Category Archives: Book Reviews

Hemingway’s Advice to Writers: Part 1

Quote of the Day: There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Lifelong learning around my home means studying the art and craft of writing. This means I do a lot of reading and writing.

We all have our favorites and my reference to Ernest Hemingway probably doesn’t surprise you. I am fortunate to have read many of Hemingway’s novels and came across a book about him written by his friend, Arnold Samuelson, an aspiring writer at the time.

For the next few posts, I’ll share some of his advice to writers from the book by Arnold Samuelson, With Hemingway, A Year in Key West and Cuba.

Note: The book was published after the author’s death in 1981. You may have seen the movie, if not watch it. The book is available in hard copy from Amazon and at most libraries.

Ernest Hemingway’s advice on ambition, self-comparison, and originality:

“Never compete with living writers. You don’t know whether they’re good or not. Compete with the dead ones you know are good. Then when you can pass them up you know you’re going good. You should have read all the good stuff so that you know what has been done because if you have a story like one somebody else has written, yours isn’t any good unless you can write a better one. In any art, you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better, but the tendency should always be upward instead of down. And don’t ever imitate anybody. All style is, is the awkwardness of a writer in stating a fact. If you have a way of your own, you are fortunate, but if you try to write like somebody else, you’ll have the awkwardness of the other writer as well as your own.”

In the next post, we’ll look at what Ernest Hemingway thought was the “good stuff” writers should read.

Please take a moment and share your thoughts below. Thanks for following my newsletter. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Carolyn

Book Review: Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

Quote for Today:  “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Spring 2019

Spring is in the air and I’m enjoying my writing life – reading and working on book 2 of the Sydney Jones Series. As you know, I rotate my reading from craft, marketing, to the mystery-thriller genre. This is my latest read. Hope you’ll give this gripping fiction a shot!

Livia Lone (Livia Lone, #1)Livia Lone by Barry Eisler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Livia Lone opens the dialog for talking about human trafficking. It’s a worldwide criminal operation partnering for taking and fulfilling orders for people, against their will, to be distributed worldwide. This fictional account shows the political corruption and horrors associated with this heinous crime.

The psychological effects of abuse take on many forms and we get a front row seat to seeing Livia deal with years of childhood and early adulthood abuse. The suspense of not knowing if her sister is dead or alive after both were sold by their parents in Thailand haunts her.

The love for her sister keeps her going. Learning how to defend them both was her objective. She excelled at martial arts, studied criminal justice and became a cop with one purpose in mind – find and free her sister. What she did with her new found knowledge crosses the line, but it fit her agenda – vendetta against those who caused their suffering.

Barry Eisler weaves a tale of deceit that’ll keep you turning pages. In the end, you’ll be ready for the next in the series.

View all my reviews

I look forward to this new season and connecting with mystery lovers here and on social media. Carolyn Bowen

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Getting Ready To Launch: Sydney Jones Series

Quote of the Day: “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”  Ernest Hemingway

I’m counting down the days/minutes until the launch of the new Sydney Jones Series Book 1: Primed For Revenge. On April 2nd this new novel series will be available online for purchase (ebook or paperback), and in your favorite bookstores. Click here to order!

Books by Carolyn Bowen, Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1

Book Bloggers & Reviewers Wanted

If you’re a book blogger/reviewer, please message me for a Kindle gift copy.

Launch Party

Birthday Launch Party for Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series, Book 1, Carolyn M. Bowen

Birthing a novel deserves a celebration, don’t you think? Join the fun on Twitter and Facebook on April 2nd for a fun adventure. One lucky party-goer from each social site will receive a signed copy of Primed For Revenge, the first in the Sydney Jones Series. Hope you’ll stop by and say hello.

If you’d like a sample of this new thriller, follow my blog using your email address and I’ll forward you a PDF of the first 25 pages.

I look forward to this new season and connecting with mystery lovers here and on social media. Carolyn Bowen

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Upping the Stakes for Spring Cleaning

Quote for the Day: The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. Marie Kondo

 

almond-blossom

Spring is the season to clear away the cobwebs from the winter and breathe in the freshness of peace and joy in your surroundings. Most times this calls for deep cleaning of your home and office.

A friend recommended Marie Kondo’s cleaning method. After reading her book, I decided to pursue decluttering using her guidelines. And, let’s just say it’s a huge undertaking, but I’m game! Here’s my review from Goodreads.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

Follow my blog for the latest news about new releases, giveaways, sweeps, and more. Check out novels by Carolyn M. Bowen. Thanks!

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Primed For Revenge Book Signing

Quote of the Day: “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”  Mark Twain

New Mystery-Thriller

Excitement is in the air as the official release date approaches for my new mystery-thriller Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1. The official launch date is April 2nd, 2019.  Preorder Now!

Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1, Carolyn M. Bowen

Meet the Author

A book signing, along with fun and games are scheduled for March 30th, 4 PM EST, at Copperhead Lodge, 171 Copperhead Pkwy, Blairsville, GA. Make reservations now for the weekend and enjoy the scenic beauty of the North GA mountains and meet the author.

Copperhead Lodge

Book Bloggers/Reviewers

Do you enjoy reading and reviewing crime fiction and mystery novels? Primed for Revenge, Sydney Jones Series, Book 1 has a strong female protagonist posed against a robust multicultural Atlanta GA backdrop. You’ll not want to miss reading this one! Fill in the contact information below for a Kindle version of this new mystery-thriller. Thank you. Carolyn Bowen

Follow my blog for the latest news about my writing life. Join my journey for the fun side of the writing life. Carolyn Bowen

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Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face!

Quote for Today: Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Lucille Ball

I just finished reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. This is the review I posted on Goodreads. Enjoy!

Girl, Wash Your Face!. Book Review, The Writing Life
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hold on tight for this young author has grit and authenticity. The chapter headings each begin with lies we’ve told ourselves. Hollis offers up her personal journey in dealing with false beliefs. At the end of the chapter, she provides suggestions for overcoming stinking thinking related to the subject.

I’ve found ideas and beliefs in this book that relate to women of any age. However, young women, especially those with children, will find a treasure trove of information to live a better life now. It’s a must read!

View all my reviews

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

Let’s Connect on Social Media!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

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Holiday Greetings 2018

Quote of the Day: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ― Hamilton Wright Mabie

Happy Holidays 2018, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen

Are you counting down to celebrating this holiday season? Excitement is in the air as we approach Christmas Day. Families’ traveling home for the holidays makes me feel warm and fuzzy. What are your Christmas plans?

Happy Holidays 2018, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen

How are you traveling this season? Whether by train, plane, or automobile always carry a great mystery read with you. Look no further than books by Carolyn M. Bowen for entertainment.

Mystery Book Reviewers Wanted

Carolyn M. Bowen, The Writing Life, books

Are you a book reviewer or blogger? Here’s a chance for the first glance of my new mystery available for pre-order after the New Year. Sign up here to receive your free ebook.

From my house to yours – happy holidays! Carolyn Bowen

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

Let’s Connect on Social Media!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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Brand Mania: Book Review – Say My Name!

Brand Mania: Book Review – Say My Name!
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day: Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprints and personal brand. – Amy Jo Martin

Today I’ve reviewed an excellent book by Matt Bertram about building and maintaining your brand. He provides the big picture and the blueprint for attracting your ideal customer over time.

We need to understand and welcome the idea that everyone doesn’t fit into your fan base. Those who do will become a supporter and potential customer. And, that’s not all!

Now, with the right online tools and resources, you can monitor your brand and quickly take action to keep your brand in good standing without hurting yourself in the long run. This isn’t the time for “going to the mattresses” in godfather terms.

“Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.” Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog

Note: There are many excellent monitoring sites on the Internet. For a start, you can Google your own and your business name and see what’s on the net about you. In addition, I personally use and recommend the monitoring provided by Mention and Google Alerts. Remember, to use your own name and keywords associated with your brand.

Build Your Brand Mania: How to Transform Yourself Into an Authoritative Brand That Will Attract Your Ideal CustomersBuild Your Brand Mania: How to Transform Yourself Into an Authoritative Brand That Will Attract Your Ideal Customers by Matt Bertram
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bertram provides a step-by-step guide for developing an authoritative brand on the world-wide-web. His in-depth explanation provides a way to attract your ideal customer. You’ll learn how to filter out what doesn’t fit your business objectives. The end results will be the development of a cohesive plan to reach people interested in your offerings.

How do you handle unfavorable comments online? First, you need the best tools, and online resources to track communications about your brand. This seasoned digital marketer integrates the answers for what to do when confronted with the negativity that’ll soften the blow to your image.

If you want to become a trusted advisor or go-to person for a specific product or service, I highly recommend reading Brand Mania.

View all my reviews

I’d love to know about your experiences while branding your business. Leave a comment at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

Books, Carolyn M. Bowen, bloggingShopping for a special someone in your life? Whoever it is, we’re guessing they’d love a good book, because who doesn’t? Look no further than action-packed books by Carolyn Bowen!

Social Media Hangouts!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

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Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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The Modern Rules of Marketing for Writers

Quote of the Day: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Modern Rules of Marketing for Writers, The Writing Life, Carolyn Bowen Author
Photo credit: Pixabay

Yes, I’m hyper anticipating my new mystery novel coming out soon. So – I read – and read more to make my jittery nerves relax.

This book got my attention – maybe because I love Hemi trucks – they can pull a boat so I can ski on any lake/river/ocean accessible by land. I think you get it – crazy about water sports. And, I love knowing the latest marketing news! But, can I do what’s recommended?  Stay-tuned.

Today’s book world is about learning and using the right communication and tools to reach your audience. The creative process and techniques for delivering the best marketing campaign to boost book/s to the bestseller list is a long and curvy road. I have been fortunate – just plain lucky in some instances in the past. However, going forward I will be on a steep learning curve to develop innovative ways to get my stories to be read and reviewed.

I’m old school with Hemingway influence where if you write a great novel everyone should want to read it – right? Times have changed and my writing reflects the current state of affairs in the criminal world. I think people still want to know the interworking of a character’s mind. And, that I can deliver. Maybe market – we’ll see.

Today’s review fits squarely into the marketing model I discussed earlier. How to Sell Books by the Truckload by Penny C. Sansevieri is a keeper. See my review from Goodreads below.
How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon.com - Book One and Two: Get More Sales - Get More Reviews!How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon.com – Book One and Two: Get More Sales – Get More Reviews! by Penny C. Sansevieri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back your Hemi right on back and fill your truck bed with the best information for promoting your book. This book gives you the nitty-gritty about marketing both fiction and non-fiction.

It’s the equivalent of having your personal marketing expert working for you. The downside – you’ve got to learn the ropes and do it yourself.

I’d love an app that embodies everything this book describes but we all know advertising isn’t stagnant, always moving forward. Yet, you can benefit today from using these carefully researched and proven marketing techniques. Get ready for a mind-blowing experience! Follow this author to keep abreast of the changing marketing environment. Thanks, Penny!

View all my reviews

If you’d like to be an advance reader for my upcoming new mystery, complete the information below and an ebook will be made available for your reading pleasure. Thank you!

December Holidays, Carolyn Bowen Author, The Writing Life
Photo Credit: Pixabay

I share on social media daily. Hope to see you there, too!  Carolyn Bowen

Social Media Hangouts!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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DECEMBER HOLIDAYS And Love – How They Are The Same?

DECEMBER HOLIDAYS And Love - How They Are The Same?, Christmas 2018, The Writing Life, Carolyn Bowen Author

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day: Remember This December, that love weighs more than gold! Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon, American Writer

The holiday season is here and I’m counting down the days to Christmas. Everywhere I look, there’s a reminder of the coming of winter bliss.

This is the perfect time to spread good cheer and begin making plans for the New Year. What are your holiday plans?

The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen, December Holidays
Photo credit: Pixabay

Family gatherings come to mind and sitting beside the fireplace in the still of the night with a great book and cup of cocoa are in my forethoughts. I hope you’ll make time for yourself this season to unwind and capture the precious moments that’ll never be again.

You’ve probably noticed from my blogging that I’m doing a lot of reading during this month. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I read to learn more about the craft of writing, and marketing. I have a rotation going and share my reviews here and Goodreads primarily.

Author Updates

My next mystery novel is going through the final stages for publishing. If you’d like to be an advance reader, join my launch (street) team here. I look forward to your reviews.

As you go through the paces of preparing for and participating in the fascinating adventure of the Christmas holidays, I hope you’ll share love and kindness to all! Happy Holidays – Carolyn Bowen

December Holidays, Carolyn Bowen Author, The Writing Life
Photo Credit: Pixabay

I share on social media daily. Hope to see you there, too!  Carolyn Bowen

Social Media Hangouts!

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

Goodreads

Twitter

Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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