Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Author Kathy Stemke
Illustrator: Kurt Wilcken
Synopsis: Shelly and the squirrel family learn about recycling and reusing items to protect the environment.
REVIEW: This is a delightful tale of Shelly a young squirrel as she learns what it means to reused and recycle items you no longer use. She finds a bluebird who has lost the tree where she was to make her nest. And to make matters worse, there were no sticks enough to build a nest in a new place. Where would she make her nest now that her favorite tree has been cut down?
Trouble on Earth Day gives the reader a story with a lesson on the consequences of what we do to our environment- like cutting down the trees. But it also is a fun story about what to do to reuse and recycle what you have on hand. Shelley shares yarn and other fine items to help bluebird make the nest.
Trouble on Earth Day also offers games, activities, and crafts from recycled items. How about a pinecone bird feeder? Maybe you would rather make toilet paper role napkin rings or any number of other fun projects in the book.
This is a great book for classrooms and also for those who home school their children. With the fun learning activiites, students will read this over and over. The author has done a great job of telling an important story in a fun, entertaining, and educational way.
Visit Kathy Stemke at http://educationtipster.blogspot.com/
Award Winning Author/Educator/Freelance Writer
Trouble on Earth Day earned the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep won the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Sign up for FREE monthly newsletter,Movement and Rhythm: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com/
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is available through the publisher, http://guardianangelpublishing.com/shshsh.htm and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on Kathy's blog: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com/ and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
Mrs.Stemke offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM, on her blog. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com/
Throughout the book tour visitors will be asked to send their best EARTH photo to firstname.lastname@example.org to be displayed on the last day of the tour. A winner will be selected and awarded a $10 gift card.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
TITLE: Love Thy Neighbor
AUTHOR: Mark Gilleo
PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant
PUBLICATION DATE: 03/27/12
SYNOPSIS: Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother’s diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn’t possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of a terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell – which happens to be across the street – is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark’s quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become one of the most deadly places on the planet, and it’s up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation’s capital.
Fast, acerbic, wise and endlessly exciting, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR marks the unforgettable debut of a startling new voice in suspense fiction.
AUTHOR BIO: Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, has lived and worked in Asia, and speaks fluent Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His two most recent novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative writing competition. The Story Plant will publish his next novel, SWEAT in 2012.
AUTHOR SITES: Love Thy Neighbor page www.thestoryplant.com
Available at www.amazon,com and www.barnesandnoble.com
(This part is true.)
In late 1999 a woman from Vienna, Virginia, a suburb ten milesfrom the White House as the crow flies, called the CIA. The woman, afifty-something mother of three, phoned to report what she referred to aspotential terrorists living across the street from her middle-class home. Shewent on to explain what she had been seeing in her otherwise quiet neighborhood: Strange men of seemingly Middle-Eastern descent using their cellphones in the yard. Meetings in the middle of the night with bumper-to-bumper curbside parking, expensive cars rubbing ends with vans and common Japanese imports. A constant flow of young men, some who seemed to stay for long periods of time without introducing themselves to anyone in the neighborhood. The construction of a six-foot wooden fence to hide the backyard from the street only made the property more suspicious.
Upon hearing a layperson’s description of suspicious behavior,the CIA promptly dismissed the woman and her phone call. (Ironically, the woman lived less than a quarter of a mile from a CIA installation, though it was not CIA headquarters as was later reported.)
In the days and weeks following 9/11, the intelligence community in the U.S. began to learn the identities of the nineteen hijackers who had flown the planes into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. In the process of their investigation they discovered that two of the hijackers, one on each of the planes that hit the World Trade Towers, had listed a particular house in Vienna, Virginia as a place of residence.
The FBI and various other agencies swooped in on the unassuming neighborhood and began knocking on doors. When they reached the house of ascertain mother of three, she stopped them dead in their tracks. She was purported to have said, “I called the CIA two years ago to report that terrorists were living across the street and no one did anything.”
The CIA claimed to have no record of a phone call.
The news networks set up cameras and began broadcasting from the residential street. ABC, NBC, FOX. The FBI followed up with further inquiries.The woman’s story was later bounced around the various post 9/11 committees and intelligence hearings on Capitol Hill. (Incidentally, after 9/11, the CIA closed its multi-story facility in the neighborhood where the terrorist reportedly lived. In 2006 the empty building was finally torn down and, as of early 2011, was being replaced with another office building).
There has been much speculation about what the government should have or could have known prior to 9/11. The answer is not simple. There have been anecdotal stories of people in Florida and elsewhere who claimed to have reported similar “terrorist” type activities by suspicious people prior to9/11. None of these stories have been proven.
What we do know is that with the exception of the flight school instructor in Minnesota who questioned the motive of a student who was interested in flying an aircraft without learning how to land, and an unheeded warning from actor James Woods who was on a plane from Boston with several of the purported terrorists while they were doing a trial run, the woman from Vienna, Virginia was the country’s best chance to prevent 9/11. To date, there has been no verification of any other pre-9/11 warnings from the general public so far in advance of that fateful day in September.
For me, there is no doubt as to the validity of the claims of the woman in Vienna.
She lived in the house where I grew up. She is my mother.
Mark Gilleo. October, 2011. Washington DC.
* * *
Ariana turned on the nightlight and closed the door to her daughter’s room. She walked down the carpeted hall towards the light stretching out from the plastic chandelier over the dining room table. Her husband’schair was empty and she quietly called out his name. No response. As Ariana turned the corner to the kitchen and reached for the knob on the cabinet over the counter, eight hundred pages of advertising crashed into her rib cage, sucking the wind from her lungs. As his wife doubled over, Nazim raised the thick Yellow Book with both hands and hit her on her back, driving her body to the floor.
“Don’t you ever disobey me in front of others again.”
Ariana coughed. There was no blood. This time. She tried to speak but her lips only quivered. Her thick-framed glasses rested on the floor, out of reach. Her brain fought to make sense of what happened, what had set her husband off. It could have been anything. But every curse had its blessing, and for Ariana the blessing was the fact that Nazim didn’t hit her in front of Liana. A blessing that the child didn’t see her mother being punched. The reason was simple. Nazim was afraid of his daughter. Afraid of what she could say now that she could speak.
The curse was that Ariana never knew when she had crossed the line. She never knew when the next blow was coming. She merely had to wait until they were alone to learn her fate for past indiscretions.
Ariana gasped slowly for air. She didn’t cry. The pain she felt in her side wasn’t bad enough to give her husband the satisfaction.
“When I say it is time to leave, it is time to leave. There is no room for negotiation in this marriage.”
Ariana panted as her mind flashed back to the Christmas party. She immediately realized her faux pas. “I didn’t want to be rude to Maria. She spent days making dessert. She is old. Do we not respect our elders anymore?”
Nazim pushed his wife onto the floor with his knee, a reaction Ariana fully expected. “You are my wife. This is about you and me. Our neighbor has nothing to do with it.” Nazim looked down at Ariana sprawled on the linoleum and spit on her with more mock than saliva.
“Maria is my friend.”
“Well, her son is coming home and she doesn’t need you.”
Nazim dropped the yellow book on the counter with a thud and went to the basement. Ariana gathered herself, pushing her body onto all fours and then pulling herself up by the front of the oven. She looked at the Yellow Book and her blood boiled. It was like getting hit by a cinder block with soft edges. When it hit flush, it left very little bruising. As her husband intended. For a man of slight build,Nazim could generate power when a beating was needed.
Ariana took inventory of herself, one hand propping herself up on the counter. She had been beaten worse. Far worse. By other men before she met her husband. Her eyes moved beyond the Yellow Pages and settled on the knife set on the counter, the shiny German steel resting in its wooden block holder. She grabbed the fillet knife, caressed the blade with her eyes, and then pushed the thought from her mind.
Her husband called her from the basement and she snapped out of her momentary daze. “Coming,” she answered, putting the knife back in its designated slot in the wood. She knew what was coming next. It was always the same. A physical assault followed by a sexual one. She reached up her skirt and removed her panties. There was no sense in having another pair ripped, even if robbing Nazim of the joy would cost her a punch or two.
Christmas, the season of giving, she thought as she made her way down the stairs into the chilly basement.
My Review: Excellent, there is no other word. The story is emotional, realistic, heart wrenching, suspenseful, and the plot twists and turns keeping the reader turning the page. The skills used by the author to bring the reader into the story and to care about the characters is riveting and the relationship between fiction and life is heart stopping. This book should be on every ones list if suspense, crime, and intrigue are the stories you love. You will not be disappointed.
Follow the tour for Mark Gilleo tomorrow at http://www.the-top-shelf.com/
Every eBook received for review on the tours for Partners In Crime are given in exchange for an honest review. The eBooks are sole property (copyrighted) of the author and should not be sold, distributed to, or exchanged among other people not part of the tours, nor should they be listed on file sharing sites. Failure to comply with this disclaimer, will result in removal from all future tours.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Please welcome Author, Chris Redding to the blog today. Enjoy her guest post on the male point of view for your characters.
Thanks,Chris for great tips and information on your book. It is on my summer reading list already.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thank you so much for stopping off here and letting our readers know more about where to find you and your book. Best of luck with your courses and your book. We enjoyed learning more about your work throughout the tour this week.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
If I knew the secret to getting published I wouldn’t tell you; that information is too valuable to give away. But I obviously read a great deal about the subject. The most appropriate suggestion is similar to the one Steve Martin poses regarding getting a million dollars: “You first take a million dollars.”
As the population distribution curve moves to the right, more and more competition is turning to the pen as a final attempt at personal accomplishment and recognition. There were about 400,000 books published in this country last year. There can be no more competitive activity in the universe. This situation calls for very unique marketing. My approach has been to couple the story with video, an expensive add-on which works with my genre of story. My best recommendation is for all of you to stop cluttering the market with your wares so mine will have a better chance. You will be rewarded for your abstinence, if not in this life …
Thanks for being here and we wish you the best for your book and your writing career. I for one will be one of those trying to clutter the market with my words with whatever rewards that will bring in this life and the next.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Please help me to welcome author Angela Joseph to the blog today.
Welcome Angela, what is next for you?