Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker

Posts by Ann Eisenstein


Posted by on Jan 1, 2014 in Blog, Writing Wednesday | 5 comments





A resolution, a commitment, a promise to do something better, to improve oneself, of to improve the lives of others.

Typically, we spend more time reflecting upon them, pondering our goals, and declaring our vows, than we do in keeping them. According to some studies, we are terrible at keeping our resolutions. Exercising our willpower is doggone difficult! Training our brain to follow a list (often long) which is foreign to our nature and our current stasis – is uncomfortable.


A resolve


Nonetheless, people around the world take the plunge and make the pledge. We announce our resolve to change our ways on January 1 of every year!





The TOP TEN RESOLUTIONS made every year:

10.     Learn something new.

9.       Get organized.

8.       Volunteer to help others.

7.       Get out of debt.

6.       Spend more time with family.

5.       Learn to relax.

4.       Quit drinking.

3.       Quit smoking.

2.       Get fit.

1.       Lose weight.




Many researchers suggest that sharing your resolutions with another helps your success rate. Peer support – whether a partnership with a spouse or a friend, or participating in a group – not only is more fun but offers accountability when working toward your goals. Programs such as The Biggest Loser, Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, etc., have proven success rates for people who share their stories, their struggles, and their successes.

The main thing to keep in mind when you engage in the setting of goals is to make sure that they are attainable. Set small, measurable goals and design a method of charting your progress. Use a chart, or an app, to keep track of your successes!





This year I vow to focus less on what I resolve to QUIT, and more on what I pledge to START! Some years ago, I started a BUCKET LIST. I found it this morning. And although I can check a few things off that I have done, there are still some great ideas for a new PLAN of RESOLVE. So instead of the typical “New Year’s Resolutions”, I am drawing from my BUCKET LIST.


bucket List



5. I resolve to relax more – to read, play, and enjoy my family, friends and blessings. (I will pledge to read a book a week. And I will carve out time to just play and have fun! I will call my family more often and show the people in my life how much that they are appreciated.)

4. I pledge more loving kindness and generosity toward others. (I will spend more time sharing and volunteering)

3. I resolve to seek peace in all situations. (That, admittedly, will be tough for me. But I vow to adopt some meditation techniques and pull from my own bag of counseling and behavior management methods and give real effort for this one!)

2. Create more art.  (I will write, paint and make music – I might even join a  band!)

1. Focus on God’s will and purpose for my life. (I will learn to be still and listen to the voice of God!)


new goals



Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Share some in the comments below! Happy Resolving!



Popular New Year’s Resolutions

The Motley Fool’s The 10 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions and How They Can Make You Rich

And for the Top Ten Commonly Broken Resolutions

Ten Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

To Create Your Own Bucket List

Surprise yourself


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Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 1 comment

TODAY – The mystery continues!


FP Front 11.1.13

Twelve-year-old Junior Special Agent Sean Gray is in a race against time. Could there be a connection between his testimony in the trial of an international child kidnapping ring and his mysterious accident?

While the sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating, his new friend, Gabby, gets caught in the web of an online predator and disappears. She’s been missing for more than 48 hours, and the authorities have not been able to find her.

Sean goes undercover to bait the mysterious hunter. But when he becomes the prey, how will he rescue her?

Enter to win in the FALLEN PREY BOOK GIVEAWAYa Rafflecopter giveaway

Click to read Chapter One of FALLEN PREY!

Purchase is not necessary to enter, BUT, when you order FALLEN PREY either online or at your favorite
local bookseller and send me the picture, your name is entered TEN TIMES forevery copy you purchase.

Check it out:

You can buy FALLEN PREY at Amazon!

You can buy FALLEN PREY at Peak City Publishing!

Soon to be available at all major bookstores!

Don’t forget:

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Amazon!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Barnes & Noble!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Indie!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Books A Million!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Peak City Publishing!

The FALLEN PREY contest runs from 12 Midnight on November 7 through December 7 at 11:59 PM. You have a chance to win signed copies of HIDING CARLY and FALLEN PREY.

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Blog | 3 comments

Halloween is a tradition celebrated by both children and adults every year on October 31st. It is one of the most exciting and fun-filled times of the year! We dress up in costumes, go to parties, play games, and go trick or treating.


Halloween costume


Halloween can also be the deadliest time of the year, especially for our children.  Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. 32% of victims are children between the ages of 12-15. And statistics show that 60% of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between the hours of 5pm to 9pm, with nearly 25% between pm and 7pm. (Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)


Be Halloween Safe


5 Tips for Trick or Treat Safety:

  • Always trick or treat with an adult or older sibling.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Walk direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths, or facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street at corners.

5 Tips for Costume Safety:

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
  • Choose light and bright colors.
  • Make sure the costume is made of flame resistant fabric.
  • Make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

5 Tips for Food Safety:

  • Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  • Eat a snack before heading out too avoid the temptation.
  • Look for the warning labels on juices, fruits, nuts, etc.
  • Avoid homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

5 Tips for Traffic Safety:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
  • During peak trick or treat times, be extra watchful for children in dark clothing.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Halloween can be a dangerous time of year for our furry friends, too!


Cat Costume


5 Tips for Pet Safety:

  • No tricks or treats for Spot or Tiger, especially dark or baking chocolate, or those containing artificial sweetener.
  • Pumpkins and decorative corn can produce stomach upset in pets.
  • Keep carved pumpkins containing burning candles away from your pet.
  • If your pet chews wires from lights and decorations, it might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
  • Guard the door when opening for trick or theaters so that your pet doesn’t dart outside.

Some fun things to do with your kids this week:

5 Books to read:

  • The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey (4-8 years)

Hallo Weiner

  • Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino (4-8 years)

5 Little Pumpkins

  • The Berenstain Bears & The Haunted House by Jan & Mike Berenstain (4-8 years)

Berenstain Bears

  • Always October by Bruce Coville (8 – 12 years)

Always October

  • Weirdo Halloween by R.L. Stine (8 – 12 years)

Weirdo Halloween

5 Movies to watch:

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

  • The Goonies [PG]The Goonies
  •   Casper [PG]              


  • Monsters, Inc. [G]Monsters, Inc
  • The Worst Witch [G]

The Worst Witch

5 Activities to do:

Pasta Skeleton Craft

Pasta Skeleton

Pasta Skelton Template

Pasta Skeleton Template


  • a variety of pasta and dried beans, i.e. spaghetti, macaroni, tiny tube pasta, long tube pasta, wagon wheels, long spirals, tiny shells, wagon wheels
  • a sheet of black construction paper
  • white glue
  • white marker or crayon
  • pasta skeleton template


  • Arrange the pasta on the paper before gluing to adjust for spacing on the skeleton. (The wagon wheels are great for the head, tiny tubes or lentils for spine vertebrae, longer tubes or spirals for collarbones, arms and legs, spaghetti for fingers and toes, small shells or dried white beans for kneecaps, wrists and ankles and dried lima beans for the hips).
  • Glue the pasta to the black paper.
  • You can label the bones and write your name with a white marker or crayon.

Egg Carton Bats and Egg Carton Spiders

Egg carton batEgg cart onspider



Bat Supplies:

  • egg cartons
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors

Bat Directions:

  • Separate 3 cups from an egg carton (See picture).
  • Cut out part of the bottoms of the 2 outside cups to resemble bat wings.
  • Add eyes, a mouth, and decorate.
  • Hang it from a string or a rubber band.

Spider Supplies:

  • egg cartons
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors
  • pipe cleaners

Spider Directions:

  • Separate one cup from an egg carton.
  • Using the point of a scissors, an adult should make 8 small holes (4 on each side) at the base of the cup.
  • Insert a pipe cleaner into each of the holes for legs.
  • Draw a face and decorate the body.

Candy Corn Tissue Paper Collage

Candy Corn Tissure Paper Collage


  • White Card Stock
  • Glue
  • Yellow, Orange and white tissue paper


  • Cut a triangle from card.
  • Round the edges into a candy corn shape.
  • Rip the tissue paper into pieces and scrunch into small balls.
  • Glue the tissue paper to the triangle to make stripes. (See picture)

Pumpkin Bowling

pumpkin bowling


  • 5 to 10 empty two-liter bottles
  • two medium-size pumpkins (not too big)
  • gravel (pebbles)
  • white paint and black paint


  • Put enough gravel (pebbles) inside the two-liter bottles to keep them weighted down so they will stand easily without falling over.
  • Paint the two-liters white to use as bowling pins and paint the pumpkins black for use as the bowling balls.
  • Set the bowling pins up in a group and line the children up about 20 feet from the pins.
  • One at a time let each child roll the pumpkin and try to knock down as many pins as possible.
  • Let each child have two turns and add up the scores.
  • The child with the highest score wins the game. If there is a tie, let those children bowl again until the tie is broken.

Haunted House



  • large cardboard box
  • black paper
  • white or yellow tissue paper
  • black pant
  • white chalk
  • scissors
  • sticky tape
  • flashlight


  • Stand the box on one end.
  • Open it up at the top and fold open the flaps to form a roof. (See picture)
  • From one of the flaps cut out a rectangle to form a window. Carefully with the scissors make holes in the box and cut 2 windows from each side of the box.
  • Paint the box black and leave to dry. Make sure that you put down plenty of newspaper or stand it on an old plastic tablecloth first!
  • Cut the black paper into thin strips.
  • Tape the strips to the inside of the box to form crosses at the windows.
  • Cover the windows with tissue paper (taping on the inside of the box).
  • With a thin brush (or perhaps a black marker pen), gently paint cobwebs, spiders and cats at some of the windows.
  • Switch on the flashlight and put it inside your box to cast spooky shadows at the windows .
  • Tape the flaps at the top of the box together and with lots of sticky tape fasten the roof together.
  • Draw a door on the front of your house with the white chalk.
  • You can add a witch and her broomstick.



Happy Halloween

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

pumpkin with candy


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My Blog Tour Stop

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

I want to thank the very talented Sandra Warren, for inviting me along on this Blog Tour.
Sandra has a wonderful web site and blog, The Grateful Writer. Please stop by and read all about Sandra and her work.

Here’s what Sandra wanted to know about me and my work:

SW – What are you working on now?

AE – I am currently working closely with my publisher on the final launch preparations for the second book in the Sean Gray Junior Special Agent Mystery series, Fallen Prey. The release is scheduled for November 7, 2013.


Fallen Prey Web Cover 2

Twelve-year-old Junior Special Agent Sean Gray is in a race against time. Could there be a connection between his testimony in the trial of an international child kidnapping ring and his mysterious accident?

While the sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating, his new friend, Gabby, gets caught in the web of an online predator and disappears. She’s been missing for more than 48 hours, and the authorities have not been able to find her.

Sean goes undercover to bait the mysterious hunter. But when he becomes the prey, how will he rescue her?


Sean was first introduced in Hiding Carly, book one of the series.




Eleven year old Sean is in search of the truth. Someone murdered his father, Special Agent Max Gray, and the FBI has officially closed the case. Now it is up to him to find out who was to blame.

While investigating online, Sean stumbles upon a mysterious connection between his father and that new girl in his class. Now he has two puzzles to solve.  What really happened to his dad and what does Carly have to do with it?

In the face of danger, Sean sets aside his fear and finds the courage, compassion, and conviction to “follow the evidence.”


And, yes, the third and final book in the series is well underway! At least Sean is plotting and planning in my head! Untitled, the final installment, is already filled with twists, turns and tumbles. And the ending (yes, I do know how it ends) is a Sean Gray surprise!

SW – How does this book differ from other works in its genre? 

AE – The series itself differs primarily in that there are absolutely no zombies or vampires! Seriously, it centers on a young boy who helps to solve crimes and mysteries using the things he has learned from the FBI Junior Special Agent Program. I got the idea for Hiding Carly while mentoring a fifth grade student who was participating in the program. The FBI Agent that I interviewed for Hiding Carly, Special Agent Bill Malinowski, as well as others at the agency really liked the book. They suggested I write a series.

Malinowski said, “I believe any time you can reach out to young people and impress on them that doing what is right outweighs peer pressure, then we need to make efforts toward that end. The FBI’s Junior Special Agent – sometimes referred to as “Junior G-men” – Program does just that. After personally coordinating the program, I saw such positive changes in many of our youth.”

Though the books contain some universal themes, such as friendship, bullying, family, and separation and loss, they also deal with murder, kidnapping, and internet crime. These are things that affect kids today across the nation and the world. The Sean Gray Junior Special Agent Mystery series features events that strike at the core of children’s issues.

As Joseph Bowman stated in his review, Something New is “Elementary, My Dear Watson”:


From murder and disease to kidnapping and betrayal, Hiding Carly holds onto a tradition of dark content in children’s mystery novels – Nancy Drew, The Box Car Children and Sally Lockhart were all orphans – but it approaches the story in a way rarely embraced by children’s authors. Eisenstein chooses not to pursue the rain coat and magnifying glass, looking for footprints in the rain approach that is seen so often; instead, she focuses the narrative around the everyday crises and uncertainties faced by children poised before puberty.

The complications of losing a father, the confusion of watching a loved one slip into mental decline, a first crush, a bully, all of these take the main stage for the first two thirds of the story while the mysteries of Carly and of Sean’s father more so bubble to the surface. That bubble, though, proves indicative of something worth waiting for as the conclusion takes more twists and turns than is typical for this genre.


SW – Why do you write what you do? 

AE – I wish that I had some magical explanation that would dazzle and amaze. Truth is I just write the story that is in me. Most of what I write stems from my persona as an author, an educator and a psychologist. Though I didn’t start out writing for children, it has been the most natural beginning. My fiction works-in-progress encompass all genres, including picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult. I also write nonfiction and screenplays.

SW – How does your writing process work? 

Wow…let’s see. I have an overactive imagination. I pay attention to inspiration. I get an idea – or two – or three. Poof! Magic! Not really. I do add those three things together and often the character, or characters, enter the picture first. They usually bring some sort of agenda with them. Often resulting in conflict. Yea! As a teacher, I could do without the conflict. As a psychologist, I really need it to begin – but hope it’s not too troubling. As an author – bring it on! Once I have the start of story, I tend to research – a lot! I am concentrating on realistic, contemporary fiction right now, so it is important that my facts are – well – factual. As the story unfolds, I begin to plot and storyboard. I like the plan of it, the road map. My characters usually take some twists and turns that I didn’t count on, but that’s okay. I just move the scenes around or throw them out and add more. It’s a big giant jigsaw puzzle on my wall. And I love puzzles!


Next Monday, October 14, 2013, this Blog Tour train will stop at the pages of the following fabulous, imaginative, and gifted children’s writers:

Donna Welch Earnhardt

Holly Hughes 

Suzanne Warr


Please click on their links and climb aboard to discover new and fascinating things about these talented authors and what they write.


In the mean time, Happy Trails to you until we meet again!


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Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

I am still reeling from the wonderful 21st ANNUAL SCBWI-CAROLINAS FALL CONFERENCE in Charlotte, NC, last week-end. (And yes, I know that was days ago – but it was that good!!)


993417_10151889904823570_432330980_n edit



Prior to the conference, I was nominated for THE LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD by the very talented Becky Shillington.


Liebster logo



According to my research on THE LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD, it is given to “up and coming bloggers.” (With followers numbering from less than 200 to 3000 – that part was hard to decipher!) Bottom line is “Liebster” is German for “favorite”. This award is the “favorite blog award”. I am honored! Thank you, Becky!

The rules for this award state that you must answer the questions asked of you by the Blogger who gave you this award.

So, I am humbled and appreciative to be answering Becky’s questions of me.  Here they are:


BS: When did you first know you’d like to be a writer (or illustrator)?

AE: I really cannot remember – but I have been writing since I was 3, recognizably, since I was 6!

BS: If you could meet any author, living or deceased, who would it be?

AE: J.D. Salinger

BS: Coffee or tea?

AE: Coffee!

BS: What item is #1 on your “Bucket List?”

AE: Finishing Book 3 in the Sean Gray, Junior Special Agent Mystery Series

BS: What topic do you think is most overdone in the kidlit market today?

AE: Zombie eating vampires!

BS: What is the best book you’ve read in the last six months?

AE: WonderFracture

BS: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

AE: Yes!

BS: What is your favorite opening line from a book?

AE: No way can I choose just one – but since this one is so fresh: “The first time I died, I didn’t see God.” (Fracture)

BS: Do you write better in silence or with background noise? (If you chose background noise, then what kind?)

AE: Most of the time silence is best. Sometimes I listen to environmental soundtracks – like “Thunderstorm”.

BS: What book has had the most profound effect upon your writing style?

AE: Again – how can I choose? I guess I can say that the book that spoke these words to me: “You can be a writer, too” would be Catcher in the Rye


Thank you, Becky, for your nomination of my blog! Now for my (DRUM ROLL) list of up an coming BLOGGERS:


Derick Wilder

Sabrina Campbell Colvin

Annamaria Mckoy 

Laura Colvin 

Maria Nolletti Ross 


This is your mission, if you choose to accept:  Link back to the blogger that tagged you. Nominate 5-10 others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you (mine are below). Then ask 10 questions for the bloggers you nominate, as well as letting your nominees know of their award. Oh, yeah—and have fun!


Having Fun

Here are my questions:


  1.  If you were on death row, what would be your “Last Meal” menu?
  2.  What is your greatest fear?
  3.  If you could return to age 20 again, what would you do differently for your future?
  4.  What is your favorite time of year and why?
  5.  If you could relive any year of your life – which one would it be and why?
  6.  What is the one word your friends would use to describe you?
  7.  What is your all-time favorite book? (Bible and cookbooks do not count)
  8.  What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
  9.  Dogs or cats?
  10. Mountains or Ocean?


Bonus question:

What would be the title song of your life?


Please give their blogs a raving review!



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