Laura Howard: December 2013


Holiday Wish List Blog Hop

Welcome to the first annual Gliterary Girl Media Holiday Wish List Blog Hop! 

I don't have too many things on my list this year, but I'd love to share them with you...

1. A new laptop!

2. Reese's Peanut Butter Trees!

3. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks!

4. Oh, and for my second book, Stone of Destiny, to be done soon!

Have fun and remember to Hop!

1. Gliterary Girl   11. The Blog of Jessica Posey  21. Denise Flora  
2. Gliterary Girl Media  12. Amy L. Gale  22. Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews  
3. Author Christy Sloat  13. Patrice Caldwell  23. Garside's Book Bets  
4. Author ER Arroyo  14. Perusing Princesses  24. Summer Lane  
5. Reviews by Crystal  15. Laura Howard  25. Joleene Naylor  
6. Deborah Jay  16. Naj @ Unputdownable Books  26. Author Kirsten Osboure  
7. Debra Parmley  17. Naddy @ Interested in ALL  27. Diary of a Semi-Crazy Author  
8. S. M. Boyce  18. Jess @ Such A Novel Idea  28. Elizabeth @ Stuffed Shelves  
9. Ned's Blog  19. Deal Sharing Aunt USA  29. Author Chris Karlsen  
10. Kat's Craft Corner  20. 3 Partners in Shopping USA  


Immagica by K.A. Last Illustrated Map Reveal

Immagica by K. A. Last
Genre: YA Fantasy/Adventure
Publication: January 31st 2014
Map Illustration: Lawrence Mann  

Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.
When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their Nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.
The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.

K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.


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12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Blog Hop:  12 Days of Christmas
Event Date:  December 1st  - 12th 2013

 We have several favorites, but this year we kicked off the season a bit early with a batch of Snowball Cookies. They were a huge hit, I don't think they lasted more than an hour between the six of us!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 18-25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.



The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, Book 1)

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author

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For more Christmas Cookie Recipes & Giveaways - 
Hop along the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Six Questions with Amy Harmon

It's Saturday! You know what that means? SIX QUESTIONS, WOOT!

Today I have my favorite new-to-me author of 2013 Amy Harmon. I'm thrilled she has agreed to answer some questions, since she has written some amazing pieces this year and landed on multiple best-seller lists. You'll find her answers as amazing as her books GUARANTEED.

Stick with us through the end because Amy is giving away one ebook of each of her novels, Making Faces, A Different Blue, and Running Barefoot.

1. What was your inspiration to become a writer?

I have always been a writer, and have used that medium to express myself for as long as I can remember. I've written poetry, song lyrics, short stories, essays. I wrote my first novel just as a challenge to myself. It was before ebooks were available. It was just something I wanted to do and that I believed I COULD do. I don't know if I was inspired to become a writer. I just WAS a writer. Does that make sense?

2. What are your top 3 favorite books and why?

I read a book many years ago by Dean Koontz called From The Corner of His Eye. I thought it was wonderful, brilliant, and exciting. Everything a novel should be. The writing was phenomenal, the characters lovable, the premise very different. But honestly, I have so many favorites that I can't limit it to three. I still love Beverley Cleary, Judy Blume, Lucy Maud Montgomery, the writers I loved as a child. Those authors have it permanent place in my heart. As an adult, I tend to be ultra picky, simply because I like a well-thought out book, something smart and painfully and carefully crafted, and so many books today are carbon copies of each other. But I’m always looking.

3. What made you decide to have your writing published? 

 A few years ago, my oldest son got sick, we were drowning in medical bills, I had a brand new baby and wasn't working so I could stay at home with my four kids, and I knew something had to change. I decided to just go for it. I already had one novel, Running Barefoot, just sitting in my computer. I had an idea for another book, and I pushed myself and got it done in about three months. Then I published both of them at the same time, hoping that having two titles out there would help my credibility as a writer. I knew so little about the business of publishing. I just stuck them out there on kindle and prayed.

4. What is your editing process and have you hired a professional editor?

I do now. In the beginning it was just me, myself and I. I cringe a little when I think about it, but that's what I did. I didn't have two dimes to rub together and I felt such an urgency to get my books out there that I just went for it. But putting them out there without having someone copy edit them was not the smartest idea I've ever had. I hire someone to go through and clean up the manuscript when I'm done. I still don't have an editing process for content. I edit as I go, constantly refining, moving, puzzling things out. Nobody reads my work in progress. In fact, nobody reads anything until I'm done with the book. Then I send it to my mom and she tells me whether or not it's crap. So far, so good.

5. What are the most important things you do to market your books?

This is absolutely hilarious, because I don't do anything. The best advice I ever got and that I in turn give to authors that are just publishing their first book is this: Write more books. If the book is good, and you can get even a few readers, those readers will tell someone else, and so on. My job is to write good books. The books will sell themselves if they are good and if your readers can quickly read more of your work. I think that's the one thing I did right. I published two books at the same time and followed those two up with another within four months. I didn't spend any time building a blog (still don't have a blog) or a twitter following. I didn't even use facebook until I published my first two books. These things are great AND EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and they can really help an author if she has the books to back it up. I do think more authors should focus on the craft and less on the marketing. But that's just my opinion.

6. What lesson have you learned along the way that you would hope others could avoid? 

Here are four big ones:

Lesson #1: Find someone to edit your book. I had no money. I mean NO money. So I didn't hire a copy editor. Big mistake. If you want to be taken seriously you have to have a professional product.

Lesson 2: Never respond to negative reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or any where else, even if you do so politely and graciously. Amazon has the absolute most scary underworld of trolls and discussion boards you've ever seen. These people live on Amazon and literally make authors' lives miserable if they so much as make a single misstep out of ignorance, enthusiasm, or stupidity, which I did in the beginning because I was truly ignorant, enthusiastic and a little stupid. I learned quickly, to say the least.

Lesson #3: Don't write what everyone else is writing because you think that is the way to success. Write what you feel good about, what turns you on, what you find fascinating, because in the end, you will put out a better book because of it. Be original. Be original. Be original.

Lesson #4: Conduct yourself like a lady (or gentleman). Think before you speak (or post). Be gracious with other authors as well as with readers. Don't degrade or insult in an effort to buoy yourself up. It never works. Bite your tongue, turn the other cheek, be positive. Always.


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