Friday Friends: Jenny Burke

Happy Friday, Friends!  It is my honor to host authors, readers, and book lovers on Fridays. Today I am delighted to introduce you to author Jenny Burke! Jenny writes fascinating fiction AND creates beautiful jewelry.  I am ordering some earrings and I can’t wait to read her books!

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Welcome, Jenny!
1.So, what have you written?

First, thank you for inviting me to be on your marvelous blog!

I’ve written two stand-alone books in the Dragon Dreamer series. There are two books in the Crystal Science educational series (used in school systems). I’ve nearly completed an adult coloring book with the fantasy snowflakes that my dragons grow in the winter clouds.

The Dragon Dreamer books have clean science fantasy adventure. They’re layered for readers age 9 to 99. This series of stand-alone books can be read on many levels. One reviewer wrote that the Dragon Dreamer story has a “profound human message.” Another mentions a 2-yr-old obsessed with the octopus heroine Scree. He’s made a Healer bag like Scree’s and wants to be an octopus for Halloween. Several reviews recommend these books for all ages.

 

2.What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart?

I love art, science, math, writing, music, history. I work to protect the environment and I support “being” rights. We’re “human beings”, an octopus is an “ocean being”, dogs and cats are “furry beings”. All beings deserve to be treated with consideration.

3.Are you a Pantser or a Planner?

I do some planning, but I’m more of a pantster. My characters tell me their stories and I write them.

4.Tell us about your love of marine biology.

The sea is vast, beautiful, exotic, and much remains unexplored. I decided when I was eight years old to become a marine biologist, so I studied science and math. When my science funding fell through, I supported myself as an artist to get my degrees.

I love marine biology! I’ve conducted research onboard ships and while diving; my research papers are published in science journals. This career is a good fit for anyone with many interests!

The Dragon Dreamer books share my love of the sea and allow me to be more creative. Arak, a misfit golden dragon, loves “the smell and taste of sea spray, the rhythmic sound of the waves, and the remarkable colors. Sunrise waves were purple and rose. Sometimes the sea sparkled like a field strewn with cut diamonds.”

5.What is one unusual thing about you?

Art is my first love. I drew illustrations for my research papers and cartoons for my Crystal education books. I painted the covers for my Dragon Dreamer books and drew a fantasy flake or illustration for each chapter. I’ve made a line of jewelry based on the Dragon Dreamer books. So, I must like Art as much as Science. Both are based on patterns.

6.What music inspires you?

I love Pachelbel’s Canon played on the harp! This is tied to many memories.

7.How many books did you read last year?

I read about 20 books; not as many as I’d like to read! I also read perhaps 100 articles to learn more.

9.What are you working on right now?

I’m drawing more fantasy snowflakes for my coloring book and writing Book III of the Dragon Dreamer series. It’s fun to see the world through the eyes of a dragon or an octopus!

10.What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?

I watch “Dr. Who” and re-runs of “The Big Bang Theory.” I like things a bit off-beat and with humor, when possible.

11.Do you have a theme song?

Perhaps “Octopus’ Garden” by the Beatles. J

12.What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

Start writing sooner!

13. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Thank you Denise and everyone who stops by and reads this!

BIO:
J. S. Burke is an author, artist, chemist, teacher, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. Her stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. She lives in Georgia with her family and rescue companions.

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from her years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. This science fantasy series has flying dragons, an undersea world, and unexpected friendships.

Crystal Geometry has hands-on activities that use the angles of beautiful crystals to explore chemistry and geometry. Crystal Colors has math and science activities with shells, crystals, and a huge fossil shark’s tooth. The sea finds a way to enter.

 

 

MEDIA LINKS:

Author Website: http://www.jennysburke.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8283255.J_S_Burke
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.-S.-Burke/e/B00NVRVHWE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jenny-S-Burke-721518861218158/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDragonDreamr
Google+: https://plus.google.com/109374949212770892369

BOOK LINKS FOR THE DRAGON DREAMER:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Dreamer-J-S-Burke-ebook/dp/B00K9DHTU2/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Dreamer-J-S-Burke/dp/0996042504/
Amazon CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/Dragon-Dreamer-J-S-Burke-ebook/dp/B00K9DHTU2/
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/ebook/Dragon-Dreamer-J-S-Burke/B00K9DHTU2/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22886684-the-dragon-dreamer
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dragon-dreamer-j-s-burke/1120629824
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-dragon-dreamer/id933034842
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-dragon-dreamer

BOOK LINKS FOR DRAGON LIGHTNING:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MA1ZOJ6/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Dragon-Lightning-Dreamer-Book/0996042563/
Amazon CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/Dragon-Lightning-Dreamer-Book-ebook/dp/B01MA1ZOJ6/
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/Dragon-Lightning-Dreamer-Book-ebook/dp/B01MA1ZOJ6/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32598789-dragon-lightning
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-lightning-j-s-burke/1124857029
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1166420789
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dragon-lightning

 

My Alaskan Cruise: Day 4

Good Morning, and Happy Fourth of July!

Today my daughter and I are heading out to port early, as she has selected a shore excursion for just the two of us.  The rest of the family will head into town later for the Fourth of July Parade and then they are all taking an excursion together in the afternoon.

My daughter and I dress quickly and quietly and head out to the buffet.  Today there are strange mascots about- we pose with a couple of them, but it will cost $19.99 for that photo, later.  We search for Fruit Loops, alas, we search in vain.  It is a Frosted Flakes kind of day. I am delighted to have this special time with just me and my daughter.  She is such a joy, in all of her eight year old wisdom and playfulness. IMG_3304We are running slightly late, so we opt for the golf cart ride from our end of the pier, past the other two ships, and to the port. She says, I hope no one in our family gets jealous of us riding this golf cart today!

Fortunately, the excursion meeting points are literally just off the pier. Someone asks us if we are here for zip-lining.  Not today! I zip-lined last year on Guam.  My daughter is so excited as they give us our wrist bands, tokens for gold panning, and drive us through town. We learn that a gallon of milk costs about $7.00  in Skagway.  Wow.

We are on the Gold-Panning, Dog Musher, 40-Below excursion, which is a visit to Klondike Gold Fields park. IMG_3917[1]

Our first activity is the Dog Mushing.  We watch a video and visit with an actual Dog Musher who participated in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.  This is a neat opportunity to learn about what they do.  My uncle participated in the Iditarod race in 1987, finishing 34th. What an accomplishment!  From here we meat another established musher, and he shows us to a training run round the loop, and we get to meet and hold the puppies!  Ohmigosh they are so cute!  And this dog musher is not bad, either, amIright?IMG_3918[1].JPG

From here we visit a 40-Below Chamber.  We don borrowed parkas and basically step into a freezer.  There is also a simulation of the Northern Lights.  It sure is cold.  Brr!

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Finally, we get our turn with the “pay dirt.”  My daughter has been so looking forward to this part.  She even cleared a wide space on her special shelf in her bedroom before we left, saying, “This is for my gold.”  We each get a little, but she is delighted.  After we put our specks into the little film canisters, it’s time to visit the assayer.  I tell my daughter that my grandfather, her great-grandfather, was the Chief Assayer at the San Francisco Mint.  It’s pretty cool to have a family connection to these professions we are meeting today.  She beams over her $7.77 worth of gold, and I purchase the special display case for her.  I must say, $7.77 is pretty lucky!

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As we bus back into town, the rest of the family is also returning to the boat from the parade.  We get to dine together and share our stories, before heading out to town again.

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They will visit a proper Dog Musher training facility, and we will explore town. We have been given a map with coupons from the ship or maybe the pier staff, I forget which.  My daughter uses it like a treasure map, and we collect a poncho, a totem pole charm, and a train charm for her.  I pick up a tanzanite necklace (free), tanzanite studs, and an icicle stretch ring for like $15.  It’s so cute how they call Mystic Topaz “Northern Lights” up here. The town is alive with the Fourth of July festivities, and we observe a tug of war in the street.  We enjoy some old-timey music outside the Red Dog Saloon, and pick up some super-cool sun-activated color souvenirs at Del Sol, before heading back to the ship.

We bring our paints and art supplies back up to the Windjammer.  We set up shop near a panoramic window, and enjoy watercoloring.  We honor my friend Noel who watercolored on her travels, before she passed away. I highly encourage painting along your travels.

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Here are some pics from the family at their dog mushing excursion.  More puppies!

We all dine together in the Sapphire Dining Room. The girls have a system where they trade vegetables.  After dinner, we enjoy Shirley Temples and watch the magician show in the Theater.

 

And finally, we happen to pass by Karaoke singalong as they are playing “We Are Family,” so me and my daughter step up to the mic.  I know this is what you have all been waiting for, right?  Here’s our lil video!  So much fun!

I get the kids in bed and then step out for a late night dessert with my husband.  Someone recognizes me in the elevator from Karaoke.  That’s always fun. 🙂 We are enjoying these cheesecake lolly-pop’s in Café Promenade. And we are happy with this day.  Tomorrow there will be glaciers!  I can’t wait to show you the amazing pics of the glacier just off our balcony!.