Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Mysterious Miss Snoddy With Additional Resource Materials

Dear Teachers, History Buffs, Grandparents, Parents and Students:

I had two objectives when I began writing The Mysterious Miss Snoddy series.  First, I wanted to create a middle grade mystery I hoped would captivate young readers, ages 8-12, with a fun and suspenseful adventure. Secondly, I wanted to introduce and interest students in some basic stories of American history. I believe being rooted in our national lineage makes for a richer and fuller appreciation of who we are, both our beauty and our blemishes.
I have created additional enrichment activities and materials to encourage students of all ages to dig a little deeper and to practice and enhance skills.  When you order a book from us directly, I will be happy provide these materials.  The cost of the book is $8.00 plus shipping.  Additionally, we are interested in hearing about your creative use of this story.  You can contact me by email at and follow me on Facebook at Red Truck Writer. 

Thanks for your interest in The Mysterious Miss Snoddy, Book One-The American Revolutionary War.  Book two, coming this fall, explores the Underground Railroad and book three will focus on the Orphan Train and further adventures of Ava, Ellie, and Griffin.  The series is available on Amazon as well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Was Here
Our “Curious Writer Workshops” for ADULTS are fast approaching! Don’t consider yourself a writer or don’t want to write a book? Writing is an art that all can & should do! Consider writing for yourself, your children and grandchildren. What about capturing family history, family recipes, funny stories and events we have experienced? Did you ever wish you had asked questions of those we loved who have since passed away? While I don’t have the passion and follow...-through that Jim does for writing, I love my dad’s stories, my mom’s secret recipes and remembering the funny and weird things I and my children did in school. Also, I want my 6 grandchildren to know how much I love them and the specific qualities I have seen and appreciated. My Aunt Vicki is a master storyteller on family history. Who will continue that? Consider learning a little more so that we can “capture” our memories and emotions before it’s too late! Beyonce sings “I Was Here”. What better way to leave our mark for generations to come. Join us in Opelousas, Louisiana Library on Thursday, June 8th @ 10:00 am and in Stromsburg, Nebraska Library Friday, June 2nd @ 1:30 pm.

Friday, May 26, 2017

We are very pleased to announce the upcoming book talks, signings and writing workshops.
Thursday, June 1st, join us at the Stromsburg, Nebraska Public Library at 320 Central St. for "Miss Snoddy's Young Writers Workshop" at 10:00 am.  Friday, June 2nd at 1:30 pm, we are hosting "Book Talk for Curious Writers" which is geared more to adults at that same location.

On Wednesday, June 7th at 10:00 am, we will be at Opelousas Public Library on 212 E. Grolee St., in Opelousas, Louisiana.  This will be the "Miss Snoddy's Young Writers Workshop" and the next day, June 8th at 10:00 am, we will host the "Book Talk for Curious Writers".  Please join us if you can and we will post more of our upcoming events. 

For more information and/or to schedule an event in your area, please contact us at
Follow us on Facebook at Red Truck Writer

Saturday, May 6, 2017

So exciting…Here is a review from a Grandma posted on Amazon regarding Jim’s new book…The Mysterious Miss Snoddy!  It is the first in a series…

"I purchased this book for my granddaughters, ages 11, 8 and 6. My original intention was to read a chapter to them every day, but as we would finish one chapter, they would beg to read “just one more”. I usually did continue reading, not only because they were relentless, but also because I wanted to know what was going to happen next! I especially appreciated the “personalized” stories about the American Revolution. As none of my granddaughters have studied American History in school yet, most of the events covered were new to them; but the 11 year old’s interest was so piqued, she would immediately go online or seek other resources to gather more information about that period of time. To me, that is the real success of this book and I highly recommend it!"


Monday, May 1, 2017

It is here and available on Amazon, The Mysterious Miss Snoddy! This is a middle grade novel, written for 8-12 year olds, with an emphasis on American history.  The story is intended to captivate young readers with a thrilling adventure while igniting an interest in American history.  The Mysterious Miss Snoddy is history wrapped in a mystery!
   Jim will be available to provide readings and a ninety minute young writer’s workshop designed to encourage interest, enhance skills, and empower imaginations.  There is no cost for these presentations as it is his way of advancing a love and appreciation for the joy of reading and the art of writing.  Libraries, summer school classes, and youth activity centers and clubs are finding these opportunities to be a way to academically support and stimulate students during the summer months away from the classroom.
 If interested please contact us at you earliest convenience as booking dates are filling up.  Jim can be reached at or by phone at (970) 215-4191.  If you would prefer a signed copy, don't hesitate to contact us at that email address or phone number.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

  I hopped off my bike before it came to a complete stop and leaned it against a tree.  Then I bounded up the stairs, two at a time.  I was ten years old and at the library!

   The race to get there—dodging cars and dogs, and ignoring the blare of horns—contrasted with the deathly silence upon entering the library’s austere interior.  Safely entombed behind those heavy doors, I was guaranteed the suspicious scrutiny of elderly ladies conducting important business with all manner of index cards and rubber stamps with purple ink.  Without fail they were uniformed in floral dresses and sensible shoes.  Gray hair was wrapped in buns and occasionally the most cautious among them added the protection of a net.  These matrons were not to be messed with even if they did smell of the same talc my sweet grandmother wore.  Respectfully and with eyes averted, I made my way to the stairs. Though the steps led downward, it was my stairway to heaven.

   Jumping off the last tread, I entered that sacred area labeled ‘Children’s Section’ where stale air scented with dust and aged pages greeted me.  I headed straight for the back wall where, on the third and fourth shelves, rested adventures and lives recorded on pages with unfinished edges and hard covers of burnt orange.  My eyes quickly scanned the titles on the spines.  I saw several old friends—Davy and Daniel of course, George and Abe, Zachary Taylor and ‘Old Hickory’—but many I was still eager to get to know.  I grabbed several and lugged them to the scarred and pock marked table where my task was to select the precious three that would go home with me for two weeks.  However, I knew their stay would fall well short of the allotted fourteen days because the quests contained within those orange covers would be consumed quickly.  One likely wouldn’t last the afternoon and evening.  And no book was ever, ever late in returning because, with a dollar bill in my pocket for a recently mown lawn and a new shipment of five-cent baseball cards arriving at the corner grocery, a two-cent per day penalty simply wasn’t good financial management!

   I suppose without realizing the connection, my early exposure to reading factored in The Mysterious Miss Snoddy series.  I was a pre-television farm boy who clearly recalls listening to my mother’s evening readings from The Hills of Kentucky and The Sugar Creek Gang.  My appreciation for history also grew with the number of candles on my birthday cake.  Three of my grandchildren are the story’s main characters and they benefit from Miss Snoddy’s personal relationship with American history.  My wish is for them to learn to love reading and writing and realize the places they can go when they get between the front and back covers of a book.