Category Archives: Reading books

Dog Days of Summer Reading

Quote of the Day: “Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” Van Morrison

What are Dog Days of Summer?

The Dog Days of summer means the worst heat of the season will set in. Living in the south you know it’s time to find shade, cool bodies of water, and air conditioning. And, of course, a great mystery read.

When Are the Dog Days of Summer?

Yes, the season is here! Dog Days begin July 3rd and end August 11, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The 40 days of extreme heat coincides with the dawn rising of Sirius, the Dog Star.

Stay cool and hydrated while enjoying the offerings during the summer months. There’s no better time to catch up on your reading. Load up your bookshelves for beach reads and the long summer nights.

For mystery lovers, you’ll want to check out the special promotion for Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 at Smashwords
Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones SeriesShort Blurb:

In a conspiracy to advert prosecution in a wrongful death suit, lead attorney Sydney Jones was targeted for removal from the case of Birdman & Birdman’s prestigious client. She didn’t go quietly. There were immediate repercussions and only the fittest would survive.

Check out the reviews on my media page for books by Carolyn M. Bowen.

Are you on Instagram? Follow here and share your photos of reading my novels. I’d love to see your favorite reading spots.

Thank you for supporting my writing life. Wishing you a safe and happy July 4th! Carolyn Bowen

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5 Stars for Primed For Revenge

Quote for Today: And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

Let’s celebrate! One of the milestones authors dream about achieving is knowing readers and book bloggers are reading and loving their books. Today is my happy day!

The writing life has its ups and downs sometimes feeling like you’re riding a merry-go-round. However, when readers respond with comments and reviews it makes the day brighter. Today is one of my soaring days. I just received a 5 Star review for Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 by Chick Lit Café. Look below!

Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series5 Stars Chick Lit Cafe

Primed For Revenge: Sydney Jones Novel Series by Carolyn M. Bowen

Synopsis:

Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.

Leaving the office, she was swiftly kidnapped and taken to her assailants’ hideaway, beaten, and raped. With no memory of whom she was put her at a disadvantage with her captors. Through gritted teeth, she promised a day of repercussions for their actions while mentally visualizing her revenge.

Warned by her assailants to keep her mouth shut or else, she was delivered to her home. Not recognizing her former living quarters, she was careful in exploring her options for regaining her memory.

Piecing together the reasons for her kidnapping brought her into contact with people, some she could trust and others risky. The problem was the amnesia prevented her from recognizing the difference.

Tapped for a crime once nudged her toward caution for something afoul was going on at Birdman & Birdman. She prepared for a fight. With a vision of fury, she made a chilling decision – never to be a victim again.

Book Review:

Primed For Revenge, the first book in a new and exciting psychological thriller series by Carolyn M. Bowen brings readers a captivating mystery filled with crime, conspiracy, and deceit. The author pulls no punches with a dynamic observation into the emotions and actions taken when one’s life is confronted with unexpected, debilitating and life-changing events, of the horrific kind.

Sydney Jones has a bright career as an attorney at a large law firm, prepared to become a partner. However, a disagreement with her boss at Birdman and Birdman infuriates Sydney and she does not take it lying down, causing unforeseen negative consequences.

When she is kidnapped, tortured, brutally raped and returned to her home, Sydney is warned to keep her mouth shut. Sydney has no idea why she was targeted and she has now lost her memory too. Now, suffering from amnesia, she tries to get her life back. She begins to exercise and work out and goes to the gun range, learns to handle and shoot a gun. She becomes stronger, learns to protect herself and tries to overcome such a horrific attack on her body and life. She wants revenge and gets prepared for a fight. As she starts to regain some of her memory and put the pieces together, disturbing events are brewing behind the scenes while deceptive friendships and situations come her way.

Primed For Revenge by Carolyn Bowen is an exceptional crime and mystery story filled with intrigue, romance, action and unexpected surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, which ended with a tremendous twist. The exciting, deep, complex and fully believable plot is brought to life with Bowen’s expressive descriptive words, vivid scenery, settings, and of course, the shocking scenes. Sydney Jones is a fabulous character with strength and determination. She should not trust those who come to befriend and help her but takes her chances. Because after all, she did forget everyone she knew, and even the house she lived in. What a struggle for one woman to endure. Many readers will identify with her vulnerability, and be inspired and encouraged by the strong woman she becomes after being victimized in such a brutal manner.

Carolyn M. Bowen has captured the essence of various authentic, interesting and compelling characters. She has an original clever ability for writing about fascinating people, unique places and astonishing unusual occurrences. The dialog between the characters is brilliant and impressive, sometimes heated and many times, warm.

Overall, Primed For Revenge by Carolyn M. Bowen is an entertaining read, with a great fulfilling plot and storyline that flows nicely, is easy to follow and become engrossed in. The characters all play an important and vital part to this creative and original novel which is the beginning of a remarkable new psychological thrillers series, entitled Sydney Jones Novel Series by Carolyn M. Bowen. Don’t miss out on this captivating, compelling and thrilling 5 star read! Highly recommended by Chick Lit Cafe.

 Purchase Primed For Revenge by Carolyn M. Bowen today!

Alt="chick lit cafe book reviews & marketing"

 

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Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 is now also available online and at your favorite bookstores in eBook and paperback format now! 

B&N
Books-A-Million
Google Play
KOBO
Smashwords
Foyles – UK

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Summer Reading Kickoff

Quote of the Day: “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person …” Carl Sagan

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Latest News: Summer Promotion

Love reading mystery-thrillers with a strong female lead character – then today is your day. Primed For Revenge, the first in the Sydney Jones Series is your right choice for entertainment. Join the thrill of reading with this special price promotion to kick off your summer fun.

A Short Blurb

Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.

Leaving the office, she was swiftly kidnapped and taken to her assailants’ hideaway, beaten, and raped. With no memory of whom she has put her at a disadvantage with her captors. Through gritted teeth, she promised a day of repercussions for their actions while mentally visualizing her revenge.

Warned by her assailants to keep her mouth shut or else, she was delivered to her home. Not recognizing her former living quarters, she was careful in exploring her options for regaining her memory.

Piecing together the reasons for her kidnapping brought her into contact with people, some she could trust and others risky. The problem was the amnesia prevented her from recognizing the difference.

Tapped for a crime once nudged her toward caution for something afoul was going on at Birdman & Birdman. She prepared for a fight. With a vision of fury, she made a chilling decision – never to be a victim again.

Where to order yours…

Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1 is now available online and at your favorite bookstores in ebook and paperback format now! 

Amazon

B&N

Books-A-Million

Google Play

KOBO

Smashwords

Foyles – UK

Thank you for following my writing news and sharing on social media. I appreciate your support and look forward to your comments and reviews. Enjoy your upcoming summer reading! Carolyn Bowen

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Hemingway’s Advice to Writers: Part 2

Quote of the Day: “For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.” Ernest Hemingway

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Part 2: Hemingway’s Advice to Writers

As promised, today’s topic is part two of Hemingway’s advice to authors provided to Samuelson, a journalist and aspiring author at the time. His book is titled, 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.

We’re looking at the novels Ernest Hemingway considered the “good stuff” in literature. Although, not handwritten as the list below, in conversation with Samuelson, he said, “the best book an American ever wrote,” the one that “marks the beginning of American literature” – “Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Hemingway’s “Good Stuff”

In looking over the book list, I’m reminded of another quote by Hemingway about studying authors considered the best after their death for that was the true sign of greatness for their work had endured. In doing so, Hemingway’s novels should be added to the list of good stuff for today’s reading.

In his own words…

“Here’s a list of books any writer should have read as a part of his education… If you haven’t read these, you just aren’t educated. They represent different types of writing. Some may bore you; others might inspire you and others are so beautifully written they’ll make you feel it’s hopeless for you to try to write.”

Note: You’ll find most of these at your public library.

  1. The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane
  2. The Open Boat by Stephen Crane
  3. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  4. Dubliners by James Joyce
  5. The Red and Black by Stendhal
  6. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  9. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  10. Hail and Farewell by George Moore
  11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. The Oxford Book of English Verse
  13. The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
  14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  15. Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
  16. The American by Henry James

Following Hemingway’s method of studying the writing of great authors whose works have stood the test of time, what author and books would you add to the list?

Here are a few of my favorites. Comment below with your must-reads of classic novels.

  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Catcher and the Rye – J. D. Salinger
  • James Bond Spy Series – Ian Fleming
  • Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 
  •  In Cold Blood – Truman Capote   

Note: If you missed Hemingway’s Advice to Writer’s Part One, read here.

Thanks for following my blog and sharing on social media. Your support is greatly appreciated!

For more information about my novels, click here. Thanks, Carolyn Bowen

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Reader’s Fun Giveaway

Reader’s Favorite Fun Giveaway

Book Blogger, Summer Giveaway

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day:  “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Spring is about new beginnings and having fun with beach season right around the corner. The days grow longer when the summer solstice arrives June 21st.  I can’t think of a better way to kick start the season than with a fun giveaway for loyal and new readers. Let the fun begin!

Game Plan

Hit the subscribe (follow) button and share on Twitter tagging me with your favorite quote, scene, or why you like a certain character from any of my novels. Use hashtag: #ReadersGiveaway

Novels by Carolyn M. Bowen

Cross-Ties, The Long Road Home, and Primed For Revenge, The Sydney Jones Series Book 1.

For example Cross-Ties – quote “Bless Your Heart,” Leah figured out the southern meaning behind the phrase. It wasn’t as expected. #ReadersGiveaway

Winner Prizes

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Carolyn Bowen’s book of your choice and a $25 gift certificate. The winner is selected by the most tweets with the hashtag #ReadersGiveaway – Deadline midnight June 21st.

Deadline: Midnight -June 21st

Thanks for following my blog/newsletter. I hope to see you on Twitter soon sharing this fun giveaway.

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Author to Author: The Writing Life

Quote of the Day: You see, I am trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across – not to just depict life – or criticize it – but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me, you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

One thing I think we can all agree on is the road to discovery for authors is challenging. We write and hope for the best reception for our stories. Most times it seems as though our stories come from a place of inspiration rather than a rational decision to write and plot around a specific topic. I’m speaking for myself here. If you have a writing method that works for you, good!

I’m going to skip right to reviews and reviewers for this is the pressure point for deciding the fate of your novel.

  • The shoot-gun approach to seeking reviews thinking everyone will want to read and leave a great review is a journey filled with perils and one you’ll most likely regret.

What to do!

Find your niche, your tribe, or following many say. Don’t send out review copies or place your work on websites that are not friendly to your genre. For example, you may ask why in the world someone would download and read or attempt to read about murder mystery if they find it appalling?

They do and are subject to leaving crass reviews making it difficult for real mystery lovers to find your novel. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written in Agatha Christie’s style or the most eloquent presentation of your story. Your novel and some readers just do not match. And, Lord help you if you get an overly zealous reviewer that goes to every site your novel is published on and shares their distaste. Please beware this is cyber-stalking!

You may ask, “Didn’t they read the novel’s description, clearly stating what it was about?”

I’m with you there. If a novel is crime fiction or in similar categories, you can expect a story line with gritty details about happenings that some may find offensive. That’s why their different genres for novels on all the platforms selling books.

What to do

  • Clearly identify the genre/s your novel falls into.
  • Write an accurate book description about your novel.
  • Find where the readers hang-out who would enjoy reading your story.
  • Think about groups on social media seeking books of your genre.
  • Your website is a goldmine and where true readers will navigate to keep up with your writing. Also, your website is the real estate that you own unlike the social platforms where you may post. Think back to social sites now dissolved and the followers that you no longer have access to.
  • Become a developer and up your game by engaging your fans on your website and where they hangout.
  • Find professional reviewers in your genre. You can post their reviews to your online book platforms.
  • Don’t give-up! There are readers who will enjoy your novels and give positive reviews. An interesting part of the writer’s journey is finding your base support. Once you do that, the sky is the limit. Go create!

 

If you’d like a sample of my new psychological thriller, Primed For Revenge, the 1st in the Sydney Jones Series, follow my blog using your email address and I’ll forward you a PDF of the first 25 pages. Note: Crime fiction, murder mystery, psychological thriller, adult rated!

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

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Last Call to Enter Giveaway!

Quote of the Day: “Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.” Alan Alda

Goodreads Giveaway

Just a quick note to my mystery-thriller fans! You’re invited to enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of 50 Kindle copies of Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1. Hurry, the magic ends at midnight for entering the contest.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Primed For Revenge by Carolyn M. Bowen

Primed For Revenge

by Carolyn M. Bowen

Giveaway ends February 21, 2019.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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

Mystery Book Reviewers Wanted

I’m looking for bloggers and reviewers to read and review Primed For Revenge, Sydney Jones Series Book 1.  Message me with your email address for providing your personal Kindle gift code. The review copies will be emailed on the official release date – April 2, 2019. Thank you!

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

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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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Book Review: An Innocent Client

Quote of the Day: “I write not because I want to but because I am destined to.” Jules Haigler

The Writing Life, Book Review: An Innocent Client
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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!

An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard, #1)An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wherein Lies the Truth?

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.

View all my reviews

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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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Social Marketing Today

Quote of the Day: Everyone lives by selling something. Robert Louis Stevenson

Social Marketing Today, Carolyn M Bowen Author
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The art of marketing is solidified when you have identified your target market, folks who are interested in your products and services and provide a means to communicate. Today, social media plays an important role in connecting with like-minded people – talking and listening. But, how do you choose which platforms to use for finding your audience and potential customers?

When you are able to see the overall picture and plan your business future, you’ve just become an author, the business end of being a writer.

Answering the Question

For me, as much as I enjoy creating and sharing photos/videos when posting about my books, I’ve got to be aware of the conversion rate. As an author, you need to know how and where to get your books in the hands of interested readers. I asked the question, where are my potential readers hanging out and what site delivers the best return on my investment?

Having lots of followers on social media isn’t the point. Having people interested in what you say and your offerings are important and play a key role in building relationships.

Many new small businesses rush to share on most or all of the social media platforms. Take your time. Begin with two or three of the major ones and expand from there, if desired.

I would suggest sites, in the least, where everyone who follows can see your posts without advertising. I’m not saying don’t advertise, you can pick a post that’s performing well within your community, tweak it and monitor the results.

My favorite social sites for some time have been Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Google+ is phasing out this platform as currently operated. I’m sad. Second, Twitter has always been a great site for me although the news feed moves quickly. Your post most often has a shelf life of 30 minutes max. The good news is your posts are shown to everyone and advertising is affordable if desired. And, third, Pinterest is a fun place to show-off both personally and professionally. It is a behind the scenes kind of thing that allows followers to get to know the real you.

If you enjoy photos and following the trends for just about anything life has to offer, you’ll love this site. Me, I especially love the cute kitties, travel, fashion, and meeting book lovers!

I’m trying out a new site, MeWe.com, the next-gen social network. I like the idea of a site engineered with privacy in mind and the ability to connect with like-minded folks. I’m learning the ropes and will share more about my experiences in a later post.

Do you have favorite social media sites? I’d love to hear from you about what works for your business. Note: I’m on other social sites for various reasons – business and personal.

The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Latest Writing News

There’s a new mystery/thriller release coming up in my near future. If you’d like to become a part of my advance launch team and receive a free copy, sign-up below. Thank you!

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