#Writing and Revising Tips to Take Away from Hugh Howey on #Amazon Insights

writing tips


I came across this fantastic series on writing and revising by Hugh Howey. For those of you not familiar with Hugh, he’s one of the pioneer indies who got picked up by a traditional publisher after publishing as an Indie and despite his fame, continues to write articles for Indie writers to learn and keep up with the world of self-publishing.


Recently, Hugh wrote this fantastic 4 part series on Amazon AuthorInsights.com. about the Three-Part Revision Process.


Here are just a few of his tips from this series:


“Write lean not fat to build upon later.”

“Write away from the keyboard.”

“Use your voice, not flowery words that don’t represent you.”


Here are a few habits of my own I use when writing my books:


  • A great trick I use when revising is similar to Hugh’s, to highlight a sentence I know I need to work on or add more to the subject, so I can continue moving on writing without losing my train of thought while stumped on a passage.
  • I tend to write my final chapters first to encompass the essence and summation of my stories. Of course it gets edited later to fit the finished stories.
  • Do proper editing before sending to betas – a lesson I learned with my newest book.
  • Realize that after first, and perhaps, second and third drafts, some scenes will require complete re-writes, not just revising.


Visit these 4 articles by Hugh Howey for a complete rundown from his experience on writing books:


Part 1 – Becoming a Writer



Part 2 – The Rough Draft



Part 3 – The Revision Process



Part 4 – Publishing Your Book



I also highly recommend you visit Amazon’s author insights blog for so many interesting and helpful tips on everything self-publishing.





Sunday Book Review – Media Training the Manual by Sally Cronin

Book review feature


Today’s Sunday Book Review is on Sally Cronin’s – Media Training for authors and writers.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sally, she runs the infamous blog – Smorgasbord Invitation, and a true smorgasbord it is because at Sally’s place there’s something for everyone. There you will find blogs from the heart, stories shared by other writers, promotions galore offered by Sally for authors to take part in her challenges and you too can have your work showcased on her blog. Sally also has her Virtual Cafe and Bookstore where you can find almost 200 books from authors that have been featured on her blog.There are series on musical legends, lots of smiles from her weekly Laughter Academy, cooking instructions and recipes, and lots of valuable information on all things writing. Sally is also a nutritional therapist and offers numerous articles on her experience on health, from diet to exercise, herbs and vitamins and how to take care of our health. If this weren’t the digital era, I’d be calling her a virtual walking encyclopedia.


Sally Cronin

But today my usual Sunday review has a little twist. Sally also has a lot of experience with the media. She’s done radio shows and interviews galore, and from her culminated experience she wrote a manual on how authors can get their work in front of the media, what you need to know before submitting, how to submit your work, and all kinds of little tricks of the trade to help get your work more exposure.

So now for the best part! Sally sells her manual on Amazon as you can see below where I’ve including the link below the book image. But earlier this year, she posted several articles from the book on her blog and then she compiled all the articles into one PDF and she is now offering it FREE to everyone! All you have to do is email her at  sally.cronin@moyhill.com and she will send you a copy!!!!


Media Training by Sally Cronin

Available on Amazon

But FREE for you today by requesting your copy directly from Sally           

A quick reference manual for anyone who needs to deliver their message via “the Media”, TV, Radio, Print.


My 5 Star Review:

This manual isn’t very long, but let me tell you that any author, writer, creative, who is looking for some direction on how to get their work and presence known in media, will find this little book beneficial, full of great tips. Sally Cronin talks about all the avenues possible for getting our work exposed, how to prepare for an interview, and what to include in our media info pages. This book is a real gem that Indie’s in particular, should have for a great reference guide with insightful advice on how to put together a great bio and clippings to prepare to introduce themselves and their work to media, TV or radio.

Now, what are you waiting for? Zip off that email to Sally and start polishing up your files and bios to showcase your magnificent selves!


About Sally:

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.


Books by Sally Cronin


And Sally’s most recent publication:

What's in a Name by Sally Cronin

Find Sally and Connect with her at:





 Amazon US 

 Amazon UK 



What’s the Scoop? New Books and Hot Deals – Hurry!

Newsworthy notes


As I am ultra busy trying to tend to life and preparing to publish my own newest upcoming book by next week’s end, I came across some fabulous finds while doing my blog travels this week. So I thought I’d note a few blogs and books I came across to share with you all here in case you haven’t seen these yet yourself. The book promos are time sensitive so do jump on those. My Kindle is bursting at the seams but that won’t stop me from adding books by some of my own favorite authors!


I’m going to break these special offers down in 4 categories:


Writing Competitions:

Stevie Turner is still accepting entries for her generous offer for authors to contribute a short story to her Blog Hop where the winner will receive a badge to display proudly and the story will be included in an anthology Stevie is planning to put together next year. Visit the post HERE.


Sue Vincent is generously inviting writers to submit your stories, book promotions, and Holiday posts to her by email, HERE


Book Promotion:

Many of you know some of the various promotions Sally Cronin offers at her Smorgasbord Invitation where writers have a chance to showcase their stories, books and promotions. And starting this coming Monday Nov. 27th, Sally has a new promotion starting for her Christmas Bookfair Promotion. You need to check this out to have your book be part of this wonderful festive promotion.


Hot Deals:

Marcia Meara is running a fantastic promotion right now on Amazon where all 3 books in each of two of her series – Wake Robin Ridge and her Riverbend series are on special pricing for a limited time at just .99 cents! Visit Marcia’s Amazon Author Page to see all of her books and snatch a few. I promise she’ll keep you captivated!

Product Details

Product Details



Newly Published: #Recommended


Sacha “De” Black has just released her newest YA first in a series book –  Keepers – An Eden East novel Book 1

Keepers (The Eden East Novels Book 1) by [de Black, Sacha]


Sarah Brentyn just released – On the Edge of a Raindrop

FREE for a limited time!!!!

On the Edge of a Raindrop by [Brentyn, Sarah]


Annette Rochelle Aben just released – A Tanka Picture Book

A Tanka Picture Book by [Aben, Annette Rochelle]


Sue Vincent in collaboration with Stuart France released – An Imperious Impulse (Coyote Tales – Volume 1)


Sally Cronin recently released – What’s In A Name? (Volume 2)


Christoph Fischer released – The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac: Key to Truth

The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac: Key to the Truth (Fraud or Miracle? Book 3) by [Fischer, Christoph]


Stevie Turner recently re-released one of her books with a new title and book cover – Mind Games

Mind Games by [Turner, Stevie]


Diana Peach just released a sweet book in a totally different genre for her – Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters (A Children’s Tale)


Carol Balawyder newly published – The Longest Nine Months (Part of the Getting to Mr. Right series)

The Longest Nine Months: A Getting To Mr. Right series by (The Longest Nine Months is the last of the Getting To Mr. Right series.) by [Balawyder, Carol]


Belinda Miller has just come out with her Book 3 of – The Reunion (The Ragwort Chronicles)


The blogs I’ve linked to here and book release and promos I’ve listed here are not only friends of mine, but mighty fine writers whose books I thoroughly enjoy, so they come #Recommended.


If I’ve missed anyone’s promos that may currently be running, please accept my apologies.

#WATWB – Random Acts of Kindness from Strangers

Random Acts of Kindness


We are the World Blogfest


Another month is coming to an end, and once again it’s time to participate in the #WATWB – (We are the World Blogfest), where we share something we’ve come across that demonstrates a random act of kindness. If you’d like to participate and add a post about something inspirational, you can find the link at the end of this post to add your own.


I found this article on Facebook. A stranger leaves hand-knitted scarves in a park in Vermont for anyone to take if they’re cold. What a beautiful gift for someone in need, someone who is cold and maybe cannot afford the proper articles to stay warm against the elements.

How often do we pick up our knitting needles with a project to keep ourselves busy, or just to relax, with no intent of giving it to anyone, just knitting for the sheer pleasure and relaxation? So if you find yourself with extra knitted projects locked away in a drawer, perhaps you’ll consider leaving them somewhere, or donating them to a place where people in need can access them freely. *And don’t forget to attach a tag if you leave your gifts in random places to let people know it’s okay to take them.



Your co-hosts for this month for the We are the World Blogfest are:   Shilpa GargInderpreet UppalSylvia SteinSusan ScottAndrea Michaelsand Damyanti Biswas .


You can add your inspirational posts to share to this blogfest HERE.

Fun Book Review -“You know you want to read this!” (D.G. Kaye’s book commercial, take 2!) | witlessdatingafterfifty

Have Bags, Will Travel D.G. Kaye


I just had to share this clever and entertaining form of a book review from Robin at WitlessDatingAfterFifty

Robin’s blog is filled with photos and stories about those photos. They are comprised of family stories, art, blog challenges, reviews and whatever else sparks Robin’s mind to share her thoughts and experiences.


Recently, Robin informed me she was going on a trip to visit a friend. She would be flying on an airplane, something she hadn’t done for over 30 years! She’d been wanting to read one of my books and thought Have Bags, Will Travel would be a fun choice to take along for an airplane read. She informed me she was going to take that book and get some airline interaction with it, and to my delight she found a clever way to share my book around and created 3 posts, all with airline staff holding a copy of my book and according to Robin, these 2 women below got quite a chuckle out of the chapter where I write all about the germs on an airplane. No doubt they could relate!

Fall book review: “Have Bags, Will Travel” in hands of Eashika with Samantha


Eashika is on the left, she is a 

“quick study” and was skimming

the chapters. She’s smiling at 

Debby’s chapter on germaphopia.

D.G. Kaye is the author,

otherwise known as our 

friend and fellow blogger.

The book, “Have Bags, Will Travel”

was like a breath of fresh air.

Debby’s friends (Bri and Zan)

and occasional cousin,

are outgoing, fun-loving

while joining in hilarious

situations and spontaneous 

laughter. Equipped with 

“inside jokes,” 

nostalgic memories

and another “language”

of codes to further their

closeness and make

it easier to crack up. 

~   !      ?      !   ~


Continue reading Robin’s hilarious recap of my book HERE


Check out Rodney in D.G.’s

other book commercials!

Fall book review: Rodney’s presence (D.G. Kaye’s book commercial, take 1!)


As you may see, I enlisted an

Airlines personnel to serve as my

assistant, helping to promote

Debby’s book,

“Have Bags, Will Travel.”


Rodney’s look says: “You know you want to read this!” (D.G. Kaye’s book commercial, take 2!)



What This Blog is Not – Just Sayin’ – Are You Receiving Strange Requests?

Just Sayin'


Public service announcement. This blog is not an advertising page. I don’t sell Apple Iphones, in fact, I’m an Android user if you must know, and I am not a ghostwriter.


I’m astounded by the amount of requests I get from what used to be only from emails, but has grown to Twitter DMs and message requests at my Facebook author page now.  I wrote a post awhile back about requests from emails some of us receive requesting to post on our blogs. I used to receive one about every 2 weeks until the last 2 months when they’ve escalated to 2 to 3 per week. But it’s not only emails, now messages left for me on Twitter and Facebook are requesting I write books for them. Are you freaking kidding me? Does anyone ever bother doing their homework before asking a memoir writer to ghostwrite? Obviously not because they must think if you write in memoir, you write anyone’s memoir. It’s astounding the amount of people who have the gumption to leave messages and emails, especially annoying is no proper salutation, credentials, or just the plain nerve with some of the requests they leave.


Recently, The Story Reading Ape, Chris Graham shared a post where he  talks about a disclaimer he added to his contact page to try and dissuade some of these strange requests, and Chris offered anyone to copy his note on their own page. I added it to mine, and since doing so, it’s seems to have attracted more stranger offers than before. Seriously, why would I want someone I don’t know posting, hoping to sell something on my blog having no relevance to the product, not to mention, nothing in it for me or my readers?


These people need to do their homework before they keep pestering writers with blogs. They also need to look up the meaning of ghostwriter. It shows their ignorance when they haven’t even done their homework on how to find, let alone approach, a ghostwriter, instead of picking an author randomly and approaching them asking to write their stories. Heck, my own husband has occasionally thought it may be fun for me to write a book about his life experience selling cars. I told him to go find a ghostwriter LOL.





Is it just me, or anyone else here getting weird and annoying requests on a regular basis? Is there a sticker on my forehead that I’m not aware of?

Please Vote for P.S. I Forgive You, Nominated for Reader’s Choice Award

Vote for P.S. I Forgive You

Reader's Choice Awards Nomination for P.S. I Forgive You


I’m thrilled to share here that my book, P.S. I Forgive You has been accepted as one of the books for nomination at the TCK Reader’s Choice Awards 2017. I would be delighted if everyone reading this post would just click on the link below and once there, go to page 6, Memoir books and vote for my book. The voting is open until December 10th, so if you can remember, or see this posted numerous times everywhere I can (lol) please click on and vote before Dec. 10th. Soooooo appreciated!


And just so you don’t forget, I’m adding the vote reminder under every post from now through December 10th. Thanks in advance!


Please click on the link below to vote. *Note: I appreciate the feedback from some of you who went to vote and had some navigation problems to cast a vote, so just to help you navigate better – when you click the link and land on the page it takes you to, wait 2 seconds and a box will open asking you to vote. It is in that box that you click the right arrow to take you to the 6th page – memoir. Just scroll down til you get to my book and click on it. It won’t thank you, it won’t tell you you’ve voted, but after your vote you can test it by clicking it again where you’ll find it won’t allow you to vote again. Yes, I know so complicated for such a simple thing. Thanks for your patience and your votes! 🙂


Sunday Book Review – Emerging from Shadows by Balroop Singh – #Poetry

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Today’s Sunday Book Review is on Balroop Singh’s – Emerging from Shadows. In this book, Balroop takes us on a journey into ourselves. Balroop’s writing is deep and compassionate, and as all of her books and writing do, this one will help to awaken our senses, our feelings and help to uplift our inner spirits.

Emerging from Shadows by Balroop Singh

Get this Book on Amazon



From darkness into light, from despair onto the wider ways of hope…life oscillates between sunshine and shadows. Emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies dormant, which can be gently inspired by self-talk. Each poem in this book banks on the hope of emerging stronger, saner, positive and resilient. Each poem in this book would talk to you, revealing layers of enclosed emotions. Each poem would divulge a secret path that could lead you into the world of poise and serenity.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.


My 5 Star Review:

This is the second book I’ve read from Singh and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading inspirational poetry. Singh’s messages in her writing encompass self-worth, hurts, tribulations, and words of encouragement, reminding us we can overcome these by self-empowerment. All her messages finish with hope. Beautifully written with exquisite prose, this book was a delight to read and the passages are timeless, making it a book you can go back to for a bit of soul-searching when the need arises.