Friday, 28 June 2013

Fairy May in the spotlight

Fairy May is featured today on the blog of fellow children's author Ngaire Elder. Ngaire is the author of the "The Adventures of Cecilia Spark" series of children's books.

screenshot from blog

I hope you'll drop by and check out the spotlight feature and leave a comment. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A Birthday Clown for Archer: FREE Copy + Colouring Book

A Birthday Clown for Archer will be available as a free kindle download on 28th and 29th June. To get your copy just go to 

Whilst we're on the subject of A Birthday Clown for Archer if you missed yesterdays Wall Chat, where I interviewed the author +Kathy Mashburn about the book, you can find the whole chat here.

In other related news, the colouring book version of this book is due for release next week. Here's a sneak peek at the cover art:

I'm also currently working on the Spanish version and getting it ready for publishing in the very near future.

I'm really happy to be part of this project and it's been great fun working with Kathy. An experience we hope to repeat in the not to distant future ;)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wall Chat Wednesday: Special Guest Kathy Mashburn

Wall Chat Wednesday makes its return today when I'll be joined by author +Kathy Mashburn to talk about her new children's picture story book A Birthday Clown for Archer. We'll also be chatting about school visits, book signings and bunch of other stuff so drop by my Facebook page at 9:30pm CET (3:30pm EST) today to follow the chat.

As always everyone is welcome to post their own questions for Kathy directly to the wall during the chat.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Interview about illustrating A birthday Clown for Archer

Today I'm interviewed at by +Virginia Lori Jennings about illustrating the children's picture story book A Birthday Clown for Archer

This is part of the virtual tour to promote the release of the book. You can find out more about the book, tour, and author +Kathy Mashburn on the books page of my website.

A Birthday Clown for Archer is available to buy from Amazon in both print and kindle formats.

If you've read the book we'd love to hear your feedback. Please leave us a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gina Alzate and Jo Linsdell talk children's books, virtual book tours and more

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by +Gina Alzate  for her Blog Talk Radio show. As normally happens with radio interviews, time just flew by. We did manage to cover loads of stuff though including some background on my children's book (with a special spotlight on A Birthday Clown for Archer- written by +Kathy Mashburn and illustrated by yours truly). We also chatted about virtual book tours, social media, Promo Day, upcoming projects and more.

If you missed the live show yesterday you can listen to the recording here:

Listen to internet radio with Holistic LifeDesigns on BlogTalkRadio

Friday, 14 June 2013

Featured Friday: Beware of the White by Kai Strand

Title: Beware of the White
Author: Kai Strand

About the book
As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.
The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.
With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?
Buy It:
Or look for it on iTunes
What readers are saying:
This book was sooooooooooo good it was mind blowing. The details that were in every sentence made me jump into the book and I felt like I was in the book and living terra's life!” –A Kid’s Review
The ending was ingeniously done considering where it felt the last couple chapters were heading. –DK
This is a classic story of good versus evil, coupled with a coming-of-age quest. Terra has so much to learn about herself, her powers, the new world, dealing with so many emotions, and difficult situations. There are also relationships to build, coming to terms with life and death, and normal every day activities that contrast with the strange new world where Terra has the central role. Kai Strand has created a fantasy world that offers so much that is different and yet populates it with beings that we can appreciate, relate to, and understand. – Penelope Anne Cole, Children’s Author
Kai, congratulations on the release of your middle grade fantasy adventure, BEWARE OF THE WHITE. We’ve read the blurb. Can you share with us your favourite part of the book?
I have a few, of course. When you get to know the characters so well, the things they say or do really grow on you. There are a number of responses from Frank that always make me smile. I even like when Finny, the good-bad guy, laughs. But I think one of my favorite moments from the book is when Terra discovers that she is able to introduce memories into someone’s mind. It isn’t that she can do it that I love so much. it is her reaction. Here is a girl who has always been considered odd by her classmates. She’s never had any really close friends, so she’s always on guard and reserved. Her father died when she was young, forcing her to grow up too fast. Think about it, she has NO idea how to have fun. But after she discovers her new talent, she spontaneously grabs Frank by the hands and dances around with him and chants a silly little victory ditty. It is the most relaxed and “twelve” we’ve seen from her and a real sign that she is feeling secure.
BEWARE OF THE WHITE is set in a modern setting as well as in a fantasy world. How hard was it to switch back and forth from world to world?
It wasn’t hard at all, really, because it was so organic to the story. Terra has to continue living in her own modern day world. Attending sixth grade at a middle school. Being picked on by the popular kids all while learning about the Underworld, the city of Concord, and the fascinating creatures that inhabit it, which she is destined to be a part of because she is a Nature’s Spirit. There are times that Terra gets confused between the two. She is under a lot of pressure and sometimes the two worlds cross in her mind. I pulled that from my own experiences. Sometimes I dream about someone I knew in Wisconsin but in my dream we will be coworkers in California. That may sound a little crazy, but there are times memories mush together, so I figured with Terra under duress, it would make her situations more convoluted.
How did you come up with the Underworld?
It all started with the Molly. The mole-like creature used as a trolley. I dreamed it up and liked it so much I had to build a world for it. The world itself was fun to discover as I wrote and even more fun to fully develop as I edited. This world was a long time in the making. Though I never want to take nine years to write a book again, I do appreciate the results of having spent so much time on Concord and the Underworld creatures.
Tell my readers why they should read this book.
First you have to consider that it is written for a middle grade audience or a reader who thoroughly loved their middle grade years enough to want to visit again. I like to take themes that are comforting or familiar to that age group and twist them somehow. It certainly isn’t a groundbreaking theme in BEWARE OF THE WHITE; girl feels like an outcast, finds out she has hidden powers she never knew about, learns how to like herself for being different. But the way she goes about it, the world it happens in and the support she gets from her mom and from her new friend, Frank - that is different. And Terra’s journey will make you feel good and might even surprise you a time or two. It is a world and a journey to get lost in.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
YES! Time is running out for readers to enter for a chance to win one of three book related prize packages. I’m giving away Mollys, and Travelers (creatures from the book), water bottles and book bags. Unique prizes inspired by the book.
See my complete tour schedule and ENTER the giveaway here:
About the author
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Big Spring Clean

Image via Free Stock Photo
June has become my month for decluttering and getting organised. I'm on a mission!


I've been clearing out the clutter on my computer. It's amazing how many old emails and unread files I have just sitting there eating up disk space and slowing my computer down. 


I've also been reviewing the newsletters I'm signed up for. Over the years I've added quite a few but rarely get the time to actually read them. Then there's the ones I occasionally open but don't really offer much of interest any more. All these newsletters are clogging up my already full inboxes and just creating more work. It's time to sort out the ones I want to and WILL read and un-subscribe from the rest.


I'm embracing the idea of Spring cleaning this year and have been organising my filing systems (both on the computer and off). My goal is to become more organised and cut down on my wasted time so I have more time to get things done. I hate not being able to find something when I need it.

Schedules and Strategies

All this clearing out and getting organised has inspired me to work out my social media strategies and get my blogs in order too. I've been planning out my posting schedule, taking a look at what's been working and what's not, and brainstorming ways to make my sites and profiles more effective. 

Having a schedule written up in advance has really made life easier and already saved me loads of time. Know what I'm going to write about and when means I don't have to come up with a last minute idea and also means the content I come up with is better quality. 

By scheduling both blog posts and some social media posts in advance I keep up my online presence without having to actually be there all the time. This gives me more time to spend with my kids, work on my books and other projects, and dare I say it... relax a bit.

Of course I'm still very active on my social media sites and spend time interacting with friends and followers (that's what it's all about after all and the fun part). It just means that I can set up my blog posts to share or content like quotes or tips. It also means I think more about the types of content I share and how it helps my author branding.

All these things are helping to give me more direction and save me time. With the long school holidays coming up now is the perfect time for me to get organised. I can enjoy my summer and not feel guilty about spending less time at my computer because I'll still be active online through my scheduled content.

Do you Spring clean? Have you been getting organised so you can enjoy the summer? Got some tips on decluttering? Please leave a comment as I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Fairy May needs your vote!

Fairy May is up for the Best Cover Award at eWords4Kids and voting is now open to the public. All you need to do to cast your vote is click the like button below the cover art at

It'll only take you a second to vote but means a lot to me and could be the vote that makes the difference. Thanks in advance for your support.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Featured Friday: Horse Country by Christine Meunier

Featured Friday: Horse Country by Christine Meunier

Title: Horse Country: A World of Horses
Author: Christine Meunier 

Featured Friday: Horse Country by Christine Meunier

About the Book:

Christine Meunier has lived a life breathing, dreaming and working with horses in the thoroughbred industry in Australia and has also travelled overseas to work in the industry.  Horse Country takes her own personal experiences woven into a story about four young women studying and working in the horse industry.

Follow Lise and Wes as they work their way around North East Victoria, Australia in the seasonal world of breeding thoroughbreds.  Horse Country follows the seasons of the thoroughbred industry and what the day to day of working on a stud could look like.

A few hours away, Maddie and Melanie are working hard in their parent’s metropolitan riding school, teaching others about horse riding and care of the horse.  From the nervous first time rider, to the child who wants to run fast and jump high, the young women shape lessons to suit the individual.

Horses offer a great opportunity to study, learn, work and develop an incredible career around the world.  Set in Australia, this novel shows that the land down under is indeed a Horse Country.

Purchasing details: provides all the details necessary to purchase the book in hard copy and ebook format. also provides excerpts, reviews, other marketing, etc

Author Bio:
Christine Meunier considers herself introduced to the wonderful world of horses at the late age of 13 when her parents agreed to lease a horse for her.  She started experiencing horses via books from a young age and continues to do so, but recognises that horses cannot be learnt solely from books.

She has been studying horses from age 16, starting with the Certificate II in Horse Studies and is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Equine Science via distance education.

Christine has worked at numerous thoroughbred studs in Australia as well as overseas in Ireland for a breeding season.

She then gained experience in a couple of Melbourne based horse riding schools, instructing at a basic level before heading off overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast.

Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine studies focused on breeding, at a TAFE, Victoria, Australia.

She also writes a blog about equine education which you can view at

Q and A’s:

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Absolutely!  I teach about horses at a tertiary level in Australia, generally about the breeding of horses.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it?

Yes.  I was encouraged by my mother to get it done professionally and filled in a questionnaire from the designer of what I wanted.  The cover photo is actually one I took whilst working on a stud.  I’m rapt with what’s been designed.

Where do you live now?

In North East Victoria where a lot of thoroughbred studs are found.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’m incredibly passionate about education in the equine field and love helping people learn about potential career paths with horses.

What made you want to write your novel, Horse Country? Was it to talk about the equine industry in Australia or just horses in general?

I would often tell my parents about things that had occurred to me or friends at work and had them laughing about some entertaining events.  My mother kept on telling me I should write these down and that’s how the story started.

Now the main idea of releasing Horse Country is to invite others to discover how much fun it can be to work in the horse industry – anywhere around the world – and what great characters can be met, travel opportunities and career opportunities.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

World Tours and Cruises Radio Show

Yesterday I was the special guest on the World Tours and Cruises radio show where I chatted with host Gina Alzate about Rome for tourists who come for a limited time. Many tourists that come on cruises only have one day to see and do the Eternal City. We covered the must see sites, organising your time to get the most out of your visit and a few tips to make it easier.

We then went on to talk about my English-Italian phrasebook Italian for Tourists.

If you missed the live show you can listen to the recording here:

Listen to internet radio with HolisticLifeDesigns on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, 3 June 2013

Interviews for blogs and radio shows

Today I'm featured at for an interview about Fairy May. I encourage you to drop by and leave a comment.

Tonight at 9pm Central European Time I'm going to be interviewed by Gina Alzate for her Blog Talk Radio Show World Tours and Cruises where I'll be talking about Italy and sharing some tips for tourists coming to Rome (as well as chatting about my English-Italian phrasebook Italian for Tourists).

Interested in my work and services?
Stay in touch