Friday, October 28, 2011

Radio Interview for April Fool, Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill

Listen in on Susanna Leonard Hill's Radio Interview today at 2pm EST at  to learn more about all of her books and especially her new release April Fool, Phyllis!
April Fool, Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler 
Holiday House
April 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0823422704
ISBN-13: 978-0823422708
Ages 5+
28 Pages
Fiction     Children’s Picture Book    April Fool's Day 

Susanna began writing as soon as she could hold a pencil. She used to lie on the kitchen floor and ask her mom how to spell things. She wrote her first book in 2nd Grade. It is called The Girl and The Witch and she will read it to you if she comes to visit your school!
Her first published book was The House That Mack Built, released by Little Simon in 2002. Since then, she has published six more books: Punxsutawney Phyllis (Holiday House, 2005), Taxi! (Little Simon, 2005), No Sword Fighting In The House (Holiday House, 2007), Not Yet, Rose (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2009), and Airplane Flight! and Freight Train Trip! (Little Simon, 2009.) Can't Sleep Without Sheep, released Fall of 2010 (Walker Books), is illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, and Jeff Ebbeler is illustrating April Fools, Phyllis!, due out from Holiday House in 2011!


April Fool, Phyllis is a delightful combination of fun, mystery and believing in ones own abilities.

Phyllis is a groundhog who knows about the weather. April 1st was the day of the spring treasure hunt but when Phyllis smelled the air she knew something wasn't right. A blizzard was coming. She declared to the family that the treasure hunt should be cancelled on the count of snow, but the family doesn't believe her, thinking that the winter season is over. But the more Phyllis persists that she is right, the more her family members begin to play April Fool pranks on her. Phyllis doesn't think the situation is very funny and keeps trying to plead her case, but the family doesn't budge, so--the treasure hunt is on.

Phyllis and the other children follow clues around Punxsutawney to find the treasure. But the farther they go away from their warm home, the more they start to notice changes in the weather. The wind picks up and it becomes colder. Will Phyllis and her family be able to make it back to their home before a blizzard rises up jeopardizing their fun?

Fans of Susanna's books will delight in her new one. She brings Phyllis's world to life, thrusting the reader into the adventure, having them wonder what will happen next. The illustrations by Jeffrey Ebbeler are so vivid and detailed that readers of all ages will relish in their realistic feel and mood. The author creates a fun, mystery type story that has several meanings running together. Readers will especially enjoy the information in the back of the book which informs the reader of the history of April Fool's Day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Radio Interview and Book Review for The Adventures of Cefa the Cat by Cristine Caton

Check out the radio Interview for Cefa the Cat at at 2pm EST today. Please follow the show and partcipate into the giveaway.

The Adventures of Cafe the Cat-Cefa Finds a Home by Cristine Caton
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 17, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1460906500
ISBN-13: 978-1460906507

Author Bio:

Cousins Cristine Caton and Judy Ryan grew up in St. Louis, Missouri Cristine Caton started her career as an elementary school teacher. She taught for 7 years before going on to other ventures. She ended her career as the owner of a print and copy shop where she did the layout and design for her customers using various computer graphics programs. After retiring she decided to put both of these careers together to create the series of children’s pictures called "The Adventures of Cefa the Cat". Cris did the writing and worked on the illustrations using her computer skills while Judy drew the characters and facial expressions. Working together Cefa the Cat became a reality. Judy Drmacich Ryan has always been involved in drawing, painting and music. Of the two creative roads possible she chose to follow the music path first. She started a degree in Music Education then, after life happened and more than a few years passed, she finished that degree - better late than never. Still enjoying painting, drawing and music she is also an avid gardener. When her cousin Cris asked her to help with illustrating "The Adventures of Cefa the Cat" she was thrilled to say yes. This is her first venture into cartooning and is looking forward to more adventures with Cefa. Cefa’s stories are based on the adventures of the Caton’s second Russian Blue cat. He was full of energy and got into a variety of sticky situations which made for some funny stories. "The Adventures of Cefa the Cat" is a great read for elementary students who can read by themselves or by parents for those little ones who don’t know how to read yet. They are working on the second book in the series. Watch for its release soon.

Book Review:

Cefa is a cat found at an animal shelter. She is getting adopted by a man she calls Drugu. It means friend in Russian. Cefa is a Russian Blue Cat. Cefa enjoys her experiences in a new house, exploring all she can. She loves to sit on the windowsill and look outside watching the world go by. When Drugu allows Cefa to go outside, she is nervous at first. She has never been outside, so the soft grass beneath her feet feels funny, but she likes it. The sun is warm, but noises from cars and trucks scare her. Her owner comforts her, reassuring her that she is all right. Then Cefa finds a beautiful tall tree to explore while her owner is busy working in the yard. What will happen when she climbs up and can't get down?

The Adventures of Cefa the Cat is a simply delightful story that tells the adventure of a curious cat. Children will be able to relate to Cefa's curiousity, yet understand the message that sometimes our curiosity can get the better of us and we can find ourselves in trouble, so we must always be careful and use our common sense. For cat lovers big and small, and for anyone who has recently found a cat and has become a new pet owner, each will enjoy this 32 page picture book.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review for Spark the Stone Man by Asya Pekurovskaya

Spark the Stone Man: First Book of the First Series

Spark the Stone Man by Asya Pekurovskaya, illustrated by Olga Titova
February 10, 2011
ISBN-10: 0982848714
ISBN-13: 978-0982848715
Ages Young Adult
72 Pages
Fiction     Picture Book    Fantasy Fairy Tale 
I was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. You can call me a person who writes incessantly. You can also blame me for not writing lucidly. But let me tell you: writing is a tricky matter. As soon as a thought finds its way to paper, it starts making its demands on the author. It wants to be written in a number of different ways. As a result, it becomes ornamental. That ornamental property however, serves not to embellish a thought, but, rather, to resist its manifest lucidity. For a thought that we take to be clear, in fact veils a sweep of hidden meanings. And the more curious a reader's mind is, the more it resists this apparent crispness of a clear thought. Besides, it is ornamental features that make author's style vibrant and readers' minds engaged.
Reviewer: Renee Hand
Spark the Stoneman-Book 1 is an intriguing fairy tale that will delight children of all ages.
Lemon Drop Valley was a place of tranquility squeezed between a mountain range on the east and the gently sloping seaside to the west. The mountain was known as Granite Mountain. But it didn’t appear as an ordinary mountain, but more like a palace. It was where Spark, the stone man of the stonemasons’ tribe, began.
Spark was an interesting stonemason who often dreamt of visiting Lemon Drop Valley, but according to the law of the stonemasons, even the desire to set foot beyond the cold stone of Granite Mountain was an act of treason. Even so, he still desired it.
It just so happened that Spark had fallen asleep by the icy palace of His Majesty the King. That sort of thing was usually punished, but instead of punishment he was rewarded with information. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. The King was old and needed to step down, but how to do it? Well, the Chief Vizier decided that he would change places with the King pretending to be his double. The King, at first, was reluctant to give up his crown, but then he gave in to the vizier’s cunning words, treating him as if he were the King instead of him. The job was almost completed; all that was left was the handing over of the Royal Scepter, which was very close to the King’s heart. It was a long rod made of 18 carat gold, with a bloomed flower on top, its petals were made of special stones like sapphires, diamonds and pearls.
With the handing over of the scepter also meant the revealing of a secret only known by the King. There was a path to Lemon Drop Valley, a path that no one knew about. Spark was intrigued to say the least because he desired to leave the mountain, but the vizier began to worry that all the stonemasons would leave the mountain, but there was another secret. The Coveted Path that led the way to the valley was magnetized prevented the stonemasons, who wore iron shoes on their feet, from leaving. But there was a powerful wizard who knew how to demagnetize the path. The vizier makes an oath to the King to find the wizard and lay the King’s worries to rest. 
Spark makes a vow to find the wizard first. When he does, and he enters into the world of Lemon Drop Valley, will it be what he expects? Will his view upon the world change?
This is a creative 72 page story filled with danger, mystery, and fantasy elements young adults will enjoy. The beautiful illustrations bring the text to life, making the world of the stonemasons and Lemon Drop Valley real in the mind of the reader.  There are many unanswered questions the readers will enjoy discovering and as they do they will also learn more about the characters and watch them change as they discover their strengths and talents along the journey. For the first time in his life, Spark changes into the stonemason he was supposed to be, carrying with him a secret of hope and love.
Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers Series for children. Look for her new release in the series, Book #5 The Peacock Diaries.  


Friday, October 21, 2011

Review of What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe by Melissa Ridenour

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers by Melissa Harker Ridenour
Headline Books
ISBN# 978-0938467113
Children’s Book   Child Safety

Melissa Harker Ridenour, formerly a teacher and librarian, is now a freelance writer and children's book author. She has published essays, poetry, magazine articles, and web articles as well. A portfolio of samples of Melissa's work can be accessed through her writing website, Write Solution Ink.

Melissa believes in the power of words. "Words define us," she contends. "Our use of words, in both spoken and written communication, is often the first and most formidable impression that we make."


What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers is a fantastic way to teach children about staying safe in a non-scary, parent approving way that children will understand.

For every parent there is always that lingering fear of something terrible happening to their children. The truth is that no matter how many times children are reminded about being safe, they are constantly put to the test on a daily basis. Will they remember what to do to keep themselves safe when the time comes? Every parent would like to think so, but as parents we also have our doubts. That is where this book becomes an invaluable resource for parents and children.   

The first chapter helps children identify a stranger and also talks to the reader about creating an 'In Case of Emergency'  list for children to know who to call if they are in trouble and more. The following chapter has sections where children are tested on what they know to see if they would make the right decisions if they were placed in a particular situation. The choices are simple and provides children with the answers to the questions, also providing a thourough explanation.   

Another important chapter is talking about what was learned. Every child can benefit from this section. It serves as reminders and reassures the children of what is right. This book is different in the sense that it provides great information in a simple way yet also tests them about what they know in a nonpreaching way. The book holds many facts and children who may have not felt comfortable before, may believe enough in themselves to talk to a parent or caregiver after reading the book.

Children from the ages of 9-12 are going to appreciate this 64 page chapter book as it helps them understand what it means to be safe and to know what they should and shouldn't do in certain situations. Parents will enjoy the reference part in the back of the book which supports them on this endeavor. This book helps teach safety in a nonthreatening way, helps empower children to believe in themselves, and for them to trust their instincts. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Radio Interview and Book Review for Carla's Cloud Catastrophe by Beth Bence Reinke

Carla's Cloud Catastrophe

Listen to the interview with Beth today at 1pm EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here and through the radio show as well. Must leave a comment. Giveaway lasts until beginning of November.
Carla’s Cloud Catastrophe by Beth Bence Reinke, Illustrated by Ginger Nielson
4RV Publishing LLC (June 14th, 2011)
Ages 4-8

28 Pages
ISBN# 978-0982834602
Children’s Picture Book

Author website:
Illustrator website:
Buy link for book on 4RV Publishing's online bookstore:

Beth Bence Reinke is an author and registered dietitian. She writes children's books, devotional books and articles about food and nutrition. Beth's professional affiliations include The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and The American Dietetic Association.

Carla’s Cloud Catastrophe is a fun tale that will delight the imagination with the possibilities of what could happen if clouds fell from the sky.
Hours before Carla’s birthday party, clouds fall from the sky landing on Papa, who just happened to also be the Director of Transportation, and many other people on the streets of town. No clouds were in the sky, they had all fallen to the ground because a tornado had knocked them loose. This was going to be a real dilemma.

Papa had to go to a meeting held by the major to discuss the problem. Clouds had fallen everywhere causing problems with traffic and covering people’s homes. People everywhere were finding ways to remove the clouds from the streets and their yards, but the clouds needed to get back into the skies. Can Carla and her father come up with a plan that will help the town with this cloud catastrophe?
Children from the ages of 4-8 are going to enjoy this 28 page picture book. It's simple and cute with great illustrations that are colorful and bright. Children will be curious about the effects this will have on the weather, as well as coming up with more logical solutions to the problem, but this story hits right on with the fictional and entertaining value the author is relaying. Readers can use this story as a break in to educational topics that concern the weather and what clouds can and can’t do. Discussions will certainly abound from it, but the moral of the story is how one little girl used her imagination to solve a potentially big problem. Using our imaginations is what reading a story is all about.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Radio Interview and Book Review for a Kenyan Picture Book by Pam Bitterman

Listen to the interview with Pam today at 7pm EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here, through the radio show as well, and follow Pam at 
nd leave a comment. Giveaway lasts until beginning of November

When This is Over, I will Go To School, And I will Learn How To Read
by Pamela Bitterman  
Amazon Kindle
Ages All Ages
Nonfiction     Children’s Picture Book  
Author Bio:
No one knows the story of Kenya better than the children who live it. I had the opportunity to travel to this country and become immersed with the families there. The result is a 1500-word nonfiction children’s picture book containing over 70 unique and original color images, titled, “When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Read: A Story of Hope and Friendship for One Young Kenyan Orphan.”
This true story of one little boy is told in his own words. While there are many books about Africa on the market, none are told from a child’s point of view like this one. The children from the village created the book’s illustrations. I asked these students to draw what represented family, love, happiness, sadness, fear and hope for them. I have also included powerful photographs of the children, the school, the village and the countryside, the hospital, the mobile clinic and orphan program. It is this truth that is certain to nudge the hearts and minds of parents, teachers and children everywhere. I have promised all proceeds from the sale of this book to the children of the tiny village school where the illustrations were created. They trust me. And they wait.
Reviewer: Renee Hand
When This is Over, I will Go To School, And I will Learn How To Read, is an inspiring true story about children in Africa who want to be happy and healthy. 
This story is about a six year-old boy named Julius. He has never been to school. He lives with his grandmother, sister and brother in Kenya. They live in a mud hut in the forest. Professor Nancy sees the children and tells them that they have jiggers, which are bugs that live under the skin and lay eggs. She tells them that they need to come to her mobile clinic and orphan feeding program.
When they get there the doctor realizes that their condition is far worse then they first thought, so the family is taken to the hospital where they can be treated properly. After their treatment the family is given many things to help them be healthy, like mats to sleep on, clothes and shoes to wear, as well as mosquito nets to keep the bugs away. But will Julius ever accomplish his dream of going to school and learning how to read? It is a mantra he says when he is afraid. A goal he hopes to someday accomplish.
This is a true story of life for children in Kenya. It is a terrifying truth that most people don’t know about. What is amazing is the strength and hope in the Kenyan children and their determination to want to become something more. The illustrations are done by the children and there are real pictures of the children in the story as well. This book will hopefully help bring more awareness to the conditions the children in Kenya must endure but it will also show how the kindness of people prevail. This is a 75 page book that children and parents of all ages will enjoy.  
Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers Series for children. Look for her new release in the series, Book #5 The Peacock Diaries.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Giveaway Winner For The Month of September Radio Show Book Giveaways

We have one winner who has entered in the book giveaways. It is

Susan Kaye Quinn for The Fourth Wish by Elizabeth Varaden

Remember that every author I host on my radio show gives away a book for bloggers and followers of my show. Make sure to listen to the radio interviews to see if you are interested in the author and what they have to offer. This is a great opportunity to read about new and upcoming authors. They also make great gifts for children. Keep a look out for more great author interviews coming up in the next few weeks. Lots of great children's books and giveaways.

Thanks everyone for following my books, blog and radio show. I appreciate it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Radio Interview and Book Review For Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi

Listen to the interview with Karen today at 7pm EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here and follow Karen at   and leave a comment. Giveaway lasts until beginning of November.

Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

Walking Through Walls is a tale that teaches readers that when we help others our lives feel more complete than when we just think of our own needs.

Wang was a 12 year-old boy who longed to be an Eternal. An Eternal was someone who possessed great power and who helped others, they were selfless people. Wang was a selfish boy and wanted power and wealth for himself, and he knew that he wouldn’t get that by slaving his days away in a field farming like his father. Many people in Wang’s village, including his family, tried to persuade Wang to forget his dream in becoming an Eternal and realize that his place was right with his family, but he refused to listen. After having a dream of an amazing red dragon with silver streaks throughout his long lean body, Wang decided to go into the mountains and find the Eternals to make his own destiny. He felt it was a sign.

The journey was long and treacherous. When he came to the point of doubting his decision, there it was, an amazing temple tucked high into the mountains.  Wang was pleased when he discovered that there were indeed Eternals. The people of his village doubted their existence. Wang had become an apprentice of the Eternal living there, along with other children who wanted to help their families and villages. For a year Wang had finished whatever he was told to do. He worked hard, but he had never learned one bit of magic in all that time.

Wang was greatly disappointed, he wanted to become wealthy and was no closer to his goal then he was when he had arrived a year ago, or at least he thought. Before Wang gave up to go back home, he begged the Eternal to teach him some magic. He did. Wang had learned to walk through walls. Eager with this knowledge, Wang wanted to start on his path to riches, but will it be as rewarding as he thought?

This story was based off a Chinese folktale. The back of the book contains brief information about history and life in China, as well as questions to enhance reading and activities for readers to participate in. Readers who love folktales will also enjoy this 61 page one.

Every folktale has some type of moral, this one does as well. Wang knew right from wrong, and when he was put to the test and had to choose between his own selfish needs and the needs of others, that was where he found his true strength. Riches and wealth could not top that and he finally knew which path he had to take. Readers can relate to the dilemma and relish in the solution. Children will be able to learn from Wang’s emotions and trials, seeing things in their lives a little more clearly.

The book should be available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and book stores by July 15, 2011. 

You can also order Walking Through Walls today at:
To learn more about Walking Through Walls and check out some reviews visit:  

To find out more about Karen and her books visit:
Please be sure to stop by Deb Hockenberry ( on July 5th for the next stop on the Walking Through Walls Tour.  
Title: Walking Through Walls 
Author: Karen Cioffi
Illustrator: Aidana Willow Raven
Genre: MG/Tween/YA
ISBN: 978-0-9826594-7-2
Publication Date: July 2011
Pages: 61
Price: $14.99 paperback
Publisher: 4RV Publishing

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of When Monsters Get Lonely by Maha Huneidi

When Monsters Get Lonely

When Monsters Get Lonely by Maha Huneidi

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12

  • Paperback: 32 pages

  • Publisher: CreateSpace (June 4, 2011)

  • ISBN-10: 1461063078

  • ISBN-13: 978-1461063070

  • Bio:
    Maha Huneidi is a wife, mother and now grandmother, who finally found out what she wants to be when she grows up. This book is the first step of her journey. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

    Book Blurb: One night, during a blackout, Hannah’s worst fear comes to life when her monster pays her a visit in the dark of night. Hannah finds it difficult to control her dreadful fear, until Gams reveals how our thoughts magically create our lives.

    Publisher Website:
    Places where your book(s) are available for sale: Amazon, B&, Kindle,

    Genre of Book: Children’s Picture Book

    Hahhah is a child who is afraid of the dark. She believes that when the lights go out that a monster will come out and take her away to the belly of the earth where monsters live. With the help of her night light though, she feels safe and protected. But when there is a blackout Hannah wakes with the fear of something cold touching her. She's convinced that its a monster trying to get her. Her family tells her its just a nightmare, but she doesn't believe it. Grams has an idea and tells Hannah to draw the monster, and she does. She draws something terrifying and scary. Grams tells Hannah that our imaginations can sometimes get the better of us, if we think bad thoughts, then they will come to life in our dreams. Will Grams words of wisdom pay off the next time Hannah falls asleep?

    This is a good tale about a childs imagination at night. Everyone dreams, but nightmares can sneak up and scare us without warning. It's good for children to know that they can control the dream, making it into something positive and not negative. The drawback for most children is going to be the cover. The story has a great message but the cover will prohibit some children who have had nightmares to pick it up thinking that its going to be a scary book. Most children between the ages of 9-12 will enjoy the story and the message the author is relaying. 

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Radio Interview and Book Review for Birds Can Fly and So Can I by Noa Namrodi

    Birds can fly and so can IListen to the interview with Noa Nimrodi today at 3pm EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here and follow Noa at and leave a comment. Giveaway lasts until beginning of November.

    Birds Can Fly and So Can I by Noa Nimrodi and illustrated by Tamir Lichtenberg
    GrassRoots Publishing Group (April, 2011)
    ISBN-13: 978-09794805-1-5
    30 pages
    Ages 4-8
    Children’s Picture Book

    Birds Can Fly and So Can I is a delightful tale about dreams coming true.

    The story begins with Giraffe who spies a bird flying high into the sky. As she watches in amazement, she wishes with all of her might that she could grow wings and fly away, too. Tired from the day, Giraffe lies down and falls asleep, her mind free to dream. Soon each spot on her long neck turns into wings. She pumps them fiercely as her feet begin to rise above the ground.

    High into the sky she flies, when she returns her friends gather around her in awe. She indulges them with a ride. As Giraffe sleeps, her friends really do crowd around her. She wakes; knowing that everything was a dream but what has her friends done to inspire her?

    This story is simply told, but its meaning is powerful. Though Giraffe knows that she will never grow wings and fly away, her dreams can be attained in other ways. The sky is the limit to our goals in life, not even the clouds can contain them. Children will feel inspired and encouraged in this 30-page picture book, to reach for their goals, even if they may seem impossible.

    The illustrations are a good fit for this story and do a great job depicting Giraffe’s journey. They are colorful and bright. The back of the book contains a chart for readers to be able to write down their goals and dreams.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Interview and review for Daniel Keep Dreaming by Paige Lackey Martin

    Listen to the interview with Paige Lackey Martin today at 9:30am EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here and follow Paige at and leave a comment. Giveaway last until beginning of November.

    Daniel Keep Dreaming

    ·         Paperback: 48 pages 

    ·         Publisher: Paige Martin Books; 1st edition (May 4, 2011)  

    ·         ISBN-10: 0578082721  

    ·         ISBN-13: 978-0578082721


    Paige Martin has been writing for many years and publishing a children s book has been a goal of hers that has finally come true with her self published book entitled Daniel Keep Dreaming, published by Paige Martin Books. Martin has had much success as a published songwriter of R&B, Soul, and Jazz music with over 15 years experience. She is also a visual artist, and facilitates an arts enrichment program that she created which she teaches to inner city youth in non-profits, schools, and recreation centers in Atlanta, GA.


    Daniel Keep Dreaming is a delightful story that teaches children to never let go of their dreams.
    This story is about a boy named Daniel Chase. Daniel loved painting more than anything in the world. He entered into a contest where he won first prize. He was ecstatic and wanted to continue with his love of art, but his father wanted to direct his attention towards making something for the science fair, but Daniel didn't want anything to do with the science fair. Daniel was in quite a dilemma. But then an opportunity came up where a mural needed to be painted on the wall in the Media Center. Daniel was asked to do it.

    Honored, Daniel of course painted it.  But it was without his parent's knowledge. For some time they thought he was working on his science fair project at school, when, in fact, he was working on the mural. What will happen when Daniel's parents find out the truth?

    This story is a great example of following your dreams. Daniel believed in what he was doing, he loved art and wanted to show the world his talents. As parents we sometimes want our children to do the things we want them to do instead of allowing them to do the things that they want to do. Daniel eventually does tell his parents the truth, and by talking and discussing the problem where the parent's are actually listening, he shows children that their dreams are important, too. Children the ages of 4 and up will enjoy this 48 page picture book about following your dreams and never giving up.  Readers will also enjoy the audio CD as well.

    Review of Ding Dong the Diva's Dead by Cat Melodia

    Product Details

    Ding Dong the Diva's Dead by Cat Melodia
    Camel Press
    ISBN-10: 1603818081
    ISBN-13: 978-1603818087
    Ages Adult
    246 Pages
    Fiction     Opera Mystery     
    Cat Melodia is a Seattle-based mezzo soprano and voice teacher. Like her heroine, she often wears the pants on stage. She has an AB cum laude from Princeton and an MM (Master of Music) degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Washington. Visit her blog:
    Reviewer: Renee Hand

    Ding Dong the Diva's Dead is a wonderful combination of mystery, murder and opera. 

    This story begins with a struggling opera singer named Deborah de Lille. She gets a new gig in Tales of Hoffman as Nicklausse, who is Hoffman's companion. It is a minor role which forces Debbie to dress as a man, but it’s a role Debbie is glad to take, giving her experience. Now, the interesting part is how Debbie came by her role and the mystery that surrounds it. The opera singer before her had died by driving off of a cliff. It was said that the singer had committed suicide. 

    The knowledge doesn't comfort Debbie, who spends some of her time trying to figure out what really happened to the singer. When she meets the various cast members, there were several that stood out as people who could have committed the crime, especially some of the vengeful and vain leading ladies who would do anything to advance their careers—and have. But there were also some men who could have been heartless and driven enough to do the job, especially those who had relations with the singer or knew of someone who did. But which person had enough motives? Unfortunately, there were several who had something to gain by the singer’s death.  

    As Debbie's talents begin to grow, impressing many people, she gains popularity, but she finds that her life becomes endangered when someone lets off a smoke bomb in her room, which would have hurt her, if she had actually been sleeping in her bed.  

    Not wanting to back down, she plows forward, but then strange things begin happening to some of the other cast members, and Debbie's devotion to her career begins to fail. It also puts into question who her true friends in the cast were. There were a few who she could trust, or could she? Will Debbie be able to find the true suspect behind all the tragedies in the cast before she becomes the next victim? 

    This story is uniquely told through the eyes of an opera singer, using many terms and examples that individuals who are interested in the opera, would know. However, you don't have to be in the opera to understand what is going on. The author does a splendid job mixing her background into the story. The story quickly begins pace as the mystery unfolds before the readers eyes bringing to light many suspects that some readers will be able to relate to in some way. Adults will enjoy this mystery with operatic tones and will cheer for Debbie as truths are uncovered that will surprise the reader. For those who look for a satisfying and just ending, they will not be disappointed.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Book Review for Quincy Moves To The Desert by Camille Matthews

    Quincy Moves To The Desert (Quincy the Horse Books)

    Quincy Moves to the Desert by Camille Matthews, Illustrated by Michelle Black
    Pathfinder Equine Publications
    ISBN-13: 978-0-9819240-1-4
    Ages 5-10
    40 Pages
    Fiction     Children’s Picture Book    Horses

    Between them, Camille Matthews and Michelle Back have done just about everything with horses, but the creation of the Quincy the Horse Books is their favorite project. Camille is a licensed clinical social worker who, along with the real Quincy, a 20 year old American Quarterhorse,provides Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to children and families. She was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the horse capital of the world. She loved horses and wanted one more than anything but her parents could not make that happen. She also loved to read and treasured her horse stories. As an adult she has been a life long equestrian first living in Upstate New York and then in New Mexico for a number of years. She is an avid trail rider and is very active in the equine rescue movement. She began working on the Quincy the Horse Books in 2007 and discovered writing as a second career. She now lives in the Reading, PA area.

    Reviewer: Renee Hand

    Quincy Moves to the Desert is a gentle and easy tale about friendship, trust, and love. 
    This story is the second book in the Quincy the Horse Series. Quincy was a little red horse who lived happily in a tan and white barn along with his best friend Beau. Beau was an older horse who has had many adventures in his life and would often share those tales with Quincy.  
    The horse’s owner was a lady named, Cam. She lived in town, but would come and visit with Beau and Quincy frequently, taking good care of them. One day Cam decided to take the horses on an adventure across the country, from the state of New York to the state of New Mexico. Each state held something surprising and new to Quincy. He saw many different kinds of horses. Beau would explain to Quincy about what they saw.
    He saw the Amish working hard in the fields with draft horses, Quincy wondered if he could pull like they could. When they reached the state of Kentucky, home of the Thoroughbreds, Beau told Quincy of the races and the winner’s circle. Quincy wondered if he could run like a Thoroughbred and win a race.     
    Quincy learned that there were many types of horses, who had many different jobs, some horses were hard working, and some were for show and entertainment. But what kind of horse was Quincy?
    Mathews has created a charming story in Quincy Moves to the Desert. Children who love horses, and are already a fan of the series, will delight in this new addition. The illustrations are so realistic that the reader can feel like they are a part of the story. The storyline is simple, yet the reader learns quite a bit about various horses that live in certain states and the jobs they have. 
    A minor quibble would be the lack of adventure in the story. The story tells a beautiful tale of a horses’ journey, but lacks the adventure to keep some readers attention. Some readers might lose interest, while others will relish in the storyline and illustrations as they picture themselves riding Quincy, and doing all the things that the other horses he has learned about, have done. Children of all ages will enjoy this 40-page hardcover picture book.

    Check out the author's next stop on October 11th

    Writers On The Move – Guest Post: Knowing Your Readership

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Line-up of Author Interviews for October for Stories From Unknown Authors Radio Show

    Hello Everyone,
    Check out all of the great author interviews for the month of October at I have several for listeners to choose from. Also please follow the show if you would like. Don't forget all of the giveaways being offered from the month of September. There are quite a few books that readers will be interested on getting their hands on.  Thanks so much! Also, if anyone follows me just let me know in the comments and I will return the follow.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Interview with O. Warfield about her Dog Story Adventure Omar Blue and K-9 Town USA

    Listen to the interview with O. Warfield today at 3pm EST on Stories From Unknown Authors She will also be offering a giveaway. Rules: Readers must follow me through GFC here, follow my show and follow her at http://omarblue.blogspot.comand leaving a comment. Giveaway last until beginning of November.

    Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA
    Omar Blue and K-9 Town USA by O. Warfield  
    ISBN-10: 1452892318
    ISBN-13: 978- 1452892313
    116 Pages
    Fiction     Dog Stories     

    O. Warfield resides in Richmond, Virginia. Author and poet, O. lives with her loving husband and has one daughter. Born in Brooklyn, New York, O’s objective through her book, "Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA" is to reach out to other dog lovers and avid readers through hours of reading entertainment.  Her characters have personalities that draw fans young and old to their individuality.

    To fulfill a wish to bring enjoyment to children and adults with special needs, this book will be read by the author, in group homes, hospitals, libraries and schools.

    At age --, O. Warfield feels her life gets more exciting every day.-           -   -   -   -   -   -   -

     Following are several of O. Warfield’s urls so readers can find out more about her:

    Blog “My Dog Leads Two Lives”:

    Reviewer: Renee Hand
    This dog story is fun and filled with great lessons for readers of all ages.
    The story starts with a mighty Blue Doberman named Omar Blue, who leads a pack of fifty strong dogs. He’s a good leader and has many devoted followers.  Realizing the need to settle down to provide structure for the pups, they find a nice spot naming it K-9 Town, USA.  They created laws and there were Elders who would provide advice for the town.
    After that several dogs in the pack are introduced and different stories follow. There was a K-9 Town wedding, the introduction to the naughty puppies, the female’s project and much more. Predators come in and out of the story where the pack joins forces to prevail. But will the pack prevail against Bulldog Jim who disrupts the norm?

    There are many adventures that will keep the reader’s attention. Each one incorporates some type of lesson of forgiveness, respect, loyalty and love. Children will enjoy a chapter book filled with rhyme. The author did an incredible job accomplishing that goal while telling a story incorporating lessons. 
    There are many funny parts, like some of the dog’s names and some of the stories. Children who love dog stories will enjoy the different way this story is written and told.