September 24, 2010

New Searching for a Starry Night Themes 2

The brain's working overtime! Parents/Teachers: Check out a couple more themes I just added for Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery. Read chapter 1 and see reviews at link.


Dollhouses: Some of the described pieces and houses owned by housekeeper Mrs. Drake are based on the author's own collection. Miniatures collecting is a great hobby and creative outlet for kids of all ages.

Miniature Art: Miniatures are a specialized art category, usually 6-inches in size and smaller done by noted artists in oil and acrylic. Some artists recreate works by the masters in miniature for dollhouse collectors.

Family & Community: Students can make connections and discuss their family and community in comparison to Sam's relationships with her mother, friend and neighbors.

History: Students can discuss modern conveniences and their history by comparing what isn't used or available at the late aunt's Victorian house.

Dogs and Kids: Animal Adoption: The Dachshund, Petey, plays an important role in the book, and demonstrates the relationship between kids and a pet. The dog brings attention to animal shelters as Petey was adopted from a shelter.

* Print
* B&N eBook
* KOBO: Smartphone, Tablet, Ereader
* Sony Reader

September 23, 2010

Miniatures: New Half Scale Couch

New half-scale couch I made to go in the 1/2" witch's house. It's hard to tell here, but both fabrics have a sparkly finish. I made the pillow too. (A how-to is coming up!)

September 21, 2010

News Ad Nauseum - The latest epidemic...

Is the news trying to scare us? Just when you think it's safe to turn on the TV... more bed bugs! An epidemic. Don't go out with covering yourself in plastic!

Eek! The news grabs something and will-not-let-go. Remember the flu epidemic?

What's your favorite - or non-favorite news story that would not die?

September 20, 2010

Miniatures Monday: Medieval Books

Some of the new miniature medieval books I made with leather covers.

Perfect for Halloween, medieval castles, wizards, etc. Just a few of the different types and sizes I make. They're also for sale. Contact me if interested.

September 17, 2010

Searching for a Starry Night Fun Facts and New Links

A few fun facts about Searching for a Starry Night. Parents and Teachers: check out the themes.

About the book:
Sam, her BFF Lita, and a mischievous Dachshund named Petey, face a cranky housekeeper, a dog-hating gardener and an ancient family curse as they search for a missing miniature replica of Van Gogh's famous painting, "Starry Night."

* B&N eBook
* KOBO - Smartphone, Tablet, Ereader
* Sony Reader
* Print

Samantha Carlton: A 13-year-old "tomboy" who loves to fish and solve mysteries

Lita Jackson: Sam's best friend who has an aversion to ghosts and scary movies. They've been friends since childhood.

Petey the Dachshund: Petey has the energy of 10 dogs. He's a digger and always seems to be in trouble!

Memorable Quotes:
Lita: “Butter cookies. Any cookies, really. That always does it for me.”

Sam: “He (Petey) looked like a hot dog without the bun.”

Petey the Dachshund: “Woof!”


Sam and Lita think they're going for a vacation in Lake Geneva, but instead help Sam's mom, Grace, search for that missing miniature painting apparently left behind in her late Great Aunt Hilda's old Victorian home just outside Lake Geneva, Wisc.

First Sentence:

Samantha Ann Carlton tilted her head back and tried to see all the way to the top of the old three-story Victorian. Funny, it looked much bigger than she remembered—and creepier.

In their search for the missing dollhouse-sized "Starry Night" painting, Sam and Lita realize the cranky housekeeper, Mrs. Drake, is a dollhouse collector. And when they see her houses, they get a glimpse of real life - only smaller. Some of the described pieces and houses are based on the author's own collection, some of which can be seen in her miniatures gallery. The author hopes to interest kids in a hobby and collecting for fun and as a creative outlet.

Miniature Art: Miniature art is a specialized category usually 6-inches in size and smaller. These are real paintings done by noted artists. Some artists paint in oil and acrylic for the dollhouse collectors' market.

Dogs and Kids: Animal Adoption: The Dachshund, Petey, plays an important role in the book, and also demonstrates the relationship between kids and a pet. It also brings attention to animal shelters, as Petey was adopted from a shelter

September 16, 2010

Neat Miniatures Idea: Tired of that plain old desk?

Oh this is soooo cool! In real life, it's a neat idea, but of course, it has FANTASTIC miniature applications!

This information desk at a library is made of --- recycled books! Yes, it would be a LOT of work in mini, but how original this would be! You can see more pix here.

September 14, 2010

Now Available: New Short Horror Ebook, The Killer Valentine Ball

Just in time for Halloween!


A party at a day camp; a blind date on Valentine's Day. Can you say loser? But this is no ordinary party...

The Killer Valentine Ball has more thrills than Jess ever expected--or will ever forget. (You've got to read it for the surprise ending!)


As they walked into the shadows, Jess noticed that things weren't quite as they appeared. Sections of the room lightened for a moment before being cast again in deep shadow. What Jess thought she saw in that split second made her heart race...

Read more & Buy: The Killer Valentine Ball

** Also available on Kindle. Buy:

** Purchasers: there are some fantastic upcoming contests so be sure to check out the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore!

September 13, 2010

Miniatures Monday: Welcome to the New Minis by Kitty blog!

Say hello to a new minis blogger!

My Dutch friend, Kitty, has started an English version of her blog, MinisByKitty.

It may take a while for her to set up her photos and stuff, but make her feel welcome and be a follower, okay?

Photo: The spoon set (I love how she's aged it!) is part of some recent additions to her Brocante house, one of my favorite projects that she's done. I'm sure she'll be sharing more of the pix from this great project. Check her blog for the full photo.

September 09, 2010

New Dog Mystery Coming: Cat Author Defects!

Well, the headline is only slightly exaggerated.

Author Clea Simon, who's known for her cat-centered mysteries (PROBABLE CLAWS, Theda Krakow Mystery Series, Poisoned Pen Press; and GREY MATTERS, book two in the Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, Severn Press), does have a cat in her upcoming latest-- but the book's real focus is a dog!!

DOGS DON'T LIE, a Pru Marlowe Pet Noir Mystery, will be published in April 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press. (The pictured cover is not final yet.) The book centers on a traumatized, rescued pitbull and a pet psychic. Sounds good. Great idea, Clea!

About DOGS DON'T LIE: (from website)

Pru Marlowe isn't your ordinary animal psychic. A tough girl on the run from her own gift, Pru left the big city to return to her picturesque Berkshires hometown looking for a little peace. Too bad that her training as an animal behaviorist got her mixed up with Lily, a rescue dog, and Charles, her person.

Now Charles is dead, and Lily looks good for it. After all, Lily is a pitbull, a fighting-ring dropout, and way too traumatized to give Pru a clear picture of what she has witnessed. But Pru knows something about bad girls trying to clean up, and, with a sense of justice strong enough to overcome her dislike of human society, she takes the case.

Listening to the animals, Pru picks up clues—and learns there are secrets in the pretty little town that make murder look simple. Unable to tell anybody about her psychic abilities, uncertain at times about her own sanity, Pru comes to realize that if she clears Lily, she'll likely become the prime suspect—or the next victim.

While the only creature she can totally trust is her crotchety tabby Wallis, Pru's got to uncover the real killer—and find a way to live with her gift—before the real beasts in the town savage her and those she has come to love. I'll include more on the book nearer publication.

September 08, 2010

Buy a Book or Ebook: Help a Shelter Pet!!

Authors Patty G. Henderson, MG Williamz and VW Massie, are putting their art where their heart is with their latest anthology, DARK THINGS (Black Car Publishing, Lulu, $11.99, Kindle, $2.99).

The collection of dark fiction stories, which includes The Hunted by Williamz; Her Apparition and I Sing the Body Dead by Henderson; and Skin by Massie; is available in print, Kindle and ePub versions.

**ALL proceeds go to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (ASPCA). With foreclosures on the rise and families on the edge, family pets are being abandoned in shelters across the country.

Henderson, known for her dark supernatural fiction, calls it a "win-win" situation, saying "the book came out of a deep love and respect I have for God's creation of our four-footed friends. They are here to give us comfort, joy and laughter in our tough times. We mistreat them horribly.

"I once wanted to put together a short show on my local community public access television on our Humane Society shelter, but the PA funding went broke and I couldn't get the program put together. But I spoke extensively with the man in charge and got a tour of the facility. My sister just adopted a cute dog named 'Tanner' from the Humane Society and I have donated some of my artwork yearly to their annual fundraiser.

"DARK THINGS was an 'invitation only' project. I knew both authors invited. There are four stories in the collection and all four are top notch. I contributed two and both MJ and VW contributed one apiece." (Note: some stories do feature lesbian characters.) Vampires in New Orleans, haunted houses and a terrifying twist on modern cable and demonic beings are some of the story themes.

** The next anthology, DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes, is open to all authors and will focus on cat stories. See submission guidelines. (Submissions open to 1/16/11.)

September 03, 2010

A New Miniatures Magazine: Welcome Taller de Miniaturas & List of Other Online Magazines

Miniaturists have another reading choice as Spanish miniaturists shared the first issue of their new online magazine, Taller de Miniaturas.

The first issue includes some very nice how to projects such as a wood planter and a neat imprinted clay book by Eva from Mini Escenas y Manualidades. (Articles are in Spanish but with good photos to follow.)

Congratulations to the miniaturists! Muy bueno!

** Miniaturists now have several free online magazines to choose from, including:

* CDHM Miniature Way (August)
The August issue includes my story on doll maker Judy Raley of Once We Were Fairies

Artisans in Miniature (AIM) Magazine
Quarterly, with projects also provided by members. See September AIM.

(See Help page where you have to sign in to Scribd to download the PDF but you can read it online.)