Children's Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Let's Hug and The Unusualasaureses by Efrat Shoham

I love finding new children's book authors and illustrators to share! My girls have been avid book lovers since birth--and are still known to page through picture books and young reader books at times. Today, I am excited to put Israeli author, Efrat Shoham, in our book spotlight--and feature two of her books--Let's Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners and The Unusualasaurases. Check out these books, get to know the author and illustrators--and look for these books on Amazon.com!

Quick Summary of Let’s Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners:

There must be over a millions ways to say "I love you" or "I care about you", but with a single hug, even without words, you can simply feel it. This book is for toddlers, and encourages children and adults alike to try out all possible types of hugs. It's everyone's gain.

It took seconds for the sweet testers who accompanied the writing of this book to adopt these 15 ways of showing love, to give and receive it. And our testers are not alone. Recent studies reveal that Oxitocin, the most fun hormone available, also known as the Love Hormone, is released into our bodies when we hug.

Hugs are proven to have a generally positive healing and relaxing effect, since they increase calm and happiness, reinforce our self esteem, and support our sense of connection to those who are close to us. If you'd like to validate these studies, go ahead and hug.

This book was beautifully illustrated by Yuval Israeli, and it's the second creative collaboration between Yuval Israeli and Efrat Shoham.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Quick Summary of The Unusualasaurases.

Ages and ages ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed our planet. Some were as large as whales, while others were the size of small dogs. Some were plant-eaters, while some ate other animals. Some had very long necks and tails, while others were tiny. Some had horns. Some had wings and could fly.

Despite all of these many variations, they were all part of the dinosaur family. And, as is often the case with family, they shared many common features.

No one has ever never whatsoever seen a live dinosaur or spoken to one of them. So, what if dinosaurs could really talk, or smile, cry, dream, dance, play and joke?

To answer all of these questions, all you have to do is become an Imaginesaurus, and meet the Unusualasauruses.

This book is aimed at children aged 4 to 120. It introduces the readers to different types of personalities, characters, and skills and thus helps us to spot them at a glance.

This book was beautifully illustrated by Lilach Ramati.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

About the Author:

Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer and independent publisher (The Pink Camel).

Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild.

She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Facebook

About the Illustrator of Let's Hug

Yuval Israeli

"I grew up in a kibbutz in the north of Israel and for years I live in Tel Aviv with Roy and our cat "tsimuki". I studied design and illustration at "Vital" the school of visual arts, which reunited later with "Shenkar".

I also learned classical painting in the "station studio".

I always paint pop icons and characters which affected me, and I also always paint portraits of friends. Besides, I always enjoyed painting all kinds of creatures from my imagination". 

About the Illustrator of The Unusualasauruses

Lilach Ramati

 "I majored in visual communication in Holon Institute of Technology. I studied Interactive, but eventually my final project was an illustrated book. Today I work as a designer in games company".

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Wordless Wednesday: Whose Chair is it?

Daddy and both younger girls love to watch t.v. perched on, over, or across a bean bag chair.  For Christmas, Daddy received an XL bean bag chair just for this purpose--and he and the girls make their rounds through the room to lounge on it.  Well....They aren't the only ones.    I thought I would share Mister Maxi's take on the situation as this week's Wordless Wednesday post!  Feel free to link up your latest Wordless Wednesday posts this week!  

Whose Chair is It?

During the day--and some evenings--Mister Maxi is pretty sure that this is the absolute best, donut-like, dog bed ever.  And, since Max suffered a partial tear in his left right knee about 18 months ago--that has healed very well--and another partial tear in his left knee in September--that is healing--Daddy is inclined to share with him.  Even in the evenings. 

Whose chair is it?  It depends on who you ask...and upon whether any of the cats are napping there at a given time!

Enjoy your week!

Ready to Link Up your Latest Wordless Wednesday photos?

Between Two Evils Series Book Tour & Giveaway

I have another action packed, end of the world, love story in the spotlight this morning!  Check out Between Two Evils, the dystopian series from author, DL Orton.  The third book in the series releases in March and is available for pre-order on Amazon.  Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?
When offered a one-way trip to the past, Iz sacrifices everything for a chance to change her dystopian future—and see her murdered lover one last time.
After a perilous journey through a black hole, she wakes up on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded—but twenty years younger! With only hours to live, she must convince an enraptured but skeptical twenty-something guy to fix their future relationship and thereby save the planet (no one is quite sure why.)
But it's easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that's a heartbreaker, save the world or not.
Across the infinite expanse of space and time, love endures...
(Unfortunately, it’s not going to be enough.)

FALL INTO THIS EDGY, action-packed, darkly comedic, dystopian love story, and be prepared to encounter a finicky time machine, a mysterious seashell, and a very clever dog (some sex, some swearing, some violence, but no vampires and absolutely no ditzes.)

Read the prologue online HERE!

Watch the book trailer on Youtube HERE!

Lost Time
Between Two Evils Book 2

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?
When a faulty time machine deposits Diego in a towering evergreen, he knows he's in the wrong place—but has no idea he's in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head on a branch, and falls into oblivion.
He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.
But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes... complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head—or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction...
Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive—but not for long…

Dead Time
Between Two Evils Book 3

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?
From award-winning author D. L. ORTON comes book three in the Between Two Evils series...
Shannon fights to stay alive inside a rogue biodome and discovers something totally unexpected... Peter. Lani is forced into the role of the reluctant heroine but rediscovers her street-kid mojo and sets out to find everything she's lost. Diego receives another dirty sock (and a note) from the poorly aimed fireball express: "The window between universes is closing." If Diego has any hope of getting back to Iz, he must get to the Magic Kingdom and power up the time machine before it's too late.
What could possibly go wrong?
**Releasing March 16th, 2017!**

AMAZON #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR D. L. ORTON lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops. In her spare time, she's building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.
Ms. Orton is a graduate of Stanford University's Writers Workshop and a past editor of "Top of the Western Staircase," a literary publication of CU, Boulder. The author has a number of short stories published in online literary magazines, including Literotica, Melusine, Cosmoetica, The Ranfurly Review, and Catalyst Press. 

Never Say Die Book Spotlight & Giveaway

Dystopian, Sci-Fi thrillers spent a lot of time on my reading lists over the past few years.  I haven't read one in a while--but, may be putting this one on my reading list!  If you read it; stop by and let me know what you thought of it!  Check out Never Say Die by Stevie Kopas--and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Family, friends, lovers…
Those are just a few examples of the strong bonds that hold humanity together. But when the dead begin living, and the living start to die, who will remain connected, and who will be torn apart?
Never Say Die: Stories of The Zombie Apocalypse, explores how different relationships are put to the ultimate test when the end of the world comes crashing down around them.
Some will live, some will die, but one thing is for certain: Some bonds don’t break.
Jack: Years after the zombie outbreak decimates the population, Jack’s sister is mysteriously taken. Will he be able to find his sister, or better yet, once he finds her, will he be able to accept what she has become?
Gordon and Elena: The morning of an estranged couple’s divorce is about to get a lot more stressful when a mysterious illness turns out to be more dangerous than anyone expected. Will the two be able to set their differences aside before their journey’s end?
Patient 63: After a terrorist attack, civilization crumbles when a lab-created virus infects over half the world’s population. Dr. Henrick Kennedy has found the vaccine in his sixty-third patient, a former infected, but his intentions are anything but good. Graham, a lonely janitor, has fallen in love with the imprisoned Patient 63. But is love enough to save the world, or will love be the means to its end all over again? (Previously released in At Hell’s Gates, Volume 2: Origins of Evil)
Rosie: A little girl is given a vaccine to protect her from the impending zombie apocalypse, but when things don’t go as planned, Rosie and her mom must find a way to escape their home and make it to the evacuation zone alive. The human race may depend on it.
Trevor: A troubled young man makes the decision to end his life, but when the dead come back to life and his city is overrun, Trevor has suddenly found the will to live again, only this time he realizes he has a found a new purpose in life: Revenge.

Stevie Kopas was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She is a gamer, a writer and an apocalypse enthusiast. Stevie will never turn down a good cup of coffee and might even be a bit of a caffeine addict.
Stevie is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy. Books 1 and 2, The Breadwinner and Haven were originally self-published in 2013 and 2014. The Breadwinner Trilogy was picked up by Permuted Press in May of 2014 and the second editions of both the first books were released in March and April of 2015. The third and final installment in The Breadwinner Trilogy, All Good Things, debuted in May of 2015. In June of 2015 The Breadwinner was the number one bestselling dystopian novel on Amazon.
Her fourth book, Never Say Die: Stories of The Zombie Apocalypse, was released in May 2016.
Kopas also participates in the At Hell's Gates horror anthologies and all profits are donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Her short stories, Nefarious, Patient 63, and Spencer Family Tradition can be found in the first three volumes of At Hell's Gates.
She currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and tries to spend as much time as she can soaking up the sun.
Stevie is also the Managing Editor of the website Horror Metal Sounds and a writer for the site. Offline, Stevie is a telecommunications professional.


The Skeleton Code Book Review

I am a fan of sarcasm and satire. I am also a fan of creative self-help methods and books. When I read the description of The Skeleton Code: A Satirical Guide to Secret Keeping--I had to smile a bit. Especially at the cover image of the skeleton peeking out of the closet door! What is my review of The Skeleton Code by Alla Campanella & Ken Massey? 

Quick Summary of The Skeleton Code: A Satirical Guide to Secret Keeping. Skeletons. We all have them hidden away, usually in an overcrowded and unsecured closet where they are likely to rattle loose. As prisoners, their prime directive is to break their shackles and haunt our happiness.

Alla Campanella and Ken Massey have discovered and interviewed many of these free and feral skeletons and the people who didn’t guard them well. Their true stories and raw realities are found in these pages. You will laugh at many, cringe at some, be in awe of others, disbelieve a few, and be challenged by all.

The Skeleton Code is a satirical and humorous look at the many ways we protect our public personas by closeting our personal secrets. The satire helps us wade into the dark and difficult waters of that famous river called Denial.

You can use the facetious strategies of The Code to maximize a self-deluding way of life, but Alla and Ken hope you will look into this mirror and discover The Skeleton Cure, which is a life of deeper self-honesty and transparency.

The Book isn't Really Lighthearted--When you Think About It. Some of the secrets shared throughout the book; while shared with a bit of sarcasm and "humor"--are really sad. Some of the weights carried by the people in the books' stories are really not very "funny" at all. Initially, as I read some of the stories, I found myself setting the book aside in disgust. Who could try to portray these situations with humor? Then, I think I began to read the book with an understanding of the sad realities that so many of us try to hide beneath jokes and laughter and smiling facades. That's when the book's message began to form.

The Skeleton Code is a Different Sort of Self Help Book. This book approaches skeletons in closets differently than most self help books. By showing the many ways in which people try to bury their secret skeletons--to approaching some of the reasons people seek to bury rather than rattle those skeletons--the book lets the harm of those secret-keeping cats out of the bag. As readers see the painfully, obvious errors in the ways of the people featured in the book; readers may begin to see that their own secrets could break down the closet doors at any moment. They may also begin to see that unlocking those skeletons may free more than the skeleton.

Would I recommend The Skeleton Code by Ken Massey and Alla Campanella? This book takes a serious look at the damage done by living with secrets--through a satirical, sarcastic approach. If you are expecting humor--you will find some--but, you will also find deeper, darker realities that may hit home for you or someone you know. The book spends a lot of time sharing stories as the book "guides" readers toward satirical, safe secret keeping--and--some of those stories are far from lighthearted. However; the authors do a great job illustrating the serious points of their book with those stories. I would recommend this book for anyone feeling weighed down or worried about some, deep, dark secret--even if it's rather trivial compared to some! This book doesn't preach or promise--it helps readers recognize a problem, understand a problem--and brainstorm some ways to work toward resolution.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Authors

Ken Massey

Ken is a public speaker, author, humorist and minister enjoying the second and truer half of life. He holds two graduate theological degrees and is trained as a life coach, conflict manager and transition specialist. He enjoys golf, and traveling, but finds his greatest fulfillment helping other people discover their true worth as human beings. Ken, a native Texan, loves the beauty and the people of North Carolina, where he and Alla reside.

Alla Campanella 

After traveling throughout the world, Alla has lived in the US since 1992. A longtime student of the arts and humanities, she enjoys her work as an artist and photographer. Alla was inspired to write this book because she heard so many personal and painful secrets from her clients about their failures and foibles and wanted them to face these realities rather than hide from them.

Connect with the Authors: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook