Truth is Relative Blog Tour

Lady Reader’s Blog Tours presents another exciting week long tour! Just in time to read in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa or your favorite hot beverage, J. J. Lyon’s fun private investigator mystery, with a twist, TRUTH is RELATIVE; the first in the A Truth Inducer Mystery series is here. A giveaway, great posts, reviews and best of all? Fun!

 
I’m so excited for my friend, J. J. Lyon, who has released her first novel, Truth is Relative. It’s a fun mystery that’s unique from others I’ve read. (See my comments below.) She’s contributed a few times to my March Book Madness posts and has great views on writing and reading. Check those out here. As part of the blog tour, she answered some questions about her book and chocolate. Love her answers. Take a look: .

Continue reading “Truth is Relative Blog Tour”

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MBM: 7 Tips for Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon

Welcome to the fifth day of MARCH BOOK MADNESS!

 

JoLynne Lyon is here today talking about reading in a post-bookstore world. JoLynne participated in last year’s MARCH BOOK MADNESS, when she talked about 10 Marketing Tips (What Not to Do). You can read it here. She has a great sense of humor, and I loved her thoughts. This year, I’m excited to have her back!

JoLynne’s talking about the changes in the book world from a reader’s perspective. I don’t think anyone in the book world knows where things will settle — authors, publishers, or readers — but I know there have been and will continue to be new and exciting changes in the way we read our favorite stories.

So…here’s JoLynne:

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Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon

The chaos of the publishing world is so bad, it’s hitting readers, too. Beloved bookstores have closed. The remaining ones are devoting more and more space to merchandise that has nothing to do with reading. It’s harder to browse a bookshelf.

Continue reading “MBM: 7 Tips for Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon”

MBM: Know Your Audience — Even the Subtle One, by Cindy Piper

Cindy

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Welcome to the second day of

MARCH BOOK MADNESS!

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You can read more about March Book Madness here, but basically it’s an excuse for me to discuss everything about writing, editing, and reading books with some amazing authors and readers.

Fun, fun, fun!

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Here’s the schedule:

The collective talent listed above . . . Wow! It’s going to be a great month.

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Today we have Cindy Piper on MARCH BOOK MADNESS.

Cindy is a mother of three, avid reader, and blogger at wechoselife.blogspot.com.

I know Cindy very well because I married her older brother. :) (If you need help, that makes her my sister-in-law.) I love her to pieces. She lived with us for a short time before she was married and became close to not just me, but my kids. She read to them all the time and has given them many books over the years. We love Cindy and her family!

So…here’s she is.

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CINDY PIPER: A Good Author Knows Their Audience — Even The Subtle One

I love reading everything from Dr. Seuss to June B. Jones to murder mysteries.  

If you can’t tell, I have kids — three kids. I love children’s books.  I hoard them.  I love a good book.  To me, this means the author understands their audience. seussthl

Obviously Dr. Seuss understood he had two audiences.  There’s hidden meaning in each of his books. Take, for instance, The Lorax.  When my son was three, he loved this book and had most of it memorized because of the rhyming words. But I also enjoyed it because Dr. Seuss talks about social issues, particularly the environment and consumerism.  I also enjoy the lyrical rhythm of his books.  He cleverly puts the message in an enjoyable rhyming way. 

(Happy belated birthday, Dr. Seuss! March is National Reading Month because we love your books.)

I also have a two-year old who loves reading all kinds of books.  One of his — and my — favorites is a book called 13 Planets. It’s about the solar system and has great pictures, so my son enjoys looking at it over and over.  But there’s also great information about the planets and space for me. I’ve learned a lot

My six-year old reads Junie B. Jones with me.  There’s subtle humor in there for an adult who may be reading or listening to a child.  Barbara Park is witty and makes the book enjoyable for adults and children. We also like Nate the Great.  It’s a series about a kid detective who solves mostly kid mysteries. He’s a clever kid, and I admit that I enjoy the stories also.  Lately we’ve started The Magic Tree House series.  I think I like these books more than my son. In general, I’m more amused by reading than he is.

The authors of the books I read over and over to my little ones understand that the book is not just for the child.  

I also live to read or listen to books on my iPod.  I read a variety of themes and authors.  I like murder mysteries with plot that I just can’t figure out. I love a good memoir. Right now I’m listening to a story that’s fiction, but is written with the intent to inspire you to have a better perspective on life.

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I think even within the same reader, there are many audiences. Just like myself, I’m a mother,  a student of life, a teacher, a wife, etc. A great author understands his audiences.

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Bio:

I am a wife and mother of three children.  I love reading to them.  I started a blog in August after my daughter was born premature with Spina Bifida.  It is www.wechoselife.blogspot.com

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REBECCA:

Cindy reads to her kids more than any mom I’ve ever met. She’s amazing, and her kids are brilliant because of it. You should hear her almost-three-year-old read. It blows me away. (Can you tell I’m a little biased? :) ) Anyway…

Thank you, Cindy.

I think I understood this concept — sort of — but until you put it this way, I hadn’t really thought it through. It’s so true. How many parents are sitting through children’s books each and every night?

Authors need to make sure they are entertaining their target audience (in this case, the children), but we also need to be aware of the cross-over audience. If it’s a children’s book, is there stuff in their for the parents? What about YA? I know a lot of mom’s who read YA. Is there humor in there that only they would understand? It doesn’t have to be much; just a bit of something in there to let the cross-over reader know you appreciate them and want to entertain them, too.

Very cool. Thanks, Cindy!

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How have you seen this cross-over audience concept applied? Any suggestions for authors of a certain genre? Join the conversation below.

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Up next on MARCH BOOK MADNESS…

Julie

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Check out last year’s MARCH BOOK MADNESS here.

Friday Funnies: I’m Reading A Book

My kids love YouTube.

It kind of scares me, actually. I’m glad YouTube has safety filters, but I still try to stay aware of what they’re watching.

Lucky me.

I can’t tell you how many random, lame videos I’ve been subjected to. You should feel sorry for me.

One of their favorite YouTube sensations is Julian Smith. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s funny, a little odd, and sometimes not allowed in our house. But…Janette Rallison posted about one of his videos this week. It’s a song my kids have sung around the house, but I hadn’t seen yet.

It’s funny. Weird, but funny (which describes all five of my kids). If you love books and have a strange sense of humor like us, you might like it, too. 

And here’s one more video that made me smile this week, not because it’s funny, but because it was just sooo cool.

This video comes from Eclipse, an awesome mens A’Capella group. It’s their version of Taylor Swift’s “22”. A great love song for those of us who need reminders to keep dating after marriage.  

  • Maybe I should have started with that video. The two are nothing alike. Sorry. Random.
  • As I rewatched both videos for this post, my kids came running up to my computer to see them again. They’re crazy.

The best part, though, was last night my kids were playing the Wii, and I happened to glance over from the kitchen. For some reason I’ve yet to figure out, the 5yo and 16yo were wearing the exact same glasses as Eclipse wore in the video. Not sure where they found them, or why they needed them to play Wii Sports Resort, but it made me laugh. :)

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Happy Weekend!

Read other Friday Funnies here.

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Comment here

The Gift Of Reading: My Three Book Recommendations for Christmas

(reading)

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Give the gift of reading for Christmas. I love to give my kids books for Christmas, which means I’m always on the prowl for great books. Maybe you are, too.

Here are my book recommendations for Christmas:

All three are kid and adult friendly. I’ve already mentioned these books on my blog back when I read them, but I’ll mention them again in case you forgot, because they’re that good. :)

  1. My dad’s newest book, THE GUARDIAN – by Gerald N. Lund, is a fast-paced novel similar in feel to his ALLIANCE and FREEDOM FACTOR books. The main characters are a spunky 16yo girl, her best friend who happens to be a boy, and a magic pouch with the power to save her family (the pouch deserves to be a character because it has a mind of it’s own). I wrote in more detail about it here. It’s #1 on Deseret Book’s fiction list right now which is awesome!The Guardian by Gerald N Lund
  2. Braden Bell’s, THE KINDLING, is a middle-grade book perfect for younger teens and pre-teens. I wrote more about this book here. Braden is running a Christmas special right now for his book $9.99. 8702518_orig
  3. I also love EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson. It’s a fun regency romance that takes me back to my Jane Austen reading roots. I wrote more thoughts about this book here.Book Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Click any of the pictures to buy the book. They’re awesome.

Those are my three suggestions. What are yours?

I’m always looking for great books to read, and between me and my five kids, we read most genres. I know you love to read, too, so what have you read lately that we might like? What do you love? Share here.

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Comment here.

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You’re Never Too Young To Dream: Dewey’s First Adventure, by 18yo Alecia Martino

(reading)

A few weeks ago, I was part of a local author event at a library which featured authors from Southeast Michigan.

There were around 20 authors there, which was a lot of fun. I truly enjoyed meeting people who share the same passion as I do.

One of the authors especially inspired me. She’s an 18-year-old published author, so I think think she’ll inspire you, too.

Her name is Alecia Martino, and her children’s book is called, Dewey’s First Adventure.

 

I’d heard of Alecia before because she went to my kids’ school and shared her amazing story. They thought it was cool that someone who was only 18 could already be published, (and they loved her book), so they came home and told me. When I saw her at the library event and connected the dots, I was very excited. I had her sign a book to my kids, which they were thrilled about. We’ve now read it over and over again.

It’s so cute!

I asked Alecia if she’d be willing to share her story on my blog and she agreed. Awesome! :)

Rebecca: Tell us a little about your book, Alecia.

Alecia: My children’s book is an educational tale about a raindrop that travels through the water cycle.

Rebecca: When did you first write Dewey’s story?

Alecia: The story of Dewey the raindrop was written as a class assignment when I was in 7th grade. My mom thought it was an “adorable” story and saved it with all the other things mothers like to save. :)

Rebecca: Mothers can spot talent a mile away. It’s one of our job descriptions. That’s awesome that she saved it. 

What prompted you to look into publishing Dewey’s story?

Alecia: I didn’t glance at the story again until my Sophomore year of high school, when I chose to research the publishing process for an end-of-the-year project. After looking into several options of publishing, from self-publishing to large corporations like Scholastic’s, I found a company that I really liked (Tate Publishing) and decided to send in the story of my raindrop just to test the waters and see what it would be like to communicate with a publisher.

Little did I expect to receive an acceptance letter and a contract in the mail a few months later! 

Rebecca: That is amazing! Two school assignments and suddenly you had a contract. I’m sure many authors reading this are jealous, but I think it’s a sign that the publisher could spot talent, too. :)

What was the hardest part of the publishing process?

Alecia: Coming up with the initial fee to get the whole thing rolling. The publishing company needed around $4,000 up front to prove I was serious about getting my story published and to get the process started. Being only 15 years old, I definitely didn’t have that kind of money.

To make it happen, I had to sit down and make some phone calls to several family members and friends to see if they would be willing to either donate or loan me the money. It was a terribly nerve-wreaking situation to be in because I was scared no one would want to invest in my dream of being a published author at such a young age.

To my surprise, everyone I called was more than happy to help out and soon enough, the year long process of publishing “Dewey’s First Adventure” began.

I got to work with a professional illustrator, (through phone and email since Tate is based in Oklahoma), a cover designer, audio book reader, and a marketing rep to create my book exactly how I envisioned it. It was definitely an exciting experience, to watch my story come to life.

Rebecca: Wow, that would be very fun. And it sounds like you have an amazing support system. That’s a must for authors. In many ways, it’s unfair that only one name ends up on the cover of the book. It takes so many people behind the author to make it happen. I’m sure you know how blessed you are. 

What has been the best part of publishing a book?

Alecia: Sharing that experience with kids, inspiring them and encouraging them to chase after their dreams even at a young age.

Rebecca: My daughter was one of the ones who heard you speak at the school, and already she’s written several “novels” she hopes to get published. I love it, so thank you! You are definitely an inspiration. 

What advice would you give my daughter and other aspiring young authors?

Alecia: To pursue any passions they may have, whether it be along the lines of being an author, an illustrator, a musician, etc., no matter how young or old they are. It is never too soon to chase after your dreams. 

Rebecca: I agree 100%. True dreamers aren’t confined by age. 

What are your writing plans for the future?

Alecia: Possibly one or two more educational stories about “Dewey” and different natural processes or cycles that water can travel through. Then hopefully expanding my writing–and audience–with publishing some novels. But that may be a little while down the road.

Rebecca: I wish you the best of luck in your writing adventures. We look forward to what the future has in store for you. (Did that just make me sound like an old lady? Sorry.) We’re super excited for you! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Again, Alecia’s book is an educational tale about a raindrop who goes through the water cycle. Buy it. It’s very cute. (And perfect for teachers, too.) My kids love it!

If you want more information on “Dewey’s First Adventure“, check out the book directly from the publishing company here, or for more specific info on book signings and events, ‘LIKE’ Dewey’s Facebook page: Alecia Martino (Author page).

Have any questions or comments for Alecia? Comment here.

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Here’s a quick interview with Alecia from the local library author event. Isn’t she amazing?

Have a great day!

Comment here

 

Origin–by Jessica Khoury

(reading–at last)

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I read a book. I…read…a…BOOK!

You see, I haven’t read in, oh, four months. Not a book. Not for fun. As much as I love to read–and I do love it!–it fell behind the list of to-dos.

Sad. I know. 

But I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, especially last night. That means I was curled up in my jammies in bed with a book. A good book. A great book! Although I’m feeling better now, I was hooked and had to finish it this morning.

And I loved it! For many reasons.

Here are the official details:

Origin

by Jessica Khoury

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home–and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
 
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin–a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever. 
 
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Origin is part of Penguin Teen’s Fall 2012 Breathless Reads.

I’ve wanted to read this book since March, back when Jessica Khoury did a guest post here on my blog for March Madness. I loved her post on editing (read it here). She gave authors a ton of great tips, including one to listen to your gut as you edit. I’d never heard it put quite that way, but it’s so true!

Seriously, if you’re a writer, go read her tips here. They’re great. 

Plus, she’s a super nice, super sweet person. Seriously sweet. I love people like that. I love writers like that. It was extremely nice of her to guest blog for me.

Like I said, I anxiously awaited her book. I’ve visited her website (here) and watched her book trailer (here). Both are awesome!

Can you tell I’m a big fan? :)

But really, I would have loved her book without all that other stuff.

It’s set in the Amazon jungle, and Jessica did a beautiful job of making me feel like I was there, listening to the cicadas and feeling the hot, humid air on my face. Her writing is awesome.

The story was also very different and unique, which in the world of YA fiction right now, was very refreshing.

I loved Eio, he was a good strong character and love interest for Pia, which for me can make or break a book. Seriously, I go searching every story for the romance, and if that flops, so does the rest of the book.

Case in point: I didn’t like The Help. I blame it on the failed romance between Skeeter and Stuart. Pretty sure that makes me immature and pathetic.

Oh well. You guys already knew that. :)

Origin was also unpredictable.

I thought I had the elixir figured out, and then was surprised. And the ending was action packed and awesome. The whole book was great with a strong lesson on morality and right vs. wrong. Though she had me worried for a minute, Jessica ended the book well. Very well.

Pia was a true heroine.

It’s definitely a safe book for your daughters to read. There’s a little language, but nothing else. That’s important to me. I know that’s important to a lot of you, too.

Really, truly, Origin is a fun, fast, great read. Go check out Jessica Khoury’s website, and read her book. She’s only 22. If she can write like this at 22, I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Have a great one!

Comment here. Have any of you read Origin yet? If so, let me know your thoughts.