Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christina Weigand, Palace of the Twelve Pillars

AUTHOR: Christina Weigand
BOOK TITLE: Palace of the Twelve Pillars
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Please tell us about yourself?
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Washington State after a lifetime in Pennsylvania. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter and granddaughter’s school in the library as well as helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing. 

Tell us your latest news?
The first book in my Palace of The Twelve Pillars trilogy was released on April 26. The second book in the trilogy Palace of Three Crosses is slated to be released in September 2013.

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, but then with adult responsibilities I stopped to raise a family and pursue something considered to be more of an adult thing to do. When my first three children were almost old enough to be out of the house, I lost a job and became pregnant with my fourth child. My husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom again, like I had done with the first three. But I needed a creative outlet and took a Children’s Writing course through the Institute of Children’s Literature. Now here I am twelve years later with a couple of books published and a couple of more on their way.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want young people to see that they have choices in their life and there are consequences to the choices they do make.

What books have most influenced your life most?
First and foremost: The Bible

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Bryan Davis

What are your current projects?
Finishing up Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy. The second book Palace of Three Crosses will be published in Sept. 2013 and I hope to have the third one Sanctuary of Nine Dragons finished and submitted by the end of April with publication to be determined. Beyond that I am working on a short novel for an Urban Fantasy trilogy, that doesn’t have a title yet but has a few dragons.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember as a kid playing with my five sisters and having a greeting card company where I wrote the inside of the cards. Later in middle school I took a Creative Writing class and then in high school I wrote a few articles for a local newspaper.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Only when my characters decide they don’t like the outline I foolishly created. Once I throw out the outline and let the characters tell the story then I am okay. Seriously though, since I have been doing so much editing on the trilogy, I’ve been struggling with starting something new. I’m still working through that and haven’t really come up with a working solution other than to just write.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Spend time with family and God. Right now we are getting ready to move across the country so if I’m not writing/editing or running around with my 12 year-old daughter I’m trying to declutter and pack so I can move in July.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It’s too hard to pick just one. There are so many out there that I love to read and I’m always trying new ones. But if I have to chose just one it would have to be Bryan Davis. He is a Christian writer that doesn’t compromise his beliefs. His stories portray a strong Christian message in the form of fantasy stories. Besides that he has dragons in his books. Dragons are one of my passions.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Killing off characters. One in particular; I won’t mention who; I knew he had to die but just wasn’t sure how or when. I think I rewrote the scene several times before I was happy with it. And the other hard part was writing what I wanted instead of what my characters wanted.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
MuseItUp Publishing. That is an interesting story. I had been searching for a publisher and not having much luck. I had gone to a big writers conference out here on the west coast and had four publishers/agents ask to see my work. Three of them rejected it and I never heard from the fourth. Then Karina Fabian put me on to MuseItUp’s online conference. Of the editors available for pitches Lea Schizas's seemed like my best chance. So I did an online pitch for her. (First time I had done an online pitch.) She was the first one to ask about the whole trilogy. She wanted to see the ms for the first book, synopsis and first chapters for the other two books. The rest is history. August 13, 2012 I signed the contract for the first book.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.


Then his gaze fell on Waldrom. Here was the man, so smug and condescending, who sought to destroy Crato and threatened his parents. He didn’t seem the least bit imposing reclining upon his throne. Disgust overwhelmed the prince, and it was all he could do not to spit on the floor. The man was the antithesis of his father, who, with his broad shoulders and compassionate demeanor, commanded the respect of all who knew him.

The king rose from the throne and waved for the guard to bring Joachim forward.

“Prince Brandan, I presume. I’m King Waldrom.”

“Prince Brandan? No, I’m Joachim.” Waldrom stepped back, and Joachim saw the fire burning in his eyes.

 “What do you mean, you’re not Prince Brandan?”  Waldrom looked at the guard holding Joachim and waved his hand. A candelabrum flew from the wall, hitting the guard and igniting his beard. The guard swatted wildly at the flames while Waldrom advanced on Melvane, standing by the door. “How could you grab the wrong prince?”

The wizard dropped to his knees. “My Lord, our spies told us Prince Brandan would be in the training room.

Monday, April 29, 2013

J.Q. Rose, Coda to Murder

Today is a fun blog swap between J.Q. Rose, my guest, and me, as I'll be visiting her blog to promote my new picture book, Boo's Bad Day, so be sure to stop by her blog today, too: http://www.jqrose.com

Author name: J.Q. Rose
Book Title: Coda to Murder
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Buy link: MuseItUp Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/anax9x7
Website/Blog: http://www.jqrose.com

Please tell us about yourself with the following favorites:

Food? Roast beef, carrots and potatoes This was our traditional Sunday dinner when I was growing up and I still enjoy it, except I cook our roast in a crockpot.
Drink (non-alcoholic)? Hot tea—especially Constant Comment.
Flower? Rose of course
Day of the week? Monday because I am usually fired up after a super Sunday
Time of day to write? After lunch—I know, I know. After lunch should be nap time for most folks, but I never nap unless I’m really really sick.
Place to write? my dining room table or kitchen counter…more space to spread out than writing at my desk
Season? Spring  Funny but that’s the season I chose for the setting in Coda to Murder—gorgeous spring in Michigan
Holiday?  Thanksgiving—no worries about finding/wrapping gifts, just a fun day to be together around a table full of good food!
Color? green
Animal?  Cat—and yes there is a tabby cat in Coda to Murder named Bitsy
Hobby? Love, love, digital photography because you can delete your horrible shots
Sport? baseball
Song? "Yesterday" by the Beatles
TV show? The Voice
Movie? It’s Complicated
Book? Water for Elephants
Author? Jan Karon
Word? unique
Quote?  "It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goalto reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled,but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is a sin."
~ Benjamin E. Mayes ~American minister, educatorscholar, social activist and the president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1940 to 1967

Now some easy one-word answers:
Coffee or tea? tea
Veggies or fruit? fruit
Cat or dog? cat
Plot or not? plot
Desktop or laptop? laptop
Pencil or pen?  pen
Rain or sun? sun
Mountains or ocean? ocean
Plane or train? plane
Car or motorcycle? car
Run or walk? walk
Casual or dressy? casual
Indoors or outdoors? indoors
Reading: EBook or paperback? both
Reading: Short story or novels? novels
Theater or rental?  theater
Vampire or shifter? neither
Horror or romance? romance

Tell us about your new/latest release:

Title: Coda to Murder
Genre: mystery, romance
Blurb: Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.
Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Short Excerpt:

The tall pastor and the petite florist couldn’t have been more different in appearance.  Lacey’s blunt cut strawberry blonde hair and bright floral shirt and jeans contrasted with the minister’s black suit and shoulder length brown hair.  Because they were so alike in their life experiences, they became fast friends. They were nearly the same age, both single, both uncommitted, and both had marriages that ended badly.           
            She held out the brown bag.  “Here, I brought us some light beers.  I figured you needed some company.”  She smiled big, making Christine realize how much she loved her friend.
            “What a sweet kitty. Is this Mrs. Whitcomb’s cat? She’s beautiful.” Lacey bent down to pat the now friendly feline.
            “Yeah, that’s Bitsy. She wasn’t interested in coming home with me.” Christine watched as her friend easily stroked the cat. “Well, you certainly have a way with cats. It took me quite awhile before Bitsy would even look at me! Thank you so much for coming over. Have a seat.”
            They twisted off the beer caps and settled themselves on the big ugly couch for a warm heart-to-heart talk. Bitsy chose to stretch out on the back of the couch lounging between the two women. For a few minutes, the pastor could forget her responsibilities and just enjoy having a friend.  Lacey helped to fill the void Christine had felt after divorcing Brad, whom she thought would be her soul mate forever.
            “I heard Cole Stephens is the investigator on William’s case,” said Lacey.  “He’s gorgeous.”  She grinned a silly face at Christine and then sucked down more beer.
            “You’ve got to be kidding me.  I was so worried about Dutch, I didn’t even notice.”
            “Well, I’m sure you had your mind on a lot more than Cole Stephens.  Take my word for it, he’s a cutie,” Lacey said with a wink.
            Christine tried to picture Cole Stephens.  He was a tall, muscular man and handsome in his tie and sport coat.  She remembered his short-cropped hair.  Was it a flat-top, or was there some spiky hair sticking out?   Did he wear glasses or not?  Her memory of him was just too fuzzy.
            “I didn’t exactly have my man radar out this morning.” She tried to brush off more of the cat hair, dust, and food particles on her suit coat and slacks.
            “Well, I’m sure he’ll be talking to you some more if this investigation turns up foul play.”
            Christine sat straight up on the couch and faced her friend.  “Why would you even say something like that?  You know William probably just tripped down the steps.  Gosh, Lacey.  What a thing to say!”
            “I’m just sayin’…just wondering…I mean, really, Chris, nobody knows anything about William.  He may have had too much wine and fell down the steps, or he discovered a burglar in the church, or any of a dozen things.  Just sayin’…” Lacey quickly took another swig of the cold beer.
            Focusing intently on Christine’s eyes, she said, “Cole Stephens has a reputation for digging for the truth.  He won’t settle for any old explanation of William’s death.  You have to be prepared for the worst.”

Buy links:

MuseItUp Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/anax9x7
bn.com and major online booksellers

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cheryl Carpinello, Young Knights of the Round Table

AUTHOR: Cheryl Carpinello
BOOK TITLE: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: AmazonUS Knights ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086MEW76

BOOK TITLE: Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
PUBLISHER: Outskirts Press

Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

As an English teacher, I taught all types of writing, but with an emphasis on essays, research papers, and some poetry. We did get to experiment with creative writing, but not often. My creative writing mainly involved experimenting with writing different types of novels. Not until about six years ago, did I decide to write for young readers and try to get published.

Teaching students in high school who didn’t like to read or who found a million other activities to do rather than read motivated me to dig deeper into my curriculum. They were my influence for Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

I actually write part-time. The rest of the time I’m doing tasks related to my writing: thinking about my story, editing, working on my blog, or marketing my books. Today, most writers spend a lot of time marketing their work. When I am working on a book, I generally write in the afternoon or evening.

What influences your writing?

First: My high school students. I had students read T. H. White’s The Once and Future King when I couldn’t get them to read anything else. I write for the younger students in hopes that they might get hooked on reading at an earlier age.

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero of a Thousand Faces is at the root of all my writing. The idea of the hero’s quest fits perfectly with Arthurian tales and with most of the stories for young readers out there. It figured prominently in The King’s Ransom and is the driving force behind my current work in progress and its characters.

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?

My novels are spent to inspire young readers to read more and to enjoy their reading experience. My first Arthurian tale Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend introduces the Princess Guinevere just before her thirteen birthday and her young friend Cedwyn. All my students knew of Guinevere is that she married Arthur, fell in love with Lancelot, and betrayed Arthur. By the end, I hope readers come away with more understanding of Guinevere and her actions.

My second Arthurian tale thrusts readers into the world of the Knights of the Round Table. The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) deals with the cornerstones of the Knights: Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship. Brought together in friendship by one they call The Wild Man, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan swear a Knight’s oath to prove the Wild Man isn’t a thief and murderer. In their individual quests, they encounter danger, death, and their own self doubts.

I also have a couple of simple picture books out there and a Behind the Scenes look at the making of Young Knights.

Why did you choose to write a children's story?

I have taught hundreds of high school students over 25 years. They’re my inspiration and my reason for writing stories for younger kids. I had students who devoured books, students who dabbled with reading, and students who never answered the call of books. Through my years in the classroom, I have found that the Legend of King Arthur speaks to all of these students, especially the last group, the reluctant readers. These kids are the ones I want to reach with my stories, the ones I want to inspire to embrace the world of reading.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

Young Knights took just over three years. The story outline that I first started with is not the story that I ended up with. I developed numerous timelines for each character’s quest. Then I had to put those together and fit them into the time frame for the story. Once the entire story finished, I realized that I had made a major error with one of my characters. I had to go back over the whole story and make changes to that character in every scene. In July 2011, MuseItUp Publishing accepted Young Knights, and it debuted as an E-book May 25, 2012. The paperback, complete with sketches, will be ready for distribution by May 2013.

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

Both methods have their pros and cons, and the line between them is getting more blurred each day. The most obvious difference is the cost of publishing: None vs. $$$. In terms of marketing each, unless you are a top list author, both methods require authors to invest time and usually money in advertising. For me, having done both, the deciding factor is how much control I am willing to give up over my books. I evaluate that with each book I write.

What is your marketing strategy?

Having self-published Guinevere, I learned that marketing is a never-ending job. In fact, most of the time it can be overwhelming. Getting a book in front of as many people as possible is the key to successful marketing. I blog about my books, conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. I’m also a believer in gaining exposure and visibility by entering contests. Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend was a finalist in the 2011 Global eBook Awards and that has boosted my sales.

Specifically for Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom, I’ve done three virtual blog tours: One of my own making, one with Orangeberry Tours, and one with World of Ink. Each tour included interviews, book reviews, and guest posts.

I’ve also entered Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom in several contests. In July 2012, the book was honored by the Children’s Literary Classics with their Seal of Approval, and in October 2012, Young Knights received CLC’s Silver Award for YA Fiction. Young Knights was also a Finalist in the 2012 USA Best Book Awards for E-Book Children. These are really a boon for me as one of my main target audiences in elementary/middle grade school classrooms. School visits in connection with my medieval writing workshops have to be my favorite marketing tool.

Additionally, for Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom, I wrote a 40-plus page promo book that is available on Amazon. The promo book includes my characters’ interview, an author interview, previously unpublished material from the original manuscript, an excerpt from Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom and other goodies.

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

I’m not real sure about the need for an agent. Part of that stems from getting turned down so many times. I was able to find a home for Young Knights with MuseItUp Publishing without an agent, and Muse has done a wonderful job with it. The idea of needing an agent is changing, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see agents changing the way they look at writers in the future.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

My blog is Carpinello’s Writing Pages http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com. I interview Children’s/MG/YA authors from around the world for my readers.

My main website is Beyond Today Educators http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com. I talk about the Arthurian Legend and the hold it has on people. Under the Events tab, visitors can take a look at the Medieval Writing Workshops I do for the Colorado Girl Scouts.

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

Get to know your audience. Volunteer in classrooms. Visit with children’s librarians. Participate in storytime at your local library. Kids are very honest readers, and they expect that from authors. If you build them a world, take the time to build it completely whether you use all of it or not. Do the same with your characters. Make sure your characters reflect your readers’ world and values today.

To go with that, write what you love. Also, don’t be afraid to explore and expand on that. It was my love of King Arthur that propelled me into writing. Tying that together with Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey inspired me in my writings for young people. Today this has taken me beyond Arthurian Legend to ancient Egypt where a young pharaoh embarks upon his own quest to right a wrong and be united with his one true love.

Please give us a brief synopsis or excerpt from your current book and when and where it will be available.

The Young Knights are three kids who have become friends via their friendship with a beggar/vagabond called the Wild Man. Without the Wild Man, it is likely that they would not have met and become friends because they are from very different backgrounds. Eleven-year-old Gavin is the youngest prince of Pembroke Castle in southern Wales. Fifteen-year-old Bryan has been sent to Pembroke by his parents to learn to be a blacksmith. Thirteen-year-old Philip is an orphan who wandered into Pembroke village and lives and works at the church. They are really just three lonely kids who find friendship with the Wild Man and each other.

When someone breaks into the king’s (Gavin’s father) treasury in Pembroke Castle, not only is the medallion known as The King’s Ransom stolen, but Aldred, the king’s advisor is murdered. Being a beggar/vagabond, the Wild Man is captured and charged with the crime. It doesn’t help that a bloody knife is found with his belongings. Gavin, Bryan and Philip are determined to prove that the Wild Man is innocent. In order to do this, they embark upon a quest where each is tested and must conquer their fears or face humiliation and/or even death.

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom is available at several sites:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boo's Bad Day Blog Tour Starts Today, #giveaway

Today, I'm beginning a month long blog tour to talk about my new picture book release, Boo's Bad Day, published by 4RV Publishing and illustrated by Deborah C. Johnson.  I will be giving away a signed copy of Boo to one lucky commenter at the end of the tour (if a U.S. resident).  If the winning commenter lives outside the U.S., I will send along a PDF of Boo. Be sure to leave your contact information if you leave a comment!

I've already had some wonderful reviews of Boo posted on Amazon and by Reader's Favorites.  Please follow along on the tour to learn more about me, Boo, and the process of crafting a picture book.  I look forward to "seeing" you all during the next few weeks.

By Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years
Published by 4RV Publishing
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

$8.99 includes s/h


Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.


Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

4-22            http://wendylaharnar.blogspot.com/au                                          
4-23            http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com/                                                         
4-24            http://maggie-lyons.blogspot.com                                                            
4-25            http://jolinsdell.blogspot.com                                                                                               
4-25            http://virginialorijennings.com/review-of-boos-bad-day/                                                            
4-26            http://virginiajennings.webscom/apps/blog/                         
4-27            http://virginialorijennings.com/in-the-mind-of-author-penny-lockwood/                                                
4-28            http://www.ckvolnek.com/the-minds-eye-blog.html                                                             
4-29            http://www.jqrose.com                                                                        
4-29 thru 5-6   http://suebookreviews.blogspot.co.nz/      
5-1             http://kaistrand.blogspot.com                                                
5-2             http://hazelnutt.com/category/picture-book-author-interviews                                               
5-3             http://sgcardin.blogspot.com/                                                                                     
5-4             http://nancymariebell.blogspot.com                                                                                    
5-5             http://irenesroth.wordpress.com/                                     
5-6             http://sueperkinsauthor.blogspot.com                                    
5-7             http://1stTimeMums.com                                                                         
5-8             http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/                                     
5-9             http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com                                                           
5-10            http://renajones.blogspot.com/                                    
5-11            http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/                                    
5-12            http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/                                                                                                                                   
5-13            http://rosgemmell.blogspot.com/                         
5-14            http://www.dreamseekeradventures.com/blog                                                            
5-15            http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com                        
5-16            http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/                                                                        
5-17            http://albertaross.wordpress.com                                    
5-18            http://www.consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com/             
5-20            http://4horsemenseriesbr.blogspot.com/                                                 
5-21            http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com/                                                 
5-22            http://snugglewithpicturebooks.com/                                                                         
5-22            http://dawnprochovnic.blogspot.com                                                            
5-23            http://juliedobbins.blogspot.com/