Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Parenting Review

This is not my typical book review. Rather, this is a preface to a review I will be writing in several months. 

Many of you know I have three small children, Luke, age 6; Aubrey, almost 4; and Ellie, 6 months. I knew before the importance of consistency and structure required for successful parenting; I considered myself fairly consistent and structured…until child number three came along. While adjusting to three children went much smoother for me than adjusting to two, there is one area where I am still extremely weak: my memory. Yikes! I swear I lost more and more of my short-term memory with the birth of each child. And it’s not just with my children where my memory is bad; it’s in everything, and it’s frustrating. It is my inconsistency, in conjunction with my lack of memory, lately that has gotten me disgruntled.

In the past, I have used Behavior Boosters to encourage appropriate behavior in my children. I LOVE Behavior Boosters! One of my main goals in parenting is to back up all of my consequences and rewards with scripture. The Bible gives parents everything they need to know about parenting. For me though, it is knowing how to apply those guidelines properly that is tricky. That is where Behavior Boosters came in. I still plan on using Behavior Boosters to encourage positive behavior in creative, scripture-based ways, but lately, I have been needing something more.

It was at Bible study last Monday night where I learned about Doorposts! Eureka! I think am hoping my consistency in parenting has met the means for change!

I am always giving my children “if-then” statements: “If you continue to talk back, then you will loose the privilege of playing the Wii today.” I also LOVE charts! Doorposts combines both of these and provides an excellent “if-then” chart as well as “The Blessing Chart” for rewards. These just came in the mail today, and I am beyond eager to begin using them!

In addition to these wonderful charts, Doorposts also makes a “Brother-Offended” checklist. This is the parenting manipulative I am most excited about! My six-year-old is becoming the most diligent tattletale. This is one area where I am at a loss. I want him to tell me if his sister is doing something that could hurt herself like running into the road, or if she intentionally hurt another, but I do not want to know every time she throws rocks in the driveway, goes up the stairs with her shoes on, or rolls her baby sister over. So, beginning today, we are going to go over the Brother-Offended checklist and booklet as a family and start implementing this strategy for tattling.

I am super excited about this new regimen we will be implementing! I will keep you posted as to my progress and if these manipulatives are going to be better for my memory and, subsequently, my consistency than any amount of gingko biloba. 

I'm always looking for ways to improve my parenting. What have you found to be successful ways to discipline and reward your children? Have you done anything creative? Do you have any suggestions to offer?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Winner: The Temptation of Lady Serena by Ella Quinn


Congratulations, Ceri!! How exciting to win The Temptation of Lady Serena! I hope you enjoy it! 
I want to thank everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway and who wished Ella much success with her upcoming release as well as The Marriage Game series!
Finally, thank you so much, Ella, for the interview and giveaway! 

If you didn't win The Temptation of Lady Serena, you can pre-order a copy on Amazon and B&N!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Interview for The Temptation of Lady Serena by Ella Quinn + GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to have Ella Quinn with me today! I have had the pleasure of interviewing her for each of her other books in her Marriage Game series. You can read my interview for The Seduction of Lady Phoebe HERE and my interview for The Secret Life of Anna Marsh HERE
Join me in welcoming Ella back to Leatherbound Reviews as she talks about her upcoming release and third book in The Marriage Game series, The Temptation of Lady Serena

How do you decide on your characters’ names? Pick them out of a hat? Whatever sounds good? Or is it a carefully thought-out process?

Generally they introduce themselves to me, at least the major characters do. If I need help I have a book of British surnames, and another one of period first names. Then I flip open the book to a page and a name will pop out at me.

Tell us a little about your main characters, Lady Serena Weir and Viscount Beaumont. What’s their relationship like?

Lady Serena has lived a quite life in the Scottish Boarders region. She’s been responsible for her family’s castle estate since she was young, but has never been in wider society, nevertheless the ton. Robert was hurt badly early on, that added to that his parent’s bad marriage caused him to keep his affairs to a few weeks duration.

Robert is immediately struck by Serena, but since she’s one of his best friend’s cousin, is at a loss as to what to do. Serena is a little overwhelmed by her coming out. She knows she needs to find a husband and is drawn to him, but has no experience with men.  Although they begin go become close, Robert decides to take the easy way to get Serena to marry him, but doesn’t take into consideration the fallout from that. 

Your covers are all so beautiful. Do you have much say in the matter of designing them? I know some publishers allow more input from the author than others.

Absolutely none. I do give descriptions of my characters, but other than that, it’s all my publisher.

You have one more book planned for your Marriage Game series, correct? What’s next after this series?

There are actually seven books in the series. Book four has now been contracted and will release in April. I just finished book #5, and started the next one. I’ve already written the first two books of the next series. They deal with a younger group of heroes and heroines. The foundation family has ten children, then, of course, we have to add their friends. The series is tentatively called Love in a Season.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Seeing the story unfold. In chapter two of the one I’m working on now, I had a vicar just show up.

Now having several published books under your belt, what advice would you give aspiring writers? I like asking this question of my guests as I know several of my readers are aspiring authors.

Well, the first book doesn’t actually release until September 19th, but I’d say have a plan for your books. When I wrote The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, I knew there would be related books. Though it wasn’t very organized. Lady Serena was actually the second book I wrote, but the third in the series.

Find a good agent. I have to say, I love mine. I would never have gotten a three book contract with them release so close together if it hadn’t been for her.

Aim high. I turned down offers from small publishers because I really wanted to be published by NY.

Build your media platform. Publishers will look at it. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging, tweeting, or on Facebook, or whatever, just get yourself out there.

Be nice and be professional. Publishing is like a small town. Everyone knows everyone else, and agents and editors have memories like elephants. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want the whole world to know.

Never give up. The only difference between an unpublished author and a published one is persistence.

Thanks so much, Ella. As always, it is truly a pleasure having you at Leatherbound Reviews. I wish you as much success with The Temptation of Lady Serena as you have had with the first two books in The Marriage Game series.

Thank you so much for having me, Jakki. I love visiting you! 

From the Publisher:

Ella Quinn’s bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the
ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts…

Custom-made gowns…nights at the theater…and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena’s brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she’s thrust into a glamorous world she’s only dreamed of…

Robert, Viscount Beaumont remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He’s only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena’s seductive spell…
“Supported by a wonderful cast of characters, Quinn’s thoughtfully drawn lovers teach each other the value of love in this delicious Regency treat.” ~ New York Times Bestselling author Eileen Dreyer

Kensington Publishing and Ella Quinn are giving away ONE (1) ebook copy of The Temptation of Lady Serena. To enter, please leave a comment for Ella about the interview. Please include your email address so I know how to contact you if you win. 
Tweet for extra entires; just comment you tweeted. 
*Note: Winner will not receive the book until it's release on January 14, 2014.
Winner will be announced Tuesday, August 27! 
Good Luck!!

Author Bio:
     Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
     She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.
     Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her first book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, will release in September 2013. The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, Quinn's second novel, will be released in November 2013.

Connect with Ella Quinn

Monday, August 19, 2013

Winner: Only a Heartbeat Away by P O Dixon

Congratulations, Vesper! What a great book to win! I hope you enjoy Only a Heartbeat Away
Thanks to everyone who left comments. If you didn't win a copy, you can purchase one on Amazon!  
I want to thank P O Dixon for kindly offering a copy of Only a Heartbeat Away for the giveaway! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spotlight: Only a Heartbeat Away by P O Dixon + Giveaway!

Oh, I am super excited for P O Dixon's latest release! P O Dixon gives readers a fresh twist to a favorite story. I hope you all get a chance to read it and enjoy it! Want to read Only a Heartbeat Away for FREE? Then enter the giveaway below for your chance to win an ebook copy! 

Escaping her father’s prearranged marital scheme is paramount, yet she spends all her time making out the gentleman whose likeness seized her imagination from the start—the one man whom she supposes will never advance her cause.
His better judgment aside, Mr. Darcy is drawn to his sister’s pretty friend who frequents his society.
When curiosity and suspicion encounter pride and prejudice, can these reluctant lovers find their way to each other?

Long before he and she meet, Miss Elizabeth Bennet entertains notions of Mr. Darcy as being good-natured, compassionate, and exceedingly handsome. Indeed, everything a gentleman ought to be.
In light of the ardent disdain that he incites in her family and friends at the Meryton assembly, reconciling her favorable impression of him proves deeply unsettling. Hence she goes about making out his true nature.
Boasting to the gentleman of an acquaintance with his worst enemy hardly recommends her to him.
Tempestuous sparks soon burst into passionate flames as Darcy and Elizabeth endeavor to sketch each other’s character.

Only a Heartbeat Away: Pride & Prejudice Novella is a story of duty, of honor, and love of family. A fast-paced, wonderfully diverting Regency romance, it is P. O. Dixon’s ninth adaptation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic. 

***Giveaway Time***

P O Dixon is kindly giving away one (1) Kindle edition of Only a Heartbeat Away. To enter, please comment on this post WITH your email address. You may tweet daily for extra entries. Simply leave a comment saying you tweeted.
Winner will be announced Monday, August 19th. 
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email. If no response, a new winner will be selected. 
Open internationally!! Best of Luck!

Connect with P O Dixon
Read It Now!