Video: New ACEO Art Trading Cards & “Kid Artists” Book Review

Some of my newest art work and a cool book I came across for fellow art nerds:

New Video about My New Children’s Book Release!

Hi everyone! I am excited to share my newest children’s middle grade book release with you all! I have been working on this book for a while now and am definitely proud of the results! “Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird: Stories and poems for kids” is goofy, funny and a little bit gross and creepy at times too! It is sure to appeal to kids, even reluctant readers! Make sure you check out my short vlog video about the new book:

If you would like to get a copy of this book for yourself or your kids, you can find the paperback version for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $6.99. There is also a Kindle ebook version available for $2.99! If you do read it or get it for your kids, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Goodreads or even just reaching out to tell me personally what you thought of it!

Do the 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge with Me!

I decided to do the 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge this year! I have already started and plan to make YouTube videos each month to update which categories I have completed in the challenge. If you would like to do the challenge with me, please visit the official POPSUGAR page where you can print off a copy of the checklist. Don’t worry about whether you will be able to complete every category or not. This is simply for fun and to get all of us to read books we otherwise might not. You could even do it as a family if you wish!

Check out my first YouTube video for the challenge below!

New YouTube Videos – Book Reviews and A Funny Letter from John Oliver

Hi everybody! I’m sorry it has been so long since my last post! Things have just been crazy busy! My mom was in the hospital, I have been interviewing for a part-time job at our local hospital’s new ER (which I got!) and I have been trying to help fight for my husband’s worker’s compensation case benefits (which has been a nightmare!)

Anyhow, I thought I would share a couple of my latest YouTube videos. First is a book review video, featuring some great middle grade reads for kids and families. The first book I review in the video was actually the book that made me realize I might have Asperger’s Syndrome and inspired me to seek a diagnosis, so it is a very important book to me personally.

The other video I am going to share today is a funny letter I received from John Oliver (host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight”). I received the letter in response to sending $1 to John Oliver’s new “televangelism ministry” Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.

Hope you guys enjoy the videos! If you do, please subscribe to me on YouTube, I post lots of videos there that I don’t share here. I especially focus on Asperger’s Syndrome, book & toy reviews and junk food reviews on the channel. I also do other subjects occasionally.

Volume 2 of My Ebook Series “Stories Behind My Art” Now Available!

“Stories Behind My Art, Vol. 2”

This is just a short blog post to let everyone know that the 2nd volume in my Kindle ebook mini-series “Stories Behind My Art” is now available! In each volume of this ebook series, I share at least 20 of my recent artworks and talk about the story or inspiration behind each painting or drawing. I started this ebook series because I wanted to share my love for creating art with all my fans. The books feature a wide variety of artistic styles, including outsider, folk, naive, expressionism, cultural, primitive and abstract art. At only $.99 per Kindle download, each ebook in the “Stories Behind My Art” series is a great deal and a fun, quick read.

If you haven’t read Volume 1 yet, make sure you take a look at that too! (Please note that these art ebooks are best read on color devices if possible.) If you read and enjoy my new book please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads so that I will know!

The most memorable books I read during November 2014

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During the month of November I read a wide variety of books, including kids picture books, several popular young adult series, poetry and nonfiction. Here is a list (in no particular order) of the ones that really made an impact in one way or another –

1. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. This was the November selection for my Goodreads middle grade book club. I’m glad it was picked because it was truly an engrossing story. I loved the historical tidbits about Philadelphia weaved into the story and I have always enjoyed books about people dealing with major tragedies and illnesses. It is during those times that the true character and strength of human beings is tested. Stories like this make you think about what is important and appreciate what you have.

2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I decided to read this young adult book series after seeing the movie based on the first book, If I Stay. I enjoyed the first book and figured the second book would be anticlimactic, but I actually ended up liking the second book more than the first. I found it sad but realistic how the relationships formed in the first book became messed up by the residue of personal tragedy. I like that the series ended satisfactorily, but without being too cheesy.

3. Hold Me Under: Poems to Drown to by Casey Renee Kiser. I discovered this poet through Goodreads and have now read two of her books. Her poetry is dark and at times a little disturbing, but I happen to like my poetry that way. I like that her writing isn’t predictable and boring, yet still remains easy to understand.

4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I decided to read this middle grade book for several reasons. I love novels in verse so I figured this memoir in verse would be a good read too. I also read the book because it just recently won the National Book Award. Unfortunately, some inappropriate things were said at the award ceremony that overshadowed the victory somewhat. I felt that the best way to support my fellow author in this situation was to turn my attention back to her book, so I picked up a copy. Like her previous novels in verse, I found Woodson’s writing in this book quite moving. It is an intimate look at racism, religion, and family issues, as well as an inspiring story about fulfilling dreams.

5. How We Die: Reflections of Life’s Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland. I have an unusual and probably weird interest in death. This nonfiction book fascinated that morbid aspect of myself. Both medically academic and creepy at turns, this book really lays out the entire process of dying. The chapters are mostly separated by different modes of physical death (heart failure, murder, suicide, cancer, viruses, euthanasia, etc.). I especially found the chapters on murder, suicide and accidents interesting. This book made me surer than ever that no matter how I die, I just hope it is quick and relatively painless.

Interview with Chloe Lukasiak from Dance Moms!

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I have been a fan of the Lifetime reality show Dance Moms since its first season. Although I fell in love with all the kids, Chloe Lukasiak was always my favorite. I found her sweet personality and her inner strength in the face of adversity endearing. So needless to say, I was thrilled to get the chance to interview her! For this short interview, I decided to focus on something other than the dance world or the tv show that made her famous. Since I am an author and Chloe recently started her own book club, I decided to focus on our mutual love for reading. I hope you will enjoy this little interview!

Q: Since I have been following Dance Moms since season one, I know that you love to read. What are some of your favorite books at the moment?

A: I love The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner series.

Q: If you had to pick one book that has impacted your life over the years, which book would you pick? Why is that book so unforgettable to you?

A: The Outsiders because, well, I don’t want to give away the end to someone who hasn’t read it!!!

Q: Many avid readers also like to write. I know that you are extremely busy, but do you ever write for fun? If so, what do you like to write?

A: I like to keep a journal. I used to write more when I was younger and I had more time.

Q: Do you have any “book buddies” from school or dance who often read the same books as you?

A: I like recommending books to my friends!

Q: I have read that you tend to like fantasy and sci-fi books. If you could live in a fantasy world out of any book, what world would you choose and why? Is there a character in a book you would love to be for a day? 

A: I would love to be Katniss Everdeen for a day, but I don’t want to play the Hunger Games.

Q: I know you are very close to your mom. Does she like to read too? Do you ever read the same books or recommend books to each other?

A: My mom loves to read. I think as I am getting older now, we can recommend more books to each other.

Q: Does your little sister, Clara, share your love for books? If so, what are some of her favorites? 

A:  Yes, absolutely! She JUST read “Green Eggs and Ham” by herself for the first time! It was the first book I ever read, so it was kinda cool.

Q: Have you read any books lately that you would love to see made into movies? Do you generally like movies based on books?

A: I think the books are always better then the movies! When I was younger, I always wanted to see “The Sisters Grimm” series get made into a movie.

Q: I was very excited to hear that you have your own book club now! Would you like to share a bit about the club?

A: I am so excited about my book club! Each month, I am recommending a book on my YouTube channel and on my other social media. Then, at the end of the month, I am hosting a live event on my channel to discuss the book. My channel is www.Youtube.com/33troijka.

Well, that is the end of today’s interview, but I would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Chloe and her promotional team for making this interview possible! I am excited to see what the future holds for this beautiful and intelligent young lady! If you would like to follow Chloe Lukasiak on social media, here are links to her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.