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You hear the news… Nothing special, just the everyday horrors of the world on TV… and you just count your blessings.

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Play Winky?

Seems someone told all these penguins there’s an audition to play Winky;)
http://tinyurl.com/nzv2483

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Seriously, you might just like reading this with your kid!

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Crossing The Threshold?

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What would you sacrifice for your dream? Or who? Would you face fear to gain treasure, even if you had no idea what the treasure was? Are you ready to receive whatever it was?

You are just a short read away from finding out!

Watch video here
Get the ebook here

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Funny how things go…

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The first folder where I started stacking and organizing my writing 2 years ago and realized there is plenty to work on. Proud to say 4 books from this folder have been published, and then some:)

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CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR INTERVIEW no.7 – Amanda DeJong

How many of you had a secret wish as a child to become a detective? Come on, don’t be shy!

Well, here is the perfect children’s book author to talk about then – Amanda DeJong!

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INTERVIEW TIME

1. Pretend we are all children and tell us 5 things about yourself which you consider the most important!

«Hello kids!
1) My name is Amanda DeJong
(…Because it is important when you address peple, that they know WHO you are…
–Just a tip  )

2) I am a kind & understanding person
(I would say this so that you know you kids are safe with me.
–NO stranger danger…
I am a good guy… only I am a girl…
Hmmm –that’s probably an important piece of information IF I am not addressing you in person…
Because if it was in person, I would’nt have to SAY that outloud…
…You would be able to See that, with your eyes… Uless you were blind…Oh I digress…)

3) I am a girl…
-Woman
-Female…
I would tell you that I am female because with the initials A.J., how would you really know unless you were looking at me. –Which I assume you are NOT right now… Right!!!??

4) I have two children, 1 dog and I am married to my high school sweet heart
(….That is probably considered five or even six things… But I will only count them as one… Because I think I can.)

5) I wish for hunger to be erradicated and peace on earth
-For real… I do

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2. Why do your write books for children? What motivates and inspires you? How do your books come to life?

I write books for children because I feel like my attention span has not gotten any better with age and therefore I can relate to younger people on so many accounts.
…I believe that children are our future… (-Wait, I think someone has already said that a time or two)
I am inspired by SO MANY THINGS!! I love children’s imaginations because they are limitless. The way they think, play and act are so beautiful and innocent.
My books come to life because they are inspired by either actual events, people, places and things OR the imagination of actual people, places and things.

3.  What were your favourite children’s books and characters when you were a child (and still)? Was there a character you wanted to be, or a book you wanted to step into? Why?

I loved some of the classics like:
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff 
And a little later I liked the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner & thought that I would fit in nicely with their family dynamic!

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4. What is your main goal when you write a children’s book? What do you want your readers to think or feel?

I want it to be relatable.
I want them to read along with Jane and be excited when she is, and feel her frustration, then eventually sit back and say; «Hey, I do that too!!!»

5. How do comments and reviews affect you? What do your friends, family and colleagues think about you as a writer?

I am blessed that those that are around me are supportive of what I do and highly encouraging!
Therefore, I THRIVE on the positive reviews!
Unfortunatly, not everyone out there is going to feel the same.
There will always be someone who thinks that what you do is not good enough, and perhaps even they can do it better.
To that I have to say: There is ALWAYS someone who will be better than you at something, and there will always be someone who is not as good as you are at something.
To the individual who is better, I offer encouragement and praise because there is beauty in a job well done.
To the individual who does not do as good as you, I offer gratitude.
Thank you for being who you are and never stop trying.
Because EVERYONE deserves praise & admiration, there is certainly enough to go around.
(…And to the NA-Sayers… I simply cannot please everyone, and no one should have that kind of weight on their shoulders! There are plenty of other good books in the sea! )

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6. What is the most difficult thing about writing a children’s book? What is the most fun aspect of that process?

Difficult: At first I was worried that my vocabulary was too adult for children and then I thought: That’s not a fair assumption and perhaps I am selling my audience too short.
(Even though in all actuality they probably ARE short –in the literal sense… Because they are kids… –BUT I am not here to judge since I am 30 years old and stand at 5 ft 1 inch…)

Fun: Getting what is going on inside of my head on paper!
My father used to preach to me: «Never forget what it’s like to be a kid» and I took this to heart. I think about what it’s like to be a certin age and the task at hand, then analyze how I would have handled it.
–To get that translated into words is SO MUCH FUN!

7. Do you like reading your book in public? Who is the tougher audience – the adults or the children? Share an anecdote if you wish.

I DO because then I can really emphasize how I had originally intended for it to be read!!
Adults tend to block you out because they are busy doing «important» things…
Like FACEBOOKING (To which I shake my head in disaproval)
Children will sit there and listen, as long as you are entertaining!

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8. What is the one genre or topic you think you would never write and why?

Crime… There is enough violence in the world and I honestly don’t enjoy reading about it anymore because I feel bombarded by it constantly.

9. If you could interview any famous children’s author, who would it be and what would you ask?

OH WOW… J.K. Rowling because her PERSONAL story is so inspiring, and just look at the empire that was built on her characters!

10. Why is reading important for children? Is it more important for them to read by themselves or with an adult?

Because using one’s imagination (in my humble opinion) is one of the most important skill to build upon.
–Artists, engineers, archetects, Mathemeticians, Scientists, Dr’s –the greatest philosopers of our time use(ed) their imagination in order to solve and analyze problems!
Never stop dreaming and using your imagination!
I dont believe one is MORE important than the other.
Reading with an adult serves multiple purposes: -It enhances a child’s ability to comprehend & learn about language/verbal skills, and of course the quality time & bonding is highly important.
But I also see the advantages to reading on your own, as you have no one to «impress», there is little to no stress and you can simply immerse yourself into what you are doing unabashedly!

11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

One’s imagination can be a powerful tool.
Never stop using it. –Ever.
No matter what you are going through, your thoughts have the ability to save you.

AUTHOR’S BIO & LINKS

Author Page
Jane Brown Facebook Page
Twitter

ABOUT THE BOOK – Jane Brown and the Case of Mistaken Identity

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“Allow me to introduce myself, the name is Brown, Jane Brown, and I am the greatest detective the world has ever seen. I’m known to solve multiple cases, on any given day, without even breaking a sweat. In fact, I am working on one now.”

Meet Jane Brown, a tenacious young girl with a wild imagination. Follow her and her partner, Ares the Rottweiler, as they attempt to solve various mysteries using her trusty detective kit.

On this day, Jane’s father has recruited her to find the television’s missing remote control. But when the evidence begins to point toward her colleague and best friend, Jane must figure out how to close the case and prove his innocence before it’s too late.

At seven years old, Jane may not be investigating much more than larceny of the most mundane kind, but that is certainly not going to slow her down. Yeah, times are hard for a budding gumshoe trying to catch a break. Yet, Jane makes the best of every situation, and digs deep to reveal a compelling conclusion to each assignment. Her charming personality and witty sense of humor will have readers cheering for her from start to finish. Jane shows us all that with a little determination and the right support, anything is possible, as well as fun!

This book on Amazon

Feeling curious already? I know I am:) Thank you, Amanda! Happy writing and may you have many readers,

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CHILDRENS’ BOOK AUTHOR INTERVIEW no.6 – Nisha Ramroop

Holidays are coming and of all the gifts you can give your children, books are among the best. Children’s authors have a difficult task of writing what they like in such a way as to inspire and educate our children, and still provide the fun and goofiness children enjoy so much. Perhaps it is high time you met some new children’s authors.

It is my pleasure to welcome another BGS fellow children’s author. Here is Nisha Ramroop!

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INTERVIEW TIME

1. Pretend we are all children and tell us 5 things about yourself which you consider the most important!

– I’ve learned that being kind is the better way to go in most every situation, eventually it works out
– I never stop having fun or playing, your imagination is a gift that gets better the more you use it
– Though mom and dad can sometimes seem annoying, they actually do know what’s best most days, so ask questions and try to understand why
– Questions, questions, questions – it will help you learn about any and everything
– Recycle your toys, if you don’t use them give them away – there is some other little boy or girl out there who will cherish it

2. Why do you write books for children? What motivates and inspires you? How do your books come to life?

– I write for children because I am a child at heart and there are many days when I don’t feel like ‘adulting’, writing is my therapy, my escape and my joy
– Everything around me is inspirational, sometimes you just have to apply imagination, shake and see what you come up with
– My books come to life because of the characters and the amazing illustrations which help tell the story.  I have been the luckiest writer in the world to have found the most amazing illustrator who shares my imagination though he’s thousands of miles away

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3.  What were your favourite children’s books and characters when you were a child (and still)? Was there a character you wanted to be, or a book you wanted to step into? Why?

– My favourite children’s books were those of mystery like Famous Five and Secret Seven
– If there was ever a character I wanted to be, it would be Alice from Alice in Wonderland. That book was so full of the impossible that I felt it would be simply amazing to talk to a disappearing cat or a rabbit that was always late and who wouldn’t want to meet the Mad Hatter??

3. What is your main goal when you write a children’s book? What do you want your readers to think or feel?

– I want them feel a sense of adventure and possibilities, to laugh, have fun and journey with the characters. And I want them to think about the animals and learn something about them so they can have a greater appreciation for them in real life

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4. How do comments and reviews affect you? What do your friends, family and colleagues think about you as a writer?

– I appreciate feedback, comments and reviews. I know I am not perfect and that there is always something to learn and I also know that my style is not everyone else’s and like most art forms – it is subjective.  My friends and family have always been supportive in any venture I undertake as an artist. I am also an avid photographer in addition to my full time job as a computer technician – which makes my colleagues call me superwoman for being able to find the time to do all this lol

5. What is the most difficult thing about writing a children’s book? What is the most fun aspect of that process?

– The most difficult thing thus far for me has been to gauge the reading levels of children.  It is a challenge for me to figure out what age my style suits best, especially when it spans multiple countries, school systems and cultures, but I am slowly learning.
– The most fun has definitely been the illustrative process – working with an amazing illustrator, lending my ideas, seeing how it was interpreted, tweaking and then seeing the characters come to life – to this day I am still in awe when a illustrative piece is finished – most rewarding and definitely most fun!!

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6. Do you like reading your book in public? Who is the tougher audience – the adults or the children? Share an anecdote if you wish.

– I honestly have never read my book in public, but if I did I would imagine the kids to be the tougher audience because theirs would be the opinion I am most nervous about – it is written for them thus very important that it reaches them in the way I envisioned

7. What is the one genre or topic you think you would never write and why?

– I doubt there is a topic that I wouldn’t like to try even if just to expand my brain a little.  The only thing that would really be off limits to me would be anything that spurs on hate or segregation – many times there are topics that are taboo and need to be written about, but I believe writers truly can use their pens as weapons and do a lot of good with it as opposed to adding more negativity to the world

8. If you could interview any famous children’s author, who would it be and what would you ask?

– This one is easy. Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland). I would ask respectfully ‘what the heck were you on when you came up with that Cheshire Cat?’ lol

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9. Why is reading important for children? Is it more important for them to read by themselves or with an adult?

– My humble opinion is that reading is important for children to grow and expand their minds, to enhance their creative side which translates to life skills later on.  Being creative to solve problems is used throughout one’s entire lifetime, even in cases of difficulty where you need to get out of a situation.  For me reading by themselves and reading with an adult are two different scenarios and there is benefit in each as well as a time and place. Example: Reading with an adult can be bond forming, as well as it can help them along with their language skills, or even just be a comfort to them, while reading by themselves is their opportunity to shine and get lost in their own imagination/world.  As a child I preferred reading by myself unless I was sick 

10. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

– My current book is a labour of love born out of the imagination of myself and my illustrator Keith.  It is intended to bring laughter to the kids who read it and encourage their wonder and curiousity about animals (especially the ones mentioned in the book)

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS

Author’s Bio
Author’s Website
Illustrator’s Website

ABOUT THE BOOK – The Adventures of Candice: Candice and the Mystery Blues

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“Candice and the Mystery Blues” is the first book in a new series that follows the Adventures of Candice the giraffe. Candice is a stylish secret agent giraffe who loves to travel. She has many adventures with her animal friends, but most days she calls the Blueberry Zoo home. In this book, join Candice at the zoo as she solves an unexpected mystery. Meet some of her friends, including Kevin the Tortoise, Doodles the Monkey, Bryce the Rhinoceros, Nancy the Secretary Bird, and Keeta the Cheetah. Follow them on this adventure and learn a thing or two about the animals.

Book Link on Amazon

Dear Nisha, thank you for your time, and all the best to you, Keith and Candice’s gang;)!

Dear readers, don’t forget to leave brief reviews for the books you read (on purchase sites and book clubs) to help your favourite authors keep writing. Your opinions matter. Thank you!

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30 DAYS by Marc Reklau – my review no.41

This book was recommended to me by a friend, which made it important enough to check out regardless of my reservations towards self-help books. Whether it was because the world is so filled with negativity these days or because my life is at a point when I am re-thinking some of my choices, I don’t know, but it has made more impact on me than expected.  Good impact. So, once again, life proves that we never know untill we try.

The book is easy to read, offers well-chosen introductory quotes by people worth listening to, and offers truly positive advice. As it progressed, it grew on me and I found myself really answering its questions in my mind, trying out some advice and finding out they do work. It is pro-active all the time, and you might enjoy the special touch – the questions with answer lines left vividly for you to fill, and excellent questions they are. True, it is repetitive at times but those among us, who are reluctant to dare and change, need repetition. The numbers in the title may seem like hokum, but there IS a valid point to them.

I truly admire the author’s highly positive tone, not promising instant miracles but gradual, explaining that the change is up to us, offering no excuses and demanding no ridiculous procedures, but truly small steps and persistence. My favourite part is the one about uncluttering and tolerations – it really makes sense to me in my life, and it really does work.

I recommend this book to everyone who needs change, a different angle on problem solving, and, above all, less stress in their lives. We really could all use a bit more positivity nowadays.

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This book on Amazon

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Dream big and be relentless about it!

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Nothing to add:)

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Winky got his video!

So proud to be able to share this little book video with you for my children’s book Winky’s Colours! It’s a story born from my work with children aged 4-8 years old, about going after your dreams, improving your life, and still keeping friends and family close!

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