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Lots of New Science Fun with Four New Books at Lyric Power Publishing!

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is proud to announce the arrival of four new books! Here at LPP we love weaving science into adventure tales and rhyming books. We love colorful, exciting illustrations. We hope you will enjoy three wonderful new additions to our book catalog and a special guest listing for Ricky Ricordi.

olive green book cover with illustrations of a hickatee and a sea turtle
The Cayman Islands have turtles that live both on land and in the sea. Hickatee lives on land and doesn’t belong in the sea, like the sea turtles. Do you know the differences? Come inside and learn about turtles, especially the marvelous hickatee.

 

A book cover with a blue sky, white clouds and brown booby birds on the beach
Meet the Brown Booby, a large sea bird which is a year-round resident only of Cayman Brac, They are not found at all in Grand Cayman or Little Cayman. These birds are a spectacular sight, soaring and gliding along the Bluff edge and the shore, diving for fish to feed their young, perching on rocks in the sun, then returning to their nesting colonies. With only about forty nesting pairs on the Brac, they are protected by Cayman law.

 

A golden orange book cover with a green catfish on the cover
Clarissa Catfish liked her new home at the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum, but she couldn’t see the exhibits or the children in her tank. How can a catfish see the sights when she needs to stay in the water? Come inside to find out and join Clarissa as she explores the marvelous museum.

 

a book cover of boy in jungle with iguana on shoulder
When Lorenzo finds an iguana in his garden, he has loads of fun bonding with his new pet, but soon realizes that the animal belongs in the wild.
Dominican children’s author Nelia Barletta recently released a second children’s book, RICKY RICORDI: THE ADVENTURES OF AN IGUANA, which educates children about conservation and the protection of endangered animals of the Dominican Republic. The book focuses on the Ricordi iguana, an endemic species of the Caribbean island and features illustrations by Argentinian artist/children’s illustrator Juan Manuel Moreno.
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Ricky Ricordi: The Adventures of An Iguana by Nelia Barletta now Available at Lyric Power Publishing

a book cover of boy in jungle with iguana on shoulderWhen Lorenzo finds an iguana in his garden, he has fun bonding with his new
pet, but soon realizes that the animal belongs in the wild.

Lyric Power Publishing, along with John Binns of the IRCF, recently assisted Dominican children’s author Nelia Barletta in the publication of the English version of her book about Ricky Ricordi. The delightful illustrations were created by Argentinian artist/children’s illustrator Juan Manuel Moreno. The English version is now available on Amazon.com.

Ricky Ricordi: The Adventures of an Iguana focuses on the Ricordi iguana, an endemic species of the Dominican Republic. The goal of this book is to educate children about conservation and the protection of endangered animals of the Dominican Republic. However, people around the world will enjoy this adventure tale.

Proceeds from the book are donated to Fundacion Abriendo Camino, an organization working to support disadvantaged children in Villas Agricolas, a marginalized neighborhood in Santo Domingo.

We encourage you to read this great adventure tale that is both entertaining and educational. Any story about an iguana is worthwhile reading!

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It’s National Bird Day Today and Who Doesn’t Love Birds? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

National Bird Day on January 5 was created to promote avian awareness.  You can participate in celebrating birds in a number of ways.  You can go outside and do some bird watching.  You can learn about birds, either your local feathered friends or birds of the world.  You can learn about the decreasing populations of birds and what you can do to help preserve them.

A copper colored book cover featuring an illustration of a Roadrunner bird
“With vibrant illustrations by Nicholas Thorpe, this picture book is jam-packed with scientific facts about roadrunners, delivered in verse form to keep the narrative lively. Roadrunners “…grab their victim/behind its head/And bash it on/the ground until it is dead.” Want to know how to swallow a horned lizard? Keep reading!” AZ Daily Star

I live in Southern Arizona and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy sightings of one of my favorite locals, the Roadrunner. Talk about a fascinating bird! I write interesting facts about Roadies into a picture book called Don’t Make me Fly! Kids love the rhymes and illustrations, but I am a biologist and everyone learns something about roadrunners in this book. Science education is important to me, and I love making it fun.

a book cover with blue sky and white clouds, with Brown Booby birds on the beach next to a bush
All about the Brown Booby Birds of Cayman Brac by Bonnie Scott

 

 

I highly recommend a newly released book by my friend, Bonnie Scott. We share a love of conservation, iguanas, and the animals of Cayman Brac.  She recently published her book about the brown booby, Brown Booby Birds of Cayman Brac. It’s filled with her marvelous photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I loved the island story of a lost juvenile brown booby and featured him in one of my books, Fly Back to the Brac, Brian Brown Booby, which is based on the true story of “Brian,” who was finally able to learn to fly and find his family. He’s pretty famous in the Brac.

book cover, blue sky, bird a brown booby is on beach near ocean
Brian Brown Booby, a young resident of Cayman Brac, finds himself stranded on a beach on Grand Cayman. It’s too far back for a booby to travel, even if Brian could fly, which he can’t. Does Brian make it back to the Brac? What happens to a booby that can’t fly? Based on a true story.
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It’s Almost Pick A Pathologist Pal Day by Elaine A. Powers Author

As a mystery writer, a pathologist can be a very important pal to have. Pathologists do many important and interesting jobs, such as looking for disease within tissues, and determining causes of death. December 13th is Pick a Pathologist Pal Day and I thought I’d tell you about my friend, Dr. Dan Morse, MD, who was a forensic pathologist, meaning he determined the cause of death from skeletal remains. Talk about challenging!

He also tried to determine what the person looked like from remains of clothing, etc., found on or near the bodies. One of his favorite projects was discovering how animals dispersed the bones they scavenged, from large animals like bears and foxes to small field mice. He was the Florida State Forensic Pathologist and taught at Florida State University. The highlight of each year was his “body dig and barbeque.” Go out and find yourself a pathologist pal—you’ll be glad you did!

a dark book cover with skeleton in canoe
Two audio theater scripts that highlight danger can be found anywhere

Needless to say, when I featured a pathologist in my audio theater script, In the Swamp, No One Can hear You Scream, I chose Dr. Dan. This script is found in the collection Mayhem in Swamp and Snow. Danger can be found anywhere, and this collection contains two full-length mystery-themed audio theater scripts. The scripts require multiple actors and are well-suited for presentation by school and community theaters. (In the Swamp takes place in a south Florida mangrove swamp where skeletons are found, and is the story that features Dr. Dan.)

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Marketing Books and Meeting Interesting Folks in Tucson by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Image of Empire Ranch signEven though I would love to have someone else do the marketing of my books, doing it myself allows me to discover interesting sites in the Tucson area.  One such place is the Empire Ranch. I met some of the volunteers at the Western Writers of America conference and they thought my books would be a good fit for their gift shop.

The Empire Ranch is located on the road to Sonoita in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. The mission of the Empire Ranch Foundation is, “Acting in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The purpose of the Foundation is to protect, restore and sustain the Empire Ranch historical buildings and landscape as an outstanding western heritage and education center.” The combine two interests of mine, conservation and historical preservation.  Back in New Jersey, I was part of the Union Forge Heritage Association. The ranch was established in the 1860’s. 

The gift shop is looking to expand to include more items about animal and plant conservation. I’m honored to be included. They’ll be selling the Don’t series and Queen of the Night: the Night-blooming Cereus.

*Learn about the Night-blooming Cereus, Peniocereus greggii, the mysterious cacti
that bloom all together only one night per year
*An Amazon #1 Book in Children’s Botany Section
*See the Desert Southwest in a new, fun way
*Scientific facts written in rhyme are easy to remember
*Enjoy spectacular illustrations of Cereus, the Sonoran Desert and its wildlife

a light brown book cover with green lettering: Queen of the Night: Night Blooming Cereus, with illustration of a white flower
Biologist and Author Elaine A. Powers includes both scientific facts and the magic of this Southwestern Desert plant in her book, QUEEN OF THE NIGHT: THE NIGHT-BLOOMING CEREUS. Powers says being a musician helped her to weave into poetry the plant parts, the blooming cycle, the plant’s growing conditions, and its pollinators.
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Today is National Hermit Day and We’re Including Hermit Crabs! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

All illustration of Old Soldier, a hermit crab on Cayman Brac
Old Soldier sends the lads on a special journey

I swear, when I first read this, I read it as National Hermit Crab Day. I guess that’s because I love hermit crabs–such fascinating members of the crustacean family!

A hermit is defined as someone living in seclusion, and don’t we all wish at one time or another that we could get away from it all? So, in honor of National Hermit Day, and the hermit in all of us, we’re celebrating the hermit crab, my favorite crab and hermit.

Hermit crabs can live on land or in the sea. If you’re not familiar with them, they are amazing crabs that resemble cartoon characters. How so? They are able to move their bodies from one shell to another. Because crabs are very tasty and many other animals like to eat them, they need a hard shell to house their soft, delicate bodies.

But, as the hermits grow, they need bigger and bigger shells. Sometimes, the demand for the proper-sized shell leads to battles between the hermits. The accumulation of litter means we now see crabs using plastic bottles and baby heads instead of crab shells.

I feature a hermit crab in the Lime Lizard Lads story, The Dragon of Nani Cave, which is set in Cayman Brac, where the land hermit crabs are called Soldier Crabs. I think it’s because they march to sea en masse for mating season.

In my story, Old Soldier sends the lads, Gene and Bony, curly-tailed lizards, on their mission to find the dragon of Nani Cave. They do find the dragon and many other interesting animals and plants along the way. It’s an adventure tale, in which the reader learns all about this special Caribbean island!

colorful children's book cover with illustrations of curly-tail lizardsThe Lime Lizard Lads, curly-tail lizards of Cayman Brac, seek an adventure up on the bluff. Their goal is to reach Nani Cave and meet the dragon that lives there. Gene and Bony soon realize how big and how dangerous the world really is. Leaving home is easy, but can the lads make it back?

Lyric Power Publishing offers comprehensive and fun workbooks and activity sheets to supplement your child’s education. The one below is based on the Dragon tale. It’s a great way to keep the fun going, while reinforcing reading skills.

a green and white book cover with the image of a book called The Dragon of Nani Cave

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Today is National Reptile Awareness Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

I once wrote a poem that included the line “reptilian allure.” One of the meeting participants commented that he couldn’t see how reptiles had any allure.

A woman holds a five-foot rock iguana in her living room
The author with five foot rock iguana, Blue.

Even if you don’t feel the need to cuddle reptiles as I do, they are worthy of our admiration. Their body type has been very successful throughout the ages. Their tough outer scales are very utilitarian, providing great protection. They also gleam in the sunlight, which is known as iridescence. I like to use the Rainbow or Bahamian boas as examples.

irredescent bahamian boa
Rainbow Boa Image-by-Алексей-Комаров-from-Pixabay

They do, however, have what we might consider drawbacks in their physiological design. Being cold-blooded, ectothermic, they rely on the environment to regulate their body heat. While man’s construction may seem like a good thing, basking on those nice warm roads is fatal for far too many reptiles.

Many people don’t see the benefits of reptiles, but they serve us in many ways. They help control rodents and the diseases they carry (and let us not forget the pack rats in Southern Arizona that chew the wiring in our cars); they help plants to disperse and germinate, and some of them have provided molecules that have been turned into medicines.

And, our reptilian friends are fascinating. We don’t have to fear them and a good place to learn why is in a book I’ve written called Don’t Make Me Rattle. Everything you need to know about rattlesnakes is in this dramatically illustrated, fun book written in rhyme.

Help protect our reptilian friends and watch the road ahead.

close up of iguana face, feet on road
Image by Akiroq Brost from Pixabay

 

A book cover, with a Native American 'feel,' and a painting of a Western Diamondback RattlesnakePeople fear rattlesnakes because they don’t understand them. Come inside and learn about these amazing snakes, how they help people, and why the rattlesnake should be respected, not exterminated.

 

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Ahhh, the Mysteries! Such as, How Many Tortoises Can You Stack in a Corner? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

several tortoises fighting for space in a corner of a roomThere are many mysteries in life, questions that we need to know the answers to.

Like this one: How many tortoises can fit in a corner?

And the follow-up question: how many tortoises can you stack on top of each other before they topple?

I don’t know the answer to these inquiries, but these girls are well on their way to solving these mysteries.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain forest tortoise eating nectarineMeanwhile the smaller, smarter one, is off enjoying a bit of nectarine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know the differences between turtles and tortoises? And did you know the typical answer: “Turtles live in the water, and tortoises live on land,” is not that simple? If you want to find the answers to the question, How are turtles and tortoises different, you will certainly enjoy, Don’t Call Me Turtle! (That’s one mystery that’s easy to solve.)

It’s a fun, rhyming book and a favorite among the little ones–I get the most fan mail with their pictures about this book, along with notes from their parents telling me that they learned a lot, too, while reading Don’t Call Me Turtle!

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle

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Chatting with Dudley Dewlap About a Hex at the World Soccer Championships by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of the profile of a carbbean iguana
Image courtesy of Jolyne D from Pixabay

One of my favorite stories for an episode in the Audio Theater Script Series, Conversations with Dudley Dewlap, by Yours Truly, is called The Hex. It is about the use of witchcraft at the annual World Soccer Championships. When I first heard about it, I thought it was an exaggeration, but apparently not. I bet it’s still going on.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Here, Dudley and Miles discuss Loa, the voodoo-practicing Lizard; and, as usual, Dudley turns the conversation to himself.

“DUDLEY: I was chatting with my pal Loa Lizard last night and he was telling me about soccer. I confess I’ve become obsessed. Listeners, Loa is an iguana from the Caribbean and an expert in voodoo. His name, Loa, means Voodoo guardian spirits.

LOA: Now there be lots of misconceptions about voodoo around and I tries to educate people.

DUDLEY: He’s in town for a big human soccer tournament and was hired to find out if the soccer field had been tampered with, if any curses or hexes had been put upon it.

MILES: The humans couldn’t do this for themselves?

LOA: No, the team advisers, or witch-doctors as they be known, were banned by the soccer ruling body.

DUDLEY: So they turned to Loa. Some teams will climb fences into the stadium rather than use the main gate, fearing a spell may have been put upon it.

MILES: You’ve got be making this up.

DUDLEY: I’m not that creative.

Interestingly, Dudley decides he wants to try out for the soccer team.

DUDLEY: Have you seen the game? The players aren’t allowed to use their hands.

MILES: Yes. So?

DUDLEY: Not only do I have powerful legs…

MILES: (BITE CUE) Yes, you can outrun any human.

DUDLEY: But the pièce de résistance is my tail! With my powerful tail, its incredible accuracy, I could be the entire team!

ANNOUNCER: Once again, today’s topic was directly from the news. The issue of witchcraft was discussed at the 2002 soccer World Cup. Really, Elaine couldn’t make this stuff up!”

NOTE: Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk show hosts who discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used
individually. Additional cast can be used for the sound effects. Along with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers theater, or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with each script, ranging from 5-20 minutes. The purchase of the scripts includes performance rights.

Please see all Elaine A. Powers theater audio scripts at Amazon here.

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Another Conversation About Dudley Dewlap and a Famous Eel by Elaine A. Powers, Author

The episodes I wrote from Conversations with Dudley Dewlap are based on real-life events. The “Pet Psychic” episode in the Dudley Dewlap audio script was inspired by real pet psychics. In listening to one of their episodes, I found out that green iguanas want to take over the world. The way green iguanas are spreading around the world as an invasive species, they just might succeed.

two hands extended, holding two small eels
Image of eels courtesy of PENEBAR from Pixabay

People often comment on my unusual pets, so I’ve decided to share the story of an even more unusual pet who lives with a family in Germany (as reported by Reuters). This family has kept a pet eel named Aalfred in their bathtub for 33 years. Yes, I said 33 years.

Pet activists complained Aalfred was being held under unnatural circumstances and asked authorities to release the eel into the wild. However, after examination by a vet, the eel was found to be in excellent health and well cared for. (I’m sure an animal psychic could’ve told the authorities how happy the eel was.)

This story has a happy ending: Aalfred the eel was allowed to stay with his family if they installed an arm-length pipe so he could rest more comfortably. The eel’s family stated, “This was the only reasonable outcome – in any case, we would have protected Aalfred.”

Truth is stranger than fiction.

And, for some truth from the lizard point of view in a comedic audio script, please click on Conversations with Dudley Dewlap.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Click the book above to check out these audio scripts for your school or theater group. Purchase of any of the audio script books includes performance rights.