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Hi Everyone! I’m thrilled to have Jon Lewis to talk about his Kickstarter Campaign to support research on breast cancer. This is a very personal issue for me that I don’t talk about much.

You see, I’m surrounded by breast cancer. Sadly, my younger sister died of breast cancer a little over five years ago after a courageous battle with it for 15 years. She had a goal to reach her 50th birthday and she died about a week after that. I still remember vividly our last weekend together with some of my cousins, my mom, and my aunt to celebrate her 50th birthday together. We’d planned the weekend trip to her house months before we knew she’d be so sick and be in home hospice. I’ll always cherish that last memory. She was positive to the end and never complained about her illness or all the chemotherapy she had to go through. I think that’s one reason she survived as long as she did.

My mom and my aunt are both breast cancer survivors. One of my grandmothers also had it, but died from something else. And I'm watched very closely by my doctors for this disease. So this is a cause close to my heart.

So here’s Jon to tell us about his project and how it came about.

Photo by Scott Mitchell
I still remember the day I got the call from my friend, Faith. She sounded nervous and I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know how wrong. “I need to tell you something,” she said. There was a long pause and just when I was about to ask her what had happened she spoke these four horrifying words: “I have breast cancer.”

My body went a little limp as I sat there trying to process what I had just heard. It couldn’t be true. But Faith wasn’t done with her story. She went on to tell me that the cancer was already at stage four and that she had known about it for awhile but she hadn’t gone to the doctor because she couldn’t afford it.

I’m sure I did my best to say something comforting, but the truth was that I got angry. People shouldn’t have to suffer needlessly. I told Faith that money wasn’t going to get in the way of her beating the cancer, hung up the phone, and then I sent out an email to some friends.

Project Book Babe
Faith has made an enormous impact in the lives of countless authors, and all of them wanted to help. Within 48 hours, an amazing group of people put together what we called Project Book Babe, a live event featuring eleven authors that included myself, Stephenie, Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Frank Beddor, and Laini Taylor.

We got a slew of signed books to auction from authors like Rick Riordan and Christopher Paolini, not to mention generous donations from our publishers. And with help from an army of volunteers and some amazing bloggers like Twilight Moms and Twilight Lexicon, we were able to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000.

Thousands More Need Help
It was a magical weekend and I’m happy to report that Faith, the Book Babe, is alive and well. She’s even working at Changing Hands again, which for me is a kind of storybook ending. But I also know that there are thousands of others who are locked in battle with breast cancer. I don’t want to sit idly by.

I’ve been lucky enough to publish nine books through Scholastic, Little Brown, and Thomas Nelson. But the publishing industry is going through a state of hyper change, so I’ve decided to step out and publish some of my own upcoming books. The first is called Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons and I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of professional editorial and cover art. More importantly, I also found an exciting way I can help raise some more money for breast cancer research.

As part of that Kickstarter campaign, I’ve asked ten author friends to write short stories set in the world of Grey Griffins series and we’re going to donate 100% of the profits from the collected anthology to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Kids Need to Read.

Here’s a list of the amazing authors who are participating:
• Brandon Mull | NY Times Bestselling Author, Fablehaven
• Aprilynne Pike | NY Times Bestselling Author, Wings
• Frank Beddor | NY Times Bestselling Author, Looking Glass Wars
• Michael Spradlin | NY Times Bestselling Author, Youngest Templar
• Dean Lorey | Co-Executive Producer, Arrested Development
• Shannon Messenger | Let the Sky Fall, Keeper of the Lost Cities
• Tom Leveen | Party, manicpixiedreamgirl, Sick
• Joseph Nassise | International Bestselling Author, Templar Chronicles
• Matt Forbeck | Leverage: The Con Job based on the TNT television series
• Janette Rallison | My Fair Godmother, Slayers

This Project Needs Your Help
I’m excited about the potential of this project and I hope you are as well. You can find out more about the Kickstarter campaign and how you can help HERE.
You Can Even Get Your Story Published in the Grey Griffins Anthology
For the writers who are reading this, one of you could get his or her story published in the anthology, right next to all those New York Times bestsellers. You can find the submission guidelines HERE.

You can find Jon at:

Blog * Twitter * Facebook

Jon Samuel Lewis is an American writer best known for the acclaimed Grey Griffins series published by Scholastic’s Orchard Books. After selling nearly a million copies in the original trilogy, Lewis and his writing partner, Derek Benz teamed with Little Brown to produce the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles.
He is also the author of CHAOS Novels, a young adult adventure series that combines supernatural, science fiction, and urban fantasy to create an exciting hybrid of non-stop adventure.
Lewis has written for DC/WildStorm. He is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Broadcasting, and has explored an eclectic career including news reporting, radio production, animation, graphic design, web development, mural painting, speech writing, video game development, voice over work, and marketing.
He currently resides in Arizona with his wife and children.

Jon has generously donated a copy of THE GREY GRIFFINS: THE PARAGON PRISON for a giveaway. Here’s a description from Goodreads:

The Paragon Engine, a machine that can unlock portals to any dimension throughout the universe, is the
most powerful and dangerous invention in Templar history-and the Grey Griffins have just been pulled through it. After they are transported through the engine, Max, Ernie, Natalia, and Harley have no idea what to expect. There could be vicious monsters or terrifying creatures lurking around every corner. But soon, they discover that this new world looks just like theirs. Except there is one big difference: everything that went wrong in their world never happened and the Templar rule society. Is this world truly perfect? Or should the Griffins risk their lives to find a way back home? Things get even more complicated when they learn that their arch enemy, Otto Von Strife, is also in this world-and he has the power to destroy everything.

In this final book of the Clockwork Chronicles trilogy, the Grey Griffins face questions about destiny, personal choice, and what courage really means-all while finding a way to destroy Von Strife, his evil half-fairies, and his legion of killer clockworks.

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on September 21st. I’ll announce the winner on September 23rd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. This is for U.S. residents only.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I’m interviewing Alex Cavanaugh, one of our followers, and giving away ARCs of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTORM. This is an interesting Sci-fi series that takes Bryon from a young adult into adulthood. I don’t spotlight adult books but I’m a big following and fan of Alex and this is the last book in his series. And he’s a very successful blogger and will be sharing blogging advice with us. In these times when some writers seem to be tiring of blogging, I really feel it’s important to help each other invigorate our blogs and support each other by continuing to follow each other.

Next Wednesday I’m interviewing another follower, debut author Christina Lee, and giving away an e-book of her new fantastic adult novel, ALL OF YOU, a contemporary romantic story with great characters.

Next Friday I’m doing the Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of great choices for you to pick from.

The following Monday I’m interviewing debut author Peggy Eddleman and giving away an ARC of SKY JUMPERS, her fantastic upper grade middle grade post- apocalyptic story. I haven’t seen any post-apocalyptic middle grade stories and I really enjoyed reading about Hope, a girl who thinks she has no talents because she’s not good at inventing like everyone else in her small town.

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Beth said...

What a sad story. Natalie, I'm so sorry about the death of your sister. That must have been devastating for your whole family.

And I am speechless about someone not being able to get treatment for cancer because they can't afford it. That is just wrong. I'm thrilled that Faith is doing well. But I don't think people should have to rely on having great friends to determine whether or not they get treatment.

Stina said...

This is an amazing story, especially given how well she's doing considering she had stage 4 cancer.

I'm sorry, Natalie, about your sister. I'm glad she at least got to have her birthday party. Last year, my daughter went to a friend's birthday party. Two weeks later, we heard of the mother's passing from breast cancer. She lived long enough to witness her daughter's happy day.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

I'm so sorry about your sister. Breast cancer is a terrible disease. And what a wonderful project for those who need help.

Crystal Collier said...

=( It's truly amazing seeing the community come together to bless the lives of others.

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a great project. It was interesting recently, during a city council meeting, when a woman came for a proclamation on ovarian cancer awareness. She said not all cancers are pink. I guess that's their theme. She is undergoing treatment for it. She and her son and daughter who were with her wore the turquoise color that represents that one. I've very familiar with the "pink" awareness efforts. I was happy to see this new one.

Brenda said...

What a great cause for a Kickstarter campaign. I'm sorry to hear about your sister, yet glad she achieved her goal of celebrating her birthday with family around her.

Cherie Reich said...

I love to hear how people came together to create such a wonderful project!

Jill the OWL said...

What a great way to support all my sisters - Yes I am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at age 32 with a 4 yr old and 1 year old. Now 10 years out I'm doing great. I will be heading over to the site and see how I can help! Thank you so much for sharing this.

And I'm so very sorry for the loss of your sister. Each woman who fights and survivor and each woman who loses their battle is one of my sisters. My heart goes out to you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's an awesome thing you are doing, Jon! Shows you how well this community pulls together.

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm so glad Faith is all right. That is so awesome that so many people pitched in to help.

Breast cancer runs in my family, too. It's so unfortunate that the people in the middle income bracket often can't afford health insurance.

Heather Villa said...

To Jon - Thank you for your big heart!

To Natalie - Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart! You, too, have a big heart.

PK HREZO said...

Really sorry to hear about your sister, Natalie. Prayers that you never have to deal with it yourself. I cant imagine watching so many of the people I love suffer.
Thanks for sharing this project with us. What a fantastic cause!

Robin said...

What a wonderful this Jon is doing. Thank you for spotlighting it here. Natalie, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. It always amazes me how positive people can be in such difficult circumstances. I'm glad you were able to make wonderful memories together before she passed.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm so thankful that Jon, and others, are stepping out to fight breast cancer with books! My mom-in-law has fought and survived breast cancer at two different times in her life, as well as lymphoma and skin cancer. She's a walking miracle, and her attitude always amazes me. It helps me remember not to whine about the little stuff that bugs me.

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, and I pray that cancer never touches your body and that you stay healthy.

Carol Riggs said...

That is a really cool-looking cover!! The summary sounds intriguing too. And that is great about the breast cancer efforts. Rah for the support of writers and friends!

Rosi said...

This is a terrific use of Kickstarter. How wonderful Jon is bringing this story to us. Natalie, I am happy your sister reached her goal. So sorry you lost her at such a young age. There are great strides being made. I had breast cancer as did two of my sisters. We are all past the ten-year mark of being cancer free. Thanks for the post. Please let someone else win. My TBR list is waaaaay too long.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am sorry to hear about your sister's death. You all lost her at a young age.