Monday, November 11, 2019

Events I Have Done As an Author At Libraries

Library Events That Brings Stories Alive
When I was young, I would spend hours in the library. Although, I loved reading, story time, interactive events and recreations of stories were some of my best memories. As an author, I’ve created those events at various libraries. Kids love hands on, and becoming one with stories. To bring stories to life within the library doesn’t take a lot of effort. It takes imagination. Kids are open and eager to make believe, and the libraries are the best places for them to experience new stories, new places and many adventures.

Some events I’ve run that were great successes as an author can be used at libraries, done on websites, with parents, or created as a challenge.

Dungeons And Dragons Adventure Based On Author’s Book
As an author, I’ve created D&D like experience for readers at libraries that model my stories. These have been fun events that can take on a life of their own. Kids hate leaving these events early and have tons of enjoyment by getting into their characters and experiencing adventures within a story. We start with a video book trailer of the book. Then each participant is given a character with different characteristics. The author or ‘dungeon master (reader)’ creates the scene, acts as narrator to the story and leads characters into key points of their ‘quest’. It can go on for hours and even be a theme for the month.

Living Stories
To create a living stories event in a library, creating a theme based around a popular story can gain participation even from the teenage readers. Have readers vote on a book, or base it off the book club selection of a book. Once the book of choice is chosen invite kids to do art projects to create a scene from the book and even have a prop building contest. Create areas through the library that mimic a scene in the book, encourage the child to read in the area, dress up as a character, then lead to an art or interactive activity.

Story Scavenger Hunts
Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. Creating an adventure with clues to books from different authors is an amazing way to introduce young visitors to the library to new books. Having a monthly scavenger hunt to find and reveal new books, coming titles, or newly acquired books to the library is a way to get readers excited early. Having a consistent monthly event builds readers anticipation. It can even be part of the building up to a book club.

Library Camp Out
Camping, smores, ghost stories are ways to kick off a library day camp out. Kids can come with their blankets, camp snacks and check out their favorite book. A room in the library can be decorated like an enchanted forest, a space station, a desert camp grounds or more. Readers can be invited to pick a book with the camp location them and read away in their own camp spot. Smores, treats, and prizes can be given to the camper that retells the best stories based on what they’ve read.

Story Reenactment
Story reenactments can allow kids to further immerse and enjoy stories. Having a reenactment doesn’t mean the kids have to had read the stories. Small and short scenes can be replayed by the kids or the librarian. There can even be areas in the library that scenes from books in that section can be acted out. For the savvy library, having videos strategical placed can lead the reader on a library adventure where they can participate in the fun.

As an author, and a kid at heart, finding enjoyable ways to tell stories captures kids and adult interest alike. Taking events, activities that people love, and bringing that to the library continues to make the library the most adventurous place a reader can go.

By: LM Preston, fiction and non-fiction author, and, Twitter: LM_Preston, Blog: and

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Scepter of Fire Pre-Release Teaser

I am writing this 3rd novel in The Vigilant Series, Scepter of Fire, and it's going to be a thrilling ride for our young Dexter.


Dexter kept his eyes closed.  The binds at his wrist were cold, unforgiving and rigid chains. He needed to stay calm, take it all in and wait until they’d left him alone. His shirt was loose, and his sleeve covered one of the chains on his wrist while the other was rolled high on his shoulder.
  “Doctor Rutherford said to hold him until they come to take him,” a woman who adjusted his head on the pillow mentioned.
  “How long has he been like that?” a male asked.
  Dexter remained stone still, keeping his breathing even as his eyelid nearly twitched from the man’s breath near his face. He felt the lift of his eyelid. Keeping his eyes still, while the man flashed a light into them was nearly impossible. Dexter forced himself not to focus, but noted the man’s dark skin and brown eyes. He could have sworn the guy winked at him. Still, Dexter didn’t trust it, he didn’t budge. The man let Dexter’s eyelid go. Dexter almost sighed. It was hard to not blink. He had to wait though, for that one chance to get out.
  “The others he came with will be taken also. Don’t get in the way of those that come to collect. If you do…” the woman warned.
  Dexter forced his fist not to clinch at the mention of his family that was in the car crash with him. He remembered when they sunk into the water. He’d fought to get the door opened and his younger siblings out. Then something hit his head, and he’d drowned in water when everything went black.
  “Like you, I just work here for the paycheck. This hospital needs to be condemned anyway. I was there when they bought them in from the emergency room. I wanted to see how he was doing myself. I swear he wasn’t breathing when they pumped his stomach of water from the lake.”
  “Nathan, just give him the shot and clear out, you don’t want to be here when they take them. It’s never pleasant. I like you. You’re new here, and if you want to keep your job, you will stop asking questions.”
  “Got it.”
  Dexter heard footsteps. Light, and sure, it was the female nurse. Nathan remained there though, still, but the heaviness of his presence was over Dexter.
  “I can’t help you much, but if you have it in you, get the hell out of here. The hospital is going up in flames. Your father and oldest sister, are on this floor, the others... Sorry we couldn’t help all of you.”
  Dexter didn’t trust it. He remained still as the chains on his feet were removed.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Welcome to YASH FALL Scavenger Hunt at LM Preston's House



Take a peek at all the participating authors books here on Goodreads

Please welcome authors of MERGED to my blue house! And don't forget my secret number is mumbo number 5

Teaser and Excerpt

It’s only five-thirty, and her eyes are as sharp as they are at mid-afternoon. Sister Mo is
already sipping coffee at the long wooden table marred with a thousand nicks and gouges,
surrounded by twelve chairs on with side and three at each end. The kitchen is also at the ready:
frying pans on the stove, tower of plates stacked on the counter, eggs and bread and butter
waiting to be lovingly-transformed into breakfast for the kids of St. Catherine’s.

“Out all night again, you,” Sister Mo says in her thick, Kingston lilt.

I drop my canvas bag on the well-worn but impeccably clean, linoleum floor. “You know
I can’t paint during the day.” We’ve had this discussion, like, a few hundred times.

“The devil prowls at night,” she says, rising to her six-foot height. “You need breakfast.”

“Thanks, but I’m not hungry, Sister,” I try. Even though she doesn’t like me out all night,
she supports my obsession, my need to tell a story through paint.

“Nonsense.” Sister Mo springs to the ancient gas stove and clicks on the gas burner. She
slices and tosses three pats of butter into a hot pan before cracking three eggs in. Pops and
sputters fill the room.

I blurt out what I’ve wanted to say from the start. What I want the world to know. “I
really did it. I captured The Last Supper!”

She drops a couple scoops of hash browns next to the eggs, and then lets out a long,
disapproving sigh. This is as close to a curse as Sister Mo ever gets.

“Sister, I know it’s good. Better than good. And mixing the New York Rangers with The
Last Supper may not be Guernica, but you can’t say it isn’t creative, and it just might make
someone’s day.”

“Kevin, you think you’re doing something meaningful with your alley pictures, but it’s temporary. Fleeting.” Sister Mo drops two slices of bread into the eight-slice toaster. “You could paint something that lasts. Something people will see for hundreds of years.”

“I want people to see it now. Not only old, rich people with a lot of money to go to fancy
museums and buy million-dollar art for their living rooms. Everybody. Where they live so they
can see it every day—”

She dismisses my words with a wave. “You work all night, and it’s gone in months,
sometimes days. You should go to art school. Really learn.”

“I’ve studied in my own way,” I say.

 “You don’t know what you think you know.” She slickly retrieves the toast, brushes the
slices with butter, slides the eggs onto a plate, adds mountain of hash browns, and sets the
overwhelming breakfast in front of me.

Her deep-set brown eyes pin me in time. She stabs a long, thick finger at me. “Eat
something, you.”

I’m exhausted and not the least bit hungry, but when Sister Mo says eat, you eat.
“Anyone see you?” she asks, surprisingly casual for someone who five seconds ago was
arguing that I was wasting my talent.

I cram a piece of toast into my mouth and hold up a finger to buy some time. I don’t want
to tell her about Rosa, but there’s no lying to Sister Moses, there’s only delaying the inevitable.

Her eyes are glued to me until I swallow.
“Just a girl.”
“A girl? What about ’dis girl?” Her voice is a mix of whimsy and concern.
My brain needs three days of sleep before I’m ready to have this conversation, but there’s
no escaping her now. She’s given me a huge plate of food, enough for a hockey player the night
before a game. Nobody wastes food at St. Catherine’s. I’m not leaving this table until it’s gone,
and until Sister Mo has squeezed every last detail out of me.

“Her mom was working, so she hung out on the fire escape while I painted.” I don’t tell
Sister Mo that we talked all night, or that Rosa took a photo of Take This Cup. I also don’t tell
her what Rosa’s mom does for a living. “Don’t worry. She doesn’t know my real name or how to
find me.”

Sister Mo studies me, and I swear she’s been aware of every thought I’ve ever had. “She
see the painting?”

“Yeah.” I recall Rosa’s face when I unveiled it. “She saw it.”

Sister Mo leans forward. “She like it?” It feels like she’s cataloging my every inflection,
every nervous twitch.

I can’t contain my excitement, and a huge grin breaks across my face. “She really liked

“Good, then.” Sister Mo smiles, eases back in her chair, and lets out that wonderful laugh
that always makes me feel like all is good with the world.

Also, I'm having a little giveaway of my own for FREE $5 Amazon Gift card and copy of Colliding Souls: CLICK HERE


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Hunt is on, Are you a Book Scavenger?

I’m very excited to be a part of Team BLUE this season. Check out the amazing books that will be featured during the 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt. This season I’ll be announcing two very special projects, showing you the first glimpse of a brand new cover, and you’ll get to read some never before released bonus material from a bonus chapter of the Vigilant Series! Get ready to hunt, people. It’s going to be a good one.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Finding Inspiration and Motivation


Sometimes I have to re-read my books in order to get a grasp on where I was when I last wrote in my fictional world.

This last month I've been promoting my non-fiction book. Although, it's been great, a labor of love, it's not my most fun experience in writing. I really enjoy writing fiction as I can be so creative and just get lost in a new world while experiencing that world through different characters.

Sadly, I didn't get much written and I have a personal schedule of three months to write the next book in the series.


Marketing and promotion. It's a lot of work. In my case it paid off with this happening! I can't believe it, I got to #3 on their Hot New Release list.

Hiring assistants to help me do some of this didn't work out too well for me. I literally hired and had to end three assistants until I decided to hire people I knew did certain things well and then do the rest myself.

Then parenting, family and job jumped in my way. Oh my!

Now, even though all of those distractions were beating me down, my characters and story just keeps churning in my head.


To finish one last course that goes with my non-fiction. Then to jump back into my fiction story, Scepter of Fire which is the 2nd book in my The Vigilant Series and I am only 5% done, sigh, but I will get back on track.


My daughter treated me to a GIRLS TRIP! Woot!! It was so much fun, I relaxed, we toured the place, and even went to a dance club (where I was in the corner reading while my daughter danced). Today, it seems guys like to watch the many girls dance alone on the dance floor or dance while watching them. This generation has some communication differences than mine did. Oh well, I consider it good research and had a great time. 

Monday, August 5, 2019


I have started many small micro-businesses. I even consulted a few people. It’s hard starting from scratch, but with proper planning and the power of social media you can go from a nobody to a somebody really quick. There are some quick start tips, but the truth is, for momentum, you have to put out the feelers and the foundation for your online exposure early.

I advise setting up two different social media accounts. Setting up a media account for your business, with your business name, logo, and professional photo on all social media platforms. Once you set up your accounts, use tools like IFTTT (If this, then that) to make each post to your social media platforms count. This tool will take a blog post and replicate it to post on twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. Also, use tools like Hoot suite or Socialoomph to do the same.

Creating a blog and posting to it weekly gives you content you can push to all your other social media platforms to create an ever running presence.

In order to boost your presence you need to start collaborating with other likeminded businesses, people, and prospects. The easiest places to find them is on Quora, Facebook, Instagram, Forums, other Blogs. You can set up a collaborative blog hop with other bloggers or twitter chat with other businesses. Usually, it just takes asking the question and you will be surprised with how much people will help you for free.

Other options is to purchase exposure or trade it. If you have a newsletter, then you can request someone swap information in their newsletter for yours. Both of you get exposure. Collaboration with others is the best form of exposure. It’s like an unwritten word of mouth.

There are services for media calls like HARO. You can also post it on other open sites like Medium, Reddit, LinkedIn Articles and ask other bloggers to post.

Every stride your business makes, share the news through press releases. There are many free press release sites to use and doing so gets your name and your business name out there to a different set of readers. You can pay to have your press released shared to newspapers and magazines, just don’t make the message too sales focused, and more about sharing of information or ways your business is helping the community.

After you have your social media sites set up, and you have a working and chiming feed of information from your random post and your blog post, start to purchase ads. By this time you should know your audience and have somewhere that is filled with information and others of like mind to interact with through your channels. Budget and test your ads before you pour your money and efforts in other areas.

First, go for the free options such as sharing videos, webinars, and promos on your blog, Facebook page, website, and some of your collaborators blogs. Take your videos and post that are doing well on Facebook as a boost, then create an ad based on your findings. After you have utilized the free exposure, then consider google ads, Facebook ads, optimization of your website and promo wherever your content resides. Then consider buying ads where your product is sold.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Tip of The Mountain - Author Roundup

That's the face of a tired yet eager author

My monthly wrap up comes with me doing the one thing that I have to make myself stop - taking on a bit more than I can chew.

This past month I've been scrambling through hiring of two virtual assistants that weren't able to perform duties as assigned, then interviewing three additional ones only to decide to break the task I had planned for them to do up into pieces and attempt to do it myself - again.

How did that end up for me? Total chaos! Yet, in spite of that, my non-fiction book is starting to take on a bit of buzz magic and have hit the top 20 on Amazon's Best Seller's in its category at least 3 times in June.

This is the baby that caused such a stir birthing!
It's now on sale and the print copies are published

This is one book I am considering and researching doing in audio book. Although, I am thinking it will have to wait until later this year or next year.

Should I do the voice? Read it? OR >>>> Should I hire someone? What would you prefer?

With the book marketing planning being done, my overbooking didn't stop there. I started to do my edits, sent to proof-reader, and still have some minor fixes to add.

Since I don't have a Virtual Assistant that felt comfortable rounding up book reviewers, I did that myself also. I thought getting about twenty people would be great, well over three hundred inquired!

This is the course I just finished this month.

I finished uploading the modules for the course and it took a lot of late nights. Literally, I had to wait until everyone was out of the house or sleep. That meant going to bed at midnight to attempt to finish at least two modules a night.

Ah! The life of a business owner.

And guess what? I love it!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Struggle of Writing Two Genres At Same Time

Yep, the struggle between writing my Non-Fiction Books and my Fiction is real


It's hard to create the platform for your Non-Fiction books when you have a long standing as a fiction author. Your current readers are not likely to be interested in your non-fiction books. 

Trying to decide to create two separate platforms is daunting. I must say I already have 3 distinct blogs, Facebook pages, and websites - but I draw the line at twitter and Instagram. It's just not manageable to me to have so many social media accounts for my works.


I have lost my mind. Yes, and I have to have these done by August, or else I won't be able to start writing the two books to kick off my 2020 release schedule.


Fiction is the expression of my imagination. It's my therapy, my vacation, my passion. I simply love writing it. However, to get my non-fiction done, I have to force myself to put off my fiction writing in order to meet my non-fiction obligations (books, courses, articles, blog post, press releases - and my work of technical documents for my day job - oh my!)

I've gotten off to a good start with the outline being finished. I've even started writing when I've checked off all the items on my list for my non-fiction.


This is my biggest obstacle. Ugh! I already have a well oiled machine for fiction, but have been struggling with this non-fiction platform.


This month I've been editing my Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Kids and creating the Free mini-course (just released - softly), and trying to find someone to coordinate my blog tour for it. Interviewing Virtual Assistants (one fell through unfortunately she was awesome, so I know anyone else will be just okay). 

My fiction writing I was able to sneak in about 4209 words between editing and creating course content. Attended a graduation, closed homeschool for my son that is still homeschooling. Worked my day job (which gives me great material for my fiction books by the way.)

And the beat goes on.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Meet the Unbreakable Darkness Characters


Here's the character intros for the Unbreakable Darkness (1.5) novella in The Vigilant Series. Reading Insatiable Darkness (Book 0.5)  and Caged Fire (Book 1) will give you a full perspective of those in the series.

Do you want to be part of my PATREON group that will get Freebies not offered on any other platform? Join PATREON membership here: CLICK HERE

Don't be afraid to enter THE VIGILANT series

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Writer's Life

As an author, it seems as though writing is your passion and obsession. This year I have been overbooked and extremely aggressive with my writing goals. All that, despite working another job and homeschooling my son.

So, monthly, I want to start sharing how the magic happens. Did I mention I gave up coffee? Help me. It's insane, but I am managing without it.

The month of April:

Writing: I am writing Scepter of Fire and it's a bit slow moving. I finished the outline, but find that some aspects are changing as I get into the character. I'm only about 2380 words in, so we will see how it goes.

Editing: My non-fiction book on Homeschooling while working full-time is now in editing mode. My editor tore it to pieces and for good reason. I rushed when doing my personal edits to it and it's just not as clean as other work.

Marketing: Newsletter Swaps, Blog Tour, Promo Ads in reading groups isn't even scratching the surface of what I had initially planned to do. However, what I did worked by spiking two of my books to top 10 of Amazon's best seller's list. I have some Facebook Takeover's coming up too!

Other Projects: I am working on some courses to accompany my non-fiction books. Outlining, video-taping them and promoting them is daunting, but I will do it. Marketing for this is a challenge since I have to build a mailing list and followers for a new book and the courses.

Overall, this year I got more accomplished than I thought possible.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

SPRING BREAK GIVEAWAY Sponsored by Caged Fire

This Fair Has 2 Types of Daily Giveaways

These are pretty much what you expect. List of 10 questions about the books in the fair each day. Visitors must click the buy links on the books in the fair and read the book blurbs to find the answers. Prizes will be $10-$15 gift cards. Giveaways run 24 hours from midnight to midnight U.S. Mountain Time.

 KU subscribers who don’t
have to pay for books, but this fair still has a lot to offer for visitors who buy their
books. Each day a randomly picked book in the fair and give away copies via
Amazon instant giveaway. To play, visitors must click on the buy links in the fair
until they find one that leads directly to an Amazon instant giveaway.

To Participate - CLICK HERE!
And Good Luck
Sponsored by Caged Fire (on sale $1.99)

Saturday, March 30, 2019


YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck and me, LM Preston as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM --but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Ends April 7th, 2019, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting JENNIFER BRODY on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! 

Jennifer Brody's award-winning novel "The 13th Continuum" sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is a Gold Medal Winner (Young Adult - Sci-Fi/Fantasy) from the Independent Publisher's Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. "Return of the Continuums" and "The United Continuums" complete this epic trilogy. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad in Los Angeles, and a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media group for authors. She lives and writes in LA.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here! 


Some Exclusive Updates from Author JENNIFER BRODY 

Hey YASH’ers! I’m thrilled to share the hot off the presses announcement of my new book deal here for the hunt. I’ve sold not one, but two original graphic novels! Not only that, but they sold in a 6-book deal to Turner Publishing. That means, each graphic novel will be built into a trilogy. They’re both high concept science fiction and should appeal to fans of my Continuum Trilogy (featured here), as well as science fiction and comic book lovers alike.

From Publisher’s Marketplace:

THE CONTINUUMS TRILOGY author Jen Brody's SPECTRE DEEP 6, pitched as in the vein of Flatliners meets The Bourne Identity, a diverse team of black ops "Spectres" - elite soldiers who died in the line of duty only to be reanimated by military scientists and brought back as actual ghosts - carry out illicit missions for the United States government in exchange for day passes to haunt their old lives and fulfill their unfinished business, and 200, about a world where people live to be immortal, but only if they pass a test on their 200th birthday - if they fail, they are euthanized, illustrated by Jules Rivera, to Stephanie Beard at Turner Publishing, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider/ICM (world).

My amazing artist Jules Rivera and I broke these stories out and built them into graphic novels. Spectre Deep 6 came from an original idea, while 200 is adapted from a short story that I wrote as my love letter to Philip K. Dick and science fiction like Total Recall and Minority Report. I’m especially excited because I’ve always wanted to work in the medium of comics and graphic novels. I’m a huge fan, but I also wanted to tell some original stories using them.

For my exclusive content, I can reveal that Spectre Deep 6 will publish in Feb. 2020, while 200 will publish in Fall 2020. The next books will then publish every 6 months. Follow me on social media or sign up for my mailing list for exclusive info on my new graphic novels, including cover reveals and character design art. Many fun bookish things coming up in the next year! 

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, LM Preston, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 6. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GREEN TEAM and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

This HUNT stop Sponsored by LM PRESTON's Visitors for UNBREAKABLE DARKNESS
See Excerpt Here
On Sale 99cents and Free on KU


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! LEA NOLAN HERE 
and show us some love by