Posts Tagged With: picture books

Book Spotlight: Close Ups and Close Encounters by S.J. Brown

Sometimes I think I get as excited as the author when a new book is released. Really, that is not true. It can’t be true. No one can be as excited as the author when their first book comes out. But, I do get very excited–therefore, I need to spread the news far and wide. So here goes:

Close Ups & Close Encounters contains 60 full-color photos and a selection of stories from her life as a wildlife photographer.

Close Ups & Close Encounters contains over 50 full-color photos and a selection of stories from her life as a wildlife photographer.
(Click on Book Cover to Purchase on Amazon)

Acorn Book Services has released a new book by wildlife photographer S.J. Brown! This book is a grand read for nature buffs–or even not so nature buffs–of all ages. Containing 60 full-color photographs and stories from S.J. Brown’s life as a wildlife photographer, Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View from Behind the Lens makes the reader want to go out to spy a playful pachyderm (my favorite chapter). The print version is available now. EBook version will be on sale in a matter of days.

On a whim, S. J. Brown decided to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Armed with an inexpensive 35mm camera and a love for the natural world, her adventure began. Accompanied by her spotter and husband, she ventured to a variety of locations.

The couple soon learned that there was more to this than just camera settings, lighting, and getting the right angle. Not all wildlife is agreeable to having their picture taken, and many are not easily accessible.

Camera in hand, S. J. Brown encountered delicate butterflies, bears, birds, deer, wild horses, and more. Along the way, there are successes and failures, cooperative critters, curious subjects, and some close calls.

As a wildlife photographer S. J. Brown took her cues from her subjects. Their body language let her know when to step in for a closer shot and when to back away. When she was out in the field, she strove to observe and record not to interfere. The exception to this rule is when people pose a threat to wildlife; then she will take time to relocate a road dwelling critter to its location. Brown has saved snapper turtles from soup and other creatures from the taunts and teases of unwise humans, but she will not interfere with Mother Nature’s food chain unless it involves a domestic animal pursuing a wild creature. With this in mind, she has sent many a cat away from a bird feeder and saved many a squirrel from a curious canine.

S. J. Brown’s book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown’s photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. Introducing others, such as her granddaughter, to the field is one of her primary goals and loves. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.

S.J. Brown getting a close up and possibly having a close encounter.Click on photo to visit S.J. Brown's website.

S.J. Brown getting a close up and possibly having a close encounter.
Click on photo to visit S.J. Brown’s website.

About the Author

Over the years, S. J. Brown has played with a number of artistic venues. Her love of the written word began in high school English class and continues on today, but it is not her only artistic endeavor. Prior to becoming an author, Brown has experimented with sketching, stained glass, and even ran ceramic business for several years.

Her love of wildlife photography began on a whim with an inexpensive 35mm camera, a few rolls of film, and a passion for nature. Quickly, her everyday life and wildlife photography became entwined. Somehow, even with a husband, a job, and household responsibilities, photographing found a place in the mix.

Visit for more information about SJ Brown and to view more of her photographs.



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Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr. Published by Acorn

Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr. Published by Acorn.

via Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr. Published by Acorn.

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For Your Junk Food Lovin’ Offspring: Jelly Bean Soup & Grilled Candy Sandwiches!

I wish Michael T had written Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches ten years earlier. then, I would have read it to my son, Tristan, the maybe dinner time wouldn’t be such an ordeal. I have to pay him to eat his salad!

Click on the book cover to order
Michael T’s first children’s book.

Anyway, enough about that! Let’s move on to this jewel of a children’s book! Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches, written by magician Michael T.

I met Michael T last year when he performed a magic show at our church for the children. When I found out he was working on a children’s book, and I told him that I was a publisher, we immediately clicked.

Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches is about Mikey, bright young man. But, like many children, he didn’t like nutritious food. Instead, Mikey dreamed of Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches. Sometimes, dreams of such eating habits can lead to hilarious images and inspiring results as told and illustrated in this children’s book written by Magician Michael T and illustrated by Joe Santoro. This book also includes children’s activities for parents and teachers, as well as easy and nutritious recipes that children will love!

I’m not kidding when I tell Michael T. that he is my celebrity client. He truly is! Every time I meet him at Panera Bread, people young and old flock to this colorful and charming man. I love him and  you will, too.

And your children will love Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches!

“Michael T” Myers is a graduate of Hagerstown Community College and Shepherd University.  He is a Magician, Minister, Motivational Speaker, Emcee, Hypnotherapist, Teacher, Poet, WV Auctioneer #1704 and now a Children’s Author.  Michael T. lives in Falling Waters, WV with his beautiful wife, J.J. who is a Nutritionist that always encourages him to eat each meal smarter.  With childhood obesity in the news, Michael T. thought this would be a fun project to help children learn a better way to eat and live healthier.  Enjoy!

You can contact Michael T. at, P.O. Box 2955 Martinsburg, WV  25402 or 304-279-2858.  SMILE BIG; It’s Free and worth the results!

Click on Michael T
to visit his website

Now, as talented as Michael T is, Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches would never have come to life without the talent of Joe Santoro.

Illustrator Joe Santoro
Not only is Joe an illustrator,
he’s a puppeteer, too!
Click on Joe’s picture to find out more

Joe Santoro is a graduate of State University of NY at Genesco.  He is an enthusiastic Elementary School Art Teacher where his students get excited about learning new creative skills.  On the weekends Joe and his hard-working wife, Jane own and operate the “Wonderment Puppet Theater” on 412 W. King Street in Martinsburg, WV.  Puppet Shows and Birthday Parties are their specialties.  Joe and Jane live in Berkeley Springs, WV.

You can contact Joe at  or 304-260-9382.  Be CREATIVE; Draw what you like and Color.  It’s Fun!

If you have children, especially if they love junk food, then I strongly recommend Jelly Bean Soup and Grilled Candy Sandwiches for you and your child. Also, if you live in the Martinsburg, WV, area, check Michael T and Joe Santoro’s websites for their next performances.

Happy Eating … and Reading!

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