Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A moment with Author~ Ana Maria Rodriguez

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1) Can you tell us who Ann Marie Rodriguez is?

Ana María Rodríguez is a scientist that became an author. She writes books and magazine articles for children and adults about outstanding people, nature and science. Her books have been well-received by teachers and librarians and some have even received an award. Kids love the photos and cool facts.

2) Can you tell us how many books you have had published. I have 16 books and over 85 magazine articles published, including in Highlights for Children, YES and KNOW , and Scholastic’s SuperScience. Please, check my website for more information.

3) Which is your favorite and which is your least favorite? My favorite now is The Iron Butterfly. I don’t have a least favorite.

4) I will doing a review on the Iron Butterfly but is there

anything you would like to share with the readers about the

book before I post my thoughts? It took us 6 years from beginning to publication, to have this book ready. It was a journey on itself writing all the true story together in a way that reads like a novel. I enjoyed that journey very much. It also took quite a while to find a publisher. That was not as exciting as writing the book!

5) Most authors life are pretty public but is there one thing

you can share others may not know? Because of this book, I discovered I love Korean food! (There are a few recipes included in The Iron Butterfly)

Is there a Author dead or alive you would like to meet and if

so why and what would you like to ask them? I’d have liked to meet John Steinbeck. I admire all his work because it touches the human heart and the narrative flows effortlessly. I’d like to ask him to read my manuscripts and tell me what he thinks. But that’s a little scary…

6) What tip would you offer a new and upcoming author? Read, read, read, write, write, write. Write about what you love, what moves you.

7) As a Author what is one item you could not be without? An Internet connection and email!

8) Where is your favorite place to write? In my office. It has a good view of the back yard and it lets me ‘hide’ from the world so I can write/read undisturbed.

9) More and more authors are allowing bloggers to review

there work how do you feel this helps or hinders authors? I think bloggers are becoming a valuable source of information to readers. They place in front of their followers books they believe are worth reading that their followers might not have heard of. At the same time, this helps authors spread the word about their books, which is very hard to do nowadays. I am thankful to all bloggers that like my type of writing and comment about my books.

10) What is 1 obstacle you have overcome? The toughest thing still is balancing personal life and writing. Sometimes, people think that because I work from home, I have all the time in the world to do what they ask me to do. It’s been hard for others to accept writing is my real job.

11) As a Author and a women what piece of advice do you

have for women? A with other careers, women writers have a tougher time pursuing it and getting recognition. Don’t give up. Ever. Whatever your passion and goal is, never set it aside regardless of all the discouragement you may receive. Work hard, learn your craft well, and you’ll get better and better. Don’t forget networking. Join a writer’s group, go to conferences and meet editors in person. Writers support each other. Socialize online. Don’t give it up.

12) Please tell us if you have a new book to be released when

and a little bit about it if you can. Yes! I have 4 new books coming up in January 2012. They are for middle-grade and high-school readers. It’s a series about extreme animals living in extreme environments and how they manage to thrive in extremely cold, hot, dark or deep places. The books include hands-on activities, sidebars with cool facts, color photos, and a bibliography and website suggestions. I am thrilled because the books will be published in hardcover (library binding) but also in paperback, which will allow them to be available in museum, zoos, and other gift shops, besides your book store at an affordable prize. If you type ‘extreme animals in extreme environments’ in Amazon, you will find them.

Ana Maria Rodriguez


Visit my website

Find me on Facebook

The Iron Butterfly

My Blog

Follow me on Twitter!/RodriguezAMaria

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Homemaker~ Interview

1) Can you tell us what makes you, you?
My dedication! I am not only 100% dedicated to running my home and caring for my family, but I'm just as dedicated to helping my readers. I always make sure to take the time to answer all requests, questions and concerns, and in my opinion, that sets me apart and makes me, me.

2) You blog is called "The Happy Homemaker" why?
I have always been very "Home and Family" oriented. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be a Mommy, and homemaker. This in turn, gave me the nickname "The Happy Lil' Homemaker" amongst my friends and family. The name stuck.

3) Share with us some of the items you make and why.
I make a variety of items to help each household run more smoothly. A few of my items are my customized Binders (Recipe, coupon, household and Blogger), my customized dry-erase cleaning cards, chore charts, to do lists, recipe cards and gift name a few. I have been using these methods for years, and the thought of them helping others, inspired me to start "The Happy Lil Homemaker Store".

4) How did you get started?
I actually started the site in November of 2010. I've spent several years helping other families get there homes in order, and after several people telling me I should start up a blog, I finally buckled down. That's when the site was born. I absolutely love it! I only wish I would have started sooner.

5) How long have you had your blog and who is your
favorite blogger.
It will be one year in November. I'm looking forward to that. It's a huge accomplishment. As for my favorite blogger, there are so many that have been so wonderful, and influenced me so much, but one in particular has a special place in my heart. This would be Di, from Free Sample Momma. She has inspired me on so many different levels, and has really helped with my confidence. I adore her, and her site.

6) There is a notebook for Bloggers Please tell us about
it and is there one for Direct Sellers if not will there be in
the future? If so what would it include?
Ah! My new love. The Blogging Binder. When I first started up my blog, there were pieces of paper scattered all over with my ideas, and notes. I hated the mess, and I hated not being able to find something that I was looking for. I sat down one night and created a binder to hold all of my blogging information. I have a spot for pages that I'd like to feature, my weekly schedule, Reviews, any affiliate information, and of course, contacts. Everything is put together in a pretty, customized binder with my logo on the cover. All of the insert sheets were created by me to fit a bloggers needs. For the ones that I sell, I fill the binder with these inserts (As well as a master copy of each, for when it comes refill time), and I customize the cover with the customer's blog logo. These have been a huge hit, and I'm proud to say, everyone loves them.

As for Direct Sales, I have been tossing around the idea, but I don't have anything set in stone as of now.

7) How do you feel Bloggers help or hinder businesses?
I personally believe, that the blogging community, is one of the most important word of mouth advertising, methods.

8) What is your biggest challenge as a blogger/ business owner?
I adore my business, and my site. I honestly can't say I've faced a challenge that has not turned out for the best. I think that in the beginning, my biggest challenge was getting the blog out there for people to see.

9) What is your best selling item?
Oh, that's a tough one. I have my 5, top sellers...can I tell you those? :) My Binders (all of them) are doing very well. My cleaning cards are number two. My chore Charts are number 3. My "Recipe Cards, number 4. And last but not least, my "To Do" charts.

10) Can you tell us what one item you would like to add to your
business that you have not done so far?
I'm actually getting ready add gift baskets to the Store. I love making them. I'll be offering a variety of baskets for every budget. They will run from "The Happy Lil' Homemaker" baskets, with a variety of my customized products, to Simple "Coffee Lovers" baskets. Craft baskets for kids are also on the agenda.

11) Is there any advice you would like to share with a blogger or
a direct seller? Or a mom? Dad?
Stay true to yourself. Stick to your morals, and never sell your soul for a buck. And remember...your readers are who got you where you are today. Treat them right!

For parents...You are your child's biggest influence. They learn from what they see, not from what you say.
 "The Happy Lil' Homemaker"

Monday, September 12, 2011

A free e-book~

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Who knows when, or why, or how it all came about but men historically have taken the lead when it comes to grilling. But why should they get to have all the fun?

Right now you can get Weber's Girl's Guide to Grilling absolutely free! This useful guide covers the grilling basics from how to choose the right grill for you to grilling and food safety. It also contains a large collection of recipes, grilling times for your favorite foods, and general grilling tips.

Move over boys. This year women will be confidently firing up the grill for the labor day picnic!

Grab this FREE e-book today and have fun grilling before winter gets here!

Thanks for letting us share this with other moms!

This Bird Flew Away by Lynda M. Martin – NURTURE Book Tour

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This Bird Flew Away by Lynda M. Martin – NURTURE Book Tour

more coming soon... contest and news

Attention Readers,Book lovers, Writers and Authors~

Drum roll, please! The Big News here at is that we are turning 20 next year. My, how time flies when you're having fun putting people in their own novels.

To celebrate, we're holding a romance writing contest to produce our next novel Celebrating Romance II. Ten winners will claim 10 romantic getaways, with a total value of more than $35,000.

Wow. You should get busy writing... and, please, tell your friends.
Lastly, there's a $15 gift for you to celebrate with us. Find it at the bottom.
We'll Publish 10 Winners - One of Them Could Be You

Ten winners will be selected to have their personalized, romantic stories published in Celebrating Romance II to be sold online along with's other books and eBooks.

Just like all our offerings, this book will feature the 20-some details about the starring couple - names, eye and hair color, pet names they call one another, perfume/cologne, best friends, where they work, favorite music and more.

Contest entrants must use all 23 personal bits of information in a 2,500- to 4,000-word story in a romantic setting while employing all the techniques of romance writing, including those titillating yet tasteful love scenes that come in's Wild or Mild versions of each book.

And just like our books and eBooks, we're looking for exciting or unique destinations (luxury hotels, cruise ships, grand cities, private hideaways) and unusual themes. As you know, in addition to our adventure/romances, we've also published detective novels, a golf fantasy book, historical fiction, and even vampire stories. So, we're open to new ideas.

We held a similar contest for our 10th anniversary producing Celebrating Romance, still a popular seller. An impressive six of the 10 winning writers went on to publish full-length books. Marcy Thomas and Gail Gibbs have written full-length novels for LuAnne McLane (with 13 novels under her belt), Lori Pepio, Janet Welch, and Regina Hammond all went on to publish books for other companies.
So, start pounding those keys.

Check Out These Amazing Getaways - You Could Win One

For this 20-year milestone, we've teamed up with sponsors in the travel industry (through our contacts as travel writers, our "other" job) for prizes to inspire you to produce award-winning work.

Prizes valued at more than $35,000 include:

- 7 nights at Palm Island Resort, Grenadines ( valued at $5,540;

- 7 nights at St. James's Club & Villas, Antigua ( valued at $4,515;

- 7 nights at The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua ( valued at $4,200;

- 5 nights at Bolongo Bay, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands ( valued at $2,354;

- 2 nights at Rosewood Country Inn, Bradford, NH ( valued at $798;

- 2 nights Ozarks Mountain Christmas, Branson, MO ( valued at $700;

- 2 nights at Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, NC ( valued at $625;

- 2 nights at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL ( valued at $538;

- 2 nights in Raleigh, NC ( at Oakwood Inn B&B ( ) plus personalized tours - total value $500;

- A surprise destination to be announced;

- 10 complimentary copies of Celebrating Romance II valued at $1,270 to winners ranked 1-5; five complimentary copies valued at $635 to winners ranked 6-10.

Fletcher says, "Whenever we explain what we do, someone invariably responds, 'I should write a book.' We agree, and now's the time."

Enter by Oct. 15, 2011 - All Rules Are Online
For information on how to enter the contest, prize details, and the official rules, visit Entry deadline is Oct. 15, 2011, with winners announced by Nov. 28, 2011. The contest has no entry fee, but will be limited to 300 entries. It is open to U.S. or Canadian legal residents at least 18 years old.

Celebrate with Us - Your $15 Gift Card Code

Join in the celebration. Use this code for $15 to spend on any personalized book(s) at At checkout, type the word CONTEST15 in the Promotional Discount Code box. This offer can be shared with friends and family and expires Oct. 1, 2011.

Mom-Interview~ Madie Stevens

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Who is Mandie? 
I'm a homeschooling mom of two beautiful little girls, I'm a wife to an amazing man, and I'm overworked and underpaid. :) I run the office end of our family landscaping business and I'm currently working on writing a book.
Can you tell us about your magazine and when 
it was started and why? 

 I started it about 5 years ago when I decided to stay home with my children. I needed an outlet and that was it. 
How hard is it to maintain it? 

Very! But luckily I have some amazing contributors.
How much time does it take to run?

I work on it every day but Sunday :)
Can you tell us how the site can benefit a blogger or a 
direct seller and why you think this.

 I have blogging tips and will be adding even more for bloggers. I have a weekly stumble list where bloggers can add their posts. On my community I have a group specifically for bloggers. I also have a group for WAHMs and everyone is welcome to advertise their businesses (as long as they aren't spamming)
How do you feel bloggers help or hinder a business? 

HELP, bloggers are inexpensive advertising and PR companies know this.
You have both a blog and a community why both? 

They two completely different entities. One is packed with articles the community is for everyone to make friends and promote themselves
Which is easier to maintain? 

The blog. The community is getting an incredible amount of hits every month but people like to read and not interact. That is what the community if for, I wish more people would utilize it.
Tell us about Promotional Book Tours? 

I started it to eventually promote my books but decided to use my resources to help other authors as well.
Where do you find the Authors to work with? 

I'm in several writing groups and I have authors coming to me.
Who besides yourself reviews the books? 

I have about 30 bloggers.
Would this help a blogger build there stats? 

Definitely. There are a lot of book lovers out there! A lot of people like to learn about new books and win then.
What types of books do you promote and why? 

It depends on what the authors bring me. I won't promote erotica.
If you use a Blogger to review a book what do you 
look for in that blogger and what happens if they do 
not review a book they say they will review?

 I look for someone who is passionate about books and is a consistent blogger, If they don't review then they won't be able to request anymore books.
How do you handle a review of a product you just did not like 
or the company did not do what they said they would do or did not 
send what they where supposed to?

 I always communicate with the sponsor. If it was something I didn't like I always give them the option of me not posting.
Do Blog Hops help or hinder bloggers? 

Help, the more you get your name out there the better.
Is Facebook or Twitter better to promote on and why? 

I utilize both and get great results.
If a blogger wants to start a review business what would you tell them and why? 

Make sure you are consistent and honest.
What kiind of stats should they need? 

I think I had a thousand hits in a month when I started and found companies to work with me. Now I have that and more in a day.
Do you have a favorite blog and why?  I love her book and product reviews and she is a great resource for bloggers. - Blog - community - blog - Business


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Wee Pray - Pray with Me.We're giving away some free apps. use  Promo codes expire in 28 days.(9-20-11)


Can you tell us who you are and about your company such as
when it was started and why and how it was put together

I’m Dawn Kempf of Dawn K Apps. In December of 2009, I decided to teach myself how to program apps for the iphone. I guess I watched one too many You tube videos with a 14 year old saying if he could program apps, you could too. I’m in my mid 50’s with no prior programming experience. I sent my first million dollar idea (or so I thought) to one of the many companies that at that time said they would turn your idea into reality. I thought they would yeah or nay it and if they didn’t want to make the app, I could. I hadn’t read the fine print well enough and surprise, surprise, they might do my app at a future time so I couldn’t use the idea anymore.
At that point, I decided I needed to count on myself. I bought a mac mini, an iPhone and several iPhone app programming books. I had always worked on pc’s with windows, never a mac. I really like the mac and the iPhone is the best cell phone I have ever had. In April of 2010, I released my first iPhone Birth Announcement App, ItsABoy!. I have 10 different birth announcement apps and my newest app Wee Pray - Pray with Me. You can do amazing things with the iPhone and iPad. I don’t feel every app needs to be that way. I try to make apps that are easy to use. My birth announcement apps are specialized so even the most excited Grandmother can send a quick birth announcement of her granddaughter.

What all do you sale and where can people purchase it at
and what types of payments do you take?

I sell apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. They can all be found in Apple’s App Store. Please visit to see the individual apps. I have a line of iPhone Birth Announcement Apps “Our Family of iPhone Birth Announcement Apps for Your Family” and my newest app Wee Pray - Pray with Me “When the Sound of Your Voice is All that Matters”. Wee Pray - Pray with Me is for children missing their parents or grandparents. In today’s society, many people live away from their families. Many people have to travel for business and miss their child’s bedtime. Many people are in the military and are deployed away from their loved ones. Wee Pray - Pray with Me lets you record a special message or prayer to send to your child in your own voice. Reading emails is fine, talking on skype is great but what about the time that you can’t be reached? Your child can play your recording and hear your voice telling them how much you miss them and how much you love them.

Do you have Gift Certificates?
You can gift Apps through iTunes. If you have never gifted an app before, here is a very good write up showing you how to:

If you have received a promo code and are unsure of how to use it. Here is another good write up: Apple did change the rules, you can no longer review an app on iTunes if you used a promo code.

How did you come up with the name?
Believe it or not there are several Dawn Kempfs out there. I was amazed when I searched on my name how many there were. I’m in the south so my name gets pronounced Don not Dawn like fawn. I have always signed my name Dawn K which ends up to be Donkey. I sell apps so it became Dawn K Apps. My husband drew my logo for me which I love.

Besides yourself who all works with you and what do
they do? My husband does my cartoons and helps me test my apps. He gives me his input on my marketing ideas. He thought of “When the Sound of Your Voice is All that Matters” to describe my Wee Pray - Pray with Me app. It is just the two of us with me doing the coding and marketing.

What is your best seller?
ItsTwins2! a twin birth announcement app for the iPhone. I sell more in Australia then anywhere else.

Is there any new items coming out and if so when?
Not at the moment.

Have you worked with Bloggers in the past and if so
how do they help or hinder your business and why do
you feel this way?

Yes, I rely on Bloggers to help me spread the word about my apps. They are very important to a small developer like myself. From what I have read, it’s uncertain how many people visit app review sites before they buy an app. In my opinion, an honest review from a Blogger reaches many more people. If you trust the person that is doing the review and they like the app, you are more likely to buy it. Blogging is more about establishing relationships with your readers and other bloggers. You become part of a big family.

It is getting harder and harder to find Bloggers willing to spend the time reviewing an app. I don’t blame them. If I had the choice between reviewing an item worth $99 compared to an item worth $1.99, I think I would go with the $99 item. Many Bloggers have set prices, if the item isn’t worth so many dollars, I will review it for this fee. I really do understand the time involved but that really does hurt the small developer that doesn’t have a huge marketing budget.

What would you tell someone looking to start there
own business and why do you feel this way?

If you are going to work from home, can you separate yourself from the business? Can you NOT check emails before you go to bed? I am working more hours than I ever did at a “real job”. I have made myself take Sundays off and even that is difficult. Can you find a balance between your work and your home life. Will your family support your decision? Can you deal with not having a guaranteed paycheck? Can you put yourself out there? I’m not comfortable promoting myself but it’s something I have had to learn to do. Last but not least, will you really enjoy what you want to do?

Whats your favorite Social Site to promote your
business on and why? The Blog Frog. Because the door is always open and the people are very friendly. Sounds like the old show Cheers, doesn’t it. I’m fairly new to Blogging, Twitter, Facebook and internet marketing. The bloggers on Blog Frog have been more than willing to share their knowledge and give helpful tips. There is a community for everyone.

What one thing would you like to do business wise
that you have not done yet? I would like to make an interactive children’s storybook.

Share one thing about you that we may not know yet.
I can’t sing or whistle. I can’t carry a tune to save my life but I love to bellow at the top of my lungs along with the radio. (and dance)
Thank you,

-- Dawn Kempf
Dawn K Apps
Wee Pray - Pray with Me
"When the Sound of Your Voice is all that Matters"
"Our Family of iPhone Birth Announcement Apps for Your Family"