Monday, October 16, 2017

Upcoming Book Event

I know most of my blogger friends don't leave in Pennsylvania or Maryland, but if you are nearby, I hope you'll support the York Book Expo Event held at the Wisehaver Event Center in York, PA this coming Saturday. This is the third annual event featuring local authors and run by Demi Stevens who has been a guest on IWSG where she posted about organizing such a book event.

I'm excited to see some of my writer friends I haven't seen for a while and meet the hundreds of readers and book lovers who attend this every year. Last year I had the pleasure of speaking with a young couple who had returned just to see me again and purchase more books. It's great fun and if I sell some books (or a lot of books) it's even more fun.

Tomorrow I'm signing my granddaughter up for the next session of 'Born to Read.' Hard to believe how quickly the first session is going. My granddaughter has lost all her hesitation and last week plopped her butt right in front of the instructor and listened to her reading a story. She probably wanted to chew the book like she does the ones she has at home.

And in answer to all the emails I'm getting, Yes, Panera, I am enjoying my free month of bagels. I don't go everyday but I've been in three times this month and received my free bagel. I also purchased the special ribbon-shaped bagel they're selling to support breast cancer research. Also impressed the other day when the person taking orders told the soldier standing in line behind me that his meal was on the house to thank him for his service. No flash, no TV coverage, just a business doing a good thing. Good on you, Panera, and thank you for the free bagels.

50/50 writing challenge is going okay though I'm not off to the running start I was the last time we did it in the spring. After I get this booksigning out of the way, I'll have no other big events to take up my weekends for a while.

Yearly checkup today so I'll get to your blogs later today and find out how your fall is going. Wonder what those free bagels are doing to my numbers on the scale? Guess the doc will let me know. Ouch.

Are than book events in your area? Ever attended or been part of one? Are you a Panera fan? My daughter loves their soups.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Big Plans and an Anthology for Charity

I hope you'll take a look at the upcoming box release from my friend, Michelle Howard. Michelle is a very successful author of all types of exciting romantic adventures. And this set is not only a good bargain, but part of the proceeds go to a good cause.

Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2 Anthology
Release Date: October 10, 2017

 The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first months profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Buy Links:

On Thursday of this week, my local chapter of CPRW is starting the second of our writing motivation 50/50 projects. The idea is to write at least 50 new words for fifty straight days. Of course, most people write many more than that. Just making yourself sit down at the document and typing a few sentences almost always leads to writing more. We time this second 50/50 to overlap with NaNo for those members who are diving into that craziness. Wish me luck.

Please hope over the Insecure Writers' Support Group. They've been having some terrific guest posts and have another one up today.

If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.  ~Arthur Goldberg

Hope you had work off for Columbus Day. If it's not raining, I'll be mowing and raking leaves. And Happy Thanksgiving Day to my Canadian friends. Hope you enjoy a feast today.

Poldark was good last week and a two hour premier special. My daughter and I have watched The Good Doctor together. Interesting so far. Hope the writers can keep it up. Inhumans isn't really catching my interest but I'll give it a few more episodes. Supernatural is back this week. About time.

Are you taking part in NaNo or have you ever? Did you get a long weekend for whichever holiday? Are you a fan of any of those shows I mentioned? Raking leaves yet? Need a good boxed set to read on a cool fall night?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG: October Already

It's time for the monthly bloghop started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh. Insecure Writer's Support Group posts on the first Wednesday of every month and we share our fears, successes as well as asking for and giving advice. Hope you'll join us by signing up here and visiting more members.

This month's co-hosts are Chemist Ken, Tamara Narayan, Olga Godim, and Jennifer Hawes. Thanks to them for volunteering to help.

IWSG is running a contest where you post of a picture of your IWSG swag. Alas, I didn't take any pictures despite having some pretty great swag hanging about my writing space. I will enjoy checking out all the pictures.

The optional question for this month: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your character either by accident of on purpose?

No, I haven't. Something that does often appear in my novels are siblings with special, supportive relationships. Not only do I have 6 siblings that are wonderful, but I have six children who love each other. I love brothers and sisters working together in books I read and on TV shows I watch. It's one of my favorite things.

“A brother is a friend given by Nature.” – Jean Baptiste Legouve

“Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.” – Susan Scarf Merrell

Making some progress on my WIP though slower than I want. I'm determined to finish it soon so I can start on my next project. More on that later.

On the entertainment front, I forgot all about Poldark coming back on this past Sunday. I really enjoy the show now going into its third season. Lots of drama, history and romance. It doesn't ignore the plight of the poor like some period pieces do.

My granddaughter continues to amaze. She turns seven months old today and is already walking around things and behind push toys. And at the weekly library group, she is the only one who will sit quietly and listen and watch the leader reading a story. The other kids distract her at times, but she turns her attention back to the reading. It's great fun to be with her doing things that I didn't get to do as a mother to my own children because I was working full time.

Did you show off some swag today? Do parts of you show up in your writing? Have any siblings you adore? Are you a Poldark fan?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nick Wilford, Black and White

Hi Susan. Thanks for offering to host me as part of my tour. Today I’d like to share some thoughts about the world I’ve created and engage your readers in a debate, if that’s not too heavy for a Monday!

How likely is it that we will end up living in a society like Harmonia?

I don’t often get political, but with Donald Trump in power, I don’t think we can really predict anything and we can’t rule anything out either. The world I’ve built might look very attractive to a lot of people. No dirt or disease, no need to worry about dying at an untimely age or – at a more everyday level – scrubbing your floor or keeping the dust under control.

On the surface, this is a utopia, the opposite of a dystopia. But that’s it – the surface is just about as far as things go. It’s the very definition of an insular society, cut off and without any contact with the outside world. Indeed, its near neighbour is painted by the government as a netherworld-type region populated by demons. In the current world, large swathes seem to be going backwards and becoming more distrustful of other cultures instead of more open. What if someone came along who promised to close the doors completely – the ultimate expression of looking after number one?

There are other ways in which Harmonia might be seen as an extension of the society we’ve got today. With the all-consuming rise of social media, families seem to spend less time just being together and we’ve got the problem of phones at the dinner table. In Harmonia, only one child is allowed per family and each member of the group basically operates as a self-contained unit. It’s a cold society in which people simply go through the motions. Apparently fair on the surface, with passes in school exams being guaranteed, the type of job you get after leaving school is determined by how many extra study hours you log. This is another thing that leaves children to spend long hours on their pads.

Divorce rates are very low, but at the same time there is very little affection between married couples. They are simply units that ensure the propagation of the species. The sex act itself has been genetically phased out – far too messy and too many diseases at play – but of course, this removes a level of closeness.

Where do you think we’re heading as a society? Is a world like Harmonia something that you could foresee in our future?

Title: Black & White

Author: Nick Wilford

Genre: YA dystopian
Series #: 1 of 3

Release date: 18th September 2017

Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing


What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Add it on Goodreads

Meet the author:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, or Amazon.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories or a $10 giftcard!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Help Out

RWA shared some links last week where you can go and help out the libraries that were victims of the recent hurricanes. Funding libraries is likely not the first thing people or the government will think of as they rebuilt and recover. Yet, I think a lot of people may depend on the library for internet access until they get their homes up and running again. People need help first, but if you love your local library as I do, maybe you can spare them a dime also. Here is the link for the Texas libraries. And you can go here to help the Florida libraries.

While you're in the helping mood, C. Lee McKenzie could use your help voting for her book in the Go here and give the book a boost.
Readers Choice Contest. Her MG novel, Double Negative, could use your vote.

Next Monday, I'm turning my blog over to Nick Wilford next Monday. He'll talk about his book that is being released today. Black and White is the first in a dystopian series. One of my favorite genres of speculative fiction.

I have lots of good books on my shelf and on my Kindle to read, after adding Nick's today, and that's a good thing. Because TV sucks right now. I'll probably watch Scorpion when the new season starts and Once Upon a Time, but I'm not that excited about them. Supernatural had a great season ending in May, so I'll have to give that a try. But I don't even know the dates they return. Blah.

I need to pick up my word count on my current WIP. Only wrote around 2K this week. I'm only halfway through and I'd hoped to have it done this month. Not looking good at all.

I'm taking my daughter to her first story time at the library this week. It's for 0-18 months old. She's not a fan of noisy places or loud things so we'll see how it goes. How do you keep a lot of infants interested in a story? We'll see.

The leaves are turning though it's pretty warm this week. Fall is upon us this Friday. I'll have to teach that granddaughter to rake leaves.

Have you donated to the victims of the recent hurricanes? Do you love your local library? Is dystopian a genre you enjoy? Do you enjoy fall and raking leaves?

Monday, September 11, 2017

What Weekend?

Life is busy enough without getting sick for two days. The worst cold ever took me out of action from Friday evening through Saturday. All those big plans to get some outside work done and some promotional work went the way of a full box of tissues. Sinus headache, chills, well you get the picture. I haven't had a cold like that since I retired from teaching. Teachers have the luck to catch everything going around when their students give it to them. Stay home when you're sick, please.

Another 9/11 has rolled around. Even after 16 years, the day remains vivid in my memory. The week following was very tense in our little piece of the country. Three Mile Island, infamous nuclear plant, is in my home school district. There were dozens of false alarms from perceived threats. I woke a few nights to jets screaming over the house on their way from Fort Indiantown Gap to provide security coverage at the power plant. It was truly the international incident of my lifetime. Let's hope our politicians don't draw us into something worse that that horrible day.

Came across this interesting article at Publisher's Weekly. Amazon is making an attempt to stop those cheaters using KDP and stealing money from authors and readers with their practices. I'm sure those being sued by Amazon are only a few of the many jerks conning the system, but it's a start.

Prayers to those suffering all kinds of hardships and losses because of Harvey and Irma. I have a niece in Florida.  I'm waiting to hear how she and her home are doing.

I feel the need to talk about something fun. Cleaned up my flowerbeds a little bit for fall. Can't believe I'll be raking leaves soon. My granddaughter turned six months and has been sitting up and crawling for a full month and last week decided she could stand up too when the right opportunity presents itself. Obviously, a superior genetic background. And our weather has been lovely. Warm but not humid during the day and cool nights.

This past weekend was big for the Penn State football fans at our house. Two of my sons earned their degrees there, and I received my Masters from PSU. The school really is a good academic school and has lots of outstanding athletic programs. It's too bad it's reputation has been darkened by the Sandusky scandal. Those poor children who suffered are still suffering as adults because so many resent the black mark on Joe Paterno's legacy. Priorities are messed up for some people.

Can't say how much I miss having a new GoT episode the last two Sundays. Salvation has gotten better and better each week. I hope it gets renewed for next year. I'm thinking of doing a re-watch of Luther, a BBC cop show, which means it's more cerebral with less shooting to solve crimes. It's good if you're looking for something to watch. It's on Netflix.

Are the hurricanes impacting your part of the world? Do you remember vivid details of 9/11? Have you put your books on KDP? Have your earnings taken a hit like so many authors complain because of the cheaters? Do you watch any BBC shows?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: September Already

Summer flew by and not it's the first Wednesday of the month and time for Insecure Writer's Support Group. This amazing group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers to help each with advice, sharing good news and bad, but mostly for helping each other even if just to listen. You can find the complete list here.

I'm skipping the suggested question today to share my Labor Day experience. I've heard this suggest by other writers but never tried it completely. So on Monday, I unplugged. No checking email, no Twitter, no writing or even thinking about it. I read for hours. Took a walk. Did some cooking. Watched some TV with my husband and sons. Drank coffee all day long. I didn't even go in my writing office. And I woke up Tuesday refreshed and ready to dive back in. I highly recommend it. So my IWSG post is to suggest everyone try it for at least a day. Next month, I'm going to do if for an entire weekend. For me.

Random going on stuff
New computer is working pretty good. I'm still not use to the keyboard but I'm getting better. My house is really clean because I have to keep it so for my granddaughter who is crawling around like a new puppy and chewing on everything like one too. One of my sons quit his job with AT&T and I'm glad. They are not good to their employees. He starts his new job next Monday and is supplementing his income by being an Uber driving. Lots of good story material there.

I'm seeing lots of TV ads for new fall TV shows and nothing is rousing my curiosity. There's not even any show I'm really looking forward to returning. Sad. Killjoys ended on an intriguing note and I like that we know it has two more seasons to go. Looking forward the Salvation tonight.

Have you ever unplugged completely? Ever ride with Uber? Are you looking forward to any new fall TV.