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Viewing Blog: Laura and the Leprechauns, Most Recent at Top
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Chrysalis Press Gets Attention from Disney® with First-time Author Amber T. Kingston
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1. Phoots from Bavaria

Hi there!

Well, I’m happy to say that I got many wonderful pictures while visiting Germany this season. I was able to get landscapes, and old castles, and hundreds of pictures of Laura! That should make it easier to illustrate the next book. Right now I’m completing the next story (book 2) and storyboarding at the same time—it’s how I prefer to work. I think I definitely have enough new material for my next two books which was my goal, so I’m glad for that. I also plan to do a little experimenting with the illustrations this time using a Wacom tablet as well as doing my pencil drawings. I’ve never used a Wacom tablet before so I’ll see how steep the learning curve is. I am very excited though. I thought I’d include a recent picture of Laura on my blog page at www.chrysalispress.com so you can see how much she’s grown! She just turned eight and still loves fairytales. I hope you enjoy! Take care and I’ll be in touch soon.

Sincerely,

Amber

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2. Benjamin Franklin Awards!

Hello Everyone!

I just received the most exciting news while I was in Bavaria. “Laura and the Leprechauns” has been named a finalist in the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Awards in the category of Interior Design, Children’s/Young Adult! The Benjamin Franklin Awards recognizes small and independent publishers like me, which is truly nice. Just to be a finalist is such an honor and a surprise that I just had to share the news with you. The awards ceremony is on May 29th—just around the corner, really—so I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the outcome. I never thought my first book would be nominated for an award, but I am thrilled to even be considered. Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be in touch soon.

Sincerely,

Amber

www.chrysalispress.com

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3. New Experiences in Germany

Since my arrival in Bavaria, the action has been non-stop. It usually is with all the sightseeing we like to get in. On my first day there, all of my cousins and friends came to greet me and my family. Upon seeing me my cousin Matthias (whom I appropriately made a leprechaun named “Maddy” in “Laura and the Leprechauns”), he hugged me and said, “On Tuesday you will come with me to school and talk to my class about America, English and writing.” Since he hadn’t posed this as a question, I was a little nervous to say the least. I hadn’t been prepared to be in front of a classroom giving a speech about anything, and I had never done it before. Not to mention my German is elementary at best. He assured me that I would be able to speak in English since it was for his English class and that they would have questions prepared for me. That put me more at ease. But Laura, upon hearing this, decided that she would get permission from her teacher for me to visit her classroom as well. The teacher not only agreed, she decided to combine two classes of 6-7 year olds to form a single group of 60+ kids that I would somehow entertain. That made me even more nervous because they spoke very little English. So at 11am Laura’s mom picked me up and drove me to Grund–und Hauptschule (their school) in Gaimersheim, Germany where I would meet Matthias and await my instructions. The day actually turned out to be fabulous and a lot of fun! It went more smoothly than I could have imagined with Matthias playing interpreter. The kids had great questions for me and were genuinely interested to learn about life in the United States. For the younger kids, I read aloud from “Laura and the Leprechauns” and their teacher then translated what I was reading from the German version of the book. I left a few copies of the German version for them, and they are taking turns taking it home to read. It’s a great feeling to know that I could contribute to their school studies. All in all the day was a success. I never thought my first public appearance would be in Germany but life is always full of surprises.

All my best,

Amber

www.chrysalispress.com

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4. Adventures Ahead!

Hello everyone!

I apologize for being out of touch but I’ve been extremely busy these past few weeks. Not to mention I took a mini get-away to one of my favorite places—Solvang, California—to celebrate my birthday. While I was there I left a couple more “Laura and the Leprechauns” books for the Bookcrossing site because I thought it would be a neat place for a book to begin its journey. The books were literally gone within minutes! It was great! I also picked up a princess dress at one of the children’s stores for my little cousin Laura for when I go and visit her in Bavaria in two weeks. I’m not exactly sure what particular scenes I’ll have her posing for, but I thought it a good idea to have a nice fairytale dress—and what little girl doesn’t like to dress up like up like a princess?!

I also registered a few copies of the German version of “Laura und die Leprechauns” on bookcrossing.com, but there aren’t as many copies of those, as I primarily made them for Laura and her friends and they are a paperback version of the English version, and I have to apply all the glitter by hand—quite time consuming but worth it. I will have to wait until I am in Bavaria to release those books. I am getting very excited for my trip to Germany and can hardly wait to take tons of pictures of the beautiful countryside.

As for my other book in progress, right now I am getting periodic updates from my editor on my young adult novel that I started so long ago. Things seem to be moving along well which is encouraging and nerve-wracking all at once. I spent five years working on that first novel so it is something very close to me. We’ll see how it turns out edited down from 1100 pages to some 300-400 pages. Should prove interesting. Well, that’s all the news that is currently going on in my life at the moment. Thank you for your continued support. I couldn’t do it without you! Take care and all my best!

Sincerely,

Amber
www.chrysalispress.com

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5. Purchasing Online

Hi Everyone,

Just a small update to let you know that as of now I have made it possible to accept credit cards through Paypal online through my website, Chrysalis Press. You can reach my website at www.ChrysalisPress.com. From there you can press the link beneath the book cover that says “Buy this Book.” It will then redirect you to a page where you have an option of purchasing through Chrysalis Press (my company) or Amazon. Please choose whichever you are more comfortable with. I hope this adds a measure of convenience to your shopping needs.

Is everyone ready for Easter? It’s just around the corner—it came so fast this year! I love rabbits-they were always my favorite stuffed animal. Now I just have to figure out which children’s Easter book to treat myself to this year. There are some great ones out there. Last year I chose “The Golden Egg” written by A.J. Wood, and illustrated by Maggie Kneen. I really fell in love with the illustrations—very detailed and meticulous—and the hologram effects they had on all the Easter eggs. It was during the time when I was trying to decide what type of special effects I would have for “Laura and the Leprechauns.” If you have any Easter book favorites or suggestions, feel free to share them with me. I’m always on the lookout for a good book!

Until next time, take care!

Sincerely,

Amber :)

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6. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Hello Everyone!

And Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you, your family and friends are enjoying a wonderful day of celebration and laughter together! I know my family and I will be enjoying the day with games, music and candy for the little ones . . . and there’s always plenty of festive dancing. This really is my favorite day of the year.

Yesterday I spent the day watching Irish claddagh dance exhibitions. It was exhilarating! Girls from ages 4-18 were having the time of their lives, dressed in their finest, full of smiles and dancing their hearts out. It was great!

I would also like to offer my sincere apologies to those of you who had difficulty purchasing my book through online stores over the St. Patrick’s Day season. I’m not quite sure what happened, but so that it doesn’t happen again, I have decided to start accepting credit cards through PayPal on my website at www.chrysalispress.com. So if you ever have difficulty purchasing from other online stores again, soon you will be able to order from me directly and securely. I hope this helps matters, since I will never be ‘temporarily out of stock.’

I have also made slight design updates to the Chrysalis Press website so if you haven’t been by recently, I hope you will go by and check it out. I hope it is more appealing and will make navigating around the site easier and more convenient. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you. You can always email me directly at [email protected]

Until then, sending joy and cheer, to you and yours this St. Patrick’s Day!

xoxoxo.

Amber

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7. Books in the Wild!

Hi Everyone!

Well, for all of you keeping an eye out for my Bookcrossing releases I have officially released all 8 copies of Laura and the Leprechauns out into the wild. I hope they will be caught by interested readers even if people don’t have an opportunity to journal their adventures online. They have been released throughout Orange and Los Angeles County and I am sure that I will have more releases in the future. So be sure to check out bookcrossing.com and lookup “Laura and the Leprechauns” to find the book running in the wild nearest you! And if your lucky, it you’ll be the first to catch it!

I am also happy to say that the response to my video book trailer has been very positive. So, thank you to all of you who took the time to view it. And if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, there’s always still time. Just check Google.com or Youtube.com for Laura and the Leprechauns and you’ll be able to see the video. I posted one on Youtube.com under amberkingston so you can learn a little more about me on my channel page. Well, that’s all for now. Take care!

Sincerely,

Amber
www.chrysalispress.com

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8. St. Paddy's Day is Almost Here!

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you can be sure I’m excited and already getting ready for my favorite day of the year! This year St. Paddy’s day will be celebrated on March 15th, rather than the usual date of March 17th. This is to avoid it falling on the Holy Week of the Catholic Church. The last time this happened was in 1940 to avoid it falling on Palm Sunday. So the year 2008 is a special year, indeed! And even if you’re not Irish, it’s a wonderful excuse to let go and have some fun! So put on your green and dance your own Irish jig, if you like. There’s no better time than St. Patrick’s Day to infuse your day with some good old fashion fun! Soon I’ll be out and about creating my own mischief, leaving copies of Laura and the Leprechauns hidden throughout Orange and Los Angeles County—so be on the lookout! Just check at www.bookcrossing.com for where I’ve left my clues.
All my best,

Amber

www.chrysalispress.com

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9. The "Laura and the Leprechauns" book trailer has officially been released!

The day has finally arrived—my book trailer is finished and ready to be viewed! I have posted it on my website at www.chrysalispress.com in the Media Room under “Book Trailer.” It is also posted on Reader Views Kids website at http://readerviewskids.com/reviews_previews.html. I will also post it on youtube.com (you will have to search for it under “Laura and the Leprechauns”) and on my myspace page which is myspace.com/ambertkingston. The part I played in its creative process was lots of fun but it was so difficult to wait for the more difficult and exciting parts like animation and sound to be completed. Now I see that my patience paid off. I am very happy with it and I hope that you will be too. Happy viewing!

Sincerely,

Amber

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10. Treasure Hunt for Books!

I’ve just discovered the neatest idea in a website, so I just had to share my findings with you. The website is called www.bookcrossing.com and it’s all about sharing books on a worldwide scale in the form of a treasure hunt! Maybe its concept is what had me hooked from the beginning—appealing to the little kid in me who used to send messages wrapped in taped-up envelopes and wrapped in plastic sandwich bags to be released into the ocean in hope that one day someone would find my message. Never happened—that I’m aware of ;). Anyway, Bookcrossing works much in the same way but on a far more successful scale. People around the world register their books, release them into “the wild,” and wait for them to be “caught” and read (and registered online) by someone new. They, in turn, will make a journal entry about where the book was found, and then release the book into “the wild” once again after they’ve finished reading it. Books have made incredible journeys throughout the world through this program and it’s just getting started. So far I have registered 8 copies of Laura and the Leprechauns to be released—and hopefully each will be “caught” by an interested reader. It will be exciting to check back periodically and see where my books have ended up. If you have any books that you think you’d like to share with others on a global-scale book hunt, just take a moment to register at www.bookcrossing.com. It’s totally free, and completely safe. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to travel the world right now, maybe your favorite book does! In any case, it’s one way to bring about a little excitement and happiness into someone else’s life and a wonderful opportunity to share. So as I eagerly await my book release kit—a totally voluntary purchase I made to support a fun cause I believe in—go check and see if there are any books running free around your neighborhood. And within a few weeks—I’ll let you know—be sure to check back to find the clues to where I released my 8 copies of Laura and the Leprechauns. Who knows—maybe you’ll be the person to catch one! I hope you’ll check it out!

Happy hunting!

Amber
www.chrysalispress.com

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11. Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!


I hope you are celebrating today with some wonderful fun, sweets, and hugs from friends! This Valentines Day I received a surprise of my own. The Reading Tub decided to post my interview and biography early, in time for St. Patrick’s Day! I couldn’t be happier. If you would like to check it out, it is now posted on their website at http://www.thereadingtub.com/displayAuthor.asp?id=49. That takes you directly to the Bio page. From there you can scroll down and click the link to the interview, or to go directly to the interview, just click, http://www.thereadingtub.com/displayInterview.asp?id=49. I will also be posting the interview on my website inside my new Media Room. If you haven’t been there recently, be sure to check it out! The Media Room offers an updated Bio and some new questions for those in the media. Right now I’m hard at work conceptualizing my new book trailer. It’s coming along really well—and I have no prior experience in movie making! But I will need to have a company help me with the music and special effects . . . but I’m so excited! It’ll be great to see the final product. Well, that’s all that comes to mind for now. I hope everyone has a special Valentines Day, and I’ll be in touch soon!

XOXOXO,

Amber

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12. Interview: NAWW Member of the Week: Amber T. Kingston

Hi everyone!

I hope your year is off to a great start! I thought I’d share with you my latest interview from the National Association of Women Writers. I hope you enjoy it.

NAWW Member of the Week: Amber T. Kingston
Posted on Jan 21 2008 | Member of the Week

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: I knew I wanted to be a writer in elementary school after completing a fourth and fifth grade project to write, illustrate, and bind your own book. I would go home and create books in my free time. I thought it was the best thing I’d ever been taught. I continued to write on and off in my teens–poetry, mostly–but became more serious about writing prose when I reached my late 20’s.

Q: How and when did you make this dream a reality?
A: I had been working on a young adult novel for 5 years, and had completed it at whopping 1100 pages. After working with an editor on it, I realized I needed to get some distance from it; and I put it on the shelf, for now. I needed a fresh project. I decided I wanted something that was new, uncomplicated and fun. After visiting with my little cousin, Laura for weeks, I knew I had found the character for the children’s book I wanted to write. It took about 4-5 months to complete Laura and the Leprechauns–the majority of the time being spent on illustrations. So, I’d have to say that the year of 2007 was when everything really came together for me as a writer as far as making my dream a reality.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing career?A: Hire an editor! I can’t stress this enough. An editor will improve what you thought was perfect. They are the extra set of eyes necessary to really make your writing shine and can catch errors you swore didn’t exist.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I am currently working on my next book in the Laura series. After this one, I have one more in mind. Right now I am developing and writing the story. Next, I will be traveling to Bavaria to see Laura in the springtime, and I plan to take plenty of pictures of her to use as reference material this time! It is a challenge to draw effectively when your muse lives oversees and isn’t readily available to pose for illustrations.

Q: Name some authors or books that have influenced your writing life in a positive way.
A: I’ve always been a fan of Lewis Carroll; Alice in Wonderland is a favorite childhood story of mine. I also grew up reading the Serendipity books, by Stephen Cosgrove, which I really enjoyed. There was always a moral to his stories and the illustrations kept me captivated. I kept a copy of his, Little Mouse on the Prairie, next to me for inspiration the entire time I worked on Laura and the Leprechauns.

Q: What have you recently read or what are you reading right now that you would consider an outstanding work?
A: To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve had time to pick up a book for my own enjoyment, simply because I’m in the midst of working on my next project. But the last few books I read that I thought were truly exceptional were Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex, and Ian McEwan’s Attonement. Both books remained on my mind for a long time afterward.

Q: What excites or ignites your soul?
A: Seeing a look of wonderment or awe in a child’s face is a source of true inspiration for me. There’s nothing as gratifying as seeing a child’s happiness and excitement over new, simple experiences things we often take for granted.

Amber T. Kingston is the owner of Chrysalis Press, a publishing company dedicated to producing imaginative literature for children, teens, and young adults. Amber is also an author and illustrator, and has combined her talents for Chrysalis Press’s latest release, Laura and the Leprechauns. Creative Writing and the arts have been long-time passions for Amber ever since early childhood. Amber loves spending time with family and friends, and can usually be found writing, drawing, reading, painting, or spending time with children. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, the National Association of Women Writers, the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Small Publishers Association Network, the Small Publishers and Writers Network, and the Screen Actors Guild. She also enjoys volunteering at the Orange County Food Bank, an organization that provides meals for the homeless, the elderly, and those in need. Chrysalis Press is based in Newport Beach, California. You can visit Amber on the web at www.ChrysalisPress.com, or email her directly at [email protected]

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13. A Great New Year!

Happy 2008! I hope everyone had a safe and joyous New Year! I am really excited for everything I have planned during the upcoming year. For starters, I’m continuing to improve upon and add different features to my website. I just recently discovered a site called cafepress.com which allows you to design all sorts of personalized things from T-shirts, to tote bags! I thought this was really neat since I like to design and create, and so I decided to open up my own Laura and the Leprechauns gift shop so you can browse my latest creations at your leisure. I will be updating designs and merchandise offered periodically, so if there is something specific you are looking for—a favorite character or slogan, or illustration from the book—please don’t hesitate to let me know. I would be happy to add it to future designs. Right now I think you’ll find that there is quite a wide variety of things to choose from. You can locate the gift shop directly at: http://www.cafepress.com/chrysalispress or access it through www.chrysalispress.com. Just select the “Gift Shop” button at the bottom of the page and it will redirect you to the store. I hope you will enjoy all the shop has to offer. As always I look forward to hearing your feedback and opinions, so feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] I’ll be in touch soon!

Sincerely,

Amber

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14. A great site for children's books!

Season’s Greetings, everyone! For anyone out there looking for top notch children’s books rated by parents and volunteers, there is a site you should definitely visit. I just recently discovered it; it’s called The Reading Tub and can be found at: www.thereadingtub.com. They are a charitable organization that promotes literacy for children and reviews children’s books for all ages. They also feature author interviews and in-depth reviews of books so readers can make informed decisions about the books they’re considering. I am happy to say that in the spring of 2008 I will be a featured author on their site for Laura and the Leprechauns. I am very excited as this will be one of my very first interviews. I’ll be sure to tell you more as the date approaches. But in the meantime, I hope you will visit their site to see all they have to offer. I hope everyone is staying warm and cozy in this winter weather. Until next time . . .

Sincerely,

Amber
www.chrysalispress.com

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15. Christman around the corner!

It’s hard to believe that December has already arrived! Where does the time go? Between school and getting my book out, I’ve been extremely busy. My latest activities involving Laura and the Leprechauns has been fulfilling orders and entering it in a few contests. I figure it can’t hurt and I’ll also receive constructive criticism from the panel of judges, which will help for future books. It will be a long time before I know the results from most of them—almost a year—so I will be sure to stay busy in the meantime. Is everyone already prepared for the Christmas season? I’m sure not! I have a lot of decorating to do still—tree and all. And then there’s the shopping which I dread because of the crowds. I guess that means I’d better hurry up! I’ve also been trying to decide whether I’ll release the German version of Laura and the Leprechauns in the hardcover version with the glitter accents as well. Right now it is only available as a softcover version, which isn’t my preference, but I figured there wouldn’t be much of a demand for the German version in the US. We’ll see what happens with the English version first. So far I’ve been very happy with the response, which has been great. All I can hope is that it continues. For anyone who has a myspace page, I thought I’d leave the address to my page just incase you’d like to get in touch and check things out in my profile. You can reach me at: myspace.com/ambertkingston. Of course you can also always reach me at my Chrysalis Press address which is [email protected] Or visit my site at www.Chrysalispress.com. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you. Until next time . . . take care.

Amber

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16. They're Here!!!

They finally arrived! That’s right—my book Laura and the Leprechauns is officially available. It was a pretty incredible feeling to see thousands of copies being unloaded off a huge freighter truck—I had no idea what to expect! So now the time to fulfill all of my advance orders begins, as well as notifying the bookstores that it’s finally available. I am so relieved that they arrived here safely and without problems. It’s funny—when I was writing and illustrating the book, my chief conern was getting it completed. I worked on it day and night with very little rest for about 4 months straight. But now that it is available to the public, I cant help but wonder about all the children who may read it. Will they like the story, will they like the illustrations and photographs, will they enjoy the journey as much as I did while creating it? I truly hope so. Laura and the Leprechauns was such a learning experience for me. I know that it will make creating Laura’s future adventure’s easier because I’ll know what to expect work-wise somewhat. But it doesn’t take the challenge out of the creation process. I guess that’s what I love most about writing and illustrating—I will always strive to do my best to create something for a child to enjoy. I am very much looking forward to creating future stories. And if anyone out there happens to have suggestions or ideas about where they might like to see Laura go next, I always welcome your ideas. Just drop me a line on the “contact” section of my website or email me at [email protected] Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my work. May you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

Amber

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17. Promotional Efforts

I am happy to say that my flyers finally arrived for my promotional mailing yesterday. They came out better than I hoped—very cute! But then I also had an amazing designer, Jill Ronsley, create them. Now I have 10,000 flyers sitting in boxes in my living room which I need to ship out ASAP. I’ll post a picture of the flyer on my flickr page: (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1) so you can see it. They will be going to librarians across the country. I’ve never tried a promotional library mailing before so we’ll see how successful it is. Wish me luck!

Amber
http://chrysalispress.com

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18. An Average Day

Well, today I sent off the very last of my Advance Review Copies to those interested in reviewing my book. I wish I had printed more but so far the responses have been positive so I suppose it is okay that I only printed the amount that I did. The actual book should be here in a month’s time anyway, so that is good news.  I just recently submitted my files to Amazon’s Search Inside, so depending on how long it takes them to process the book, you should be able to see more than the cover soon! I also submitted my book to Barnes and Nobel for inclusion on their website, but it sounds like there is a significant wait period before they accept or decline your book. So now it’s just a matter of waiting. In the mean time—between schoolwork—I am working on ideas for my second book in the “Laura” series. I am really excited because I will get to go and visit her in Bavaria in the springtime. I will need to take plenty of reference photos of her because she is growing so quickly! I’d like the two other books I have planned to take place when she’s still a child. There are so many things to think about—but that’s what makes it fun and challenging. Well, that’s all for now. I will let you know of any upcoming news!

Amber
http://www.chrysalispress.com

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19. Laura and the Leprechauns

Chrysalis Press Gets Attention from Disney® with First-time Author Amber T. Kingston

Newport Beach, California - August 28, 2007 - First-time author Amber T. Kingston receives a glowing review from Disney® Imagineer.

Chrysalis Press will release Kingston’s book Laura and the Leprechauns in December 2007. The 32-page hardcover book contains full-color illustrations and photography, and it will be released in two languages. The storyline, inspired by the fresh imagination of seven-year-old Laura Liepold, encourages belief in magic that is often lost too soon and captures the essence of childhood.

Kingston firmly believes that children should be exposed to quality, imaginative literature, and this book is destined to be a classic. Review copies have been distributed, and Kingston has caught the attention of respected Walt Disney® Imagineer Bran Ferren of Applied Minds Inc.

Ferren says “Laura and the Leprechauns is a special children’s book by Amber T. Kingston, one of those rare people who has mastered both the illustrative arts and the written word. The story takes the reader on a magical journey through the wondrous world of clever but mischievous leprechauns, who, after being summoned by young Laura, take her into the fantasy of a lifetime. Charming illustrations illuminate the story and bring Laura’s enchanted world to life.”

Kingston’s illustrations are an imaginative combination of artwork and photography, adding effectively to the sense of fantasy intertwined with reality throughout the story. Detailed images of the characters convey their innocence and emotions through body language, facial expressions and dress. A charming story that will enchant readers well beyond St. Patrick’s Day!

Do you believe in leprechauns?

Little Laura does. That is, until her friends tell her that they aren’t real. But Laura doesn’t give up so easily. She decides to write the wee folk to find out for herself. When two tiny leprechauns pay Laura a visit, she has a St. Patrick’s Day that she’ll never forget!

Kingston explains why she believes this story will have staying power with readers beyond St. Patrick’s Day. “Children’s literature is changing. It is important to me that I capture the essence of innocence and imagination, when children believe anything is possible. I truly believe that parents will be proud to share this tale with their children without worrying about whether the content is appropriate.”

The children’s book industry has changed through the years, and content and subject matter have been scrutinized. Kingston and Chrysalis Press, firmly agreeing that age-appropriateness is paramount, are proud to release Laura and the Leprechauns in December 2007.

“This is a timeless book that can be shared for generations,” Kingston explains. “I grew up surrounded by the magic of original Walt Disney® themes, and I want to share a legacy in that tradition.”

Amber T. Kingston, born and raised in southern California, loves to write, paint and spend time with children. Laura and the Leprechauns is her first children’s book. Kingston can be reached by telephone 949.706.1860 or email at [email protected]. Review copies are available.

The mission of Chrysalis Press is to provide inspired, quality literature to children with appropriate content. Chrysalis Press is located in Newport Beach, California.


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20. Website Updates

Today was a busy day. I decided it was time to focus some more energy on improving my website. All in all, I really love my website, but I’d also like to make it more interactive for kids, so that meant I needed to put my thinking cap on. The first thing I knew I wanted to do was to offer an art option for younger kids— a picture for them to color. So I spent some time creating a drawing that I though might be fun to color. After that, I also created a crossword puzzle that’s based on the book that people will be able to print out. It was fun trying to come up with the clues! The hardest part of everything was deciding on the page layout. I made a mock up of a design in Photoshop and then it will be up to my web designer to see if it actually can be accomplished. I really hope so. I also created wallpaper for the computer desktop and a selection of five messenger buddy icons. For now I think that will be a good start. But right now all I can do is wait to hear back from my fabulous web designer to see if and when she can make this all happen. So keep your fingers crossed for me. I think it would be a really neat thing for the kids out there if this comes through! Take care, and I’ll keep you posted!Amberwww.ChrysalisPress.com

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21. Starting Out . . .

The great thing about the World Wide Web is that it seems as if there is always something new and exciting going on. Although now, after much research, I realize blogging is nothing new to those surfing the web . . . it is to me. But it seems very much like an online diary where I can simply share the latest things that are going on in my life, so I thought I’d give it a try.As of now I am anxiously awaiting my two preview copies of my first book, Laura and the Leprechauns. The printer said they are supposed to be here by the 23rd of October so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Admittedly, I am not the most patient person, but when books are traveling all the way from Hong Kong, I suppose a little patience is necessary. Why I’m really excited is this: unlike my Advanced Review Copies I distributed, this final version will actually have the glitter on the twelve pages I specified. I can hardly wait to see the finished product.With any luck I will able to release the book sooner than listed—I hope . . . that’s the plan. Sometime before, or in December so that it will be available for Christmas. That would be nice, but again this is out of my control. As of now what I’ve been told is that the entire shipment will arrive by November 21st. That would be nice—really, really nice if it happens. I suppose all of this is really exciting for me because this is my first book to be published. The strange thing is that I thought writing and illustrating the book would be the hard part of the entire process, but oh . . . I was so wrong. Trying to figure out what to do after the fact has proved more challenging than I could’ve imagined. I think I’ve practically worn out my copy of Dan Poynters Self-Publishing Manual. I would be completely lost without it!In the meantime I’ve been having fun creating lists of my favorite children’s books on Amazon. It’s taken me back to some great childhood memories. My all time favorites from the past are: Sloth’s Birthday Party, Little Bunny Follows His Nose (I scratched and sniffed that fabulous book to death!), and the entire Serendipity series. Has anyone out there read any of these? It would be especially neat to hear from someone who is familiar with the Serendipity series as they weren’t sold in stores—at least not back in the 70’s!Anyway, I guess that’s all my rambling for tonight. I will write again soon. Take care!http://www.chrysalispress.com/

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22.

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23. One Step Closer . . .

HOORAY! My two advance copies of Laura and the Leprechauns finally arrived! I’m absolutely tickled with the final product! It’s amazing to see the difference between the quality of digital printing compared to offset printing. There really is no comparison—offset printing wins hands down. The glitter accents make a big difference too. I’m glad I stuck it out and found a printer that could do the glitter. As of now, (until the entire shipment arrives), I plan to keep one copy for myself and the other one I will send to Amazon.com so that they can do the “Search Inside” program. I’m curious as to which pictures they will choose to display. So far I’ve only selected two pictures—other than the cover—to share on some blog sites. I am also considering submitting my book on Google Books, but I’m not completely sold on the idea yet. I’d like to get some advice from my editor who is more knowledgeable in these areas, so I’ll wait and see. I heard back from my web designer about the updates, and it’s a go! Everything I designed can be done, she just has to do the programming for it. I was very happy to hear this. She plans to start on the project next week so you should see some new content soon. I look forward to hearing your comments about the additions.

Another great thing that has been happening is that I’ve been receiving fabulous reviews from readers of the Advanced Review Copies I sent out to those who answered an ad I placed in Dan Poynter’s Marketplace newsletter. These customer reviews are from teachers, professional reviewers, and people who simply love to read books. They received a promotional package containing a bookmark, postcard, press release, author photo and the all-important ARC that I still had available after my submissions to the main book reviewers in the industry. But I have been so touched by the customer responses! I had no idea this book would be received as well as it has been, but it definitely has my spirits up! It’s a great feeling to know that people appreciate something you love to do and put so much time and effort into. And this book creation process has definitely been a journey. I’ll be posting their reviews on my website as well, so be sure to take a peek at them. Until then, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any upcoming news. Take care!

Amber
http://www.chrysalispress.com

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24. Full of Surprises!

This is just a mini update. I simply had to say: I love my web designer . . . I really, really do! She’s fantastic and full of surprises! She already has the new updates posted on my site! I figured I’d see them in a weeks time, but I came home from school to a pleasant surprise. You can now check out the “Fun Stuff” section of my site for activities and things to keep you, or your little ones, busy. Also the “About the Author “ section has been updated, and now includes a section that shares my inspiration for writing Laura and the Leprechauns. I hope you enjoy the changes. Also, the reviews I’ve received so far have been posted as well. You can access them from the homepage of my site. I hope you’ll drop by to visit, and feel free to leave any comments, feedback, or suggestions you may have on my “Contact” page. I’d really love to hear from you! Now, I’m off to bed for the night. Guten nacht. Take care and I’ll be in touch soon!

Amber
http://www.chrysalispress.com

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