Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Mysterious Musings Of A Precarious Heart - Cover Reveal And Interview

I’m sitting here with S.J. Dennery, a carefree seventeen-year-old with a vibrant imagination. She smiles and it chases any anxiety that I have about the interview. She gazes around the room filled with fervent chatter, takes a sip of her drink, and gives me her undivided attention. 

1. S. J. Dennery it’s a pleasure to interview you. My readers would love to get to know you. Tell us about you?

S.J.: When I was fifteen I began writing and before I turned sixteen I accomplished my goal of being an author. I’m a junior in high school and I enjoy singing, dancing and preparing meals for my best friend and my mom.

2. Writing a book at the age of fifteen is an impressive accomplishment. What motivated you to write this book?

S.J.: My English teachers, Mrs. Stickel and Mrs. Borchers  gave our class a writing assignment. We were given vocabulary words and each student had to write a story. We had to read what we wrote in front of the class. I received a lot of positive feedback from my peers. The story, Down by Chunky Bones was also included in Thin Skin Soul Pinned, your first paranormal mystery. I was also inspired to write  a book after working on a few projects with you, Mila. You helped me discover my love of writing stories.

Mila: I read 'Down by Chunky Bones' and I knew from that moment that you had a gift for storytelling. It was one of the reasons why I included it in Thin Skin Soul Pinned. I’m happy to hear that your classmates appreciated your talent as well.

3. What life experiences prepared you for writing this book?

S.J.: I think working as an intern with you, Mila for the past two years has expanded my imagination and respect for the art of writing. I observed your joy while you wrote your stories but I didn’t understand until I began to write my own. I especially enjoyed acting out scenes with you to get it right. It made me realize that if you can do it, I can do it too.

Mila: I’m amused that my enthusiasm has somehow fueled your desire to write. I hope that you’ll continue to find joy in writing stories.

4. What should we expect from you in the future?

S.J.: Upon graduating high school, I'll be studying towards a degree in the culinary arts. I don't have any immediate plans to write another book but the proceeds that I make from this book will go towards my college education.

Mila: Well, I hope to read more titles by you. As far as the proceeds going to your college education, that’s a great way to save towards your future endeavors. I’m sure that your parents are very proud of you.

5. If you had the benefit of a camera crew to create a commercial for your book what would you say?

S.J.: Love comes in strange packages, and life is a never-ending mystery waiting to be unraveled. The Mysterious Musings of a Precarious Heart will take you on a mysterious ride through a world that will leave you spellbound. Get your copy and begin the journey! 

Genre: YA Mystery

Release Date: July 8, 2013

Cover Artist: Mila A. Ballentine

My thoughts:

 Just when I thought that my imagination could not stretch any further, The Mysterious Musings Of A Precarious Heart came along. Co-authoring this book with S.J. Dennery allowed me to flex my creative muscles in an unexpected direction. It was an experience that I will treasure always. 

Here's the Book Trailer:

Here's the Blurb:

The Paine’s new home on Zephyr Street was a fresh start for the young family but the comfort of their new sanctuary quickly fades when a stranger invades their picturesque home and tarnishes everything that they hold dear. Their daughter Lilac’s life is forever changed and her troubles bring them more than their fair share of sorrow.

Postscript: The Mysterious Musings Of A Precarious Heart is my first and last  co-authored book. 

Thank you, S.J. Dennery for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me. I wish you infinite success in your future endeavors.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How To Create An Ebook Cover In Publisher

Tap into your...

1.      Open a new document in Publisher.
Please note: This tutorial was done in Publisher 2010. The navigation process may vary in other editions.

2.     Select  the Page design tab. Select  the size tab and scroll down and select the 5.827 X 8.268 page option.

3.      Select the insert tab. Select the picture tab or clip art. **For this exercise, use the clip art tab and select a picture. Re-size the picture to fill out the entire 5.827 X 8.268 page. 

Please Note: This tutorial uses one photo. If you want to use two or more photos you will have to use another program.

4.   Select the Wordart tab. Choose a style of lettering.

A dialog box will pop up. Choose the font and type the title of your book. Select okay.

Please note: All text should be in the 0.5 away from the margin area.

**The font I choose has a shadow effect. It can be removed by selecting the shadow effects tab. Select No shadow effect.

**Use the same method in step 4 to add the author’s name.

5. When you have finished the cover, select the background picture, hold down the control key and select the title and authors name. Then, save the file as a JPEG. Also, save a copy of the publisher file, you may need to make adjustments based on the online retail stores system. 

Please note: Any changes made to a picture will change the dpi. The finished cover should be 300 dpi. You will have to change it in a photo editor program.

Once you have mastered the navigation aspect of the task, you will be able to create a cover in less than 15 minutes.   

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review of Back From Africa by Corinne Hofmann


My thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Back From Africa simply because I felt compelled to find out what happened next in the life of Corinne Hofmann. I felt a sense of kinship while reading The White Masai but not with this book. I was thrilled to see that all that she gave away so willingly was returned to her tenfolds. I especially enjoyed the chapter where she sets out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I felt the pain of the adventure, and laughed when there was an ounce of humor in the most treacherous moments of the trek up the mountain. 

If you read The White Masai it is essential to follow through and read Back From Africa. If you don't a part of you will always wonder, what happened to Corinne?

What's next? 

 Reunion in Barsaloi. I'd like to know what happens next! 

DISCLAIMER: Readers escape to another reality, if only temporarily, while reading a good book.  When I review a book, I will focus on the entertainment factor, story structure and the eloquence in the writing. I have no desire to undermine an author’s effort. After all, they are responsible for the books we enjoy.


5 stars = Excellent story. I would read it to someone

4 stars = Great story

3 Stars = I liked it

Saturday, June 1, 2013

HUNTED Cover Reveal

M. Pratwell  Biography

M. Pratwell has always been an avid reader and when her friend, Genevieve Scholl, started publishing books she found that she had the urge to write her own novel. She wasn’t sure if she could do even half as well as Genevieve, but she knew she had to try. With encouragement from Genevieve and their other friend, H.R Hyacinth, she sat down with her Ipad and started typing. At first, it was just a jumble of words that made no sense, but eventually she started to form a mysterious story set in her hometown of Rome, N.Y. She fell in love with the characters and was desperate to solve the case.

Unedited Excerpt of Hunted

The ride along the Erie Canal was smooth and pleasant, save for the slight breeze that blew up from the water and chilled her skin. The leaves on the trees moved in silence, acknowledging the presence of the boat as it passed. Elena touched two of her fingers to her temple, sending Mother Nature and the spirits around her a respectful salute. She had boarded the boat to get away from everyone she knew and clear her head, but she was glad that the spirits had tagged along. They calmed her.
She closed her eyes and listened to the gentle lap of water against the bottom of the boat. The spirits might have calmed her, but she still hadn’t decided what she was going to do about her current situation. How was she going to support another human being, if she couldn’t even support herself? How was she going to tell her parents? They’d likely want her to get an abortion, but there was no way she was going to kill the innocent child that was growing inside of her. If she couldn’t give he or she a good home, then she would find someone who could. She allowed a tear to slip down her cheek; giving the child up for adoption would kill her, but she would do what was best for her baby.
The sound of footsteps behind her jerked her from her thoughts. Swiping the tear from her cheek, she spun around to the person who had just joined her. Dark hair covered his head, the ends lightly touching his jaw as the breeze toyed with the strands. Dark sunglasses covered his eyes and an earring glinted in the sunlight as it peeked between the strands of hair. He was handsome, in a non-conventional way, but Elena couldn’t help the unease that she felt as he continued to stare at her.
“You really shouldn’t be out here on your own,” his gravelly voice said. “You could fall overboard and no one would know it.”
Before she could respond, he moved. Elena barely had time to blink before she felt his hands against her shoulders. Her feet came off of the deck and floated in front of her for a few minutes as the railing dug into her spine. She deeply inhaled to scream, but before any sound could escape, his hands moved to her throat to silence her. The pressure he applied was suffocating and Elena gulped for air. The water beneath the boat suddenly sounded louder than it had before; it roared in her ears like distant thunder. She clawed at her assailant’s throat with her fingernails, but to no avail. The block to her airways was making her dizzy and disoriented. She wasn’t even sure if she had made contact as her arms flung about like two fish out of water.
She gave up and waited for death to come, but just as the darkness started to take over, the pressure on her throat was released. She gulped in confusion, trying to relieve the pain in her lungs. Why had he let go? Had he been scared off? Her answer came in the worst kind of answer as those hands grabbed on to her again and pushed her up and over the railing.

Cover Designer: Genevieve Scholl

My thoughts:

Hunted by M. Pratwell is a mystery that has a plethora of suspense and I look forward to reading it. It should be on every mystery lover's TBR list. 

Genre: Mystery 

Hunted Release Date: August 29th 2013