Riddles… the big reveal to this one…

Riddles… Think you’ve come up with the answer to this one?

Oh the conundrum of solving riddles. They can be easy to solve or drive you mad trying to come up with the answer.

You have a few more days to ponder your answers to my riddle. June 1st is when the answer will be revealed. So for those of you who haven’t come up with the solution, here are the clues again…

Anyone who already knows the answer, please don’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen this yet are still puzzling over the answer…

Clue #1

James Allan [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Clue #2

a shadow in the past cover 500x773

and finally…

Clue #3

Aug 2013 calendar page

So there you have it. Three things that have something in common. An old building, my book cover and a calendar leaf. Any ideas what these three things have in common?

Leave a comment stating what you think the answer is. I’ll be interested to see you answers. And those of you who already know? Please, don’t spoil it for those who are still scratching their heads trying to figure it out.

And if you’re not in to solving riddles… well at least sit back and enjoy the theories as they come in. It should be great fun.

Author Interviews – Next Up Lizzie Lamb author of Tall, Dark and Kilted

Today, I’m thrilled to host in my Author Interviews Scottish native but now English resident, Lizzie Lamb.

Freighter passing by the Three Sisters Islands in the St Lawrence River

Normally, I conduct these interviews in my cozy lounge here at Celtic Connexions, but today, since today is too nice to be stuck indoors, I thought sitting by the river on a bench at Blockhouse Island looking over this beautiful part of eastern Ontario and New York State was more suitable. And look! We’ve been lucky enough to see a freighter coming up river.

After a slight diversion and the tea and biscuits I’ve brought along with us, it’s down to the business at hand.

BookCoverPreview-2-001 I love the title of your book – Tall, Dark & Kilted. How did you come up with it?

It was a bit of a fluke really. I had a one to one with an editor at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Convention a year ago where she read three chapters and the synopsis of the novel – which was then called BIG BAD WOLF. Her feedback suggested that the title told the reader nothing about the setting or what the novel was about. Furthermore, she said that most readers took between 3-5 SECONDS to decide if they wanted to buy a book without moving on. I thought about calling the novel HIGHLAND FLING but there were already about two dozen novels of that name. Off the top of my head I suggested Tall, Dark and Kilted and she LOVED it. The name stuck and I’m glad I changed it.

Your book is set in the Scottish highlands. What made you decide that part of Scotland? Is there a specific area that readers will recognize even if it goes under a fictitious name?

A Scot by birth and heritage, I’ve loved the west coast of Scotland ever since I can remember and have spent many holidays there. The scenery, the history and the fact that the Gulf Stream touches its shores and palm trees and other tropical plants thrive in the shadow of snow topped mountains has a real resonance for me. I also adored Monarch of the Glen (the TV series) although that was filmed elsewhere and the movie Local Hero (filmed in Pennan). Kinloch Mara is an amalgam of lots of the places I’ve visited but Port Urquhart was based on the towns of Oban and Portree.

I love the TV series Monarch of the Glen and the movie Local Hero. The first time I saw palm trees in Scotland was when I visited Finlaystone Estate at Langbank. The next time was when I was in Plockton. I’ve never been to Oban or Portree but hope to rectify that very soon.

You have a rather catchy tagline for your novel. Would you share it with us?


I chose that tagline because I thought that non-UK readers would have seen the movie and/or watched the TV series and they would understand what my rom com was about.

You recently took part in a “literary lunch” with another author. Enquiring minds need to know… was this something you both organized or did the venue do it and invite you? Would you deem the event a success?

The event came about because Adrienne (one of The New Romantics 4 – our indie group) is managing director of her own PR company. She was having lunch with the owner/manager of the hotel and he was looking for a range of events to draw customers into the hotel. As the Leicester Book Fest was looming on the horizon, Adrienne suggested a literary lunch and he jumped at the idea. Adrienne asked me to join her as I am used to public speaking and am confident when talking about my path to publication and Tall, Dark and Kilted to potential readers. The lunch was a great success and we hope to host another event there in the run up to Christmas/ Valentine’s Day.

You can read more about the event and see photographs of it on our blog www.newromantics4.com/blog

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

To be honest I seem to have so little time when I’m not writing in one form or another!

I like to visit friends, have them for dinner or afternoon tea and meet up with girlfriends in coffee shops. I try to read as much and as widely as I can and write reviews of the books I’ve read, which takes up quite a bit of time. I have this dream of sitting in the garden in the sun and doing nothing at all – but the weather won’t play ball and my mind is always buzzing with new writing ideas. Before I know it I’ve reached over for the iPad and started typing … I also like listening to music on my iPhone through headphones and watching movies. My latest resolution is to spend less time social networking and more time chillin’ and unplugging from the wonderful but time consuming career I’ve chosen. Hm, wonder if I’ll manage it.

Author Bio:

2012-09-12 09.24.38Of Scottish/Irish/Brazilian heritage, I was born up in a steel mining town in the Scottish Industrial Belt. The massive RAVENSCRAIG steel mill was quite literally in my back garden. In order to escape from the forbidding industrial landscape I learned to play imaginatively with my friends in the back garden and then started writing extra scenes and characters for the movies I saw on a Saturday morning. I was bitten by the writing bug and never looked back. I lived in Scotland until I was 11 when my parents moved to England in search of work and better opportunities for me and my siblings… Scoll forward to 2006 –

Sorry to interrupt, but if I recall correctly, Ravenscraig was in Motherwell which is a part of Greater Glasgow? Do carry on.

After teaching my 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, I decided it was time to leave the chalk face and pursue my first love. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme, honed my craft and wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted. I’d always wanted to write a romantic novel set in the Highlands and Islands and Tall, Dark and Kilted is the result. Not a steel mill in sight!! Much of my time is taken up publicising Tall, Dark and Kilted and finishing my second rom com which will be published autumn 2013. I am also a founding member of an indie publishing group: The New Romantics 4 and enjoy meeting readers and talking about my writing.
I live with my husband (also a retired primary deputy head teacher) and my naughty parrot Jasper in Leicester and I have the best job in the world.

You can buy Tall, Dark and Kilted from amazon via this universal link.

Lizzie’s Links
website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk
blog: www.newromantics4.com
Goodreads: Tall, Dark and Kilted
twitter: @lizzie_lamb
twitter: @newromantics4

I hope you’ve enjoyed my chat with Lizzie as much as I have. Thanks for making the “virtual” trip from England to Eastern Ontario and my wee corner of the world.

Riddles… can you guess the answer to this one?

Can you guess the answer to this riddle?

Who doesn’t like to solve riddles? They’re fun. They make you think, thereby exercising your brain. Some are harder to solve than others, but isn’t that what it’s all about? The harder riddles are to solve, the more satisfying the feeling when you finally succeed and come up with the right answer.

Well, here is my riddle. Anyone who already knows the answer, please don’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen this yet are still puzzling over the answer…

Clue #1

James Allan [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Clue #2

a shadow in the past cover 500x773

and finally…

Clue #3

Aug 2013 calendar page

So there you have it. Three things that have something in common. An old building, my book cover and a calendar leaf. Any ideas what these three things have in common?

Leave a comment stating what you think the answer is. I’ll be interested to see you answers. And those of you who already know? Please, don’t spoil it for those who are still scratching their heads trying to figure it out.

And if you’re not in to solving riddles… well at least sit back and enjoy the theories as they come in. It should be great fun.

Interview with Vivian Zabel, Founder/Owner of 4RV Publishing

Fellow 4RV author, Holly Jahangiri, recently interviewed Vivian Zabel. They chatted about the company and the exciting PUSH It Forward Contest that Staples is running in support of small business.

You can read Holly’s interview below, or on her blog at this link.

Interview with Vivian Zabel by Holly Jahangiri. (reprinted with kind permission)

I recently chatted with my friend Vivian Zabel, founder of 4RV Publishing, the company that published my first two children’s books, Trockle and A Puppy, Not a Guppy.

“Tell me a little bit about 4RV Publishing,” I asked.

“4RV Publishing came into being when as an author I realized that writing had few choices: a major publisher through an agent, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, or vanity presses. I wanted the opportunity for good writers to be able to have quality books published, traditionally. Authors also deserved to have a personal connection to the company that adopted their ‘babies.’” Vivian smiled, knowing that’s the number one reason I chose 4RV Publishing for Trockle, a story which I had written for my son and one that I did not want to sell all rights to or lose all creative say over.

“How many books do you publish each year?”

“How many we publish each year depends on several conditions: staff availability, funding needed, and what submissions are worth producing. In the less than six years we’ve been in existence, we have published a total of 101 books, some of which are no longer under contract (we put a limit on the number of years we have publication rights). We have 26 more titles to prepare and publish this year. We’ve had to close submissions for children’s picture books until 2015, except for authors under contract or invited to submit, because our illustrators can only do so many books during a year.”

Staples is celebrating small businesses in May and they are awarding digital marketing prize packages each worth $50,000 to three small businesses as part of the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest. 4RV Publishing has entered this contest, and you can help! By voting every day for your favorite small business, you increase your odds of being randomly selected to win a $1,500 Staples Voter Prize Package.

Voting ends May 31.

Link to vote for 4RV Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv

“What awards has 4RV Publishing or its books won?”

“We have received a number of awards and honors the past few years,” said Vivian. Asking her to talk about the accolades earned by books her company has published seems to give her almost as much pleasure as asking her to talk about her grandchildren’s accomplishments. “The most recent were two books which received the Children’s Classical Literature Choice Award: Life on Hold by Beverly Stowe McClure – a book is now in the running for another CCL award – and Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi, illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven, which won a CCL silver medal also. Viji Chary’s Porcupine Seeds, illustrated by Bridget McKenna, received the Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence.

“The 2009 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction went to Kirk Bjornsgarrd for Confessions of a Former Rock Queen.

“We had a number of books place in the Homeland New Day book competition: your book, Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard, took 1st in Children’s Books, and A Puppy, not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw, received 2nd in Tween books. Another author’s books took 1st in Novel and in Young Adult. One book received 2nd place at the North Texas Book Festival. Aldric & Anneliese, by Harry E. Gilleland, received honors from the Military Writers organization. Time Pullers, by Horton Deakins, placed in the top five for the USA Book Awards for Science Fiction. We have books entered in other competitions that haven’t released the winners list yet.”

“‘Another author’s books’? Don’t you remember the titles and who wrote them?” I pressed. I know Vivian doesn’t forget the names of the authors who’ve written award-winning books published by 4RV Publishing. It turns out, they were hers.

“Sure, I remember the titles: 1st in Novel was Midnight Hours by…me. 1st in Young Adult was Prairie Dog Cowboy by…me; 2nd at North Texas was Base Stealers Club by…me.”

I laughed. Vivian is a retired teacher, a mom, and a grandmother. She’s proud of her own books, but would rather shine the spotlight on others’ accomplishments. As the owner of 4RV Publishing, those are the kudos she’d rather promote. Next, I asked the million-dollar question: “Do you charge authors anything to publish their books?”

Vivian shook her head. “No, we do not charge authors anything to publish their books, or for any of the services needed to prepare their books once under contract.”

“I hear things are kind of rough in the publishing industry, these days – even some of the big publishing houses are opening subsidy imprints.”

“One reason publishers get in financial difficulties is the return policy. If a bookstore orders many more copies than they know they will sell, they can return left over copies years and years later and have their money returned. Publishers have to pay that money back, either through Ingram or their own distribution system. 4RV finally did away with returns after being hit with a huge bill for books returned that we could find no record of being bought, much less when they were bought. Major publishers pay millions every year for returned books. Of course that hurts. People aren’t buying books as much as they once did, and it has nothing to do with eBooks being available. It’s the economy. So many Big Guys are opening subsidy imprints. They need the income.”

“So why don’t you do the same?”

“Yes, we need the income, too, but we want the best books possible to be under our imprint. Once we accept payment for doing our job, putting out quality books, we lose at least some control over what is published under our name. We want the authors who deserve to be published to have their books in print and then in electronic format without a black mark against their names, which, no matter what some people say, still exists for self-published books. We try to give our authors the best chance to be successful we can.”

“Is it true that even the editors and illustrators work for royalties? So if books don’t sell well, they don’t get paid, either?”

“True and true. However, the owner of the company doesn’t even take royalties, nor does the head of the editorial department. We believe in the company enough that we leave what earnings we have in 4RV. What staff we have are dedicated to our cause. Of course we lose people quite often. They use 4RV to build a good resume and go on to bigger and better things. I can’t blame them, just ask they leave nicely without putting the company in a bind with unfinished projects. However, some stay even when they get positions elsewhere and do a few projects a year.”

“You’re an author, too – does owning the publishing house mean automatic acceptance and fast-track to print for your books?”

“Excuse me as I laugh. All submissions are sent to acquisition editors anonymously, no identification anywhere on the manuscript. One of my submissions was rejected — yep, rejected with malice. The head of the editorial department asked if the manuscript should be sent to a different acquisition editor, and I said, “No, she had valid reasons, and when I have time, I’ll revise and resubmit.” I’ve never had time. In fact, since 4RV was created, I have had only five books published by the company, and they were back when we had few submissions. I will have the first book come out later this summer, the first since early 2010, and it was in the works for three years.”

“So, 4RV is entered into the Staples PUSH It Forward Contest – what would you do with the prize money if you win?” Personally, I can’t think of many businesses that are more deserving of this “push” from Staples.

Vivian has big ideas on a shoestring budget. $50,000 lets her dream bigger – and lesser-known authors stand to benefit, too. “We need to upgrade all our technology and use digital accounting and record keeping. We would be able to create more eBooks. We need to hire people trained in digital marketing and promote our books even more effectively. The prize money from Staples would give us the “push” we need to compete in today’s publishing world.”

Help 4RV Publishing Win Staples’ PUSH It Forward Contest

You can help a deserving small business win $50,000 – and maybe win $1500 for yourself, while you’re at it! Voting is easy:

  1. Go to http://tinyurl.com/a7hrdmv – this is Staples’ Facebook page already set up for you to vote for 4RV Publishing. If you have not already “Liked” Staples’ page on Facebook, that’s the first step; please click the Like button:


  1. Next, you’ll be taken to this page, where you can Vote for 4RV Publishing – just click Vote now > :4rv-staples-2-300x169You will be asked to give Staples’ app some permissions (Might as well – you can always revoke them later, but they ask only for access to your public profile data – something everyone can see, already – and to your friends’ list, presumably so that you can share this with them and promote the contest via Facebook. I have plenty of friends participating and have not seen any of them “spamming” me in the name of Staples, so I feel pretty confident in granting the requested permissions.)


  1. Last, but not least, when you vote, you’ll have a chance to enter to win $1500 for yourself – how cool is that? Just for helping a small business achieve more. We could all use this kind of “push,” right?


Want Some Good Books?

Shop direct from the 4RV Publishing book store from the comfort of  home at http://4rvpublishingcatalog.com (many of these titles can also be found on Amazon and BN.com, as well, though I prefer to shop direct when possible).

Submissions guidelines can be found at http://www.4rvpublishing.com/manuscript-art-submissions.php


I’ll bet Vivian Zabel pops over here from time to time, and would be happy to answer them! You might also enjoy reading her blogs: 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News or Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.



Launch day for BEWARE OF THE WHITE by author Kai Strand

Launch Day for BEWARE OF THE WHITE by Kai Strand!

Terra: Twelve years old, bit of a loner, thinks she’s nothing special.
Blanco: Over four hundred years old, leader of the death tribe, thinks he’s very special.
Frank: Eighteen years old, humble, handsome, he is very special.

Can Natures Spirit, Terra, maintain the peace of Concord, or will Blanco, leader of the death tribe defeat her and the underground city?

About the book:

As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Buy it!

MuseItUp Publishing


Barnes and Noble


or look for it on iTunes

About the author:

Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com.

She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.

To celebrate the launch of BEWARE OF THE WHITE, Kai Strand has awesome book related prize packages. Be sure to enter to win. And return again and again to claim entries as you qualify. Kai will also have Spontaneous Giveaways during her book tour.

Those giveaways won’t be announced so be sure to follow Kai’s tour. Only virtual stalkers will have the opportunity at all the fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Next Big Thing…

I’ve been tagged to take part in The Next Big Thing by fellow ORWA member, Karen Smock who writes as Karen Avivi. I answer ten questions about my next book (still very much a WIP) then pass the baton on to two more authors. It’s loads of fun and you never know what you might find out about an author’s book.

So here we go!

What is the working title of your next book?

Shadows from her Past

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It started out as part two in my debut novel – A Shadow in the Past. Back then, it was in the early drafts and it was just before I was offered a contract, I decided that part one could stand on its own and it gave me a great framework for the second book in the series.

In what genre does your book fall?

YA/YA Crossover

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The lead characters would be the same as for the first book in the series – Shirley Henderson as Sarah and Robert Carlyle as Robert.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Finding information that could change the course of history, will Sarah use it to find her way back to Victorian Scotland and save the man she loves?

Who is publishing your book?

4RV Publishing (I hope). Since it’s the sequel to A Shadow in the Past, I really hope, they accept this one.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Still working on it. I’m a little over half way through but the end is written and providing my characters don’t do something to change that, I’ll be good to go.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure I would compare it but Leslie Wallack of The Book Nook in Perth, Ontario said it was the Outlander series for Young Adults.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Because it’s the sequel to my first novel, it seemed a natural progression to come up with more adventures for my characters. The first book was inspired by my love of Scotland (especially the area of Aberdeenshire where my father was born).

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s a time-travel with lots of twists and turns along the way.

Now, to select two or more people to take part who will post their next big thing on May 23rd.

Mandy Baggot

Susan Meyer

and Janet K. Brown



Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day

To all of you out there who are mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.

my mother
Ruth (Neddo) Robertson May 13, 1930 – September 14, 2010

For me, I’ll be partaking in what has become a tradition since losing my mum in the fall of 2012. Now on Mother’s Day, I visit the cemetery and leave flowers at her grave.

The cemetery celebrations started the day we buried my mum’s ashes. We sent her off with a song by her favourite singer – Vince Gill, and her favourite tipple – champagne. For the last few years of her life, I spent a lot of time out home doing as I called it “mother-sitting”. She introduced me to everyone who came into the house as “This is my daughter, Melanie. She’s writing a book.” So when I was offered my contract, it seemed right that I should celebrate there with her and my dad.

Celebrating with my contract, manuscript and champagne

At some point during the day tomorrow, I’ll see my daughter – either at her place or here. I don’t have any champagne in but that can be rectified before tomorrow, although if she has to work tomorrow night, that will put an end to a tipple or two.

Once again, Happy Mother’s Day!

Boo’s Bad Day A Children’s Book by Penny Lockwood

Boos Bad Day - cover resizedBOO’S BAD DAY
By: Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years
Published by 4RV Publishing
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

Buy from 4RV $8.99 includes s/h

Look inside at Amazon $7.32 prime

Melanie, thanks for hosting me. At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

If your readers missed yesterday’s post, they can catch up at http://renajones.blogspot.com/. Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting with http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/.

Boo’s Bad Day is the first picture book I’ve ever written. I’ve read plenty of them to my children and now my grandchildren, but I never seriously considered writing one, mostly because I had heard how difficult they are to write.

Generally, I tend to write for older teens and adults in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and romance, although I do have two middle grade novels under contract with 4RV Publishing: Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch.

I’ve read quite a few articles and books about writing for children. In fact, when I first got serious about publishing my stories, I took a class through the Institute of Children’s Literature and focused on writing for younger children. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to find markets for those stories and soon learned I had a better chance of getting published when I aimed at an older age group.

Still, writing for young children intrigued me. After all, I was a mother and loved watching my children learn to read and enjoyed reading to them. Over the years, while I continued to have success writing for older children, I harbored a desire to write for young children.

When a call came out from a small publisher for volunteers to read submissions, I applied and became an acquisitions intern. One of my primary duties was reading and deciding on picture books for publication. I quickly learned what made a good story and what didn’t as well as the things a picture book publisher looks for.

Writing a picture book isn’t as easy as people might think. While it’s not as long as a novel, it takes a lot of work. The writer needs to use language that’s easily understood by a child. Words that make sounds like crunch, blare, pop, etc. are interesting to kids. They like to hear them said out loud. In addition, the writer needs to be sure there is a plot, even though the book is only 32 pages and less than a thousand words. The main character must also overcome obstacles in that short space.

The other difficult thing is for the writer not to add to much description to the story. The illustrator must be able to create her own images and not try to paint the picture the writer has spelled out.

After learning about writing picture books, I realized I was ready to create one of my own. My grandchildren were the right age to enjoy picture books. It seemed like time to try writing one of my own. Using my newly acquired skills, I worked on creating Boo’s Bad Day. I decided to write about Boo because we had a cat, also named Boo, who was stranded outdoors in a huge fir tree during an ice storm for several days. My 21-month-old grandson loves kitties, and I thought he would like to hear Boo’s story. Boo’s Bad Day is based loosely on our own Boo’s adventure. I get a kick out of having him ask for “the kitty” book.

I would have to say I wrote Boo’s Bad Day for my own grandchildren, but it’s a thrill for me to know that other little people are enjoying it as well.

Author-Photo-Pen-smiling-copy.jpgAbout the author:Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

You can follow Penny at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penny.ehrenkranz
Twitter: @PennyEhrenkranz
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pennyehrenkranz
Website: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com
Blog: http://pennylockwoodehrenkanz.blogspot.com


BOOK REVIEW – How To PARTY Online by Janice Horton

How To PARTY Online

I loved this book! But before I give you my full book review, I’ll share some ‘party’ background first.

How to Party Cover Lge“Janice has made it her business to get stuck into the whole self-publishing malarkey. Savvy enough to realise it’s not enough to simply write, she’s studied social media marketing until it could be her specialist subject on Mastermind. She can plan a book launch, maximise publicity, keep the momentum going after the first initial flush, and perhaps most of all, she knows how to make the whole thing fun, which is no mean feat”. DG Life Magazine.

How To PARTY Online:

• Online parties are a fun way to launch your book or introduce your product and engage with your target audience.
• Social media applications are perfect forums for parties – the venue capacity is infinite, the guest list is global, and the fun and games can lead to bestselling success!
• This aim of this book is to show you how you can produce measurable results from your very first online party and while you are still working towards building up your social network.
• The purpose of this book is to walk and talk you through each step of the planning and implementation of four very different online promotional parties.
• Together we will look at how much work and effort is involved in implementing each step and we will experience the party format, explore the outcomes, and quantify all the successes.
• I’ll show you how to make it lots of fun!

Comments about Janice Horton’s online parties from the party peeps themselves:

“I loved the parties because of the amazing fun and laughs we had – even if some of us ended up in twitter jail!”
“I liked the ways in which you involved others during these parties. They were great fun.”
“Absolutely LOVE your blog parties!”
“The idea of having us post photos was brilliant in that it set up a series of interactions between lots of the different people who came – some of whom I’d never ‘met’ before.”
“Love how you come up with such innovative ideas for each one.”
“Great fun!”
“The party was a blast! I loved it.”
“It was great being a part of something that involved so many different blogs. It was very unique and totally engaging!”
“I took part in the online party. What I enjoyed about it was reading all the other blogs that took part – everyone had something different.”
“You have held some really fun and fab parties Janice. All have been great to join in!
“I’ve been to all of them and it would be difficult to pick out a favourite.”
“What I think worked was that they were all different and each had an element of surprise.”
“Asking ‘guests’ to do something specific ensured personal involvement – key to the success of any ‘virtual’ event.”
“I enjoyed all your parties, Janice.”
“The (party) was a lesson in how it should be done.”
“A book of hints and tips is a great idea. Good luck with it!”

My thoughts on HOW TO PARTY ONLINE

This book is a MUST for anyone planning an online launch, especially those who are heading down the online launch trail for the first time. Janice details the lead time required for each type of launch – Facebook, Twitter or blog but keeps everything light so that when the “big” day comes, it’s FUN and hopefully, stress-free.

I’ve attended Janice’s online parties and know the amount of work that went in to each one, but when you arrive at the venue, everything seems seamless and effortless. Trust me, it isn’t.

So my rating? ☆☆☆☆☆

About the Author

Janice Launch Portrait Janice Horton escaped a city-chic lifestyle and a career in corporate brand placement to live in a remote cottage on the side of a hillside in Scotland. Previously traditionally published and now writing as an Indie, Janice writes fiction with humour, heart, and a hint of tartan. When not writing novels, Janice writes lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s ‘Write Here Write Now’ incentive. Janice is a regular blogger and you’ll often find her partying on Facebook and Twitter. She is a contributing editor with her Scottish Country Lifestyle feature and the editor of the twice monthly Bookshelf Reviews at Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine.

You can buy How to PARTY Online at




Virtual Book Tour – Lin Treadgold’s Goodbye Henrietta Street

Goodbye Henrietta StreetGoodbye Henrietta Street

Pippa Lambton’s life has fallen apart and husband Rob is ready to give up their marriage. Three years before, their son Daniel passed away, he was the glue that held them together.

Pippa leaves home for the beautiful Isles of Scilly, a chance to rediscover herself.  She meets handsome Norwegian, Sven Jorgensen. Nature warden, Sven, teaches Pippa about the island wildlife.

Spending time with Sven, Pippa finds herself laughing again. She is aware of Rob’s dilemma over his childhood adoption and their turbulent relationship, but after an awkward kiss with Sven, she is torn about how to proceed.  There is much to resolve and  leaving Rob could prove a disaster. Is her affair with Sven a holiday fling?  How can she leave Rob after losing Daniel?

Sven helps Pippa plan to leave her home in Henrietta Street in Whitby, Yorkshire, and live with him on the islands.  She leaves Sven behind on the trust they will see each other again soon. Arriving home, all is not what it seems. Has Rob been entirely truthful? After inheriting a fortune will Pippa want to stay with him?

During Pippa’s absence Sven receives a note to meet Astrid, his ‘ex’ from five years before.  She is on holiday. Astrid has a confession and Sven is left feeling emotionally blackmailed.  But will Pippa manage to get away from Rob?  And what is the secret from his past that Sven has learned from Astrid?  Sven is left wondering if he will ever see Pippa again.


I think I had better introduce myself. Sven Jørgensen. I originally came from Norway, but I live here now.’
She took his hand; his grip felt genuine and welcoming. Norway, eh? Gosh, he’s so suntanned. He must spend hours on these boats every day.
‘I’m Pippa Lambton, I live in the north-east of England. How long have you been living in Scilly?’
‘Oh, it must be, erm … almost six years now. I work for the new Scilly Environmental Trust and generally make a nuisance of myself. I’m actually an ornithologist. If you are interested in birds, then I’m your man!’
Pippa giggled to herself. His long blonde hair and suntan made her wonder whose man he really was. How silly, she hadn’t realised he was the main tour guide for the islands. She was only trying to cheer herself up. He must have thought she was some dizzy woman on holiday trying to make out she was a proper birdwatcher. Still, he seemed helpful, which was something she needed right now.
‘Listen, erm,’ He scratched the side of his nose. ‘There’s a slide show tomorrow night in the church hall—perhaps you can come? You will learn a lot about the history of the islands and the birdlife. Bring your family and friends.’
Pippa replied immediately. ‘Okay, sounds like a great idea. Although I don’t have anyone I can bring; I’m here on my own, but I will be there. Promise.’
‘Oh I see, well,’ he hesitated for a moment.
Before he could finish his sentence, Pippa remarked. ‘I’m just taking a break from life, the universe and everything. You know how it is, just a spot of respite.’
‘Respite?’ echoed Sven.
‘Oh yeah, well, that’s another story for another time, eh?’ Annoyed with herself for hinting she had a problem, she moved on. ‘I’ve been to Scilly before, on a day trip. I enjoyed the atmosphere here so much, I’ve come back for a longer stay.’
She didn’t know why she mentioned this. She so much wanted to feel less pain in her daily life, but referring to her tragedy during her holiday might spoil things. She often couldn’t help herself, a habit she would have to curb. If only she could stop being in eternal grief! Would it always be this way? The short answer was: yes.
‘Give me a second. Are you walking back into town?’ asked Sven.
Pippa nodded. ‘Yep.’
‘Let’s go back to the boat. Just got to pick up a few things, and then I’ll walk up that way with you.’
Pippa followed him as he carried on with the conversation.
‘I’m pleased you came; it’s a great place to learn.’ He looked down at Don in the boat. ‘Mate, pass me my bins and ’scope, can you?’
Don obeyed, giving Pippa a sideways glance. ‘Watch ’im, young lady, he has an eye for all the young girls.’
‘Thanks, Don.’ Sven grinned and ignored the comment.
Pippa chuckled at his apparent shyness. She liked the way he spoke, his Norwegian accent, his politeness, and his gentle way of talking to her. He had well-cared-for teeth beneath a kind smile. He would be a useful person to get to know for all the information she needed about the wildlife tours.

About the Author
Lin_Treadgold_new_picLin Treadgold was born in Yorkshire and attended private education. After travelling the world and visiting over thirty countries, she took the opportunity to become a writer and
nature conservationist. She has always wanted to write a novel; moving to Holland gave her the opportunity to fulfill a dream. Lin is a member of the Romantic Novelists’
Association and organises workshop events for new writers.

More About Goodbye Henrietta Street

Key Selling Points

• A romantic saga based on the Isles of Scilly and in Yorkshire, with deep character development.
• The book appeals to tourist of the Isles of Scilly as well as locals to Whitby, Yorkshire and anybody aware of nature and The Wildlife Trust.
• Story includes environmental issues such as oil spills from passing tankers in the wild Atlantic Ocean; the islands’ vulnerability due to the weather, storms and fear of losing rare plants; birds being affected by disasters, overfishing and human carelessness.
• Tourists on holiday can follow Sven and Pippa’s romance through the islands’ landmarks.

Target Market

An easy read for summer days for people to think again about the way we treat nature. Life is so fragile which the story shows through the lives of characters. Written for anyone who loves romance and enjoys immersing themselves in a summer read.

Product Specifications

PRICE: GBP 7.99 USD 12.99 EUR 9.99
PRODUCT FORM: B&W Perfect soft cover
ISBN: 978-1-908208-14-9
FORMAT/EXTENT: 216×140 mm/ 250 pp
MARKET: Worldwide
IMPRINT: Safkhet Soul

About the Publisher

Safkhet Soul, our books for the soul, was launched on Valentine’s Day 2012. Bringing fresh, funny and fabulous stories, Safkhet Soul will paint a smile on the face of every
reader. Safkhet Soul also showcases the stories that touch a place in your heart.

safkhet logoSafkhet Publishing
Viktoriastrasse 25
D-26382 Wilhelmshaven
Email: sales@safkhetpublishing.com



How to Order

Order from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, Libri, Bertrams, and many others. Please email us for more options if you use a different distributor!