Compelling Reasons Why This Book Should Be in Your School Library


Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Cover

Put Me In, Coach!

Children’s rhyming picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the adventurous story of Sam, a tenacious land and sea fiddler crab who finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. He wants to stay there and live there forever, but he’ll have to overcome obstacles to accomplish his dream. This book teaches children about courage and tenacity – to stand up to bullying and to fight for what they believe in, while also teaching them the importance of dreaming. Sam’s story is told in one big epic poem. This book is geared towards children ages 4-7, although all young children seem to enjoy it. Here’s why: 

The book is written in rhyme. Rhyming verse aids in early-development learning and recall. The British Council writes about teaching children English:

“…playing with the short texts of rhymes, children explore the mechanics of the English language. They find out how language works and become familiar with the relationship between the 44 sounds of English and the 26 alphabet letters – information which helps them when they begin reading to decode the sounds that make up words. The value of this type of language-play with rhymes in early learning is both underestimated and undervalued.”

The book utilizes many different poetic devices – typically difficult to teach children –such as alliteration, point-of-view, stanza, meter, repetition, assonance, personification, and my personal favorite, onomatopoeia. Poetic devices are used to take the reader to a different time or place and helps with imagery. Education Portal says:

“Poetry can follow a strict structure, or none at all, but many different types of poems use poetic devices. Poetic devices are tools that a poet can use to create rhythm, enhance a poem’s meaning, or intensify a mood or feeling. These devices help piece the poem together, much like a hammer and nails join planks of wood together.” 

Books Written in Prose May Be a Dying Art. Authors like Seuss and Silverstein paved the way for poetry in children’s literature, yet it’s hard to find new children’s books today written in prose. Carol Hurst intimates why it’s best to not let this great art die in the following excerpt taken from Hurst’s article on the website:

“…along came Shel Silverstein. He wrote poems about picking your nose and selling your baby sister and adults (some of them) winced and kids guffawed and kids’ poetry was changed forever. Now we’ve got the gamut of emotions and subjects in kid’s poetry. Poetry, of course, be it for child or adult (and the distinction is not always clear) is very much a matter of perception. Poems speak to the individual, even more than stories do, and some are not speaking to you — at least not right now. The rules of poetry selection are the same as for the selection of any kind of literary material that you’re going to use with your kids. It must speak to you as the living breathing adult you are before you can help it speak to kids. If it’s supposed to be funny, it should make you laugh or at least smile. If it’s supposed to be sad, it should choke you up a bit. If it’s a description of a thing or a feeling, it should help you see it or feel it in a new way. So, which of all the books of poetry will you choose for your classroom? Every one you can afford.”

Erin Koehler writes, “The more picture books I read, I start to notice the ones that catch my interest the most, and the ones I end up re-reading several times in a row, are the ones that feel the most poetic. By that I mean that even though the language may appear to be “simple” the language is actually rich in complex diction, syntax, and imagery–not to mention attention to rhythm, sounds, and pacing. Sound familiar? Like a poem maybe?”

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore is published in more formats than the average book. In addition to hardcover, softcover, an audio version, and a soon published Spanish translation (being published for the Finding Corte Magore project) did you know this literary gem is also available in a picture book app available exclusively for the iPad? The iPad version, for all you tech-based schools, boasts interactivity, professional narration, full animation and an original musical score produced by Nashville singer and songwriter, Robby Armstrong. (Hint: Sam is a “fiddler” crab.)

Finally, have you ever heard of SpongeBob SquarePants? Of course you have! Kids love sea creatures! What we all admire most about the television series are the unique characters, setting and bold use of color. When one of my good friends told me her brother, a Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants would be interested in working on the book, I knew I had found the right art director. “Mr. Lawrence” -who incidentally is also the voice of Plankton, then brought in his colleague, another SpongeBob storyboard director, Marc Ceccarelli, to produce the original character art and many of the final illustrations.

So, as promised, these are succinct, definitive reasons why this book should be in a school or public library, despite my newbie authorness and utter lack of literary famelessness (I’m a writer, I get to make-up words.)

As always, thanks for the ear!

Tonia Allen Gould, Author

Click here to Order Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore on Amazon.

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, in time for the holidays!


Just in time for the Holidays, Autographed hardcover books, are offered at the lowest price of the season, plus FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the continental U.S.! (Limited time only)

By children’s author, Tonia Allen Gould, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the story of a small land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave if he wants to stay.

Sam’s story is art directed by Mr.Lawrence; an original Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants and mostly illustrated by Marc Ceccarelli, another Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants. Michelle Fandrey at Skies America Publishing also contributed. The colorful book explores several important themes for young readers, including: – The concept of building a home – Hard work and self-reliance – Daring to dream of a better life – Overcoming adversity – Dealing with bullies and naysayers I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence. Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn t always peaches and cream, but if you re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.

Click here to order. Thanks for supporting my book!

Sam is also available on iTunes as a narrated and animated picture book app with an original musical score.

Book Cover for Instagram

Hug-A-Tree on our island of “Corte Magore” and Keep Nicaraguan Kids in School


HugATree on Corte Magore and have your tax deductible donation work to keep Nicaraguan children in school through the Finding Corte Magore project.
HugATree on Corte Magore and have your tax deductible donation work to keep Nicaraguan children in school through the Finding Corte Magore project.

Join us on our first money-raising initiative for the Finding Corte Magore​ project. With your tax deductible $250+ donation – you, or someone you love – can be memorialized forever by “Hugging a Tree” on Corte Magore, at Hog Cay, Bluefields, Nicaragua​. I promise you, with every ounce of my being, your money will be put to very “GOOD” use.

On Google Maps the Coordinates for Corte Magore at Hog Cay are the following:

11°59’25.2″N 83°45’09.7″W

Here´s an aerial view of the island.

Tree Huggers® are created using high-grade stainless steel and are noted for being the only tree plaque that gently wraps around the tree (by means of plastic-encased springs) and expands without harming it as it grows! It will not rust or corrode or release any harmful toxins or chemicals that could harm the tree.  There are hundreds and hundreds of trees on Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua – and we anticipate that eventually, every one of them will be memorialized by our donors.   Click here to make your tax deductible donation.

The Finding Corte Magore Project Problem: 42% of all children along the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua drop out of school by sixth grade, if they ever enroll at all. Poverty in Nicaragua drives kids out of school and into the workplace. (The Guardian).  They drop out because they don’t have shoes to walk to school, because they have to watch their siblings while their parents work, or because they have to work to support their families. They drop out because they see school as pointless. Guess what? They’re right. There are no jobs waiting for students if and when they graduate. Which means poverty will live on in Nicaragua forever. Unless…

Solution: Our project, led by Author, and Entrepreneur, Tonia Allen Gould, along with her team, aims to start to reverse this cycle of poverty in one large region of Nicaragua by driving sustainable, best practices, social good tourism to Bluefields via the island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua. Our social enterprise works like this: Eco-Tourists and Flashpackers visit our island in Bluefields, driving revenue to fund programs such as: Jobs and job training on the island for locals seeking to better provide for their families, such as eco-building, island maintenance, security, hospitality, transportation, and cooking, training they can take back to their communities to earn money. By showing kids along the Atlantic Coast that their parents can be trained and then gainfully employed, we can offer children hope for a better life for themselves. Hope that may start to reverse the cycle of poverty.  By providing job opportunities for parents and making school meaningful for students, the island will free students to stay in school, go after their dreams, and spread prosperity as they become business-owners, entrepreneurs, tourism professionals, artists, scientists, coders, teachers…

We also intend to fund educational programs for students in Nicaragua – programs like a floating educational barge that delivers teachers and and school supplies to remote indigenous regions, after school sports and crafts programs that only students who stay in school can partake in, or on-island biodiversity and environmental learning research camps for older students.

The Finding Corte Magore project will establish ecotourism operations in under-developed and ecologically vulnerable areas, and set the precedent for sustainable development in a way that prevents the destruction of pristine natural habitats by irresponsible tourism. The FCM business model will be validated in the Hog Cay pilot site in Nicaragua given the biodiversity attributes and relative lack of development in the area, as well as the recent influx of visitors to the country. The FCM platform will subsequently be exported to similarly vulnerable areas with a viable and repeatable business model that creates investable and scalable opportunities to promote sustainable development.

Meanwhile, we intend to build a global, K-12 environmental learning curriculum from eco-projects happening on the island -which is an identified bio-diverse hotspot, projects that have research attraction from many of our potential partners and universities, as well as will put locals to work with proper training:

  • Building our Eco-Beach complete with a volleyball pit
  • Mangrove protection and devising ways to eliminate natural, island erosion
  • Building the bar and commissary
  • Renovating the basketball court with recyclable products like used tires
  • Building floating casitas
  • Training of locals to do construction, learn hospitality, cooking, bartending and how to captain a panga, etc.
  • Creating a Zipline from one part of the island to the other or connecting the island to a neighboring island via zipline that won’t infringe on passing boats
  • Eco-Spa – Building natural, spas from collected rainwater
  • Lighting the island for evenings
  • Building eco-sensitive tree houses on the island
  • Rebuilding the island’s suspension bridge
  • Artisanal Fishing Demonstrations with natives
  • Creating Cultural Excursions like to the Garifuna annual anniversary celebration
  • Coral Reef Restoration Projects
  • Turtle Protection and Migration Projects
  • Building Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors to convert solar radiation into thermal and electrical energy to power the island and how people may be use similar technology to power their lives after a hurricane
  • Farming Mussels in the lagoon to clean up the brown water
  • Various Eco-Farming projects – (we have access to an eco-farm across the lagoon) – training on planting and growing foods in tropical climates despite global warming
  • Figuring out how to divert town rain water and brown water from flowing into the lagoon
  • Creating and traveling with our floating educational barge to indigenous regions, bringing education to children who otherwise can’t access education
  • Inventing hurricane resistant “kit” housing for poor coastal communities led by a team of engineers in a think tank
  • Building a bird sanctuary
  • Creating Vertical Gardening Systems despite the clay soil which is conducive to growing certain types of food only
  • Implementing fishing best practices
  • Introducing diving to the area and along the many shipwrecked boats
  • Finding the tradewinds and introducing surfing to areas which are untapped or undiscovered

No other tourism venture strategically connects the dots between social good, environmentalism and education – making our project the first of its kind and further promoting sustainability by making the number of visitors, to the island, virtually limitless. Planned educational opportunities at FCM are extensive and do not just include educational experiences consumed by the eco-tourists we attract. Rather, we see an opportunity to build a K-12 environmental educational platform that makes FCM virtually accessible from anywhere in the world. A FCM student/teacher/professor/university inspired curriculum will be at the core of our offerings.

We have been in talks with many notable agencies and insitutions such as NOAA, Conservation International, CREST and UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science. Sustainable, best practices and conscientious travel is imperative to this region or it may be devastated by tourists. That said, the tourism is still coming to the region regardless, here’s why:  Eco-Tourism is already happening in Nicaragua  A dirt road from Managua that normally takes twelve hours to drive, is currently being paved. This connects the Atlantic Coast to the rest of Nicaragua without having to fly.  Lonely Planet calls Nicaragua the Top 4 place in the world to visit  The Canal de Nicaragua is a shipping route under construction through Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea (and therefore the Atlantic Ocean) with the Pacific Ocean.

Our business partner is: Ambassador Francisco Campbell, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S. and owner of 29-acre, Hog Cay. FCM has negotiated a 15-year leasehold already on the island. We are halfway there to make our vision at Corte Magore a reality.

Hog Cay Google Coordinates: 11°59’25.2″N 83°45’09.7″W.

We believe the dreams of children are the most precious resource in Nicaragua – but also the most squandered. So many dreams go unfulfilled due to extreme poverty. Something needs to be done about this.  Every child deserves a shot to go after their dreams, and the Finding Corte Magore Project intends to give it to them. We believe that achieving dreams can not only elevate children above their birth circumstances, but also their communities and, over time, their nation.

We have acquired the island through a lot of hard work and dedication, and now we need to build it out, develop programs and put the island to work to keep a nation of children in school.

Finding Corte Magore is a California Benefit Company. The purpose of a benefit corporation includes creating general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment. A benefit corporation’s directors and officers operate the business with the same authority as in a traditional corporation but are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on society and the environment. Finding Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua is a Nicaraguan joint partnership formed under Nicaraguan law.

Project hyperlinks:

Finding Corte Magore – findingcortemagore.com

Tonia Allen Gould – toniaallengould.com, author and founder

FCM YouTube Channel

Tonia YouTube Channel

FCM Twitter – @cortemagore

FCM Facebook

Donate to FCM via PayPal (Donations are charitable and tax deductible)

Oh, and one day, we hope to see you visit us on Corte Magore!

Aerial Photo of Hog Cay - Left The Bluff and Caribbean Sea - Right Bluefields - Top Rama Cay - Bottom Escondido River

My Hometown Newspapers Connect the Dots Between My Background, Book and the Island of Corte Magore


By Culver Citizen Editor, Jeff Kenney - Culver, Indiana
By Culver Citizen Editor, Jeff Kenney

School Author Visit: SRTMS Career Day 2015 on Writing, Islanding, and Social Good


THREE ENGINE FAILURE ADVENTURES IN NICARAGUA


By Eric Anderson

As the panga roared away from the dock and into the humid twilight of Laguna de Perlas, Tonia, Whitney, and I waved goodbye to Mr. Fred and the partiers at Hotel Casa Ulrich, his beachfront restaurant where we’d spent the afternoon eating fresh seafood, dancing to Caribbean music, and playing a made-up volleyball-soccer hybrid game straight out of childhood – only better now, because we could drink beer.

 
The party animal in me wished we’d taken Mr. Fred up on his offer to stay the night at his hotel so the fun could go on.  But we had to get back to Casa Rosa, our hotel in Bluefields, before nightfall.  The next day, we’d arranged to visit the Pearl Cays, a snorkeling and diving destination with clear waters and abundant marine life.  To get there, however, we needed our passports, and Whitney and I had left those at Casa Rosa.  So we would come back this way tomorrow morning, which was pretty okay, too, because it meant we’d get a couple more panga rides up and down the stunning Kukra River (watch documentary) that connected Laguna de Perlas and Bluefields.

Warm breeze in our hair, cold beers in our hands, it was a fantastic ride.

“I could do this all day,” Tonia had said on the way over.

Now, sitting near the bow of the boat, I directed my camera at the passing shoreline and brought into focus a green-grey blur of palm trees and foliage, the leaves fat and wet from the light afternoon rains, broken only by a sporadic flash of color in the decorated fishing boats, tin-roof huts, and laundry lines of an indigenous village.  Orlando, our driver from Casa Rosa’s Rumble in the Jungle, had selected the biggest, fastest panga – with a 200hp outboard motor – at Casa Rosa because it could make the winding 30 mile trip between Bluefields and Laguna de Perlas in 50 minutes, and because it had room for his brother, friend, and girlfriend.  As we traveled further, the distance between each village became greater.  Soon, we would cruise down the throat of the Kukra River, and the jungle would close in around us.

I was about to start recording when the panga came to a sudden, jolting stop in the middle of the lagoon, throwing me against the bench hard enough to briefly knock the breath out of me.  The cooler we’d stocked that morning with Toña beers and bottled water slid into the bench Whitney was sitting on.  Jicaro, a skinny 17-year-old boy, had been sitting on the bow but was now on the floor of the boat.  I rose, unhurt but unsteady, and looked over him to see what we’d hit.

There was nothing.  Just open water.

I turned to Tonia and Whitney, searching their faces for what had happened, only to hear the answer a moment later in the wa-wa-wa-wa-wa of an engine refusing to start as Orlando turned the ignition.

Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa –

As Orlando tried and failed to start the engine, Tonia gave me a knowing smile.  “Didn’t I tell you we’d have an adventure?” she said.

Before coming to Nicaragua for the Finding Corte Magore Project, she had promised me an adventure.  With a week of experiential tourism offerings involving filming the 29-acre island of Corte Magore on Hog Cay, meeting with the Campbell family (the island’s owners and Finding Corte Magore’s partners), and exploring an eco-farm, Bluefields nightlife, restaurants, casinos, and surrounding areas like Laguna de Perlas, I had no doubt an adventure would happen.  I did not, however, expect it on day two, and frankly wasn’t convinced a minor mechanical hiccup qualified.  Everything we’d done today had gone off without a hitch, and I was pretty sure the boat would start back up in a second…

Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.

Frowning, Orlando raised the engine from the water so he and his friend, a large guy in a Boston Red Sox hat, could examine it.

We waited, bobbing listlessly in the middle of the lagoon.

  
I scanned the shoreline for civilization, but there was none.  We had only gone a mile or two, but it was enough.  There were no villages in sight, no other boats passing by.

Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa…

That sound was starting to get on my nerves.

Tonia dug out her iPhone.

“Who are you calling?” Whitney asked.

“I’m going to ask Mr. Fred to tow us back,” she said.  “I worked at a marina in Indiana.  I know what a broken engine sounds like.”

Mr. Fred had given her his number just before we left and told her to call anytime.  He would have a good laugh at this one, I thought.  Mr. Fred had offered several times to accommodate us for the night, and, when we’d declined because we didn’t have our passports, offered us use of the showers and a change of clothes and, when we’d declined that, suggested we at least stay for one more round of beers.  “You must have work to get back to,” Tonia had said.  “We never work on Saturdays,” Mr. Fred said with a smile.  Now here we were, about to take Mr. Fred up on all of his hospitality after all.

Tonia frowned.

“He didn’t pick up?” I asked.

“The call’s not going through.”  She dialed again.  Again, the call didn’t go through.  “How do you make local calls?”

There were seven of us on the boat, but we couldn’t figure it out.  Orlando gave Tonia his phone and this time, the call went through.  But Mr. Fred didn’t pick up.  Tonia dialed him again.  Again, Mr. Fred didn’t pick up.  Tonia left a voicemail, explaining the situation and asking Mr. Fred for a ride back.

“So much for calling him any time,” she said, jokingly.

“They’re probably still partying,” Whitney said.

“Okay so we need to call the restaurant itself.”  No one had the number to the restaurant.  Back on her iPhone, Tonia googled Casa Ulrich, but the connection was slow.  We waited, silently, as the webpage loaded and she got the number.  Using Orlando’s phone now, she dialed.

No one picked up at the restaurant either.

At least for now, Casa Ulrich was a dead end.

Orlando called Casa Rosa in Bluefields.  Someone picked up, but that didn’t do us any good.  Randy and Rosa, the owners, were gone for the week on a fishing trip.  Casa Rosa had several spare pangas, but everyone who worked there who could operate one had taken a vacation day to come on this boat with us… this boat that was stranded in the middle of a lagoon with a busted engine, a long way from home, without any help on the way.

I had to smile at how fitting it was that we’d found ourselves living out a textbook opening to a horror movie.  When I’d first met Tonia on a flight from LA to Chicago, I was working as a script reader at a horror film company and was all too familiar with the scenario we found ourselves in now.  A group of tourists spend the day living it up in paradise.  Just when they think nothing can go wrong, they get stranded in the wilderness.  They have no cell reception, but one of their cameras is conveniently still going and catches every moment in trendy shakycam as a monster rises from the muddy depths of the lagoon and tears them apart… 

There were no monsters in the lagoon.  There were, however, alligators.  Baby alligators, Orlando had stressed.  They couldn’t eat people… though I wondered whether whatever gave birth to these baby alligators could.  Fred Jr., Mr. Fred’s son, had joked that there were anacondas.  Tonia had joked there were piranhas.  Everyone was a comedian when we were safely ashore.

Looming nightfall, however, was a more realistic challenge.  I’d heard earlier that the only boats on the river at night were those of drug dealers, but even they rarely frequented the waters, given Nicaragua is the safest country in Latin America.  By nightfall, we’d have to do watch rotations.  We’d have to figure out a way to light-up the boat so no one crashed into us.  We’d have to split, what, the five or six bottles of water left in the cooler? The beer would have to be rationed. Oh no!

Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Orlando tried one last time then shook his head, defeated.

“Battery,” he said.  “Engine,” Tonia said.

So his friend proceeded to peel off his shirt, shorts, and Red Sox hat and jump into the water.  He hadn’t expected the water to be so shallow and hit the bottom hard, tumbling over.  For the first time since the boat stalled, we laughed.  Jicaro jumped in next and started pushing as well.

Unable to restart the engine or call for a pick-up, we had come upon our last resort: pushing the panga back to shore.  I powered up my camera.  This was turning out to be an adventure after all.  Which meant I had work to do.

Part of the reason I was on this trip was to gather footage for the Finding Corte Magore documentary.  I imagined the film telling an inspiring tale about the obstacles Tonia and her team overcame to make the fictional island in her children’s book real.  I knew of many of the obstacles already – locating the island, negotiating with the Ambassador to let us use it for the project, crowdfunding it, building it up, and managing it for tourists. But surely we could find room in the film for getting stranded in a jungle river, too.  I pressed record:

Maybe more than two miles.  I couldn’t even see the village Casa Ulrich was located in.  Pushing a panga was slow-going so whatever the distance, by the time we made it back, it would be nighttime.

Jicaro waded to the bow of the boat and started pulling the rope used to dock it.  After steering the panga on its course back to Casa Ulrich, Orlando jumped into the water as well and started pushing.  I felt a sudden urge to do the same.  So, kicking off my flip-flops and holding my $1,000 Canon D70 above my head, I stepped over the side of the boat and into the water.  It was bathwater warm.  The bottom consisted of a squishy mud that sucked in my feet.  I felt like the intrepid storyteller I’d always dreamed of being but, in this business, so often remains a dream.  As I filmed, I felt myself enter the sweetspot of adventure.  This plan was last-ditch, slow-going, ludicrous, but spirits were as high as they’d been all afternoon.

There was only one thing that could make the adventure sweeter…

And Tonia made it happen by doing what I imagine every documentary filmmaker would want from its chief subject: without prompting her, she jumped into the water and started pushing the boat, too.

As a storyteller, a part of my mind is often separate from whatever’s going on before me, running through quality control checklists: What am I trying to get across?  How do I get that across?  What contribution am I making to this story, all stories, the world?  Here as I filmed Tonia pushing the panga, I thought of the famous shot of General Douglas MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines WWII, of Daniel Craig announcing his presence as the new 007 in Casino Royale by strutting through the Caribbean.  Walking through water isolated human toughness.  Motors broke, cellphones died, but willpower was its own power source.  The idea that, through hard work, anything is possible was a central message to the Finding Corte Magore Project, and here it was in action. Our fearless leader did not let us down. I waded behind, ahead of, and to the side of the boat, shooting as much and from as many angles as I could before Tonia climbed back in.

As we went along, the water started getting deeper, and I had to hold the camera higher and higher.  It rose to my waist, then my stomach.  When it reached my torso, I decided there’d been enough mechanical failure for one day, and put the camera back aboard the panga.  Then, unable to resist becoming a character in the story, I grabbed the side of the boat and started to push.

We docked the panga at the first fishing village we came across.  A dock worker and two small children had seen us approaching and were waiting for us.  Orlando explained the problem and, a few minutes later, the dockworker had a fresh battery.

“This is why I love Nicaraguans,” Tonia said as they connected the new battery.  “They’re some of the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve ever met.”

Orlando fired up the engine.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.  Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa –

So it wasn’t the battery after all.

Tonia sighed.  “I knew it wasn’t the battery.  The battery starts the engine.  Once it’s running, even if it goes out, the engine would keep going.”

Eventually, a fisherman tied our panga to his and towed us the rest of the way back to Mr. Fred’s.  As we neared, we saw the beach party was still in full swing.  The partiers gathered on the pier and greeted us with big grins, none bigger than the told-you-so grin of Mr. Fred as he helped us off the panga and onto the pier.

He couldn’t resist saying it either.  “Told you! You should’ve stayed!” he said.

Our engine failure adventures continued.  A few days later we were taking a panga away from Corte Magore on Hog Cay in the lagoon when the engine died and the boat came to a (much gentler) stop in the middle of Bluefields Bay.  Here we go again, I thought.  

All afternoon, I had been gathering on-island footage for the crowdfunding video, something I’d been waiting to do for months.  Having done it at last, I’d awarded, if only to myself, a “mission accomplished,” and allowed myself to turn off the camera and settle in for the ride.  It seemed I had celebrated too soon.

Juan Martinez, our driver and our island handyman, took the casing off of the engine and started fiddling with it as Tonia told the story of our Laguna de Perlas engine failure to Earl, our guide.  Earl is a coordinator for CEDEHCA (Centro de Derechos Humanos, Ciudadanos y Autonómicos, or the Center for Human Rights, Civil and Autonomous), a human rights organization stationed in Bluefields and run by the Campbell family.  He had given us the tour of the island and the eco farm.  Now we were swapping engine failure tales when we heard the throaty but lyrical roar of the engine coming back to life.

Within minutes, Juan had fixed the engine, and got a job offer:

After we’d docked at Casa Rosa, Tonia turned to Whitney and me, smiling.  “That makes two engine failures.  We’re due for one more.  Things always happen to me in threes.”

I would have considered this no more than an idle superstition had I not read Tonia’s memoir-in-progress, When it Comes in Threes.  In it, she traced threepeats through her adult life and childhood.  If Tonia’s rule of threes held true here, we were indeed due for one more engine failure, and running out of time for it to happen.  It was our last night in Bluefields.  Tomorrow, we’d fly to Managua.  I don’t think any of us liked the idea of climbing into a single prop plane with fate owing us one last engine failure.

So it was with some relief when, that evening, our cab broke down as we were driving to a seafood restaurant called Pelican Bay.

“This is the third time!” Tonia said, vindicated.  “I told you things always happen to me in threes!”

As if to reinforce it, Tonia gave the driver three unsuccessful turns of the key before calling Earl, who we were meeting for dinner.  Tonia checked with Earl if we were in a safe area (we were, even though a large, muscular man standing on the sidewalk made me uneasy), and had him talk to the driver in Spanish.  An arrangement was made to have the driver’s cousin pick us up.  We were getting good at this.

The next day we boarded a small prop plane and slept easily on a wonderfully unadventurous flight back to Managua, and eventually – safely back on American soil – I marveled at the experiential tourist this trip had helped me become.”  

As a follow-up to this post, we got a kick out of a tweet Tonia received on Twitter. It reads, “@MyWeego: Sorry @ToniaAllenGould. If you had a Weego jump-starter, you could be back on the water in no time. Check it out 🙂 http://t.co/0zculKdDYf” 
Given the frequent trips to Nicaragua, we might just have to buy the WEEGO jumpstarter and battery pack. 

Getting Off My One-Acre Island

How one author’s children’s picture book unfolded out for her in real life eventually making a fictional place real for social good.


On Corte magoreFifteen months ago, I had an “AHA” moment that, at first, involved marketing my book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, an epic children’s tale about a land and sea fiddler crab who wandered onto a beautiful island called Corte Magore. Sam wanted to stay and live there forever, but had to first overcome obstacles like building himself a home before the tides came in to sweep him back out to sea. He also had to work around naysayers and the big, bad beast, the Great Tidal Wave.  Sam was a dreamer and a hard worker. He made mistakes but each time he failed, learned to pull himself up again and again by his bootstraps.

If you know me well, you’ll know there are some parallels between Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore and my own life. Like Sam, I’m tenacious and a hard worker. Also like Sam, I too was once searching for a home. At the age of fifteen, I was placed in foster care. Mine was a dysfunctional family living well below the poverty line and things were often difficult for me growing up. The naysayer in my life was the system – the statistics that said I wasn’t supposed to break the cycle. Many children don’t, but I fortunately did. I’m resourceful, entrepreneurial, and when I’ve failed, I learned early on to pick myself up gracefully and work to get myself right back on track – just like Sam. I broke the mold and I know, in my heart of hearts, that it’s my duty to share with others that they can do it too. Despite their circumstances.

I tried to ingrain many pearls of wisdom throughout Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. If only I had a book, growing up, that told me it was okay to be searching for something, that acknowledged that my dreams had validity, that being punctual and minding the time and deadlines were important, and that though there would be bullies and naysayers in my life trying to squelch my dreams, it was up to me to tackle them anyway. Somehow, early on, I learned I’d have to do most everything for myself and on my own and that being independent can be incredibly empowering, even for a child faced with life’s difficulties.

My story was one I HAD to tell. But just telling it wasn’t enough. I had to figure out a way to market my book in a big way to children so they could make my story and Sam’s story, about overcoming obstacles and persevering, their own.

One morning, right before I woke up – a time when being “almost” lucid often brings clarity to my problems – the way to market my book in a big way came to me in an “AHA” moment. “AHA, I’ve got it,” I thought as I sat straight-up in bed. “If you can name a star in the sky, then why can’t I find some postage-stamped-sized island, somewhere in the world, and name it Corte Magore?”

That crazy, absurd, half-cocked idea put me on a personal journey that has changed the course of my life – rallied even my own family, one that’s forced me to get off my own personal, one-acre suburban “island” in Southern California, a life I eventually built for myself, step out of my cush comfort zone – and onto a real life, 29-acre, living/breathing, bio-diverse island along the devastatingly poor, Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. That “AHA” moment, caused my passion (writing books for children) to be met with its purpose – having an island work to somehow keep an impoverished nation of child drop-outs in school. One adventure lead me to the next, just like in my story. And that “AHA” moment has snowballed into a new tale that now involves an ambassador, universities, conservation, eco-tourism, environmental learning, ocean science, crowdfunding, grant-writing, television/film, real estate development, and much, much more. In the course of a year, I’ve traveled to Nicaragua three times and have fallen in love with its people and possibilities, but most importantly, I’ve fallen in love with the journey to “Finding Corte Magore”.

Over the next few days and weeks, my team on the Finding Corte Magore project and I will attempt to break down this amazing adventure for you. Look for videos, pictures, and blog posts as we unfold the story from varying perspectives.

I promise that when it’s all over, you will be inspired to get up, dust off some of those old dreams of your own, dare to get off your own islands and realize that nothing at all is impossible.

See you on Corte Magore!

Tonia Allen Gould

http://www.findingcortemagore.com

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Special Price for October!


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Author, Tonia Allen Gould, with Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Photograph by JennKL Photography: http://www.jennkl.com/

I’ve arranged a special hardcover book price for October. You can order an autographed book for $12.99 + shipping.

Stock up for the perfect holiday gift for that little loved one in your life.

Cheers!

Tonia Allen Gould

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore and the Schoolhouse Visit in La Dalia, Nicaragua


Check out our video to learn more about Team Finding Corte Magore’s first visit to the agricultural area of La Dalia, Nicaragua. When we arrived at the schoolhouse on a reputable coffee plantation, we began to understand the educational needs of the children who live there. Many of these children held a crayon in their hands for the very first time.

Our goal is to crowd-fund a “social good” island in Nicaragua to raise awareness to the children who may drop out of school before reaching the sixth grade. In an effort to promote dreaming amongst children at home and abroad–our goal is to rename the island Corte Magore, after a fictional island in the children’s picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. The main character in this story had to overcome a lot of challenges to accomplish his goal of building a life for himself. We believe, with a little help from students and teachers in the US, crowdfunders, and the Finding Corte Magore project, the children in Nicaragua too can dream of a better life for themselves.

See you on Corte Magore!

Tonia Allen Gould

Author and Founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project

My Book Signing at Mrs. Figs’ Bookworm


Thanks to Connie, the proprietor at Mrs. Figs’ Bookworm for the great book signing today! If you haven’t checked out her delightful bookstore in Camarillo, please do so and don’t forget to ask for your copy of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore while you are there.

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So, Did You Know I Want to Buy an Island in Central America?


Children’s picture book author, Tonia Allen Gould, wants to crowd-fund an island to bring awareness to the children of Nicaragua who drop out of school, on average, by the sixth grade.

The Finding Corte Magore Project works virtually to connect a global community of students and crowd funders in real time with the plight of educationally and economically repressed Nicaragua. The project incorporates social entrepreneurialism, gamification, and augmented reality and involves showcasing, purchasing and managing, through collective voting processes, one of the country’s own small, yet beautiful islands to create awareness, coupled with sustainable, positive and long-term impact on the country’s people.

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Original Musical Score by Robby Armstrong, Copyright (C) Tonia Allen Gould, All Rights Reserved.

Speaking Engagement Testimonial


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Hello,

I am pleased to recommend Tonia Allen Gould as a speaker for child related events -and adults as well.

I am a den leader for a group of Tiger Cub Scouts (first graders). Our meeting plan was how media is used to reach large audiences. I read about Tonia and her book Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore on our neighborhood Facebook page and decide to contact her about speaking to the boys.

Tonia accepted and her presentation was more than I could hope for. The other dens (2nd and 3rd grade) joined us. She told the boys how she got the idea for her story, and how she turned the idea into an interactive and animated children’s book. She showed them the story that had music, narration and pictures. The story itself is wonderful for kids (and adults) about overcoming adversity to make your dreams come true and Tonia’s personal story is living proof. It was a great experience on many levels. All of the boys were engaged and interested. They were thrilled to meet an author and have signed books to take home.

I highly recommend Tonia and feel honored to know her.

Sincerely,
Victoria Turk

Ready to Sail to Corte Magore?


Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Cover
Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Cover
https://squareup.com/market/tonia-allen-gouldSquare Market QR Code to Book

I’m super pleased to announce both my soft-cover and hard-cover books are ready to ship! A bulk order link to the publisher will be supplied soon. In the meantime, click on this link and head on over to my marketplace to order my book and gift a child a piece of literature that teaches about hard work, perseverance and overcoming obstacles. Thanks for your support and encouragement along the way!

Onwards & Upwards!

Tonia Allen Gould

P.S. Be on the lookout for the gift-with-purchase announcements coming soon!

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Jacket


Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore

The “proposed” layout for the Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore soft-cover book jacket came back from my publisher today. I’ll see the hard-cover version soon. I’m sure we’ll make some changes, but this sure is exciting!

For Immediate Release


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Copyright 2013 Tonia Allen Gould, All Rights Reserved

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

Contact: Lauren Covello

 856-489-8654, ext. 335

lauren.covello@smithpublicity.com

 

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore

By Tonia Allen Gould

 

CHILDREN’S eBOOK PROMOTES DREAMING & DEDICATION

–Determined Cartoon Crab Sets Out to Build Himself a Home

             Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Skies America Publishing, 2013) by children’s author Tonia Allen Gould tells the story of Sam, a small cartoon land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently – and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave – if he wants to stay.

            Gould’s daughter, now a sophomore in college, was just two years old when she inspired Sam’s story. “We were taking a drive to Santa Barbara and talking about our beach day ahead, when I heard her babbling what sounded like, ‘Corte Magore, Corte Magore, Corte Magore,’ over and over again,” Gould says. “My family knows that publishing this story has been a dream since that day. I want kids to believe, mine especially, that it’s important to dream and that almost anything is possible if you’re willing to do the work.”

            As a mother, Gould knew Sam’s story would have to be unique and interactive to capture the attention of today’s children, so she decided to publish the book as an iPad app with original animation, an engaging voiceover, and upbeat Americana music. As a marketing expert, Gould was determined to assemble a powerhouse team to create a book that both children and parents would enjoy. Sam’s story is partially illustrated by “Mr. Lawrence,” an original illustrator of SpongeBob SquarePants; the musical score was written and produced by up-and-coming Nashville musician Robby Armstrong; and the book is narrated by radio personality Steve McCoy, a two-time Marconi Award Nominee.

            “I wanted Sam’s story to be an engaging and interactive process,” Gould explains. “Unfortunately, you can’t include animations, voice, and music in a conventional book. But producing the book as an iPad App allowed us to create a whole new world for little ones to enjoy.”

            The short, colorful eBook (available through the iTunes store for $4.99) explores several important themes for young readers, including:

  • ·   The concept of “building a home”
  • ·   Hard work and self-reliance
  • ·   Daring to dream of a better life
  • ·   Overcoming adversity
  • ·   Dealing with bullies and naysayers

          “I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence,” Gould adds. “Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn’t always peaches and cream, but if you’re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.”

Tonia Allen Gould is a wife, mother, author, marketing expert, and sought after speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Tagsource, formerly Tag! The Creative Source, an award-winning eighteen-year-old consumer promotions and marketing agency, and BRANDHUDDLE, a new marketing startup that caters to clients, suppliers, and distributors of promotional branding products.

In Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore  (Skies America Publishing, July 2013), Gould explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore is available through the iTunes store for $4.99 and can be purchased here.

 

For more information, visit:

 Website: http://www.toniaallengould.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toniaallengould

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/toniaallengould

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tagsource/

 

DIGITAL REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

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Where on Earth is Corte Magore anyway?


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Where on Earth is Corte Magore? One author wants to make a fictional island a real place, to show children that it is okay to dream.

Until now, you wouldn’t have been able to find Corte Magore on any map. Now that Samuel T. Moore has discovered this beautiful place, we had to have a map created just so kids could find it. In the coming months, be on the lookout for more news and information on Corte Magore, and how this fictional place may actually become very real one day…because the author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, wants to teach children that its okay to dream.

Can your kids find Corte Magore on the map? Look closely and they might actually find Sam’s hut.

An interactive and animated children’s picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Coming Soon!)


Check out my new teaser video for Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore.