Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich ~ Review

Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

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Wow! I was blown away by this book. It hits the ground running and never lets up the pace from there to the end. This read is a definite thumbs up.

In a series of quirky events, ten-year-old Corey is thrown into an adventure of epic proportions putting him right in the scene of a huge flood–THE Flood–just before the doors to the boat are about to close. Moment by moment Corey’s life is in jeopardy while evil all around him is trying to prevent him from reaching safety.

Not only does Matt Koceich write appropriate age-related physical conflict to create suspense in this book, but he also includes the more subtle battles of the mind and will, including deception, betrayal and temptation. Although the book is short in length, only 110 pages, the author skillfully blends all the elements together to make a fast-paced read for early readers. The high interest level is sure to attract reluctant readers as well.

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As a parent years ago, my children and I would read together all the Magic Treehouse books as the stars in this series would travel the world to solve puzzles and find missing pieces. This has that type of feel to it, but without the pictures and with great foundational teaching. It is a chapter book which I believe will lend itself to being read aloud to very young children.

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If the author develops this into a series, and I think that may be his intention, then we are in for a treat. In the meantime, I highly recommend you pick this up for your young readers and listeners. They’ll love this adventure. In fact, anyone between the ages of 7 to 107 will enjoy this book.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Barbour Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or negative. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Book Launch: Part 3 Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura by Vincent Vinas ~Review~

Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura by Vincent Vinas

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The Incredible Edible Meg series is a children’s chapter book written for elementary and middle grade children.

Meg lives in Crabble Creek which boasts not one, but two brilliant scientists. Unfortunately, one of those scientists is the evil and maniacal Basil Blizzard. His is fifth generation evil, a twisted man who lives in Castle 127 with his fifth generation assistant, Feldman. Feldman is not evil like his master. But because of family tradition he is forced to work for a Blizzard. Even more unfortunate for Feldman was the fact that Basil is not a mad scientist, even though he wants to be the maddest of mad scientists. He is as sane as you or I. To Blizzard, this is a serious flaw which sets him on a quest for insanity.

On the bright side, the other scientist in Crabble Creek, Dill DeMorrow, is a nice guy. His kindness is known all over town and beyond. He is so kind that he is kept constantly busy doing favors of the inventive scientific sort for all his friends. But while Dill is very happy, he is also lonely. So one day he set out to make himself a daughter. He used the concept of the gingerbread man we are all so familiar with, except that his daughter was made with red velvet cake instead of gingerbread. He named her Nutmeg. Gill’s Nutmeg has a special heart, made of a different type of cake and infused with a special birthday wish ingredient. This gives her the incredible ability to grant someone a wish on a person’s birthday. It’s no wonder that Meg is as kind and intelligent as her father. Everyone in Crabble Creek loves her, except for bad guy Blizzard.

The adventure begins when Blizzard learns of Meg’s special ability and decides to kidnap her and force her to grant his wish for insanity. The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura was delivered to Castle 10, and when Dill opened the front door, the camera flashed and turned him to stone. That’s where Meg found him. She hid herself just in time to avoid capture when Blizzard and Feldman searched her home. She overheard their plans and when they were gone, she was determined to journey as far as needed to save her father from becoming a lawn ornament forever.

Humor is a major plus for this book. The narrator’s voice sounds like a precocious child telling a story in his own rambling, ludicrous way, with plenty of distractions to keep the reader amused. Meg is traveling with her living stuffed cat and an animated drum. They meet several interesting characters, and the journey turns into a quest with many detours. I loved those so funny moments.

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I believe readers will not only enjoy this book for its humor but also for its positive character building themes. Dill’s willingness to help other people even when it keeps him way too busy, is a great character trait to be emulated. Meg’s kindness and unselfishness wins friends and makes people happy as she continues to search for ways to help her father. Different friends have different talents that become important to Meg, especially at the conclusion of the story.

I can happily recommend this book for children at the third and fourth grade reading level and up. The book may also be appealing for read aloud times for even younger ages. The content is clean with no foul language. Evil and good are clearly delineated. Basil’s bad behavior is bad but not terrible, although I believe parental discretion is recommended before reading to very young children. Overall, this is a really fun book for children.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from an individual representative on behalf of Native Ink Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Book Launch: Part 2 Incredible Edible Meg in the Medusa Eye Camera Obscura by Vincent Vinas

Incredible Edible Meg in the Medusa Eye Camera Obscura by Vincent Vinas
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By: Vincent Vinas

After looking for laughs in dark places with my debut novel, The Funeral Portrait, I’m now looking for laughs in silly places. My first children’s book, Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura, is part adventure, part fantasy, part steampunk, part sci-fi and all zany! In the peaceful town of Crabble Creek, the exceptionally devious Basil Blizzard wants nothing more than to be a “mad” scientist but he is missing one crucial element—he isn’t mad! His friends would probably describe him as fiercely sane, but he doesn’t have any friends. Nevertheless, Basil feels that like his ancestors before him, insanity will allow him to reach his full potential in his castle’s laboratory. Sounds insane already to me.

 

On the other side of town lives the most brilliant and kindest scientist, Dill DeMorrow. Dill doesn’t need insanity to achieve greatness, it just comes naturally. Some would say (including Dill) would say his greatest achievement was the creation of his daughter, Nutmeg. She is brilliant; she is adorable; she is made of cake. If that doesn’t make her special enough, just wait, there’s more! If you were to make a wish during the hour of your birth and blow out a candle that is planted in Nutmeg’s spongy little cake hand, your wish will actually come true.

 

As you can imagine, the moment Basil finds out about this he hatches an evil plan to obtain his elusive insanity through the use of Nutmeg’s powers, whether she likes it or not. This will set Nutmeg off on a journey into one wacky situation after another full of danger, candy and a snake-like camera that does more than take your picture.

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Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura is a silly escape for kids and adults alike who are in touch with their imaginations. Things aren’t always fun and laughs though and it’s nice to help out people in need whenever you can. Just as I donated proceeds from the first 45 days of sales from The Funeral Portrait to breast cancer research, I plan on doing similar with this new book. My charity this time around will be the Pacer Center, which offers help in many areas but the one particular area I’m focusing on is getting help for children when it comes to recognizing and dealing with bullying. Being a kid and growing up is hard enough without having to deal with bullying in any capacity.

The fundraiser has started May 22nd, 2014, and will continue through August 20th 2014. Our goal is to raise $1000 dollars. However much money I raise, Native Ink Press will match the donation!

 

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Book Launch: The Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura

Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura  By Vincent Viñas

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AUTHOR COMBINES STEAMPUNK, FANTASY, HUMOR AND SCI-FI IN UNIQUE CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE

Writer–and Pez dispenser lover– Vincent Viñas bakes up a sweet adventure that’s light on calories and heavy on wackiness, in his latest novel, Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura. Although Vincent enjoys writing fiction for adults, he finds writing for a younger audience even more challenging and rewarding. “My ideas typically lean towards the dark and quirky side but I’m essentially a big kid so writing material for children feels very natural and tremendously fun when I feel I have a story that young people can get a kick out of”, says Vincent Viñas. “This particular book gave me a chance to mix a number of genres I’ve always been a fan of and offer something that is hopefully new to some readers.”

The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura, the 1st title in the Incredible Edible Meg series, introduces us to Nutmeg DeMorrow, a very special girl with very special powers. Oh, yeah, she’s also made of cake. Vincent Viñas has a knack for making the reader feel very involved with the story by addressing them directly, thus creating the feeling that they’re not just reading but are actually being read to. “From a very young age I always loved sitting in a quiet corner somewhere and getting completely lost in a good book. However, having one of my school teachers read a story to the class was extra exciting because they could convey a mood that had you hanging on every word. The writer was speaking to us through them and it always made the story more memorable. By addressing the reader directly throughout The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura, I’m hoping that will create a greater connection between us and make for a more unforgettable experience.”

With its mix of ideas and genres, Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura explores:

● The concept of modern technology mixing with not so modern conventions.

● The idea that a girl made out of cake or a boy who is a living piñata is just as much a member of the family as someone born into it. Acceptance and a lack of prejudice can lead to much happiness.

● Friendship is priceless.

● Being a bully is no way to deal with people. Kindness is so much more inspiring.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say there is a definite moral to this story but I think there are definitely important things to be learned within all the wackiness,” remarks Vincent Viñas. “My main focus with this book is to make children laugh and feel entertained—plain and simple. If somewhere along the way they can take something positive from this story and apply it to life for the benefit of themselves and those around them, I can’t say I’d be opposed to that.” Vincent Viñas has been writing since his childhood and has won numerous awards for his words, including such things as medals, certificates, publication, a private screening party for fifty friends and a guitar from one of his favorite musicians. Vincent’s dark comedy debut novel, The Funeral Portrait was published in 2013 by Ink Smith Publishing.

The Incredible Edible Meg in The Medusa Eye Camera Obscura is available at Native Ink Press and at other major online book selling sites.

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