Thursday, May 28, 2015

Interview with Susan Marie Murdoch for Bully Blues

Come and join me as I talk with author Susan Marie Murdoch about her picture book Iwogs Adventures in Bully Blues on Stories From Unknown Authors at 1pm EST today. 

"Iwogs Adventures in Bully Blues is an enlightening story that brings an awareness of an important issue in today's society, bullying. This book is a must read for every classroom and home. The charming characters emanate the emotions so many children feel and are unable to express."

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Goose River Press; First edition (March 2, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 159713158X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597131582

Author Bio:
I love being an author & Illustrator of children's books. I grew up on the seacoast of Maine, and have been a resident of Taos, NM for the past three years. My son Tim, and daughter Jacquelyn, have been my foundation through the years and they are my biggest supporters.

I have enjoyed spending over a decade as a Licensed Nursing Assistant in New Hampshire and continues to devote my time as a part-time caregiver to the elderly in the surrounding communities of New Mexico. I am currently a caregiver to the renowned Taos artist Alyce Frank.

Growing up, my passion had always been painting and drawing. It was later in life after experiencing some traumatic events while serving in the Unite States Army as a military police officer, did I learn that writing was a therapeutic tool to express myself. I try to incorporate personal experiences and emotions into my stories in hopes the messages will ring true with the reader.

My latest book, Iwogs Adventures in Bully Blues, is an enlightening story that brings an awareness of an important issue in today's society, bullying. Children can relate to and read about how the Iwogs battle against Snip and Snap, the turtle brothers and learn that with kindness and forgiveness, anything is possible.

My first children's book, Plaid Frogs, Blue Toads & Pink Pollywogs, was designed to help kids with cancer or any childhood disease in search of a cure, be able to discuss their emotions with a parent, teacher or healthcare provider. A portion of the proceeds of Plaid Frogs Blue Toad & Pink Pollywogs, goes to the American Cancer Society.

I believe that children books should have strong ideals and morals, and send a positive message to the young and old!

Bully Blues is a story about Iwogs who are getting bullied by turtle brothers, Snip and Snap. Snip and Snap kick the Iwogs out of their food bed and tease them about their appearances. Having enough, Corky decides to rally his friends and fellow Iwogs together to see the Grand Unog to get advice on how to deal with the bullies. The wise Unog tells the Iwogs that they all live together in the same pond and they need to find a way to live in harmony with one another. They all need to show patience, kindness, and forgiveness. That advice gets put to the test when Snip and Snap go missing.   

This story encompasses the problem of bullying. It doesn't matter where you are, or even your age, bullying is a problem everywhere. Bully Blues, through the story, tells the Iwogs how to stick together and to avoid the turtle brothers. This worked. But the underlining lesson is to also show compassion, which at times, is very hard to do, especially when the person being bullied is emotionally and/or physically dramatized. But children will learn in this 41 page picture book, that with forgiveness comes great rewards and with kindness comes lasting friendships. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pay it Forward to Linda Mims

Welcome Linda Mims! Pay it Forward Day!

Writer-Blogger over at -Motivational Speaker-Retired Diva! My tweets briefly reflect my opinions. Join me at BOOMACIOUS! 

What is a Boomacious Woman? by Linda Mims

About Boomacious:

Who is the Boomacious woman! It’s a woman who is so fabulously happy to transition into the second phase of her life that even God is excited for her. A Boomacious woman embraces her age, weight, marital status, and any perceived shortcomings and never allows them to stop her show. She doesn’t care what people think, or what they do. She has learned to live and let live. That is Boomacious!
“Boomacious”, the blog, is dedicated to this woman!
Boomacious women lead businesses! Are entrepreneurs! Care for elderly parents! Process decisions daily about housing, food, clothing, automobiles, investments, etc. for multi-generational families.
A Boomacious woman is spirited, adventurous, and stylish! She remembers the woman she was in the 70’s, but now she’s ready to share her knowledge with generations Y and X. “Boomacious”, the blog, inspires Baby Boomer Women to redefine themselves and it identifies trends that will allow these women to embrace the second phase of their lives.
Join us as we explore literature, lifestyles, entertainment, technology, and travel for all ages. We’re 
not stuck on numbers. If it feels good, and you can still do it—go for it!
We’re eager to hear from you! Send all correspondence to
Stay healthy! Stay stylish! Stay inspired!
Join her on her blog and learn about other authors, their books, and Linda's views about life and being fabulous.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review for Blue Ocean Bob by Brooks Olbrys

Join Blue Ocean Bob on his journey to protect all life in the Sea of Kerchoo

Blue Ocean Bob loves the sea and wants to dedicate his life to protecting it. He begins a new job as assistant to Mary Marine, the Island of Roses's leading marine biologist, and with his hummingbird guardian, Xena, by his side, works hard to carry out his duties to the sea creatures both on and off the shore.

When the challenges mount, Bob seeks advice from Doc the turtle, Earl the clam, and Wallace the walrus, who each help him to develop the positive attitude he needs to succeed.

The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Challenging Job is the second installment in this colorful and inspiring early chapter book series that provides young readers with an introduction to timeless principles of achievement.

About the Author

A graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Brooks Olbrys is the founder of Children's Success Unlimited and a managing director at investment bank Ion Partners. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

From a young age, Kevin Keele has enjoyed creating artwork in many forms: drawing, oil painting, digital painting, even stained glass. His work has been featured in numerous picture books, magazines, board games, and video games. Though he lives far from any coastline, he has always been fascinated by the ocean and enjoys illustrating its various creatures. Kevin is currently an artist for Disney Interactive Studios. He lives in Utah with his wife and two sons. They are the caretakers of one cat, three chickens, and thousands of Italian honeybees.

This chapter picture book contains 5 different chapters. The first is Helping Hand where Bob must help a seal learn to feed in the deep. When he succeeds in his goal the short chapter is over and it flows into the next day where Bob must now help a pelican stuck in a net. In the third chapter Bob must warn the sea life that a storm is coming to the island. Chapter 4 is a Simple Reminder of why Bob wanted to become a marine assistant when he has a bad day and nothing goes right. Chapter 5 is Diving Deep, Bob must help a stingray thats stuck deep in the ocean.

The story is written in rhyme and runs smoothly throughout the story.  Each chapter teaches a good lesson to the reader. The reader learns about confidence, responsibility, communication, gratitude, and success. The illustrations by Kevin Keele are amazing. He does a fabulous job that will immediately engage the reader. His illustrations are realistic, colorful, and true. Readers will feel like they are apart of the story along with the characters.

The characters are from the original book in the series. They carry over into book 2 to help Bob along with his journey. The characters are supportive and encouraging, except for one. Xena is Bob's guardian, and though guardians are meant to keep us safe and and be our reasoning, Xena is constantly negative. She is everyone's subconscious, the thing that holds us back from doing what we really want by showing us the reality, the dangers, and the difficulty of our dreams. Bob has to not only overcome his fears and doubts but overcome Xena's negativity. She tarnishes the lessons being learned. The stories are embedded with her negativity and existence so it would be hard for the author to leave her out as a character without rewriting the whole story, though she is really not needed. Bob has much to deal while solving the problems at hand, discovering what his true destiny and purpose is.

The great things about this story is that it teaches life lessons. Bob learns to overcome his fears while helping other animals overcome theirs. He listens to the wise animals and to Miss Marine and helps the animals on the island live happily. He follows his dreams. Overall, children who love animals and the ocean are going to love this 50 page picture book.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pay it Forward with Shirley Harris Slaughter

Check out Crazy! Hot! And Living on the Edge! by Shirley Harris Slaughter for Pay It Forward Week!

Check out author Shirley Harris Slaughter about her book Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge! on Stories From Unknown Authors 
This was a great show and a good book.

Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge!

Imagine experiencing emotions that have you questioning your sanity. Your body gets overheated at the least bit of excitement and you scramble to find a fan or some air. Or you find yourself in the throes of a panic attack and can’t understand how to shut it off, so you are filled with anxiety wondering when the next one is coming. What if every time you take a drug you experience side-affects that you are warned about on the label? The title was conceived in my mind after I thought over all the situations I had found myself in, getting out of them, and the affect all of this had on my overall physical and mental well-being. Crazy! Hot! And Living On the Edge!! Is the True Story of My Upside Down Life!

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1508952507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1508952503

About the Author

Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book highlights her passion for history which led to her first published work, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community. But she wouldn’t have been able to write that book had she not had the presence of mind to conquer the health crisis she found herself in. She is an advocate for natural health and healing. Any problem that she had to face, she found her way out of it through sheer determination and a miracle. This led to her second book CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!! Harris-Slaughter saw a void that needed to be filled; and so she decided to share her experience. Harris-Slaughter has been active in her community by supporting candidates for elected office, and voting in every election. She served on the Oak Park School Board. She is an advocate for children and mentored four freshmen girls in the Winning Futures program. She is an active member in her church and she belongs to the Rave Reviews (Virtual) Book Club. She married her best friend Langston and they share a blended family. “We are as different as night and day and yet we are so much alike in many ways. We made it through thirty-two years!” Shirley Harris-Slaughter is available for speaking engagements. Contact Email Address: 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review for Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt by Julie Bettendorf

Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt

Anthony Ant knows how to travel in style—since he’s so small, he can go just about anywhere, unnoticed! This time, he curls up in a suitcase and gets out in Egypt, ready for the fabulous adventure of a lifetime. Anthony Ant is in Cairo, Egypt…and luckily he meets an expert tour guide, Babu Beetle. Together they explore Egypt’s history, culture, and food, with adventures including a camel ride, and a visit to the famous pyramids…and more! The second book in the Anthony Ant series continues to introduce kids to the excitement of world travel, with an enjoyable companion who is ready to share his experiences.

Author Bio:
Julie Bettendorf is a world traveler with a background in history and a degree in archaeology. Through her series of children's travel books, she shares the wonderful world of travel with children and her parents, as Anthony Ant teaches kids about other cultures, customs, and traditions. She has currently published the second book in the Anthony Ant series, and is in the process of publishing her first work of adult historical fiction, entitled "Luxor: Book of Past Lives." When Julie is not traveling with her daughter Erin, and son Max, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

Please visit Anthony's website for more information about Anthony's books.

Anthony Ant Goes To Egypt is a delightful tale of an ant who travels to Egypt for a vacation. Once there he learns about Cairo, Egypt's capital. He also learns about the kinds of foods that are eaten in Egypt, like pita bread. At a cafe, Anthony meets a beetle named Babu who shows him all around Egypt. They ride a camel, see a pyramid and some statues. They also go to a bazaar to see what is for sale. Babu recommends going to the museum, which ends up being a special trip the pair will treasure for ever. 

This story has colorful illustrations that will capture the reader's eye. The reader will also learn about Egypt's history and culture. This 31 page picture book, written in rhyme, will delight children from 5-10 years of age.  Many readers will look forward to Anthony Ant's next adventure. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Interview for Catherine MacDonald for Romancing the Vines

Come and join me as I talk with author Catherine MacDonald about her romance novel Romancing the Vines on Stories From Unknown Authors at 1pm EST today. 

About the Author

Catherine MacDonald graduated from the University of the Pacific with a B.A. in English and a Minor in Communication Arts. She earned a Masters in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. For twenty-five years she taught school, ranging from elementary to college level English. She began writing fiction when her children were in high school and her published works include The Jeweled Path, Divine Diva, Comstock Rose, The Way, Seasons of the Vineyard, and The Divorce Ranch. She is a Reiki Master Teacher who has pursued the Diva trail for over twenty years and urges everyone to empower their life by accessing their own personal power. Catherine owns and operates a family-run business and writes a daily blog at

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1500964484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1500964481

Book Description

August 26, 2014
Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can't seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca's torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels Francesca back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival. Magna gathered Francesca's hands into her own cool gnarled ones and stroked them lightly. "Listen dearie. No one is allowing you to remain innocent and stuck on the wheel of life and death for eternity, but yourself. Even though the mind forgets, the soul remembers. Hopefully by examining these lifetimes you will understand the truth. You are responsible for the life you have--no one else." From Sonoma, Italy, and the Middle Ages Francesca travels to uncover the truth of the wine and the two men who have fought over her for centuries. Romancing the Vines is the sweeping romance of Francesca, Enrico, and Giancarlo and the secret to the wine that has been eluding her for centuries.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Interview with Kathleen Andrews Davis for The Blue Velvet

Come and join me as I talk with author Kathleen Andrews Davis about her children's book The Blue Velvet (Emerson's Attic Book 1) on Stories From Unknown Authors at 1pm EST today. 

Emerson's Attic-The Blue Velvet

The Blue Velvet is a delightful story of a teenage girl and her family history. Upon cleaning the attic Emerson finds a blue velvet hat in a trunk and puts it upon her head. At that moment her whole life changes. She is thrust back into the 1800's where she is a maid at Harrington Hall. Though her new life takes lots of getting used to she realizes how much she is needed. She becomes close friends with the Harrington's daughter, Genevieve. It is this close relationship, and the help from her grandfather who sends her clues in dreams, that Emerson changes the future. She saves Genevieve's life and in turn opens her world up to many possibilities. 

Ms. Davis does a wonderful job sucking the reader into the history of Emerson's life and where she comes from. When looking at old items we sometimes don't think about the lives of the people who owned them. What they had gone through and the trials they had to endure. Sometimes we just think of them as junk. But Ms. Davis gives us a look into this characters life and gets us thinking about all the possibilities. Next time we look at an old hat or item a past relative had, we will look at it differently. 

Children from 4th grades and up with enjoy reading this 128 page book about Emerson's journey and will look forward to learning more about this interesting character. 

Book Summary:
Emerson McBride is a normal American teenager. She goes to school, plays soccer, and roams the mall with friends. Her life is just like any other 14-year-old’s until she is sent to clean the attic in the old Victorian as punishment for fighting with her younger brother.

Suddenly, she is thrown back in time to a totally foreign world. Frightened, and armed only with dreams of her grandfather, Emerson ventures into the unknown.

How did she get here? Who are these people? Where is she and why is she here? These questions and many more follow Emerson into a new life in a new land.

About the Author

Kathleen Andrews Davis lives in the mountains of rural Central Pennsylvania with her husband -- and a horde of white-tail deer who insist on annihilating all her attempts at gardening. After a long and varied working career, including business writing, she and her husband renovated an old house into a bed and breakfast. "When we sold our lovely Victorian B&B after hard work and great satisfaction," she says, it left a hole in my heart and I found myself with an indistinguishable yearning. Watching my aunt, Judith Redline Coopey, fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a successful published author started the little wheels in my head turning. If I like commercial writing, then why shouldn't I like creative writing." This book is a satisfaction of the author's yearning -- the desire to leave a legacy for her grandchildren and young readers everywhere -- and is the first in a series of stories about her very courageous and imaginative heroine, Emerson McBride.
  • Series: Emerson's Attic
  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Jemerson Press (June 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989438910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989438919

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review for Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron

A rich, southern voice tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders, the lightning strike that turns their world upside down and the true meaning of lucky.
Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He's never won a prize, he's never been picked first, he's never even won a coin toss. His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn't think for one second that there's such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday... and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck. Suddenly, Nate's grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can't last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (February 24, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 0545592178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545592178 
Lucky Strike is your typical story about two unique kids who get picked on at school. Genesis Beam is a brilliant, and at times, annoying walking encyclopedia, while Nate Harlow is the most unluckiest child in the world. Being bullied is not uncommon with these two. What changes everything is that Nate gets struck by lightening, but not directly. Though it didn't kill him, it did leave a scar on his hand and arm. It also changed his luck. For once in his life, everything seemed to work out for him. He was becoming friends with the most popular kids in school, he didn't get bullied, he even brought luck to the people who were around him. The problem was, as his popularity began to grow, so did his ego. He forgot what was important to him---it was his great friendship with Genesis, the one who liked him for who he was not who he was becoming. He didn't realize until it was almost too late how good he had it. The grass is greener on the other side, is what comes to mind when reading this book, but as we know the grass is only greener where you water it. 

What is great about this story is how Nate realized what was truly important. It's not getting everything you want, it is to appreciate what you have. Though Nate liked helping other people he also saw the ugliness in people when they couldn't use him for what they wanted. They began turning his good fortune into something bad and it began to hurt the ones he loved. That certainly wasn't what he wanted. In fact, he wished that the lightening strike never happened to him and if he could have he would have reversed everything. But then a hurricane hit their town and instead of thinking about himself, Nate reached out to help others.  When Genesis needed him that was when the lightening strike had become a true blessing. A broken friendship was immediately mended and the gift was no longer a curse. With supporting friends and family around him he was indeed the luckiest boy in the world. 

Children of all ages will enjoy this 263 page novel and relish in the lesson it provides.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Interview with Joal Derse Dauer for Sadie and the Superstars

Come and join me as I talk with author Joal Derse Dauer about her picture book Sadie and the Superstars on Stories From Unknown Authors at 1pm EST today. 

Sadie and the Superstars

  • Paperback: 42 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 150542545X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1505425451

Sadie and the Superstars is an inspiring story of a handicapped dog named Sadie who has overcome great obstacles. The story begins with a boy named, Max, and his dog, Dexter, who are both deaf. They meet up with Zach and some other friends and play baseball. Afterwards, they meet a girl named Joal who has Sadie in a wagon. Some of the kids pick on Sadie because she can't walk but the new friends ignore the kids and go and play together. They have a fun afternoon swimming down at the lake. As they walk back through town they run into some people in wheelchairs who are playing basketball. The people find Sadie inspiring because they too, cannot walk and need wheels to move around.  

This story is inspiring to everyone. If Sadie can rise above all the problems and pain she had gone through, then others can do it as well. Sadie teaches everyone to focus on what they Can Do and not what they Can't Do.

About the Authors:
Allison Schley is the author of the Forever Friends’ series. Allison lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Bill, two children, Megan and Zach, three cats and a dog named Carlton. Allison grew up in Ohio and attended Beachwood Schools. It is there she learned to use sign language and befriended children with hearing loss. These friendships led her on a journey and to a lifelong passion to work with children with hearing loss. She has been in the field of Deaf Education for 20 years and founded Communication Connections, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to early intervention for families with hearing loss. When she isn’t working, Allison can be found enjoying time with her family, selling 3 D Mascara, and taking walks with Carlton. 

Joal Derse Dauer was raised in suburban Milwaukee, and has had a passion for animals since early childhood. She uses this passion as an animal activist, teacher, lecturer and author to share Sadie’s story. Through her story, she hopes to promote acceptance of people and animals with special needs and to stop the cycle of animal abuse.

Book Summary:
SADIE AND THE SUPERSTARS Life can be difficult when you are looked at as “different” and not accepted. Meet Sadie, the real dog that no one wanted. She teaches us to focus on what you CAN DO and not what you CAN’T DO. Sadie lives with Joal and they travel extensively teaching acceptance and instructing others how to stop the cycle of abuse. This inspirational story will warm your heart! You just may think of adopting a shelter dog with special needs, just like Sadie!