Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A SIDE OF FAITH Basket - THE WINNER!!

I'm overwhelmed, y'all!

Launch day totally exceeded my expectations! Thank you so much for everyone who joined in the celebration, shared on Facebook, Tweeted, etc! I am humbled by your love, your great questions, and those that shared their stories of faith. You touched me deeply, and I am so thankful for all of you!

On a frivolous note, A Side of Faith ended up making it into the top 10 of the Amazon's HOT NEW RELEASES for Christian Romance yesterday! How amazing is that!

Okay, so now to announce the winner of the FAITH Filled basket from yesterday....

Drum roll please......

Picked at random from all the enties... the winner is...

Pam Kellogg!! 


Pam, I'll be sending you an email later today:-)

Again, THANK YOU to all who stopped by yesterday! I hope you enjoy the book!! If you did, I'd super appreciate it if you'd let others know about it. The BEST way books are sold are by word of mouth! You can also go to amazon.com, goodreads.com, or barnesandnoble.com and post a review, which is SUPER helpful as well!

We'll chat again on Thursday! Topic: Why Cameron's hair is red!!! (The story behind the books dedication...)

Monday, August 18, 2014

~~~~IT'S PARTY TIME~~~~

IT'S HERE!!!!!!

IT'S HERE!!!!!!

A Side of Faith is HERE!


And you can't have a book launch without CELEBRATING, right? Of course not! So today is party day here on my blog, and I'm ecstatic that you've joined me!

What IS a blog party, you ask?

Well, here is MY version of it.

A blog party is basically just an all-day open house where you can come and go as you please!
I'll be present pretty much the whole day, responding to comments as they come in, answering questions you have, drinking some Dr. Pepper, eating chocolate.... (Oh, yes, I'll have the real stuff at home, I mean, I gotta live a little on release day, right?!?)
YOU can leave comments, ask questions, click on links to buy the book... *grin* and register to win the FAITH-FILLED goodie basket I'm giving away!

THE BOOK

He is everything she never wanted...

Rachel Carter is on top of the world. A new job in a new town, friends, and a house to call her own. Men? Eh, someday. And when the time comes, she’ll go for a nice safe geek or something. She will NOT be repeating the mistakes of her youth.

But then Cameron Foster comes knocking on her door, reminding her of the man she vows never to think of again.

God wouldn’t send her a man who reminds her of everything she is trying to put behind her...would He?

 FUN FACTS ABOUT....

A Side of Faith

  • A Side of Faith is a NOVELLA. See this post if you're not sure what that means!
  • The setting is in Sandwich, Illinois, a REAL town about an hour or so west of Chicago.
  • There is NOT the "first" Sandwich book, just the first novella! Sandwich, with a Side of Romance released in 2012 and is a full length Christian romance. While the characters are in A Side of Faith, they are no longer the main characters.
  • For those of you who've read Sandwich, you'll be excited to hear that Reuben and Maddie have some FUN news to share....
  • I worried that readers would be confused when they find the heroine's name isn't Faith...instead points to the THEME of the book!
  • I published A Side of Faith myself, referred to these days as indie-publishing! It has its positives and negatives. Positive: I keep more of the profits! Negatives: I fronted all of the costs and did all the work! (and there was a lot of work...)
  • Because I published the book myself, it won't be found in libraries or non-online bookstores. Boo!
  • Two more novellas are planned! A Side of Hope will release this winter and A Side of Love will release in the Spring. I also plan a "finale" full length novel for next fall called, The Greatest is Love.

 THE AUTHOR

  • I have a very unhealthy love of Dr. Pepper
  • And chocolate....
  • I was born in Sandwich, Illinois. Many things in the books are based on my memories as a child, which I did for nostalgia reasons. So a few things may not be current.... :-)
  • My hubby and I have four amazing, beautiful daughters, ages ranging from 13 to 4. We're currently shopping for shotguns to keep those prospective boys in line.....
  • I'm an odd-ducky author who loves numbers as well as words.... and have the excel spreadsheets to prove it! (Cameron in A Side of Faith was one of my favorite heroes to write!)
  • I met my husband in a chatroom at 17 years old. I married him a year later, and gave him our first daughter a year after that.
  • I thank God everyday that the crazy guy I chatted with didn't turn out to be an Internet predator.... He's pretty awesome, actually!
  • I have a super awesome new agent, Sarah Freese of WordServe Literary! We're working on selling some other projects outside of Sandwich.... so stay tuned!
  • I LOVE CHOCOLATE! (Oh, yeah, I think I already mentioned that....)

 HOW DO I GET THE BOOK

A Side of Faith is available at most major online retailers via ebook!

amazon.com
barnesandnoble.com
itunes (ibook)
kobo.com

It is ONLY available on Amazon.com for the paperback version.

THE GIVEAWAY

I'm so excited about the gift package!! During my launch party for my first novel, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance, I gave away a SANDWICH themed basket.

I decided this time, I would do a FAITH themed basket.

In it, you'll receive ---
  • A gold FAITH bracelet (fake gold--cause I'd need to sell a LOT of books to afford the real stuff!)
  • A FAMILY, FAITH, FRIENDS candle
  • A super cool pink plastic cup with a Bible verse about faith on it
  • A cute little wooden decor with FAITH on it
  • A copy of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance
  • A copy of A Side of Faith
  • And just because I couldn't forget the sandwich tie-in all together... a $15 Subway giftcard!
Total Value: ~ $80 ~


HOW TO ENTER

I'm using Rafflecopter to track entries! 

You'll have a bunch of different ways to enter, up to SIX entries per person!

If you have issues using rafflecopter, let me know in the comments below and I'll walk you through it!

*Note* Only entries made through Rafflecopter will be counted!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LET THE PARTY BEGIN!

  Let's chat about faith and books!

I'd love to answer any questions you have, or hear YOUR faith story!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What is a Novella anyway???

I tend to take it for granted that everyone knows what a novella is, but I've gotten the question A LOT over the last few months, so if you're one who asked, don't feel bad. You've got great company!

A Side of Faith is a novella, vs. Sandwich, with a Side of Romance which is a novel.

This just means that it is a small novel. Usually about 1/4th to 1/3rd the length of a novel.

A novella still has a beginning, middle and end.
MY novella's will still have a romance.
And MY novella's will still have a happily-ever-after ending.

What it doesn't have is as many subplots, and while it still has some twists and turns and surprises, there aren't quite so many as a novel. It takes place over a shorter period of time (a few weeks) vs. my novel which took place over several months. It basically cuts to the chase a bit faster.


I decided to do novellas for several reason: 

I have 3 of them planned, and their stories were simpler. I also wanted to get it out on the market sooner, and writing a novel takes a much longer period of time (I can write a novella in about a month, a novel in 3-6 months.)

It also makes them cheaper... the novella will be for sale for $2.99 (ebook) vs. the current price of my
novel ($9.99.) (prices subject to change, as I never know when Amazon will mix it up, but most of the time that's with the print books.)

Oh, and will A Side of Faith be available in print?

YES! But mostly just on Amazon, as I'm going through one of their printers called Createspace, which allows books to be printed as they are ordered vs. in large batches, so they will only be for sale on Amazon at this point (retail prices is $5.99 since the cost is much higher to print, but subject, again, to change!)

So, that's it in a nutshell!!!

Any questions about novellas or novels? There is also such a thing as "novelette," which means, in Krista-translation, "really-tiny book." It'd probably take 8-10 novelette's to equal a novel! I don't plan on writing those at this point :-)

(Side note: Annabelle is headed to Vanderbilt Children's today for a minor surgery... her 3rd set of ear tubes. This is so tiny compared to everything she's been through, but your prayers that it will be quick, painless, and we can be home super fast afterward, would be appreciated!)

(picture courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Showing Love - A Real Life Example

I don't blog a lot about my older girls anymore, mostly because they are getting older and don't always love it!

But I'm making an exception today, because I need to brag on my eldest daughter.

My sweet girl has a TON of friends, because she's one of the friendliness, kindest 13-year-olds I know. But with two girls that live in our street, she's formed BFF status with. They study together, play whenever they can, and are just super close.

Last week, they did something that made me want to cry.

It's rare that you see acts of "true" love. Oh, we have acts of kindness and love, and "random acts of kindness" by paying for the person in front of you in the drivethru are popular, which is GREAT.

But going a step farther... not only gave out of our "blessings" but putting aside even our pride for the sake of another.... that is rare.

That's what my sweet daughter and her friend did last week.

You see, school was starting on Friday, and they'd planned to have a "fun" evening the Wednesday before, as a final last-free-night of summer. It was just going to be simple, I was going to get pizza and they were going to play board games at our house.

But then one of the girls found out she had lice.

Ohhhh, I itch just at the thought! We had a HORRIBLE time with the pesky little creatures a few years ago.

Anyway, her mom said, while they had treated her a few days prior, she didn't think it'd be a good idea for her teen to come to our house (and I tended to agree...)

The three musketeers were distraught, their last week of summer 'ruined'.

But they came up with an idea. They'd take some pizza for her over there, and all play games outside in the lawn.

And... they wore shower caps!!!

Yes, picture teenage girls, all super particular about their appearance, putting aside their pride for the sake of showing their friend love so she didn't feel left out. Karalynn wore a clear plastic cap, and her friend wore a bright pink showercap.

I wish I had gotten a picture.

What makes me smile even more is the fact they aren't your typical best friends. They represent three different religions: Protestant, Catholic, and Mormon. (We're the protestant...)

In all their dealings, I've never once heard any of them disparage the others beliefs or have a "debate" about religion, although they've definitely discussed it.

Honestly? They are how I WISH all of us could get along.

Not this "I'm right, you're wrong, so I'm BETTER" like many (in ALL beliefs have... atheism included!)

And not the opposite, "Maybe we're ALL right...let's just all hold hands and agree!" because... let's be honest. We can't all be right, and expecting someone to validate your beliefs when it goes against their own is not fair and not in anyones best interest, except for whoevers beliefs ends up validated in the end.

But instead, to agree that we have differences, and choose love anyway, is the way I *wish* our world could run.

I'm not naive. I know it won't ever happen.

But to see a tiny piece of that here in my home... it just makes my Mommy heart smile.

Discussion: Has your child ever taught you a lesson in true love?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crazy Momma and the Countdown

Annabelle's first day of school... LAST year!
Oye.

What a busy time.

My kids start school tomorrow.

and Mommy's book comes out in 11 days!!!!

I think I was INSANE to plain these two events happening so close to each other.

My to-do list is a MILE long, both in my writing world and my "real" world. Laundry is backed up. My house is only slightly clean because I have been remotely successful in making the kids keep up with their chores this week.

Half of the school supplies are purchased, all the ones that were tax free last weekend. (Kleenex and other stuff may have to be a little late... but surely they won't go through everyone else in the next 2 weeks, right?!?)

Annabelle is beginning to frown when she sees my laptop. In fact, everytime I sit down with it, she comes and jumps up in my lap or inserts herself behind me, wraps her arms around my neck, and yells, "Pi-ee-ack RYe!" Piggy back ride.... for those who don't know Annabelle talk.

Part of me... a lot of me... feels guilty. I wish I could spent 100% of my day giving piggy back rides and loving on my kids!

But alas...mommy also needs to contribute to the family income as well, and right now, writing is what I can do while I'm still home to care for my kids needs. So there has to be a balance, right??!!??

Literally... I'm asked to give piggy back rides about 50 times a day....

Oh, and I caught her today with the toilet cleaning brush. Playing with it.... she'd snuck in there while Scott and I were trying to spend some time with the older girls playing a board game (that Annabelle just wanted to throw the pieces to on the floor.... so we'd put in a movie for her...which we found her watching WITH the toilet brush in hand...)

And we wonder while my child gets sick so much!!!!

*sigh*

I love my kids.
All of them.
I really do.

But yes, I'm excited for school to start back up. Mommy will have some GUILT FREE time to get a few things done, and that, my friends, is precious at the moment!

And Annabelle will have less time to play with toilet accessories....

Discussion: Make me feel better! What gross things have you caught YOUR kids playing with/doing??

Monday, August 4, 2014

Funday Monday!!!

Taking the kids on a bit of a staycation today... We are calling it Funday Monday! Lots of jumping, parks, a picnic and ending at the fair.... It's gonna be fun filled much needed family time! (Daddy even took a vacation day to join in the fun!)

Hope you all have a Funday Monday, too!!!

Have you ever done a staycation with your family? What are your go to activities?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Sell a Book - Phillips' Kid's style...

Throw back from last summer, rockin' the pout
Funny story: 

My kids are amazing.

They were sitting around the living room the other day, brainstorming how mommy could sell her books. (my mini-marketing geniuses)

They ended up deciding that they should send Annabelle and Gabby out, my two youngest, (door to door I guess...) and have them look scraggly and dirty and tell people, "Please buy my mommy's book so we can have food to eat" complete with pouty lip face and all. (see picture for example!)

They all practiced the sad face and everything, totally excited for the idea.

They were very crushed when Mommy told them this would probably not be a grand idea, because

a.) It's not true-- (my kids have plenty of food, I promise!!!!)

and

b.) The department of children's services might be called by someone concerned that I wasn't feeding my kids (or was using them for money.) I'm rather fond of my kids. I'd really hate for them to be carted off to foster homes....

But I gave them an A for effort in their brainstorming.

I think I'll stick to the traditional annoying people on Facebook and Twitter and begging people to host me on their blogs/post reviews/etc.. (although their way might sell more books, LOL!!!!!)

Discussion: 

What are some crazy ideas your kids come up with that make you just shake your head?

Another fun one.... my kiddos and their cousins made up a holiday. August 2nd is officially Flirburt day, the day to celebrate the color purple. You can see the fun on last year's post.... 

So, if you think of it, Go PURPLE in celebration of, well, PURPLE, on Saturday.