Autographed Books to Benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF Fundraiser Basket of Book Donations from Suzanne Brazil

When a family friend posted a request for donations for her annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Fundraiser, I offered a couple of signed copies of my Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology.

Then I thought why not ask my writer friends on social media if anyone else would be interested in donating an autographed copy of their books?

Writers are the best! We were able to provide a giant Basket-O-Books plus duplicates in a Mini-Stack!! The total value of the donations equaled over $275, and included autographed novels, murder mysteries, memoirs, historical non-fiction, children’s books, romances, you name it!

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JDRF Fundraiser writer Suzanne Brazil

A big THANK YOU to the author members of Women Writers, Women’s Books and the Chicago Writers Association for their generosity and willingness to help out a good cause.

Women Writers Women's Books  CWA logo

Following is a list of every author who participated.  There are multiple award-winners, starred reviews, and both traditional and self-published gems.

Click on the author’s names for their websites. Click on the cover photo for a link to purchase each book. Then go buy the books. Then read the books. Then review them. Authors love that!

J.J. Houston: Murder on Moon Street

J.J. Houston: Murder on Moon Street by B.K. Crawford

Rex Koko: Honk Honk, My Darling

Honk Honk, My Darling: A Rex Koko, Private Clown Mystery by James Finn Garner

First-Degree Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery

First-Degree Fudge: A Fudge Shop Mystery by Christine DeSmet

Loves-Perfect-Surrender-cover-only11-624x938

Love’s Perfect Surrender by Chiara Talluto

The Adventures of Harvey the Wonder Dog: Harvey the Hungry Dog

The Adventures of Harvey the Wonder Dog: Harvey the Hungry Dog by Lisë Dominique

Illustrated by Chrissie Vales

Regarding Anna

Regarding Anna by Florence Osmund

Red Clover

Red Clover by Florence Osmund

Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust

Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust by Ella Burakowski

Ekphrastic Eulogy

Ekphrastic Eulogy by Audrie Bretl Roelf

Carpe Diem, Illinois: A Leo Townsend Novel

Carpe Diem, Illinois: A Leo Townsend Novel by Kristin A. Oakley

Benediction for a Black Swan

Benediction for a Black Swan: Poems by Mimi Zollars

Star Crossed: A Memoir

Star Crossed: A Memoir by Bette Isacoff

Lucy Evans Instaexplorer

Lucy Evans Instaexplorer: The Olympias Clue by Millie Slavidou

Red Moonglow on Snow

Red Moonglow on Snow: A Ravery’s Daughters Novel by L. Nahay

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom: Thanks to My Mom

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom by Suzanne M. Brazil

For those not able to attend an event in person, you can go to walk.jdrf.org and donate to team Sweet Sassy Strong or just email jammin4jdrf@yahoo.com! JDRF is a 501c3 charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour: Author Interview with Sabina Khan

Sabina Khan

2K International Writer's Blog Tour

What’s not to love? Sabina hails from Illinois, Texas, and also loves karaoke? We have so much in common…read on

Sabina Khan

Sabina Khan is the author of Realm of the Goddess, the first in a series of YA Paranormal Fantasy books based on the gods and goddesses of India. She is an Sabina Khaneducational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and three daughters, one of whom is a fur baby. She is passionate about the empowerment of girls and women, hoping to inspire them with the strong female characters in her novel.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

I think I must have been in Grade Three when I wrote a short story about two kids who found themselves transported to this magical world where giant golden raspberries hung from the trees and friendly giant snored on the fields.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

The fact that I can legitimately daydream and watch TV/movies and say it’s research. Also that I can watch people in public and imagine them as characters in my books, without wondering if I am slowly going insane. My least favorite aspect has to be the nailbiting moments when you wait to see if anyone will love it as much as you do.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

It has hit me over the head multiple times since I started writing, so yes I believe in writer’s block. It can be paralyzing and extremely humbling, but I find that giving yourself a good kick in the butt or better still having someone else around to do that for you can be a swift but effective remedy.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

Currently I am working on Book Two of the Realm of the Goddess series. I would say that the most challenging aspect of this is to fill the reader in on what happened in the first book without going into it too much. It’s hard to find a balance sometimes. Realm of the Goddess

What supports you in your writing?

I would have to say that the constant encouragement of my family and friends has kept me going. It’s important to have a cheering section in your corner, but equally essential to have people who keep you grounded. I feel very lucky to have both. Of course I also have a puppy who keeps my toes toasty while I’m writing.

What are you currently reading?

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Absolutely magical and mesmerizing.

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

Follow me on Twitter: @Sabina_Writer

and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RealmGoddess

Find out more at http://realmofthegoddess.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Realm-Goddess-Sabina-Khan-ebook/dp/B00Q0OWI4G

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The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Interview with Author Jonas Lee

A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee

2K International Writer's Blog Tour

 

Let me introduce you to Author Jonas Lee

Hello, my name is Jonas Lee, I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school, but published my writing just since summer of 2014. I am a dreaded Indie, circling the waters in hopes of getting caught by a traditional publisher one day. I have one title currently available, A Time to Reap, with its sequel, A Time to Live, releasing this month. Something quirky about myself, hmm, well I have a tendency to count to three jonas leebetween mile markers on car trips (no clue why). Beyond that, I have a love for M&M’s (peanut) and tattoo art. I have a hefty amount of tattoos myself and hoping to get more as time rolls on. I’d really like to incorporate my writing into a few designs.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

My first childhood piece was something extra awesome (at least as I remember it). I wasn’t much for original thought and started elaborating or recalling movies I watched. The first was Die Hard. So, my first story was all about this action hero taking out bad guys one at a time. My best friend was the main villain. He tells me he found a copy of the story and holding onto it for when I become famous.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

My favorite part of writing is just being able to play God with ink and paper. I can create whatever I want in whatever means I choose. Putting together dialog and analogies, description with metaphor, it makes a little fire of excitement burn in my belly.

Least favorite part of writing would have to be the editing. Seeing all of the mistakes and confusion left on paper when it was so clean in my head gets to be quite an annoyance. But I think the editing becomes fun again once I’ve turned out something far better than I expected. Although on the tenth or fifteenth time of reading through my story, I want to kill it.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

Oh, writer’s block is a thing, I’ve experienced it. Not more than a couple of times, but it’s a crippling feeling. All my thoughts are locked behind a door, pounding on it to be free and I can’t seem to find the keys let alone the door knob. My best method of curing it is to actually read. Reading always triggers my own thoughts and eventually that locked door opens on its own.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

Currently, I am taking on another series that should begin in the next month. I have one more book in my trilogy, but Carter needs to learn patience and get a strong fan base before the release of the last one. The current project is going to be a supernatural fantasy taking place in a futuristic society. Citizens are classified through tattoos and magic is ever present, mixed into the science of the day.

It’s fun just constructing all of the parameters and rules of the society. With it though, I have to do lots of research, getting ideas of how certain materials can be forged. As much as I’d love to rely on the haunches of sci-fi and just make it a sweeping belief, I’d like there to be some basis for the majority of why the people act and do the things they do and the environment is the support structure for that.

What supports you in your writing?

Beyond family, friends and fans, my biggest support comes from a deep-seeded belief that this is my true calling in this world. I have a day job, yes, but when it comes to stripping away an education and a need for income, writing just feels like the moon orbiting my earthly soul. That feeling supports me in continuing to write and never stop.

What are you currently reading?

I’m trying to read more, so I have a rotation of books going around

–          Revenge by Nina Soden

–          Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

–          A Former Hero by Jeffrey Allen Mays

–          The Gunslinger by Stephen King (audiobook)

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

http://jonasleeblog.com/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M8AZBKE

 

A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee

 

 

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The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Day 2, Kate M. Colby

Kate M. Colby

2K International Writer's Blog Tour

DAY 2 – Introducing the other Kate!Kate M. Colby

 

Kate M. Colby

I am a writer of multi-genre fiction (because I could never limit myself to one genre) and creative nonfiction, as well as a writing craft blogger. My most reputable writing street cred comes from my recent college days. I graduated summa cum laude from Baker University in May 2014 with my Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Creative Writing, and Sociology. While at Baker, I was a member of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, and my creative nonfiction essay, “It Began with a Car,” placed third nationally at the 2014 Sigma Tau Delta Convention. I am also a three time recipient of the Moorman Prize in Prose from Watershed, Baker’s literary magazine, where my creative nonfiction and poetry have been published.

After agonizing about whether or not to pursue my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for months, I have finally decided I would rather pursue author entrepreneurship and independently publish without further schooling. I plan to publish my first novel, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, which I wrote over NaNoWriMo 2014, this fall.

When I am not writing, I enjoy devouring fiction, playing video games, and doting on my feline son, Thomas. I am happily married to Daniel N. Gullotta, a budding Early Christian historian, and spend my days with him in lovely Kansas, USA.

What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?

The first story I remember writing emerged from “free-writing” time in the second grade. I was about seven years old, and we had just finished learning about the United States Civil War and slavery. My story was a picture book about a young girl who escaped from a plantation and followed the big dipper to freedom in the North.

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?

My favorite aspect of being a writer is the creative freedom. When I sit down to write, I can create anything I choose. Maybe I’m a bit egotistical, but I really love “playing God” with my characters and seeing what they do in impossible circumstances. I love naming them, too.

My least favorite part of being a writer is that, until you are published and no longer need a “real” job, people do not take your ambitions seriously. Even if they do support you, you are still likely to hear phrases like “writing can always be a hobby” or “but what will you really do to make money.”

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?

I do not believe in writer’s block. For a long time, I did. However, upon reflection, I truly think that writer’s block was merely an excuse I used to justify why I wasn’t writing. When I finally got my life in order, dedicated myself to writing, and actually wrote a novel, I never once experienced writer’s block. I don’t think your creativity can ever be “blocked,” but I do think other aspects of your life can distract you and keep you from reaching your creative potential.

What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?

Currently, I am editing the first draft of The Cogsmith’s Daughter. The most challenging part of this is being patient. Editing is quite tedious, and I am anxious to start writing my next manuscript. My next book is tentatively entitled Desert Child, and it is another dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel.

What supports you in your writing?

As far as “what” supports my writing, I suppose the best answer is Scrivener, my day job, and my unswerving dedication to reaching my goal of being a full-time author entrepreneur. Who, on the other hand, supports me is my amazing husband, parents, and writer friends.

What are you currently reading?

I’m in the middle of a few books, but my current favorite is The Earl of Brass (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #1) by Kara Jorgensen (whose interview you will see Friday!).

Where can our readers find you and your books online?

You can find me and links to all my social media on my blog: http://katemcolby.wordpress.com

As of yet, I don’t have any books on the market. But you can keep up-to-date on my publishing progress here: http://katemcolby.wordpress.com/books

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The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour – Interviews with Writers

2K International Writer's Blog Tour
2K International Writers' Blog Tour

Tune in for a month of interviews with The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour

Do you enjoy picking the brains of other writers? I’ve become obsessed. True, sometimes it’s procrastination rearing its ugly head but more often, I know I have a lot to learn and what better way than from another writer? Tomorrow, The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour gets underway. Hosted by Kate Evans and Kate M. Colby, every day in February (except Sundays), you can tune in to read interviews with writers from around the globe.

Tomorrow we will start with one of the Kates!

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Interview with Dr. Suzana E. Flores, Author of Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives

SEFlores
SEFlores

Dr. Suzana E. Flores

Following the release of her book, Dr. Flores shared some insights on her writing process. Visit www.blogcritics.org for more on our conversation regarding social media and Facehooked.

What made you want to write this book?

I wanted to read this book but it wasn’t there.  Every book I found was either for academics or telling you how to navigate social media.  I kept waiting and waiting for someone else to write it and no one did.  I kept talking to my friends about my concerns with Facebook and after about a year of this, they said I should write my observations down. Fear or no fear, I thought, I have to do this.

What were you afraid of?

I’m not a writer, I’m a therapist. But we all are writers, if you have a story to tell.

So this is your first book and did you have any help?

I had one friend in particular who helped me organize it. He helped me form the skeleton of the book, the proposal and helped me to find my voice.

How long did this project take?

It was a 3-year process. It took me a long time to start because of self-doubt in my ability to write a book, but it also took a long time because I interviewed many people and collected case studies for the book.

How did you go about getting an agent?

It was trial and error. I read the books on query writing and proposals and the same friend that helped me organize the book helped me with the query and proposal. I then emailed different agents based on similar interests to my book.

What was the publishing process like for you?

Well, I’m kind of a crazy anomaly. I had an agent in about 15 minutes.  This agent was fascinated by the subject but I let her go because she wanted more of the highbrow book. I wanted to write a book for everyone not just academics.

Did that make you nervous?

Yes. People said I was crazy to not sign but three months later, I met Elizabeth Kracht with Reputation Books and it was a match made in heaven.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

To not listen to negativity.  Thoughts are very powerful. “You will never find an agent. Never find a publisher.”  I was scared enough. If I had listened to any of it, I would never have written the book.

Anything else?

Just write. Don’t edit. Just write. If you’re passionate, just do it.

Dr. Suzana E. Flores is a practicing psychologist in Chicago.  Visit her website for more information. www.drsuzanaflores.com   Facehooked is available on Amazon.

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