Memorial Day Paranormal-Scope

Graves at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Photo is courtesy of Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

Graves at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Photo is courtesy of Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

In the United States of America, we are remembering those that gave their lives for our freedom on this Memorial Day. A moment of silence, please, to remember those fallen who loved their families and a whole country. God bless them! I thank them.

Now for the Paranormal-Scope. While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal-scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Aries:
Elves reflect on the past and honor their ancestors. This is your opportunity to learn from your past and not repeat a mistake.

Taurus:
Werewolves can sniff out danger. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid trouble.

Gemini:
Dragons love family gatherings. They love roasting hotdogs, hamburgers; they just love roasting. Time to gather with family or friends.

Cancer:
Pixies love joking. Heard any good jokes lately. Time to expand your repertoire of comedy through books or movies that will make your laugh.

Leo:
A kiss from a mermaid has been known to save a drowning man. Someone dear to you is drowning metaphorically speaking. Extend your love, even if it only through a hug or a phone call.

Virgo:
Dragons leave treasure to their young ones. Go over family heirlooms and remember those special to you.

Libra:
Faeries walk through the night woods. Don’t follow. You could get lost when they disappear which they always do. Keep your head on straight this week.

Scorpio:
A mermaid has offered you sanctuary. Honor this gift. Rare is the person who would keep your words and heart safe.

Sagittarius:
Vampires regret. There will be extra flowers on graves as they remember. Just because they can’t die doesn’t mean they never loved. Remember those you love.

Capricorn:
Hobbits want to hug you. Let them. Have fun with those closest to you. Enjoy family events.

Aquarius:
Unicorns witness the world. Spend time enjoying the beauty of the nature with family or friends. Give someone flowers.

Pisces:
Gnomes are cooking all those luscious healthy recipes. Life is more than hotdogs and hamburgers. Try new things. Make a new dish to share.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

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Happy Memorial Day!

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In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d share some facts and traditions about Memorial Day with you today.

  1. Memorial Day began as a holiday in 1868.
  2. It was originally held to commemorate the Union dead in the Civil War. And today, several southern states hold Confederate Memorial Day celebrations.
  3. The holiday used to be held on May 30 until 1971, when it was made one of the “Monday” holidays by the federal government, and is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  4. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
  5. Poppies are a symbol of remembrance and on Memorial Day, many veterans’ organizations pass out silk poppies to everyone to wear, to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country.
  6. Memorial Day traditionally begins the summer season, the first of the major summer holidays of Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.
  7. On Memorial Day, the American flag is raised to half-staff until noon, then is raised to full staff for the rest of the day.
  8. The National Memorial Day Concert takes place each year on the west lawn of the United States Captiol building.
  9. The Indianapolis 500 auto race has been held on Memorial Day every year since 1911.

I hope this Memorial Day you remember and honor those who have given their lives in the service of their country.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

Posted in Holidays, Jenna Jaxon | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What I’ve Learned: Secret #19: A Primer to Self-Publishing

I’m not going to go into details, but I’ll give the basics of self-publishing. I started photo 2self-publishing because one of my publishers closed, and they returned rights to me.  Bless them for doing that.  But in the meantime, a bunch of my books had become inaccessible to readers.

Here’s what to do.  The basics mind you. Read everything below before you start.

1. Write a great book. The best book you possible can. Edit it over and over. Read it aloud.

2. Hire a professional editor to edit your book.

3. Hire a cover artist.

4. Write back cover copy. Write also an advertising blurb to interest the reader. Be prepared with keywords and categories that describe your book.

5. Make a decision on whether to make a print book or email book or both.

6. Check out CreateSpace. There are even books about it, but CreateSpace has it’s own detailed how-to information. https://www.createspace.com/  I have not used their additional paid services so I cannot advise on that. I’ve come in with my manuscript in great shape and a professional cover.  Someone recently said in a webinar that you can make your ebook format from your CreateSpace format easier. I don’t know about that but it’s something to check into. CreateSpace is part of Amazon.  You can distribute from here.

7. Kindle Direct Publishing is my favorite, though I’ve also set up for CreateSpace. For some reason I can format easier for them. They also have a free ebook that tells you how to do it. https://kdp.amazon.com/signin  You can also distribute from Kindle.

8. Smashwords is another way of formatting and distributing. http://www.smashwords.com/  This is only for ebooks, but their “meat grinder” sets up your book in all the popular formats. You can also choose to have them distribute to them from Smashwords. Before you submit your manuscript, you want to read and follow the detailed directions in their manual.  When you submit your manuscript to Smashwords, you will also get approval if the formatting is correct. If not, you will get a notice as to what is wrong and you go back in and fix your formatting. You will need a professional cover. They also have a list of formatters in case you feel that you’re not up to it.  Then you decide whether you want them to distribute for you to Kindle, Nook, etc.  Note that Smashwords takes a small commission and so does each ebook store.  Because I format in Kindle, I always leave that one unchecked, and I submit to Kindle myself.

9. You will get proof copies. Go over these with a fine tooth comb. Read them aloud. Have a friend read them looking for any errors. Buy a print proof from CreateSpace and go over every page and the back copy.

10. These self-publishing publishers only make money when you sell a book.  Some of them have additional services like editors, cover artists, formatters, etc. which you pay extra for, but you can do these things on your own or hire people you know of.

I’m not going to get into advertising and book promotions here. I think I’ve given you enough homework as it is if you’re planning on self-publishing. All three above have their own free materials that tell you exactly how to format for them and what you need to have ready.

It’s a lot of work but every good dream is.

-Susan

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York published by Soul Mate Publishing and available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Business, Helping Other Writers, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Viking, What I've Learned: Secret #19: A Primer to Self-Publishing, Writing Topics, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day by Stacy Hoff

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I am going to spend this Memorial Day with my family. But while I’m enjoying my time with them, I’m also going to think about families who cannot be made whole—ones who have lost their beloveds in the line of duty. To all these military families who are out there, thank you for your own sacrifice for America.

The pain of losing loved ones is hard to bear. Not just for those who have lost a family member to war, but to all “extended family” as well. Famous American writer Walt Whitman, who served as nurse during the Civil War, truly felt like he was a part of this “extended family.” He suffered a huge emotional loss when so many of the young Civil War soldiers around him died. He was so traumatized by this experience he wrote “Leaves of Grass.” My college thesis was on this work by Whitman. I explored in depth his notion that the fallen would be reborn through leaves of grass.

This concept was something he needed to believe, to convince himself that these soldiers were not actually gone.

Whitman_at_about_fifty

With honor and respect to all brave who have fallen, we remember you this Memorial Day.

Above photo of great American poet, Walt Whitman, in his fifties.

 LINKS FOR STACY HOFF

Find Stacy on Social Media: http://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com https://www.pinterest.com/authorstacyhoff/

AMAZON BUY LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE: http://www.amazon.com/Season-Love-Box-Merry-Holly-ebook/dp/B00X3ZAR3E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431122019&sr=8-1&keywords=Season+of+love+-+stacy+hoff

AMAZON BUY LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS: http://www.amazon.com/Lawfully-Yours-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00U7U2WCC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425508177&sr=8-2&keywords=book+-+lawfully+yours

 AMAZON BUY LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades.

Stacy_Cartoon_v2LawfullyYours1800Season of Love coverDesire 1800 pic

Posted in holiday greeting, Memorial Day Reflection, Stacy Hoff, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

What I’ve Learned: Secret #18: Publishing and Time

The publishing world has changed dramatically within the last years. Twenty or more thumb_stack_of_books_01years ago, authors searched for the right agent to represent their work to the right publisher. Many publishers were and still are closed to authors submissions. If you self-published back then, it was expensive and very difficult to distribute your book. Self-publishing was considered a black mark on an author’s reputation as if your work wasn’t good enough and you resorted to a vanity press.

The world has changed for the better. Not all GREAT books are published by traditional authors and represented by agents. Amazon has become the great equalizer giving opportunities to more authors to sell their work and reach the world.

New writers often ask me should I try for a publisher and/or an agent too or self-publish?
I say it depends.  There are definitely advantages to being traditionally published. But if a person is older or feel they are running out of time, I do recommend self-publishing. Why?
Many traditional publishers take about two years to publish a book both in ebook and print. That is the time from acceptance to being available to the reading public. Not all but many. Plus there’s the time to shop the book around which could take a few months to several years before acceptance by a publisher. I’m not joking about the years part. In romance, there are many publishers that accept simultaneous submissions, while in science fiction, you can only submit to one publisher at a time. It is different according to book type and publisher. Getting an agent may or may not shorten this process, as they are the ones to shop your book and they can do simultaneous submissions to several publishers. Getting an agent can take considerable time too.

Most people don’t get a publisher and/or agent right away!  Even among the smaller publishing houses, there is the time spent sending and waiting for an acceptance. Then having the contract examined by a contract or entertainment lawyer. Checking about anything you’re unsure in it. Then the publisher has to arrange the editing which means you will be reviewing the comments and changes by the editor and then doing it again and perhaps again. There are more pieces I won’t go into here. But the publisher is busy making the book.  The ebook might come out in 6 months or more in the internet ebook stores including Amazon. It might take another 10 months or more to see the book in print if that is agreed in your contract.  These are all averages and are different with every publisher.

What I’m saying here is if you have a condition that may shorten your life and you dearly want your book out, then self-publish. If you are older and feel you only have a few years left, self-publish. I want people to realize their dreams.

On Saturday, I will talk about self-publishing.

If you have the time, traditional publishing and/or publishing with the small or midsize publishers are so worth it.

-Susan

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Business, Max Vander Meer, romance, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Bit of Skill Makes the Difference

Okay, so perhaps I should clarify the title. I’m not saying that a teensy bit of skill is all it takes, although it does depend on what we are talking about. I’m mainly talking about writing, but beyond that there are tons of areas where this applies.

Think about it. Once every now and then we get the anomaly, the person who completely stands out from the pack and seems almost superhuman with their abilities (Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Einstein, Michael Bolt, Michael Jordan…I can go on and on). Still, even many of these greats, had their hardships and history will continuously poke holes in their greatness. But for the majority of us, their are still many who reach a very high level of what many would term “success.” The Dan Browns, Grishams, J.K. Rowlings of the world. And the truth is while they all have a talent for entertaining, it is the details with them that make the difference– a penchant for the fantastic or the thrilling.

So what does this mean for the rest of us? In general I’d say that most of us should really rely on what is inside of us to write. Many times, I see writers chasing down the story they feel they should write versus what their gut tells them they should write. I feel that by doing this, we can sometimes lose a part of our voice in the process. The other thing I’d say that is very important is that we continue to practice our craft. No matter how much we write, we can always grow in some way or another. It just might be all that practice that makes the difference when it comes to that little bit of needed skill.

Happy Writing this week!

Posted in A writer's life, inspiration, Toni Kelly, What A Writer Needs, What inspires you? | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wattpad by Mandy Rosko

MandyRosko_TheArrangement_800px              index

One thing I always missed about my early days of writing was all the feedback I used to get, chapter by chapter, or even people who would comment at the end of each story after they’d finished reading. That sort of encouragement that spurned me on to write more, to add in the little things people thought were missing, really brought a lot of extra enjoyment into my writing.

It did that back when I was writing on Fictionpress.com and other fanfiction sites, because back then, I was more aware of my audience, and interacted with them more. Even with Facebook and Twitter, it’s difficult to interact. Facebook only lets a certain percentage of your readers and followings know you posted something, and Twitter can get a little cluttered.

One of the panels was with Anna Todd, and the lady in charge of Wattpads content. (Not sure if I’m allowed to post her name or not, so I won’t)

Anyway! Listening to them speak, and hearing Anna’s story, brought me way back. I severely doubt I’ll ever be one of those people who will get major followers like Anna did, what are the odds, right? But at the same time, it made me miss those days of really interacting with people, and seeing first hand for myself that people were reading and enjoying the work. Not just the entire work, but specific phrases or paragraphs. With the help of comments like that, I was able to pinpoint what the readers liked, what they didn’t, what to build upon and what to back away from. It was a great way of writing, and I definitely missed it.

I posted a short two part epilogue of sorts for Burns Like Fire up on Wattpad a couple of months ago, and nothing really came of it, which is fine since it’s an epilogue for a story not too many people have ready right now anyway, but I was hoping to try something a little different.

I’m going to post, every day, on my account, a chapter of the story I’m currently working on. It’s my first Billionaire contemporary, and I need to learn how to write, so I’ll be hoping to get comments from time to time from readers :)

The story is currently about half done, unless it gets to be longer, not sure, but that should give me long enough to catch up in some places while still tending to other responsibilities. I hope O.o

So if anyone wanted to check it out, I’d be super grateful, and if you don’t have a Wattpad account, or an After Dark app (their naughtier version for promoting more erotic stories) then I suggest getting them anyway since I’ve already found a couple of free reads that I’m getting into :)

Cheers!

http://www.wattpad.com/user/Mandyrosko

Mandy Rosko

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