Monday, 22 December 2014

Kindle Countdown Deals on Books by @JoLinsdell

As a special holiday treat I've set up some discount deals on a couple of my books. How to be Twittertastic ( and Fairy May ( are both available for $0.99 on 22nd Dec and $1.99 on 23rd Dec.

How to be Twittertastic is currently a best seller on the Amazon UK site (

screenshot from
As always, reviews are most appreciated 

Disney illustration study

My kids love Disney. I love Disney. Who doesn't right? Disney cartoons are common viewing on our TV. So, what is it about Disney characters that makes them so lovable? 

I decided to do a study into the Disney way, starting from the illustration style. One of the first things I realised is that the illustrations are simple and yet contain so much detail all at the same time. 

Then there's the amount of expression they give their characters. I was watching Aladdin with my kids the other day and was reminded of what a fantastic character the flying carpet is. No face, no limbs... just a carpet... but wow did it have character!

Anyway, I decided to start my study by looking at the Disney Princesses as they play key roles. Here's a few of the sketches I've done so far:

Elsa from Frozen illustrated by Jo Linsdell
Elsa from Frozen

Ariel from The Little Mermaid illustrated by Jo Linsdell
Ariel from The Little Mermaid

Belle from Beauty and the Beast illustrated by Jo Linsdell
Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Princess Jasmine from Aladdin illustrated by Jo Linsdell
Princess Jasmine from Aladdin

I'll be doing more character sketches as I continue my study. Who is your favourite Disney character? Why?

I'd also like to take this opportunity to invite you to check out my illustrations on my Pinterest Board at

Friday, 19 December 2014

Featured Friday: King of Bad by Kai Strand

Title: King of Bad: Super Villain Academy Book 1
Author: Kai Strand
ISBN: 978-1-61160-665-2

Purchasing links: 

Book blurb:

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.
He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Author bio:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,


It's about time we see the perspective of the world from a super villain! All too often, books tend to focus on the super hero. I liked the idea of a Super Villain Academy and seeing how the children were all trained to be bad. -The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl

This story was well worth the read, and the author pulls the 'bad' aspect off with balance, structure, and - believe it or not - goodness. The super powers Strand uses to create her characters' world are altered slightly from the norm, giving freshness. -SA Larsen

It was a light read that got better and better as it went on; the author threw in a few twists with the main character, too. I can't wait for the sequel to come out! –Goodreads review

Mini Interview:

Why did you write this book?

King of Bad was a NaNoWriMo book (National Novel Writing Month). Originally, I had outlined a middle grade novel for the project, but on November 1st when I sat down to write, a young adult book about teenage super villains came out of me. Yes, I was surprised. But boy is it fun to write about the baddies!

Anything in particular you'd like to share about this book or it's creation?

Even though the main character is a super villain and he attends a school that trains villains, not every character is grumpy and filled with angst. It's a story of good vs bad and about finding your way through life. 

As part of the giveaway, I'm offering several sets of character trading cards. It's a first time I'm offering them and I'm so excited about them. This set was designed specifically for King of Bad. There will be a unique design for each book, so this is the best and most fun time to get a set. From the beginning!

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

The second book in the series, Polar Opposites, is out already and the third and final book will be released next summer. The third book in my Weaver Tales series, The Lumpy Duckling, released in October. The Weaver Tales are written for middle grade readers. Readers can visit my website to learn more about all of my books. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Virginia Jennings hosts Jasmine's Got Talent!

Jasmine's Got Talent! by Maria Rochelle. Illustrated by Jo Linsdell

A big thanks to Virginia Jennings for hosting +Maria Rochelle  and I on her blog as part of the Jasmine's Got Talent! virtual book tour. 

On the 5th December she hosted me for an interview about illustrating Jasmine's Got Talent!  (You can read that post at

On the 12th December she hosted us both for an interview (check that post out here:

And on 18th December Virginia will be hosting us again. This time she'll be sharing her own review of Jasmine's Got Talent! (Looking forward to reading her feedback).

Would you like to host us on your site? Or maybe for a live social media chat via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ hangouts? Get in touch and we'll be happy to organise :)

Want a copy of Jasmine's Got Talent!? Grab a copy here:

All reviews are most appreciated 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Featured Friday: Puck’s Choice by Skye Hegyes

Title: Puck’s Choice, book one from Shifters & Mages series
Author: Skye Hegyes
ISBN: 978-0990744986

Purchasing Links:

Book Blurb:

Puck Dupree moved in with her sister after spending over a year trapped in the form of a fox. She had hoped to move on with a normal teenage life; however, trouble seems to have followed her.
The Council wants her to partner with a mage or forfeit her life, a friend of hers has a stalker who may or may not be trying to destroy her, and a boy at school keeps watching her. If only she could decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her.
Author Bio:

Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree...

Author Website:

Mini Interview:

Why did you write this book?

I am a fan of writing books I want to read but can’t find. At the time I started writing “Puck’s Choice” there were almost no fictional books about witches and familiars meant for young adults. I was in that stage where I wanted to read more adult books but with upper high school/college level kids. There was Harry Potter, but they just weren’t the same as what I wanted to read. So I decided I wanted to write my own.

Anything in particular you’d like to share about this book or its creation?

Some of Puck’s history is my own, although not a lot. There are many people (mostly friends and family) who have started assuming that Puck is me. I assure you… She’s a lot cooler – even without being a shifter. It was a tale that took me two years to write and three years to edit and get ready to submit for publication. That’s a lot of time to work with a set of characters. Because of this, I feel particularly close to Puck, but not to the point where I think she’s me, and Rand? Well, he’s just a bit different than most of the guys I know and a mixture of all of them in a way.

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

Hopefully, more books. Ha ha ha! I love writing. I am currently working on several projects. One is the next book in the Shifters & Mages series, which will feature a couple of the side characters from the first book – Jenna and Daren. Another project I am working on is a piece I was asked to submit for consideration for an anthology for a LGBT book. It’s certainly a new realm for me and a new experience altogether but one I’m really excited about participating in.

Currently, there is no blog tour schedule set, although there is aim to do one in January. If you are interested in being part of the blog tour, feel free to contact Skye via her website to learn more about how you can contribute.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Susie Caron reviews Jasmine's Got Talent!

A big thanks to +Susie Caron for hosting +Maria Rochelle  and I on her blog for a book showcase and review as part of the Jasmine's Got Talent! virtual book tour. Check out the post here:

Screenshot from
Would you like to host us on your site? Or maybe for a live social media chat via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ hangouts? Get in touch and we'll be happy to organise :)

Want a copy of Jasmine's Got Talent!? Grab a copy here:

All reviews are most appreciated 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Quick Tips: Add a category to your Pinterest boards

This weeks Quick Tip is to add a category to your Pinterest boards.

Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel at to catch all my Quick Tips and other videos.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Interview About Illustrating Jasmine's Got Talent!

Yesterday I was hosted on the website of +V.L. Jennings for an interview where I talked about illustrating Jasmine's Got talent! (the 3rd book in the Jasmine Dreams series written by +Maria Rochelle) 

Please drop by and check out the post. All likes, comments, and shares are most appreciated.

Screenshot from the website
Thank you for your support.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Piu Libri Piu Liberi Book Fair, Rome 2014

Yesterday I had an awesome morning at the Piu Libri Piu Liberi book fair here in Rome, Italy. Unfortunately I only managed to stay for a few hours as I'm not well at the moment but it was worth it. Now have loads of new ideas and feel motivated to get some work done (health allowing). Even got an offer from a publisher.

The big debate of this years event was over ebooks. The speeches given, and recent statistics, all show a huge increase in the use of tablets for reading here in Italy and a significant push in that direction. That said, I spoke to some small publishers who only publish in print and have no interest in embracing this "new" way of reading. Whilst I admire them for making a stand for their beliefs, I couldn't help but feel like they were shooting themselves in the foot. How can a publisher NOT do epublishing and still survive especially when they are a small press? 

According to the stats, 1 in 3 families in Italy has a tablet and 82% of those are used by children. This takes me to the other big topic of the event... children's books. There was a clear increase in the number of stands offering children's books this year compared with last years event. During the speeches, several comments were made about the need and demand for more children's books. As a children's author, I was happy to see this growth within the Italian publishing industry and hope they continue to encourage young readers... whether by print or ebooks.

Here's a few photo's from the event:

Collecting my pass

At the entrance

With a copy of Jasmine at Work

With a copy of Italian for Tourists

With a copy of The Box

Listening to the opening speeches

During the opening speeches

Fab abstract art displayed inside the venue

My pass, program, and catalog

Checking out some of the great children's books

During an interview for TV station Tele Ambiente
about using recycled paper to make books.

Books, books, and more books :)

Christmas tree on the stand of publisher Book Salad
with mini book keyrings as decorations.

More books. This stand had some great bilingual books for kids.

At this stand they sold books by their weight. €5 per kg.

A small piece of the book fair can be seen behind me.
Also in this pic you'll see that I took my Italian for Tourists shopping bag
with me to carry all the handouts and do some subtle promoting ;)

Script magnets! Love this. On my Christmas list.

Literary mugs with quotes from books.

Outside Palazzo Dei Congressi.

Monday, 1 December 2014

#PiBoIdMo Winner!!!!

YAY!!! Happy dance time. I got my 30 ideas and 30 days and therefore I'm happy to announce that I'm a PiBoIdMo winner again this year :D

PiBoIdMo Winners banner
I'm really excited about some of the ideas on my list too. Some of which have been put on my publication list for 2015 so keep your eyes open for updates on those in the near future ;)

Unfortunately due to personal problems and a variety of viruses and other seasonal joys (both my kids decided to bring home every cold, cough, stomach bug.... that was on offer this year and generously shared them with us all), I didn't manage to be a WNFIN winner too. I had hoped I'd get the book finished by the end of November but life just got in the way. I am however closer to finishing it than I was at the beginning of the month and so I still class that as a mini victory even if I didn't meet my goal. How to be Pinterest Perfect will be finished soon though and is scheduled for release early in the new year.

Did you meet your writing goals for November? 

Interested in my work and services?
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