Thursday, May 30, 2013

SHADOW'S END--We Have a Winner!

There were 10 entries for a SIGNED copy of SHADOW'S END

 Thank you to everyone who participated. 

And now, what you've all been waiting for....Drum roll, please...

ANGELIA ALMOS


Didn't win? There will be a giveaway every week. Make sure you stay connected so you will know when to enter.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Snugg The Bug in a Rug--World Tour!



SNUGG THE BUG IN THE RUG—WORLD TOUR





Treasure Lost and Found is a new book for children aged two to six years, and older kids to read themselves.Snugg the Bug in a RugHi, I’m Snugg the Bug. I live in a rug
And inside my rug, I’m warm, safe and snug.
It’s sunny and bright, a nice winter day.
I’m ready for Spring and wish it were May.
Thus begins a rhyming story that will delight kids, and adults will have fun creating voices and rolling rhymes. Snugg the Bug is a fun-loving fellow with lots of friends. Snugg, two spiders, three mice, a rat and a slug all live in a old, abandoned mansion.  Treasure Lost and Found is about friendship, teamwork, stealing and sharing. Your children will enjoy their time with Snugg and his pals — spiders Itsey and Bitsey, mice Jake, Sadie and Doc, Skatt the rat and Doug the slug.


Today in a A Room To Write, I have two guests! 

Robert McFarland, the author, lives in Canada, and Rama Dixit, the illustrator, lives in India. Since I live in the US, this blogpost is quite the global experience!

Hi, Robert. Your answers will be in blue. Hello, Rama. Your answers will be in red. Come on in and have a seat. Wait! Let me move those crayons. Oops! Don't sit on the cat. Sorry it's so crowded in here. I'm thinking of doing a room renovation soon.

So anyway...Welcome!

Hi Denise, nice to meet you. 

Thank you Denise for having us on your blog ! I’m delighted to do this interview with you. Oops! I’m sorry I dropped your crayons!

~That's okay, Rama. I have plenty. Congratulations! You both must be very excited about your first picture book.

As a children's writer, with illustrations involved, it requires patience, tempered with anticipation, to see for the first time, the illustrators concept of your characters. 
Almost every time Rama presented me with one of my characters, I would do a 'fist pump' followed by an emphatic, "YES, she's done it!" It's an awesome feeling.

Yes of course! Though I’ve illustrated a few books earlier, illustrating for Robert’s book was all and all a new experience. And I think Robert wrote it so beautifully, that I could not refuse him.

~I have always been a fan of children’s picture books. I admire the ability of a writer who can say so much in so few words, and an illustrator who can capture my imagination. Besides Snugg, what is your favorite picture book?

My favorite all time children's book is Beauty and the Beast, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.

I’ve always enjoyed ‘Winnie The Pooh’ series of books. I think they’re the best picture books we have around.

~As you can see by the amount of pencils on my desk, I write longhand with paper and pencil before typing a manuscript into a computer document. Robert, tell us about your writing space. What is your favorite writing tool?

My writing space is my car. I have a notebook and sit with a coffee, in a nearby mall and write longhand, then transfer to computer.

~Rama, I have so much respect for artists. Although I've tried, drawing is not one of my strengths, but I do enjoy coloring with crayons and colored pencils. What medium did you use for Snugg's illustrations? What is your tool of preference when creating?

I use Opaque water medium colors. We call it Poster Colors in India. I think, it gives a great weight and strength to the picture. The effect looks massive! I would say my tool of preference would be using a nice medium-sized brush !

~Robert, which one of your characters is your favorite, and why?

Snugg is my favorite character. He evolved from an idea I had almost 25 years ago, and now with Rama's incredible talent, he has become a reality to me. Each one of my characters holds a special place for different reasons.

~Rama, which one of the characters was the most fun to draw? Which illustration in the book is your favorite?

I think I loved all the characters equally to draw and paint. Each had it’s own charm. I loved the picture where everyone is in the basement, and Skatt the Rat is peeping from a hole, looking very guilty.

~It's self-promotion time! Robert and Rama, what project are you working on now? Where we can find you on the internet?

Because I am self-publishing and promoting the book locally, as well as on line, it is taking up most of my time at the present. However I would like to do a second Snugg book down the road. You can reach me by e mail at snuggnrug@hotmail.com

Right now, I’m working on a painting. It’s been years since I’ve wanted to take up painting with Oil. Other than that I’m doing a Cover-Art for Thynks Publication. I’m also in talks with some Authors & publishers.

~Thank you both for visiting A Room to Write, and I can't wait to read your book!

Thank you for your interest, it is very much appreciated.

Many thanks for having us here! It was nice talking to you.                                                                                                                 
Much love to you the readers!

________________

To find out more about this adorable picture book, please visit snuggthebug.com


Friday, May 24, 2013

Four For Friday--Courtney Rene

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

This week's prize is a SIGNED copy of the printed book!  

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

Courtney Rene kicked off this fun feature back in January, and I'm happy that she came back to do this week's post from her novel, SHADOW'S END.




Sunshine (aka Sunny) is a seventeen almost eighteen-year-old girl that currently is shuffling back and forth between Earth, known as the water realm, and Acadia, known as the sun realm.  Neither place is all that wonderful right now.  At home on earth with her parents, Sunny is still treated like a child, with rules, and curfews, and school.  Then in Acadia she is expected to be an adult who makes decisions for an entire realm.  A king is after her, along with a rebel force.  How is she supposed to bring peace to Acadia as well as haul them out from the dark ages, when she has important things like blue ice fairies, red people, and prom to worry about?  Sunny has many talents, some of which include aura reading, invisibility, and one of these days she will get the hang of how to control her gift of energy without blasting everything and everyone with a shot of energy strong enough to kill.  Sunny likes to read, take walks in the warmth of the sun, and meet new people from all the different realms, even if they come with sharp blood thirsty little teeth.  Please feel free to contact her at:  ctnyrene@blogspot.com  





1. My favorite flower is...



a daisy, because they are such happy little spots of color.  Don’t you think?  Their little faces reach up toward the sun and dance and wave in the wind.  How can you not love a daisy?

2. This Mother’s Day I plan on… 
trying not to strangle my mother.  She just doesn’t get me anymore!  She is so frustrating!  How am I supposed to be in two places at once?  She doesn’t want me to be a shadow walker, but I can’t help that.  It’s who I am!  Why is she….sorry I digressed a bit there.  For Mother’s Day I plan on having a lovely brunch with my mother.  She likes to spend time with me and that is the gift she asked me for.   

3. The senior prom…
was fantastic!  Lucas was so hot in his tux.  We danced and we talked and we kissed.  It was a wonderful time.  I get all warm and tingly just thinking about it.  Do you want to see some photos?  I have a ton, thanks to my mom.

4. Only one more month until Summer. I…
simply can’t wait.  My life is so busy between school and training and home and Leif trying to aggravate me, and even Lucas some days.  I so need something to give, just a little bit at least.  Finals are coming up.  I can’t believe I am happy about that. Who is ever happy about finals?  Growing up is so hard.  

________________________________________

Want to learn more about this character and author? 

Visit Courtney's Amazon Author Page


________________________________________



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Thursday, May 23, 2013

THE FORGOTTEN ONES--We Have a Winner!!



There were 31 entries for a Kindle copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Laura Howard

 Thank you to everyone who participated. 

And now, what you've all been waiting for....Drum roll, please...

ALEXIA BOESEN!


Didn't win? There will be a giveaway every week. Make sure you stay connected so you  know when to enter.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Horse Charmer--Second Anniversary Blog Tour


We're celebrating Angelia Almos' Second Anniversary of the release of 
 I'm honored to be a part of her book tour!



A gifted princess. A special horse. A quest for the truth.

Today, Angelia has been so kind to guest blog, right here on A Room To Write! 
Listen to what she says about writing from the heart...

***
When people ask me why I write young adult fantasy, my answer is almost always, “I write the books I would have loved as a pre-teen and teen.”

I was your classic horse crazy girl who also happened to be a book crazy girl. As such, I read a lot and one of my favorite things to read were horse books. It didn’t take me long to get through all of the well-known horsey authors and start to stalk the shelves looking for any book cover with a horse or unicorn on it.

One of my all time favorite “horsey” books as a teen was the series The Secret of the Unicorn Queen. It might not have had many horses in it, but it had magical horses – unicorns. It had just a smidge of romance, lots of adventure and mystery, and pretty unicorns with distinct personalities. I re-read those books for years before I finally wore my copies out. I also adored Thoroughbred series, The Saddle Club series, and Walter Farley books. Finding horsey contemporary fiction was fairly easy, but finding horsey fantasy fiction was a lot harder which is probably why I love to write it so much.

It’s been a lot of fun writing the books I would have loved as a teen. Horse Charmer was my first foray into horsey fantasy. The initial idea came to me as a teenager and when I decided to seriously tackle novel writing in my twenties this was one of the books I chose. That initial image of the teen girl riding a horse without a bridle or saddle through a rolling hills meadow of tall grass would not leave me alone. I had to know where she was coming from and where she was going. And most importantly, why.

I based the main horse in Horse Charmer after a horse very close to my heart who was my primary horse through most of my teenage years. Kali behaved how I felt Kristy would have acted in all of the scenes in Horse Charmer. I continue to put horses I’ve known and loved in all of my horsey fantasy stories and probably always will.

***
Thanks so much, Angelia! Here's wishing you much success with what you love to do!

For a limited time only, Horse Charmer has been reduced to .99 Grab yourself an e-copy before the sale is over!








Angelia's love of horses began early on when she talked her parents into horseback riding lessons at the age of five. She's always had horses in her life in one way or another since then. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats, and one pony (thinking she should get another one so the number is two).
Angelia writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her articles have appeared in Horse Illustrated, Young Rider Magazine, Blaze Magazine, and many more. Her nonfiction book, Horse Schools, is also now an extensive website, http://www.horseschoolsonline.com.
Adventure and romance figure prominently in her fiction whether she's exploring space or fantasy.
Visit Angelia's blog for the list of stops on the tour and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance to win a $20 Amazon or B and N gift card. 


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Four For Friday--Laura Howard

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by Laura Howard from her new release with a very gorgeous cover, The Forgotten Ones








My name is Allison O'Malley, and I’m 21 years old. I just graduated from college 2 weeks ago. In the fall I’ll be enrolling in grad school. I really want to get a well-paying job so that I can support my schizophrenic mother and myself. My grandparents have been taking care of us since I was born and I need to take the burden off of them as soon as possible.
I like reading and running. I work hard to stay in good shape, but I also have a weakness for ice cream. When I over indulge, I just run an extra mile or two, so it’s never been a huge problem.


1. My favorite flower is...


a Daisy because they are simple and beautiful. Yet, each bloom has dozens of intricate petals.


2. This Mother’s Day...

I plan on staying home with my mother and grandmother and making dinner. My grandmother works way too hard cooking and cleaning for us, she deserves a break.


3. The senior prom...

might have been fun, but I had no interest in going. Not that anyone seriously asked me. Ethan kept teasing me that I should go with him, but he does that with all the girls.

4. Only one more month until Summer... 

I was going to take at least one class, but I decided to take the entire summer off and pick up extra hours at the hardware store.

***************

Interested in learning more about Laura Howard? Why not visit her blog?


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

LOVE ALL--We Have a Winner!!


There were 10 entries for a Kindle copy of LOVE ALL.

Please make sure you click the Rafflecopter tabs to be included in the drawings.


 Thank you to everyone who participated. 


And now, what you've all been waiting for....Drum roll, please...


Courtney Rene!


Didn't win? There will be a giveaway every week. Make sure you stay connected so you will know when to enter.


*****

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Everything I Ever Wanted to Know About The Writing Life, I Learned While Watching Survivor



The finale of the 26th season of Survivor aired this past Sunday night. Congratulations, Cochran!

While some folks have a sincere dislike for reality TV, I find that sitting in the comfort of my recliner, watching people under extreme situations, is a good learning experience.

Survivor is a lot like the Writing Life.


~You'll meet all sorts of people from different backgrounds. You don't have to like each other, but we're all on this island called 'Earth' and on a tribe called 'Writers.' Let's work together. 



~You may have a strategy for reaching your goal, but the game changes every day. Stay on your toes.


~Of course, you should always be nice, but being nice doesn't guarantee a spot in the final three (or get you a book contract.)



~Eating bug larvae is like writing queries. It's gross and may leave a bad taste in your mouth, but it won't kill you, and sometimes it's a necessary evil.


~Being nasty to others makes for good ratings, but it's likely to come back and bite you in the a**.


~Form an alliance. We all need someone that we can trust.



~Connect with people. It's nice to have a group that will commiserate and celebrate with you.


~I'm amazed at the number of Survivor contestants who can't start a fire. I wonder why they don't learn a little about survival before going to the island. You should always do some research! 


~Be proud of your accomplishments--whether it's the immunity necklace or a short story acceptance, revel in the accomplishments. You earned it!




~Expect change. Ordinary people can do the most extraordinary things. You will grow in ways you never expected. With each new challenge, you'll find that you won't look at yourself the same way.



~It's okay to celebrate your successes. Just don't rub it in other people's faces. 



~If you're an amateur, learn as much as you can from the people who've done this before, but veterans should beware of becoming too cocky. You could get blindsided.



~Be humble. Nobody likes a know-it-all or a does-it-best.



~And the most important thing I've learned from Survivor: It is absolutely, positively unacceptable to give up!

Well, gotta go. It's time for me to watch 'So You Think You Can Dance.'

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Four For Friday--Kelly Bradley Hashway

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Kelly Hashway had so much fun with her character post in January, she came back to A Room To Write and brought along another character!

Please be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could be the lucky winner of a Kindle copy! 

This week's post is from Kelly's YA novella, LOVE ALL






Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan wasn’t very lucky at love. In sophomore year, her idiotic boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker. Ouch! Now a senior, and with a little more self-confidence, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two guys at school. Lucky! Both attend her tennis matches, vie for her attention, and are each gorgeous in their own way. So what’s the problem? Meg has already chosen one of them, and the one waiting in the sidelines will do anything to change her mind. She’s enjoys the attention right up until it’s her heart that’s caught in the middle, and she risks losing both. Can Meg Love All, or will choosing be her undoing? LOVE ALL is a debut contemporary Romance novella from Kelly Hashway.





1. My favorite flower is…

I like roses because what girl doesn't, but I also like irises—the white and yellow ones. For some reason, they remind me of tennis.

2. This Mother’s Day I plan on… 

taking my mom for an all-day spa treatment and forgetting about my guy troubles—at least for a little while.

3. The senior prom… 

Ugh, school dances, especially ones as big as prom, are a nightmare when you have two guys vying for your attention and you have feelings for both of them.

4. Only one more month until Summer. I… 

need to put in some extra time on the tennis courts. Fall season will be here before I know it.



******
Coming Soon!!


Advantage: Heartbreak: Novella #2 Releases May 7, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan thought she’d made up her mind about love. But with two guys still vying for her attention, she wonders if she made the right decision. Ash is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend: loyal, loving, and totally hot. But then there’s Noah: fun, sexy, and the more he sticks around, the more Meg wants him there.
What’s a girl to do?
Make up her mind, before it’s too late. Gorgeous freshman Liz has set her sights on Ash, and Noah is beginning to remind Meg of her last boyfriend—the one who broke her heart. Can she figure things out before she ruins not one, but two relationships? Or is she doomed to serve up heartbreak?

*****


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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dolls Behaving Badly--We Have a Winner!


There were 23 entries for a Kindle copy of DOLLS BEHAVING BADLY by Cinthia Ritchie.

 Thank you to everyone who participated. 

And now, what you've all been waiting for....Drum roll, please...



Maureen H Di Brienza!


Didn't win? There will be a giveaway every week. Make sure you stay connected so you will know when to enter.


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fun Facts--Mother's Day

Amanda and I (Spring 1988)

The modern tradition of Mother's Day was first celebrated in America, in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother and then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day' a holiday.

Many celebrations of mothers and motherhood have occurred for thousands of years. Today, Mother's Day is celebrated on various days and in many parts of the world.


Mother's Day through the years and around the World

In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is associated with the Virgin Mary.

In Australia, the chrysanthemum (ends in 'mum') is a traditional flower for mothers.

In Belgium, fathers buy croissants and other sweet breads and pastries and bring them to the mother while she is still in bed.

A tradition in Quebec is for men to offer roses or other flowers to the important women in their lives.

In China, the carnation is the most sold flower on Mother's Day.

In 1920s France, the government awarded the Medaille de la Famille to mothers of large families, hoping to encourage population growth.

In Germany, in 1938, the government issued an award called Mutterkreuz (Mother's Cross) with categories that depended on the number of children a mother had. Recipients were compelled to be examined by doctors and social workers according to genetic and racial values considered beneficial. Friends and family were also examined. The mother had to be 'racially and morally fit, German-blooded, genetically healthy, and politically reliable.' Poor housekeeping, smoking, drinking, or even contact with a Jew could disqualify a mother!

Traditionally, mothers have great importance in Indian culture. Special acts are performed to honor them and their contribution to the family.

In Indonesia, surprise parties and competitions (for cooking and kebaya wearing) are held on Mother's Day.


In the Philippines, the mother is called the "light of the household" around which all activities revolve.

The UK celebrates 'Mothering Sunday.' This holiday evolved from the 16th century practice of visiting one's mother church annually, and has mixed together with Mother's Day.

Ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses, Rhea




and Cybele.


Mother's Day in the US

Celebrated on the second Sunday in May, Mother's Day is the third most popular card-giving day, and the second most popular gift-giving day. 

Mother's Day accounts for approximately 1/4th of the floral purchases made for holidays.

Pink is the traditional favorite for Mother’s Day flowers. 

Popular plants for Mother's Day

14.6 Billion dollars will be spent on gifts for Mother's Day. 

26,683 jewelry stores will place orders for gifts on Mother's Day. 


Did you know?

Rajo Devi became the oldest woman in recorded history to ever give birth on November 28, 2008 when the 70-year-old delivered a baby girl in India.

Feodor Vassilyev and his first wife, whose name is unknown, holds the record for most children a couple has parented. She gave birth to a total of 69 children. She gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children born were said to have survived infancy.

Still looking for the perfect gift for Mom?


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