Why run a #Hashtag Contest on Social Media

Upload your photo with the hashtag #xanaduquest to enter the contest

Upload your photo with the hashtag #xanaduquest to enter the contest

There is so much noise in social media that sometimes it’s hard to be heard. A hashtag (used with the # symbol) is a great way to “target” a particular topic so that you and your fans can search for it easily. I’ve used hashtags regularly for Twitter events, such as #FP for Friday Phrases – which is a weekly micro-fiction game on Fridays, #mondayblogs where people search for blogs to read each week on Mondays, or #writerskaboodle, where readers can see interviews with Sezoni Whitfield on twitter and facebook. Authors, definitely check out her Writer’s Kaboodle blog. She does author Q&A’s on twitter and FB you can have your own live event – fastest 30 minutes OF MY LIFE! You can also use a hashtag to find things that you’re interested in. #thrillers, #free, #gardening, #cooking, #recipes – you get the idea. To add a hashtag to a post, all you do is write the post and then add the hashtag to it. Then, if you ever wish to search this particular hashtag and anything related to it, you go into ANY search area on any medium, type it in and you can see all the related posts to that particular hashtag. If you don’t like posting, but reading particular topics, just type it in and find what you’re looking for.

I decided to run an instagram and twitter hashtag contest for the launch of my next book. I wanted to generate some excitement (and, truth be told, I wanted to learn instagram and this seemed to be a great way to quickly jump into it). Each person that uploads a photo of them holding my book THE HUNT FOR XANADU (either hard copy, on their phone or iPad) and in comments includes the hashtag #xanaduquest is entered to win one of five, signed copies of the next book in my series, launching 2/28. I’ve then asked for permission to put their image on my web-page and now I have a whole “Fan Shout-Out” on the front page of my website at (and to the fans who have so far participated and those that allowed me to put up your photos – you have no idea how thankful I am, nor any idea how unbelievably cool it is for me to simply stare at that page)

I also announced the contest to my Facebook author page and boosted that post $15 so far – I plan to do a few dollars every week until I hit $20 and have had over 2200 people see it now, gotten over 70 likes and lots of comments. BUT, what I can tell you is that many of my readers have uploaded their photos on the Facebook stream with the #xanaduquest hashtag. What I’m finding is that many of my readers are ONLY on FB and not on twitter or instagram. As a result, I’m allowing those people to be part of the contest as well, and their photos are up on my webpage, too. By doing this contest I’ve now learned where a lot of my readers are coming from and that is extremely helpful to know.

It’s hard enough to get people to actively do things – but to get them to actually upload a photo? I’ve had about 10 people upload photos right now and I’ve had a bunch of sales of THE HUNT FOR XANADU since I started this. I even got a review in, so I have to think this is a successful contest so far. It’s going to run until 2/21, so my hope is that I get double the amount of people and simply fill the webpage and possibly even be lucky enough for my hashtage #xanaduquest (a mix of The Hunt for Xanadu and The Quest of the Empty Tomb) to “trend.” Trending is when a hashtag gets a lot of play and people start using it. If you go to twitter, instagram or Facebook right now and plug that hashtag in the search area, in you’ll see a bunch of entries across the board.

Other ways I’ve promoted this contest:
It’s now on my profile on my instagram acct, I promote on twitter, directing to my webpage, google+, FB author page, here on wordpress, and created a goodreads event about this (though I can tell you only 4 people out of nearly 4000 at this point have even responded – goodreads is better with free books, giveaways, listopia lists and launch event information in my opinion). I may use my regular FB page mid February for one last push for folks who might not have remembered to enter.

If you’ve read The Hunt for Xanadu, please consider entering the contest. I’m giving away randomly one of five signed copies of book #2 in the series – and this is open worldwide – I will ship to wherever a winner resides. You can grab your copy of THE HUNT FOR XANADU here:

I’m always looking for new ways to interact with readers – so if anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to share. I’m all ears.

Character Interview with Markhat of the Markhat Files

The Markhat cover 2I thought I’d do something different this week. After all the interviews and lovely blogs that were done for me for my release of FLYING TO THE FIRE, one of the blogs ended up being a Character Interview of the main lead, Danny Anderson. I’ve never done one like this before and I just loved it! I know that when my favorite authors end up doing something like this with a character that I adore, I really enjoy the read. It’s like I’ve stepped into the lives of the main character and I feel like I live along vicariously with them.

If you’d like to read the wonderful character interview Sharon Buchbinder did for me for Danny – please check it out here.

So today, my first victim (oh, I mean guinea pig, no I mean character interview) is with a “gentlemen” called Markhat. This is a character in a series of novels written by author Frank Tuttle. There are actually NINE books in this series and I’m up to #4 and just love them. They are wonderful dystopian fantasy tales, published by Samhain. The writing is quick, easy prose, fun, and the main protagonist has a really dry sense of humor. I enjoy “being in his world” and thought it would be fun to do a character interview on him.

So, Markhat… Where are you from and what do you actually do for a living?

I was born in Rannit, and raised in a neighborhood we called home but everyone else called the Rows. There weren’t many mansions in the Rows. Hell, there weren’t many roofs. Mom sewed and cooked and did anything she could for coin. Dad helped out by getting himself killed in the War, as did both my brothers.

What do I do for a living? I stay alive. In my business, that’s not always easy. I’m a Finder. We Finders got our name right after the War, when the Crown declared victory and fell over backwards dead broke. Left the whole damned Army stranded where they stood, a thousand miles from home. Most Finders were vets who knew how to read regimental rosters and convince sergeants to talk. We found missing sons and fathers and uncles and cousins, all for a modest fee. Nowadays, I look for just about anything anyone has lost. Trust, mainly. Errant husbands and straying wives pay most of my wages. It’s not a noble way to earn a living. But it’s not the worst way to get by, for a kid from the Rows.

Your character certainly surrounds himself with interesting people. Who are his friends and are you married?

I’m married. Darla is one of those unfortunate women who learn too late they’ve wed below themselves. My best friend is a halfdead named Evis, who’s a big shot in House Avalante. But don’t hold him being rich and dead against him. He knows his beer and he’s free with his good cigars and he’s pulled my hash out of the fire more than once.

And then there’s Mama Hog, who was my next-door neighbor for ten years after the War. Mama runs a card and potion joint down on Cambrit Street. She claims to be a century and a quarter old, and though I don’t believe a damned word of that I will admit she looks the part. Mama is feared in some quarters, and revered in others, which only goes to prove how effective a few dried crows and a penchant for muttering nonsense magic words can be on the gullible and the simple-minded. She bakes a good biscuit, though, and she’s no slouch with that wicked old meat cleaver of hers, either.

Your character seems pretty fearless. Is there anything that frightens him?

My biggest fear? Running out of beer. I came close once, and haven’t gotten over the fright.

What makes your character laugh out loud?

Evis does this imitation of the Regent that could get us both hung if word ever got out. And once Mama Hog kneed a Watchman in his privates, and clubbed him over the head when he bent over, and then kicked his ass when he went down. I laughed good and hard at that. Teach him to shove a poor frail old lady.

In the earlier books, your character lived a pretty spartan life… so now, a few books in, “What is in your character’s refrigerator right now? On his bedroom floor? On his nightstand?

Beer. Two kinds. We live on a boat named Dasher now, and our dog Cornbread is probably asleep beside the bed right now. Darla keeps a revolver atop her nightstand, and I keep one atop mine. We don’t allow Cornbread to keep his gun on board Dasher.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

Earliest thing I remember is being hungry and cold. I am resolved never to be either again, unless it’s the kind of cold one experiences briefly before getting one’s coat buttoned on a brisk winter day.

What’s going on in your life right now?

I’m learning all things nautical. Dasher requires intensive upkeep and maintenance. So does my new vocabulary, because we live on a boat among boat people and they look at you funny if you get port and starboard mixed up or refer to the bilge as if it was the mainsail. Cleats? What are cleats, anyway? No one has yet to provide me a satisfactory answer. I believe boat people make things up on the fly.

Is there someone special in your life? If so, how did you meet?

There’s Cornbread. OOF. I meant Darla. Yes, Darla, my beloved and thus far only wife. We met when I was working a case. Her friend Martha Hoobin went missing, and Martha’s brothers hired me to find her, and I found Darla along the way. She quickly became enraptured with my easy charm and quick wit, and after a lengthy campaign of begging and pleading I consented to marry her. Stop hitting me! All right, all right, it was mostly the other way around. Mostly.

Any last comments?

I didn’t mention Buttercup. Buttercup is a banshee, older than Rannit and probably older than the Kingdom itself. You may have seen her around — four feet tall, long messy hair, walks through walls, flies when the mood strikes her. Darla feeds her cookies and combs her hair. Lately Buttercup has adopted the habit of sitting atop Dasher’s smoke-stack some nights. Since Buttercup glows, she’s hard to miss, but our neighbors take it in stride. I will say this about boat people — they don’t shock easily. Probably because they spend half their time and money plugging leaks.

Frank, thank you so much for your time and letting us peek into Markhat’s world! And now folks, I’m a stickler for series and more of a purist in that I think you should always read them in order. But, per Frank, here are his suggestions:

It doesn’t matter in what order you read the first three books, which are:


But it would be most enjoyable to read the rest in this order:


Want to learn a bit more about Frank? Check out his bio: Frank_Tuttle_author_photo_BW

Frank Tuttle lives and writes in the perpetually humid wilderness of North Mississippi. Frank tried to be a proper Southern author and write about pickups and hound dogs, but trolls and magic kept creeping into his stories, so Frank is a fantasy author. Although hounds do make occasional appearances in his fiction.

Frank has been writing since the Earth’s crust began to cool. His first professional sales were to Weird Tales and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. Since then, Frank has published 9 books in the Markhat Files series, has started a YA fantasy series which begins with All the Paths of Shadow, and has a number of short story
anthologies on the market.

Link to all of Frank’s books can be found here:
You can also connect with Frank here:

Want to ask Frank, or Markhat a question? Go ahead, I know both of them would love to hear from you!

A New Writing Tips Book for Authors

52weeksYou know that saying “You can never stop learning?” It’s true. I always feel like I have something to improve upon. I love writing, but I’m privy to committing a lot of cardinal sins. It’s one of the reasons I desperately need an editor (and she points out every single one of those little buggers to me, too!)

I’ll be honest here – I’ve never been one to read long books about the craft of writing. Maybe it’s my attention span, maybe it’s my fantastical imagination, but I can never get into them. For me, the best way to learn the craft is in pieces at a time. That’s where author Bob Nailor comes in. He has been writing a special blog, featuring author writing tips, every week for over a year. He tackles one subject at a time, in small, manageable segments that are filled with examples and easy, understandable solutions to the problem he is discussing. It’s been an absolute perfect fit for me.

So, when I heard he was putting all of them together (a year’s worth of tips) into an “author tip book,” I was very excited. In this new book “52 Weeks of Writing Tips,” there are quick chapters dedicated to a host of topics ranging from character development and plotting, to building a press kit to dialog.

This tip book is all of 99 cents. Even if you just occasionally take a peek at it, the information and ideas you’ll gain will be well worth it. I would say I learned something from most of the articles – something that I could actionably take away with me to help me with my writing. Here’s the link to purchase on Amazon:


I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with the author to get some insight…

SO BOB: Why did you decide to take your writing tips and make them into a book?

BOB: To be quite honest, I was minding my own business, doing my weekly writing tip when a very dear friend suggested I put them together into a book. My first thought was ‘Why?’ then quickly realized that I would love to have some of these tips at my fingertips as a quick reference. I attempted to decide which was the most viable tips but couldn’t decide which was more important. It was then I decided to just do 52 tips – like a year’s collection – and offer it to the public for a very nominal price with the lowest price available at Amazon being $0.99. I want to share what I’ve learned, to give back to the community. Why charge? We all know that if it is free, some won’t consider it worth anything. Why so cheap – uh, inexpensive? So everyone can afford a copy. I really do believe in these tips and feel they are a great tool for any writer – both novice and the well-published.

SO BOB: Do you follow your own advice?

BOB: I’ve always been a firm believer in “Do what I say, not what I do.” Especially with my children when they were growing up. BUT, I really do attempt to follow my own advice regarding these writing tips. I truly feel these tips have improved my writing skills and writing quality over the years.

SO BOB: Where do you find your insight to write these tips?

BOB: Some are just that – insights. Most of them are tidbits picked up via different writing conferences, writing groups, friends, and even agents. Of course, some tips I’ve been lucky enough to glean out of rejects from editors, agents and publishers. My editor has brought several writing errors to my attention. She attempts to point out the repetitive errors and correct them early so I don’t become so entrenched in doing it incorrectly. My current agent has also shown me tricks to make my writing and stories better.

SO BOB: Which tip spoke to you most personally?

BOB: You want me to pick just one!? How about two? I’m a notoriously passive writer. “By Zombies” was probably the best lesson I ever learned. It helped me to quickly define whether or not the sentence was Active or Passive and allowed me to correct it, when wrong. When I mentioned it to my local writing group, at first, they just laughed, but as I showed them how it worked, even the non-fiction newspaper reporter saw how it could improve her articles. Of course, “That As●Ing●Ly – Editing Tricks” is another favorite that I use constantly when I finish a work. I immediately review my raw product to see where I can fix those four issues. In doing so, I decrease bad writing, increase word count AND make my writing better and tighter. Is it too late to add more favorite tips? I really like them all!

Thanks so much for letting me promote this Bob – I really believe in so many of these and I’ve found them incredibly helpful. Again, here is the link… just 99 cents!


Happy Reading!

Twitter: Why it Does More Than Simply Sell Books

Come follow me @elysesalpeter

Come follow me @elysesalpeter

Today’s blog is about the power of twitter. Many writer’s only media platforms include using Twitter and Facebook to promote their books. I never see them talking to people, just at people, and I think that’s a huge mistake and missed opportunity. These same authors get frustrated when they don’t get a lot of sales with this strategy and they come to the conclusion that “twitter really doesn’t help with book sales, at all.” I tend to agree, to a point. I believe twitter offers writers amazing exposure and I believe it holds the key to so much more that they haven’t even explored yet. Here’s some interesting things I do with twitter that have nothing to do with me just posting a “read my book” link.

#1) WRITING GAMES: On Fridays there is this awesome cool hashtag called #FP, which stands for Friday Phrases. What you do is simply type that hashtag in the tweet and WRITE a short story all in that same tweet. It is so much fun and offers a lovely way to get the creative juices flowing. And you’ll read other great entries and you can comment on them, building some cool relationships. Authors love nothing more than feedback and they appreciate it so much when you comment. Here are the two I offered this week:

#FP The child pulled her Grandpa along. “Just a little further Papa.” She led him to an open grave. He shook at her next words. “We’re home.”

“What’re you chewing?” I asked my 3 yr old.” “Orange gummies.” He licked his lips. “Mommy!” My 10 yr old cried. “Where’s my goldfish?” #FP

What’s great is that if people following the thread like it, they comment, you get retweeted and you might gain some new followers, too! Super fun. If you’d like to learn more about Friday Phrases, click here:

#2) REVIEWS: This is harder, and more time consuming, but I look at all the threads and see the reviews that bloggers do. If I think they tend to review books like mine, I’ll start my research. I will follow them, then go to their webpages and start the process of writing them an email to see if they’d like to review one of my books. While time-consuming, it’s a great way to reach people I never would have met before and get an honest review from someone validated.

#3) FOOD: I love to talk about food. I wanted to do something different once for the holidays and the most amazing thing happened when I posted “Help, I need suggestions.” There are people from ALL OVER THE GLOBE on twitter and one woman told me her grandma’s recipe for a holiday dish called “Lobio,” which is Georgian Green Beans in Walnut Sauce. I made it for Passover and it was SO GOOD. Here’s the recipe to serve 6:


2 pounds fresh green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 pound light-skinned walnuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/2 cup vegetable stock


1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add the green beans, return to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to set the color and stop the cooking. Reserve.
2. Place the walnuts and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and puree to a paste. Transfer to a medium-size bowl. Add the onion, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and vegetable stock and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Reserve.
3. Arrange the green beans on a serving platter. Drizzle decoratively with the walnut sauce and garnish with additional paprika for color.

#4) SLANG: In one of my books, there is an older gentlemen from the UK. I have been researching British slang and including it in the book. I then appealed to my #UK tweeps and started asking questions such as “Can my character say Gawd Blimey and Bloody Hell?” Or “What does Stone the Crows” mean? I can’t tell you how many people chimed in with what are BETTER ways to say what I’m trying to get across. How some of my phrases were just regional or simply not used any longer. What an amazing resource these people were and I never would have gotten these honest answers in a quicker fashion. I can read as many internet British Slang sites as I want, but when I have someone living there, right now, telling me “how it really is” – that is invaluable.

#5) INTERVIEWS: I had an author interview right on twitter! How crazy is that? #writerskaboodle will help you do an author interview and for 1/2 hour straight people come on, along with the moderator, and ask questions about you and your books. What a great way to answer your reader’s questions, live, via tweets.

#6) COMMUNITY: That’s right. Community – this wonderful world is all about people engaging with each other. This morning I posted about how I had no idea what to post for my blog today. Within minutes, people from all over the globe offered suggestions and I realized, “OMG, twitter really isn’t all about selling my books,” it’s about building a community of like-minded friends who can all engage and help each other.

So, my advice to writers is get out of the mindset that you are only using twitter to hustle your books. Have fun with it. Engage your followers. Ask questions that you really want the answers to. You will be surprised at how much more you get out of this wonderful resource.

If any of you use twitter differently, I’d love to know! And please come on over and follow me at

Book Signings – Finding your Hook for the Right Venue

Book Signing at a New Leaf

Book Signing at a New Leaf

I’ve heard different theories of thought on book signings. Some people LOVE them and think that the best way to sell your novel is in person. Other authors who live predominantly in the digital world feel like you could reach thousands of more people with the right digital platform than the effort of doing a signing. That may be true, but online you simply don’t get the face to face you would if you have a reader standing in front of you.

So, I wanted to look for a venue for my novel, THE HUNT FOR XANADU. The book is about a young girl on a quest to avenge the death of her parents, murdered in their efforts to find the mystical land of XANADU. Along the way, she discovers something amazing about her own inner soul. It’s steeped in Tibetan Buddhism, takes place around the world, and is a thriller with a great twist.

I’ve done a few promotions and gotten some press, but I really wanted to do an in-person signing: a) for the experience and b) to see if I can get the word out to a different audience.

At first I called my local Starbucks. It’s a huge place and the manager was completely on-board. We were going to pick a weekend between holidays where biz was slow and it would help her drive traffic to the store and I was going to bring a lot of local people in. Then we tried to get confirmation from the Corporate office and they SHOT ME DOWN. They claimed that a signing would “interrupt their business.” Um, ok. I’d be in a teeny corner of this huge shop, bringing people in and purchasing products. Hmmm…

So then I started thinking… what is my hook? My first novel is a thriller called FLYING TO THE LIGHT and is about a young deaf boy. That novel’s hook was all the deaf websites and deaf schools. Even special needs fairs, sign language events, etc…

signing suppliesFor XANADU I figured Asian, Tibet, food, meditation, tea… I called Buddhist bookstores, meditation centers and then decided, why not a Tea Shop? I contacted the owner of A NEW LEAF tea emporium in Garden City, NY, and gave her a copy of my novel, discussed my social media platform and discussed how I would drive business to her event, and we did it. She was amazingly gracious and gave out samples of free tea and 10% off to anyone that came into the store during my signing. I decided to put out all my novels and purchased a bunch of Asian cookies and wafers – all individually wrapped with Chinese writing on them for authenticity.

I contacted the local papers and I was covered in the Garden City News, The Roslyn News and then, Long Island Newsday put the event and a big picture of me in the Fan Fare Books section. I was getting calls from everyone! I also did a few “events” on Facebook and Goodreads to announce it.

Overall, the event was a lot of fun. While I wished there was more native traffic to the store, it was a very cold day out so not as many people were walking around Garden City as normal, but still it was great. I had a few friends show up to fill some tables and then a bunch of people came in simply because they saw me in the paper. Quite a few people came in looking for “the author.” After four books, I’m finally feeling that yes, I can own that title.

The most wonderful news is the owner would love to have me back when I publish Book #2 in the series, which is titled THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB and, even better, this jumpstarted me having a signing at THE DOLPHIN BOOKSHOP – one of the large independent bookstores on Long Island – this has been on my bucket list. I believe this is going to happen now in June.

So, find your hook, any way that you can, and run with it. Even if it’s silly, just try. You never know.

Day #6 Fantastical Blog Hop

fantastical reads stripToday is Day #6 of the Fantastical Blog Hop and on the hot seat today is author P.L Blair for Shadow Path.

Here’s a recap:

Magic and crime. Agatha Christie meets J.R.R. Tolkien in “Shadow Path,” the first book in the new Portals series by author P.L. Blair. An Ogre murdered with a rune-inscribed sword is just the beginning as Kat Morales, a very human detective on the Corpus Christi, Texas, police force, and her Elf partner Tevis McLeod follow a blood trail that leads to Pixies, necromancy and Magic of the Blackest kind … to its climax in a stronghold Between worlds, where Tevis must duel spell for spell with a former lover who wants to see her old flame extinguished permanently.

And some really wonderful reviews:

“A well developed and written book. P.L. takes an older genre, “crime/police stories”, and twists it into a unique tale with fantasy and magic. It is an enchanting blend!”

“SHADOW PATH is a combination fantasy, suspense novel that I fell in love with from the very first line.”

Check out the great book trailer here:

Please click here to purchase the novel:

If you’d like join the event on Facebook, please do so here:

This has been a great event for me so far. If you’d like to purchase my novel, THE HUNT FOR XANADU and take advantage of the sale price of $2.99, please feel free to link to it here:

Lastly, I’m also doing a goodreads giveaway for THE HUNT FOR XANADU. Please feel free to enter that here:

Day #5 Fantastical Reads Blog Hop

fantasy event 1It is Day #5 of the Fantasy Blog Hop and my author promotion day was yesterday. I had so much fun, interacted with a ton of people, did a giveaway and sold some books. Overall, it was such a great success! And now, today is a new day, and the author in the spotlight is S.L. Wallace, writing CANVAS SKIES.

Here’s a recap:

Greed. Power. Class division. Resistance.

The Terenian government has worked hard to divide the haves from the have-nots. Guy Bensen, Elite bachelor of the year, wants a better life for everyone. Thief/hired killer, Keira Maddock, hungers for equality. Together, they might be able to change society.

Meanwhile, due to tragic events caused by the Divide, Keira’s younger sister, April, has left her baby in the realm across the sea. Now she returns to Terene. With the arrival of two very different men, her life becomes complicated. In order to be safe, April must hide her identity. In order to live, she must open her heart.

Check out these great reviews:

“The world building is wonderful, the characters are likable, and the writing is done well.”
Regina Ryals

“It’s fast and keeps you flipping the pages (or swiping your screen) till the very end.”
Andrew Augustine

Her book trailer is here:

To purchase Canvas Skies click here:

If you’d like to join the event on Facebook, please do so here:

If you’d like to purchase my contemporary fantasy thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, and take advantage of the sale price of $2.99, please feel free to link to it here:

Lastly, I’m also doing a goodreads giveaway for THE HUNT FOR XANADU. Please feel free to enter that here:

Day #1: Fantastical Reads Blog Hop – Check out some Great Reads 2/1-2/8.

fantasy event 1Hi everyone! I’m so excited to participate in my first fantasy blog hop. What is that, you might ask? It’s when a group of authors come together and do a special promotion. We lower the prices of our book for a week, (none are over $3.99) we feature author interviews, have reader polls, sweepstakes, give-aways and lots of swag. And, hopefully everyone will find some great new authors to put on their e-readers.

This is Day #1 of the event. All the books here are participating in the event and they’re all successful fantasy novels with great reviews. As you can see, my novel, THE HUNT FOR XANADU is there as well. I dropped the price this week to $2.99. So far, I’ve gotten 14 fantastic reviews, so please feel free to check them out here:

Now, each day I’m going to blog about the event and showcase certain authors. I’m so excited to start with YA author, Elise Stokes, who has written the Cassidy Jones series and I want to tell you about Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula. My 12 year old son is 45% in and thinks it’s really good… “even though I normally don’t like fiction with girls, Mom.” I started it as well and it’s great – the writing is sound and you have to love books with strong female characters.

Here’s a recap:

One Girl. One Accident. One Incredible Superhero.

Cassidy Jones is your typical fourteen-year-old– that is, until a seemingly harmless accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist turns her world upside down.

Discovering incredible strength, speed, and enhanced physical senses that defy logic, Cassidy embarks on an action-packed adventure that has her fighting for answers…and for her very life.

And some great reviews:

“Brimful of danger, secrets, a bit of romance and fun, this debut author’s entertaining plot and well-drawn characters not only is all it promises to be, but will leave readers looking for more..” — Gail Welborn,

“Elise Stokes ranks up there with other YA masterminds!” — Kitty Bullard, Great Minds Think Aloud

Please check out her amazing book trailer discussing the series!

If you’d like to purchase this amazing book, please click here:

If you’d like to get other links or join the event on Facebook, please do so here:

If you’d like to purchase THE HUNT FOR XANADU and take advantage of the sale price, please feel free to link to it here:

Lastly, I’m also doing a goodreads giveaway for THE HUNT FOR XANADU. Please feel free to enter that here:

Lastly, here is a rafflecopter giveaway for the event! Why not give it a whirl and win some swag? a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!

Author Interviews and Highlights – Setting yourself up for your new book launch

Besides getting your website up, your author page up, your blog up, Twitter posts, ads and the multitude of other things you need to do for a book launch, you should try to get exposure on other people’s blogs and on book websites. It’s so important to branch out from your own fans and see if you can reach readers in different ways. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be included in a host of different venues over the past few weeks and on different sites to promote my novels, most recently, THE HUNT FOR XANADU.

I have to say, I loved doing every interview. Some of them were really challenging with their questions, some of them were funny and all of them really made me think. Here’s a few really amazing blogs to check out. And you may want to follow these folks as well:

If you want to find out why I stopped writing in the 9th grade and didn’t pick it up again until college, check out Frank Tuttle’s Blog here (think evil nasty English teacher and you’re on the right track!):

Want to see what authors have inspired me and what my writing process is like? Check out Clive Eaton’s blog here: He does AWESOME interviews and writers should contact him for their own.

Want to learn something most people don’t know about me? How adventurous an eater I am? Check out Gwen Choate’s Blog here:

Want some great writing tips? Check out Bob Nailor’s tip site – excellent tips for writers: I learn something new every single week.

My updated Pinterest page with videos, covers and links. Click here:

Other places to check out?
e-Reader Recon:
CleanIndieReads (for my cute short story):

These are just a few places to see where I’ve been promoting my work and where they live on websites. Get your lists together, and start promoting. And follow these great blogs and networks – they have a wealth of information!

Book Launch for THE HUNT FOR XANADU Coming December 20th!

The Hunt for Xanadu

The Hunt for Xanadu

This is it! I’m so excited to announce that my adult contemporary fantasy thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, is ready for release on December 20th. It will be available in print and ebook versions. This is the first book in the Kelsey Porter series. Book #2 is halfway done and I’ve a working outline already for book #3.

A girl, the Buddhist devil and a mystical world, tying them all together in ways unimaginable…

Twenty-two year old Kelsey Porter has dedicated her life to avenging the death of her parents, murdered in their quest to find the mystical land of Xanadu. Before she can locate the murderers, she has to discover their motives for the brutal crime and finds herself at the epicenter of a Buddhist mystery as old as time. With the help of her companion, Detective Desmond Gisborne, she hunts the killers across the globe and discovers a darkness in her spiritual past that tests the very limits of her soul. Soon she realizes that it is not she who is doing the hunting, but the one being hunted. Kelsey must find a way to survive, while ancient demons attempt to destroy her.

This morning I woke up to this awesome email from one of XANADU’s ARC readers: “About 3/4 of the way done… please continue writing books like this…” (SQUEE!)

If you’d like to learn more about me and my other works, Clive Eaton conducts amazing author interviews. Here is one he just did for me. Writers, please inquire about your own!