Wednesday, December 19, 2012

May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris, by K.C. Frantzen

Today I welcome my friend, K.C. (Karen) Frantzen to the bayou. She is celebrating her second middle grade book in her May the K-9 Spy series. Actually, the book is written by May, the schnauzer, but since May doesn't have thumbs, her mom has to do the actual typing.

Dognapped! An enterprising escape, a perilous mission…
After going astray during K9 Service boot camp, May is captured and tries to find a way to the American Embassy in Paris.
Join her and LĂ©once, a feral cat, as they sniff out an evil plot leading from Benjamin Franklin’s park through the historic Passy Cemetery to The Pantheon… including a journey under the city!
“Kids of all ages will thrill to this fast-paced adventure as May encounters the heart of friendship, the nobility of sacrifice and love of country.” Vince Mooney, retired Air Force K9 flight leader, handler and trainer of two magnificent German Shepherds featured in NATO Day dog shows

Listen to an excerpt

KC and May worked with TW Vanya, the illustrator, to create this beautifully written and illustrated hard cover book.


Reader comments:

“I have to tell you that you are one special lady … reaching out to kids and sharing ‘some basic truths’ through your books.”
“Thank you for May Finds a Way. Very enjoyable. Waiting for Book 3, coming soon I hope.”

"Sat down yesterday to start reading your Second book...did not move until I was finished. It was just WONDERFUL !!! Felt like I was in Paris with you Miss May !!! Great read...Highly recommend both Miss May's books to everyone !! Love Ya !!!! Woof, Woof!!"
"I just finished May's second book. What a great read. I'm ordering several as Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Lots of life lessons and making good decisions from a position of strength. My granddaughters gave the first book 4 thumbs up. I can't wait to see their faces when they discover the second book under their tree."
“I’m only on the first page and it already has me hooked.”

Check out May's web site

All photographs © KC Frantzen

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crawfish, their Burrows, and Yummy Recipes

Recently I was asked what these little mud chimneys were. So I decided it was a good subject for a Louisiana tidbit blog post.

Crawfish Burrows

If you live in Louisiana, you have certainly seen one of these little crawfish “chimneys.”

The most common species of crawfish builds their little burrows during the late summer and spends most of the fall and winter underground in water-filled tunnels. They move to open water in the spring where they can be found in roadside ditches and swamps, ponds, bayous, and lakes.

Why do crawfish build burrows?

It is thought that the crawfish has to burrow in order to keep warm and safe through the winter months. They have to stay in the water, so they dig deep enough that they are below the water table. Their “home” then becomes submerged in water. If the weather becomes too dry or too cold, they burrow deeper. Their tunnels can be as deep as three feet. Sometimes they burrow straight down and sometimes they have little side tunnels with rooms. The female crawfish will give birth in her burrow and carry them under her tail until she releases them in open water in the spring.

What are crawfish good for?

Crawfish are good at breaking down organic material. They eat on leaves and stems. They get their protein from microscopic organisms.

Crawfish are an important part of the Louisiana economy, where they keep fisherman working, as well as packing plants and restaurants. These little critters are shipped to restaurants around the nation so everyone can enjoy crawfish dishes, such as etoufee.

In Louisiana, it is a commonplace summer activity to invite your family and friends to a crawfish boil, where they are cooked in a large pot with vegetables.
Below are a couple of Louisiana crawfish dishes.