Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Happy Saturn’s Day!

Marcia:

Have a great weekend, everyone. See you later! :)

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Hope you’ve all got a great weekend planned. I’m off to do a slideshow on Using Florida’s Wetlands and Wildlife as a setting for a Romantic Suspense novel. Basically, I’m just going to spend some time with a group of neat people, talking about wildlife and my books. What could be more fun?

The Enterprise Heritage Museum is an old schoolhouse, built in the 1930’s, which now belongs to the local historical preservation group. They’ve done a fantastic job of renovating, so far, with future plans still to go. They’ve tried to scrape down layers of paint, remove walls that had been added over the years, and generally, restore the building to what it looked like when it was first built. It’s very cool!

Ain’t Life grand? Have fun, you guys, and I’ll see you later!

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LAST DAY!

Last day to sign up for my monthly Newsletter and request a free download of one of my books, your choice. Deal ends at 5:00PM EDT tonight. Don’t miss out. Your chance to read either Book 1 or Book 2 of my Wake-Robin Ridge series (or ask for the boxed set, and get them both). And if you’re in the mood for something more…tropical?…slithery?…Vikingly?…try Swamp Ghosts. :) The sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida is full of surprises! Just sign up (by clicking the link at the top of the right sidebar) and email me with your request:  mmeara@cfl.rr.com  It’s that simple. Simple is good. FREE is better! :)

Win a Free Download, Today Through Friday Only!

Sign up for my newsletter (link, top right column) and I’ll gift you with a free download to your choice of my eBooks: Summer Magic, Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit or Swamp Ghosts. That’s it! Just sign up, and then email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com to be sure I don’t miss you. I’ll have Amazon send you a download link to whichever of my books you’d like to have, completely free.

Free is good! :)

Here are the links, so you can read the blurbs. Remember that A Boy Named Rabbit is Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, and while it’s basically a stand-alone, it will be much easier to understand if you’ve already read Wake-Robin Ridge.

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit
Swamp Ghosts
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Real Neat Blog Award

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Though I’m sorry to say I haven’t had a lot of time for my blogs lately, due to long days of writing novels that I hope will help feed me in my even more advanced old age, I still love it when I have time to review a book or two here on Bookin’ It, or share with my fellow writers and friends on The Write Stuff. So I was especially pleased and grateful when Callum McLaughlin nominated me for the Real Neat Blog award. My heartfelt thanks, Callum! It’s nice to know I still qualify, even with fewer posts.

These are the questions Callum posed, along with my answers, such as they are. Read on, to find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know.  

CALLUM: Physical book or eBook?

ME: I’m greedy! I want both. I see no need for this to be an either/or situation. I love collecting books and always have. In this house, I have a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and it’s my favorite room. There are books that I’ve had all my life and would never get rid of. There are series that I loved so much, I felt compelled to buy the entire set. There are books I bought because the cover art was irresistible. I have books stacked on end tables, and on bookshelves in other rooms. Books equal treasure! But when I sit down to read, I will choose my Kindle almost every time, even if the actual book is on my shelves. It’s more comfortable to hold, the lighting is perfect, and best of all, I can adjust the font for my tired old eyes.  I like being able to tap a word and have an instant definition pop up. I like highlighting without marring a print book. And best of all, I can finish a Book 1 and within sixty seconds, can buy, download, and start reading a Book 2, even at midnight, usually at a bargain price. You can’t beat that. 

CALLUM: Music or silence?

ME: Whether it’s reading or writing, I’ll always opt for silence. The voices in my head make their own music. In the car, I listen to everything from Celtic music, to classical, to classic rock, to Jimmy Buffet’s island songs, or movie and Broadway soundtracks. But at home, where I’m almost always to be found writing these days, it’s silence. Nothing to remind me anything exists beyond the page I’m working on. 

CALLUM: City or countryside?

ME: Hands down, countryside. I’d live in a cabin on a remote mountain in North Carolina, if I had my way. I’m most inspired by nature, wildlife, and gardens run amok.  

CALLUM: Factual or  Fantasy?

ME: Put me down for Fantasy, every time. There’s nothing I love more than escaping reality. As often as possible, preferably. I do still keep a pretty good library of books on nature and wildlife, and love learning about both, particularly where it concerns birding, butterflies, and my garden. 

CALLUM: Extravert or introvert?

ME: A weird mixture of both. Mostly, I’m pretty outgoing, often striking up conversations in grocery store lines. I’ve been told I never meet a stranger. However, having said that, if the situation makes me feel the tiniest bit uncomfortable or awkward, I tend to seek out a dark corner, and observe. When I was younger, I was so insecure, I wouldn’t even go to the grocery store without a friend riding along. I’m past that, now, but there are still those occasions when I find myself looking for a seat in the back of the room.

And that’s it for me. Now it’s my turn to nominate someone, which is pretty tricky, with all the wonderful bloggers I’ve met in the last couple of years. However, I’m going to go with my friend and editor, Caitlin Stern, who is a prodigious reader, in addition to writing some really wonderful poetry. And in addition to Caitlin, I’d like to nominate Jennifer Melzer, a newly acquired but greatly admired fellow writer and tea lover, who introduced me to Adagio teas, thus beginning my latest addiction. If you ladies decide to participate, I submit the following questions:

  • Your day’s writing is done. You escape to your Comfy Chair. Do you go for something completely different, and grab the remote, or bury yourself in even more words with the latest offering from your favorite author?
  • Vacation time comes round again. Sun-washed sand and sparkling surf? Or dappled mountain shade and fern-lined waterfalls?
  • Your book just rocketed to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. Champagne and caviar, or a week being pampered at a spa? Neither sufficiently celebratory for you? Tell us what is.
  • You simply must take a day away from the computer, before you find your limbs completely atrophied and useless. Power shopping at the mall? A stroll around an art gallery? A day at the zoo? An afternoon in your garden? None of the above?
  • Life is Good, because…

Once again, thank you, Callum, for nominating me, and thank you ladies, if you choose to participate, which IS, of course, strictly voluntary. There will be no repercussions if you choose not to. Honest. Probably.

 

Enterprise Heritage Museum Event

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Photograph of Purple Gallinule by Doug Little
St. Johns River Eco Tours

Lots of fun stuff coming up over the next three months, and I thought I’d share some of them with you, in case any of you are in the central Florida area. A week from today, I’ll be doing a slideshow presentation at the Enterprise Heritage Museum, in Enterprise, Florida. Enterprise is a small town across Lake Monroe from Sanford, where I live. Like my fictional town of Riverbend, it has a long history with the lake and the St. Johns River. I’m very pleased to have a chance to talk about why I decided to set my novel, Swamp Ghosts, in central Florida, with an emphasis on the St. Johns River basin, and some of the wonderful wildlife contained, therein. If you can make it, call and reserve a seat today.  (Cindy Sullivan: 386-804-6987) I’d love to have a chance to chat with you. I’ll be doing a book signing afterward, as well. Here’s the official flier from the Museum.

Enterprise Heritage Museum Event

Peak of the Devil by Jen Rasmussen

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve followed Jen Rasmussen’s blog for some time, always enjoying her intelligent, witty posts, and her dry sense of humor, though I’ve never met her personally. When she wrote her first novel, Ghost in the Canteen, I couldn’t wait to read it. I was sure I would enjoy it, and I was right. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. It’s the first book in this series, and it’s a humdinger, with a premise completely new to me. (Clue: It involves a drink called switchel, which was a word I’d never heard before reading that book.)

Peak of the Devil is Book 2 of this series, and I have to say, it’s not as good as the first one…it’s better! Rasmussen’s already solid writing was even stronger this time around. The tough-talking, snarky star of the series, Lydia Trinket, is back, giving a whole new twist to the concept of ghostbusting. Things happen she wasn’t expecting. Bad, scary things. New characters show up to add interest to her life, as if it was ever boring, and old characters are busy building new lives of their own.

Mysteries to be solved, ghosts to lay, and deals with the devil to thwart, before even more people get hurt. Or dead. It’s all in a day’s work for Lydia, and with the help of her new…friend?…Phineas, things get very, very interesting. Being the die-hard romantic that I am, I have to say I’d like to see more of Phineas. A lot more. But Lydia may have other ideas, altogether, and I’m sure they’ll still be plenty entertaining. Only time and the next book, will tell.

And speaking of the next book, Peak of the Devil ends with a great set up for Book 3, and I, for one, can’t wait. I highly recommend both of these books!

Ghost in the Canteen

Peak of the Devil

I Did It, and Lived to Tell the Tale!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

toothache

There are few things in my life that I dread more than dental work, and by dental work, I mean anything whatsoever that causes me to open the door to a dentist’s office, and go inside, unless I’m just selling magazine subscriptions or Avon products. (None of which I sell, btw.)

But alas, once in a great while, Fate decides to provide the entertainment for the rest of the Gods of Morpork and Ankh (I’m reading Terry Pratchett) and gives me a toothache. And not just any toothache, but one so bad that I’ll have to see my regular dentist to be told after an hour’s work that the tooth beneath my crown is basically mush, but that he’s SURE he can save it. Why he wants to save mush is never fully explained, but an appointment with an endodontist is made immediately so I can have root canal “therapy.” You’d…

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Happy Birth Month Event!

Marcia:

Take advantage of Jennifer Melzer’s birthday celebration offers! I did!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

I am one of those people who starts talking about my birthday three months before it arrives because celebrating the fact that I am here on Earth is a huge deal to me. I love having birthdays. I don’t even care that it means I’m getting older, or that this year I’m turning forty on the 22nd. I’m not afraid of forty–I hear it’s the new twenty. I also love getting presents, and this year I’ve already gotten some pretty awesome gifts from the people who love me.

Heart of the Sun HoW 2I wanted to spend this entire month celebrating my new twenty with all the people who continue to make it possible for me to live my dream. To kick off the celebration, I set the pre-order price on my upcoming book, Heart of the Sun, as low as Amazon, Kobo and iBooks will allow me to go in price. Through May…

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Check Out This Scavenger Hunt!

Looking for a fun way to drive more traffic to your FB page or put your book in front of a few more readers, maybe get a couple more reviews? Veronica Williams is having a Scavenger Hunt, and it sounds like a lot of fun, plus a chance to win some cool prizes. Check out her Event Page below and see what you think. I don’t know about you guys, but when something falls into my lap out of the blue, I tend to think it’s probably something I should pursue. So, I’ll be joining in the hunt. Who knows, I might win a great prize! 

You should play along on the hunt and see what you might win. Have fun!

Multi-Author Scavenger Hunt & Book Review Event

What Are You Going to Read?

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Yep, that’s what I asked…what are you going to read? What’s next in your To Be Read pile? Or by any chance, do you, like me, have a few extra special book treats you’ve been holding to one side to disappear into when you have some reading time that’s likely to be uninterrupted for a while? I’ve had several books that I’m DYING to read, but haven’t started on because I just didn’t want to keep getting pulled out of them by work, chores, or Life, in general. I kept telling myself to go ahead and start on them, because such a sweet stretch of uninterrupted time wasn’t likely to happen. But guess what? It IS going to happen. Sort of.

In late July–not really as far away as it sounds–I’m having foot surgery done on my left foot, involving several issues, to include putting in a steel pin, which, as it happens, means it will then match my right one. I’ll be setting off metal detectors everywhere! :) The upshot of the surgery (besides ending some very significant pain) is that I will be pretty much out of commission for the better part of six weeks. Yes, I said SIX WEEKS!! The first two, I won’t be doing anything other than sitting in the Comfy  Chair with my foot propped on pillows all day long. After that, it will be a gradual transition to a wheelchair, and then to crutches.

Soooo….Reading Time, here I come!! And those extra special books I’ve been hoarding are going to be enjoyed to the max!  Things like Dean Koontz’s Saint Odd, the final installment in his wonderful Odd Thomas series. And Maggie Steifvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third installment of her Raven Cycle series, which I adore, and which touches something in my heart to the point that I want no interruptions at all when I’m in that world. I’ve got Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book, Make Me, for some kick butt and take no names action, and Patricia Briggs’ newest Alpha & Omega offering, Dead Heat, for some Urban Fantasy with a power couple I thoroughly enjoy. And I’m finally going to start that massive first book of the Game of Thrones series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Should I finish  all of those, I have dozens more, both in my TBR basket, and on my Kindle, I can move on to, so don’t feel sorry for me, stuck at home for weeks and weeks. I’ll actually be off on lots and lots of adventures, having a great time!

Do you have any special books you’ve been saving for just the right time to read?

There’s Still Time!

Marcia:

There’s still time to book a tour! Don’t miss out on this unique experience.

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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Purple Gallinule, Maybe the Most Beautiful Bird On the River

There’s still time to come along on a Meet the Author Eco Tour of the St. Johns River! Doing one more tomorrow, at 1:30 PM, departure from Highbanks Marina in DeBary. If you’re in the area, please join us. We’d love to show you one of Florida’s most beautiful wildlife habitats, and along the way, talk a little bit about Swamp Ghosts, the book I set in the middle of it. But I promise, the river will be the star, in all its glory.

Saturday’s tour was terrific! We saw several alligators, and all the usual suspects…turtles, little blue herons, white ibis, great blue herons, gallinules, at least five manatees, including a baby, and a family of stunningly beautiful barred owls. I think a good time was had by all, but alas, I have no pictures to show you…

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Meet the Author Tour Today!

Marcia:

Today’s the Day (Day #1, anyway)

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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Can You See Me Now?

Car’s all packed, and I’m ready to go. As soon as my cover designer, Nicki Forde, gets here, we’re off for an afternoon of fun, wildlife observation, and book talk! What could be better? Thank you to everyone who shared my posts about this event. We have a great group signed up, and I can’t wait to meet them all!

Hopefully, I’ll have some good pictures to share when I get back. Have a great Saturn’s Day, you guys. Oh, and if you’re interested, there are still some openings on Tuesday’s tour, 4/28, 1:30pm.  You can book here: St. Johns River Eco Tours.

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Still Getting the Word Out!

Marcia:

To book this tour (or any other) on the Naiad, click here: St. Johns River EcoTours

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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One Week to Go!

Marcia:

Getting closer and closer! Come join us!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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I’m really getting excited about these river tours, now, and I’m going to throw myself on your mercy yet again to share this post everywhere you can. I want to be sure we fill the boat for Captain Jeanne and Doug. Thanks so much for any help you can give me. Next week at this time, we’ll be about halfway through our river tour, having no doubt spotted all sorts of wildlife and birds, and learned some of the river’s history from Captain Jeanne. Maybe Doug will have called up some barred owls to amuse us, or maybe we’ll have spotted something rare and unusual along the way. I will have done a short reading from Swamp Ghostsat the start of the tour, and probably spent a few minutes talking about the fictional town of Riverbend, Florida, or even explained a bit about the differences between albino and leucistic reptiles, which…

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#FunFriday

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Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author Tours, Please Share!

Marcia:

Would love it, if any of you could share this on FB or Twitter, or reblog for me. Let’s fill the boat! :)

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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Come have fun on the  St. John’s  River! Meet Marcia Meara, best-selling Amazon author of #SwampGhosts,  on Saturday, April 25 or Tuesday, April 28. Tours depart Highbanks Marina in DeBary at 1:30PM.

Experience the eco tour that inspired the book, accompanied by the real life counterparts of Maggie Devlin and Gunnar Wolfe. Enjoy the peace, beauty, and wildlife of the  St. Johns river, and enter to win a $50 gift basket, containing, among other things, Books 1 and 2 of Marcia’s Wake-Robin Ridgeseries. Don’t miss out! Book your Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author tour today.

Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author Tours:
Saturday, April 25, 1:30PM
Tuesday, April 28, 1:30PM

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I Love UPS!

Marcia:

Tap dancing all over the place today! It’s not a pretty sight, but it feels good! :)

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

itsheresmall

Just look what they brought me today! My proof of A Boy Named Rabbit, which, btw, looks GREAT! I’ve already ordered my first batch, and will have them in time for my two Meet the Author Eco-Tours on the 25th and 28th. Woohooo! Doing the happy dance, here. Don’t you just love it when your newly released books show up?

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Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

menoftheotherworld
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve had this Kelley Armstrong anthology on my Kindle for months. Decided to read it this weekend, and I’m sorry it took me so long. I loved this book! It’s an anthology of sorts, but for me, it was mostly the backstory of one of the main male characters in Armstrong’s Otherworld series, Clayton.  And, unlike some backstories which serve mainly to let  you know a character’s history, Clay’s is riveting as a tale all on its own. A entire novel about his life would have worked for me, he’s that interesting.

The little boy werewolf–bitten, not born, and thus a rarity nearly unheard of–is completely endearing in all his fear, anger, and most of all, confusion as to the why’s of just about everything. His growing love and fierce devotion to the man who rescues him from near-certain death is heartwarming, risky,  and even amusing at times, and his path to adulthood is filled with danger and frustration.

As always, Armstrong’s world building is solid and completely believable, and all of her characters are multi-dimensional, even the bad guys. Now I remember why I enjoyed the Women of the Otherworld so much, and am thinking I have to go back and re-read the entire series, including some more recent additions I haven’t gotten to yet. I highly recommend this anthology, though I do think it would make a lot more sense if you’ve already read the first few Otherworld novels. At least, the first one, Bitten.

Men of the Otherworld

One Last Hurdle

weekendhurdle

With the weekend right around the corner, are you already making plans or are you already enjoying a #FridayFunday ? Don’t forget to catch up on your #fridayreads .  #TheWeekendIsAlmostHere

Milestones!

Marcia:

Last week turned into the Formatting Week From Holy Heck, *grin*, but hopefully, I’m back this week. And here are some milestones, I’m celebrating along the way.

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

kaelen1

Sometimes, you just have to stop and marvel at Life, don’t you? The speed at which Time whooshes by, or the realization that yet another milestone has been reached. It’s all such a miracle to me. Several milestones caught my attention today, and I thought I’d share.

For one thing, this blog is coming up on its six month anniversary, and I’m so pleased with how much it’s grown, and how generously our members share of their time and knowledge. We are adding new members at over 100 a month, which makes me very happy, and I hope it just keeps getting better and better.

I’ve been absent a bit these last couple of weeks as I pushed to get A Boy Named Rabbitready for print, and that brings me to my next milestone. I just uploaded Rabbit’s  final files and cover image to CreateSpace today, and hopefully, they will…

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Graphic Stuff Again!

Marcia:

In preparation for Thor’s Day, tomorrow…THOR! And a quote from Swamp Ghosts.

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

thorpersonified

Took down the earlier graphic because I had to change something, so thought I’d share this one with you, instead. This will come as no surprise to some of you (Ned Hickson), but I really enjoyed writing a book where the main guy looked pretty much  like Thor. Okay, not in full Viking regalia, maybe…but definitely Thor-ish. In blue jeans. With shorter hair. And no beard. But other than that…Thor! Something that my heroine definitely noticed the first time she saw him, though she was pretty sure she hated him, anyway. (Silly woman.)

Swamp Ghosts

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Getting to Know You Week!

Marcia:

Thought some of you might enjoy this. :)

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

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I realize Monday is almost over, but my day was derailed by a few unexpected tasks. Sorry, but I’ll try to make up for it now. Let’s get to know each other a little bit better. Many of us only know the other TWS members by their books…not that it isn’t wonderful to know about each other’s writing…but I think it would be fun to learn a bit more about what makes us each unique. So, through this week, I’d love to see you guys post something about yourself that most of the group probably doesn’t know. It can be little or big, personal or career-oriented, whatever you’d like to share that you think would be interesting, or even surprising. You contributors can just go right ahead and post, and if you want to share, but aren’t a contributor yet, just let me know. I can set you up to…

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Happy Sun’s Day, Everybody!

kaelen1

What a busy week I have planned for here on Bookin’ It, and in general. My sequel to Swamp Ghosts, Hunter, is moving along. Working on Chapter 14 of the draft, and think it’s going the way I want it to, though it is going to be a very different type of book than Swamp Ghosts. After all, Riverbend may be a small town, but each and every inhabitant is unique and has his or her own story to tell. And they can’t ALL involve serial killers. Unlike the  Wake-Robin Ridge series which is based on one family and the mysteries that come a-callin’ all along the Ridge, the Riverbend books will only be loosely connected to each other via, location, a few familiar faces here and there, and hopefully, interesting stories with surprising plot lines. So. Writing like a thing possessed, here.

Also, have a list of books I’ve read and need to review. It’s not as long as the list of books that I am PLANNING to read, but it’s still more than I usually manage to review in a given week. Included are, Die Laughing by Louis K. Lowy; Infinity Bell by Devon Monk: Beyond the Pale, an anthology featuring Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, and Gilian Philip, among others; and Indexing by Seanan McGuire. I have a couple more I’ll squeeze in, if possible, so stay tuned.

For now though, I’d better get back to Hunter. I’ve left my characters in a bad, bad way, and my Beta readers are rising up against me. Speaking of which, if anyone would like to read for me on this draft, please let me know. I could use another beta reader or two. Thanks!

As you were, Folks! Enjoy your day! Oh, and the picture of my grandson? It’s just there because I felt like sharing. :)

A Question and a Request

 

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Agatha Christie

The Question: Agatha and I have been wondering…where does the time go? No, I mean, really. Where does it go, once we’ve squeezed every bit of the life from a moment, and cast it aside, moving on to the next? Is there some graveyard for used hours somewhere? Or is it really relegated to crumbling photo albums and lines in a diary?

Just curious, here, on account of I seem to have lost a LOT of it lately. But I suppose that’s the nature of things–both losing time, and wasting more, wondering where it went. By my age, there are veritable slag heaps of lost time piled up behind me, but I’m finally learning that it doesn’t pay to worry about it. What does pay, sort of, is writing. So that’s where I’ve been in recent weeks. Writing my fingers down to bloody bones! Makes for a messy keyboard, but it does get me closer to the final line of Novel #4, anyway. And that brings me to the next part of this post.

The Request: I’ve said this before, and I’ll no doubt say it again. Most readers have no concept of just how important good reviews are to writers, most especially in this day of eBooks. If you’ve read a book you enjoyed, please, please consider posting a review on Amazon. Yes, even if the book is by a famous author who has sold millions of copies. Every single review has an impact on where they rank on Amazon, which, in turn, impacts how many new readers come across their book. Unless they are in the #1 spot, across all boards, they have room to move up, and increase their sales. And if you enjoyed their book, they’ve earned it.

Reviews are even more important for new writers, such as myself. When I balance the number of reviews Swamp Ghosts has gotten, for instance, against the number of emails and other comments I’ve received from folks who say they enjoyed the book, I know that a lot of them–most of them–aren’t leaving reviews. I think some don’t know how critical they are, and others actually mean to do it, but forget. Either way, it would sure be nice if everyone who enjoyed reading a book, mine included, would take five minutes to let the world know. It will increase sales dramatically, and for some authors, that can mean the difference in being able to continue writing versus having to get a second job, just to put food on the table. You can leave reviews on your blog or Goodreads, too, but the one that will make the biggest difference is the one you leave on Amazon.

Help your favorite writers succeed. Read and review. Rinse. Repeat. Rainbows will follow you everywhere you go, and sweet dreams will visit you every night. Okay, not really, but you WILL be doing a good thing. :) Thanks!

Thor’s Day Joke #2

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Heck, around here, it never even reaches the floor. Dachshunds are FAST.

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