The Chicago Public Library Announces Event with Authors David Vinjamuri and Michael Alan Peck

Michael Alan Peck and David Vinjamuri October 5, 2015 (Chicago, IL) – The Chicago Public Library announced today that it will be hosting a discussion with Michael Alan Peck – winner of the 2015 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Contest – and branding expert David Vinjamuri on October 16, 2015 at 12:15pm.
Not only did Michael win the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author contest, but he also represents a new brand of author, one that wants to retain ultimate control of his work. After Peck wrote the compelling award-wining book “The Commons,” he did not seek a traditional publisher. He retained control and sought out professionals to assist him with the traditional publishing work.
When asked about the upcoming event, Peck stated, “I’m very excited about this opportunity to discuss the writing and publishing process. I hope my experience as a self-published author sheds some light for others who may be trying to do the same.”
Michael Alan Peck won the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Contest for his contemporary fantasy novel, The Journeyman. The Journeyman tells the story of three people who board a bus and – following a horrific accident – must band together as the last hope for the afterlife, known to them as The Commons.
David Vinjamuri is a contributor and adjunct assistant professor of marketing at NYU who inspired the libraries to create the Soon to be Famous contest that Michael Alan Peck recently won. He has always had a love and respect for libraries, and was quoted in a recent interview saying, “I think that libraries are one of the best sources of recommendations and discovery for books, that they’re greatly under-used by publishers to develop backlists for authors, to introduce new authors to book groups and communities and to generally develop books.”
As an author, David Vinjamuri writes both fiction and nonfiction. His works include Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands, Understanding Self-Publishing, Operator (Michael Herne Book 1), and Binder (Michael Herne Book 2).
Michael Alan Peck will speak with David Vinjamuri about his work and the process of becoming a successful self-published author.
The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project, now in its second year, is the brainchild of library marketing professionals who were inspired after listening to a presentation by brand expert and NYU professor David Vinjamuri. Vinjamuri spoke at the American Library Association’s 2013 annual conference about the importance of libraries in the era of e-books and self-publishing. He challenged libraries to wield their collective influence to lift a self-published author to success to create a measurable indicator of the power of libraries and librarians to affect books and reading. This project received the prestigious John Cotton Dana Award by the American Library Association in 2015.
The Chicago Public Library is located at 400 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. The lecture will take place in the video theater on the lower level. This event is open to the public with no admission charge. For more information about the library, go to
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or

Amery Area Public Library Announces Signing Event with Author Sarah M. Johnson

Sarah M. Johnson Book SigningSeptember 23, 2015 (Amery, WI) – The Amery Area Public Library announced today that it will be hosting a book signing with Sarah M. Johnson, author of the memoir Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God.
While on a mission trip in Guatemala, a small Cessna Caravan’s engine fails while carrying 14 passengers. The Cessna crashes in a remote village, leaving 11 of the 14 passengers dead. Amery native Sarah Johnson shares her story about the deaths of her father and brother, her mother’s extreme physical and emotional injuries, and her own process of self-discovery.
Life is Beautiful, however, is more than a story about an airplane crash. Life is Beautiful shares the personal struggles of Sarah’s father’s drug use, his recovery, and redemption to be a better person. He gives back by doing missions work in Africa, takes in Sarah’s aunt dying of uterine cancer, and eventually leads their family to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah also discusses her struggles with alcohol use and depression; where she eventually hits rock bottom. It is not until she starts seeking God through prayer, books, and therapy, where she starts to turn her life around. 
“I am so glad Sarah shared her story. Life is Beautiful proves that even the most tragic situations and ‘ugly’ life circumstances help shape who we are, and are ultimately ways we can share a deeper relationship and dependence on God” – Amazon Review by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
“a very inspiring tale and a very interesting read for anyone who has ever experienced loss, been depressed, or turned to an outside source for momentary comfort. Excellent story, very well written, it was a joy to read!” – Reviewed by Janelle Fila at Readers’ Favorite
Johnson will be reading a chapter from her book and signing copies. The event will be held from 12pm – 1pm and is free and open to the public. Copies of Life is Beautiful will be available for purchase during this time.
Amery Area Public Library is located at 225 Scholl Court, Amery, WI 54001. Further information about the library can be found at
To schedule Sarah M. Johnson for a book signing, an author appearance, or to lead a book discussion at your library, contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or

The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading

The Dragon of the Month ClubThe Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new children’s book series by Iain Reading that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club – The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons – not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler’s messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature’s most memorable stories – from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes’s London – the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.


“No other book bonds together so many stories in such a fashion that is actually readable and enjoyable at the same time. With the title being The Dragon of the Month Club, many might think this is a book strictly about magic and dragons, yet you will find that what’s inside this book will leave you awe struck.”Red City Review
“Iain Reading has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I started reading his Kitty Hawk books and now I’m introduced to a fantastical world. This is the type of book I would have spent hours in my room, wishing I could slip into the pages and have an adventure.”Sandra Stiles
“The Dragon of the Month Club is a very enjoyable read. I’m a grown adult and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a Harry Potter meets Goosebumps (the part where the books come alive) meets Sherlock Holmes. I found the book to be engaging and kept me wanting to read on. This is a wonderful series for any young reader.”sgebhard


Chapter 2 – The Book
Following their most unlikely of beginnings, the friendship of Ayana and Tyler grew quickly, and before they knew it, they were the best of friends, meeting up with each other almost every day. Sometimes they met up with Ayana’s mother after school at the downtown Dairy Queen for ice cream. Other times they climbed the edges of the coulee behind Ayana’s school and went to Tyler’s house where they did their homework together in his room. But most of the time, they just agreed to meet up at the place where they’d both accidentally bumped into each other on that very first day—amongst the dusty old bookshelves of the old library at the row between the history of the anatomy of earthworms and the illustrated guide to the indigenous mosses of Iceland.
It was on just such a day that Ayana and Tyler first discovered THE BOOK—a name that would be forever capitalised in their minds whenever either of them dared to utter the phrase aloud.
It was a magical book. That much was clear almost from the outset, so perhaps the manner in which these two unlikely friends happened to come across it was magical as well.
It all started on a typical Friday afternoon. Ayana and Tyler had agreed to meet at the library right after school. Tyler had a dentist appointment and would either be a few minutes late or a few minutes early, depending on how long that took. Not surprisingly Tyler was a few minutes late. This could have been expected since Tyler took dentist appointments very seriously. For weeks ahead of time he would be sure to brush his teeth five times every single day—once when waking up, once after breakfast, once after lunch, once after dinner, and once again before bed—which was two more times a day than he usually did. (He normally deemed the wake-up and after dinner steps unnecessary.) All of this was in addition to flossing, rinsing, and otherwise generally trying to keep his teeth in the best possible shape for the check-up.
To Tyler, going to the dentist was like studying for a test in school. Failure was not an option. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that once he was actually in the dental chair, he expected the dentist to be every bit as thorough as he was, a process that required a bit more time than it normally would with less fastidious patients.
So Tyler was late.
And so, when he finally arrived, he hurried down the stairs and quickly navigated through the maze of shelves at the back of the library and found Ayana sitting there, crouched on the floor, sobbing her eyes out.
Tyler sighed heavily. He could already guess what must have happened: Heather van der Sloot… again.
He took off his backpack and set it on the floor. Folding his legs under him, he lowered himself down until he was sitting next to Ayana, not too close, of course, but as close as he dared to.
“What happened this time?” Tyler asked.
Ayana sobbed and buried her face even deeper in her hands. After a moment her left arm shot out, pointing an accusing finger toward a stack of soiled and dishevelled papers lying in a heap on an empty space on the shelf opposite them.
“That,” Ayana cried, her voice thin and cracking.
Tyler stared at the papers, and it took him a moment to realise what they were.
“Your poems,” he gasped.
Tyler had to take a breath and swallow. Ayana’s poems were a work of art, neatly written in careful flowing script, one to a page. Ayana carried them with her sometimes in a stiff green cardboard folder with trees on it that had little strings that you used to tie it shut.
Ayana nodded, still sobbing.
“She threw them all over the playground,” she said, her voice raspy. “She grabbed my tree folder away from me and threw them everywhere. I… I ….”
Ayana stuttered and couldn’t speak for a second.
“I don’t know if I got them all back,” she finally said, finishing her thought. “I think I lost some.”
Tyler nodded and crawled over on one knee to pick up the chaotic stack of papers. He sorted through them, one by one, trying to put them back into some kind of order. They were smeared and scratched and crumpled. One even had a dirty footprint stamped squarely on it.
Normally Ayana wouldn’t even let Tyler glance at one of her poems, so he was surprised that she wasn’t bothered by his looking through all of them now. She clearly wasn’t thinking straight, so he tried to make as neat a stack out of them as possible and set it down on the carpet in the middle of the row of shelves.
“There are a lot there,” he said, sitting close to her again. “Maybe you did get them all.”
Ayana shrugged her shoulders hopelessly.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, staring blankly at the pile of papers. “I don’t care.”
Tyler felt a sudden squeeze around his heart. He had no idea what he was supposed to do to make Ayana feel better.
But as his mind was racing, trying to think of something, the universe intervened.
“I hate her, Tyler,” Ayana said. “I HATE her!”
On this second last syllable, Ayana kicked at the opposite shelves with the heel of her shoe, making the wooden frame shudder and some of the books rattle around. One particular book—a small, thin one high up on the very top shelf—tipped forward as if in slow motion until it was hanging precariously at an impossible angle, almost as if it was levitating, before tumbling end over end to the floor.
Tyler tried to catch it but he was too slow, and instead it crashed into the stack of papers, scattering them slightly, before it fell flat on its back, right side up right in front of them.
how to conjure
your very own dragon
in six easy steps
…read the front cover of THE BOOK in bright yellow letters against a wavy blue background.
Tyler frowned and Ayana stopped crying for a moment. They both stared at THE BOOK with wide-open eyes, neither of them quite able to believe what they were seeing.
“How to conjure a dragon?” Ayana asked, kneeling forward to grab THE BOOK.
Tyler crawled next to her as she opened the front cover.
THE BOOK was very thin—more like a pamphlet, really— with no table of contents, no copyright page, no dedication page. There wasn’t even an indication of who the author might be. It just went straight into the first chapter, which was entitled:
the water dragon
“A water dragon?” Tyler read over Ayana’s warm shoulder.
Underneath the chapter title was a brief list of the various characteristics of the water dragon.
category: lesser dragon
difficulty: medium
classification: common
Below that was a basic introduction and explanation of the dragon followed by some advice to those who might want to conjure one:
this spell is a relatively simple one, but be forewarned that the water dragon is a damp and clumsy creature, prone to making messes and causing trouble. It is recommended to have plenty of towels at hand when undertaking this conjuring.
Underneath this brief introduction was a list of materials needed to actually conjure the dragon.
required material(s): water, towels (optional)
And last but not least came the instructions, six simple steps to conjuring your very own dragon. Tyler could hardly believe what he was reading. The steps were so simple. Just a series of strangely specific hand gestures performed by two people simultaneously. The instructions even had little helpful sketches to help you understand what to do.
It reminded Tyler of IKEA assembly instructions when his parents bought new furniture and let him put it together for them. But that was furniture made of wood and fabric and those little IKEA screws that needed a special tool to screw them in. This was supposed to be a dragon, whatever that meant. How could such simplistic instructions possibly result in assembling anything, much less an actual dragon?
“We have to try this!” Ayana said excitedly.
To learn more, go to

Novelist J. Frank James Announces the Release of His Latest Crime Thriller ‘Finders, Keepers’

Finders Keepers book coverLos Angeles, CA (June 1, 2015) – J. Frank James announced today that his latest novel Finders, Keepers is now available for sale on Amazon. Finders, Keepers is an action packed crime thriller. It is the seventh book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series.
Lou Malloy and Hilary Kelly have just returned from a very tough assignment for Max Reynolds. Hilary wants to take some time off and go to Italy for a vacation. Lou thinks it’s a good idea, but when he calls Max to get clearance, he tells Lou that while they are there he has a small request to make. It seems that a scientist has gone missing and Max would like to have Lou check to see if he is still around. Max also tells Lou that to find this scientist he has to find a ghost ship named the Arctic Queen. It is important that this scientist be found because he is the inventor of a new type of weapon called an electromagnetic device. Follow along as Lou and his team search for the Arctic Queen and the scientist, while encountering many obstacles along the way.
Finders, Keepers is available for sale on Amazon in eBook and paperback.
Previously published novels in the Lou Malloy Crime Series include: Dead Money Run (Book 1), Only Two Cats (Book 2), Blue Cat In Paradise (Book 3), Rainbow Games (Book 4), Two Birds to Kill (Book 5), and Last Flamingo (Book 6). There is also a prequel novel – The Run Begins.
About the Author:
J. Frank James has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thrillers, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation. Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. He has also traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thrillers from his travels. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.
Frank James writes crime thriller novels that are gripping and suspenseful. He is the author of the Lou Malloy Crime Series and the Indigo Marsh Detective Series.
Frank James is also an artist and he creates all of his own book covers.
To learn more, go to
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by J. Frank James, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.

Lola Smirnova’s Novel ‘Twisted’ Is Free On Kindle For A Limited Time

Twisted by Lola SmirnovaLOS ANGELES, CA (May 7, 2015) – Author Lola Smirnova announced today that her latest novel Twisted will be listed for free on Amazon from May 7th through May 8th, 2015.
Twisted is a suspenseful new-adult novel. It tells the story of a young Ukrainian girl named Julia, whose family is struck with poverty after the fall of the Soviet Union. Her two older sisters leave home and become sex workers, glossing over the more distasteful aspects of their occupation, planting the seeds of both curiosity and greed in young Julia. She eventually finds the lure of easy money too beguiling and begins her journey into the darker aspects of drug abuse, drunken stupors, and the horrid and loveless life of a sex-for-sale prostitute. Julia quickly learns the money comes with a price.
Twisted is a work of fiction, but it is inspired by the author’s real life experiences making a living in the sex trade.
A gripping and mature story deftly woven by Lola Smirnova, “Twisted” is the kind of suspense novel that will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf… “Twisted” introduces an extraordinarily gifted author to an appreciative readership looking eagerly toward her next literary effort.” – Midwest Book Review
Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade.“
 – Kirkus Reviews
Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable.” – 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite
I highly recommend ‘Twisted’ to open-minded readers who aren’t afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It’s sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.” – 5 star review from Red City Review
In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry… Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!” – 5 star review from Pacific Book Review
To learn more, go to For further information, to request a review copy of Twisted, or to interview Lola Smirnova, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.

New Book ‘The Joy of Ballpark Food’ is a Must-Read for Baseball Fans

The Joy of Ballpark Food Book CoverLOS ANGELES, CA (April 30, 2015) – Bennett Jacobstein announced today that the kindle version of his book The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine will be listed for free on Amazon from April 30th through May 4th, 2015. This book is a must read for baseball fans and foodies alike.
Part of the experience of going to the ballpark is what you can get to eat. During the 2014 baseball season, Bennett and his wife traveled to each of the major league stadiums to investigate the variety of food offerings.
From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items.
Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food. Some stadiums have gone all out to showcase unique, gourmet-style food. Many parks emphasize regional food as well as having offerings from well-known local restaurants.
“The new food era has brought such a wonderful gustatory experience at the ballparks with chef-prepared masterpieces, vegetarian and kosher delights, as well as amped up riffs on the hot dog and sausage,” says Bennett.
The Joy of Ballpark Food begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ball game and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks.
“Safeco Field in Seattle offers vegan steamed buns with fillings such as black vinegar-glazed Portobello mushrooms, green chili and cucumber salad, basil, and siracha mayonnaise. Rogers Centre in Toronto has poutine. Pittsburgh has seaweed salad. Baltimore has The Birdland Hot Dog (smoked brisket, pepperoni hash, tomato jam, and frizzled onions on top of the hot dog. And Minnesota offers a crispy belly bacon sandwich with a vinegar slaw and jalapeno jelly,” says Bennett.
The Joy of Ballpark Food is available for sale on Amazon. All of the royalties from the sale of The Joy of Ballpark Food are being donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.
To learn more, go to
For further information, to request a review copy of The Joy of Ballpark Food, or to interview Bennett Jacobstein, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.

Story of Heart Break, Faith, Failure and Triumph is Free on Amazon to Commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti

Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti EarthquakeJanuary 8, 2015 (LOS ANGELES, CA) – Monday, January 12th, marks the five-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, killing more than 250,000 people.
In recognition of the 5th anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake, the kindle version of Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake will be available for free on Amazon until January 13, 2015.
Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake is a book about Rene Steinhauer’s experience working as a nurse and disaster manager to help survivors of the Haiti Earthquake.
“Saving Jimani is so much more than the reporting of life and death in the Haiti earthquake. It is a story of raw human emotion, grappling with the reality of hundreds if not thousands of people with broken bodies and spirits seeking medical help in an area where there was none. It is the story of heart break, faith, failure and triumph,” says radio talk show host Leslie Carol Botha.
Rene Steinhauer RN, EMT-P, is an accomplished nurse with more than twenty years of skilled disaster experience. He has practiced medicine on all seven continents including working as a flight nurse in Antarctica, a combat medic in Iraq, and a disaster manager in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, and the Haiti Earthquake. He most recently worked as a chief nurse in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia.
“It is my hope that during this time of reflection, that people read the book, understand what happened and how it relates not only to the people of Haiti, but to the people of the United States,” says Rene Steinhauer. “Readers will better understand what can really happen when the government is paralyzed by a disaster much greater than Hurricane Katrina. This book is relevant to the public discourse about better disaster preparedness.”
To learn more, go to
For further information, to request a review copy of Saving Jimani, or to interview Rene Steinhauer, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.

Honolulu Resident Released from 21 Day Ebola Quarantine

Rene Steinhauer RN EMT-PJanuary 6, 2015 (Honolulu, HI) – Local nurse and Honolulu resident, Rene Steinhauer, has just been released from a 21 day Ebola quarantine period that he completed at home in Honolulu after returning from working as a chief nurse in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia.
Rene Steinhauer spent six weeks working to set up an Ebola hospital in Buchanan, Liberia. In mid-December, he became ill with fever and multiple symptoms. He was immediately admitted to the Monrovia Medical Unit, an Ebola hospital set up to care for foreign healthcare workers providing Ebola healthcare. After four days in the hospital, he was found to be Ebola negative, but was treated for Malaria and he returned home to Honolulu where he spent the holiday season in quarantine and where his only visitors were from the State of Hawaii Department of Health.
Rene Steinhauer RN, EMT-P, is an accomplished nurse with more than twenty years of skilled disaster experience. He has practiced medicine on all seven continents including working as a flight nurse in Antarctica, a combat medic in Iraq and a disaster manager in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake, and Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. Rene Steinhauer has spent much of the last twenty years as a disaster volunteer and continues to go where the need is greatest.
Rene Steinhauer recently published Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake, a book about his experiences working as a nurse and disaster manager to help survivors of the Haiti Earthquake.
“Saving Jimani is so much more than the reporting of life and death in the Haiti earthquake. It is a story of raw human emotion, grappling with the reality of hundreds if not thousands of people with broken bodies and spirits seeking medical help in an area where there was none. It is the story of heart break, faith, failure and triumph,” says radio talk show host Leslie Carol Botha.
Saving Jimani is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
To learn more, go to
For further information, to request a review copy of Saving Jimani, or to interview Rene Steinhauer, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.