Articles for the Month of February 2020

Kitchen Decorations (Super Speed Sam Book 3) by Monty J. McClaine

Baking can be fun, but messy in the McClaine kitchen.

It’s raining outside so what better thing to do than some baking, and Mom is getting prepared, along with her little helpers, Jack whose six years old, and the youngest member of the family and their little princess, Molly. Of course the whole proceedings are being supervised by Sam the families loyal and superhero (although that’s something the McClaine family don’t know) Basset Hound.

Now all moms know what fun it is to teach their children to bake, however, sometimes it can become very messy, but that’s all part of the fun, right?

Everything starts off fine in the McClaine kitchen, Jake and Molly are following Mom’s instructions, and Sam, well Sam is being a hoover as most dogs are.

However, suddenly the doorbell rings and Mom has to leave the room and answer it. Well that’s when Jack’s mischievous nature comes to the fore and things get very much out of control…

Of course, being the family guard dog, Sam has accompanied Mom to check that the stranger at the door isn’t a threat, and having established that he returns to the kitchen.

Oh how it has changed, I’ll leave you to imagine what a naughty boy could do. What will Mom say if sees what has been done?

Its action time and only Sam can save the day, but will his super powers be enough, or will Mom come in too soon and discover what has happened?

Well my granddaughter and I loved discovering the answer, and seeing the bright illustrations in this super story, and you will too when you read this exciting adventure in the Super Speed Sam series.

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

About the Book:

Protector, friend, digger of bones – Sam plays all of these roles. Yet, he stands out from other dogs with his super top-secret, super special powers that include speed, sleuthing and cleaning to name a few! With these powers, Sam can do things like clean up a massive mess, using rubber gloves and spray, in a matter of minutes instead of hours! Living with the McClaine family, including Mom, Dad, six-year-old Jack and baby sister Molly, Sam takes it as his serious duty to keep the kids safe, sound and clean. Yet he keeps his ‘super-power’ skills well hidden from the family’s eyes. Well, from everyone except for Molly – it’s their own little secret!

Jack is especially notorious for getting into scrapes and messes that he can’t get out of – pretty much all the time. And it’s no exception as Jack, Mom and Molly set out to bake a cake one rainy day. As the lovably mischievous boy helps Mom with Molly as the audience, Sam is able to keep up, cleaning minor messes. That is, at first…When Mom is called away to the ringing doorbell and Sam’s made sure all is safe at the front door, he returns to the kitchen to get a shock. Left to his own devices, Jack has managed to create a monumental mess!

To make matters worse, when Jack attempts to use the electric mixer on his own, disaster hits! Jack flees the scene, and it’s up to Sam, and Sam alone, to do everything, as Molly watches with glee! But, even with his incredible abilities, can Sam clean this mess in time – before Mom comes back?

Find out in this warm, playful tale – a story children will both love and learn from. It makes a great spring-board for parents and teachers to brooch topics of sanitation and cleanliness in a fun and gentle way.

Along with his super special powers, Sam has a vivid imagination. His mind often slips into a dog-friendly dream world for hours. Sam proves a fun and unusual star of the show that all ages will enjoy!

Available from Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and as an Audiobook https://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Decorations-Super-Speed-Sam/dp/1534731253/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Letters from Federica by Suzanne Mondoux

An outstanding mystery story.

Suzanne Mondoux, the author of this outstanding mystery, is a voice for animals, an explorer and is dedicated to the protection of animals and the environment. She is a professional author of children’s and environmental books. This is her first mystery story, which I found compelling and intriguing reading, its twist and turns kept me riveted until the last page.

The protagonist is Leo Orsini a talented performance artist and songwriter, who at the age of six met the girl next door, the girl whom he would love for all his life, the beautiful Federica Russo.

Theirs was a true love story, however, it was one which was to be cut short cruelly just two weeks after their wedding, forty years before this story begins.

Leo is a generous man who has loved, drunk and eaten to excess all of his life. Surrounded by friends, he has a successful career, lives in a beautiful castle, and has found love again in the form of William, a sensitive and compassionate heart surgeon. He appears to have it all, yet he is still haunted by Federica’s disappearance.

Herself a singer, musician, and songwriter, Federica had left a series of letters to him, poems in which she expresses her deep love for him, yet also her fears. But what can she be afraid of, what demon was lurking in the shadows of her mind? How could she the happy, beautiful wife he married, in just a few days turn into a haunted woman who then disappears?

These questions torment Leo, and he is racked with guilt wondering if there were things he should have noticed or done. Then, following a private reading of the letters to his close friends’ it is decided to investigate further.

As they delve into the true meanings of the letters and re-live their memories of Federica, secrets from the past are revealed, and it becomes apparent that she is trying to protect Leo, but from what?

This story is outstanding, giving its readers a glimpse into the lifestyle of high fliers, yet it is heart-wrenching and deeply emotional. I highly recommend it to lovers of a really good mystery!

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 Book:

An outstanding mystery. The protagonist is Leo Orsini a talented performance artist and songwriter, who at the age of six met the girl next door, the girl whom he would love for all his life, the beautiful Federica Russo.
Theirs was a true love story, however, it was one which was to be cut short cruelly just two weeks after their wedding, forty years before this story begins.
Leo is a generous man who has loved, drunk and eaten to excess all of his life. Surrounded by friends, he has a successful career, lives in a beautiful castle, and has found love again in the form of William, a sensitive and compassionate heart surgeon. He appears to have it all, yet he is still haunted by Federica’s disappearance.
Herself a singer, musician, and songwriter, Federica had left a series of letters to him, poems in which she expresses her deep love for him, yet also her fears. But what can she be afraid of, what demon was lurking in the shadows of her mind? How could she the happy, beautiful wife he married, in just a few days turn into a haunted woman who then disappears?
These questions torment Leo, and he is racked with guilt wondering if there were things he should have noticed or done. Then, following a private reading of the letters to his close friends’ it is decided to investigate further.
As they delve into the true meanings of the letters and re-live their memories of Federica, secrets from the past are revealed, and it becomes apparent that she is trying to protect Leo, but from what?

Available from:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084DLBWJ5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

Balbao Press: https://www.balboapress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/808627-letters-from-federica

The Saint of Lake Topaz (The Starlight Club Book 11)

Dirty dealings and kidnapping at Lake Topaz.

Those, who like myself love the Starlight Club series adore them not only for their excitement, but also for the way they immerse us into the sights and sounds of a time long past. The stories which an elderly Bobby tell his daughter Lynn allow an insight into the ruthless, yet honourable life of Big Red Fortunato and the men who worked for him.

In this story, Lynn has joined Bobby in the new rumpus room to hear a story about Bull. So Bobby takes us all back to 1962 and the Lucky Draw Card Club in Anaheim, California.

 Things have settled down nicely at the club and Bull decides it’s time to move on and take up his job as manager of Red’s Double Seven casino in Las Vegas, but on the way he decides to pop in on his old army buddy Sal Stark.

When Bull arrives at the Lucky Lady Restaurant and Casino which Sal and his wife Cindy own he is troubled to discover that they are being bullied by Jarret Hastings a local business man who wants to buy the casino. He finds Sal recovering in hospital, and it appears Hastings will stop at nothing to get his own way. However, Hastings is yet to meet the formidable Bull who owes Sal an enormous debt of gratitude for saving his life in Korea, and when Bull discovers more about Hastings ‘businesses’ it becomes apparent that he must be stopped!

Hastings, working from a warehouse has some very shady business deals going down, and when Bull discovers that one of them is kidnapping young girls and selling them to rich Arabs for perverse acts he is incensed.

However, this turns to blood lust when little orphan Susie, who has been praying for a saviour from her captors gets the chance to plead to her ‘saint’ Bull. Hearing her story he immediately takes her to Sal and his wife Cindy, and sets about stopping the horrific trafficking of young girls.

Bull is joined by Red, (who leaves the Starlight Club in the charge of Tarzan,) Trenchie, Pissclam, and Johnny Eight Fingers. These men hardened to what life has dealt them have very strict rules and one of them is that they will not tolerate anyone abusing kids, they believe that kids are innocent and should be kept away from harm.

With temperatures rising to boiling point, Hastings is determined to get the casino to facilitate money laundering, the Arabs expect to have their shipments of young girls on time, and Bull, Red, and the boys are determined that they will be stopped!

Through the Starlight Club stories those of us who have never been, and hopefully never will be part of this type of world are treated to a fly-on-the-wall view of the honour system that these types of men live by. The underworld which those not in the know don’t see, a world of corruption and greed, where life is expendable yet debts are honoured and always repaid, and men who have each other’s backs, are loyal without question, and put family first.

The author Joe Corso has, in this exciting new book in the Starlight Club series yet again brought the sights, sounds and values of a bygone era back to life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves an exciting adventure full of crime, love, passion, and twists and turns at every page turn.

About the Author:

I Grew up in Queens, New York. I’m a Korea Veteran and I retired from the FDNY. I started writing late in life hoping to help my grandchildren pay for their college education. I found that I could write a good story that resulted in 33 books and 38 awards and a multiple top 100 author.

About the Book

Taking a detour on his way back to Vegas, Bull, one of Big Red Fortunato’s right-hand men, visits his old army buddy, Sal Stark. Sal has bought a small casino in Lake Topaz, a small town off Route 66 in the Mojave desert.
Upon arriving at the Lucky Lady, Bull is dismayed to discover that Sal has been severely beaten, apparently by local “businessmen” who want to claim the casino as their own. Further investigation reveals that the head of this organization, Jarret Hastings, is holding a group of little girls captive. One of the little girls, Susie, is rescued by Bull and believes him to be “The Saint of Lake Topaz” she’s been praying for.
Bull’s hardened heart is unfrozen and he immediately calls his boss, Big Red, owner of the famous Starlight Club in Queens, to assist in taking down what is likely a human trafficking ring. But what Red and Bull, with the assistance of the usual players—Pissclam, Johnny Eight Fingers, Trenchie, and others—find out is that the kidnapping of young girls by Hastings is just the tip of the iceberg.
In this 11th installment of the popular, multi-award-winning Starlight Club series, author Joe Corso takes us on a thrill ride through the little-traveled roads of Nevada desert in the 1960s, when the local law was often subject to interpretation!

Available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle format:

https://www.amazon.com/Saint-Lake-Topaz-Starlight-Club-ebook/dp/B0845W5H43/ref=sr_1_24?keywords=joe+corso&qid=1582108844&sr=8-24