Bookmark and Share

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Launch Party!! Come Meet Shellie Neumeier

This is a book launch party for my first YA novel:

           If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor    

There will be champagne and I am giving away a copy to the person who has my favorite comment! Please help yourself to the virtual champagne and the virtual homemade chocolate chip cookies freshly baked! 

Joining me today for the party is Shellie Neumeier, who is telling us about her new book, a YA novel, Driven available from Risen Fiction. You are all invited to join too and please grab a glass of champagne and a cookie.

Hi Shellie. Welcome to my blog and you are here on the right day!! Our new books have something in common. They are both about high school and the kinds of things that can happen to a teenager there. Let's find out a little more about you:

Shellie Neumeier holds a degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a minor in Psychology, Sociology and Social Studies. A devoted mother of four, Shellie previously worked on staff with Northbrook Church as the King’s Kids ministry assistant (serving children in grades 2nd through 5th), developing and writing curriculum, involving families and volunteers in King’s Kids programs and encouraging the spiritual growth in school-aged children. Shellie’s YA novel, Driven, is available from Risen Fiction. She is an active member of SCBWI and ACFW as well as a contributing author at various blogs including,, and Married for over 20 years, Shellie and her husband have four wonderful kiddos and two goofy greyhounds. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, she went on to acquire an early childhood education certificate. Shellie also served in youth, children’s, special needs and family ministries for over twenty-two years. Now she enjoys teaching her teens how to drive and chauffeuring her preteens across the Wisconsin countryside. And once in a while, she loves to read big people books (you know the kind without pictures). Shellie writes because it keeps her away from her husband's power tools and because every now and then, she doesn't have the choice, it just takes over. Her best inspiration comes from the occasional walk along a country road with her greyhounds.

Shellie's novel for MG, The Wishing Ring is being published by MuseItUp Publishing.

 Here is a bit about Driven by Shellie Neumeier:

Robyn can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being at Brookfield Central High School—a demon assigned to destroy her…
Robyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.
Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.

Excerpt (first page):
"From a comfortable height above the trees, Sebastian circled the abandoned paper mill, drinking in the atmosphere of dereliction and decay surrounding the property. This place has more character than most of the humans I know. Half broken windows winked like the evil eyes of wayward souls, while snow drifts gathered in the corners. The wind toyed with the snow, whipping trails that could chill his feet and ankles. If he had feet and ankles, that is.

Slipping through a second-story window, Sebastian watched a rat scurry across the dusty floor in a dash for the shadows. Like an angry cloud—black as asphalt, thick as cigar smoke—Sebastian floated after the rodent, watching with mild interest as it raced for another shadow and nearly collided with an old tom cat whose eyes glowed bright with hunger. The tom sprang, but Sebastian turned away. He didn’t have time for these cat and mouse games today, no matter how much he enjoyed them. He had bigger game to consider, and as he moved over the room, he thought about the girl he’d come to destroy."

Wow, as if high school isn't bad enough, this girl has a demon after her!!

Please tell us about the novel you are publishing with MuseItUp Publishing, my publisher too! It's so great to have you here with the Muse family.

Here is a little about the book. Shellie doesn't have a cover yet!

The King’s castle stands alone atop Grand Ur Mountain, but even that does not match the solitude surrounding Princess Ali. With a carrot-shaped nose, she trudges through her princessly duties with the most unfortunate face. With her pet greybar (a creature with the head of a greyhound, body of a polar bear, and wings of an eagle) as her only friend, Ali dreams of becoming a beautiful princess.

When Cory, a ninja-in-training, drops through the royal chimney, he does not intend to enlist the help of anyone, much less a girl, but she holds the key to the Creator’s map. The ancient map marks the secret hiding place of the magic Wishing Ring, a ring grants the wearer one wish.

Cory’s mysterious need for the ring and Ali’s dream of a beauty send the pair to a forgotten land. Only the war ravaged clan of Odana can translate the map’s key. But even if they manage to find a translator, the question remains—can they beat the Ogre who guards the ring?

Excerpt (first page):
             "Did she dare? No, she didn’t. But she really wanted to.
Princess Ally tugged a small wooden box beneath the castle’s window. They might see her. Oooh. With a stomp of her slippered foot, she spun around and sat on the crate. Her chin sunk into her palms and then a whiff of something delicious flitted through the window. Cooked pork, yeasty breads, and baked pies—pumpkin if she wasn’t mistaken. Oh. She had to peek; it was Market Day after all.
She climbed upon the crate and lifted her eyes above the sill.
The noise alone made her curious. Shouts and squeals from human and animal alike, filtered through the iron bars of the open window. But the sights beat it all. Chicken feathers and children flew this way and that. Women in torn sackcloth sold wares to ladies in silk and satin dresses. Oh, what she wouldn’t give to be able to move freely among the stalls."

Thank you, Shellie for joining the party and I wish you the best with both of your books. Please find more about Shellie at her website: Shellie is part of the MG/YA Blog-A-Thon and she has Lawna Mackie as her guest today. Leave a comment during this month on any of the participating blogs and you might get the grand prize. Anyone leaving a comment here might win a free copy of my book, today's star: If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Leave me a comment telling me about your high school experiences and make it good!!

Until the next time I am hoping you will come by and toast our new star novel. Thank you to my new followers and of course, thank you to the people who have continued to follow my meanderings.:) I am so happy to be celebrating with all of you!!!


  1. A bit of something for everyone. Congrats to Barbara on her release today and to Shellie for her books as well. I look forward to her MuseItUp release, The Wishing Ring.

  2. Congrats on the book release. Thank you for the invite to the party. I am having hot cider and bagel. I might be adult but I still love YA fiction!

  3. Congratulations on your release, Barbara. I think we all had a Jennifer Taylor that we wished we could be like. I'd love to read it. In fact, I think I have a granddaughter who might enjoy it. Your chocolate chip cookies were excellent, by the way. No worry about calories, my favorite kind.
    Shellie's book sounds great too. Great interview.

  4. Marva, so glad you could join the party! Hope you had a glass of champagne!! Grabbed a cookie too.:)

  5. Thank you, Rachelle21 for visiting and so happy you are enjoying the party. I love YA fiction and I hope you enjoy my book if you get it. If you leave a comment about your high school experiences you might win a free one.

  6. Roseanne, I would love you to read it!! I think your granddaughter would like this book. How old is she? The book is for ages 10 and up. Hope she enjoys it.:)

  7. So where's the cheesecake? Who ate it?!? LOL

    Congratulations, Barbara, and Shellie. I wish you nothing but success.

  8. Lea, I thought you were bringing it!! Thanks for stopping:) Hope you had a glass of champagne and a cookie.

  9. Very interesting stuff here. High school was a real torture track for me. If I started writing the problems I had back then, I'd never get my adult books done. LOl
    Suffice it to say, I survived and am looking forward to my sixtieth reunion next month. About a third of the class is still alive and kicking, so we should have a good time.
    I have a secret; my wife is sixteen years my junior and steadfastly refuses to treat me as a day older than her. I hope it keeps working so well!
    Tried to download 'Jennifer Taylor' from B&N, but its not there yet. I have to read everything on my Nook, so I'll wait a bit and retry it.

  10. Congrats to you both! A mention of high school hmmm. Couldn't wait for it to be over. I wore my jeans and cowboy boots to school because I had to go feed my horse before school. Lots of kids were not so kind, but okay forgetting to take the binder twine out of my back pocket was stupid on my part LOL Can totally relate to Carolyn S

    Hugs Nancy

  11. Nancy, great comment!! Hmm!! Don't know if anyone can top that, but we'll see. It just goes to show you that it doesn't matter what you were like in high school, but I wish I'd known that when I was going through it.:) I wonder how the Jennifer Taylors do in real life.

    You know I actually wrote a character study with all of the characters grown, but I can't show it to anyone until they have read the book! Maybe I'll give that away too in a few days to anyone who buys the book. Otherwise it is really all spoilers.:)

  12. Congrats Barbara. Your book sounds like something my granddaughter would love to read. Something we can all relate to. Maybe not an actual demon, but I felt as though I were in the presence of one more than once. And good luck to you, too Shellie. Champagne and cookies? Don't mind if I do!

  13. Thanks for stopping Susan and I hope you enjoyed your champagne. It's flowing here all day, so have another glass.:) Yes, there are all kinds of demons we face even out of high school. I have had some principals who might fit that bill when I was a teacher.:)

  14. Megacongrats to you both! Great party. I might have a second glass of champagne. High school wasn't my favorite time, and my kids have said the same thing about their experiences. Guess some things are a rite of passage, part of growing up, and your books just might prove invaluable to helping today's kids get through their high school years. All the best to you both! And great cookies, BTW.

  15. Hello Everyone!
    Where are you Barbara? Hugs. Congratulations. Here's a pavlova with lots of strawberries. I'll have a glass of bubbly to toast you with. Thanks.

  16. Wendy, here I am! Ooh a Pavlova with strawberries! Thank you:) Please have a glass of champagne and mingle with the other guests. If you leave a comment about your high school experiences you could win a free book:)

  17. Deb hockenberry left this comment, but I'm on my IPhone and my finger pressed Delete instead of Publish. So here it is. Sorry Deb. Thanks for coming!

    Deb Hockenberry has left a new comment on your post "Book Launch Party!! Come Meet Shellie Neumeier":

    Sorry that I'm late for the party. These chocolate chip cookies are delicious. They're warm & gooey! Jennifer Taylor sounds like a great read. While I read the excerpt from the book, it brought back so many memories of my years in junior high. That's when prayer was taken out of the school system. That was a HUGE mistake!
    Posted by Deb Hockenberry to Barbara's Meanderings at September 16, 2011 2:27 PM

  18. Hi Deb,
    Thank you for your experiences. Not quite high school but I'll take it:) Really sorry about accidentally deleting your comment!

  19. Hi fellow celebrators...
    (with a promise to Shellie Neumeier to return..your book sounds intriguing but tonight must belong to your host the remarkable Barbara Ehrentreu..)

    DEAR BARBARA ... A little doggerel....

    There once was a time upublished it went
    Though again and again out it was sent
    Knocked down and around
    Pulled up from the dust on the ground
    This fabulous novel by Babs

    Yes, for Carolyn Samuels a fighter
    This persistent belief imbued writer
    Carried through with an unbowing might
    Never once giving in to the fight
    The fabulous novel by Babs

    Finally MuseItUp met Jennifer Taylor
    and wished this gold ship they to sail her
    Snapped the scintillating Carolyn's book, with a strong line, heavy sinker & hook
    This fabulous novel by Babs

    Which brings us tonight here all as one
    The brilliant unfurling journey begun
    Gathered to toast,
    our sparkling host
    BRAVO BABS! and together HOORAY post! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  20. Pearl, you didn't miss the party! We still have champagne left and tons of cookies. Your poem is so beautiful and thank you so much!! I'm in awe of the amount of excitement you have for my book!!

    I love you so much for all of this and I will treasure what you call this "little doggerel". You have no idea what this means to me. Thank you my wonderful poetic friend. It is a joy to know you online and I hope soon that we will meet in person.:)

  21. Better late than never, right? Here I am. Congratulations to you both. I had read about Driven on someone else's blog lately.

    High school was such a horrible time for me. I didn't fit in at all, and my mother passed away freshman year. My English teacher was a roly, poly Greek guy with wire-framed glasses. Though most of the students couldn't stand him, I thought he was great. Once I returned to school after my mom's funeral, he asked me if I needed anything. He was really sweet to me, which I appreciated. He also ended up writing a story about me--a fantasy short story about me sitting in a classroom with a book. Just my touch on the pages made me able to enter the book's story and interact with the characters. He read it in class. I always wondered if he tried to get it published.

    Wishing you the best,


  22. Awwwwww :). Actually the first one I wrote was preferable to this one.... Mhmmmm what happened to it? I was about to save it...the first few sentences magically erased....I phoned Apple ....they assisted me in how to retrieve a document ( they never heard of only a few sentences being deleted....anyhoo told me about command z...which would restore..and actually did return a few words...when I got greedy and tried that again entire cute limerick was deleted! ARG,! I was blank on what I had written and started again.... Barbara I AM SOOOO VERY DELIGHTED FOR YOU <3. ENJOY EVERY MOMENT AND I LIKE THE CRUNCHY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES....MHMMMMM <3

  23. Pat Dale, I missed your comment before. It has been quite a busy day and I might have had a few too many glasses of the bubbly!!! Wow, did you say your sixtieth reunion? Great comment, though and my fiftieth is probably coming up soon.:) Thanks for visiting and hope you enjoyed the party!!!

  24. Pat M. thank you so much for visiting. I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Many writers have had awful high school experiences. I do hope my book will help kids to understand what to do when faced with this kind of problem. Hope you enjoyed the party!!!

    Pat Dale, I know my book isn't anywhere but the Muse Bookstore yet. I don't understand it. I asked Lea, but she hasn't answered me yet. But you can get it at the Muse Bookstore. After you get it go to so I can sign it for you. Try in a few days.:)

  25. Cheryl, thank you for visiting! I hope you got some champagne! I think there are a few cookies left too. Your story about your English teacher is so beautiful. I'm going to have a hard time deciding which comment won, but that is certainly in the running. You were very lucky to be able to identify with a teacher when you needed the support. Losing your mother is awful and at high school age devastating. Many YA books deal with this, but I wanted my MC to come from a two parent family. I am so sorry you did lose your mother so young. I was an adult with children when I lost mine.

  26. Congratulations Barbara, I've brought a plate of lamingtons fresh from the oven and some strawberries to go with the champagne.
    Shellie, Driven sounds great, and so does the Wishing Ring!
    High school stories... maybe after some more champagne. ;)
    Have a wonderful launch party..

  27. Hi all.... Absolutely will not be in the running for any prize related to high school angst. The three years I spent in high school were stultifyingly boring.... I thought so at the time..going so far as to think that it was a complete waste of time. I had several very close friends and a boy/friend that thought he was in love with me...I remember drawing up a list on a yellow legal pad of all the reasons I should love was quite a long list, he was a lovely boy....on the con side..I had but one sentence fragment : because I don't. High school was so excruciatingly boring ( and this from a "kid" who formerly adored school ...that I had no intention of going to my graduation, my mother was certain I would come to regret the decision and so I did attend..I would not have regretted staying at home....I could not wait to leave and begin college where I just kept going for the next twenty-five years...picking up various degrees.... The only true high school agony was missing three years of the interaction and learning present parenthetically, before and after my numbing three high school years. ... Of course I did teach high school for a fear years and could empathize for the extreme identity issues suffered by many students.
    I truly loved this book and especially Carolyn Samuels who will grab your heart on page 1. and not let go until long after the last page has been turned! Once again CONGRATULATIONS BARBARA <3

  28. Hi Barbara - I'm late to the party but it's going with a swing! All the best with your book launch. It was good to hear about your work, Shellie - I'm another adult who loves MG/YA fiction!

    My high school days were brilliant as that's where I discovered a love of poetry, boys, and studying languages - not necessarily in that order!

  29. Pearl, how sad that you were bored all through high school. I was sad much of my high school experience, because I had to change schools for my Junior year. I went from a brand new school in the shape of a banjo to a worn down school with an autocratic policy. I hated my new school and never made the kind of friends I had in the old school. I always felt like I was on the outside.

    Your last paragraph put tears into my eyes. Please place that all over. Can I use it for my blurb when the book goes into print?

  30. Hi Rosalie! What are lamingtons? They sound good though with strawberries.:) So glad you could make it and as you can see it's spilling over to the next day!! I would call this a success!!! I hope you didn't have to step over any sleeping bodies. We might have gone a little too heavy on the champagne! There might be some cookies left. Looking forward to your high school story. So far there are some good comments here.

    Thank you all for coming!!!

  31. Rosemary, you aren't too late. Thank you for coming! Glad to see someone's high school experiences were good. Now that I look back mine were probably similar in that I did gain a love of writing, though the teachers kept giving us these awful books to read. I did love the Shakespeare, though. I loved boys before high school and spent the whole time crushing on guys I would never have.:) That is a whole other book waiting to be written.

  32. Congratulations, Barbara! And thank you for sharing your site with me on such a momentous day! I hope release day was everything and then some:D. You certainly worked hard for it. Thank you for the encouraging words everyone! Gotta love YA, High School?? Well, maybe that's a different story.

  33. Dear Barbara.... You can use anything I've written...I would be honored.... Do not be sad about my high school experience or "non-experience" it gave me a sense of confidence in my one judgment and kept unquenched a desire for learning and for a interactive intellectual environment that continued in my own solitary pursuits of reading and learning, through two Masters' degrees, a doctorate and a post-doc all brimming with the joy of kneeing that I had only to show up and bring my taste for knowledge to be filled... Soooo....everything for a reason, the tepid dishes offered at high school taught me the invaluable lesson that no child is ever really " taught" they can only blossom in an environment where they crave the fulfillment of learning.... Okay, ....climbing off my soapbox...oops think I banged my ankle.... :). Enjoy the weekend and "your girls"

  34. Hi Barbara,
    Lamintons are an Aussie favorite. They are sponge cake squares dipped in warm liquid choc for a moment, drained, then rolled in cocoanut.
    School days.. they were great. Not much to talk about.. lots of study... the weekends were memorable!
    Here, I have a few strawberry and lime ciders, they go well with mint over ice, but I like then with fresh strawberries too! Cheers!

  35. Pearl, I definitely will use that quote from you!! I agree with you that you can only lead people to learning and they must actually learn the material themselves. Instilling a love of learning is probably the most important job of a teacher. Barring that you hope that the parent has done that, but some people just don't find that spark to continue learning as you and I did. They stop at a certain point and never move on to change their ideas or their attitudes. These people try to stop other people from learning too. As artists we must counter them and express our feelings as much as possible.

  36. Well said Barbara! BRAVO! As for the quote I am honored:).

  37. Just like Carolyn knows Jennifer's secret, I'm gonna' let you in on mine. Guess what...if I could be like Barbara Ehrentreu and have my own book one day, I would be just as happy as she must be now.

    Congrats, Barbara. I can't wait to read it.

  38. OK...a school experience? There are so many but here is one that comes to mind.

    I was very thin. Ate tons but never gained weight. I was happy to hit the 100 pounds mark the beginning of my senior year. Well, as it usually goes, very thin girls don't have much in the way of boobs. So it goes. One day during gym class on of the (let's say "contraversal") girls started telling me how amazing flat I was, in not the kindest of terms. You know what I mean. And though I was terrified, I stood up to that girl.

    Next thing I knew, we were sitting at lunch together. And even though she was in the "loser crowd" and I was a cheerleader and straight A student, I learned that she wasn't as bad as everyone thought. She learned that I wasn't as perfect as everyone thought. And we still liked each other and had some good times together. No. We weren't BEST friends but friends and remain friends over 20 years later.

  39. To add to my earlier comment...

    I think we tend to judge people too easily, whether that be as youth or adult.

    I recently met with old classmates, many I was never close with and hadn't seen in 15 or 20 years. Several of them told me I was always nice to everyone, no matter what group they were in. That made me happy.

    Also, I forgot to mention that Driven sounds like an interesting story. A bit scary, too.

  40. Thank you, Pearl and I can't wait for the print version to put on all of your amazing accolades.:)

    Linda, thank you for visiting and for telling us that story. Do you have a book ready for publishing? If not you should do NaNo this year and get yourself a book. Then revise it and revise and send it out for comments from several critique groups and people you trust. Then send it out to publishers and when it is rejected just go back and revise it again. Then finally find a publisher who appreciates what you write and two excellent editors, plus an amazing cover artist and you will have a published book and be exactly like me. :) Actually I didn't do this one for NaNo.:)

    Linda, thanks also for the high school story. I was like you in high school. Then in college my boobs came. So I understand how you felt.

  41. Congratulations on the fantastic new review your book received! WTG, Babara!!

  42. Thank you, Shellie! Also thank you for being my guest for this amazing party and I wish lots of great sales.:) I'm looking forward to being on your blog this week.

    Thank you again to everyone who helped make my launch day the best!! I will be reading your comments and deciding. It will be hard to choose.

  43. I'm a bit late to the party, but wanted to convey my congratulations you both. Best wishes for your continued success.

    Best regards,

  44. Hi Donna! So glad you could make it, but unfortunately as you can see everything is gone!! Still nice you can get here! Thank you so much for your kind words.

    You know I'm having my book signing this Saturday where I live in Stamford. Email me if you can get here. I'm signing postcards and showing an excerpt. I might even read one if there are enough people. It's in my lobby!


Visit the Home of the Fightin’ Bookworms!
Visit the National Gallery of Writing
Shop Indie Bookstores



Discover Writing