picture book

365 Challenge: Day 343 – Grateful (Author Alert: Russ Towne)

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Grateful: (a) feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Russ Towne

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If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who he is, what he’s writing, and how to buy his future work. I am pleased to present the very talented Russ Towne. You’ll find out more if you read one of his published books, but as two teasers, read the reviews I’ve already written on his children’s books Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down and Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon.

Russ is an incredibly gifted writer and a true gentleman. He and I connected about 4 months ago through a fellow blogger who thought we might want to chat given we both worked in the business world and turned to writing at some point in our careers. We followed one another’s blogs, chatted a bit, then he sent me two of his books (hardcover)! I was so excited when they arrived in the mail. After I read the first one, I brought it with me to visit family in Louisiana and shared it with younger nephews and nieces who will in turn share it with others. I have his second book on my shelf and will show it to friends with kids when they visit me in NYC. His books are beyond creative… they have lessons children can learn in a fun way.

He’s quite prolific as you’ll see below… and I am excited to check out some of his other fiction. Let’s turn today’s blog over to him and see what he has to say…


I began writing my first book when our first grandchild was announced, and released the book about 5 years ago. I now have five grandchildren and have written over six times as many books. I had no idea my first experience as an author would lead to a passion that grabbed me and never let go.

I know this may sound hokey to many, but I creatively go where the whispers of my heart send me, and passion is the fuel that inspires me to fly. If my passion for a project wanes, I set it aside and work on something else for as long as the new one continues to flow freely beneath my creative wings.

I often have several projects at various stages of development. I now have five: Two children’s picture books and three fiction genres for grownups including suspenseful crime drama, a magic/fantasy stories anthology, and comedy crime suspense stories.

I’m a romantic. All of my children’s stories have happy endings and nearly all of my stories for adults do as well. The latter often feature a touch of romance (though they are by no means romance novels as I understand the term.)

I love writing so much that many nights in my sleep I find myself dream-writing, and the dream progresses replaying sequences over and over again until I’m satisfied. Pieces of many of my dreams have ended up in some of my books.

I co-wrote songs for a few years before I began to write books. You can hear several them by typing my name “Russ Towne” into the YouTube search field. My songs are nearly as eclectic as my books.

{Alert Interruption from Jay: I listened to one at a time I needed a lift — it is wonderful}

My current projects include:

  • Mysti Z’s Magical Day children’s picture book scheduled for release February 21, 2018.

 

  • Sunny Saves the Day a children’s picture book scheduled for release February 28, 2018.

 

  • Blood Oaths a fiction anthology of suspenseful crime drama stories scheduled for release March 31, 2018.

 

  • Other projects I’m developing but which aren’t as far along include:

 

  • (Title TBD) an anthology of Magic/Fantasy stories.

 

  • Elm Street Ladies Club stories about a group of little old ladies that get into all kinds of predicaments, part comedy and part crime solvers/suspense.

 

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Author Bio

Russ lives with his wife in Campbell, California, USA. They’ve been married since 1979, have three adult children and five grandchildren. His passions include family, friends, writing and investing. Russ wrote his first book in 2013 when he was fifty-six and has written and published dozens of books that can be found on Amazon.com and elsewhere.

 

Russ delights in seeing the expressions on the faces of young children and their loved ones as they experience his children’s picture, early reader, and chapter books. He enjoys reading his stories in classrooms, schools, libraries, and anywhere young children gather. Russ revels in interacting with youngsters, answering their questions, and inspiring a love within them for the magic of reading and writing.

 

Russ savors experiencing nature, especially near rivers and streams that run through giant redwood groves, and near beautiful beaches. He enjoys watching classic movies, reading, and visiting his tiny fern garden and redwood grove. Russ greatly enjoys managing the investments of Clients of the wealth management firm he founded in 2003.

 

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Key Links

Amazon Author Page

 

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Bibliography

The titles of the books he has written, compiled, and published include:

Books for Young Children:

  •  Sunny Saves the Grumpadinkles
  •  Mysti Z’s Magical Day
  •  Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down
  •  Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon
  •  Flora Belle and Dreami Dragon
  •  The Beach that Love Built
  •  A Day in the Shade of a Tickletoe Tree
  •  Zach and the Toad Who Rode a Bull
  •  V. G. and Dexter Dufflebee
  •  Ki-Gra’s REALLY, REALLY BIG Day!
  •  Clyde and Friends
  •  Clyde and Hoozy Whatzadingle
  •  Clyde and I Help a Hippo to Fly
  •  Rusty Bear and Thomas, Too
  •  Clyde and I

Non-Fiction:

  • Honest, Honey, That’s How It Happened
  • Stop Peeing in the Kitty Litter!
  • Slices of Life An anthology of the selected non-fiction stories of several writers.
  • Reflections from the Heart of a Grateful Man

Fiction:

  • It Was Her Eyes A novella
  • Touched Short stories and flash fiction
  • Palpable Imaginings An anthology of stories by several writers in various genres.

 Poetry:

  • Kaleidoscope

 

To see more about Russ Towne on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out his dedicated author page where future content and books will added as he publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Book Review: His Name is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin and Chloe Mathis

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I was introduced to this adorable children’s book in early 2018 and liked the premise enough to add it to my TBR. A young boy befriends another kid who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Knowing how awkward life can be for a third grader, especially while playing dodge ball in gym class, I was curious to give this one a shot. His Name Is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin explores the impacts of a school children learning how to put themselves out there, find friends, develop confidence and teach others small life lessons. While the book is relatively short at 24 pages, it’s filled with wonderful drawings and a great moral lesson. To top it off, the book is co-written by the author’s young children… even including multiple sketches (really fantastic for their age and contribution to the book) and artwork by the whole family. It’s a very cute story, and I think it would be a great addition to all libraries and a family’s reading shelves. I’d recommend it for being fun, inspirational, rewarding and confidence-building. Kudos to this wonderful family and the adorable book they’ve built together. The world needs more people like this!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Alicia and the Light Bulb People of Star Factory 13 by Barbara Roman

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If you’re looking for an adorable children’s book with a unique and charming set of characters, set within a bit of a fantasy world, and full of wonderful life lessons, look no further than Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13 by B. Roman. I downloaded this book shortly before the holidays, but only just found the time to read it last night as I was going through my Kindle Reader.

alicia

Alicia, a 10-year-old girl, accompanies her mother to the department store to select a new lamp for their home. Alicia is worried that she doesn’t know what kind of personality her lamp should have, then finds herself awestruck by a Christmas tree and gold door at the store. When she presses a button on the door, she is immediately transported to the 13th floor and into a magical world where lamps and light bulbs can speak. Each is different, containing a special personality that matches their name — dim, flood, three-way, flicker… how cozy and cute is that? Alicia must help the light bulbs figure out how to turn into stars; through her relationship with them and Carelia the Light Goddess, she must also find her own way back to the department store before tomorrow arrives.

Roman’s ingenuity in building all the different characters is top notch. I laughed and smiled, then felt a pang of sorrow and hope as they searched for a way to become stars at the end of one stage in their life. The book explores how we are all different, sometimes teasing each other for being too dim or too bright, changing our minds or shooting too far too quickly in life. It also teaches children how to work together to achieve a common goal, or to feel better about who we are. By transporting us into a different world, one where objects we thought were inanimate and had no personality come alive, Roman provides a way to truly engage children in a fun manner with memorable characters.

The illustrations are vibrant. The words flow. The story is simple yet endearing. It’s a perfect bedtime read for all children, but especially any who worry about being different than others. I’m so glad I picked this one up last night, as I needed a boost to feel better. And this did the trick. Kudos to this fine author.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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Book Review: Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down by Russ Towne

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5 stars! Kudos to author Russ Towne, and illustrator Josh McGill, for drafting Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down, a 2017 children’s picture book I recently had the pleasure of reading. On the outskirts, this is a cute story with adorable drawings that will entertain and amuse kids of all ages. As you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a wonderful lesson about what it means to belong and to accept another’s differences. A dapper little duck unfortunately has a faulty thingamajig (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is… the only hint I’ll give you is it’s somewhere on his head!) which causes him to fly upside down. Poor Wilbur can’t land properly and feels ostracized from his friends, but when he begins to find other ducks, and a larger extended family, they learn to rely on one another. By the end of the book, an entire flock of birds, who are all slightly different than the rest of their species, come together to celebrate their friendship.

I won’t give away the major conflict they battle together, or the wonderful ending the author has dreamed up, but it’s a feel-good, warm, inviting and refreshing story that will help children learn to be more open and tolerant. They won’t even realize the lesson they are learning, as the book just feels like a movie as you watch the ducks, and their friends, fly through life. If you’re looking for a fun new children’s story about birds, friendship and bonding, this is the one for you. Read it to your children, grandchildren or nephews and nieces together in a group and talk about all that you can learn and love in this story. I’m bringing it with me to see mine this holiday in Louisiana. I can’t wait to share it and read more from this author.

ilbur

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza by Maxine Sylvester

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Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza, the third in an adorable children’s picture book series, written in 2017 by Maxine Sylvester, is another winner.

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Book Review 
In this edition, Ronaldo’s best friend Rudi hurts his hoof, but won’t go to the doctor to heal it. Rudi’s mother enlists Ronaldo to help trick Rudi into the office visit, which leads to even more hilarity and conflict. Along the way, Ronaldo picks up a side job to help earn some money for a new flying class, but after Rudi’s dad runs into money issues, he’s unable to attend. When it comes time for his birthday party, it’s up to Ronaldo to find a way to cheer up a very sad Rudi. And boy does he find a way!

The creativity in this series is magnificent. Not only do you have a wonderful family and village full of reindeer, but you have tons of great locations, events and themes. Children easily learn how to interpret a range of feelings, from conquering fears of the doctor to not having enough money to go to a special class. It’s a realistic lesson built into a cute set of characters, full of charm and emotion. Adding to the great story are beautiful drawings filled with humor, detail and imagination. I enjoyed the bakery setting in this edition, almost wanting to taste some of the delicious looking and sounding carrot cakes. They can probably be enjoyed by humans, too… right? 🙂

I applaud Maxine Sylvester for creating such a lovable series — a perfect gift for someone’s birthday or the holidays. If you love animals and fun in the snow, this is a must read!

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester

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Overview 
With the holiday season coming up, this is a definite read for children who need a touch of hope and humor. Loosely based on the concepts of reindeer who fly through the sky, with a famous one named Rudolph, this beautiful picture book takes off dashing from there… the lead reindeer character, Ronaldo, is named for a famous soccer player — you can imagine the great amount of other antics incorporated in the rest of the book. The background story that Maxine Sylvester has created is pure imagination woven tightly with a reality we all know.

In this second book in the series, the reindeer crew, in school to learn how to properly fly, meet a young wolf who needs help finding her pack. She’s feisty and protective, loyal and adorable. The book makes you feel part of the story, including the wonderful drawings done by the author herself. Add in a contest, a scary forest and a kooky instructor, there are bunches of warm moments and great arcs to tantalize kids with as you read to them. I highly recommend this series.

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About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Review: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue FishBook Review
4 out of 5 stars for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, a children’s picture book written in the 1960s by Dr. Seuss. I loved this one as a child, and probably read it around 7 or 8 years old, then again at 10. Between the rhymes and tongue-twisters, it encourages kids to laugh and have fun when reading. Focusing on pets, under water fish are my favorite. All the colors, shapes and sizes. All the things to do with them. Dr. Seuss is a definite children’s classic, but with pictures and movies being made, it helps bring it all full circle. I love buying these books for my friend’s children, then sitting to read with them. Great memories!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

 

View all my reviews