Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Awakening by Dorine White

The Awakening

by Dorine White

Giveaway ends December 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, November 28, 2014

Metropolis by Joel Ohman- author interview and giveaway

A Novel Publicity Event

In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.
Sounds good, right? Well, this exciting YA Dystopia is on sale for just 99 cents Thursday, November 27 through Monday, December 1. You can pick up your copy on Amazon.
To celebrate, we are offering a giveaway for an autographed copy and a $100 Amazon gift card—hooray!
Check out this interview with Joel Ohman, the author of the book critics are calling, “The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”, then scroll to the end of this post to learn more about the giveaway. Happy reading, and good luck!

Writer Interview with Joel Ohman

Other than an author, who are you?
My name is Joel Ohman. I am 32 years old, married to my best friend, Angela, and have 3 kids, ages 5, almost 3, and 6 months. My writing companion is my 130lb Bull Mastiff, Caesar (who's asleep on the job most of the time, to be honest). I am a Christian who likes to talk about the good news of Jesus Christ. I do volunteer work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and also with my church in Tampa. I am a serial entrepreneur, having founded a number of different startups in the web space. I am currently the President & CEO of 360 Quote LLC and Real Time Health Quotes LLC, and we own a lot of different web properties, one of the most popular ones being our workout website/iOS App/Android App for WeightTraining.com. You can learn more about me at JoelOhman.com.
What is the most surprising thing you learned while writing?
One of the most important things I learned is maybe not all that surprising, but definitely important—the value of an editor. I worked with 3 different editors while writing Meritropolis. Each of them provided extremely valuable feedback and advice that was instrumental at various stages of the book writing process. The book that is available for purchase now is a much better book than it would have been without the expertise of my editorial team.
What are you doing to market your book now?
Right now I am concentrating on getting my book in front of as many of the awesome book bloggers and book reviewers out there as possible. Meritropolis is fortunate to have received a large number of 5-star reviews on both Amazon and GoodReads, and I am definitely hoping this trend will continue. I also recently started working with Emlyn Chand over at Novel Publicity, and she has been great, so I am excited to see what she can do!
What are your views on marketing your book through social media such as Twitter or Facebook?
I believe that social media can be an effective marketing technique if done the right way. The key is that social media is primarily about building relationships and about delivering something of value. We all know those Facebook friends who incessantly clog up our newsfeeds with pleas to join their health and wellness MLM—don’t be that kind of author! That being said, I do think that Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, etc. can be a great way to meet other readers and authors and discuss fun and interesting things. Hopefully that will lead to more exposure and more book sales, but coming across as too salesy or pushy is something that I definitely aim to avoid.
What are your thoughts on getting bad reviews?
Everyone has different tastes in what they like to read, so I don't let bad reviews bother me too much. No matter what your favorite book is, you can almost be guaranteed that it will have many bad reviews on Amazon from people who just didn't get out of it what you did—that's fine. I do try to stay objective and see if there might be something I can learn from the criticism to become a better writer, if not, then I just move on and don't worry about it.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Take the first step! Just do a little at a time. If you decide writing is important to you then make time for it, be consistent, and read a lot.
Do you have any advice for authors who are considering the self-publishing route?
I am not one of those authors who will say that self-publishing is the best choice for every single author, but I am absolutely glad that I went this route. I love that I can fully control and fully own my work, but I would encourage anyone who self-publishes to try and adhere to the following advice:
1.       Don’t be a cheapskate - be willing to pay for a professional editor, a professional book cover designer, etc. It boggles my mind that people will spend hours upon hours writing their book and then just take a few minutes to throw some clip art and stock photos together to “design” their book cover. Don’t. Just, don’t.
2.       Work with professionals - by this I simply mean to not overly rely on friends, family members, and co-workers, all of whom will likely just tell you what you want to hear. You need someone who is not afraid to point out the problem areas in your book and provide an honest critique. You already know that your mom is going to say she loves your vampire-Scottish-Highlander-billionaire-love-triangle-in-space book that you wrote, so don’t even bother asking her for feedback. Instead, pay someone who does that kind of thing for a living...
3.       Sell, sell, sell - If you are a self-published author and you are not actively involved in sales and marketing for your book—which is essentially your mini-business—or you are not paying someone else to be actively involved in the sales and marketing of your book, then you are not maximizing the reach your book can have. As uncouth as it might be to say this, writing is only half of what is required to see success as a self-published author. Yes, you need to write a good book, but you also need to effectively market and sell your book (either by hiring someone, or doing it yourself, or both).
What books would you would recommend to aspiring authors?
Here are some books that I highly recommend for all authors to check out:

Don’t forget!
Meritropolis is marked down from its regular price of $5.99, but only for a limited time. Feed your Kindle by picking up a discounted copy for just 99 cents, but make sure you do it before December 2!

Now enter the giveaway. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Paladin Pawn by Michael D. Young

Welcome to this stop on the Paladin Pawn blog tour! Paladin Pawn is a newly released middle grade adventure by Michael D. Young.

The Story-
 Following the disappearance of his father during a military flight over Irag, Rich Witz is left living with his mom and grandmother. Rich is a bit of a nerd, a kid that all the other kids pick on and who likes to daydream, more than live life.

One day his grandmother gives him a mysterious present, a chess piece, a white pawn. Suddenly, his grandmother goes missing and soon after his own mother. Left alone, Rich is frantic to figure out what is happening, and when a dark shadow appears in his home, challenging him to a duel, he is way over his head.

The next thing he knows, he is sucked into a portrait within his grandmother's closest, and finds out that he is a direct descendant of paladins, knights for good. He also finds out that just as he has been chosen to become a good knight, another has been chosen for evil. Rich must fulfill four challenges before his powers of good are at full strength, until then, his evil counterpart will do whatever it takes to destroy him.

My Thoughts-
Okay, this one is a hard one, mostly because the author only gives us half of a book. I can not stress how important it is for a book to have a beginning, middle, and an end, even if it is part one of a series. There can be an overlaying arc, but each book needs to hold its own, and this one does not. We end with Rich only completing two of his tasks and the search for his mother and father just heating up. We have everything but a conclusion. Something really needed to be done to tie this story off. Some goal of the hero should have been accomplished.

The story itself has a great premise and was fun to delve into. I enjoyed learning about Rich's family heritage and his quest to become a paladin. There is a little too much day dreaming for my liking though. As a character, Rich has to deal with typical kid problems, mainly bullying. What I really like was that as he trains to be a paladin, Rich has to overcome his natural instincts and choose a higher path. He has to help the people that have caused him harm.

The book is well written and enjoyable, but I'm split on my score. I'd say it ranges from 2.5 up to a 3.

Happy Thanksgsiving!

I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I appreciate you for swinging by and following my blog. Have a great, wonderful family day :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Highlights for Christmas- Writers specials

*From my email box. Sorry for the overlap.
Choose your own holiday shopping adventure
Choose your own holiday shopping adventure
To some folks it's all in good fun, but for some of us it's no laughing matter. Every year we watch friends and loved ones venture out to the Big Scary Stores on Black Friday, returning hours (or days!) later exhausted, nursing their wounds and completely drained of all their holiday cheer.

We'd like to offer you the antidote to this madness: Highlights Foundation gift certificates. Give your favorite writer or illustrator a gift they'll cherish forever: the opportunity to create, collaborate and connect at a Highlights Foundation workshop. Learn more.

For a holiday story with a happier ending, may we suggest:

Our best bet for anyone who is passionate about children's literature:
Summer Camp at the Barn

For your illustrator:
Color, Light, Line, and Texture Hands-on Workshop
Super Children's Book Boot Camp
Picture Book Illustration: From Conception to Birth

For someone who is just getting started:
Everything You Need to Know About Children's Book Publishing: A Crash Course

For someone who wants to fine-tune the details:
Revision Retreat
Beyond Main Characters: An In-Depth Look at Your Supporting Cast and Transitional Scenes

For your creative professional:
Capturing the Spotlight: Getting the Gigs
Life in the Spotlight: Author Opportunities After Publication

For someone with a special focus:
Writing from the Heart
Nonfiction: Crafting Picture Books and Articles
Writing for the Educational Market
Spring Poetry Retreat and Workshop
PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz

If you have any questions about our gift certificates or our workshops, feel free to call Jo Lloyd toll-free at (877) 288-3410. Don't forget to enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving and know that we're grateful that you're part of our family!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Christmas Tree Elf by Valentine D'Arcy Sheldon

Normally on Mondays I like to highlight middle grade, but with the holiday season upon us, such cute Christmas picture books are released. I've found a few that I like, and over the next few Monday's I'll share them. Today I am looking at The Christmas Tree Elf by Valenitne D'Arcy Sheldon.

This is such a sweet story with a slight country kick. Momma and Santa Claus like to walk through the Christmas tree forest during the holidays. They both wonder how the trees' are decorated so brilliantly. The next Christmas, Santa surprises Momma with her very own tree inside. She is delighted and together they decorate it and enjoy the lights. However, because this is the first indoor Christmas tree, the Claus' don't know how to take care of it, and due to lack of water it dries out and later catches on fire. Surprise! Out pops a Christmas tree elf, the elf that raised the tree from a seed out in the forest. Momma and Santa Claus learn all about keeping a Christmas tree healthy, and in the process, they make lots of elf friends. Friends that need jobs when it is not Christmas tree time, and voila, Santa has his helper elves.

The country kick comes from our friendly elf, who wears a hat like a cowboy and dips his head in courtesy. I was surprised by the story itself. At first, I thought it would just be about Santa's helpers, but then it involved into such a crafty way to explain Christmas trees and how elves ended up at the North Pole, that I was delighted. The illustrations are bright and bold, perfect for little readers to look at while they follow along with the story. They aren't the most imaginative images, but I think kids will like seeing the realism.

4 Stars!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spell for Sophia Book Blast and Giveaway!

SpellForSophia_453x680 Spell for Sophia Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou. Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving. Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.  
  Book Trailer:   teen wytch saga new The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon Think magic will solve your problems? Bring you love? Cure you? Protect you? Help you find someone who is lost? Think again. Magic tests friendships. It hisses, chirps, stinks up the room, backfires, and explodes. Magic forces you to make tough decisions. Shatter limitations. Discover your true self. When you use magic, expect results in the ultimate triple-un—unpredictable, uncontrollable, and so undeniable. And you thought navigating high school was tough.  
Watch for the upcoming blog tour hosted by I Am A Reader

ariella
Author Ariella Moon Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press. Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
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  book blast button         Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/23/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Little Sick

Sorry for the long pause this week. I awoke Sunday morning feeling awful. Turns out it was strep throat and it hit me hard. I've been down most of the week and did not get any posts up. Luckily I have one planned for tomorrow. Hope everyone out there in reader land is feeling well and healthy!