Readers Connecting to Authors

As authors obviously know, you write a book and get it published. The challenge is finding your audience and building your reviews. You have several options when searching for reviewers. You can search out reviewers via blogs, social media or print.

While planning my own marketing and promotional tour I came across Story Cartel. You need readers to connect with authors. For a fee of $30, you submit your book to Story Cartel and if approved, it is available for download for 20 days. The readers get the book for free but must share their email and post a review. They are also entered to win one of 3 $10 Amazon gift cards provided by the author.

While the reviews have been positive, I decided to try such a promotion to see for myself if a site can help connect with readers.

Searching for Normal: A Memoir was launched this week and is available until September 27, 2014 for free download and review.


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Alberta Caregivers Association – A Helping Hand for Helping Hands

Guest post by Rick Lauber

We don’t always think about those who help others requiring help themselves. Caregivers – or those who help tend to the needs of aging parents, friends, spouses or partners – certainly fall into this category. As a former co-caregiver for both of my senior parents (Mom had Leukemia while Dad had Alzheimer’s disease), I know full well that caregiving can become an all-encompassing task … one is kept running day and night with everything that needs to be done. It is imperative that caregivers find and utilize outside help themselves – this is not a job to tackle independently.

With completely focusing their time, energy and resources on a loved one, it is little surprise that caregivers often overlook their own needs. Caregivers will easily ignore signs of frustration and/or exhaustion (just two of the symptoms experienced by caregivers) and keep going.

Just one important resource – specifically for the caregiver – is the Alberta Caregivers Association (ACGA) which offers numerous programs of value. These include Compass for the Caregiver, numerous Community Caregiving groups, Caregiver Information Sessions, an in-house Caregiver Advisor and so on. Through these programs, caregivers can learn, share and take respite from their significant work. It is also important to state that many of the ACGA’s office staff and Board of Directors’ members are, or have been, caregivers themselves so they will truly understand what others are enduring. With the essential work the ACGA continues to do with caregivers throughout our province, we thought it was only fitting to recognize and support them in return as one of our two selected charities with this year’s book sale and silent auction.

To learn more about the ACGA, please visit

Rick Lauber

Rick Lauber is the author of Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians (published by Self-Counsel Press and now in its second edition). Rick’s book is a valuable tool for prospective, new and current caregivers alike; it discusses relevant issues for caregivers, explains what to expect and recommends resources. Rick is also an established freelance writer; his work has appeared in Canadian Living,, Edmontonians, The Edmonton Senior, The Caregiver Space and The Edmonton Journal. For more about Rick’s book, please visit

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Disneyland Proves to Be My Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Most children have a lifetime to live and grow to build their wishes and achieve all their dreams. Some children’s dreams, regrettably, come with an expiry date due to a chronic or life-threatening illness. Those children do not have the luxury of time to build the connections or to save the money required to achieve those dreams. The Rainbow Society of Alberta is dedicated to fulfilling wishes of Alberta children who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses. In fact, it is their focus to include such children that sets them apart from other wish granting charities.

Children’s wishes can range from riding a horse, visiting Disneyland, swimming with dolphins and/or meeting a special hero/heroine in their eyes. All of these wishes come with a challenge of making the right connections and securing funding.

Selfishly, I chose The Rainbow Society as my charity as they granted me a wish when I was a child. My hope was to travel to Disneyland – a magical place where doctors, medical tests and the never-ending uncertainty seemed miles away. My family and I were granted the wish and, to this day, I still carry the memories with me. When we came home I felt as if no matter what happened, my body and spirit had been provided a burst of energy and hope. The trip gave me, my Mom, and my Aunt, who lives a province away, a chance to bond without our daily life routines. My memories are even more special now as my mother has dementia and is unable to recall all our time together.

The Rainbow Society’s team needs your help to build the connections and make each child’s dream come true. This is the other special charity for this year’s Authors for Altruism Book Sale and Silent Auction.

For more information on the Rainbow Society of Alberta, please visit

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2nd Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale & Silent Auction!

Meet and mingle with local authors, support two worthwhile charities and get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

Announcing the second annual Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale & Silent Auction! Save the date of Saturday, November 08th, 2014 (noon – 4:00 p.m.) and note our new venue – Expressionz Café (located at 9938 – 70th Ave., Edmonton).
A percentage of book sales along with all proceeds from our accompanying Silent Auction, will be donated directly to The Rainbow Society of Alberta along with The Alberta Caregivers Association. Despite a few speed bumps encountered last year, we were very pleased to raise approximately $700.00 – a pretty good day’s work!

Participating authors from last year, along with several new writers, have stepped forward to express interest in joining us this year. Here’s who we have confirmed (so far …):

Cassie Stocks
Dance, Gladys, Dance
Winner of the 2013 Leacock Medal for Humour

Rick Lauber
Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians (now available in its second edition)

Alison Neuman
Ice Rose – A Young Adult Spy Novel, Searching for Normal: A Memoir, Don’t EAT Family (also available in French translation – On Ne Manage Pas La Famille).

Halli Lilburn
Shifters, Ballad of the Sea Lion Woman and other steampunk tales

Jennifer Snow
The Trouble with Mistletoe, What a Girl Wants, Falling for Leigh

Laini Giles
Love Lies Bleeding

Alison Clarke
Eli Goes to the Moon, The Women

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Don’t Eat Family & On Ne Manage Pas La Famille Book Launch

On Sunday, Don’t Eat Family and On Ne Mange Pas La Famille was launched at Audreys Books. Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate.

Special thanks to Audreys Books Ltd., Cookie Love (for some delicious gluten-free cookies), Roxanne Ulanicki (our wonderful MC), Aneta Staniszewski (super talented face painter), Katherine Restoueix (for baking sugar, shortbread and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies), and Linda from Dream Write Publishing for her support and the wonderful pictures.

Don’t Eat Family and On Ne Manage Pas La Famille can be purchased on Amazon, Dream Write Publications and in Edmonton, at Audreys Books Ltd.

Alison and Katherine - book signing

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Book Launch / Lancement du Livre

Don't Eat Family Book Launch One Ne Mange Pas Lancement du Livre
Click to download PDF
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Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who donated to and participated in our book sale and auction!

 We raised $627 from the auction and $81 from the door sales!

Thank you to our authors:

Thank you to

  • Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
  • Fantasyland Hotel
  • Edmonton International Speedway
  • City of Edmonton
  • Giovanni (manager of the 104th St./82nd ave.Second Cup)
  • Holly Pshyk
  • Karen Prelusky
  • BD Wilson
  • The Rainbow Society of Alberta
  • The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories
  • Nicole Badorek
  • Lauren Kinny
  • Global News
  • CTV News
  • Sarah Caitlyn Stuart
  • Arlene Huhn
  • Fringe Theatre Adventures Society
  • ATB Financial Arts Barns
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Where Impossible … Isn’t

Guest posy by  Diane Tolley

Childhood shouldn’t hurt.

But it does.

And in many cases, the hurt goes on and on and on . . .

And that is the beauty of organizations like the Rainbow Society.

We have a young friend who was suffering with an undiagnosed, but very severe condition.


As her condition worsened, she grew more and more disheartened. Finally, she began to list off things she had never done.

And in all likelihood, would never get to do.

First on that list was the chance to walk the red carpet in Hollywood.

What she didn’t realize was that others were listening to her.

People with the ability to make that particular wish come true.

When told that she would get her chance, that walking the red carpet was not only possible, but impending, the excitement and anticipation provided a very real incentive. She had to get strong enough to allow it to happen!

And she did.

She walked that red carpet. In a fancy dress, with hair and makeup provided by notable Hollywood magic-makers.

But even more importantly, after that, she continued to heal.

When we met her, it was shortly after her adventures and the description of them brought very real tears.

We were organizing a dance review and we hoped that she could be our principal.

The day her mother brought out her dancing shoes (put away in a special box years earlier, supposedly never to be worn again), was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

The Rainbow Society and other organizations like it do very real, very wonderful work.

Important work.

For the most important people among us.

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Guest post by Alison Clarke

My godmother died of Alzheimer’s disease, so the Alzheimer Society of Alberta & Northwest Territories is dear to my heart. My godmother, Mummio, was a vibrant woman, and the disease took that away, bit by bit, till she became someone who didn’t recognize her own dear family and friends. One Christmas, she was at her son’s, and became paralyzed with fear. She didn’t remember some of the people at the dinner, but they were not strangers–but people close to her.

This disease is hard to deal with, because of the loss of memory. For the first time, my godmother was not able to stay for her son’s Christmas dinner. It’s tough, living with the disease. I was in another country, far away, but I would call her nursing home, and talk to the nurses, to see how she was doing. The staff were always friendly and accessible, and let me know what was happening. I couldn’t afford to go over, but thanks to a good phone plan, I was able to communicate with her. What makes me closest to her is her love of story. She always supported my writing, and I gave her a copy of my second children’s story, that I illustrated. When I was younger, and I was able to visit, I gave her some of my poems and short stories. She would show them to everyone. She was proud of me. Whenever I write, I feel closer to my godmother. Her love of story, learning, a zest for life–this is what I’ll always remember.

Being a part of this book fair makes me happy. It is a good way to give back, and I know my godmother would be happy too. Life is too short. We have to enjoy life, and do the things we want to do now. I am a two time cancer survivor, and so I know the importance of this as well. Embrace life, and do. It’s something everyone should remember.

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Rainbows and Wishes…

Guest post by Kat Flannery

I have three boys, fifteen, thirteen and ten, and so this post is very personal to me. I support many charities—those I feel are making a difference—and the Rainbow Society is one of them. Because I have children, and sadly I’ve watched, my son’s friend, relatives, and friend’s children become sick; this charity holds a special place in my heart.

It is never fair when a child becomes sick. To have to witness your baby go through multiple tests while being ill is something I hope to never do. But it has hit close to home, and even though it wasn’t my child it still affected me because it was a child.

The Rainbow Society offers a reprieve from those long days at the hospital in the form of a wish. It brings families together outside of the hospital walls while granting the sick child their wish. The Rainbow Society has given trips to Disneyland, shopping sprees, and concert tickets, just to name a few. These gifts help families share in a wonderful experience together while offering them time away from the unfair realities they’ve had to face.

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