One Lovely Blog Award

WinterfrostMarcia Meara of Bookin’ It and author of some pretty interesting books, “Swamp Ghosts,” to mention one of them, just mentioned me in the One Lovely Blog Award! I was nominated by Stuart M. Perkins, http://storyshucker.wordpress.com. How cool!

I must tell seven things about myself, so here it goes:
1. I was born in Queens, New York but moved to Revere, MA at the age of 15.
2. I’ve lived in 12 states and 1 foreign country, including Manassas, VA, where I now reside.
3. I was first published at 17 for my poem, “Will They Listen,” that I wrote about a month before the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
4. I used to play concert piano and violin.
5. I met my soul-mate when I was 48–it’s never too late.
6. I believe that there are 12 angels around me at all times and that they have saved my life on more than one occasion.
7. I don’t take my ability to write for granted. I believe that it is a gift and am forever grateful for that ability. Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost, was written during a very painful time in my life–I had broken my back in January,2013, and was fearful that it, coupled with my FSHMD would land me in a wheelchair sooner than I was ready to. I believe that because I was still and couldn’t move, Phillip was written and when I was able to move, in November,it was published.

Lastly, the 15 blogs that heave been most interesting and written by some very influential people are (in no particular order)

  1. Huckfinn47
  2. Linda S. Johnston
  3. Bashmovies
  4. Jane’s Journals
  5. Girl Eats Greens
  6. campfirememories
  7. Write4Jan
  8. Valleygrail
  9.  theosfortheus
  10. Keep Calm and Write On
  11. Cookies for Nataka
  12. Tater 921
  13. PoemsoftheBattlefield
  14. All Things Writing
  15. pluggingalong

Some of the above blogs are written by the mmembers of the Write by the Rails writers’ club of Manassas, VA. They are my support group, psychiatrists and all around great people. If I knew the 256 members blogs, I’d write them all down, but these people are some who I’ve come to know the best and would nominate them for Queen/King of the World! I even have a great castle for them!

Please Give “Above the Stars” a Good “Kick”

Wait to read in October, 2014

Available in November, 2014

I am getting ready for a Kickstarter Campaign to launch the newest in the Phillip’s Quest series, Book II:Above the Stars. As any of you who have ever published a book can attest to, unless you are published by a brick and mortar publisher, it can be very expensive. Nowdays, with the onset of self-publishing and the decline of publishing houses, bookstores and libraries, if you want to get your work out there, first you publish yourself and then you hope it’s picked up. And, after you’re published, it’s marketing, marketing, marketing, to sell your book. All of this is costly.
Some of the tangible costs incurred by an author are the copyright registration fee, the ISBN fee, the printing fee, the illustrators fee, the editor’s fee, the distribution fee, marketing fees–cost of signings, launchings, travel to book fairs–anywhere to get your book sold.

Above the Stars is definitely a labor of love. It is, as you can imagine, the continuing story of my dear Phillip,the gnome; Edward, the squirrel and Stinky, the dinosaur after they leave Azur’s castle, in search of Winterfrost. New adventures, new challenges,and new creatures befall these three friends as they learn the lessons bestowed upon them by the wizard, Azur and a new wizard named Chaspère. Each must face their strengths and their weaknesses as they travel the new lands that they encounter. From the cold tundra and mountains of Ice Cave Canyon to the warm sands of the Carnelian Sea, Phillip and his friends will learn to survive outside the peacefulness and security of Twistedoak or Azur’s stable. Stories will be told, battles will be fought. good and evil will collide. The Red Witch and her hoard of Goblins are never far behind.

Written influenced by the the genre of Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll and Baum, Above the Stars, The Phillip’s Quest series second installment has something for everyone, young and old. It is due to be on the shelves before Christmas, 2014 and this time I will be publishing and distributing it with the help of the wonderful people of Booklogix and The Artist’s Partner.  Booklogix are the folks who did such a wonderful job of producing Winterfrost.

Back to Kickstarter! On September 1, 2014, I will be starting a campaign, through Kickstarter, the crowd funding organization, to help defray the cost of the publication of “Above the Stars.” I will be offering different rewards for different pledges to include free books, a Tuber family dinner, jewelry from the Phillip’s Quest line, a piece of Dean Kuhta’s original art, prints and free signed copies of the books. My goal is to raise $3000.00 which will help publish this book. If you don’t know how Kickstarter works, it’s ALL or NOTHING! I raise the set goal of $3000.00, or I get nothing. It’s up to you to make this happen! I need your help. You can also help out by pre-ordering “Above the Stars,” right from the Kickstarter campaign.

If you are already signed up for my August “Winterfrost Gnome Gnews Letter”, you will receive a reminder of this event and a detailed preview of the rewards that will be offered. There will also be a page on this website for the pre-order of the signed, First Edition Copy. If you do not receive “Phillip’s Gnome Gnews” from Winterfrost, please sign up!   Thank you and may you always achieve anything you reach for, above the stars!

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!

Happy Birthday, Phillip!

It’s been one year since my little Phillip was put on the page. Like a proud Momma, I am! He would have had a better birthday if it weren’t for Edward–oh, you don’t know about that, yet–but, you will! Book II, Above the Stars will fill you in! In the meantime, please join me in wishing my Phillip a Happy Birthday!

Handsome little fellow, isn’t he?

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

 

Meet Llamont!

Is he not the sweetest llama you’ve ever seen? Llamont is from my newest book–to be out on October–“Above the Stars,”  Book II in the Phillip’s Quest series.  He is drawn by the brilliant illustrator/artist, Dean Kuhta and lives, with his wife, Llemura, in the mountains of Ice Cave Canyon. An important character to the series, Llamont may be one of the prints available during our Kickstarter campaign in September! Image   –From:  Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars, by Belinda C. Barker and Illustrated by Dean Kuhta–

He was chomping on a long blade of grass. This odd looking fellow wore no boots on his very furry feet. He was the herder of the spotted goats. The goat herder had a few of the silly goats lagging behind. He seemed completely unaware of the dinosaur beside him or the gnome standing on top. Edward had managed to scramble to the top of Stinky’s head where he perched himself so he could get a better view of the activities.

“Lassies, p-p-please now. Yur a-laggin’ b-b-behind. It’s almos t-t-time fer t-t-tay.” As he spoke, there were little sprays of liquid coming from his mouth. Indeed, he spit as he spoke.

“We’re goin’ as fast as we…” The head goat, Veni-Vedi, fell over in faint. It lasted two or three seconds and then, “can. Hold yer britches!”

This odd fellow plus many more make their appearance in the newest book of the Phillip’s Quest series as Phillip and his two companions, Edward the Squirrel and Stinky the Dinosaur, continue on their quest for Winterfrost Castle. Meet Bael, the Red Witch’s new villain who tries to straighten out Razorsnoot, the farting goblin. Meet Oli, Edward’s sister who is taking care of a special gnome. And meet Chaspere, the lizard who’s a wizard!

Look for the “Above the Stars” Kickstarter Campaign beginning in September, so that Llamont, Llemura and their silly, spotted goats can leave Ice Cave Canyon for the pages of “Phillip’s Quest, Book II.”  Win free prizes–jewelry, art prints, gift cards, free signed copies of “Winterfrost” and “The Ragwort Chronicles,” and MORE.

Sign up for the “Gnome Gnews-Letter” at this website for updates about the campaign, new books and exciting offers!

Reviews–An Author’s Life Blood

Did you know that a review from a reader is like a million dollars to an author? Well, only of they’re good, of course.  But still, a bad review helps an author learn what needs to be fixed. After you have sold a few books, especially through Amazon, it’s always nice to check in with the customer reviews to see what’s been written.  What I’ve found out though, is some people don’t know that the option is available. And, don’t realize how valuable that review is. So, boys and girls, ladies and gents, friends and family, here is “Writing the Review, 101.”

If you’ve ever bought anything on Amazon, then you should already have an account.  If you haven’f, good for you! No, really, Amazon is a great place to shop–especially for BOOKS or ebooks!  So, I will assume that you’re not part of the 10% of people in the US who has never bought anything on Amazon.  But, lets start at the beginning so:

  1. Go to your favorite SEARCH engine and type in, Amazon or Amazon.com or http://www.amazon.com or, if you want to go right to the source, click on the link: http://www.amazon.com/Phillips-Quest-Book-Winterfrost/dp/0615886930/  There! Phillip's Quest
  2. If you DON’T use the above link, that’s fine, once you’re in Amazon, just search for my name: belinda miller or Phillip’s Quest or in the near future, The Ragworts! Voila!
  3. You should be on the book page of Winterfrost.  That’s a good thing.
  4. Now, scroll, scroll, scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “Write a Customer Review.”
  5. Don’t forget the number of STARS! Hopefully, you’ll tap 5, but I realize not everyone loves Phillip.
  6. Add your review!  It can be one word like “Great,” or two words like “Really great,” or three words like “Not so great.”  It’s okay, I’ll still love you! Or a lengthy and profound review, that’s good too!
  7. The final step is to SUBMIT, and let Amazon do its magic.
  8. And then, there’s this:Image

The best review of all.

 

What do gnomes do?

Had a question from a young man today, not knowing too much about gnomes.

So, like what do they do? Just sit in the garden?

Well, “that’s part of it,” I said, “but they are Mother Nature’s caretakers.”
Gnomes are the earth’s very first “tree huggers.” I say that fondly. They live in forests, mostly at the base of and under trees. They care for creatures of the forests. Gnomes are instrumental in the repopulation of trees and other beneficial plants. They’re like the
forests goodwill ambassadors.

Of course, the next question had to be, “well like, are they real?” I looked at the child’s eyes and responded, “do you want them to be?” He whispered, “yes.” “Then,” I said, “in your heart, they are.” And off he went. Happily, I hope.