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19 DBR Books

The Books Magazine 2

August 2013

In June’s issue of The Books Magazine, we highlighted the importance of having a summer reading list and doing it early. In this month’s issue, we want to keep you abreast of what’s on our summer reading list and what we’re reading now. Remember your reading list can be comprised of: 

Start with Your WishList! We read An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle, an endearing children’s illustrated book that found its way on our WishList!

Books outside your usual reading genre to catch up on your quota for the 2013 Reading Challenge. Our read of Persuasion by Jane Austen is now our #10th challenge read!

Books you want to review or blog about. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen is an absolute must-read that we wanted our readers to know about!

Also, check out our updated Summer Reading List on page 13. Feel free to take from our list and add to yours! Read to learn! Read for fun! Read! Happy Reading!

Read our weekly newspaper, DBR Book News Weekly! DBR Books would like to hear all about your reading experience; share with us on our Blog, and on Twitter! 3


ur reviewed author Chanz’e Witcher was recently featured on CBN - 700 Club. All I Want, written by Chanz’e Witcher and illustrated by Sherilyn Jones, is the first in her new series of spiritual empowerment books for children ages 4 to 8. Recently, author and book were featured on CBN - 700 Club, and in her interview Witcher mentioned that when she was young she wanted to be an author, and is happy that she is able to realize her long time dream and is glad to be ‘living it!’ Witcher attributes her recent success to God and the laws of reciprocity (sowing the seeds to reap success) and then “watch God show up in your life and really bless you beyond reason,” she says. “Give and it shall be given onto you.” Also, see our Interview with Witcher in which she speaks of her work and aspirations.

All I Want has also been featured in The Dallas Weekly and interviewed by talk show host Dr. Lelitia Wright, on The Wright Place (TM) TV Show. The book was nominated for Book Design of the Year 2013; selected for The Hudson Book Festival; and Witcher nominated Los Angeles Book Festival Author of the Year 2013. Follow the progress of this new author plus get your own copy of All I Want on her website. [Article written by Children’s Book Examiner]


“Children’s books can shine a light of observation on the good things in life and I want to be apart of that.”

  

Illustrations for children’s books and graphic novels. Graphics for business cards and posters. Commissioned art work - portraits (humans & animals), still life, & abstracts. Your idea, my artistic flair!

Phone: 607-427-3863

Email: 5


What made you choose the dream of a graphic artist and illustrator?

Well ... I have always enjoyed drawing ever since I was young. I probably kept doing it simply because I was good at it. To be honest most of my motivation when I was younger was the attention and admiration I got for being talented. After high school, I was doing art for other people but soon realized that I really did not enjoy doing art just to impress. I wanted and needed something more. Today I am pursuing graphic art and illustration because I want a creative career that speaks life into other people’s lives. I want and need purpose. Children’s books can shine a light of observation on the good things in life and I want to be apart of that. Purpose…now who does not want purpose? That’s why I’m choosing this dream of art. God gives us gifts and this is mine and I know there is a purpose. 2. Your work is pretty outstanding, realistic yet abstract when you want it to be! What's your inspiration? I would have to say my largest inspiration is the people God has put in my life. My wife Lorraine and all my family and friends. I have been encouraged to pursue art professionally by so many people. I have a real large cheering section and I’m thankful for all their support. My inspiration really flows in the mornings and these are the most productive moments in my day. My joy truly comes in the morning. I put fresh contacts in and sit on my front stoop with my coffee. 6

The light shines through the trees and all the birds and squirrels are making their morning sounds. It is very inspiring. I make my rounds watering my plants, my new hobby this year. Tommy, our little “cat-boy” follows me around attacking me from under the foliage of my potted plants. Typically after that my music plays a large role in my morning creativity and I pray, sing, make up songs while doing dishes and other household chores. My mornings are prime time for me. Growing up my visual art inspiration was everywhere. I was inspired creatively by the artwork of Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Mother Goose and Grimm, the Peanuts. I also enjoyed the Disney movies of my time like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and I always was excited about Saturday morning cartoons. This was when watching cartoons was a special privilege and very much an exciting fun thing. Another source of inspiration was from instructional art books. I can’t say I have ever read one all the way through but I have visually soaked up many of them front to back or back to front whatever direction my hands felt like flipping. The half drawn sketches and step by step visuals intrigued me. I felt like I have absorbed techniques and approaches with my eyes more than my mind. Today I love going to galleries and shows, they are very inspiring. When I ride my bike to work I sometimes take an alternate route so I can ride by a display window that slowly rotates local talent. I still look at instructional books, now they are more in depth than the ones I used to sign out at the town library as a kid. 3. I notice your drawings are pretty free form and linear, and although your subject may be common your interpretation is far from common! How do you manage to maintain such distinctiveness in your work? I do have a real distinct style with my ballpoint pen work. I feel my style has developed over a period of time to exactly what you described above. I went through a time of being free from what I thought things should look like and what I slowly allowed myself to let become. In other words, I stopped forcing the image but instead allow an image to be. When I’m drawing with Ball point I have to work with every 7

line that goes on the paper, and I have learned to accept things as they unfold. I enjoy that more when I’m being abstract because I make marks when I’m flowing that just find meaning over time. I used to have a note on my cork board that basically said “find more in what already is”. That line that you really were not meaning to put there but out of passionately letting the pen fly, you made and because it is “tied or weaved” with the rest there is continuity and you can find meaning and purpose in it. It will become something if you don’t fight it. 4. You do very well in creating depth, and light and dark with your crosshatching technique? Is ink your favorite medium? If so, why? Um…I don’t have a favorite between the two mediums I am currently using. I enjoy both styles. One being the more cartooning style with color, and the black and white ball point being the other. Both are fun. Well I guess it all depends on the day and hour. My cartoon style with the Steadtler pigment liners and colorful markers are more playful, so if I’m being more playful that day then that would be the flavor of the moment but if I am rather moody, the clouds could collect and circle round and I may just have to fly with my Bics. 5. If commissioned, would you be interested in working on graphic novels too? Yes. I would like to do graphic novels in which the illustrations are used to highlight the important aspects of the story line. Graphic novels and children's book illustrations are indeed challenging but I love that they compliment the story in the most creative and imaginative way kids can appreciate. 6. What are you currently working on? I, like most artists, have a whole slew of ideas and some in the works. I have some commissioned pieces I’m working on now. I’m doing a Ballpoint pen drawing of a former classmate’s pit bull. I am in the process of finishing a t-shirt design for a local beer distributor. I have some more commission requests for favorite animals and a memorable piece for a wedding dress. I have a show at a local restaurant The Whole In the Wall on the First Friday Art walk this month. My Mom is helping me get my art out to the public and showing a lot of my pieces at events and shows. She has been very creative in finding more ways of advertising my art for public viewing and display. Link with the artist/illustrator on Facebook to view more of his work! 8

DBR ‘s WISHLIST books for August 2013! Why not make them yours too?

Posie Pixie and The Copper Kettle by Sarah Hill

One More Candle by Merry Susiarjo

Too Much Glue! by Jason Lefebvre

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck

Friendship Troubles by Patti Kelley Criswell

Geronimo Stilton and The Volcano of Fire A Scholastic Book


The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen


Maid of Fairbourne Hall, written by Julie Klassen, is indeed an unusual, suspenseful and intriguing story of a woman’s (Margaret Macy) escape from her step-father’s plan to marry her off to his dishonorable nephew. She left London disguised as a housemaid and fled to rural Maidstone where she landed her first job as a maid in the home of non-other than Nathaniel Upchurch, her former suitor! Now she must try to keep her identity a secret until her next birthday, months away, to receive her inheritance and her independence. The main appeal to Klassen’s book The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is the detailing of an entirely different and unique world - belowstairs. This world is usually cutoff from the reader, but the book gives great insight and an up-close, unabridged perspective of the world belowstairs - the servants’ perspectives of their own lives and of their masters’, their ups and downs, contentions and personal relationships with each other. As Margaret Macy, disguised as Nora Garret, fumbles her way through servitude in the Upchurch household, readers can’t help but be intrigued by the amount of secrets and information servants are privy to about their masters, but yet are required to be mum and almost invisible about the things they have seen and heard. 10

task - as she herself struggled to complete these same tasks. Her appreciation for those who had given their lives to servitude grew and so did her maturity.

Klassen successfully captured the essence of life belowstairs and in the discussion questions at the end of the book, Klassen asked her readers “Did anything surprise you about the life of servants in the early 1800s?” The answer would be yes.

It’s said that things don’t happen by chance, there’s always a grand purpose behind the scenes. One could say that Margaret Macy’s situation, disguised and working as a maid, prepared her for marriage to the mature and responsible Nathaniel Upchurch. Now she was much different from when Nathaniel had first proposed to a very young, childish and immature girl who had been selfish in her intentions when she rejected his first proposal.

Their movements and lives were not really their own - everything was dictated by and under the liability of their masters. Not only is the reader taken on an intriguing journey belowstairs, but Klassen also kept the reader abreast of the drama unfolding abovestairs. The book allowed the reader to be able to compare and contrast life between both worlds, which were so vastly different for those involved, only because their stations in life dictated it to be so.

This book is a great read. The plot and characters are well-developed and the scenes are beautifully written. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall will definitely not disappoint!

While the scenes unfold and the story moves along, readers are also privy to the transformation which quietly took place in Margaret Macy. Due to the temporary shift of her station in life, Margaret became more sensitive to the needs of servants and had come to the realization of how important servants were in the lives of their masters. The question is asked “Does Margaret change during the course of the novel, and if so, how?” The answer would be a resounding yes and readers see the change. No longer did she take servants for granted, even in the slightest

[The Maid of Fairbourne Hall was reviewed by Books Examiner for]

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2012)


Language: English

ISBN-10: 0764207091


What if the person seated next to you was the last person you’d ever want to see!

The Woman on the Bus by Dawnette BlackwoodRhoomes, is a short story of a girl's (Melissa) unexpected encounter with a mysterious passenger and seat partner on a bus heading toward Rhode Island. "The bus buzzed to life as she watched a well-dressed woman burst through the terminal door, obviously fearful she was too late. She had one piece of luggage, which she carried unsteadily on her shoulder as she lengthened her stride toward the bus door."

Now on Your Kindle!

That day when she boarded the bus, she entered Melissa's life. As they journeyed together, it became apparent that the woman on the bus was the last person Melissa wanted to meet! 

Title & Author: The Woman on the Bus by Dawnette Blackwood-Rhoomes

File Size: 98 KB Print Length: 13 pages

Publisher: DB-R Designs; 2 edition (June 2, 2011)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Lending: Enabled


DBR’s Summer

What We’re

Reading List

Reading Now!

The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble

Ivy Secrets by Jean Stone One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

In keeping with the 2013 Reading Challenge of reading outside our usual genre, here’s a sneak peek of what we’re reading now!

The Inconvenient Duchess

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle Persuasion by Jane Austen 

The Wedding Planner by Stephanie Laurens

The Wish List by Gabi Stephens

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

by Christine Merrill Book Description: Dear Cici and Father, I have come to Devon and married a duke. And I'm more tired and hungry than I have ever been in my life. Please let me come home. Compromised and wedded on the same day, Lady Miranda was fast finding married life not to her taste. A decaying manor and a secretive husband were hardly the stuff of girlish dreams. Yet every time she looked at dark, brooding Marcus Radwell, Duke of Haughleigh, she felt inexplicably compelled—and determined—to make their marriage real!

The Language of Flowers by

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Publisher: Harlequin (October 1, 2006)

The Secret Zoo by Bryan

Language: English


ISBN-10: 0373294212

The Icecutter’s Daughter by

ISBN-13: 978-0373294213

Tracie Peterson

An absolutely great read so far!



here are times when even as humans we are not satisfied with ourselves in the way we were made and sometimes we even go as far as to wish we were different. Joanne McGonagle highlights this feeling of a toad’s dissatisfaction in her book An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night. Andrew, a young toad, wondered whether his life would be more interesting if he had been hatched a frog. He embarks on a journey to his 14

grandfather’s house in his quest to seek the wise old toad’s advice. As Andrew hopped along, he met a slew of nocturnal animals of the forest, each causing him to realize that toads are indeed special creatures. This book highlights the differences between frogs and toads in a delightful, story-telling way that is not only informative but also provides a fun way to learn a lot of important information. Teachers and parents will definitely appreciate the list of comparisons between frogs and toads as Andrew’s grand-pa reads off the differences between both amphibians and how they use these differences to maximize their survival skills. Teachers can use this as a spring board to develop their teaching plan on diversity in both animals and humans. The book also touches on lessons in prejudice and bullying. I like that the book teaches that we are all specially made and that we should appreciate each other’s differences as they are the key to making each species unique in its own right. A well-illustrated and informative book, An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night will be one of those books that won’t gather dust on your shelf! [This Book Review was written by NY Poetry Examiner, a frequent contributor to The Books Magazine.]

An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle

Paperback: 78 pages

Publisher: Ainsley Press (May 17, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0989008800

ISBN-13: 978-0989008808 15

2013 Reading Challenge Join in the FUN!

b00k r3vi3ws invites you to participate in its 2013 Reading Book Challenge! So you want to read books by authors you’ve never read before? Well here’s your chance to do it!

Then here's what you need to know about b00k r3vi3ws 2013 Reading Challenge: 1. Read as many books as possible, by authors that YOU haven't read before. 2. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. 3. Books read may be any form (audio, print, e-book). 4. The books can overlap with other reading challenges. 5. Post your links to your reviews each month to share with other participants. 6. The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 1, 2013. Its never too late to Join In! Challenge Levels are: Amateur : Choose to read 1 - 10 New Authors Lover : Choose to read 11 - 20 New Authors Expert : Choose to read 20 - 25 New Authors Fanatic : Choose to read 25 or above New Authors To know more about this Reading Challenge and to join in with countless readers and authors, sign up for free on b00k r3vi3ws website and begin today! 16

Reading Challenge Books you might be interested in!


You Have No Idea by Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams


The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty


Coming Clean A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller


The Proverbs 31 Project Kindle Edition by Melissa Calloway 17


is a list of newly released books to keep your kids busy! These are now available in our local libraries nationwide or anywhere books are sold:

For Ages 8 to 12: 1. DORK Diaries: OMG! All About Me Diary by Rachel Renée Russell 2. Leon’s Share: The Young Conquerors Book 1 by Mabel Singletary 3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

4. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

DBR Books

The Books Magazine 18

August 2013

For Ages 3 to 7: 5. Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by James and Kimberly Dean 6. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt 7. Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton

DBR Books

The Books Magazine 19

August 2013

A Note to Children’s books and YA fiction Authors: DBR Books reviews children’s and YA fiction books, which are featured in our magazine. Reviews are done by the Children’s Book Examiner for Do you have a recently published book in this genre and would like a free review? Then contact us at: Editor at

ADVERTISE WITH US! Are you an author or an illustrator? You can now advertise your books, illustrations, and websites with our online source for books - The Books Magazine! For our upcoming issues you can advertise with us and you'll receive a full page ad! Ask how you can receive this offer! Email us at

DBR Books The Books Magazine DBR Book News Weekly Website: Email: Follow us on Twitter @DBRBooks Blog: Don’t forget to subscribe to our Magazine! 20

DBR Books Magazine August 2013