Review Princess Stories by Jodi Stone and Tidbits


Happy Friday All,

I really enjoyed reading Princess Stories by Jodi Stone. This book has two sweet stories that girls ages 5 to 8 would love to read or have read to them. They would also be good stories to read to our little princesses before bed.

The first book is called Confessions of a Pre-Teen Beauty Queen about a little girl who wakes up with a crown on her head.  The second book is called Ballerina Princess about a little girl who is nervous about her ballet try outs.

Both books are delightful, they both rhyme and flow just like little girls enjoy doing while the main characters Brook and Grace solve their dilemmas. It is a quick fun read. The books make you feel like you are there with them in the room. The illustrations are fun and my girls enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures. I highly recommend this book.  This book is available  at and  as are other stories written by Jodi Stone. Collect them all


Supporting Authors One Read at a Time February’s blog Magazine is out and there are some wonderful articles This months featured Author’s are. Emerald Barnes and Michael Rivers. Check it out their books,  might be just what you want to read this weekend.

Xchyler Publishing Update Are you a fan of Dragons or Steampunk. Check out guidelines in notes at Xchyler Publishing Anthology on facebook. Give the page a like too.

Also would like to add a HUGE GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY YOUR Adventure to one of my Best Friends in the whole world son  Jesse Good Luck in Florida and Congratulations on your adventure at Disney World. Look forward to seeing you the next time we visit the Magic Kingdom. Can’t tell how happy I am for you! Hope it all goes very well for you. Tina you are the best Mom I know. “Hot diggity dog! See you real soon”

Enjoy Your Adventures, WB

Article In Our local Paper


I sure enjoyed being interviewed by Lauren Fitch at The Pioneer here in Big Rapids. She was kind enough to let me pick my favorite Illustrations. Right now its in the 40’s. Very strange for early January. Here is the article. courtesy of Lauren Fitch at The Pioneer Group.

Local children’s author turns family experiences into new-found passion for writing

BIG RAPIDS – Wendy Nystrom became an author of children’s books “totally by accident.” Now after several years of searching for a publisher and completing three books, Nystrom can’t imagine life without writing.

“This came about when my son was 7,” Nystrom, 47, a four-year Big Rapids resident, said of her first book. “He looked out the window at the moon sitting on the mountain, and that evening I was writing a story. It unlocked something in my brain that was always there.”

PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Big Rapids resident Wendy Nystrom holds up the three children’s books she’s written, published by Solstice Publishing. Nystrom plans to write one more book to complete the series, which takes place in Iceland. (Pioneer photo/Lauren Fitch)

Nystrom’s first book, “James Saves the Moon,” was published by Solstice Publishing as an e-book in December 2010. In April, “James Saves the Moon” came out as a print edition. “Helga Returns,” the next in her series, was released as an e-book in October before being printed in November. Her latest book, “Tomfoolery and 13 Yule Lads of Iceland,” is now available as an e-book.

One more book will complete the series of James and Syvok adventures, set in Iceland with a cast of mystical characters.

“All of a sudden all these other stories (came to me),” said Nystrom, who worked as a circulation manager for a newspaper in Idaho and then a stay-at-home mom before beginning her writing career. “I was dreaming stories. It was crazy. It was like an overload. … I started jotting down all these ideas.”

While the writing came easily for Nystrom, she soon realized getting her work published would be a much more difficult process. After penning “James Saves the Moon” in 2004 while living in Iceland, she spent six years editing, finding an illustrator and searching for a publisher.

She happened upon graphic artist Jim Weidman, from Virginia Beach, Fla., one day while searching online. Weidman illustrated her first book, before Nystrom began working on her next two books with Big Rapids Public Schools alumna Kelly Murray, who graduated from Ferris State University in 2008 with a degree in TV digital media production.

“I sent (‘James Saves the Moon’) to a couple publishers in Iceland and didn’t hear anything back,” Nystrom said. “Then we came back to the United States and moved to West Virginia for a year. I sent it out a couple more times. … When I moved here (to Big Rapids), I started looking for a job and couldn’t get one, so I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just see if this writing thing will work.’”

THE BEGINNING: Wendy Nystrom’s first children’s book is based on a conversation she had with her son, James. Jim Weidman, a graphic artist from Virginia Beach, Fla., illustrated her first book. (Courtesy illustration/Jim Weidman)

With encouragement and editing help from her husband, James, and friends, Nystrom researched numerous publishers looking for one that was compatible with her stories. She sent out 150 submissions, heard back from 25 and finally found Solstice Publishing.

“Of course I got lots of rejections like everybody. Rejections don’t bother me though, it’s just part of life. I have to admit, though, I was about to give up and a friend of mine gave me a pen and pencil set that said ‘Keep on writing, I love your stories.’ … That pen and pencil set made me keep plugging away.”

Nystrom found out Solstice had offered her a contract while making dinner one evening. Her twin daughters, Alexandria and Bethanny, 9, were the first to know.

“My girls are so funny, they said they’ve never seen me jump so high,” she said. “I downloaded it right away and of course called every relative. … I ordered (the print version) off (Solstice Publishing’s) site and off Amazon right away, then I ordered my 50 (author’s) copies. I have to see how the whole picture works – how it was coming from Amazon and from the printer. I took pictures and Facebooked it everywhere and e-mailed the links to everybody.”

It’s easy to see how Nystrom’s family has influenced her writing.

The main character in her books, James, is named after her 14-year-old son. Many of the character James’ adventures are prompted by real-life conversations with her son.

James’ father in the stories works at a university, similar to Nystrom’s husband, who is an assistant professor of math at Ferris State University.

The Nystroms lived in Iceland for two years, which is the setting for the adventures in her books. The fictional stories are embedded with facts about the Icelandic countryside, its culture and legends.

HEGLA RETURNS: An illustration by Kelly Murray, who graduated from Big Rapids schools and Ferris State University, depicts the adventures of James, Matt and Syvok in Nystrom’s second book,”Helga Returns.” (Courtesy illustration/Kelly Murray)

“(Living in Iceland) changed my life. Iceland is a wonderful culture,” Nystrom said. “Icelanders have (one of) the highest literacy rates in the world. At Christmas time, the No. 1 gift is books. … They loaded me up with books on their cultures, their legends, their folklore. So I incorporate that into the stories.”

Dragons play a key role in Nystrom’s books, which stems from her love for the mythical creatures – as evidenced in a dragon pendant and necklace the author wears on a regular basis.

Every illustration in Nystrom’s books has a dragon in it. The main dragon, who helps James in his adventures, is named Matt, after one of Nystrom’s son’s friends from Texas. In her second book, she added twin dragons, representative of her daughters.

Murray also was excited to see her work in print, starting with “Helga Returns.”

“I was excited because I love dragons, and there are a lot of dragons in the book. It seemed like an educational and fun book for kids,” Murray, 25, said. “I was very excited to actually see myself in print.”

Murray’s father, Dave, introduced the author and illustrator. Dave, as a member of the BRPS school board and a professor at Ferris, knew Nystrom and connected her with his daughter.

The whole reason Nystrom started writing children’s books was for her son.

“When we were in Iceland, (James) was in first and second grade learning in Icelandic,” she said. “I was trying to keep his English up. He got bored real quick with a lot of books. The original intent (of writing children’s books) was to find books that boys and girls would read that are adventurous and fun. … I think how you keep kids reading is having an adventure that a little kid would want to do.”

TOMFOOLERY: Nystrom’s most recent book, “Tomfoolery and the 13 Yule Lads of Iceland,” came out in December and is available as an e-book. (Courtesy illustration/Kelly Murray)

One year after her first book was published, Nystrom has just recently begun considering herself a writer.

“It was with my second book when they put my bio in it,” she said. “When they put the bio in, I thought ‘Wow, I’m an author with a publisher.’”

Still, she realizes the hard work ahead in marketing and completing the final children’s book of the series. She also hopes to write a science fiction piece and a young adult novel.

For more information on Nystrom’s books and how to order them, visit her “Wendys Bookcase” Facebook page.




avatar Posted by on Jan 4 2012. Filed under Local News.


James Saves the Moon Adventures


Good Day Folks,

James Saves the Moon latest events. Halloween was fun.

James Saves the Moon at Haunted Forest

James Saves the Moon hanging with the Jack O' Lantern

James Saves the Moon trick or treating

James Saves the Moon Hanging in the Grave Yard

James Saves the Moon checking out the candy with the Zombie Groom

Some of you might be wondering why James Saves the Moon pictures everywhere. Well it started in July. We went on this fabulous trip west. We started in Michigan and ended in Vancouver, WA. My husband had a presentation at the University of Idaho. I was hoping for a couple of book signings. 5oth wedding anniversary party for my in-laws. We visited fun places and got together with friends and family. Dropped my book off in various towns. I am not sure who’s idea it was, but we decided to take a picture of my book at the places we visited. A copy is always in my purse. I liked the idea and it was a way hopefully to generate some interest in the book. Working on marketing was limited. Now its fun. My friends and family now say did you take a picture of your book or do you have your book.  So I hope you all enjoy James Saves the Moon adventures. I am. Hope to have Helga Return adventures soon to.

Remember Enjoy the Adventure, WB