Tuesday, December 4, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Sara Fitzgerald

Sara Fitzgerald has a daughter with autism and was involved in getting the S.B 57 Autism Services Amendments passed. Sara was named Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers in 2006.  She is also the author of the Christmas Story, Saving Savanna.

She lives with her husband and daughter in the Rocky Mountains. She enjoys spending time with her family.


A Miracle for Ann

Ann is two-years-old and was recently diagnosed with autism.  Her parents are desperate to help her.  Ann shows great promise. However, she needs early intervention at an expensive preschool.
Going to school could give Ann the life her parents always dreamed of for her. But paying for the school would take a miracle, and this Christmas season, miracles seem to be in short supply.

Get the Book at Amazon
...Kate pushed Ann’s stroller inside the mall. It was a weekday and the mall had barely opened, so it wasn’t noisy or crowded. It was decorated with huge, beautiful gold ornaments dangling from the high ceilings. In the center of the mall was a cluster of Christmas trees where Santa sat by a glowing fire.
Kate swallowed. How would Ann react? This probably wasn’t a good idea. Kate wanted a picture of Ann with Santa. Kate reached in the stroller and undid the straps on Ann and lifted her. Christmas carols played in the background. No one was in line.
“Hi,” said a young teenage girl. “Would you like her picture taken with Santa or just to visit?”
Kate gulped. “Picture please.”
“What a cute little girl.” The teenager said.
Kate had dressed Ann in a darling red velvet dress. Her brown hair curled softly around her small face. She looked perfect.
The teenager waved her arm toward Santa. “Go ahead. He’s ready for you.”
Santa sat up straight. He looked the part. If this went well it would be a lovely picture.
“Ho, ho,” he said in a loud booming voice.
Oh no. Maybe Kate should have tried harder to get a hold of the mall to warn the Santa to be gentle and calm. Ann’s eyes went round, she covered her ears. When they reached the Santa, he began to pull Ann away from Kate. “Ho, ho, ho.” He laughed jolly.
He played the part so well, a typical child would love him, but Ann wasn’t typical. She covered her ears and began to scream. The Santa let go and left Ann in Kate’s arms. His eyes widened.
Kate’s eyes misted. This was going exactly the way she feared it would. Her heart sank. These were the times it hurt the most that Ann had autism. 

Other Titles by Sara Fitzgerald

Saving Savanna
Mine for Keeps
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Yesterday’s Wish
Anything for Charity
Darkness Within
Magic Within


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Cindy A. Christiansen

Hello, Kathryn. I have been writing for some time now and have sixteen published books. I got started writing when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness and was bedridden. Writing and adopting my first rescue dog was what got me through that difficult period of time. Although I write sweet romantic suspense, I also add dogs, feature them on my covers and donate a portion of my proceeds to Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS).

After four years of not being able to write due to my youngest son's health issues, I am back with two new novellas--Christmas Spoons and Hawk Mountain Heist. Hawk Mountain Heist is my traditional style but Christmas Spoons is my first historical, holiday, family-life story. It's getting great reviews on Amazon!


Louise has been passed from one relative to another for years. Now, World War II has ended, she’s ready to graduate high school and wants to escape to Salt Lake City, Utah on her own. That is, until she meets Danny who has just returned from World War II.

Danny longed for two years to return to his small home town. Now that he’s home, nothing feels the same. He finds himself wishing for more out of life than working his family’s farm and turning his money over to his parents.

When friends decide to elope to Las Vegas, Danny and Louise find themselves along for the ride. With very few possessions, little money and limited jobs after the war, the two struggle to build a future with only their love, friends, optimism and faith.

This novella is a historical, holiday, family-life story suitable for young adults and up.
______________________________

When easy-going Tanker Sutherland is jilted at the altar, he moves to Utah for a job on the ski patrol and to train a new avalanche rescue dog, Tobler. Tank is annoyed when he’s assigned to help a pretentious, well-to-do woman named Olivia find her brother instead of an official search and rescue. Never once did he dream it would involve criminal recyclers, kidnapping, an avalanche and serious danger. 
Olivia is terrified of being buried alive, but it doesn’t stop her from going to the winter mountains during a huge storm to find her real estate developer brother when he doesn’t return her calls. Unfortunately, she’s assigned a ski patroller who doesn’t have his heart in the search.
Will Olivia and Tanker set their distrust aside long enough to rescue her brother from criminal recyclers?

This novella is a sweet (clean) romantic suspense suitable for young adults and up.




Bestselling author, Cindy A Christiansen, has combined her love of dogs with her joy of writing to create an award-winning combination. Her novels always include canine characters both in the pages and on the cover, an extension of the credit she gives to her extraordinary rescue dogs for their part in helping her overcome numerous challenges. In a reciprocal gesture for their love and devotion, a portion of the proceeds from her books is donated to assist abandoned and abused dogs.

She lives in Utah with her loving husband, two creative children with autism, and a pack of rambunctious dogs.

Fly into a good book!

You can contact her through her website at:
or by email at:

Monday, November 26, 2018

CYBER MONDAY FEEL GOOD DEAL!


Today is Cyber Monday, and you know what that means! A FREE gift for you!

For the first time, get all three Parables in one place. That's Conquering Your Goliaths, The Feast, and The Gift!

Get the book HERE!



Friday, November 23, 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Willow Monroe

          Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

My name is Willow Monroe.  I was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia along with two brothers and two sisters.  I currently live in Staunton, Virginia, a tiny little town in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley which is the inspiration for the settings for most of my stories.  I got started writing, the way most people do, I think.  During the summer between fourth and fifth grade, my mother took us to the library like she did every week.  For some reason, though, during that visit, it actually dawned on me that someone somewhere had to write all of these books, all of these stories that I loved so much.  I knew from that moment on what I wanted to do with my life.  I have submitted to traditional publishers but never had any luck.  With the advent of indie publishing, I was finally able to make my dreams come true and write full-time. 

Get the book on Amazon
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I have to write first thing in the morning before I do anything else.  I crawl out of bed, make coffee and head straight for my little office (which is really just a spare bedroom).  I try not to turn on too many lights or talk to anyone when I get up, almost like trying to stay in a dream state.  Then, with a hot cup of coffee and my eyes half closed, I sit down, put my fingers on the keys and tell myself a story.

      How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

Again, I have to have my private space which is my little office and I have to have quiet.  I don’t listen to music or go to coffee shops or anything like that.  It’s just me and the keyboard.  Now, when I outline or scribble down notes, that HAS to be done by hand.  There’s something about actually putting pen to paper that makes it happen.  And, don’t laugh, I use a fountain pen, not a ballpoint or rollerball or felt tip, nothing like that.  The little scratching sound of the tip on the paper is soothing to me, and I swear, I think the pen acts as an antenna to catch all the good ideas as they flow through the air past me. 

      What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is really the whole process.  When I’m getting ready to write a scene, I sort of close my eyes, start the movie playing in my head and then write down what happens.  I usually have to go back and rewrite but I don’t mind that part either.  I’d say my least favorite part is worrying that I have the structure correct and trying to make a more detailed outline like Jade Wolfe and JD Salyers keep telling me to do.  What can I say, they’re plotters and I’m, well, not.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

One of the books in this collection, Peppermint Breath and an Untimely Death, just popped into my head because of a chocolate peppermint cupcake recipe.  I’d already written one book of the Dixie Cupp Diner Mysteries and just fell in love with Starla and her gang.  And she evolved from an article I read about a cupcake festival somewhere in West Virginia.  Anyway, I just had to have a winter festival for the fictional town of Sugar Hill with some stiff competition for Starla and the Dixie Cupp Diner.  And, well, there had to be a murder.  Who is least likely to get murdered than the mailman?  I’d say it took me about six weeks to write mostly because I kept getting sidetracked with another story that wanted to be told at the same time.  And that involved ghosts.  My head is so full sometimes!

       What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

We’ve been writing and self-publishing since 2014.  Back in those days, all you had to do was write the best book and you could and get it up there.  Now, the market is so crowded, we’re learning that marketing is critical.  And that is where I am so lacking in knowledge.  We have a website and I post regularly on Instagram.  I’m just learning about AMS ads and Patreon and other platforms.  Whew!  That’s almost a full-time job in itself.

       What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently working on a new book, Savage Souls, and using NaNoWriMo to spur myself to get it completed this month—no excuses!  We did gather up a couple of my winter time cozies from three different series called Fireside Homicide which is out now.  The cover is so fun and gives readers a chance to sample the three different series.

      Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I always have a project (or two) on the back burner.  I want to write a series about a young woman who is half-werewolf (but she doesn’t know it).  She just knows she has some odd health issues that no one seems to be able to pinpoint. She comes back to Wolf Hollow when her mother is killed in an auto accident and right away, uncovers some pretty dark secrets.  Of course, she’ll solve some murder and meet a very handsome werewolf along the way.

       What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Always, always, always believe in yourself.  Sit down at that keyboard and tell yourself a story.  No one is reading over your shoulder. No one can tell you what is right or wrong.  Stay true to the story.  Stay true to your dream and you’ll come out a winner every time.  Oh, and never stop learning and studying the craft.  There’s never been a better time to be a writer, to get your story out to the world.  Don’t give up!

***

A Question for Kathryn:

I’d be very interested in your marketing techniques and strategies.  I’m woefully ignorant in this area and I need to learn quickly.

I like to keep things as simple as possible. There's nothing worse than having so much to do that you do nothing because the task seems impossible! I guess that's why Marketing Your Book on a Budget was written. I had stacks of stuff everywhere, and couldn't make heads nor tails of it. I needed it to be all in one place and organized so I could find what I needed when I needed it. Writers quickly lose energy to market when they don't focus in on just a few ways to market, and instead, try to do everything at the same time. You don't need to do everything, just those things that work for you! So try a couple of things out. I would suggest getting reviews and then getting out there and meeting readers face to face as much as you can. Once this is going well for you, add something else. 

Our website is:  www.pinwheel-books.com
We’re on Instagram as @pinwheelbooks.com

Snuggle up in front of the fire with these three cozy mysteries!


Grab your snuggly robe and your favorite cup of tea and get ready to curl up for a cozy snow-time adventure. These mysteries are all about the sleepy days of winter and the shenanigans that folks get up to when they think nobody is looking – murder, mayhem, sneaky people, and lots of snarky, small town monkey business.

This three-book bundle is a collection of our bestsellers and it's on sale for the price of one, so that's like getting two free cozy mysteries to enjoy on those chilly days ahead!

Stories include: 

Egg Noggin from the Cooper Sisters Mysteries
Peppermint Breath and an Untimely Death from the Dixie Cupp Diner Mysteries
Mansions can be Murder from the Gemma Stone Mysteries

Enjoy!





Thursday, November 22, 2018

BLACK FRIDAY MYSTERY

It's really a mystery why so many people stand in those lines the day after Thanksgiving. It's an even greater mystery because I used to be one of those standing in line.

Why did I do it?

For the great deals, of course. And I have to be honest... I really did like waiting in line and talking to other crazy folks in line willing to do the same thing! What I found to be particularly interesting, is what folks usually stood in line for.

Electronics.

But there was always the surprise. One year it was socks!

I have aged some since my first race through the electronics department at Walmart, and perhaps I've gotten a little bit smarter. I now shop online for those deals, and you probably do too!

To add flavor to the occasion, I wanted to let you know that my suspense Mystery, Scrambled, will be up for FREE TODAY ONLY! That means if you are like me and want to stay home to miss the rush, you may also want to put your feet up and do a little reading.


Notice anything different?

I would love to hear your feedback on the new cover! Just share your thoughts below!

Happy relaxation and shopping online!



Thursday, November 15, 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Haley Cavanagh

     Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, really. I’m an Army veteran and a married mother of two cute girls and lots of furry babies. I write novels in every genre (I’ve been a published romance novelist under a pen name for the last three years), and my newest science fiction novel, Astraeus, just released on October 12th with Covey Publishing.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or do you prefer writing freehand?        

I write quicker on a laptop, but I do jot down any ideas in a notebook or in the memo section of my phone as they come to me randomly. I prefer to write at home in a comfortable, sun-kissed spot of light in my living room, but I also enjoy going to the library, coffee shops, and writing outdoors occasionally.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is finishing a novel and seeing it be published. The act of creation is rewarding, but nothing beats holding your creation in your hand and getting to share it with readers. My least favorite part is writing blurbs, the short descriptions on the backs of books. I find it a real challenge to condense a whole novel's worth into a brief two paragraphs. But it’s a necessary evil. 😉

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

I met some amazing, wonderful and colorful characters during my time in the military. My characters are mostly figments of my imagination, but as with any writer, there are sprinklings of people I’ve known, experiences I’ve had, and things I’ve seen here and there. I’ve been told my characters are raw and real, and readers connect to them emotionally. I write people I’d enjoy being friends with, regardless of what flaws they may or may not have.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I usually do in-person signing events at bookstores like The King’s English, Barnes & Noble (if there are openings), and signings at author events. Online I always do a blog tour to get the word out and promote my books on my website and in my author newsletter.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

As a mother, writing has to come second. While I try to be consistent, I usually write when the children are at school on the days I don’t volunteer, so during school and office hours. I did work in corporate America not too long ago, and I have a BA in Psychology, however, these days my husband is luckily able to support us, allowing me to pursue writing full time, for which I’m profoundly grateful.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently working on finishing a romance novel in my pen name, and I’m also writing the sequel to Astraeus. I have many things cooking on the back burner, including a screenplay.


      One of the projects is a YA dystopian novel. I began writing it when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter nine years ago, and I’d like to eventually pay it the full attention it deserves and get it finished. One thing I enjoy about writing is that books are always a commentary about something. Dystopians are interesting to write because there are so many subliminal messages you can put into the storyline and political upheaval of the world. It’s quite cathartic to write, and I’m looking forward to returning to the manuscript one day soon.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Take that needling voice of doubt, and crush it like crumbly bread in your hands. Self-doubt is a writer’s worst enemy. If you have a dream and a story to write, write it, and don’t let anything get in your way. Change the way you talk to yourself. Instead of saying “I’m not sure,” say, “I believe in myself, and I WILL do this.” Tell yourself that every day until you believe it, and never, ever give up.

One pre-apocalyptic Earth. One desperate space mission to find a solution. One unexpected alien.
When Dr. Sakota Thorell signed onto the mission to scout out a new, habitable planet,
she knew discovering extraterrestrial life was always a possibility. But she never expected to find an alien adrift in space, nor for that alien to be so intriguing. Sakota feels an instant and undeniable attraction to Astraeus, but he represents a million possibilities, and just as many threats.
There are others hunting Astraeus, and his rescue may cost Earth its last hope.

Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna
of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she's not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media. She also writes under the name Roxanne D. Howard.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Local Authors & You!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


I will be at the Local Authors & You event this coming Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3! Are you an author? Come and join me for some free writing instruction. Are you a reader? Come and meet your favorite local author!

LocalAuthors

Events take place on Friday night from 7-9, and Saturday from 1-6. 



Monday, October 22, 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Stacey Huish



Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I have spent my whole life being a mum to all the kids out there, helping them to answer questions, and make sense of their world. I started putting this book together because I knew this was one way of getting the answers to all the kids out there. This book would be a reference for them, something that was always there, with answers to life's questions. This book would provide the guidance needed for life's situations.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I don't have a set schedule.  I just get up every day and focus on what needs doing,  getting more authors, getting more stories, spending time with all the authors and getting to know them, developing storylines and making their messages very powerful.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I am a pen and paper girl, always have been, always will be.  I like to be able to feel the writing through my hand.  The story flows better when there is a direct connection to the words on paper.  There is a power in writing using pen and paper. The power is lost when typing on a keyboard.

What's your favorite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is seeing the finished product.  Seeing the book completed and in the hands of the readers.

Your least favorite part about writing?

My least favorite part about writing is the typesetting... putting all the stories in order inside the book.

How did you come up with your book idea?

This was a vision that was given to me.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Gathering 1000 authors has taken the most amount of time. I now have the authors, and I am at the editing stage.  This project so far has taken about 2 years.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Social media marketing and interviews.

Every author has been given the opportunity to tell their own story in their own personal interview.  These interviews have been made available on RSS Feeds, website and Itunes, and social media sites.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on a project called  “1000 Ripple Effects”
this book will have 1000 stories each answering the question:  What advice do you give the 15 - 21-year-olds becoming an adult?

This book will answer life's unanswered questions.  This book will be there for the kids when no one else is.

Do you have a new book out?

There is no new book out at the moment, however, the new book is currently in the editing stages and will be available in 2019.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Currently, I am working on a project called “1000 Ripple Effects”.
This book will have 1000 stories each answering the question:  What advice do you give the 15 - 21-year-olds becoming an adult?


What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

You have a story in you, you just have to learn how to tell it.

A Question for Kathryn:

What is the best way to connect with your audience?

I have had success having my own blog and writing for other blogs about what I do. I also think having a monthly newsletter is important - especially for your followers. Of course, anytime you have an opportunity to speak to an audience, whether that audience is at a writer's conference, book signing, or another event, a personal contact is often the best way to connect.

Learn more about Stacey: 





Wednesday, September 19, 2018

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE ME TO PUBLISH A PICTURE BOOK?

Over 25 years.

Now, before you get discouraged, hear me out. 

When I wrote my first picture book story, The Human Bean, people really loved it. You should make it into a picture book, they said. The problem? I didn't have the money to hire an illustrator, so the book idea sat.

Sure, I took the story to various grade schools and made it a part of my presentation, but the book didn't have illustrations. I had the children draw their interpretation of the bean with some pretty hilarious results. Well, what would you draw if I told you the story about a human bean?

Picture book ideas kept pouring from my soul, however, but I wasn't able to find an illustrator. Everyone wanted their money up front, and none of them seemed to care about the story itself. 

I have since learned that this is the rule rather than the exception for many illustrators, and so for years, I continued to search. In the meantime, I continued to write picture books. I haven't counted them, but I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't have at least 15 ready to go.

The last idea for a picture book came while I was watching an episode of Winnie the Pooh. All of a sudden the story downloaded into my brain! I raced for a writing utensil and a piece of paper. I knew by this time not to ignore the voice.

You need to know that during this time I'd gone into an art gallery in St. George, Utah, as part of my family's summer vacation. My grandchildren thought walking around to look at paintings was the most boring thing on the planet! But sometimes grandma's have to do things that they like to do, right?

So here I was in this gallery when I saw it. It was the cutest thing I'd ever seen; three young cowboys and one young cowgirl, sitting next to each other on a fence. Well, I couldn't afford the original, so I walked away, you know, wishing that I had the money to buy whatever I wanted :)

That's when I saw it. Not the original, but a print of the original which was the size of a postcard. The tag revealed the amazing price: $5

So I bought it, along with another by the same illustrator, and brought the two cards home.

I bet you can't guess what I did next.

I thought about contacting the artist. I even framed the small prints, but I didn't contact her. How could I handle another no

Maybe you know how it is when you have held a dream close to your heart for years. At first, when the dream doesn't materialize, you get a bit angry, and then you try to forget you had the dream in the first place. You stop asking people to illustrate your book. Your dreams go in different directions - directions that take you to novels with only one illustration or photo to deal with.

And sometimes, you almost give up hope that your dream will ever materialize. 

Guess what happened?


Get the Paperback at Amazon
Also available in eBook format!

I ASKED.

Never give up on your dreams. NEVER. DO YOU HEAR ME?

You never know when a moose with a hungry appetite and a thirst for learning is going to show up!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Author Spotlight: Kristine Raymond


Kristine Raymond

Dogwoods in Springtime

Still in mourning three years after her husband’s death, Caroline Ballard’s solitary life in rural Kentucky is disrupted by a broken water line, of all things.  As if the lack of running water wasn’t bad enough, her immediate attraction to plumbing contractor Rick Spencer unearths emotions long thought buried.  Opening her heart to love for a second time, a malicious lie told by his ex-wife threatens to end the budding relationship before it begins.

Seashells in Summer

Having adopted her four-year-old daughter, Lily, at birth, Taylor Brightman is suspicious when former Marine Sergeant Grant Cutler appears on her Nantucket Island doorstep claiming to be the girl’s biological father.  Wary of his motives, his good looks and charming personality win her over, but can she trust that she won’t lose custody along with her heart?


Aspens in Autumn

Ramsey Fiorentino is having a bad day.  On the run for her life after witnessing a murder, she’s being pursued by none other than Bishop Hamilton, a private investigator hired by the person who committed the crime.  When he catches up to her and the truth comes out, they flee to the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona to hide, but it’s only a matter of time before their newfound romance is tested in the wake of a deadly confrontation.

Snowflakes in Winter

When New Hampshire State Trooper Alex Ballard becomes stranded during a blizzard in the middle of the night, he seeks refuge at a local bed and breakfast, surprised to discover the owner, Chloe Mancuso, is the sole occupant.  A passionate night spent in each other’s arms ignites feelings neither thought possible, but there’s someone else with his eye on Chloe and he’s not willing to share.



About the Author

Kristine Raymond didn’t figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up until later in life.  You guessed it!  It’s being an author.  Since writing and publishing her first book in 2013, she’s gone on to complete two romance series – one historical western and one contemporary – write an anecdotal, non-fiction short about her first year as an indie author, and try her hand at contemporary erotic drama.  When she’s not writing, she’s learning how to navigate the publishing and promotional side of the business.  When she’s not doing that, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, reading, gardening, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.


Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Books + Main, and BookBub.  You can also visit her website at www.kristineraymond.com to keep up with her latest news or write to her at:
         
Kristine Raymond
PO Box 28
Brownsville, KY  42210


You can also sign up for her newsletter here.