Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Release! Watermark by Krissi Dallas


I stared at her in frustration. “What is with you?!” I exploded. She was not acting like my best friend. Like my Morgan. “You’ve been so different this summer, and I don’t get it!”
“Well, you’ve been different too! People change, you know,” she snapped back.
“If I’ve changed, fine. But at least I’m still honest with you. You, however, have turned into a liar! If we don’t have trust between us, then what do we have, Morgan?”

Relationships on the White Island are volatile and Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb aren’t sure who they can trust—even each other. Politicians are lying, history is being rewritten, and motives are questionable. Whitnee sets out with Gabriel and a band of rebel spies to take back the enemy's biggest weapon—Whitnee's father. However, a shocking turn of events proves once again that the Island's secrets have the power to destroy more than just the truth. Separated from her friends, Whitnee battles her own fears in order to survive and protect the ones she loves. But when Morgan's illness finally comes to light, Whitnee faces a decision that could alter her future—and Morgan’s—forever. And whether she ultimately stays on the Island or leaves might not be her choice, after all.

“…[An] earnest tale of magic and romance that deals with the great distance between pain and recovery.”
Kirkus Reviews
Windchaser, Phantom Island Book 1

Author Bio
Krissi Dallas loves pop music, mismatched socks, and fried chicken. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her youth minister husband, Sam, and enjoys hanging out with her quirky middle school students and building the magical, and mysterious world that makes up the Phantom Island series. Be sure to check out Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing before the next dramatic installment, Watermark, releases in late 2013. Krissi loves connecting with teens, as well as readers and writers of all ages! You can stalk her online at www.KrissiDallas.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Author Interview: Deborah McKnight

Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish?

I think some of us hit a point in our life where we realize we haven't achieved everything we wanted. For whatever reason, our dreams are put on the back burner. I was at that point. I had been running from baseball games to football games and everything in between. Somewhere in all the running, I felt like I had lost me.
Carol Ann Ross, author of The Days of Hairawn Muhly, was offering a writing class/forum that I attended - hoping for a little creative me time. One of our assignments was a "What if?" scenario. I used a real life experience and added a twist here and there. As a child, I was afraid of my shadow. I really thought it was trying to get me. I'm sure you can see where this is going. What if my shadow had been trying.... Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not was born from that exercise. The women in the writing group offered a support system that differed from my family and friends. I think it was their encouragement that fanned the flame so to speak.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?

Publishing and marketing are daunting tasks. Because of the digital world, publishing is changing. I believe that's a good thing. I chose to self publish. I created my own imprint (Stone Bay Press) and went from there. I choose to use Create Space publishing services. There are a couple important reasons why I choose to self publish - one of the most important being money. After attending a couple writers conferences, I was struck by what many of the small and mid-sized publishers were looking for and expecting from the writers they pick up. First - the writer had to have an online presence. As one publisher put it, if he googled your name and nothing came up - he wasn't interested. Second - the writer was going to have to make the commitment to promote their novel. Small/mid-size publishers just don't have the budget to do that for you. (Let's be honest - we aren't Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks. We don't have a team of people whose sole job is to promote our work.) So - my thought was this - if I have to do all the ground work (building a platform) and I have to promote my book - I might as well cut out the middle man.

Marketing is work, hard work. If you choose to self publish, you take on the responsibility of selling your book. I think it's important to think outside of the box. Don't limit yourself to having a book signing at your local library or bookstore. Think about your target audience. Your book signing might be better received at a restaurant, a sporting goods store, or in conjunction with a lingerie party. Social media is also a must. Enlist your family and friends to share posts from your facebook author page. When I promoted my first book signing - friends and family shared the posts. My page reach more than doubled.

At the present time, I am scheduling virtual book tours. There are a variety of tours to choose from and they are very affordable. I am also in the process of asking a Goodreads community to review my novel. Why? Because reviews are a must. Let me assure you, I have people tell me how wonderful my story is and while that's great to hear, it's not getting the word out to a potential reader in Any Town, USA. That's because these same people aren't posting reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. So - go where reviewers are - offer a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. (A mobi file isn't costing you a thing to give away)

What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?

Work on your online presence. Choose the social media options that fit your personality. Some people are everywhere - facebook, pinterest, twitter, G+, blogs, linkedin, etc. Personally - I think it's better to choose 2 or 3 and focus on those, making sure you do a good job in representing/promoting yourself. In my experience, an author page is a must. I have one on facebook and on google. The facebook author page is way more active! A blog is also important. In a virtual sea of blogs, you have to figure out what will make your blog get noticed and that comes from trial and error. Don't be afraid to try something different - every post doesn't have to be about a writing tip! :)

G+ communities and facebook communities are great! There are communities for different genres, for marketing, etc. It really is important to be a good neighbor. No one much interacts with the ME! people. If you take the time to read someone else's post, offer a comment, a +1 or a "like" - others will notice and respond when you post a link to your blog - hopefully by adding you to their circles or liking your author page. All this leads to strengthening your online presence.

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson's Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

About the Author

When I was a little girl, I was afraid of my shadow - seriously afraid - running and screaming afraid. Perhaps I've always been a victim of an over-active imagination and maybe that explains the monsters hiding under my bed, the ghosts lurking in my closet, and the Shadow that inspired my first novel – Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not. I have always loved to write. While in school, I dreamed of being a reporter, parachuting into war-torn places and getting "the story." In reality I’m afraid of heights and would never jump out of a perfectly good flying machine. I have been fortunate enough to have had a varied career - from working as a DJ for a small radio station to serving as the president and part owner of a marina. I am married, have three sons and live in coastal North Carolina.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author Interview: Brittney Rhondeau

1. Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish? (Please add information about your book)

Inspiration… that’s tricky. I’ve now published three books with Love & Deception being newly released on 10/18/13. The inspiration is different each time. My very first book, Always & Forever, was about an abused woman trying to restart her life after escaping her abuser. It is, more than anything, the story of Lilly rebuilding her life, learning to love and trust, and learning to overcome the horrible things that happened to her. It is romantic suspense, like all of my titles, so a stalker comes into the picture, threatening her and everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. I was inspired to write it because I felt her story was important and that drove me to complete it. I couldn’t NOT write, if that makes any sense.

As far as a who, when I first started writing/taking writing courses, most people thought I was crazy—a dreamer wasting time with a useless hobby. My mom was really the one person I had pushing me forward, driving me toward finishing, telling me I could never achieve my dreams by quitting. I have to credit her with inspiring me to finish that first novel.

2. What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?

Get your book out everywhere you can. I was afraid of Smashwords when I first started and didn’t submit to them until just this past spring. Boy, had I been missing out on sales. When you are ready to publish, Smashwords makes it easy to get your book out to lots of stores all with a single document. I still do Amazon separately because it is tough through Smashwords, but it is great to have my books easily out to all the different vendors.

Personally, I encourage people to stay away from Amazon’s KDP Select program, because I do not think it makes good business sense for authors. If Amazon becomes the only game in town and runs other ebook vendors out of business, how long until they stop giving us such great royalty rates?

I’m not great with marketing yet. I’ve paid for a few ads, but I haven’t noticed too much of a difference. I mostly connect with authors, feature them on my blog, and ask them to feature me on their blog. Right now, it doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of money into expensive ads.

3. What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?

Social media is a huge time suck. I received a lot of advice in the beginning and tried to do everything at once. I’m pretty much failing it all. I’ve scaled back to just trying to post something at least 2-3 times a week on my Facebook author page (I really do suggest you make this so people can find you—everyone is on Facebook these days).

I try not to neglect my blog too much. I would say having a blog/website under your name is one of the best things you can do. Now that I have more books out, even when I don’t have new blog posts up, people visit the page that has all my books on it and my “contact me” page daily. The important thing is making sure fans have a way to discover you whenever the time comes that they start looking for you. I use Blogger (which is free) and paid for my domain name of www.chantelrhondeau.com.

I would say do what you are comfortable with, but spend most of your time writing and getting books out there. It doesn’t matter how much social media presence you have if you don’t have books for people to buy.

Thanks so much, Jana, for having me over today for this interview!

It was my pleasure! You have given authors a wealth of knowledge. We are all thankful and so happy you could be here today! Thank you, Chantel!

Love & Deception (Agents in Love ~ Book 1)
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Author: Chantel Rhondeau
Genre: Romantic Suspense


What if everything you believed in was a lie?

In hiding for six years, Carlie Hollis is tired of running. All she wants is to stay in Sayle, Washington and make a success of her struggling delicatessen. Because of her past, she’s suspicious of anyone who takes an interest in her.

Nick Kendall works as a spy in a top-secret government operation, protecting innocent people from danger. Sent to Sayle on a mission to infiltrate a suspected terrorist organization, Nick finds himself attracted to Carlie, an alleged key player of the group.

Despite her misgivings, Carlie develops feelings for the handsome stranger, believing he is there to help her. But when Nick finds evidence of her guilt, he’s given orders to do the unthinkable—eliminate the target, one he's fallen hopelessly in love with. Will he follow orders...or become hunted himself?

CONTENT WARNING: Violence, language, sizzling love scenes.

Agents in Love Series:
Book 1 - Love & Deception (October 2013)
Book 2 - Love & Redemption (Spring 2014)
Book 3 - Love & Compromise (Fall 2014)
More to come...

Buy it now:
Kindle Edition:
Amazon: US | UK 
Apple iStore:  US | UK | AU | CA

Print Edition: 

Mark it as "to read" on Goodreads

Silence rushed to fill the space between them. Desperate to keep the conversation moving, Carlie jerked her chin in the direction of the chandelier. “I love how big that is.” 

“Really?” Nick lifted one eyebrow and his lips quirked at the corners. “I’ve heard size is important.” 

Embarrassment burned all the way up her neck and face. “I meant the chandelier. I wasn’t saying...” Holy crap. She was supposed to flirt. Another woman would have come up with a witty comeback, but Carlie had nothing. 

He laughed and reached across the table, patting her hand. “Relax. I figured that’s what you meant. Just trying to lighten the mood.” 

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be so nervous.” 

“It’s okay, but you really don’t need to be. I don’t bite. Well,” he glanced at the tablecloth briefly before looking at her again, heat in his gaze, “not on the first date.” 

“I...you...” Carlie gasped for a few seconds and then sighed. Shelley would be so disappointed in her. “I’m not good at this.” 

“You’re not trying to tell me you don’t date much, are you?” 

“Well, actually, I don’t.” She took a sip of water. The truth was the wrong path to take here. Guys wanted worldly, experienced girls who knew how to have a good time. 


She winked at him, hoping it didn’t look like she had something in her eye. “At least, not men as sexy as you.” 

He winked back. “And big, don’t forget big.”

Author Bio

Chantel once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Before long, the need to create her own stories took over. She spends her days in the clinical profession of medical transcriptionist, but her passion is in the hours spent with her characters in the evenings.

She lives in the western United States, and when she's not writing she loves playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with her lazy kitties.

Want to contact Chantel?
Website: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com
Cyber Stalk on Facebook
Follow on Twitter 

Check out all Chantel's available titles: 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Becca Campbell

1. Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish?

Empath was the first book I ever wrote. I didn't consider myself a "real" writer back when I started it, or even an aspiring one, really. It was more of a creative experiment than anything. I had been tossing the idea of writing a book around in my head for a few weeks before I even had the idea of a story. At that time I was considering what it would mean to write a book and wondering if I had what it took. Could I do it? Once that question got into my head, I couldn't let it go. It was like this unquenchable dare.

The beginning flowed like most first books do, fast and furious. The middle got rocky, but I pressed on. It was like climbing a mountain--the further I got, the more difficult the terrain. Months began to pile up as I struggled forward, and each word felt as if it was wrung from my very essence. I stalled, frustrated when I looked back at the mess of my first first-draft ever. There were issues, and I didn't know how to fix them. I used the guise of "editing" to reread and procrastinate finishing whatever chapter I was in.

It was when I was in one of the lowest points of my new writerdom when I discovered a wise blogger named Kevin Kaiser. I first found Kevin through his work with author Ted Dekker (Kevin was Ted's brand manager and marketing guru), but I soon discovered a secret wealth of insight on Kevin's blog. Whether it was inspiring quotes from famous writers or slap-you-across-the-face, brutal honesty about what it takes to be a writer, his posts challenged me in a way that made me refuse to give up on my story and writing in general.

I truly believe that these posts were put in my life at the right moment in time to stir something inside me that needed to be stirred. If I hadn't devoured his advice, I might not have finished that first novel and since written six more books. If you can get your hands on something he's written, do it now.

2.What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?

Don't try to recreate someone else's success. Figure out what works for you.

How you do that is a little more complicated. It might look like a series of trials and errors. Gather tips and ideas about publishing and marketing from seasoned professionals and from other successful writers, but know that what worked for someone else probably won't work for you. Success isn't a formula, and even if it were, the face of the publishing industry is changing daily, repeatedly overturning our understandings of what takes off and what doesn't. Compare notes with other new writers (or old ones who are still plugging away, waiting for success to come). Peers are a great way to find out pitfalls to avoid, so don't count out the advice of others just because they haven't hit bestseller status yet.

The most important thing is to not stop writing. We'd all love to get rich and famous writing, or at least enough to quit the day job. But if you're waiting for that to happen, you'll be miserable along the way. Don't assume your first book will be an overnight bestseller. Or your second, or your third. But don't believe the lie that lack of sales equals failure. For the majority of us, success is a very steep mountain to climb, but you only fail if you quit climbing. Enjoy the process and keep writing.

3. What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?

There are so many beneficial things a writer can do to build a web presence: start a blog and begin posting regularly, grow your twitter followers, expand your reach on Goodreads and Facebook, connect with groups of writers and/or readers online. These all take a great deal of time and effort but are necessary if you're trying to reach your widest audience possible.

Beyond a list of places to be seen and heard, the most important thing you can do is connect with people in a real, meaningful way. Too many people try to grow their online presence through automated means, auto-tweeting at any new follower to check out their blog or buy their book. PLEASE don't do that! People don't want to get a pitch about your stuff, they want to know you. Forming online relationships takes even more time and effort than merely upping your friend and follower counts, but those kinds of connections are what really matter.

Great advice, Becca! Thank you for interviewing with A Novel Reality. Everyone check out Becca's book, Empath. You can easily find her with the links below. Don't forget to drop in on the next stop of her blog tour!

Author Bio

Becca J. Campbell is the author of the New Adult Romantic Science Fiction novels Foreign Identity and Gateway to Reality, New Adult Romantic Paranormal Thriller Empath (The Flawed Series #1), and Sub-Normal, a series of Science Fiction short stories.

An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. You can find her on her Author Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon.


Empath (Flawed Book One)

Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.


Empath Purchase Links

During the Empath Blog Tour (September 16th - October 20th), the first book in the Flawed series will be on sale for a discounted price of $0.99. Grab it for cheap while you can!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Release! Author Michele Shriver

Finding Forever, a contemporary romance by Michele Shriver, is now available in eBook and paperback!

  Finding forever cover 

 Sometimes life offers a second chance at first love, but only if you have the courage to take it. Jordan Priestley buried her mother, her alcoholism, and her California dreams to start over in Grande Valley, Texas. Defending the accused in a violent border town is a far cry from the entertainment law practice she abandoned, and that’s the way Jordan likes it. Happiness eludes her until a former client- turned-lover reappears, tempting her with a hopeful future, while dredging up mistakes from her past. Jake Morrison paid his dues in the acting business. Now, his big break has arrived with a starring role in a major director’s next blockbuster film. The movie shoot takes Jake to Grande Valley, where he seeks to reconnect with the one woman he couldn't forget. As Jake slowly breaks through Jordan’s defenses, an old girlfriend resurfaces, threatening their future and Jordan’s fragile sobriety. Will Jake and Jordan take a chance on forever, or will reminders of their past be too much to overcome?   

Purchase today

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords 

From the author

I am very excited to share Jordan and Jake's story with the world and I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To help celebrate the release of my new novel, I am offering free copies of my other books now through October 31, 2013. The books are available for download from Smashwords by entering the appropriate coupon code. Thank you very much for your support! After Ten (coupon code SC34Y): Download Sixth South (coupon code LH26U): Download Aggravated Circumstances (coupon code LW28G): Download

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Nonnie Jules

Meet the Characters of Daydream's Daughter, 

Nightmare's Friend

NONNIE JULES was born in Texas in the mid-70's, where she lived with her parents.  She was the youngest of 5 children.  Her family relocated to Shreveport, LA when she was a mere toddler, and it's been her home ever since.  She grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in the country, where red dirt and pick-up trucks go hand and hand.  Her first published work is "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS", 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love! is doing very well, especially in paperback form. You are invited to check it out here on amazon.com/dp/B00CP62O56.  (Feel free to view the trailerhttp://youtu.be/zg15rptFN2g). She continues to write from many genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing.  Nonnie can be reached on Twitter @nonniejules and she invites you to follow her blog WATCH NONNIE WRITE atwww.nonniewrites.wordpress.com.

This is the first stop on her "MEET THE CHARACTERS OF DAYDREAM'S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE'S FRIEND" Blog Tour and you can follow the tour here at http://wp.me/p3sUCq-rv.


Q: Hello Maiya, and welcome to A NOVEL REALITY!  I hope you're comfortable and if so, we'll get straight to our Q&A.  You're the main character of "DAYDREAM'S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE'S FRIEND" so can you give us a little background on the story, without giving anything away?
A:  Yes, "DAYDREAM'S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE'S FRIEND" is a story about a young girl who grows up in a very love-less home.  She suffers abuse at the hands of her mother and her stepfather on a daily basis.  The only relief she finds is when she visits her grandmother ("Dea")  on the weekends.  She's not close to any of her siblings at all, and that's because the mom has created a wedge between them.  She doesn't have anyone to talk to but her best friend Charlotte, and she really doesn't feel as if she can open up completely with Charlotte, because she's ashamed of the things that are happening to her and also, ashamed of some of the choices she has made.  

Q:  May I ask how old you are, Maiya?
A:  Oh sure, I'm 16

Q:  You are very mature for a 16 year old.  How did that happen?
A:  Thank you for saying that.  I really don't have much interaction with kids my age, as I just mentioned, not even with my own siblings.  I'm around adults mostly, so maybe that's where my maturity comes from.  I can't act like a child because I'm never around children therefore, I really don't know how they're supposed to behave. I relate on a higher level than they do.

Q Who are the adults that you spend so much time with?
A:  There's my grandma Dea, who is the love of my life!  She has lots of grandchildren, but I'm her favorite.  We spend a lot of time together on the weekends, and we're so much alike.  She can get really mad when she thinks that someone is hurting or wronging me.  It's like she turns into a grandma-monster (smile) if there is such a thing.  She dotes on me and always tells me how special I am.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  Then there's my Godmother G-Anne.  She doesn't have any kids of her own so I'm it for her.  She acts like my mom and she acts the way a loving mom should act.  I love spending time with her and at her house because it's so nice.  It's like a mini-mansion and I have my own room and everything!  This is a big deal to me because I share one bedroom with all my siblings (except for the ones who choose to sleep in the living room on the sofas or making a pallet on the floor).

Q:  You've mentioned your siblings a couple of times, how many do you have?  What are their names and their ages?
A:  I have a total of six.  Rainy (17) is the oldest in the house, then there's Marcus (15), Priscilla (14), Sean (13), Anthony (11) and Christopher (9).

Q:  Wow, you guys are like a step ladder!  You're all so very close in age. Your mom really likes kids, doesn't she?
A:  No, I think it was more that my mom really liked sex.

Q:  Well OK  (laughs uncomfortably).  What would your mom say if she heard you say that about her?
A:  I really don't care what she would say.  We don't even talk.  I don't think she likes me much.  Let me re-phrase that, SHE DOESN'T LIKE ME AT ALL!

Q Maiya, that's not something you hear a child say about their own mother very often. Why do you feel as if she doesn't like you?
A:  I don't feel it, I KNOW IT.  There's no way that you can treat someone the way she treats me and have them feel as if you LIKE them.  Although I'm not yet an adult, I'm smart enough to know these things.  I trust my feelings a whole lot.

Q Can you tell us what's special about you?  Why would the readers want to know more about you?
A:  I'm a very special person and the thing that's truly special about me, is the fact that I'm strong and I'm resilient.  I have to endure so much at the hands of those who are supposed to love, care for and protect me, yet they're the ones abusing me.  I think that readers will want to follow my story to see how it ends.  They'll want to know if I came out on top or if I let the horrible things that hurt me, define me and turn me into a monster, just like the people who hurt me.

Q:  Well Maiya, we have certainly enjoyed chatting with you and do look forward to following your story.  Are there any last comments you'd like to leave for our readers?
A:  I'd like to thank you all for this opportunity and to the readers who might be my age and going through something similar as me, I would say to you, keep your head up, and even though someone is beating you down, keep getting up until your legs and your back are so strong that no one will ever be able to keep you down for long.  That's it.

Interviewer:  "DAYDREAM'S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE'S FRIEND", after having two release dates that were put off, will finally be released on Amazon October 31, 2013.  That's Halloween and some will find this a pretty horrific story to tie-in with the occasion.  You can view the trailer here athttp://youtu.be/qbUK3XQ5-dA and read an excerpt from the book here www.wp.me/P3sUCq-gj.

Thank all of you who stopped by to meet these characters!

Nonnie Jules, Author
"...and her words breathe life onto paper"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Author Interview: Merel Bakker

1. Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish? (Please add information about your book)

My first children's picture book "Maks & Mila On a Special Journey" - which in a fun and playful way helps children to develop Joy, Kindness and Self-Confidence in their lives - was published this summer and I can still feel the excitement of receiving the first copy! It was such a special moment; all of a sudden, after years of 'sitting in my mind' and months of hard work, it was there! Wow!

The inspiration to publish and complete my book was 'time'. Sounds strange, but it really was time that did the trick. I had written down the first version of the story about 3 years ago, but back then, it wasn't the right time to publish. So I let it sit, confident that the right time would come and so it did! At the beginning of this year, I re-wrote the story, made a presentation of what I wanted to reach, I did an in-depth research after the (self) publishing industry and within seven months my book was available on Amazon!

2.What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?

What helped me enormously were a couple of things: I first read the book "APE" by Guy Kawasaki. This book contains an extensive guide on self-publishing and it really helped me to 'grasp' the (self) publishing industry. The second thing I did was to make a dummy book (from normal paper) to determine the size, layout and position of illustrations and text. Once you start looking at printing companies as well as when you are working on the file you will submit to them, this will safe a lot of time because you know what you want.

As to the marketing aspect of publishing a book, I found it very useful to make a 'marketing calendar'. Write down for yourself what the different aspects of your marketing activities will be and when they should take place. Writing it down will not only structure your thoughts, it will also give you new ideas. I also made lists of people, magazines, bloggers and reviewers I wanted to reach out to and went to bookshops to have a look at all the different magazines that could be interesting for me.

3. What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?

Also here, I would recommend new authors to make a 'social media calendar'. It really helps you to get an idea of what you can and should do. For me the social media aspect was very time consuming and I got caught up in 'responding' rather than posting effectively. I recently started using the Marketing/ Social Media platform from Vocus. This platform connects all your social media accounts, filters the relevant posts and helps you to post effectively. They also offer marketing consultancy and the possibility to issue press releases. This really made a difference for me.

Thank you, Merel, for the awesome advice! (I love the calendar idea.) Everyone check out the Maks & Mila books. You can find them at:

FREE SECRET SUITCASE app: http://tiny.cc/xnlrzw
AMAZON: http://tiny.cc/mnnrzw

The beautifully illustrated children’s books of Maks & Mila are a fun and playful way to help children develop Joy, Compassion, Gratitude, Generosity and Self-Confidence in their lives. Through uplifting storytelling and narrative, the books help children to be Happy and Strong, whatever life brings to them, both at present and in the future.

Based on a special technique that uses the power of reflection and repetition, ‘Maks & Mila’ provide the perfect tool for children to embrace Wise and Happy thoughts and to share them with others. The books also feature a special font which makes it easier for children with dyslexia to read.

Combined with the powerful illustrations, reading the Maks & Mila books is a fun thing to do for both parents and children. The stories provide a beautiful opportunity for families and siblings to interact and most importantly: it leaves both with a sense of Joy!

The books of Maks & Mila, are for children from ages 4 to 8 years old.

About the author:

Merel Bakker is a writer and mindfulness coach. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she found her home in Switzerland where she lives happily with her husband.

Supported by the Love and Wisdom of her friends and teachers, and surrounded by the beautiful Swiss mountains, her life journey led to the creation of Maks & Mila.

It is Merel’s wish that Maks & Mila contribute to a world where children feel Happy and Strong and know how to take care of themselves, others and the world as a whole!

If you are interested, you can also follow Merel’s blog at the Huffington Post or follow her on Twitter.

Starting from August 22nd, Merel will host her monthly live show on MomTV.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Author Interview: MaryAnn Kempher

MaryAnn Kempher

1. Who inspired you to complete your novel and publish?

My daughter inspired me to finish the writing Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder, a romantic mystery. I wanted to be a good example for her. There were many days where I just wanted to throw in the towel, to say forget this. Nobody was making me write a book, and it's hard work. But, I didn't want to let her down. She was so proud of me.

2.What advice would you give to aspiring authors regarding the publishing and marketing process?

Sometimes doing it on your own is the best way. Make sure you've had your book professionally edited and proofread, then do research on the different ways you can publish. Just don't feel like the traditional route, or even a publisher (even a small one) is the only way to do it. It isn't, not anymore. Don't settle. Above all else--trust your instincts.

3. What would you tell authors to "Start Now" concerning social media?

Start creating your "platform" now. In other words, get social on Twitter and Facebook well before you need anything from it. Be prepared to spend money, if you can afford it--you know what they say, "It takes money to make money". Money well spent on blog tours or well placed ads in local magazines can be a very good idea. However, you can just be prepared to promote it on your blog or website, and Twitter.

Thank you MaryAnn for spending some time at A Novel Reality! Your words are inspirational. 

Make sure you check this book out! On Amazon, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder reached #4 ins Suspense and #4 in Romantic Suspense, and reached #97 overall!

Book Blurb:

Instead of feeding her late-night appetite, a midnight food run nearly gets 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian killed. She’s the only person to see the man who brutally murdered a local woman, and the killer is hell-bent on making sure she doesn’t talk.

Scott Mitchell left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno, and the last thing he needs is more melodrama. But when he and Katherine are paired for a college project, that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. Together, they try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the murderer. Passion flares, but with Katherine’s life in danger, romance seems like more than a bad idea.

Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date.

Author Bio:

MaryAnn Kempher's writing is infused with romance and mystery. Her love of romance stories goes back to her teen years spent living in Reno NV where Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. MaryAnn's travels have taken her to beautiful cities in Italy, Southeast Asia and the sultry desert country of Qatar. She met her husband on one of her romantic misadventures. She has two children and currently lives in Florida where she and her family share their home with two dogs and a cat. Her writing influences include favorite authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She's also a huge fan of the Hercule Poirot mysteries.

Her guilty pleasures include any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha.

For more about MaryAnn Kempher, visit mkempher.com

Purchase Links:
Amazon Universal: http://viewbook.at/B00CD4AYVG
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mocha-moonlight-and-murder-maryann-kempher/1115124644?ean=9781620151402