Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

Hey Everyone - I have a BIG surprise for you!! Donna Huber - the mastermind GURU behind my book launch virtual tours and owner of GWR Publicity is putting out a book with all of her SECRETS for a successful blog tour!

Donna is an awesome publicist, but today we get to switch roles, and I get to do her cover reveal!... Isn't it great?

Here's the scoop on her new book:

From the publicist who introduced the world to Fifty Shades of Grey, Donna Huber is now revealing her secrets to successful blog tours. She shares tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles.

Secrets revealed in this quick read include,

Planning stage decisions
Different types of tours
Recruiting bloggers and keeping requests organized
Best practice communication tips
Tricks to making a great guest appearance
How to organize a fun (and legal) giveaway
Actions to take during the tour
Next steps once the tour is complete
Virtual tour and other promotional opportunities
When to hire a professional

In this easy to follow manual, Donna does not stop there. She spills even more of her blog tour secrets to help authors get the most out of their events by providing,

Tour checklist
Tour invite tips
Step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics
10 broad guest post topics
25 sample interview questions

“I highly recommend this book for authors about to release their first – or their fiftieth! – book”
~Alison Deluca, author of the Crown Phoenix series

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads where, in addition to book reviews and author appearances, she writes the popular blogging advice series, Tips on Thursday. She has worked as a freelance publicist since 2010 assisting publishers and authors with their marketing and publicity needs. Most notably, she was the publicist for The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House edition of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James.

When she is not doling out blogging advice or promoting the next bestseller, she can be found spending time with family (particularly the four legged, furry members), rewatching Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, or trying to make a dent in her never ending to-be-read pile.

Social Media Links:
Twitter -
Facebook -
Blog -

Look for Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour coming this June!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Giveaway & Twitter Party with Author J.B. Lynn

Summer has officially started and it's time to get reading!

Win a $25 Amazon or iTune Gift Card 

You could get this summer's funniest read:

How do you say “no” to a mob boss?

When bumbling hitwoman Maggie Lee is asked by her mob boss employer to kill a cop, she wants to say no.

When her sexy murder mentor, Patrick Mulligan tells her the cop in question is a guy she once dated, she REALLY wants to refuse.

But when her former date, Paul Kowalski tries to kill her, she changes her tune to “Hell, yes!”

Maggie and Patrick grow closer as they scramble to figure out what it is that Kowalski is looking for and what it has to do with her prison escapee father.

Maggie’s search is hampered by the presence of US Marshals hunting her father and her crazier-than-usual family.

Along with her snarky talking lizard, grammatically-challenged Doberman, and a pissy cat, she races to solve the mystery and protect her family. But nothing in Maggie’s life ever goes as planned….

Buy at Amazon, iBookstore, B&N

Chat LIVE with J. B. Lynn 

Thursday, May 30 at 8 pm eastern

Twitter: #Hitwoman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity event paid for by the author. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Author Spotlight: Emily Fogle

Hey Everyone! Today, in the Author Spotlight, I have someone I'm super excited to introduce you to! Her name is Emily Fogle and she writes middle grade fantasy that your kids will LOVE. Her debut novel, Dragon Wars is getting rave reviews, and she was gracious enough to come here today to tell us more:

Hi Emily! Tell us more about Dragon Wars.

It’s essentially about a young boy, Danny Warren, who loses his father and is forced to move away from the only life he’s ever known. However, the fresh start his mother tries so desperately to give him turns out smelling like dirty socks. He is the target of a horrible bully, Kevin Brady, and is forced to live in fear every time he goes to school. After a particularly hard day, Danny goes home and discovers a portal to the dragon world: Dorcian. When Danny arrives, he finds that the entire world is in ruin. Almost all of dragons have been turned into black beasts by an evil sorceress named Mordah. Only a few remain in hiding. Danny quickly becomes friends with a dragon named Ebby, the Idorah ruler. Together, he and the remaining dragons fight to defeat Mordah and restore Dorcian to its former beauty.
It is a great adventure story for kids of all ages, but it also touches on some serious issues as well, like bullying and abusive homes. It’s a story of friendship, learning how to deal with heartache, and about finding the courage to stand up for what’s right. It teaches children that they can be strong and do what is right, no matter how small they think they are or how scared they might be.

It sounds wonderful! What inspired you to write this book?

My son’s imagination also inspires me. The imagination of a child is so vast and unequaled to anything in this world. We both love dragons and spend hours imaging far off places filled with magical adventures, so I wrote this story for him. I was also inspired by my uncle, Robert Immings. He is a wonderful artist. He actually provided all of the fantastic art work for the novel. Years ago, he sent me a drawing of a woman. She was holding an amulet and standing by a cave with a dragon looking out at her. That one drawing started the wheels spinning. I took the woman in the drawing as the inspiration for the evil sorceress in Dragon Wars, and the rest seemed to fall into place.

It's amazing how inspiring kids can be isn't it? And I love that you work with your Uncle! Do you have any other projects coming up?

I actually have a few things in the works. My uncle and I are working on a children’s picture book. I am also currently editing and doing some rewrites on an epic fantasy trilogy that I wrote several years ago. It was actually the first novel I ever wrote, I just never had the courage to do anything with it. Hopefully I can get it done so that I can submit by the fall. I also have two YA novels I am trying to finish, one of which is the second book in a series I am working on. I have been trying to finish these for the last four years now! My goal is to finish them before the end of the year.

Wow, you are busy!! Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with?

I love fantasy. It would be beyond my wildest dreams to write with George R. R. Martin or Ken Follet. Both authors have such an insane grasp on the amount of details that they put in their writing, and they have a way of spinning their words into extremely larger than life scenarios. I would love to be able to accomplish a small fraction of the story telling talent they have.

I heard you're pretty talented yourself! I love you cover - do you think people judge a book by its cover?

Of course they do! At least I know I do. The cover is a reader’s first impression of a book. Most of the time a book has the time span of a mere glimpse to catch someone’s attention. So, it really needs to speak to the reader and capture their interests. My uncle did elements of my cover (the title font and the two dragon images), and then the cover artist at Anchor Group put it all together.

What is your greatest challenge as an author?

My greatest challenge has to be finishing my work. Life is super busy, first and foremost, and then I add in my extremely scattered brain to the mix and it’s a recipe for a total loss in productivity. When I get a chance to write, I can chug away for a while, but if I hit a bump I tend to get distracted and jump to another work in progress. It’s not the best system for completing novels, but it makes things interesting.

I do the opposite. I can't start a project until the one I'm working on is complete, so if I'm stuck, it holds everything up.  I actually think your way is much better. Moving on to publishing... tell us your most rewarding experience so far.

As soon as my son found out that I had gotten my book published, he was super excited. He told me he is determined to write his own book now, and that is an amazing feeling. To know that I inspired my son is wonderful. He even plays Dragon Wars with his friends at recess. Also, I had a mom write to me and tell me that her son was very touched by the story. He related to Danny, my main character, and told his mom “he was a lot like Danny’. He also told her he wished he could find a place like Dorcian. As a writer, that touched my heart immensely. To know that a child could identify with my main character and be so affected by his story, fulfils all of my hopes and accomplishes everything I set out to do when I wrote Dragon Wars.

That truly is the best part of being a writer for me too. 
Now the fun questions... Who is your favorite super-hero and why?

So many to choose from, so little typing space. But off the top of my head, I’m going to have to go with Rogue. She’s pretty flippin’ awesome. If I could take other people’s strength and use it against them, I totally would. Plus, I can’t tell you how many times people see my hair and say “Hey, you look like the girl from X-Men!” It’s the white streak!

PS - Did you know that my two cats are named Wolverine & Storm? What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I think most people are taken back a second when they know what kind of music I listen to (I have a quiet demeanor and the voice of a five year old). But I love me some hard rock! Five Finger Death Punch is one of my faves. Most people can’t picture me listening to all those angry lyrics and unsavory words.

Five Finger Who? Now I feel old... next question... Cats or Dogs?

Dogs, hands down! Cats are evil (well, most of them, anyway – my cat acted like a dog, so he gets a pass). I have a friend that might kill me for this! But her cat’s name is Sméagol, so I guess I will give him a pass too because he has a pretty cool name!

Um - Did I mention that my cats are named Wolverine and Storm?? They're cool & not evil (unless you cross them) - you would like them. Trust me!  Coffee or Tea?

I love both (chamomile and chai tea especially). But coffee is my one true love! And I’m not afraid to shout it to the world that, even though we’ve taken a ‘break’, I can’t wait until we are reunited! I’m used to drinking a pot a day, and when I’m done breastfeeding I may have to double that to make up for lost time.

Phew! You scared me there with the Dog vs Cat question, but you've redeemed yourself with the coffee answer - either way I love you Emily! Is there anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I just really hope that I’ve intrigued everyone enough to check out Dragon Wars, and that they will enjoy it. I am always up for feedback, as well. You can contact me through my website, or through my Facebook page.

Where can people find your books online?

I have signed copies available through my Author page on Facebook:!/AuthorEmilyFogle

It is also available though Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both print and ebook.

Soon, I believe it will be available on my publisher’s website:

And I can be reached through my Facebook page, or my website:

About Emily Fogle

Emily Fogle was born and raised in Southern California. Her dream and ultimate goal was to get her Masters degree in English and become a teacher with enough time to write, as well. However, she soon found out that the best dreams often come true when they aren’t planned. Instead of fulfilling her teaching goal, real life took over and she married the man of her dreams. She now has an amazing 7 year old son and a beautiful baby boy.

She dedicates the majority of her time taking care of her family, volunteering at her son’s school, and being a Cub Scout Den leader. And though she loves every minute of it, the thought of being a writer still tugs at her heart. So, after the busy days are done and everyone is finally sleeping quietly, she squeezes in time for all the other loves in her life: the characters running wild inside her head.

Now, incredibly, her writing dream is also coming true. Her first novel, Dragon Wars, is being published by Anchor Group. Emily feels sincerely blessed to have been given so much in life and can’t wait to start the next chapter.

About Dragon Wars

Life is filled with changes, but sometimes even the most tragic events bring joy in the end, which is something Danny Warren learns when he joins the Dragon Wars.
Danny sadly loses his father in a hit-and-run auto accident and is forced to move to a different town. But his fresh start is a horrible one and Danny desperately wants to find a world he can belong to. One afternoon, after a particularly hard day at school, Danny finds a mysterious box hidden inside his window seat. He soon discovers that the box is his portal to Dorcian, the dragon world. Sadly, the once amazing world is in utter turmoil, and its inhabitants are suffering. Danny finds the one thing that can bring meaning and happiness back to his heart: saving those that desperately need his help. Together, one boy and six lone dragons, will defeat evil and wage the Dragon Wars.
And, in the midst of it all, Danny will discover that even the smallest person can make a huge difference when it matters the most.




Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Blast & Twitter Party: The Crimson Key!!


This book was awesome, scary and definitely gave me the hebie gebies!

I read this in one night, unable to put it down and hanging on every word to see what happened next.
~ Dawn Gray, author of Fire Storm

Buy at Amazon!

The truth can be deadly.

Brylee Branson’s best friend and boyfriend have fallen victim to a horrible curse that haunts her home. With the witches who cast it dead she has no choice but to rely on the ghosts inside the Brown house to help her find a cure. But time is not on her side, because Lynley's illness is spreading rapidly. 

Confused and scared, seventeen-year-old Brylee must confront a new ghost in the house she has never spoken to before. This spirit is not a Brown relative and makes no promises to help them … unless she can re-unite her with a loved one.

The fate of those she loves now rests on her. Can Brylee put the pieces of this puzzle together in time to save them? Or will the Brown house claim another victim?

The Visitor’s Series continues to scare and entice its readers with this gripping second book.

Tuesday, May 21 at 8 pm eastern

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. The giveaway is sponsored by the author.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Blast & Giveaway! Erin by Monette Pangan

It's Pub Day! 

Congratulations to Monette Pangan on the release of her children's book:

It's great to be part of a large family but sometimes, when you're the smallest, it's not always fun.

Buy the book at Amazon

To celebrate, Monette is offering one lucky winner a prize pack that includes a book tote, keychain, signed paperback, a mini collage album, and $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Monette Pangan

Born and raised in the Philippines, Monette Pangan came to the United States in October, 2009. In another lifetime, she was a dance teacher, a Literature teacher, and even a stuffed toy designer. But her passion for art and writing kept calling her back and after working with a design company, she went freelance full-time as an illustrator and is inching her way towards becoming a writer as well. She completed the course on writing for children and teens with The Institute of Children's Literature. She is a member of the SCBWI, loves children, dogs, musicals, poetry, and chocolate. She is married and has two sons. Her first children's book, Erin, is releasing in May, 2013.

To Find Monette Online:




A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Author Spotlight: Patricia Lynne

Hello everyone & Happy Thursday! Today we have YA Paranormal author, Patricia Lynne! Patricia is someone I met on Facebook, heard lots about, but hadn't had a chance to get to know personally. So I was super excited to get the opportunity to interview her. Welcome Patricia!!

So... tell us what have you been working on these days?
I’m working on two stories right now. First is a Young Adult paranormal LGBT called Out of Secrets and is in the hands of one of my betas. I haven’t quite figured out how to describe the story yet.

My other story is a short story series called Path of Angels. I think I can classify it as New Adult. Not 100% sure. As you can guess there are angels and my four angel boys have to find fallen angels and stop the devil from breaking free of Hell. There are a few steamy scenes too.

You are busy! When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Pretty recently. Unlike some writer friends, I haven’t always wanted to write. I was an art geek in high school and college. One day I decided to write a story I had been using to help relax me and get to sleep at night. I kept writing after that story. It wasn’t until I decided to publish Being Human, that I really got serious, and even then, I didn’t consider myself a writer until I published the book.

I'm a recent writer myself, so I know exactly what you are talking about. Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written?
Mackenzie from Being Human is one of my favorite characters. She grew up in the story and I had a lot of fun writing the scenes when she was a little girl. Then when she was a teenager, she got even more sassy and fun. She’s a real strong girl who stands up for what she believes in and that’s so fun to write.

She sounds awesome. Do people judge a book by its cover? Who makes yours?
I know I do. Although that won’t always stop me if the story sounds interesting enough. My covers, Snapshots and Being Human, were made by Keary Taylor. Her original cover for her novel, Eden is amazing (I believe that story is being turned into a trilogy, so she changed the cover.) I saw that and knew I wanted her to do my covers. She hasn’t disappointed. My number one complement about Being Human’s cover is how sexy it is (even though it’s YA!)

You have great covers! Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It’s a toss up between being told my story made someone cry and being told I inspired someone else to write their own stories. Writers write to make a connection with people and to make people feel so when you make someone cry, it’s like a job well done. On the other hand, being told you inspired someone is amazing. Everyone wants to make a difference and being told that makes me feel like I have made a difference.

Yes - I couldn't agree more. Now the important question... PC or Mac?
I stole my hubby’s Mac when my HP broke and now I won’t give it back. What’s that tell you? ;)

Good girl! Coffee or Tea?
Tea all the way. My grandpa always drank tea and when I was little, I’d beg to have my own cup. Then I’d put about a quarter cup’s worth of sugar. Now I only put a teaspoon or two.

What is one thing that you could not live without?
Mellow Yellow or Mountain Dew. It’s my one guilty pleasure. I know it’s not good for me, but yummy! I only drink one can/bottle a day. It depends on which option is available. (That makes it not so bad, right?)

No .. not bad at all. Especially since you cut back on that quarter cup of sugar in your tea ;) Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m always really bad with this question. I never know what to say other than HI! Well, I can think of a few things, but in my head they make me sound like a huge dork (which isn’t untrue.)
Let’s see… Thanks for stopping by and reading my spotlight. Watch out for vampires lurking in the shadows. They do bite.

I'll remember that! Where can people find you and your books online?
You can find me on my website, or wasting time on Twitter and lurking on Facebook. I’m also on Goodreads. I try to keep a list of all the sites where you can buy my books. Not everyone uses a Kindle, after all. In my house, we have just about every eReader out there since my hubby is a computer nerd. Being Human’s list is here and you can find Snapshots’ list here.

About the Author
Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never gave it any thought during high school and college, but some stories are meant to be told and now she can’t stop. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Website -
Twitter -
Facebook -
Book Links:
Being Human: 

About Being Human:
For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, Tommy learns there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.

Thanks so much for joining us Patricia!



Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Blast & Giveaway: Fern by Amy Richie

Summer is coming and you need start putting together your reading list.
Young adult paranormal fantasy author Amy Richie hopes you will pick up her Blood Vine series.
She's offering a Prize Pack to one lucky reader, which includes a signed paperback copy of Fern.

Join Amy Richie for a Twitter Party
May 10 at 11 am eastern
Use the hashtag #Fern

Connect with the author: website  *  Facebook

ìItís strange how fast life changes. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a council man hands you six werewolves to take care of.î
Willow and her pack had barely settled into their new town when the council shows up again. Only this time itís to ask for their help - to save Gage. How can Willow refuse?
Suddenly, Willow is thrust into a world of childhood nightmares. The Ancient City. But it isnít at all what she thought it would be. In fact, Willow soon realizes that not many things are what she thought they would be and she has to figure out for herself which things are worth fighting for.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Author Spotlight: Kathleen Allen

Happy Thursday! Today we have author Kathleen Allen, here to talk about her newest release: How To be Almost Famous in Ten Days. I had a chance to read this book, and I've posted my interview below.  But first, Kathleen was kind enough to let me interview her:

Hello Kathleen! So tell us about this newest book.

HOW TO BE ALMOST FAMOUS IN TEN DAYS is a YA contemporary about 17yo Cassie who feels invisible because she’s a double-digit size. She devises a plan to become seen by being famous after she finds a book of rules to follow in a secondhand book store. She enlists the help of her model gorgeous BFF to pretend to be her on a music video. On her way to being famous she has humorous and sometimes serious consequences. I call it Cyrano de Bergerac meets Comedy of Errors but with a teen girl.

Yes -that is a perfect description! What inspired you to write this book?

We all have a voice and deserve to be “seen” no matter our size, our disability, the color of our skin, or whatever makes us who we are. I wrote this book to let young adults know that they can be who they are and still have a voice. Don’t give up on your dreams just because you don’t fit into the norm that society thinks you should fit into.

That is great advice, and I love that you relay that message in your writing. Are you working anything new at the moment?

I am currently editing a YA mystery from the POV of a 15yo teen boy, Evan. He accidentally takes a photo of a crime in progress and when his best friend is murdered, the cops think Evan did it. He has to clear his name and find out who the killer is before he becomes the next victim.

That sounds great! I look forward to reading it. Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with?
As long as I’m dreaming, I’ll choose JK Rowling. But I’ll collaborate with anyone who writes fantasy or YA or even middle grade. Karen? LOL.

LOL. Sure! Do you think we can get JK to join us? Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Having my YA historical fiction book, FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING in the top 100 in the UK for bestselling historical fiction for children’s ebooks for three months in December, January, and February of 2013. That sent me over the moon.

Congratulations!! Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Sure, a part of me is in all my characters. In each one of my books there is some character that has red hair and green eyes (like I do) and I almost always have a strong, independent character somewhere in the book. Some might say “high maintenance” but I say independent. *smiles*

Yes - independent - I like that! As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I started out wanting to be a ballerina and took ballet from the age of three until I was sixteen. Then I switched to singer, then an actress. I did play acoustic guitar in clubs for a while and I have acted in community theaters and was a theater and drama major as an undergraduate in college. I even lived in mid-town Manhattan for a time and tried to make it on Broadway. I also lived in Hollywood and auditioned for different TV series. Oh, I have been an extra on the movie, Ides of March and got to see both Ryan Gosling and George Clooney up close. Alas, I didn’t get into the actual movie though.

Being a writer was more of a given for me because even when I was dancing or acting, or singing I kept writing. The songs that are in my current book are actual songs I wrote and sang. *hums the tune to Doctor of Love* It’s very bluesy.

Wow - what an exciting life you lead! Coffee or Tea?
I adore coffee, especially in the morning or well, anytime. But I also love tea and have a whole cupboard full of different flavors. I also collect teapots. I’m waiting for one of my family members to buy me a TARDIS teapot. *waits*

Yes, I’m a Whovian. I’m also a Sherlockian and a Browncoat. I am a bit of a Trekkie and one of my dreams is to be invited to ComicCon in San Diego in California as a guest panelist. *dreams*

I'm a coffee girl who has a full stash or tea and loves teapots also! You never know - that dream could come true one day! Is there anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am an eclectic reader and an eclectic writer. I write in different genres but YA is my favorite.

Where can people find you and your books online?
My latest release is available anywhere eBooks are sold. Most of my books are available in both print and eBooks. Please see my Amazon page for more information or my websites and be sure to follow me on Twitter or become a fan on my Facebook page. Oh, you have to check out my Avatar on my Weebly web page. She has a British accent, red hair and green eyes. LOL.

Thank you so much Kathleen!!

More about How to be Almost Famous in Ten Days:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Cee feels invisible because she’s a double-digit size. She finds a book in a secondhand bookstore that she hopes will change her life. Her best friend’s brother wants to make vlogs about how she is following the ten rules she found in the book, why she is doing it, and how she feels about being invisible for his school project. She agrees, but only if he promises no one but his college advisor will see the vlogs. He promises, but a friend of his posts them online and they go viral. When one of the "famous rules" puts her best friend, Rachel in a dangerous situation, Cassie makes one last vlog and Chuck posts it online. But emails begin arriving from other girls who have felt invisible, and she realizes she has to own up to being "the real Cassie Cee.

My Review

Poor Cassie - she's never the one getting the attention, at least not when her gorgeous and perfect best friend Rachel is around. But when Cassie finds a book called "How to Be Famous in Ten Days" she decides it's time to be noticed … sort of. You see she follows all the steps, but has Rachel fill in as herself, so as to get even more attention. Of course, the attention goes to Rachel, not Cassie - including the attention from the cute boy who works at Starbucks.  Once Cassie realizes that her plan is not going quite as planned, everything changes for her.

This is a great book for teens, and deals with the important topics of self-esteem and confidence - I also love how the author brings in Rachel's brother and his partner's relationship. This was a quick and fun read and quite enjoyable.

My fingertips drifted across the dusty books stacked haphazardly on the shelf. I wasn’t looking for any particular book title—just wasting time while Rachel searched for a book in the romance section. I walked around the second hand books piled in haphazard stacks on the faded brown carpet in search of a science fiction. Closing my eyes as my fingers flitted over the books, I played a game I used to play when I was younger. If some book wanted me to read it, I’d know by the feeling the book gave me. Forgetting about the piles everywhere I ran into one—or two, I’m not sure—I opened my eyes just as I fell, sending the piles sprawling across the floor. Which, by the way, smelled and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in centuries.
Rachel called out, “You okay, Cassie?”
“Yes,” I mumbled, sitting up.
No clerk came to my rescue, so I began to restack the books. My elbow was a bit scraped a bit, but otherwise no damage. Sighing, I continued piling up the books until a small yellow book caught my eye.
“How to Be Famous in Ten Days,” I read aloud.
“What?” Rachel asked from the other side of the aisle.
“I found a book,” I yelled back.

About Kathleen Allen:

Kathleen has been writing since she was able to hold a pencil and scribble lines on paper. She self-published her first book of poems at the tender age of eight. Okay, she printed her poems on notebook paper in her best printing, added an orange and blue construction paper cover with the words: MY POEMS written on it in blue crayon, used a paper puncher to make three holes in the sides, threaded a red ribbon through the holes and, TA DAH! Her first book. She’s been writing ever since. She writes in different genres but YA is her favorite.

Websites: with blog
On Pinterest:
On Twitter: @kathleea
On Facebook: Witch Hunter
Author Central page:
Book Trailers on You Tube here:

Book Trailer:



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Author Spotlight: Jodi Stone

Today we have the wonderfully talented and super sweet author/illustrator Jodi Stone! I'm so excited because her illustrations are beyond adorable. She has such a unique style - her drawings are sure to brighten your day!  Jodi was kind enough to let me interview her, and it was so great having a chance to learn more about her...

Welcome Jodi! Tell us about your newest book:

My current book release is An Easter Bonnet for Lily.  It is about a young girl named Savannah.  Savannah loves holidays, and Easter just so happens to be her favorite.  Yet on this Easter day, Savannah is feeling a little sad because everyone is too busy.  Her family is wrapped up in preparing for the upcoming Easter festivities, and Savannah feels left out.  Across town, in the magical land of Tulip, Easter bunny Lily is also having a tough day.  She is feeling awful because her ears get in the way of everything she tries to do.  When Lily and Savannah's paths cross, unexpected friendships are formed and lessons learned about the beauty of life and love.  

I had a chance to read it, and I really enjoyed it.  What inspired you to write this book?
I was actually inspired during the Fall of 2012 during the Christmas holiday preparations.  I love the holidays, and am an avid party planner.  I was thinking how quickly the holidays passed, and suddenly watching my three girls decorating a gingerbread house inspired me.  All I could think was how special family time is at the holidays, and that I shouldn't feel sad when Christmas was over, as Easter would be fast approaching.  

Are you working on anything new?
I am working on several projects.  I am under contract for two more releases through Anchor Group later this year.  I have a Halloween book and a Christmas book coming out in the Fall.  The stories are complete, so now I am focusing on the illustrations.  I am also working on extending a short story into a children's book and will work on those illustrations as well.

You are busy! Have you always loved to write? When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It is hard to actually call myself a writer.  I still feel humbled when someone wants to read my work.  I suppose I started truly writing though after I married.  I was young, 22 years old and left home for the first time.  Feeling overwhelmed, I needed a channel for my thoughts.  Thus, the gift of writing appeared and I haven't looked back.  My first children's story, however was not written until after my first daughter was three years old. She was having a birthday party, and I thought it would be amazing to read a story to her and her friends that involved her as the character.  She loved it, and my love of writing for children began.  I still have that story.

I'm sure you will both treasure that story always! When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
That's a tough one.  I write whenever inspiration hits.  Sometimes I will write at night after my kids are tucked safely in bed.  Sometimes I will write a sentence or two in my journal that might or might not inspire a story.  Sometimes I will draw an illustration first, and the story will follow.

Any advice to aspiring writers?
Stick with it.  All writers were "aspiring" at some point.  I still have rejection letters.  I'm not sure why I kept them, but maybe it is a silent motivator to prove to myself that you can do anything you put your heart and mind to.  

Yes - we all need that little extra reminder now and again. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I must write everything on paper first.  Not the entire story, but I must use pen and paper.  Old fashioned, maybe but for some reason, writing first helps my process along.

Pen & paper? What's that? ;) Who are your favorite characters you have written? 
For me, this answer comes easily, because in every book I've written my three daughters are the characters.  I switch around who the main character is, but they all appear at some point.  My daughters are Brooke, Alexis and Savannah and I did not change their character names.  My girls love that they are in books!  They are in all of my books, but my two most recent publications are through Anchor Group Publishing and are entitled, 'An Easter Bonnet for Lily' and 'Savannah's Story'.

Do you use a pen name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?
I write under my given name, Jodi Stone.  I worked a long time to get to the point of actually becoming a published author and illustrator.  I want to shout my name to the world!  

Yes! Shout it out!! Is there a writer you would love to co-write a book with?
I have had fun writing short stories with a couple of authors that are also with Anchor Group, but I don't know about co-writing a book.  I suppose anything is possible.  I am a huge believer of endless possibilities.

Do people judge a book by its cover?  Who makes yours?
I think maybe, sometimes they do.  I always look at the cover before the interest to pick up a book hits.  I make my own covers, as I illustrate all of my own books, so I do focus a lot of attention to the covers.

Your covers are fabulous! What is your greatest challenge as an author? 
My greatest challenge is fear.  I am always afraid that when I write a book that it might be my last.  I would love to have a career for a lifetime as an author, but there is always that fear that the stories will stop coming.  I am blessed to call myself an author, and I pray that continues.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
That would be the letters I received from a school where I spoke.  I received letters from several of the students that were so beautiful, and some that told me I was an inspiration.  

I have to agree with you there. Hearing from readers is the best part of this writing journey. What is the best advice any one has ever given you?
My mom always gave the best advice.  When I was going to college, I felt as if though I would never graduate.  I love being a mother and wife, but I always knew I wanted something I could call my own.  One day, I was talking to my mom and she told me, "school will be there no matter what age you are.  You will get there if you continue on this path.  But if you stray from that path you will not get there.  Same with your writing.  You will become an author as you dream, but only if you keep trying and working at it."
I have never forgotten her words.  I know she would be so proud.

Indeed - great words to live by! Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Absolutely!  My children are a part of me, and I try desperately to hold onto the magic they feel in my own heart.  I think everyone should believe in magic, no matter what the age.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An interior designer.  Which is funny because I couldn't keep my room clean as a child, yet I thought I wanted to design others' rooms.  I loved to decorate though, and still do.

Well I wanted to be Marie Osmond and I can't sing lol! Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Iron man.  I love that someone with a weak heart proves himself strong and couragous.  We should all realize our weaknesses yet work on our strengths to improve.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a dollhouse builder.  This might sound funny, but I love dollhouses.  I have three at home that I've built myself, and a fourth I'm working on.  I am also addicted to party planning and chapstick.  Lol.

Wow - I need some of your energy!! Cats or dogs.
Dogs.  Most definitely.  I like other people's cats, but my two dogs are a part of the family.

Pc or Mac?

Coffee or tea?
Both.  Coffee in the morning, and tea for tea parties with my girls.

Can I come to a tea party with your girls? What is one thing you could not live without?
Just one?  Chapstick.  No, chocolate.

Do you have any hobbies?
I have several...the dollhouse building I mentioned; reading; movies; going to the theatre as much as possible; and finding any excuse for a party to hang with family and friends.

If you could have a super power what would it be?
I would have a magic wand.  Perhaps that's not a super power, but it would be a sense of power.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen.  My mama and I read her books together, and ever since the first read of Pride and Prejudice, I fell in love with that time period when she was alive.  I would love to walk in her shoes and see how and where she found her inspiration.  Yet, I would only want that for a day because they did not have running water, and for a hot bath I cannot do without.

Or the Internet! So yes, I think one day would be plenty for me as well. Anything additional you want to share:

I am a huge believer of magic.  I believe in God and family and friends and the comfort they all bring.  I am a believer in dreams.  If you follow yours, you never know where they will lead.  I believe in fairies, and pixie dust because they make me smile.  And I believe life is a gift, one we should treasure always.
I also create paper dolls and greeting cards that are illustrated by myself.  I often give them away as swag and with giveaways.  Those will be found on my facebook page (link below).

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know who I am!  There are a few links to my sites:  
I have two books as of right now through Anchor Group Publishing with more to come...

I also have several books out through Solstice Publishing:

I have a short story also  in the Anchor Group Anthology, 'Unhappily Ever After'

Thank you Jodi!! It was so nice to have to here today!

About Jodi Stone:

  I am a published author and illustrator with Anchor Group Publishing.  I also have published books through Solstice Publishing.  So far, I have published seven children's books and two more are set to be published later this year with Anchor Group.  I illustrate greeting cards and paper dolls as well, and love every minute of it.
  I recently graduated from the University of South Florida (December, 2012) with a Bachelor's Degree in English/Creative writing.  I am planning on using my degree to teach, and hope to be working on my Master's soon.  
  My family and I have established libraries in six local dialysis clinics where we have raised over three thousand books in the past four years.  The library was established in honor of my late mama, who passed away in February of 2008, and was on dialysis.  
  I love many things:  my family, my friends, and writing is a huge part of who I am.  



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