Posted in promotion

Promotion: The Step all Authors Struggle With

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m here today to talk about promotion. I know all my author friends are cringing right now. It’s one of the toughest parts of the job especially for newbie authors.

There is no tried and true method for marketing, I’m sad to say. What works for one author may not work for another. There are many tools out there for authors to use, Social Media, Blog Tours, Bargain Book Sites, and Online Radio Interviews.

What I’ve found is Social Media is a great way to communicate with your friends and followers. I’ve sold books this way, but if you talk about your books, too much it can be a turn off. When I think of Facebook and Twitter, I think of sharing of information. I have many author friends that I chat with and we share marketing tips and other helpful information.

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***This photo is courtesy of Flickr and https://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

I’ve also participated in Blog Tours. They’re a great way to get out in front of your audience, but they don’t usually net many sales. So why do them at all? Well, first, they offer exposure of your books and they offer reviews. I don’t know about you, but I find reviews are hard to come by and blog tours are an excellent way to get reviews from someone other than your mom. 🙂

Here are a couple of blog tours  I’ve used:

YA Bound: http://yabound.blogspot.com/

Goddess Fish Promotions: http://www.goddessfish.com/

There are also Bargain Book Sites. The purpose of these sites is to sell a large quantity of books to their followers. Therefore, you’ll want a site that has a history of success. Not all of them do, so this is where communication with other authors comes in handy. Check with your author friends to see what kind of success they’ve had. Some new sites will offer their service free. Take them up on it.  They may be trying to build a following, so you might not have a lot of success, but you might. It doesn’t cost you anything so it’s worth a try. The one site I’ve had great success with is http://ereadernewstoday.com/

The last but certainly not least way to get exposure for your work is by Online Radio Shows. This is a way to reach a larger audience fast. Again, I’m looking for exposure and getting my name out there. I’m working with The Author Show and my interview will be available for everyone to hear tomorrow.

I’m excited about this because they have a large following. I was a little nervous at first, because I hadn’t been interviewed in a long time. I worked with Linda and she eased my anxiety, she was so open and friendly. They do the interview and air it for one day free. They have social media sites they post on and they allow you to share the interview on all your social media sites. So you’re getting in front of a larger audience. Did I tell you they edit the interview too? So all those Umms…and Ahhhs… are deleted.  Again, they do this free. Here’s the link if you’re interested in listening to my interview, or if you’d like to contact them and set up an interview for yourself. Check it out! http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.html

We’re talking about the third book in the Starlight Chronicles Series. It’s titled “Starlight” and the cover and blurb are below.

LarkSinger 500x750Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer and her band Starlight have entered a competition that could launch their musical career if they win. However, Lark soon discovers that her nemesis, Duane McIntyre has also entered making her desire to win stronger than ever. How far will Lark go to win and what will it cost her in the end?

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any marketing tips you’d like to share, please do! We’d love to read them!

Posted in Entertainment, Reading

My Top Ten Books I’ve Read this Year

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects. Books! While I was recovering from chemo, I rediscovered my love of reading. I had been working so hard on the “Starlight Chronicles”  (Check out the first book here http://www.lisaorchard.com/gideon-lee.html ) before I was diagnosed that I hadn’t done much reading.

Reading took my mind off my illness and it eased my anxiety. So,  I wanted to share with you the top ten books that I read over the last few months. This is in no particular order by the way. 🙂

Everything I Never Told You

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Sharp Objects

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

The Husband’s Secret

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

Big Little Lies

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

The Nightingale

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

All the Light We Cannot See

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

What Alice Forgot

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

Nineteen Minutes

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

Handle with Care

Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don’t want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they’d been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of “luckier” parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it’s all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She’s smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow’s illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she’s become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

I would recommend any of these books if you’re looking for a story to get lost in. All of them were wonderful!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my list. If you have a favorite book you’ve read, leave the title in a comment. I’m always looking for a good book to read!

Posted in Uncategorized

Check out Iris Blobel and her Re-Release!

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“It’s not the money that makes you rich. It’s the knowledge

that the other person loves you and is always there for you, no

matter what. That makes you content and, therefore, rich.”

 

Journey to Her Dreams

by Iris Blobel

I’m excited to tell you all about the re-release of JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS,

which I suppose was the start of my journey to my dreams as well.

Honestly, yes I was nervous going back re-visiting the story, nervous about the editing process for the new edition.  I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt and how much I’ve -hopefully- grown as a writer.

JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS has enjoyed another full edit and an awesome new cover.

I hope you’ll give Hollie and Sam’s story a chance.

THANK YOU

♥♦♥  ~  OUT NOW  ~  ♥♦♥ 

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AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1UbJqZ8

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1LUz251

AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1JVfTeM

♥♦♥  SYNOPSIS ♥♦♥ 

Would you travel around the world to uncover the reason for your dreams?

Hollie Anderson does.

A young woman from Tasmania who lives on a farm just outside Launceston, she has got good looks, likes her job and loves to hang out with her friends. She should be happy, right?

But it’s a recurrent dream that throws her daily life into chaos and takes her on a journey to Ireland. While on her quest for answers she meets Sam in Dublin under unusual circumstances and both women, so different in many ways, find out they have one thing in common – and it changes their lives forever.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

Posted in Uncategorized

Chemo Update Number Seven

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you.  I’m back today with another chemo update. This one is late in coming because of the holidays and the emotional issues that go along with chemo.

I was prepared for the physical side effects, but sad to say the emotional ones have blindsided me. I wasn’t prepared for the anxiety and depression that seems to go along with treatment.

The anxiety hit me like a runaway freight train. One day I was fine, the next day I started worrying about everything. Even little everyday things seemed to cause an inordinate amount of stress for me. Couple that with the stress of raising two little boys and there are some days I’m wired tighter than a piano string.

I was able to get some anti-anxiety medication and it seems to help, but I still feel anxious sometimes and it makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide out until this process is over.

Of course, I still have some physical symptoms like the nausea, but that’s not as bad as it was in the beginning, which does help. The newest side effect is the numbness in my hands and feet. This is scary for me, because it generally goes away when you finish chemo, but it can be permanent. So of course, this causes me some anxiety as well, but there’s really nothing I can do about it except pray that it’s not permanent.

However, it does help to write about all of this, it eases some of the anxiety, and hearing from all of you helps. Your kind words and prayers make me feel less alone in this battle.

I also have a wonderful support system. My hubby who has picked up a lot of the slack even though he has encountered some health issues of his own. My family and my husband’s family as well as colleagues from work have all stepped forward and made offers of assistance.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has assisted me at this time in my life. I’ve been blessed by not only strong family members and colleagues, but by authors, editors, and publishers as well. Thank you so much for your support and prayers they mean a lot to me. Thank you. I am truly blessed.

Posted in Health, Personal, Teen

Dreams are important to Our Mental Health

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to talk about focusing on your dreams. In my opinion, dreams are important to your mental health.

Why, because our goals and aspirations are what get us out of bed in the morning. Your goals can be small or big, but if you have a huge goal, you might want to break it up into a bunch of smaller goals to make it more manageable.

Achieving our dreams provides us that motivation we need to keep doing those small mundane tasks that are boring. However, if we have our goal in sight, we can grit our teeth and get through them.

This is an important part of the process, because every dream has those moments of perfecting our technique. For example, let us say you want to be a professional basketball player. Well, in order to do that you have to be good at making baskets. So what are you going to do? You’re going to perfect your shot. And not just one shot either, you’re going to perfect your jump shot, your layup, your hook, and your free throw shot, just to name a few.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the basket, just shooting the ball. If you have your goal in sight, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. You’ll grit your teeth and get through it because it’s important to achieving your goal. You’ll look forward to it.

In addition, the thing you’ll have to remember is, even professional athletes still spend a lot of time practicing their plays and perfecting their shots even after they’ve reached professional status. Because once your there, you have to keep your edge.

Another thing about goals is this, when you’re going through a particular trying time in your life, for example, like me having to do chemo. I have to for my health. However, I’m able to focus on my writing, not as much as I did before, but enough that I feel I’m moving forward with it. So staying focused on my goals is actually helping me get through this period. It helps me to make sure I’m doing what the doctor says because I want to write. I don’t want to spend my time dealing with the side effects.

So if I manage my side effects, I get to work on my next book, or on editing the ones that are coming out soon. My writing goals help me to manage my side effects so that I can work on them. And that’s good for my mental health too. I won’t be slipping into a depression because my side effects have gotten the best of me.

So there you have it. Goals are important for our mental health.

On a side note, I’ve received some awesome news! My next book “Gideon Lee” will be releasing soon! Yay!

It’s the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and once I receive my galleys, it will be set up for preorder. So crossing my fingers that all goes well and I can tell you the release date very soon!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you’d like to leave a comment on why goals are important to you, please do. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Second Round of Chemo

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with the second round of chemo under my belt. I was a little anxious because I’ve been told that the side effects grow worse each time you have a treatment.

I spoke with the nurse about this and she told me that the only side effect that gets worse is the fatigue. Well, fatigue I can handle, it’s the nausea that gets to me and since there’s the wonderful anti-nausea medication, I feel like I’m good to go.

Since I’ve had one treatment, I know what to expect. For example, in my concoction of chemo drugs there’s a steroid that makes sleeping difficult. Now that I know this, I’ve been able to prepare for that and take something that’ll help me sleep.

The biggest difference between the first and second chemo is the loss of hair. I was hoping that I could bypass this side effect somehow, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I started noticing my hair coming out in tiny clumps when I was in the shower a day before my second treatment.

After my second treatment, it came out in huge clumps. When I brushed it, there were even bigger clumps stuck in my brush. I’m not bald yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I expected it and prepared for it, but it’s not a happy moment to say the least.

There are some positive effects to this event in my life. I know what you’re thinking, how can this be? Well, first and foremost I’ll have my life back in just four months.  According to my oncologist, I’ll be cured. The cancer won’t come back. That’s a big positive in my book.

However, there’s more to it than that. It’s brought my family closer. Hubby and the boys are more attentive and we appreciate each other’s company more than we did before. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a tenderness there that wasn’t present before.

I also have a  lot of support. I have a long line of strong women in my family, both on my mom and dad’s side. So it’s nice to have these women rally around me and offer their support.

Speaking of support, I have to mention my friend from Gilda’s club. Her name is Ginger, and she has been a constant source of positive energy for me. She calmed my nerves when I found out I had to have chemo. She took the same drugs that I’m taking and she was very helpful because she shared her reaction to them. It really set my mind at ease.

Posted in reviews

My Thoughts on “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

Hello everyone, I’m back today with another book review. I had the opportunity to read “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. The blurb and the cover are below.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer

My Thoughts:

This story was well-written and very dark, which you’d probably discern from the title. 🙂 However, it was darker than I expected so if you don’t like that type of book, then you won’t like this one. It was an incredibly sad story.

The main character is Libby who, like all the children, suffers from the side effects of parents with a bad marriage. They finally divorce and Libby’s mother is unable to run the farm and raise four children. She neglects the children and can’t provide for them and neither can their father.

This family is like a covered pot that’s about to boil over. Big brother Ben falls in with the wrong crowd and takes up with a mentally unstable girl. This is when things spiral out of control. She ends up pregnant and literally ruins Ben’s life.

She doesn’t want her father to find out she’s pregnant and when Ben and Libby’s sister, Michelle, learns of the pregnancy, she threatens to tell everyone else in the family.

I won’t go into more detail than that because I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but even though this is a tragic story, it does have a happy ending.

So if you don’t mind a major dose of darkness in your reading this is a book for you. If you do mind the darkness, you’ll probably want to skip this one. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book or have a book recommendation for me, if you do, leave a comment. I’d love to read it! J