Monthly Archives: March 2014

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune! On Sale Now!

Whoo Hoo! Charles Yallowitz has crossed the threshold with his fourth book in The Legends of Windemere fantasy series: Family of the Tri-Rune! On Sale Today!

Legends of Windemere

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned…

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Book Reviews: Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts by Misha Burnett

These are Volume One and Volume Two of The Book of Lost Doors sci-fi/urban fantasy series.

Volume One: Catskinner’s Book

5 Stars

I absolutely loved this story! The relationship of the main character(s), James and Catskinner, was psychologically fascinating as these two personalities were profoundly interesting. I could hear the distinctive voices of each in my head. The dialogue between them was well done, and contributed to the plot development.

The plot moved at a steady, quick pace with one intriguing adventure after another. As soon as you recovered from one incident another was put before you. The mechanics and descriptiveness of scenario was both plausible and fantastic.

Two things I thoroughly enjoyed about this book: 1) the accessibility of the writing style, and 2) the genius creativity and imagination expressed through the author’s imagery. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a psychologically dynamic sci-fi/fantasy story.

Volume Two: Cannibal Hearts

4 stars

Of course, after being so very delighted with Burnett’s Catskinner’s Book, I had to read this one right away. I was initially mildly disappointed that Catskinner’s role seemed to take a back seat to James’, though I still found the story line most intriguing. It seemed that James, as narrator, ruminated more in this book. There was less of the dialogue between him and Catskinner and less of the quick paced action that I had enjoyed so much in the previous book.

As the story progressed, again, Burnett’s creative genius showed through and I found myself deeply involved and invested in discovery. Alien actually became comfortable. The unusual and colorful cast of characters was so well drawn that I feel as if I have a whole new set of friends, and enemies, in this book–even the weirdest. Be advised, I like weird. I will also add here, I loved the profound, original, and thought provoking quotes the author included under each chapter heading. I am eagerly anticipating the third in the series.

You can purchase these books here: Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts 

You can get to know Misha Burnett and learn more about his upcoming book, “The Worms of Heaven” here on his blog.

As a side note, 

I’m going to qualify regarding my science fiction reading. I cut my teeth on science fiction. Back in the seventies, as a young teen, my Grandma’s neighbor was a young man by the name of Michael Bishop. I spent some boring summer days in my Grandma’s small town, Pine Mountain, Georgia. The boredom was relieved by my visits to Mr. Bishop’s library.

Mr. Bishop was, still is, a science fiction writer and author of many books, including one (correction: three) for which he received the Nebula Award. He was also nominated for the Hugo Award. I did not read his works, because he had not yet published them, but he had inherited an enormous library from his father-in-law and it filled the turreted two-story library of his home. Many days I heard him clacking away at the typewriter through an open window in his library.

I would stop in to annoy visit with Mr. Bishop from time to time and was most impressed by both the library and his devotion to writing. Michael would loan me books from his library and send me away.

The books he loaned me were titles by authors such as Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, and others. I loved being able to escape to fantastical other worlds. Asimov, with his background in biochemistry, and Le Guin, with her mix of fantasy and sci-fi kept me entertained for hours on end. I truly loved the sort of sci-fi they wrote. Mr. Bishop, who was also my Sunday school teacher upon a time, and I would review the books when I brought them back.

Then, in a young girl’s life, many years later, around the mid-eighties, something happened to the sci-fi that I ran across. It got so complex and outer-space oriented that you needed an astrophysics degree or an alien translator to follow plots or decipher difficult sentences and name structures. Names lost their vowels, and plots became so implausible that I lost interest totally in the genre. I began to read more straight up fantasy…witches and vampires, magic that professed to be magic, immortals, and such.

I never went back to sci-fi, and I said all of that to say this: Thank you, Misha Burnett, for bringing me back to earth with these fascinating and intriguing mixed genre sci-fi/fantasy tales!

xkcd Demonstrates How Web Presence Sells Books

I am so far out of The Loop. I don’t even know if they still call it being out of The Loop. That’s how far out I am. A couple of years ago my husband, the rocket scientist, was given a web site, xkcd.com, by a friend/coworker at Lockheed-Martin…the missile factory. A bunch of really nice guys work there. They are mostly nerds and geeks.

“Big Bang Theory” helped make nerds and geeks popular. Shows like “Criminal Minds” made the computer wizards and geniuses most intriguing. Having a school curriculum that focuses on math and science instead of humanities and liberal arts helped the once socially awkward succeed and be proud in their own skin.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the rocket scientist comes home from work and flips on his computer to check out the latest Randall Munroe cartoon, and reads through the “What if?” section.

If you don’t know who Randall Munroe is, I will tell you. He got a degree in physics from Christopher Newport University; he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006, he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full-time, supporting himself through the sale of xkcd t-shirts, prints, and posters.  Randall Munroe is the author of the popular webcomic xkcd and the science question-and-answer blog “What If?”

It is sort of like a cross between “The Big Bang Theory” and “Myth Busters” but Randall answers questions with stick people cartoons and keeps it simple. The cartoons are not always simple though, and if you click on the site to check them out, make sure you mouseover the cartoons, because that’s where the funniest stuff is sometimes. Millions of people click on his site every day. (See, I told you, I am out of The Loop.) Not just fans, he already has hate groups on twitter and other social media like xkcdsucks.com. It’s like nerd gang war.

He may be old news to you, and that’s okay. This post is not so much about him as it is about what he is doing. He is writing a book. It’s not scheduled to come out until September 2014. You can preorder the book.

He has a cover on Amazon:

4107GpJL0nL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

This is not a big deal; hundreds of thousands of people publish books every year. The big deal is this (aside from the fact that I am doing free promo marketing for him), last night his unpublished book, with no ratings and no rankings, because it hasn’t hit the market yet placed as the #2 Best Selling book overall on Amazon. I think that’s pretty amazing…to not even be published yet and pass Veronica Roth.

This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

I noticed it last night when I was piddling around on Amazon like I sometimes do when I am bored, and there it was, a book with no stars sitting at #2 on the front page of Amazon. It tells me that I worry too much about the wrong things. The book is at #3 now. Granted this is not a fiction work that he is producing, but it is rather exemplary of how to make a web presence sell books.  

This is not a children’s cartoon book. In fact, he warns on his web site:

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

On the web site you can read random cartoons, check out the “what if?” You can even see photos of people playing chess while riding on roller coasters if you look hard enough. Pretty cool, huh?

Update 7:00 pm

It is now the #1 Best Seller

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune Cover Reveal!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune is set to debut on Sunday, March 16th!!!

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere

 

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

We’re still taking volunteers for the April blog tour. So fill out the form HERE!

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen
Cover by Jason Pedersen

Sunday Synopsis

This past week:

  • Ten more books delivered to bookstores in tornado weather. Already had one bookstore notify me that they sold two copies and would like two more. I am glad, but with the price of gas and dealing with traffic, this whole self-distributor thing sucks. Two books at a time and they won’t buy more in bulk. (One store buys four.)
  • Mailed off Goodreads Giveaway copies to United Kingdom and Canada…$72.60 to send registered so I can track both for delivery. That’s a lot of money to simply give away. Plus the Amazon Gift Certificates…geez…there went all the promo money earned. Do you ever really do more than break even?
  • Decided writing a book is more fun than marketing or selling/distributing books.
  • Cleaned house. Sprayed weeds. Still don’t have pool chemicals balanced.
  • About the tweets. Learned to check analytic stats.  I thought the tweets were selling books, but NOT ONE of my book tweets has been clicked through via the URL. I guess they are selling WOM from others who bought through promo and such. Of course, that has almost come to halt. Selling one or two every day or two.
  • Also, about tweeting: It says in my profile that I am a supporter of liberal causes. What do people think that means? They follow me, then, on those days when I mention anything about abortion, prochoice, or gay rights…on those days…I get unfollowed. As many as 4-10 unfollows in one day. Granted, 4-6 will follow on those days. I am also followed by a lot of bail bondsmen. Not sure what that means. People are weird.
  • I participated in my first Meal Train. That was fun. Young lady in a third floor apartment that had a C-section. Beautiful baby girl.
  • Had grandkids and daughter over for a day. My grandson hates me. Screams almost every time I touch him, unless his mom is right there. Major separation anxiety!
Grandson looks like his mother where his sister looks like her father. Yes, those are dog toys he is playing with. he refuses to play with baby toys and likes to harass the dogs. He had been crawling around on the back porch in his pJs and would not let me finish dressing him.
Grandson looks like his mother where his sister looks like her father. Yes, those are dog toys he is playing with. He refuses to play with baby toys and likes to harass the dogs. He had been crawling around on the back porch in his PJs and would not let me finish dressing him.

This week:

  • It took me from April 2012 through July 2012 to write the first draft of Red Clay and Roses. I was totally dedicated to it and did not have a blog or any marketing going on. I was not working at all outside the home. I don’t watch TV or much of anything else…like playing games. I have got to get focused on my writing if I want to produce anything else.
  • Next point: I have a post that I am planning for tomorrow…beyond that; I am seriously contemplating an extended social media hiatus. A few weeks without blogging unless something just must be put out there. Occasionally reading when I need a break from writing. No every day comments…just lurking around from time to time. I know it sounds selfish. You guys are my world. I don’t work outside the home much, but I have some wellness screenings to do around the end of March. I consider YOU my coworkers and will miss you sorely. I hope you will all be here when I get back. I am afraid if I don’t commit to my writing much deeper than I have…this project will take much longer than I hoped. I wish I was as good of a multi-tasker as I was when I was nursing full-time, but I am not. I want to get done with this first draft and I am terribly distracted.
  • I will still do any promo pieces I am planning.
  • I have forty books on my reader, and 20 more that I want to purchase. I want to get more reading done, so I will post a book review from time to time.
  • I have a major art fair coming up in April. I have got to finish my jewelry pieces.
  • Also, with the time change…my gardening and yard work demand so much attention…okay, so much for excuses.
  • It is too bad that social media is such a time drain. After a few weeks, I will revisit my writing progress, and see how much social media I can resume. I don’t have a clue how you guys can turn out book after book, work full time jobs, manage a family and all at the same time. I think you are amazing and I applaud you! I am far from lazy. I stay immensely busy. I have to blame it on old age creeping up on me. My brain does not hold or process information like it once did.
  • Now that I have told you that I plan to abandon you, may I ask if I can call on you from time to time? I am certain that I will need to.

Why do I feel like we’re breaking up?  I still love you!

A Man of many talents making a difference: Julian Lennon

A thoughtful post on a thoughtful man who is the son of one of the most inspiring men this planet has ever known.

readful things blog

This post is devoted to Julian Lennon. This is a man who has limitless compassion for those around him, is a talented musician, songwriter, photographer and huge supporter of equality, as well as a true humanitarian. He wears many hats throughout the day, but is always dedicated to making this world a better place for everyone. He is currently working to promote the White Feather Foundation, which is dedicated to cleaning up the planet and making a difference. This charity is running a campaign for clean water for the planet as well as doing many,  many other things that will benefit us all. Please take a moment to check them out and do what you can to help spread the word.

http://www.whitefeatherfoundation.com/

or if you prefer to make a direct donation to the clean water campaign, simply follow this link:

http://www.whitefeatherfoundation.com/clean-water-campaign/

And, as mentioned above, Julian is also a…

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Meal Train: For People Who Fall Between the Cracks

logo_home

I may have mentioned this on my blog or in comments before, but I am going to tell you about it again for a very important reason.

When I was a small child, we (siblings and cousins all) spent summers with my grandmother. She was a hard working enterprising woman who worked a farm and had a green thumb. My uncle built her a green house. Aside from her cooking, which a vast collection of county fair ribbons proved was the best around, she could make anything green flourish and grow. She was well known for both.

On Saturday mornings, she would get up before sunrise, go out to the hen house, wring a couple to a few necks, scald off the feathers, wash and prepare the meat, and fry up a half dozen to a dozen chicken dinners, throw on some mashed potatoes and biscuits, a side of green beans and take these dinners to all of the people on the prayer list at church.

All us grandchildren would pile into the car, and Grandfather drove us to the homes of the sick and shut-in. There, we would sing songs, make beds, wash linens, do dishes, sweep floors, whatever needed to be done. They were always happy to see Miss Barbara coming with her crew.

Before we left, Grandmother would comment on their potted plants and shrubs. This flattery always resulted in people begging her to take a few cuttings, which she did, in carefully, wet, rolled newspaper.

When we got back to the farm at the end of the day, it was the grandchildren’s job to set these cuttings into sand filled, wooden soda bottle flats. My uncle had rigged up irrigation that misted these until they rooted. That is how she started a horticulture business and nursery that has passed through four, going on five, generations. We spent our days pulling weeds, watering and repotting plants.

I am certain that this Saturday ritual is partially responsible for my nursing career and my love of gardening. More significantly, though, it is responsible for my compassion to care for those in need.

Nowadays, with families spread out all over the map and people, young and old, far removed from children, parents and grandparents, especially in some of the bigger cities, people are often alone when dealing with pregnancies, childbirth, surgeries and illness. Churches don’t always pick up on the isolated, the sick and the shut-in unless a church relationship has already been established. There are also those with an aversion to the church for whatever reasons.  Compassion is not reserved for saints.

Through her mothering groups from Facebook, my daughter was introduced to “Meal Train”. It is a nifty tool for organizing events through social media. Check it out. Bookmark the page. The Meal Train makes it possible for people to reach out and connect to each other in times of need. It’s FREE to use!

How it works:

When you learn of someone in need; for example, a young woman who has a C-section and no family in town, a lady who lives alone and just had knee surgery, a gentleman who just came home from the hospital…you, your organization, or church representative can go to Meal Train and use the calendar to set up a meal train for that person. A week, a month, 6 weeks, whatever they are going to need.

It makes organization a breeze. The organizer gets the allergies, food preferences or dislikes from the candidate. The candidate’s address and info are entered by the organizer. The meal train gets posted to Facebook groups and/or email lists…people in the groups or on the list can sign up to drop off a meal on a date that is convenient for them. In this way, there is no left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. The recipient doesn’t end up getting the same dinner every night. The schedule and food to be prepared are posted right on the meal train site.

It is easy to plan the family meal to include another plate for one night of your choosing.

If you see the Meal Train link on your Facebook page, click on the link and do a good deed.

Pass it on to your local groups.

Know someone in need? Organize a Meal Train.

Support Friends. Strengthen Community.

Promote Social Progress.

Guest Blog: Five Nineteenth-Century Inmates of Insane Asylums

Interesting Literature has a Guest Post by Suzanne Shumway that makes me glad to live in this era. Modern medicine has made a difference for so many. We still have miles to travel.

Interesting Literature

By Suzanne Shumway

1. Mary Lamb (1764-1847), sister of the essayist, poet, and playwright Charles Lamb. In 1796, Charles checked himself into a private asylum and spent six weeks there, never dreaming that a few months later, his sister would fall victim to a madness so severe that she would kill her own mother in a fit of rage. Although Mary was confined to Fisher House Asylum immediately after the murder, a verdict of lunacy assured that Lamb escaped punishment, and she was eventually released into Charles’s custody. However, she occasionally returned to an asylum when she felt madness coming on.

2. Rosina Bulwer Lytton (1802-1882) was the wife of the immensely popular novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Theirs was a love match, but the relationship hit the skids within eight years of their marriage. When her husband took up with other women, Rosina protested, and the result was a legal separation…

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Time running out on the Yesterday Road discount

Kevin Brennan has Yesterday Road at half price and Our Children are Not Our Own for FREE! Download Today! The books are highly rated.

WHAT THE HELL

Small cover
Just a reminder, folks, that Yesterday Road is on sale at Smashwords through Saturday night for $2. You can buy it here. Believe it or not, not one soul has taken advantage of this offer yet, and only one has downloaded Our Children Are Not Our Children for flippin’ free!

Sure, this has no effect on my Amazon ranking (which is slipping fast), but I want you to have the book. I really do. And I want you to have it for two bucks. And, when you’re finished reading it, I want you to be able to tell all your friends that it’s worth at least twice that much!

Spread the word.

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