Friday, November 18, 2016

Welcome, Annette Sharman!

Today I welcome an exciting author from across the Atlantic! It's my pleasure to introduce children's author and woman of many talents, Annette Sharman! 


Annette Sharman


A bit of history

Annette wrote a colourfully illustrated children's story book about a little girl called Hollie and her cat called Figgs. 

When Annette's daughter was unwell she wrote the story and asked her daughter to illustrate it. She had the idea that doing something fun and creative will help occupy her and build her confidence. She didn't plan to have the book published at that time. Annette is a psychiatric nurse by profession, but had to leave nursing due to ill health and to look after her daughter. 
Annette has always encouraged her children to read stories when they were young and would often make up magical bedtime stories. She took an online course in writing for children and set to work. Hollie and Figgs story is based on Annette's daughter Holly and her cat Tiggs. When Holly was unwell Tiggs became a comfort to her, `her world`. Holly benefited from drawing and colouring in the illustrations; they looked charming and the story came together really well. Annette then had the idea to get the book published to help her daughters confidence even more.A friend who is an illustrator offered to take Holly's drawings and make them into colourful, professional book illustrations without losing their charm. Annette had no idea how to go about getting a book published, but was determined to find out and get some funding that would make it possible. She registered on an online funding platform and managed to get all the funding she needed for the publication.





The story

In the story Hollie doesn't know that Figgs is magical and can talk at first although the reader gets an idea that Figgs is rather special. It is only when Hollie moves to a new school and cannot make new friends does Figgs come to her rescue as he doesn't like to see Hollie unhappy. He starts to talk to Hollie and takes her on a magical adventure to a land where she meets a princess who is also sad and lonely and Hollie helps her. Through all this Hollie is able to make a new friend at school. You will have to read the story to find out how that happens. It is a story with meaning and children will fall in love with the characters. It addresses issues children may face like moving to a new school, losing friendships and finding it hard to make new friends in a creative and imaginative way. It would make a delightful introduction to a classroom discussion on the themes I have mentioned.The wording, typography and images are suitable for ages 5-9 years.

Annette's Bio

Annette Sharman is a children's author from Leicester in the UK. She lives with her husband and two grown daughters and cat called Tiggs. Her family is the most important aspect of her life. Annette has a passion for art (painting). She attended Art College after she left school. Then she trained as a psychiatric nurse, and worked in the field of psychiatry for thirty years, and is now retired. She has a keen interest in complimentary therapies and strives to learn more about maintaining health through diet and positive thinking. In her twenties Annette co-wrote a paper for a psychodynamic journal and it was published. More recently Annette passed the Royal Horticulture Society Advanced Certificate in Horticulture. She loves to be creative whether in the garden, painting a picture or recently writing for children. In order to write the story of 'Holly and Figgs Magical Adventures' Annette took an online course in writing for children which she found invaluable. She enjoyed writing the story so much that she plans to make Hollie and Figgs into a series of stories. She is also working on the social media side of the project to help get young children involved and be more interactive. Annette plans to visit schools, take her cute plush characters Hollie and Figgs with her and read her stories to generate some meaningful discussion. 


The release date was Tuesday 15th November
To read about the story, hear Annette talking about the project, see a trailer and be able to purchase a book visit www.hollieandfiggs.co.uk
www.hollieandfiggs.co.uk
Hollie and Figgs is a children's story book full of friendship and magical adventure. The story features a little girl called Hollie, and her cute cat Figgs, and they ...

You can also purchase the book from the publisher http://www.troubador.co.uk/
www.troubador.co.uk
Troubador is an independent UK publisher which also offers a self-publishing service through Matador. We enjoy the business of publishing, and strive to make the most ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Little Blog that Could!

I confess that I'm not a consistent blogger. Occasionally I host a special guest or I write a snarky post. Perhaps in 2017 I'll be more active. With that said, I checked how many views I've had over the past few years... (drum roll)

100,210

To some folks, that might seem a piddly amount. To little ole me, it feels huge! ♥ That means over a 100,000 people took the time to peek at the content. (I'd do a cartwheel, but it wouldn't be pretty. Plus I'd break something - probably my clavicle. Why did I pick that particular body part? LOL People seldom say they broke their clavicle doing cartwheels. I like to be different.)




To celebrate this milestone (the blog views, not the clavicle thing) I'm going to give away three eBook copies of WILD GOOSE CHASE. Why that book, you ask? Because it's totally awesome! (Would I lie to you? Nope.) 





All you have to do to be entered into this amazing giveaway, is leave a comment below and a way to contact you if you win (email address). Your comment can be as short as 'hello' or as detailed as you want to make it. Your name will be put in a hat and the winners will be drawn on Friday morning 11/18/16 at 9:00 AM.

Until then, thank you for popping into my blog to help me celebrate this accomplishment.



Like this sunflower, I'm going to reach to the sky for inspiration to keep you coming back to the little blog that could! 

Love,

Jan



Monday, November 14, 2016

Effrosyni Moschoudi is here with The Amulet!

I'm pleased to have my friend, Effrosyni Moschoudi here from Athens, Greece with her newest release -- The Amulet -- a supernatural romantic comedy.





Welcome, Effrosyni! You must be excited about your newly published novel, The Amulet. Can you tell us what it's about?




Effrosyni:  First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I am excited to be here! The Amulet is a romantic comedy with angels that is set on the enchanting Greek island of Sifnos. The story has romance, intrigue, humor, and a touch of drama - so a bit of everything really. I also made sure to tantalize my readers again by describing Greek dishes, like I often do in my books. One of my beta readers reported she had to put the book down at some point and go get something to eat!

Jan:  Can you share the blurb and a small excerpt?

Effrosyni:  I'd be happy to!

Blurb:


When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as a hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you're in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

Excerpt:

When Katie arrived back at Hotel Asimi the sun was slowly gliding towards the horizon against a pastel-coloured sky. She was strolling past the hotel's thatched umbrellas, making her way towards the entrance when her jaw dropped. Sitting on the bottom step was Aggelos. He was holding an orange juice carton, drinking through a straw thirstily. 
     Katie put her hands on her hips and gawked when she stopped to stand before him. 'Aggelos! How did you do that?'
     Aggelos beamed at her and pulled a long tendril of silky hair back from his brow. 'How did I do what?'
     'How did you get here before me? It was a good five kilometres out of Asimi where I left you. Did you hitch a ride?'
     Aggelos pointed at his feet. 'Yes. On those babies.' He chuckled and winked. 'I'm a fast walker.'
     'But...' She scratched her head. 'You can't be faster than the scooter I was on, surely.'
     Aggelos stood and scrunched up the carton, then hopped up the few steps to the bin. He tossed it inside and shrugged when he returned to her at the bottom of the steps. 'Nah, you've been gone ages. I bet you wandered around the village and lost track of time.'
     'I did buy an ice cream...and lingered at the village square for a while,' she mumbled.
     Aggelos tilted his head. 'See? Not Superman, after all.'
     'I never said you're Superman. But, I have noticed you tend to save the day.'
     Aggelos put up a finger. 'Now, that's a compliment and a half! Thank you, Katie.'
     Katie heard the sound of her name on his lips again and it made her knees weak. Earlier, when he was drinking his refreshment she couldn't take her eyes off his pouted lips around the straw. She'd tried to imagine there and then how it would feel to kiss them. Now, as he gazed at her, his wide smile exposing perfect pearly whites, she shifted her weight from foot to foot, wondering if she had it in her to ask him out. She decided it was too soon. After all, she'd never done this sort of thing before. As she contemplated all that, Aggelos was telling her about the beauty of the places he'd explored that day. She kept nodding and making the odd comment and, all the while, marveled at his perfectly sculpted features. 


Book trailer:

https://youtu.be/dhRxmNUwGjA




Jan:  Sounds delightful, Effrosyni! I understand you have a giveaway open at the moment for Team Effrosyni members. What is the team about? And can you tell us more about the giveaway? My readers are book lovers and they may want to enter. (By the way, Effrosynia, sweet cover art for The Amulet.)

Effrosyni:  Thanks, Jan. Team Effrosyni is my way of playing Santa with my fans! Anyone is welcome to join and it's all free. Every time I release a book, I'll be giving all the members a FREE advance reader's copy to read without any obligation.Members are also able to enter the occasional giveaways that are open exclusively to them. For the one I created to mark the launch of The Amulet, there are tote bags up for grabs as well as a bunch of six kindles set in Greece by authors I admire. 



Your readers are welcome to join Team Effrosyni. Once they do, they will be immediately taken to a screen that will disclose the giveaway link so they can enter. It's that simple, and there's still time to join! All details about Team Effrosyni are here:



I sent a FREE ARC copy of The Amulet to all team members before the launch. Any new members can grab the book off Amazon for only 99 cents. The book will remain at this bargain price while the giveaway is still running. 


Jan:  That's great! What plans do you have for the future? Any new books in the pipeline? 


Effrosyni:  I've decided to take time to work on my back list for a while before writing another novel. The Necklace of Goddess Athena has popular themes (mythology and family drama) for Greek readers and I want to try marketing it in my country too. I've started translating it into Greek and hope to finish it in 2017. I also plan to change the covers of my romance trilogy, The Lady of the Pier. Other than that, I intend to write a couple of short non-fiction books, but it's still too early to say more about that. On the subject of novels, I have ideas for a couple more standalone stories with angel characters from The Amulet brewing in my head. 


Jan: It's been a pleasure, Effrosyni. You're welcome to visit my blog anytime.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies, and ants. Today, she writes novels with Greek lovers in mind. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix.

Effrosyni is a proud member of the writer's groups eNovel Authors at Work, ASMSG, and the Fantasy & SciFi Network. Visit her website for free excerpts, book trailers, and to join her team of loyal readers that enjoy exclusive benefits:




On her secondary blog, she shares her favorite Greek meals with the world. Visit at your own peril. It will make you very hungry!



Other Links:










 













Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'll be your write-in candidate for POTUS!

I had an epiphany this morning! (Possibly fueled by too much coffee and miniature chocolate donuts)

Given the anarchy of this presidential election I've decided to toss my sneaker (since I don't wear hats) into the race as a write-in candidate. "Isn't it too late?" Nope. Forty-three states allow write-ins. With that said, I'm running as a Happy-Ever-After candidate. I'm highly qualified! (see below)

* I can balance a checkbook to the penny (could be an OCD thing).

* I can be bossy (ask my kids).

* Would the mainstream media find skeletons in my closet? (Duh. They'd also find frumpy, outdated clothes and possibly a dust bunny or two. I'd hand them a Swiffer. *Don't give me that look. I know how to delegate.)

* I'm not high maintenance. I'd be waiting on The White House staff instead of them waiting on me. "Can I freshen your coffee? Would you like more noodles?" I'm a mom, grandmother, mother-in-law; it comes with the territory. (Did I mention I love noodles?) 

* I'd help small businesses succeed by hosting book signings (yes, I had to slide that in there), Tupperware parties, Origami Owl, Norwex, Paparazzi jewelry, Thirty-One, etc, instead of State Dinners. (Or I could host one of those parties in conjunction with a State Dinner. Foreign diplomats would snap that stuff up. It's a win-win!)

* I'd help big businesses succeed too. I'd give tax incentives only if they allowed their employees to hold book signings, Tupperware, Origami Owl, etc. parties during their breaks. Big/Small helping each other. Fail proof plan.

* In my first hundred days, I'd boost pay for military members, first-responders, and teachers. There are a lot more folks who need a raise too. (Send me an email. I'll see what I can do)

* Great at multi-tasking. I can talk to leaders of other countries while I straighten things in the Oval Office, work on my next novel, and figure out what I'd like the White House chef to fix for dinner (noodles). 

* I stink at big city driving so Air Force One and Limo-One would come in handy. I'd tip the pilot/driver big. Wait. Presidents don't normally carry cash. (I'd break tradition and have money on hand - in the presidential purse I bought during one of those small business parties at a State Dinner. Are you starting to see a pattern?)

* Great at resolving conflict. (I'm not afraid to give anyone a time-out. Ask my kids/grandkids. *sheepish grin*)

* Not afraid to show my human side. Yep, I'm a crier. (Don't mistake my tears for weakness. I can be a bobcat when necessary. Again, ask my kids)

* With me, happy-ever-after is guaranteed.



♥ I'm Jan Romes and I approve this message ♥


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Feeling nostalgic and squishy!

I'm feeling nostalgic and squishy inside today, reflecting on 5 years of being a published author. It truly is a dream come true.

Sometimes to fully appreciate how far you've come you have to go back to where you started. My first published book was One Small Fib. I loved writing that book. The characters Allie Blue and Kiptyn Thomas were two characters who wouldn't let me alone until I wrote their story. ♥♥





  

Here's a sweet review for One Small Fib dating back to 2012:

'How can you not love a character named Allie Blue? This book is so funny, cute, and overall a great read. It is truly a "romance" with all that comes with it. You are rooting for Allie the entire way to deal with her struggles and dreams. And Kip's development is lovely to read. There's a surprise revelation of sorts at the end that some readers will especially love. This book had it all, smart, funny, sexy, and excitement. I would definitely read more from Jan.'


* This review warmed my heart and prompted me to keep writing*


Blurb:

Allie Blue's dream of buying the old Smithington mansion and turning it into a bed and breakfast is stomped by a mystery real estate developer with a fancy pen and loaded checkbook. With no bed and breakfast, Allie resorts to one small fib which lands her a flight attendant's job and the task of pampering Upward Airlines' most demanding frequent flyer -- Kiptyn Thomas, III. Something raw and potent snaps between the, but Allie fights the attraction for the guy who thinks he's at the top of the food chain. Kiptyn Thomas is used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. Allie Blue both annoys and intrigues him. Will some well-intentioned fibs, a deep dark secret, and similar personalities draw them together or keep them apart?

Just so you know...

Rated spicy  
Page count:  167
Word count: 48,000

If you'd like to check out Kip and Allie's story you can find it here:





* Side note: this book will soon be available in Kindle Unlimited 


www.authorjanromes.com



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Uvi Poznansky - Dancing with Air!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author, Uvi Poznansky! 





Welcome, Uvi! 

Without further ado, let the interview begin...





What inspired you to write Dancing with Air?
For a long time I had this idea of creating a series around the events in the life of a unique family, over the course of several generations. In 1980 Natasha suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s. Set the clock back ten years, and her husband, Lenny, is only beginning to suspect that something is wrong. And when he reflects on their early days, back in WWII, we find Natasha as a young woman at her peak. She is beautiful, brilliant, and most of all ready to meet the challenges that arise during the war years.

The characters had to have not only a compelling voice, but they had to see things in an entirely different light, which would create contrasts and conflicts, as each one of them comes from a different background and has different passions, needs, and aspirations. Dancing with Air is volume IV in this series, but like the previous volumes, it is also a standalone novel, which you can read independently of the others. 

Please share an excerpt from the book.

The earth quaked. Casting a look over my shoulder I saw a ripple going through it. Then a big depression was being formed out there, with cracks yawning wide. Before long it became a cavernous crater, maybe a hundred feet deep, threatening to swallow us alive. Its mouth spit up dirt and rocks, only to devour them with an incredible crackling sound as they came tumbling down. There was something eerie about this landscape. It was ravenous. Riding at utmost speed, we kept just out of its lip.

Our escape route took us along the high ground, for a good reason: the explosion broke a reservoir, which sent a volcano-like sea of mud down the valley, engulfing everything that stood in its way. 

All of a sudden, the Harley started to spurt mud. Natasha had no choice but to bring it to a halt and then, then something else caught her attention. Pointing at the edge of the newly-formed swamp, she said, “Look!”
Down there, plodding through the shallow end of the sludge was a kid, perhaps three years old, perhaps a bit older. Mud was oozing down his face, his hair. 

My legs were banged up but somehow I blocked the pain. Hobbling down I reached him and lifted his frail little body out of the muck. At first, he resisted. Flailing wildly and kicking his feet in the air, he twisted away from my hands. 
So I set the boy down and was surprised to feel his little hand wrapping around my finger.

“Don’t go,” he said.
And I said, “I won’t. Promise.”

Where do you get all that energy and passion?

Lol... The simple answer is, I don’t know. I truly enjoy applying everything in me for every task I do, be it writing, creating art, designing my own covers, creating teams around projects such as A Touch of Passion or my newest boxed set, Love in Times of War. I find that when I give it my all, others who take part in my projects are inspired to do the same--and that holds true for my audiobook narrators, for authors who take part in my Facebook events, and for authors in my boxed set. Energy is contagious. 

Every day, I am doing the best I can to keep up with the changing landscape of book publishing, learning new tools, reading about different ways to reach out to readers. Why? because of my characters. Having sprung from my mind onto the page, they might die there, pressed between the front and back covers–unless I make it possible for them to spring from the page into your mind.

When your internal batteries run low, where do you like to go to recharge?
The beauty of having my hand (and my heart) in so many activities is that when I tire of one, I pick up another. So for example, say I’ve been writing all day, and can’t think straight or be attentive to what my characters say anymore, I switch gear and design graphics for my team of authors, tailored to each one of them and to the approaching holiday.

I also enjoy swimming, and go to the outdoor pool at least once a week, doing my laps one hour at a time. In sunny days, I love seeing my shadow floating across the bottom of the pool, and wing-shaped ripples forming around my arms.  



If you'd like to follow Uvi you can find her here:



Still Life with Memories:

Vol I  My Own Voice Ebook Print Audio
Vol II  The White Piano Ebook Print Audio
Vol III  The Music of Us Ebook Print Audio
Vol IV Dancing with Air Ebook Print
Vol I+II  Apart from Love Ebook Print Audio


The David Chronicles:

Vol I   Rise to Power  Ebook Print Audio  
Vol II  A Peek at Bathsheba  Ebook Print Audio
Vol III The Edge of Revolt Ebook Print



You're such a talented lady, Uvi! It was a joy having you on my blog. Come back anytime. 

Readers:  I've read Dancing with Air. It was an amazing book! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sipping Sangria!

When I first wrote NO SWEAT PANTS ALLOWED- WINE CLUB I knew I wanted to also write a sequel. In the course of writing, sometimes a writer's muse takes a detour. Mine did. I wrote another book (I'd Rather Be Growing Grapes) instead of the sequel. For that, I could kick myself in the butt because it delayed things and some readers have forgotten the characters. One good thing came of the delay, instead of just a sequel I decided to make it a 3-book series -- appropriately named: Wine and Sweat Pants Series.

It's been an incredible journey creating Elaina Samuels and her band of unruly cohorts -- Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray. These women had me in stitches a lot of the time, but I admit to a few tears as well. The humor is plentiful. The situations I put them in are realistic, although some may not share the same opinion. If those folks only knew my fun-loving, quirky relatives that these characters are fashioned after. (Truth. I swear.)

Through Elaina, Tawny, Stephanie, and Grace, I wanted to convey the message that life will always be unpredictable but when you surround yourself with positive energy you can survive just about anything that comes your way. These women found themselves single at a time when they should've already weathered most of the storms in their lives. But the big guy in the sky had alternate plans for them. In their forties, with no clear plans for starting over, fate stepped in and put them together at a cash-for-gold event. Their destinies began at that moment. They formed the No Sweat Pants Allowed - Wine Club in book one. In this book - book two - Sipping Sangria - they teasingly and affectionately call themselves The 4 Hussy Homestead as they move forward in their attempt to get life right-side-up. You can expect some surprises, mischief, chaos, tender moments, and laughter.    

I hope you'll discover (or rediscover if you read book one) and connect with Elaina, Tawny, Steph, and Grace. 

Side note: I've started book three -- Merlot in Maine.