Sunday, February 2, 2020

~ MMGM 2ND BLOG BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ~

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~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY SPECIAL FEATURE ~
-- READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC'S
SECOND BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION! --

~Post Includes: Guest Posts & Prizes~

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I launched Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic on January 29th, 2018. My first Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday post was on February 5th, 2018. Today I'm thrilled to share a special MMGM feature with you to thank you all for your support, interest, and involvement on my blog.

With the help of a few wonderful authors, we have some fun guest posts for you that will let you know what's going on with the authors of four of the MMGM posts with the most page views over the past two year. There will be a grand prize of four e-books and a second prize of one audiobook and a third prize of one e-book. All prizes have been donated by the authors and the publisher of Music Boxes.

Without further ado, here are the Top Five Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from the past two years along with a few words from the authors of the four fiction books:


~MIDDLE-GRADE FANTASY~

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST FOR 'MUSIC BOXES' BY TONJA DRECKER


I’m so excited and honored to have the chance to drop in and help celebrate Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic’s two-year anniversary. I’ve been peeking in since mid-2018, and always enjoy the personal touch and warmth in the posts—like stopping in for a cup of tea. So, when she agreed to present and review my debut middle grade novel, Music Boxes, last February, I was over the moon.

Last February seems like an eternity ago. Music Boxes released about a week after June’s post and took off with more gusto than I could have hoped for. Shortly after release day, it was presented on the Kidlit Picks news segment of News15 (KADN), and a few months after that, BNKids Blog highlighted it in their ‘5 Spooky New Middle Grade Books for Campfire Chills’ post…and that as second among novels from the big publishers! This launched a slew of signings at Barnes and Noble stores, and the chance to meet so many amazing young readers (my favorite part). My publisher topped all of this off around September with another huge surprise—the release of the audio book format. The narrator, Nance Weber, is amazing and does such a fantastic job.

Although things have calmed down a little during the last months, I’ve already heard whispers of another, up-coming highlight. And maybe more. But no matter what may still await Music Boxes, I’ll continue to grab my cup of tea, read June’s posts, and enjoy every moment of it.



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~MIDDLE-GRADE HISTORICAL ADVENTURE~

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST FOR 'RES-Q TYLER STOP' BY YOURS TRULY 

 
'RES-Q Tyler Stop', my historical adventure, is set in Sonoma County, California, in the summer of 1968. Even though I have previously had three adult inspirational romance books published, this was my debut children's release. As an elementary school teacher for over twenty years and as a literacy mentor for primary grades, my love of children's literature extends from my own childhood to the present. I love reading, writing, and blogging about middle-grade fiction! 

The acceptance, support, and friendship I have found in the children's literature community from fellow/sister authors and bloggers has been a gift which I will always treasure. These individuals are always available to lend a helping hand; answer questions; pitch in and post, tweet, or share about a book release or giveaway; and generally boost each other up when things get tough. You are all appreciated very much.

I am currently working on finishing the second book in my Tyler Stop series. The Gregg siblings, Weston and Wendy, and their friends will have many new challenges and adventures to share as they search for ways to minister to those in need in their small town community of Tyler Stop. 

Another exciting outcome of my release of RES-Q Tyler Stop is that the book is on the curated list of middle-grade novels on the Flinch-Free Fiction {formerly, Clean Indie Reads} website. This website highlights 'clean' fiction written and published by independent authors. I consider it a great honor to be on this curated list. Here's the link to my book's page:  FLINCH-FREE FICTION PAGE FOR RES-Q TYLER STOP

A special thank you to all of the readers, reviewers, bloggers, and other authors who contributed to the success of my debut children's book. A big shout-out also goes to the wonderful publicity company, JustRead Publicity, who helps me to get the word out about my new releases. I honestly could not have done it without each and every one of you!


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~MIDDLE-GRADE S.T.E.A.M. NON-FICTION~

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST FOR 'MAKE: FABRIC & FIBER INVENTIONS' BY KATHY CECERI

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~MIDDLE-GRADE BIOGRAPHY OF
A FAMOUS AMERICAN~

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST FOR 'NEIL ARMSTRONG'S WIND TUNNEL DREAM' BY RINDA BEACH

 

1.) Greatest lesson from writing and releasing:

I was incredibly busy after NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM launched last May. I had no idea how crazy success would be. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve dreamed about this, worked towards it for twelve years, but I felt like I was on a roller coaster that never stopped, especially last summer.

As a debut author/publisher I was balancing book signings, managing inventory, tracking it, publicizing Neil, finding new stores and new speaking opportunities to share Neil with more readers. AND I needed to start on the next book to self-publish. To work on manuscripts for traditional publishing.

I felt like I was in the dark without a flashlight. I had no experience in sales or marketing, but I had a critique partner who was prepping her second Indie book. Thank goodness! It saved my sanity! Here’s what I learned in 2019:

#1 – You don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s OK.

#2 – And even more important – Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know.

#3 – Learn from your mistakes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Occasionally mistakes even turn out better than the plan. I’ve done Julie Hedlund’s 12 days 4 writers for years. It always gives me time to pause, to look at what I’d learned, the mistakes I made, and the things I did right.

#4 – The last part of Julie’s class – make a plan, a road map for the future. Then use it.

*Here’s the link to my blog about my 2020 road map:
http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/january-20th-2020

2.) Next project:

A picture’s worth a thousand words. Look down to see an illustration from my next book, coming out in May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.


I wanted to write a story about fun at Norris Lake, my lake, but I also wanted to leave room for the reader to find their own fun, their own lake too. If you’re planning a lake vacation, this book is perfect – a story AND a souvenir.

The left side of the spread is my Norris story/illustration. The right side is the reader’s page to write and draw their own lake. To tie the sides together, my kid characters are on a hunt for lake fun. So is my reader. They score points by finding answers to Mom’s lake questions. It’s a scavenger hunt, with a watery twist.

LAKE FUN is part realistic fiction, part journal for readers in grades 2 – 4. It’s designed for a niche market. By March, I’ll be scouring the Norris Lake marinas and vacation rentals to find places to sell it. Then I’ll repeat at St. Mary's and Indian Lakes in Ohio. I hope the force is with me!

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~MIDDLE-GRADE BIBLICAL FICTION~

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST FOR 'THE HEART CHANGER' BY JARM DEL BOCCIO


1.) What is the greatest lesson you learned about being a children's author when you wrote  and released The Heart Changer in 2019?

Jarm:  Oooh, that's a difficult question — I've learned so much!

Well, I knew books don't sell themselves (unless you were already a best-selling author), but I assumed bookstores, schools, conferences and other author’s venues would be calling to book me for various events.

Not so! I've had to do tons of cold-calling, reaching out and brainstorming, because, being a former teacher and school librarian, I love to connect with young people. But, after working so hard (my word for last year was perseverance), I have had only a handful of events. I realized it's ultimately all in God’s hands. The Heart Changer is His story and it's His decision how and when I share my writer’s journey with my readers. God knows who needs to hear its message of hope and forgiveness, so He will make it happen — I must rest in His sovereignty.

For 2020, I aptly chose the word CONTENTMENT — in all things and in every situation. And do you know, once I decided to rest in God’s Will, He's been opening doors in amazing ways!

2.) Please tell us about your next project.

Jarm:  At this point, I'm not writing, other than short inspirational pieces (flash fiction?) focusing on various biblical characters. What I am doing is submitting the three middle-grade historical novels I have written and revised. One is set at the Chicago World Columbian Exposition of 1893, another about 22 orphan boys aboard a Spanish Galleon who are charged with a special mission (1803), and a third centering on a Huguenot girl who has escaped persecution (1672) and flees across the ocean to Bath, England looking for a new start in life.


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9 comments:

  1. Congratulations on this milestone. Here's wishing you many more years of happy blogging.

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  2. What a fantastic collection and a great way to celebrate your two years. Loved the insights from the author guests and your updates. I'm sure there will be many more top 5's in your future. Keep up the good work.

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  3. Creative way to celebrate your blogging anniversary. I enjoyed each authors perspective on writing and promotion. It becomes a full time job. Wishing you many more years of creative posts and excellent book selections!

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  4. Yay! Congrats on your blogiversary! So cool to get updates from these authors!

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  5. What a delightful collection of books, and excellent posts! You've really outdone yourself. So many congratulations on your blog's bday, and on the difference you're making in the book world!

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  6. Congrats on your blog anniversary. I always enjoy your posts.

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  7. Congratulations again on your anniversary! And thanks for having me :)

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  8. Happy Blogoversary! What a lovely giveaway. So fun to see the top reviews on your blog. I loved Music Boxes. Such an excellent read. Great seeing the other top reviews and it was great hearing from the authors. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~ REVELL READS BLOG TOUR STOP --  'STANDOFF'  -- AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY     ABOUT THE B...