Virtual Book Tours

Online promotion is an important part of getting our names, services, and books in front of readers and customers for our services. I was one of the original members of a yahoo group called VBT – Writers on the Move. We helped each other promote and participated in virtual tours on our blogs. I sat out for almost a year, but have rejoined this talented group and would love to share with you.

Put your writing career in motion with the yahoo marketing group
VBT – Writers on the Move. Promote your platform, yourself and
your books! We utilize ONGOING tours; Viewpoint segments; mystery
site give aways; blog radio spots; and much more to increase
visibility and readership.
To learn more contact Karen at: karenrcfv@yahoo.com.
Please put VBT-(your initials) in the subject box.

Visit the group blog: http://vbt-writersonthemove.blogspot.com There are always great posts on the group blog from experienced, successful writers.

Mid-Summer Reading

It’s mid-July and most of us are spending a lot of time outside and at the pool. Reading by the pool or on a swing in the backyard are great ways to pass a few hours and get away from it all. If it’s too hot outside for you, then stroll the isles of a local bookstore or visit your library. If you haven’t been to the library lately, you might try it.

With a tight economy, most of us are watching our budgets. Unfortunately, that might mean a decrease in the number of books that we purchase. (not something I like to think about as a writer) Have you read all of the books you own? Most of us have an ongoing list of books on the “to read” list. So many books, so little time. lol

I think there are many reasons to see what your library has to offer. Children reading programs for every age encourage them to read books instead of spend all their time playing computer games. My grandson loves computer games, but his mother limits his time each day. He plays outside with friends, goes to the pool with his parents, and loves to read. At ten years old, he is not afraid of tackling Harry Potter or any other book. We have taken him to the library since he was two years old for story time and read to him. Love of reading is something that I believe is a wonderful legacy to leave our children and grandchildren.

Other advantages at the library?

The New Book Shelf – watch for the latest releases

Looking for a popular book? Put a reserve on it so when it comes back you’re next in line to read the hottest new release by your favorite author.

Most libraries have online catalogs that you can use at home. Search for what you want and make a list, reserve them and go pick them up at your convenience.

Your library may have book clubs, programs, and author events that you could attend for free.

Our library has movie nights, reading festivals with authors appearing for Q&A as well as reading from their latest book.

The Friends of the Library probably have a used book sale in your area. I’ve picked up books for as little as $5.00 a bag (grocery bag). The proceeds go back to the library for new books and reading programs.

Read all the books in a series.

Borrow movies or books on CD. I listen to books on CD in the car.

As a writer, one of my best friends is a reference librarian. They can help you with any kind of research you’re doing. They know sources you may never think of and are diligent in their search.

Many libraries provide book downloads and audio book downloads through their websites.

The best thing? It is all free (in most places) and all you need is a Library card.

Enjoy your summer!

Stop by the VBT – Writers on the Move website to find authors and books. It’s a great place to go!

Welcome to Heidi M. Thomas to start Celebrating the VBT-Writers on the Move Anniversary Month

Welcome to the first day of a month long celebration for the one year anniversary of VBT – Writers on the Move. We are a cross promoting group of writers.

I’m really excited to have Heidi M. Thomas with me today. She is from Montana, the Big Sky Country but now lives in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Raised on a rach in isolated eastern Montana, Heidi Thomas had a love of reading and writing since she was a little girl.

Heidi, tell us a little about yourself.

A tidbit of family history, that her grandmother rode steers in rodeos during the 1920s, spurred Heidi to write a novel based on that grandmother’s life.
Cowgirl Dreams is the first in a series about strong, independent Montana Women.
Heidi is a member of Women Writing the West, Skagit Valley Writers League, Skagit Women in Business, and the Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She is an avid reader of all kinds of books, enjoys hiking the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, edits, and teaches memoir and fiction writing classes.

Married to Dave Thomas (not of Wendy’s fame), Heidi has no children, but as the “human” for two finicky felines, describes herself primarily as a “cat herder.”
www.heidimthomas.com

You have a great book that I know I’m anxious to read. Tell us about Cowgirl Dreams.

Defying family and social pressure, Nettie Brady bucks 1920s convention with her dream of becoming a rodeo star. That means competing with men, and cowgirls who ride the rodeo circuit are considered “loose women.” Addicted to the thrill of pitting her strength and wits against a half-ton steer in a rodeo, Nettie exchanges skirts for pants, rides with her brothers on their Montana ranch, and competes in neighborhood rodeos. 

Broken bones, killer influenza, flash floods, and family hardship team up to keep Nettie from her dreams. Then she meets a young neighbor cowboy who rides broncs and raises rodeo stock. Will this be Nettie’s ticket to freedom and happiness? Will her rodeo dreams come true?

Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, a real Montana cowgirl.
Cowgirl Dreams is available from the publisher, Treble Heart Books, Amazon.com or the author website. It is suitable for both adult and young adult readers.

Do you think we could share some of what people are saying about Cowgirl Dreams?

Here are some of the reviews I’ve received.

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna rated it: 5 of 5 stars

It is a wonderful YA (Young Adult) book! For the duration of the story you are completely immersed into the world of growing up in Montana in 1920s. Hard work on a family ranch, dreams that defy conventional wisdom, hard choices and, finally, success. Try becoming a rodeo star, when rodeo circuit is a man’s world and you are a teenage girl!
I appreciated author’s meticulous research. All the details of everyday life on a ranch, food, clothes, and people’s mindsets were so interesting…more It is a wonderful YA (Young Adult) book! For the duration of the story you are completely immersed into the world of growing up in Montana in 1920s. Hard work on a family ranch, dreams that defy conventional wisdom, hard choices and, finally, success. Try becoming a rodeo star, when rodeo circuit is a man’s world and you are a teenage girl!
I appreciated author’s meticulous research. All the details of everyday life on a ranch, food, clothes, and people’s mindsets were so interesting, true and well placed throughout the story; I could not help but admire it!
If you are a fan of “Little Women”, “Secret Garden”, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Ann of Green Gables”, take a note of this author, she is the one for you.
I would say the book is a great coming of age story with a lesson in history, lots of adventures, a touch of romance and a great lesson in perseverance. I am buying this one for my daughter.
***

From a male reader:

Heidi Thomas’s Cowgirl Dreams provided me with a delightfully engrossing pleasure: a “good read.” An added bonus was a bit of history detailing the hardships and delights of rural life in early twentieth century Montana and the expectations for women of the time. I approached the tale with a mixture of mild trepidation and hesitant curiosity, the twin themes not being typical fodder for my pleasure reading, and finished with the great satisfaction found in experiencing a well-told story. Nettie Brady’s adventure richly details a pair of transitions: a child growing into young adulthood and a women tackling roles previously claimed by the men of her times. This is a book for all ages, and I look forward to the possibility of reading further installments of Nettie’s life and times.

Peter Olson
***

Some girls claim they were born as horses and only later grew up to be western women. Heidi Thomas gives us one of those passionate, persistent young women in Nettie Brady, and she s based this sparkling and enduring character on her own grandmother s story. Cowgirl Dreams is a heart-warming read for all ages and lets us all know why Ms. Thomas is not only a fine editor of other author s books but shines as a skilled and compassionate writer herself. Jane Kirkpatrick, Award Winning author of A Sweetness to the Soul (Wrangler Award, 1995) and A Tendering in the Storm, winner of a WILLA Literary Award, 2008.	

***
Heidi has truly captured the heart of the early days of Montana. She brings to life Nettie and her dreams for the rodeo despite the opposition of a woman in an exclusive man’s arena. As I read this authors first novel it was a sweet reminder of the Jan Karon Mitford series. I look forward to reading the sequel in what appears to be a Montana series in the making! 
Stephanie Hooper

These are wonderful. I’m sure that you will capture your readers and they will be fans for life, Heidi. Thank you so much for being with me. I know we all look forward to getting to know you and your writing better. How can people purchase your book?

Thank you for having me, Dianne.

Cowgirl Dreams is available at:

http://www.heidimthomas.com

Treble Heart Books

Amazon.com

Virtual Book Tours

Anyone who visits the blog regularly knows that once a month I have another author for my guest. We get to learn about them and at least one of the books they have written. I started a year ago to participate with a group that formed after attending the Museonline Writers Conference 2008. This free conference is one of the best conferences you could ever attend. It lasts a week and Lea Shivas and those who work with her to make this conference a success offer workshops and discussions with awesome, knowledgable presenters.

One of the workshops I participated in last year was concerned with promotions online. A few of us exchanged emails about starting a group that could do virtual book tours together on a rotation. The result was the VBT – Writers on the Move group.

Virtual book tours are a growing promotional tool and a great way to help other writers get the word out. It’s fun and can help bring people you might not otherwise get as random visitors to your blog.  You can put on your calendar that the 1st and 3rd of each month you’ll find another guest author here.