Author Interview: A.R. Marshall

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

A.R. Marshall

Aaron is a children’s book author who has had a love of storytelling since childhood. In his Amazon.com author bio, he writes: 

“…no matter what a particular day holds, I want to be a little more heroic when the sun sets.” 

I love the quote and what a great lesson to teach the little ones. 

Without further adieu, here is Mr. A.R. Marshall.

BB&B: I loved Story Keeping: The Night I Became a Hero. It’s a quick, fun read for both kids and adults. What made you decide to write this story in the children’s genre?

A.R.: Great question. I’m really just a big kid at heart, so the genre is a perfect fit. I also think children’s books are a great way to wrestle with big ideas – like courage, or fear. They provide a safe context for experiencing light suspense, humor, relational conflict, etc. I know for our kids, children’s books often catalyze great conversations about stuff that matters.

BB&B: The story is engrossing and got me immediately thinking about some of my favorites like Neverending Story and of course the music vid from A-ha, Take on me. I have to ask – were either of these an inspiration? If not, what was your inspiration?

A.R.: Thanks! I don’t think either of those was an influence, but I did love the Neverending story as a kid. As a kid, I loved choose-your-own-adventure books, and I think the Story Keeping Series plays around with that idea. I hope the nostalgia resonates with adult readers. I also love Lewis’ Narnia books, so moving characters in and out of other story-worlds feels familiar.

BB&B: You managed to successfully pull off combining first person perspective and third person narrative, did you find it difficult to switch between two different story-telling techniques?

A.R.: Thanks, I did. When I started sketching The Night I Became A Hero, our oldest son was gobbling 1st person, journal-styled stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja. At the same time, our daughter was devouring Magic Treehouse Books. I enjoyed drafting the 1st person opening, but as the story took on its own life, I realized the “in-book” sections would need to be read by grandpa. I enjoyed tackling the challenge – and it proved more difficult to facilitate in the audio version than text.

BB&B: What do your kiddos think about the Story Keepers? Do they give you ideas for the next adventure?

A.R.: The kids love it, and they are my first beta-readers. They don’t offer enough criticism, but they let me know what’s working – is this scene scary? Is that scene funny – I just have to watch them read, ask good questions, and make adjustments. I am always pestering them for lists of things they want to read about, and they are always pestering me to finish the next book.

BB&B: What’s next for Riles, Sissie, Finn, and Grandpa?

A.R.: Great question. In their second adventure, The Night We Met A Dragon, the kids visit a medieval kingdom to unravel a mystery. Along the way, they learn more about Story Keeping, grandpa, and their parents. In adventures three and four (both slated for release this year) the kids dive into more nostalgia – helping an archeologist protect an Egyptian tomb and then battling sea sickness as scallywags on the most dangerous pirate ship to ever sail the seven seas.

BB&B: Do you have any tips for moms and dads on how they can encourage their kids to read?

A.R.: I guess read? At our house, reading is contagious. The more we read, the more they see us reading. The more we read to our kids, the more they want to read on their own. Our biggest challenge is carving time to read regularly with our kids – life has so many distractions, especially at this stage of family life, being intentional as a parent is exhausting.

BB&B: Thank you so much for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Any last words for your fans?

A.R.: Of course, thanks for inviting me. I am so grateful to my readers. Thanks for picking up the books, and for sharing in the adventures. If you ever have any questions, please reach out. I love connecting with readers. If you haven’t already, jump on my website and collect your free audiobook at www.armarshall.com

Thank you Aaron!

Be sure to check out Aaron’s website and stay up to date on the Story Keeping adventures. Click here to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Release Alert: Eye of the Tiger

 

Eye of the Tiger

by

Catherine Green

 

Available: June 30, 2017

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human. Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly. Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool… Or is that a weapon?

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. That includes Simon Bunce, manager of the Ship Inn, who turns out to be lieutenant to the Redcliffe werewolf pack, and lover to the wolf alpha Danny Mason. He fights to protect his master from the ethereal animal familiar who threatens to claim their pack. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

 

Find the Redcliffe novels in bookshops and online, and request them in your local library.

For buy links and more details, visit Catherine Green at http://catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

You can find her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen/

Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen

The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal! Eye of the Tiger

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel)

by Catherine Green

 

 

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human.

Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly.

Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool… Or is that a weapon?

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – coming June 2017

 

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

 

Find Catherine Green and her British paranormal novels in the following places:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen/

Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen

The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/

Have you discovered the Redcliffe novels? Sign up today, and receive your fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

New Release Alert!!

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

Kai Bertrand’s

ENFORCER

 

Description

It started with death, mine. It went downhill from there.

My name is Cain. I’m an Enforcer. I’ve been given the power

to suggest someone commit suicide. If the circumstances are

right, it happens. The purpose of this power is to combat demons.

 

They’re taking over our town. People are being possessed

and trapped in their own bodies with no way out. As an

Enforcer I give them one last chance to rid themselves of the

demon controlling them. The separation process is…messy.

 

I hate being an Enforcer. I could refuse to do it but it means,

I’ll have to stand by and watch my friends and neighbors

become victims, or worse, killers.

 

My twin brother Ari tells me I’ll get used to it. That’s easy for

him to say, he’s Death. I’m a smartass with a deadly power.

What were they thinking?

 

In the war between Good and Evil, my brother and I are in

the middle. Both Heaven and Hell have plans for us. We are

so screwed.

 

BBB: I was so taken by the description, I started saying to myself, ‘I’m going to get this book’. Cain not only sounds cool, but I’m intrigued about the type of trouble a smartass with deadly powers can get into.

But first, I wanted to do something fun. So, I asked Kai, ‘if Cain were to go to a club, what would he drink and what type of playlist would he be rocking to?’

Kai: Cain prefers beer and always keeps some in the fridge, probably something like Guinness.

If he were going to go harder, he would go for scotch or bourbon. No mixed drinks for this guy.

The music in the background in the bar he frequents is from the 50’s and 60’s.

Here are some of the songs in the Jukebox:

Who’s Sorry Now – Connie Francis

Since I Don’t Have You – The Skyliners

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Diana – Paul Anka

Love me Tender – Elvis Presley

Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

BBB: Yup, I’m sold! He got me at Love Me Tender. ((swooooon)). 

To further tickle your taste buds, here’s a short excerpt from ENFORCER

Ari had just reminded me that when I woke up after the accident, an angel stood at the foot of my hospital bed. He was glowing, he was beautiful. I just about peed myself. He had long dark hair and bright blue eyes. He was big, solid. He was wearing a white robe so I couldn’t see his body, but his forearms were like stone. He looked like one of those guys you see on the cover of romance novels.

“Hello Cain, I’m Michael. You and your brother have been chosen,” he said. His voice played in my ear like music.

“For what?” I croaked. His voice was music; mine was like a tin can being scraped out with a spoon.

“We have need of you. As you’re aware, the battle between good and evil has been waged for millennia. The angels are busier than ever fighting the dark. We’ve chosen another human to perform a vital function. Your brother has taken on the sacred duty of Death.”

“He did what?” I asked.

“Your brother has agreed to help others pass to the other side; he has agreed to become an agent of Death.”

“How hard did he hit his head? Or how hard did I hit mine? This is crazy,” I said rubbing my eyes thinking I must have been hallucinating.

“I’m telling you this because your brother will maintain his life as it’s always been. He’s been granted special powers that allow him to answer the call of anyone dying that he’s assigned to escort. He is one of many people who have the power to relieve suffering and pain by helping people to pass over.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“You and your brother are linked, when he escorts a soul to the other side, you’ll feel it. We want you to be prepared. The passage through is cold, but spirits can’t feel it, neither can Ari because of his abilities, but you will. I thought it fair to warn you.”

That was how I found out my brother was Death.

~o~

Click the link for

ENFORCER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview with Tanya Bird

BOOKS, BLOGS, & BITS

presents:

Tanya Bird

Today, Books, Blogs, & Bits has the pleasure of introducing you to Tanya Bird. 

Tanya is a writer, mom, and Lego expert who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to her three wonderful children and an accidental six-year stint in media/advertising, she studied professional writing and set about writing bad novels on a laptop she could not afford. (LOL! “Bad novels” those are her words, not mine.) But, there was a nagging problem – she needed to eat. Like many of us do, creative endeavors were put on hold as she went about making money. But she eventually realized that writing is an illness, and one can only numb the symptoms for so long before the words begin to decay inside of you. 

Thankfully she returned to writing and the decay is no more!

Without further adieu, here is Ms. Tanya Bird 🙂

BBB: Describe yourself in five words.

Tanya: Motivated, witty, chocoholic, uncoordinated, dreamer.

BBB: How many children do you have?

Tanya: Three (way too energetic) boys, aged seven, four and two.

BBB: How do you juggle your writing with being a mom to three young boys?

Tanya: I don’t have the luxury that some other writers have of scheduled time and being in the right mindset. Over the past few years I have had small windows of opportunity and that is it. Use them or lose them. Writing is often done in small bursts. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than not writing. I have become used to writing when I’m tired. In the evenings I often think my brain is done for the day, but once I start, I come good.

BBB: What would be your ideal Mother’s Day?

Tanya: A sleep-in. A late (sugar-laden) breakfast with my boys that is prepared by someone else. The rest of the day reading books in the sun. Finish the day with no-one complaining at the dinner table and someone else wrestling the kids into bed. Best. Day. Ever.

BBB: What are you reading at the moment?

Tanya: Colleen Hoover’s, It Ends With Us and Hannah Kent’s, The Good People.

BBB: You have just launched your first romance novel. What is THE book that made you fall in love with romance as a genre?

Tanya: I would have to say Paulina Simons’ The Bronze Horseman. Hands-down the most intense love story I have ever read and the only book I have ever re-read immediately after finishing it.

BBB: How did The Royal Companion come about? 

Tanya: When I was pregnant with my second son, I was prone to really vivid dreams that would stay with me for days. One particular dream stayed with me for much (much) longer, and is now my first published novel.

BBB: What can readers expect from the book?

Tanya: It’s a Royal Romance, though I struggle to fit it neatly into one sub-genre. Its court setting and characters will appeal to regency romance readers, but the story also contains medieval and fantasy elements. Throw in some horses and action, and you have quite the Romance hybrid.

BBB: That is great, Tanya. I understand you also have a gift for our readers?

Tanya: As a special Mother’s Day gift, Books, Blogs and Bits readers can download The Royal Companion for free up until midnight on Sunday 14 May. So grab a copy (and a fishbowl of wine) and enjoy.

 Click here to download your free copy of The Royal Companion.

Thank you so much, Tanya! Come back soon and Happy Mother’s Day to you! 

If you’d like to learn more about Tanya, be sure to check out her blog by clicking here.

 

Free High Res photos

When I find a cool thing, I like to share it. As indies, we have to finance every little bit of our projects.

Costs add up — quick!

Thank goodness for awesome people who don’t mind sharing their talents and products for FREE! Such as in the case of Unsplash.

This year is actually their 3 year birthday. Check out their story by going to Unsplash.com. While you’re there, go ahead and subscribe and you will receive a collection of photos every week. Their tag line says you can do whatever you want with these photos.

Since I’ve subscribed, I’ve gotten a set of at least 5 pics a week. They are beautiful. I haven’t used the images yet, other than to admire them, but that’s enough for me. Some pics have certainly stirred the creative juices in my head for possible future stories. That’s always a plus, right?

Here’s a couple of the pics, I’ve received direct in my email. The ones I’ve received have had some really cool architectural images and nature images. Some are very geometric, there’s been a good variety.

Like I said, I haven’t used any of the images for creative endeavors as in including the images in my blogs (well except for right now), or covers, or promotionals. If you are thinking about using Unsplash images for that, I would encourage you to really read up on what they allow and don’t allow.

Remember you are responsible for your creative business including checking out usage rights for pics, vectors, quotes, and all that other fun stuff. Don’t steal, that’s the golden rule 🙂

To see more images like these go to UNSPLASH.COM 

 

photo-1442551382982-e59a4efb3c86

 

photo-1453668069544-b8dbea7a0477

 

 

 

 

Dark Skies is FREE!!

storm3

 

Dark Skies is running free today and tomorrow at all Amazon stores — US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.

This is Cecily’s third book in the Order of the Anakim series and it twists and turn into a fun, but dark ride into the lives of The Order. If you’d like to find out what happens check it out.

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Skies-Urban-Fantasy-Anakim-ebook/dp/B00QBQWLXQ

 

Promo Sites

12_Angels_Publishing_2

One of the things that indie authors/publishers are constantly on the look out for are promo sites. I recently ran a promo and found out there are soooo many sites out there. Some offer free promo opportunities, while others only post for paid advert.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell which sites are good and will actually give you positive results vs. the ones that just look good, but don’t do much to add to your campaign.

I’m certainly not the expert in marketing and promotions. This is the great big aspect of self publishing that has scared the bajeebies out of me. I’ve stayed away from it cause I didn’t want to deal with. LOL!

Good news is that it didn’t kill me. LOL! Even better news is that I’m learning and some things that have always bothered me or confused me are finally making some sense. There’s still A LOT to learn, but I’m on my way. (Have I ever mentioned, I’m a bit hard headed?) I should have done this a long time ago, but it’s never too late to start.

I wanted to share the sites where I posted. Hope this is helpful for you too:

BKnights at Fiverr.com — This by far got the best results. For $5.00 it’s hard to beat.

Psymon at Fiverr.com — This was okay. Not as good as BKnights, but still okay. ($5.00) I would buy this gig again.

Bookzio — I wasn’t impressed, but I know of other authors who have had great results with this site. ($19.00). Maybe if it was cheaper? I dunno.

SweetFreeBooks — This was okay too. I would use them again. ($5.00)

Ebookasaurus — I’m kind of on the fence, but it was only $10.00. I may use again.

Pretty-Hot –$15.00 with a coupon. The site looks great and I expected to get more downloads, but I didn’t. Funny thing is the download rates weren’t great, but the customer service was really good.

KindleBookReview — I did the $5.00 option. They have several packages to choose from. Again, great looking site and I thought I would get more downloads, but I didn’t. They also have a section to submit a review request. That’s free. I submitted, but haven’t heard back anything, so I’m guessing none of the reviewers are interested in the submission. Eh… looking for reviews that’s a whole other beast to tackle.

LovelyBookPromotion — This was a FREE submission 🙂 We got a good amount of downloads. This site also has a review request section. I submitted for a review here also, so far no response yet either.

Lesson? Running the promotions for the first two weeks during October (2015) boosted the book’s ranking at Amazon. The book actually hovered in the top 5 of its categories for a few days 🙂 We also got a decent amount of downloads and a few sign-ups. All in all, it was a positive campaign.

Was it perfect? LOL! Not even close. But that’s the beauty of it, even in its imperfection, it was still positive and met the goals we set for the campaign.

If you haven’t dipped your toe in the marketing pool… try it. You can take baby steps like I did and see what happens. Don’t expect fame and fortune with your first try. Be realistic and be open to the lessons. Be able to step back from what you did and look at your efforts in an objective way, but most of all, don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and see what works for you.

 

New Release Alert! The Boy Who Fell from the Sky

Books, Blogs, and Bits proudly presents:

NEW RELEASE ALERT

New Dystopian Novel for Young Adults

Highlights Climate Change Threat to Future Generations

JuleOwenAuthor Jule Owen has spent her working life in high tech. Her new novel, The Boy Who Fell from the Sky, explores the paradox of living in the age that will likely see the introduction of miracle technology, find a cure for cancer and prolong human life, but that may also see civilization as we know it destroyed by climate change.

The Boy Who Fell from the Sky is the first book in The House Next Door trilogy, a series of three science fiction, dystopian, time travel novels for young adults. They are set in 2055, in a world ravaged by climate change and are adventure stories with a serious message about the future we are making for ourselves.

Jule Owen said, “It’s the big issue of our times. There’s a huge scientific consensus about the fact that climate change is man made and that it is likely to massively disrupt our lives, but the majority of people don’t care about it. Frighteningly, young people, who are likely to suffer the most in the future, are not all engaging with the issue. I love books like the Hunger Games and Divergent. They are exciting but they also make you stop and think and I wanted to try and use the genre as a way of getting people to talk about what’s coming. I used time travel, because it allows my main character, Mathew, to live through the impact of climate change over time.”

In The Boy Who Fell from the Sky, The world is falling apart in 2055. Another flood has devastated London and it’s the eve of the First Space War. With the city locked down, sixteen-year-old Mathew Erlang is confined to his house with only his cat, his robot and his holographic dragons for company.

Desperate for a distraction from the chaos around him, Mathew becomes fascinated by his peculiar and reclusive neighbor, August Lestrange. Mathew begins to investigate Mr. Lestrange, turning to the virtual world of the Nexus and Blackweb for answers. But as he digs deeper, Mathew realizes that Mr. Lestrange doesn’t seem quite human.

When Mathew accidentally finds himself trapped in Lestrange’s house, he opens a door and falls four hundred years into the future—a week before the end of the world. Unwittingly, he starts to destabilise the course of human history.

A 1984 for a new generation, The Boy Who Fell from the Sky delves into a future where climate change and technology have transformed the world. It is the first book in The House Next Door trilogy, a young adult dystopian

The Boy Who Fell from the Sky will be available on September 30, 2015 on Amazon and in bookshops on October 30, 2015.

~**~

JuleOwen

 

 

Click to download The Boy Who Fell from the Sky here

 


New Release Alert from Amos Cassidy!

Books, Blogs, & Bits is proud to present: 

Scartlett’s Path 

by Amos Cassidy!

thickpaperbackfront_604x964 (5)

Do not stray from the path.

There is magic in the forest, a serenity that calls to your soul.

The woods may turn your head, they may keep you forever…

Scarlett knows no peace. Fear and disappointment are her constant companions and hope is simply a word. A stepfather who watches her every move with desire, a mother who spends her days and nights in an alcoholic stupor, and a cottage too small to escape from it all. The forest is the only place Scarlett can breathe, the only place to run, until the final straw, until the final betrayal. Scarlett makes a choice that will change her life…

She steps off the path…

“The woods can turn your head… It’s easy to lose yourself in amongst the trees and you, my sweet Scarlett, are a delicious treat the woods would love to keep forever.”

~ ** ~

Street Team Banner pic croppedAuthor Bio:

Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.

You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…

Frequent doses of sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat with their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at amoscassidy.com, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

release day teaser for scarlett

Scarlett’s Path 

is available through all these awesome e-book retailers on

September 28, 2015:

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

Nook

Kobo

Googleplay

Smashwords

Don’t forget to visit Amos Cassidy at their website and see what this dynamic duo has brewing for your reading pleasure.