Project Wonderful

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Shannon's Review - Fairy Godbrothers by Ken Kristensen

Title:  Fairy Godbrothers: Volume One - Tooken
Series: Fairy Godbrothers
Author: Ken Kristensen
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: February 2018
Pages: ?

Author Ken Kristensen’s Official Websites:





Shannon’s Thoughts:

Brothers Sean and Marcus are having a wonderful childhood until their father dies in front of them. The boys grow into troubled men with different views on life.  Family oriented Sean has decided it is time to sell the family business. Just as they sign the papers to sell, the brothers are whisked off to the land of Fairy Tales. The stories are not as whimsical and happy as kids today would know in fact the characters they meet have darker life stories then anyone would think.

The retelling of fairy tales is very popular today.  When I see one I am interested in it has to be different. This one is different because the main characters are guys and the story is very adult.  There are adult situations and language which isn’t a good or bad thing it just is.

I really feel like this first volume could have gone longer. The story of the brothers dealing with father’s death and the business to sell was a good length but then we get to the land of fairy tales and it felt short plus rushed.  It could have been stretched out and we could have seen more characters learned more about where the brothers family came from.

The twist at the end that their world was changed because of something they did in the story land was kinda funny and interesting.  I am definitely curious what will happen in the next volume.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Celebrate Every Day With Books 4/23/2018 - 4/29/2018

Celebrate Every Day With Books 4/23/2018 - 4/29/2018

It seems like everyday has some new theme to celebrate so I thought it might be fun to see what kind of interesting books I can find  (new, old, or coming soon) for an everyday holiday. In fact, most days have more than one holiday!

Just so you know I have not read most of these but the ones I pick seem the most interesting.  You can probably find tons more books for each holiday but I am only going to pick two books for every holiday.

Let me know what you think.  Do any of them seem interesting to you? Is there another book you think would be a better choice?


Take A Chance Day

Title: Taking Chances: A Grace Story by Kelsey Abrams
Genre: Fiction, Juvenile,
What It Is About?: Grace has always rushed headlong into things—often landing her in trouble. Her elderly neighbor (and close friend), Miz Ida, reminds her to think before she acts. Grace tries to be thoughtful and responsible when helping with Miz Ida’s prize-winning cat, Chances, but it isn’t easy.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title: Little Shaq Takes A Chance by Shaquille O’Neal
Genre: Fiction, Children, Chapter Book
What It Is About?: This new story in the exciting series created by Shaquille O'Neal and illustrated by Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award winner Theodore Taylor III encourages kids to find their own true talents.
Available: IN STORES NOW


Pig In A Blanket Day

Title: Pigs And A Blanket by James Burks
Genre: Fiction, Children, Picture Book
What It Is About?:  Pig siblings Henry and Henrietta love their green blanket. It is soft, it smells good, and it makes a great cape! As much as they each love playing with the blanket, they don't love sharing it.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title: Pigs On A Blanket by Amy Axelrod
Genre: Fiction, Children, Picture Book
What It Is About?: Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig, and the piglets are hot, hot, hot and they really want to go to the beach. But time is running out for the Pigs! Will they be able to count the seconds, minutes, and hours and enjoy a swim in the ocean?
Available: IN STORES NOW


World Penguin Day

Title: Spy Penguins by Sam Hay
Genre: Fiction, Juvenile, Mystery
What It Is About?: Two young adventure-loving and gadget-obsessed penguins dream of joining the FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation) in Sam Hay's hilarious new illustrated chapter book series, Spy Penguins.
Available: SEPTEMBER 18TH 2018

Title: The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman
Genre: Fiction, Children, Picture Book
What It Is About?:  Posy the penguin is scared of many things - snowstorms, loud noises, the dark - but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him.
Available: NOVEMBER 15TH 2018


National Pretzel Day

Title: My Daddy Is A Pretzel by Baron Baptiste
Genre: Fiction, Children, Picture Book,
What It Is About?: Twist your way into this story that introduces both yoga and professions. The nine yoga poses show how the practice of yoga relates to everyday life and encourages readers to stretch both their bodies and their minds. There are tips about practice and preparation, yoga life, and having the right attitude.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title: Twist Of Faith by Anne Beiler
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir
What It Is About?: "Twist of Faith" is an inspiring look at the life of a woman who went from an 8th-grade Amish education to founding Auntie Anne's, Inc., the world's largest mall-based pretzel franchise.
Available: IN STORES NOW


Babe Ruth Day

Title: The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth by Jean L. S. Patrick
Genre: Non-Fiction, Juvenile, Biography,
What It Is About?: A retelling of the day Jackie Mitchell, a seventeen-year-old female professional baseball player, struck out the New York Yankees best hitters, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, in an exhibition game in 1931.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title: Babe Ruth: A Daughter’s Portrait by George Beim and Julia Ruth Stevens
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Sports
What It Is About?: A stunning collection of private and rarely published photographs of Babe Ruth complied by George Beim with Julia Ruth Stevens, the Babe's daughter.
It is a family photo album filled with over 200 new, never-before-published images of Ruth. Each photo is accompanied by a caption by Julia Ruth Stevens in which she identifies and reflects on the event.
Available: IN STORES NOW


Great Poetry Reading Day

Title: Useless Magic by Florence Welch
Genre: Poetry, Lyrics
What It Is About?: Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from the iconic vocalist of Florence and the Machine
Available: JULY 10TH 2018

Title: Poetry Will Save Your Life by Jill Bialosky
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir
What It Is About?: From a critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author and poet come “a delightfully hybrid book: a part anthology, part critical study, part autobiography” (Chicago Tribune) that is organized around fifty-one remarkable poems by poets such as Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and Sylvia Plath.
Available: OCTOBER 2ND 2018


Greenery Day

Genre: Non-Fiction, Gardening,
What It Is About?: For more than one hundred years, the Japanese Garden at the Huntington has served as a bellwether for the West's engagement with Asian culture. With its distinctive moon bridge, wisteria arbors, koi-filled ponds, bonsai courts, bamboo forest, and historical Japanese House, this nine-acre garden has captivated visitors so much that it has become one of the most photographed spots in Southern California.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title: Japan’s Master Gardens by Stephen Mansfield
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Gardening, Japan
What It Is About?: Featuring stunning photographs and thoughtful commentary this Japanese gardening book is a must-have for any gardening enthusiast.
Available: IN STORES NOW

Friday, April 20, 2018

Guest Post By Author Joshua Viola

Guest Post

Collaborative Storytelling
by Joshua Viola

When it comes to writing a book, many authors go at it alone. They do research, writing, and editing without outside assistance. The story they create is completely their own. At some point, their work should see other influences before reaching the reader, such as an editor, publisher, or even an agent (in some cases), but no one else is able to slap their name on the cover except for the author.
However, there are many instances where an author turns to someone else to assist them in creating a story. Perhaps a world is too big for one person to handle. Perhaps the author needs someone to fill in the holes (such as humor or action). Or, simply, two (or more) authors want to collaborate on a project together.
Finding the right author to work with isn’t as easy as some may think. There are numerous ways to go about co-authoring. Some authors work on a shared document. Others take turns writing specific character scenes or chapters. A few work on the fly and mash two separate ideas together. All of this requires those involved to be able to compromise and pull their own weight. Determining who your team members are takes a lot of thought and careful preparation.
When I began my most recent writing project, Denver Moon, I realized early on that in order for the book to shine, I had to enlist some help. It’s not that I didn’t feel capable of telling the story myself—I’d authored plenty of solo projects—but as someone with a background in the video game industry, I knew that collaboration with the right team could lead to fantastic results. When working with other creative individuals, ideas are shared with the intent that they will grow and blossom. Everyone brings their own unique talents to the table. The final collaborative product is far more important than an individual credit, and so ego can take a back seat if it’s in a car worth the ride. When the ideas started flowing and I was ready to take that next step, I reached out to another writer—but not just anyone.
I wanted to team up with Warren Hammond.
To be honest, I’d worked with Warren before, but in a different capacity. We briefly crossed paths in two anthologies—Nightmares Unhinged and Cyber World—where I played the role of editor. Then, a little later on, I joined his critique group to help hone my craft. That said, we’d never really collaborated before. We’d never crafted a world together or fleshed out characters to pit against bad guys in a compelling plot—and that was something I was dying to try.
If you’ve never read Warren’s fiction, you should. He knows how to tell a dark story full of suspense and surprises with some of the tightest prose you’ll find in genre fiction today. Check out his novels KOP and Tides of Maritinia, and you’ll see what I mean. So, when I reached out to Warren and he agreed to co-author a weird cyberpunk book called Denver Moon about a Martian detective with a talking pistol for a sidekick, I was more than a little excited. The only question we had was: Can we make this work?
When collaborating with another person, you’re either going to get along or you aren’t. I’d worked on a few nightmare projects before, dealing with those who lacked the skills needed to finish the job, those who didn’t care, and, worst of all, those with a drama queen mentality. Not really knowing each other’s habits or temperaments, Warren and I were taking a chance. Warren, in particular, had never collaborated before, and he wasn’t completely sold on the idea, but after a few beers and plenty of discussions, we developed a process we thought might do the trick.
Lucky for us, it did.
Denver Moon began as a short story. The idea was to establish the world and characters in short form first as a means of eliminating the things that didn’t work and building on those that did. I knocked out the first draft for Warren to see on paper. From there, Warren performed like a master surgeon, cutting things here, tightening things there, and ultimately putting his stamp on the story. By the time we were happy with the final draft, we’d traded the manuscript enough times that it read like it was authored by a single person.
When it came to the novella, Warren and I met over more beer to prepare a detailed outline and profile our characters. We were off to the races. Warren tackled our first draft, handing it to me for round two until we called it done.
Once finished, our process was stronger than ever. We’d not only learned how to work with each other, we also enjoyed it. On June 5, 2018, we'll be sharing the fruits of our labor with the world. We hope readers experience the fun Warren and I had together when they dive into our collaboration, Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars.

Big Thanks To Joshua Viola For This Great Guest Post!  Be Sure To Check Out The Denver Moon Series In Novel And Comic Forms!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Shannon's Review - If You Were Me And Lived In The Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman

Title: If You Were Me And Lived In… The Ancient Mali Empire
Series: If You Were Me And Lived In
Author: Carole P. Roman
Genre: Non-Fiction, Children, History, Africa
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Received: From author for an honest review
Release Date: December 2016
Pages: 78

Author Carole P. Roman’s Official Websites:





Shannon’s Thoughts:

Another installment to Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me And Lived In...This time we are introduced to the ancient Mali Empire.  These books are fun to look at and even parents/adults learn so much.

I had actually never heard of the Mali people nor that Mali means hippo.  This empire had big trade routes and was known for them. They named their children names you often see in the Christian bible although they were Islamic and Muslims.

I am never sure the age that this series should be read.  It is meant for kids but I learn so much as an adult as well.  I just wish the content of what learn would stay in my head but that is a whole other issue.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Can not really go wrong with learning things.