Monday, November 30, 2020
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Date Published: June 26, 2020
Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.
Seventeen-year-old Jerrod has struggled with the guilt of his actions for an event that took place almost a year ago. His friends have abandoned him, his family ignores him, and he lost his best friend. To make matters worse, he was unable to access records that may have revealed his father's whereabouts. His sister, Ella, guides Jerrod as he tries to learn and accept secrets his family has tried to hide. However, a sinister spirit may be influencing Ella's actions, and it has an agenda of its own.
About the Author
Courtnee Turner Hoyle was raised in Unicoi County, surrounded by the traditions and dialect of the area. She embraced the regional stories, mountain views, and culture -except sweet tea and unannounced visits - and sought to correct the misconceptions about the local people and the town stories that turned into rumors. Despite the challenges that face a young mother, she graduated East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, with an emphasis in technical writing, and a Bachelor of Business. She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from the same university, and began writing novels. She volunteers with community organizations, and she has been involved with Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians for several years as a Troop Administrator. She also volunteers with the Girl Scout Service Unit in her area. Her responsibilities include planning events, organizing social media releases for the service unit, and writing articles about the activities and accomplishments of all the troops in her county. She resides in Erwin, Tennessee, with her children and husband. She has hiked the section of the Appalachian Trail near her home, has visited many of the caves and other mountain trails in the area, and is fascinated by their enigmatic appeal. She likes reading, writing, and any reasonable music. Most of all, she enjoys sharing adventures with her children and making memories through their experiences.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Urban Fantasy, Noir, Detective
Date Published: November 25, 2020
Publisher: Indies United Publishing, LLC
Former ADA Alastair Maddox pursues Prohibition Chicago’s most dangerous monsters after witnessing the deaths of his parents and grandparents as a boy. When a former colleague in Chicago PD comes to ask Alastair for help, he comes face to face with the mysterious Alexandra DeLane. But something’s off. DeLane is way too calm and her eyes are the color of blood. After she escapes, Alastair goes on the hunt only to find himself the prey of an ambitious and mysterious mob boss who plots to have him murdered. The problem? Alastair doesn’t stay dead and comes back as something else. Something more dangerous and straight out of a horror novel.
About the Author
Blaise started her journey in writing at the age of the fifteen with her first unfinished urban fantasy novel based on a popular video game series known as .Hack. From there she moved her journey into designing characters and doing concept art for various paying clients. In her older career, Blaise moved into working for the Indie Gaming industry where she did concept art for the company HollowRobot and their debut game, Johnny Reboot and various other clients. Sadly, the game didn’t go anywhere and Blaise found herself losing interest in what she had done for fifteen years.
In 2017, Blaise embarked on her first ever NaNoWriMo challenge where she finished the Paranormal Shifter Romance, Blessing of Luna which she indie published. It has then produced a second installation into the Wolfgods series titled Bane of Tenebris. Both have recently been picked up by BlackRose Writing.
Both of these books gave birth to the first of Blaise’s three businesses. The first, FyreSyde Publishing, a small press, has recently opened its doors to authors and works alongside them in the ever difficult challenge of book marketing. A running joke is Blaise considers herself an “odd duck” in the sense that she loves the marketing phase more than the writing phase of production. Her other two businesses include full-time freelance ghostwriting and the independent bookstore, GreenWood Grove Booksellers.
After falling in love with the Dresden files by Jim Butcher and later Saints & Shadows by Christopher Golden, Blaise found a new love for Urban Fantasy. Reading the beloved Vampire Files by PN Elrod prompted Blaise to initiate her next phase and begin producing paranormal detective and noir novels. Now she combines the two and loves every minute of it.
She currently lives in the hometown of Bonnie & Clyde with her husband, two adorable kids, two cats and a dog.
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Sunday, November 22, 2020
Date Published: February 14, 2020
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; ebook distributed by Simon & Schuster
Married for 33 years, David, a divorce lawyer, and Julie, a family therapist, have both been witness to families struggling with life’s most difficult challenges. At the same time, they have weathered their own challenges at home: raising four daughters, two biological and two adopted, and dealing with one child’s mental health and behavioral issues. What they’ve learned about saving a marriage or knowing when to call it quits, when to turn to professionals or when to try tough love, could fill a book—and it does.
About the Authors
DAVID AND JULIE have been married for 33 years. They have four daughters, two of whom are biological and two adopted, and three grandchildren. They divide their time between suburban Washington, D.C. and Bethany Beach, Delaware. Learn more about David and Julie at www.thebulitts.com.
You Tube channel The Bulitts
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Friday, November 20, 2020
Date Published: November 4, 2020
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Bullying and cyberbullying is on the rise. Face-to-face interpersonal skills are declining. Narcissism is increasing. Not only do studies show these distressing facts to be true, but we see them in the news and in our own lives. Lynne Azarchi, Executive Director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center, has the answer to these growing problems: teaching our children empathy. In her new book, THE EMPATHY ADVANTAGE: Coaching Children To Be Kind, Respectful and Successful (Rowman & Littlefield; November 4, 2020), Azarchi provides the tools and strategies families can use to give their kids the gift of empathy – simultaneously setting them on the road for a more successful future and changing the world for the better.
Looking back, I guess I was always the Empathy Girl, who grew up into the Empathy Woman.
My empathy could have gotten me into serious trouble as a kid when my uncle took me to a Yankees game in the Bronx. I was having fun until the crowd started to boo the opposing team. I asked my uncle why the crowd would do that. “There is no reason and it isn’t nice!” I protested. His eyes widened and he gave me a funny look, at which point I realized I may have been just about the only Yankees fan with that line of thought. Fortunately, I didn’t voice my concerns to anyone but my uncle, because other fans might have gone bonkers!
Then, in my twenties, the movie Halloween (1978) came out. I felt like I was those poor young female victims, and that was just from hearing about the movie from friends and seeing the trailers. A masked slasher hacking teenagers to death and dismembering them, with blood and gore everywhere? Why would anyone want to see such a film? I never did. That was way more than I could take.
This innate sense of reacting to what others feel and understanding it in my bones isn’t confined to the world of Hollywood make-believe or sporting events. When I get my morning New York Times, I rip out upsetting photos of children in distress and tearful victims of hurricanes and earthquakes so that I don’t have to look at them more than once. I know it sounds like an overreaction, but that’s how I am wired.
In 2017, I had the opportunity to go to Poland and visit the concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. Many of my relatives were murdered there by the Nazis, so when I saw the rooms full of hair, thousands of spectacles and suitcases, and other personal items, I took it very personally. I had not expected to look like the photos of many of the female victims, and yet at Auschwitz-Birkenau and all the other museums and exhibits, in my mind, I did. I was overwhelmed by visions of what bystanders could do to other people with wanton cruelty, sadism, and inhumaneness. For two months after I got home, I awoke in the middle of the night with my heart racing and my body shaking from dreams about my visit to a horrific time and place.
But please don’t get the impression that being the Empathy Woman is all bad. Yes, it can be a curse in some instances, but it is also a blessing. It has made me who I am today, a person who volunteers for numerous organizations and is warmed by the glow that comes from helping others. No amount of money could buy all those smiles. Most significantly, it led me to become executive director of the Kidsbridge Tolerance Center outside Trenton, New Jersey, working full time on a labor of love: teaching children, youth, and educators about empathy and empowerment, respect, and kindness.
What is empathy? Simply, it is the ability to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” It is the ability to grasp the world from someone else’s point of view. It is the ability to understand what others see and feel. Empathy requires respect for people different from ourselves.
Granted, I am living proof that people can be hyper hardwired for empathy. (There’s even a technical term for my “condition”; it’s called being an empath.) And yes, I accept that I’m a rarity. Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Cambridge University, suggests we place people on an empathy spectrum or quantitative scale. This empathy spectrum or scale would follow a bell curve, meaning that some people have a small amount, some a medium amount, and some a lot. That’s me—a lot.
Almost two decades ago, when I started this work, I read that empathy could not be taught. But I heartily object to that assertion: empathy can be taught. I am living proof that it can. I’ve taught it to more than thirty thousand youths and their educators at Kidsbridge, with an average of twenty-three hundred kids and two hundred educators coming through every year. Note the dashed line above the bell curve line in the figure; empathy can be increased at any level.
And parents, I can teach you.
In fact, you can teach empathy to your children, whether you spend just twenty minutes a week or two hours. No, this isn’t a cure-all. But just a little effort, using proven and effective methods, with a dose of fun, can transform your child into a more sensitive, caring human being. I am an empty nester now; my children Rachel and Jake are both out on their own. But if I had known then what I know now, I would have tried to inspire them with empathy more often, more consistently, and more strategically. I would have closely followed the steps, tips, and strategies that you will read in this book. My kids would have more empathy and would have been better prepared for the future to function both as individuals and as part of a team.
Giving your children the gift of a new video game or smartphone may give them a little enjoyment in the short term—OK, “little” is a big understatement. Seeing a favorite pop star in concert or going to the Super Bowl might be the thrill of a lifetime. Over the years, though, what will that mean to their development as human beings? What do parents really, really want for their children?
You want them to grow into caring adults who enjoy lasting, loving relationships and close friendships. You want them to be able to support themselves and work well with others.
You want children who not only run to see what their birthday presents are but also run to the homeless shelter or a children’s hospital because there’s a child somewhere whose parents couldn’t afford toys for the holiday. You want your kid to grow up to be a mensch, a Yiddish word for a good person or a good soul.
That’s why we need to teach empathy. It’s an ability that enriches an entire lifetime.
This is an adapted excerpt from THE EMPATHY ADVANTAGE: Coaching Children To Be Kind, Respectful and Successful by Lynne Azarchi, published by Rowman & Littlefield. © 2020.
About the Author
LYNNE AZARCHI, author of THE EMPATHY ADVANTAGE, is Executive Director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center outside of Trenton, New Jersey—a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering bullying prevention, anti-bias, diversity appreciation, empathy, and empowerment strategies for youth. She is a tireless advocate for improving the lives of at-risk youth in communities across New Jersey. Kidsbridge helps more than 2,500 preschool, elementary, and middle school students and educators improve their social-emotional skills each year. Azarchi has won many awards and her articles have been published both in newspapers and academic journals. She is a frequent speaker to parent and teacher groups, corporations and major educational conferences.
How the Strawberry Got Its Seeds, 2nd Edition
Book 2, The Fairy Awakenings series
Children’s books, fairy books, magical, self-esteem for children, self-love for children
Date Published: 10/15/2020
Publisher: Generally Verbose
This is a story of a young girl who learns self-worth by embracing the very "flaws" that make her beautiful. Strawella Berry is a spunky fairy that enters a singing competition only to realize winning doesn't feel so good when one has to pretend to be someone they are not.
Alejandria Kate wrote How the Strawberry Got Its Seeds with the hope that Strawella’s story inspires children to celebrate being different as well as imparts courage and confidence to any child who has suffered self-esteem issues.
About the Author
She draws inspiration from the beauty – both large and small – that she observes in the world around her and from the quiet moments connected with Spirit and her own soul. She believes vulnerability is a strength and an open heart is a key to inner joy. She believes that through a shift in perspective beauty can be found within every experience.
Alejandria graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature, where she studied writing for children and young adults. In her spare time she plays the Native American flute and hikes the walking trails in Southern California in her pursuit of viewing wildflowers.
It is Alejandria’s hope that readers feel comforted and inspired after reading her books.
Alejandria can be reached through her website, www.alejandriakate.com
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Juvenile Fiction Fantasy Graphic Novel/Comics
Date Published: 9-24-2020
Publisher: Abigail Books
Orin Bean has terrible luck and a problem with monsters. However, his Nana seems to be a powerful witch, but he's really a perfectly normal boy who just happens to have a dragon in the closet. What kid wouldn't want that? A comic book for children ages 5-10.
A Peek Inside
About the Author
Carolyn Watson Dubisch is the author and illustrator of 10 children's picture books, and is a creator of 3 comic book series for kids, including "The Horribles", "The People That Melt in The Rain" (writer and colorist), and "The Dragon in The Closet ".
Originally from New York, she currently lives by the ocean in Mazatlán, Mexico, with her husband, fantasy artist, Mike Dubisch, and their three daughters, who are at the moment studying online due to the COVID 19 pandemic. She also has a very old dog and four very young Mexican street cats that keep life interesting every day.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Book One of a trilogy
(Upper) Middle Grade fantasy adventure
Date Published: October 15, 2020
Publisher: Rainscape Media Inc.
Walking talking rats aren’t real, right? After Kyra, 13, is transported from Earth to another world, Antiica, she’s thrust into her father’s war with the rat people, the Raturro, and must save her kidnapped mother. Kyra sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her and is aided by Coyne, a teen who deserted the army and Mercy, a teen rat girl who was once Kyra’s childhood friend. But it’s Kyra’s new bond with the Chimera, a magical creature that travels through stone, which changes her life completely. The Chimera’s Apprentice is the story of a girl and her monster—and a desperate search for her family.
About the Author
Roslyn Muir is new to middle grade fiction fantasy but feels she comes by it honestly—“I still feel like a ten year old making up elaborate adventure stories in my head.” Born in Scotland and now living in Vancouver, Canada, she often uses the similar landscapes of both countries in her stories. Roslyn has another life as an award winning screenwriter who writes YA stories, family drama and thrillers. She was a writer on the Global/CBS one-hour drama, Ransom, created by Frank Spotnitz (Man in the High Castle). Roslyn has also written several movies that have aired on TV around the world: Washed Away, Stranger in the House, and Reluctant Witness to name a few. Roslyn also wrote and produced the dramatic feature film, The Birdwatcher, directed by Siobhan Devine. Her half-hour YA comedy, The Tutors, is in development with the CBC.