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Friday, October 24, 2014

After Release Party Continues Here!!!!

Thank you to all who came to the party on Facebook. I have decided to add one here too, because it is so hard to answer questions on Facebook!!

I am posting all of them here and you can answer all or as many as you want. Whoever has the most points will win a free copy of After


Here is the first question. Whoever answers correctly wins a free copy of one of my stories.
What is the name of Jennifer’s friend in If I Could Be LikeJennifer Taylor?

Each question you answer correctly you will get a point and the one with the most points wins a free copy of AFTER.

Second question. What does Carolyn wear to school the first day in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Third question. What does Carolyn want to be more than anything else in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Fourth question. To whom is If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor dedicated?

Fifth question. What problem does Carolyn have that causes her to be bullied in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Sixth question. What does Carolyn want to learn from Jennifer in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Seventh question. Where does Carolyn tell Becky and Janie the truth about Jennifer’s problem in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Eighth question. What kind of dog does Carolyn have in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Ninth question. What is my favorite animal?


Tenth question. What is Carolyn’s favorite cookie in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?

Please put your answers in the comments. I will get in touch with you if you are the winner. I have Moderated Comments so you won't see your comments right away.

Please also enjoy the party on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/299586043582549/?source=1

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guest Author Penny Estelle: Bumped Back in Time Blog Tour Stop!!


Today I welcome Penny Estelle who is stopping by to visit on the blog tour for her new book:
Bumped Back in Time.

Penny has prepared a few words to tell us about her book. I can't wait to learn more about it. The title is very intriguing!!


September 13, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort McHenry and the writing of what would eventually become the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.  

But once again, historians have left out some important information.  Sammy (Samantha) Brown, a 7th grader in Miss Wickware’s history class, played a key role in the whole process.  Without her, Mr. Key may have never been on the boat that gave him a bird’s eye view of the whole battle which prompted the famous poet to….maybe you just have to read the story yourself.

Bumped Back In Time Book 4 of The Wickware Sagas.  Take a look at 





Excerpt
A full moon lit up the bedroom.  Sammy lay on the feather mattress in the dark, staring at the ceiling.  The window was wide open, a breeze stirring the curtains, though it did nothing to take away the mugginess of the night air.  The nightgown Sarah had given Sammy was drenched with sweat and it stuck to her like a second skin. 

She got up and walked to the balcony.  Dr. Beanes had been right about his wife.  Sarah had sat Sammy down and got her a bowl of left over wild turkey and boiled sweet potatoes, which she inhaled.

The older woman tisked her tongue and her head shook in sympathy, distressed at the poor girl’s story.  “Your mother must be worried beyond belief,” Sarah said.

“Oh, I’m sure she’s freaking out all over the place,” Sammy snorted.  “And like she’ll ever buy this story!”

“I don’t understand.  You write stories to sell to your freakish mother?”

Sammy had to chuckle at that one. “No.  She’s just going to kill me.”

Outraged, the woman came to her feet.  “She will do no such thing.  William will make sure that you are safe!”

Staring into the night, Sammy smiled at the memory.  She had assured Sarah it was only a saying, but the woman did not seem convinced.

The sound of horses, riding up to the Beanes’ home, brought Sammy out of her reverie.  At least ten men, all in red coats, jumped off their horses and headed toward the house.  
 
A serving girl tapped on Sammy’s door before opening it.  “Please ma’am, Mistress Beanes would like you to come to her room, quickly.”  She turned to lead the way without waiting for a reply, Sammy, hurrying to catch up.

The scene that greeted Sammy when the bedroom opened had the hairs on the back of her neck, not only standing straight out at attention, but screaming “run…hide…wake up!”  Goose bumps broke out on her sweaty body.

Dr. Beanes was sitting on a chair putting on his shoes while Sarah was wringing her hands and pale as the snow-white nightgown she was wearing.

Before Sammy could utter a word a BANG BANG BANG came from the door downstairs and that’s when all hell broke loose!


* * * * 

Thanks to everybody for stopping by to take a look.  Bumped Back in Time is the fourth story in the Wickware Sagas.  There are five all together.

Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare
Ride of a Lifetime
Flash to the Past
Bumped Back in Time
Riches to Rags

These are all short, time travel adventures involving seventh graders in Miss Wickware’s history class.  They must draw a name from a box and do an oral report.  SOMEHOW, they end up back in time to get up close and personal with their drawn subject!

I also have a printed version of the Wickware Sagas.  This can be found at

 Due to the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner, MuseItUp is offering Bumped Back in Time for 99 cents for the first two weeks in September.  Check it out at

Thank you Penny for stopping here on your tour. I wish you lots of luck and plenty of sales!! As a former teacher I would love to have had such exciting historical novels to offer to my students. 

Until the next time, I will be speaking with Penny on my Blog Talk Radio Show Red River Radio Tales from the Pages on Thursday, September 25 at 4PM EST. Also on the program will be Ken and Anne Hicks and Lorena Bathey. 

Thank you to all of you who continue to enjoy this blog. As I mentioned in my last post, I was too sad to post this summer, but things are better now. Learning to live without my husband has been tough and continues to cause pain, however, I am very thankful I have my two daughters and the rest of my wonderful family to help me through it all. 




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guest Author Barbara Ehrentreu with Her After Cover Reveal!!


First of all, let me say how sorry I am for not posting this summer. It was not an easy summer to get through and all that I had to say was very sad. So I decided not to blog until I had something great to tell you and here it is.

My new YA novel, After, is being released on October 24th by MuseItUp Publishing!!! It will be in ebook form for awhile. If you pre-order now on the MuseItUp Publishing website you will save about $2.50.

Here is the cover for After, the blurb and an excerpt. I am actually my own guest author this time!! As you can see I also have my photo here as well!!

I have a few questions that I have answered by myself:

Why did you write this book?
Actually the events in this book were inspired by own husband's heart attack and bypass surgery. I started it during NaNoWriMo about eight years ago and it kind of follows what actually happened in my own life. I didn't have a chance to finish it then, but a few years ago I picked it up and used the first sentence for one of Margot's workshops. She loved it and also Lea loved it too. So I decided to go back and polish it. I had already finished it and had it critiqued and beta read a few years before. However, I didn't think it was ready. I was right, because it needed to be updated and also the characters needed to be tweaked a little too. It took me two years to get up the nerve to send it in for publication and then it was accepted! I was able to share the joy with my husband last fall, but he is not here to share in the excitement of publication. I know he would be thrilled for me, though.

Why did you choose the title After?
Originally the title was When My Life Changed, but I realized that all the events took place after the phone call. So I decided to try a simpler one word title that would convey what the book is all about. It is about everything that happens to her after her father calls. 

What are you working on now?
I have another YA novel which is called Footsteps on the Sand and it is about a 16 year old boy whose parents inherit a beach house in the Hamptons. He meets this cute surfer girl, Kristen and he wants to learn to surf. While trying to surf he has an accident and needs to rest in his room after coming back from the hospital. He opens his closet and finds an old surf board and his grandpa's journal. When he opens the journal his grandpa's ghost appears and this begins an incongruous friendship when he asks his grandpa to help him surf. There is romance and a little bit of conflict in it too. I am bringing this to the Children's Novel Workshop in Santa Cruz, CA in October where some professionals will critique it. I am very excited about going to this!!

Have you ever thought of writing a sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor?
Actually I had not thought about doing that until a friend's granddaughter asked her after reading it if there was a sequel. If I do, it will probably be set a couple of years later and probably be in both POV's. Of course this is just in my head now. I am really trying to concentrate on one book at a time.

Now I am very interested in learning more about After.



BLURB:

After is a story about the struggles Lauren Walstein, a fifteen-year-old girl, has to go through when her father suddenly has a heart attack and undergoes bypass surgery. In one phone call her life changes completely. Lauren is a character with whom most teens will relate. Her best friend since kindergarten, Joey, is going out with her enemy and they have grown apart. Before the phone call all she thought about was getting a scholarship for softball, and the Mets. Suddenly she must deal with both her father’s illness and being in school. The demands on her from both ends complicate the story. In the middle of all this, she finds she is developing feelings for her best friend that are more than friendly. Is he feeling the same or is he just comforting her? In addition there is Joey’s mean girl friend Amber, who doesn’t appreciate Lauren being in the picture. Will Lauren’s father recover? How will Lauren cope with her new feelings for Joey?

EXCERPT:


     Let me go back and tell a little bit about myself. First of all, you might be thinking I’m a boy, but you’re wrong. My name is Lauren. I’m fifteen, and my sister is seventeen. I’m one hundred percent female. We learned about stereotypes in social studies and thinking sports can be only a boy’s thing is one of those. The teacher used blondes—and how people think they’re dumb or playing dumb—as an example. We had to come up with a few stereotypes of our own as our ticket to leave that day. It was then I realized my own parents thought in stereotypes.
     I go against the stereotype for girls. I’ve always loved baseball. Joey loves it differently than I do. He likes to play it, but he memorizes all the facts and can spew them out any time they’re needed. I like the flow of the game and the feel of the perfect pitch leaving my hand.                                     Our friendship goes against the stereotypes, too. He and I clicked in kindergarten. The first day of school, Joey and I sat together and didn’t stop talking the whole morning. My parents told me that when the teacher tried to separate us we both put our feet on the ground and refused to be moved. She let us sit together for the rest of the year. But the next year the teachers were onto us and separated Joey and me for the whole year into different classes. We’d see each other in the hallway and wave. Sometimes I’d have a little tear in my eye when I saw him and it didn’t go away for a long time.
      Before the phone call, there I was, eyelids drooping, in front of the TV, about to go upstairs to bed. Mom joined me for the last couple of innings. It looked like the Mets might do it. Though I tried, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was in the process of raising my tall, lean body off the sofa and placing one foot on the floor when the phone rang. Dad usually called Mom late when he worked nights, so I handed the phone to Mom and started upstairs. I didn’t get far. As soon as my foot touched the first step I stopped in mid-step. Mom was screaming into the phone.
    “What? You want me to go out now and buy you Alka-Seltzer? You have indigestion?”
     Dad never has anything wrong with his stomach. You could say it’s made of iron. I turned around and went back to the living room, catching bits of Mom’s conversation as I approached her. Even though I didn’t understand the reason for the phone call my heart started pounding and a sick feeling started in my stomach. I stood behind Mom.
    “You have pain in your back, and indigestion? Go to the hospital! No, I’m not going out to buy you Alka-Seltzer.” She slammed down the phone and gave into hysterics.
     “That stupid man. He has to go to the hospital. He’s having a heart attack. He is so insufferable. I’m calling the doctor.” Tears rolled down her face as she frantically punched in the number for the doctors we use. She described Dad’s symptoms to the answering crew and they put her through directly to the coronary doctor on call.
     “Okay, I’m calling him back. He’s insane,” she said to no one in particular, but really to me and my sister. Diane, hearing all the screaming, had run down the steps and put her arms around Mom, who was now sobbing uncontrollably, but still punching in Dad’s number.
      Holding the phone and wiping away tears she spoke to him again. This time it sounded a lot more like the way she spoke to my sister and me when she wanted something done for her. I wrapped my arms around myself and prayed this was a nightmare.
     “I called the doctor and he said you need to go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible.” Then she added her own Mom advice. “Take two aspirin and we’ll meet you there.”
     My life changed at that precise moment: 9:30 p.m. Sunday, September 24.And I never even realized it had happened.

You can find After for pre-order as mentioned before on MuseItUp Publishing Bookstore.
Also if you want to read her first award winning YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, you can find it here:

Thank you, Barbara for being my guest author and I wish you a lot of luck and great sales with After.
Until the next time, my guest will be Penny Estelle, who will be talking about her new book Bumped Back in Time.  She is stopping by as part of her month long blog tour. Also my Blog Talk Radio Show, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages will be on Thursday, September 25 at 4PM EST with guests Ken and Anne Hicks, Lorena Bathey and Penny Estelle. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Addition to 2014 Virtual Blog Tour - Next Stop Stamford,CT

I told everyone I was looking for two more people to carry on this awesome tour and I found one. Here is her bio and links and I hope you will all enjoy her as much as I do. Her name is
Lorena Bathey and she is also an author.





Lorena Bathey attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga graduating with a degree in English. Today Lorena has written several novels, Beatrice Munson, House on Plunkett Street, The XCoaster, and Meeting Ms. Monroe. She is currently working on four novels, three of which are historical fiction. Find her at www.LorenaBBooks.com

My blog link is :  http://lorenabathey.wordpress.com/


Lorena Bathey
Publisher/Author


So please go over and visit her. I am sure we will all learn a lot from her. Thank you very much Lorena for carrying on this tour for me. 

Until the next time I have to correct something I wrote in my first blog post. My radio show Tales from the Pages for Red River Radio is on July 31st and not on July 24th. I am on the 4th Thursday of each month. Being away so long I kind of forgot that. Lorena will be on that show and I have a show lined up for August 28th and September too. So I guess I'm really back guys. 

I hope to be posting a little more frequently now that I'm feeling a little better. Hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. Happy Summer too!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Welcome to 2014 Virtual Blog Tour - This Stop Stamford, CT

After over a month I am a little better and ready to start blogging again. The loss of my husband will forever be in my heart, however, I'm a writer and I need to continue to write. Anyone who reads my blog knows all about me, but for those who don't know me my Profile is right here. I am a retired teacher and an author of one published novel for YA, IF I COULD BE LIKE JENNIFER TAYLOR, found at MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and one soon to be published YA novel, AFTER. I also write a bit of poetry.

I was asked by Pearl Ketover Prilik to participate in the 2014 Virtual Blog Tour and so I am doing that now. First a little about me and where I am living. I am living right next to the water in Stamford, CT. I love being able to walk along the boardwalk where I live and see the water and the birds that are living wild here. A few years ago I photographed the swan mother and her babies. I also love seeing the egrets that live here too. We have plenty of ducks and lots of geese as well. There are little inlets all over where I live and the ducks and geese love to swim there. The apartment complex keeps the grounds and there is a path by the preserve where bunnies sometimes come to peek out to see if it's safe for them. The boats in the marina create a picturesque setting when I look from my terrace. We also have a pool for the apartments and though I haven't used it very much I plan to get out there as soon as I can. 
                                           Swan mother leaving her nest in the rushes with her
                                           swanlings.

                                          The view from the boardwalk

                                            View of Stamford Harbor
                                               
                                                               Great Egret

We didn't always live here. We were forced to move because of a fire in an apartment next door to ours in a two family duplex. We suffered a lot of smoke damage and the other apartment was completely gutted killing two of our neighbors. I wrote a blog post about this event called Time to End the Curse of 2009.We were put up in a hotel and then we wound up staying there for over a month until we found this place in another city from where we had lived. In fact it was in another state. We had always lived in New York, so moving to Connecticut was a very big step for us.

Now it's time to thank the person who asked me on this tour, (Dr) Pearl Ketover Prilik. Her bio follows, but it doesn't say anything about how talented and warm hearted she is. She pretty much brought all of us together and started and finished two poetry anthologies. She is modest and her poetry is enchanting. 






Dr.) Pearl Ketover Prilik is a writer/psychoanalyst living on the South Shore of LI with her husband and Oliver, a human -in -disguise as a cat.  She has had three non-fiction books published, was editor of a post-doc psychoanalytic newsletter and editor/contributor of two poetry anthologies –She has been delighted to have poetry and micro-fiction published in a number of online and print literary journals and is currently and still successfully avoiding editing two completed novels. Although she is known alternately as pkp, Dr. Pearl, drpkp and a few other alias she claims to have committed no crime outside the purview of the grammatical.


The next part of this Virtual Blog Tour is to answer 4 questions. Here are my answers:


1.                What am I currently working on?
                  Currently I am in the middle of editing my upcoming novel, AFTER and I am in the second round of edits for this. I announced this novel as WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED, but after working on it for awhile and suggestions from my kids I decided to change the title. This novel as did my last one, took a great deal of time to be published. So I am very happy it will finally be out there. I think people who read my first book will find this one very different. It is about a fifteen year old girl whose father calls one night while having a heart attack. He goes on to need bypass surgery and this changes her entire life in one moment. It has a love story and of course a mean girl too.

                 Also I have another novel called FOOTSTEPS ON THE SAND, which is still a WIP. I wrote the entire novel and then after it was critiqued decided to add a ghost to it. So I am doing that after I finish my editing.
2.               How does my work differ from others of its genre?
           I think my work differs from others because I write about social issues in a very realistic way. I incorporate my own life experiences in a fictional way using characters that are not at all like myself.

         In my poetry I also use my own life experiences, but usually I am inspired by events that cause me to need to write. With poetry the words come easily and flow, but mostly my work tends to be realistic too.  
3.               Why do I write/create what I do?
   I never know what is coming out of my head when I start to write. Sometimes it’s poetry and sometimes it’s the beginning of a story. I never know what the character might be until I write it. So I have written in several genres including short stories and even flash stories a couple of times. Lately since participating in the Poetic Asides challenges I tend to write from a prompt for poetry. I have written flash stories for challenges in newsletters too and several of them have been published.
   
4.               How does my writing/creating process work?
         As I mentioned before I get the idea for a story and I start to write. However, this process of getting an idea happens when I have a full sentence or phrase in the case of poetry, in my head. Then I write that down and the writing goes from there. I don’t usually plot anything because the story moves itself. Once I have a character I do develop that character by doing a character wheel to find out all I can about him or her. This requires intense scrutiny of their environment, likes and dislikes and even what they might have in their closet. I also find out about their parents or friends and create these characters as well. This usually happens after the initial paragraph or two is on there. Then I decide what motivates this character the most and the story moves from there. I don’t know the ending yet, because that will happen as I write the story. It’s more like I and the characters melt together and I’m writing as they are in each scene. If I have a narrator this helps to move the story along too. Writing mostly for YA my stories are in first person, so it’s like I am constantly thinking what will I do now. The dialogue comes from the situations as if I were conversing with the characters and it’s important to know the voice of your character as well. Each character will approach each other very differently and so you need to keep continuity with them. However, this is not conscious for me and usually I just go with the flow and revise afterward.

That brings me to the plotting part. After I have written maybe a half of the novel I usually wind up needing to focus on plot. It’s important to have the character dealing with lots of problems so the story can move forward. I try to go by the way I was taught. That is your character needs to have three problems to solve and then you move to the climax where it seems all is lost and your character is doomed. So I have to go back and check to see if I have done all this. Once this is settled and all of the plots are done including the ones for the secondary characters, I can continue the story and move to the end. As I said I don’t know the end of my story when I start, because I don’t know how the characters will interact and figure out how to solve the problems they face. However, I always stop when I think it’s the end and that works. I know this sounds very haphazard and there are writers who make outlines and plot beforehand and know their endings, but that is not how I write. It makes for a very dynamic experience for me while I’m writing and I enjoy that.

Then there’s the revisions, which come after I have done the first draft. I put it away for at least a month so I can pretty much forget about it. Then I look at it and decide if it’s worth revising. If I like it, which happens for me all the time, I start rereading and rewriting as I go. I might cut words or even at one time I cut a character. Sometimes I find that an action a character did doesn’t work or maybe the dialogue needs changing. After I have done all this I show it to someone who I trust. Usually it’s another writer I know, but I have used critique groups too in the past. Now I give it to my daughter who is my best critic. She tells me the truth and I use what she says to help me.

When I am completely happy with what I have written I send it to my publisher and both times it has been accepted for publication.

For poetry I don’t go through the same process. With most poems I write them and post them almost immediately. For publication I do go back and check and rewrite a little, but from years of writing poetry I tend to get out what I want to say immediately.



Now for the people I have invited. The first one is someone I have known for a long time. She is a poet and familiar to most of us who know her from Poetic Asides. She is:


                                   CLAUDETTE YOUNG




Claudette J. Young began writing seriously in 2008 and continues to write in multiple genres. She strives to learn something new each day—a new poetry form, new writing technique, new foreign word, or whatever strikes her fancy. Her primary genres are poetry, science fiction/fantasy, flash fiction, children’s literature, women’s fiction, along with creative non-fiction, essay, and memoir. She tries to cover all of her bases by writing for audiences that range from young children to senior citizens.


Claudette has been published in numerous online publications for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as print magazines and two international poetry anthologies. She continues to hone her craft by working on multiple projects, including book-length ones. Her regular work can be viewed on her collaborative website and blogs at:            http://www.facebook.com/l/PAQHiFTekAQGPt_zJEj0PFmcq0shCTu_f1YDpGzIUhva1zA/2voices1song.com/ 

as well as 
http://www.facebook.com/l/hAQEx_h3MAQHAIE9cOVPjp1oRe5bzd4N4FCtJQvpOWhC-jA/www.claudettejyoung.com/

Unfortunately at this time I was unable to find two more people and I will try to add them if I do find them. Meanwhile please enjoy Claudette's blog and please leave a comment here and on her blog. Also please visit Pearl's blog too. You will find all the poetry on each of these blogs very magical. Enjoy!!!

Until the next time, thanks to all of you who sent me prayers and hugs and good thoughts during my time of mourning. I am still very sad a lot of the time, but as I said in the beginning we are all trying to move through this.

On July 24th I am going to reinaugurate my monthly show on Red River Radio. I will remind all of you about this on my Facebook page and Twitter. Meanwhile, please visit our new Facebook page:

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