Friday, 31 October 2014

Featured Friday: Vampire Syndrome by Daven Anderson

Happy Halloween! 

Today's Featured Friday is perfect for this season. Can you imagine what it would be like to be turned into a Vampire?

Title: Vampire Syndrome: Book 1 of the Vampire Syndrome Saga

Author:  Daven Anderson

Book description:
Can Special Olympics champion Jack Wendell survive, now that he’s been turned into a vampire? All Jack wants is to be accepted as a valued member of the vampire community. But he can’t do this when Chief Venator (vampire law enforcer) Damien Tepesh has ordered Jack to be killed. Fortunately, Jack wins the respect of a powerful ally. Lilith Morrigan, President of the Vampires, hides Jack from the ruthless Venators and gives him a chance to prove his worth. But she cannot stop her husband Damien from targeting Jack. Damien summons Romania’s Chief Venator Zetania Vinescu to Colorado to help him hunt Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack from the Venators. As Damien and Lilith battle over control of Jack, a new threat emerges. A space-alien Pure vampire has come to Colorado, specifically to kidnap Jack. Even if Damien and Lilith settle their differences, can they keep Jack safe from the Pures?

Review comments: 
“A Fun Fast New Vampire Story!” - J.D. Brown, Author

“An Engaging, Action Packed, Fun Read!” - Victoria Adams, Author

“Fun Vampire Read.” R.G. Calkins

Author Bio:
Daven Anderson spends his nights modifying cars for the Council of Thirteen's elite Venator law enforcers; because when you're a Vampire, there's no such thing as "too much horsepower." Daven brings supercharged concept cars to life, so the Venators have the power they need to chase rabid vampires, chupacabras, cattle-mutilating aliens, vampire hunters, and whoever or whatever else the Council deems a threat to the security of the Vampire community.

The Venators love to have long conversations with Daven while he works on their cars. Unbeknownst to them, Daven has been secretly recording the Venators' tales, using them as the basis for the Vampire Syndrome saga. After a long night's work, Daven plays back the tapes, transcribes the best excerpts and sends them as "fiction writing" to the unsuspecting staff members at PDMI Publishing.

The normal people's constant misrepresentations and misunderstandings of Vampires over the last three centuries, culminating in the most recent shimmering, over-emoting caricatures of "vampires", finally motivated Daven to "hide the truth in plain sight" with the Vampire Syndrome saga. Thanks to Daven's transcriptions, with the assistance of PDMI Publishing, the normal world can at long last read the tales of the Vampires' elite law enforcers, without the sugar-coated glittering stardust that passes for modern "vampire fiction."

Daven has hired a professional double, who was previously a grocery store cashier, to promote his novels and work in PDMI's marketing department, so Daven can continue to chronicle the Venator's adventures for future volumes of the Vampire Syndrome saga.

Coming to PDMI Publishing, LLC > Vampire Conspiracy: Book 2 of the Vampire Syndrome Saga

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ask Jo: What book are you reading at the moment?

Time for another Ask Jo session. In this video I answer the question "What book are you reading at the moment?"

What are YOU reading at the moment? Share in a comment below.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

#WIP Jasmine's Got Talent! Illustrations

As most of you will know by now, I'm currently working on illustrating the 3rd book in the Jasmine Dreams series for author +Maria Rochelle. Jasmine's Got Talent! is turning out to be the most fun yet and I'm sure the book will be a huge success.

Today I thought I'd introduce you to some of the characters by sharing with you a few of the character cards. (If you remember, Maria ran a photo contest on her Facebook page and these characters are therefore based on real pets that had received the most votes during the contest- You can see the initial sketches I did from the photo's here). 

These are just a few of the characters featured in the book:


MC Allie



Keep your eyes open for more updates about the release of Jasmine's Got Talent! in the near future! 

Cover for Jasmine's Got Talent!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Quick Tips: Reuse Your Content in a G+ Hangout

This weeks quick tip is to reuse your content to make Google plus hangouts. Take an old blog post, article, or even an interview, and turn it into a Google+ hangout. You can even use an old guest post and invite people who commented on the post to join you in the hangout and turn it into a big social event. 

You can find my other videos on my YouTube channel Don't forget to click subscribe so you can keep up with all the new uploads too ;) 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Review Showcase: How to be Twittertastic

Here's some of the comments that readers have posted:

Good ideas about how to market yourself and book on twitter. Did gain some valuable information. Worth my time to read and take notes.


Twitter. All the rage for "everybody" (really, over 1 billion users as of now) but still a mystery to many of us. How does one say something meaningful in 140 characters - or fewer? Does it matter, or is it just another way to grab time from an already overloaded schedule? Must I twitter?

Every so often I delve into the world of "things helpful to authors." In this case, though, I think the information has a much broader interest level. Jo Linsdell's new book, Twittertastic, is written for authors; however a huge portion of the material would also apply to anyone who wants to get something out of the Twitter experience.

Here are some of the subjects that Jo covers:

How to set up your profile and personalize it
Creating your network
Ideas for making the most out of the new features
Tweets- Types of content you can share
Retweets, hashtags, and other Twitter terminology made simple
Twitter etiquette- Dos and Don'ts of the Twitterverse
Time savers

Jo, in her usual manner of clarity and brevity, introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Twittering. How to set things up, how to find people of interest to follow, how to get yourself noticed, WHAT to tweet and where to find content. Also, as is her habit, she includes pages and pages of links and references to get you started on the "but where do I find?" part. You really DO want this one in Kindle format, those hyperlinks are terrific.

Jo also researches her books and provides the statistics and supporting content that drive home her points. For instance, tweets with images garner a 40% greater response from tweeters than text posts. Jo shows you where and how to find image content, how to upload and how to capitalize on it.

As I mentioned, I am greener than the newest newbie in this world of word-spurts, that's why Jo's explanation of #hashtags, @addresses and lists, as well as when and where to use what is so helpful. She makes it all seem so easy!

Why, you ask, should someone listen to this particular voice in the crowd of "social media experts?" Because Jo is an internationally bestselling author and illustrator. Each year she conducts PromoDay to bring writing industry people from around the world together. She also manages a blog specifically for Writers and Authors. I should also mention I count her as friend and colleague.

I picked up Jo Linsdell's book about a week or so back and absolutely loved it!

For any aspiring author who is looking to understand how to use social media to promote their work, this is a great guidebook on the basics that must be done. Jo gives great real-life examples of how branding, marketing and public relations are done using social media. There is also an added value - many of the tips that Jo gives can be applied to any online business marketing effort. It's just that well put together.

Great job, Jo!

Jo Linsdell's How to Be Twittertastic is a good resource for learning many things about Twitter. It can be especially helpful to new Twitter users. It's easy to read and understand, and its pages are chocked full of screenshot examples to help one navigate Twitter. I look forward to applying many of the things I have learned from this book.

Thanks to the author for sending me a review copy of this for an honest review. Jo Lindsell is the author of several children's books, and this is part of her social media series.

I thought it was a good basic guide; it would definitely be a help to the new Twitter user. It doesn't go into very much depth about anything, and only took me about an hour or so to read, but there is plenty of great information about certain sites for reference and sites to follow on Twitter, and also explanations of some Twitter terms. It showed me a few things I didn't know, so I'm grateful for that!

The bit about the setting up of your account is very good, and everything is explained very clearly, with screenshots. The mood of the writing is upbeat; nice. I liked how the author showed examples of each step (okay, okay, one of them is me!). There's a section about live tweeting an event, too, which is interesting, though perhaps a little more than the new writer learning how to use Twitter would need to know.

I have to say, I didn't find it as helpful as some 'how to' guides. There are omissions; in the list showing groups of people to follow (agents, book marketing experts), it missed out the main one: avid readers. Bookworms. The people who are on Twitter to socialise and nothing else, and happen to like reading, ie, your potential customers. The other thing was that there was no mention at all of the ghastliness of automated RTs, DMs, etc, which is a massive potential pitfall for the new Twitter user, and nothing about the spam accounts that plague us - or how NOT to spam people!

To sum up, I'd say it's a useful reference book and definitely worth reading, but it has some gaps.

This is a clear concise, must read if you want to understand Twitter, the how to's, and the do's and do not's of Tweeting. [There are rules folks!] If you are trying to navigate marketing your books, or you are a newbie to Twitter, or you tweet for any reason, this is the book you want to read. If you are well into tweeting, this clear, step by step beneficial guide will help you too. Don't skip reading this one. I wish I had this book two years ago. Thankfully, it's never too late to learn something new, and Jo's book helped me to fill in some of the gaps in my use of Twitter. I appreciate Jo Linsdell for writing this easy to use, clear, wonderful guide. This is great work and a timely, helpful book.

Grab your copy of How to Be Twittertastic here 

If you've read the book, please take a moment to post a quick review with your feedback ;)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Featured Friday: Agency Rules - Never an Easy Day at the Office

Title - Agency Rules - Never an Easy Day at the Office
Author - Khalid Muhammad

Purchase link-

Book Blurb:

Celebrated as a ragtag force that defeated and broke the Soviet Union, no one predicted the Mujahideen would bring with them a plague that would spread like wildfire through Pakistan in the years to follow. When the battle-worn fighters returned with no enemy or war to fight, they turned their sights on the country that had been their creator and benefactor.

From the same battlegrounds that birthed the Mujahideen, a young Kamal Khan emerges as a different breed of warrior. Discarding his wealthy family comforts, Kamal becomes a precision sniper, an invincible commando and a clandestine operative bringing intimidation, dominance and death with him to the battlefield. Ending the plague is his prime directive.

Shrouded in political expediency, hampered by internal power struggles, international espionage and doublespeak that makes Washington's spin doctors proud, Kamal's mission is a nightmare of rampant militant fundamentalism that threatens to choke and take Pakistan hostage. For him, the fight is not just for freedom, but the survival of a nation.

Author bio:

By day, Khalid Muhammad is a mild-mannered business executive keeping busy running a marketing and brand management company. By night, his alter ego emerges; one that has a penchant for sadistic retribution towards those who wrong others, and that spends its time devising intricate and detailed plans for a nefarious end.

Born in Pakistan's troubled Swat Valley, educated and raised in the United States, Khalid returned to Pakistan almost 17 years ago and fell in love with his country. His debut novel, Agency Rules - Never an Easy Day at the Office, is a journey behind the headlines about Pakistan, the world's most dangerous place, to deliver an intense story that will challenge the reader to question everything they have been told about the country.

He began writing to let the wickedness escape, as the other option means a great deal of blood, numerous torture implements and... well, infinite ways to dump a body. It's safer for everyone involved and less dangerous for the guilty... until he writes another book.


This fast paced action/adventure has plenty of blood and guts. If this is made into a movie, they will have to order fake blood by the tanker full. But it is never gratuitous, rather it is realistic as can be verified by news reports from this part of the world. Muhammad is simply telling his story honestly. The fact that most of the bloodletting comes from internal power struggles, often spurred by foreign interests, is what gives the story its heft, it's the engine that drives our hero to take life threatening risks.

Khalid’s main character, Kamal Khan, begins the story as a very accomplished and decorated sniper. He is chosen to take on a delicate job and with that success he finds he is quickly advanced through ISI training and becomes an intelligence officer. His keen eye, wit and disposition make him particularly good at what he does. The sniper who once did his work from a distance, removed from the life he ended, is now excelling at terror tactics and accomplished at interrogation. He has become the weapon he no longer needs a sniper rifle. As I read the novel, Kamal’s character was not an attractive or particularly appealing hero, he’s a very dark and cruel man–yet there is something incredibly alluring about the idea of someone having such power. Kamal is nothing if not the iron fist that determines life and death. For all intents and purposes he has become an Angel of Death–if I may apply a non-Muslim ideal to it and for some reason in my head that ability to choose who lives and who dies is an very artful quality.

Agency Rules- Never An Easy Day at Office” is a fictional account of Talibanization led by the collapse of Soviet Union and how it is a national threat for today’s Pakistan. Khalid Muhammad, from Chapter 1 to Chapter 18, makes his readers to walk down the danger zones of Pakistan held by Mujahideen and keeps them enthused through covert operations of his invincible commando, Kamal Khan. From Presidency to ISI Headquarters and from Talibans’ training camps to Washington’s surveillance, this novel has put forward those realities that are momentous to the future of Pakistan.
It’s a great mix of action, suspense, and romance.

'Agency Rules' is a great spy thriller. It is also a great book about Pakistan; its people, its government; its spy agency (ISI), and its culture. It is an amazing story, extremely well told, with fabulous descriptions, as they could only be done by someone who fully understands Pakistan, as a country, and the Pakistani people.
The story is believable and fast paced. It is a 5 Star book and a "must read". I highly recommend this book.

Agency Rules by Khalid Muhammad is a fast-paced thriller that will give readers a different perspective on one of the most volatile regions on the globe. For action buffs and current events aficionados alike, this is one you won't want to miss.


Why did you write this book?

I first got the idea for the book about 6 years ago. I tried many different flavors of how the story should come together in terms of flow and structure, but it never really worked for me until I switched gears and let more of myself into the writing. I am extremely pro-Army and pro-Pakistan – it will always be home to me.
Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office takes you behind the headlines into the events that created today’s Pakistan. It is a tough look at a nation in conflict from the eyes of a young man, Kamal Khan, who is looking for his own identity and place in society. Kamal is raised in privilege, but leaves it all behind as a man to serve his nation. Once in that environment, finds himself embroiled in a complex narrative that shifts with the fiery speeches of their anointed political and religious leaders.

There are a number of motivations behind my story. First, and probably the most important motivation, was to share the Pakistan that I know with the world. The narrative that has become commonplace about my country is that it is a failed state with many players in the power corridor, but that is not all that Pakistan is. My Pakistan is a country that struggles with inept governments more interested in themselves rather than the people who elected them. It is a country whose people are extremely talented and patriotic but unable to take advantage of any opportunities because the country is run like a fiefdom rather than a nation. It is a country in search of its identity, much like Kamal, that is trapped amidst power plays from internal and external forces.

Secondly, I grew up reading spy thrillers filled with the exploits of CIA, MI6 and KGB agents. While reading all of these stories, I always wondered why no one had ever written about Pakistan’s intelligence services, the ISI, and the challenges they face everyday. Geopolitically, Pakistan is host to numerous intelligence agencies working within its borders, a public secret here and the ISI holds it’s own against all of them. Its routinely demonized by foreign nations, and much of that is because it is so good at what it does.

The backdrop of terrorism does make telling the story easier, but to paint the mosaic of the complexities I had to move backwards to the 1990s so that the reader could understand what happened to create the image of the country as it is today. It’s also a little bit of what I wish had happened rather than what really has happened. In my story, as in real life in fact, the people of Pakistan are the underdog against so many powerful forces, it’s a miracle we still exist. That we do is testament to our resilience as a nation, no matter what you read in the international press.

I hope that, as a reader, you will experience that Pakistan that I fell in love with when I moved home from the United States after 25 years. You will feel your heart wrench with Kamal’s when he is stationed in Karachi, Peshawar and buried deep inside the terrorist camps. And, hopefully, you will cheer him on, because he is the Pakistani that you don’t see in the media – smart, driven and motivated to do good for his family, fellow citizens and country.
Anything in particular you’d like to share about this book?

Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office, rather than picking up from today, stumbles backwards to the 1990s, right after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and the beginnings of the extremist/terrorist camps within the tribal areas. Fresh from a successful war with a superpower, the Mujahideen fighters that had traveled from Pakistan returned home. A segment of these fighters with more militant leanings looked to change the country that had neglected them and their religious beliefs in favor of a liberal agenda that allowed women to attend schools, men to dress in Western clothing and Islam to be sequestered to Friday prayers and religious holidays.

The story will take you through the 90s and the networks that were created within the country’s madrassahs (religious schools) that today funnel fighters into the al-Qaeda and the fight against the NATO forces in Afghanistan. It will give you a picture of Pakistan through one man’s eyes as he fights for his own identity and place in society. He is the embodiment of the Pakistani that the world doesn’t see in the headlines or the evening news. As the honorable soldier, the precision sniper, the intelligence operative and the conflicted man, Kamal Khan takes you through one of the greatest adventures before the War on Terror started to a Pakistan that is at war with itself.

What I have just described to you is not all of what Pakistan is today. It is a nation that is fighting for its existence in the community of nations, but it is also a nation full of hard-working, educated, honest people that want to see peace returned to their country. And there lies the rub…

Over the years, Pakistan has been infiltrated by traitors to the nation, more interested in bolstering their offshore bank accounts and assets, than they are in building a better country. The repercussions are felt like shockwaves throughout the country every day - an economy in tatters, education non-existent for those without wealth and employment opportunities unavailable for those without approach. It’s the same Pakistan that the religious extremists use to recruit more followers into their holy wars.

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

Well, books 2 & 3 are in the beta reader stage and have already been through the first few rounds of editing. I am hoping to have them out at the end of November. I am already planning book 4 in the series.

In addition to the Agency Rules series, I will be working on a crime thriller that I hope to publish around June of next year. I can’t talk a great deal about it yet because I am stilling in the planning stages with it, but I’ll be posting about it on our website and social media platforms once the story starts to come together.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Quick Tips: Keep Your Website Up To Date

This weeks quick tip is to keep your website up to date. Your website is your 24/7 marketing tool. Readers like fresh content and if a site looks like you haven't given it a thought in a while, readers won't give it a thought either. Search engines like fresh content too, so keeping your website up to date can help your rankings too.

You can find my other videos on my YouTube channel Don't forget to click subscribe so you can keep up with all the new uploads too ;) 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Review Showcase: Virtual Book Tours

Here's just some of the fantastic reviews received:

By Skye

"Nobody ever made money writing a book - only by selling it." -Brian Jud

From the start of that quote to the end of the book, I was caught like a fish on the end of the line, being drawn in to the fisherman.

When I began reading, I knew nothing about virtual book tours. Nada. Absolutely nothing.

Now, not only do I understand them better, but I feel that I might be able to attempt one myself closer to the time I publish my own work. Jo uses simple, clear vocabulary to discuss book tours and everything needed to complete one of your own as well as gives information about what kind of tours there are, and how to go about setting one up.

From the full definition and description of virtual book tours to discussions about what to include in a "media kit" - something I have never heard about before reading this book - Jo shows how easy and (most importantly) how rewarding a virtual book tour can be.

If you're interested in doing or hosting a virtual book tour or, like me, need to discover what it actually is, pick up a copy of this book. You'll be glad you did!

5.0 out of 5 stars amazing step by step ebook!
This step by step how to host a virtual book tour is very well written and easy to follow. I am using Jo's ebook to help me launch my first children's book. thank you Jo!

By Stacie
Virtual Book Tour is a must have book for any author or poet that has published a book in the past or plans on publishing one in the future and is wanting information, tips and links that help plan their next Virtual Book Tour…

Jo Linsdell has written some of the greatest ideas, tips and information on how to hold a winning book tour.

I would recommend this book to all my author and poet friends…

Virtual Book Tours is well structured, easy to read, and it makes learning about blog tours seamless. You will understand what a tour is, how to determine your target audience, how to set your goals, how to find hosts, schedule stops, promote your tour, and, extremely important, how to measure results.

If you haven’t been on a tour and have no idea where to start, this book will definitely explain it all for you. If you have some idea about what’s what, Virtual Book Tours will clarify everything for you and give you the resources you need. If you’ve even organized tours, this book will help you do it better the next time around.

I highly recommend you try it, regardless of your experience with virtual blog tours for books of any kind.

I love books like this that tell you exactly how to do things and then give you tons of resources at the end to put everything into motion. This is a must-read for authors who want to use this relatively new method of promoting their books. It is simple and straightforward, with step-by-step instructions. I will refer to it many times as I promote my own books and those of my clients.

Grab your copy of Virtual Book Tours here

If you've read the book please take a moment to post a quick review of your own. I love reading your feedback ;)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Ask Jo: How do you find the time to write?

This weeks question is "How do you find the time to write?" Watch the video below for my answer.

Got a question for me? Leave it as a comment below and I'll add to the list to be answered in future Ask Jo videos.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Quick Tips: Create a Contest

This weeks quick tip is to create a contest related to your book. You can really have fun with this one, and it can be done for all books. Just pick a theme or topic that fits in in some way with your book. Contests help create a buzz about your book and increase fan interaction. They can be a great way to collect fan photos and testimonials to use in your future promotional efforts too.

You can find my other videos on my YouTube channel Don't forget to click subscribe so you can keep up with all the new uploads too ;)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review Showcase: Fairy May

A few of the reviews received for Fairy May:

5.0 out of 5 stars
I'm not an expert of children books, as far as a mother-of-2 (3,5yo and 1,5yo) can't be called as an expert of children books. =) This is the reason why my review will be "just" about what we love in this book.

We love the cuteness of drawings and the light, delicate colours.
We love the rhymes, a good exercise for non-mother-tongue children to improve their English knowledge.
We love the story, the strength of tiny May in following her dreams. We love the good example: if you want something you must be ready to work hard!
We love the highlight on dental hygiene, the importance of brushing teeth and we will download soon the extras!
We love to read it, and read it and read it again.... as we did with previous release by Jo Linsdell "OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO"! =)

We love the book itself. Fairy May is a new character in our life and we hope in future new adventures to be released!

5.0 out of 5 stars
 It Works!!

When a story is told using rhyming words, too many times it does not work, but this one surely does! The rhyming does not feel forced and the story line flows. I think it would be great for a beginning reader to use for practice as well as a fun read-aloud that reveals an important lesson!

4.0 out of 5 stars
 Another Delight from Jo Linsdell

Tooth fairy school? Failing tooth fairy school? Who would have thought it could happen? But it seem to be for Fairy May, the title character for Jo Linsdell’s latest children’s book.

Poor Fairy May is having trouble in tooth fairy school. She can’t quite get the spells and potions, and fairy dust. But Fairy May had a dream to become a tooth fairy, and “She’d worked so hard determined to pass.”

Like Ms. Linsdell’s previous book, Out and About at the Zoo, the text is simple for the beginning reader. At the same time, it’s fun to read aloud. The pictures are large and colorful, a real delight.

This little book isn’t just a cute story, it also teaches perseverance and determination. Qualities that most parents want to instill at an early age.

Ms. Linsdell has created another book, which will delight young children and early readers.

5.0 out of 5 stars
 So cute and good advice!,

This is so cute.......3 to 8 yr olds would love it, nice for cozy discussion round the pictures, and i love the dental hygiene advice too!

5.0 out of 5 stars
 Fairy May Goes to School!

Fairy May is a darling little fairy that is going to school to become a Tooth Fairy.
Her teacher is very frustrated with Fairy May because she keeps getting all the spells and magic wrong.
Fairy May is determined to do her best and prove to her teacher she can be the best Tooth Fairy.
She studies hard and reads all about the spells and magic so she will pass her final test.

Jo Lindell has written a very cute rhyming tale about a Tooth Fairy student.
Children will enjoy the fact that even a Tooth Fairy has to study and take test.
This story shows it takes hard-work, determination and confidence in oneself
to get an education even as a Tooth Fairy.

I highly recommend this book!

Grab your copy of Fairy May here

If you've read the book please take a moment to post a quick review of your own. I love reading your feedback :)

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