Friday, June 6, 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post

Blog Tour & Guest Post

by S.R. Johannes 

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law. 

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.
Only this time, Grace is the prey.
During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers that Grace realizes.
Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost. 

This is book #3 in the Nature of Grace Series--finally! I've hosted tour stops for both of the previous titles HERE and HERE . I love them and highly recommend you dive into this series if you haven't already.  Today, I am honored to once again host Shelli and share her writing wisdom with all of you.


Guest Post
by S.R. Johannes

 Create the Perfect Writing Environment for You

Writers can be picky and many have had their quirks.

·         Charles Dickens was partial to blue ink because it dried quicker.

·         James Joyce wrote lying on his stomach in bed, with a large blue pencil, clad in a white coat.

·         John Steinbeck liked to write his drafts in pencil and always kept exactly 12 perfectly sharpened pencils on his desk.

·         Truman Capote wouldn’t begin or end a piece of work on a Friday, would change hotel rooms if the room phone number involved the number 13, and never left more than three cigarette butts in his ashtray, tucking the extra ones into his coat pocket.
Whatever your literary habits, creating the perfect writing environment is important. But if you ask any writer what they need to write, each will probably list different things. Different music. Different lighting. Different computer.

No matter what you need, you don’t want a space to ever work against you or your creativity.

Here are a few tips to make sure your space is creative and comfortable:

1.    Create a space you love. This could mean using certain colors. Maybe a special place in the house. Whatever it is that makes you want to stay there and write.
2.    Keep your space clutter and distraction free. It is a known fact that the more things around, the more distraction possible for your poor brain. Make sure it works for you.
3.    Be comfortable. What do you need to be cozy? A wweater. Coffee. Tea. A bowl of jelly beans (okay, maybe this is just me J) Make sure you have what you need when you sit down so you don’t want to get up. Evah again.
4.    Do you need music?  Or do you need quiet? If you need music, make a play list that inspires you while you write. If you prefer the peace and quiet, consider noise reduction headphones. These have saved my life and my writing (and probably my kids’ lives too ;)
5.    Organize what you need and keep it close. You don’t want to keep getting up for information/research etc.  Have it at your fingertips for quick reference.
6.    Set a time limit and write. The amount of focus time is different for every writer. Some can write for hours, some only for 15 min at a time. Find what works for you, set a timer, and keep your butt in the seat until it goes off.
7.    Organize your social media time. Maybe use a computer in another part of house – a place out of your writing space – to check email or Facebook. Be aware of the time you spend. It can easily get away from you.
8.    Find the best time of day to write and grab it – no matter what. We all know when we work best. Make sure you protect it if you can and when you can.
9.    Make sure you have the right equipment to be productive. This can be about the best lighting, the best desk, the best chair, or the best computer software. This can help you maximize your productivity.
10. Create a system and process that works for you. Don’t be afraid to change it up if it isn’t working.
Now, go and write on!


Unstoppable is on sale as an ebook now. 
The paperback releases later this month. 

 If you haven't read Untraceable or Uncontrollable
you can get them in paperback and ebook at all major booksellers including:
 AmazonAppleSmashwords, and B&N.
  •  ********** 

    This is a don't miss series. ENJOY!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveawy

Blog Tour 
 Guest Post & Giveaway

It's NOT Just a Dog!

by Pam Torres

School's out for the summer and straight-talking Madison and her friend Cooper have big plans for the summer: working at the kennel, training service dogs and creating a dog-walking business—besides writing her dog-blog. Her stepdad has agreed to make Lilly, Madison's foster puppy, a permanent member of the Morgan family, and Madison wants to make the adoption special.
When an injured dog is abandoned, Madison's determined to discover the truth about the orphaned dog. To crack this crime she'll have to sneak around some shady characters. It'll be tricky since her dad isn't happy about her animal detective activities. Her promise not to get into trouble won't be easy. Madison convinces Cooper to strike out on their own, but Lilly is dognapped and Madison finds herself locked in a shed with no way out. She regrets her crime-fighting obsession and realizes her snooping has endangered everyone she cares about. Cooper rallies an unlikely group of rescuers to bust her out.
In the end Madison learns she can depend on her friends and her stepfather. And when it comes to people and dogs, relationships are never simple, and a dog is never—JUST a dog!


Guest Post: 
What Self-Publishing Means To Me
by Pam Torres
        As self-publishing gains popularity, there are those that still doubt what the effects on the publishing industry will be in the long run. I’m not as concerned about that. What will be, will be. Evidence in other industries that are still evolving into this digital age shows the number-one benefit for everyone is access and diversity in the voices we hear. That alone, to me, is a big reason to celebrate. See Bowker's "Self-Publishing Report.”

      Surprisingly, there are still many that are holding out, speaking negatively about those that choose to publish independently and refusing to open their minds to these new voices. Quality seems to be the biggest complaint. I find it ironic that in a free-market economy that publishing has been dominated by a few big names, managing much of what people see and hear. These issues I’ll leave to the debaters and economists. I’m more focused on what self-publishing  means to me. 

   The benefits that I have experienced and continue to find with my choice to publish independently far outweigh the negative noise from nay-sayers:

Diversity:  “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just ninety-three were about black people, according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin.” —The NY Times  This is about “gatekeepers,” those who make the choices about what we read and what gets published. Their choices are often biased by their own inability to connect with characters different from themselves.  See The Guardian. We need alternative voices, our children need to hear alternative voices. This is probably the single most powerful reason I believe in self-publishing. 

Timing:  I am over fifty years old, and self-publishing has given me the opportunity to see my work published in book form sooner. The reality is you can sell your book to an agent, or even a publisher, only to have your work squashed or held back for years.

Control: I have had the opportunity to work with illustrators, collaborate with wonderful editors and work hand in hand with talented people to create the vision I have for my books. I love the feeling of creating a piece of art from vision to reality.

Price: I choose what price I set. I don’t have a large publishing house dictating what my books sell for. That freedom allows me to offer deals and giveaways and allow my titles to be read by more people. See Courtney Milan’s article, “Know What Your Rights Are Worth.” Setting my own prices affords me the opportunity to use my books as a fundraiser.

Money: It hasn't been possible to evaluate this aspect until recently. Numbers are now emerging that show that independent authors are seeing higher incomes than their traditional counterparts. See The 7K report. For me and Project Madison it means I have the freedom to make more money for the cause of animals and their care.

Pace: Let’s face it, building a body of work and an audience takes time. Self-publishing digitally and POD creates a longevity that authors didn’t have before. I can methodically build my “brand,” learning what works and what doesn’t without worrying that my window to find readers is closing. I’ve always been a long-distance runner—pace is where it’s at.

I believe in self-publishing as a philosophical and moral ideal. In looking back through history, it has been the stifling or censoring of voices that have impeded our ability as human beings to evolve into a society based on respect, honesty and love. Many scientific discoveries were hidden for years before coming to the forefront and furthering our understanding of the world around us. I say open the floodgates; the more voices, the more points of view, the closer we get to the truth of things.   

About The Author: Pam Torres

Pam Torres was born in Logan, Utah and did most of her growing up in Prairie Village, Kansas. Besides playing Dorothy during tornado weather and digging Peter Pan-like underground forts she also played piano and ran cross-country. She started her family early, and had five energetic and creative children, and returned to school when the last one was four. She has fond memories of reading and playing with her children in between hefty amounts of volunteering at church and their schools. Several of her favorite memories are doing writers’ workshop, updating the art docent program, recruiting volunteers, working as the parent liaison for the curriculum team, publishing articles in the newsletter and directing a very popular after-school art club. 

Writing was the one constant in her life through all the struggles of single parenthood, stepparent issues and bringing a large family together. She continued to write her brains out in hopes of writing full-time one day. After five years in sales, she quit her well-paying job to write. Her supportive husband is her biggest cheerleader and she frequently acknowledges that she couldn’t have done it without him. 

The Project Madison Series is her debut middle-grade series. She organized Project Madison around its release and is donating 10% of her proceeds to the ASPCA®, animal shelters and other programs to benefit homeless or abused animals.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Packages
  • Grand Prize- Set of illustrations signed by the illustrators, set of bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series, and a dream catcher. 
  • First Prize- 3 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, hard copies of both books in the series.
  • Second Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, bookmarks, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, full set of magnets, set of stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series.
  • Third Prize- 2 illustrations signed by the illustrators, official Netta recipe card with biscuit mold, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, signed hard copies of both books in the series. 
  • Swag Packages- One 5x7 signed illustration, bookmarks, magnets, stickers, an ebook in the format of your choice.

More chances to win…

  • Facebook Page Contests- During the month of June the Project Madison Facebook Fan Page will be conducting contests and giveaways, so be sure to check there frequently for a chance to win some great prizes. 
  • Attention Teachers and Parents: Anyone who emails (torres dot pam3 at gmail dot com) a JPG of a tween holding my book, a student or relative will receive a personalized letter from Madison and signed by Lilly dog. In addition, they will also be entered into a special drawing for an entire classroom to receive copies of the book and a visit from the author. (Sorry, this is for Washington State Teachers only.)  One entry per child, per picture. Be sure to include your school name, teachers name and contact information.


Social Media Links
You can find It’s NOT Just A Dog! at the online stores below:


June Blog Tour Schedule and Links
Week One

Week Two

Week Three
      The Write Path

Week Four 

Week Five
July 1st- Buried In Books

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