Friday, May 16, 2014


My eight-year-old daughter, Anika, and I got a hummingbird feeder on Saturday and hung it up on our patio. We’ve been talking about getting one for a long time. Hummingbirds remind Anika of her Grandma, my mother, who passed away a couple years ago, just before Anika turned six. 

Anika’s memories of Grandma are fading. But Grandma's hummingbirds she remembers clearly. Grandma always had hummingbird feeders on her back porch, where Anika spent many summer days rocking in rocking chairs, talking to her Grandma and watching hummingbirds swarm in for sips of the sweet nectar Grandma made for them. 

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures… they can flap their wings up to 200 times per second … they’re the only birds that can fly backwards. 

The man at the bird store told us that we shouldn’t have any trouble attracting hummingbirds. We have a half-dozen or so flowering azalea bushes next to the patio and a patch of woods just past the back yard. But, still, I was nervous. What if no hummingbirds came? I know my daughter well enough to know that she would take it in stride. It was a fun afternoon activity, after all. We tried. 

But I wanted hummingbirds. I know it sounds silly. I also want there to be a rainbow after every thunderstorm and the goldfish to live and to really be able to make boo boos go away with a kiss and to push the clouds away… but sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing and I’ve lived in the city for so long I can’t really claim to be a country boy anymore and what do I know about birds any way and what do I know about raising a little girl…. 

But, it didn’t take long after we mixed the combination of sugar and water and hung the feeder on the ceiling of the patio for the first hummingbird to come take a sip. Anika spotted him before I did. Whew… what a relief. She and I did a little celebratory dance. In the few short days since then, there have been several hummingbirds to come visit us. 

A part of me would like to believe that the hummingbirds were sent down from Anika’s Grandma herself… as her way of saying hello and to check in on her grandbaby.

And, just maybe, to remind her youngest boy that he’s doing an okay job.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grampa's Jeep by John Andrucci is now available

GRAMPA'S JEEP is an adventurous tale about a young boys journey through time and space where two kids from different generations become best friends.... a fun, heartwarming story sure to be loved by kids of all ages... especially anyone who's ever had a special relationship with a grandparent... or a grandchild. 

Click her to order a copy. 

Written by John Andrucci. John was born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island and started in film and Television in the early 1980s.  

His career includes working for Learning Corporation of America, an educational film distributor that produced After School Specials: SUMMER SWITCH, OUT OF STEP, ONE TOO MANY, and others. He then went on to work for an animation company that produced Saturday morning and afternoon cartoons: M.A.S.K., INSPECTOR GADGET, HULK HOGAN'S ROCK-N-WRESTLING, THE LITTLES, and the animated feature film, RAINBOW BRITE AND THE STAR STEALER. 

John is currently producing four feature films, three that he wrote and one that he was asked to produce. Look for his name in theaters soon. 

In addition to GRAMPA'S JEEP, John's other tales: KARATE CHOP MOMS ,MERLIN'S DAUGHTERS, and THE EMERSONS will be available through Raburn Publishing in the coming months. 

The artwork for the cover of this book is the creation (oil on canvas) of two amazing artists, Tomaso Baldassama & Dario Cavada, who live in and work in Trento in the “Val di Fiemme” of Northern Italy.

The duo’s adventure began in 2010, when Tomaso, an illustrator who had already produced a series of children’s books, and Dario, an engineer with the soul of a musician, first met. The multi-media Merlino DreamLab brand was born.

Visit Merlino DramLab @

Friday, March 28, 2014

Family Time...

is a fun and humorous way of looking at life, mostly through the lens of a young married man with children just trying to make ends meet and some sense of this crazy thing called life.  Its purpose is to offer wholesome entertaining comics for the entire family to enjoy. 

The comics’ creator, Justin Baglio, was raised in Concord, North Carolina, always the kid in the back of his class doodling and drawing on any paper he could get his hands on. He loved comic books and remembers countless hours sprawled on the living room floor in his childhood home reading them.

Mr. Baglio claims he had no ambitions of being a cartoonist himself or even showing off what he thought were just restless doodles. Being a modest individual, it wouldn’t be until 2008 that he would even show some to co-workers. By 2012, Baglio’s cartoons were featured in three local newspapers as part of his “No Ordinary Life” strip. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It was Justin’s wife, Amber, who suggested I “like” his Facebook page. After seeing just a few of his comics I was hooked. I knew I wanted to publish a collection. I called Justin that same day and got things rolling. And now I am thrilled to be able to share his comics with you!

Justin and Amber have been married for 13 years and have three wonderful children: Savannah, 12, Jackson, 9 and Charleston, 7. All provide Mr. Baglio a wealth of material and well-spring of inspiration for his comics. 

I think most of us can relate to most of the comics we picked out to include in this collection. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

-Stephen Raburn, Publisher

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Delmo Hammontree Used to Turn Green in the Winter

Delmo Hammontree used to turn green in the winter.

Not a bright green, more like a dull, mossy green, but green, nevertheless.

“Hey look, it must me gettin’ close to Christmas. Delmo’s turning green,” we’d say.

Nobody knew for sure why he turned green. Some people said it was because of all the green apples he ate. I rarely saw him eat anything else. Some people said that turning green ran in his family and that his ancestors were even greener and were sometimes hired by frontiersmen to scare away the Indians.

“Ok class, quit teasing Delmo. And stop drawing pictures of him,” Ms. Harper would say.

But, truth be told, I think Delmo liked the attention. Plus, for a few short months, he was the only boy in elementary school who could walk fearless of the class bully, Cindy Little, who was just a little bit freaked out by Delmo when he was green, although she never admitted it.

“I’ll whup him twice when he turns back to regular color,” she’d say. And she always did.

Cindy Little was smart and pretty and the toughest person I’ve ever known.  I’d climb trees so high my nose would bleed to avoid her on the playground.

Some parents thought Delmo’s condition might be contagious and wouldn’t let their kids go near him when he was green, although mine always told me to treat him just like I’d treat anybody else… that God’s children come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Even green. I once even had Delmo over to spend the night when he was green, but that didn’t go so well. Trixie, our German Shepherd, surely didn’t know what to make of Delmo’s odd coloring and howled at him half the night. Plus, Delmo seemed to glow brighter and brighter as the night went on. I didn’t sleep a wink.

All in all, though, most of us got used to Delmo being green and didn’t think much of it after a few days. He was a good short-stop and was always one of the first kids picked when we chose teams for softball at recess, whichever color he was at the time.  

Delmo and his family moved to another town when we were in junior high and I never saw him or heard from again. But I think about him often, especially in early spring, as the birds start to chirp and the snow melts. It was always about this time of the year when Delmo would return to his natural alabaster complexion, and life would get back to being normal.

I wonder if he has any children.