The Proof is in the Pudding!

I’m sure sure some of you are familiar with that idiom — or, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” as they say in the U.K.! Generally, the saying is attributed to Miguel de Cervantes translation of Don Quixote, written in 1615, “al freir de los huevos lo vera,” (“you will see it when you try to fry the eggs”)! Only a writer would find that amusing!

Regardless of which idiom you are familiar with, the meaning is the same; the end result is the mark of whether something is a success or failure. And so, the PROOF of Phillip’s Quest, Book III: Across the Elusive Sea is done, it looks amazing. The story is exciting, and action packed. Phillip and Dreamspinner are on their way to Winterfrost with a crew of elven pirates, and I couldn’t be more pleased!

Eating the PUDDING, my friends, is up to you! This third adventure will be released in time for the holidays — prior to Thanksgiving — so I hope you will add it to your favorite child’s reading library. That’s really the only way I know whether I did a good job!

Of course, all three Phillip’s Quest books are available on your favorite on-line book seller, as are the two Ragwort Chronicles! So, there you are — chocolate or vanilla? Enjoy!

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Springtime at Winterfrost…

roscoe cover

May Release! Illustrations by Annie Wilkinson

Publishing, that is! Yep! Phillip and the crew have their very own publishing company — along with the Ragworts, of course. The beautiful Mushroom Castle in Twistedoak, has been converted into the WF headquarters! Everyone is very excited. Of course, Edward had to be named Editor in Chief, although he has a hard time keeping focused! (Rilefor and Holly do all of the editing.) Stinky, aka Dreamspinner, keeps the production rolling!

It’s been a wild ride since Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars was published in December, 2014! So many things have been going on — 2015 is going to be a banner year! First of all, we have new illustrators! Can I just say, they are super? Well, they are!

Our first new illustrator for the Ragwort Chronicles is a talented and experienced artist from British Columbia, Canada. Her name is Annie WIlkinson. She is amazing and creates much of her artwork with a computer program — I tried it, not pretty — leave to the hands of the pros, which she is! Click on her link and check out some of her work, here is a sample!

rag1front

May Rerelease! New cover design by Victor Rook

Yup! That’s the new Ragwort book, Along The Way: Roscoe’s Journey! And there is Roscoe Ragwort! The release date will be late May, 2015. Just in time for Summer break.  And, she will be doing additional artwork for the republication of The Ragwort Chronicles, The Beginning: The Ragworts of Brokentfell! Also due in late May, early June!

 How cool is this new cover for The Beginning? It was done by my dear friend and very talented artist, author and film-maker, Victor Rook! Another wizard to add to the list. We are loving our new look and new price! Look for it on Amazon in May — we’ll keep you posted!

Our second spectacular new artist for Phillip’s Quest, book three and beyond, is my amazing cousin, Lorraine Gonda! Book III: Across the Elusive Sea, will be available in November, 2015. It’s already written and I’m itching (no Edward does not have fleas), for the book to be available to you — alas, brilliant artwork takes time! Unlike Annie, Lorraine uses a mixed media. Not only are her sketches amazing, but the coloration rocks the house! A sneak peek!

La Fortuna red roses 001

Coming in November: Across The Elusive Sea! Art by Lorraine Gonda

This illustration was drawn from a passage in the last pages of Above the Stars, so if you haven’t read it … Needless to say, 2015 has been busy, already!

Before i sign off, the Winterfrost gang has partnered up with AIM-VA who is a part of the Helen Keller Foundation and have offices at George Mason University. AIM is the acronym for Assistive Instructional Materials. They, along with the Virginia Dept. of Education, provide FREE books — texts and literature, for children who cannot normally read. These children could be dyslexic, sight-impaired or physically unable to hold a printed book. All three books, Winterfrost, Above the Stars and The Ragwort Chronicles have been converted for use.

So, keep in touch and ENJOY, the new website, designed by Bethany Carlson of Artists Partner. Leave me a message, write us a review on Amazon or a note at: Winterfrost Publishing, PO Box 258, Manassas, VA 20108!

From all of us at Winterfrost Publishing — “Boots ‘n’ britches, find yourself a twisted oak to sit under and read!”

–Phillip Tuber, Publisher

Phillip Tuber

Phillip Tuber

Autumn in Twistedoak!

Autumn in Twistedoak is, like many other places, a time for harvest and celebration. Besides being the most beautiful time of year, the gnomes celebrate the coming of the new season on the day that they have equal hours of day and night. During that time, the Equinox, they complete the gathering of their food, and do their canning and preserving of that food for the winter.  This is all done in a communal setting. That is, the men of the village, up until age 300, get together and go from farm to farm to help with their neighbors’ harvest, while all the women meet in the square and set up a “kitchen” for doing the preserving. They work, all together, making sure that each and every resident of Twistedoak has enough food to get through the long winter months.

As soon as the sun sets, samples of the food that was prepared, along with other goodies, that are contributed by all, are laid out on several long tables. There is also plenty of mead and beer–gnomes are great brewmasters! A huge bonfire is built and all the gnomes eat, drink and dance and sing until the sun comes up!

Gnomes are workers. Besides being good farmers, they are the first “environmentalists.” Much of their day is spent on their farms, during the growing seasons, but when the season is over, they spend time in the forests, planting seeds and saplings that they care for, and grow to repopulate trees and as food for the animals. There are many gnomes, like Nonna Ragwort and Grandma Polli, who tend to injured animals that are brought to them. A gnome always helps a hurt or wounded animal.

The gnomes are very careful about the materials they use. They do not waste anything. Before the snow arrives, the homes of Twistedoak are supplied with dried berries and nuts, firewood and pinecones. They make sure that they have enough to care for their family.

The women are especially busy in the Fall.  That is their time for weaving and sewing. They use the fur and hair shed and combed from various creatures to create the cloth they need. Autumn is the best time to collect the shed animal hair, as it is much softer before the animals grow in their thick, winter fur.

This year, however, their routine has been disrupted. This year, they must prepare for another challenge, besides Winter. Goblins and trolls are the gnomes archenemies and when they are controlled by a witch… This Fall, in Twistedoak, Mr. Ragwort and Edward’s sister, Oli are preparing the once peaceful village of Twistedoak, for battle.  The “Battle of Twistedoak!”

Read about Phillip, in the land of Winterfrost, and his mission to save his brother, Phallow, and the village of Twistedoak from the onslaught of Razorsnoot and his goblin hoard! Book II, Above the Stars, tells of his adventure and the struggle of the Twistedoak gnomes to overcome the fight of their lives!

Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars will be available on ebook and in print on or before Dec.1, 2014. If you haven’t read Book I: Winterfrost, now is the time to read it!  Winterfrost is available, now, in ebook!  Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars is available for pre-order, through this website.

If you would like to receive a newsletter from Phillip and the gang, please complete the form on the sign-up page.  Thank you.

Wait to read in October, 2014

Wait to read in December, 2014

Live and in Color! Preorder “Above the Stars” on KICKSTARTER, NOW!

ATS KS Live Now

Phillip took a deep breath, and rose to his feet. He wiped his eyes with his sleeve and turned towards his companions.  With a stern, and focused voice, he said,

“LIVE from KICKSTARTER, it’s  “Above the Stars!”

Dear Friends,

Boots and britches! I am excited to announce that Book II of Phillip’s Quest: Above the Stars is available for pre-order on KICKSTARTER, today!

THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Phillip and myself on this journey to publication. Phillip’s Quest is a series of beautifully illustrated Middle Grade books of the tale of an ordinary garden gnome, Phillip Tuber, on an extraordinary quest and is the inspiration of Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Lewis’s Narnia.

You can preorder your copy of Above the Stars on the KICKSTARTER site, until September 30–but, if you want to give Phillip, the book, and me a SPECIAL boost, please consider buying your copy today, on launch day, and help build an early momentum. And remember, if I do not reach my goal, I do not get one dime! All you have to do, to get to my KICKSTARTER page is click on the picture or the links embedded at the end of each paragraph!

In addition to the books, there are all kinds of great perks available at the campaign. They range from the original artwork of Dean Kuhta and Louise Goodchild to my own jewelry and an Italian dinner for four! Please check out the campaign for more details.

Again, many thanks for your support. I will be back in touch with campaign updates throughout the month of September! Ciao, grazie.

Love,

Belinda

PS – In case you’ve never visited KICKSTARTER before, or you don’t even know what it is, I’ve attached a little example that shows how to order something there.

KS pledging instructions 1KS pledging instructions 2KS pledging instructions 3

It’s a few easy steps. KICKSTARTER is the largest crowd funding platform in the world, having raised over $1Bn for creative projects like Above the Stars. They process payments through Amazon, the largest retailer in the world. So, preordering Above the Stars on KICKSTARTER is a snap!

And, just in case you missed the link, here it is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1907899413/above-the-stars

Boots ‘n’ Britches, Phillip is Above the Stars!

Phillip Tuber

Phillip Tuber

Wait to read in October, 2014

Available, November 25th, 2014

Houston, we have a tentative lift-off date of November 25th, 2014 for Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars! Phillip is over the moon! Just in time to buy for Christmas! in December, 2014, he and his friends are planning “launch” parties all over Manassas. So watch the skies! You might even see a blue fire-drake! They hope that they can invite you all to attend. I keep telling Edward, “Party Animal Extraordinaire,” we’re on a tight budget, but he already has Llemura making wiskits like crazy!!! I guess we’ll have to get funding all these events–Llemura ain’t cheap, y’know.

So, on September 2, 2014 a Kickstarter Campaign will begin so that the gang in Phillip’s Quest, can keep partying on! The campaign will defray some of the costs that we have incurred for this publication and allow the Phillip Phollowers to read more about his adventures. It takes a whole village, larger than Twistedoak, of gnomes and humans, to put this book together. The funds raised by Kickstarter will help to pay my teammates, and for us to travel to different events and schools. Dinosaurs and dragons are tough to transport. We already are scheduling going into schools and teacher events, for the 2014-2015 school year. Then, there are always Edward’s parties–he likes to do it right!

The Phillip’s Quest crew is excited to be able to offer some cool rewards at all levels of contributions, starting at just $5.00! There will be discounted, as well as free books and ebooks, the fabulous “Winterfrost” and tree necklaces; original art, Oli Warrior Squirrel and Dreamspinner (who’s Dreamspinner?), an Italian Gnome dinner, cooked by yours truly, and so much more! They will all be listed on the Kickstarter site.

OR during the campaign, you may wish to reserve copies of the whole series; Winterfrost, Above the Stars and Across the Elusive Sea (to be released in 2015) and the remaining four titles.

Ultimately, our goal is to raise $3000.00 on Kickstarter. With Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing and Phillip and his friends have until September 30th to do it. So, please pre-order your copy on Phillip’s Kickstarter Campaign

Please look for the “Above the Stars” Kickstarter Campaign beginning in September, so that Llamont, Llemura and their spotted goats can leave the cold Ice Cave Canyons to the pages of “Phillip’s Quest, Book II.”

Thank you so much from me, Phillip and the team of Phillip’s Quest!

Follow all the updates, information and offers through this newsletter and all The Winterfrost Updates on http://belindamiller.me.

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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