THE LITTLE SEAHORSE – Another Sheri Fink masterpiece


Best-selling children’s author, Sheri Fink, has done it again.  Before her latest children’s book, THE LITTLE SEAHORSE, hit the shelves, it had already claimed best-seller status.  And it’s no wonder.  Look at that adorable cover, and the story within is just as captivating and charming.  What is it about?  Let’s take a look.

Synopsis:  The bashful Little Seahorse discovers a mysterious object during his adventures and has to learn to speak up for himself and ask for help in order to bring his mother this amazing gift. In the process, he increases his self-confidence and makes wonderful new friends.

I was able to catch up with Sheri to ask her a few questions about her new book and her future plans.  Here’s what she had to say.

***

Where did the idea for The Little Seahorse come from?

I have always been enamored with seahorses. They just look so magical. I visited a few aquariums to discover more about them. Once I visited the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Hawaii and got to hold a few seahorses! I was smitten. They are very special little creatures and I’m happy to get to increase awareness of them through my book.

Oh, you lucky person, you.  Not many people can say they’ve held a live seahorse.  Very cool.  Now, you write picture books for small children. Do you have any plans to test the MG or YA waters at some point in time?

I’m open to the possibility of exploring stories for other age groups. I have a few ideas for chapter books. I’m going to follow my inspiration wherever it takes me.

What was your most embarrassing (but funny) moment as a child?

I was a very serious kid. It’s interesting that I can’t think of any embarrassing moments from childhood that were actually funny. I’m not sure what that says about me. 🙂

If you could be any character from one of your children’s books, who would it be and why?

Hmmm… I relate so well to all of my characters. I would probably choose the Little Firefly. I’m sometimes impatient with myself and just want to achieve my goals already. Sometimes it’s difficult to share that you’re not where you hoped you would be. True friends will love and appreciate you exactly as you are, whether you’ve achieved your goal or not. And, things happen when they’re meant to, not necessarily when we want them to. The Little Firefly discovers unconditional love when she accepts and shares her authentic self. I think we all need that reminder from time to time as we navigate this journey.

Speaking of journeys, what gets you through the rough times in your life?

I’ve always been very hopeful and optimistic. Being a big dreamer helps. I think what’s made the biggest difference for me is surrounding myself with friends who really believe in me. These are wonderful friends who accept me as I am, especially when I’m going through transition and need support.

What is the most memorable moment you’ve had as an adult that took your breath away and made you giddy like a little girl?

I have many moments like this as an adult. I think the most memorable is when the shipment of my first book, The Little Rose, arrived. It was the first time I’d ever seen my words in the physical form of a book, complete with my name on the front and my photo on the back cover. It was such a beautiful moment. I cried tears of joy and gratitude. I do every time I receive the first copies of my new books. It’s a magical experience.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I prefer to write outdoors on a sunny day. I like to sit at a nice patio table with a sunbrella overhead and a cold glass of water by my side. A quiet spot with nature sounds works best for me.

I completely agree.  Now onto more serious matters.  🙂  Your books incorporate animals as the main characters.  Tell us, what is your preference:  dogs or cats?

I love animals. I enjoy cuddling with both cats and dogs (and humans).

Mountains or ocean?

I live near the ocean. There’s something very powerful about the sight, sound, and smell of the ocean for me.

As a Floridian, I completely understand.  Tell us, Sheri.  You’ve won awards for your writing. How does that work? Did you have to submit your books for judging or does someone else submit? 

Most of the book competitions require you to submit your books for consideration. It’s always a fun surprise to find out that your book has been acknowledged. I love it!

Please give us a peek into an average writing day.

I start almost every day with inspirational reading and meditation. After breakfast, I head to the gym and workout. I typically check my email and Facebook during breakfast. I spend about an hour a day responding to a Fan mail, even on writing days and weekends.

After a shower, I sit down and clear my desk. I try to minimize distractions by turning off my phone and removing any objects that might call for my attention while I’m writing. I do a creativity meditation and then listen to brainwave music that’s supposed to stimulate your creativity. It sounds like rain and is very relaxing. It seems to help me focus.

I set little rewards for myself for achieving writing goals throughout the day. For example, if I write for 2 hours, then I can play on Facebook for a half hour. I set bigger rewards for achieving milestones. When I finished writing The Little Gnome, I treated myself to a long weekend in Maui. That’s motivating!

What is your next project?

My next children’s book in The Little Series is The Little Unicorn (coming March 22, 2015). The project I’m working on right now is my debut novel for adults. It’s a fun, sexy, happily ever after story for hopeful romantics like me. I’m really enjoying writing it.

I can hardly wait for The Little Unicorn.  Being a fantasy author, this one will surely touch my heart.  Thank you Sheri for your time and good luck with THE LITTLE SEAHORSE.

Sheri_Fink

Bio:  Sheri Fink is a #1 best-selling, award-winning children’s author, founder of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” children’s brand, and an international speaker. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem. Her first book, The Little Rose, was a #1 bestseller on Amazon for over 60 weeks and became the #1 top-rated e-book on Amazon. Sheri is the recipient of multiple literary awards including three gold medals in the Readers Favorite International Book Awards. All five of her books are #1 bestsellers.

In 2013, her children’s book series received the Gold Mom’s Choice Award for excellence in family friendly entertainment. Sheri was selected by CBS Los Angeles as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Sheri was honored with the 2013 Extraordinary Inspiration award for her long-lasting commitment to spreading inspirational messages of hope and self-esteem through her books, her moving life story, and her brand.

#1 Best-selling, Award-winning Children’s Author and Founder of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” Children’s Brand Become a Fan!

website:  www.TheWhimsicalWorldofSheriFink.com
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5 things teens might like to say to their parents


caution teen snarkLast night I had a brainstorm for a new YA book.  It’s a cross between paranormal and urban fantasy and my main character is this saucy, little smart-mouthed young lady who is unafraid to ‘give it back’ to her mom.

The following conversations popped out of me as I hunched over my computer at 3:30 a.m. and I realized how much she sounded like I wish I could have sounded when I was a teen.  Now, keep in mind.  I was a freaking goody two-shoes.  I NEVER did anything I wasn’t supposed to do.  I wouldn’t be alive today if I’d snuck out of the house or did drugs or drank.  My Army dad would have seen to that.  This didn’t mean I didn’t want to sass back with some quirky, disrespectful comments (and sadly, I did after my dad passed away).

Iris Ridley is that unabashed teen who readily speaks her mind and doesn’t care who’s in the line of fire, including her alcoholic mother.  As a parent, I want to strangle her. As a teen, I totally get her and almost applaud her.

What do you think?  Do you hear bits of you in Iris or Mom?  if you were/are a teen, how would you respond to Mom?

***

Mom:  “As long as you live in my house, you will live by my rules!”

Iris:  “Your house?  If that’s true, why is the bank taking it back?  Looks like we’re living by their rules, not yours, huh.”

***

Mom:  “You never lift a finger to help around this house.  You’re always out with your friends.  You just expect everything to be done and ready for you.”

Iris:  “Yeah, well at least I have friends.  You’re still searching for yours in a bottle and a glass.”

***

Mom:  “You’re the child and I’m the parent. What I say goes.”

Iris:  “Fine.  Then don’t ask for any money I make from my, what did you call it?  Oh yeah, my menial part-time job.  I mean, aren’t parents the ones who are supposed to provide for their kids, not the other way around?”

***

Mom:  “I know you are not leaving the house dressed like that.”

Iris:  “I can’t believe you’re staying in the house looking like that.”

***

Mom:  “You’ve got a bad attitude, young lady!”

Iris:  “You’d have one, too, if you didn’t have your hands wrapped around Captain Morgan all the time.”

***

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how to braid arm pit hair


Is anyone else’s blog dying a slow death?

This time last year, my blog had almost 200 hits a day.  This year, I’m lucky if I hit 30 a day.  Two days ago, I had 16 hits.  What happened?

I look back at what I was doing then.  Nothing really different than now.  It’s like my blog caught some cyber disease and is slowly croaking.  I wonder if I should put it out of its misery or perhaps start up a blog on how to braid arm pit hairs. I hear there are lots of patterns depending on the length.

What do you think?  Has anyone braided their pit hairs?  Did you use beads?  Orrrr, maybe you pierced or tattooed your arm pit?  Remember, pictures speak 1,000 words.  I’m not sure if anyone would want to see them, but hey…what a conversation piece, eh?  

 

Advertising and the Affect on Teens and Young Women


I found these videos called Killing Us Softly.  Everyone – old, young, male, female, needs to watch this series and understand advertising’s implications on our teens’ and young women’s self-esteem.

There are 4 videos and I’ve linked them below.  Personally, I’m sick of female objectification.  Everywhere we look, women are turned into nothing more than sexual objects. I cannot go to a movie without seeing T & A.  Heavens, I just watched the Wolf of Wallstreet and I couldn’t get over all the naked women and the way they were treated as if nothing more than whores.  I am irritated by sexual innuendos everywhere we turn, especially from the men who supposedly love us, as well as the use of disgusting words and phrases to describe our body parts.  It irritates me that men feel they are entitled to sex with their wives simply because there is a ring on the finger.  I’m disgusting by men who think ‘No’ means “Yes’.

I can say I grew up with these unrealistic expectations to be classy during the day but become a slut in bed.  All, save for but one man in my life, treated me like I should be a sex slave to them.  Shut up and put out.

This same message is coming across loud and clear in the advertising directed at our teen girls.  Padded bras for 7-year olds?  Yes, they’re out there.  3-year olds wearing makeup for pageants?  High heel shoes for babies?  What in the hell are we teaching our young girls?  Be innocent, demure and sexual and thin as a toothpick.  If you’re not these things, you’re disgusting and fat and no guy will ever like you.

What a horrible, horrible message to send to our young female youth.

I implore you to watch the entire series below and then make your own mind to help our young women empower themselves not with sexuality, but with self-esteem.

Please note, the use of the following media is protected under the Fair Use Clause of the US Copyright Act of 1976 which allows for rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purpose of commentary, criticism and education.

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Oggy Doggie Wednesday


My son asked me the other day, “Who are you?”  I’d just done something rather insane and idiotic so the question wasn’t meant to be philosophical, but it got me thinking.  Who am I, really?  Deep down.  What makes me tick?  So, like any writer would do, I got out a piece of paper and I wrote down the things that make me, well, me.  The first five ‘things’ that spewed forth were:

  • Mom
  • Writer
  • Animal lover
  • Nut case
  • Sentimental fool (hey, I cry over Mary Poppins and Edward Scissorhands)

That got me thinking:  if I wrote these things down in this order, is this the value I place them in my life?  Are these the primary building blocks that define me as a person?  What about being a wife?  That was like #12 on the list.  It didn’t even make the top 10.  What does that say about me?   Am I condemned to Hell because my faith didn’t top #1? What about ‘being employed’?  Am I bringing about bad financial juju because I’m content with working from home as a writer, even though I haven’t seen one cent from anything I’ve written?

Or am I over thinking?  Is the placement irrelevant so long as the ‘defining things’ made the list? Or, wait.  Here’s another question.  Do I see myself as others see me?  Would my list match my friend’s or family’s list? Better yet?  What difference does it make?  Am I defined by their list or mine?  Both?

Oh  my gosh, finding out who I am is like trying to map out a character in one of my novels…except worse.  Geez, I mean, I can create them, mold them, make them be however I want them.  I can’t do that with…

Wait.  Hold the phone. Shut the front door.  I just had a revelation.  I’m a writer.  Of course I can create me, mold me, make me however I want.  What a doofus I am.  It’s called free will, Jenny Minny.  And why do I care how I appear on anyone else’s list?  I’m not in charge of their opinions of me.  That would involve gathering an army of minions.  I don’t have the energy for that.  All that matters is my own list.  And here’s something else I learned.  It doesn’t matter where any of the ‘things’ fall on my list, because they all make me who I am, and you know what that is?  Special.  And if you disagree with me, I’ll turn you into a character in my book.  Let’s see how you like those apples.

What about you?  Do you let others define you or do you define yourself?  Do you have an army of minions I can borrow?

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


Putting on the corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.  Can’t wait to dig in.

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day, and if you attend any parties tonight, make sure you have a designated driver.

 

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DARKSIDE SUN – a review


Entangled Embrace Publishing found a gem when they signed Jocelyn Adams to their lineup of authors.

I’ve been a fan of Ms. Adams for some time now. It all started with THE GLASS MAN and my addiction to her writing grew from there. After reading all of her works, I have to say DARKSIDE SUN is her best novel by far!

Wow, what a ride. I bought this e-book the day it came out and completed it in 24 hours. I simply could not put it down. Ms. Adams’ writing style had me hooked from Page 1. I’ve never read anyone like her. She has a unique way with words. She has a tone, pizzazz and umph that follows her throughout her books. When you pick up a Jocelyn Adams book, you know it, and it’s refreshing because you know you can expect well-written, thought-provoking prose that will grip you from beginning to end.

Her two main characters in DARKSIDE SUN had me wrapped around their little fingers from the moment I met them. Addison has been dealing with a terrifying paranormal activity for twelve years, since she was 6 years old. Now that she is older and in college, the activities are increasing. The reader becomes Addison. We experience everything with her as it happens to her, including seeing her hot professor, Asher Green, for the first time. OMGosh, my heart be still. Talk about a yummylicious heart throb you love to hate to love. Even when he’s being a douchebag, you, like Addison, can’t help but be majorly attracted to him. There is so much tantalizing heat between these two that will make all the women readers out there swoon, yet Ms. Adams treats the sexual tension with respect and dignity, giving only enough away to keep us wishing for more. In between all that hotness, however, is a vulnerability in both Addison and Asher. They are incredibly flawed in so many ways, yet Ms. Adams geniously intertwines their strengths and vulnerabilities, neither outweighing the other. Brilliant.

The plot had me engrossed from the beginning. Ms. Adams has a unique way to weave the reader in and out of this creepy, wraith-filled world, taking them through the mulitiple layers and dimensions she created for this paranormal masterpiece. It was a non-stop journey for 302 pages and the last paragraph is a doozie. It left me spell-bound and breathless. I wanted more. I always do from this author. DARKSIDE SUN didn’t disappoint.

I give this novel 5 stars for originality, complexity, gravitational pull, sexual tension and just downright honest to goodness solid writing. The story flowed so well I forgot I was reading. It will be interesting to see how Ms. Adams tops this novel.

My only complaint with DARKSIDE SUN is in its cover. It does not convey the intensity of this story or the powerful paranormality of it. This is no fault of the author’s. If I was not a fan of Ms. Adams, I don’t think I would have picked this one up because the cover is so plain, unenticing. Entangled Publishing, please consider a more intense cover with the next book in the series, one that reflects the fierceness, the magnitude that is DARKSIDE SUN and its heroine, Addison. Speaking of which, there is a ‘next’, right? I rub my hands together in anticipation.

 

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Win an ARC of UNNATURAL by J.A. Belfield


J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARCs of Unnatural by J.A. Belfield!

Check it out!

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.
The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

A great addition to the Holloway Pack, UNNATURAL will please both veterans of the series and new readers alike. It also just might be the paranormal romance you’ve all been waiting for.

And J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARC copies.

To YOU!

You don’t even have to be a book blogger!

Nope, so long as you are willing to leave an honest review* between the dates March 19th and April 6th 2014, you are eligible to enter.

Interested?

Then just fill out the form and keep your fingers crossed.

You have until midnight of March 18th to enter.

*A review should consist of your honest thoughts regarding a book, usually a few paragraphs long and around 150 – 500 (sometimes more) words in length.

About J.A. Belfield:

One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

TORN by Laney McMann – Cover Reveal


TORN

by Laney McMann
Fire Born series Book 2
Release Date: September 8, 2014
Target Reader: Young Adult
Keywords: FictionParanormal RomanceUrban Fantasy

Back of the Book:

Find Max.

That’s all Layla cares about. Not healing from the Fomore attack. Not finding answers to how she survived a fall that nearly killed her. Nothing will stop her. She will find him. She’ll even pair up with an overbearing Fallen Angel who’s hell bent on making everything harder than it needs to be if she has to.

Protect Layla.

For Max, nothing else matters. Not the bruises covering his body. Not the pain radiating from his broken bones. Not even his hands tied behind his back. He will find a way to save Layla, and the Fomore will pay if they’ve hurt her.

Every. Single. One of them.

In the second installment of The Fire Born trilogy, a new breed of villain looms—one Layla and Max will never suspect, and this killer has nothing to lose. Better yet, with Max and Layla’s deaths, victory is in the grip of the enemy.

Will Max and Layla find each other in time, or is it already too late for them both?

***

Book 1 in the series (click the image to read more on Goodreads):