Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Introducing Author-Directory!

Marketing for any budget!

Author-Directory.com is now open for business and accepting submissions for only $5 into the author directory, book directory or video directory. 

So if you couldn't afford to market your book before, you can now! Check out the Author-Directory and give your book promotion a jump-start!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My own Update! Aug 2010

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I posted anything so I thought I would say a little something this late night (its actually morning lol). Anyway, here I am lol. Yes, I'm still alive!

I've been really busy writing and I'm still marketing on my own which takes up a lot of my time, and I have my writers network that I upkeep on an almost daily time. I have two newsletters going on right now, one for my own books and writing, and one for writing itself for all writers looking to improve their skills plus more! Yeah, I'd say I'm pretty busy lol. That's not to mention my day-to-day job either lol.

And yes, I changed my hair color again. You know me, always changing something lol. I can't help myself. You know the feeling, you get bored with something so you change it up for something new. Well, I do like being a blond lol. I think I will just keep going back and forth so no one else gets bored lol. I didn't come on here to talk about my hair though. I really wanted to keep you updated about my books. For those who don't remember, my newest book Peterson Estate was released not too long ago. This is my favorite book and I really recommend it to all of you!

If you enjoy tales of magic, mystery, adventure, and love twists--this is the story for you! Witches, ghosts, and babies who talk, oh my! You'll fall in love with Emily Peterson just like I did in this story! And you'll see just how twisted (in a good way, mind you) a writer really can get when she puts her mind to it! And if you enjoy this book, I think you would enjoy the second book even more! But you have to get the first one, first! I seriously think you'll read this book more than once just because you enjoyed the ride!

Thank you!!!!!!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Life On the Net

As some of you may already know, I've been a very busy person, especially on the Internet lol. I can't keep away from it lol. Ok, its an addiction but I do work on it, its not all play lol. I promote more online than I do in person and I market in person a lot too. But that's not the point. The point is, I've been busy.

One of the main things I've been working on is my Writers Network, a place where all writers can join, meet other writers, and get help with their writing, editing, marketing, and publishing. Plus a writer can find support and friendship there which is great for the new writers who haven't been published yet. The keyword there is "yet" because we will work on trying to help writers get to the  point of getting published. We won't find them for those writers but as members, we can tell a writer who we've published with and who to avoid publishing with.

And of course there's more. Just check out my network at http://writing4all.ning.com

Thank you!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Exciting Adventure Awaits!

As you may already know, I am the creator for a site being held on Ning (its pictured above). Well, due to some changes (Ning is charging creators to keep sites going), and with a little (or a lot lol) of help, I am making some major changes with this group and keeping it on the network! This is how the site looked going into the spring season. The new look is coming very soon!

Besides the new look, there are other things being changed and added to the site! I've created our own toolbar, you know one of those things that sits at the top of the Internet Browser like IE or Firefox. And the toolbar was free so now I can share it with my members for free! I'm a member for other sites on Ning as well and have those sites on the toolbar as well. These sites share many members so it makes it easier for them to keep tags on everything without bookmarking each site! Also on the toolbar, I've included Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Preditor & Editor which is a great site for writers looking for publishers and agents, and more! There's even the weather! And of course, our site is also linked on the toolbar!

Besides the toolbar, I have created a W4A on Facebook to help the members market their books they've published and to network there as well! It helps spread the word about their great accomplishments or find help getting to that big goal of becoming published! You know me, I'm all about helping people!! This is a huge step for me in doing just that!

And of course, once I begin the new look and have a paid site on Ning, I will be sending out newsletters as well. To help pay for the site, I will be asking for donations which will be very small so no one has to worry about breaking the bank. With the economy the way it is right, everyone needs a little help and we know how finances can be really tight which is why we're only asking for a donation on the site. A dollar here for one thing, a couple dollars for something else will go a long way and keep the site going so we can help more people! Nothing will ever go in our pockets, it will stay right on the site which makes it a non-profit deal.

Growing up I always wanted to save the world. I know now it was unrealistic but in a way, I still want to do that. Since I am a writer and learned things the hard way (by making mistakes lol), I learned that maybe saving the world was a bit of a stretch and now I just want to save those from making the same mistakes I've made. Its a lot different than I originally planned but its a start. More people happy means less people miserable so in a way I am doing what I dreamed, just on a different level lol. And at the same time, I can keep writing!!

I invite all writers, publishers, agents, editors, etc to the site. Let's see if helping others can become contagious! http://writing4all.ning.com

Thank you everyone!!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Monday, May 3, 2010

Peterson Estate now available online!!

Lucy Rose Publishing has now released my newest book, Peterson Estate. As the cover implies, this is a basic good vs evil type story with a twist. You wouldn't believe who the "evil" is in this story. With a family of witches, anything is possible and its quite that! I know you will enjoy this story!

This book is available through the publisher now and will be available through Amazon sometime today (5/3/2010) and will be coming soon to the online stores for Target and Barnes N Noble! Plus you're always welcome to order the book personally from your own local book store. You will see more on my website so check it out and order a copy soon. Its perfect for mature young adults and adults!

This is by far my favorite book and you'll see why!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Know Me, Always Changing the Look!

Yep, I figured it was time for another change! This time, its a bit closer to the Spring touch. I only hope you like this new change lol. Two of my children like these colors so I thought I'd cater to them for my fresh look for the new season!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday! I'm busy working on the next newsletter and working on my new seminar over at Writing 4 All on the Ning Network. It ties with my other writing site although the two looks are quite different lol. A good friend of mine designed the background which part of is at the top of this page lol. I wanted to tie them together a little. She does such good work!!!

Anyway, I'm still waiting for Peterson Estate to be released. I hate waiting but those printers sure do like to take their time lol. The publisher wants to make sure everything looks okay before they agree on the date so it should be in its final stage before it comes to the release. Then you all will get a change to see if for yourselves. I do hope you enjoy it. I know I do!!! This is truly my favorite book and once you read it, you will understand why!

And you will see how twisted my imagination is if you don't already lol. You can do so much with magic, its not even funny. Sometimes, I wished I could do the things those characters can do. I know life would be easier, right? Just kidding lol.

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Friday, April 9, 2010

Winners for Writing Contest. Congrats to these people!

Winners of the Visual Arts Junction Bedtime Story Writer’s Contest

By Aggie Villanueva
Bedtime Story by Aggie Villanueva
We have two wonderful winning entries for you.
Salvatore Butacci won the Professional Category with Donny’s Friend.
Lubna Kably won the Amateur Category with Paint my Dreams.

The Wining Writers Receive all These Great Prizes

  • You will be interviewed by Nanci Arvizu on her live internet radio show Page Readers. Please contact Nanci to set up your date through the Send Message link on her show page.
  • The paperbook mystery, The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras, by New Mexico’s premier author Michael Orenduff. The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras recently won the Eppie Award as the Mystery eBook of the Year. Michael even has the Governor of NM commenting on his Pot Thief murder mystery seriesThis Prize available worldwide. The book will be shipped where ever the winner lives. Please email the author to give him your shipping details.
  • A downloadable version of Aggie Villanueva’s critically acclaimed Biblical novel, Rightfully Mine. Aggie will email you the code for the free download, available in 10 formats for viewing on almost any e-reader.
  • One 8X10 metallic print of the photo art that inspired contest winner, Bedtime Story by Aggie Villanueva, known as the Grandma Moses of the American Southwest and respresented in Gallery across the nation, including Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. (shipped within the USA only.) Please email Aggie with your shipping address.
  • The winner gains double exposure on Aggie Villanueva’s two sites, and a post on the blogs of our prestigious panel of judges. Plus, and this is a huge plus, every one of our contest supporters (and this list is constantly growing. (See below) will also post your winning entry. See our sponsor list below. You’ll be read by thousands.
  • Winners receive two comments from each judge, what they like about your entry, and what could be improved. Please see the fine print at the bottom of this post.


Professional Category: Donny’s Friend by Salvatore Butacci

Salvatore Butacci
If Donny could’ve somehow unraveled the wires in his brain so that thinking came easily, he would have eventually forgiven them.
All those barren years they had prayed for a child, until finally in disgust Donny’s father had decided, “No more prayers.  What’s meant to be will be. No more knocking at Heaven’s door.” If Donny could have, he would have taken pity on the two of them: his proud, exasperated father and his brokenhearted mother.
“Keep this up, Tina, and I’ll get on the horn and call the ones in the long white coats and let them haul your skinny ass out of here!”  Then, realizing his cruelty, waved his hand as if to erase the threat, and said, “I’m sorry, Tina, but you’ve got to pull your pretty self together.  No kid?  Okay, we live with it.  We still have you and me, right?”
And Tina smiled at Milt, but they both knew it was insincere.
Autism.  Donny at three. The pediatrician explaining how it wasn’t the end of the world, but the diagnosis fell on Donny’s parents like a ton of lost dreams.
Donny sat still on the white table. When Tina walked over to the table and affectionately squeezed him, he did not react. His brown eyes scanned the room, jumping from the desk to the ceiling to the doctor to his parents to the white walls hardly visible behind the twenty or so framed degrees and awards that told the story of Dr. Peterson’s career. What those eyes saw never made it back to Donny’s tangled-up brain.
Dr. Peterson explained autism to them, but neither was listening.   All those years waiting.  Then this. It wasn’t fair. But what was even less fair came later. Milt and Tina gave Donny hardly any attention. He could not speak except for grunting whatever he was feeling but could not communicate. It especially unnerved his father while his mother would try to speak over those sounds till it got so that Milt did more and more overtime at work, not for extra money but for some quiet peace.
Most of Donny’s grunts were responses to the stuffed bunny Donny’s Aunt Meg had brought him, the one that suddenly one day had come to life.  “A troll in the woods knew some magic, so I asked him to change my cotton stuffings to flesh and organs, let blood run through my veins. You know, be alive!  And that little man made me real.”
Bunny paused and said, “Hey, care to be my friend?” Donny grunted, then held the white bunny against his chest, and grunted some more. “Yeah, kid, I know what you mean. Humans ain’t big on listening.  Things turn sour, they give up. But you and me, we got each other now.”
Without knowing why his eyes were filling up with wetness, Donny brushed the beads away and grunted. “Oh, that?” said his only friend.  “They call them ‘tears.’  It just means you’re one happy little boy!”
Salvatore Buttaci is an obsessive-compulsive writer who plies his craft everyday. His work has appeared widely.  He was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His collection of 164 short-fiction stories, Flashing My Shorts, is available from All That Matters Press or from Amazon.com. He lives with his wife, Sharon, in West Virginia.
Judge Lillie Ammann
What I like about your entry:
The ending is a great twist and evokes emotion.
What could be improved: The first part of the story might be improved by changing some passive sentences to active.
Judge Aggie Villanueva
What I like about your entry: Excellent opening line. I enjoyed how Donny’s life parralelled that of The Velveteen Rabbit story. Loved your twist of clich├ęs, to bring back reader attention, such as: fell on Donny’s parents like a ton of lost dreams.
What could be improved: Could eliminate the paragraph of Donny sitting on the doctors table looking around, in order to use those words to go more into Donny’s salvation: the velveteen rabbit.
Judge Cindy Bauer
What I like about your entry: I really liked how the stuffed animal was able to capture the attention of the boy with autism, though nothing else could reach him. It shows that while the disease is usually dibilitating, the cause and treatments are still left with much to discover as it shows the brain does function in some degree at a somewhat normal capacity and that perhaps, if explored more, each particular case could be treated focusing on the particulars that seem to reach out and touch that particular child, thus opening many new doors for both the child and the parents.
What could be improved: I was confused about the conversation the stuffed animal was having with the young boy. Was the animal speaking to him when no one else was around or was it within the realm of the boy’s mind, showing potential for imagination. I would’ve liked to have seen a different approach to that segment of the story so the reader is clear.
Judge Nanci Arvizu
What I like about your entry: I’m a big fan of stories that are similar to the classics, but instead take us down a different path. This is similar to the story of The Velveteen Rabbit (although it’s been awhile since I’ve read it), yet with its modern tale with autism.
What could be improved: Add in a little more about Donny and his new friends relationship


Amateur Category: Paint my Dreams by Lubna Kably

Lubna Kably
Ann’s eyes sparkled when she saw this book lying on a corner table in the attic. What was next to it? It looked like a magic lamp. A few other interesting bric-a-bracs lay scattered around.
Ann inched closer towards the table. Her grandmother had recently expired and she had accompanied her mother to this rambling old house. The assets were to be divided and the house sold.
She could hear Uncle Neil and Mama arguing again. Ignoring the shrill voices emanating from the living room downstairs, she looked closely at the book cover. “The Velveteen Rabbit”, it read. Ann always wanted a pet rabbit, but they lived in a tiny cramped flat in a crowded city.  A rabbit will not be happy in a tiny cage, her mother had patiently explained, over and over again. Yet, whenever she passed a pet shop, Ann could not help halting, even if, to just peer through the windows.
Ann dusted the book and opened it. The childish scrawl on the front page was faint with age, perhaps it said: Hazel. “Oh, this is Granny’s book”, said Ann to no one in particular. Hugging the book tightly to her chest, she ran downstairs. “Mama, Mama, I want to keep this book”, she pleaded. Uncle Neil roughly pulled the book from her, flipped open the pages, said it was a worthless piece of junk and that she could have it.  Mama had smiled and told her to run out and play.
Back home, tucked in bed, Ann began to read the book. It was about a toy rabbit who wanted to be a real rabbit and whose wish came true. “I wish my wish would come true, Mama”, she said, as her mother kissed her goodnight and switched off the lights.
Ann was lonely. Her mother caught up in her work and household chores was never around.  She used to meet her father over weekends, but now he had moved away to another city. Phone calls from him were getting less frequent. A silent tear rolled down Ann’s cheek as she fell asleep.
The days rolled on, the book lay on a shelf, quite forgotten. Till one day, Mama told her that they were moving to a large house in the suburbs. Some art which Granny had in her house had fetched a good price. Ann didn’t then know what art was, she didn’t care. She was so excited about the move.
She remembered that she had rubbed hard on the magic lamp in the attic and had made a wish – for a fluffy white rabbit.  Her pet rabbit – Velveteen and she would now play in the front yard of their new home.
Today, twenty odd years later, as a struggling artist, holding a temporary part time job to make ends meet, Ann looks back on the day she walked into the dusty attic. She knows there is no place for pessimistic disbelief in her life.
“You need to tread on the path of wonder, joy and trust and you don’t need a magic lamp to achieve your dreams”, she tells her friends.  She knows that someday soon she will be a success and she heads back to her tiny studio to paint her dreams.
Lubna Kably is based in the busy city of Mumbai, India. While she is a number cruncher by profession, she loves writing – especially travelogues which appear occasionally on various portals. One of her submissions was accepted by Traveler’s Tales in their compilation of funny gut-busting misadventures: The Thong Also Rises. She is currently experimenting with Haiku and this is her first attempt at writing something unrelated to travel or taxes.
Judge Lillie Ammann
What I like about your entry: Great storyline that entertains and inspires.

What could be improved: The story could be improved by using more conversational wording and avoiding stilted phrases such as “recently expired.”
Judge Aggie Villanueva
What I like about your entry: I like the symmetry of the story’s tie-in of the title and opening with the closing. A big chunk of the Ann’s life is revealed in very few words, her dreams, the divorce, her greedy uncle, going from poverty to comfortable middle class. Good use of the economy of words.

What could be improved: Don’t repeat information for the reader. Such as, “She could hear Uncle Neil and Mama arguing again. Ignoring the shrill voices emanating from the living room downstairs…” You could eliminate the first sentence and readers would still know there was an argument over money going on between the adults. Tie up the loose end of what happened with her dad and how that ties into her optimism 20 years later.
Judge Cindy Bauer
What I like about your entry:
Shows much potential; suits the picture used for the contest; would like to read more – grabbed me right away and that’s difficult to do in a short story!

What could be improved: Dislike the use of the word “expired”, though I know it is commonly used in the health field. Prefer “gone to live with our Lord” or something along those lines. Passed away would be okay, too.
Judge Nanci Arvizu
What I like about your entry: As a believer in the power of positive thinking and dreaming big, the author is obviously writing from her heart.

What could be improved: The writer is so talented, I think the word count is what held her back from telling more of her story. I’m betting she could turn this story into a novella! .
The Fine Print: You must respond within 5 days of the date on your winning email announcement. If you do not reply to your winning email announcement within that time limit, your prizes will be assigned to the second place entrant. The judges’ critiques are confined to short comments; no in depth critique/editing. No editing has been done to the entries. Entrants will be automatically added to the Visual Arts Junction newsletter. You many unsubscribe at any time. All rights to the Bedtime Story image remain with the creator, Aggie Villanueva.

VAJ Writing Contests Sponsors

  1. Visual Arts Junction: http://www.visualartsjunction.com
  2. Rightfully Mine http://www.aggiev.org/rightfullymine/contest-winners.html
  3. Carol Langstroth: The Frontpage http://www.carollangstroth.com
  4. Linda Yezak: 777 Peppermint Place http://lindayezak.wordpress.com/contest-winners/
  5. Cindy Bauer: Authors Resources http://authorresourcesbycindy.blogspot.com/
  6. Nanci Arvizu, Page Readers: www.pagereadersbtr.blogspot.com
  7. Nanci’s Thoughts http://www.nanciarvizu.com
  8. Kim McDougall, Blazing Trailers: http://www.blazingtrailers.com/
  9. Melinda Elmore, Pen to Paper: www.melinda.essentialwriters.com
  10. Fran Lewis http://gabina49.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/congratulations-to-the-winners/
  11. Fran Lewis http://bertha160.xanga.com/718608585/valle-pintado-writing-contest-congratulations-to-the-winners/
  12. Amber Rigby Grosjean blog: http://amberrigbygrosjean.blogspot.com/
  13. D.K. Christi , Consultant and Author: http://www.dkchristi.com
  14. Jhonny Thermidor, Unexplored Oceans of Wisdom: http://jhonnythermidor.webs.com/poemscontests.htm
  15. Robert Appleton: Mercurial Times http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com/
  16. Chelle Cordero’s Promo Page: http://cce613.xanga.com/
  17. Abe F. March: http://www.abemarch.com/apps/blog/
  18. Paidra’s Pen: http://paidraspen.blogspot.com/
  19. Sandra Kay’s Musings: http://www.sandrakayauthor.blogspot.com/
  20. Jo Fulkerson: Writer’s Life http://www.freewebs.com/thedesertwriter/
  21. Elena Dorothy Bowman, Book Blog:  http://elenadorothybowmansbooks.blogspot.com/
  22. Hank Quense: http://hankquense.com/blog/
  23. Mark Stephen Levy, Overland: http://authormarklevy.blogspot.com/
  24. Jay Heinlein Publishing Professional: http://heinleinpubservices.blogspot.com
  25. J. Michael Orenduff, Pot Thief series: http://www.ThePotThief.blogspot.com
  26. Yolanthaiti Harrison-Pace YOLANTHAITI http://www.yolanthaiti.blogspot.com
  27. Maggie Ball, Magdalena Ball: http://www.magdalenaball.blogspot.com

Friday, March 19, 2010

Are You Ready 4 Spring?

Time for swimming is almost upon us, unless you're inside with a warm pool lol. Oh, yes, spring is upon us! I'm sure you can smell it in the air. The sweet colors of green grass, leaves are blooming as we speak. The fresh scent of flowers are next! The days are already longer as the sun rises early and sets just a little late so we have more day to enjoy! The fish are begging to be caught. Picnics are waiting to be shared. The BBQ grill is sitting in the back yard, waiting to be fired up. And birds are practicing their songs! There's so much in the air waiting to be born for a new year!

Hopefully Mother Nature has something nice in store for us as we grow anxious to take out our shorts and store away our winter coats. Visits to the zoo will be nice with our loved ones. Going to the park just to smell the night air will be wonderful. A day at the beach is almost but a dream. But its almost real, just a little time more!

Some schools have already let their students go for Spring Break! That always means spring is near, if not already here. The warm wind kisses our cheeks welcoming us to the outdoors! Pretty soon the camper will share our company! Ok, I'm getting even more anxious with all this talk of spring.

Happy Spring everyone! I can't wait to share more!!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Monday, March 15, 2010

Peterson Estate's Cover!

This is the official cover of my newest book, Peterson Estate! Yes, the time is almost here, the release date! It will be this month, March 2010! Once I know this official date, you will be made known. I do know it will be available for pre-orders so you can place an order before the book comes out! I also know this wonderful book will be sold for under 12$ plus tax (and shipping and handling).

For those who don't know what this book is about. Its about a woman named Emily who gets the shock of her life! She's not the ordinary woman she first thought of herself--nope. She's a witch!!!!! Emily Peterson comes from a long line of witches! Both of her parents are magical as well as her sister who she never met until the very day this secret is made known! And now she's going to train her! Oh, did I mention that Emily is the chosen one--the Great Witch who's birth was foretold centuries before? Will Emily learn how to use her powers in time to save her family let alone the whole world?

Peterson Estate is filled with twists! An toddler who can read medical books. Someone in the family who will turn out to be evil and betray Emily and her family. A ghost who wants Emily out of the picture. The gates of Hell works in here somewhere! And there's more!

This is the first book to a planned series. Only you can make the series happen. I promise more twists in the second, third, fourth, fifth (and so on) books. The imagination has no limits!!! And in this book you will see just that!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Visual Arts Junction's Writer's Contest: Bedtime Story

Visual Arts Junction’s Writer’s Contest: Bedtime Story

By Aggie Villanueva
See Aggie’s Limited Edition Photo Art Join Aggie on her Virtual Photo Shoots
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and that is your assignment. Well, more accurately, 500 words. Write about the above photo art, Bedtime Story by Aggie Villanueva. Study the image, and then write a story that this photo art inspires. You don’t have to write only fiction. Enter an essay if that’s what this image inspires in you. (No poetry please.)

The Prizes

  1. Each category winner will be interviewed live on Nanci Arvizu’s Blog Talk Radio show, Page Readers.
  2. Each category winner receives a complimentary print book by New Mexico’s premier author Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy. Michael even has the Governor of NM commenting on his Pot Thief murder mystery series.
  3. Each category winner will receive a downloadable version of Aggie Villanueva’s critically acclaimed Biblical novel, Rightfully Mine.
  4. The winner gains double exposure on Aggie Villanueva’s two sites, and a post on the blogs of our prestigious panel of judges.
  5. Plus, and this is a huge plus; every one of our contest supporters (and this list is constantly growing) will also post your winning entry. See our sponsor list below. So, if this image inspires your muse, go for it. You’ll be read by thousands.

The Rules:

  1. There are two categories. Amateur Category: This category is open only to amateur writers, i.e. those who have been published less than 5 times in the past year. Not qualified to enter if you have books published. Be sure to write “Bedtime Story Writing Contest: Amateur Category” in the subject line. The prizes are the same for each category. Only unpublished, original fiction please.
  2. There are two categories. Professional Category: This category is open only to professional writers. Be sure to write “Bedtime Story Writing Contest: Professional Category” in the subject line.The prizes are the same for each category. Only unpublished, original fiction please.
  3. Study this image, Bedtime Story then write a story the photo art inspires. You don’t have to write only fiction. Enter an essay if that’s what this image inspires in you. (No poetry, please.) 500-550 word limit.
  4. Deadline for the Bedtime Story Writing Contest is March 31, 2010. The winning entry will receive two critique statements from each judge; what that judge likes about your entry and what could be improved. See The Fine Print below.
  5. Email your entry to Aggie at the Cabin. Be sure to type “Bedtime Story Writing Contest (plus) Amateur Category (or) Professional Category” in the subject line, or your entry may be overlooked or accidentally deleted.
  6. Include with your entry a short bio and attach your photo.
  7. Include all links you want posted with your winning entry.
  8. You will only be notified by email, so be sure to include your email address.
  9. Winning entries will be posted with your full story at all participating sites as near as possible to the 15th of April.
  10. You must respond within 5 days of the date on your winning email announcement. If you do not reply to your winning email announcement within that time limit, your prize will be assigned to the second place entrant.
The Fine Print: The judges’ critiques are confined to short comments; no in depth critique/editing. Entrants will be automatically added to the Visual Arts Junction newsletter. You many unsubscribe at any time. All rights to the Bedtime Story image remain with the creator, Aggie Villanueva.

VAJ Writing Contests Sponsors

  1. Visual Arts Junction: http://www.visualartsjunction.com
  2. Rightfully Mine http://www.aggiev.org/rightfullymine/contest-winners.html
  3. Carol Langstroth: The Frontpage http://www.carollangstroth.com
  4. Linda Yezak: 777 Peppermint Place http://lindayezak.wordpress.com/contest-winners/
  5. Cindy Bauer: Authors Resources http://authorresourcesbycindy.blogspot.com/
  6. Nanci Arvizu, Page Readers: http://pagereaders.com/
  7. Nanci’s Thoughts http://www.nanciarvizu.com
  8. Kim McDougall, Blazing Trailers: http://www.blazingtrailers.com/
  9. Melinda Elmore, Pen to Paper: www.melinda.essentialwriters.com
  10. Fran Lewis http://gabina49.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/congratulations-to-the-winners/
  11. Fran Lewis http://bertha160.xanga.com/718608585/valle-pintado-writing-contest-congratulations-to-the-winners/
  12. Amber Rigby Grosjean blog: http://amberrigbygrosjean.blogspot.com/
  13. D.K. Christi , Consultant and Author: http://www.dkchristi.com
  14. Jhonny Thermidor, Unexplored Oceans of Wisdom: http://jhonnythermidor.webs.com/poemscontests.htm
  15. Robert Appleton: Mercurial Times http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com/
  16. Chelle Cordero’s Promo Page: http://cce613.xanga.com/
  17. Abe F. March: http://www.abemarch.com/apps/blog/
  18. Paidra’s Pen: http://paidraspen.blogspot.com/
  19. Sandra Kay’s Musings: http://www.sandrakayauthor.blogspot.com/
  20. Jo Fulkerson: Writer’s Life http://www.freewebs.com/thedesertwriter/
  21. Elena Dorothy Bowman, Book Blog:  http://elenadorothybowmansbooks.blogspot.com/
  22. Hank Quense: http://hankquense.com/blog/
  23. Mark Stephen Levy, Overland: http://authormarklevy.blogspot.com/
  24. Jay Heinlein Publishing Professional: http://heinleinpubservices.blogspot.com
  25. J. Michael Orenduff, Pot Thief series: http://www.ThePotThief.blogspot.com
  26. Yolanthaiti Harrison-Pace YOLANTHAITI http://www.yolanthaiti.blogspot.com
  27. Maggie Ball, Magdalena Ball: http://www.magdalenaball.blogspot.com

Monday, February 22, 2010

Newest Book Coming in March!


This is just a sample of the cover. They put the wrong name in so the publisher is making those changes and then sending it off to the printer! But this will be the full jacket when it is finished, other than the bottom part where I changed the name.
Once the cover is finished and the editing part is finished, it will take 2 weeks for the sample copy to be done. This is the part where they will check to make sure it printed properly. They are shooting for a release date in March 2010! So now March will be even more special for me because it is also the month of my birthday!!!!!

Peterson Estate is a great book for adults and young adults. It is filled with enchantment and twists. Emily Peterson is a witch but she's more than that. She's the Great Witch who's birth was foretold centuries before she was born. She must protect her family from the evil that comes from her own home before she can protect the world and save it from that same evil. But will she be able to face this evil when she finds out who's behind it? Someone in her own family will betray her? Who will it be? And will good conquer evil this time?

I'm very excited for this book to be coming out. I've been waiting for this day for over 10 years! I finally got it perfect. Learn about a boy who can read within his first few months of his life! Learn about a boy with no name who befriended an Indian before he died. Learn what happened to the Indians who owned the land before the castle was built there by a man who bought a fallen castle from a far away land and rebuilt it exactly how it was before without ever seeing how it before it collapsed. Also learn about the two sisters who once owned that same castle before Emily's family bought it. Keep in mind that this book is fantasy lol.

I have bonded with these characters. Emily, Tabetha, Jill, Mandy, Aunt Jane, Alex, Alicia, Mike, Jim, and more. I think you will too. They are very memorable, especially Emily. A temporary excerpt has been placed on my website. It will be replaced with a new excerpt sometime in March before the book is released. Please enjoy! The release date will be known very soon!!!!!
Thank you!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Indianapolis Vs New Orleans

Ok, who's going to win between the two teams tomorrow? Some say Colts, some say the Saints. What do you think? Who do you want to win is the question really because none of us really knows how the game is going to end, not really lol.

This is the first time the Saints have ever made it this far so you'd think they would want it more and fight harder to have victory. Right? And the Colts have only one what, one Superbowl so they may want it just as badly lol.

I do know one thing. The grocery stores are getting empty for parties during the game. Even though some people don't get into sports, most people will be tuning in to watch this game. Why? Of course, you know that answer--the commercials lol.

I'm one of those people who don't really get into sports. Never really have. But I married a sports finatic lol. So if he's watching the game, I will be too I guess. At least part of it while I play on my computer, maybe do some writing. Unless we go to a party, then I will be watching the game with everyone else lol.

Every year we have a Superbowl so if you want this one to be special, make it different than all the ones you've thrown in the past. Have different types of foods. If you watched Oprah yesterday then you know its possible lol. Be creative int he kitchen and people will thank you. And of course, if you're not a cook, there's always ordering out or delivery lol. If that's the game plan, get something different from a different restaurant. But if you're into tradition and I don't blame you, then by all means, go with what works for you. Maybe add a couple things to your tradition if you'd like.

And don't forget about the after-game party lol. Don't "count" on your team winning. Keep it neutral just in case lol. If your team does win, then scream like hmmmm, you know what I'm thinking, I just can't say it lol.

Ok, now you have the floor. Who's got your vote? Colts or the Saints?

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Game Day!

Yes, I'm watching the game right now. So far, Colts are down 7-0. If I remember correctly, it was the Colts who let the Jets in the play offs so its looks like this game is really coming back to haunt the Colts. Let's see if they can beat the Jets for the first time in the play offs or will it be a repeat on the Jets behalf. My team is out so I'm I have to root for another team lol. I have a lot of friends who love the Colts but they always rub it in when my team loses so I think I'm rooting for the Jets to kick some butt in this game lol. But we shall see.

Anyway, I just wanted to blog today and this seemed like a fitting subject for a Sunday afternoon. Go Jets lol.

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I know everyone's heard about Haiti. It is very sad. There's a lot of people heading over there to giving a helping hand which is very good. It goes to show that when there's something bad in the world, there's always someone around to help out! That's what I like about this country (USA). And I'm sure there are other countries over there helping too. There's a lot of good people in this world!

I heard on the news that there's a lot of people taking advantage of that. Remember, if you're asked for a donation over in the Internet, its a scam and should be reported. If you want to donate something like food, blankets, or money, you should take that step first, not the other way around. And there's a lot of places where you can do to do that. Even cell phone carriers are getting in where you can text something and 5$ is added to your bill for this cause. I didn't catch where to text or the website to visit if you want to donate more lol. But I'm sure you can search online and find out very easily.

I truly hope these people can rise above this tragedy. They are all in my prayers!


Saturday, January 9, 2010


Our First Visual Arts Junction

Writing Contest is a Tie.
Ed Leonard & Jacki Donnelly
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and that was your assignment. Well, more accurately, 500 — 600 words. And writing about the above photo art, Valle Pintado by Aggie Villanueva, was the subject.
Our six judges returned a split decision, so without further ado Visual Arts Junction, and our many contest sponsors, take pride in introducing you to our two winners, and their winning entries. Click on the links below to see the entries on sponsors' sites.

Life in the Valle Pintado

by Ed Leonard (Papa Ed)
Ankles tucked and breathing slowed, I feel the tree dance, my wood platform sways and rocks in the hot southern trade winds. My sad, burnt, drought-stunted valley stretches before me. My humble ranch home swelters in a dry, coarse bunchweed field surrounded by stunted agreste woods that threaten to become caatinga.
Death menaces life like a Samhain specter. Gnarled stick trees grasp each other for desperate support. Their life juices drawn deep to survive the uncommon warm, dry winter. Earth spirits have driven the Numida fowl and the high plains antelope down the Tocantins to richer lands. The loss of precious water and the increased heat are taking a horrendous toll on animal and plant habitats in the Valle Pintado.
I have barely survived another winter. Spring has arrived with little promise, and my energy and will are suffering. I call out to the spirits of the jaguar and of the ocelot who once roamed here. But, they do not hear me.
I close my eyes, intent on escape. I release my saddened spirit. Hawk spirit enfolds me and I soar to a better time. I stroke the heavens and relish a gentle wind with a smooth glide. I alight to proudly perch atop a tall post and search the autumn grass for my choice of scampering breakfast.
The Valle Pintado proudly displays a dappled Autumn abstract quilt with primary colors blended and fused like fresh oils on nature’s canvas. My well-tended red adobe brick home blends quietly and comfortably before a large sugary wave of Palo Verde, Box Elder, and Hop Trees in full glory. My harvested corn patch glows golden yellow and my second growth wheat field rusty red.
A warm wind whispers, flicks leaves loose to float and flip their way to rich soil, and bathes my feathers in ripples. A hazy gray cooking fire screen rises among the trees with the rich smell of mesquite fired meat.
Two distant sandstone buttes, glimmer and flash with life, shrouded in milky early morning light. My world is balanced, healthy, and harmonious. I know now that the natural cycle of seasons will return my ranch to glorious life.
I spot a striped field mouse and launch, flapping lightly, then diving fast to my target. I dive and dive, but my prey remains distant. I linger, but the inevitable change reaches me. My spirit snaps back to my earth-bound body. Hawk has brought me hope and reminded me of the potential of my life in the Valle Pintado.
I resolve to exercise patience, to go back and seal my roof against the rain that must come again, to mend my fence against the predators that will return, to plant my corn and wheat knowing they will be nourished and watered. I resolve to hike to the top of the distant butte blessing all earth along the way. I resolve to come often to my tree platform and to meditate with the spirit of my totem animal, the hawk.
My sadness is gone.
Ed Leonard: My online name is papaed. I've been a compulsive reader and writer for nearly 50 years. I prefer poetry and have over 100 poems posted online. I've never tried to publish a book or articles in a magazine although I've done journalistic reporting freelance for several newspapers. I chose to place the Valle Pintado in the Tocantins watershed of Brazil and researched the habitat, geography, watershed, language, and native animals so that my 500 word piece reflects a possible mystical scenario there. I advocate meditation and peace issues in many of my writings and found your picture inspirational along those lines.

Judges Comments for Ed's Entry

What I liked: You made the what and why of your transformations clear without actually saying it. I liked that you didn’t insult our intelligence as readers. That’s good storytelling. I empathized with your transformations; physical, spiritual and emotional, that produced a trust in, and ultimately a submission to, the Great Spirit through nature – a trust that transforms despair into hope restored, and then finally seeing things as they really are.
What could be improved: I know you had a word limit, but I’d like to see it more developed.
What I liked: What an intriguing story of hope. Beautifully painted images; excellent use of the first person POV. Thank you for your contribution to the contest and good luck with your writing career.
What could be improved: My only criticism pertains to the structure of one sentence: Two distant sandstone buttes, glimmer and flash with life, shrouded in milky early morning light. I don’t understand the comma after buttes or the switch from present to past tense (glimmer, flash, shrouded). I wish my own writing problems were so small.
What I liked: The imagery of the story is good and the writer's effort to paint a story with apt descriptions works well.
What could be improved: The story reads like a synopsis for a much longer story. The grammar needs a little attention -- split infinitives and occasional change of verb tense.


A Painted Mountain Life

by Jacki Donnelly
It was almost a month since I resigned as Editor in Chief of New York’s most popular fashion magazine “Moda”, but my mental alarm clock was still sounding off promptly at 6 a.m. For the past 29 days this annoyed me, but today was different. Today I started my new life- I left my upscale life and the chaos in NYC. I traded it all in for what I hoped would be a more peaceful and meaningful life.
My dearest friend lost a life long battle with cancer. During her last few months I didn’t spend as much time with her as I should have. I didn’t have the time, you know, with being successful and all. Luckily I made it to her before she died. She reminded me to enjoy the life’s little things, and not always focus on money and work. “You are only what you let yourself become.” she gently whispered. And with that I gently embraced her frail hand for the last time.
I finally understood the meaning behind her unsolicited suggestions. She always wanted me to take time off work, to go on a date or read a book, which I refused. I always justified my disregard by her not having or wanting the lavish lifestyle I was accustomed to. I was wrong. Now I sat humbled and dissatisfied.
At that moment I decided to change. I resigned from my job, sold my apartment and packed only the necessities, which included a book I had been working on for over twenty years. I searched the internet for a cabin to retreat to in the mountains. Finally I found a quaint cabin rental nestled in the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest. After a short telephone call with the owner I packed up my car and headed west.
I slowly got out of bed letting my feet touch the cold wooden floor. The sunrise was creeping over the mountains and into the cabins’ windows. The fall air had a slight chill with a sweet smell to it. I managed a fire in the ancient woodstove, the only heat source for the small cabin. I walked to the kitchen and poured me a cup of coffee in my only mug. I grabbed a sweater from the pile of clothes on the floor and wrote a few items on a box lid I needed from the market. My chores today were to unpack, set up a space to begin writing again, and groceries.
That would have to wait I wanted to enjoy my first cup of coffee of my new life. I walked out onto the porch and sat down in a rickety, wooden rocking chair. The warmth of my coffee felt good as it trickled down my throat to the pit of my stomach. The scenery took my breath away.
I was overwhelmed with a feeling of awe and tranquility, foreign feelings to me. Such beauty greeted me with open arms on that porch. I listened to the sweet melody of the Mountain Chickadees’ and the Western Meadowlarks’ coming from the forest that surrounded me. The wind was swooshing gently through the Locoweed and Indian Paintbrush wildflowers that outlined the small wooden cabins land. The trees adorning the mountains were reflecting shades of crimson, wheat and amber down to me.
I sat captivated. At that moment, with that warm cup of coffee in my hands, I knew I had made the right choice. Today would mark the day I started to “live” life. A Painted Mountain Life - one I could only dream.
Jacki Donnelly: I currently live in the tropical state of Florida. I am new to writing and am currently discovering my talents. Any commentary on the attached piece would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first piece entered for review! I am very excited and look forward to continuing my path of writing. I am 30 years old, married to a wonderful husband and have a wonderful Boxer puppy named Baxter.
This picture reminded me of a trip we took recently to the Appalachian mountains - Life is so much different in a quiet country setting. I have recently returned to college in pursuit of a degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, and so far I am loving every minute of it. I hope to one day become an editor for a small press!

Judges Comments for Jacki's Entry

What I liked: I thought the story was well written and had a great story line. If the Author wished she could make this into a novel.
What could be improved: The one thing I would change would be to describe the picture more in depth.
What I liked: BROUGHT TEARS to my eyes. She obviously was drawn into the picture and let the emotions of it be real in her story.
What could be improved:
What I liked: I chose Jacki's story because of the creativeness of her story and how well it went with the picture. It showed a lot of imagination. That's a good thing! Keep up the good work!
What could be improved: The one thing I would've changed in the story, was that it was told in the first person, a pet peeve of mine. First person should be left for non-fiction stories, in my opinion, such as the author's biography in his/her own words or a memoir. Otherwise, it was great!
The Fine Print: Entries are judged on storytelling quality only. We do not judge on editing, manuscript prep, etc. Congratulations winners.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Authors! Win 250 FREE Professionally Printed Business Cards!

Uprinting is hosting another great give-a-way!

Giveaway Prize: 250 Business Cards for one (1) lucky winner
Size: 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (skinny card)
Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
Shipping: Sponsored bloggers and Winners have to pay for shipping
Eligibility: Limited to US Residents due to shipping costs.
Enter by: January 20, 2010!
Winner will be announced on: January 23, 2010
This giveaway is sponsored by: Uprinting.com
To enter for your chance to win, post a comment to the original blog post at: http://authorresourcesbycindy.blogspot.com/2010/01/win-250-free-business-cards.html about the giveaway explaining how you will use your business cards, should you win. It's that simple!!!

Not only will the winner receive the 250 free business cards, but I will too, just for hosting this really neat give-a-way! To get things rolling, here's one example of what my business card might look like!

For more information, visit these links:
Uprinting.com - Online Printing Company
Uprinting.com - Business Card Printing

You are welcome to post this contest on your blog as well, but please link it back to the following original links: Author Resources By Cindy and Uprinting.com.

And don't forget to tweet your followers!