Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bloggers: The Real and the Imagined

Wizard-of-oz_hologram

As a nurse, especially when working as a psych nurse, we are taught to read body language, to pick up on subtle biological cues, note changed inflections and tones when listening to words spoken.  You get none of that online. Even when you are acute enough to read between the lines, it’s not the same thing.  You are working off of one sense, and your brain has to assimilate the information from there.  The other four senses are impaired.  We are all reading with impaired senses. There is no real emotion in it, only the sense of sight, you see the words, your mind has to create the rest and none of us think quite alike.  What you write is subject to interpretation by the reader. We are operating like the drunk driver.

When writing novels, we are always writing from our own perceptions, trying to convey a personality through words. Not our own personality, but the character’s personality.  Their mannerism, mood, actions, reactions, language, how they uniquely interact with the world around them. A world that we also created.

Many bloggers, especially anonymous bloggers who have created an online persona of sorts, do the same.  The ones who use a character image to write and respond to comments are really adept at projecting an image they wish you to see; like Mr. and Mrs. Bojangles (Not really characters that I know of, I am making them up for demonstration purposes). She signs her comments Mrs. B and he signs his comments Mr. B.  They take turns posting whatever they wish the world to know about the Bojangles and how the Bojangles receive the world around them.

They might really be Mr. and Mrs. Morgan down the street. He may kick his dog and she may beat her kids, you really don’t know them. Online, they are a sweet little old couple who offer advice to young people on starting a family. Then again, they may be ministers of their church and dutifully assist their parish in all manner of life’s challenges. Again, you don’t know.  You just know their online persona.

ozLike the Wizard of OZ, they are protected by a curtain of anonymity.

Do you ever wonder about the people you meet online? Surely you do.

Then, there are bloggers who write outright, open about themselves and their personal lives, their work, their talents, their writing process, their ambitions, the way they perceive the world around them, signing their writing by their real life name, posting it at the top of their blog as I do.  How well do you really know them? Being online, you don’t see their flaws of character, that they bite their nails, never comb their hair, cross their legs and & arms when seated, and smell like yesterday’s cheese. You also don’t see their strengths of character, the way they shake a hand, their smiles, their infectious laugh, the way they always hold the door for others.  You can only guess, by the words they write, what they must be like in “Real Life”.

Whether it is the “real you” or a persona that you have imaginatively created, I am truly amazed with you all, from the 25 year old unemployed Australian guy sitting in a coffee shop with the brilliant mind looking for his niche that ponders life and its meaning, to the passionate 20 year old writing majestic prose and poetry lamenting lost love, from the quirky 80 yo great-grandma who recalls history with a twist of lime, to the struggling 30-something writer who ambitiously defeats personal odds to develop an entire series of marketable books.  The guy next door, the lady with 9 kids, the satirical comedian, the girl coping with mental illness and drug addiction, you are all why I keep coming back. I love the diversity that is you, real or imagined.

The collective consciousness of the blogosphere is both mystifying and marvelous!

PJ Parker’s Fire On The Water Blog Tour

Blog Tour accompanied by a very insightful guest post by the author.

readful things blog

Fire-on-the-Water-Large-Blog-Tour-Banner-3P

Fire On The Water
 A Companion To Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 
Fire On The Water: A Companion To Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 
By P.J. Parker
Category: Drama
Publication Date: 12th December 2013 
ISBN paperback: 978-1-61213-196-2
ISBN ebook: 978-1-61213-197-9
 

Book Summary 


Rachel, a young American biographer researching the life of Mary Shelley in Montreux, Switzerland, is entangled and consumed by the escalating threads of her investigation. Shards of Shelley’s creation are exhumed from the past. Precious memories are hacked and sutured to the unthinkable. The unblemished flesh of the one she loves is stripped back to reveal what lies beneath—aspects of Frankenstein incised and ripped from the nineteenth century and transplanted into her own.
Through a landscape of archival documents, the contents of a trunk unopened for generations, and a spiraling progression of dismembered cadavers and uncertainties, Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein interweaves Rachel’s…

View original post 946 more words

Interview With Ryan Attard, Author of Firstborn

Great interview with Marie Bailey interviewing Ryan Attard, an aggressive and committed series author.

1WriteWay

Welcome to an interview with Ryan Attard, author of Firstborn, first novel in the Legacy Series, published by AEC Stellar Publishing.  Firstborn is available at Amazon.

Ryan also has a blog at http://ryanattard.com/ where you can partake of his often irreverent, sometimes off-color, but always funny commentary.

View original post 1,118 more words

An interview with Charles E. Yallowitz (Legends of Windemere)

Interesting interview from fantasy series author of Legends of Windemere and an all around great guy!

readful things blog

I am very proud to welcome my favourite author and fellow blogger Charles E. Yallowitz to Readful Things today to discuss his career as an author. Please give him a welcome and a pat on the back, he is the hardest working author I know.

BUY THEM HERE

Each one will feed a starving writer in New York….

 What has been the hardest and most unexpected part of your journey as an indie author thus far?

The level and scope of marketing caught me by surprise. I had been told that I would have to do my own marketing, so I started my blog. Soon after I started, I realized I had to spread out to other social media sites and look for promo sites to work with. At the beginning I was thinking I would never need Twitter or find much use for Facebook, but now I promote…

View original post 1,159 more words

Mission Possible

It would be nice if Amazon allowed books you buy for independent bookstores to count toward your ratings. Ha!  These were delivered today!

002

I have 30 paperback books that have already been sold…now I just have to brave the holiday traffic and distribute these to the stores that bought them.  They are all to be paid up front, no consignments.  A tiny trickle in the river that is exposure, but I am hoping to stir some local interest.  I also like the idea of supporting the local independent bookstores and having them support me.  We have a dozen or more such stores, so this could be interesting. I have two radio stations that I am sending copies to. They are both talk stations and review books and interview authors on Saturdays.  So we will see what happens with that. Autographed copies are being sent out this week (you know who you are) but may not arrive before Christmas.

003

Went to the grocery store in my fuzzy slippers for the second time this week.  They aren’t even pretty fuzzy slippers. Starting to feel like one of those shoppers that gets their picture passed around the internet.  I am really getting too comfortable with this whole, “work at home” thing. However, I do recall showing up for my nursing job once with my scrubs on inside out.

Here are some pretty flowers from the garden today.  Something to take your mind off the ice and snow for a moment.

Peace Lilies look like little sailboats on a sea of green.
Peace Lilies look like little sailboats on a sea of green.
I did not even know that Tiki Plants bloomed until this year.
I did not even know that Tiki Plants bloomed until this year.
Bird -of-Paradise is just past its peak.
Bird -of-Paradise is just past its peak.
Hibiscus bloom year round.
Hibiscus bloom year round.
Hoping you have a good work week whether you are working at home or out and about.

Book review: “Corridor of Darkness” by Patrick O’Bryon

finalfront

A stellar read!  Masterfully crafted and exceptionally well executed, the eloquent prose and rich descriptions easily carry the reader into a creatively imaginative world of pre-war Germany and the adventure and thrill to be discovered there.  This contemporary author has created the best example of “show” not “tell” that I have seen in twenty years. (Okay, I am telling my age here.) You “see” the emotion and “feel” the tension from the words as well as develop a sense of time and place. It is not merely what the characters are doing, but how they live and act or react in their space that becomes apparent in the words.

I don’t usually open a book review with gushing lines of praise, but this one is truly exceptional. I found this book fascinating in many ways, but the inspiration for its development is particularly interesting.  I don’t reprint book descriptions, but I want to take just a moment to tell you a little backstory. This is from the author’s own blog:

scan_pic00011
Leonard L. O’Bryon

“In the fall of 1929 a young New York banker came to Berlin to study finance. The collapse of Wall Street convinced him to stay and pursue a doctorate in history. While Hitler rose to power the American became a favored guest of the old aristocracy, risked his life probing the most dangerous boroughs of the city, witnessed Communist street demonstrations and Nazi rallies, instigated a duel, and pursued the rescue of Jewish friends from under the eyes of the Gestapo. He went on to spy for his country.

That seeker of adventure was Leonard L. O’Bryon, my father. Inspired by his newspaper reports and private journals, Corridor of Darkness tells the story of dashing Ryan Lemmon, on assignment in Nazi Germany for the State Department. It is now 1938, and Ryan must discover his own dark side to counter the murder, treachery, and torture threatening a former girlfriend, and allow him to escape with a secret which could change the course of history.”

 

The author, Patrick O’Bryon, is a self-proclaimed Europhile who knows Germany, has lived there, studied and worked there.  Former academic in the field of Germanic Studies, Princeton Ph.D., interpreter and community liaison with the US Army in Germany.

The passion with which he writes is influenced by all of the above and I believe that is what separates “Corridor of Darkness” from the typical, pre-war German espionage novel. Already with the Awesome Indies Achiever’s gold Seal of Excellence, this book is destined to become a Best Seller!

Now, on to the review:

I loved this book so very much that I was compelled to read it twice.  The writing style had me enraptured from beginning to end. I was so taken by it that I wanted to study the techniques employed. I thoroughly enjoy a read that encourages me to think deeply on both the writing and the story.  The author has a powerful and confident writing voice. The eloquent prose serves well to set the reader into another time and place. The 20th century historical value alone makes it a worthy read, but O’Bryon gives us so much more.

Breaking away from the overdone linear style of the tired traditional spy novel, O’Bryon employs the technique of analepsis, or flashbacks, remarkably well. I loved the way the first half of the book ebbed and flowed with rich, fully fleshed out stories inside of the story. The action was well paced. As the plot and subplots unfolded, the characters, as well as their motivations, became very clear and real to me in a pre-war German world that was beautiful, exciting and dangerous.

This book offers all of the elements of a great novel, intrigue, historical value, adventure, thrill, mystery, espionage, violence, romance, lust, and love. Ryan Lemmon is dashing, clever and daring. His nemesis is despicable. Moving from pre-war Germany to the atrocities of Nazi Germany that led to imminent war, O’Bryon revs up the pace as Lemmon races across the countryside using wit, charm, weapons, and muscle in an effort to save his friends and their families and get intelligence back to America. The pace change lends a sense of urgency that was well timed.

I would give “Corridor of Darkness” a much higher score than 5 stars were it possible, and highly recommend this book. This historical thriller will leave you breathless and wanting more.  The author also sets up what is yet to come, so be sure to read the Epilogue, Afterword, and the Prologue to the much anticipated sequel, “Beacon of Vengeance”.

Visit with Patrick and read some other writing of his at his blog here: http://patrickwobryon.com/

Sunday Synopsis

If you follow this blog or know me from comments, you already know that I support the indie author & traditional authors and get excited when they share a success. Last weekend I ran a successful promo which resulted in a personal triumph which I shared with you. “Red Clay and Roses” made it to three Top 100 Best Seller lists on Amazon. We also had the collective Read Tuesday event on December 10th which may have contributed to that success. The flicker of fame burns swiftly. This weekend, despite an aggressive Facebook campaign and several smaller free and affordable advertisements, I am watching the book ease back into place. At the rate it is moving I would expect it to be back in the 100,000 range in the next couple of days.  So there is the trial.

Why am I sharing this?  Not to sound discouraging but to say that marketing is an ongoing process with ups and downs, triumphs and trials. Shameless self-promotion is a bitch, but if you don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for you. I can hope that there will be a second wave, as the book continues to sell slowly. Exponentially speaking, that would seem probable.  The sale is over and the book is back to its original price, so we will see how this goes.

Another expectation is that there may be more reviews. Many readers don’t realize how valuable these are to an author.  Not in terms of selling or not selling books necessarily, but in providing useful information from the reader audience that helps the writer to develop and grow. It lets the author know what you, as a reader, are most interested in. For example, some readers prefer a minimalist style of writing and others want details.  Some want action immediately and some want to be eased into a story.  Not all genres are the same, and not all readers share the same palate. So readers, let us know. Post reviews!

This past week everybody was sick, except me; husband, children, and grandchildren all with ear aches, flu, sore throats, colds, and sinus problems. I don’t know how I managed to avoid it, but I did. I spent most of the week running from this pharmacy to that one, babysitting, and being the nurse.

I did manage to slice my right thumb on my Christmas present: a new set of Cutco Knives. I was paring a potato, when I realized the potatoes were brilliant red.  There was no pain, not even a sting, just bright red blood. I didn’t feel a thing. For that I am grateful…I think. No stitches needed. I guess I could have lost my thumb without knowing it, so not as bad as it could have been.

We have always had our Christmas decorations up by the day after Thanksgiving until this year. I don’t yet have my tree up.  I don’t even think I’ll get around to the outdoor decorations this year.  We are having our Christmas this next Sunday evening and then everyone is going out of town.

The weeds and invasive vines have been ripped from The Jungle that is the back yard.  The landscape fabric and mulch have been laid.  Mexican heather has taken root and won’t need watering every day anymore.  The view is even nicer now from the back porch. Hibiscus, angel’s trumpet, and bird-of-paradise are in full bloom.

001

I have no plans or goals for this week beyond cleaning house, getting up the tree, wrapping presents, and baking red velvet cakes from scratch, using my grandmother’s cherished recipe. Sometimes it is better to go with the flow than plan anything much.

I do have a book review for you for tomorrow, so please do come back and visit.

Have a very merry pre-holiday week!

“Illusions of Eventide” by Sarah Cradit Now Available!

The Illusions of Eventide is here!

1493070_10202506373927945_775230220_n

The long awaited third novel in The House of Crimson and Clover series is now available on Amazon, BN, Kobo, and Smashwords! Links for Itunes, Sony, and Diesel coming soon.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

Story Overview

1479467_625040174203746_1521512437_nNicolas Deschanel was betrayed by the only two people who matter to him. Their disloyalty stung and an overwhelming sense of loss lingers. Nicolas has lived the high life professing to not have a care in the world, and now this illusion is calling his bluff.

Determined to take control of an existence now devoid of purpose, he sojourns to his family’s holiday home on the Gulf of Mexico. Resolved more than depressed, he plans to privately say goodbye to a world which no longer needs him. Of questionable fortune, he finds a woman, Mercy, sitting alone on the shore at eventide. Nicolas is conflicted between an obligation to help, and annoyance at her intrusion.

Mercy has many layers of secrets. Deepest of all, she cannot tell this Child of Man she is thousands of years old and very powerful. In her presence, Nicolas’ own dormant powers begin to surface, triggering a sequence of events that cause both of their lives to spiral further out of control. When old friends from both sides come to help, together they all learn a painful truth: new life can only begin once you’ve set free what means the most.

What Reviewers Are Saying

“In a word… beautiful. With every new installment I get to read in this fantastic series I fall more and more in love. This is by far the best novel by Sarah I have read, and one of the best books I’ve gotten my hands on of the year.”

“Many books can leave you breathless until the book abruptly ends and you have so many unanswered questions and feel cheated. That is not the case with this book. The author takes you to the very edge, then brings you back on multiple occasions.”

“LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!! Could not put it down!!”

“This is a story about forgiveness and redemption, thickly seasoned with fantasy and paranormal. Cradit has mastered connecting the dots.”

“Cradit’s ability to weave a story filled with mythology, paranormal, and the reality of life so fluidly kept me turning page after page, thoroughly engrossed. The Illusions of Eventide is by far my Top favorite of 2013!”

“Page after page of twists and unexpected turns, running the full gamut of emotions. At times it is heartbreaking, exciting, witty, charming.”

“I said it before, and I’ll say it again, this author develops characters better than anyone else I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I simply cannot recommend this book enough.”

“Sarah did a fabulous job of painting the pictures of places, characters, events, and visions! I felt the pain, passion, love, hate, and anguish of each character!”

“I cannot wait for the next installment!”

“This series is one you won’t want to miss out on. Sarah is an amazing writing and knows how to suck her readers into the story.”

EventideFullCharPromo-Recovered

Connect with Author Sarah M. Cradit

facebook_logo_detail images (1) images (2) images (3) goodreads_icon_1000x1000-bed183559c02a417861f930e33e157d1 Twitter

The House of Crimson and Clover Series

St. Charles-EBOOKBeyondDuskCover2Darkness_ebook

St. Charles at Dusk
The Storm and the Darkness
Sony: Coming Soon
Beyond Dusk: Anne
Sony: Coming Soon
Diesel: Coming Soon

Also Coming Soon

1425682_613816791992751_1827986252_n

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Illusions of Eventide by Sarah M. Cradit

The Illusions of Eventide

by Sarah M. Cradit

Giveaway ends December 23, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

CORRIDOR OF DARKNESS WINS TOP AWARDS FOR QUALITY FICTION!

Patrick O’Bryon’s “Corridor of Darkness” , a phenomenal read worthy of highest honors earns AIA recognition with the gold Seal of Excellence and Compulsion Reads’ endorsement! Congratulations Patrick!

Patrick W. O'Bryon

Two highly-respected professional reviewing groups dedicated to acknowledging quality independent fiction have recognized my debut espionage thriller Corridor of Darkness: A Novel of Nazi Germany with their top awards.

aiafinal

Awesome Indies (AIA) gives the novel its gold Seal of Excellence, with one of their three reviewers calling it a “first-rate, expertly crafted thriller,” and another stating: “When the writing is powerful and immediate and characters as real and believable as these ones are, our compassion is aroused and our heart opens.”

Compulsion Reads endorses the novel with the following praise: “Corridor of Darkness is a compelling and well-researched read…a grand adventure, set in Germany’s darkest hours.”

The novel is currently available as an ebook for either Kindle or iPad (or download a reading tool for your computer if you don’t have a Kindle) at http://www.amazon.com/books/, enter Corridor of Darkness.

If you prefer a trade paperback, it is currently available at a 25% discount by…

View original post 70 more words