Archives for March 30, 2016

Books of the Week!

The Great Adventures of Hotdog Man: Quirky New Fantasy Series Calls on Nation’s Favorite Snack to Defeat the Evil Dr. Mustard (Seriously!)


While most new fantasy authors are keen to break new boundaries, most dip their feet into the literary waters with some kind of recycled narrative that “plays safe” to the market. But not Michigan’s David Baer; a maverick new author who is rapidly making his mark by smashing onto the scene with an unlikely hero who is…well…a hotdog!

But it’s a true recipe for success. In fact, the first two volumes of ‘The Great Adventures of Hotdog Man’ boldly prove that nothing is to unconventional or weird for a fantasy audience that is become increasingly discerning. The series retains all of the hallmarks they crave, while offering something never before seen in the genre.


Volume one, ‘The Beginning’ – Centuries ago an evil power tried to take over the world, a powerful wizard, created gems that once possessed by a good hearted human would give him great powers to combat the evil, now that evil has returned and its time for new heroes to step up and protect the planet, Hotdog Man, a youngster steps up to the plate after the evil Dr. Mustard enslaves his Parents. Join our new friends and heroes as they gain incredible new abilities to battle the crazy doctor and his minions.

Volume Two, ‘The Mirror of Mushrooms’ – After getting amazing abilities from a powerful wizard, the world’s greatest superheroes must now travel to another dimension, to retrieve the mystical Mirror of Mushrooms, to gain new levels of power to combat the vicious Patricia Peachtree!

“I had to strike a very fine balance when writing these books,” explains Baer. “My goal was to take the time-tested concept of a hero seeking redemption and save the world in doing so, but I knew I had to offer the readership something totally new and off-the-wall. Where else will you find a cast of characters that include a Dr. Mustard, the sinister Major Mango, the dreaded Paprika-Tron and Barry Broccoli? The best bit is that the format works, perfectly!”

Continuing, “There’s also a very emotional undertone to the story, in that Hotdog Man’s quest is deeply personal, in terms of his fight to find his parents and save them from Dr. Mustard’s evil plans, along with the rest of the world. These threads will be of particular pertinence and interest to young adult readers who are just finding their feet in the world and developing their own emotional foundation. It’s great for young kids and fun-loving adults, too.”

With demand set to increase, interested readers are urged to get their hands on copies without delay.

Both volumes in ‘The Great Adventures of Hotdog Man’ are available now:

Volume one, ‘The Beginning’ –

Volume Two, ‘The Mirror of Mushrooms’ –

This one is quite imaginative! I found the characters interesting! Recommend for children 8+.

About the Author:

David Baer was born March 13th 1988 and grew up in the small town of Oscoda located in the North of Michigan. As a boy he loved fantasy stories and knew one day he would make one of his own, he is married to a woman named Heidi and has twelve doves and pigeons and in his spare time breeds them.

I love this next one!


FisherDawg by Lisa Phillips is a new children’s picture book that will have your children uttering the “oohs” and “aahs”.

Just about every kid in the world will identify with Cilla, aka FisherDawg.

This is a delightful story! I recommend for all young children! It’s a real must-read!

FisherDawg is a real dog with a zest for anything revolving around the sea.  The wonderful color photography and antics described in the story are all drawn from real life and will capture the hearts of children and parents alike. The delightful humor and silly antics will bring smiles and warmth to all. FisherDawg also includes fish jokes, crafts and a scrumptious recipe for FisherDawg’s favorite cookies that you can make for your “dawg.”

For more information, visit Lisa’s facebook page:

About the Author:

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Lisa Phillips started her career in the US Navy where she was first introduced to photography.  After leaving the service, she continued her career in the business world, specializing in marketing.


Lisa resides in Gloucester, Massachusetts which is part of a charming, seaside community called Cape Ann.


You can find Lisa Phillips through her Facebook Page ;

Via Instagram (@fisherdawg) and

I love this next one! It is truly heart-warming!

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Schiffer Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Reasons to Smile: Celebrating People Living with Down Syndrome, a compilation of short stories written by or about a loved one living with Down syndrome from writers around the globe. The goal of this book is to create awareness, education, and acceptance for people living with special needs.

Some proceeds from this book will be donated to Tim’s Big Heart Foundation, an organization that seeks to help people living with special needs reach their entrepreneurial goals.

Reasons to Smile: Celebrating People Living with Down Syndrome
By Andrea Knauss & Elizabeth Martins, Foreword by Keith Harris

This compilation of 56 encouraging and eye-opening short writings by a variety of authors across the globe celebrates the lives of people living with Down syndrome. Together with 56 inspiring “slice of life” photos, these candid true stories, including the renowned “Welcome to Holland,” provide inspiration and connection. Parents and families of children living with Down syndrome will discover a wealth of positivity and valuable guidance. Special education teachers, social workers, mental health professionals, and policy makers will find helpful information and insight from stories regarding behavioral health. And anyone who is looking to learn more about Down syndrome will discover a world full of possibilities they never knew existed.

About the Authors:


Andrea Knauss, Elizabeth Martins, and Anna Knauss are from Philadelphia. Andrea works in the counseling field and loves to garden, Elizabeth works in publishing where she enjoys the written word, and Anna is a fashionista who enjoys performance arts. You can follow along with their journey and this book Keith Harris is the father of Tim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place, the first restaurant in the US owned by a person with Down syndrome.

Find out more:

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality, nonfiction books. Since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers’ passions. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists; architecture and design; food and entertaining; the metaphysical, paranormal and folklore; and pop and fringe culture, as well as books for children.

Visit to explore our backlist of 5,000+ titles and learn about Schiffer’s exciting new releases. Whatever your passions are, Schiffer Publishing welcomes you to find your niche and scratch it with books from our catalog of specialized titles.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received.


Muzic School Delivers Songs About Us by Kerry Fenster Album Aims to Educate, Empower and Entertain Kids with Special Needs


With the support and guidance of long time music executive Richie Gallo (,) who has worked with artists from Sting to Raffi, Kerry Fenster is getting the professional push necessary for the world to hear the music he’s designed for children with special needs. Fenster’s fine-tuned music therapy approach on Songs About Us provides parents, educators and therapists with a unique recording that assists kids in developing basic social and developmental skills.

Songs About Us is an innovative social skills behavioral tool for developmentally delayed young adults, disguised in a set of extraordinary songs that are accessible to the current generation,” said Gregory T. Anderson, J.D. Education Specialist, Vocational Education, The Help Group West. “You’ll find yourself whistling these catchy tunes.”

Kerry Fenster’s work with children with autism at The Help Group, one of the largest, most innovative and comprehensive organizations of its kind in the United States, spurred his passion to make music for the children. “Families with special needs children deserve music they can all enjoy and learn from together,” said composer Fenster of Songs About Us. “We are excited by the feedback we’ve received already from those who have heard the recordings.”

One of the four original songs on the recording is the lead single and music video “Quiet Hands,” an engaging song that encourages body control with a fun sing-along chorus which repeats “never to poke, never to scratch, never to hit, never to snatch” and features arm movements that both entertain and teach by example. “Hygiene,” “Personal Space” and “Use Your Words” are additionally entertaining, educational and energetic songs, each teaching popular social skills as indicated in the song titles. Enthusiastic, well-spoken peers provide charming greeting and parting statements for the album, which draw the listeners into the experience while subtly teaching vital conversational skills.

Produced by Mark Mazzetti, who has a significant history of creating Grammy® Award winning hit records, the independently released Songs About Usbears the hallmarks of a major label, high-quality listening experience. “Kerry has created some exciting music for a very special group of people. Supporting a generation with new music that might just make a difference in some lives is certainly a worthwhile project”, said Executive Producer Richie Gallo.

Aiming to educate, empower and entertain those with special needs while delivering practical tools to improve their regular interactions with others,Songs About Us –the first in a series from the label Muzic School– is a 5-song EP featuring 4 original songs plus an updated version of Pete Townshend’s “Pinball Wizard,” a lively tribute to the uniquely gifted. Songs About Us is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other popular online retailers as digital download for $6.99 or physical CD for $12.00. Both formats include song lyrics for lively sing-alongs and improved comprehension. A portion of all net proceeds will be donated to various children’s charities. For more information on Songs About Us, come check us out at or write to

Credit: Muzic School.

Charlie is Pet of the Week!

Charlie, March 31 Pet of the Week

Sweet, sweet Charlie is only 2 years old, but those eyes speak of an ageless patience and wisdom. He has great spirit and loves to play with humans, and displays a kindness toward them that’s remarkable. He’s a little shy in play groups with other dogs and would rather avoid the “tough guys.” Meet Charlie at Animal Care Services on the shelter side of the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A563498.


(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of Animal Care Services on the shelter side of the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village.