Sunday, June 30, 2013

Model for Book Cover Wanted!

Howdy, People!

I'm working on a new series and am so very excited about it! For this series, the main character is an 18-year-old girl named Anya. We're needing a girl who can pose for the covers of the book, and we'll be paying her $30 for an hour-long photo shoot with a professional photographer.

This person needs to:

Live close by (we're close to Salt Lake County and Utah County right now), or be willing to travel without us paying for traveling cost. A BYU, UofU, or UVU student would be perfect.

This person also needs to:

Be female, attractive, and at least 18 years of age (the main character is 18 in the first book, and by book four, will be 22). She'll need to have a slender, athletic build, blondish hair (naturally light-colored, and straight, not curly), and light colored eyes. She needs to be tall - at least 5'8".

If you know someone who'd be interested in being on the cover of a soon-to-be-popular, published book, and who'd like to earn $30, please have them email me ( the following information:
1. A headshot, with only a little makeup on
2. A full-body picture, to show they have Anya's body type - tall, slender, athletic
3. Their contact information: cell phone and email address
4. Their schedule for the next couple of months (so we can arrange with the photographer)

The person we choose (and we'll only be able to choose one) will need to sign a waiver that they won't ask for a portion of book royalties, that they won't sue for having their picture on the cover of a book, and that they understand they probably won't have access to the photographs. :-) (We might be able to work something out for photos we don't end up using, if desired.)

If they don't mind, I'll thank them in the acknowledgement section. :-)

I'm soooo excited! Can't wait to get this series going. It's really going to be excellent. I've already got a few stories written for it, and my beta readers have LOVED them.!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Talents and Passion

I've been thinking a lot lately about how my life has gone where talents, interests, and hobbies are concerned. I've had a lot of passions and have followed those closely, and looking back, I can see how they've helped me.

The biggest thing I notice is that my passions and talents have always followed the arts. Except for that brief excursion I had with car repair and maintenance. :-) (I learned out to maintain my own car, including replacing pipes and valves and changing the oil. Something everyone should know how to do. :-))

What is it that pushes you? What are your strongest passions? And is it possible to make money doing one of those things?

Only you know the answers to these questions.

For a long time, I wanted to become a concert pianist. I mastered Franz Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Jon Schmidt. (Yes, Jon is one of those famous classical composers. :-)) Even though I loved playing the viola, I was more passionate about the piano, and therefore, quickly surpassed my viola-playing abilities. (I still play the viola in church, funerals, and family get-togethers, however.)

Then, with the help of a friend, I discovered painting. I first learned how to paint with acrylics, then oils. I wish I'd done it the other way around - oils are so much easier to blend and work with. They allow the artist to fix mistakes or make changes.

Here are some of my favorite paintings:

This was my first oil painting, and my first portrait. The original was done by Greg Olsen, and I had the help of a wonderful elderly woman who taught me the names of the oil paints and which ones would look the best. It was all done by my own hand, eye-balling the original.

I really like sceneries and spent most of my time painting them with acrylics and oil. 

The theme in my bedroom in my parent's house was Piove Sull'oceano, which is the name of a Josh Groban song. Click here to listen to it. :-) (That's a link to a Youtube video.) I painted this while listening to that song on repeat. The painting also bears the name Piove Sull'oceano. (Rain over the ocean)

I especially like painting more abstract things. This is a set I did for our master bedroom. They took about ten hours each to complete - which, from their simplicity, is impossible to tell. :-)

Another set of paintings for my master bedroom. 

All of the paintings above, except for the one of Christ, were completed in the last five years. Here are some links to my earlier works: my first water color (painted for my older brother's Eagle Court of Honor), an abstract painting of mountains (when I first discovered oil paints), a pencil drawing of a kitten that I did when I was sixteen, and some black mountains. As you can see, I like mountains. :-)

The one thing I never tried out growing up was writing. My older sister was "the writer," and I've never really been competitive, so I stayed away from that area for many years. When I was 22, I couldn't hold it in anymore and started writing. I wrote my first book in six weeks (and took well over a year to perfect it). I'm really glad I spent a lot of time with other hobbies and passions first, since I got that out of my system (still paint and play the piano occasionally). Writing is where my heart is. I'll never stop - it drives me so much more than any other artistic pursuit.

What about you? What did you spend your time learning and focusing on? Where is your attention now, when it comes to talents and passions? Are there any areas you'd like to focus on in the future?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ginnie West Adventure Series and Giveaway!

The Ginnie West Adventure series gets new covers! 
To quote Ginnie: "They are totally awesome sauce!"


Twelve-year-old BFFs—Ginnie and Tillie—want to be sisters. Tillie's divorced mom plus Ginnie's widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club and come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation: Secret Sisters’.

 Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation: Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation: Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out why before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

As a writer of fantasy, few stories set in reality succeed in capturing my interest so thoroughly that they leave me wanting more. With her spirited personality and flare for fun, Ginnie West does just this as she draws the reader into her unique world from the start and never disappoints. An engaging read that entertains the young as well as the young at heart, this novel manages to become what most rarely do--memorable. ~~ S.E. Gerard, A Fracture In Time

I LOVED this book! I didn’t know a book without zombies could be good! ~~15 yr-old Amanda


Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong. She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one. 

When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Pierce’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a rag doll. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

If you like farms, friends, horses, and secrets, you’ll love: Trouble Blows West: A Ginnie West Adventure. So saddle up and be ready to ride with Ginnie as she explores the true meaning of friendship. ~~Debbie Shakespeare Smith, middle-grade author of The House of Chicken

An excellent book that deals with the sensitive topics of bullying, abuse, and forgiveness. It is action packed and full of raw emotions. Bucheger does an amazing job of writing this story, without giving a cookie cutter answer to the problems Ginnie faces. The characters are full and rich—which makes me wish I could be part of the West family as well. ~~ Karen D. 


Twelve-year-old BFFs schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. When their parents go along with the matchmaking, the girls are stoked. Sweet! Not long after though, Ginnie stumbles upon her late mom's journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscates the journals, determined to protect Ginnie from a danger he won’t name. Ginnie is counting on her future sister's help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie's not so sure the ghost of Ginnie's mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. 

Besides, Tillie is too busy trying to keep the memory of her abusive, no-good , rotten-excuse-for-a-birth-father from bubbling to the surface to worry about what's bugging Ginnie. He left six years ago and Tillie’s knows a better dad when she sees one … Ginnie’s dad. The girls' world gets flipped upside-down when a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers. Ginnie is torn between helping her best friend and what could be the answer to her prayers. Life gets complicated lickety-split in what is sure to be the most pivotal summer of Ginnie’s life. 

With the charm of The Little House books, and the courage of today’s American Girl, Bucheger has created a series that has staying power. ~~Mikey Brooks, The Dream Keeper

As a mother I couldn't put these books down. While they may be written for middle grade children, I was not only entertained, but inspired. ~~ Courtney W.

When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events. Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy
the journey that is her life. 

She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter,  a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is the BLOG TOUR with Links:

June 17: The Fictorian Era: Spotlight
June 17: Roseanne's Spot: Review of The Secret Sisters Club
June 17: J. Lloyd Morgan: Review of Trouble Blows West

June 18: Braden Bell: Spotlight
June 18: Tristi: Review of Simply West of Heaven
June 18: Tina Gower: (<--winner of this year's WOTF-- I'm so happy for her!)
June 18: Mikey Brooks: Interview

June 19: A Hero's Journey: Spotlight
June 19: Kimberly Griffiths Little : Review of The Secret Sisters Club
June 19: Jen Greyson: Spotlight

June 20: In Brief: Blog Post
June 20: An Author In Progress: Overview of all 3 books.
June 20: A Book A Day: Review of Simply West of Heaven
June 20: Marathon Writer: Spotlight & Interview
June 20: Angela Carlie: Spotlight
June 20: David Farland: Shoutout

FRIDAY: REDEEM the FREE & Almost free books :)
June 21: Ordinary happily Ever After: Review of Simply West of Heaven
June 21: A Writer's Ramblings: Spotlight
June 21: Pauline Toohey: Author: Interview

June 22: James Duckett: Interview
June 22: Author Andrea Pearson: Spotlight
June 22: The Clan of the Stone: Spotlight

Friday, June 7, 2013

I, Spy, and Mr. Nice Spy!

We're celebrating the launch of I, Spy! Read on to find out more about the book, get a cool spy tip for your daily life and download a free gift! Then find I, Spy on Amazon, Kobo, and!

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets—and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too—until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves. More about I, Spy | Add I, Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Advance praise

The edge-of-my-seat undercover operations kept me turning pages, and just when I thought the story would go one way, plot twists sent it down another path. Thrilling, adventurous, and romantic, this book has it all for an Alias fan.
Jami Gold, award-winning author
Jordan McCollum’s debut novel is a delightful combination of mystery, action, and romance. Talia’s CIA training and almost OCD caution feed her quirky humor while exposing her very human fears and insecurities. Add in her boyfriend Danny, and it's enough to twist your heart.
Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans
Clever, suspenseful, and charged with political intrigue and romance, I, Spy is the perfect combination for a fun and captivating read!
Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

The clue!

As part of the debut of I, Spy, Jordan is hosting a contest to figure out the song that inspired the story. Collect clues at each blog stop and use your spy skills to piece together the clues to win a $25 Amazon gift card! How to enter The clue for this stop is:
Every original album by The Monkees except one features a song written by the singer-songwriter duo behind the I, Spy song.

The freebie!

Thanks for participating in this launch tour! As a free gift this week, Jordan is giving out free copies of Mr. Nice Spy, an I, Spy prequel novella. Simply to go You can also get 40% off I, Spy!