Monday, December 22, 2014

Twelve Reasons Books Make Great Last Minute Gifts




Forgot about someone on the holiday shopping list?  Looking for a “little something” to fill that stocking? Need a gift but don’t know what to give? When in doubt, a book may be the safest bet for that last minute gift. Here are twelve reasons to head for your local bookseller before it closes on Christmas Eve:

  1. You have a great excuse to spend some time at your favorite bookstore.  Whether you’re shopping at the big box store in the mall, your local bookseller on Main Street, or your favorite online store, you can happily consume hours selecting books for everyone on your list. Remember to stop long enough to enjoy a latte and some biscotti at the cafĂ©, or at your desk if you’re at home, in your jammies, well beyond store hours.
  2. There's a perfect price for every shopper. You can spend hundreds of dollars on an antique collectible or just a few bucks on the latest paperback bestseller.
  3. Your gift can educate and entertain at the same time, perfect for children or kids at heart.
  4. You can transport your reader to another time and place, allowing them to see a different world without having to buy airline tickets.
  5. They’re easy to wrap.
  6. Books are an affordable way to “wow” someone.  Even the latest blockbuster bestseller costs much less than the latest electronic gadget, and will most likely outlive its obsolescence.
  7. They’re easy to regift.  And regift.  And regift….
  8. They come in many varieties, so you’ll be sure to find just the right one to please, whether it’s a hardcover, paperback, e-book, or audiobook.
  9. The small ones, like mass media paperbacks, make excellent stocking stuffers.  So do bookstore gift cards.
  10. You can borrow it after the reader’s read it without appearing tacky.
  11. You can support your favorite books and authors by sharing them with others.
  12. You can also support your favorite bookseller, ensuring that books of all kinds are always available.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Today's Guest Author: Sharon Skretting

Please welcome Canadian middle-grade author Sharon Skretting to Adventures in Publishing. Sharon is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and  founder of Quest Teaching. She was born in small town Alberta, Canada and still resides in a small town there with her husband of 28 years. She has three grown children and has been teaching elementary school for eighteen years. Now that her children have left the nest, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing is Sharon’s dream come true. Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature filled with interesting characters, danger, and intricate plots that will hook readers grade 4 and above and make them want to learn more.

Thanks for visiting Adventures in Publishing, Sharon. To get started I thought I'd ask you about high school and sports, since that's what my current book project is about, and then we'll move on to your writing and book projects. 

Most of us have strong feelings about our high school experience. Was yours a yay or a nay? Please explain. 

I think it was yay.  Junior high was rough, but senior high brought new friends, new experiences, first love and first broken heart! It was also during my time in senior high when my English teacher expressed an interest in my talent for writing. I think that his encouragement started my love for writing.

Did you play sports in high school? If yes, which one(s) and how did it work out for you? If not, do you have children who play sports?

Sports have always been a part of our life, though I’m more artsy creative than the coordinated.  I have always been an avid curler and still skip a rink.  Yes, it’s the Canadian thing to do, eh!  I also golf. My daughter was in figure skating and volleyball, while my son kept us busy going to every hockey rink around.   Now that they are grown, I finally have time to write. But I still have to hit the treadmill or I will become mush.

Marketing is a big part of an author’s work. Do you have any key marketing tips for authors?

I’m still learning myself, but networking is huge, Get to know people, help them first and they will return the favor.  Stay true to yourself and take every opportunity you can to connect with your readers and other authors. There’s so much to learn!

Can you tell us about your latest project?

Being an author is my moonlight job so writing The Jewel of Peru, developing the supporting teacher website, and working on teacher materials, have taken me the better part of the last 2 years. Though it’s been challenging to do, while teaching full time, and being the literacy lead at my school, it has also been so rewarding to use everything with my class.  They loved it and I loved their reaction!  Surprisingly, the response has also been very positive from adult readers. Now, all are eagerly awaiting the sequel so I that’s my goal for the next few months. I hope to have the sequel out by next summer! Stay tuned for the Ultimate Treasure Quest II!

Where can we learn more about you and your books?




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Pubslush Campaign is Successfully Funded


My Swim Season Pubslush campaign is over. What a relief. This project definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone but it was an incredible learning experience. I'm disappointed I did not come even close to my goal but I will continue with the project and create a book worthy of the support I received: $523 from 13 supporters. I wish to thank those who made a financial contribution to the project: Kim Butterworth Adler, Ann Anzini, Carl Arcilesi, Inang L. Aziz-Antal, Jan Jan Beam, Maria Blon, Carina Blon, Marge Clairmont, Bernadette Colby, Gina Cote-Mielke, Beverly Guaraldi, Eleanor Sciucco, and Lou Sciucco. I appreciate your care, concern, and belief in me and Swim Season. Although closed for contributions, the Pubslush page will remain live and will continue to promote and market the project. Once I recover from this campaign I will write an analysis and decide whether or not it was worth the effort. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Today's Guest Author: Dusty Lynn Holloway

I'm in the midst of a Pubslush campaign for my next novel Swim Season and need lots of help from friends, family, just about anyone who will give me a hand. This indie publishing business is hard - the hardest thing I've ever done. To relieve a little of the stress I've enlisted the help of several of my fellow authors who will answer a few questions I've come up with about high school and varsity sports, as well as publishing and marketing tips. They'll tell you a little about themselves and their latest project.  I'll visit their blogs and do the same. This helps all of us meet new readers, and helps my readers discover new books and writers they may not know of who have great stuff. Please take a moment to visit their links. And don't forget to visit my Pubslush page and see what's going on. No swimsuit required.

Today's Guest is Dusty Lynn Holloway


Dusty lives in California with her two children who keep her very busy. She has superpowers, but doesn't like to talk about them, frequently bemoans the fact that she doesn't have See's Candy stock, thinks taking care of yourself is a way of life and not just a fad, and tries to live each day with the motto that you only get one life to live, so live it well, and live it to the fullest.

As an avid watcher of movies and reader of books, she frequently considers herself a ninja (especially around spiders), wishes that the owners of the beach house she loves would just give her the keys already, and really wants the car Kit from Knight Rider to be tucked snugly in her garage. She doesn't think he'd mind being painted blue. She writes a fantasy romance series with a paranormal twist. Her titles are Dragon Dreams, Dragon Ties, and Dragon LightWelcome to Adventures in Publishing Dusty, and thanks for helping me with the Swim Season Pubslush campaign. To get started I thought I'd ask you about high school and sports, since that's what my book is about, and then we'll move on to your writing and book projects.

Most of us have strong feelings about our high school experience. Was yours a yay or a nay? 

I had a different experience, I suppose. For most of high school I worked from home, and turned in assignments once a week. It worked better for me because I was able to avoid the noise that always was such a distraction to me in regular high school. Once I was able to eliminate that, my grades improved dramatically. 


Did you play sports in high school? If yes, which one(s) and how did it work out for you? If not, do you have children who play sports?


I didn't play anything in high school, but I have two children who love gymnastics. :)


I'm using Pubslush to help market and promote my next book. Do you have any key marketing tips for authors?


There is a lot of 'noise' in marketing. One of the best pieces of advice I have is to write well and keep at it. Often, for new writers, they are disappointed in slow (or completely absent!) sales of their first book, but book marketing is a build experience, and it often takes time. Many authors say that they started to see their sales take off only after publishing several books, and several years of hard work. 


Can you tell us about your latest project?


My latest project is a funny, time-travel Victorian romance called To Dance in the Shadows. It has a horse that thinks he's a dog, and is completely absurd, a man that everyone fears, and a women who, despite recent difficulties and pains, always tries to see the bright side of things, and always seems to find herself in trouble. Drake, Gwen and Paladin have been wonderful for me to bring to life, and I'm looking forward to people getting to know them in the near future. 


Where can we learn more about you and your books?


You can find me on quite a few social media sites. I look forward to connecting with everyone!  Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this blog, and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. :)


Follow Dusty Lynn:


Purchase Dusty Lynn's books:

About Dragon Dreams 


A prophecy of murder.


An elf hunted by dragons.


One man that risks everything to save her. 


Nachal is a human that should not be having prophetic Dragon Dreams. But he does. Every night he dreams of an elf running through flames, trying in vain to outrun the Rebel Dragon Obsidian. Every night he sees her fall. Sees her eyes close. Feels her heart as it slows, and then stops. Every night, through the connection of the dream, he dies with her. It's a spiral that he can't control, and it's slowly driving him insane. Auri is an elf raised by a powerful human king not of her own blood. Left behind by the mother who perished far from the elven isle El`dell, she seeks to forge her life among the humans. Her journey takes her to the land of her heritage. To a place that holds both a haunting betrayal, and a miracle that just might save her life. Together, they become embroiled in a conspiracy where destinies are intertwined, love is born in the fallout of ultimate sacrifice, and the only path to victory lies through the searing flames of dragon fire.


***Dragon Dreams is rated PG13 for thematic violence. There is no sex, swearing, or vain names. Recommended for readers 14 and up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thrall Library's First Local Authors & Illustrators Showcase a Great Day for All

Winter rain did  not dampen the spirits of the local authors, illustrators, and readers who came to Thrall Library's first Local Authors & Illustrators Showcase on Saturday, December 6.  The room was full of talent as writers from a variety of genres including general fiction, romance, paranormal, fantasy, thriller, horror,  and crime, as well as poetry, memoir, cookbooks, writing instruction, and self-help came together to talk shop and meet new readers.
front (l-r): Marianne Sciucco, Dawn Bonney, Maria Blon, Allie Boniface, Sandi Bischoff; middle: MJ Goff, Fred Weissman, Barbara Johnson Weissman, Lynn Houston, Jason Gehlert; back: Jeanne Bogino, Lisa Vaughn, Liz Matis, Matthew S. Field, Michael J. Worden, Carole Bugge, Bern Cohen. Photo by Dawn Bonney

The morning session, which catered to children and young adult authors, was filled to capacity with excited young readers and their parents who enjoyed looking at the books and talking with the authors about their work. 

Things slowed down during the afternoon session but the authors and illustrators made good use of the time networking with each other, swapping books, and checking out how everyone else presented and marketed their work.    

Big thanks go to Maria Blon, author of Living Passionately: 21 People Who Found Their Passion - And How You Can Too, who led the group in two discussions on how to find your purpose in life, and MJ Goff, author of How Writing Can Get You through Tough Times: No Experience Necessary, who led a session on journaling.  Also thank you to Matt Pfisterer, library director, Gail Myker, adult program coordinator, and Theresa Zacek, children's librarian, for supporting and helping make this event possible.

Many of the authors donated books to the event and prizes were raffled off throughout the day.This was so appreciated.

Refreshments were provided by the Friends of Thrall Library, Dolson Avenue Shop Rite, the Bagel Shop, DeFilippi's Bakery, Price Chopper of Middletown, and Poland Spring. Thank you for your generosity.

 
Also, thank you to the City of Middletown and the Business Improvement District, the Times Herald-Record, and the Delaware and Hudson Canvas for helping to advertise our event.

Thrall Library is located at 11-19 Depot Street, Middletown, New York.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Today's Guest Author: Lia London

I'm in the midst of a Pubslush campaign for my next novel Swim Season and need lots of help from friends, family, just about anyone who will give me a hand. This indie publishing business is hard - the hardest thing I've ever done. To relieve a little of the stress I've enlisted the help of several of my fellow authors who will answer a few questions I've come up with about high school and varsity sports, as well as publishing and marketing tips. They'll tell you a little about themselves and their latest project.  I'll visit their blogs and do the same. This helps all of us meet new readers, and helps my readers discover new books and writers they may not know of who have great stuff. Please take a moment to visit their links. And don't forget to visit my Pubslush page and see what's going on. No swimsuit required.

Today's Guest Author is Lia London.

Lia London grew up in a house full of books and teachers. Actually, she grew up in many homes, traveling to dozens of states and countries in Europe by the time she reached high school. Once settled in Oregon, she became a teacher and freelance script writer. She now home schools, leads a youth group at her church, and writes whenever she finds a free hour. Lia is also the creator and curator of Clean Indie Reads, home of flinch-free fiction, the best ever data base for clean books written by independent authors.


Most of us have strong feelings about our high school experience. Was yours a yay or a nay? 

My high school experience was kind of a mixed bag. I went to a very rich school where kids drove BMWs, yet I lived on the street between K-mart and the State Penitentiary in a tiny apartment with my single mom. For that reason, I always felt sort of awkward. I was definitely not in the “in” crowd.  At the same time, I excelled in music and English, earning a lot of respect within those departments.  It was almost as if I lived in two high schools: the one where I was a leader and admired, and the one where I was a nobody.  Over all, though, I’m glad I went where I went.  It was an excellent school academically, and I had opportunities there that many other schools did not provide.

Did you play sports in high school? If yes, which one(s) and how did it work out for you? If not, do you have children who play sports?

I didn’t play in high school although I had been into sports during grade school.  Because of aforementioned economic issues, I did not have the funds to pay for a lot of the sports stuff fees, and my mother worked full time and couldn’t shlep me to and from practices and games (like they did in the old days).  Prior to that time, though I had been an MVP on my school basketball team, a good volley ball player, and had just made the soft ball team when I broke my leg in a bike accident and had to find something else to do after schools. I chose choir, and that sort of changed my emphasis for the next several years.

Pubslush is a global marketing platform to assist authors with pre-publication publicity and sales. Do you have any key marketing tips for authors?

I’m certainly no great success story in that end, but the greatest thing I’ve done is to network with other authors.  In addition to getting help “spreading the word”, I have learned from my indie colleagues about how to improve my craft and make my books more marketable in the first place.  I tend to be conservative in my online presence, focusing on Facebook and Twitter, but trying to make real connections there.

Can you tell us about your latest project?



My WIP, due out within a month, is about a first year high school English teacher who is pursued by a hunky colleague with a bad womanizing reputation. In an effort to dissuade him, she announces she’s married, which leads to all kinds of problems down the road when she actually likes someone else and can’t date him because, y’know, she’s married. Her Imaginary Husband is as much about teaching and high school life as it is about romance. Many of the school-related incidents in the story actually happened to me when I was teaching or a student myself. Those were happy times, full of laughter as well as some very poignant moments. I hope I can bring those things to life for my readers.

 Where can we learn more about you and your books?

Please visit my website for updates on books. I can be followed on Facebook (a personal account, so I don’t respond to every friend request), Twitter, and Clean Indie Reads.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Today's Guest: YA Fantasy Author Dr. Tara Fairfield

I'm in the midst of a Pubslush campaign for my next novel Swim Season and need lots of help from friends, family, just about anyone who will give me a hand. This indie publishing business is hard - the hardest thing I've ever done. To relieve a little of the stress I've enlisted the help of several of my fellow authors who will answer a few questions I've come up with about high school and varsity sports, as well as publishing and marketing tips. They'll tell you a little about themselves and their latest project.  I'll visit their blogs and do the same. This helps all of us meet new readers, and helps my readers discover new books and writers they may not know of who have great stuff. Please take a moment to visit their links. And don't forget to visit my Pubslush page and see what's going on. No swimsuit required.

Today's guest author is Tara Fairfield, PhD.


Dr. Tara Fairfield is a licensed psychologist with her doctorate from Northern Arizona University. She has been a featured guest on Teen Talk and Parent Talk radio with Nicole O'dell (ChooseNOW Ministries) and writes a monthly column for parents. With over twenty years of experience working with youth and families, and as the mother of three children, Dr. Fairfield has dedicated her life to helping struggling teens find their confidence and faith in the Lord. She uses fictional characters to present positive messages to youth through the art of story. In the Makai Series, Dr. Fairfield puts this concept in action in these fantastical tales of adventure, forgiveness, and the acceptance of God's love. When she's not writing you will find her having fun with her family or playing in the ocean. 

Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Tara, and thanks for helping me with the Swim Season Pubslush campaign. To get started I thought I'd ask you about high school, since that's what my book is about, and then we'll move on to your writing and book projects.

Most of us have strong feelings about our high school experience. Was yours a yay or a nay? Please explain.


High School is a time of making memories and creating friendships that can endure a lifetime. Growing up in Huntington Beach and attending HBHS provided fertile ground for both in my life. The school itself is an iconic landmark and under it’s grand tower I ran with the track team and in my junior and senior year made the cheer squad, along with my best friend, Lori. During the spring and fall we would walk to the beach after school and have fun bonfire cookouts in the evening. Life was good. 

Not long after high school Lori died in a plane crash. It was sudden and unexpected but taught me to cherish every moment and experience. Life is precious and if you have a dream don’t let anyone discourage you from following it. Make the most of the moments you’ve been given. Follow your dreams! 

Writing has always been one of my dreams. Growing up near the ocean instilled in me a strong passion for the sea and this love sparked the idea for Makai Queen and Makai King, my young adult fantasy Makai series. The story takes place in a world beneath the sea filled with intrigue, love and danger. Dive in and enjoy!

Where can we learn more about you and your books? 

You can learn more about me and my books at the following links:

Take the plunge and learn more about the Makai Series on my blog 

Follow me on Facebook

Purchase Makai King and Makai Queen 






Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Clean Indie Reads Holiday Sale and Facebook Party


I’m proud to be a member of Clean Indie Reads, home of flinch-free fiction, where readers can find comfortable stories without gratuitous sex, profanity, or excessive violence.  It’s a safe haven for us authors who prefer not to use these elements in our work. This doesn’t mean we don’t know how to party!  If you’re looking for some fun, games, prizes, holiday recipes, and some great new reads, please drop by the Clean Indie Reads Holiday Party on Facebook right now and continuing through Thursday.  Here’s the schedule (all on Eastern Time):

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2

Noon: Justine Alley Dowsett
1 pm: Janet Sketchley
2 pm: Karrie Loomis
3 pm: Patricia PacJac Carroll
4 pm: Dani Byrnes Viverito
5 pm: Tamie Dearen
6 pm: Dusty Holloway
7 pm: Patricia Kiyono
8 pm: Cherry Christensen
9 pm: Faith Blum and Madeline Duffy


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3 
1 pm: Shanna Hatfield
2 pm: Linda Covella
3 pm: Barbara Martin
4 pm: Stephany Tullis
5 pm: Gina Henning
6 pm: Linda Crowder
7 pm: Melanie Snitker
8 pm: Julie C. Gilbert
9 pm: Marla Bradeen

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4
Noon: Sally Sue Fleischmann Ember
1 pm: Libi Astaire
2 pm: Peggy McAloon
3 pm: Alysia S. Knight
4 pm: Johnno Jjl
5 pm: Colette Black
6 pm: T.i. Lowe
7 pm: Ronald B. O’Gorman
8 pm: Danielle Thorne
9 pm: Heather Mullins



Also, today through December 7, Clean Indie Reads is holding a Holiday Sale featuring a variety of books by these talented authors in many genres including young adult, romance, paranormal, fantasy, and more.  Some are free, some are discounted, and some make great gifts for the readers on your list. Happy shopping!