Saturday, November 15, 2014

Featured Author Evin O’Keeffe and book Bake Knit Sew

Comments in blocks [ ] are my own and not ( ) citations.

I’ve been chatting with author Evin O’Keeffe about her new book Bake Knit Sew. Evin lives in the beautiful country of Cork, Ireland with her husband and son. Her day job is consulting and helping businesses with their publishing needs such as internal newsletters, social media and blog content. Evin’s own blog at, is the winner of the 2014 Best Craft Award from Blog Awards Ireland. [Congrats, that’s got to be a phenomenal feeling!] Evin is self-published by her own company, Anchor and Bee, which specializes in creative non-fiction.

Bake Knit Sew is available digitally at Raverly, as well as in paperback. This unique book features twelve original recipes, one for each month of the year and specific for the seasons. She also offers seven original knit designs, five original sewing projects, and over 80 full-color pages devoted to recipes and patterns. Evin says all but two of the photographs she shot herself! [That’s a skill all on its own!] Bake Knit Sew has a 5/5* rating on Amazon. One reviewer says, “Great showcase of Cork, Ireland! Beautiful photos accompany simple recipes and crafts.” Another raves: “LOVE THIS BOOK! ANY BAKER AND/OR CRAFTER WILL!”

During Evin’s blog tour, she’s offering a 15% discount to blog readers at for the ebook, and for a signed paperback copy of her book.

She’s also offering a giveaway:

“Leave a comment below by 4:00PM GMT (11:00AM EST) Saturday, November 22. 2014, telling me which of the designs you would want to make or recipes you want to bake to be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy of Bake Knit Sew in e-format! Good luck! No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner must have a valid email address or Ravelry account. Value of prize is $16.60. No cash equivalent will be offered. Your comment also counts as entry to win one signed paperback copy of Bake Knit Sew being given away on the 22nd of November to ONE lucky reader on this blog tour.”

Bake Knit Sew is a unique book in itself, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy some of the crafty projects are to do. [If only I could knit, but I never quite got the hang of it. Crochet, on the other hand, I’m fairly good at.]

 Evin’s even planning a sequel to Bake Knit Sew that she expects to be ready by Autumn of 2016. She’s self-published by her own little company she started in Ireland, Anchor and Bee, which is producing three books this year (two are not Evin’s own). She uses a little bit of all sorts of social media to help promote her work, including Twitter, Pinterest, and Ravelry. She’s also a member of the Cork Non-Fiction Writer’s Group which meets in person a couple times a month and maintains their own blog. She’s also organized a wonderful blog tour with many crafty-type bloggers around the world.

Where to find Evin?,, and on Twitter So hop on over and check her and her unique book out! You’ll be glad you did!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Featured Author Serita Stevens and Book the Ultimate Writers Workbook for Books and Scripts

Serita Stevens grew up in Chicago, but relocated to Los Angeles in 1983, the difference between a temperature of -80 degrees below zero (with wind chill) and an 80 degree L.A. day being a major deciding factor in her decision to move! She got a job at USC. She’s married and has a daughter adopted from Romania. She also has four fur babies, 3 cats and a dog.

Her latest book, the Ultimate Writers Workbook for Books and Scripts is published by indie Motivational Press and is based on her teaching experiences. Sara, on Amazon, gives it 5***** and says, “Great for the beginning writer or established as it gives great notes and exercises. Ms. Stevens has offered to read some of her student’s writings and give critique, which I find invaluable.”

She’s also working on two more slated to be released early next year. One is Against Her Will, a teen novel about a psychiatric ward, and The Heist is a true crime about a major heist told from the point of view of one of the felons. She also has two more future projects that she calls Unborn Witness, a paranormal thriller, and Discovery of Evidence, another true crime.

Her Workbook is available online and at retailers as well, but she says if you visit her website at there are specials available for her readers. Her intent with this workbook is to help writers become better writers (aren’t we ALL ready to be better writers??), and with her teaching background, she certainly has the ability to help other authors.

Serita uses social media frequently to help market her books, and you can find her on Twitter @SeritaT, Facebook as Serita Stevens, and at her blog . She’s also on Goodreads and is currently trying to get various schools to use her workbook as textbooks for students.


**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any of the subject material, as I have not read the book, and cannot vouch for its contents.**

The Other Side of Me

I don't usually post twice in one day. In fact, I don't think I've ever done so. And I certainly don't want to take the spotlight off my featured authors (I had one blog tour post today and will have one of my regular featured author posts tomorrow.)! But, I've been sitting here watching the movie Regarding Henry with Harrison Ford, and I just felt absolutely compelled to write a post.

I literally broke out in tears when I watched the scene where Henry and Bradley (the physical therapist) were sitting in Henry's kitchen drinking a beer. Bradley told the story of how he hurt his knees and told Henry to ask him if he minded having bad knees. The moral of the story, of course, is that Bradley would have never become a physical therapist if he hadn't hurt his knees playing football, and so never would have met Henry, and so on and so forth. And then Bradley tells Henry not to listen to anyone else tell him who he is, that he'll figure that out himself, eventually.

Before June 27, 2014, I was Henry. I was a hugely busy, type A personality, always challenging myself physically and mentally to be the best that I could be. Likely a result of my poor self-esteem; I was always trying to be better (not even really knowing who I wanted to be better than, or FOR who). And like Henry, disaster struck rapidly in my life.

For me, the tragedy was cancer. At 37 years old, a diagnosis of cancer sounded like a death sentence to me and my family. The fact that I had to be hospitalized alone so far away from home for my treatments didn't help any. And over eight months of intensive treatments, some of which almost took my life, I've returned home to begin my journey to figure myself out.

I'm no longer strong enough to return to my before cancer job (I was a manager at an auto parts store, requiring lifting, moving, and sometimes installing heavy parts, climbing up and down ladders, and so on), and I may never return there. I have good days but I have bad days too. The post-chemotherapy fungal infection that took nearly a year to treat has left scar tissue deep in my organs, and this scarring causes intense pain, sometimes preventing me from taking a full breath. I'm still underweight, still get chilled easily, and don't sleep well. I have a constant ringing in my ears, the thundering sound of a thousand cicadas. This is part of who I am now.

But ask me if I mind having suffered through cancer. Because you know what? I'm learning that I really don't! After all, had I not been sick with cancer, my dear friend Denise Mercer Blackwell might not have friended me on Facebook. If that hadn't happened, I may have never published in print. (I'd already published Once Upon a Western Way through Smashwords in April of 2012, and it was only available digitally.) Had I not been encouraged to publish by Denise, I likely wouldn't have written my other two books (My Butterfly Cancer certainly wouldn't exist if I'd not had cancer), or even started this blog, which has come a long way in a short time. I wouldn't have had the time if I still had my "regular" job to go to.

So, here I am, with you, my readers. I'm still learning who I am now, and at times I have a hard time letting go of the woman I used to be. Sure, I'm not a best-seller (though no one can know the future), and I don't expect to be a best-seller. But stories are written to be told or read, and as long as I know I have readers out there, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. I love writing! I love reading, too! Eventually, I'll learn to love the woman I am now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured Author Cheryl Carpinello and Book Sons of the Sphinx

Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, not ( ) citations or asides.


[This is the next step on the Sons of the Sphinx blog tour for author Cheryl Carpinello, so I'd like to take a moment to welcome everyone! I'm a brand-new author myself, so I take these featured author interviews very seriously, as a way to help other indie authors as well as myself.]

Cheryl Carpinello
Cheryl is a retired teacher and she spends her time (when not writing) working with kids. She conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for her local schools as well as the Colorado Girl Scouts. [I bet that’s an adventure all in itself!] She hopes to “reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales and soon a series of stories from ancient lands and legends (Amazon author page).” She has many books to choose from, and you can find all of these listed on her Amazon author page at Make sure you "like" her Amazon page while you're there!
Cheryl has always been fascinated with ancient times, and Egypt is the center of her fascination. [This is something I have in common with her; I love Egyptian mythology and it would be one place I’d love to visit. Not necessarily the great pyramids, but I’d love to visit the Valley of the Kings where so many rulers were buried!] Cheryl visited Egypt in 2008 and this trip prompted her creativeness and the story of Sons of the Sphinx was born.

Cheryl uses her teaching experience to engage middle schoolers in the hopes of encouraging them to read more. Sons of the Sphinx is aimed closer to readers age 14 and up, and is, at the heart, a coming of age story. The main character, Rosa, is a high school sophomore desperate to find her place in life, just as the books potential readers will be.

Sons of the Sphinx has been getting awarded even though it has only been out for a little more than a month. Cheryl says, “My experience as a teacher and my ability to understand what motivates kids is a big factor in the success of my books.” (Q&A with Cheryl) She uses her writing as a way to encourage her readers to explore their place in their world, but instead of being “preachy”, this journey is shrouded in an exciting and often dangerous adventure. In this way, she allows the reader to experience the characters’ emotions while remaining in a safe place themselves.
Cheryl is hard at work on the sequel to Guievere: On the Eve of Legend, a story that was meant to be a stand-alone book, but her fans are clamoring for more of the tale. She had titled this sequel Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend--Cedwyn’s Story, and she’s hoping to have it out in 2015. She’s also working on a trilogy called The Feather of the Phoenix that she wants to release in 2016, and the books are tentatively called The Atlantean Horse, The Ashes of Pompeii, and The Norse Star. She also planning The Trojan War and a sequel to Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom.

Read on for an excerpt of Sons of the Sphinx, chapter Seven!
You can find some of Cheryl's awards at the following links: [Congrats, Cheryl, these awards are fantastic and another encouragement for all of us indie authors!]

                                                                             Sons of the Sphinx

            2014 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval


            2014 Children’s Literary Classics Silver Award Fiction PreTeen


Tutankhamen Speaks

            2014 EVVY Finalist/Merit Award Winner Historical Fiction

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

            2014 Global eBook Gold Medal in Juvenile Fiction

            2013 EVVY Finalist/Merit Award Winner Juvenile/YA - 2013

            2012 USA Best Book Awards eBook Finalist

            2012 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

            2012 Children’s Literary Classics Silver Award for YA Fiction


Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

            2011 Global eBook Finalist Pre-Teen Literature

Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

I say nothing. I just try to take this all in. Spirits, bodies, separation, loss. Geez, I thought my world was complicated. Smack me if I ever complain again.

Please, Rosa. Tut Khan can protect you. We need you.”

The voice goes silent. The shock waves stop. Tut stands there, his ebony eyes burning into mine. He knows I’ve talked to her. He could hear me, but not her.

Without a word uttered, I sense Tut’s plea. I remember back in my bedroom—boy, that seems like ages ago—I gave my word.

But then you didn’t know that some ghost, ba, whatever, had plans to kill you, my brain yells.

I know, but when Tut touches me, the electricity shoots through my veins, not just as her, but as me. Here I am fifteen years old. Most girls I know have had at least one boyfriend and have even gone on dates, even if it was with a group of kids. Me, the last time I held hands with a boy was in the fourth grade. We went on a trip to the zoo, and I had to hold hands with red-headed Erik as we crossed the road. It took me weeks to get the nerve to ask Caleb to the fall dance, and then he said no. How sad is that?

What if the closest I ever get to the love that Ankhesenamun is talking about is right here and now? My heart races when Tut smiles at me. I know he’s only seeing her. I mean I’m not that stupid. But I can pretend.

And if I don’t help them, there is no one else. Their spirits will be separated for eternity. That’s a long time. If I don’t help, then somehow they will be wiped from the pages of history. It will be like their love for each other never was. I told you I was a romantic.

If I never have someone love me like Tut does Hesena, then at least I’ll have felt what she felt and know that for myself. And if Tut can’t protect me...


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

7 Lovely Facts Blog Tour

I’ve been tagged by Tim Hemlin for the 7 Lovely Facts Blog tour. The next blogger on the tour is supposed to list seven interesting facts that cast a new light on the blogger him/herself. They’re also required to link to at least 15 blogs (if they can) that they enjoy reading and to link back to the author who tagged them. I’ve chosen to try and find seven very obscure things that people might not know about me (though some of it may have come out in recent interviews). So, here I go, to the best of my ability. J
#1 I can change the tire on my car. Well, ok, I used to be able to, before cancer. I’m sure I could now if I really had to, but if I can avoid it, I will! I can also change oil, spark plugs and wires, head- and taillights, and numerous other things when it comes to cars. I know how an engine works (even though I’ve never actually seen the insides of one), what a distributor is, and I know there’s no such thing as blinker fluid! (Get a good laugh out of that one!)

#2 I’ve been married to my husband three times. No, it’s not what you’re thinking, that we’ve been married and divorced three times. We’ve actually been married three times. The first, what we consider our main anniversary, September 10, 1994, we married in a beautiful little park just outside Swartz Creek, Michigan. Several years later, I won a spot through a radio station contest and we had our vows renewed with about 100 other couples on Valentine’s Day (along with a few getting married for the first time!). And then, we participated in a beautiful, nature-oriented handfasting on May Day, the first of May, where we actually DID jump a broomstick and got to wrap a May Pole!

#3 I spent the majority of my working life as a contracted security officer for various companies. I also worked a month at a jail (hated every minute of it) and on an armored truck as well. I’d have to say I spent about 13-14 years in a law-enforcement related job. I worked both armed and unarmed, at a post and on roving patrol, did personal protection and private investigations. In all my time as a security officer, only once did I have to draw my weapon on a suspect, and only once did I have to physically restrain someone. I’d learned very early on to be a real hard @ss so that I didn’t HAVE to get more physically involved.
#4 All of my pets are rescue animals (well, I bought Athena, but she may well have needed a rescue; she was a very skinny little horse when I got her. My mother-in-law thought she was a pony she was so tiny!). Please, spay or neuter your pets if at all possible! Or if you can’t (or just object to it), make sure you keep a close eye on them when they’re outside! My miniature Boxer, Pepper, is the only one in our household not spayed (I couldn’t really afford it when she was at a good age to do it, and I’d heard the possibility that spaying female dogs decreases their lifespan. Does it really? I honestly don’t know.), but Pepper is an inside dog who only goes outside when a human is there to watch her. We also put diapers on her when she’s in heat. Please, be responsible pet owners.
#5 In the 4th grade, I had a teacher who gave each of us a spiral notebook, and she would come around and make a squiggle of some kind on the top of a page. She used a different one for everyone. Our assignment was to finish the squiggle into some type of drawing, and then write a short story about the drawing. This is the first time that I can remember having to write creatively. It must have been a good idea, because it has stuck in my head for so long!
#6 In 8th grade, I believe it was, I had an English teacher who had an unusual way of teaching us prepositions. She stood at the front of the class and started chucking erasers at students! I mean, she wasn’t aiming at students, but at the time we thought she was. Wherever an eraser would land, she’d give us the preposition: UNDER the desk, OVER so-and-so’s head, and so on. Maybe this wouldn’t be tolerated in schools anymore, what with all that goes on in our world these days, but I’ll tell you a secret: I’ll never in my life forget what a preposition is!
#7 I have a secret love affair going on with the television show Supernatural. My oldest daughter introduced me to it during one of my many recent hospital stays, as we could get the TNT channel that shows the reruns in the early mornings. Since there wasn’t much else on TV during that time frame, we watched the show almost every day. When I got home, I ordered the entire set of DVDs for “the kids” for Christmas. Well, seasons 1-8. I didn’t know at the time that season 9 was still ongoing, so we had to wait almost another year for those to become available, because when I thought I’d ordered them, I had actually pre-ordered them. Now, I’m actually able to catch season 10 episodes as they’re released, with the help of my Supernatural smart phone app. My favorite character is the angel Castiel, though Crowley runs close behind (Crowley might be the “king of hell”, but you gotta admit, when he makes a deal, he follows through!). Yes, I often have a special affinity for a character not usually considered one of the leading roles.
Here are the links for some other blogs I’m following! The lovely Carol Graham and Never...Ever...Give Up, and I’ve also got an interview scheduled with her. The wonderful Cat Connor of New Zealand, who did an interview with me as well. The Masquerade Crew, who offers a tweet exchange program. Author Debbie White and Authors Revealed, where you can find author interviews. Of course, I must include Mark Coker and the Smashwords gang. There’s also Nina Soden, writing her first young adult series. I’m sorry I don’t have too many more to offer, but I’m relatively new to the blogging world and I don’t have very many connections yet.

And as far as my nomination...I'm going to tag...Cat Connor and see if she's up for this challenge! Cat, TAG, you're it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Announcing Holiday Pricing!

New lower prices as the holiday season approaches! This is for the paperback print versions of all Metamorph's books, and remember, these are all new-and-improved 2nd editions! Once Upon a Western Way even has a new cover! At this very moment, the prices are available only at CreateSpace but expect them to change at Amazon in the next day or two.

My Butterfly Cancer, now $6.99 in print!

Keeping a Backyard Horse, now $6.99 in print!

Once Upon a Western Way, now $9.99 in print!

Featured Author Claire Plaisted and Book Girlie and the War of the Wasps

Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, as opposed to ( ) citations.

Author Claire Plaisted lives in Rotorua, New Zealand with her husband, three children, and two cats. She writes in the genre of children’s books, ages about 6-10. Besides writing, she is also a family history researcher, digging into ancestry and helping others to do the same. She started writing in 2011 and has never looked back!

Girlie and the War of the Wasps is a children’s book about a bright blue ladybug who sees her best friend captured by a nasty wasp. She follows the kidnapper to its hive and her adventure begins! Claire says she’s one of the lucky writers who can just put fingertips to the keyboard and let the book write itself [sometimes I can do that, too, but not often!]. She started Girlie for a friend’s grandson and is currently writing a second book which deals with misbehavior of children such as biting and kicking.

Girlie and the War of the Wasps should be released in time for Christmas. She’s currently waiting on the cover art to be completed while she writes her second book. Claire will self-publish with Plaisted Publishing through Smashwords and CreateSpace.

Claire is also a member of her local writer’s group, on GoodReads, and she’s participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

**Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the book in question as I haven’t read it, so I can’t vouch for its contents.**

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Find Metamorph Publishing

Metamorph Publishing is growing and evolving with each passing day! Eventually, we'll be adding more authors, and of course our leading author will be adding more books to our repertoire.

Just a quick, short, and sweet post for you today, a couple of different places that you can now find Metamorph Publishing. The first location is on Pinterest and if you click, it will take you there. Metamorph has a board for book cover art, one for all the Featured Author Interviews (those that are for already published books or ones that I have access to a book cover), one for Random Stuff, and one for Press Releases. I suppose I should make one for author appearances as well. I'm not used to being photographed; I'm usually the one TAKING the photos. But I guess since I'm now in the public eye, at least to a degree, I'm going to have to get used to it.

The second place you can now find Metamorph Publishing is on our official Photobucket profile. These will be cover art work, author photos and anything else of interest. You can find the rough draft of my book signing flyer there.

And you can also find Metamorph at Storify , an online news and press release site. Here you can follow us for news stories and press releases, find out about any upcoming appearances, and so on. It's a little like Facebook or Twitter, I think, in that you can "follow" the page, and I think it might update you on new press releases. I don't know if you need a sign in name to see the stories or not. Anyone who tries it, will you let me know? Simply leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Of course, you probably know about our Facebook page already, but if you haven't been there, check it out and give it a like! You can also like us on our Amazon author page, just like you can for Facebook. Our website also has a like button. And you can follow us on Twitter @naddya81975, on LinkedIn , and on Google+ . I also post occasionally at Reddit , which is kind of a reader's group, I think. You can follow our YouTube channel to see book trailers of our available books.

You can find our author Marguerite Madden on as well, this is something kind of new for her. 

These are all just other types of social media that can be used to help promote your brand, your books, and yourself as an author and publisher.