More Great Reads from the 2nd Annual BIG Read for the Holidays: Reading for the Holidays & Beyond!

Hi, readers and authors. Welcome to the continuation of the 2nd Annual BIG Read for the Holidays & Beyond: The Great BIG Book Preview!

As this year’s event was such a success it couldn't be contained in just one post, so I’ve organized the event posts into a series of posts, of which this is the second. I hope you find some great reads for the holidays and beyond!

For those who don't know me, I'm Robert Stanek and I've been a professionally published author since 1995 and an indie published author since 2001. You may have seen me on CNN, heard me talk on NPR, or read about my books in industry publications like VOYA, BookWire, Children's Writer, Children's Bookshelf, Library Journal, School Library Journal, or Publisher’s Weekly.

I've been a strong supporter of my fellow authors ever since my first book was published in 1995. Back then, I supported writers through Writer's Gallery, Internet Daily News, and Internet Job Center (archives athttp://www.tvpress.com/).

In 2007, I launched Go Indie to support independent authors, independent publishers, and independent bookstores. Go Indie has evolved into: Go Indie On Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/goindie/), Free Today on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/freetoday/), Read Indies on Blogspot (http://readindies.blogspot.com/), Read Indies on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/88011-read-indies---discover-the-best-in-indie-publishing), and Novel Writers on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/communities/103231535941872424616?partnerid=gplp0). All of which I created and host.

Show your support for indie authors, indie books and this event by clicking this link and subscribing to this blog!

Thanks for reading,

Robert Stanek


If you like fantasy novels or know someone who does, I hope you'll spread the word about my Ruin Mist books, including The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches, In the Service of Dragons, Dragons of the Hundred Worlds, and Guardians of the Dragon Realms.

*Featured authors in this post include: Cathy Thompson, David Eastman, Sandra Brown, Margaret Brown, G.G. Atcheson, Robert Italia, Helen Haught Fanick, Hadena James, Anne Riley, Kerry Kochanski, Charles Ameringer, Maggie Katz, Jerold Last, Lori R. Lopez, and Chicki Brown.

Image of Cathy Thompson

 If You Dream It. A Silly Rhyming Picture Book for Kids

"If you dream of swimming in deep blue seas… don’t open your eyes before you squeeze." "If you want to have a picnic in the yard… invite a penguin and not the royal guard." 

A silly rhyming picture book for kids by a former teacher and volunteer librarian. Simple rhyming text and fun pictures make this an ideal picture book experience for reading and sharing.

Monster Parade 1, 2, 3. A Rhyming Counting Picture Book for Kids

Monster Parade 1, 2, 3. A rhyming counting picture book for kids. 

One fuzzy wuzzy making a silly face. 
Two trembling gremlins tired of keeping pace. 

Come along and join in the fun! Read and count and play and laugh along with our hilarious monster parade. 

David Eastman

David Eastman has been working on his Giraffe and Elephant stories for several years and was delighted to finally be able to get the stories published.

Giraffe and Elephant are Friends

Save my book series! Disney Press stole my ideas and are publishing an unauthorized book called When Giraffe Met Elephant! Giraffe and Elephant Are Friends uses captivating illustrations and carefully chosen words to teach young children about friendship. This is a great story for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners.

If you are passionate about building your children's curiosity and knowledge in fun and interesting ways then "Giraffe and Elephant Are Friends" is the right picture book for you.

Giraffe and Elephant are back--and they’re breaking out of the zoo! That’s right. Giraffe and Elephant have decided that zoo life isn’t for them. They’re headed to the farm where everything’s better.

The book uses captivating illustrations and carefully chosen words to teach young children about friendship. A perfect story for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners.

If you are passionate about building your children's curiosity and knowledge in fun and interesting ways then "Giraffe and Elephant Break Out" is the right picture book for you.

Image of Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is a mother, writer, and unemployed art teacher. While her baby's daddy is deployed overseas, she's living with her mom. Though life has thrown her many curve balls, she says that she still sees light in darkness, hope in rain, wonder in autumn leaves, and laughter in snowfall. Her books include: "Kitten and Butterfly Count to Ten. A Learn with Animal Friends Book"; "Animal Safari ABC. An Amazing Alphabet Book"; and "Valentine Bear Dreams. A Children's Picture Book for Valentine's Day or Any Day".

Animal Safari ABC. An Amazing Alphabet Book

A. B. C. D. Follow along to reveal arctic fox, bobcat kitten, crocodile, and dalmation. Our alphabet and animals make learning ABCs as easy as A, B, C!

This ebook is designed for kindle so you see full-page images and text at the same time.

Kitten and Butterfly Count to Ten. A Learn with Animal Friends Book 

One little kitten was playing in the grass when he saw the most beautiful blue butterfly fly past. He ran after it to say hi.

Kitten couldn't find the butterfly. So he asked his friend, “Duckling, did you see a blue butterfly?” But Duckling hadn't.

Join Kitten as he searches for a butterfly and meets counting friends in this fun picture book for kids created especially for the Kindle.

Valentine Bear Dreams. A Children's Picture Book for Valentine's Day or Any Day. 

"It was almost Valentine’s Day. But Bear was sad, sad as any bear could ever be." 

Valentine Bear Dreams is a beautifully written story about love, friendship, and giving from the heart. Perfect reading for Valentine’s Day or any day. 

Sure to tug on the heart strings of children and adults alike, this book is beautiful on the kindle. The pictures look great in black and white and are gorgeous on the color kindle.

Image of Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown taught first grade for many years and later second grade. She dreamed all her life of being a writer and Gorillas: The Complete Guide is her very first book. As a former elementary school teacher, she knows what children like to read and how to present important facts in ways children understand. Margaret's second book, My Wild Animal Book, was recently published as well.

Kittens, Kittens, Kittens (A Beautiful Story About Cute Kittens) 

"Kittens. Kittens. Kittens" uses spectacular photographs and cheery rhyming text to describe the antics of kittens.

Sure to tug on the heart strings of children and adults alike, this book is beautiful on the kindle. The pictures look great in black and white and are gorgeous on the color kindle.


My Wild Animal Book (Learn with Animal Friends) 

Your little one will soon learn all about wild animals. On the full-screen pages, your child will discover bright, colorful photographs of all different kinds of wild animals. Each animal has its name written so that children can learn what the animal is called, build their animal vocabulary, and start to develop word and picture association.


G.G. Atcheson 

G.G. Atcheson


The Legacy: Fate (The Legacy, # 1)
The Legacy: Fate
After his spaceship crashes on Earth, LX makes a strange encounter. The woman isn't like any other he's ever met before; she is vampire.

For her, he will break rules, his people's rules, until there is no turning back. To protect her, he may have to break his most sacred one: Do Not Kill!


Cristofori's Dream

In the tradition of A Christmas Carol, for our turbulent times . . . .

My holiday fantasy CRISTOFORI'S DREAM is the November featured novel at the Goodreads Time Travel group. Read a free sample chapter and answer the related question below for a chance to win a free ebook in the format of your choice. It's all about a young teen (Chris) who, faced with a family tragedy, abandons his faith for science -- then finds himself in a Victorian fantasy world of his own making as he searches for a miracle cure for his dying younger sister (Janey).

There are consequences.

In the free sample chapter, Chris and Janey defy their father—who thinks the holidays are "nonsense"—by decorating their house for Christmas. To them, it's a much-anticipated family tradition, complete with secret treasures that take on significant roles in the Victorian Dream World, which Chris is about to enter. Even more, their Christmas tree is granted special powers: it has a glow that protects them from all harm. But because of the separate tragedies that befall Chris and Janey, the nature of the tree's light is at the heart of a great debate. Is it a holy light, or one of science?

So here's the discussion question: how do you see Christmas, the tree, and the nature of its light in your world?

If you want to join in, here's that link:


If you want a quick preview, here's the video:


Visit my site for all related info: http://www.robert-italia.com

Merry Christmas to all.

Robert Italia 

Moon Signs
There are many dangers in West Virginia's enchanting Canaan Valley in the dead of winter--icy roads, sub-zero temperatures, and a killer who doesn't care how many people die, as long as the right ones do. Sisters Andrea and Kathleen face these threats in the cozy Moon Signs, Book I of my Moon Mystery Series.


Tortured Dreams

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive. The deaths are brutal and slow.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. Can the team overcome the harsh climate and hostile locals to catch their killer before another woman is skinned alive?


Elusive Little Sucker - My Entirely Too Long and Totally Circuitous Search for Happiness

Elusive Little Sucker - My Entirely Too Long and Totally Circuitous Search for Happiness

Writing a book about happiness is about the silliest thing to try to do. First, no one agrees on a definition. Second, there are about a million books on happiness. Third, no one in their right mind would admit to being unhappy, so all books on happiness are automatically suspect.

So, of course, I decided to ignore all that and write a book about happiness. Elusive Little Sucker, is a series of short stories about how I found real, satisfying happiness. Each story reveals a piece of the puzzle that ultimately ended in my discovery of happiness.

From my start in life as the eleventh of twelve children to the abrupt end to my career in my 50’s, I realized that I was learning about happiness all the way along. You will enjoy this book. You will laugh. You may cry. But I hope you will realize that the secret to happiness is within you just like it was within me. And sometimes it is the most embarrassing, silly or difficult experiences that teach you the most. Enjoy!

Website: www.AnneRileyAuthor.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elusive-Little-... 

Kerri Kochanski  

Kerry Kochanski

1,001 People That Suck
1,001 PEOPLE THAT SUCK by Kerri Kochanski

Goodreads Giveaway Winners in the US are saying:

"light & fun"
"you will chuckle"
"funny, real"
"LOVED this book!!!!"
an "OMG read"
"a solid five-star rating"
"I am definitely going to pick up more copies of this book and give them as Christmas gifts this year"
"an ideal gift book"

A NEW humor book,featuring 1,001 people that suck, along with black & white illustrations, quotes, quips & observations about the state of global humanity.

For more information, please visit: www.1001peoplethatsuck.com, or order on Amazon.com 

Charles Ameringer

The Old Spook
Hello! I'm Charles Ameringer, an emeritus professor of history who has drawn on his travels and research to write THE OLD SPOOK, a spy/thriller novel about a fictional CIA operative (spook) who interacts with real people and actual events in recent history on the global stage; he encounters rebel chieftains, Mafia dons, and KGB agents in Miami, Mexico, and Central and South America. Fans of John LeCarre and James Bruno will enjoy sorting out this mix of fact and fiction. Available exclusively at Amazon.com. 

Old Habits
Old Habits by Maggie Katz

Amazon and Goodreads readers are giving Old Habits 5 stars!

From the cover: 
Leila Matapang wrestled with the poverty line for ten years, and then the letter arrived. Now she finds herself trapped in an extortion plot to save her own career orchestrated by the arrogant, yet oddly philanthropic P.I. Aleksander Vold. To make it out alive she will have to learn to exploit others, evade capture, and come to terms with her childhood psychosis. The further she probes, the more she wonders if there is any fiction left in the supernatural world she's discovered.

Old Habits is the first installment in the Insight Surveillance series and Maggie Katz's debut novel. The second novel in the series, The Horned God, is expected for launch in Spring 2014.

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and coming soon to more online retailers.

Amazon Exclusive: FREE ebook edition for Kindle when you purchase the paperback!!
Or purchase only the ebook for just $2.99!

For exclusive excerpts, news, and free stories and games, visit the author's website:http://keysplatter.com
Jerold Last

The Surreal Killer 
The Body in the Parking Structure

The Deadly Dog Show a suspenseful journey into the world of canine conformation contests, provides an unusual backdrop for murder. The cover photo is our own Jolie (Grand Champion V. D. Nacht's Classic Beaujolais, SH, CGC) at a California dog show. Reviewers are enthusiastic about this whodunit novel, which will appeal to mystery fans, dog lovers, and readers who want to learn more about the world of dog show conformation competition. This is the ideal "stocking stuffer" holiday gift for the dog-loving friends on your list who already "have everything". 

An Ill Wind Blows
AN ILL WIND BLOWSSwallowed by an evil storm, an ordinary person and some very eccentric characters must travel through a weird stormworld in search of a magic stone. A dark fantasy novel with touches of horror and humor for ages twelve through adult.

ILLUSTRATED PRINT EDITION: http://www.amazon.com/Ill-Wind-Blows-...

The Fairy Fly
THE FAIRY FLYA Black Widow queen, a big bad Wolf Spider, and a Hit-Mantis are but a few of the obstacles for a spunky little spider who must find his way home through a strange land of giants in this witty fairytale fantasy for kids and adults.

Transported out of his element into a realm of dangers and foes, Spider is aided by the insects and arachnids he befriends, but only he can see the Fairy Fly. Is she real or imagined? This whimsical novel about finding oneself while feeling small in a big world takes a step back and several steps downward to peep at humanity from below. At the same time, the story is an allegory of the human condition: life and death matters, war and peace, our everyday struggles on a tiny scale. Part humorous, part philosophical, at times poetic . . . it celebrates a love for animals, books and words. View the planet from a different angle as you take a spiderwalk through the door to adventure.

ILLUSTRATED PRINT EDITION: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fairy-Fly-L...

E-BOOK (FREE WITH PURCHASE OF ILLUSTRATED PRINT EDITION):http://www.amazon.com/The-Fairy-Fly-e... 

Chocolate-Covered Eyes: A Sampler Of Horror
CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES"Death is like a box of chocolates." Lori R. Lopez will tingle your spine while tickling your funny bone in six peculiar tales from two of her story collections: OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES and THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ. Zombies, ghosts, an abused homicidal feline, an ear devil and other creeps abound! This horror sampler is prefaced by the titular poem "Chocolate-Covered Eyes". Beware of strangers offering candy . . .

PRINT VERSION: http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Cover...

E-BOOK (FREE WITH PURCHASE OF PRINT VERSION): http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Cover... 

A Woman's Worth

School media specialist, Gianne Marvray, has been through the worst two years of her life physically and emotionally. After a battle with cancer and all it entails, she is finally ready to start living her life again. She wants to see new places, meet new people and experience new things, but she isn’t ready for the roller coaster ride she’s about to embark on when she meets Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford.

After a four year absence, Marc comes home to Atlanta to attend a family celebration in one of his brother’s honor. He’s not thrilled about seeing his father, but he has promised his mother that he won’t throw off the family balance by being the only one of their six sons absent. All Marc wants to do is make an appearance at the event and spend a little time with his brothers. Little does he know that this is the night he will meet the woman who will forever change his life.

Kindle- http://amzn.to/12PktK4 Nook- http://bit.ly/1dTlshd Smashwords -http://bit.ly/17nVKOH Kobo - http://bit.ly/1dJiAVr 

Thank you everyone for your support of the 2nd Annual BIG Read for the Holidays & Beyond: The Great BIG Book Preview! Hope you'll tweet, share, blog about the event and the authors featured here. Show your support for indie authors, indie books and this event by subscribing to this blog!

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