Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

February 2, 2015

Yes, it took me an entire month to get motivated (er – organized) enough to write about my reading goals for 2015.  First, you need to know that I take reading VERY SERIOUSLY. I’m a little neurotic about keeping track of what I’ve read. I started a spreadsheet in 2009 – yes, a spreadsheet. I should have just used Goodreads. That would have been so much more fun.

Goal One: Track all of the books I’ve read on Goodreads and actually give ratings and reviews to them within that community.

(I am so grateful for all of the reviews people have posted for my novel so far!)

I read a lot. Reading—especially from the same genre I’m writing in—is incredibly helpful in fueling my creative process. I have read as many as 100 books a year, but when I’m spending hours... Continue Reading

January 12, 2015

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and traveling and not a lot of writing. That will change very, very soon. Like Today!! (This counts as writing, right??)

My family has recently been to Harry Potter World. Wow – just wow! I can’t imagine how wonderful it must be for JK Rowling to see the world she envisioned first come to life in movie form and then as these intricate theme parks. Our family has spent countless hours enjoying everything Harry Potter and were finally able to make the trip to Orlando!

The attention to detail was fabulous. We started at Diagon Alley and rode Escape from Gringott’s first. This turned out to be a good move as while we were in line (45 min wait) the wait time rapidly doubled for those behind us to 1.5 hours.  The shops of Diagon Alley were... Continue Reading

November 24, 2014

I’m so happy to feature fellow YA Author Kelly Risser in my blog today. (I knew I found a kindred spirit when I realized we both incorporate Celtic myths and legends into our novels.)

Kelly, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I live in Muskego, Wisconsin with my two kids, my husband, and our dog, Clyde. While I work full time as an Instructional Designer, creating eLearning courses for a bank, writing is my passion and my biggest hobby. Coming in a close second would be reading. I prefer books to TV, and yes, I prefer the book to the movie, too. I’m the type of reader who vividly pictures the story in my head. Since it already plays out like a personal movie for me, I often find myself disappointed at either the casting choices or the actors’... Continue Reading

November 19, 2014

Super-smart characters combined with fast-paced action make Kelley Lynn’s latest novel One Wish Away a winner.  The teaser drew me in from the beginning—“Be careful what you wish for. . .”

High school student Lyra (great name!) is a budding astronomer who hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps and work at Space Exploration and Discover. Abandoned by her mom years before and neglected by an incredibly distracted dad, Lyra spends most of her time with her best friend Darren.

Gazing through the telescope one evening Lyra notices that a star is missing. Her search to find out what happened uncovers a top-secret government experiment masterminded by her dad. When Lyra (and Darren) question the experiment’s goal to build a perfect world, they know they’re putting... Continue Reading

October 29, 2014
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Let me just say the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Fall Conference was weekend of awesomeness. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this conference, it’s a combination of great camaraderie with other Wisconsin writers (and illustrators), super smart national-level faculty, and break-out sessions that allow us to fine-tune our writing craft.

At the beginning of the conference we always have some kind of mixer. (Thank you MJ... Continue Reading

October 22, 2014
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Catching up in the land of book promotions.

With the release of my book this Friday – October 24 – (YES, that’s THIS Friday!) I have been deeply immersed in book promotion for weeks. If you have liked my author Facebook page or you follow me on Twitter, you are keenly aware of this fact. I hope that you’ve had some fun with the Facebook contests and enjoyed my Teaser Tuesdays where I share a bit... Continue Reading

October 14, 2014
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Mysterious Runes - What are they? What do they mean?

I’ve included an “Uncover the Secrets of Runes” kit in my SWAG BOX prize package (which you can win by subscribing to my blog before midnight on 10/23). To subscribe – look in the right hand column of this page. (That’s it, to the right, yup, and down a little bit.) Do you see it?  Click on subscribe by email – Enter your email address in the pop up screen – An email verification will go to your inbox. (Don’t forget to verify at this step... Continue Reading

October 14, 2014
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TEN DAYS TO GO TO WIN THIS AWESOME PRIZE!

I still think swag bag sounds so much better than swag box – but let me remind you that this box is so much cooler than a bag.

If you are just catching up with my blog and posts about this contest now, I’ll explain the reason for the box instead of the bag.  You need to know that pivotal to the storyline of Circle of Nine: Beltany is a book of family history that is stored in an antique wooden box.  When I was shopping for goodies and... Continue Reading

October 7, 2014
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How did it get to be Teaser Tuesday AGAIN!! Time is a-flyin' here in book world. The official launch date - October 24 - is coming up quickly.

I wanted to share the first chapter of Circle of Nine: Beltany with you.  Please don't hesitate to share this with others if you like. 

 
October 7, 2014

I LIED! IT’S NOT A SWAG BAG – IT’S A SWAG BOX!!

Okay, I have to admit it took me a little while to get used to the idea of saying swag box.  Many of you know how much I love rhyming, and, well, swag box just doesn’t sound cool when you say it.

BUT – let me tell you this is the coolest thing ever. A book of family history stored in an antique wooden box plays a pivotal role in my story. And when I was shopping for goodies for this contest and saw this lovely carved box, I knew this was THE way to deliver the contents to the lucky winner. Now -- if you missed it in the last post, I'm running a contest from now until midnight on October 23 -- the day before my official book launch. You have the chance to win a swag BOX which includes a signed paperback and a... Continue Reading

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