And the Winner Is…

Congratulations to Tammy Nickerson.  Tammy is the winner of my book draw so she wins an autographed copy of my Children’s chapter book, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER, which releases on August 15th! 

I’ll soon be doing a draw on Goodreads so there’s another chance to win.  Stay tuned!

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Win a Copy of My Children’s Book – JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER

Jennie Fowler 1600 (2)In just a few short weeks my first book, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER, will be released!  This book, the first in a new children’s chapter book series, is about a girl whose sleepwalking causes endless adventure not only for herself but all those living around her.  The tentative release date is July 28th.

In anticipation of this incredible milestone in my life I’m going to conduct a draw for one free PRINT copy of the book here on my blog.

The giveaway will be open to people living in Canada and the United States, except where such giveaways are prohibited, and it will run until July 28, 2014.

I`ll be using Rafflecopter to run the draw.  Enter below for your chance to win!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/18feba2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umm…Has it Really Been THAT Long?

So, after about a month of non-blogging I log onto this site with great plans to write a new post (a planned book giveaway actually) only to find that the “New Post” screen has changed and I feel as though I’m in another land. What happened while I was gone? Common sense has stepped in and I’ve figured most things out except for the most important thing. How on earth do I add a decent sized picture in the text of my post? Good grief. It appears the draw for a free copy of my book has been delayed due to technical difficulties. Bummer!

Time to Reveal the Cover of My Book!

I am crazy excited to share the cover of my first book JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER with you today!  This is the first book in my new children’s series about a young girl whose sleepwalking leads to a lot of great adventures not only for herself but pretty much everyone around her.  It is targeted to kids aged 6-9 and I’ve infused lots of age-appropriate humour and great male and female characters to make it appealing not just to girls but to boys as well.  I’ve also tried very hard to make it the type of book that parents, teachers, and librarians can enjoy when reading to or with younger children.

JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER is scheduled to be released on July 28, 2014 and will be available both in print and as an e-book.

I think my amazing book design team did a fabulous job.  I love everything about it!  Let’s see what you think…

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If you’re wondering why Jennie’s eyes are open instead of closed it’s because sleepwalkers roam about with their eyes open as though they are hypnotised – or at least my kids did anyway!  Luckily they’ve grown out of it now that they’re older.

Let me know what you think of the cover!

Introducing Cathydia Press – A Publisher Focused on New & Emerging Writers

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a published author.  I came from a family with a modest income and though we didn’t have much as kids my mother somehow managed to ensure I was surrounded by books and my beloved Young Miss Magazine. I would wait eagerly for it to arrive and would daydream about growing up, moving as far away from home as possible, and becoming a magazine editor who wrote books on the side.  Then the reality of being a relatively poor kid hit and choosing a career became much less about what I actually wanted to do with my life and completely about what I could afford to study that would get me a job right away when I graduated so I could pay off my student loans.  Writing and publishing just weren’t feasible options at that point in my life so I put my real interests aside for almost 2 decades. 

Then one day in my mid-thirties my two daughters, who were quite young at the time, stormed into my room with their hands on their hips saying I was a liar for telling them they could be whatever they wanted to be when they grew up because if that were true I’d be a writer.  So, I was left with a dilemma.  Do I explain to them all the very real legitimate reasons I didn’t become a writer or do I give them a lesson in determination, perseverance, and patience?  I chose the latter.

Today (several years later) I’m excited to introduce you to my new publishing company, Cathydia Press. We will be starting out small, publishing only one book in 2014 and, yes, that book will be mine.  However, we have a solid plan to grow next year and begin to add new titles and authors in 2015.  Our focus initially will be on new and emerging authors of children’s fiction and adult fiction. We will be using a collaborative approach to publishing and marketing high quality books and e-books.

I want to emphasize that we are not accepting submissions right now, however, we expect to be ready for queries later this year.  Our official website is currently being designed and will be launched soon.  In the meantime, I encourage you to like our new Facebook page www.facebook.com/cathydiapress to stay up to date with all of our news. 

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P.S.  If you’d like to help us with our very first cover reveal for the children’s chapter book Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler happening on Friday, June 30th please drop us a line before then to info@cathydiapress.ca and we’ll email you everything you’ll need to reveal it on your blog.

 

Life By the Sea – Places to Stop for Fun Martime Road Trip Photos

My youngest daughter and I recently travelled from the South Shore of Nova Scotia where we live to Summerside, Prince Edward Island so she could compete in the Atlantic Junior Badminton Championship.  It would ordinarily be about a 4.5 hour drive, but we went up a day early so were taking our time and stopping for fun photos.

Stop #1 – Stewiake, Nova Scotia for a picture with the Mammoth.

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This stop just off the highway provides several places to get a snack or something to eat and even has a place to play mini-golf during the tourist season if you have some time to kill and want to get out and move around a bit.

Stop #2 – Oxford, Nova Scotia

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Oxford, Nova Scotia is home to Oxford Frozen Foods, the world’s largest supplier of frozen wild blueberries.  This giant blueberry is located just off the exit by the gas station and convenience store.  Directly across the street is a really nice picnic park with a new playground that sits along the local swimming hole so it makes for a great place to get out of the car and move around.  I would have taken a picture of the park area but it was raining.  I’ll get a photo next time.

#3 – Gateway Village, Prince Edward Island

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As soon as you cross Confederation Bridge and arrive in P.E.I. you come to Gateway Village.  During tourist season (mid-May – October) the place is all abuzz and offers your first opportunity to get your Cows t-shirt or PEI mud shirt.  Sadly, we were there a few weeks too early so we missed out on the Cows t-shirt which was a total bummer, however, we did get the photo with the lobster that greets you at the gift shop that stays open year round.  Gateway Village has a great playground and offers a nice view of Confederation Bridge for those who want to take a photo.  If you go there the right time of year you’ll find lots of great little shops and can get some Cows ice-cream.

These are just a few fun places to stop, get a silly photo, and stretch your legs on a Maritime Road Trip.

A Weekend of Accomplishments

Please forgive any typos in this post.  I’m absolutely exhausted from an exciting weekend.  On a personal level, I arrived home to see that I had a new trophy for reaching 50 followers which means I’m half way to this year’s goal of 100 followers.  Yay!  Thanks to everyone who follows me.

So, this weekend both of my daughters were competing in provincial championships in their respective sports in different communities.  My youngest daughter, Catherine, had badminton provincials and brought home gold medals in all three of her events!  This is my child with juvenile arthritis and the day before Nova Scotia provincials her knee decided to bother her, but she pushed through the pain and came out on top, remaining undefeated in U12 competition this season.  She and I will be heading to Prince Edward Island on Thursday so she can compete at the Atlantic Junior Badminton Championship over the weekend as part of Nova Scotia’s U14 team.  She usually plays U12, but their youngest age category at Atlantics this year is U14 so she’ll be playing up an age category and focusing on personal bests instead of medals.

My oldest daughter, Lydia, was competing in Volleyball Nova Scotia’s Provincial Championship in the U14 age category.  Luckily, Catherine’s last event finished just in time to allow me to drive an hour to get to Lydia’s first game with 10 minutes to spare which was unexpected but very lucky as that first game was pretty intense.  Our girls lost in a tie breaking set 16-14.  It was insane!  Despite the loss, Lydia’s team went on to play the best they’ve played all year throughout the tournament and came home with the bronze medal.  A great accomplishment! 

After this coming weekend when we finish up at Atlantics the girls will be finished their respective sport seasons and we will have a nice 4 month break from competitive sports.  I think.  Catherine insists she needs a summer sport and she’s thinking tennis. We’ll see.

My Mind is Spinning

Why is it that during the winter when it’s cold and miserable out and I have plenty of time to write my mind is pretty much blank, but the moment I get out into the fresh air it starts spinning with ideas and plots? This weekend has been a perfect example.  Yesterday as I was wondering about my yard picking up millions of sticks fallen from a brutal winter my mind was all abuzz with storylines.  Unfortunately, not the storyline I am supposed to be working on. 

Today, I got to spend a few hours outside on my mom’s farm and then a few more outside on my deck and it was the same thing.  My mind was spinning with imagination and ideas.  

It should come as no surprise that most of my work is written on a laptop outside, usually on my back deck.  

My spring writing project is to sit down and write book 2 of my children’s series.  The first book, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER, launches in late July so I am determined to have the second book finished before it launches because I’ll be hectic with promotion.  I don’t think the timeline will be a problem as the book is completely plotted out.  The challenge, of course, is staying focused when my mind drifts to other writing projects….and I have LOTS of writing projects on the go.  Or at least that’s what my spinning mind thinks!  

How Do You Balance Writing, Reading & Life’s General Distractions?

I love to read and as a writer I know that reading the work of others is just as important as writing my own stories.  I have an entire book shelf filled with books on my ‘to-read’ list for this summer, but I find it to be a bit of a challenge to find a balance to do both while juggling an already hectic lifestyle with a job, active kids, and a husband.  Add to it the fact I’ll be releasing my children’s chapter book this summer, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER, so will  be busy promoting it, and I need to have the next book in the series completed by the end of July.

Every time I read a book I’m reminded of how much I like to read so as soon as I finish one I want to start another which means I get little, if any, writing accomplished when I go into reading mode.

Some might say to just stop reading and focus on writing because that would be the logical thing to do, right? The problem with that strategy is that I learn a lot about writing from every book and I know reading others’ work really helps to improve my own writing.  It’s also important to know what’s out there to stay competitive and unique.

I think if I just quit my day job I could easily solve this dilemma.  I’m just not sure my husband would be too pleased with my decision!

So, help me out people.  How do you balance reading, writing, and life’s other distractions?

The Birthday Jinx

Earlier this week I celebrated my birthday.  Actually, celebrated probably isn’t the right word to use as I had the misfortune of waking up to a rather unpleasant flu bug which kept me in bed for 3 days.  I suppose on the plus side of things it meant I got to stay in my PJs most of the day. 

I seem to have been jinxed when it comes to birthdays.  Most people dread them because it means they are a year older, blah, blah, blah.  I dread them because every few years something bad seems to happen on or around my birthday – car accident, flood, major blizzard, flu…

Despite the fact my day didn’t turn out to be what I had hoped, I’m optimistic that this will be one of my best years ever.  This is the year I realize my life-long dream of walking into a store and seeing my book on the shelf.  It’s probably best I was sick on my birthday because I’ll have no time for illness when July hits!