#BookReview – Becoming Bertha – Jane Carroll


Today’s review is all about Bertha. Bertha is in a sense, the alter ego of author Jane Carroll, who has lots of life lessons to share. Told in an amusing fashion, the story takes us through life’s situations and philosophies as told through the thoughts and opinions of Bertha. An uplifting book for those needing a boost to their self-esteem.


Becoming Bertha, sequel to Bertha-Size Your Life!, continues the saga of personal transformation in a lighthearted, entertaining narrative.

As our narrator, Honey, adjusts to moving back to her home town and beginning a writing career, Bertha is still up to her zany antics and wardrobe. Bertha’s hands are full what with founding the Sisterhood of the Sacred Flamingo, designing fantasy shoes, writing Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Bertha’s Guide to Life and Shoes, and traveling on a national shoe model tour. Yet, she manages to find the time to spar with the cat, climb on a soapbox without warning, and keep her nemesis, Rita, at bay…without smudging her manicure.

Life is good until Bertha begins the shoe model tour, leaving Honey to continue her transformation on her own or revert to her former self. Will Honey follow Bertha’s advice to get over who she has been and become who she is?

And…exactly who is she?

Becoming Bertha (The Bertha Series Book 2) by [Carroll, Jane]

5 Stars – Everybody needs a Bertha

on February 17, 2015

Everyone could use a little Bertha in their lives. This sequel in the Bertha series is uplifting and entertains as we read more about Bertha’s antics as she doles out her good advice to Honey on all of life’s little matters. She demonstrates in her little vignettes how the law of attraction works as she puts a positive spin on things that may not be too thrilling. Bertha teaches us how to feel uplifted instead of deflating ourselves with pessimism. All the while we are eager to know what outlandish outfit she will be wearing next. A feel good read!

Visit Jane’s Amazon Author Page Here for more about her and her books.

#NewBook P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye (@pokercubster) Memoirs can teach us so much!


Thank you to Olga Nunez for posting this lovely book promotion on your blog!


#NewBook P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye (@pokercubster) Memoirs can teach us so much!

#NewBook P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye (@pokercubster) Memoirs can teach us so much!



Source: #NewBook P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye (@pokercubster) Memoirs can teach us so much!

Guest Author Friday – Who Has a New Book? Featuring Sally Cronin



I’m thrilled to be featuring today’s guest, Sally Cronin here on my blog! Many of you in the blogosphere may know Sally, and for the many more of you who don’t, you’re in for a treat!


About Sally:

After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998.

Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released eight others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.


Sally is not only a talented and diverse writer of several books, but she’s one of the most generous bloggers around who offers several author promotion series on her blogs for authors to promote their books on her blog. I am honored to have been one of those author’s who she has promoted several times, and blessed to have her friendship. And in today’s interview, we will be learning a little more about Sally, and about her interesting decision she made to write her latest book, The R’s of Life, on her blog.



“Thank you for inviting me over today Debby …”


It’s my pleasure to have you over Sal, and now let’s get into the goods! 


Sally, please tell us a little about how and why you came up with the idea to write The R’s of Life?

I was actually browsing an online thesaurus looking for some alternatives to describe respect.  While I was in the R section I noticed that a great many words applied to life’s experiences and I jotted down a few. Just for the fun of it I then expanded the list and found around 35 possible chapter headings.  I had no intention of writing another book but I became intrigued about where it might lead me.


Can you share with us, a little excerpt from one of the ‘R’ chapters?

Chapter Two – Respect – For ourselves and others.

It is always so easy to criticise and I don’t want these observations on the aspects of life that I have experienced to be completely negative. However, there are some human traits that seem to be devolving rather than evolving and I don’t believe it is a trend we want to continue.

In this chapter I am going to explore the very thorny subject of respect. This is a topic that needs to be divided into two areas to do it justice. It is one of the fundamental survival tools we have at our disposal and sadly does not receive the prominence it deserves in the headlines.

Self-respect has to come first, as without that basic component, we are unlikely to succeed in life in a way that is acceptable to those close to us, and those we meet along the way.

It should not be confused with self-esteem. This is a value that we adopt and then present to the world in varying degrees. It is interesting that you hear the expression ‘low self-esteem‘ frequently and there are many specialists who are happy to  help you raise that to an approved level. It is quite strange to me that anyone considered to have overstepped that approval level is treated quite harshly and labelled arrogant or full of themselves!.

One way to reach a healthy and productive level of self-esteem is to first establish your self-respect which is a process that begins the moment you are born.

We arrive in this world as wildlings and continue to scream and demand food and attention during the first few years. If we are lucky, and in an ideal world, we have parents who guide us into a more civilized mode of behaviour. Slowly but surely we learn the accepted social graces that enable us to exist side by side with others.  This includes courtesy, respect for others and the ability to co-exist peacefully with them……


We know you are writing The R’s of Life live on your blog and sharing the process with your readers. What made you decide to write the book in this manner?

I wrote Tales from the Garden using the same process and I found that I received feedback immediately in the form of comments and I quickly realised what aspects of the stories were the most popular.. Humour, romance and a touch of wickedness. When I edited the stories at the end of the process it enabled me to tweak some of the stories.  There were around 50 regular visitors to the series and they were my Beta readers. Something that would have been very difficult to achieve conventionally if I had written and then sent copies out. At first I was concerned about sales of the book but at the end of the series I took all the stories down and people who had read them all still bought the book.


Many who know you, know you’re a versatile writer from fictional stories to nonfiction, to books about health. Are your fictional stories created from real life experiences too?

I believe all of us include elements of ourselves  and those we have met in our writing.  People underestimate even small events from their past and how they can be great prompts for short stories and even novels.

Also I have read books from a very early age and that stimulated my imagination. I love to give that free rein too.


Can you tell us about how you acquired your knowledge in health and nutrition?

I started studying nutrition in relation to the body about twenty years ago. I always enjoyed biology at school and I trained as a dental nurse and intended to also train as an RN.  However, life got in the way and that was put on hold. At 42 I  developed severe health problems because of my obesity and I needed to lose 11 stone. I had followed every diet under the sun it seemed but needless to say they always failed leaving me desperately unhappy.

I knew that I had to take matters into my own hands so began to look at my body in different way and also the food that I was eating.  Whilst it may sound boring, the fact that I was eating Vitamin A, C and E for breakfast with Omega 3 for lunch and plenty of anti-oxidants for dinner with lean protein, encouraged me to treat my body with a lot more respect.

I love food and that will never change, but I love my life and health more. Understanding how my body works and what it needs in relation to food and nutrients was a huge turning point for me and for the clients that I work with.


You are well-known in the blogging community as a great sharer of information and of the works of fellow writers. Can you share some of your wisdom about building a platform and how new bloggers can gain new followers?

I knew nothing when I wrote my first blog post and I am still learning every day. There are a great many very helpful sites that are happy to help you and at first I was a bit confused by all the dos and don’ts but gradually I developed my blog and social media over the last three years.

Key for me.

An interesting ‘about page’ with a name to attach to the blog as people do feel awkward addressing Ms Smorgasbord.  People buy people first.. A photo is a good idea as people will relate to you more.

Use of all the share buttons on your posts including for social media that you might not use yourself as some of your readers do and will share there.

A clear menu system where people can find past posts

Automatic linking to social media so that when a post is published it immediately travels through cyberspace bringing readers to your blog.

Reblog and share the posts you find interesting by other bloggers and build a reciprocal relationship with them.  Interviews, guest posts are a great way to reach a new audience.

Accept that it does not happen overnight and be consistent even if it is one post a week.

Always respond to comments on your posts

Remember that your blog is not all about you but about others and their interests. Constant self-promotion seldom wins followers on a blog or on social media. But, make sure that you have a page in your menu that does promote your work and send it out to the social media sites at least once a week.

Love the process.. If it is a chore to keep your blog going then perhaps it is not for you.


How do you manage time to write when you’re so busy settling in your new home, putting out many posts daily, and sharing the work of others?

I consider blogging and writing in general my job. For example, I have my own books to promote and also our self-publishing services . I also love putting together posts that interest people and that they find useful. I may not be practicing as a nutritional therapist currently, but making a difference to how someone feels is very important to me.

In recent years we have been quite isolated in our home in Madrid and since I began blogging I have met amazing people from all around the world who I can connect with at the touch of a button.  Time zones do not matter and I love the relationships I have been lucky enough to develop that are very important to me.. Such as being interviewed by an author and friend who lives in Canada!

Okay, this one is a biggee! I know I’m curious, so I’m sure other readers here would love to know, what magical formula do you use to have the time to read and comment on many blogs, share around on social sites and your blog, and prepare so many different promotions you put together from your generous offer to other writers to promote their work on your blog, keep your other blog series going, and function in ‘real life’? I’ll have what you’re having! LOL

You make me sound like wonder woman Debby.  One of the useful tricks I discovered was to schedule my posts in advance for several days ahead. At the moment I am two days in advance because there is a great deal of activity going on in the house. But sometimes I can have a week of posts in the buffer.  I cook that way too!!! This means that I can pop in first thing in the morning , midday and then at night to answer comments, reblog others, respond to social media but it actually leaves big chunks of the day for writing my books and at the moment, making curtains.

I worked in an industry that required project planning and time management and those skills have crossed over to this career. I think that is key  as I view it as a long-term project that I hope to be developing for many years to come.

Oh and did I mention coffee, chocolate and a self-sufficient husband!


Thanks very much Debby for inviting me over today.. It has been a great deal of fun and I hope that you will be able to make it to the Blogger’s Bash next year along with many others so that we can all meet our friends face to face.


Thank YOU Sally for taking some time to do this interview, and for sharing some of yourself and blogging tips, as well as your excerpt and open invitation to all readers to follow your book, The R’s of Life, as you write it live on your blog! I have every intention of getting to the Bash next year!

For all readers here who would like to read all chapters previously published on Sally’s blog of her book, you can follow this link


You can also view all of Sally’s books HERE where you will find her ‘buy links’. Or just hop on over to Amazon by CLICKING HERE, where you’ll be taken directly to her author page.


Visit Sally’s blog at The Smorgasbord Invitation, which is aptly titled. You can check on her menu for her many categories of blog posts and her section where she offers authors to promote their books and stories on her blog.


Follow Sally on Social Media!









Editing and Editors: A Writer’s Guide – Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris

Reblog and featuring

Today’s reblog is from the blog of Anne R. Allen with Ruth Harris.  Ruth is a succesful author and former editor sharing her expertise on everything ‘Editing’.

9 Ways Editors Can Make You Look Good…and 7 Ways They Can Make You Miserable

by Ruth Harris


“As a former editor, I’m biased but, as a writer, I’ve learned that for me (and for just about every writer I know), editing is the most productive and transformative part of writing a book. Whether you hire a pro, rely on a crit partner, or DIY with or without input from beta readers, editing can take longer than writing and can turn an OMG-did-I-write-that? draft into a book you can be proud of.

Or not.

More on the downside later, but to begin on the bright side: If you are a beginning writer your editors are your teachers and mentors and will rescue you from the sh*tty first draft. If you’re an experienced writer, your editor can be the invaluable second pair of eyes.”


9 ways your editor can help. . . Continue Reading


Source: Editing and Editors: A Writer’s Guide – Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris

Keeping Tabs on Friends in the #Online World


I wanted to write a short post about the world of online friendships because many of us spend so much time here and have made connections through blogs and social media with others.

In our real world, we keep up with current events and life situations with friends and family, either in person or by phone. But in our virtual world, we chat with friends through social media, blogs or messenger apps. Because we’ve made connections with so many who live in different parts of the world, we don’t always get a chance to catch up with everyone on a daily or even a weekly basis sometimes. But one thing that I do keep mental note of is taking notice of when someone I’m used to seeing around the cybersphere suddenly disappears off the virtual radar.

I begin to wonder if that person is okay and do my usual FBI scouting around the socialsphere, hoping to find a post or a comment from them somewhere, showing that they are indeed still around but perhaps a little busy dealing with things in their real world.Through doing these searches, I have sometimes found that someone was ill, or depressed and needed a dose of inspiration, and in one instance I discovered a fellow blogger had passed away.

It really doesn’t take much to leave a missing friend a message of concern on their Facebook, or drop them a line in an email if we suspect something isn’t right.

I guess what I’m saying here is, we are community here. I’m reminding everyone if you notice you haven’t seen one of your friends or blogging pals circuiting social media or blogland, do what you would do in real life, do a little digging to make sure a pal is okay. You never know when someone disappears, not seeing their comments, posts or avatars around, if they’re just taking a break or if something more serious has happened.

Sunday #BookReview: “P.S. I FORGIVE YOU” by D.G. Kaye | writerchristophfischer


I’ve taken the liberty to feature my own new book, P.S. I Forgive You on my Sunday Book Review post. While I was blog reading I was elated to find that Christoph Fischer had read and reviewed my book. I thought I’d share Christoph’s review here today for the Sunday review edition.




Review by Christoph Fischer


“I’m a declared fan of DG Kaye and expected nothing less as the moving, touching and inspiring memoir she has delivered here. Plagued by a narcissistic mother and the effect of this on her own life, DG Kaye tells with honesty and great psychological insight into the situation about her ordeals, then and more recent, brought on by the troubled relationship.

This is heart breaking and heart-mending at the same time.

This is an important book that should be read by many who are struggling to forgive and move on. It’s not an easy task but one very well worth your while. . .” CONTINUE READING


Available on Amazon. Now available in print! Click Here! 


Source: Review: “P.S. I FORGIVE YOU” by D.G. Kaye | writerchristophfischer

Guest Post – Who has a new book? – Marcia Meara – Harbinger



Today my guest is Marcia Meara, author/blogger and huge supporter and promoter of fellow Indies. Marcia is a bubbly and dynamic woman. She is the author of 6 books, her latest, Harbinger, Book 3 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series. Once you begin reading a book in her series, I can promise you, you’ll be hooked.


About the author:  

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years and five novels later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!


Marcia runs 2 blogs, The Write Stuff and Bookin’ It. The Write Stuff is a blog Marcia shares with other writers to promote their books, share excerpts, and anything else interesting on the craft of writing. Bookin’ It is a blog where Marcia shares reviews on books she has read.

Marcia has a ginormous heart to go along with her big personality and great sense of humor. And today we’re going to get to learn a little bit about her and her latest mystery, romance book Harbinger.



Continuing in the tradition of Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit, Marcia Meara’s North Carolina mountain series takes a shivery turn with the Appalachian Legend of Ol’ Shuck, the Harbinger of Death.

“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.”

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.

Click Here to Get This Book 


And before we get started, I do want to mention here that starting today, Marcia’s Book 2 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series is on Kindle Countdown!!! You may want to grab it now because I promise once you read Book 1, you’ll be happy you already got Book 2!


A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Kindle Countdown, $.99 Fri, $1.99 Sat, $2.99 Sun, $3.99 Mon, 

Back to full price of $4.99 Tues

I’m thrilled to have Marcia here today to share some of her writing insights with us and a little about her dynamic self. Some of you may find this post a bit lengthy, but Marcia is so interesting and has so much to share for other writers, I promise it’s worth the read! So let’s meet Marcia!

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Deb. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet your friends and followers.”


It’s Never Too Late! – with Marcia Meara


Can you tell us a little about how your inspiration came later in life to write books?


By the age of five, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Things happened. Plans went awry, and by age 69, it hadn’t happened yet. I was bemoaning that the one thing I’d always known I wanted to do was the one thing I’d never accomplished, and I was told I should stop complaining, go home, and write. That afternoon, I started my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, and nine months later, I published it.

My second novel, was inspired by Jeanne Bell, an eco-tour boat owner, and her photographer husband, Doug Little. I’d enjoyed the tours on their boat many times, and thought their situation would be perfect for the lovers in my next romantic suspense novel. Plus, setting the novel on the St.  Johns River would give me a chance to feature my favorite things about Florida: birds, alligators, and snakes. Not necessarily in that order. I published Swamp Ghosts about eight months after publishing my first book, and it started selling too.

Lesson Learned: It’s NEVER too late to follow a dream. I’m 72 now, and halfway through my draft of my sixth book. Who would have ever imagined!


Was there something in particular that led you to write in the mystery, romance genre?


While these days, I read far more fantasy and urban fantasy than I do romance, I always prefer that even those genres have a good love story in the background. I’m a romantic at heart, but frothy romances don’t interest me as much as dangerous ones. I wanted to add the element of fear or tragedy to my books, so I started with Romantic Suspense, though I’m probably easing away from the suspense part a bit, and discovering other kinds of drama to traumatize my characters with. Regardless, at the heart of my books, there’s always a romance. Sometimes two!


Are you a disciplined writer with keeping to a daily writing schedule?


I write every day, as long as I’m at home, and I’m fairly disciplined. By that, I mean, I turn off any and all distractions, even music. I turn down the volume on my computer so I won’t hear email coming in, and I focus on my story. If left to my own devices, I will write all day, so I have to schedule regular breaks. Siri lets me know when it’s time to stretch my legs, walk around the yard, or tackle a household chore. Then I get straight back to the computer.

Sometimes, I’m doing research, though, or creating a new character, instead of working on my actual draft. I might spend a half an hour Googling the the statutory rape laws of North Carolina, for instance. I’m not writing legal thrillers, so I don’t need detailed information, necessarily, but I don’t want to make glaring errors that pull readers right out of the story.

Other times, I might be working on my Character Sheets, where I keep a record for every character introduced in my books, for consistency purposes, even minor ones. If you call someone a “tall, 20-something man with dark hair,” in Book One, you’d best be sure he doesn’t turn into a blonde 30-year old, of medium height in Book 6. Readers will notice, especially if they happen to be reading your books back to back.

But whether it’s writing my latest draft, revising chapters for my editor, researching obscure facts, or creating new characters, I work pretty much all day long, seven days a week. At my age, I don’t have decades to get my stories told, and I have a lot of them bouncing around in my brain, demanding to get out.


Tell us a little about your blog, The Write Stuff, and what do others have to do to be promoted there?


I started the blog thinking it would be about me and my writing, but got tired of that in about three days. What I really wanted to do was create a place where authors of all types could meet, network, share news and promos, learn from each other, and support each other. It has turned out surprisingly well, and I love running it. (If The Write Stuff had a theme song, it would be the one from the old tv show, Cheers.)

If you write (at any level) and want to be an active part of the community, simply follow the blog, and comment & share what others post there. When you have something of your own to share (a cover reveal, a new release or promotion), all you have to do is email me, and I’ll post it for you, pretty much any time.

I also run two regular features that writers can use to their advantage. One is #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, for those who’d like to submit a guest post on any topic they feel would be of interest to the group. At the end of the post, they can share their author photo and bio, their book covers and buy links, and their social media links.

Another regular feature I do is #ExcerptWeek, which I announce every couple of months. Authors can send me an excerpt from any book, published or not, or a Work In Progress, along with all the info listed above. (Bio, Links, etc.) Since most of the followers of the blog will share these posts on their own blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more, it’s a great way to get new eyes on your work.

If you are an “active part of the community,” we will help you get the word out about what you are doing.


Are there any authors you feel influenced your writing?


I have been a voracious reader for roughly 67 of my 72 years, in many genres, and I’m pretty sure every single author I ever read influenced me in one way or another, even if it was to show me a way I DIDN’T want to write. My favorite writer of all time is Daphne du Maurier. Her breathtaking descriptions still thrill me to this day, and her shocking twists at the end of her books always left me gasping. I do have to wonder if du Maurier could compete in today’s market, where readers often want faster moving, more action-oriented plots, but I still love her style.

For my own books, which are far less ambitious, I try to find a compromise that works for both myself and my readers, but I do admit to missing those pages of elegant, descriptive prose. While I understand times have changed, I work to find a balance between action, and visuals that make the reader feel as though he or she is standing right there beside the leading character. I want them to smell the honeysuckle, feel the cool breeze, and see the vivid greens of the deep woods. So I squeeze in those moments when I can, and hope for the best.


I know you’re a visual person when it comes to ideas about how your characters would look in real life. Where do you draw your inspiration from?


Inspiration is all around us, of course, but since I’m pretty much chained to my computer chair, I pull a lot of mine from photos found online. The walls surrounding my computer are covered with corkboards, and I fill them with photos pertaining to whatever I’m working on. Scenery and homes from along Florida’s St. Johns River (when I’m working on stories in my Riverbend series), or from the North Carolina mountains (when I’m writing a new Wake-Robin Ridge book). Pictures of actors, models, and other interesting people are pinned all over the place, each time I run across someone who looks just the way I’ve imagined a character. I even add wildlife and pet photos. Anything that helps transport me to the world I’m creating is fair game for my Inspiration Board.


Do you have any helpful tips for new writers you can offer?



I repeat, read. Read some more. Keep reading.

You’d be amazed what you can learn about writing from reading. Pay attention to books you like, and what it was that pulled you into that story so completely. Listen to the way the words are fitted together. And conversely, learn what not to do from books that just didn’t grab you. Think about why those failed to work for you. Never, ever stop reading. It’s a great way to learn lots of things, and besides, it’s fun!


Write every day. Form that habit from the start, and it will stand you in good stead over time.


Find the best editor you can afford. There are many reasonable ones out there. You probably don’t need the guy who edits for Stephen King or John Grisham. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it all yourself. Even editors use other editors when they write. Yes, you might be very well educated, with lots of writing classes under your belt, but I promise you, even basic proofreading is next to impossible when it’s your own manuscript. Because you are so familiar with your work, you see what you think you’ve written, and not what’s actually on the page. So, tempting as it is, I heartily recommend an editor. Along with beta readers, to give you feedback as you go, and someone to proof the final, fully edited book, line by line, looking for missed words and small typos. (You’d be shocked how many tiny things get by everyone else, and show up in your finished book, where you do NOT want to see them.)

You may find someone who can do more than one of these jobs for you, and that’s great. But don’t skip it. And don’t kid yourself into thinking readers won’t notice. Many, many will, and furthermore, they will mention it in your reviews, which will have an impact on your sales.

A poorly edited book does not come across as professional. That’s not how you want to brand yourself, if you’re serious about selling your work.


Pay very close attention to your cover. You might be able to put one together yourself, if you are good with graphics, and have access to royalty-free images, but for most people, it’s worth having a graphics designer do your cover. It’s the very first thing readers see, and believe me, they absolutely DO judge a book by its cover.

Make yours eye-catching, with easily read fonts, and be sure it says something about the story inside. Just because one current trend is to feature headless men with bare torsos and air-brushed abs, doesn’t mean it’s the right cover design for your book. And honestly, there are so many covers like that out there, yours could get lost in the shuffle. I don’t mean to imply that I haven’t bought a book or two displaying those shirtless musclemen, myself. I’m just saying you should be sure that your cover conveys the message you want for your book, and that it stands out from the crowd. Good design work can be found at reasonable prices, if you look for it.

Covers count. I’ve been known to buy books simply because I absolutely could not resist a beautiful image or completely original and clever design. Just sayin’ . . .


Are you currently working on any new writing project?

How kind of you to ask. *grin* I’m working on That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3, and I’m hoping for a January, 2017, release. It picks up right after Book 2, Finding Hunter, and deals with Hunter Painter’s other brothers, Jackson and Forrest. Finding Hunter wrapped up Hunter and Willow’s story pretty thoroughly, but Forrest and Jackson have been waiting anxiously for me to get back to Riverbend and clean up the mess I left them in. I’m doing so right now, and really having fun messin’ with their minds, too. I believe in happy endings (mostly), but they’ve gotta work for ‘em. That’s my story (literally), and I’m stickin’ to it.



Do you have some preferred methods for promoting your books?


Yes, actually. My preferred method would be to have someone else do it ALL, and let me spend my time writing. But I’m guessing that wasn’t what you had in mind, so I’ll be honest and tell you that I totally STINK at promoting my own books. It’s not that I can’t do it. It’s that I’d rather spend my time writing, so I have trouble tackling self-marketing without a whole heap of irritation.

I tried running lots of free promos with my first book, in the hopes of generating a ton of reviews. I got good reviews, and fairly consistently, but not tons. Nowhere near as many as I would have liked in proportion to the number of free books I gave away. These days, I’d rather do countdown deals, and even those are spaced apart.

Of course, I Tweet, do Facebook (sorta), and other social media, but mostly, I have been building a network of authors on my blog, The Write Stuff. That’s given me as about as much exposure as anything else I’ve tried. I do understand that I need to do more, and my current plan is to hire a Virtual Assistant to take care of a lot of the things I don’t have time for, while I deal with the personal connections on my blogs and Twitter.

The one thing I’m pretty good at is building a local readership. Writing a series set in a fictitious town located very nearby means that local readers recognize the places mentioned in the books. They love that. I’ve been very busy doing PowerPoint presentations at various central Florida venues, and doing lots of Meet the Author events at museums, historical sites, and book clubs. That’s helped build a “tribe” of loyal readers who buy all of my books, and tell their friends and neighbors, too. So at least, I’m doing that much right.

Next month, I’ll be doing an afternoon Tea With the Author at a local historic mansion, with a reading, my custom made tea blends (named for my book characters), and a Q&A after. Old friends and new will be there, and it’s the kind of thing I truly love doing.


Tell us a bit about the Wake-Robin Ridge series and the newest book to the series, Harbinger. And we’d love a little excerpt!


The Wake-Robin Ridge books (3 to date) are set amid the haunting beauty of the North Carolina Mountains, where ghosts walk, ancient legends abound, and things still go bump in the night. Unlike my Riverbend series, this one is mildly paranormal.

Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1 introduces Sarah Gray, an ex-librarian, who has moved into a mountain cabin on five wooded acres, across the road from the very reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on the top of the ridge, with only his Irish wolfhound for company. Suffice it to say that they have some surprising (and frightening) adventures.

A Boy Named Rabbit is Book 2 of the series, and introduces a ten-year old child who has been raised in the wilderness by his grandparents, and never seen another living soul in his life. He finds himself alone, and has to come down out of the mountains to locate the “man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing,” and when he finds him, Mac and Sarah’s lives are never the same again. Rabbit has the power to change the world for everyone he meets.

Harbinger is Book 3 of the series, and if this one has a theme, it’s “you can run, but you can’t hide.” At least, not from the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as they call him in the mountains. It’s the story of a man being driven slowly mad by guilt, and Rabbit’s determination to right a terrible wrong, and help the local sheriff close a twenty-year old cold case.


Cadey Hagen’s dreams have been haunted by the specter of the Black Dog, off and on for over twenty years. This is the first dream sequence in the book, taken from Chapter 3:


EYELASHES FROZEN, EACH gasping breath a snowy plume in the frigid night air, the boy ran for his life. Heart pounding, he scrambled up the wooded slope, terror driving him faster and faster.

There! Just ahead, a warm light glowed in a small window. Home. Safety. Only a few yards more.

He lurched forward, sure he was going to make it, now. His heart sang with joy, even as his foot slid on an icy patch of old snow, and he went down hard, knocking the wind right out of himself. The metallic taste of blood from his bitten tongue flooded his mouth, and for a moment, he couldn’t move. He was simply too tired to keep going.

No, no, no . . . get up. You got to get up. You’re almost there.

Desperation gave him a last burst of energy, and panting, he struggled to his knees. The woods loomed dark and silent around him, and he dared to hope he had outrun his pursuer. Then he heard it. A soft rumble at first, the sound built into a full-throated growl, coming from the last stretch of trees between him and his daddy’s tiny cabin. Somehow, it had gotten in front of him. He was cut off!

As he stared in horror, two glowing pinpoints of red appeared not ten feet away, growing steadily larger, as the beast stepped out of the bushes and into the moonlight. The dog was huge, and black as coal. And those fiery eyes stared unblinking, directly into his.

Whimpering, he felt a rush of warmth as he wet himself. He’d seen the Black Dog, and that meant it had come for him. He was going to die.

Somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind, he heard his aunt calling his name, but it was already too late. When Ol’ Shuck shows up to get you, it’s always too late. Still, she called, her voice coming from far away.

“Cadey? Cadey?”

He tried to answer, but could make no sound, and stood helpless, watching. Just before it leapt, the Black Dog’s lips peeled back, revealing long, gleaming teeth. Hot, foul breath washed over his face, as Ol’ Shuck opened its mouth impossibly wide, and Cadey tumbled forward into its reeking maw.

At last, he screamed.

Get you copy of Harbinger Here! 


Thank you so much for visiting here today Marcia. It was a delight to have you here today. Thank you for sharing some invaluable writing tips and generous insights into your writing world. As you know, I’m hooked on the Wake-Robin Ridge series and can’t wait to get to the next books in the series, especially now that I’ve learned more about the books and with the cliff-hanging excerpt you’ve shared with us.


Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format:


Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love


Her seventh book, The Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3, will be out in January, 2017


You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com
or on the following social media sites:


The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/

Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

Visit Marcia’s Amazon Author Page to learn more and view all of her books!


To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here:


10 Winning Strategies For Your Author Event | Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR

Festisite Reblog

Author and friend Dan Alatorre shared a most informative post on his recent experience of doing a book signing. Dan offers up some invaluable tips on how to prepare for a book signing and what ‘to and not to’ do.


10 Winning Strategies For Your Author Event


HOW do you make your author event a WINNER?



I’ll tell you.


As an indie author OR a trad author, you’ll hear about events where you can sell books. Readings at book stores. Writer conferences. Craft shows. Book fairs.


Whether you have done them before or never done one ever, here are a few tips – in no particular order – to make your experience successful.


  1. Signing autographs is fun!

And awkward. After a while it’s like signing your credit card receipt for dinner at Golden Corral – you just do it and don’t think much about it. But the first few times, yeah, it’s weird.

Have a Sharpie and a regular pen and ACT LIKE YOU SIGN AUTOGRAPHS ALL THE TIME. Try to act that way, anyway. You are a real life author – and fans want that ambiance. BTW, if you are signing a book and they want it made out to  their sister, have a notepad handy and get the correct spelling of her name – or you may end up doing it twice – and they aren’t buying the misspelled one. . .Continue Reading


Source: 10 Winning Strategies For Your Author Event | Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR