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Pump Up Your Book Over the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank

holiday savingsPump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity, is happy to announce a very cost-saving special in December 2011 to help authors – new and old – promote their books during the holidays.

If you have an older title and want to give it some new life with new sales or a new author wanting to get your feet wet in the online world, try out our December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Tour Special.

Your tour will consist of 10 appearances on blogs and websites – many of which are syndicated into USA Today, Chicago Times, and other high volume news sites – and will run from December 5 – 16. The cost for this super book promotional deal including a full social media campaign is only $149. A super value for the cost-conscious author. Deadline for signing up for this special is October 25, 2011.

For more information for signing up with this special book promotional offer, visit

Pump Up Your Book December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Special

1111Pump Up Your Book is happy to announce a very cost-saving special for December to help you promote your book during the holidays. Because we want to give back to the community and we know how everyone is strapped buying presents and getting ready for the holidays, we are offering a 2 week special only applicable during the month of December. If you are an author with a new release or a book that was published years ago and you want to give it new life, read on!

The December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Package includes:

  • Full publicity included but not restricted to daily postings about your book on social networks and other online media outlets before and during your tour.
  • You will receive one personalized reviewer’s page which will announce your book to our over 500 reviewers.
  • You will receive one personalized tour page which will include your book cover, author photo, book summary, book excerpt, purchase information, book trailer if applicable and other relevant information about your book. All of our tour pages implement SEO for more exposure to potential buyers looking for your kind of book in the search engines. This tour page will be your guide telling you and your readers where you are appearing on any given day.
  • You will receive one personalized tour banner used to advertise your tour and can be placed on your website, blog, even email signatures.
  • You will be included in our revolving book banner on the first page of our site as well as other blogs and media outlets.
  • You will be included in our December Tour Trailer which will be uploaded to YouTube and other video media outlets.

This special is only good for the month of December with a deadline of October 30. The tour will run December 5 – 16 and will consist of 10 “stops.” You will appear on blogs geared specifically for your book, with possibilities of appearing at Reuters, USA Today, Chicago Times, Washington Post and other high profile news sites.

No other discounts apply during this promotional special.

So what does all this book publicity cost?

We are offering the December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $149!

After October 30, the December tour will increase to $249 for the same amount of stops, so reserve your spot soon! Payments can be made via Paypal (Paypal accepts most major credit cards). Space is limited so sign up soon!


Christmas WreathHere’s what our past clients have to say about their Pump Up Your Book Tour:

“I invested in a three month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Books promotions for my noir thriller, Moonlight Falls. Not only did the marketing campaign work wonders for spreading the word about the new novel, in the very last month, on the very last day of the tour, Moonlight Falls became an Amazon Kindle bestseller!”

–Vincent Zandri, author Moonlight Falls and The Remains

Dot, I just want to let you know that your book tour is the greatest I’ve ever imagined! You just do a most awesome job. I feel like I’m all over the internet! Thanks so much for all your care and brains! This is an author tour with heart!


“I finished a two week mini virtual tour with Pump Up Your Book that ended on the 14th. It was a very positive experience consisting of guest blog posts, interviews, and reviews. The reviews for Schooled In Lies have been excellent so far, although I still need some Amazon reviews…hint…hint! Click here for the links to my stops. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book virtual tours. Dorothy Thompson is a sweetheart and made the entire process painless.”

–Angela Henry, Schooled in Lies

“…This has been an awesome experience!!!”

–Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of WENCH

“…I’ve really enjoyed working with you these past 2 months. Your encouraging comments and always funny upbeat personality has been the highlight of each and every day we prepared for this tour. I’ll be sad when it’s all over. :( I highly recommend you to any author looking for an online publicist.”

–Victoria Simcox, author of THE MAGIC WARBLE

The “good press” about you is no lie! I’m very happy about the mention in the Chicago Sun Times! Yay!”

–Joanne Sundell, author of Meggie’s Remains

“The world of publishing has changed so dramatically that it’s imperative to go where people are reading and talking about books and buying them – which is online. Dorothy Thompson came highly recommended and she has been great!”

–Gary Morgenstein, author of Jesse’s Girl

“This tour has been wonderful as was the first – I hope you are booked solid for August. Your presentational data is so well done and professionally presented – you truly represent us so individually and in the best light. I hope all of your clients really understand and appreciate what you provide and what it takes to bring it all together. You personalize each person (client) and really extend yourself in every way. And you are so honest and basically very up-front in fulfilling all of your activities. As I always say, “You are such a sweetheart!””

–Angus Munro, author of Full House But Empty

I have absolutely loved touring with Pump Up Your Book because they have been a pleasure to collaborate with and I can´t imagine a way to make the process simpler than they have made it. I take off my hat to Dorothy Thompson and her staff!”

–Dr. David Gruder, The New IQ

“I’m so pleased every day when I look at Google Alerts and see our titles all around the blogosphere, so thanks for that!”

–World Ahead Media

“Dorothy Thompson is the Queen of the Virtual Tour. She knows her business. Dorothy has gotten me more publicity in a shorter time than all of the other pr people I have worked with put together. In addition, she has opened a new world of internet marketing to me. She has definitely moved me up the search engines. And that’s what we authors want, isn’t it?”


“…thank you for such a wonderful job – can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am…”

Jane Green, NY Times Bestselling author of SECOND CHANCE

“The Pump Up Your Book staff is a remarkable group of professional people who baby sit you through your entire tour. I highly recommend them. They treat your book like it’s their book.”

Garasamo Maccagnone , St. John of the Midfield

I’m so thrilled—Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life won the CSPA Book of the year! This is a popular award, so publicity played as big a role as quality of the book. I want to thank you for all the hard work you did arranging this book tour back in June. It helped immensely to get the word out, and to get reviews and interested readers.”

Karina Fabian, author of Why God Matters

“I don’t think people realize how much work it is to promote your book. Jeez, writing the book is the easy part!!! I really thank Dorothy for putting my virtual tour together. I’ve had a few other writers ask me if I did this. My writing mentor was very impressed. But I told them I wouldn’t have even known where to start. Sure you can ask a few friends to host you, but how do get the schedule together without going crazy? There’s no way I could have done the tour by myself.”

Kim Baccellia, author of EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA

“When I began promoting the release of “Only Moments” I contracted a very high image Public Relations company. I got a few radio interviews but not one review, and no web exposure whatsoever. I only wish that I had met Dorothy Thompson and her “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” a few months earlier. Her tireless commitment gave me exposure beyond my expectations and at a tenth of what I paid one of the best Public Relations firms in the country.”

Nick Oliva, author of ONLY MOMENTS

“Dorothy is a wonderful resource for promoting your book. I highly recommend her blog tour for authors who want to get the most out their publicity dollars.”

Yvonne Perry, author of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America

“Dorothy is amazing! She’s taught me so much about promoting books on the internet and she’s got a heart of gold.”

–Kathy Holmes, author of REAL WOMEN WEAR RED

“Get in touch with the Pump Up Your Book people…they are the best!”

–Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

“It’s been great working with you! You’ve made the book marketing process fun. I’d recommend your service to any newly published author.”

Deborah Woehr, Prosperity: A Ghost Story


“I have shared your site and services with all of the authors at Bella Books and Spinsters Ink, and I hope some of them take advantage of your services. so far, I am really pleased, and I have had nothing but rave reviews about my trailer. I love it!”

Linda Kay Silva, Across Time

“First of all, the virtual world is entirely new to me, and discovering it has been a great adventure. And then Dorothy Thompson has been wonderful, working so hard on my behalf, getting me reviews, and interviews like this one, giving me an opportunity not just to talk about my book, but to meet a world of new and interesting people. And I’ve been so touched by how welcoming and kind and interested you (Rebecca Camarena) and other hosts have all been.”


Camille Marchetta, author of The River, By Moonlight (as quoted on Rebecca Camarena’s blog at Paperback Writer)

“This has been a wonderful experience. Dorothy Thompson and her whole team are very committed to each author, take each author’s tour very seriously, and work towards maximum exposure in the right places. This is the best book promotion expenditure I’ve made in terms of return on investment. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of MRS: LIEUTENANT

“This past month has been just amazing. Thank you so much for all you did to get the word out there…I loved your emails, always sprinkled with good humor and good sense…I look forward to VBTing with you again in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.”

My best,
Linda Merlino, author of BELLY OF THE WHALE

“The tour’s going really well – my amazon book sales are up and the blog postings are storming up the google search pages…”

Gabriella Goddard, author of GULP!

“I have found my virtual book tour experience to be thought provoking and illuminating. It has made me think my book and my writing in much more thoughtful manner. I truly believe that virtual book tours help writers and inform readers, and I know that I will be doing one for all of my future novels.”

Bernadette Steele, author of THE POETRY OF MURDER

“(The tour)…was 10 times harder than writing the book. Would I do it again? Sure. It was challenging but it was fun.”


“My publisher just told me that JANEOLOGY is going back for a second printing. That means sales are going strong! I’m sure much of this has to do with my blog tour. Woo hoo! I’m having fun and I guess you can’t ask for more than that!”

Karen Harrington, author of JANEOLOGY

“I want to thank you for all the great work you did for my first virtual tour. You were a delight to work with!”


“That went really fast! I am so glad I signed up for this tour as it has really helped to spread the word about Fifo, and that helped to win the Mom’s Choice Award…so thank you very much, Dorothy!”

— Hayley Rose, author of FIFO ‘FIFTY STATES”

Click here to find out where to sign up!

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

By Dorothy Thompson, CEO & Founder of Pump Up Your Book

By now, most authors know what virtual book tours are or at least have heard of them. They’re that wonderful marketing tool that should be a must have in every new book’s campaign. With each new book I write, I’m making a game plan before the book is even published and a virtual book tour is the first promotional venue on that list.

While most of us know what they are, there are still a few new authors who might have heard of them but have no idea what they involve. I give you my top 10 things you need to know about virtual book tours so that you will know what to expect.

  1. Virtual book tours are the BEST way to get the MOST online exposure for your book. Not only are you presenting your book and yourself to thousands of people, all of your interviews, guest posts and reviews are archived which means months down the road, you’re still selling your book because of that one tour.
  2. Virtual book tours ARE a lot of work. Not only are you searching for the perfect blogs to host you, you are acting as the middle man between you and the blogger unless you are using a paid service such as Pump Up Your Book who will do all the work for you. Even if you do sign up with Pump Up Your Book, there is still lots of work to do completing assignments – filling out interviews and writing guest posts unless you choose an all review tour. Even though it requires a little bit of your time to fill out interviews and write guest posts, it’s well worth it.
  3. You will learn more about your book than you ever did. I had an author tell me that through the interviews and guest posts she had to complete, she never learned so much about her book which caught her off guard. Now when she is interviewed on radio shows and makes television appearances, she is better prepared.
  4. Virtual book tours will build up your author platform. No matter if you’re a fiction author or a nonfiction author, virtual book tours will build up your author platform using your key search words.
  5. Your reviews are guaranteed. Offline publicists while they mean well do it all wrong. They query a book blogger, make arrangements to send the book, then that’s where it stops. The review is not a guaranteed thing. The reviewer can post the review anytime they see fit. With virtual book tours, your review is guaranteed on a certain date unless the reviewer jumps ship which rarely happens. I had an author tell me she signed up with an offline publicist who sent out many books and only one or two reviewers actually came through for them. That was money loss for the author. Books don’t come cheap these days so coming up with a date you and the reviewer can agree upon guarantees that review will be a given thing.
  6. Many reviewers now take ebooks which save you money. Thank goodness someone was smart enough to invent a device that automatically loads a book in a few seconds (no waiting to go to the book store anymore my friend) and makes it fun to read. When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle, sales soared and book lovers started talking about getting one. What that means is that it opened up a wonderful way to get these books to the book reviewers quickly and less expensively. Have you noticed how much books are and how much it takes to ship them? Not saying all reviewers will take ebooks, but as time goes on, most will have an e-reader and, as a matter of fact, will prefer an ebook.
  7. More website hits, more blog hits, more Twitter hits and more Facebook Fan Page hits. All authors should have a website or blog and accounts at Twitter and Facebook. No matter if you think they’re all a waste of time. A virtual book tour will definitely give you more hits at all places as long as your links are in your bio.
  8. Going on a virtual book tour raises your Alexa rankings. What is Alexa? Alexa measures how well you are doing in the search engines. By going on a virtual book tour, and including interviews and guest posts during that tour, your website and blog links are included in every bio (or should be!). Those are incoming links which Alexa uses to measure your ranking. The more your website or blog link shows up on other sites, the more valuable your site is to them and thus, your rankings soar.
  9. You will learn how to sell your book through media exposure. Not all authors take advantage of their interviews and guest posts by gearing them toward their audience, thus luring them to their book and/or website/blog. I’ve had many authors on tour and the ones who really take the time to make their interviews and guest posts effective selling tools are the ones who profit the most. The key thing here is to make your audience curious. One liners in the case of interviews may not cut it. Of course there are only so many ways you can answer “What’s your book about?” but take your time and get your audience’s curiosity peaked so that they do make your way over to your website or your book’s buying link.
  10. Virtual book tours teach you how to connect well with others. There is no better way to learn how to network. All these wonderful book bloggers who agree to host you are your new friends in your extended network and they will be there for you the next time you have a book to promote (unless they completely hated it of course). You’ll also learn how to use the social networks effectively as you study how to get people over to your stops by persuasive wording. Remember to talk to your audience, not at them.

There you have it. 10 reasons I feel you need to know about virtual book tours in a nutshell. If you have a tour coordinator as opposed to setting one up yourself, she will walk you through it so that it will be a fun experience for all. Your book will thank you for it.

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity. You can visit her website at or follow her on Twitter at and Facebook at

10 Things You Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours

Pump Up Your Book announces Hugh Aaron’s ‘Stories From a Lifetime Virtual Book Tour 2011’

Stories From a Lifetime

Join Hugh Aaron, author of the short story collection, Stories From a Lifetime (Stones Point Press), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in June & July 2011 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About Hugh Aaron

Hugh AaronHugh Aaron, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, received a Liberal Arts degree in the Humanities at The University of Chicago. For three years as a Seabee he served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was CEO of his own plastics manufacturing business for 20 years before selling it to write full time. Several of his short stories have been published in national magazines and 18 of his essays on business management have appeared in The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Business Not as Usual: How to Win Managing a Company through Hard and Easy Times. Currently he’s writing and producing plays.

His latest book is a short story collection, Stories From a Lifetime.

You can visit his website at or his blog at

About Stories From a Lifetime

Stories from a LifetimeStories from a Lifetime carries readers through a widely diverse series of life’s peaks and valleys with poignant, clear-eyed vision and understanding that is only gradually gained across the course of a lifetime through endurance and honest appraisal of the emotional rollercoaster that we all ride.

These stories form a welcome, and increasingly rare, honest, grounded, and beautifully written collection that will touch nerves while sympathizing with what it means to be human.

Hugh Aaron delicately reveals the world through the innocent eyes of a young boy, through those of a soldier far from home during wartime, and those of a struggling businessman and faltering husband. He is unafraid to reveal panic beneath a façade of success, the deep and hollow sadness that may exist in an outwardly happy marriage, the yearning we feel to make a break for freedom from the rat race, the unexpected emotional responses that shift lives far beyond the expected course of events.

Visit Hugh Aaron’s official tour page at to see which blogs and websites he’ll be stopping off at during his Stories From a Lifetime Virtual Book Tour 2011!

Pump Up Your Book Announces Dave Zeltserman’s ‘Dying Memories Virtual Book Tour 2011’

Dying Memories

Join Dave Zeltserman, author of the thriller novel, Dying Memories (StoneGate Ink), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in May 2011 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About Dave Zeltserman

Dave Zeltserman

Dave Zeltserman won the 2010 Shamus Award for ‘Julius Katz’ and is the acclaimed author of the ‘man out of prison’ crime trilogy: Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer, where Small Crimes was picked by NPR as one of the five best crime and mystery novels of 2008, and Small Crimes and Pariah (2009) were both picked by the Washington Post as best books of the year. His recent The Caretaker of Lorne Field received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it a ‘superb mix of humor and horror’, and has been shortlisted by ALA for best horror novel of 2010. Outsourced (2011) has already been called ‘a small gem of crime fiction’ by Booklist and has been optioned by Impact Pictures and Constantin Film.

His latest book is Dying Memories (StoneGate Ink).

You can visit Dave’s website at Connect with him on Facebook at

About Dying Memories

Dying Memories KindleWhen you can’t trust your memories.

A woman shoots a man to death on a crowded street in Boston, claiming that he raped and murdered her eleven-year old daughter. Except he didn’t, because this woman never had a daughter. Another man stabs an MIT professor to death in front of a crowd in Harvard Square, saying that he witnessed the professor running down his wife in the street. Except the MIT professor was three thousand miles away when the man’s wife was killed.

Reporter Bill Conway discovers that these victims are connected to ViGen Corporation, a shadowy pharmaceutical company. When he tries to investigate ViGen Corporation and their role in these deaths, he soon finds himself framed for murder. And that turns out to be the least of his problems…

Visit Dave’s official tour page at to see which blogs and websites he’ll be stopping off at during his Dying Memories Virtual Book Tour 2011!

Pump Up Your Book Announces Carla Malden’s ‘AfterImage Virtual Book Tour 2011’

Join Carla Malden, author of the poignant memoir, AfterImage: A Brokenhearted Memoir of a Charmed Life (Globe Pequot), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in May 2011 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

About Carla Malden

Carla Malden 2Carla Malden grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from U.C.L.A. with a Bachelor of Arts in English and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society for her academic achievement. She worked extensively in the film business, both in production and development.

With her husband, filmmaker Laurence Starkman, she wrote twelve feature screenplays; they also served as rewrite guns-for-hire. The team of Malden & Starkman wrote and produced the short romantic comedy Whit & Charm, which screened at eight major film festivals, including The Hamptons, and won several awards. They also wrote and created a series of Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning Art History films produced in association with The Detroit Institute of Art and The National Gallery.

Along with her father, Academy Award-winning actor Karl Malden, Carla co-authored his critically acclaimed memoir, When Do I Start?, published by Simon & Schuster.

AfterImage: A Brokenhearted Memoir of a Charmed Life delivers a fiercely personal account of her battling the before and surviving the after of losing her husband to cancer. It offers an alert for an entire generation: this is not your mother’s widowhood.

Carla Malden lives in Brentwood, California where she is currently completing her first novel as well as a children’s book illustrated by her daughter, Cami Starkman.

Visit her website at

About AfterImage

AFTERIMAGEAfterimage. It’s the ghost image that continues to appear, even after the source has faded away. It’s different from having a flashbulb catch you unaware when you’re having your picture taken. That leaves you momentarily blinded, violet and yellow dots kaleidoscoping in front of you. An afterimage is subtler, but more persistent, more enduring, more beguiling. Especially the afterimage that imprints itself on your heart. The one that occurs when your husband has died.

As a generation, we declared ourselves forever young. We assumed it our life’s work to brand every stage of human experience with our own particular stamp. How did we get to widowhood so quickly? Too quickly — while we weren’t looking, while we were still busy trying to figure out how to be grown-ups.

AfterImage is, at its core, a love story, as all real stories of loss must be. It is a story not solely about grief. It’s about battling the before and surviving the after, and dabbling in madness along the way. It is about the small moments that constitute a life well-lived. It is in those moments of human connection that we can search for gratitude through grief.

AfterImage is a story of love more than loss, memory more than sorrow, life more than death. It is a personal story. It’s my story.

Watch the Trailer!

Click here for Part Two!

Here’s what critics are saying about AfterImage!

“I’ve spent my professional life telling stories. AFTERIMAGE does exactly that and touches us where we live. It is compelling, moving, raw — with moments of surprising humor. I try to leave my audiences with meaningful and enduring images from my movies. That’s exactly what Carla Malden achieves with her newest book.” — Michael Douglas

“Carla Malden traces the awful journey of her young husband’s illness and death with such precision and care, expressing the emotion between the exhilaration of hope and the darkness of reality so powerfully, that her eloquence turns grief into poetry and enlightenment.” — Blythe Danner

“Carla Malden’s memoir about her husband and screenwriting partner Laurence Starkman is a haunting story of love and loss, and a demonstration of the courage required to put a broken life together again.” — Susan Cooper, author of The Dark is Rising

“All I can say is WOW!!! I read for a living which means I consume over 50 books a year just to prep for my show. Never has one made me cry until I read this manuscript. Although this is a book that will tug at your heart, it is like the tug on a fishing line when you know you’ve got a big one. I can’t wait to share it with others. I’d be honored to have author Carla Malden as a guest on my show. This is more than a book, it’s a blessing for anyone who reads it.” — Barry Kibrick, Producer and Host: Between the Lines

Emotionally raw from start to finish, the story . . . also celebrates a rare and profound love that transcended death. A brutally candid memoir of the ‘all-consuming and profoundly uncomplicated’ power of grief.” —Kirkus Reviews

Carla Malden’s AFTERIMAGE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 will officially begin on May 2 and end on May 27 ’11. Please contact Dorothy Thompson at if you are interested in hosting and/or reviewing her book or click here to use the form. Thank you!

Visit Carla’s official tour page here to find out where she’ll be touring!

Ghost Hunter Susan Kronick on ‘Sarah, They’re Coming for You Virtual Book Tour 2011’

Susan KronickJoin ghost hunter Susan Kronick as she tours the blogosphere April 4 – May 27 2011 with Pump Up Your Book to talk about her new autobiographical paranormal, Sarah, They’re Coming For You (Wild Child Publishing).

Susan will be on a nationwide online book publicity tour giving interviews, giving away copies of her books and meeting and greeting new and old fans! Susan will take part in a Facebook party on April 29 and May 27 where she’ll be available for chat plus will be giving away copies of her books. In May, she’ll be talking LIVE on Barry Eva’s Blog Talk Radio Show ‘A Book and a Chat’ plus will be participating in the Literarily Speaking Book Forum discussing today’s publishing as well as stopping off at other blogs giving interviews, writing about the paranormal and having her book reviewed.

Susan Kronick’s background is the perfect backdrop leading up to her latest paranormal novel, Sarah, They’re Coming for You. She has a Master of Science in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and a Ph.D. in Paranormal Studies/Psychology from Union Institute and Graduate School, as well as being an adjunct psychology professor at Barry University and Palm Beach State College. A psychic and a medium, she has the gift of seeing the dead since she was a child. She also has taught parapsychology classes through the Palm Beach County School Board, as well as at Palm Beach State College. Susan has extensive experience in the area of investigations of haunting and the paranormal. She lives with her husband and her four spoiled rescue dogs in south Florida. You can visit her website at “Like” her page at Facebook at

Sarah, They're Coming for You KindleSarah, They’re Coming for You centers around Susan’s own experiences with the paranormal using a fictitious character named Sarah. Sarah must confront the ghosts who have haunted her throughout her life by journeying back to her family’s ancestral castle in the Alpine town of Meiningen, Austria. When a mysterious woman—a link from the past—enlightens Sarah of her journey, every thing falls into place. Sarah has a connection between her ancestral family and her own haunting from the rogue ghosts in the after life. They seek her in order to claim two family members with a single soul. One thing left to do for Sarah. Go to the family home in Austria and face the ghosts head on, or lose her soul forever.

Literary Nymphs says “Ms. Kronick has impressed me with her creative storytelling of ghost, mediums and evil spirits. She did a great job on the detailed research in this story and of the country of Austria. This really has me adding it to my list of places to go. The story is very well-plotted and the surprise towards the end of the book may shock you, but I won’t give it away here. If you enjoy a story with a good haunting story, I am sure you will enjoy this one!

For more information on Susan Kronick’s Sarah, They’re Coming for You Virtual Book Tour, you can visit her official tour page here.

Sarah They're Coming for You

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity for authors looking for maximum online promotion to sell their books. Visit our website at to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level!

Interview with Hayley Rose, author of ‘Fifo “50 States”‘

Hayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades , California, to a family of visual artists.  In the early 1990’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet.  In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book.  Looking for a cute and catchy name for a main character, she kept hearing “first in, first out”.  Hence, the name Fifo was born.  Hayley’s mother would often ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, so Hayley decided to start her series of “Fifo” books with that very question.  Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002.  Her love of travel inspired her second book in the Fifo series, Fifo “50 States”, published in 2010.

Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years, specializing in concert touring.  She has worked with many “A list” musicians including Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox just to name a few.  Hayley hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs.  She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

You can visit her website at

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Hayley.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I was first published in 2002 with my first book in the Fifo series, Fifo “When I Grow Up”. In this delightful rhyming story, Fifo, a warm and loveable brown bear, gets ready for his first day of school with the help of his caring mother, and his loyal dog, Alan.  Fifo explores the endless possibilities of what he can be when he grows up.  By the time the school bus arrives, Fifo has been a policeman, a fireman, a doctor, a pilot, a teacher and even the president of the United States.

Fifo “50 States” is the second book in the series. Also told in rhyme, Fifo is bitten by the travel bug.  He dreams of digging up diamonds in Arkansas, looking for fossils in Kansas, enjoying a delicious bowl of gumbo in Louisiana, and even seeing a Broadway show in New York.  Yes, America is an exiting place!   A colorful reference-like book, Fifo discovers the wonders each state has to offer.  He learns along the way each state’s capital, shape, flag, motto, and much, much more. The possibilities are endless!  So, come along with Fifo and you’ll soon discover the beauty of America one state to another.  A positive experience for both Fifo and the reader.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

With my first book I went with a vanity press as I saw the bigger picture with Fifo The Bear.  It was really important to me that I kept all the rights and trademarks.  Along with the books I am building a brand with music, toys and games, etc., and I knew if I went with a mainstream publishing house I would lose those rights as an unknown author.  Now I am with a small press who believes in me and the Fifo The Bear brand. I was able to keep my rights and together we are working towards the same goal – to bring Fifo to children around the world through high quality, fun and educational books.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It took about two years for Fifo “When I Grow Up” to be published, and three years for Fifo “50 States”. The illustrations alone on Fifo “50 States” took over a year, but it was worth the wait.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

When I became published for the first time I felt like I had just one a lifetime supply of Sees candy!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

The first thing I did was to call my mother.  She has a lot friends and I knew she would help to spread the word.  You should never underestimate word of mouth.  My publisher also set up book signings at Borders, Barnes and Noble and other independent book stores around town.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

As a writer, I’ve learned it’s never right the first time.  It takes many drafts and a lot of editing and patience to get it right.  As a published author, I’ve learned that once the book is out there your job is just beginning.  You’ve now got to sell it.  People won’t buy your book if they don’t know about it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

Nothing has really surprised or amazed me about the publishing industry yet, but I’ll keep you posted.  So far I am enjoying this amazing ride.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The most rewarding part about being a published author is when your readers tell you how much they love your work.  I’ve had parents tell me how their kids slept with my book.  Knowing that what you’ve written has a positive impact on someone and that you’ve made a difference is an incredible reward.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up.  The possibilities are endless!

I would like to thank Beyond the Books for this fabulous interview.  I really appreciate all you do for the author and the publishing industry as a whole by spreading the word and reading our books.  Again, thank you.

Women’s fiction author Susan Wingate on ‘Easy as Pie at Bobby’s Diner’ virtual book tour Dec. 6

Susan WingateJoin Susan Wingate, as she tours the blogosphere December 6 – January 14 to promote her new women’s fiction/mystery novel, Easy as Pie at Bobby’s Diner (Blue Star Books).

Easy as Pie at Bobby’s Diner focuses on Georgette Carlisle, who has lost her first husband and is about to lose her next, one Hawthorne Biggs. She’s running the diner with Roberta, her late husband’s daughter. When old friend, Helen, comes back home after a failed attempt at a writing career, she is, once again, attracted to Georgette’s man. After the two women part company Helen goes missing. While digging around, Georgette finds out that Biggs has a dangerous past. With Roberta at her side, the two women, brave separation, torture and near death at the hand of Biggs. And, after taking him down, the women find a new strength and belonging. EASY AS PIE is the number two book in the four-part “Bobby’s Diner” series

Easy as Pie at Bobby's DinerAward-winning author, Susan Wingate, gets a monthly column about writing and the publishing industry in her local newspaper, The Journal of the San Juan Islands. She will also be posting weekly discussions about the writing industry for the regional online newspaper, the site.

You can view Wingate’s discussions by clicking on the “Entertainment” tab and then finding Wingate’s discussions under the “Blogs” section of the Entertainment Page.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona to James & Amie Ajamie (a writer and an artist, respectively), Susan Wingate tried to fly, at age five off the roof of their family house using newspaper, wire hangers and scotch tape. She’s been dreaming of flying ever since. Oh, by the way, she never jumped. Her mother ran out in the nick of time to stop her from take-off.

Wingate realized her dreams when she entered the world of writing. At first, she only wrote songs and poetry but then her writing blossomed when she tried her hand at fiction. In 1997, she devoted her days to writing and in 2004, she began writing full-time. Since then, Susan has written several plays, one screenplay, one short story collection and seven novels with two more scheduled to be written in 2010. In 2008, she started writing a memoir.

A lover of the arts, Susan draws and paints abstracts using oil as her favored medium. She has taken up playing the violin (it’s been a squeakly start) and she loves the theatre. Susan lives in Washington State.

Wingate’s novel, Bobby’s Diner, received three finalist awards in the following book competitions:

■2010 International Book Awards,

■2009 National Book Awards (USA Book News),

■2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

In May 2010, two of Wingate’s novels were released, they are:


EASY AS PIE AT BOBBY’S DINER (the no. 2 book in the Bobby’s Diner Series)

“Camouflage,” Wingate’s fourth novel (written as Myah Lin) received a Finalist Award and an Editor’s Choice Award in the 2009 Textnovel Writing Contest.

To date, Wingate has written seven novels, two short story collections, a memoir, hundreds of poems, a few plays for theatre and one screenplay.

Her books can be found online and in bookstores across the country and her articles, short stories and poetry can be found in magazines, journals and reviews.

Locally, Wingate volunteers with the San Juan Island Library. She offers workshops, readings and presentations at writing conferences, bookstores and libraries throughout the country.

You can visit her website at

If you’d like to find out where Susan will be appearing during her virtual book tour, visit her official tour page here.

Easy as Pie

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in virtual book tours for authors looking for maximum online promotion to sell their books. Visit our website at to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level!

Why I Write Historical Fiction by M.M. Bennetts

We have a special guest today!  M.M. Bennetts, author of the historical fiction novel, Of Honest Fame (Diiarts), is here to talk about writing historical fiction! Educated at Boston University and St Andrews, M.M. Bennetts is a specialist in the economic, social and military history of Napoleonic Europe. The author is a keen cross-country and dressage rider, as well as an accomplished pianist, regularly performing music of the era as both a soloist and accompanist. Bennetts is a long-standing book critic for The Christian Science Monitor. The author is married and lives in England. You can visit the author’s website at

Why I Write Historical Fiction

By M.M. Bennetts

Somewhere along the line we’ve got the idea that history itself is dry and academic, that it’s about battles, names and dates, and curiously, very few people.   But history without the people isn’t really history at all, it’s geography.

And I want to put the people back.

Recently, I read this line by journalist, Charles Moore:  “In studying history, you must imagine yourself into the truly difficult choices people had to make in the past…”

And I thought, Whoa!  That is exactly it.  Nothing can say it better.

And that is the whole job of the historical fiction writer.  For us, it is not enough to live in another person’s skin within the contemporary world, but (possibly we have a strain of masochism?) we have to complicate matters still further by adding the past senses of smells, sights and sounds that are long gone or diminishing.  Then add to that, imagining ourselves into those unequivocally awful decisions and their aftermaths.

But when we get it right, how great is the result.  How much it deepens the experience of the reader.  And how it transforms our view of our current world by understanding our birth, the nascency of the ideas with which we live, the consequences of actions long since taken.

Historical fiction is one of the greatest communicators, if you’ll pardon the hackneyed expression.

When I was studying at St. Andrews, and skiving, I frequently wandered into Innes’ Stationers and Books, climbed the stairs to the panelled haven where the book department was and sat down on the stool they had there to read.  And it was there that started reading Dorothy Dunnetts’ Lymond sequence.

And for the first time, someone was talking about the Renaissance and Europe as interconnected–artistically, economically, militarily–and doing it through a set of characters with whom I became wholly engaged.  It may have been history made easy, but it was also history made embracing.

Look at how many people were engaged by Patrick O’Brian’s novels about Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin.  Probably more than half the bearded blokes at the conferences leading up to the bicentennial of Trafalgar in 2005 were O’Brian devotees. And that’s how many of them had come to it.  O’Brian had been their window to the past.

And the fact of the matter is I want to see our history, our past, alive and available to all.  Not just to academics in university linen-fold panelled libraries.  Not saying I don’t like faculty libraries or their reading rooms.

But I want more than anything to see people today realise that the past isn’t names and dates, it’s people–good people, bad people, all of whom loved, lived, fought, triumphed, had families, contributed, didn’t contribute, died or survived to fight another day…

And historical fiction can do that.  And do it most effectively.

It can, if skillfully written and well-researched, bridge the gap between our modern-day lives and views and theirs, however many centuries ago they lived.  It can throw open the shutters of our minds, show us their lives–their strengths, their courage, their fears, their failures–and in the process, teach us not only about the challenges of the past, but about answers for the present.

And how cool is that?

A Few Facts about the period of my novels:

1.  Napoleon was only 5’3″ or 5’4″ at most.  I’ve seen his clothes.  He had tiny feet too.

2.  The shoes of the period have neither a right nor a left–they’re like ballet shoes.  And this is true of men’s shoes as well as women’s.

3.   In Napoleon’s army, the buttons on the trousers of the French Infantry were made of tin.  Tin turns to powder in extremely cold temperatures.  So during the French army’s retreat from Moscow in autumn and winter 1812, those poor fellows couldn’t even keep their trousers up.

4.   Lord Castlereagh, the Foreign Secretary from 1812-1822, was a fine cellist.  So was the Prince Regent, later King George IV.

5.  The London fog was every bit as bad in the early years of the century as in the old Sherlock Holmes’ movies.  It was often so dense, even during the day, that you couldn’t see from one side of a square across to the other.  This was caused by the use of coal as the primary means of heating the houses.  Paris, on the other hand, was fog-free–they used wood and charcoal for heating.

6.  From November 1806, because of Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, until the end of the wars, across Europe, there was no tea, no coffee, no sugar, no chocolate and no cotton to be had.  Just like during WWII.

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