Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Release Alert: Untraceble by S.R. Johannes


I don't usually talk about books that I have yet to read but I thought I would tell you about a new YA novel that was released yesterday, Nov 29th 2011.

There seems to be a lot of buzz going around different blogs and all the feedback is great from what I can see. Even better ... this is an awesome example of self-publishing at its finest! A professional looking book, a well written story, one that readers are saying will be the next big thing!

Check out what Kirkus Reviews had to say "this thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page."

Here is a synopsis:

16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.  
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
So if you are looking for a gift this holiday season for a YA lover who has read everything at your local bookstore - try Untraceable! 

Available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and other sellers.

(Please note I get no monetary return for sending you out to get this, the only reason for the post is to introduce new writers to a new audience, which for me is more awesome and rewarding then money!!!!!!!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting to Print ... a new way

I recevied an email about an author last week that peeked my interest. He was not looking for reviewers or for blog tour stops. He was not even looking to promote a release date. This self-publishing author is just trying to get his book into print and he is taking an interesting approach in financing it. His name Luke Bessy, the book Miss Chu's Story Time.

Luke has posted a request on, he is trying to raise $3500 before December 13th for the cost of printing 1000 copies of his picture book. is a website that allows users to promote projects that they are trying to fund in music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields. The site connects them with those who are willing to help finance the project.

So far he is at $935 with 20 days left to go. The book is up on its facebook page!/MissChusStoryTime

Here is the synopsis:
Miss Chu's Story TIme is a delightful illustrated children's book about an eccentric and quirky story teller. This book was inspired by the Waldorf community in Boulder, CO. Waldorf philosophy is centered around folklore and the importance of creativity and the imagination. Miss Chu's Story Time aims to bring these important tenets into homes everywhere.
Miss Chu's Story Time is told from the perspective of a little girl who joins Miss Chu on her wild adventures. Miss Chu visits several classic stories from an exciting new angle. Referenced stories include classics like The Three Little Pigs, Green Eggs and Ham, Cinderella, Where The Wild Things Are, The Cat in the Hat, The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, and many more.
Children's books have two groups of readers - kids and story tellers. This book is aimed at both groups. Kids love this book because its fun, crazy, and they have a chance to guess what story is being referenced by Miss Chu. This book is also extremely important for adults because it challenges the story teller to be more creative when delivering a story. It emphasizes the importance of bringing stories to life, so that the children will be immersed so deeply in the story that it will affect their moral development and help build their character. This total engagement with the story also gives children a chance to "try on" different personalities on their journey to finding out who they are meant to be.
I read the story to my kids and they loved it.

I hope Luke gets these copies to print as I can say from a Mom's point of view the story will be a hit with the little ones! My 4 year old loved being able to pick out the different stories mentioned and my 2 year stopped running around while I read (that is a miracle in itself).

Luke plans to distribute them himself and already has the YMCA's in his area on board allowing him to set up booths. I think we will all one day know of Miss Chu's story time antics!

Check out Luke on kickstarter at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cankered Roots by G.G. Vandagriff

I was invited to join the Gala Nurture Blog Tour for G.G. Vandagriff and received a copy of her first book Cankered Roots. The book was originally published in 1993 but has been re-issued this year.

Alexandra Campbell, a spunky young widow, partnered with Brighamina Poulson, an even spunkier, rifle-toting grandmother thinks that as they have begun a genealogy business (RootSearch, Inc.), it is high time she finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return. 
It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once beloved father, she leaves with only a wallet-sized photograph of a woman she knows nothing about. 
That night, Alex’s father is killed. Bewildered and grieved that her family can never be whole again, she soon finds out that she is the chief suspect in the murder. With the unflappable Briggie at her side, she uses all her new genealogical skills, and (with the help of Briggie’s deer rifle) discovers a secret so bizarre that she finally understands why her parents wanted her far away and safe. 
Join Alex and Briggie in the first of their hair-raising adventures!
This book is great for mystery lovers and history lovers. To solve the mystery you need to go into the past to learn the truth behind it.  The characters are lovable and very real; by the end of the book I felt I was part of the team! The story is fast paced and keeps you guessing and when you get to the end you want more! Lucky that this is just the first in the series (at the moment there are 5 Alex and Briggie mysteries)! I really enjoyed this book and I like that it is a very well written story that keeps you wanting to read without the need for any explicit scenes.

I highly recommend this book and I can honestly say that I have a new series that I must complete!!!!

Cankered Roots is available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

G.G. Vandagriff was kind enough to prepare a guest post to tell how the idea of Cankered Roots came to be ...

How Did the Idea of Cankered Roots Come to Be?
By GG Vandagriff
I am a big fan of writing exercises, as anyone knows who asks me for writing advice.  One of my writing exercises turned out to be the first page of Cankered Roots.  I don’t even remember what the trigger was that led me down that path, but once I was on it, I was hooked.  The book promised to be a combination of all the things I liked best at that time—genealogical puzzles, mysteries, quirky characters (Briggie and Richard), and angst-driven characters like me (Alex).  I was deeply involved in researching my own family history as part of my therapy.  I come from a dysfunctional family (though not as bad as Alex’s!), and we were doing genograms (psychological family trees). 
I knew that for Alex to be truly healed, she had to find out the reason why her family sent her away when she was eighteen and never contacted her.  I am a “discovery” writer (sometimes known as a “pantzer,” i.e. “flying by the seat of your pants), so there was a little plotting involved, but not much.  I basically just told the story that already seemed to be inside of me.
Some parts have a connection to my real life. 1.) We used squirt guns in therapy to loosen up, and 2.) Briggie is named after my maternal great grandmother: Johanna Brighamina Poulson, a noted fisherwoman whom I never met.  I have a picture of her, cut from some newspaper, where she is holding up some kind of fish that is bigger than she is!  She caught it.  That was the genesis of “Briggie,” one of my most popular characters.  Of course, she had to be a Mormon grandmother with nine children, a Kansas City Royals baseball fan (at the time I was really, really into baseball, and the Royals had just won the World Series.), a hunter with her favorite deer rifle that she carried on a gunrack in her Bronco.  She wore Royals’ sweats in the winter, and white polyester pants with a Royals’ tee-shirt in the summer.  Oh, and let’s not forget her Royals’ nightie that she was wearing the night she shot her deer rifle at Cousin Bob, the fry cook. 3.)Richard Grinnell (with whom Briggie has a love-hate relationship) is actually based on my father.  I had a great time fictionalizing his outrageous quirks and his hubris. 4.) His son Daniel (the therapist) was loosely based on my husband.  5.)Alex was probably a braver version of me, but only if I were in her situation.  I think I must have put her character in her situation and then acted it out as I would have done.
With such characters, it’s no wonder I didn’t plot.  They took over the story and ran with it, while I held on for dear life.  Cankered ended up being the first in a series of five books that are in the process of being republished under my own imprint.  I wrote four more over the years and thought I was done. Not so!  Next year will bring Renaissance Roots, where the gang goes to Florence to investigate Richard’s Italian ancestry.

Great book, great author, and many books to enjoy.
Check out her website at

Monday, November 7, 2011

What Comes of Blogging and a Good Heart

I am a huge believer of giving back so I just wanted to tell you all about an awesome thing happening over at a blog that I love to follow, The Girl from the Ghetto

She has a holiday gift guide going on right now and her plan for the items she receives for reviewing – giving them to a local charities that provides gifts for kids who may not get things otherwise.

This is the best use of a blog and I just want everyone to know what she is doing.  Hopefully by the time the holiday season is upon us next year, more of us can follow in her foot steps!!!
Here is the post