Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Janice Spina

Delighted to welcome award-winning children’s and thriller writer Janice Spina to the blog today to share the questions she has chosen to answer so that we can get to know her a little better.

Janice has been a long-term supporter of my blog and I am sure many of yours and always brightens my day when she visits.

Before we find out what Janice has to say, a look at the official biography for his lovely lady.

About Janice Spina

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with eleven children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish (won Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), Lamby the Lonely Lamb (won the Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards), and Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose (won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat. Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series (Book 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) is a middle-grade/preteen series.

Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone (won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite Awards). Book 2, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, also won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Book 5 won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a Silver Medal from Authorsdb Cover Contest.

Janice has published three novels under J. E. Spina, Hunting Mariah, a thriller/mystery, Mariah’s Revenge (Sequel to Hunting Mariah) a paranormal/mystery/romance novel, How Far Is Heaven, and a short story collection, An Angel Among Us, all available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is working on a children’s book, and a mystery series for YA girls to be published in 2018. She needs to edit a YA fantasy series which will be published in 2019 and beyond. Her husband is her illustrator and cover creator.

Now it is time to unveil the stories that Janice has chosen to share with us.

What is your favorite holiday destination and why?

Every year my husband and I travel to Aruba. This is by far our favorite place to vacation. If you have been there, you would, I’m sure, agree. Many people I’ve met who have vacationed in Aruba come back again and again. It’s addictive, the beautiful beaches, the gorgeous turquoise water, the fabulous food, the perfect weather, and the warm and friendly people.

Each year we return the Aruban people welcome us “home”. It certainly feels like a home away from home. When we leave they open their arms and exchanged hugs and warm wishes until we return again next year.

We have met lovely people and made some wonderful friends who we see each vacation. We go out together for dinners, hang out on the beach, soak in the water, solve the problems of the world, and have parties under our palapas (wooden huts or umbrellas). Just talking about it makes me nostalgic. Can’t wait to go back! Sigh!

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?

That’s a difficult question for me. I love them both. When I am in Aruba, it’s the beach. When I am home in New Hampshire, I love to visit the mountains, smell the crisp clear air, take long walks and enjoy the beauty, serenity, and majesty of the mountains. It’s the one place I feel closer to God.

We went to the mountains last year for my niece’s wedding overnight. It was glorious! The weather was in the fall, cool the first night but warm like summer the night of her wedding. It was a fantastic weekend with family, good food, and a gorgeous setting – an unforgettable view on top of Loon Mountain with the changing colors of the surrounding foliage in brilliant reds, oranges and yellows.

Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?

I have never played a musical instrument in public but fiddle around on my keyboard with one hand. I’ve have been trying to teach myself how to play for the past several years. Still haven’t learned more than how to place my right hand on the keys. I guess I am too busy with my writing, publishing and everything else that goes with it.

I have, however, sang in a choral group, part of the Sweet Adeline’s International Chorus out of Manchester, NH for about six months. We sang at a few local venues in NH. It was fun but I had to leave due to eye problems and driving at night. I love to sing but now limit my singing to the shower, in the car, while washing dishes or singing Happy Birthday to relatives. They can’t stop me then! Ha!

Sally here: This is an amazing International organisation, unfortunately I could not find a specific video for the Manchester chapter of the Sweet Adeline’s but here is an example of the standard of performance.

Have you got a secret talent that nobody knows about?

Well, that is funny. I used to do the limbo and won a contest in Aruba one year and another time on a cruise ship. It’s been years since I could get down without having trouble getting back up again!

My other secret talent is hula hooping. I can still do it for hours on end. I won local contests for keeping it going the longest at a local function hall and on cruise ships. I am known locally at this function hall as the hula hoop queen! Of course that was years ago! I am only hula hoop queen now in my own mind!

Sally here: If ever you feel like taking this amazing talent up again Janice, I am sure that you would be as popular as this artist….

    Coral Jade

What is your favorite childhood song and why?

When I was just a little girl I sang along as my grandfather played the mandolin. If you ever heard the beautiful sound of the mandolin, you would want to cry. It produces a magical sound like an angel singing. It even made me sound better than I did then. I haven’t thought about this song in years. It’s nice to bring back these special memories of my grandfather.

My grandfather was a talented musician. He played in a group and sang and my grandmother would often sing along with him. When we got together he would always ask me to sing with him as he played. I was thrilled to spend time with him in that way. No one else in my family enjoyed singing as much as I did and I did it every chance I could get.

The song I sang was, Que Sera Sera.

Thank you so much for having me on your fabulous blog, Sally. I enjoyed answering your five questions. They brought back happy memories in my life.

Janice is a prolific children’s book author and here are some of her books, including her latest release.

Janice’s latest book, illustrated as always by her husband John is Abby & Holly School Dance, book one of a brand new series, a spin off from Davey and Derek Junior Detectives.

About Abby & Holly School Dance

This is Book 1 of a series of Abby & Holly books. These two girls were first introduced in Book 5 of the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series.

The girls are first cousins on their mothers’ side. They moved to the quiet town of Lindon, New Hampshire and live in a grand old Victorian which is haunted.

The cousins are excited about attending the 6th grade dance. When their friend, Justine, is bullied, Abby and Holly, along with the help of a ghost and Davey & Derek, work together to formalize a plan to put a stop to the bullying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I loved Janice Spina’s new book “Abby and Holly, School Dance.” The writing style made you feel like you were enjoying the adventures of Abby, Holly and their friends. You’re sure to smile at the twins Derek and Davey’s shyness around Abby and Holly. It’s a delightful story. Trouble comes when one of their classmates, Justine, mysteriously becomes sick. How is the mystery solved? When Justine is bullied, how does the group of friends encourage the bullies to change their behavior. This is an enjoyable book teaches, families, and teens are sure to love and they are likely to remember not only the entertaining adventures, but the important message the story shares. Another wonderful book by Janice Spina.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

A small selection of children’s books by Janice Spina

Also as J.E. Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy

and on Amazon UK:

Find more reviews and follow Janice on Goodreads:

Connect to Janice


Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Janice would love to hear from you and answer any questions.. thanks Sally.

74 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Janice Spina

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Janice Spina | Jemsbooks

  2. Limbo and hula hoop in Aruba. You sound like a lot of fun, Janice. 🙂 Davey and Derek are in my kindle and ready for a read with Tornado Boy. I think he’s just the right age to give it a try. Lovely to learn more about you. Thanks for featuring another great author, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve read about Janice’s holidays on Aruba on her blog – sound like heaven. I used to be good at doing limbo – around 50 years ago. Amazing hula hoop video, Sally. If I could keep it round my waist for a few minutes I was doing well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Jazz, Noodles, Great Books and Mamma Mia! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. What a fabulous interview with Janice here. I enjoy Aruba too, so I know exactly what Janice means by good times. Just the hair thing right Janice? Lol. It’s so humid and always windy there giving us gals big, curly hair LOL. Oh, and Janice. I’ve used hoola hoops for exercise for years now. I”d love to challenge you one day. Game on girl! 🙂 ❤ xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve never visited Aruba, but I think if I did, it would quickly become my favorite place on earth. 🙂 Wow, Janice! I’m impressed that you can still hoola hoop. I was great at it when I was a girl, but not so much now. It’s wonderful to learn more about you. Thanks, Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hello! I’ve enjoyed this interview very much! Great questions and answers. It’s wonderful learning more about Janice. She is a multi-talented woman: prolific writer, limbo and hula hoop dancer! Best wishes with your new release, Janice! Thanks for hosting, Sally! ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I once got stuck in a lift with a hula-hoop salesman. I had the time of my life, but that’s another story, Janice and Sally.
    I’ve read and reviewed Davey and Derek Jr Detectives – The case of the Missing Cell Phone. Loved it to bits.
    Keep up the hula-hooping, Janice. It’s great fun and always a way to get everyone to join in and have a laugh.
    Hugs to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

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