The Christmas Wish by Valerie Bouthyette

cover__copyAccording to Diane Marti, Marketing Representative for FutureWord Publishing, “FutureWord Publishing is proud to announce the release of the first of a new juvenile fiction series, The Christmas Wish, by Valerie Bouthyette. In this new release, Bouthyette features an adorable little brown mouse with a white muzzle and thick fur, who treks across ice and snow to peek into the window of a little white farmhouse. This colorful and detailed, illustrated work reflects Bouthyette’s years of experience in the children’s storybook market. Not only the illustrations, but the story will appeal children of all ages. We are honored to present The Christmas Wish to the Pine City local community right away.”  

Valerie Bouthyette began her creative career when she picked up her first crayon. An award winning graphic and fine artist, Valerie finds illustrating for children to be the most rewarding. Originally from Long Island, NY, Valerie blends childhood memories, imagination and touch of magic to bring authors words to life.

 An advocate for the power of art in the community, she is the founder of CATS, Cultural Arts of Tanytown which offered cultural arts experiences for a rural community and the Pocono Mountain Arts Council in Tobyhanna Pennsylvania. 

Valerie is currently completing a teaching degree in Elementary Education at Elmira College in Elementary Education. Her studio is located on a small farm in Pine City, NY. 

The book may be purchased through Amazon.com or through the publisher at www.futureword.net. The print edition is $11.99 and Kindle is $6.99. For more information about The Christmas Wish, visit  the web site at: www.futureword.net

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Introducing Michelle Izmaylov (FutureWord Publishing)

Michelle Izmaylov has joined the staff of FutureWord Publishing as an editor. Publisher Laurie Foston says:

About seven years ago, an eleven-year-old girl was immersed in a children’s favorite—Harry Potter. Her favorite place to read: a leather couch in the living room. It was a reading place she shared with her younger sister, Nicole. Five years old at the time, Nicole loved the idea of Harry Potter. Unfortunately, because her reading skills were undeveloped, it seemed she wouldn’t be able to read the book for years to come.

So, the elder sister got an idea. The sisters shared a love of fantasy and adventure. With their mutual fascination in mind, she sat down at her computer, fingers at the keys, and created a series of short stories that Nicole would be able to read. One tale followed another, but every story plunged the sisters into the adventures of a girl who discovered a magical pocket watch that teleported her to alien planets.

It wasn’t long before the story was complete and gathering dust on a lonely shelf. Perhaps it would have stayed that way forever, but fate in the form of a seventh grade language arts teacher intervened. On day, the students received an assignment: compose a story, type it up, print it out, and bring it to class. Make it two pages. Maybe three, if you’re particularly daring. And the elder sister came up with a brilliant idea.

She would bring the series of short stories to class.

Brushing off her dust collection, she came to class the following day with a fifty-page manuscript in hand. Incredulous but equally impressed, her teacher suggested a ‘novel’ concept: getting published.

“That’s how it all began,” says Michelle Izmaylov, now the teen author of three published novels. After self-publishing her first book, The Pocket Watch, she was fascinated with the world of literature. Her second novel explored her life from a realistic perspective, often using the lives of her friends as inspiration for her characters. Dream Saver follows the quest of teenager Taylor Creekmore as she battles against all odds to save a loved one.

To publish her second book, Michelle decided to find a traditional publisher. So, she went to the Internet to learn more about the publishing business. She wrote and printed dozens of query letters and mailed them out to publishers she hoped would be interested in her story. Two hundred and fifty rejections and many months later, Michelle breathed a sigh of resignation and accepted her fate: failure.

But Nicole was not ready to see her sister give up. She convinced Michelle to press on and never lose hope. Resolved in a new direction, Michelle read about a national short story contest with a new publishing company. Entering upon Nicole’s encouragements, she won first place and asked the publisher to take a look at her novel Dream Saver. The publisher read the book, enjoyed the story, and decided to publish the novel. The novel was a success and sold over 45,000 copies.

But Michelle’s passion for writing was only beginning to flame. “It’d been four years since I wrote my first book, and when I went back to read it, I thought I could do better,” Michelle said. “The story also really fascinated me, and I wanted to go deeper into the adventures of the girl and her pocket watch.”

At age fifteen, she decided to transform her original novel into a trilogy, The Galacteran Legacy. The first book in the new series is Galaxy Watch, which tells the story of ordinary Earth girl Nicole Sky who never dreams that the golden pocket watch she discovers one summer day will change her life forever. Only when Nicole—by no coincidence also the name of Michelle’s sister—finds herself on a hostile alien planet and in the midst of a war does she realize Earth has a deadline.

“My life isn’t all about writing,” she says, and in some ways Michelle is a suburban teenager. She enjoys hanging out with friends and watching a good weekly movie. “I’m also a bit of a tomboy, so you can be sure I’ll sneak a few hours out of every week to play on my PS2,” Michelle says with a laugh. Her life also has a firm root in her family’s Russian culture and traditions, and she appreciates the close bonds she shares with her parents and sister. “We are all very devoted to one another, and I love that connection. I can always count on my family for anything.”

This teen author also loves to find ways to connect with her community. Several years ago, she discovered that Russian immigrants in her community have problems understanding English when visiting physicians. Making use of her Russian language skills, she volunteers as a translator. Now, she regularly visits elementary and middle schools and public libraries to share her experiences as a teen published author.

“It’s an amazing journey every time both for me and the young people I visit,” Michelle said of the writer’s workshops and discussions she hosts. “I hope to be able to inspire the authors of tomorrow to realize you’re never too young to follow your dreams.”

And Michelle is not alone in her love of literature. Her sister, Nicole, is both a nationally recognized poet and a budding author. In fact, she is busy working on her own fantasy novel. “[Nicole] is also helping me out with the second book in the trilogy,” Michelle said. “Without her, there probably wouldn’t even be a series. She’s my editor-in-chief, and I’m really grateful for her help. I couldn’t do it without her.”

What’s next for the teen author? For now, her summer is full of writing. In addition to working the science fiction and young adult novel editor at FutureWord Publishing, she is busy writing the second book in The Galacteran Legacy trilogy, which continues Nicole’s adventures. When asked about the actual process of writing, Michelle says she has no clear structure in mind.

“It’s like the characters are telling me their story,” says Michelle. “More than anything, I’m just a kid with a laptop jotting notes.”

Introducing Valerie Bouthyette (FutureWord Publishing)

Several businesses are joining forces to back FutureWord, a new publishing group formed by Laurie Foston, aka Cheryl Haynes.

Valerie Bouthyette is known for her prolific art and dazzling illustrations that have entertained children all over the United States. Valerie has a degree in Graphic Design from SUNY. Valerie will still have her own business but she will represent FutureWord in their acquisitions of children’s illustrated books. Valerie says:

Valerie!I began creating as soon as I could hold a crayon. I still look at images I had created when I was three that my mother had saved and think to myself how lucky I was to have parents who recognized my talents and encouraged me and my sisters to make the arts a part of their lives growing up.

My oldest sister Susan was also a visual artist. Having the opportunity to watch her create not only supported my own endeavors but challenged me to become “a better artist” than she was. My second oldest and first youngest had us all playing fold guitar and singing together and my youngest sister Allison continues to be a wonderful writer although she has yet to venture into the world of publishing beyond the workplace.

I began entering art shows as a young child and quickly won acclaim, but as a young college students was urged into graphic design (the most lucrative field for young artists at the time where I spent 20 some odd year) and here I worked more with design elements than illustration. This and fine arts competitions kept me busy as I raised my children.

My children, also very artistic (both musicians, fine artists and writers) were successful students however the school districts they were involved with and the small towns we lived in offered little for the youth of our communities beyond sports. This is what prompted me to become actively involved in establishing community arts centers which promoted youth participation.

In 1998 I founded CATS (Cultural Arts of Taneytown – MD) which offered summer arts classes for students from voice eating-with-ghostsand piano lessons to photography, visual arts and writing. This program was later adopted by the township. Later in 2001, I founded the Pocono Mountain Arts Council (www.poconomac.com) which is still healthy and actively growing in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. This group provided children’s art exhibits linked with local businesses and partnered with local colleges

Our mission was to provide avenues of creative expression, education, and dedication to enriching the lives of those we touch; to help others to express who they are, imagine what could be and share their vision with the community, through the world of art. “Art has the Power to Bring us Together while Fostering an Appreciation for our Differences and Celebrating our Similarities” –Val Vigliotti, PoconoMAC Founder

I have also dabbled with the written word and have published two works. The first, Messenger Boy, a young reader historical fiction Messenger Boy under the pen name of VJ Spindler published by Publish America in 2004 and The Christmas Dress , a romantic comedy released in 2007 under the name of Valerie Bouthyette. I am currently working on a new title to be release next year.

It wasn’t until years later (and with the support of my children and second husband) that I dove full time into illustrating for children. I was finally able to concentrate on my craft full time and what a fabulous experience I am having. I am told I have a keen ability to visualize the words and feelings portrayed by writers, to breathe life into their work; but it is without doubt, a joint effort. It is the authors’ words which stir my imagination; the illustrations flow easily when mixed with my talent.

When asked to join the staff of Future Word Publishing there was no hesitation. It has been a long time since I’ve come across such a passionate group of people who are dedicated to providing the public with the phenomenal work of noted and new authors alike.