News and Reviews

Just Published!

The Night the Elephants Cried - A Story of the Tsunami has been published
as an E-book!

The Night the Elephants Cried The exciting story of three teens on holiday in Thailand when a catastrophic tsunami occurs, is a page turner. Jerry Edmunds, mahout assistant, wakes to horrific inhuman screams in the night. His first thoughts are of Nonni, his trekking elephant. Rushing to the camp, he finds the elephants trumpeting, bellowing and pulling at their chains. And Nonni crying, but why? You may purchase The Night the Elephants Cried as an E-book from for $3.99. The pdf file will be downloaded to your computer for easy reading. The Kindle version is found on



New Book takes First Place!

A note from Nancy:

Florida Writers Association I've been working on a brand new book these past months. I think readers will enjoy my story of a British brother and sister who meet an American girl in Thailand during Christmas holidays.

Jerry Edmunds is an assistant to the mahouts, and works on the popular elephant rides while the girls enjoy the beaches. None of the three teens have any idea how critically their courage will be challenged when a massive tsunami hits the island.

After finishing the novel, I submitted it to the Florida Writer's Association's Royal Palm Literary Award contest. I'm happy to report that "The Night the Elephants Cried -A Story of the Tsunami" took First Place in the unpublished Young Adult novel category in November 2008. It was wonderful to accept the award, but a lot of the credit goes to Nonni, the elephant who so inspired me! Asian elephants are way cool! Hopefully, look for it's publication soon!

gullah goes to the de grummond

Nancy Murray and Ellen Ruffin at De Grummond Children's Literature CollectionOn November 12, 2007, author Nancy Murray and illustrator Sandy Ford had the honor of presenting Gullah, The Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina to Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the De Grummond Children’s Literary Collection at the McCain Library and Archives at the University of Southern Mississipi, in Hattiesburg. MS. The book, along with the original manuscript, the dummy book, the creative materials and Ms. Ford’s sketches will remain permanently as a part of the collection. “We’re delighted to have a book about Katrina for children,” said Ms. Ruffin.

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A good book for young readers ... Nancy Murray is to be commended for taking such a tragic episode in American history and presenting it in a gentle but meaningful way for young readers

Midwest Book Review - Reviewers Choice, October 2007

By Robyn Gioia "Children's Book Reviewer" - author of America's REAL First Thanksgiving

Gullah the cat had no idea what kind of havoc a hurricane could bring. In fact, he didn't even listen when his mother warned him the family was leaving and the cats would be left behind in the house. And mother specifically said don't go out that night. But go out he did, straight to Pirate's Alley.

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Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, known as the "Katrina Governor" for his outstanding leadership role in helping his people recover from the devastating storm, is presented with a special gift on his 60th birthday, an autographed copy of Gullah, The Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina.
The presentation took place on October 22, 2007 at the Governor's Workforce Development Conference, Moving Mississippi's Workforce Forward in Jackson, MS.

The following day Governor Barbour won the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’s top award for distinguished service to America’s employers and workers.

The Governor once quipped coping with Katrina was like "digesting an elephant!" We hope Gullah and Kitchey-Gee's singin' will brighten all his  future days!

Author hopes story of struggle for survival in Katrina
will comfort kids

By PAM FIRMIN, October 2, 2007, Sun Hearald, South Mississippi's Newspaper Online

Once upon a Coast...

An irresistible new children's book about a kitten's struggle to survive during Hurricane Katrina delivers heartwarming comfort in the face of fear and uncertainty...

Bright, happy colors are used by Ford, whose degree in interior design gives her an understanding of the psychology of color...

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the little book that wants to rebuild the gulf coast

Filled with spirit and humor, Nancy Murray’s GULLAH finds the heart of New Orleans still beating strongly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as this sassy cat finds hope and love among the devastation. Sandy Ford’s wonderful illustrations help bring Gullah’s adventures to life.

- Victor DiGenti, author of the WINDRUSHER series

Hope Floats - A Children's Book provides shelter in a storm

Andie Crawford - Jacksonville Magazine, August 2007, page 52

The book serves as one way for children to learn about hope and healing amidst tragedy

Jacksonville author Nancy Murray remembers when Hurricane Dora caused her family to evacuate their home in 1964. Murray never forgot the effects of Dora, and when Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 she couldn't take her eyes off TV news reports for a week.

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New books For Little Readers

The Ponte Vedra Recorder - August 17, 2007 - By Mims Cushing Contributing Writer

" Murray writes Gullah using themes of life, friendship and hope. She makes the reader relive the whole hurricane with her vivid detail:  the floating cars, the people yelling "Help" when rooftops are all that remains of houses, the starvation...the thirst..." I hope you will order the book...It is a children's book with a big mission."


A high-spirited picture book offers history lessons and coping techniques

 May 31, 2007. Jacksonville, FL:  When Hurricane Dora slammed ashore at Jacksonville Beach, Florida in 1964, resident Nancy Murray was a young mother. She sheltered her four young children beneath a mattress and a table top as a giant oak crashed through the garage roof. Forty-one years later she viewed on television, in reminiscent horror, Hurricane Katrina’s berserk rampage through the Gulf Coast.

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Book Review: Gullah, the Nawleans Cat

Posted Aug 8th 2007 2:39PM by Kelly Leahy

Nancy Murray, like so many others, sat transfixed in front of the television during the days following Katrina. A native Floridian and hurricane survivor herself, Nancy wanted to do something for the children of New Orleans. Within days Nancy completed her touching tale of Gullah, the Nawleans Cat.

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Gullah, The Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina

Press Release
ISBN:  978-0-9793637-0-2 (paperback)
Ages 6-12, fully illustrated, 32 pages, $12.95

Mistakes can be made. How is a French Quarter, black cat to know Katrina is not a girl cat after all? And if every cloud has a silver lining, does every storm have its shining moments? While adult books chronicle the darker side of Hurricane Katrina, Hart Street Publishers fills the gap in children’s literature with a picture story book bright with hope.

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  • Gullah, The Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina
  • Copyright 2007