Snapdragons

Big, huge, exciting news, people! 

One of my best friends in the world is starting her own business, a line of mix-and-match stuffed animals called Snapdragons. 

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She’s been working on the idea and designs for months now and this week, she sent them off to a manufacturer!  The prototypes are being developed as we speak! 

What exactly are Snapdragons? To quote the description on the Facebook page:

Snapdragons are stuffed animals with interchangeable heads, bodies, legs, tails, wings, and horns. You can mix and match them in any way you want. All of the pieces attach with magnets that are safely and permanently secured inside the stuffed animal. 

You could put a lion’s head on a dragon’s body with a wolf’s tail. Or a unicorn’s head on a wolf’s body with dragon wings. And so on!

There are four creatures to mix and match: a unicorn, a dragon, a wolf, and a lion. All of the pieces attach with magnets that are safely and permanently secured inside the stuffed animal.

Why mix-and-matchable?

Mixing and matching stimulates creative play and allows kids to create a creature from their imagination. The result is a lovable, huggable animal that can be disassembled and reassembled at any time.

When will they be available?

They are currently in development, final prototypes will be complete at the end of September 2014. We’ll start our Kickstarter campaign in October, and we expect to open our online store in December.

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Hannah Alvarez, the woman who designed and founded Snapdragons, is absolutely brilliant and an incredible artist.  She’s not a bad writer either.  I still have a short story that she wrote when we were in high school.  It was absolutely chilling.  I’m trying to convince her to write a book of short stories, with this particular one included, and I’m hoping she’s considering expanding her writing career.  For now, however, please stop by and help support her newest creative endeavor, Snapdragons! 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snapdragontoys

Twitter: https://twitter.com/snapdragontoys

Website: http://www.snapdragontoys.com

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Stalking the Demon – Advance Review EBOOKS by Ciara Ballintyne

STALKING THE DEMON ~ Advance Review EBOOKS by @CiaraBallintyne #HighFantasy #FREEBIE

Available for a limited time

FREE Advance Review ebooks (Review Copies only)

STALKING THE DEMON

(Book 2 in the Seven Circles of Hell)

by Ciara Ballintyne

demon

Date of Publication – 22 September 2014

Genre:  High Fantasy (Adult)

About the Book

Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.

Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23156116-stalking-the-demon?from_search=true).

eARCs may not be identical to the final published version and therefore may contain some minor editing and typographical errors prior to the final proofread. eARCs are expected to be available 2 weeks prior to the publication date. Interested? Sign-up now!

ALL REVIEWERS PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RZLV37Y

Why Self-Marketing is Actually the Worst

As independent artists, musicians, and authors, it is up to us to spread the word about our work, our music, and our books. On top of that, we have to do so in a way that actually makes people want to invest in our products. Let me tell you right now, it is a huge pain. I’m a writer. I like to write. I’m a terrible salesperson. Yeah, I can recommend things to people, but for the most part, I like to let people choose what they want to buy on their own.

I’ve been published for about a year now, and I still think that self-marketing is awful. That’s not to say I don’t like talking about my books. I do! They’re one of my favorite things to talk about, along with dolphins, Harry Potter, and Scotland. I’m so proud of my books and I really think they’re awesome. But let’s be honest. Every author thinks his or her books are awesome. You’re never going to meet an author marketing his or her book by saying, “Yeah, I wrote it. It’s okay, I guess. It’s nothing great.” No! Every author is going to say, “This book is awesome!” And that’s good. Authors should be excited about their work.

Unfortunately, however, we authors tend to be very biased. An author is not going to think his or her work is anything but the best. And readers sometimes need more than an author’s word to convince them for that very reason. That’s why reviews and readers who enjoy your work are so important.

Personally, I’m not very good at playing the, “Are you ready for the next hot paranormal read? Check out Cemetery Tours by ME!” role. I feel like I sound like some sort of info-bot whenever I try. I’m a positive and overall happy person, but I’m also very blunt and to the point and I have an incredibly dry sense of humor. It’s so dry that I have friends who can’t tell when I’m joking. It’s not my style to treat my books like they’re something that needs to be hyped up.

Another reason self-marketing is the worst is that I always feel like I’m begging when I say things like, “Hey! Go buy my book, and if you like it, write a review! Please? I need reviews! It won’t take you very long! You have no idea how important this is to me.” Somehow, it feels like that translates to “PLEASE BUY MY BOOK SO I CAN EAT. I’M DESPERATE.”

Which, let’s be honest, in my case, it does.

The charade of confidence in self-marketing is an important one. But sometimes, I just really get sick of it. That’s not to say I’m not confident. I have the utmost confidence in my books. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have published them in the first place. My very first manuscript remains unpublished to this day because I know it’s bad and needs a LOT of revision. But Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds are good. That’s why they’re out there.

It’s also important, with self-marketing, to remember there is a fine line between good, honest self-promotion and HERE LET ME CRAM MY BOOK DOWN YOUR THROAT UNTIL YOU READ IT. Let me tell you it is hard to tread that line. As authors, we want to talk about our books and get people to read them. Furthermore, we want people to buy them so we can make some money! Maybe I’m supposed to say, “It’s all for the craft and I’d write for free,” which is true. I would totally write for the rest of my life no matter what. But come on. We all want to get paid for our work, and it’s not wrong to say so.

Here’s the deal. I want people to read my books and enjoy them. I want to keep writing. I finished chapter 6 of my new YA book last night. I’m also in the midst of writing CT3. I’m going to keep writing no matter what. And I will self-promote as much as I have to. I love my work, and I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m complaining. I know the path I’ve chosen and self-marketing is just part of it. I love my path. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On that note, go buy my books.

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