Tuesday 7 January 2014

J.A. BLACKBURN BlogTour & Giveaway

A day in the life of an author…

It begins at the crack of dawn, or usually before the crack of dawn. When the stars are still bright in the sky and the world is quiet. My iPhone trills and I jump out of bed and stumble to the kitchen. Put on the coffee and sit down at my computer to write. It comes easier, in the morning. My mind hasn’t been cluttered up yet with all the million cares of the day. It’s quiet and dark and I’m cozy in my wool socks and fuzzy fleece.

I hear that some authors have the luxury of the whole day, stretched in front of them like a blank sheet of paper, just waiting to be filled up with brilliant thoughts and glistening adjectives and verbs that LEAP off the page and punch you in the mouth with their brilliance. I am not one of those authors. I have a very busy, very full-time job that has very little to do with writing, or children, or fantasy. So I have to get my author time in sneak sessions, and early morning works best of all.

I’ll write for an hour and then as the world starts to wake up I’ll slip a leash on Bella (our soft-coated wheaten terrier) and we’ll stroll down to the beach for a quick stroll.

Bella at the beach

Then it’s getting ready for work, packing my 10-year old son off to school, and I roll into the office.

Throughout the day I’ll sneak off to check my facebook page or my amazon customer reviews. The evening after dinner and helping Camden with his homework, is spent planning out book promotions. Maybe I’ll write a guest post for a blog tour (like this one!), or work with my husband to design a dragon t-shirt to surprise a reader with.

Right before bed I’ll cozy up with a good book. I’m not picky – it could be middle grade or fantasy or young adult, or even non-fiction. They say the best way to get good at writing is to read. And even if they didn’t say that, I’d still read. Because I love it.

I used to feel jealous of authors who had successful writing careers that let them stay home and focus on their craft. But I’m starting to think that maybe I’m more productive because I have to do it when I can. There’s no time for excuses, just barely time for 400 words. Better get cracking!

Dragon Defender by J.A. Blackburn

Book 1 of the Dragon Defense League series
Genre: middlegrade

About Dragon Defender:
* Finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2013 Literary Contest *
For over a thousand years dragons have existed in secret . . .

Peter Clark can build a robot from scratch and pick a lock in two minutes or less. But he can’t figure out why his mother left or why his grandma refuses to talk about her. When Uncle Dominick shows up on Peter’s twelfth birthday with a letter that hints at answers and an incredible story about dragons, Peter follows him, determined to find out the truth about his mother’s disappearance.

What he finds is a reality far different from what he ever could have imagined – where dragons live in hiding, hunted by poachers for their magical parts, and a small group of men and women work tirelessly to protect them. These are the Dragon Defenders. Peter’s uncle is one. So was his mother. Now it’s Peter’s turn.
Source: Info in the About Dragon Defender was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

More Buzz About the Book

"We read an advance copy of this book on kindle earlier this year and our 5th grade son read it twice and is anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. Great adventure, really kept our interest reading it together at night. This was one of the kids books I most enjoyed reading myself as well. The characters and the plot are well developed, and appealing to a wide range of kids (both genders). The writing is sophisticated but easy to understand, not 'dumbed down' like many kids books. The subject of dragons was so well crafted that it's easy believe that dragons just might exist, after all." ~ 5 Star Review, Leigh A., Amazon

"Reminiscent of the Fablehaven series (with just the right touch of Harry P.) this middle grade book is both an adventure and a pleasure...Fast-paced and full of wonder, this book takes middle grade readers on a vivid journey from the southwestern U.S. to Mexico; where jungles, ancient ruins and local folklore add to the enchantment that Peter finds when he discovers that dragons are in fact, real. As a former elementary school teacher, my strong feeling is that kids will eat this book whole, and then turn to searching for dragon eggs in their own backyards!" ~ 5 Star Review, Grace W., Amazon

"Dragon Defender was an absorbing action packed read! The author pulls you in from the first page and I'm not sorry to say I read it all in the first day. I'm 33 but still! This is a fun book for a chapter a night with your 5 year old (my son is loving it so far) or for yourself. The characters are well developed so you feel like you're really there, and the dragon is so believable. I'd venture so far as to say I had to remind myself that dragons don't really exist.... or do they?" ~ 5 Star Review, MGC, Amazon

Meet The Author

J. A. Blackburn lives in Seattle, Washington in a small white house overlooking the sea with her husband, Jason, her son, Camden, and their dog, Bella. Dragon Defender is her first novel.

For more information about J.A. and her books, please visit http://jablackburn.com

Dragon Defender Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

January 6

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

Victoria Simcox (Interview)

January 7

The Dragyn's Lair (Dual Reviews)

Cherry Mischievous (Guest Post)

January 8

Reading and Sharing (Book Review)

January 9

Brooke Blogs (Review)

Carpinello's Writing Pages (Author Interview)

January 10

The World of ContestPatti (Author Interview)

Bound 4 Escape (Review)

January 11

Deal Sharing Aunt (Review)

January 12

Mythical Books (Guest Post)

Book Room Reviews (Review)

January 13

The Hippie Bookworm (Review)

Books Direct (Author Interview)

January 14

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

January 15

A Year of Jubilee Reviews (Review)

January 16

Reviews By Karen (Review)

Stitch Says (Author Interview)

January 17

We are the Noisy DinoFamily (Review)

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Guest Post)

January 18

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

January 19

Lakshmi Gosyne (Guest Post & Review)

January 20

Sher A. Hart: Written Art (Review)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Guest Post/Excerpt)

January 21

Mel's Shelves (Review)

January 22

Cassandra Lost in Books (Review)

Word Magic: Articles & Tips for Authors (Review)

January 23

Tales of a Bookworm (Review)

January 24

Dawn's Disaster (Review)

Identity Discovery (Guest Post)

January 25

Jemima Pett, Princelings Author (Review)

January 26

When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

* $50 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift CardPrize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: January 6th to January 31, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.A. Blackburn and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.


  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the Dragon Defender Blog Tour - your post looks amazing!


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