Tuesday, January 15, 2019

BlueInk Review - Starred Review - Monsterland Reanimated Michael Okon

MONSTERLAND REANIMATED MADE IT ON BLUEINK REVIEWS BOOKLIST!



 STARRED REVIEW


Monsterland Reanimated
Michael Okon
Wordfire Press, 233 pages, (paperback) $14.99, 978-1-61475-672-9 (Reviewed: September 2018)
Blending elements of apocalyptic fiction, horror, science fiction, and fantasy, Okon’s sequel to 2017’s Monsterland continues the audacious tale set in a world gone mad after a plague decimates humankind and monsters from various theme parks around the world escape to wreak havoc.
Set largely around the small town of Copper Valley, Californiathe site of the North American Monsterland, one of seven parks worldwide that featured real live vampires, werewolves, and zombies, until they escapedthe story revolves around a group of teenagers who, after surviving the deadly theme park catastrophe, set out to get answers.
Discovering that the government has collapsed, young Wyatt Baldwin and a group of friends set out for the next town to get news of the outside world. But their journey quickly becomes perilous: Not only has a large part of humanity devolved into lawless gangs, but a nomadic blob of purplish slime is mysteriously eviscerating every living thing in its path. Add to that roving zombies, packs of werewolves, an army of mummies, and a megalomaniac’s grand-scale conspiracy to recreate the entire world and you’ve got yourself a highly entertaining read.
The well-developed cast of characters is an obvious strength; all are involved on their own respective journeys of self-discovery, even characters perceived as evil. Equally appealing is the extended homage to classic monster movies throughout. Readers will quickly find themselves immersed in the page-turning story.
A sense of wonder reflected in stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coupled with the nonstop action of Mad Max and the existential horror of The Walking Dead makes this a delightfully creepy read. Monster aficionados young and old will love this series.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.






Monday, January 7, 2019

The Grid - Dec. 21

Dark Web, Book #4, is out on Dec 21. 
No phone, no money, no A/C or heat, right? Sure, but you also lose life-sustaining medical devices, water (towers can't refill without it), food (no money to exchange for it and no energy to grow it) causing a total breakdown of government, social services, and the military (how do you communicate without electricity?). Massive chaos, looting, death.
Pre-order from Amazon
Read More

The Dark Web Series

Can the Jacob and members of the FBI's Counter Terrorism Unit stop them before people DIE!

FEATHERED QUILL REVIEW: Bulwark By: Brit Lunden

Bulwark

By: Brit Lunden
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.
Publication Date: January 2018
ISBN: 978-1947188907
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: January 6, 2019

A sleepy little town in Georgia is the perfect setting for a paranormal thriller that amps up the "creepy" factor in a story with more twists and turns than an old country road.
Clay Finnes is the sheriff of Bulwark, Georgia, a small town where nothing much happens. He's got a slightly annoying deputy, Owen Bishop, who means well but just isn't the brightest light bulb in the pack. As the story opens, Clay and Owen are at the scene of an accident where an out-of-town couple got their car stuck in a big green pond of muck. The accident happened at the outskirts of town, a place where there are remnants of an old road, but nothing else. Where were they coming from and where did that pond of bad smelling water come from?
After finishing the investigation at the scene of the accident, Clay goes to interview the couple. They're staying nearby at a hunter's cabin, with the owner there to keep an eye on them, while they wait for the ambulance. The husband is motionless on the couch, and the wife isn't much better, babbling about a witch in the woods. When she spots a picture on the mantle of the hunter's dead wife and claims, "...she's the witch that took my children," the hunter is understandably upset. That's when Dayna Dalton, an annoying local reporter, shows up at the door. Fortunately, Clay is right behind her and he forces her out of the way as he goes in the house. Clay doesn't have much luck interviewing the couple who are soon hustled off to the hospital.
At the hospital, Clay runs into his wife Jenna. Unfortunately, they are separated...things fell apart shortly after their young daughter Claire went missing the previous year. Clay still loves Jenna and hopes she feels the same, but with a hot doctor making the moves on her, things don't look too promising. Meanwhile, the wife from the accident is still babbling, telling anyone who will listen that they need to find the gingerbread house, which is where her children were taken. When wolves are mentioned too, Clay has had just about enough. What is going on?
Bulwark is one of those fun stories that grabs you quickly and doesn't let go until the very end. At just 109 pages, it won't take long to read and with short chapters that keep tempting you to read just one more, you'll likely finish the book in one sitting. The story has witches, werewolves, a town with a long-hidden history, and a very determined sheriff, who not only is intent on solving the mystery but also getting his wife back. Don't think you've figured this one out as you read, and don't assume you know who is good, or bad...you'll likely be wrong, which is what makes this story so enjoyable. The only thing the book needs is a careful review by an editor as there are numerous editorial errors - not enough to ruin the story but they do get annoying. Beyond that, however, this is a very good story that will leave you quite satisfied.
Quill says: If you like your thrillers with lots of twists, plenty of "creepy," some paranormal events, and a fast-moving plot, check out Bulwark. You might just be afraid to turn off the lights after reading the last page.
For more information on Bulwark, please visit the author's website at: caroleproman.com

Friday, December 14, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: The Squeezor by Becky Benishek

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
The Squeezor
by Becky Benishek


The Squeezor is Coming! is a children’s book written by Becky Benishek and illustrated by Matt Fiss.

What’s a Squeezor?

The Squeezor is a friendly monster who just wants to give hugs, but he looks so scary, other monsters run away from him! How can he get them to look past his appearance and be friends? Then he gets an idea: It isn't about what he wants, but what the other monsters need.

"With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster." - Starred review by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

Monsters overflow in Becky Benishek's new children's book about the power of empathy and why it’s so important not to judge on appearances. Your whole family will enjoy the imagery and important lessons underneath it all.

Buy THE SQUEEZOR IS COMING! now:


About the Author

Becky Benishek has a B.A. degree in English, and is the author of several children’s books, including Hush, Mouse!, What’s At the End of Your Nose?, and Dr. Guinea Pig George. She loves to create stories that help children believe in themselves, and find the magic in ordinary things. Becky is married with guinea pigs.

Find & follow Becky Benishek:

Reviews
Starred review from Readers' Favorite:
“Far too many kids feel as unlovable as the Squeezor, and this story is for them. Benishek’s droll and humorous story will please everyone in the room and maybe especially those adults who are still kids at heart. Matt Fiss’s brilliantly grotesque illustrations make this book one to linger over and read again and again and again. Literally. It’s that good.” – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Starred review from Readers' Favorite:
“This story is highly recommended for young readers, especially for those who find acceptance by others as a challenge.”–Bruce Arrington for Readers’ Favorite

Starred review from Readers’ Favorite:
“With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster. And if monsters can make friends with monsters, what's not left for which to hope?"-Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

5 Stars & Top 50 of the Month on Goodreads:
"Oh. My. Gosh. I'm SO in love with this one. . .from cover to cover. . .an absolutely perfect read!"-Miranda Reads, top Goodreads reviewer

“This wonderful story teaches two significant lessons: acceptance of others who are different and self-acceptance.”–Erica Graham, author of the Talking Talesseries

“This is not just another story book. It has a strong scholastic element to it . . . This story will turn the readers into givers and social enthusiasts.”– Ashish Kejriwal

“Kids will love the book’s splashy color, monsters aplenty, and gross-out humor. Parents will love the story’s durable lesson: be yourself.”– Terry Vittone

“A delightful book! Read it for the story, read it for the lessons, read it for pictures that have a subtle and humorous attention to detail. Just read it – you’ll smile and be better for it.” –Lesley Rynders

“The characters are so alive that I often find myself wondering what they're up to right now. Kids will love meeting Graywick (the Apothecaryterror)... Bitey (the scared [yes, scared!] vampire who wears BUNNY SLIPPERS)... Grumpypuss (who looks like a bundle)... and the full cast of marvelous monsters who inhabit Ghastly Gigapolis -- and ostracize the big-hearted Squeezor (who through his kindness eventually succeeds in making friends with everyone). This book is SO fun to read and every page is a delight for kids' imaginations.”-Lemon

Read an excerpt:

The Squeezor is Coming!
By Becky Benishek. Illustrations by Matt Fiss.
© 2018 Becky Benishek

The Squeezor is a monster who loves to give hugs. Great, big, wrap-his-arms-around-you-twice, squeezy hugs.

The trouble is, the Squeezor doesn’t look like he just wants to give you a hug. He looks like he wants to eat you up!

“The Squeezor is coming!” all the other monsters would shout when he came to the nearest town, Ghastly Gigapolis, for supplies.

From behind shop doors and curtains, from roof peaks and from alleyways, from third-floor house windows and through cellar-door slats, monsters furry or feathered, scaly or slimy, big or small, quivered as the Squeezor stumped along the sidewalk on his squat legs and big, squashy feet with three greasy toenails each.

They trembled at the sight of his giant, curved horns and frightfully fanged grin. Even the fur on his big blocky shape looked all wrong—a sickly, saggy mix of lime green, purplish brown, and mustard yellow.

And they were practically petrified at the chillingly sharp claws that glinted at the end of the Squeezor’s wrap-around-you-twice arms!

This made the Squeezor very sad.

“It’s not my fault I look this way,” he said to himself one day as he sat in his lonely house up in Vile Vale. “I don’t want to hurt anybody. How can I get everyone to trust me?”

The Squeezor stayed home all that day to think. He didn’t have to worry about being disturbed because nobody ever came to visit him.

He wandered into his library and leafed aimlessly through 7 Habits of Highly Disgruntled Monsters; then he read, How to Stop Worrying and Start Eating, and he finished up with, I’m Okay, You’re Decaying.

None of them helped, not even the one called, First Things First: 10 Tasks to Sink Your Teeth Through.

He went into his kitchen and half-heartedly stirred up a pot of his favorite, putrid green tomato soup and slowly munched a moldy grilled cheese sandwich.

He didn't really feel hungry, though, and wasn't even tempted by the box of Nose Nougats on the counter.

He switched on the television in the living room to look for an advice show. One of the channels was running a marathon of Game of Bones, and he'd watched two and a half episodes before he realized it.

The Squeezor didn't even like Game of Bones. He switched off the set.

"How can I change anything when I can't even figure out what to do with myself?" he grumbled as he wandered around his house.

Just then, he stopped short in the hallway, under a portrait of his Great-Grandmother Squeezums, who always seemed to be glaring lovingly at the Squeezor.

"Maybe that's it!" he said. "Maybe it's not myself that I have to figure out."

The Squeezor, excited now, heated up another bowl of putrid green tomato soup, ate half the box of Nose Nougats (the box itself was edible), and didn't go to bed until he had a plan.

Instagram Post
"With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster." - Starred review by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

Monsters overflow with a great message and fun reading for kids AND adults in @beckybenishek's new book. Get THE SQUEEZOR IS COMING! at https:/bit.ly/SqueezorMCP.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish
by Judy Martialay


Buckle your seatbelts! Your child 6–10 is about to take off on a trip of adventure, discovery and learning with the Award-Winning Series: Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish. Easy to use, whether or not you know Spanish or French. Your child’s guide is Pete the Pilot. Kids take a pretend flight to Mexico and France.
Free downloadable audio version at polyglotkidz.com. Download before using book.
 https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Martialay/e/B018DGI5CC/
About the Author
Hi, I’m Judy Martialay. I live in Sea Cliff, N.Y. with my husband. My daughters are grown up. I have a toddler granddaughter.
I have lots of interests; I am a guitar jammer, a painter, gardener, knitter, volunteer, and I love to cook (but have to watch my sugar). I studied Japanese but had to give that up when my Japanese friend with whom I exchanged lessons moved away.
I retired from teaching foreign /world languages, and now I devote time and energy to advocacy for foreign language study for the Public Advocacy Committee of the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT).
Foreign language learning is an uphill battle in the English-speaking countries. I think, though, that more parents are becoming aware of the many benefits of being bilingual, and they want their kids to learn languages.
I wrote the books ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Languages and Bonjour! Let’s Learn French because I want every child to have the opportunity to learn a world language at an early age. This is the best time to start learning a language. Children’s brains are wired for learning languages. They have a better chance for acquiring native pronunciation, and they have ample time to become truly proficient in the language.
I often hear the comment from teachers of young children:” Children absorb languages like sponges.” My granddaughter hears Spanish every day; she has an au pair girl who speaks to her in Spanish. She understands everything.
I want children and their parents to enjoy the experience of learning languages. It is an adventure into the soul of another world. If your child continues study of a language, he or she will have a skill that will provide life-long benefits.
Twitter: Judy Martialay@judyruth10
Reviews
“Whether you are a parent hoping to broaden your child’s linguistic skills, or a teacher studying other cultures with your class — you will find Bonjour! Let’s Learn French (and it’s companion book, Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish) a painless way to begin your journey.” Amazon Review
“This is one of the most informative, well-written children’s tutorials I’ve ever had the pleasure to review. As a former teacher, I was impressed by how many additional teaching tools Judy Martialay included with the base story. Imagine being provided with a skit, a cute song, and a short art lesson on impressionistic painting — none of which you had to create for yourself to extend the story. Martialay has done teachers everywhere a big favor by including these value-added features.” Amazon Review
“Martialay has a passion for teaching children foreign languages and it comes across in the book. I loved it and plan on buying the French one next. An excellent resource for teachers, parents, educators and even grandparents. A must own!”
Excerpts
¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish
(picture of a bean field on a hot summer day in Mexico, audio provided)
Cri …Cri…Cri say the crickets. They are chirping under the hot sun that is shining down on the bean field. The beans los frijoles are growing in their rows of plants. Nothing is moving.
Look! –¡Miren! Something is moving. It’s jumping! In fact, it’s jumping towards us!
Hola, niñosMe llamo Panchito, the Mexican jumping bean. Look how high I can
jump. ¡Miren!
Panchito jumps around the field. He wants to talk to los frijoles.
¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?” says Panchito.
But los frijoles don’t answer. They don’t talk or play. They are not
jumping beans like Panchito. They just stay in one place and grow.
It’s lonely here on the bean field with no friends to play with.
Bonjour! Let’s Learn French
(Picture of a beach on a hot summer day in France. Audio provided)
“Arlette, bring more water!”
Arlette runs to the water’s edge, where the waves roll onto the shore, foamy and bubbly. The sea is a bright blue bleu under the summer sun. It’s a beautiful day at the beach à la plage. There is a boat un bateau in the distance.
Arlette scoops up water with her pail to mix with the sand. Pierre, Arlette and the other children are making a castle un château out of sand le sable. The children pat the sand and water together to form the walls of the castle le château. Marie and Jacques make towers. Pierre has some toy soldiers who will stand guard on the towers, protecting le château de sable

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: Catch that Chinchilla by Erica Graham

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
Catch that Chinchilla
by Erica Graham


Talking Tales-whimsical stories that entertain and teach as each story centers around a core sound in the English language. The series includes Catch that Chinchilla, Puppy’s Bubble, Cricket’s Guitar, The Bright Red Tricycle, and Sam’s Sticky Sucker. What a fun way to help your child’s speech development. 

Description—Catch that Chinchilla
Fletch and Rachael cannot wait to play with their new pet chinchilla. After Fletch’s impatience overcomes him and he opens just a little, the chinchilla escapes! The chinchilla quickly leads Fletch and Rachael in a chase across town. Will Fletch and Rachael catch the chinchilla before their dad returns? This humorous story is a great way for any parent or therapist to target the “ch” sound. There are over 115 examples of “ch” in various word locations to help improve speech development. This book also includes tips for parents who are working with the child’s speech at home. 



About the Author

Erica Graham is an award-winning children's author. Graham graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with her Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She also holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. As a mother, Graham understands the difficulty parents have finding time to work on speech with their children. In her pursuit to create a fun easy way for therapists, children, and their parents to enhance speech development while promoting literacy, she has written a series of exciting children's books. Each book focuses on a core sound used in the English language. Outside of writing and working as a Speech Language Pathologist, Graham enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters, volunteering with the youth group at church, and a good cup of tea.

website or blog link

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Review excerpts

Picture books for young children serve several purposes. Most entertain. Some entertain while presenting a moral or lesson. Erica Graham’s “Talking Tales” teach sounds while entertaining with a delightful, humorous story and whimsical illustrations.” Amazon Review

"The atmosphere of the story is one of fun, and I found myself quite unexpectedly smiling throughout the entire story!" -Readers' Favorite

“The story itself is a fine little idea, a very fine lesson in phonetics and speech therapy that introduces a whole new level of importance to children’s books!” Amazon Review

“First, the teaching part of the story is about the letters "ch" and the sound. As the story is read, you see that duo heavily throughout the story, and it is placed perfectly. The story makes sense and is quite interesting for being a child reader. This story was adorable and entertaining.” Amazon Review