Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Adventures of Jack: The Agent With a Bone to Pick' by D.R. Tara


This book comprises three short stories on the adventures of Jack, a 15 month old Jack Russell puppy who lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, with his Mummy and Daddy. After finding him on the road and adopting him, his parents give him a life that most dogs could only imagine, riding with Mummy on her scooter and playing cricket with Daddy.

In Story 1, Jack spies on Mummy as she shops in a mall. In doing so, he foils the efforts of a robber who tried to steal Mummy’s purse. His efforts result in an invitation to join the police force as a special agent.

In Story 2, Jack goes undercover to solve a case of looting in the neighbourhood.

In story 3 Jack finds a great friend in Scoobie, and the two friends spend quality time playing together. 

Amazon Reader comments on "Adventures of Jack: The Agent With a Bone to Pick":

"Adventures of Jack: The Agent with a Bone to Pick are fun kids picture adventure books. Author D. R. Tara brings to life the adventures of Jack, a Jack Russell, in these three hilarious tales.

My kids love kids illustrated books and since we started reading on the kindle they want kids picture adventure books for kindle. We look in the kids books by ages 5-8 and childrens books by ages 9-12 but have a hard time finding something to hold their interest. When we found this book my kids were so excited. They love animals and to have kids ebooks dogs included made it so much fun for them."

"The kids loved following Jack's adventures, and the photos that told the stories. This series of stories is fun, well written and quirky-it's easy to fall in love with Jack!

I would recommend this picture book to any kid who loves animals and adventure. It was a as fun for me as it was for the kids! We had never read this author before, but we will again-and often! Thanks for a great book!"

"Who can resist a kids picture adventure book with an undercover agent dog for a hero? Nobody, I say! Bestselling author D.R. Tara is back with Adventures of Jack: The Agent with a Bone to Pick. In this three-story picture book, we follow a 15-month old Jack Russell puppy, aptly named Jack, to his escapades as an undercover agent of a famous (but unnamed) spy agency. Jack bravely foils thieves and robbers, human or otherwise, and saves the day. And just like any other undercover agent, Jack has his downtime, but then he meets Scoobie and they become fast friends, and all is well again in Jack’s doggie world.

The pictures of Jack, mum, dad, agent cat, and other canine cast of characters are adorable. Children of all ages will be delighted to have this book read to them any time of the day. The book is fun to read and will make you want to have a crime fighting Jack Russel of your own."

"I have to say that D.R. Tara has created another adorable kids eBooks by all ages when it comes to "Adventures of Jack: The Agent With a Bone to Pick". The collection of childrens ebooks dog detectives stories is lively, cute, vividly engaging and short but sweet. Overall, this was another of the kids illustrated books that I got for my daughter that I would definitely recommend to other parents out there looking for cute and well-written stories for their kids to read."

"The writing of this book is so easy to follow and is a great kid’s illustrated book. This author is a great writer of kid’s eBooks by all ages. She’s the best."

"This is a kids picture adventure book for Kindle about a dog agent. My son loved the idea of a dog detective. Great book for kids between the ages of 5-8 as well as 9-12."

"This is a great kids illustrated picture adventure book for kindle. This book would make a great purchase for kids ages 5-8 and ages 9-12."

"A grade A kids illustrated books that is sure to be well received by kids who love dogs and dog detectives."

Monday, April 14, 2014

'Supernatural Hero' by Eran Gadot


  • WINNER of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Awards
  • London Book Festival 2013 - Honorable Mention

Don't try to be someone else, be yourself!

Reading this book will make you see that being yourself is the only way for success, all you need is to believe.

Andy is the nerd everyone makes fun of. He's really skinny, wears
glasses and talks to himself, but he falls in love with the prettiest
girl in the class. One day Grandpa dies and turns into a ghost. Then,
Andy discovers a new power, he can see ghosts and talk to the dead.

Join Andy's journey and find out how a nerd can become a hero.
Supernatural hero is a great children's book with an outstanding story, for the whole family to enjoy. It is a book that will stay with you forever.

*Supernatural hero and the witches (2) coming soon...

About the author

Eran Gadot, serial entrepreneur, publicist, ideas man, and chaser of dreams. Married father of three. Eran's "Supernatural Hero" is the first in the series.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

'Dingo Facts (Easy Learning for Kids)' by Sara Woods FREE 4/11-4/13


Newly Released ‘Dingo Facts’ eBook.

A fact filled, fun educational book. Large full color images.

The second book in the Amazing Australian Animals Series® a series of 18 factual educational books being released this year.


THIRD Book in a series of 18 Books on Amazing Australian Native Animals by Brisbane Author, Sara Woods. Dingo Facts - Easy Learning For Kids.

This book utilises colorful images and easy to read language to teach children about Amazing Australian Animals. The book is as much an educational book as a picture book for the younger children and will also serve as an educational reference book for the older child who can read the book themselves. Contains a Quick Facts Summary feature for reference purposes.

Exciting!! Full color photos and graphics. Informative. Educational. Factual. Fun. What a great way for kids and adults to learn about these Amazing Australian Animals. A very well researched and informative book that can be read to younger children by a parent, sibling or official carer while the child looks at the amazing full color photos throughout the book while learning at the same time. The older child will use this book as a learning resource and also as a reference for school projects and assignments etc. Read it and discover some amazing facts yourself. In summary a fun, easy to read pictorial and factual children’s learning book.

This is the third book in a must have series for children of all ages of 18 books to be released this year.

Great for educational centres, schools, teachers and child minding centres and learning at home.

Highly recommended.

BIO for Sara Woods:

I am a family person and live and work part time (besides writing) in the Gold Coast Region of Queensland, Australia.

This is my first formal venture into the writing arena and I hope to gain an insight into the world of authors prior to releasing some self help and motivational books at a later date.

I have created the Amazing Australian Animals Series ®, which will comprise a total of 18 books in the series. I will be releasing two and sometimes three books per month this year until the series is completed.
The series is intended to be fun for both adults and children, while educating the young children at the same time about Australia and its amazing native animals.
My books are designed so they can be read by an adult (or a teacher, carer etc) to a younger child who can look at the many colorful photos and illustrations and havev fun and learn at the same time OR read by an older (but still young) school age child. Each book will be able to be used as a reference for school projects, research assignments etc by older children.
The first book in the Series is called “Kangaroo Facts - Easy Learning for Kids” and all books will have similar titles and a similar cover design for ease of identification.

I have also written non fiction work in other categories and for adults which will be released towards the end of 2014.

If you would like any further information or wish to contact me please contact me at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review 'TTYL (Stories About Melissa #4)' by Bethany Lopez


The last few months have been a rough road for Melissa. Her grades have slipped, her parents treat her like a prisoner, and her closest friends are too involved in their own lives to spend time with her. Desperate to escape her depressing funk, she starts spending more time with Layla, who introduces her to a new crowd...the wrong crowd. When Melissa starts to go down a dangerous path, can anyone get through to her before she does something she'll regret?

**My thoughts**
It's easy to get sucked into the wrong crowd when a hot man is leading the way. I was just like Melissa for years, well into college, falling for the hottie musician. There is just something about the lead singer of a band, or the brooding guitarist. You want to impress him a bit, so you may venture out of your comfort zone and do a few naughty things. Props to Melissa, though, because she does draw the line at a few more serious situations.

It sucks when all of your friends keep growing and maturing and taking different paths along the way. It's a part of life that can sometimes move a little faster in high school, as everyone is dating and working through those hormones. Plus, life at home is still tough as they adjust to Max and to Mom not working. Her relationship with Megan continues to ebb and flow. Most of the time they are fighting, but still defend each other if someone else gets in the way.

Melissa gets herself into a lot of trouble along the way, but again manages to learn some good lessons. She continues to grow and to mature with each installment. This was yet another super fast read for me, and now I am sad that I have to wait for the next one to come out!

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Review of 'Ciao (Stories About Melissa #3)' by Bethany Lopez


Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months?

**My thoughts**
New people coming to town and infiltrating your group can make everything change. Cassie is new to the area, but quickly becomes good friends with Melissa and her group. But Cassie's appearance also means new love relationships. Melissa has to sort out her feelings toward the boys she has been juggling in her heart and has a hard time doing it. That's the best part about a journal in these situations - you really get inside her head as she tries to figure out what is going on. Giovanni, the Italian exchange student, is another fun addition.

Tensions are mounting at home, as Melissa and Megan keep on fighting. I have to say that I have never seen two girls roll around and fight as much as these two! My younger sister and I left the physical aspect of our fighting behind us at a much younger age, though we did have epic arguments for several more years.

Like in the other two books, Melissa's voice rings clear and true as she continues to navigate those tricky waters of adolescence. A major life lesson comes into play, one that so many teenagers face and should never have to face. With the experience comes a new level of maturity in Melissa, but also a new set of problems sure to come in the next installment. 

Another fast and fun read.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review of 'xoxoxo (Stories About Melissa #2)' by Bethany Lopez


Melissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn't over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, and Jimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can't help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.

**My thoughts**
This second installment in the series is an even faster read than the first one. I am still a fan of Melissa and her tell-all style in her journal. It's about six months since she left us in Ta Ta For Now and her whole world is about to change. Her mother has been ill during this entire pregnancy, and the new baby is going to completely change all of their lives in a way that they never imagined. Without giving away the details, I have to say thank you to Bethany Lopez for this little plot twist, because it isn't one that you often see in books. I can see a lot coming up in the future with this storyline.

Melissa's little sister Megan is definitely going through some serious hormonal changes and is even more annoying. Yet Melissa keeps looking out for her, as all good big sisters should do for their younger siblings.  

Melissa continues to learn more about friendship and young love as she wraps up her first year in high school. I love all of the references to places that they go, because I grew up about an hour or so south of Dearborn, in Toledo, OH. The lifestyle and the scenery and so many of the references feel like home to me. 

Just as after reading the first book, I am looking forward to the next installment. 

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I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review of 'Ta Ta For Now (Stories About Melissa)' by Bethany Lopez


Melissa begins her freshman year with one goal in mind, getting Brian Jackson to be her boyfriend. She will soon learn that things don't necessarily turn out the way you plan them, the value of true friendship, and the importance of family.
**My thoughts**
This book was really cute! It is written as a bunch of journal entries by Melissa, a fourteen year-old girl who has just entered her freshman year of high school. She is the oldest of four children, with two younger sisters and a younger brother. Closest in age is her sister Megan, who is the polar opposite of Melissa. Melissa is really into fashion, boys, and looking good. Megan, on the other hand, doesn't care what she looks like and hangs out with the boys. She makes Melissa absolutely crazy!

Melissa gets herself into a bit of trouble when she finally starts dating Brian. For the first time ever, she is getting into fights, exposed to alcohol, and being heavily impacted emotionally by the choices of her new friends. She is not the same person!

But, Megan learns some good life lessons as she learns how to cope with all of these issues. 

It's a positive voice in the world of young adult literature, that would be appropriate enough for even middle schoolers to read. I probably would have even loved this book around the age of 9, looking ahead to those high school years. Situations seem pretty realistic, and the journal idea is one that speaks to girls as readers, I think. The characters also seem realistic, though some of their conversations are almost "After School Special" -ish. That's okay, though, because it teaches kids how they SHOULD be communicating with each other, and some of them may actually do it in real life. I am looking forward to reading the next installment!

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I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

'Black Cats and Ballet Slippers' by Iva Valentino

Black Cats and Ballet Slippers - Week Blitz
By Iva Valentino

Middle Grade Humor
Date Published: March 7, 2014

Gemma Mayfield feels like middle school is a lot to bite off and chew. School, ballet classes, and planning on how to get Trevor Davis to ask her to the Halloween Dance are a tough balancing act. On top of that, Gemma is convinced that her science teacher, Ms. Pruett, is a witch.

When things start getting fishy at school, Gemma knows that Ms. Pruett is behind it all! Students are getting spells placed on them and start to go missing. Gemma and her best friend, Izzie, vow to stop Ms. Pruett from doing any more damage. Will they be able to save Middleton Middle School from witchcraft?

Okay, so something REALLY strange is going on. Boys are from a different planet, but right now a few of them at Middleton are acting like they’re from a different universe. (Wait. Does this make sense? Is there more than one universe? Ugh. Maybe I should have paid more attention last year in Astronomy.) 
So, by the time I got to Ms. Pruett’s class, I had already worked myself into a super version of “I Don’t Wanna Go To Class Because I’m Creeped Out!” mode. I walked into the Science Laboratory, and I swear I felt the cold of Building 400 smack me right in the face. I’m not kidding. 
Of course Ms. Pruett was at the door, acting like her sweet old lady self (ha ha, I know better), and was welcoming all the kids into the classroom. I just kept my head down and muttered a hello as I passed. Staying below the radar was the goal. Then I sat down at my lab table and shivered a bit. 
Joey sat down at the table just a second later. Normally he is really loud and obnoxious, cracking jokes, and calling to the other Soccer Jocks across the room. Today he was quiet. 
“Hey,” I said, trying to be friendly. I thought maybe we could commiserate on us both having spells cast on us. Joey responded with a “hey” but didn’t say much else. Hello? Was this the Joey I knew? 
“So, Joey, are you feeling okay?” I asked. “You know, after yesterday…” 
Joey didn’t say anything, but began writing on a piece of paper. He folded up the piece of paper and passed it to me. I gave him a questioning look. He gave me a weird look back that I couldn’t decipher. The note was as follows: 
    Hey Gemma,
     Sorry I gave you a hard time yesterday about the “Cute Boy” list. It was kind of rude of me. 
That’s when it hit me that Joey hadn’t recovered from Ms. Pruett’s spell. For me it was just temporary, like a few minutes. But Joey was acting weird. It had to be the spell.
“Um, thanks,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.” I then started taking out all my school stuff so that I could look busy and not have any more awkward moments with Joey until he felt better. He was taking longer to recuperate.
After class I headed straight down toward the lunchroom. On the way there, I saw Trevor going in the opposite direction past me. Our conversation went like this:
            Me: “Hi Trevor!” (with a big smile and enthusiasm)
            Trevor: “Oh, hi Gemma.” (with zombie-like attitude)
            Me: “Okay, have a good lunch!”
            Trevor: “Okay, thanks. Bye.”
            I wondered where he was going, in the opposite direction from the lunch room when it was lunchtime. It took me another couple of moments to realize that the ONLY classroom in that part of campus was Ms. Pruett’s room. He was headed back toward Building 400!
            Yikes! I turned myself around in mid-stride and turned back the way I came. I knew there was no way possible that Trevor would be going to Ms. Pruett’s. Why would anyone in their right mind be going there by themselves?
           I didn’t want Trevor to think I was stalking him, because of course I would never do that. But just in case that’s what it appeared to be, I used as much stealth as possible. I walked in the shadows and stopped to peek out behind bushes and building walls. I saw him up ahead…just before he ENTERED MS. PRUETT’S CLASSROOM.
           My mouth fell open, and I just sort of stared at the door for a while.
           Weird things are going on here at Middleton. And I think Ms. Pruett’s behind it all!

Iva Valentino

 photo 372_zpsa6615d54.jpgIva Valentino lives in Arizona with her husband and their dog, Lupo. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education. She thinks visiting cold places is fun, but she loves living year-round in the warm desert.

Iva spent many years as a middle school teacher, where she enjoyed doing cool science experiments with her students. She currently works as a science editor at an educational publishing company. She loves travel, yoga, and photography. There is nothing that brings her more happiness than a good dance class!

Author Links
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

'Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer (Max and Maggie Series #1)' by Ali Maier


A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh. This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life.

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About the Author:

Author Ali Maier's writing show a unique and funny perspective on family. She has a degree in elementary education from John Carroll University, and is the parent of two close-in-age siblings. In addition to writing and being a mom, Ali and her husband have spent the past 20 years building their interactive web marketing company based in OH.

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