7th Annual Royal Dragonfly Book Award Winners Announced

         Grand Prize Winner

         Grand Prize Winner

CHANDLER, AZ (November, 2016) – Winners of the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards have been announced and Behind the Mask by Dana Ridenour has earned this year’s $300 Grand Prize as well as First Place designations in the Fiction Novel and First Time Author categories. Behind the Mask is the story of special agent Lexie Montgomery, who is just beginning to understand the FBI’s undercover division motto: “You build relationships to betray relationships.” Lexie's first assignment is infiltrating a radical cell of the Animal Liberation Front. Underground and operating in splinter groups throughout Los Angeles, the only way in is through Savannah Riley, a new recruit. Savannah left the safety of her small southern town for the bright lights of the city. Pulled into the animal rights movement by her college roommate and a gorgeous anarchist, she sinks deeper and deeper into the dark, paranoid world of ALF extremists. As the actions of her cell escalate beyond simple demonstrations and graffiti, Savannah turns to Lexie to keep her grounded. But as the two women grow closer and the FBI's case builds, Lexie is forced to decide what betrayal really means.

Additional first-place winners include Losing a Hero to Alzheimer's: The Story of Pearl by Patricia M. McClure; A Home for Abigail by S. Marriott Cook; The Amazing Journey of Solomon the Sockeye Salmon by Pamela Cannalte, illustrated by Steven Beutler, Designed by Jody Mattics; The Family Tree: The Night of the Storm by Laurie Copmann, illustrated by Laurie Copmann and Shirley Kraus; The Spirit of Villarosa: A Father's Extraordinary Adventures; A Son's Challenge by Horace Dade Ashton, Marc Ashton, Libby J. Atwater; If It Does Not Grow: Say No - Eatable Activities for Kids Kerry Alison Wekelo; Sir Pigglesworth's Adventures series by JoAnn Wagner, illustrated by David Darchicourt; Animal abc: Book to Look by Gabriela Rzepecka-Weiß; How the Bunny Learned to Fly by Sean David Maday; Dragons are Real by Valarie Budayr, illustrated by Michael Welply; Just Indian by Jackie Neypes, illustrated by Tyrelle Smith; The Tales of Reese: Finn's Wish by Rachel Mahan, illustrated by Gau Family Studio; The Seeds of Injustice by Micheal Jimerson; Stinky Blinky by Troy Kent, illustrated by Amanda Erb; Star Sapphire and the Land of Gems: The Crystal Cavern (Book 3) by Anthony Pardoe; A Trip to Remember by Michele Spry; The Accidental Vigilante by Robert Sterling Hecker; Am I Going to Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Grief by Debra Whittam, illustrated by Jeff Tift; The Reading Promise by Troy Kent, illustrated by Elisa Moriconi; Moon Full of Moons: Poetry of Transformation by Kat Lehmann; The Apocalyptic Gospel: Mystery, Revelation, and Common Sense by Justin Mark Staller; String by Timothy Bryant Spear; Forever Skating Forward by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz; and Ascension by Hannah Rials.

"We had a very tight competition this year and our judges definitely had their work cut out for them," says Linda F. Radke, president of the Dragonfly Book Awards program. “I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to all of our winners.”

For a complete list of winners, visit www. DragonflyBookAwards.com and click on "Winners." The next Royal Dragonfly Book Awards contest is already underway. The final deadline for submissions is October 1, 2017.

In addition to the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Story Monsters LLC also has two additional book contests: The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and the Story Monsters Approved! program. The final deadline to enter the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes outstanding children's literature, is May 1, 2017. The Story Monsters Approved program identifies quality children's books that have been kid-tested and judge-certified, making it easier for buyers to choose exceptional fiction and nonfiction books that parents will approve and youths will enthusiastically devour. There is no deadline to enter and books are judged as they are received. For rules and submission forms for these contests, visit www.DragonflyBookAwards.com and click on the contest of choice.

For more information about the Dragonfly Book Awards and Story Monsters Approved! program, email info@storymonsters.com or call 480-940-8182.

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‘Story Monsters Ink’ Takes the Literary World by Storm

CHANDLER, AZ (October 2016) – In just over two years since its launch, Story Monsters Ink has become a beacon for parents and teachers searching for quality reading material for children to instill the joys of reading, and it turns out, grown-ups love it just as much as kids.

What began as a monthly newsletter has turned into a major magazine with subscribers across the globe, advertisers clamoring to get a spot in each issue and featured interviews with today’s top authors and artists, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Kenny Loggins, Kate DiCamillo, James Patterson, Dav Pilkey and Jeff Kinney.

And the industry loves it, too. The subscription-based family magazine recently received several notable literary accolades.

In August, Story Monsters Ink won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award and was named “among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.” In October, School Library Journal named it “among the great magazines for kids and teens” for its varied content, including articles about science and nature, reading guides, and book reviews written by children for children. Also this month, it was announced that the magazine’s publisher, Linda F. Radke, won the 2016 Irwin Award for “Best Publisher of a Literary Magazine,” and Cristy Bertini, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, also won the Irwin Award for “Best Editorial Director.”

In her acceptance speech, Radke thanked the entire Story Monsters Ink team for their contributions to the magazine’s success. “Cristy tells me every month that this will be the best issue yet, and it always is, thanks to our tremendous team of writers, designers, columnists, and contributors, and we want to express our sincerest gratitude to Melissa Fales, Jeff Yesh, Kris Taft Miller, Conrad Storad, Debbie Greenberg, Darleen Wohlfeil, Nick Spake, Leigh Carrasco, Rita Campbell, Olivia Amiri, Diana Perry, Jenna Grodzicki, Bill McManus, Kristin Maggio, and Shirin Zarqa-Lederman for their hard work and dedication. And we also want to thank our advertisers. They have supported this publication from the beginning and I want them to know how much we appreciate them.”

Having been in the up-and-down world of publishing for over 30 years, Radke said that supporting children’s literacy is her team’s ultimate goal in everything they do.

“That is the light behind Story Monsters Ink,” said Radke. “And behind every successful magazine, is a great editor-in-chief. Cristy is that editor. I have her to thank, because she makes this magazine what it is and I couldn’t ask for a better leader. As for the next issue, just wait and see. It will be the best one yet.”

To subscribe to Story Monsters Ink, visit www.StoryMonsters.com. Digital subscriptions are free and 12-month print subscriptions are $39. New print subscribers receive a free Story Monster plush reading buddy. For more information, email info@storymonsters.com or call 480-940-8182.

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James Patterson, Marcus Samuelsson Featured in October issue of ‘Story Monsters Ink’

CHANDLER, AZ (September, 2015) – With over 300 million copies of his books sold worldwide, James Patterson is one of the most prolific and successful authors on the planet. While he continues to write the suspenseful thriller novels his devotees clamor for as well as the children’s books that have gained him a whole new fan base, he’s also become a major champion for literacy. He recently pledged to donate $1.75 million to school libraries through a grant program with Scholastic Reading Club. “I’m really passionate about getting kids reading,” said Patterson in a recent interview with Story Monsters Ink magazine. “If kids aren’t competent readers in middle school, they’re going to have a really hard time getting through high school and getting through life.” Patterson also discussed his career, his newest books and how he instilled a love of reading in his own son.

From his humble beginning in Ethiopia, restaurateur, chef, television food personality and author Marcus Samuelsson has risen to the highest culinary ranks. Samuelsson talks with Story Monsters Ink about his latest book, Make it Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life detailing his long, gastronomical journey to the top and highlighting those times when his future was muddled and uncertain. It is a must-read for any aspiring chef.

Also featured in the October issue, photographer Jonathan Diaz creates a treasury of modern-day fairy tales based on the lives of children who all have two things in common: they have very big dreams and they are all cancer patients. Child actor and philanthropist Gabe Eggerling talks about his mission to donate as many books as he can to underprivileged children, and award-winning author Gale Leach tells us about her road to writing.

Story Monsters Ink is a monthly, family magazine that gives kids, parents and educators the latest news on award-winning and debut books and products, reviews, recipes, activities, a Spanish language column and a science and nature column written by award-winning author Conrad J. Storad.

What began as a monthly newsletter has turned into a major magazine with subscribers across the globe, advertisers clamoring to get a spot in each issue and featured interviews with Rosemary Wells, Garcelle Beauvais, Claudine Pepin, NASA Astronaut Jerry L. Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Arizona Cardinals wide-receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Sesame Street’s Caroll Spinney.

“I wanted to publish a magazine for a very long time,” says Linda F. Radke, founder and president of Five Star Publications, Inc. “Story Monsters Ink is an exciting fulfillment of that dream. As a parent and former educator myself, I recognize the value of instilling a love of reading and writing in children, and I have a tremendous team to work with in developing this publication each month. We’ve definitely created a monster of a magazine.”

“Our ultimate goal is to promote children’s literacy, and we involve children in the production of Story Monsters Ink by asking them to write book reviews, poems, articles, etc., and we publish their work in each issue,” adds Cristy Bertini, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “Children love seeing their work printed in the magazine, and we love encouraging them to read and write as much as possible.”

To subscribe to Story Monsters Ink, visit www.StoryMonsters.com. Digital subscriptions are free and 12-month print subscriptions are $39. New print subscribers receive a free Story Monster plush reading buddy. For more information, email info@storymonsters.com or call 480-940-8182.

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