Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Review and Tour: Zoe and Zak and the Yogi's Curse

Yogi's Curse Blog Tour Banner

About the Book

Title: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #2)
Author: Lars Guignard
Publishers: Fantastic Press
Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Pages: 340
Recommended Age: 8+


Zoe and Zak are back in India. Again. And this time they're attending Moonstock Himalayan Boarding School, which might seem fun except for the fact that the school itself is a little strange. Students ride elephants instead of school buses, snarling monkeys work as security guards, and angry parrots monitor the halls. And even when they manage to get used to the wildlife, the food is absolutely terrible. But living with a bunch of other kids their age can be a lot of fun, too, or at least it seems that way until Zoe's roommate goes missing. Following the directions written on a steamy bathroom mirror, Zoe and Zak fly through the clouds on their magic carpet to learn that the two of them have been chosen yet again. This time they've been asked to lift the Yogi's Curse. It's not going to be easy. Zoe and Zak don't even know what the Yogi's Curse is let alone how to lift it, but like it or not, they soon discover that a whole lot of people are depending on them. Now, if they're going to save the day, Zoe and Zak are going to have to fool the monkey guards, avoid the nasty parrots, and maybe even develop a supernatural ability or two. Because lurking beneath Moonstock is a powerful new enemy. And if Zoe and Zak can't stop him, nobody can.  

My Personal Review

Zoe and Zak and the Yogi's Curse was entertaining and full of adventure! And I highly recommend it as part of your children's book collection!

As a parent, I look for books that not only are fun and entertaining for my kids to read (if they aren't, then it's like pulling teeth out of their mouth to get them to finish it), but also ones that teach them values and morals. This creatively written adventure, fantasy story (which is full of many twists and turns) will make the reader think more deeply (there is quite a mix of problem-solving, which today's kids could value from). The topic of trust came up quite often. That is who should Zoe and Zak trust and who shouldn't they trust. This is a topic I'm always trying to get my kids to think about. And Lars Guignard was able to tackle such an important parenting topic with fun and zest.  In addition, he brought in another theme about how bad luck may possibly be good luck in disguise. I enjoyed following this theme as I read the story because I'm a true believer that even bad things can somehow end up a positive. We live in some tough times. This story left me believing that any thing is possible--even elephants flying which happens in the Yogi's Curse. Kids need hope. They need creativity. They need to believe. Zoe and Zak and the Yogi's Curse does just that.

The only con that I found while reading this story was how detailed it was. I felt as if sometimes Zoe (who narrated the story) gave too much detail in her description of areas and events for her age. Other than that, I think this is a great read for a tween and teen!


Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)


The Buzz

"I have a 10 year old son who is an avid reader!! He loves books, (but he's picky too) he loved Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. He was so excited to read the 2nd book in this series! When I presented him the first book he was not sure he would like it but changed his mind quickly, then when I heard about the 2nd book being released he almost jumped out of his chair! (no exaggeration) He is anxiously awaiting the 3rd book! I would say that any child who enjoys fantasy/adventure books should read this series! It is a well written page turner! It's a fun story that adults can even enjoy the storyline without getting bored! According to my son, 'every kid should read this series'. " ~ 5-Star review from SavyGreenSaver, Amazon
"I loved this book, even as an adult reading it. I was completely sucked into the plot and was constantly finding myself staying up "just a little longer" to read one more chapter. Different twists and turns in the book have you constantly guessing who is behind what and who Zak and Zoe can trust. I could definitely see myself being involved in this series as a middle schooler considering how much I enjoyed it even now. Another thing I liked about it is if you missed the first book, you could still follow along with this one and not be lost." ~ 5-Star review from Staci, Amazon
"Lars Guignard has done a fabulous job with this series. I loved the `Ghost Leopard' & love this one even more. For late-elementary to middle school age readers, you can't beat this series. It's fun and fast-paced. Even my picky fifth grader enjoyed every page. There are bits of magic thrown in keep the action exciting. Mr. Guignard has a brilliant imagination & readers are blessed that he's chosen to use it for YA fiction. If you've yet to read the first installment in this series, do yourself a favor and read these books back to back. Don't limit it just to kids! Adults will have a blast reading these too!" ~ 5-Star review from Liz Terek, Amazon

About The Author: Lars Guignard

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="154"]Lars Guignard Lars Guignard[/caption] Prior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the Zoe and Zak series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple. He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range. For news about new releases, please join his email list here: Zoe&

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


The Yogi's Curse Blog Tour Schedule (2013/2014)

December 15
December 16
December 17
December 18
December 19
December 20
December 22
December 24
December 26
December 29
December 30
December 31
January 2
January 3
January 5
January 6
January 7
January 8
January 9
January 10
January 11
January 13
January 14

** Be sure to look for the upcoming Blog Tour for Book 3 in the Zoe and Zak Series, "Tiger Temple" coming January 15, 2014. **

  MDBR Kid Lit Book Promotion Services - Button FINAL

Thursday, January 2, 2014

How to Paint Wine Glasses - Painting Techniques (Part Two)

Now that you have all your glass painting supplies, it's time to begin painting!

When painting anything, the first place to start is planning what you are going to draw (or paint). With wine glasses, I typically chose based on current seasonal theme such as holiday, birthday, or other celebration. Christmas is done and Valentine's Day and spring is in the air, so as you can see below many of my current designs and colors are focused around these two themes.

The above wine glasses are not finished pieces.
Now how to begin painting!
  1. Plan your design.
    1. I highly recommend searching the Internet for some hand painted wine glasses ideas. Here is a link to my Wine Glass Pinterest page for examples I have found.
    2. Create a sketch of your design on a piece of paper or print out the design you found on the Internet.
  2. Prepare your area for painting.
    1. Lay down newspaper or cardboard box where you plan to paint.
    2. Get all your supplies out. A must to always have out are paper towels, bowl of water, and alcohol to clean up mistakes and paint spills.
  3. Prep your wine glass. Wash your brand new wine glass in hot soapy water. Old and new wine glasses can accrue dust on it. Once it is washed, clean the surface of the wine glass with rubbing alcohol. 
  4. Methods for glass painting.
    1. One Stroke painting by Donna Dewberry. I hand painted the below using One Stroke technique for my children's schools fundraiser event.
    2. Etching using adhesive stencils.  I have not etched as of yet, but the finished pieces I have seen online look breathtaking.
    3. Use a sketched drawing (you can also printout clip art from the Web.
      1. Sketch freehand. I found a few illustrations in one of my kids fingerprinting book which I use to create some fun and sassy wine glasses. I've just started sketching and painting the below wine glass.  

      2. Sketch using a drawing or clip art printout. First you draw your image on a piece of paper. Then you tape your sketched drawing (or clip art printout) inside your wine glass. Next you begin tracing the drawing that you can see inside your wine glass. When sketching, I usually use a paint pen. It is much easier to control.
    4. Freehand. Most of my wine glasses are done freehand. 

    5. Creating stripes. You can do this free-hand, but I've found it to be easier using stencil tape. Tape off the area that you want create stripes. Then apply paint using a flat brush, dauber, or spouncer. While wet, carefully remove tape. Do NOT allow the paint to dry with tape in place, because paint may lift off when tape is removed. Hint: if you need to clean an edge after removing the tape, scrape using your craft knife when paint is dry.
    6. Polka dots. I love polka dots on wine glasses.
      1. Small dots. I sometimes use a Sharpie Paint Pen (see picture below). But have also used a stylus, tip of paint brush, or brush handle. Dip the end of the brush handle into the enamel paint and then touch the surface of the glass where you want to put the dots.
      2. Large dots. Use a dauber (or spouncer). Dip into the enamel paint, dab on palette, then reload with paint and then paint dots on the glass. Repeat as needed.

  5.  Cleaning up mistakes.
    1. With wet paint, use rubbing alcohol. Dip paper towel into alcohol and then carefully remove paint mistake on glass.
    2. With dry paint, use a craft knife. I also find that I have to clean the area with rubbing alcohol because some paint remained or smudged.

Once you are finished painting and before you put on any gems and glitter, let the paint dry for at least 24 hours.

Curing Instructions: FolkArt Enamels should be cured prior to using; there are two recommended methods:
  • Air Dry Method: Air dry the glass piece for at least 21 days before using or washing..
  • Bake Method: Place your painted glassware in a cool oven. Set the oven temperature to 350ºF and bake for 30 minutes. Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the glass piece in the oven until completely cool. Painted glass should heat up and cool down in the oven. Set aside for 72 hours.
Care Instructions:
Once your painted stemware has been cured, it can be hand washed in mild soap and water or dishwasher cleaned on the top shelf.

FolkArt Enamels and Glassware Paint Important Facts:
  • Food and beverages should not come in contact with glass paint. When painting glasses, it is best to leave 3/4" top around the rim free of paint so your mouth never comes in contact with the paint.
  • Glass painted items are not microwaveable.
  • Never soak painted items.
How to Paint Wine Glasses - Adding Glitter and Gems (Part Three)

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | iTunes