It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like….


This Holiday Season!



Here are some happy readers of my new book “Fantasy Animals.” To the left is Lucy Steilberg and Lucy Craig Steilberg from my church in Louisville, KY.  To the right is my mother,  Myrl Kirstein, who is going to be 91 years old in December and lives in Birmingham Alabama.

My mother is almost totally blind and has bravely decided to undergo eye surgery to correct her glaucoma. Please send prayers her way, as her surgery will be  December 6. Hopefully, she will be able to see much better after her surgery, which would be fitting for the woman who is responsible for teaching me to read.

Long Live Literacy!!


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This little story provides an example of two very different animals learning to live together, work together and cooperate. What better lesson and example could you ask for in today’s world of conflict?








Here is an excerpt from my book “Fantasy Animals.”

The first of these two most unique animals was an anteater named Vortex. His name came from the noise he would make as his two foot tongue  would lick up and gather multitudes of ants and stuff them into his long protruding proboscis. With loud, snorking and licking noises he would bring all ants anywhere into his wrinkly, quivering mouth.  Animals for miles around could hear the great vacuum of his enormous ingestions as he would begin laboring every morning right on the dot of 6:00 a.m.



Vortex vacuumed up all the ants for miles around from the surrounding earthen ground using his tireless 24” tongue. While he did this, he also was very careful to keep very exacting accounts of precisely how many ants he devoured at any given time.

And while you might think his licking and snorking characteristics are what identified Vortex as unusual, these qualities were not, in fact, what put Vortex and his unlikely friend on the map, so to speak.


At the same time that Vortex was born into this beautiful jungle forest, his dear companion and constant comrade, the courageous lion was born. She knew she was a queen from the day she was born and quickly became one of the fastest and fiercest animals in the entire jungle. She was known simply as Scoop.

Why Scoop, you say? Well, it was said by all the animals in her rainforest community, that she was so much faster than her prey, that she would merely spring and scoop, and her prey was already swallowed and digested.

Though lions generally populate the continent of Africa, Scoop somehow managed to arrive in the abundant rainforests of Peru in South America, along with her friend and constant companion Vortex.

So why were  these two animals so unique? You may ask. Well, here is the story I have been told by those who actually know and lived with Scoop and Vortex all the many years of their lives.

You see, these two animals were born as one. They were attached at the shoulder and torso, so that wherever one went, the other must go accordingly. No one knows why this unusual birth occurred, but animals and people from the region of Balta with firsthand experience declare that in fact, this pair was real and lived for many years in the Amazon jungle sometimes in harmony, sometimes not…


Get the book and find out what happens next and how these two animals work out their seemingly unresolvable problems.  click here to go to my Amazon page.



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A Must Read for the Holidays


“Super Speed Sam, Santa’s Rescue Dog,”
by MONTY J. McClaine

This book is available on Amazon.

Even though It’s 90 degrees outside, who cares? With this wonder filled story to read about the Santa Journey that happens every Christmas Eve, I have decided, the weather be hanged, hurricanes and such will have to take a back seat to “Super Speed Sam, Santa’s Rescue Dog.” This most delightful story by Monty J. McClaine tells the story of how Santa and his reindeer make their annual Christmas Eve journey delivering toys to every boy and girl. Lest you think “been there, done that” about the Santa story, you will need to think again. This author, Monty J. McClaine brings this story to a completely new understanding of the Santa Story as only a former computer engineer could.

With utmost precision and logic, McClaine weaves tangible detail into everything in the story, from the personality quirks of each individual elf and their resulting actions, to the explanations that speak to all the many logistical questions that eternally emerge from the minds of every inquiring child’s mind about this whole “Santa Story.”

When Santa encounters difficulties in his amazing journey, author McClaine’s Santa imparts special secret powers to a family Bassett Hound name Sam, who aquires the power to save the day (well night, actually) by rescuing Santa and his reindeer from a very prickly and life threatening situation. As an added bonus to Sam, his newly acquired special powers will be passed down through all Sam’s puppies to all of Sam’s grandpups and greatgrandpups.

The whys and wherefore so of this ever ubiquitous Santa tale is individualized and tailored to a most emphatically original tale, not quite like any you have probably ever heard. Crafted and constructed like a finely engineered bridge, this story with its compelling plot and supporting detail pushes the reader to remain engaged in an ultimately high suspense plot that grabs and will not let go until the very end of the story.

I am definitely reading this story to my husband on Christmas Eve this year, as I know it will delight him to no end. As for children, heaven help them if they don’t believe in the Santa story, for one read of this book will make them Santa believers for a lifetime.


Book Review by Janis Kirstein



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