Last weekend, I went to the Florida Writers Association annual conference. I was notified that I was a finalist during the summer, and I anxiously awaited hearing whether or not I placed last Saturday night with my young adult psychological thriller, The Caging at Deadwater Manor. It not only placed, but it received First Place in the Young Adult/New Adult genre! I couldn't be more thrilled. More photos to come soon!
It's hard to find the words to celebrate one's life when going through mourning. In 2016, I lost three special people in my life including my dad in May, my sister-in-law in November, and my Uncle John in December. Thinking of them and all they are missing just makes my heart ache.
But something has surfaced since Uncle John's passing that has given us all comfort. His words. He wrote poetry and short stories, and I never knew. Here I am, a writer myself, and we never shared thoughts on tapping into our own emotions or the emotions of others. I always knew Uncle John was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, but I didn't know we shared a love for words. They've been surfacing on Facebook, though - posts from loved ones with photos of poems I've never read. How excited I've been to read these!
So, this is a tribute to you, Uncle John. I'm so happy I've been able to enjoy your writing. It's wonderful to have a personal part of you that we can hold so close to our hearts. What an incredible gift!
Here are a few of his poems.
Love you, Uncle John
Obituary of John Van Voorhis
John Vincent Van Voorhis, 73, passed away on December 13, 2016 surrounded by his family. Born in Wappingers Falls on January 19, 1943, he was the son of the late John “Jack” Van Voorhis and Virginia Hoyt Van Voorhis. On April 14, 1963, he married Gloria Jean Hauver, who survives at home. John served in the United States Army and was retired from IBM in Poughkeepsie after over 30 years of employment. He spent the last 20 years dedicating his services to the American Legion, fulfilling many different positions from treasurer to Commander of Post 1302. John was a wonderful storyteller who could always make you laugh. He had a story or joke for every situation and was quite the entertainer. He had a wealth of knowledge of just about everything. He enjoyed many sports throughout his life and was instrumental in founding the first Dutchess County Girls softball league. John was a loving and caring person who treasured his family and friends above all. He had a love of nature, gardening, music and reading, even writing short stories and poetry of his own.
In September, I received notice that my book, The Caging at Deadwater Manor, won an Honorable Mention Award in YA Horror with Readers' Favorite. It was around 11 p.m. when I opened the email that night, and as you can imagine, I couldn't sleep! I mean, I'm a debut novelist. How in the world did I win an award?
But I did! Readers' Favorite provided me with a certificate and medallion for marketing, a website with my five-star review, press releases and an opportunity to go to a banquet to receive recognition for my award. The event included a reception, presentations, inclusion of my book in the Miami Book Fair, an award ceremony, press releases, and opportunities for networking. So, I decided to go.
The event started last Friday night at The Regency Hotel in Miami. A reception was held in the evening where the books were displayed on a counter near check in with an adjacent bar and seating area. Numerous authors attended. It was great to hear about all of their books and the stories behind them. I met author Ju Ephraime and spent quite a while talking with her.
After, we were escorted to a conference room where we saw presentations from various speakers on marketing from doing podcasts to social media posts. They were excellent, and I plan on using many of the resources provided.
The next morning, my husband and I went to the Miami Book Fair to see my book displayed at the Readers' Favorite tent. Wow! This event was huge with crowds of people! There were so many vendors with new and used books, merchandise and services. We found the Readers' Favorite tent - it had great signage and was staffed. Inside all of the award winning books were displayed. Each author donated books to sell and all proceeds went to Shriner's (over $2,000 raised!). It was such a proud moment to see my book on a shelf for the first time! I picked up a few books, and of course, had to get one on geology!
That night, we dressed up and attended the award ceremony. It was impressive with a stage, two areas with professional photography (I'll receive the photos in a couple of weeks), the press, a live feed during the awards, buffet, and lots of time to talk with other authors.
Speaking of which, I have to say how honored I felt even being in the same room with these tremendously talented people from authors to illustrators. Some have been published for many years and were a wealth of knowledge. All were passionate about their books and mine, too. That's the one thing I've learned since I started this journey. Authors are supportive of each other and always willing to help. I love this positive community.
The award ceremony involved going on stage, shaking hands with the Readers' Favorite representative (Mark Wayne Adams), and having my picture taken - all on live stream. I have to admit, I was a bit concerned with tripping or doing something stupid at first, but then I decided not worry about it - this was my night and I was going to enjoy it. And I did (and luckily didn't land on my face! Haha!).
After the stage, we were escorted to another area for more photography and press interviews. It was certainly a night I will always remember. It felt surreal to be recognized for this book -- one that my dad inspired. He passed before seeing the book published, but I know he was up there on that stage with me, grinning and proud! Love you, Dad.
Thank you, Readers' Favorite. I'll never forget this wonderful experience!
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Have a good weekend~Sandie
Wow! I'm still in shock. I opened my email a couple of weeks ago around 11 p.m. and Readers' Favorite had let me know I won an award. Are you kidding me?? I couldn't sleep that night.
I had submitted the book to their contest thinking it would just allow me to get feedback from the judges who were in the publishing industry. No way did I expect to place! I also received a 5-star review from the reader's review. It's all very exciting!
Here's the link to Readers' Favorite with the review and medallion. The Caging at Deadwater Manorwon the Honorable Mention Award for YA Horror. It received two medallions - one for the award and one for the 5-star review. I'll be going to Miami for the award ceremony in November, so I'll keep you posted!
I'm also gearing up to do Halloween festivities since the book is dark and disturbing. More on that later!
Carry Me Home Release Day Party!
CARRY ME HOME is AVAILABLE TODAY for $0.99!
To celebrate the release of her latest novel, Carry Me Home, author Jessica Therrien is hosting a HUUUGE BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK GIVEAWAY! The giveaway includes nearly 50 books, all from different authors. Keep scrolling for prize info and how to enter the giveaway.
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~*HOW TO ENTER*~
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If you'd like to learn more about Mandy and her books, follow her website and social media accounts at:
Website: Mandy Peterson Books
Facebook: Mandy Peterson Books
Goodreads: Before I Shatter
Amazon: Mandy Peterson
Also, follow her blog tour coming soon! Good luck with both books, Mandy!
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support with The Caging at Deadwater Manor. As you know, though Deadwater Manor is fictional, the book is set in the vicinity of my home. So, I thought I'd share a few photos of the area! Here's a sneak peek of one of the scenes in the book!
Tower/bench scene with Jeannie and Todd.
Both books are available in US & Internationally.
Signed books available through The Paperback Exchange.
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Sandie Will is a multi-award-winning, psychological thriller novelist who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, and works as a geologist by day.
She has been married to her husband, Charlie, for over 30 years and they have two sons. Her favorite place to write is in her back room “treehouse” in the arms of an old oak.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION:
The Caging at Deadwater Manor
2020 Top Shelf Magazine Awards: First Place - Young Adult Horror
2018 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award: First Place - Young Adult/New Adult Fiction
2017 Readers' Favorite Book Awards: Honorable Mention - YA Horror
2017 #1 AMAZON'S HOT NEW RELEASES
2020 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award: Finalist in Blended Fiction
2021 #1 AMAZON'S HOT NEW RELEASES
She can be found on Twitter as @SandieWillBooks and @RockHeadScience, Instagram @sandie_will, as well as her Facebook page at Sandie Will, Author.