Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cover reveal: The Snake Pit: Jr High Can be Torture

Hi, today I'm introducing the new cover and relaunch of a friend's book. Donna Dillon has recently 
been signed up by Master Koda Select Publishing and this is the new cover of her novel, 
The Snake Pit: Jr High Can be Torture.


Donna believes it's an important book because of its content and subject matter. It's something students and teachers may find particularly interesting. Donna feels passionately about preventing bullying in school and this is a theme of the book.  

Donna published her first book in October 2010. When Master Koda Select Publishing approached her with a publishing contract, she seized the opportunity.

About Donna

I am the author of five and 1/4 books thus far. I have been writing in the young adult genre with The Snake Pit and Return to the Snake Pit, which both deal with bullying in the public schools, and in the children's genre with Why Did It Have to Rain Today? and My Special Christmas Child. My new book is a leap into the thriller/suspense genre, so I'm anxious to finish and see how that goes. 

Quick Q&A

Q: What led you to publish your work with MKSP? 
Donna: I can write, but I suck at marketing. Kim and her team had some definite ideas about how we could get The Snake Pit books moving. It was a no-brainer for me.

Q: Why did you write this book?
Donna: Cinda, the character in the book, was born with a cleft palate and so was I. The things that happen in the book are fiction, but how she felt was exactly how I felt growing up. Being bullied for something you can't possibly help or change is horrible. I chose to turn it into something positive, but many bullied children do not. I'm 47 years old now. I can still hear the bullies' voices in my head. But, the thing I remember the most - the thing that bothers me the most - is the silence from those who just stood by and let it happen, and did nothing to stop it. That is why I wrote this book.

3 fun facts about Donna

1. I can ride a unicycle.
2. I can't breathe through my nose and I've never had a sense of smell. I can taste though, but don't ask me why - it's a mystery.
3. When I was 22, I was flown out to Hollywood and made a make-up commercial for Victoria Jackson cosmetics, which you can still catch on TV late at night. I also met Johnny Depp and had my picture taken with Heavy D on that same trip.
Whoa, Donna!!! You met Johnny.... I am green!!! 


About The Snake Pit: Jr. High can be Torture 

Cinda doesn't look like other twelve-year-old girls. A facial defect and corrective surgery has left her looking scarred and disfigured. When she walks into Hargrove Junior High for the first time, Cinda knows the other kids won't see how smart she is or what a good friend she could be; the other kids will see her as a monster and her life will be torture.

The school cafeteria, or The Snake Pit, as the kids call it, is the prime location for bullying. One pretty girl in particular takes an instant dislike to Cinda. Day after day, she is pushed, tripped and laughed at. Not all the other kids bully her, but only one tries to help.

Charlene Carsten is Cinda's only friend. She tries to stop the bullying, but the other kids will not listen. She tries to tell the Principal, but he only sees what he wants to. She tries to tell the teachers, but they all say the same thing - “Kids will be kids.”

When Cinda falls victim to a vicious prank at a school dance, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Links


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Poem a Day (58): In the time that we were thus

If we dance here a while in waiting
Remembrance may come a-baiting
I’ll trace a line in this fallen snow
Tie a pink ribbon into the neatest bow
Wrap my fingers in and simply twist
As the begging bough begins to list

I remember this
In the time that we were thus

In the making I am one
Of this memory I am done
Do you falter between walking
Blissfully ignore me while I’m talking?
I wish upon a single scented rose
Though mentioning it I suppose

You might remember this
In the time that we were thus

A cloud of passion in the air
Dare to ever stop and stare
As I post you the cheekiest smile?
Ever stop to wonder a while
How I am ever almost so near?
Is it intimacy you most fear?

Will I always remember this
In the time that we were thus?

Are you slowly cottoning on
Or should I say I am finally done
With love, this idle stupid thing?
Of sanity I can never hope to win
In an endless search for perfection
Amidst this moral dereliction

May you remember this
In the time that we were thus

So I shall go on my idle way
Without a hint of I might stay
Yet I fathom not a blink from you
Though I never doubted you true
Tomorrow stretches out its hand
And upon my two feet I shall land

I may not always remember this
In the time that we were thus

copyright Vickie Johnstone, August 12, 2014.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

#99c / 75p #kindle sale!

Hi, four of my books are going cheap at the moment and two are forever free. Here are the links. :) Cheers.

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE


Sunday, 22 June 2014

A Poem a Day (57): She steps in time

Ahhh, I got a shock today when I realised it has been a month almost since I last wrote something. I've been working full-time this year, and coming home from work and flopping in front of the TV, feeling like an extra from Dawn of the Dead. Ah, this must end, and I must start switching off the TV and writing. So, sending you all inspirational bits and bobs, and bobbettes, and thoughts of creativity... switch off the TV and switch on to your hobby and passion in life, whatever that may be. Here's a poem I just wrote.

She steps in time

She steps out in time
To a summer rhyme
Spilling silken sounds
Forever kept at bay

Little secret smiles
Spiky dances of a child
Like a spinning top
These things beguile

Walking brisk in time
To the Showman’s whip
Obedient, we never slip
Or cause the slightest rift

Hear the sinking swim
The glowing neon drips
Bending curves of light
Glittering in my sight

In wrapt delight, I bathe
Beneath this August sun ­-
I’m wishing on the wings
Of an arching blackbird

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, June 22, 2014


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#WW Wow Wednesday: Sherrill Willis

Hi guys and girls! Yep, it's that day of the week again. Welcome to WOW Wednesday
My guest today is Sherrill Willis, author of Ruby Lake
Read on to find out more about Sherrill and her writing...



All about Sherrill

I am the author of Ruby Lake, A Wedding in Ruby Lake and Stay a While in Ruby Lake. I started reading when I was three and my parents encouraged me to start writing soon after. I wrote my first poem at age five (about a tree, I believe) and this has been my passion for my entire life. Writing is what keeps me sane and, hopefully, connects me to others. I’ve always felt we are all connected, whether through experiences, blood or community. With my writing, my ultimate hope is to transcend barriers and reach out to those I might otherwise never meet (being able to afford all the cheese I want is on my list of wants as well).

I’m always writing in my head. There are days I don’t get a word done on the manuscript and other days it just flows like a winding river, picking up its own pace as I keep writing. No matter what your passion is do it. Don't listen to the critics and naysayers – believe in , despite what others say you cannot do. Truly, the best revenge isn’t just living well; sometimes it’s also being able to smile triumphantly at those who tried to hold you back.

All about Ruby Lake

Sydney Myers has been through several failed relationships in the past year, in addition to several other traumas, and is now giving up on finding her knight in dented armour. When her boss sends her to Ruby Lake - a small, rural town in northern Wisconsin - the last thing she is looking for is love at first sight, not to mention a place in the world where she finally fits in. Add her city-savvy best friend, a jealous ex-girlfriend, a famous father and a coffee shop of off-the wall characters, and it becomes more challenging for Sydney to manage than a spinning-plate competition.

When disaster strikes close to home, Sydney is left with the unbearable choice of her family or the life she has always dreamed of. Come with Sydney on her journey, and laugh, cry and rediscover why some choices are not really choices at all - they are simply fate.

Excerpt:

“Really? What were you doing about twenty minutes ago? And don’t tell me you were thinking; I know what your ‘thinking’ face is. Besides, we’re leaving Saturday, and we are staying at the hotel until then, so it’s not like I am going to get a chance at him anyway. I was just commenting on how cute he is.” Illana folded her arms over her chest and stuck her chin out at Sydney. “At least I’m honest about it, unlike some people.”

“What do you want me to say?” Sydney threw her arms up in frustration. “Yes, I think Zeke is hot, like burn-me-at-the-stake kind of hot. The man brought me a perfect cup of coffee while I was sleeping. Who does that? I almost spilled my coffee this afternoon when Betty told me he called her to find out how I like my coffee. So, yeah, I want him. How could I not? I mean, the only thing that would make him sexier is a gold-hoop earring! My heart does jumping jacks whenever he walks into the room.” At Illana’s wide-eyed look, Sydney said, “And he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, but don’t stop now, especially if you’re going to do jumping jacks,” Zeke said, leaning against the door jam and wearing a very satisfied grin.

Links


 Sherrill's dream cast

Sydney Myers (Greyson)
Jennifer Lawrence. She’s adorable and so is Syd – she would pull off the klutzy, but loveable character to a T!
Zeke Greyson
Chris Hemsworth, because I’m a dreamer and want to hear him say, “I’m so glad I get to keep her.”
Illana Garet (Greyson)
Oh man, Selma Hayek – a younger version with less of an accent. I’d love to hear her say, “I never date men prettier than I am.”
Alex Greyson 
Bradley Cooper, but he’d have to dye his hair brown – oh, but those eyes are ALL Alex!


Thanks for reading!
Look out for next week's guest!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards 2014! Yay!!

I'm so excited today and super chuffed. My horror novel, I Dream of Zombies was a finalist today in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Last year, my children's book, Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle, made it. I went to work today on cloud nine. It's so great when someone turns around and tells you your book isn't rubbish!

A big thank you to my beta readers, Penny, Stewart and Ally for their constructive advice on this book. Beta readers are invaluable, as I discovered when I got to my 13th book. If only I'd realised earlier!! :))

Happy Tuesday folks! Hope all is well and dandy in your neck of the woods. Apologies as I've written absolutely nothing for weeks. I have a full-time job and have been socialising more!! Yep, that's my excuse! I'm also working on book 2 to I Dream of Zombies and hope to publish it this weekend. Some time. Fingers crossed! xx