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Book Award Contest & Indie Support

Category: family (Page 1 of 3)

Weeds in Nana’s Garden – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Kathryn Harrison

Sometimes a story comes along that touches your heart so much it’ll move you to tears. Kathryn Harrison’s children’s story, Weeds in Nana’s Garden is one of those stories. A young girl enjoys spending time in the garden each summer with her grandmother. They sing songs, create bouquets, hang out with the fairies and simply build a special bond with one another. Unfortunately, Nana begins to show signs of dementia, which the young girl’s mother gently explains to the girl. Over the next few years, the young girl grows into a beautiful young woman as she tries to help her nana move through the continual decline gracefully. Harrision also includes a wonderful Q & A section at the end of the book to help parents, guardians, etc. talk to children about the disease.

Weeds in Nana’s Garden is gloriously depicted with full-color illustrations by the author. Readers will likely feel like they’re spending time in the garden right alongside the gently aging grandmother, her granddaughter, the fairies, the birds and the colorful blossoms. Kathryn Harrison has a gift that she shares not only through her illustrations but her poetic words. A teeny-tiny error here or there could stand to be fixed, but the overall eloquence and importance of Weeds in Nana’s Garden aren’t distracted from at all.

Every library, every doctor’s office, every child’s home bookshelf and every counselor’s office should have a copy of Kathryn Harrison’s Weeds in Nana’s Garden. This is a disease that everyone encounters in one way or another, and Harrison has done such an absolutely beautiful job of shining a light on it, explaining it in a way that children can grasp and yet, still gripping the heart of any reader who peruses the pages of Weeds in Nana’s Garden. Highly recommended.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Always Finding Time – Entered in 2017 Book Award Contest

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Kenesha Blair

Always Finding Time: A Story from a Child’s Point of View was written by Kenesha Blair. The story comes, as the title expresses, from the perspective of a child in regards to their relationship with their mothers and fathers. The core of this little book focuses on how much time a parent is able to spend with their child and how the parents in the book work hard to spend beautiful quality time with their children. It is filled with numerous pictures of young children and babies experiencing day-to-day life activities from reading time with Mommy to bath time to fussing in the stroller or car seat to laughing and smiling with their parents.

With such an adorable premise, it is highly unfortunate that Blair’s Always Finding Time has so many grammatical, punctuational and spelling errors within the bits of text in the book. Other times the sentences are awkward and don’t flow well. The sweet dedication to the author’s daughter, in the front of the book, even has very evident errors. The story is appropriately short as it’s meant for children, but the end of the book seems to appear somewhat abruptly.

Kenesha Blair has come up with a super sweet concept by including full-color images of young children and parental figures. The pages that include text all have a beautiful childlike drawing of a garden of flowers beneath the words. Kenesha Blair’s Always Finding Time: A Story from a Child’s Point of View is sweet and endearing. It just needs a thorough editing and some of the wording needs to be revised, so that this delightful story could receive the praise Blair’s idea deserves.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Smile Big, Dream Bigger – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

Click here to get your copy!

Andrea Scott

Life has a lot of challenges, and these challenges can have a great influence on our children. Andrea Scott’s book, Smile Big, Dream Bigger, shares a powerful message of the positive impact smiling, getting an education and reading can have on our youth and the future of our world. In this full-color children’s book, Samantha is a young girl who deeply wishes her community in the mid-west were safer and wonders “why there is so much violence in [her] neighborhood.” She is one of four children and daughter of a single mom, who works very hard to create the best life she can for her children. Samantha becomes inspired through reading about leaders, and makes a promise to herself that she, too, will become a leader one day. She knows that smiling and trust in herself and her abilities will make her dream come true. She wants her big dream more than just for herself; she wants to become a leader to inspire her neighborhood and help make them happy, too.

Smile Big, Dream Bigger is a high-quality inspirational children’s book. The message that Andrea Scott shines a light on is vitally important. Don’t let the dark shadows and violence around you stop you from becoming the best you can be, and don’t let it stop you from smiling. The beautiful illustrations throughout Smile Big, Dream Bigger are very likely to inspire the reader to do just that – smile and dream. The writing and the imagery is heart-warming and helps others know they can create opportunities for themselves and their communities because everyone does matter! I highly recommend Andrea Scott’s Smile Big, Dream Bigger for every young child’s bookshelf and for public and school libraries. It’s a must read for parents and elementary school readers.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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How Mommy Got Her Groove Back – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Rebecca Undem

How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is Rebecca Undem’s touching memoir about her departure from and eventual return to her rural upbringing. Raised in Oakes, North Dakota, Rebecca cherished growing up in the country with her loving family. However, she yearned for a more exciting life in the city. After a series of corporate jobs in big cities, though, Rebecca began to feel like her heart wasn’t really in it. She and her husband, Jeremiah, returned to Oakes to help her parents with the family business. Once there, she struggled to balance her desire for a successful career, her familial role as a farmer’s wife, and her new, most important job as a mother to their three young children. A long, zig-zagged road of trial and error later, Rebecca found herself and her calling in the one place she least expected to do so: her own hometown.

How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is a true gem in a dozen different ways. The most significant is that it is so easy to relate to; at times, it feels so very personal. Although it is a memoir of her own life, Rebecca Undem’s trials and triumphs are ones that we all, as human beings, have faced at one point or another. She is all of us, in that she is a determined woman who is just trying to do the right thing for herself and her family. Her words are poignant, yet casual; witty, yet friendly; humorous, yet so strikingly hard-hitting. It is sometimes difficult to become so wholly invested in the life of another, but Rebecca Undem achieves that captivation immediately and maintains it until her last page.

This book is anything but just a memoir. How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is an epic adventure, full of love, sadness, faith, and above all, life. Also, perhaps without intention, it is brimming with friendly advice and confident support. All in one short book, How Mommy Got Her Groove Back is a shoulder to lean on, a picture of nostalgic love, and a beacon of light to lead its readers to their own callings, serving to cement Rebecca Undem as a forever “Nestie” for all of us.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Shame Proof Parenting – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Mercedes Samudio

Mercedes Samudio’s Shame-Proof Parenting is a helpful guide to aiding parents in becoming the best parents they can be. Through sharing her own childhood experiences and her experience as a family counselor, Samudio provides valuable insight on overcoming the crushing weight of shame and societal criticisms about parenting. By utilizing reflective parenting methods and acknowledging the various sources of the shame inflicted upon parents, Samudio argues that parents will then be able to better communicate and grow with their children. Above all, she hopes to help parents feel empowered and confident in their ability to “raise whole, healthy children.”

Shame-Proof Parenting is not an omniscient, one-answer-solves-all book; rather, Samudio acknowledges all different sorts of family structures and parenting styles, and the fact that there is no truly “perfect” way to be a parent. Her approach is wise and supportive, simultaneously letting parents know that it’s okay to not be perfect and that they’re not alone in their daily stresses and worries. Her advice is vague enough to be relatable to anyone, while still feeling overwhelmingly personal; oftentimes, reading Shame-Proof Parenting felt like Samudio was speaking directly to me, like she understood. And, of course, she does.

Especially reading this as a parent, Shame-Proof Parenting was a refreshing and incredibly kind approach to a parenting book. Mercedes Samudio removes all guilt or blame from her narrative, and never pretends to be a magical genie who can solve every parent’s problems with an on-trend, bottom-line solution. Her guidance can be summed up as, “Hey, I get it. Let’s try this instead.” That gentle support is a welcome embrace for struggling parents; in that regard, no matter what their struggles may be, Shame-Proof Parenting is a must-read for all parents. Ditch all the other so-called parenting books; this is the one that will really help you.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Where Shall We Go? – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

Vera Harris

Where Shall We Go? is a children’s story about going on vacation. Author Vera Harris compiled a cute little tale about a young girl, Josie, and her mother as they tried to decide where to spend their vacation. With adorable illustrations by Fanny Liem, Where Shall We Go? is likely to draw attention to parents’ eyes as well as their young children’s. The cover clearly depicts what the core of the story is all about. The little girl, Josie can’t decide what she wants to do on her vacation, and her mother is allowing Josie to have a big say in where they will go as a family. This sets a great example for parents, but it also sets a good example for children because Josie’s mother only lets her pick one place for their upcoming vacation time. Therefore, the author has Josie go through different possibilities for each vacation option before choosing. In the end, she comes up with the perfect solution for their summer family vacation.

The illustrations in Where Shall We Go? are fabulous and offer a tremendous amount of potential for the book. The story concept proposed by Vera Harris has a lot of promise as well. Unfortunately, there is an exceptional lack of grammatical skill and punctuational skill within such a simple book. An error can happen, but it is quite evident that Where Shall We Go? has not been edited by an editor with basic writing knowledge. This was a great disappointment. There are some other concerns in regards to development throughout the story as well. For example, Josie’s mother says they’ll make the decision together, but later Josie decides to just put all three options in a bag and randomly draw one out. With such a wonderful chance to have created an adorable story, Vera Harris needs to turn the copy over to a quality editor before releasing Where Shall We Go? to the world. If that is done, then Where Shall We Go? has the potential to go a lot of wonderful places.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

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Christina Weigand

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully, written by Christina Weigand and Ricci Moore, is a children’s book that tackles the issue of bullying. Paul and his friend Nathan are being relentlessly bullied by a boy much bigger than them, Billy. After a particularly awful day, Paul wishes he has someone to talk to about it. Shockingly, he’s greeted by the curious Sir E. Robert Smythe, a strange creature claiming to be the Senior Safety Ambassador for the Galactic Safety Council. Together, Sir E. Robert Smythe, Paul, and Nathan band together to end Billy’s bullying once and for all, all while discovering that there’s more to Billy than meets the eye. 

Right off the bat, there are a few aspects of Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully that are a bit alarming. The first is the unrealistic portrayal of bullying, represented by Billy. He’s the stereotypical beat-you-up-and-take-your-lunch sort of bully; while this is often seen in fiction, it’s not necessarily accurate to what real-life bullying is like. That may not be as relatable to children as the authors might have hoped. Secondly, the actions taken by Billy’s father are a bit much. It may have been necessary to show how him bullying his son led to Billy’s own bullying actions, but many of the scenes with his father tended to be upsetting, almost to the point of being disturbing. That would likely end up being more distressing to children than it was meant to be. 

Aside from that, Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully was an interesting children’s book. Christina Weigand and Ricci Moore tackled this important issue with humor and creativity, resulting in a science-fiction adventure with a moral. It was especially nice that the “villains” of the story came to see the errors of their ways and redeemed themselves, to some extent. It was also a lovely touch to add discussion points at the end of the book, as this is a topic that should be discussed in depth with children. It may have gotten off to a rough start, but Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully turned out to be a unique and beneficial children’s book, and a handy tool to use to break the ice with kids before discussing a heavy topic like bullying. 

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Where We Fall

Today’s Featured Author and Book

where we fall

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She’s the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal.

Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can’t seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana. Although this isn’t the life he’s dreamed of, he’s determined to heal the rifts in his family.

Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina—back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak.

For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together…


Rochelle Weinstein

Rochelle B. Weinstein is an author, speaker, and former entertainment industry executive. Her highly acclaimed novels, What We Leave Behind, The Mourning After, and Where We Fall, uncover the heartfelt, emotional themes of family, friendship, and love. Weinstein lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and twin boys.  Her fourth novel, Somebody’s Daughter, follows a prominent Miami Beach family through a painful, public scandal. Visit her website at www.rochelleweinstein.com or follow her on social media.

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Where We Fall.

Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 


Doors are open for the 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest! Deadline is 9/30/17

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

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You get more than just an entry into a contest!  All entries that earn at least 3 Stars get promotion, too!

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


Authors join our Creative Author Marketing Facebook group

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A place to share tips, advice and wisdom about marketing your book. Ask for advice. We’re here for you!

Traveling entrepreneurs, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. share a wealth of knowledge and info with authors all over the world.  

We help you develop 3 key things you MUST have to gain success with your book.

Your Mindset
Your Tool Set
Your Skill Set

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Last Dance at the Savoy

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Last Dance at the Savoy

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

When Kathryn Leigh Scott’s husband was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neurological disease for which there is (so far) no cure, it was a devastating time for both of them, not least because so little is known about the cause or treatment of a disease that affects some 20,000 Americans, a number similar to that of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

Last Dance at the Savoy is both a personal story about Scott’s husband, Geoff Miller, the founding editor of Los Angeles magazine, who lived life fully despite having a terminal illness, and a sharing of her insights on dealing with the day-to-day issues of caring for someone with a progressive neurological condition. Scott “often yearned for someone to figuratively take my hand and walk with me through the difficult times; I hope through this book I can reach out to you with encouragement and practical advice.”

Last Dance at the Savoy includes a resource guide that provides facts about prime-of-life diseases; contact information for support organizations, research studies and clinical trials; where to find handicap products and equipment; and recommended caregiving publications and family conferences.

Contains a foreword by Yvette Bordelon, MD, PhD, a neurologist at UCLA whose clinical work involves the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders.

A percentage of royalties from Last Dance at the Savoy are donated to CurePSP.


Kathryn Leigh Scott

KathrynLeighScottAuthorHeadshot

Author/Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott has written several books of fiction and nonfiction. She starred in the cult favorite “Dark Shadows” and has recently appeared in a recurring role on “The Goldbergs.” She grew up on a farm in Robbinsdale, Minnesota and currently resides in New York City and Los Angeles

www.kathrynleighscott.com


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Last Dance at the Savoy.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


Please like & share:

How to Start a Successful Business That’s Right for You and Your Family

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Next: How to Start a Successful Business That’s Right for You and Your Family

Click to get your copy!

Book Description:

In NEXT, best-selling author, recovering lawyer, and professional life + business coach Caroline Greene lays out 10 NEXT steps to make it happen. Written from the perspective of a regular mom building her own business – not an established business expert – this short, easy-to-read guide provides busy moms with the tools they need to transform their business ideas into serious income in under a year, without giving up being the mother (and whole person) they want to be.


Caroline Greene

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Caroline Greene is a recovering lawyer, chronic overachiever, and the Amazon best-selling author of MATTER: How to Find Meaningful Work That’s Right for You and Your Family and NEXT: How to Start a Successful Business That’s Right for You and Your Family. As a life and business coach, Caroline helps highly- motivated, determined moms start businesses and build lives that truly matter to them.

In her former life, Caroline was a prosecutor and white-collar criminal defense attorney. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale College, and the University of Virginia School of Law, she currently lives in Washington, D.C., with her two smart and strong daughters, her diabetic cat, an adorable mostly-deaf dog, and her saint of a husband.


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Next.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


Please like & share:

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