“Writer uses profits from her literary success to help others”…our very own Jennifer Walkup

WO-Walkup-C-191x300Read this inspiring article about Jennifer that was published in The Essex News Daily

Writer uses profits from her literary success to help others  By: Sean Quinn – Staff Writer
WEST ORANGE — West Orange resident Jennifer Walkup achieved a lifelong dream of being a published author when her young-adult novel, “Second Verse,” was released last year. Now for most writers, seeing their work in print would be enough of an accomplishment, and Walkup said her experience was indeed “pretty incredible.” But she strived for more than personal satisfaction — she wanted to use her newfound success to help others.

That is why Walkup, whose son was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was nearly 5, is donating a portion of her book sales for the month of November to the Epilepsy Foundation. Though she does not have the relevant profit numbers yet, she said just being able to raise awareness for the neurological condition has been gratifying.

“Epilepsy is one of the most common, yet one of the most misunderstood neurological conditions,” Walkup told the West Orange Chronicle in a Nov. 29 email. “Any small part I can do in aiding in that research is time and money well spent. I hope someday there is a cure so that no individuals or families have to endure the often painful reality that is life with epilepsy.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 65 million people around the world are afflicted with epilepsy, while an estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with it. That makes it the fourth most common neurological problem, after migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, per the foundation.Those affected suffer from seizures, which the foundation defines as brain conditions causing the “disruption of the electrical communication between neurons.” Epilepsy is commonly treated first by medications, followed by dietary therapies, brain surgeries and other means if symptoms persist.

Walkup said her son had been having seizures for years prior to his diagnosis, though she did not realize what they actually were at the time. She said her boy also underwent prolonged hospitalizations before the right combination of medications to help him was finally found. Fortunately for them, Walkup said he has been seizure-free for the past three years, though he does continue to struggle with the side effects of the medications and epilepsy.
Now, Walkup just hopes to benefit other people facing the same issues her family has dealt with.

“I am very excited to be able to share this issue with the world through my outreach and my books,” Walkup said. “I am simply thrilled with the awareness of epilepsy that has hopefully been raised.”

What is also thrilling for Walkup is the fact that her writing career is really taking off. “Second Verse” recently won the gold medal for teen mystery at the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. The romantic thriller, which tells the story of a group of teenagers who receive a clue to solving a centuries-old murder after conducting a seance in an old barn, is the culmination of at least 25 years of writing experience, during which time she has written a few other unpublished novels for young adults.

The reason she prefers writing for teen readers, Walkup said, relates to her subject material.

“There is something about writing for that age group that has always very much resonated with the stories I have to tell, as well as my authorial voice,” Walkup said. “Plus, both teens and adults read young adult books, so in some ways it is the best of both worlds as far as readership goes.”

Walkup’s next novel, “This American Life,” which will be released on Oct. 1, continues her trend of writing for young adults. She said the story is about a teenage radio host who must balance life with her alcoholic mother with caring for her young brother who — in a connection to Walkup’s actual life — is epileptic. Though it is more grounded in reality than “Second Verse,” she said her second outing as an author has the potential to please its fans.

“It is intense and heartbreaking in a different way than my first novel, but I do hope the ultimate takeaway for readers is one of hope,” Walkup said.
As for aspiring West Orange writers like she once was, Walkup urged them to never give up on their dreams. If they want to become published authors, she said, the key is to always remain persistent.

“Read and write, and then read and write some more,” Walkup said. “Keep doing both, as much as you can. Get critique partners, learn the craft. Keep learning and submitting your stories and novels, even with adversity, even with the rejection. Publishing is not always a simple path, but if you want to be published, you have to just keep moving forward.”

Visit www.jenniferwalkup.com    To learn more about epilepsy and to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation, go to http://www.epilepsy.com.


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Indiana Historical Society Holiday Author Fair

Author Fair cal

Luminis authors Chris Katsaropoulos, Tracy Richardson and Laurie Gray will be at the Holiday Author Fair this Saturday! Books make great gifts!


Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014

Noon to 4 p.m.

Eli Lilly Hall, History Center – Indiana Historical Society

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Luminis Books Holiday Book Give-Away

Enter our drawing to win free books for your holiday giving or reading pleasure! So many books to read!

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“Unilateral” described as “inspiring” by The Examiner…

Read the entire review below and order your copy today- Unilateral


Unilateral by Chris Katsaropoulos

Unilateral was so good that after reading it, I immediately wanted to read Antiphony, Chris Katsaropoulos’s previous novel written in 2012. Read together they make a nice contrast in plot development, writing styles, and epiphany experiences. Antiphony is the story of a physicist whose attempts to explain his life’s work at a conference of his peers and insure his promotion to department head become sadly derailed. He loses his notes before his presentation, and spirals into a psychological abyss in which he either discovers the meaning of the universe, or loses his grip on reality, depending on the reader’s point of view. His responses to his life crises are compelling, and encourage pondering of relationships, religious experiences, and physics, especially its New Age interpretations. The book exhibits the author’s extensive knowledge of string theory, music, and the academic life. If you like an experimental style combined with metaphysical content, you will enjoy this book.
Unilateral was inspiring because of the character development, dialog, and descriptive use of setting to advance the story line. Theological implications are presented in a humanistic light, and the relationships are very true to life. Amel is a female Palestinian student and Ra’anan is a young Israeli bomber pilot whose destinies are intertwined in much the same way as the lives of the main characters in Antiphony but with a very different outcome. The story is convincing, and the treatment of the conflict in the Middle East is timely. The reader really cares about what happens to these two young people who face so many challenges in their lives in these war torn areas. It is a short book that holds your attention to the end. Read them both if you want to experience a double epiphany.
Reviewed by Sylvia Andrews- The Examiner


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Tips for Writers

Would be authors often ask us one of two questions – 1) How do I get published? and 2) What are you looking for in a submission? Here are some of our answers as well as tips we’ve learned over the years from authors, editors and publishers. They are in no particular order. (The third thing people always say when they find out we are publishers is that they’ve always wanted to write a book.)

How to Get Published

1. Write – this may seem obvious, but often isn’t. Many writers bandy about the acronym BIC – Butt In Chair. You can’t write a book unless you actually sit down and do the work.

2. Write some more. The first thing you write won’t be very good. You will have to revise a lot. And then revise again.

3. Join a writers group. They will help you hone your craft and give you constructive feedback on your work.

4. Go to writers conferences. You will meet other writers and learn from published authors, agents, and editors. You may also have an opportunity to submit your writing directly to the editors and agents at the conference.

5. Have your work professionally edited. This is very important. You want to put your best foot forward as you may not get a second chance.

6. Write a really good cover letter.

7. Write a really good synopsis.

8. Research agents and publishers to find those who are looking for the type of book that you’ve written. Do waste your time sending your chick-lit novel to an agent who represents thrillers or mysteries only.

9. Submit your work according to the guidelines of the agent or publisher that you’ve selected.

10. Start work on your next book.

11. Write the book that you are meant to write. Don’t try to follow the latest trend because it will be over by the time your book gets published.

What is Luminis looking for in a submission

1. The first thing we look for is quality writing. If your cover letter sucks, then it goes to reason that your book might suck, too! (See #’s 6&7 above)

2. The second thing we look for is a story that is compelling. Is this something that we want to read? Is it interesting and meaningful – (see our tagline)?

3. When we are reading your ten page submission or manuscript, does it make sense, does the story flow, do I want to continue reading?

4. Are the characters well developed?

5. Luminis publishes meaningful fiction that entertains, so that means we aren’t really looking for chick-lit or mysteries, or adventure stories or crime novels.

6. Be patient – the publishing world moves slowly.

7. Be persistent. Keep on submitting your work and follow-up on your submissions (although you may never hear from some of the agents and publishers.

This list isn’t exhaustive or definitive, but we hope it is helpful! If you’ve written a good book, then it will get published!

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“SHELTER” recommended by Library Connection

This book is written in first-person present tense from Miguel’s point of view. At 15, Miguel lives with his oldest sister, mother, and abusive father. They move to a shelter after a particularly brutal evening, where Dad injures mother, sister, and dog. Although they are told not to give away the shelter’s location, it’s hard for Miguel and Ellie to keep quiet and they text their friends often. When Mom, Miguel and Ellie return to their home to retrieve their possessions, Dad threatens Mom with a gun. Miguel uses his Tae Kwon Do training to break Dad’s arm and dislodge the gun. The dynamics of abuse, from the attack to apology to another attack, are vividly portrayed. Information about shelters, court dates, and restraining orders is also included. This novel would be of interest to teen readers, especially those dealing with an abusive relationship.

Library Connection- Alexey W. Root, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Texas, Dallas




Order your copy of Shelter at Luminis Books

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AMY’S CHOICE at true “Coming of Age” story…

“This author is one of those rare gems who not only loves to write, but the library is a part of her life, and the reader can most certainly tell. The characters of Amy, Finn, Cat, Ricky and so on, are believable and unforgettable, which makes this a true ‘Coming of Age’ story, but with entertainment, fun, friendship, and even a mystery that must be solved.” ~ Amy Lignor for Feathered Quill

Amy’s first-person voice is pleasant, straightforward… [Amy’s Choice is] Calm, pleasant, decidedly “clean.” ~ Kirkus Reviews



Order your copy today at Luminis Books

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SECOND THOUGHTS “packed with action, romance, wit, and unexpected twists…” ~Foreword Reviews


Second Thoughts-

High-school struggles and a teenager voice bring relatability to this paranormal romance drama.

As her senior year at Northbrook Academy approaches, Lainey Young is dealing with all the usual worries of a girl in her final year of high school: friends, college, and her boyfriend. For Lainey, though, having a vision of her own death complicates things even more. In this second installment of the Sententia series, Second Thoughts, Cara Bertrand once again delivers a dramatic paranormal thriller with all the mystery, secrets, and threats one could handle.

Now accustomed to her unique gifts, Lainey still has to figure out what she’s going to do after graduation … if she even makes it that far. On top of everything else at school, Senator Daniel Astor, the leader of the Perceptum, has taken an unlikely interest in her future, and the vision she had at the end of last year of her boyfriend, Carter, causing her death is as vague as ever. Unable to tell anyone the truth about either of these things, she finds her secrets mounting as time runs out.

As a former middle-school literacy teacher, Bertrand knows how teens talk—and don’t talk—to each other. Her dialogue rings true throughout, and the relationship issues her characters face will be familiar to anyone who has ever gone through the struggles of young friendship and dating. Placing these struggles in the environment of a boarding school where half of the kids have paranormal abilities adds immeasurable drama and suspense to the usual coming-of-age story. For example, it’s pretty common to have a girl in school who goes after other girls’ boyfriends, but when that girl is a siren, it really kicks the drama level up a notch.

Those who haven’t read the first book in this series, Lost in Thought, will want to start there. There are too many spoilers and not enough backstory review to begin with the second novel and not feel a little lost. Those who have read the first book will find that Lainey’s life is just as complex as ever, though sometimes in different ways than before, as she fine-tunes her control over her powers and is drawn into the influence of the senator. Packed with action, romance, wit, and unexpected twists, this novel, and the series, will appeal to fans of supernatural teen romance. ~by Christine Canfield - Foreword Reviews, Young Adult Fiction



To order your copies of Lost in Thought and Second Thoughts go to Luminis Books

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Book Sale and Autograph Party ~ Saturday, November 8th!

Join Tracy Richardson, author of The Field and Indian Summer this Saturday at the St. Richards’ School in Indianapolis for a children’s Book Sale and Autograph Party hosted by the SCBWI ~ Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators!

Saturday,November 8th

2:00pm to 4:00pm

33 E. 33rd Street St. Richards’s Episcopal School


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Unilateral by Chris Katsaropoulos available FREE on Amazon Kindle for a limited time!

Get your free Kindle copy of Unilateral by Chris Katasropoulos on Amazon for a limited time! If you love it, write a review!


A beautiful and lyrically written story in an allegorical style similar to the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Two people living on opposite sides of the Israeli Palestinian conflict hope for an end to to war, but what can they as individuals do? Can the choices made by one person change the course of a war, or the world? If everyone, as an individual, made a different choice, the choice of love over hate, the answer would be yes.

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