Giving Back…#atozchallenge

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Maybe I’m biased but I see authors at being one of the best at giving back to their own communities (and any community that needs it, really). The best example of this in action are Patric Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders As if I really needed another reason to love Rothfuss, he has really used his position to give back (raising over 2 million dollars for Heifer international since 2008). It’s really not unusual for authors to donate to charity or to work toward literacy goals but in this case, it’s really great because he has thrown himself into it as much as he has his writing. It’s not a back burner project for him, it’s something he’s really passionate about and that he spends a lot of time organizing and working for. It’s almost like “giving back” has been a vision for him even before he “struck gold” with The Name of the Wind.

This made me think: what is my “giving back” vision? Community service, I think, is the heart of society and it has been the heart of my life. When I was a teenager, I spent more time cleaning up highways and doing fund raisers with my school’s Key Club than I did at parties. I love helping those when I can. Now, I try to “give back” in the writer community in small ways. That’s why I started the Indie Spotlight. I wanted to give my fellow authors as much exposure as I can and help them spread the word about their work. Still, I want to do more…I want to do something big, like Rothfuss.

I have no idea what that is right now. I feel like I’m making a checklist as I grow and learn as an author. I know that I want to give back to Nanowrimo when I can because it was such a big part of me breaking out of my author’s shell. I want to do a collection of stories with a few fellow authors for charity, like the Blog Hop I sponsored a while back. I have, in my mind, a shortlist of charities I will help when I get to the point that I can really do some good for them.

Maybe this is why authors are more charitable than other professionals…we spend the beginnings of our careers writing blank checks for those who lift us up and when we make something out of it, we get a chance to pay those debts back. It makes me proud to be a part of the community when I see authors lifting each other up, offering advice, hosting each other on blog tours, and promoting each other’s books. It makes me even more proud when I see authors reaching beyond the writing community and helping out those who are sick, or impoverished…when I see authors taking a stand and doing something good in the world. It makes me feel like I’m part of something that is real and good…it makes me feel like I’m home.

Children’s Charity Blog Hop—Wild Cards…National Children’s Cancer Center

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Wild Cards Cover

Wild Cards

Wild Cards is a book dedicated to Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers with a Supernatural/Paranormal flare. You will find a variety of stories so it won’t be hard to find something you and your children will like. From stories about the Grim Reaper, a dragon rider, three wishes, a witch, a man without a face, a house on a haunted street, the making of a villain and much more there is plenty for everyone. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the awesome Authors and we couldn’t have had such a great cover with the art work by Don Semora.

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.
www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Gabrielle Lee Hughes’s Biography:

Gabrielle Lee Hughes is an inspiring new author. For fifteen years, Gabrielle has been writing short stories, poetry, and just finish her first novel, The New World: The Last Resistance. She is currently looking for a publishing company to fit her first novel’s needs. She is also currently working on her second novel, The New World: Dawn of a New Age. Gabrielle currently lives in Georgia.

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

T.G. Reaper’s Biography:

T.G. Reaper, aka Thom Futrell is the award winning, bestselling author of EMPTY GRAVES, MEAT PUPPET, NIGHT SONGS, DRIPPINGS along with over twenty anthologies and magazine articles. He lives near Jackson, Michigan with his wife, two daughters and two cats.
http://thetombofthereaper.blogspot.com/

David R. Bennett’s Biography:

I am an author from Houston, Texas. I am what I would call a freaky fiction writer. I write strange tales in all realms of fiction. I am a bonafied Star Wars geek who cannot wait to see the range of movies put out by Disney starting in 2015.

Jeremy Rodden’s Biography:

Jeremy Rodden considers himself a dad first and an author second. He is the author of the middle grade/young adult Toonopolis series of books that takes place in his cartoon universe. He also edited, contributed to, and published The Myth of Mr. Mom, a non-fiction series of essays by stay-at-home dads.
www.toonopolis.com

Laurie Treacy’s Biography:

I’m a wife, mom of three really good kids and various pets, an active reader and book blogger. Movie and music fan. I love frogs, frozen Goobers, anime and haunted places. I’m also a Whovian. I love paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian and contemporary romance. I initially started out writing YA, but I’ve also started writing for adults. My NaNoWriMo book this year is a New Adult paranormal. I find this genre exciting.

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.
She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.
She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-Anthology-Jodie-Pierce/dp/1494268795/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-5&keywords=jodie+pierce

This is a great book you’re sure to love. Recommended reading ages are young adult but adults alike are bound to find some great stories by these great Authors. Pick up your copy today!

Charity Blog Hop—Children of the Night…National Children’s Cancer Center

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scared boy in bed=new (1)

Children of the Night

Children of the Night is a fantastic book for Elementary School age children. With essential children’s lessons and good old fashioned Supernatural/Paranormal stories, this book gives you something for everyone. The children will enjoy the stories and the parents will enjoy the lessons in some of the stories. With stories about sharing, helping your parents, staying awake in class and never talking to strangers all will give you the opportunity to discuss these lessons with your children. Other stories like a Christmas mouse, Halloween night and a witch also provide enjoyment for the children. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the participating Authors:

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.

www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Tara Fox Hall’s Biography:

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chain sawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.

www.tarafoxhall.com

Ann Snizek’s Biography:

 Bio: Though her childhood was spent moving frequently, Ann Snizek is originally from Vermont and now lives in Virginia with her family. As a home-schooling family, Ann and her husband have tried to nurture the love of books in their children and now their grandchildren — always encouraging their imaginations.

Ann actively promotes literacy in her community, organizing and facilitating a creative writing club and then quickly adding volunteer tutoring and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at her local adult learning center.

Loving all aspects of writing, Ann started Snow Flower Enterprises (dot) com, and its divisions, to help other independent authors reach their goals.

www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4901919.Mark_Mackey

Christina Mercer’s Biography:

Christina Mercer, author of Tween/Teen Fantasy Arrow of the Mist, writes fiction for children and young adults. She was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, she took Writer’s Best of Show at the SCBWI California North/Central Regional Conference, and she won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

www.christinamercer.com

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

 Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.

She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.

She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

www.thevampirequeen1.weebly.com

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Children-Night-Childrens-Charity-Anthology/dp/1494314940/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-4&keywords=jodie+pierce

Check out this special book, you’re bound to find something fun. Recommended reading ages 5-10 so read with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids and loved ones!

Giving Back via Social Media—Indie(s) Spotlight.

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National Children’s Cancer Society from Jamal McLaughlin on Vimeo.

As author’s we use social media for a lot of things. We promote our books; connect with bloggers, readers and reviewers; we connect with other authors; and we share our individual journeys. This week’s Indie Author Spotlight tells the story of what can happen when we use the connections to reach beyond ourselves…when we use them to touch the lives of others…when we use them to give back.

It all started with a Facebook group which was created to connect authors. Talks of writing books for charity began to flow between the authors and so the books Wild Cards and Children of the Night were born. 100% of the proceeds will go to The National Children Cancer’s Society, a charity organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with cancer.

We all know the work that goes into things like writing and compiling a book, hosting a blog tour, and promoting a project so to think that this group of extraordinary authors came together to do it all for charity is amazing. Also, I can think of no charity more deserving of the contribution than the National Children’s Cancer Society. I had a 6 year old cousin pass away in November from childhood cancer and so I have a new understanding for the impact that Children’s Cancer can have on the life of the children as well as the families.

The group continues to give back as they work on another collection of stories, this time for the ASPCA. Check out the following posts to get to know the authors and books created for this wonderful cause.

https://ashleywillismusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/charity-blog-hop-children-of-the-night-national-childrens-cancer-center/

https://ashleywillismusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/childrens-charity-blog-hop-wild-cards-national-childrens-cancer-center/