Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review:

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Series: Quincy the Horse Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Equine Publications (March 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981924042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981924045

Description:

In Quincy’s third adventure, Quincy and Buck, Quincy tries to overcome his fears about “surprises waiting for horses out on the trail” by going on his first trail ride. Quincy’s main concern is the wild animals he might meet but the real challenge turns out to be another horse. Buck, the horse he hopes will be his trail buddy and guide him, turns out to be a bully who is dangerous! Quincy learns some important things about dealing with a bully.

My Thoughts...

Quincy and Buck is a children's picture book that will be enjoyed by horse lovers, young and old alike. In this book in the series, Quincy has been sheltered inside his corral and is afraid to venture into the desert trail rides. He's anxious and fearful of the unknown, and of what could happen 'out there' with wild animals. Then one day his owner, Cam, takes him out to ride in the company of Cathy and her horse, Buck. Quincy is hopeful, thinking that Buck might guide him and become his mentor. Instead, Buck is a bully. Quincy not only ends up learning how to deal with bullies, but he also realizes that everybody is afraid at one point or another, and that he can be just as brave as anybody else.

This is a book with a lovely and important message. The prose is 'quiet' in tone, and beautiful, and the earthly, western-like illustrations complement the story well. Besides issues of bullying, it deals with themes of overcoming fear. I enjoyed reading this book and can whole-heartedly recommend it, especially for children who love horses. 
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Interview with Hayley Rose, author of 'The Do's and Don'ts'

Multi-award-winning author Hayley Rose released her first children’s book, Fifo When I Grow Up, about a six-year-old bear starting school in 2002, followed by the wildly popular geography book and #1 best-seller, Fifo 50 States, published in 2010. In 2012, Hayley was selected as one of “The Top 50 Writers You Should Be Reading” by AuthorsShow.com. In 2013, she branched out with a new series featuring a new set of characters, Zach and Chloe the Louis the manner monster. Her new book, The Do’s and Don’ts, was released in September 2013 and has already garnered four literary awards, including the Readers’ Favorite, USA Best Books and the prestigious Mom's Choice Awards, bringing her career total to twenty-one. The follow up book in the new series, Today I Feel Emotion, will be released in the spring of 2014.

Hayley Lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with her dog Blanche.
Visit her website at www.booksbyhayleyrose.com.

Welcome to my blog and congratulations on the release of your book, Hayley! Tell us about it and your inspiration for it.
 The Do's and Don'ts is a whimsical lesson book aimed at teaching young readers the difference between good and bad behavior/etiquette.  In the book Zack and Chloe go from being manner monsters to well-behaved children as they provide samples of typical scenarios that not only young children encounter but can relate to.  For example, Zack becomes a Manner Monster when he loses a game, kicking and pouting like a poor sport.  In contract, good behavior is then modeled depicting Zack congratulating the winning team. Unlike other etiquette books for children that tell a story or just communicate positive behavior, The Do's and Don'ts compares and contrasts between good and bad behavior.  Simply, yet colorfully displayed, are examples of inappropriate behavior and decisions young children may display followed by behavior and decisions that are more socially accepted. Each compare and contrast anecdote is set in the same scene so that young readers can instantly see the differences between good and poor behavior. 
I was inspired to write The Do's and Don'ts after spending time with my goddaughter and godson.    This book is my way of helping to teach them how to be thoughtful, respectful and considerate of others round them.  The Do’s and Don’ts is packed full of lessons like don’t cut in lines or interrupt others while they are talking, to don’t be a bad sport if you don’t win the game or talk with your mouth full of food.  I have also included lessons on how to stay safe, like don’t open the door to strangers and be sure to look both ways before crossing a street.  Good manners help to better relationships with those around you. 
Tell us about your children's books
My writing style is a little different than most.  My books are comprehensive lessons for children that will excite and inspire them. I generally do not write in a story form like most children’s book authors, but in relatable lessons. For example, in my latest book The Do’s and Don’ts, each two-page spread lists a manner do and a manner don’t. That way you can either read the whole book or just a few of the lessons. With my book, Fifo “50 States” there is a two-page spread on each state, so again, you can read through the whole book or just the states you like to visit. Each two-page spread will hopefully invoke conversation between the reader and the audience. 
I currently have three books with one on the way.   Along with my recent release above, The Do’s and Don’ts, I have two in the Fifo the Bear book series. 
Fifo When I Grow Up is about a brown bear from Denali National Park. He is six years old, and in the first grade. Today is the first day of school, and Fifo is a bit scared. 
Mama comforts him with his favorite breakfast, and they talk about what he wants to be when he grows up. By the end of breakfast, Fifo's been a doctor, a fireman, a pilot, a policeman, a teacher and even the president. 
Now he's ready for anything, even the first day of school. 
Fifo 50 States is a delightful rhyming story where, Fifo, a warm and lovable brown bear, is bitten by the travel bug. Fifo dreams of digging up diamonds in Arkansas, looking for fossils in Kansas, enjoying a delicious bowl of gumbo inLouisiana, and even seeing a Broadway show in New York. Yes, America is an exciting place! 
Fifo's second book is full of adventure. A colorful reference-like geography book, Fifo discovers the wonders each state has to offer. He learns along the way each state's capital, shape, flag, motto, and much, much more. The possibilities are endless! So, come along with Fifo and you'll soon discover the beauty of America one state to another. A positive experience for both Fifo and the reader. Learning should always be this much fun! 
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works? 
I currently have two website: 
I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook: 
Who are your favorite authors?
As a kid I loved Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.  I loved the rhyming words and the silliness of it all.  Now I am into children's books by authors Sheri Fink, Gladys Barbieri, Alva Sachs and Donalisa Helsley. I like positive, relatable books that are written well and inspire you to become a better person. 
Where are your books available? 
Autographed copies are available through my website at:
You can also find them at: 
Amazon:  
Inkwell Productions:
What are you working on now? 
I have a new book coming out later this year called, Today I Feel Emotion.  This interactive book is the follow up to The Do’s and Don’ts.  It displays a various range of different emotions and then asks you to relate to them. It was inspired by my godson, Zack who is autistic.  I am hoping it will help children be more self aware of themselves and their feelings.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

About Suzanne Lieurance, author of 'The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire'

Thank you for following the virtual tour for my historical novel, The Locket: Surviving the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire from Enslow Publishers. Although the tragic event that is the basis for this book happened over 100 years ago, I think it is important for children today to know and understand what life was like for the garment workers in New York City back then.

Obviously, this book was designed for classroom use as a way to supplement the regular social studies textbooks when it comes to helping students learn about events in American history. But I think readers enjoy the book mainly because they get to know and like the main character, Galena, an eleven-year-old Russian-Jewish immigrant, who lives in New York City with her family and works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory with her older sister, Anya. 

When I visit schools across the country I sometimes talk to students about using real events in history as the basis for creating fictional stories. I even have a workshop about this, so I can guide students to choose historical events to research so they can create fictional characters who witnessed these events.

I love to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores to talk about my writing and my books. I particularly enjoy helping teachers and school librarians see how they can use nonfiction to help students write better fiction. Teachers and librarians can find out more about my school visits at my website at http://www.suzannelieurance.com

If you’re a teacher, librarian, or a parent who homeschools, download a free Educator’s Guide for The Locket here now.

Here are a few short reviews of the book:

"The author has done a wonderful job on character development and the description of the fire in the factory was compelling."
"The fictionalization of a real historical event and the dramatization of early labor issues involves reader[s] in a fast-paced, gripping story hard to put down."
"This book will serve to inform readers on the working climate of the time as well as the struggles of immigrants to conform to a new country and new society."
"Woven together in perfect compatibility, the historical background and fictional plot give readers a clear insight into Jewish immigrants and ritual . . . and unfair labor practices, and there is excellent foreshadowing of the fire."
". . . brings American history to life through fictional characters and historically accurate plots."
MultiCultural Review, Winter 2008
". . . an insightful story that will appeal to young readers as well as providing them with a clear understanding of the working conditions at the time . . . a very well written book that will relate well to many young readers."
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Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She is a former classroom teacher and was an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature for over 8 years.

Lieurance has written over two dozen published books and her articles and stories have appeared in various magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, such as Family Fun, Instructor, New Moon for Girls, KC Weddings, The Journal of Reading, and Children's Writer to name a few. She offers a variety of coaching programs via private phone calls, teleclasses, listserv, and private email for writers who want to turn their love of writing (for children and/or adults) into a part-time or full-time career.

Connect with Suzanne on the web:


Watch the trailer: 



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review & $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: ‘Mind Games,’ by Christine Amsden


MindGames_medMind Games is the much awaited third installment in the new adult mystery series, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Talented author Christine Amsden keeps delivering a great story filled with interesting characters, romance, mystery, and the paranormal, lots of it.
In this episode, Cassie still doesn’t know why Evan broke her heart two months ago, and the mystery gnaws at her big time. She decides to keep busy and make herself useful at the sheriff’s department. She also meets charismatic mind mage Matthew Blair…much to Evan’s distaste. At the same time, Eagle Rock is teeming with hate from the religious community, a reaction to the recent murder of a much-esteemed pastor’s wife by what the people believe was a sorcerer. The town is about to snap, with tensions between the magical and non-magical communities.
And in the center of all this, is Matthew, whom Cassie finds irresistible. But can she trust him? According to Evan, no way. But then, Evan isn’t the most objective person when it comes to Cassie. Evan and Cassie have a history, as well as a secret connection, that keeps them bound in spite of themselves.
Will Cassie discover the real culprit or culprits behind the pastor’s wife’s murder, as well as the real face behind the anti-magical propaganda and demonstrations? Most importantly, will she wake up and see Matthew for who he really is…and find the courage to face Evan for what he did to her—when she finds out?
I love this series and thoroughly enjoyed this instalment! There’s something about Cassie’s voice that makes her really likable. She has a good heart and is witty, too. But best of all, she is just an ordinary girl next door trying to do her best in spite of everything that happens around her—which is usually pretty remarkable, as is often the case in paranormal stories.
Her relationship with Evan keeps evolving organically and there’s a major revelation in this book about their connection and the secret behind their rival families. Matthew is a great addition to this episode, adding tension with his charismatic personality and inciting sparks of jealousy from Evan. The conflict between the religious and the magical communities is also well done.
Mind Games kept me reading late into the night, wondering what would happen next. If you haven’t read any books in this series before, I urge you to pick up book one first, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. The books are best read in order. You won’t be disappointed.
Purchase links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Connect with the author on the web: 
My review was originally published on Blogcritics
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway *The giveaway begins on April 15, 2014 at midnight and ends on July 16, 2014 at midnight.
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Guest post by Nicole L. Albert, MHS LPC Licensed Psychotherapist

I am happy to be part of Barry Rudner's virtual book tour this month. To promote his book, SILENT VOICE, Barry is touring the blogosphere with The National Writing for Children Center. In this guest post, licensed psychotherapist Nicole L. Albert talks about Barry and his book. I hope you'll enjoy the post. Happy reading!

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I am fortunate to be a long time friend of Barry Rudner. We met while vacationing in the Florida Keys more than two decades ago. It has been with enthusiasm and appreciation through the years that followed, to participate in his journey of children's literature. Each and every piece of his work, touched me in the deepest of ways. He addresses so many issues of what is typically never spoken aloud. With each piece of writing, he imparts messages of hope, each and every time, and attends to the struggle while opening the hearts of the reader.

I am a licensed board certified therapist and I work with children, adults and families struggling with a variety of life's issues. His writings touched a chord in me as I would think of people whose lives I came into contact with for a variety of reasons. I knew they would benefit from the insight and pure joy his books would provide.

A good proportion of my client base, are individuals with a wide array of Developmental Disabilities.

One day I called Barry to wish him a Happy Birthday - we exchanged some events of what we had both been doing of late, and I described to him some of the situations that I was challenged with, for individuals and families touched by Autism.

A couple weeks later, I received an email from him asking me to read something - the early drafts of Silent Voice. It was utterly staggering! He had accomplished to put into words, a world that many people know only too well and unfortunately way too few are aware of. Silent Voice was born, along with outstanding illustrations that completely depict the nature of this overwhelming and all consuming challenge.

I am so very proud, to have been part of this journey.

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Title: Silent Voice
Genre: Children's fiction, Family
Author: Barry Rudner
Website: http://www.nickoftime.us
Publisher: Nick of Time Media, Inc.
Purchase link: http://www.nickoftime.us/hardcover-books.php

SUMMARY: A modern day allegory about autism awareness: that the only ought in autism is that we ought not ever give up. Ever.

Barry Rudner has been an author/poet of self-esteem books for children for over thirty years, dealing with universal truths such as, reaching for your dreams, homelessness, undying friendships, disability awareness, always being yourself, autism awareness, hope and utter silliness. He firmly believes that we cannot educate our children unless they feel good about who they are; and ultimately, as they grow up, they will not feel good about themselves unless they educate themselves.

Connect with Barry on the web:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nick-of-Time-Media/507826792667344
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickOfTimeMedia
Google+: https://plus.google.com/107827469685021155032/posts 


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: 'A Sandy Grave,' by Donna McDine



About the Book

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

My thoughts...

I always know I'm in for a good treat when I read a new book by award-winning children's author Donna McDine. She has a talent for spinning tales that are both exciting and educational...and she has done it again with her latest book, A Sandy Grave, about a couple of friends who discover whale poachers at the beach while at their summer vacation. With a touch of mystery, McDine immediately grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the end. While an interesting read that can be enjoyed for the pure fun of reading, this one will also appeal to parents and educators because of is eco-friendly message. A nice addition to any home, school or library shelf. Recommended!

PURCHASE AT:


Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook
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