Zero just wants to get his paws on that apple. The apple, who has no name, knows not what awaits him. Zero is in no way tall enough to reach the apple with no name and needs a little help from his friends. Counting their way from 0 to 10, the ever-growing group of friends cooperate to help Zero in his efforts. His friends vary in size and shape, but they all have one thing in common, they want nothing more than to give their friend a hand. Will they make it? Will Zero ever get his apple?
A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name, by T.C. Bartlett, is the beautifully illustrated children’s book focused on counting. There are many counting books out there, but Bartlett has a whole new take on the concept. With a more advanced vocabulary that challenges readers, A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name contains bits of humor that parents and teachers will also appreciate–those are the best kinds of children’s books!
I have used my share of counting books over the years as a parent and elementary teacher, and Bartlett’s work is one of the best I have seen. There is much more to this little gem than meets the eye. Each of the different animals in the series of numbers offers readers the opportunity for discussion. Parents and teachers will easily find ways to have conversations about why and how each type of animal might want to help Zero. There are plenty of teaching opportunities to be had within the pages of Bartlett’s work.
I highly recommend this adorable counting story to anyone looking for an alternative to the traditional counting books. A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name makes a great addition to anyone building a library for infants and toddlers.
Pages: 48 | ISBN: 1733908617
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If you are a fan of thrilling action adventure novels, you are going to enjoy reading Serpents Underfoot, by DC Gilbert. The story follows our hero, JD, who is a Navy SEAL K9 Handler. He and his team go to various locations during their missions in areas such as the Middle East and Asia. JD is on the trail of an international terrorist organization. His mission is to try and put a stop to their devious plans. His strategy is to use a mix of Spy Optics and martial arts .
Author DC Gilbert is an artist when it comes to leaving the reader captivated and yearning for more at the end of every chapter. Readers are treated to a good dose of action, but always with a unique buildup that always ensures the action oriented pieces have a reason, and because of this the novel feels a lot more authentic, even though it can be over the top.
The book is relatively a short but none the less engaging. I enjoyed the military jargon in the book to be spot on, never overwhelming, but enough to make you feel like you were in the middle of an actual operation. I was in the military myself, and I appreciated the descriptions of the way operations are handled in this book. They are very similar to the way operations are conducted in the military. I don’t have as much experience with K9 units, but I still felt that that aspect of the book felt authentic, and occasionally even provided some comic relief in this otherwise tense novel. Any fan of the action thriller genre will be impressed by the vivid and kinetic action within this novel.
As JD, his K9 comrade, and his Navy SEAL unit goes deep undercover to discover the secrets of this horrible terrorist organization, the story never loses focus on its characters who are consistently engaging. With multiple exotic locations throughout the novel, I always felt like the team, and the story, was on the move.
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The Million Dollar Rebuttal and Stratospheric Lead Generation Secrets: Cold Calling is NOT a Numbers Game!
David Walter will make you a great salesperson, help you strategize, and get every reader to think about setting up an empire just by cold calling. The art of cold calling is known by many, but not every entrepreneur knows how to go about it. Cold calling is described as the technique in which a salesperson contacts their target market, even before the target market express interest in the products and services they are offering. Cold-calling takes bravery. One has to be bold in this form of telemarketing. The author’s writing will give one confidence to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. By the end of the book, the reader gets to understand why cold calling works and why it is one of the best marketing strategies that one can choose.
David Walter is an experienced salesman, and in his book he also talks about his life, his disappointments, successes and lessons learned through his journey. One of the best things about book is that the solutions given are practical. The author talks about a problem, and offers a solution right after explaining the problem. His way of thinking is ingenious and one can tell that through the experience he has, David Walter is a great marketing and financial adviser. This book will help you invest in the right places. Every topic the author touches on, whether it is starting from scratch, coming up with an idea, looking for money or clients, feels vetted and approachable. The author knows how to convince even non-business minded people to try entrepreneurship. Another great element about David Walter’s writing is how raw and honest he is. The author will tell you if an idea is not workable and will even share personal experiences that show where he took the wrong steps and how he corrected that.
The Million Dollar Rebuttal and Stratospheric Lead Generation Secrets is a book for any individual that has a millionaire mindset. By sharing actionable business tips, the author helps readers grow and gain knowledge in different entrepreneurial fronts. Cold calling as the main topic was one of my favorite. The author offers long term solutions for problems that many business minded people struggle with. The major lesson in the book is to start no matter the situation.
With minimal jargon and straight talk, David Walter knows how to get the reader’s attention. The Million Dollar Rebuttal and Stratospheric Lead Generation Secrets will provide you with sales techniques that will ensure you’re successful, not by volume, but by an expertly crafted plan and skillset.
Pages: 150 | ASIN: B07B6FNC4Q
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The Old Men Who Row Boats and Other Stories is a collection of impassioned short stories that follows various characters through their ordinary yet compelling lives. What were some sources of inspiration for you while writing these stories?
The primary source of inspiration was simply the experience I’ve had living in Spain, getting the opportunity to gain a sense of the history and culture and the people. Place provides such a powerful source of inspiration in general, and I think this only increased when I was immersed so completely in a culture different from the one I had been brought up in. It provided a real awakening of the senses, and I tried to be a keen observer as I worked to craft these stories.
Each of your characters were fascinating in their own way. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you found the characters in these stories interesting. If there is a driving ideal in these characters, I’d like to think that it’s rooted in their simplicity, their humanness, and the realistic nature of their personas. These characters aren’t superhuman or famous or overly powerful. In many ways, they are, well…somewhat ordinary. But they are also very much alive, which is extraordinary in its own right. They feel the weight of their own existence, and their relationships and interactions shape their own unique narratives, their own stories. I wanted to be able to explore the idea that stories don’t necessarily need an elaborate twist or a car chase or a bank robbery to be compelling. I suppose whether or not I’ve been successful in this regard is ultimately up to the reader. But it is my hope that the relationships the characters have with others (and with themselves) are moving, that their common interactions can be utterly revealing, and that the smallest moments can mean a great deal.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I would probably say the themes of loss and aging are probably most central to these stories. These things obviously have the potential to go together as we get older, and that is consistent with many of the characters in the book. But I think the theme of connection is also ever present in the book. The characters in this book seek connection—with their pasts, their futures, and, I think, with one another. Regardless of what they’ve lost, I’d like to think the stories maintain some degree of inspiration or hope.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book I am working on is a collection of stories entitled I Didn’t Know What To Say, So I Just Said Thanks, and I hope it will be out by the end of the year.
Posted in Interviews
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Madam Vice President by Julian Mann is an exciting story about Victoria Pierce, a very ambitious girl who flees her home in Oklahoma, escaping her strict parents, and moves to San Francisco where she enlists in the United States Marine Corps. She is very patient and determined, persevering and works her way up the ranks till she becomes the Brigadier General.
She gets into a dreaded love affair with the United States Senator Sam Eagan throughout her career development phase and they manage to keep it a rendezvous from everyone except one anonymous stalker. She goes ahead and joins politics where she befriends Grace Brandon who gets suspicious of Victoria’s past and poses a threat that could change Victoria’s future in politics when she is elected president.
Author Julian Mann bases this riveting story on real-life situations that are based on a real 25th amendment law that raised his concern. He uses his writing to connect with a larger audience and the vivid way the story is written makes it more relatable to readers. The flow of events creates suspense at the end of each chapter; this made it very hard for me to pick a place to set the book down. The story is filled with rich, believable, dialogue that feels engaging throughout this novel; which is important because this is a character focused drama.
The fact that the author has managed to write the book in an agrarian setting and still bring out women empowerment throughout the growth of Victoria’s career increases the book’s appeal (at least to me it does) and is a role model for strong female protagonists.
The friendship between Victoria and Grace would have been a good one if not for Grace’s envy which sparks curiosity, raising eyebrows that make her poke into Victoria’s past. Despite the bad decisions she made, the young Vera Ochman still fights against all odds to become successful.
Madam Vice President by Julian Mann has a seemingly endless flow of intriguing events that ratchets up the suspense in this dramatic political fiction novel. I think this novel will appeal to anyone looking for an engrossing political thriller that knows how to build compelling characters.
Pages: 297 | ASIN: B08TK9GM3H
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Deadly Invisible Enemies (Hunt for Evil) by Harold Lea Brown is the second book in the series. We continue to follow Kevin Albright who continues to fight a war against cybercrimes which led to the murder of his wife and son on their tenth wedding anniversary. He is now more than ever determined to catch his wife’s killers and while at it take down Big D who is hell-bent on killing him. His anger, guilt, and determination together with his intelligence are what give him an advantage over his enemies. The comparison he constantly makes between his late wife and co-worker is what helps him numb some of the pain of his loss and a bond between them grows.
Harold Lea Brown continues to show his unbeatable storytelling prowess as he smoothly connects the cliffhanger of book one with book two, clearing the suspense of Kevin’s death which had been faked by Kevin himself. Hunt for Evil has a fast pace compared to the first book with a quick succession of events within the plot. The mystery in this book is not any less than it is in the first book. Grief has been widely portrayed in the book as Kevin still hasn’t forgiven himself for what happened to his young family. He is filled with pain and rage and the same time. I love how Harold gets into Kevin’s mind making the reader feel connected to the character’s emotions and dilemma. Widely used dialogue within the book helps readers feel connected and involved in the story. The whole book is filled with mystery and sudden turn of events that keep the reader wanting more.
Hunt for Evil is a fast-paced turn cyberpunk thriller that possesses good character development and takes the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions. This is a suspenseful continuation of Harold Lea Brown’s Deadly Invisible Enemies technothriller series.
Pages: 212 | ASIN: B00P9RVEIG
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Grotto of Chaos follows a group of friends who disappear into a world like none could have dreamed and set out on a wild adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I remember visiting Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Located there is the Marvel Cave which is said to be the 3rd largest cave system in North America. How it was discovered was a young Osage tribe member was running through the woods when he fell through a sinkhole into the earth several hundred feet. I could only imagine what was going through his mind. He must have thought that he was being swallowed up into some unknown world. It made me think of what would happen to my characters if they did the same but slide even further. And then I thought, what if nature evened the odds by providing a bioluminescent light for them? Could five young teens and a dog escape from such a deep pocket in the Earth while being hunted by unworldly creatures trying to catch them?
Clarence and his friends were all interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
The kids in the book are like my offspring. They have many of my own traits as well as characteristics of people that are close to me. For example, we can take my character, Rasheed. One of his skills is that he is a sword fencer who dreams of one day being in the Olympics. I myself have been a fencer and did actually try out for the Olympics. Olivia is a dancer and martial artist. I too, have spent many years studying various martial arts, and my mother and daughters were dancers. Even the main protagonist, Clarence, was named after my fraternal grandfather, who passed away from brain cancer when I was very young. My grandfather Clarence was said to have been full of so much ingenuity, which you can see in Clarence in the book. Even the ethnic diversity of the circle of friends is based on people who have been very close to me throughout my life. So much of my own essence and the attributes of my loved ones are embedded into my characters. So for me, my characters are very personal, as if I have put part of my soul into this story.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
From start to finish, there is a lot of action in this story. But that does not mean that there is little dialog either. While the kids are being thrown into constant danger, they are constantly communicating to combine their efforts and skills to work their way out of trouble. Sometimes Clarence may rely on memories of the past to help the situation at hand. Aside from the characters, world-building was very important. Many mythological creatures are encountered, but also, a lot of science is embedded into this universe for believability. Creatures such as krakens and ghost might show up in only fiction, but the fact that you really don’t know what you would find miles into the earth, also make it feasible. According to many theories related to quantum physics, since there is an infinite number of universes, these creatures actually exist. Since the gang finds themselves in a system with somewhat of a Mandela Effect, that is where worlds collide, then all things are possible.
This is book one in The Exploits of Clarence Griffin series. What can readers expect in book two?
Without any spoilers, for those who have finished book one, we know that Clarence and his companions do not get out of this story unscathed and without debts. In book two, he will be asked to pay back that debt, thereby facing many more perils. The gang will need to stick together more than ever, and increasingly sharpen their skills for what lies ahead. Book two will also introduce new characters and foes, many of which are like none other ever featured in literature before.
Posted in Interviews
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Killing Time: Physics, Lust, and Greed is a well woven tale of one man, already at the end of his life, who is given the opportunity to go back in time and right certain wrongs. I’m not going to give away major plot points, but this is a double edged sword. Readers explore the risk vs reward of going back to an early point and changing the timeline in this gripping science fiction story. Implications of repercussions hover over the main character, Sean, as he struggles with fixing his biggest regret.
Killing Time: Physics, Lust, and Greed has an eye catching cover and a story line that is as surreal and intriguing as the cover art suggests. Murphey manages to keep his characters grounded and, while the idea of time travel is mainly science fiction at this point, he breaks the subject matter down to help readers stay in the flow of the story.
One aspect that particularly interested me was how the story is heavily character driven. Murphey’s writing style is easy and flows well. Time travel is a genre in itself at this pooint, but Mike Murphey is able to inject some new ideas and perspectives, sewn together by fascinating characters, that make the time travel concept feel fresh. The book does bounce back and forth quite a bit and can be confusing to follow in the first part, but once you establish a rhythm and start to understand the motivations of the characters and how their stories overlap you are in for a thoroughly enjoyable read. This is book three in the Physics, Lust and Greed series and no steam is lost. I’m starting to think that lumping physics in with the two other seven deadly sins, lust and greed, was intentional.
I have come to be familiar with Mike Murphey’s work and expect solid writing, but with Killing Time we also get an imaginative storyline with compelling characters propelling this science fiction adventure story forward.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B08XJZL84B
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