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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story

Upstairs in the Anderson's attic there is chatter coming from the Christmas, Easter and Halloween boxes. Someone new has arrived. Tallulah the Christmas fairy wakes to find herself attached to the top of a tree. She soon makes friends and has a magical first Christmas.

Once the festivities are over, Tallulah finds herself in the attic with the other decorations from Easter and Halloween. Each year they watch the seasons change as they wait excitedly for their turn to go downstairs. Until one day new boxes appear and then the unthinkable happens. 

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a magical and uplifting tale for the whole family.

Chapter 1 Extract

Tallulah had no idea she was alive. At least, not straight away. Once her hazel eyes had been painted on her face, she was able to see the little old man who had made her. He had white hair and wrinkly skin. His spectacles looked like binoculars. When she looked up at the lens of the magnifying glass she could see his enlarged green eyes peering down at her. The little old man spent days carefully painting her face. He gave her a beautiful smile, a button nose and rosy cheeks. 

Tallulah could also see a young woman with curly red hair, hunched over a sewing machine, making a small, white, satin gown. The young woman dressed Tallulah in the gown, which fitted perfectly, and brushed her long, blonde hair. On her head, the woman placed a silver crown decorated with stars. A strange feeling crept over Tallulah’s body as the woman attached wings to her back. 

When they had finished putting the finishing touches to Tallulah, the old man and the young woman stared down at her with big smiles on their faces. They carefully wrapped her in tissue paper, placed her in a box and tied it with string. They posted the box to a faraway toy shop. 


With nothing else to do, Tallulah slept and dreamt about flying high into the sky with her white, feathered wings. She woke with a start, only to find herself in the hands of a little girl, being flown around a room like a bird. 

“I want a dress just like Tallulah’s, and a crown!” said Sarah, the little girl, laughing. 

“We can use the tin foil in the kitchen and make a crown after we have finished decorating the tree,” said her mother.

“Yes, please,” said Sarah excitedly. Her mother held out her hand and Sarah unwillingly handed over Tallulah. 

Sarah’s mother lifted Tallulah up towards the ceiling and then placed her on top of the Christmas tree. Tallulah heard a snap of a switch and all around her started to twinkle. Sarah giggled happily below. 

“Can we make the crown now?” 

“Go find the foil and I will get the scissors,” said her mother. 

Tallulah could hear voices chattering all about the house. 

“Where is my PE kit, Mum?” shouted a boy. 

“I’m home!” called out a man as he shut the front the door. 

“Have you brushed your teeth, Sarah?” asked her mother. 

Tallulah counted four different voices in all. As the room got darker, the lights on the tree glowed and she noticed the voices had stopped chattering. Eventually, all she could hear was the ticking of a clock. 

When the clock struck twelve, through the window a shooting star shot through the darkness. Its tail sprayed magic sparkles over the house. 

As the magic sparkles melted into the black sky, leaving only the moon, glowing like a pearl, Tallulah then blinked for the first time. She gasped and raised her hand over her mouth. Surprised that she could move, she inspected her fragile china fingers. Her nails were painted pink. She looked down and shrieked. She was so high up! 

“Shhh! You will wake them,” said a small voice from somewhere in the room. 

With both her hands, Tallulah grabbed onto a prickly branch. Never had she been so high up. She relaxed when she realised she was fixed to the spot and would not fall. Below her, shiny coloured balls hung from the branches, glittery string was wrapped around the tree and the little lights started to flash. It was the most beautiful view Tallulah had ever seen. 

She began to look around the room. To the right of her was a bay window with a view over a garden. It was covered in glistening frost. 

To the left was the fireplace, where four stockings hung. Facing the fire was a green, lumpy sofa and a coffee table. In the corner was a big black box. There were children’s drawings of Christmas trees taped to the walls. A holly wreath had been placed above the fireplace and paper chains hung from the ceiling. 

“It is so, so…” gasped Tallulah. 

“Christmassy?” asked the small voice. Tallulah looked over to the fireplace. 

“Who said that?” she asked. 

There, on the mantelpiece, was a china figurine of two children, a boy and a girl, throwing snowballs at each other. The figurine suddenly came to life and the girl threw her snowball and hit the boy straight in the face. 

“Ha! I have been waiting since last Christmas to do that!” laughed the girl. 

The boy wiped the snow from his face. “Thanks, Geraldine!” He then turned to Tallulah. “It was me. My name is Peter and this is my sister, Geraldine. You should try not to shout, Tallulah, or you will wake them.” Peter then threw a snowball at his sister, but missed. Geraldine stuck out her tongue and then hid behind a pot plant. 

“Wake who up? And how do you know my name?” she asked. 

“We do not want to wake the family who live here,” replied Geraldine, peering through the leaves of the poinsettia plant. “They might think there is a burglar in the house. There is Mr and Mrs Anderson, their son Johnny, who is eight, and little Sarah, who is six. She was the one who named you, Tallulah.” 

“What is Christmassy?” asked Tallulah curiously. 

“Oh boy! You really are new,” said Peter. 

My Thoughts

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is just that - a beautifully written story that will delight both young and old. It brings out the magic of Christmas and reminds us of the importance of family and traditions. 

An easy read for those just learning, and a moment to be treasured by parents reading aloud to their children at this special time of the year.

Pinky's rating (out of 5): 4.5 dragonflies

About the Author

A. J. York is the author of the middle grade fantasy series called The Delilah Dusticle Adventures. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden and raised in the UK, A.J. York's first love was telling stories through drama. 

"I have always enjoyed making up characters and their life stories, therefore I jumped at the chance to study theatre at the University of Brighton. I later trained as a drama teacher and I have a Master's degree from Goldsmiths. I have gone back to my roots and I now live in Gothenburg. People have told me they love reading my stories and I hope you have fun reading them too!" A.J. York

Contact A.J. York for further information by visiting the following links 


Friday, September 18, 2015

Inspector Dewey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Inspector Dewey written by Kristen Heimerl

llustrated by Irene BofillCategory:  Children's Fiction,  32 pages
Genre:  Mystery 
Publisher:  Orange Frazer Press
Release date:  September 2015
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:

My name is Dewey--Inspector Dewey.

I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat—responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to outsmart the outlaw, but—miserable mullet!—would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called Inspector Dewey.

Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of this book will fund veterinary care for pets whose families are in financial need, so that the animals can remain in their homes and out of the shelter system.

Meet the author:  

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

Connect with Kristen:   Website  ~   Facebook Author  ~   Facebook Inspector Dewey  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Addy The Bat and a Visit to Cat

Title: Addy the Bat and a Visit to Cat
Author: Lily Lee
Genre: Children's Fiction
Length: 34 pages
Release Date: May 15, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1508661900

SYNOPSIS: This is the first in a series about Addy the Bat and her friends. In this adventure, Addy goes to visit Cat with her friend Josie and what an amazing time they have!

With whimsical painted cut-out created pictures, this book is sure to delight children of all ages and bring imagination to life!

Author Information and Links

Lily Lee's first children's book is to be published this year. She is a well-socialized introvert who, when she isn't playing with paint or bits of paper or children, is pondering two of life's most important questions: "Who made that a rule?" and "How can we turn this into a game?". It wasn't easy, but she was recently persuaded to give her attention to a few other questions:

Q: Favorite cookie?

A: Anything freshly baked by someone who loves me.

Q: Three things you'd need on a desert island?

A: A good knife, a piece of string and a computer with unlimited high-speed internet access. Oh. And lip balm. Maybe a frying pan. Books! I forgot books! No, books will be on the computer...are a computer and internet access two things or one thing? Wait! I could make string out of coconut fibers! And if there are coconuts, I could make lip balm too! So, now can I take matches, and maybe books? Is a lighter better than matches? ... I'm sorry, what was the question?

Q: Are there books that have changed your life?

A:Books are always changing my life, or at least changing my mind, which might be the same thing. Ravenswood is publishing "Addy the Fruit Bat and a Visit to Cat" this year- it'll be the first of my stories to be set on a page. Does that count as life changing, or is it just really, really exciting?

Q: What children's books do you most admire?

A: I love simple, good-humored stories that give grown-ups and children lots of fun things to talk about. There are books by Dr. Seuss, Mercer Mayer, Maurice Sendak and Stephen Kellogg that probably haunt my adult children's dreams . It's not just the classics I love though- in fact, if you haven't read, or read to a child, books by David Somar and Jacky Davis, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Mo Willems, or Laura Nuemeroff, read them as soon as you can. No, don't. If you do that, you will have no reason at all to read any book of mine. And I would really like you to read my book.

Currently Available at:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kika the Upside-Down Girl - Review and Author Takeover

Book Description:

Kika always seems to accomplish things differently than others and tends to get into trouble for it. She reminds us that choosing to be different is more than okay, and finding others to join in her upside down adventures makes her heart feel huge - especially when it involves somersaults, vaults, flips and kips! Join Kika, a girl who loves living upside down in a right side up world, on her unique journey to a fliptastic world! Kika reminds us that choosing to be different is more than okay, and finding others to join in her upside down adventures feels fliptastic - especially when it involves somersaults, vaults, flips and kips in the Gymnastics Emporium!

Where to buy the book:

My Thoughts:

What a wonderful book !

Kika is a typical little girl, who sees the world from a different perspective, and like many of us who like something a little different, she gets into trouble. 

This story has a great message for readers, 'it is OK to be different', and the author does a fantastic job getting the message across.  

Full of amazing, bright and vivid illustrations, this book will appeal to the young and the young at heart.

Pinky's Rating (out of 5): 5 dragonflies

Author's Bio:

Olympic gymnast turned author, motivational speaker and experiential educator Jessica Tudos ( is on a mission to empower kids, youth and adults to develop the confidence and resiliency required to lead active, healthy and creative lives. In organizations around the world, Jessica empowers audiences through engaging stories, insights & reflections drawn from her upside down life, including her Olympic gymnastics adventures. Jessica is a sought after speaker, facilitator and professor in experiential education, physical literacy, leadership & elite sports.

Connect with Jessica:  Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook

Guest Post

Building Community Through Crowdfunding by Jessica Tudos

Publishing a book opened up my eyes to the wonderful world of crowdfunding and the power of the community to drive creative projects. When I was thinking about how to get my story out of my head and into book form, I thought that by sending our my query a “traditional” publisher would say, “Wow Jessica, this is a great story and we will do what it takes to get it out into the world” but alas, that did not happen. After a bit of sulking and thinking it would too hard to actually pay for and publish a book, I came across a Kickstarter video campaign that needed funding to get off the ground. Realizing it’s potential to inspire people, I immediately backed theproject online and realized that crowdfunding could be the way to self-publish my book.

I started looking at kids book authors who successfully raised sufficient funds to pay for the illustration, design, printing, distribution and marketing of their books. I started to believe this was indeed the way forward. After agreeing to be my “crowdfunding coaches”, the two women behind that initial campaign, motivated me to create an authentic and compelling campaign. With 5 months to prepare, we got to work on creating a pitch video, finalizing a few illustrations, coordinating unique rewards, and building up my online community. Once ready, we had 30 days to raise at least $10K, as kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. 

The campaign ( was a success, raising over $11K with 168 backers and funds available to print 100 books. I was thrilled, and exhausted, with the campaign demanding so much of oneself. The community that formed around Kika the Upside-Down Girl was amazing, a mix of people I knew and newcomers to the world of Kika. Feeling so, so grateful for their support, I got to work producing the first 1000 hard cover books. Having control over the project was a huge plus, even though at times I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of work it took to keep my interactive campaign running. I am forever grateful to everyone who supported my vision and to kickstarter for allowing the dream to materialize. For more on Kika’s successful campaign, see

With the success of Kika’s crowdfunding campaign, I was able to produce a beautiful high- quality picture book, which led to its acquisition by Domnizelles Publishing Inc. in 2014 so all has turned out well and we’re excited to see Kika the Upside-Down Girl’s fliptastic journey continue!

Jessica Tudos is an Olympian turned educator, motivational speaker, author and creative Toronto-based mother whose mission is to empower upside-down ninjas everywhere to be more confident and resilient so they can lead active, healthy & creative lives.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Aoléon The Martian Girl Part 5 - Review

Book Details:

Book Title:
Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga - Part 5: 
The Great Pyramid of Cydonia
Written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur
Category:  Middle-Grade, 130 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Release date: February 1, 2015

Book Description:

Aoléon, Gilbert, Bizwat, Helios, and Zoot make it to their final destination - Cydonia where Aoléon’s parents are being held captive. They infiltrate a secret underground base and are confronted by a small army of sentrybots. 

Bizwat lends Aoléon and Gilbert some of his advanced combat skills via a psionic brain dump. However, this may not be enough to save them from overwhelming hostile forces that will do anything to stop them. 

They finally meet Pax - the Martian who originally set them out on the mission to discover the truth about the Luminon and his plans to invade Earth. However Pax is not who he seems to be, and through a turn of events, they uncover the true power behind all that has been happening on Mars. 

Will they be able to rescue Aoléon’s parents and save Earth from invasion? 

Read part 5 to find out!

My Thoughts:

This is the fifth and final book in the series about Gilbert and his adventures with Aoléon on mars.

Well, what a finale!!

This instalment follows Aoléon, Gilbert, Bizwat, Helios and Zoot in their final adventure on Mars, and who would have thought that hours of playing video games would actually be beneficial?

Will their last battle against the hostile forces be successful?

What happens to the Cows?

Will Gilbert ever get to return to earth and see his parents again?

Well, I know all of these answers, but I’m not going to tell you. You are just going to have to read this wonderful series to find out.

As with the other four books in this series, this book is full of action and adventure. The illustrations were again extraordinary and as with all of the books, were bright, bold and vivid. 

Pinky’s rating (out of 5): 4.5 dragonflies

Book Trailer:

Buy the Book:

Buy The Martian Girl Song!

Another World - Single

Featuring Élan Noelle

Meet the Author:

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl