AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Oh Christmas Tree…

 
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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route but I’ve decided to take a different path.

*******************

 

Having a live Christmas tree is almost a novelty these days in some homes, but when I was growing up in the bayous of southern Louisiana, live trees were just about the only thing you could find. I never even saw my first artificial tree until I was about five years old. We had just moved into a different neighborhood and our new neighbors had much more money that we did. Their house had  the latest amenities and that included a sparkly white artificial Christmas tree with a multi colored rotating light panel, casting that tree in a different hue as the panel rotated.

We, on the other hand, had pine trees growing on our own plot of land out in the country. Every Christmas our family of six would crowd into an old black truck and head out of town to our land. Hiking deep into the  over the woods, a debate over tree selection often ensued, but in the end, one was chosen and we returned home to kick off our holiday season.

Mother would cook up batches of popcorn to be strung along with whole cranberries on our new tree. Then would come the hand made and vintage ornaments before showering it with shiny tinsel. We would then cover a cardboard cutout star with aluminum foil and stick it on the top of our tree. 

I was raised to believe simple things are what the holidays are all about. Taking the time to reconnect with the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Christmas season…

May you enjoy the most joyous of holiday seasons!

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***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***
***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

I’m happy to announce the Grand Prize winner of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Ariel Ramey has won the twelve fantasy novels, including an autographed copy of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound. Thanks for entering my contest. Congratulations! Look for my email on how to get your prizes…

***Also, both ebook and paperback versions of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound are on sale through the holidays! You can grab the ebook copy for just $1.99 and the paperback for $12.49 through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Nook, Books A Million or dozens of other online retailers. Books make great Christmas gifts!

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 
donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Have A Cookie?

 

xmas cookies.jpg

 

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route but I’ve decided to take a different path.

*******************

The holiday season is truly my favorite time of year for many reasons. The smell of cinnamon and ginger bring me back to my childhood when the holidays would fill our kitchen with the frantic baking of Christmas goodies.

My older brother and sister were stationed in the Navy so my mother was never sure if they would make it home for Christmas. Every December, my mother would roll up her sleeves and whip out her recipe book as she made dozens of gingersnaps, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, cutouts with royal icing, peanut butter thumb prints, and many more. A care package from home carried only the best sweets mother could produce and there was trouble to be had if I dared to sneak one for my own. 

When it came time for me to move out on my home, I eagerly waited for the holidays to come around because I knew I would receive my own care package from home…filled with love and Christmas cookies. I got a chance to open four holiday boxes before my mother died and I inherited her recipe book.

Mother loved making the holidays extra special for us and whenever I eat a Christmas cookie now, I think of her and remember love can come in all shapes, sizes, and cookie flavors…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! MAY THE REASON FOR THE SEASON FILL YOUR HEART WITH JOY AND WONDER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

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Week Twelve

 

***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***
***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

 

I’m happy to announce the winner of week eleven of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Marya Ashworth has won the $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. Thanks for connecting with me on Facebook! Congratulations! Look for my email on how to get your prize…

***DON’T FORGET! It’s week twelve of THE TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway and this week you get a chance to win the GRAND PRIZE of the twelve fantasy books shown above! Just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post and choose how you would like to enter the FREE giveaway. Winners will be announced every Monday in my INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY post!

***Also, both ebook and paperback versions of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound are on sale through the holidays! You can grab the ebook copy for just $1.99 and the paperback for $12.49 through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Nook, Books A Million or dozens of other online retailers. Books make great Christmas gifts!

 

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

 

donna

 

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: A Holly Jolly Christmas

 

church

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route but I’ve decided to take a different path.

*******************

I love everything about Christmas. The decorations, the food, the hunt for the perfect gift of the special loved ones in my life, and of course…for me…the story of the Nativity. Growing up in a small town in the swamps of Louisiana, we had real trees, strings of popcorn and cranberries, and a musical church which played “Away In The Manger” while the church doors opened up to display a lighted Mary and baby Jesus. I loved singing Christmas carols and would wind up that church every night and sing along.

I remember one Christmas I was sick with strep throat and my mother forbade me to do any singing. I waited patiently until she was out of the room, and then I snuck over to the church, wound up the music box, and whispered the words to the song that carried me through every holiday season until I left my childhood home.

When my mother died, the church came to me and every Christmas it sits in my living room to welcome in ta new Advent season. The doors don’t automatically open anymore and there is no light shining on the family inside, but the music box still plays. I would love to find someone to repair the treasure but I also fear letting it out of my sight. So I will wind it up and slowly open the doors myself…and softly sing that glorious hymn of my childhood…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! MAY THE REASON FOR THE SEASON FILL YOUR HEART WITH JOY AND WONDER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

**************

 

***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***
***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

I’m happy to announce the winner of week ten of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Amy Spisak has won the beach themed tea light holder. Thanks for signing up to be part of my Lunadar Street Team! Congratulations! Look for my email on how to get your prize…

***DON’T FORGET! It’s week eleven of THE TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway and this week you get a chance to win the $10 Barnes & Noble gift card shown above! Just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post and choose how you would like to enter the FREE giveaway. Winners will be announced every Monday in my INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY post!
 
***Also, both ebook and paperback versions of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound are on sale through the holidays! You can grab the ebook copy for just $1.99 and the paperback for $12.49 through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Nook, Books A Million or dozens of other online retailers. Books make great Christmas gifts!
LUNADAR cover jpg
Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

UNEXPECTED HIATUS…

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I thought once I bought a new computer, my troubles would be over. Now it appears I need to do more work on merging my files, internet connections, and existing programs onto the new computer and it’s proving to be more of a challenge than I expected.

I have no doubt I will be able to set up the new computer in due time but right now, the rest of my life, work, and upcoming holiday obligations are eating up any spare time I have to be able to work on setting up my new computer.

This leaves me with one option and that is to begin my holiday hiatus earlier than planned. Originally, I was going to be away from my computer from 12/21/18 through 1/2/19 for any work related issues. I would still be on Facebook and other social sites, but was going to focus on a much needed rest. For now, I will pause my blog posts until after the New Year so I may have time to get this new computer set up correctly and can tackle the new year properly.

I will still find a way to load my Monday posts for the next three weeks to complete my TWLEVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR freebies contest but that’s about it for now.

To all my readers, I wish the very merriest of holiday season for you and your family. I hope Santa brings you everything you might wish for, and I hope you return to this blog with the new year to find out about all the new and exiting things I have in store for Story Catcher Publishing!

And if you are in the area next Saturday, I will be at the Barnes & Noble in west Knoxville from 9-2, signing copies of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound as well as my story in Chicken Soup For The Soul: Angels Among Us. See you there!

 

ornaments

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: A Holiday Countdown

 

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route but I’ve decided to take a different path.

*******************

Christmas is just weeks away and here at Story Catcher Publishing, I’m gearing up for the holidays. This past weekend I checked off everything on my family and friends’ wish list. My living room is pile high with various bags and boxes from my search for the perfect Christmas gifts. Even my book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, is on sale for the holidays. The ebook version is listed at $1.99 and you can get the print version for $12.49 through the end of the year.

I’ve also started the next book in the LUNADAR series. Indie author fans are no different from traditionally published author fans. They all want to be the first to read the next book and the longer you wait between books, the more impatient they can become. Besides, I can’t wait to find out what else happens to Ariana, Kaspar, and Candra in LUNADAR: Candra’s Revenge.

I’m also sorting through a number of book contests I can possibly submit my book to over the next few weeks. Winning a book award helps validate an indie author’s writing and shows the world their book just might be worth reading.

These next few weeks are going to be hectic for me, so please forgive me in advance  if I seem a bit distracted.  I also have an extended vacation coming up and plan to catch up on some much needed rest…

 

***********************

 
Week Ten 2 (1)

 

***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***
***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

 
I’m happy to announce the winner of week nine of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Laura De La Cruz has won the Yorkie Book Stand. Thanks for following me on Twitter! Congratulations! Look for my email on how to get your prize…

 
***DON’T FORGET! It’s week ten of THE TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway and this week you get a chance to wish you are at the beach with the beach themed tea light holder shown above! Just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post and choose how you would like to enter the FREE giveaway. Winners will be announced every Monday in my INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY post!

 

***Also, both ebook and paperback versions of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound are on sale through the holidays! You can grab the ebook copy for just $1.99 and the paperback for $12.49 through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Nook, Books A Million or dozens of other online retailers. Books make great Christmas gifts!

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 
Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 
donna
International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

WRITERLY WISDOM: Russ Cox

 

kids.jpg

 
Here is another post in my WRITERLY WISDOM series I first ran back in 2013. Five years later, I’ve updated the material and made sure it still applies to today’s writers. This week’s post is from another friend…children’s author and illustrator, Russ Cox, whose whimsical artwork inspires me every day…

 

Generating ideas: Thinking like a child
By Russ Cox

 

“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!” ― J.M. Barrie

When Donna contacted me about writing an article on thinking like a child, I was excited to tackle this subject matter. Having reached the mid-century mark, it has been a long time since I was an actual kid in the physical sense. But if you ask my wife she will tell you I never grew up. She reminds me of this almost every day.

So what is it to be an adult and still think like a child? I believe to work in the children’s market, especially books, not only do you have to think like a child, but in many ways you need to act like one. No, not in the “I did not get my way so I would throw a tantrum or hold my breath until I pass out” way, although I have tried that with my wife and she will just step over me. To be child-like, one must still enjoy doing kid things.

Here are some things that I try to do to keep that inner kid active:

 

Don’t be perfect or afraid to fail –

 

A child does not worry about being perfect. Not every circle or square is exactly right. To exaggerate things is to see them in a new perspective. A different viewpoint can lead you down an undiscovered road, full of new ideas. Try to see things that are not there or do not make sense in the adult world. Look at drawings done by children. They show an eclectic mix of characters and scenarios that would make even Freud scratch his head, in a good way. Where would Picasso be if he created his paintings in a more traditional style?

 

Pretend –

 

The only time adults really let loose and pretend seems to be on Halloween or at a costume party. Why not dig out a mask or tennis racket and pretend you are a monster playing the guitar in a rock band. I would make a banjo reference but not many of us would imagine playing the banjo with a mask on. Reenact the “worm” scene from Animal House. The alcohol is optional.

 

Be silly, let loose –

 

Okay with this one, it is confession time. I have different voices for our four cats. Yes, I have become that crazy cat person. My wife is as well by proxy. Doing silly voices for the cats has lead to story and illustration ideas. Just stepping outside of adulthood for a brief moment and letting loose, feels good and gives you a good belly laugh. My daughter and I came up with this silly dance that we do whenever we are in bad moods. You cannot help but laugh at us. It is pure silliness. I can show you sometime if we ever run into each other.

 

Try something new –

 

I think as adults we get so stuck in our ways and routines it is hard to break out of that rut. Kids are always up to doing something they haven’t done before. It is the freshness of a new discovery that keeps them exploring new adventures. So do something different. Go into a music store, pick up an instrument that you have no idea how to play, and attempt to play it. Strum, blow, bang, crash, etc.! Yes, you could clear the store and create a ruckus but you could be an undiscovered Mozart or Jimi Hendrix.

 

Play –

 

As adults, especially creative ones, we must keep the want to “play” alive and healthy. We need to loose the self-control restraint that ones with age. I still enjoy going to toy stores and playing with the toys, watching cartoons, running amok at amusement parks and playgrounds, flying kites, and chasing my wife around with a water pistol. And yes, I do squirt her!

 

Practice –

 

Practice? How does one practice being a kid? If you apply or try a few the ideas above, your inner kid will come flooding back. Maybe to the chagrin of your partner or family but the payoff in the end will be worth it.
As we become adults, we tend to loose that creative free spirit. With jobs, families, and various responsibilities, a seriousness enters our lives, pushing out the inner child. Keeping that child alive is the key to not only success, but to lots of laughs and a happy, creative life.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

 

Russ

 
Russ Cox was raised by a pack of crazed hillbillies in the back woods of Tennessee. Without much in the way of modern conveniences, like a television set or running water, he spent his time drawing and whittling away the hours. After dismantling his grandfather’s lawn mower engine, and without a clue on how to get it back together, he soon realized that he did not have an automotive bone in his body so he kept drawing. After graduating from art school, with a portfolio in his hand, he ventured into the world of design and illustration. He opened his own studio, Smiling Otis Studio, where he presently specializes in illustration for children. When not drawing, running amok in the snow, or training their four cats to sing Bohemian Rhapsody, Russ enjoys some quiet time, working on his picture book stories. He also enjoys playing the banjo but his wife would prefer him to play the triangle or build a sound proof room.

 
Website: http://smilingotis.com
Blog: https://www.smilingotis.com/blog-1
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SmilingOtisStudio

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: My Thanksgiving Wish

 

Thanksgiving.jpg

 

 

MY THANKSGIVING WISH
by Donna L Martin

 

To loved ones near or far,
And those dear to my heart.
For family staying at home,
And friends living miles apart.
From my house to yours,
My heartfelt wish for you,
Is lots of love and laughter,
Now and the whole year through.

 

🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃🦃