Wrapping up May #amwriting

So I am pretty much done with the Marketing blogs. We’ve looked at quite a bit and I hope people have found it useful. I thought I’d finish this month’s blogs with one final and effective marketing tip. Social media is great if you know how to use it. However you can waste a lot of time, so do what you are really able to do:

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All that is great, but the single most effective way to actually market a book is to release another. Yep my second book sold more copies of my first and the third did that for both. So now I need to get number four out. Which means less marketing and more editing for now!
Yep back to it and I will work on creating my own secret bookshelf full of my own books and anthologies. World domination here I come… well okay just book number four for now and a handful more anthologies. Which does mean that by the end of 2014 my stories will be in over ten different books. Yay pretty excited about that.

Looking forward June is the start of winter and closing in on the middle of the year. So I thought I’d look at some writing inspirations. Chewie will be book blasting with his news throughout the month too and Stitch has a few interview or review spots free. Remember to contact me to be involved in Stitch Says or Chewie’s News. I am also happy to take a guest blogger or two with what inspires them to write. As always have fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Sky Castle The Demon and Me Book #kidstales

Stitch here again.

We looked at this book awhile back, but I really enjoyed it so here is my review!
SkyCastle The Demon and Me Book

Jack Harper lives in a castle, but it’s not quite the life he’d like to lead. One day we orders a demon. When Brink arrives he is much like Jack’s castle. That is until his life becomes endangered. Jack has to find a cure and rescue his demon quickly. SkyCastle is a good book that kids will enjoy. It does end rather rapidly, just as the reader becomes engrossed in the story. Hopefully the second one isn’t too far away.
Stitch Says gives it 4 Woofs.

Go and check it out and keep reading, keep writing!

Web Pages #wheredoIstart

Enhanced Author Webpage… is another phrase I never thought I’d use in a sentence. It is a web page that links to all your links, has videos, press releases and basically everything you need to promote your work. My webpage is a working process. I have a husband who is good at doing these things. This is great because I have no idea. Although having now set up this blog I think I am starting to understand how they are set up. However I don’t have the time to fiddle around with stuff. Unfortunately my Husband is also busy so changes don’t happen quickly. However he is working on it so I will be launching my new enhanced author web page very soon.

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Some of the things it will include are:
Links – to all my social media (which are also attached to this page)
Links – to my books and where to buy my books
A bit about me and my books – what inspired me to write them?
Photos of events, videos of my books and hopefully some activities for teachers and children. I’m not sure how to put these on there yet. Still ironing out some kinks. Still it will be great and lots of fun. I will also link to all the groups and challenges I take part in, including the Anthologies I have had stories written in. This will be really cool once it’s up and running.
What do you like to see on an author web page???
Would love to see some links in the comments. Also thinking of doing some webpage reviews on my Stitch Says blog. What do you think? Have Fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Jack the Boogey #kidstales

Stitch here with another great book for all you kids out there. This one is all about monsters hiding under beds and in rooms. Now I know I look big, but I’m not keen on the idea of monsters in bedrooms. I have a puppy and two kids to protect me, I mean for me to protect.


Anyway this book was actually a case of mistaken identity. Let’s check it out:


Jack the Boogey by Davon Washington

Ever wondered who the Boogeyman is?
Is the Boogeyman the monster who scares children in their sleep or is it just a case of mistaken identity. Join Jack the Boogey as he tells his side of the story.
Children will like Jack the Boogey, they like to hear things from different sides. This a cute book that will be enjoyed by girls and boys. The pictures are bright and interesting and the story line is cute.
Stitch Says gives it 4 woofs!

Yep, not scary, but actually pretty cool… as always keep reading, keep writing!

Digital Footprint #getyourbookoutthere

I recently had an assessment of my digital footprint. What is that??? Well a few months ago it was a term that sounded more like some strange dinosaur tracking device… actually that gives me a story idea. Any way back to the digital footprint. Apparently it’s how well your name and book are spread across the internet.
So you can have an independent assessment – this one was free. Which basically means someone sits on Google and looks up your name, book and all your links. They do a bit more than that they analyse what works and how well things are connected.
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I did pretty well. Here is some of the feedback for my book and author name.

Google Ashley Howland and any of my books – this time I focussed on Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist.
ObiTheSupperPuppy web

My feedback was:
Web page – good, it comes up when you Google my name and the domain name (ahowland.org) is clear and easy to get to. It also links to all my social media, book trailers and other sites.
Pinterest – works well, boards have good presence, need to gain more followers.
Face book – my author page has over 1800 likes (yippee and thanks you to everyone) which is very cool. They also like the fact that I have pages for each of my books. Of course I only use the Obi the Super Puppy Page regularly. I actually set these up after the previous digital footprint assessment.
I also did well with the Author profile on Amazon, my Good reads Profile, Twitter and have a good start in collecting reviews.
They liked my blog – although I think they were looking at the old blog, not this one which I need to link to my webpage. My web manager (husband) is getting on to that and hopefully I will have the new page up by the end of the month. More about Web pages later.
Okay so that was a pretty good assessment. The things I need to improve on. I need more reviews, not just on Amazon, but Goodreads, Barnes and noble etc. So if any of you readers out there would like to review my work please let me know!!!! I also need to begin building my presence on Google+. I do actually have a profile, but haven’t waster much time here. I guess that will me a goal for this year as I delve further into the world of social media and marketing. There were a few other things, but overall I am happy. This is the second time I have done this and it’s good to see the changes I have made have improved my digital footprint. Still and possibly always a working process. So does this sell books???
We’ll let you know – in the mean time have fun!

Stitch Says Author Interview: Davon Washington #kidstales

Today Stitch has had a chat with children’s author Davon Washington, let’s see what he’s been doing:



When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?

I remember being in the fourth grade and looking forward to the essay portion of my English test. Writing is one of the best forms of therapy in the world. I spent most of my adult life in the entertainment industry writing the storylines of artist’s real lives. For me it was a marketing plan but for the consumer it was their truth. Those artists more often than not do very little to enhance the lives of their fans. I have decided to use my creative passions to tell those same stories but enhance the minds and hopefully the lives of my readers.

I always looked forward to the actual writing part of any day at school!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:

My latest work, also my debut, is Jack the Boogey is My Real Name. It’s the true story about the character we have come to know as “the Boogeyman”. The motivation to pen this wonderful story came from my son Chase. He was always afraid to sleep in his room alone and we needed to tell a story that would change that. As we began to build this story it became evident to the both of us that we were embarking on something special. Not only will children no longer fear “the Boogeyman” but Jack has made the bedroom off limits for ALL monsters.

Stitch Says will be posting a review shortly!

What are your future aspirations as an author?

My goal for the future is to create a platform to help writers of all genres. A platform where writers are not limited to the same cut-and-paste criteria that publishers demand from authors in order to share their works with the world.

Wonderful goal, also one of the reasons I started Stitch Says!

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?

Ideas come from everywhere but the best ones come from “nowhere”. The best ideas I have ever had in my life find me the moment I stop looking for them. Don’t get me wrong I have a memo on my phone with a lifetime of ideas but a great idea is no idea if you don’t execute correctly.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?

I live life. The more I experience the more I can offer my readers. There is nothing better than insight as a writer. You have to constantly alternate point-of-views. Every sentence requires that the POV be the same for the character and the reader.

Where can people contact you?

They should contact my publisher dave@bedfordhousebooks.com

Did you publish with a traditional publishing house or did you go the indie route?

I actually had the opportunity to be represented by a book agent and shop my book but I purposely chose to spend my own money to publish this work. I think it is very unfortunate that authors who aren’t NYT bestsellers sometimes struggle to survive even when people have begun to enjoy their work. I also HATE the fact that the POD model (in most cases) ensures that the printer/distributor makes more money on the author than they do the consumer.

All true, but it’s also great there are many other ways to get your work out there now!

Do you read the reviews of your work and how do they affect your writing?

I’m just beginning to get reviews and they are all glowingly positive. Since I myself am the most blunt, non-sympathetic critic that ever lived I am sure that karma will bring me my share of “your work sucks” reviews. I’ve learned from my years as a marketing executive that everything isn’t for everybody. I have a very thick skin. If it is not constructive I’m sure it won’t affect me at all.

Pretty sure you won’t get too many your work sucks reviews… Just keep up the great work.

For other authors who may be struggling what advice can you on handling rejection?

I’ve read that Dr. Seuss was rejected over a dozen times. I believe everything happens for a reason. If you are getting rejected it just isn’t your time. Some of my successes in life were born as a direct result of my failures. You have to keep your head high or quit and make way for the people who REALLY want it.

Excellent advice.

Thank you for dropping by on Stitch Says, watch out for the review and of course keep reading, keep writing!

Writer’s Reveal: A tale of siblings #amwriting #writersreveal #chaboocha

This months Writer’s Reveal topic came from Rhianna.

A tale about siblings with a magical twist.
This was a fun topic for me simply because of my two girls. I pretty much write for them and over time they have begun to ask for more stories. They were the inspiration behind the super heroes I have created and am about to start editing, but they have also inspired another series. This is a long way from getting written in full, but here is how their adventure begins – minus the editing

Maddy and Aijay’s Magical Adventures!

Maddy hung upside down on the monkey bars. She swung herself backwards and forwards gently. It was always good to be upside down. The world looked different from here. As she swung she looked around. A sparkle caught her eye. She turned her head and sure enough in the fairy garden there was a strange glow.
“Hey Aijay, look at the fairy garden,” Maddy said as she turned towards her sister.
Aijay was swinging herself as high as she could on the swing next to Maddy. She looked to the garden.
“What?” asked Aijay.
“Don’t you see it?”
“See what?”
Maddy looked again, it was still there.
“Maybe you need to be upside down,” she said, “Swap.”
Aijay shrugged her shoulders, but stopped swinging. She took the rings in her hands and flipped herself upside down.
“What am I looking for?” she asked.
“Just look at the garden,” said Maddy.
Aijay swung forwards and looked. There in the middle of the flowers was a strange glittery site.
“Cool,” she said, “hey Madz it looks like a door.”
Maddy couldn’t see it from her place on the swing, so they swapped again. After a few turns they had decided that it was real and it was a door.
“So how do we get in?” asked Aijay.
“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure we need to be upside down,” replied Maddy.
The girls looked at each other and said, “Cartwheels!”
Maddy ran up to the fairy garden. She stood near where she thought the door would be and turned back to look at her sister. Aijay still upside down took a handoff the bar and gave her sister the thumbs up. With that Maddy turned and threw herself into a cartwheel. She shrunk down to the size of the door disappeared.
“Wow, that is so cool,” said Aijay as she watched.
She hopped off the bars and walked up to the garden. There was only one thing to do, Aijay just hoped her cartwheel was good enough. She reached up into the air and placed one foot in front of the other. Aijay took a deep breath and flipped into her first perfect cartwheel. She too, shrunk and spun through the door. Inside was a spinning rainbow of colours. Aijay began to float downwards. She tucked herself into a ball and spun. Then she stretched out as long as she could and slowed her journey. The rainbow swirls also began to slow. Finally she landed softly on the floor.
“Hey, you made it,” said Maddy excitedly.
“Where are we?” asked Aijay.
Maddy shrugged her shoulders, “Our own Wonderland,”

Of course Stitch gets another gig, along with their fairy friend Fidget and of course Chewie will have to make an appearance. They have also requested Obi is still able to see them in their magical land… My girls love their dogs! To check out all the other posts in writer’s reveal go to:

Have Fun!

Stitch Says Book Review: Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble #coolbook #amreading

Stitch here with another exciting book to share. This one is cool because there’s a dog – beagle (labs and beagles are always friends) and other animals!

So let’s check it out!

Noah Zarc Blog Tour Button FINAL

About the Book

Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert PeaseTitle: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Book #1) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 214 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (AudioBook) | Audible



*Wild Adventure Across Time and Space
The Earth is being recreated as a zoo. The ARC program sends the Zarc family back in time to collect two of every animal for the new Earth. However not everyone wants the Earth to only inhabit animals. Noah Zarc finds himself in the middle of an amazing mission to rescue his family and save the animals. He needs to travel across time and space, while confronting some personal truths.
As with any book about time travel there always lies some level of confusion. I think the author handles this pretty well. Young readers don’t tend to get too bogged down in the details, particularly when there is so much action. They will enjoy this book,
Stitch Says gives it 4 woofs.



The Buzz About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1: “Pease’s strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah’s excited, fast-paced narration.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Book 1: “If I had read this book at age 10, I think it would have made me love SF just as much as reading Asimov did. If you like the non-stop action and humor of Rick Riordan’s Olympians books, I think you’ll also like Noah Zarc.” ~ Sher A. Hart, book blogger and author

Book 2: “This is another great mind-bender. The wild time jump details are fabulously thought out and cause some unexpected results.” ~ Michelle Isenhoff, Children’s Author

Book 2: “A well-written, adventurous read for young readers and even adults, Noah Zarc blasts through space and into your imagination.” ~ TKristufek, Amazon Reviewer

Book 3: “I was completely captured by the characters, the action and the issues and questions: set in fantasy but integrating concepts and engaging readers with a fun tale that teaches as it entertains.” ~ Gaele, Amazon Reviewer


About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert PeaseD. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he brings to life.

Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+


Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

May 13

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

Desperate Homeschoolers (Review)

May 14

Cherry Mischievous (Review)

Sunshine, Bubbles & Books (Review)

May 15

My Devotional Thoughts (Review)

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

Palace of Twelve Pillars (Review)

May 16

The Reading Room (Review)

Kay LaLone, I Love Books (Review)

May 17

Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock (Review)

Book Reviews & Giveaways (Review)

May 18

Stitch Says (Review)

Lakshmi Gosyne (Review)

May 19

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

Pragmatic Mom (Review)

May 20

The World of ContestPatti (Review)

Alwaysjoart (Review)

May 21

A Leisure Moment (Review)

Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom (Review)

May 22

S. W. Lothian | Author (Review)

Purple Monster Coupons (Review)

SoCal City Kids (Review)

May 23

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

Unschooling Momma (Review)

May 24

Jemima Pett, Author (Review)

We Are The DinoFamily (Review)

May 25

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

Musing With Crayolakim (Review)

May 26

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

Nanna Three and Counting (Review)

Oh My Bookness (Review)


* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: June 11, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, D. Robert Pease and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

That was cool – until next time keep reading, keep writing!

Stitch Says Book Review: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew #childrensbook

Stitch back again with another cool book – you should read this one to your dog, lots of fun there!

About the Book

Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew by Melissa Perry MorajaTitle: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super Secret | Author: Melissa Perry Moraja | Publication Date: May 5, 2014 | Publisher: Melissa Productions | Pages: 154 | Recommended Ages: 6+ (read-aloud)

Summary: Up until a few days ago, nothing extraordinary had ever happened in ten year old Josh Wunderkind’s life – except eating a whole pot of pasta by himself. But that all changed after a mammoth-sized bird hit him smack on the face with a glob of neon green bird poop, triggering his superhuman Wunderkind ability and leaving him with the responsibility of caring for a baby bird he named Max. Now Josh was just like his older brother and twin sister Madison-super extraordinary! But what Josh didn’t realize was that being superhuman wasn’t all fun and games.

And things only got more complex in Josh’s life when his two siblings and a couple neighborhood friends persuade him to lead a super crime-solving, neighborhood news team—the Gumshoe News Crew. But not before they agree on the Super Secret and complete Gumshoe Boot Camp.

Find out what the Super Secret is. Will the Gumshoe News Crew complete boot camp? Or will Josh let his team down?



Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes


Stitch Says loved reading this book because it’s a detective story with difference.
Kids love to read about other kids doing amazing things. This story has some wonderful characters with the special abilities other children would wish for. They form a team and everyone has a role. Young readers will be able to escape into their imaginations and enjoy the adventures of Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew. Melissa Perry Moraja has written a wonderful series of books – this is book five and they just keep getting better.
Stitch Says gives it 5 woofs!


About the Author: Melissa Perry Moraja

Melissa Perry Moraja, Author
Melissa Perry Moraja

Melissa Perry Moraja, Award-Winning Author and Founder of Melissa Productions, Inc., is an entrepreneurial mom, a multifaceted business woman, a creative producer, and an author and illustrator of numerous modern-fantasy children’s books and self-help books. And that’s just the beginning! Melissa also has published articles, appeared on television, been interviewed on radio, has spoken in front of hundreds of people, and held workshops at local schools, discussing creative learning, publishing and parenting. Her desire to make a difference in her four young children’s lives inspired her to leave her six-salary career at IBM in 2007 to become a full-time mom, children’s author, speaker, and consultant. Melissa spends her personal time coaching soccer and softball, painting, and coming up with fun art projects for her kids. She also blogs for Working Mother blog, has guest blogged for Charlotte Observer Mom’s Charlotte, and has her own personal blog at Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom. Melissa is also committed to building awareness and support for type 1 diabetes. Her twin daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes November 4, 2011. To learn more about Madison’s type 1 diabetes disease please read Madison’s Story.

For more information about Melissa and her books, please visit http://www.melissaproductions.com and http://www.notyourordinarypsychicmom.com

Website | Wunderkind Family | Blog | Facebook (Author Fan Page)

Facebook (Book Fan Page) | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Pinterest


* Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew Blog Tour Schedule (2014) *

May 5

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

May 6

A Leisure Moment (Review)

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

May 7

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

May 8

Alwaysjoart (Review)

Chris Weigand, Author (Review)

The Hippie Bookworm (Review)

May 9

Let’s Talk About Books (Review)

Sunshine, Bubbles & Books (Review)

May 10

Adalinc to Life (Review)

The World of ContestPatti (Review)

May 11

Oh My Bookness (Review)

Unschooling Mama (Review)

May 12

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

The Ninja Librarian (Review)

Kid Lit Reviews (Review)

May 13

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

May 14

Once Upon a Time (Review)

We Are the DinoFamily (Review)

4 The Love of Books (Review)

May 15

Dawn’s Disaster (Review)

Purple Monster Coupons (Review)

May 16

Nanna of 3 and Counting (Review)

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Review)

Lisa Cresswell (Author Interview)

May 17

Jemima Pett, Author (Review)

Storytime Books (Review)

May 18

The Squishable Baby (Review)

Stitch Says (Review)


* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: June 3, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Melissa Perry Moraja and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

More to come soon – keep reading, keep writing!

Blogging about blogging #itsablog #getwriting

I have to say the single best way to market your books is to write. Write more books, write interviews, write reviews, write, write and write. Which to me means blogging. I never thought I would say that. Three years ago I didn’t even know what a blog was. Now I blog every week, crazy… still it’s great for so many reasons. You can just write, not worry about editing, participate in challenges and make new connections. It is an awesome avenue to learn and develop your craft. However it is also about building your connections. My blogs have been great for all those reasons. However there is another interesting side line to this. The Stitch Says blog that I started (now complete with Chewie’s News) has increased my profile dramatically.

Through participating with other authors and interviewing, reviewing and promoting their work I have directed many more people to my other social media accounts.
This is cool, so I say to all authors out there lets help each other. We can interview, have guest posts on blogs, review people’s work. Basically if we promote each other and in turn promote ourselves then the job can be more efficient and lots of fun.


So having said that remember Stitch Says is always open for more interviews, reviews and guest posts. I also would love to connect with more authors who do the same. We need to have a blog party… working on that idea. Think we could have a lot of fun.
Any way if you want to join me in promoting your own work, the work of others or support me in marketing my work email me at Ashley@ahowland.org

Looking forward to meeting more people soon! Have Fun!