Saturday, 31 May 2014

It's Promo Day!

The big day has finally arrived! Today is Promo Day!

It's been months of hard work organising this event but it's totally worth it. If you haven't registered yet it's still not too late. Go to now and join in the fun.

You can also connect via social media using the hashtag #PD14

Friday, 30 May 2014

Amazon Countdown Deals 31st May/1st June

As tomorrow is Promo Day I thought I'd set up some special discount offers to celebrate. One day just didn't seem enough though so I set up a second discount day for 1st June too ;)
Reviews are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Coming Soon: How to be Twittertastic by Jo Linsdell

I'm super excited to announce that my book How to be Twittertastic will be released 1st July 2014

This book is the first in the Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media series and will teach writers and authors how to use Twitter.

From tips for setting up an effective Twitter profile to tactics and strategies for leveraging your Twitter account to help increase your influence, get relevant new followers, and build your author brand, this book will be a must read for both Twitter newbies and more experienced users.

How to be Twittertastic will give you the ability and confidence to navigate Twitter and turn it into a powerful marketing tool.

Here's just a few of the things you'll find in the book:

  • Ideas of what you can tweet to your followers
  • Simple ways you can connect with your audience and potential readers
  • Twitter terminology explained
  • How to leverage Twitter through third party apps

Those of you taking part in Promo Day on Saturday 31st May will get to an exclusive first look at the cover design during the event.

The official cover reveal will take place on 2nd June. Would you like to join in the fun and take part? Email me to organise your stop.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Box featured at Book Goodies Kids

The Box is featured today on the Book Goodies Kids blog at

Screenshot of Book Goodies Kids blog
Help spread the word about it using the tweet below:

Friday, 23 May 2014

COMING SOON! Jasmine the Chef

I've been busy illustrating the second book in the Jasmine Dreams series for author Maria Rochelle and I'm super excited to share that Jasmine the Chef will be released soon both in print and kindle versions.

I love these little dogs and in this book you get introduced to some more of Jasmine's friends. 

Here's the cover:

Look out for it on Amazon soon!

You can get the first book in the series, Jasmine At Work in both kindle and print formats.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Another 5 star review for The Box

The Box continues to collect 5 star reviews. The latest review comes from +Cheryl Malandrinos who has kindly posted it to both her blog (see and on Amazon and Goodreads.

Screenshot from The Children's and Teen's Book Connection blog
Have you read The Box yet? If yes, please take a minute to post your own review of it. I love to hear your feedback ;)

If you enjoyed The Box please also consider voting for it on this Goodreads list:

Friday, 16 May 2014

Featured Friday: Broken Heart by Martha Ramirez

Title: Broken Heart

Author: Martha Ramirez

ISBN: 978-1497464254

Purchasing links:

Book blurb:

When seven-year-old Stephanie learns her twin, Julia, has a broken heart and the doctors have to mend it, she tries to make sense of things. Doing her best to stay strong, she helps Julia face her fears.
It's up to Stephanie to be Julia's biggest cheerleader. If she had only one wish, it'd be that doctors would fix Julia's heart and make it all better.
Will Stephanie get her heart's desire?

Author bio:

In addition to writing, Martha is a 2012 Genesis Semi-Finalist, a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), YALITCHAT.ORG, the Muse Conference Board, CataNetwork Writers, and American Author's Association. Her articles have appeared in various places including the Hot Moms Club and For Her Information (FHI) magazine.
She looks forward to expanding her career and is hard at work on her next novel. She currently resides in Northern California where she enjoys gardening and kickboxing (not simultaneously). Visit her website at:

Author website and blog:

Praise for
Broken Heart
"Martha Ramirez has crafted an engaging, thoughtful and instructive tale about a young girl going through heart surgery. Broken Heart is suitable for elementary school ages as not only an endearing story but also a good teaching tool for children undergoing hospitalization or surgery of any kind."
—Jordyn Redwood, pediatric ER nurse and author of the Bloodline Trilogy.
"Broken Heart is a delightful story that will help children with congenital heart problems, as well as their families, better cope with the process of heart surgery."
—Paula Lasky Price, PA-C, MPH
"Broken Heart written by Martha Ramirez is a positive story for children who are facing the experience of open heart surgery, whether it is they themselves or someone they love.  Martha expertly weaves important messages within the story eloquently conveying the importance of trusting in God, one’s parents, prayer and being supportive for other people."
—Rhonda Schwantes, RN. 
"Broken Heart is a touching story told through the perspective of Stefanie, a seven year old girl whose twin sister has a heart birth defect. It walks us through this scary process with the endearing innocence of a child. Broken Heart shows children that we might encounter frightening situations, but with family around us we can get through it."
                                                            —Paty Vieyra, 3rd grade teacher

Mini Interview:

Why did you write this book?
Broken Heart was inspired by my experience of open-heart surgery and having to stay strong and pray for the best. In 2013, I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect we never knew I had.

Anything in particular you'd like to share about this book or its creation?
This book is dedicated in honor of a dear friend's daughter, Julia. Julia is the main character in Broken Heart. In real life, she too had to undergo open-heart surgery for a heart defect. Just like Julia, my heart defect was not discovered at birth. Unlike Julia, it was discovered many, many years later. It is also dedicated to those who are facing their own heart journeys. Stay heart strong. Always believe. 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I will be releasing the new Gonzo the Curious Cat children's picture book soon. It's totally revamped with new illustrations. Can't wait to share it with all of you! I hope to also get some of my young adult novels in print in the future as well.
Thank you so much for having me Jo. I greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Radio Interviews, Hangouts, and Twitterviews

It's been a busy week so far (and we're only half way through it!) packed full of interviews in various forms.

G+ Hangout

Yesterday I interviewed PD14 Presenter Rivka Kawano where we chatted about Google+ for Authors and the upcoming Promo Day event. If you missed the live you can watch it here:


Earlier today I interviewed PD14 presenter Virginia Jennings in a live Twitter interview where we tweeted about the Promo Day presentations, including her own about author events. If you missed the live you can see the transcript here:

Special WOI Show Celebrating Children/YA Authors

I was also part of the World of Ink radio show today along with other children's authors to celebrate Children's Book Week. It was a really great show packed with loads of info and advice. If you missed the live event you can listen to it here:

Discover Books Internet Radio with WorldOfInkNetwork on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, 12 May 2014

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

Today I'm taking part in a blog hop for Children's Book Week and have set up this giveaway to help raise awareness and spread the love of books. For more info about the blog hop visit:

So here it is. For your chance to win a free kindle copy of my latest best selling children's picture story book The Box all you have to do is click on as many parts of the Rafflecopter below as you like. Each click gains you an entry. The more you click, the higher your chances of winning.

Cover for The Box

Friday, 9 May 2014

Featured Friday: Weirdville Series by Majanka Verstraete

Series: Weirdville
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Genre: Chapter Books, Kids Books, Horror

The Doll Maker
ISBN: 1622530659
ISBN13: 9781622530656

Purchase links:

Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls, staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.

When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.

Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because...

...the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.
This book is only $0.99 (eBook) and serves as a great introduction to the series!

House of Horrors
ISBN: 1622530667
ISBN13: 9781622530663

Purchase links:

 When her parents allow her to go to the fair, Jacky is over the moon. The fair is most famous for its haunted mansion, the House of Horrors, and her friend Ben can’t wait to try it out. Her best friend, Cass, is a little more reluctant, but then again, Cass has always been a chicken when it comes to getting scared.

Jacky and Cass are determined to act tough, so when Ben suggests they try out the House of Horrors, the girls tag along, even though the place gives them the chills.

As soon as the three of them enter the spooky monstrosity, the ride comes to a screeching halt, and the horror begins.

The lights fade, and a hooded figure appears and tells them they’re stuck in a twisted game of cat and mouse. He will show them their worst fears, and if the kids manage to face down those fears, they’ll have a chance of getting out of the House of Horrors alive. If they don’t, well....

Thirty minutes to go. Thirty minutes to face their nightmares... and the clock is ticking.

Fright Train
ISBN: 1622530683
ISBN13: 9781622530687

Purchase links:

 Charlie’s parents drop him off at the train station so he can visit his grandma in Weirdville. It’s a cold winter evening, so when his usual train is cancelled at the last second, Charlie wishes he’d stayed home.

An hour later, shivering from the cold, he climbs onboard the next train to Weirdville, even though he’d rather not. It looks like something straight out of the nineteenth century, as if it used a time machine to arrive at the station.

His shivering doesn’t stop, for soon after Charlie boards, he realizes just how right he was to be wary of this strange train. Something is seriously wrong with all the people onboard. If only he could figure out what was going on. If only he could get off the train

Author Bio
 Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library.
She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.
Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

“The Doll Maker will keep you on the edge of your seat while wanting more and more. You'll quickly turn each page to learn more while curled up in your bed. Just be sure to leave the lights on!”
“Welcome to Weirdville with The Doll Maker, another excellent masterpiece from Verstraete. Venturing into the genre of chapter books, geared for the early reader from age 6-10, Majanka has swung a home run.”
“House of Horrors is my favorite Weirdville book to date. There is always the perfect amount of age appropriate scary going on, but this one i found myself holding my breath a couple times or taking a big sigh.”
“One could try to compare these to the R.L. Stine series, but they would be wrong to narrowly define them in such a way, Verstraete has a very unique storytelling style that touches the child within, but also reaches the adult reader.”

There’s a tour-wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is international, and the winner will be contacted through email. 


Why did you write these books?
When I was younger, I loved the Goosebumps and Fear Street series by R.L. Stine. Both series were horror aimed at kids. For the Fear Street series, all books took place in Fear Street. Each book could be read as a stand-alone, and apart from the location and genre, the books had nothing in common, each had their own story to tell.

I’ve always wanted to create something similar, yet different. So I came up with the idea for Weirdville. All books in this series are scary chapter books aimed at a slightly younger audience than R.L. Stine’s books. The stories take place in Weirdville, a fictional town where creepy things happen on a daily basis. Each book can be read as a stand-alone.

However, the more books in the series you’ll read, the more you’ll discover about Weirdville and the secrets it’s been harboring for centuries. Each book gives away several clues about the founders of Weirdville, the Weird family, and their descendants.

Anything in particular you'd like to share about these books or their creation?

For “The Doll Maker”, I took inspiration from one of my oldest fears: dolls. I’m not scared of all dolls – I even have some in my room, staring at me while I sleep – but one doll in particular gave me the chills. This doll had eyes that seemed to follow you everywhere. Nowadays, it’s hidden in my attic, but it still gives me the chills every time I go up to the attic to find something.

After writing “The Doll Maker”, I got writer’s block. I knew what I wanted the third book, “Fright Train” to be about, but for “House of Horrors”, I had trouble getting inspired. Then a fair came to my university’s town, and they had a haunted mansion. I’d never seen one of those travelling haunted mansions before, and it inspired me right away. I knew I had to write a story about it.

“Fright Train” is based on a story idea that’s plagued me for years. I take the train two times a week, for a two-hour ride each time, and during one of the first times I was travelling to university by train, I came up with the idea of writing a scary novel taking place on a train. It took several years, but I managed to write it after all.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

The next three Weirdville books will be released later this year. The fourth Weirdville book is called “Drowning in Fear”, and it’s the scariest Weirdville book to date. The majority of the book takes place at summer camp. Because honestly, what is scarier than going on summer camp? In Weirdville, none the less.
Weirdville five and six, “The Clumsy Magician” and “Grave Error” will be published later this year as well. “The Clumsy Magician” is one of the less scary Weirdville books, but it talks about choices, and the consequences of our choices. I’ve yet to start writing “Grave Error”, although I have the plot planned out. I can’t wait to get started, but finding time in between the dozens of other things I’ve got going on, is always a hassle.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

#NaPiBoWriWee Days 2 & 3

Day 2 of NaPiBoWriWee didn't go as well as day 1 as I only got half of Nappo and Lollo at the Beach written. This means that today I'm playing catch up and need to finish that one and today's project Where's Lollo? Both books are part of The Adventures of Nappo and Lollo series.

Are you taking part in this challenge too? How's it going so far?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

NaPiBoWriWee: And so the picture book craziness begins....

Starting today, I'll be drafting a children's picture book a day for each day this week. Yep, that's 7 drafts in 7 days. This challenge is known as NaPiBoWriWee and was created by Paula Yoo. You can find full details about it on her blog at 

Day 1

Today's project is The Bedtime Book. I got the idea for this book a while ago but never got round to actually getting it done so I'm hoping that today will be the day it comes to life.

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