Breaking barriers…

Here’s a different way to think of Independence Day. If you don’t know Nick’s story, you should read this post from Sue Vincent, marking the 10th anniversary of a life-altering event. Nick’s determination to regain his health and live a life worth living should be an inspiration to us all. Do yourself a favor and check out Sue’s post. I guarantee you it will change how you look at your life’s blessings and how you approach each challenge! As always, spread the word. The world needs stories like this one. You go, Nick! And you as well, Sue!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Ten years ago today, July 4th 2009, I learned to fear answering the telephone. Four words changed the lives of everyone in our little family and that of many of our friends. My son, over a hundred miles away in Bournemouth, was in hospital… and we were advised to come at once. He had not regained consciousness since he had been brought in and, at that point, they did not seem to understand why. They thought he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

They were almost right. Nick had been stabbed through the brain in a senseless attack. The puncture wound was so small it had, at first, been missed, but shards of bone were lodged in his brain and the ten inch screwdriver that had been rammed through his temple had compromised the brain stem. He was in a coma and not expected to live.

I have written, in great…

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Writing Your Novel’s Blurb

If you struggle with writing the perfect blurb, this post from Staci Troilo might be just the help you need. I plan to use it as a guide when I rewrite all of mine, for sure. Check it out and pass it along. It’s well worth sharing. Thanks!

Story Empire

Ciao, amici. We’re wrapping up the Story Bible series of posts today. If you missed one or more of the posts, you can find them, in order of post date, by clicking the following links:

Today, we’re discussing how to write the back-of-book blurb.

writing the blurb

You’re probably wondering why a blurb, which isn’t needed until you’re ready to publish, is something I include in a story bible, which I create before I start writing even the first book in the series.

Three reasons.

One, your blurb covers only the most important and most marketable parts of your story. Keeping that in mind as you write will enable you to stay focused on what the most crucial parts of your story are.

Two, when you have a series, you want all your blurbs to follow the same format. That’s easiest…

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#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – “Gateway to Magic” by Annabelle Franklin

This afternoon, please help me welcome author Annabelle Franklin, who is here to share a great review of her children’s book, Gateway to Magic. This is sure to be a tale your kids or grandkids would enjoy, and I know you’ll help us spread the word far and wide, in addition to grabbing a copy for your favorite young person. Thanks!

REVIEW:
Amazon Review
5.0 out of 5 stars

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

‘This is for all children who love gaming, and all the parents who never really grew up and are still entranced by the magic of the classic fairy tales and the “other worlds” of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. Annabelle Franklin has the rare gift of being able to enter a child’s mind. Stephen is a “hero” every boy and girl will identify with. His struggle against the absolute rule and authority of the Fairy Queen mesmerizing. And don’t worry, boys will love this Fairy Queen – there’s nothing girly or soft about her.

This is storytelling at its best. A book to read and re-read that will become a favourite in the tradition of the classics. I loved it, and as a “test pilot” for the books I buy my grandchildren I am one hundred per cent certain they will. I can’t wait for their next bedtime.’

BLURB:

Gateway to Magic features Steven Topcliff, an 11-year-old gaming fanatic trapped in Fairyland where all tech is banned by law. Steven hates Fairyland – there are no video games, no chicken nuggets and no one tells the truth. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly, and the Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. He has to deal with spiteful goblins, a delinquent shapeshifter who insists on being his best mate, and the diva-like Fairy Queen who embroils him in a mysterious game of her own. Steven is a boy who plays to win, but there’s no controlling this dimension with a console – he must use magic to survive and get home.

Buy Gateway to Magic Here:

Gateway to Magic on Amazon
Smashwords 
Apple
Kobo
Nook 

Annabelle Franklin, Author

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, Gateway to Magic and The Slapstyx. Her short story Mercy Dog appears in the anthology Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918 (Accent Press) and her horror story Haunted by the Future appears in Dark Gatherings, an anthology published by Swansea and District Writers’ Circle. She is currently working on a supernatural series for children.

You can reach Annabelle on Social Media Here:
Amazon author page
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Contact
Email annabellefranklin10@gmail.com

 

 

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – “Someone Close to Home” by Alex Craigie

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing one of the nicest people I’ve met online, Alex Craigie. Alex (a/k/a Trishthetrout) is sharing a lovely review of her book, Someone Close to Home. This book sounds so good, I can’t wait to read it, and I know many of you will feel the same way. Enjoy the review, and please don’t forget to share it on all your favorite social media sites! Thanks!

REVIEW:

WordsAPlenty – charla white
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING MUST READ

Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie is amazing!  Megan Youngblood is a young girl with a domineering and manipulating mother who is seeking to climb the social ladder by any means.  Megan is a talented pianist who grows her talent and becomes renowned, earning money and fame.  All she needs is Gideon, but life takes a turn.  We are given a front row seat to the emotional and physical roller coaster ride that is Megan’s life after a stroke places her in a nursing home at the hands of a vengeful and vicious victim of her mother’s evil plotting.

Written as a memoir, Someone Close to Home is captivating as the reader moves from memory to the present and back.  Craigie skillfully places her readers into the story through the strong character developments and ease in which the dialog and plot move.  Without realizing it, I cheered at Jordan’s departure; I cried at the pain of Megan; I slapped my chair at Theo’s dressing down by Gideon; Martin’s subsequent impact on Annie; and when I closed the book at the end of the last sentence I cried. 

This is a beautifully written book, mixing thriller with memoir style writing. I have not had so many different reactions to one book ever.  Craigie has done what every author wants – transported their reader into a powerful, creative story and let them experience the book completely on many different levels.  There are several different characters in this book that are incredibly remarkable.

If you are looking for a book that holds your attention and elicits passionate responses from its readers, this is the book!  I cannot highly recommend this book enough.  I was truly surprised at how it captured and held my attention and continued well past the last page – and I absolutely hate to cry!   

BLURB:

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

Buy Someone Close to Home HERE


Author Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that:

  • it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back
  • the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.)      
  • as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel. Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.

Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.  

As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.

What else can she say?  Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate… 

She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

You can reach her by email: alex@alexcraigie.co.uk

When Life Doesn’t Give You a Chance to Write – Be Grateful Anyway!

Lately, it’s been one thing after another, eating up my days, and getting in the way of my being able to finish the next tale from Wake-Robin Ridge. I’ve been fretting and complaining. A lot. If it’s not my health, it’s my dog suddenly developing seizures, or my daughter’s cat (in a frenzy of loving all over me) suddenly biting about halfway through my lower lip. You know. Things that come along out of the blue and really mess  up your plans for the day. (Don’t worry. The dog is now on a medication that seems to help, and my lip is almost healed.) But suffice it to say, I have not been in the best frame of mind for a few weeks. 

I wrote this post (below) for my beta blog this morning, and thought I might pass it along here, in case any of you are going through a rough patch. I know at least two of my favorite online friends are, and–as is the way of life–probably many of us have had a bad day or two recently. Hope my personal thoughts on the subject help some of you regroup and refocus. (Heck, I hope my thoughts stay in my head long enough to help ME regroup and refocus!) Here they are, for what they’re worth. 

“Sometimes I need a reminder that the only thing in life we are truly in control of is how we react to it. Going forward with hope, faith, good will, and an ability to roll with the punches is the only practical approach, if you ask me. With that in mind, I’ll write when I can, and be grateful for every day when it’s a possibility.

On the other days, I’ll do my best to handle (and often, enjoy!) whatever else life has given me at that moment. Gratitude for my blessings is a must, too. And WORRY NEVER HELPED ANYTHING!! So I am trying to let go of that and be happy with each day I’ve been allotted, even the ones that aren’t a barrel of fun. And, oh yeah: more laughs, fewer tears!!”

There. I think I’ll work all of that up in cross stitch! Hahahaha. 

Hope all of you are remembering to live life in the moment, and enjoy every one of those moments to the best of your ability. Let go of the bad stuff as soon as you can, and hang on to the good stuff with both hands!! 

I’m grateful for every one of you! 

❤ ❤ ❤

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – J.P. Mclean, Sally Harris, Marcia Meara and Barbara Ann Mojica

Just wanted to share the latest Sally’s Cafe & Bookstore Author Update post on Smorgasbord. I’m so pleased to have Janice Spina’s lovely review of The Emissary included with this group of great writers! Hope you’ll check out the post, find some new books to read, and then pass it along so others can discover all the goodies, too. Thanks, and thanks to Sally Cronin for her fantastic support of writers everywhere! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of this week’s author update with recent reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author with a recent review is J.P. McLeanfor Book 6 of The Gift Legacy  – Wings of Prey.

About the book

A dead man’s warning. A lost plane wreck. A buried truth.

A dire warning from beyond the grave leaves Emelynn Taylor questioning her loyalties. Did someone she loves commit an unforgivable act of treachery? In her quest for answers, Emelynn opens a painful cold case knowing its resolution could destroy two families.

What she finds tests Emelynn’s integrity as the leadership changes hands within the Tribunal Novem, the powerful body that rules her kind. When confronted with betrayal and lies, Emelynn must follow her moral compass, even if it means losing the man she loves and alienating her Flier friends.

And when the terrible truth is…

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#ThorsDaySmile – Summer In Florida

It’s here. Summer in Florida, where weeks of triple digit temps keep most of us locked safely inside our air-conditioned houses. But for those brave souls who venture forth to pursue trivial activities like, oh, I dunno–earning a living, perhaps–life can be full of mind-boggling sights and adventures. Ready or not, here come a few for your viewing horror–errmm–I mean, pleasure.  Those of you who have been here in July and August can vouch for the truth of these images.  Enjoy. And just remember our state motto:

Florida. The Rules are Different Here
😀

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Ya do what ya gotta do #1

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You do what ya gotta do #2

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And last, some words of caution: 
Eye BleachDon’t Leave Home Without It!!!
Seriously.

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – “Skating on Thin Ice” by Jacquie Biggar

This afternoon, it’s my pleasure to share a lovely review of Jacquie Biggar’s book, Skating on Thin Ice. I have no doubts at all that this will appeal to many of you folks, and I hope you’ll share far and wide so that even more readers can check it out. Thanks!

REVIEW:

Skating on Thin Ice- USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar
Review: Robbie Cheadle- Amazon Reviewer

This book is the perfect mixture of romance with an action packed story line to keep you turning the pages. The author does a great job of drawing the reader into the world of ice hockey and the murky world of match fixing and deals with the mob. Mac Wanowski is a champion ice hockey player and, with him on board, his team looks set to win the season. This does not suit everyone and Mac is seriously injured while playing in a match two weeks before the final. He is sent away to a remote cabin in the mountains to heal. The team’s doctor delivers his niece, Sam, a physical therapist who desperately needs a break, to assist Mac with a speedy recovery. Little does he know that she has been offered the opportunity to obtain a contract as the physical therapist to Mac’s team but, in return, she must slow down his recovery.

When Sam meets Mac her soft heart quickly goes out to him, especially when she learns of the loss of his wife and unborn baby in a terrible accident a few years previously. Sam is also attracted to the taciturn hockey star and she can sense it is reciprocated. Sam makes a decision to try to help Mac and ensure that he is able to play in the final match of the season but she is unaware that there are other, much more dangerous people lurking, who are determined to keep Mac off the ice.

I enjoyed the character of smolderingly sexy Mac, with his heartbreaking past, and the sweet and big hearted, Sam, with her history of financial anxiety and determination to succeed in a male dominated profession.

An entertaining and easy read with a great twist at the end and lots of romantic ups and downs to keep you on the edge of your seat. Continue reading

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action by Darlene Foster

Good Morning, Everyone! Today, we are welcoming Darlene Foster back with a review of another of her wonderful Amanda books. Amanda in Holland is available on pre-order now for September delivery, and I’ll bet after you read this review, you’ll be eager to go do just that. Enjoy this one, and pass it along if you would, thanks!

REVIEW:

Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
by Darlene Foster (Goodreads Author)

Jacqui‘s review 
May 27, 2019

It was amazing.

Darlene Foster’s Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action (2019) follows the heroine, Amanda Ross, as she makes a trip to Holland to visit friends and try to unravel what happened to an Uncle who never returned from WWII–declared missing in action. If you follow the Amanda series, you know that Amanda cannot travel without getting into trouble, causing mischief, or solving mysteries despite her young age. In this story, Amanda rescues a thrown-away puppy named Joey, tracks down a missing gardener, and helps to solve the theft of rare tulip bulbs. She does all this while exploring the culture and excitement that is found nowhere but Holland. Besides the Anne Frank house and the famous Holland canals, Amanda enjoys:

“…banket, a puff pastry filled with an almond paste.”
“…Hotchpotch Stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish of mashed potatoes mixed with carrots and onions,”
“…Bloemenmarkt. It is the world’s only floating flower market.”

The story is told in a conversational voice that will draw all readers in and deftly mixes the cultural details with how Amanda engages in and solves the mystery.

This book is available for pre-sale now for delivery in September 2019. This would be a great gift for a child to celebrate the end of summer or a favorite teacher to add to their classroom library (or the school librarian, of course). It’s an uncommon book in that it takes children through the clever bits and pieces of Holland not found in any other nation without feeling like a travelogue.

The series includes:
Amanda in Arabia
Amanda on the Danube
Amanda in Spain
Amanda in New Mexico

…and more. This book and the entire series is highly recommended for elementary age and Middle School children and parents. Continue reading

Want to Take Part in #ShareAReviewDay ?

I’m looking for reviews! There are Tuesday openings starting as early as day after tomorrow, if you can send me the items requested in the Share a Review Day Instructions linked at the top of the page. Pick your newest or favorite review and send it in. I’ll do all the setting up for you. Just be sure to include everything I need as listed, and I’ll make it happen. 

All review posts will be scheduled in the order in which they are received, two per Tuesday. (One in the morning & one in the afternoon.)

Hoping to hear from you soon!  🙂 ❤