Sunday, September 23, 2018

I Love My Gramps An #ALS Fundraiser @BonnieEdwards #GemsinAttic


My lovely cousin married a wonderful man many years ago. I first met Neil when I was only eighteen and visiting the newlyweds. They’d moved all the way from Ontario Canada to a large, beautiful island on the West Coast. We had a fun-filled family time and I’ll never forget his happy grin and warm welcome.

Years past and eventually, I too moved to the same island off the coast.  We brought our children and at our “Welcome to the Island” dinner, Neil quipped that I didn’t need to take photos, ( I was snapping them like a crazed tourist) because “you live here now.” I wasn’t just visiting like the previous time. Neil was slyly funny and you had to pay attention to get his humour.
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Fast forward to our daughter’s wedding. All the cousins attended, along with their mother, (my favourite Auntie). Neil’s PLS (Primary Lateral Sclerosis) had been slowly changing his speech; he was less steady when he walked, but his humour still shone and we had a wonderful family time. Shortly after, Neil learned that his condition had changed to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

It’s a devastating diagnosis and for the record, his is the second death from ALS of a person I know. I believe it’s far more common than we think. Maybe it isn’t one of the Big Three: Cancer, Heart or Diabetes…but it’s common enough that I’m willing to bet most people know someone or a relative of someone with ALS.

Neil’s daughter, one of the many I call “My Young Cousins” wrote this book to help her children and others understand what was happening to their Gramps. The picture that made me tear up was the one that shows Neil’s guitar on its stand, cobwebs clinging like reminders of what had once been.

Profits from this book are going to The ALS Society of BC.

Maybe you have someone with children who need help to understand this dreadful thief, this disease that steals loved ones away.  I hope that this book will help.

And Neil, thanks for the memories, the love, the laughter, and the music.

About the Author: Deana is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, and teacher to a room full of active kindergarten students. She has always enjoyed reading and writing, and wanted to find a way to help her children – and others – who are living with the challenges of ALS, find a way to make sense of what’s going on. The creation of this book has been a long journey, but good things are worth waiting for, right Dad?

About the Illustrator: Shannon Budau is an artist by hobby. She met Deana at their church three years ago. Shannon teaches piano professionally and both of Deana’s girls are students of hers. So grateful for his opportunity, Shannon wishes the very best for Deana and her family. She knows this book will do a wonderful job of teaching kids about ALS.

For more information about ALS please go to https://www.als.ca/ or in the US: http://www.alsa.org/



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cover Reveal for Diamond at Heart @BonnieEdwards #gemsinattic

To Pre-Order for your Kindle
Coming October 2: Diamond at Heart Book 2 in my Diamond Series.

Okay, before I say one more thing: isn't this cover gorgeous?
Someone’s watching her…

…and Tawny James is sick of it.  The only person who’ll believe and help her is her ex-boss, the last man on earth she wants to see again. She’d walked out on the most fun job she’d ever had because in a fit of jealousy she’d revealed her embarrassing, secret, crush.

Private security consultant Stack Hamilton gets the call he’s wanted for months from ex-employee Tawny James. But it isn’t the “sorry I ran out on you” call he’s hoped for. Instead, the beauty who hides her assets under the ugliest clothes he’s ever seen is scared and needs his help. There’s nothing Stack won’t do for the woman he misses. Every. Single. Day.

They soon discover that Tawny’s current problem is connected to a mob murder from the past. Obsession and possessive violence can ruin generations of women and the James family has had more than its share.

Tawny is determined not to make the same mistakes her mother and grandmother made.

If she can keep her hands off Stack Hamilton she might get through this stalking episode with her heart intact.

Stack will do anything to keep Tawny safe. Everything but let her go again.


A much shorter version of this book was previously released as To Die For in the Breathless collection. 

Diamond at Heart has a little suspense, a lot of steam and one sexy hero! Stack got his name when he played college football because he "stacked 'em up." I have never explained his name before...but I knew it was right the moment I thought of it.

And Tawny...Tawny's spent her life hiding herself. With her family's history with men, it's no wonder she wants to be wanted for more than what's under her ugly clothes.

But there are secrets to be exposed...and she and Stack must learn them all...

I had real fun writing and then rewriting this book. It's about 12,000 words longer than the original and it felt great to stretch and roll and play with the emotions in the story.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Finding Your Writing Groove


With the end of summer and everyone returning to a more normal schedule, you’d think there would be more time to write. Not necessarily so when you consider school prep, after-school activities, errands that still require running. And, for the writer who works outside the home office, it can be even more hectic. As pesky as those family members were to have around all summer, fitting writing into a busy fall schedule can be just as daunting.

Here are few simple suggestions that can apply both to the writer and to the busy, working mom.


Make Lists. Whether it’s first thing in the morning before anyone else is out of bed or last thing the night before, prepare a list of the things you need to do the next day. Whether work related or writing related, a list of tasks gives you a starting point for everything you need to accomplish within a given time period. Keeping yourself organized is key to finding the time to write. As well, there’s an added benefit in the satisfaction of ticking something off the list once it’s completed. Accomplishing even a few small tasks can keep you motivated to move onto the next.

Celebrate those Small Achievements. Set smaller, more easily attainable goals that can be completed throughout the day. Then, once that goal is attained, reward yourself. Maybe with nothing more than an extra cup of coffee, a short walk, a few minutes to read. Just be careful to balance the celebrating with the actual work.

Stick to the Easy Stuff. A long list of tasks can be overwhelming. Unless there are specific time requirements, begin with the smaller tasks first. Clearing off half the list will not only encourage further completion, but also will help prepare you for the bigger tasks that still lie ahead.

Mix Things Up. Don’t follow the same routine every day. Boredom is a killer of accomplishment. If your usual routine calls for writing in the morning and errands in the afternoon, change it up. Reverse the order. Run those errands and then return to your computer with yet another task removed from the dreaded list. Mix up your writing habits as well. If there’s a task you ordinarily put off, e.g., the dreaded blurb, do that first. The rest will seem easy.

Group Work. Whether it’s a writing critique group, or the assistance of your family, don’t get stuck in the rut of thinking you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help if necessary. When the task of making the evening meal comes up, don’t assume you have to do all the cooking. One of the things I enjoy most is cooking and yet I welcome the help of others even if it’s something as simple as prepping a salad. It’s the same with writing. Brainstorming with others can lift the burden of a difficult scene and cut your writing time in half.

Evening Recap. It’s always nice to sit back with an evening cup of tea, put your feet up and review those lists. Rejoice in what you accomplished, reconfigure what didn’t work out so well. Gear down. Don’t go to bed thinking about the chapter you didn’t finish or the blurb you didn’t write. Or the load of laundry that’s still sitting in the hamper. Instead, occupy your mind with something that will relax you. Play a word game, read a few chapters of someone else’s book, watch something totally frivolous on television.

Sometimes the best way to improve productivity is to think less about being productive.
~ ~ ~
It’s time for me to check “blog column” off my list and get back to my current work-in-progress. For those of you who might be looking for a quick read for that gear-down time, may I recommend...


Cold Creek, Colorado Territory
July, 1856

Katy Anderson has experienced more heartache than most know in a lifetime. Given to a man old enough to be her father, she has spent the past six years secluded from everyone except for her three young children. Her husband's untimely death brings relief that ... finally ... she and her children are free.

When Sheriff Mitch Logan arrives at the Anderson homestead, he is moved by her sad circumstances and vows to right the wrongs done to Katy. Mitch has always shied away from marriage due to his dangerous profession, yet he quickly changes his mind when Katy comes into his life, and into his heart.

Despite her best intentions to keep the handsome sheriff at arm's length, Katy can't help but admire his honesty, and his kindness. All too quickly, she finds her resolve weakening as Mitch convinces her to trust again.


Just 99¢ on Amazon!

~ ~ ~
Until next month, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well read! Oh...and stay organized!
Nancy


Friday, September 14, 2018

Two stories in one book for more reading fun by Jan Scarbrough


When you are your own self-publisher, you can do marvelous things that a bigger organization wouldn’t do—like combining two short novels into one book.

That’s what I did with two books in my Bluegrass Reunion Series. You can purchase Kentucky Bride and Kentucky Heat now in one file. Here’s the universal buy link.

In the book, two brothers find the girls of their dreams and along the way learn a little about themselves.

KENTUCKY BRIDE
Champion equestrienne Aimee Elliott is tired of being Daddy’s pampered only child. Working as a horse trainer at an American Saddlebred farm in Kentucky feeds her need for independence, even if it’s scary to see if she can make it on her own without her father’s millions. But Aimee never expected a past sweetheart to turn up again, especially after she’d rejected him all those years ago.

CEO of a heavy equipment company, Camden Brennan is out to prove his worth to his adopted father. He just needs to get the contract with construction company owner Ray Elliott, but the man is too preoccupied with his wayward daughter to think about business. If Cam can capture the heart of Ray’s daughter, he’ll not only land the biggest deal of his life, and he might be able to exact revenge on the only woman who ever dumped him. Aimee Elliott holds the key to everything. Does she also still hold the key to his heart?

Aimee’s determined to marry for love, but how will she ever know which a man loves more: her or her daddy’s money? And how far is Cam willing to go for his business? Can he turn a skittish Kentucky horse trainer into his Kentucky bride?

KENTUCKY HEAT
Playboy Hank Brennan has lived too long in the shadow of his superhero stepbrother. Why keep trying to please his critical father when his stepbrother’s running the family business so well? Hank may be a talented painter, but even his mother’s small trust fund isn’t enough to keep him from being a starving artist, living in his father’s pool house in Louisville, Kentucky. Where better to drown his self-pity than a country bar? And who better to understand his pain than a woman with an angelic voice, crooning the sorrowful, blue tunes of another time?

By day, Raylynn Walker trains horses. By night, she sings in a country bar, channeling her inner Patsy Cline, finding healing for her own wounded spirit. The last thing she needs is to try to fix some poor lost soul, acting like a jerk and wallowing in his sorrows. But there’s no denying the man is a talented artist. And tempting. Is she crazy to think she can convince Hank he’s more than just his daddy’s name and fortune, without getting tangled up in his alluring Kentucky heat?


Thursday, September 13, 2018


Judging A Book by its Cover @kathleenlawless
#gemsintheattic

I started doing some preliminary research for book covers for a new series I’m working on.  Researching designers, that is.  I’m certain I’m not the only author who has had a disappointing cover experience – HATED IT- back in the old days when the publisher created the cover and the author was stuck with it. 

In the brave new Indie world we are publishers as well as writers, so we have the control.  And the responsibility.  While it’s a well-known fact that a bad cover can absolutely kill a perfectly good book, an intriguing cover can catch the eye of many a new (to us) reader, something we all aim for.

I was at a workshop recently with the wonderful Shannon Mayer where she showed us a series of covers for the same book, telling us what worked, what didn’t, and why.  It was both fascinating and overwhelming.  Apparently the cover scene need not reflect a particular scene from the book, but must reflect the experience the reader is in store for when she opens the book.  Plus the cover must look good when shrunk down to a thumbnail.  Many do not.  Yikes! 

Further complicating things, design work and pricing is as variable as the weather.  So what lies ahead?  Lots more research.  And here I thought writing a book was hard!

Below are two entirely different cover styles for two different western historical romances.  Both have about the same number and ratings of reviews.  I can’t say one has sold significant numbers over the other.   So much for that experiment.


As a reader, what do you look for in a cover?  Any cover content that puts you off?  Does color count or is sepia okay?  How much does font size and style matter?  These are only a few questions that every writer wrestles with besides, of course, how to write the absolutely best book he/she can.

Don’t forget to sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter to receive a free download of THE PLEASURE CLUB.    www.kathleenlawless.com







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