Tag Archives: Guest Post

Blog Tour Stop – Guest Post & Giveaway by Jonathan Patrick author of Checkmate

27 Nov

Checkmate Cover

Book Description

Publication Date: July 22, 2013
 
It’s a difficult time in America. Several years of attempted economic and social fixes have failed. Its major cities have reached a tipping point whereby any disaster, manmade or natural, would have devastating consequences. America is no longer seen by its friends or enemies as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Washington bureaucrats are involved in every decision and political correctness rules the day. The country that used to, only a few short years ago, project its military might outward to the world, has had its own military forces striped to the bone. No service has felt this impact more than the United States Navy. With only a fraction of combat vessels left to patrol the world’s oceans and keep peace in the world, decisions are no longer based on safety and National Security but by financial necessity. With most of its once mighty Navy staying in port, and the remainder stretched thinly across the globe, America’s enemies now have different words to describe America; weak…and very vulnerable.

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Guest Post

Some hobbies I enjoy are gardening and tinkering in my shop. I have been working, for the past several years, on developing a way to have a year round garden. It has been a challenge and if last night’s hard freeze is any indication, it proved that I still have a long way to go. In the summer months I enjoy working in our vegetable garden and with my orchids and other tropical plants. As the weather turns colder, I work very hard just keeping my tropical plants alive and well.

As far as “tinkering” in my shop goes, let’s just say that encompasses a great many things! This would include, but is not limited to, listening to loud music, working on my computer, projects for the house or just messing with my three large dogs. In the summer months the shop is a beehive of activity without the time consuming organization constraints of a beehive. Summer weather, travel, kids and life in general hamper efforts to keep the shop very well organized. Historically, during the winter months, I’ve attempted to rein in the chaos and get everything organized. I say “historically” because now I have this new time consuming inside hobby…it’s called “writing.”

About the Author

Jonathan Patrick is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who lives with his wife and two children in the Carolinas. His military career took him to many countries around the world and exposed him to the inner workings of several key intelligence agencies and programs. He has recently begun work on his second novel.

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Check out my review of Checkmate link under “Related articles”

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Tour de Blogg ~ Blog Tour Stop – Guest Post by Susan Joyce

18 Nov

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A bold and stirring memoir. One woman’s tale of dreams, war, love, and personal growth


The Lullaby Illusion
details the harrowing personal journey of a young American woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations while living in the Middle East and Europe.

After many miscarriages and the loss of a child in childbirth on the island of Cyprus, Susan seeks solace by creating art and recording her vivid dreams. Through difficult life changes — Cyprus s bloody coup and war in 1974, a rescue from a sinking ship in the Indian Ocean, learning of her husband s secret life, and surviving his deadly assault in Belgium — she discovers her ticking clock is not the child she fails to produce, but rather her creative potential.

Following her vivid dreams and intuition, she successfully reinvents herself as an artist and writer.

From beginning to end, Susan Joyce reminds us of the stream of awareness that flows through all of us. Early reader reviews show it resonates universally with men and women.

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“Michael” by Susan Joyce

I adored Michael. He was my first gay friend, and was just stepping out of the closet within the confines of friends when we met in Frankfurt Germany in 1976. He became my solace at a low tide in my life and introduced me to the vibrant world of opera and theater. He had an obsession with theater and anything presented live on stage. He had performed in a few shows in small theaters and his dream was to finish a play he had started writing years before and see it published one day.

“Love Wagner’s. Great action and food.” Michael smiled, eyeing a young man across the room. “Everyone here thinks I’m a movie star.”

“You’re the spitting image of a young Tony Randall.”

“And as fastidious and fussy, I trust.”

”You’re not fussy. Just choosy,” I assured him.

Michael of course then educated me on the origin of the phrase ‘spitting image’ and we both had a good chuckle.

I fondly called him ‘Mister Walking Encyclopedia’ because he knew obscure facts and figures on any subject conceivable. Michael always knew the real scoop. He loved fancy words and loved to use them.

“Gaydar,” he explained one evening, “is how I know if someone’s straight or bent.”

I chuckled. “Did you just invent that word?”

“Gaydar? Probably,” he replied.

He invited me to a play at the English Theatre in Frankfurt. I hadn’t seen the play before, but recognized the playwright, Oscar Wilde.

“It’s a trivial comedy for serious people. The second most known and quoted play in English after Hamlet.“

“I’ve seen Hamlet performed,” I said.

“This one’s a farce,” he said smiling, “The Importance of Being Earnest, first performed on Valentine’s Day in 1895. It’s nonsense that makes sense, if you get beyond the words.”

“Sounds like a must see,” I replied, wondering what the hell I was getting myself into.

I found the play a bit silly, but great fun. When the final curtain closed, we stood and wildly applauded again and again.

“I just love Wilde’s British dandyisms.” Michael chortled.

“Some wild expressions,” I agreed.

“Classic Wilde,” Michael continued, “They speak volumes about the hypocrisies of the society. Then and now. Reprobates always have more fun.”

I laughed.

As we discussed the play’s “real” meaning, over wine, later that evening, Michael educated me on the dark history of the play and the eventual exile of Oscar Wilde.

“Ernest was Wilde’s alter-ego,” Michael informed me. “The play is a satire about the hypocrisies of society, and the way these damage our souls.”

“He was criticizing Victorian society,” I said.

Michael smiled and took another sip of wine. “His speaking out landed him in prison.”

“Why?”

“Indecency. Romping with a royal. Of the same sex.”

“Wow!” I said, letting it sink in. “His writing is a harsh satire.”

“And still rings true today,” Michael said.

Michael taught me many different things—some shocking, some fun, some frivolous, some serious, but all inspirational. All encouraging. He taught me about striving and thriving, and being different, and accepting differences in others.

Years later, when I finally got around to searching for the word “gaydar” in a dictionary, I realized that Michael may well have invented the word, since the first known use, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, was in 1982.

When the final curtain closed on Michael’s life in 1986, he left a trail of love, light, and divine information. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to witness the gay civil rights happening today. But knowing Michael, he’s aware and smiling.

JoyceSusan

Susan Joyce was born in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood in Tucson Arizona. She left the United States in 1968 to follow a childhood dream to see the world. Planning on being gone for a year, she has spent more than half of her life living abroad. Exploring other cultures fuels her curious, eager to learn life style. In addition to writing travel articles and short stories, Susan is an award winning author and editor of children’s books.

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Tour De Blogg Guest Post & Giveaway- “Self-Publishing and Finding Your Target Market: Connecting Outside the Box” By M.P. Ness Author Of White Leaves

8 Oct

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“Self-Publishing and Finding Your Target Market: Connecting Outside the Box” By M.P. Ness

This is an extremely complex matter, which I’ve found as an indie author fundamentally breaks down to finding your way out of the box.

Most authors think outside the box to begin with, I’d like to think. This holds especially true for fantasy and science fiction writers. It’s our bread and butter to think outside of the box; outside of everything that’s been done, really. Moreover, to try to do more with it, or at least find a way to make it uniquely our own.

But marketing a book is often times a completely different language from the one we tend to speak in our respective worlds.

I know this has certainly been my experience.

You can study formal marketing strategies, pay for advertising, and promote your book in the ol’ grass roots fashion, relying on word of mouth as you plug away at your genre-locales hoping people who are interested in your sort of work will frequent those places and ultimately buy your book.

And there are many ways to do all of these things, too, but I’d like to take a step back and try to help you see it from a different angle.

I’m not going to say, don’t plug away at your Genre-centric places, but I am going to ask you to reconsider your target market. Everyone has to at one point or another.

Now, I’m going to ask you to ignore your target market in order to find more of it.

Just take a good honest look at yourself instead.

Just do it.

Ask yourself, what are the things you’re into?

What form of entertainment do you enjoy, and in what style(s)?

What is it that you bring to the table of storytelling as a greater whole?

I ask, because your draw from the world is what makes you who you are, and who you are, comes out in your work.

This isn’t to say every romance writer is a sex-starved housewife, or every murder mystery writer is a serial killer at heart. This is to say, your interests, what makes you write your stories to begin with, inevitably comes out in your words in many different, and often times, in subtle, subconscious ways.

This is important to realize, because I think it’s the key to the locked window free of the box. Your internal self is put into your work, and thus, the book in question should ultimately appeal to those in the world who would resonate with you on a personal level. (Which is why you might want to read my prior post on Introversion.)

Your target market should reflect that resonance, I think.

After all, writing a story is really all about people, letting them see your art and parts of who you are. It’s about connection. And by that notion, I don’t believe genre is necessarily the best (or only) way, to approach selling your book. I mean, it is certainly proven effective, and for the most part tried and true, but I think there might be a deeper way to connect with people, readers, and buyers. Or at least a new set of angles you can work at to compliment that initial approach.

I’ve been approaching it this way lately. I take the time to figure out where my people are.

I find that those who think like me and who enjoy the things I do are the ones much more prone to not only buy my work, but most thoroughly ENJOY it.

And in the end that’s really the best thing I could ever hope for.

Someone who understands it, and therefore me.

Someone who connects.

Someone who enjoys it so much they will talk about it.

So, if asked, “Whom did I write my debut novel and kick off the ‘E.L.F.’ series for?” I can respond with the questions…

Who likes Elves and magic, and all that goes along with fantasy? (Obviously)

But more importantly than this, I can ask the real questions; the questions that signify a connection between myself and potential readers…a connection between you and I.

Who dreams of action and epic adventures?

Who thinks there’s maybe more to our reality than meets our limited senses?

Who thinks we potentially possess more of those senses than have been scientifically identified?

Who enjoys their entertainment with a punch in the face, on the edge of their seat, but also with great consideration for the messages behind the stories they’re being told?

Who thinks the line between good and evil, or right and wrong, is not a razor thin and black and white definitive line, but rather, a gray area that’s far from clear?

Who thinks Truth is absolute and devastating?

Who thinks that real stories don’t always work out with a clear patty-cake victory, and that failure is sometimes unavoidable (but that such failure may not always be what it seems)?

Who thinks there’s something(or many somethings) wrong with our world?

Who thinks there’s something wrong with the way we run it?

Who feels like the ecology and environment of our world ARE in fact extremely important matters worthy of our utmost care and attention as the Keepers of this world of ours?

(On that final note, for example; Did you hear the Black Rhino just went officially extinct? Sad, really. No one can say it’s not a big deal to watch a life form utterly cease to exist altogether.

And yet not a single one of us are exempt from that sin upon our persons, for while we may not have contributed to this animal’s demise directly, we did nothing to prevent it.

Some worked against it. Some donate $ in lieu of actually doing something about it, but they all failed. The human being is capable of so many amazing things, and when we work together we can literally move mountains, shatter atoms, and control the world. Yet none of us did anything ultimately, to prevent the extermination of numerous species throughout our time on earth. This is meant as a humbling thought, not a depressing one. And it stands to illustrate the points of failure not always amounting to what it appears to be and truth as an absolute. We don’t know yet what will come of this extinction. But we can hope it triggers some significant positive reaction in the world at large.)

Who is E.L.F. for? -That is who E.L.F. is for.

Those are the types of people who can enjoy this work. Those are the parts of market I need to find and hit, for it is with those whom my story will most strongly resonate and inspire.

But there’s more! Who am I? Deeper probing is needed.

Well, I’m thoroughly entertained by action, adventure, and edgy movies and stories. So those types will probably like E.L.F.

I’m also into a wide range of music, but at heart, I love harder music. I love some metal, some rock, and anything intricate that’s both intellectual and will punch hard enough to leave an imprint. So it should stand to reason smarty pants types with attitude should like E.L.F. as well.

Largely, I’m rebellious toward authority. I like to question everything. I never take anything at face value. In fact, E.L.F. is rife with misconstrued lore and revisionist history wrought of pure speculation on the possibilities. So…again, reason should indicate that similar thoughtful people should consider this book, or any that I happened to put out there in the world, because it has the things they resonate toward within its pages.

I’m revealing much of myself in my writing, and much in this article simply to help you get the picture of marketing from new angles. I don’t honestly care if you don’t happen to buy my book. This isn’t written to convince you. It’s written to help you expand your minds.

However, if you happen to resonate with the things I reveal, then give it a try.

But if you take nothing else away from this concept, take with you a reconsidering of your target market; consider yourself.

Consider what you poured into your labors of love, and all the things that make you who you are. Use You to your own advantage. Connect to your readers, your people, outside the traditional box. I think they’ll thank you for that.

ELFCover

Book Description

Publication Date: June 19, 2013
 
Shannon Hunter, an eco-terrorist member of the elusive Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) discovers real elves bent on more than petty sabotage…
Plunged into the a world teeming with magic she never really imagined to exist, Shannon discovers the terrible reality left to both Mankind and herself. The Elves have decreed – “Mankind stands upon its own terminus, heedless of ruin” – and its high time the real protectors of nature strike back.
The only person able to do anything to prevent a supernatural war mankind cannot hope to fight; Shannon must find a way to overcome her misanthropic ways, and prevent the Elves from making a mistake that threatens not only Mankind but all life on earth.

The contemporary fairy tale, “E.L.F.” is set in a dystopian vein, somewhat akin to the Harry Bates’ classic, “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, only fantasy, not Sci-fi, and with far more epic action.

Purchase Links:
For all you Smashword users Michael has given us all a code that we can use on our blogs for our readers to receive a 50% discount on his book during the tour. The offer code is for Smashwords.com ONLY, coupon code XS87Y .
M.P.-Ness-Bio-Photo

About the Author

Born in the Midwest, I share my birthday with Leonardo Da Vinci, and seem to share a bit of that creative monster’s spirit.

I paint, draw, write, sculpt, and more.
I’m extremely prolific when I don’t have life and day-jobs tying me down.

I published my debut novel, E.L.F. vol. 1, White Leaves, July 1st, 2013, and hope to release the sequel, Blighted Leaves, sometime early/mid 2014. White Leaves is currently available at all major online retailers in both print-paperback and eBook forms.

I do my own cover-art, book-trailers, formatting, and marketing. It’s tough, but a thoroughly engaging ride.

I’ve also done logo, cover art, and animations for local Seattle area musicians, other musicians elsewhere, luthiers, videographers, authors, and retailers.

Connect with the author:

Click on the picture to enter this awesome Giveaway!!!

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Guest Post – Why Authors Should Blog and Top Tips for Great Blog-Post Writing

18 Sep

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a post titled ” Why Authors Should Blog and Top Tips for Great Blog-Post Writing” written by Jennifer Silva Redmond.  Jennifer is a writer, editor, and publishing consultant who lives aboard the sailboat “Watchfire,” with first mate Russel. As an editor I thought this would be a perfect question for her to answer. If you’ve ever asking yourself this question, well she has the perfect answer. I hope you enjoy and maybe take her words into consideration.

JRedmond

Why Authors Should Blog and Top Tips for Great Blog-Post Writing

Writers usually write blogs for one of two reasons:

One, they just love to write and the two novels and a collection of short stories they are working on are just not enough to keep their creative juices flowing.
Two, they’ve been told that, as writers, they need a platform, and step one of having a platform is to have a blog.

You don’t need any help from me if you are writing for reason number one, so write on! But if reason number two is your instigation, then read on.

Writers should blog for the simple reason that readers want to know more about the people who write the books they read. How often have you seen an article about or interview with your favorite author and not watched or read it?

Exactly.

So, your blog needs to tell us something about you, not just about a subject. Check out Gayle Carline’s blog, “on the edge of the seat of literature” and you’ll see what I mean. Gayle opens up her life to us–maybe not literally, but enough so that we feel we know her. She makes us laugh with a funny story today, makes us ponder a truth next week…We know her better after each post; eventually, we are invested in knowing her. So, when her newest book comes out, we feel an invested interest in reading it.

Voila! 

The secret is to share enough of your thoughts and feelings to engender this reaction, but not so much that it’s, well, pathetic–or worse, creepy.

So what is the rest of the blog to be composed of? Content is the current lingo for what is needed.  Useful content, if you can swing it. Entertaining content, if not. If you can write entertaining and useful content, you’re home free. Write about something you know more than a little bit about, and are more than a little passionate about. Write about something you care about.

Yeah, it’s simple, right?

Good luck!

Jennifer Silva Redmond

Check out more of Redmond’s post follow her blog at www.jennyredbug.com

Thank you Jennifer for your words of blog wisdom! 🙂

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Bringing You The Romance!

Mrs Natalie Graham

I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass but I’m all out of bubblegum! Besides asskicking and bubblegum chewing, I like to write fairy tales for big girls.

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