.  She was carrying a backpack.  She stopped and put down the bag.

“Brad isn’t here, if you’re looking for him,” said Jake.

Maggie ignored Jake’s comment and motioned to the drone floating above the field.  “I have a PGX as well.”  She pulled it out of her bag.

Mark looked at the drone and then at Maggie, “I thought you were more of an athlete.”

She frowned at Mark, “Simply because I am athletic, and play sports, doesn’t mean I don’t like tech as well.”

Maggie pulled out her tablet, swiped and tapped instructions.  Her drone rose next to Mark’s.  Maggie smiled, “Want to race?”

Mark smiled, “Of course”.

Maggie smiled.  Her tilted to the side and took off toward the outfield at blazing speed.  Mark’s drone was pushed backwards from the force of the air from her drone.

Mark turned his head.  “Did you make some modifications on yours?  I didn’t think that a PDX had accelerant thrusters?”

“They don’t.  I added them myself,” Maggie grinned from ear to ear.

Mark lowered his drone to the ground, and pointed at Maggie’s drone “Can I try?”

“Sure.”  Maggie stopped her drone, it floated waiting for the next instructions.  It was a 100 feet away and floating 20 feet in the air.  Mark took the tablet.   He saw himself standing next to Maggie on the tablet, from the drone’s cameras.  Mark swiped on the tablet.  He could see the campus as he viewed the different cameras.

“The accelerant app is right there,” said Maggie reaching over Mark’s shoulder and pointing to a red icon.  Mark tapped instructions for the drone to head back to him.  He pressed the accelerant icon.  It zipped right back, and stopped, floating twenty feet above his and Maggie’s head.

Red pointed to the drone and then at Mark, “Hey, do you think you could race that thing?”

“I could race it.  But I am pretty certain that I would lose.”

“Maggie, did you bring your baseball glove?  You can ball with us as well if you are done showing the drone off,” said Bruce.  “You seem pretty athletic.”

She shook her head, “I’m not Extra Strong or a Runner, I’m a Healer.”

Bruce shrugged his shoulders.  “You can still play with us.”

Mark handed the tablet back to Maggie.  She brought the drone down to the ground and turned it off.  She set it next to her bag.

She pulled a baseball glove out of her bag.  She smiled and pounded her glove. Mark picked up his glove and a ball and threw it to Maggie.

Jake continued to throw to Cal as he turned to ask Maggie a questions, “Maggie, if you like playing ball, why didn’t you come with us before?”

“No one asked me.”

“Not even Brad?” Jake replied.

Maggie stopped looked at Jake, she threw the ball at Mark.

Jake smiled, “Sorry.”  He turned to throw at Cal.  He adjusted the bandage on his nose and threw the ball at Cal.

His nose hurt.

Cover for my next book–Irving Williams and the Mystery of the Lighthouse Ghost

 

My newest book Irving Williams and the Lighthouse Ghost is coming soon.  

Here is the cover.

I got the cover from a designer I found on Designcrowd.com.  It was the first time that I used Designcrowd, here designers send you the designs first and then you select the winning design.  You can even purchase several designs, if you have the budget.  There were a couple of other designs that I liked, and I wanted to reward the designers for working on the designs.

I posted what I thought I wanted.  But this designer read between the lines and came up with something I never would have thought of.  My wife said that it looks like a classic children’s story.  So, it won the contest.

The book will be ready soon for prerelease.