Quote of the Day: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” Dale Carnegie
Today, I want to pay tribute to Win Kelly Charles who gives hope and inspiration to everyone she meets. Her latest book, She is CP, Butterflies of Wisdom is now up for votes on Something or OTHER publishing site. Go here and vote for her book idea.
Win Kelly Charles is an inspiration. She is an author, blogger, podcaster, designer, and more. One of her endearing qualities, is her passion for life and love of people. Whether in her business outlets or social platforms, she brings positive vibes to the table.
Win Charles has Cerebral Palsy–she also has a thriving jewelry design company, enough metal in her feet to set off any airport’s metal detector, and a love of snowboarding. How do all of these things fit together?
Don’t be fooled. This isn’t a novel about hardships or all of the things a young woman with a disability can’t do. This is a story about LIVING, about doing it anyway, and about passion.
I hope you’ll check out Win’s books and vote for her book idea to be published and follow her Amazon Author’s Pagefor the latest news.
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’re enjoying this fabulous spring season. Carolyn Bowen
Quote of the Day: “I write not because I want to but because I am destined to.” Jules Haigler
The why behind the doing!
First, let me define some of the terms I’ll be using as to not complicate the understanding of what I’m saying.
Who is a writer?
A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Wikipedia
What is the difference between a writer and author?
According to the dictionary, a writer is one who expresses ideas in writing or engaged in literary work. An author is a person who writes a novel, poem, essay etc., and the composer of a literary work. You become an author when your books are published, but if your writings are never published, you remain a writer.
What is the meaning of authorpreneur?
Authorpreneur is the business end of being an author. To me, it’s no different than being an entrepreneur for starting up any kind of business. Of course, the author added to the shortened entrepreneur pinpoints the exact kind of business the person is involved in.
Learning to be an authorpreneur is about positioning yourself (branding) for the best possible outcome for your writing efforts.
You may be thinking I don’t want to do this! I’d prefer to just write. You are not by yourself. Many writers turned authors who became entrepreneurs feel the same way. However, even the bestselling authors are required to participate in the marketing of their books. Many embrace this opportunity to better understand their readers and to help keep the buzz around their names.
Being a writer and authorpreneur, in the business of promoting and marketing to sell and profit from your writing, is a lifetime learning experience. To accomplish this feat as a writer you need to write, read, and study the craft of writing.
Then changing directions towards getting your book/s in the hands of readers is another challenge in of itself. The same lessons apply to learn publishing and marketing – study, read, write, and learn how to expand your brand to reach new readers.
To improve as an author, I’ve found that it’s a good idea to read books in your genre, continue your daily writing and set aside time to learn more about writing.
Today’s blog post is the result of my applying these steps to my writing life. My personal standard is to never read a book I don’t think I’ll enjoy! Hope you enjoy my review of An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt!
Joe Dillard was a criminal defense attorney who didn’t like his job. Never did. His plans after law school were to work in the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor. The problem, the pay didn’t line up with the time and cost of the education required to practice law.
The only choice was to open a law firm. He did with a promise to himself that eventually he’d quit and become a prosecuting attorney. But, first, he had to provide for his family and see his children through school. The pay was good. Yet, knowing his clients were guilty and worse, maggots of the earth tormented him. He desperately wanted to be on the opposite side, not defending the scum of the earth.
The years passed by and he was looking forward to retirement. The income from his practice and his wife’s management of their assets was securing their future. And, when the time was right, he’d call it quits. But, for once he’d like to represent an innocent client before he retired.
He was counting down the days to his exit from practicing law when a new case was offered him. He quoted a fee much higher than normal for he’d not planned to stay for a lengthy trial.
Money wasn’t an issue and his desire to represent an innocent client came to mind. All he had to do was talk to the young, beautiful woman charged with first-degree murder and decide whether to take the case. Would he finally get a chance to represent an innocent client?
If you enjoy reading legal thrillers and mysteries, check this one out! It’s a well-written story that’ll keep your interest.
Mitch Rapp pushes the limits in fighting terrorism wherever and however is necessary. Forced to change directions with the president’s approval, he quits the CIA.
Rapp assembles a group of independent contractors to get the job done. They had just begun infiltrating the Saudi government and ISIS when the new head of intelligence discovers their efforts and puts a stop to the plan by threating to go public with the post 9/11 agreement between the two countries.
Concerned about his political career and an international incident, the president turns his back on Rapp. The American intelligent agencies were ordered to join the Saudis’ effort in finding Rapp.
Rapp and his band of mercenaries become the center of a manhunt orchestrated to stop his mission. Who will win? Will Rapp vindicate himself and turn the tables on the Saudis and come out alive?
Kyle Mills has picked up the gauntlet from where Vince Flynn left off and has stayed true to his voice while expanding the old, and creating new characters to move the series forward.
Quote of the Day: Summertime and reading are the perfect pairings!
Labor Day will be here before we know it broadcasting the end of summer. The leaves are beginning to change acting as a harbinger for the fall season. I would have missed these telltale signs if not for enjoying nature. Time flies.
This summer I’ve done a lot of reading and writing. A much-prescribed ambition for becoming a successful author. Below I’ll reference one of my latest reviews for books I enjoyed reading.
Thank you for spreading the word about this personal development book. This little instruction book was written in hopes of helping others define and achieve their destiny. I appreciate your sharing this self-help book with your friends and family.
In the weeks ahead, I’m offering a Kindle version for everyone who follows my blog. Of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it now for free.
How to Claim Your FREE Copy!
It’s simple, just click the follow button on the upper right-hand side near the descriptions about the blog. Leave your email address and I’ll mail you a gift code for downloading Cross-Stepping Your Way To Success!
Here’s my latest review in the mystery/thriller genre – The Broker by John Grisham.
Grisham pulls out all the stops in this international legal thriller. Follow former Washington D.C. power broker, Joel Backman, as he attempts to put the pieces together about his last-minute presidential pardon.
He was now on the run with his assigned government handler. He was loaded into a cargo plane immediately after release from federal prison with a need to know the destination. Could he keep his wits about him and thwart their interrogations and possible death sentence?
Who are the people chasing him and why? He suspected U.S. government spy agencies, Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis had obtained secrets about his former client’s sophisticated satellite surveillance system, JAM.
He was provided with little details and cash from the people sent to watch over him. Learning Italian was a must for his survival or said his handler. He was diligent in his studies with the tutors provided by the government. He learned his way around the Italian city of Bologna and became adept at losing his handler.
He enjoyed early morning walks in the crisp air, the food and wines, and historical sites. His body became leaner and healthier with his outside explorations. Even he didn’t recognize the man he saw in the mirror.
The C.I.A. planned to release his whereabouts to the global spy agencies interested in his secrets and watch who’d kill him first. He was tipped off when his bag was stolen in a restaurant during a scheme caused to disrupt service. Not long afterward, he was confronted by two men from the F.B.I. near his apartment. He knew other spy agencies were probably closing in. It was time to leave Bologna but could he with no money, passport, or change of clothes?
His being on the run trying to stay ahead of deadly spy agencies proved to be daunting. Where should he go and how could he survive since they were always one step behind?
This heart-racing thriller will keep you on your toes. How many people would be killed because of his client’s secrets? Was it possible for him to broker one last deal – the most important one in his life?
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Today we are chatting with Paul Anthony about his background, writing life, and latest titles. Get ready to be educated and entertained by one of the best writers of our time.
Featured Book Title: Septimus
Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Hello, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Answer: I’m a retired police officer living in the Lake District, England. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK to live. We are a mile from Hadrian’s Roman Wall, ten miles from the Scottish border, and about twenty miles from Lake Ullswater. My wife is a retired nurse and we have three children and six grandchildren. A former counter-terrorism detective, I specialize in crime thrillers, true crime, espionage and anthologies for various charities. I’ve been published by a vanity publisher and a commissioning traditional publisher, but I much prefer the self-publishing path. I describe myself as an independent publisher responsible for editing, book covers, marketing, and everything else that goes with the book business. I have absolutely no desire to look for a traditional publisher and often wonder why so-called ‘indie writers’ spend endless hours looking for a publisher. It’s quite possible to achieve tremendous goals without help from these big companies.
Discuss your newest book.
Answer: My latest novel is entitled ‘Septimus’ and it is a welcome departure from my usual foray into crime genres. Having written two detective series I decided to take a break, refresh the mind, and produce something entirely different. Septimus is about the Roman invasion of the Lake District, a man called Hallin who stands in the way of the invasion, and a subsequent incursion into Caledonia (Scotland) where the Romans never really manage to succeed. More importantly, it’s about the characters in the book and how they interact with each other in times of war and peace. Hallin is the leader of a tribe and trades his skill with the Romans in order to try and forge a peace between them. This is quite a complex thing to try and achieve given a constant background of jealousy, treachery, betrayal, and murder as individuals within their own peer groups try to overcome each other and increase their personal power base. Some years back I wrote the history of the family name and learned more about my great uncle. His name was Septimus too. He was one of the first recorded white men to cross the River Sioux complex into Indian country. He was a scout for the US Cavalry and lived in what is now called South Dakota. Readers of Septimus will soon see how my great uncle’s life story inspired ‘Septimus’ and what drove me to write the novel.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Answer: I suspect it all began with reading. As a youngster, I read books written by Enid Blyton. A famous UK writer, she wrote children’s adventure books featuring the ‘famous five’ and the ‘secret seven’. These stories took you into the adventurous mind of a child and, somewhere inside there, it sticks. When you come out the other end, you want to be a writer yourself because inside you think – I wonder if I could write stories too?
What are your current projects?
Answer: I’m currently writing the next Boyd crime thriller. Boyd is a Cumbrian detective who gets posted into the nation’s Special Crime Unit. Here, he works with elite officers on major crime, serial homicide, terrorism, espionage, and all things internationally evil. These books have proved very popular over the years and have an excellent following here in the UK. Each one is a ‘stand-alone’.
What books have most influenced your life?
Answer: It’s not so much the books as the authors. My favorite authors are Gerald Seymour, Jack Higgins, Clive Cussler, and Terence Strong. They are thriller writers. Comparatively, you’ll often see me deep inside a non-fiction book studying another language, a religion, a political or economic doctrine, a biography, or a sports manual.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Answer: I was studying for a degree and writing assignments at 4 am every Sunday morning. When I finished the degree, my wife suggested I continued and inspired me to write my first novel. She told me I had a book deep inside me waiting to get out. I followed her advice and eventually published The Fragile Peace. Since then, I’ve written over 20 novels in the various crime genres but I tend not to write at 4 am on a Sunday morning anymore.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Answer: All my novels carry a message of some kind and that is not at all unusual. Crime writers generally promote good over evil and readers find themselves taking sides with the various characters that an author has written about. They are not that different from romance novels because readers find themselves drawn inside a good book supporting a character (or not) and wanting to know what happens next’. I try to entertain readers whilst also enlightening and informing wherever possible. My novel, White Eagle, for example, offers an explanation as to how terrorism can be avoided. Sound crazy and unlikely? Not if you turned the clock back to the end of various wars and incursions and rewrote the so-called peace agreements. (In some cases there are no peace agreements, hence we have continuing conflict) Terrorism, if you want to focus on that for a moment, is generally rooted in religion and sovereignty. Delivering a thought-provoking message at the same time as delivering a good read is not a bad thing to do.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Answer: Constantly developing new plots that haven’t been used before whilst simultaneously writing at a pace that will keep the reader held and enthusiastic about the book they are reading.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Answer: Finding the time. I’m retired and enjoying life yet I still don’t have enough hours in the day.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Answer: I’ve always looked upon my writing career as a hobby. Finding quality time to do something you enjoy is quite easy. You just move the goalposts so that you can do what you do best.
What book are you reading now?
Answer: I’ve just finished ‘Blue’ by John Sutherland. It’s an autobiography written by a senior police officer here in the UK and it’s an excellent read.
What does your writing process look like?
Answer: I write when it suits me and when the plot is ready to go down on paper. Most of the time I form a plot in my head, sit and make notes, draft it out into chapters and then – when I’m ready – I sit down and put it all together properly. It can take anything from three to nine months for me to write a book that I’m more than happy with.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Answer: Enjoy time with our family mainly – but I enjoy the gym and weightlifting, learning to speak Spanish, playing a guitar, and ballroom dancing.
From where do you gain your inspiration?
Answer: Usually from thinking about what I am about to write next.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Answer: The advantages of self-publishing are that you can be totally independent and enjoy a work-life balance of your own structure. The disadvantages of being published by a large company is that you are in effect employed by them to write to timescales set by them. Both courses of action can be immensely successful. It really depends how much you want to put into the route you take and how much freedom you want to enjoy yourself. I think the reality is that all writers are vain. It’s in their nature. Another reality is that there are very few authors who actually make a lifelong living from writing books. Of course, they exist, but there are thousands of writers who will never make it a full-time life-enduring career for a hatful of reasons. Being retired, you can perhaps see why I favor a course that delivers a good work-life balance.
How do you market your books?
Answer: Daily via social media, by word of mouth, guest speaking at various functions, author interviews like this one, and having a good batch of business cards that are handed to people you meet on life’s journey. Wherever I go, I usually present a card detailing my website to anyone who might be interested in reading.
Why did you choose this route?
Answer: Historically, experience reveals what works and what doesn’t. Basically, marketing is a numbers game. The bigger the audience you create, the bigger your readership can grow.
What are your views on social media for marketing?
Answer: I think the book groups on Facebook are excellent devices to present your work. Using Twitter and LinkedIn also provide an audience and lead to more connections.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Answer: Try to market every day on various platforms and try to diversify the style of marketing so that you are not seen to be delivering the same constant message over and over again. A book cover displayed is great but when displayed continuously day after day to the same platforms, it becomes potentially boring and doesn’t catch the eye of the reader.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Answer: Coffee time in the morning and a half hour burst at night.
What do you do to get book reviews?
Answer: Nothing at all. I always hope for reviews but I don’t chase people for them. I think that is unfair. In any event, I’m very skeptical about reviews since there are far too many people willing to pay for reviews, give books away for reviews, swop for reviews, barter, and trade for reviews – almost to the point of ridicule. The world of ‘reviews’ lacks honesty on occasions.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Answer: Work hard, keep on writing, and never give your book away for free. Everything has a value however good or bad it is.
How can readers discover more about you and you work
Answer: Links to my website and blog site are below, as well as my Amazon page.
Thank you, Paul, for allowing us to get to know you and have a glimpse into your writing life. We appreciate your sharing some important points for writers of all genres and look forward to reading your novels.
This is where you can find me on book platforms and social media sites. I’ll be writing and sharing on social media. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen
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Quote of the Day: There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Book Blog Tour featuring author B. L. Blair
The Lost Macaw by B. L. Blair
About the Novella
The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.
A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.
When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.
“Your little old lady is quite interesting, Alex,” Halie said.
“What do you mean?”
“She didn’t exist until about thirty years ago.”
“I did a preliminary background search on her. In general, she is clean. No debt. The house is paid off as is her car. The one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that she had a safe deposit box at four different banks.”
Luke raised one eyebrow. I got a sinking feeling. I had noted the bank accounts but hadn’t really given them much thought.
“Yeah,” I said, “I saw those.”
“So why does an eighty-year-old woman need four safe deposit boxes?”
“Why does she need more than one?” Luke muttered.
“Exactly,” Halie said. “So I dug a little deeper.”
“What did you find?”
“About thirty years ago, Joseph and Trudy Kearns purchased the house on Carriage. Back then, it was a new neighborhood, and the prices were cheap. They paid cash. They also opened a bank account, and Joe got a job working for the city. Those are the first records I can find for either one of them.”
“Trudy would have been fifty at that time. Her husband probably a few years older. What about birth certificates? Social security cards?”
“They had them, but conveniently, they were issued from a small county in Virginia where a massive flood destroyed all their records. The county office was in the process of moving the old paper records to electronic when the flood hit.”
“Let me guess. The Kearns’s records did not survive the flood.”
“So the only records for them are the ones they had in their possession.” I paused a moment. “Do they look real?”
“Yes,” Halie replied.
“So they could be authentic.”
“Or really good forgeries. In some ways, it was easier back then.”
“Anything else?” I asked.
“Not really. Lives on a fixed income of social security and a small pension from her husband’s job. It isn’t much because he only worked for the city for twelve years before he had to retire.”
“Okay, thanks, Halie.”
After ending the call, I looked at Luke. He had a perplexed look on his face that I had a feeling mirrored mine.
Many authors I know pull from events or people from their own lives for inspiration or storyline. I’ve never been that way personally. I’m an extremely private person by nature, so it’s very unusual for me to use any of myself in my books. That is actually my favorite thing about writing; I’m able to fully create worlds and people out of thin air. It allows you to become whoever you want for the moment. I usually create a main character that is nothing like me because it allows me to be and do all the things I’ve always wanted to.
I’ve had a very eventful life. Those who know me well always ask why I’ve never drawn from my real life for a novel since my life is pretty much a lifetime movie. The idea of writing anything close to home has always been completely horrifying to me. (Super private remember?)
I have a pretty unique situation where I lost my hearing at eighteen years old. (You can read more about it in my letter to the reader in Silent Song.) Deafness is one of those subjects that most people think they understand…but actually, don’t. There is so much more to deafness than not being able to hear. There are levels (decibels) of sound that is so intricate that it is much more than just you can hear or not.
A few years ago I read a book that had a deaf main character. The book was amazing, but there were so many things that weren’t accurate. It wasn’t glaringly obvious unless you were deaf, but it really bothered me. I had brought up the issue to a good author friend of mine and I’ll never forget what she said to me.
“The only way to fix this problem Jaci is to set it straight. That means you are going to have to write the story of a deaf person from their perspective. Show people not only your world but help them understand the deaf world. Who else will?”
I instantly shut her down. There’s no way I’m writing anything close my life. A few months went by and then I had to explain a few things about deafness to people that they just never knew. Like just because you speak English doesn’t mean deaf people can write in English without a struggle. Almost every hearing person I talked to didn’t know that American Sign Language is NOT English. It has its own structure and rules like any other language. ASL is my second language, but it’s the main one I use at home with my husband. It’s hard for my brain to switch back and forth between ASL and English. Because of this, I tend to change tenses when I write, which is very frowned upon in writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven every editor I’ve ever had to drink over this little fact.
After having to explain this to several people over a very short amount of time I finally came to terms with the fact that I was going to have to write a story with a deaf character.
I decided to go home and just see if I even had a story in me. I don’t outline, ever. I just start writing. I usually write the end first, then the beginning and fill in the middle. (Yeah I’m weird.) So I went home and just started writing to see if I even had a story in me…and I couldn’t stop. I wrote through the night, and all weekend long. By the time I took a break I had almost written half of the book. This is the only book I didn’t have to re-write or revise. It was trapped deep down and apparently ready to be freed. I cried more while writing this story than I have probably ever cried in my life. But it was also the most cathartic thing I‘ve ever done.
This story isn’t my own, but the feelings are completely mine. The painful feelings, fears, and passion are all mine even though the story belongs to Barrett alone.
Zombies in the deserted ruins of the City of London are an endangered species. The only thing keeping them from extermination is the hit reality TV show ‘Game Hunter,’ where people pay to go on a zombie killing safaris. Those left are hardly dangerous and viewer ratings are down unless something changes the show will be scrapped.
The Elders have convinced male and female half-zombie teenagers, reluctant Tremayne and Fiery Red, to find a further five fighters and take on seven of the most ferocious zombie hunters in a series of three gruesome rounds of Game Hunter. They will be feverishly followed by a worldwide audience and the final outcome will determine their annihilation or possible cure.
Yet with the fate of their zombie cousins at stake, a missing beloved sister to find, a budding romance, plus intrigue and conspiracy around every darkened corner, just staying alive until the first round seems to be a deadly struggle in itself.