Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

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An update on ‘good people’.

Way to go, everyone!

My thoughts on a page.

If you are rushing I’ll make it quick… With a little over three hours still to go, Pa Curran has made his deadline for fundit. Thank you all so much. (If you want to know what I’m talking about I wrote a post yesterday called ‘Good people deserve good things’

To Pa Curran I say congratulations. You richly deserve this. I hope it shows you the depth of appreciation so many have for what you did last year for the families giving and receiving organs, even people such as myself who do not know you personally.

I’m sure your buddy Taidgh is celebrating alongside you.


photo credit: Thank You! via photopin(license)

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Good people deserve good things. Please help.

Here’s a way to help someone out big-time.

My thoughts on a page.

I’d rarely ask for anything like this, but there is only twenty four hours left.
Some of you may remember a post I did last year about an amazing man called Pa Curran who lost his best friend in an accident. His friends organs were donated and as Pa heard the helicopter fly away, carrying his friends heart, the words of a song came to him and so the song ‘Unintentiona hero’ was born.

Last year he used that song to promote organ donation. Thirty families gathered and an emotional video was made to promote organ donation.

Recently Pa posted online that he is trying to get funding to make an album. He is not looking for donations, instead, for your donation, depending on amount, you will receive anything from a signed single for €5 to a solo gig in your house for €200. There is only today left…

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Top Habits of the Unsuccessful

Definitely food for thought.

Dream Big, Dream Often

As I have been trying to improve myself by understanding habits, especially those of the wealthy, I have stumbled across information regarding unsuccessful people. I was only going to focus on the positive with the idea of emulate what successful people do and forget everything else. But, I thought for comparison, it might be an interesting side note. Here are the common character traits of unsuccessful folk, in this reference I am referring to financial success once again, (an * denotes characteristics listed in multiple resources):

1.They think, say and do negative things**

2. They act before they think**

3.They talk much more than they listen**

4.They give up easily*

5. They try to bring others down to their level*


6.They waste their time***

7.They take the easy way out*

8.They believe they know it all

9.They fear change

10.They blame others

11.They are quick to criticize

12. They stop…

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Inviting Yourself into Someone Else’s House (Blog)

Good things to think about!

Publicity Tip #91~ - neosnaps / Creative Commons – neosnaps / Creative Commons License

As a first-time author you might find yourself quite enthusiastic about doing guest blogs on topics you love (and finding a way to weave in mention of your book) to help publicize your new book while still keeping your budget in check. What you need to make sure of is that you don’t just walk into anyone’s house (blog) to take advantage of their “open door” policy: guest blogs, reviews, interviews, book spotlights, etc. You need to canvas the neighbourhood to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your family (of books).

I spent a lot of time in my early days finding awesome “general” blogs that had a great following according to The problem was, I needed to spend a little more time checking out the real estate before buying in. Regardless of whether or…

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The Heart of WHEREVER YOU GO (plus an art giveaway!)

Fantastic new book. Inspirational interview of both author and illustrator the shares how the book come to life.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Book GiveawaypatzmillerA few years ago, my sister in agent-hood Pat Zietlow Miller asked if I would take a peek at her manuscript. That manuscript turned out to be the newly-released WHEREVER YOU GO. I immediately knew it would be a beloved hit because of its lyrical text and universal theme, but once Eliza Wheeler signed on to illustrate, I became certain her art would exponentially elevate WHEREVER YOU GO into the stratosphere. (Don’t you wish we had flying cars to take on that trip?)

Since this blog loves to talk about how ideas originate, I asked Pat and Eliza a few questions about the path to this book’s publication. (Get it? THE PATH???)

Pat, what was the genesis of WHEREVER YOU GO?

This book started when I was at work and a few lines of random poetry popped into my head:

Over a hill, under a bridge, deep in a dale, high on a ridge …


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Clive Staples Award Finalists Announcement


The Author's Chair

clive-staples-sealI am pleased to announce that two of my books are finalists for the 2015 Clive Staples Award, which honors the best in Christian-world-view speculative fiction. The two books are The Seventh Door and Reapers. The third finalist is The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson.

A panel of judges will read and score these three books to decide the winner, which will be announced at the Quill Pen Editorial Awards Dinner on August 7 as part of this year’s Realm Makers conference in St. Louis.

It’s an honor to have one book selected as a finalist, but two? I am thrilled. Thank you to all who voted. I feel blessed to no end.

Click here to see Award Site announcement


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How to Create Irresistible Picture Book Characters by Tammi Sauer (plus a giveaway on her book birthday!)

I love the three tips. Simple guide for children’s picture books.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

tammiforsiteby Tammi Sauer

Psst. Hey, you there. Yes, you. Do you want to wow an editor with your next picture book manuscript? Great!

It only takes one thing. Come up with the next Fancy Nancy, Olivia, or Skippyjon Jones. Editors are wading through their slush and/or agented submissions in the hopes of finding an irresistible, can’t-put-down, character-driven manuscript. They want manuscripts that make them feel something and a great character can do just that.

Examples of strong characters in picture books:

OLIVIA by Ian Falconer
Olivia is a feisty little piglet who has too much energy for her own good.

FANCY NANCY by Jane O’Connor
Nancy is very into fanciness whereas her family is not.

SKIPPYJON JONES by Judy Schachner
Skippyjon Jones is a little kitty with a big imagination.

A PET FOR PETUNIA by Paul Schmid
An exuberant Petunia wants, wants, wants a pet she really shouldn’t have.


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Ten Ways to Promote Your Book

Great ways to promote your book.

Mel Cusick-Jones

I’m a bit of a sucker for infographics (if you take a look at some of my Pinterest boards you’ll get the idea!) and when I saw this one, I thought it was worth sharing.

All of the tips sound simple and straight-forward enough – the most successful approaches usually are the easiest – I think success with these comes from consistency and doing them in a co-ordinated way. If you put the effort into a book launch, make sure your online presence reflects this and ties in…is it on your blog, Facebook and being promoted on Twitter with good links between them so your audience find the right feature? And rather than just pushing the event itself, think about sharing with people what it’s like organising the event – what has been fun and exciting, what has been challenging – is it what you expected? In general, people seem…

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