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
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
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)


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! 



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!


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!


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:

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.


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: