Keyra, Queen Yorkie

  Painting by Francy Judge   Keyra Judge passed away on February 7, 2022, in her home in Long Beach, New York. Born on September 9, 2009, she was over 12 in dog years and lovingly nicknamed, Pain-in-the-butt. She was the beloved daughter to her human parents, Gene and Francy; the adored sister of human siblings: Jordan, Aaron, Elijah and Stephen. She was tolerated by her human brother, Andrew who never truly forgave her for stealing his sandwich. She will also be missed by her doggy friends, Toby and Rosie.   Keyra was a Yorkie, large for her breed, but still small. And as some intelligent dog owner once said, “small dog, big personality.” Keyra attended the Academy of Barking, but she quit to pursue her dream of becoming a guard dog. Because of her Napoleon complex, she often tried to prove her toughness, barking in circles around a neighbor pit bull.   Her secret weakness was car rides. She got car sick. Every time. She looked embarrassed throwing up into a bag, and her mom did

Art Lovers

(The house I grew up in, where my creative life began.) Since graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a major in fashion design and illustration, I have had many interesting jobs. I painted the faces on mannequins; had freelance art jobs that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown meeting the deadlines; I tried to make stuffed clown patterns (a total fail); did magazine layouts for Bridal Guide Magazine while preparing my own wedding; worked as a house manager for a group home; became a homeschool mom for my five kiddos; worked as a medical records coordinator; and found my passion as an author and illustrator, writing novels and picture books. Now I also sell art prints in my Etsy store.  I love sketching, playing with colors and textures, and creating beautiful artwork, sometimes more realistic, sometimes more stylized like in my children's book illustrations. I'm obsessed with drawing birds. The endless variety reminds me of God's love in all he created. Hol

Book Review: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

  Wow! This memorable novel deserves every award it received. Jason Reynolds tells this dramatic story involving teenage gun violence in short powerful poems. Reynolds has explained, setting the entire book in an elevator, he wanted to mimic the feelings of anger, pain, and helplessness. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother was murdered, and he knows the rules. He doesn’t cry. He takes his brother’s gun and is on his way to get revenge. As the elevator stops at each floor, another “person” gets on and adds to the story, another link in the chain reaction. The elevator ride also gives the impression of being trapped in this cycle. When will it end? Within these short poems, Reynolds develops his characters and their relationships with a punch. His writing is brilliant. I will read this book again and look forward to reading more of his books.

Book Review / Ruby Moon by Jenny Knipfer

I knew I would like Ruby Moon from the first page. The poetic prose and introduction to Jenay’s vulnerable side hooked my attention. Author Jenny Knipfer begins her novel in the present, revealing Jenay’s guilt for some horrific accident she caused. I was intrigued, wanting to know more, and not disappointed as the story slowly unfurled. This historical novel takes place in the 1890’s in Ontario, Canada. Through Jenay’s relationships with her aunts, Jenny weaves her character’s interesting heritage, a mix of French and Ojibwe decent, into the story. Even though the story has a complicated timeline, going into past and present, the dates are marked, making it easier to follow. The flashbacks add suspense and mystery as they give clues to what happened to Jenay. At the same time, we follow Jenay as she matures and experiences loss and love and finds strength, guidance, and forgiveness through her faith in God. This is a beautifully written novel that I would recommend to anyone who e

I Gave My Novel a Makeover

  I redesigned the cover of my novel Randi's Steps. I'm excited as you can see in my awkward video. My updated novel is available now on Amazon.  Amazon / Randi's Steps

Book Review: A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf

    From the first page, I knew this was going to be something special. And it was even better than I expected. I’m not one to usually read fantasy novels, but the poetic descriptions of this magical world author Jennifer Kropf created sparkled. Her characters had depth and personality that had me rooting for them and enjoying getting to know them as the story progressed. Helen is transported into this winter land parallel to her home where she encounters all sorts of different creatures somewhat like human, but not. Her mission becomes a journey with her patrolman to save the Truth. It had a touch of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe aura, but such a unique story with its own charm and suspense. This book is one I won’t forget and will add to my list of favorites. I am looking forward to reading her sequel. Amazon / A Soul as Cold as Frost

The Image of His Heart (A Christmas Poem for 2020)