Monthly Archives: June 2016

Aunt Sadie’s Angel: Book Review

Aunt Sadie’s Angel: A Review

Author: Lisa-Jane Erwin

Illustrator: Lauren A. Brown

Copyright 2015

220 pages


Whatever you learned about Heaven in Sunday School…forget it!  Aunt Sadie’s Angel re-imagines the heavenly kingdom as a celestial organization, complete with bureaucracy, professional challenges, political jockeying, miscommunication, and the stresses of doing an eternity of good work.  Author Lisa-Jane Erwin presents the story of having to put aside a lifetime of differences in order to provide care for a young girl.

Elderly Aunt Sadie, only weeks away from being spirited to the Pearly Gates, is throwing paradise into confusion.  The head wing-maAngelsker is not prepared, there is the uncertainty of who her guardian angel is, and worst of all, when Aunt Sadie’s mortality expires, and the granddaughter she is caring for will be left alone.  Angels are scrambling to figure out who her father is and what angelic side of the family will watch over her. Rivalries and responsibilities are called into question, all under the watchful eye of the Most High.

Lisa-Jane Erwin’s writing is clear and direct, painting a heavenly landscape as a place divided by occupations, importance, and activities.  The story reads like a tale told around the fireplace on a Saturday evening, inviting the audience to be spellbound and asking for more.  It requires the reader to suspend preconceived notions of Heaven and the behavior of angels.  Some may find it refreshing to find heavenly residents to continue to have the same human foibles as they did on Earthly plane.

Suitable for younger readers, complete with strong messages of faith, responsibility, and a commitment to serving a higher power.  A common read for a youth group or a summer reading selection.

You can get your copy of Aunt Sadie’s Angel at and

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  

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Hey Scholastic! Keep the kids writing!

“Writing is an extreme privilege, but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself, and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.” ~Amy Tan

“If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book.” ~Shereen El Feki

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
~Peter Handke


Kids are Authors is a wonderful writing contest for K-eighth grade students, sponsored by Scholastic, Inc.  You know Scholastic, don’t you?  The book fairs. The order sheets stuffed in book bags. Scholastic is a major staple of the American educational system. The Kids are Authors contest is designed to encourage students to work in teams (an important value) to write (my favorite activity) and to illustrate (my brother’s favorite activity) their books…not just a story…but an eventual published book.

What a thrill for kids to see their works in published form. It’s motivating. It’s encouraging. It lays the groundwork for the writers of the future. Unfortunately, after this year, the Kids are Authors contest is coming to a close.  Like a good book, it has reached the end. (Say whaaaatt?)  Yes, it has come to an end.  For almost a decade, kids from all over sat down, fired up their imaginations, and wrote, re-wrote, and wrote some more.

So what does this contest mean to the kids?  Here’s story (don’t pardon the pun).  A small group of students from the Rose Hill Boys & Girls Club (New Castle, DE) entered the contest and wrote/illustrated the book, The Story of Velma.  Their book was based on the real-life Dr. Velma Scantlebury, the associate director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Christiana Care and the first African American female kidney transplant surgeon. Out of 1,000 entries, the Rose Hill kids were the only ones recognized in the state of Delaware.



Rose Hill Boys & Girls Club kids and their book (Oh yeah!)


Okay…kids wrote a book.  Big deal!  IT IS A BIG DEAL!  We hear hundreds of stories of children without direction, without discipline.  Kids spending hours in front of the TV or gaming systems.  Kids not having any sense of who’s making positive impacts in their community.  These young authors made a commitment to a project, identified someone of note, did the research, cooperated and collaborated…and most of all…had a finished product that they, their families, and community could be proud of.

If you are a writer or artist, you know how important opportunities like this are to the kids.  All of us who spend hours working on our craft remember how it was when we first started out.  You know the feeling when there is encouragement after crafting the first poem, story, or painting.

Let’s get together and encourage Scholastic, Inc. to keep that feeling going in our your authors.  You can help the next generation of writers by sharing this with friends, posting it with the hashtag #WriteOnScholastic or by dropping and encouraging note to Scholastic.  Maybe Scholastic cannot sustain the program, but it is important to let them know the program has significant value to the writing community.

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  



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When I Was Your Girlfriend: Book Review

When I Was Your Girlfriend: Book Review

Author: Nikki Harmon

Mt. Airy Girl Press, 2015


It is better to have loved and lost…WIWYG Cover

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s quote is pure b.s. in Dee’s world.  A talented midwife and sometime-y single, Dee finds herself pushing through the revolving door of relationships or flirting in dark-cornered trysts as the cavernous hole in her heart aches to be filled with a love yet to be discovered and cherished.  When a familiar name is mentioned at her office, Dee ponders one of life’s perennial questions, can you relive or recapture the feelings of the past?  This is Dee’s dilemma and her soul-searching sojourn in Nikki Harmon’s novel, When I Was Your Girlfriend.

Harmon tells both the coming of age and coming to terms story of Deidre “Dee” Armstrong, a confident, competent, and casually content Philly-based midwife, balancing the delivering of babies with the one and off relationship with the beautiful women she encounters.  When she hears the name she hadn’t heard in years, an emotional and torrential flood sweeps her headfirst into the forgotten recesses of her past and the aching desire to find her first love.

Harmon’s writing is crisp, humorous, insightful, and unabashed.  Through Dee, she grabs readers by the waist and escorts them into one woman’s jaunt through short-lived romantic relationships and the emotional racking of longing for a love that may not have ever really existed.  Readers are challenged to search their hearts and minds to conclude if long-lost loves should remain in the past…or…like the Phoenix, have the opportunity to rise from the ashes of time and distance to live again.

When I Was Your Girlfriend is a clear pick for the summer.  A perfect read for the beach, book club, or with a glass of wine after leafing longingly through your high school yearbook.

Expect more insightful, inspiring, and intriguing works from Nikki Harmon in the future.

You can get your copy of When I Was Your Girlfriend here, Amazon, or whereever good books are sold.

Guy A. Sims is the author of the novel, Living Just A Little, and the crime novellas, The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim.  He is also the head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series and the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation.  





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