Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Review: Super Rawr! (Children's Book Series)

Today marks the start of my new children's books series. This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. 

What happens when a dinosaur has a career day at school? Well, he goes as a superhero of course! A cute and funny tale! RAWR the T-rex wants to let everyone know it is completely okay to be a superhero. The other kids come to school as a doctor or other typical careers.The book shares the details of the day in a way kids will love. 

In this book, he explains that superhero has to have strength, helping others, and have major dreams. 

Little ones and Kindergarten children will love reading this little adventure. The cover has a cloth dinosaur on it, which is a great texture for little ones. The inside pages are colorful and will engage even the most active little ones.  

The book is perfect to teach little ones to read, as there is just simple sentence on the pages. This will allow kids to repeat and read along with you.  Get ready for a great big dinosaur adventure. 

Be sure to check out this book on Goodreads, Amazon, and on Scholastic's website.

I would like to thank Scholastic for sending me this book for review. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest and completely unbiased review.

Publication date: June 28th, 2016
Page Count: 40 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-79969-0

Goodreads Description:

"Today is career day at school!

I am wearing my superhero cape and belt.

Hello, my name is SUPER RAWR!"

It's career day at school, and RAWR the T-rex wants to be a superhero. SUPER RAWR to the rescue!

SUPER RAWR is a dinosaur who can jump over tall buildings (blocks) and save the day! Preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten children will RAWR with laughter, and career day will never be the same. In the end, RAWR likes just being himself--at least until he goes to sleep and dreams of being an astronaut.

Super Rawr! has a cloth cover with a cape and superhero outfit! Young superhero and dinosaur enthusiasts will love RAWR and SUPER RAWR

Book Review: Tick Tock Sharks (Children's Book Series)

This is a series I will be running for a little while, highlighting some awesome children's literature. During the coming months, there will be many children's books. Stay tuned to learn more about it. Read previous posts in this series here. 

My struggling reader loved this book!

To be honest I received this as a gift from a family member. I thought it was a cute book and the kiddo wanted to instantly read it. This is a kid that really struggles with reading and never wants to do it. When he was excited about this book it made me excited. To think that this book may have changed everything for him, makes me smile.

The story is very engaging and incorporates a challenging vocabulary. The clock was a fun add on.

Recommended for any young readers. This book was provided to me by my aunt for one of my previous foster kids. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars! 

Goodreads Description: 

Kids can learn how to tell time with a big, foldout, moveable clock-both analog and digital-and a funny story about how sharks spend their day!

At eight o'clock in the ocean flow,
Whale sharks wake, get dressed, and go.

Silly sharks have a very full day in this rhyming, interactive book that features a foldout, movable clock! At ten o'clock, they learn their 1, 2, 3's. At eleven o'clock, they play in a band. At four o'clock they learn water ballet. The clock opens out to accompany every page and shows both analog and digital time. Delana Bettoli's beautiful illustrations perfectly capture the humor of these wonderful sharks!

Illustrator Delana Bettoli's anthropomorphic illustrations make time-telling even more fun!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Spotlight: Help Me

My name is K J Thomas and the novel that I wrote is entitled Help Me. 

 This is my first novel and I am very excited, nervous, and pleased with it.  It is about a young couple that have a connected past but haven’t seen each other in 10 years since the tragic day their parents died.  Dean is a male entertainer but also works as an EMT.  He reconnects with Angelica because she works as a dispatcher where he works as an EMT.  He knew her when he was 14 and she was 9 but doesn’t realize she is the same girl for a little while. As the story develops, Dean finds out that he has been poisoned by a sick and twisted woman Gabriela.  She is a rich, sexy woman that is used to guys giving her what she wants anytime, anywhere.  

I am very excited and nervous about my book.  About 4 years ago I was told that I have Dyslexia and was terminated from my job as a 911 dispatcher.  I was very upset at the time but decided to do something about it.  So I started reading and writing.  That's when I started on Help Me.  I wrote it very quickly but it took me over a year to edit everything.  I would find sentences backwards and words misspelled and it bothered me.  I continued to write and edit and came up with a full story.  I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I did writing it.  I want to give a special thanks to my wife and daughter for their support and understanding while I try to write.  Its not something that comes easy to me but I am currently working on a couple new books.  

Here's a link to my giveaway:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: New Wave Newsroom Series

Today I have a mega cover reveal for a new series by Jenny Holiday titled, New Wave Newsroom.  This sounds like such a fun series and I can't wait to read it. Check out the gorgeous covers below. 

Take a trip back in time to the 1980’s with the New Wave Newsroom, a fun New Adult college romance series inspired by some of your favorite 80’s hit singles.

Follow the tour and enter to #win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Title: The Fixer
Series: New Wave Newsroom #1
Author: Jenny Holiday
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Length: 35k words
Format: Digital/Paperback 
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9950927-1-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9950927-0-9

Jenny Fields is a crusader. The editor of her college newspaper, she never met a cause she couldn’t get behind. So when the administration announces it’s tearing down the historic art building, she’s on the case All she needs to do is get Matthew Townsend, the art department’s boy wonder, on board. They say he his talent is unbounded. It turns out so is his ego.

Matthew Townsend cares about art. And that’s pretty much it. If he has a reputation for being moody and aloof, that suits him just fine. He doesn’t have a family worth speaking of, and as a scholarship student, he can’t afford to goof off like the preppy rich kids at his school. He certainly doesn’t care about the art building. Or about the relentlessly perky Jenny, who looks like she was barfed up by Rainbow Brite. What will it take to the preternaturally cheerful girl with the massive savior complex to leave him alone?
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Title: The Gossip
Series: New Wave Newsroom #2
Author: Jenny Holiday
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Length: 36k words
Format: Digital/Paperback
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9950927-3-0
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9950927-2-3

Dawn Hathaway is a realist. She’s not the smartest girl at Allenhurst College. She’s not the prettiest, either. So if she wants to be popular, she’ll need something else: power. What better way to get it than to start a gossip column in the campus newspaper? If she has to commit a few minor crimes in pursuit of the latest scoop, what’s the harm?

Arturo Perez loves being a campus cop. He knows Allenhurst’s nooks and crannies—and lately he’s been finding the campus gossip snooping into every one of them. He can’t deny that he enjoys bantering with the sassy schemer. But he also can’t shake the sense that there’s more going on with Dawn than meets the eye.

When tragedy strikes and Dawn needs help, how far will Art go to protect her?

Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Title: The Pacifist
Series: New Wave Newsroom #3
Author: Jenny Holiday
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Length: 36k words
Format: Digital/Paperback

Laraline Reynolds has spent her entire life as a certified Good Girl. The perpetual peacemaker in her volatile, conservative family, Laraline promises herself that she’ll spend her last year of grad school getting in touch with her inner rebel before she settles down and marries her family-approved long-distance boyfriend. But Laraline’s Year of Fun quickly turns into something more complicated, and she finds herself at the forefront of a movement to change her college’s sexual assault policy.
It’s the Year of No Fun for Tony Bianchi. A fifth-year senior, he needs to graduate, so he’s put a moratorium on his two favorite distractions: girls and photography. But when Laraline comes calling, needing some photos for her cause—and for her campaign for a seat on the college board of governors—Tony’s resistance comes crashing down.
They both fall hard. But while Tony is ready to give it everything he’s got, Laraline is afraid. She wasn’t prepared for her one-year rebellion to lead her to the life she truly wants. In order to break free from her family, she’ll need to do the scariest thing of all—follow her heart.
Pre-order coming soon!

Author Bio: 
Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.
You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

Author Interview: Peter Davidson

Today I have Peter Davidson, with me for an author interview. Peter, is the author of a number of books, the latest being TRUMPED! - BEYOND POLITICALLY CORRECT.  A man of many talents that you will enjoy getting to know today! 

Everyone should have something in life that they are

passionate about.  As for me, I’m passionate about
writing – have been since I was nineteen years old.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

As a youth, I always had a paperback in my pocket and read every chance I got. When I was 18 or 19 in college, I got some nice comments on my papers from some of my professors, and more importantly, when I wrote to some of my college friends in the summers, they replied that they enjoyed my writing. A combination of my interest in reading and the nice comments on my writing combined to give me the idea that one day I should try to write a book

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies depending on the genre and the amount of knowledge I have to write the material. A novel or non-fiction book might take 4-6 months. Years ago, I co-authored a college textbook that was over 650 printed pages in hardcover, along with a workbook of over 200 pages, a test bank of over 1,000 questions, an instructor's manual of over 100 pages, and a computer application. I thought it would never end.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write every day, although I do not necessarily write at the same time each day. I like to write at least six hours a day. When I'm not actually writing, I am often thinking about the project at other times during the day, developing ideas.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

You have heard the comment made by a person when they have an important decision to make, “I'm going to sleep on it.” The reason that this is a good problem-solving technique is that, I am told, the subconscious part of the mind is more powerful than the conscious part of the brain and if you have an important decision to make, it is undoubtedly weighing heavily on your mind as you fall asleep. During the night your subconscious mind mulls it over and things are often clearer when you awake. I employ this technique with my writing. As I fall asleep, I try to rehash in my mind an area in the manuscript I'm working on or am having trouble figuring out. Without fail, when I awake in the morning, I have the solution.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I am always on the lookout for a unique idea for a book and an idea can be triggered by virtually anything – an offhand comment by myself or a friend, a news article, a joke, or an unexpected happening. Not all of the ideas are worthy of a book, and it takes some doing, sometimes, for me to talk myself out of an idea.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was 21 when I got my bachelor's degree and 24 when I got a master's degree, so I was busy studying most of the time until that age. I started writing songs and short stories, to no published success. I turned to writing books and had my first book published by an independent publisher when I was 27 or 28.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I have always had a strong interest in rock and roll and country music and was partner in a professional recording studio some years ago. I have written over 100 songs, as a hobby, and one of them received strong radio air play in the U.S. And was used in a television series in The Netherlands.

My wife and I enjoy going to concerts at our summer home in the Lake Okoboji resort area of Iowa and our winter home in Arizona. Also, I love to cruise in my BMW convertible with my wife.
I also enjoy reading novels, particularly John Grisham legal thrillers and am an avid college football and basketball fan. Of course, I enjoy time with family and friends.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

For me, the entire writing experience, from getting the germ of an idea, to developing the concept, to writing the manuscript, and finishing the project is exhilarating and very rewarding. When I first started writing, I found it surprising that not every literary agent or publisher shared my tremendous enthusiasm for the manuscript that I had poured my heart and soul into. I learned that writing something that is marketable, regardless of its quality, is of primary importance to a publisher. Of course, having a good quality manuscript that is marketable is the ultimate goal.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

I cannot point to any particular author that was influential in my writing, but I have always enjoyed reading books that are clear and easy to read without needing to work hard at trying to figure out what the author was trying to say. Anyone can write using long,complicated words – the dictionary is full of them. I believe that true genius is in simplicity – taking what might be a difficult concept and being able to explain it in terms that average people can understand.

What do you think makes a good story?

For fiction, believable and likable characters the reader can root for, a story concept that is of interest to the reader, a story line that makes sense but that has enough twists and turns so it is unpredictable, and a surprise ending that makes sense. All in all, a story that is so enjoyable that the reader wishes the book were longer.

Where is your book, TRUMPED! - BEYOND POLITICALLY CORRECT available?

The book is available on in paperback and Kindle eBook.

What are some of your other books that readers might enjoy?

 Okoboji is the story of a handsome, rich, and famous movie star, Alex Gideon from Beverly Hills, who is disgruntled with his fabulous but shallow life and decides he needs a break – but where can he go where no one will recognize him? He decides to let fate decide. He puts a map of the United States on his dart board and flings a dart. It lands on Okoboji, which is a quaint summertime resort community in Iowa. Perfect. No one will know him there.

Alex disguises himself and leaves Beverly Hills without telling anyone. He arrives in Okoboji in the middle of the summer, becomes involved in the local culture, and falls desperately in love with a fabulous woman, Simone Delaney. About that time, news of Alex's disappearance hits the news; the media goes nuts and Alex's fans go crazy, fearing he has been kidnapped, or worse. Can Alex win the love of Simone before the world discovers he is in Okoboji?

Murder In Okoboji is a tale of greed, deceit, mystery, and murder - where things are rarely what they appear to be and where there are many surprises as the story unfolds. Set in the Okoboji resort area of Iowa. The story includes many real people and businesses.

Gatlin Guthrie was on a business trip and stopped at the Okoboji resort area in Iowa for a few days of rest and relaxation. By chance, Guthrie meets three scheming opportunists who sense that Guthrie has some huge business deal and they want in on it. They discover what Guthrie is up to and set in motion a plan that will net them millions of dollars in less than a week, if it works.

Every once in a great while, a book comes along that provides a unique glimpse of what actually happens behind the scenes in some occupation or profession. Memoirs Of A Recovering Teacher is such a book. 

What are your social media links?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: The Day the Aunts Disappeared

Title: The Day the Aunts Disappeared
Author & Illustrator: KayeC Jones and Russ Hughes
Source: Sent from Author
My Rating : 5 out of 5 stars

Another great children's book,  from an author that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. 

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love children's books that have meaning, purpose, and explain issues at a child level. I believe that childhood is about discovery and learning even when your reading. The books by Cozy Bear Studios do just that.

This is a cute little story that has a huge lesson for children. It teaches the purpose of reading carefully and paying attention to definitions. It also teaches the important life lesson of forgiveness.

See a certain little word has gotten mixed up. A little anteater named Greg is always looking for something to eat. He thinks bugs are gross and boring after having eaten them for so long. When he gets to the big city he hears the word, Aunt. Well, a problem arises because aunt and ant seem pretty much like the same word to our little friend. So he ends up eating the aunts.

Pretty soon the whole town was missing and wanting their aunts. This has a great ending and message for kids. The guy was just hungry, not mean guy! The showed him some other food items he could eat. The ending will blow you away

Check out the book on Amazon

Goodreads Description:

Hungry and tired of bug bites, Greg the Anteater decided to go to town to find an easy meal.

He quickly finds out that there are aunts all around the town! But "aunts" and "ants" are not the same thing, as he quickly finds out.

Find out what happens to Greg and all the aunts in town in this colorful and nonsensical story that will make you laugh and giggle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: The Dog Catcher

Title: The Dog Catcher
Author: Lloyd Johnson
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Source: From Author

Disclaimer: This book is about domestic violence, which may be extremely triggering to you.  Please read this review, and book at your own risk.

This book made my heart break in so many ways. Perhaps this isn't the type of book I should read due to my past. I read this book in one setting. All 410 pages in one sitting. The story just peaked my interest to keep on reading. That's what I love about reading, diving right into a story.

A young woman named Cheryl Green has had such a traumatic life, after being horribly rejected by her parents, to the point of abuse, she decides to give the world a shot. She is basically a lost girl, ill-equipped to handle life, and very naive. She is also a young mother to a precious little boy named Lawrence.

She has a situation with a horrible roommate, which I have, to be honest,  confused me a little in the beginning of the book Anyways, life happens as it always does and she has to move back in with her parents. Something that she would rather not do.

One day she meets her prince charming, Plez Jackson, who seems like the perfect guy. Maybe even a little too perfect. Desperate for love, and to replace the empty void in her heart she falls for him. He has a past that is sketchy.

There is so much I loved about this book, and there is so much I hated about this book. That is why this book is such a great read because it gets you thinking. It seemed like on every page,  I was hurt, angry, upset, or laughing. I feel like I almost became friends with Cheryl through this book. I wanted to rescue her. What I didn't expect was to feel such a connection to a character like this.

I loved her personality, her fighting spirit, regardless of what happened to her she refused to give up. She kept fighting, but I wished she fought more in certain areas. I loved the relationship she had with her son. She would do anything for him. The compassion she had, given the past, was remarkable. The scene that touched me the most about her mothering was when she thought her child had been taken:

"Something woke me up. It was one of those urgent feelings pitted in my stomach.....

I threw the sheets from my body and bolted toward Lawrence's room. Besides rumpled sheets, a blanket and an indentation on the mattress marking where he'd slept , the room was empty. Panic shot through my body. The feeling was too real to have been a dream....

I found Lawrence squatting on the floor, pouring milk into an overflowing bowl of cereal. The cuteness of the scene put me at ease. "

I also loved how fast paced the story line was. Lloyd Johnson has something that many other authors struggle with and that is the ability to write a fast-paced book with lots of action. I wanted to keep flipping the page, I also found myself making comments about the book. Why did you do that? Oh my goodness, what is going to happen next? This book will keep you on the end of your seat. 

I loved the rawness of this book. This book does not sugar coat or romanticize domestic violence. It paints a true picture that is horrifying. This book was actually a little therapeutic for me, this will be a book I will re-read. 

The thing I hated in this book was it at points seem to teater on the edge of victim shaming for me. I feel like most of the book people, including the victim rationalized and even excused some of the awful abuse. In the end I really didn't think this matter was solved. I wont reveal the ending, but I loved it, and thought it was poetic justic but I wanted more. 

I want to put a disclaimer that this book does contain a great deal of sex. If that isn't your thing you should skip over this book. I, myself, disliked the amount of sex that occured in this book. Some of it felt unnecessary and overly descriptive. That might be because I really dont like books with that much sexual contact. 

Overall this was a great read. As always I recieved this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Goodreads Description: 

 A young woman comes into her own... After being rejected by her parents, Cheryl Greene must enter a world she's ill-equipped to handle, not just for her sake but that of her son. 

When she meets the charming yet mysterious Plez Jackson, her future looks bright. That is until his schemes leave Cheryl emotionally and physically broken. Fighting to rediscover her self-worth, Cheryl realizes it won't be easy. In fact, she's in for the fight of her life!

Links For the Book : Amazon // Goodreads 
Follow  Lloyd Johnson on social media

Links // Facebook // Twitter // Website // Blog 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and completely unbiased review. Any thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Author Interview: Lloyd Johnson

Today I have Lloyd Johnson with me for an author interview. Lloyd is a Minnesota native, currently living in New England. He is the author of The Dog Catcher, Tricks for a Trade and the soon to be released, The Best Possible Angle.

He has dabbled in the creative arts since elementary school, but rediscovered his passion for writing in 2004, and has been working on his craft ever since. Lloyd has chosen a non sequitur approach to storytelling, opting to tell the kinds of stories he wants to tell without being pinned to any one genre.

Lloyd has traveled extensively around the world, visiting 16 countries to date. When he isn't taking in the sights, he loves to unwind with a good book or become inspired by the change in scenery to work on his writing.

Follow  Lloyd Johnson on social media
Links // Facebook // Twitter // Website // Blog

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It’s something that I’ve always come back to in between my attempts at “finding myself” in other creative mediums. But I made the decision to commit to the craft in 2005.

How long does it take you to write a book?

The very first book I wrote is an erotica tale called Tricks for a Trade. It took 2 editors and 9 years to complete, but I didn’t publish it immediately. I took a break from that book at the 7-year mark and published The Dog catcher, which took 2 years to complete. And the project I’m working on now, a thriller called The Best Possible Angle, took about a year and a half to squeeze out a first draft. My editor has it and I already know it will take some time to polish.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I don’t have a set schedule. They say that serious writers write every day. Well, I consider myself a serious writer, but I also think that I do better when I’m not trying to follow some arbitrary rule. When I allow the creative process to do what it does without trying to shape it into what people assume it to be, I find I’m at my most productive.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I love to write while listening to music. Especially listening to jazz. I’ve turned out some pretty great pages while listening to John Coltrane or Billie Holliday

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Ideas just randomly pop into my head most of the time. Though, I was inspired to write The Dog Catcher after watching the movie “Precious,” then subsequently reading the novel called Push by Sapphire, which inspired the movie. I decided I wanted to write a book about a female antagonist and her journey through her own unique adversities.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I began writing Tricks for a Trade the summer after I turned 30. At the time I felt as though I’d squandered my twenties, so it was important to leave a legacy. Writing has helped me to do that.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to travel. To date I have been to 15 countries and I will be visiting Thailand next month which makes 16. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That it is perfectly fine to leave a bit of myself in the stories. That makes it real in some respects, and when the stories are real to me then they will read that way to my audience.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

At the moment I think Walter Mosley is probably on top of my list. I had an opportunity to meet him in Atlanta last year and he was pleasant enough. Signed a couple of books for me. Told me an interesting story about a man he knew who shares my first name. The second writer I enjoy is J. Randy Taraborrelli, who wrote many books about celebrities. He just wrote a book about Beyonce. I’ve met him as well and he has been very gracious to me.  Third and fourth are the late E. Lynn Harris and Randy Shiltz. I think collectively, all four have influenced my decision to become a full-time writer and have at various times influenced my style.

What do you think makes a good story?

The way a story is executed. If the execution is good, you can pretty much write about anything.   

Thank you so much for interviewing with me today! It was great getting to know you! Be sure to check out The Dog Catcher below. 

The Dog Catcher: 

 A young woman comes into her own... After being rejected by her parents, Cheryl Greene must enter a world she's ill-equipped to handle, not just for her sake but that of her son. 

When she meets the charming yet mysterious Plez Jackson, her future looks bright. That is until his schemes leave Cheryl emotionally and physically broken. Fighting to rediscover her self-worth, Cheryl realizes it won't be easy. In fact, she's in for the fight of her life!

Links: Amazon // Goodreads 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Author Interview: Cas Mestrom

Today I have Cas Mestrom with me for an author interview. Cas wrote a book called Oki and Harlo fairytale friends. 


A little bio:

My name is Cas Mesterom and I am a Dutch-born writer, poet, model and actor. Although Dutch is my native language, I prefer to write in English as I find the English language more poetic.Having said that, I did write the original of Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends in 1999 in Dutch, but translated it last year and wrote a new ending to the story. The original had a darker conclusion, as fairytales can be dark, but in the current world [of war], I wanted to write an uplifting story about friendship. Basically, why could a goat not be friends with a shooting star?

I wanted to create a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest and believing in dreams. As well as healthy eating and the real purpose of rainbows!

I write with a message but never preachy. My goal is to entertain and to hope that each one of us can take away something from my writings. As I learn from others, I hope to inspire other people as well. I believe we are all one. Oki and Harlo believe it! 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I actually don't know how to answer this one. I love to connect with people and I love to learn

from people. And the more I am in connection the more I learn from them. And I guess the more I

learn the more that helps me in connecting with others through storytelling. But I don't know if I

ever realized that I wanted to be a writer. I actually don't label myself as a writer. I also act, model,

write poetry and theater plays and: I ­am­ being me. It makes ­writer­ just one of the labels, if that

makes any sense.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I can't give you a time table for writing. My inspiration comes in waves. I called it 'being tapped

in'. And when I am tapped in, writing can go really quick. The story then finds me. Oki and Harlo,

they found me and I wrote their story of connection and friendship.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

When tapped in I can go for hours. I get behind my laptop and just start writing. It feels like

translating inspiration into words on paper, well actually onto a computer screen. I prefer to write

at night, when the world is asleep. Peaceful. Quiet. It is almost as if I can hear the story talk to me

better when there isn't any worldly noise around to distract me.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Listening with my heart. To the story talking to me as inspiration. To people telling me their own

personal story ­their life­ and hearing the real emotion behind their words. So, yeah, I write with

my heart.

Where do you get your information or ideas?

In connection. Always. And then the inspiration finds me. If I allow myself to tap into it.

What do you when you are not writing?

Work out, swim, go for a run. I talked about tapping into inspiration and one very effective way to

do this is by being physically active. And I believe that works for all of us. It brings focus and

steers your thoughts away from any daily worries. Call it a form of meditation. And it is mentally

healthy and obviously also physically good for you.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

The most surprising was the fact that so many people are not impeccable with their word. What I

mean by that is that people say they will read your story or will help you build momentum around

it and then they do not. That was a lesson I learned and a fact that disappointed me. It can be a

a lonely route to have to go in order to get your story out.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What

impact have they had on your writing?

Dave Eggers is a favorite author of mine. Achack Deng, whose story Dave tells in his book – What

is the What? ­ will never leave me. And Achack Deng is not a fictional character. Perseverance and

inspirations are Dave Eggers and Achack Deng. And another book that helped me to tap into the

story of Oki and Harlo and listen to their message, was 'The Little Prince'. Antoine de Saint-
Exupéry tells a beautiful and inspiring story of believing in the good. And I will add to that

'however you define what is ­”good”­ for you'.

What do you think makes a good story?

A story that speaks to the reader's heart. It doesn't mean that every good story is a romantic story.

Pain and drama also lives in the heart. If a story speaks to the heart, a good story will bring the

heart relief in some form.

Does your book have a ­dedication­ and if so why?

Yes, it does. I believe that writing a story – or as I explained earlier, 'translating inspiration into

words'­ always happens in connection.

In getting the story of Oki and Harlo out into the world, two people were the foundation of the

process. Tvrtko Cvjetković, who is my confidant. He is the person who reads the inspiration that

comes to me first. That is a scary process to go through, but essential. And Tvrtko was the first

person to read Oki and Harlo.

Tamara B. Williams was the one who convinced me that Oki and Harlo need to go out into the

world. You must know that the original ­Oki and Harlo­ were put on paper in 1999 and they lived

in my desk drawer for 16 years. Last year, Tamara helped me and Oki and Harlo to come out and

show ourselves to the world.

This is why Oki and Harlo is for both them, Tvrtko and Tamara.

A little about Oki and Harlo: 

Oki, a little-orphaned goat meets Harlo, a shooting star, who falls to earth and ends up in the field where Oki is asleep. They become instant best friends and together they go on a quest to find Oki's momma. 
On their adventure, the little friends encounter wise old, Mr. Owl, Wobbly, the chicken, and a little girl named Ellie and her family. 

Enter a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest, and believing in dreams, as well as healthy eating and the REAL purpose of rainbows! 

"Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends" is the first ever draw freely e-book. 
The story invites the readers to make their own illustrations. There are free-draw pages that have clear instructions on what to draw. 
Readers can publish their drawings to share with the world by sending them [via direct message] to the -OkiandHarlo- official Instagram & Twitter account! 

"Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends" is written for children aged 5 to 10 years, but is suitable for older children and adult kids too! It is a fun fairytale to read to your children and it is equally fun for children who are discovering the world of reading and imagination.

Links: Amazon