The Flower Fairy Superhero by Noam and Bryan Atinsky

I was scheduled to review this book today, but could not open the file. Once the technology issues are worked out, a review will be posted.

The-Flower-Fairy-Superhero-204x300A read-along eBook (enhanced with audio),has a powerful message; it is a heartfelt example of a father honoring the memory of his daughter. Beautiful and creative Noam wrote this story as play to perform for her family on her 5th birthday. Her tale of a flower fairy that possesses very special powers able to help the meanest of people and change them into good and happy human beings is the perfect way to illustrate to children the power of a positive attitude. Written in Noam’s words, it speaks to a young audience and is easy to understand and relate to the story. The children can follow along while voice professionals act out the the story with Noam’s words. Part of the proceeds from the book will go to The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

I am currently owner and Chef at a restaurant in Milwaukee. Before the death of my family, I was, for many years, a journalist and Executive Editor at a news organization based in Jerusalem. Being able to do a good percentage of my work from home, I was able to be an at home father, facilitating my wife to be able to work full time at a biological science lab. Because of this, I was deeply involved in bringing up Noam and my son, Ya’ari, from an early age.

Noam wrote the play, which became the Flower Fairy Superhero book, for her birthday, only 3 months before she was killed while visiting family and friends in Israel. Soon after the accident, a Hebrew version of her play was published in a national newspaper in Israel. This got me thinking that publishing her play as an illustrated children’s book would be the best way to honor her memory and creativity as a living memorial. I had thought of going to Francisco X. Mora, an artist and family friend who knew Noam, and has illustrated many children’s books over the years. Quite unexpectedly, he came to me, after reading a copy of Noam’s play, and requested that he be able to work with me to make Noam’s play into an illustrated children’s book. I jumped at his offer.

I believe that people live on through the memories of those whose lives they touch. I saw that publishing Noam’s creative and ethical story could not only spread her creativity to a much wider group of people, but that the story itself was life affirming and teaches the very positive lesson that kindness and caring are some of the most powerful tools we have in this world. Further, I felt that having a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Noam’s work go towards helping other children in crisis, would be an honor to the memory of Noam. I have given the book to many libraries around the Milwaukee area and donated over 500 copies to community organizations.

Similarly, my wife Efrat was a Plant Disease Biologist at the University of Athens, Georgia. After the accident, a memorial garden, highlighting her love of plants and nature, was established in Athens.

On the terrible day of March 7, 2010, Noam, her mother Efrat, her nine-month-old brother Ya’ari, and her grandmother Esther Gamliel, were killed in a car accident in southern Israel. But a few months before that day, on Noam’s 5th birthday, she wrote a puppet play—a superhero story!—to perform in front of her family and friends 
at her birthday party. She dictated the story to my wife and I, and I wrote down what she said into our computer. We performed the play at our home in Athens, Georgia. Noam played the Flower Fairy, my wife Efrat played the Queen, and I played the Ogre.

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Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors – Caring for God’s Temple

 

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Today I am blogging at Christian Children’s Authors about how to care for God’s Temple by eating right. You can find my post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2016/04/15/caring-for-gods-temple-a-balanced-diet/

Cursed by Christina Bauer (Giveaway)

Cursed (1)Most days, Elea couldn’t care less about having Necromancer magick. Who needs to conjure skeletons and sprits when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her powers to speed up chores and scare off suitors.

Everything changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. She decides to embrace her Necromancer powers, train as a magickal assassin, and kill the Tsar… All before his curse kills her. Impossible as it may sound, Elea thinks she has it in the bag, but then everything goes horribly wrong.

That’s when a handsome mage named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants an ally, but she doesn’t need all the mixed-up feelings that come along with Rowan’s crooked smile.

An assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have other ideas…

 

Excerpt:

Once I curled into my tiny bed, I expected my dreams to be about Tristan. After all, I’d said his name before I fell asleep. Normally, he and I would meet in my old farmhouse. Instead, I dreamt that I sprouted wings and flew into the starry sky. Wind flowed over my body, and I hummed with pleasure as the cool air caressed me. A vast and empty desert rolled below, a vista of golden sand that was patterned in delicate ripples.

All of which was very strange.

Usually, if my dreams didn’t take me to Tristan, then they’d send me wandering aimlessly through the Zelle, worrying myself sick over some nonsense question like ‘why did I show up nude to breakfast?’ But tonight, I might as well have a rope about me, the pull across the desert was so strong. There would be no meandering this time, and my nonsense worries were gone as well. I only had a real concern for my friend.

Why wasn’t I with Tristan right now? Was our bond broken?

My wings kept driving me toward a lone figure crouched before a fire. As I flew in closer, I saw that it was a man dressed in Caster leathers. He was well over six feet tall with brown hair and broad shoulders. I wanted to touch the ropes of muscle that wound down his arms.

Wait a minute. Where did that thought come from?

Only Necromancers who’d renounced the cloth had the desire for a mate and children. Grand Mistresses weren’t supposed to be attracted to the opposite sex at all. I certainly never had been before, even before I joined the Zelle.

This man was dangerous. I wanted to fly away from him, but my wings only brought me nearer. Firelight cast deep shadows over the man’s rugged face, highlighting his square jawline, light beard, and bright green eyes. He stared into the fire, repeating the words of an incantation.

“I call upon you,” he said. The rest of his spell was lost on the wind. A haze of red mist swirled about the ground, the unmistakable sign of a Creation Caster spell. One word carried above the noise. “Viktor.”

I gasped. What would this Caster want with our Tsar? The man glanced up, his green eyes looking straight at me.

No, through me.

The man spoke the last words of his incantation—“so mote it be”—and lowered his head once more. The red mist of his spell disappeared.

 

The book is available NOW for pre-order!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Beholder-Book-Christina-Bauer-ebook/dp/B013CKZBPS/

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-christina-bauer/1122457783 

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/cursed-76

Also available on iBooksCursed author

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. An avowed girl geek, Christina loves creating immersive fantasy worlds with action, adventure, romance, and kick-ass female protagonists. As part of her work in Ink Monster, Christina has co-developed the ‘Heroine’s Journey,’ a blueprint for telling female myths inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and golden retriever Ruby.

LINKS:

Author Blog : http://inkmonster.net/blog/category/christina

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/authorBauer

Twitter : https://twitter.com/CB_Bauer or @CB_Bauer

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/  or

Screen name : christina_cb_bauer

Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer

Publishing Website : http://inkmonster.net

Publishing Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/inkmonster.net

Publishing Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/inkmonsterbooks/

Or screen name : inkmonsterbooks

Christina’s Amazon Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Christina-Bauer/e/B002BMCI28/

 

Christina Bauer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $10 Amazon GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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2016 Writing Goal Review – First Quarter

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It’s hard to believe that the first quarter of 2016 is almost done. Where did it go?

As is typical for me, I review my goals once a quarter to gauge my progress and make any necessary adjustments. Here are the goals I sent at the end of December:

  • Complete Amelia’s Mission by December 31, 2016.
  • Continue to attend critique group twice a month.
  • Edit The Sisterhood.

So, where do I stand now?

  • Only one chapter has been written since the end of December, but it’s a good one. Amelia is off at Elms Academy where Aunt Martha banished her after she disobeyed her strict aunt one too many times. There she meets new people–some nice and some not so nice. I like how this story is developing.
  • I’m attending critique group twice a month, but might need to cut back to once a month. The spring real estate market is very busy and I am gone many evenings, so being home one extra night a month will make a difference to the family.
  • I dug out The Sisterhood and brought it with me to the last two critique group meetings; mostly because I hadn’t written the next chapter of Amelia’s story, but also because I think it deserves some attention. It definitely needs extensive revisions, but the overall idea is strong.

What other projects are there in the hopper? I have numerous written picture books looking for homes:

A New Home – Three abandoned kittens search for a new place to live.

Crabby Cathy is about a mean bully who bothers Amy until she discovers why Cathy behaves the way she does and works on befriending her.

Everybody’s Home for Christmas – Rachel is sad her father is stationed overseas during the holidays and prays for a Christmas miracle.

The Real Cinderella Story – A snarky story by one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. I love this one! Looking for a home for it.

Beatrice and the Dinosaur – First book in a series. Needs some polishing, but it is about a girl and her imaginary friend who go on adventures together. In this one, Beatrice and Charlotte imagine Dad’s lawn mower is a dinosaur.

Beatrice and the Polar Bear – The second book in the series finds Beatrice and Charlotte being chased by a polar bear (Dad’s snow blower). This one also needs a bit of polishing.

 

Searching for Popularity is what I had started as a middle grade/young adult memoir. I think the story would be better as a novel so once some other projects are completed I will tackle this one.

A Shepherd’s Journey is a Christian novel for the adult market. It tells the story of Obed, who seeks out the apostles after the Resurrection to learn if Jesus is the Messiah he met when he was just a boy living outside of Bethlehem.

Looks like I have more than enough to keep me busy. How about you? Have you set some writing goals for this year? Do you review your goals on a regular basis? What is one story idea you have that is begging to be written?

Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors – March 18

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On Friday, I blogged about one of my favorite Easter time stories, Stubby’s Destiny by Dixie Phillips. You can read my review at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2016/03/18/book-review-stubbys-destiny-by-dixie-phillips/

Life On Base: Quantico Cave by Tom and Nancy Wise Book Blast & Giveaway!

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For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.

EXCERPT:

Stephen had noticed Jimmy was a lot happier these days. “Keep an eye on the target,” he told him as he followed at a brisk pace down the heavily wooded hill. “Hear from yer dad yet?” He avoided Jimmy’s eyes, not wanting to see the hurt that might come with the answer.

“No,” Jimmy said and offered nothing more.

His head down, Stephen muttered, “It’s only been a few weeks,” knowing Jimmy would change the subject again.

Things tended to get quiet at home when Jimmy’s dad shipped out with the fleet. The deployment meant less stress for Jimmy since his relationship with his father was normally pretty contentious. When a parent was mobilized, the rules were laxer, so little things changed. Kids would let their hair grow longer, stay up a bit later. For Jimmy, not having Dad around meant more free time on weekends—and less fighting.

“Miss him?” Stephen asked quietly with a glance behind to see the shadow trailing along the ridge to their left.

Jimmy ducked beneath an arch of tangled brush where deer had pushed through, keeping his eye on their target to maintain their line of travel toward the checkpoint. “Drop it.”

“Okay.” Stephen crouched in behind. “This is north—” he added, touching the damp, mossy side of a tree.

“We should stash some of the spears we made in here.”

We need to make up some time. “What we should do is go about fifty yards, then down the slope.” Stephen pushed Jimmy forward as they emerged from the brush. “C’mon,” he said, tired of the distractions.

The boys trotted the next fifty yards, or “klicks” as they liked to call them, then turned down a steep slope to make up time. “Shoot.” Jimmy let out a yelp as his feet skidded on the loose dirt and leaves.

Looking over his shoulder as he bounced down the hill, Stephen allowed himself to slide until his feet grabbed the dirt and then hopped again to keep his momentum. “Turn sideways. Watch.” He dug into the slope with each hop, doing as his dad had showed him. He heard Jimmy yelp again. I hope he sees this. I’m doing it the way you showed me, Dad. The next hop was cut short as Jimmy slipped, kicked his feet up as he landed hard on his butt, and slammed into Stephen’s leg. Both boys smashed into the soft earth and tumbled down the hill.

Stephen slid, his back to Jimmy’s chest, for another five feet before he got his sneakers planted to stop their descent. “Shit, Jimmy,” he said over his friend’s moans. Oh, my gosh. We need to move. Calm. Stay calm. Stephen glanced up the hill to see if they were being watched.

“Oh, man.” Jimmy groaned, trying to get his feet under him, but sending them another three feet down the slope.

“Put your feet sideways.” Stephen inched his way forward to give Jimmy some room.

Jimmy rose sideways to the hill, stood, shook the dirt out of his shirt. Cautiously, he hopped his way down the remaining incline ahead of Stephen, his feet breaking loose on each hop as he got the rhythm. When they reached the base, Jimmy dropped to his butt and crossed his arms over his knees in a huff. He stared straight ahead, not saying a word, as if searching for something.

Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Base-Tom-Nancy-Wise-ebook/dp/B018N4HK7K

Tom and Nancy Wise are award-winning authors. Their first novel, The Borealis Genome, is the grand- prize winner of the Chanticleer Book Reviews Dante Rossetti 2013 Award for YA Novels and Award Lab Lit Category. Thomas grew up in a military family moving from base to base as the child of a Marine, living the life of an officer’s brat in times of war while Nancy was raised the youngest child of a WWII veteran. When not working together on their novels, Tom teaches at University and authors articles on project management topics and nonfiction books published by Gower Publishing in the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/Tom-Nancy-Wise-678608352235570/

http://www.authorthomaspwise.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bxsiPspN0g

https://twitter.com/BorealisGenome

Tom and Nancy Wise will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb Series by Art Collins

 

Inside the Book:

 
 

Title:
 In the Forest
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Mountains
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first book, the two brothers meet Haktu, the young Indian brave who was trapped inside the body of an underwater dragon, and then find his lost pony, Uno, deep within a mysterious forest. After the boys narrowly escape several vicious attacks from evil wolf-crows, they receive a magic blue feather from Haktu as he bids them his final farewell. Book Two begins with Archibald and Jockabeb flying to a secluded summer camp perched high in a rugged mountain range far from home. The fact that they are the only two campers to show up at Camp Bear Claw that summer is just the first of many surprises — incredible surprises that test the protective power of their magic blue feather in completely unexpected ways. On their way to a final face-to-face showdown with a deadly creature that possesses supernatural strength, the young boys meet several unforgettable characters who end up changing their lives forever. If you liked In the Forest, hold onto your hat as you read its sequel!
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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Amazon
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!
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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Desert
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Caribbean
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The fifth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series picks up right where the fourth book left off. With many questions about what really happened in the Sonoran Desert still unanswered, Archibald and Jockabeb’s family head to the island of Jamaica for spring vacation. What begins as an idyllic stay at a secluded beachfront inn soon takes a turn for the worse when the boys and the inn’s proprietor, Salty, charter a fishing boat for the day. The captain of the boat is none other than Tommy Nat, Mr. Natonto’s estranged son. The violent storm that follows turns out to be only the first of many unexpected events that quickly propel the two brothers toward an unexpected showdown on another Caribbean island. The elusive Tommy Nat, a mysterious island doctor, a giant Haitian named Maurice, and unseen zombies all combine to set the stage for another classic clash between the forces of good and evil. While the final confrontation that unfolds inside a deserted cafe ultimately provides answers to the remaining mysteries of Lizard Flats, it also places the boys in untold danger. The book contains a number of interesting facts about the Caribbean, its culture and religion, and a bit of the occult. As in past books, the reader observes firsthand how Archibald and Jockabeb grow as brothers and young teens, all the while learning the true meaning of friendship.”
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Inside the Book:




Title: In the Big City
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The sixth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series finds the two brothers and their younger sister travelling to New York City to spend a long weekend with their aunt. After finishing a wonderful dinner at Sardi’s the first night, the boys become separated from Tess and Aunt Claire in nearby Times Square. Events quickly take a menacing turn when a mysterious person from the past suddenly appears with two henchmen in tow. Frantically trying to escape, Archibald has no idea what he’ll find when he leads Jockabeb down the stairs into a nearby subway station-and what the boys do find launches one their strangest and most electrifying adventures to date. A beautiful young girl named Willow, a one-armed man called Meatloaf, and a dangerous gang leader who goes by the name of Shabazz are just a few of the characters who the boys meet in the abandoned subway tunnels far below the streets of Manhattan. As Archibald and Jockabeb try to make their way safely back to Aunt Claire, they only move closer to a final confrontation with their pursuers, both human and non-human alike. The reader will learn interesting facts about America’s largest city while once again watching the teenage brothers’ personalities evolve. As in all the previous books, the forces of good and evil are pitted against one another-this time, above and below the streets of “The Big Apple!”
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Meet the Author:

When Art Collins retired as a highly successful chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t write the book on leadership that many had expected. Instead, he decided that penning adventure stories that could be enjoyed by young and old would be far more interesting, not to mention much more fun. Borrowing two characters, Archibald and Jockabeb, from tales told by his father many years before, and drawing upon his own rich imagination, Art introduces the two young brothers to an incredible cast of characters—some human, some otherworldly—in locations that range from the mysterious forest behind the boys’ house to the lush and exotic Amazon. The nine book series reflects his love of the mountains and ocean, as well as his extensive travels that have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. Art currently divides his time between Chicago and the Vail Valley in Colorado. 

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