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Monday, November 30, 2009

Update from the weekend and more!

I hope that you enjoyed a great thanksgiving this past week. I was able to reflect on my blessings and enjoy lots of time with family and even friends. My friend from college showed up to my signing at Borders Express/Great Lakes Crossings Mall on Saturday with her niece Skylar. Skylar's official birthday is Monday...a big Happy B-day to her. She was treated to the "Who I Am" series by her aunt and I gave her a Janelle glitter pen. The staff at the signing was great and I truly enjoyed signing out books for so many great people over the weekend.

If you would like to come and see me and get a signed copy of my are in luck! I will be at Briarwood Mall (Ann Arbor) in the Borders/Waldens bookstore this Saturday from 12-2! The first 15 people that mention this blog post will get a free gift! I hope that you are there.
In honor of cyber Monday I am throwing in a special gift for all orders of "Who I Am" merchandise purchased on my blog today...remember these books and accessories make great gifts!
Read something great!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Janelle & Zoey!

What Janelle is thankful for: I am thankful for my mom & dad! I am thankful for my best friend Zoey. I am thankful for my cat & dog. The book that brought me into your lives was the first in the "Who I Am" series and I am more than thankful for you-the reader! I am blessed, I am short for my age, I am a girl who loves to talk and I am more than just a color or two! Happy Thanksgiving!
What Zoey is thankful for: I am thankful for my new family which includes my mom, dad & brother! They are the best! I am so thankful for Janelle and my teacher Mrs. Deneen! I don't have any pets but that's okay because I can play with Janelle's anytime that I want to. I guess my biggest thing to be thankful for is that 100% Real is a book mostly about me! Have you read it yet? Make sure that you do!
-Read something great!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twas The Night before Thanksgiving

Readers! I am thankful for you! Tomorrow is the big day and my gift to you is a poem that I thought would make you smile (disclaimer) I am not a poet!

Read something great!

The Night Before Thanksgiving
By Tara Michener

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and look at my house
this place is so messy hope there is no mouse

The dishes are piled all the way in the air
and I still have so much food to prepare

The guests will help themselves to pies and breads
While thoughts of more gym time will be in their heads

I need my hair done but I threw on a cap
maybe while I'm under the dryer I'll take a short nap

I started banging pots and pans and made such a clatter
I lamented that after Thursday I would surely be fatter

The day will come and go like a flash
Then on Saturday I'll be signing books in a dash

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Lots of little kids who want their books signed so dear

I'll sign at the mall and try to be quick
I'll be sure to have my sharpie never a BIC

But until Saturday I'll focus on dinner and try to stay lucid
Now potatoes, now rolls now tofukey and all
I hope I have enough to feed them all

My crock pot was boiling over like a brew
A house full of food and so much to do

And then, in a twinkling, I thought of my roof
and happily felt blessed to serve in spirit and truth

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, I noticed all of the blessings around.
I had great things and they would get done I needed to stay put
I said a small prayer and stopped tapping my foot

A bundle of food lay still in it's pack
And I smiled as I lined up the to-do's in a stack

My eyes -- how they twinkled! I no longer felt scary
I began to prepare the pies apple and cherry

I made things fancy adding a bow
and wondered if tomorrow would bring our first snow

I dug out our decorations and found our wreath
Now I was grinning and showing my teeth

I ignored my diet and embraced my little round belly
That shook, as I laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

The turkey looked pretty and plump, like art on the shelf
And I laughed when I saw it in spite of myself;

A tasted the gravy and tried out the bread
Yep I realized I had nothing to dread;

I stopped feeling bad and finished my work
And wrote cards so fast I felt like a clerk

Laying the bread in the dish that I chose
I gave a nod, when I saw how it rose

My hubby came in and looked impressed and gave a whistle
I gave him a kiss as I held up the toe of mistle

But I heard him exclaim, as he ran out of sight
I can't wait to watch the game tomorrow night

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So you think you can network??

Over the last 24 hours I have been on a true challenge. I committed myself to social networking for a whole day. I tweeted, facebooked used Linked In, emails and of course my blog for more hours than I ever have in one day consistently. I decided to take this feat on because I realized that our global economy allows us to connect directly with our readers...all of the time! I figured I would take some time from my schedule and truly stay plugged in to give 24 hours around the clock attention to you my readers!
Okay I had a few breaks...which were needed tremendously but I think this may have been a harder challenge than my 1/2 marathon that I ran this year. My tenacity rsulted in more facebook friends, twitter followers and Linked In users and I'm impressed to say that even more people are following my blog after my adventure.
It's not all about the numbers though...I was able to chat with people that I have never met but who love my books and the message that they bring. I received inquiries to meet up in person and collaborate with more people. I was able to remind many people that I don't always have access to to come and see me on Saturday at Great Lakes Crossings Mall at Borders Express from 12-2. I enjoyed listening as well. The other perk that few realize is that our global communications allow us to listen to our base. I read other blogs, tweets and statuses that I would normally miss. I was inspired by quotes, informed by articles and humored by jokes.
The challenge is complete and I'm glad that I did it! We should always push ourselves past our limits from time to time.
Read something great!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What a great weekend!!

I had the pleasure of kicking off this past weekend with those closest to me and near & dear to my heart...the teens that we have mentored over the past year. We had a Thankful Party complete with turkey dogs and burgers (veggie options for me) and celebrated the upcoming holiday. We played games, chatted and made sure before everyone left they thought of something that they were thankful for. This group of young people has been so inspirational to me and my hubby/illustrator (the hubistrator!).
It is a blessing to see so many young people strive to do what is right as opposed to doing what is easy. Thanks to Romika, Chris, Wes, Alex, Adasia, LaSaesha and Tony joining us to make this event a great one!
On Saturday I was inspired by the ladies of the Black Women In Business Brainstorm! A great group of women who are doing great things professionally and creatively showed up and networked with me at our monthly breakfast meeting. I am so happy to have new members join our number! Welcome to Adra Young, Tracie Christian, Lori S. Robinson, Adele Nieve, and Sherie Brooks.
Saturday afternoon I was able to join in with literacy efforts all over the country and be a part of the National Day Of Reading! We met at the Northville Public Library and had great chocolate and discussions about our favorite books old and new. I found it interesting how much I had in common with Annie an 11 year old who loves Judy Blume! Isn't it great how reading bridges gaps?!
This weekend save the date for my book signing at Great Lakes Crossings Mall in the Borders Express! I will be signing copies of the "Who I Am" series from 12-2.
I can't wait to chat more! Read something great.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Young guest blogger....with a purpose!

I had the pleasure of networking with an inspiring young lady and thought that my readers could profit from her story and her dedication to literacy. Riley will share why it was important to her at the age of sixteen to have a book of her own and to make a difference for others with her literacy efforts. Riley is our guest blogger today and her words are unbolded below...Enjoy & Read something great!

It was important to me to try to get published for a number of reasons:

First, I think I wrote a great fantasy adventure story, which I loved writing and which I loved reading enough to edit it repeatedly, and I’d really like to share that story with other kids.

Second, I am very involved in children’s literacy and I think a lot of kids stop reading between the ages of eight and fifteen, especially boys, and I think the fantasy genre keeps those readers interested and engaged in reading. It was important to me to publish because I hope that a boy or girl somewhere enjoys my stories enough to keep on reading.

Third, some of the proceeds from my books sales go to my nonprofit for literacy, Breaking the Chain.

Fourth, because I’ve written and published books, I am able to go to schools to speak. I am speaking at schools around the country to students in grades 3-8, and I talk to them about writing books and about literacy and Breaking the Chain. I hope to make them aware of how important their education is, what their lives would be like without an education, and to encourage them to take ownership over their own education.

I am passionate about promoting global literacy because I believe that the way to help people, especially children, break the cycle of poverty and exploitation is through literacy.

I created my nonprofit for literacy, Breaking the Chain, when I was fourteen, after learning that there are 120 million children around the world don’t have the opportunity get an education and that there are 800 million adults that cannot read or write, two-thirds of whom are women. These women and children are very vulnerable to exploitation. They are unable to get jobs and they cannot feed or clothe themselves. Only through education do they have the opportunity to make their lives better.

The mission of Breaking the Chain try to eliminate the bonds of poverty and illiteracy for children and their communities through education and sustainable development, both domestically and internationally. Building schools in places where the government cannot or will not build schools for their citizens seemed like a good place to begin. I adopted two villages in Africa, one in Kenya and one in Sierra Leone; I was able to raise enough money to build a school for each village, and to provide both villages with a water purification system. I’ve also created a children’s literacy center at a women’s shelter in Colorado, and bought over 1000 new children’s books for Reach Out and Read and The Heart of America Foundation.

This year, Breaking the Chain achieved tax-exempt status and my older brother, Nick, who is twenty, joined me (I wasn’t old enough to sit on the Board of Directors or to file the paperwork with the IRS).

I am really excited about our new projects this year. We have adopted another village in Sierra Leone, and will provide the funds to build a school and a water purification system there. We are also developing a domestic program which I think can have a direct affect on kids in the United States. It’s more difficult to dramatically impact children’s literacy in the United States because we already have schools in place, but many schools in the U.S. have very low reading proficiency rates. We are going try to have an impact on those kids. We hope to have that program in place within the next month or two.

As for my books, The Fire Stone is the first book in The Reign of the Elements series and it was just released. There are five books in the series and I have written all of them. The book is for ages nine to about fifteen, but even adults like teen fiction so there’s really no age limit. It is fast-paced and exciting, but the characters are very real; I think kids relate really well to my characters because my fifteen/sixteen-year-old voice resonates with them. I’ve also written the first book of an urban fantasy trilogy and I’m currently working on the second book.

Donations to Breaking the Chain are tax deductible and they are very welcome - even a small amount can make an enormous difference. You can find out how to donate at:

My other websites are:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I was so blessed to be able to be a guest on WDET 101.9 Detroit Today Radio program! I was able to be interviewed by Craig Fahle and talk about the motivation behind the "Who I Am" series and the programs and groups associated with Tara Michener Industries, LLC.
On this Saturday from 3-5 I will be at the Northville Public Library hosting the I love Literacy Party, an event that celebrates reading!
This event is in connection with The National Day Of Reading. People all over America will be joining together in book groups, chats and discussions about the joy of reading. My event in Northville is free and I hope to see you there!
On Monday November 23-24 from 12 noon till 12 noon I will be engaged in a 24 hour marathon of social networking. Many of you are familiar with my love of Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. I want to challenge myself to be available to my readers for a whole day and blog about the results!
Saturday November 28th join me at Great Lakes Crossings Mall in Auburn Hills at the Borders Express as I sign copies of my book series from 12-2.
Hope to see you all!!
Read something great.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Access to "Who I Am"

If you enjoy my blog and the updates that I post I want to make sure that you know I am online on various sites! If you are active on Facebook or Twitter you can also access pictures, updates and info about "Who I Am" events from these social networking tools. My Facebook page is

And if you are interested in following my updates on Twitter you can find me at

It is so important to me to keep you aware of all things "Who I Am"!
Many great things are on the horizon for this year and I am grateful that you are apart of these exciting events!
Read something Great!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little Girls, Big Dreams Update & More!!!

Little Girls, Big Dreams Fall Literacy Project was a big success and I owe that to many of you! The girls were extremely excited to meet an author from the area and to receive books and pens to encourage them to keep reading & writing!
I want to specifically thank:
The Thomas Family
Cleaner Options Dry Cleaning Service
Gerald Bricker
Traci Sincock
Georgia Conrad
Harriet Kirsch
Herman Smith of ECO-Testing LLC
Zach & Justin Norgrove
Kimberly Crafton
Karen Stewart, Stewart Law Office, Novi MI
The Klinger Family
Bill & Tammy Adams
Caroline Vacketta
Final Destinations LLC
Tearza Martin of Bryce Avery Designs LLC
Eric & Nicole Roll
Tanyeka & Que B Buchanan
Chad Talo
The Black Women In Business Brainstorm
Because of your contributions these young ladies are very happy and ready to be stars in Literacy!!
Read something Great!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My dream come true....

I have been anticipating tomorrow for a very long time. This summer I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder of "Little Girls, Big Dreams" A literacy non-profit for girls in Pontiac, MI. We decided on giving these hardworking young ladies a treat from me a home-grown author....books from the "Who I Am" series.
I am thrilled to have a private book signing just for them tomorrow at their after-school program. My goal is to encourage them to keep up the good work and not to give up. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who donated books to this program to make it successful!
I will be sure to share your kind gesture with the young ladies tomorrow. It is not enough to dream for yourself.
Dreams have to be big enough to share with others!
These girls have made one of my dreams come true!
Read something great!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a featured author at "Writer's On The River" One of the biggest Author Fair's in Michigan. I was so pleased to see old and new faces at my "Who I Am" table. It is amazing that Brooke, Kristin, Jenna and Jaylynn came to tell me that they really loved getting their "Who I Am Not What I Am" books last year and that they were excited to see the newest book in the series.
This fair had a very big showing of educators, community members and children and was very well attended. Jason Michener, My illustrator and husband was the balloon king as he decorated fancy pictures for those who bought my series.
I was so pleased to see fellow members of the SCBWI-MI group and meet new friends that write for children as well.
One of my happiest moments was talking to Carol McCloud, (The Bucket Filler Lady) Author of The Bucket Filler series. Carol and I have known each other almost ten years and she had been an extraordinary friend that gave me lots of wisdom and advice during my early career and college years. It was fantastic to see her and to do a book swap with her. I hope that you enjoy the pictures from this fun event and if you missed it maybe I will see you on November 28th at the Borders Express, in Great Lakes Crossings Mall! Save the date I will be there from 12-2!
Read something great!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Dream update...

Hi All!
On Wednesday I blogged about Little Girls, Big Dreams, the non-profit literacy organization in Pontiac Michigan. I have a new update on donations. Because of the generosity of our readers and those in the community our numbers are lower!
We now need 2 copies of "Who I Am Not What I Am" and 8 copies of 100% Real to reach our goal! Thank you so much for those who believe in sharing the gift of reading with the young girls of this great group!
Please pass this message on to those in your circle so that we can get the 10 books we need to allow these young girls to have a successful event with a published author. It certainly takes a village and I appreciate that the readers of this blog are indeed that village to help and assist with the literacy needs of those in the community.
Time is running out so please pass the word. Remember you can purchase the books for the girls under the paypal function on this page that is marked "Choose a book (s) to donate".
November is the time when many remember their blessings and in turn give back to those in need. I am thankful to have a platform to give back and to give others the opportunity to do the same!
Read Something Great!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Helping Little Girls reach their Big Dreams...

November 12th I will be going to Pontiac, MI. My hometown to celebrate and to motivate the girls of Little Girls, Big Dreams. This is a charitable organization that promotes Literacy in young girls ages 1st-4th grade. I am so proud of these young people that have worked so hard to embrace the love of reading, writing, comprehension and today's technology.
The best part is that I will leave these girls with books from the "Who I Am" series signed by me but purchased by their surrounding communities, businesses, families and individuals that also want to see them succeed. I am happy to say that we are almost at our goal for giving every girl one of each of the books that I have written. I am sad to say that we are not quite there yet.
We still need 3 more "Who I Am Not What I Am" books to be purchased and 9 more 100% Real books to be bought in order to reach our goal of every girl getting two books.
Please look to the pay pal panel and choose a book or two to give to this awesome group of girls.
I think that it is important for them to know that it everyone is pulling for their success even those that they do not know.
If you have questions please feel free to email me at
Read something great!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I enjoy being an author for many reasons one of the best... is meeting my readers!
I will be signing books this Sunday at a great literary event in Monroe!
"Writers On The River" is an annual author fair that features authors & illustrators from many genres...old & new to the industry!
Last year was my first year on board as an author and I was lucky and blessed to be able to sit next to the great illustrator Cyd Moore. She was extremely friendly and gave me lots of advice and of course I could not leave the event without purchasing her picture book "Willow".
I sold books but I came home with quite a few myself because the talent at this event is amazing. If you are looking for a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon...join us at the Monroe Library from 12-3.
It has been a wonderful treat for me to be able to share the "Who I Am" series at this top-notch author fair! I hope to see you there!
Read something Great!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Thank-you's

It is that time of the year again where we remember to be grateful, thankful and mindful of our blessings. I have so many that it would take forever to list all of them but I will share a few with you! A great big thank you to the readers of the "Who I Am" series! This thanks should cover the bookstores, the schools, the community groups and libraries that hosted events to include my collection of books that promote diversity & self-esteem in children. Of course, my books would not be able to thrive without the wonderful children that support Zoey & Janelle (my main characters). My new illustrator, Jason Michener has visually allowed 100% Real to be the talk of the town and since this is his second job I just want to add a special thanks for all of his hard work and tenacity on this project.
I have many more people to thank but first I will ask you...who are you thankful for? Has someone helped your life in an incredible way? Have they encouraged you when times were tough? Loaned you some support in time of need? Think about those people close to you and savor their presence in your life as a gift. I realize that each day brings troubles but the blessings far outweigh the troubles.
Tonight Jason and I are going to put our troubles aside as well as our date night and we are going to read our books to children from a homeless shelter. Everyone needs support and if we can be a blessing to others it may help us to truly understand what thanksgiving is all about. We celebrate it in November but we should try to be mindful of our blessings and give back throughout the year. Enjoy this beautiful month of transition from Fall to Winter and share your blessings with someone in need.
Read something great!