Tuesday, July 25, 2017

🏰 BOOK BLAST: 'You Got This!' by James Kademan



Title: YOU GOT THIS! A MOTIVATIONAL GUIDE FOR ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS
Author: James Kademan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 256
Genre: Self-help / Motivational




You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals. Written by renowned business coach James Kademan of Draw In Customers Business Coaching. This is a quick read that will drive you to achieve what you have been working on. Sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get you moving, this is that kick.

For a preview, check out this video:


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James Kademan hails from a distinct past that includes a number of experiences that brought him to the point of feeling it was necessary to write a few things down. Like most writers he started with chunks of paper that were strewn all over his desk, house, garage and under more than a few car seats.

After realizing a bit of organization was needed he resolved to grab those notes, combine them, type them, edit them, polish them and ask the world for some honest feedback. That led to a couple books being written. James' first real book, You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals was a small slap in the face of typical motivational books. Not through intention, just in its simplistic content.
James Kademan's upcoming soon-to-be bestseller, The BOLD Business Book will hit the shelves in couple short months.

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James Kademan is giving away three individual 1 on 1 business coaching 1 hour phone sessions and 3 YOU GOT THIS books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Dorothy Thompson
 CEO/Founder PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Interview with YA Author Amanda Clay @amandajclay



Amanda J. Clay is a writing YA and Adult fiction from Dallas, TX. A Northern California native, she had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time on some new fitness addiction and plotting world adventures.

Her latest book is the young adult novel, Rebel Song.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The very first incarnation of Rebel Song came about 22 years ago—no joke! When I was 12— after a childhood obsession with tragic love stories, fantasy tales of kings and queens, with gallant heroes sacrificing all and quite possibly suffering some unrequited love of my own—I actually wrote this short book about a princess who falls in love with a spy from another country and she betrays her kingdom for him. In the end she jumps off a cliff and kills herself so in retrospect it wasn’t a very uplifting story (I was a strange 12 year old, I admit). But I never forgot that tale and I’ve maintained this affinity for the star-crossed lovers since.

So fast forward a couple decades. I’m in Madrid, Spain, reading about the turmoil of Spain’s 20th century—from a monarchy to a dictator to back to a monarchy. And I realized that, while it’s strange to the Americans, royalty is alive and well in much of Europe. Additionally, many countries in Europe have undergone rebellions, dictators, civil war and more in the last fifty years alone. Sometimes there’s even a juicy love story thrown in there. I was fascinated by the history there and I suddenly knew I had to bring Rogan and Elyra’s story to life in a fresh new way.

When I describe the plot of Rebel Song to people, but tell them it’s contemporary, they often say, “Wait, it’s about a princess and a rebellion and star-crossed love? Sounds a little Medieval.” And it does sound like a plot of old. But it’s also a reality of today...Let me explain a bit of history about its inspiration.

And while the story is set in “modern-day,” I admit, the specific time period for the story is purposefully a little vague because I’m trying to avoid talking about real world events—it’s hard to talk about 20th century Europe and not discuss post WWII Communism, for example. I want the Rogan and Elyra’s story to just exist within itself and for the reader to not have to think about the outside world.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Rebel Song is about a fictional country in Central Europe on the brink of revolution. Elyra is the heir to a collapsing monarchy and Rogan is the rising leader in the rebel faction. They meet and fall in love, but standing on opposite sides of what’s happening, they’re doomed.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Rogan, 17, is a winemaker from the provincial valley outside the city. He’s also the son of a famous rebel leader who was executed for treason when Rogan was a boy. Now that the rebellion is stirring again, Rogan is pulled into the rebellion as a rising leader.

Elyra, 17, is a the only heir to the throne of Arelanda. She’s headstrong and intelligent, but also idealistic and naΓ―ve about how corrupt her country has become. When she meets Rogan and learns more about the state of the nation, she’s compelled to work toward change within the government—and finds herself at direct odds with those in power.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

To not be afraid! I can’t tell you how much of my career has been stunted by fear of the things I thought I couldn’t do. Growing up, telling people you wanted to be a writer netted you a lot of pitying looks and patronizing smiles—probably akin to a kid telling you they want to be an actor. “That’s nice sweetie, but what are you going to do for a JOB?” Haha. Like anything, this career takes a lot of work, but you can’t be afraid to just try—to put yourself out there. The worst thing people can say to you is no. The iPhone probably sounded insane too.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I talk to myself. A lot. That might be a byproduct of being alone all day every day, ha! Actually one thing I do that some might find odd is that I dress up for writing many days. I might still wear some comfy leggings and a tee, but I’ll do my hair and makeup. Put on some jewelry. It helps to take this job seriously. And don’t we all perform better when we look our best?!

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do! And I love it when my readers reach out to me. Mostly they want to know when the heck my next book is coming out! I also often get asked how I get my inspiration and how I managed to finally just sit down and write that first book.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The hardest thing I ever heard was right after I’d finished my first book and was showing it to agents for the first time. “The writing is just not there yet.” Ouch. And I was livid! I’d been an English major, I had a master’s in Journalism! I’d been writing as long as I could remember! I KNEW how to write. And I did. But it didn’t mean that the book was where it needed to be. I had to learn that things aren’t perfect on the first try. I never turned in an article or essay on the first draft. Shoot, I even edit my Facebook captions! So why didn’t I think that my book might need some work? It was hard to hear but once I allowed myself to accept it, it was great feedback. She wasn’t saying “you’re a terrible writer, don’t quit your day job.” She was saying, “It’s just not ready. Bake it a little longer.”

What has been the best accomplishment?

I think publishing that first book, really. It was holding a lifelong dream in my hands—very surreal. Because after that first book, you know you can do it. Doesn’t mean it won’t be tough and that you won’t have some ups and downs, but you can do it!

Do you Google yourself?

I used to in the beginning because I couldn’t believe I was actually coming up in searches, ha! I don’t so much anymore now.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Haha…next question. ;) I have a couple of finished books that will be published but are still being editing. I also have a handful of books I’ve started and been pulled away from for one reason or another. I admittedly am a bit of a racoon when it comes to writing. I get a shiny new idea and I’m so inspired I need to write it immediately! But like all ideas, the shine wears off and you’re still faced with the daunting task of writing a well-crafted story, which takes time and focus. So, those half-finished projects may never amount to anything, or I might have some inspiration and go back and finish them. I always make a rule to save every word I write, just in case it finds new life down the road.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you! We authors couldn’t do what we do without our fans and we’re so grateful. The best thing a reader can do to help out their favorite author is to be an advocate for their work—write reviews (even very short blips are helpful!), tell people about books they’ve enjoyed and keep reading!


About the Book:

Caught on opposite sides of a budding civil war, a rebel leader and a modern day princess fight to
save their country from a corrupt Minister General in a fictional Central Europe.

The once prosperous European nation of Arelanda has been plagued with poverty and corruption since the failed rebellion tore it apart. Now, rebels stir again in the capital’s underbelly, vowing to depose the monarchy and overturn the unjust government.

Seventeen-year-old Rogan Elwood, son of a rebel leader executed for treason after the first rebellion, has borne a tainted legacy his entire life. As he is pulled deeper into conflict, Rogan must face his calling in the future of the rebel cause—waging his want for peace against his desire for vengeance. Everything changes when he falls for Elyra—modern, idealistic and determined to bring Arelanda a better future. She also just happens to be next in line to the throne—if the corrupt Minister General doesn’t beat her to it.

Caught in the midst of a budding civil war and surrounded by enemies on every side, Elyra and Rogan must fight to save themselves and their country.


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Monday, July 10, 2017

🏰 BOOK BLAST: 'The Raid on Troy' by Murray Lee Eiland, Jr.


Title: THE RAID ON TROY
Author: Murray Lee Eiland Jr.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 300
Genre: Light Fantasy / Historical Fiction / YA



The Greek raid on Troy is chronicled in the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems are pillars of ancient literature and continue to be carefully studied. Homer, who lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, is credited as the author. The actual conflict has been dated from 1260-1180 BC or even earlier. The question is, how close is Homer’s account to real history?

In the Orfeo Saga volume seven there are some familiar characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled gold of Troy. His brother Menas is king of Sparta. They assemble a coalition to sack the city. Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae and goes to Troy. Odysees might not be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his first real adventure. Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the assembled military might of Greece as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax, who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon - now an old man - defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?

The Raid on Troy might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.

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Memnon knew the ship was hitting the beach. He heard the scraping of the hull against sand and
pebbles, and the angle of the deck changed as the prow rose higher. He had not seen the ship’s deck for days, nor had he been permitted to walk around on land for perhaps two years. Slaves on Theran ships were treated with about the same respect as sheep, only slaves could not even be eaten because of some Theran religious prohibition. Galley slaves were useful,but were neither expensive nor in short supply.

At age fourteen, Memnon had seen little else of the world, as he had been seized in a slaver raid as he and his brothers played on an unknown beach now well beyond remembering. He knew he was less than five years old at the time, and now he believed he was nearly fifteen, although no one had been interested in explaining the concept of birthdays to him. Memnon had learned virtually all of what he knew from other slaves in the orchards of Thera, where he had begun his working career by carrying buckets of water to the men who tended the trees and picked the fruit. He had been separated from the two older brothers seized at the same time, but recognized one of them as he was taken to his place at an oar on one of the warships the Therans used to exact tribute from various cities; Memnon had occasionally spoken with him when their different groups of oarsmen were allowed on deck
Memnon recognized that his brother burned with rage. Over time, Memnon found himself coming to understand its origin and nature. Although he could not recall much about his life before his abduction, he remembered a world with occasional comforts, and even times of celebration.





Dr Eiland is a psychiatrist by training, and has written about Near Eastern art and culture. His novels are set in the heroic past and feature fictional characters in a realistic matrix. He has a special interest in exploring how and why people lead. The books contain themes that are suitable for young adults who have an interest in history.

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 CEO/Founder PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
Winner of P&E Readers Poll 2016 for Best Publicity Firm

Monday, July 3, 2017

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Boardwalk Summer' Kimberly Fisk





A past recipient of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award, Kimberly Fisk is the bestselling author of Lake Magic. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, and too many four-legged critters to count.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Boardwalk Summer.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:




In the town of Tranquility Bay, summer is the season of second chances...

Single mother Hope Thompson has built a happy life for herself and her twins in beautiful Tranquility Bay, Washington. She doesn’t dwell on her painful past—especially not on the man who broke her heart all those years ago. But when Hope’s beloved son needs help, she takes a desperate chance and reaches out to her children’s father.

Nick Fortune lives life in the spotlight as a champion race car driver. He’s shocked to hear from Hope and even more surprised to learn that he’s a father. He immediately heads to the Pacific Northwest to confront the past—and the woman he once loved.

There, on the quiet lakeshore, Nick and Hope must work together to save their son—even if it means facing their complicated past—for a second chance as a family.

PRAISE FOR BOARDWALK SUMMER

"It was late. I only meant to take a peek but ended up reading BOARDWALK SUMMER in one delicious gulp, and I'm still thinking about the characters. A terrific read. Page turning and deeply emotional. You'll fall in love with these characters who have so much at stake. Highly recommended."
Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?


Hi!!  Thank you for having me here today.  It’s always wonderful to connect with other readers and writers.  What a great question.  Like you, I also enjoy learning how authors hit upon that single idea that sparks a book.
I am not a fast writer by any stretch of the imagination so for me an idea needs to be incredibly strong as it will be the driving force that gets me to the computer for the next year.  Quite simply, BOARDWALK SUMMER started with a single question:  “What would a mother do for her child?” 

My answer was instantaneous:  ANYTHING.  Even contact the one person she swore she never would.  With that premise, my story was born.     



Can you tell us what your book is about?


I’d love to!  Boardwalk Summer is my favorite type of romance:  it’s the story of true love and second chances.  Of young love ripped apart by circumstances and then forced back together years later by a crisis.  It’s a story of how our past might shape our future but it doesn’t have to permanently define it.  I love reading about second chances because I believe we are all worthy of another chance.  And, yes, as a contemporary romance, Boardwalk Summer is absolutely about romantic love, but I think it’s about more, too.  It’s also about a parent’s love and devotion for their child.     



Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?


Ahhhhh.  Hope and Nick.  Two of my favorite people.  These characters have lived with me for such a long, long time but that’s probably a discussion left for another day.

Hope Thompson is a woman I’d love to have as a best friend.  She’s smart, funny, fiercely loyal and tries to find the positive in any situation.  And like so many of us—a mother who will do anything for her children.  Even reach out to the one person she swore she never would—the man who broke her heart years ago. 

As for our hero, Nick Fortune, well, he’s just plain yummy.  (Is that okay to say?!)  He’s handsome, sexy, smart but he’s also let his past drive his future.  Even if that meant walking away from Hope.  But because of one phone call, his whole world changes and he has to struggle to figure out if what he thought was important really was or if for the past sixteen years he’s been placing value on all the wrong things.   



If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


BELIEVE.  A deceptively simple word that holds so much power.  It’s also a concept I struggle with daily. 

There are already so many obstacles blocking us from achieving our dreams that we need to be our biggest champions; if we don’t believe in ourselves, who will? 

Belief will drive us to sit down in front of our computer and write a story.  Belief will propel us to seek out help and guidance.  Invest in ourselves and our dreams.  And when the hard and uncertain times comes—as they surely will—believing may be the only thing that keeps us from giving up.      



What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?


I’m sure my family has a long list they’d love to share.  😊  But without a doubt one of them would have to be how I need silence to write.  I know a lot of writers who develop playlists to listen to while working or they write in busy coffee shops or even in their living room with the husband and kids nearby watching TV and chatting away.  How I wish that was me!  Unfortunately, the only voices I can hear while working are those of my characters in my head.  And boy the discussions we have!!   



Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


One of the greatest gifts writing has given me is the connection with other readers.  Women just like me who are crazy busy with jobs, families, LIFE 😊.  And, who also like me, love to escape into a great book.  To realize that sometimes that book is mine…well, it’s incredibly humbling.  Social Media has provided such a great, easy way for us to connect.  I hope if you’re on FB, you’ll drop by and say hello!!       



What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


I think I’m in the minority here but I’m one of those writers that loves feedback.  I firmly believe in rewrites, edits and revisions.  I believe that looking at my work with a fresh eye can only make it stronger.  Now, having said that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to hear what others have to say.  I mean, how can it?  You pour your heart and soul into creating characters and a story that you hope will resonate with your readers and stay with them long after they turn the last page.  Hearing that those characters or that plot isn’t working for some…tough.  But in my day job as an assistant to an amazingly talented author, I’ve learned that your work can also be better, stronger, more engaging, if you embrace the revision process.  So when I sit down to write a first draft—I create that straight from my heart.  When revising/editing—I tuck my heart away (as much as possible) and work from an analytical point of view (as much as possible).


   
What has been the best accomplishment?


Without a doubt, the best accomplishment in life is my family.  Only because of them am I who I am.  They truly do make me whole.  But my best accomplishment in writing??  That’s a tough one!  Winning the Golden Heart (RWA’s highest award given to an unpublishes author) has to be near the top.  Because of that win, my career was launched.  But before that—before the win and signing with my dream agency and receiving THE CALL—I think joining my first critique group would have to be my best accomplishment.
It goes back to one of your earlier questions and my answer of “believe.”  If I hadn’t believed (at least enough) I would never have found the courage to seek out and join that group of amazing women/writers.  (Hi Tracy, Pipper and Suzanne!!)  And because of that step, I found the dedication, strength and courage to continue writing.    



Do you Google yourself?


Oh, wow!  I never thought of doing that.  Now I’m both intrigued (and a little terrified!!) at the prospect. 



How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


There are two ways I can answer this—none and six.  I know, kinda confusing right??  But none because the first book I wrote is the one featured here today—though it had a different title back then.  (Finding Hope in case you were interested. 😊).  And six because I wrote and rewrote that first book so many times (yes, too many) before putting it away and starting on my second book—Lake Magic.  Which also had a different title.  As you’ve probably guessed by now, I can’t title a book to save my life.  



Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?


THANK YOU!!  I am incredibly grateful to each one of you who has—or will—take a chance on one of my stories.  And to show my deep appreciation, I’d love to send you some fun stuff.  Just visit my website (www.KimberlyFisk.net) and drop me note. 

It’s been great spending time here at Book Bloggin’ Princess and if you take away one thing from our chat today, I hope it’s this:  I hope you believe strongly enough to follow your own dreams and passions whatever they may be!!

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 30, 2017

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Scribble & Author' Miri Leshem-Pelly







Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.
Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:





Scribble & Author is written as a dialogue between the main character, Scribble, and the author who created her. 
Scribble's journey starts on a peaceful shore called THE BEGINNING, continues to the rough, adventurous MIDDLE, and leads finally to the gate of THE ENDING, but it’s not at all what Scribble expected… Scribble is a scribble and Author is an author, but who really gets to tell the tale?
A picture book about finding your own voice, making your own decisions, and writing your own story.
Watch the book trailer at Vimeo.

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As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?


The idea for the book Scribble & Author came when I was thinking about the interesting conflict between authors and their characters. On one hand, we love our characters with all our hearts. On the other hand - we make them suffer… We make our characters face problems and challenges, then make the situation even worse for the poor protagonists. We, authors, have to do it, because that’s what makes the story interesting. So I imagined a situation where an author and his character meet and interact. How would the character react when the author puts him/her into trouble? How would the author react when his character doesn’t want to follow the story line? This thought led me to begin writing the story of Scribble & Author.


Can you tell us what your book is about?


Scribble & Author is the story of a character who is a little scribble on the page. The author is also a character in this story. He creates the land of story for Scribble to explore and talks with Scribble as he is creating the story. Scribble walks on the path of story and enters the gates of Beginning, Middle and End. Scribble wants, more than anything, to find a friend. On her journey, Scribble walks through some challenging places such as The River of Questions and the Mountain of Challenge, but she must finds creative solutions to overcome the obstacles if she wants to find her promised friend. Would she find him?


Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?


Scribble, the main character, is just that - a scribble. The book starts with a description of how Scribble is created:
“A color spot,
some pencil lines,
and here you are…
Scribble!”

Scribble is a child-like character, curious to discover the world. She is very creative and imaginative, and her solutions for problems and obstacles on her way are very surprising. Her biggest wish is to find a friend, and for that she is willing to go through challenges and overcome fears. She doesn’t always follow the rules of the story, and that’s one of the most interesting parts of this book - who really gets to tell the tale, the author or the character?

The second character in the book is Author, which is the author-illustrator who creates the story of Scribble. We do not see him in the illustrations, only “hear” his voice as he is talking with his character, Scribble. He is encouraging and supportive of Scribble, and doesn’t solve the problems for her. In the illustrations we see his tools: the pencil, the brush, the eraser etc. Scribble uses these tools, sometimes in an unexpected way.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


I would tell my younger writing self to learn the craft of writing a story. When I started writing, I didn’t learn how to write. Now, after attending several writing courses and conferences, I know how much it helps to know the structure and elements of stories. I wish I did this learning when I started writing.


What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?


I’m not sure if that counts for a writing quirk, but I do a lot of day dreaming and careful observations of the littlest details around me, and I think that these things effect my writing a lot, even though they happen outside of the house. I think that a big part of the writing happens not in front of the computer, but inside my head, while I’m doing other things.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


I do a lot of school visits (around 200 per year) so I get to meet my young readers all the time. For me, this is the best part of being an author. Sometimes kids come to me, all excited, and say things like: “I read your book and now I want to become an author when I grow up.” I think it’s is such an honor to inspire children.


What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


One of the toughest things for me as an author is getting rejected by agents or publishers. I’ve experienced that a lot. It is very hard, after you put your heart and soul into writing a story, and it is scary to send it out to other people. Then, when you get a rejection, it hurts. But with time, I learned to deal with it, and realized this is an inevitable part of the process of getting published. You get to hear many NO’s until you finally get that one YES.


What has been the best accomplishment?


I’m glad to say that it is hard for me to chose one. I won several illustration awards, I got accepted to a great literary agency, I now got my new book, Scribble & Author, published by an American publishing house, even though I live in Israel. And yet, nothing compares to this moment, as I described before, when I’m talking to a child who’s read my book and I feel how my book touched that child. Those moments feel to me like my biggest accomplishment.


Do you Google yourself?


Sometimes I do… I sometimes google my name or titles of my books, and discover interesting surprises such as reviews I didn’t know about, or Youtube videos of people reading or recommending my books. These are fun discoveries!


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


I write a lot of stories, and I’m part of a critique group, who’s very helpful by the way. Participating in a critique group gives you deadlines, when it’s your time to submit to the group, so I’m motivated to write all the time. Most of the stories I write don’t end up as a story I’m even submitting, because not all of them are good enough. Some of the stories I submitted got rejected to the point that I gave up on them, and only a few have been published. I never counted all of them, but I guess there are a few dozens of stories which are not published and would probably never be. But that’s part of the process to get to the few good ones.


Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?


My readers are children, as well as parents and educators. So if you are a parent or teacher I want to say to you: Don’t give up on books. Today children have many other attractions, but there is nothing like a good book to open up their minds and hearts. At the young age, parents can sit with their children and enjoy the best quality time of reading a story together. This activity would stay with your child forever, so don’t give up on books.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'I Can Find You' Joss Landry



Joss Landry has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies to launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.
Blessed with four children and six grandchildren, she resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.

Her latest book is the urban fantasy/paranormal, I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2).

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About the Book:

Title: I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2)
Author: Joss Landry
Publisher: Book Beatles Publishing LTD.
Pages: 372
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal


    Emma just turned fifteen. Her powers have spiraled to include unusual magic, and she gladly relies on Hank and Christina’s friendship to mark the way. Thomas Carson’s feelings for Emma have changed, her aunt Franka tells her—a young man her aunt describes as a young buck whose testosterone plays a big role in his life. 
    New friends around Emma surprise her. They appear to be like nothing she could have imagined, and their goals stir more disturbance than their presence until she bumps into the scourge of her existence: entities who wish to control what humans do and say. She learns they are powerful, vindictive and will stop at nothing to obtain what they want. Will Emma be able to protect the people she loves?

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As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Yes. I was following another author’s weekend training of: “Writing a Novel in a Weekend.” The training came in a box during the week, and that weekend, I was alone with the course and followed it to the letter. It demanded that I give it 48 hours without any other distraction, which I did. Well, I mapped out my heroine, her parents and family, and my villain while listening intently to the author’s guidelines. When time was up, I already had four chapters written of I Can See You, the first novel in the Emma Willis Series.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

The book I Can Find You is the second book in the Emma Willis Series. The book is an urban fantasy with some paranormal sneaking in now and then as well as, I hope, some inspirational tendencies. I like to convey messages through the fiction I write. So my stories are all grounded in reality while giving rise to phenomenal occurrences that give hope and a means to accept and be grateful for all the strange possibilities this world offers.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Emma Willis is 15 years old in I Can Find You, and her powers have grown to include some wonderful possibilities. OBE is one of them, and conjuring is another. She can also read people’s mind, and she can transport herself physically from one place to another. Most of her life she has had to hide these tendencies, and only a few friends and her immediate family are aware of some of the things she can do. Emma’s friends are Amelia, who goes to school with her, Tommy who is the one friend her age who knows about her powers, and her fifth-grade school teacher, Christina Tyler and the chief of police, Hank Apple who has relied on her over the years. In this second book, Emma comes into her own and discovers new friends, some of them not even human.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

I believe I would tell myself not to wait until the children are older, but to start writing immediately. We often put it off until later, and I now understand that the delay can be detriment to a writing career. I have four children all very close in ages, so this kept me busy over the years. Still, writing back then would have been soothing and helpful.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

Well, aside from defining my characters and the location, I would say one of my quirks is when I hold the vague idea of a story in my mind, I begin to write and the plots and subplots, the twists and turns, wind their way into the story. In other words, when someone reads the first ten chapters and wants to know what is going to happen next, I can’t tell them. The characters are living out their life, and I report on what it is they are doing.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

Yes, well I hear from my readers with the reviews I receive. I also hear from others who liked or loved the book, but who don’t always have the time to write a review. Generally, I would say that the comments are good to excellent.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I haven’t been around long enough to write about the toughest criticism yet. I guess I will have lots of those as I mosey along, but for now, I can’t pinpoint any. I’m not someone who focuses on criticism. I’m mostly positive in my work, and in my stories. And so, if someone doesn’t find the book interesting, I will move on.

What has been the best accomplishment?

I have obtained excellent Kirkus reviews for the two books I submitted, and I Can See You also won the New Apple Book Award for best fantasy, a medal of honor, and also for the Best Overall Fiction for 2015.

Do you Google yourself?

I’m not quite sure what this question means? Do I look up my name on Google? That might be fun to do. Thanks for putting the idea out.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I would say I have five completed, unpublished novels. I will have them edited and published them some day. But for now, I have six published books or soon to be published. Four are published. I Can Find You will make five and What About Barnum? will make six.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Sure. “Party on dudes,” from the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I loved that film. It sported a little fantasy, a little supernatural tendency and conveyed a bright, positive message for future generations. Keanu Reaves starred in it—the same actor who starred in The Matrix. Coincidental? I think not.
Mostly, I wish all my readers an enjoyable ride and an enlightened journey. May you find clarity within the pages of your choice of books, as I believe most fiction novels will awaken us along the way and lead us home.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Call to War' Andi O'Connor



Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. She’s written multiple books, including the critically acclaimed Silevethiel, which is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013. Andi's short story collection, Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

You can frequently find Andi as a ​guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. Andi also writes for Niume where she provides writing tips, advice, and insight on her career as an author. You can connect with Andi on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.

About the Book:

Darrak's adventure concludes with this thrilling finale of The Dragonath Chronicles!  

Following the betrayal of two of his trusted companions and a devastating battle in Mystandia, Darrak's talents are desperately needed by the citizens of both Earth and Dragonath. Torn with the
decision of where his loyalty should remain, he finally decides to confide in Andillrian. Together, they craft a plan they hope will save Darrak's home planet, but their optimism is short-lived.

The Hellborn's army has begun the march to war.

With less than two weeks of preparation remaining, their weaknesses become unavoidably apparent. Planning for defeat suddenly becomes as important as planning for victory. Darrak's insecurities continue until the moment the first arrows begin to fly. He can only hope that help from a few unlikely sources will be enough.

For if they fail, Dragonath will fall.

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As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
           
Call To War is the 3rd book in my trilogy, so it follows the story set up in the first two books. I got the initial idea for The Lost Heir by wondering what it would be like if someone on Earth suddenly found they were the true heir to another planet and were suddenly expected to reclaim the throne.

Can you tell us what your book is about?
           
As I mentioned earlier, Call To War concludes the story set in The Lost Heir and Awakening. With the Hellborn’s army marching to war against KrΓ©marra, Darrak and his allies find themselves severely outnumbered and outmatched. With help from a few unlikely sources that will hopefully turn the tide in their favor, they plan not only for victory, but for defeat as well. With everyone unable to fight secreted away to the island home of the dragons, Darrak and his allies wait for the first arrows to fly. The battle begins, and the futures of both Earth and Dragonath hang in the balance.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?
           
I don’t want to give too many details so I don’t spoil events from the first two books! But I will say that all of my characters are extremely complex, and I’ve actually had many people tell me that they don’t know if they should love or hate some of them, Mionee in particular, which is one of the best compliments someone could give me! Most of my characters are tormented with the decisions they’ve made and those they have yet to make. For example, although Darrak is from Earth, the story takes place on Dragonath. He wants to save his people on Earth, yet he’s also part of Dragonath. He’s the rightful heir to the throne and the one everyone is depending upon to save their world. He’s torn between the two planets. Where does he belong? Where should he go? Who should he save? Is either world really his home?

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?
           
Just write. Don’t worry about making it sound perfect the first time. That’s what drafts are for. Put your insecurities aside and just write.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?
           
I handwrite everything before typing it up and absolutely must sharpen my pencils before throwing them away. There are no exceptions. If I’m traveling, I’ll save my pencil in order to sharpen it when I get home before throwing it out.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?
           
I do! Sometimes it’s just a note to say keep up the good work. Sometimes it’s to tell me how my books have touched them or what they particularly liked. They also contact me to see where I’ll be or ask questions about an event or upcoming book. Whatever it is, I absolutely love hearing from readers! Contact me more! Don’t be shy!

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
           
A reviewer for the San Francisco Times left a scathing review for Silevethiel saying he couldn’t stand my work and that it was the tritest thing he’d ever read. It was my first ever bad review and came about a week after Silevethiel was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013, so it absolutely devastated me because I thought maybe Kirkus was wrong and it really was uninteresting and poorly written. I then came to realize that it was only one person’s opinion, just as any other review. 

What has been the best accomplishment?
           
My book, Silevethiel, has won three awards, and Awakening was recommended by ForeWord Reviews as something for George R. R. Martin fans to read while they waited for his next book. I still can’t believe my books have actually received so much praise and recognition. It’s quite an amazing feeling and a wonderful accomplishment!

Do you Google yourself?

Absolutely not! I probably never will!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
           
Just one, although it’s the 3rd book to my other series, so it’ll be finished by the end of the year and published in the spring of 2018. Then, I have to plan my next book or series! I do have a few short stories that are unpublished and unfinished though. I guess I should get my butt in gear and get them done!

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?
           
Thank you for your support and encouragement! Being able to touch you with my work is so rewarding, and your kind words help get me through the days when I want to start a bonfire and burn all my notebooks. You mean the world to me, and I’m so honored you’re taking the journey with me!