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Author Appreciation

As many of you may know, I have published four fiction novels and written some that haven’t been published. I have been a writer of poetry, magazine articles, short stories and even ehow articles online.

For any kind of writer, every word needs to audition for a part in our work and putting the right words together in a way that can both capture the reader and keep his interest is almost always an agonizing ritual of reading, editing, rereading and editing again in an attempt to ensure that we get our message across in the most interesting way possible.  Most writers will agree with me that it is the most torturous and blissful process that we do for our readers, especially given all of the competition out there.  These sentiments are our blood, sweat and tears, our heartache and happiness and, most of all, our souls spilled out into our literary pieces.  We give you all that we have, in fear of the criticism and rejection, continuously picking ourselves back up after a fall because of an unwavering passion that we can’t survive without.  We hope that, somewhere, someone can feel our words, be provided the escape that they need through our stories, hold onto its characters and, hopefully, let us know that they enjoyed reading it.

Though some authors may appear to find an easy road to success, most of us are simply people who squeeze in writing between full-time jobs, raising children and household chores, spilling out words at crazy hours and, sometimes, in crazy places.  You might see us writing on a napkin in a restaurant or on the back of a receipt while shopping because a good idea has just hit us.  Not all authors write for fame.  We do it because we are feeding a passion that we need to fulfill, but our goal is always the same, to have the public read and appreciate what we have put our everything into.  As a writer, we need you, the readers, for so many reasons, and the very best thing that you can give a writer is a review of their work on a public platform.  I always ask my readers to review my books on Amazon and other online outlets.  I’ve even given away books in exchange for reviews, honest reviews, even if they aren’t what I want to hear.  Every review makes an author better and helps us succeed.  You are imperative to a writer so, please, take a few minutes and review the authors that you like, even if it’s only a sentence.  You will be making an absolute difference in their careers and be part of their success.

Giving Thanks

As I sit here, at my desk, just days before Thanksgiving, I find myself eager for the delicious flavors of the holiday.  Turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and all of the other fixings, most of what I only savor this time of year, calls out my name.  It is a glorious day of guilt-free bliss with food, family and football, a day that many of us are relieved from our jobs to simply just enjoy.  We can stuff our bellies, catch a quick nap and still go back for more.

For parents who don’t have the privelage of seeing their adult children and grandchildren regularly, the Thanksgiving feast always seems to bring them home. It’s about family and being together, celebrating and giving to others but, most of all, it is about giving thanks.

We know that not everyone is able to share in our blessings.  There are still families missing their soldiers overseas, missing their loved ones who have died and even missing those who are lost because of drugs or disagreement.  There are the homeless, forced to survive the icy, tormenting nights on the unforgiving streets, where Thanksgiving has become just another day to get through.  Many are plagued with illness, bedridden and suffering, too weakened to partake with their families.

This, you see, is the true meaning of the holiday, giving thanks for our own blessings while also giving back a blessing to those who need it.  So many are in need of a hot meal or a blanket, a call from a loved one to say “I’m sorry” or just good wishes.  People in need often don’t require much and every small thing we can do helps.  This year, while I’m savoring all of the guilty pleasures of Thanksgiving with my own loved ones, I hope that, by passing my own blessings on to someone who needs it, I have made them smile and, perhaps, restored the meaning of the holiday in them.

 

New Book Coming!

All of you who know me know that I never stop writing.  Whether it’s a notebook and pen or my laptop, the words don’t stop so, with that, I am proud to announce that I am currently working on my newest fiction novel entitled “Cigars & Coffee”.

This is a story that has elements close to my heart and it is one that I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time.  It will tug on your heart strings and teach of genuine, unconditional love of family in the midst of its characters’ battles.

As the author of 4 fiction novels, I like to try my hand at different types of stories and this one is certainly new to me, but I like the way that it is coming together and I hope that my readers will, too.

I am looking to release “Cigars & Coffee” in the Winter of 2018!

Channillo!

I am proud to announce that I have joined the talented authors at Channillo as a series writer.  Thank you, Kara, for the invite!

There are so many interesting series’ on Channillo by such talented writers, and the website is driven by subscriptions, which benefits its authors.  Channillo is comprised of books, essays, poetry, blogs and other poetry that is submitted over a period of time, all of which the subscriber can read with a minimal monthly fee.  80% of the subscription actually goes to the writers, which is a contribution that I haven’t seen in any other venue so this is a wonderful way of supporting its talented authors.

Do I sound like a Channillo owner yet?  I don’t mean to and I’m not in any affiliated with its ownership, but I do think that it is a great website for readers and writer alike so, if you’re reading this, I invite you to take a few minutes and check it out.  You won’t be sorry.

Indivisible

“One nation, under God, indivisible…”  It is a part our great country’s oath, a respect of our flag and freedom that has stood the test of time for so many years, something that means so much to so many, our veterans and the freedom that they’ve fought for.  It speaks of a people united, undivided, so what has happened?  How did the standards of this country get so sorely compromised and neglected?

As a people, all who were created equally, we have divided ourselves by religion, political party and race, destroying ourselves and the ethics that our great country has been built on.  We have forced unnecessary laws because of our lack of respect for one another’s opinions, but those opinions shouldn’t have enough power to tear us apart as a nation.  We can still respect one another without agreeing with one another.  How can we complain about the instability of our country when it is us who has caused it?  We have hardened our hearts rather than loving, taken instead of giving and hated instead of understanding.  When did we become a people who steals from the broken, looting from the rubble of a place ravaged by tragedy?  How did we become a people killing our own, as if God isn’t watching?

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a crisis, like 9/11 or the floods in Houston, to remind us that we are one, and we need to help one another regardless of race, religion, political party or beliefs.  I wouldn’t want to be someone lying on the street, needing the blood or breath of another to survive, only to be denied because I am not like them.  We are equal.  We are all equal.  On 9/11, none of it mattered.  People were helping people and that was all that mattered.  On that day, we were truly united, as one, indivisible the way that it should be, so let us all remember and learn from that.  Let’s restore our hearts with the unconditional compassion that was given during such a tragic time.  No one was left behind because of his race or religion.  He was rescued, saved by another because he was human.  “One nation, under God, indivisible…”

 

The Scars Left Behind

There are many courageous men and women in this great country of ours who so selflessly devote their lives for our freedom, sacrificing their families and risking their lives for the sake of others, even the unappreciative.  For most of our soldiers, each day is lived on a prayer while they fight a battle that neither side truly wins amidst the death that war inflicts.  I often wonder what compels them to so readily volunteer for such agony, but I realize that it’s for the greater good, or so the veterans in my own family say.  Whatever each’s reason is, I thank him or her tremendously for it.

For so many of these soldiers, the scars of war cut much deeper than combat.  The massacres that they have witnessed, debilitating fear and unwavering strength and courage that they are forced to maintain have left wounds that are far more than just physical.  The war has followed them home as they struggle to cope with guilt, flashbacks and nightmares, always in defense mode and unable to trust even those closest to them.  Some must relearn life with prosthetics, wheelchairs  or even worse.  Their minds have been reprogrammed and they are different people than when they left.  Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very real and the real battle of war.  Though there is help for those who suffer, so much more needs to be done to prevent the depression and suicide that seems to go hand in hand with it.  Our veterans are crying out for help, their lives forever altered, and it’s the least that we can do to give back.

My novel, Bleeding Panther, is a testament to PTSD as told from a Marine’s wife, the story of how the devoted Adam Koehley returned from war a mentally wounded man and the effects that it had on his family.  It is a raw and uncensored glimpse into just one example of what our soldiers live with every single day.  God bless them all.

Socially Yours

Today I reached 600 followers on Twitter, just a drop in the bucket for many of you who have reached hundreds, even thousands of followers but, for me, still a huge accomplishment since I’m not one to reach out for them.  I have never met the majority of them but have, somehow, captured their interest to follow me and my small, insignificant tweets about my novels, my day or simply random quotes from other authors, and I enjoy following them, as well.  I don’t miss a day without checking in with my Twitter friends.

On Linked In, I have managed to connect with more than 2,300 truly incredible people who I also follow regularly.  Many of them are literary agents, other authors and even film and movie producers.  Some are already living my dream and I find myself eager to scroll through each day’s photos, memes and updates from them to follow their goals, hurdles and adventures.  I am inspired by them, the experiences they’ve had, the exotic places they’ve been, their successes in life and they manage to get me through the days that I just want to give up on my dream of being a full-time writer/author.  They show me that it is all still possible with faith and hard work.

Even Facebook and Instagram keep my curiosity and interest with the photos, memes and updates about the lives of my social media friends.  Even when life gets busy and we don’t seem to have the time to keep in touch with one another, we know that we can all just sign in and see how each’s lives are progressing.

Social media has become a great tool for socializing and networking, and it seems to lend us the bravery that we might not normally have to put our lives so nakedly out there to others, expressing our feelings and opinions, telling jokes and encouraging our connections.  It allows us to reconnect with those we haven’t seen since high school, hear how another’s week has been while learning about their triumphs and failures, their joy and their sadness.  It allows us the courage to speak to people that we might, otherwise, not talk to face to face and this is why we all love it so much.  For me, it has granted a platform for advertising my passion of writing, my novels.  It lends me a way of sort of “tooting my own horn” which, in daily conversations would seem like endless bragging.  A large part of being an author is selling oneself, but it is uncomfortable for someone like me to do that without feeling like I’m fluffing my ego.  That is never how I want to come across so how do I sell myself, my books, without doing that?  This is why social media is such a wonderful thing.  I’m old enough to remember not having the internet so I am eager to see what the future of social media will become.

 

 

Chocolate Fest & Book Faire

I am a participating author in this year’s Chocolate Fest and Book Faire in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  Come join in the weekend of festivities, including chocolate martinis and chocolate and wine pairing on Friday night, then the chocolate walk and book signings on Saturday.  I will be in front of the Shenandoah Hotel on North Queen from 10 to 4 and I look forward to seeing you all.  Happy reading!

 

Mother Condemned

As with Bleeding PantherMother Condemned will soon be available on ebook!  It can be found on Amazon, ibook and other online outlets.

Though I have always been a fan of printed books for the touch and smell of them (and probably the old school value, too), I do realize that the digital age calls for a convenient and less expensive way to read so, for that reason, I have acquiesced to your requests for ebook versions of my stories.

I hope that you will all enjoy them and, as always, happy reading!

Bleeding Panther

I am excited to announce that, finally, Bleeding Panther is coming out as an ebook!  Though I have always preferred my novels to be the old school printed versions, I do recognize that our society of readers, in majority, are leaning toward the convenience of ebooks, so this is something that I have wanted to do for some time now.

I hope you all enjoy and, as always, happy reading!