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Don’t Make Me Rattle is Having a Book-Birthday on Feb 25th!

screenshot from YouTube video book birthday Feb 25

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is happy to announce we’re celebrating the birthday of our fun, informative, and boldly illustrated book, Don’t Make Me Rattle!

Snazzy the Snake is hosting our celebration! February 25th marks the birthday of Don’t Make Me Rattle!, the rhyming book by author Elaine A. Powers full of rattlesnake facts and vibrant illustrations.

While Elaine writes to make science education fun, she writes particularly about rattlers so we can respect, not fear, them. They are shy creatures who prefer not to engage with humans. The rattle is only a warning: Please stay away!

Learn the rattlesnake’s role in the ecosystem, about their fascinating social behavior, how the venom is used by the rattlers, and much, much more in this 40-page book with bold illustrations by illustrator Nicholas Thorpe.

See Snazzy celebrate on YouTube at the Birthday Book!

Find the birthday book here at Lyric Power Publishing LLC and at Don’t Make Me Rattle! is for sale at

#educationalchildrensbook   #bookaboutsnakes   #rattlesnakes   #animation   #3dcharacter   #picturebookbirthday   #nonfictionpicturebook   #storytimeforkids   #nonfictionbooks

infographic complete book description of book Don't Make Me Rattle

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Faster Than a Speeding Bird? Nope. By Author Elaine A. Powers

photo of bird vermillion flycatcher

After watching a man stalk a hummingbird through the Tucson Botanical Gardens for an afternoon, I wrote a book about photographing a hummingbird. Around and around the man went. The bird appeared to be intentionally taunting him. The man’s tale is told in the humorous book I call How NOT to Photograph a Hummingbird.

I have also spent a fair share of time trying to photograph hummers, but recently I expanded my chasing activity to another species. This bird flitted around the stalls where I board my horse. His bright colors contrasted with the tan ground and gray bars of the stalls. I whipped out my cell phone to get the shot. He flew off to another stall. I pursued. He flew. From stall to stall we went. The bird streaked away. No photograph obtained.

I was delighted when the bird returned the next day. The pursuit continued. Stall to stall without success. I gave up and haltered my horse for a walk. When we reached the turnout pen, there he was – posing at the top of a tree. Perhaps he felt this perch gave me the better shot, and he allowed me to complete my quest.

The magnificent bird pictured above is a male Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), perched on a mesquite tree.

What happens to the protagonist in my book who is in photographic pursuit of a hummingbird? Buy a copy and find out! Some birds are worth your time – just like a good book. How Not to Photograph a Hummingbird also includes a glossary of Sonoran Desert flora and fauna for educational purposes. Making science fun is why Lyric Power Publishing LLC exists.

Colorful book cover illustrated with Anna's Hummingbird in The Sonoran Desert
This colorful picture book for all ages teaches about the Sonoran Desert—with a sense of humor. It pits one bumbling human against the desert as he carelessly attempts to photograph an Anna’s Hummingbird. Enjoy the chase as the photographer is tripped up by a rock, stabbed by a Mesquite tree and rattled by a Western Diamondback. Then use the glossary to teach about the rich variety of life in the Sonoran Desert. Humor makes learning fun and easy!


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Author Elaine A. Powers Shares Her New Newsletter

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is pleased to announce that author Elaine A. Powers is publishing a new newsletter highlighting book announcements and specials. The latest issue features a Curtis Curly-tail book having a birthday today: Curtis Curly-tail is Lizardnapped was ‘born’ on  February 11th!

Please click here to see Elaine’s colorful, graphic newsletter; to click through to the birthday celebration video; and to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her journey and passion to help make learning science fun!

The birthday book!

a children's book cover, blue and white, with several curly-tail lizards on the cover
Curtis Curly-tail becomes the
unfortunate victim of poachers,
along with other protected animals.
Who will save them?
An Adventure Tale
For Readers Age 10+
Lovely Colored Pencil
Illustrations by
Jessica Minns
30 Pages
In the third book of the series, the very curious Curtis Curly-tail mistakes a poacher for a tourist wanting to snap a picture of his perfectly-curled tail. Instead, he is captured, along with critically endangered native plants, Conch and Iguanas.
Together the animals plot their escape from the dangerous poachers. Who will help them? How will they get free of the cages on a boat and return home safely to Warderick Wells?
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Author Elaine A. Powers To Be Interviewed January 27th on Big Blend Radio

infographic about interview of author Elaine A. Powers

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is proud to announce that author Elaine A. Powers will be interviewed by Big Blend Radio on January 27th at 5:00 pm, Mountain Standard Time. The broadcast will available online at Big Blend Radio’s channel on It will also be available afterward as a podcast.

photo of Lisa D Smith and Nancy J Reid of Big Blend Radio
Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid of Big Blend Radio

Big Blend Radio is hosted by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith. They are the mother-daughter travel team on the Love Your Parks Tour and publishers of the digital Big Blend Radio and TV Magazine and Big Blend Parks and Travel Magazine. Big Blend has a cumulative monthly reading, listening, and viewing audience of over three million. Their audience spans all fifty states, and multiple countries worldwide.

All Big Blend Radio author interview podcasts will be featured in the Big Blend Radio and TV Magazine and on its website, as well as on popular podcast sites such as Speaker, BlogTalkRadio, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Castbox, YouTube, Podcast Addict, Player, Facebook, Stitcher, Tunein, ListenNotes, MixCloud,, etc.

We hope you will tune in with us on January 27th at 5:00 pm MST on Big Blend Radio as we enjoy the interview with our author committed to conservation and writing books that make science fun, Elaine A. Powers.

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Can Science Rhyme? Yes! Can Science Be Fun? Yes! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

graphic of a science joke

Image courtesy of Reader’s Digest

I’ve received some interesting criticisms as an author. If you’re familiar with my work, you know that my picture books rhyme. In fact, I believe all picture books should rhyme. The rhythm of the words enhances the reading experience for both the child and adult.  My books are filled with scientific facts, so I describe them as being science-based, but they are fun, too. My goal is to educate while entertaining.

In one of my writing critique groups, a fellow poet has repeatedly criticized my work for combining science and poetry.  In his opinion, science and poetry should never be mixed. Scientific facts dilute the quality of the poetry, he says. Since I am using poetry (I am a musician and rhythm comes naturally to me) to convey science, I disagree with his opinion. Don’t worry, I will continue to write rhyming science-based books. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I recently read an article in American Scientist that explored humor and mathematics. In Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Theorem Before (September-October 2020:108 (5), author Daniel S. Silver describes how mathematics has been lurking in our humor. Other types of science have been lying in wait, as well.

There’s biology:
Question. What do you give a person who has everything?
Answer. Antibiotics.

There’s medicine, from comedian Steve Martin:
First the doctor told me the good news. I was going to have a disease named after me.

There’s math:
Q. What do baby parabolas drink?
A. Quadratic formula.

There’s social science:
Q. Tell me, comrade, what is capitalism?
A. The exploitation of man by man.
Q. And what is communism?
A. The reverse.

The sciences can be enjoyed in many ways, from jokes to coloring pages to puzzles.

Here at Lyric Power Publishing LLC, we have an assortment of entertaining educational materials.  Explore the many ways to make science fun.

Entertain. Educate. It’s what we do at Lyric Power Publishing.

Book Note: Here is one of my fun, rhyming science-based books, Don’t Make Me Rattle! It is filled with interesting facts about this desert snake so many fear—and we don’t have to fear it. That’s why education is so important. Learn what to do to avoid an unintended meeting with this reptile. And, did you know that rattlesnakes babysit for each other? Or that they coil up in the rain to catch drinking water? Learn all about them soon with your own copy of Don’t Make Me Rattle!, available at

A brown book cover, with a circle with blue sky, with a rattlesnake popping out of the circle, title: Don't Make Me Rattle
There’s Much More to Me
Than You Know!
I Am Shy and My
Rattle is Only a Warning:
Please, Stay Away!
For All Ages
Reading Level 6+
Bold and Vibrant Illustrations
by Nicholas Thorpe
Written in Rhyme
40 pages
Learn all about the rattlesnake’s place in our ecosystem. Learn why we should respect them, not fear them.
See why they flick their tongues, learn why they are called pit vipers, the purpose of the venom, and much, much more in this in-depth look at rattlesnakes.
A Review of Don’t Make Me Rattle! By Helene Woodhams
Arizona Daily Star:
“A rattle from a reptile is not a welcome sound, but if it makes you tread carefully, it’s served its purpose, says Tucson author Elaine A. Powers. In a picture book chock-full of rattlesnake facts, she emphasizes the good they do (eating rodents, scattering seeds, and aiding cancer research), as she imparts interesting reptilian lore. For instance, although toxic to those on the receiving end, venom acts like saliva for a rattlesnake, a necessary digestive aid since they lack teeth for chewing. And rattlers are surprisingly social creatures who bunk together when it’s cold–forming a ‘rhumba’ of rattlers. An unabashed rattlesnake fan, Powers bemoans how willingly we exterminate them, largely because they look so unlovable. She gets no argument there from illustrator Nicholas Thorpe, whose threatening rattlesnake pictures, some with mouths agape and dripping venom, are undeniably scary. The third in the “Don’t” series is for kids in grades K-4.”
An illustration from the book showing how a rattlesnake collects drinking water.
A colorful, red and gold illustration of a rattlesnake
From the book “Don’t Make Me Rattle!”


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Turns Out I AM Allergic to Snow! By Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of Desert Broom

I grew up in Central Illinois, in the hills of New Jersey and in the lake-effect snow region of Michigan. I am very familiar with snow . . . and moving snow out of the way . . . and being cold.

Consequently, I was delighted to be transferred to Tucson, AZ in the Southwest and nearly snow-free Sonoran Desert. Only once or twice a winter do snowflakes fall and then they disappear within a few hours. Even that is too much for me. There is something very wrong with snow on palm trees and cacti.

photo of Desert Broom plant

I have discovered that Tucson has another kind of snow – it’s called Tucson Snow. In the fall, the Desert Broom (Baccharis sarothroides) blooms. The female shrubs release massive amounts of fluffy white seeds in sufficient quantity to cover the ground with a layer of white. It looks like a layer of newly fallen water-based snow. The seeds germinate in disturbed areas. The male shrubs have small flowers that look nice and don’t disperse.

I, along with many others, start sneezing and wheezing when the Tucson snows begin. Even animals start sneezing and coughing. The eventual relief only comes when the seeds finally blow away.

But, as I suspected, I am truly allergic to snow!

Book Note: Curious about the Sonoran Desert and its creatures? Need to do a book report? Please see my books in The Don’t Series. They are full of scientific information but are different from typical Life Sciences books: they are written in fun rhymes, which has proved to be a real aid to learning and memory. Take a look today—they are colorful, fun and full of scientific facts.

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Boo Boo Hill? I Know Boo Boo Hill!

photo Exumas The Bahamas

I was listening to one of Jimmy Buffet’s new songs, Book on the Shelf (by Jimmy Buffet, Erin McAnally and Mick Utley) and I was thinking I could relate to the lyrics,

I write what I know about, made up or true
These songs aren’t for me, they’re for you

because I write my books not for me but to share with others. I hope they bring pleasure to the readers, in the same way I enjoy Jimmy’s songs, while sharing some science ed, too. (I’m a biologist and singer/musician, so you can see how my two loves combined in my retirement.)

Above Image of the Exumas is Courtesy of Yolanda Rolle from Pixabay

Then came the line,

Like the trail boards up on Boo Boo Hill.”

Boo Boo Hill? I know Boo Boo Hill! It’s on Warderick Wells, where my book writing career began. Warderick Wells is Curtis Curly-tail’s home. He often visits Boo Boo Hill.

A Bahamian curly-tail lizard climbs onto a human shoe on a beach
Curtis the Curly-tail lizard introduced himself to me by climbing on my sneaker. Then, his first story, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers came into my mind. Coincidence? I think not!

I found inspiration on Boo Boo Hill and, apparently, so did Jimmy, Erin and Mick.

The Exumas, home to Boo Boo Hill, are a very special group of islands in The Bahamas. I went there to study the iguanas but found so much more: curly-tail lizards, hutia, and nighthawks.

And just like Jimmy Buffet, I intend to keep on “scribblin’ on pages.”

Tellin’ tall tales is still good for my health.
Keep movin,’ and listenin,’ and amusin’ myself.
I’m not ready to put the book on the shelf.”

Book Note: Meet my dashing (literally) friend, Curtis Curly-tail lizard in the Curtis Curly-tail Series of books. He’s quite the adventurer and he is, especially, a good friend.

children's book cover illustration with iguanas and curly-tail lizard
The fourth in the Curtis Curly-tail Adventure Series, in which Curtis and Allison (the big iguana) try to help save their friends from a hurricane. Have an adventure while learning about ecology and weather!


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November 22nd is National Cranberry Relish Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

image of thanksgiving table with cranberry relish

When I read that November 22 was National Cranberry Relish Day, memories of my father came to me.  My Dad didn’t do much cooking but he had his specialties: popcorn popped in bacon grease, the fluffiest waffles for weekend breakfasts, and every Thanksgiving, homemade cranberry relish.  His wasn’t a fancy recipe but it did become a tradition and a fond memory.

He would start by pulling the grinder out of the closet. This grinder had been passed down from his parents. In the past it had been used to grind meat, nuts, and, of course, cranberries. He clamped it to the dining room table and set a large roasting pan under it. Then he would pour the fresh cranberries from the bags and grind away. We kids weren’t allowed to grind – that was Dad’s job. Rhythmically the handle went round and round until the ground berries became a mound. (Yes, I write rhyming books.) Then he would empty the proper number of cans of frozen orange juice concentrate onto the mound and allow the juice to melt in. After mixing, the relish was the perfect combination of tangy cranberry and sweet orange.

Dad’s relish was eaten with the roasted turkey on Thanksgiving Day, the leftovers the next day, and on turkey sandwiches the following week.

So, on November 22, relish some cranberry relish, and I’ll relish the memory of my father and his very special cranberry relish tradition.

Book Note: One of my favorite rhyming books is Don’t Make Me Fly, all about the fascinating Greater Roadrunner. It’s a fun read in rhyme–the whole family will love it–is educational and vibrantly illustrated by Nicholas Thorpe.

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
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Go Take a Hike! on November 17th by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Two teen boys getting ready for a hike

November 17th is National Take a Hike Day, an expression which can be taken two different ways.

~Above Image Courtesy of Free-Photos from Pixabay~

If you say, “Take a hike!” to someone, it usually means to go away. One could also use it when referencing, say, a virus, such as Covid-19. One could take some pleasure from repeating, “Take a hike, Covid-19! Take a hike, Covid-19!” And so on.

But today, even though the weather may be a factor this month, I’d like to use the phrase in the other way and suggest you go outside and actually take a hike. Take a short hike or a long hike, on flatland or up a mountain, by a lake or along an ocean. Get out and enjoy some nature. It’s invigorating and good for the soul.

I find walks very inspiring, a source of many story ideas, but also for re-finding my sense of peace. We humans weren’t designed to spend all our time inside. Remember, wherever you hike, make sure you take a mask (just in case) and enough water to get there and back. And maybe a snack or two (just in case). Have fun on your hikes!

Book Note: And when you get back home, curl up and grab an adventure by the tale: Check out my stories that weave science education into fun adventures, like this one.

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding on the back of a Hutia, a rodent
Curtis Curly-tail and Horace Hutia become friends after declining hutia are brought to Warderick Wells. But when the hutia damage the cay’s ecosystem, what will the scientists do? You, the reader, help them decide!


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The Love of Rainwater: Not All Water is the Same by Author Elaine A. Powers

photo of bright green leaves

Image Courtesy of Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

This summer, the monsoons in the Tucson area failed to develop. In order to save our plants, we’ve been watering a lot. Despite the water, several of my trees have died. Watering by hose just isn’t the same as rain.  Rain has many benefits that artificial watering can’t replicate. I noticed that, after the single rainstorm we had this monsoon season, the plants responded spectacularly even though it was only a few tenths of an inch of rain. I can give them a gallon of water and not get such an enthusiastic response.

What is it about rain that plants crave?

It’s what rainwater contains that isn’t found in tap water. Rainwater has more oxygen, which is carried down into the soil. More importantly, rainwater carries down carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is needed to produce the carbohydrates to fuel plant growth.  Also, carbon dioxide makes the rainwater acidic. This reactive water helps release micronutrients (zinc, manganese, copper and iron) in the soil that plants need. Unfortunately, in some places, pollutants in the air make the rainwater too acidic, which damages plants.

Have you noticed how fresh and clean plants look after a rain? Another important purpose of rain is to wash the dirt off the leaves. Plants photosynthesize much more efficiently when sunshine isn’t filtered by a layer of dirt.

Hopefully, our watering will help the plants hang on long enough until the rain once again falls from the sky.

The monsoon rains also play a part in the blooming of the Night-blooming Cereus every year. These amazing Sonoran Desert cactus plants all bloom together on one night every summer. You can read about them in my book, Queen of the Night, The Night-blooming Cereus.

a light brown book cover with green lettering: Queen of the Night: Night Blooming Cereus, with illustration of a white flower
A favorite and best-seller about the Night-blooming cereus plants, which bloom all together one night per year