Spotlight – A Friend to All: Charlie Hoessle, by Diane Key-Biggs

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a friend to all charlie hoessle

A Friend to All: Charlie Hoessle
by Diane Key-Biggs
Illustrated by Shelley Dieterichs
Children’s book, biography

You and your children will enjoy this delightful children’s book entitled A Friend to All: Charlie Hoessle. The book was written by Diane Key-Biggs who worked with Charlie at the Saint Louis Zoo. But the story is told through her son’s eyes.

He asks about the statue of Charlie Hoessle outside the Herpetarium at the zoo and why there is a giant snake around him. He then asks if Charlie grew up in the jungle, why did he like snakes so much, and more!

After hearing him give a talk at a local museum, Carol Perkins, wife of then Zoo Director Marlin Perkins, was impressed with how much he loved animals and talking to people about them. Charlie started working at the zoo part time. He started the education department and then moved up the ranks to become the zoo director. Charlie was the host of the Saint Louis Zoo Show, a weekly public television program that aired from 1968 – 1978.

You’ll want to add A Friend to All: Charlie Hoessle to your list of must have children’s books. With charming illustrations by artist Shelley Dieterichs, A Friend to All: Charlie Hoessle delights with this fun story about a wonderful man who is truly a friend to all!

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About the Author & Artist

shelley dieteriches penguinAuthor Diane Key-biggs is a mom, an animal lover, and a lifelong learner. She has a National Association of Interpreters certification, her Masters of Arts and Education in Multiple Discipline Studies from Webster University, her Missouri Elementary School Teaching Certificate and Washington University Graduate Certificate in Science Education. Diane has been a seasonal park guide at The Gateway Arch and a seasonal instructor at The Saint Louis Zoo and Library for over 11 years.

shelley dieteriches snakeArtist and children’s Illustrator Shelley Dieterichs has been a freelance designer and illustrator for 39 years. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and educational materials. Recent work includes Noodle & Nugget: A Tale of Two Kitties, the Dover Fabulous Fairies Coloring Book, and When Michelle Met the Queen, a new release that Shelley co-authored and illustrated. Shelley has created numerous illustrated alphabets that she uses to personalize products for children, pets, teachers and her Garden Alphabet was licensed for embroidery designs. Shelley’s products and books are available at her website: goodbuddynotes.com. Samples of her artwork may also be viewed online at artbyshelley.com.

Spotlight & Excerpt: The Strong Amongst Us + Giveaway

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The Strong Amongst Us

The Strong Amongst Us
by J.A. Boulet
Genre: Historical Romance

An epic 1875 immigration saga. A love story. An epidemic.
Would you survive?

On a fateful day in October 1875, Nathan Olason steps foot onto the soil of a new foreign country called Canada. With natural sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets, it has been nicknamed paradise. Except it proves to be anything but.

With storm surges, emerging governments, racism and dwindling food supplies, Nathan and his family struggle to stay alive in this foreign wilderness. With the help of a beautiful Cree woman named Anwa, they learn to fish and hunt, surviving against all the odds.

Then just when they think they have prevailed, tragedy strikes an ominous blow, a smallpox epidemic that decimates villages, quarantines the town of Gimli, but most of all threatens to claim what he holds dear the most.

Would you survive?
Be one of the last men standing. Follow Nath on a heroic journey of immigration, manhood, immense love, resilience and perseverance beyond anything we know.

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EXCERPT:

He stared at the beautiful sun, peering over the horizon of gentle waves. The coldness stung, but he embraced it. The lake was much calmer today. He loved it actually; luck was on his side. They would most likely be able to send the funds request of the remaining five-thousand-dollar loan to the Dominion today by boat.

A movement caught his eye. Someone was pulling in a larger boat. He stood and used his hand to shelter from the sun. He squinted into the bright rays. It was just one person, pulling in the boat. He strapped his boots on and scurried over to the dock.

“Hey, do you need a hand?” Nathanael shouted as he approached.

A woman’s voice lilted into the air, gentle but full of strength. “No, I am okay.”

“No, I must! Let me help you,” Nathan insisted.

She looked at him stubbornly, shook her head and relented. “If you must.”

Nath grabbed the rope and helped pull in the boat, anchoring it along the sand. “Is this the boat that will be taking the letter to the Dominion for us today?”

“It is, yes,” she replied. “Sorry for my English. I am still learning.”

“You are native to this land?” Nath asked. “How long have you lived here?”

“Forever,” she laughed. “Ma and Pa were born here, so was I.”

“Interesting,” Nath said. “It is a beautiful land. And a beautiful lake.”

“Yes, Nath, it is,” she replied.

“You remembered my name?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of immigration, love and perseverance. The Strong Amongst Us Book 1 was released on Amazon in April 2020. She was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her parents landed in St. John’s, NFLD as refugees in 1956, a direct result of the Hungarian Revolution. J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised in a strong Hungarian culture and proudly calls Canada home to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in history, healing, family bonds and embracing the unknown. J. A Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Strong Within Us Book 2 is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2020.

She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit.

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GIVEAWAY

J.A. Boulet will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Author Spotlight: Chrystal Lee Stevens

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the coming of jack walker 1

The Coming of Jack Walker
by Chrystal Lee Stevens
YA, Monster Fiction
224 pages

Jack Walker is a former bullied nerd whose life gets turned upside down when his girlfriend starts hanging out with the new mysterious guy who just moved into his hometown of Moorefield named Stefan. Then when Jack and his grandfather try to save Victoria from being kidnapped his grandfather gets injured and later dies. The last words his grandfather says to to him are, “If you ever want to see Victoria again you must get to Vladimir Island and find my old friend Cassandra.”

After his grandfather’s death Jack is left with his grandfather’s journal, old steamer trunk and lots of unanswered questions. Jack reads his grandfather’s journal full of yellowing brittle pages. He thinks that his grandfather’s words in the journal can’t possibly be true. But if not then how does he explain Victoria’s disappearance. So he decides in order to discover the truth he needs to get to Vladimir Island. So Jack gets accepted to the exclusive private school Van Pyre High that is located there. In between classes Jack searches for Cassandra.

Once Jack finds Cassandra, she tells him that in order to get Victoria back he has to step into his grandfather’s shoes and finish what he started with Stefan. Jack feels that he isn’t up to the task and feels powerless that the fate of the human world might one day rest in his hands. That day is now. The Administration for Monster Studies, a monster observing organization that his grandfather co-founded, informs him that Stefan and the Bloody Blade are coming for the Sun Amulet, a mythical object that makes the owner all powerful and immune to sunlight, that is hidden somewhere on the island.

The only problem: Jack has no idea how to be a vampire hunter let alone save the world. Luckily he has all of the monstrous inhabitants of Vladimir Island to help him complete the task.

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the black leather belt murders

The Black Leather Belt Murders
by Chrystal Lee Stevens
Police Procedural, Thriller
263 pages

Mandrake is lethal… Blondes are a poison, the belt is his cure.

FBI profiler Rick Sullivan finds himself on the trail of a serial killer known as Mandrake. Mandrake strangles blondes with a black leather belt that he leaves fastened around their necks. As the body count rises Mandrake evades Rick at every turn. He finally catches a break in the case when he travels to a small Virginia town and meets Destiny Malone.

Destiny came home a week before Christmas to find her roommate Sydney strangled in her bed. Destiny was planning to become a PI after college graduation but has now been thrown full force into her first case. She is determined to find out who extinguished the fiery redhead and not even sexy Rick Sullivan is going to get in her way.

Rick believes that Sydney was killed by a copycat. Especially when he discovers that her ex-boyfriend who has recently escaped from prison was the one responsible for his father’s murder. Rick believes that Destiny is now in danger too and will stop at nothing to protect her even if it means staring into the face of death.

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About the Author:

chrystal lee stevens

I’m an avid reader. I love movies, music, books, and film especially anything relating to the 1950s. I’m trained in Journalism and Law Enforcement. If I’m not reading or writing I’m usually spending time with my little red Pomeranian named William Wallace Braveheart aka Willie for short. A cutie I saved from a trip to the pound.

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