Category Archives: Children’s Books

Fantasy Book Spotlight: A Hero’s Curse by P.S. Broaddus @psbroaddus


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Middle-Grade Fantasy-Adventure


a heros curse

The Unseen Chronicles Book 1

Essie Brightsday has never heard a rock basilisk scream. She has never worn magical armor, stood up to a queen, or run from dragons. Instead, Essie, her sarcastic cat Tigrabum, (just call him “Tig”), and her secretive family struggle to survive on their small farm nestled against the forbidding cliffs of the Valley of Fire.

But all that is about to change when a rebellion against the cruel interim ruler is sparked. Forced to flee for their lives, Essie and Tig lose themselves in the twisting labyrinth of the ancient lava flow. When Essie finds proof that the missing King Mactogonii may be alive, she is given the opportunity to help restore stability to the kingdom. But the course of her journey will force her to face her deepest fears and unravel the mystery behind her own blindness…if Essie can survive the encounter.

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Excerpt:

Chapter 1

You have an important part to play in this world of color, Essie,” Mom whispers in my ear.

I try to hold her. To keep her here, but Uncle Cagney and Dad peel me away.

I try to think of something to say that will make them stay, but my parents’ footsteps die away as they hurry down the dry dirt lane. It is the pathway that spills into the valley road, the one that connects our farm with the rest of the Kingdom of Mar—and the labor camps.

Uncle Cagney gives my hand a squeeze. I have no tears. Just emptiness. I hold my breath as long as I can, to listen to the crunch of their feet on the road.

Then they are gone.

My lungs demand air, and I gasp. Uncle Cagney tugs on my hand, walking me back up to our empty home. Only the front door hasn’t been boarded up, and that’s to be secured when Uncle Cagney and I leave. Inside the small front room he sets me on the chest that holds our family’s treasures: Mom’s red dress, Dad’s insignia from his days as Kingdom Champion. I curl into a ball and try to understand what is happening. Tig hops up, tucks in next to my head, and starts to purr. Not because he is pleased, but because he knows it comforts me.

I can’t make sense of the chaos. Nothing fits. So I go back to before. Just a few hours ago. I walk through it again. Life was routine.

Tig and I were walking the rusty, suspended pipeline from the River Mar to our fields, checking for leaks by finding damp spots on the ground.

This part of the pipeline is one of the closest points to the Valley of Fire. Here the ancient lava flow pushed out farthest into the valley. Now all that’s left is a sharp tangle of deep red shards reaching hundreds of feet high. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by Tig and Mom and Dad. If you listen to the whispers in town, the lava cliffs do more than provide the rich dirt our realm flourishes on. It’s an impassible fortress that bottles up the top of our kingdom and harbors deadly creatures. That’s why no one else farms up here. Talk like this used to scare me a little, but I rarely think about it now.

Of course, we never get closer than a few hundred yards to the base of the jagged walls pushing their way out of the ground like the teeth of some enormous monster, intent on devouring our whole valley.

Tig and I complained about the drought, which is normal. Everyone has complained about the drought for as long as I can remember.

We argued about last night’s hunt. Which is also normal. At least, it’s as normal as it gets for a one-of-a-kind talking cat training a girl how to stalk prey in the dark.

Then we crested the low ridge between our house and the river.

That’s when I noticed something different. As we walked down the ridge toward the house I could taste the difference in the air. Hear it float on the breeze. Visitors are rare this far up the valley, this close to the lava flow.

It was Uncle Cagney, and for one more moment the world stayed unbroken. Uncle Cagney’s calloused warrior hands caught me and spun me through the air. He forgets that I’m twelve already. He called me by the pet name he has for me, “Lady Ess,” and told me to rub the top of his head, “the shiny,” for good luck.

Then a crack started. It was in Dad’s voice. “Cagney, we don’t have time.” It was strained and anxious—not completely unusual—but also a new kind of sharp and commanding.

In the whirlwind of activity that happened next I caught only snatches: Fabricated taxes. Brogan’s mercenaries forcing hundreds to the labor camps. Uncle Cagney just ahead of them.

I had no solid place to stand in the crumbling. Mom and Dad would turn themselves in. Mom explained that hopefully this would keep the hired thugs from burning our farm and from taking me, too. Not even criminals want to come this close to the Valley of Fire—not if they can help it. Uncle Cagney and I would get the animals to neighbors over the next week, and then I would leave with him.

“Later, we might have something left,” Mom said. It meant now we have nothing. Not even each other. Dad didn’t hug me. He put his hand on my arm, and I could feel the usual tension and awkwardness in his whole body.

Then he squeezed my shoulder. “Be brave, Brightstar.” That’s the most physical affection I’d received from Dad in a long time, and only he calls me “Brightstar.” But I pushed away from him. I wanted him to hold me, to never let me go, and all he could do was barely touch my arm. I turned toward Mom and found her wearing her roughest dress. I buried my face in the folds. I heard the low rumble of voices between Dad and Uncle Cagney, and felt Mom’s hands brushing my hair. Tig curled around my feet.

Then they were leaving, and the rest of the shattering under me gave way to nothingness.

Curled in a ball on top of the trunk I stop trying to understand what happened, but I can’t avoid the scenes running through my mind over and over. Tig continues his rumbling purr next to my head. I want to tell him thank you, but there is too much in the way to make the words move from my heart to my tongue.

Long before today, my world was one of darkness and isolation. Not because I have descended to the burning World Core where the great explorer Tangerine Menalo said the darkness is so complete it even makes the fire black.

I am blind.


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


About the Author:

ps broaddus

About the author, P.S. Broaddus, by the author P.S. Broaddus (Now you know it’s biased!)

I was born in 1986 but I don’t remember much about all that. Somewhere thereafter I decided stories were important in my life. I wanted to breathe adventure and live to write about it. Adventuring or writing. Not much has changed.

I grew up with my brother on a cattle ranch in Southwestern New Mexico and we built and defended several forts from monsters. We found and claimed a junkyard with a particularly rusted classic truck, which we spent long hours sitting in hoping it would move. Unfortunately, it didn’t run on hope.

Eventually the pack rats that lived in the truck kicked us out and we decided to drive a golf cart instead. I don’t know who left the keys in that golf cart but I want to thank them. It was an exciting few seconds for a six-year-old.

We were home schooled so everything was a field trip and milking the cows counted for PE. When it rained the dirt tank would fill with muddy water so we built a raft, floated to the middle and promptly sank.

I went to military boarding school for high school not because I was being kicked out of the house or refused to do my chores (like climbing hay stacks, riding bareback or teasing cats), but because I was mesmerized by the shiny buttons on the uniforms.

I heard a lot of rules. I wasn’t allowed to put my hands in my pockets or to stare at the sky and daydream—two of my favorite pastimes. Nevertheless, Tom Cruise looked cool in Top Gun so I decided I would be cool too. I decided to follow the rules all the way to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. But the application was longish. So I went to a small classical liberal arts college outside Washington D.C. instead. They encouraged my love for the classics and daydreaming.

I met a wood nymph from  the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and soon thereafter asked her to marry me. She slipped and said “yes” and we have been adventuring ever since. Now we have three happy and endlessly curious boys who make us laugh every day.

I have several C.S. Lewis books on my shelf and read J.R.R. Tolkien at every opportunity. I love whimsical Mole and Rat and wise Badger in Wind in the WillowsJohn R. Erickson, Brandon Mull, and Andrew Peterson are great writers with excellent books.

Now you know a little more about the author. Not everything. Because you don’t know about my first dog Toby, me having the top bunk or about the time I ran away from home with a red wagon (I got hungry and came back at suppertime). I didn’t even mention Indiana Jones or being adopted or that wonder and imagination can be fed by good stories. Maybe next time.

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Nonfiction Book Spotlight: A-C-T Like A Kid And T-H-I-N-K Like A Parent: What All Good Parents Need For Their Kids To Know, Learn And Understand by Katherine Shears and‎ C. S. Whitehurst


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Self-Help, Family


act like a kid think like a parent

Just for kicks, have you ever wondered what your parents really want from you in life? Is it you, or do your parents want you to have no real fun? On any given day, do you want to make your parents proud of you and still do what makes you feel really happy within yourself? Of course you do! But the real question has always been, and still is…how? How can we actually get this done?

Well, with A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, a.k.a “the child-part consoler”, you will get past common misunderstandings by learning how to truly talk, hear, and listen to your parents, guardians or caregivers instead of feeling like you have to run to friends to find some sense of acceptance, understanding, and real connection.

In this book, chock-full of questions and answers gotten directly from the source, you’ll learn what your parents, guardians or caregivers really expect of you—and maybe you’ll even find out how to explain to them what you really expect from them! Not that this book could ever replace a parent, because it can not. But when it comes to openly communicating certain key ideas, this book comes really close.

This tell-all guide contains lots of enlightening explanations and helpful answers to many common kid questions like:

What do my parents really want from me?
Why do my parents do what they do and say what they say?
What do I really need to know about my parents’ parenting skills?
How can I keep my parents happy with me?
How can I help my parents to help me?
How can I get what I want from my parents every time?

A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is an intro to the secret knowledge of adults which is a set of informations that is mainly covered in the book entitled Surrogate Re-Parenting: A.K.A. Get Your Mind Right, and even more thoroughly covered in the book The Secret Knowledge Of Adults. While this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is intended for kids 10 and up, the info in this book is beneficial and useful to the intelligent kid parts in all of us. Yes, this means you too.
The information in this book will help you and yours to start to see your parents, not as the enemy, but as the caring human beings they really are, and take the first step toward family unity, understanding, growth, success, and happiness! Both you and your parents really deserve this, and with this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, you and your parents can actually achieve this.

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Barnes and Noble


Excerpt:

9) Firstly, Can Your Parents Trust Their Own Kid?

When it comes to parenting a child, being able to trust you, as a kid, is a very important thing. This is an area where you as a kid can cause life for you, with regards to being parented, to be more successful and efficient. This is an area that definitely relates to your overall happiness, success, progress and growth.

By being honest and trustworthy, your parents can be more effective in what they give you, as parents, to assist you in life. A process that is almost impossible without you, as a kid, being honest and truthful. For example, parents are known for trying to supply their kids with something that they think will directly assist their kids or at least make them feel happy. This works only if the kid is honest and open about where they actually are mentally, emotionally and socially. What they are thinking, doing and also what they are generally up to is truly important at this point.

The parent with this info can find things to help and assist them as kids to be more successful and even be better able to excel in whatever area of interest that the kid is involved in. But when a kid is dishonest and lies about what level they are at mentally and socially, their parents get and gives them things to help them out and each time it just doesn’t work out right for them as a kid.

This is simply because you can’t effectively give a person something to help them with what they are doing unless you actually know what they are up to and doing. Which, unless your parents are mind-readers, is nearly impossible to figure out. This kind of gift-giving screw-up happens mostly because the kid has chosen to be dishonest, deceitful and basically untrustworthy by them lying to their parents. This makes the parents look stupid and unthoughtful for giving them something that they don’t actually need anymore, that they have actually already outgrown. Some kids put on an act and actually walk around acting like silly, happy lighthearted kids with a big smile on their faces. They do this when they have already secretly moved on to more mature social behavior and are privately already dealing with deeper, more mature issues. But of course, while being fooled, the parent goes out and buys a big stuffed animal for them and the kid screams “Why are you treating me like I am a little kid?”. Of course then, the parents are thoroughly confused and wonders what they have done wrong and the answer is nothing. At this point it is the kids’ dishonesty that is to blame.


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


About the Authors:

Katherine Shears is a mom, graduate of Strayer University, and an executive consultant, who is dedicated to bettering the social function and overall visibility of all she encounters. She is a deep thinker with an open mind who stays on the cutting edge of learning, having read over one hundred self-help titles and counting.

C. S. Whitehurst is a psychology-based UX/UI designer/tester, computer programmer, IT Project Manager, and self-help enthusiast, who is a student of science, philosophy, life, and NYU. As a native of New York, having been exposed to social diversity, he has been coached by life to respond to the issues plaguing inner-city youth.


Interview with the Authors:

How many books do you currently have published?

Katherine Shears and C.S. Whitehurst: Two. Surrogate Re-Parenting Aka Get Your Mind Right, and Act-Like-A-Kid and Think-Like-A-Parent.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

Katherine Shears: I would recommend “Surrogate Re-parenting Aka Get Your Mind Right”. That book in particular uses knowledge and logic to help address a bunch of issues while fortifying your intellectual foundation, which helps to bring many things from the back of a person’s mind, to the front of their mind, which then allows the nurturing consoling effect of A-C-T Like A Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like A Parent to become really useful.

C.S. Whitehurst: Both books were fun to write, but A-C-T Like A Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like A Parent was definitely my favorite. The research really forced me to deal with some of the issues I didn’t realize that I had, that I had pushed aside since my own childhood, but were still affecting me even though I am now a grown-up. I hope this book helps others to work through their own childhood issues, the way doing the research for the book helped me work through my own issues.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

Katherine Shears: I do, I invite everyone to continue on the empowering quest to elevate their logic with Surrogate Re-parenting 2 Aka Get Your Mind Right 2. The information is designed to take you a bit higher and deeper in your logical development. You can even benefit from it even if you haven’t already.

C.S. Whitehurst: Yes, I am doing another collaboration with Katherine Shears on Surrogate Re-parenting 2 : AKA Get Your Mind Right 2, which will be coming soon, and goes much higher and deeper than Part 1 did.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Katherine Shears: I most enjoy the freedom of expression without an immediate response that comes with writing. This places the thought outside of your mind where you can correct and/or build on to it without any input. You can also collaborate and expand. I love expressing myself in writing.

C.S. Whitehurst: I enjoy what I learn from the research, surveys, interviews, and reading that is necessary to bring the many ideas and concepts that it takes to bring a book together.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Katherine Shears: Yes, anyone can get writer’s bock depending on their knowledge and comprehension of the topic. I first try to familiarize myself with the topic. Once I am comfortable with the information I can follow any outline I’ve prepared. If I get stuck my outline, helps bring back the information and points intended to be expressed.

C.S. Whitehurst: Yes, I have at times. And the way I deal with it is by creating an outline to whatever I’m writing. And then I switch off for a little while, and play video games, to clear the mental air for a little while, and then I come back refreshed.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

Katherine Shears: When you have an idea, question, or thought, write it down! Get it out of your head onto something that will allow you to go back and work on it at will. The brain deals with a multitude of information, and when busy it will keep you from remembering important things when you need to the most.

C.S. Whitehurst: I learned that although I may have written a book for one person or one group of people, the information in the book has a way of impacting and helping many more people than I might have first expected. As a tip to new writers, I would say for them to try to visualize who they are trying to reach, and imagine having a conversation with them where you share what you know, and have a voice recorder, to record what you want to say, and then type it up later.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

Katherine Shears: I would recommend A-C-T Like A Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like A Parent. I would recommend this one first because we all have been children who were confused by things our parents said or did. The information in this book corrects any lingering issues from childhood. For the younger person still being groomed by their parents, the information serves as a translator so to speak. Helping children better understand their parent’s nurturing love and rules.

C.S. Whitehurst: I would recommend “Surrogate Re-parenting Aka Get Your Mind Right”. That book in particular uses knowledge and logic to help address a bunch of issues while fortifying your intellectual foundation, which helps to bring many things from the back of a person’s mind, to the front of their mind, which then allows the nurturing consoling effect of A-C-T Like A Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like A Parent to become really useful.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release?

C.S. Whitehurst: Yes! Here’s the synopsis to an upcoming book:

As food for thought and entertainment, how would your life had been different if you had grown up, learned and gained the knowledge, logic and intellect of Doctors, Lawyers and Ph. D’s. while you were growing up? What different life choices and decisions would you have pursued and made that would have delivered you from a life of average poverty, unfulfillment, and social rejection to greater prosperity, success and social acceptance?

I ask this because essentially, our society functions at a certain high-leveled knowledge and logic, and when someone hasn’t fortified or developed that intellectual foundation at that level of function and ability, what’s missing causes a measurable gap of ignorance, dysfunction and disposition between them and those that have been developed to that level of function and ability. If you aren’t fortified at that level, those who are well-developed at that high level of function in society are basically able to hear the ignorance in your speech when you talk, write, or outwardly use your reasoning skills to make choices from moment-to-moment daily.

So stop standing by and watching those who know that knowledge and logic better than you do outdo you on life’s stage.Know that you can do better. Realistically, it’s never too late to take the necessary steps to give yourself a leg up, a boost and a brand new start in life. We all experience countless waves of new opportunities, and with those  new opportunities come waves of new choices, chances, and options.

Surrogate Re-Parenting I, helped to fortify your basic foundation on a fundamental level and now Surrogate Re-Parenting II A.K.A. Get Your Mind Right II will take you much higher and much deeper on your empowering journey toward greater intellectual growth, development and success.

Katherine Shears: I do. I invite everyone to continue on the empowering quest to elevate their logic with Surrogate Re-parenting 2 Aka Get Your Mind Right 2. The information is designed to take you a bit higher and deeper in your logical development than Surrogate Re-parenting 1 did.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

Katherine Shears: I honestly have too many favorites. The most favorite would have to be A Course in Miracles. This is the most enlightening and conscious awakening work I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

C.S. Whitehurst: Some of my favorite books are the books of the Harry Potter series, So You Want To Be A Wizard, Animorphs books, etc. I definitely science fiction stories.

What about television shows? Movies?

Katherine Shears: I don’t watch much television besides current events. I love funny movies, bio-pic films, and good action movies.

C.S. Whitehurst: Doctor Who, Doctor Who, Doctor Who. I really enjoy that TV show.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Katherine Shears: Yes, a series by John Bradshaw on concepts like healing the shame that binds you, reclaiming your inner child, and other great topics. These books gently show you a mirror of yourself, and hug you, while passing you the Windex and newspaper, then support you as you clean the windshield of your life, so that you can responsibly move forward from then on. Great set of books!

C.S. Whitehurst: I really liked Doctor Paul Hauk’s books, because as part of my research, they indirectly taught me a lot about the way I thought about things.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?

Katherine Shears: Whenever I am scheduled for any upcoming events, they will be posted on my author site www.katherineshears.com .

C.S. Whitehurst: Whenever I’m scheduled for any upcoming events, they will be posted on my author site, www.cswhitehurst.com .

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

Katherine Shears: Get ready to get past yourself and fulfill your destiny!

C.S. Whitehurst: Open yourself to the new, the next, and the other.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Katherine Shears: I welcome you to empower yourself with the enlightening information shared in my work. You are your most prized possession! You are worth the work! Thank you for your support.

C.S. Whitehurst: We are all connected, and each of us is part of the others’ true value. We may be able to do better, or do worse than one another, but we are unable to be better or be worse than one another. We are all, through each and of ourselves, beautiful. Please remember that.


For Young Halloween Readers: I’m Glad I’m Not a Zombie by d. washington-jones @dwashingtonjone


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Children’s Book (Age Level 4 – 12)


im-glad-im-not-a-zombie

The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! Never before has this catastrophic event been approached from the delicate and imaginative mind of a child. d. washington-jones cleverly uses rhyme, prose and her gentle sense of humor to take us through a day in the life of a young “walker”. Give this enticing book a read and your little Zombie just might ask you to read it again and again and again…

Buy this book at Amazon Kindle:

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Excerpt:

Everybody seems to like Zombies
And if the truth be said,
They’re really quite afraid
Of the moaning, walking, dead.


About the Author:

d. washington-jones is an author/educator who lives in North Louisiana. She has four children and teaches “Economics” at Northwestern State University in the Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences Department. “I’m a story-teller,” she says candidly, “as was my mother before me.” She writes children’s fantasy and fiction and non-fiction in her area of expertise as well as inspirational works. Contact info: dwashingtonjones@gmail.com or join our newsletter at www.therunawaychristmastree.com or www.imgladimnotazombie.com to be included in upcoming events/sales or free giveaways. Like our page on face book! Tweet @dwashingtonjone.


Children’s Picture and Coloring Book Feature: Mister Spunky And His Friends by Kelly Preston @KellynMrMaGoo


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Children’s Picture and Coloring Book


mister-spunky-and-his-friends

Named 2016 winner in Children’s Picture Book: Softcover Fiction by Bookvana; Bookvana honors books that elevate society, celebrate the human spirit, and cultivate our inner lives. Mister Spunky and His Friends is about the importance of love, anti-bullying, friendship; and, helping those with special needs. Follow Mister Spunky along his journey to the beach, where he meets three new friends; teaching him important life lessons along the way.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“Then the four dogs all drove off for the beach together where they played in the waves and had frozen dog treats. Now they are all friends and they are all happy. And they have fun and exciting adventures wherever they go!”

Kids’ Dog Book Review By Michael, 5, and Mia, 13: & Mr Spunky and His Friends



About the Author:

Award winning Kelly Preston is, first and foremost, an animal lover. Raised on a ten-acre property in a small town in Pennsylvania, she grew up with horses, rabbits, and – of course – dogs. When she left home after college, she acquired Gizmo, an irresistible Lhasa Apso that started her on a journey full of joys and sorrows, hopes and tribulations, frustrations, endless lessons in patience, and above all else, love. All of this has come at the hands (more precisely the paws) of Gizmo, Betty Boop, Buffy, Carla Mae, and the inimitable Mr. MaGoo.

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Children’s Book Spotlight and Author Interview: Clarence by Stephanie Baruffi @slbaruffi


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Children’s Book


clarence

Kids everywhere will be able to relate to this story of a boy who struggles with feeling different and deals with trying to fit in at school. Journey with Clarence: a story about how knowing where you can from helps you to appreciate who you really are, no matter what anyone may think.

Clarence is the story of an Italian boy who doesn’t look like the rest of his dark-haired, dark-skinned family. He is quiet and shy and cannot understand why his family is so loud! Most of all, Clarence feels left out at school because the kids tease him about his big ears. They bully him and taunt him because he doesn’t look like the rest of them, or so they think!

This story reflects the feelings we all can have when we don’t think we fit in. It demonstrates that with a little “reflection” we can all discover that we are beautifully and wonderfully made!

Buy this book now at:

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Excerpt:

Clarence’s family gathered around the dinner table. At the head of the table sat Clarence’s father, who had just finished a long day’s work at the family business. After he prayed with the family, they dug in to a delicious Italian meal that included chicken cutlets, homemade meatballs, and pasta fagioli. Each night during dinner, the family hollered back and forth across the table. Everyone talked in multiple conversations as Clarence watched and wondered why. Clarence was a shy boy and didn’t seem to understand why everyone shouted, especially all at once! As Clarence looked around the table, he noticed that each member of his family had black hair, brown eyes and dark skin. He also realized that all of their ears were of normal size and each of them seemed to look much like the other. But Clarence was the exception. He thought that maybe the kids at school were right about him. This made Clarence lose his appetite, so he asked to be excused. Nonna the Great followed Clarence into his bedroom


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


About the Author:

dawn pic 3

Stephanie Baruffi is an Early Literacy Specialist who lives in New Jersey with her husband Art and their three sons. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rowan University with a Masters in Reading Education in 2014. Her grandfather Clarence, who passed away in 2012, inspired this book. He loved his big family too and truly did have a big, beautiful set of ears!

Facebook l Twitter l Foundations Books l Author Website


Interview:

How many books do you currently have published? Only 1, so far. Number 2 is on it’s way!

What do you enjoy most about writing? Holding my book and looking at the illustrations. It was such a labor of love to carefully craft and revise the illustrations so to hold them in my hands was so rewarding. My young readers respond immediately to the character’s faces and actions so watching their faces light up with excitement as the story unfolds is priceless!

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? I have to say my main character Clarence is my favorite. He is named after my grandfather who passed away in 2012. I was very close to him and knowing that my character shares so many physcial and emotional characteristics is very meaningful to me.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release,  a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? My upcoming book will also focus on the Italian culture and bullying. Both subjects are meaningful to me and my favorite part about the new story is the title…Can’t wait to share it!

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite television shows? Movies? When I am not on a sports field watching my sons play sports, I enjoy binge watching Netflix shows including House of Cards and Nurse Jackie. I also love Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. When my son’s let me, I also LOVE Say Yes to the Dress!

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? I love Twitter, so most of my giveaways are through social media. Please find me and interact with me as much as possible. Also, if you purchase Clarence please send a photo of your loved one reading it and I will post it on my website! Send it to baruffifans@gmail.com


Children’s Book Spotlight: My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent: How Chip Became C.H.I.P. and Foiled the Freaky Fuzzy Invasion by Richard Clark @rclarkbtd


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Children/Middle Grade


my best friend is a secret agent

10-year-old Nort McKrakken is a pint-sized computer genius. 14-year-old Chip Munson is his best friend – and loyal guinea pig. When their beloved town of Vortville is attacked by an army of brain-warping Freaky Fuzzy toys, Nort implants Chip with a microchip that instantly turns him into a real live secret agent! The town is saved!… as long as the microchip doesn’t fritz out!

If you like the Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants or Zac Power books, you’ll love My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent! Hilariously illustrated, this middle grade chapter book is a comic romp full of action and adventure for any reader – children, tweens, teens… and beyond! This funny spy story is the first in a series so if you like it, there’s more to come!

Read the reviews from real readers!
“I love this book. I was so involved in reading it. Very action packed and involved technology, right up my alley. I highly recommend this book. Thank you to the author, illustrator and editor. 2 thumbs up!”
“This was an amazing book I love the way you made the story look so movieish anyways I loved it so much I told everyone about it and now there reading it ”
“I think that this is the best book i have ever read in my life and i think this is a great book for kids”
“Compared to other free books I have read, this book is great. This is a book worth at least 10 bucks. This is one of the funniest books I have read. It is right up there with Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The treehouse series.”

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Excerpt:

Super Secret Blog #2487: My best friend Chip is a secret agent.

There, I’ve said it.

Chip wasn’t always a secret agent. I MADE him one. That’s right, me, Nort McKrakken.

I did it using my super secret, super complicated micro-thingy that is so super secret that I can’t even tell you what it’s called. Okay, maybe I’ll tell you later. But I’m NEVER going to tell Gert von Brugen in science class. (I’ll tell you about her later too.)

First, a little background: My dad’s kind of famous. You might already know that ’cause you probably recognized my last name. He’s Colonel Brock McKrakken, head of McKrakken Security Systems.

Dad protects us from everything. That crazy oceanographer who wanted to put the whole city of Vortville underwater? Yep, dad stopped him. That power-mad architect who wanted to turn Vortville upside down? Dad’s elite team of commandos stopped him too.

Dad used to be a real Colonel in the military, so he’s real gung-ho about pushups and crew cuts and getting up at 4AM. He’s always wanted me to be just like him when I got older, going to boot camp and running 20 miles with a 200-pound backpack on and stuff. But I can barely carry my five-pound backpack without breaking out in a sweat on the way to school.

I’m actually the smallest kid in my class. That’s partly because I skipped two grades since I’m super smart. (I’m 10 years old and already in Grade 6.) But I’m just small, let’s face it.

But I’ve always wanted to make my dad proud of me, even though I knew I’d never be a soldier like him. So I figured, maybe I could use my super-smartness to help him with his security business! Maybe I could show him how to fight crazy bad guys in a super-cool sciency sort of way!

That’s why I invented the C.H.I.P. (That’s the name of the super secret, super complicated micro-thingy I mentioned earlier. Told you I’d tell you later.) It stands for Computerized Heroic Incredible Person. I know, that sounds stupid – that’s why I shortened it to C.H.I.P.  Anyway, it’s a tiny little microchip that attaches to one of your teeth, and it sends signals up to your brain to program you to be able to do anything!

The thing is, there was no way I was going to try this on myself. Do you think I’m crazy?! A chip sending signals to my brain?! What if it made me freak out or something?! No, I needed someone else to try it on.

Someone like my best friend Chip.


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About the Author:

richard clark

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