Indie Novels Are Like Organic Apples

sknicholls:

I love my indies and Adrienne has a wonderful analogy I’d like to share. Every indie author or newbie should read this!

Originally posted on Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained--Books & Writing at Middlemay Farm:

Gentlemen Harvesting Hops and Stories Gentlemen Harvesting Hops and Stories

Wednesdays at the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm where I worked were packing days when no matter the weather or the raspberries left rotting on the bush, we met in the cool, dark room to sort and pack pesticide-free, non-migrant labor harvested produce to be delivered to starry-eyed customersin the morning.

Our Harvard-educated, Russian-Lit major boss told us not to worry too much about dirty garlic as the customers were customers because they wanted to feel part of the farm-to-table process.

new camera 083Some customers visited the 200-year-old farm to see up close the dirty business of nutrition. They gazed in wonder at the strawberry fields alive with jewel-toned fruit only a day or two away from collapse and decay. They enjoyed getting pricked by the thistles as they reached for a berry and tossed the juicy, warm fruit into their mouths. Misshaped berries…

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Occasional Soulmates free through Sunday!

sknicholls:

Today is the day if you are waiting on Kevin’s FREE book, Occasional Soulmates

Originally posted on WHAT THE HELL:

Small Soulmates Cover

Right on schedule, the Amazon freebie has kicked in, and you can now download Occasional Soulmates for free. The deal runs through Sunday evening.

If you have a spare mo or two, let your readerly friends know about it via Twitter, Facebook, email, sky writing, semaphore, Morse code, secret languages, or even telephone. They need to read this book! Your mom needs to read this book.

If you never thought a dude could write chick lit, Occasional Soulmates will prove you wrong.

Just sayin’.

Grab your copy today, and help move some virtual paper by spreadin’ the word for me.

As always, much obliged!

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As the World Churns

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I’m emotionally churning today. It’s my husband’s birthday and my daughter is due to deliver my third grand baby any day. That’s a big hunk of happiness. So glad to have this man in my life. So proud of the mama my daughter has become.

Losing my dad really bites. There’s also some unanticipated fall-out associated with that, and I’m hoping it can strengthen bonds not rip them apart. So there’s that looming.

Recently I tried to find an old friend who was a Behavior Specialist in a psych hospital. We used to work together on the forensic unit and had an awesome relationship. I expected he would be a great resource for a psycho thriller I have in the works. When I googled his name, I pulled up his obituary. Ouch!

(My apologies if that comes across as selfish, but I’m resentful that his wife [whom he met after I left GA] was jealous, and wouldn’t allow us to maintain our friendship. Five hundred miles apart and a great professional relationship, but heaven help, I’m female.)

I have four writing projects in the works and all have been at a complete standstill for over a month. I don’t know where I’m going with any of them.

I’m reading a lot, but writing much of nothing.

I’ve been stopping by blogs when I can and reading, but my comments…I can hardly manage them. I end up whining like I am in this post. Bear with me. This, too, shall pass.

As for my own blog, this is about the best I can do today.

Not exactly exuding confidence.

Discouraged. Frustrated. Sad. Happy. Excited. Churning.

Did I mention y’all mean the world to me? Yep, it’s true. Being a homebody, my blogging buddies are the best friends in my world. So sorry to be tossing my personal problems at you.

SOMEBODY MAKE ME LAUGH!!!

I need a good laugh.

You want to laugh? Here’s something funny: I accidentally put Clorox on my husband’s jeans, so he got to go to work looking like a tie-dyed hippie today. I’m sure his associates at Lockheed-Martin will give him hell.

diy-ombre-denim-dyeing-7

I’m  feeling as if I have fallen off the edge of the earth.  

Never say never: get Occasional Soulmates for free next weekend

sknicholls:

A great book for FREE next weekend. Help spread the word and get yourself a copy, compliments of author, Kevin Brennan!

Originally posted on WHAT THE HELL:

3D cover

I know, I know. I said I’d never do it. Early in my self-publishing experiment, I declared (at least I think I did) that I’d never give my books away as a promotion. The very idea repelled me. I gagged at the notion that people would grab the thing by the hundreds for free but they wouldn’t pay the 99 cents I usually ask in a promo. Yet, it seems to be the case that self-publishing ebooks is almost dependent on the freebie.

What changed my mind, you ask? Well, for one thing, sales of Occasional Soulmates have been (sob sob) disappointing. My experience this time around has driven home the fact that you have to market constantly, you have to spend quite a bit of money, and you have to obsess over the selling of a book to give it any kind of life on the charts. Possibly I…

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“Do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

My father passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2015 quietly in his home at the age of seventy-seven. He went to church, came home, hung up his suit, took a nap and went to his heaven. The pastor said his sermon that day was about Heaven and I think ole Henry was just ready to be there. Three years ago in February he had a coronary bypass graft and we were afraid we might lose him even then, but that didn’t happen and we were given a few more years of precious time with him.

For six weeks in 2012, I was able to spend time with him while he recuperated from that surgery.  We needed that time together. He was a great storyteller. Most of the way I helped was by listening to the stories he shared with me about his life and events that occurred in the 1950s and 60s, the social injustice of the era. Inspired by his stories, a cousin’s stories, and a ledger he knew I had discovered in 1992, I came home and on April 12, 2012, I began to write a book. I would love to share those stories with you.

I appreciate the life and time he gave me. May he rest in peace.

My husband is, like my father, Henry Koone, was, a not-so-anonymous recovering alcoholic. I attend open meetings with my husband and one of the things they say in the rooms of AA is,

“Do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

When you bury the past and fail to look back you miss the opportunity to grow and learn, to develop insight and character. While it may not be healthy to dwell or live in your past, in it there are lessons we will find nowhere else.

Experience, strength and hope!

The Promises go on to say, “We will comprehend the word serenity and know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

I watched my father go through some dramatic changes over the course of the past fifty-four years and I learned the meaning of forgiveness.

He taught me about unconditional love.

I learned from the experiences, strengths and hopes we shared.

There is much social injustice in this world but change begins with each and every individual. Looking back at the past, in the manner that my historic novel does, it is my hope that the reader can recognize the harm of social injustice, oppression, poverty and ignorance, and perhaps develop some insights, in addition to being entertained. It isn’t a preachy book, but one that tells the stories of those who lived in an era we must move forward out of, never forgetting the sacrifices of those who came before us.

“A fictionalized true story of life in the Deep South during the time of Jim Crow Law, and before Roe vs. Wade. Women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant. The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into the dynamics of the 1950s-60s.

Unspoken secrets are shared between Beatrice, The Good Doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. The Grier’s daughter, Althea, suffers a tragedy that leaves her family silent and mournful. Her brother, Nathan, a medical student, looks for answers from a community that is deaf, blind, and dumb.

A summer romance between Nathan and Sybil, an independent, high-spirited, white woman, leaves more unresolved. Nathan is thrust into the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Sybil is torn between living the mundane life of her peers, or a life that involves fastening herself to a taboo relationship. Witness social progress through the eyes of those who lived it.”

Reviews are appreciated.

Giving Your Characters More Than A Reference Name

Frantic is a word I would use to describe the past few weeks. I’ve been visiting blogs and reading  but not writing much. Babysitting has become a large part of my activities as mama organizes, plans and nests in preparation for the third grandchild.

In my spare moments, I am reading, everything. Lots of classics, new authors, traditionally published and indie.

I have a complaint. It may just be me, but I’m put off by so many of the new and indie authors using popular references to TV and music personalities in their novels. I read, but don’t watch a lot of TV and I don’t have many visual images of recording artists. When I read, I want the author to create imagery for me. This seems to be trendy and I don’t care for it at all.

I can see saying, “He looked like George Costanza, a short, balding man with dark hair surrounding a balding head and nerdy glasses.” But to simply say, “He looked like George Costanza,” and move on…well, I just don’t like it.

I may know the character, but not the actor’s names. I don’t want to have to google every character in a book I’m reading in order to get an image. Give me some sort of description. If I said, “She was Phyllis Diller’s twin,” it might be lost on some (especially the young). But if I said, “She was a Phyllis Diller look alike, a tall woman wearing loud, brightly colored clothing with wide eyes and wild, gray, spiked hair, a gaping smile of pearly white teeth.” You have some clue, a description to imagine in your mind.

If I say, “He looked like Mr. T,” there should be some follow up to say, “A large, muscular black man sporting a mohawk with four pounds of gold chains around his neck.”  Likewise, if you say, “He looked just like rapper Lil B,” give me some clue as to what Lil B looks like…else I’m setting your book down…especially if you do that repeatedly.

There were several indie books I’ve read that I can’t recommend because they were filled with names of TV, movie, and music personalities with no descriptions. It’s just lazy writing, in my opinion.

Speaking of descriptions; I’m going to need to change author photo soon. I had a whim I acted on with no regret. I whacked off my long blonde hair…all of it. I went really short, from down my back to above my ears pixie, from blonde to natural silvery gray. I love it. I can actually shower, comb, dry, style my hair, apply make-up and dress in less than ten minutes. I only wish I did this sooner. It’s a great boating, swimming, Florida summer cut.

Does it hamper your reading pleasure to see names with no descriptions in novels?

What are you doing to get ready for summer?

LIVE ON AMAZON KINDLE- Legends of Windemere: Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue

sknicholls:

Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue by Charles Yallowitz. I think this is the seventh book in the Legends of Windemere series, just out today. If you are a fantasy lover, this is not one to be missed.

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE:
SLEEPER OF THE WILDWOOD FUGUE
LIVE on Amazon Kindle!

Art by Jason Pedersen Art by Jason Pedersen

The final champion stirs and reaches out to any who can hear her voice. Yet all who heed her call will disappear into the misty fugue.

Awakening their new ally is only the beginning as Luke, Nyx, and their friends head south to the desert city of Bor’daruk. Hunting for another temple once used to seal Baron Kernaghan, they are unaware that the game of destiny has changed. Out for blood and pain, Stephen is determined to make Luke wish he’d never set out to become a hero.

By the time the sun sets on Bor’daruk, minds will be shattered and the champions’ lives will be changed forever.

Don’t forget to mark it as ‘To Read’ on Goodreads too!

Charles E. Yallowitz Charles E. Yallowitz

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY…

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Works in Progress Blog Hop: and a Look Inside

I’ve been nominated by two very lovely bloggers, Marie Bailey and Barb Taub, to participate in this W.I.P. blog hop and have been so busy with my local writers’ group and spring break and my grandchildren (as anyone who follows me on Facebook knows) that I have not given much time to blogging for two weeks.

So, just what have I been up to?

I completed a crime novel. It’s been beta read, edited and proofed and is waiting on me to complete two more novels in the same genre. I have other works in progress and one of these is a sort of sequel to Red Clay and Roses. Also set in Georgia, it is in the same time period, 1950s-60s, and involves two sisters, one of which is the mother of Hannah, the nurse/narrator from Red Clay and Roses.

In Part Two of Red Clay and Roses, there is a relationship involving my cousin, Sybil, (the only real name in the book—she’s an eighty-three year old woman now in real life) she was a high-spirited, fiercely independent, white woman and an entrepreneur in those times.

She became infatuated with Nathan, a black man, and Nathan was enamored with her. Nathan was a medical student and active in the Civil Rights Movement.

When I finished the book, I sent it off for editorial reviews. Kirkus and Reader’s Favorite were very kind to me. Another set of professional editors weren’t. Their primary complaint was that Nathan and Sybil got only a chapter or two of getting to know each other before they were throwing down for fast sex in the middle of a pine forest.

Now, I was telling the story as Sybil had told it to me.

And quite frankly, though a jolly old married woman now, in my single years I was a bit of a slut. So I had no problems with Sybil’s story. But these editors were critical and felt I should have built up to Nathan and Sybil’s interlude with more romance.

Romance has just never been my thing. Some people love it. But I’m out of my comfort zone.

In my sequel, my work in progress, one of the sisters gets deeply involved with a man. A romance develops. And I have to write it. To hone my craft and develop my skills, I’ve been practicing by writing little romantic short stories. I had opportunity to read one of these to an audience of about 60 people last week. What fun!!!

Sebastian's birthday and reading at Stardust 004

They laughed at the funny parts, wept at the emotionally moving parts and came up to me afterwards with wonderful compliments and expressions of appreciation, so I must have done something right.

This spurred me to get back to my W.I.P. The TENTATIVE Title is “Surviving Sister” and I must tell you that every word you read here is subject to change at this point. The two sisters personalities are night and day, but they share a mental illness that manifests itself differently, and each has their own way of coping.

Here’s what I have:

Chapter One:

Time had a way of taking a perfectly good moment and turning it into something terrible. Not that all moments in time were bad ones. Many were wonderful. But in an instant, all that seemed beautiful could change. It happened so quickly, like lightning hitting a tree, splitting its trunk and splaying its branches. Sometimes it was insidious, the unpleasantness creeping up and then, unexpectedly, there was a pinnacle moment of certainty that life was never going to be the same. It happened all too often for Barber sisters, Claudette and Carol.

Chapter Two:

No police arrived on the scene. No neighbors came calling. Mama woke up lying in the floor with her head propped on several pillows, disoriented and confused, an hour after the incident. Claudette and Carol had already changed her clothes as she had soiled herself. This was not the first time Claudette had seen her mother in this condition, but it had been a very long time. Mama had not had such a fit since she was married to her last husband. The medicines had been effective, up until now. It did not take Laura Belle long to get up, reorient herself, and recall what had occurred. The first thing she asked, “Did anyone get hurt?”

Chapter Three:

It was early yet and moonlight glistened across the damp lawn. The shadow of the great Victorian house loomed over the driveway in front of the carriage house that had been converted into a garage. Uncle Durham parked the car. Laura Belle and Claudette had drifted off to sleep and did not immediately stir. Carol leapt from the car the second it stopped, spying Miss Josephine sweeping the back porch steps.

“Lawdy chil’, how you have grown,” Miss Josephine said, halting her chore and holding still the broom. “You’re taller now than your mama!”

“Five foot two, but I’ll never be as tall as Claudette.” Carol shrugged, ran to the porch and gave Miss Josephine a warm hug.

“I know’d y’all was a comin’ today, but I had no idea y’all would be here afore the rooster crowed. I best put on another pan of biscuits!”

The next part of this blog hop is to nominate three more people to tell about their works in progress. A few lines about the first few chapters.

I’m looking at Craig Boyack at Entertaining Stories, who always has something interesting going on.

K. Leigh Michaels, a Y.A. writer with a house full of inspiration.

and Tim Baker, of Blindoggbooks, who has a set of awesome crime novels with iconic character, Ike, and is currently working on something he describes as quite different concerning Karma.

Rules are simple:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Write a little about and give the first few lines of your first three chapters from your WIP.
  • Nominate some other writers to do the same.

I’ve done my part, won’t you join me and let us into your storytelling process?

Indigo Fantasy

sknicholls:

Susan Marie Molloy has published a poetry book!

Originally posted on Susan Marie Molloy:

Indigo Fantasy Book CoverToday I finally pulled the trigger and published “Indigo Fantasy,” a collection of my color poems.

In the beginning, I was going to include a mish-mash of my poems, yet that didn’t seem orderly or logical. Yes, the obsessive-compulsive side of me was showing through. After some thought and deliberation, it made sense to only compile all of my poems that have some reference to color – and “Indigo Fantasy” was born.

It took me several months to get the order and number of poems right. Each poem has some reference to a color within our world, as I see it. Although I began this project with twenty poems, the final project grew to a whopping forty!

It didn’t take me long to format the book and set it up on Kindle. I followed a booklet provided by Kindle, and the instructions were clear. It took me about thirty minutes…

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