Monthly Archives: December 2011
With ten days to go until the launch of Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight, I’ve decided to have a little fun with it! 🙂
With a little help with some friends, especially Kristy K. James, and Tonya Cannariato, we are going to have a fun release party! 🙂 Starting on release day, January 9, 2012, we’re going to have a blog hop scavenger hunt. You’ll be able to go to various blogs to find and answer questions and win prizes!
If you’re a blogger (of any kind!) or an author, I’d love to have your help and participation! Just leave a comment below, or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I need blogs willing to post questions and answers for the scavenger hunt, and authors who are willing to give out e-copies of their books as prizes.
There will also be other awesome prizes like Amazon e-gift cards, and e-copies of Seeds of Discovery and of Roots of Insight! Hopefully it will mean some extra visibility for your awesome books and blogs, as well.
If you’re a blogger, and you might also be interested in hosting a guest post, a Dusk Gate character interview, a review of one of the books, or anything else, I’d also love to have you! (And, we could work out some other awesome prizes for any of those). Any blogger willing to host ANY of this, will receive free e-copies of both Dusk Gate Chronicles books (including Roots of Insight before release day).
If you’ve made it this far, to start the fun, I’m running a giveaway of a $10 Amazon gift card. You can enter as many times as you’d like, between today and January 8th, the eve of the release. ANYONE can enter, blogger, author, or the most amazing people of all — READERS!
Just click HERE to find out how to enter!
I’m starting to get excited. Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight releases in just 11 days. That’s right. On January 9, 2012, you’ll be able to read more of Quinn’s adventures in Eirentheos. (Of course she’s going back. Twice, in fact.) 😉
As a treat for those who follow my blog … here is an excerpt for you to enjoy today. 🙂
She gasped when she saw the three small, colorful stones in his hand. She had found them near the river on one of her first days in Eirentheos, the first time she had gone horseback riding with William and his brother and sister. She had put them in her pocket, intending to bring them home to give to Owen, who collected unusual rocks. But they had been forgotten when she’d packed to leave the castle in a rush.
“Mia found them when she was cleaning your room. I thought you would probably still like to have them.”
She nodded, a sudden lump in her throat as she thought about “her” room in the castle, and Mia, the kind servant who had taken such diligent care of her. She picked up the stones and rubbed her thumb against them. They were smooth, like marble.
“And this is from me,” he said, holding out another small object. “I figured you might like to have a little something to give to your little sister, as well.”
Quinn was stunned. The object was a small horse, expertly carved out of soft, Eirenthean wood. She examined the tiny details carefully. “It’s Dusk,” she said in surprise. Dusk was the horse that William’s mother, Queen Charlotte, had given to Her to ride during her time in their world.
“Yes, do you like it?”
“You carved this?”
He nodded, “Nathaniel says carving is good practice for surgery and stitches.” His eyes followed hers down to the inside of her right leg, where he had stitched a cut after she had fallen on the night she had followed him through the gate.
She swallowed hard. “It’s beautiful, thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He looked up at something over her shoulder. She turned and followed his gaze.
She hadn’t noticed how many people had come into the hallway during her conversation with William. Watching them, from a few feet away, was Zander. Though his eyebrows had been knitted together as he watched them, his eyes lit up when they met hers.
“You’d better go,” William said quietly.
She nodded, “Thank you so much.”
“You’re very welcome.” His eyes were soft as he closed his locker and headed down the hallway.
Also, to help celebrate the launch, and make next week go more quickly while we wait, I am doing my first-ever blog tour!
Check back starting next Monday, January 2nd for details about the blog tour! And be sure to follow along at the blog sites for reviews, interviews, character interviews, giveaways, and more!
So, it’s two days after Christmas, and many, many of you have been enjoying and downloading all of the awesome e-books out there to your new e-reader. Such good times! 🙂
But… some still haven’t taken the plunge and picked one up, or you don’t have someone to buy you one. That does not mean that you have to be left out from all the joys of e-books!
(author’s note … some of this is a re-post from earlier this year)
Here is the fabulous thing. E-Reader Apps do EXACTLY the same thing as an actual e-reader (except for the part where it stays charged for a month and looks like real paper). Yes, when I forget my Kindle at home (it does happen), I just pull out my Android phone, open up the (free) Kindle App, and pick up reading my book wherever I left off on my Kindle. When I’m on my computer and trying to do twelve things at once, and one of those things involves an e-book, I open up the (again, free) Kindle App, and resume my delicious reading.
Although I do not own a Nook, things work pretty much the same way. If there’s a Nook book I want, I buy it from the Barnes and Noble website, and read it on a (FREE, people, FREE) Nook App on either my computer or my Android phone.
There are Kindle and Nook (and Kobo, and Sony, and, and, and,) Apps for pretty much any platform. You can enjoy your e-books on any kind of smartphone, I-Pad, I-Pod touch, computer, notebook, tablet. Basically, if you can get on the internet with it, you can read an e-book. The first e-books I ever bought and read were on a Palm Pilot (back before smartphones when those things were really cool).
So, if you don’t have an e-reader, go ahead and take the plunge. Open up the Android Marketplace, or the Apple Store, or Amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com, or kobo.com and download yourself a FREE e-reading application. Then use it to start perusing the amazing selection of digital books out there. The best part? Many, maybe even most, e-books are significantly less expensive than the paper versions. You can even find lots of books, both new and old, that are … wait for it … FREE!
Amazon keeps lists of the top 100 FREE books in every genre, every day, updated hourly. You’ll never run out of reading material again.
And … you’ll be able to pick up a digital copy of Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight on release day, January 9th. 🙂
When the month started, I had grand plans of sharing reviews of my very favorite Christmas stories for kids, as the children and I shared them throughout the month.
Yeah … it didn’t happen. 🙂 There’s always next year. But I still thought I should share my all-time favorite. 🙂 I didn’t actually read this one to the kiddos yet, because it’s a little more appropriate for children who are slightly older than mine. It was an amazing read when I taught 2nd/3rd/4th grade — the age of kids who don’t all quite believe in Santa anymore, but who still wish they did.
Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco is an often-undiscovered gem of a Christmas story. I have no idea why this story isn’t ten times as popular as The Polar Express, because it runs along the same lines, but is much more truly magical.
The story begins with the kind custodian at an elementary school, Quentin Hamp hearing some children teasing a little boy who is new to the school. Welcome Comfort, already burdened with a name that makes him a target is also overweight, and has been bounced around from foster home to foster home. Mr. Hamp immediately takes the little boy under his wing, and builds the kind of relationship with him that you just wish every child like him could find in an adult.
Come Christmas time, Welcome tells Mr. Hamp that he doesn’t believe in Santa, that “seeing is believing.” With his gentle brand of optimism, Mr. Hamp sets out to teach Welcome that he has it backwards … that in fact, “believing is seeing.” From there, the story takes a turn into the life-changing magic of love and kindness throughout the life of a child whose future could have turned out quite differently.
After one exceedingly magical Christmas, Welcome’s life is transformed. While he wakes from the night still not believing that Santa is real, he carries the lesson of “believing is seeing” throughout his life. I won’t spoil the true secret of the book by revealing it here, I will say that I find it impossible to read through the entire story without crying — every single time, which was always much to the delight of my students, and always resulted in a huge rush on the Patricia Polacco bin in my classroom library, and the shelf in the school’s.
If you’re looking for a new book for your Christmas collection, make sure to check out this one — and I promise you won’t be disappointed with any of her Christmas titles (and this is not the only one that makes me cry).
The release of Book Two – Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight is getting closer … 17 more days! 🙂 In celebration (and because I’m too busy preparing for the release and doing the wonderful Christmas thing with my sweet Little Goose to be very creative with blog posts), I’ve decided to re-run some of the awesome reviews and posts others have done.
Really, I don’t know where Seeds of Discovery would be right now if it hadn’t been for some of these folks who were willing to take a chance on a new book and then share their thoughts with the world. One of the very best things that has happened as a result of publishing Seeds of Discovery is the amazing new people it has brought into my life. Just as wonderful, is the few “old” people I’ve been able to reconnect with as a result of the book as well.
Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for being on this journey with me!
And here is a re-post of my very first video review … thanks so much to S0rceress0! Please don’t forget to check out her awesome blog review site, E-Book It Reviews
The last few days have been pretty exciting around here in book land. 🙂 Well, exciting in that teeny-tiny fish in the big huge ocean that is Kindle books on Amazon kind of way.
As you know from my previous post, I had been experimenting with using my free promotional days on Amazon, and it was going pretty well. Really well, actually. In the end, Dusk Gate: Seeds of Discovery made it all the way to being the #72 best-selling free book on Amazon.
The promotion expired at midnight last night, Pacific time, and my fun little book is now back among the ranks of paid Kindle books on Amazon. And I’m still having trouble staying in my chair today, because …
Well, let me start with a comparison. Last week, before the free promotion, Seeds of Discovery had been consistently ranking somewhere above #200,000 in the paid rankings on Amazon all of this month. And before today, the highest it’s ever hit has been somewhere in the high #20,000.
Today? Well … right this minute, it is number 2,270 overall.
It is also #41 in Contemporary Fantasy.
And #84 in Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy … yes … 83 books below The Hunger Games.
We’re celebrating here tonight. It’s a small celebration, sure, but big for me! 🙂
And a huge, enormous, monumental, earth-shattering, THANK YOU to all of you who have supported me, and read the blog, and taken a chance on picking up the book. The success is really yours.
Wow! This has been a whirlwind day … a whirlwind month, really.
I just realized that I haven’t blogged since right before Thanksgiving, and I know that’s bad, LOL. In reality, a lot of it is because this is a challenging month for me personally, and it wasn’t long after Thanksgiving that another family member of mine passed away, and my thoughts have been in a jumble.
So, rather than post about my random introspection, I’ve been focusing my efforts on Dusk Gate. 🙂 Book Two is written! There will be some heavy editing over the next few weeks, and then it will release on January 9th! Some of you who have been helping me with my Amazon promotion of Book One will be receiving free advance copies!
In case you were wondering … the official title for Book Two (since, unfortunately, I can’t call it Book Two forever) is … *drumroll* Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight.
And now for the really big news…
Yesterday, I put Seeds of Discovery up for free on Amazon, intending it to be a one-day promotion. But when the day was close to over, the book had hit the top ten in both the Contemporary and Children’s Fantasy categories. So, I thought, what the heck. I’ll leave it free for another day, and see what happens.
Number. One. No, seriously. As of this exact moment — 10:07 P.M., the book is the number one bestselling free book in both of those categories. And, if I can actually type this without falling out of my chair … it’s #103 in free books overall on Amazon.
I am amazed and grateful and shocked, and a million other things right now. Oh, and my house is a TRAINWRECK because every single time the kids were happily absorbed today, you can guess what I was probably doing. LOL.
And, um … the book will be free tomorrow, too. 🙂 Tell your friends. (please!)