Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thanks a mooseful...

to everyone who came out yesterday to the Chalk-a-Lot event in Whiting, Indiana.  It wasn't exactly what I expected, but I appreciate all those who stopped by my tent to talk, make connections, and - of course - buy books! 

Mark the Missing Moose is finally HERE!

Our Moo has worked very hard this past year getting her latest book, Mark the Missing Mooseready for publication!  It seems like it took forever, but we are happy to announce the first Pre-Release copies are here and NOW AVAILABLE!

To celebrate we are offering you a great deal! You can get your very own autographed copy NOW delivered right to your door for only $10.00.  (That's $9.00 per book and $1.00 shipping per item.)

To make your purchase using PayPal just put the person's name you want the book autographed to in the blank and click "Add to Cart".  

Name on autograph

About the Book - 

Jimmy was on cloud nine during Show and Tell when his classmates cheered for him and his best friend, Mark the Moose.  That happiness quickly ended when Mark went from being Jimmy's side kick to becoming the missing moose.

Saddened and angry, Jimmy didn't want to talk to anyone, not even his mother.  His best friend was gone and he was all alone! 

When it was time for Show and Tell again, Jimmy didn't want any part of it until he heard what his friend Joe had to say...

Follow Jimmy as he discovers that opening up and letting others in can really help him out.

Here are what others have to say about 
Mark the Missing Moose

As a school counselor, I am always looking for books that will help me lead a discussion with students dealing with difficult times in their lives.  Lisa was able to write a lovely story that deals with the very difficult topic of loss in a way that makes it safe and easier to talk about with children.  I especially appreciate that in the story the main character, Jimmy, is comforted by another student that also suffered a loss in his life.   I will be able to use this book to help students discuss this difficult topic, and show the students that they could comfort each other during this difficult time.
Milton Katsaros
Taylor School Counselor

Sandi Czyznikiewicz is a step-mom who- without warning- lost her 21 year old step-son, Jimmy, to suicide one early Monday morning.  Out of this agony, Sandi recognized a need for all families to teach their children to talk openly and honestly about whatever is important to them at the time - even it if is upsetting or seemingly unbearable.  This new children's book shows us how emotional withdrawal in potentially dangerous but can be overcome.

Dr. James Davenport, Psy. D

Mark the Missing Moose is a sweet story with an important message. Mrs. Tortorello weaves the story of a little boy and his favorite toy and best friend, with a lesson on how to deal with loss. She successfully addresses the emotional implications of grief, and then teaches on the importance of expressing feelings and taking steps to heal. I would recommend Mark the Missing Moose not only for children suffering through a loss, but for all children, as a useful tool in teaching about processing their feelings in healthy ways. I applaud Mrs. Tortorello for taking on a difficult topic with great sensitivity.

Virginia Finnie, Author of the Hey Warrior Kids! Children’s Book Series

Lisa Tortorello expertly weaves elements of hope and encouragement in her story, Mark the Missing Moose. Children reading this story will come away with the understanding that it is okay to share sadness as well as joy with those they love. 

Aileen Stewart, Author of Fern Valley

Placing your order is easy using the PayPal link -

Name on autograph

If you would rather place an order using the USPS instead,  please include the cost of $10.00 per book and mail your Cashier's Check or Money Order (no personal checks, please) to:

Lisa Tortorello
PO Box 545
Whiting, IN 46394

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Want something NEW and FUN to do this weekend?  
Come join us in Whiting, Indiana for the first ever Chalk-a-Lot  Celebration!

What will you see?  

Artists creating fun art on the sidewalks, street performers, live music, art booths, and more!
Participate in The Family Chalk Court and be sure to pick up a "Chalk-a-Lot" Menu at the Chamber to see what delicious chocolate desserts and drinks the local eateries and bars will be serving.  There will be affordable "tasty" treats at a variety of places! 

When:     Saturday, August 24, 2013 
Where:   Downtown Whiting, Indiana (119th Street)
Time:      10AM to 3PM

I will have a booth there also with copies of my newest book

Mark the Missing Moose

Be sure to stop by my booth and say HI!
I would love to autograph a book for you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where's Blucy?

About the Book

Blucy by Julia Dweck

Title:Blucy Author: Julia Dweck Illustrator: Erika LeBarre Year published: 2013 Publisher: Xist Publishing Number of pages: 21 Recommended age: 3+ Summary (Amazon): Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along. When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn't realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Features full screen images and pop-up text.

Blucy Facebook Page * Blucy Pinterest Page * Goodreads

* Where's Blucy? *

Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you. If you head on over to Julia Dweck's Facebook Fan Page, you will find the "Where in the blue is Blucy?" contest. Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of "blue" places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis' blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre. Head on over to Julia Dweck's Facebook Fan Page to enter and...

Pssssttt... if you enter the contest, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!

Julia Dweck - Blucy  

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest runs: August 13 to August 20, 11:59 pm, 2013 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email!
* This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julia Dweck and by Xist Publishing. *


 Special Offer

Xist Publishing is pleased to offer you a special Buy One Get One FREE (BOGO) offer when you purchase Blucy by Julia Dweck. The Deal? If you purchase Blucy (e-book) through Amazon, you will receive a FREE electronic copy of Julia Dweck's newest book, Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep (released September 5, 2013). All you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation email to and Xist Publishing will send you a complimentary copy of Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep. Don't wait to take advantage of this great deal!



The Early Buzz

"Julia Dweck scores another winner Blucy! This book is beautifully illustrated, features solid rhyming verse, has a most unusual main character in Blucy the cat, and will surely be loved and appreciated by all cat-lovers! I would recommend this wonderful picture book to children who love cats and for their grown-ups who will recognize their own cat's behavior in this funny story. ." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Ms Dweck and Ms Lebarre have created a delightfully humorous read that will no doubt capture the attention of every little mischief maker. The rhythm and rhyme are wonderful and flow so beautifully throughout the book. The illustrations are absolutely exquisite. I honestly wish I could purchase every one of them to put upon my toddlers walls." ~ WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

"The illustrations are amazing and beautiful and the story pulls you in and had Dino telling Mandy and Blucy what to do and got upset when they didn’t listen to him. He was hysterical with some of Blucy’s antics and wanted to know if Balboa could do that to. Really and truly a cute book and one that Dino will keep reading, especially now that he think he’s a catosaurous." ~ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

A blue cat? I love color - lots of color and these illustrations are exactly that. The rythmic method used by Julia is perfect for all ages and the content is entertaining for all - including adults. My daughter loves mood rings so she found this book particularly interesting - what about a "mood cat". I am also a firm believer and supporter of pet adoptions - so another plus for this story...That Blucy is quite a mischievous cat. Blucy has special facts at the end of the story as well as a game for the kids to keep them thinking. I love this book as I have all of Julia's books and so do my kids. ~ The Stuff of Success

A Phenomenal Children's Classic. Children & Adults will love and cherish this beloved tale. Julia Dweck has always amazed me with her talent at writing children's books and Blucy is by far my favorite one yet. I laughed and giggled my way through the whole book and had to read it again several times for the pure joy of the story. The illustrations are fabulous and very colorful and I found myself staring at each page as I read and just loved the details in the illustrations. This is a RECOMMENDED MUST read story that adults and their children will fall in love with. This book will become the best bedtime story that children will want to hear over and over again. ~ Back Words, White Pages

About the Author: Julia Dweck

Julia Dweck, Author Julia Dweck's background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read and what makes them giggle. She's collaborated with leading artists in the world of children's literature to produce over 20 Amazon eBooks. Her titles have garnered placement on Amazon's bestsellers in children's color picture books multiple times with two #1 bestsellers: PIE-RITS and Zombie-Kids. These titles have been chosen by Amazon Editors for the prestigious "Kindle Daily Deal." Many of Julia's titles have earned placement on Amazon's top ranked lists based on customer review. In her spare time, Julia is a designer of educational adjuncts for children's literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers. She presented at the 2011 National Center for Family Literacy for her creative use of technology in the classroom. For more information about Julia Dweck and her books, please visit her website, Jule Loves 2 Write.

Twitter * Facebook


Monday, August 5, 2013

Blog Hoppin' for Children's Books

I'd like to welcome everyone to the Children's Author Blog Hop where I will be introducing some sensational children's authors you might not know yet, but should be reading!

A hearty thanks to author Aileen  Stewart  for inviting me to participate. Aileen is the author of Fern Valley-A Collection of Short Stories.  When reading about Fern Valley, children will find themselves captivated by the talking animals and their escapades, while adults will appreciate the tried and true lessons that are taught in each story. Please be sure to stop by Aileen's blog, check out her book, and leave her a comment too!

Blog Hops are a great way for authors and readers to connect!  The blog hop rules are simple. Each author answers some questions about themselves and their works and then invites three other children's authors to participate during the following week. My author invitations have gone out to three very talented authors - Sherry Rossman, H Erin Nelson, and Alyssa Pierce.  You will see more about them, their books, and links to their sites below.

What are you working on right now?

The ink in still drying on my latest children's book - MARK THE MISSING MOOSE- a story to help children learn that opening up and sharing their feelings can really help them out. Mark the Missing Moose will be released early this fall, but I am excited to announce I just placed my first order of pre-release copies!

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

In this day and age with technology at our fingertips, children use social media every day, but are they really communicating? 

Mark the Missing Moose differs from other children's books because it takes the serious subject of loss and disappointment and teaches Jimmy, the main character, how to take healthy steps to start to heal.  I think it also differs in the fact that even though Jimmy doesn't want to take advice from his mom (something many children can relate to) it's his friend Joe who helps Jimmy put into words what he's going through. In the end, Jimmy can't wait to share his thoughts and feelings with his mom which is a big step in helping Jimmy begin to heal.

Why do you write what you do?

Overall, I would have to say, I write to express important feelings and messages.

In my memoir My Hero, My Ding  I tell the inspiring story of two ordinary people with an extraordinary relationship.  My grandfather and I had a special bond, and I think sharing his message of being a great role model is very important today.

The Moose at the Manger, my first children's book, tells a magical story of Muse the Moose while keeping Christ in Christmas.

I was inspired to write my latest book, Mark the Missing Moose, from a parent of a former student.  Sandi and her family suffered a horrible loss when her 21 year old step-son took his own life last year.  She reached out to me in hopes that I would be interested in writing a story to help young children open up and communicate. While Mark the Missing Moose is not about suicide at all, its purpose is to teach children how to process their feelings in a healthy way.

What is the hardest part about writing?'s always there and never stops, yet there never seems to be enough of it.  I am a teacher as well as an author, so it's a juggling act to find time between writing, marketing, and teaching.  Of all these areas, marketing seems to be the most difficult.  Too bad authors can't take the ever popular quote from the movie Field of Dreams and adapt it to them... If you write it, they will read it!  

What is something unique you want readers to learn about you?

It might be obvious from the pictures and posts on this blog, but what many people find the most interesting about me is that my husband, Charlie, and I collect moose.  Currently, we have 266 stuffed animal moose and 40 figurines and statues. It was a collection that started with one moose back in 1993 and has grown exponentially ever since. 

Now that you all know me a little better, I'd like to introduce my invitees...

Author Sherry Rossman weaves a cute and educational story.  The Miracle of Rain is a great book for parents to read with their children to show them a positive way to overcome their fears.  Great illustrations too!

Check out Sherry Rossman's site and learn more about her and her writings!

H Erin Nelson is the author of the  Bibletoons  series.  In Book One - Adventure with Noah you are able to journey back with Percy Porcupine and Missy Mouse as they meet an old wise man named Noah.  Both educational and adventurous!

Check out H Erin Nelson's blog at and learn more about her and her Bibletoons series.

Alyssa Pierce is the author of Caroline and Rebecca's Day at the Beach.  Find out what happens when Caroline and Rebecca do not listen to their mom.  Will their day at the beach be ruined?

Check out Alyssa Pierce's website at to learn more about her and her writings!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gladys at Glacier National Park

Moose number 266 has arrived, and she is very excited to be here with us.  Her name is Gladys.  She is from Montana and has so much to share with everyone we thought it would be appropriate to make her our August- Moose of the Month

Before being rescued and brought here to The Moose Room, Gladys had the wonderful experience of spending time at Glacier National Park.  To read her full story and see all the amazing pictures of her trip click HERE

Don't forget to leave a comment.  Gladys would LOVE to hear from you!