Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paige's Book Shelf: Steve Lebel's The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty

I received this item free in exchange for my honest opinions. All views and opinions are my own. See Disclosure.
The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty By: Steve LeBel

The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty is a YA fantasy that takes the reader down a path of good vs. evil and self discovery. Steve LeBel knows how to write a whimsical, fantasy, centered around a time and place never known to mankind.

In this book you will meet Bernie, a god fresh out of god school. He graduates from the building program as planned, and falls into his dream job…

Or so he thought!

He just might have some very larges shoes to fill.

Along the way you will also meet, Suzie (the girlfriend), Lenny (the best friend), Billy (the enemy), Alcindor (the intelligent), Sissy (the fur ball), the lookies (the discrete), and many, many more. 

Read on to learn what I think of this out of this world fantasy and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Universe Builders for your own bookshelf!

I love this book, because it covers so many different things that one might experience in their own path to finding who they are… Just twisted and twined with elements of surprise around every corner.

No, we are not gods who can fabricate a universe out of thin air, but we all know the good and evil in the world, and may have even experienced it first hand. Like Bernie, most of us strive for the greater good. Bernie is a free spirit who can’t stand to see anyone hurt.Even with the ability to blink things out of existence, Bernie would never destroy his creations, so when someone else gives it a try, Bernie goes to exemplary actions to save his world.

Can he save it just in time?

In this phenomenal read, you may just learn, that a hero can come from the most unassuming places. From a tiny fur ball that helps Lenny discover that higher life forms do have souls and feelings, to a creature thought extinct, who lurks around un-noticed, keeping an eye out for a distracted Bernie, and then there is the other worldly life form that becomes more of a father to said god than his own real dad.

Could you imagine fighting against all odds to save a race of higher life forms that at first, you didn't even know existed, just to find out, that they are not as different from you as you first thought? All the while you have to battle against natural disasters, overwhelming occurrences, and a chaotic streak that just wont quit. If you like excitement, the unbelievable, the unimaginable, and the lookies, then you will love “The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty” (!!!)

Let me say just one more thing about this book… Yes, it is a young adult book, and yes, I am not so YA anymore, but I loved to read what Steve LeBel had to offer. And so it is that I look forward to his next offering and say… if you're 19 or 90 but remain a kid at heart, you will find that “The Universe Builders” will satisfy your need for a new, bewildering, and creative adventure you are sure to go on from the first to last words.

Book Synopsis:

What if God Got a C- in Universe Building 101?

Steve LeBel has introduced a young adult (YA) fantasy about a world of gods with the extraordinary ability to create universes.

What are these gods like? What kind of universes do they build? And why do they do it?The story revolves around a young god who sets out to build his first universe. If only it were that easy.

Get set for a fantasy world unlike anything you have ever imagined - A world of gods and goddesses who build universes for a living. Are they all-powerful and all-knowing? Well, not exactly...

As Bernie graduates from God School, he is thrilled to land his dream job as a builder of universes. His first assignment is to build his own universe. Determined but unsure, bright but without confidence, Bernie forges ahead, only to find problems everywhere.Mysterious asteroids, unexplained volcanoes, shifting continents and more lead him to suspect sabotage. But who could sabotage his universe?

Only another god could do that.

It’s god vs. god, guile vs. goodness, where only one of them plays by the rules. Bernie must find a way to outwit his vicious foe. If he fails, it will cost him everything.This is a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and a young hero on a journey of self-discovery in an original, humorous, fantastic wrapper.
Steve LeBel - photo

A Chat With Steve LeBel
Q-Can you tell us a little about your book?

Steve LeBel-The main character is a young god named Bernie who just graduated from God School. He isn't the smartest kid, but he worked hard, and he has a good heart. He managed to get his dream job working for The Business as a universe builder. His new boss told him to build his own universe - anything he wants - so they can see what he's capable of doing.
Unfortunately, an old school rival is determined to see Bernie fail. And he uses his godly powers to sabotage Bernie's world. If Bernie doesn't do a good job, he'll be fired.
As the book progresses, things get more complicated, the stakes get raised, and Bernie has to make choices about what is important in life.

Q-Can you tell my readers what inspired you to write your first book?
Steve LeBel-I got the idea back in school when I first heard that God had a name. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why God would need a name. The only thing I could think of is, he would need a name if there is more than one of him. That got me thinking about a world of gods and goddesses who make universes for a living.

Q-Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to put pen to paper and share your experience with the world?

Steve LeBel-My background is in the corporate world where I served as president of a hospital for 17 years. I retired and started an internet company which I sold after 11 years. After retiring again, I decided to try my hand at writing. In writing some short stories, I was delighted to find people enjoyed my humor, which gave me the motivation to take on a novel.

Q-Is there a message in your book that you wish readers to grasp?
Steve LeBel-I get asked that question a lot. Since the book is about gods who build universes, people tend to ask me about hidden meanings. They really aren't any. The book is just supposed to be fun and funny. One reviewer said the book is "a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and a young hero on a journey of self-discovery." That's about right.

Q-What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a book?
Steve LeBel-The hardest part for me is the editing. I don't like going over something again and again. And the frustrating part is that each time I do, I find ways to improve it. It gives me a sense that it might never be finished. Fortunately, I have a copy editor (and some writer friends) who told me "Enough is enough. It's ready!" Otherwise, I would probably be tweaking it still.

Q-What's next for you? Any new projects in the works?
Steve LeBel-The biggest project for me now is getting my new book off the ground. As you know, writing is only a small part of what it takes for a book to be successful. There is a lot of marketing and promotion required.

Q-Do you have any advice for other writers who are just starting down the self-publishing path?
Steve LeBel-The two things I learned are 1) You won't get rich by writing. A lot of amazingly talented people have written great books. So, make sure you are writing for other reasons; if you make money, that's a bonus. 2) Authors are the people who have to promote their own work. The publishing companies rarely do much. If you aren't willing to do your own promotions, it's not likely your work will become well-known.

Q-Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Steve LeBel-If you enjoy highly imaginative worlds, tongue in cheek humor, characters that will make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings, then you will enjoy this highly original book.

Learn more about author Steve LeBel on his site or chat with him on Facebook and Twitter. The Universe Builders is available for purchase on Amazon.

Enter The Universe Builders Book Giveaway! 
Open to readers in the US, 18 years and older. One lucky reader will receive The Universe Builders by Steve Lebel in their choice of either the eBook or Hard copy version. (ARV$5-$17) This event will be open for entry from 8/1-8/15/2014 at 11:59pm EST. The Mommy Island is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Use the simple rafflecopter below for entry. Good Luck! 
Please note: This is a giveaway hop! Don't forget to look below the entry form for more book giveaways to enter! 

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  1. The premise sounds interesting

  2. I want to read what happens to Bernie and his world.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. That was the driving force for me! Bernie is so relatable even though he is a god creating a universe, he went through a tough time like many of us humans do!

  3. I think I'll most like the character Bernie :)

  4. Well we have to find out what happens. It sounds exciting!

  5. I might like Suzie the best!

    1. I like Suzie! She really does have Bernie's best interest at heart!

  6. I think the very most about the character named 'Bernie'.... We all struggle in life at one thing or another; thats what builds our character!

  7. I think I would like Bernie the most.

  8. I want to read this book because there are many books with god and goddesses, but I have never heard of a plot line like this! I'm am so curious and excited to see what happens in this book!

  9. I think I would like Suzie the best.

  10. I want to read this book because I am always looking for great young adult books for our family and this one sounds like it would be fun and draw our whole family in.

  11. I enjoy reading anything that makes you think and explore your own ideas and thoughts on what is right and wrong and why you believe that way.

  12. I would like to read about Bernie and his world because it intrigues me.

  13. I think Lenny will be my fav in the story. I think our granddaughter, who reads on an 11th grade level while she is only in the 3rd grade, will really enjoy this.

  14. I can't imagine a better universe than one built buy those who know it all. Of course we all they are lucky enough to have a better than intervene. What a great book full of fantasy and humor. I can't wait to read it.

  15. always interested in reading about gods - what if god was one of us? - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  16. I am not for bullying but I think I would like Billy the best. I think his character would add another dimension to the story and make it a good versus evil one. These are always so interesting and keep you guessing.
    Laurie Emerson
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com


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