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This post is part of a blog tour.  Learn more about Kari van Wakeren here.

You can read more about Bubble Wrap Girl’s blog tour on:

http://tonjadrecker.blogspot.com on May 27

http://www.kidsbookshelf.com on June 1

http://livinginaworldofbookquotes.wordpress.com on June 15

Review by Darcy Bell-Myers

Read more about Darcy at http://bellmyers.com.

Don’t we all just want to wrap our kids up in bubble wrap sometimes? Izzy Magee has a problem. She likes to play soccer, ride her bike and have fun but she DOESN’T like the bumps and bruises that come along with an active life. Her parents want to protect their little girl, so they wind her up in bubble wrap with an adorable bow on top of her head! The only problem is that although Izzy’s now well-cushioned, she can’t get the full fun out of life anymore. It’s hard to dance at a party when you can hardly move, hard to participate in school when you can’t raise your hand and so disappointing to try and ride your bike when your bubble wrap knocks over everything around you. This book has a great lesson for kids about learning to roll with life’s ups and downs. It’s an even better lesson for parents; that although we want to protect our children, in the end we have to learn to let go. A life well-lived may come with some scrapes from falling off that bike, but the journey is what makes life fulfilling. The message is a great one and the story approaches it in a playful way. The delightful illustrations are lively and colorful with beautiful patterns and details. The story flows along smoothly and will entertain even the busiest of kids. It’s good for independent, young readers and bedtime readings alike.

Darcy Bell-Myers has loved to draw and paint since she was a little girl. She is the illustrator of Mary Emma, Walk!Wyatt’s Big DayTreasure’s GiftEmmy and the Rude RoosterGrandma Has WingsHiggledy Piggledy, and the author/illustrator of The Animal Babies Book of BalletPony Paper Dolls and The Animal Babies Book of Princesses. Her illustration and design work has won honors such as the Independent Publisher Book Award, Dr. Toy, San Diego Book and Parent’s Choice Awards. She lives with her husband and three children in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Bubble Wrap Girl — Birthday Blog Tour!

May 3rd, 2019 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Bubble Wrap Girl — Birthday Blog Tour!)

Title: Bubble Wrap Girl

Author: Kari van Wakeren

Birthday Blog Tour:  Celebrating Two Year Publication Anniversary

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Synopsis: Izzy Magee gets bumps and bruises when she does the things she likes–chasing her brother, dancing in the kitchen, and riding her bike. Getting hurt is a hang-up for Izzy, so one day she decides to cover herself in bubble wrap. Her plan works like a charm… until the bubble wrap gets in the way of doing the things she likes. Eventually, Izzy realizes that getting hurt is part of life–and she isn’t going to let it get in the way of having fun!

Links:  http://www.karivanwakeren.com/

About the Author:

Kari van Wakeren is an avid reader and working mother of two joy-filled kids. She lives in central Minnesota with her family, where together they enjoy music, playing outside, sharing time with friends, and being silly. She works as a pastor and is passionate about helping kids realize their inherent self-worth and inner strength. When she is not reading or writing, Kari can usually be found in her garden, on a walk, or cooking up something delicious. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Luther Seminary.

About the Illustrator:

Little CA Nobens, the shortest kid in her kindergarten class, shot up like a weed in first grade. She didn’t know where her head or her knees or her elbows began or ended, until she was the tallest girl in eighth grade. She was always clonking her noggin or stubbing her toe or rapping her wrist or barking some bone on something. She could have used miles and miles of bubble wrap! Not having any, she just tried to stay still and draw pictures a lot.

    Tour Schedule

May 15 — The Picture Book Review — Book Review, Giveaway

May 23 — Sara’s Pop Op blog — Review by Darcy Bell Myers, Giveaway

May 27 — Kidbits — Review, Giveaway

June 1 — Kids Bookshelf — Author interview, Giveaway

June 15 — Living in a World of Book Quotes — Author interview, Giveaway


Tools for Effective Social Media Posts

October 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Tools for Effective Social Media Posts)

In this day and age of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, social media posts are a must when publicizing your book or any event associated with a book.  Here are a few effective tools for successful social media posts.

1.  Hootsuite:  For a nominal cost,  Hootsuite allows one to post using all of your social media platform.  It’s a very easy way to manage it all.

2. Canva or Stencil:  These tools help you craft your graphic message.  They allow you to change your cover photo on any social media platform and change your type, font, and images.  Also, if you are looking for free images use Pixaby!

3.  Constant Contact:  This is a email newsletter tool.  Once you create your newsletter, you can send it to contacts on social media.

4. Be sure to hashtag your posts.  Create your own or use others that are popular like #TBT, or #FollowFriday.

5. Lastly, be sure to invite others to follow you!


The three items every author needs to master

October 8th, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The three items every author needs to master)

As  a book publicist I’m always aware of book PR campaigns.  Some are wonderful and some need a lot of help.   I always tell new authors to make marketing a priority.  Even before beginning to write, think about your audience and who would be interested in your work.  Here are a few tips every author should master when putting a book on the market.

1.  Do your research!  If you have an idea for a book, research the topic online or at your local bookstore.  Do the market research.  Find out if that book sold, are readers reviewing it, are they excited?  If an author did not do this, it’s basically putting a product on the market without having an idea of its future success.  Would Apple or General Mills do this?

2. Be present.  Many times authors tell me they just want to write and not promote.  It’s the JD Salinger frame of reference. Those days are over! If an author does not want to promote, unless the book is a masterpiece, they are going down the wrong track.  An author must have a web site/ social media presence and be connected to readers.  Readers want to know you!

3. Lastly, be an editor or hire a good one!  It’s such a shame to release a book without proper editing.  Readers are very smart and will recognize a poor edit, design, or if you don’t have the credibility to back up your work.   In other words, before a book is released, do your work.  It may take longer to publish but in the end, it will all pay off.


Apps I’m Using Right Now

October 1st, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Apps I’m Using Right Now)

Happy Monday morning!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  It’s the start of a new season.  I’m welcoming sweaters, cool weather, and hot chocolate.   I was thinking about a post and decided to talk about some apps I’m using.

1.  First is an app all about the news.  I use the AP news app.  The associated press is a trusted source in a world where no one is sure where to get reliable news.

2. If you want to have a place that categorizes news on the Internet, try Flipboard.  You can have your news catered to your interests.

3. For pop culture, PopSugar is a go to. They cover everything from fashion to food to love/ sex.  They also have great gift guide listings!

4. For all things music, Spotify is a must.  They have listings just for you. For example, I have a Monday morning listing made just for me and a release radar listing every Friday morning.

5.  Lastly, make sure to download Hoopla.  It is associated with libraries.  You can download a limited number of music, movies, and books but their listing is very updated.


All for now!  Have a great day!



Favorite new books for fall

September 24th, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Favorite new books for fall)

As the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures start to drop, I look forward to wearing sweaters and reading new books.  I’ve been in the mood for cozy mysteries and Victorian romance.   I’ve also be interested in finding some new authors.  Here is a list to get you started.

1.  Romance:  For a good regency romance, try Jo Beverly. Her rogue series is well-written.  She passed away in 2016 but she left a legacy of wonderful romantic stories.

2. A Cozy Mystery:  Joanne Fluke has a series about baking and mystery—my two favorite things!  She also includes recipes with the books.

3.  New books:  Try “Leave No Trace” by Minnesota author Mindy Meijia, Chrissy Teigan’s new cookbook, Hungry for More, and Sally Field’s autobiography, In Pieces.

Keep checking iTunes and Amazon for more. A1lJP8cRfgL._AC_SY230_


August 20th, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Podcasts!)

Recently, I have discovered some wonderful podcasts!  I listen to my podcasts on Spotify, but there are many other locations like iTunes and on the podcast web site.

My Favorite: My favorite podcasts at the moment is You Must Remember This by Karina Longworth.  The program is about Hollywood in the 20th century.  Longworth digs into the known and unknown history of such stars as Jean Harlow and Judy Garland but she also discusses more obscure stars like Wallace Reid and Olive Thomas.  Great podcast! Go to Youmustrememberthispodcast.com.

If You Miss the Oprah Winfrey Show: Another great podcast is Oprah’s Super Soul Conversation.  Oprah talks with experts such as Ainslie MacLeod about living your best life, Mitch Landrieu about history and Eckhart Tolle about being present.

If you wish 48 Hours was on everyday:  Small Town Murder  The hosts are comics James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman look at small town murder and put a great comic spin on it!

Look up the podcasts on Spotify, iTunes or by doing a Google search.



How to Get Media Attention if You Write Fiction

August 13th, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on How to Get Media Attention if You Write Fiction)



Many fiction writers are hesitant to inquire about media.  Many times a writer will say, “What would I talk about?”  However, this is an underestimation.  As a fiction writer, chances are you have spent months and years researching your topic.  Maybe you write about war, medicine, or even magic … as a result you know your subject very well.  You can talk about it.   Here are 5 tips for success.

1.  Write a press release about what you learned doing research.

2. Be clear and concise in your press release

3.  Make sure to contact media who are interested in your subject matter.

4. Don’t hesitate when a producer or journalist calls or emails you.

5. Send an excerpt of your book along with your press release.

It seems like there are new programs every day.  In the past, new TV shows would premiere in September and run until the early summer.  With streaming, new programs come out every month.

Here is a list I’m looking forward to.

1.  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:  Love, love this show.  It is stylist, colorful, fun, smart, and original.  It is not a remake and reboot or a superhero movie.  Wow! Strange.  I haven’t heard of a release date but Amazon promises season 2 by the end of the year.

2.  Ashlee + Evan:  This is a new reality show on MTV starting September 9.  It is about Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross.  They have been married since 2014 and have 1 child.  I’m interesting in this for one reason.  Evan is Diana Ross’ son.  Maybe she will appear on camera.  I’d love to see her on a reality show.

3.  Homeland with Julia Roberts is about a caseworker that helps soldiers transition to civilian life.  Sounds pretty dramatic but Julia Roberts is always great.  This is coming by end of year.

4. Romanoffs is coming October 12.  It is from the creator of Mad Men and its about people who believe they are descendants of the Russian royal family.

5.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is premiering August 10 on Netflix.  This is based on a wonderful book set in WW2.


Amazon Prime Day starts at 3 pm!

July 16th, 2018 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Amazon Prime Day starts at 3 pm!)

Amazon Prime Day is every year in July.  Amazon keeps the day secret and this year it is July 16.  For many this is like Christmas Day.  I’m sure many find discounts on products family members will be opening on Christmas morning.

Let the Christmas season begin!

Here are a few links to product many web sites have highlighted:

1. CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/03/cnn-underscored/when-is-amazon-prime-day-shop/index.html?iid=CNNUnderscoredHP2.0

2. CBS: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/amazon-prime-day-becomes-a-36-hour-event/

3. USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2018/07/09/amazon-prime-day-insider-tips-getting-deals-and-avoiding-hype/756429002/