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New Trixie and Jinx eBook App Now Available May 22, 2012: New Trixie and Jinx eBook App Now Available

Auryn, Inc., the most award-winning digital publisher of interactive children’s stories for the iPad and other tablet devices, today announces the availability of Trixie and Jinx, the second ebook app by blockbuster author Dean Koontz.

With the release of the award-winning I, Trixie Who Is Dog app late last year, Auryn and Koontz brought the author’s beloved golden retriever Trixie to life on the iPad. Together, they have now released the second Trixie ebook adventure, just in time for children and families to enjoy it on summer vacations. Again, Koontz will be donating his proceeds from the app to Canine Companions, a charity he has long supported that trains service assistance dogs for adults, children and veterans with disabilities.

Giving readers another fun, lighthearted glimpse into the imagination of Trixie with quirky narration and irrepressible spirit, this app will delight readers young and old. It details the story of Trixie who longs for her buddy Jinx the dachshund when he goes on vacation. Lonely Trixie tries to find new friends, but discovers that spiders have no sense of humor and mice just can’t appreciate a good tail-chase; no one can compare to Jinx.

“Auryn’s adaptations of these two books are wonderful. Reading them, playing with them, I am a child again,” says New York Times’ best-selling author Dean Koontz.

Trixie and Jinx is now available on the iTunes app store for $3.99 at http://bit.ly/trjinx

Key features of the storybook app include:

  • Personalization of picture, voice and text:

- Children can double up as illustrators of this book app by coloring Trixie herself, the background layouts, and other elements in every page using bright vibrant colors.

- Children can become their own narrator or listen to their parents narrate the book.

- Interactivity allows kids to personalize the sentence, create new action words and sharpen their vocabulary skills.

  • Image and word association vocabulary builder – when an image is touched the associated word is spoken and the written word displayed.
  • Karaoke effect – when a word is spoken during narration then the word is highlighted.
  • Touch a word to hear it being spoken.

Trixie and Jinx is offered three ways for kids and families to enjoy:

  • “Read to me” – Listen to the narrated story while the text is displayed Karaoke style. After the narration finishes on a page the child can interact with objects until they are ready to move to the next page.
  • “Read myself” – There is no narration but the child can touch a word to hear it being spoken aloud.
  • “Auto Play” – same as “Read to Me” except the page advances automatically once the narration is finished. Useful for those long car rides when you want the child to have a complete book experience.

Click here for more information.

Dean Speaks About the Odd Thomas Movie May 8, 2012: Dean Speaks About the Odd Thomas Movie

Gerda and I and two friends just saw the completed Odd Thomas film. It is so wonderful that I am whacked flat by happiness. It makes no missteps, races forward with unrelenting momentum, is gripping, and has great heart, and even has an excellent score! It is a totally fresh wind in the genres upon which it touches, and we felt that we were seeing one of those rare productions with the potential to dramatically alter how other filmmakers approach such movies in the future.

Stephen Sommers, the director, said from day one that Anton Yelchin was his only choice to play Odd and that if Anton didn’t want to do it, the film would never be quite what it could have been. I’ll admit to being skeptical. But once you see Anton in this, you know you have seen the best of all possible Odds. He is soooo good! This young man is a remarkable talent, and he brings great heart to the role. He handles the action scenes with tremendous energy and conviction, but he really, really shines when it comes to selling the love story, the emotion, as well as Odd’s humility and sweet nature.

The four of us were also in agreement that Addison Timlin is Stormy Llewellyn. She is no less powerful than Anton, giving a nuanced and utterly charming performance. Every guy in the audience will be in love with her, and I expect every woman will want her as best friend forever. She and Anton have such chemistry that this film is a thriller that is also a beautiful love story; that love story, combined with the action and scares, makes this a date movie for the ages. The audience–men, women, young, old—were laughing when they should have been, jumping when they should have been, and in tears when they should have been.

Steve has taken chances in the way he has crossed genres, in the density of story detail highly unusual in movies of this nature, and in the visual sophistication with which this has been edited. The movie comes at you with all kinds of transitions that you have not seen before, and if you’re interested in directorial technique, it’s worth studying.

Faithful to the book? Yes, in every way that matters. Odd is Odd. Stormy is Stormy. The themes are rigorously adhered to. Is much missing? Yes. Ozzie has one scene, and he has become a sculptor instead of a mystery writer. Odd’s backstory–mom and dad–has been condensed to one scene because test audiences found the backstory too dark. Odd has been given a new power: He sometimes touches someone/something and has startling visions of how some real event went down earlier, as a means of conveying facts without talking-head scenes, but it really, really works.

Based on past experiences, I wasn’t sure anyone could ever adapt a Koontz book as a feature film and capture the flavor and essentials of it. Steve Sommers has done it with great panache. It should hit theaters sometime this winter. There’s probably a law against being as happy as I am right now.

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