Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22nd 2016 - Meet the Authors

Hi, it’s Christina!

You would think, since it’s been happening my entire life – nearly 50 years now – Mondays would no longer be able to sneak up on me, but yet somehow, they manage…

I know I usually get the Monday Meet the Authors blog post up first thing Monday morning, but this morning I thought it would be best to let the fog clear a bit before I committed anything to writing.

So, here was my thought for today’s blog post. Easter is early this year – March 27th to be exact – and I wanted to give you plenty of time if you chose to go the same route I used to. A staple in my kids’ Easter baskets every year were books, so just in case you find something here you would like to include in your child(ren)’s basket, there is time to have it delivered in time for the holiday.


Well, you guessed it, today’s blog will be featuring children’s authors. (I will put the age range for the book.) So let’s get started.

Olga D'Agnostino
First up is “Mrs. D”, also known as Olga D’Agnostino, an award-winning author, who grew up on a farm in a village nestled in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Surrounded by nature and the real world, without TV and toys, she learned to read at a very early age, and books then became a huge part of her life. As a child, she used to create her own imaginary world populated with characters from books she read. She finished business college in Lviv, Ukraine. To escape the harsh reality of life in the Soviet Union, she immigrated to the United States in 1992 with her two small daughters. For many years she worked in her own business. She is a member of SCBWI, speaks several languages fluently, and loves reading, writing, gardening, and traveling.

Olga made it easy for me, all of these books are geared for ages 6-8.

The City Kittens and
 the Old House Cat

This story revolves around Christmastime and a family who once adopted a lost kitten, naming it Nyda. Nyda has now grown old and has settled into a calm, uneventful life with her new family-until the day before Christmas, when the family's older daughter brings two playful kittens, Mickey and Jack, home for the holidays. The two kittens from the big city are a change for the family, and for Nyda. The old cat likes her settled life and is not happy about the new arrivals. She's also very protective of her belongings. The city kittens annoy her, and the old cat grumbles about the new additions to the family- until she hears a story one night that makes her feel bad. The kittens aren't the soft or spoiled brats she had thought they were…

Carlos the Mouse
Too Many Rules for
One Little Mouse

Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the Mouse has been born. Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo's adventures. Each book will give readers an entertaining look into the life of a little mouse born inside a hospital's walls. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo's insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You'll find out in Mrs.D.'s next books on Carlo the mouse. Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo's adventures!

The Trees Have Hearts
The story of a young girl, left friendless because she could not speak a new language, will touch your heart. It will take your child into the imaginary world of a little girl who moved to America from a different country. Unable to speak English, the lonely girl could not find friends. She lived in an old house with a small garden, where three blooming trees and the mysterious wind became her first imaginary friends. The garden friends developed a wonderful friendship with the lonely girl, and helped her overcome her fears and worries. Through the story, they taught her how to make real friends and helped her cope with difficult moments while adapting to new surroundings. Unforgettable characters will open a beautiful imaginary world to young readers, inviting them to share the fears, tears and joys of a little girl. The story will teach the true meaning of friendship while showing readers the beauty of nature. This book will open an unknown imaginary world through the eyes of a child...

Elizabeth Dimmette Coyne
The next author I chose was Elizabeth Dimmette Coyne. I met Elizabeth at last year’s Next Generation Indie Book Awards award ceremony in NYC, and hit it off instantly. Like practically every other author in the place, Elizabeth had her award winning book – The Ella Zoo – with her, and like virtually every other author you interact with at the event, she handed me a copy of her book. Now, good manners dictate you look at the cover, read the little blurb on the back, quickly fan through, find something you can make a positive comment on, and move on.

Come on, let’s be honest here, not everyone in the room is going to be able to converse with you on your book about How the Ancient Egyptian’s Influenced Modern Aerospace Engineering or Using Beaver Dung to Fertilize Your Orchids; so you smile pleasantly, return the book, and move on to the next group.

Yeah well, that didn’t happen with Elizabeth’s book. I actually pulled up a chair and read the WHOLE thing cover to cover. It was a wonderfully imaginative children’s book whose drawings and words pull you in and don’t let go. I simply adored it, and am looking forward to when I have grandbabies to read it to. Age for this one is a little more difficult to pin down – if you’re reading to them, I’d say 4 years old, if they are reading on their own, I’d say 8; but obviously from my rave review, this will be just as enjoyable for you the adult.

The Ella Zoo
With a clever name game and adorable illustrations, The Ella Zoo gives every impression it is a children's book -- and it is, but so much more!

Track a whole zoo of endearing animals such as Koella Bear, Ellagator, Nightingella, Ellaphant and more as Ella grows from infant into young woman to arrive at the central theme of this touching collection of poetry -- a parent's love for their child. Suitable for readers of any age, whether 5 or 75, The Ella Zoo presents poetry to be savored and shared with those you love.

As a book designed to appeal to all ages with a timeless message of love, it makes an ideal gift book for baby showers, birthdays, graduations, mother's and/or father's day and more.

Chris Grabenstein
Your kids are a little older? Say the 9 – 11 age group? You may want to check out some of Chris Grabenstein’s books. Name ringing a bell, but can’t quite place where you’ve seen it? Well, other than Chris’ Mr. Lemoncello’s & John Ceepak series, which if they already aren't on your 5th grader's books shelf they should be, he also lent a creative hand to another famous author you may have heard of – James Patterson (my bookshelf neighbor) – with his House of Robots & I Funny series to name a few. Excellent books, and no slight to Mr. Patterson, but today the spotlight shall shine on Chris’ solo works.

Now the hard part... I need to choose…

Escape from
Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

The Island of Dr. Libris
What if your favorite characters came to life? Billy’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of swords. The twang of arrows. Sometimes he can even feel the ground shaking. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life! But that’s impossible . . . isn’t it?

I’m sorry, I know I usually feature the first book in a series when I’m presenting these to you, but the kid in me couldn’t resist this time – I don’t know how many time I’ve ridden Rolling Thunder, far too many to count for sure; so y’all will be getting book 6 in the John Ceepak Mystery Series instead of book 1.

Rolling Thunder
A prominent citizen suffers a heart attack on the opening day of a brand-new boardwalk roller coaster in the seedy seaside resort town Sea Haven, New Jersey. Initially ruled a tragic accident, it isn’t long before there are suspicious hints of foul play—especially after the corpse of a stunning young beach beauty is discovered.

Fortunately for mystery lovers, the straight-arrow cop John Ceepak and his wisecracking young partner Danny Boyle are on the case, a detective/sidekick duo critics have compared to Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

Well there you have it – better late than never, right?

Until next time… wishing you a Wonderful Day and Happy Writing!