Sunday, May 31, 2015

Untaught and Unlearned Knowledge by Fred G. Womack Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: Untaught and Unlearned Knowledge
Author: Fred G. Womack
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 466
Genre: Fantasy
Format: History

 Much has been said and written about faith in recent times, but do people of this generation really know what faith is? Why has raw faith, through the centuries, chosen Christianity in preference to other global religions when the freedom of choice was allowed? In Untaught and Unlearned Knowledge, author Dr. Fred G. Womack provides information and insight into the functioning of faith, which has been neglected by Biblical scholarship for several years. What is faith? How is faith? When is faith? Why is faith? Womack explores these questions and more and addresses what can be done to increase and strengthen faith. He discusses that an ancient paradigm ensures that authentic Christianity will prevail through faith, and it guarantees the ultimate triumph of truth in religion. In Untaught and Unlearned Knowledge, Womack casts light into the shadows where little or none has been directed with regard to faith, a theme central to all religions and one that enables Christianity to stand apart from the rest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fred G. Womack, D. Min., earned a Master of Divinity in New Testament Theology and a Doctor of Ministry. He is a Christian minister with thirty-five years of experience and has been an adjunct professor at the collegiate and seminary level. Womack is married and has three children.

Fred is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 25 and ends on June 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Book Review: ‘Death Is Always a Resident,’ by Lorraine Jeffery


Death-is-Always-a-Resident-Ecover_9781462124763_FULL (1)Jan Myers is a widowed mom and director of the Forest Hills Skilled Nursing Facility in Ohio. One day she receives an unexpected visit from Detective Pollander from the Columbus Police Department, asking unsettling questions about a Mr. Packard Nickle, who used to be a resident but had suffered a heart attack and died recently.
Jan and the staff are disturbed by the detective’s visit, especially after he begins interrogating the nurses and aides.
Soon the reason for the detective’s visit becomes obvious: there’s been either negligence or murderous intent surrounding Mr. Nickel’s death, and the whole facility is put under the microscope, especially Jan, who’s the director. It turns out the victim was a very difficult and demanding man, and most nurses and residents would have cheerfully strangled him. Jan won’t be able to get any job in Ohio when he’s through. The list of suspects begins to pile up, and it’s up to Jan to investigate the case, especially now that she’s also a suspect…and someone wants her dead.
Death Is Always a Resident is a well written cozy mystery that kept me turning pages and wondering who the killer was until the end. Jan Myers is a likable protagonist, a kind, hard-working woman with problems of her own, with a high sense of justice and integrity. Her mother and her daughter are secondary characters that add flavor to the story.
The setting was very real to me, making me think that the author either did her research well or has experience with nursing facilities. This is the type of tale where the police stay sort of in the background while the civilian protagonist investigates on her own. The pacing felt right for this cozy–not too quick like a suspense thriller, yet not too slow to drag. There’s also a sprinkle of romance for good measure. In short, it is a nicely written, well-structured and plotted little mystery. I look forward to reading more books from this debut novelist!
Purchase from Amazon.
My review originally appeared on Blogcritics

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guest Post by Lynn Steward, author of 'April Snow'

I self-published April Snow, as I did A Very Good Life. I spent three years researching, developing and writing volume one, so when it was finished,  I was ready to publish. I knew it could take years to find an agent, and more time to be picked-up by a traditional publisher. In preparation, I did extensive research on the self-publishing process, and found bloggers tremendously helpful. I also hired a good team: a graphic designer, a formatting company, two editors, a proofreader, and a lawyer to vet the manuscript. The Amazon community was great and responsive, and the whole process went smoothly. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to self-publish, and I appreciate the opportunity to be discovered by a traditional publisher if I am successful on-line. I also happen to have a strong marketing background and am not only knowledgeable about design, I enjoy the creative process. Even so, I have a graphic designer to help me as there is just never enough time to do it all. Social media and promotion are crucial and must be done regularly before and after publishing if you want your book to be discovered.

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Title: April Snow
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Lynn Steward
Publisher: Lynn Steward Publishing
At the cutting edge of women’s fashion in the 1970s, a visionary young woman subdues her desire for love to remake retail at New York’s most glamorous department store.
Newly single, Dana McGarry learns she must divorce herself from more than a bad marriage to succeed. Not only must she prove to family and friends that she can make it on her own, but she also must challenge an antagonistic boss who keeps standing in her way. Moving out of her comfort zone and into the arms of a dynamic businessman, Dana bets it all on a daring new move that will advance her buying career, But at what price?
Her dreams within reach, Dana’s world is shattered in a New York minute when a life is threatened, a secret is revealed, and her heart is broken.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynn Steward photo in library
Lynn Steward is a successful business woman who spent many years in New York City’s fashion industry in marketing and merchandising, including the development of the first women’s department at a famous men’s clothing store. Through extensive research, and an intimate knowledge of the period, Steward created the characters and stories for a series of five authentic and heartwarming novels about New York in the seventies. April Snow is volume two in the Dana McGarry Series. A Very Good Life was published in March 2014.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Interview with Laura Liddell Nolen, author of 'The Ark'






Laura Liddell Nolen grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent lots of time playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. They supplemented their own stories with a steady diet of space- and superhero-themed movies, books, and television. The daughter of a comic book collector, she learned how to handle old comics at an early age, a skill she’s inordinately proud of to this day.

Laura began work on her first novel, The Ark, in 2012, following the birth of her daughter Ava, a tiny rebel and a sweetheart on whom the novel’s main character is loosely based. Completion of The Ark was made possible in part due to an SCBWI Work-in-Progress Award.

Laura loves coffee, dogs, and making lists. She has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two young children, and their dog Miley, who is a very good girl.
For More Information
Can you tell us what your new book, The Ark, is about?

The Ark is about a young convict trapped in prison on the last day of earth. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, a massive bioship designed to protect earth’s survivors
during the meteor strike that looks set to destroy the planet. Only a select few will be saved – like her mom, dad, and brother – all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.
If she ever wants to redeem herself, she’ll have to break out of prison and stow away on a space ship, a crime punishable by death. So the closer she gets to her law-abiding family, the more of an outlaw she becomes.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They are from my imagination. Someone once told me that you develop a character by the choices s/he makes. I think that’s good advice for writers. The choices my characters make are based on circumstances unique to the story. You don’t confront a lot of space pirates in real life! That being said, I try to make their emotional reactions both relatable and realistic.

Physically, about half of my characters are based on actors, and the other half are people I’ve known. But I won’t say which people! A tiny number are faces I made up.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I outine so. much. I have outlines for my outlines. The story doesn’t always follow the outline, so I end up revising them constantly. The times I’ve stepped off-script have been some of my favorite moments in the books, though.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Yes and I have NOT A CLUE how to cure it! I’ve tried everything. It seems to come and go all on its own.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I’d go for a long walk, preferably with a friend.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

I mean, you get the most chocolate at Easter, so...

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Gosh, food and books. The pressure!! We need a spot that can live up to that amount of awesome. I love when people visit Houston because this city has some excellent food, and it’s so much fun to share that with newcomers. It’s hard to go wrong here, but Punk’s in West U has an awesome back porch.

If we were in Hattiesburg, we’d hit the deck at Branch.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

This is a hard question. I think writing is unique among other industries in that there is a series of moments that really matter. Finishing your first manuscript might be the first, then finally getting up the nerve to ask someone else to read it might come next. Then there’s the moment you find out you’re going to be published and the day the book comes out. I was a little nervous for my first interview, too. It’s several crucial steps along a long path. Ugh, maybe I should add “losing the inclination to make bad metaphors” to the list!

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Read, write, revise, and repeat. Keep writing- don’t give up. It’s never over until you quit.




Thursday, May 28, 2015

While Being a Parent by Eddie Marie Durham Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!





Title: While Being a Parent
Author: Eddie Marie Durham
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 216
Genre: Family
Format: Kindle/Paperback/Hardcover

 Being a parent is a lifetime job. No one knows that more than Eddie Marie Durham, mother of three adult sons. In her guidebook filled with practical parenting advice, Durham shares not only her personal experiences but also poetry, scripture, and quotes in order to help parents find their way down what can be a very challenging road while raising children in today’s world. Durham, a retired elementary school teacher, has always relied on God’s guidance and her family values to carry her through difficult times while parenting her children. Guided by these principles, Durham leads others chronologically through her experiences, both good and bad, while offering wisdom and encouragement to other parents that will help them respect one another, talk to children about expectations and consequences, carry out discipline, allow children to grow and mature, be active with children in all facets of life, and lean on their faith for strength. While Being a Parent shares time-tested advice from a blessed mother that will help other parents attain the greatest reward in life: mentoring a child into a productive, loving adult.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eddie Marie Durham is a retired elementary school teacher and mother of three sons. She is an avid reader, speaker, poet, traveler, and volunteer who is active in her church and community. Eddie resides with her husband, Bobby, in Port Arthur, Texas.

Eddie is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 25 and ends on June 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Drive In by Douglas Gardham Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!





Title: The Drive In
Author: Douglas Gardham
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 130
Genre: Short Stories
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 Have you ever been intrigued by what mysteries lie behind the doors and windows of the places you pass by on your drive into work everyday? The Drive In takes you on Tom Johnson‘s commute. Unlike Tom, you’ll get to peek behind some of those closed doors. Remember going to the “Drive-In” theatre? Each story reveals what goes on like watching the “dusk ‘til dawn” features through your car’s windshield. Meet the people at the places Tom only passes by each day. Then discover how his drive in ends like no other.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Douglas Gardham is the author of the STARbook-awarded novel The Actor. He lives near Toronto, Canada with his wife, dog and cat. He loves books, music and movies. This is his second published novel.

Douglas is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 25 and ends on June 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest post by Joan Schweighard, author of 'The Accidental Art Thief'


I probably don’t take writing as seriously as some people do. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about how good my writing is. Since I write for a living (as well as for pleasure), I have to be sure my writing is as good as I can get it and that each assignment is completed by its deadline. Rather, I mean that I don’t think of writing as some incredible blessing bestowed only on the chosen few.

Tom Clancy died back in 2013 and the radio station I listen to did a little piece about him. I have to admit I never read any of his books, but I did see the film version of The Hunt for Red October and I do know that the initial manuscript for the book was published by Annapolis’ Naval Institute Press—which had never published a novel before—after all the major publishers turned it down. With a little help from President Ronald Reagan, who hosted Clancy in the White House, the book became a hit, and thereafter Clancy was published by traditional publishers. The radio station played a clip of an interview in which Clancy, talking on the subject of writing, said, “You learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired; it’s hard work.”

Clancy was an insurance agent before he became a full-time writer. He wrote The Hunt for Red October while he was still working at his nine-to-five. His rather pedestrian attitude about writing belies the fact that he was a great storyteller. He had the knack. He learned the craft. When all else failed and he couldn’t get attention from the industry big boys, he had the chutzpah to go to the naval academy and get them to publish his book. I don’t know how he got on Reagan’s guest list, but I bet there’s an impressive story behind that too.

The point is Clancy had talent, discipline, balls, and luck. Whether we’ve read him or not, we all know his name. If he had only had talent and discipline, we might not know who he was. He didn’t want to be put on a pedestal because, as he knew, no muse found him on Google Maps and showed up to plant a kiss on his ear.

No muse has been to my house either, or at least not that I know of. I have some talent, a lot of discipline, I’m working on chutzpah, and as for luck, I do everything I can to attract it. I’ve had some small successes to date, and I hope to have more in the future. And in the meantime, I keep on writing. Day after day. Without any regrets.

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joan Joan Schweighardt is a former indie publisher who now works as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. The Accidental Art Thief is her fifth novel.
Connect with Joan on the web:
Find The Accidental Art Thief on Amazon.
About the Book
TitleThe Accidental Art Thief
Genre: General fiction
Author: Joan Schweighardt
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his ranch in New Mexico. She doesn’t make much money, but she has the old man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically a very content recluse who doesn’t invest much time thinking about what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property, Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly.
With a touch of magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death and the universal forces that connect all things.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Generations of Betrayal Lies, Lies and More Lies by NSLeumas Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



Title: Generations of Betrayal
Author: NSLeumas
Publisher: Trafford
Pages: 690
Genre: Political Science
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 . . .more-praises “You need to know everything in GOB if you are to understand the subversive forces which are destroying our nation, & our White-Heritage.” -gp “GOB is the one phenomenal’ ‘underground’ book that -- if read by enough people -- will turn America upside down!” -ss ¼-million words * No greater-action exists that YOU now can do for our-cause than to spread “GOBs” message!! * Hidden-truths revealed. . . .never-before combined in one-book * The most-important book of the 21st-century ! (published at-locations worldwide) NSL chose to be the mouthpiece against the schemers, before his own voice is stilled You’ll be fascinated by my-uncoverings, be satisfied that this is the final-word in exposing the lying-deceivers, & so-give your-commitment to spreading GOBs iconoclastic-&- scholarly research N.S. Leumas: He is multiply-published in all genres. He has voraciously-studied everything-historical since-ancient-times, revealing connected-links of ramifications, up to present times. He excels in history-research. “GOB” took him 25-years to complete.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Compiler/Commentator NSL is retired from the professions of music, education, publishing, while continuing his literary/political/social writings, & his mentoring prison-outreach. Besides being focussed on his AA-Teachings, he assists an international-seeking of a “survival-homeland” for kindred-families. Multiply-published in varied-genres (200+ times to-date), including poetics/criticism/editing/ courses/column-syndication, he’s edited/compiled 2 chaps, & is now-processing a book of his-own poetry. He was led into his present-scholarship by the late Jost, of NSK. Recently, he concluded that this, his scholarly-work of 2-decades, has been ‘lost’ (ie, ‘refused’) within the biasing/prejudicing/censoring Anti-Truth Anti-FreeSpeech Jew-Rom publishing monopoly, & so decided to self-publish in typescripted m/s form. He relaxes by singing/piano-styling his-set(“Memories & Remembering”) publicly, after voraciously study-reading everything historical/philosophical/religious/economic since ancient-times, in his isolated hermitage-home in-nature.

NSLeumas is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 25 and ends on June 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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The Rabbit Culture by Tito Capaldo Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



Title: The Rabbit Culture
Author: Tito Capaldo
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 200
Genre: Family/Relationship
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 Direct and vivid in its telling of the details of the adoption of a 7-year old boy from Romania after the collapse of Communism, the novel manages ultimately to deliver much more. Despite this story, I have been very lucky in my life … I had two wonderful parents, who, in their simplicity they taught me to love and respect Nature and its Laws. I have had satisfactory work experience both economically and professionally, first as a military pilot in the Italian Air Force, and now as a Fire fighting Pilot for the Civil Defence . I am not rich, but I can not complain .. I have everything I need. If you have the adventure to stumble upon this book and buy it, you can be sure that every cent will be used for the survival of the protagonist, my adoptive son ,when I’m gone.      

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Antonio Capaldo was born at Campo di Giove (AQ) on 14thJuly 1948. Authentic mountaineer, he spent his adolescence in close contact with nature in a mainly agricultural and pastoral farming environment at the foot of the Majella massif. After high school he passed the admission course and joined the Air Force Academy, then he obtained the license as military pilot at USAF Air Force School in the US. He served as an Air Force Pilot on C-130 aircraft at Pisa Air Base for 19 years. He had the opportunity to travel around the world and carry out several humanitarian missions. Then he was transferred to Latina Flight School where he worked as an instructor and flight examiner where he held the position of Group commander. After a 2-year service for the Major Staf (Italian Air Force) he went on leave.

Tito is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 25 and ends on June 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Interview with Christi J. Whitney, author of 'Grey'






Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the arts. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, obsessing over Doctor Who, watching superhero movies, or pretending she’s just a tad bit British.

Her latest book is the young adult urban fantasy novel, Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1).

For More Information
Can you tell us what your new book, Grey, is about?

Absolutely! Grey is a YA adventure fantasy, and it’s the first installment of The Romany Outcasts Series. The story follows the life of eighteen-year-old Sebastian Grey who is pulled into a hidden world of Outcast Gypsies, secretive creatures, and a destiny he
cannot escape.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Honestly, it depends on the story I’m writing. Grey is a mixture of characters—some invented out of my head and others influenced by former students or types of characters I’ve been drawn to over the years.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Grey began as a series of scenes that had been knocking about in my brain, and I developed the plot around them. Not all my stories work that way, though. Some require some basic outlining so I don’t get confused.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Oh, I love lunch! And just food, in general. I would totally suggest a good Japanese place for sushi, eating some Greek food out on a patio, or going for a nice bowl of guacamole at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I’m completely happy with any of those choices.

What do you like to do for fun?

I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy geek, so most of my fun times involve something in that realm. My family and I are Walt Disney World fanatics, and we vacation there at least once a year. And no, it never gets old. I watch a lot of British television. I love going to superheroes movies. I direct plays for community theatre. And I enjoy making costumes for sci-fi fantasy conventions.

Can you tell us about your family?

I can always talk about my family. I’m married to a pretty spectacular guy, and we’ve been together since I was seventeen, so yeah, I totally married my high school sweetheart. My first-born son is nicknamed “the hobbit”—a name bestowed upon him by my high school students when I was teaching, and it stuck. Even though he’s just turned twelve and is almost as tall as I am, he’s still “the hobbit”. We adopted our other son two years ago after having him in our home as a foster child. We affectionately call him the “man-cub”. My sons are less than eight months apart, which always earns us a humorous double take from people who ask the difference in their ages.

What do you like the most about being an author?

You mean apart from going to work in my pajamas most mornings? I really love being able to create worlds and characters. I have a theatre background, and I’ve always enjoyed bringing stories to life – whether it’s on the stage or on the page. That rhyme was just a little extra for you there. You’re welcome.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

I’m often asked this question by other writers just starting out or looking to get their work published, and the most important thing I can say is this: DON’T BE AFRAID TO WRITE CRAP. Honestly, getting that through my own head was a big revelation. I spent years wanting everything I wrote to be perfect, and when I didn’t meet my own standard; I got frustrated and wanted to give up. After joining a critique group, I began to see the importance of developing as a writer—and that meant allowing myself to write absolute rubbish and to own it when I did. It’s the only way our work can grow.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Straight A's Are Not Enough by Judy Fishel Book Feature!




Title: Straight A's Are Not Enough
Author: Judy Fishel
Publisher: Flying Heron Books
Pages: 320
Genre: Educational
Format: Paperback

 Why do 5000 girls a year not get credit for AP Calculus? How do our mindsets affect our learning? Can we change our own brains, get smarter, or improve our willpower? What happens in your brain when you concentrate on learning? What is the major factor that divides freshmen who do well and those who struggle? These and other intriguing questions are answered in this book. Memorable stories, vivid metaphors, simple images and even a few comic strips reveal ways you can learn most effectively. Many straight A students memorize facts for exams but soon forget nearly everything. What a waste of your time and money! Wouldn't you rather take charge of your own learning and get a great education? Straight A's Are Not Enough is definitely not another book on how to make straight A's. Students who use these powerful strategies will enjoy learning, get a great education, and learn skills employers want most. They can also make straight A's.

To Purchase Straight A's Are Not Enough

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Judy Fishel was a seventh grader when she first asked the question why she worked so hard, made good grades, but learned so little. She struggled with this question through high school, college and grad schools, and for years as an award-winner teacher. Here she shares her discoveries and insights with you.

For More Information
  Visit Judy at her website

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Help Your Child to Thrive: Making the Best of a Struggling Public Education System, by Liane Brouillette

Present day public schools focus intensely on academic success. Social-emotional development is frequently given only incidental attention. If families are not prepared to take up the slack, students’ emotional growth may be impeded, resulting in diminished social skills, motivation, and ability to cope with stress.

Dr. Liane Brouillette gives parents effective strategies that can help their children to build a strong foundation in six key areas:
    Developing confidence
    Building human connections and a feeling of belonging
    Learning from consequences
    Nurturing emotional intelligence
    Acquiring a sense of agency

    Making wise decisions

As the Page Turns says...

Help Your Child to Thrive is an excellent book for parents. It not only prepares parents to understand the challenges children face in schools, but, more importantly, it shows parents in a clear, doable, no-nonsense way how to help their kids meet those difficulties. In an engaging, straight-forward style, Dr. Brouillette takes the reader through the public school system and the way it has deteriorated in recent years, especially due to the prevalence of bullying and drugs. Each chapter deals with a specific subject--confidence, emotional intelligence, decision-making, etc.--so parents may go directly to those chapters if they wish. 

If you think your child is performing under his or her full potential, or you believe she or he is struggling with peer pressure or relationships, this is a must read. Not only will parents become more confident in helping their child, but this book will also help them in knowing what to expect from schools. 

An educational researcher by profession, Dr. Brouillette's knowledge, professionalism and expertise come though in every page. Highly recommended! 

Purchase from Amazon

Interview with Anne Sawyer-Aitch, author of 'Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City'





Anne Sawyer-Aitch (pronounced like the letter “H”) is a puppeteer and stilt-walker. When she decided to create her first book, Nalah and the Pink Tiger, she began experimenting with different styles of illustration, and finally discovered a technique that uses her skills as a maker of color shadow puppets. She calls it “Illuminated Illustration”, and it involves cut-away designs, layering, and backlighting. In her capacity as a puppeteer, Anne creates puppet pieces of all kinds: parade floats, giant stilt puppets, and intricate color shadow shows. She is a MN State Arts Board Roster Artist, teaching puppetry all over the state, and has been touring around with her first book & her Nalah and the Pink Tiger show for the last two years. Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City is her second book. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For More Information
Can you tell us what your children's book, Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City, is about?

Nalah is a little girl with a huge imagination. This is the second of her adventures. One day Nalah finds herself bored and lonesome because all of her imaginary friends have gone away on vacation.
But wait – not all. Mad Tooth, the little mouse who lives in her sock drawer, is still busy munching away on her knee-highs. When she finds out why Nalah is sad, she offers to take her down through the sock drawer into a mouse metropolis. The result is a tale of wild dancing, cousins and mice, taffy and a sock monster.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Nalah is a real little girl: my niece. She’s very mischievous. Nalah and the Pink Tiger was the first book she inspired. We were playing a game about imaginary animals, and she invented a pink tiger who leapt about the room. When the book came out, my other nieces and nephews wanted to be in a book too. They are all there in Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I start with a central idea and then let my imagination loose. That’s the most fun for me. Also, sometimes the ideas that you put down without editing are the best ones. Not always, but I think there’s value in plowing forward full steam ahead and saving the revisions and self-editing for later.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Yes! Mad Mouse City is in the title, after all. It’s the kind of place that I used to make with stuff from the family junk drawers when I was a kid. It’s also the hidden city that I used to fancy might be just around the corner – under the bed, in Mom’s closet.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Well, here in Minneapolis, we have a pretty special holiday called May Day. It’s always on the first Sunday of May, and it’s a big parade with giant puppets and a lovely pageant that brings the sun across the lake to symbolize spring. I’ve been lucky enough to make puppets for that parade and perform in that pageant for years. You should look at some of the pictures on the web. Go to www.hobt.org and click on the May Day Parade tabs.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Considering that right now it’s cold and snowy as I write this, I would say a nice little outdoor cafĂ© in Costa Rica. I hear the coffee is great.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to sew and paint. I listen to audio books when I work with my hands. I like going out to dinner with my friends. Cooking and baking too.  Although I don’t enjoy preparing food for myself alone. Then I usually keep it pretty simple.

When the weather is nice, it’s great to kayak up north at my folks’ lake cabin. Here in Minnesota, we have a lot of water, as in “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” When I’m stressed out, I just imagine myself up there out on the water with the sun and the view of trees all around. Sometimes you’ll see a family of loons or heron. We have a pair of nesting bald eagles too. You can hear the babies squawking from the middle of the lake.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I love creating the books – I illustrate them too. But the best moments are when I get to watch children interact with the books. To hear them giggle at certain parts, or watch them discover little details in the drawings. I do give-aways for economically disadvantaged students through grants sometimes. Seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they understand that they get to take the book home and keep it – that never gets old. There are children who don’t have any books at home. I was so fortunate to grow up in a house where reading was a valued and beloved activity every day. I want to pass that love of stories and reading on to as many children as I can, even if it’s only in a small, individual way.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

I guess everyone writes in his or her  own way. The key seems to be finding out how you work, and keep expanding ways to access that creativity. Visuals are very important to my process. Sometimes sketching or making a collage helps me to figure out what’s going on in my head. Then I can tap into that. For some people it might be journaling, or speaking aloud into some recording device, or yoga. Oh, and caffeine never hurts.

Monday, May 18, 2015

To End All War by Nicholas Lambros Book Feature - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!






Title: To End All War
Author: Nicholas Lambros
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 572
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 It is 1916 and twenty-six-year-old John Morris cannot ignore the Great War anymore. Despite his father’s objections and the fact that America has not even entered the war yet, John leaves Maryland for France where he hopes to fulfill his mission of becoming a flyer in the Lafayette Escadrille. He leaves behind not only his parents, but also his surgeon brother, Michael, and sister, Catherine, who are quietly nurturing their own dreams to play a part in the war. Over two years later, John’s father is dead, his mother is in Arizona, and Michael and Catherine are heading to New York. Michael is soon assigned to an aid station in France while Catherine translates French documents for the State Department. But after she is supposedly sent to Paris to work at the United States Embassy, Catherine is made a counterspy in a French town near the Swiss border. As John, Michael, and Catherine each do their best to help in a war that stretches from the skies to the Western Front, none of them realize that only two of them will return home. In this historical novel, three young Americans drawn into the Great War bravely battle seemingly insurmountable challenges while attempting to survive loss, find love, and pursue their dreams.

To Purchase To End All War

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Nicholas Lambros proudly served in the United States Army. During his travels to Europe, he visited the battlefields and cemeteries of both world wars. Now retired from teaching, Nicholas resides with his wife, Gail, in Monkton, Maryland, where he enjoys writing poetry and painting landscapes.

Nicholas is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 11 and ends on May 23.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 24.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Red Stick One by Kenneth Kirkeby Book Feature!





Title: Red Stick One
Author: Kenneth Kirkeby
Publisher: K. Kirkeby
Pages: 272
Genre: Adventure/Thriller
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 When senior wildlife officer, Tom Jay Harding, is murdered in the field the half-Indian boy he raised, now grown and also a wildlife officer, takes off his badge to embark on a cross-country search for the killer.

For More Information

Red Stick One is available at Amazon. Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 Kenneth Kirkeby has written for national outdoor magazines for over 20 years. His first novel, The Tournament, was published in 1996. He served in the Marine Corps and lives in North Texas. Red Stick One is his second novel. For More Information Connect with Kenneth on Twitter. Find out more about Kenneth at Goodreads.