Austin Is Fan of Hephaestus, Greek of Forge


Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.

Austin loved reading my book about Hephaestus, Greek god of forge.

I love it when students review my books. Here is a review of my book on the Greek god Hephaestus by my friend

It was a great book about a Greek God that was rejected by his mother. And then he started crafting things from pins to tables. Then his mother wanted him to make something that trapped her but for the rest of the book you read it to belive it.

Great review, Austin! I’m glad you were intrigued by the story the Greeks made up about Hephaestus, the god of the forge.

If you are a student or librarian, would you consider writing a review about one of my books? You may email your photos and reviews to me xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s that are there to prevent Spam).

Please recommend that your local library order these books from Mitchell Lane. I also have 2 new books published by Purple Toad Publishing
[/caption]Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad. Big Time Rush published by Purple Toad.
Big Time Rush biography
(ISBN 9781624690105 Ebook ISBN 9781624690297
Big Time Rush is a Beacon Biography and is offered as part of a seven-book series.).
Now You're Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad. Now You’re Cooking: Cuba published by Purple Toad.
and Now You’re Cooking: Cuba.
(ISBN 9781624690402 Ebook ISBN 9781624690419
This title is offered as part of a five-book series.)

They are all library-bound, full-color and beautiful!
If you have an Amazon account, you may post reviews there, on and Barnes & Noble’s website.


Bluffton-Harrison Middle School Eighth Graders Learn Writing Tips


It’s a thrilling opportunity to spend time talking to students about writing. Recently, the 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Bluffton Middle School where I work, Cathy Micklitsch, invited me to speak to her students about the subject of writing and my writing career.



 Caption: My new book from Purple Toad Publishing: biography of popular singing group and Nickelodeon comedy show, Big Time Rush

I spent the day with her classes, showing them my 11 books and website and answering questions about what it takes to be a persevering writer and author. Here are my 2 newest books published by Purple Toad Publishing.


I told the students the training they’re receiving in school with due dates for assignments and listening to what teachers want included are all important for writers.


“I could not continue with my writing career if I did not meet deadlines or if I plagiarized or failed to include all relevant data,” I said. “That training will enable you to succeed no matter what career you choose.”


As ISTEP testing was looming the following week, I encouraged them to strengthen their essay writing skills by reading Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. As the author of five stories published in Chicken Soup books, I’ve begun mastering the art of opening with a strong lead and getting right to the point of the story, then wrapping it up.



 Caption: I sold several stories to anthologies before writing my own books. 

Bonus: Chicken Soup has several titles that pertain to teens, including one I wrote called ‘Teens Talk… Getting in to College.’ My story, ‘Endings and Beginnings’ relates my struggle when our son pursued being accepted into a military service academy.  


At the end of the day I was exhilarated but tired —I didn’t know talking all day was so exhausting! It was well worth it. My goal was to encourage students to give more attention to the skill of writing and to consider it for a career. I think it may have happened as some students mentioned they were writing books now. Yay!


Caption: Mrs. Micklitsch is a fantastic teacher who inspires her students to excel.

Mrs. Micklitsch was kind enough to put some of her thoughts together about the day which are included here unedited:


“Thank you so much for spending the day talking to my 8th grade students about writing.  We really enjoyed listening to your experiences that you turned into articles that you were able to publish.  


What a wonderful way for my students to see that writing is something that can be more than just an assignment on a test for a grade.  


I know that you touched several students showing them that their own writing can be rewarding in many ways.


You entertained, informed and educated everyone in the room.  


I look forward to asking you back to my room next year, what I shame that I never invited you and your wealth of experience into my classroom before. Shame on me!   Thanks so much for your time and wisdom.”



Teachers, could you use an author to speak to your students? I’d love to touch more lives about writing. Contact me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the X’s there to prevent spam)

Middle Schooler Loves Reading about Greek God Hades!

Frank Ava 02-14
When I spotted Ava, a 7th grader at my school, reading my book on the Greek god Hades, I asked her
a) if she liked the book (Yes!)

b) if she would take a form to her parent to sign which would give me permission to take a photo of her reading my book and post it on my blog.

She agreed, her parent signed the form and here is a photo of Ava reading the book! I appreciated Ava’s and her family’s support for allowing us to work together to tell more people about my book on Hades, published by Mitchell Lane.

Hades, as most of you will know, was ruler of the Underworld in Greek mythology. He was not well-liked by the other gods, but Hades generally did well in ruling the land of the Dead.

After reading the book, Ava made this observation about the stories of Hades: “It was interesting to learn that since Hades was the third child that he got the Underworld to rule.”

The stories created by the Greek people are interesting, complex and sometimes outlandish! They have kept people intrigued for thousands of years.

If you’ve never read a book of Greek mythology, please check out this book on Hades and my other Greek gods titles: Hephaestus (god of the forge) + Hermes (god of thieves).

If you are a Greek mythology fan, which Greek god is your favorite? Why?

I hope you have fun!
Take care,

Announcing my next book : Big Time Rush!

Big Time Rush is a popular singing group with a show on Nickelodeon channel

Big Time Rush is a popular singing group with a show on Nickelodeon channel

I’m excited to announce the publication of my 2 newest books for children! I’ll give them each their proper due by announcing them separately. Look for the other book’s announcement in a few days! You’ll love it!

Big Time Rush—Beacon Biography

This is a 32-page chapter book that is full-color, library-bound and gorgeous! As a middle school librarian, I ordered it for my school and encourage it as a book for reluctant readers.

It is produced by Purple Toad Publishing. This is a new publisher that really knows what it’s doing!

I’m proud to promote this singing group which makes me laugh during its show on Nickelodeon channel by the same name. Yes, I know I’m an adult but I like innocent screwball comedy!

My goal is to promote good role models with my writing. That’s what I’ve found with the members of Big Time Rush. I won’t write about someone who is not a good role model.

Big Time Rush is a popular singing group with a show on Nickelodeon channel

Big Time Rush is a popular singing group with a show on Nickelodeon channel

You may have seen James Maslow on Dancing with the Stars (he’s on the right in the top row on the cover). Good moves!

Several people – including students! — have complimented this book. I’ve already sold several during book talks and am arranging more speaking engagements for children and adults. If you’d be interested in arranging an author visit with me for your school or library or club, please contact me.

That’s not all! The books are also available in ebook format as well as hard copy! You can order them through most distributors (Amazon, Baker & Taylor, etc) and through the publisher.

Purple Toad Publishing

Here is ordering information:
Big Time Rush
ISBN 9781624690105
Ebook ISBN 9781624690297
Big Time Rush is offered as part of a 7-book series.

This and my other 10 books are educational tools that will entice your child/student to read and learn more about the world – and hopefully read more!

If you have questions about these books or my other titles, please let me know. Information about my 3 Greek gods books, biographies on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and my Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia is available throughout this blog.

I love providing fascinating reading material for kids! Woo hoo!


Middle Schooler Inspired by My Book, Celebrities Giving Back!

Victoria loved my book Celebrities Giving Back.

Victoria loved my book Celebrities Giving Back.

I love to talk to kids who like to read, especially when they like to read my books! Call me Proud—I am proud of my 11 non-fiction Middle Grade books. They range in subject from Greek gods to biographies on Taylor Swift to stories of famous people who help others.

Victoria liked my book called Celebrities Giving Back (Mitchell Lane). She said, “I read Mrs. Reusser’s book about Celebrities helping the needy. This book inspired me to be a better person. In the book I seen Oprah and Mr. Obama.”

Thanks, Victoria, for your kind words! I know you will help many people in your life. Books can inspire us to do good.

What book have you read that inspires you to do good?

I’m available to speak at libraries and schools. Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter or my website contact page for more information.

Greek God Hephaestus Knows What It’s Like to be Different

Hephaestus by Kayleen Reusser (Mitchell Lane Pub) Hephaestus by Kayleen Reusser (Mitchell Lane Pub)[/caption]

Did you ever feel different from everyone else?
The Greek god Hephaestus felt different because he was different! In Greek mythology he was made the god of the forge.

More importantly, he was the only Greek god who had to deal with a deformity. All of the Greek gods and goddesses were perfect and beautiful. Only Hephaestus had a disability.

It was interesting to me while doing research on Hephaestus to discover the Greeks created a god with a deformity. Of course, as you’ll see in the story below, he did not come by it naturally. Some people in modern day may be able to relate to his situation.

Even though Hephaestus had problems relating to people due to a bad temper, I felt sorry for him. Hephaestus was a complex chap. I’ve written two other books on Greek gods for Grades 4-8: Hades, Hermes.

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser


Hades by Kayleen Reusser

Hades by Kayleen Reusser

Shh! Don’t tell Hades and Hermes because they might get mad at me, but my book on Hephaestus may have been my favorite book about Greek mythology.

This excerpt of Chapter 1 from my book called Hephaestus (Mitchell Lane Publishing) lays the groundwork for his problems. What do you think about Hephaestus? Should we feel sorry for him? If your library does not carry this title, please ask a librarian to order it.
ISBN: 9781584157496



Chapter 1 – The First Fall

The heavy hammer slammed against the fiery-hot anvil, creating sparks in the blackened cave. Bent low over his work, Hephaestus (hi-fes-tuhs) barely noticed the raucous noise. Day after day, he stood in front of the forge, heating metal in the flames until it glowed red, orange, yellow, and finally white. At that stage Hephaestus knew the metal had softened and could be molded.

After years of swinging a heavy hammer at his anvil, Hephaestus’ huge muscles glistened from sweat. Bending, twisting, he held the hot piece with a pair of tongs, pounding gold and bronze sections into a variety of resplendent and useful items.

The metal might become a nail, sword, or even a goddess’ canopy bed. The Greek god of the forge could create them all.

Usually Hephaestus worked on assignment, making items others had requested. A long list awaited his attention, but Hephaestus’ current project took priority.

He was making a throne for his mother Hera (her-uh). 1 The royal seat he had designed would delight the queen of the gods, Hephaestus knew, as it was like no other in Olympus. Golden cuckoos and willow leaves decorated the back, a full moon hung above it, and a white fur adorned the seat. 2

Hephaestus smiled grimly as he pictured Hera’s pleased expression upon seeing the graceful throne. He had made it fancier than any of the other gods’ thrones on Mount Olympus. “When my mother sits on it,’ he chortled, “she will know how much I love her.”

Hephaestus’ reputation as the best blacksmith on Mount Olympus was well known. He had become skilled after spending years at his forge. Everyone knew Hephaestus preferred working at his forge than being with people.

Hephaestus’ problems with people had started at birth.

Unlike the other gods and goddesses who were born beautiful and perfectly formed, Hephaestus had entered the world with a humped back and skinny legs that stuck out from his torso like toothpicks. Black hair covered his body and Hephaestus’ swarthy face looked pinched as a raisin. 3

Hera was mortified at her baby’s appearance. How could she, queen of the gods, have produced something so ugly? Hephaestus fussed constantly, annoying Hera further. Greatly aggravated, she put Hephaestus and his crib in a closet in the back of her palace to keep from hearing his pitiful cries.

Hera couldn’t escape the guffaws of ridicule from the other gods. “Hera has birthed the ugliest child in all Olympus!” they cried until Hera wanted to plug her ears.

Hera strode furiously back and forth in her chambers. “First a babe that cries like a banshee and now a passel of gods who laugh at me!” she shrieked. Hera’s face burned with shame. “That ugly son has brought nothing but trouble to me,” she told herself. Hera’s anger towards Baby Hephaestus grew daily, even as she ignored him in the room where he stayed.

One day, Hephaestus cried so much Hera’s ears hurt. Hera’s temper erupted. She stormed into Hephaestus’ closet, picked him up, and threw him out the window. “Never again will the other gods laugh at me!” she cried.

‘Teens Giving Back’ Workshop Offers Ideas for Helping

Speaking to students at volunteering workshop at Allen County (IN) Public Library

Speaking to students at volunteering workshop at Allen County (IN) Public Library

Yesterday Jeannie Johnson of the Creative Women of the World shop ( and I conducted a free workshop on Fair Trade and ways to volunteer to help others, especially poor people around the world.
Jeannie Johnson showed items made by people around the world from recycled items.

Jeannie Johnson showed items made by people around the world from recycled items.

The workshop, attended by 20 homeschooled teens at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne Indiana, was a monthly meeting organized by librarian extraordinaire Cathy Lambert of the YA Department at the library.

Lovely Cathy Lambert, YA librarian at Allen Co Public Library, brings enthusiasm to her homeschoolers' meetings.

Lovely Cathy Lambert, YA librarian at Allen Co Public Library, brings enthusiasm to her homeschoolers’ meetings.

This is my fourth annual workshop for Cathy focusing on books (See June 2010-2012 Allen County Public Library posts for photos of our Greek god costume contest and Indonesia cooking session and learning what it’s like to be an author).
Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser

Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser

This year I talked about my book Celebrities Giving Back (Mitchell Lane Publishing) and ways famous people like Tony Hawke have established foundations to help people. I also mentioned my book Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia as it includes craft items that could be made for sale at fundraisers.
Free caps made by Stitches of Hope volunteers and given to people with cancer.

Free caps made by Stitches of Hope volunteers and given to people with cancer.

I showed the students two crocheted caps made by a charity I support called

We make and distribute free handmade caps to people who lose hair from cancer and other illnesses. So far, we’ve given away 5,000 caps to places around the US, including Alaska! Several students mentioned places they had volunteered and I encouraged them to do more volunteering this summer or when they have opportunities.

Jeannie holds a laptop bag made from a recycled feed sack.

Jeannie holds a laptop bag made from a recycled feed sack.

Jeannie brought an assortment of items from Creative Women of the World, a shop she and other concerned individuals from Fort Wayne have recently opened in downtown Fort Wayne. It is a beautiful shop worthy a trip!
Students loved inspecting recycled items for sale at Creative Women of the World.

Students loved inspecting recycled items for sale at Creative Women of the World.

The items for sale have all been made by impoverished people from around the world—Tajikistan, Uganda, Haiti, Nepal are just a few of the countries represented with handmade items including jewelry, home décor and coffee and chocolate.

What was really fascinating was what the non-edible items are made from – Coke bottle caps, abandoned tires, gum wrappers, pop can tabs, even cassette tape film!

Recyled items available for purchase at Creative Women of the World shop

Recyled items available for purchase at Creative Women of the World shop

The kids could not always figure out what natural resources /recycled products were used, but they loved everything!
Students holding items for sale at Creative Women of the World

Students holding items for sale at Creative Women of the World

Prices are reasonable at the store. I had shopped there for Christmas and my recipients were thrilled with the jewelry items!

I hope you will consider volunteering to help someone today and/or joining a group that helps people. It’s fun to work together to help people earn their way out of poverty. What do you do to volunteer to help people around you and around the world?
Take care,