My BorrowAThon TBR

Hello Readers,

The BorrowAThon Readathon has started from March 19th at 12:00am and ends on March 26th at 11:59pm. I went over the six challenge items and picked books as close as I could to fit each one. I’m not doing the “Read a Graphic novel ” because I don’t read those type of novels.

All books must be borrowed from the library or from a friend or family friend. I checked my out at the library but have one that is supposed to come in tomorrow.

Here is my TBR for BorrowAThon:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Meets: Read a book you’d like to purchase and Read a book by an author you’ve never read


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Some summers are just destined to be pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Meets: Read a book that’s been recommended and Read a book by an author you’ve never read


The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

Meets: Read a book that’s cover is your favorite color (teal or turquoise) and Read a book by an author you’ve never read


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath it’s something more. Fandom is life. It’s what got her and her sister, Wren, through losing their mom. It’s what kept them close.

And now that she’s starting college, introverted Cath isn’t sure what’s supposed to get her through. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Meets: Read a book that features a library

Join the BorrowAThon and use @BorrowAThon to post a pic of what your reading. During the week use #BorrowAThon on Twitter to let everyone know how your doing. I will be doing a BorrowAThon Wrap Up video to let readers know which books I completed and my thoughts on each one. Happy Reading!

My First Launch: A Special Mother’s Day Weekend

A Tribute to My Mother Reverend Betty L. Saunders

I was inspired to write my books because of my mother who had passed from Alzheimer’s so when I decided to have my first book signing for Through The Fire it seemed only right to have it Mother’s Day Weekend. It would be my tribute to my late mother Reverend Betty L. Saunders.

Working closely with the publishing company on the final galley, planning when it would go to the printer I ordered 100 copies of my book, a book signing kit, and marketing kit so that I could plan, promote, and market to my audience in enough time to have a successful event.

The event was held it at an art gallery called Linen Life in San Leandro, California the Saturday before Mother’s Day in 2012. I sent out invitations via Facebook, Evite, Meetup, and mail. There were press releases sent to the local newspapers. Friends, Family, Church Members, Co-workers, the general public were in attendance. I asked my local hair salon if I could put a poster in her window for support.

Being creative I used the book cover as my theme, which had daisies so I had vases with daisies in each table, bookmarks, and small postcards that had synopsis of what the book was about as well as the ISBN number for those who might purchase at a later date.

Park of the package at the venue included wine, iced tea beverages and I provided cheeses and crackers for the guests to enjoy while listening to my readings.

I hired a close friend to sit at a separate table and collect payment using my IPad and Square for credit card payments. All I had to do during intermission was sit, autograph books, and take pictures with those attending.

Also what I did was go to a local drug store and get a journal for those attending to sign in and that was the beginning of my first mailing list.

When the clock stroke one o’clock I was positioned at the microphone, a stand to hold my book and I became as one with the audience their energy helped it to be a successful event. I read from the book, answered questions, and even shed some tears when reading a piece called “Clear” which was about losing my mother. The nerves that were bundled up before stepping on the stage had ceased. I knew at that moment that this was my purpose. I was a writer, a poet, and a self published author.

That book signing I sold the most books than I ever have since. People were calling me afterwards asking to order books for friends and family members. The book had taken a life of its own and I was just a vessel. It was bittersweet because afterwards my siblings who came to support me had gone home and read the book. They were very angry with me because though the book was therapeutic for myself it shed light on a sensitive subject domestic violence and that was supposed to be a secret not to be shared outside of the immediate family. They had invited their friends to the book signing who now were reading the book and knew what they had hidden in the back of their memories. They misunderstood why I wrote the book it wasn’t to bring shame but to celebrate the triumphs of the woman we called our mother and the challenges that she faced.

It was my first book signing and I felt accomplished yet a piece of me was left on that stage!

Patricia Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area. She recently received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released. Situations, circumstances, and life lessons have influenced her. She works as a supervisor for a corporate organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, and wine tasting. Visit Patricia on the web www.patriciaAsaunders.com

 

A Letter to My Readers : The Real MVP’s

THE REAL MVPS

A Letter to My Readers by Stacy Campbell

Where would an author be without readers? Alone and stuck with manuscripts and ideas, that’s where. Before putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, I was an avid reader. There is something about an author’s ability to tell a story, transport the reader to a new world, or give pause about taboo or foreign topics that still blows my mind. With social media interaction and more stories being turned into movies, readers are able to reach out to their favorite authors and tell them how they feel about their literary offerings, sprinkle them with words of encouragement, or sneak in story ideas on the low.

Alex Haley encouraged me to write years ago. Mr. Haley, the guest speaker at an Arts lecture at Albany State College, mesmerized the crowd of students as he shared how he’d “scrunch down” on the front porch of his family’s Henning, Tennessee, home and listen to his elders spin yarns about the past and his lineage. He shared how long it took to write Roots. As he named his elders one by one, I felt a kinship with him; I recalled my elders telling their tales of triumphs and woes. After receiving his autograph, I told him how much I enjoyed his writing and that I hoped to write a book someday. After scribbling his autograph in one of my composition notebooks, he said, “Keep at it and don’t give up. You’ll write that book someday.” I heard him, but I didn’t believe him. After all, the discipline it took to write seemed as distant to me as riding to the moon on a Harley. Wasn’t gonna happen.

Over time, I’d write ideas on napkins, handwrite a few chapters, formulate a plot or two, but fear and negative self-talk convinced me I didn’t have the stamina to write books. I told myself being a reader was good enough and I could support authors who were doing their thing.

Fast forward to 2002. I set sail on a ship with other avid readers for the Summit At Sea. Terry McMillan’s Waiting To Exhale had broken publishing records, received numerous awards and ushered in a magnificent wave of African-American authors who garnered contracts, movie deals, and represented a new platform that chronicled our stories. I buzzed around the ship with the likes of Trisha R. Thomas, Timmothy McCann, Travis Hunter, Tracy Price-Thompson, and Valerie Rose to name a few. Notably, Trisha R. Thomas had gotten word that Halle Berry optioned the rights to her novel, Nappily Ever After. Every writer I met thanked me for reading their work and encouraged me to tell the stories inside me. When I made it back to land in Florida, I decided I’d write or die trying.

It took eleven years after the cruise for my first book, Dream Girl Awakened, to be published, and I can say hands down my readers keep me going. They are the real MVPs. Whether it’s someone reaching out to me to say they could identify with a character or that they saw relatives or friends in my work, or that they flat-out hated what they read, my readers prop me up when I’m stuck, when my characters don’t want to talk, or negative self-talk rears its vicious tongue in my head. There are millions of books on the planet! Readers have unlimited options to entertain themselves. I swell with gratitude and appreciation each time someone tells me they’ve read my work. I do the Snoopy dance when someone tells me they spread the word about one of my books. I’m still growing on this journey, but it didn’t take long to recognize if no one reads your work, you’re in for a lonely ride. To the MVPs, I salute, value, and treasure you!

Love,

Stacy Campbell

stacy-campbell

My First Launch: Imagine my Surprise by Michelle Lindo-Rice

michelle-lindo-riceAfter twelve years of trying to break into the publishing world, my dreams were realized, Feb. 2013. I had attended the 2012 Faith and Fiction Retreat in Destin, Florida. I had learned how to pitch my work and rewrote the first chapter of Sing A New Song. I went on fasting that day and at about 2 pm in the afternoon, I prayerfully went before a panel of literary professionals to talk about my book. Imagine the joy that flooded my heart, when I heard, “Send me the first three chapters.”

Fast forward to almost six months later where after enduring a grueling editing process, I am standing in front of a group of about fifty people who had taken time out on a Sunday afternoon to attend my book launch.

The room I had rented in the Charlotte Harbor Center has an area for my signing and there are small tables for people to stand and enjoy a treat from the cookie and brownie tray. A special area with a podium and chairs is set-up for me to read the first chapter to the audience.

I surveyed the crowd, taking in the faces of many who had been with me through my journey to publication. Tears roll down my face as I begin thanking individual people. I remember becoming choked up as I spoke of how my boss had recognized me as a wounded bird and encouraged me to heal and to fly.

I took in the beaming faces of my sisters, parents and church family who had helped with the decorations and planning of my release party. I had small frames holding a signed picture of Sing A New Song on each table that would serve as a keepsake for attendees. Since the novel was about a singer, after talking about my journey to publication, I put one of my sisters on the spot to sing. She bellowed out, “Can’t even walk without You holding my hand.”

What a fitting song for how I felt. I knew I had gotten to that point because of God. He had steered and directed me on the right path so that I would not only feed my passion but also give Him glory.

I cleared my throat and began to read the first chapter. My heart hammered as I performed my first public performance. As I read, I questioned whether my voice held the right sentiment and I feared no one would like my work. I pushed through the butterflies until I ended the first chapter.

Thunderous applause broke out. People stood and cheered. My shoulders relaxed and I wiped away fresh tears. I had done it. I had overcome the crippling fear of sharing my work—a part of me—with others. And, guess what? For the first time I felt accepted. I felt understood.

Following the reading, there was a huge queue of people wanting to purchase my book. My book. A representative from Books-A-Million was present to handle all my book sales. I then began my first ever book signing with my special sharpie for the occasion. I wrote personal notes and autographed Sing A New Song about fifty times.

I’ve never had another official book launch. Eleven books later, I still look back at that day with fond memories. It is a day forever sealed in my heart. There is nothing like the first.

Michelle  Lindo-Rice is the award winning, bestselling author of the On The Right Path series among other awards. She enjoys crafting fiction centered about the four “F” words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. Learn more about Michelle by joining her mailing list at michellelindorice.com.