February 17, 2014

Writer's Rebel Creed - February Check-In

Word Count            Submissions              Rejections        Acceptances  

30,700+                          12                           6                        0

A number of years back, a friend of mine took up Irish Dance. I thought it was pretty ambitious for an adult, but she said if she wanted to lose weight, she'd have to significantly step up her activity. It really worked.

So this year I realized if I want to see success in my writing career I was going to have to step it up.

I'm a slow writer. But in the past I've spent a lot of time not writing. I've changed that and look at the results! Thirty thousands words is nothing to sneeze at. Granted, I won't always be able to lay down that many words. For example, having to work on edits takes away from writing, promoting a new book takes away from writing, but I managed this while the Olympics were on - that's an accomplishment in itself!

So anyway, I'm not sharing this with you to brag. There are two reasons. First off, like Weight Watchers, checking in publicly once a month will keep me motivated. Even if I don't have people clamoring at my blog or on my Facebook page or on Twitter, saying, "Where's your monthly update!" (feel free to do that BTW!) I'll still feel obligated to share. Second, just like my friend's reason for joining Irish Dance inspired me, maybe my reason for stepping up will inspire you.

Other creeds I feel I accomplished this month:

I'm fearlessly writing about a homeless teen - which I know nothing about. However, I sat down with the community relations director at our local teen shelter to learn. SO inspiring!

Support other writers - I try to do this as often as possible, but I've made a conscious effort to do a better job passing on their news through social media, because activity on and from their social media sites helps their social media reach as well as helps spread their news.

Creeds I struggled with this month:

Belief in my abilities - I haven't been out on submission for awhile and forgot how difficult it is psychologically. I'm working on it and I'm so blessed to have good writer friends to help me with that.

If you are a fellow Rebel, I invite you to share your counts, accomplishments, or goals in the comments. If you've blogged about it already, share the link!

It is never too late to commit to the creed! Hop on over and put your name on the list. http://www.writersally.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-writers-creed-for-2014.html  

February 11, 2014

TEXT ME Authors Share Their First Love Stories

Today we have a special treat. To celebrate their story bundle TEXT ME: 8 Novels of First Love, the authors are sharing their own first love stories. It is sort of like a box of chocolates. You never know what might be inside until you take the bite.

Be sure to read about the deal they have on their bundle too!

Shana Norris (author of Surfacing)
Hi, I'm Shana Norris. My first love was my cousin's friend, who I met at my cousin's eighth birthday party. We skated together, he bought me a little plastic ring from the gift counter, and then…I never saw him again. Brokenhearted at an early age!

Amanda Brice (author of Codename: Dancer)
Hi, I'm Amanda Brice. My first love was a sweet boy named Matt. We held hands on the bus and kissed at the junior high dance. He moved away during the summer between 7th and 8th grade and I didn't see him again for 20 years. We ran into one another on the Metro in DC one day in our early 30s. He looked nothing like he did back then but I knew it was him because he was wearing a sports team jacket that had his last name -- and it's a very unusual last name. Weirdly he recognized me right away.

Shel Delisle (author of Winging It!)
Hi, I’m Shel Delisle. In seventh grade my first love had buck teeth, probably because he hadn’t gotten braces yet. When we kissed, our teeth would bump and even after we went our separate ways I just assumed that was the way it was supposed to be done, until sometime later when another boy told me I was “doing it wrong.” 

Juli Alexander (author of Stirring Up Trouble)
Hi, I'm Juli Alexander. My first love lasted only a few days.  He was six, and I was five.  He lived across the street, and we used to climb the tree in his yard.  We shared a kiss while sitting in the tree.  To this day, the taunts of sitting in a tree, ki-ss-in-g bring back the memory of the nameless, faceless boy, the tree, and the litter of kittens I loved even more than I loved him. 

Elle Strauss (author of Clockwork)
Hi, I'm Elle Strauss (sometimes I go by Lee Strauss). My current love has been my love for 27 years. We promised we'd grow old together - and we are!

Cindy M. Hogan (author of Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips)
Hi, I’m Cindy M. Hogan. My first love came slowly, softly. It ended the same way. But, somewhere in-between, it hit me, hot and hazardous.

Kate Avery Ellison (author of The Curse Girl)
Hi, I'm Kate Avery Ellison. My current love (and husband of six years) was a close friend of mine who was determined to remain "just friends" until a ruptured appendix landed me in the hospital, and he realized how scary the idea of losing me was to him. We went on our first date as soon as I was well enough to sit in a coffee shop.

Kat Brookes (author of Chasing Puberty)
Hi, I'm Kat Brookes and I married my first love.  I picked him up during a girl's choice couple skate at our local rollerina.  We were 15 and 14 at the time.  Different schools.  Different states (we both lived near our state lines - 5 miles apart).  The next day he rode his bike those 5 miles to see me.  Even got a flat tire and had to have his dad come get him.  I knew he was the one.  And he still is.  :)

To celebrate Valentine’s Day the eBook Bundle TEXT ME: 8 Novels of First Love has been marked down to 99 cents! These eight light-hearted teen novels are from eight bestselling authors with more than 300 combined reviews and an average 4.3 star rating on Amazon!

Discover a new favorite or a new series with this box set of contemporary and paranormal first love stories with sassy heroines that will have you crushing, swooning, or laughing out loud.

Purchased separately these eight novels would cost more than $20.00, so you can get a whole bundle of great reads for a great price!

(Best for readers 12 and up)

You can find the bundle at:
Thanks for visiting, ladies! 

February 10, 2014

My Writing Process - Blog Hop

Beverly Stowe McClure invited me to participate in the My Writing Process blog hop. I'm so glad she did. I think it's fun for readers and other writers to learn about a writer's process. So, thank you Beverly for the invite and here goes: 

Step 1: Acknowledge the person and the blog site that invited me to take part. 

Please visit Beverly's blog and browse her expanding selection of middle grade and young adult books. She's a lovely writer:  http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com. While you are there, be sure to read about her writing process, from last week's post. 

Step 2: Answer four questions about my writing process.

Me writing (I was actually
writing a letter to my bestie,
but writing is writing, right?)
1)      What am I working on?

I'm currently writing two young adult, romance novella's (the first from the girl's point of view and the second from the guys point of view) that I'm actually considering self-publishing. I'm a total coward, so this is a big deal for me. If you have any words of wisdom, or encouragement, please feel free to share. 

I'm also writing the third and final book in my Super Villain Academy series. The 2nd book, Polar Opposites, releases in June. 

Finally, I'm on an agent search right now. I hope to have a well rounded career that spans traditional, 'big six' publishing, small press, and self publishing. I believe an agent is a business partner that can help me realize that complete business model.

2)       How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I strive to tell only the story I would tell, which would make my voice unique. I try to find the logical route of a story, and then tweak it and send it in an unexpected direction. I want my writing to combine both a sense of familiarity of story as well as surprise. 

3)       Why do I write what I do?

The reason I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult is the readers. It is such a formative time in a person's life and there are always so many external pressures, but a book can allow a child or teen to escape from their lives and into someone else's. Books can inspire dreams or solutions. And I LOVE that young readers are so much more interactive in the reading process. Their passion for story takes an author's words and shapes them further into a story unique to them. 

4)       How does my writing process work?

My favorite part of a story is the creation stage - the first draft. I can get very caught up in discovering the story and be resentful of any real life responsibilities the pull me away from it. After a couple passes of revision on my own, I read it out loud to my kids. Then I send it to critique partners. After applying those suggestions, I usually try to find its new home.

She's totes adorbs -
you will love her!
Step 3:  Pass the torch.

Next week the hop will visit Katie Carroll.  http://www.katielcarroll.com/blog/ 

Katie L. Carroll writes and edits stories for teens and kids. She began writing at a very sad time in her life, but since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined.

Thanks for reading! Remember to leave any (or your best) advice for me if I choose to self publish! See you next week on Katie's blog.

February 5, 2014

Three Times A Charm with Christina Weigand

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love introducing my readers to new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.

Today’s guest is author, Christina Weigand. Chris, tell us a little about you, please.

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing. 

Tell us more about your books.

Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One released April, 2013:
   When Prince Joachim is kidnapped and twin Brandan attempts a rescue, both will          search their faith and familial loyalty.

Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two released September 2013:
   Brandan and Joachim survived the war, but can their relationship and their countries survive the aftermath.

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three to be released February 7, 2014:
   Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.

With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.

Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?

Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.
  • Top 3 comfort foods for working.

Chocolate, tea and pizza

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

Reading, spending time with my family, watching t.v.

  • Top 3 source of inspiration.

God, my children and grandchildren, my husband.

Where can our tech savvy readers find you online?

Blog: www.weigandchris.com
Twitter: @CAWeigand
Facebook: www.facebook.com/caweigand
Email: palaceofthetwelvepillars@gmail.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/chris_weigand
Amazon: amazon.com/author/christinaweigand

Chris, it was lovely having you charm us on this week’s Three Times A Charm. Best of luck to you and your series.


GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

February 4, 2014

When the Monsters Are Quiet by Alicia Lloyd

I’m excited to be the host for a stop on the World of Ink tour for Alicia Lloyd’s book When The Monsters Are Quiet.

Welcome Alicia. Congratulations on your book. What age range is your book for?

Alicia: My book ranges from a first to second grade reading level. However, I work with three and four year olds on a daily basis and they comprehend the book and its meaning as well….it is awesome!

Kai: Can you share a memory of yours or a story of you from when you were within the age range of your target readers?

Alicia: Yes, I had the majority of Dr. Seuss’ books memorized. I chased my family out of the house because they didn’t want to hear me recite “The Cat in the Hat” word-by-word anymore.

Kai: That’s adorable! Tell us, how you think life has changed for children today than when you were that age?

Alicia: Life has changed drastically, I believe. First of all, with in regards to reading, children can now flip through the pages of books electronically. I don’t know if it is because of my age and I was used to physically holding a book and flipping through the pages, but my preference to this day is to still hold a book. I am only 22 years old and I have kids in my daycare who are showing me how to access books on their Kindle. However, I think it is awesome that there are now applications where children can download a game that looks interesting to them and practice vocabulary, sentence structure, or reading. They are learning and practicing reading strategies while having fun and I am ALL for that!

In a general perspective, I think kids today have a lot more to worry about than I did. They have to be cautious of their surroundings at all times and get outside more to play; when they get older, they are going to miss the care-free times of going outside to play…and nap times!

Kai: I agree. Kids seem more sheltered now because of the safety concerns. It’s a shame fewer kids have the freedom to walk to a corner store for a bag of chips or a candy bar. How is life still the same?

Alicia: Life is still the same because kids are still afraid of monsters! Kids still have an awesome imagine.

Kai: What was your favorite toy or activity when you were that age?

Alicia: I always loved to read at that age and color. And (no shame) I still love to read and color. Disney is and always will be my favorite…and I refuse to grow out of it. I guess it is a good thing I like to work with children, considering I am a big kid myself! J

Kai: What inspired When the Monsters Are Quiet and how did you decide on this age range for your story?

Alicia: I don’t have the same, inspiring, story as every other author. Sometimes that worries me but I am proud of my own story. It is unique, for sure. In the summer, I was sleeping in a new place for the night. We were actually helping my boyfriend move into his new place. I, at the age of 22, woke up alone and heard a bunch of unfamiliar noises and scary sounds that I didn’t like. So I texted my boyfriend, Chris, telling him I hate his house and I am never coming back! I finally fell asleep and later woke up to a text message from him saying, “Did you ever fall back asleep?” My response was, “Eventually, when the monsters were quiet.” I kind of tossed that phrase in my head for awhile and thought it would make a cool children’s book title. Later that week, on a Saturday, I woke up at 3 o’clock am and wrote the last two lines of my book and the first three. The next day, my boyfriend and I were driving somewhere and I opened my “notepad” application on my iPhone and referred back to my story that I started. My boyfriend is 6’5 (very tall) and he was signing Selena Gomez’s song “Come Get It” obnoxiously and at the top of his lungs. Somehow I finished the book right next to him in that car ride. I then put on Facebook, “Who knows the steps to a publisher?” And my neighbor commented and recommended Halo Publishing. I looked it up, saw an option to submit my manuscript, typed it in a word document and sent it away. I never thought that anything would come out of it and I wouldn’t hear a call back. Luckily, the next day Lisa Umina from Halo Publishing made my dreams come true and we started the process.

Kai: Oh my gosh, that’s a GREAT story! Okay, finally, I have four kids. Over the years they’ve attended a lot of birthday parties. I love the idea of building a theme gift around a book. If you were to give a gift basket to a child based on your book, what else would be in the basket besides When the Monsters Are Quiet?

Alicia: Some of the things I would include are different types of media and material for kids to create their own monsters. I have these materials handy at my book signings and we later talk about “their” monsters, when I am finished reading. I love crafts and creativity, and it is very important that the child creates their own masterpiece. I would also include some sort of “bedtime buddy,” just to keep with the theme. J

This friendly book is a fun way children can start to become proficient readers by reading about one of their biggest worries- bedtime! This book is a reminder to never be afraid of your monsters and has helpful hints for parents to help their children by exploring with early reading strategies at home. 

Kai: Please share with us where our readers can find more information about you and your book.

Alicia: Readers can like my page on Facebook: When the Monsters are Quiet- by Alicia Lloyd. That is where I post all my upcoming events and new information. My book is available online in 40,000 databases in over 100 countries. These databases include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, eBay, and Halo Publishing International’s website.

Alicia Lloyd is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Grades Preparation (PK-4) and Special Education. She has a strong passion for working with children and loves to write! Alicia lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania surrounded by her wonderful friends and family.

Thank you for joining us today, Alicia. Best of luck to you and When the Monster Are Quiet.

February 1, 2014

Celebrating the Launch of PARIS CRAVINGS by Kimberley Montpetit

I'm excited to be a part of the cover reveal and release day for the young adult novel PARIS CRAVINGS by Kimberley Montpetit. I happen to be a huge fan of the woman and her writing.

Can life really turn on a dime—
a missed bus— 
or a stuck pastry shop door?

Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. She has a mother who is a neurotic romance novelist and a boyfriend who’s been pressuring her to go all the way. After The Worst Night of Her Life Chloe escapes on a trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris where she becomes stranded after an accident with high heels and a pastry box.

Saved by a French boy with chocolate-brown eyes, Chloe begins to wonder if being lost in Paris is the chance of a lifetime. But as attracted as she is to the gorgeous and oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy—even he has a girlfriend.

The police are tracking her down, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown when she goes missing, and Chloe just wants to have her dream of a happily-ever-after.

What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world?
Buy Links: 
About Kimberley Montpetit: Kimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.
Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.
She once stayed in a haunted castle tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed on the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, eaten in numerous French cafes, ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan, sunbathed on Waikiki, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. 
She adores all baked goodies; brownies, ├ęclairs, donuts, tarts, and pie, and makes a lot of chocolate chip cookies while revising.
Kimberley is, of course, hard at work on her next novel(s). 
Social Media Links:
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7706420.Kimberley_Montpetit
Now, here is your chance to win your very own copy of PARIS CRAVINGS!