Friday, November 29, 2013

MUSEITUP BLACK FRIDAY SALE

 
Check it out here.
 
Sounds like a deal to me. My Tween novel A PIRATE, A BLOCKADE RUNNER, AND A CAT is there. I'd better hop on over and see what other books I can add to my iPad.
 
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND BLACK FRIDAY DEALS

Thanksgiving Graphics
Facebook Graphics, Thanksgiving Graphics at WishAFriend.com


Now about Black Friday. Where did it get its name? It sounds so dismal. Is it because people spend all their money? I'd like to think of it as Happy Friday. We're stuffed with good food and have been with family, sometimes. Christmas is fast approaching. Well, enough wondering. Since the stores are all offering bargains, I'd like to offer one too. On Friday and Saturday, if you order any of my books, you can choose a second book for free. Any book you want. If you're interested, send me an email: Beverlysmcclure (at) aol (dot) com and let me know which books you're interested in. You can pay with Pay Pal or a check. I've listed the books below so you can make your choice. $12.00 for the teen books; $10.00 for the picture books. This includes shipping. Happy holidays.
 
 
 
YA paranormal
A ghost that doesn't want to be a ghost.
A girl who wants to forget her ex-boyfriend with the lying lips.
A one-hundred-year-old neighbor who talks in riddles.
A handsome sax player who changes everything.

 
 
 
 
YA Contemporary

What's a girl to do when her mother runs away with the drummer in a rock band, her friendly relationship with the boy on the neighboring ranch turns serious, and a handsome college guy with a
bad reputation takes an interest in her?
 
YA Mystery



 
When a girl who rides a horse and plays classical music teams up with a boy who rides a Harley and writes country ballads to find her father who has been kidnapped, almost anything can happen.

YA Historical

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace and security.
Gold Winner in the Children's Literary Classics Award
Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Honor Award Readers Favorite
Honor Award in the Eric Hoffer Awards
Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Awards
Finalist in the Dan Poynter eBook Awards
 
YA Contemporary
A paper found.
A secret revealed.
A girl's life changed forever.
Silver Winner in the Children's Literary Classics Award
Literary Classics Seal of Approval
 
 
MG/Tween Contemporary
Friends, Enemies, Aliens, and Princes,
Just another day in middle school.
 
 
MG/Tween Paranormal
 
 
A boy and his friends make a deal with three ghosts to find their destiny, and to scare his mom back to his dad. This is an eBook only. I have it in any format you want.


Picture Book


Picture Book/Early Reader
 

 
I also have two Chicken Soup Anthologies. They make awesome gifts for friends and family.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Happy Reading.
 
 
 
 

 
 






Friday, November 22, 2013

VICTORIA SIMCOX VISITS TODAY-FREE EBOOK

Do you remember awhile back when I reviewed Victoria Simcox's lovely fantasy novels for tweens and teens? Well, the books now have new titles. So let me refresh your memories, if you're like me and don't remember past yesterday. Books make great stocking stuffers, you know. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, a book is good entertainment anytime, especially on those cold winter days when you want a nice warm fire and a good book to read. Okay, I'll hush now. About the books.

 
Isn't the cover mysterious and magical? Love it.
 
THE WARBLE (Review)

By Victoria Simcox



Take a girl, a present from her teacher, and a pet rat, add dwarfs and fairies, a wicked queen and a prince, a ball called the Warble and a Book of Prophecy, mix together and you have a story of adventure that will keep you wondering what will happen next.

 
In Author Victoria Simcox’s fantasy novel THE WARBLE, for MG/Tween readers, twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly’s teacher gives Kristina a present that changes her life forever. A tarnished silver ball called The Warble is inside the present and Kristina and her pet rat, Raymond, soon find themselves in a place called Bernoven, where she discovers she is the chosen one and must place The Warble in its resting place, thus saving Bernoven from a curse. Along the way she meets a cast of delightful characters, among them Prince Werrien. As she and the prince struggle to reach Bernoven they face one danger after another, including the wicked Queen Sentiz and her son, who are determined to stop Kristina and Werrien. Will they reach their destination in time, lifting the curse over Bernovem? Or will they fail?


THE WARBLE is not only a fantasy story, it is also a story of friendship, family, and trust. Black and white illustrations give a visual image of the appearance of some of the characters. The author has created a fantasy world of beauty and also danger. An enjoyable read for the young and the not-so-young, as well.

###

 
And the second book in the series.
 
 
Are you curious about the shard? What it is exactly and what it does?
 
 
THE SHARD Review

By Victoria Simcox
 

Have you ever dreamed of living in a magical land of fairies, serpents, gnomes, and other fascinating characters? Even better, what if this land also has talking horses, a Seeing Crystal that shows the Wizards where whatever they want to see is, and a handsome prince that seems to think you’re pretty awesome. If you’d like to journey to such a place then come along with me to Author Victoria Simcox’s latest MG/Tween novel, THE SHARD.


My favorite characters, Kristina Kingsley and Prince Werrien, from THE WARBLE, the first book in the series, are back with more adventures, intrigue, and surprises. While attending a riding camp for girls, an accident lands Kristina in Bernoven, where she met Prince Werrien two and a half years earlier. Davina and Hester, the bullies that do their best to make Kristina’s life miserable, are also there. Kristina has no idea what happened, but she’s happy seeing old friends, along with new ones. Everyone is not friendly though. Some want to harm Kristina, and her courage is soon tested, along with her trust in Werrien.

 
Like Kristina, I enjoyed renewing acquaintances from the first book. Davina and Hester are just as mean to Kristina as ever. Prince Werrien is two years older, as is Kristina, and their romance is hesitant, and tender, and just right. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy, prince or commoner, that made you feel like a princess? The little girl, Jabela, stole my heart. Besides characters that come to life, Victoria Simcox, has a way of bringing the reader into the setting, making you feel as though you’re with the characters, feeling the waves toss the ship up and down, and hearing the wind whistle around you. Or visualizing the image in the mirror and shuddering. Black-and-white sketches throughout the novel provide just the right touch.


I wasn’t ready for the story to end and hope the next book in the series will soon be out. I recommend this book for fantasy lovers, adventure lovers, and everyone that enjoys a good read with a touch of danger and also romance. And you don’t have to be a tween to read it; adults will enjoy Kristina and Werrien’s story just as much.

###

Good News!
For free on Amazon
 11/24~11/28
The Warble, Description:
Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and an evil queen – all these and more can be found in The Warble, an enchanting tale of adventure and friendship.
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and the evil Queen Sentiz.
In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Warble” in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
 
 
 
 
Victoria's Bio
Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. I now lives in Western Washington with my husband, Russ and our three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Beside being a writer, I am a home-schooling mother of thirteen years and an elementary school art teacher of twelve years.
 
 
 

  




Links:




Amazon


Also Book 2: The Shard


 
Sounds like a good deal to me.
 
Have a nice weekend.
 
Happy Reading!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO ...

I normally do not post on Tuesday, but today is a special day. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. To honor the soldiers, both North and South, I will gift an eBook copy of my award winning YA historical novel CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES. Kindle or Nook, or PDF if you prefer. The story is set in Vicksburg, MS, when the city was under siege. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment: what does Lincoln's speech mean to you? Include your email so I can contact the winner. You don't have to follow me or anything else. Random.org will choose the winner. Thanks for commenting. Good luck.


Gold Winner, Children's Literary Classics
 
Honor Winner, Erik Hoffer Awards
 
Finalist, Next Generation Indie Awards
 
Honor Award, Reader's Favorite
 
Finalist, Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards
 
Happy Reading. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

REVIEW OF SECRETS AND LIES, A CASSIE SCOT NOVEL

Award Winning Author Christine Amsden's second novel in the Cassie Scot fantasy series is now out. She's written another winner, and I just have to tell you about it.



How about this romantic cover?
 
 
SECRETS AND LIES, a Cassie Scot Novel (Review)
By Christine Amsden
 
 
Cassie Scot, our heroine from CASSIE SCOT PARANORMAL DETECTIVE, is back. So is Evan Blackwood, the man that loves her. And she owes him a debt for saving her life. With his powers he could force her to marry him, but he wants her to love him on her own, not because of a spell. So Cassie must search her heart for her true feelings for Evan. Her love life is only one of Cassie’s problems, as she soon discovers.

Author Christine Amsden continues Cassie’s story in her novel SECRETS AND LIES. Not only does Cassie have to deal with Evan, her father has disowned her, and she needs a job, along with a place to live. Then her ex-boyfriend, Braden, shows up. To complicate her life even more, two girls are reported missing from camp, and Cassie is hired to find them. She’s thankful for the job, but Evan goes with her, thinking his powers will help find the girls. Just what she needs. Not. Magic and spells, Cassie’s father and Evan’s father (who hate each other), and a unique cast of family members, as well as other characters, make for a story of suspense, surprises, love, and forgiveness.

SECRETS AND LIES is not simply a story of people with special powers. It’s a story of family, with all their faults and misunderstandings, and how hatred can ruin lives. Ms. Amsden has written a novel with lively characters, some good, others bad. They might even be your neighbors, well, if the neighbors have magic. I’m looking forward to Cassie’s next adventures, because I really like this girl. Evan’s not so bad himself. And Scott … Well, I’ll let you meet him and see what you think. Just when you think you have all the answers, the author throws in a surprise that proves otherwise. Very clever plotting for a good read.


I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.
###

The book is available at:

 
Amazon Print: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Lies-Christine-Amsden/dp/1606192779/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384632825&sr=1-1&keywords=christine+amsden+-+cassie+scot
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Lies-Cassie-Christine-Amsden-ebook/dp/B00FX4C0YM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1384632825
Twilight Times Books: http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/SecretsandLies_ch1.html

And other store where books are sold.

Learn more about the author at:

http://www.christineamsden.com

Thank you, Christine, for sharing your lovely story with us.

Happy Reading.



Friday, November 15, 2013

MEET MAMA BEAR, AUTHOR MAYRA CALVANI'S LATEST PICTURE BOOK

Mayra Calvani, author of children's books as well as novels for adults, has done it again. Her latest picture book is one of her best, in my opinion. Once you read it, I think you'll agree. Let's take a look. First the cover.

 
Isn't this adorable?


Now you know you want to see why Mama Bear is having a bad mad sad day.
 
A BAD MAD SAD DAY FOR MAMA BEAR
By Mayra Calvani, Illustrations by K C Snider
Review
 
 Have you ever had one of those days where everything that can go wrong does go wrong? If so, you’ll be able to sympathize with Mama Bear as she faces such a day.
In Author Mayra Calvani’s new picture book, A BAD MAD SAD DAY FOR MAMA BEAR, the reader follows along with Mama Bear who faces one disaster after another. From household accidents to a stubborn car to unexpected visitors and more, Mama Bear is so busy fixing things and bringing order back to her life that she doesn’t see Little Bear in his attempts to brighten her day. Will Mama Bear ever notice what Little Bear is offering her?
The author has written a beautiful story about family and love. Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in our own troubles, we miss seeing the treasure under our very nose. And sometimes, it takes a child’s unselfish love to help us through the storm. K.  C. Snider’s delightful illustrations complete this sweet story. The expressions on Mama Bear’s face, as well as on Little Bear’s and the other characters are just right to show the characters’ feelings. This is a must have book for school libraries, public libraries, and your own personal library. So pick up a copy for all the little ones you know and watch the expressions on their faces as they read about Mama Bear and Little Bear.
###
Congratulations, Mayra, on another beautiful story for little ones.
Happy Reading!
 
 
 

 


Monday, November 11, 2013

PLEASE WELCOME ANTJE HERGT TO MY BLOG TODAY

Do I have a special treat for you this Monday. Do you remember DARINEL DRAGONHUNTER, the fantastic tween fantasy novel I reviewed on October 21st? Yes? I thought you would. The author, Antje Hergt has stopped by to visit with us for a while. If you do not already know her, let me introduce you to Antje, who so kindly answered my nosey umm, my thought-provoking questions. It's all yours, Antje.

 
 
 
 
Antje's bio:
Born and raised in Germany, I came to explore the Canadian Rockies in Canmore, Alberta in 2003. Taking part in the Writing-with-Style Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2007 encouraged me to follow my passion: writing for children. Darinel Dragonhunter is my first novel, which was inspired by my deep love for classic children literature and fairy tales. My thrill for science fiction/fantasy movies and television shows had an outlet in various genre short stories. I am a member of the Alberta Writer’s Guild and graduated from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen with a degree in Modern Languages.
Currently, I live in Germany with my snoring cat, Sally, but I miss the magic of the Rocky Mountains. When I am not in Canmore, you can find me in Germany.

 

Now you gotta love that dragon.

 



Hi, Antje. Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I always loved to read and loose myself in a good story. As a child, I read any adventure story I could get my hands on. In university, I started to write a few German short stories, but I never took my writing seriously until I went to the Banff Centre of the Arts in 2007. It was an amazing course, which opened my eyes to how hard writing a book would be and how much harder to publish it.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Lots of things, but mainly a dance and a sea captain on a cruise ship. ;^)


If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?

Orderly chaos. I believe I have a system, but to others it might not look like that.


Tell us your favorites:
Movie Finding Neverland

Actor David Tennant

Book Too many to list

Singer or Group Herbert Groenemayer


Coffee or tea?
Both. I like English tea (with milk) in the morning to wake me up and a strong coffee in the afternoon (ideally with a piece of cake)


Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
I am a fall person. I love the brisk clear air and the soft light an autumn day. It’s the best time to hike and see the colours change, smell the damp earth and listen to the wind wrestle with the trees.


 

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?
I’d love to timetravel like Doctor Who in all directions of time, but with a preference to the future.


Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.
I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment. Mainly I’m working on the second part of the Darinel Dragonhunter adventures. Darinel and his dragon have to leave Princess Tuskja and her kingdom in order to find a cure.

In addition to the second book, I am working on a series of chapterbooks for Cross-Country Ski and Mystery fans. These books are aimed at younger readers like early beginners.


Where can your fans learn more about you?
Website: http://www.antjehergt.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Antje-Hergt/575750249117033

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntjeHergt

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7143587.Antje_Hergt



 

Would you like to share anything else with your fans?
 

Thank you all for your support and kind words about my book. I promise to work steadily at the next Darinel adventure.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us. Stop by anytime.

Pick up your copies of DARINEL DRAGONHUNTER at:

MuseItUpPublishing

Amazon

And other stores where eBooks are sold.

Happy Reading.



 

Friday, November 8, 2013

AWARD WINNING AUTHOR AARON PAUL LAZAR VISITS TODAY

I am delighted to spotlight Author Aaron Lazar and his latest novel today. THE SECREST, a love story, is Aaron's twenty-first novel, most of which are mysteries, slightly paranormal mysteries, and writing books. He will gift eBooks, any format, of his FOR THE BIRDS or ESSENTIALLY YOURS novels as prizes for two people per blog who leave a comment. Sounds like a good deal to me.

 
 
 
 
This cover reminds me of a Nicholas Sparks Book. 
 
The author has graciously written an interesting guest post for us. Here's what he has to say about writing and poetry.
 
Squeeze a Little Poetry Into Your Novel
 
 
For those of you who'd like to write a novel, or who already have, let's specifically talk about poetry.

 Yes, poetry.

But how does writing poetry relate to writing a novel?

I'm talking about short, descriptive passages that capture lush images branded in your brain from the last time you glanced out your car window and sighed at the beauty around you.

You've had moments like those, right? Even if you live in the middle of the city, there must be visions that thrill you. Like a brave cornflower poking out of a crack in the sidewalk, or the way the lights sparkle at night in the oily puddles, or the majesty of an old brick house whose character lasted for centuries.
 
Descriptions of these scenes may be used to slow down the action (on purpose), to paint the scene, or to simply delight your readers. And it's okay to include some poetry like this smack dab in the middle of your book.
 
Really, it is.

 Anyway, who cares what the rulebooks or the stuffy experts say? I say, write from your heart and with your intuition, and worry about genre and rules later. So, I'm a bit of a rebel. Maybe that's why I'm not a NY Times bestseller. Yet (grin.)

 Sometimes I think these poetic little gems turn a plain old mystery or romance into a "literary mystery" or “literary romance.” But let's not delve into genre right now, or what distinguishes one style from another. Maybe that's a topic for another day.

 So, regarding "poetic passages cleverly inserted in a great book," I've noticed little gifts like this in books by Dean Koontz over the last few years—especially in the Odd Thomas series. Whenever I come across the lovely nuggets, I smile and savor them. Gifts, that's what they are. Pure and simple.

When I write my own books (www.lazarbooks.com), a similar thing happens. It's not a conscious thing, not at all. It just comes out of me when I picture Finn McGraw standing in his blueberry fields, or gazing over the beautiful bay on Cape Cod. And because my family and I just revisited Cape Cod for the first time in years, my heart and soul are full of seaside images. I savor the opportunity to capture and share it. With you. With my readers. And with those who may someday read my books. Like my grandkids.
 
Most of my "poetic" passages come from visions I'm blessed with simply driving to work, walking on the Genesee Valley Greenway, or even in my own gardens. This heady, bucolic environment breathes life into me, inspires me to no end. And often, as some of you know, I get to capture the scenes with photos.
 
One local image—the incredible beauty of a wheat field—has been ingrained in my head for years. I wrote the following segment in the fifth LeGarde Mystery, FireSong. In this scene, Gus has just passed an area of the tornado-ravaged countryside and is driving home to check on his family.
 
"Beyond the perimeter of the damage, the late June wheat crop stood intact, ready for harvest. Heavy-headed stalks waved in the breeze, producing undulating patterns in the great expanses along the roadside. A hint of green whispered beneath the golden-pink surf rippling over the fields."
 
Here’s a segment from For the Birds that I didn’t need to include, but I wanted to. Hope you enjoy it
 
“A great blue heron soared over the lake, a majestic giant with long, spindly legs trailing behind him in flight. He circled past us and landed in the shallows on the far side of the cove. Rings of waves circled gently outward from where he stood, in ever expanding ripples on the water that mirrored blue sky and cottony clouds. I watched with fascination. He stood stock still, his long, skinny beak pointed down at the water. The feathers along his slender neck were tinted pale rose, and his head sported a black stripe. For a long time, we munched on our snacks and the heron watched for fish. I thought he must’ve gone to sleep when in a sudden jerking flash he popped his head underwater and came up with a sparkling fish in his mouth. It was gone in a second, sliding down his S-curved gullet in one quick gulp.”
 
And finally, here’s a little bit from The Seacrest, my new love story set in Brewster, Cape Cod.
 
“Sweet peas and purple beach plums lined the sandy path to the shore, and the screeching of gulls provided comforting background noises to the swirling, salty wind whistling through the sharp grasses blanketing the dunes. The tide was out, and periwinkles scuttled in the shallow water, surrounded by flitting silver minnows. Ripples stretched across the wet sand, making designs almost too perfect to be real.”
“She sat on the jetty rocks, knees pulled up to her chin, her eyes shining beneath long lashes. The sea glimmered in the background. At low tide, the ripples on the wet sand stretched for miles toward an azure horizon. I painted her hair silky and blowing in the wind, one of the new techniques I’d learned from my class already this week. I’d daubed seagulls into the background, and added a bit of turquoise and tangerine to the horizon line where the sea met the setting sun. Now I almost smelled the musky scent of low tide, the muddy sand, the debris of crab shells and seaweed. I heard the screech of the gulls, and felt her soft hand on mine. In a near self-induced trance, I imagined her voice, her lips kissing mine, her body pressed close to me, her legs encircling me.”
 
I'm not saying that's the best writing in the world, I'm sure I could hack it up over and over again to tighten it further. But this is an example of what I mean by introducing “a little poetry” into your novel. It is certainly possible to slide a bit of this loveliness into your work without losing tension, so go ahead and give it a try!
 
###
 
Mmm! Try poetry. Why not? Thanks for the post, Aaron, and thank you for visiting my blog today.
 
Don't forget, dear readers, to leave a comment for the chance to win a book.
 
Have a nice weekend. Happy Reading;
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






Thursday, November 7, 2013

TOUR WITH SAL BARBERA AND HIS SPOTLESS COW

 
Today I'd like to introduce you to Sal Barbera and his spotless cow.
 
 
 

About the book:

The story of "Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow" takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.
 

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Excerpt:

Once upon a time........there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!


But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! "Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!"

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

Purchasing information: From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

 
About the Author:


Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal's sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

###

Mr. Barbera was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I've had the drawing bug since I was a little kid watching 'Winky Dink and You'. It was a TV show where you (your Mom) sent in for this piece of plastic that you attached to the front of your TV set. Then you drew along with the guy on Winky Dink. I loved that show.

I didn't set out to become a writer. I wanted to do something that was fun. I started by drawing cartoons about my dog, Max. He was the inspiration for my character Sweetles™who is the impetus for my book series: A Sweetles Dream®. The concept is: during the day, while Sweetles™ is playing, he sees something unexpected. That leads him to dream up a solution to the situation he's seen.


For example, in my book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, he is playing ball as soon as you open the book. He chases the ball across a field and Mary Elizabeth frolicks past him. She triggers his dream.

The bonus in children's books is that, not only is it fun, but I hope I can make a positive difference for kids through the affirmative actions and concepts about friendship, family, self-confidence and relationships in my books.
 
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut. Space, the final frontier…

I was always intrigued by that. In science class at school they showed us the planets and stars and the galaxy. We had fascinating science books. Men were taking the first trip to the moon. Like Neil Armstrong. So my room looked like NASA. I had Lunar modules and rocket models and all kinds of planetary books. 

 
How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?

My mother in law, who is a dear friend, had gone through a pretty rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She needed to laugh. So I decided to write a funny story for her. When I picked up the pencil, some kind of crazy inspirational thing happened. A thought came to me about a farm in Ohio. Then there were lots of cows. Suddenly I had an idea—what would happen if a new cow, a spotless cow, arrived at a farm and encountered prejudice from the other cows for being different. The inventive, funny way she overcomes their spot discrimination would be the kicker. I rapidly had a beginning, middle, and an end. I didn't want to forget any of it. I had to write and illustrate it as quickly as possible.

Five hours and many broken pencil points later, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was born.

You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?
Huckleberry Fin or Robinson Caruso.  Guys with raft and island life experience that could get me off of there. I'm not too good at building things without tools and a hardware store. I'd probably wind up talking to a soccer ball.

If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?
A Hawaiian sunset! I like colorful, happy, fun attire. My main wardrobe consists of vivid Hawaiian shirts. If I get stranded on that deserted island not only will I look the part - but hopefully a plane will see my shirt and save me!

Tell us your favorites:
Movie:  City Slickers
Actor:  Billy Crystal
Book:   Jurassic Park
Singer:  Frank Sinatra

If you could have super powers what would you wish for?
My first thought is being able to fly…but no one would bring me peanuts. So I think something really super, like the power to be able to eat as many snacks as I want without gaining weight. Supersnack Man! Has a nice ring to it. Don't you think?

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?
The past. Maybe on the ship with Columbus. I could say:

 
“You know this really isn't India…nobody will think any less of you if you stop and ask for directions.”

Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.

Since Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was published I've completed the second book in the "A Sweetles Dream®" series called Ernie the Dysfunctional Frog. Without giving away the surprise, it's a fun, goofy and unexpected tale about acceptance, family, friendship and love. And, of course, frogs.

Where can your fans learn more about you?

Website:
http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/
http://www.sweetles.com/about-sal-barbera/
Blog:
http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/blog/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/sal.barbera
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/swtlng
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18264358-mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow
SCBWI:
http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/salvatore-barbera

Would you like to share anything else with your fans?

During the months of November-December, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. 


Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

For more about the book watch Mary Elizabeth's book trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my book!

- Sal Barbera

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  Stop by anytime.


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Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule
 
November 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Katie’s Clean Book Collection

 
 
 


 
November 5th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Book Marketing Buzz

 
 
 


 
November 7th

 
 
 
Interview at Story of a Writer

 
 
 


 
November 8th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Plug Your Book

 
 
 


 
November 13th

 
 
 
Interview at Broowaha

 
 
 


 
November 18th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Literal Exposure

 
 
 


 
November 19th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

 
 
 


 
November 20th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Janet Ann Collins’ On Words

 
 
 


 
November 22nd

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Library of Clean Reads

 
 
 
 


November 27th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

 
 
 


*



 
December 2nd

 
 
 
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books


 
 
 
 
December 3rd

 
 
 
Book review at Nancy Stewart Books

 
 
 
 
December 4th

 
 
 
Book spotlight and giveaway at Ramblings of a SAHM

 
 
 


 
December 5th

 
 
 
Join the book discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club

 
 
 
 
December 9th

 
 
 
Book review at Library of Clean Reads

 
 
 


 
December 10th

 
 
 
Interview at Examiner

 
 
 


 
December 12th

 
 
 
Book spotlight at Penny’s Tales

 
 
 


 
December 13th

 
 
 
Book review at This Little Book of Mine

 
 
 


 
December 17th

 
 
 
Book review at WV Stitcher

 
 
 


 
December 27th

 
 
 
Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

 
 
 


 
 
TBD

 
 
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books

 
 

Max Asleep
 
 
Thank you for stopping by. Happy Reading.
 
Want to host this author? Email Cheryl at ccmal(at)charter(dot)net