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Poem by Audrina Lane, From the Editors Desk, Flash Fiction – Seriously 21st Century by Jane Risdon, Spotlight Graphic Designer – Melissa Ringuette – Monark Designs, Indie Author Reviews, Flash Fiction – Secret by Ashy Uzzell, Poetry Book, Challenges for the Blind Reader, Blogger & Writer by Patty L Fletcher, Y A Book Reviews, Author Interview – Paora Panadelo, Kelly Smith Reviews, Rainne’s Reviews, Choosing Amazon Book Categories – Part One by Dave Chesson, Flash Fiction – Darling Layla by Lily Luchesi, Indie Author Interview – Anita Kovacevic, Book Trailer and Audio Books, Stronger Than You Think – A Poem by Kyrena Lynch, Traditional Vs Self Publishing by Scott Semegran, Poetry Book, Events, Author Interviews – Ed Ireland, Will ‘O’ Wisp – Chapter Twelve by Bekka Abbott, Finding Your Path – Part One – Identifying your Hurdles by Sam Prigmore, Promote for FREE with Kaye Bewley, Recently Released Books, Poetry Page, Author Interview – Aaron Henley, Authors Supporting Charities, Teasers, HELP – Request from a Blogger Sponsored Advertisements
Claire Plaisted and Plaisted Publishing House and all their contractors would like to wish you all a
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
From the Editor’s Desk
IT’S OUR 2ND BIRTHDAY…
I CAN’T BELIEVE WHERE THE TIME HAS GONE. SO LET’S CELEBRATE AND SHARE THE GOOD NEWS.
In this issue you will find information which reflects how the group is used…We also have our second graphic artist/book cover designer in the spotlight. I do hope you like the magazine cover she designed.
Helping Indie Authors get their books published professionally Celebrating Two Years of the Indie Publishing News which just keeps on growing. We now have over 500 members to the group with 360 + signed up for the magazine. Let’s keep this movement going strong.
Look out for the educational and informational articles you’ll find spread through out this magazine. Don’t forget to join in the fun and send in articles for everyone to enjoy or learn from. The more we share, the better the team work, the better we become as writers.
Together Each Achieves More
Seriously 21st Century by Jane Risdon
Way back in the early 1970’s my husband and I took part in an aptitude test for computers, just for fun. Of course computers were basic then and some even filled whole warehouse sized spaces, even though they had the operating systems of a Casio calculator, but it seemed a good idea to find out if we would be up to using them, if ever we needed to. We both came out with 100% – we had just the right whatever it was (forgotten what) to work with them. Deep joy. Then we forgot all about computers.
The next time I was involved with computers was when I worked for a Government department – in personnel (HR) and every Monday part of my (and a colleague’s) considerable work in personnel included the tedious task of writing out instructions, alterations and updates for the personal records of the staff – who was leaving, joining, having leave, dying, marrying, gaining new scientific qualifications etc., and we’d put it into code (speak) and send it to the computer building – yes, building – a massive one, where one computer filled the whole space. It would take a week for the information to be programmed into the computer and for the print outs – yard and yards of it – to be sent back to us to action and update manual records. What a carry-on.
In the very early 1990’s adverts in Los Angeles – on TV and everywhere, as I recall – told us to prepare for the Super Information Highway: the Internet. Wow! We were impressed but thought nothing of it, being so involved with music, touring, and recording, it was something everyone else was interested in. And yet, it wasn’t long before we were using Mac Computers in the studio to actually record on to instead of reel to reel tape, which had to be cut and spliced when editing. It was easy to cut and loop using the Cu Base and Pro Tools systems. We – in the business – were even able to send music across the world via the internet and, as you’ve no doubt heard, to enable one musician to record and perform with another one in a studio half-way across the world simultaneously without ever being in the same place at the same time. I guess today we take it all for granted. But think on what a revolution it was for us in the recording industry alone!
While the idea of remote recording has been around for decades, it was traditionally done over dedicated ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network – lines, with tracks being recorded individually and built up layer by layer. This was expensive and therefore restricted to professional audio recording studios.
And for many years musicians emailed each other – sometimes very large – music files recorded using digital audio workstation (DAW) software, such as Apple’s Logic Pro, Steinberg’s Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, or Image-Line FL Studio. But faster broadband internet and mobile network speeds, plus improved audio compression codecs, have made online collaborations faster, easier and cheaper, and brought professional-quality remote recording facilities within reach of small businesses and “prosumers“.
However, I’d started working with computers long before all this. I had a Toshiba laptop in the late 1980’s – it wasn’t connected to the internet but I used it like a PC in many ways. So I knew my way around them. Fast forward to email, and then Facebook and so forth and I’ve messed around with them for a long time, groping my way through it all, without instructions and totally unwilling to read the manuals – anyone recall how thick those manuals were? But I got to grips with the basics and today I spend most of my time using a computer.
When I first indulged my yearnings to be a writer – let’s not go that far back here – I used to write my stories in longhand, then I progressed to an old Olivetti typewriter and yes, eventually a computer. I wrote for myself, in isolation, too terrified to show anyone my work; all my efforts were stored away on floppy disks.
We all know how fast and far technology has taken us since 1990 – the mind boggles. In the recording studio we moved from tape to digital audio tape (DAT) and everything was recorded for CD, vinyl having – until recently – sunk without much trace. Now everything is out there in cyber-space and is downloaded and uploaded via the internet and often a physical copy of a recording does not exist.
Writing has gone the same way for many. We write on a computer, we are edited by our publishers via computer and eventually a book may well be published for Kindle and e-readers only, never being actually printed in to a physical book. How things have changed from those days when we wrote in long-hand or banged away at a manual, then electric typewriter, making mistakes and keeping Tippex in business (owned by the mother of Pete Tork of the Monkees, by the way).
Christina Jones and I decided to write Only One Woman a long time ago and due to being on different continents most of that time, it wasn’t going to happen unless one of us moved near the other. But as time passed and the internet became more accessible, we managed it. It took some years to organise, but we finally (sort of) got together to write Only One Woman, and when we were both in the same country. Yet, we were never in the same county, town or room. Like those early days when we would record and send the music down the fibre optics to another studio in another country, Christina and I used modern technology. How cool are we! We wrote together on the internet, via email, text and Facebook messages – very 21st Century. We did not even have to chat on the phone.
Never in my wildest dreams, in the 1970’s, taking the computer aptitude test with my husband, for a laugh, did I ever imagine I’d make records using computers and I never, ever, thought that when I’d come to write ‘for real,’ I’d use the computer so much and would write with authors I’ve never met in so many other countries, and that these books would be published and purchased all on-line.
Christina and I could never have imagined, way back in the 1960’s, when we first thought about writing together, that we would eventually write a novel together without even being in the same room or county to do it. How seriously cool is that! How seriously 21st century are we!
Spotlight Graphic Artist – Melissa Ringuette
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I never know where to start with these kinds of things, so here goes… I was born and raised in a tiny town, in a small province in Canada. Though I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do at the time, I went to college to study Interior Design. I hated it. I wanted to be an architect or someone who simply draws the house plans, not someone who picks out drapes and wall colours. After a few years of working in that field, I was lucky enough to fall into graphic design, and years later, here we are. I have always had a passion for drawing. I loved technical work and am now able to combine my love of drawing and design as well as the technical aspects printing requires. So, all in all, everything happens for a reason. I’m now 40, a married mom to 3 kids aged 8, 10 and 17, and 9 fur babies. Monark Design Services was born out of necessity, but I now look at it as my job, my passion, and my hobby. I don’t update my social stuff as often as I should, but I’m working on it.
How did you get into graphic design?
I’ve always had a love for art in general and with my education, I got a job drawing technical drawing for an international signage manufacturer. With them, I took some classes, learned some things, and eventually moved to the graphics department. I moved on to many different areas of the graphic world after that. It’s been 16 years and I haven’t regretted it.
When did you start?
I started working with sign manufacturers, then moved on to printing. I have done signage, pamphlets, brochures, business cards, logos, book covers, magazine layouts, newspaper layouts, book formatting, and other things I’ve probably forgotten. I love starting a project and seeing it through from start to finish.
What inspires you?
Sometimes an image combined with what the client has told me will get me going, while other times, I get inspired by googling different things that have to do with the project. I always put a lot of emphasis in continuity and letting the client guide me so that they get exactly what they want within the realm of it being plausible, of course. When I do things for myself, like paint furniture, or making cute wood signs, I get inspired by what I see around me or Pinterest. Inspiration comes from everywhere, you just need to know how to lay it out to make it work. Or at least that’s been my theory.
Did you have any formal training?
Yes and no…Yes in the sense that I’ve taken courses and went to design school, but no in the sense that I never actually received a diploma in Graphic Design. I call myself a Graphic Artist as that describes what I do best.
Your favourite part of design?
I love starting new projects and seeing where they take me.
Least favourite part of design?
Billing. Taking money for my art has always been a challenge. I am a horrible business woman, though I am slowly trying to find my worth.
What’s your favourite tool?
I love drawing by hand, but haven’t done it in a while. Life takes up a lot of time away from activities that I love. Photoshop and anything computer related comes in a close second as I find that making things digitally and being able to manipulate them is pretty amazing.
Do you prefer working in black and white or colour?
I like both. I think they have their places depending on what sort of end product you’re looking for.
Do you stay with one canvas or have you tried others?
I’ve drawn, painted with oil, acrylic, and watercolours, stitched, cross-stitched, made vinyl cut outs and decals, scrapbooked, dabbled in woodworking…my canvasses are all over the place! I am a Jack of all trades, but master of none.
Please provide links and a couple of sample of your work:
Shiva XIV By Lyra Shanti
BEGIN A CLASSIC SCI-FI/FANTASY SERIES
Messiahs, warriors, scoundrels, vixens, royalty, mentors, and oracles light up the pages of Shiva XIV – Book One. Author, Lyra Shanti, brings all the colorful characters and wonders of new worlds to life in a brilliantly crafted opening to introduce an unknown planetary system in this classic sci-fi/fantasy series. The reader is led by the hand through a labyrinth of imagination – never feeling lost in understanding – but experiencing the pleasure of being lost in wonder.
The young man, Ayn, is a reluctant savior for a society run by priests obsessed by ancient traditions and questionable mythology. His sheltered upbringing creates difficult situations in dealing with a world outside the temple. There are factions determined to derail his rise to power.
A dramatic change in location and situation turns the narrative from a peaceful, spiritual celebration to survival on the brink of war. It leads to inter-planetary intrigue with page-turning maneuvers, betrayals, and daring escapes. Ayn’s scholarly priest as mentor is replaced with a free-spirit prince turned musician. His perspective of the universe and his own destiny takes a wild ride as the adventure evolves.
Understanding another universe brings insights into our own world. Our struggles are illuminated by the story of conflicts involving spiritual life, biological diversity, political power, reliance on science, and uncompromising cultures in Shiva XIV. Ms. Shanti dares to explore areas of controversy such as gender identity, complex sexuality, military aggression, and religious zealots. Lurking behind the story is the universal question – can the beauty of spiritual life exist without the brutality of physical power to protect it? The ability to relate these concepts to the reader comes from a deep understanding of world religions and spiritual matters.
After completing the reading of Shiva XIV, there will be an overwhelming desire for more – such as Book Two, Three, and Four. A sufficient cliff-hanger entices us to continue getting lost in the saga.
Reviewed by Alan Vandervoot
Father Winter – A Yule Story by Eric Tanafon
Fantastic – in both senses of the word!
In ‘Father Winter’, Eric Tanafon takes the reader on a magical journey to the Great White North in which ancient mysteries and secrets of life are revealed.
I chose this book because I enjoyed Tanafon’s ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ so much. I was delighted to discover another gem that I could treasure. Once again, I found the author’s writing is so expressive and evocative that the story played like a film in my mind as I was reading, especially the northern night scenes.
The characters are beautifully crafted and seem to spring to life off the page. Connor is a troubled teen and Holly his younger sister who just wants Connor to be on Father Winter’s “good” list. Through their respective journeys, they encounter a variety of people and creatures who help them to discover and achieve what they need to, each in their own different way.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough for any day of the year, but especially for December reading.
Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie
The Chinese culture belongs not only to the Chinese but also to the whole world
Pretty Guilty By K L Cottrell
A perfectly beautiful story.
K.L. Cottrell has such an amazing way with words. Her characters instantly jump off the page and the story immediately draws you in. She makes it so easy to fall in love with her characters, to feel their joy and sadness as your own. This story is laden with life lessons and really tugs at the heartstring
Reviewed by Ashley Uzzell
How to Write for Success by Brenda Mohammed
Author Brenda Mohammed gives the reader valuable nuggets of truth to use within their own writing career in How To Write For Success. There is a brief introduction listing the various books the author has written and her ability to encompass different types of literature. The purpose of this book is to show readers that the author has a passion to help other readers fulfill their lifelong dream of writing their own book. I really appreciated the personal stories on how the author writes her own material and how important research is, even before one begins to write. She also lists several Facebook groups she has joined to help promote both her material and herself as an author.
One of the best statements I appreciated within this book is: “A book description is your sales pages. It will sell your book. Make sure it is engaging and can turn a browse into a buy.” This is great and valuable information for a writer to understand. There is also listed the importance of copyrighting the material, getting an ISBN number, etc. Whoever gets the ISBN number is considered the publisher. The author has the choice of getting their own or letting the publisher get it for them. Pre-orders are very important to an author.
Creating excitement before the book is even printed is huge. There are also many listed things that one can do following publication. Branding yourself is also very important. People must know about you and your material, how to find it and consider reading it. I really enjoyed all the links provided in the e-book, allowing the reader to go to various publishers, writing aids, Facebook groups, etc. This is an asset to any writer at any level, given the detailed information, but for the beginner it is a must-have!
Reviewed by Darin Godby
The Titans of Ardana by J S Frankel
The Undernet’ brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil.
‘The Undernet’ brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil, and between truth and deceit as a young man seeks answers that seem determined to remain hidden.
Frankel has crafted realistic, likeable and engaging central characters in Milt and his girlfriend, Robbie. They’re not perfect, and their mistakes have consequences, which makes them easier to empathise with and understand. Insights into Milt’s thoughts and gut reactions, and his feelings about Robbie, draw the reader into the often very confronting story of his quest for justice and truth. Part of Frankel’s genius in casting this story is designing characters who live and work in the shadows, so that the reader has to keep questioning whether they are the good guys or the bad guys.
There are so many layers of intrigue and concealment in this story that the reader is kept curious and wanting to know, much like Milt throughout this story, seeing the truth despite layers of concealment and misinformation. In this sense, the Undernet and the Dark Net take on the roles of additional impersonal characters that deliberately obscure reality in this story, just as they seem to in actual fact.
Some parts of The Undernet are definitely uncomfortable to read. In graphic contrast to the sincere and honest friendship Milt has with Robbie and with his best friend, Simon, Frankel gives his readers a solidly-written exposè of the dark side of human nature as one is likely to find it on the dark side of the internet – or anywhere. This is delivered with confronting realism and honesty. Through all of this, It was the strong identification I felt with Milt’s “ordinary person” response to the ugly side of life that enabled me to keep reading and hoping for him to find the resolution he was so desperate to find
Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie
The Rabbi’s Gift by Chuck Gould
Headstrong and independent, Mary is of age to marry, but rejects all suitors even as her father frets more and more over her future. She has yet to realize the deep feelings already stirring in her heart for Yusuf—a lowly craftsman conscripted to construct a mosaic centerpiece for a new addition to her wealthy father’s estate in this striking retelling of the Nativity story.
Stunningly beautiful in its telling, “The Rabbi’s Gift” is an alternative biblical tale about Jesus’ parents explained not form a religious view, but based on historical record, Jewish mysticism, and Babylonian astrology. Highly compelling and intriguing, “The Rabbi’s Gift” ultimately reveals the destinies of those surrounding the birth of Christ in a way that peaks one’s curiosity while stimulating the imagination. Well researched and brilliantly detailed, Gould’s novel provides a glimpse into life at the turn of the millennia—during the period immediately preceding the 1stcentury CE—when Judea and Galilee were both under Roman occupation and Herod the Great ruled the region as their installed puppet-king.
Rich in detail and lavish in its descriptions, “The Rabbi’s Gift” grabs the reader’s interest with characters that make one feel as though they are alive and present and scenery that often makes one gawk in awe.
Gould brings to life the familiar venue in which this storyline takes place in such a way as to ease the reader into reconsidering the biblically recorded events leading up to the Nativity. His retelling is strikingly honest and realistic as he points to the many historical events and records serving to bolster his tale while staying true to the basic themes associated with the gospel accounts. In both Miriam (Mary) and Yusuf (Joseph) readers will find that the foundations of Jesus’ education are clear. Miriam and Yusuf not only demonstrate the privileges of the rich but detail the daily struggles of everyday people in their time. In Miriam, we see a great yearning for freedom, understanding, and education, while Yusuf exudes a calm sense of practicality, perseverance, and determination. Both reach for their goals no matter what obstacles get in their way. These are the qualities plant the seeds for Jesus’ rebellious political and religious views and form the very foundations of his future mission.
I thoroughly enjoyed this inspired read and I highly recommend it to anyone searching for an understanding of how life was in the time of Jesus as well as how the foundations of his ministry may have been formed. It is a charming telling of two people who overcame all the odds to find love and happiness in a world dependent on strict social standards and traditions. In the end, this novel proves that love does conquer all.
Reviewed by J B Richards
The First Christmas by J B Richards
An Illuminating Story!
JB Richards’ short in the genre of historical fiction, “The First Christmas,” shines brightly. Like the Star of Bethlehem, the author’s storytelling prowess relates the most plausible story with regard to the birth of Yeshua, the Christ child destined to become “King of Kings”. Told in firstperson narrative by James bar Joseph, Yeshua’s eldest brother by six years at the time of the Messiah’s birth, the lad dispels the stuff on which myths and legends are construed:
“What if I told you that the traditional Christmas, as you now call it, didn’t at all happen the way you believe it did?”
This standalone also serves as a bridge to the first novel in the Yeshua and Miri series, ‘Miriamne the Magdala’. I, for one, was happy to encounter once more, Dod Micah Abram—the Commander—a no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy who just happens to be Miri’s dad.
I highly recommend this illuminating and plausible story infused with realism and steeped in the history of the times, yet very easy to digest by those of us looking for an engaging story with meaningful impact long after the last page has been turned.
When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters.
One represents danger and the other represents opportunity
J F Kennedy
Destiny Revealed by Cris Pasqueralle
Great book, welcome to an amazing fantasy thriller
Great read that adults, young adults and children will love. Jack and Maddie are twins and upon the thirteenth birthday they are given an amazing present, they find put that they are not who they thought they were. The twins, their parents and a few relations are all part of a wizard group.
On the day the twins learn the secret they learn another about evil wizards when Tardon, the leader of bad wizards takes off with the twins parents and the adventure begins. great story with an amazing writing style that makes the reading fun and compelling.
Their is plenty of mystery, action and supernatural to satisfy readers of all ages.
Reviewed by P S Winn
Who Put Her In by Jane Jago
A gripping thriller.
‘Who Put Her In?’ is a gripping mystery/thriller that is very hard to put down. Set in an old English pub, populated by relatable and engaging characters, this is a book that draws the reader in and has them stay right to the end.
The story revolves around Joss and Ben, who take on running a pub for two weeks while the owners take a vacation, and find themselves confronting the various problems that have been haunting the establishment for some time.
Jane Jago delivers the story from the matter-of-fact, no nonsense perspective of Joss, whose personality makes it possible for the reader to take in the depths of depravity and the shocks of the story without personally taking them on board.
One does not get far into the story before feeling as though they know Joss and Ben quite well, and the story unfolds quite seamlessly around the reader who is included as an observer.
I enjoyed this book so much that I was happy to forgive the occasional typographical error as I was reading. In fact, I felt a little sad to be leaving the Fair Maid and Falcon at the end of it all.
Reviewed by Maple Leaf Aussie
Dreamland by Julie E Clements
I love fairytales… really, really great fairytales. They take you to magical faraway places where you can be anyone, or anything, you want to be and do anything you want to do. Dreams, like fairytales, are much the same, and so is the basis for Julia E. Clements’ fantastic child adventure, “Dreamland”.
10-Year-old Daniel Green travels to Dreamland each night in his sleep, courtesy of a Silver Ticket, where he creates an amazing adventure using only his imagination. But an evil follows him and joins forces with Stregona, a powerful witch who reigns over the Dark Forest. Stregona and her minions are out to destroy Dreamland and Danny must stop them.
What a fantastic tale this is. Her journey into the psyche of Danny is not the only thing that glued me to this story. The characters populating Dreamland are so real, you feel as though you could share a cotton candy with them, and her original and unique plot line—one I have not seen in any other fairytale—is a heavenly mix of whimsy, solemnity, and determination as Danny struggles to keep things together and discover the source of his strength.
“Dreamland” is rife with delightful magical creatures and unforgettable characters who guide the reader through an imaginative adventure they won’t soon forget. I highly recommend this absorbing read for anyone lucky enough to be gifted a Silver Ticket.
Reviewed by J B Richards
Secret by Ashley Uzzell
Between the bookshelf and the mattress of the bed. That’s where she hid it. Her secret. The one thing in this house of constant noise and madness that was hers and hers alone. She was extra careful when she retrieved it and even more so when she returned it to its hiding place. No one must know. No one must see.
Barbara was sure that her brothers would waste it. They would squander the gift their late mother had given her. And Mother hadn’t given it to them anyway. It was hers. All hers.
They hadn’t tended to mother when she was dying. They hadn’t bathed her or changed her bedsheets. They hadn’t helped her to the bathroom or made her meals. Her brothers were too busy with their own lives. Mother hadn’t minded, somehow.
“Let them play, Barbara. You should be out enjoying yourself, too.”
“But I want to help you, Mother!”
Mother patted Barbara’s head and lay back on her pillow. “You need to let me go.”
But she couldn’t. Mother was everything to Barbara. The only one in this house who understood her. The only one who didn’t mock her for being a little strange, a little different than the other girls her age.
“Why can’t you just wear a dress and braid your hair like a normal girl?” Grandma always asked.
But Barbara wasn’t normal. And that was okay with Mother. Mother didn’t care. Mother understood.
A few days before her mother died, she handed Barbara the envelope, the scent of vanilla wafting from her hands even now, at the end. “Inside is something special just for you. You keep it and take it out and hold it close when you feel lonely. Just remember, that I will be right there with you.”
Barbara immediately hid it away. It was her secret. Something from Mother, just for her. After the funeral, when Grandma moved in, things changed. Barbara now had to wear dresses and braids. She had to play with other little girls. She wasn’t allowed to stay inside and read books all evening. She had to be normal now.
But when she was alone, she snuck the envelope from that space between the mattress and bookshelf and held it over her heart. Mother was still there. Mother still loved her. Mother knew she was special.
Things grew harder for her. Fitting in was difficult when she just wasn’t like the others. Every night now, she pulled the envelope out and pressed it to her chest. It was getting worn around the edges so she had to be careful. She would cry silently until she felt a warmth in her body. Mother was in the room with her.
Soon, Barbara was pulling the envelope out two and three times a day. She needed Mother more than ever now. She was being bullied in school and her brothers wouldn’t stick up for her. Grandma was popping her hand when she wasn’t acting lady-like. She needed Mother. She needed her special secret.
Then, the day came when her eldest brother found her with the envelope. She hurriedly tried to hide it away again but he snatched it from her and ran through the house with it. “Grandma! Barbara has something from Mother that she’s hiding!” She ran out to find Grandma holding the envelope, her face angry. “What are you hiding? What did she give you?” “No! It’s mine! Mother gave it to me!” Barbara tried to take it back but her grandmother brushed her aside. She ripped the envelope open and Barbara shrieked. Huge tears ran in valleys down the girl’s face as she watched in horror.
“No! You can’t!”
But it was too late. Grandma pulled a piece of paper from the envelope, glanced at it for a moment, and shook her gray head at the sobbing girl. “Foolish child!” She dropped the paper and envelope to the floor and stomped out of the room. Before her brothers could get it, Barbara grabbed the paper and opened it up. It said but one word.
She pressed the paper to her heart, her sobs louder now. She thought of her mother but she didn’t feel that special warmth she usually did. Mother didn’t come. Mother wasn’t here anymore.
Dark Words by Paul White
Dark Tales, Darker Poetry Dark days come to us all at some time in our lives. Heartbreak, grief, fear, loss, pain and anxiety collide and conspire, individually and collectively to bring us down. We feel the battles rage within ourselves; they fight and scream in a tortured anguish of emotional turmoil. Solace is often found alone, in dimly lit rooms, with mellow songs playing over and again.
Reading Dark words, sharing the pain within these tales, help us dry our own tears, to drive away the clouds of uncertainty and crush the demons which haunt our souls. To accept and acknowledge the blackest days of our lives often reveals the pathway from the shadow maze of obscure reflection, into the sunlight of possible future. Dark days come to us all, at some time in our lives. They are not the place for us to dwell for too long. They are not our home.
Challenges for the Blind Reader, Blogger & Writer – Patty L Fletcher
I’d like to talk to you about challenges I run into on a regular basis as someone who is a blind Reader, Author, and Blogger. Each day as I make my way through things like social media, email, and reading blogs, the most frequent problem I have is things not being visible to my screen reader, or Apple Voice Over.
Some of the hardest things I deal with are…
• Photos with “No available text”
• Not being able to read memes
• Not being able to read screenshots
• Info Graphics
• And one of my latest annoyances, promotional videos with no audio or available text to let me know what the video is about.
I do not feel that people are doing these things on purpose. I simply believe that if a person is not directly affected by an issue, they give it no thought. How many of you, who are sighted thought about adding descriptions to your book cover photos etc. before you started reading me? If I had to guess, not many.
As a person who spends most of her time on some kind of social media platform I find great joy when I can read a post no matter if it is on a blog, Facebook wall, or in an email.
I love it when I can download an E-Book, and my Kindle App reads it because the author took the time to make certain that the Text to Speech (TTS) was enabled, and I hop up and down with joy, when someone remembers to write a brief description of a photo they just shared. Now, let me just say, I have no idea how to tell if there is, “All Available Text” with a photo that you might wish to share. I can only tell you what types of photos that my screen reader software reads. So far it appears, (Sorry couldn’t help it) that snapshots taken with a camera most times will read. For example, one time someone took a picture of their little boy sitting with Campbell in his dog bed, and when they texted me the picture the Apple Voice Over said, “Photo may contain child dog, and indoor.” I thought that was pretty cool.
At Christmas this year, when people took photos of their Christmas Trees it actually said, “Photo may contain Christmas
Tree with packages.” That, is way far out! It also Appears, (Whoops did it again)😊 That more and more ads are including
“All Available text”
Screenshots do not read at all, and photos such as what come in “Gifts” on messenger, don’t do a thing for me. All I get is a notification that says, “Photo may contain text” (Boring) Again, this is not anyone’s fault. It hasn’t been that long ago since I could not read emoticons, or stickers, and when I finally became able to do so for a while I became addicted to them. In fact, I wish my computer had buttons on it that would allow me to do them because I cannot ever remember all the keystrokes for emoticons, and I love them. 😊
There are a lot of challenges for those who are sight impaired, and while we have come a far long way, there is still a huge way to go. ☹
I deal with lots of other challenges as well. Not long ago I got a message from someone telling me that something I posted was off center. I was glad they told me because had they not done so I’d have not known it. I try to make sure things I post are visually appealing, but sometimes it simply escapes what my screen reader technology will do, and even though I am careful about checking margins and the like, sometimes, especially when copying and pasting, things just do not go where I want them.
I also have issue with spelling words that sound the same but have different spellings. While spell-check has come a long way toward remedying that troublesome issue, it too is lacking. If someone can suggest a program that might catch more of those I’ll dance at your wedding if you’d tell me about it. Of course, said program is going to have to work with my screen reader, so it is going to be trial and error
Sometimes when I am writing I forget about paragraph structure, and then there are times when a post would do so much better grabbing people’s attention if only it had a photo with it but because so many of the images on the sites where we get images from do not read, I’ve no way to know what I might be posting.
So, how to over-come all these challenges? By raise awareness!
I’m not complaining, nor am I whining. I am just trying to let people know where I am at in the scheme of things. I see a lot of blind persons chatting about this in blindness related groups etc. but I do not see enough conversations happening in the mainstream society, and so I have determined that this year I am going to try and bring us all together a bit more.
I’d also like to add, that totally blind, or visually impaired persons are not the only disabled writers who face challenges, and I’d love to hear from some of you who have other disabilities as to what your challenges are!
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
YA Book Reviews
With magic, action, discovering new worlds and tons of adventure, this is an exciting tale which promises to become the first step in a great series.
Maggie is dead. Or so she thinks. Killed in battle, she’s not surprised to find herself in the world of the dead, but she quickly learns she hasn’t landed in the Underworld at all. Rather, she’s been yanked away into the mythical Siren’s realm. Magic is the currency, and Maggie is smart enough to want to hold onto hers. Hiding it, she works to survive like a non-magic person, using her hands and strength to trade for needed goods. Except one person seems to have caught on to her secret. Little does she realize that this man is about to open up more adventure to her than she ever dreamed possible.
In some ways, this reminded me of Doctor Who, except from the stand point of the Doctor’s assistant. Maggie’s unexpectedly pulled into a world, where an unseen, very powerful Siren dictates existence. The reader discovers the rules of this world along with Maggie, a place where a mere wish becomes reality, a paradise for most. But Maggie is a practical person, who knows not to trust anyone or anything at face value. She has a big heart, and a very good moral compass. Her determination and down-toearth decisions make her a heroine to cheer for the whole way through.
The Doctor (in my comparison) is a strong magic wielder who has been in the Siren’s realm for quite awhile, Bertrand. He’s a mysterious man, older (so no romantic interests per say), holds a polite air, and comes across as wise…but maybe not always as right as he appears to be. The relationship between Maggie and him isn’t simple, but he’s the one who opens up the wonders of traveling between worlds and is her ‘guide’. His aloft attitude and constant words of wisdom add a wonderful contrast to Maggie’s character to form a duo worth a series.
The plot itself is refreshing and full of surprises. The author takes time for Maggie to find her place in the Siren’s realm, letting this complex world develop fully before taking Maggie onto the main adventure. Maggie’s character is fully unfolded, letting the reader get to know her well while keeping a high level of mystery, adventure and tension. Then, the next world takes hold and the next adventure kicks in, which offers another developed world, more interesting characters, and, for Maggie, even a possible, romantic relationship.
It’s refreshing to enter a series, where there isn’t one main plot line, but rather changing ones as Maggie encounters new adventures. The characters change as well, but that doesn’t mean that they come across shallow. Rather, they gained their own depth and uniqueness. Each one has their own relationship with Maggie and leaves an impact on her (and the reader). It’s constant development with the promise of much more to come. And all of this is wrapped up with constant discovery, tense moments of action, unexpected surprises, and constant high-stakes with life on the line. I can’t wait to see where Maggie and Bertrand go next.
Reviewed by T. Drecker
Franky the Finicky Flamingo
What a lovely children’s book, fun for kids and helpful to parents whose children are fussy about food.
In a very gentle way, through rhyme and colourful illustrations, without laying blame or preaching, the author guides us, along with Franky, to the realization why food is important (I love the metaphor about the colour fading, which is also why the illustrations are rich in colour elsewhere). Furthermore, the children are shown that not all kinds of food are good for everyone, and the goal is to find what is healthy for your particular body and lifestyle.
Eating suitable and healthy food lets you live an active, fun-filled life, and share your adventures with your friends and family. And keep your ‘colours’:). I can see this book used by parents, teachers, even nutritionists, especially in kindergartens. Another good one, Ms Luthman!
Reviewed by Anita Kovacevic
Paora Panadelo – Author
I’m a retired journalist/sub editor/columnist turned author who after enjoying lazing about for a few years decided to ‘put pen to paper’ and write a yarn embracing the early decades of my life. Consequently about eighteen months ago ‘enthusiastically’ encouraged by my wife Alison I undertook the venture. Once started I found it flowed and eight months later I took a professional editor on board to help prepare the book for print.
The driving force in my endeavours was to produce a book to entertain the reader and to this end the critique would suggest this has been achieved. The book ( 50,000 words, 212 pages) is called ‘Caught Up In Time’ written under my pen name Paora Panadelo ( my Maori/ Spanish heritage) and as I have indicated is set in the decades from the 1940s to the 1970s.
While a work of fiction, the characters were developed from the personalities of real people and their real life experiences. Life in these years had a profound effect on those living through these times and finding an identity in a world still shellshocked with the residue of global conflict and the enormity of the after-effects of the war was a daunting challenge. Although the effects filtered through all sectors of the community, often with negative repercussions, it became an accepted way of life. The damage these times had on the lives of baby boomers, and the trials and tribulations that touched innocent victims, can never be under-estimated, and like all times of conflict it exposes the folly of war. The most rewarding experience in undertaking this book was bringing back to life the rich personalities of some of the characters I knew and loved through these post-war years.
I have attempted to bring some understanding of these turbulent years of childhood and youth while growing up in a world not experienced by today’s generation, and perhaps now a distant memory of some who lived in it. The book was written in the third person and I placed myself in one of the characters. As you may gather, as far as editing is concerned my work skills as a sub-editor were an enormous help and only hiring an editor for the ‘finesse’ was required. As indicated this was my first book although I was published a number of times for short stories in a national weekly magazine in the early 1990s and wrote regular columns in the newspaper I was employed in for twenty odd years 1990 -2010.
Although in my 70s this endeavour has resurrected my enthusiasm to write and led me to commence working on a new book which ‘The good Lord willing’ I hope to complete in about six months time. This is also a work of fiction based on real characters and I’m finding it both intriguing and rewarding. My books are obviously targeted at a mature audience, however they will be enlightening to a younger audience looking beyond the ‘fast expendable’ world of today.
I self-published ‘Caught Up In Time’ and did most of my own marketing selling privately and through bookshops which can be hard work. I promote the book through my blog http://www.paorapanadelo.wordpress.com or my facebook site- author paora panadelo. The book can be purchased direct from me by sending address details to email@example.com and depositing NZ$19.90 in my bank account details of which I will give to prospective buyers via email.
Copies can also be purchased through McLeods bookshop, Rotorua and Atlantis bookshop, Rotorua and Hedleys bookshop, Masterton. I am currently looking for other avenues of sale such as Amazon.
My favourite writers include Oscar Wilde, George Orwell and J.C.Krishnamurti.
Personally I was born in Lower Hutt on the 1st January 1940, the first of the fifth generation born in New Zealand after my ancestor George Baker arrived from England on the ‘Lady Nugent’ in 1840. All five generations were still living at the time of my arrival. On my mother’s side I trace back directly to the Te Atiawa paramount chief Te Whiti O’Rongamai and have a whakapapa that extends back eleven generations.
I worked at many varied occupations as a youngster learning about life and people. Later I got ‘hooked’ and settled down as a welfare officer for the old Post Office for twenty years where I cared for the interests of over 500 staff members, When I took voluntary redundancy after the P.O. corporised I began writing short stories that led me to be initially employed at the Wairarapa Times Age newspaper as a feature writer before moving into editorial as a sub editor and columnist where I remained for twenty years until I retired. I was married for 42 years before my first wife Annabelle an exotic and characteristic woman passed away and have been to married to Alison a giving and caring woman for nine years.
I never had children of my own ( except a DNA test pending :-)) but inherited five children from Alison and too many mokos and grand mokos to count! – my contribution to the whanau was my cat Cheeky
I have had extensive world travel and Alison and myself have a love for Cruise ships and to this end we have been on eight cruises from around the Pacific to around the Mediterranean.
Kelly Smith Reviews
That News Guy by Jenn Nixon
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that Nixon was writing contemporary romance, after reading Tiva Boon and the first MIND book. Plus, contemporary hetero romance is usually not my thing, but I gave it a shot and was so glad that I did!
The story centers around Trapper, a news reporter with a jaded past who needs to get in shape to travel to a war zone for a journalism project, and Jessica, a thick
(she’s not fat, she’s thick) woman who works at the Smoothie Bar in the gym Trapper attends.
The story starts with their meet-cute, where Jessica is so starstruck she’s nearly speechless. Right off the bat I liked her. She’s intelligent, witty, and extremely realistic. She doesn’t let her weight bring her down, either. Despite heading into her forties, she’s portrayed as a sexy, vivacious, spunky female lead. As someone who is of a similar body type, I loved seeing a woman like her as a sexy heroine and think that other authors should follow suit.
Without giving too much away, think of this book as a Hallmark movie with sex. There’s instant attraction (but NOT insta-love, thankfully), cute banter, first dates, and extremely emotional blow-ups. At one point, I had tears in my eyes and was worried for one character’s survival rate.
The secondary characters are also something to talk about. Trapper’s so-called “friend” needed a good beating, but his other friend who owns a restaurant was really likable. Rava, a trainer and friend of Jessica’s, was by far my favorite character. I really, really want a spin-off with her!
All in all, this was a great book with hot sex, deep emotions, great characters, and tackles body-image issues in a profound, very realistic way. Jenn Nixon has a real winner here, and one of the best romances I’ve read in a while.
Treaters by CJ Rutherford
A fantastic read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s an amazing mix of horror, fantasy and romance, with plenty of action. It grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go until you reach the end…And what an ending – I didn’t see that coming.
The treaters are out to destroy all humankind and something else is destroying all life on earth.
After the death of his friends, Jaz is left to survive the end of the world on his own, until he meets Jennifer. They may be the only two people left on earth after the treater’s invasion.
Thanks to CJ Rutherford’s descriptive writing, I joined Jaz and Jennifer (and Tray, the dog) as they ran, hid, survived attacks and fell in love.
This is an awesome book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
**I first came across CJ Rutherford’s Treaters when it was a short story in The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology which I read and reviewed in October, 2015.
Since then CJ Rutherford has taken that short story and turned it into this terrific novel.
Secret Method To Choosing Amazon Book Categories In KDP By Dave Chesson
The Amazon book categories you choose will have a direct effect on whether or not you become an Amazon Best Seller. Choose the wrong one, and no matter how many books you sell, you won’t become an Amazon bestseller.
In truth, there is a lot more to choosing Amazon book categories in KDP, like secret kindle categories that Amazon doesn’t tell you about when publishing, and the simple fact that you can actually be listed for 7 extra categories legitimately.
That’s right, not just two or three categories like 99% of authors think. And in this article, I will show you all of that, plus more.
In this article, over the next few magazine you will learn:
Exactly what categories can do for your book
How to find the best categories to make you a bestseller
Secret Kindle Categories and how to get them
How to show up in 7 categories, not just 3
There’s also a tool that will do all of this for you as well, but I’ll show you the free way of doing it first.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO BECOME A #1 BESTSELLING AMAZON AUTHOR?
Being a number #1 bestseller on Amazon isn’t just about the cool points, it also helps you sell more books as well. However, how does an author not only make sure they make that rank, but keep it too? Well, let’s dive into how Amazon chooses which book is the #1 bestseller of a category.
It all starts with your book’s Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR).
Shows you where to find the Amazon Best Seller Rank number
Amazon assigns the ABSR of a book based on how many sales or downloads it has had over a certain period of time as compared to all other books on the Amazon market. A lower number means that the book is selling better than others, and a higher number means it isn’t.
So, how does this help us with Amazon Book Categories?
If your book has the LOWEST ABSR of all books in a category, then you are the #1 best seller in that category. It is that simple. So, choosing your kindle categories or book categories will have a direct effect on whether or not you become a bestseller.
Here’s An Example:
If you choose a category where the #1 book in that category has an ABSR of 2,000, then you’d need to have an ABSR or 1,999 or less in order to be the new #1. Using my kindle calculator, you’d find out that you’d need to sell over 90 books per day to reach that.
However, if you choose a category where the #1 book has an ABSR of 70,000, then all you need is an ABSR of 69,999 or less.
Again, using my calculator, that’s only 3 books a day.
Big difference, right? 90 books vs 3 books?
So, the category you choose has a DIRECT effect on whether you’ll become an Amazon Best Seller and get that attractive bestseller tag.
I’m now an Amazon bestseller. So, I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.
So, with that, let’s look at how you can find legitimate Amazon Book Categories for both Kindle and Book, and start making more sales because of it.
NEXT MONTH – HOW TO FIND THE AMAZON BOOK CATEGORIES
There are three steps to finding out how to choose a good kindle category or Amazon book category.
Darling Layla by Lily Luchesi
“Rock-a-bye-baby … in the treetop…”
Layla paused, unsure of how the song ended. It had never been sung to her as a baby. She gently brushed the doll’s pretty blonde hair back and smiled at it. At the age of sixteen she’d never had a doll before. Never been allowed toys at all. Mummy thought toys were vain things given to naughty children by sinning parents. So Mummy never got her a doll, a teddy bear, anything. The cuddliest thing Layla had ever had was a pillow, and even those had been fairly rocklike.
Threadbare dresses and sensible shoes had been all she knew. She never had friends, only Mummy and the old lady who would babysit sometimes. The same lady who had given her the doll tonight. She was nicer than Mummy…
“The doll needs care, Layla,” Marie said. “She’s made of porcelain, and it was all your mother would permit me to give to you for your birthday. You mustn’t drop her. She’ll break.”
Now she sat alone in her barren room, cradling the doll which was the brightest, prettiest thing that had ever entered their little shack of a house.
The front door slammed, and that meant Mummy was home and Marie was gone.
“Layla?” Mummy called. Then she hiccuped. She’d had the Bad Stuff while she was out. Mummy was always telling her how the things that came in glass bottles with an amber hue contained the Bad Stuff, yet she always drank it. It didn’t make any sense.
“It’s bedtime. You had better be ready.”
“Okay, Mummy. Marie made sure I was.”
Her mother came to the open bedroom door, listing to the side.
“What is that?” she asked, her voice deadly and low. It never failed to send a shiver down Layla’s spine.
“The doll Marie gave me. The one made of … glass. Because I always wanted a doll.” Layla, having never been to a proper school, couldn’t recall the word “porcelain”.
Mummy just sniffed, her upper lip pulled up in a sneer and her blue eyes bloodshot. “Get to bed. Now.”
Layla nodded and quickly leapt under the covers, leaving her new doll next to her on the pillow, not too close to the edge, just like Marie had said.
Mummy brought her a glass of warm milk, her steps unsteady. She spilled a little on Layla’s thin blanket. “Thank you, Mummy.”
“Drink it all.”
She did, tasting bittersweet honey in the cup. It was unusual of Mummy to be so nice. The last time she had was when Layla had taken in a stray kitten from the backyard. She’d given it to Layla at bedtime, and when Layla had woken in the morning, the kitten was never seen again.
Poor kitty, she thought as her limbs began to feel heavy and her thought process became sluggish. I wonder whatever happened to her?
It must have been late at night when she woke, her head heavy. There were voices yelling. “What do you want? It’s three in the morning and you’re drunk as a skunk.” That was Marie.
“I told you she’s not allowed to have dolls! Vicious little tokens of vanity! How dare you disobey me?” Mummy screamed.
“When you weren’t drunk you said it was fine if I gave her one, as long as it wasn’t soft, whatever the reason for that! Abigail, I love that little girl but you’ve abused her far too much!” Marie said. “You need serious help.” “Fuck you, you old bitch,” Mummy hissed.
Layla had never heard those words before and gasped. She knew they were bad by the way Mummy had said them.
“I should take this hammer to you instead of this!” There was a loud shattering sound, like glass breaking. Layla looked next to her and saw her doll was gone. She knew Mummy was destroying her doll.
Maybe it was the drug in her system that Mummy put in the milk, maybe it was all the years of being whipped and locked in this vile house, but something in Layla snapped at that moment she heard her beloved doll being destroyed. She got out of bed and yelled for Mummy.
In the kitchen-slash-living room, Mummy was holding a hammer over the doll, its pretty face smashed to pieces.
“No! My dolly!” Layla cried, tears springing to her eyes. “Why do you do this to me, Mummy? Why can’t I have a doll to play?” “Go to sleep, Layla,” Mummy said.
“You drank the bad stuff. Just like when my kitten disappeared,” Layla said.
“Flea-ridden monster. It scratched my face even as I drowned it,” Mummy said with a sneer. “You’re an evil little girl and you don’t need these things to bring vanity and joy!”
“I’m not evil!” Layla cried. Something inside the girl, who was sixteen but had the mind of a five-year-old, broke open and she ran, screaming at Mummy.
Marie cried out, perhaps to stop. Layla wasn’t sure. She ran into Mummy, but Mummy was bigger and knocked her back into the table. Marie screamed something again, and Mummy turned and hit her over the head with her hammer. She fell to the ground with a thump, blood soaking her wispy white hair.
Layla scrambled to stand, knowing that Mummy would hit her next. She grabbed a piece of her doll’s broken face and lunged forward, embedding the sharp porcelain into Mummy’s throat.
Mummy gagged and gasped, blood coming at her lips and at the wound. She, too, fell to the ground, her jugular pierced by the doll she had just shattered.
Both women were still, and Layla stood in place, marvelling at the sense of quiet that came over the house.
Her doll’s face was broken, but its body was intact. She picked it up and rocked it, soothing it as a good mother would soothe a baby. Now it was quiet. No one was drinking the Bad Stuff, and Layla could play as much as she wanted.
That was where the police found her the next morning, after Marie had been reported missing, surrounded by two dead women, rocking her doll as blood soaked her knees.
Anita Kovacevic – Author
Tell us about yourself.
This is the one I should not start with the pronoun ‘I’, right;)? Business etiquette and all that. Well… no-can-do. My name is Anita Kovačević (due various font issues, I use my surname without the full symbols) and I live, work and write in Croatia, and am Croatian. My stories have been around for quite some time now, as I have often used my children’s stories in the storytelling parts of my English lessons, but I have only gotten into the self-publishing world since 2014. I write various genres, and I have so far been honoured with invitations to several published anthologies, both for children and adults. The latest of my participations in a children’s anthology is The Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories by Plaisted Publishing House.
On a personal note, it is my firm belief that kindness changes the world and that reading inspires empathy and kindness. Plus, something that is highly underestimated – having fun is just as important as being serious.
What bought you to the world of writing?
Now that I think back, I have always loved stories – telling them, reading them, writing them. Even as a primary school kid I used to write poetry, plays and stories. During my entire education and professional life, storytelling, reading and writing have always been an integral part of my way of living. My husband and I used to tell our son bedtime stories, not just read them but invent them on the spot. Our son would pick up two toys, usually dinosaurs, and say: “OK, tell me a story about these guys.” Now that he’s a teenager, our daughter has taken on a similar role. She has just inspired me to write a new children’s story. Again. A good friend of mine once said something that has kept me afloat in this chaotic bliss of publishing; she said I should never give up writing and publishing because it is an extraordinary gift I am leaving behind for my children. Without me being aware of it, teaching has taught me how to pull children into stories, and training teachers has helped me pull adult readers into the story. Everybody and everything has a story, and stories reveal so much more about ourselves than we are aware. Not that my stories are all autobiographical – they simply show how I feel the world and what matters to me, whether it’s because I love it or it torments me.
My initial attempts at getting published happened during my first blogging sessions on my old blog (Average woman… or maybe not), where I got great comments on my work, and when I participated in the Inner Giant charity anti-bullying project, many of my friends encouraged me to self-publish. So I tried, and here I am – 3 years later, 15 titles on my Amazon author’s page, plus Teaching Children from the Heart and Inner Giant (charity books I participated in, not visible on my author’s page). The writers’ community has also been far more supporting than I could have anticipated. In fact, I had no idea there was such a huge writers’ community out there. Once you publish and get honest and kind feedback on your writing from professionals, it has to add wind beneath your wings. So thank you to all writers and readers!
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book was my children’s book Winky’s Colours. It’s a chapter book about a little penguin who leaves his home to find colours. I have to say it will always be special for me, because it started as a story for my little learners of English and developed through live storytelling sessions, so I know how much impact it has on children. Even my colleagues often tell it to children and the response is wonderful. Naturally, now that I’ve learned more about formatting, design and marketing, I know what I would improve and where I would invest in professional help. But the story itself would not change and I am extremely proud of that. The most important thing about any book is the story. No spectacular cover or miraculous marketing tricks can help if your story is void of content, purpose or character.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
The children’s books I write have become sort of a brand because I write them from my experience as a teacher and a mother, but also as a teacher trainer who works a lot with other teachers and parents. I know how much it matters to involve the children while reading, and this is something a lot of the parents (and teachers) out there would love to try but simply don’t know how to start. Therefore each of my children’s books contains simple follow-up questions after each chapter. They do not test comprehension or vocabulary retention, but get the children to think about a given issue in a creative and pro-active way, to assess problems critically and think about solutions. Mind you, you can always skip the questions if you wish; there are only about 4-5 every time, and they don’t influence story comprehension or change the flow. I also add riddles, wordplay, rhymes or colouring pages. My illustrations are simple. Much as I love beautifully illustrated children’s books, I have found that children are fine with having just the basic images if the story pulls them in – they can and do invent everything else. Imagination is a beautiful flower and needs to be nurtured into growth.
As for my poetry and adult books, they have somehow developed their own publishing pace with children’s books – they respect each other and each take their turn. Somehow it seems I publish a kidlit, then adult, then short stories or poetry, and then the cycle is repeated. I don’t write with a marketing agenda. I write that story which wakes me up at night and doesn’t let me sleep till it’s out on paper. To be honest, I always have several works in progress in my notebooks and computer, which I find frustrating (manuscript hoarder might be the diagnosis), but the story which has the strongest hold on my mind gets to be the one which is finished, edited and fine tuned into an ebook or paperbook. The first one was The Threshold, my semi-horror novella about vanity and its cost. It was so well received that I was surprised and stories just kept flowing after that. Interestingly enough, although my latest novel The Forest of Trees took 7 years to come to life, its first version was finished way before I wrote and published my light romantic comedy Average Daydreamer. The thing is that The Forest of Trees took such a toll on my mind that Priscilla, the main character from Average Daydreamer, came to me as that cheerful, somewhat annoying friend, who whispers into your ear to get up and shake off the blues until you give in and obey it, so I wrote her story abnormally fast and she went through several edits, but saw the light of day within a year. I will always be grateful to her for picking me up with her playful tone and giving me the strength to grab The Forest and publish it. As for poetry, I’ve been writing it for years and I guess time has come to collect, dust off and organise it. So far, two collections are out there, with my fantasy poetry still waiting final edits. Short stories are a particular challenge to write, so I am currently putting together two collections, a light and dark side of me, so to say. But it all takes a lot of time and dedication, so we’ll see what comes to life first.
As for my readers’ needs and whether my stories fulfill them… Ha-ha, funny story is… I work with children a lot, and kids have an uncompromising way of teaching you that being a control freak is ridiculous, so I never presume I know what my readers need or who my readers are. I cannot really influence that. There is a story out there for everyone, but not all stories suit everyone’s tastes. There are lots of trees in the forest, and no two are alike. What I hope is that my stories manage to reach those who they are meant to reach. All I can do is keep looking and keep writing down what I hear.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
It completely depends on the story, but also the time of the year. My inspiration and spring work really well together, whereas my full-time job as teacher of English only allows me time to revise and edit during August when I am on holiday. So how on Earth did I get 15 books out there? Yes, you guessed it – insomnia. Well, my children have trained me well not to sleep too long, as I am sure most parents out there will completely understand.
Do you plot or not, if so why? Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you done both?
There is never a plan at first – only a whisper. Literally, a character tells me a scene, a line or a dream, and keeps repeating it till I write it down. From then on, the story just grows. I cannot say I can be credited much for deciding what happens in a particular story – I am only the scribe in a way, like a witness to events. I believe that if I listen to them carefully, I will write well. I have so far written both in 1st and 3rd person, but again – it is never up to me. Not that I haven’t tried changing some things, but it always seems totally fake to try to steer away from the whisper. And if it seems fake to me, I leave it.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
My latest novel is The Forest of Trees, sort of a contemporary adult fantasy about a life changing event. Or is it? It is a story about The Stones, a city family of four, who face unemployment and abuse in the city, and at the very point when they get stuck in despair, the mother gets offered a job in a small town, so they all move, hopeful and with nothing to lose. Their new home is a cottage near the infamous Forest, which itself is not what an ordinary forest might appear to be at first. No, not everything is blissful in their new home, school or workplaces, and yet, they will find magic in unexpected places, if you believe in such things;). In my mind, it is a story about balancing our demons and angels, the good and bad within, around and beyond, which is a matter of acceptance and choice, not luck. There is an array of all generations of characters, some of which have made me cry happy tears, some made me feel sick to my stomach, but that’s like life, right? There are wonderful children and the desperate ones, wise adults and those who take the easier route of malice. All of their destinies are intertwined as The Stones battle adversity and make new friends, some human, some not, discovering their own weaknesses and strengths. And as the title so obviously says, trees play an important part in the entire plot. Because of the nature of the story (pun intended), and it spanning across several generations, some parts of the story may even sound like a children’s story, whereas others are painful accounts of the horror of evil that lies in some people. The ending does bring balance, but I am not sure if I’d call it a happy ending. Hopeful, maybe. Life is a constant process.
Lulu Author Spotlight http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Anita_K
Universal Book Link http://Author.to/AnitaKovacevicAmazon
Barnes & Noble/Nook https://tinyurl.com/ybfpg9gb
Amazon Author page http://tinyurl.com/lswqjzf
Find me on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest… either by name or Anita’s Haven
https://mobile.audible.com/…/The-Zebra…/B076C1CVNS The Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine https://itunes.apple.com/…/dolls-house…/id1183996176 Dolls House by Colin Griffiths https://itunes.apple.com/…/rhymes-and…/id1314491785 Rhymes and Writings by Colin Griffiths
https://itunes.apple.com/…/never-say…/id1326267573 Never Say Goodbye, by Colin Griffiths
https://itunes.apple.com/…/a-life-for-a…/id1200887895 A Life for a Life by Colin Griffiths
https://itunes.apple.com/…/mother-unabridged/id1282121508 Mother by Colin Griffiths https://www.amazon.com/Pharaohs-Destiny…/dp/B077TGCBX2/ The Pharaoh’s Destiny by Markie Madden
Book Trailer Links
https://youtu.be/UT9PtoQECDM Curious Things by Joanne Van Leerdam https://youtu.be/GaXNNw5eR7E The Silver Feather by Joanne Van Leerdam https://youtu.be/bWlnj6D0llU The Passing of the Night by Joanne Van Leerdam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJj7r-2SMjg How to Write for Success by Brenda Mohammed https://youtu.be/CS9pJKcSJeQ Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017
https://youtu.be/5k7HUOtZppM A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories Anthology https://youtu.be/7aPqLaWAPiM Franky the Finicky Pink Flamingo by Wand Luthman https://youtu.be/JPZ6g6kUHrk Distorted Pasts by Mara Reitsma & Mark McQuillen https://youtu.be/W_sjSOBN9OE The Triplets Curse: Hope’s Story
https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella/videos/161469227793241/ Only One Woman by Christina Jones & Jane Risdon
https://youtu.be/nco317cUm0s Shiva XIV Series by Lyra Shanti
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDBwbdbU2y0 Never Again by Lily Luchesi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqytffGHc2Q&t=28s The Adventures of Cali the Cat by Miss Mar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5hWkpUG2H8 The Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi
Stronger Than You Think
By Kyrena Lynch
Recommended Music Accompaniment:
Beauty of Grace by Thad Fiscella
You sit down and wonder why,
This situation always makes you cry
How awful you feel, how let down you are
But you stand tall and strong,
Dry your tears and hold your ground,
You’re stronger now than yesterday
There’s nothing that can tear you away
From the place you stand
Life is never grand, the way you think
It might be when looking up from down
Below, in childhood; they make it look
So glamourous, but really,
What is it that you wait for?
Stand tall, stay strong and dry those tears
For though you’re more broken than
Previous years, you’re somehow better
Than before, where time ticks away
You age another day, the earth turns
And seasons change but just remember;
You have to dry your tears and hold your ground
Because you’re stronger now than yesterday.
Traditional Vs Self-Publishing by Scott Semegran
This past year while promoting my latest two books, Boys and Sammie & Budgie, I was asked quite a lot during interviews, “Would I go with a traditional publisher for my next book?” Having taken the indie route and selfpublished some of my fiction work, I initially thought this question to be intriguing. Could I relinquish all the control I have as a self-publisher and opt for a traditional publisher to take control of my new book’s life? My initial response was, “Sure! Why not?” Then on further reflection, my thought was, “Well, I don’t know.” What a conundrum!
I decided to research this issue and I found that there were drastically different opinions on this: traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Many authors still tout the traditional publishing model as the best way to go, particularly if you want to be taken “seriously” as a writer. One author, Ros Barber, declared that she’d rather starve as a traditionally published author than risk appearing amateurish as a self-published author. Another author, Hugh Howey, favored self-publishing because he spent less time jumping through the hoops of the traditional system and instead published straight to the “real” gatekeepers: the readers. Both writers have a point. Ultimately, aren’t they both trying to accomplish the same thing? They both have the desire to be published writers. Arguing about the method of publishing is like arguing about the best way to get from Texas to California: budget airplane ticket or expensive automobile. Would you rather fly cheaply or drive an expensive car? Who cares! I just want to get to California. Most writers just want to publish their work for the world to rea.
I think the better approach to this dilemma is to figure out other factors that influence the writer in you. Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Or do you like to focus only on writing? Does marketing your books sound appealing to you or does it make your brain hurt? Does graphic design and typesetting sound fun or does it turn you off? How involved do you want to be with the life of your book? Do you want to give it to a publisher then walk away, trusting that they have editors and graphic designers and marketers? Or do you want to follow it down the long tail of its distribution, getting involved with the book cover design as well as marketing and promotion? Like discovering your love language for a successful romantic relationship, figuring out some of these personality traits in your writer-self will be important in deciding the publishing route you should pursue.
For me personally, I had another career that grew in tandem with my writing career: webmaster. In all the years of designing websites, I acquired many different skills and a lot of computer application expertise. Graphic design? Yes, I have extensive experience with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Typesetting and fonts? Yes, I have experience with Adobe Acrobat Professional. HTML? Well, of course, I’m a webmaster! Did you know that the ePub format of eBooks uses HTML and CSS as formatting? I discovered this while learning how to create eBooks. I also discovered that many of the skills and tools I learned as a webmaster translated to creating eBooks and formatting paperbacks. Create styles for formatting the HTML in an ePub? Turns out I knew how to do that. Embedding fonts in a PDF for on-demand printing? Turns out I knew how to do that, too. Self-publishing was a path I could nimbly pursue, using the skills I developed as a webmaster as the skills I needed to publish books, whether as eBooks or in print. What if you do not have these skills and are reluctant to acquire these skills BUT you still have that entrepreneurial spirit? Then delegate these things to skilled contractors. Although self-publishing sounds complicated, there is a wealth of information on the internet to help you as well as professionals–graphic designers, editors, proofreaders, and promoters–willing to perform some of the publishing tasks at very reasonable rates. Does this sound daunting to you and you just want to write? Then maybe traditional publishing is the way to go for you. Time to start writing those query letters!
Or, you may turn out to be a hybrid author, one who pursues traditional publishing as well as self-publishing. I fit more into this category as I have had work published in literary journals as well as major-city newspapers and alternative weeklies. I had a literary agent pursue a deal with a non-fiction humor book. I’ve written hundreds of query letters. I’ve received paychecks from publishing companies. And, I’ve published books through my own imprint: Mutt Press. I know everything about the publishing process from writing to editing to proofing to typesetting to book cover design to print layouts to eBook coding to book distribution to marketing and promotion and… WHEW! Would I accept a traditional publishing deal now? Sure! I have a lot to offer a traditional publisher and would make a great partner. Would not getting a traditional publishing deal keep me from publishing books in the future? No, I’ve successfully done it on my own.
Look, I understand that most of the articles you’ll read on the internet about traditional publishing versus selfpublishing are, at their core, about monetizing your books. People really are curious about writing books as a career. And why not? Sounds like a fun career. Scott Semegran, bestselling author. Has a nice ring to it, right? But let me tell you, if what you want is to make money, then a writing career is not really the best choice. I mean, there are thousands of easier ways to make money than writing books. And even traditionally published author Ros Barber decries her financially depressing writing career while peering at the self-publishers of the world with her jaundiced world-view. Even so, she wants to write, as a lot of us do. We, at our core, are creative creatures. Creating art, writing books, playing music–these pursuits are what make us human. And to debate about the best way to make money while creating art is like putting the horse in front of the cart, or debating about the best mode of transportation when arriving at your destination is really the point. Business-class airline? Or a convertible with a manual transmission? Who cares… the goal is CALIFORNIA!
The world needs more writers, whether it’s in fiction or non-fiction or journalism or bloggers or whatever. And, right now, there has never been a better time to be a writer because the paths to publishing have never been greater–EVER!
The world needs more writers, whether it’s in fiction or non-fiction or journalism or bloggers or whatever. And, right now, there has never been a better time to be a writer because the paths to publishing have never been greater–EVER! If you have a love for writing and you have a dedication to the craft of writing, then I am certain that sometime in your future, a financial incentive may present itself. And most successful writers will tell you this: love writing first. There’s nothing more important that I could impart to you than that. But just as important, there are multiple ways to accomplish becoming a writer. Going to graduate school at an elite university will not magically turn you into Michael Chabon. Inversely, simply uploading a manuscript to Amazon KDP for the world to read will not transform you into Amanda Hocking. You have to put in the work to develop your mastery of writing, however you decide to accomplish that.
So, what publishing path are you going to pursue: traditional publishing or self-publishing? Whether you decide to write query letters to literary agents or create a Lulu account and upload your manuscript, just get to it. What are you waiting for? Fulfill your dream. Be a writer. I look forward to seeing you on a bestseller list someday.
Originally posted on Lulu.com 02/05/2018 http://www.lulu.com/blog/2018/02/05/traditional-publishing-vs-self-publishing/#sthash.VQ6ToS4V.dpbs
Perfect Break by Anais Chartschenko
When everything falls Apart, people are just Pieces of who they should Be After best friends Claire and Madison are separated for the summer, they promise to tell each other everything. But when one of the girls starts keeping dangerous secrets, can their friendship survive? A novel told in verse
Ed Ireland – Author
What bought you to the world of writing?
I wish I could say I was born into it and writing novels with the letters in my first cereal, but it just isn’t so. What happened was, about 30 years ago I saw a picture. A simple picture of a tiger holding a bow, hunting. The next thing I know, is this elaborate story begins to form and gets caught in my brain. I mean it was like so alien planted a seed and BOOM!, I’m growing a baby in my head. The worst part is, I’m not a writer but it’s screaming to be written and then let loose.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book is entitled Fire At Dawn and as I pointed out, I was no writer so it was understandably horrible. I must have rewritten that book a dozen times before I was
satisfied with it. Part of the problem was the story started growing. It soon took three books to get it all out
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
My preferred genre is fantasy, the high, epic kind. Big long-winded stories that make for thick books. Lots of people say “Your books are too long. People want quick, short stories to read.” Yeah, I’m not buying it. All I need to do is look at a certain author who wrote a tale about a student in a magical academy. Her books are so thick, they can be used as stepstools. I also dip into other genres, such as crime, historical fiction and if I ever get it done, a cookbook.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
Well yes I would. I have recently finished another, and hopefully last edit on my Trials of the Clans Trilogy. Fire At Dawn is the first book, followed by The Stormrider and A New Dawn. It’s been rereleased in eBook, print and in Audiobook formats and I’m starting the show with the first book now. I’m currently writing another chapter to the story of the Clans so I’m preceding that release with a rolling out of the old stories.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I’ve tried to plot, I really have. Somewhere around chapter five or six, the characters begin to plot when I’m not there. By chapter eight, they’ve become quite unruly and by chapter ten I’ve lost full control and end up chasing them to get their story. I think that by letting the characters tell the story, it keeps me surprised and this translates to the reader. I basically throw a beginning out and work very hard at giving the characters a life. By then I know what the end should be and I let the children bring me to it in their own way.
And how does this work for you?
For the most part, it works. There are times when even I am taken by surprise. When I was finishing the trilogy, my family and I were in the middle of a move from NY to Miami. This was a case of every single thing going wrong that ended with us being stranded in NC for eight months. My temperament there went from bad to worse and it began creeping into my characters. By the end of the book, it was miles away from the ending I envisioned. I almost scrapped it, but a little voice said to leave it and add to it. Turned out to be the right choice according to the wonderful readers that told me about it.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
I try to market for people who like to read. That’s not sarcasm, that’s actual. Remember I said that people criticize books that are “too long”? Nothing against those folks, but none of my books are meant for speed-readers. I put a great deal of myself into my characters and I want the reader to have ample opportunity to get to know them as I do. I feel that without character development, then why would anyone care what happened to them? I want readers who enjoy reading a passage and allowing a moment for the imagination to soar. I want them to see my world and feel what my characters are feeling.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?
I have another fantasy series that I had high hopes for called the Chronicles of the Huntress. I submitted the first book, The Last Ranger of Sarn to a new publishing company that I won’t name. They worked with me with the editing portion, providing editors. Problem was, they only did the first 8 chapters and then told me to do the rest. OK, no problem, writers should know how to edit and I will admit they taught me a lot. Then time came for the cover and I wasn’t really impressed with anything so I did my own cover.
Then came time for the pre-release and we had all these plans…that never happened. I was doing all the marketing and they would occasionally retweet one of my ads. They never sent the book to anyone for reviews and in fact didn’t seem to understand that reviews are the life-blood of writers. Instead of opening to a great sales time and lots of words written about the book, it kind of snuck onto the market. They were charging $35.00 for the hardcover of a book that had three reviews.
Within a month, they were taking in all these other small publishers and pretty much abandoning the writers.
Now, I’ve created my own publishing brand, Savage World Publishing, and my books fall under it. If I have to do all the work, then I might as well make all the profit. As for The Last Ranger of Sarn, I’ve got her back from them and I’ll be releasing her stories myself too.
How do you promote your writing?
I’ll generally hit the usual spots on social media. I like to have business cards made with the book cover and info on it and I’ll spread them around to people I see reading out in public. Another thing I like to do is create these little “ads” that feature a short bit of a chapter, maybe 2-5 lines along with a picture that fits it and throw them all over social media too.
They seem to work and I’ve gotten some great feedback on them.
Where can we buy your books?
Amazon. That’s it, one place. All of them are available in eBook, most in paperback and I’m getting them done in Audiobook too. So far only two are available in that format, but we’re getting there.
Who are your favourite authors?
The father of epic fantasy, J.R.R.Tolkien is my inspiration. His was the first fantasy book I ever read and have re-read several times. He made you feel as if Hobbits actually did exist, along with dragons, shape-shifters and elves. The Hobbit was light and whimsical. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was much heavier and dark. It took hold of you by the throat and forced you to keep reading.
In the modern literary world, the author that impresses me the most is Gregory Maguire. He takes a well-known story, one that people know intimately, and shows it to you from the other side of the coin. He took L.Frank Baum’s masterpiece The Wizard of Oz and told us the story from the Wicked Witch’s point of view. That turned Oz from this magical fairy world into this dark, politically corrupt world that made you wonder, was the Witch of the West truly wicked, or was she misunderstood. When I write now, I try to reference the two opposing points of view if I can. I always helps if you can look at the hero and villain as champions of their own causes in their own way. Unless of course, if the villain is a scurrilous scoundrel with no redeeming qualities at all.
My Amazon link: http://bit.ly/4Fantasy
My Author Site link: http://bit.ly/EdIrelandAuthor
My Publishing Site link: http://bit.ly/SavageWorlds
My Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/popularsocialsite
My Twitter: http://bit.ly/writerbird
My Cover Design Site: http://bit.ly/StoryTellerDesigns
Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
I’m currently working on a slew of projects. As I mentioned, I’m doing another piece for the Trials of the Clans. It will be a pre-quell of sorts to be followed by a few short stories. I’m also preparing the Chronicles of the Huntress for release under the Savage Worlds banner. There’s also a cookbook in the works and I’m feeling the itch to spread into another genre…maybe comedy.
Will ‘O’ Witch by Bekka Abbott
The muscles in Dragon’s back twitched with micro spasms. It felt like he’d been in a fire but it was as if he was burnt from the inside. He knew he’d be alright. There’d been enough time to put up walls so the energy of the curse didn’t penetrate into his essence. It was the one advantage of magic being made of energy, with the right expertise you can redirect almost anything.
He sat on the three legged stool, watching Will and Dana spreading the take-out across four plates. Will took two plates and headed towards him. At the counter, Dana grabbed one of the remaining portions. “I’ll see if Cain wants to eat something other than marshmallows.”
Dragon smiled, and looked sideways as Will handed him a plate.
Will sat down next to him. “How are you feeling now, Dragon?”
He rumbled in his throat. “I’m alright.”
“That was pretty brave of you, taking that blast, it looked strong.”
Dragon shrugged. “I have a lot to make amends for. Besides, I could take it, I don’t think Dana could have.”
Will’s smile was gentle. “Not yet, at least.”
He shoved a fork-full of noodles into his mouth. The food was hot and full of flavour. Dragon’s tummy informed him with a grouchy rumble that he hadn’t eaten all day. He sighed, and what a day it had been.
Dana was chuckling as she came back into the store front. The joy flickered in her dark eyes, lighting up a chocolate brown.
She looked directly at him. “Your son is lovely.”
Dragon’s chin lifted slightly and smiled. “He really is. Best thing to happen in my entire life.”
She grabbed her plate from the counter and, pulling the chair from behind it, she moved towards he and Will.
She sighed as she sat down. “So, what does all this mean? I feel so overwhelmed. Why would anyone want to send a leech spirit at me, let alone curse me? I don’t think I’ve got any enemies.”
Dragon dropped his eyes to his meal and shoved in more food to give him time to figure out what to say. He wasn’t sure if she’d understand if he explained what happened, besides, as terrible as it was, he needed to get his son away and safe before he thought about anything else, and they might not help if he told them what happened. Next to him, Will shrugged, answering her question. “It could be anything, it could be about mistaken identity or something to do with your family, or it could be a powerful but disturbed witch who’s interpreted something you’ve said or done as an insult or threat. People can do a lot for very odd reasons. Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out.”
“Am I safe at work?” she asked. “Are my workmates safe?” Remembering the spy Magus had at the Real Estate, Dragon swallowed his food. “It’s probably sensible to call in sick for a while, until it’s sorted.”
“So,” said Will, looking sideways at him. “Was this a friendly visit or–”
“We’re in trouble.” The words burst out of Dragon. “Someone’s after us, so we need a good glamour spell.”
Will nodded. “Of course, anything to help you two.”
“I also need to go back to my place tonight and grab a few things, if you wouldn’t mind coming with me?”
Dana’s eyes widened. “What’s happening? Why are you in trouble?”
She seemed so very concerned for them and Dragon felt a stab of guilt. Without Will and Mina, this lovely woman would be hurting because of him. He swallowed that feeling down again and shook his head. “It’s a very long story, I just need to get Cain safe before I sit down and tell it.”
Finding your PATH – Identifying Your Hurdles
By Sam Prigmore
Sam Prigmore from Pathfinder is a Developmental Coach. We got together with the idea of help Authors think about their needs and how to go about getting them. As you can see from the image on the right there will be five articles which we both hope can assist you in life and as an author.
The first article is Identifying your Hurdles…
What is your problem.
First thing to ask yourself in the situation is a basic one “what exactly are my hurdles?”. People try and deal with their situations and get nowhere because they are caught up with their emotion of the situation. Being stuck in the emotion of the situation keeps your eyes closed to your hurdles and that makes near impossible to see a solution. It only takes a few minutes to stop yourself from being emotionally stuck.
Example; someone at work rejects your work and gives you a little bit of feedback in a none constructive way. This could make you feel upset and angry. At this point stop and ask yourself “what has caused this anger and how can this be resolved?”. You will now start to think of the feedback and then possibly look at ways to get more feedback or even go to other colleagues and get the advice you need. So, by doing this you have cut the emotion and identified the hurdles that being in this situation the feedback.
How many do you have.
If we take the scenario from above, we established that from the offset it was the feedback that was the hurdle but as we all know where there is one hurdle there are probably more. When you delve into the first hurdle you might find the other person has a personal issue with you or the software you used was incorrect. You have just established you have three hurdles. This is not a bad thing, it just gives you a full picture and once you know all your hurdles you can now map out how you are going to overcome them.
Who are they with.
In life these days you cannot have a hurdle that doesn’t involve a person. This isn’t always true but in 90% of cases it is. It is very easy if you stay stuck in the emotions of the situation to have these launch out onto other areas and people in your life. If one of the hurdles was with a person and the situation gave you the emotion of anger if you didn’t keep focused to the actual hurdle and person then the anger could be unwillingly thrown out to other people as well, like friends and family. So, keep focused on the hurdle and the people involved and lock it into that situation. Visualise all the other areas of your life as the emotional escape from these hurdles and not the release. This will give you more energy to deal with the people that are your hurdles in the correct way.
Are they rational.
Before anything else can be done ask yourself another question “are these hurdles rational or am in just over reacting?”. We all have the right to over react and it is natural. Some people though can allow their emotions to run away with them, this is very easy if you are creative because you will find it easy to build a story up that isn’t happening. With any hurdle always look at them in a few ways, first from your own point of view and then second from an outsider’s point of view. The outsider can always keep the bigger picture in mind and if it is a little blip on the radar of the bigger picture then why jump it when you need your energy to overcome the big hurdles that ultimately shape your reality. Example; take the situation from the top, if the hurdle was your colleague didn’t like you and the feedback was having little digs at you, but the management liked your work then what is the point of trying to overcome someone else’s petty jealousy. It simple isn’t worth your time or focus.
Are they actual problems you have with your external or are they with yourself.
Your hurdles could all be a self-conflict and has nothing to do with your outside environment. If they are hurdles you only have with yourself like your behaviour, then now is the time to start addressing them. Life and other people are going to give you all the hurdles you can ever want, you don’t want to be adding to them. But, knowing these personal hurdles and learning ways to deal with them will lead to personal development and ultimately a stronger you. Sometimes being the best possible you can be the best possible solution. Plus, if your able to look within side yourself and find floors and implement development you will have much better control over your emotions and the situations within your environment.
So, at the end of the day finding out what your hurdles are first can help you stay focused, less energetically drained and stop any negative situation from leaking into any other area of your life.
There are hundreds of daily techniques you can implement to help you physically deal with these kinds of emotions even if the hurdle is yourself.
Promote your work – for free! With Kaye Bewley
You’ve finished your work and now you need people to know about it. Therefore, I offer you the platform I’ve created – for free!
If you’ve already published your book, finished your manuscript, screen/stageplay, never turn down a promotional opportunity – however small it may appear to be. I’m offering you one here.
I’ll promote the YouTube video link of your work on the following platforms:
· FaceBook BewleyBooks page
We are followed by BODIES not BOTS and interact regularly with the people who share and like our posts. We are a small platform, but growing. With a reach of over 6,000 followers on LinkedIn (professional group of authors, film makers, producers and directors) and have almost 2,000 followers on Twitter. These are our most prominent platforms and we’re working hard on building on the others.
All we need from you is the YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK to your book – preferably one with you holding your book and showing it off. We’ll assess whether it’s suitable for our platform and give you the nod if it is.
We don’t charge for this work, but we do ask in return is that you ‘LIKE’, ‘SHARE’ or ‘FOLLOW’ our social media pages (whichever you are happiest using).
Already, several authors have taken up the offer and are reaping the benefits of our activity on their behalf.
How to book…
Visit this link and follow the instructions:
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For ages 4 -8
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Their journey takes them back to Ardana, Dana’s home world, in search for answers, and subsequent searches send them on a quest across the galaxy where they meet vampires, energy-sapping rays, cat-mole people, and a boy-not-a-boy who may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.
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I had much so much fun in creating this story it has encouraged me to venture into writing more tales in the realms of science fiction.
Mechanical Mike is a fun tale, a modern pulp fictional story of Metal Robotics, Nazioccupied France and Love.
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Oak Creek, a picturesque little Southern town, is a welcoming place. Folks are friendly around here, neighbors helping neighbors, strangers becoming friends quickly. Emily learns this when she has no choice but to trust the care of her aunt’s dog, Bentley, and the good Samaritans after the car crash.
Small town living is nearly perfect for Emily. The only downside? There are no secrets that can be kept for long. Or are there?
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Timid and sheltered Elliott has his life in order. Or so he thinks, that is until Hunter introduces him to a whole new world.
Both are battling past demons, but what happens when their worlds collide?
Fangs of Vengeance by Aaron Henley
A young werewolf’s life was going great. He had a good job and a gorgeous woman he was about to marry. Then, a night of tragedy changed everything. An enemy out of legend and myth resurfaces and takes everything he loves. Vowing revenge, Steve Harper won’t rest until the person responsible pays. Along the way, he’ll meet a group that will change his life forever as he finds out the world is much larger than he thinks and that some fairy tales are true.
If the idea of fantasy creatures riding motorcycles, more movie and TV references than should be allowed without involving copyright lawyers, a quirky sense of humor, and a split personality that is reminiscent of classic 80s buddy cop movies, then this may just be the right book for you.
Due to adult themes involving a rape victim overcoming her abuse, language, and sexual situations, this book is not intended for children.
Dreamtime Dragons by Authors of Dreamtime Tale Fantasy
Stories, drabbles and sample chapters; the Dreamtime dragon authors are a collective of storytellers brought together by their love of Fantasy in all it’s guises.
Travel the Wyrde Wood with a giant wyrm or defend a pod of humpback whales with a dragon, explore the deepest goblin caverns, search for a dragon egg in the midst of a Viking raid or in a post-apocalyptic city where five gold coins is the price for the prize you seek!
Explore imaginary worlds with creatures of Fantasy and dragons… lots of dragons! Noble dragons, funny dragons, cloud dragons, spirit dragons and even a revenge dragon!
Humour, drama, mythology and more await in 12 stories and drabbles, plus 8 novel excerpts that will lead you to your next great Fantasy read! Find the Dreamtime Dragon authors on Facebook in the group, Dreamtime Tale Fantasy! ALL proceeds have been pledged to the Abington Ferret Refuge in Northamptonshire.
Franky The Finicky Flamingo by Wanda Luthman
Award-winning children’s author presents a fun rhyming beautifully illustrated picture book that your child will enjoy!
Franky is a beautifully colored pink flamingo but, he doesn’t know the right food to eat. He tries food that other birds like but he doesn’t enjoy any of them. Then, the unthinkable happens. His adored pink color begins to fade. What will Franky do now? Find out in
Franky, The Finicky Flamingo.
Teddy Bear Revolution – Season Two by T E Hodden
The bears are back!
Alex and his bears are still in Eternity, and still defending the innocent from horrors and monsters. When an old enemy, a one time Fascist dictator, summons Alex and the bears to prison, they learn a threat from the bear’s past, a nemesis of Teddy and the gang, is back in town. Soon Alex is knee deep in alien monsters, otherworldly demons, and… the deep secrets of the President of the USA.
So much for his hope of a quiet night or a normal date..
Jon Archer – A Comedy by J B Taylor
Jon Archer wants to get home to his comfortable bed. He’s on his way to it in fact when he suddenly and inexplicably finds himself standing in the middle of a desert. Life deals him three more strange hands in the form of a talking goat, a British-speaking spider, and when he thought things couldn’t get weirder, a space man.
Life can be a bizarre ride sometimes, proof is in these three life forms wanting, desiring to get to their own home.
Haunted By Her Past by Kim Cox
Abused and scared, Jena runs away. Her abuser hunts her down, but he’s killed. Now he’s haunting her, continuing his cruelty.
Demi elicits Lana’s help of helping a domestic abuse victim escape the ghost of her dead exboyfriend. Because of Lana’s difficult pregnancy, Tony demands she rest. Doctor’s orders.
Knowing Tony will worry if she tries to help in her condition, she tries to assist from afar. She soon discovers it’s vital for her to be on the scene—stuck in the middle of an impossible situation.
How can Lana convince a man who was abusive in life to move on? Will she be able to help Jena find the peace of mind she deserves?
The Watcher by Jennifer Thompson
Being a teenager is hard enough, but being a witch, makes it even harder. Cole find he keeps bumping into a new girl. What he doesn’t know, is how much she will change his life forever.
Experience the world of The Vilincia Coven, and set out to make your own fate.
North to Maynard by Paul White
Peter Gord is a simple man with simple tastes. He loves cooking and baking, window shopping for bakeware and kitchen appliances and checking out the latest cookbooks. Unemployed Peter enjoys these things in between doing the housework. And Peter’s greatest pleasure is fantasizing about murdering his wife Delores.
Brash, overbearing Delores, takes every opportunity to belittle Peter.
In his mind, Peter gets his revenge by slashing her throat or baking ground glass into her cookies.
When Peter finally gets a job with a local charity helping the poor and homeless, his fantasies become darker and more brutal. Of course he wouldn’t really act on them…Would he?
Sigils & Spells – Limited Edition
A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.
Cross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.
SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.
From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.
Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril?
May the angels like butterflies land gently on your eyelids.
May they turn your worried grins into the innocent smiles of kids.
May their rhythmic flutter lull you deeply into sleep, and that feeling of paradise may you always keep.
May the mermaids in the sea of dreams sing you just the sweetest song, and the soft waves of dream’s caress make right from every wrong.
May unicorns go galloping through the meadows of dreamland, and heel your every worry, turn each foe into a friend.
May the sweet smell of flowers fill your every pore, sleep and dream till the dawn, and then just a bit more…
It is neither wealth nor splendour; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness Thomas Jefferson
Aaron Henley – Author
Tell us about yourself.
Well, I’m not too good at self-promotion but here goes my best shot! I’m an early 30’s heterosexual male with comic ink for blood and a brain full of Star Wars trivia. Anyone still reading after that last statement? Yes? Okay. Buckle up.
What bought you to the world of writing?
I really started writing my freshman year in high school. I tooled around with multiple versions of the same story but never did anything with it. I eventually walked away from writing altogether and figured that’d I’d get back to it one day. Well fast forward about a decade and a half and I did. I started writing out scripts and jokes for my podcast, Tangents Abound, and that helped a little.
What really got me into writing professionally may sound a bit odd. I had woken up from a dream involving werewolves fighting dragons (Thank you Nyquil for that by the way) and I grabbed the nearest piece of paper and started writing it down. Things…well…escalated a bit from there.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first and (to date) only book is entitled Fangs of Vengeance and can be found in ebook format on Amazon and I’m currently developing a paperback version as well. This was just a lot of fun. I took a modern fantasy approach involving all sorts of fantasy creatures, races, added my trademark quirky sense of humor, more tv and movie references than should be allowed without having copyright lawyers involved, and wanted to tell a story of true love. But I needed a hook. So I thought: What would sound cool in the modern world? I wanted a group of 21st century knights but couldn’t figure out what they would ride. Then it hit me: Motorcycles. So my story is about a werewolf on a revenge quest, meets up with a biker gang of fantasy creatures, and things go crazier from there. So my hook is: Werewolves riding motorcycles. Interested yet?
I am incredibly proud of the feedback I’ve been getting from friends and reviews. My expectations were maybe 10 people would check it out and maybe give me a 3-star review as I figured that sounded fair. Let’s just say things have gone even better than that!
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
I think I started writing around the start of December 2017 and I finished by New Year’s 2018. I don’t think the second book will be as fast as it’s sketched out to be more character focused and plot-heavy. To use a comparison: Fangs is Star Wars – It set up a simple plot, showed the good guys and bad guys, and the good guys won. Book 2 will be the Empire Strikes Back – Darker, more personal, expand on pre-existing characters, and yet still have a good time.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I don’t really plot more than I have scenes in my head and I sketch out how to get to those scenes. I write in my notebook a general outline and start typing. More than once, I have had scenes completely change, characters evolve, and things improve during the writing. Every time I would stop typing, re-read what I wrote and go: “Huh. That’s a lot better! Where did that come from?”
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I do my best to catch spelling mistakes and grammar errors but I know I miss more than I’d like. The comma is my archnemesis. I have some friends help me when they have the time but, right now, it’s mainly just me.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Well, with the themes involved and my characters having active sexual relationships, it’s definitely for the older crowd. In Book 1, all the steamy stuff is off-screen until a certain point. Now that point has been reached, Book 2 will have a lot more on-screen romance. I want people to have a great time and not just flip through to “the good stuff” so I work by this motto: If I’m not happy reading what I’m writing, stop and start over from when you last had fun. That’s what writing to me is: fun.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Published?
Currently self-published and if it wasn’t for the help of Mark McQuillen, Mara Reitsma, and Julie Nichols (who provided the amazing cover for the book!), I’d be simply lost.
How do you promote your writing?
I post on Facebook, I’m working on creating a fan page for it there as well called (Fang & Flame), I use word of mouth, if someone asks about it and I think they’re cool or it’s for a good cause I just give it away. I’m not in this for money, I’m just in it for the good time and hope others have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!
Indie Authors Supporting Charities
All proceeds from this book are being donated to the Global Scoliosis Foundation.
What happens when you let eleven authors twist classic fairy tales? MAGIC!
Weave your way through imagination as Fate takes an interesting turn in your favorite childhood stories. From The Frog Prince to The Six Swans, see what happens when fairy tales are … twisted.
A king struggles to find someone who can love him despite his flaws. A musician works to reverse his curse. A queen wants to keep her crown. The singing bard plans an escape, and Red might have bitten off more than she can chew. These stories and more await you. Let the magic of these tales sweep you away with mischief, mayhem, and a good dose of snark.
Open the door to A Twist of Fate.
In a Word: MURDER – An Anthology
It’s a simple book, article, review or blog post. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, as this international collection of short crime stories shows. Each story takes a slightly different look at the world of words, but each one shows how dangerous writing can be.
So come along. Enter the world of writing, publishing, reviewing, editing and blogging, where crime can find its way in anywhere.
In aid of The Princess Alice Hospice in memory of editor, blogger and crime writer Maxine Clarke.
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