From Tomes to Taps; Getting your feet wet with apps by Toni Matlock

[Toni and I had the pleasure of meeting each other at Wordstock in Portland, OR. She rocks! We were booth neighbors and we got to chatting about APPS. I’m thrilled that Toni is here today to demystify the world of APPS for us regular folks. So, grab a cup of tea and read about one story’s journey from the printed page to APP-land!]

So you are thinking about publishing an eBook?  Maybe you have a book in ink and paper already published and want to get in on all this App action.  Or maybe you haven’t been published yet, feel empowered by the self-publishing option and think the App rage looks like easy money.   Where do you start?  How easy or hard is it?

A few years ago my friend, artist and author Carol Bolt, called me up and asked if we at salty snack studios could and would make an app.  As a happy coincidence, my partner, Bruce Tribbensee, and I make movies and had just started making iPhone apps. Carol’s books were already on our list of apps we wanted to make.  And Carol was on our list of people with whom we wanted to work.

Continue reading From Tomes to Taps; Getting your feet wet with apps by Toni Matlock

Magic of Music: Alicia McCalla’s Breaking Free Soundtrack Adds Heart and Soul

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Alicia and her fiction through her amazing blog Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Stories in Color and am thrilled to have her guest posting on Laurasmagicday today. Be sure to check out her blog this week for her upcoming giveaway!

This year, my son, Asante McCalla, turned 18-years old. It was a heart filled moment. As parents, we watch our young grow to maturity or adulthood in the blink of an eye.  I admit that my child has helped me grow. There’s something about that connection, that bond between a mother and child that’s so important, powerful—magical.

When I wrote Breaking Free, it was a 700-paged manuscript about the journey of how a teen girl attempts to save her mother from an evil mind swiping procedure.  As the story came to life, I realized that it was more than a dystopian science fiction story, it was about reuniting a broken family, healing familial pain, and a child bringing salvation to her parents.

Because I’ve worked with teens, I knew that I needed something to bring the magnitude of this out so that teen readers had an inroad into this powerful concept.  Little did I know, that my child would bring salvation to me.

Asante and I have struggled over what I want him to be as a son and what he wants me to be as a mother.  On some occasions, it has been difficult and others, I shed tears of joy and pride. Asante has become an independent thinker and has strong talent.

When Asante created, wrote, and produced the soundtrack for Breaking Free with his group, Newsity, the story came alive for me in a way that I didn’t expect.  The song touched me and brought tears to my eyes. Keep Moving evoked the magic of the story with the subtle rap beat, theme connected lyrics, and sharply sung vocals.  My baby boy and his friends brought XJ to life in 4 minutes.  Asante made the story real for teens.

Today is a monumental occasion for me. Breaking Free is now available for immediate download but as a very proud parent, I am happy to say that my son’s soundtrack is awesome!  I hope that readers will listen to Asante’s song and catch the magical heart and soul of Breaking Free.

Alicia McCalla writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free is available for immediate download.  The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit Alicia at:

Golden Blood’s Gemma Dishes Her Teen Time Travel Guide, with Author Melissa Pearl

My name is Gemma Louise Hart and yes, I can travel through time. Freaky, I know.

Man, I can’t believe I just told you that! My parents would kill me. I’m not supposed to tell anybody what I can do. It all goes back to this ancient oath. You see the first of my kind, the chosen seven… the electus. They appeared on the earth in like 100BC and were adopted by Quintus and Lucia. When the kids hit puberty, that’s the first time it happened. It’s like the body suddenly clicks into traveling mode or something. According to legend, Lucia died and when the kids found her they disintegrated to gold dust.

That’s how it happens… we disintegrate. I know, gold dust sounds pretty cool and everything, but it’s no picnic. It really hurts. You feel like your body is being torn apart and then stitched back together one particle at a time. We always recover quickly, but I can’t help resenting the pain just a little.

So back to my story… the electus disappeared then reappeared moments later. Quintus went rushing into the woods where Lucia had been hurt and there she was, sitting like a stunned mullet, having just witnessed her seven children appear naked out of nowhere, fight off the wolf pack that was about to attack her and then evaporate into gold dust again. Continue reading Golden Blood’s Gemma Dishes Her Teen Time Travel Guide, with Author Melissa Pearl

YA Author Dee White, Writing Classes For Kids & A Writing Competition

Today, I am thrilled to have Dee White, an amazing young adult novelist. She’s a gifted storyteller and I was fortunate enough to meet Dee at SCBWI LA last August. She is passionate about writing classes for kids and adults. I’m so happy that she’s here on Laurasmagicday to tell us a little bit about her writing journey and her online writing school. So, I introduce you to my friend Dee, from OZ….

It’s great to be visiting your blog. There are so many fabulous things about being a writer. Of course I love the writing part, but it’s also fun meeting other writers like you. I’ve been writing since I was seven, but when I was a kid there was no internet, no writing networks, no writing teachers. There was nobody to help me, or teach me how to write. Then I had kids of my own and my son was turned off writing when he was ten because he was never allowed to write what he wanted, or given the time to finish anything. (Here’s a great poem he wrote when he was eight.)

That’s why I started Writing Classes For Kids, an online school where writers of all ages can get great tips and find out how other people write. I want kids to be able to explore their creativity and feel good about their work. My site is still fairly new but there are regular writing tips, author visits and fun writing activities. Soon I’ll start downloading lesson plans. Continue reading YA Author Dee White, Writing Classes For Kids & A Writing Competition

YA Indie Carnival : Indie Idol! M. Leighton dishes Lucius From Her Smoking Hot Blood Like Poison Series

MY INDIE IDOL: The bestselling YA author M. Leighton!

For those of you familiar with the Blood Like Poison series, you know LuciusSexy.  Flirtatious.  Irish.  Vampire.  But for those of you who haven’t, I’d like to introduce you to him.  He will be the subject of the next book in the Blood Like Poison series.

Alright, y’all!  Here’s Lucius:

Chelsea had never interviewed a vampire before and, though she’d spent the night tossing and turning in excitement, now that the moment had arrived, she found she was a bit nervous.  After all, she really had no idea what to expect. Continue reading YA Indie Carnival : Indie Idol! M. Leighton dishes Lucius From Her Smoking Hot Blood Like Poison Series