The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers

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Author: Bob Richley
Illustrator: Hilbert Bermejo
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Children’s Books / Growing Up & Facts of Life / Family Values
ISBN: 978-1546928812
Pages: 34
Price: $9.99 (Paperback) Unlimited (Kindle)

Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
A suburb in Oregon is hopping with emotions. Johanna’s pet rabbit, named Whiskers, is missing. Johanna is extremely heartbroken and misses her furry best friend. Meanwhile, another little girl named Autumn has wanted a pet rabbit of her own, since visiting the petting zoo. Her dream comes true while out with her brother Billy, when they find a white bunny rabbit. Autumn is immediately smitten and filled with joy. But it is short-lived when Billy points out a pet collar and tag around the rabbit’s neck. The rabbit clearly belongs to someone. Now, Autumn must decide what to do. Will she be selfish and keep the rabbit? Or, will she let go of her dream, do the right thing, and seek out the pet rabbit’s owner?

Bob Richley tackles the issues of integrity and trust in his second installment of The Oregon Kids: Runway Whiskers. Doing the right thing is not always easy. It is hard to let go of a dream and trust that something better awaits down the road. The reader cannot help but feel for both Johanna and Autumn, as each character experiences the pain of loss. Mr. Richley’s portrayal of Autumn’s struggles between right and wrong are on point, especially the conversation shared with her father about what she should do versus what she wants to do. Mr. Richely could have had the father order Autumn to immediately return the rabbit. But, instead, Mr. Richely presents the lesson of choice, which every child needs to learn early in life.

Hilbert Bermejo once again delivers the familiar faces of siblings, Billy and Autumn in colorful, one-dimensional illustrations. His artistic talent shines and compliments Mr. Richley’s words, especially when expressing emotional moments during the story. One gets a tug of the heart strings when sorrow is represented on a character’s face. And then, when happiness appears, feels that same broken heart jump for joy. The earth-toned colors Mr. Bermejo uses are both pleasant to the eye and help set the atmosphere as the story hops from page to page.

You can’t go wrong heading down this rabbit trail when purchasing a copy of The Oregon Kids: Runway Whiskers.

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Author Bio:
Bob Richley grew up in the Chicago area and now lives in beautiful Colorado. Growing up he would often go camping in the Rocky Mountains. It was these childhood camping trips and especially his visit to Crater Lake in Oregon that was the inspiration for events in the Oregon Kids series. Richley is a parent, who has volunteered for years in children’s ministry. Teaching children good values and the grace of God are his passions. His stories, originally written for a single mom to help her raise her children, are a way to fulfill this passion. Richley has always loved children, wanting all children to be raised with love and grace. It is his hope that his stories will be one of many tools that parents will use to teach and to raise their children with Godly values.

Author Website:
http://bobrichley.tateauthor.com/

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Author Interview with Corrina Austin

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Book Summary
: Everyone needs their own special corner…
It’s 1969 and ten-year-old Davy is in a predicament. With two weeks remaining of the summer holidays, he’s expelled from the public pool for sneaking into the deep end and almost drowning. How will he break the news to his hard-working single mother? She’s at the diner all day, Davy has no friends, and he’s too young to stay by himself.

The answer lies in his rescuer, mysterious thirteen-year-old Ellis Wynn. Visiting her Grammy for the summer, Ellis offers to babysit Davy. She teaches him about “corners”–forgotten or neglected areas fixed up special. Together, the kids tackle several “corners” and Davy learns what it means to bring joy to others. Davy begins to wonder, though. Why does Ellis want to be his friend? Why doesn’t she ever smile? And is Davy just one of Ellis’ “corners?”

Where did the idea for your book ‘Corners’ come from?
My mother’s house and garden are filled with beautiful, quaint corners. She is a Dutch lady, and the Dutch are “corners specialists.” I have been a “corner” designer myself since I was child. I always had to share a room with my sister as I was growing up, and craved a little space of my own. I would pester my mom to give up a little corner of the house somewhere so I could have a place to write and draw and paint. My mom let me have a hall closet when I was around thirteen years old. I put all my art supplies and notebooks and pens in there, and then I’d open the door half-way and sit on the floor, pretending the door was a wall and the closet was my room. I think anyone with creative interests needs a special spot to call their own.

On a different note, I have always thought that positive changes do not have to be big, in the grand scheme of things. When individual people focus on creating beauty and kindness in their own little corners, there is a chain effect that can have a huge impact.

Why did you choose to set the story in the year 1969?
I grew up in the 1960’s and have clear memories of that time period. It’s been said that authors should “write what they know.” I am not sure that is always the rule, but in this case, my memories created a solid foundation for the setting of “Corners.” The public pool, the diner, even the noisy fridge in Davy’s apartment are all artifacts of my own childhood and I was “seeing” them as I wrote the story.

Davy is quite a mischievous and inquisitive character. Was there a real-life inspiration for him?
I was an elementary school teacher for thirty-one years. Davy is not modeled after a particular student, but rather a conglomeration of several little characters who came and went over the years. Children often carry burdens of sadness that they try to hide from others. In my mind, Davy represented those kids.

What were your goals and intentions in ‘Corners’? How well do you feel you achieved them?
I wanted to write a book for adults who were looking for a more “pleasant” read, devoid of gratuitous and graphic violence and foul language. I didn’t want to sugar-coat anything and there are definitely issues for the characters in “Corners,” but I was hoping to ultimately produce a “feel good” story overall. As Davy was narrating the story as an adult and a father, I wasn’t really thinking of a target audience of Middle Grade children at the time I was writing the book. When Lesley at Dancing Lemur suggested Middle Grades as a target audience, I was kind of surprised that the book had come off that way. I see now that it makes sense. Lesley tells me that there is a substantial amount of adults who read Juvenile fiction, and it makes me content to think that my reading audience could potentially be larger than the one I originally imagined.

What was the hardest part of writing ‘Corners’?
I have written several manuscripts. One of my novels was so challenging that it took me eleven years of “on and off” writing to finish it. I have to say that “Corners” was nothing like that challenge. Maybe because the setting was so vivid for me, the story formed itself quickly. I took a year’s sabbatical when I was still teaching (two years before I retired) and “Corners” was born in that time. As it’s not overly long and cumbersome, it took me only two months to write.

What did you enjoy most about writing ‘Corners’?
I loved the time travel–the music, the food, the furniture and appliances, the clothes. Revisiting those things brought me right back to my childhood, which was a happy time in my life. I also enjoyed creating the house that Hannah lived in—I’ve always loved those old brick houses with enormous front porches and crammed attics to explore. Developing the characters also brought me a lot of joy. I had the “end game” in mind as I wrote, and it was fun to steer the plot towards that.

 Ellis appears to have a mysterious and interesting background. What inspired you to create her thoughts about corners and the need to address forgotten or neglected areas?
As a writer and a reader, I know that a sense of mystery can be intriguing and I wanted to include this element to engage my potential reading audience. Ellis’s interest in creating corners is inherited from her mother who did the same thing as a young girl. Although creating corners began with her mother’s influence, it continues on as an effort to heal from a traumatic event in Ellis’s life. People who struggle and have difficulties in their lives don’t have to wait until “everything is okay” to find something to offer the world.

Does ‘Corners’ have a lesson or moral to be learned? If so, what?
Traditionally, heroes and heroines are known to engage in enormous quests or overcome massive challenges and adversity. In real life, heroes are often ordinary people, even though their quests appear to be small or inconsequential. People do not have to create a masterpiece or cure a disease or produce some monumental invention to be heroes. The real heroes are people who use their gifts and talents to make their own little corner of the world into something that can enhance the lives of others around them. If everyone did that, the entire world would be impacted. It has to start somewhere. Why not with a thirteen-year-old girl?

What made you want to become a writer?
I was about eight years old when I knew I wanted to a writer. I was playing outside in my yard and climbed into the low branches of the willow tree. It occurred to me that I was sitting “in the willow’s lap.” It was such a cool thought that I decided to write it down and make a poem out of it. Once I connected to the thrill of the written word, I wrote constantly. I would write on gummed paper pads, the backs of old calendars, in the left-over pages of used notebooks. I was writing novels by the time I was twelve. I would go to the homework room at school during recess and write instead of going outside to play. Really, writing wasn’t ever a decision, just more of an aspect of my “self” that could not be ignored.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
On occasion, I have received some feedback from the publishers who’ve taken my novels to editorial review, but then declined to publish them. Often, the feedback about my writing has been positive, but the common reason for the rejection is “it’s just not the right fit for us.” Although I appreciate that these busy editors found the time for a few comments, I find that tough criticism, because it’s vague. I am quite open to criticism and improving my skills as a writer, but specific suggestions are hard to come by.

What is the best compliment?
Editors have expressed that my use of description brings the reader into the story, and that my characters are well-developed. I have also been told that my use of dialogue between the characters sounds natural. The best compliment a writer can get is an offer to publish. I thank Dancing Lemur for that one!

What do you love most about the writing process?
I usually have the end in mind before the rest of the story materializes in front of it, and it is a lot of fun to build the plot with the end framing everything. But, I would have to say, bringing a character to life gives me the most pleasure. These characters become real people to me. When I think of them after finishing a story, I often think of them as being out there in the world somewhere, and I wonder how they’re doing since I saw them last.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That is such a difficult question because I love so many writers. I don’t think I would want to be mentored by anyone rich and famous, or I’d be too star-struck to really focus on what he or she was trying to teach me. I read a book by Annie Barrows called “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” which told a beautiful and heart-breaking story all in the form of letters written between the characters. It was brilliant and brought me to tears at the end, which very seldom happens, as I read so critically. The author passed away before she had the novel finished, and her niece completed it for her. I would love the chance to be mentored by Annie Barrows.

Are you currently working on another book? If so, how soon can your fans expect its arrival?
I always have a novel in progress. I have five manuscripts in various stages of completion that I have vowed to return to at some point. The one I am focusing on right now is told from the perspective of a six-year-old boy who is living in the aftermath of a terrible event. I hope to finish it in the next few months. As far as publishing goes, that could take much longer. But I will do my earnest best to find a publisher. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?
As cliché as it may sound, don’t give up. Getting published is not easy. Persistence will pay off, somewhere along the line.

Write solid proposals and synopses for your manuscripts. Most publishing companies will ask for one or both of these things. Google some samples first and study them. Keep your proposals and synopses on the brief and concise side, but make sure that what you write is interesting and engaging.

Pay attention to what presses are asking for when submitting. If they ask for a synopsis and three sample chapters, then that is exactly what you need to send. You will make a good impression when it is obvious that you have read and respected the submission guidelines. Every publisher has different requirements, so do your research.

CORNERS

Release date – March 6, 2018

Author: Corrina Austin
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Boys & Men / Friendship
ISBN: 978-1939844392
Pages: 136
Price: $10.95 (Trade Paperback)  $3.99 (eBook)
Available at: Amazon.com

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Author Bio:
Corrina Austin is a retired elementary school teacher, living in beautiful South-Western Ontario, Canada. She has Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Education. Corrina has published several short stories and essays and was twice the recipient of grants for a novel in progress from the Ontario Arts Council. “Corners” was inspired by her experiences as a child growing up in the 1960’s and contains many artifacts from her memories of those times.

Author Website:
https://trustcake.wordpress.com/

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Where Do They Go? (Part 1)

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Author: B.D. Donaldson
Illustrator: B.D. Donaldson
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Genre: Children’s Books / Mysteries & Detectives
ISBN: 978-1773022437
Pages: 40
Price: Paperback ($7.95) Kindle (Unlimited) Hardcover ($16.95)
Available at: Amazon.com


Book Review:

Most are convinced a dryer’s favorite thing to eat is socks. Or, that missing socks evolved into cremated remains in the lint tray. Two go in, but only one comes out. Such is the dilemma for siblings, Naleaha and Jaylen, who land in hot water with Mom over missing socks. They are just as perplexed as Mom. So, they set a trap hoping to find out who the sock thief might be. Could the dryer be devouring the socks? Does the monster in the closet have cold feet? Is Max the dog using the missing socks for chew toys? Perhaps the dust bunny living under the bed is making sleeping bags out of them? Or could the culprit be someone from out of this world?

‘Where Do They Go?’ (Part 1) is a true who-done-it for children and parents, too. Mr. Donaldson has created a clever tale built around a question frequently asked by Mom’s come laundry day, “Where in the world did my kid’s other sock go?”, as she feels around in the dryer, and double-checks the washing machine before adding the lonely sock to the growing mismatch/missing pile. While the story does center around finding out who the sock thief is, there is a strong undercurrent, showing the unity of two siblings working together using modern technology and common sense to reach an important goal and solve a question that has boggled minds since the invention of the dryer in 1938.

The illustrations in ‘Where Do They Go?’ (Part 1) are colorful with great attention to detail. Mr. Donaldson clearly conveys each character’s personality with gentle strokes of the pen. The colors used are pleasant and monotone in appearance, with some patterns, fuzzy borders and shading to set the mood for whatever scene is taking place.

In doing a little research I learned many fascinating facts about socks. Did you know socks have been around since between 300-500 AD? Did you know the side design on a sock is called a clock? And, did you know the word sock comes from the Latin word, soccus, which means loose fitting slipper. No wonder the mysterious sock thief wants them. But, what does he or she want Naleaha and Jaylen’s socks for? I suppose we will have to wait for B.D. Donaldson to release ‘Where Do They Go?’ (Part 2) to find out. In the meantime, put on a pair of warm, fuzzy socks of your own and curl up with a copy of ‘Where Do They Go?’ (Part 1).

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Author Bio:
B.D Donaldson currently resides in Toronto, Canada. He graduated in 2011 with an MBA from Ryerson University. He is also a graduate of Colgate University in New York. His first book Where Do They Go? Part 1, was inspired by his family. What began as a silly joke turned into a fascinating tale of mystery and adventure. He will be following up his first book with the second part later this year.

Author Website:
http://www.bddonaldson.com

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#BabyLove: My Toddler Life

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Author: Corine Dehghanpisheh
Illustrator: Corine Dehghanpisheh
Designer: Paula Riley
Publisher: My Art to Inspire
Genre: Children’s Books / Growing-up & Facts of Life
ISBN: 978-0997898507
Pages: 40
Price: $12.95 (Paperback) Unlimited (Kindle) $24.00 (Hardcover)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
The word mischievous often comes to mind when someone mentions the term ‘toddler’. And with good reason. These pint-sized cuties have gigantic curiosities and playful, varied personalities that often leave baffled parents laughing or shaking their heads in disbelief.

In the book, ‘#Baby Love: My Toddler Life’, Ms. Dehghanpisheh delivers a humorous and endearing look through the eyes of an inquisitive toddler who gets a hold of his Mom’s cell phone and begins exercising his fingers. Many selfies are snapped, including pictures of the family dog and funny faces. In addition to describing the picture snapping festivities, Ms. Dehghanpisheh tailors the manuscript and captures the special bonding of the relationship between a mother and child as they take a trip down memory lane while viewing pictures Mommy has taken. I wonder if this clever toddler will try and “frame” the dog for running the phone battery down and filling up Mom’s phone memory card?

‘#BabyLove: My Toddler Life’ has page after page of adorable illustrations which complement the story line. The color choices for ‘#BabyLove:My Toddler Life’ are bright, cheerful and leave you anxious to turn the page and see what your eye might behold next.

The popular toddler word, “No!” will certainly not be heard when suggesting ‘#BabyLove: My Toddler Life” to read or add to a child’s bookshelf. This book is easily enjoyed not only by a child, but also the parent. It is not just being able to relate to what the toddler does regarding the phone, but for those treasured moments with your child as you lovingly reflect-back on how fast they’ve grown in such a short period of time.

Corine Dehghanpisheh
Author Bio:
Corine’s inspirations for writing and illustrating come from everyday life.  When she is not busy being creative, she is most likely having fun taking pictures of her family. Corine is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Author Finalist for her debut children’s book Can We Play Again?. Her inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC. She is also the author of Buddy’s Dream. Corine recently moved to Dallas, TX from NYC with her family. Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to BooksByCorineD.com

Author Website:
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BooksByCorineD.com

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Little Duckling (Mini Look at Me Books)

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Author: L. Rigo
Illustrator: L. Rigo
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series Brdbk
Genre: Children’s Books / Animals / Ducks & Other Waterfowl
ISBN: 978-0764165108
Pages: 10
Price: $5.27 (Hardcover) Board book ($4.59)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
“Lord love a duck” means to be stunned. This phrase certainly suits the precious toddler book, ‘Little Duckling’ by L. Rigo, as part of Barron’s Educational Series, Mini Look at Me Books.

L. Rigo has created an easy to read board book about the life of a duckling. The story weaves brief snippets into what ducklings do, but don’t be fooled by the brevity. Those few sentences per page, not only pack information, but clearly parallel the responsibilities any mother faces when raising a child or in the momma duck’s case, several children.

The eye-catching cover is cut in the shape and size of an adorable fuzzy duckling. This design makes the book accessible for tiny toddler hands to hold and carry around with them. The artistic drawings by L. Rigo, are peaceful to view with the soft array of colors chosen, such as; pink, various shades of green and blue, and of course, yellow.

‘Little Duckling’ is no goose egg. It is the type of book to be visually enjoyed by a toddler, but perhaps better understood verbally with a little help from a parent. Either way, it is a must have for one’s collection of barnyard books.

Author Bio:
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The Secret Formula (Chompy & The Munchy Bunch Book 1)

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Author: Nancy Beaule
Illustrator: A. Ilievski
Publisher: BDM Publishing
Genre: Children’s Books / Comics & Graphic Novels / Superheroes
ISBN: 978-0692641415
Pages: 24
Price: $9.99 (Paperback) $1.99 (Kindle)
Available at: Amazon.com

 

Book Review:
What happens when a fraidy-cat, a curious chap, a sneaky sidekick, a tag-along sibling and a four-legged companion decide to pay a visit to Peppa Mansion to locate Doc Peppa’s super eye formula? A mysterious plot shrouded with twists, turns and unexpected discoveries ensues. But, will they find the formula? And, which one of the fortune-hunting five will be clever and toss in a naughty prank for a little extra entertainment?

Nancy Beaule has written a real eye-opener with, ‘Chompy & The Munchy Bunch: The Secret Formula’, the first book in a growing series. ‘The Secret Formula’ centers around an adventurous group of unlikely friends: a carrot, a potato chip, a candy bar, a cupcake and a wiener dog. What I found quite interesting, aside from the tale itself, was how Ms. Beaule had the characters snacking on their own kind. What I mean by that is: Chompy the carrot nibbled on carrots, while Salty the potato chip, stuffed his face with, you guessed it, potato chips. I found this to be a rather unique approach to the development of their characterizations.

The illustrations in ‘The Secret Formula’ display personality from the first page. Mr. Ilievski maintained a monotone palette which benefited the story line by adding in more spookiness to the mystery as it unfolded.  One drawing in the book stood out by offering up quite an eye-popping chuckle. To solve the mystery of the page to which I am referring, you will have to buy a copy of the ‘Secret Formula’ and find out.

Included, with the copy of ‘Chompy & The Munchy Bunch:The Secret Formula’ I received, was a bookmark which contained a delicious and nutritionally healthy snack called, Chompy Juice. I think that little nugget is a great seed for Ms. Beaule to perhaps consider penning a healthy snack book for kids.

As I finished reading the last page of ‘Chompy & The Munchy Bunch: The Secret Formula’, and pondered its rather surprising ending, I could not help but wonder something. While it is common knowledge carrots are known for benefiting eyesight, will Chompy Carrot ever come to realize this within himself?  I suppose one will have to wait and ‘SEE’.

 

 
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Author Bio:
Nancy’s path toward becoming an author of a children’s book was a bit different, as she spent the last 30 years as an entrepreneur/inventor.  In 1996, she invented a product called the Pie Saver (foil rings that prevent pies from burning). Nancy loves creating, so that, combined with an interest in children’s nutrition, led her to develop this series. The kids love the antics of Chompy and his pals, and parents appreciate the underlying nutritional message! Nancy has two children and three grandchildren, and lives in Florida and Maine with her husband of 41 years. She loves the outdoors – fishing, camping, hiking (anything adventurous), along with reading, cooking, and especially spending time with her grandchildren.

 

Author Website:
www.nancybeaule.com

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The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey

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Authors: Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence
Illustrator: Danko Herrera
Publisher: Indie Publishing Group
Genre: Children’s Books / Sports & Outdoors / Hockey
ISBN: 978-0995234024
Pages: 42
Price: $12.45 (Paperback) Kindle ($2.99) Hardcover ($19.99) Audible ($3.95)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
Life isn’t always a gas. Well, unless you are Timmy and your best friend happens to be a literal vapored pal named, ‘Fart’. Fart is the type of friend, despite his off-putting aroma, who always has your back whenever you find yourself in a crack. Timmy wants to try out for the hockey team and he doesn’t want his best friend, ‘Fart’ at the rink because well, fart stinks. But, ‘Fart’, being the loyal friend-in-the-wind that he is, breezes over to the audition anyway to support his best mate. Somehow, in the process, Fart helps Timmy overcome his insecurities by cleverly turning the hockey team tryouts into a stinking good time to be had by all.

‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ certainly does not reek. In their third installment of the hilarious ‘The Day My Fart…’ series, Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence deliver a brilliant lesson in the areas of encouragement and overcoming one’s uncertainties to reach goals. And, with a little help from a best friend, confidence is built and new friends are eventually made.

The illustrations by Danko Herrera in, ‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ are colorful and quite whimsical in style and character expressions. Complimenting Mr. Jackson and Ms. Lawrence’s wordings, Mr. Herrera’s drawings enable one to almost smell the…let’s just say, excitement of the story as it bubbles n’ squeaks its way towards a hilarious arch with each turn of the page.

One simply mustn’t wander into the book store, have a ‘brain fart’ and forget to leave without purchasing a copy of ‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ for their child to enjoy. Avoid the “penalty box”, launch your “power play” and complete the “hat trick” by scoring a copy of this enjoyable book.

Ben and Sam
Author Bio:
Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia. While working during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding, he also writes at night as a Freelance Writer and Author. Ben is in a Long-Distance Relationship with his wife Sam, who lives in Canada, where she works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author. Be sure to check out his books, there is something there for everyone!  He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page, connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads. As Indie Authors, we rely on our valuable customers to write a review, if you could spare a minute to leave a review of one of our books, we would greatly appreciate it.

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Illustrator Bio:
Danko is a Christian visual artist, illustrator, designer and didgeridoo player born in Mexico. His work has pure inspiration on nature, the landscapes of the mind and explorations through the poetry of color. Danko’s freelance work has been found on environmental organizations and educative material, and other commercial fields.  Danko has illustrated best-seller books, painted mural art and his work has been exhibited at underground art festivals in some particularly beautiful places of the world, such as Denmark, Argentina, USA, and his native Mexico.

 

ABC

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Author: Paul McDougall
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Paul McDougall
Genre: Children’s Books / Educational
ASIN: B01N4CQZWQ
Pages: 28
Price: Kindle ($2.99)
Available at: Amazon.com

 

Book Review:
Everyone loves making friends. But, what about making new and interesting friends, while at the same time learning your ABC’s?

Paul McDougall has taken the twenty-six letters of the alphabet and transformed them into twenty-six unique characters with whimsical traits for the properly titled book, ‘ABC’. You have ‘N’ for Nelson who goes by the adorable nickname, ‘Noodles’. Then there is Elle the erupting volcano. Careful, you do not want to make her mad, “Boom! Fizz! Boosh!”  And zany Xavier, the x-ray taker, who loves to show off dem’ bones.

The illustrations in ‘ABC’ are colorful in appearance, as well as personality when it comes to each individual character. Mr. McDougall tosses in bits of whit, assuring that the cast are quite memorable, along with their matching alphabet letter. This is certain to help any child learn their ABC’s with occasional laughter tossed into the mix.

Adding the book ‘ABC’ to your child’s collection of learning material is as easy as 1-2-3.

Currently ABC is available in Kindle format. This book would also make an excellent hands-on, board book due to its vibrant colors, lovable characters and clever writing.

Author Bio:
Paul McDougall is a Toronto-based designer who moonlights as an author and illustrator. His quirky creatures first appeared as a daily Tumblr blog and on Storybird.com – where kids can write their own stories using professional illustrations. Paul’s first children’s book, ABC, is now available as an eBook on Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo.

Author Website:
http://www.paulmcdougall.com

Author Links:
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Made by Raffi

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Author: Craig Pomranz
Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s Books / Activities, Crafts & Games / Crafts & Hobbies / Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts
ISBN: 978-1847804334
Pages: 40
Price: Paperback ($9.99) Hardcover ($2.97)
Available at: Amazon.com

 

Book Review:
Raffi is like any young boy who is struggling to learn where his patch fits best in the quilted fabric of life. The answer comes to light after an encounter with his teacher, Miss Fernandez, who enjoys spending her free-time knitting. Raffi is immediately smitten with the activity and soon discovers he has a talent for making beautiful scarves, capes, dresses and more. But not everyone is on board with Raffi’s choices. He endures bullying and even more self-discovery questions, like “Do tomgirls exist?” “Why do I feel different from the other children at school?” But, through it all, Raffi remains strong and continues doing what brings him joy no matter if others accept him or choose to label him instead.

‘Made by Raffi’ is certain to have a reader in stitches. But not the humorous kind. Craig Pomranz has cleverly woven together a tale about a young boy who one day, during quiet time at recess on the noisy playground, inadvertently discovers he has  a gift for design. The lead character Raffi is very fortunate throughout the story. He has the loving support of both parents, Miss Fernandez and some students at school. Raffi’s parents encourage him to pursue his craft and help him purchase the necessary materials he needs like: wool and knitting needles. His mom even joins the assembly line by creating special clothing labels for Raffi’s birthday which read, ‘Made by Raffi’, a rather witty play on words when it comes to the clever title of the book.

Margaret Chamerlain’s vision of color and creativity shine brightly on each page of ‘Made by Raffi’. Her illustrative talent brings Raffi to life through his various expressions of joy while working on his craft, including the times when Raffi questions who he is. And of course, those dashing garments, especially Dad’s long rainbow-colored scarf. While the colors are vibrant, they are not overwhelming to distract from Mr. Pomranz strong message which is; everyone has a gift and never should one judge another.

‘Made by Raffi’ is an excellent choice to read, especially if a parent has a child who has many self-discovery questions, including what their purpose or talent in life might be. So, knit one, purl two, don’t drop a stitch and cast on by purchasing a copy of ‘Made My Raffi’ today.

 

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Author Bio:
Craig is an internationally known singer/song-stylist, actor… and now author!  Made By Raffi is his first children’s book with illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain.  The book is published in eight languages and distributed in eleven countries so far by UK publishers Frances Lincoln. Craig received New York’s MAC Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2012.  Inspired by Made by Raffi, composers Amanda McBroom (Bette Midler’s award-winning “The Rose”) and Michele Brourman (The Land Before Time series) wrote the song “Different.”  You can hear it on Craig’s YouTube Channel.

Originally from St. Louis, Craig got his professional start performing at age 12 at The MUNY, the largest professional outdoor theatre in the country. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University and The Goodman Theatre – The Art Institute of Chicago. Craig lives in New York City and travels the world performing in nightclubs and theatres.  His popular CDs “More Than A Seasonal Thing” and “My Heart Don’t Skip A Beat” can be heard on radio stations around the world and are available on iTunes, CDBaby and his website www.CraigPomranz.com.

Craig is working on several new books. He hopes his books will continue to enlighten and empower children.  He also continues to travel the world singing.  You can find his schedule on his website and see if he is appearing in a town near you.

Author Website:
http://www.CraigPomranz.com

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‘Different’ (a song) for the book

 

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Illustrator Bio:
Children’s Illustrator Margaret Chamberlain produced her first children’s picture book illustrations while still at the Royal College of Art. She has produced illustrations for many more children’s books since then including; ‘The Man whose Mother was a Pirate’, still a bestseller after more than twenty years; and ‘The Tale of Georgie Grub’ now re-issued with completely new illustrations. Being a children’s illustrator means that Margaret Chamberlain loves producing illustrations of children and animals. She especially likes to do dogs, with her favorites being little white ones with black patches. She has now illustrated lots of funny stories about dogs (as well illustrating quite a few about cats!) In fact she has recently written and illustrated a children’s picture book about two cats called ‘Mimi and Moochie go Shopping’ as well writing and illustrating a children’s picture book all about being kind to animals called ‘Please don’t Torment Tootsie’.

Illustrator Links:
http://www.margaretchamberlain.co.uk/

Author Interview with Adalina Mae

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Book Summary: Zara is a vibrant, funny, resilient American born woman struggling with a traumatic past. At the age of eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead, leaving her to battle through her life carrying the responsibility of fatherly duties. She is torn between the memory of his benevolence and the drunken, violent, incoherent alcoholic she viewed as a ‘monster’ the last time she saw him. With his death begins Zara’s long journey of haunted nightmares of her father and life struggles, along with exhausting failed relationships and self-discovery in search to find peace and happiness, until one day, Zara discovers some disturbing news. Adalina Mae takes us on a journey through the States, Lebanon, and Europe, interspersed with sad, heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades with various gorgeous men, particularly her “Swiss God”, Livio from Switzerland. This is life and nothing is predictable. Adalina Mae ends the story with a mystery to solve: Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
If you have a story to tell, write it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You need to be patient and don’t rush your work. Market your novel profusely. Unless you want to keep your work locked away in the cupboard.

What was the hardest part of writing ‘Nothing Is Predictable’?
At times the scenes were extremely emotional, I was crying as I wrote them. It was hard to let go of the emotional effect it had on me. Also at times, as all writer’s experience, that dreadful Writers block. So annoying!

What genre do you consider your books? Have you considered writing in another genre?
Nothing Is Predictable is Fiction / Roman A Clef. Meaning based on some true events. Most scenes and characters are fictitious, the sequel will be mostly Fiction. I would love to write historical romance novels one day.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Jane Austen all the way. I love the eloquence in the manner of her writing.

What would the main character in your book have-to say about you?
What would Zara have to say about Adalina Mae? Well, thank you Adalina for creating a complex woman into a person that many women can relate to and for adding in your sense of humor into my character. Thank you for taking me across many countries to explore the wonderful world we live in.

Have you traveled to any of the places your lead character, Zara has traveled too?
Every single one of them. That is why Zara the protagonist could describe her experiences well.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I wrote Nothing Is Predictable and the sequel (Nothing Can Last Forever) with the vision of turning them into a movie. So, my vision is to see myself walking down that red carpet…. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true. I need the readers support to get me to that level. I promise you there will be gorgeous actors playing the roles of Zara’s men.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book, ‘Nothing Is Predictable’ and why it is a must-read?
Nothing Is Predictable is an emotional roller coaster. You will cry, you will laugh, you will be on the edge of your seat and just when you think all has calmed down there is a twist in the story. It relates to women that have endured childhood abuse and many failed relationships. It is an empowerment that one should not put up with abuse in relationships and understand there is strength in oneself no matter how tough life can be. Pick yourself up and be as resilient as Zara. As Kuya, the monk in the story says “Drop it like you drop a sac of potatoes, let it go”.  It is a sad love story, a traumatic story, a mystery and most of all an inspiration to many readers to understand the importance of forgiveness. Along with all the heartache, there are numerous hilarious and adventurous scenes readers will enjoy. If you read it and vision it as a movie, you will understand why I think it will be visually entertaining.

What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or do you just sit down and write whatever comes to mind.)
Firstly, the area I sit in must be clean and arranged in a certain manner that is comfortable for DELL and I. Dell is important to me. My laptop Dell is my boyfriend, hence my joke name aDELLina. I like to change scenery, this usually opens my creativity to write. There has never been a moment of writing without a Skim Cappuccino beside me. Usually my writing flows as I write keeping in mind where I want that chapter to go.

Is there a message in your novel, ‘Nothing Is Predictable’, that you hope readers will grasp?
Absolutely! a message of resilience and forgiveness and women do NOT have to put up with abusive relationships, physically or mentally. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a social media marketing agency that is hired for Nothing Is Predictable. We work together quite well.  I am also writing the sequel Nothing Can Last Forever. That should come out this year. I am negotiating with screenwriters to convert my novel into a movie script. All that should be completed this year. I need a lot of support from readers to help me get this to motion picture.

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NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE
Author: Adalina Mae
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Adalina Mae
Genre: Literature & Fiction / Contemporary
ISBN: 978-0995409712
Pages: 270
Price: $12.24 (Paperback) Kindle ($7.50)
Available at: Amazon.com


Author Bio:
After leaving the corporate world of management, I decided to pursue my lifelong passion to write. I’m also a lover of movies and always wanted to be an actress, however, the universe did not align that path for me during my professional career. I am hoping that one day my novels will become a motion picture. I guess there is always a way to fullfil my dreams in some way or another. I hope you get to read the novel Nothing Is Predictable, so far, I am overwhelmed with the reviews I have received from readers and professional reviewers. Mostly 5 Star Reviews! Wow. You will find the message of the story an inspiration to find true happiness through forgiveness.  I know many of us have experienced heartbreaking moments that stamp an ugly footprint in our lives. Just know that in 100 years all our problems with be solved. If we can’t wait that long, as Kuya the monk said to Zara in the novel: “Drop it like you drop a sack of potato. Let it go”. That’s right! Because, MY life’s incidents have taught me, that Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.  Love and Light and Peace xx Adalina Mae

Author Website:
http://adalinamae.com/

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