Articles for the Month of October 2013

The Treebobs and Air Rena by Declan Harney

A wonderful story!

treebob and air reena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: “Rotten Rena, the wicked witch of the Enchanted Forest, is back and this time she is flying high in her very own airship and causing mayhem. Things go from bad to worse when Rena’s troll workforce, the Neerdowells, arrive and there seems little hope of saving the forest from the prospect of Air Rena. That is until Bindweed Belle and a Treebob find the strangest of all magical characters yet to help save the day.”

This is another story in the popular Treebobs series and features the popular characters of Bindweed Belle and of course the wicked witch Rotten Rena. The Treebobs books by Declan Harney have found wide spread acclaim. They provide a mix of comical fantasy with positive messages, all of which appeal to children and adults alike.

Tales 4 All are also pleased to announce that 20% of the profits from every sale of this book will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s charity.

About Declan Harney:
Declan Harney started writing in 2010 and his stories of the Treebobs who are magical elves who live on a magical sycamore tree in an Enchanted Forest continue to grow in popularity. Declan lives in Lancashire by the Sea with his pet cat Mildred.

 

Review by Susan Keefe

One day, the peacefulness of the Enchanted Forest is destroyed by a loud voice from above.

“Good morning,” Rotten Rena cackles from her enormous airship, I’m starting an airship passenger service between the Enchanted Forest and the Dark Wood she announces proudly.

Her airship is so noisy and her plans so damaging to the forest, that the fairies and Treebobs decide they have to do something.

They call a meeting and after Bindweed Belle has explained how an airship works, Treebob, Brenda Breezewater has an idea…

Being evil, and upsetting those around you might seem fun at the time but Rotten Rena’s bad deeds and mischievous ways are about to backfire on her.

Will the Treebobs and fairies succeed?

To find out you must read the book!

Within the story lies an important message for children, which is that thoughtfulness, teamwork and respect for others, conquer over being selfish and inconsiderate.

Another captivating Treebob adventure, which is beautifully illustrated.

Available from:

Amazon in Kindle format here http://www.amazon.com/The-Treebobs-Air-Rena-ebook/dp/B00G6HNZRG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382970600&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=treebobs+ans+air+rena

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by Tegon Maus

What a brilliant story!

TegonMaus_F_cover_[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Gift:
Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.
About Tegon Maus: Dearheart, my wife of forty three years and I live in Cherry Valley, a little town of 8,200 in Southern California. In that time, I’ve built a successful remodeling /contracting business. But that’s just my day job… everyone that writes, everyone who tells you how to write, all say the same thing… Write about what you know and what I know is me.
Well, at least the me I see when I write… a protagonist frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place but manages to work things out at the last minute after all.
Like most of us when pushed into a corner it only brings out the best in us and we become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. If I have a signature style for creating a character then this is it.

 

Review by Susan Keefe:

When Tucker Littlefield enters the tavern, its story time and his audience have come from near and far. The room falls silent as he begins the tale of how he first met Enon Tutelo, and the adventure, which followed. 

 They say, that sometimes an incident can change a person’s path in life forever, and Tucker’s attendance at a very special birthday party; and the events which followed, changed him forever. For Tucker is given a life changing gift, then a mission which takes him on a journey to other lands, far, far away from the Kingdom of Irkland,  where he meets strange people, and unimaginable creatures.

Magical, is the first word, which came to my mind when I finished this story.  Right from the very first page, I found myself totally captivated by Tucker’s storytelling of this is a wonderful adventure.

Tucker Littlefield is an amazing character, when reading it I immediately thought of John Carpenter’s fisherman storyteller at the beginning of ‘The Fog’ film, where the children gather round as the scene is set…  as, when reading it, I felt as if I too was actually there, sitting in the tavern, listening.

I cannot praise this book enough; it truly deserves to become a classic, the stuff of legends. As far as I am concerned, it has a fantastic storyline, the author has created some wonderful characters and I believe it would make a brilliant film!

I hope we shall be seeing more Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield in the future.

Available:

and in Kindle format here: http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Chronicles-Tucker-Littlefield-ebook/dp/B009P4CACS/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382779156&sr=1-1&keywords=the+chronicles+of+tucker+littlefield

 

 

Wasp’s Nest Roma Series Book Two by Gabriel Valjan

Action packed thriller.

Wasp's Nest: Roma Series, Book Two

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

ISBN 13: 978-0988184534

Language: English – 294 pages.

About Wasp’s Nest: In the highly anticipated sequel to Roma, Underground, Bianca returns to the U.S. for her former employer, the covert organization Rendition, to investigate Cyril Sargent and Nasonia Pharmaceutical. Although ambivalent about the assignment and uneasy about her online “friend,” Loki, she is enticed into researching what Sargent is doing with insect genetics that might upset the world of cancer research and treatment. Old friends Farrugia and Gennaro uncover a twisted conspiracy from their past and join Bianca in Boston where they will experience conflicted loyalties, question allies, and confront uncertain enemies, as they’re drawn into the wasp’s nest.

 

About Gabriel Valjan: Ronan Bennett short-listed Gabriel Valjan for the 2010 Fish Short Story Prize for his Boston noir, ‘Back in the Day.’ Gabriel’s short stories and some of his poetry continue to appear in literary journals and online magazines. He recently won first prize in ZOUCH Magazine’s inaugural Lit Bits Contest. He lives in New England. He is the author of the Roma Series, Book 1: Roma, Underground, Book 2: Wasp’s Nest, and Book 3: Threading the Needle, available from his publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, and in paperback or digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Gabriel can be contacted through his publicist, Rachel Anderson at rachel@rmapublicity.com

 

Review by Susan Keefe

In this, the second book in the Roma Series, the story opens with Alabaster Black (alias Bianca Nerini) returning from Rome to Boston, Massachusetts, leaving behind her lover, Dante, and friends in Rome, Italy.

Rendition, her employer, a covert U.S. agency, has persuaded her to infiltrate Nasonia Pharmaceuticals, a drug manufacturing company owned by Cyril Sargent. Nasonia, is working on a revolutionary new drug using insect-based genetics to develop a new cancer-cure and Rendition want to know more.

Then, when Farrugia and Gennaro, her friends from the Rome, arrive in Boston for another reason, she discovers that leaving the past behind is not as simple as just getting on a plane; they bring some disturbing news for her, ghosts from the past have resurfaced…

I found Wasp’s Nest a compelling reading, action-packed and with intriguing characters. The plot had plenty of twists and turns, some surprising secrets, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the very end.

Gabriel Valjan includes a tantalising glimpse into Book 3 of the Roma Series, Threading the Needle which I had read first, but I realized that the author created each volume independent of each other.

Available from:

Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Wasps-Nest-Gabriel-Valjan/dp/0988184532/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1382357183&sr=8-1&keywords=wasps+nest+by+gabriel+valjan

Kindle here http://www.amazon.com/Wasps-Nest-Series-Gabriel-Valjan-ebook/dp/B00AG30TUM/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382357273&sr=1-2&keywords=wasps+nest

Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wasps-nest-gabriel-valjan/1117057227?ean=9780988184534

Nook Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wasps-nest-gabriel-valjan/1113729884?ean=2940015822762

A Silly Rhyming Alphabet Book about Animals from A to Z written by Simone Da Costa

Colourful, educational and fun to read.

A Silly Rhyming Alphabet Book about Animals from A to Z By: Simone Da Costa

About A Silly Rhyming Alphabet Book about Animals: Using the names of animals that start with letters in the alphabet in rhyme, making each story silly and easy to remember the alphabet.

It is an instructional book but one which is cleverly disguised as a rhyming, animal book. children will unknowingly learn the alphabet, be introduced to animals new and known, and pick up the subtleties of rhyme.

Review by Susan Keefe

Everyone knows that children love and need attention, reading to them is an excellent way of giving them just that. Having read this book, I could not think of a better way to spend special time together with a young child than laughing and having fun exploring its pages.

Each letter of the alphabet has its own page, with a bright illustration. The writer and illustrator have combined to make this a magical book for children, using some well know, and some more  unusual creatures and a funny, silly rhyme to help the child remember each letter. Then, as an added bonus, at the end, there is a fun quiz to do.

Reading the silly rhymes, it occurred to me that it would be very easy and great fun, for the reader and child, together to elaborate on each one of the rhymes, expanding it into a story perhaps and enriching, even more, the whole experience for both.

I would recommend this book to any parent; it is educational and fun, combining funny creatures, silly rhymes and beautiful illustrations into a book which is a joy to read.

About Simone Da Costa: Simone Da’ Costa is a writer, author, self-publisher and freelance magazine writer. Simone has written many articles for several North American Magazines. She has published two books, Remember to Pray and 2013 Hummingbird Day Planner. She recently debut her first children’s book, A Silly Rhyming Alphabet Book about Animals from A to Z and it has already received rave reviews.Simone operates a blog called Simone’s Blog – Depicting the writer in you. It’s mission is to help authors/writers express the literary art of writing and its evocative quality that gives them much joy.

The Treebobs Save Christmas (Audio Book) by Declan Harney

Pure Christmas magic!

The Treebobs Save Christmas (Unabridged)

About The Treebobs Save Christmas: Pure Christmas magic in the enchanting world of the Treebobs. When Father Christmas arrives to begin his journey across the world on Christmas Eve, Rotten Rena the wicked witch is waiting for a present and she is not at all pleased when she does not get one. In true Rotten Rena style she casts one of her wicked spells to ruin Christmas for the World.

However the Treebob Queen with the very best of the Treebob air force, the “Royal Air Bobs”, use the pure magic of Christmas to make sure that Father Christmas does indeed get to fly his sleigh that Christmas eve.

Review by Susan Keefe:

The Enchanted Forest is abuzz with excitement, because soon it will soon be Christmas! The Treebobs and fairies are busy decorating the Treebob tree with garlands and fairy lights and everyone is happy.

Then, on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas’ sleigh arrives, pulled by six beautiful reindeer, on the start of his journey to visit all the good girls and boys with presents.  However, someone isn’t happy, Rotten Rena has discovered that she will not be getting a present, she hasn’t been good. Furious, she tries to ruin Christmas for everyone, with a nasty spell – but will she succeed, or, can the Treebob Queen save the day with her own special magic?

This wonderful story has been brought alive by the amazing voices of its narrators, which combine with the brilliant music and sound effects, to make this an outstanding story, which deserves to become a Christmas classic.

An enthralling, magical, story, which will captivate children, and bring alive, in young and old alike, the true magic of Christmas.

Available from Audible here http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Treebobs-Save-Christmas-Unabridged/dp/B00A45QISE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381498154&sr=8-1&keywords=treebobs+save+christmas

and from the publisher’s website Tales 4 All  http://www.tales4all.co.uk/product/tree-bobs-save-christmas/ 

Alpaca Relaxation Guide by Nina Faust

The Alpaca Relaxation Guide by Nina Faust

 

 

Stress is a big worry these days but not if you are an Alpaca!

 

A delightful book, the Alpaca Relaxation Guide is a playful look into how Alpaca’s relax and how, by studying them you can gain inner peace.

 

This is a light-hearted guide and a wonderful introduction into the characters of these beautiful animals. As we are treated, by Nina, to glimpse into what it takes to care for these beautiful animals on her wildlife preserve in Homer, Alaska, we learn snippets of information about them.  Whether you are an Alpaca fan or just plain curious about these beautiful animals, I’m sure you will be totally captivated by the end of this book.

 

Full of bright colorful photographs of the author’s own animals it is a joy to read and a lovely insight into the joy and harmony, which can be experienced by both alpacas and their owners.

 

Nina Faust is a retired high school math/English teacher, amateur videographer, and author.

 

The Alpaca Relaxation Guide can be purchased from: http://homerbookstore.com/orders.html

Kitten Diaries by Conny Manero

Kitten_DiariesKitten Diaries: Kitten Diaries contains two stories about two different kittens in two vastly different situations.

The first, ‘Chanel’s Story,’ is about an ugly shelter kitten who gives herself no chance at being adopted. After many disappointments, she discovers that there are people willing to look beyond fur deep. Chanel’s poignant and amusing story shines a well deserved spotlight on animal shelter adoptions and the importance of responsible pet ownership.
Beyond the timely message of overflowing shelters, ‘Chanel’s Story’ is, at the heart of it, about the blessing of acceptance. Not just a human’s acceptance and love for a cat; but also a cat’s special love for the owner who saved her.
In ‘Queeny’s Diary,’ this tiny, Ragdoll breed kitten is left in the care of friends while her owners go away on vacation. Her diary entries describe numerous adventures and misadventures when she finds herself alone in a household full of other older and eccentric cats.

 

Review by Susan Keefe:

Have you ever wondered what your cat or kitten is thinking?

Well, this lovely book is written as the diaries of two kittens.

Chanel is a poor, ugly abandoned kitten, who just wants to be loved, but is always overlooked by visitors to the shelter. Then on Pet Adoption Week, she is taken to a pet shop. As the other cats are re-homed, she sits, waiting for that special person to come along and love her. Find out if her dream comes true and what happens by reading her diary.

The second kitten is called Queeny, she’s a beautiful pampered Ragdoll.  Her owners leave her with their friends whilst they go on holiday, but she has to learn how to interact with the other six cats at the house! Find out how Queeny gets on, and discover how she feels when her owners return, in this second delightful diary.
A beautiful book, thoughtfully written, which encourages children to think about what their pets may be thinking, and, how they might react to everyday situations.

 

About Conny Manero:

Writing has been a passion and an important outlet in my life. Born in Belgium, I lived in South Africa for fifteen years before moving to Toronto, Canada, where I now live. As they say, “life is a journey,” and I try to use all of my varied experiences and exposure to diverse cultures to enrich my writing.

Another passion in my life is a deep love of animals. Cats are especially close to my heart, and I use my writing to bring awareness to their issues. Most importantly, I try to focus on the critical need to educate more people about the importance of neutering their pets, and encouraging support of local animal rescue organizations.

Earlier this year I released a book entitled, “Kitten Diaries.” Both stories in “Kitten Diaries” are based on real cats and, although their humorous adventures are fanciful, both are based on a real life event. First there is “Chanel’s Story” about the time when I adopted my wonderful cat, Chanel, at an animal shelter. This story is followed by “Queeny’s Diary” and is about a kitten sent to spend time with family friends while her owners go on vacation. Fur flies when Queeny finds herself at the mercy of a household full of older cats.

I also have opinions and points of view that I like to share here on Helium. Networking with other writers, sharing ideas and stories has been an especially enriching experience.

Kitten Diaries is available in Paperback here http://www.amazon.com/Kitten-Diaries-Conny-Manero/dp/098095844X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1381315253&sr=1-1

and on Kindle here http://www.amazon.com/Kitten-Diaries-ebook/dp/B0055TBYCO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1381315253

 

Threading the Needle by Gabriel Valjan

An action packed political thriller.

Threading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher:  Winter Goose Publishing

ISBN 13: 978-0989479219

Language: English – 366 Pages

About Threading the Needle: Milan. Bianca’s curiosity gets a young university student murdered, but not before he gives her a file that details a secret weapon under development with defense contractor Adastra. Guilt may drive her to find justice for the slain Charlie Brooks, but she is warned by the mysterious Loki to stay away from this case that runs deep with conspiracy. Bianca must find a way to uncover government secrets and corporate alliances without returning Italy to one of its darkest hours, the decades of daily terrorism known as the “Years of Lead.”

About Gabriel Valjan: Ronan Bennett short-listed Gabriel Valjan for the 2010 Fish Short Story Prize for his Boston noir, ‘Back in the Day.’ Gabriel’s short stories and some of his poetry continue to appear in literary journals and online magazines. He recently won first prize in ZOUCH Magazine’s inaugural Lit Bits Contest. He lives in New England. He is the author of the Roma Series, Book 1: Roma, Underground, Book 2: Wasp’s Nest, and Book 3: Threading the Needle, available from his publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, and in paperback or digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Gabriel can be contacted through his publicist, Rachel Anderson at rachel@rmapublicity.com

Review by Susan Keefe:

Isidore Farrugia is a cop, brought up during the Years of Lead, a horrific period in Italian history, a time of terror and killing, his childhood memories, scarred forever by the brutal death of his mother. Nevertheless, he is a good man, loyal and protective of his friends and colleagues.

This is why although off duty and out of jurisdiction, when his friend Bianca arranges a meeting with her informant, Charles Brooks, he insists on coming too. However, soon his onlooker role changes, when the young 23-year-old American, Bianca came to meet is killed, and so are his assassins.

Then another murder takes place, and the Italian police investigators find themselves unearthing a web of political intrigue.

Bianca has a secret though, she knows, she must uncover the truth behind the information she has been entrusted with, despite warnings from her mysterious online contact Loki, to stay away. Adastra, a weapons manufacturer is hiding something… But what?

I found myself hooked, right from the start of this brilliant, action packed, political crime thriller, which is set in Milan.

For those, like myself, who are interested in history, the Afterword about the Years of Lead by Claudio Ferrara was very interesting.

This is actually the third book in the ‘Roma’ series, by this talented author, and there is a tantalising glimpse at the end into his fourth book, ’Turning to Stone.’

Threading the Needle is available in Paperback from Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Threading-Needle-Gabriel-Valjan/dp/0989479218/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381078405&sr=1-4&keywords=gabriel+valjan

and on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G1YS0GU/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_img_sol_0

Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/threading-the-needle-gabriel-valjan/1117057228?ean=9780989479219

and as a Nook Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/threading-the-needle-gabriel-valjan/1117041561?ean=2940148685654

 

Ladoo Dog: Tales of a Sweet Dachshund by Aneeta Sundararaj

A book for every dog lover.

cover_for_ladoo_dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: What makes dachshunds special? Can a dog be considered ‘Indian’ or ‘Chinese’? Do dachshunds have temper tantrums? These are some of the themes in the 12 stories about Ladoo, a dachshund with a big heart. This collection of entertaining stories will make you laugh and you will certainly appreciate dachshunds even more.

Review by Susan Keefe

Being a dog lover and knowing a little about Aneeta and her love for Ladoo, I just could not wait to read this book and as soon as it arrived, I just couldn’t put it down.

My family and I have had various breeds of dogs over the years; each loved tremendously including the long bodied Basset Hound but never a Dachshund. Man has over the centuries, through selective breeding changed the shape of dogs to suit particular roles and it was very interesting to learn more about this wonderful breed.

That Aneeta and Ladoo shared a very special bond is obvious, and the story of how these two souls became one, sharing their life together is lovely to read. The chapters enable the reader to see snippets of their lives, and appreciate this bond whilst learning a little about culture and life in Malaysia.

The phrase ‘They were made for each other’ is quite commonly used; however, you only have to read this book to see a true example. Ladoo was a wonderful dog who not only gave herself heart and soul to Aneeta [and received the same in return] but also touched the souls of many other people with her amazing character.

I would recommend this book to any animal lover, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but afterwards it will also leave you with the knowledge that you have been allowed a glimpse into this really special relationship.  

About Aneeta Sundaraj: Aneeta Sundararaj is a published author and established writer for magazines, newspapers and journals. She lives in Malaysia and adores her pet dachshund, Ladoo.

Website: http://www.howtotellagreatstory.com/

This book is being sold to support two charities and so the author would like to encourage people to buy directly from her or from the publishers via PayPal (please send an email to editor@howtotellagreatstory.com or ucansurvive@gmail.com) to ensure the money received goes towards the two causes she wants to support

However, it is also available at Amazon on Kindle here:http://www.amazon.com/Ladoo-Dog-Tales-Dachshund-ebook/dp/B00EZMGN8W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1380530777&sr=1-1&keywords=ladoo

And Smashwords here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/163760