Sunday Blog Share: The Visiting Room – Halloween Fare

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The Visiting Room

By Holly Rene Hunter

Released from my nightmare I follow the long corridor of doors to the landing, rattling keys lock the rooms as I pass by. A tipsy ballerina, my bare feet float above the heavy carpeting that covers the oak stairway.  At the end,  I find my myself embalmed in the dark  parlor of the once opulent mansion . Nothing has changed, high back chairs and Toscano settees beneath dull white sheeting over-fill the room.  Dusty paintings of daffodils and brocade vases of still life line the burgundy walls. Above the mahogany fireplace a portrait…

(Continue Reading: The Visiting Room – Halloween Fare)

The Bone Wall: 2 Blogger Reviews

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The Bone Wall – Amazon Universal Link

Kevin Cooper from KC Books & Music recently graced one of my books with a glowing review. Of course, I did a happy dance around my house, and the dogs barked their heads off at the excitement. “No, we’re not going for a car ride,” I shouted. “I got a super review.”

There’s no greater gift to an author than when someone “gets” your book and tells the world about it. Kevin is a great friend of indie authors, a reputable reviewer, cover designer, and accomplished author and musician in his own right. I encourage writers and readers to browse his site. Without further ado:

Kevin’s Review: The Bone Wall

This futuristic/dystopian tale is presented to us in the first-person pov from the perspective of two very different, if not truly opposite personas: Rimma who is angry and bent upon revenge for the death of her father and against all who oversaw the destruction of heaven, and her twin sister, Angel who hopes against hope for a better world of peace, love and harmony.

Rimma not only vows to kill all the biters, (those responsible for the destruction of heaven) but forces Angel to vow that she will allow Rimma to bear all the burdens and consequences so she can protect her.

The only thing stronger than Rimma’s burning desire for revenge is her love for Angel and all that she stands for… In a world bent upon self-destruction, Angel must survive at all costs. The story is deeply thought-provoking, extremely well written and constructed; It’s not the kind of story you want to read quickly and get it over with but rather, one you want to savour. There are countless raw emotions and events to draw you ever deeper, and never a dull moment passes in this action-packed epic fantasy/sci-fi tale.

The Bone Wall is a truly exceptional work which brings out the best in D. Wallace Peach… Without doubt my favourite to date and one of the easiest five-stars I’ve ever given. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

** ❤ **

Somehow, this ended up being my lucky week with a second review, this one by the talented author and blogger, Jacqui Murray. She blogs at Worddreams, and I love her site for her writing tips and “How to Describe” thought-starters. Check out her Top Posts and other resources on her right menu bar.

Jacqui’s Review: The Bone Wall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bone Wall follows the story of two twins, entwined in a failing world that neither is prepared for. When the world almost destroyed itself over 300 years ago, it managed to seal in some of the planet’s inhabitants while condemning the rest to live outside the protective shell, in a world that was barely life at all. Now that shell is failing and the inhabitants within must figure out what that means to them. What follows is a savage fight to save a dystopian world that will never be the same.

This is D. Wallace Peach’s fourth novel. Not only is it a page-turner, but it challenges our notions of humanity, fairness, and equity in a world where none of those can truly exist.

** ❤ **

Thanks you to both authors for taking the time to read and share their thoughts on their blogs. It’s a great honor.

Amazon Universal Link

My Oven Saga

My fixed oven and stove

My fixed oven and stove

I can’t cook.

It’s one of those skills that never penetrated the thick membrane that lines my skull and keeps my brain from leaking. I marvel at foodies who produce mouth-watering cuisine using random supplies from the pantry and refrigerator. Despite good intentions, I peer into those mysterious places and my mind goes blank.

My husband took over the grocery shopping 10 years ago when he noticed that “grocery shopping” failed to result in groceries. When the poor man eats one of my meals and says, “that was good,” it comes out sounding surprised. Like going to the dentist for a root canal and not experiencing any pain. It’s jaw-dropping amazing!

frog-1254650_960_720So, when we moved into our current house 6 years ago, it didn’t bother me that only one burner on the gas stove worked. My cooking is far from fancy, and juggling a pot and pan over the single flame was no biggie.

Then, this past June, the electric-powered oven broke. With only one working burner, the oven was somewhat handy. The three meals I make that consistently earn a “that was good” comment are oven-made, so this was not a positive turn of events.

We ordered the new element, and when it arrived two weeks later, the dear man tried to install it and broke the thingy inside the back of the oven. A gas-related complication meant that any attempt at further repair was likely to end with parts of this author and her handy hubby sprinkling the mountainside. We needed a professional.

Now, my better half thinks that since I started writing, my ability to accomplish basic tasks around the house has deteriorated to the point where he’d rather do everything himself. I have no idea where this silly thought came from, but I’m not complaining. More time to write. He takes on the responsibility of calling the manufacturer to see if there’s a repair service somewhere willing to send someone into the wilderness to fix this thing.

Stuck with a single burner and no oven, I have no choice but to cook stir-fry.

30 days later, I’m still cooking stir-fry.

60 days later, I’m getting a little sick of stir-fry.

90 days later, I decide to make stir-fry interesting and roll it up in wraps with sour cream and salsa. Hubby announces he needs to get that oven fixed ASAP.

120 days later, neither of us can deal with any more stir-fry. We loathe stir-fry and stir-fry wraps. Hubby calls Gadget who lives ten miles down the road. Despite some bad weather, Gadget comes over three days later and fixes the oven!

animal-1238228_960_720But wait, what about the burners! This very lovely fellow looks down the gas jet thingys and raises his eyebrows. “I think you have spider webs in your gas jets.” I haven’t used those burners in the 6 years I’ve lived here, so it sounds reasonable to me. He starts pulling the “web” out with a tiny hook, and it’s not spider webbing after all. It’s decade old mouse nesting. Ick. Yuck, Blech.

Anyway, now the burners all work and the oven is fixed, thanks to Gadget. To celebrate this miracle, the hubby ventured out in the rain, wind, and stormy weather to buy ingredients for one of my three reliably “good” meals. I’m all set to cook eggplant parmesan and garlic bread.

Then the power goes out!

**

This post is dedicated to a few blogging foodies that I’ve followed for some time now. They inspire me to try new recipes. Now I can!

Kathryn at Another Foodie Blogger
Lynne at Lynne’s Recipe Trails
Antonia at Zoale
Lynn at Lynz Real Cooking

If you like to cook (or want to try), click on over and pay them a visit. 🙂

Sunday Blog Share: Lingering light

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Lingering Light

by Kimberly Laettner

Our lives flicker in the lightest winds

like candles perched on water

moving with the tides,

We glow on darkest nights beneath

the moon above that aches to be full,

we sit quietly in the moment

watching as time slips past

and the wick falls…

(Continue reading: Lingering light)

Violet Sky #writephoto

Sue Vincent #writephoto

Sue Vincent #writephoto

Violet Sky

We gathered at the border of the road, called out of our misery by one of the children. The dawn bled, a bruised and bloody wound. How fitting for the sixth extinction.

Yet, it was a dawning.

I had thought, long before the die-off, that we might poison the planet and arise one morning in disbelief that we couldn’t survive on an obliterated world. Or perhaps disease would usher mankind to the pyres, our super-viruses ravaging our weak and chemical-laden bodies. Of course, mutual annihilation was a possibility, the promise of our youth and sum of our talent and treasure dedicated to war. The end always made for entertaining speculation.

Who would have believed the culprit was time, all spiraling down with the slow ticking of the clock, the December of the human race.

I peered at the upturned faces of our isolated band as the heavens thrust spears of light through the clouds’ closing gash. My companions’ bodies appeared to glow in the rare sunlight, their radiant souls shining through, reclaiming lost beauty. In their smiles, I witnessed the dawning of hope and hadn’t the heart to tell them we were ghosts.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo for another enticing photo prompt. She tosses these out to us on Thursdays and reblogs our submissions. It’s great fun. Head over and give it a try!

Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results

enwikimedia.org

enwikimedia.org

Eight months ago, I started the process of canceling my traditional publishing contracts and re-releasing all my books as an indie author. My reasons for the switch were detailed in two posts Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie (Part I) and (Part II).

The process went more smoothly than I could have imagined, and I wanted to share the results:

1. I left myself 8 months to convert 6 books. Two months per book would have been easier as I was reproofing as part of the process. The advice: Create a schedule and then give yourself extra time.

2. New covers had an instantaneous sales response. Covers do matter whether traditional or indie publishing.

3. My old reviews ALL carried over to the new books. All I had to do was ask Amazon to combine the old (publisher) and new (indie) editions leaving only the new editions visible. The same phone call also combined the kindle and paperback editions so that they’d show as one “tile” (the standard Amazon presentation).

4. Though I priced my ebooks significantly lower than my publisher did, I’m earning a greater per-book royalty. The healthier royalties now support further promotion, while the lower prices encourage more readers to try my books.

5. Promotions conducted on 3 converted books generated about 7,5oo downloads that kick-started a series of paid sales. As a traditionally published author, I couldn’t take advantage of promotions as I had no control over pricing and discounts.

6. I bundled my Dragon Soul series as another purchasing option. The books are available singly and as a bundled kindle download.  I priced the first book in the series at $.99 (versus $4.99 through the publisher). This series sold 1 copy the whole year it was with a publisher and is now my best performer.

7. I am now able to track my sales with a great deal of detail. This wasn’t an option when my books were under contract with a publisher. The publisher received complete data, and I only received sales volume data when I received my royalty checks.

As a traditionally published author, the most effective way I had of seeing how I was doing was to keep an eye on my Amazon Author’s Ranking, which looked at my sales performance as a whole versus individually. Here’s a look at how my ranking changed when I started the self-publishing journey. Numbers don’t lie!

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My writing journey started with a traditional publisher, but I haven’t one regret regarding the switch to indie publishing. The industry continues to change and who knows what’s ahead. For now, being an indie author works for me.

I hope this series of posts is helpful to anyone deciding which way to go. Happy Writing.

Sunday Blog Share: The Days of Wine and Roses

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Days of Wine and Roses

by Pamela Wight

I’m on my way to see my mom this weekend, and taking little with me except some old albums.

When I visit her in late summer, she seems so less of what she used to be. Because of dementia, she can’t remember what I told her five minutes earlier, like “your clean clothes are in the drawer” or “dinner is in 45 minutes.”

Seconds after the conversation, my once bright, quick mom asks: “where are my clean socks?” and then “isn’t it time to walk down to the dining room?”

But when I direct mom to her floral comfy couch and open up the big battered black album, the one that sat in the bottom of her hope chest for decades, her dulled eyes brighten, and she sits up straighter.

Continue Reading: The Days of Wine and Roses