3 S.R. Johannes: February 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Indie View: Amy Lignor, author of Until Next Time

Today, Amy Lignor stops by to talk about her journey with her publisher, Tribute Books, and her new book, Until Next Time.

How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.


Believe it or not, my writing journey began at the age of twelve when my parents, sister and I went on vacation to Cape Cod and stayed with friends of my mom’s.  This was one of those vacations where Folsom Prison would’ve seemed like paradise.  The little ladies we stayed with had a house where, once their cat went “nightsie,” all lights, talking, TV - everything had to stop - so as not to disturb the kitty.   These ladies would take us into town (driving three miles an hour the whole way, and blaring their horn at pedestrians in the crosswalk), while my sister and I were locked in the back of the station wagon with faces pressed up against the glass.  Drivers going by must’ve thought we were puppies going to get fixed, considering the looks of pure desperation we had on our faces.  Because TV was unavailable, I began to write.  It was a fairly large book for a kid called, My Life:  A Comedy and a Tragedy.

In my freshman year of high school, a writing assignment came along from our history teacher about Nicholas & Alexandra.  I was the only one who wrote about Rasputin (who actually appears in one of my Tallent & Lowery adventure novels).  The teacher loved it and told me to become a writer.  She was so cute.  Four-foot-two, hair that hung to the floor and a voice that was louder than Lady Ga Ga stuck in a blender. 

I went on to write my first YA novel (Mind Made), after I brought a stunning little girl into the world named Shelby.  One day we went to the ‘grand opening’ of an Inn located in my very small hometown.  I picked up a coffee table book and pages began to fall out of it.  Seeing as how this place looked like it would charge guests a million dollars to stay there, I figured I’d just destroyed some priceless work of art.  When I reached down to pick up one of the photographs, it was of a girl standing outside the Inn back in the early 1900’s. The tagline read, The Connecticut Home for Imbeciles, and she was leaning against a road sign that read, ‘Dip.’  That girl looked up at me with eyes that literally said “Run!” and very soon after, my daughter and I fled. 

I went back to my historical routes and delved into a subject that hadn’t been touched on before concerning a woman by the name of Paulita Maxwell who was said to have been the mother of Billy the Kid’s son.  I moved to New Mexico to research the project and my book, Heart of a Legend, was born.

I love putting puzzles together from history with my Tallent & Lowery series. With the first book, 13, I had to find a way to link the NYPL with Jack the Ripper, Loch Ness, and the King Arthur legend - which was a whole lot of fun. 

When my father was taken away from us far too soon I began thinking about angels, and what life was like ‘up there’ versus down here.  Would an angel/warrior ‘team’ be able to survive humanity, fight for them, and stay together all at the same time?  The Angel Chronicles answers that question. 

So, in the end, I guess I owe my writing to a cat who had to go “nightsie.”

Here is some more information about Amy and her book:
Amy Lignor's Bio

Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories.

Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made;Tallent & Lowery 13.

She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer.

Currently, she lives with her daughter, mother and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Reuben, in the beautiful state of New Mexico.

eBook links
  • ISBN: 9780983741855
  • ISBN: 9781465992697
  • Kindle buy link
  • Nook buy link 
  • iBookstore buy link - coming soon
  • Smashwords buy link
  • PDF buy link

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bookanistas: Guest Post by Elle Strauss (It's a Little Haywire)

Elle Strauss is the author of Clockwise (YA Time Travel) and her newest middle grade, It's a Little Haywire.

Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka, Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact, the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.

Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?

And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?

I asked Elle to stop by to talk about her decision to publish her middle grade.

Well, I guess the simple answer to the question, why did I indie my middle grade is because I can. I think the most frustrating thing with traditional publishing, at least for me, was having to wait for someone else to say, yes, let’s publish this.

I had an agent. I actually had two agents. And for a myriad of reasons, this never led to a sale of any of my books.

My choices then were to shelve them and move on, or to do it myself. So, I did it myself. I published my YA time travel rom/com, CLOCKWISE last fall and never looked back.

When I decided I wanted to publish my middle grade, IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE, quite honestly, it never even occurred to me to seek representation for it.

Not that its easy to sell middle grade books at an indie publisher especially e-books. It’s not. (And yes, I will put out a print version of It’s a Little Haywire sometime this year.)

My wager is that with ereaders getting more affordable, middle graders will be reading on them. The tide hasn’t hit yet, but it will. Parents are handing them down to teens and tweens, schools are picking them up. It’s just a matter of time.

I realize that my buyers will be parents and grandparents, but that’s usually the case for middle grade anyway.

And for me, doing it myself means it’s actually going to get done and before I grow old and die. J Plus, I don’t have to worry about it getting pulled off the shelf in three months. The virtual book shelf never gets full.

Go and download It's a Little Haywire - it's free but only for 22nd and 23rd.

You can find her hanging out at:

To read other Bookanista posts:

Christine Fonseca  interviews author L.K. Gardner-Griffie
Corinne Jackson announces Change Write Now: Round 2 signups are open
Carolina Valdez Miller adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY - with giveaway
Jen Hayley has a passion for PARTIALS
Debra Driza falls for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Jessica Love shares some TIME BETWEEN US cover talk
Tracy Banghart jumps for CATCHING JORDAN
Stasia Ward Kehoe contemplates middle grade series
LiLa Roecker is enthralled with THE NIGHT CIRCUS

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gretchen TEN Cover Reveal Contest

More good news for UNTRACEABLE - can you stand it? (are you annoyed by me yet?)

I just got notified that I am nominated for GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR! Evidently 5 other writers are in the YA category and the formal press release is coming (can't wait to see my competition! *rolls up sleeves*) . Winner isn't announced until June (boo!)


Okay now for MUCH MORE important things.

My lovely friend and awesome blurber for On The Bright Side :), Gretchen McNeil, is doing a Ten Day Countdown to her Cover Reveal. (I can not wait!) 

(If you haven't already, be sure to pick up her other book, Possess!)

Now, I read an earlier version of this YA horror book and it is A-MA-ZING! Scary and creepy. She will be the Stephen King of YA!! Mark My Words.

If you don't know about Gretchen, here are a few facts:
  • She is sweet as hell. (oops I mean heck.)
  • She is even funnier than she is sweet.
  • She tells it like it is. I know I can get the truth from her.
  • She is loyal which makes her my great friend.
  • She can sing her touche off and performs in an LA based circus troupe. (Yes she does it all).
  • I would die for her gorgeous red hair.
  • And she is a great writer.
TEN Contest

You can enter to win a signed and annotated copy of the unbound galley of TEN.  A one of a kind prize, out before the ARCs.  How awesome is that?

You can start the hunt from the beginning on her blog to collect ALL ten clues for a chance to enter the contest on day of the cover reveal (which is next Friday, February 24.)

TEN Synopsis

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

My Clue is "BEN"

Next in the Countdown is tomorrow with Jen Hayley so you have plenty of time to catch up!

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine Date - Reading Room Chat

Good News!

First of all - I have good news. I hate talking about myself but I am going to pat myself on the back for a job well done and say something profound (I hope)

1 - I just sold my 5,000th copy!! I never imagined I would get this far. I was happy with my first 100. 

2 - My little book, Untraceable finally made the top 100 books of all ebooks last night at midnight. Got up to #63 - now around #80 - over some big names.

3 - Untraceable is #3 in children/action and adventure just under The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (yes I am above MockingJay - WTF??)

Holy crap right!!!!!!!!!


Guys - you will never fully know what this means to me after everything I've been through...after all the people who told me I could not do this. After those who turned their back on me...and those who felt like I wasn't good enough.

This isn't about money or fame - this is about following my heart and dream no matter what 
the naysayers had to nay about.

So I tell you - DON'T GIVE UP!

Sometimes your dream doesn't look the way you expect or may not be the way other's think it should be...

But that doesn't mean you can't make it happen! You just have to follow you heart and do what is right for you.

Thanks for all your support! I would not be here without you guys.

The Reading Room Chat Tonight!

I'd love for some of you to be my valentine tonight.

I will be on the Reading Room chat tonight.  It is at 7pm est (4pm PT) and I'M worried I'll be all alone... (wait - is that sad that my valentine is an online chat crew?? What does that say about me and my love for anything cyber.)

I will be talking about my indie pubbing experience and marketing - everything I've done over the last few months. The pros and cons - the goods and bads.

You have to join (it's free) to attend so join now!

I posted about the The Reading Room here.

I hope you join me!

To Join The Chat

The Bookanistas Book Club is where your live chat will be hosted at 7pm EST time. 

1. Members will need to sign up or sign into TheReadingRoom.com and become a member of The Bookanistas Book Club. (URL above).
2. There will be a chat icon that looks like two speech bubbles that will launch the live chat window.
The chat window will be open 30 minutes prior to the chat starting and last for about 45 minutes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Power of Community by Melissa Foster

I met Melissa Foster online and joined her WLC group as well as follow her Women's Nest. She is not only a brilliant marketer but she is a wonderful person. She stopped by today to tell us about how to utilize community in your marketing strategy and why community is important for books as well as you as a person.

First a little about Melissa...

She hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written for Calgary's Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod. (no really there is more!) She is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels, Megan's Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, an anthology. She is the founder of the Women's Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary Cafe (previously WoMen's Literary Cafe), a cross-promotional site for authors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan's Way. 

(yeah she is a renaissance woman! :)
Now, here's Melissa....


When Shelli invited me to write a guest post for her blog, she asked for something marketing related, and I’d just written several articles on marketing, so we decided to reach out a bit further, and talk about community. Luckily, community and marketing go hand in hand, so readers and authors will gain from reading this post.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you know I’m all about giving back and paying-it-forward. I try to meet and help as many people as I can each day. Part of the reason I do that is that I’m selfish—yup—I’m a chatterbox. I love to discuss books, writing, marketing, kids, exercise—you name it, I like to talk about it. Another reason I reach out is that I believe in the power of community. I’m not speaking of geographical communities or religious communities, although they each hold their own appeal. I’m speaking of the basic definition of community: A group sharing common characteristics of interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.

Becoming part of a community can be intimidating. It can also be exciting. I’m not one to be swayed by intimidation, and I’m not one to foster it, either. I believe in building communities based on giving more to others than you receive. Communities have many benefits, not only can you gain friendships, and feel a sense of belonging to something bigger than you might have imagined, but you can also gain valuable advice, mentors, critiques, and yes, even expand your outreach.

I am being very careful with this article. I don’t want to give you a sales pitch for our literary community, World Literary Café, but I am pulling from experience. I founded and run The Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women (sorry guys), and the friendships and support that I have gained from the women on the Nest (my Nest Sisters), has pulled me through tough times and given me reason to celebrate happier times. The Nest has become my go-to site in the mornings and the last place I visit before going to bed. I value the friendships, and the advice. Moreover, knowing there are others out there, in this fast-paced world of ours, who take the time to slow down and reach out, makes life just that much more enjoyable.

The World Literary Café has just begun to develop its own community. It’s not an easy endeavor, and it takes time for authors and readers to see the value in getting to know people a bit more intimately—beyond 140 characters, beyond pubic updates, and quippy sentences. Slowly and surely, WLC is growing into a caring community, involving all aspects of the literary world, from authors to readers, from reviewers and bloggers, to literary services such as editors and cover artists.

WLC Tweet Teams and Authors Hosting Authors forums have helped many increase sales and reach wider audiences—but those forums have done far more than something monetary. They’ve provided a venue for friendships with like-minded people.
If you’re a reader looking to get to know authors on a one-on-one basis, or looking for recommendations of books, you might try our Reader’s Forums, and while you’re on the site, check out the Readers Start Here page to see how you can get more involved. If you’re an author looking for writing advice, editors, or ways to market your books, check out our Authors Start Here page. Literary Services can get listed, too, by following our Editors, Artists, Small Press menu link.

Community is about friendship. It is about supporting and being supported. WLC is about community. Join us, we’re waiting to meet you. 

Other places Melissa hangs out:
My Books 
Follow me, Facebook, Twitter, FB Fanpage
Chat w/me on The Women's Nest
The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!

Leave Melissa some questions. If you comment or ask a question, I have a free giveaway of each of her books in ebook (4 books total) and I will draw names :)