Category Archives: Reviews/Promos

Review: Do Monsters Have Birthdays by Jasmine Williams

 

Jasmine Williams was kind enough to send me a paperback copy of her book so that I could review it with my three year old granddaughter. We both loved it! The words rhymed very well which kept my granddaughter interested and the illustrations were colorful and cute!

The story was understandable to my grandchild too which kept her waiting for me to read the next page. This book was full of the fanciful imagination of a child and was wonderful for me to read as an adult, remembering how fun it was when I was younger to think about imaginary things and situations.

I would highly recommend this book for any child ages three to seven. It is a perfect addition to a child’s book library and also a lot of fun for adults to read too!

My Rating:  5 Diamonds! <>  <>  <>  <>  <>

Where you can find Do Monsters Have Birthdays:

https://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Have-Birthdays-Jasmine-Williams-ebook/dp/B016TQ4QC6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Where you can find Jasmine Williams;

https://www.amazon.com/Jasmine-Williams/e/B00I8W8WE8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Hell by Dan Balestrero

 

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Hell is a compilation of things I’ve learned about succeeding and failing – in life and business – while teaching. Teaching leads to a lot of revelations, laughter, tears, disbelief, theater of the absurd, the occasional miracle, and, more often than not, exciting progress.

It’s important to point out that I’m an observer of behavior, not a therapist. Having said that, the reason I wrote this book is I felt a need to put down some thoughts from my personal point of view about how to work through limitations and move on to full success. Anthony Robbins is right, “Success leaves clues.”

And just as importantly, failure also leaves clues. Or, more directly, it leaves a trail – usually an icky trail- of bad choices executed with no plan and way too much false hope.

We all have our own self-doubts and small hell that we have to escape from in order to succeed. Over the years, I’ve seen different people succeed and fail, and I’ve made notes about the causes and traits that seem to create those two outcomes. I’ve tried to offer encouragement to the people I’ve worked with, and I’ve laughed and cried with many in an effort to discover how to escape personal demons and model the success of others. Other people’s success can be inspiring, and sometimes totally annoying, as we try to figure out, “Why not me?”

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Hell is about the things that have helped me and others escape our private hells. I offer this information in the hope that it might be of some help to you. Even given the difficulty of life, everyone- I mean everyone- can escape. This book contains my personal view of how the mountains of shit can be used to fertilize your orchard of success.

Where you can find Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Hell:

https://www.amazon.com/Everything-needed-Know-learned-Hell-ebook/dp/B06XB4M2MY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490647315&sr=8-1&keywords=everything+i+needed+to+know+i+learned+in+hell

https://www.amazon.com/dp/154409809X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490647315&sr=8-2&keywords=everything+i+needed+to+know+i+learned+in+hell

Where you can find Dan:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34507930-everything-i-needed-to-know-i-learned-in-hell?ac=1&from_search=true

Review: The Magnum Opus by Christopher and Christine Kezelos

A beautiful, sentimental story written by Christine and Christopher Kezelos.  If you enjoy fantasy and whimsical storytelling, this book is for you.

I absolutely loved how the authors wove spiritual wisdom into the book’s pages in a subtle yet striking way.  The story is a must read for anyone looking to develop more meaning and intention in their lives.

I highly recommend this book to adolescents and adults alike.  The Magnum Opus would make a wonderful gift for anyone interested in fantasy or fiction.

My rating:  5 Diamonds!  <>  <>  <>  <>  <>

Where you can find The Magnum Opus:

https://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Opus-Seek-shall-find/dp/0998462802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496742473&sr=8-1&keywords=the+magnum+opus

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-magnum-opus-christine-kezelos/1125384778?ean=9780998462806

Pug With A Passport by Marie Story!

Jump into an exciting travel adventure with Kipling, the Pug with a Passport!
Ride along with Kip as he travels through the big, busy city of Tokyo. Join him as
he learns about the country and culture of Japan with his friend, Taiki.
Explore with Kip as he rides the train and learns to play taiko. Tag along as he tries
sushi, learns some Japanese, and makes new friends!

Interview with Kip:

1.  What is your name?  Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Kipling, but you can call me Kip. I’m a five-year-old pug who loves adventure. I travel all over the world, learning about different countries and cultures. I have friends in so many countries, and they teach me a lot about how people live in other places. I also like playing with my friends at the park and taking long naps on the couch. My favorite snacks are bacon and bananas.
2.  You have a passport.  Tell me where you enjoy travelling?
I love traveling EVERYWHERE! I just got back from a big adventure in Tokyo, where I visited my friend, Taiki. On my next big adventure, I’ll be visiting a new friend in Mexico City! You can follow all of my adventures on Facebook or Instagram. I like to post a lot of photos of the places I visit.
3.  Why do you like to travel?
Each country has so much to see and do. There are so many different types of food to try, and places to visit. I love to learn new languages as well! It’s fun to see how different people are all around the world. I think it would be boring if everybody was exactly the same! Don’t you?
4.  Tell me about Marie, your creator.
Marie was born in the Philippines, and grew up in Japan and Mexico. She spent most of her life bouncing around to different continents, including Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. She loves to tell kids about how wonderful travel is, so that’s why she started writing stories about my travel adventures.
5.  What would you like people to know about Marie?
Marie is a writer, illustrator, and designer. She lives with her husband (author Peter J. Story) and two pugs (me and my sister) in San Antonio, Texas.
Where you can find Traveling Through Tokyo:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MV6OU0D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486613877&sr=8-1&keywords=traveling+through+tokyo
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/traveling-through-tokyo-story-marie/1125924918?ean=9780990749332
Where you can connect with Marie Story:
https://www.facebook.com/pugwithapassport/?fref=ts
https://www.instagram.com/pug_with_a_passport/

Introducing Artist Monika Vijay!

I met Monika on Fuzia.  She is an artist from India-a very talented artist!  I offered to feature her on my blog and social media sites.  Here are a few pieces of her work:

U & Me

Autumn Beauty

Lord Buddha

A Note From Monika:

Hello,
This is Monika Vijay. I am from Bihar. I was never into painting and writing until I got older.
With my parents’ pressure and interest, I was taught painting by Diya Mam when I was in 7th study; but after that I didn’t do much work with it until prompted by my husband.
Now, after marriage and getting free from studies, my hubby encouraged me to be a painter. He bought colors, brushes, charts and everything required for painting. Now I’m used to it and I love painting whenever I get free time. I have also started taking drawing classes.
Next, I’m going to sell my paintings for home decor or for hotel & restaurant interiors. People can contact me as per their painting requirement.
I would like to thank my hubby for encouraging me and for helping me to become a fine painter now.

How To Contact Monika:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011561172639

Where To View Monika’s Work:

https://www.facebook.com/mvartgallery.in/?pnref=story

I Have A Friend On Jupiter by Celine Rose Mariotti

Carlos and Indiana find a website that promises to find them pen pals from outer space. Imagine their surprise and excitement when they are paired with Mannie and Kossie, two children from Jupiter! The two pairs of pen pals are excited to learn about each other and their planets, and are even more excited to learn they may be able to visit! Will the other Earthlings be as open to a visit from aliens from Jupiter, though?

Where you can find I Have A Friend On Jupiter:

https://www.amazon.com/Have-Friend-Jupiter-Celine-Mariotti/dp/1540801020/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493972538&sr=8-1&keywords=i+have+a+friend+on+jupiter

Check out the book trailer here:

Available through Dreaming Big Publications!

Weeping Well by Angel M.B. Chadwick

Fear is like a looking glass…..

Eva Murphy loses something she’d never thought she’d lose. From that day forward her world changes and her journey begins.

Love and devastation come her way constantly and as she comes of age, her inner strength is tested over and over again.

Interview with Telly Glanville from Weeping Well:

     -Telly Glanville. I’m 18 years old. I’m from the UK. I play centre for the rugby team  at Summerville Boarding School.
     -Keeping afloat in the struggles of life. Embracing the darkness and knowing that there is strength in vulnerability. 
     -Eva Murphy. She’s a spitfire. She always lets you know where she stands.
     -She thrives in the darkness. Because of this her works and characters are complex,    authentic and unique as well as relatable. She has a unique insight into mankind. She doesn’t  live vicariously through her characters, we live vicariously through her.
     -Because it’s her life story. She has an abundance of  her own real life stories to show and tell.  Yes, I agree with her perspective because it’s universal as well as extremely personal.
Where you can find Weeping Well:
https://www.amazon.com/Weeping-Well-Mrs-Angel-Chadwick/dp/1541341082/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491981014&sr=8-1&keywords=weeping+well
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/weeping-well-mrs-angel-mb-chadwick/1125412278?ean=9781541341081
Where you can find Angel:
https://www.facebook.com/angel.chadwick.10
https://www.amazon.com/Mrs.-Angel-M.B.-Chadwick/e/B00O4KZI8Q/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
https://www.wattpad.com/user/Amaboo

Writer’s Retweet Audiobook by Piers Anthony

A new audio book by Dreaming Big Publications!

Horrifying illusions. Classified government operations. Heavily guarded secrets. Cryptic rumors. Dangerous prisoners. Irresistible passion. Demonic magic.

Piers Anthony weaves this and more into Writer’s Retweet, a collection of five short stories abounding in the adventure, magic, and naughtiness that fans have come to know and love from this author.

In “Experiment,” “Discovery,” and “Mission,” painfully average Bigelow Bilge and Paula Plaintiff are thrust unwillingly into a world fraught with terrifying, victim-specific illusions. Who—or what—is the source of these horrifying encounters? Why have Bigelow and Paula been targeted?

A newspaper reporter in “Dull Street Incident” gets wind of a delicious scandal rumored to have punctuated a stale suburban street. Menacing prisoners, conniving teenage girls, and one well-kept secret leads this reporter to the story of a lifetime. But who will believe it?

In “Forbidden Fruit,” dowdy, middle-aged Edith happens upon a mysterious fruit that completely alters her life—and the life of Kent, an attractive, young neighbor. Seduced by her newfound magical abilities and rediscovered sex appeal, Edith plunges into a world filled with demons, pleasure, and unthinkable risk.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:  
As a child, Harry Benjamin spent many hours lying on his bedroom floor, reading his favourite novels aloud in time to the accompanying audiobook. Now a young actor with a passion for telling stories, it is only natural that he has made the leap into audiobook narration himself, something he intends to keep doing for a long time to come! In addition to voiceovers, Harry also acts, writes and directs for theatre, and is a member of the recently formed theatre company Colossal Porpoise, who can be tracked down on Facebook and Twitter.

Where you can find Writer’s Retweet:

https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Retweet-Piers-Anthony/dp/1535513314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491727480&sr=8-1&keywords=writer%27s+retweet

The Bridge Of The Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand

“A child with a knack for solving problems helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure. Illustrated folk tale teaches the value of work and comes with ideas for businesses; money-making activities; and online resources .”

My Rating:  3 Diamonds <>  <>  <>

This is a cute and nicely illustrated story about earning a living.  A boy goes on an adventure and learns how to earn money while he is helping a stranger.  This story speaks of being creative when it comes to living life-which is always a good idea!

The illustrations are well done and the story is easy for young children to understand.  This would be a good gift for a child for any occasion.  Plus the book conveys useful information for children in how to be a success in life.

Where you can find The Bridge Of Golden Wood:

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Golden-Wood-Parable-Money-ebook/dp/B01N0XCPQK

http://www.gozobooks.com/bridge-of-the-golden-wood.php

 

 

 

The (In)Fidelity Factor by Elda M. Lopez

 

Conflicted about the role of (in)fidelity in relationships?
Hurt? Angry? Confused?
Need simple, sound advice?

The author can relate. She’s been on both sides of the fence and addresses infidelity prevention in real terms. This is a much-needed book for those with a desire to know, and those in the throes of desire re: (in)fidelity in a committed relationship. An honest, easy, concise read that gets to the crux of the matter, with bits of humor thrown in for good measure. It offers up plenty of points to ponder; along with valuable information, statistics, commentary, personal stories (including the author’s own) and surveys for examination.

Guidelines are given to preserve integrity and respect before falling victim to the harmful backlash of infidelity–and it’s a big one. The purpose is to promote awareness, education, personal accountability, and growth. Bottom line: cheating is defeating. Right? This is your call to action, no matter which side of the fence you find yourself. Get healthy, get happy, get reading. This is where the change-up begins!

Interview with Elda:

1.  Why did you decide to write this book?
I decided to write this book because infidelity has gone absolutely wild, and it’s annoying. High profile people are continuously dropping left and right (it was also a point of contention during the recent presidential campaign), so you can imagine what’s happening in our own backyards, and bedrooms. Infidelity is becoming normalized. Why? Why is this acceptable? Prevention is key, so I took to mine and kept typing away.
Having been on both sides of the fence, I know the struggles–not pretty. There is much to be lost when adultery enters a committed relationship: emotionally, financially, psychologically; not to mention the possible extended mayhem: arson, dismemberment, murder–all real! This behavior affects everyone involved. Because infidelity is such a highly emotionally charged topic, most people don’t realize there are various backstories; nor the scope of the fallout. I wanted to address infidelity prevention in a manner that would be easy to comprehend and hopefully, make a difference.
2.  What do you hope to accomplish through this book’s publication?
My hope is that someone, anyone, will have at least one positive takeaway that can be applied to their life. Better overall understanding, eye-opening moments, and paying the good forward are also welcomed. I emphasize self-awareness, personal accountability, and growth. These aren’t easy subjects for people to acknowledge, but they are essential components for infidelity prevention.

When my ex-husband cheated on me, I chose to take a look at myself as well. His actions were definitely of his own doing, but I had contributed to our disconnect on some level. It’s difficult for people to look at themselves, much less when they’ve been betrayed. I get that. However, I didn’t want to take unproductive patterns with me into a future relationship. And, I certainly wasn’t going to play the victim card. I wanted to get healthy. That’s what I wish for others, on a very large scale. My goal is not to eradicate infidelity, my mission is to bring awareness and do some educating while I’m at it. I’d like to switch up legislature too. I have a very long to-do list!
3.  Do you have any other published work?
So far, this is my only book. At some point, I’d like to do a broader version (are you listening lit. agents?). I’ve learned a tremendous amount during this whole process. I consider myself to be nonjudgmental, but I’ve had to continuously push back my boundaries to accommodate someone’s else’s reality with infidelity. It’s a huge subject with many tangents. There’s still tons of work to do. This particular plate is always full: I’ve been known to have a hearty appetite.
4.  What is one surprising fact you’d like your readers to know about you?
Surprising fact about me? A million years ago in college, I studied abroad at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark: one of the best experiences of my life. It’s a lovely country. I lived with a Danish family with whom I’m still in contact. We’ve also exchanged visits. They truly are an extension of my immediate family. Also, I flunked out of two classes due to my love of travel. Hey, life experience is just as important as book experience. Luckily, I had enough credits so that it didn’t make a difference. Besides, what I gained was absolutely priceless.
5.  If you could fulfill one wish in life, what would it be?
One wish: That all my wishes will be fulfilled. I’m getting closer!
Where you can find Elda:
http://www.eldamlopez.com/
http://mybook.to/facebookeml
http://amazon.com/author/eldamlopez.com
https://twitter.com/eldamlopez
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmvDF58NIik