Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Fairy May Hit the Best Seller List!

Fairy May was available as a free kindle download on both 27th & 28th April and reached #12 in the best seller list for it's category.

Although I had hoped on more reviews being posted to it's product page I did gain another three 5 star reviews so I'm pleased with the results anyway... and I'm hoping that more will be posted over the next week or so as people have time to read their copy.

If you're amongst the hundreds that grabbed a copy please take a minute to post a quick review to the product page. It really does make a huge difference. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fairy May FREE on kindle today!

Just a reminder that my rhyming children's picture story book Fairy May is available as a free kindle download this weekend. 

I hope you've already grabbed a copy but if you haven't you're still in time. Just hop over to Amazon and download your copy now.

If you don't own a kindle you can still grab a copy to read by installing the free kindle app offered by Amazon to your PC, ipad, tablet or iphone. It only takes a minute to install and means you'll be able to take advantage of all the great content that's out there for kindle.

Once you've downloaded and read your copy of Fairy May please take a second to leave me a review on the product page. I really appreciate your support and a quick review really does make a huge difference for me and the book. 

I'd also really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this offer. 

Please click on the pre-set tweets below to share on Twitter:

Other ways you can help:

Share about this offer on your other social media sites (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc...)

Embed the promotional banner on your blog/website. You can find the banner here and pick the sizing that suits you best. The link for the book is http:// 

If you do post about this special offer or add a review for Fairy May to any site then please leave me a comment on this post with the link so I can give it the shout out it deserves. Thanks in advance and I hope you enjoy Fairy May.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

FREE Webinar: REPLAY Self Publishing a Children's Picture Book

Due to public demand today you have the chance to watch the replay of my free webinar about self publishing children's picture books. In order to give everyone the opportunity to take part I've made it available all day long.

To take part all you need to do is go to and click on the webinar banner on the homepage. This will take you to the webinar page where you can watch the video and interact using the social chat-boxes.

The webinar lasts about an hour and is packed full of information, tips and advice. 

I invite you to let your friends and followers know about this event by using the social share buttons on site and by commenting during the webinar via the social chat-boxes.

All feedback is welcome and encouraged. Hope to see you there :)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Featured Friday: Boo's Bad Day by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Featured Friday: Boo's Bad Day by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

My Featured Friday guest this week is Author Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz who is currently on tour promoting the release of her latest children's picture story book Boo's Bad Day in which Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.

Author: Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

Featured Friday: Boo's Bad Day by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Picture book for children aged 18 months to 7 years
Published by 4RV Publishing


Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Talking Points for parents include:

  • Taking care of a pet
  • Dangers of a busy street
  • Listening to parents
  • Safe places vs. unsafe places

    My review:
    I was given a free review copy of this book which I read with my two sons. The story provoked numerous questions from my 5 year old about cats and why it wasn't OK for Boo to go outside by himself. My 1 1/2 year old delighted in pointing the cat out in each picture and 'barking' at the page (all animals are dogs in his mind at the moment). Both boys were concerned that Boo might hurt himself especially when he got stuck up the tree but cheered when he was safe again.

    A nice read for young kids that raises awareness of pet care and the dangers that surround us outside of the home. The cute illustrations were loved by all of us.

Purchasing links:

$11.99 Prime

$8.99 includes s/h

    Author bio

Featured Friday: Boo's Bad Day by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non‑fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.  Visit her web site at http:// Her writing blog is located at

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

If you missed yesterday's blog stop, please check out  For the next three days, with a different post each day, I'll be at  http://virginiajennings.webscom/apps/blog  Remember to leave contact information to be entered into the drawing for a free book.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Download Fairy May for FREE!

My rhyming children's picture story book Fairy May will be available as a free kindle download on both 27th and 28th April giving you a whole weekend to take advantage of this fantastic offer.

If you don't own a kindle you can still grab a copy to read by installing the free kindle app offered by Amazon to your PC, ipad, tablet or iphone. It only takes a minute to install and means you'll be able to take advantage of all the great content that's out there for kindle.

Once you've downloaded and read your copy of Fairy May please take a minute to leave me a review on Amazon. It really does make a difference. 

I'd also really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this offer. 

Please click on the pre-set tweets below to share on Twitter:

Thanks in advance and I hope you enjoy Fairy May.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wacky Word Contest

I thought some of you might like to know about this fun contest for kids or anyone who loves children's books. 
"Hey there, buddies! This is me, Crosley, with an EXCELSIOR idea!
I’m lookin’ for some wacky new words to add t’ my wacky vocabulary, on account of the author of the Night Buddies Adventure series of books is into writin’ his third one. It’ll be featuring’ me an’ my good buddy John, of course.
All ya need t’ do is come up with a new word an’ say what it means!"
Enter to Win These Prizes!
Winner #1 will receive a $25 gift card to a bookstore of their choice & both titles signed by the author.
Winner #2 will receive both titles signed by the author.
Winner #3 will receive a copy of Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Ma-chine.
Winner #4 will receive a copy of Night Buddies and the Pine-apple Cheesecake Scare.
Winner #5 will receive both titles as eBooks.
You can find full details about the contest and how to enter at

Friday, 19 April 2013

Featured Friday: Author Ashley Howland

Featured Friday: Author Ashley Howland

Welcome to another Featured Friday! Today I'm spotlighting author Ashley Howland.

Featured Friday: Author Ashley Howland
Ashley Howland

About the author:

Ashley Howland lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She and her dogs, Obi and Stitch, work for Labs ‘n Life, a nonprofit organization that works with youth at risk to train Labradors as autism assistance dogs ( She is inspired to write by her husband Ross, her daughters, Maddy and Aijay, and of course, Obi and Stitch. They are a constant, endless source of material and happiness. She is also the author of Ghostnapped. Her next two books are The Homework Goblin, for young children, and a novel for teenagers titled It’s What You Do Next That Counts.

Books by Ashley Howland:

Featured Friday: Author Ashley Howland
Get ready for a ghastly, ghost-hunting mystery that will chill the very marrow in your bones! Ashley Howland makes her debut with a sensational spectral adventure that will ‘fright and delight’ kids and teens everywhere. 

Ten-year-old Alex loves to explore, but when her younger brother is mysteriouslyghostnapped on their camping trip at the beach, it is up to Alex and her trusty Labrador, Thuds, to investigate her brother’s sudden disappearance. 

As she surveys the grassy hills and dangerous rocky cliffs near their camp, Alex uncovers a hidden secret to other disappearances that occurred at the very same campsite – over 50 years ago! 

A chilling mystery that can only be solved by Alex, Thuds, and a ghost girl named Susan,Ghostnapped! explores mysteries of the past, present and beyond the grave.

Featured Friday: Author Ashley Howland
Everyone thinks their dog is the smartest one around. But Obi really is! Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist tells the story of one amazing dog.
Obi, a beautiful yellow Labrador, loves adventure, helping people and solving mysteries. He also loves reliving his past adventures with author Ashley Howland’s kids, Maddy and Aijay. Obi the Super Puppy is the exciting story of Obi’s first adventure, where he encounters a mysterious, evil red mist. Whenever the mist appears, it is able to control animals and toys.
Who is behind the evil red mist? Can Obi and his friends save the day before it’s too late? Join the kids as they listen to Obi’s story and are amazed at how their faithful friend became a real super puppy! If you love dogs, you will love Obi the Super Puppy.
Purchase Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist:

You can connect with Ashley here:

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Promo Day Preparations

Promo Day will take place on Saturday 25th May this year and I'm busy organising the event and setting everything up for the big day. 

For those of your that aren't familiar with the event I suggest checking out the recent blog post at

As you can imagine putting together an international event like this takes a lot of time and effort but it's definitely all worth it. Every year I come away with new connections, job offers and opportunities. I also get a lot of emails and messages from other attendees saying how much they enjoyed it and sharing about the new opportunities that opened up for them as a result of taking part.

As it's free, international and open to everyone we usually get a wonderful mix of people from all around the world taking part. Writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, virtual assistants, virtual book tour companies, bloggers, radio hosts, journalists.... the list goes on.

During the event there are plenty of opportunities to promote, network and learn.

The line up of presenters for this years event is fantastic. These people have huge amounts of information, tips and advice to share and each one really knows their stuff. It's not everyday that you get to pick the brains of industry experts from the comfort of your own home AND completely free of charge!

Some of the presenters that will be at PD13
I've been working hard with Promo Day webmaster Marzia to get the website ready for the event and I'm really pleased with how it's coming together. Go to and check it out. Register for the event, sign up to have your book featured in the on site book store and get ready for Saturday 25th May.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How to Leverage Your Video Content

Today I'm hosted on the site of Maggie Lyons for a guest post about how to leverage your video content.

Please drop by and leave a comment. I'd love to hear about how others are using video and what methods you're using to give more social leverage to the video content you create.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Why is it so hard to follow simple guidelines?

I often complain that people submitting guest posts for my blogs don't follow the guidelines. I swear about 80% of writers submitting guest posts and interviews don't follow the guidelines. This is a huge amount and really makes me worry about the state of the writing industry on the whole as well as for the careers of these individual writers.

As writers we're constantly faced with guidelines to follow. It's widely known that writers who submit manuscripts that don't follow the publisher/agents guidelines will get added to the reject pile without the editor getting past the first page. So why do writers choose to ignore guidelines for blogs?

Blogs are mainstream now and one of the best mediums for spreading the word about your latest release and drumming up some interest in your book. Guest blogging gives you great back-links to your website and sales pages too which makes a huge difference to search results for your website.

So why do writers not follow the guidelines?

It's really not that hard people! The weird thing is that by not following the guidelines writers often create more work for themselves as well as getting added to the hosts "list of people that can't follow guidelines" (Yep I have one and I know many others do too). I also have a list for people that stand out as being good guests. They supply good content, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES, and do a great job of promoting their post. These people are the ones I will make space for when they are touring a book and need stops.

My Writers and Authors blog is high traffic and spaces are in high demand (I have to turn large numbers of people away as I simply don't have any free days left for posting and I book up at least 2 months in advance if not more). This makes it even more annoying when I get a guest post that doesn't follow the guidelines. I turned others away to give them the space and they didn't even follow some simply guidelines. I can't help but think that maybe I should have given the space to one of the others?

Guidelines for guest posts at Writers and Authors
My biggest pet peeve at the moment is people who indent. It takes me ages to edit the piece for publishing when they do as I have to reformat the whole lot of it before I can post to the site.

Another is people who don't include images to go with their post. This one really mystifies me as surely one of the main points in doing a guest post is to promote their book.

Number 3 are those that turn the whole post into a sales pitch. A guest post is where you share your knowledge and experience. Using examples of your own work is fine but you need to keep the focus on the audience. You're writing for the reader of the blog NOT an advertising space. The post is where you build your author brand and build a reputation for being an expert in your field. The promotional part takes part in the byline.

I'm definitely thinking of cracking down of those who don't follow my guidelines. Time for this blogger to get tough!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley

Author Bio for Janet Beasley

Janet Beasley, author of The Hidden Earth Series (a six novel series), is successfully carving her niche` in the inspirational epic fantasy genre for middle grades and YAs. Even the young at heart are enjoying the escape her writing style presents. By appearing at local and out-of-state events, book signings, and speaking engagements, audiences are now perking up when they hear this author’s name. Janet is multi-talented when it comes to her creativity. She excels in multi-media presentations, event planning (currently her company JLB Creatives is a proud presenter of the Authors in the Park Event Series), has developed a training center and its curriculum for AV technicians, and produced – directed – and served as a theater technician. She has written fiction - non-fiction – stage plays - and an autobiography. She has crafted award winning poetry, been published in anthologies and trade specific magazines. Janet enjoys the outdoors by kayaking and hiking with her husband, and photographing nature. She also loves animals (dogs are her favorite), spending time with her family, and baking cupcakes.

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley

Book Blurb for Hidden Earth Series Volume 1 Maycly the Trilogy

Maycly is a world everyone longs to experience, but for Iona it has become a fading dream. Get ready to experience the epitome of epic fairy tales.

In Part 1 of the trilogy, “Two Altered Worlds,” the reader briefly meets Iona on Earth. She is forced to fend for herself after her family mysteriously disappears. Her health deteriorates, money dwindles, and heartbreak and emotional drain bring her to a personal promise: “I will never love another living being.” But the Grand Wizard, SUL (Sorcerer of Unequivocal Leadership), has a plan. An abandoned puppy magically shows up on Iona's doorstep the day before she is evicted. Breaking her own promise, she falls in love with the puppy, and together they embark on a journey in search of her family. The story shifts to Maycly 100 years prior. It drops the reader into a world of both whimsical and frightening lands and characters undergoing the onset of Evil. (Fun fact: There is an acrostic in Part 1, inspired by Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass). Part 2, “The Battle of Trust and Treachery,” opens with Mayclysians preparing for the arrival of their long-awaited queen. It climaxes in a battle between Good and Evil with tactics that will surprise even the most seasoned battle aficionado. Evil is overcome but not obliterated. In “The Queen,” Part 3, the reader will rejoice when Iona is reunited with her family. But conflict soon returns. Earth has fallen prey to Evil, and destruction is the only solution. Iona must save Maycly from consumption by Evil while SUL nearly exhausts His creative magic annihilating Earth with the Evil from Maycly. But in His omniscience, SUL hides four pieces of Earth (only Iona and the reader are privy to this) and selects one special inhabitant on each to help Him create His new Earth; hence, the next five themed volumes (Planet Land, slated for a 2013 release, Planet Water, Planet Sky, Planet Fire, SUL's New Earth). The reader will identify with Iona during her quests, her friendships, and at times, her flawed ways of coping, as her character develops throughout the series.

The Hidden Earth Series Project

Volume I, Maycly the Trilogy, has received excellent reviews, including one that compares it to The Wizard of Oz, but unlike the land of Oz, the world of Maycly is not the result of a young girl's dream. Volume I is self-published and has sold 1500+ copies worldwide in paperback and ebook formats. Black and white illustrations and maps are dispersed throughout and have received accolades by middle grades, YAs, and adults. A self-published full color illustration book and a cookbook, pet treats, hand crafted jewelry, and related paraphernalia accompany Maycly the Trilogy. Plans are to expand the next five volumes in similar ways, thus making the Hidden Earth series an entire project. The Maycly collection appears on shelves at small business establishments, in schools and libraries, and on Amazon where, on 12/31/12, it claimed the first three positions in its genre, and landed ahead of The Hunger Games in another. It is being considered for classroom application and placement on national reader lists by Macaroni Kid and YALSA and is entered in two 2013 national contests.

Review Comments

Maycly is a magical book it takes you back to that lovely childhood feeling of when you still believed in the tooth fairy.

I'm loving every minute of my journey through Maycly and I can't WAIT to share it with my students! The imagry is so clear I feel I could be right on Maycly living with the chukkons!! A must read for the whole family!!

I am enthralled by this wonderful new world. Reminiscent of the character journeys of both Star Wars and Wizard of Oz, I am looking forward to the complete epic of Hidden Earth.

This is the kind of book that you'll want to keep for your children as they grow older. It has just the right balance of reality, fantasy and magic - everything that makes childhood a little more exciting.

Q & A

You mentioned a cookbook. Would you like to tell us more about that?

            I’d love to! Before I was a full time author, I was a full time food-industry fanatic. I had developed a bakery and a BARK-ery. From there I had several themed restaurants laid out complete with menus, venue layouts, recipes, etc. ready to build. I collapsed health wise causing me to put the dream aside. Not being a quitter, I pulled out my novel, Maycly, and began to get serious. After putting myself through writing school at age 49 I was able to complete the story – but surprisingly it took many different directions. One being the cookbook. My husband graciously suggested since I had all of the “hard work” done on the restaurants, why not incorporate them onto the world of Maycly? Long story short. . .after a few renditions, developing the owner (character) histories, and pulling out the stops with my love of photography. . .voi-lah!. . .a fairy tale cookbook was birthed.

Is there any way we can catch a sneak peek at Planet Land?

            Sure! This adventurous, cowboy fantasy was so much fun to write. I don’t want to dish out any spoiler alerts, but I will tell you it stems from Volume 1 Maycly the Trilogy in a way you can’t even imagine. Volume 2 Planet Land takes place in the Lower West. Cub and his best friend Nash have found a land they didn’t even know existed. But fate has a funny way about getting you where you need to be, and usually right on time. It’s modeled after the old west, but carries ab element of fantasy that is sure to keep the reader entertained. It’s targeted at MGs and YAs, but like Maycly, adults who are reading the ARCs are falling in love with this action packed tale. We’re hoping for a summer 2013 release.

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley

Now you’ve got us going! Any chance you want to drop some nuggets regarding any of the other volumes in the Hidden Earth Series?

            Absolutely! While Planet Land has been in editing, I’ve been working diligently on Volume 3 Planet Water. With its floating islands and icebergs, underwater haunted caves, unique inhabitants including Vikings and draugar, readers will have the chance to not only sail atop the water on a magical tall ship, but also dive into the depths where danger awaits. It’s all up to Arrowanna, a teenage girl who has been given a task she’s not too sure she’s ready to handle. But if she doesn’t do her part SUL’s grand plan will not come to pass and Evil will consume all.

You mentioned event planning and the Authors in the Park Event Series. We’d love to hear more about that.

            I need to start by saying I am the owner/founder of JLB Creatives – a subsidiary of our company Multi-Tech Productions, Inc. JLBC handles the literary side of the business. Authors in the Park is an event series that was brought to the table by JLB Creatives executive team member, author Mark Miller. Mark, myself, and JLBC team executive team member author Jean E. Lane have put together a series of events where local authors can “strut their stuff.” Our goal is to produce four events per year. Each event has its own theme, and we try to showcase a few new authors at each event. We just finished our Spring Into Art ~ The Gallery Walk event. It was a huge success, and we’re already in the planning stages for our next event coming July 6 – Picnic with an Author. For more information, and to keep up with all the AIP news  I’d love to personally invite you to visit and become a fan of Authors in the Park on Facebook. Here’s the link:  

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley

That sounds amazing! Would you be willing to elaborate on your company JLB Creatives?

            I’d be honored. JLB Creatives was developed by authors, for authors. In addition to producing and hosting the AIP events there are many things we offer. Hot off the press is our newly developed, ready-to-go, educational review and critique sessions we’ve titled Lit Wits. In these sessions aspiring writers will have the opportunity to have their short pieces reviewed anonymously. After the review and critique portion the aspiring writers will have the opportunity to probe the minds of the JLBC executive team regarding the writing industry. In addition the aspiring writers will be given the opportunities to be featured on the JLBC Blog as well as be published in an anthology created from the short stories of those at the Lit Wits Sessions.

Featured Friday: Hidden Earth Series by Janet Beasley            Along with event planning and Lit Wits, JLBC offers services such as book cover design, formatting, query letter assistance, and other services specific to the writing world.

            You will also find myself and my executive team at book festivals throughout the year. Our next one will be April 13, 2013 – The UCF Book Festival. We will have JLB Creatives information and books available, along with taking Lit Wits registrations for the 2013 schedule.

Where can we find your books and information regarding JLB Creatives?

The best place to visit is  Everything you would want to know about the series, upcoming novels, media, reviews, excerpts, etc., as well as AIP, Lit Wits sign-up and other information regarding JLB Creatives is on that site. The books are available on Amazon too. Here’s the link to my author bio there: Author Janet Beasley on Amazon

Anything else you'd like to add?

If anyone is interested in becoming a part of the newly created JLB Creatives Community (for authors AND readers) on Google+ here is the link:

Thanks so much for having me Jo. It’s been a pleasure.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Birthday Clown for Archer

I'm currently working on the illustrations for A Birthday Clown for Archer. This lovely story, written by Kathy W. Mashburn, is about a little boy that wants a clown at his birthday party but first needs to convince his mummy that clowns aren't scary. A great lesson for both children and adults about facing fears.

This is a sneak peek at the cover art to wet your taste buds:

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wall Chat Wednesday: Special Guest Stuart West

Wall Chat Wednesday is back again today. This week's special guest is author Stuart West. Drop by my Facebook page today at 9:30pm CET and join in the fun. As always you are welcome to post your own questions for my guest during the chat.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wall Chat Wednesday: Special Guest Jan Clifton Watford

It's time for another Wall Chat Wednesday session! Join me today at 9:30pm CET on my Facebook page when I'll be joined by children's author Jan Clifton Watford.

As always you are welcome to comment and post your own questions for Jan during the chat. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Fairy May: Virtual Book Tour Success

A huge thank you to everyone who hosted me during the virtual tour for Fairy May and to everyone who showed support, bought the book, left reviews etc... You guys are amazing!

It takes a lot of effort to organise a virtual book tour and it obviously can't be done without people to host you. It means a huge amount to me that these fabulous people stepped up and helped me promote my book and build on my author brand.

The full tour schedule and details about Fairy May can be found at my website but I'm posting the links from the tour here too as these awesome hosts deserve the extra backlink ;) Please check them out, give them a like, leave a comment and share them with everyone.

2 February- Facebook wall chat at (9:30pm CET/ 3:30pm EST)
4 February- (book spotlight)
5 February- (book spotlight)
9 February- (Facebook wall chat 10:30pm CET)
27 February- interview via Google hangouts) (Facebook wall chat 1pm EST/ 7pm CET)
5 March- (Facebook wall chat 9:30pm CET/ 3:30 pm EST)
10 March- (review)
12 March- (review)
20 March-  (interview and review)
24 March-
26 March-
27 March-
28 March-
29 March- (webinar 9:30pm CET)
30 March- (Virtual Book Signing)

Interested in my work and services?
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