Podunk Moon: An Anthology by Erin Geil

It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to start tackling some brand new book reviews. The first book of the year is a beautiful yet haunted book of poetry that explores the pain and friction that comes with one’s early 20’s. In author Erin Geil’s book Podunk Moon: An Anthology, readers get a personal, in-depth look at one person’s struggle to overcome life’s most grueling and heartbreaking challenges. Here’s the synopsis:

Podunk Moon is an anthology of mostly non-fiction poetry starting in 2016 and time traveling back through the years ending in 2003. A time capsule of heartache, depression, and the overall state of confusion that comes with being in your twenties. An excerpt of the suspense thriller novel, The Great American, follows after, leaving the reader with a taste of something that is altogether a darkly different breed of beast.

The blend of emotional poetry with a new dark and twisted fiction novel makes this a fantastic way to start the year! While the book is filled with some incredible poetry that deals with the struggles of love, loss and heartbreak, one poem in particular spoke to me. It was titled “I Know”, and while i won’t spoil anything for you guys, the raw emotion that spilled out from every line in that poem was overpowering to say the least, and is a shining example of the talent this author has. The incredible excerpt from The Great American brought a fantastic new and twisted tale of love, lust and violence that few books these days have been able to capture, and showcases the incredible range and variety this writer has.

Overall this was a wonderful start to the new year. A fantastic roller coaster of emotions, Podunk Moon: An Anthology by Erin Geil is a must have book to begin 2018. This is an extremely powerful book to have for young people meeting life’s challenges for the first time or already struggling with those very same challenges. Pick up your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

Podunk Moon: An Anthology https://www.amazon.com/dp/154675234X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_NHitAb

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HEY DOORMAN: The 5th True Tales of an Uncommon Bouncer in Los Angeles (and the short film HUMOR) by Haji Outlaw

The acclaimed writer of The Eric Andre show Haji Outlaw (otherwise known as John P. Kildemm, has brought together a brand new entry in the acclaimed book series true tales of an uncommon bouncer in Los Angeles, as well as a fantastic short film titled HUMOR. Here is the synopsis for both:

WHAT HAPPENED DURING A DRUNKEN NIGHT WITH HARRISON FORD?
HOW DO WE SOLVE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?

The answers are a click away!!!

Acclaimed writer, Haji Outlaw, goes under his pen name of John P. Kildemm in the fifth installment of the hit Amazon short-read, Hey Doorman.

HUMOR: A deathly charismatic bear tells the unknown Russian tale of Humor Gredanko. The funniest boy in the history of time. From a brutal winter forest, to an erection, to ravenous boars, comes a darkly comedic story from Haji Outlaw. The acclaimed writer for The Eric Andre show and author of the bestselling amazon ebook series, Hey Doorman.

First off, the book was a fantastic new story that showcases the weird side of the LA bar scene. From idiots who have a problem with used socks to a modern commentary on the sexual assault allegations coming out of Hollywood, this book is an honest, brutal yet humorous look into the modern world and is told with a fresh voice that deserves to be heard.

Meanwhile, HUMOR was a truly unique and original film that was shot beautifully. The funny yet dark tale of Humor Gredanko is a twisted story from start to finish, and the narration and cinematic storytelling was what made this film shine. It’s definitely worth a watch if you are into dark comedies and truly artistic visuals.

Overall Haji Outlaw has brought 2017 to a resounding close. A 5th book filled with humorous and real tales from Los Angeles and a short film that is like no other, the acclaimed writer has done a marvelous job of capturing the modern world in both film and book formats, and if these are any indication then the names Haji Outlaw and John P. Kildemm should be imprinted on your brains as we head into 2018! Be sure to pick up your copies of this incredible book today and follow the author on his social media sites!

Ratings

Book: 10/10
Film: 10/10

Facebook: @hs.outlaw
Twitter: @outlawhaji
Instagram: @outlawhaji

Interview with Author Heather Beal

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Writing children’s books wasn’t something I thought I would end up doing, but I find now that now that many of my previous life experiences really have helped prepare me to do just that. I retired from a 23-year military career a few years ago where I was very busy with operational planning and targeting. I have pursued and obtained multiple degrees, the latest in emergency management and I run a nonprofit, BLOCKS that helps prepare childcare for disaster.

 

Did you know that children spend an average of 33-35 hours a week in some sort of childcare arrangement? That’s a lot of time away from home. So, the odds of me being lucky enough to be there if something bad happened were pretty low. That thought doesn’t help me sleep at night. So, I started to ask, what could I do to fix that and increase the odds they came home safe?

 

I started looking around at what resources were available and realized there weren’t many available. There were a lot of books about the science behind natural disasters, but nothing written by authors trained in emergency management or designed to help teach kids what do to in the actual disaster itself.

 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

One stormy night I had to try and talk with my daughter (4 at the time) about how we might have to go into the basement later that evening because a tornado watch could turn into a warning. Well, needless to say, I did a really bad job ‘preparing’ her, and instead scared her. I knew that if I could introduce the topics before something happened, it would help her feel like she was more in control and maybe make it less scary. At the time we were watching a lot Daniel Tiger episodes at home, so the idea of combining song and story sort of naturally evolved. That was how I came up the idea of publishing children’s books that teaches preschool kids (through early elementary school) what to do if disaster strikes.  

 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope that parents and caregivers see the value in teaching their children what to do rather than pretending it won’t happen. We teach our kids about crossing the street, stranger danger, etc. Our children get training on fire drills in daycare or in school, so why not teach them about other disasters? If they know what to do, they can help themselves and others.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My daughter is now in Kindergarten and my son is almost three. We read a lot of books at home and they learn a lot from those books as well as what they see and hear. If children learn these lessons now, the lessons become part of their culture. These lessons can become part of their ‘norm’ and can help them throughout their life. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that genre, right?

 

5) If you could sit down with any author in your genre, who would it be, what would you ask them and why?

My early research into this field found Julia Cook. She wrote The Ant Hill Disaster, which deals with finding the strength to return somewhere after something bad has happened. I would ask her how she got her message out. Her books help children deal with emotions and target specific behaviors. Writing the book is the easy part, but finding and building the audience that cares about your message and wants to help endorse it, is the hard part.

 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Believe it or not, LinkedIn has been the best readership builder I have had to date. I have been building relationships with childcare providers and emergency managers for years with my nonprofit, and I have found the emergency manager community especially excited to see these books out there.

 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write the books and get them out there. It’s true that the book itself has little value unless people know about it, but don’t let fear of getting the word out prevent you from getting the book out. Look for creative ways to engage people and let them know of what you offer. It’s slow, and its going to be for a while, but you have to look at it like it’s a marathon, not a sprint, or you will get discouraged. When I get discouraged, I remind myself that while we often measure success by the number of books sold, in my case at least, if just one child remembers what to do when a tornado or an earthquake happens, and they are safer because of it, then I am a success. If just one child loves your story and learns something, you too will be a success.

 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

There are so many issues left to cover. Many disasters are geographically limited. For example, earthquakes are more likely in certain areas, as are volcanoes, but we owe our kids a chance to be prepared no matter what. I am leaning towards hurricane preparedness and flash floods for the next couple of books, but I am going to ask my readers for their thoughts and their priorities – so that may change.

 

Links

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Uber Diva by Charles St. Anthony Review

Sometimes a quick read can be the best read. Rather than going through a few hundred pages of the same story, some authors chose to delve into a shorter narrative that gets the message across in fun new ways. One book that accomplished that this year was Uber Diva by Charles St. Anthony. The story is fun, humorous and informative for both anyone looking to become an Uber driver or passengers in an Uber. Here is the synopsis:

She’s sitting on a secret. The Uber Diva teaches drivers tricks of the trade while instructing passengers on how to avoid getting slapped with a 1 Star rating. Meet the freaks, learn the equipment, and see how this diva survived when a drunk driver T-Boned her car. Based on true rideshare experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This was a fantastic read. Sitting at less than 100 pages, the combination memoir and how-to guide on all things ride-share does a great job of hitting some very real topics. Whether it’s the sad state of our country’s health insurance to the lack of manners or straight up politeness in our society, this book does a great job of calling out the ridiculous situations and behavior that can arise in general, let alone in the life of an Uber driver. It also does a great job of giving a first hand account of an Uber driver, from the strange passengers they pick up to the economic value of the job itself and the inner politics of the companies.

Overall this was a great read that anyone interested in the ride-share culture should get their hands on. A funny, honest and incredible read, author Charles St. Anthony does a wonderful job of bringing a real world and human quality to the culture. If you are going to buy any quick read books this holiday season, be sure to include author Charles St. Anthony’s Uber Diva today!

Uber Diva Jetson Style.png

Rating: 10/10

Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste Review

Legends of deadly ghosts and mythical entities have been around since the dawn of time. However there are several myths about various paranormal entities named Mary, and in author Gwendolyn Kiste’s book Pretty Marys All in a Row a new story about the infamous Marys arises, and it’s a whirlwind story that fans of horror and speculative fiction will love. Here’s the synopsis:

You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.

In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.

They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.

But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.

That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.

But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.

I have to say, this is one of my favorite reads of 2017. I love creative new takes on myths and legends, and this book had a fantastic use of a new spin on several legends. The friendship and sisterhood between the Marys, especially Bloody Mary and Resurrection Mary, was such a fantastic twist to the tale. Seeing these characters bond and become so much more than their dark haunted history is a breath of fresh air to the legends, and although this book was short, it had a big impact in such a short amount of time.

The writing was spectacular. The vivid imagery used was so creative and painted an incredible picture in my mind as I read it. The character’s were the definite highlight of the book, while the complex narrative told a unique story that brought a new light to the darkness surrounding these legendary characters.

Overall this was a wonderful story that you guys need to read. The characters alone are worth the purchase, but the incredible story and smart writing showcases the fantastic command author Gwendolyn Kiste has over the speculative fiction genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copies of Pretty Marys All in a Row today!

Rating: 10/10

 

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Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal

Author Heather L. Beal has another hit children’s book in the book, Tummy Rumble Quake, a fun and education story that focuses on the danger and cause of earthquakes. Here’s the synopsis:

Lily and Niko Rabbit’s childcare class learns about the Great ShakeOut™ and about earthquakes. They learn what causes earthquakes and how an earthquake feels like shaking and sounds like a really loud tummy rumble. They practice the three safety steps of drop, cover, and hold on. At the end of the day they know how to be safe during an earthquake.

Reading this book is a great way for parents, childcare providers, and caregivers, to talk to toddlers and preschool children about earthquake safety in a non-frightening way. Children can easily relate with these characters and their story gives children the tools and information they need to help stay safe and be prepared should an earthquake happen.

What another fantastic children’s book from the author. Filled with beautiful artwork once more, the story does a great job of educating children on what causes earthquakes and how to stay safe in the event one occurs. It allows children to open their minds up and educate themselves on the way nature works and how our planet functions on a basic level. The comparisons made in the book will be sure to delight parents and children alike, and the writing is beautifully crafted to highlight the best of this genre.

Overall this was another great read in the children’s book genre. Filled with incredible imagery and a great cast of characters children will be able to relate to, parents will not want to miss this opportunity to educate their children in such a creative and fun way on earthquakes. It will keep them better prepared and will also delight them with the fantastic images. If you haven’t yet, but sure to pick up your copies of Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal today!

Rating: 10/10

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Elephant Wind by Heather L. Beal

Author Heather L. Beal delights parents and children alike with her education and fun read, Elephant Wind. Here’s the synopsis:

Lily and Niko Rabbit’s childcare class is at the elementary school science fair when a tornado warning happens. They learn how a tornado looks like an elephant trunk and sounds like a train. They also learn where they can go to be safe. When they find out the tornado damaged a neighbor’s house, they come together to help in their own charming way.

Reading this book is a great way for parents, childcare providers, and caregivers, to talk to toddlers and preschool children about tornados in a non-scary way. Children can easily relate with these characters and their story gives children the tools and information they need to help stay safe should a tornado happen.

The beautiful artwork combined with the educational look at the dangers of tornadoes blend perfectly in this quick read. Parents will love the fun way the book teaches children about the natural disaster, utilizing an elephant to showcase what a tornado does. I also enjoyed seeing the students banding together to help those in need, giving children a lesson not only in how to handle a dangerous situation, but in helping their fellow man. The writing was fantastic, illustrating both literally and figuratively the life lessons children need in order to be prepared, and educating them for the future.

Overall this was a great children’s book! A quick paced yet well developed story filled with educational moments parents and children alike will love, this is a must read for any parent out there for their children, and it’s clear that the author has a firm command of this genre. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Elephant Wind by Heather L. Beal today!

Rating: 10/10

Train 4 Safety Press
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