Thank you

I try to thank each and every person who signs up to follow my blog by going on their blog and posting a thank you note.
Lately this has proven impossible! When I click the post button, and sign in with Facebook or wordpress it tells me I am not signed in, despite the fact that I am signed in and in fact the ap is open!
So, dear followers, if I have not thanked you, please forgive. I’m not rude, just incompetent. I do very much appreciate each and every one of you.

My Friend’s New Book!

How far into the hollow would you go?

“After losing her parents in a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria escapes New York City to Arnn—a farming town with more legends than residents, and a history of witchcraft and secrets best left buried.

Everyone in Arnn knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope when she should be afraid, and a past of missing children and broken promises. To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?”
ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is Jordan Elizabeth’s first novel. This young adult fantasy will be published through Curiosity Quills Press on October 29, 2014.
Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, can’t get enough of the woods, be it splashing through a stream, sitting beneath an ancient oak, or following a path up a hill. Some of those adventures have led to abandoned foundations. Exploring the rocks and crumbling bricks sparked Jordan to imagine who might have lived there before, and that train of thought carried her to a wicked legend and an enchanted hollow. You can contact Jordan via her website,

You don’t have to wait for October 29th to explore Witchwood Hollow. Jordan Elizabeth is offering up a free eArc. To enter for your chance to win a copy of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, you will need to share the cover. This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it. It will give you more chances to win. The drawing for the winner will be held on October 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tune in Tomorrow and a Tip for Today


I’m looking to make tips on my site a more regular feature, but here is one for those of you who write travel—subscribe to overseas newsletters to keep up with the latest information on European or other travel and maybe also find a few contests to enter: Try this one–the contest is past but the site is great and you can sign up to be notified of their next contest too(I missed it as well).

Tune in tomorrow for a guest blog from a wonderful author!

A Poem to Honor Joe

Recently I learned that the grief talk I give on how to recover your own life after a major life loss–The Day I learned to Fly, has been accepted by a grief anthology. Our loss (heaven; gin) was our son, Joseph Gabriel Leotta

Today I got the news that Tigershark, a British publication is live with my poem, Shenandoah, Valley of the Stars that I wrote to honor Joey, our son, who died in 2002. He loved those mountains and his time at Virginia Tech in the heart of the Shenandoah.

The poem is an adaptation of the Native American myth of the formation of the valley.

Tigershark #5 is now available to download from the site.

DS Davidson, Editor

Visit our site and download the ezine at

I’m a Guest!!! Rainy Day Party

Dear readers,

Elaine Stock is hosting me today, so please hop over to her blog

The direct link is:

to find out what I have to share with you about writing.
So, despite the rain today I am having a party, “meeting” new folks over there.
There is a book giveaway on the site for those of you who want more of my work.

Where do you submit?

How do you find the sites?

Many ask me this. I spend a lot of time looking at magazines, reading, and reading newsletters that list magazines that have calls for work.


I study the submission guidelines and often review the bio of the judge in contests. If the work of the judge is fabulist and I am a realist, then….. chances are slim I will be chosen.


Never submit to a journal you do not respect. Why would you want your work there? A woman in my poetry group once noted I had published a short story in a journal that had rejected her poetry. “My work is so much better than what they use,” she told me. “I was very insulted when they rejected my poems.” Aside from the fact that she managed to insult me while also “dissing” the publication, she was wrong on many levels. Her work is very traditional and very “literary”. This magazine is more of a populist in its selection of pieces to publish. Its not a matter of “good” or “bad” but of different styles.  However if you do not respect the style the editors chose to print, why would you submit. You will not win them over to your more literary approach and vice versa. I don’t expect the Literary mags to publish my genre works. So, take a breath, study, read, and submit–to journals you respect

A Book Review -Little Book of Book Making

So, I signed up to do reviews for two different sites. Chose the book below, a good book, but I am not doing anymore. Free books–nice but I am too busy to do a good job consistently.
This is a one time thing, folks!
Little Book of Bookmaking
Potter Craft New York
By Charlotte Rivers
Review by Joan Leotta

This is not a book for beginners. This is a comprehensive, well thought out guide to creating books from your own paper. It’s not about the printing of words on paper. Rather, it demonstrates many ways of folding and presenting words and pictures on a page, grouped into what we call a book. The idea is to create something truly beautiful and handmade to complement the efforts of a writer or visual artist. Presentation is part of the effort as far as these crafts people are concerned.

There are covers made from wood, directions for hand stitching, folding pages and wonderful examples of handmade books from artisans all over the world.

Of course, the complete list of materials and terms, the thorough and clear directions accompanied by pictures–these things make the book an excellent gift for a budding book artist. A high school or college level art teacher could easily pass this book around the classroom as inspiration for art projects that combine words and visual art–even if that visual is simply the book itself.

What makes it step above the ordinary art instruction book is the international flavor of the examples, with clear credit to the artists cited. The international flavor of the ideas contained is a true picture of how much we need to see and appreciate other cultures. A wonderful book for the artist, a wonderful lesson for the human and the artist in all of us.