BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Ann Abramson

 

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Title: Who Was Anne Frank?
Author: Ann Abramson
Illustrator: Nancy Harrison
Publisher: The Penguin Group
Ages: 8-12

 

Synopsis:

 

Who was Anne Frank?
A high-spirited child always playing pranks?
A young Jewish girl forced into hiding for two years?
The author of one of the best-loved books in the world?
All of the above!
Here is an illustrated biography about Anne Frank and her world.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Anyone studying the history surrounding World War II will have probably heard of Anne Frank. I, myself, have read many different versions of the now famous story of one girl’s plight during one of the world’s most violent eras.

While I thought I was very familiar with Anne’s story, I was quite surprised to discover there were quite a few things I didn’t know about her earlier life before the Nazis invaded her adopted home of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Illustrator Nancy Harrison creates vivid artwork to compliment Ann Abramson’s touching retelling of the everyday struggle in war torn Europe during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Ms. Abramson helps her readers identify with one’s girl’s simple wish of one day becoming a writer and hoping her words might one day inspire the world around her.

Too bad Anne Frank never lived to see how her diary touched so many lives since those horrific days of World War II, but at least we have books like Who Was Ann Frank? to help us to never forget one girl’s dream of a better tomorrow.

A great addition to any home library!
Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it! nook
4 out of 5…think about it.
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!

 

 

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY:

 

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Shalla eased her foot off the gas and watched the speedometer slowly drop below the speed limit sign she saw flash by in her rear view mirror. She knew what her mother would have said.

“Slow down Shalla! The devil’s no chasing you, gurl!”

The moonlight on the curves ahead reminded Shalla she was almost to the spot she dreaded every time she drove home at night. It had been five years since the accident. And four years since her mother started visiting Shalla in her dreams.

At times she thought she was losing her mind. But then there were times, like tonight, that Shalla wondered if her mother wasn’t trying to warn her about something. She was deep in thought and almost forgot about the curves coming up when she looked up to see a strange light by the road leading to the next bend. Again her mother’s voice whispered through her mind.

“Shalla, stop now, gurl!”

Not giving herself time to question it, Shalla braked and pulled onto the shoulder…just in time to see a pair of headlights careening out of control from around the bend and heading toward the spot in the road she had just been before the driver got the vehicle back under control, speeding off into the darkness behind her.

Wrapping her shaking arms around her suddenly cold body, Shalla realized how close she’d come to repeating that same horrible accident of five years ago. 

But the thing that was freaking her out the most?

That strange light she’d seen earlier was now gone, but funny how it looked like her mother had been standing inside the light just before Shalla hear her voice…

Now it’s your turn! Did Shalla’s mother really save her that night? Or was it just all a strange bit of luck? Add to my story or create a new one all of your own in the comments below…

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Murder On A Saturday Afternoon

 

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When I was growing up in the swamps of Louisiana, there wasn’t much to watch on TV during a heat drenched Saturday afternoon. Mostly just old John Wayne movies involving a lot of dust, some Indians, and quite a few gun fights. The killing wasn’t real and the good guys always won.

Except for one Saturday afternoon when a murder happened right in front of me and for a moment in time one little girl changed how others saw the world.

Another cowboy was riding the range and more Indian were planning another attack when I hear a strange sound close to where I lay sprawled on the floor in front of our old TV.

My brother heard it too and before I could stop him, a lifeless cricket lay crushed at my feet.

I was inconsolable.

Fortunately for me, my mother loved nature as much as I did. When I decided to have a service for that little cricket, Mother found a matchbox casket for its final resting place. She even made my siblings attend the funeral out in our front yard.

One cricket was sent properly to its final chirping resting place and for just a moment on one hot Saturday afternoon down on the bayou, a little girl changed the way others saw the value in ALL living things…

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

************

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

 

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***This is PART FIVE of a five part series to uncover some myths about becoming a published author. You can read part four by going here. I hope you enjoyed this series and found resources you could use. If you’d like more of these type of series, comment below and I’ll see what I can do!***

The other myths we looked at have covered whether or not you need a degree in creative writing to become an author, do you need an agent to be offered a book contract, will agents expect a huge author platform before they consider your manuscript and is the traditional publisher the only publication path.

Despite the various options and outcomes available to every writer, to the lucky ones who garner a book contract, there is one final myth to overcome.

 

MYTH #5…ONCE THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED YOUR WORK IS DONE

 

You’ve spent countless hours writing, rewriting, revising, and polishing your story. Query letters have been sent out and you have managed to receive an offer to publish your story. Take time to do the happy dance but realize the hard work of promoting and marketing your book is just beginning.

What methods will you chose to get the word out? Are some options better than others? That would depend partly on your marketing budget, partly on the networking you might have done prior to any book contract being signed, and partly on your own creativity in sharing your good news with the world.

Here are some things to make sure you include in your promotion arsenal when working on your marketing plan:

1. Media Kit…this kit should include press releases, book blurb, biographies, author photo, business cards, promotional materials, and a question & answer list.

2. Book Reviews…this would include favorable reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Koobug, and blogs as well as local or national publications.

3. Copy of your Newsletter…you should already have an email list generated through your website or blog or now would be the time to start one. I use MailChip (www.mailchimp.com) which gives me a list of potential readers of my books whom I can send updated info to such as the release date of my books, schedule of book signings or speaking engagements, interesting articles, and things like games, contests, or giveaways.

4. Endorsements or Recommendations…some of your ARC copies should have been sent to people who were willing to provide verbal support of your book. Now would be the time to gather copies of those endorsements and recommendations to add to your publicity kit.

5. Order List…make sure you provide a list with all the links on how readers can purchase your book through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sourcebooks, Kindle, Nook, and other distributors.

6. Quizzes, Contests, & Giveaways…have some idea of the different ways you can generate interest in your book. Things like blog hops and twitter blitzes create excitement during the first few months following an official book release but additional readers will be drawn to your book through the chance to possibly win an autograph copy of it or even swag items.

7. Print Media…even if you have a publicist, it is still the author’s responsibility to do their part to promote their book. This includes sending book release information to industry trade magazines like Publisher’s Weekly (www.publishersweekly.com), Library Journal (www.lj.libraryjournal.com), and major daily newspapers as well as regional or local newspapers.

6. Email blasts…this is where you partner with others who are willing to share your good news with their own readership via email announcements.

I know marketing and promoting a book can seem overwhelming to some authors.  Others breeze through part of the process like they were born to be part writer/ part book promoter. However you feel about marketing, realize that your publishing house isn’t the ONLY people raving about your latest book. YOU have to be shouting it from the rooftops as well!

I will potentially have THREE books being released this fall. You can be sure I will double check this list to make sure I have all my ducks in a row and everything thing in place because when it comes time to do my happy book release day dance, I won’t want to have forgotten anything!

What marketing things did YOU do to help promote your book? What worked and what didn’t? Share your marketing success stories by commenting below…

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

***********

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Covering All The Bases

 

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I wouldn’t consider myself the world’s best athlete growing up. I was incredibly shy and self-conscious about my appearance, so when I was forced to pick a sport to “master” during high school as part of my PE grade, I decided on soft ball.

I didn’t have the jump to play basketball, my sister cornered the gymnastics arena, and my brother was the boss of the football field. Surprisingly enough, I found that I was fairly adept at my chosen sport and ended up playing both short-stop or second base. I wasn’t superstar material by any means, but I always managed to cover the bases any time I stepped out on the playing field. Whether catching fly balls, stopping grounders, or even taking my turn at bat, I focused on multi tasking to get the job done.

Juggling an active writing career is very similar to covering second base. There are even times when juggling things like revisions, queries, contests, research, and other writing commitments cut into actual writing time and we find ourselves wondering how we are going to be able to cover all our writerly bases.

I don’t have all the answers, but as I go into this busy, busy summer season, I plan on keeping a few things in mind:

1. MAKE A WRITING PLAN & FOLLOW IT DAILY

 

I might only get to write for 15 minutes some days but I will focus all my energy during those 15 minutes on my latest project.

 

2. DO MY RESEARCH & NARROW MY AGENT LIST

 

Some of my queries need to be followed up on while other submissions need to be sent out.

3. TAKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY OCCASIONALLY

 

It’s hard for me sometimes to take time just for me but past experience has shown me I need ME time in order to be able to put my best effort into my writing.

Before you know it, summer will be gone and the kids will be back in school. The sounds of the crowd and the smell of popcorn will fade from the baseball field, but at least I will have something to show for covering all my writerly bases.

What about you? How do you plan to manage your busy summer and still get your writing in?

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

***************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Aaron Reynolds

 

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Title: Nerdy Birdy
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrator: Matt Davies
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd.

One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle.

When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Who doesn’t love a book with a title like NERDY BIRDY? Even the illustration of the cute little guy with the big glasses on the cover makes me want to learn more about this nerdy bird.

Children’s author, Aaron Reynolds, shines the light on a very common place problem. What does it take to fit in with the cool kids and what does it take to stand on one’s own? Cute illustrations and a simple, but effective story line helps young readers understand the difference between cliques and true friendships. Sometimes the “cool” birds don’t make the best friends, and sometimes the “nerdy” birds have the most fun! A great addition to any home library.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Tulip Hunting Can Be Dangerous

 

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My mother loved springtime. She loved planting flowers everywhere and always had a vegetable garden wherever we lived. I guess it was probably the farm living in the Ozarks when she was a child that instilled a love of watching things grow as an adult.

One year she decided to plant tulip bulbs (her favorite flower) all around the base of a large tree in the front yard. Carefully, she dug holes and made a circle of what she hoped later on would be a burst of tulips she could enjoy from the hanging swing on the enclosed front porch.

One morning, however, my mother discovered something had dug up some of the bulbs during the night…but what? She replanted some more bulbs but discovered the next day that the thief had struck again. Eventually my mother figured out that a momma armadillo and her babies were finding her tulip bulbs a delicious midnight snack. She didn’t want to keep providing them with a tulip buffet but she wasn’t sure about the right way to solve her problem.

Just how does one convince an armadillo to go away?

Mother’s tulip thief problem was surprisingly solved the following evening in a frightening way. Just around the time the sun was setting, we suddenly heard this strange sound coming from under our house. Deep and loud, that rumbling roar could be heard a block away from my house and my mother knew in an instant what was making that scary sound.

Living so near the bayous usually meant lots of rain and with that came the occasional visit from critters living in the marshy lands surrounding my home town. Evidently the last rain we’d had made our nighttime visitor leave the comforts of his cozy home in the bayou to find refuge under our house. All through the night we listened to the song of the swamps as we waited for the game warden to arrive the next day and take that critter back to where it came from.

Everything eventually returned to normal after that. We got to enjoy the rest of our spring and my mother got to enjoy her tulips.

And the armadillo family?

Unfortunately our six fool long visitor needed a late night snack before he returned home…

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.