A Few Reviews

Screen shot 2016-04-25 at 9.09.18 AMIt’s been far too long since I talked about what I’ve been reading, and I hope to get back to doing this on a regular basis. Here are a few stories I’ve particularly enjoyed lately.

Rainbow’s Edge by Leland and Angelo Dirks

If you’ve read any of the TwoMinutesGo flash fiction either here or on JD Mader’s blog, then you might know Leland Dirks. I’ve been a fan of his writing since I read Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog, and I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of Rainbow’s Edge. And I could not stop reading it. In fact, I read it twice. I was completely pulled into the world of this story, a journey of a father and son unspooling the truth of a troubled past as the son lays comatose in his hospital bed. It would have been so easy to push a story like this into melodrama and sentimentality, but in the hands of this skilled author, it is neither of those things. If you enjoy magic realism and tales of redemption and forgiveness, I highly recommend this moving and beautifully written story. (Available for preorder here until April 30.)

FScreen shot 2016-04-25 at 9.02.23 AMinding Travis by Melissa Bowersock (No Time for Travis, Book One)

As of this writing, Finding Travis is up for nomination on Kindle Scout. I am a fan of Melissa Bowersock’s smooth, agile writing style. And I think this story is one of my favorites of hers. Travis is adrift, his marriage all but over, spending his free time as a historical re-enactor for tourists visiting Arizona’s Fort Verde. Then a celestial anomaly—we think—pulls him back in time to the frontier days at the same location, where he is assigned to medical duties in a world before the existence of penicillin and modern surgical hygiene practices. The historical details are seamlessly woven with the plot and the character development (I have a book-crush on Travis’s assistant, Riley), making for a lovely, engaging read. I hear there’s a sequel coming, and I can’t wait to read it.

Wife Material: A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom by Deborah Cox

I like getting out of my comfort zone once in a while, so I chose this title. Wife Material tells a story of religious abuse and sexual repression in the modern Church of Christ. This was one powerful, fascinating, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching story. I was so deep into the reading that at one point, my husband popped into my room and I actually got angry at the disruption. I couldn’t even talk for a while, after reading some parts. The scenes bounce around in time, which as a reader intrigues me, especially when it’s done well.

What have you been reading lately?

 

Talking About Writing Men and Editing

PlayingCharlieCoolPrelim400Melissa Bowersock is a prolific writer with a sharp eye. She’s also a fellow IU minion. One day she picked me up on her virtual private plane, plied me with tasty adult beverages, and asked me a few questions on her Wordlovers blog about my new book: what the heck I was thinking, mainly. We even got to talk about editing. I hope you’ll swing by, spend some time with us, and leave a comment. Thank you!

If you’d like, you can pre-order Playing Charlie Cool from Amazon right now. 

Now back to your regularly scheduled kitten videos and bacon jokes.

The Editing Myth

dreamstime_14649214On Indies Unlimited: Food for thought by Melissa Bowersock about her experience with being edited (or not, actually) by traditional publishers versus the editorial control she has as an indie author.

Although for most authors, I recommend hiring a professional editor, at the minimum, get your manuscript in front of beta readers who can give you honest, thorough critiques and fresh eyes to catch errors. As Martin Crosbie has frequently written in his posts and in his book, How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle: An Easy-To-Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook, we indie authors have a larger target on our backs than traditionally published authors. Therefore it’s up to us to ensure that we’re producing the best quality product that we can.

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

An Indie Smorgasbord in First Chapters

First-Chapters22-ocean-sampleI’m so excited about this release from Indies Unlimited!

First Chapters provides 1500-word excerpts from the work of twenty-two cutting-edge indie authors (well, twenty-one plus me!). Some of them are award-winning, some are bestselling, and they all, at one time, joined forces at IndiesUnlimited.com: a site dedicated to the indie author movement. This volume includes a wide array of genres and unique voices. From elegant vampires to former assassins, from drama to comedy, from science fiction to nonfiction, you’ll find something to please every palate, along with brief author bios and a purchase link, should you decide to read more.

Why did we do this? Because sometimes the “look inside” feature of a book you’re interested in buying online isn’t enough. You might have to wade through a bunch of front matter, leaving only a page or two of the story. How frustrating is that, especially if you’re looking at a number of books?

This volume includes first chapters from authors DV Berkom, Melissa Bowersock, Laurie Boris, K.S. Brooks, Lynne Cantwell, Martin Crosbie, Jim Devitt, A.C. Flory, Yvonne Hertzberger, Stephen Hise, Mark Jacobs, Chris James, LA Lewandowski, TD McKinnon, Rich Meyer, Melissa Pearl, Lin Robinson, Kathy Rowe, Carolyn Steele, Krista Tibbs, Dick Waters, and Carol Wyer.

I hope you enjoy it.

Here is some handy linkage:

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E8RWYXW/
Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E8RWYXW/

Welcome to the Friendly Ghost Party!

Welcome to my portion of Melissa Bowersock’s movable, virtual ghostly feast in celebration of the release of her new book, Stone’s Ghost. Tell you a secret? Ghost stories are one of my guilty pleasures. So are sweets! That’s why I’m pleased to host dessert on my blog. I even tidied up a bit. No, never mind why that closet door won’t stay closed. First, a little about her book.

Matthew Stone doesn’t believe in ghosts … until he meets one. He owns a successful business in Lake Havasu, Arizona, home to the famed London Bridge that was brought over stone by stone and rebuilt over the Colorado River. He has a gorgeous girlfriend, a doting mother, and more money than he needs, but no time for stories about the ghosts who were transplanted from England with the famed bridge. When a chance encounter with a female ghost leads to unexpected friendship, Matt and the ghost are forced to rely on each other as they confront the pasts that haunt them.

Now I’ll turn this post over to Melissa. Grab a cup of tea and some goodies and enjoy!

banner-bookcover

Welcome to the Friendly Ghost Party, a celebration of the launch of my new book, Stone’s Ghost on July 26, 2013. I want to thank Laurie for co-hosting the party with me.

If you’ve been to my blog, you know that we’ve got a virtual ghost buffet going on. My blog had the appetizers, Carolyn had the main meals but now we’re onto the good stuff:

DESSERTS 

ghost-strawebeeryghost ghostcupcakes meringueghostsnew

Strawberry Ghosts!

Mini Ghost Cupcakes!

Meringue Ghosts!

Click for recipe.

Click for recipe.

Click for recipe. 

 ghost-cupcakes-ay-1875464-l  ghostcookies

Ghost Cupcake Cones!

Ghost Cookies!

Click for recipe.

Click for recipe.

This buffet continues on the sites of several other friendly bloggers who have also offered to co-host the party as well, so you’ll want to hop over to the other sites for more food items. As you’ll see below, we’ve got appetizers, main meals, drinks and desserts. (Good ideas for your next Halloween party!)

Blogger Blog Website Topic
Melissa Bowersock http://mjb-wordlovers.blogspot.com Ghost-Appetizers, overview
Carolyn Schriber http://www.katzenhausbooks.com/blog Ghost-Main Meals
Lorraine Reguly http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Ghost-Drinks
Carol Wyer http://facing50withhumour.com/ Book information
Yvonne Hertzberger http://yvonnehertzberger.wordpress.com/ Book info, review

Please share the love by visiting the co-host blogs, browsing through the food items, leaving a comment if you like, sending out a tweet and telling your friends. (If you right-click on a link above, then choose “open in new window/tab,” you won’t lose your place here.)

Now, this party is about more than food. If you don’t already know, there are a couple of contests you can enter. One is on the Facebook event page where you can post pictures of anything ghost-related. Encourage your friends to “like” your post, because the one with the most likes at the end of the day wins a prize package. The second contest is on my blog. Here you can post a ghost story in the comments section, and again, at the end of the day, I will pick a random winner of a prize package. (If you don’t have any of the profiles in the dropdown box when you comment, just choose Anonymous, but please put your name in your comment so I’ll know who you are!) I’ll be tweeting the winners and other announcements throughout the day using hashtag #FriendlyGhostParty.

Here’s the Stone’s Ghost Prize Package: a mouse pad, autographed book, bookmark and magnet. How fun is that?

e-prizes

And, just to share the love, there’s a giveaway going on at Goodreads. The winner will be chosen on July 27, so if you haven’t entered, hop on over there and do that.

Finally, to celebrate the new book, I have put the Kindle version of Stone’s Ghost on sale for just 99 cents for today only. And, just for fun, I’ve discounted the Kindle versions of all my previous books as well. You can find them all from my author page at Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the party!