Coming in September from Fran Orenstein.
The Mystery Under Third Base
The Mystery of the Green Goblin
The Calling of the Flute
Fat Girls From Outer Space
Dr. Fran Orenstein wrote her first poem at age eight and has never stopped writing. She grew up in New York City’s Brooklyn and the Bronx and is grateful for all the exciting opportunities in education and culture. She has been a teacher, a magazine editor/writer, a counselor, managed state government programs for women and children, and served as Special Projects and Disability Officer with Americorps. She lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her furry feline friends, happily writing. Meet her on www.franorenstein.weebly.com.
Says “Ellen in Atlanta” power reviewer for Amazon.
The Wizard of Balalac is a delightful start to a fantasy series featuring two 12-year-old boys from New york City. The premise of the book is unique, and the writing is crisp and delightful...It is an excellent addition to the adventure genre adding to the Perseus Jackson series (Riordon) and the Alchemyst series (Scott) - Well worth reading.
Fran's Sleepytown Press Books
*All of Fran's Books are now available at Amazon.com as Kindle downloads for eBooks.
The Mystery Under Third Base
Pages: 140 Retial: $10.95
REVIEW: Mystery Under Third Base
Geeks, nerds, brainiacs and really smart kids this one is for you. So what if everyone thinks that you are different. Being smart is definitely cool and as you get to know my friend Huby and many others in this great novel you will learn that using your brain and intelligence to help others pays off.
“ Being a genius and really smart has put me in a strange place. My classmates in school are two years older than I am and they do not accept me as their peer. The fact that I am smarter than them makes it even more difficult for me to make friends. But, then there is Rachel, my princess in shining light, who wants to be my friend and even have lunch with me. My sister and my brother think I am weird and hardly ever say anything nice about me. I guess I am just Weird Willie, or Willie for short. But, then there is much more to tell you. When you read this great novel that Fran Orenstein wrote titled, “Mystery Under Third Base,” you will get to know not just me but my family too.
Just when I thought I was down and out this kid named Huby appeared out of nowhere and my life changed. He says he traveled a lot but does not know very much about things that happen in our century. He agreed to be my friend and when I am with him I feel brave and even tall. My school wants all of the kids to create a project to help the environment and the school and we have this great idea. He even agreed to help me carry out the plans and create them for this outstanding idea. But, first I have to tell you that I have a special hiding place in the cellar. It might not be the cleanest or best place to hide, but I can read my book and contemplate my life down there. I hear noises, voices and more and I think that there might even be a ghost living there. Imagine that! How cool! “ Just who this ghost is and why he’s there is one question this reviewer will not reveal. Willie and Huby with the help of his two friends Rachel and Pete and one special older woman, thought to be a witch, helps poor Daniel find his way home to his parents and his final resting place.
Fran Orenstein introduces Willie Kramer to the reader, his friend Huby and many other kids that learn some really great lessons from these two young boys. Willie’s idea of building a baseball field creates quite a stir but what will happen to his favorite hiding place and a ghost named Daniel who lives in the cellar where he hides from everyone and can be himself? Everyone wants to be accepted by his/her peers, but Willie has trouble fitting in until his teacher Ms. Barley gives him the opportunity of a lifetime to show everyone just how special he is and why being smart is really great! Who is Huby and why does he appear out of nowhere just when Willie really needs him? You have to read this book to find out for yourself. You won’t want to miss a page of it and you won’t stop reading until you learn the answer to this question and much more as the author engages the reader from page one until you read the last word in the book.
Author Fran Orenstein’s creative way of presenting her characters, descriptions of the two kids who went down into the cellar and learned a hard lesson of what happens when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and one young boy from somewhere out there, will endear you to Willie and his friends forever.
What happens when three kids and one alien decide to rid a cellar of a ghost with the help of a one woman they assume is witch? What happens when Willie and his friends present their ideas to the town council and there is opposition to what they propose? Adults, tweens and even kids from third grade and up will love reading about Huby, Willie and his friends and learn the true meaning of friendship and honesty. Parenting lessons, understanding that every child is not an athlete and accepting someone for who they are and not what you want them to be are just some of the great lessons learned in this humorous and heartwarming book.
Fran Lewis and Willie Kramer: Reviewers and Please don’t forget HUBY!
The Mystery of the Green Goblin
Pages: 192 Retail: $10.95
The Mystery of the Green Goblin – a Huby Mystery
Huby, the strange boy who sees the future, mysteriously materializes out of nowhere to return in this exciting sequel to The Mystery Under Third Base. It’s Halloween and Alex Cooper, age 11, is wearing a green goblin costume. On mischief night, Alex’s hated math teacher falls down the stairs and suffers a fatal head injury when his mailbox blows up. A green goblin was seen near the teacher’s house that night and by the next day everyone believes that Alex Cooper murdered his teacher, including the police. Join Huby, Alex and his schoolmates as they set out to prove that Alex did not commit the crime. Is there really a nasty green goblin in town and what part do Alex’s sometimes friends, Trash and Mungo, the town lowlifes, have to do with it?
Fat Girls From Outer Space
Frederica (Freddy) Gold is smart, talented, funny and overweight. She hates her name, her body and the school bully. As if that weren't enough, her parents are newly divorced and her dad has a young girlfriend. Excited about turning twelve and starting middle school, Freddy meets Dolly, an African-American girl and Eva, a Latina, who are are also fat. They discover a mutual love and talent for music and form a band. In this coming-of-age story, Freddy learns to cope with adversity by using her humor, talent and the support of her friends, her older brother, and a special 'fat angel' to earn respect and popularity. 'Tween years are tough for every kid and whether it's zits, body image, hair, bullying or personality, this book will touch every kid between nine and fourteen.
The Calling of the Flute
Set in Lithuania in 1897, this historical romance is the tale of a young woman conflicted by the traditions and laws of her religion and a need for her own identity. For most of her fifteen years, Hannah has loved Gershon, the Rabbi’s son. A match is made, but Hannah fears becoming a Rabbi’s wife and having to be a perfect example of womanhood. In her mind, the traditional cutting of her hair and wearing a wig or scarf means losing her identity. Hannah tells Gershon how she feels and he breaks the engagement, shaming her family. Life takes a turn for the worse, when her young brothers’ fight with town boys causes a pogrom, an attack by Russian Cossacks. When the Russian army comes for her brothers to conscript them into the Czar’s army, Hannah’s aunt and uncle offer to smuggle the boys out of Lithuania to America. Hannah begs to go with them, despite the harrowing journey. Along the way, she meets Eli, a young flute player, also running away from Russian conscription. Hannah’s dream of love and life in a safe, free land, may at last be within her grasp if they survive the voyage and get through immigration.
About Fran: Background
Fran wrote her first poem at age 8 and got her first rejection slip for a short story at age 12. In her teens, Fran wrote for her high school newspaper and continued to write poetry and stories for her own pleasure.
Fran has over 30 years experience writing and publishing academically and professionally. She has written articles, newsletters, political speeches, and brochures. Fran presented workshops and papers on gender equity, violence prevention, sexual harassment and disabilities at local, national and international conferences both here and abroad.
Wizard of Balalac from The Book of Mysteries (second edition)
The Ghost Under Third Base (first edition)
The Book of Mysteries- Wizard of Balalac (first edition)
Fat Girls From Outer Space (first edition) (Second Printing 2011)
"Destiny" in From The Shadows
"The Journey Home" first place winner in Florida AAUW short story adult writing contest
Five, Six, Pick-up Sticks a book of poetry for children ages 4 - 8
Poems in Love and Romance Anthology edited by Deborah Simpson and Tales of the Supernatural
edited by Deborah Simpson, Everything Under the Sun from the Sun City Sunscribers.
The Mirrors on Her Wall second place winner in Florida AAUW poetry writing contest 2007 - 2008,
The Veil of Loneliness honorable mention Florida AAUW poetry writing contest 2008 - 2009.
Fran Orenstein thrives on reading 3 - 4 novels a week, which she considers an escape from the real world and insight into the written word. Her favorites are detective stories, legal mysteries, political intrigue, plus the ariety of books she reads for her book club and The Great Books Society.
Fran proudly considers her children, James, Susannah, and Peter and her grandchildren, Rachel, Aaron, and
Zayden her finest legacy. Surrogate daughter, Robin and Robin's son, Vaughn have a very special place
in Frananana's heart.
Fran Orenstein's Philosophy
2. Help others, either by a simple act of kindness, or a volunteer project. It will come back even though it might not be obvious or immediate.
3. Life is an adventure, live it.
Places to find Fran as well as her favorite links.
Become a member of www.authorsden.com
Authors visit her at www.theauthorssociety.ning.com
See her choices and books on www.shelfari.com
Check out this Ebook site: http://www.ringsurf.com/ring/epicauthors/
Particpate in www.linkedIn.com
Read her blogs and comment at www.newworldpress.com
Fran's Interview for Sleepytown Press August 2010
---I am a prolific writer, usually working on multiple projects at the same time. I get bored easily so I write in a different forms including novels, short stories, poetry, and in a variety of genres. I am a loyal friend and I adore my wonderful grandchildren. I believe that everyone has some creative ability lurking in their brain that has been squelched by someone in their childhood playing critic.
Tell us your latest news?
Fran's NEW book The Calling of the Flute has just been released by Sleepytown Press.
The Spice Merchant’s Daughter has been released by Whiskey Creek Press. Check it out on Fran's Web site and on Amazon.com.
When and why did you begin writing?
---I started writing at age eight. I was always an avid reader and my mother was a wonderful storyteller. At eight, I read the book Bambi and was so moved by the story that I wrote a poem about it. At age twelve, I got my first rejection slip from McCall’s magazine for a short story The White Dress. It was also my first exposure to the cruel world of publishing. Three months after the rejection letter came, they published a very similar story with the same title. There was nothing I could do, I was only twelve.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
---I’ve always written in some form or another, either for a school newspaper, poetry, short stories, and academically and professionally. It never occurred to me to call myself a writer because I just wrote all the time. When I finished my second or third novel back in the 1990’s a friend who is an artist asked me when I was going to call myself an author. That was a wake-up call.
What inspired you to write your first book?
---This same friend had a past-life regression standing on a balcony of a chateau in the Loire Valley in France. She told me the story and I was so intrigued that I developed it into The Spice Merchant’s Daughter.
Do you have a specific writing style?
---I don’t think about my writing or use an outline, just have an idea in my head. I use a story board to keep track of characters and locations, but I just keep writing and the story just evolves.
What do you feel are your “three” best writing tips?
---Learn your character, create dimensions for her/him, and develop a ‘voice’.
---Don’t get bogged down in trivia…get the story down and expand during rewrites
---Keep a dictionary, thesaurus and style book next to your desk and use them.
What books have most influenced your life most?
---I read constantly. Not having several books on hand causes withdrawal symptoms. As a child I would say The Secret Garden, Nancy Drew, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, The Anne of the Islands series, classic poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shakespeare. As an adult, Pillars of the Earth, The Stand, Robert Frost and mystery, intrigue, and horror.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
---Robert Frost for Poetry
---Dean Koontz for imagery
---Janet Evanovich and Chris Moore for humor
What book are you reading now?
---Daniel Silva’s The Rembrandt Affair
What are your current projects?
That is a loaded question:
---Submission of a contemporary novel A Gift From The Sea
---Completing a book of adult poetry
---Adding to and republishing a book of children’s poetry
---Writing a sequel to the ‘tween fantasy adventure series The Centaurs of Spyr
Do you see writing as a career?
---It’s a very difficult career in this current economy to earn a decent living, but yes it is a career as long as you have another source of income until you ‘arrive’. I am fortunate to be retired with an income, so I can indulge myself full-time in writing and everything that goes along with it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
---No, I am usually satisfied that I’ve taken it as far as I want it to go once it is finished.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
---Keeping track of character’s names, repetitive errors I make in grammar, making the books long enough to qualify in their age group. I tend to be terse when I write and believe less is more. I probably wrote the shortest doctoral dissertation on record…88 pages.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
---I don’t have one favorite author…I read so much and I love whoever I’m reading at the time. But if I had to give one, I would say Dean Koontz because his writing is beautiful. It defies the subject matter. I call him the master of the metaphor.
Which of your books is your favorite and why?
---The ‘tween fiction novel, Fat Girls From Outer Space. It deals with pre-adolescent obesity and school bullying. It is based on my own experience as an obese child and that of two friends who generously lent their stories to the book. Obesity and bullying are two major issues facing today’s children and for me this book deals with both in a sensitive, but realistic manner.
What do you feel is the hardest thing for a writer?
---Getting published. You can be the greatest writer in the world, produce an amazing book and then can’t get a foot in the door with a publisher or an agent. I tried for 15 years. I had agents for books, I had editors love the books and swear they would be published and then got the fateful rejection letters eight months later. It’s a long process and a painful one. A writer has to believe in herself, keep a positive outlook, and not take anything personally. That’s why there are so many self-published authors, small press and POD publishers out there. The public has to respect the tenacity of writers to get their work published. We all can’t be published by the five major publishers, but every writer can find an audience.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
--- I always knew I could write well from earliest childhood, probably from validation in school, but I’ve come to believe in myself as a writer, a hard task in this climate. I’ve learned that getting the books out there to the public is a tough job. It takes a thick skin, tenacity, and belief in yourself. There are many unscrupulous, nasty people in the publishing field, just as there are in most of the arts, but if you love to write, then persevere, but be alert.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
---Take writing courses and workshops, go to conferences, find a positive critique group and DON’T GIVE UP! Write because you love to write and have something to say. Become a master of the language, the beauty and variety of words, proper grammar and what appeals to the reader you are reaching. Your writing is a reflection of you and something you want to be proud to have others read, for it is what people will remember about you.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
---Enjoy the journey. Reading is an adventure that’s easy to achieve. You can be transported into another world that goes way beyond your every day existence, so get on the reading train.
---Introduce books to children at 5-6 months. Show them pictures, talk to them about the pictures. Do it every day for just a few minutes. Use simple words, repeat them over and over. “This is a bunny, see the bunny hop, the bunny is white.” Starting out young inspires children and gets them immersed in the world of books. As they get older, you can use the author’s words to tell the story and actually read the book to them. Reading will become part of their everyday routine, and once they learn to read, books will be an integral part of their lives.