POWERBALLS

Powerballs Be careful what you wish for by Jimmy Clifton is a story about a middle-aged couple who unexpectedly wins the lottery and find themselves in a very different world, offering them a life vastly different from their challenging careers and financial struggles. Henry Ball, an accountant in a progressive firm, fantasizes about living a more exciting life, fantasies about his younger female coworkers and greater recognition at work. Likewise, Henry’s wife, Rose Ball, dreams of a luxury lifestyle that she sees her friend enjoy.

As the couple dreams about their ultimate life, they suddenly realize their most fantastic fantasy, winning the Powerball lottery. Quickly though, they learn how this transformation will create a new set of challenges for each of them. Things are not what they seem as they dive into this extravagant world. This growing tension and realization of their newfound financial freedom becomes a journey that leads them on separate paths. The couple’s new adventures lead to many exciting and humorous encounters that give them a changed perspective on life, but not without a few shocking lessons and opportunities.

Readers will enjoy this light and funny read that details the struggles of a couple’s journey from mediocracy to luxury and how they trade one set of tension and challenges for another, with higher risks and experiences. The author narrates a well-paced, lively tale that creates a sense of hope and adventure for a couple struggling with mid-life identity and goals while transitioning into the extravagant world of billionaires and how they transform into this world of privilege.

Powerballs Be careful what you wish for is a riveting, enjoyable read that’s quickly absorbed. It’s a fun page-turner that readers will find entertaining and witty, with brilliant character development, lots of action, and a well-structured story filled with drama. Readers looking for travel fiction or contemporary American fiction will enjoy this humorous, fast-paced read.

Pages: 250 | ASIN : B094DTBRPX

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The Ballad of Billy McFee

Billy McFee is a fish with a ship. The problem is his ship is stuck in the muck. He wants to sail his ship and have fun, but he can not pull it free. While singing a shanty and working to pull the ship free, he attracts the attention of other sea creatures. Two clams tell him he will fail. A crab watches from the seaweed, and a shark and a whale swim over to help. Finally, the unlikely team works together to free the ship from the muck.

This whimsical children’s book, written by Ruby Mosher, takes a sea shanty theme and turns it into a lighthearted story about teamwork, diversity, and positive thinking. The song aside, this book has fantastic artwork that will appeal to adults and children. There are many easter eggs hidden in the pages and parallel stories. The clams are hysterical with their naysayer attitude and side discussions that relate back to Billy’s ship problem. Billy learns to ignore them, just like we all have to ignore the naysayers that try and push us off our own paths. All the books that Emma the crab is reading have entertaining titles and give fun extra facts relating to nautical topics and self-esteem. Each member of Billy’s crew brings unique talents to the ship and this memorable story.

This captivating children’s book is designed to be read as a poem, a story, or sung as a sea shanty. This heartwarming picture book is a highly original concept that combines all the messages and storylines into one big picture while imparting critical social messages to children.

The Ballad of Billy McFee: A sea shanty to read or sing is an entertaining picture book that children and parents will love to read or sing to. Teachers can use this book for all preschool and elementary school-age children to teach different morals or introduce ocean science units.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B09KSBHV3F

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The Other Side of Good

The Other Side of Good by E.A. Coe raises a profound and existential question we’ve all pondered at some point: is it possible to be both ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ or is it one or the other? This captivating police thriller explores the idea that the kind of person one is may not be so black and white and takes readers on an exciting and thought-provoking journey of the gray area in between right and wrong.

Author Coe introduces an exciting combination of characters based in Cincinnati intertwined in each other’s lives with intriguing complexity. First, we meet police Commander Denton Jones, who reconnected with childhood friend turned high-powered drug cartel leader, Theo Jackson.

Both men experienced childhood trauma together, leading them to turn to different sides of the law. However, they now find themselves fighting for the same cause-to take down an alarmingly powerful human trafficking ring. We follow the men through a fast-paced mission, full of unexpected twists and turns and unusual alliances. Add in police and government corruption, shocking acts from a Pastor, and international gang activity, and Coe gives us a page-turning tale we find ourselves entranced in.

This riveting crime novel gives readers a look into the horrible realities of human trafficking. It plays with the notion of a gray area between good and evil. Coe encourages readers to open their minds and explore if our intrinsic beliefs about those we see as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are really as cut and dry as we have thought. This suspenseful novel has a large cast of characters that the reader will need to pay attention to learn who is part of what faction. Once readers understand who the key players are, readers won’t be able to help but root for the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good.’

The Other Side of Good is a gripping and intensive police crime mystery novel. The action and suspense will keep readers on edge till the last page.

Pages: 356 | ASIN : B09M96X57D

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A Reluctant Protagonist

Tracy Grogan Author Interview

Flotsam follows a diver that stumbles upon two murder victims. While assisting in the investigation she becomes the next potential victim. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I knew from the beginning that Ricky would be a reluctant protagonist and that it would be tied to her being a divemaster, so that was the first step. The second was that it needed to be something that was outside of the normal divemaster experience — dive accidents are something they train and any accident would reflect badly on Ricky, so it couldn’t be anything having to do with a diver. As I tried to figure this out, I decided that “place” might help in the decision. Once I decided on Palau, and its complex relationship with the Japanese, I began to research the yakuza and found a story about the yakuza kidnapping a South Korean politician with plans to weigh him down and throw him overboard into the Sea of Japan (spoiler alert: Japanese officials intercepted the boat just as the yakuza were bringing him up to the deck and he was saved)

Ricky is a complex character that even other characters have trouble understanding. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Ricky doesn’t think she’s complex. She is, at her core, conflict-averse. That’s why she tries to keep whole oceans between her and her family. But she has a trigger, which is an innate sense of responsibility. And when that trigger gets flipped, when others refuse to take responsibility and accountability that is theirs, she is stubbornly going to work to right the wrong. But there’s a better answer: Ricky is based on roughly a dozen women divemasters I’ve met over the years. They work and live in a male-dominated environment, 24 by 7. They have to know when to be conciliatory and when to be dominant. They are fun-loving but incredibly reliable once they step on the boat. For Ricky, the history that influences her decision of when to make that switch goes back to her teenage years in Hawai’i and her experience with a man who murdered her best friend.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Obviously, I’ve included a mix of local politics and environmental advocacy in the book. These are prominent in Palau’s everyday experience. In fact, when you enter Palau today, they take up a whole page of your passport with the Palau Pledge. It begins “Children of Palau, I take this pledge as your guest to preserve and protect your beautiful and unique island home.” Palau is at the forefront of the concept of shark sanctuaries and continues to expand that model. I don’t think you can tell a story about Palau without including that.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Most people will be disappointed to hear that it’s not called Jetsam. There are actually four categories in maritime law that relate to shipwrecks. Derelict and Lagan are the other two. Book two will be Derelict. I’m a big fan of Tana French and her concept of keeping the story fresh by maintaining certain elements but shifting others around in the Dublin Murder Squad. The sites change and the protagonists change. Minor characters become lead characters. I decided that I would use a primary characteristic of expat divemasters and that every book would be in a new locale. Derelict is based in the Sinai Peninsula in Dahab, a small town with a very famous (and dangerous) dive site. I went to Dahab on December 27 of 2012, one day after the new president imposed a new constitution, spurring protests and clashes throughout the country. Some of my experiences made it into the book. It will be available in June of 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Many consider Ricky Yamamoto to be the island’s most competent diver, but the police think she has a few screws loose. Those who consider her a friend wouldn’t disagree with either assessment.

When her morning dive is interrupted by a spinning tangle of chains and bodies, she is dragged into an international free-for-all. As authorities bicker, and rumors fly, the villains fight to eliminate loose ends, tracking Ricky through WWII tunnels, on a high speed chase through the lush tropical islands, and back to where it all began – the edge of her favorite cliff.


I Found It Just As Interesting

Colleen Brice
Colleen Brice Author Interview

Ships, Sleighs and Christmas Lights tells the story of how a young boy from Patara grew into the man we now think of as Saint Nicholas. What inspired you to write this story?

There are many wonderful things about gift-giving at Christmas time but for Christians who celebrate the holiday, it can be tricky separating the commercial from the spiritual. I have friends who want to embrace the fun of the season with their children, while making them aware of the historical figures associated with Christmas. I wrote the book with them in mind. Having researched Nikolaos’ life, I found it just as interesting as some of the fantasy stories about Santa Claus.

What were some of the challenges you had moving from being an illustrator to an author and illustrator?

I am used to complimenting an author’s words with illustrations so owning both aspects of picture book storytelling was a new experience for me. An outline of the story came first, then I sketched some of the key scenes. I worked with an editor before I started drawing, so the text was finalised and I knew how much space would be needed in the layout for the illustrations.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Nikolaos is recognised as a saint. I wanted to explore ways in which his upbringing shaped his beliefs. Not everyone will relate to him in this way but I’d like to think the book will be of interest to people with different beliefs too. Much of the book is about culture and the ways in which we influence one another (hopefully for the better). Although our clothes and countries of origin may appear to be different, people are always drawn to goodness.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

There were so many legends about Saint Nicholas to draw on and some were only hinted at in Christmas Lights. I am writing a story about three young girls whose father fell on hard times. Nikolaos allegedly provided the family with special gifts but I wanted to tell the story from the girls’ perspective so they have a sense of agency. Most girls work hard but are not given opportunities or rewards. I’d like to think a privileged man like Nikolaos would address such imbalances. I hope to publish it in time for Christmas 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Snow-covered trees, twinkling lights and sleighs – these remind us of Christmas. But what about sunlit hills, an ancient lighthouse or a wooden ship at sea. Discover where Saint Nicholas (or Nikolaos) came from and follow him on his adventures. Did he really wear a red suit and deliver gifts to children? Learn how people living in different times and places added a bit of themselves to his story.

The Toxic Consequences

Author Interview
Aaron T Knight Author Interview

Dr. O and the Eco-X follows a doctor who invents a way to eliminate plastic and pollution, but the innovation has unexpected consequences. What inspired the idea at the heart of this story?

Some time ago I was shocked to learn about the massive size of plastic waste afloat off the Southern California coast. What hit me was the reference to the plastic mess as being larger than the state of Texas! Then I saw some graphic photos of the ugly mess floating out there and the toxic consequences to marine life. How long will are “fearless leaders” be able to ignore a major problem like this? Perhaps when the first surge of the plastic waste drifts up Hollywood Boulevard?

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

It was fun to do a satire on a scientist, one more time. deciding he could outwit Nature and get away with it. They never learn. Eco-X creatures were fun to portray along with the consequences of ego saving actions, disavowing any involvement and of course a rush to make money off the glaring publicity. It was fun.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this novel?

The numerous reactions of people to the crisis from pointing fingers at others to proclaiming innocence, and how money always carries the day.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a finished manuscript staring at me every day but I have to feel right about the story before releasing it. This one is another satire/humor novel but the feeling I get when I know it floats hasn’t happened yet. Thanks for your interest.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Nature has its own rigid rules beyond the power of anyone to modify it without unexpected results. Here are a few examples of disastrous results for what seemed to be brilliant ideas at the time. Apparently Nature’s laws were ignored and without testing these things were recklessly launched. KUDZU is an African vine introduced into the South to combat soil erosion. This plant is aggressive and only has one purpose take over all of the forest space possible. Looking at a forest invaded by the Green Menace you can almost see it growing over trees.
KILLER BEES are an African species introduced because of its ability to produce more honey in a short time. Unfortunately it is agressive and will take over any area. Domestic bees aren’t bred to be fighters and are defenseless against these marauders. ORIENTAL LEAPING FISH were certainly a surprise when they began to appear in fresh water lakes. This little gem leaps out of the water as it swims, and eats water plant life voraciously. Another froriegn invader threatening to wipe out many species of domestic fish since they leave nothing to eat for other species. Swell.
Dr.O had great respect for the powers of nature and altering things in its domain was a perilous path. He vowed never to venture there.Dr. O spent 20 years using embryos to design a unigue creature whose diet consisted of the oil carbons in plastic. Any plastic. As genetist and DNA expert he created the perfect creature to rid the planet of the plastic mess.
Growing them out of embryos there was absolute control of the population since they didn’t reproduce. Success brought on unexpected problems as the world demand mounted and his embryo process was too slow to meet the demand.
Greedy pigs became part of the operation and they pressured Dr. O into making them capable of reproducing. No. no, no he protested—- But perhaps if he was very careful he could keep Nature’s laws out of his creation. No need to tell you there was hell to pay. Follow the wild adventures of the reproductive ECO-X and the humorous incidents they caused. Call them the Wild Bunch.
Demo at initial conference:
As we all know plastic is not bio degradable, but by removing their oil carbon atoms, the rest of the plastic components return to their natural state. He had to stop talking because the crowd erupted into hundreds of excited conversations. Joe stepped aside for Dr. O. so he could continue on with the lecture when the audience calmed down. They moved on to the actual field demonstration of the plastic eating animal A large round container was wheeled to the center of the auditorium filled with plastic scraps. The lab assistants opened the metal box and brought out one hundred Eco-X. They didn’t have to be coaxed to eat plastic They dove head first into the plastic and bored holes with their corkscrew snouts. Soon there was a low hum emenating from the container similar to the sound of sawing wood. They watched the level of plastic parts sinking faster and faster as the Eco-X creatures swung into eating their native sustenance. Within fifteen minutes all of the plastic was consumed. There were audible burping sounds coming from the container. At the bottom of the tank the Eco-X chirped loudly apparently a happy noise for a great meal. It sounded like the chirping of small birds, wrens, warblers etc. in springtime. Around them a vapor cloud formed and floated upward over the amphitheater. It rained inside the auditorium until the cloud was gone. It was all too weird for most of the guests who rushed for the exit doors in a panic. They were soaking wet and wondering if these glutinous little beasts might still be hungry.

I Wanted To Challenge The Narrative

Samuel Sanders
Samuel Sanders Author Interview

Your Next Big Idea: Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving takes readers through the mental process of turning their ideas into actions. Why was this an important book for you to write?

My inspiration came after noticing an omission in entrepreneurship education. When students learn about entrepreneurship, teachers refer to already successful companies, like Google or Apple, but rarely talk about how those founders developed and cultivated their ideas in the first place. This type of teaching does a disservice to students. It can lead to frustration as people ask questions like, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It can also lead to confusion and even damage a person’s creative confidence. Many who experience this omission wonder if they would ever be able to develop an innovative idea, permanently labeling themselves as “not creative.” I wanted to challenge the narrative around how we teach entrepreneurship by creating a nonfiction work that teaches readers how the top creatives and innovators develop ideas in the first place. I do this by taking a step back and examining the ideation process to serve as a foundation for entrepreneurial development.

As someone who grew up where language arts was my weakest subject, I wanted to challenge the typical design of a nonfiction book. I wondered whether a nonfiction book could be redesigned to be a better teaching tool for readers. Research from the University of Chicago, Boston University, and University of Texas show that experiential learning increases comprehension of a subject. While typical books use text and pictures to relay information, I realized that rethinking communication entirely would provide readers the best chance to learn and absorb information. Throughout the book, I included 54 exercises meant to take the reader on an experiential journey that helps them better reinforce and explore the information presented.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were younger?

The hardest part of accomplishing work is often getting the courage to get started. Once you form a routine it is like a slow-moving train that keeps inching closer and closer until you cross the finish line!

Also if you have a risky idea, try it now. Don’t wait. You never quite know where the idea will take you and you can always stop along the way.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

It was, “Write about what you know.” If you feel like you have expertise about something, write about it. Putting out a published work in nonfiction will increase your credibility on the subject. This can ultimately lead to new career opportunities, new personal opportunities, and new connections.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I currently have a couple of ideas I am working on! None of them are quite final yet, but I hope to be able to put another creative work out there soon!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Winner of 8 Awards!IndieReader 2021 Discovery Awards Business Category Book of the Year
ReadFree.ly Top 100 Indie Books of 2021
2021 Living Now Mind Award Winner
Nonfiction Authors Association Gold Medal Book Award
2021 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest – Marketing Book of the Year
Independent Author Network Book of The Year Awards – 2021 Business, Finance, and Sales Book of the Year
Best Book Awards – 2021 Interior Design of the Year
Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Winner

This book is carbon negative.

From an author who has written for Business 2 Community Advertising Week comes a book featured by Yahoo!Booklist Magazine, Publishers Weekly, ABC’s Good Morning Washington, Thrive Global, multiple affiliates of CBSFox and NBC.

This non-fiction business and self-help creativity guide encourages innovation in aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders. Have you ever looked at a product and thought, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ or, ‘I’m just not a creative person!’ Improve problem-solving skills and increase the effectiveness of knowledge management in your organization to come up with the next game-changing idea to hit the market!

In this book you will:Learn how others innovate by examining the world around them
Practice asking questions, and see how to recognize details in observations
Complete creative exercises to get into the right mindset
Understand the importance of sharing ideas, and assess their feasibility

Fueling You to Find: Your Next Big Idea

Courage Over Fear

Michael Ssentamu
Michael & Alysia Ssentamu Author Interview

Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear follows a young girl that must conquer her fear of water in order to attend her best friend’s birthday party. What inspired you to write this picture book?

When we started teaching our children about having a positive mindset and our positive and negative inner voices we came up with this great idea of a character called Sticky Icky Vicky, who must deal with water fear and face her inner voices.

The book is vaguely based on our youngest daughter’s fear of water. At the time Rhea was having great difficulty being introduced to water and learning to swim because she had grommets in her ears, (tiny tubes inserted into the eardrum to treat a build up of fluid in the middle ear and prevent recurrent ear infections), after having repeated ear infections and didn’t like putting her head under water.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with the illustrator Noor Alshalabi?

The art work is fantastic in that it’s vibrant, very imaginative and completely distinctive.

Noor Alshalabi is a Jordan based picture book illustrator while my husband and I are based In Canberra, Australia. All the collaboration for this amazing art work and illustrations for Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear was done through email, with the occasional phone call or FaceTime. This is all a testament to Noor’s brilliant communication skills and ability to work as part of a team. She is very skilled at reading into our comments and creating something amazing. We are very happy to have her working with us.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

The principle message we want to pass across is that – it is okay to have fear, but it is not okay to let the fear stop you from doing what you like, love or need to do.

Courage over Fear offers children an inspirational/loveable heroine who learns some valuable lessons like courage, positive thinking and goal-setting. It is a reading experience that leaves children believing that they, like Vicky, can get past any obstacle in their way.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The second book in the Sticky Icky Vicky series is called “Sticky Icky Vicky: Choosing to Be Myself.”

It follows Vicky and her love for playing in the mud, getting all icky and sticky. But when a school bully starts making fun of her, Vicky’s love for mud play is dashed. That is, until she learns about upcoming International Mud Day. Vicky wants nothing more than to get in on the fun—but first she needs to stop listening to other people’s opinions.

Sticky Icky Vicky: Choosing to Be Myself will be available for purchase from March 2022.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Meet Sticky Icky Vicky, a girl who wants to get over her fear—once and for all
In Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear, the first book in the Sticky Icky Vicky™ series, authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu introduce readers to Vicky, a fun-loving girl who doesn’t mind getting a little sticky and icky. She loves rolling down hills and playing in mud—but when it comes to water, Sticky Icky Vicky’s fear prevents her from joining in the fun. Then Vicky gets an invitation for a waterpark party, and she decides that she really wants to go—even if it means ignoring the Negative Ned voice in her head and getting over her fear.
With vibrant illustrations and catchy rhymes, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear offers children an inspirational/loveable heroine who learns some valuable life lessons, such as:
Courage
Positive thinking
Goal-setting
Aimed primarily at readers aged six to ten, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear is a reading experience that leaves kids believing that they, like Vicky, can get past any obstacle in their way.
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