Articles for the Month of July 2019

Mind Home by Joel Ross Whitehead

 

 

An incredible insight into the torment mental illness can cause.

“We’re all on a journey to improve our mental health for peace of mind and soul” thought –provoking words from the heartfelt introduction to this important book by the author Joel Ross Whitehead.

The main character is Gosling Wakefield, a man struggling with his life, in his own way. We may not relate to his particular mental health problems, each and every one of us takes their own journey through life, and tackles the obstacles and challenges each twist and turn along the way throws up uniquely.

Gosling struggles with voices in his head, and the scenarios they play out before him.  It is in one of these moments that the voice in his head tells him that he must find the room where ‘he’ resides, and then go on to find thalamus. But the question is, how can he do this, and who or what is thalamus?

Struggling with inner voices is something everyone experiences in their life. Whether it’s that inner voice that says, “Go on, one more biscuit won’t hurt your diet,” or the nagging fearful voice which haunt the time between an illness and the doctor’s diagnosis. However most of us then let life take over, kick into another gear, and continue on our life’s journey, but not all of us can do this. Mental health is a frail thing. Depression, anxiety, and fear expand out of control. This is the mental state Gosling is in, and it is propped up by alcohol. However, despite regularly looking, Gosling discovers the answers are not found at the bottom of his whisky glass, or the next, or the next…

The horrors of his inner torment are compounded one day when in his drunken stupor he realises that the irritating inner voice is in fact the younger him.

Things then get worse as his life is played out before him, the night terrors of his youth, the zealousness of the religious teachers at St. Johns where he had been sent for education and rehabilitation, events, people… As his mind tumbles through the memories of his lifetime the reader cannot help but feel a myriad of emotions, torment, loves lost, death, failure, they are all there, and more.

Then when his life has been thoroughly exposed, we discover if he found his thalamus. I’m not going to spoil the story and reveal all here, this book is just too good, you will have to discover the answer for yourself. What I will say to future readers of this inspiring, uplifting, and incredibly poignant story is that at the end of his journey Gosling found peace, a way to come to terms with his illness and face the world anew.

In conclusion: This book was absolutely incredible, I just could not put it down. It journeys into the torment we can put our mind through, and exposes the real suffering mental illness causes, yet gives hope that life CAN be different, but the changes stem from within.

About the Author:

Joel Ross Whitehead, born in Liverpool, Merseyside grew up in the surrounding areas in Croxteth and West Derby. Began writing by creating lyrics and poems for his own music group and personal collections. Began writing his first book Mind Home in 2018 and has published it June 2019 as his first novella. Aiming to expand on his novellas by creating a trilogy and move into novels in the coming years.

About the Book: 

Gosling Wakefield is a reclusive, tormented man haunted by the shades of his past. Self-exiled in his home, his mental state is scarred and diminishing. His only chance of redemption is the challenge he must make into his inner recess. Only There will he find his resolve. Lucid, surreal and present in solid obscurity, his search for peace begins in his mind home.”Go further. Find Thalamus”

Mind Home is available from Amazon sites worldwide in Paperback and Kindle format  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Home-Joel-Ross-Whitehead/dp/1097622266/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

 

 

Kinda Friends II (Super Speed Sam Book 12) by Monty J. McClaine

 

 

Fun and games when Sam the superhero Basset Hound meets the diva cat Bella.

My family really enjoy the Super Speed Sam series of children’s book and its star the loveable Basset Hound Sam. His family (because all dog owners know that our dogs are sure they own us and not the other way around) are the McClaine family consisting of Jack, Sam’s mischievous human playmate and partner in crime, his little sister Molly, and their mum and dad.

This story opens with mum getting ready for a bargain hunting shopping trip with her new neighbour Patricia Goldman, and Jack and Sam looking forward to spending the afternoon paying with Jack’s friend Gary.

However, mum is soon surprised to discover that Sam will have to stay outside, you see her new neighbour has a very precious cat called Bella, but she’s not just an ordinary cat, she’s a real film star, and is on Molly’s favourite TV programme The Cat Walk Kittens’.

Consequently, having such a precious diva cat Patricia is not sure she wants her upset by Sam , so it is agreed Sam will stay outside whilst the boys play. However when Jack arrives in Gary’s bedroom he is stunned to discover that Gary doesn’t have a computer or games consoles. Gary has instead just put the finishing touches to a space game, played the old fashioned way. It’s not long before the two boys are deeply engrossed in their game, oblivious to the catastrophic events which are happening outside.

You see, it hasn’t taken Bella long to realise there is a dog outside and she decides to trick him, much to Sam’s dismay. However karma is a good thing and soon she finds herself making a chain of bad decisions which leaves the diva distraught.

The next part absolutely captivated my granddaughter as Sam’s inner voice brings back memories of times long ago and an event which happened to him then – or is he just imaging it did? Anyway, Sam decides he must go into superhero mode and after chanting his special chant he magically saves the diva, even if he does make a blunder on the way. He thinks he has got away with it, but then Bella says something to him which makes him wonder…

The Super Speed Sam books have become a firm favourite in our household, each one bringing a different special message subtly woven into their wonderful stories. Highly recommended for children who love superheros, especially the canine variety.

About the Author:

Proud winner of the 7th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards (2018) in the “Environment” category for The Rescue Elves – The Plastic Pollution Adventure.

Proud winner of the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards in the “Holiday” category for Super Speed Sam – Santa’s Rescue Dog.

I feel that some of the natural interactions between family and friends are gradually eroding, if not already completely worn away for some. And I was reminded of a C.S.Lewis quotation –

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

It also feels like the simple joy of laughing or crying among family and friends is being replaced by beeps, bops and demands to ‘add new features’ or ‘why doesn’t this work?’ or ‘who’s hogging the Wi-Fi?’.

So I set out to create a fun and exciting series of children’s short stories, with lots of adventure and splashes of humor, all paced to hold children’s attention whether reading or listening… at least that’s my hope!

Stories that will delight both boys and girls, the young and old, and, of course, moms and dads! Tales that allow a return to simpler values, kid-like imagination for both children and adults and, I sincerely hope, bring families closer together.
Monty

Author’s Website: http://superspeedsam.com/ 

About the Book:

You can’t always judge a book by its cover or a cat by its color, and there are always new things we can learn about each other and ourselves–as our pal Sam learns one beautiful, sunny day. When Mom, Jack, and Sam visit their new neighbors the Goldman’s, Jack learns that there is more than just one way to have fun and Sam gets a dose of feline drama! For Bella, the Goldman’s cat is a big, huge, diva, and although Sam and her do not get along, there’s more in store for the pair than just a playdate gone wrong! While Sam and Bella struggle to find common ground, Jack learns new lessons about seeing the world differently and how to be a better friend. In this hilarious tale of unlikely friendships, explore and enjoy the wonders of meeting someone new and learning things too! Can Bella and Sam move past their differences? Or is Super Speed Sam and his superpowers no match for this crazy cat?

Kinda Friends II is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Kinda-Friends-Super-Speed-Sam/dp/1718758723/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=kinda+friends+II+by+Monty+J.+McClaine&qid=1563956791&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

The Domino Effect by Andrew Cotto

 

 

A rollercoaster coming-of-age story.

The people who shape us, and the influence they have on us is something which we probably only realise when we look back over our lives. There can be no doubt that strong parenting, and the ideals which our family, culture, and the neighbourhood in which we live affect us, either consciously or subconsciously as we grow up.

In this incredible story, which was a finalist in the Readers Favorite Award, the author has written a spellbinding coming-of-age story.

The protagonist, Danny Rorro or Domino as he is known to his childhood friends, is a loveable rogue, a prankster and mischief maker. He lives in Queens, in the neighbourhood his Sicilian mother has grown up in, and he idolises his Italian father who is a musician. His life is good, until the Italian neighbourhood is taken over by the Spanish. Then, Danny quickly discovers that life will never be the same again.
After trouble between the two factions escalates at his school, Danny suffers a savage beating and he ends up in hospital. Distraught, his parents, doing what they think is best, move house and change his school, still Queens but a different neighbourhood. The impact the beating has on him, and the resulting damage to the relationship he has with his father is catastrophic. Resentful, argumentative and extremely happy, Danny is reacting as only children know how, yet it has to stop. After discussion it is decided boarding school is the answer, and Hamden Academy seems just what he needs, especially when he falls in love on the first day with the beautiful Brenda Devine. In his rollercoaster years at this sports obsessed academy, in his own way Danny makes a difference, standing up for what he feels is right, making plenty of blunders, having conflicts with other pupils, and having bumbling attempts at romance along the way.

Throughout this fast paced, exciting story I found myself going through a myriad of emotions. As a mother I felt protective of him and, yet as a parent of a son I saw his parents’ side of things.

In conclusion, this book was a real joy to read, as I watched this young vulnerable boy evolve into the young man he became, overcoming hurdles, achieving more than he could have imagined, and surviving boarding school.

Highly recommended as a wonderful read for all ages.

About the Author:

Andrew Cotto is the award-winning author of three novels. He has written for The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, Parade, Maxim, The Huffington Post, Salon, Conde Nast Traveler, Italy magazine and more. Andrew has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Author’s Website: https://andrewcotto.com/

About the Book:

The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and – most significantly – the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music—just like life, especially when coming of age.

The Domino Effect is available in paperback and eBook format from:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Domino-Effect-Andrew-Cotto/dp/1684332990/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1563875722&refinements=p_27%3AAndrew+Cotto&s=books&sr=1-2&text=Andrew+Cotto

and Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-domino-effect-andrew-cotto/1104924348?ean=9781684332991

 

 

I BELIEVE: I Am Courageous and an Explorer, Just Like Carlo and Teddy, Two Amazing Horses. Book 1 by Suzanne Mondoux

 

 

 

In this interactive colouring and activity book Carlo and Teddy the courageous horses encourage children to follow their dreams.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to be brave, it is much easier to stay where you are and be a loner. However not all children want to be like this, inside they dream of meeting new friends, and going amazing places. However, a lack of self-confidence and belief in themselves stops them. This is where this cleverly written children’s’ book can help.

You see, Carlo the horse thinks he is the only horse in the world. He dreams of making friends but doesn’t know how, until the day he decides to venture over the hills and valley and discovers Teddy. Teddy is another lonely horse who also thought he was the only one.

This is a very important day for the two horses, they make friends, and share a delicious lunch. Then they discuss the differences between them, discover where each other live, and what they like to do. Empowered the two friends decide to explore together and find other horses like them.

Children are encouraged to embrace the bravery of the two horses, and remember the rewards which come from being so courageous. The author invites them to draw a map of where they live, and then another of the world. On the world map, their experiences, hopes and dreams, friends they have etc. are expanded as they are encouraged to interact and let their imaginations fly. They are also encouraged to draw a map of the places they would like to go and see animals which they would like to know about, and the places people are helping them.

This story is inspirational for children and encourages them to feel proud of their accomplishments so far, and follow their dreams to go other places and meet new friends.

Self-belief is an important thing to cultivate in children and helps them in so many different ways. This is what the I BELIEVE series is about, giving practical tasks for children to do, as in this book, where the children are invited to draw maps of all their dreams for 30 days.

The affirmation children are encouraged to do at the end of the book to believe in themselves, and the encouragement they are given to be kind to animals, and in doing so make the world a better for everyone, are lessons which are vitally important to every child.

Engaging, interactive, and beautifully presented, the author, with the help of Carlo and Teddy, offers children valuable lessons on how to become more courageous, use their imagination, and follow their dreams.

About the Author:

Suzanne Mondoux: A Voice For Animals
Explorer, Environmental Professional, Author.
French Canadian-born author and environmentally-conscious mining manager Suzanne Mondoux is dedicated to the protection of wildlife and the environment. “I am passionate about the well-being of animals.” In the Republic of Congo she wrote about her work with elephants. “The title of my first book ‘How I Became a Dragon’ refers to the tusks of elephants killed for the ivory that arrives in China, where the dragon is synonymous with Chinese culture.”
Mondoux wrote her second novel while working the Rep of Guinea –
Her second novel ‘Tragedy of the Moth’. Since then she has published The Adventures of Anuk: the first leap, and Anuk: book of words, and children series colouring and activity books (10) – I Believe series. She continues to work in Africa doing Biodiversity work.

This book is available in paperback and eBook format from:

Balbao Press https://www.balboapress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/792844-i-believe

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Courageous-Explorer-Amazing-Horses-ebook/dp/B07RJCYBG9/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=suzanne+mondoux&qid=1563798917&s=gateway&sr=8-7 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-believe-suzanne-mondoux/1131448236?ean=9781982222765

 

 

I Believe: I Am a Great Reader and Writer Just Like Jojo, the Talented Horse by Suzanne Mondoux

 

 

A wonderful story encouraging confident reading and writing.

The star of this children’s book is Jojo the talented horse. When she meets two other horses, Carlo and Teddy, she invites them to a reading and writing class which is being held at her ranch. Already waiting for the class to begin are four children, Julie, Sam, Paul and Suzie.

When Julie reveals that she has a stutter it prompts Carlo to confide in them that he had a difficulty too when he was younger, but he has overcome it. In doing this he gives Julie and the other children confidence that they can overcome obstacles too.

Jojo is very pleased to hear the story and decides to set the children and horses’ playtime stories to improve their writing and reading. In the first they are asked to explain why they believe they can be great readers and writers, and in the second they are asked to write about the person who has helped them learn something new.

However, this is an interactive book and so the playtimes continues for a further 30 days. The reader is encouraged to write their own short stories each day about any type of animal, and how people can help it. They are encouraged to use their imagination and see where it takes them.

My grandson is staying with us, and so we have decided that we are going to do a short story each day.  Kevin is loving the creativeness of this project, and as a parent and grandparent it is amazing to see how his writing and imagination is growing each day.

Having belief in yourself and your abilities doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Each person is different, and sometimes there may be physical, or mental challenges to overcome. This wonderful book is excellent for children, but also a tool for parents and teachers showing them how to encourage their charges to be creative and express their dreams and imagination as stories.

I absolutely love this book and its concept. The message is clearly demonstrated to children, practice regularly, use your imagination, believe in yourself and anything is possible. It is also an important lesson to adults that sometimes spending time with your child, giving them the confidence that you believe they can do a task is all it takes to  sow the seeds of success, and these will eventually grow helping your child gain confidence and belief in themselves.

About the Author:

Suzanne Mondoux: A Voice For Animals
Explorer, Environmental Professional, Author.
French Canadian-born author and environmentally-conscious mining manager Suzanne Mondoux is dedicated to the protection of wildlife and the environment. “I am passionate about the well-being of animals.” In the Republic of Congo she wrote about her work with elephants. “The title of my first book ‘How I Became a Dragon’ refers to the tusks of elephants killed for the ivory that arrives in China, where the dragon is synonymous with Chinese culture.”
Mondoux wrote her second novel while working the Rep of Guinea –
Her second novel ‘Tragedy of the Moth’. Since then she has published The Adventures of Anuk: the first leap, and Anuk: book of words, and children series colouring and activity books (10) – I Believe series. She continues to work in Africa doing Biodiversity work.

About the I Believe series:

The series I Believe is a journey of discovery and gratitude with amazing animal beings.

1.I Believe: I Am Courageous and an Explorer, Just Like Carlo and Teddy, Two Amazing Horses.
2.I Believe: I Am a Great Reader and Writer, Just Like Jojo, the Talented Horse.
3.I Believe: I Can Learn to Draw and Paint, Just Like Sara, the Golden Mare.
4.I Believe: It Is Okay to Be Afraid and Talk about My Fears, Just Like Sparky, the Amazing Dog.
5.I Believe: I Can Learn Something New, Just Like Cody, The Best Dog Swimmer.
6.I Believe: It Is Easy to Be Kind and Good to One Another and to Animals, Just Like Baxter, the Magnificent Dog.
7.I Believe: I Have Confidence in Myself, Just Like Rocky, the Musical Dog.
8.I Believe: I Can Find Solutions to Any Challenge or Adversity, Just Like Max, the Cat.
9.I Believe: It Is Fun Discovering the World Around Me, Just Like Sara, Carlo, and Teddy, the Curious Horses.
10.I Believe: I Can Be Thankful and Grateful Every Day for One Thing in My Life, Just Like Carlo and Teddy and All Their Friends at the Ranch.

Suzanne Mondoux—A Voice for Animals http://suzannemondoux.com

Suzanne Mondoux is the author of the series The Adventures of Anuk: The First Leap, an ecological story of a young girl on a quest to save the world.

Available in Paperback and eBook format from:

Balbao Press https://www.balboapress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/792845-i-believe

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Reader-Writer-Talented-Horse-ebook/dp/B07RG9HW4D/ref=sr_1_15?keywords=suzanne+mondoux&qid=1562921035&s=gateway&sr=8-15

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-believe-suzanne-mondoux/1131448289?ean=9781982222826

 

 

 

If I Were Human by Wes Tyler

 

 

An enchanting NEW RELEASE for animal loving children.

As soon as I saw this book it instantly appealed to me, not just because I am a dog lover, but because being a mum and nanny I just knew that it would appeal to our little grandchildren.

Sure enough, on the cover, the two extremely cute main characters; black (Brina) and white (Winnie) instantly caught my three year old granddaughter’s eye.

Anyone who spends time with dogs will instantly be able to relate to the way that Brina watches over her little mistress Genevieve as she is playing a game. You can practically see your dog’s brain computing everything which goes on around him or her, and sure enough it’s not long before Brina’s thoughts turn to what she would do if she were a human. This book is beautifully illustrated and captivated our little one, every page turn brought a different scenario, as we discovered what this little Scottie dog would do with her day.

Of course, it’s not long before Winnie is asked the same question, and being a boy dog his day is totally different. Add into the equation a squirrel with dreams of being a MasterChef, and the nosy dog next door’s visions of grandeur, and you have a story which will captivate every child who reads it, or has is it read to them.

This enchanting book will stand the test of time, and hold a very special place on our bookshelf for years to come. Highly Recommended!

About the Author:


About the Book:

Brina, a Scottish Terrier, has lots of fun thinking about what she would do if she were a person! But when she shares those ideas with her friends, she begins to realize just how special it is to be a dog.The simplicity of If I Were Human makes it ideal for early readers, but with its imaginative story and entertaining illustrations, adults and children alike will love it. And who knows―you just may discover that you’d rather be a dog!

If I Were Human is available from Amazon in Paperback  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1543972357/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0