Book Review: Where Does Santa Go on Vacation

This is the perfect time to discover a new Christmas or holiday book, and I’m glad I discovered the picture book Where Does Santa Go on Vacation by author Kim Ann.

This 32-page book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Nejla Shojaie, which complements the magic and wonder a child has about this holiday. The story starts as a question: Where does Santa and Mrs. Claus go on vacation? The following pages are filled with fun and imaginative possibilities that can spark conversations with your little reader throughout the story.

Overall Rating: πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

I Wish You Happiness – Book Review

Several months back, I purchased the picture book I Wish You Happiness by Michael Wong and illustrated by Ann Baratashvili through Michael Wong’s Kickstarter campaign. I was delighted to get it in the mail recently. Let me tell you, I am so glad I chose to support this book.

It. Is. Gorgeous. Everything about the book is beautiful from the lustrous illustrations to its message of tranquility, peace, and happiness. Page after page is filled with wishes of encouragement for various life experiences complemented by the sense of awe and wonder created by the illustrations. The team of author and illustrator in this book was a perfect match.

I also loved the supplemental pages at the end that highlights a few surprises in the illustrations. This was a great book that I highly recommend. Hopefully, you can grab it before Christmas this year. What an amazing way to begin 2021 – with messages of hope and encouragement.

Rating: πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

Souled Cover Reveal And Kickstarter

If you’re part of my VIP team, you already know. The cover for my middle-grade novel SOULED has been released. A day later I posted it on some of my social media.

The amazing cover was done by Junior’s Digital Designs . I was so impressed with the quality of their artwork. As you can see above, they do amazing work, so definitely follow them on Instagram.

In addition to the cover, I am launching a Kickstarter campaign in THREE days. I can’t wait to send you over there to see what I put together. There will be rewards with print copies, digital copies, bookmarks, character cards, stickers and more. Also, there will be an EARLY BIRD special featuring a limited time only reward. Again, my VIP team will hear about it first, so be sure to join here.

A Writing Update

I want to thank all my family, friends and readers for all your support during my writing journey. You’ve been there while all four of my picture books have been traditionally published. There may be a fifth one on the way…time will tell.

If you’ve been following me, you know I also started a whole other writing project and wrote my first middle grade novel. As I transition from the writing phase to the publishing phase, I am tackling another first for me- I’m choosing to independently publish my novel.

There are many reasons for this such as gaining higher royalties and control over my content, but the biggest one so far is how much I enjoy being part of the whole process. I find it fascinating and I’m always learning something new.

As the book passes through its final edits, I will be preparing for the printing stage. In order to meet the costs, I will be running a pre-order campaign using the Kickstarter platform. I haven’t started it yet as I’m still planning all the fabulous rewards for you. For this to be successful I need all of your support and I want you to be the first to hear about when it goes live. Why? Because the first day will be a one day deal only for a super deal. Sign up here to get the updates (I also send freebies occasionally). Make sure you add me to your safe list. Just by joining my group ,you will be helping me while being the first to access updates and my freebies.(Psst a cover reveal is in the works!)

Once again I am so grateful for all of you. Signing up is the a sure fire way of showing your support and ensuring you have the latest information.

Jennifer Nielsen’s Cover Reveal Contest!

You won’t believe what is coming this weekend! Jennifer Nielsen, author of the ASCENDANCE Series, MARK OF A THIEF Series, THE TRAITOR’S GAME Series and several other books is having a book cover reveal of her upcoming book! Part of the reveal is an exciting contest where you can win THREE signed books from Jennifer Nielsen, INCLUDING the choice of THE CAPTIVE KINGDOM – or – the first ARC of this new historical when she receives it!

Ever since I read The False Prince, the first book of the Ascendance Trilogy, I have been a huge fan of her work. I wrote a review of The Shadow Throne here. **Spoiler Alert** The book is AWESOME! It even got my teenage reluctant reader hooked.

Here are the details of the contest. On Sunday visit Jennifer Nielsen’s Website. Click on her blog. There will be 15 Trivia squares – Each with a link to a question. Post your answer on the blog the link takes you to. So if I have question 3, you would click on that tile, answer the question here. The first correct answer unlocks a square revealing part of her new title. No worries though if you aren’t the first. Every correct answer is an entry point for the giveaway. So if you got all 15 answers correct – whether you were first or not – you will have 15 entry points.

This sounds like a ton of fun and I’m so excited to be a part of it. So – COME BACK SUNDAY for the trivia question and a lot of fun!

Get notified of all my news here

Book Signing and Reading

I will be at the Barnes and Noble, Neshaminy Mall on Monday March 30th for a reading and book signing. All four of my books will be available including A Star in the Night, Teresa’s Shadow, Angel Donor and Caitie the Caterpillar. This event is in conjunction with a B & N bookfair supporting Saint Cecilia School. So, once you finish at my table, check out all the fun activities SCS has planned including: a Make and Take, a Scavenger Hunt, a selfie with the SCS Mascot (I’m DEFINITELY getting in on this one!) and more! If you are in the area that night, stop by and see me! Questions? Join the discussion on my Event Page.

Interview with Author Marie D’Abreo

Welcome Author Marie D’Abreo. She is the talented author of several publications including graphic novels and comics. She has a fascinating background which you can read about here.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I got interested in writing when I was in high school. It wasn’t until graduate school when a professor told me, “Oh, I see you’re a writer”, that I realized, well, maybe I am!

How long have you been writing professionally?

I published my first book in 2014.

What does your writing schedule look like?

All over the place! But generally it takes up about 4 hours a day, with break periods every hour or so.

What are your favorite books to read?

Graphic novels, biographies, airplane-ride fiction, and spiritual stuff. I just finished “Bare-Bones Meditation” by Joan Tollifson.

What have you found to be the most difficult thing about writing? 

It can be hard on the body and mind. Stretch, go for walks… And when you get stuck in the creative process, go do something completely different! Then you’ll usually have an idea on the loo..

What have you found to be the most rewarding?

There’s a unique sense of fulfillment in having fully expressed something that came from who-knows-where. Writing is a rather magical process.

What advice to you have for aspiring authors?

Write what you want and for the love of it. And keep at it.

What publications do you have out now?

Beautiful (Book One): A Girl’s Trip Through the Looking Glass, Beautiful (Book Two): Living with the Frenemy, Beautiful (Book Three): Game of Crones, Lost in Guyville, Sky Orb

Do you have an upcoming release? If so, tell us about it.

Book one of the ‘Beautiful’ series is coming out in French and Spanish. It’s pretty cool to see your characters talking in a different language! ‘Beautiful: Un voyage Γ  travers le miroir’ (French Edition) and ‘Beautiful: Un viaje a travΓ©s del espejo’ (Spanish Edition)

What writing projects are you working on?

My next book might be a graphic novel memoir, or it could be a picture book. We’ll see which idea wins out.

Where can we follow you and purchase your books?

Books by Marie D’Abreo are available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble, Ingram and at San Francisco comic book stores.

Interview with Author Sheri Pape

Sheri Page is the author of the Cassie picture book series. She took a few minutes to stop by and answer some questions about writing and her career.

Welcome Sheri. Tell us a little bit about your writing life.

I started writing in 1984, but have been professionally writing for 12 years.

What are your favorite books to read?

I love picture books!

What has been the most difficult thing about writing? The most rewarding?

I find the editing process is the most difficult. The most rewarding is being creative while writing my stories.

What publications do you have out now?

My books are Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons and Cassie Pup Takes the Cake?? They are the winners of five national children’s book awards.

Are there any other upcoming releases?

Another Cassie sequel. Cassie Pup’s Favorite, Funny, Creepy-Crawly Children’s Stories (Children’s Rhyming Stories).

Where can we follow you and purchase your books? Books can be purchased there, along with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books A Million.

Interview with Author Amanda Lowney

This week I interviewed children’s author Amanda Lowney. She is the author of the picture book Zora the Water Dog.Β 
JG:Β  Β We all had that “A-ha Moment” when we knew we wanted to be a writer. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
AL:Β  When I had my children and I was looking for something productive to do during the odd hours I had free.
JG:Β  What does your writing schedule look like?Β 
: Very sporadic. In between watching my kids, marketing my first book and all the other odds and ends!
JG: I can relate to that. What have you found to be the most difficult thing about writing?
AL: Finding the time to write. Marketing.
JG: What have you found to be the most rewarding?
Watching my two daughters ask for my book at storytime.
JG:Β  Aww. That melts my heart. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Take your time when finalizing your book. Don’t try and rush it just to get it out there. You will be happier in the long run!

JG: That is so true. Very wise advice. What publications do you have out now?
Zora, The Water Dog

JG:  Do you have an upcoming release? If so, tell us about it.
Just released Zora, The Water Dog in the last few months. I do have the second book in the series hopefully coming out late this year!
JG:  Where can we follow you and purchase your books?
You can find me on Facebook and my book is on Amazon.

Thanks so much for stopping by Amanda.

Are you an author who would like an interview or book review posted in my newsletter and blog?  If so, please fill out this form and when it’s complete I will let you know when I’ll post it. 

Meet Author Aaron McGinley

Please join me in welcoming author Aaron McGinley, the author of the beloved book Aiden McGee Gets a Case of the “Actuallys”.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Children inspire you. I’ve always done professional writing, and my silly side always came out in my work with kids and at a summer camp. But I knew when I had my kid and she inspired a dream, I had to model for them to follow through.

How inspirational! How long have you been writing professionally?

This is my first book!

What does your writing schedule look like?

Have you ever tried to write a book with a crying baby in one hand and a keyboard in the other, at 9 at night? I have!

Yes. It is quite the struggle. What are your favorite books to read? Any that might not be well known?

I love a good thriller. Also, as a therapist, I devour psychology articles!

What have you found to be the most difficult thing about writing?

In my case, it was realizing that the traditional publishing route has very regimented ideas about what makes a book sell. For instance, my book targets highly intelligent children, and realizing that parents know they can manage a higher word count, but that publishers don’t was disheartening. I don’t regret going the independent route though, because now my book is landing into the hands of parents, kids, teachers, and therapists that appreciate it!

What have you found to be the most rewarding?

Almost daily, I hear from parents that are using the book as a tool to help their bright children to connect with others.

That is truly rewarding. What advice to you have for aspiring authors?

Just do it.

What publications do you have out now?

Aiden McGee Gets a Case of The Actuallys.

Do you have an upcoming release? If so, tell us about it.

I might have a few tricks up my sleeve! Follow me on amazon!

What writing projects are you working on?

The one that will soon be released and another one of the three series

Where can we follow you and purchase your books?

You can purchase my books here.

Thank you for joining us Aaron! Check him out on Facebook!