Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to attract more clicks to your blog posts

Okay, I have to admit I was clearing my inbox and ran across this topic.  I won’t say who posted this, but I disagree with what this gal is trying to say.  I really think the way to get more blog clicks is simple, but takes commitment from you.

First, you must link all of your sites together.  I’m talking about your blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media site you’re on where you can do this.  You need to go in and set the settings so what you post to your blog will automatically posted to FB and Twitter and your Amazon page and who knows what else (this depends on the individual person).

Of course, you can figure out that this step alleviates the need for you to post your latest post to your social media sites.  It’s all done in one-step.

After this is set up, you can still post to FB and Twitter, if you have something to say that is unrelated to your latest blog post.

Next, when the A to Z Challenge rolls around each April, you need to PARTAKE in this event.  You can post about anything you desire, but the hard part is posting everyday in April (Sundays excluded).  YES, you can write your posts ahead of time and they can be short.

After you sign up for this, it’s your job to visit and comment on five blogs a day.  This may sound like a pain, but it’s FUN and you’ll meet many people out there you never knew existed and strike up a camaraderie with some of them.  They’ll visit your blog and, if they like what they read, they’ll be back to read more of your posts.

It’s so simple, and really this takes minimal work on your part.

Remember, you’ll have to disable the CAPTCHA on you blog before this challenge, if you still have it enabled.  I do have a post about how to do that if you have a blogger blog.  You can find that here

That’s all there is to it really.  Keep up the reading and commenting throughout the year and you’ll discover lifelong friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Okay, before I start in, I must thank Vashti for her latest blog on what authors are supposed to look like in the imagination of others.  You can find this excellent post here: Vashti Quiroz-Vega. 

On her post, she listed some authors to check out (author pictures versus the genres they write).  It was in this exploration of these people that I have never heard of that I got interested in a post on the blog by Mehitobel Wilson.  Cool name, huh?  Vashti is a cool name too.  I always like the unusual.

I scrolled down Mehitobel’s blog to read a blurb of a few posts.  Then the phrase “fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school” caught my eye.  This set me to thinking about that, knowing the way I was in high school.  I decided I could make up the ideal fictional character I would have loved to run across back then.

I wonder if I should dare go on, as I was somewhat of a wild teenager, but I guess we all are at times or maybe in our inner soul.  Maybe we never act on the desires because we lack the courage to go forward and explore.  The teen years are hard when we try to find ourselves and many times this doesn’t happen until later, not in high school.  High school is for experimenting and tasting the future of our adult selves.

As many of you know, if you read my other blog, I grew up on a farm and was never in contact with anyone except my siblings until I started school.  Things didn’t really get exciting until I reached my teen years and started dating.  I had a rebellious side back then, and I guess it still resides in the shadows today if I want to be honest with myself.

In my junior and senior years in high school, I used to hang out with some questionable characters.  Of course, things were never questionable enough for me.  I wanted to do something wild.  I think this notion springs from my isolation while growing up.  I was up for almost anything someone suggested.  I wanted to experience life, probably feeling deep down that I missed a lot on the farm.  I eventually took up with some guys who rode motorcycles and am still friends with some of them today.

My rebellious streak included everything that was against school rules.  I made it a priority to break those rules as often as I could.  I wore my skirts too short, causing myself a trip to the principal’s office many times.  I would wear my shirttails out when the policy was to tuck them in.  The shirts had long tails, so my skirts disappeared underneath their hemlines.  I would pack a different outfit for school and change after I left the house, as my mother would never let us out of the house the way we wanted to dress.  My accomplice was one of my sisters, although I was more daring than she was.  But having an accomplice helped out in many ways.  We often skipped school together or missed the bus because we were too busy fussing with our makeup, hair and outfits.  We never ratted on each other because were in it together.

But back to the perfect man, he would be a surfer dude with a tan and long hair.  His daring nature and great smile would pull me in, not to mention his sleek body.  He would be my best friend, and an artist like me, we would talk for hours and dance to rock and roll music and share a joint or glasses of wine.  He would be passionate about the causes of the day because I was.  We would wile away the hours at a protest, if necessary, and hitchhike our way to Woodstock.  Perhaps from there we’d go to San Francisco and stay a while.  I loved that city back then and it was my dream to live in the Haight-Ashbury district.  Of course, some dreams stay dreams.  Maybe it’s better that way.

I never found his kind of guy, only people who were close.  And I never made it to San Francisco either until in my later years.  But I had plenty of adventures as a teen and lived to tell about it, not that I would share any of that.  Sometimes I think the fact that I survived the teens in the 60’s and 70’s is enough.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I learned something new today

The next step is to get rid of the white background.

I’m always ecstatic when I learn something new.  I love learning things.  Today, instead of packing things etc, and working on my yet unfinished garage, I decided to play instead.  I should have been working on the goal of moving out of here, or the edits of my mystery novel, but I decided to play instead.  I had to do something artistic because all my pent up artistic energy was about to explode waiting to get out.

I stumbled across a blog that I’ll be following because I love what this guy has to say, along with all of his how-to videos.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to make my book covers in 3D and I learned how today.  I knew it was possible with Photoshop.  I just didn’t know how to do it.  Yippee!  I’m very excited about it.  I feel a great accomplishment every time I learn something I didn’t know how to do.  What’s wrong with me?  I don’t know, but I’ve always been this way, so it wasn’t a wasted day at all in my mind.

If anyone is interested here is Rob Cubbon’s blog.  There’s tons of this kind of info on there.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let’s go out and raise some silliness somewhere.

Photo from Wikipedia
Robin Williams
7-21-1951 - 8-11-2014

I’m sure that’s what Robin Williams would have wanted.  Today the world has lost a great actor, a man that could be spontaneous and make us all laugh.

Robin Williams died far too young and apparently, by his own hand, which is so sad to contemplate.  It’s hard to realize that someone so funny on the outside could be so sad and troubled on the inside.  When you’re famous and live a life in the spotlight, the world can’t help but know all your troubles with addiction and depression.  I’m sure it must get old to have your private life broadcast all over the news.  Mr. Williams sought help for those troubles, but help wasn’t enough in this case.

I’ve been watching Robin Williams since Mork and Mindy was on TV in the 1970’s.  He made some unforgettable movies in his long career, showing he could be silly, as well as serious.

I heard his mentor was Jonathan Winters and they could ad-lib for hours over some inanimate object one of them may see in the room. Robin had a great gift that way, being so impulsive, always with a silly quip on the end of his tongue.  People like this are rare.  It appears he lived to make people laugh, making me wonder if he acted the same behind closed doors.  I suspect not and that his life was probably somber, as he tried to get a handle on his problems.  But once stepping out into the public eye, he got into character.

We never know what inside battles a person may be fighting.  I’m sure he had many friends, probably plenty of money and a loving family.  I can’t fathom what would make someone who seems on top of the world actually commit the act of suicide.  Depression is an awful thing that affects thousands of people across the globe.  Unfortunately, no one can put a monitor on a grown person twenty-four-seven.  If they’re hurting so bad, they’ll find a way to end their life when all seems lost.  My heart goes out to his family.

Maybe he’s reunited with Jonathan now and they’re making people laugh somewhere in the great beyond.

We should all watch one of his movies and delight in his great talent.  There are so many scenes that make me laugh, but I think Mrs. Doubtfire was one of his best films to date.  I’ve heard he’s filmed four more that will premiere soon.  What’s your favorite funny moment?

If you’d like to know more, see Wikipedia here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fantastic New TV Series

From the TV show Premiere

Did anyone have a chance to catch the premiere of the new TV series created from the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldan last night?  It premiered on the Starz network.  I don’t have Starz in my Dish TV package, so it took some sleuthing on my part to find out how I could watch it free.

As you all know, Google is one of my best friends.  It seems like I’m on there several times every day.  After reading and waltzing all over the place, I finally had it set and was able to watch the show around 10 PM.

I’m such a fan of the books that I didn’t want to miss it, if there was any way not to.  It was fantastic and as I remember the start of the story from the first book that I read a few years ago.  I can hardly wait for the next episode.  My little sister, who has also read the books, had to agree it’s like the novels so far.

If you’re a Diana Gabaldan fan, or love time travel stories, you might want to tune in to this on Saturday nights.  I have no idea if the TV series will span the whole series of books yet or not, but if ratings are good I imagine they will.  That means this show will be on for years to come if they take the normal break most TV shows take between seasons.  This series is eight books long so far.  These books aren’t wimpy either at almost one thousand pages each.

Here’s the link if you don’t have Starz on your network.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this show.