Ava the Monster Slayer by Lisa Maggiore


Ava the Monster Slayer:  A Warrior Who Wears Glasses.  is a tale about a young girl who slays monsters right in her own basement.  Written by Lisa Maggiore, this story teaches young readers that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

In the story, we meet young Ava – a cute and adorable little girl.  One night before going to bed, she loses her favorite stuffed toy.  She soon learns that the toy is not lost at all, her mom left it in the dryer.  There’s just one big problem.  The dryer is in a dark and creepy place: the basement.  After unsuccessfully soliciting her mom and brother’s help in getting piggy, she learns that there are just some things that kids must do on their own.  Armed with a superhero cape and sword,  quirky Ava embarks on a very exciting rescue mission – proving that little kids can do big things.  Hidden behind this book is a message about being different and conquering your fears. With its bold and vibrant illustrations, this book is definitely more than meets the eyes.

Recommended for young readers between three and six.  For more information, visit the author’s website.


Meet Tom Hoefner

Tom Hoefner is a writer, director, and teacher (not necessarily in that order) who lives in Brooklyn with his wife Jaime, his daughters Gabby and Audrey, and their cat Zelda. In his spare time he stages college and high school musicals, plays too much Nintendo, and roots for the Mets.
Read his interview below.
How long have you been writing?
That depends on your definition of “writing”. I’ve been writing to entertain others since junior high, I’ve been writing full-length plays and screenplays since college, and I started writing fiction about eight years ago. I’m 38 now, so… I’ve been writing for twenty-five years? Give or take? Man, I’m old.

What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
The full first volume of my serialized adventure comedy book series THE UNLIKELY ADVENTURES OF RACE & COOKIE McCLOUD is available on Amazon (alongside my YA Rom-Com JUST DEBBIE) and I’m working on Vol. 2, Book 1 right now – CLOCKPUNKED. I’m also rewriting RAP’T, a work-in-progress stage play, and I have a blog for which I compose short essays centered around my love of Japanese video game giant Nintendo, aptly named NINTENDO & ME.

Who’s your favorite author and why? 
My favorite author doesn’t exist. But if he or she did, they would be a composite of J.K. Rowling’s heart, Douglas Adams’ brain, George R.R. Martin’s raw talent, Nail Gaiman’s work ethic, Brian Michael Bendis’ sense of humor, and David Ives’ wordplay.

What inspires you to write? 
J.K. Rowling’s heart, Douglas Adams’ brain, George R.R. Martin’s raw talent, Nail Gaiman’s work ethic, Brian Michael Bendis’ sense of humor, and David Ives’ wordplay. That wasn’t just a copy-and-paste cop-out answer, it was a CLEVER copy-and-paste cop-out answer. I swear it was. (It also happens to be true.)

What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Three things. First, write primarily for yourself. You don’t know if anyone else is ever going to see it. Second: allow yourself to write crap. Writing crap is better than writing nothing. If you dig around in it, you may find a diamond. This metaphor is gross. Three: if you’re bored while writing it, your audience will be bored while reading it. Find another way. I lied; here’s the fourth thing: always strive for perfection, but accept that you will never, ever reach it.

Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?
I’mma start with my Amazon page (http://amazon.com/author/tomhoefner) cuz that’s where people can buy stuff from me.
Then there’s my GoodReads page (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14048553.Tom_Hoefner) which is kept as up-to-date as anything on all of my work. You can also check out my aforementioned blog page, ME AND NINTEND(https://meandnintendo.wordpress.com/) which is a great read if you really like Nintendo, and there’s definitely at least five or six of us left who do. Finally, here’s a link to sign up for my mailing list (http://eepurl.com/bnOGyj); any new book or play news will be publicized through here. I don’t do much on Twitter and Facebook anymore, even though one of the main characters of JUST DEBBIE is obsessed with them. They’ve become incoherent cesspools, particularly in this past American election cycle. That’s pretty harsh, but I’ll stand by it. Besides, they’re too general. GoodReads is a much better platform on which to target people who still read books.

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Meet Tim Van Minton

Yarnmouth Abduction is a  thrilling tale that will leave you breathless. Falsely accused of murder, twelve-year-old Evan Peregrine battles through a raging storm to get home to the island of Little Yarnmouth only to find it deserted. Searching for explanations he is soon plunged into the savage world of the Conkwoyoto, an Arctic tribe that turned to piracy after the polar ice cap broke apart. But there is something strangely familiar about these fearsome men and their tattooed faces, and memories of the day he lost his leg and his mother in a collision with an iceberg come flooding back. Now Evan must avoid being captured by the police and Conkwoyoto while trying to track down the missing islanders, prove his innocence in a murder, and uncover the mystery of the Arctic tribe that’s traveled thousands of miles to Little Yarnmouth Island.
Read the author’s interview below:
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction for almost fifteen years. I was immediately attracted to the longer format of novel writing as opposed to short stories. The second manuscript I wrote was about the New York art world set in the nineties. I found an agent for it but unfortunately she never found a publisher (The first manuscript I wrote never saw the light of day and never will!). The next thing I wrote was a multi layered story set in Spain with local gangsters and unsuspecting individuals who get caught in their world. This I compared to the works of T.C. Boyle and Carl Hiaasen. It never found a publisher. One day I will revisit this and the art world manuscript, give them a fresh edit and publish on Amazon.
I started The Little Yarnmouth Abduction a few years ago. I really wanted to write a Young Adult book that I would have loved to read as a boy. I was also drawn to the idea of creating new worlds and so set it in the near future. In it I imagine the Arctic ice breaking apart and the discovery of tribes that lived on the ice undisturbed for centuries. They turn to piracy when their homes are torn apart.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
I am currently working on a manuscript called St. Georges P.R.S. It is in the second edit phase. I’m excited as it’s my first step into YA paranormal. I’ve written it in the first person present tense so it’s got a real immediacy when you read it. Here’s the blurb about it:
Such is the fear of St. Georges Private Reform School that the mere mention of it could scare even the toughest and meanest boys straight. When Arun Anderson is sent for stealing a boat he expects the horror stories about prison guard like teachers, harsh discipline techniques and inedible food to be true. But after an arduous ferry ride to a remote island he and his new classmates learn that St. Georges P.R.S. is not a reform school but a Paranormal Research School that they have been individually selected to attend. Baklander, the headmaster, warns, “This is not a ghost hunting school, nor is it a vampire obsessed, UFO chasing, Big Foot trapping, Bermuda Triangle believing school.  At St. Georges we concentrate on real paranormal occurrences.” Within days Arun accidentally enters a mysterious room full of strange artifacts, one of which comes alive in his presence. Following the experience, he suffers terrible screaming nightmares. No sooner do they stop than the whole school starts suffering from them, yet no one but Arun is aware of it. Unusual occurrences are happening throughout the vast grounds. Teachers are acting different, pupils are acting different and Arun’s visionary nightmares are turning into reality. Now he must find out why everyone is acting so strangely and what has left an enormous hole in the Arctic ice and is now making its way south towards St. Georges Island.
What inspires you to write? 
Life and other writers. I love to write and although thankless, lonely and full of rejection I couldn’t think of not doing it. I love that moment of joy when I write something that makes me smile and say, “I can’t believe I thought of that!” I’m totally inspired by other writer’s works.
Who’s your favorite author and why? 
I don’t have a favorite but I do admire many. My tendency is toward writers who I consider write well. Margaret Atwood is one. I love her writing style and love most everything she has written, especially Oryx & Crake and the MaddAddam Trilogy. I loved the future bleak world she created. I like the works of Jim Crace, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tim Winton and many many more. The list is too long for here. But I am adding them to my Good Reads page which I recently started. At the moment I’m reading “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James, which is stunningly brilliant and very thick!
What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Write tons and read tons more. Ask yourself why something you have read is so effective. Think about how the writer set it up. How they created the scene. How they introduced the characters.
Keep writing. Don’t over think it. If you can’t think where it’s going just keep writing and you’ll find the way. I truly believe this is the way to create surprise. If you can think of every move your characters are going to make before they make them then your reader probably will too. If you don’t know what they are going to do then neither will your reader.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work? 


Meet Father Nick Marziani

Father Nick Marziani is the author of Holy Fool, Holy Father, a stirring story of opposing forces reconciling, and the ordinary rising to the extraordinary.
How long have you been writing? 
Since the year 2011, about five years.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
The novel Holy Fool, Holy Father, published by Carpenter’s Son.
What inspires you to write? 
Typically “Big Idea” themes with religious and/or spiritual implications, especially involving challenging and fresh ways of thinking, but done in a fictional mode as opposed to something more didactic like non-fiction.
Who’s your favorite author and why? 
Canadian award-winning author Michael O’Brien, who has for years written on similar topics, but far better than I do. He also does his own illustrations and iconography, truly a genius.

What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Pretty much what many have already said – believe in yourself and yours ideas, otherwise nobody else will. And persevere, never give up. Oh, and submit to the good judgment of mentors and gifted editors. They really can make the difference between a mediocre work and a page-turner.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work? 


Book Review: The Brown Paper Bear by Neil Reed

brown-paper-bearThere are some things in life that instantly create moments of nostalgia.  The Brown Paper Bear wonderfully creates one of those moments where readers are transported back through time, perhaps to a playful and joyous childhood.

In this beautifully illustrated story, a young girl named Jessica is awakened out of her sleep by an illuminating light.  Drawn by the light’s glare, she stumbles into a closet where a trunk full of toys awaits.  At first glance, the toys appear dusty, old, and unfamiliar.  She then finds a teddy bear wrapped in a brown paper bag.   Once unwrapped, she learns that the teddy bear is magical and its magic seems ignited by her warm embrace.  The toy bear gently grabs her by the hand and beckons her to meet his friends.  He takes young Jessica on a journey to meet other retro toys from a time long ago.  The young girl plays with the toys and is later returned home only to wake up and wonder if it was all a dream – but her grandfather knows better.

Although this book is simplistically told, both the illustrations and words work in tandem to create an endearing feeling of warmth and compassion. This is definitely a book that I would recommend for parents as a night time read aloud.

Book Review: The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings

Imagine living in a world where some of the most feral and bloodcurdling creatures dwell, in secrecy, among the human race. In The Longest Con, author Michaelbrent Collingsconjures up a cryptic tale of fantasy, mystery, and humor that will leave you spellbound.  Acting in a dual role as both the author and protagonist, Collings gives his readers a sagacious view into his life as an unassuming author to most but warden to the demonic creatures of the ‘other world’. Hired by a magical council, Collings’ job as a warden is to keep the supernatural bad guys in line. There’s just one problem.  Everybody wants him dead, perhaps even the ones that hired him.
Set amid the International Comic-Con, the story’s suspenseful and multidimensional plot follows Michaelbrent’s character as he spends what turns out to be the longest weekend of his life at Comic-Con trying to solve the mystery behind the death of a monster princess. The princess’s death leads him into the royal courts of two dangerous factions of evil creatures.  These two clans (vampires and werewolves) are on the verge of a peace treaty but the mysterious death threatens to bring about an all-out war among demons.  As warden, Michaelbrent has to keep these two clans at bay long enough to unravel the mystery but things become more complicated as he uncovers a  sadistic and twisted underworld that involves the humans he is supposed to protect.
If you are a fan of the supernatural, you will love this title.  A cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight, The Longest Con can best be described as fantasy fiction on steroids.  Granted you will have to be prepared for the main character’s off-witted humor, that at times will leave you exhausted, but it is well worth the mental investment. Due to some of its contents, I would recommend this as an adult read.

Meet Author Francis Mill!


Francis Mills is the author of the Xanthus, a fantasy based triology that follows the adventures of  a blade wielding barbarian as he battles against the evil sorcery of Diablo in the distant realm of Pangaea! Read more about his life and work below.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing a diary for seven years. I was more into music and art for most of my life. I only decided to start writing Fantasy in May 2016!

What is your most recent literary/artistic project? 
I published the book ‘Lillith’ on September 3rd 2016. It’s the third book in the ‘Adventures Of Xanthus’ series I’m working on.

What inspires you to write? 
All the stuff I grew up with: 80’s and 90’s cartoons, Megadrive and Playstation games, and Heavy Metal music. In addition to that, escaping from the rules and confines of this world we live in is always great. Inside your imagination you are free to do whatever you want!

Who is your favorite author and why? 
The team who created the Transformers cartoon in the 80’s. The whole thing is sword and sorcery but with robots. When I was a kid, I was in another dimension when I use to watch it. That is what I want to do with my books, create another world that is an escape from this one.

What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Writing a book is only the beginning! You have to keep finding ways to promote it! If you don’t believe in it who will? You have to keep it alive, keep pushing it!
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?

My Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Francis-Mills/e/B01KJMD6C2/

Book Review: Finding Amelia by Lynsey Howell

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Amelia Earhart, then climb aboard the “1927 Travel Air 4000” and take flight with this fun and wildly imaginative book. Written by Lynsey Howell, Finding Amelia gives readers a bird’s eye view into the life of the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the mystery surrounding her disappearance.  Not only will readers be captivated the beautiful mosaic of vibrant illustrations found throughout this book, but readers will  appreciate how the author’s personal experience as a pilot influences the vocabulary found within the text.
The book begins by following a young girl by the name of Sara and her side kick, Zulu, as they take their first ever open cockpit, bi-plane ride.  Their plane takes off uneventfully; however, something peculiar happens.  What began as a tour across the ocean later becomes a magical journey through time, where they meet Amelia Earhart and learn that her legacy is a gift that she left behind.
Although fictitious, this story has a lot of educational value and is appropriate for young readers.  Teachers can implement this story as an anticipatory text to generate a discussion about the famous aviator and as an informal assessment to gauge students’ prior knowledge.  As well, a comparative analysis can be done between fiction and nonfiction genres.  Here, teachers can use the text along with a biography to explore author’s purpose, helping students distinguish between the factual evidence surrounding Amelia’s disappearance versus the assumptions.

Publishing News



Inkitt empowers readers and publishers to discover world’s next best sellers


BERLIN, NOVEMBER 16, 2016: Inkitt, the world’s first algorithm-based book publisher, is introducing an iOS app for iPhone and iPad available to readers globally today.

In less than 2 years from launch, Inkitt has attracted over 700,000 unique readers: the iOS app will give book lovers and publishers greater access to Inkitt’s digital library of over 80,000 stories by up-and-coming authors.

“As more people read digitally we want to make it easier and faster for people to access great literature wherever they are, whether on the go or relaxing at home,” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Inkitt’s iOS app will better enable emerging authors to share their work with test readership groups and give readers globally the opportunity to turn the page on one of the world’s next best sellers.”

Key features include:

  • Access to 80,000 stories in every genre: fantasy, sci-fi, romance, thriller, horror, adventure, action and more
  • Personalized suggestions: hand-picked novels based on reader’s preferences
  • App customization according to user preferences (e.g. font size, colors)
  • Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them without an internet connection

For more information, click here.