Language During Mealtime
Interview with Elly Swartz, Author of Finding Perfect, Smart Cookie and Give and Take

Interview with Elly Swartz, Author of Finding Perfect, Smart Cookie and Give and Take

October 28, 2019

Today I will interviewing middle grade author, Elly Swartz.

Her debut novel, FINDING PERFECT (FSG 2016) is about 12-year-old Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. In her second book, SMART COOKIE (Scholastic, 2018), you meet the spunky and big-hearted Frankie. Frankie’s all about family with a dash of mischief and mystery! Then in October, 2019, say hello to Maggie in GIVE AND TAKE (FSG). With the help of a foster baby named Izzie and Bert the turtle, Maggie learns that sometimes love means letting go.

Check out her website with tons of resources at, on Twitter @ellyswartz, on Instagram @ellyswartzbooks or on her webseries #BooksintheKitchen with author Victoria J. Coe.

To check out my review of Finding Perfect, click here.

Interview with Author and Child and Adolescent Psychologist, Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette

Interview with Author and Child and Adolescent Psychologist, Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette

October 24, 2019

Do you have a son that is not sporty? How does that affect him? Does he feel left out? Check out this wonderful podcast with acclaimed author and psychologist Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette! 

After reading her book, The Last Boys Picked, I wanted to talk more with Janet about this important topic of bullying, sports and boys.

Janet Sasson Edgette is a clinical psychologist with 30 years of experience offering evaluation, counseling, and psychotherapy to children, preteens, teenagers, young adults, and their parents. She has spent her career thinking about how to provide services to kids and teenagers that they actually value and respect, and therefore want to participate in, eliminating the miserable and degrading tug of war and other power struggles that many clinicians endure when working with this population. Janet has served on faculty at Delaware Valley University, Immaculata University, and Villanova University in their graduate psychology and counseling programs and has conducted training workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada, and abroad.

Besides speaking to professional audiences, Janet often speaks to groups of parents about how they can stay connected to their kids as they enter adolescence and become young adults. Respect and accountability are cornerstone values in both her therapy and parenting approaches.

Janet has written six books and dozens of articles in the areas of parenting, counseling, boys, masculinity and gender norms, and sport psychology. They include the popular parenting paperback, Stop Negotiating with Your Teen: Strategies for Parenting Your Angry, Manipulative, Moody, or Depressed Adolescent, and a critically acclaimed book for mental health professionals entitled, Adolescent Therapy That Works: Helping Kids Who Never Asked for Help in the First Place. Her most recent book, The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood, has been labeled by Parent magazine a “must read.”

To learn more about Janet, visit her website here!

Interview with Speech Language Pathologist and Owner of The Speak Boutique, Tali Kellerstein

Interview with Speech Language Pathologist and Owner of The Speak Boutique, Tali Kellerstein

October 14, 2019

Tali Kellerstein is a certified speech language pathologist and owner of The Speak Boutique. She is passionate about treating children struggling with speech sound disorders. She started her career at the Speech and Stuttering Institute in Toronto, and for the last 4 years has worked full time in her Private Practice, The Speak Boutique. Tali shares tips and ideas for speech therapy on her Speak Boutique YouTube Channel, and is currently working on a speech-sounds based children’s book - set to be released in 2020.


To learn more about Tali, go to her website here.

Interview with Marci Heit, Creator of Q.D. Foodie

Interview with Marci Heit, Creator of Q.D. Foodie

October 9, 2019

Marci Heit is a professional voiceover artist, writer, producer, puppeteer, actress and SAG-AFTRA member. She is also the creator of Q.D. Foodie. Q.D. Foodie Kitchen Tools have easy grip, sensory friendly handles, braille on the measuring pieces and bright, engaging colors that attract a wide range of kids, allowing them to work together in the kitchen, gain cooking and social skills, make healthier choices and develop more independence. 

 From the time she was a child, Marci created voices for nearly everything she saw, including cars, clothes, and spices. The repertoire of characters inside her eventually needed to find a way out, so she recorded a demo and obtained representation with the William Morris Agency. These days, Marci works from her own recording studio and has clients around the country and worldwide. Her voice can be heard on video games, children’s television, commercials, greeting cards, training videos, websites, infomercials, telephone systems, and much, much more. 

 Marci was involved with a puppet show program for several years. That experience inspired her to start her own company to develop her own material and client projects. It’s Real Entertainment LLC is an animation production studio, which creates and develops original animated content for all areas of media and for all ages. Marci voices many of the characters. 

 Check out her website here! 

Interview with Erin Morris, Author of Who is Sam the Soldier?

Interview with Erin Morris, Author of Who is Sam the Soldier?

October 1, 2019

Erin Morris is an Army veteran and former Major in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  She spent nine years in the Army and deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 with the 101st Airborne Division.  Since leaving the Army, Erin continues to practice law in Colorado where she lives with her husband, also an Army veteran, and her family.  In her free time, Erin volunteers to support through various outreaches and is the legal adviser to a veteran-support non-profit in Texas.  Erin also enjoys traveling and adventuring in the great outdoors.

To learn more about Erin visit her book website, Sam the Soldier.

To read my review of Who is Sam the Soldier, click here.

Interview with Michele McAvoy, author of Cookie & Milk

Interview with Michele McAvoy, author of Cookie & Milk

September 24, 2019

Today I will be interviewing Michele McAvoy. Michele McAvoy is an inspirational speaker & award-winning children’s book author from New Jersey. She loves bringing joy to children through her own stories. Michele’s books are uplifting and colorful and are meant to help children navigate through the natural bumps and curves of life. She has written three children’s books which include My Superhero Grandpa and The Gorilla Picked me.


Her next picture book, Cookie & Milk with Cardinal Rule Press, releases October 1. Cookie & Milk was selected as a Top Shelf Title with IPG.


Check out her website at Don’t miss her podcast and educational activities free for download that accompany her children’s books.


On sale October 1st! 

Interview with L.A. Kefalos , children’s book author and engineer

Interview with L.A. Kefalos , children’s book author and engineer

September 19, 2019

Today I will be interviewing L.A. Kefalos. L.A. was born and raised in Barberton, OH. After high school, she went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron. She has worked for a number of companies specializing in automation controls, including Goodyear Tire where she specialized in machine control engineering. This job allowed her to travel the world! Today she works as Lead Automation Engineer for a company in the entertainment industry.

In addition to her engineering background, she also has experience in communications,  writing for multiple Fortune 500 Companies. L.A. is also an alumnus of The Edit Center in Manhattan and served as assistant editor of Red Doors, which won Best Narrative Feature Award in NY Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2005. L.A. has edited several trailers and has used her editing skills to do sound effects in her own animations.

L.A. Kefalos is no stranger to writing stories to entertain little folks. A. Blob on a Bus is her second picture book in The Blob Series, which chronicles school life with a bully. It is the continuation of This is A. Blob, which follows a bully named A. Blob as it makes it away around the playground.  In addition to her picture books, she has also created several animated shorts, including Who's That Knocking; Chug; and Crocs, Pots, and Wildebeests, which screened at the 2010 Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Independent Short Short in the ages 5-8 category at the 2009 Kid's First Film Festival.


L.A.'s website:

Interview with Jonathan Masiulionis, President of Empowered Publicity

Interview with Jonathan Masiulionis, President of Empowered Publicity

September 10, 2019

Today I will be interviewing Jonathan Masiulionis. I wanted to interview a publicist to help other authors listening today get a head start in how to promote their book. I connected with Jonathan via social media and have enjoyed listening to his podcasts and appreciating his passion for children’s literature.  

For nearly two decades, Jonathan Masiulionis has been helping authors, speakers, coaches, entertainers, and entrepreneurs from across the country promote their talents and expand their audiences.

His ability to highlight the best of what an artist brings to the table is uniquely exceptional. With the power of enthusiasm and determination, Jonathan is a seasoned professional at taking ideas and turning them into realities.

As a publicist for inspirational and children’s authors at Empowered Publicity, Jonathan understands the challenges that aspiring and rising artists face, as they step out in faith and follow their own paths of service.

He uses his networking savvy, well-developed organizational skills, and heartfelt, positive energy to promote and establish name recognition for all of his clients.

A true partner in promotion, Jonathan empowers his clients with the personal attention and dedicated support they need to fulfill their dreams and expand the reach of their work.

Official Website:

I am also very excited to share a link to my interview with Jonathan here! 

Interview with Illustrator, Andrew Kolb

Interview with Illustrator, Andrew Kolb

August 28, 2019

Illustrator Andrew Kolb first gained attention with his illustrated version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Since then, he has created illustrations for clients including chickaDEE Magazine, the Toronto Zoo, and Pixar. He is also the author of Edmund Unravels and the illustrator of All Aboard!: Let’s Ride a Train and All Aboard!: The Christmas Train. Listen to this podcast to learn all about his new book, All Aboard! The Airport Train.

 Visit Andrew’s website at

Check out my review with tips for language and learning here.

Interview with Stephanie Sorkin, children’s book author and allergy advocate

Interview with Stephanie Sorkin, children’s book author and allergy advocate

August 19, 2019

Stephanie Sorkin is the award-winning author of Nutley, the Nut-free Squirrel, Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces and Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Stephanie Sorkin donates a portion of her books proceeds to various charities supporting children.

Stephanie Sorkin has appeared in the New York Times Style Section and written numerous articles for national publications.

As a food allergy advocate, she spends her time visiting schools in the tri-state area, discussing the inspiration behind her books and the importance of creativity.  For more information or to inquire about a school visit, please visit 

You can find her on social media @stephsorkin