Thursday, July 25, 2013

Author Spotlight: Katherine Polillo

Hey everyone! Today's author spotlight is author Katherine Polillo.   - Katherine is an author I've gotten to know over the past few months as part of my publishing group. When not busy teaching high school students or remodeling her kitchen, Katherine is busy writing.  She just released her second novel called Devoted & stopped by (virtually of course) to chat with us today.

Welcome Katherine! Tell us a little about Devoted.

Devoted is the follow up release to Destine. This is book 2 in The Watcher’s Trilogy and Michelle, Cami, Alex, and Gabriel are back for more. The characters have grown and matured into young adults in this book bringing along with it more mature and adult decisions and situations. Now that they are no longer in high school the plot possibilities open up and we really get to know whom the characters are in a real way.

Sounds cool! You mention this is a trilogy. When do you expect the third book to come out?

I am currently working on the final book in the trilogy Destruction. It isn’t due out till 2014, but I can tell you that there are several new characters I can’t wait to introduce to my readers.

I'm sure they are excited to hear that. One question people always ask me that I still answer - who me? :  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still don’t consider myself a writer. I love to write, and I wish I could have the confidence to announce to everyone that I am a writer, but alas I just feel like a fraud whenever I say it. Hopefully the day will come soon, I’ll keep you posted.

Glad I'm not the only one - but I totally consider you a writer!! So between teaching and cabinet painting, when and how do you find time to write in your daily life?

This is the biggest challenge I face, between work, family, school, and daily life writing often gets pushed to the back burner. I wish I had the ability to forgo sleep and stay up and write all night but that makes for an unpleasant situation when I have to deal with humanity the next day. I often find myself having to schedule time to write, and force myself to hold to that schedule. I have forgone outings with family and friends, not because I didn’t want to participate but because I had to make time for writing.

One of these days we'll figure out a way to add more hours to the day! Any advice to aspiring writers?

Just sit down and do it. The hardest part is putting the words on paper, but remember nothing you write is final, everything can be tweaked or deleted. Maybe you wrote something and a week later you want to change things around, that’s great, at least you put the idea on paper. You’ll be amazed at how when you clear one scene from your imagination how two more just pop right in to take its place.

Great advice! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I doubt that drinking my body weight in coffee is really a quirk, but it’s the best I’ve got.

Ha! I think we have the same quirk! Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written? 

I really enjoy writing Alex my main male antagonist. Just when I think he can’t get any more evil he goes and proves me wrong. It’s fun to write someone so deranged that no conventional boundaries of society stop him. Although there is a character in Destruction that I’m really enjoying writing, but no spoilers yet you’ll have to wait till 2014 for that!

Aw come on now - just a little hint? No? Okay - let's move on then... As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I refuse to admit that I’ve grown up, but I at one time desperately wanted to be a paleontologist. I have a pretty serious obsession with dinosaurs, and Jurassic Park came out when I was 10 and just rocked my world. I still would probably run away from home if given the chance to go dig up dinosaur bones.

Very cool! Who is your favorite super-hero and why?

Iron Man because he doesn’t waste time dealing with that whole secret identity non-sense. He owns it and deals with the consequences as they come. Although I enjoy the Hulk as well, misunderstood with anger issues, he’s just begging for a woman to try to fix him.

LOL! Yes to both of those descriptions!! Cats or Dogs?

Cats because they are more self-sufficient. I love all animals but my life is too busy to run home and let the dog out, or schedule doggie day care. My cats provide companionship when they feel like it and than rarely notice my absences when I’m not. I have two, Lynx and Alice. I was told this is the limit before you start to hit crazy cat lady territory.

Thank you - I have two. I thought I was venturing into crazy cat lady, but you have validated that I am not. Katherine has spoken. Now the all important question: PC or Mac?

Mac, this is too obvious to explain. Come on everyone get with the program!

INDEED!! You have appeared to have passed all my tests. Is there anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I want to thank anyone who has not only taken the time to read this post, but also stopped and purchased Destine and/or Devoted. Without your support and feedback I wouldn’t have the confidence and drive to continue writing. I wrote Destine and waited to see if people wanted more before diving into Devoted. I had three books planned, but wasn’t going to pursue writing if no wanted to read what I wrote. Thankfully and surprisingly I got people begging for book 2 and more of The Watcher’s Trilogy. Again thank you, truly I would not be able to do this without you.

THANK YOU KATHERINE!!



ABOUT KATHERINE POLILLO


Katherine Polillo originally planned to grow-up and become an archeologist. Unfortunately the desert air dried out her skin, the dirt was impossible to get from under her fingernails, and she just couldn’t pull off a fedora like Harrison Ford. So instead she pursued a career in education. She currently teaches high school history and special education, while fabricating fictional stories in her free time. She never really outgrew her imaginary friends stage, and instead has created lives and stories for the creations of her imagination to live in. When she is present in reality and not off on an adventure with her imaginary friends, she lives in a small, New Jersey town with her husband, the man to which all fictional leading men are compared, and their two spoiled rotten, ungrateful cats.

CONNECT WITH KATHERINE ONLINE:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17906163-devoted?ac=1
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/WatchersTrilogy
Twitter-https://twitter.com/KPolillo


Now available Devoted (The Watcher's Trilogy #2) by Katherine Polillo





Can love conquer all? 
Michelle has managed to survive high school against all odds, but now she finds herself floating adrift in “the real world”. With two horsemen defeated, there are still two unaccounted for, and surely they are plotting her immediate demise. Michelle leaves her small New Jersey town behind to venture off west. Barely able to comprehend her role as humanity’s savior she now has to grapple with some new roles and identities. With her Watcher, Gabriel, by her side she must again face the evils of Hell and attempt to keep her family safe. Will love conquer all or will till death do us part come too soon? 

Buy Devoted at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords


Devoted Tour




a Rafflecopter giveaway




A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored the author who responsible for delivery of prize pack.


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Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Blast and Twitter Party: A Pirate's Tale


Pssst... You all know how much I love the Gryphon Series books, right?

No? 
Umm..
You can catch up on my blog posts: here, here, and here

 - - now - -

Who needs a little more Rowan?

Stacey Rourke presents a Gryphon series novella


The call of the sea.

The promise of adventure.

For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.

With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied against his father. 

The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn’t to stop him, but to lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led him to the Dark Army.

Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite pirate!

Buy A Pirate's Tale at Amazon 

Chat with Stacey Rourke
Friday, July 19 at 2 pm
Twitter #PiratesTale



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Bio:
Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband and two beautiful daughters that she knows are nothing short of a blessing from Heaven. She took a break from working on her young adult fantasy Gryphon Series to share her story of infertility with the world. To learn more about her or her other available titles please visit: www.staceyrourke.com



A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize. Karen Pokras Toz received no compensation for this post.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Author Spotlight: Gregory S. Slomba

It's Author Spotlight day, and today I'm so excited to introduce you to a fellow middle grade author named Gregory S. Slomba! This may sound odd, but Greg and I became friends after our characters met. (Yeah, that does sound a bit strange doesn't it.) You see, Greg wrote a book called The Deliverers and his characters, Eric and Stig interviewed my Millie on his blog as part of the Character Book Club - and that's how Greg and I became friends. Did you follow all that? No? Well go ahead and click on all the links above to catch up ... I'll wait....

Pretty cool, right? Well now Greg's second book in The Deliverers Series is coming out and I thought it would be great if he came here today to tell us about it.

Welcome Greg! So tell us a little about this new book.

The Deliverers 2: Order of the Crystal Lion will be out in a couple of weeks. It’s a follow-up to The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel. Eric, Stig the owl, Kate and Hallo the dwarf are back for another Assignment. This time they visit a futuristic world that’s in the middle of a bloody civil war. The ruling Vynistri have been holding their servants the Chazum as virtual slaves. They have developed a process to add the genes of lions and a few other animals to their DNA. This makes them more suited to jobs like spying and fighting. It’s up to Eric and the others to help bring an end to the war and help both parties resolve their differences.

Wow - that sounds like quite an adventure! Do you have plans for more books in the series?

I am about 85% through the third book in the Deliverers series, The Golden Dragon of Ang. Eric and the gang are sent on another Assignment, but they are also learning about a problem that is threatening all the worlds. By the end of the series, they will have to solve it, or the universe will cease to exist. In all, I think the series will be five books.

You have such great characters. Is there one in particular that is your favorite?

Hmmm. Stig the owl holds a special place in my heart, because the idea for the series really started with him. He had appeared in a number of short stories that I’d written over the years, but he didn’t have a name. The Deliverers was my attempt to find out more about him and why he was helping people.

While Stig was there from the start, I think the character that I have the most fun with is Hallo Tosis the dwarf. He appears in all the books as one of the Deliverers. He’s a joker, and keeps things light when they’re getting too grim. Some of the interactions with the very proper Stig make for a lot of funny moments, particularly in the second and third books.


He definitely sounds like a fun character to write. You have wonderful covers - who makes them?

I’m very blessed, because I have an old friend by the name of Ana Vogel who designs and lays out the covers and the interiors of my books. Her son, Daniel Vogel, does all the artwork and the maps. They do a fantastic job and they’re both very creative. My books would not look half as good as they do without their talent.

Yes - you are indeed lucky to have them! Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

My most rewarding experiences are my classroom visits. Sharing my experiences with children and hearing what they like to read and write about is great. So many off them are so passionate about writing. I try to encourage them as much as I can. Daniel Vogel’s story is inspiring, because it shows them what someone close to their age can accomplish if they work hard and aren’t afraid to take risks.


I agree! Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I think I see a lot of myself in Eric. While I’m not a 12 year old boy, I was once. He’s got the same personality as me. He’s kind of quiet and laid back, he doubts himself, but he winds up being a little stronger and braver than he thought. I’d like to think that sums me up, too.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An author. Oh yeah, and quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. One out of three isn’t bad, is it?

Haha! Yeah - that's not bad at all. Cats or Dogs?

Well, it used to be dogs, but 13 years ago I got married. Now, in addition to two children, I have five (yes, I know) cats. So I’d have to say cats!

I love cats myself, so I don't see anything wrong with that. PC or Mac?

PC. I’ve used both, but I’m more comfortable with PC’s. For me, word rocks. I just wish Microsoft Movie Maker was better.

Umm - you you know you can get Word for Mac right? Just sayin'. Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I just want to thank you for having me over to visit with you. I know Eric and Stig really enjoyed their chat with Millie a couple of months ago, and I hope Nate is doing well.

Thank you Greg! Yes, Nate and Millie both say hello also!


About Gregory Slomba

Gregory S. Slomba grew up in Connecticut reading The Phantom Tollbooth, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings and dreaming of being a children's author.

He studied English at the University of Dayton, and then worked as a banker for 20 years, taking care of other people's money. Somewhere in there he also took four years out and worked as an editor for a flooring trade magazine. He got to go to some neat places (Las Vegas, Arizona, Spain) to write about carpet, hardwood and ceramic tiles. Now he designs and writes training courses for bankers.

He likes to read fantasy, historical fiction, history, middle grade and young adult literature, biographies, sports history, and anything else that seems interesting. The Lord of the Rings is his favorite book, followed closely by The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Redwall, and Harry Potter.

Greg lives in Connecticut with his wife, Stephanie and his children, Christian and Abigail.

About The Deliverers 2

Who will fight—for the Order, for freedom?

For centuries, the Vynistri have been splicing lion DNA to the genes of their servants, the Chazum, using a device called the Machine. Now an army of Chazum and sympathetic Vynistri are waging a bloody civil war to overthrow the Vynistri’s evil ruler, Chancellor Trelango. In their latest Assignment, the Deliverers—Eric Scott, Stig the owl, Kate Endria and Hallo Tosis the dwarf—are charged with putting an end to the fighting and restoring balance to the world. Aided by a secret society called the Order of the Crystal Lion, Eric and the rest of the Deliverers must overcome tragedy and loss to fight for freedom and equality. Spurring them on is the Order’s belief that the long awaited Crystal Lion has arrived to deliver the world. Is it true, or will Trelango destroy them all?




The Deliverers: Sharkey and the Jewel is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and digital audio. The Deliverers 2: Order of the Crystal Lion will be available at the end of this month on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Connect with Greg online: www.thedeliverersseries.com. Greg posts three times a week and features interviews with classic children’s book and fairy tale characters, reviews from the Reading Crew, and a rundown of his Writer’s Week.

You can also follow Greg on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thedeliverers and on Twitter at #GregDeliverers.

If anyone would like autographed copies of books 1 & 2, you can email Greg at gregslomba@hotmail.com.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Author Spotlight: Linda Griffin

Today is a very special Author Spotlight. I know I say that a lot, but I can honestly say that I have known this author my entire life, as she is also a family member - my cousin Linda Griffin. It's true - I come from a family of writers! Linda's newest book, Adopting Ginger, is based on her own family's experience of adopting their family pet.It also happens to be illustrated by another family member, my cousin Iliana Weinbaum (I'm telling you - we are a creative crew!) Linda is here to tell us more about this wonderful story:


Ginger was adopted at the SPCA of Westchester by my daughter and son-in-law. I wrote Adopting Ginger because it was a heartwarming story that had to be told. I want people to know how important it is to give shelter dogs time to adjust. Families will be rewarded for their kindness and patience by having a loyal and loving pet. Shelter dogs make the best pets … their unique DNA creates a one-of-a-kind canine treasure!

Bringing a dog into your home is a big commitment, and that’s why I included questions for families and school groups to use as a springboard for a discussion. Adopting Ginger raises awareness about how animals should be treated and the joy that comes from loving a pet.

The delightful illustrations were done by my talented fourteen-year-old niece Iliana Weinbaum. Children relate to the sweetness and simplicity of Iliana’s watercolor drawings.

I’m a retired early childhood teacher and parent advisor. After obtaining my master’s degree in counseling, I advised parents privately, conducted parenting workshops and was a featured writer for Suburban Parenting News. Adopting Ginger combines my love of children and animals in a story that dog lovers of all ages will enjoy.

Adopting Ginger is a page-turner and educational as well.




ABOUT ADOPTING GINGER

Based on a true story about a shelter dog and the loving family who adopted her

Will ten-year-old Emma and her family be able to keep a dog that is afraid of almost everything? Ginger is fearful. She hides in bushes and refuses to eat. What will Ginger’s new family do? We follow Emma and her family from the morning they go to pick out a dog at their local SPCA to the challenges they face when they bring Ginger home. This is a children’s story about Ginger’s journey from a shelter to a loving family. Adopting Ginger is a story about compassion, cooperation and responsibility.

ISBN 147939355X

Adopting Ginger can be ordered on Amazon.com. For additional information go to Griffinbooks.net. My first book, My Child Won’t Listen and other early childhood problems, is an insightful, practical, no-nonsense parenting book filled with real-life examples of child behavior, and is packed with guidance and humor. It’s published by Authorhouse and is available as an eBook and soft cover. (Barnes&Noble.com or Amazon.com)


Thank You Linda!!


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