Cap’n Rex – New picture book from Henry L. Herz

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I was excited to receive this glorious new picture book from Henry L. Herz. Henry’s books are always a delight and this one is no different. I mean it has dinosaurs and pirates – what’s not to love!

In fact the dinosaurs are pirates on a quest to find treasure (but of course) steered by the wily Cap’n Rex they overcome a host of almost disasters and each crew member has their own special skill that helps along the way. My favorite of the dinosaurs was Pat, a long-necked dino of the kind I’ve always loved.

The story is delightful with an important message about sharing and Benjamin Schipper’s illustrations are first rate. There’s even a little pirate glossary at the end. Highly recommended for young children and the parents and educators who enjoy reading to them. Aaarrrrrrr.

Pick up your copy of CAP’N REX today in hardback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore or request a copy at your local library.

I was privileged to get to ask Henry a few questions about this and some upcoming books in the pipeline:

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Tell me about your new book.

I’m very excited about my new picture book, CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW, coming out in August from Sterling (the publishing arm of Barnes & Noble). Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure. But whenever they hit an obstacle like a giant shark or pea-soup fog the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex always glares with teeth bared and says, CAN’T YE?And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution. The book has already received positive reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Tell me about any future books in the pipeline.

Well, there are three picture books my agent is shopping around right now:

TOP OF THE HEAP – Barnyard animals debate who is the best animal on the farm. Each makes their claim, even Dung Beetle. In response to the others’ laughter, Dung Beetle takes a vacation. Eventually, they all recognize even tiny Dung Beetle’s important contribution. That’s how he rolls.

NEVER FEED A YETI SPAGHETTI – Two young goblin siblings throw their mom a monstrous birthday party. Despite their best efforts, things go further and further awry, thanks to the yetis. One should never feed them spaghetti.

(That one sounds oodles of noodly fun – DMK) 

ALLEN & ALIEN – Like many boys, Allen doesn’t like to eat his veggies, pick up his toys, or take baths. But he loves playing with his alien toys. When an indefatigably inquisitive alien drops in to study humans, the alien’s enthusiasm (even for the mundane) is infectious. Allen learns an important lesson about appreciating one’s blessings, while his parents are pleasantly surprised at their son’s new alien behavior.

And these three books are scheduled to be published next year:

HOW THE SQUID GOT TWO LONG ARMS (Pelican Publishing) – Ever wonder why two of a squid’s ten arms are longer than the others? A selfish squid is cold, so he swipes other animals’ clothing. Will he learn it’s wrong to steal in the end? This modern fable demonstrates you reap what you sow. It’s Kipling’s HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT HIS SKIN meets Klassen’s THIS IS NOT MY HAT.

GOOD EGG & BAD APPLE (Schiffer Publishing) – Not all the foods in the refrigerator get along like peas in a pod. Bad Apple and Second Banana are at the root of the problem. The vegetables are steamed. Good Egg suggests his friends try different responses to the bullies, but his tactics don’t bear fruit, at first. Only by using his noodle does Good Egg save their bacon.

ALICE’S MAGIC GARDEN (Familius) – Alice lives in the dreariest boarding school in England. She pours her love and attention into caring for her little garden and its denizens. Unknown to her, these include a large caterpillar, gryphon, and a talking white rabbit. When Alice is in trouble, the magical creatures come to her aid. Love, it turns out, is magical. GARDEN FAE is A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE meets ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

(I look forward to this one. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was my favorite childhood read and I love any new spin on Alice. DMK)

Where can we learn more about your books?

At my website at www.henryherz.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/henry.herz/

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Meet RL Andrew, author of A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships

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Today on Paws 4 Thought I’m excited to welcome RL Andrew who recently published her debut novel the awesomely titled A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships.

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a former Legal Executive, chronically ill Australian writer, Movie Reviewer, mother of three adult daughters and grandmother (aka Grammy) to two grandchildren. Along with many short stories published in International Anthologies I’m also a regular, long term contributor to the CrypticRock.com Website based in New York.

(RL Andrew has a wonderful story in once of the horror anthologies I edited, Sins of the Future. Be sure to check it out, DMK)

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I live in a regional city in Victoria, Australia, where I’ve been for around thirty years. Early next year my husband and I will be moving back to the place I grew up in where he will work as a full time bee keeper.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Edgar Allan Poe

Janet Evanovich

Joss Wheldon

Danielle Trussoni

The Soska Sisters

Nicholas Gyeney

  1. Tell us a bit about your new book, A Lunatic’s Guide To Interplanetary Relationships? (I love the title by the way. Reminds a lot of my favorite author Douglas Adams!)

Thank you so much. I grew tired of reading stories containing main characters with ordinary flaws, none over the age of 35 nor any sick ones. I’ve got a crazy imagination and one day the idea came to me. In many ways Shayne’s the physical embodiment of personality traits that frustrate and irritate me in people I’ve met or come across. She does get her darkness and sarcasm from me and her small stature. That’s about where the similarities end. As for Annu all his good qualities come from my husband and other close men in my life. In regards to the rest of their and other character’s traits are all fiction.

Blurb:

When perpetual screw-up Shayne James is transported from Earth to another planet, she has no idea she’s the key to saving the universe. When Annu discovers this puny human on his planet, little does he know that she’s the key to the two of them defeating the enemy. He finds her irritating, annoying, and somewhat attractive! If they don’t kill each other, or get killed by an unknown force attempting to take over the universe, they might live happily ever after.

(That sounds a lot of fun. I can’t wait to read it, DMK)

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

Back to the time of creation when everything was apparently perfect.

  1. Do you have any pets? (Pictures please! We love to see furry friends here on Paws 4 Thought!)

We have one pet – a chocolate labrador named Max.

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(Hi Max – he’s a cutie! DMK)

  1. What are you currently reading?

A day with an Extraterrestrial by Lou Baldin

Forbidden Science

The Anunaki of Niribu by Gerald Clark

The Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael A Cremo

  1. So whats next? What are you working now?

The sequel ‘A Demigoddess’s Guide to Menopause and Marriage’ is currently in revision stage and I’m plotting book three – A Demigoddess’s Guide to an Interplanetary Apocalypse.  (Adore those titles, DMK)

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

When I’m able to I go out in my garden and weed or tidy up. I also enjoy baking and watching horror movies, which I review for a New York based website. Purely for the experience and I’ve made some amazing contacts.

  1. Tell us a fun fact about Australia that my readers might not know?

Well for starters we live in towns and cities just like you guys. And while in some more country areas you see Kangaroos and Emus they aren’t wandering our streets. Oh and despite how it looks Vegemite on toast is delicious.

Would you like to read a little of A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships? Sure you would:

Chapter 1: Crazy Like a Falling Coconut

Ardrossan, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Earth

 How did I, Shayne James, a Demi-Goddess and daughter of the Great God Ki, end up in a nut house? It’s God damned ridiculous. Literally. Ive got to get out of here. I cant do another night in this stupid place.

Shayne shook the gate; her fingers ached and rust embedded beneath her nails. “What kind of screwed up torture is this? Haven’t I suffered enough?”

She surveyed the yard for Geoffrey from Ward 3, her one true fan, believer and stalker. Where he went, hospital staff followed. Yard all clear, Shayne counted on her fingers. “How many weeks have I spent in this shit hole?”

2 or 3? Fuck. I don’t know.

The medication they’d thrust into her made time a slippery worm difficult to grasp. The morning’s pills jiggled next to her phone in Shayne’s pocket. She’d hide them with the others. The few missed days cleared her brain and the memories returned. The instant their effects wore off, Shayne realised the governmental nightmare with its hard beds, terrible food, and bad TV, interfered with her true destiny on another planet.

Shayne kicked the metal lock. Pain shot through her foot. “Shit. Crap.”

She hopped in a circle and cursed dodgy hips connected to short legs. The bastards prevented her climbing up the Wistingera hedge beside the gate without assistance, and she couldn’t find anyone to hold her steady without grabbing her arse.

Cant get out the gate, cant break the fence, cant climb the hedge. I’ve tried all the doors. Which leaves what exactly?

Shayne breathed in crazy free air and ran through other options. “Oh fuck it. I can’t think of any. What to do, what to do?”

Her shoulders drooped; Shayne’s freedom remained as distant as Orion.

Even if I did escape, what then? How do I get home and back to Orion? Why can’t a wormhole just appear right here? Huh?

Frustrated with her lack of control, Shayne grabbed the top fence rail and shook. Each rattle represented wasted minutes spent there and the time taken from her future with Annu. The strive for freedom pulsed through her, it interrupted her thoughts and shoved her out of bed each morning. All to face a day filled with half baked escape concepts and pleas to release her Godly self.

Shayne moved her anger down a rung. “That nobody fucking listens to.”

Her arms ached; she relent her hold on the fence. Shayne shifted from the gate across to the hedge filling the fence and smushed into the middle of it. The faint scent of rosemary comforted her, a fresh wave of memories flooded Shayne’s mind.

Shayne wriggled her middle finger, not a scar or mark indicated its former separation.

I can’t believe I got a finger chopped off and it grew back, let alone all the other stuff.

Before being found on the pantry floor by her son and taken to the hospital, Annu held Shayne in his arms inside a stone room. Both Demi-Gods fresh from ascension, and filled with universal power. All they’d been through to get there seemed like a dream, and she’d fucked it up.

Shayne in the ultimate moment of stupidity mentioned Earth one too many times, and in a flash a wormhole ripped Shayne back to her home planet and away from love.

True fucking love and shit too.

Annu’s shocked expression tormented her. “Damn you medication for making me forget it even for one second.”

A branch stuck into her back, Shayne wriggled further onto the hospital’s back lawn, a large pile of dried bird poop on her right fared better than her. “We did everything right and in return we weren’t given time to soak in our success; the greatest moment of existence. Let alone kiss and enjoy things. No, not me. I got cosmically shafted. As usual.”

Shayne yanked out a wad of grass and tossed it to the side. “I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind, there’s something pleasant about that place, even your emotions had a gecko, and so much pace. Mmm. Does that make me crazyyyy? Does that make me–oh wait apparently it does.”

Neighbourhood dogs howled, a flock of magpies a few metres ahead shot into the air.

Bastards don’t appreciate a good voice. Oh what does it matter? My new life waits on the other side of the Galaxy, through the stupid wormhole–an hour and a half, several security guards, and several door alarms from here.

Shayne resigned herself to no knight in shining armour arriving to rescue her from the current dilemma.

Rather, a retard in tin foil waited on this one planet, on the hospital lawn, deep in thought and determined. “It’s not the first time I’ve saved myself. It’s probably like the third. Surely I can do it again?”

I miss my chocolate hulk.

Shayne shook her head, Annu lingered in her mind. Her belly gurgled, doubt poked into her thoughts.

Is he still waiting for me? No, he probably gave up, and I cant blame him. He’s probably relishing in glory–alone.

Shayne tried to twirl her jade ring, its absence on her naked finger shot another wave of panic through Shayne. She’d grown accustomed to the odd piece of jewellery despite its catalytic nature.

Where did it go? I must have lost it when I burst through the wall. Its got to be under the pantry shelf.

Shayne massaged a lump in her shoulder and sighed. “Another thing that doesn’t matter because I’m not getting out right now, so fuck it and fuck them.”

She scanned again for any sign of staff; all clear. Eyes squinted; she pulled out a smoke and lit it. Shayne inhaled to her lungs’ capacity, held the breath and fought coughing.

Hold it in, don’t waste it. Any second now it will be worth it. You’ve got to cough to get off don’t you?

The scratch in her lungs eased, a warm rush numbed her senses and removed life’s edges. While it didn’t remove the body pain, it made not caring about it easier.

Want to read more? Pick up a copy of A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships today.

Keep updated on RL Andrew:

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Page

Blog

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

Articles & Reviews: www.CrypticRock.com

An Interview with an Artist – Meet Tina Wijesiri

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Today on Paws 4 Thought I’m happy to welcome illustrator, Tina Wijesiri. Tina created the awesome pictures for my new picture book, Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself, Tina.

I’m Tina Wijesiri. I live in Sri Lanka and I’m 27 years old. I love drawing.

  1. When did you start drawing?

I’ve liked to draw since I was a kid.

  1. What is your favorite thing to draw?

I like to draw every kind of thing and improve my skills.

  1. Do you prefer working on the computer or by hand?

I love both. But by hand is easier. (The pictures that Tina created for Esmeralda Grunch were hand drawn with watercolors. DMK)

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  1. What’s your favorite food?

Rice and curries, pizza, and burgers.

  1. Tell us a little bit about Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is in the Indian Ocean. It’s an island and a tropical country. We speaks Sinhala, Tamil, and English. Our main religion is Buddhism, but there are also Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Catholics. Sri Lanka has lots of natural beauty and a great history.

  1. Do you have any pets?

Yes, I have a cat. (Aw – we like kitties here at Paws 4 Thought, DMK)

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not drawing?

I like to write to my pen pals, and enjoy reading and writing stories.

Tina has written and illustrated her own picture book, Bob the Cat, which currently available FREE on Amazon. Download a copy today.

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Do you want to hire Tina as an illustrator? Check out her page on Fiverr!

And of course, if you haven’t already pick a copy of Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip, now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

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J is for Joey Marks

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“G’day everyone! I’m so happy to be here today! I’m Joey Marks and when I’m not a kid, I’m a kangaroo! Isn’t that cool? I come from Australia and attended the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Outback. It’s there that I perfected my animagus form.

Then one day my teacher Wemberly (he’s a wombat) suggested I try this contest and guess what, I won. The prize was a scholarship to the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest in St. Louis, MO in the USA. I was so excited to come here and have loads of friends – there’s Sean, (he’s a shapeshifter horse) and Theo (he’s an animagus squirrel).

When I’m not in my classes I like playing board games, making puzzles, and learning magic tricks. There’s this clown that hangs out in Forest Park sometimes, the Great Bobbert and he’s been teaching me.

Please come visit me at the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest and check out my interview from the Umbrae blog tour.

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I is for Ian the Chimp

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“Howdy! I’m Ian, the resident chimp animagus at the St. Louis Zoo. I act as a liaison between the zoo animals, the wolf pack, and P.A.W.S. I don’t have a regular enclosure at the zoo of course – I have a luxury apartment with a huge flat screen television. Great for watching reruns of my favorite Tarzan movies.

If you come visit, please be sure to bring me a bunch of bananas. I can’t get enough of those delicious yellow fruit, and I make a mean banana daiquiri. I’m also collecting monkey jokes – do you know any good ones? If you do send them over to my page.

I was recently interviewed by a fellow simian, Travis. I really enjoyed his visit and you can read his interview here.

There’s even a picture of me in my best tuxedo. Thanks so much to Kayla Matt for drawing me.”

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Meet Tiger Hebert

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Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome fantasy author, Tiger Hebert.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Tiger.

Give me pie and nobody gets hurt! Just kidding—sorta. I do like pie though; Apple, cherry, or even blueberry.

Okay, all kidding aside. Debbie, thank you for having me.

My name is Tiger, and I am the author of The Chronicles of Aurion & Dragon’s Fire. More importantly, I am a husband, a dad (3 kiddos & 2 kitties), a veteran, and a Christian. I have often been guilty of getting lost in my own imagination, and I don’t feel bad about it either. I try to live with no regrets, but I do wish I started writing 20 years ago. By now I would probably be in a position to make my living from it. Instead, I burn the midnight oil to make it happen!

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  1. When did you first start writing?

I think I always wanted to write some grand epic fantasy novel. I never really knew exactly what it would be, just that it would be chock full of awesomeness. Throughout the years, I sat down to start my novel probably half a dozen times or so, but I had no clue what I was doing. So I don’t think I ever got more than a paragraph or two before giving up. I was so afraid of failure, that I wouldn’t allow myself to even try.

Fast forward to 2001. I had just finished basic training in the Air Force, and I hated it. I needed a way vent, so I finally turned to writing. What started as song lyrics turned into poetry, but I still didn’t start writing what would ultimately become Dragon’s Fire until Christmas of 2012.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I must start with the obligatory Tolkien mention, because it was Middle Earth that I first fell in love with. I know that modern fantasy has evolved a great extent, but he laid such a magnificent foundation for us to build upon.

My favorites among the living are currently Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson. The sheer scope and meticulous attention to detail in their worldbuilding is a marvel to me.

  1. What inspires you to write?

Making the impossible possible.
The grand adventure. The impossible odds. The unbeatable foe. Unlikely heroes. Light in the midst of darkness.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your most recent release?

The Chronicles of Aurion was released last summer. It is a short fantasy novella which is set in the same world as my series, Beating Back the Darkness. It is actually a prequel to my first release, Dragon’s Fire.

One of the things that sets TCoA apart from other books, is that it is written in this historical framework where you follow the journey of these two dragon-cult priests. Their journey is only part of the tale though, as the reader soon finds there are stories within the story. So as the reader, you get a history lesson, without feeling like you had a history lesson. Plus, it’s full of war and malevolent sorcery!

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  1. What attracts to writing fantasy?

I guess I have just always preferred swords to guns, castles to sky scrapers, and dragons to jets.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I am working on three projects at the moment.

The first is The Halls of the Fallen King, which is the next installment in The Beating Back the Darkness series. The heroes from Dragon’s Fire embark on an quest to uncover the source of a magical disturbance that is emanating from an abandoned dwarven kingdom. I expect it to be out this year.

Tales from Darkness, my second project, is a small collection of short stories from the same world as TCoA and Dragon’s Fire. These small vignettes serve as an introduction to some new faces that will appear in the series. Tales from Darkness is not required reading for those who want to read the series, it’s just a collection of fun little side excursions—besides, it’s going to be free for all my subscribers. I also expect it to be out this year.

My last project is a brand-new fantasy thriller called The Republic, and it is actually going to be released in an episodic format. The Republic is the story of a young man named Dirjek Harns, and his struggles to take care of his family during the rise of a gilded, corrupt empire. Politicians and aristocrats have subverted the spirit of the of nation’s democracy, locking its people into oppressive poverty. The family business alone won’t feed his family, but stepping outside the law will. The Republic is a story of magic and mayhem, and is a Patreon exclusive. The 1st chapter is free, and will be released this month (January 2017).

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I rarely get the opportunity to do it, but I absolutely love hiking. Being surrounded by nature is so soothing. Hopefully I’ll get to explore some of the mountains here in NC and maybe even in TN this year.

  1. If you could have any superpower what would choose?

When I was a little boy staring up at impossibly tall pine trees in the Maine woods, I wanted nothing more than to be able to fly—well that and to shoot cosmic rays of doom!

Now that I’m older, I’d have to say healing would be my choice. Lame, right? I know. This world needs more healing. So I’d be a healer—who flies and shoots beams of cosmic energy.  😉

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I love connecting with readers!
www.TigerHebert.com
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Goodreads
Patreon

 

 

 

Say Hello to Sarah Wilson

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Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome science fiction author Sarah K. L. Wilson. Tell us a little bit about yourself Sarah.

I’m a thirty-ish writer with a wicked sense of humor and a love for the incredible.

When did you first start writing?

I wrote my first science-fiction short story when I was fourteen, but my teacher critiqued it so harshly that I didn’t write fiction again until I was in my twenties.

Who are your favorite authors?

Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan, David Weber, Tanya Huff

What inspires you to write?

Human nature. I love putting my observations about how people tick in my fiction.

Tell us a little bit about The Ex-Pacifist.

It’s the story of a girl with an intense internal moral code who suddenly discovers that her world isn’t what she thought it was. Over the course of this book, and the next two, she has to decide what to do with her disillusionment, the way her family has destroyed her future, and the threat they pose to innocent lives. Her conviction drives her, but she couldn’t do any of it without her bodyguard and their secret mental link.  And the way that mental link develops over the course of the books is one of the hidden gems of this series. I’d pay big money to have something like that in my head and I think most readers would too.

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What attracts you to science fiction?

I love that you can do anything in sci-fi. Nothing is truly impossible, so the only limits are your imagination and your characters. I can’t limit myself to the real world.

(Me neither – DMK)

What do you like to do to relax?

I like to fish. Seriously. And read e-books while I fish. I also binge watch comedy on Netflix and troubleshoot truck problems with my husband.

If you had a super power what would it be?

Reading minds.

If you could have dinner with anyone real or fictional who would you choose?

Lord Vetinari, ruler of Ankh Morpork (see Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books for details)

(Excellent choice, DMK)

Here at Paws 4 Thought we love to meet our writer’s pets. Do you share your household with a furry friend?

Yes, this is Thistle. She is very shy normally and doesn’t like the camera so much.

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How can readers connect with you?

Visit me at www.sarahklwilson.com, join my facebook group Blackwatch & Beyond (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1129521380420459/) or my mailing list (http://www.subscribepage.com/c7h1j7) Any one of those things would make my day!

Pick up your copy of The Ex-Pacifist today!

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And check out all of Sarah’s titles on Amazon!