Thursday, October 13, 2016

We can't believe she called us CHEEKY!

Here's what Deedy wrote a couple of weeks ago here on our blog (and we quote):

"In my next blog post, I'll tell you the story of how the cheeky little Izzy Elves wrote to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, and got an immediate response!"

We weren't sure what she meant by "cheeky". When we asked her in a most forthright manner to explain herself, she replied that that was exactly what cheeky meant. Anyway, Deedy said we could tell you about what happened with Jeff B. ourselves. So here we go.

A few years ago, we discovered a couple of weeks before Christmas that all our stories (see below) were "out of stock" at Since most of our books only SELL at Christmas time, we were quite upset. Somehow people think they are Christmas stories only: we elves know that what we do for Santa not to mention what we do to solve each other's problems takes ALL YEAR. (One reviewer actually said "By coming up with a creative and engaging story, Jensen has succeeded at crafting a memorable Christmas story for children that is so good it’s possible it will be enjoyed year round. " - Red City Review)

So there.

But we digress.

Anyway, we were all quite upset to see that our books were "out of stock" in DECEMBER.

So we took direct action: we Izzies e-mailed Jeff B.  (It was Bizzy, mostly.)

We explained the situation and then told him point blank that if our books weren't re-stocked ASAP, we were going to rat him out (personally) to Santa Claus.

Less than 24 hours later, Deedy's phone rang. It was the Amazon guy in charge of publishing our stories. He promised that he would see that our stories would be available to Christmas shoppers.

Deedy was mystified: how had he heard about this problem? And why had he called?

We told her what we had done.

She laughed and called us cheeky.

If that's CHEEKINESS, we are proud of it!

The  CHEEKY Izzy Elves.

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy.

Tizzy Honors and Reviews
Blizzy Honors and Reviews

Dizzy Honors and Reviews
Frizzy Honors and Reviews

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Now Deedy is Comparing Lafayette to the Beatles. What can we say??

A Bigger Draw than the BEATLES!!!

When I was writing the Afterword for A Buss from Lafayette, I compared the huge crowds that greeted Lafayette everywhere he went on his 1824-5 Farewell Tour to the welcome the Beatles received when they toured America in the 1960s. To my astonishment, the editor took this comparison out, saying that young readers today wouldn't know anything about the Beatles or their U.S. tours.

However, Ron Howard might have fixed this situation, through his new movie, "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years” (2016). Funnily enough, we went to see it on the recommendation of our friend, Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette.

We loved it.

As I watched, however, I kept being struck by the parallels between how the Beatles and Lafayette were received.

First of all, I learned something new about the Beatles: they refused to play at the Gator Bowl if the audience was segregated. They carried the day, and apparently their performance was the first event attended by an integrated crowd there.

In a similar way, Lafayette, who was an abolitionist, made a point of greeting African-Americans during his Farewell Tour.

Secondly, I was struck by the size of the crowd at the Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert, on August 15,1965, which can clearly be seen in this short video:  (The editors of this video muted most of the screaming, by the way. It was MUCH louder than what can be heard on this.)
A Screen Shot from the Video: this only shows part of the crowd.
There were 55,600 people in the stadium that day.  Of course, there were other acts on that concert, but it appears that the Beatles were the main draw.

Now try to picture a crowd nearly twice as large: 100,000. That’s how many were in attendance when Lafayette dedicated the cornerstone of the monument at Bunker Hill on June 17, 1825.

Yes, there was another act that day – the famous orator Daniel Webster. But he was a “local boy”. The people there would have had many other opportunities to hear him speak. No, the big attraction that day was General Lafayette

Keep in mind that there was no P.A. system. Only a very few people there would have been able to hear Lafayette’s voice. The crowd was gathered there simply for the chance to catch a glimpse of the hero of the American Revolution who was a living link to our history. 

At least he didn't have to try to be heard over the screams of teenaged girls. (As far as I know, anyway.)

We Izzies are happy that SHE's happy!

Deedy is all a-twitter today because she got a great review for her OTHER KIND OF WRITING. She said she has something BIG in store for us, so once again we have yielded to her blandishments and let her put something here on OUR blog. (See below.) Love, the Izzy Elves.


A Buss From Lafayette is a historical fiction novel that takes the reader through a week in the life of 14-year old Clara. The year is 1825 and Clara lives in the small town of Hopkinton, New Hampshire with her father, stepmother, and brother. The story centers on the town’s excitement surrounding the upcoming visit from General Lafayette, a hero and famous French aristocrat from the Revolutionary War.
The book is written from quick-witted Clara’s perspective, and each new day’s adventures are prefaced by an entry from her diary, which provides a clever preview of the events to come. Clara feels life is unfair because of her family life, her lack of traditional schooling, and her red hair, which she is plotting to try to change to “a beautiful shade of black.” Weaved through her story are the events leading up to General Lafayette’s visit, who is known for delivering to his many admirers a “buss”, which, at the time, was the word used for a playful kiss on the cheek.
The vivid descriptions of clothing, family relationships, period-specific customs, and daily routines create a charming picture of life in 1825, and these elements inform the senses while reminding readers that the scene is from a different era.
“How I loved the smells: cloves and nutmeg from the Spice Islands, cinnamon from Ceylon, ginger and pepper from South America, and coffee from the West Indies. It seemed to me that the general store smelt strongly of worldly adventure.”
As a historical piece, the book dives into rich detail on Revolutionary War tales. The characters retell stories of General Lafayette, General Washington, and others, providing readers with a thorough backdrop of history to accompany the book’s main story line about Clara. Ms. Jensen also weaves throughout the story many words and objects that are common to the era, but are likely unfamiliar to the modern reader. A glossary included in the book provides a useful way for the reader to look up historical words, thus not having to rely upon context alone to interpret.
Recommended for teen readers that have an interest in history, this book is an enjoyable introduction to the post-Revolutionary War period in America, and provides a lovely story about family, determination, and how perspective can change everything." -The Children's Book Review