Blog Tours, Teasing and More

SKSmyButtonHome Page: What It’s All About

Yesterday, I completely revamped the blog’s home page, which is listed as What It’s All About.  This reflects some changes in circumstances.  There’s nothing staggeringly revolutionary about its content, as it mainly indicates what the blog is all about (if you hadn’t guessed).   The significant change is that, sadly, there is no longer any intimation that there will be, or is, an entity known as either Imagineer ebooks or Imagineer Books, in publishing terms.

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“Sunflower” Blog Tour

Sunflower by Cass J. McMain

Final Digital Cover Published June 15th 2013

Hardback (203 x 127mm):
£19.99 / USD $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-44-7

Paperback (203 x 127mm):
£11.99 / USD $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-45-4

Kindle
£3.99 / USD $5.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-46-1

ePub
£3.99 / USD $5.99
ISBN: 978-1-909374-47-8

BIC Code: FA

Michael is a metalworker with a name for building good fences. He’s even known by some neighborhood kids as Mr. Fence Man. But he wants to be something more: an artist like his former business partner, Alex. An artist, like his girlfriend, Jess, wants him to be. The commissions are starting to come in, and along with steady work making fences, things are looking good. The only problem he has is with his closest neighbor, who won’t allow visitors to pass through a gate between their properties. This dispute becomes a fight and Michael, enraged, makes a wrong choice.

Haunted by the result of his choice, Michael starts to fall apart: a death weighs down on him, exposing the weaknesses in the persona he was creating for himself, the weaknesses at the heart of him.

Sunflower is a story about a man having a bad day and making one bad choice. But underneath that, it also about his coming to terms with himself: who he is – and who he is not. Ultimately, Sunflower is about how we define ourselves as people, and how we seek to be what we are not.

An extraordinary and beautiful novel.

Editor’s Review:

I was pointed in the direction of Sunflower by a friend who had seen it on a writing forum. Within a couple of pages I was sure that this was worth reading, and approached Cass through the mutual friend. She duly sent me the manuscript, apparently a little surprised at my interest.

I realised then how long it was – 140,000 words, a real epic. Too long, according to conventional wisdom – surely too long unless it contained suitably epic events and huge cast of characters.

One Saturday late morning I opened the Word document and, seated at my desk, began reading. I read straight through, stopping only for coffee. 140,000 words in one day. Very little happens in the book, to be truthful, and what there is doesn’t happen quickly. Characters? Well, there are maybe three or four who are central, and perhaps a dozen (including a waitress and a salesman who appear for a few lines) in all. The style is simple, and there are no great phrases, no extended analyses, no bravura passages. I felt as though I had read a brief, simple book, and as though I had been immersed in another life.

Above all I knew this should be published.

It is hard, though, to describe or characterise. If it was a painting it would undoubtedly be in the impressionist style – or some midway point between pointillism and the obsessive twisting strokes of Van Gogh. There is a rhythm and a repetition, an extraordinary care with each word, each sentence, each punctuation mark, but it is true art, for one is never aware of the effort nor of the innate skill.

The reader is taken into the lives of the characters, the life, above all, of Michael. Like most lives his is composed of small moments, small worries, and small ambitions; as with most lives there is a fragility to his. The fragility is in part due to a fault line in him – the kind of fault line we all have. One particular small moment has a butterfly effect on the whole; the structure begins to crumble, quietly, almost unnoticed, and a life of quiet desperation emerges.

Throughout there are those moments that strike home and for me there was one particular moment: a telephone call, innocuous and unimportant, that made me stop reading for a little while, so personal was the recognition. There is throughout a kind of gentle descent – and the most gentle dissection of a person one can imagine. Yet in the end this about strength and hope, about life-giving light as well as life-denying darkness.

It is indeed a story of small things and profound truths.

Robert Peett

image About the Author

Cass McMain was born in Albuquerque and raised in the far North Valley, among the cottonwoods. Her first love was always houseplants, and she now maintains a house full of them.

Her background as a greenhouse manager led to a long career in garden center management, but when the bottom fell out of the local industry, she took a new path. Or rather, an old path; Cass started writing at the age of six, knocking out stories on her typewriter.

While her love of nature came in part from her father, a man with the heart of a farmer and the soul of a philosopher, much of the writing Cass did as a child was done to please her mother, a woman with the heart of a philosopher, the soul of a demon and the unquenchable thirst of the mind reserved for the brilliant.

Recently, Cass’s writing muse has again been speaking to her: a voice she stopped paying attention to a long time ago. Her plants, some of which she has had since she was nine years old, remain the heart of her life, but now she has a desire to express herself in other ways.

Bowed, but not broken, Cass keeps her eye on the horizon, looking for a greenhouse to manage. Her favorite saying these days is “that was then; this is now.”

An Excerpt from Sunflower:

Michael got home late in the afternoon, and he was worn out. He didn’t feel like working on the Tragedie piece. But if he didn’t do anything on it, he knew Jess would nag at him. Maybe he could sort of review it, without a lot of work. Those guys had taken a lot of energy out of him. He mixed himself a gin and tonic and walked out to the shed.

The piece stared at him. He wondered again why the owner of this restaurant was so determined to have such a somber image as their icon. That reminded him about the curls he was going to try on the cheeks. He set his drink down and took up the coil he had experimented with before. The heat from the torch had definitely brought out some different coloring. Michael decided to give it a shot on a grander scale.

Working with a much larger strip of metal, Michael fashioned a coil about a foot across and two inches thick. To change the color of it he fired up his torch and played the flame across the metal. This gave the coil some irregular markings that brought out depth and made it more interesting. Michael ran his hand along the edge and realized it was dangerously sharp, so he ground down the edges and ran the torch over it again. He doubted anyone would be actually petting the artwork, but it wouldn’t be smart to take the risk.

Once the metal was curled, he welded it to the cheek of the mask, under the left eye. The mouth was unevenly curved by design and as Michael worked he came to the conclusion that the second curl should be placed lower, to follow the direction of the mouth. He stepped back to look at the piece from a distance, and bumped into the table which held his drink. Michael caught the drink before it spilled, and absent-mindedly swallowed it at a gulp. The ice had melted; he had not realized how much time had passed, and it was now after 5:00.

Michael set down the glass again. It can’t be that late, he was thinking, when he heard Jess pull into the driveway. It was indeed that late. He went out to meet her.

She stepped out of the car. Her cotton skirt blew out behind her as she moved toward him, making her look almost like she was floating.

“Hi sweetie,” he called to her. “How was your day?”

“Was OK, how about yours? Get anywhere on your mask?” She caught up to him and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“Yeah, come look at this idea I got,” Michael said enthusiastically. “I really think this helps the piece look less formidable.” He led Jess to the shed.

She looked in at the mask. “The curlicue?” she asked. When Michael nodded, she said “I like it. Doing another on the other side?”

“Yeah,” Michael said. “Down lower though, to keep with the mouth.” He pointed at the spot. “Think it helps?”

Jess agreed that it did make the mask less frightening. “But it still looks mean,” she said. “It isn’t supposed to look mean, it’s supposed to look sad.”

“Well, I don’t know what else I can do,” Michael said. He was irritated, but he tried not to let it show. Easy for her to say, he thought. “What do you think I was trying to do with the curls?”

“Honey, don’t get upset,” Jess replied. “I just mean—well here, why don’t you add some turned down eyebrows?” She took up a notepad nearby and sketched. “Like this.” She held the pad up for Michael to view.

It was perfect. It would only take a couple of hours to do, and it would completely change the piece. Michael was stunned and, he hated to admit, resentful. She did in three seconds what I couldn’t do in three weeks, Michael thought. Just like Alex.

Purchase Sunflower from:

http://bookShow.me/1909374458 (this is a new system that should allow whoever clicks on it to reach their local Amazon site)

Barnes & Noble
Waterstones
Foyles

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

About Return to Cardamom

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso Title: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2)

Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Publisher: Independent

Publication Date: July 17, 2013

Pages: 136 (Paperback)

Recommended Age: 9+

Summary:
Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

Purchase

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

The Buzz About Book 1: Escape From the Forbidden Planet

Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso“Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars It’s part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books. Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!” ~ Michael S., Amazon, 5 Stars “I loved this book. Super great series for middle graders. I loved Caramel. She has a great attitude and determination. I really admired how she was focused on getting home, saving her family but also made the best of being stuck on an alien planet. Definitely a book with great role models for kids. I really hope there is more to come where this came from. Kids need books like this with catchy stories, solid characters who have good values that they can relate to.” ~ Unorthodox Mama, Goodreads, 5 Stars.

*** Get your FREE COPY of Escape From the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso July 17 to 21, 2013. Available for 99 cents after July 21, 2013. ***

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

About the Author

Julie Grasso - Author Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.

Book Website: http://www.julieannegrassobooks.com/

Author Blog: WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books

Twitter: @Jujuberry37

Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

July 17

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)
The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day (Review)
Jemima Pett (Review)

July 18

Amanda’s Books and More (Review)
Tales of a Bookworm (Review)
InkSpired: A Blog (Review)

July 19

Sher-A-Hart (Review)
This Kid Reviews Books (Review)

July 20

Fiona Ingram (Review)
swlothian | author (Review)
A Library Mama (Review)

July 21

Imagineer – ing (Book Spotlight)
Stanley and Katrina (Review)

July 22

Published Bestsellers (Author Interview)
The Jenny Evolution (Review)

July 23

Word Spelunking (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Author Interview)

July 24

Nik’s Picks Book Reviews (Review)
R.K. Grow- reading.writing.blogging. (Author Interview)
Diane Estrella @That’s What I’m Here For… (Review)

July 25

Guiltless Reading (Review)

July 26

Kid Lit Reviews (Review)
BeachBoundBooks (Review)

July 27

Mel’s Shelves (Review)
Learning and Growing the Piwi Way (Review)

July 28

My Devotional Thoughts (Author Interview)
Daisha Korth Books (Review)

July 29

Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)
Published Bestsellers (Review)
Bookworm for Kids (Review)

July 30

Nayu’s Reading Corner (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Review)

July 31

Cheryl Carpinello’s Writing Pages (Guest Post)
Nayu’s Reading Corner (Review)
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog (Review)

*** Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Giveaway ***

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne GrassoAmazon $50 Gift Card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prize:

One winner will receive a copy (print in U.S./Canada & e-copy internationally) + a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

Contest runs:

July 17th to August 7th, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open:

Worldwide

How to enter:

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions:

A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Heat Blog Tour: Jennifer Garcia aka Forbes Arnone

Summer_Heat_tour

Welcome to the Summer Heat Blog Tour, 2013

I am delighted to welcome Jennifer Garcia, aka Forbes Arnone, to answer a few questions about herself and her work as an author.


When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?

I think it was when I was little. I used to fill notebooks of lyrics, poems, and small stories. I did not realize how much I missed it until I started again after I raised my young family.

Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?

Yes, I love romance novels and I tend to write romances.

When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?

I prefer ebooks. After reading ebooks only lately, I recently had to read a printed book and found it very uncomfortable to hold. I know that sounds awful. How lazy, right? But ebooks seem to be more convenient and I can take a lot more with me on just one small device.

Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?

Yes, the beginning of last year I found a book, The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani and fell in love with her writing style. I bought all of her books after that and read every single one of them. Her stories are written with many descriptions about the people, their clothing, the locations, and the homes. It’s something about how she does it that makes me feel as if I’m in the story. I can picture everything so clearly.

Another author that I recently found is Alan Brennert. I think his story telling style is a bit like Adriana Trigiani’s that is why I clicked with it so much.

Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?

Absolutely, I may take a scene from any point in my life and build a whole story around it. Other times it may be something that happened around me in a time that is no longer and I want to capture it.

Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?

Adriana Trigiani is by far the author that stands well ahead of the all the others for me.

Have you got both printed and digital books published?

I will. *insert big cheesy smile* This summer I have two books coming out. The first one, In My Mother’s Footsteps, is releasing July 2nd and it is a novella that I worked on for a beach read compilation. The stories will be sold as an anthology and individually. The second book, My Mr. Manny, is releasing August 26th and it is a novel.

Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?

I write what I would like to read. I find it difficult to write something I am not feeling just to be “in.”

How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?

Sort of. I write best when I am alone and the house is silent except for reruns on the TV. But that rarely happens, so I usually write at night after dinner and homework is done. It is mostly when my twelve year old goes to bed.

Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?

Not really. If an idea hits me hard, I try to work it out in my head first to see if it’s something I can even do (make a story out of). So, I’ll take the idea and run scenes over and over in my mind until I think it may or may not work. Once I have a scene or a synopsis then I’ll write it down.

Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on a piece?

I do not outline. I’m too lazy. I feel that it takes too much of my time to write the outline when it may not be valid once I start writing. So, I write the scenes in my head and just write, and sometimes the characters change course and write their own scenes.

When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?

Everything I do involves a computer. I have not written things in a long time. I think my hand would cramp if I tried. So, I stick with what I can do, type.

Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?

No, but I was in Bath, England at the Jane Austen museum and in the gift shop they had a first edition of one of her books. Anyway, I wanted it so badly, but my husband thought spending that much money on a book was ridiculous. So, I just drooled over it for a while before he dragged me out.

If you’ve had books published in print form, have you ever come across a copy of one of your own books by accident?

Not yet, since my books are not out yet, but I hope to when it is my time.

What is your greatest ambition in writing?

I hope to entertain people, make them feel good. I would love them to walk away from one of my books with a profound feeling of attachment to it. I have felt that before and there is nothing like it in the world. Finding that book that hits all of your cords and sticks with you. That is what I want to do.

Where can readers find out more about your works?

My blog is the place I use to update everyone on the progress of my books. My novella just posted on Goodreads and I, excitedly, posted it on my blog for everyone to see. I’ll do the same with the cover reveal and all of the other fun stuff.

Blog
Goodreads
Facebook Page
Twitter
Amazon Author’s Page

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Bio:

Jennifer Garcia’s (aka Forbes Arnone) love of travel began when she traveled to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Her lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, will be published August 2013.