Friday, December 28, 2012

Winner, winner! (Of Christmas Time prizes!)

Hello friends!

I used "Rafflecopter" for the giveaway I just had and they allow you to pick winners using their "randomizer" thing. :-)

(Prizes based on blog comments.)

Winner of stuffed cupcake: Angelique
Winner of stuffed cupcake: Jessica M.
Winner of Scrabble tile necklace: Julia C.
Winner of journal: Lea K.



Winners - please email me and send me your mailing address so I can send out your prize. Thanks to all who entered!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gift giving!

Hi! It's time for gift giving! (I'm giving presents to you guys, too! Scroll down!)

You can order Book 1 THE SEVENTH BLESSING or/and Book 2 THE HIDDEN BLESSING in time to give it for Christmas!

If you email me at  4melissabuell(at)gmail(dot)com (switch out for the @ sign and the .) and let me know that you've bought my books, I'll mail you a free signed bookplate for the inside of your books! Happy Christmas to you!

Links to buy my books
Amazon.com - The Hidden Blessing
Amazon.com - The Seventh Blessing
Barnes and Noble.com - The Hidden Blessing
Barnes and Noble.com - The Seventh Blessing
Mysterious Galaxy
Powell's Books


Giveaway Time!!

I've arranged a little contest/raffle for you guys. Enter using the rafflecopter form below.

You can win either
1.) a super cool "Scrabble tile necklace" made by me! :-)  Let me know what you'd want for your design, and I'll make it for you. (I've made myself one that reads, "Author - a person who writes a literary work." cut out from an old dictionary.) I can make it from old stamps, cute paper, pretty much whatever you'd like. Well, so long as it's appropriate. Family friendly. Something I could make in front of my kids. ;-)


2.) A handmade journal (by me, again)

3.) A little stuffed cupcake!

So...if any of these things strikes your fancy, please enter the giveaway. :-) Let me know what your top item would be. I'll contact you once the giveaway is closed after December 28.

Or a PDF version of THE SEVENTH BLESSING or THE HIDDEN BLESSING.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Books for Kids" 2013

Hi book loving friends!

My friends Farrah and Britney have an awesome non-profit charity called "Books for Kids." And it seriously is NON-profit. They don't get paid for what they do. Every dollar that is donated to the fund is used to buy books for kids in hospitals. Farrah donates books to the Children's Hospital in Phoenix, AZ and Britney donates books to the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Texas. They have done this for the past two years and are continuing on.

How can YOU help? You can make a donation, even as little as a dollar. A dollar can buy a baby book from the Dollar Store! :-) If you have gently used books, you can send them to Farrah and she will take them to the hospital in Phoenix. (The hospital in Texas only accepts new books.) Authors can send bookmarks, signed books, anything to help bring these little ones hope and encouragement. (Can you imagine being in a hospital as a little kid?? So sad...)

Please consider donating to "Books for Kids." It's awesome!

Thank you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Signing at Mysterious Galaxy in Pics!

Last Saturday was the signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore down in San Diego. The hubs, my boys, and I drove down there and had a great time! There were many authors there:

Diverse Energies contributors Cindy Pon and Greg Van Eekhout – a young adult speculative fiction anthology benefiting the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund
Karl Alexander – Time-Crossed Lovers – a new time-travel adventure from the author of Time After Time
Melissa Buell – The Hidden Blessing – young adult high fantasy princess quest
Dan Hanlon – Fraternity of Thieves – crime and family conflict in Southern CA
Donna Keeley – Having a Whaley of a Time – first in the Paranormal Mystery series
Gini Koch – Alien vs. Alien – the new installment in the highly entertaining Alien Collective saga
Nathan Long – Swords of Waar – the continuing adventures of biker chick Jane Carver in space
James Morris – Sky Bound: Book One of the Three Kingdoms Trilogy – debut fantasy from local teen author
Justin Robinson – Mr. Blank – who is the mysterious Mr. Blank?
Hope Tarr – Operation Cinderella – Kobo ebook comtemporary romance

I was able to share a signing table with Donna Keeley and Hope Tarr. Both ladies are SO sweet! Each author was able to share a bit about their books and then we signed outside near the food table. (The food!!) Near the end, James Morris (a teen author and musician) brought out his guitar and sang some songs that he wrote.

We loved being at Mysterious Galaxy! The staff there are SO wonderful and attentive. Many thanks to Maryelizabeth, Bunny, David, Jen, and the rest of the staff that helped out.








Hope Tarr and me


James Morris

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guest post: Top Ten Wedding Dresses!

I'm over at "Catch the Lune" blog with Hilda K.! My guest post was on "My Top Ten Favorite Wedding Dresses." (Yes, I am a romantic!) ;)

Promo code!

Just in time for holiday shopping! Use the promo code "2mbthb12" at The Little Things (TLT) Publishing Co. website for 30% off your order of THE HIDDEN BLESSING. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2012

New book reviews!

My book is officially released today!!!!!!!

I Eat Words reviewed my book and did a character interview. <3!!

Jessica at Book Sake also did a review of my book. Thanks!

Yay for new books!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Signing for Book 2!

Hi friends!

THE HIDDEN BLESSING releases this week!!!!!






And I have ALL OF THE FEELINGS!!!

I'm happy to announce that I'll be signing THE HIDDEN BLESSING, book 2 in my YA fantasy series, on Saturday, December 1st at the "Holiday Party" down in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. Several other authors will be there, too. Come on down, pick up some great books and gifts, and talk about books with us! :-)  (I'll also have copies of book 1 to sign!)

Love! And hugs! And confetti! And twirly dresses! And glitter! And cupcakes!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blog Tour: Post 4

Blog Tour: Post 4

Next stop is over at my friend Leslie's page: Yes, This Will Be On The Test.

Thanks, Leslie!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blog Tour: Post 3

Hello friends!

Today's blog tour stop is over at "A Word's Worth" blog with Rebecca! Thanks for having me, Rebecca, and for interviewing Will. :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Post 1

This kicks off the Blog Tour for THE HIDDEN BLESSING! 


Post 1 is over at "Laurie's Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews." Thanks for having me, Laurie!

You can still pre-order THE HIDDEN BLESSING  from TLT Publishing with coupon code: thb12mb2 to get 30% off!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Still editing...

Hey there! I'm still editing Book 3 and making preparations for the book launch for Book 2. I also have been busy crafting! I'm making some fun things to give away as part of the book launch
celebration. (You'll see them soon.) I'm halfway done with Book 3 edits. I really like how Holly and Donovan are both fleshing out into more developed characters. <3

And just so you know...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Setting up a blog tour

Hello friends!

I'm currently setting up a blog tour for THE HIDDEN BLESSING, which releases November 1, 2012. If you are a blogger/reviewer and would like to be included, please let me know in the comment section below. :-) The tour will run from the end of October to the beginning of December.



Let me know if you would like to host an interview (with me OR with a character from my book), ask random questions in a "this-or-that" fashion (my favorite!), host a guest post from me about writing, reading, or whatever else you'd like me to write about (I have LOTS of stuff to choose from - baking, crafting, sewing, photography, I like to do lots of stuff...). If you have something special on your blog that you'd like me to talk about (if you always host a music day, for example, and want me to give the soundtrack for my book), let's do that.

SO many options!












And remember that you can still request an ebook ARC (advance review copy) of THE HIDDEN BLESSING for review here.

<3

THE HIDDEN BLESSING book trailer

Trailer for Book 2, THE HIDDEN BLESSING, is here!! 
The book will be released November 23, 2012!


 

Thanks to my actresses, Emma C. and Tiff A. for agreeing to be "Little Emma" and "Big Emma." You both were perfect! <3

Music credits go to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com with "The Path of the Goblin King."


Pre-order THE HIDDEN BLESSING now at the 
TLT Publishing Co. site

Use coupon code: thb12mb2 to get 30% off your order.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Competition - GIF

Competition (in GIF format)

I'm a competitive person. Watching Jeopardy!, I'm quick to say the answers. Play Cranium with me and it's no-holds-barred. But how does that translate into the publishing world?

It doesn't.















That's right. Authors shouldn't be competitive with other authors in the sense that we are fighting with one another over selling books.














We need to remember that people don't buy only ONE book. They buy many books. There's room enough for all of us in our genres.


So...if we're not being competitive, what should we be??
Encouraging. Supportive. Buy books! Go to author events! Tweet about good books you've read. Blog about books your kids have read.











Go to the library and talk to the librarians about good books. (They can't read all of the books! They need recommendations!) Talking about books doesn't cost money. It just takes your time and energy. And if that can help someone else, do it. They'll appreciate it.

Case in point. Today, I went to my local Barnes and Noble (there's only one bookstore in my town and it's B&N) to buy MARK OF ATHENA by Rick Riordan. My 9 y.o. son has been counting down the days until it came out. While I was in the children's department, I spied a MG (middle grade) novel that just came out today.

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger. She's an incredibly sweet person and I love this book!! (Highly recommend it for ages 9 and up. Even adults!) An employee asked if I needed anything and I proceeded to talk about Shannon's book. She said it sounded interesting and that she would read it. She said she's always looking for new books to read and point out to customers. See? Five minutes out of my day. Painless. Fun. My work is done. ;)

(And I'm going to Shannon's launch party tonight at the B&N in Oceanside. Come join us!)














So, people, pay it forward. And be happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Publishing Takes Time

Hello readers!



I've been thinking about this topic for a while now and I went to the SCBWI Editor's Day at Cal State Fullerton this last weekend.

Check out this line-up!

Our fabulous guest Editors are:

Alexandra Penfold, Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster
Yolanda LeRoy Scott , Editorial Director at Charlesbridge
Frances Gilbert, Editorial Director of Doubleday Children's Books, a
division of Random House
Kira Lynn, Publisher at Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Jeffrey Salane, Senior Editor at Cartwheel Books and Scholastic Press

Our Agent Panelists are:

Sara Sciuto, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary
Taylor Martindale, Literary Agent from Full Circle Literary

Our Guest Authors are:

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – Horror Author and Living Legend – International
Horror Guild (2006)
Marilyn Donahue – Middle Grade Author
Dr. Mike Mahin – Picture Book Author/Professor and Pitch Guru
Candace Ryan – Picture Book Author


Several editors and authors talked about how long it takes to publish a book. In short, a very long time. It can be expected to take 1-2 years AT MINIMUM to publish a book. And now you're staring at the screen thinking, "This girl is crazy!" No, really. It does take that long. Let's check this out.

-You write your book. (And rewrite it, edit it, rewrite it, etc.)

-You submit it to publishers/agents.

-Agent accepts your work. Sells it to a publisher. (This can take years to do.)
OR
Publisher/editor accepts your work directly (without an agent involved).

-Sign a contract after discussions. (This can take a few days to a few weeks...possibly months??)

-Editor reads your book and edits it. (Takes weeks/months.)

-You revise it based on editor's comments and return it. (Takes weeks/months, depending on extent of edits.)

-Editor reads it again. Sends it to copy editor for proofreading.

-Copy editor sends it back to author for more edits.

-Author sends back *final* copy to copy editor.

-Copy editor and editor both read over it ONE MORE TIME.

-Meanwhile, cover art is being done by illustrator. Needs to approved by head of illustration department. (Author often has no say in cover art.)

-Book gets sent to initial print run for Advance Review Copies (if it's a big name publishing house with lots of $$). Did you know that it costs more to print ARCs than it does to print the finished copy of the book?? That's why not every company prints ARCs. More will offer e-copies of books for review.

-Sales and marketing team work on...sales and marketing. ;)  Getting bookstores to stock the book, setting up other author appearances, printing posters, etc. Review copies are sent to reviewers/book bloggers/journalists. This often takes the longest time. The publishing company wants to build up a buzz for the book.

And then...the book comes out. UNLESS there are other factors that delay it. There could be a delay at the print shop. There could be many other books coming out at the same time and your book gets moved to a new slot in a different quarter for the publishing company. A major edit may be discovered and need to be fixed before the final print run. Stuff happens and books get delayed.

And sometimes, we freak out about it.
   
 One of the authors who spoke on Saturday was asked what was the longest she's waited for a book to get published. "21 years." Gasps around the room. "I'm still waiting for that book to get published. But you know  what? I just kept writing other things."

One of the editors said she had to wait five years for a children's book to get published. They couldn't find the right illustrator for years. The author was patient and hung in there and when the book finally came out, it was fantastic. But it took a long time and a lot of faith.

So, if you're getting discouraged about the amount of time it's taking for YOUR book to be published, relax. Just keep writing another story. Eventually, your book will come out. And then you can throw confetti and eat cupcakes and twirl around the room.



Happy waiting! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger

Book Review

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)

From Goodreads: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.



My review:
I received a copy of KEEPER while I was in New York at Book Expo America in June. It was the first book I read out of all the books I received. I read all 500+ pages in one day/night because it was THAT awesome. The reader is right there with Sophie, trying to figure out her new life. There are mysteries and secrets that you *need* to know the answers to. Even as an adult, I really loved this story. Appropriate for a middle grade reader, engaging for an adult reader. I'm looking forward to reading Book Two when it comes out next year. (So long to wait!!) 

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES releases Tuesday, October 2nd. (I'm going to one of Shannon's launch parties at the B&N in Oceanside!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

SOMETIMES MY BROTHER BUGS ME

My children's book SOMETIMES MY BROTHER BUGS ME, published by MeeGenius! Books is now available for download! 
MeeGenius! works with the iPad/iPhone, Android, Google TV, and website. I hope you enjoy it! :)  
(Now I will go back to eating sour gummy worms.)


Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Cover Reveal!

Hello friends!
I am SO excited to share the cover of my children's book SOMETIMES MY BROTHER BUGS ME. Ready? Here it is!


Isn't that AWESOME?! 

It will be published on Wednesday, September 19th through MeeGenius Books!
 Go to MeeGenius.com for the ebook or if you already have the ebook app on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android phone, you can get it there.  (MeeGenius is the #1 app bookstore for children's books.)

Please excuse while I go twirl around my house in happiness. :)


About MeeGenius
MeeGenius is the world’s largest virtual store for enhanced children’s books. Available as a website and an application, MeeGenius works across all platforms offering the largest selection of classic children’s stories anywhere. Both old and new titles are available with and enhancements such as read-along word highlighting, audio playback and personalization. MeeGenius creates premium educational content faster and cheaper with a wider distribution channel than anyone on the planet.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Giveaway of Epic Proportions!

I've spent A LOT of time this summer reading the books I've gotten at BEA and ALA. I've sent some of those books along to Twitter followers, some to friends, some to the summer reading program at the library (as prizes). I still have some books that need reading and reviewing! *puppy dog eyes* Are you the one to give these ARCs a home? Will you read them and love them? And buy finished copies if you like the books? Yes?! Then fill out the form below!

I'll pick out winners (based on which book they would like in order received) and send along the books after the giveaway closes. :)

--GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED.--


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reading PDF files on E-readers

Hey there!
I've had the question recently (after finally buying a Kindle - it was a *very* discounted refurbished one) about how to read a PDF file on an e-reader. If you've had the same question, I'll spare you the trouble of searching the interwebz to find an answer. (And if you read e-galleys from publishers, you're likely to get a PDF or similar file for a review book.)

KINDLE
Email the PDF file to your Kindle email address. Didn't know your Kindle had an address? Well, it does! :) It is the same amazon.com address associated with your account but instead of @yahoo.com, etc., it is @kindle.com.
Example: If my normal email is:  melissa@yahoo.com, my Kindle email is: melissa@kindle.com
If you want the PDF converted to make it easier to read, you must put "convert" in the subject line when you send the email to yourself. Easy peasy!

You can also plug in your Kindle to your computer via USB and transfer files to it. Open "Computer", "Kindle", "Documents". You can typically click and drag files into this folder. Check the home screen to be sure the file is there before you leave the computer.


NOOK
You first need to download Adobe Digital Editions for free on your computer.
Plug in your Nook, authorize the ADE to view your Nook. This *should* then allow you to add the PDF to your Nook for reading.
However, it has been stated that reading PDF on the Nook is annoying. Sometimes the formatting is off. You can turn the PDF into an ePUB format. Wondershare is supposed to be a good conversion tool.
All that to say - the Nook isn't the best at PDF reading. (Sorry!)


COMPUTER
You can also just read the PDF on your computer. I know this is difficult for a lot of people with a desktop computer. I like to read PDF on my laptop because I can go sit on the couch with it, you know, actually on my lap. ;)  If you don't enjoy reading on the computer, be sure to get up and take breaks for your eyes and your body. Otherwise, you're going to put your angst of sitting for hours on the book you're reading. :)


Monday, August 27, 2012

End of Summer 2012

We drove out to Las Vegas last week for my grandpa's funeral. He was buried at the Veteran's Cemetery. While there, we visited Hoover Dam with ALL of my family who were able to attend the funeral. It was nice to be able to see everyone again.






Just like in Percy Jackson and the Olympians THE TITAN'S CURSE! My son was super excited. ;)



My kids started school today so we have a new schedule around here. I'll be able to get in some regular writing time. (I think...) Book 2 has officially been editing and is going to be heading to the press VERY soon! As soon as I have a set publishing date, I'll let you all know. :)

Read LOTS of books! Talk about them to your friends! That is all.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ARC Requests - THE HIDDEN BLESSING



If you would like to request an Advance Review Copy, please fill out the form below. My publicist will get it and send out the review copies once the final typeset is complete. Thank you SO much! :) (And I hope you like my book.) <3

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reading Challenge Update 1


Updated "Reading Challenge 2012" post. (I've read a lot of books so far and I need to see where they fit in to the challenge..if they do!) :)  To see the whole list of books I've read, you can check out my Goodreads page.

So far I have:

2012 Fairy Tale Challenge















I'm doing the "happily ever after" level (Level 4).  :)
"Read/watch any combination of original tales, modern tales, or films, resulting in 12 total selections."  

-THE ROYAL TREATMENT by Lindsey Leavitt (Book 2 of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series)
-FAREWELL TO CHARMS by Lindsey Leavitt (Book 3 of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series)
-UNENCHANTED by Chanda Hahn (Book 1 in the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series)
-FAIREST by Chanda Hahn (Book 2 in the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series)
-ONCE UPON A TOAD by Heather Vogel Frederick
-FATHOMLESS by Jackson Pierce
-PALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale
-AWAKE, A FAIRYTALE by Jessica Grey

---------------------
I'm attempting to do the Historical Fiction challenge from Historical Tapestry. (I love historical fiction but I've read so many books that it'll be hard to find something I haven't read yet that I want to read.)


I'm going with "Daring and Curious: 5 books" right now.

BOOKS I'VE READ (so far)
1.) "I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend" by Cora Harrison
2.) ECHOES OF TITANIC by Mindy Starns Clark (both historical and modern)
3.) SCARLET by A.C. Gaughen 
4.) LOVE FINDS YOU IN LAST CHANCE, CALIFORNIA by Miralee Ferrell



----------------------

I'm trying to find a "Classics" challenge. I found a challenge!

I'm challenging myself to read those classics that (for some reason) we never read in school. I know that I want to read a few books that I've had on my bookshelf for a very long time. (Last year I finally read The Great Gatsby and The Count of Monte Cristo!)

I'll do Level Two: 4-6 books

MY LIST TO READ (so far)
-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (I've started this one...)
-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-Alice in Wonderland

-----------------------
Contemporary Reading Challenge

button1

I do read a lot of YA contemps so this will be pretty easy.
I'm going to do the second option - "mix it up" with different genres in YA contemp.
Books - 10 (at least!)

MY LIST OF BOOKS I'VE READ (so far)
1.) Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
2.) What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
3.) SUMMER OF NO REGRETS by Katherine Grace Bond
4.) THE NATURE OF JADE by Deb Caletti
5.) CONFECTIONATELY YOURS #1: SAVE THE CUPCAKE! by Lisa Papademetriou
6.) THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker
7.) TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone
8.) MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby
9.) IN HONOR by Jessi Kirby
10.) SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson
11.) OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME by Ally Carter


------------------------

Eclectic Reader Challenge


I love the idea of this challenge!

Choose a book in each genre. Pretty easy, right? But we don't normally like to move out of our "norm" in reading. (And in life, too.)


Genres

  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction -- "Stork Raving Mad" by Donna Andrews
  3. Romantic Fiction -- 
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult -- "I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend" by Cora Harrison
  6. Fantasy - THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Science Fiction - MATCHED and CROSSED by Ally Condie
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favourite genre
  13. Poetry - THE DAY BEFORE by Lisa Schroeder