A Cat’s Alphabet Book by Sally O. Lee

Sally O. Lee is back with another creative and artistic title. Preschoolers are sure to enjoy A Cat’s Alphabet Book. Lee is the author and illustrator of over 20 books. Some of my girls’ favorite books come from Lee (The Cake Thief, The Rabbit and the Snowman, The Tutu Ballet).

A Cat’s Alphabet Book is a primer filled with Lee’s beautiful artwork. The friendly kitty seen on the cover appears on each page. From apple to kite, and from lemons to zebra, preschoolers will enjoy turning pages as they learn their alphabet. As an added bonus, readers are asked to find the “Lee” signature in each illustration. What fun! Toward the end there is a page that includes all the letters of the alphabet. The last page asks readers what other words they know that begin with these letters, allowing the learning to keep going after they finish the book.

While this book is much too young for my girls, I am holding onto it to share with my nephew when he’s old enough. I hope little Harry will be a Sally O. Lee fan too!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

  • Publisher:CreateSpace
  • ISBN-10:1456469088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456469085
  • SRP:  $12.99

 

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Interview with Tal Yanai, Author of Life Is Not a Candy Store, It’s the Way to the Candy Store

Joining us today is Tal Yanai, author of Life Is Not a Candy Store,  It’s the Way to the Candy Store: A Spiritual Guide to the Road of Life for Teens.

Thank you for joining us today, Tal Yanai. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I was born In Israel forty-three-years ago. As a struggling student, I was considered a troublemaker in school. In tenth grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained my learning difficulties but it did little to ease my frustration with myself and my everyday struggles. I had no mentors I could confide in or look up to. At the age of twenty-three, after moving to the U.S., I was inspirited and started on a spiritual path, which has led me to align myself with my soul’s essence and mission. 

For two years I worked as an historical analyst at the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, established by Steven Spielberg. As part of my job, I listened every day to testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Many were children or teenagers during WWII and their stories greatly influenced my decision to become involved with educating youth, and I proceeded to get a Teaching Credential in Social Studies. 

Bringing two wonderful children into the world gave me a new sense of urgency to share and teach everything I learned about God and spirituality. Today, I teach Hebrew and Judaic Studies in Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, CA, while continuing my quest to explore the road of life and achieve my full potential as a spiritual teacher. WritingLife Is Not a Candy Store, It’s the Way to the Candy Store (the first in many books to come) was a natural step in this direction.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Eighteen years ago, my heart opened to the world where God, love and my soul co-exist in harmony. For the first time in my life I felt emotional and spiritual freedom. It was then that I knew I wanted to tell my story; however, it was only two years ago that I decided to reach an audience by writing a book, sharing my knowledge with others.   

Why did you decide to write stories for the How-to/Parenting market?

Growing up, I lacked important tools to overcome frustration, pain and the feelings I was trapped. Life Is Not a Candy Store is an attempt to provide those tools to teens facing the same situations I faced. I feel that by helping others to find meaning and a purpose for the life they live, I am able to use my painful experience for the good of society. 

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I am on a journey of rediscovering God and rediscovering myself. When I come across something meaningful, I write about it and share it with the readers. So in a way, my writing is a “journey journal”. This is an exciting journey, and this is what I like most about writing.  In addition, there is nothing more rewarding than hearing from readers how Life Is Not a Candy Store helped them in their lives.

The greatest challenge in writing for teens is to be able to know what is in their heads, what bother them, so I will be able to communicate with them effectively.  

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Right know I am writing two new books. One is the second in the series of is Life Is Not a Candy Store: It’s the Way to the Candy Store.  If the first one is for teens, this one will be for young adults and will look at ways spirituality can help dealing with issues YA face.

I am also in the process of writing another book for teens. This one will deal with the subject of happiness and will help teens to find ways of becoming happier.

What inspired you to write it?

What inspired this book is seeing the pain we cause each other when we act in selfish ways, not thinking about the consequences to others and ourselves.  This is true for people in all ages, but as a father and as a teacher it was important for me to pass my message to teens first. And there is another reason I decided to write this book; when I was a teen, I felt frustrated and trapped. But after finding the road to an emotional and spiritual freedom, I decided to “share the news” with teens who feel the same way I felt. 

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Readers can purchase a copy of Life Is Not a Candy Store on my website, www.talyanai.com.  They can also go to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles on line, as well as many others online book stores.

Where else can readers find you online?

They can also visit my blog, Road Signs at www.talroadsigns.com.

What is up next for you?

In addition to being a guest on some wonderful blogs such as yours, I’m also doing radio interviews. My hope is that as the book will continue to do well, I will be invited to speak with teens about the issues I raised in the book. And to keep things interesting, I’m in the process of writing two new books.

Do you have anything else to add?

Like anything in life, we give our writing a meaning and a purpose. If we like it or not, we create every moment of every day, so don’t be afraid to create, love, weep, and laugh. And do it for the love you have in your heart for God, yourself and everything else which is life. 

Thank you for spending time with us today, Tal. We wish you the best.

Book Lovers Blog Hop:

Make friends, share the love of reading and be entered to win a FREE book!

All you have to do is post the Book Lovers Blog Hop and World of Ink Tour Banners below to your blog. Promote the Book Lovers Hop and World of Ink Tours on any social network. Tweet it once a day, share on Facebook and then follow others back that leave you a comment. By joining the Book Lovers Blog Hop, you are automatically entered in our Book Giveaway!  

There will be two (2) winners for this Book Giveaway.   

Note: One book per winner. 

Hop Rules:

1.      Follow the Top link of the hop! Hop Host: Families Matter

       2.      Grab the button for the hop and place it in a post, sidebar, or on a blog hop page and let us know where it is in the comments section below. This will help the hop grow and gain us all new followers. It’s a Win-Win for everyone!

      3.      Grab the buttons for the World of Ink Tours and place it in a post or side bar. Make sure you let us know where it is in the comments section below.

Book Giveaway Rules:

  • Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)

     ·         Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)

  • Ask a question per World of Ink Tour blog stop. (One bonus entry per tour blog stop)

 Follow the rest of Tal’s tour at:

August 29th

BiblioReads.com – Book Review & Giveaway

http://BiblioReads.blogspot.com 

August 30th

The Book Faery Reviews – Spotlight

http://tbfreviews.net/ 

Book Snatchers – Book Review & Giveaway

http://booksnatchers.tbfreviews.net/book-review-policy/

Interview with LaNiyah Bailey, Author of Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Joining us today is six year old author, LaNiyah Bailey, author of Not Fat Because I Wanna Be. This is a children’s book geared toward children ages 3-10.

Thank you for joining us today, LaNiyah. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Yes. I am six years old and will be going to first grade this year. I love playing with my puppy diva and doing girl stuff, like playing with my dolls, playing in make up with my cousins and my best friend Chase.  I also love spending time with my mom and dad. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

 I wanna say I know what this means… like when did I start wanting to write? (smiles) I started to write when I was in kindergarten and I was being teased and bullied. 

Why did you decide to write for children?

 I wanted to write for children because I am only six years old, and they can understand me more. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I think it might be a little harder because if it’s not fun or interesting they may not want to read it.  

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part is I get to meet new people and tell them my story and sometimes they tell me theirs too.  

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Well my new book is called Not Fat Because I Wanna Be, and it is about a fictional girl named Jessica who was being bullied and teased about her weight by adults and kids. Jessica had some medical problems that made her overweight, but people never knew it. They judged her by how she looked on the outside.  

What inspired you to write it?

I went through a lot of the same things that Jessica went through and that inspired me to not sit around and feel sorry for my self but, to tell people what I was going through and hopefully that would make people see that you can’t judge people from their outside self.  

Where can readers purchase a copy?

They can get a signed copy from my website (www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com). I will sign it and put whatever they want me to write in it. They can also get it from www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com and www.createspace.com/3580923 

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, I do. I would love for people to come there and leave comments and tell their stories about bullying and being healthy. My mom reads me all the emails and I get really happy to hear that other kids from all over the world have some of the same problems like me. My website is: www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com 

What is up next for you?

I would like to visit hospitals and schools around the world and talk to kids about bullying and how to stand up for themselves. I will be working on another book soon also. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Well, I want kids to know that they are important and special. If they are being bullied they should not be scared or embarrassed to talk to their mom, dad or teacher about it. And if they are the person bullying someone they should stop it because it is not nice to make someone feel bad about themself, and they should think of how it would make them feel if someone did it to them. And that’s it.  

Thank you for spending time with us today, LaNiyah. We wish you much success. 

Thank you all for having me and helping me share my message. I wish you much success too. Thank you!

Interview with Estevan Vega, Author of Arson

Joining us today is Estevan Vega, author of the supernatural coming-of-age novel ARSON, and its upcoming sequel ASHES.

Thank you for joining us today, (Estevan). Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Well, I’d like to be honest and start off by telling your readers that I’m tall, dark, handsome, with a Greek-like build and one of those voices that’s sure to get you weak at the knees. I write books that cross the line between the real and the supernatural and often have a bit of dysfunctional layers. They’re awesome. Okay, half of this is true. My books maybe aren’t that cool. But I like them. That’s gotta count for something. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was eleven or ten when it started, but the scratch never went away. Now it’s more like a scar. But it’s one I like showing off. Funny thing, though, is I’m still trying to figure out if chicks dig the writing scars. Because if they don’t, I’m afraid I might actually have to get a real scar, and I bruise easy. 

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

I never intended to originally. My first two books were aimed more for adults, although I found that once kids found out how young I was when I wrote them, they were anxious to check out my writing. So when I was working on ARSON, I had it as more of an R-rated book. It wasn’t overly gratuitous, but it had it’s moments. During the million editing processes, I opted to go for a more YA-adult hybrid vibe. It’s very YA, but at the same time, it’s very mature. Every character brings something to the table, so no select group feels that it’s dull or immature. I like that. Plus, teens are a great audience to write for, I’m discovering. Because I was a teen just a few years ago. 

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love creating characters that are just like them or characters that are just like how I was in high school…but way cooler. Teenagers can be wild and they can be conservative and they can be sluts and they can be prim and proper and mouthy and even villains and heroes. They’re like adults, but in younger bodies. There’s an honesty I enjoy when I write, a method of getting inside people’s minds. And I’ve read a bunch of YA books that I was trying to outdo, honestly. I kept reading stuff, wondering if I could do it better. Wondering if there had to be such a definite line between YA and adult novels. There doesn’t.  So my novels may have more blending than most. But I’m cool with that.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

ARSON is about a kid named Arson Gable. He’s seventeen. And he can create fire with his mind. He lives with his bipolar grandmother, whom he has a love-hate relationship with, and swears he has the world, and its jerks, figured out. Until a strange girl moves in next door. Her name is Emery Phoenix. When she was a little girl, she was in an accident. She hates the way she now looks, so the only way she feels normal is when she wears a creepy mask. But I’ve probably said too much. Go check out the book.

And its sequel, ASHES, is coming very, very soon. 

What inspired you to write it?

My father lit the great fire. And now I just make sure there are sticks to burn and enough matches to keep it hot. 

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Amazon is the best and easiest place. It’s available in paperback and Kindle. It’s also on the Nook. Plus, you can check out my facebook page We are Arson and my twitter.com/estevanvega page or my website www.estevanvega.com to find out where I’ll be signing copies next. At my signings, I have books, posters, and custom Arson t-shirts. I tour when I can. Be on the lookout or resort to Plan A.

What is up next for you?

ASHES. I’m super stoked about that book. It’s the sequel to ARSON, and it’s gonna take everything to the next level. It should be out in another week or two, so keep your eyes peeled and help send it to the bestseller charts. Pretty please. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Um…keep it real. Stay lit. And, remember, dysfunctional is the new normal.

-E 

Thank you for spending time with us today, Estevan. We wish you much success.

Book Details:
Genre: supernatural/YA/coming-of-age
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Publication Date: May 2011

Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can’t shut it off.

Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl–who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin–moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he’s never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

Follow the rest of Estevan’s tour:

August 26-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard

August 30-Review@Romancing The Book(Valerie)

August 31-Review&Interview@Darlene’s Book Nook

Peter: Rock Star from Galilee by Sherree Funk

Peter: Rock Star from Galilee is the latest guided Bible study for teens from Sherree Funk.

This eight-week Bible study for teens combines music, Bible learning, and modern-day applications. Each week begins with a playlist of songs that are a mix of contemporary Christian music and traditional hymns. Various aspects of Peter’s life are covered: his calling by Jesus, his stepping out onto the stormy sea, his denial of Jesus after His arrest, the miracles he performed in the name of Jesus, his legacy, and more!

Readers get a preview of the week’s study to help spark initial discussions. There are questions and exercises along the way. The “Chew on This” moments give teens time to consider things like their blessings, while the “Christian Reality Challenge” blurbs cement learning. The “Jam Session” at the end of each week includes questions to get teens thinking about how the Bible applies to them today. Then the replay wraps the week up for them to round out discussions. Also included are maps and historical photos.

As a Sunday school teacher, I am always on the lookout for engaging new materials for our young people. Peter: Rock Star from Galilee definitely has what it takes. With sound Bible learning and music, this Bible study will meet kids where they are today. I’ve already shared it with our youth group leader and she’s excited about it. If you are in youth ministry, you’ll want to take a peek into this one.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:WinePress Publishing
  • ISBN-10:1414119836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414119830
  • SRP:  $16.99

The author paid me to promote this book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation.

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey

A book that shares a powerful message is what you’ll find in Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey.

Six-year-old LaNiyah is tired of being picked on by her classmates just because she’s different. Even though she eats a healthy diet, she’s still a big girl. She doesn’t know why until her new doctor runs some tests. With the love and support of her family, LaNiyah is able to share her story with her classmates, so they understand the “inside her.”

I’m not sure what amazes me more about this book: that a child of this age is selfless enough to want to be an advocate for others or that she has the courage to write her story and share it with the world. Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is a truly inspiring story that captures the importance of family love and support in tackling the issue of bullying and helping bullied kids to feel good about themselves. As someone who was teased through her school years, I’m very sensitive to this issue. Now, it seems even more dangerous than it was back then. In our local communities we have had two young people in the past three years commit suicide after being subjected to extensive bullying and cyber-bullying.

Six-year-old Bailey tells her story in the first person, which helps the reader connect with her and feel the emotions she feels as the book moves along. Your heart aches when you read the names she is called; just as much as it leaps for joy when her new doctor helps her understand what is going on with her body.  You cheer for her when she courageously answers a mean classmate who asks why she is so fat. And you can’t help but smile when the same girl becomes her best friend.

The artwork is provided by Laura Perez Ricaud. She did a superb job in telling LaNiyah’s story in a visual way. From the cover to the very last page, her illustrations will captivate young readers and encourage questions and discussion points.

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey needs to be in all our elementary schools and shared often.  This book can help parents and educators open the door for discussions on tolerance and diversity. I highly recommend Not Fat Because I Wanna Be!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Publisher:CreateSpace
    • ISBN-10:1461006767
    • ISBN-13: 978-1461006763
    • SRP:  $13.99 paperback (Also available as an eBook)

 

Book Lovers Blog Hop:


Make friends, share the love of reading and be entered to win a FREE book!

All you have to do is post the Book Lovers Blog Hop and World of Ink Tour Banners below to your blog. Promote the Book Lovers Hop and World of Ink Tours on any social network. Tweet it once a day, share on Facebook and then follow others back that leave you a comment. By joining the Book Lovers Blog Hop, you are automatically entered in our Book Giveaway!

There will be two (2) winners for this Book Giveaway.

Note: One book per winner.

Hop Rules:
1. Follow the Top link of the hop! Hop Host: Families Matter
2. Grab the button for the hop and place it in a post, sidebar, or on a blog hop page and let us know where it is in the comments section below. This will help the hop grow and gain us all new followers. It’s a Win-Win for everyone!
3. Grab the buttons for the World of Ink Tours and place it in a post or side bar. Make sure you let us know where it is in the comments section below.

Book Giveaway Rules:
• Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)
• Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)
• Ask a question per World of Ink Tour blog stop. (One bonus entry per tour blog stop)

Follow this tour to its next stops:

August 22nd

Mymcbooks Blog – Interview & Giveaway –http://mymcbooks.wordpress.com 

August 24th

The Book Faery Reviews – Author Spotlight – http://tbfreviews.net/ 

Book Snatchers – Book Review –http://booksnatchers.tbfreviews.net/book-review-policy/ 

August 25th

Writers On The Move – Guest Post: What it is like Writing a Book as a Youth Author – http://vbt-writersonthemove.blogspot.com/

August 26th

The Bumpy Road—Book Review – http://thebumpyroadtopublishing.blogspot.com 

August 28th

Utah Children’s Writer Blog – Guest Post: Why is it Important to Write? http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/ 

August 29th

BTR’s World of Ink Network: Stories for Children show. Live Radio Interview at 8pm EST at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork or call in to listen or ask questions (714) 242-5259. You can also listen on  demand after the show airs!

LaNiyah Bailey is a 6‐year‐old author with a message for children like her – just because you are bigger than other kids, that doesn’t mean that people have the right to bully you.

In her debut book, Not FAT Because I Wanna Be, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight.
Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.

LaNiyah is not only speaking to other children through her book, but has become an advocate for anti‐bullying organizations.

Visit LaNiyah online at www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com.

Did You Meet Your Summer Reading Goals?

The beginning of August brought about the end of our library’s summer reading program. The Lil Diva and the Lil Princess met their goals. In addition to their weekly prizes, they got a chance to attend a roller skating party at Interskate91. A picture of them participating in The Great Create, an art program offered in conjunction with the One World, Many Stories Summer Reading Program, was published in our local paper. I’ll try to post it if I can get the hubby to scan it in.

I don’t set summer reading goals because I read almost every night anyway. So far this summer I have read and reviewed:

Horrid Henry Rocks by Francesca Simon
Love & War by John & Stash Elderedge
Born Under A Lucky Moon by Dana Precious
Murder is a Family Business by Heather Haven
Class Struggle by Steven Verrier
Cold Lonely Courage by Soren Paul Petrek
The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sheri D. Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
His Shoes Were Far too Tight by Daniel Pinkwater
Golden Daffodils by Liam Maher
Mister Topper, The Pot-Bellied Pig by Liam Maher
Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler
Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann
ShShSh Let the Baby Sleep by Kathy Stemke
Falling through Ice by Carolyn Huebner Rankin
Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner
Sad Dog Happy Dog by Kathleen Porter
Bad Spelling by Marva Dasef
Horrid Henry Wakes the Dead by Francesca Simon
Stilts by Dixie Philips
Voices from the Land by Jan Marquart
How to Encourage Your Husband compiled by Nancy Campbell
In the St. Nick of Time by K.M. Daughters
My Brother the Frog by Kevin McNamee

I’ve read and haven’t yet reviewed:

My Dearest Friend by Hazel Statham

Peter: Rock Star from Galilee by Sherree Funk

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

Your Average Joe Unplugged by Joseph Schneller

I am currently reading The Queen’s Gamble by Barbara Kyle and next up is Once We Were Kings by Ian Alexander.

How about you? Do you set summer reading goals? If yes, how did you do? Also, what were some of your favorite books you’ve read over the summer?