Author Visit

Local Children’s Authors–Reading and Book Signing

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I had so much fun reading story hour at Hyde Park Books on December 7th! I will be back to read, my own book this time, with four other local authors this Saturday.

I am also giving away an 18×24 Imagination poster! The illustration is one of my favorite illustrations in Mama’s Purse 🙂

Mama's Purse Poster

Please bring the kiddos!

3-5pm Saturday – Enjoy 5 different local children/YA authors read from their books. Don’t be late, we’re starting with the picture books first! Hot Cocoa/coffee and friends!

Featuring: Joel Lund, Jane Freund, Nancy Buffington, AJ Irving, and a new comer to the bunch Jessica Lund with sneak peak into her YA fantasy novel coming out very soon!

Come visit, listen, and do some Christmas shopping at Hyde Park Books on 13th St in Boise. This Saturday, December 14, 3-5 pm. Several children’s book authors, readings and refreshments!

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A Taste of the Holidays

A Taste of the Holidays

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I am excited AJ’s Children’s Books will have a table at A Taste of the Holidays this Thursday. There will be food from local vendors, wine tasting, coffee tasting, and Christmas caroling. There’s something for everyone!

Come out and enjoy a night of free food and drink tastings, entertainment, holiday shopping, and find out how you can support your local businesses! There will be live entertainment, and a raffle full of great prizes! Bring or buy your Christmas gifts and get them wrapped for a donation to help the Cotton Tree School in Belize.

Join us in support of a family who will be placed in a new home in December by CATCH Meridian – take a tag and donate an item to a family who will be placed in home in time for Christmas.

When: Thursday, December 12th, 2013
5:00 – 9:00 pm

Where: Courtyard by Marriott
1789 S Eagle Rd.
Meridian, ID 83642

Cost: FREE! … See you there!

Author Visit · Hyde Park Books · Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

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“Bookstores hold a place in the hearts and times of our community. They are places to discover an author, a story, a life. Nothing affords the conversation and interaction among books and book lovers that a bookstore does. In the future, whether you download your story or pluck a volume off a shelf, a bookstore will be able to accommodate. But in order for bookstores to flourish and thrive, we must expose future generations to the unique pleasures they offer. On December 7th, 2013, take a child in your life to a bookstore. Watch his face light up as you give him free access, not just to a new book, but to tomorrow.” —Jenny Milchman, Founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

I am excited to participate in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day this Saturday at Hyde Park Books. I am reading my very first story hour at a bookstore! And I get to decide what to read! What are your favorite children’s books? I’d like to have a nice variety to read to the kiddos 🙂

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I think Hyde Park Books is doing something pretty cool for this special occasion: A children’s/YA book exchange. In honor of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, Saturday Dec 7th they will be hosting a book exchange all day. So, bring a book, and you can select another used children’s/young adult book for free! That’s right, free!

So, come exchange those old stories for some new ones!

Mama's Purse

Cyber Monday Sale!

Mama's Purse

I noticed that online sites have my children’s picture book, Mama’s Purse, on sale for Cyber Monday. Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for example, have Mama’s Purse listed at 15% off today.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dY95SP
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1eIS5NH

It is difficult to make quick changes to the price of my book on my website, so I decided to create an Etsy account and have a 25% off sale just for today!

Get a personalized copy of Mama’s Purse for the little readers in your life this holiday season. Welcome to the AJsChildrensBooks Etsy Shop: http://etsy.me/1je2AvY

I am excited about adding imagination posters, bookmarks, and magnets to the shop soon. So, be sure to visit again!

Read today and every day to come because reading is so much fun!

Best wishes,

AJ

Book Awards

Top Idaho Author and Book Awards 2013

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It was a full house at Beside Bardenay for the 2013 Top Idaho Author and Book Awards. I chatted with authors I knew, met new authors, and even caught up with one of my junior high English teachers. This elegant evening included delicious food, cocktails, inspirational speeches, and a barrage of flashes from the cameras of proud spouses, family members, and friends.

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I shared this magical celebration with my mom and husband. Believe me, they took their fair share of photos. My husband even embarrassed me a bit by repeatedly shouting, “Whoo-hoo!” when I received my award.

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I was relieved when the professional photographer took over and started shooting group photos 🙂 Congrats to the 2013 winners of the Top Idaho Author and Book Awards!

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Top 10 Idaho Books – Nonfiction
Nathan Barry, Authority
Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets
Angela Young, Spoiled Milk
Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero
Michele de Reus, Daring to Choose
Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover
A. K. Turner, This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store
Whit Mitchell, Working in Sync
Walt Hampton, Journeys on the Edge
Bob Faw, Energize

Top 10 Idaho Books – Fiction
Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança
Joanne Pence, Ancient Echoes
Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix
Jack Patterson, Triple Cross
Russell Elkins, Sparks the Matchmaker
Joel Lund, The Temple of Kahrnahrgx
Kathy McIntosh, Mustard’s Last Stand
Kristine McCord, The Santa Society
Angela Ruth Strong, Lighten Up
Rebecca Carey Lyles, Winds of Freedom
Honorable Mention: Oliver Dahl, The Dreamers

Best New Idaho Author – Nonfiction
1st Place: Nathan Barry, Authority
2nd Place: Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets
3rd Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk
Honorable Mentions: Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover; Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero; Kurt Koontz, One Million Steps

Best New Idaho Author – Fiction
1st Place: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix
2nd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full
3rd Place: Kathy McIntosh, Mustard’s Last Stand

Best Children’s Book:
1st Place: A.J. Irving, Mama’s Purse
2nd Place: Mike Sanders, Jabbers

Best Interior Design – Nonfiction
1st Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
2nd Place: Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
3rd Place: Whit Mitchell, Working in Sync, designed by Nick Zelinger, NZ Graphics
Honorable Mention: Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover, designed by Jason Lugo

Best Interior Design – Fiction
1st Place: Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança, designed by Sarah Tregay
2nd Place: Joel Lund, The Temple of Kahrnahrgx, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
3rd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full, designed by Mike Sloane; Russell Elkins, Sparks the Matchmaker, designed by Russell Elkins
Honorable Mention: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix, designed by Donna Cook

Best Cover Design – Nonfiction
1st Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk, designed by Cari Campbell Design
2nd Place: Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero, designed by Cari Campbell Design
3rd Place: Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets, designed by Cari Campbell Design
Honorable Mention: Cynthia Fackrell, Gravity’s Embrace, designed by Cari Campbell Design

Best Cover Design – Fiction
1st Place: Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança, designed by Sarah Tregay
2nd Place: Elaine Ambrose and A. K. Turner, Drinking with Dead Women Writers, designed by Ward Hooper
3rd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full, designed by Mike Sloane
Honorable Mention: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix, designed by Kevin McCain

Book Awards

Mama’s Purse Wins First Place at the Top Idaho Author and Book Awards

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I am incredibly honored that my children’s picture book Mama’s Purse won first place in the Best Children’s Book category at the Top Idaho Author and Books Awards hosted by the Idaho Book Extravaganza. This is the sixth award Mama’s Purse has won!

Mama's Purse

Top Idaho Author and Book Awards Reception
November 21, 2013
5:30 – 8:00
Beside Bardenay (612 Grove St., 83702)

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The Top Idaho Author and Book Awards reception honors Idaho’s best books and most talented authors. Don’t miss this opportunity to network, celebrate local talent, and support the Idaho writing community!

The awards reception is open to the public and will take place on November 21 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Beside Bardenay (612 Grove St., 83702). There will be live music by Boise musician Yvonne Rousseau, and event co-director Stacy Ennis will MC this must-attend event. Appetizers will be provided, and drinks will be available to purchase.

Get your tickets: http://idahoawards.eventbrite.com/

Questions? Contact: idahobookawards@gmail.com

2013 Top Idaho Author and Book Awards Winners

Top 10 Idaho Books – Nonfiction
Nathan Barry, Authority
Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets
Angela Young, Spoiled Milk
Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero
Michele de Reus, Daring to Choose
Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover
A. K. Turner, This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store
Whit Mitchell, Working in Sync
Walt Hampton, Journeys on the Edge
Bob Faw, Energize

Top 10 Idaho Books – Fiction
Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança
Joanne Pence, Ancient Echoes
Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix
Jack Patterson, Triple Cross
Russell Elkins, Sparks the Matchmaker
Joel Lund, The Temple of Kahrnahrgx
Kathy McIntosh, Mustard’s Last Stand
Kristine McCord, The Santa Society
Angela Ruth Strong, Lighten Up
Rebecca Carey Lyles, Winds of Freedom
Honorable Mention: Oliver Dahl, The Dreamers

Best New Idaho Author – Nonfiction
1st Place: Nathan Barry, Authority
2nd Place: Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets
3rd Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk
Honorable Mentions: Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover; Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero; Kurt Koontz, One Million Steps

Best New Idaho Author – Fiction
1st Place: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix
2nd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full
3rd Place: Kathy McIntosh, Mustard’s Last Stand

Best Children’s Book:
1st Place: A.J. Irving, Mama’s Purse
2nd Place: Mike Sanders, Jabbers

Best Interior Design – Nonfiction
1st Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
2nd Place: Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
3rd Place: Whit Mitchell, Working in Sync, designed by Nick Zelinger, NZ Graphics
Honorable Mention: Jill Skeem, Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover, designed by Jason Lugo

Best Interior Design – Fiction
1st Place: Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança, designed by Sarah Tregay
2nd Place: Joel Lund, The Temple of Kahrnahrgx, designed by Shiloh Schroeder, Fusion Creative Works
3rd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full, designed by Mike Sloane; Russell Elkins, Sparks the Matchmaker, designed by Russell Elkins
Honorable Mention: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix, designed by Donna Cook

Best Cover Design – Nonfiction
1st Place: Angela Young, Spoiled Milk, designed by Cari Campbell Design
2nd Place: Catherine Owens, Be Your Own Hero, designed by Cari Campbell Design
3rd Place: Dale Dixon, Sweating Bullets, designed by Cari Campbell Design
Honorable Mention: Cynthia Fackrell, Gravity’s Embrace, designed by Cari Campbell Design

Best Cover Design – Fiction
1st Place: Judith McConnell Steele, The Angel of Esperança, designed by Sarah Tregay
2nd Place: Elaine Ambrose and A. K. Turner, Drinking with Dead Women Writers, designed by Ward Hooper
3rd Place: B. D. Riehl, The Earth Is Full, designed by Mike Sloane
Honorable Mention: Donna Cook, Gift of the Phoenix, designed by Kevin McCain

The Top Idaho Author and Book Awards honor Idaho’s best books and most talented authors and are based on five categories: Top 10 Books, Best New Author, Best Children’s Book (middle-grade and picture books), Best Cover Design, and Best Interior Design. Awards are open to Idaho residents, or authors whose books have been published through an Idaho publishing company, who have released titles in the last three years.

Award Categories

Fiction and nonfiction entries will be judged by separate panels. Some categories will be awarded to both nonfiction and fiction. For example, ten Top 10 Books Awards will be awarded to nonfiction authors, and ten Top 10 Books Awards will be awarded to fiction authors. Categories are also included on entry form.

Top 10 Books (Nonfiction/Fiction) – Awarded to select books of exceptional quality in any nonfiction and fiction genre, criteria for this award includes: quality of content and design; success of book, including other national, regional, and local awards received; and what makes the title unique in its genre. To be considered, authors must fill out an entry form and send copies of the title (book must have been published in the last three years).

Best New Author (Nonfiction/Fiction) (ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd) – A prestigious award given to new authors who have published a first book in the last year, this award honors three outstanding nonfiction writers and three outstanding fiction writers. Criteria for this award includes: quality and expertise of author, including writing skill, expertise in subject area, and the strength of his or her bio/resume; success rate of book(s); other national, regional, or local awards received; and the quality/production of the book submitted. To be considered, authors must fill out an entry form and send copies of the debut title (first book must have been published between Sept. 1, 2012, and Sept. 9, 2013).

Best Children’s Book (Fiction) (ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd) – A first of its kind in Idaho, this award recognizes three exceptional children’s middle-grade and picture books. Criteria for this award includes: quality of writing and illustrations; success of book, including other national, regional, and local awards received; and what makes the title unique in its genre. To be considered, authors must fill out an entry form and send copies of the title (book must have been published in the last three years).

Best Cover Design (Nonfiction/Fiction) (ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd) – Honoring books that have outstanding cover design, criteria for this award includes: aesthetic quality, uniqueness, and strength of title/subtitle. To be considered, authors must fill out an entry form and send copies of the title (book must have been published in the last three years).

Best Interior Design (Nonfiction/Fiction) (ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd) – An award based on exceptional interior design, the criteria for this award includes: aesthetic quality, including typography and illustrations/graphic elements.

Author Visit

Pierce Park Elementary Author Visit

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I did my first author visit at an elementary school today. To be honest, I was pretty nervous. I always get anxious when I speak in front of a group of people. But really, what could be so terrifying about addressing a class of kindergarteners? I’ve done countless book signings, so this should be a piece of cake, right? For one thing, I know this age group can catch you off guard with outrageous questions and comments. I know this first hand because my son is five years old and he was actually in the class that I spoke to today.

I was immediately put at ease when I sat down in the kiddo-sized chair and looked at my son, Mason. He was bursting with pride. I looked around the room at the other children and I couldn’t help but notice their expressions of wonder. As I explained what it was like to be a children’s author, I could tell these kids thought I was pretty special. When I started reading my book, 22 pairs of eyes popped wide with excitement and curiosity. As I turned each page, they smiled and laughed, oohed and aahed.

Then came the part I had been dreading: the question period.
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They asked me a few questions like:

“How long have you been an author?” and “How long did it take you to write your book?”

But mostly, they wanted to share things with me:

“I love horses. Have you ever been to the horse races?”
“I made my own book with my mom.”
“I really like your book.”
“My name is London. I’m Mason’s best friend.”
“Mrs. Irving, you should write a book about cats!”
“My dad works at a tire store.”
“I want to be an author.”

After this very interesting conversation, the kids colored Mama’s Purse coloring sheets and I gave them each a bookmark. I am so proud of their artwork!

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Now that I have one author visit under my belt, I can’t wait to do more! I left the school feeling completely content and inspired about future opportunities to get kiddos excited about books.

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Read today and every day to come because reading is so much fun!

Best wishes,

AJ