Ellwyn’s Blog

Magic Beans Book Store Owner Leat Regwan

Leat Regwan is a passionate giver. As a mother she understands how important reading to young children is. She believes this so strongly she uses her platform MagicBeans Bookstore to help underprivileged kids get their own books.


Leat’s online bookstore reviews and promotes self-published children’s books. She believes Indepenent Authors’ books have value and deserve as much recognition as those published by the traditional publishing houses.


Thanks, Leat!


Now that I’ve introduced you to Leat, let’s get to know her a littler better.


Hello, Leat, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What motivated you to open an Independent Book Store?

My husband is an optometrist by day and children’s author any other time,  and when he self-published his first two books I saw that it was another full-time job just to market and promote the books he worked so hard to publish. 

I knew he wasn’t the only one going through this so I wanted to help Indie authors and have a place where self-published books had a home and were supported and promoted, that’s where my motivation started from.  

Can you tell us a little about the MagicBeans Store?

Sure. MagicBeans spelled one word is an online children’s bookstore that supports the Indie author and Illustrator. We showcase self-published books only and most importantly we have a huge mission to promote literacy in under-served communities.

We do this by providing new books (most signed by the author asan extra perk) to children who don’t have any books at home, for some these books are the very first ones they have ever owned.

What’s involved with running an independent book store?

There’s lots involved especially when mostly everything falls on me. We are constantly looking for good books to put on our bookstore, always finding new ways to promote our site to increase traffic/visitors.

Since we are an online store, there is much maintenance with database work such as uploading books and reviewing books, we run contests every month and do lots of promotional events like our recent Mom’s Choice Award webinar, podcasts, etc.

Is competition with online retailers difficult?

I believe we are the only online Indie Children’s bookstore, especially one with a mission. Most of our books are linked to Amazon so we are not in direct competition with Amazon or Barnes & Noble, we are simply another platform for the reader to search for books, especially when they are looking for diverse unique books that are not your typical cookie cutter “traditionally publishedbooks.

MagicBeans is a place where you can be sure to find a unique and diverse book. You will support Indie authors and artists while taking part in a great cause. The reader can also buy a book and have it shipped to our address to be donated. People love to buy something if they know it is also making a difference.

What makes your store unique?

I believe we are unique because we focus on Independence and self-published books as well as providing authors another platform to market their books. In addition, we are also making a difference in under-served children, even if it is one book at a time.

What are your biggest sellers?

I believe the best sellers are those books that talk about tough issues and also books that have a positive message.

Do you have promotions throughout the year?

Yes, we do have promotions for our authors during different times of the year like 50% off membership rates.  

Do you have author book events?

We do a “Book of the Month” contest every month for our members, the winner gets lots of perks such as a newsletter emailed to lots of readers featuring their book, a home page spread on our bookstore, a YouTube interview, stickers and lots of cool things to promote their book.

We will do more on-site book events in the future for sure.

What advice would you give to independent authors just starting out?

I would tell them that if they are passionate about writing and about children, then to keep going and never give up. I would also tell them not to just do it for money or to say that they have a “published book” out in the world. You really have to do this because you love it.

And one more thing if you are going to self publish abook then really invest in a good illustrator because people and children are visual and if the illustrations are not great, then chances are your book won’t sell the way you want it to.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you and your store?

Yes, I want to let all readers, parents, teachers and educators to know that they can go to MagicBeans Bookstore and find books about bullying, self esteem, diversity, anxiety, death and so many important topics that children are dealing with in today’s world.  

When they buy a book through our website instead of going directly to Amazon, they are supporting Independence and they are also helping us to promote literacy in underprivileged communities. 

The more authors we have on our bookstore and the more readers that support their books, the more books we can donate to children. It all goes hand in hand.   

What are some of your favorite books/authors?

One of my all time favorite children’s books is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and my husband’s first children’s book called “The Adventures of Pugley Bear, Home Sweet Home” by Sol Regwan… Okay fine I am a bit biased. Lol. 

I also just finished “Girl Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis and really enjoyed it! I am also a huge Dr. Seuss fan and love all things Dr. Seuss, and lastly I love all the authors and books that are in our bookstore, I just adore them!

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Yes, our website is www.magicbeansbookstore.com and you can currently find us on Facebook, Instagram and newly to Pinterest. We also have a YouTube channel called “Solster Nation” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCClrUw-dQfKoCkAUaZPhp7Q where our books are reviewed in a fun and entertaining way for children.

Thank you, Leat, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you and MagicBeans Bookstore continued success and lots of luck!
 

Interview With Author Scott Pixello

The man, the myth, the mystery, Scott Pixello is an enigma. Despite writing more than 15 books, there are no pictures of him anywhere on social media.

A writer by night, no one knows where he spends his days; probably in a coffee shop sipping on a cup of joe (black, no cream or sugar, of course) and people watching for character traits he can use in his books.

He claims to have a job somewhere, but does he really?

Scott’s dry wit and unflinching sarcasm, are droll and thought-provoking. His facebook page introduction states he’s a Brit, so I’m guessing he lives somewhere in the UK.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Scott, let’s get to know him a little better, or at least try to.

Hello, Scott, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

Too many experiences to pinpoint one. The advent of self-publishing meant that you could publish more than one book a year (the traditional model) and have great control over the process. It’s cheaper than therapy.


Is writing your full-time profession?

Ha, ha. Oh, you’ re serious. Er, no. I have a day-job that sucks energy and my will to live and I write at night. It’s not a healthy way to live. I may very well die soon from sleep deprivation.


How long have you been writing?

This interview? Only about 10 minutes. It seems longer.

Have you won any awards?

Cycling Proficiency and 50m backstroke (but I cheated & touched the bottom- not of the pool, of this girl I fancied).


How many books have you written?

22 + a box-set, as Scott Pixello. As the Real Me, seven other non-fiction titles (serious stuff that’s on uni reading lists).


Which genres do you write? 

All of them. Except zombie-western-romance-thriller. At least, not yet.

There’s something for everyone in the Pixelloverse. Those needing help with studies (Shakespeare: A Boy’s Tale), anyone expecting or dealing with children (The A-Z of Kids), fans of romance (What Love Can Do), sci-fi (Losers in Space), detective fiction (Shirley Burly),

historical fiction (Jesus: The Wilderness Years or any of the Keith Ramsbottom series, now in six parts), anyone needing a lift (Gothic Girl or Luke, I am Your Father), lovers of animals (Rainbow), fans of short-form humour (Random I, II & III) or anyone who’s too clever for their own good (Smart School), need look no further.


What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

Putting the right words in the right order. And making my craptop work.


What are you working on now?

Tippety top secret. World exclusive- it is set in mainland Europe & features a spot of time-travel, which I haven’t done before.


Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

alcohol, chocolate & cakes. Or as I call it, breakfast.


What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work? 

I had one of my non-fic books translated into Chinese, which was quite cool but I just enjoy getting feedback from readers who are often surprised that my books make them think and laugh.


What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Do this because you enjoy it, not to find fame & fortune, as statistically, that’s very unlikely.


Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I can do a passable moonwalk.


What message are you sharing in your books?

Buy. My. Other. Books.


What are your favorite books/authors?

This is all set out in mind-numbing, I mean mind-blowing detail in Random I-III.  Right now, I’m revisiting E.M. Forster, Thomas Harris and Matt Haig for reasons that may become apparent later in the year.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

You can’t find me when I am writing, so you’ve no chance of finding me when I’m not. I’m on a witless protection programme.  There are no images of me anywhere on the Net. I am an International Man of Mystery.

A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?

Depends which book but I’d probably be big chief script honcho. Either that or I’d do all the stunt double work for the sex scenes.

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?

I would say, ‘Hi dad.’

Where can we find your books?

With 22 books, plus a box-set, there could be a link mountain here. Best to look at the website or just look me up on Google or Amazon.

http://www.pixelloverse.wordpress.com

I’m not sure that there’s such a thing as a typical Pixello book, except there’s probably a certain comedic sensibility, British English spelling and always a character who hates Chris de Burgh. I think that’s the least you should offer your readers.

Thank you, Scott, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Secrets To Being Amazing: What Confident People Don’t Do

The Secret To Being Amazing

Do you know someone who is so effortlessly cool, calm and collected that nothing ever ruffles their feathers? Do you find yourself wondering how they do it, so comfortable being themselves without a care in the world? Do you wish you could have even half of the confidence they have in order to erase self-doubt and stop worrying about what other people are thinking about you?

This book spills the secrets of highly confident people, not just of their natural responses and reactions to everyday situations, but also their unique thought process that sets them apart from the rest of society.

It shows common behaviours that aren’t beneficial to self and the importance of self-love in building successful relationships. Amazingness Keys in each chapter will help you develop higher levels of self-confidence and ultimately revolutionise your relationships with self, family, friends, romantic partners and professional colleagues.

The Furry Horror Of Biscayne Drive: A Cautionary Tale For Parents

Although a rare species, the horriusfurrius or as it’s more commonly known, the furry horror, is indigenous to any household where a persuasive youngster duped parents into believing they would groom and tidy up after their dog and then didn’t. 

This juvenile of deception, this emotional chameleon is a genius at manipulation. They cry, they beg, they even do a few chores to prove they’re responsible, until finally the once skeptical elders believe their child’s sincerity and relent. 

The family then goes to the pet store and adopts a fluffy puppy along with all the food, bedding and grooming supplies it requires. By the time mom and dad pay the bill, the puppy has enchanted everyone.  

On the drive home, reminders and promises are reiterated that it’s the child’s responsibility to take care of the puppy and the child agrees. For the first few days, everything seems to work out; the child amicably takes the puppy for a walk and cleans up after it. 

Then, little by little the child becomes neglectful, whining when they have to clean up the dog’s poop or take it for a walk around the block; refusing to brush the pup’s fur to combat the endless shedding.

The well-intentioned and doting parents, regularly plead with their child to follow through with their obligation, giving their child a long window of opportunity to prove their integrity before finally cleaning up the pet’s mess themselves. 

The one in the photograph before you flourishes in the wilds of The Ralph Household of Biscayne Drive in Philadelphia, PA. I’ve been told it’s one of the worst ever captured. The agony these brave parents endured is commendable but completely unnecessary. The fools!

According to Mr. Neat, (a distant cousin of Mr. Clean), furry horrors lurk in carpets and upholstery; they linger on floors and walls, anywhere a shedding dog traipses.

As furrylings they appear innocuous, tiny tufts gather together in flimsy clumps on stairs and hang out in bedroom corners. You may often find them drifting across the floor when you walk. A frail and harmless ball of fur. Do not be fooled! These creatures thrive under complacency. 

The multiply! They scheme! They become arrogant and bold, lying out in the open, flaunting their stringy constitutions at parents as they walk in the front door after a hard day’s work. 

When a virtuous cleaner tidies up their home, the furry horrors converge and funnel into a more substantial form through vacuum cleaners or brooms. Beware!

If left unchecked, they grow rather large. As you can see, the one in the photo evolved and grew a tail. Do not let this happen. Think of it like a game of Hangman, the more body parts it gets, the worse it is. 

I must stress that unlike Hangman the furry horror is no game. They are consumed with unhealthy microbes and respiratory irritants that cause infection and trigger asthma attacks.

Fortunately, for the Ralph’s, the mother contained and disposed of this one before it required a hazmat team. Someone get that woman some hand sanitizer and a glass of sangria stat!

Interview With Author Ariel Bernstein

By way of introduction to Ariel Bernstein, here is the bio from her Amazon page. It captured her personality so perfeclty; I had to use it. 

Ariel Bernstein is a writer of picture books and chapter books. She lives in New Jersey with her family, many mismatched socks, and the occasional balloon.

I think it shows how witty and lighthearted she is. Someone like that makes the perfect children’s author.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Ariel, let’s get to know her a little better.

Ariel has a brand new book out.

Available on Amazon

  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
  • Series: Warren & Dragon (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (June 25, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451481078

Warren and Dragon are setting out on their most unspooky, totally normal, not-scary-at-all adventure yet…their first sleepover!

Warren is a seven-year-old boy and Dragon is part stuffed animal, part fierce dragon, part best friend–depending on what part you believe most. And Michael is their new friend and next-door neighbor. When Michael invites them over to go “camping” in his basement, the dynamic duo don’t know whether they’re more excited or nervous about it. This is their very first sleepover. EVER. Sure, Michael promised there would be not one but two desserts to look forward to. But he also said he wants to swap–gulp–scary stories. Warren can think of nothing more embarrassing than calling his parents to pick him up early from a sleepover, but how is he supposed to fall asleep in a dark basement full of mysterious and unfamiliar noises?

Hello, Ariel, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer? 

I was inspired to write just by reading books that I loved. They made me want to create stories that would make others laugh and imagine things.

Is writing your full-time profession? 

It is!

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing off and on since high school. But in terms of children’s literature, about 5 years.

How many books have you written? 

Too many to count! But in terms of books that have or will be published, the number is seven (so far). 

Which genres do you write?  

I write fictional stories, mostly with lots of humor.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres? 

Making sure that the reader will get my sense of humor! What seems obviously funny to me is not always apparent to someone else.

What are you working on now? 

I’m working on more picture books and an early reader series.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters? 

Honestly, inspiration can come anywhere at any time! Whenever I find something extra interesting, funny, scary, etc., it makes me wonder if there’s a story waiting to be told.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?  

Getting to read my books to kids and seeing their reactions. I love to hear them laughing at the funny parts and answering all their questions.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out? 

Find a great critique group who will give you honest, helpful feedback.

What message are you sharing in your books? 

I try to make my messages subtle so the reader doesn’t feel like the story is weighed down by them. But usually they are about appreciating what you already have.

What are your favorite books/authors? 

So many! My favorite picture book of all time is Maurice Sendak’s OUTSIDE OVER THERE. And I will always love Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES, which is one of the books that inspired me to create my own stories. 

For “grown-up” books, I enjoy short story collections by Kelly Link and Jhumpa Lahiri.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows? 

I really enjoyed VEEP. For movies, I can watch MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS anytime and get pulled right back in. 

When you’re not writing where can we find you? 

Hanging out with my family.

A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie? 

I haven’t written this yet, but it would be a scene on a beach where I am in the background, relaxing with a cool drink. 

Obviously, I would have to spend a lot of time preparing for the role.

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do? 

I suppose I’d ask if he needed a tissue and some water.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc? 

I do! On Facebook you can find me @ArielBBooks, and my website is: https://www.arielbernsteinbooks.com.

Where can we find your books? 

You can find my books in libraries and bookstores (or requested if they are not there). Also, my books can be ordered through IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Thank you, Ariel, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

L. Salt’s The Ways We Follow Books 1 & 2

The Ways We Follow
Book One
Off The Ways Duology

by L. Salt

Amazon: http://mybook.to/TheWaysFollowCI

UBL: https://books2read.com/u/bxYlEl

St. Petersburg, Russia, 20XX.

            Laura Danco, a young talented designer, returns to her favourite city after studying and working in the UK. She’s excited to meet her best friends, but soon her happiness turns bitter.  

            Friends tell Laura about a new controlling institution, the Department of Censorship. All media sources are under control, the opposition is destroyed completely, minorities are under threat.  Everyone who resists is obliterated.  

             Laura tries to push her life back on track—friends, relationships, travels, parties… Everything changes when a reputable design company employs her as an assistant to a dangerously attractive, scandalous architect, Daniel Polanskiy, whose ambitious and outstanding projects don’t comply with the government views and its dictated taste.

            The situation becomes even more complicated, when Laura meets her uni-mate from the UK, Mark Evans. Completely lost between two absolutely different characters—friendly, amiable Mark and sophisticated, bad-tempered, but ingenious Daniel—she struggles to whom to give her heart. 

             The future looks bleak for Laura, as the company gets into trouble, when the Tax Office conducts a detailed financial audit, the Department gives Daniel the final warning, and one of Laura’s friends is killed. Going through so many challenges, will friends find their way to follow?

Angels of Zion
Book Two
Off The Ways Duology

By L. Salt

UBL: https://books2read.com/u/mqG5oO

Amazon : http://mybook.to/AngelsZionCI


            Three years have passed since Laura Danco and her friends left St. Petersburg. Isaac and Dr. Levit continue to work together on their top secret project Angels of Zion. The main purpose being to create an army of ultimate soldiers—the kainomorphs—the clones whose physical abilities and strength exceeds humans. 


            When the project goes out of control, one of the kainomorphs goes rogue, Dr. Levit is attacked and subsequently dies, Isaac and Miri have no choice, but to follow the clues that the scientist left them to find the rogue clone and to stop a catastrophe. The investigation brings them back to St. Petersburg, where they meet Laura and Chris. 


            Daniel Polanskiy disappears without a trace. The friends suspect his life can be of an interest to many parties. With their own lives at stake, they should decide whether great victories require great sacrifices.

L. Salt is a multi-genre author from the United Kingdom. She studied History of World Culture and earned her Master’s Degree in Art Expertise at the St. Petersburg University of Culture and Arts. Born in Belarus, she lived for many years in Ukraine and Russia and, eventually, settled in the North of England, where she currently lives with her husband. Salt’s interest in writing dates back to her teenage years. Apart from creative writing, she has a passion for traveling, arts, history, and foreign languages.


Her debut novella, His Personal Reich was released in April 2018 by Crazy Ink Publishing. It will also be featured in the boxed set Chills and Thrills in May 2019. Her second novella, a thriller/mystery story Legacy of the Iron Eagle, released in February 2019. She is the author of the Off the Ways Series including The Ways We Follow (Book One) and Angels of Zion (Book Two). Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Crazy Ink Publishing anthologies Royal Scoundrels and Beyond Wonderland, as well as magazines, both online, and in print. Another of her suspenseful stories, The Seeds of Stars, will release in December 2019.


Follow L. Salt:
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/saltandnovels
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/608692496170838/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSalt1
Blog: www.saltandnovels.wordpress.com
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/saltandnovels
E-mail: saltandnovels@gmail.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/17915818.L_Salt
Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/saltandnovels
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-salt-36bbaa177/
AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/author/lsalt/