Authors · Book Reviews · My Life in General

If You Give Children’s Author James Riley a Book Review…

You happily end up with James Riley sending you an email about the post.

Which makes you think it can’t possibly be James Riley.

Which leads to you writing a succinct letter along the lines of “Oh, yeah? Right-o. Prove it, mister.”

Which he does.

Which means that the alleged James Riley emailing you is indeed James Riley.

Which makes you think maybe you should have been nicer in the first email.

Which he doesn’t hold against you because he’s amiable.

Which is fortunate because your daughter would never forgive you for ticking off James Riley.

Which encourages another email.

Which results in your daughter and her best friend receiving the best surprise in the mailbox ever (at least, if we’re judging by the sound barrrier being broken by screams)…

Which contains autographed copies of James Riley’s Half Upon a Time and Twice Upon a Time.

(And she totally peeked at the dedication on her bestie’s book, too. I know. Total squealer mom. Team Phillip indeed, Mr. James Riley.)

Which ends up in her increased screaming of joy.

Which led her to calling her best friend… and more shouts of happiness and some hyperventilation on the part of the best friend.

Which had the girls just even more eager to talk all things Half Upon a Time and Twice Upon a Time-ish.

Which made the best friends spend most of their girl-talk time drawing Team Jack tee-shirts and discussing the “clues” that James Riley wrote in their books.

Which ends up in an increasingly rambunctious (yes, that’s the right word to describe it) conversation.

Which makes the other mothers in the playgroup look at you quizzically.

Which ends up in a long explanation from you about the books, James Riley, and the wonders of social media.

Which surprises them. (The affability of James Riley, I mean. That surprised them. They don’t care about social media. Sigh.)

Which inspires some mothers to write down the name of the books, so they can go to Amazon later and buy them. (Word-of-mouth marketing at its finest, I tell ya.)

Which makes you send James Riley another email.

Which will be another post in a few days…



10 thoughts on “If You Give Children’s Author James Riley a Book Review…

    1. Yes. Child-like? A lovely trait… (as opposed to childish, which is something completely different)…

  1. More authors should be so gracious, right? 🙂

    And I can vouch for it all, as I witnessed the spectacle of joyful rambunctiousness yesterday. Loved that….

  2. Okay, so being one of the moms who wrote down the information, I promptly bought in for my Kindle and… just finished the second book today.. Wow what a journey!

    1. Meghan!

      So nice to see you here. (hugs) And aren’t the books SO. MUCH. FUN. And, yes, it’s been a total journey. I won’t write the spoiler here, but the ending is just like YAY and ARGHHHH, MY HEART….

      Glad you liked the books. (Oh, did you see the James Riley interview here?

      We need to get a book club going once the third one is out. 🙂

  3. I loved those books! They are, in a way, inspirational! How did u find his email?
    I hope that question doesn’t look as stalker like as I think it does. 😀

    1. Agreed! We definitely love those books here at Casa Jarski.

      The question doesn’t sound too stalker-y… 😉 The best way is to go to the main page of Riley’s blog ( and click on “Contact” on the bottom right. A window should pop up in your email program to be able to email him.

      Happy writing!

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