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Friday, December 23, 2011

Author Interview - Farsighted by Emlyn Chand


Announcing the Farsighted Social Media Whirlwind Tour! As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Farsighted eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 30th, so you don’t miss out.  

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of Farsighted for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
  5. DOUBLE BONUS: If I receive more comments than any other blogger, *I* win $100. 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.  

The Featured Events include:

Monday 26th, a guest blog on Novel Publicity! Emlyn kicks off the tour on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog by discussing her brightly burning passion for books in a guest post entitled “My journey through the pages and toward a life-long love of reading.” One commenter will win an autographed copy of Farsighted. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday 27th, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a fun read to round out your holiday break? The paranormal YA hit Farsighted is just 99 cents! http://ow.ly/81Dt1 #whirlwind

Wednesday 28th, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Farsighted book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?

Thursday 29th, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Farsighted book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs.

Friday 30th, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Farsighted either in paperback or on an eReading device, then post it to Emlyn Chand’s Facebook page or email a copy to author@emlynchand.com. You just way win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the photo with the most interesting setting (so put your holiday travel time to work for you). Another $50 will go the funniest photo, and one more prize of $50 will go the scariest photo—this is a paranormal YA book after all. An autographed copy of Farsighted will go to one randomly selected entrant. For more details about this contest, please visit www.emlynchand.com.  

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Farsighted: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Farsighted is the winner of the 2011 Dragonfly eBook Awards. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Let's get to know the author a little better through this rousing Q&A...

  Q: What was it like writing from the viewpoint of a blind, teenage boy? Were there any parts of Alex's personality/life you found hard to come up with?
A: You know, it wasn’t as hard to write blind as I initially thought it would be. It didn’t take long to begin “seeing” Alex’s world the way he does. I wrote the entire story without knowing what anyone or anything looked like (except for Alex himself). When it came time to shoot the book trailer, the directors were asking me questions about the scenes and which props they should bring, and I really, really didn’t know what to tell them! As I got to know Alex better and better, it became easier to tune into his way of seeing things. I read books about coping with blindness in a school setting and spent a great deal of time pondering how I might behave if I couldn’t see. In the story, Alex has always been blind; he’s always known the world to be a certain way. Not everyone understands that, and they have trouble talking about it with him. I gave Alex a tendency to overcompensate. He knows who he is and what he’s capable of, and he wants the world to know it too, so sometimes he overdoes things a bit.  

Q: Your cast of characters has international flavor? What's behind that choice?
A: I don’t see why my characters all need to belong to the same culture or ethnicity. What fun is that? Culture shapes our characters in a big way, so by diversifying my cast, I was able to hit on more types of personalities and situations. Grandon is based on my hometown; it’s small and kind of boring. I couldn’t wait to escape and move on to bigger and better things. My home town was mostly Caucasian, but somehow I ended up with a very diverse set of friends even though they made up less than 1% of the student body. Fast forward a few years, and I end up marrying a man from India. He’s from New Delhi, like Simmi. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures; I even decided to pursue my Master’s in Sociology for this very reason. I credit two early life influences for this attraction: 1) My adoration of A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, 2) Disney’s Aladdin being the best movie ever.

Q: What was the inspiration for Farsighted?
A: Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. :-)
 
Q: What would you like readers to take away from Farsighted? Is there a different message for adults than for teens?
A: First and foremost, I hope that readers will enjoy themselves. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. I also hope that Farsighted is a book that leads to introspection—what would I do if put in Alex’s place? Did Alex ever have a choice or was this path his destiny? What would it be like to see the world the way he sees the world? I like to think of anything I write as being kind of like a Disney movie, in that the primary audience will be children, but there are extra tidbits for the adults too. Farsighted has been infused with a great deal of research about runes, classic mythology, and Eastern spirituality, but you don’t need to understand any of that to be entertained by the story.

Q. There have been articles written this year about YA being too dark for teens. What are your thoughts on this?
A: I definitely agree. I want to get back to the core of the YA genre, and I attempted to do that with Farsighted. I also think that paranormal has gotten a bit too out there. One thing I hear from readers quite a bit is that the paranormal seems normal in Farsighted. They don’t question the existence of the powers, and it doesn’t seem out there like some other books of the genre do. That was important to me. I wanted my story to be run by the characters, not the fantastic elements. This is a story about Alex, not about a blind psychic.

Q: What motivated you to structure the book around the runes?
A: Remember how I said my Master’s degree is in Sociology? It’s actually Quantitative Sociology. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: What is your writing process like?
A: I begin with a seed of an idea and work out from there. With Farsighted, I started with Alex and created the rest of the story and characters to fit around him. Using the runes as a structural framework for this novel created an outline for me too. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
A: I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! My favorite author is JK Rowling. The more I read, the more I realize how brilliant she is as an author. If you remove the dialogue tags from Harry Potter, you still know which character is speaking, and Rowling managed to create an intricate beautiful world without allowing her character development to suffer, which is tremendously rare. I consider her literary God. Suzanne Collins, and JD Salinger are classic faves. My all-time favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it.  

Q: If you had to be stuck on an island for a year with three literary characters, who would they be?
A: First up, we’d obviously take Robinson Crusoe. He knows what he’s doing, and he can be the provider. I’ll also take Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games—if we get in any kind of danger, she’d be a great protector. Lastly, I’d take Ron Weasley. Ron and I can live the good life, while the other two make sure we all stay safe and well-fed. I know I would never get bored with Ron around—he’s just 24/7 entertainment.

Q: You’ve taken a risk by going with an unconventional ending. Without spoiling the story for your readers, can you tell us why you made this choice? Are you glad you did this? Do you feel it’s been successful? Why or why not?
A: Yeah, I ended with a cliffhanger, which goes against traditional publishing wisdom. But you know what? I. AM. INDIE! Being indie means taking risks and breaking the mold and, boy, am I excited to do it. The ending is kind of polarizing, people either love it or wish there was more there. The joining thread is almost everyone mentions looking forward to the next book in the series. Farsighted demands a companion, and people see that. I think it was a good decision since this is the first in the series and since I enjoy toeing the line of convention. It’s fun to shake things up.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Weekly Book Blog Hop for 2011

Wordless Wednesday



Welcome to our Weekly Book Blog Hop!!
This runs every Wednesday - Saturday
including a Book Giveaway linky, Goodreads linky
and Authors Who Welcome UK Reviewers linky
Beck Valley Books Weekly Book Blog Hop
Our Book Blog Hop is here to unite all booklovers worldwide,
readers, book reviewers, authors, publishers, book bloggers, book sellers,
putting you all in touch with each other
and keeping real books alive x

We would love it if you could share our hop with all your booky friends
and display are book hop badge (optional obviously x)

First  follow our blog using Google Friend Connect,
leave a comment and I will always follow back,
then add your blogs and giveaways below.....
(please follow instructions for each linky)

Remember to leave a comment on each blog for a follow back!!
**  Authors Who Welcome UK Reviewers Linky  **
Authors will be added to our authors page here
(Spread the word to help more authors and UK book reviewers)

Share on your blog so your readers can join in :-)

UK GiveawaysPhotobucket

Book Humour


Books can be enjoyed by everyone and everything !!

Winner of $200 Christmas Cash Explosion

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AND THE LUCKY WINNER
OF $200 GIVEAWAY
IS
** Kathleen **

Congratulations !!

Book Review - Heroes & Villains of the Bible by Tama Fortner

Book Review
Heroes and Villains of the Bible
Compiled by Tama Fortner
Book Description
50 true-life adventures of real people from the Bible-stories of good versus evil, right versus wrong, and heroes versus villains-and their life-shaping lessons that point children to God-the greatest hero of all!  The Bible is packed with stories of courageous people who loved and served God, and how He used them to do great things in the world. It is also filled with villainous people who disobeyed God and did horrible things. Heroes and Villains of the Bible encourages its readers to aspire to become great, courageous, and heroic servants of God, and reject all that is evil in the world.   With Heroes and Villains of the Bible, children will realize some of their favorite heroes aren't from the movies, but are real people from the Bible.

Our Review
A really refreshing change of book, which tells us of the battle between good and evil and also giving us a reminder of how to react but more importantly how to teach our children how to behave.

The graphics are fantastic and are so vivid, the text is so easy to read with the stories being retold in the simplest of terms and again reminding the reader of the true meaning and outcome of any situation.  The messages and miracles and the final betrayal of Jesus, reminded me of my days attending Sunday School.  Children would absolutely love this book with the beautiful animated images and the easy to follow short stories.

The excerpts from the bible give the reader a sense of humanity and makes you fee humble.  A must read for anyone who would like to rekindle their faith or trust.

Can you remember David, Goliath, Esther, Samuel and Saul?  If not read this book.

In these hard times, where we are facing adversity in all directions, reading this book reminded me why I am here and my role as a father, son and husband, which I believe would do the same to anyone who read the book.
Our Review
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Available and Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meerkat cult inspires hunt for quirky Christmas Bestseller

Publishers wait to see which offbeat title heads the yuletide bestsellers list
Meerkats
 Meerkats have inspired a cult which saw books on fictional animals top the Christmas bestsellers list. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images 
When Meerkats Turn Bad; 101 Uses for a Dead Meerkat; Where's the Meerkat? – drawn by the success of last year's surprise Christmas hit, the fictional meerkat memoir The Simples Life, publishers have been piling into the market for meerkats in an attempt to find this year's quirky bestseller.

Jamie Oliver and the latest Guinness World Records look set to maintain their stranglehold on the UK's book charts in last few days before Christmas, but the search for an offbeat festive chart-topper remains an annual challenge for the UK's publishers, ever since Ben Schott scored with his Miscellany in 2002, and Lynne Truss found a big audience of grammar "sticklers" in 2003 with Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

"Those books made everyone stand up and say: 'Wow, there is a lot of money to be made here – let's try and publish something to capture imaginations and get sales to a similar level,'" said Philip Stone, charts editor of The Bookseller. Last year, he added, £37m was spent on humour books in the UK, with 40% of that figure arriving in December alone.

Despite publishers' efforts – When I Were a Meerkat is another of this year's 16 meerkat titles, while Knitted Meerkats is lined up for 2012 – just one meerkat book is in the book charts in the week before Christmas: Where's the Meerkat? which racked up sales of more than 20,000 copies in a week and sits ahead of titles by Jeremy Clarkson, Alan Sugar and Paul Scholes. "It's just meerkat madness," said Stone.

Along with Where's the Meerkat?, in 15th place and rising in The Bookseller's top 50, bookseller Foyles pointed to The Greatest Gift, Philip Van Doren Stern's 1943 novel on which It's a Wonderful Life was based, as an unexpected bestseller. "It's going very, very well indeed," said spokesman Jonathan Ruppin —and to The Etymologicon, a "circular stroll through the hidden connections of the English language". Penguin's collection of local newspaper headlines, Whitstable Mum in Custard Shortage, is also selling well, the publisher said, while Waterstone's tipped Jack Seely's 1934 story of his thoroughbred war horse, Warrior, recently republished, as another dark horse.

"There's nothing at the level of Eats, Shoots and Leaves [but] you can't force those books – they come out of nowhere," said Waterstone's spokesman Jon Howells.

"Steve Jobs's biography, though, is one to highlight – I don't think anybody thought it would do as amazingly as it has done. It's outselling James Corden and Lee Evans for us. Jobs is obviously a massive figure but it's an incredibly fat biography of a businessman, and they don't always sell like that. Stone said a host of books based on terrible responses to exam questions — F in Exams, School Fail, Must Try Harder – were also selling strongly, but agreed with Howells that this year has seen no stand out quirky hit. "Publishers have been keen to grab a slice of the pie. In the last five years they've published more and more gifty books ... there are now more quirky books than ever before, and sales are being shared between all these different books so I think it's unlikely one will stand out this year."

At Foyles, Ruppin had a different explanation. "People want to buy decent books rather than something which gives them 10 minutes entertainment on Christmas Day and never gets looked at again," he said.

Alison Flood
guardian.co.uk,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review - The Night Sky by Maria Sutton

Book Review
The Night Sky -
A Journey From Dachau to Denver and Back
by Maria Sutton
About the Author
Maria Sutton: The NightBorn in a Displaced Persons Camp in war-torn Germany, Maria was three when she immigrated to the United States in 1951 with her sister, mother, and stepfather. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Colorado, and has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Book Description
This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II. The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercing blue eyes and sun-colored hair. Maria Sutton takes us to the dark green hills and valleys of the ancient Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, where the woody fragrance of birch trees and new-mown hay fills the fresh, crisp air after a heavy rain. Vicariously, we see a sunrise over Poland obscured by brightly colored swastikas on warplanes and then we will be taken into suffocating cattle cars, lice-infested stalags, and to the Dachau death camp. Further down a country road, the hearty laughter and beer steins clinking with each salute to the Fuhrer s astonishing victories can be heard.

As Maria takes us on this odyssey to solve a decades-long mystery, she learns the family secrets of untold heroism, quiet courage, and a mother s love and of tragedy, disillusionment, and heartbreak. At the end of her long journey, Maria uncovers a shattering and painful truth. But the secret, however heartbreaking, would also become the greatest gift she would receive.

Our Review
Imagine finding out that the man you thought as your father, who had provided, cared and reared you was not.  How would you react?

The author takes us on a totally amazing journey through her own history, as well as her mothers history.  Discovering her father was a prisoner of war, as was her mother, she starts to uncover the horrors that were inflicted upon the people at the time, what both drew her mother and father together and also what made them separate.  Her mother then met another man in a similar position to herself and married him and came to live in America.

Her story of her life in America is a happy one until the bombshell of her father rocks her world.  On travelling to Germany to find her father she traces him to his native Poland, where he has fathered more children.  On trying to find our what her father was like, will her hopes and dreams of him be shattered?  Along the journey she finds out that her uncle, who was separated from her mother at a young age in the prisoner of war camp, is still alive and living in America.  Can the lost souls make up for 35 years of being apart, thinking that each other was dead.

In retelling her story, the authors trail to find her real father is one of trepidation, excitement and hope.  A really moving and emotional read, touching the heartstrings ,as the journey can be compared to riding a roller coaster.  The amount of time and patience shown by the author is one of immense proportion - which is shown throughout the book.  An excellent read.

Our Rating

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Available to buy at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Sunday is Quote Day


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Welcome to Sunday is Quote Day
I absolutely love quotes, in fact I think I might be getting a little obsessed with them.  They can be so powerful and life changing.

Last weeks subject was Christmas so I thought this week we would have our subject as 'Dickens'

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home! 

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

"Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.”

“A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!”

xmas.jpg

Do you have a favourite quote, share it with us xx

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Its Time for the Weekend Gathering Hops!!

 Welcome to our Weekend Gathering Hops!  This 5 way link up is hosted by Adventures of Frugalmom, Beck Valley Books, Beauty Brite, mumwrites, and Nifty Mom to help socialize with fellow bloggers, gain traffic, new followers, make new friends, and more!

Beauty Brite Weekend Gathering Hops

Did you know?!  As a bonus for linking up with us, we randomly tweet YOUR giveaways!  

Do you believe in Karma?  We are a group of bloggers helping each other build our blogs!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

$100 Amazon Twitter Blast - Enter to Win!!

ENTER TO WIN!! 
IN THE $100 AMAZON TWITTER BLAST


Amee from Madame Deals and Jen from all her blogs (Kobiso, Makobi Scribe, Sason and Pobi, etc) are the sponsors!!
Prize - $100 Amazon card

Open Internationally
15th December - 1st January 2012 12.01AM EST

It's Our Weekly Book Hop !!

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY
Try your own book christmas tree over the holidays!!
Welcome to our Weekly Book Blog Hop!!
This runs every Wednesday - Saturday
including a Book Giveaway linky, Goodreads linky
and Authors Who Welcome UK Reviewers linky
Beck Valley Books Weekly Book Blog Hop
Our Book Blog Hop is here to unite all booklovers worldwide,
readers, book reviewers, authors, publishers, book bloggers, book sellers,
putting you all in touch with each other
and keeping real books alive x

We would love it if you could share our hop with all your booky friends
and display are book hop badge (optional obviously x)

Book Giveaway - How To Get Things Really Flat - A Mans Guide

Intoxicated By BooksWe're taking part in the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop, hosted by Intoxicated By Books - The emphasis of this hop is fun!
Once you have entered our fantastic giveaway please take a look at all the other book giveaways listed at the bottom of the post (after entering mind !!!)
OUR GIVEAWAY - what every women needs for her man!!
How to Get Things Really Flat -
A Mans Guide to Ironing, Dusting and Other Household Arts by Andrew Martin  :-)



My favourite line - will amuse and instruct any man,
forced at gunpoint by his significant other to read it.
Book Description
I Think, Therefore I Drop My Clothes in a Heap...
Andrew Martin is surprisingly well qualified to write a guide to housework for men. Not only is he a man himself, but he does a lot about the house. On purely humanitarian grounds he recently took over some of the ironing from his wife; he then branched out into bath-cleaning, "specialist" dusting, and washing up after dinner (when he wasn't going out).
For the purposes of this book, Martin has interviewed many experts, and can thus provide answers to such burning questions as:
Do I Need to Bother about the Controls on the Iron?
Is Dust Dangerous?
and
What is All That Stuff at the Bottom of the Laundry Basket?

In Leah's Wake - Author Interview by Terri Giuliano Long

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.  


To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100! 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.  

Guys if you havent already (Im currently 2nd place)

Plz vote for my blog on this book tour, I might win :-) Its the fourth box down to vote and its Beck Valley Books plz
http://www.novelpublicity.com/leah/

Lucky Avon Christmas Explosion Giveaway Winners!!




We had 6399 entries!
Thank you to all who liked, followed, subscribed, Circled and tweeted!

Here are the winners!

Book Excerpt - In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.  


To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100! 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In Leah's Wake - a novel by Terri Giuliano Long with PRIZES !!

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.  



To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100! 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.  

Join us for the Amazon Twitter Blast


COME AND TAKE PART IN THE $100 AMAZON TWITTER BLAST

What is a Twitter Blast? You the blogger can join for free with one account – Twitter. Then we will provide the prize-$100 Amazon card.
Amee from Madame Deals and Jen from all her blogs (Kobiso, Makobi Scribe, Sason and Pobi, etc) are the sponsors!!

What do you need to do to join?
  • Post about the event with the button linking back to this post. (Right click save the image)
  • Fill out this form - sign ups close Dec 14th at 9 AM EST.
  • Post the Rafflecopter on your blog and your Facebook page for the event. You can get it here
  • Then schedule the giveaway post to go live on Dec 15 11:59 PM EST to Jan 1 12:01
  • You can post on every blog you have, one post per twitter account.
  • You will be sent an email on the 14th to remind you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How designers are helping to keep the old format alive





Towards the end of his Booker Prize-winning speech, Julian Barnes paid the following compliment to the designer of his novel's jacket: "Those of you who have seen my book, whatever you may think of its contents, will probably agree that it is a beautiful object. And if the physical book, as we've come to call it, is to resist the challenge of the e-book, it has to look like something worth buying, and something worth keeping. So my final expression of gratitude is to the best book designer in town, Suzanne Dean."

Dean herself, creative director at Random House, perhaps unsurprisingly concurs with his sentiments. "I personally spend all day in front of a computer screen," she says. "The last thing I want to do at night is sit in front of another to read my book. I want the real thing." Dean has been a designer for 18 years now, and has created some of our most iconic books, among them Ian McEwan's Atonement, Bret Easton Ellis's Glamorama and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

She's not alone. Despite the inexorable rise in popularity of the e-book – 115 Kindle editions now sold for every 100 paperbacks – more and more people are coming out in support of the increasingly old-fashioned physical one, the one still made out of trees, with real fold-downable pages, and, on its jacket, lovingly crafted, bold designs. And thank God for that.

I myself am a book obsessive; I love everything about them the feel, the heft, the smell. I relish the sense of ownership that comes from cracking the spine of a new one, and I fail to see how a bunch of icons on a small electronic pad could ever compare to indulging in that most guilty of pretensions – standing in front of our bookshelves and imagining that our collections say all sorts of things about the kind of people we think we are.

I got rid of my entire CD collection recently (the vinyl went years earlier) in order to donate more space for my books. And while I am happy, now, to have my still-cherished music live quite comfortably inside my computer, I can never imagine the day when I will do to my hundreds of paperbacks what I so airily did to my thousands of CDs.

A big part of any publisher's annual calendar is the republication of classics, the bringing of new eyes to old texts. Currently, they achieve this by redesigning the author's backlist, both handsomely and daringly. How do you do that on a Kindle?

Dean isn't the only one attempting to keep the physical book alive. Here are four more of the best jacket designers in the business.

NATHAN BURTON
A book designer for 12 years now, Nathan Burton worked for Harry Potter publishers Bloomsbury, before becoming an independent. He has designed the jackets for Zadie Smith, Michel Houellebecq and James Kelman.

"Literary fiction is my favourite to work on," he says, "because unlike with crime fiction, say, or mass-market women's fiction, you get to be really creative, and that throws up all sorts of surprises." Perhaps surprisingly, Burton owns a Kindle himself. "I did feel guilty buying one," he admits, "but it's great to take on holiday. I do still definitely prefer books though. If I've read something on Kindle that I really like, I go out and buy a copy. I hope that's what everybody else does, too."

CHIP KIDD
Regarded by many in the industry as the king of the designers, Chip Kidd has spent the past 25 years creating the visual identity for some of America's best writers: Bret Easton Ellis, Donna Tartt, Cormac McCarthy. He has just designed the US jacket for Haruki Murakami's celebrated IQ84.

"It's a deliberately complicated design," he says, "and not just on the jacket, but across the opening pages, and even in the numbers of the pages themselves. The aim here was to celebrate the book as an object."

Many consider that Kidd has elevated the process into an artform.

He smiles. "Well, that's debatable. Jacket design is ultimately a piece of art serving a more important piece of art: the writing itself."

If most authors crave a Kidd design, not all of them are immediately easy to please. "I did about five jackets for Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child," he says. "He didn't care for the first four."

GRAY318
Arguably the UK's answer to Chip Kidd, Jonathan Gray – or Gray318 – is the go-to designer for a truly bespoke jacket. Twenty years in the industry, he shot to fame in 2002 with his arresting work on Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated, and has since designed for Nick Hornby, Scarlett Thomas and Roald Dahl.

"Originally, design was very much about finding a lovely photograph for the jacket," he says. "I like creating more of a brand, a logo for the book. I'm a big fan of text, and of pushing that text to the limits of legibility. I don't want to give a literal sense of the book's subject, but more a flavour."

Unlike many of his peers, Gray celebrates this current evolution in publishing. "It's an incredibly exciting time," he says. "It doesn't bother me that people are finding a new way to read. Film survived video, didn't it? Well, traditional books will survive e-books as well. We need to embrace it rather than worry about it."

GREG HEINIMANN
After graduating from design college in the mid-1990s, Greg Heinimann struggled to break into the world of graphic design. "I got a job in a bookstore instead, and that paved the way into the book industry," he says.

Learning his craft under Suzanne Dean at Random House, he now works at Bloomsbury. He also illustrated, for the publisher Corsair, Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From The Goon Squad.

"I love being able to reinterpret a book that already has a strong visual image for readers," he says of his recent redesign of Will Self's backlist. "Will's books were very aligned to the illustrations of Ralph Steadman, so it was a challenge to go in a different direction altogether."

Heinimann doesn't much relish seeing his work shrunk to thumbprints on a screen, but believes that, "it may mean we start designing apps as well. If nothing else, that'll mean more work."

Nick Duerden - Independent.co.uk


Additional Resource:
You can design your own book covers; take graphic design college classes to learn the best techniques.

Book Review - The Meerkat Wars by H S Toshack

Book Review


About the Author

H. S. Toshack has lived and worked as an English teacher and educational consultant in the UK, the Caribbean, Africa, Thailand and the Middle East. He now lives and writes in Portugal...and travels, still.

His Paka Mdogo stories are set in Africa, but they are coloured by his experience of people, and lives lived, in all of those other places; and he intends to take his cat heroine Sheena, in future books, to some of them (perhaps Thailand next).


Book Description
It s all very well helping a young meerkat whos been poisoned by a scorpion. But when you ve made friends with the whole Duwara tribe of meerkats, and you discover that they re at war with the Utongo, you may find yourself involved in that too, even if you re only a little black-and-white cat. And when you realise that the two tribes are fighting because each one believes it lives under The One True Sun, then you may have to undertake a very dangerous journey to help them see things differently. You may have to go through The Gorge.
Sheena, the amazing co-author !!
Book Review
The authors knowledge of how Meerkats live, work and play is well researched, which adds to the story and the belief that you are really living like a Meerkat.  The knowledge of the other types of animals encountered along the adventure is also first class.

Sheena, a poor lost cat, brings the story to life with her adventures, fights and struggles to get back to her human family.  She encounters two fighting tribes of Meerkats, the Duwara tribe and the Utongo tribe.  Sheena realises that both tribes need to believe in the same thing 'One Sun' to end all the fighting, so they can live in peace.  Can she achieve this?

A book to be enjoyed by both young and old as the author brings the sense of humour and honour among the Meerkats alive.  With sketches throughout the book for you to enjoy. 


Our Rating Photobucket


 Available at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Sunday is Quote Day

Welcome to Sunday is Quote Day
I absolutely love quotes, in fact I think I might be getting a little obsessed with them.
They can be so powerful and life changing.

This weeks subject has got to be 'Christmas'

"Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect."

"It is, indeed, the season of regenerated feeling--the season for kindling,
not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart."


"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling."

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."

"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas,
when its mighty Founder was a child himself."


"For somehow, not only at Christmas, but all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you."

"God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all.


Do you have a favourite quote, share it with us xx

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review - Code Blood by Kurt Kamm

Book Review 
Code Blood
by Kurt Kamm

About the Author

Malibu resident Kurt Kamm has used his access to Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City firefighters and his experience in several devastating local wildfires to write his novels. He has also attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and training sessions in arson investigation and hazardous materials response.  One of the Malibu fires, the 60 mile-per-hour Santa Ana wind-driven Canyon Fire, burned to his front door and destroyed the homes of several neighbors. Mr. Kamm said the lessons he learned from L.A. County Fire Department while writing his books helped him save his home.
Kurt lives with his wife and three dogs. He was previously a financial executive and semi- professional bicycle racer. He was Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation and is an avid supporter of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

Author on Facebook          Authors Blog          Free Items from Author

Book Description
A young Los Angeles County Fire paramedic responds to a fatal accident. A woman’s foot has been severed. Who is she, and what happened to her foot?

During a week long search, while he risks his career to find the victim’s identity and her missing foot, Colt Lewis visits the dark side of Los Angeles, an underworld of Goth fetishists and body parts dealers. He encounters a woman with a full upper body tattoo, a mysterious Chinese woman involved in stem-cell research, and a killer.

When he finally finds the foot and buries it in the San Gabriel Mountains, the paramedic brings closure to the woman’s death and resolves the absence of his mother who deserted him a decade earlier.


Firemen at workThere is a flame that burns inside of us. It is what keeps us going, from house to house or wreck to wreck. We know that once we put that gear on, we are stronger than superman. The flame that burns inside each of us rouses us to save others. We put our lives at risk for others, it is what we do. Not everyone has that flame. We face the devil every day and somehow we win the battle. We love it, if we didn’t, why would we do it? WE LIVE TO FIGHT AND FIGHT TO LIVE.


Book Review
A turn paging enthralling story - the characters and places portrayed by the author give the reader a perfect picture and you can imagine yourself in the background observing and following the main characters.

A rookie fire paramedic on a shout is horrified to find a victims severed foot has disappeared, but who has taken it and who would want it?   This is a mystery he cannot let go of and will pursue all avenues to solve.  The thief is an albino goth who has a strange fetish and obsessions, he gets drawn into the Russian underworld to feed his fetish habits, which he then has to find ways of making money to pay them or lose his life.  Working in a research lab, the goth finds a way he could pay the Russians back after discovering a Chinese student has a very rare blood type, which his fellow goths, who have a taste for human blood, would buy. 

Will the paramedic solve his mystery before the goth gets his blood?  Will the goth survive or die?

This story had me hooked from page one and I found it really hard to put down.  The author has kept the storyline simple which means the reader can get to grips with what makes each character tick and their reasons for pursuing their own individual goals.   I would strongly recommend this book to all readers who enjoy a really good thriller.


Our Rating Photobucket


Friday, December 9, 2011

It's The Weekend Gathering Hop

 Welcome to our Weekend Gathering Hops!  This 5 way link up is hosted by Adventures of Frugalmom, Beck Valley Books, Beauty Brite, mumwrites, and Nifty Mom to help socialize with fellow bloggers, gain traffic, new followers, make new friends, and more!
Beauty Brite Weekend Gathering Hops

Did you know?!  As a bonus for linking up with us, we randomly tweet YOUR giveaways!  
Do you believe in Karma?  We are a group of bloggers helping each other build our blogs!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's The Weekly Book Blog Hop - Hop This Way!!

Welcome to our Weekly Book Blog Hop!!
This runs every Wednesday - Saturday
including a Book Giveaway linky, Goodreads linky
and Authors Who Welcome UK Reviewers linky
Beck Valley Books Weekly Book Blog Hop
Our Book Blog Hop is here to unite all booklovers worldwide,
readers, book reviewers, authors, publishers, book bloggers, book sellers,
putting you all in touch with each other
and keeping real books alive x

We would love it if you could share our hop with all your booky friends
and display are book hop badge (optional obviously x)

Fabulous Gifts for Children and Older Children!!

I was looking round the internet yesterday for a small present for the kids, they have so much but I just wanted to get them something different, something special.  Then I stumbled across these fabulous books, they are personalised with the child's name on the front cover and throughout the whole story book.  Whats more they are also hardcover, which is another added bonus, just had to share them with you.

Children love discovering that everyone has talents and gifts. The Very Sleepy Firefly puts the special child in your life at the center of the story and tells how he or she saves the day with a very bright light.


Children often dream of bringing a pet home from the zoo. If You Take An Animal Home teaches children about the habits of giraffes, monkeys, zebras, elephants and other animals, and helps them understand why these animals may not be the best pets for their home.



I found them on the site Mymimisays, my favourite one is Sean The Very Sleepy Firefly and I also found out they post to the UK, fantastic.  This is what Mymimisays about the books.

Creative books for curious minds

At MyMimiSays, we believe in the transformative power of a well-told story. And we remember fondly the personalized stories our Mimis and Nanas told—always with our names at the center, always with us emerging as heroes.

Our custom books put the special child in your life at the center. They make wonderful gifts for any occasion—birthdays, graduations, holidays and any special moment in between.

But it just got me thinking, instead of the kids name for the story why don't I have 'Grandad George' instead!!!  Then the kids could give grandad this as a present, I'm sure he would treasure this more than a normal gift and it would certainly give us all something to talk and laugh about.  What do you think??  Any Advice??



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