BBQ Blunder (Super Speed Sam) (Book 8) by Monty J. McClaine

 

 

Super Speed Sam saves the day.

Everyone loves a barbecue, and what’s more fun than a barbecue party? This is what the McClaine family thought, although the barbecue they were arranging was for a sad reason, they were saying goodbye to their good neighbours Pete and Sally Johnstone, and their five year old son Matthew, who were moving away.

After all the busy preparations, the day arrived, the barbecue was set up, and mum had made her special burgers. Dad Monty was of course in charge of the barbecue, and the guests were arriving bringing their contributions to the event.

What a lovely atmosphere, the adults were laughing and talking, and the children playing at the bottom of the garden and drinking soda, everything was perfect! The only one who was a bit sad was Sam their basset hound, his young master was busy playing with the other children, not him. So, as dogs do, he settled down in a shaded area for a nap.

However, we all know that dogs have a sixth sense, and sure enough, when harmless playing led to a dangerous situation Sam was awake in a flash. Jack was in danger, what could he do?

Now we’re great fans of Super Speed Sam in our family, but new readers are about to discover that this is no ordinary basset hound (If there is such a thing.) Sam is a superhero, with powers given to him one Christmas Eve night when he helped Santa Claus, but that story is in book 5 and is called Santa’s Rescue Dog.  In a flash, the clever canine susses out the situation, acts, and saves the day!

However, as can often be the case, things happen so quickly that Sam’s actions are misread and instead of hero, he becomes a villain who injured his young master. Luckily though, their neighbour Pete had seen what really happened, and he puts the record straight, earning the canine hero a magnificent treat!

My granddaughter just loved this book, yet another wonderful story in the Super Sam Series which never fail to amuse her, and yet subtly impart important life lessons. Highly recommended.

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.

About the Book:

What should be a fun-filled day in the sun turns into a backyard nightmare for the McClaines and their trusty, canine superpal. After throwing a BBQ smash for their neighbors, fun in the sun turns into a dangerous game of whodunit? Throw a super powered dog in the mix and you’ve got an adventure filled summer extravaganza–but could this be the end for Super Speed Sam?Mysteries abound in the McClaine yard this summer when their BBQ turns into a sad, angry, dangerous disaster! Even with all of his superpowers, Sam may not be able to clear his name and return to the good graces of his beloved long-time family. Find out what happens when Sam must save his best friend Jack at the risk of losing everything he loves. A bittersweet tale of loyalty, faith, and the powerful bonds of a family, this touching tale proves that the most super power in the world is forgiveness.

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

BBQ Blunder is available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/BBQ-Blunder-Super-Speed-Sam/dp/1719251266/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Swampwise by Okefenokee Joe

 

In this amazing book the author treats his readers to his incredible recollections and observations about the animals who lived with, and around him in the Okefenokee Swamp Park in the south east of Georgia.

When I finished reading this incredible book, I turned to my husband and said, “WOW, how can a review ever give this book the acclamation it deserves?”

The author had his first real taste of nature and the natural world when he was sent aged 9 to the YMCA Camp Carson, in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. At first he missed his mum and dad, however, before long, it was the wildness and natural world of Camp Carson he craved when back home. He loved being amongst the natural world, discovered a fascination for it — especially snakes. With this came, a deeper understanding of God’s work in giving us the wonderful natural world, which is all around us.

After a successful career as a singer/songwriter/entertainer for over twenty years, burnt out and tired of the Nashville scene, his marriage in tatters, he cancelled his remaining shows. A broken man, at the age of 41, in desperation, while others would have started on the way to ruin, he remembered those years he had spent at camp in childhood, and the love he had of camping. Searching for answers and with only a tent and other essentials provided by a friend, he set off in his jeep into the swamps of South Central Florida. Alone with his thoughts, he began to ask God for guidance and became one with nature. He learned how to trap and sell snakes, surviving by his skills, he was beginning to find inner peace.

It was the offer of work by another friend who managed the famous Okefenokee Swamp Park near Waycross in Georgia which was to take him onto the next stage of his life.

The great Okefenokee Swamp is in the south east of Georgia. It is not really a swamp and contains many small islands. Covering about seven hundred and fifty square miles, it is a large designated wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, and is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with all its wildlife protected by law. Heaven indeed, and the place which the author would call home for the next nine years. And what an interesting nine years they were.

Through the vividly descriptive writing of this talented man, we the readers are treated to some amazing stories and observations about the animals who live with, and around him. We discover how he befriends the abandoned dog, who is to become his canine companion Swampy before he moved to the park in South Central Florida, and how the next day Swampy appeared in the jeep ready to go with him on the adventure to his new home. Indeed, it is Swampy who finds the little calico kitten Skeeter, who becomes part of their small family, in the picnic area of the park.

However, we also learn through these tales of the animals, which are truly wild and live alongside him, and through his example realize that their territory is not automatically ours to walk over and claim. As he says, true wild animals are born to be self-reliant and self-sufficient; it is the way God intended them to be.

I loved the way that throughout this amazing book the emphasis is on understanding nature, living with it, respecting it, and recognizing that the creatures around us have just as much right to be on this earth as we do. There is so much to learn at the turn of every page, and even more if you read between the lines and take away from it the understanding that the natural world is out there for all to enjoy.

However, in the natural world there is also cruelty, and the author doesn’t hide this side from his readers; after all, ‘nature is not cruel, it is just sublimely indifferent’ as anyone with a pet cat will tell you.

After over nine years at the Okefenokee Swamp Park, ‘Okefenokee Joe’ as he had become known decided to spread the word, and for over four decades he has done just that. He has delivered his “Earth Day Every Day” message to school children of all ages, bringing along with him a selection of native venomous and non-venomous snakes, to help as visual aids, and in teaching the children to be ‘swampwise.’ He has written, recorded and sang songs praising all God’s creations, and now he has written this truly amazing book, and I for one am in total awe of what this man has achieved.

The author has also released an audiobook “Swampwise Secrets Songs and Stories from the Land of the Trembling Earth!” and will soon be releasing “Snake Hunter Snake Talk.”

In Summary: Throughout this amazing period of his life the author learned how to be ‘swampwise’ – really looking at, studying and taking notice of his surroundings. In this modern world, where ‘Mindfullness’ is very much the ‘in’ word, how I wish more people could be like the author and learn to appreciate the amazing natural world around us the same way. Highly Recommended!

About the Book:

Experience the thrill and amazement as Okefenokee Joe uncovers and explains “The Golden Rule of Nature”! Share with Joe the love & faithfulness of his two best friends in the swamp; Swampy the Dog & Skeeter the Cat! Come along with Joe step by step, as he plays momma’ & nursemaid to ‘Streak’ the Bobcat Kitten! Learn with Joe as he discovers the Character Lessons all wild swamp plants & animals so clearly demonstrate! Enjoy Okefenokee Joe’s Enlightening “Earth Day Every Day” message taught by, believe it or not, The Snakes themselves!

Author’s website: https://www.okefenokeejoe.com/

Swampwise is available in Paperback from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Swampwise-Okefenokee-Joe/dp/0997337109/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1567413824&refinements=p_27%3AOkefenokee+Joe&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Okefenokee+Joe

and the Author’s website https://www.okefenokeejoe.com/

 

THE STARLIGHT CLUB 10:: LOVE, ROMANCE, AND MURDER IN ANAHEIM by Joe Corso

 

 

NEW RELEASE

Money laundering and deception in Brooklyn, New York.

Bobby has driven up from Florida to spend Christmas with his daughter Lynn, her husband Ted, and their three children in Connecticut. These are special times as the years go by for Lynn and Bobby to spend time together, and for Lyn to hear tales of the glory days of the famous Starlight Club in Brooklyn, New York.

This story begins in 1962 with an unpleasant patron causing Ernie the bartender to take physical action against him. However, it appears that there is more to this incident that at first meets the eye, and when Red hears who is behind the problems and that the reason behind it is money laundering, he realises that it is time to take the matter in hand. Surrounded by loyal men who do what they must do in this underground world, Red realises that it is also important to keep the police and judicial system happy with pay-outs to smooth over any problems, even if is becoming increasingly expensive.

Meanwhile Joey is asked to once again look after movie mogul daughter June Morganstein in Los Angeles, something he is happy to do as he is madly in love with her. After an attempt on her life, Joey gets to the bottom of the mystery of why she needs protection and discovers that she has a gambling addiction which has got out of control. However, calling for assistance from other members of Red’s workforce unveils dirty deeds at the gambling club she frequents, and the owner’s alliances with villains and a Mexican drug cartels.  Seizing the opportunity to nip trouble in the bud Red and his men take matters into their own control, with the unofficial backing of the new Captain of the 10th Precinct Captain Lou Garner.

Reading the Starlight Club series is a real delight, within the pages of each of the books you are transported back in time to Brooklyn, and into a world where crime bosses rule the streets and yet are respected, even by the law. Through Red, Trenchie, Joey and all the characters who have been so important to the structure of the stories the everyday lives, loves, dangers and even celebrities of the time come alive. The comradeship these brothers in arms share, dangerous and often deadly activities, and underhand dealings are revealed. However, running through every story are strong veins of loyalty and respect which span generations.

Whether you are looking to read a really good story, love crime and gangster novels, or enjoy this period of history, I can guarantee you will not want to put down this exciting story, and it will leave you wanting more.

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 which resulted in 33 books and 38 awards and a multiple top 100 author.

AWARDS

The STARLIGHT CLUB
1 SILVER in the 2012 eLit contest in the ‘TRUE CRIME’ category’.
2 HONORABLE MENTION in the 2013 Reader’s Favorite ‘HISTORICAL FICTION’ category’.
3 IPPY award FINALIST in 2014.
4 GOLD SEAL MONTAINGE MEDAL FINALIST in 2014 ERIC HOFFER BOOK CONTEST.
5 FINALIST in the 2014 (NIEA) National Indie Excellence Awards-CRIME-FICTION Category
6 BRONZE on August 25, 2014 in the CIPA HISTORICAL FICTION category.
7 FINALIST in the 2015 USA Regional Excellence Book awards.
8 Included in Shelf Unbound’s 100 best Indie Books of 2015 as a NOTABLE INDIE
9 FINALIST in the 2015 USA REBA NORTHEAST Regional Contest Fiction Category
10 HONORABLE MENTION in Library Thing 2013 Book Contest.
11 2019 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE in the Crime Fiction Category.

THE STARLIGHT CLUB 2
12 2015 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR SO FAR

About the Book:

The Starlight Club 10: Love, romance, and murder in Anaheim (back cover blurb. The tenth book in the multi-award-winning international best-selling mob series finds Red facing a new challenge. Manheim Steiner has set up headquarters in Queens, NY, and he’s taking over local businesses. The question Red asks himself is… Why?Meanwhile, June Morgenstein, a beautiful young society woman and the daughter of a movie mogul, is being threatened again, and Red sends mob enforcer Joey Bones to Anaheim to protect her a second time. Joey’s heart soars at the thought of being with June. But this time, protecting her isn’t that simple, and his assignment doesn’t go as expected. Will June’s selfishness place everyone around her in danger, especially her handsome bodyguard?

The Starlight Club 10 is available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/STARLIGHT-CLUB-10-ROMANCE-ANAHEIM/dp/1082586463/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+starlight+club+10&qid=1567156501&s=books&sr=1-1

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/STARLIGHT-CLUB-10-ROMANCE-ANAHEIM-ebook/dp/B07X2D2KNF/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=the+starlight+club+10&qid=1567156547&s=books&sr=1-2

 

Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One (Champagne, Alsace, Lorraine, and Paris regions) (The Savoring the Olde Ways Series) by Carole Bumpus

 

 

NEW RELEASE TODAY

 

A wonderful insight into French family life and traditions.

Carole Bumpus a retired family therapist and the author of this absorbing book has within its pages shared her abundance of experiences which she and her husband Winston enjoyed whilst travelling from Paris in the Île-de-France, through the Champagne, Alsatian and Lorraine regions, and then returning to Paris. Her travels through these eastern regions of France enjoying the food, and experiences of their local inhabitants were enhanced immeasurably by the presence of her French Californian friend and translator Josiane Selvage.

From the first page, this book is packed to bursting point with information, details of the villages they visited, the history of the regions, and the lives of the families they were welcomed into. Reading through it, the impact WWI and WWII had on family life and circumstances is clearly apparent. However throughout the centuries, ‘family favourites’ have, for the most part been conceived through necessity of one kind or another, either because of food shortages (whether it be conflict or caused through natural events,) or quite simply the necessity to create good, tasty, family food using the vegetable and fruit produce and the animals which are abundant where they live. As the years have passed these dishes may have been embellished by food companies and sold for the masses frozen, bottled or canned, but it is in the family kitchen that the best versions are made, with love, and with fondness because of the memories they evoke. For those readers who are keen cooks traditional recipes from each of the regions can be found at the end.

Living in France and enjoying sharing the last 16 years with our neighbours has taught my husband and I about the closeness of French families, and the importance of food and ‘family time.’   These values are wonderfully apparent in this book, and I am looking forward to book two in the series which is due to be released in August 2020. In it the author completes her journey, beginning again in Paris, and then heading north into Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, to the Loire, my chosen region, and then completing the tour in the Auvergne.

Highly recommended: This book is compelling reading, its pages overflow with memorable moments, family secrets, and delicious recipes, and it will hold a prized place on the bookshelf of readers who love France, its food, people and history.

About the Book:

Part culinary memoir and part travelogue, Carole Bumpus gathered this compilation of intimate interviews, conversations, stories, and traditional family recipes (cuisine pauvre) in the kitchens of French families as she traveled throughout the countryside. Travel with her through Champagne caves/wineries and historic cathedrals, local farmers’ markets, ancient potters’ guilds, and restaurant kitchens with wood-fire ovens. Learn how to make homemade Spinach-stuffed Tortellini with Bolognaise Sauce from the Champagne region, Crêpes and Watercress-stuffed Ravioli from the Lorraine, and Baekeofe and Kugelhopf from the Alsace. “Go blind” from the family stock of Eau de Vie liqueur and be treated to tales of foraging for snails for the infamous and now extinct Escargots Festival. And, on a somber note, listen to accounts of families forced from their communities during the German occupation of WWII in the Alsace and Lorraine, only to continue to struggle for survival after finally making their way home.

This book is a compilation of stories about making ends meet; about people being grateful for all they had, even when they had almost nothing; about the sharing of family jokes and laughter; and about family trials and triumphs. This book is about people savoring the life they have been given.

Available in Paperback and eBook format

from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Searching-Traditions-Champagne-Lorraine-Savoring/dp/1631525492/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Searching+for+Family+and+Traditions+at+the+French+Table%2C+Book+One+%28Champagne%2C+Alsace%2C+Lorraine%2C+and+Paris+regions%29+%28The+Savoring+the+Olde+Ways+Series%29&qid=1566894183&s=gateway&sr=8-1

and

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/searching-for-family-and-traditions-at-the-french-table-book-one-carole-bumpus/1129474979?ean=9781631525490

I BELIEVE: I Can Learn to Draw and Paint, Just Like Sara, the Golden Mare by Suzanne Mondoux

 

 

A wonderful interactive colouring and activity book for children.

 

I think we should always encourage creativity, and build self-esteem in our children and grandchildren, and this is why I love the ‘I Believe’ series of children’s books.

In this the third book in the series, two brave horses, Teddy and Carlo, decide to go on an adventure and visit the desert. When they arrive they are amazed at its size and beauty. However, they are even more surprised when the most beautiful horse which has golden hair and a silver mane comes over to say hello, with her friends the Mustangs.

The horse is called Sara and she’s very friendly. As they talk together Sara tells them about her life when she ran wild, before she met the Mustangs. She explains that now they all look after the desert, and the rich diversity of wildlife which live in it.

When she discovers that Teddy and Carlo don’t know how to draw or paint she offers to teach them, explaining that when she arrived she didn’t know either, but that with encouragement and practice it is easy to get better, and have great fun doing so.

At this stage the wonderful interactive part of this book really comes to life. It starts with a follow the numbers dot to dot to complete of a desert bird, which can then be coloured in, and then the author encourages children experiment with mixing colours and doing finger painting. This really appealed to my granddaughter, we had great fun discovering what colours different combinations made, and inventing a few of our own.

Then children are encouraged to first draw a Mountain Lion, colour it in, and then use their imagination to draw an animal a day for 30 days, and create scenes with people helping them. This is a lovely way for children to learn about animals, be creative, but also to think about animals, their needs, and how we can help them.

The author, in this interactive book has, by showing children simple skills, and inspiring, them through a lovely story, used positive reinforcement to empower them to have confidence in their own ability to draw and paint.

 

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:

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 Balboa Press https://www.balboapress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/792846-i-believe

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Learn-Draw-Paint-Golden/dp/1982222530/ref=sr_1_4?qid=1566486516&refinements=p_27%3ASuzanne+Mondoux&s=books&sr=1-4&text=Suzanne+Mondoux

and Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-believe-suzanne-mondoux/1131445645?ean=9781982222536

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