Sunday, December 8, 2019

December Dreamin'

Merry Christmas! This is a season when memories are made, family is brought together and traditions are made. Please join me and my as I share “Holiday Traditions that Ring in My Season.”
Check out my personal reveals, then visit the other #Gr8Blogs linked at the end of the post for more shared recollections. We hope you'll be inspired to dive into special December Dreams of your own!

And finally, my favorite holiday tradition is driving around looking at Christmas lights!! These pictures were taken on a mini vacation we took to Pigeon Forge, TN.


Traditions can be passed down from generations or created totally new as a new chapter in your life begins. I have shared some of my holiday traditions, in the comments area, feel free to share some of yours. Also be sure to check out the other wonderful #Gr8Blogs links below. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! #Gr8blogs Cat Michaels:
My Ups, Downs and In Betweens on the 2019 Writing Road

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Happy HallowSCREAM!

Happy Halloween!!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. We don't decorate much at my home but at school is a different story. We go pretty big for our big community event.  Each year, I start October by having my students collaborate and come up with some ideas we could use to make some cool Halloween videos. They always come up with great stuff! Time is limited though, so not every idea can make it into a video but I do my best to include everyone who wants to be a part of it. This is also a time I discuss with my students on what copyright means. My videos are only for school purposes and are not uploaded to any site or platform on the internet or copied for parents or students. 

So what do we do? Every class does something different. I collaborate with the PE teacher who works with the students on a particular song, dance, story etc and in my room, the students get to wear costumes and use props to help bring their choice to life the best we can. With my older grades, they are also the ones videoing. 

So the tech side of it. I use the app DoInk on my classroom ipad and a green screen I bought off of Amazon (Together I  only spent around $40 for app and screen) Don't want to buy a screen? No problem. A cheap green party tablecloth from the dollar store works great too!  I use them for the "Magic" part of our videos.  Shhhh! Don't tell.  Also, maybe you just want to use puppets and tell a story. Paint an old cardboard box green and use paper puppets. Just make sure the object being used to move the characters is green and you're good to go!

Here are some pictures of just a few of videos this year.  I love the outcome but man am I glad they are done. LOL 

Green masks were used to help create these spooky effects!

A green tablecloth was used here to help our fourth skeleton dance around. These Spooky Skeletons did a great job with their video

These guys showed off some great dance moves! 
The "Invisibility cloak" was a big hit!

By far, this was one of my favorites! How cool that we got to dance with one of the official Men in Black!

These are just a few of the amazing videos we were able to create this year. Maybe it's inspired you to create some of your own. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas, here we come! 

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....of Technology

Happy Halloween!!!! Oh, I'm getting a little ahead of myself but I love Halloween! I love watching the paranormal shows, scary movies, kids Halloween movies, and seeing all the decorations and costumes. Plus in my classroom, Halloween makes the best green screen videos. Last year I shared some of what my students and I came up with and I will try to do the same this year. So watch for my November blog.

i do not own the rights to this image. Image found on

This blog, I want to talk about technology. There are so many advances in it these days. Some I like and there's a lot I don't. I think just because something can be created, doesn't necessarily mean it has to be.  It definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. So tell me, what technology do you like and what do you not?  Has it helped you out professionally? Connect you with your friends and family?

I like being able to draw on my tablet. I use a Surface Pro. I still adore drawing and painting in the traditional way but digitally is easier for me when it comes to my books.  I also like using it to bring my books to life. I would like to do more and I'm always keeping my eye out for better software. I currently use Powerpoint.  Over the summer I did a free trial of one of Adobes animation programs. It was so cool and so fun to play with. I really wanted to do the whole monthly subscription thing but my computer and internet just wasn't up to the challenge. I used it to create several fun short animations and when I went to export it into a format I could post, it was taking hours! Needless to say, I was bummed.  I need stronger internet and a better computer. So if anyone is needing to find such things a good home, I am your gal. Haha!

I am wanting to share yet again my three preview read-aloud book videos.  I am hesitant about uploading them to youtube. I know there are so many great videos on there. I use may of them in my classroom but i worry about copyright and infringement. What is your opinion of youtube? Safe or not?

Book available on Amazon:

Book available on Amazon:

Book available on Amazon:

Please share my page if you like my videos, I would much appreciate it.  That is all for this months blog. Remember to stay tuned for some Crazy Halloween green screen videos next month. Happy October!!
I do not own the right to this image. Image found on

Sunday, August 4, 2019

For the Love of......BOOKS!

In honor of Book Lovers' Day on August 9th, my writerly pals and I are sharing all the ways we love books in our #BookLuvHop . Visit the awesome bloggers listed at the end of this post and find more ways to celebrate this day. If you blog, add your feedback and share your family-friendly blog link in our comment section, and we'll spread blog love your way!

If you've read my blog posts you may already know that I am not only a children's book author/illustrator but I am an avid reader as well and love to support the authors I love. I am a beta reader for a few authors and if you're not quite sure what that is, a beta reader reads the story after it has been through many, many edits and it's the beta's job to spot any errors those before may have missed. No, I do not get paid. I do this because I support these friends of mine and want their book to be the best it can be and I feel honored they trust me to do it. So in honor of Book Lovers' Day, I am sharing with you categories of some of my favorite authors. Who knows, they may become one of your favorites as well.  

Young Adult that Adults Can Enjoy

CC Hunter- Magic, paranormal, romance and mystery describes this authors Shadow Falls and Morticians Daughter series.  You may also enjoy her book This Heart of Mine which is about a young girl who needs a heart transplant but with her new heart comes the memories of the previous owner that changes how people thought he really died, but will they believe her?

J.K Rowling- HARRY POTTER!! Need I say more? 

Sariah Wilson- I have loved this author since I read her book #Starstruck which is still one of my top favorites. Sariah writes cute romance with lots of heart, humor and drama mixed in. My faves are #Starstruck, #Awestruck and the Friend Zone

Contemporary Romance

Ruth Cardello- This author is as amazing as her books are. She really loves to connect with her readers through social media. She writes steamy romance full of heart, and drama with a combination of escapism and realism.

Shannon Stacey If you love humor and snark with mixed with your romance then this is the author for you. I have read every book in this authors Kowalski series some three times or more!  I am so excited because she has a new book coming out soon.

Jill Shalvis Another author with witty, funny and strong characters. I have been a fan since I first found her Lucky Harbor series. Since then I have probably read fifty of her books! Lol

Romantic Mystery

Wendy Delaney- Her books are what I would call a cozy mystery. Do you enjoy funny, quirky characters? Then give this series a try. Her series, Working Stiffs Mysteries has a brand new book coming out in August called Crazy, Stupid, Dead a Working Stiff Mystery book 7 but I would start with book one since some parts do thread from book to book.
Kathleen Brooks- Mystery, romance, suspense, humor and southern charm is what Kathleen's books are all about. I have been hooked since I read her first book Bluegrass State of Mind, which can be found for free on Amazon. (hint, hint) Kathleen has a way of bringing her fictional Kentucky town to life and extending her characters into several different series. From what I hear, she has a new book coming on in August as well.  Oh and if you like magic, check out her newly released series Moonshine and Magic.

Christie Craig- So the YA author CC Hunter I introduced you to earlier....she is also known as Christie Craig with her adult romantic mystery books.  What I love about this author is the humor and strong, witty woman characters she adds to her books. Gotcha is my favorite of hers but all her books are just as equally as wonderful.

Gemma Halliday-
This author was probably one of this first authors I read on my Kindle and I still have a place in my heart for her High Heel Series which she has a new book coming out this summer which is exciting because there hasn't been one for a long time.  I really need to read her Wine and Dine series, which is on my wish list!


Ann Charles with Sam Hunt- You have probably heard me mention this author before. She ranks top on my list of favorite authors and this year she co-wrote the first book in her new series with her husband Sam Hunt.  Ann has several series out so you are sure to find one you enjoy. What I love best about her books is the way her characters feel so real. I want to live in their town and be their friend.  If you like paranormal then check out her Deadwood Humorous Mysteries, Deadwood Undertaker, or her AC Silly Circus Mysteries. If paranormal is not your thing but you still enjoy humor, wit, and romance mixed with a good mystery then check out her Jackrabbit Junction Mysteries or her Dig Site Mysteries. You can't go wrong with whichever series you choose.

Terri Reid- If you like shows like Ghost Whisperer then you will love this authors Mary O'Reilly series. Mary has a unique ability, she can see and talk to ghosts. Sometimes she needs help solving what the ghost needs but she has some fantastic friends to help her out. If you are a Kindle Unlimited user, Loose Ends, the first book in the series is free and so are many of her other books. 
She has also released the third book her Willoughby Witches series. If the Salem Witch trials interest you, this may be your new favorite series.

Contemporary Adventure

Kristy McCaffrey- This author stole my heart with her book Deep Blue, a book about a kick-ass intelligent lady who free dives with great white sharks! Since then I have read several of her books and they are all amazing. Her stories are full of intensity, romance, and suspense. Her latest novel, Cold Horizon, takes you on an adventure to K2, the second highest mountain on earth! Very intense book. I admire those who are brave enough to tackle such feats but I will leave that to them and I'll stick to books. She recently released a novella to her Deep Blue book, Deep Blue: Reunion Island, which gives a glimpse into what the characters are up to now. If you are a historical western romance reader then this author is also your best friend.

Rick Chesler- Again, an author won me over with a book about sharks.  In this case though, the book is more science fiction then reality.  This author has numerous adventure books and I'm sure you will find one you enjoy. I recommend Hotel Megalodon and Atlantis Gold!

Children's Books...... Of  Course!!!

Jillian Morris- Creator of and author of Norman the Nurse Shark

All of the #gr8tblogs authors on this #bloghop journey listed below are all wonderful children's book authors, so be sure to check them out. 

Recently I created a read-aloud preview video for my book Into the Ocean. You can check it out here.  

As an artist I believe a picture can tell a story all on it's own and I can't end this blog without mentioning my friend Charles Urbach. He is an AMAZING science fiction artist. Check out all is wonderful art on his webpage  or find him on fb. This is one of my favorite pieces! Appropriate for this day I think!

Have permission to share from the artist. 

Ever tried recycling an old book and turning it into a piece of art?  I recently gave it a shot, inspired by Rosie Russell who introduced me to this new fad.  

Thanks for visiting.  Please be sure to check out what these amazing fellow authors/bloggers have in store for this #BookLuvHop. I'm sure they will inspire you and put a smile on your face! 

Cat Michaels

Rosie Russell

Auden Johnson 

James Milson

Sandra Bennett

Monday, June 17, 2019

Ready, Set.....Jump into Summer Blog Hop!

Sun screen. Kids playing Marco Polo in the pool. Family road trips. Summer is in the air! My writerly pals and I are sharing our summer dreams and inspiration in the  C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y  Jumping into Summer Blog Hop. For more summertime fun, click over to meet the awesome #Gr8Blogs bloggers listed at the end of this post.

In this blog you are learning a little bit about me....which is a rare thing for me to post so enjoy it! LOL  

Loving-- I am loving that I am officially off for summer break and my brain is all mine again!  All Mine!!! LOL That means I can finally start writing again because teaching full time doesn't leave a whole lot of time left for creativity other than trying to be creative in my classroom. 

 Reading- What are you all currently reading or planning to read this summer?  I am an avid reader and over the summer I can easily read a few books a week. Yes, I know I should be writing but reading helps clear my mind and I often find inspiration in them as well.  I am anxiously waiting for the release of Ann Charles new book in her Jack Rabbit Junction series, CC Hunters Three Heartbeats Away, and Kristy McCaffrey's Cold Horizon! But those are the only ones I have planned out. All three authors are faves of mine.  If you love funny, paranormal and romance then you should definitely give Ann and CC a try. If drama, suspense, with a tad of romance is more your speed, then Kristy is your gal.  She also writes wonderful westerns AND my favorite is Deep Blue which is about a woman who free dives with Great White sharks! Oh and CC Hunter is aka Christie Craig, who writes fun, contemporary romance/suspense. Looking for a new book for your kiddos? Check out my website to learn more about my books and don't forget about all the other amazingly talented authors at the end of this blog.

 Watching- Any movie or tv watchers out there?  What about Stranger Things fans?  I can't wait for the next season!!  I am also addicted to the young adult show on Hulu called Find Me in Paris.  I'm not sure when there will be new episodes of it but I know I will be watching for a release date.  As for movies, Aladdin is going to be a must see for me. That was my favorite Disney movie as a kid and so far the previews look pretty awesome. Will Smith as Genie seems perfect!  However, I don't think my hubby will join me so I will have to hijack one of my friends with kiddos. Haha! 

  Big fan of music here, are you? 
Do you have a favorite genre or are you like me and like a little bit of everything?  I do have concert tickets to see Cole Swindell and Justin Moore this summer, woohoo!! Any artists you recommend seeing?  I would love to see Jake Owen, Lady A, and Old Dominion again.  ZZ Top, Def Leppard, Nickelback, Luke Combs,  and Luke Bryan are a few that I want to see.  Refit Revolution (you can find on YouTube or on their website) is an amazing dance workout team with fantastic workouts set to some rockin' music!  Try them out! 

    Thinking About-- In a previous post I discussed with you my thoughts on needing and taking a break from the author world.  It's really hard to balance it all while working full time so summer is my only time I can really focus on it and this summer is no different, however I won't be working on a new book.  If inspiration hits, then happy dance for me but right now my plans are to focus more on the promotional side of things. Also, now that I have time, I will be creating more coloring/activity sheets for Sharks4Kids so be sure to check them out. 

 Anticipating- With any luck, I will find an amazing animation software...hopefully cheap....and create some fabulous new book videos.  I'm downloading a free trial of Adobe Character Animator as I write.  Will keep you updated! 

 Wishing---Ohhhhhh I could go crazy here listing things! What about you?  One thing is, I'm wishing to find a different career path. I love teaching but the stress of it is becoming way too much and I need to find a new path to follow. And while I'm wishing for things, maybe somehow I will get to go on an exotic beach vacation or on a big vacation out west. I hear Ann Charles always holds an amazingly fun summer event in Deadwood, SD for her fans! 

    * Making Me Happy - Reading, relaxing, creating and my hubby and fur babies! 

  On My Canvas--  Will I be painting this summer? Well of course! Do I know what it will be?  Nope, haven't got a clue. LOL But that's how it works for me.  I paint when the itch hits or if I find inspiration in a picture or scene I see.  You can see some of my previous pieces on my Pinterest page

How are you CURRENTLY jumping into this summer? Grand vacation plans or a more low key stay-cation? Checking off books on your to-read list? Please share in the comment section. If you are a blogger yourself and want to join our blog hop, just add your PG-13 post link below in the comment section. We’ll visit your blog and give you some blog love. And if you use #Gr8Blogs, we'll support your family-friendly summer-themed post. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out.....

Thursday, May 2, 2019

I've Been Hijacked!

Hi there, I'm GW from Into the Ocean and I've hijacked this months blog post to let you all in about a FINtastic sale going. Into the Ocean is on sale for $0.99!! Now, I don't know much about money, considering I'm a shark, but that sounds like a JAWsome deal to me!
So what is Into the Ocean all about? Well, it's all about where I call home. You will take an under the sea voyage with me as your tour guide and discover some of the amazing marine animals that call the sea their home and other fantastic ocean facts around our magnificent world. Some say I am more of a clown fish than a great white but I just don't get it. I mean come on, how can a fish dress up as a clown anyway? Haha


What are you waiting for!? Swim on over to this link and pick up your copy today. Available in ebook and paperback. I hear reviews are very important so if you enjoy our adventure, consider leaving a review for my good friend Rebecca Lyndsey.

Well look at that handsome fella there. He looks familiar. Hehehe
If you want to learn more about Rebecca Lyndsey, her books, and download some cool coloring sheets, then swim on over to her website Thanks for letting me take a bite at my first ever blog! Happy reading!
*All images are copyrighted by Rebecca Lyndsey.

Here’s some more “May First Friday” posts from my author pals to follow:

Sandra Bennett – Where Do You Find Ideas For Stories?

Julie Gorges – 10 Super Foods for Baby Boomers



James Milson – Happy Hummer Season! Welcoming, Helping, and Attracting Hummingbirds In Your Neighborhood

Rosie Russell - May Celebrations