Cover Wars!

Ninja School Mum is currently on Cover Wars. It’s already got quite a few votes and the competition runs until 8am on Sunday. The winner wins a week of promotion for their book, so it’s a great competition for authors. Every person who clicks their vote is seeing all of the lovely covers there.

You can vote once each day via iphone and once via computer or iPad. A big thank you to everyone who has voted so far or is still voting. #TeamNinja

To add you vote for Ninja School Mum click here: Cover Wars

 

Introducing… Martin Geraghty.

Introducing talented author Martin Geraghty.

Hi there,

My name is, Martin Geraghty, my debut novel, A Mind Polluted, is a story that begins with a thirteen-year old boy, Connor Boyd over-hearing a terrible confession from his mother’s lips. This confession sets a chain of events in motion. I began writing in June 2016 and received an offer of publication in November the following year.

Main Cover

 

Grab your own copy of Martin’s book here:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1986164888

Follow him on Twitter: @MartinGeraght1

Check out his website here:  www.martingeraghty.co.uk

 

Getting messy.

After looking at options available on the internet and not finding what I needed, I decided that I would make my own tablecloths for the book launch of my latest book, If you love me, I’m yours. As the book is about a family of eccentric artists, I wanted an art and love theme. I thought that it would be nice for my guests to be able to create their own are during the launch.

My solution was to grab some old colouring in books my children have grown out of and to get messy! The results are something I’m really pleased with. Firstly, I placed the colouring pages face down on a round table, then tuck them together with Sellotape and a glue stick. Next I turned them over and trimmed the edges freehand. I did the same with the inner edge. Next I lifted it all up and placed it onto a pink tablecloth that matches my book cover colour. Voila! It cost me £1 for the plastic tablecloth.

Once again I will be having gift bags with my bookmarks and some sweets inside. This will create the centrepiece of the table. I will also add small silver pots with mini felt tip pens beside each bag, so that everyone can create a masterpiece! Let me know what you think.

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The Secret by Katharine Johnson.

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Author Katharine Johnson.

About the author

Katharine Johnson likes writing about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. She’s passionate about old houses and the stories they have to tell. She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire but spends as much time as she can in the Lucca area of Tuscany. When not writing you’ll find her exploring cities, drinking coffee, playing netball badly and walking her madcap spaniel

This is the second book set at Villa Leonida, the house at the centre of The Silence which was published last year but it’s a standalone story.

In The Silence some bodies were discovered at Villa Leonida, an idyllic holiday home, during a children’s game of hide-and-seek on a family holiday. They  were found to relate back to the summer of 1992.

A year on, in The Secret, the villa has been put up for sale. Which for elderly resident Sonia can only mean one thing – that the renewed interest and gossip will lead to the discovery of her own secret which relates to that same evening at the villa in 1992.

But while she’s desperate to keep the past hidden another resident, Carlo, can’t leave it alone. He’s determined to discover the truth about a wartime atrocity in which Sonia’s mother and his own played a part.

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Here’s the blurb:

Love, lies and betrayal in wartime Italy. Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences. Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War friendship is tested and loyalties divided. But a chance encounter changes everything. The girls’ lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house I their Tuscan village while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.

But neither marriage, nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.

Decades later a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds. While Irena’s son is determined to get to the truth, Martina’s daughter is desperate to keep the past hidden.

The Secret is published by Crooked Cat Books and is available in paperback £6.99 and kindle £1.99 here: http://thesecretjohnson

Find out more at the Online launch on 1-2  June  https://www.facebook.com/events/111942169663863/

Social Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Katharinejohnsonauthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/@kjohnsonwrites

Website/blog https://katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com

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Mailing lists

Lizzie Chantree blog 7

I’ve read a lot about the importance of mailing lists and with new legislation coming in with regard to privacy, it’s been pretty hectic for everyone who has a subscriber list, not only trying to work out what it means, but also to make sure we comply if we can.

I have been working with my publisher and have a book out this year, another in July and am writing a third. In between this and marketing my books, I have found it difficult to keep up with sending out newsletters or building that all important mailing list. My apologies to everyone. I use MailChimp for my newsletters, have still sent out a newsletter offering my subscribers the option to unsubscribe or to stay and have a privacy page on my blog now.

This has actually given me the drive to begin proper newsletter and to keep up with sending out news of my writing. I’m not going to send it more than once a month, but it will have more content and things that aren’t on my blog. It won’t be a sales letter, but it will be topical news about my writing journey and some marketing tips that aren’t on my blog, which are just for subscribers.

 

Wishing you all a fun filled and creative weekend.

 

From Lizzie

 

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Introducing… Jo Fenton.

This is my new Thursday post where I will introduce you to some amazing authors, designers, photographers and creatives. Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to fellow Crooked Cat author Jo Fenton. 

From Jo:

As a working mum of nearly adult boys, I started writing late: I was a little over 40 when I wrote the first words of my novel. Writing time is squeezed between working, writing, running and reading (and under sufferance: housework and shopping!), and I usually manage about an hour a day on those days when I can write. Somehow, I’ve managed to build these stray hours into a novel, and to convert those awful first drafts into a publishable thriller.

Jo Fenton book cover

Book buy link:  The Brotherhood.

Book blurb:

The Brotherhood – safe haven or prison?

After her parents’ sudden death, a grieving Melissa falls back on her faith and into the welcoming arms of a religious sect. Captivated by their leader, Dominic, she leaves her old life behind and moves to the countryside to join them.

But life in The Brotherhood is not as safe as it first appeared. When engineer Mark joins The Brotherhood, Melissa finds herself conflicted between her growing feelings for him and her crush on Dominic. With their leader’s initial encouragement, Melissa and Mark grow close.

But as her haven becomes a prison, Melissa’s newfound happiness is destroyed by Dominic’s jealousy. How can she escape and save the ones she loves?

Monday Marketing.

Hi everyone. Today’s Monday Marketing and 3 quick tips are about Giveaways. I am currently holding my first #giveaway on Twitter and Facebook for my book Ninja School Mum. The giveaways have only been running for a day or so and I will keep you updated on the progress, but here is what I’ve learnt so far. My book jumped up higher in the bestseller’s lists than it had been for the previous few days. What has also happened is that people downloaded Ninja School Mum when they found out about it after being tagged into the giveaway by friends, as they didn’t want to wait to read it, which is incredible and something I am very thankful for. To view the details of my giveaways click here for Twitter and here for Facebook. Below is the image I used for my Twitter giveaway.

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  1. Pin your giveaway to the top of your Twitter page as your pinned Tweet for the duration of the giveaway.
  2. Ask people to tag their friends in the comments section under the giveaway post. To do this they simply type in their friend’s Twitter/Facebook name, for example, @Lizzie_Chantree/ Lizzie Chantree as a comment. This expands the giveaway reach and is a great way for book lovers to share a read they like the look of, with their friends.
  3. Don’t forget to add a universal link to your book or product at the bottom of the Twitter or Facebook post as well as a clear image. You can create a universal link at places like BookLinker. A universal link is a link that works for all Amazon stores and takes the viewer to the correct site for the country they live in.

 

Making YOU time.

I’ve been chatting to a lot of people lately and many discussions are about how busy everyone is. I find the term busy really stressful! The reason is because I have a vivid imagination and picture everyone running around waving their arms in the air and panicking. In reality, busy people are often enjoying their day or job and are being super productive. What I would say, is that even the you are busy, try and carve out some time for yourself.

As a creative person, I find it inspiring to chat to others on my networking hour on twitter, even though it’s such a fast paced hour. I enjoy meeting friends and family for lunch an make time for this, as it inspires me and makes me feel more energetic and happier when I am at work. I also fit in time to read. As an author it’s not only important for my job, but it’s relaxing and time away from everyday worries or tasks can breathe fresh life into your day and make you much more able to concentrate after taking a break.

Making time for yourself might be at the bottom of your to do list, but it’s actually important for your wellbeing and might help you stay focused and reduce stress levels for the rest of the week.

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Top tips for carving some YOU time into the day.

  1. Get up an hour earlier. It might seem harsh, but if this hour is spent exercising or reading a book, even if the book is about a business topic or hobby, then your mind is drawn away from worries and your day starts with an alert mind.
  2. Make time to have a lunch hour if you can. Eating at regular intervals perks up a tired body and mind. Do something completely different to your job or task for that one hour.
  3. Phone a friend or family member. Pick someone you haven’t spoken to for a while and reconnect. It’s so easy to lose contact with people because everyone is busy. Take a moment to call or text and say hello. It might mean a lot to the person you are calling that you have taken time out of your busy schedule for them and it could make you feel good too.

 

 

A journey into the unknown.

E3.jpegTHE NOVICE AUTHOR

A Journey into the Unknown by author Karen Ingalls.

My close friend exclaimed, “You must get this published. Every woman needs to read this.” I had reluctantly agreed to let her read my journal that I had kept since my cancer diagnosis. It was just one part of many journals I had kept starting around the age of ten. I had written poetry, short stories, and in my late teens I began my first novel. My times of writing were therapeutic and private. I found answers to the chaos in my dysfunctional family even though I never even told anyone that I did any writing. Though I dreamed of being a famous author, I did not believe that I had the talent. My family was not one to give out compliments regarding my grades, art projects, or how I looked.

 Fifty years later, I was encouraged to publish my journal as a memoir, but I at the same time I felt overwhelmed and frightened. Yet, I had a sense of determination that carried me through. It was 2010, just two years since my diagnosis and little did I know that at 69, my life would forever be changed, renewed, and rewarded.

I went to the local bookstore and purchased a large book with instructions on how to write a query letter and lists of thousands of publishers and agents. One literary agent taught at Columbine High School at the same as a friend of mine. I used his name in introducing myself and sent an overview of and an excerpt from my manuscript. That rejection letter was one of approximately thirty. Such letters made me feel rejected and childhood memories tried to raise their ugly heads, but once again I turned to my mantra, “I can do this”.

I Googled for publishing houses in my area, the Twin Cities of Minnesota. One company asked for an overview of the manuscript to send to their email address. I not only sent my memoir, but I included my then finished novel which I had begun to write as a teenager. A half hour later I received a phone call from Beaver’s Pond Press. “Are you free tomorrow, I would love to meet with you?” Dara Beevas asked.

We concentrated on the memoir first since the market is narrower and be easier to sell. Over the next year I learned about editing, book design, marketing, selling, blogs, and social media. A whole new world opened up to me. My book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir was published in March 2012. I set up accounts with CreateSpace and Amazon, ordered books, and had my first launch.

Novy's Son: The Selfish Genius by [Ingalls, Karen]  Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir by [Ingalls, Karen]  

Here are the main points I learned and continue to learn on this journey:

 1. Believe in yourself.

 2. Be willing to accept criticism and suggestions from those in the publishing world. Be open to learning.

 3. Search the Internet for information on how to write a query letter, addresses of publishers and agents, independent author organizations.

 4. Become familiar with social media.

 5. Find an excellent editor. Your editor will bring your story to life and help you see errors that you have read over many times.

 6. Know that marketing your book is the hardest task you will have, but do not be discouraged. This is where other authors, book or author organizations on the Internet can be of great help.

 7. Join book clubs. The one I have found most helpful, supportive and enjoyable is Rave Reviews Book Club.

I have two published novels and a memoir. Now I am working on my third novel and second memoir. I have many published articles and am a speaker for a variety of different groups. I have two blogs. One is more for my memoir emphasizing health/wellness, spirituality and relationships at www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com. My second blog is Mind, Pen, & Spirit for authors and avid readers at www.kareningalls.blogspot.com. I welcome you to follow my blogs and do a guest blog.

I am no longer a novice author, but a published author who continues to follow her dream. My journey as an author has been a wonderful learning experience, an opportunity to challenge myself, and a way to meet incredible authors and those who enjoy books. So, I encourage you to pick up the pen, write, and publish your book. Follow your dream.

Author Bio:

Karen Ingalls is an author of two novels, a memoir, and several publications. She has a blog for authors and avid readers Mind, Pen & Spirit at www.kareningalls.blogspot.com and welcomes guest posts. She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Rave Writers International Society of Authors, Independent Authors Network, and Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

Links:

http://www.kareningallsbooks.com

http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls/1473379352893458

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

http://www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens

http://www.amazon.com/Novys-Son-Selfish-Genius

http://www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir

http://plus.google.com/+KarenIngalls1941

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Litsy.

Hello everyone. Happy new week. I’m working with my publisher on the cover design for my latest book this week, as well as beginning a completely new manuscript, which is exciting but oh so daunting!

I have just joined a readers and authors group called Litsy. Fellow authors told me about it and I would highly recommend it to people who love books. It is a community where people express their opinions on their latest reads, chat to authors and talk to each other about what they love or don’t like about their current reads. They post pictures of books and bookshops, which is like candy to an avid reader and they are so welcoming. It is a phone app and not available on computers. This is what Litsy says:

 

Where books make friends.

Litsy is a place to share and discover your favorite books with your favorite people.

The Litsy community is a groundswell of passionate readers, authors, celebrities, and more. Share bookish moments with Quotes, Reviews, and Blurbs. Measure Litfluenceto discover your “bookprint” in the world. Explore recommendations from readers, not algorithms.

Oh yeah, want to organize your reading list? Our app has stacks for that, too.

It’s fun.  It’s simple.  It’s all about the book.

 

The people registered there are called Littens and they are so supportive of writers and anyone who is really passionate about reading. I set my account up two weeks ago and have already talked to lots of book lovers there. My account is Lizzie Chantree if anyone wants to pop by and say hello.