Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Spotlight: LITTLE BOY

LITTLE BOY (starring Kevin James, Michael Rapaport, Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, and Ali Landry, and is produced by heavyweight TV and movie producer, Mark Burnett)

Set during the height of World War II, the film centers on a little boy, Pepper Flynt Busbee (Jakob Salvati), who is willing to do whatever it takes to end World War II so that he can bring his father home. Through his struggle, Pepper learns lessons of morality, such as the value of self sacrifice, how to face the town's bullies (at times hilariously depicted), the importance of racial equality, and many lessons in between.

This heartwarming family film expertly captures feelings similar to those recognizable in so many great American movies.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Book Review of Adventures of Nutty and Twittles: OH NUTS! I LOST MY SISTER

Every young child looks forward to the last day of school and the start of summer vacation. The excitement fills the air in every classroom and students can’t wait to run out and enjoy the beautiful weather, the outdoors and have some real fun. But, the students in this classroom learn a lesson that they will take with them for a very long time as Mrs. Hoot, their wise Owl teacher reminds them not to venture into the Dark Forest, not to walk alone but remain with a Buddy using the very old but popular Buddy System and stay safe. Adventures of Nutty and Twittles: Oh Nuts I lost my little sister, teaches many important lessons that not only the special animal characters in this story can learn but young children too.
Nutty and his school friends could not run out fast enough when the bell rang hearing what Mrs. Hoot said but not really processing the gravity of her words.
Speckles the turtle, Squinty the raccoon, Nutty and the squirrel and his sister Twittles along with Robby Robin could not wait to play hide “n” seek. Gathering his friends, explaining the rules each of his friends tried his/her best to find a great hiding place. Twittles was worried that she would be found first. Speckles wanted him to count higher than 10 to give him a chance to hide. Wiggles was the first one he found followed by some of the others. But, where they hid is a secret in case they use the same hiding place next time. Everyone was accounted for except for Twittles and this really scared Nutty. Each of his friends banned together with him to try and find her and then Nutty remembered Mrs. Hoot’s words about the Dark Forest and the Buddy System. The Buddy System is still in place in some schools today and is a great way to make sure that children are paired with someone and are safe and will not get lost. Robby flew up in the sky and Wiggles looked under the branches and Squinty looked behind the rocks and trees. NO TWITTLES! The illustrations are colorful, show the expressions on the animal’s faces and the entrance to the Dark Forest making the story come alive even for non-readers to understand and follow the plot. Poor Nutty, what was he going to do and finding his way into the Dark Forest he comes in contact with Plago and what happens makes his heart pound as he relates that she might be lost. Realizing that he does not belong there Nutty leaves the forest and hears a familiar Hoot! Just what happens and the lessons they all learn about the Buddy System and the Dark Forest come full circle when Mrs. Hoot speaks from above the trees. What she tells them is enlightening? Did anyone find Twittles that remains to be seen? Hiding places are fun when they are not far from where you are playing and you follow safety rules. Nutty and his friends learned the importance of listening when an adult instructs them in a specific safety rule. They just might understand the dangers of the Dark Forest and think twice before even venturing in to this dangerous place. They learned the importance of the Buddy System and the true meaning of friendship. Trust, loyalty, forgiveness, understanding and friendship are all lessons learned in this great story by Dennis Marcoux and illustrator Amy Rottinger. The pictures are expressive and match the dialogue and the storyline and the faces and expressions are well crafted and vividly depicted. So, what’s next for these great characters? Let’s hope the author brings them back for another adventure real soon. Where is Twittles? That’s a secret that cannot be revealed!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ANY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE with Bennet Pomerantz

Welcome to The World of Ink Network show on Blog Talk Radio. Our goal is to bring informative and entertaining shows to our listners.The mission of the World of Ink Network is to share resources that introduce tips, products and services to help strengthen, support and challenge those who love writing and the written word. The World of Ink Network hopes not only to bring authors, illustrators and publishers together, but also help them reach their readership.

Noted writer and critic Bennet Pomerantz talks to media guests on the World of Ink Network's ANY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE this Saturday at 9pm Eastern - 8pm Central - 7pm Mountain - 6pm Pacific.

Bennet's guests are  Sally J. Walker, Bri Clark, Marsha Casper Cook, Virginia S. Grenier and Jeanne Marie Spicuzza

Listen to the show at

Saturday, December 20, 2014

12 Tips for Connecting with Prickly Teens on the Families Matter Show

Welcome to The World of Ink Network show on Blog Talk Radio. Our goal is to bring informative and entertaining shows to our listners.The mission of the World of Ink Network is to share resources that introduce tips, products and services to help strengthen, support and challenge those who love writing and the written word.

Listen today to the Families Matter show at 4pm Eastern - 3pm Central - 2pm Mountain - 1pm Pacific. Hosts Virginia S Grenier and Marsha Casper Cook will be talking with Author Brad Wilcox.
Brad Wilcox is an Associate Professor at Brigham Young University where he also works with such programs as Especially for Youth and Campus Education Week. He grew up in Ethiopia, Africa, and has also lived with his family in New Zealand and Chile. He is the best-selling author of many books, including Tips for Tackling Teenage Troubles, The Best-Kept Secrets of Parenting, and Straight Talk for Parents: What Teenagers Wish They Could Tell You. His children's picture book, Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie McRae! was a top finalist for the Children's Choice Award in Utah. He is a popular speaker and has presented throughout the country and internationally. You can learn more at and

The Best-Kept Secrets of Parenting authors Brad Wilcox and Jerrick Robbins are back with a new parenting book, this time focused on our prickly young friends: teenagers. How to Hug a Hedgehog: 12 Keys for Connecting with Teens explores ways parents can help teens improve communication, overcome adversity, and build self-esteem with 12 specific keys and a variety of examples and sources.

Listen to the show at

Friday, December 19, 2014

Interview with YA Author A.J. Tupps - Shadow TEARS

Aimee Tupps grew up in a small farm community in Connersville, Indiana.  She currently resides in Grand Blanc, Michigan.  In her spare time she enjoys daydreaming, traveling, sunsets, the outdoors but most of all spending time with her family.  As a young girl she entertained herself by living adventures from her imagination.  Aimee looks at every day as a blessing and another day to make her dreams a reality.  She is still in touch with her inner teenager and enjoys the mischief she can get into. Family is one of the most important things in her life.  She has a degree in Medical Transcription.  Currently she works as an optical technician/tester.  She has one adoring husband who joins in her mischief or is the recipient of it along with her two loveable children and one hyper dog. 

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? 
Stories from my imagination have always been a part of me.  I love storytelling and have practiced my entire life.  Since I was young I have written stories.  I can see my growth but there are three stories that I return to all the time.  The Shadow one is my favorite. 

Where did the inspiration for Shadow TEARS come from?
The title came from one of the hardest times in our family life.  My husband’s illness took control of our life and I invented this whole world with the help of my children.  We were staying in a hotel across from Cleveland Clinic. My little ones would stare out all those windows and they would have condensation on them.  My children didn’t whine or cry about what was happening in our life.  They thought this was the norm.  Nevertheless they would stand in front of those windows and I felt like the environment was crying for them.   I wanted my children to be able to face anything sent their way. 

What made you choose to write a novel?
My son one night wanted the book to read alone.  I didn’t have it.  It hit me that he and my daughter needed these stories even if I had to have them bound and printed at an office store. 

What is the main message or theme that you hope readers of this book come away from it with?
I want people to be able to face any challenge and to be able to overcome it.  This book was written with my children in mind.  I wanted my children to be able to face anything sent their way.  No illness would be allowed to steal our joy of life.  So I used things I saw that influenced those around me and put a paranormal spin to them.  Selena faces things that the average teenager and young adult faces while the adults face their own dilemmas.  This may be a sci-fi fantasy book but there are life lessons.  No problem is small to the person going through the event but they can be overcomed.

Who is your favorite author?
I love too many to choose. 

Do you have a writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?
I have a cozy room in my home that is for my writing.  This room contains more than just the normal thing you find in a study.  I am a person who loves comfort and my family.  We have three desks and have always had a children’s corner.  I have a comfy chair to read new releases from my favorite authors or to play Destiny Ninja Warrior.  Yeah, I am in touch with my inner teenager.  Crazy, I know.  I write on my computer and I do use notebooks that I write in too.  This one little room is the heart of the house in many ways.  The children call it the comfy room that is warm.

We do have time limits in a way but my children are grown now.  We eat dinner as a family after work. I do work late into the night on my books. 

Music is not background noise in our house.  It is an event no matter what type it is.  We are a musical family and love all types of music.  We listen to classical, foreign, to the modern genres.  In fact I have a young gentleman who writes beautiful music and he has enhanced my book with music made just for my series.  I can’t wait to share them.  He is in the process of copyrighting them so it won’t be much longer.  He has done several styles of music but the music he has created for Shadow Tears is perfect.  It matches.

Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?
It all depends on my mood.  I love to write more than edit. 

Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication:

What is the hardest part of being a writer?

When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?
My family is my passion.  We hike and go to the beach.  We do live in Michigan and are surrounded by water.  We love the outdoors and play well together.  The girls are into reading, music and art while my boys are different.  Tyler is a gamer and historian.  He is in college now.  My hubby is a lot like Shep.  He loves holidays, movies and the outdoors.  We all love to listen to old radio shows.  Meggan is an artist and loves history and music.  We love being a family.

Are you working on any new projects?
I am working on the whole series but the main project now is Book 2.  This is a small peek.
I will start editing book two after the Christmas Holiday.  This Christmas will be a similar holiday to the one when Shadow Tears began since my husband has had a reoccurrence of his cancer.  I will keep working on it so we can get in to your hands. 

Book 2 Shadow -------- tba
Selena, Matthew barely survived their first encounter with their Shadow enemies.  They were shoved into what Shadows term as a vortex to stabilize their Shadow genes from disintegrating into nothingness.  Afterwards they are delivered from the vortex into the arms of Shep and Victor.  The children will need time to heal while they enjoy their first Christmas together with their friends and family in the Shadow Realm.  During the next several months Selena and Matthew will discover their rich heritage, visit the main Capitol of the Shadow Realm, Troy.  The Shadow Realm is just like Jared’s journals had described. 

A new year looms on the horizon as does the enemy.  Shep and Billy expect this year to be more challenging since the enemy is aware Selena exists.  They are fairly certain none of the enemy returned home to report what they had found, so hopefully Selena will remain safe for now.  That poor child has no idea what her first steps back onto these grounds have announced.  The sisters of fate seem to be untwining their twine.  May Zeus deliver them all from Cronos.

Quick Fire round:

Coke or Pepsi?   Pepsi
Chocolate or Vanilla?   Chocolate
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days?   Blazing hot summer days
Hard Copy or e-book?   ebook
Favorite book?   Shadow Tears
Last book you read?   Shadow Tears
What's a quote that inspires you?   Tomorrow is another day
What's your favorite comfort food?   icing

Title: Shadow Tears
Author: A. J. Tupps
ISBN: 978-1-61244-310-2
Page count: 302
Genre: Young Adult – Coming of Age Novel
Price: $16.95 for paperback and $5.99 e-book

About the book:
Shadow Tears is the first book in a series. In this book you meet Selena Goodwin who discovers more about her heritage than she ever wanted. She has special abilities that are fascinating while others are frightening to her.  All her beliefs are tested when she finds out that the mortal rules don’t apply to everybody or everything.  Her knowledge of the supernatural and myths might become her only means to survive.  She must accept who she is meant to be. 

Being thrust into a world full of secrets, danger, and a family she didn’t know existed is overwhelming, not to mention a responsibility. Luckily she still has the love and support of her adoptive father who had known all along who she is meant to be.  To make things worse she discovers her very existence is threatened by an unknown enemy.  The normal obstacles of being a teenager are hard enough. Now she has to learn how to live a lie while falling in love and accepting her life as it was meant to be. High school is supposed to be the best years of your life. 

Selena must rely on strangers who she is not sure are reliable. The only person she can rely on must stand between her and the possibility of death.  Selena faces these realms with reality always reminding her she is fallible. Yet she can overcome anything with the love of her family and friends.  

Where can we go to buy your book?
Shadow Tears is now available on the Halo Publishing website,, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Bowker Books, Ingram Distributing, B. Dalton, and many more

Author Website:

Twitter URL: AjTupps@AjTupps

Facebook URL: 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Empowerment Show - 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know

The World of Ink Network brings you shows each week on topics such as books, writing, author interviews, self-help and much more. Today on The Empowerment Show the hosts will be chatting with Mom Blogger Kari Kampakis.

When Kari Kampakis wrote a blog post in July 2013 titled "10 Truths Young Girls Should Know," the post went viral and was shared more than 65,000 times on Facebook. Her message stuck a chord with moms and dads across the country. Teen girls deal daily with cliques, bullying, rejection, and social media nightmares. Kampakis wants girls to know that they don't have to compromise their integrity and future to find love, acceptance, and security.

Kari Kampakis is a newspaper columnist, blogger, and former children's photographer from Birmingham, Alabama. Her writing has been featured on HuffPost Parents and reflects her passion for family and God. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Kari holds an MBA and public relations degree. She and her husband, Harry, live in blessed chaos with their four daughters and a dog named Lola.

Learn more about Kari and her work here.

Join us Today at 4pm Eastern - 3pm Central - 2pm Mountain - 1pm Pacific for a discussion about families, communication and much more. The discussion is open to callers and comments/questions in the chatroom.

The World of Ink Network brings you shows each week on topics such as books, writing, author interviews, self-help and much more. You can also follow us at, our blog, and on Facebook and Twitter. 

Listen to the show at

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Author Spotlight - Interview with Richard McEwan

Please share your bio with us and anything else you would like readers to know.

After a long career in sales, marketing, advertising and real estate, I retired to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. I served in the U.S. Navy, actively for two years and four years in the Reserves. 

I live with my wife, Christie, and our two dogs, Buddy and River, one cat named Oyster and many photos of foster dogs. My wife and I fostered about 50 dogs during a span of 5 years volunteering with the Animal Welfare League in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Together, we have three children and four grandchildren. 

What are some of the things that have influenced/inspired your writing?

Our grandchildren have been a great influence because of their love of books…whether being read to or looking at the books on their own. Our dogs inspired me to start writing due to their antics and their own stories that needed to be told. The fostering of dogs has been a love of ours not only for saving a dog’s life but for the joy it brings to the one who adopts the pet. Finally, since I wanted to convey a message about caring for lost pets to children of a young age, what better way than a picture book. 

Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.

It is an engaging story about a lost puppy, Mr. Pupples, and how Mom and her dog, Sir Buddy, look for and find him. It demonstrates Mom’s love of animals not only because of rescuing the puppy but her involvement with fostering dogs. The key message I hope the children will take from the story is the importance of caring for animals. The sub-message is the introduction to fostering of dogs, and that it plants a seed of at least awareness, if not involvement.
It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult? 

The title turned out to be easy because the story revolves around our two dogs. The writing of the story was over a number of weeks as thoughts came to me and, other than writer’s block, it flowed pretty well. Since this is my first book I had not given much thought to the tense it should be written in…present. I had originally written it in the past tense thus relating a story that had already occurred rather than letting the story unfold thus holding a child’s attention by he/she not knowing the outcome.

Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?
I have nothing but praise for my editor for she saw the potential in my manuscript but knew it needed work. At first, I thought she had wounded my “child” or maybe, more honestly, wounded me. I then realized her input made the story a better read. I believe the level of trust an author has in an editor is the most important element in the author/editor relationship followed closely by the author’s willingness to be open to the editor’s input. If an author is willing to take a leap of faith at the beginning of the relationship, it will only get stronger over time.
When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?
That I was an Author who wrote engaging children’s stories that not only entertain but also have a message…something of value that a child can learn. That by making a small, yet positive, contribution to their life I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

As for me as an individual, I guess I would like it to say that I loved the Lord and did my best to live by His word, that I loved my family and friends, especially spending time with them, that I had integrity, and was honest, trustworthy, loyal, funny and happy.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?

Yes, when I am trying to finish a thought or complete something I had written previously and nothing is coming forth to rescue me. It is so frustrating. Sometimes I can push through it and the words flow but I have found the best tact is to leave it alone for a while…just let it rest. It works like magic!

Who or what inspires your characters and/or plots?

Our two dogs inspired the characters. Their personalities, antics and for this book, that they are both foster dogs. The plot was inspired by what my wife and I have witnessed in reference to stray/lost dogs and cruelty to dogs, and the rescue efforts, including fostering, that involves so many people.
What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)

I may spend time with our dogs or make French press coffee or eat chocolate (nothing less than 75% cacao) or do all three! These are some of the things I love to do to remove myself from everyday life, to clear my head. At other times, I will have a thought or several thoughts that need to be written down before they dissipate like a puff of smoke. In all honestly, it is whatever works to get the story on paper.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Don’t give up! Don’t put your partially written book back in the drawer or in that file folder you have had for years. Make a commitment to yourself that this is important and set aside the time. Think about the feeling of accomplishment you will have when you have your book in your hands for the first time or see your book on the shelf of your local book store or on Amazon. It’s powerful and rewarding!
Use this space to tell us more about your book’s characters. Anything you want your readers to know. Include information on where to find your book(s), any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and/or your book(s).

How I wrote about the characters pretty much mirrors the personalities of our dogs. For example, Buddy, Sir Buddy, is very formal when he sits, almost at attention. On the other hand, River, Mr. Pupples, could not be any sloppier. In fact, I don’t know how he achieves the positions he does. Buddy’s behavior is almost exemplary while River is a wee bit of a loose cannon. They certainly made it easy to create two distinct characters. As for Mom, well, she is my wife Christie and is a perfect reflection of Christie’s compassion and love for animals, especially dogs.

For those who would like additional information please go to my website: or my Facebook Author page: