Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop. Celebrate the coming of the New Year by participating in this giveaway hop.


December 30th to January 3rd

Hosted by I Am a Reader Not A Writer. Thanks to Babs from Babs Book Bistro for co-hosting.




It's very easy. All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment telling me you're following. I'll have two winners who can choose from the following books. Drawing by Random.org

A contemporary story for MG/Tween readers



Young Adult paranormal novel about a ghost that doesn't want to be a ghost, a girl who wants to forget her ex-boyfriend with the lying lips, a hundred year old neighbor that talks in riddles, and a handsome sax player who changes everything.

Check out the other blogs listed below that also are participating in the hop. There are a lot of great giveaways available. Good luck and have fun.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics, Christmas Graphics at WishAFriend.com

For all my dear friends. MERRY CHRISTMAS OR WHATEVER HOLIDAY YOU CELEBRATE. May the New Year bring you joy, good health, and your dreams come true. A special note to my son.


I held you in my arms
Just one time.
My firstborn.
Your hair was red
Your fingers were tiny.
They grasped at my fingers
To hold mine.
Perhaps you knew.
The angels were near.
My firstborn.
Your toes were all there.
I counted them.
Five on each foot.
You frowned.
You puckered.
Sweet baby lips
So tiny
So tiny.
My firstborn.
You kicked sweet legs.
Your arms reached out
Little fists.
Perhaps you knew
The angels were near.
My firstborn.
I have no pictures
To remember you by.
Your face is a dim memory.
My firstborn.
I held you in my arms
Just one time.
But you live in my heart
Forever.
My firstborn.
David Lloyd McClure
September 10, 1957 - September 12, 1957
My firstborn.
 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Winners


We have a tie for first place winners of my tour, so I've decided to give two Amazon Gift Certificates.
And they are:
ta da

Apple Blossom

Nancy S.

Second Place Angel Decoration

Susanne

The Gift Certificates will come by email. I think I have your emails. Will check to see if they're right.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone that made my tour so successful. Now if you're still looking for that perfect gift for the children you know, remember Tumbleweed Christmas and Frankie's Perfect Home. For your tweens and teens, I have books too.

Happy Reading.



The End

The tour is over. It's been a fun two weeks. Some wonderful reviews. Some great interviews. And meeting new friends. I'll post the winners of the contest later today. Now, I want to share some of the exciting parts of the tour.

This is a link to the video of Kaitlyn and Dakota, a teen and her younger sister, who reviewed Tumbleweed Christmas. It is so cute. Enjoy.

Also, Renee Hand interviewed me on her Blog Talk Radio show Friday. She asked some very interesting questions.

Listen to internet radio with storiesfromunknownauthors on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, December 5, 2011

Virtual Book Tour

Today my Virtual Book Tour begins. Book reviews, guest posts, and prizes. Would love for you to stop by and leave a comment. The blog hosts are listed below. See you.

Monday, December 5th


Book reviewed at
4 the Love of Books

Tuesday, December 6th

Book reviewed at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Wednesday, December 7th

Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Thursday, December 8th

Book reviewed at Taking Time for Mommy

Book reviewed at One Day at a Time

Book reviewed at The True Book Addict

Guest blogging at The Christmas Spirit

Friday, December 9th

Book reviewed at Booksnatchers

Monday, December 12th

Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Book spotlighted at The Plot

Tuesday, December 13th

Character interviewed at The Plot

Wednesday, December 14th

Guest blogging at Café of Dreams

Thursday, December 15th

Book reviewed at Reading Frenzy

Friday, December 16th

Podcast interview at Stories from Unknown Authors 2 PM EST

Book reviewed at The Crypto-Capers Review

Video book review at YOU TUBE with Kaitlyn and Dakota a cute video from a couple of kids.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Guest Today

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is visiting my blog today to tell us about her latest releases from MuseItUp. Lady In Waiting, an historical romance, was released in November and Mirror, Mirror, a time-travel romance releases in December.  She wants to let my readers know that she's holding a contest. Everyone who leaves a comment and contact information will be entered into a drawing at the end of the tour. At that time, she will choose two names. One person will receive a copy of Lady In Waiting and the other a copy of Mirror, Mirror.

Both Lady In Waiting and Mirror, Mirror take place during the fifteenth century. Here’s a bit of information about the books.

TITLE: Lady-in-Waiting

Tag Line: Through a series of misunderstandings, Mabriona is forced to live a lie, but when the man she loves awakes from his coma, will she confess her deceit?

Blurb: Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana. When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne.

Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle. Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain.

While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard.

When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?

TITLE: Mirror, Mirror

Tag Line: Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.

Blurb: Lindsay Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time. There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong.

Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter. Before Lindsay can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes. Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman.

Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?

Lady in Waiting released November 18th from MuseItUp. Direct buy link: http://tinyurl.com/6u4keh5

Mirror, Mirror will release in December. The MuseItUp Bookstore buy link: 
http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2

***
Penny also has some interesting information on scrying.

I wanted to talk today about the art of scrying. In Mirror, Mirror, a wise woman uses her special scrying mirror to local Lindsey Baker in the twenty-first century. Lindsey looks exactly like Prudence, a young girl who is in love with Master Graham. Unfortunately, Graham cannot marry Prudence because she is the baker’s daughter. Graham’s father insists he has to marry a young woman with more influence and money and thus has arranged a marriage for him with the burgher’s daughter.
Lindsey purchases a mirror which the shopkeeper jokingly tells her is a scrying mirror. Through this mirror, Lindsey is transported back to the fifteen century where she is given the task of convincing Graham that he must marry Prudence.
Scrying is the ancient art of divination achieved by a person of talent focusing on an object with a shiny surface until visions appear.

The term scrying comes from the English word “descry.” This is defined as “to see,” “to make out dimly” or “to reveal.” Scryers were sought by people who wanted to know about their future, or needed answers to questions, solutions to problems, or help in finding lost items or people. During the Middle Ages when scrying was popular, most scryers were wise women or wise men who were sometimes referred to as witches. These people were naturally gifted with second sight.

We usually think of scryers using crystal balls, but crystal balls were expensive, and not many scyers could afford them. Many of the early scryers used ponds or lakes on moonlit nights. They also used mirrors, polished stones or metal, or bowls of water.

Mirrors which are used are generally painted black on the concave side. Witches may make the magic mirrors themselves, painting and decorating them during the waxing moon and then consecrating them in traditional rituals used for other witches tools.

Traditionally, a witch uses a magic circle to work her scrying. The best results are obtained at night. The witch will concentrate upon her chosen tool and will be rewarded with visions either on the surface of the tool or by receiving mental images. To be able to scry, the witch needs to turn off all distractions and enter an altered state of consciousness. Some ancient grimoires indicate a great deal of preparation was necessary for the witch to perform a scrying. Some of the steps included fasting, prayers, and summoning various spirits. They would definitely have to do a psychic cleansing of both themselves and the area where they would be scrying.

First the person scrying will quiet her mind, relax and concentrate on the reflective surface. Keeping her mind blank, the witch will look within the glass, ignoring reflections or light on the surface. Sinking into the glass, the witch forms a question in her mind. The glass will appear to cloud over, become smoky, and a dark patch appears. At this point, pictures, signs or other symbols that the witch must interpret will appear in the glass.

Prudence approached the wise woman in Mirror, Mirror to learn what she could do to make Graham go against his father’s wishes. When Lindsey is brought through time, Prudence disappears. Mirror, Mirror doesn’t follow Prudence to see where she goes, but I’ll let you know that her spirit is inhabiting Lindsey’s body in the twenty-first century while Lindsey’s spirit is trapped in Prudence’s.

Please join me in these journeys through time to see what happens to Mabriona in Lady In Waiting and Lindsey in Mirror, Mirror.

***

SHORT EXCERPTS:

LADY-IN-WAITING

“Today’s the day, Mabriona,” Princess Alana said as Mabriona entered the chambers. She wiped tears from her eyes with an embroidered linen. “Prince Blayne will be here, and soon I’ll be his wife. I think the worst part of being father’s daughter is marrying someone I’ve never even met.”

“You’ve always known your marriage would be arranged for the benefit of the kingdom, Princess, but I’m sure he’ll be very nice,” Mabriona replied as she opened the heavy drapes covering the windows. She looked at her cousin and sighed. She wanted to feel sorry for Alana, but they’d had this discussion so many times. Mabriona was tired of it. Alana had known from the time she was a child that she would not wed for love. Why can’t Alana just accept her fate? Outside the day was as wet as the one before and the one before that.

“Nice? Who wants nice? I want someone handsome and dashing. A knight in shining armor who will love me forever. I certainly don’t want someone like my father who will make me do everything I don’t want to do.”

MIRROR, MIRROR

After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub. A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air. While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces. She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.

“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub. She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint. While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed. She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom. She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.

***
If you'd like to follow Penny on her virtual tour, here are her stops. Remember, you can win a copy of her books.

VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR

LADY-IN-WAITING AND MIRROR, MIRROR

November 28 - Lisa Blackwood -
http://blackwoodsforest.wordpress.com/

November 29 – Sandra Cox - http://sandracox.blogspot.com/

November 30 – C K Volnek - http://www.ckvolnek.com/blog.html

December 1 – Lin Holmes – http://linsownminingforgold.blogspot.com/

December 2 – Marva Dasef - http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/

December 3 – Rosalie Skinner - http://rosalieskinner.blogspot.com/

December 4 – Beverly Stowe McClure - http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com/

December 5 – Lindsay Townsend - http://lindsaysromantics.blogspot.com/

December 6 – Karen Cote - http://www.karencote.tv/karens-chaise-lounge

December 6 – Chastity Bush - http://chastitybush.blogspot.com/

December 7 – Daryl Devore - http://www.myeroticnotions.blogspot.com/

December 8 – Victoria Adams - http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com/

December 9 – Julie Dobbins - http://juliedobbins.blogspot.com/

December 10 – Marsha Moore - http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com/ -

December 11 – Joylene Butler - http://cluculzwriter.blogspot.com/ -






Friday, December 2, 2011

Do You Like Contests?

If you answered "yes", let me tell you about a good one going on right now. I reviewed this book awhile back. From the author, Lee Chambers, himself:



"I wanted to tell you that I am running a contest. Here's the info:

"Aaron Stevens got away with $5 million and went on the run in The Pineville Heist. Now you have a chance to get away with $100 by taking in this cracking new thriller that's on the way to becoming a movie!

"Check out THE PINEVILLE HEIST and you can win a $50 gift certificate for Amazon.com and a $50 VISA gift card courtesy of author Lee Chambers and www.thesimpledude.com.
"
Entering the contest is simple. All you need to do is:

1. Purchase the thriller The Pineville Heist in e-book format for JUST 99 cents, yes, it's LESS than one dollar!



2. Review the book on Amazon.

3. And LIKE The Pineville Heist on Facebook.

Five lucky people will be chosen at random to receive an autographed copy of The Pineville Heist. And one grand prize winner will get a $50 VISA gift card AND a $50 Amazon gift card.The prize drawings won't take place until New Years Eve, so you have time to read it. But don't wait too long!"
http://www.pinevilleheist.com/

I'm in. How about you?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Interview With Griffin

A while back I reviewed Griffin Rising, Darby Karchut's debut novel for teens and one of my favorite books of 2011. Today, it is my pleasure to interview the main character, Griffin. Now remember, he is a teen and teens have their own way of looking at life, as I was gently reminded the other day by the young man who carried my groceries to the car. Griffin is also a guardian angel in training. And now, Griffin has a word or two for us.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Griffin.

Uh...thanks, Mrs. McClure.

Your story fascinates me. I believe there are angels among us, and you are proof that it’s true. So what is a Terrae Angeli exactly?

Well, Terrae Angeli are guardians for humans. Like celestial angels in a way, except we are a lot more down to earth. In fact, that’s what Terrae Angeli means in Latin: earth angels. And we are more like humans than angels. We look and act like mortals. We have free will. We can get hurt or even killed on missions. And we like and dislike the same stuff as most people.

There are two kinds of Terrae Angeli: Earth & Fire and Wind & Water. I’m an Earth and Fire angel. That means I can harness the power of earth and fire to help me on rescue missions. My Mentor, Basil, is a Wind and Water angel.

First, you are a Tiro, the lowest rank of Terrae Angeli. What must you do to reach the higher ranks?

You’re right, Mrs. McClure. The Tiro is the lowest level, followed by Mentor, then Guardian, then Sage. A Tiro is an apprentice to a Mentor. Basil once said it’s like a knight and squire type of relationship. When I turn sixteen, I have this trial-by-combat test called the Proelium. Once I pass it, I’m on my way to completing my apprenticeship.
Basil is your second mentor. What happened with your first, Nicopolis?

I don’t like talking about him. Heck, I don’t even like THINKING about him. He used to beat the crap out of me. But then I got re-assigned to Basil. Talk about total opposites!

So how’s it going with Basil?

Awesome! I’ve learned so much from him. He uses our missions to teach me more advanced Element control as well as using my Might. Plus he’s pretty cool, except when he’s doing the whole Mentor thing. Then he’s a pain in the rear. He’s always on me about my manners and being a gentleman. Blah, blah, blah. (Um...don’t tell him I said that, okay?)

But he did rescue me from Nicopolis. And he treats me like I’m worth something. Worth his time and energy. I guess he’s like a dad to me in all the best ways.

Do you have special powers?

Besides controlling earth and fire, I can also use Might. It’s like the Force that the Jedi use. But I’m still not very good at it. It takes a lot of training and practice. But Basil says I’ll get there eventually.

And, of course, I can fly.

Do you ever wish you were human?

Nope! The only thing I want to be is a Terrae Angeli.

I hear you have a cute neighbor. Tell us about Katie.

Katie’s great. Wicked smart and really pretty. She’s become a good friend – I guess you would say we are boyfriend/girlfriend. But she doesn’t know what I am. Sometimes I wonder if it would change how she felt about me.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

Dogs and small children are the only ones who can recognize us Terrae Angeli. They go nuts around us. Dogs jump all over us and kids keep trying to hug our knees! It’s totally embarrassing. Katie has this enormous Irish wolfhound named Bear that goes berserk when I go over to their house. But I love the big guy, even when he’s being insane.
Thank you, Griffin, for sharing your story. I’m excited that you’ll be in another book to continue your adventures.

Hey, thanks, Mrs. McClure, for having me. This was a lot of fun!


Wow! What a great kid. And guess what? We'll meet Griffin again in April, 2011, when Griffin's Fire is released.

Now for a little about Darby:
 



All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Master’s in education and became a social studies teacher.

Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today.

Darby is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Triangles

TRIANGLES by Ellen Hopkins
Review

Hardback copy courtesy of Atria Books and Good Reads


 

Life is complicated. Life brings joy. It also brings pain. Marriage is a fragile thread. Sometimes it brings happiness. Sometimes it unravels and leads to unfaithfulness. Families are torn apart, betrayed by those they love as they search for what is missing in their lives.

In author Ellen Hopkins’s first novel for adults, Triangles, we meet three women who are dealing with drastic changes in their lives: Marissa, Holly, and Andrea. To me, Marissa’s story is the most touching. How does a woman deal with a dying child, a gay son, and a husband that’s unfaithful? Then there’s her sister, Andrea, a single mother who finds herself interested in her friend Holly’s husband. Holly, who just wanted to be “safe” is now looking for success other than being a mom. The children and teens involved, each with their own story, add to the tension in the families. Reading this novel sure makes me appreciate the calmness of my life.

Beautiful poetic verse paints a revealing picture of a side of life that brings more feelings of guilt than of satisfaction. In my little world it’s hard to imagine people who actually live like the characters in this story live. I know they do, but I’ve never thought much about it, until now. This book has opened my eyes to what can go terribly wrong in a marriage and how it effects everyone involved. The scenes are intense and leave little to the imagination as the antagonists follow their desires, giving little thought to the consequences that are sure to occur. The characters are well developed and I wanted them to find happiness, although without hurting others. A good novel brings out emotions in the reader, in my opinion. Ms. Hopkins’s story certainly does that for me. I was angry at the characters for doing such dumb things. I cried along with the characters when their hearts were breaking. This novel is definitely for adults because of the graphic scenes. If you like happy endings, you won’t find one here. You will, however, find hope, I think, and come away from the story with a new sense of why people sometimes do the things they do, at least I have. We never know the secrets individuals carry with them, the secrets they keep to themselves. Triangles is a story that will stay with you even after you’ve read the final page.

###

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading and Writing

Quote for the week:  Start early and work hard. A writer's apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he's almost ready to begin. That takes a while.
David Eddings

Watch for forthcoming reviews on Triangle by Ellen Hopkins, Wounds by Barbara Bockman, and Debra K. Dunlap's Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair, after Thanksgiving most likely.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I was. We celebrated yesterday since it turned out Sunday was a better day for all concerned. We had a lovely time, even though all the family could not be with us. They're scattered from coast to coast. We'll see others at Christmas and some this summer. Anytime, works for me.

This is part of us. More are at the table in the living room.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear friends.

Happy reading and writing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For the Birds Review

What happens when a parakeet named Ruby gets an unexpected mind-meld with Marcella Hollister's quarrelsome mother, Thelma? After Thelma is kidnapped from her hospital bed, Marcella must find her - somewhere in the tall pines of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. With the help of her Native American husband, Quinn, and bizarre "tips" from Ruby, Marcella butts heads with quirky bird psychic Earl Tiramisu, much to the chagrin of the FBI, who wants her to stay out of the investigation.



FOR THE BIRDS Review

By Aaron Paul Lazar


 

 

What do you do when your parakeet starts talking like your mother? A white pickup with two shaggy men inside turns up everywhere you go? Your house is broken into while you‘re at a hotel for a bird contest? Your mother is kidnapped? And that’s just the beginning.

Author Aaron Paul Lazar’s novel For the Birds is the first book in the Tall Pines Mystery Series. From the opening paragraph to the final sentence, Mr. Lazar takes the reader on a roller coaster ride with more twists and turns than a country road. It starts out simple enough. Marcella and her husband, Quinn, along with Marcella’s mother, Thelma, are on their way to a bird show with their parakeet, Ruby, who by the way is my favorite character in the story. But who is Earl Tiramisu and why does he ask so many questions about Thelma who almost drowned in the hotel pool and ended up in the hospital. (It’s too complicated to explain. You’ll have to read the story.) Enter FBI agents, secrets revealed, and Marcella and Quinn are soon on a dangerous mission to find the answers to all the questions, as well as where Thelma, who has been kidnapped, is, who kidnapped her, and why. One thing’s for sure, this story will keep you guessing, for nothing is what it seems and the people are not always who you think they are.

Even with the fatalities that occur with some bloodshed, For the Birds is a fun read, especially for mystery lovers that like to solve the mystery before the characters do. The ending to this one may surprise you. It did me. The quirky yet realistic characters and the setting in the Adirondacks make this book an enjoyable read. I can only imagine what the characters will encounter in the next book in the series.

###

Monday, November 14, 2011

New eBook Publisher

Quote for the week:  Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. William Jam

Today I'd like to introduce you to a new eBook publisher. Nicole Langan may not be new to you. You may know her from her books and from the tours. She has ventured into a new business though and she's here to tell you what she's up to.

From Nicole: Beginning in 2012, Tribute Books will become solely an ebook publisher of young adult titles.

We're looking to work with authors who are savvy with social media - those who blog, tweet and update their Facebook status on a daily basis.

Our preference is for authors who already have a book(s) published through a royalty-paying press. We want to work with those who are familiar with the ins and outs of the publishing process. We seek those who have experience having their work edited and know the effort required for successful book promotion.

There would be NO charge for authors, and those selected would receive 50% of the net retail price in royalties
.

To begin, we're looking to work with 12 authors in 2012, publishing one per month.

Nicole agreed to an interview with me and kindly answered my questions.




1. Tell us a little about yourself, Nicole.

I'm 32-years-old. I've lived in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area for most of my life. I have a 9-month-old Shih-Tzu puppy named Buster. My favorite TV shows are Dexter and Breaking Bad. I love movies that originate from film festivals. I'm a fan of Italian, Mexican and Chinese food. I've been reading books since I was 4-years-old. I work from home. My daily uniform is centered around blue jeans. I wish summer was a year-long season because I detest the cold. I'm addicted to Diet Coke. I enjoy being outdoors and experiencing nature. I'm your typical Virgo - quiet, creative, detail-oriented.


2. How did you get into the publishing business?

I've spent roughly the last 12 years in the publishing world. I have a B.A. summa cum laude in English and Communications. From 1999-2004, I went from being an intern to an editorial assistant to an associate editor of a regional magazine.

In 2004, I started Tribute Books. Since that time, I've worked with dozens of authors, illustrators, photographers and editors in publishing over 30 books. Some of our books have gone on to win awards such as the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year and the Mom's Choice Award while others were endorsed by PBS and The Thoreau Society. We've published a wide variety of genres from children's picture books to history to sports under both traditional and subsidy contracts.
In 2012, we'll embark on a new transition becoming solely an e-publisher of young adult titles. There will be no charge for the young adult authors we select to work with, and they will receive 50% of the net profits of their ebook sales in quarterly royalty payments.

3. What do you think is the best way for an author to promote her/his work?

I am a big believer in the power of social media. I even conduct monthly blog tours for outside publishers and authors in order to help them increase the online presence of a book. Book bloggers are a powerful force in the book industry. With more and more book stores closing and book review columns being cut from major newspapers, readers are depending on bloggers to help them find the books they want to read. They are turning to the internet as a reference point to fill this information gap.

In my opinion, social networking is the bread and butter of any author's promotional efforts. Without it, it's like trying to paddle upstream without a canoe. Readers want to connect with the person who wrote the book. They crave interaction with an author. Nothing beats getting a writer to comment on a blogger's book review post or getting a personalized thank you tweet from your favorite author. The days of authors being isolated from their fans is over. They're now able to build an online following and receive instant feedback for their work. They have the opportunity to take part in creating their own literary community.
We try to keep an active online presence with our web site (
http://www.tribute-books.com/), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/171628704176), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/TributeBooks) and blog (http://tributebooks.blogspot.com/). We'd love to have anyone who loves young adult literature to join us for the ride.

4. Are you a reader also? If so, what are your favorite books?

Absolutely! I'd have to say I've been pretty taken with Lauren Oliver's work - Before I Fall and Delirium. Her ability to translate such an intensity of emotion onto the page really impressed me. Even though her books are marketed to a young adult audience, the quality of her writing is strong enough to stand on its own in comparison to any genre.


5. Do you think ebooks will eventually be more popular than print? Why or why not?

I do. Over the course of 2011, we've watched our ebook sales outpace our print sales by 2 to 1 due to the explosion in popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad. The under $5 price point of most of our e-titles and the ease of purchase and delivery surely facilitated this rapid change. I can only see this trend increasing in momentum as the price of e-readers continues to lower and more and more people start using this new technology. The industry shift is similar to what occurred in terms of music buying habits when iTunes downloads became more popular that CD purchases. There will always be a market for print books, but I think the majority of book sales will soon be electronic. People want the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to obtain their reading material.
Thanks for agreeing to host me. I really appreciate it.

It's been my pleasure, Nicole. Best of luck in what sounds like an exciting future.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

We Have Winners!

Hi All,

I'm happy to announce that we have winners for the November Blog Hop. Emails have been sent to the winners that were chosen by Random.org. Congratulations to:

Litzalou

Hardback copy of Forever



Sandra Stiles

Paperback copy of Rebel in Blue Jeans



Your books will be on their way as soon as I hear from you. Thanks to all my fabulous new and older followers. I had fun. Hope you did too. Until the next Hop. Have a nice weekend.


Happy Reading

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Giveaway Hop


It's here. The November Giveaway Hop. It runs from Nov. 8th- 11th and is hosted by I Am a Reader, not a Writer and Tristi Pinkston, co-host. I will have two winners. The first will receive a copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. I ended up with two copies, one I had bought, the other I won in a contest, so I'm giving away the one I purchased and keeping the signed one. The second winner will receive a copy of my YA novel Rebel in Blue Jeans. Both winners will also get bookmarks.

All you have to do to enter is to follow me and leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you're a winner. You earn an extra point for tweeting the post.

Also, visit the other blogs in this hop for some great giveaways. Links are below.









Monday, November 7, 2011

November Blog Hop

Quote of the week:  You are never too old to set another goal ... or to dream a new dream.  C. S. Lewis

A reminder: The November Blog Hop starts Nov. 8 at 12:01 AM. Stop by to see the great giveaways at 200 blogs. It ends at midnight Nov. 11. Winners will be announced Nov. 12. Good luck to each of you. I plan to do a lot of hopping myself, between two book signings I have this week.

Happy reading and writing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

eBook Sale for Book Lovers

We appreciate our readers. 100 critically acclaimed ebooks are on sale from Twilight Times Books. Prices discounted 50% ($1.99 to $3.50) now via the Twilight Times Books web site and also via our ebook distributors later this month. Barnes and Noble Nook, eReader, Fictionwise, Kindle, Kobo, OmniLit, Sony, Amazon, etc. until Jan. 15th. Historical, literary, mystery, SF, YA and more.

So do your Christmas shopping early. Fill those stockings with gifts that will last. (Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is only $2.99. For the history lover in your family or friends,)

Happy Reading and Writing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

And the Winner Is ....

Ta Da!
storylady
You've won a copy of Listen to the Ghost.
I'll be emailing you, Sharon.
Congratulations. Enjoy meeting Phoebe, my ghost.

Watch for the Giveaway Hop Nov. 8th-11th, co-hosted by I Am a Reader, not a Writer and Tristi Pinkston. A whole bunch of blogs, 200 so far, are participating in this giant giveaway.

I'll be choosing two winners for ... you'll have to wait and see.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saving June Review

SAVING JUNE
by
 Hannah Harrington


  • Reading level: Young Adult

  • Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (November 22, 2011)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0373210248

  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210244





  • eBook courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin Teen


    The unexpected death of a teenager is tragic. You think they have their whole lives ahead of them. A bright future. Then the unexplainable happens. When the teen is someone you know and they take their own life you question why? Especially if they’re a family member that you thought had everything. Where did her life go wrong? Why didn’t you see the signs? Questions. Questions. Few or no answers.

    Author Hannah Harrington’s novel, Saving June, deals with suicide and it’s effect on the surviving family. Nine days before high school graduation, June ends her life. Her younger sister, Harper, finds the body. Guilt consumes Harper, since the last time she talked to June, they argued. When Harper discovers a postcard of a beach that has “California, I’m coming home,” scribbled on it in June’s handwriting, she thinks, or hopes, the answer to her sister’s unhappiness lies in California. A strange boy who is at the house after June’s funeral and who acts angry about something, though Harper doesn’t even know him, prompts Harper to find out who the boy is and what his relationship was to her sister. Soon, Harper, her best friend Laney, and the boy, who’s name is Jake, are soon on their way to California in hopes they’ll find a clue to June’s message on the postcard. Will Harper find peace and not blame herself for her sister’s death? Will the love/hate relationship she develops with Jake change to something more substantial? And how does the letter Jake gives her, from June, help her come to an understanding of her sister’s life? Again, many questions, but I think you’ll enjoy discovering the answers along with Harper.

    Ms. Harrington has written a novel that should make young readers more aware that sometimes friends and/or family members are not always what they seem to be on the outside. Inside, they may have doubts and worries and problems they do not share with others. Saving June is a story that will touch your heart and make you want to hug those you love and tell them how much you care for them, before it’s too late. There are no second chances. So pick up a copy today. You’ll be glad you did.

    ###

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Halloween Giveaway

    Fall seems to be the season for contests and giveaways, so I'm having a couple of my own. Since October is spook month, I'm giving away a paperback copy of my ghost story for young adults, Listen to the Ghost. This contest is also to celebrate my 100 fabulous followers (actually 108). It's very simple. All you have to do is follow me and leave a comment telling us what your favorite novel about ghosts is. Also leave your email so I can contact you if you're the winner. Random org will draw the winner on October 28, 2011.


    A girl who wants to forget her ex-boyfriend with the lying lips.
    A ghost who doesn't want to be a ghost.
    A one hundred year old neighbor that talks in riddles.
    And a handsome sax playyer that changes everything.


    Also, I'm doing a Blog Hop in November. More about that one later.

    Have a nice weekend. Don't forget to leave a comment.

    Happy Reading and Writing.

    

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Christmas Sale

    What? Christmas, you ask? It's not even Halloween yet. That's true, but don't let that stop you from shopping. If you're in the market for books, from wee ones to grandmas and grandpas, take a look at the sale 4 RV Publishing has going on at this moment. From now through December 5th, you can find some great books at a discount. So surf on over to 4RV's Book Store and browse the catalog and surprise your family and friends with a good book for those cold winter evenings that will soon be arriving. Umm, Tumbleweed Christmas is on page 5 and Just Breeze is at page 2.

    Happy Reading and Writing.

    P. S. Check back on Monday for a Halloween Contest. See, I haven't forgotten one of the most fun holidays we have.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Tales from a Disturbed Mind

    This post is just a hodgepodge of my rambling brain. That’s how I’ve been all week, jumping from one thing to another, never settling anywhere for long, like a butterfly flitting from flower to flower.

    The Muse Online Writers Conference has ended. It was a week of learning, sharing, meeting new people and making friends. My workshop on Vision Boarding was fun, at least for me. We shared ideas on characters, setting, and plot. And boy, the writers had lots of great thoughts.

    I planned to attend some of the other workshops, but kept too busy to do so. My organization skills need improving. One thing that’s nice about an Online conference is you can attend at your convenience. You also can be wearing your sloppiest clothes and no makeup and no one will know.

    I pitched my MG story and was asked for a full. Getting it ready to send, with fingers crossed they’ll offer me a contract. A couple of my friends were asked for their manuscripts by the agents they pitched to, which makes me thrilled for them. This could be their big break.

    October 20 is the National Day on Writing, started three years ago, by the National Council of Teachers of English. It sounds like a lot of fun. You can publish your writing, or tell your family, friends or students, if you are a teacher, about publishing to the National Gallery of Writing. For details check their site:
    http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting

    Tonight (when I'm writing this) I’m lost in the world of baseball playoffs, which has nothing to do with writing, unless a character turns out to be a baseball player in a future story. (By the time you read this, the game will be over, but there’s another one Wednesday and on and on.) The game is tied at the moment. Come to think of it, my early reader that just came out, Tumbleweed Christmas, has a girl who carries her baseball glove everywhere she goes.

    Are you getting dizzy trying to follow me? Never fear, it’s almost over. One last thought to leave with you.

    Halloween will soon be here. What is your favorite memory?

    I remember going to a party when I was in junior high. We dressed in costumes, of course. I was Cinderella wearing a long full dress my mother made for me. Well, we went on a scavenger hunt, and it was cold and windy. That skirt kept blowing in my face or else I was tripping over it. So much for being a graceful Cinderella. By the time we were finished with the hunt, I resembled the “before” Cinderella, before the fairy godmother turned her into a beautiful princess.

    My ramblings are over for now. Bye. [Do I hear shouts of joy?]

     

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Meet Author/Illustrator Ben Rubin

    WHEN COMES WHAT DARKLY THIEVES

    After Elias Canetti

    By Ben Rubin, author/illustrator


    Ebook courtesy of the author


    Graphic novels are quite popular these days. Now I admit, I’ve read very few. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested in them. I’m simply busy with other types of stories and have never gotten around to studying this type of writing. That is until I read Author Ben Rubin’s WHEN COMES WHAT DARKLY THIEVES after Elias Canetti.

    The cover consists of exotic artwork that sets the mood, at least it did for me. You see old houses, like in a rundown neighborhood, while a red bird flies overhead. There’s also what appears to be an eye, looking at you, from a fractured face. Who wouldn’t want to continue, to look inside for the meaning of the illustrations? As I turned pages, more interesting scenes presented themselves. A black and white design resembles a figure, a man, perhaps? Or it could be an animal? Or even a spaceship in the clouds? Then we see a face and the eye again, along with the shacks and more faces, fractured faces, as well as shattered glass. These pictures, to me, depict fear, sadness, and despair. You may see something entirely different in them. Sparse prose complements the drawings, letting you in on their secrets. I won’t give away any more, so you’ll have to check the book out for yourself.

    Author Ben Rubin has written a graphic novel that will likely appeal to fans of this genre. The author talks directly to his readers, which makes you feel almost as though you’re there with him. And the ending … Well, you’ll find out. Enjoy the read.

    About the Author from the Publishers website:

    A writer and illustrator, who once was asked by his mother to put tube socks on his feet that, at least it struck him, did not resemble the shape of feet at all. That night he dreamed of busty, rusty robots and birds wearing the wrong wings, and he learned what it was like to be eaten by an angel. To give a brief history of disorientation, to find something where instead there should be something else, Jonah in a jellyfish, a sentence searching for itself inside itself, or Ben Rubin, himself, giving you a wink with his winking eye, as if to convey to you some secret knowledge about how we misbehave? How do we misbehave? With smiles on our faces of course!

    The author and publisher will donate one dollar from every book to Reading is Fundamental, with another dollar going to the Steve Nash Foundation, two organizations devoted to the healthy development of children. And fifty cents of every book sold will go to Ellie Lee, a friend of Ben’s who was recently in a horrible bicycle accident.

    For PDF orders, 15% of revenue will be split evenly between these causes

    Happy Reading and Writing