Friday, January 23, 2009

Educator's Life Welcomes a Fantastic Children's Author

Howdy all! I am happy to welcome Mrs. Elysabeth Eldering and her amazing books to my blog! To start off, I would like to share her Bio with you:

With a childhood spent traveling the globe, writer Elysabeth Eldering developed a passion for geography. Growing up in a military family, Elysabeth lived in Japan, Germany, New York, Kentucky, and Texas before her family finally settled in a small town in South Carolina. Elysabeth, who lives in Honea Path, put her globetrotting skills to work in the Junior Geography Detective Squad's 50-state mystery trivia series.

Published by 4RV Publishing, the series made its debut in summer 2008 with State of Wilderness. The Junior Geography Detective Squad will continue to put their mystery-solving talents to work in each state, challenging young readers on their knowledge of the nation's geography and interesting facts about each state. State of Quarries is next in the line-up.

The mother of three - an adult son and a teen-aged son and daughter - juggles a schedule that includes volunteering with her children's school activities, such as marching band and band competitions. An avid pet lover, Elysabeth is caretaker for the family's three dogs and a rabbit named Easter. She's active in the Greenville chapters of Sisters in Crime and the SC Writers Workshop and has judged entries for the Derringers Awards competition.

Elysabeth entered her first writing contest on a dare from a friend. Since then, the prize-winning writer has received awards from Armchair Interviews and Echelon Press. Her most recent story, “Bride and Seek,” was published in the SC Writers Workshop anthology The Petigru Review and is available on She has an article on editing and self publishing, also with Armchair Interviews.


What is really neat about Mrs. E (as my class and I have come to call her), is that I have the privilege of having her visit my classroom once a week and mentor my students in their writing, share stories she has written, and above all, have fun. What an awesome thing to have a published author in my classroom EVERY WEEK! How many teachers get to have that experience?

I guess I should clarify, that since I live across the United States from Mrs. E, she can't physically come to my classroom, but we have set up a great connection with a mic, Google Talk, and a little imagination. It is fantastic!

My Review of her book, State of Wilderness, is that it is an AWESOME resource for any teacher that is looking to build a knowledge base of states. U.S. studies teachers will love the series. State History teachers will love the series, heck, everyone will love the series! But don't be fooled into thinking that this wonderful, easy to read, fun-filled book is ONLY for school rooms! Kids of any age will love having it read to them. The illustrations, done by Ms. Willowraven, are fantastic, and help kids get even more from the book! Every student in my class has read and thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Elderings book. I have purchased copies so my students could re-read it often. But, wait, that's not all! Mrs. E has even gone to the trouble to create a Teachers Guide. An activity packed resource to help teachers get more bang for their buck. These will be available with each book.

Book number 2, State of Quarries, is due for release very, very soon. In fact, I am sure Mrs. E. will be leaving a comment or two about its release date, so check those out! The second book looks to be as promising as the first. I am excited for its release so my students can continue on the journey.

Don't miss out on the chance to win a USA map puzzle and a few state related items.
Rules for drawing:
1. Each person who leaves a comment and a valid email address in the comment will go into the drawing.
2. Only one entry per stop. If you leave several comments on the same stop, your name will only go in once. A valid email must be left within the comment or the person is ineligible. I need a way to contact the winners so I can get mailing address to send their prizes. Winners will be announced in the comments section the next morning first thing.


  1. Greetings to Mr. Hughes' readers. Today is a busy day and although it will seem that Mr. Hughes and myself are not here, we will be. I have a live book signing today and Mr. Hughes is in class (next to last one I believe).

    I would like to add that I lucked up on finding Mr. Hughes back when I was originally planning my blog tour. I sent him an email asking to host me, he agreed and then we started chatting on Google Talk and the next thing I know, we are set up via Smartboards and the Internet to have classroom visits.

    I enjoy it because it does help get me writing if only for those 5 minutes once a week. I am "typing/writing" every day on my job in that I'm a medical transcriptionist and so I have to write what the doctors tell me. I'm not writing for myself though.

    We were hoping book #2 would have been out this month but we have had a couple of setbacks, the biggest being CPSIA of 2008, and you can find out more about visiting my blog - and any of the other blogs I've linked there. My publisher is very determined to get my books out one way or another, upping the age level or whatever she has to do. So be patient, book 2 is coming.

    Book 3 is almost written and then it gets edited and hopefully my illustrator is already working on some of the illustrations for the clues (I know she has done three because she has the cover finished which is in the back of book #2 as a teaser for what's coming up).

    Book 4 will be right behind while book #3 is being edited.

    The hardest thing is deciding what info to use as the clues. Once I get my clues in place, though, the story kind of falls as it should - my characters have fun interacting about the info presented.

    About mentoring Mr. Hughes' students, I think it was fate that I did find a teacher who really believes in teaching and is so passionate about teaching. I hope he does keep up the enthusiasm throughout his teaching career. His students really are a delight to listen to their writings.

    If anyone has any questions or comments, I will get to them when I return from my book signing. Looking forward to meeting with everyone.

  2. Wow, what a neat opportunity for both of you to share in teaching writing to the kids at school. Isn't technology great?

    Best wishes to Elysabeth and Aidana with the books. Thanks for a great interview, John.


  3. Yea, technology is great. I'm enjoying the class time. Thanks for stopping by today, Beth. Looks like everyone was busy today as no one else left a comment - wahhh :(( - but maybe by tonight they will. Hope so. If not, you will be the winner of the prize (unless you've already won on another posting).

    I was hoping Mr. Hughes would be back by now and leave some comments but I haven't seen him yet. He may be here soon. See you in the postings, E :)

  4. Here I am again, saying hi and offering my support to a fellow writer who has written a great book.

    Mr. Hughes has a nice blog and it's wonderful that you've gotten a chance to hook up the way you have. The virtual visits sound like a lot of fun.

    Best of luck with this series, Elysabeth. I'm looking forward to reviewing the next one, so hopefully all this stuff with the CPSIA gets cleared up soon.

    All my best,


  5. Yep that's what we are hoping that they realize they screwed up and if their phone lines get tied up enough with complaints about CPSIA that they will be ready to do something about it.

    On a positive note, the second book is ready and I've posted a teaser on my blog of the third's cover. I actually used it on my board I put together for today's book signing.

    I wonder where Mr. Hughes is - lol - I knew he had class but didn't think he would be tied up all day (he had to leave before 7 a.m. this morning but he did say he would be back in the afternoon).

    It would be nice if some other folks had stopped by and left comments too - but I guess they are not interested in learning a bit about geography and my series.

    I'll leave the postings for a couple more hours and post my winner then - lol - hum, Beth or Cheryl - lol - eenie meeny miney mo - lol - if no one else posts, you will both be my winners - see you back later - E :)

  6. Well, if there's a 33% chance I can win something, I'd better get a comment posted! I wish I was still helping out in John's classroom to get in on this awesome book tour! Best of luck on the future books!

    Jenny ;)

  7. Thanks for stopping by Jenny. He's pretty fun in the classroom. I know the kids can be trying at times, I've witnessed it, but it's such a great age - they are not old enough to really think they know it all and they are young enough to still believe in things like awesome teachers like Mr. Hughes.

    I think all teachers and homeschoolers will benefit from my series and hopefully they will continue wanting them, getting the first book, anxiously awaiting the second and so on.

    Hopefully next month will be better for the publishing industry in general and we can move on and get the books out in a timely manner. It may come down to doing more a year than the originally planned four, but that is up to the publisher. I'm definitely hoping to have a breather soon so that I can play catch up with my writing and get several years ahead of myself story wise so that the publisher can just have everything ready and when she feels she can publish the next one, all she has to do is send it to the printers. Fingers crossed but you know what they say about best laid plans and all that? - lol anyway, glad you made a stop and you can always stop on the previous blogs and read all the fun information that's been posted about the books and me. I'll post a winner in a bit - got to get some work out - E :)

  8. Holy Moley! Today has been a blur! It was exciting to see a couple people stop by! I apologize for not being here earlier. Class went longer than I thought and by the time I picked up my son from my sisters house and drove the 90 miles home (in a very, very, very, very thick fog) I just now have made it home and have been able to log in. I was also hoping for a few more visitors!

  9. The books look very interesting. My daughter would love them. It was good to get to know more about you and your books.
    My email is

    Thanks for the fun information.

  10. Well, thanks to all who stopped by! It is late and I am headed to bed.

    Thanks Elysabeth! This has been neat! I look forward to seeing (hearing) you in class this week. Take care. And good luck with your series- it is going to be fun.

  11. Thanks for stopping by Coralie. If you email me at - I can get a signed copy of the first in the series out to you -

    Now for the lucky winner - All four of you who commented. If you will email me with your mailing addys I'll get your prizes out to you next week when I get paid.

    Thanks for joining us everyone - E :)

  12. What an exciting way to visit the classroom. A win-win situation for students and author. Your books sound great and I hope to buy one soon for my grandson who is in 3rd grade.



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