Archive for the ‘Blog Hop’ Category

Evaluating the Goods   2 comments

Have you ever been duped by a so-called service to authors? And what is the best service you’ve ever used?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=812969“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

Let’s face it. There are a lot of services on offer for independent authors. There’s cover services, editing services, advertisement services and so many more. It’s hard to sort through all of them and find the legitimate services from those working a con job.

I am largely immune to straight-up grifts. I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, land of the gold miner, where miners with hard luck stories would ask my father for loans and my mother would say “no”. So I grew up learning was a con job looked like. If it sounds too good to be true … it is.

Of course, I’ve given some services a chance and been disappointed. I don’t think they were running a number. I think they just weren’t the right service for my book. I’ve had mixed success with marketing groups. As an example, Books Go Social just didn’t get any traction so I dropped them after a year. I have lots of friends who swear by them, but I didn’t see even a blip from my books that was attributable to BGS. I might try them again in the future, however, because I think they’re legitimate and, now that my books are selling better, maybe BGS would push them to a higher level. Sometimes what’s a poor investment at one stage is a better investment at another. You just have to remember that investments are always a gamble, even if the marketing group is a known one. But if what they’re offering sounds too good to be true … yeah. And that has kept me from actually be duped by any services. Thanks, Mom!

I’ve used some really good services of my five-year journey and the best service I’ve used was Dyane Forde’s editing service, which I used for my latest book. She is professional, fast and honest and she addressed my shortcomings in a kind, but uncompromising manner. She’s trying to get her business off the ground, so if anyone is interested, here’s a link. https://deliatalent.wordpress.com/services-and-projects/

Now hop on off to see what my fellow bloghopping authors have to say on this topic.

Advertisements

Posted January 14, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

What To Eat In the Apocalypse   3 comments

January 7, 2019

Share a recipe for a food that comes from one of your books.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=812155“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

Eating is a fundamental human activity, an activity that is both necessary for survival and inextricably connected with social function. Eating habits and rituals, the choice of dining companions, and the reasons behind these behaviors are fundamental to fostering an understanding of human society.

As such, the characters in my books eat on a regular basis – except the characters of Transformation Project will being going hungry in some future books because that’s what happens in the apocalypse. While they still have resources, however, I do focus on what they eat because eating is a fundamental human activity and food so defines American culture in the 21st century. It will provide a nice juxtaposition to their hunger in later books.

In Day’s End – Book 4 of Transformation Project (published in November 2018), the Delaney clan gathers for breakfast and to discuss what to do about a horde of people headed their way, running from winter without electricity. Although the conversation is deadly serious and heart-breaking for the participants, Jill Delaney makes the quintessential family dish of French toast and so, that is my recipe for this post.

Emmaus French Toast

Bread (preferably whole wheat, but also homemade white or sourdough. It needs to be kind of tough)

Eggs – 1 egg for every three slices of bread.

Milk or half-and-half, about a half-cup per egg.

Sugar – teaspoon per egg.

Vanilla extract – half-teaspoon per 4 eggs

Cinnamon – (optional, to taste)

Warm a griddle to medium hot, coat with shortening or vegetable oil (butter will burn).

Whip the batter into a loose slurry in a wide and shallow bowl.

Soak bread in batter on one side until fairly heavy. (I prefer French toast batter-soaked rather than just coated, but you can adjust to your personal preference) You want the batter to soak into the bread. Flip. Allow to drain somewhat as you pulled it from the batter.

Place on griddle. Allow to cook until you can see the egg mixture on the bottom start to dry. Flip. Remove when the egg mixture on the bottom is starting to dry.

Dress with butter, syrup or whip cream.

As the Emmaus community is running out of resources even as they are eating breakfast, they didn’t have this option, but you can also adorn with fruit or a side of bacon or sausage.

Food is such an integral part of the human experience and what is on the table of my characters can set a mood and say so much about the world they live in. For example, as “French toast” is eaten in France to make use of bread that’s getting stale, you might infer that Jill Delaney might be facing a bread shortage in the near future or that she had a lot of refrigerated eggs to get rid of now that she has no electricity and must rely on her son-in-law’s farm-fresh (unrefrigerated) eggs going forward. There’s reference in an earlier book to not pasturizing the family eggs, only the ones for sale. In building the community culture of Emmaus I tried to think ahead for future books and drop hints that could mean everything in later books.

Posted January 7, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Scenic Route   6 comments

December 31, 2018

Share your writing goals for 2019.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=811298“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

I’m a big believer in goals. Goals give us structure in life. That said, I believe goals should be held lightly. They are guides only, not set routes that dictate our every turn.

This is a lesson learned hiking in Alaska. You have a goal – maybe to hike Mount Pennell. The peak is right there, but there are multiple ways to it. Sometimes you start out on the path you think is best and encounter a creek in flood. Now you can’t take the desired path, so you need to change your route. The main goal is still in view, but the route changes. And, maybe, in that new and unexpected route, you’ll discover great views or a wonderful flower meadow or sheep on the cliffside and that new route will become the desired route from then on.

That is my view of writing goals. I’m open to the need to adapt circumstances and sometimes I’m very pleased with where the writing detour takes me.

My writing goals for 2019 are similar to what they are every year. I want to finish the fifth book in Transformation Project (“Gathering In”)and maybe submit a short story to an anthology. I’m considering submitting “What If Wasn’t” to another round of beta readers to see if it’s improved enough for publication. I might combine the first three books in Transformation Project into a box set. I’ve got some adjacent novellas planned in the series universe, but I’m not ready to publish yet.

Finally, I’ll be working on the third book in Daermad Cycle “Fount of Wraiths”. It’s taking too long to write it, but that means it’ll be fantasy gold when it’s done.

I also have a YA I’m noodling on, but it’s not near to being done and isn’t even titled yet.

Although my primary project will be published sometime in the second half of the year, all other projects are subject to change, adapting to my life and my muse. It’s all well-and-good to have goals, but they should not constrain us to the point where writing becomes a rote exercise. They only provide us with structure for creativity. They aren’t the main event and too much adherence to them can destroy creativity as surely as having no plan at all.

Posted December 31, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , , ,

Snow Globe Memories   7 comments

What is your fondest holiday memory?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=810788“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

I can’t answer that with a single instance and I have a good reason for that – a couple of them, actually. More about that in a moment.

My mother was born Christmas Day. So was her father. Christmas was not my mother’s favorite holiday because it meant she never had a birthday. When you share your birthday with a deity, you don’t rate – go figure. No birthday parties and no presents. When she was little, her older sister allowed her to share her birthday in September.

When she met my father, she was in her late 30s and this man decided he could move a major holiday for the woman he loved. So we would always have “Christmas” (opening presents) on Christmas Eve and that left Christmas Day for a party. Fairbanks had a lot of bachelor men in those days, so Dad, a chef, would always invite a bunch of them over to celebrate Mom’s birthday.

I have a lot of pleasant memories from those times, but I think the one that gets me the most is a year when weather delayed my dad coming home from a remote location and Mom went to bed without opening gifts. So I sat up. I couldn’t have been more than seven because we moved out of that house the summer I was seven, but I remember sitting up on the window seat in the living room, kind of behind the Christmas tree. The tree lights were on, but if I sat back against the window trim, the drapery let me see out the window without reflections. It was a snow-globe world out there – big wet flakes drifting down from the chiaroscuro sky. And, then a long way off, a man in a tan car coat and heavy winter boots walked along the pristine street shrouded in unbroken snow and my dad walked in the door. He saw the unopened presents and he said “Be patient, monkin.” He made Mom get up and we opened the presents and then just as the last one was done, he pulled out her birthday present and said “It’s one minute past. Open it.” I think he gave her the jade earrings I now regularly wear, the ones she was wearing when the 1967 Flood destroyed almost everything they owned the following summer.

My other fondest memories are holding my newborns in my arms on Christmas Eves and Days. Both of my children were born days before Christmas, five years and 364 days apart. They were neither born early enough to play Baby Jesus in the church pageant, but I always thought I knew what Mary felt like that Christmas morn. And because they were born so close to Christmas, my mother made me extra sensitive to their birthday needs. This year will be the first year in 26 years that neither of my children will spend their birthday with us – though our son is planning to be here the following day for his sister’s birthday. She’s traveling, so hopefully we’ll get a call. And Kiernan will be home for Christmas Eve and this time with a date, so new fondest memories are in the making.

Posted December 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Love is Complicated   8 comments

Do you believe in true love?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=810009“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

Yeah, asking a writer who specializes in apocalyptic fiction if she believes in “true love” is going to garner a complex answer. There’s a reason I have never successfully written a romance novel. The hearts and flowers version of love doesn’t live in my house, never did and never will.

Brad and I have only ever been married to each other (33 years this month), but our parents had eight marriages between them. That might account for why I have a jaundiced view of “true love”. It makes it sound like you’re destined to be together and it’s going to be wonderful. And that’s a crock of nonsense. It’s why I can’t write romance, because I think love is work. When you meet a couple who have been married for 30+ years, it’s because they CHOSE to stay together, not because they felt romantic and happy with one another.

Which is not to say I don’t believe in love. The love of God created mankind, stepped down from a perfect heaven into our messy existence (diapers) and went to the Cross for us, so I absolutely believe in His love. I think human beings, made in the spiritual image of God, can experience and give faded facsimiles of God’s love. In our bent state, we can imitate God, imperfectly. I just don’t think it’s something we feel in our warm gushy parts – except occasionally, when we’re curled up in bed with our backs melting together or when we’re holding our babies in our arms. A lot of what we call love today is infatuation, sexual lust or just plain manipulation of a significant other. Yeah, sometimes we feel like we’re “in love”, but the high divorce rate in Western society suggests we have no idea what love really is.

For me, love is something we do regardless of whether we feel it – hence why I am still married to Brad (an admittedly challenging guy) after 33 years. Many has been the time when I could have tossed all three of my family members out into the cold Alaska winter with nary a qualm, but I made dinner for them instead. That is love in action. Love is a verb in my vocabulary, only rarely a noun. It’s sometimes a feeling, but more often it’s an obligation. I have learned that when I love those around me, I gain benefits after the fact, but only if I pay the investment of love first.

Love can be hard. It’s hard to speak the truth to those you want to love you, knowing that they might just dump rage in your lap instead. You can only really do that if you view love as a verb – something you give to someone else without expecting something in return. A lot of us go through life never feeling loved and so we think love isn’t real, but it is. We experience it every time we give it, but so few of us do that these days. Sacrificial love – caring about another human being without expecting anything in return – is really not in fashion in the 21st century. We too often substitute sex for love and then when the warm romantic feelings are not reciprocated, we think there’s no love there. And that is entirely possible, because we confuse lust (a primal urge) with love (an action we do for others).

So do I believe in “true love”? If true love is hearts and flowers that lead you to happily-ever-after – no. Any time you get two human beings together, there will be conflict and that doesn’t meet up with the hearts-and-flowers concept of “true love”. I do believe in real love, which is something Jesus empowers me to give to others and occasionally it is returned to me. Sometimes that’s in my marriage or from one of my children, sometimes it’s from a random stranger. And those expressions of love toward one another have gotten Brad and I through 33 years of ups, downs, sideways and upside-downs. Is that “true love”? I don’t know. It’s real and like most things that are real, it’s messy.

Posted December 17, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

What If Wasn’t   10 comments

We are writers. This is our time to shine. What are some of your favorite lines from your books?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

WordPress

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=809228“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

You can tell which lines of my books that I am the most proud of because they tend to become the titles of books.

Objects in View comes from a line in the third book of Transformation Project in which nonagenarian Jacob Delaney (the wisdom in the series) tells his offspring that they should “focus on the objects in view.” They could waste a lot of time and energy worrying about distant events they couldn’t control or deal with what was going on right in front of them. 

From The Willow Branch (Book 1 of Daermad Cycle)

“Fate took Maryn ap Trevellyn, crown prince of all Celdrya, by surprise. Naught warned him that he’d been marked.”

“It must be nearing middle of the night, for a moon hung like a golden banqueting plate just above the southern trees and the cool air scented more of dew than spring flowers.”

“Death took him by surprise as he looked down at the two feet of dressed wood protruding from his chest. He couldn’t feel his legs, but he knew that he was staked to the tree like a squirrel.

“I’m done for! I thought death would be more painful.

“Pedyr bellowed for aid and the camp came alive as Maryn died, staring up at the moon with his life leaking away into the dirt by his feet and wondering why the shaft that killed him was the only one to fly.”

“Inside the door to the great hall, Deryk paused to shake water from his cloak, decided it was a lost cause and hung the sodden mess on one of the many waiting pegs among the myriad damp cloaks, quite a few of them plaid, but a notable number also striped. The merchants thought there‘d be war and war was usually good for them, so they loitered about the dun to be the first to know, the first to get in at the trough. Merchants cared little that war meant death. They cared only for profits.”

“The noble-born often show little care for those who fill their bellies and cellars,”

From Mirklin Wood (Book 2 of Daermad Cycle)

It did remind him somewhat of the statues he’d seen of dragons, but that was a bard’s fancy and those did not fly to your rescue that often.

Erik didn’t like how the jals stroked their beards and held their piss while he talked. He couldn’t invade the southern continent without their viks and their silence made him feel like he’d stepped on an ant hill. When his speech ran to a close, he waited for comment, questions, or arguments. He had prepared for those. Samling was all about debate. Silence shivered his bones.

Gravity dictates the fate of a dragon dancer. Miss a handhold and gravity wins.

From Life As We Knew It

Smoke and mirrors meant making the right hand so flashy that the mark never noticed what the left hand was really doing. Grant couldn’t stop the main event, but he could make this little side drama so entertaining that nobody saw through it until it was too late.

Shane swallowed audibly. Jacob sat down on the opposite end of the wide wooden stair and waited. Shane excelled at silence. He always had. Jacob didn’t try to outwait him.

“You’re not okay, are you?”

“Was your first clue that I’m actually here?”

From Objects in View

“What’s going on out there?” she asked. Right. Honesty. I promised honesty. He restrained his trained inclination to dump the screen. “Weird.” “That’s not communicative,” she said with a giggle. He smirked. The rest of the shelter was quiet. They were the only two awake. “Bear with me. Learning a new skill here.” He rubbed the back of his head. “Dylan said the same thing. Maybe you can make sense of what is confounding us.” “Oh, sure, honey. I know so much about terrorism.” She sipped her coffee. “Or is this espionage?” To Grant, this was just workaday life. Terrorism and espionage ran together in his mind.

A small throb of pain pulsed when he prodded it. That’s an injection site. I never blacked out before. Maybe I didn’t this time either. A dream before waking – a desperate whispered conversation between Marnie and Rob, a memory of sitting on the church steps and peeing in the bushes with …. Dad roofied me?

He had never slept this rough in his life. He felt like crap. He worried he’d been sleeping in it all night.

My favorite line from all of my books is still unpublished, but is the title of my new adult drama “What If … Wasn’t.” Peter is a second-chance citizen (a recently-released felon) who has a horrible history to overcome and whenever he is tempted to indulge in a fantasy where his actions did not cause significant damage to the lives of others as well as himself, he smacks himself with that phrase – “What if wasn’t, which means I have to  live with what was and is.”

It’s my favorite line because it is also one of my life philosophies. You can moan and groan about how crappy your life has been and how you should have done this and could have done that if only you would have known this, but why? It won’t change the past. What if … wasn’t, so why not live with what was and what is?

Posted December 10, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

Oh, What a Boring World!   3 comments

December 3, 2018

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=808089“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>

<!– end InLinkz script –>

That sounds like a boring life. I don’t think I’m in favor of total-transparency living, but I agreed to do the topic, so ….

  1. I would testify more boldly of my faith to everybody I care about knowing they will not reject my testimony. Then I would testify more boldly to strangers as well.
  2. I would continue to advocate for smaller government and no government, knowing that I will one day be successful.
  3. I would invest in a startup business that I believe in knowing that it will grow and become a business that can support me through investment income.
  4. I would advertise my books in a big way knowing they will become best-sellers that will support me in retirement.
  5. I would invest in my daughter’s musical career in a big way knowing that my investment will assure her success so that she can return my investment.
  6. I would invest in my son’s rock-climbing interest in a bigger way for the same reason.
  7. And, judging from the photo above, I might go sky-diving.

Generally, I think I’d be more willing to try new activities and ventures because I would know they wouldn’t become a waste of time since success would be assured.

But I also think I would eventually become bored and stop trying new activities because the assurance of success would take away some of the enjoyment of the attempt.

Posted December 3, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

GJ Stevens

Writing Fiction. Blogging Fact

Trish Hopkinson

A selfish poet

Endless Chapters

| books, movies, endless thoughts and everything in between |

Whatever

THIS MACHINE MOCKS FASCISTS

brittany the book guru

i really like books

The Arm Chair Pontificator

Satirical & Poetic Musings Of A Self-Proclaimed Nobel Prize Winner

Oh Book It!

Book reviews and random ramblings

Audra's Book Blabbing

Let's Talk About Books!

Legends of Windemere

Enjoy the Adventure

A Rambling Reviewer

Here be rambles and reviews.

Word Wonders

Fadwa's Ramblings about Books and Life. But mostly Books.

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Martha Ann Kennedy's Blog, Copyright 2013-2019, all rights reserved to the author/artist

Writing and Illustrating

Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children

Winstonsdad's Blog

Home of Translated fiction and #translationthurs

I am Pam Holland

Textiles, Photography, Stories, Travel and Teaching

THE SEANACHAI

The Richly Embroidered Tapestry of Words:But I, being poor,have only my Dreams...Tread softly for you tread upon my dreams...

The Bookwormery

Life, living with Melanoma, Coffee and and books

REMOTE LEIGH

off the beaten path

%d bloggers like this: