Archive | August 2019

The Swarm that Swarmed


The Swarm that Swarmed book blurb found on Amazon:

Join twins Vivian and Fil, along with best friend Tia, on their first day of summer break in the town of Tillsonbug. What happens when they discover runaway bees? See how the threesome get into mischief and learn a few sticky lessons along the way. This short story is full of humour, adventure, and original hand-illustrated water colour art.

With bees so precariously surviving at the moment, The
Swarm that Swarmed encourages and enthuses children to
be environmentally aware and responsible.
– Linda’s Book Bag Blog

It is one of those tales that will make you reminisce about
your own youth of discovery as you read it to your kids. It
really is an adorable story with sweet illustrations. It is a
story that will make you smile.
– Reader Review

My Review: 

I adored this book from the start. The artwork is really cute, refreshing, and unique from other illustrated children’s books I’ve read. I was further amazed to find that the author was able to incorporate a large amount of text on each page. That certainly does help children read more wordage and makes the story more vibrant (I am an illustrator for picture books myself). The downside is the text is smaller, but still fitting for for 8 – 10 year old kids. I loved the characters and the twins in this read, and the others made for a lively bunch with unique personalities. Add in a swarm of bees and boom! You have a great early reader book! Learning how bees drink nectar, how they help to pollinate plant life and flowers, and what the role of each bee means is a perfect learning experience for children. This is a solid five star book for ages 5 – 10 with the little ones having the story read to them.   

An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers – by Nicole Pyles… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on WOW! Women on Writing: uthors, have you ever asked a book blogger to review your book? Along with being a blog tour manager for WOW!, I also moonlight as the occasional book blogger at my personal blog, The World of My Imagination. Being on the receiving end of things, where authors pitch to me […]

via An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers – by Nicole Pyles… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

20 Book Marketing Strategies for New and Experienced Authors – by Henry Baum… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on Self Publishing Review: At SPR, we see a lot of books come our way, and we see some of the same mistakes being repeated over and over again. This is not just the case for a novice author, but for authors who have 10+ books out. Obviously, new authors should take heed most of […]

via 20 Book Marketing Strategies for New and Experienced Authors – by Henry Baum… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Nine Tips for Authors Going to Their First Book Fair (updated) – by Nate Hoffelder… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on The Digital Reader: Book fairs and other local events can be a great way for authors to connect with readers and make new fans. They are immensely valuable, but at the same time it can be hard for first-timers to get the most out of an event. That was certainly true for me. I […]

via Nine Tips for Authors Going to Their First Book Fair (updated) – by Nate Hoffelder… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

How to Launch a Free Podcast to Share Book and Blog Content – by Jay Artale… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on How to Blog a Book: Blogging a book is an excellent way to reach readers, but what about reaching listeners? If you want to reach an audience who prefers to consume audio content, you’ll have to release an audiobook or launch a podcast. Producing a professional sounding audiobook can be a costly venture, but […]

via How to Launch a Free Podcast to Share Book and Blog Content – by Jay Artale… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Kristine Raymond

Finnagled cover with text 3 15 19.jpg

Please welcome Kristine Raymond to my blog. Good morning Kristine. Have a seat and we shall begin. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

            Hi.  I’m Kristine Raymond.  I write books, host a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond where I chat with other authors about their books and interests, design books covers (only mine, for now), play with my menagerie of rescued furbabies, read other authors’ books, spend quality time with my hubs, and binge-watch Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Prime, depending on which has a series I’m interested in), not necessarily in that order.

            I recently released my 16th book, a cozy mystery titled Finn-agled.  It’s the first in the Finn’s Finds Mystery series with many more to come.  Finn is such a fun character to write, and I love her interactions with Spencer, Grandma Lena, Zara and Duley, and her parents.  Oh, and let’s not forget Garfunkel.  If she was a living and breathing person, I’d want to be friends with her. 

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

            Oddly enough, it has not.  Oh, I used to jot down the typical, angsty stuff in my teens, but ambitions of becoming an author never crossed my mind – until a friend shared that she’d self-published her book.  After listening to her describe the process, I was intrigued and figured, why not give it a try?  So, on Labor Day weekend in 2013, I sat down and began writing my first book, Here to Stay, and officially became a published author on November 6 that same year.

Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

        I began by writing historical western romance.  I love the Old West and it seemed the perfect setting for my story.  I had no way of knowing that it would expand into nine books – the Hidden Springs series.  I’ve also written contemporary romance, and, most recently, the aforementioned cozy mystery.  As to which I prefer, I enjoy them all, though I’ve discovered writing cozies is an awful lot of fun.

Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

        I’d say the characters in my head, once they started speaking, influenced me the most, but I have to give a shout-out to Laramie Briscoe, the friend I referred to in Q#2.  She helped the most when I was starting out, guiding me through the ins and outs of self-publishing. And the writing community, as a whole, is wonderful.  With rare exception, other authors are welcoming, supportive, helpful, and the first to offer encouragement.  We truly do rally around one another.

How difficult was it writing your first book?

            It was surprisingly easy, but that’s because I didn’t know anything yet.  I didn’t worry about reader expectations, or word count, or chapter length.  I simply let the words flow, and eighteen days later Here to Stay was born.

Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

            I’ve never wanted to give up, but there have been times when I’ve questioned if I should continue.  Then, a reader posts a glowing review or writes to tell me how much they loved my book, or a new idea pops into my head, exciting me with possibilities and I realize I never want to stop telling stories.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

            It can be the simplest of things – a thought, a song lyric, a snippet of a conversation.  Anything and everything can spark an idea.

Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

            My husband.  He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself.  I couldn’t do this without him and wouldn’t want to try.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

            Thank you.  They’re two simple words that don’t come close to expressing my deep appreciation to the people who read my books and cheer me on.  I promise to do my best to always keep you entertained.

What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

            Never drive without insurance or AAA.  Courtesy of my dad. 😊

What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

            The stories I write have interesting characters, entertaining plotlines, laughter, suspense, romance and, occasionally, a bit of snark.  If that’s what you enjoy, then you’re my target audience.   

Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

            I design my own covers and they’re as much a part of my story as my words.  It’s fun using images and text to express the ideas within the pages.

What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

I’m currently writing the next Finn’s Finds Mystery.  It’s called Finn-icky Eaters.  Here’s the opening of Chapter One:

Flashing blue lights and crime scene tape aren’t what I expected to see upon arriving at the annual Port New Clam Festival and Jamboree.  Grandma Lena ensconced in the back of a patrol car, sporting a pair of shiny, silver bracelets on her wrists, is a surprise, too.

Look for Finn-icky Eaters to be released late autumn/early winter 2019.

Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

        Does Jason Statham count?  Lol.  I’d love to meet Sandra Brown and Dean Koontz. Both have been favorite authors of mine as far back as I can remember.  I had the honor of chatting with Ms. Brown on my podcast this past February.  It was the highlight of my year, and I managed to keep the fangirling to a minimum.  Just barely.

If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

        Worry. 😉

Seriously, though; if I’m not busy, I don’t know what to do with myself.  There is so much I want to accomplish in my lifetime – more books I want to write, authors I want to chat with, people I want to meet.  I’ll be checking off items on my to-do list as I take my final breath.        

Any last words before we wrap things up?

            Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with your readers and allowing me a moment to share a bit about myself.  Happy Reading.

with border

About the Author

Kristine Raymond didn’t figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up until later in life.  Since writing and publishing her first book in 2013, she’s gone on to complete two romance series – one historical western and one contemporary; a humorous non-fiction story; a collection of seasonally-themed short stories; and a cozy mystery.  She also hosts a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond. 

When not writing, she’s navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business.  When not doing that, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, reading, gardening, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Social media links:



Book + Main




Word Play podcast

This entry was posted on August 13, 2019. 3 Comments

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Co-Writing Across Distance: Improve Your Non-Fiction Ideas, Clarity, and Writing Speed… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on The Creative Penn: My own experiences with collaborative writing have resulted in books that might otherwise not have been written, new friendships, and unique experiences (including writing on a train!). In this post, Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby share the unique approach to collaborative writing that led to their co-written book. __________ You’ve got […]

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Every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (known by we-members as #IWSG) brings the most insecure among us together to discuss (in pithy concise posts) what bothers us, what helps/hurts our writing, and what we would suggest to others who would like to write. Last year, one of the optional questions was When do you […]

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