Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest post by Bob O'Connor

Today we have a guest post by Bob O'Connor, who is currently touring with Walker Author Tours to promote his novel A House Divided Against Itself. Enjoy, and be sure to check out his book.

When you are a historical fiction writer, as I am, it is incredibly important that your writing is believable. When I write about the Civil War, a popular subject, I need to make sure my facts are right.
You could say “facts” aren’t important in writing fiction; I would disagree. If you don’t know, for instance, if General Robert E. Lee is right or left handed, you had better not include that in your story. Because someone will know.
I am unusual in that I use photographs, battle maps, and newspaper drawings in my book A House Divided Against Itself. The four characters the book follows were all real people who grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I have included a photograph of each one.
As part of the story, I mention Jack Skelly’s brother Daniel as having received a provisional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I include in my book a copy of the actual appointment, signed by Edward Stanton, Secretary of War, to show you that the event really happened.

I talk throughout the book of Wesley Culp’s stature. He was five feet tall. I tell you that his arm was so short that the stock of his gun had to be cut off so his finger could reach the trigger. And that he carved his name in the stock of the gun to help identify that it was his.

I indicate both times when he was captured that he paid a Union guard to look after his firearm because no one else could fire it.

The more I can get you to buy into the actual facts within the story, the more I can trick you into believing those things that I fabricate.

A House Divided Against Itself is available on line at www.boboconnorbooks.com or at amazon.com. It is also available on all e-book formats.

Monday, June 25, 2012

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book: Nancy Kaiser

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book, Jennifer interviews Nancy A. Kaiser, author of Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers. Listen live on Wednesday, June 27 at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/06/27/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

Nancy A Kaiser is a pharmacist turned animal communicator, healer, and award winning author living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC with her 2 Labs and Swedish Warmblood horse. Nancy’s latest book, Tales of an Animal Communicator ~ Master Teachers will broaden your perspective on the significance of your animals in your life while helping you develop more meaningful relationships with not only your animals, but ALL animals.

Learn more about Nancy at: http://nancykaiseranimalcommunicator.com/

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Monday on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book: Camille Matthews

On Monday's special edition of the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview Camille Matthews about her latest book in the Quincy the Horse series, Quincy Moves to the Desert. Listen live Monday at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/06/25/special-edition-of-a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

This appearance is part of Ms. Matthews's virtual book tour with Walker Author Tours.

From Quincy Moves to the Desert:

Quincy had never been on a big trip. He had never gone far away or seen a desert. He asked Beau, “Are there horses in the desert?”  Beau laughed. “Horses are everywhere,” he said. Then Quincy asked, “Why do we need to go far away?”  Beau said, “The desert is in the West.  The West has wide open spaces and trails as far as you can see.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: Quincy Moves to the Desert, by Camille Matthews

Quincy Moves To The Desert, by Camille Matthews (illustrated by Michelle Black)

Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Equine Publications; First edition (June 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0981924018
Rating (1 to 5 *): *****

Quincy Moves to the Desert Book Review
Quincy is an American Quarter Horse who is going through a lot of changes in his life. In the first Quincy the Horse book, Quincy Finds a New Home, Quincy is sad and lonely because no one takes him out for a ride. When a nice lady comes and takes him to a new barn, at first he is sad and angry at having a new owner and home. However, he soon meets a new friend named Beau and learns that life in the new barn is not so bad after all.  In the second book, Quincy Moves to the Desert, Quincy and Beau ride in a horse trailer all the way from chilly New York to sunny New Mexico. Along the way, they see all kinds of horses doing all kinds of different jobs, and Quincy learns that as an American Quarter Horse, he can do those things too.
The Quincy the Horse books are a delightful series of children's books that are not only entertaining stories, but they teach the reader about dealing with change and a little about horses as well. Author Camille Matthews writes in a sweet and simple style that will appeal to small children. They are beautifully illustrated by Michelle Black, making the books keepsakes that will grace a child's bookshelves for years to come. Plus, the books have received the Mom's Choice Award!

For more information about the Quincy books or to schedule an interview, please contact Camille Matthews or Laura Sjosten at 877-550-5010, 610-488-1282 or pathfinder1908@gmail.com. Also please visit www.quincythehorse.com and www.facebook.com/quincythehorse.

Material Connection Disclosure: I received a free copy of these books for review. This author is on tour with my book tour company, Walker Author Tours. I did my best to provide an honest review despite this connection.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview Joan H. Young, author of News from Dead Mule Swamp. Listen live on Wednesday, June 20 at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/06/20/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

News from Dead Mule Swamp is a cozy mystery set in the upper Midwest. When Anastasia Raven finds a hundred-year-old newspaper inside a wall, why is it stolen before she can even read it? 

Learn more about Joan H. Young at http://www.booksleavingfootprints.com/.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest Post: Camille Matthews

Today we welcome Camille Matthews, author of the Quncy the Horse books, as she tours with Walker Author Tours with Quincy Moves to the Desert. In this guest post, she talks about creating the beautiful illustrations for these wonderful children's books with her illustrator, Michelle Black.

Our Experience with Illustrations and Design:

The Backstory of the Quincy the Horse Books

by Camille Matthews 

A guiding mission in designing the Quincy the Horse Books has been our desire to bring Quincy and his experience to life in a way that would allow children not only read the stories but to have an in depth experience of Quincy’s world. An important aspect of the stories is that they allow the child not only to follow Quincy’s adventures but to get to know him on a personal level in more depth than might be usual in a children’s picture book. I guess you could say that we envisioned the Quincy the Horse Books as educational in the broadest sense. Quincy gets out in the world and does things, even when he is not sure he likes it! He learns new things, meets new friends, acquires new skills and sees new places. This is the theme that propels the stories.

In keeping with the creation of in depth experience and expanded horizons, we chose a style for the illustrations that is realistic but at the same time rich with color, detail and authenticity. The illustrations are from full sized oil paintings that alternate soothing still life images, depictions of Quincy’s emotions, and complex, dramatic paintings of action and landscapes. Children who have grown up in the East see the picture of Quincy roping a calf and expand their horizons about what happens in rodeos. Children who live in New Mexico have a chance to learn about the green forests and high piled snows of Upstate New York.

As with the realization of any creative vision, this process was not without its ups and downs! Here are some anecdotes from our creative process that give a window into the challenges we faced. The first episode came about two months into our initial collaboration when we were going through the manuscript for the first book, the other during book two.

When we began with Quincy Finds a New Home, my illustrator, Michelle Black, and I discussed where each illustration would be placed in the text and what would be pictured in the illustration. It was a Sunday and we were sitting at my kitchen table with the manuscript spread out page by page. Michelle said, almost as an aside, that she would need actual photographs from which to work. I was shocked as I assumed all she would need was a verbal description of what would be in the picture. Luckily I am a fair amateur photographer and the characters and scenes were actually real so this was possible. I ended up enjoying this role because it made me more engaged in the illustration process. Through this exercise I also learned the importance of the pictures actually fitting the words.

The next example was actually a huge breakthrough involving the second book, Quincy Moves to the Desert. Many authors describe an experience where a character has a mind of his/her own and takes over the story. In the second book, this happened with the illustrations. Originally the illustrations of the jobs horses have in different places, Amish draft horses, Thoroughbreds racing and the little boy on his calf roping horse, were going to be simple depictions of those activities. We had a photo of two black draft horses pulling a colorful hay mower slated for the Amish scene but the background did not work and Michelle decided the photo was not one she could use. I went to a draft horse driving competition in Southern Colorado to get some additional photos where I took pictures of a three horse team. The next morning I was sitting at the computer reviewing the digital images when I realized that the team of red draft horses included a horse that was much smaller and had a white blaze just like Quincy. This lead me to the idea of Quincy not just learning about draft horses but actually imagining himself as a draft horse. This took the story to a whole new level of imagination which is so central to the child’s way of exploring the world and learning new things and added more action to the journey in the horse van. We then found pictures of red horses winning a race and roping a calf to carry this through the book.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Camille Matthews or Laura Sjosten at 877-550-5010, 610-488-1282 or pathfinder1908@gmail.com.  Also please visit www.quincythehorse.com and www.facebook.com/quincythehorse.
 Thank you to Camille for stopping by and sharing this very interesting insight into the books!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Today on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview Cheyne Yeager, author of the upcoming children's book, Martin Brilliant Color. Listen live at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/06/13/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

Martin Brilliant Color is an inspirational Children's book designed to promote creativity, perseverance, leadership and teamwork. Martin Brilliant Color chooses his friends by their character and not race, as all of his friends are of a different race.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lisa Wysocky and The Opium Equation now on tour!

Please join Walker Author Tours as we walk Lisa Wysocky and her book THE OPIUM EQUATION around the web on a one-week virtual (online) book tour. Visit the daily tour stops and learn all about this book and author!
Learn more about Lisa and the book, plus get links to the daily tour stops at: http://services.authorjennwalker.com/2012/05/04/the-opium-equation-book-tour/

Join the facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/events/399870300054688/?ref=ts