Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

It’s Off To Press – Ockleberries to the Rescue…

September 12, 2014

This afternoon I submitted my final proof read to my publisher for my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. Later, I received word that it has been sent to press…I wait with feverish mind to see the finished product.

In the meantime I have been contemplating promotional display items for this book – I already have small animal figurines that light up & have sparkling globes for their bodies, but I wanted something special. I toyed with the idea of making a diorama and then something wonderful happened.


A coincidence occurred that is one of those marvelous, magical meant to be miracles. I posted a sneak peek of the book’s cover (see left picture) on my face book page and almost instantly an acquaintance posted a picture of something in her store. (see right picture). She advised me this ornament just came in and I could not believe how similar it was to my sprite’s door. I will be collecting this masterpiece tomorrow. An extra treat is the little door opens! It is as though it was custom made for my book.


Ockleberries Cover



Sprite door


What coincidences have you experience in regards to your writing or novels?


We are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence.  Paul Aster

There is always room for coincidence.  Alva Noto

Coincidence is important, the convergence of different ideas. Dries van Noten


Prompt – So let’s make coincidence the them of today’s prompt.


Pre-order here:

Promotional Items for Book Marketing – My Latest Rumble Promo and Ideas for Ockleberries Promo too…

August 5, 2014

Every year I run a coloring competition for my children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare. After choosing the picture for the competition, I have to decide on what the prize will be that accompanies a free copy of the book. In past year’s I have given hand-made Rumble puppets, a Rumble bag filled with squishy toy ‘pets’ just like Rumble’s own and this year I have T-shirts as well as hand-made hats. Both of these last items can be offered for sale at any time of course, but I like to meet the winners of the coloring competition, when possible, so have the prizes available at the annual Words in the Park event in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

I was excited to find a crafter, who volunteered her services to make these marvelous Rumble hats (see below) and production is under way. If you can’t wait until October, send me a PM and I can reserve you one. They are fantastic unique gifts for Halloween too.

RumbleRumble hat

This year’s T-shirts are unique as well – the front says ‘I love Rumble and his bag of pets’ and the back says ‘Grab your Rumble at

Rumble tshirt frontRumble tshirt back


I have ideas for my new children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, as well, which will be launched in October. As the story follows two magical woodland sprites, I want to fashion T-shirt designs but also some sort of toy, for younger children. I already have a couple of animal figurine and glitter filled light-up globes (which you might be able to make

out here – one is a rabbit and the other a squirrel) IMG_0233

What promotional items have you used for your books?

How successful have your promotional items been for you? 

I found this link, which is helpful:

Can You Give Up Your Day Job For A Writing Life ..?

July 4, 2014


I found an interesting article today regarding the constant dilemma of many authors – stay in a job to pay the bills or leap into a writing life full-time. As some of you may know, I started a freelancing business, with a long term plan, this year. So far I have made headway but it is a steep learning curve. With a few regular clients already I am happy with my modest progress but more work is always welcome – any time.

There are numerous web sites pro-porting to assist the novice freelancer but tread carefully as many are only interested in selling you books, or other promotional items. Networking is the best way to find the answers to your questions so utilize your local and social media contacts.

So are these tips helpful in making that decision?’-Guide-Writing-Quit-Day-Job.php

Have you made the leap yet?

What plans do you have for a writing life?

Can you share tips on how to live by writing alone?


If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ―Jim Rohn

Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. ―Norman Vincent Peale


Today’s prompt is to envisage your life as a full time writer. Where will you live? What will your writing space look like? What kind of writing will you do?

Give your vision as much detail as you can – then follow that desire. The power of suggestion is just that – powerful.

I would love to see your answers so feel free to share them here.

My ideal? Living between Italy, England and Canada. Writing all genres with many more published novels and articles covering numerous topics published in magazines, newspapers and on websites.



Jejune – A Matter of Circumstance…

December 8, 2013

Jejune – definition: 1. naive and simplistic 2. lacking interest or liveliness; dull


I attended this event yesterday and from the start it was a struggle. Firstly, my friend, Linda’s car would not start so I drove to her rescue with jump leads at hand. Normally, this would be a quick and easy task but the temperature yesterday morning was -22 with the wind chill so standing around ankle deep in snow while the car’s battery charged was not fun to say the least. Once it did start we headed to the Dream Write Publishing office to collect books and promotional items for the event. En route coffee and sandwiches were purchased to restore our bodies somewhat. We were lucky enough to find a heated underground parkade – extremely welcome in the circumstances. After trudging over icy paths with our heavy supplies to the venue, we were able to set up and at last relax.


Fourteen authors were present for the book sale and we happily networked with each other. Some were familiar faces while others were new. Book summaries were told and purchases made and silent auction items bid upon. Although the ‘traffic’ was not as anticipated, I don’t think it was a lack of interest but rather a reluctance to venture out in severe weather. This was the first Authors for Altruism event. One the organizers will learn from and improve for next year.

Yes, we authors, are an intrepid breed. Even one book sale is worth the effort. Our story will please the reader and hopefully they will relay that fact to others. Here are some photographs of my table set up. Rumble, as always, was in attendance along with his print book Rumble’s First Scare, bookmarks and coloring  pages. I made the ‘glob’ table covering by the way.

My fantasy, The Rython Kingdom was displayed in print form as well as postcards for the e-book version, as well as bookmarks I made with beads attached and a glowing orb (shiny things attract customers, I find).

I displayed a pre-order form for my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue and displayed proof copies for people to see. Again I had two animal ornaments that glittered and changed color.




The other books shared on the adjoining table with Linda, another member of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, were :

Writing Prompt Journey  – a super prompt book for all writers – 

Your Lifetime of Stories  

From A Solitary Drop, which is the history of the foundation and a great guide to starting a writing group.

We were lucky to have two news station reporters arrive (luckily not at the same time!) who took photographs, footage and interviewed the organizers. All in all it was a good day and I will certainly participate next year. I even brought home supper – a silent auction item of an Italian meal with a bottle of wine and napkins included.

What promotional items do you use for your events?

Why not share some photos?

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