Friday, 30 September 2016

Final Day of ChaBooCha Lite 2016! #ChaBooChaLite

Today is the final day of the ChaBoocha Lite challenge. And this means I now get to announce the winners of all of the prizes from the challenge! Yay!

So read below to see if you won one of the prizes:

  • The winner of the homemade charm bookmark is:  Cecilia Clark
  • The winner of the custom designed book cover is:  saputnam 
  • The winner of the $5 (USD) Amazon gift certificate is:  Ashley Willoughby
  • The winner of the interior formatting for paperback books and Kindle books on Amazon and Createspace is:  Melissa Stoller

Contact me either through Facebook or through my e-mail within two weeks in order to claim your prize.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Week Four! Final days of #ChaBooChaLite

Today, we've hit the four week mark in our writing during ChaBooCha Lite. Are you almost finished writing the first draft of your story?

If you are almost done, yay! Great going! Keep it up!

If you feel like you are not anywhere close to where you need to be right now, keep at it! You will never know how far you can get unless you keep trying!

Besides, completing the challenge is only one measure of success. If you've been able to fully flesh-out your plot, your characters, or your background for the story, those are all different measures of success and more than you might have had when you began the challenge. If you managed to write a chapter or two, or even just a few paragraphs, if it's more than you had when you began, I'd call it a success!


Today's prize is another one I can make. I do interior formatting for paperback books and Kindle books on Amazon and Createspace. I'm offering one person a prize of interior formatting for their story. (If the story is not your complete novel but rather just a short story that you want to put up on Amazon to give people a taste of your writing, then I will include a cover image for your story as well.)

Today is too close to the final day of the challenge to require anyone to comment in order to be entered to win a prize, so what I've decided is that everyone who is signed up for ChaBooCha Lite will be entered into the drawing for today's prize.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Week Three! Almost there! #ChaBooChaLite #ChaBooCha

We have now entered the third week of the challenge. There are only nine days left to go! I hope everyone is busy writing!

If you're struggling with your story right now, there are some ways to help reignite your muse. Maybe taking a look back at our previous post "Getting through the middle of your story" will help.

What kind of story are you writing? I'm always curious about what genre each of us chooses for our individual stories. My chapter book and middle grade stories tend to fall in the paranormal and fantasy genres, with my YA skewing, more specifically, towards urban fantasy most often. But I know we have a wide variety of authors in this challenge (with almost 400 members at the moment), and this means there will be a wide variety of story genres represented within our challenge.

That's just one of the questions an agent will want to know, if you are going to send your book out into the world in the hopes that someone in the publishing industry will fall in love with it. Some other questions will be: What age are you aiming at for your story? Is it a chapter book, a middle grade book or a YA novel? What about comparable books; is there a book out there that you would be willing to say your book can compare with? (The question about a comparable book is my least favourite question to try and answer, because, of course, all of our stories are unique. Right? And yet, still, a publisher will want to know the answer to this question.)

You are getting close to the completion of your book. These, and other questions will be things to start thinking about when you are done.

Comment below to be entered into a drawing for a $5 (USD) Amazon gift certificate. (Signed-up members only.) The drawing will be done on the last day of the challenge (September 30th, 2016).

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Second Week #ChaBooChaLite #ChaBooCha

We've already reached the second week of the Lite challenge. How are you all doing with your stories?

The second week can often be difficult, because the first rush of the idea and your opening scene are done now and you have to start getting from one point in your story to the next. If you've outlined your story ahead of time, you might find this stage easier, but for those of you who, like me, create the story as you write it, you might find the writing comes to you a little bit more slowly now. You'll have to think about the story and where it is going before you write these next scenes.

Feel free to browse through previous posts here in the blog if you need some help or inspiration. ChaBooCha guest authors have covered a lot of topics during past challenges.


And now for this week's prize:

Some of you might know that I, occasionally, create book covers: some for books I publish and some for clients. Here, you can see some examples of the covers I have created in the past. I am, by no means, the best at cover creation, but my covers do appeal to readers.

I'm offering, for this week's prize, to create a *book cover for one winner. You need to comment on this post to enter. The winner will be drawn by a random number generator drawn from signed-up members who comment below. The winner will be announced on September 30th.

*I work with photo-manipulation. My style might not be right for the book you are creating, but you are under no obligation, if you are the winner, to use the cover I create. I will do my best to come up with something that reflects the title and theme of your book. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The First Week #ChaBooChaLite

The first week of writing for ChaBooCha Lite has passed. How is everyone doing?

There are a lot of places on-line to use if you would like to keep a ticker showing your progress as you write your story for the challenge.

Here's a link to one that you might find useful (as well as an example of how it will look):

Critique Circle meter builder

Let me know in the comments how you are doing and you will be entered into a drawing to be done at the end of the challenge for one of my homemade charm bookmarks. (An example of one of my homemade bookmarks is pictured below. The actual one made and sent out may use different charms.)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Welcome to ChaBooCha Lite 2016 #ChaBooChaLite

ChaBooCha Lite is another chance to write an early reader, chapter book, middle grade book or YA novel within a month. The premise is the same as the premise of March's Chapter Book Challenge. (The Lite challenge will have less prizes and less guest blog posts.) You will still be trying to write your book during the 30 days of the month, but instead of running in March, ChaBooCha Lite runs in September.

It's also completely acceptable for you to finish a book previously begun or to edit one you have already written, as long as you complete the work in September.

It's another chance to challenge yourself, and to give yourself a deadline for writing your book. Want to join us? Sign up here.

There will be some prizes during the challenge, mostly hand-made ones.

Grab a badge form below and feel free to share it on your blog or website! (Different sizes provided.)

Friday, 12 August 2016

The References: A Superhero Tale by Mark Dennion #Superheroes

My friend Mark Dennion has a new book out for kids that I am happy to introduce you to. Some of you might have already read his short story "The Abacus" in SuperHERo Tales: A Collection of Female Superhero Stories (Volume Two).

The References by Mark Dennion


Richard Shanary isn’t the best student. In fact, when it comes to English, he’s struggling for that “C” average his karate scholarship requires. 

On a stormy night in the bowels of the library, a freak lightning strike sends a jolt of electricity—and magic—into the hard line of the old desktop computer. Richard is injected with enough voltage to fry eggs—not to mention download the entire contents of the web dictionary he’s currently scrolling. Every word from A to Z is seared into his brain forever. 
By the time he wakes, Richard has gained the superhuman ability of instant recall on any definition in the English language, and even a few in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German. Richard Shanary has become the Human Dictionary. A superhero bound to uphold the laws of society and grammar with his immense martial arts abilities and his power of instantly recalling the definition of the last word someone speaks to him. Not a single slang term or crooked criminal is safe. 

But Human Dictionary isn’t the only one with a gift. 

A scientist turned T Rex. A mapmaker with route recall better than any GPS. And an evil villain with an affinity for spandex intent on destroying them all and ruling the city herself. But she’ll have to take it from the meanest slang-slinging gang this city’s underbelly has ever seen. 

What we need is a hero. Or three. And so, a new era of superheroes begins… 


Mark Dennion is a graduate of Rutgers Camden and is a middle school Reading/Language Arts teacher who has been a fan of comics and heroes for as long as he can remember. He got the idea of The References from a project that he assigned his students after watching an episode of South Park. The References is his debut novel, but he hopes it to be the start of a long career. He lives in New Jersey with his beautiful wife and their "squirrel" in their small river cottage.

List of Links: 

Amazon Link:

Author’s Website: