Welcome Author C.b. Roberts –

Hello, Everyone!  I hope you’re having a great weekend and are watching your favorite team!  While you yell and scream for your football team, let’s take a moment and welcome C.b. Roberts to my blog!  He has a new book of poems out that will steal your heart.

Before we take a look at the book, let’s get to know C.b.


C.b. Roberts was born and raised in Florida. He fell in love with writing in his twenties. Starting out writing songs, he switched to poetry in 2013. While poetry will always be his first love, he is currently working on writing his first novel, Unfinished.

eBook Cover (2015)

eBook Cover (2015)

Not your average poetry. These are stories—stories from the heart and soul.

The Hell Within Me is a collection of extremely emotional and heartfelt poetry that many can relate to.

The contradictions and play on words bring new life to the stanzas as they leap off the pages and tug at your emotions.

Reviews to be proud of!

Kristal Mayfield – Review of The Hell Within Me

The words of this poetry jumped out and grabbed the very soul of me. The rawness and transparency that comes through each poem touched me deeply. A very good read!!! One of my favorite poems (can’t pick one) is “Broken Pieces”… “a calmness has settled over me now that I know the bitter truth. The calm before the storm, Me – learning to live without you ”

Be ready to feel!!! C.B. Roberts will take you there !!


Nicole Garcia

Where do I begin? Let me just say that I have been a lover of books since I was a child, but my first love has always been poetry since I started reading it as a teenager. So, when I heard about this book, I simply just had to have it. It was everything I expected it to be and so much more. I devoured the entire book in 20 minutes. There are so many complex emotions in one stanza alone that would fulfill any avid poetry reader’s expectations. C.B. talks about love that is chaotic yet calming, destructive yet hopeful, and love that is both dark and light. Love you give up, yet you can’t live without. A love so strong it hurts. I had quite a few favorite poems in this book. Craving, I Want You, Inception, Missing You, Obsession, Open Your Eyes, and Words. But, my absolute favorite was Dreams. The thought of being with the one you love only in your dreams is so utterly heartbreaking, but breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.
I will be reading this book over and over. It is something I will never tire of. C.B. has written his way into my heart and you will feel the same when you read his work.

You can buy this book and others on:



C.b. Roberts is on the following sites:




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Author Krysten Lindsay Hagar


Krysten Lindsay Hager

Hello Everyone!  I have a special guest today I want to share with you.  Her name is Krysten Lindsay Hager and she has a family friendly wonderful book she wants to share!

Krysten starts off telling about writing from a teen standpoint and continues discussing friends and frenemies.


Writing from a Teen Standpoint with Krysten Lindsay Hager

1.  Is the main character in the series, Landry’s True Colors, a teen version of yourself?

No, but Landry and I share a lot of similarities (we both hate math, look bad in navy blue, and have dealt with frenemies), but she has her own personality. She’s a bit more introverted than me, too. We both like soap operas and had soap star crushes (I loved Lorenzo Lamas when I was in preschool through fifth grade then I “left” him for George Michael), we’ve both modeled, and liked some of the same things. People say they can “hear me” when they read the book. I don’t think of Landry as a little sister, or a cousin, or even as my kid. She’s more like the person I want to protect from the world, but at the same time I completely see where she’s coming from.
One more similarity we have— we both hated gym in grade school, however in ninth grade my gym class shared the gym with the junior and senior basketball class…suddenly gym class was my fave. Also, at her age, I was already planning my wedding to George Michael. Lucky for me, I had backup crushes…

2.  Have you had issues with frenemies yourself?

Sure have—and still do! The other day I was talking to a friend and all of a sudden she came out with a comment that had a lot of sting behind it and it stunned me. But later I realized that it was her issue about herself and really had nothing to do with me. That’s something you don’t pick up on when you’re a teen. You take it all so personally and internalize it, but as an adult you realize a lot of what people say is a reflection about them instead.

3.  Did you ever have your friends turn against you like Landry did?

Sure, not so much in high school, but when I was younger. Once it happened during a time my grandparents happened to be visiting. I never brought the argument up to my family (I internalized a lot back then), but it distracted me from enjoying my time with my grandma and grandpa. My grandma passed away less than two years later. I really regretted not being able to put all that mess aside and really focus on their visit—that’s time I can’t get back. So in Best Friends…Forever?, I have a new friend of Landry’s, Kendall, tell her about going through that very same thing.
I will admit as an adult I have often hid things that I was excited about because the backlash from so-called friends made me feel awkward. I remember going for coffee with a friend and seeing the June issue of a magazine on the stand and knowing that was the issue I had an article in. As we left the coffee shop, I lied and said I forgot my sunglasses and went back to get some copies of the magazine which I stuffed into my purse so my friend wouldn’t see them.

4.  How does Landry change in the second book in the series (if at all)?

She definitely goes on a journey in terms of self-esteem and dealing with frenemies. We see her develop more of a backbone in terms of dealing with the situation and also in handling it in a mature way (due to some advice she gets along the way). She is willing to admit her problems with friends are overwhelming her and reaches out for help. It’s her dad who is able to relate his own issues with the same friendship drama that helps her out. In this book, she learns a lot more about loyalty and telling the truth (even when it hurts). She also shares her fear of failure and gets advice on how to deal with that as well. That is a hard thing to come out with, but in doing so she is able to learn how to handle that stress better. It was a fun (and funny) book to write and it mixes the awkward teen years and cringe worthy moments with the funny times we all have shared with friends as well.


Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
Blurb: Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.
Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.

I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that’s when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.
My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the “ʺThree’s Company”ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, “ʺWish you were here,”ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.
“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.
“Yeah, just signing off.”
“Okay, sleep well.”
I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.

Excerpt 2:
“Landry, it’s gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi’s school next year,” Tori said. “I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?”
“It’s a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. “People break up all the time. It’s not a big deal.ʺ
Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Yeah, right,” and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first pre‑freshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn’t told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she’d probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: “Landry, Vladi’s here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, ‘hello.’ Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a ‘loser dumpee?’ What does that mean?”
Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn’t have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.
Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ&feature=youtu.be
Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?
Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):
From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”
From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Landrys-Colors-ebook/dp/B00UIP1N5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427190173&sr=1-2
Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S
Barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/krysten-lindsay-hager
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/best-friends-forever-19
itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/best-friends…-forever/id979714114?mt=11
Connect with Krysten:
Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

I ‘m so glad to have you on my blog today, Krysten!   I hope you have a great rest of the week and much success with your books!  Come back to see us anytime!

Sara Stinson

Sara Stinson – You can also find me at these locations.

You can buy my books on Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes and Noble



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Meet a Cool Author-Rita Monette

Hello, everyone! Since I have been writing, I have met authors from many places.  One of the neatest things about writing is meeting cool authors!

Rita Monette       Rita Monette is one of those authors.  Rita was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her job as an administrative assistant, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write, draw, and paint. Her debut middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, was released in November of 2012, followed by the sequel, The Curse at Pirate’s Cove, in November of 2014, by Musa Publishing. The books also contain her sketches. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.

1.  Tell us about your books.

 thecurseatpiratescove-200      The Curse at Pirate’s Cove, book two in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series, begins with now eleven-year-old Nikki Landry looking forward to riding her bike to school, now that she’s old enough. That is until it falls apart. When she hears about a legend that there might be buried treasure on a nearby swamp island, she sees a way to get a new one. But when she makes a birthday wish for the pirate’s gold, things go terribly wrong. Join Nikki and her friends as they encounter ghostly pirates, who whisk them away aboard their ship to the year 1814. How will they every find their way back?

Cover of Legend of Gh Dog Island      In book one of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series, The Legend of Ghost dog Island, Nikki’s Papa moves their raggedy old houseboat into a mysterious Louisiana bayou. Ten-year-old Nikki Landry feels something is watching her from a nearby island. After learning of a local legend that something sinister is living nearby that steals the souls of dogs, she fears for her own Snooper’s safety. Nikki seeks to discover the real truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island…before it’s too late.

2.  Why did you pick middle-grade to write about?

I love middle graders. They are very open to new places and ideas. It was a time of discovery and imagination for me, which is why I chose to write this series based on my own life at that age…mixed of course with some imaginative adventures.

3.  Do you have any other books in the works?

I am currently working on book three in the series. This one is tentatively called The Secret in Mossy Swamp. In this episode, a young boy goes missing in one of the deepest swamps near the Atchafalaya Basin. Of course there’s a legend that’s been told of something inhabiting those swamps besides the Rugarou. Nikki’s papa, who is a game warden, is assigned to help find the boy, but Nikki and her friends are on their own quest. To find the truth about Mossy Swamp.

4.  What do you like to do when not writing?

When not writing, I do face painting at summer and fall festivals. I also spend a lot of time doing genealogy.

5.  What kind of books do you like to read?

I love to read historical books. I also read lots of middle grade books. I am very interested in character voice, and love to discover new voices.

6.  What advice do you have for other authors?

It’s hard to find something new to say on this topic without sounding cliché. But the best advice is to never give up. You WILL get rejected. But if you write because you have something to say, and not write to please others, or to follow a trend, you will be happy in the end.


The Legend of Ghost Dog Island
The Curse at Pirate’s Cove
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB51g_CnuNE
Author website: http://ritamonette.com
Blog: http://ritamonette.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RitaMonetteBooks
Twitter: @ritamonette

Thank you for visiting everyone! Rita, thank you for being my first author for the 2015 year!  Your books sound like they have one adventure after another.  I know many boys and girls will enjoy reading!  I bet quite a few adults get in on the action too!

Remember, parents, reading is important for your child.  Please take thirty minutes each night to read to your child or have your child read to you.  I promise your time will be valuable in so many ways!

Until next time,  read a book!  CLOSING BOOKS SHUTS OUT IDEAS

Sara Stinson

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Today’s Author is Susan Finlay

Hello Everyone!  I have been busy writing.  I wanted to take a break and share an author friend with you.  Her name is Susan Finlay.  🙂

Writing has opened up a whole new set of friends for me.  I have enjoyed getting to know so many authors.  Susan Finlay is one of those.  Her kind personality will win you over immediately, and  I am fascinated with her writing.  Because of her research and knowledge, you learn about other countries and their customs while reading her works.

I had the privilege of reading her book, In the Shadows, before it became available to the public.  Starting with page one, the characters come to life and the mystery begins.  Two of my favorite characters are the grandmothers.  (You will have to read to see why!)

For now, please welcome Susan.  She is going to tell us about herself, her talented family, and her books.

Susan Finlay

Hi Sara, Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I’m a former banker, turned novelist. I was born in Germany. I mention that because I am only half-American, as is my book’s protagonist, Dave Martin. My other half is German. I grew up in the U.S., but I’ve traveled back to Germany three times to visit grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I’m sure I’ll go back there again since my son moved to Germany a little over a year ago. Perhaps it’s my heritage that makes me interested in foreign places. I set most of my novels in places outside the U.S. Hearing that, you might expect I chose Germany for my new novel’s setting. It actually takes place in France and England. Don’t worry, I have another series I’m working on that is set in Bavaria!

In my new novel, In the Shadows (An Outsiders Mystery), Dave Martin’s other half is French. Like me, he was raised in the U.S. As the story begins, he is visiting his French grandmother in the cave-riddled troglodyte village of Reynier, France. While running errands for her, he bumps into a beautiful stranger, Maurelle Dupre. After Maurelle flees at the sight of gendarmes, Dave wonders what she is hiding. His curiosity deepens when he hears that the locals think she’s a gypsy, a thief. Knowing that people are often misjudged, he isn’t convinced she’s either of those. But he still wonders why she seems so frightened and distrusting. Everyone tells him he shouldn’t get involved. They may be right. The last time he got involved, back in Chicago, and trusted a woman he lost his detective’s shield. But, as always, he can’t seem to leave well enough alone. Central to the book are two grandmothers who are life-long best friends. The women are quite different from each other, and each has her own interesting backstory, which will come out more in the second book. One of the women has a granddaughter, Simone, and the other has a grandson, Dave. It’s only natural they would try to pair them up as a couple. But then, the mysterious English woman appears and stirs things up.

Book front of In the ShadowsMy daughter, Samantha, is the cover artist for the book. She came home from the university last year, carrying a lovely painting of a street scene in a French village. I asked, “Ooh, where did you get that. It’s beautiful.” She said, “I painted it in my art class.” I was so impressed. I asked if I could use it for the cover of my second book. Well, we used part of the painting for the cover of the first book. I don’t know what I’ll use for the second book. I’m so proud of her.

I have been fascinated with caves since I was a little girl and my family went on a tour of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Back when I first began writing, I saw photographs of troglodyte cave dwellings in France. I knew then that I would someday write a book set in a troglodyte village. I’ve never been to France, but hope to go there someday. I suspect my son, being much closer to France, will get to visit there before I do.

For the book, I researched France–the culture and the land. Many French villages have troglodyte cave dwellings (known as troglos). From what I can tell, most troglos are centuries old. Many have been refurbished and are still lived in as either full-time residences or part-time holiday homes. Some are used as hotels, restaurants, or storage. Not all troglos are old, though. I saw a website that gives information about brand new troglos that are being built in France.

Troglos typically started out as primitive cave homes. Back in the 1800’s, thousands of people in France lived in cliff dwellings, caves, or chalk pits. In some areas, whole hillsides were dug out, creating subterranean apartment blocks that were home to hundreds of people. Bureaucrats were horrified by the underground lifestyle and referred to the dwellers as troglodytes.

In more recent years, façades were built on the outside of some cave homes. Some facades are simple, with only a wall, door, and maybe a window. Some are quite extravagant, with large picture windows, and even patios, gardens, etc. In some rural French villages, many of the houses that appear ordinary from the street, have caves at the rear.

In my fictitious village of Reynier, there are houses and troglos of all varieties. Reynier’s cave system, a place of safety, runs beneath much of the village, and is cherished by the locals.

Reynier, France is the setting for the second book, too. That book,  tentatively titled Where Secrets Reside:(An Outsiders Mystery, is already written and is in the editing stage. The book takes place a year later. It’s shorter because the majority of characters are already familiar, so there’s less set-up, and yet it’s more complicated because the number of viewpoint characters is much greater. Expect a few new people—in particular, a gendarme captain who will be a main character. Also, expect some flashbacks and a lot more scenes inside the caves and troglos. The basic story is this:  The close-knit village of Reynier, France, is victimized by a serial killer, a puzzling criminal whose actions force the residents to look at themselves in a new light. Is the killer one of their own? Who will be the next victim?


Susan Finlay loves photography and traveling. She was born in Germany, but grew up in the U.S. A mother of two grown children, she lives in Missouri with her husband and their three cats. Before becoming an author, Susan worked in banking suspicious activity and security. The second book in her Outsiders Mystery Series is already written and in the editing stage. It’s expected release date is mid-2014.

You can read more on her author blog: http://www.susansbooks37.wordpress.com

Her book can be bought on Amazon in e-book format and paperback.

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Blog Hopping with Julia Templeton


Julia and  I are taking Blog Hopping off the norm.  I have agreed to present her blog today on her writing.  

I came across Julia’s writing while scrolling through the Kindle books.  I saw her first book from the series A MacKinnon Curse and decided to download it.  I fell in love with the characters after the first few pages and couldn’t stop.  I ordered the second and the third book.  I asked Julia to join me in the hop in hopes other readers will see and order her books.  You will definitely not be disappointed.  She has  several works to choose from.  So go and purchase!  

The following are Julia’s four questions.

1. What are you working on right now? RYDER’S REDEMPTION is a new adult contemporary romance, and the follow-up book to THIN WHITE LINE.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre? The main character Ryder is an unapologetic bad boy who is struggling with drug addiction. The book follows his journey in putting his life back together, and his challenge with trying to win over the one girl who doesn’t want him.

3. Why do you write what you do? The characters pull at me until I write their stories. As far as the young adult and new adult genre, I’ve been drawn to characters that are a bit flawed—meaning they have some type of issue that’s taking over their lives in some way.

4. How does your writing process work? I start with a character and the spark of an idea. I then ask the main characters questions (who are they, what do they want, etc.), research the setting and topic, and then once I have a good idea of where I’m going with the story, I start breaking it down into chapters…and then I start writing.

I am so happy you agreed to join the blog hop, Julia!  I am a fan of yours!  I know after others read the first page of your work, they will be too!

Sara  🙂


Book Links:

A MacKinnon Curse Series:  http://www.jatempleton.com/books/the-mackinnon-curse-novella

Amazon – Shows all her books:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=julia+templeton+books&sprefix=Julia+Templeton%2Cstripbooks%2C180&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Ajulia+templeton+books

Barnes and Nobles


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Join the Fun! It’s a Blog Hop!


I was invited by my friend, Lisa Orchard, to participate in a “blog hop interview.” Lisa sent me some interview questions, which I answer here on my blog. Following my answers, I tag 3 other writers who will, in turn, answer questions on their blogs next week. It’s been fun checking out the Blog Hops to see what other children’s authors have posted!

Lisa posted her answers to the questions at her blog, on July 29th. If you like, you can leave a comment on her blog and tell her that you connected to her through my link here!

http://www.lisaorchard.com/       Click on the Blog button on her website.


Here are my answers to the questions that I chose from the list:

  1. What are you working on right now?

I have several ideas brewing in my head.  I am writing the second book of Finger Bones called, Finger Bones and the Ghost Dog.  I am also editing a young adult book called The Hally Witch of Magic Hollow

2.  How does it differ from other works in its genre?

A 122-year-old ghost helps three eleven-year-old kids chase ghosts and helps send them to their next destination.  The use of magic and incantations are used to finish the job.  All the ideas thrown together create a different and wonderful story for all ages!  I hope my books are not only entertaining, but teach some values like courage and teamwork.

3.  Why do you write what you do?

I am a retired Speech-Language Pathologist.  I taught for twenty-five years.  Because I loved what I did, I continue to substitute.  I taught all ages.  Even though Finger Bones is for third grade and up (middle-grade to young adult), I feel all ages will enjoy.


The books I have written so far contain magic.  Maybe the thought of magic really existing entices me to write what I write.  Or maybe…magic exists!

4.  How does your writing process work?

Finger Bones was created after I saw a picture of a local citizen hanging on a wall at a local restaurant.  The African-American was sitting on the front steps of his aged cabin.  As I was flipping through some books at the library on another day,  I came across the words bony fingers.  I turned it around to Finger Bones.  That’s how my ideas start.


When I write, I know what the beginning and ending will be, and I have a few ideas for the middle.  Like other authors, I let my characters lead me the rest of the way.  I do write a draft outline of the chapters, but it tends to change.  Whenever I have a thought, I immediately write it down.  I carry a small pad with me everywhere I go.  I have been known to pull out my notepad at the schools I work at and in the middle of the grocery store.


Joining my Blog Hop is:

Julia Templeton     (A MacKinnon Curse Novels) AWESOME!  I’ve read all three.  She has other books too!




Here are two other great authors who are busy at the moment either getting their new book edited and ready for publishing or promoting their next book:

S.A. Hunter    http://www.sahunter.net/

Julie Cassar    http://juliecassar.weebly.com/

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June Donaghy Kramin

Hello everyone!  I hope your weekend has been a good one.  Please help me welcome my next guest.

I ‘m happy to introduce June Kramin today all the way from Hawaii!  June, happy to have you on my blog!  I have a few questions so readers can learn more about you.  I enjoy learning about different authors and how they started writing.  So here we go!

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. Teachers from the 3rd grade & up have told me I’d be one someday. I never took it to heart until life finally slowed down. I was 40 when that happened. The first thing I pelted out was a full length novel. I’ve never had articles or short stories that I submitted anywhere. The overwhelming responses from family & friends made me keep going & pursue getting published.

2. Tell us about your Happily Ever After Series.

The main characters for the series are best friends, Valerie and Samantha. Each book takes you on an adventure that is a fairy tale or folklore re-told as they live it with the help of some amazing friends (such as Merlin the magician and their very own fairy godmother). They grow a year older in each book, and each one is a stand-alone story.  If King Arthur is your thing, not Rapunzel, you can read #3 without feeling like you would have had to read 1 & 2 to get there. The sayings the girls have shared over the years and anything that has sent me to the floor rolling in laughter has made it into these books. I’m really waiting for parents to want to beat me when their kids try peep fights in the microwave & their children are running around doing Val & Sam’s “Loser loser, double loser” ditty.

My daughter is the cover & sketch artist, she did the 1st one when she was only 14. I think it will always be my favorite.

3. What inspired you to write this series?

The 2 girls are actually based on my daughter and her best friend. I call them my duo of double-trouble for a good reason! (And I did not change the names to protect the guilty!) The 2 girls could not be any more opposite – it really makes for great material. The opening story of #1 where Val’s mom is scared by a possum in the barn actually happened. I can’t say why I started to write it out but wasn’t surprised when the story took the fairy tale twist. My favorite stories have always been fairy tales re-told. I guess I just wanted more.

4. Are you working on a new book?

I’m not working on any more in this series right now. Currently there are 9 in the series with 2 coming out each year. The girls get a year older with each book so I’ve sort of written myself out of a series unless & keep them going as a “tween” pair & write them into some young adult. I have been working on a prequel, although I can’t say for sure right now if I’ll make it work. Val has always wanted me to send them to Hawaii. I’ve toyed with that as well, but I’d have to come up with “Book 4 ½” or something like that. LOL. I’ll keep you posted. Book #5 is scheduled for release in November.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

Oddly, one of these topping out at 30K takes me longer to write than an 80K women’s fiction. Some of them have taken a lot of legwork to get them to complete their task. I think #8 wins at 5 months.

Do you have a process you follow?

I’m not disciplined at all. I write every chance I can sneak in some time. Some days are extremely good to me. Val was only 8 when I started the 1st book. She used to read a chapter as I wrote it then would beg for more. That was great motivation!

5. Do you have a favorite place you like to write? Favorite time of the day to write? Do you listen to music while you write?

Nope to all. I get most of my writing done on my down time during my day. I don’t have a great spot at home that I lock myself in & call my own. For the most part, I’m standing at a table with an empty paper box to make it the right height. I can’t sit for too long – this works best for me. I also need total silence. I sing along to everything!

6. Links to your books and your websites


amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ann+t+bugg

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann-t-bugg?store=allproducts&keyword=ann+t+bugg

Creatspace (Use code GMNY9TNC for $1.00 off): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+t+bugg&sitesearch_type=STORE

Thanks so much for having me!

So glad to have you!  Hope you will visit again!  🙂


Book #1 :

book 1 front-June
When best friends Valerie and Samantha discover a magic mirror in Val’s 100-year-old barn in southern Minnesota, they eagerly go through it. Immediately they run into the young Snow White, who has just escaped the huntsman. The girls vow to help her find her father, knowing the dangers that await. On their journey, the fun-loving double-trouble duo quickly discovers they are caught up in the middle of their favorite fairy tales.

Having the knowledge of the stories as their only weapon, Val and Sam help two other princesses, make a surprising friend, and discover they have a fairy godmother of their very own.

Book #2:

book cover 2-June
It’s time for Samantha’s summer visit again. Both she and Val are anxious to see if they will take another magical journey through the mirror. After learning of a problem with one of the horses, Odette makes her appearance and tells the girls it’s up to them to help him.

What Charlie needs is something that can only be found in their magical land. It can’t be given to them; they have to solves riddles and discover the answers themselves. A family of elves guides them, but even elf powers are limited when it comes to what stands between the girls and what they seek.

Trolls and unicorns were everything they imagined and more, but rescuing Rapunzel from her tower was an added bonus they never saw coming.

Book #3:

book cover 3June
Valerie and Samantha are disappointed that their schedules were not allowing them to spend a week together this summer like they have done every year since they were young. Their parents are able to plan a weekend camping trip towards the end of summer.

The girls are happy for the visit, but sad to think they can’t go through the mirror this year on another adventure. They discover the magic is not only within the mirror, but within themselves when they are together.

Merlin the magician makes a timely appearance to take them on their quest to help Arthur find his true identity and his place in Camelot.

Book #4:

book cover 4 front- June

There is no magic mirror around, no sign of a frog or a possum, as Valerie and Samantha get ready for a canoe trip down the river with Val’s dad. As they wait for him by the river, their world transforms before their eyes. Through the stormy sky, a dragon approaches. With the help of a young man who suddenly appears, they take cover.

Discovering a baby dragon hidden in his knapsack and his intentions with it, they know what they are sent here to do. They didn’t expect the task at the end of their adventure: to help awaken a sleeping princess.




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Lionel is a character to love!

Hi everyone!  I hope your Fourth was great!                                                                                                                          Paul Hewitt and son

I am happy to introduce Paul R. Hewlett.  I thought it fitting for Paul to be my guest today.  He is an Air Force vet.  Thank you so much, Paul, for your service, and for keeping us safe and free.

Paul has written a series for children called Lionel’s Grand Adventure.  A young boy named Lionel is the main character in the stories.  Lionel will steal your heart as he has mine.

All of Paul’s books are written for children.  His aim is to write books that are constructive for them.  He wants it to be a book that encourages the child to read, even if reading is not their thing.

I have to add that this is a wonderful collection of books for parents to have in the home. Grandparents, you can have the books on standby for those weekends or holidays you have the grandchildren.  I recommend these for classroom teachers and in early childhood settings as well.

Paul lives in the mid-west with his wife and a “senior” dog he rescued from a shelter.  He’s a salesman during the day and a writer at night.  At least he is when not helping raise his adorable and handsome grandson!

Read on and see what Paul has Lionel up to!


About Lionel’s Grand Adventure 

The Golden Rule

Meet Lionel, a lovable bully-magnet, as he arrives in Larrystown and discovers a magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot. Follow Lionel’s fun misadventures as he uses the foot’s faulty protective power and learns a valuable lesson about helping others. Lionel and the Golden Rule is the first book in the Lionel’s Grand Adventure series, perfect for young and even  reluctant readers at home or in school.


Turns the Other Cheek

Lionel’s back and his Magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun Foot is up to its old tricks. Lionel heads off to summer camp and has to room with the meanest, biggest bully there. Young Readers will love Lionel and the lesson he learns this time.

Lionel Turns the Other Cheek is the second book in the Lionel’s Grand Adventure series, great for getting kids to read at home and  for families to read aloud


True Meaning of Christmas

Have you ever wanted something you couldn’t have? Lionel desperately wants a new sled and he will do almost anything to get it. This fun Christmas story follows Lionel from Larrystown to the North Pole. Filled with great Christmas imagery, this book is perfect for young readers and school or family story time. This holiday season, be careful what you wish for, you never know what might happen!



In addition to writing the Lionel’s Grand Adventure books, Paul co-authors a middle grade/young adult blog called Sher A. Hart: My Written Art.


Here is a link to my blog: http://sherahart.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lionels-Grand-Adventure/351949984835429

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-R.-Hewlett/e/B0077S3988/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

My books are available for purchase on Amazon as e-books, and Lionel’s Christmas Adventure is available as a paperback on Amazon as well as signed copies on my blog.


Thank you for being on my blog and sharing your stories!

Sara   🙂

Posted on by sarastinson | 19 Comments

Meet YA Author Guest – Julie Cassar


I am extremely excited to introduce my author guest today.  Her name is Julie Cassar.   Her writing is being enjoyed in many parts of the world.  Julie has written a fantasy all ages will enjoy.  I have read the first in the series called “Ruby Blue” .  I plan to read the other books soon.  From the beginning you will be hooked with the teenage girl named Ruby.  Without giving any of the plot away, let me go ahead and turn it over to Julie.

Welcome, Julie!

1. Tell us a little bit about you and the series you have written. 

Julie Cassar’s debut Young Adult Fantasy “Ruby Blue” Series has been met with rave reviews and has spent weeks on Amazon‘s Fantasy Series Best Seller List as well as it’s Top Rated list. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, specializing in Graphic Design, Cassar has also worked as a production artist, designer, painter and photographer. She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, “Outdoor Athlete,” and publishes a monthly blog.

I began writing in 2010. My first novel is non-fiction and still unpublished, but it led me to start up my blog and gave me the courage to try writing fiction. I’ve actually had the story of Ruby in my head since 2004, when my son was born. I always thought it would be a children’s book, but as I thought more about the story and what the characters wanted to say, I realized it was more YA. I published Ruby Blue in February of 2012, and followed up with the sequel, “Deja Blue” in August of 2012. I just released book 3, “Sky Blue” in January of 2013

2. Julie, tell us about each book you have written from the “Ruby Blue” Series. 


RUBY BLUE: Meet Ruby. She’s your average (somewhat dorky) ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and, oh yeah…she sees fairies.
After Nick Martino (possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known) finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when a bizarre incident strikes their lakeside town.Stumbling bare-foot through some interesting dates, will she ever find love? And what does Ruby do when more strange events continue to occur? Will she keep her gift of Fairy Sight a secret? As an ancient myth unfolds and new mystic fairy tales come to life, Ruby and her menagerie of friends tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale. See what legends come to life in “Ruby Blue,” a young adult fantasy fiction novel and the first installment of the Ruby Blue series.


DEJA BLUE: Ruby’s back with her fairy friends and this time, she stumbles upon some of the mysteries of the Water Court. Now, being pursued by an unknown force, Ruby’s fairy friends step in to protect her. However, trouble seems to follow Ruby around every corner and even her fairy guardians need to call in reinforcements…but at what cost? Faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, Ruby must decide if and how she will help out her fairy friends. Will she pledge her allegiance to the Earthen Court? Or will she find new comfort and protection in the Water Court? Become entangled and entranced in Ruby’s latest adventure and relive the magic in “Deja Blue,” the second installment of the Ruby Blue Series.


SKY BLUE: Something strange is brewing in Lake City… as the summer comes to a close, Ruby finds herself caught in a torrent of trouble when a stranger blows into town. Relationships are put to the test, lines are drawn and a choice is made when the ways of the Royal Sky Court rain down upon Ruby and the gang. Weathering through a storm of secrets, spells and yet another life-changing adventure… who will survive in its wake? Find out just what mysteries are revealed in this third, magical installment of the Ruby Blue Series!



3. List any websites or social media links for yourself or your book.

My Website: www.juliecassar.weebly.com


FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/julie.cassar.7

My books are available at Amazon and B&N.

Ruby blue Link: http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Blue-ebook/dp/B0075M2D1U/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1372521538&sr=8-1&keywords=Ruby+Blue

*You can get to all of the books from there.

My author page at Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Cassar/e/B00AM0VXOU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Thank you being my guest today, Julie!  I will be sure to look for your 4th installment of the series in the fall!

Sara Stinson  🙂

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Kai Strand – Visiting today on her Blog Tour

Kai - window

Please welcome Kai Strand!

Hi, Kai.  It is so wonderful to have you here!    Take it away!   Sara   🙂


Hi! My name is Kai Strand. I’m a children’s writer. There is a character in my new middle grade fantasy, Beware of the White, who readers fall in love with. Well, in crush with is more accurate. Skim the reviews on Amazon and you’ll find Frank mentioned a number of times. When I tried to figure out why readers are so drawn to Frank I realized it’s because he is the best of what I know.

Let’s do an exercise. Think about the loved ones in your life. What is it about them that makes you glow when you think of them, or grin, or melt, or snicker?

Make a list for each person. They will look something like this (except your lists will be true – I made these up for demonstration purposes. I don’t even have a brother):


Lights up when I enter the room.

Belly laughs when truly amused.

Lip twitches when concentrating

Always seems regretful when he has to let go of my hand.

Best friend:

Hums aloud – everywhere

Skips a couple steps before she walks

Makes up funny terms of endearment

Smells like a Creamsicle.


Is always in a bad mood along with me, even when he isn’t

Emails in text talk and texts in full words

He remembers minute details about Dad.

Keep these lists handy and add to them whenever you think of something. You can even have a list of random actions that you love, even it they aren’t done by people you love. For example, I LOVE when a man guides me through a door with his hand gently resting against the small of my back. It makes me feel SO feminine.

Now, when you are developing the characters in your book, pull things from the different people in your life and from your favorites list. Since you’ve observed them over and over in life you’ll be able to write them in a natural manner so these little quirks/habits/foibles will feel genuine to the reader. And chances are, if you love these things, so will your readers. Next thing you know, your readers will fall in love with your characters as much as you have.

Share a habit a loved one has that makes you grin or fall in love all over again.

Beware of the White Final

Kai Strand, author of: 
Beware of the WhiteThis book was sooooooooooo good it was mind blowing. The details that were in every sentence made me jump into the book and I felt like I was in the book and living terra’s life!” –A Kid’s Review
King of Bad, coming July 2013 – Jeff Mean wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie, until he’s recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Jeff wonders is he bad enough for SVA?


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:



Barnes & Noble


Or look for it on iTunes

June 17th is the last day to enter to win in my big book launch giveaway! Hurry and hop over to my blog and get your entries in!

Enter to win one of three book related prize packages: http://bit.ly/16q8PZu

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.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments