Monday, August 29, 2016

WORDQUAKE GIVEAWAY

I'm running a giveaway of one signed copy of WORDQUAKE, my illustrated short read for reluctant readers! Use the form below OR comment to enter.

More on WORDQUAKE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 27, 2016

FOREVER FINLEY #10: SONG FOR SEPTEMBER (LIVE & FREE!)


Forever Finley Short Story #10: Dreams often linger like a haunting melody.


Michael is a failed musician at heart and a coffee shop barista by day. Will the century-old legend of his hometown provide the magic he needs to finally succeed—and in so doing, will Michael have the power to assist in the long-awaited reunion of Finley's first sweethearts?

Song for September is available at:

Amazon
iBooks, B&N, and Kobo

Because August was such a crazy-busy month (back to school, etc.), and because I do think the August and September stories complement each other so well, I've decided to also leave Under the August Moon as a free read throughout the month of September:

 Under the August Moon is available at:


Amazon
iBooks, B&N, and Kobo

Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2016

FOR TEACHERS - LOCAL COLOR WRITING

I drew from my own Southwest Missouri surroundings in order to describe the Avery Theater in my latest YA, SPARK. The following video can be used in your classrooms to introduce the concept of local color to your students, and to get them revved to do a local color piece of their own:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY & FOLK ART ENVIRONMENTS

In my MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, Auggie and Gus become folk artists. But they're not content to simply make a few fun trinkets, paintings, or small sculptures. Instead, they turn their entire home into a regular folk art environment!

For teachers looking to jump-start interest in the concept of folk art--and to give young readers some idea of just how incredibly wild Auggie and Gus's house must look--consider sharing a few of these real-life folk art environments with your students:

1. The Watts Towers in California - Hundred-foot tall spiraling structures made of rebar and covered in concrete and broken glass or pottery shards.

2. Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Park - Auggie and Gus make whirligigs to put in their own front yard!

3. The Orange Show - This one defies explanation. But Houston (the city where the Orange Show is located) also hosts an Art Car Show--which would certainly spark many boys' imaginations.

4. Thunder Mountain - A Native American monument.

5. Bishop Castle - Your kids will love this one! It includes an actual fire breathing dragon.

Fair warning: Folks art environments are completely addictive. Once you get started looking at these amazing, imaginative structures, you just won't want to stop. Here's an additional list of folk art environments to feed your new addiction.

As always, I'm available for Skypes with classrooms who have read THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. You can schedule a visit at any time by shooting me a message: hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, August 15, 2016

WORDQUAKE - AN ILLUSTRATED SHORT BOOK FOR RELUCTANT READERS



I’m excited to share my latest release with you—a short new book for young readers called WORDQUAKE.

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION?

I initially drafted WORDQUAKE last winter. I was doing a bunch of Skypes at the time. My debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, had been placed on several state reading lists, so I was regularly getting requests to talk to elementary classrooms and reading groups. Frequently, I was meeting with groups of reluctant readers—one librarian described her group as “kinda readers”—they kinda-sorta liked to read. And also, at the time, I happened to see a few tweets from teachers just observing how frequently the protagonist of MG novels were readers—or really great students. And I wondered—is that a part of the reason why kinda-sorta readers keep gravitating away from books? They’re not seeing themselves in the main characters? That’s when I started brainstorming. I knew I wanted a shorter read—I certainly felt a shorter read would be more appealing to those who weren’t natural readers themselves. And I also wanted a main character who’d rather be anywhere than the library.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Izzy Ashby is a girl who doesn’t like to read AT ALL. One day, Izzy accidentally shakes the words out of every textbook, worksheet, notebook, chalkboard, and bulletin board throughout Eastwood Elementary. For a girl like Izzy, this seems to be a dream come true! At least, until utter chaos ensues.

MY FIRST ILLUSTRATED WORK


I put the book up as an e-read last winter, and had several teachers use the book—tell me how much their students were enjoying it. And now that I’m moving my independent work into the print format, I knew that I had to get WORDQUAKE into print as well.

Those of you who have shared my books for young readers with your own kids or students or younger library visitors know that I pretty frequently gravitate toward art as a subject matter. My first novel ever was a YA that featured a teenage artist, and my MG, THE JUNCTION, also features a young girl who becomes a folk artist with her grandfather. I’ve always loved it myself, took a ton of art classes throughout school, but never really had an opportunity to incorporate it into my writing.
One of the coolest parts of going indie is that the possibilities for a writer are limitless—the only thing holding you back is you. So I took the plunge into digital art: I did a bit of research, got a Wacom drawing tablet and software and started in, illustrating WORDQUAKE.

WE’VE READ YOUR WRITING, BUT WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?

I had those not-straight-A students in my head again as I started to sketch out illustrations. Those students who were not quite seeing themselves in the pages of their books. And I knew I didn’t want the illustrations to look perfect. I wanted them to look accessible. I think, at times, things that are too polished can occasionally be discouraging to some students—especially those who aren’t straight-A students. That’s not the effect I wanted this book to have at all. I wanted students to be inspired to pick up a pen and put it to paper in some way. I’ve also long appreciated the quick, simple style of Liza Donnelly, who is a cartoonist for THE NEW YORKER. So with that in mind, I drew simple graphics and illustrations of my own to accompany WORDQUAKE. 

WHERE CAN WE FIND WORDQUAKE?

WORDQUAKE is available in paperback at Amazon, and will soon be available at Barnes and Noble as well. For those who use the book in classrooms or reading groups, I'd love to Skype with your own young readers. Feel free to get in touch at my website: hollyschindler.com or email me directly at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

THE FOREVER FINLEY SERIES

The FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY SERIES is releasing once a month throughout 2016. The stories are stand-alones, which means they can be read in any order. You jump in and read the current month's release, you can start at the very beginning with "Come December," or you can grab any story in the middle that just happens to pique your interest! By themselves, the stories paint one picture of the small town of Finley; read together, the create another.

At this point in the year, with nine reads available, I felt it was important to put all the stories and descriptions together in one place, so that readers can easily pick which tale they'd like to read. These stories are all available at Kobo, B&N, iBooks, and Amazon.

Come December: 

A sweet holiday tale about opening yourself up to magical possibilities.

Natalie is new to town, and feels invisible and painfully alone...until a mysterious stranger in a cemetery changes everything.




January Thaw:


A tale of big dreams, small towns, and friends who know you better than you know yourself.

Annie returns to her small hometown of Finley to celebrate her newfound success as an up-and-coming young artist...only to come face-to-face with Justin, her childhood best friend and a journalist who recently penned a scathing review of her work. Can an artist and her biggest critic find common ground—or have Justin's words destroyed their friendship for good?


Forget February:

A tale of happy accidents, mystical events, and the beautiful things that can happen after (or even as the result of) a broken heart.

The legend of Amos Hargrove is nothing more than a silly fairy tale, according to the two people who are arguably the most broken-hearted in the entire town of Finley. His spirit does not still exist, and he does not play matchmaker or bring luck to those who need it…or does he?


Dearest March...

A tale that asks if literary heroes ever do walk straight off the page into modern life.

At fifty-five, Jo, the proprietor of Jo March Books: Depository for the New & Used, still clings to the idea of finding her very own Mr. Darcy, the star of her beloved Pride and Prejudice. When her ex-husband returns to town (at the same time gifts begin to appear from a “secret admirer,” no less), she wonders if she had wrongly pegged him as her adversary…



April's Promise:

A tale of long-distance relationships—the sort in which “distance” refers not to the miles that stretch between you, but the miles you’ve traveled together.

Patricia has participated in the April’s Promise Couples Race every year of her three-decades-long marriage with her husband Timothy. This year, though, they find themselves facing a slew of new challenges that steal their second winds and force them to question whether they’ll make it past the finish line.




Mayday Mayday Mayday:

A tale that explores how holiday magic can carry forward into the rest of the year, featuring Natalie and the mysterious George from “Come December.”

Engagement should be a happy time in a young woman’s life, but for Natalie, it’s plagued with doubts. She’d only known Damien four months when she accepted his proposal, and now, when the two are together, she hears a distinct Mayday distress call. Where is the voice coming from? Does it have anything to do with the enigmatic figure she encountered in the cemetery last winter? Or is Natalie finding a way to tell herself she thinks she’s about to go down in flames?

Chasing June:

A tale that explores the frightening (and often wonderful) things that can happen after disturbing the dust that has settled across life as it’s always been.

Annie Ames returns to her childhood hometown to begin a project with her lifelong friend, Justin: a book documenting the romantic folklore surrounding the legend of Amos Hargrove, the town founder. But no one likes the fact that she’s “disturbing the dust”—rifling through old memories and a more than century-old legend. When Annie visits Mary, the town’s oldest resident, she opens an old trunk—and along with a treasured antique wedding shawl, discovers life-altering truths about her feelings for her closest friend…and about the legend of Amos Hargrove and his sweetheart, Finley.

A Hundred Julys:

Mysterious sightings—and a legend of unrequited love—draws Finley’s newest resident into the midst of the folklore surrounding the town.

Norma Johnson, owner of Finley’s only antique store, has always felt she was mysteriously drawn to the small town. Forced to host the July vintage car show, she bumps headlong into the legend that has surrounded Finley for a century—and in so doing, gains a new perspective on the far-reaching effects of love…



Under the August Moon:

It has been said that seeds of love planted beneath an August moon will bind two meant to be together—forever.

Two different couples—one currently hoping to find common ground in their relationship, the other a legendary pair wandering the town in their relentless attempt to reunite—find their paths have suddenly intertwined like wild Midwestern vines under the red August Heart Moon. Will Mark and Jo decide their late-in-life romance can find new direction? And how will the fabled Finley’s search for her beloved Amos be impacted by the planting of her enchanted moon seeds?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

MILES LEFT YET AT B&N (NOOK PRESS PRINT)

I'm delighted to announce that my indie novel MILES LEFT YET is now also available in print through B&N.

I was really impressed by the copy of MILES LEFT YET when it arrived. It's every bit as professional in quality as any of the books I've published through a traditional publisher. In fact, the feel of the matte cover reminded me of covers of the books I released through Flux (A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT).




The books are actually printed by Lightning Source (Ingram's POD unit).

I also chose white pages, and was pleased by the fact that they weren't stark white like copy paper--but resembled more the paper of traditionally pubbed paperbacks.




I can't wait to get the next title up!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

FOREVER FINLEY FREE READ

Hard to believe, but the ninth—ninth!—installment of the FOREVER FINLEY short story series is now live (and free).

The series itself has been an incredible ride—far more than I ever could have imagined when I drafted “Come December" last November. Now that I’m amping things up, building toward an end that will tie the threads together for the entire cast of characters (both contemporary and historical), I wanted to do a bit of recap. I filmed a short informal video in which I get to talk directly to you about the initial inspiration for FOREVER FINLEY, how it’s grown and developed over the past several months.

You can view the video here: https://vimeo.com/175439156


The latest installment, Under the August Moon, focuses on Jo and Mark, a couple we met back in March:


It has been said that seeds of love planted beneath an August moon will bind two meant to be together—forever.

Two different couples—one currently hoping to find common ground in their relationship, the other a legendary pair wandering the town in their relentless attempt to reunite—find their paths have suddenly intertwined like wild Midwestern vines under the red August Heart Moon. Will Mark and Jo decide their late-in-life romance can find new direction? And how will the fabled Finley’s search for her beloved Amos be impacted by the planting of her enchanted moon seeds?

Under the August Moon is available on:
Amazon
iBooks
B&N
Kobo

I plan to release the entire FOREVER FINLEY collection toward the end of 2016—in both e-book and print form. I’m delighted to share the cover here:


I also wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your support for the series over the past few months. Your interest has been a huge part of why FOREVER FINLEY has been so much fun. I can’t wait each month to return to Finley, get a new story in your hands…

Thanks again, guys…and happy reading!

--Holly

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ABOUT THE FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY SERIES

More than halfway through '16 (and eight installments in), I wanted to talk to you all directly about my FOREVER FINLEY SHORT STORY SERIES. I wanted to tell you how the series started, what the initial inspiration was, how it's grown and developed over the past several months...How it's turned into something far richer than I could have anticipated when I drafted that first story last November.

I also give a bit of a glimpse as to what you might expect as the year progresses, as well as a cover reveal toward the end of the video! Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter, so you'll never miss a FOREVER FINLEY release.


Monday, July 11, 2016

A HUNDRED JULYS - FOREVER FINLEY #8 NOW LIVE!

Okay, so we've survived the 4th of July weekend...and now the reminders of the forthcoming school year are everywhere. Back to school displays are taking up your local Walmart. The list of supplies this year is longer than ever. You're getting your kids' eye exams. You're buying sneakers for gym. And you're still determined to enjoy what family time is still remaining this summer.

What you really need is ten minutes to decompress at the end of the day. And not spend another dime.

Just in time, the next Forever Finley installment is live--and free!

Forever Finley Short Story #8: Mysterious sightings—and a legend of unrequited love—draws Finley’s newest resident into the midst of the folklore surrounding the town.
Norma Johnson, owner of Finley’s only antique store, has always felt she was mysteriously drawn to the small town. Forced to host the July vintage car show, she bumps headlong into the legend that has surrounded Finley for a century—and in so doing, gains a new perspective on the far-reaching effects of love…

A Hundred Julys is part of the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle, a series of stand-alone short stories releasing once a month throughout 2016. Previous releases in the cycle include: Come Decmeber, January Thaw, Forget February, Dearest March…, April’s Promise, Mayday Mayday Mayday, and Chasing June.

A Hundred Julys is available for download at:
Amazon
iBooks
B&N
Kobo

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