Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I love flash mobs! I'm always wondering how I can create one or participate in one. I discovered them about four years ago and have been in love with them ever since. this is one of my favorites!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fridays R 4 Fun

Oh. My. Gosh. I just had to share this with you. Listening to the music and watching Takeshi Sato work is magical! You can find more of his work at this website. You will not be disappointed!

But for now, watch this one:

What do you think? Amazing!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Decision Trees

Things are moving along, the text of Warrior of the Egyptian Kingdom has been uploaded, looking at a new short story to upload onto my website, and working through the benefits of starting a newsletter.

This whole newsletter thing has got my mind lost in a flurry of activity. I realize the benefits of creating and maintaining a newsletter, but I'm not sure what to put into it. I get one idea then my brain leaps to a series of others. I've been doing a bit of research, reading different ones and sorting out what I love about what these authors are doing. Each one is personal and at the same time keeps the readers abreast of what is happening in the authors' writing world.

I really want start one and I want it to be good. But I have so many different ideas about what I want this thing to do that I can't seem to focus on any one aspect. My brain keeps jumping from one thing to another. What I want most is to create a conversation with my readers. That is so much easier said than done.

I think I need to go back to making decisions the old fashioned way, writing a list of pros and cons and putting them into a decision tree. At least if I do that, it would give my brain something to focus on and allow it to calm down.

So here we go:
1.  Get a sheet of paper and a pen.
2.  What is the point of the newsletter
3.  Who is it written to
4.  How often is it published

Okay that's as far as I can get before my brain starts squirting thoughts in 20 different directions.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fridays R 4 Fun

I'm heading to visit my grandkids and was looking for a craft I could do with them. I thought it would be cool to make something that we could use to decorate with. So I looked online for wreath ideas. Some of these are really cool. Not just for the holidays, but for all occasions.

 This one is kind of cute, but I think I'd like it better with the bells in different color. The cool thing is,it could be used if your doorbell stops working.
I thought this one is really cute. I like that you don't have to destroy one of the kid's toys to get the parts to use. Aren't the glove antlers a scary sort of way.

I really like this one. You use all different sizes and colors of ornaments. I'd probably shove in a candy cane or two.
Now this is a lot of spiced gum drops. I don't know if I could buy them just for the use in a craft. This is way too much temptation for me

 I think this one is my favorite. I really love those buttons.

this would be cool to have any time of year. what a great way to display your address.

 And this one is just plain fun, making a wreath out of whatever your hobby or interest is. I wonder if I could find a small typewriter and mount it on a wreath...or maybe I could find some small books to make one with. Hmm...
I added this one for my friend, Maria Toth. Hey Maria, maybe you could add a picture of you novel, Butterfly Hollow, to it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sorting Through Ideas

Most of the time I'm trying to figure out which story line to work on next. Lately, though, my mind has been circling around some unique things to do with my books. I have this crazy idea that blends audio books with ebooks. I really think it could work.

These are the days I wish I had majored in information technology in college instead of psychology. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoyed my career working with and treating children and teens. They are the ones who helped me understand the importance of story and how it plays an integral part of our everyday lives. So I guess I should give them credit for my becoming a writer.

But today, understanding and knowing how to write computer code to create the different applications that I have floating around in my head would really be helpful. And if I can't write the code, it would be helpful if I had tons of money to hire someone else to do it for me.

So here I am without skill or funds. I know I can't be the only one in this position. I'm sure there are others with the same lack who figure out how to get it done. So I will keep sorting through how to accomplish what I want until I get to my goal.

By the way...are there any application builders willing to work for royalties? Just thought I'd ask.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Fridays R 4 Fun

Hello my names is Stephanie and I'm a gadget-aholic. Seriously folks, I'm addicted to gadgets. I can't help myself. As soon as I buy one thing I see something else I'm just dying to have.

For instance, I told my husband that my laptop was too heavy to carry around and bought a new one that had a bigger screen. In my defense, it was a lot lighter than the other one. Then I told him that my iPad was dying and I just had to have a new tablet. So...he bought me Samsung's new Tab 3. Now I've decided my new laptop is too big to carry around and I have to have something smaller. Really!?!?

Well, here's the truth. It's Christmastime and all of the new gadgets are being splashed all over the TV screen and the internet and I'm suffering a serious case of gadget envy. Here are just a few of the things I've been drooling over. Just knowing these hybrids are out there and available is killing me.

Who can choose? Not to mention justifying the purchase to my husband.

 Then there's this little robot guy you control with an iPhone app. I don't even have an iPhone!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

What Makes Me Happy?

Sometimes people ask me what I would do with the money if I won a lottery. The usual things come to mind: pay off all my bills, buy my dream car, take a trip. But honestly, none of these are the things that make me happy. So if it'snot money, what makes me truly happy? Here's the list.

Enjoying my marriage with my husband of 38 years
Spending an afternoon with our daughter
Laughing and talking with friends
Chattering on and on with our grandchildren
Allowing the grandkids to teach me new things
Reading an engaging/exciting book
Writing a scene that makes me laugh or cry
Reading the Bible and praying
Relaxing in a tub of warm bubbles with a really good book
Listening to my husband's laughter
Watching a beautiful sunset
Listening to the wind rustling through the leaves on a warm evening
Watching puffy clouds move across the sky and naming the shapes they make

These are the things that fill my hear with joy. Not one of them costs a dime, but each is priceless. Just making this list brings a smile to my face. Have you ever thought of the things that fill your heart? Try listing them and see if it makes you smile, too. Would you mind adding a few of them here in the comments? I would love to see what they are.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fridays R 4 Fun

The silliest thing I ever heard was a knock, knock joke. I remember sitting in the backyard with friends on warm summer nights making up one jock after another. We laughed harder at the ones that weren't even remotely funny. Those were the days. 

Today it's cold outside and winter is setting in, so I though I'd bring you some of summer's warmth and giggles with a few knock, knock jokes. Enjoy!

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Cash who?
No thanks, but I would like a peanut instead!

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Doris who?
Doris locked, that's why I'm knocking!

Knock knock.
Who's there? 
Honey bee.
Honey bee who?
Honey bee a dear and get me a soda!

Knock KnockWho's there?
Acid who?
Acid down and be quiet!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Adair who?
Adair once but I'm bald now!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The List Grows

Saturday I was blessed by the company of two young ladies from the small group I led last year. Together we reorganized my office. They did most of the work and you should see it. Gorgeous! They are working machines. You should have seen them, shredding old manuscript copies, organizing shelves, sorting, and filing.

They came across several stacks of research or pages of story notes. With each collections of pages they'd ask me what it was. I'd say, "That's for a series I want to write." Then I'd tell them a little about it, to which they'd promptly reply, "That sounds cool." Or, "Write that one, soon." After having gone through quite a few of these collections one finally asked, "Do you plan to be writing books forever?"

My answer is, "Absolutely, positively, without a doubt, YES!" I plan to be late to my own funeral because I'm trying to finish that last manuscript. I was born a storyteller and I'll die a storyteller. I plan to spend all of the years in between writing and telling stories. And yes everyone of them will be for the 'Tween audience.

I guess you could say that story is my passion...only because I don't know a stronger word.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fridays R 4 Fun

Do you remember the special or favorite cup you had as a kid? In my family we all had our favorite cups and if somebody else drank out of it...there was no peace in the land. If my brother or sister used my cup my wrath would pour out upon them. They would have to suffer through my constant sniping about anything they said or did for the remainder of that day. That is until Mom or Dad called an end to my barrage or corrections and complaints.

At long last my mother grew  tired of such occurrences and bought us cups with our names printed on them. There could be no confusion about which cup belonged to whom. I still have favorite cups. I keep them on the top shelf so they aren't the first mug someone grabs.

Apparently, I'm not the only person who has a preference for certain cups. Here's what I found on the internet. I must say that there are a few I would never use.

If you haven't seen one before, this is called a plug mug. You remove the plug and no one can use the cup without it leaking. I would have loved to have this growing up.

 Of course you can always try the toxic warning label, but I don't think it will scare anyone enough to get them to leave your cup alone.

But if you're not trying to frighten people away and just want to enjoy a good hot beverage with a few cookies, how about this one. It's a good-sized mug with a handy nook for your treats.

Then again, you might like having your treat match your beverage sip for bite...then the cookie cup is for you.
This cup is for those folks it would be wise not to engage in conversation until they've have their morning cup of  whatever. It gives us a bit of warning.
This mug is for the overworked with little to no time for incidentals. It stirs the drink for you.

 These are for the more playful spirited drinkers. You can choose one with a surprise inside or one that comes with a building project.

I would never drink from this cup and certainly not for a brown liquid!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I've Been Wondering...

I've been wondering about a lot of thing lately. Things like: are there really such things as  wormholes in space and can we travel through them? Does the space-time continuum exist? Other things that takes up a lot of mental real estate are marketing (thinking about it always), new book ideas, the kinds of things that interest people, and things that are just plain fun.

Working on  new books is really fun, but a lot of work. It's really difficult for me to stay on point with completing daily word-counts, discovering new markets and marketing ideas, and keeping my blogs and website up to date. In short, I've not been keeping up with things and that's no good. So I'm going to try something new that I hope will help me.

I know, I know, I've said that before and I'm still in the same boat...falling behind. it leaves me wondering if my problem is a point of discipline or that maybe it's not interesting enough. Wow, that's something to think about. I really don't lack discipline, when I set my mind on a goal, there's nothing that keeps me from accomplishing it. After all, I earned a doctorate in psychology, so I must be pretty disciplined.

That leaves the problem in the interest area. I wouldn't say that I'm bored, everything I write about is pretty interesting to me. So then what's the problem? Hmm...I think the issue lies in (oops, the psychologist in me is showing) my internal rules around what I blog about. So reason I came to the conclusion that I could only blog about writing and whatever that is must be new and fresh to the writing scene. I think that limits me and I end up not having much to blog about.

So here's what I'm going to do. I am officially reinstating Fun Fridays. There were some fun and cool things I found to blog about, not to mention the crazy pictures I ran across. So I'm going back to blogging about the strange things I discover on the internet and elsewhere. But I won't stop there. This time I might even include the more fun things of writing or a silly tale or two.

So what do you think?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Deregulation of Book Events

Oh my goodness! I've been home for almost two weeks and I'm still struggling to get back into my routine. From October 24th to the 28th I was in Houston, Texas at the National Black Book Festival selling books 1 and 2 of the PRINCESS KANDAKE series. Then after I got home I had to get ready for the Arizona Reading Association, another venue where I sold my books.

Both were awesome opportunities to introduce my books to new audiences. Now I have to get back to work and it's very slow going. I can't seem to get back into the swing of things. I keep getting distracted with first one thing and then another. I am about to lose patience with myself.

You would think that I'd have figured this all out by now, but it happens every time. I go to a venue, work hard, meet lots of great people, and sell some books. On the return trip home I'm all hyped up on what I want to do next time and how much writing I want to get done. I even had a few ideas about new projects rolling around in the old noggin.

But what happens when I get home? First, I'm so tired that I sleep most of the following day. Then the next day I unpack, do laundry, reorganize books, notes, and receipts. Spend some time with my husband the day after that. The next day I go to the gym, read a book, watch a movie. By now I can't remember any of those wonderful ideas I had, so I'm frantically looking through my notebook to see if I remembered to write them down.

So here I sit, in front of my computer, wondering what it is I usually do at this time of day.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Writing is Not for the Timid...BUT It May Be For Kids

I recently returned home from a weekend book festival. With the economy the way it is, sales weren't the best but I learned an invaluable lesson. I met other authors like myself. Some of them even write for Teens and 'Tweens. We talked about each others' books and writing process. We bought and sold our wares from and to each other. We even compared out displays and marketing strategies. But this is not the lesson I'm talking about.
As I was setting up my table, a woman entered the room with several children and went about stacking books and putting up upright banners. One of the banners was double sided displaying a picture of two of her children - one of each side. At first my assumption was that this woman had written a couple of books and placed their pictures on the covers. But after watching her for a while I realized my assumptions were totally incorrect.
What I learned was that the children were the authors - ages 10 and 15. They started writing for different reasons and their books are written for the child and 'Tween audience. Oh my gosh...and you should have seen them working the attendees. They were inviting the passersby to the booth, pitching their books, and doing a fantabulous (one of their words) job of it, too.
Later that day one of their siblings came to my table to purchase a book. We were having a very serious discussion about book marketing, promotions, and the importance of having a 'clean' manuscript. Some of her responses confused me. For clarification I asked her which of her siblings' books she was referring to. Stacie (not her real name) said, "I'm talking about my own book. My mommie says I'm not old enough, yet. She says that I can't publish until after my birthday next month. Then I'll be 8."
Needless to say, I just about fell off my chair. Stacie told me the premise of the book and I must say it's a really good one. But I can't share it. I've been sworn to secrecy. Honestly, watching these kids pitch and more than hold their own inviting the attendees to purchase their books was mind blowing. They have taught me a thing or four. And trust me, it wasn't about their being cute! I think my days of whining about how difficult things are have come to an end.
kosi enelimadu eneliTake a look at their books, very serious authors.

I have definitely learned quite a bit this weekend thanks to the Eneli family. What about you?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marketing and Mayhem!

  I have been thinking and working on new ideas for marketing 'Tween novels. They don't fit into marketing the way you'd do for YA novels. One huge reason is that 'tweens rarely shop alone or for themselves. They still go through their parents for much of everything they want or need.

I have found that book events are a great resource. In that moment you have the parent and the 'tween in front of you. You can sell the parent on the 'age friendly' content and you can sell the reader on the story. But there are only so many of these things that I can attend and keep my writing schedule and bank account intact.

So I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with new ideas. The standard ways of reaching out don't work so well for my audience. First they are technically too young for Facebook but we know some of them are there). Second, they text tons, but Twitter...not so much. Blogs and websites are okay, but how do you actively reach out to that age group without running the risk of being categorized as some kind of perv.

I am totally aware that the best way is word-of-mouth, but getting past the initial roadblocks takes some doing. So I'm watching kids in the mall, surfing YouTube, pouring through magazines, and talking to anyone that lets me--searching out new avenues of contact. Any ideas?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Eureka! Success!

Could it get any better...the contest has a winner and the book now has a title! I am super excited, not to mention  relieved. So here it is:

of the 
Egyptian Kingdom

Great thanks to contest winner and title creator: 
Carrie Malinowski

The more I look at it the more I love it. It's perfect. It encapsulates every plot point of the novel. Did I say I love it? Well, I do! So Carrie, you get the first peek at the cover and an advanced copy of book #3 of the PRINCESS KANDAKE series due to be released February 1, 2014. Oh and don't forget, you will also have a huge mention in the acknowledgements of that book! Thank you so much.

Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who contributed their wonderful ideas to this quest for a title. Let me tell you that I was truly stuck. I couldn't come up with a single working idea and all of you had some really great ones! I can't thank you enough. You saved my bacon.

Whew! I can finally move on to selecting photos for the over. I guess I could have done that before now, but every time I opened that file I kept thinking, "what if this doesn't reflect the title?" So now there's nothing getting in my way. Once I get the pictures sent to the cover designer I can focus on something marketing.

For me this is the most difficult part of being an author telling everyone far and wide that I have a new book out and would you please buy it. I have to come up with inventive ways to get you to fall in love with the story before you read a single word and at the same time not seem like I'm begging or nagging. So if you have any suggestions on that, I'll gladly accept those, as well.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As an author, I am often asked, "What inspires you to write?" The answer to that is both simple and complex. I am motivated by many things. It could be something as small as an insect crawling on the ground, a cloud formation, or an emotion that was aroused within me.

As many of you may know, the PRINCESS KANDAKE series was inspired by my granddaughter. She wanted to be a princess and because I really have no tolerance for the messages of the typical princess stories, I felt compelled to create a a totally different kind of princess. A story where the people are not surprised by the strength of her character or her determination and independence. But this is a post about inspiration, let me get back to that.

I recently watched a movie on television called The Magic of Belle Isle. I highly recommend it. The plot was fairly straightforward and well-acted about a struggling author and recently divorced mom. It was beautiful! It called to the story within me! It begged for me to write.

There have been many movies, books, or situations that have had this effect upon me. I am not sure how to explain it other than to say that something awakens within me and a story is born. It's like a feeling of the fantastic, a yearning that must be expressed, the groaning of something yet to be given birth. In simpler terms, my creativity has been quickened and I must write, yet again.

The story I develop must be one that has appeal for my audience: action, struggles, light romance. This is not an easy thing to do. In everything I write, I must consider the age of my audience, being careful not to take them any farther than they are truly ready to go. And because my readers are savvy, intelligent beings, I include a tiny bit of life's wisdom for them to chew on. I add something they can take away from the story that they can apply to their lives. This is regardless of whether the tale takes place in modern day, the ancient past, or far in the future. Honestly, sometimes that bit of wisdom is what can inspire a story.

So now I am writing a story about one of the characters in my PRINCESS KANDAKE series. I am not quite sure where it is leading, but I will follow wherever the character takes me and tell the story he lays before me. But I will tell you a tiny secret...the inspiration for this story is supporting others while building a life of your own and what that looks like when romance enters the picture.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Celebrating Teachers and Librarians!

Attention teachers and librarians! The Emblazoner's New Catalog - filled with great middle grade and tween titles your students and patrons will love - is coming soon! To celebrate, we're holding a giveaway of stuff you can use: gift cards to add books to your collection and swag to hand out to your students and patrons. swag giveaway SWAG BagGrand Prizes (2): $15 Amazon Gift cards (to add a book to your library) + SWAG Bags Less Grand But Still Auspicious Prizes (8): SWAG Bags (bookmarks, collector's cards, etc. to give away to your students/patrons) Note: Signing up for the catalog is required for entry. Winners must reside in the United States or Canada. You must be a teacher or librarian to win. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

New Birth

Whenever a family is expecting a new member, the parents struggle to find the perfect name. The birth of a new novel is no different. The newest member of the PRINCESS KANDAKE family needs a name.

As with many new babies, the parents ask family members for their suggestions and ideas about naming this precious one. As the parent of the PRINCESS KANDAKE series I am following that same path. I am asking for all of the members of the PRINCESS KANDAKE family to contribute. Here is what the newest member looks like:

Princess Kandake, youngest child of King Amani and heir to the throne of Nubia, has determined to continue her warrior training, but that is not the only thing that complicates her 14 year old life. 
When the king receives a dispatch from Pharaoh Nakhtnebef of Egypt, Kandake is sent to find out why the pharaoh would need Nubia’s warriors to remain in that kingdom and why he has included a secret symbol within his message—help.
In Egypt Kandake discovers treachery and a poisoned pharaoh, the identity of the bandits that attacked their caravans, a Nubian orphan, and that she may be Sakhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war.
 Of course there is always a special gift for the family member that comes up with the perfect name. Besides the honor of naming the baby you will receive a huge mention in the acknowledgements of book #3, get an advanced peek of the book cover, and receive a signed copy of book #3 before it's release date of February 1, 2014!

In case you're wondering what the siblings are like, here's a free digital copy of the firstborn, PRINCESS KANDAKE: Warrior by Choice...Appointed to Rule. Use coupon code BH24M

Just list your suggestions in the comments. You have until September 29, 2013 to list as many ideas as you can! The baby is waiting...

Monday, August 26, 2013

YOU NAME IT! Contest

Here we go! The day you've been waiting for! Today is the day that you get to start coming up with ideas for the name of the third book in the PRINCESS KANDAKE series.

I'll be honest, I was concerned that once I launched the You Name It contest ideas of the title would begin flooding into my brain and I would come up with a title that I just loved. Well, no need to fear, NOTHING came to me. I guess that's good and bad.

So, let's get started. The blurb tells you a bit about the story. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to get to know Princess Kandake I've included a coupon for a FREE digital copy of the first book. Just click this link PRINCESS KANDAKE: Warrior by Choice...Appointed to Rule to download your FREE copy. Use coupon code BH24M. Feel free to share the coupon with your friends. It will be effective until September 30th.

Princess Kandake, youngest child of King Amani and heir to the throne of Nubia, has determined to continue her warrior training, but that is not the only thing that complicates her 14 year old life.
When the king receives a dispatch from Pharaoh Nakhtnebef of Egypt, Kandake is sent to find out why the pharaoh would need Nubia’s warriors to remain in that kingdom and why he has included a secret symbol within his message—help.
In Egypt Kandake discovers treachery and a poisoned pharaoh, the identity of the bandits that attacked their caravans, a Nubian orphan, and that she may be Sakhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war.
Now get going! Think! Read! Create! 

I will begin collecting your suggestions/entries September 9, 2013!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Great News and a CONTEST!

Here's the good news, I completed the manuscript for book #3 of the PRINCESS KANDAKE series. Well...I completed the first draft, at least. Now it's on to the editing and revision process. But I have a bit of a problem. What am I going to call the thing?

It has a working title, but I'm pretty sure it won't do for the completed book.  I thought I had figured it out the night I typed the final words, but that title did not stand up to the light of day. I think I need help on this one. So if you're willing to help me, I'd love it!

I realize in order for you to come up with a viable suggestion you need to know something of the book and a bit of the main character. For those of you who have read my books you have a head start, but I'm willing to help everyone catch up. If you are interested in helping with the title, comment on this blog and I'll send you a FREE ebook of the first PRINCESS KANDAKE book.

Wait! Why don't I just make a contest of it? Okay here goes. I will post a blurb about book #3 on the on Monday August 26th. I'll begin accepting suggestions on Monday September 9th and will announce the winner September 30th.

So here's where you ask, "Is there a prize?" Of course there's a prize!!! The winner will receive a huge mention in the acknowledgements of book #3, they'll get an advanced peek of the book cover, and receive a signed copy of book #3 before it's release date of February 1, 2014!

What to you say...will you help me?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So Much to Do, So Little Time

I have been over-committed and overwhelmed the past few weeks. Determined to get through this with my mind in tact, I have made a point of turning new projects and requests away with as gentle a 'no thank you' as I can muster. In spite of the 'no thank yous' things keep coming, things that I must do. So I trudge on and take short naps where I can.

I was reading email and an author friend, Lynn Kelley, sent me a link to another author's website. Susan Kaye Quinn is stellar! Not only is she a fantastic writer, her videography is beyond words. She inspired me to do something I never even considered, create a book trailer. I have to share this.

Who would not be inspired after something like this! I am on a mission! I will do this!

Of course I can't start at this level, so I've laid out a plan. As soon as I get out from under the press of demands, I will begin fooling around with Movie Maker and trying things. I even ordered a book to help me with my newest endeavor. I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writing and Research

People often ask where I get my ideas as a writer. My answer is always, from the world around me. Well, the other day a member of a group I was presenting to said, "You may be able to get  to Nubia, but how do you know about ancient time? You're not that old?" Yes, the comment came from a 'Tween and their emphasis was on the word 'that'. Once everyone stopped laughing, me included, my response was 'research'.

I research just about everything. When writing about ancient Nubia, it's pretty clear that I need to delve deeply into history. I have archaeological and anthropological texts that I get information from as well as graduate papers from universities.

If you've read any of my work, you know that I'm an action writer. All of my stories have some type of action scenes or battle scenes in them. So how do I research that? I've had to become a huge fan of the history and military channels on television and I stage battles in my home. My husband teaches me about holds, take-downs, and strikes. I have even watched the football team he coaches to gain an understanding of how people fall and escape.

Most recently my poor husband was the victim of one such session. We were working together so that I could write the climax in one of my books. I was performing a particular strike he had just taught me and was supposed to pull the punch before it made contact, but my foot slipped. He was supposed to dodge the punch by ducking to the right. Well, when my foot slipped he reached out to catch me and instead of moving to the right he went to the left. This is what he looked like when he fell. Yes we staged it for the photo. You didn't expect me to hit him again, did you?

This is what fist connected with his ear and plowed it into his head. Sheesh! now we both need ice packs. But here's the thing, every experience in a writer's life is grist for the story mill. Now I know what it feels like to really punch somebody.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thoughts and Ideas

Something occurred to me today. I've been thinking about writing and marketing and why I do any of it. Then I wondered if other writers feel the same way. First let me tell you why I write.

I write for several reasons. The first is that I enjoy it. Yes, I'm selfish. I'm doing something that makes me feel good. The second reason I write is that there are a lot of books with great stories, but several of them are not appropriate for younger readers. Understand, I'm not talking about picture books, or chapter books, or even books for the middle grade reader. I'm talking about that reader that's caught somewhere between middle grade and young adult, the ones I refer to as 'Tweens.

These are the readers that are not quite ready for the more steamy side of things. These are the readers that enjoy a good adventure, romance, or suspense tale without having to deal with graphic language, violence, or sexual content. So I craft stories that have the action and suspense without adding the extra my readers are not ready for--you know, the cleaner read.

Writing this way and for this audience leaves me in a bit of a quandary. How, and to whom. do I market? What I must do is develop two different types of marketing strategies--one strategy for the parents because they are often the ones shopping for this group and another strategy for my audience of 'Tweens. Without a doubt, this is as tough as it sounds.

Fortunately I was able to join a group of other writers that are doing the same thing--writing clean 'Tween tales and together we a working this thing out. We call ourselves Emblazoners. We
have our website up now. You should take a look.

We give each other support and ideas about marketing. We put together book giveaways, blog visits, and other things. I'm working on coming up with ways to connect more easily with my readers after they've read the books. What are you thinking about?

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Yes, writers procrastinate sometimes. Like I'm doing right now. I've checked my Facebook page a few times. Then I clicked over to check my email inbox just in case someone sent me an urgent message, and I even went to the kitchen a few times just to stare into the refrigerator. I need to be writing, but I can't seem to get myself into the rhythm of it all.

So I checked on a couple of YouTube channels of my writer friends and here's what I found. I guess I'm not the only one procrastinating tonight.


Thanks, Maria Cisneros Toth, for the distraction!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Making the Digital Real

Imagine if a book became real. I, for one, think that would be supercool! Well...I guess that would depend on the book. Tales of zombise, vampires, and other horror characters need to remain in print form only. But...

I've been thinking about how I could make my ebooks better. What if I could transport you to the world in which the stories take place? Or, what if I could bring an object from the story into your home? I think we aren't that far from this becoming a reality.

I love TED talks. If you haven't experienced them here's you first opportunity. In this 'talk', the presenter, Jinha Lee, speaks about pulling pixels from your computer into your reality. Take a look. I'm pretty sure that after watching, you'll be hooked on TEDtalks too.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

More Great Giveaways!

Yesterday I told you about the launch of a great new website It's created by 'Tween writers for 'Tween readers. Yes, we're using the title 'Tween instead of Middle Grade. It's just way cooler, don't you think?

Anyway here's whats going on. We're all about paying it forward. So we're asking you to help us get the word out. Tell the world about our new venture and you'll earn points to get some great books. Click the picture or use the link below to find out how:

Monday, July 08, 2013


I few weeks ago I told you about my joining a fantastic group of 'Tween writers. We are the Emblazoners!

Well, we're launching our new blog July 10th , along with our new website, and would love your help spreading the word.

Everyone knows when you pay things forward you benefit. So here's the deal...if you help us out you get a chance to when a $100 Amazon Gift Card on July 11th. There will also be a smaller second prize. This is how you do it.

To enter the drawing, you must post about Emblazon on your blog on Wednesday, July 10, our official launch day. Then tweet your Emblazoners post to @CassidyJonesAdv and include the hashtag #Emblazoners. (Note: You will not be entered into the drawing without your blog post tweet that includes @CassidyJonesAdv and #Emblazoners.)

 @CassidyJonesAdv will confirm you've been entered into the drawing by "favoriting" your tweet. If your tweet wasn't "favorited," tweet it again.

We appreciate your help getting the word out about our new website!
I'm so excited

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Celebrating Independence

fireworksToday is the day we celebrate the independence of this great nation. Being great doesn’t mean that the United States is free from problems or short comings, because there are both. Being great means that its citizens have the power to create new ideas and directions. It means that its citizens have the power to make substantive changes at its core.

It is this thought that brought me to the decision of becoming an independent author. I want to be more than just a content provider. Where my books are concerned, I am the creative director. The books I write have a particular feel to them. That requires more than just the cover and content to be in sync. Promotion and marketing must have that same atmosphere.

As an independent author I am deeply involved in every aspect of my books from concept to production. To carry off something like this I need to fan the flames of my control gene. I admit that I do have one, but that’s what keeps everything connected and moving in the right direction. I have also renamed the arena/genre I write for. Instead of middle grade, I write for 'Tweens!

And yes, I celebrate with fireworks. They take the form of flashes of brilliance (You may laugh, but I do get them from time to time.)

Celebrate your independence with me. Happy 4th of July!