Monday, November 24, 2014
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014
After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine.
Lauren's first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she's always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life? Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?
“Have you ever heard of koi no yokan?”
I shook my head.
“It’s Japanese,” he explained as he trailed his fingers lightly down one of my arms. “It doesn’t have an English equivalent. Roughly translated, it’s a term for the feeling that you have when you first meet someone.”
“Like love at first sight?” I asked, tipping my head up toward his.
“No, not quite like that. It’s more like you know that a future love with that person is inevitable, but it doesn’t exist in that moment.”
“I don’t want there to be a pause button,” I said.
He leaned in and I thought it was going to happen. I thought he was going to finally kiss me for real, instead of what I think happened last night but was possibly imagined in my delirious, scared brain.
I even shut my eyes in anticipation, but it never happened. I opened them to find him staring out the window behind me. It was finally snowing.
This was not how I pictured this moment in my head.
“Earth to Dean,” I said, slightly annoyed as I waved my hand.
He snapped out of his reverie and smiled bigger than I’d ever seen him smile.
“What’s going on?” I asked warily.
He looked like a kid in a candy shop. He stood and pulled me to my feet, and then knelt down before me all in one fluid motion. Whenever this guy proposed to someone, it was going to be smooth as hell. I knew he wasn’t proposing, but I was curious about what he was doing beaming at me from the floor as he clutched my hands dramatically.
“Lauren Annabelle Lindsay.”
He paused for effect.
“Would you do me the honor of accompanying me to the Snow Ball?”
Monday, November 10, 2014
James Gordon is from Chicago Illinois and has one book to his credit, the DJ Gatsby Book Club Children's Book of the Year, Hi My Name is Bobo. Under his pen name G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive) he has penned five additional books and garnered several awards. James has crossed over into to the storytelling scene in Chicago and can be seen on the tv shows(Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Sirens, and Empire).
Buy Link: Hi, My Name is Bobo.: (A Weekend in the Life of a 5th Grader) (Step into the World of Bobo Book 1) - Kindle edition by James Gordon, Becca Wolford. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
We all know who collects the baby teeth; but, who collects the teeth when someone older, like Mommy or Daddy, loses a tooth? The retired tooth fairies do! “The Retired Tooth Fairy” follows the misadventures of one of these fairies. And her name is Bea. When the head fairy, Ms. Floss, gets swamped, she enlists the help of The Retired Tooth Fairy. Bea happily accepts her request and starts on her journey. But collecting these teeth will prove to be no easy task. Bea will have to risk being discovered by humans in order to return home before the magic of her "Youthful Dust" fades away. Will she make it home in time? Find out as you join Bea on her misadventure.
Character InterviewDouble Decker Books: Today, I would like to welcome a “fairy” special guest. Today we have an interview with a tooth fairy!
Teenage Girl: Pssst… (waves arms frantically) Excuse me…sorry.
Double Decker Books: I am sorry Miss, but I am in the middle of an interview.
Teenage Girl: (shakes head) I need to tell you something important!
Double Decker Books: Okay, what is it?
Teenage Girl: I am that Tooth Fairy’s granddaughter, Adelia. And I have some unfortunate news!
Double Decker Books: What is wrong?
Adelia: My grandma is a little…well…tied up at the moment. She is going to be late.
Double Decker Books: Oh no! What happened?
Adelia: Well, she went to take on an assignment before coming today and she said she got caught in the strings of a dental office’s blinds. So, she is a little tied up right now. My Mom is heading over there to help her out of her predicament.
Double Decker Books: Yikes! Is she okay?
Adelia: Yes, she is not hurt or anything. But like she may not be here anytime soon…ya know.
Double Decker Books: Geez, that puts a damper on this interview. I guess we will have to wait.
(Adelia whips out sparkling dust and sprinkles it above her head. She shrinks down to her normal fairy size and flies over to the chair next to the interviewer.)
Adelia: Is there anything I can help you answer?
Double Decker Books: You know what, I am sure we could ask you a few questions—as long as you don’t mind.
Adelia: I would love to help out! What do you got?
Double Decker Books: Alright, well, how is life in your world?
Adelia: Oh it is absolutely awesomely cool! There are a lot of similarities between our worlds--with the exception of magic. Oh…and flying. And being super tiny. But if you take away those, we live normal lives just like you! We go to school, hang out with friends, take a stroll in the park, and play Flossy Ball. Our buildings are made out of melted down teeth, and we have a set of rules to follow.
Double Decker Books: Yes, that sounds very much like life here. But may I ask, what is Flossy Ball?
Adelia: Flossy Ball is the best game in the world! We get in teams of seven. One side pitches the Flossy ball over to the Picker. The Picker catches the ball, throws it in the air, and smacks it with their wrists. Once the ball is in the air, the Picker runs to the other end of the field. The other team must catch the ball and then tag the Picker before she scores. If they tag her before she reaches the goal, then she must pick a satchel of fairy dust and sprinkle it over her head. Each satchel contains both good and bad magic. If she picks a good one she can get super speed, but if she picks a bad one, she may be temporarily turned into a rabbit until her team scores. The first team to score 21 points wins. It is awesome!
Double Decker Books: Now that sounds like a unique game.
Adelia: Oh it is! I LOVE it!
Double Decker Books: Now Adelia are you in the book “The Retired Tooth Fairy”?
Adelia: Of course! My grandma gets in soooo much trouble. I had to go and rescue her again. My Mom and I tend to do that a lot! My silly Grandma!
Bea: I heard that!
Adelia: (runs over to Bea and gives her a hug) Grandma! You are here!
Bea: Yep! I made it. It was such an exciting morning. Oh dear!
Double Decker Books: Hello Bea! I am glad you finally made it. What happened?
Bea: I volunteered to pick up some adult teeth from the dental office down the street. I entered the building through an office window, but I did not see the string hanging down. I ran right into it and got a little tangled. After several moments struggling, I freed myself, but I landed into a plastic jar full of cotton balls. The dental assistant didn’t notice I was there, and she closed the lid to that jar. I did not know how I was going to get myself out.
Double Decker Books: What did you do?
Adelia: Where was your magic pack?
Bea: My magic pack slipped off and was laying on the counter outside of the jar. So I went with the only option I had—I kept ramming into the side of the jar until it slid off the counter. Then I flew up as fast as I could so the jar floated instead of crashing into the floor. But when I placed it down, I realized I didn’t have the energy to tip it on its side.
Double Decker Books: Oh no, did you get trapped?
Bea: Yes! And I was buried underneath a mountain of cotton balls!
Adelia: Is that all of the fuzzy white stuff in your hair?
Bea: (picks out a piece of fuzz from her hair) Oh dear! I thought I had removed it all.
Double Decker Books: So how did you get out?
Bea: I had to wait for one of the dental people to enter the room and accidently kick over the jar.
Double Decker Books: Well, I am glad you got out of that okay and you weren’t hurt.
Bea: Why thank you! You are so sweet!
Double Decker Books: Adelia mentioned that she and her Mom have to save you a lot. How often does this happen?
Bea: Ha ha, more than I like to admit!
Adelia: Grandma, it happens every time you go out to complete a case. I think the Sprites get most of their jobs from your…um...mishaps?
Double Decker Books: Who are the Sprites?
Bea: They are our Peacekeepers…
Adelia: …and magical mistake fixer-uppers!
Bea: They enforce the fairy laws, and keep us safe from bad fairies.
Double Decker Books: In other words, they are like police officers?
Bea: Yes, that would be your equivalent to our Sprites.
Double Decker Books: Interesting! Now please tell me, why do you collect adult teeth?
Bea: I am retired from being a tooth fairy. It is too hard climbing into children’s rooms, squeezing underneath pillows, and being chased by various family pets.
Adelia: Believe it or not, frogs are the animals we fear most!
Double Decker Books: Frogs? Why?
Bea: Because frogs think we are flies. They try to eat us on average 100% of the time.
Double Decker Books: Okay. I guess I can see why now.
Bea: To get back to your question, adult teeth are left in open places. They are easier to collect. Well, they are supposed to be. I haven’t had much luck with them.
Double Decker Books: How did you feel when that one tooth rocketed into the air while you were tied to it?
Bea: It was terrifying! My Magic Puffballs were expired, but I didn’t realize it until afterwards. Instead of instantly shrinking the teeth so I could carry them, they shot through the air. I was not expecting to be yanked through the air by a rocketing tooth! All I wanted to do was conserve my energy before my Youthful Dust ran out. I won’t be trying that idea again.
Double Decker Books: I would be terrified too! I just have one more question. How did you like having a story written about you, and are there plans for any more stories featuring you?
Bea: I loved it! It was a great experience for me. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with everyone and having a chance to connect with people who I have visited for years. It’s hard being a Tooth Fairy. I always wanted to stay behind and talk to the kids, but, you know, I had a job that required me to go from place to place. It was rough. The next story picks up right after this one and is titled, “The Retired Tooth Fairy in Lilly’s Adventure”. You get to learn more about our fairy world. It is a lot of fun!
Double Decker Books: Well, it was a pleasure meeting the both of you today!
Bea and Adelia: It was a pleasure meeting you as well!
Double Decker Books: (glances at the audience) Let’s give Bea, The Retired Tooth Fairy, and her granddaughter, Adelia, a round of applause.
Adelia: (pulls out a pink satchel, hands it to Bea, and whispers) Here’s some Youthful Dust Grandma!
Bea: (takes the satchel and whispers) Thank you Sweetie!
Double Decker Books: (turns away from the crowd and faces the fairies) Thank you for the wonderful interview!
Bea: You are welcome! We had a lot of fun! Happy Brushing!
Double Decker Books: Happy Brushing! Try staying out of trouble.
Bea: I will try!
(Bea sprinkles the Youthful Dust over her head and does a quick dance before her and Adelia fly off stage.)
Author Bio: Jaclyn M Bartz is a lifelong artist and writer, with humbled healthcare background. Life took an unexpected turn which led her to her ideal career as a children’s book writer/illustrator. As a child, she spent her days writing stories and drawing pictures. Even though she loved these activities, Jaclyn pursued a career in the dental field. She wanted to be a dentist specializing in geriatric care. But destiny had other plans for her. After suffering a string of personal tragedies, literally weeks before becoming a licensed dental hygienist, Jaclyn jumped at the chance to write and draw for children. Now equipped with her love of art and writing, and her knowledge of patient education and oral healthcare, she is finally able to pursue a career as a children's author while doing the things she enjoys most. And she has never been happier. Opening Question Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
- I have been drawing and writing since I was a small little tyke. My influences were comics, games, and cartoons that I loved as a child, and I wrote my own stories about those characters. As I grew older and as my talents developed, my free time was focused on creating my very own dynamic characters in short stories and graphic comics. Although it seemed my artistic journey should have been a straight path, there were several obstacles that forced me to take the long road—which actually has been a blessing to my career.
- Bea, “The Retired Tooth Fairy”, was inspired by a conversation with my daughter after she had lost another tooth. When she asked me about who collects a mommy or daddy tooth, the character just jumped out of my mind and took a breath of light with each giggle we shared. She is not an ordinary tooth fairy—so I had a lot of fun filling in her personal story. Bea is short for Beatrice (which means traveler) and is also a representation of my last initial (“B” for Bartz). She is the first fairy—that I know of—whose purpose is to collect the often neglected adult teeth. They should be the easiest teeth to collect; however, Bea always finds herself in trouble when going out on her “adventures”. What I love about her is her ability to keep trying no matter how difficult her situation appears. She often uses her creative problem-solving skills to get out of her messes, even though they tend to lead to even bigger obstacles. She always maintains her kindness toward others and embraces her limitations with humor and grace.
- My ideas come from two places: life and my imagination. There are things in life that will spark the creative candle in my head and force it to burn with the brightest light possible. I have no fear of exploring concepts I have never experienced. I am an empathetic personality. I can place myself into various situations and do my best to understand the emotions that are felt. I guess it is my way to try to get a grasp about the world around me. It is actually a unique gift because it helps me visualize and feel those deep feelings as if they are happening when in fact they are not. I used to think I was weird to be able to do that until I met some other artists who have the same creative quirk. My imagination helps me to explore things that are not of this world. These are the ideas that explode from the “what ifs” or “why nots”. I love twists on things or to make something up that no one has ever seen or heard. My sketchbooks are filled with all kinds of different things—from space beings to magical creatures and strange worlds. I love Surrealism—think Salvador Dali—because it emphasizes moving beyond that creative box and exploring the outermost depths of the imagination. I try not to limit where my ideas take me. Art has no boundaries.
- I have grown immensely throughout the years. I love taking a look at my older drawings and writings. They remind me how much I have learned and how far I have come. I mean I went from stick figures to photorealistic and graphic art. My writings went from flat plotlines to fully dynamic worlds full of complex characters. It has been a magnificent transformation thus far and I know I still have more to room to expand my creative wings. I love learning, so I spend a lot of my free time researching and trying new techniques to push myself as an artist and to expand my craft. I look forward to seeing where my art will take me in five, ten, and twenty more years.
- I read a lot! Between educational, entertainment, and books I receive for reviews, I probably read several books a week. My favorite authors are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and R.L. Stein. Even though they are a different genre, I really admire the talent they possess. I love Stephen King’s descriptions, Dean Koontz’ plot twists, and R.L. Stein’s versatility.
- I would have loved to been the author of Bunnicula! It was just a genius idea. For those of you not familiar with this book, it is about a vampire bunny who drains the juice from vegetables. It was written through the point of view of the house pets and was a delight to read. It was one of my many influences when I was younger and helped spark my love of reading and writing.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Storm Earls is a young teenage girl from London, whose parents work for a hi-tech science company. After her parents get involved in a dangerous project creating the most addictive drug ‘Oblivion’, Storm is sent on a deserted island as insurance for her parents’ continuous collaboration on the project. On the island the young girl’s curiosity takes over her and she begins to uncover facts about her life that up until now she has been oblivious to. Eager to find out more and get back home, Storm takes on a dangerous journey filled with battles against a multimillionaire corporation and the wildlife of the island. Along the way the young teenager finds a lost friend of hers, while making new friendships and even finding love for the first time. But with finding friends comes losing friends. Who will Storm lose and would she ever be able to return to London?
Author’s bio: Izabel (Izi) Vasileva was born Apr 1991 in Bulgaria, where she grew up surrounded by loving friends and family, who have always encouraged her to follow her dreams and always supported her decision despite the fact how crazy they were sometimes. At the age of 18 she decided to move to UK to study and follow her dreams, that’s when a lot of people she knew told her ‘You can’t do it.’. Izi as stubborn as she stood her ground and told them ‘Just watch me.’, which is what she says every time someone doubts her abilities. In 2009 she moved to Canterbury, where on her own she faced the challenges of being independent and living away from home. She learned quickly to adapt and made many new friends along the way. Books have been a passion of hers for a while. She likes to get lost between the pages of a good fiction. Her favorites are YA novel and the very first book that captured her attention completely was Twilight. After some unfortunate events with one of her friends, Izi finally decided to put the idea, which has been in her head for couple of months, on paper. That’s how Izi’s first novel The Prison of Oblivion was born. The author loves expressing her feeling through her stories, but fully realizes that she needs to write more and learn more about writing before she becomes one of the authors, who readers truly admire. To all the readers the author says ‘If you like fiction and YA novel, give me a chance.’.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
The Sacrificing Mother dives deep into the world of Laney Rhodes, a 17 year old girl, who loves nothing more than to surf. Laney’s life has never be smooth sailing or easy going. To be blunt her mother is an escort/stripper/sexual favors kind of a woman. Yes, to be exact Rubee Rhodes was quite the scandal, who had an inappropriate relationship with alcohol.
Of course we cannot commence the storytelling process without justifying the backstory and whence it began. So all aboard criminals and lovers let’s enter the winding roads and deserted isles of a girl named Laney Rhodes.
There should always be two types of pregnancy tests. One, being for women who has established themselves in society or who are 30 years of age or older. The other one that is so apparently portrayed in my mind’s eye. Is for all those teenagers, those sweethearts running off to do the act they think will last forever. Guess what in denial tweens, it doesn’t!
So instead of the occasionally two lines or plus sign, for the youth of our nation there should be two replies for breaking the news: For NO it should state in all caps and in bold big blinking letters CONGRATS! As it shoots out confetti. If you happen to be as unlucky as I am, then you would read the equivalent to the overused acronym FML. These three letters do not blink or congratulate you, they stand tall and wide. Your future is carved into a plastic flamingo lawn ornament, instead of an honoree plaque as a college graduate.
Oh, if only I could just take this worry, and surf the angst away. My, wouldn’t everyday be a little bit brighter! So, you’re wondering who the guy is that so kindly invested in me with his sperm. Well, I fell in love for the first time that summer or maybe the second, the second time I am still a little unsure about… Audience members meet the boys; Noah Adler, 19 year old college bound, gorgeous, virgin galore. Briton Clark, 22 year old bodyguard at my mother’s strip club. One night she finds definite disaster in the blue eyes of Briton and pure romance with Noah. The heart throbs have turned tables on her and cupid is now calling her out stupid.
S.M. Bjarnson interview with main character Laney Rhodes.
SM- Laney you've grown up and experienced the oddest of predicaments. To be honest you have not had the best living situations or easy upbringing!
LR- I think everybody can say they didn't have an easy channel for maturity. Although not many mothers are hookers, like mine.
SM- Do you ever have regrets in your life, Laney?
LR- Not as many as I thought I would at this point. There have been items in my life that people categorize as mistakes. But I could never justify a human being as a problem, let alone a mistake.
SM- You are quite brave for sharing your story with thousands of people?
LR- I wouldn't call it bravery, I just see myself as an example rather than a statistic. I evolve from the situations I have placed myself in, and the story I hope translates a journey of overcoming circumstances.
Top 10 Favorite Movies
1. Another Earth 2. Daydream Nation 3.Chicago 4.Milan Rouge 5.Stakeland 6.Mr. Nobody 7. Upside Down 8. Castle in the sky 9. Kiki's delivery service 10. Spirited Away
Links to Author S.M. Bjarnson
Links to The Tangled Tears
Links to The Circus in Me
Links to The Sacrificing Mother