Thursday, June 30, 2016

An Exciting New Children's Series - The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Journey Begins by Brooks Olbrys!

What better way to followup yesterday's review on Nobel Laureates than to share about a series that is both exciting as well as totally dedicated to teaching and helping children look toward their future?!

The book, an early chapter book, Target age 6-8, uses positive, timeless principles that many of us have learned from, say, Bob Proctor or Earl Nightingale and so many others...

The book trailer demonstrates the quality and quantity of the brilliant colorful illustrations, created by Kevin Keele, used in this exceptional book, which, especially with the hard-back edition will be a significant addition to your children's book library. Or donate the book to your local school or library. I am positive that both children and early teens will love it! As Bob Proctor commented in the above video, I'm putting a 10 to equate to his praise and mind...

The Adventures of
Blue Ocean Bob:
A Journey Begins

By Brooks Olbrys
Illustrated by Kevin Keele

I loved that both animal and human characters were used. In the story itself, the main character Bob loves the beach, the sea, and the animals found there...and he wants to help make it better if he can, besides just keeping it clean, which is a very important job as well.

Bob is old enough to be thinking about doing something, but he doesn't know how to begin...  

One of the best parts about this book, which took, I am sure, much skill and work, is that it is written totally in rhyme!

Chapter 1 - Some Helpful Advice

There once was a boy who lived close to the sea 

and daydreamed all day about what he might be.
His island was lush and his life wasn't bad,
but he wasn't content with the things that he had.

Bob said to himself, "I just know there is more.

This cannot be all that my life has in store!
Perhaps if I look for an find the right guide,
my days won't just ebb and flow with the tide."

His guardian, Xena, a blunt hummingbird,

was truly unsettled by what he had heard.
"Just where will you go, Bob? And what will you do?
Imagine the things that might happen to you!"

Note: I'm adding this intro for Xena, since she's someone special to Bob...

Xena is an outspoken pink hummingbird who is Bob’s guardian, best friend and constant companion. She’s doubtful, a little worried and does not like taking risks. Xena would rather play safely on the shores of the Island of Roses than venture out with Bob on his maritime adventures. Nevertheless, Bob appreciates Xena for being a good, trusted friend who will always stand (or fly) by his side.

The dolphin
just smiled.
Why, there's
no secret
in it!

But Bob knew what he wanted to do so he got into his boat and decided to ask the sea creatures. It didn't take long before he came along a dolphin named Al. He immediately asked Al his secret for being so joyful and free... 

Al shared that he appreciated life's every minute. Also that we are all given incredible power; we had it right now...

But Al was just more confused so Al advised him to visit his teacher...
Now Doc, in his wisdom, had studied the greats
who had done brilliant things and determined their fates.
He had met with great whites, giant squids, and blue whales.
He had heard all their stories and read all their tales.
So Bob summoned courage and asked the old gent,
"Please tell me how to be truly content."
Doc tipped his spectacles, gave Bob a glance,
adusted his shell and rebuckled his pants.

Then he said, "We've just met,  but my instinct are sound,
and the answer you seek is quite easily found.
As Al may have told you, you have it within.
Discover your passion, then simply jump in.

Decide what you love, what excites and inspires,

then make that your purpose and watch what transpires."

Bob thought of the fish in the deep ocean blue
and the seabirds and sand crabs and jellyfish too.
As he pictured them all, he could feel his heart swett.
He knew what he loved, and he knew it quite well.

His Passion was clear; he just had to pursue it.
Protecting all sea life--he knew he could do it.
"I'll simply devote all my days to the sea.
A marine biologist!" Bob declared. "Yes, that's me!"

But of course, we all know that deciding and accepting something does not automatically make it so...Bob still had a long way to go... But he had begun! And he kept on asking questions and seeking guidance from others until he is sent to somebody that could really help... and, boy, did she throw him a test task to do! And a certain little creature is his target...

“That’s just idle chatter.
If you know your true purpose, those facts do not matter.”
~ Mary Marine
Although only in her early 20s, Mary is the Island of Roses leading marine biologist. When she was a student at The Island School, she became good friends with Doc the turtle. She works closely with Doc, Al the dolphin, Earl the clam, Wallace the walrus and the other sea creatures to protect all life in the Sea of Kerchoo. When Mary meets Bob, she is impressed with his enthusiasm to work with her. But she needs to make sure he is capable and committed to this challenging job. After a few important tests, she realizes that Bob’s passion, courage and commitment will make him a valuable assistant (and Xena too).

You know what? I haven't even said anything about chapter 2 and beyond! And there are 5 chapters...So be prepared to help Bob through his first task and see what else he gets into on his way to fulfilling his desire to become a marine biologist! By the way, although the book is about Bob's adventures, Mary Marine and another new young girl who we'll meet in another book, will make the book just as fun and interesting for both boys and girls, especially those who love swimming, the sea and its creatures! Highly recommended!


Inspired by his young son, Brooks Olbrys created The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob storybook series to share timeless achievement principles with children. A graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Brooks is the founder of Children’s Success Unlimited and a managing director at investment bank Ion Partners. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

Watch for reviews of the next two books!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nobel Laureates: The Secret of Their Success by David Pratt Proves to be Excellent Scholarly Research on Lives of Laureates

Alfred Nobel Established the Nobel Prizes
On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his third and last will at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris. When it was opened and read after his death, the will caused a lot of controversy both in Sweden and internationally, as Alfred Nobel had left much of his wealth for the establishment of a prize.

PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE - Monday 3 October, 11:30 a.m. at the earliest
PHYSICS - Tuesday 4 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest 
CHEMISTRY - Wednesday 5 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest 
PEACE - Friday 7 October, 11:00 a.m.
ECONOMIC SCIENCES - Monday 10 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest 
LITERATURE - The date will be set later. 
Times listed are local time in Swede

For many of us, David Pratt, has taken us into a world we would never really know without his book, Nobel Laureates: The Secret of Their Success. Sure, we all hear on the news when the new recipient is named, some of us may even recognize the name. We recognize that it is a prestigious award and think good thoughts about the latest receiving recognition for what he has contributed in his life. But, until we hear about another named recipient, we may not think about these brilliant individuals whose lives have benefited us in some wonderful way. I was pleased to have the opportunity to received David Pratt's scholarly research into this world and present it for those who wish to learn more about these individuals and the world in which they've lived...

Nobel Laureates:
The Secret of Their Success

By David Pratt

But first, who is David Pratt? An important part of deciding about a nonfiction book is who researched and wrote the book. Let's meet David Pratt:

David Pratt was born in Britain at the beginning of World War II. After graduating from university, he moved first to the United States and then to Canada.
In Canada, he taught high school for four years, then did graduate work at the University of Toronto, and accepted a position at Queen’s University, where he remained for 28 years. He published extensively on academic subjects, leaving the university in 1997 in order to write full-time.
His fiction and poetry have appeared in over 100 literary journals in Canada, the United States, Britain, and Australia.
See my latest publications at Smashwords, called This Continent Called Love: Quotations from the Nobel Prize Winners; For the Thinking Executive: 916 Quotations from Nobel Laureates; and Unconquerable Crete: An Epic Poem.

Readers of the book will quickly see the extensive reading and references used throughout the book and many will recognize the specific information about Laureates themselves... With this kind of book I don't have to worry about giving anything away so I want to share an excerpt that I found profoundly sad...

Never Shall I Forget These Things--We can never know how many men and women of genius perished in the Holocaust. Two Novel writers who survived the terrible experiences of the Nazi concentration campus were Elie Wiesel (Peace 1986) and Imre Kertesz (Literature, 2002). Elie Wiesel was born in Romania in 1928, the son of an orthodox Jewish shopkeeper. In May 1944, the family was deported to Auschwitz. Elie's mother and younger sister perished there.
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. 
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. 
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. 
Never shall I forget those moments which murdered by God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. 
Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. 

Wiesel was forced to witness the death of his father, but had been liberated by the American army...The thing most amazing was that, included in the book, was direct evidence that showed that the number of Laureates from Germany significantly decreased during Hitler's regime. Or, if you think of it as I did. Hitler destroyed the very people who could have led Germany to be great--but blind hatred had ruined all of that for his own country...

Jonas Kaufmann Soloist at the Nobel Prize Concert 2016
Jonas Kaufmann, "the most important versatile tenor of his generation", will perform at the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm, Sweden, on 8 December 2016. Gianandrea Noseda, newly appointed music director at the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, USA, will lead the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

I found shelter either in houses
that were bombed out or in houses
that were given up by other people.
One of the places that we stayed
was actually a house that the
Germans were using for torturing
people. When you went in there,
all of the body parts were just left
there on the floor. So I saw all sorts
of body parts that were just cut off:
fingers, noses, ears, and so on.
This would be between the ages
of 5 and 8.
Without being able to share much about the book, I thought I'd include a couple of the interesting titles of the 27 chapters... For instance we start out with "Unless you're poor, you don't know what poor means..."  Consider that each year only one out of every 600 million people on earth are selected to win a Nobel. Most would consider that such prize winners must come from rich or academically involved homes. But being poor doesn't preclude selection. Take for instance Mario

Capecchi who won the 2007 prize for Medicine--he spent his childhood as a street kid during war in Italy... His response to that time is perfectly understandable as he witnessed the remains/parts of people tortured by the Germans.

I was intrigued by the chapter,
"Fatherless Children," when George Wald, Medicine, 1967, shared that what was really needed was not nobel laureates, but love.
Since I never had a father, as Wald, it was interesting to
consider that "wanting love" was what led to his working all the time. Then he declared that the Nobel was a consolation prize.
What do you think? Since I and my siblings have always worked hard at whatever they did, it does make for considerable thought. For us, my mother loved us, but she worked all the time to keep us alive and healthy... It was noted that "the success of these laureates is a tribute to the energy and devotion of their mothers..." I agreed, of course!

Some conceptual thoughts came through in other chapters, such as "getting married and stay married, or having an important teacher or mentor, or never being willing to give in...and perhaps even luck...

And then there was Einstein who was said to be eccentric who calmly explained, "When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends in making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks..." I think I would have liked Einstein, but most of the Laureates were down-to-earth, lacked pretension and many, was of few words...

The book is full of not only personal references to recipients but also provides various statistical charts, for instance, about the country where recipients lives (although it was noted that many home countries claim them even if they had emigrated. The break down of categories by men and women and age...another. 

When I started reading this, I immediately thought that the audience for the book would be educators, academicians, scientists and those who work in the specific categories of the prizes. Now, I would add that it is an important source of information to parents, teachers and anybody who is interested in the youth of our countries across the world. I can't help but wonder how many potential Laureates, who would have given to the world as a whole, have died before their time due to the power-hungry greed of war mongers.

My final smile from the book, quoting William Fowler, Physics, 1983, given I say this all the time to my sister when she says, "what are you doing, working?" and I think about, and sometimes say..."no, I'm having fun reading and  blogging."

Speaking to university students in Stockholm, said: Fellow students, there will be hard work and heart break in your futures but there will also be stimulating intellectual pleasure and joy. In less pompous language, I call it fun.

Highly recommended...


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kids! Come Meet Nickerbacher - The Funniest Dragon - Brought to you by Terry John Barto!

The funniest Dragon

I bet you've all heard about Puff the Magic Dragon, but I just met another really cool dragon called Nickerbacher...  Nickerbacher is a funny dragon... He does standup comedy! Cool, right?! Well, he didn't start out that way...

We meet Nickerbacher when he is a sad dragon...

First let me stop and tell you about the fantastic colorful dragons you'll be meeting illustrated by Kim Sponaugle. They are so unique and fun to look at!

The Funniest Dragon

By Terry John Barto
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Nickerbacher had an important job, of course--he was guarding the princess in the high tower in which she lived. He was happy to help keep her safe, but that wasn't what he wanted to do for the rest of his life... He wanted to make people laugh!

Fortunately, the princess had become a friend and so she would listen while he practiced his routine, and Princess Gwendolyn laughed so much that Nicherbacher would start to laugh as well!
Let's watch...

Now you'll quickly admit his jokes are funny, but, really, have you ever heard or seen a dragon laugh?! I imagined it would be so unique that he'd probably lose his ability to make fire, don't you think? At least for awhile...
When his father came to see how he was doing, well, personally I think he made a mistake, as he, trembling, tried out a joke on his father:

Nickerbacher stepped up on a tree stump. "What do you get when you cross a dragon with a snowman?"
Papa just stared.
"A puddle," Nickerbacher answered.

Papa breathed fire and asked him what he was talking about. He tried, really, to tell his Papa Dragon that he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. But Papa hollered that it was his duty...every dragon's guard princesses.

Nickerbacher tried to argue saying that he wanted to make people laugh while his father told him that he was supposed to scare them..." He thought he had no choice but to agree...

And then the Prince came...and Nickerbacher couldn't help it...Instead of using his real name, Prince Happenstance, he said "Prince Fancypants..."

Nickerbacher grinned; the Prince did not...

This book is an excellent way to subtly help children know that they need to consider what they want to be when they grow up...and then work hard to make it happen, even when parents might not understand right away... Such a beautiful way to help children understand that they will need to begin to make decisions for themselves...\

Highly recommended...


Before writing children's books, Terry John Barto directed and choreographed more than 200 regional theater productions. In addition, he was the creative mind behind numerous television and cruise ship shows throughout the world. When Terry John Barto was employed as the creative director for Wings of Dreams Productions, he worked with many diverse ideas and turned them into screenplays for animated films. He also used his experience to help artists develop popular action figures and dolls for several large retailers.

Terry lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys Pilates, Yoga, and hiking with his dachshunds, Hunter and Mazie.

Monday, June 27, 2016

What A Roller Coaster Ride Brought by Lauren Carr in Her Best of the Best - Candidate for Murder!

What a Ride!
You know how it start out calmly, but excited...then you move into exhilaration, screaming, laughing... then another calm spot comes and you're sitting there waiting for the next jolt of adrenaline...
With an ending that takes you down that longest, scariest drop!

"So what's happening, Chief?" Glancing around the outdoor cafe, which was nearly empty due to the lull between the breakfast crowd and the lunch crowd, Bernie asked in a low voice, "Have you got someone under surveillance?"
"No," David replied. "Gnarly and I were just going back to the police station after taking care of some business at the board of elections." Watching how Bernie and Hap were petting Gnarly, who was inching closer and closer to their food, he said with a sly grin, "Gnarly's running for mayor."
Bernie and Hap's eyes grew wide. Both of their jaws dropped open.
"Really?" Bernie asked.
"It's official." David nodded his head. "He's running as an independent."
"Well, I'll be." Wagging a finger across the table at David, Bernie said, "You know, I think Gnarly would make a fine mayor--especially compared to those two knuckleheads already running. For one, Gnarly's honest--"
Lauren and Gnarly
Interview with Mayoral
Candidate Gnarly
Seeing an opening, Gnarly snatched Bernie's egg sandwich from the table and wolfed it down.
Suppressing his laughter, David agreed with a nod of his head.
"Hap and I would love to help. Who've you got running his campaign?"
"Running his campaign?" David asked.
"You have to have a campaign manager," Bernie said.
Hap was nodding his head vigorously.
"Butit's only a small-town race," David said.
"Does Snarly have a website?" Bernie asked. "Is he on Facebook and Twitter?"
Bernie jumped up in his seat. "Gnarly's not on Twitter! How do you expect for him o win if he's not on Twitter? Tell me that he's at least on Instagram!"


Set in Beautiful Spencer, Maryland
Deep Creek Lake

Candidate for Murder
A Mac Faraday Mystery

By Lauren Carr

OMG! Carr is over the top and giving us an easy "10"  with her latest, Candidate for Murder! Of course I've always loved Gnarly, but not only do we learn what really happened when he was in the military, but we see him in full action based upon his training! Loved it!

But that was just the highlight of a book full of adventures with multiple Faraday or Thornton family members involved! Like the roller coast, we are just getting involved with one case, and heading toward a lead in the case, when Carr grabs us and moves over into another entirely different case with different players acting as primary investigators! The book is complex but Carr's weaving from one to another scene is amazingly simple even when she leaves us frustrated, wanting to know what is coming next on one case, while we move on to learn the status of still another one! The highs and lows are tantalizing as readers wonder what will be coming next...

Because, really, it all started when David nominated Gnarly for Mayor. We all know what it means when we are not happy with the candidates for a specific office--even the presidency! But this position was mayor of only a small town, but one that could lead to trouble between the year-round residents and the visitors to lovely Deep Creek, during the warmer months... who had built beautiful homes, by the rich, who felt they deserved special considerations... For instance, would you believe they wanted to restrict residents from hanging their clothes outside to dry in fresh they wouldn't have to "see" them in nearby neighbor's yards! Talk about snobs...LOL,,,

But when it came right down to it, when the two candidates started after Gnarly's background, it was quite natural to have others investigate those candidates' backgrounds! And what was learned led to the first murder of one of the candidates! What you get to see is the true underbelly of politics at work! And it ain't pretty...

With 453 magnificent pages of mini-plots, this book must be read to believe! Here's what we're dealing with...

Cold Case - Who killed Gnarly's handler when he was a military officer...

Cold Case - Who killed an investigative reporter who had started to investigate a local charitable group... Which leads me to note that Police Chief David O'Callaghan has a new lover...and she, too, is an investigative journalist who, with Archie jumped on this mystery....

Then there's the murder of one of the mayor candidates...which leads to possible earlier deaths???

Have to say there's a lot of collateral deaths as all of these investigations cause reactions by those who have been criminally involved in activities...stirred up by Gnarly's run for mayor...

And there's even some second guessing on earlier investigations which results in real situations being uncovered!

Carr even gets the CIA involved in invading the home of a Phantom (do you know who that is from previous books?) with only a computerized Butler and Gnarly to save the day! Wow!

Don't just sit there thinking that this might be the book to try for Lauren Carr! I'm telling you right now it's a must-read for daring, adventure, crime-busting, high-level government criminal elimination...and so many canine characters that I stopped counting! Best of all, you'll see a family so involved with their canine friends that when danger comes along, including a mountain lion who attacks one and who doesn't win against Gnarly....everyone stops and treats it as though a family member is hurt...because all those dogs are family!

I loved it and quickly added it as a Personal Favorite for 2016.


Blog Tour for Candidate for Murder Now Happening.

An image posted by the author.An Amazon All-Star Author, Lauren Carr writes mysteries that have made Amazon's best-selling ranks internationally. 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder was released on June 20, 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Order! Order!
Numerous readers have asked the order of Lauren Carr's titles. All of Lauren Carr's books are stand alone. However for those readers who want to start at the beginning, here is the list of Lauren Carr's mysteries in order. The number next to the book title is the actual order in which the book was released.

Joshua Thornton Mysteries:
Fans of the Lovers in Crime Mysteries may wish to read these two books which feature Joshua Thornton years before meeting Detective Cameron Gates. Also in these mysteries, readers will meet Joshua Thornton's five children before they have flown the nest.
1) A Small Case of Murder
2) A Reunion to Die For

Mac Faraday Mysteries:
3) It's Murder, My Son
4) Old Loves Die Hard
5) Shades of Murder (introduces the Lovers in Crime: Joshua Thornton & Cameron Gates)
7) Blast from the Past
8) The Murders at Astaire Castle
9) The Lady Who Cried Murder (The Lovers in Crime make a guest appearance in this Mac Faraday Mystery)
10) Twelve to Murder
12) A Wedding and a Killing 
13) Three Days to Forever 
15) Open Season for Murder 
16) Cancelled Vows

Lovers in Crime Mysteries
6) Dead on Ice
11) Real Murder
17) Killer in the Band (May 2016)

The Thorny Rose Mysteries
14) Kill and Run 
18) A Fine Year for Murder (September 2016)