Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Author Cat Connor and book Databyte


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, and not ( ) citations.

 
I’m here talking with the lovely Cat Connor from Upper Hut, New Zealand. She’s the mother of seven children, though only the two youngest remain at home. She also has a retired Greyhound racing dog named Romeo [Romeo, where art thou? Ha, ha], who hangs out with her in her office, and a cat named Missy. She’s a coffee addict and lover of red wine and tequila [though I hope not at the same time!] and has been recently described as irresistible, infectious, and addictive.” She believes music is essential to life and always plays it when she works.

The Lovely Cat Connor
Her latest book, Databyte, is book 6 in The _byte series starring FBI agent Ellie Conway, and is published by Rebel ePublishers, USA, a small independent publisher she has been with since 2009. The inspiration for her stories come from a question, in this case: “Whose hand is it?” She’s one of those writers who has no preconceived notions of how her book will turn out until she gets to the end of it.

Databyte was just released in June of 2014, and can be found at all major book retailers in paperback and e-format. Cat writes all of her book in first person format, in other words, as if you, the reader, were the character. [In my particular case, Once Upon a Western Way is written in first person, but I found it was hard to stick to in many locations. Cat has better luck with it than I do.]  In Databyte, Ellie is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit and is on the run from both FBI and Metro.
 

Cat wishes her readers to be thoroughly entertained by her book, and to laugh and cry right along with her characters. She’d like the audience to experience life through Ellie’s eyes, and to feel her fear and joys. Book #7 of the series, Eraserbyte, is due out next year, and Cat has just finished book #8, Psychobyte, which will be on its way to her publisher early next year.

Cat has also written Snakebyte, a novella which fits between book 5 and 6 in this series (a must-have for serious fans), and three short story collections and a poetry book, and all of these are independently-published. Cat spends a lot of time on social media, but more because she enjoys the interaction than to market her work, though she admits, she does make sales through social media. She also hosts a writer’s workshop/group at her local city library.

Finding Cat is easy! Check out her website: http://www.catconnor.com Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cat-Connor/76140493745?ref=hl, her blog: http://catconnor.blogspot.co.nz, and on Twitter @catconnor.

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the books in question, as I’ve not read them and can’t vouch for their contents.**

Friday, December 19, 2014

#ASOT2015 - Other Article - Troops, Authors, Supporting - Booksie

This is a wonderful cause that collects new, author-signed books for sending to troops deployed in remote areas of the world. Please share this with everyone you know, you never know who you might reach! I myself will be sending three books to them. The major event starts January 1, 2015 and ends April 30, 2015. They'll also be collecting donations via PayPal to cover shipping costs.



#ASOT2015 - Other Article - Troops, Authors, Supporting - Booksie

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Author Doug Puryear and Book Your Life Can be Better


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, and not ( ) citations.

 

Meet author Doug Puryear, a retired psychiatrist who does prison ministry as well as writing books. He and his wife have three grown children and eight grandchildren [my goodness, I can imagine holidays at his house!], and a dog, and currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When he’s not writing, he likes to play guitar, learn Spanish, and fly fish [That’s like where you take the fishing line and flick it in and out of the water? Is there a place near Santa Fe to do this or do you have to drive a ways?]

Living Daily with Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips Of the Day is an e-book not intended to be read through like a novel, but more as a daily devotional or one of those page-a-day calendars. Doug was 64 when he was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. He wanted to find a book to give to his patients, but discovered that none of them were quite what he was looking for. So he wrote his first book, Your Life Can Be Better: Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD. When that book became successful, he began to blog. Eventually, he took the best posts and put them together to make Living Daily.
 

You can find Living Daily, released in 2013, at Amazon or Smashwords. Your Life Can Be Better is available in print on Amazon, and digitally at Amazon or Smashwords. Both books are written in simple language with short chapters, and rather than being a dry, textbook-style book, is more personal in that he uses examples from his own life lessons to give the reader a richer experience. Living Daily is a page-a-day approach full of coping strategies.

Doug hopes to teach others with this condition to use strategies that can make their life easier. Also, he shows patients how to make it better for the loved ones and friends in their life. [ADD/ADHD or not, I think we could all use extra coping strategies, and I think this would be most excellent for those suffering from cancer or other life-altering illnesses.]

Doug tells me that, even though these books were meant specifically for people with ADD, he’s gotten lots of comments that they would be useful to anyone who would benefit from getting their life a little bit more organized. [Maybe I need to get one! After chemotherapy, my brain doesn’t work in the same way that it used to.]

At the moment, Doug is working on his autobiography, something he wishes his ancestors had done the same. He hopes some of his descendants will be interested in his life. Down the line, he may write another book on ADD and possibly one on bullying [It’s sad, but this is becoming more and more prevalent in our schools these days.].

Doug is looking for marketing ideas, and ways to get his books into the hands of more people who can benefit from them. He’s completed a short pamphlet called Six Basic Strategies for Coping with Adult ADD/ADHD through CreateSpace, as a test to see if he could learn to use their site. He was successful, however he wishes to give this to people for free, and hasn’t been able to figure out how to do this. [I’m in the same boat; I wish I could give Keeping a Backyard Horse away for free. I’d rather people learn how to take care of horses, and not neglect them through ignorance, than to make money on this book.]


He’s also at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/117535 and http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349873, and you can find him on Pinterest and Facebook as well.

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of these books, as I’ve not read them and can’t vouch for their contents.**

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Geetha Patel and Book Song of the Koel





Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, rather than ( ) citations.

 

Give a warm welcome to author Geetha Patel, who calls herself an Indo-Canadian. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, and is a retired school administrator.

Song of the Koel is a romantic fiction using her own life experiences, plus those of women in general, intertwined with historical facts (a side effect of being a History major). Song of the Koel was released through Friesen Press in Canada in December, 2013, and can be found at Amazon, Friesen Press, Flip Kart, Amazon India, and the online store of Indigo/Chapters. It’s filled with interesting and intriguing facts that Geetha hopes will touch reader’s hearts, move their spirits, and enlighten their minds. [Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?]

Geetha is currently working on another book. While not really a sequel, she’s used some of the characters and the new book will start off where Song of the Koel ended. This one will be called Embers Within the Ashes. She has also authored the book Do You Have Canadian Experience?

Generally, Geetha uses social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to market her book. She also does review exchanges [I may contact her myself for just this reason!], and she’s also a member of three book clubs. You can find out more about her at her website: http://www.GeethaPatel.com.

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of these books, as I’ve not read them and can’t vouch for their contents.**

Friday, December 12, 2014

Featured Author Patricia Stinson and book Range War Legacy


 
Comments in blocks [ ]  are my own, rather than ( ) citations.

Author Patricia Stinson is a retired elementary school teacher living in Minnesota. She loves animals and has a rescue dog called Nike, and two parakeets called Frik and Frak [I love it, how ingenious!]. She also loves horses, and rides both English and Western style [I can ride both Western and Australian].

Range War Legacy is an historical western based on the cattle and sheep wars in the United States. She was inspired to write it after reading an article in Wild West magazine; a woman interviewed for the magazine stated she saw some sheep herders actually killed when she was a child, but never revealed their identity. This piqued Patricia’s curiosity and she began to research the incident more.

Patricia’s book is currently available digitally at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Booklocker. She’s expecting a paperback version sometime in December of 2014. [Should be an interesting read!]

Range War Legacy tells some of the conflict between the sheep men and the cattle ranchers but also reveals the aftermath of the violence on her characters. Patricia says, “Inward death does not end when the war ends.” She hopes to inspire her readers to identify with her characters and ask themselves what they might do in the same situation.
 
Currently, Range War Legacy is rated 5* on Amazon. One review called it: "A fast-paced western!", while another said, "This is a story of courage, love and loss."

Patricia is currently working on another historical western called Wild River Journal that she expects to release in January, 2015. It will detail the Mexican and Navaho life within the white culture of the West in the 1860’s. [This, too, sounds interesting!]

You can find Patricia at http://www.psread.com, her blog http://gogoreadgo.blogspot.com, and on Twitter @pstinson23.

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the books mentioned, as I haven’t read them and cannot vouch for their contents.**

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Featured Author Carol Graham and book Battered Hope


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, rather than ( ) citations.

Author Carol Graham lives on the northwest coast of North America, and own and operates two jewelry stores. [How cool is that?] She’s also a health coach and travels extensively as an inspirational speaker. She’s an active blogger with two children, three grandchildren, and rescue dogs. [Thanks for that, all my dogs are rescues too. Please spay and neuter your pets!]

Battered Hope is her memoir. You can find it on Amazon: http://www.amzn.to/1wEwEsN.  She reveals that it took twenty years to write, as doing so brought forth so much pain and many difficult memories. Her daughter encouraged her to write it, and her daughter’s little dog gave her the final inspiration to write and publish. Read that story here: http://www.batteredhope.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-miniature-dachshund-who-started-me.html. It was released at the end of 2013 and is available on Amazon and a variety of other book sites.

Carol is a resilient woman who endured traumatic events that would cause most others to roll over and quit [I can sympathize with this, after my own battle against cancer!], Through cancer, rape, marital abuse, jail, attempted suicide, the loss of a child [how sad!], and financial ruin, Carol came through these trials and is a stronger woman today. This is a story of hope, perseverance, and faith that reads like a fiction, but it’s not! It’s a TRUE account of her life!
 
 
Battered Hope is currently rated at 4.7*. One Amazon reviewer says, "I found her story one of triumph." Another states: "This well written book is not for the faint hearted. Carol Graham's harrowing story should be a lesson to us all - Once Bitten, Twice Shy!" Yet another 5* review by Marie Angele Abanga: "Battered, maybe tattered, but definitely not shattered hope!"

She says her only reason for writing this memoir was to encourage anyone going through trauma to overcome their challenges, to be a victor instead of a victim. This is the basis of her inspirational speeches, and audiences routinely come away inspired by her words.

Carol knew nothing of publishing when she first released her book. She interviewed quite a few publishers before finally settling on one. Unfortunately, the publisher she chose was not reputable, and she had to fight a difficult battle to break her contract with them [something a lot of us independent authors should keep in mind when choosing who to publish with]. She also paid them for marketing, which netted her exactly zip.

Now, she’s started her own marketing plan. She does give-aways on GoodReads, which often brings in more reviews. She also blogs regularly, but in doing so, only subtly mentions her book (rather than plugging on endlessly about it). Her advice, after spending her whole life in sales, is this: “The only way to sell anything is to sell yourself first.” [This is where I have my biggest issue; I can barely write a resume. Technically and grammatically, it’s perfect, but the content is not!]


 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the book in question, as I haven’t read it and cannot vouch for its contents.**

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Featured Author Barbara Williamson and book An Extraordinary Life


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own rather than ( ) citations.

 

Author Barbara Williamson has lived the past 20 years in the quiet Nevada desert surrounded by cougar, mountain goats, deer, and a wide variety of wildlife. Together with her life partner, John, she has founded Tiger Touch Sanctuary and Education Center (find out more by visiting http://www.tigertouch.org ), currently home to thirteen exotic cats saved from horrible situations. [If, for no other reason, Barbara is a star for setting this up!]

Her book, An Extraordinary Life, her memoir, is a story of vulnerability and self-discovery, cleverly disguised as a sex book. Barbara and John were the creators of the Sandstone Retreat, a unique alternative lifestyle during the “sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s, during which time she was tagged as “the most liberated woman in America.”  She hopes her book gives the reader an insight into just how this revolution put the Nature back into human nature.

She wishes to stress to her readers that sexual pleasure is a necessity to our human souls and psyches, and inspire people who are unhappy in their lives to do what she did: CHANGE it! [I think, as a society, we are pushing sex farther and farther into the background of our lives, our real lives, though it’s most certainly frequently thrown at us on TV and movies!]

Now at age 75, Barbara’s life focuses on being and remaining healthy, slowing the aging process, all the while trying to extend her time on our wonderful planet, being productive and enjoying the quality of her life. Barbara says, “…nature (including human nature) is anything but static and predictable.” Her book is intended to be a “flashlight” so the reader can see what goes bump in the night.

An Extraordinary Life was released January 14, 2014 and can be purchased online at www.barbarawilliamson.org from publisher Balboa Press, and at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She currently spreads her marketing plan throughout several forms of social media, as well as releasing periodic press releases with a video trailer. She’s also used some paid advertisement. Next, she plans to reach out to bloggers for reviews.
 

You can find her at her website above, at Twitter @AuthorBarbaraW, on her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Williamson/e/B00NH9N3GO, or on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/barbara-williamson/95/636/530/.

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the book in question, as I have not read it and cannot vouch for its contents.**

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Featured Author Paulette Harper and book Princess Nevaeh

princess-navaeh-book-tour-1 Welcome to Happy Geek Media's Debut of Princess Nevaeh by Author Paulette Harper Curly Divider Blue
ABOUT THE BOOK
Princess Nevaeh by Author Paulette Harper
Genre: Children's Books
Release date: September 4, 2014
4 - 7 K - 3
34 pages
***
princess-navaeh-book-tour-1
Princess Nevaeh by Author Paulette Harper Six year old Nevaeh wants to be something she already is. She will soon learn that her wish to be a princess takes a little bit more than just asking. Some of the Lessons taught in Princess Nevaeh:  1.Self- Worth 2. Behavioral skills: fighting, bullying, and name calling. 3.Encouraging the kid to do better) 4.Teaches manners and how to conduct themselves. 5. It encourages listening skills pertaining to adults, parents and teachers. In regards to listening and obeying adults: this is a great opportunity for parents to share with the child the difference between those you can trust and those you can't. These types of story books are perfect for kids to learn, improve and grow. Curly Divider Blue
 PURCHASE LINKS
Purchase on Amazon here/Check out Reviews on Goodreads
Curly Divider Blue
FOLLOW THE TOUR SCHEDULE HERE
Curly Divider Blue

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author-Paulette-Harper
Author Paulette Harper Beginning her career in 2008, Paulette is an award-winning, bestselling author and the founder of WNL Coaching and Marketing Services. Along with being an ordained Elder, she is the author of several books and founder of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours, a service to help promote authors of the Christian genre and authors of clean books. As an inspirational and motivational speaker, Elder Paulette’s desire is to empower, influence and cultivate women to move forward while dealing with issues that hinder women from becoming all they are created to be. Her topics are biblically sound and pertinent to the needs of today’s women. Paulette is a wife, mother, grandmother and Bible teacher. Paulette has appeared on numerous radio and Television shows. Combining enthusiasm with an energetic speaking style, audiences describe Paulette’s presentation as inspiring, enriching and encouraging. She is committed to speaking a message that is always uplifting and edifying. As a writing coach, she is the visionary behind her own writing ministry called “Write Now,” a literary program that specializes in coaching aspiring writers in the areas of creativity, development, and publication of Christian books. She provides her listeners with tools, resources, and opportunities to help them succeed in the writing business. Her books have ranked consecutively on the Black Christian Publishers Bestsellers List for Independent Publishers (non-fiction category). Connect with her below...
Curly Divider Blue
GIVEAWAY
Good luck and happy reading and winning!
                          Tour hosted by... Happy-Geek-Media Happy Geek Media

 

Hello friends! Today I’m very pleased to be talking with author Paulette Harper about her children’s book, Princess Nevaeh. I’m not much of a review writer, a skill that I’m constantly trying to improve, but I thought when I was offered a chance at this blog tour, I’d give it a try!

 
Paulette Harper is the founder of WNL Coaching and Marketing Services, and she’s also an ordained Elder. She has authored several books and started the Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours, a service to help promote Christian genre books and authors. She’s also an inspirational and motivational speaker. She’s also a mother and grandmother [Congrats on the family! Kids can so enrich our lives!] In her role as a speaker, she is committed to speaking her messages in an uplifting and edifying way. As an author, her books have ranked consecutively on the Black Christian Publishers Best-sellers list for Independent Publishers.

 
I downloaded Princess Nevaeh for my Kindle, though I’m still a bit old-fashioned when it comes to books (I like the good old paper pages that I can feel in my hands, and the smell of a new book, or even an old one.), but the Kindle version was a-okay in my book. The colors and illustrations were bright and eye-catching, and the pages on the Kindle automatically defaulted on my phone to the landscape (sideways) view so that I could see the full page at one time, which was really nice. Not sure how the formatting was done to insure that, but I’d love to learn how, in the event I ever publishing another book with illustrations.

 
Nevaeh is a young girl who asks her grandmother what it takes to be a princess. Her Mimi explains that she must be nice to people, never bite or kick or hit, never bully people or call them bad names, and to always do what grownups tell her to do. Nevaeh is a little sad, because she doesn’t always clean her room when her parents tell her to or stay quiet in class when the teacher says it’s time to pay attention. Nevaeh is afraid this will prevent her from becoming the princess that she so longs to be.

 
However, Mimi goes on to explain that she can see how Nevaeh works hard to improve her behavior, and that Nevaeh has always been her princess, from the moment she was born. In the end, Mimi encourages Nevaeh to keep behaving well, that she is beautiful inside and out, and that she can accomplish anything she can dream of.

 
This book is well-written and I can see it being quite engaging for young children, in my opinion maybe 4-8 year olds. It explains very succinctly that it’s not nice to hit, or call names, or bully others (and as you know, bullying in school has become a very big problem as of late), and it lays down the rules in a way intended to be easy for young children to relate to, as well as retain. Anyone who has young children around, parents, grandparents, caretakers, or foster parents, should consider this book for the library of their children. It has the feel of a book they’ll want to read (or have read to them!) over and over again. It’s encouraging as well as educational! Nicely-done! 5*****!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“My Butterfly Cancer” by Markie Madden

Free Press Release Service through New Book Journal.



“My Butterfly Cancer” by Markie Madden

Featured Author Debbie White and book Passport to Happiness


Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, and not ( ) citations.

 

Author Debbie White is from a small town not far from San Francisco, California. It’s a lovely place, close to the beach, the rolling hills, and California’s prized vineyards. She works outside the home for the government, has two grown children, and two granddaughters. She also has two rescue dachshunds and is an avid supporter of animal rescues. In fact, she donates a part of her sales to local shelters [a woman after my own heart!].

 


Her book, Passport to Happiness, is a contemporary romance about a young small-town girl who dreams of bigger and better places. Although it is a fiction, Debbie says she’s actually lived in quite a few of the places mentioned in the book. As both a military child and wife, she’s quite the expert in travel! She also does quite a bit of research on locations she uses in her books, to make a richer experience for the reader. She says her books will always end in those happy-ever-afters and will always feature animals as well.

You can find Passport to Happiness on Amazon, along with her other book called The Salty Dog [I like this one already!], which has also just been released as an audiobook. She hopes to entertain her readers with a clean romance. She says, “I lead the reader UP TO the bedroom door.”  Each has a bit of mysticism and adventure.

One Amazon reviewer raves about Passport to Happiness: “A definite must read. Although it is not a true story, it reads like one…” Another review calls it a “Tender and captivating story.” One reviewer explained that, while it wasn’t really a ‘sequel’ to The Salty Dog (as we think of sequels), there was a definite connection between the two books.

 


She has one new book in progress right now, and she’s re-working and editing The Pet Palace, her very first book. She still works in her “day” job, though she’s hoping to retire by 2018 [that will be the year I’ll be ‘cured’ of cancer--a celebratory year for both of us!].

Debbie spends a lot of time marketing through social media, to the extent that she’s considering hiring an assistant. [If only I could be so lucky! Ha, ha!] A self-published author, Debbie uses all of the social media networking to her advantage, and she’s also on GoodReads and Wattpad.

You can find Debbie on her blog: http://authordebbiewhite.wordpress.com
http://authorsrevealed.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/authordebbiewhite
http://www.authordebbiewhite.com
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Featured Author Ellen Leventhal and book Bully in the Barnyard


 

 
Author Ellen Leventhal lives in Houston, Texas, and is the mother of two grown sons, grandmother to two boys and a brand-new baby girl [congrats on the new addition!]. She says she’s been writing “forever”, but her dream became a reality in 2006 when she released a book with co-author Ellen Rothberg called Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets. She is also a part-time teacher.

Bully in the Barnyard is her first truly independently-published book (previous books were published with a small press publisher) and it was released in 2011. It’s a children’s book dealing with the ever-growing issue of bullying, and how to stand up for your friends. She’s also released a story in an anthology for adults, called Space City 6: Houston Stories From the Weird to the Wonderful; her story title is “A Soldier’s Gift.” You can find Bully in the Barnyard at Ellen’s website: www.E2books.com. Space City 6 can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.
 

Her children’s book all teach a lesson without “being preachy”, as Ellen puts it. In all the books, her main character is a bit naughty and must learn an important lesson in the end. A Soldier’s Gift is about a young soldier in WWII and how a selfless act turned full circle many years later. Ellen wants her child readers to be able to relate to the characters in her story, and know that we all make mistakes but that we can learn from those mistakes.

Ellen is currently at work on several additional picture books, as well as a middle school aged chapter book. She frequently attends book fairs and makes visits to schools to help promote her children’s books. She is also a member at GoodReads and several Facebook writing groups. Her website, again, is www.E2books.com , her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/E2Books/110452795659859 , her blog: https://leventhalellen.wordpress.com . She’s also part of a collaborative blog at: https://spacecityscribes.wordpress.com .

 

**Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the books mentioned, as I haven’t read them and can’t vouch for their content.**

Sunday, November 30, 2014

E-Book Giveaway

In just under an hour, my e-book giveaway will begin. Find and like me at Facebook and then click on the tab next to Page, About, Photos, where it says Giveaway. Then just follow the instructions! It's as easy as that! The prize will be a PDF copy of Once Upon a Western Way. Winner must have Adobe Reader or similar app that will read a PDF. Have fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Author Erica Martin and book Your Work at Home Journey


 
Author Erica Martin lives in North Carolina and works from home as an interviewer for a company dealing in life and health insurance applications. She also does some freelance work in writing and transcription. She’s been married for 11 years.

Her book, Your Work at Home Journey, contains information in a few areas that people can work from home in: phone work, transcriptions, and freelance writing. She also includes advice and things that others should know before they start working from home. Your Work at Home Journey came out in April, 2014 and is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NJTHV0MC and this book focuses on important things that people need to consider before they decide to work from home.

Your Work at Home Journey currently has six 5* ratings on Amazon. One reviewer calls it, “A good reference tool.” And comments that, “I wish I had this book many years ago It would have saved me time, money, and grief. I highly recommend it.” Another reviewer says, “The author has worked in transcriptions, sales, data entry, surveys, and writing. If you fall into one of these categories, get this book because she covers everything! Highly recommended!” A third Amazon customer calls it, “Very informative and way more than I expected!”
 

She’s currently working on her second book which will have more information on different companies that will hire people to work from home. Since she independently-published Your Work at Home Journey, she will likely do the same with her second book.


 

**Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the book in question as I haven’t read it, so I can’t vouch for its contents.**

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Five Stages of Grief

To go along with yesterday's post, I'm going to post an article I wrote many years ago for a support group that I belong to on MDJunction, where they have online support groups for just about every medical condition under the sun. I joined this group when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, though it's been a wonderful support and resource for me through many other illnesses! This article has been posted in several different groups, and I thought it might be helpful to have it here as well.
07 April 2010
 
You've not been feeling well for quite some time now.  At first, you tried to ignore it, then finally realized that you couldn't put it off any more.  You make an appointment with your doctor, who schedules a series of strange and intimidating tests: blood work, CAT scans, MRIs and stuff you probably never even heard of.  After waiting for what seems forever to get your test results back, your doctor calls you into the office.  Then you get the news: you have a chronic illness, something that cannot be cured and that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.  You sit there, perhaps still in the exam room, maybe in your car in the parking lot, and you wonder, what now?

Now is the time when the five stages of grief will step in and rule your life for a matter of time.  It could be days, weeks, months, or even years that you will spend going through the process of grieving, but every person who is diagnosed with a chronic illness will go through this process, the same as you would if you had lost a loved one.  You HAVE lost a loved one: the old YOU.  You must grieve for the person that you were, so that you can move on and accept the person that you are.

The first stage of grief is denial.  Each and every one of us goes through this process.  We may say to ourselves, "Oh, it can't be!  That can't be right!"  We may even go to another doctor, to try and find another answer, perhaps one with a "cure".  Most of us will go home and do some research, whether on the computer or at the local library or book store.  We may even KEEP that appointment with the other doctor, just to see if maybe this one will come up with something we like better.  When we go home, we may tell our loved ones and friends that the tests were inconclusive, that the "quack" we went to see doesn't know what's wrong with us and that we're going to keep trying to find an answer. 

Once you've made your way through the denial phase, the next step in your grieving process is anger.  You may become increasingly angry at the world, your job and coworkers, your family, and even yourself.  You will probably want to yell and scream, and possibly even throw things.  You will declare to yourself and to anyone who will listen about how life isn't fair and you got the short end of the stick.  At this stage, it is important to remember that your anger is an integral part of your grieving process, and that it is completely normal.  However, if your anger turns to violence toward you or others, it's time to seek professional help.

The third stage of grief is called bargaining.  If you are a person of faith (no matter what that faith is), you will probably find yourself trying to bargain with your deity; "Oh please, if you'll take this away, I will _________" (fill in the blank).  This, too, is a normal phase of grieving that everyone must go through before they can become completely comfortable.

Depression is the fourth stage of the process of grieving for your lost self.  This stage is easy to get into and difficult to get out of.  But again, this phase is completely normal, however, if your depression is so serious that you are having feelings and/or thoughts of hurting yourself (or worse), please seek professional help!!  You may become depressed because you can no longer do some of the things you used to do, or be the person you used to be.  You may feel as if you are "broken" or that there is something wrong with you.  You may isolate yourself from your friends (or they may do it for you--but if they do, they weren't true friends), slow or completely stop your social activities, and spend hours or days at a time in bed crying.  You are grieving over the loss of your self.

The final stage of grieving is acceptance.  This is where you finally get to the point where you say to yourself, this is where I'm at, and I can accept it.  You have come to terms with your illness, learned about it, and learned how you yourself can cope with your condition and make your life a bit more livable with that condition.  You may slowly pick up your social activities and come out of your shell more and more.  A big step toward managing your condition, no matter what it is, is the acceptance of that condition.  Once you are no longer fighting the inevitable, you will be better able to listen to your body as it tells you what it needs.

You may not necessarily go through these five stages in the order listed, and there's no time limit for each one.  You will remain in a stage for as long as YOU need to.  There's no right or wrong answer here.  You may even go back to a stage you have already been through, because there is something there that is still unresolved in your mind.  However, there is one thing to remember through all of this: the stages of grief are necessary to your physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being, not only when you grieve the loss of a loved one, but when you grieve the loss of yourself as well.  Do not be ashamed, but rather embrace your grieving process; once you do, you will find that you manage a lot better!**The five stages of grief information was taken from: Recover From Grief.

December Contest!

I'm holding a contest from December 1 through December 15, and the prize will be a PDF copy of Once Upon a Western Way. All you'll need is Adobe Reader or similar PDF reader software. No cheating and starting before December 1! (Just kidding, it won't let you anyway!) This is sort of a test to see what sort of response I get, but the winner will still get a prize! Have fun! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Has New Meaning This Year

Today is a major holiday for those of us living in the United States (and possibly other places as well; I don't mean to exclude anyone!). It's the holiday of Thanksgiving, where, among other things, we think back upon the past year and give thanks for what we have. We usually cook massive feasts of turkey, ham, dressing or stuffing (and YES, as my mother will continually remind you, there is a difference! Dressing is not cooked inside the turkey like STUFFING is.), mounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and more pies than we can stand to look at. Most people don't have to go to work, kids don't have to go to school, and it's a major family occasion, sometimes one of the few times a year that whole extended families might see each other. This ritual may seem odd to those in other countries, but at its core, it's intended to show that we're prosperous enough to make such a meal for a single day.

But beyond the Hallmark version is the real truth behind Thanksgiving: that of giving THANKS for what we have (or in some cases, what we don't have!). There has never been a single year in which I was more grateful and thankful than I am this year. At this point last year, we weren't sure if I was going to be home for the holiday, or stuck in a hospital 3 hours away from those I love. Even, some months before this time last year, whether I was going to live or not.

Going back over your past year can sometimes be painful, and I think about the long journey I've walked over the past 365 days. I went from a person paralyzed from an autoimmune condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome over Christmas 2012, to a healthy and active young woman who went to work every day, played with dogs, and rode and trained my horse. Just 5 months later, that recovery had done a complete 180 and I was again ill, and finally, on July 27, 2013, I was diagnosed with leukemia. At the time, we were sure it was a death sentence.

Before being sick, I'd worked at Auto Zone, a local auto parts store, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri (yes, and I can change my own oil and brakes too!), and I'm grateful for the kindness and support of all my coworkers there. Thank you, my friends, for just being you! I wish I could return, but at this point...well, who knows what the next 365 days will bring? The Auto Zone corporation even gave me a donation, something they do for employees in situations like mine. Thank you, too, Auto Zone.

While I was sick, my family was making the long drive to visit me one weekend, and they were in a car accident. They're all okay, but the vehicle was a total loss. My husband arranged to purchase a vehicle from a coworker of his, and she was nice enough to let him make payments on it. But unknown to us, they were secretly collecting donations and raised enough money for him to pay off the car, get it inspected, and registered, and even had a little left over for gas. Thank you, everyone at Gates Refurb Plant in Poplar Bluff, for your generosity.

Also, my sister, Dana Jordan, who lives in Michigan, organized a fundraiser. My brother, Matt, and his girlfriend Maria, my other sister Becky Rottenbucher, my parents, Dan and Coy Jordan, and Maria's parents, all pitched in to help. Maria's parents allowed the use of Colonial Lanes in Flushing, Michigan, and they had a bowling fundraiser. They collected donations of services from local businesses, or items to raffle off, designed T-shirts, and much more. To each of them, as well as the sea of faceless (to me anyway) strangers who participated or donated, I say thank you very much. They raised a bit over $4,000 that night, and my family needed it desperately.

My sister-in-law, Jacinda Dees, who lives in Florida, also did some fundraising with silicon bracelets from the Max Foundation, and a go-fund-me (or something similar online) where people could go to donate. She also started a Facebook page so that I could post updates (or she or my husband could, when I wasn't able to) in a single place and reach all of the people that I really cared about, all from one place! She also (on occasion) had to edit my posts because I was on so many medications, some of them for pain, that I would often fall asleep posting, or I couldn't focus on what I was posting. Now that I look back, we should have saved some of those posts...we could probably devote an entire blog post to them alone! They would go perfect with all the "text message spell check fails" that are going around everywhere! So to her, and my in-laws Cathy and Darrell Dees, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I need to mention my friend Denise Mercer at this point. She's the one who sent me a simple friend request on Facebook, sort of a "I heard from so-and-so that you're sick, I wanted to check in" sort of thing. Denise is a published author as well, her book is called  My Father's Table, and you can click the link to see it on Amazon. You can also get it at CreateSpace and Barnes and Noble, and for Kindle. Many of you who regularly follow my blog may be aware that I had already published Once Upon a Western Way (in April, 2012), but it was only available digitally at Smashwords. Denise was the one that started "the butterfly effect" in my life, and gave me the tools and knowledge I needed to publish in print. Butterflies hold a special significance to Denise and her family, and that's why I chose the Monarch butterfly for the cover image for My Butterfly Cancer, and part of the reason I chose the butterfly logo to represent my publishing company. Denise, my dear and wonderful friend, thank you with big hugs!

I'm thankful for all the staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, who gave me the very best of care and made sure that I was alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving day. This includes doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, janitors, and even the people who brought my food. I couldn't have gotten care closer to home, as we're extremely rural here, and they gave me 5 star service! I still keep in touch with some of them, and from time to time I stop there when I'm in town for checkups. And of course, I'm working to donate my books (and hopefully soon, my audiobooks) to the patients there. Thank you, all of you.

And finally, I'm ever grateful for the presence of my family. Being sick brought me and my mother closer together, and that makes me happy. My husband Jay, my kids Ally and Tasha, my best friends Val and Darlene, my (sister-from-another-mother) Michelle, Pam White (her husband had leukemia at the same time I did), all my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, close friends, acquaintances, my pets at home, and anyone else I've forgotten to mention (and I'm sure there are some!): I am more thankful for you guys than ever before!

For my blog visitors (whom I am also thankful for), if you've made it this far in this long post, I'm going to ask you to do something. I'd like you to share something you're thankful for in the comments section. It doesn't have to be today, because I know some people will be very busy (as I likely will be), but take a moment to think about what you're really grateful for this year. And those of you in countries that don't exactly celebrate Thanksgiving (and I know Canada does, but it's not today) can do the same today. Leave a short comment about what you're thankful for this year, then share this post to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or any other social media you might wish to. If I can get enough comments, maybe I can write a follow up post as to what my fans are thankful for.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Author Elora Carmen Shore and book A Road to Count my Days By


 Author Elora Shore lives in the southern USA and is looking for a “day” job as she’s just moved. She lives with a vain cockatiel named Snowflake (though she often calls him “His Lord Grumpship”!) and a Beagle named Buddy. She is a self-published author, whose family introduced her to the possibilities of e-book publishing.

A Road to Count My Days By is a book of poetry. She was looking over them one day and discovered that she had plenty to publish into a book. Rather than have them collect virtual dust in a document folder, she decided to share them instead. This book was released in October of 2013 on Amazon for Kindle readers. She is currently trying to get it available in print as well.

The first piece in the book, Falling Into My Dreams, “opens with an invitations for the other to lose herself in her own dreams, where she will find comfort, and perhaps save a bit of herself.” She hopes to inspire comfort, and hope, and let her readers know that they’re not alone. One Kindle reviewer comments, “A delightful read. I liked this book from the moment I looked at the cover. The author’s vivid observations lead to questions of existence and introspection… …the feeling you get is along the lines of ‘Ah, I am not alone.’” (Amazon review) A Road to Count My Days By currently holds an Amazon 5* rating.

Elora continues to write poems and may eventually release another compilation of her work. She’s also writing her first novel, a romantic comedy about a young woman who wants to escape the rut of trying to survive in the world of part-time jobs and increasingly high living expenses. She’s also working on book one of a trilogy, The Nelessar Legends.

Another book by Elora is called Eloise (a short story): “Day in, day out, the past follows one girl on every side. But not at night. Eloise is the role that defines the longings of her heart. But when Eloise is taken away…the glass structure of her sanity is fractured…” (Taken from Amazon description). This book is rated 5*.
 

Elora says marketing is difficult for her, as she realizes that “poetry is a small, tough market.” But she welcomes teaming up with others and has learned that, even if a relationship with another author, for example, doesn’t net any extra sales, the networking alone is worth it to her. She can be found on GoodReads, in their “I poetry” group, and many others. You can find her on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elora-Carmen-Shore/e/B00n6H2AOJM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 , her blog: http://elorashorependragon.blogspot.com , on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elora.shore , on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/107132215954495827545/about and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/elora-shore/82/237/456 .

 

**Disclaimer: This interview is not an endorsement of the book in question, as I haven’t read it and can’t vouch for its contents.**

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Author Annalisa Crawford and book Our Beautiful Child


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own, and not ( ) citations.

 

I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting with author Annalisa Crawford, a resident of Cornwall, England. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog, and a cat, and is a fitness instructor when she’s not writing.

Our Beautiful Child was released by Vagabondage Press in June 2014, and she says her publisher calls it “gothic”, which she loves. It’s a collection of three novellas set in the same town, and spun around the same pub. Each story has its own main characters, three women running away from their problems and encountering new ones along the way. [Isn’t that just how karma works?] She says her characters tend to evolve over time, sometimes over the course of several drafts. Our Beautiful Child was inspired by her town, by a song, and that dream most of us have had where we’re falling.
 
Our beautiful child is rated 4.8* on Amazon! "The three novellas tie in and weave tales that keep you glued to the book and turning pages."

This book is available on Amazon, Vagabondage Press, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s, Google Play, and OmniLit. These stories will inspire the reader to think, and she leaves the endings somewhat open so the reader can draw their own conclusions. Plus, she loves to hear how her readers THINK the story ends! She says she wants her readers to be emotionally engaged with her writing.

She is hard at work on another novella, about a woman’s fight to overcome domestic violence and alcoholism. She’s also developing a full-length novel about how a man’s ego can have dire consequences for his friends and strangers alike.

Annalisa has also written Cat and the Dreamer, available at Vagabondage Press. She self-published a book called That Sadie Thing, a collection of short stories thata she’s had in literary competitions over the years, basically a “greatest hits” of her life’s work. You can find Annalisa on GoodReads where she says she’s “sporadically active in some groups”, but she loves reading reviews, especially on new books before she’s read them. She addicted to the book spoiler!

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of these books, as I haven’t read them and can’t vouch for their contents.**

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Author Dora Badger and book Lemonade Songs


 

Comments in blocks [ ] are my own.

Author Dora Badger is a resident of Detroit, Michigan, where she lives with her partner and a whole pack of rescue dogs. She also has a grown daughter. Since the 9-5 job isn’t really her style, she’s a freelance web designer when she isn’t writing. She’s also the Primary Vendor Coordinator for Woodward Press, a company that pairs up independent authors and professional editors, cover artists, and other people to help authors self-publish.

Lemonade Songs is a short horror piece loosely based on a nightmare where her daughter, as an infant, kept “singing the dead back to life”! These ghoul-like characters kept showing up at her home and demanding lemonade. [How imaginative, and what a horrid nightmare to have!]

It was released in July, 2014 and is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lemonade-Songs-Horror-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B00LYU5KRI . At its very core, Lemonade Songs is about the lengths that a parent will go to in order to protect a child. She hopes to invoke in her readers that “deeply disturbing moment when a protagonist is forced into actions he/she would otherwise never consider. [Very cool!]

Dora is currently engaged in writing a sequel titled Ash Lake, a full-length novel that will pick up 15 years after the events in Lemonade Songs. Its projected release date is late 2015 or early 2016. She also had another full-length novel coming out in mid-2015 called Uncurled. Another book by Dora is called When You’ve Been Bad, and along with Lemonade Songs, are intended as introductions to her writing style and are frequently offered as freebies through Amazon. She also uses social media networks to promote her books.
 

Dora is a member of GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3160764.Dora_Badger and participates in a few groups on that site. Her website is http://menaceandwhimsy.com, on Twitter @dorabadger, Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/eudaimon3113 and Google+ https://plus.google.com/105152259111713475411. For information about Woodward Press, see http://www.woodwardpress.com.

 

**Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the books in question as I haven’t read them, so I can’t vouch for their contents.**

 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holidays Are a Time to Reflect

With so many Americans (and possibly other nations) getting ready to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, it's a time when we should slow down in our busy lives and really reflect on what we have and what we're thankful for. I've already written my #Thanksgivingblog, so I won't talk much about that today. But I am going to talk about food!

Holidays are a time when we tend to gorge ourselves on a feast of food that would probably sustain the family for a week were it not prepared on the same day! I grew up having the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing (not stuffing), gravy, and so on. So, this is what I prepare for my family each year.

I'm not too good at roasting a turkey in the oven, so I tend to choose a smaller turkey, or a turkey breast, and put it into my CrockPot with butter, cream of chicken soup, and water for the day. It slow cooks poultry to near perfection. It's never dry, always flaky and moist, and it saves my oven for other things to cook. My mother, if I remember right, used to start the turkey in the middle of the night, the day before Thanksgiving, or in the wee hours of the morning, so that she'd have the oven available later for dressing.

I make cornbread dressing, just as my mom always did. I cheat a little and use Jiffy cornbread mix, but I always add about a tablespoon of sugar to each batch. Then I chop up hard-boiled eggs, onions if I have them, and mix poultry seasoning, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper into the crumbled cornbread. Then I crack a couple raw eggs into it, fill it with water, and stick it into the oven.

For my gravy, I cheat a little bit too. I take cans of cream of chicken soup, add poultry seasoning, sage, salt, pepper, and chopped up hard-boiled eggs. I also use some of the juice and drippings from the turkey in the CrockPot and mix it all together. My husband says that my dressing and gravy should be considered the 5th food group. Although, with recent changes to the "food pyramid" that we grew up with, I'm not sure how many groups they actually have now!

Then, of course, we have the required mashed potatoes, usually a green bean casserole (with the crispy French onions), sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and brown sugar, yeast rolls, and cranberry sauce! We may have other odds and ins in depending on what we were feeling like having when we went shopping.

I've never been one to bake pies well, so we usually end up buying a premade pumpkin pie and usually a pecan pie too. Sometimes, I'll splurge and get a chocolate cream pie for myself, since I don't like pumpkin and can no longer chew pecan pie :( . Chocolate's my thing!

So, the family will gorge itself on all this food at around 2:00 in the afternoon, then we'll collapse into turkey comas for a few hours, only to wake again and return to the buffet to pick and choose at a favorite dish. And then comes the turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, or any dish you could substitute chicken with turkey for, just to try and get the leftovers eaten before it's time to throw them out!

Now that I've gotten you salivating at the thought of Thanksgiving dinner, I'll offer up a challenge: leave me a comment on a special dish you serve at Thanksgiving, or any other holiday, or one you remember from your childhood. Maybe we can find a new "special dish"!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Featured Author Nancy LaPointe and book Masked in Deceit


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my added comments, not citations.

 
Nancy LaPoint lives in the state of New Mexico (which she reminds us IS a part of the United States!) with her family and “two little white dogs”, in her home nestled in the Lincoln National Forest [Billy the Kid is said to be buried in the area.]. She’s a retired pastoral counselor and her current job, which she loves, is “writing”!

Masked in Deceit is a Christian mystery novel about a newspaper reporter who uncovers a sinister plot to manipulate citizen into gun control. [Is this fiction, or non-fiction?? ;) ] She was inspired to write it by hearing so many conspiracy theories that seem to have a bit (or more) of truth to them. Eyewitnesses to tragic events around the nation are identified as being the same people, it poses the question to the reader: conspiracy theories, or possibilities? Masked in Deceit was released in July of 2014, published through CreateSpace and available at Amazon or through Nancy’s website at http://www.nancysview.com .

Nancy wishes to give the reader a good, clean mystery while undoubtedly asking themselves some important questions about how the media handles tragic events in our country, as well as the culpability of our government to push emotional responses from its people. [Again, fiction, or non-fiction? Can you tell my husband is a conspiracy nut?]

Another book Nancy has available is a non-fiction titled Living in God’s Rest…at Peace in a Chaotic World which is an inspirational guide to overcoming stress in difficult times. This book is published with West Bow Press and is available in print through all major retailers, and in e-book format as well.

Nancy routinely uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as marketing tools. She’s also a member of GoodReads and Bookbzz as well. She welcomes her readers to join her at either or both as well as her Facebook page.


You can find Masked in Deceit at Amazon  and it’s currently ranked at 5 out of 5*! [Nice job, by the way!] Joyce H. says, “Loved this book. It kept my attention from the beginning.” And Patsy Raef stated: “This book was well written, I did not want to put it down.” So if you’re looking for an excellent read with a conspiracy background, go check out Nancy’s book! I know she’ll appreciate it!

 

**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any of the subject material, as I have not read the book, and cannot vouch for its contents.**

Monday, November 17, 2014

Worse Than Writer's Block!

I've recently become aware of something that could potentially damage myself as a writer, more than likely a side-effect of the chemotherapy I've recently endured. It's something that I'm not sure medical science can fix or repair, and I'm not sure if I myself can do anything about, except for just watching closely for it to occur and correcting it when it does.

I've discovered that I have some type of writing disorder. Oh, I've not been diagnosed with it by a medical doctor, but if it hadn't been for my new-found writing career, I may not have ever noticed it. I was just typing a post on one of my social media networks, and I typed the word many as "namy", which of course my computer's spell checker alerted me to. This was when I began to think back about numerous other times I've done something similar in the past few months. I thought about all the times I'd written the word with the correct letters, but oftentimes in the wrong order.

I guess this goes hand in hand with the times when I'm either speaking or writing where I have to stop and think for a good long time about the word I'd intended to use. Often, it's on the tip of my tongue (or my fingers), and I just can't pull it out of my brain as fast as my hands can type. Sometimes, I never can come up with the word and I'll have to go ask someone, "What do you call it when [fill in the blank]?". I remember recently I was trying to use the phrase, "Sometimes a spade is just a spade," and I just couldn't pull out that last word! I finally had to ask my family, "Sometimes a spade is just what? As in something that is exactly what it appears to be?" It was dad who finally came up with the end word of the phrase.

At first I thought this might be a type of dyslexia, but I've read a little about that and it seems that dyslexia is more of a reading and learning disorder. Whatever it is has made me curious enough to bring it up to my doctor the next time I see him. It may simply be that there's a misfiring of sorts going on between my brain (that says type the word many) and my fingers (which ends up typing the word "namy" instead). Today isn't really the first time I've noticed this, and it seems to occur more often when I'm typing on the laptop with both hands, as opposed to when I'm typing on my phone screen using only my thumbs.

As a writer, I've never relied completely on the technology of the spelling or grammar checker that comes with word processing software on a computer. Often, I ignore some of the grammar suggestions it makes because I actually intended to say what I typed. Sometimes, whether in novels or non-fiction, we tend to use poor grammar, for example, in a dialogue (using less formal language lets the dialogue seem more believable), and we don't need it to change. I've always been a stickler for proper spelling and grammar myself; I even have difficulty not capitalizing names, for instance, in web addresses, or using text or Twitter shorthand. So I've relied more on my own knowledge of proper grammar to get me where I am today.

With this kind of condition, I'm going to have to watch myself even more closely. Generally speaking, my computer alerts me to spelling errors even when I'm posting to Facebook, or writing a post here. And that's a good thing that it does; it has caught me several times transposing letters in a word. But I don't want to get into the habit of letting my computer do all the work for me. Sometimes the spell check won't alert you; in other words, if you had typed the word "if" but left off the letter "I", it would be nothing but a letter f. So you can see why it's important to have human eyes to help you edit and proofread your work. Often a fresh set of eyes will catch a typo like mentioned above, where your eyes (because you wrote it) may well just skip clean over it!

I'm by no means suggesting that you turn off your grammar and spell check on your computer software. Absolutely, use it in your writing. But just take what it tells you with a grain of salt, and if you can get someone else to proof your work, by all means, go for it! As indie authors, we often can't afford to hire the services of a professional editor, but there are other ways to get your work edited. If you know other authors, offer to exchange editing for editing. You send them a chapter or two for them to look over, and you do the same for them. Maybe you can even find readers in your area who would do it for you, and you could email them an excerpt that you'd like edited. Even if you don't change to their suggestions, it will make you stop and take a look at your writing from another perspective, and that will help to improve your writing.

Writing is a Work in Progress, and that process doesn't have to stop at the printing press. As indie authors using a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace, or digital services like Amazon's KDP or Smashwords, we have full control over our work and how it looks. I've already released 2nd editions of all my books, print and Kindle versions. The changes I made weren't to the book content (except for a couple spelling errors), but were purely cosmetic, such as page number styles and location, working table of content hyperlinks in the Kindle versions, and so on. I'm continually striving to make my writing be the best it can be.


Cover Art for Audiobook
 
And I'm going to use this post as a way to introduce the cover art for my audiobook version of Once Upon a Western Way, just started in production today! I'm using the same castle as I did on the 2nd edition print cover. Mind you, the requirements for the cover art on ACX is that the picture be square, unlike that of CreateSpace or KDP, where the art has to be rectangular, taller than it is wide. I've always loved the castle photo for this story, as it's told during a time of kings and queens and royalty. It's the same image I used when I originally published this book with Smashwords in 2012, and when I first worked up the cover for it at CreateSpace, I couldn't get the resolution quite good enough, so I chose the cover I used for the 1st edition. Now, I'm glad that my 2nd edition has the castle image again. It always was close to my heart!



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Featured Author Evin O’Keeffe and book Bake Knit Sew


 
Comments in blocks [ ] are my own and not ( ) citations.

 
I’ve been chatting with author Evin O’Keeffe about her new book Bake Knit Sew. Evin lives in the beautiful country of Cork, Ireland with her husband and son. Her day job is consulting and helping businesses with their publishing needs such as internal newsletters, social media and blog content. Evin’s own blog at www.evinok.com, is the winner of the 2014 Best Craft Award from Blog Awards Ireland. [Congrats, that’s got to be a phenomenal feeling!] Evin is self-published by her own company, Anchor and Bee, which specializes in creative non-fiction.

Bake Knit Sew is available digitally at Raverly, as well as in paperback. This unique book features twelve original recipes, one for each month of the year and specific for the seasons. She also offers seven original knit designs, five original sewing projects, and over 80 full-color pages devoted to recipes and patterns. Evin says all but two of the photographs she shot herself! [That’s a skill all on its own!] Bake Knit Sew has a 5/5* rating on Amazon. One reviewer says, “Great showcase of Cork, Ireland! Beautiful photos accompany simple recipes and crafts.” Another raves: “LOVE THIS BOOK! ANY BAKER AND/OR CRAFTER WILL!”
 

During Evin’s blog tour, she’s offering a 15% discount to blog readers at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/bake-knit-sew-a-recipe-and-craft-project-annual/patterns for the ebook, and http://anchorandbee.bigcartel.com for a signed paperback copy of her book.

She’s also offering a giveaway:

“Leave a comment below by 4:00PM GMT (11:00AM EST) Saturday, November 22. 2014, telling me which of the designs you would want to make or recipes you want to bake to be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy of Bake Knit Sew in e-format! Good luck! No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner must have a valid email address or Ravelry account. Value of prize is $16.60. No cash equivalent will be offered. Your comment also counts as entry to win one signed paperback copy of Bake Knit Sew being given away on the 22nd of November to ONE lucky reader on this blog tour.”

Bake Knit Sew is a unique book in itself, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy some of the crafty projects are to do. [If only I could knit, but I never quite got the hang of it. Crochet, on the other hand, I’m fairly good at.]

 Evin’s even planning a sequel to Bake Knit Sew that she expects to be ready by Autumn of 2016. She’s self-published by her own little company she started in Ireland, Anchor and Bee, which is producing three books this year (two are not Evin’s own). She uses a little bit of all sorts of social media to help promote her work, including Twitter, Pinterest, and Ravelry. She’s also a member of the Cork Non-Fiction Writer’s Group which meets in person a couple times a month and maintains their own blog. She’s also organized a wonderful blog tour with many crafty-type bloggers around the world.

Where to find Evin? http://anchorandbee.com, http://evinok.com, http://facebook.com/evinok and on Twitter http://twitter.com/freckledpast. So hop on over and check her and her unique book out! You’ll be glad you did!

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