Thursday, January 30, 2014

Author Spotlight: Jayne Peters

Hello all - Today I'm thrilled to welcome back Jayne Peters! Jayne has recently released her second children's book "Whispering Wings," illustrated by Mike Ferrin. Jayne was kind enough to send me a copy of this wonderful book to review:

My Thoughts:

Before I get to the story itself, I can tell you that I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful and colorful illustrations - I know that any child will be as well. But this book is so much more than beautiful illustrations. Whispering Wings has a wonderful and important message that Jayne Peters teaches so well to the intended age group. The book tells the story of a young boy, Nick, who faces challenges - yet through nature and wonder, he is reminded that the world is full of so many important virtues, and he is able to push through and face his challenges. I love how Jayne uses butterflies and the boy's family members to give different examples, ending off the story, with Nick's own challenge. A must have for your child's bookshelf - highly recommended.

I'm so pleased to have Jayne back here today and she was kind enough to let me interview her!

Welcome Jayne! What inspired you to write Whispering Wings?

The book I recently released is a picture book called Whispering Wings. It is about a young boy who, upon waking, allows five caterpillars to crawl up his arm and reside in his pocket. As he moves throughout the day, one by one, the caterpillars become butterflies who quietly whisper virtues into the ears of each family member as they need to be reminded of a particular virtue (all everyday virtues and events that any family could relate to). The quick metamorphosis of the caterpillars is meant to add that magical element to the story. The final butterfly is for the young boy who, we discover, needs the virtue of determination. The story was inspired by two events. While I was taking an art class I painted a hand releasing 5 butterflies. During that same week I attended a Virtues Project (virtuesproject.com) workshop. Those two events were the inspiration for Whispering Wings.

It's a great story! Are you working on anything new?

As a teacher, I like to write stories that I can use in my classroom. I am working on a couple of different pieces. The Chalk War is a story about a young girl who is struggling with friendships. With her father’s help she is able to come to terms with her situation. The story deals with relational aggression, which is something I discuss in my grade five Health curriculum. Another story I am working on is about a young boy who travels back in time to the Halifax Explosion. This one has been brewing for a number of years and I hope to finish writing it in 2014.


They both sound wonderful - keep us posted. Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

The best thing I did was to join a local writer’s group that meets once a month at the library. Through this group, I have met very interesting writers who are always willing to share their insights and experiences. During our meetings, we share pieces of our writing and talk about writing, publishing, marketing, and anything else we feel is relevant to our lives as authors. We also have a forum where we can post questions or comments. This group inspires me to write. My second piece of advice is to spend time reading books similar to those you want to write. Try to hone in on the author’s craft. Think about what they do well and try to mimic it in your own writing. Finally, make time to write. If it is something you truly want to do then make it a priority!


Fabulous advice! I love my writing group, and I so agree about finding time for reading and writing! Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written? Please tell us about him/her and what book they are in.

My favorite character has to be Messy Jessy because she is a caricature of my youngest daughter. She gets into a whole lot of messy situations through out the day but she is confident enough to say, “I am not Messy Jessy, I just love being me.” I love a strong female character, even if she is in preschool.


She really is a fun character. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

I am a teacher so I love visiting schools (Which I am able to do this year because I work part time). Sharing books with children and seeing them excited about reading and writing is fantastic!


Isn't that the best? As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a teacher. Apparently at a very young age I would round up the neighborhood children and convince them to play school with me. I also loved to read and write. I remember reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary well past my bedtime and with a flashlight under the covers. I recently discovered diaries from when I was 12, 13 and 17. I can’t wait to read them cover-to-cover and reconnect to who I was back then.


That is so neat! I have no idea where my diaries went off to (which is a little scary!)What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I am a pretty safe, play it by the books kind of person so I think people would be surprised to know that I always wanted to drive a motorcycle.


Wow! If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Just one? That’s tough. I guess even more than supersonic hearing, mind reading, and invisibility, I would love to be able to fly. Truthfully, I would really love to be a witch with all sorts of powers, just like Samantha on Bewitched. I loved that show.

Me too! Well, I know everyone is wondering ... Where can people find you and your books online?

You can purchase books through:

AMAZON
Puddleduck Publishing
Createspace

You can visit Jayne Peters on-line at:

https://www.facebook.com/jaynepetersauthor

http://www.jaynepeters.com/

http://www.puddleduckpublishing.com


Thanks Jayne!

About the Author

Jayne Peters is an elementary school teacher who has taught for more than twenty years. In 2012, she was presented with two Excellence in Teaching Awards. As a child, she loved sneaking up on tadpoles and walking in the rain. Today, she loves chocolate, sunny days and country music. When she isn’t teaching, reading or writing you will find her practicing yoga and spending quality time with her family. Whispering Wings is her second children’s book. Jayne lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and their three children.

About Whispering Wings

Jayne’s second book was released in December 2013. Whispering Wings is a story that gently reminds families to use their virtues. Young readers learn about patience, helpfulness, cooperation, friendliness and determination. They also learn about compassion and empathy as they make connections to other stories of determination, like Terry Fox. The illustrations by Mike Ferrin give the story a warm yet playful feeling.


Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder to practice our virtues, especially when faced with everyday challenges. With a pocketful of caterpillars, join Nick on his journey to spread the virtues to his family members, and most importantly, himself.


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www.facebook.com/karenptoz





Monday, January 6, 2014

My New Years Reso-goals

That's right, I call them reso-goals now, not resolutions. Resolutions are things like eat healthier, lose weight, get organized - things I know will only last a few weeks and end up with me feeling like a complete failure.

Instead, I like to set goals, with set end dates at different intervals throughout the year. For health, my goal this year is to be able to walk a 5K by summer. Yes, that sounds easy - but not for me. I have RA, and I have to work up to it. I know I can do it, however, it just takes time. In fact, I was almost there before I had an unfortunate medical "thing" happen in October that kept me off the treadmill for the past 9 weeks (long story). So I'm starting over - I know better to say I'm going to run a 5K or say I'll go to the gym 3x a week. A resolution like that I'd surely fail at. But my reso-goals are most definitely attainable.

I began setting reso-goals a few years back with my writing. At the time, I didn't realize they were reso-goals. I was still calling them resolutions. But now, looking back, I see why I was able to succeed at some things and not at others. It's because I needed attainable goals with an actual plan - not just an "I'm going to do this", without any direction.

Anyway, as most of you who have followed this blog know (because I tell the same story almost every year),  I had a story idea that had been floating around in my head for years (as in at least ten). I'd tried to write it many times and failed. But that particular year, on New Years Day, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to write just three chapters of my story that year. They didn't even have to be in order. I just wanted to get *something* down, and I had an entire year to do it. In May I decided to give it a try. I wrote my three chapters. They were awful - but I didn't care. I had met my goal, AND I discovered I loved to write. In fact, I couldn't stop writing (and haven't since).

Last year, I found a white board in my house that no one was using and quickly claimed it for my office. On New Years Day, I wrote down my writing reso-goals. I'm proud to say I met them all (and am on track with the one that overlaps into 2014).






This year, I did the same. My 2014 reso-goals are hanging in my office - ready to be accomplished.






So what are your reso-goals?

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Author Spotlight: MB Mulhall - COVER REVEAL: Heavyweight

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! 

It's the first official Author Spotlight of 2014, and I'm thrilled to introduce you to my friend MB Mulhall. MB has a new YA book coming out and well, you all know how much I love doing cover reveals, so when she asked if I wanted to be a part of the festivities, of course I said ABSOLUTELY! I love the concept of this book and I love the cover - I know you will too - here are the deets:


Heavyweight2

Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with the same sex on the wrestling mat.

When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class.

Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore.

As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, de-friended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.

Heavyweight_headerbanner

You can add it to your "to be read" lists on Goodreads by clicking here

Ebooks can be pre-ordered here

Print books can be pre-ordered here

Twenty signed copies will be available through Dreamspinner as well.

CONGRATS MB!

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