Showing posts from February, 2015

Building Character with Nick Cassidy from I Live In A Doghouse

Hi everyone! Welcome to Building Character. I’d like to introduce you to Nick, the main character in I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE by Beverly Stowe McClure. Nick, can you tell us a little about you, please?
Hey, I’m Nick Cassidy, eleven-years-old. I used to live with my mom, just the two of us and we got along fine. Then she married Jake, and I now have a stepsister that loves to call me gross names and a half-sister that likes for me to take her for walks in the stroller, and my life will never be the same.
What’s the biggest problem you’re facing?
I’m living with a ten-year-old stepsister that hates me and an eighteen-month-old half-sister that loves me. Figure that one out.
Family dynamics can be tough when you’ve grown up within them, but even tougher when you’re not used to them. Have you learned anything from this situation?
One thing I’ve learned is that people are not always who we think they are and sometimes they’re a lot different than we remember them.
Hopefully you get some sort o…

Three Times A Charm with Stephanie Scott

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to people involved in children’s publishing. Today we have Stephanie Scott with us. She’s here to spread the news about a great contest. First, Stephanie, please share a little about yourself.
I’m a pre-published author (don’t you love the positivity of that term?) with a few Young Adult Contemporary manuscripts under my belt. My agent Sarah LaPolla at Bradford Literary is working hard to find those manuscripts a home.
Improving my writing craft is always high on my list. As is networking with writers on blogs and social media. One of my main sources of industry connections is through Romance Writers of America, a group I never imagined I would be a part of even just a few years ago. I attended a regional chapter’s conference, and a light bulb went off when I realized the driving factor of the manuscript I was writing was the romance. That realization actually helped me finish the book! Now I’m an active member of the Windy…

Abandon Ship! When You Just Can't Continue a Book

I recently had to abandon a book, but I gave it a good solid effort. I wouldn't normally talk about why I didn't like a book, but I don't think I have to worry about ruining Leo Tolstoy's reputation by sharing my humble opinions on why Anna Karenina didn't work for me.

First because the book is a classic, I was conditioned to think I'd like it. That I had to like it or they'd revoke my avid reader card or something. Because it's a classic, I downloaded the audiobook. I do so much better with stories from the likes of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare--heck--even the bible, if a good reader presents it to me instead of making my mind wrap around the old-fashioned use of language. Tolstoy has a bazillion Russian names in his stories, so I'm really glad I chose the audio version.

My husband and I started listening to it on a car trip. He has listened to War and Peace previously, so I'm super impressed he didn't insist I choose a different book. …

Marketing Your Book - Guest Post by Krysten Lindsay Hager

I’m excited that Kai asked me to talk about my experiences marketing as a debut novelist. My first novel, True Colors, about an eighth grader dealing with frenemies, self-esteem issues, cliques, and being yourself, came out this summer and it was an amazing time. I feel like I haven’t sat down to relax since I signed the contract for the book over a year ago! It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so thrilled that soon the sequel to the book, (titled Best Friends…Forever? )will come out as part of the Landry’s True Colors series. So I’m here today to share what I’ve learned along the way on my path to publication.
First, I want to share how important it is to prepare and learn the business. I began going to writing conferences and workshops right after I graduated from high school. It was a great way to learn about the business side of writing. I remember those first couple writing conferences where I was sitting there confused and clueless. I’ll never forget being in an auditorium when…

Three Times A Charm with Alyson Larrabee

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to people involved in children’s publishing. Today we have my fellow Whiskey Creek Press author, Alyson Larrabee with us. Alyson, please share a little about yourself.
Boring facts: I’m a graduate of Emerson College and Bridgewater State University, a middle school English teacher at Easton Middle School, the wife of a New England Patriots obessessed golfer, the mother of three young adults and one redbone coonhound.
Fun facts: I’m a resident of the Bridgewater Triangle (It’s kind of like the Bermuda Triangle, but smaller and colder in the winter.), an  amateur ghost hunter, a YA novelist with a dark side and a dog lover, especially droopy-faced hounddogs. Obsessed with: the legends and science of the Hockomock Swamp, stories about haunted New England and books (reading them and writing them).  I also love parentheses. Do only English teachers have favorite punctuation marks or are there other weirdos out there, too?
I’m pun…

Cover Reveal for Super Bad, Super Villain Academy Bk 3

Watch out. Things are about to get really bad
Excerpt from Super Bad:
After sliding the card out of the envelope, she stared at it for so long Lexa finally said, “Well?” Sandra glanced at her friend before frowning again at the card. Finally she handed it to Lexa and stared at the flowers.
Seeing you last night was as refreshing as the clean smell after a rainstorm. —Set
Lexi’s lip curled up. “What does this mean?” “I’m not sure.” Sandra spoke tentatively. “He obviously has a thing for weather.” “And you,” Lexa said. “Maybe.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “What do you mean, maybe? He became a stalker at the party last night, and now he’s sent you your very first flowers.” Sandra shook her head. “There’s something…I don’t know.” A thought somewhere deep in her gray matter teased her, but kept getting overridden by images of Set’s beautiful face lowering toward hers in the dark of the hedge cave. She mentally scolded herself to focus, but then she remembered the feel of his power pulsing from him…

My Very Humble Advice to Fellow Authors About Reviews

One of the most difficult aspects of being a published author is the public feedback on your work. After toiling over a story for however long, sharing with critique partners, integrating editor suggestions, combing, combing, combing…Obviously, you’ve left little fleshy pieces of your heart scattered throughout your work.
Then it goes out into the world. You hit up family and friends and solicit bloggers for honest reviews. The ball starts rolling. Reviews start coming in from all over. So many are good. Three people said, “great writing.” A couple people give props to your favorite character, the best friend. And then…oh…wait… “It’s like Hunger Games, which I’ve never read, but more complicated and lame” What the…?! Did you even read the book?
But here’s the thing. No book will EVER be the same experience for every reader. There are about a bazillion factors behind why two readers interpret a book differently.
Let’s say you read a review that says,
“Things were okay until the ‘insta-lo…

Building Character with Valerie from 52 LIKES

Yay – it’s Friday and this week we have a Building Character interview. Let me introduce you to Valerie from 52 LIKES by Medeia Sharif. Welcome to Strands of Thoughts, Valerie. Can you tell us a little about you, please?
I’m Valerie, a high school junior, and I live in Miami.
I’ve heard good things about Miami. Especially the weather. But I doubt your book is about all the nice weather in Florida. What kind of conflict are you up against in 52 LIKES?
Something bad happened to me last week. I went to a party, but ended up in the wrong house. I just can’t talk about the rest. Only my best friend, my mom, and the counselor I met that night know about the incident. Oh, and also the police since I reported it.
Oh, jeez, the police? Sounds scary. What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered trying to resolve whatever it was that happened?
People are somehow onto my secret and are spreading nasty rumors about it. Also, I’m getting bizarre messages on my phone from strangers…

Three Times A Charm with Jemima Pett

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to people involved in children’s publishing. Today we have Jemima Pett with us. Jemima, can you share a little about yourself, please?
Once upon a time, I wrote a story, carefully made into a booklet about two inches high by one across, entitled “The Little Stream”.  Many years later I found it in the box in which my mother kept her most precious possessions. I realised I’d always been writing, but had never had a strong plot or set of characters, until my guinea pigs came along.  Fred, George, Victor and Hugo had personalities and stories that needed to be told.

I’d got my degrees in science, but had come out of college wanting to change the world, and I did a lot of voluntary jobs, some in strange places, before I got a job with the civil service.  That didn’t last long!  I worked in office jobs, writing newsletters and event reports in the evenings, I travelled round the country and wondered what it would be like to live in…

Cover Reveal for Extraordinary Sam

Bookfish Books is excited to release their first middle grade title. I'm happy to share the amazing cover and some information about EXTRAORDINARY SAM and its author, Kevin Springer.

About the book:

“This box may seem empty,
But there’s more than meets the eye…”

Sam Miller seems like an ordinary 12-year-old boy, until he discovers a mysterious box. Suddenly, he lands in a magical world in which he must battle deadly pirates, savage warriors, giant man-eating spiders, and a fire-wielding tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve riddles, and most of all, be extraordinary.

About the Author:
Kevin Springer grew up on a farm in Maryland where his imagination could run free. He was able to reconnect to that creativity through telling bedtime stories to his two boys. One of those stuck and evolved into Extraordinary Sam. What started out as a simple story of a boy who had a magical hatbox turned into an exciting story of adventure and self-discovery. Kevin is a self-proclaimed dre…

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I don't usually participate in blog nominations, but I really liked the theme of this one. I love talking about what inspires me and this gives me a nice organized format to recognize those inspirations in.

First I'll start by thanking the two amazing people who nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Katie L. Carroll  is a wife, mother, writer, editor, critiquer, reader, soccer player - now that I think about it, she might be Wonder Woman. Make sure to check out her website and blog, The Observation Desk. And Beverly Stowe McClure is a mother, grandmother, former teacher, and critique partner extraordinaire <-- seriously! She inspires me with her lovely photos of the flora and fauna of her little spot in Texas and her generous spirit. Please check out her many wonderful titles for kids and teens and her blog, The Story of A Writer
The rules for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.
2. Display the award…

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons celebrates One Year

Christina Weigand stopped by my blog today to share and celebrate the one year anniversary of the publication her book Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. This book is the third one in her series Palace of the Twelve Pillars.
Here is an excerpt from Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three:
Joachim cringed as he thought about what he had to do. The council had decided. He didn’t agree completely, but in the end, Joachim knew it was the only way; something had to be done. Maybe Brandan would give him a reason not to send him away.
King Brandan stomped into the room. “Why, Brother, have you no throne prepared for your poor, missing brother? I’m hurt. I expected more from you and my sister-in-law. Maeve, dear, couldn’t you have helped him prepare better?” He stepped toward her, quickly grabbed her hand, and kissed it.
Joachim lunged at him, pushing him from the dais. Brandan staggered then regained his balance and gazed at his brother. “Why such violence, especially when I am so recently …