August is almost halfway gone…

“Good grief, Charlie Brown, it’s almost time for school!” Certainly, that phrase was said over and over again, by the wonderful Peanuts’ kids. And here we are again, almost mid August.

I don’t know about you, but my summer has definitely been eventful–in a good way. Every time I look at my blog page, I am more and more aware of how far the internet stretches. I see people from all over the world that have looked at my page. I wish I could meet them all. Regardless, thank you!

I think it takes a year for things to really start to percolate for a writer. As some of you know, my year–Phillip’s one year anniversary was July 7th. Since then, things just started to rock ‘n’ roll. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/061593739X&quot; title=“Phillip’s Quest, Book I: Winterfrost”>Winterfrost” has received new energy and new followers. The Gnome Gnewsletter was published and accepted by most. Personally, I would recommend a newsletter for any author. It allows one to get the word out to those who are not a fan of social media–yes there are some “un-fans.”

It certainly takes a village to market a book. So, I was able to put together a team of unbelievably professional women to help me out. From one of the sweetest and most brilliant ladies I know–Ms. Katherine Gotthardt, who helped me when I was a floundering guppy (floundering flounder?), to the amazing Bethany Joy Carlson, of The Artists’ Partner (my personal cheerleader and marketing guru), to the wonderful Jessica Parker and her team, at BookLogix Publishing Services, I couldn’t be in better hands.

So, Phillip will be ready for his next adventure without the bumps and bruises he suffered before. Can I just tell you how important it is to find the right people!

Our next endeavor happens September 1, 2014. The Kickstarter Campaign begins for Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars. Don’t let anybody kid you, it is definitely laborious. But, with the support of a great team, it can be done. We have put in many pledge rewards. There are different rewards listed for the level of pledge you make. When I say “pledge,” I mean MONEY! As I said, producing and marketing a book takes some outgo of cash to pay the team members and help defray other costs, so anything you can spare to keep Phillip’s Quest, on the shelves is very much appreciated.

September 18, 2014 will be the closing night for Virginia’s <a href="http://fallforthebook.org/2014/08/10/haute-cuisine-at-the-hylton/&quot; title="Fall for the Book”>Fall for the Book festival. The event starts in Fairfax, Virginia on September 11th at George Mason University and ends at the Hylton Center for the Arts in Manassas, Virginia–you can follow all the activities on their app. The event is a Haute Cuisine event and will have food tastings, demonstrations and discussions by a variety of chefs, foodies, cookbook authors and Cluadia Lefeve, a fellow author and friend. Oh! And me! From the recipes of “Winterfrost”, and “Above the Stars”, to the recipes from my Mom’s table. I was and am honored to have been chosen to participate and will be serving; Ivy’s Tater Dumplings, Phillip’s Mater and Hazlenut Sauce and one of the recipes from the new book!

This week, I was able to start scheduling my signings for the Christmas season and was thrilled when the owner of <a href="http://www.thethingsilovemanassas.com&quot; title=“The Things I Love”>The Things I Love, an exquisite shop in Old Towne Manassas, allowed me to do that on December 5, 2014, during the Tree Lighting Festival. This store and the downtown area comes alive and turns into a Winter Wonderland. I am thrilled, to say the least. Then, on Sunday, December 7th, I have another signing at <a href="http://www.flowergallerymanassas.com&quot; title=“The Flower Gallery”>The Flower Gallery. Another magical shop where I will be part of their Holiday Open House. Such a special opportunity and I am grateful.

Not to leave out one of my favorite events for November! I will again be reading to the children at Mayfield Elementary School–as I did last year.

So, this summer has flown by, but what a great summer it has been. Thank you to all my gnomes, fairies and angels! I’ve loved every minute.

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Haute Cuisine at the Hylton Center for the Arts

Who’d a thunk?! Little Ivy’s recipes have been chosen as part of the Fall for the Book event on September, 18th, 2014 by the Prince William, Virginia Arts Council!!! I mean, who’d a thunk??? I am so excited, and so is Phillip!

So, in the back of each book, from Winterfrost and “The Ragworts,” to beyond, there are and will be recipes that have been shared by the gnomes and sprites, fairies and elves! And yes, they have been written exactly as they have been told to me, but I have managed to translate them into real recipes for us humans. Made a few twists and changes, but basically, just like magic, voila! No, Razorsnoot did not contribute. Ugh!

Well, the ever so kind people at the Prince William Arts Council, chose those recipes (1 is Ivy’s, 1 is Phillip’s and 1 is Violette’s from “Above the Stars“) to showcase at their event. Cool, huh?

Unfortunately, the gnomes are way to shy to show up, but I’ll be there–with a friend or two and a few books and recipe cards! Oh! and FOOD! As Edward would say, “Nuts ‘n’ acorns lot’s of food!”  There’ll be “Ivy’s Tater Dumplings,” “Phillip’s Mater Sauce with Hazelnuts,” and well, Violette (the snow sprite) is not ready to tell us what her recipe is (but I think it’s cookies).

The gnomes and sprites are, as I type, gathering up all of their supplies to cook for you so don’t disappoint. Boot’s and britches, it’s sure to be fun!  Mark the date on your calendars: Sept.18, 2014 at the Hylton Center for the Arts!

(And, don’t forget the Kickstarter Campaign, beginning on Sept. 1, 2014 thru the 3oth where you can pre-order Phillip’s Quest newest book, “Above the Stars.” Or, you can go to my “Buy…” page and do it right now! Those are the only two places, besides this event that you can get a signed, first edition. And only until Sept. 30.)

 

Winterfrost’s Gone International!

Hello, Brazil, Italy, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, England, Wales! Wow! All of you have visited the land of Winterfrost and have met my friends Phillip Tuber and Rawlink Ragwort! Have any of you bought a book for your children, or for yourself? Please let me know. I would love to hear from you!

Just go to my Buy Phillip’s Quest and The Ragworts page to purchase!

Now, he’s pretty!

Meet Razorsnoot! You’ve read about his before in Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost.  You know, the goblin with digestive issues–probably from eating small rodents–and henchman for the Red Queen, well, here he is again. In living–sort of–color!Image

 

Such a pretty fellow! And now, the poor guy has competition.  It was bad enough when Jet set his butt on fire in Phillip’s Quest, Book 1:Winterfrost, but now he’s dealing with the Queen’s favorite chiroptera bat, Bael! But, he still has to learn how to deal with Jet!

He rode to the top and approached the witch, head bowed. His

spider slinked up the knoll, ever so quietly. Razorsnoot was

dumbfounded by the Red Witch’s transformation. Where was that

hideous dragon of hers? He peered at the huge, black horse with his

one purple eye. He hated the dragon, but a horse? He decided he

could handle a horse, until he saw its eyes. They were red! The horse

watched Razorsnoot as he approached on the spider.

“Your report, Razorsnoot,” said the witch as she peered down at

the skulking figures.

“Yesssssss, ma’am,” hissed the goblin. “Market destroyed, jusssssst

as you commanded.”

“And the bodies?” she responded.

“We captured a bunch of the little runtssssss and locked them in

the wagonsssss. The resssst are lying dead in the market.”

“Very well!” replied the witch. “Run and fetch me that little

gnome, Phillip, and his wife Ivy and our business shall be complete.”

Razorsnoot picked at a large wart on his nose and looked around.

He had a tendency to pass wind when he was nervous.

“Umm…Phillip and hissss wife Ivy, ma’am? I don’t recall (fart, fart)

their whereaboutssssss (fart).”

“You don’t recall their whereabouts?” responded the Red Witch

with a raised and dreadful tone. “One of your very simple instructions,

goblin, was to capture OR kill two VERY specific gnomes. You were

provided descriptions. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU VILE

CREATURE. GO BACK DOWN THERE AND BRING ME THEIR BODIES!

NOW!”

“(FART, fart, FART, fart) Yes ma’am! (fart),” cried Razorsnnot.

Jet’s eyes glared at the mumbling and frantic goblin. The steed

had become agitated and his nostrils began to smoke.

As Razorsnoot reared his spider around to go back down the hill

to the wagons, he started to fart uncontrollably. The other goblins

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could even here his farts from the bottom of the hill and they began to

snicker and giggle.

Jet’s nostril’s opened up. He shot a flaming hot blast of fire right

at the goblin’s backside.

“AYYYYEEEEEEEEEEE!” screamed Razorsnoot.

He lept off the spider and rolled down the hill. His rear was on

fire.

“Help me!”–Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost

 

New Contests and Give Aways for Phillip’s Quest and the Ragworts

Image The last post I wrote was how to submit a review on Amazon.com. Like FaceBook and other social media sites, there is a definite algorithm for how they rate their users. None, more evident than Amazon.com.   An author must have 40+ reviews on a book, before Amazon even notices them  And, they rank an author by the number of those reviews.  There are literally millions of authors on Amazon, so you can imagine how difficult it is to move up in rank.  The higher the rank, the better the royalty. Right now, “Winterfrost,“has only 8, count em’ 8 reviews of the almost 500 books sold. Phillip is very sad. Just the other day he said to me, “Boots and britches, Miss Belinda, what are we to do?”  And Edward…well, you can imagine a squirrel going well, nuts! So, I said, “Guys, I’ll think of something.” Here it is!  A CONTEST! 1.  Either email, IM or Private Message me through FB  and send me your email address after you have written a review on Amazon.com of either “Winterfrost” or “The Ragworts.” 2.  After either “WInterfrost” or “The Ragworts” reaches 40 reviews, there will be a random drawing for an: a) FREE First Edition, signed copy of Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars, b) a card for a free ebook of your choice from Authorhouse.com and c) a free Autumn Moon Tree, made by Ethora. Check out the Etsy shop!Image“Nuts and acorns, acorns and nuts, that’s a lot, Miss Belinda!” Edward began running around like a squirrel with peanut butter! “Yes, Edward, it is, but we have to get these folks to write those reviews!” So, folks, please help us get to 40 reviews on Amazon.com and you can win a prize! Only 32 to go!  Thanks. xoxox

So, how d’ya like me now?!

As you can see, my busy bee buzzed away. Good bye busy bee! In its place, “Winterfrost!” Quite frankly, the bee was driving me crazy, buzzing from one thing to another and the Red Witch was about to turn her into a snaggletoothed possum from Vandersnatch Swamp. Maleficent has nothing over on the Red Witch! And the old girl (RW) was getting her ice cubes in a bunch because she wasn’t getting enough press time. So, here it is! A website dedicated to Winterfrost and all the goings on between there and Twistedoak! There are so many:

1. A monthly newsletter will be launched. “Gnome Gnews” direct from Winterfrost Castle is just days away. This will be great for the kids, so let me know if you want it delivered to their inbox.

2. “Winterfrost” will be out in Kindle and ebook format. Look for that early June!

3. The Ragwort Chronicles, The Beginning: The Ragworts of Brokenfell
is live in both ebook and soft cover. It is a shorter book for 3rd graders and up. And, although it is for sale at any bookseller, I have a limited number of signed First Editions for sale, incl. shipping, for $21.95. A bonus gift will be included.
Go to my “Buy…” page and let me know.

4. Above the Stars, the 2nd book in the Phillip’s Quest Series is in illustration right now! Dean Kuhta is doing the wonderful illustrations. Look for a September Kickstarter Campaign.

5. Across the Elusive Sea,Book III, is almost half-way done!

Remember to let me know if you would like a colorful and fun newsletter sent to your child’s inbox!

The Busy Bee has been really busy, after all!

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Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars

Phillip's Quest Book 2Above the Stars, the continuation of Phillip’s Quest for Winterfrost begins as the three companions arrive in the land of Winterfrost, a land of “unbelievable beauty and incredible cold.” A book as beautiful as WInterfrost, this book is filled with new and old characters alike. Meet Phillip’s new friends, Llemura and Llamont; new enemies, Bael and a new wizard and the unicorn, Chaspère and Unilda. Find out what happens to the companions and their beloved Twistedoak as they continue their epic saga. Will they get through this challenging journey together?

Above the Stars is written by Belinda MIller and has the beautiful illustrations of Dean Kuhta. A fantasy of words and pictures.

Above the Stars will be available for sale in book and ebook format, late October, 2014 through Amazon.com.