Sunday, November 2, 2008

Florida Book News - November 3, 2008

Welcome to Florida Book News

Florida Book News is open to writers, illustrators, book lovers, and writing groups and organizations. This is the place to announce your new book or tell us about a book you continue to promote, a book signing, a meeting or presentation, your organization's meetings, conferences or conventions...anything of interest to others about writing and books. This is a free service. If you would like to help support this endeavor, there is a button for donations to the right or if you prefer to use snail mail, send donations to Lou Belcher; P.O. Box 61228; Palm Bay, Florida, 32905. Thanks

And now, the news.... Enjoy and please comment if you are so moved. Don't forget: send your news for the next issue to

A Special Announcement: Yes... you saw this announcement before. It's going to stay in the #1 spot until the benefit concert on November 23... It's such a worthy cause. Even if you're not going to go, send them a donation. It'll make you feel good, too. Thanks, Lou

Concert to Support the Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc.
The Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded to provide special grants to young and mature artists in the fields of music, dance, and visual arts. To raise funds to help artists, the foundation is presenting "Sunday with the Performing Arts" on November 23rd, 2008, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Gleason Auditorium on the campus of FIT.

The audience will be treated to ten or more of Brevard's best, including a string quartet, ballet, singers, flute, piano, harp, with special performances by the multi-talented Deborah Moyer (violin and voice), Saverio Barbieri (vocalist who has performed at the Met) and prodigy violinist, Esther Muradov who has soloed at Carnegie Hall and who was the first recipient of a grant from the foundation.

Check the November issue of Brevard Florida Live magazine when it comes out for a more in-depth story of how the foundation was formed. For now, suffice it to say that it's providing needed grants to artists. Let's get behind this effort to help our own. You can help in two ways. Buy a ticket for $25.00 (tax deductible) for the concert. If you can't attend, you can still help by sending in a tax-deductible donation.

As a bonus, there will be a silent auction at the beginning of the evening. The silent auction will be filled with paintings and sculpture donated by prominent artists as well as jewelry worth thousands offered by Don Travers of My Private Jeweler in Suntree 321-757-0770.

Let's make sure there's a full house at "Sunday with the Performing Arts." Checks for tickets and for special donations should be made out to Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc and sent to Creative Arts Foundation of Brevard, Inc.; 1861 S. Patrick Dr. #117; Indian Harbor Beach, FL 32937. For information call (321) 254-3398.

Inside this issue

    • News
    • Author Profile - Linda Wagner
    • Events
    • Featured Books
    • Workshops/Conferences
    • Organizations/Meetings
    • This and That (services and misc. announcements)


Bill Allen has two of three books finished... Check them out.
Bill Allen writes "humorous books for kids age nine to ninety." Greg Hart, Dragon Slayer? and The Hero Who Slayed Ruuan, the first two stories in his three-part Greg Hart series are now available. Greg Hart's Rather Unfortunate Demise, the final Greg Hart story is expected out in 2009.

Ruuan is a very large dragon. Greg, on the other hand, is neither large nor a dragon. He's barely much of a boy. Unfortunately, such trivialities could never stop the people of Myrth from believing Greg will rescue King Peter's daughter from Ruuan. After all, Greg has been named in a prophecy, and no prophecy has ever been wrong before. Why, Greg wonders, does he have to be at the heart of the first one that is?

The Hero Who Slayed Ruuan.
The Canarazas are fierce razor-toothed warriors who can run much faster than a man, or more to the point, much faster than Greg. Soon they will attack Pendegrass Castle, and according to prophecy, the "Hero who slayed Ruuan" will fight with the strength of ten men and make the difference that leads the king to victory. But no one slayed Ruuan. Greg knows the prophecy can't possibly be true -- except, of course, for that one little bit about him having to fight the Canarazas.

Read more about all of Bill Allen's Books at

Bermuda Suicide Challange in a Flats Boat by Bob Brown

This book is the incredible true story of two brothers on an unprecedented fifteen hundred mile, unescorted voyage across the treacherous North Atlantic Ocean…in a single engine twenty foot flats boat.

Bob's brother invited him to go from North Carolina almost 700 miles to Bermuda on his own designed flats boat called the Intruder 21. The catch was that the boat was really only 21 feet long and with only two foot sides before they loaded it up with nearly 2000 pounds of gasoline. Consequently, they were less than a foot above the waterline. They were also to go by themselves without any type of escort.

His plan was to make it to Bermuda, spend the night and return this time to New York Harbor. After topping off the original 288 gallons plus an addition 50 gallons of gas; the trip back would be about 100 miles further. That, was his plan! Read the book to find out what happened. It's an intriguing and exciting true story.

The book is available at You can contact Bob Brown by eamil at

Books to Inspire and Uplift

Positive Reflections: Inspiring Thoughts & Photographs From Around The World is a 128-page gift book with a special twist that is meant to encourage a positive outlook that will help you live life to it’s fullest.

"As a cancer survivor, I truly believe in living every day to the fullest and doing the things that make us happy. This book helps remind me to do that." Catherine Schweinsberg/Brevard County Library Services Director

"Beautiful! Not everyone is able to travel around the world but, with this book, you can imagine yourself there and start your day with a positive mindset." Nancy Robinson/Talk Of The Town Travel Agency.

The best of Hometown Heroes florida includes ten chapters of heartwarming and inspriring stories about people of all ages and backgrounds who are changing their communities, their state, and their world through their unique personalities and their desire to help others.

"They are great!" U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said.

"I wish you great success with the book -- you deserve it!" said Patrick D. Smith.

"The authors tell remarkable stories," said Gary Roen of Midwest Book Review.

Check out their website at for these inspiring books by Tom Routzong and Steven Skelley.

In these days when we need positive message so much more than what we hear in the news, Steven and Tom are meeting a need in all of us to be positive and to spread some positive thoughts of our own.

Peter Panda helps children

Author Marc O’Brien, a New Jersey native who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year is the 20th anniversary of his graduation from college. His parents, Barbara and John O’Brien, live half the year in Indialantic, Florida. Marc is an adult who was born with, and deals daily with, cerebral palsy. He knows a great deal about dealing as a child with medical and surgical experiences, doctors, nurses and hospitals. He is also the author now of his first children’s book, Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s TM Playground. It is a blend of fiction and nonfiction.

Like many children, Peter Panda, the book’s hero character, has fascinating and fun life experiences with friends, nurses, doctors, and occasionally, as in real life, medical procedures in the hospital. Children can laugh and learn from him about medical and life experiences and realities.

Nurses hold a special place in this author’s heart. He says, “Peter Panda and his story came to life thanks to the rich and positive experiences I’ve had over the years with nursing professionals. So I dedicated my first book to all caring nurses who enhance the lives of those in their care, especially children.”

Peter the Peeteeatrick Panda’s Playground is a book for children ages 5 and up, where Marc shares with them the antics and experiences of his whimsical Panda Bear “Pandystriper” volunteer at the children’s wing of a hospital.

Marc often has a live Peter Panda character with him when he does programs and signings for children at libraries, clinics and hospitals, as he did recently at the Satellite Beach library when he and Peter Panda presented a lively reading program for kids and their parents there. He has also appeared at schools, civic groups, and hospitals with Peter Panda in tow.

The book teaches children about nurses, doctors, and hospital experiences through Peter’s often amusing antics on the pediatric ward. Children can laugh and learn with Peter and his friends Hoppy the Bunny and Jeffrey the Long-Necked Giraffe. As parents and medical professionals know, every kid may one day end up needing medical attention, diagnostic tests, or even a stitch or two, or a cast. Peter Panda removes the fear of the unknown for them, and helps parents explain various medical terms to their children.

For many children with more challenging long-term disabilities or diseases, like Marc’s, the kinds of experiences Peter and his friends deal with are more than just a passing event of their childhood. For children above 3, there is a Peter Panda finger puppet. For kids over 3, there’s a squeezable Peter Panda stuffed animal, as well as a Panda Pencil, which can add to the book’s appeal and help comfort and amuse sick kids. Some fun and easy learning exercises and puzzles are included as an educational part of each chapter.

Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s Playground is divided into four interesting, easy to read chapter stories, a total of 50 pages in all, and is delightfully illustrated in full color throughout by professional, Paris-trained artist Catherine Wicks of Melbourne, a lifelong friend of Marc’s family.

RN Ellen Walsh lauds Peter Panda: “This book is informative as well as entertaining for children of all ages,” (Walsh is a nurse with MPA, RNC, Neo-Natal Intensive Care and Information Technology credentials.)
Eleanor Gaffney, a retired teacher says that Peter Panda “…will help reduce anxiety and reassure [children] in a delightfully innovative way. Bravo Peter, and Marc O’Brien, Peter’s creator!”

RN/MSN Joanne Affinito calls this book, “A unique way to teach children about a hospital experience in a fun, non-threatening way.”

O’Brien hopes that businesses, civic organizations, and folks without children may wish to purchase this book for donation to special needs children, pediatric wards in hospitals, or for children with special needs whose families cannot buy them books. Marc and his family have donated books to several libraries and special children’s care charities. For example, cystic fibrosis kids each need their own book, because they cannot share items that others have handled. The O’Briens offer a substantial discount to those who purchase books as a donation to a non-profit charity organization for sick or disabled children.

Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s Playground is available from the Publisher, Blue Note Books of Cocoa Beach, FL. ISBN 978-1-878398-78-9; Telephone 321-799-2583 or go to; it is online at, or from the author (see below). Marc O’Brien is available for interviews or personal appearances. A wipeable laminate hardcover book with charming color Illustrations througout; 50 pages, priced at retail: $19.95 plus tax and shipping. To learn more about Marc, and his friend Peter the Peeteeatrick Panda, or to order the book or the accompaniments,go to:

Writers gather in Cocoa for book fair.

Twelve members of the Space Coast Writers' Guild gathered in Cocoa villiage in conjunction with the Cocoa Village Fall Craft Fair on October 18th, 2008. They gathered at tables in front of the Book Xchg on Brevard Avenue. Pictured here are Holly Vellekoop and Valerie Allen, two of the participants. Others included E. Lynne Wright, Bill Allen, Pat McDonough, Jim Harris, Gene Davis, Kee Briggs, Mary Dall, Bob Brown, Hank Rhodes, and Mike Doran.

Also, on November 1, at 1:00 p.m., Shara Smock spoke at the Book Xchag about her books, including Living with Big Cats and Hooking the Reader: Opening Lines that Sell.

The plan for December 5, 2008, is for authors to sell their books in conjunction with the Cocoa Village Holiday Craft Fair. Watch for more information on this.

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