#Interviewsintranslation Estrella Cardona Gamio (@EstrellaCG ) and LETTER TO CHARO. Small is beautiful

Hi all:

I’d been promising you more interviews and here is a very special one for me. I loved the novel Cartas a Charo when I first read it in Spanish and I was lucky enough to be asked to translate it. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Spanish writer, Estrella Cardona Gamio, and her novel Letter to Charo.

First, the author tells us a bit about herself.

Author Estrella Cardona Gamio
Author Estrella Cardona Gamio

I have a BA in Fine Arts and I’m an author of novels, stories and children’s tales, I have also been a member of the Spanish Association of Journalists and Correspondents, and I’ve contributed editorials and short tales to different publications. I have also collaborated in radio with my own featured programmes. My first novel was self-published in paper years back, El otro jardín (The Other Garden). In March 2006, I published a book of short stories, La dependienta (The Shop Girl), with a publishing company in Madrid, hybrid publishing. In 1999, my sister, María Concepción, registered the publishing company C. CARDONA GAMIO EDICIONES (that started as an online publishing company that same year). From 2006 we started publishing books in paperback format and from the 28th April 2012 we are on Amazon, in Kindle format, broadening our horizons.

Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret
Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret

Here are the questions:

  • When and how did you start writing? I started writing novels when I was eight years old, instinctively copying others. I was an avid reader and wanted to imitate the writers I read. It was a game to start with but with time it stopped being one.
  • Describe for us your experience as an independent (self-published) writer: Very satisfying. Like many first-time writers, I went through the litany of sending inquiries to publishing companies and finally when Amazon reached Spain, I found what I was looking for, a serious and honest company. My official baptism of fire in the indie world couldn’t have been better.
  • Is there a moment that you remember with particular affection from your career as a writer, up to now? For me, the experience of writing is already the best of all moments.
  • What made you decide to translate your novel Carta a Charo (now available in English as Letter to Charo)? The fact that the action of this novel, now Letter to Charo, develops through the exchange of letters, between London and Barcelona, and I thought it would be very appropriate to translate it, and as you are an excellent translator (her words, not mine) I approached you with the project.
  • Tell us a bit more about your novel. It’s a novel written with plenty of love and I enjoyed the possibilities the interaction between the protagonists all immersed in the same novel, but so different between them, gave me, as they progressively share with us their thoughts and their personality. Charo’s character is a jewel, a true finding, as without her there would be no novel.
  • Do you have any advice for your writer colleagues (and especially for new writers)? Not to feel disappointed if they are not successful from the very beginning. Writing is a beautiful but thankless profession. We shouldn’t look for millions of sales, or for becoming one of the top ten writers, we should try to write well and not lose our patience in the process. All the writers who persevered triumphed in the end and that’s the important thing.

Here a review, written by a publisher, Marlene Moleon:

“Epistolary novels allow us to get close and personal with the intimacy of a character in a way not possible through any other narrative form. It is like entering the world of a person as she is, without embellishments or interpretations on behalf of the narrator. Estrella Cardona Gamio shows us her mastery of the genre with LETTER TO CHARO.

A short novel where rich human feelings and passions fit perfectly in the short number of pages given.”

Link to Letter to Charo:

http://relinks.me/B01LY90NED

 

Follow Estrella Cardona Gamio:

http://www.ccgediciones.com

http://www.estrellacardonagamio.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/estrellacardonagamioautora/

https://twitter.com/EstrellaCG/

 

Thanks so much to Estrella for her interview and on my behalf for her words and to her and her sister Concha for the opportunity to translate this great novel, thanks to all of you for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

But Critiques are Optional–Right?

How many of you write a novel or a short story, but you don’t know who to give it to? As writers, the most important thing to do during the journey of finishing your work is to hand a draft over for criticism. Especially if you’re starting out. I mean, you want your work to do well, right? I used to write fifty pages, then give it to my mom to see if it has the potential to be a good story. These days I try to actually finish the work before giving it to anyone. But sometimes it helps to know if the first few pages is an attention-grabber.

Handing out your work can be tricky and futile. For the most part, my mom is the main one to read my stories. I trust that she won’t throw my hard work around as her own. I trust that she will tell me the truth about whether or not if she thought I did well in writing it–to a point. I’ve given my first novel to a couple of friends who promised to read it and tell me how they like it. Then I ended up wishing I didn’t because they never follow through. People not doing what they promise to do, or saying they like something when they didn’t can hurt more than a million rejections from agents.

I tend to be very protective of my work, so giving my “baby” to anyone is a major deal. I’m always afraid it will fall into the wrong hands, so I prefer giving it to someone I know well. Unfortunately, even if they do follow through and read it, there’s that chance they’re afraid of hurting your feelings, so rather than saying it’s no good, or that scene is out of place, they may say “it’s not bad.”

Now that’s a great help to us who dream of being successful authors, isn’t it?

I wrote and rewrote and rewrote my first manuscript (soon to be on the market) for more than seven years. My mom was gracious enough to read it after each rewrite, and each time she’d tell me “yes, I love it except for this part.” And I’d see what I needed to do to smooth out the scene she was talking about, then she’d be upset with me because I’d always find something else I need to fix.

“It was fine the way you had it the first time,” she’d complain.

“No, Mom,” I’d say. “I have my dead guy as someone everyone hates. No one will care that he’s dead.”

Ironically, she liked each rewrite better than the last. Still, it’s one person’s opinion, and we want a few more, right? Thankfully, after I finished my final rewrite, God sent me another writer who graciously offered to read it and even edit it, if he liked the manuscript. With his guidance, I finished my first novel and actually wanted to read it again and again. Working frustratingly on a story and never being happy with the direction I was going in made me want to discard the entire project! Anyone else agree?

My good fortune continued when I was able to find a friend who did read my book, and an unbiased reader whom I didn’t know (but a friend does). I was nervous about handing it out to either person because of my history of fruitlessly searching for critiques. The good thing is that I know they were honest when they told me they thought it was a great story. And the icing on the cake was when I found they enjoyed the same scenes, wished I included more of this or that, liked this particular character flaw, etc.

This is why it’s vital to find someone to read your work before sending it off. There’s a lot of bad novels out there that were published but haven’t been “approved” in any way. But that’s the author’s right. However, critiques help. Your friends may catch grammar issues, spelling errors, etc, and you’ll want to fix them before either self-publishing or attempting to land an agent. Face it: agents aren’t going to want to give your manuscript a chance if you misspelled “the,” or if your heroine has brown hair at the beginning of the story, then blonde hair in the ending with no scene of buying hair colors.

Writer’s Digest offers plenty of excellent resources. It’s costly but worth it. I haven’t used their resources yet, but it’ll always be there should I decide I need to. Some writers attend groups where they critique each other’s work. Honestly, my trust issues won’t allow me to go that far, although, for the most part, writers want their peers to succeed. I just worry about my work, and I’m not alone…Even renowned mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark feels the same way.

If you’re a writer, I urge you to find a friend you know that enjoys reading (preferably the genre the story is in) and stress to them that they need to be as brutal and raw about their opinion as possible. Tell them to aim below the belt. You can choose to use their suggestions, or say, nay. But I bet you’ll find more often than not, their ideas are sound. After all, you know the point you were trying to make. Remember in school when teachers urged you to ask questions because chances are someone has that same question? Well, it’s often true to writing.

If you’re a reader, be true to your critiques. It doesn’t matter whether you’re critiquing something that’s already been published, or your best friend with ultra-sensitive feelings hands you a copy of their final draft. If you love the book, but not a certain scene or character, tell them. If you hated the book, tell them. They may ask why, and it’s quite possible they are willing to rework it. Nine times out of ten, they hand your their unpublished piece for a reason: to fix anything that may need to be fixed.

If we can’t take criticism, then I think we need to find another hobby or career. At the same time, if we throw out every criticism, you may as well not have asked for it in the first place. People in this world are overconfident when it comes to the things they are passionate about. Myself included. But somehow we need to realize that in order to be successful in this world, we need to work together. We need more honesty. The critiques may hurt, but if they’re genuine, it’ll only help in the end.

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Mountain Miracles,” BY AUTHOR @PCZICK

mountain-miracles

  • Title:  Mountain Miracles
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMJDZ06
  • ISBN-10: 1536850705
  • ISBN-13: 9781536850703
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Native American Romance

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

When Sissy Jones moves to the Smoky Mountains, she’s determined to follow her dream of owning a business by opening a coffee shop, right next door to a new paper starting up at the same time. The handsome publisher, David Bellwood, and Sissy discover an irresistible attraction to one another, but first, they must deal with mothers who aren’t always as they seem. After her mother has a stroke, Sissy must take care of her, and David must find out the truth behind his Cherokee mother’s disappearance when he was five. When Sissy tries to help David, he views her assistance as interference as he fights for his legacy. As both of them seek the comfort of family they’ve never known, they struggle to forgive, allowing the attraction to turn into something more.

My Recommendation:

When you first meet Sissy Jones you find her at a crossroads in her life. Starting over is never easy. The Smoky Mountains beckon and so does a new career. She opens a coffee shop in the small town of Murphy where Sissy meets David Bellwood, a new business owner himself. David begins a small newspaper in town, hoping to be near his boyhood cabin, where memories of his mother haunt him.

Both David and Sissy are smitten with each other and friendship blossoms into love. Each character has issues with a parent. Sissy has a controlling mother and David has a father who is hiding a deep secret from him. As their family lives spiral out of control they find solace in each other’s arms.

This is my favorite kind of romance – You know, the kind where there is a mystery involved. David was told his mother died when he was young. Hungry for the truth, he hires a private investigator who finds out what really happened. Sissy tries to help but seems to make matters worse. Can their love survive?

I enjoyed this story as much as all of P. C. Zick’s novels. Somehow, she writes characters that seem to sneak their way into my heart. I always enjoy when there is a life lesson intertwined into a romance novel, and Mountain Miracles doesn’t disappoint.

This sweet story is filled with the feelings and desires of a first true love relationship. Add some family drama and mystery and you have a recipe for a story that reminds you of your own first love.

This is the perfect novel for a Sunday afternoon or for a vacation. Short, sweet, and oh, so good!

love

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars

p-c-zick

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PCZick

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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Sharing a jewel for #writers. HOW TO BE A WRITER: 10 TIPS FROM REBECCA SOLNIT via @lithub

Thanks to Unsplash and its collaborators for another great image
Thanks to Unsplash and its collaborators for another great image

Hi all:

I’ve just read an article by Rebecca Solnit titled:  HOW TO BE A WRITER: 10 TIPS FROM REBECCA SOLNIT. JOY, SUFFERING, READING, AND LOTS AND LOTS OF WRITING

Although I didn’t know Rebecca Solnit before, after reading this article I will check her out.

Here the link to the article, that I recommend. Advice on writing is a very personal thing, like advice on anything else, but this one is more a philosophy of writing. It might resonate with you or not, but if you have a chance, give it a read.

Just a summary of her points (I couldn’t say it better, so go and read the article, but just in case you need convincing):

How to be a writer. Ten Tips:

  1. Write. I know this one is a shocker, but she makes great points about not worrying too much about how good or bad it is at first.
  2. Remember that writing is not typing. Here her point is that writing is a process and that putting fingers to keyboard is the end of such process (well, the culmination, as we all know about editing), but a lot of things go into writing, including planning, thinking, researching.
  3. Read. And Don’t Read. Read but be selective with your reading. Only read what speaks to you.
  4. Listen. Don’t Listen. Listen to feedback but be your own writer.
  5. Find a vocation. Write because it is your passion.
  6. Time. You’ll need time for it, so prioritise (not your duties, but everything else).
  7. Facts. Get your facts right, as relevant to your genre.
  8. Joy. This I recommend you read her article for. It does not mean write only when you feel like it, but rather, find what writing can bring you.
  9. What we call success is very nice and comes with useful byproducts, but success is not love. Don’t become enamoured with other things than the job at hand and don’t get distracted.
  10. It’s all really up to you. No matter how much advice, how many courses, coaches, etc, you are the one.

Don’t forget to check the original article, here.

And a little bit about Rebecca Solnit from the same site Literary Hub:

Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit

San Francisco writer, historian, and activist, Rebecca Solnit is the author of seventeen books about geography, community, art, politics, hope, and feminism and the recipient of many awards, including the Lannan Literary Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s, where she is the first woman to regularly write the Easy Chair column (founded in 1851).

Thanks so much to Rebecca Solnit and to Literary Hub for this inspiring article, thanks to all of you for reading, remember to like, share, comment, CLICK, and keep writing!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

“The Murder of Manny Grimes”–Pre-order Now!

I just wanted to give you guys an opportunity to view the first chapter of my debut novel and pre-order should you’d like to. And please help me spread the word! Thanks, and happy reading/writing!

angelakaysbooks

the-murder-of-manny-grimes-coverOkay, so based on popular demand, I wanted to release the very first chapter of my debut, The Murder of Manny Grimes. It will be available at: Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and my publisher’s website–Thomasmax.com. The release date is TBA, but will be available more than likely mid-October, if not sooner.

I will have a total of 200 books that wants live with mystery lovers. Here’s what I want to do for you: until supply runs out, I’m going to allow you to pre-order my debut. It’s going to be originally $14.95 for paperback and $7.95 (I think) for eBook.

backcover3

Now, here’s where the deal comes in. For $10, I will send you a signedcopy of my debut. Or I will offer you an unsigned copy for $5. Fill out the form down at the bottom of the page. You will be the first to know when I…

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The Revelation #BookReview

  • Title: The RevelationThe Revelation by [John, Anil]
  • Author: Anil John
  • File Size: 618KB
  • Print Length: 117
  • Publication Date: July 23, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01J0050U0
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fiction Thriller

The Revelation is a story of a boy who is fascinated by the mysteries of aliens after seeing the film ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. The curious boy persuades his father on a journey to discover and explore the possibilities of extra-terrestrial existence. The doting father embarks on a journey less traveled and his journey to the unknown, reveals the hidden answers to the most debated and controversial mystery in the history of mankind. The book decodes the mysteries of the extra-terrestrials, their presence and their purposes of visits to Earth and also discusses the next phase of human evolution.

It is short, and only took me a couple of hours to read through. Although it was fast-paced, the character development was weak, and the dialogue flimsy. The descriptions of places, on the other hand, were well thought out. The editing left a lot to be desired and I had to re-read a sentence here and there to grasp what I just read.

This short story has a lot of potential to being a great tale of father-son love, finding your place in the world, and pursuing your curiosities. Readers curious about aliens and adventure, then I’d say give this one a try.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

Biography

Anil John

Anil John is probably the only Martian who could make it to planet Earth and is still alive.

He invented blogging, eBook Readers and was the coach to Bear Grylls before he made it to the top.

He was enthusiastically greeted by the human species on 3rd June, 1975 and the journeys since then have been nerve wrecking.

‘Very strange species with little minds and little imagination.’ he quipped after he wrote his first eBook.

His dream is to write a dozen critically acclaimed bestsellers; a team of experts are presently attempting to evaluate the possibilities and they believe that this may result in an alien invasion.

Anil John is a passionate story teller with some good stories to share – but not all of them are true, for instance those in this column and in his books.

‘The Revelation’ is his first eBook and his next ‘The Redeemer’ will be released worldwide on 23rd October 2016.

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Angela Kay’s Guest Post on Bestselling Author Dan Alatorre’s Blog

Meet Angela Kay as she stands on the cusp of her first novel coming out, The Murder of Manny Grimes, and lays out the important elements in writing for one of the biggest genres out there. Mystery. I’m looking forward to writing a mystery one day, and I know a lot of you are, too, so […]

via The 5 Wonders of Wisdom for Mystery Writing – Guest Blog Post by Angela Kay — Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR

Readers/Authors Helping Readers/Authors

angelakaysbooks

Image result for megaphonePromoting isn’t always an easy thing. It’s actually excruciating, don’t ya think? I believe even if you’re naturally born to do something, there’s a part of the process that you need to learn.

I’ve never been a good seller. I mean, if people want something, they’ll buy it, whether you ask them or not. However, selling the novel you’ve sweated over for seven years is a whole different ballpark! I’ve learned to take baby steps. I know a few people who has created a “career” for themselves from blogging long before ever publishing. And because of their name being out there already, they have more of a “readership.” I didn’t have the luxury to do that. Not for lack of trying. I’ve attempted to blog before, but theImage result for readershipy always failed. I just didn’t understand the whole process. Then when I made friends with a fellow writer, he taught me…

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Fun with Filing

It’s a good idea to keep your virtual filing cabinets in good condition. Rather than having to search through a mile and a half of documents for a document whose title you forgot a year ago, create specific files and folders for specific things, and then make an effort to use them.

When you’re writing your first book you are blissfully innocent of the pitfalls that could await you when the time comes for editing, formatting, and loading onto the various sales sites. Many writers still hit the tab key for indents, and whack the carriage return button to create as much white space as they’d like to see on their title page. While this is fine for the paperback version of your book, it’s going to get promptly spat out of the Smashwords meatgrinder, and the tabs could cause some really terrible things to happen to your MOBI file. So it’s a great idea to be a little pedantic when you’ve written THE END at the close of your tale. It’s a good idea to hit a happy medium, and have a different file for each publishing format, but also not to keep every single old manuscript file “just in case”. Here are a couple of tips to retain a little bit of sanity when the time comes to launch your baby into the world.

Create a master folder for each book, and then create sub-folders within that folder. Keep your original manuscript as simple as possible. Just type it. Don’t fiddle with formatting at all. Don’t use tabs. Be gentle with the carriage returns. Just type it. Just type it. Just… You get the idea. Don’t use one manuscript to format across all publishing platforms. Trying to format a MOBI file from an already formatted CreateSpace file is a bad idea, although the other way around is not as much of a headache. The problem with Word is that it likes to assume what you’d like, based on what you’ve been doing, and Auto formatting can cause lots of glitches in an eBook, especially when you start getting into using a whole lot of different styles. Save yourself lots of future headaches and keep your master manuscript nice and pristine in its own folder. From there Save As new manuscripts for your eBook, Smashwords, and paperback formats, and work on each individually and from scratch. By trying to “save time” and simply trying to convert and then re-convert the same manuscript, you’re guaranteed at least one large headache, and sometimes the only way around such glitches is to completely wipe all formatting and start from scratch – not a fabulous way to go.

It can seem a bit tedious in future to have to visit each folder and manually update a typo found, but it’s worth it. Also remember to delete old files, and to add the latest date to the name of your most recent manuscript file. For instance “XYZ for Kindle 9 15 2016” as a file name will ensure that you don’t accidentally load your pre-proofed copy on to Amazon, a thing that happens very easily when you’ve saved every incarnation of your book file using different names, and believing that you would most definitely remember the most recent.

Even your virtual filing cabinet can become overwhelming. If that’s the case with you, then try and grab a couple of hours to clean it up. Delete all outdated files and manuscripts, and organise the rest, so that whenever you need to update or check on any of your already published works, everything is in place, and you won’t have any sort of disaster lurking and waiting to happen to you. Happy filing fellow scribblers!

Folders

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Which Half David,” BY AUTHOR Mark W. Sasse

Which Half David

  • Title:  Which Half David
  • Author: Mark W. Sasse
  • File Size:  1929 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01KG3ZHJE
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Religious & Inspirational Fiction, Christian Fiction, Drama, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

“Is your obsession worth killing for?

American mission worker Tobin Matthews becomes a local hero and celebrity in the Sulu Republic when he inadvertently foils a gang of human traffickers. But the heroism cannot mask his desperate soul, which wrestles with a broken marriage and a crippling set of doubts. As he sinks to a new low, his brazen ex-lover arrives in Sulu with her own agenda. The Asian beauty quickly becomes the greatest temptation of his life, and he must decide how far he is willing to go to have her.

Which Half David is a modern twist on the centuries old tale of King David. Set against the lush backdrop of the fictitious Southeast Asian island nation of Sulu, it is the story of one man’s dramatic fall from grace, and his struggle to come to grips with both halves of who he really is.”

My Recommendation:

Imagine if you found yourself in a situation where you had to fight to the death in order to protect yourself and survive. Would you be able to take on the challenge? When Tobin Matthews is faced with this exact situation he follows his instincts and survives. The price is high, and he wrestles with his choices much as King David did in the Bible narrative.

Mark Sasse triumphs in the reciting of this spectacular tale of Tobin’s fall from good will. A beloved missionary to the Sulu people, Tobin makes a stand in the defense of the small village. The killing weighs heavy on his mind and acts as the catalyst which sets the rest of the story in motion.

What follows is a story of a man conflicted by his choices and how he must reconcile his deeds with his religious beliefs. Through the author’s careful depiction, the reader steps inside the heart and the mind of Tobin Matthews. Each situation in the story builds off of the last. Tobin soars to fresh heights of depravity which catapult him back to the reality of his deeds. In the end, he is driven to confront the truth about himself and the type of man he has become.

However, from the beginning, Tobin is portrayed as the guy who does no wrong. He almost seems too good to be true. As the narrative progresses and he is confronted with one decision after another, you start to see his armor crack.

Tobin is not actually a hero. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, and then it was doing something self-destructive – getting drunk. But that is what I most liked about the character. He was human. He didn’t arrive at the right decision all the time. He had a good inside that he didn’t realize he even possessed.

This battle, between the good and bad halves of Tobin Matthews, is what made this story shine. The conflict is real, and anyone who reads this story will recognize facing some of the exact trials in their own lifetimes. It all comes down to choices.

I have been a reader of Mark Sasse’s books for a couple years now. “Which Half David,” is by far my favorite of all of his novels. I loved the fact that the story took place in Asia. It gave it a different personality from that of the Bible story, without changing the message.

This is one book you will not want to miss!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

Mark Sasse

Author, Mark W. Sasse

About Mark W. Sasse:

Mark is a proud Western PA native but has lived most of the last twenty years in Vietnam and Malaysia. His experiences in Asia have redefined everything including his palate, his outlook on life, and naturally his writing. You can find him most days cruising around Penang Island, eating the local delicacies and taking in the sun and exotic breezes as he looks for interesting places to write.

He has authored four novels with number five and six already somewhere on the horizon. His interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – to culture and language – to history and religion – making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy writing injected with doses of Asian culture, history, adventure, and delightful humor. You never know what you might get when you pick up a Sasse novel.

Besides novel-writing, Sasse is a prolific dramatist, having written and produced more than a dozen full-length dramatic productions. He especially is fond of the short play format and has won the Best Script award three consecutive years at the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Penang. His play, “Words to Say at the End of the World” won five awards this year including Best Overall Performance and Best Director. His plays and short musicals have also been produced in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Australia. Performances of his scripts also won Gold and Bronze medals at the Southeast Asian Forensics Competition 2014.

His professional background is as diverse as his writing. He holds Master’s degrees from California State University Dominquez Hills and Azusa Pacific University in Humanities and TESOL respectively. His undergraduate degree was in English, which helped him develop his passion for creative writing. He has extensive experience in teaching English, history, and drama.

On top of all of this, he loves to cook everything from gourmet pizzas to Mexican, to various Asian dishes. Flavor is the key to both his cooking and his writing. He very much hopes you enjoy the taste.

Published Novels and Short Stories of Mark W. Sasse
2016 Which Half David (release date TBD)
2015 A Love Story for a Nation – Kindle & Paperback
2014 If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story – Kindle only
2014 The Reach of the Banyan Tree – Kindle & Paperback
2013 The Recluse Storyteller – Kindle & Paperback
2012 Beauty Rising – Kindle & Paperback

Make certain to connect with Mark through Facebook at Author Mark W. Sasse and his blog at MW Sasse.com.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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Interview with J.R Lindermuth

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J. R. Lindermuth is the author of 15 novels, including six in the Sticks Hetrick mystery series set in a fictional rural community near Harrisburg PA. A retired newspaper editor/writer, he is now librarian of his county’s historical society where he assists patrons with research and genealogy. He has published stories and articles in a variety of magazines, both print and on line. He is a member of International Thriller Writers and is a past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

You can find J.R Lindermuth at the following social media sites:

To purchase J.R Lindermuth’s books, please visit his Amazon author page: 

https://www.amazon.com/J.-R.-Lindermuth/e/B002BLJIQ8/

1.  You were born in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania.  Was it the norm that most men in the town worked as miners?

Mining was the dominant industry when I was born, though my father, grandfather and other relatives worked on the railroad. Silk mill factories, which employed many men and women earlier, was in its decline.

2.  What has happened to coal mining in Pennsylvania now?  Are the mines closing down these days like they are in the UK?

The big mines here and in other counties have closed down. There are still a few small operations but the majority fell victim to environmental concerns, the expense of getting coal at deeper levels and lack of demand due to competition with alternate fuel sources–oil, gas and other.

3.  What’s the most interesting story you’ve ever covered in your previous work as a newspaper reporter?

That covers a lot of time; 40 years on the job, not counting additional in the military. Three that particularly stick in the memory would have to be covering a conference on the DMZ in Korea; the Dr. Jay C. Smith murder trial and the resettlement of refugees after the Vietnam war.

Readers may find this of interest–Dr. Smith was a high school principal who was sentenced to death for the 1979 murder of Susan Reinhert and her two children. His conviction was later overturned, but a co-conspirator William Bradfield died in prison.

4.  How has modern reporting changed from your time as a newspaperman?

I began with manual typewriters, switched to electric, then went through various computer phases. All digital cameras now; no more darkrooms. Change continues. It seems to me many, not all, but many reporters now rely more on technology than getting out of the office to interview and observe activities. There’s far too much personalizing of copy, too. A news article should convey just the facts, not opinion. Opinion is meant for the editorial page.

5.  Do you miss the buzz of working to a deadline now that you are retired?

I still often work to the deadline. My own fault. I’m a born procrastinator (according to my daughter) and sometimes need a push to get started on an assignment or duty.

6.  You serve as librarian of a historical society where you assist patrons with research and genealogy.  Have you delved into your own ancestry?

Oh, yes. A paternal aunt and I had started tracing family history when I was still in high school. I’ve now documented my paternal line back to the 1600s. So far I’ve only got my mother’s (Sears) back to ca 1790. Despite my German surname, my DNA results revealed my ethnicity to be 74 percent Great Britain.

7.  Tell us a little bit about your Sticks Hetrick Crime Series, and about your main protagonist.  What is your new book about?

Hetrick is a retired police chief and now a county detective who keeps getting involved in crime-solving. The protagonist in this latest book is one of Hetrick’s protégés, Officer Flora Vastine.

When Jan Kepler, a school teacher, birder and niece of a fellow officer, is murdered Flora finds herself thrust into an examination of the other woman’s life. Despite other suspects, the behaviour of another classmate rouses Flora’s suspicion. Her probing opens personal wounds as she examines the cost of obsessive love and tracks down the killer.

8.  The Darkness, your 15th novel and the 7th in the Sticks Hetrick Crime Series, will be published on September 13th.  How do you promote a new book launch?

There are no book stores near me. Normally I would have a release day at the local library. But I’ve been under treatment for cancer since January (doing much better now) and not supposed to drive because of the medications I’m on, which pretty much restricts me to online promotions–hitting FB, Twitter and the other hot spots, seeking interviews like this, reviews and, possibly some paid advertising.

9.  If I asked you to write exactly seven words to describe your new book, what would you write?

Intriguing plot, skilled characterization, twists and romance.

10.  Do you send your manuscripts off to literary agents, or do you prefer to remain self-published?

After getting the normal hundreds of rejections from the BIG publishers, I got smart and started submitting to smaller publishers who are more attentive to their writers. I’ve only self-published one novel. I don’t currently have an agent.

11.  How long does it take you to write a novel?

That depends. Some are fully formulated in the mind and the writing goes very quickly. Others, counting germination, research, actual writing, can take years.

12.  Do you write only in the thriller genre?

No. I’ve written non-fiction on various subjects that interest me and fiction in the mystery/suspense, historical, Western and romance genres.

13.  Who is your favourite author?

That’s like asking which of my children is the favourite. I read widely, both fiction and non-fiction, and constantly find new writers to admire. Some of my favourites in the mystery genre would include James Lee Burke, Ruth Rendell, Harlan Coben, Ian Rankin, John Harvey, Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford and Val McDermid.

14.  One of your hobbies is ‘listening to good music’.  What type of music or bands do you consider good?

My personal favourites are classical, blues and folk music. But I have catholic tastes and will try anything to see how it jars my senses.

15.  You have travelled extensively.  Where in the world would you like to travel to now if you had the opportunity?

The UK would be a priority, Mexico or the Caribbean close seconds.

16.  Where is the best place on earth?

The place where you feel full-filled and happy.

17.  Is your glass half full or half empty?

Half full.

18.  If you could save one possession in a fire, what would it be?

Most possessions can be replaced. Since I live alone I’d have to say family photos.

19.  Do you prefer to be alone, or to be around people?

I enjoy solitude, but I also like being with family and friends. Not in crowds, though. Abhor crowds.

20.  You are a  past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.  What were your duties?

As vice president I worked with the president and other officers to develop policies and helped coordinate our prestigious Derringer awards program and filled in for the president when she wasn’t available.  Through a process of judging, Derringer awards (named for the popular pocket pistol) have been annually presented since 1998 to authors in four length categories, from flash fiction up to novelette. The purpose the society is to promote and support short form mystery fiction and provide a forum for short story writers.

 

 

Thanks John, for answering my questions today.

Magic Unveiled: An Anthology Pre-Order Today! Only .99!

On October 13, 2016

Magic Unveiled: An Anthology

Will be released and I’m part of it.

If you like the genre of Magical Realism, then this anthology of 9 stories from authors including USA Today, Seattle Times, and Amazon bestselling authors.

Not only can you get it on Amazon but Barnes & Noble and iTunes as well. Just click any of those three to pre-order today for .99 cents. When October 13th comes around that .99 cent offer disappears.

Magic Unveiled

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#Multi-author promotions. Reasons why you should be thinking about them #amwriting

Hi all:

I have taken up an external project with tight deadlines to work towards and that means sometimes I have to improvise more than I like, but I thought I could share a few thoughts on the possible benefits of joining in with other authors to promote your work, organize events, giveaways, etc.

Even if you’re a skilled marketeer (I am not), there are advantages to working as part of a team.

fall-into-romance-kindle-giveaway-large

In no particular order:

  1. You can share the organizing with others. Different events are organized differently, but it is possible to share and delegate responsibility for different parts of the event to different people, or you might just join in and follow instructions if you’re not a strong organizer.
  2. You can join forces and share skills to create a great event. You might be very good at visuals but not good at keeping track of lists, or setting up a Raffle copter giveaway. Rather than doing a bad job, you can each do what you’re best at.
  3. You can pull together your followers. A few months ago, when I had just started my own subscribers’ list and had very few followers, I joined in a giveaway with a group of authors where we could choose which link we wanted to promote. I chose the link to my list and I ended up with almost 800 subscribers. This works better when the giveaway is geared towards similar genres  to those you write in, or set up as multiple genres from the beginning, but you never know what might catch a reader’s attention.
  4. You can learn new things and join in events you might not have dared to organize by yourself. You might learn things and find out about resources you’d never used before, and you might dare to try things (within the safety of numbers) that you might not have wanted to do by yourself. (For example, I’d joined in several Facebook parties but only as part of the public, as I never thought enough people would attend just for me. If you are part of a group and know other authors from the same group will attend, you will feel more confident and dare to try new things. Yes, I eventually did participate in a Facebook author event. I did it!).
  5. You might be able to cover a wider geographical area and take advantage of promotions or options that are otherwise limited to certain markets. I have, on occasions, tried to organize giveaways or send gift cards and then realized that they were only open to authors with accounts in Amazon.com (let’s say). If the event or giveaway is run but international authors it will be possible to access the best options for the different markets and your knowledge base will cover a wider area.
  6. You will be able to afford bigger rewards and a varied choice of gifts and books that will make it more attractive to readers. If you take part in a lot of giveaways it can become expensive, especially if you want to offer something a bit costly. Joining in with other authors means you can offer bigger gifts without costing you the Earth.
  7. They can be a great way to make yourself known in  a new genre. If you’re writing in a new genre or market, joining in with other authors who are already known and have an audience with fans of the genre will open many doors for you.
  8. You might feel more comfortable talking about other people’s books also taking part in the event and sharing their achievements than blowing your own trumpet all the time. I forgot this one, that for me is one of the most important, on first writing the post, but I’ve added it on.

I’m sure you can think of many other reasons to join in with other authors, but those were just a few I thought up. And I wanted to show you, as an example, a giveaway I’m taking part in.

You can click here for more details. 

Thanks so much for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Interview with Steven James @readstevenjames

I had the honor of interviewing national bestselling author, Steven James. He is known as the “master of storytelling,” and for a very good reason. Ever since I happened upon The Rook, book two of his Patrick Bowers Files, he’s been my favorite author.

I’d like to thank Mr. James from the bottom of my heart for taking his time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

1) What did you enjoy most about writing Curse?
In Curse, several new characters are introduced into the series. For me, since I don’t outline my books, it’s always exciting to see who shows up on the page and what they’re like. In this book, maybe my favorite character ended up being a girl who was blind. I consulted with a girl who’d been born blind, asking her what her nightmares are like since she has never seen anything. That journey and what I ended up including in the book was fascinating to me.

2) What do you like to read in your free time?
Even though I like to write thrillers, I tend to read more literary fiction, philosophy, and poetry, as well as books on the craft of writing. I still love suspenseful and scary stories, but lately I’ve tended to watch these in film instead of read them in books.

3) What are your hobbies?
I live near the Appalachian mountains, and so I love to get out to trail run or even play disc golf. Besides eating Cheetos, drinking coffee, and binge-watching on weekends, I like to play basketball with my friends and moonlighting writing poetry that will probably never end up in print.

4) Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)
I almost always write standing up. I tend to listen to trance or EDM. I do best working in long stretches, rather than working at a project here and there throughout the day. Give me ten hours in a row over 5 hours spread out throughout the day and I’ll be happy.

5) What is your writing space like?
My basement.

6) Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?
As far as novels, I think my favorite might be The Rook or Checkmate. I also wrote some inspirational nonfiction books, and I believe my favorite of those is called Story: Recapture the Mystery.

7) Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything. I’m always thinking of ideas, jotting down thoughts of dialogue on scraps of paper, receipts, notebooks. Typically at the end of the day, I have far too many ideas to write the next day, and it sort of keeps cascading like that. I keep thinking someday I’ll catch up, but at this rate, that won’t happen for another two or three hundred years.

https://i1.wp.com/breatheconference.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Steven-James.jpgBiography

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

After consulting with a former undercover FBI agent and doing extensive research on cybercrimes, Steven wrote his latest thriller, EVERY CROOKED PATH—a taut, twist-filled page turner that is available now wherever books are sold.

If you’ve never met environmental criminologist and geospatial investigator Patrick Bowers, EVERY CROOKED PATH is the perfect chance to dive into the series and find out what fans and critics everywhere are raving about.

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Introducing a great friend of all #authors, the Story Reading Ape (@Storyreadingape) and a project very close to his heart.

Hi all:

I wanted to let you know that I’ve started working on a new project and due to deadlines I might not be around as much as I’ve liked.

I thought I’d share one of my blog posts because I talk about a great friend of all authors and his latest project, that might inspire you as much as it has me.

Here it is:
I’m sure that a lot of you in the blogosphere know The Story Reading Ape and his blog Author Promotions Enterprise. Chris Graham (a.k.a The Story Reading Ape, or perhaps, The Story Reading Ape, a.k.a Chris Graham, I’m never 100% sure) is deservedly known as he works ceaselessly to help and promote writers.

Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape
Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape

Let me tell you a bit what he does (in case you haven’t crossed paths with him yet… Where have you been hiding?).

He has a Hall of Fame where he shares features of authors whose work he finds interesting and also of supporters of his blog. Here is the link where you can check both features. If you’re an author but have never been featured in the Hall of Fame or didn’t know about it, you can check here how to go about submitting an article. (Yes, I am featured but I’m not going to pester you with it. If you want to find me, please do…)

If you’re interested in finding writing resources, Chris regularly writes his own, has guests and also generously shares and reblogs content he finds interesting. Go and explore his author resources!

If you’re looking for a great design service, he also provides covers, 3-D covers and videos at bargain prices (and I’d advise you to keep an eye open for special offers). Check here to see what he can do!

He also recommends other people’s services and has great content like the Monday Funnies, so I just advise to explore in general.

OK, I’m sure by now you’re wondering what any of this has to do with the new book. Chris has always said that as much as he enjoys reading and loves the ins and outs of the world of writing, he doesn’t think it’s his thing. But, he decided to do something wonderful. Enter

Agnes Mae Graham
Agnes Mae Graham

Agnes Mae Graham is Chris’s mother. She’s no longer with us but she wrote poems. In her day and age, it was difficult (well, almost impossible) to publish and there were no easy options available to everyone as we have now. Chris’s sister Lorna had kept her poems. Chris re-read the poems, talked to another great supporter of authors and great author herself, Jo Robinson, and here is the result:

My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham
My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham

We all have dreams, loves, and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?
From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humor, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Available from AMAZON:

UKUSACAAUS

If you want to read in Chris’s own words how the book came to be, you can check this great post, here.

My father was a great storyteller but he didn’t write. My mother is more of a listener, but I’m planning on prying a few stories out of her while she’s still with us. I love Chris and Lorna’s idea and I had to bring it to you.

Thanks to Chris, Lorna and Agnes Mae Graham for the book, thanks to Chris for all his help to writers, and thanks to you for reading, please, like, share, comment and don’t forget to CLICK and explore not only the book but also the Story Reading Ape’s site.

Curse #BookReview @readstevenjames

  • Title: Curse
  • File Size: 2355 KB
  • Print Length: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape
  • Publication Date: May 24, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017TVZO5S
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: Young adult

From the Author

When I started Curse, I had no idea it would be as intricate and complex as it became. The story developed in a way that introduced more fascinating characters who each had their own unique storyline to develop.

Watching this occur, and seeing where each character’s special interests and skills led them, deeply intrigued me and helped carry me through some of the most intense editing months of my life.

As I mention in the author biography at the end of Curse, I have never owned a turtle named Snookums or a basketball named Alfie (you’ll have to read the story to fully appreciate that). But while researching the book, I did see the synchronous fireflies. And they are quite remarkable.

Review

The Blur trilogy (Blur, Fury, and Curse) is James’ first young adult series. It is the story of Daniel Byers who has had what doctors think are hallucinations, but in truth, the dead are trying to tell him how to solve the crimes. In Curse, Daniel begins preparing to attend a basketball camp when the terrifying blurs return to haunt him. As he tries to figure out the meaning behind his most recent blurs, Daniel finds himself teamed up with two other teens that are just as extraordinary. They race against time in order to save a young woman who was abducted by a scientist with distorted views of justice.

James’ degree is known as a master storyteller, and let me tell you something:  it is no joke. The thing I love most about any of his work is that he has a way of making you feel as though you are a part of the story. Curse was no different. The images given of Daniel’s blurs were so vivid and real, it was as though I was watching it happen.

Curse was written in first-person view and in the present tense (when we’re seeing Daniel’s perspective), and also in third person view for the other characters’ perspectives. The first two novels of the series were written all in third person, so when I began reading Daniel’s point-of-view, I was thrown off track for a second, but thankfully I got used to it quickly enough.

As always, I enjoyed the roller coaster ride of twists and turns, and I had no clue how it would end. With this particular story, I was quite mad at myself that I didn’t figure it out, but proud that James managed to trick me, so to speak.

Curse was very fast-paced. I ended up loving the finality of this trilogy. James has been my favorite author ever since I picked up The Rook, book two of his Patrick Bowers FBI series. I fell in love with his writing, and will buy every book that he writes. I recommend him to friends, and I anxiously wait for a new novel to be produced. Although Curse is marketed as “young adult,” anyone would enjoy it. I highly recommend this trilogy, as well as every other novel he printed.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Steven James

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

After consulting with a former undercover FBI agent and doing extensive research on cybercrimes, Steven wrote his latest thriller, EVERY CROOKED PATH—a taut, twist-filled page turner that is available now wherever books are sold.

If you’ve never met environmental criminologist and geospatial investigator Patrick Bowers, EVERY CROOKED PATH is the perfect chance to dive into the series and find out what fans and critics everywhere are raving about.

 

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Interview with Bridgette L. Collins of The Chip Maker.

Bridgette L. Collins image.Today’s guest is author and fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins. No, the book we’re talking about today isn’t about fitness. At least not about physical fitness. No today Bridgette talks about her book The Chip Maker, which I reviewed not too long ago here on LWI.

First of all, tell us about where you’re from and a little about it, what it’s like.

Although I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, I lived in the Dallas, Texas area for nearly 20 years before relocating back to Houston, Texas in 2013. It was important that I mention Dallas because it was during that time in my life I embraced my love for writing and became an author. In response to your question, “What it’s like”? Well, Houston is a BIG city with a lot of diversity and down to earth people. If you visit, check out the great offerings in the museum and theater districts. But, if you come during the summer months, just know you’ll definitely experience our high heat and humidity. Being an avid runner, what I like most is the atmosphere Houston and the surrounding areas have created for outdoors/nature enthusiasts which consists of an array of running, biking, and hiking venues.

You’re a fitness coach, among other things. How did you end up writing a work of fiction?

My first three books (Broken In Plain Sight, Destined to Live Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul, and Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul) are all novel-like self-help books that have educated, encouraged, and empowered many through a collection of stories that peel back the masks of challenges with weight, health, work, marriage, relationships, depression, and lack of self-love. Although I have a background in health and fitness which led me to write fictional stories about the failures and triumphs (inclusive of the whys) related to living healthier: mind, body and spirit, I’ve always wanted to write a different type of fiction inclusive of law and order and conspiracy theories. So, when I was presented with a writing opportunity that would take me outside of my comfort zone, I took on the challenge which resulted in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast.

There is a lot of End of Times references in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast. Are you very much up on apologetics and biblical scholarship or did you have someone to go to for just in case help?

The content for the book was inclusive of both my biblical research and the theology background of a former pastor who resides in Dallas, Texas. During my biblical readings when I was unsure about my interpretation of certain scriptures (which included looking up cross-references), I’d email my former pastor who in turn would provide me with biblical insight based in his studies, in particular, as related to end times prophecy. Because of a myriad of opinions, perspectives, and interpretations on end times prophecy, I was careful about what I presented in the book. However, just like any conspiracy theory writer, I wanted to craft a storyline that combined biblical references, current day events, and the future of the world. It’s no secret that the capability to track and monitor humans via an implantable chip is already in existence.

I found it interesting that you started with several scenes in one period of time and then went back to several months prior leading up to those scenes. What made you choose that road to travel with your story as opposed to having everything in chronological order?

There is no particular reason for the road I chose to travel, other than I watch a lot of movies where the story starts with the climax (or ending scenes) then cuts to say “8 months earlier” (or the like). That’s what I wanted to do with this book. I wanted to show the future, then in reverse sequential order reveal to the reader the precise consequences of each action leading up to the climax.

What is your particular interest in End of Times prophecy?

When you consider biblical prophecies and inferences made by pastors, theologians, and churchgoers about the signs of end times and the second coming of the Jesus Christ, it’s pretty captivating, especially since we are possibly living in the generation and witnessing the events that must be fulfilled before the return of Jesus Christ.  For the true Christian believer, we must be vigilant about seeking knowledge of the truth, consistently striving to be obedient to and a steadfast doer of God’s Word. A reoccurring message conveyed throughout ‘The Chip Maker’ was to be prepared to say “No”.

Did you base any of your characters on well-known individuals? I can almost see Pastor McFarland. There is one pastor that fits him perfectly that I’m aware of. A lot of us use celebrity like figures as models for our characters. At least on the surface.

No, there are no well-known individuals mimicked in the book. The characters in the book like Pastor McFarland were a figment of my imagination. When you read about pastors whose illegal and/or immoral behaviors have been exposed, you already know there are countless Pastor McFarlands walking around in our midst.

You paint a very realistic picture of what could happen in today’s technologically driven world. Where did you come up with the idea and how did you keep it all straight?

My friend Terry McGee, because of his passion to spread a message about one’s decision to repent, choose, and follow Jesus Christ, wanted to write a screenplay based on the second coming of Jesus Christ. To make a long story short, he sought me out. Well, I don’t have a background in screenplay writing, and neither does he. So I convinced him to consider a book in hopes it would be attractive to a film making company thereby resulting in a movie. As time passed we continued to toil over and over on the direction of book. In late 2013 while getting ready for work one morning, I saw a news story about a lost dog. The dog’s owners were so grateful for his safe return and credited such to a microchip implanted inside of their dog. I started to think about the idea of such with regards to humans. So, I started researching microchips. It didn’t take long for me to discover numerous articles discussing an implantable chip which included many opinions and perspectives along with the citing of legislative bills associated with implantable chips in humans. As my research increased, so did my knowledge (which included current testing of the RFID chip on humans) along with negative connotations associated with government power. So, yes, I allowed my imagination to run wild. I convinced Terry on the direction we needed to take which included a story line touting the RFID chip as today’s modern day mark of the beast. Any why not suggest in the storyline, with consideration of the seemingly never-ending evolution of modern technology, vital elements of a bigger picture. Elements such as a relationship between the implantable microchip, mark of the beast, new world order, the antichrist, and world domination. When you consider biblical scriptures in the Bible and the signs the Bible prophesies before the return of Jesus Christ (as evident of the horrific events occurring present day), I know it was the Holy Spirit guiding me and keeping it all straight.

How long did it take you to write The Chip Maker and then get it published?

Although it’s a relatively short book, I must admit the completion of the book took longer than we expected as the idea and discussions started in 2012. Amid life-changing circumstances over the past four years, our delays also included the fear of what the content of such a Bridgette L. Collins image.book would look like and attract. Once a wholehearted commitment was reached, the fine details were organized and put into place. Within the past eight months, the content of the book was finalized and published.

What’s your one piece of advice to aspiring authors to fulfill their dream of publishing a book?

Number one, start writing. A lot of people don’t get started because of fear. Then, never stop searching for the right words and the right phrases to connect with and entertain your readers. Whenever I’m listening to SiriusXM in my car, or looking at a movie on Lifetime, or engaged in an old episode of Criminal Minds, or a viewing a news story on CNN, I am always jotting down words and phrases I may be able to use a later date in a storyline to add more impact. Most importantly, don’t talk yourself out of taking the next steps such as seeking the services of a professional editor, book cover designer, interior designer, distributor, etc. A lot of people will start the writing process, but never pursue the next steps.

Totally unrelated to the book, what’s the one thing someone with spinal problems and fibromyalgia can do in order to lose weight and get fit?

Without knowledge of the individual’s current physical state (i.e., level of pain, fatigue, and physical movement, etc.), I’ll provide a general response. The initial primary goal is to move more. In doing so, it’s crucial that the individual engage in an aerobic activity that does not pose a risk for undue trauma to the impacted part of the body. Although there may be pain and fatigue present, I’ll take for granted that the individual has the capacity to walk. If there hasn’t been no recent consistent movement (i.e., physical activity), then the key is start with something small and gradually increase the person’s ability to move consistently. Depending on the capacity to walk, an example of something small would include the individual walking (slowly) back and forth, from the beginning to the end of his/her driveway, as many times as he/she can for five minutes each day for two weeks.  On the third week, he/she can add a minute and thereafter a minute each week until he/she is up to 30 minutes a day. It’s important not to focus on how long it might take to get to 30 minutes, but to focus on developing consistency with doing the walk activity. I know medication can be a contributing factor to weight gain. So, not knowing the contributing factors related to excess weight (i.e., medication, inactivity, or poor food choices, etc.), I’ll provide another general response. More than likely the need for medication will remain; however, with the implementation of walking and any necessary food consumption modifications, the desire to lose weight and get fit will be recognized beginning with the small change. Remember, walking is the first ‘small change’ step. As walking gets easier and easier, the time to incorporate other physical activities can be explored (i.e., water aerobics, cycling, hot yoga, strength training, etc.). In addition, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to causes of flare-ups. And, most importantly, not to do too much too soon… As you prepare for the small change, think about… Getting started. The progression. The consistency.

By: Ronovan Hester

Get Chip Maker at:

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More of the Same

There is no harm in sticking with a good thing. Once you’ve written and published your book, that doesn’t mean that you have to forget the people who live in it forever, and move on to something totally brand new and original. You can write about them again. Maybe just as background for totally new people, just living in the same town maybe. You could write a whole series of books that stand totally alone, with totally different characters but with similar themes. Just not too similar though. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dan Brown, or Lara Croft series kind of similar – similar, but still very different.

One memorable occasion I read and loved a book by a certain author, so I promptly bought another two by him. They weren’t listed as a series, and even though I’m very partial to the familiarity of an author’s voice coming through very clearly in every book, it dawned on me not far into book two that I was reading the exact same plot with different characters, items of importance, and scenery. Not keen on believing that, I had a quick zoom through his third book, and with a nasty sinking feeling that I could have saved my money, realized that this too, was the exact same sequence of events with names and places changed. Clearly caring about it put me in the minority if the book’s sales ranks and reviews were anything to go by. At the end of the day, they were all well written, and there’s comfort in sameness for many of us when at the time all we want is a bit of escapism. I just thought that in that particular instance the sameness was too much. Not being too blatant with the basic skeleton plot though, it can be a fabulous way to build a group of books for your list where the reader knows exactly what he’s going to get, and wants it because he isn’t in the mood for heavy thought or emotion.

I suppose that I should be vastly ashamed to admit that in my very early teen years I was obsessed with Barbara Cartland books. Aah – the romance and gorgeous rich heroic guys. Always read while hidden in the loose cover of something a little more literary of course, so that nobody ever knew my secret. Where was the good old face-saving Kindle in those days? Now Barbara absolutely wrote to a very obvious formula, and her books sold in their millions. Gorgeous young orphan or lady minus her fortune meets gorgeous super-rich Duke. Big misunderstanding – much heaving of bosoms – a dangerous kidnap – hero saves the day – more heaving bosoms – happily ever after.

Those books were exactly what a whole lot of readers wanted regardless of their sameness, so why not have a go at a little bit of it yourself? No need for writer’s block when you already have a whole pile of inspiration in your already created worlds, and if you’ve found a specific kind of action that readers like, give them more of it in a recognizable and already appreciated form – just not copying and pasting and name changing though – familiar can also be just as sweet, but also  brand new.

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“The Truth She Knew,” An Interview with the Author, Jennifer Owenby

Did you ever read a book and wonder what the motivation was behind the author who wrote it? Me too!

So, I decided to contact the author, Jennifer Owenby to find more about why she wrote “The Truth She Knew.” Please click HERE to read my review of this book.

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Here’s what Jennifer Owenby had to say:

What’s The Truth She Knew about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Here is the back cover verbiage:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.”

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.

Why did you write The Truth She Knew?

I wanted to bring awareness to issues that are typically discussed behind closed doors. I wrote about several including mental illness and abuse from a daughter’s perspective. I have a soft place in my heart for teens and young adults in their early 20’s. I’ve found through talking to many kids in this age group that they are confused by things they experienced at home and sometimes blamed themselves when it shouldn’t have fallen on their shoulders. Mental illness is real and can show up in many forms. In Mama’s case, there was a religious and manipulative element.

How did it feel to write about someone with mental illness? How did you “get inside their head”?

It was tough. Thankfully, I had access to a few amazing mental health therapists that answered questions and directed me to good reading material. Mental illness is very complex and not a one size fits all.

I also love psychology so it was something I was interested in learning about.

Do you have a message with this book series?

Yes, that was the motivation behind the books. There is hope and help if you’re in an abusive situation or have a loved one that is mentally ill.

Did you draw from personal experience?

I am a survivor of domestic violence. My life is so beautifully and wonderfully different than those years I spent running and hiding. I went through some very dark times and lost hope more than once. It was my two kids who kept me going when I thought things would never get better. And as I begin visualizing what I wanted my life to be, to look like, and taking steps in that direction things began to change. I’m so very blessed today. There is hope and help.

You mentioned this is a series? What can we expect for Lacey, your main character, in book 2?

The Truth She Knew is about so many important issues, but book 2 focuses on Lacey’s journey and how the cycle of abuse continues. Her path to find safety lands her in an unimaginable situation and she experiences a real wake up call. My main message─there is a cycle, and unless you reach out for help, people will continue to make poor choices and find themselves in the same situations over and over.

What do you say to people who have read the Truth She Knew and reached out to you for help?

I can listen to them, empathize, and direct them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). In fact, those helplines will be listed on my new website and in book 2.

Where can readers find out more about you?


Author, Jennifer Owenby

If you’re interested in upcoming giveaways including gift cards and signed copies, please follow my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/.

Also, my website is in progress atwww.jaowenby.com

Twitter @jaowenby

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/jaowenby1/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/jenniferowenby9/

You can also search The Truth She Knew and read the 5-star early reviews here http://bit.ly/28LFell

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about “The Truth She Knew.” This is one of those books that haunts you with the realities of dealing with mental illness. You won’t be able to put it down!

Interview by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#Bookblurbs Any tips? What are your favourites? #amwriting

Hi all:

As you know I write (and translate) and I’m currently going through the corrections of my next novel (Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies, is proving challenging, or rather the circumstances around it are. I might tell you the story some day). Although there’s still a while to go (I always publish both versions, Spanish and English, of my books at the same time, and that means multiplying by two everything, including the time it takes to get everything ready), I started thinking about blurbs. Despite having written quite a few, I always hesitate when I’m about to write another one, and check advice on it.

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now... well, not quite
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now… well, not quite

I decided to share some of the articles I found about the subject (the advice isn’t that different, but I thought you might find that the style of the writer of some of the articles connects better with you than others).

17 tips on how to write blurbs that sell:

http://authorsociety.com/17-tips-how-write-blurb-sells

The dos and don’ts of writing a blurb for your novel :

http://www.blurb.co.uk/blog/writing-blurbs-for-novels/

4 easy steps to an irresistible book blurb:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/

How to write a book blurb:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/04/how-to-write-a-book-blurb/

Writing a short book blurb:

http://www.writing4success.com/Writing-a-Short-Book-Blurb.html

The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them):

https://www.standoutbooks.com/five-elements-of-a-book-blurb/

And after all that advice, I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or any strategies (different to those ones or adapted from them) that you found particularly useful. And also, what are your favourite book blurbs? They can be your own or other writers’. Personally, although I agree certain elements are expected, I think what will entice readers depends on each individual. As one of the articles observes, some very successful books have not-so-good blurbs. But I’m curious and I guess the best way to learn is to analyse well-written blurbs. So, please, do share! And if we get a good response, I’m happy to collect the best and share them in a future post.

Books and more books

(Ah, and a word about blurbs. It seems that in some cases, although not so much now, in the US a blurb might mean only a list of recommendations or positive reviews of a book added to the back-cover. That indeed can be included in what we are talking about, but we refer more to the short description at the back of a book in paper that tells the reader a bit about it and tries to hook him into buying and reading it).

Thanks so much to all the writers of the articles, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, do like, share, click on the articles and COMMENT!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

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