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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Order Your Pre-Release Copy — Phillip’s Quest, Book III: Across the Elusive Sea!

As of September 1, 2015, a signed copy of Phillip’s Quest, Book III: Across the Elusive Sea will be  ready for you at the pre-release price of $17.50 plus $3.00 s&h. The 156 page continuing adventure of Phillip and his companions is filled with new and exquisite illustrations, recipes and characters! You will meet pirates, Nestors, Neveans and Kala — the beautiful mermaid from the kingdom of Cerulea. You will find out about the magic of Winterfrost Castle and the fate of Phallow, Phillip’s brother.

This book will not be available for sale, anywhere except here, until November, 2015! Once it is released, it will not be discounted.

Below, is an example of one of the maps and pages of this extraordinary adventure of Phillip’s Quest. You may read an excerpt from the book at the Across the Elusive Sea,” page on this site.

If you would like  to order this please leave your email address in the space available on the “Across the Elusive Sea” page. Thank you so very much!

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Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars – Kickstarter Update

ATS KS Phillip Bonus ATS KS Join Me at Fall For The Book

THANK YOU to everyone who has visited the Kickstarter campaign for Above the Stars! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1907899413/above-the-stars

Momentum this last week has been a little slow… So, as a special thank you to everyone who pledges before 9/17, I’ll be emailing jpegs of original Phillip’s Quest art, including a picture of hardy gnome Phillip Tuber that you can use as computer or phone wallpaper, your profile picture on social media, or a little smile you can share with your friends.

I know that not everyone is in a position to buy the book. If you’d like to give Phillip Tuber and his friends a boost, please consider:

Retweeting one of my messages https://twitter.com/Bella772013, or

Sharing one of my posts https://www.facebook.com/bbmiller0707

Also: I am thrilled to be part of a very special closing night event at this year’s Fall For The Book. On the closing night of the festival, Thurs., Sept.18, I will be part of Haute Cuisine at the Hylton, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, George Mason University, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas. The festival will host its 2nd annual celebration of fine food, superior drink, and the various stories behind the scenes of every aspect of the food industry from farm to table—and beyond! Cookbook authors, food writers, chefs and chocolatiers, novelists incorporating food into their fiction, and even the newly minted Prince William County Poets Laureate. Come join us for a fantastic evening of books – and food!

http://fallforthebook.org/ai1ec_event/haute-cuisine-at-the-hylton-2/

The campaign runs until 9/30. Thank you for all of your support!

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.

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.

2014-06-05 20.02.16

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.