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J.D. Holiday

My Text Box


I'm author and illustrator, JD Holiday.  I have three children’s books out: Janoose the Goose & The Spy Game, both picture books I have a chapter book for six to nine year olds,I have a chapter book for six to nine year olds, The Great Snowball Escapade​, and an eclectic collections of short stories for adults in Stories & Imaginings For The Reading Spot.

My site is: http://jdholiday.blogspot.com/

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I'm author and illustrator J.D. Holiday. I have three children’s books out: Janoose the Goose & The Spy Game, both picture books I have a chapter book for six to,I have a chapter book for six to nine year olds, The Great Snowball Escapade​ and an eclectic collections of short stories for adults in Stories & Imaginings For The Reading Spot.

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An Excerpt from a Middle-grade novel by JD Holiday

An Excerpt from a Middle-grade novel by JD Holiday.
It's my latest book.  A 35000-word middle-grade novel.  I'm not sure what to title it yet. My ideas for below.
Bookworks Featured author.png
The book is about the Cameron children worried that they will not get the toys they asked for for Christmas. The uncle that Trisha Frankel has lived with most of her life with has died. The only option she has is to find the father she does not know, even though her uncle said, “He was no good.” Trisha takes her dog, Mitch to search out her father and find out what he is like for herself. Along the way, her dog is stolen. The most likely suspect in the dog’s disappearance is a man connected to the Cameron children Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby. Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby are busy trying to figure out if their Christmas gifts will arrive. But helping Trisha makes them realize that sometimes the lives of others are more important their own interests.

                                                                         CHAPTER 1
              The Speed Delivery truck stopped in front of the Cameron house by the shoveled driveway. Kirby heard it pull up. Christmas was in two days and his mother was still waiting for ‘deliveries’ for some of the family’s Christmas gifts. In fact, all the big gifts like his racing car set, the MagMax Drone his older brother, Tucker wanted and for Phoebe, the oldest child in their house, the china doll she wanted for her doll collection.
              Kirby left the TV and rushed through the open French doors from the living room leading to the front windows of the sunroom to see if he could see what was being delivered. He loved guesting games and solving problems. He maneuvered between the computer table with the computer it, the tropical fish in the screen saver still swimming around, and passed the wicker loveseat to get to the window with the better view of the truck.
  Kirby rubbed the frost off the window and leaned his elbows on the sill and pressing his turned-up nose to the glass. All the Cameron children had inherited from their mother’s side of the family that same turned up nose, green-grayish eyes capped by dark lashes and eyebrows in a round faces and framed nicely with straight black hair. Their father always said every chance that came up that the children had his long legs that he, himself could always count on to carry him quickly down any basketball court he played on in high school and college.
              The driver hopped out onto the snow-covered road and headed to the rear of the truck. Kirby watched the truck’s roll-up door fly up and the man pulled out a hand truck, grabbed four boxes and stacked them on it. He then pushed it along to the driveway and up onto the sidewalk lifted the boxes and climbing up the narrowly shoveled stairs to their door. Kirby knew he would not be able to tell what was inside all the boxes, but he thought he might see the box with the Sotrux Racecar logo on it if he were lucky and it wasn't inside a larger box. But none of these boxes were big enough Kirby judged to hold his racing set.
              He looked back at the truck with its door still open and then he saw it. Still in the truck was the racing car label. Kirby jumped up and down. “YES!” he shouted to the empty room and then he yelled loud enough for his grandmother to hear him while keeping an eye on the man quickly coming down the stairs and heading back to the truck for more boxes. “Gram, a delivery is here.”
              When his grandmother didn’t come, Kirby ran to the kitchen. Gram was just entering the apartment from the back stairway that connected all three apartments in the house to a common outside door and to the entrance to the basement. She was cooking in the old kitchen area in the basement, which she said was the ideal place for her to prepare meals for a city mission where she volunteered. Her kitchen on the third floor was much too
              “Gram! Gram!” he shouted running to her.
              “What’s the yelling for, Kirby?” she asked. She went straight for the sink and opened the cabinet underneath it. Rattled some pans and pulled out a large pot. “I have a dinner to start. Your parents will be home from work and Phoebe and Tucker will be flying in from the after-school Christmas party they went to, and dinner is going to be late.”
              “It’s a delivery. The Christmas gifts are here,” he said, and raced back through both the dining and living rooms to get back to the porch.              
              "They'll leave the package, Kirby," his grandmother remarked as he ran back to the living room.
  At the window, Kirby frowned. Vic Silian, another of Gram’s grandsons, the oldest son of their mother’s sister, Aunt Junnie, was standing at the back of the truck. Kirby didn’t like Vic. Vic has a sweet and friendly dog that Kirby loves and Vic mistreats. Vic was thin and tall and dressed in dark clothes with a wool cap pulled down to his eyes and hiding his huge forehead which reminded Kirby of Frankenstein's, wrinkled lines and all. Vic's eyes bulged out from under the cap like those of a villain cartoon character.
              Vic was closing the back of the delivery truck and began to wade over the mounded up snow bank alongside the truck, looking behind him a couple of time before reaching the door to the front seat which he opened and got inside. There was something wrong with this, Kirby thought, staring at his cousin. “What’s he do there?” he mumbled.
              Vic had been in the basement earlier talking to Gram telling her he knew how she could get rich if she gives him some of her retirement money. And what would Gram do if Vic took her money? The thought made Kirby cross. But then, Vic did something else. His nose up against the window, Kirby said out loud fogging up the window with each word, “What was he doing getting into the driver side on the delivery truck?”
               He rubbed the window with his sweater sleeve in disbelief. Vic had never worked any job for too long and he never worked for a delivery service. So why was he driving the truck away? “I know what he's doing!” Kirby shouted.
              The answer to this one had to be the contents in the truck Kirby guessed. Vic was stealing so he could sell the things in the boxes. Vic had been in trouble before and this was just going to be another time. Kirby glanced behind him looking for grandmother. If I was only bigger, Kirby thought, I go out there and stop Vic myself. Gram would come out and find that he had tossed Vic to the ground to stop him from getting into trouble this time. She would praise Kirby, "I'm so proud of you, Kirby."
              Kirby craned his neck as the truck drove down the street. That's when the Speedy Delivery driver raced down their front stairs shouting, "Hey! Hey!"
              Shaking his head, Kirby went to the front door wondering what to say to Gram. She was not going to believe this.
              The doorbell started ringing as Gram came into the living room, her cherry color hair bobbing and her bony arms outstretched while wiping her hands on a dish towel.
              The bell rang again as Gram reached it. At the door, Kirby stood to one side as she opened it. The Speed Service deliveryman stood there. "Someone stole my truck," he said.
               Kirby winced thinking this was not going to go well.

              The tied-up Christmas tree leaned against the doorjamb on the back porch Uncle John, Trisha mother's brother had bought and they were going to put up last night. But things have changed. Uncle John died yesterday.
              With Mitch, her black lab, on his leash and sit behind Trisha as she closed and locked the door of the apartment she had shared with her uncle for the past nine years in their predominantly African-American street. Mitch was all there was left and people she did not know would soon be looking for her if they were not already. Before Trisha talked to anybody else she had something she had to do.
              Wearing her backpack stuffed with food and snacks for them both and carrying a duffle bag with all her belongings in it just in case she didn't return, Trisha and Mitch kept a steady pace as they walked along the snowy streets. Over the Seven Street bridge and pass many Riverside factories then up the long stretch of River Street where here and there someone had shoveled a path on their trek heading for the city. Once on Main Street where all the busy stores lined the street, they jostled with holiday shoppers and workers on break all avoiding mounds of dirting snow piles to get to their destinations. At a red light, Trisha and Mitch waited to cross through the narrowly shoveled path at the corner.

There are my ideas for titles. Let me know if you have an idea.

 'Simple things'
 ‘A Little Bit More’ 
 ‘With This Christmas Came A little Bit More’
 ‘Christmas Means A Little Bit More
 'Its Christmas Time In The City'
 'Sharing at Christmas'

Authors, How To Use Instagram to Promote Your Books

I just read a great article by Rachel Rueben. (She always comes up with  wonderful ways to help authors!) So here's the article. And check out Rachel Rueben second installment afterward!  ~JD

START HERE~ Instagram For Authors
Published by Rachel 

Instagram, is one of the fastest growing social media sites in the world with over 800 million monthly users.  With a user base that is between the ages of 18 and 29, it’s globally the most popular social media site beating Facebook and Twitter for online engagement.   

I'll admit when I think of Instagram, I image teen girls posting those duck face selfies or foodies, posting pictures of every crumb that touches their plate.  So I really didn’t believe that Instagram had anything to offer me, or any author for that matter.  I mean, I’m a writer and writers write, they don’t do pictures let alone, video.  However over the past several years, I’ve been seeing the trends in social media go from long form text to short visual posts.

Don’t believe me?  This past year, Facebook began letting their users choose to frame their text posts within bright eye-catching backgrounds.  This is mainly because their algorithms favor images and video over text which has left a lot of people complaining about reach.  So this was Facebook’s answer to the problem…
Rachels Happy Halloween on FB
Corny, right?  It’s no secret that visual media works better than plain text, it’s one of the reasons why Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012.  It’s also the reason why the most popular and fastest growing social media sites are the ones with richer content like pictures and video.
So using my brand new Instagram account, I went to work and started studying how authors and readers use the site successfully.
Rachels Happy Halloween on FB

Okay, So What Do Authors Post About?

At a place like Instagram, a long form post is not very practical. The content you share on Facebook or Twitter is most likely not going to work here. You need to tell a story with your posts which shouldn't be too hard for an author. Below, I've listed several examples of how authors are using Instagram to share their work and reach readers.

Ideas For Instagram Posts:
  • Share quotes (usually short)
  • Include teasers from a WIP (work in progress)
  • Ask questions to followers. Here’s writer @macxlopes asking followers if they would even want to read his book if it were published.
  • Share behind the scenes peeks. For example, author Barbara Freethy posted a pic of her cat starring intently while she worked.
  • Post pics of book swag like this one from author K.S. Thomas.
  • Reveal new book covers via pic or video.
  • Upload book trailers.
  • Do a live video. Many authors and celebs use live videos to do live Q&As but you can also use live video to make announcements about publication dates.
Here’s a tip: If you have a text post you’d like to share on Instagram be sure it’s written on visually appealing pictures or backgrounds. There are many sites that offer free graphic design software like; Canva, Stencil and Crello. These sites will provide backgrounds, and even resize your work according to the requirements of various social media sites.

Book Related Hashtags

After figuring out what to post, the second step on my journey was to find all the book and publishing related conversations. To my surprise, it wasn’t hard to find readers and book reviewers.
  • #Books 24,140,100 people used this hashtag in their posts
  • #Bookstagram: 14,223,284 posts
  • #Bookworm: 8,347,983
  • #Reading: 14,298,588
  • #Writing: 7,730,884
  • #Author 3,612,412
  • #Ebook: 892,842
  • #Shelfi: 836,264
  • #Readers: 565,197
  • #ReadersOfInstagram: 394,919
  • *Bonus: #Bookstagrammer: 1,251,555 to help you find reviewers on Instagram.
Tip: There are several sites that track the most popular hashtags being used on Instagram like TagBlender, RiteTag and Hashtagify.me.

A List of Popular #Bookstagrammers:

I recommend just looking at these accounts to observe and learn about how Instagram functions. Find an author in your genre and look in the comments section. Engage and follow them, these people are your target audience.

More Word & Book Related Accounts:

There you have it, tips authors can actually use for their Instagram accounts. Stay tuned for next time, because I'll be sharing how to use Instagram for book promotion as well as sharing useful apps.

YOU CAN READ PART 2 AT: https://cerealauthors.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/instagram-for-authors-part-2/

Invite Rachel's Site & Blog: https://rachelrueben.com/

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Storytellers and Wordsmiths everywhere!

Writing pic posteredge copyrighted JD Holiday 120resolition 4x3

WHY WRITERS WRITEA lot has been written about why writers write. Writers write for many reasons and some, for any reason. They write to express who they are and to say what they know. To teach and to inspire where no inspiration has yet taken root. To share the stories they see clearly in their imagination. To entertain themselves first, then those readers who find their works, some write to purge unhappiness or injustices for themselves and others. There will be some writers who tell you their reasons come from deep in their souls, at the very core of who they are. Jane Austen had Lady Catherine say, “I must have my share in the conversation,” as most writers want their voices heard.

8baae-vinegar-valentine-poem-the-typewriter-myer-c1910-postcard Writers show readers characters and pictures that keep them and us ‘safe and sometimes warm’ from our only realties. We are lucky today where stories are brought to life by writers and illustrators and visionaries in the many different ways there are to entertain us. But first, some idea is thought and it usually starts with a writer. So it really doesn’t matter why they write, it’s just a good thing they do!

So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Storytellers and Wordsmiths everywhere!


Copyright 12-7-08 by J.D. Holiday
All rights reserved.

J.D. Holiday's Blog

Book Designer and Illustrator, Aidana WillowRaven

Posted on March 11, 2016 at 12:19pm 0 Comments

An interview with Book Designer and Illustrator, Aidana WillowRaven

If you need a book Designer and illustrator, you don't need to look further than one of the top book designers I know, Aidana WillowRaven. Working in most genres, from picture books to novels, she has illustrated and/or designed…


Vision of the Griffin’s Heart, Andy Smithson, Book 5

Posted on January 25, 2016 at 2:11pm 0 Comments

Vision of the Griffin’s Heart, Andy Smithson, Book 5

Award-winning author of the Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy adventure series that entertains while teaching…



Posted on November 19, 2015 at 11:50am 0 Comments

FONTS: FROM THE BOOK DESIGNER: A Legendary Type Designer

If you like to use different fonts, you might like this article, too. I'm always looking at fonts, especially when I'm working on one of my children's books. So this article by …


SCBWI Tackles Book Launches for its Members

Posted on November 9, 2015 at 4:44pm 0 Comments

Children's authors! GOOD NEWS~ From SCBWI Newsletter: SCBWI Tackles Book Launches for its Members…


Characters Gone Mad: Authors Margot Finke, Bobbie Shafer & Linda Lee

Posted on October 16, 2015 at 7:54am 0 Comments

On Characters Gone Mad, Authors Margot Finke, Bobbie Shafer & Linda Lee bring their picture book and teen characters to life not as they intended originally!  …



Posted on August 24, 2015 at 1:41pm 0 Comments

Join JD Holiday for Characters Gone Mad with Authors Karen Vaughan, Mary E. Martin and Gail Hedrick. The authors bring their characters to life in a VERY different way!…


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