(Guest Post) Author Lucy Swing

I am super excited to have Lucy on the blog today doing a guest post for us. So please help me welcome Lucy to the blog today.

Cindy, as always it is a pleasure to be here! Thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog today.

Writing with kids during summer

By Lucy Swing

Summer. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, kids laughter feels the air. But for writers, it may not be all beautiful and fun all the time.

During the summer of 2011 I decided I wanted to write a book. Yes, just like that. After reading the Twilight saga (hey you! Yes, you. I saw you roll your eyes at the mention of Twilight. Watch it! Hehe) I was addicted. I became a YA junkie.

I always had ideas for a book (don’t we all?) but never got any further than the first couple of pages before I gave up. Writing is a lot of work, and not everyone understands this. Anyway, I wrote the first draft of Feathermore during that summer. I really wanted this and needed to see it through, even if my MS would never see the light of day.

Having kids complicates the art of writing, especially over the summer. When I wrote Feathermore I was out all day playing the role of Mommy and then, would stay until the wee hours of the night, or morning however you want to see it, writing. This summer though, has been kicking my ass. I am not sure why, either. Maybe it’s because my kids are older and need different/more things to entertain themselves, or maybe I can’t juggle as much as I could last year, I don’t know. But the fact is, my writing has been almost non-existent.

I try to do the same schedule I did last year. Take the kids to the beach or the water park in the morning and then stay home in the afternoon (in Naples, FL by 2pm the clouds roll in and storms for the rest of the afternoon. I’m not kidding. It doesn’t fail.) But I am finding the kids and myself sleeping in late, so by the time we wake up we only have a few hours of sun. And everything seems to get pushed over, and by the time night comes, I am so beat up, all I can think is of sleep.

But! I was lucky enough that my mother took the kids for a few days last week and I was able to finish re-writing Fallenmore. I had become a ball of stress, and well, still am, but at least Fallenmore is now complete and out!

How do you do it? Do you have a routine or a way to make it all work and not work yourself to the ground? 

“What are you doing?” Blake’s voice came from somewhere in the staircase.

I froze a few feet away from the front door and turned, very slowly, to glare up at him. I extended my arm on my side and opened my hand. Like metal to a magnet, a pair of car keys came flying into the palm of my hand. Never once breaking eye contact, I responded, “To finish what I started.” Then I shot him a smile.

The front door swung open without me even touching it, but before I could reach it, Blake was before me; the door closing shut behind him. “No, you’re not.”

“Who—Do you—Think—You—Are?” My voice was low and guttural, something I had too, never experienced before. Then again, I was in uncharted territory now.

“You don’t want to do this. You’re not thinking clearly.” He lowered his voice, but I still heard what he said next. “I knew I should have kept the restraints on you.” His hand wound up on my shoulder, the act was a mixture of warning and threat all wrapped up in one and in a blur of fast movements, I had him with his back on the hardwood floor.

He wasn’t going to tell me what to do. I’ve gone along with people doing that for far too long, and it was time for it to stop. “Claire should be expecting what’s coming for her.” I let go of him with one last shove and opened the door. There, on the driveway, was a silver BMW. “Nice car.” I said over my shoulder as I walked away. But, where was my Dad’s truck? My truck?!

“You don’t want to fall, Jade. Trust me.” He yelled from inside the house, but I wasn’t stopping. Nothing could stop me now.

“Oh, but I already fell. Maybe not literally,” I said softly, knowing he could hear me just fine even from several feet away and I shrugged my shoulders, “but give me about an hour or so.” The car lights blinked twice and I heard the doors unlock.

“If you fall, it won’t be you anymore. He will own you and you have no idea what that is like. You will turn into someone completely different, and I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do it.”

He was suddenly right behind me with his arms around me, keeping my own arms at either side of my body. I wiggled in a futile attempt to get away from him, but it was no use, he wouldn’t budge. Unable to move away from him, I stilled, if he wanted a fight, he would get a fight. “You don’t want to do this, Jade. Not really.” That was all I heard before the darkness of the night that danced freely around us consumed me.”

**Check back later this morning for my review on Fallenmore.**

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Guest Post) Artie Bennett author of Poopendous

We are huge fans of Artie Bennett as you may recall we had Artie on the blog before promoting his picture book The Butt Book and out of all of the picture books Michael has this was the one he would read over and over again. He still giggles when he reads it. I even brought the book to school and read it to the kids in the library and they loved the book. They were laughing and giggling.

When I discovered that Artie was going to be at BEA promoting his newest picture book Poopendous I told Michael and this was one of the books he really wanted me to get. So I emailed Artie letting him know that I was going to be there and to expect me. Well the BEA karma gods had other plans for me and sadly by the time I got to the signing I was told that it was closed. Meaning there was no more books which I was bummed about and even asked if it was possible even to go and say Hi and that he was expecting me and I was told no sorry can’t do.

I walked away bummed but what can you do and it was only after the fact that I noticed an email from Artie letting me know that he missed me at the signing and aplogized but if I wanted a book there would be one at the booth well of course it was after BEA so I struck out again.

Thankfully Artie was super nice and he sent me a copy of the book signed for Michael. Thank you Artie for doing this for us.

Speaking with Artie he was very gracious and did a guest post for me which I am thrilled to share with you today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.

Please help me welcome back Artie to Cindy’s Love of Books.

First of all, I’d like to express my bottomless gratitude to Cindy for giving me a forum to introduce my pooptacular new picture book to her legions of readers. You may know my first “mature” work, The Butt Book. It was showered with praise and won the coveted Reuben Award for Book Illustration.

Cindy herself reviewed it and enthused,

“The book is written with clean humor that the kids will get and laugh it. This is a great picture book, which I am sure will be a big hit amongst the boys, seeing as boys seem to think butts are funny. I enjoyed reading this book with my seven-year-old and being able to watch him laugh was one of the best feelings in the world.”

Thank you, Cindy.

While The Butt Book still has legs (and long ones at that), it was now time for my second act. I cast about for the perfect follow-up. What should it be? Should it be . . . naaaah. Or maybe . . . naaah. But then I had a brainstorm. Perhaps a children’s book in verse about poop would prove the ticket. After all, what more fertile topic could there be for one’s “number two” picture book. And there seemed to be a natural progression. When the word “poopendous” came to me out of the blue one day, that clinched it! I knew I not only had to write it, but I also had both the title and the final spread. So, just like with The Butt Book, I now sat down to write a memorable, stirring ending first before attempting any of the preceding verses.

I write in verse, and I love the challenge that this poses. But I’m also saddled with a perfectionist nature and therefore agonize over every single syllable. I tweak and revise endlessly until I get things just right. And then I tweak and revise some more. It’s important that my rhymes be strong and true. But perhaps even more important is that the cadence of the verses be musical. If the stress happens to fall on the wrong syllable, the verse will crash upon the ear. And since I’m going to be reading it aloud, I can’t have ungainly verses. They would catch in my throat. And that would be a sin.

It’s rare when a verse spontaneously emerges that I find fully satisfying. More typically, it will be the product of those endless rewrites, after many near misses. The reader doesn’t see the discards. On my website, ArtieBennett.com, I highlight a couple of my favorites in the Outtakes section. One outtake that I was particularly fond of went like this:

Babies poop. Adults do, too.

Even Winnie had to poo!

I was so fond of this verse, in fact, that I fought like the dickens to retain it. But it wasn’t meant to be, for reasons that I’m sure you—and Disney!—will deduce. I enjoy sharing my outtakes with children after my readings and asking them if they can puzzle out why this verse never made it off the cutting-room floor. I get the funniest answers.

I love to include a “chant” in each of my books. In Poopendous!, we have

Rabbit pellets, raccoon tubes,

Owl whitewash, and wombat cubes!

Can you see the cheerleaders leading this one during halftime? Now, had the wombat not been a prolific producer of cube-shaped poop, described as resembling rather pungent dice, I don’t know what I would’ve done. I would’ve been left with three-quarters of a great verse—and despondency.

I try also to slip in some internal rhymes when possible to enliven the verses. I was particularly pleased with:

Poop enriches soil that’s poor.

Grow umpteen beans and greens galore!

And I always strive for a strong, animated opening in my books, for I know how important first impressions are. Poopendous! begins:

Poop is yucky, poop is foul.

Step in poop and you will howl.

To read this book, you must be strong.

Just hold your nose and come along!

This sets the stage for much merriment to follow. But Poopendous! conveys much more than mere fun. Poopendous! is replete with fascinating nature lore. I happen to have a fairly large fund of information stored up in the recesses of my brain from years spent bird watching and botanizing. Yet I still needed to do extensive research for the book. Thankfully, though, it wasn’t necessary to do any fieldwork and collect samples. Besides, my wife would have changed the locks on me while I was out collecting.

Along with gently imparting a natural-history lesson in my work, I’ve also added a large dollop of fun. Children and their parents often dissolve into laughter at my readings. And bookstores, too, are not immune. I just received this heartening comment from the children’s book buyer of an independent bookstore in California in response to my telling her about my new book.

“Guess what?!? We already have Poopendous!, and I have even been known to give spontaneous in-store readings. What a delightful, hilarious, informative, fascinating book. Thank you for writing to us, and for writing such great books! Best of luck to you, and hip-poop-hooray!”

Poopendous! is beginning to get some very favorable attention, and not just from my relatives. A recent review of Poopendous! declared that I have “discovered the secret to get today’s kids to read books.” And a brand-new review in the Huffington Post proclaimed, “For anyone who loved The Butt Book, you must immediately go and buy Artie Bennett’s follow-up, Poopendous! It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.”

It’s an absolute thrill to know that my books are playing their small part in getting children excited about books and reading, especially these days when there are so many coarser things commanding their attention. And to give the gift of laughter to youngsters is a blessing that transcends words, even words like “poopendous!”

About the author:
Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!).

His itch to write gave us The Dinosaur Joke Book: A Compendium of Pre-Hysteric Puns (currently extinct) when he was a much younger man. The Butt Book, however, was his first “mature” work. The Butt Book was showered with praise and won the prestigious Reuben Award for Book Illustration. His “number two” picture book, fittingly, is entitled Poopendous! What more fertile topic could there be but poop!

Artie was the youngest (at about age thirteen) person to originate and sell a crossword puzzle to the New York Times. He went on to sell several dailies and two large Sunday puzzles to the Times before he began college. It’s been downhill ever since.

He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his spare time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking.

He is pleased to share the visionary promise of Poopendous! with a wider audience.

Visit ArtieBennett.com before someone else does!

I want to send out a huge thank you to Artie for taking the time out to do this guest post for me and being so gracious with the comment you made and for the book. We love it.

Check back tomorrow for my review on the book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Guest Post) Blogger Chris Reed

I am always excited whenever I can have a guest post done by a blogger here on Cindy’s Love of Books.

I was first introduced online to Chris who blogs over at http://canadiandad.com/ on a facebook forum I am on. I love this forum because its all Canadian bloggers and I think of good majority of them blog about other things instead of books.

I have been reading Chris’s blog and by far my favorite is the kids. His son Lucas sings is so adorable. You really need to go and check out Chris’s blog, although you should read his guest post first.

Thanks so much Christ for doing this for me. I truly appreciate it.

I figured since this is the book that really inspired me to start writing about my family, it would be a great one to review for Cindy’s Love of Books!

A little bit about the author; Michael Lewis is the author of Moneyball and The Blind Side . When he became a father, Lewis found himself expected to feel things that he didn’t feel, and to do things that he couldn’t see the point of doing. At first this made him feel guilty, until he realized that all around him fathers were pretending to do one thing, to feel one way, when in fact they felt and did all sorts of things, then engaged in what amounted to an extended cover-up.

After reading Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood , two things came to mind. The first was that a lot of the things he talks about are word for word how I felt in a lot of situations. The second was that I couldn’t believe he was saying it all out loud. The things he talks about in this book; are the kind of things you think but never, ever, say out loud, or you can bet you’ll be spending some time in the proverbial dog house. I have to imagine Lewis himself spent a good portion of time trying to make this one up to his wife. That is, until the checks started pouring in.

This book is a hilarious look through the eyes of a very honest father and it had me laughing from cover to cover. Lewis provides hilarious accounts of solo play dates, moving his family to a new country and even a funny and very real chapter dedicated to his vasectomy…

I think my favorite part of the book is when he describes his first trip without his wife, to his child’s doctor appointment. He proudly describes how well he feels he did with the doctor. That is, until his wife arrives and grills him on all the questions he “didn’t” ask the doctor. It’s a hilarious sequence that no father will want to miss.

The other benefit, for me at least, was that it was not a very long book. Admittedly, I can lose interest in a book if it has too many pages of fillers, talking to you Game of Thrones, and this one is just right by my standards!

To all the Mommies out there! With Father’s Day right around the corner, this is an excellent pickup for your husband . This is an absolute recommend from me and fellas, please try not to laugh too hard or your wife will catch on very quickly and I will take no responsibility for it!!

Thanks to Cindy for letting me have the opportunity to share one of my favorites with her reader’s! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

I just want to thank Chris from Canadian Dad for doing this for me once again and like Chris saids if you are looking for a perfect father’s day gift then I highly recommend this.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Guest Posting today is Audrey from Bibliosaurus Text…

Today, I am super excited to have Audrey, who blogs at Bibliosaurus Text stop by for a guest post.

I just recently discovered Audrey and her blog Bibliosaurus Text through my hosting Mailbox Monday’s last month. If you haven’t checked Audrey’s blog you should hop on over and check it out.

Audrey will be attending BEA this year and I am excited to meet her there. She was willing to do a guest post for me today about BEA and the Top 5 Things she learned from attending.

So, please help me welcome Audrey to Cindy’s Love of Books.

I’m so thrilled that Cindy’s allowed me to write a guest post about BEA! Can you believe that BEA is in just a couple weeks!? I know I can’t.

This will be my second year attending, even though I’m only going to be there for a day and a half this year. I remember getting ready for it last year, and feeling the pangs of nervousness and anticipation in my tummy. I really had no idea what to expect. Luckily, awesome bloggers took the time to post tips and past experiences online, which really helped me to prepare.

In order to do my part to help this year’s new attendees, here are five things I learned at BEA last year:

1) Go with some books in mind that you absolutely want to get, but also be open to everything else.

This is a made up list of books.

Last year, I spent a lot of time planning all of the signings and talks I wanted to attend. There were certain books I’d heard of, and I was convinced I knew what ARCs I’d be coming home with. I did manage to snag some of my most coveted, like Scott Westerfeld’s Goliath; however, there were some that just didn’t happen. For example, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. This book was HYPED. I went to see Michelle Hodkin interviewed, and she looked at the small box of ARCs, and then at the audience, and there were at least three times more people patiently waiting than she had ARCs for. I didn’t get one. (I did get an awesome Mara Dyer shirt, though, and it actually fits great!)

However, I wound up picking up a ton of great books at BEA that I had never before heard of, and didn’t expect. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think you should get everything offered to you. In fact, don’t do that. A lot of books won’t be a good fit for you, and should go to somebody who will potentially appreciate and promote them. But we know what kinds of books we generally like, right? And those are marketed a certain way. Check out the blurb, talk to the author or the publisher representative, and you may be very pleasantly surprised.

2) For the sake of all that is good, MAIL YOUR BOOKS!

Last year, I was there for all three days. I thought I was smart. I had a small rolling suitcase to leave at the Javitz during the day for drop-offs, and a really big rolling one to help me get everything home. Since I was taking the train, I had far less luggage restrictions than those who fly. At the end of day 3, though, I had a lot of books. It was about 80 books all together. Which is a lot of books. I was determined to mail the books. I nearly did not make it to the post office. No joke. I’m not the world’s strongest girl, and I’m only about 5’2”. To compound things, BEA last year coincided with a period when I was undergoing physical therapy for problems with my neck and shoulders (cataloger strain, or something like that). Carrying those books probably put me back weeks’ worth of physical therapy sessions.

I struggled like an idiot to get those books and suitcases into the post office. Multiple bums offered to help me along the way. A man who had also attended BEA actually did help me at the post office. It was embarrassing, physically damaging, and something I never want to go through again. Moral of the story: mail some books after each day if you can. Media rate is the cheapest, and actually quite affordable. Don’t injure your body and your pride like I did!

3) Make some friends, preferably before you go.

I had only been blogging for five months when I went to BEA last year. I didn’t really know anybody, although I knew who people were. I was a lone girl in New York for only the second time in my life. All around me, other bloggers had friends. I’d see people texting back and forth when there was a publisher putting out new ARCs, or hanging out together in lines and having a great time. While I’m not the world’s shyest person, it took a lot to put myself out there. I felt kind of left out, and was scheming about how much more fun I’d have been having if I were there with a pal.

(Most recent photograph of me, at work)

This year, I’m ready. I’ve been blogging longer, and tweeting back and forth with people, so I can put names to faces and feel like we have enough of an online rapport that I won’t feel like an internet stalker when I say hi. I’m especially excited to finally meet, in person, Hannah from The Irish Banana Review , Christina from A Reader of Fictions, and Julia from Rex Robot Reviews!

And by all means, if you see me and recognize me, come introduce yourself! I’m nice, I promise 🙂

4) Come prepared to Javitz.

Okay, so that sounds really generic. But that’s the best way I can put it. You’re going to be on your feet all day, carrying heavy books. The time will fly by, to be sure, but don’t exhaust yourself to the point that you can’t go do fun things after hours. Keep in mind, food at the Javitz is absurdly expensive. It’s like airport food prices combined with Disneyland prices. I think a cheap ice cream was around $7 or $8 last year. You don’t even want to know about the water or real food. The best option for me was to pack some Cliff bars and a bottle of water. Also, hunt around for food! Sometimes publishers will have treats to promote books. I even got a beer at one point last year from a publisher promoting a book about beer. Just have some stuff in your bag to get you through the main part of the day, then feast on the foods of New York City afterward.

Also, comfy shoes are an absolute must. Don’t wear brand new shoes that are not broken in. Don’t wear heels! When you’re weighed down with 20+ lbs of books, it’s all too easy to fall. Trust me, I did it at ALA in New Orleans last year on my way to the post office with all of my books. I was a bloody mess, partly because I was wearing the wrong shoes.

(The result of carrying too many books while wearing strappy sandals)

Also, I thinking checking in a rolling bag each day is a must. It was for me. Books hurt when you’re schleping them all day, and it was such a relief to have somewhere to unload them. I don’t recommend leaving them in a box in the FedEx or UPS, or whatever it was, room downstairs. You can’t trust people. One girl had ALL of her books stolen from there. Better to have a bag that is tagged as yours.

5) It’s always better to be early than late.

You’re going to be competing with a lot of people for author signings. If you want to go to a ticketed event, you need to arrive quite early to get your tickets. If it’s high demand (and if it has a ticket, it is), plan on trying to get your ticket at least an hour or hour and a half before the daily exhibits open.

For author signings in the signing area, I quickly realized that it’s best to get in line around 45 minutes or so before the signing for the popular ones. That way, you can be toward the front of the line, and you’ll have a chance to either go to a second, less popular signing afterward, or get into another line. Also, you want to get a good spot in line because they can run out of books. This happened to me a few times last year. Not fun, and a waste of your valuable time!

I hope these tips are helpful, and don’t repeat too much of what is already out there, although I suspect they might. These were honestly the biggest take-aways I had from going to BEA last year.

The final thing: have a great time! Not everybody gets to experience this, and it’s absolutely invigorating and inspiring.

May the odds be ever in your favor (when going for the coveted books!).

(Books from BEA!)


Bibliosaurus Text
Thanks so much Audrey for taking the time out to do this for me and I have to agree with everything she wrote. You did a fine job and hit the nail on the head with the tips.

Are you going to be at BEA? Please let me know and I will look for you around BEA. See you soon 🙂

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Tour & Guest Post) Carolyn Wolfe author of The Unhappy Little Dragon

About the book:
This is the tale of a little Dragon who has a big problem, he cannot control his fire!

After a major mishap, he runs away into the forest and has a wonderful adventure where he meets new friends, learns that every creature has a unique gift, and also finds out the special way in which he can use his own remarkable gift of fire.

About the author:
Carolyn Wolfe is a free lance writer, poet, and author of six books including her

collections of poetry, short stories and bedtime stories for children. In this, her sixth book, “The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned” she reveals the journey of Happy, The Unhappy Little Dragon, who, while trying to understand how to master his uncontrollable gift of fire, has an exciting adventure in the woods. His forest friends help him understand his gift and that he really is a very special dragon indeed! Ms. Wolfe lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her Photographer, husband Scott, and her houseful of animal companions.

Today I am honored to have Carolyn Wolfe, author of The Unhappy Little Dragon stop by for a guest post. My review will be posted here this morning so please come back and check it out.

I want to thank Carolyn for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this for me and a huge thank you to Rebecca from Pump Up Your Promo for arranging this.

I am the last stop on the tour but if you want to see where she has been please CLICK THIS and it will take you to her tour page.

Seven Reasons Why One Should Read The Unhappy Little Dragon Lessons Learned

The first reason to read my Children’s book The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned, is entirely for the fun of it. It is an entertaining story full of engaging characters that I think children will enjoy reading.

The second reason to read my children’s book is for the message; that challenges can be overcome and with a little advice and insight from your friends, children can see how truly unique and special their own gifts are! Friends can be the best teachers of all!

The third reason to read my book is for the beautiful pictures in it by Leslie Mathis! She is a wonderful artist who really captures the energy and spirit of the characters in her colorful images.

The fourth reason to read my book is that it is an adventure story, a journey into the woods where kids can meet some wonderful friends!

The fifth reason is that readers can interact with the book. The last few pages of the book include a list of vocabulary words that were used in the story, and what they mean. There is also a place to write about the reader’s own special gifts.

The sixth reason to read this story, is to inspire young readers to look at themselves and their challenges differently and know that they are special and inside every problem area, there is something to learn about yourself, and that each one of us is given a special gift, that is uniquely yours!

The seventh reason is to learn about giving back to the community. The characters in my book all use their talents to help each other and their community. In the end, Happy the dragon learns that he too has something very special that he can do to help his fellow creatures!

Shelley asked, looking at Happy expectantly.

Shelley The Turtle said,”Let me ask you something son, when you practice your fire burning skills-what do you tell yourself?”

“Tell myself? What do you mean?” asked Happy not understanding what his new friend was getting at.

Shelley answered, “Well, maybe I should ask instead, how do you feel when you practice holding in your flame?

“Oh that! I feel scared, so scared that I will fail and burn everything up!” Happy answered sadly.

“Well now, I have a suggestion for you. Try feeling like you will not burn everything up. Instead tell yourself you will succeed in keeping your fire to yourself!” Shelley told him.

“But I am so scared. I really don’t think I can tell myself that I won’t burn everything up when I know I will!”

Happy argued in a worried little voice.

Shelley looked at Happy’s very unhappy face and said,”I have news for you Happy, and I want you to listen to me now!”

Then Shelley continued to explain.

“Dragons aren’t the only ones who have special gifts, Happy, no, no! All of the animals were given a special gift of one kind or another. All of us had to learn how to use it wisely, just like you. You sort of have to grow into your gift, like growing up! That’s why the animals need a teacher.

Can you guess what my special gift is?” Shelley asked, expectantly.

Happy didn’t know the answer so he shook his head and just kept quiet.

“Why Happy, I am a teacher!” Shelley said proudly.
copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Guest Post) Camilla Chafer

If you read my earlier post you will see that I am a Bewitching Book Tour for Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer. When I first heard about the book I wanted to read it. I am lucky enough to have Camilla Chafer do a guest post for me.

Thanks Camilla for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this for me. Please help me welcome Camilla to Cindy’s Love of Books.

Hi Cindy, thanks for inviting me over to your gorgeous blog. Today, on Illicit Magic’s penultimate tour stop, I wanted to talk a little about getting into my characters heads. It’s kind of weird writing several people, working out their individual motivations, strengths and flaws but now, several books into the series, I find myself automatically saying no, Stella would think first before doing that or Evan wouldn’t say that as though the characters are real. Well, they’ve lived in my head long enough! Here’s some insight into three of the main characters.

I write from Stella’s point of view. She’s a very realistic sort of heroine. She isn’t kickass, she’s lonely at the start and she’s not very happy. The first couple of chapters reflect that as she’s feeling pretty sorry for herself, but as the novel progresses we really start to see a change in her personality. I wanted to this change in her to mirror how her magic grows, how her life changes, how ready she is for change but finally also how she’s comfortable in her own skin. As the series goes on, Stella strengthens not only in her magic but really blossoms as a character. Most of all I wanted her to be an antithesis to the two most common modern heroines in the urban fantasy/paranormal genre: the “normal” heroine who needs to be saved by an all powerful supernatural guy, and the kickass sword-wielding woman who blasts her way through the bad guys. Ultimately, Stella is going to have to find a way to save herself.

Writing Evan, Stella’s love interest, is fun. I wanted him to be a little uptight at the start and mysterious, then as Stella starts to open up, so does he. He’s wildly attracted to her but very careful of their precarious position as he’s not a witch but something very different, plus though he’s been sent to look after her he believes there’s more to it than simply teaching her magic. He’s honest, reliable, and waits for her to be ready and open to something more with him. He’s got a lot of history that we’ve yet to uncover.

Etoile is a lot of fun to write. She’s a little snarky. She says the things other people might not say and she’s very smart. She’s a counterbalance to Stella. Where Stella is shy and lonely, Etoile is deeply self assured and has a loving family. Crucially they share a lot of the same traits; they’re both loyal, kind, and determined, and that’s why they make good friends. During Illicit Magic, Stella needs Etoile. Later in the series, it’s likely that the tables will be turned and that’s when their friendship will truly become an equal one.

[Thanks once again Camilla for doing this and thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for making this happen. I truly appreciate what you guys have done and are doing.]

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Barrett Company Tour & Kindle Fire giveaway

The Barrett Company Hollywood Book Publicity Tour + Win FREE Kindle Fire!

Well known, experienced, professional Hollywood book, TV and movie publicist Charlie Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1991 as a full service publicity and media relations agency to serve books/authors/publishers, television and motion picture industry clients. The Los Angeles headquartered publicity firm offers 21st century publicity and media relations services to celebrities, authors, actors, directors, screen writers, filmmakers as well as film and television producers.

Charlie’s author clients have include LA author-screenwriter Carla Malden, author of Afterimage, Kindle’s John Locke/Lethal People, Julie Sinatra/Under my Skin, Warren Adler/War of the Roses, David R. Fett MD and Steve Langford/White Sleeper, Deby Eisenberg/Pictures of the Past, Marty Jurow/See’in Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey, actor George Kennedy/Trust Me, Peter Ford/Glenn Ford: A Life and Dr. Ken Nedd/Power Over Stress as well as many, many others.

Since it’s inception, TBC has served as publicists to such companies and celebrities as CBS, Simon & Schuster, ABC, Globe Pequot Press, Harper Collins publishers, Norton publishers, Paramount studios, Oxford University Press, PBS, Warner Brothers, American Movie Classics cable channel (Mad Men), Bravo, Life Time Television, NYU Press, Ben Bella Books, Fox Television Network, Little Brown publishers, Fox News, CNN, self-published author service firms such as Xlibris, Author House and i-Universe as well as numerous celebrities from Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon to Kevin Costner, Tatum O’Neal, Tim Curry, Martin Landau, Robert Stack, Rod Stewart, Gary Conway, Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Big Give television series on ABC) and numerous other stars.

Mr. Barrett started up The Barrett Company publicity firm after serving in top PR positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards.

When earlier basing in New York City, Mr. Barrett served as a book publicist to many major publishers with publicity campaigns for a number of best-selling authors from large trade book publishers from Scribners to Random House.

Mr. Barrett has also held executive media relations posts with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in New York and Capitol Records in Hollywood, New York and London, where he helped launch recorded music by The Beatles, The Band and many other music artists including Joe South, Freda Payne, Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell.

You can visit his website at www.thebarrettco.com. Visit them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thebarrettco.

About The Barrett Company:

Media expert & advisor Charles Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1991 as a full service media relations and media marketing/communications agency. The Los Angeles headquartered firm offers 21st century integrated media outreach and media marketing expertise with an emphasis on the entertainment and leisure time industries serving authors/publishers, Hollywood celebrities, motion pictures, and television. Since inception, TBC has served such companies as Simon & Schuster, Globe Pequot Press, Norton Publishers, Warner Brothers Studios, American Movie Classics cable channel, ABC TV, CBS TV, Fox Television, self-published author publishers such as Xlibris, Author House, I-Universe and numerous celebrities from Johnny Carson to Ed McMahon to Kevin Costner to Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Big Give television series on ABC).

The Barrett Company also assists attorneys and their clients, managing media coverage in civil and criminal cases from California to New York in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Barrett formed the firm after serving in top public relations positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for The Tonight Show and Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards.

Mr. Barrett has also held executive media relations posts with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in New York and Capitol Records in Hollywood, New York and London, where he helped launch recorded music by The Beatles, The Band and many other music artists.

When earlier basing in New York City, Mr. Barrett assisted major publishers with publicity campaigns for a number of New York Times best-selling authors, serving such publishers as Scribner’s, Simon & Schuster, Norton, John Wiley & Sons, Warner Books and Golden Books, among many others.

The Barrett Company serves major publisher and self-published authors with Harper Collins, Little Brown, Penguin Press, i-Universe, Oxford University Press, Viking Press, Xlibris, Random House, Holm Press, Ben Bella Books, Author House, SMU Press, NYU Press, creating and performing a range of publicity services and media outreach for both fiction and non-fiction book releases.

Charles Barrett began his media career as a reporter with The Associated Press in New Haven, CT and later served on the editorial staffs of both The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles and Billboard Publications in New York. He has also authored numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on the performing arts and travel as well as appearing as a contributor on major U.S. radio talk shows discussing celebrities, films, television and books. He was voted the Book Publicist of the Year award by the Southern California Book Pub Society recently. Charles is a member of The Publishers Association of Los Angeles, The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (Emmy Award) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (The Oscars ®).

The Barrett Company is well known and regarded among the world’s media outlets for its credibility and creativity. Through years of client assignments we have developed remarkable and successful campaigns for our wide range of authors/publishers, Hollywood creatives, companies and celebrities, which have paved the way for us to produce media, consumer and trade events of all descriptions both in the United States and overseas, from Book Expo to NATPE (the renowned annual television program executive conference) to Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Frankfurt Book Fair to filmdom’s Show West as well as MIP in France, The Beverly Hills Film Festival and The Cannes International Film Festival.

TBC’s experience, skills and knowledge in various professional disciplines have enabled the company to offer programs we are proud of, including trade and consumer publicity campaigns, Internet publicity campaigns, crisis communications management, new company and celebrity launches, trade show media awareness, marketing communications solutions, and consultancy to in-house publicity firms in publishing, film and television. No assignment is too big or too small. TBC possesses a keen awareness of the workings of the global media – – including but not limited to print, broadcast and digital – – and has demonstrated over the years the ability to create stunning and effective media outreach models for valued clients, be they well established, or start-ups, or beginning careers as authors and celebrities.

Barbara Wall, a specialist in media marketing and media research, serves as Vice President of TBC. She has accomplished extensive assignments, ranging from technology to entertainment to printing/publishing and has working relationships with a wide circle of book media contacts including reviewers at major US newspapers to Internet book reviewers including NY Times, USA TODAY, Midwest Book Review, BookPleasures.com, BookReview.com, writers at select men and women’s’ magazines and online social media bloggers covering authors and publishers. Ms. Wall formerly served as an executive in two Fortune 500 companies (Xerox, Experian) and has worked with a range of clients including BMG Music Service, The Fox Network, Eddie Bauer, Levi’s, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice. She holds both BA and MBA degrees and formerly taught high school English in Colorado.

A key professional on The Barrett Company team is Vice President John Michaeli, who offers international and domestic public relations/communications expertise with a proven track record of developing, implementing and directing strategic marketing campaigns. Mr. Michaeli is a crisis communications specialist, having served many studios and networks dealing with a range of public issues in both personnel to products areas. Mr. Michaeli has held senior management posts with PR agencies and companies in the entertainment, technology, new media, network TV and public relations industries, including Walt Disney Studios, Fox Family Channel, Warner Brothers, Pax TV and Hanna-Barbera, the renowned animation studio in Hollywood where he served as VP of Marketing.

Representing TBC in New York is publicist and author Ward Morehouse III, who served as media contact at NBC for NBC Nightly News and was also was a Vice President at Jack Raymond & Associates, a top New York public relations firm. Mr. Morehouse has authored several books on the world’s top hotels from The Plaza to The Waldorf Astoria and most recently released his latest book, London’s Grand Hotels. He also created and maintains the New York City web portal www.broadwayafterdark.com.

TBC is proud of its association with renowned film marketing professional Jerry Pam. Mr. Pam’s accomplished film marketing career ranges from his days with The Beatles on their hit films, A Hard Day’s Night and Help, to films like Chocolat, Cinema Paridiso, Cider House Rules, the Oscar ® winner Shakespeare in Love and Good Will Hunting, among many, many other pictures. He earlier created remarkable film marketing campaigns for Apocalypse Now, Last Tango in Paris, American Graffiti, The Conversation and Midnight Express. Jerry has represented numerous screen and television personalities, including Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Jaclyn Smith and Robert Stack, in addition to well known authors such as Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz and Morris West. His corporate clients have ranged from Rolls Royce to Mouton Cadet Wines, and Faberge to General Mills.


The Barrett Company represents author Carla Malden (who co-wrote her father Karl Malden’s biography When Do I Start?) for her forthcoming book Afterimage from Globe Pequot Press. TBC created the media marketing campaign for film producer/agent Marty Jurow (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther and Terms of Endearment) and his tales of Hollywood’s Golden Age — Marty Jurow Seein’ Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey, a hardbound work published by Southern Methodist University Press. In his book, Mr. Jurow tells riveting vignettes and stories about Jack Lemmon, Karl Malden, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, author Truman Capote, Katharine Hepburn, Elvis Presley and Gary Cooper, among others. Mr. Malden said about the book, “Anyone who wants to know what happened behind the scenes in theatre, film, and TV during the 30s, 40s and 50s must read this book.” Other author clients include Julie Sinatra author of Under My Skin, entrepreneur Gary Fong’s The Accidental Millionaire and Do You Really Need Back Surgery by noted Santa Monica neurosurgeon Dr. Aaron Filler to Before You Say I Do Again by California family law and divorce expert attorney Ben Berkley.

Motion Pictures…

In motion pictures, The Barrett Company’s numerous client accomplishments include media outreach for the Showcase for Oscar ® Nominated Shorts that played to full theatres in Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., as well as publicity for movie openings and key industry awards for top feature films from Warner Brothers, MGM (Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan)), Paramount, Sony, Universal and Columbia Pictures. TBC as also served national theatre chains, feature film distributors and alternative cinema theatres with special regional movie openings and promotions including The Kids Are Alright, September Dawn, It’s Complicated, The Scoundrel’s Wife, Million Dollar Baby, Insomnia, The Aryan Couple, Master of the Game, Never Again, Blair Witch Project, multi film festival winner Smoke Signals and many film festival winners in various award categories.

TBC has served filmmakers at a wide variety of film festivals, including The Cannes Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, The Hollywood Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival, The Toronto Film Festival, The Sarasota Film Festival, and the San Diego World Film Festival. TBC introduced the world media to the inaugural Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2001 with director/author Henry Bromell (Panic with Donald Sutherland).


Our notable TBC television projects include campaigns for reality-based TV productions such as Oprah Winfrey’s Oprah’s Big Give on ABC and CBS’ The Amazing Race to shows on American Movie Classics (Mad Men) to Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker to NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries to Paramount TV’s Wild Things to Fox TV’s Cops and numerous other productions. We also launched the success of Ed McMahon’s Star Search at Walt Disney World in 1995. Our PR campaigns for various television productions resulted in across-the-board media attention and awareness in a wide range of outlets from USA Today to the New York Times as well as The Wall Street Journal, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Multi Channel News, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E! TV, Today, Good Morning America and The Tonight Show just to mention a few.

~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~
Pump Up Your Book and The Barrett Company are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

This giveaway is part of the Barrett Company Hollywood Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book. There are a lot of great blogs participating in this Kindle Fire giveaway. After you enter, check out the other stops on the Barrett Company Hollywood Publicity Tour and enter there too!

Here’s how it works:
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below.

The Kindle Fire promotion will run March 5 – 23, 2012. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on March 24, 2012.

To find out who else is participating and more chances to win, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/02/09/the-barrett-company-hollywood-virtual-book-publicity-tour-march-2012-kindle-fire-giveaway/.

Contest is only open to U.S. and Canada residents. (As per request)

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.