Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meet and Greet - Author Melodie Campbell

Happy Saturday!

I am very happy that you get a chance to meet Canadian writer Melodie Campbell!

I met Melodie thorugh the ImajinBooks in Twitter. I was searching for guest bloggers and Melodie reacted very quickly with her suggestions. I am grateful for that, Melodie!

So, ladies and gentlemen, let's meet and greet Melodie!

Information about Melodie Campbell - who is she? Let's meet her!


Melodie Campbell has been a bank manager, marketing director, comedy writer, college instructor and possibly the worst runway model ever.  Melodie got her start writing comedy, so it’s no surprise that editors have called her fiction “wacky” and “laugh out loud funny”.  She has over 200 publications and has won 5 awards for fiction.  She is currently the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada, and has taught fiction writing for ten years. 

Where can you find her?

Blog:
Facebook:
Crime Writers of Canada:

What is her latest book about?



Do you like comic time travel romance?

Meet Rowena Revel!

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”


When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit – and the stakes get higher as the men get hotter. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen-year-old Kendra to look out for, and a war to prevent. Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to…or can she?
 
 
Want to have more of the book? Read the excerpt!
 
Chapter 16



“How did you do that?” Kendra gasped.
“Do what?”
“I just saw you walk right through that wall!”
“Oh that….” I said, brushing myself off. “Look sweetie, not to change the subject, but I don’t have a whole lot of time-”
“And who is that?”
Kendra gaped at Logan, who stood at least a foot taller than her. He, in turn, gazed down at her as if he had just discovered the meaning of life, the universe and everything that might possibly be in it.
“Damn,” I mumbled. “Kendra – Logan, Logan – Kendra. Now that we’re all introduced, I really have to hustle.”
Kendra’s eyes widened. “Is he for real?”
“Yes, yes, he’s real,” I said, trying to speed things along. “He’s a cousin of my fiancé.”
Kendra stared at me, mouth open. “He’s Ivan’s cousin?”
“Not Ivan. Sargon.” I sighed. “It’s complicated.”
She crossed her arms. “I can follow.”
As a very curious Logan watched us, I sucked in air. “Okay, here goes. I was married to Ivan the first day I got there, but then I got kidnapped. Gareth’s land doesn’t recognize the laws of Huel, but if you have sex with the same guy three times in one day in this place, you’re considered pledged. So I’m kind of married to Gareth too. Except then Ivan got banished – long story, not nice – and now I’m affianced to the King.”
“The king?” Kendra frowned. “You’re hitched to two of these bozos and engaged to another?”
“Kind of. It wasn’t my fault.”

What do others say about her book?

“Hot and Hilarious!” Midwest Book Review

“Jack Sparrow meets Stephanie Plum” Former editor, Distant Suns Fantasy Magazine

Where can you find the book?


That was the Meet and Greet with Melodie Campbell! Melodie will hopefully come and visit my blog again in the future. She has a great experience writing about writing comedy and hopefully she will share this with us!

Thanks Melodie for letting me and readers Meet and Greet you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Behind the Screen (4)

Happy Saturday, everybody!

This post should usually be up on Thursday, but I did not have any electricity or Internet. So it is coming up today instead!

Giveaways:

During last days I have been preparing three different giveaways, which will start on Monday, 1st of August.

First of them will be Summer Giveaway Hop, which runs from 1-7 August and where there are more than 300 blogs participating. The post will be up on Monday and I will be giving away 20$ GC to amazon.com or books for the same value in The Book Depository.

The second giveaway hop will be UK and EU Giveaway Hop where there are30-40 blogs participating and all of them are from Europe. It will run from 1-8 August and I will ge giving away 10$ GC to amazon.com.

The third giveaway is organized by Canadian publisher ImajinBooks. I got contact to them through Twitter and fortunately I was included into their Sizzling Summer Scavanger Hunt and be one of the hosting blogs. There are some awesome prizes - you can win a Kindle, there will be 31 ebooks given away plus some paper books too. So come by from Monday and you will see. It will run from the 1-31 August.

As you have already understood I love giveaways and I also won some books from the Treasure Quest blog hop organized by several authors. I won:

My Perfect Wedding by Sibelle Hodge
How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men's Room (and other short stories) by Sibelle Hodge
Somewhere My Lass by Beth Trissel
Snow's Heat by Nicole Hicks

Can't wait to read all of them!

Bookshelves:

Besides the above mentioned ebooks, I also got lot of galleys to read from NetGalley :

Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey, published by Carina Press
Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey, published by Carina Press
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey, published by Carina Press

All romance books and that suits me well during the summer!

While reading and reviewing:

Ok, here's an update: 9 books read and that means that I am not so much behind with reading, but with reviewing. So I am planning to write reviews most of the coming week! I am not sure if I manage to write reviews for all 9 of them, but at least for some.

I have read so many good books in the meantime and can't wait to share my thoughts and reviews with you.

While blogging:

Actually this week I should call the title While chatting with authors and publishers. Anyway, as you know there has only been couple of posts this week. (See also under Technicalities).
I couldn't be online, but I could do a whole lot of preparations. And I did!

I managed to schedule the August in a way that it will definitely not be boring! What have I prepared for August? Here you go:

7 blog/book tours (Note to myself: update the Book tour's page!)
5 giveaways at least
4 agreed guest posts
3 book excerpts

If I think that August hasn't really started yet, I am little proud of myself! I feel like my blog is getting more efficient. (Read: I am getting better for planning and scheduling things).

I am so grateful for authors and publishers trusting me. Sincerely.

Technicalities:

Anybody out there how to make sticker? What I mean is that I have still not figured out how to make a sticker post, so in case I am posting new posts, the sticker will still stay on top of the posts. Anybody?

I had some really good news, too. Parajunkee (most of you know who she is, I guess, but just in case: she is book blogger, hosting FF for book bloggers, she is designer and so many other good things) will make a new design for my blog. I got an email from her this week and I am very excited! It will take some time, but I am genuinely happy!

Facts and numbers will come next week!

Here is the linky also. Join the ride! Please only link in case you are really writing Behind the Screen post.

Imajin Books: Summer Reviewer Giveaway - July 1-August 31

Imajin Books: Summer Reviewer Giveaway - July 1-August 31: "This July & August, we hope you'll join us for our Summer Reviewer Giveaway. No, we aren't giving away reviewers (though I'm sure some autho..."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday (12)

Due to the thunderstorms I have had problems with having electricity and Internet connection, so it has been awhile since I could post anything. It seems that the trouble is over for this time, so I am back again.

Time to do some love sharing!


I'm participating in two Follow Friday Blog Hops. The first one is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Both of them are featuring new blogs. Blogs which are featured this week are: The Book Addicted Girl and The Little Book Blog . Feel free and visit their blogs and follow them!






Question of the week: Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?


My answer:

Come to the dark side, we have cookies!

You naughty boy, go to MY room!
(I didn't find the picture)

Now to the second hop I'm participating. It is usually hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop


Question of the week: Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!
My answer: Snow's Heat is one of them. The book is written by Nicole Hicks. And the cover looks like that:
Snow's Heat (Prowling Around)

Now to the linkies:

Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read:


 



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Winner of The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young



It's time to announce the winner of The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young! Michael was visiting my blog during the blog tour and one lucky person will receive his book The Last Archangel.

Thanks to Michael D. Young and Cedar Fort Publishing for providing the winner with The Last Archangel! Thanks to all the participants from 6 different countries!

According to random.org, the winner is:

Michele L whose email starts with jmluk

Congratulations, Michele!!!


The winner has 48 hours to reply to my email. If no reply, there will be another winner announced.

Thanks again to everybody who participated!

Happy reading!

Winner of Bella by Steve Piacente

Bella

It's time to announce the winner of Bella by Steve Piacente!

Before I will announce the winner, I would like to thank Steve for providing the book and also thank all of you who participated. There were participants from 6 different countries this time. Thank you!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the winner is:


Lady Milano
She has already replied back to me and the book will soon be on her way!
Liz whose email starts with tapial
The first winner did not come back to me, so I had to draw a new winner.

Congratulations!!!

The email is sent to the winner and winner has 48 hours to reply. If no reply I will draw another winner.

Thanks again for participating!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Behind the Screen (3)

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Time to write about what has going on Behind the Screen.

First, I thought that due to the fact I am having vacation, I will no have much to write, but it turned out differently.

Bookshelves:

My e-book shelf has increased with 9 books! 6 of them I got from the author Kiki Howell and 3 of them from Indie Snippets from different authors. I won these during the Blog Fest where lots of blogs participated. The books will be listed down below under Giveaways.
Hopefully I will be one of the participating blogs next year.

Besides that I have received several e-books for reviewing from NetGalley.
Firstly, I got Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. Book is published by HarlequinTeen. I was so glad when I got the confirmation email from NetGalley.

Secondly, I got Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. Book is published by Hachette Book Group.

Last, but not least I got e-book of The Vampire's Curse by SJ Wright for the book tour.

So, lots of reading waiting.

While blogging:

I updated the page for book and blog tours, because there are quite many of them in August. At the moment I am participating in the Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens Blog tour, you can find the post here: http://www.ingasilbergbooks.com/2011/07/blog-tour-overprotected-by-jennifer.html

I added the Vampire's Curse blog tour, which will take place 12 - 29 August and the stop in my blog will be on the 19th of August.

What I still need to do, is to add all the banners of the book and blog tours on the page.

Generally, I have enjoyed my vacation, but I have still been able to write some posts.

Giveaways:

The giveaways I had running are both ending today, so I will need to write a winner posts later today.
Besides that, you will find a possibility to win a book in case you are signing for Shelf Awareness. You will find it on the left column.

At the same time, I have been actively participating in different blog hops and giveaways and as mentioned above I won 6 books from Kiki Howell through the Blog Fest giveaway hop. the books which I won are:

Rituals
A Strange Freedom
Mystic Stones
Torn Asunder
A Modern Day Witch Hunt
Irreconcilable Differences

The books I won from The Indie Snippets with the same Blog Fest giveaway hop:

Backlash by Nancy Fulda
An Epitaph for Coyote by Bryan R. Dennis
Blood of Requiem by Daniel Arenson

There is actually a wonderful author blog hop going on and I encourage you all to participate, authors have wonderful giveaways of their own books! You can start the hop for example on this blog: http://kimbowmanauthor.blogspot.com/2011/07/treasure-quest-discovery-lies-between.html 

Facts and numbers:

The most popular post this week has been The Last Archangel's post with interview and giveaway with author Michael D. Young and the Blog Tour Interview with Jennifer Laurens. Both of them have had 25 page views this week. Thinking, that interview with Jennifer Laurens was posted this morning, it's quite OK result.
GFC follower increased from 655 to 657 during the week. +2.

The biggest number of visitors this week are from US - 147 hits, the second place goes to Estonia with 60 hits and third place to UK with 24 hits.

Last week there were visitors from 27 countries.

Page views all time history shows 11.352 visitors. +369 visitors.

That's it for this week!
Happy reading!


Blog Tour - Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens - Interview!



Welcome to the Overprotected Blog Tour!

I am very happy to welcome a guest in my blog today. I am participating on Jennifer Laurens' Overprotected Blog Tour, which is organized by We Fancy Books. I was very happy to get a chance to interview Jennifer.

I read overprotected awhile ago in May and I really enjoyed reading it. You can find my review of Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens here. Due to the fact that I loved Overprotected and was extraordinary glad when We Fancy Books decided to have a blog tour for Overprotected. I am very honored to welcome Jennifer Laurens here.

Before we go further with interview, you will find all the information about the blog tour on Jennifer Laurens' blog. It will list all the participating blogs and you will also see a kick-off post for the tour by Jennifer. The post is here.


Where to find Jennifer Laurens:



Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Jennifer Laurens and enjoy the interview!

Part I

IS: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

JL: Always first, I’m a mother to 6 wonderful children, a wife to an inspirational companion of 27 years now and I write books.

IS: What inspired you to want to become writer?

JL: I’ve always enjoyed writing and started writing plays when I was in Jr.High. After my 6 children were all in school I took it up full time.

IS: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

JL: I’m an only child and I wanted a big family so my first goal was being a mother.

IS: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book formed?

JL: I read Nora Roberts’ Rivers End and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to bring that kind of enjoyment to people.

IS: What do you do when you are not reading and writing and blogging? Do you have any hobbies?

JL: I squeeze writing in whenever I can. All of my other hobbies are on hold, but in my pre-author days I enjoyed: miniatures, doll collecting, dollhouses, painting, dancing. I still travel and shop!

IS: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?

JL: In the beginning it was anything negative that had to do with the business. But I’ve chosen to steer clear of all of that so I can remain positive and able to focus on writing. It’s the most freeing decision I made.

IS: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?

JL: I already am my first priority and that is a mother, friend, wife and confidant to my family. There isn’t anything more worthy of my time that that.

IS: Who or what is your Muse?

JL: I’m inspired by a lot of things. I just got back from vacation, and we ate out a lot. An idea came to me while dining at a restaurant as I watched the waiters interact. Writers observe people and collect bits and pieces – moments – and those all form into seeds that await planting.
Overprotected

Part II

I adored your book Overprotected and characters, so, let’s talk about Overprotected.

IS: Where did you get the idea for Overprotected? How did the book born?

JL: As I mentioned above I’m an only child. Where my relationship with my parents wasn’t as extreme as Ashlyn’s, I was definitely sheltered. I loved the idea of a love triangle with a father who obsesses over his strong love for his daughter and the man who comes into her world and threatens that.


NailedFalling for RomeoMagic HandsHeavenly (Volume 1)Penitence (Volume 2)Absolution (Volume 3)

IS: You have written several books. Which book have you enjoyed writing most? Why?

JL: Some books come easier than others. When I started writing, I wrote romantic comedies ( YA ) because my teenage daughters wanted romance without the smut. I wrote Falling for Romeo, Magic Hands and Nailed for them – those books came very quickly. As my children grew and their lives took new directions, often difficult for me and my husband to go through, I wrote Heavenly, Penitence and Absolution which is really about our family struggling to live with autism and various teen abuse issues. Those were challenging to write because they are so personal.

IS: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?

JL: Yes. I’ve learned to write through it.

IS: Which character do you love most in Overprotected? Which character can you mostly relate to?

JL: I love them all. They’re all layered and complex. Fiona is a favorite because she’s a cliché who becomes a real person throughout the story. And, like with all of my stories, there are bits of me in her – I’m addicted to Rockstar energy drinks and her addiction to them down to what she calls them “elixir of the gods” is a term I use!

IS: I was wondering if you have experienced the situations in your life where someone has a desperate need to control you, like Daddy wanted to protect Ash in Overprotected? Where did the idea to that come from?

JL: Unfortunately, yes. My mother has been a very controlling person. It’s taken years for her to “let go” of me and we’ve worked hard on that aspect of our relationship. She’s doing much better. :)

IS: I must ask you about new book to be published. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already?

JL: I can’t say too much about it except that, once again, I’m weaving in my own life experiences into the story. It brings two different time periods together and has some paranormal elements.



Part III – Favorites

Who is your favorite author? I just read the most phenomenal book I’ve ever read, Damage by Josephine Hart. Up until that, I loved Markus Zusak and Scott Spencer ( Endless Love )
What is your favorite book or series? Damage. Endless Love. Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl.
What is your favorite song? Too many to list.
What is your favorite season? Fall.
What is your favorite food? Chocolate.
What is your favorite car? If I could have any car it would be a BMW SUV. I drive a Nitro.
What is your favorite color? Periwinkle
What is your favorite movie? It’s a romantic comedy, but I like too many of those to list.
What is your favorite time of the day? Morning.
What is your favorite weather? California weather – mild and consistent.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for writing all these good books and thank you for visiting my blog and giving an interview! 
The next stop in this tour is Amaterasu Reads. There will be excerpt of Jennifer Laurens' book. Have fun hopping through all the blogs in the blog tour!
 
Happy touring!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week:

THE WOLF MOVED through the trees, nose to the ground. Down from the mountain and out of the primordial darkness towards the lights of the city. It skulked through a hole in a fence, pads heavy on the worn pavement. Past a leaning stack of pallets and into a lot that stank of gasoline and men. Jaundiced light beamed from the poles haloed in the light drizzle. The rain dampened the stink of the ground and turned it sour.


Tim McGregor (2011). BAD WOLF . Kindle Edition.

Summary from Goodreads:

Detective Lara Mendes’s hard work finally pays off when she gets the chance to join the homicide detail. There’s only one catch; she has to partner up with a cop no one wants to work with.


John Gallagher is a veteran homicide detective who loves stomping bad guys and hates partners. When the Lieutenant saddles him with this green kid named Mendes, his first reaction is to ditch her but a call comes in about a body on the river bank and the rotation says they’re up.


What they find are human remains, mutilated and partially devoured. Their investigation reveals a killer stalking the city with a pack of vicious, feral dogs.

And the suspect believes he is a werewolf.

But this is Portland, where crazy bastards outnumber normal ones ten to one. Except there’s another catch. The crazy werewolf guy? He isn’t crazy...


Happy reading!






Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Looks Forward (12) - Vacation!

Happy Monday, everybody!

Well, this week's Monday looks literally towards one more week of vacation! The first week of my vacation went partially still to my daily work and I also had to do different things in my home. So, for the second week, I simply escaped to my parents summerhouse on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia near by the sea and now I feel that I really do have a vacation!!!

My blog will work on low tempo this week, because my dad is having a big birthday this week, and since I promised to help with preparation, I do not know how much time I will have for the blog.

Anyway, there will be different events still going on here, so you will see some posts during the week. But please be aware, that I might not be participating in some of the weekly meme's I am usually participating. Also, in case you email me or contact me, I might not reply to you right away, but during couple of days.

OK, let's see what will be up on the blog:

Book and blog tours:


I will be participating in the Overprotected (Jennifer Laurens) blog tour organized by We Fancy Books.

The kick-off to this blog tour is started by the author Jennifer Laurens herself on the 20th of July on her blog :

I will be the second right after the kick-off and you will see interview with the author Jennifer Laurens in my blog on the 21st of July. I am very excited to participate and that I got the possibility to make an interview with Jennifer.

I will also add the necessary links for this blog tour on Thursday, so be prepared!

Giveaways:

There are currently two giveaways running, both of them include the interviews with the authors.

You can find the giveaway for Bella by Steve Piacente here: http://www.ingasilbergbooks.com/2011/07/interview-and-giveaway-with-steve.html

You can find the giveaway for The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young here: http://www.ingasilbergbooks.com/2011/07/blog-tour-last-archangel-by-michael-d.html

Weekly memes:


I'm participating in several weekly memes, but as said earlier, since I have vacation and have one big birthday in the family coming up, then I might not post all of them this week:

Monday Looks Forward on Monday
Teaser Tuesday on Tuesday
Wednesday Wonderings on Wednesday
Behind the Screen on Thursday - New!!!! I've got some positive feedback about this and hopefully more blogs will join in and participate.
Follow Friday and Book Blog Hop on Friday
In My Mailbox on Sunday


That's it for this week!
Happy reading, everybody!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Behind the Screen (2)

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Time to write the second Behind the Screen post to tell you what else has been going on connected to blogging, books and reading.

Bookshelves

My paper-books bookshelves have not increased this week. Not yet at least. But, there are two very good books on the way to me, in the post somewhere. These two books are Forever by Maggie Stiefvater and The Dance with Dragons by George R. Martin. I have to tell you, that I have really waiting for these ones. Forever should reach me next week. It's the third and final book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls. The other book, well, I have been waiting for it very long time because the last George R. Martin's book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire was published in 2005!!!! So 6 years! I think the reason he finally published the 5th book was due to the fact that his series was made into a TV serial and he simply had to push himself finally to publish the next book. It is not going to be the last book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, but hopefully I do not have to wait again for so long time.

Regarding e-books, then my e-bookshelf has grown. I have increased my Kindle library with two books: What A Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian and Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

I have at the moment 42 unread new books and 86 on my TBR list.

While blogging:

Huh, I have been blogging quite a lot. Since last Behind the Screen post, I have made 7 posts. It does not sound like a lot, but these posts have been very long ones.
What is even more important, preparing 3 posts have taken several hours each. Especially 2 interviews and 1 recap post from the online conference. Besides that, I was writing them during the night, ending the writing at 3:30 am, so I had to use a lot of my sleeping hours. Luckily I have vacation!
I have 6 books which I have finished and where I still need to write reviews.

While reading:
Reading has been problematic this week. I haven't finished a single book yet. I was thinking that when I have a vacation, then I will use lot of time reading, but there has been so many other things that I have done, mostly related to my home and house. It seems that the first part of vacation will end without me finishing a single book! It seems that I need to get away from home in order to read. Last year when I had summer vacation I finished I think 10 books. The difference is, that last summer I spent not at home, but visiting my parents. I am comforting myself with the fact, that tomorrow I will visit my parents for a week, so hopefully I will have possibilities to some heavy reading. Wish me luck!

Technicalities:
There is some progress: I learned how to make a vlog! I know that it is very easy, but I really never tried it. Now I know how and I am sure that you will see me soon launching couple of videoposts. I wanna try it!

Facts and numbers


The most popular post this week has been The Last Archangel's post with interview and giveaway with author Michael D. Young. There has been 41 views. It was posted this morning at 3 am, so that is not bad at all.
GFC follower increased from 636 to 655 during the week. +19.
The biggest number of visitors this week are from US - 268 hits, the second place goes to Estonia with 47 hits and third place to Germany with 29 hits.
Last week there were visitors from 23 countries.
Page views all time history shows 11.352 visitors. +858 visitors (Started blogging actively in March).

That's it for today!

I am adding the linky again, so you can add your posts here!

Lady Blogger Social Online Conference - recap

Dear readers,

As I promised to you in my Monday Looks Forward, I would like to write a recap about the Lady Blogger Online Conference. The post is going to be long and first I wanted to do it in two pieces, but I kind of got carried away and instead of two posts you have this one!

First, let me say, that it was a lot of fun. While most of the participants started their conference in the morning, it was already 5 pm here. So when other attendees were having their morning coffee, I was already drinking my evening coffee. When conference day ended for me, the time showed already 1 am. This is the wonder of online conferences - it does not matter where you are or what you do, the online conference is always bringing people together.

I registered to the Lady Blogger Social Online Conference already months ago and when the 8th of July started, I was very excited about it. Lady Blogger Social Online Conference took place over three days, starting on the 8th and ending on the 10th of July.

Some Facts and Numbers:

7 sessions on Friday
6 sessions on Saturday
4 sessions on Sunday
16 presenters
71 attendees from US, Canada and well, 1 from Europe and that was me.

Content of the Conference:
As the title of the conference says, it was about social networking. I will not go into detailed overview of all the sessions, but would just like to bring out some ideas and thoughts what I got out of it. Lot of things and topics what we discussed are known, but not to used by many bloggers.

Friday:
The conference was opened by the keynote speaker Sherri McConnel, CEO/Business Model Expert who spoke generally about the importance of blogging and how blogging has influenced the world.

She was followed by Jenny Dean, whose session concentrated of the blogging platforms and investing in blogging software that organizes content around keywords to drive better engagement of search engine visitors. I have to admit, that this is an area, what I do not know much about, because I have not been so interested in the technical part of the blogging, like SEOs, market affiliates etc. So I was listening with big interest - just to find out that there is still so much to learn about!

Next session was about travel blogging presented by Caz Makepeace who talked about  what it takes to become a successful travel blogger, including topics such as mind set, design tools needed specific to travel blogging, content, traffic, social media, and so much more!

April Durham’s session was about many of the necessary “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of designing your blog.  From making your own graphics, to how to choose a blog designer; tons of tips on making your blog design compliment the content. I was very frustrated after that session. Not because it was not useful. It definitely was, but I just felt so totally lost in the "designing your blog" world. Well, I know what to do with pictures and vlogs etc, but I do not know ANYTHING about HTML, scripts.... ewwww. I know that lots of people find it easy-breezy, but for me - I get chills even when I am thinking about it. I guess I just need to get over it and start watching some online tutorials available.

The next session was held by Caitie Ramsburg who has been working with top brands, connecting bloggers with their marketing goals. She is working for BlogFrog and her presentation was lot of fun! My blog has yet nothing to do with pitching, marketing etc, but I think that this session was very useful for me indirectly. She talked about what is important for big companies, brands when you contact them.

Stephanie Peterson talked about how to balance honest writing with integrity and sensitivity and about the juggling act, how to be a committed blogger when you have other priorities (e.g., marriage, children, other careers, family, friends, and yourself). Her presentation was sincere and simple and came from her heart. I think many bloggers, including me, find it difficult sometimes. I have a small kid at home, daily work and career and above all that, I still want to blog, I want to find time for it! Stephanie talked out of her own experience and therefore it was easy to relate to.

Saturday:
Christie Crowder discussed something all of us bloggers struggle with - other people not being able to understand and support blogging. I luckily do not have that problem, I only need to consider my kid, but since I am blogging when he is already in bed, I can take the late hours of the evening to blog undisturbed. But there were lot of participants who had big problems with family, husband etc not understanding why the blogging is important for the bloggers, why does it take long time, why is it important for the blogger. Christie gave a lot of tips how to involve the close ones more into the process.

Holly Homer brought up a very interesting question:  As a blogger you CAN achieve adventure and money, but is that REALLY what you want?  She emphasized to think about before you spend the countless hours of investment required to get there.

Next session was held by Ronique Gibson with tips for helping fellow bloggers decide on how to choose a niche for their writing/blog, but also choose a topic that is part of them, and is of interest to the point of obsession. Her session was about helping bloggers realize that they should write for themselves, and not an audience, and that you will always be your worst and best critic. I really enjoyed this session!

And then a surprise - the only male presenter! Kole Mcrae's message was very clear - Less is More! this actually created a lot of discussions, because many attending bloggers considered the quantity, simply because their blog and especially clients do require it. Most of them were frugal bloggers where the clients want to see the number of page views, followers, more than 3 posts per day etc. I have to admit, that for me blogging has always been Less is More. for me the blogging is about message, about the content and also when you think about book blogging them it is fairly impossible to read 3 books per day every day! Of course, you can write 3 posts about books, reading, authors, news etc. I also visited Kole's blog and I loved it! It is simple, sincere, there is a message in every post he writes. Of course, he is a professional writer, so no wonder he is good at it!

Michele Mcgraw talked about tools out there that we use when it comes to blogging and social media. Oh dear! Besides the big social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, there are so many other tools that I did not know even existed: Seesmic.com, Listorious.com, StumbleUpon, Hootsuite etc. My perspective is that it is impossible to reach out to the whole world (I do have life to live!), but you need to choose which channels you are using and learn how to use the efficiently!

J from J’s Everyday Fashion went over the components of great marketing: dedication, branding, networking, partnering, and social media strategy. That lady was brilliant! She is keeping her blog in Facebook under photo albums under which she writes her posts! Very good idea!

Sunday:
Sunday started with goal setting session held by Julie Herbert. She actually had two sessions on Sunday, first one was about goals and SMART goals and later she had another session where she talked about how to use your blog and online media for philanthropy.

Carolina Moore talked about what to do when your blog has gone stale, how to keep yourself and readers interested.

Last, but not least Mary Jaksch  went through how to turn a small blog into big business. Her presentation was very interesting and useful! She talked how to grow your readership and how to plan and produce digital product. I have to admit that her session was one of my favorite! Not because I am planning to grow my small blog into huge business, but the ideas she mentioned, the freshness of what she told - it was a very good ending to the conference!

As you can imagine, it was all very intensive, there was a lot of information I got, so now I need little time to let it all settle in. Then I can start implementing some of the things I learned from the conference.


Organization of the Conference:

The sessions were divided into live sessions, telephone conference calls and pre-recorded sessions. Live sessions were organized over Ustream.com and it worked actually quite nicely. There were some minor technical issues, but it was nothing that disturbed. During the sessions we were able to chat both with each other and also with the speaker and most of the questions asked in chat were answered by the speaker right away, so it made the presentations and communication with the audience dynamic and easy.

Finally, all sessions were recorded, so I have the possibility to go over to the conference site and watch them as many times as I want. I have used this possibility more than once and I really love it!

Lady Blogger also organized a very professional conference site were all participants have access to. the site includes all the recorded sessions, forum with discussions, interest groups, member information etc, so you had all the information available in one place. Nice and easy!

Networking with other participants:

Besides the fact, that the conference was well organized and interesting, I also enjoyed networking with other participants. I have visited many of the blogs who participated and it is always fun to see, how others are managing their blogs. There were not many book bloggers at the conference: I think there was only 1 besides me, it was still overwhelmingly fun to communicate and network with the organizers, speakers and participants.

I am still visiting the site every day, writing posts, asking questions, sharing the know-how. We even decided with some bloggers to make a group for buddies for cooperating and I am looking very much forward to that, because I sincerely believe that we have something to learn from each other and especially from the speakers!
I think that the participants of this conference were actually the best examples of social networking - contacts were made, blogs were visited, pages and blogs followed and commented. I loved that!

Summing it all up:
For a fairly new blogger like me, this conference was a lot of fun, it gave lot of new ideas and know-how and it was genuinely useful.

Thanks to all the organizers and presenters for making this conference! You all did a very good job and in case you organize something like that next year - count me in!

Happy blogging, everybody!

Julie Kagawa was live on JulieKagawaLive.com - Iron Knight

Hi!

Got an email from NetGalley today, that Julie Kagawa's Iron Knight is available now in NetGalley and that there is a live session with Julie Kagawa organized by HarlequinTeen.


Since I came home little later then the announced time, I could still watch it. If you are Julie Kagawa's fan or like fairy and fantasy books, then you can go and see the video. It was interesting to watch! There were two announcements about Julie Kagawa's two new series which will be published in 2012 and there was a video behind the scene of shooting the pictures for the book cover and trailer of The Iron Knight. I enjoyed it a lot and recommend you to check it out!

I have to admit, that so far I have most of Julie's published books, but haven't managed to start reading them yet. After the live session I am sure, that I will start reading her books sooner than previously planned. She read couple of excerpts from The Iron Knight and made it even more exciting to me!

Summary from Goodreads:

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.



Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.


With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.


To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.


And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

You can find more information about the Iron Fey Series here:
http://enterthefaeryworld.com/
http://www.juliekagawa.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTxPHrXXeVM&feature=youtu.be

Sounds good, right?!
I requested the galley from NetGalley and cross my fingers that I will get it. Let's see. I will have to read the first 3 books anyway. And the novella!

Happy reading, everybody!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Tour - The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young. Interview and giveaway.


Hello everybody!

I am really happy to be part of the Blog Tour of The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young.
The tour is organized by Cedar Fort Publishing and the author Michael D. Young.

Michael D. Young agreed to give me an interview and there will also be a giveaway of his book, you can find the details after the interview. I have read the book and I really enjoyed it. You can find the review of The Last Archangel here.

Before we go to the interview - more information on this book and author can be found on the following websites:


The Last Archangel on Goodreads
Michael Young Fan Page
Michael Young on Twitter
 
 
 
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to author of The Last Archangel Michael D. Young!
 
Part I


I: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

MY: I’m a man who wears many hats. I love to teach, write, sing, perform and parent. I work for a language learning company by day and sing and write by night.

I: What inspired you to want to become writer?

MY: The excellent work of other writers I enjoyed growing up. And the fact that I’ve developed a crazy imagination over the years. You’ve got to do something with it if you’ve got it.

I: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

MY: I changed my mind every few months. I thought about being a pilot, a doctor, a pharmacist, etc. It was only later that I decided to be a teacher/writer. My dreams did include, however, having a family and singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, both of which happened.

I: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book form?

MY: The light bulb came on in high school. I literally woke up one day and said “I want to try that.” The idea for my first book didn’t really come from a “eureka” moment. My book ideas are more like water dripping into a bucket. A lot of ideas pool together over time and out of them comes the core of the book.

I: What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

MY: I’m a musician and love singing and playing the piano, and even writing the occasional song. I also get a kick out of spending time with my two little boys. Their unflagging joy for life is contagious.

I: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?

MY: Waiting. Nothing moves fast in the publishing world. Whether it is waiting for a response on a query letter, or waiting for the next book to get into print, the only thing for certain is that it will be awhile.

I: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?

MY: I’d love to be a professional musician or a full time professor. I’m licensed to teach both music and German.

I: Who or what is your Muse?

MY: I get many of my ideas from music, more of the feelings that music creates and less of the actual words themselves.

The Last ArchangelI: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?

MY: I put some much time into letting my ideas mature that I rarely encounter writer’s block. The times that I have come up against it, I simply shift gears to another project for a while and that seems to help.



Part II

I really loved The Last Archangel, so, let’s talk about the book and characters and your other published and yet not-published books.

I: The Last Archangel is your 3rd published book. You published The Canticle Kingdom in 2010 and Portrait of a Mother in 2011. Would you describe shortly, what these 2 first books are about?
The Canticle Kingdom

MY: “The Canticle Kingdom” is about a group of people who live inside of a music box, but who do not realize that yet. The story involves the people in the box trying to find a replacement ruler for their kingdom from the outside world and also chronicles the path of the music box as it travels around the world during the 1940s. “Portrait of a Mother” is a much shorter work, perfect for Mother’s Day. It tells the story of Nina, a little girl who gets to make the choice of who her mother is going to be.

I: Where did you get the idea for The Last Archangel from? How was the book born?

MY: It is hard to pinpoint a single event. I was a missionary for two years in Germany and did a lot of thinking about religious things like angels, and during that time started thinking of ways to incorporate them into telling an action/adventure story. I set to work on it shortly after I had finished the first draft of “The Canticle Kingdom.”

I: Which character do you love most in The Last Archangel? Which character can you mostly relate to?

MY: I’ve got to say I’ve got a soft spot for Xandir, though I feel I can relate the most to Eden. Xandir because his conflicted nature makes him interesting and Eden because I’ve battled many insecurities of my own, and have come through okay anyway.

I: Will there be a sequel to The Last Archangel?

MY: I’ve already mapped out two other books to make it into a trilogy. As long as the first book does well, I’m going to follow through and write the other two.

I: I really liked the usage of the names of the characters in the book. There were a lot of names with meaning like Eden Fortuna and Judith etc. Is that a coincidence or did you name your characters on purpose with the name with meanings?

MY: Yes, I was very careful with the use of names. The subject matter of angels and demons warranted names that had some religious overtones. For example, Eden brings to mind a woman who plays a pivotal role in how events pan out. Other angels like the High Seraph got names ending with “el”, which signifies deity. Xandir, as a fallen angel, does not get a name with that distinction.

I: I’m aware that The Last Archangel is pure fiction, but I’d still like to ask: are any of the characters inspired by real persons?

Portrait of a MotherMY: Only ones found in the Bible. As a Christian, I do believe that Cain was a real person and the names of his sons Jubal and Tubal are also mentioned in the Bible. I didn’t really base the other characters on anyone.

I: I must ask you about new book to be published. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already?

MY: I’ve got several projects I’m working up to, so I’m not sure which one will be coming out next. I’m working on one called “Prometheus Returns” in which I put a new spin on the legend of Prometheus (the guy who supposedly introduced fire to humankind) and make him an extra-terrestrial being who likes to give primitive civilizations advance technology and watch the aftermath for his own amusement. In this story, he lands in New York City and pandemonium ensues.

Part III – Favorites

Who is your favorite author? C.S. Lewis
What is your favorite book or series? The Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix
What is your favorite book blog you follow? http://www.thepassivevoice.com/
What is your favorite song? Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
What is your favorite season? Autumn
What is your favorite food? Lasagna
What is your favorite car? Any BMW
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite movie? Lord of the Rings
What is your favorite time of the day? Late night
What is your favorite weather? Sunny with a light breeze

Thank you, Michael, so much for taking time to answering all my questions! I really enjoyed working with you!

Giveaway:

Cedar Fort Publishing and Michael D. Young were generous to give away one copy of The Last Archangel.

Details:
This giveaway runs from 13 - 21 July.
The winner can choose either hardcover or ebook.

Entries:
Fill in the form
Mandatory to be the follower of this blog

Optional entries:
+5 to Like Michael D. Young's Facebook Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/authormichaelyoung?ref=ts&sk=info#!/authormichaelyoung?sk=wall
+5 to Follow Michael D. Young in Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/mdybyu
+5 to become a fan of Michael D. Young's author page in Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3305484.Michael_D_Young

Happy hunting, everybody!

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