If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love to read and I am never without a book. Recently, I discovered a cool weekly meme thanks to Cathy Ryan at Between the Lines a blog I’ve started following. She did a post about Friday Book Share, an idea started by Shelley Wilson.
With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share game to help search for that ideal read.
Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)
First line of the book.
Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.
Introduce the main character using only three words.
Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).
Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)
Your favorite line/scene.
I just finished reading IN THE WOODS by Tana French.
First Line of Book:
Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.
(I should probably mention this is from the prologue, and the book is not set in the 1950s. I’m going to cheat and give you the first line of chapter one as well which is):
What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective.
Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.
Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.
Introduce the main character using only three words.
Detective Rob Ryan—Conflicted, brilliant, liar
Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).
Audience appeal. Who would enjoy reading this book?
Anyone who enjoys mysteries, murder mysteries, crime fiction and./or psychological thrillers. This one has it all.
Your favorite line/scene.
Honestly, the writing in this is off the charts, so it’s hard to pick something, but this scene stands out for me:
There is something oddly comforting in the memory, even though it carries its own inexorable undercurrent of grief. I suppose that day was, though it still comes hard to acknowledge this, the pinnacle of my career.
Why not plan on joining in the Friday Book Share next week, What are you reading?
Wow! I still can’t believe the amount of guests who dropped by to share in my day during Rave Reviews Book Club 2016 Book and Blog Party! Traffic was off the charts, I sold books, and got to hear from many wonderful people. I made new friends, followed new blogs, and was reminded again just how supportive the members of RRBC are to each other. What a lovely day!
I’m pleased to announce that Beth Hale is the winner of my $15.00 giveaway. Beth chose an Amazon gift card and I’ve already sent off her prize. I’m a Kindle girl too, and I know the giddiness I always feel when someone sends me a gift card to the ‘Zon. Books, oh, glorious, books!🙂
Something else to keep in mind…the RRBC Book Club and Blog Party continues all month long with daily stops. Some days have more than one stop, and each is offering prizes, books and fun, so follow along. There are grand prizes to be awarded at the end of the tour as well. What a great opportunity to discover new blogs and authors, have fun, and pick up some books. Check each day for the tour list here.
Speaking of books, I had to share my recent haul from Saturday. My local library has a two week public book sale that is held by a group known as “Friends of the Library.” For some reason I never made it there in the past, but this year I decided to attend on opening day/opening hour. Talk about crowds! It was overwhelming but so much fun! I was delighted to see all the people in attendance from seniors, to families, to mothers with children, teens with friends, couples—what a cross-section of readers. I had to park a fair distance away on the street, because the parking lot was overflowing (and this was when the doors opened)!
There were all kinds of tables broken down by genre and/or category. No matter what type of book you were looking for, they had something for everyone. Classics, mysteries, text books, foreign language, science-fiction, cooking, gardening, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, religion, crafts, biographies, historical—truly endless. I didn’t get to all the tables I wanted to visit, but I managed to come away with a treasure trove of mysteries and thrillers. Take a look at my loot:
That’s nine paperbacks, several trade size, for a total of $12.00. I was super excited to find THE BEGGAR KING, which is a Hangman’s Daughter novel. I’ve read the first two books in the series, and have been looking forward to catching up with the rest. I already have a ton of books on my Kindle and my TBR, but I just can’t stop myself from buying more. I’m already planning on stopping after work on my way home to visit the tables I missed on Saturday. I’ve already surpassed the reading goal I set this year (50 books) so I might as well add more to my monumental TBR.
Reading is the way I unwind each night, and during the summer (pool season), I also spend a lot of time with paperbacks in the water. How about you? Is your TBR overwhelming? Do you continue to buy more books despite not having enough time to read? Would you be lost without your Kindle or a paperback in your hand?
Summer has always been a prime reading time for me. Poolside, beach, or even just lounging around the house or under a shade tree, I love to escape into a good book. If you do too, you won’t want to miss this incredible Christmas in July ebook sale. With close to 90 books, all of them FREE OR PRICED AT .99 CENTS, you can’t go wrong.
Each book is themed around Christmas in some respect, providing plenty of holiday happenings and mistletoe magic right in the middle of your summer🙂
Author Stacy Claflin went above and beyond organizing this fun, festive event, and I’m delighted to be included. Use this link to browse the available titles listed on Staci’s website, and load up your Kindle during the sale period of July 15th thru July 17th.
As one of the participating authors, I’m offering my Christmas/holiday novella FOOD FOR POE as a free download during the event. Poe has paranormal elements woven within, even a slight splash of horror, but it’s mainly a warmhearted tale about love, family and miracles.
When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.
Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.
Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.
Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble
And please do remember to grab your free copy of FOOD FOR POE from Amazon
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Merry Christmas in July!
I just came off a long weekend (happy belated Fourth of July to my U.S. readers) that wasn’t extremely productive. I spent a good portion of it goofing off, swimming, hanging with family and doing things around the house. Summer in general tends to be less productive for me when it comes to writing, though I do a lot spend a good portion of it reading, plotting and writing notes for my WIPS.
Case in point: I have notebooks I devote to each of my WIPS. They’ve been through the “war zone” of exposure to the sun and pool, constant handling and travel. The notebooks below are for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS (pink, black and gold notebook) and A COLD TOMORROW (dark blue).
I have a weird system when I make notes that involves alternating pages of research (mostly right hand pages) and plot (left hand pages). I use different color ink and highlights to draw attention to various points I want to remember.
I started this system with the blue notebook and plan on maintaining it with the last book in my series, A DESOLATE HOUR. I’ve started making research notes while dreaming up plot points as I float around with foam noodles in the pool.
As you can see, the left handed page for plot points is still blank. I know where I want to start but I’m still fleshing out the characters who will factor into the prologue which is set in 1777. Book three ties the curse of Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk to the legend of the Mothman and Point Pleasant.
In addition to plotting, I spend a good deal of my summer reading. As a habit, I read every night for an hour or two before I go to bed, but during the summer, I also like to read on my deck in between dips in the pool.
One of my favorite summer reads is THE TERROR by Dan Simmons.
Although a massive book (my paperback copy is 955 pages) this is a story I want to read again, and I can’t imagine reading it during any season other than summer. The book is set in the artic, and fictionalizes the tale of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to discover the Northwest Passage in the mid-1800s. Although I originally read it two years ago, it remains one of the best books I’ve ever read, a bizarre and spectacular combination of history, horror, lyrical writing and myth. I’ve never encountered anything to equal it, and each time summer rolls around I think of reading it again.
My current read, however, is a bit different. I’m presently immersed in the WITCH OF LIME STREET, a nonfiction account of Harry Houdini’s battle to unmask medium Margarey Crandon as a fraud. Here’s the cover:
Imagine my surprise, when the first night after reading, I switched off the light and realized the cover was glowing. All that lime green you see to the right lights up as neon-glow-in-the-dark with the lights off. I tried to capture a photo of it with my cell phone, but unfortunately it didn’t take.
That aside, I’ve always loved things that glow in the dark—as far back as to when I was a kid and played with a “Dark Shadows” game that had glowing skeletons—so I’m thoroughly besotted with this clever cover. And, in case you doubted, the book is darn good too, especially if you’re a Houdini or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fan, or are interested in the spiritualist movement of the 1920s.
Kevin O’Brien has a new release, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE that releases on July 26th. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy. Kevin is an am amazing author and on my automatic read list. If you like mystery, crime and suspense, you’re going to love Kevin.
In the meantime, I’ll content myself with this:
I have a horrible weakness for creature/monster books (and movies) and have been saving this one for a while. DEVOUR is definitely a summer/beach read IMHO. Isn’t the cover grand? I can’t wait to discover what lurks within the pages.
So tell me…how productive are you during the summer? Do you plot, do you read? What’s on your TBR?
My blog tour for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS finished yesterday and I’m surfacing for air. My publisher has another tour running through the end of the month but as that one is straight promo, I didn’t need to write any guest posts. Blog tours are fun but also exhausting.
I’ve had a lot going on for the last month and for the first time, made more commitments than I could meet. I was unable to finish a short story I’d promised for a western anthology. As a type-A personality,
I hate not meeting deadlines or failing to complete something I promised to deliver. *sigh* Lesson learned.
Rather than look at what I failed to produce, I’d thought I share some accomplishments with this blog post.
I now have a book cover and a blurb for A COLD TOMORROW, book 2 of my Point Pleasant Series. The scheduled release is December of this year. I’m just waiting on the okay from my publisher for the official “unveiling” so I can share.🙂
I also finally decided on a title for book 3. For the regular followers of my blog you’ll recall I asked for help several months ago in narrowing down my title. I’ve decided to go with—drum role, please—A DESOLATE HOUR.
What do you think? Now all I have to do is get busy writing the novel. The last book will center on the legendary curse supposedly placed on Point Pleasant by Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk. I can’t wait to get started with the research.
Among all of the other things I was juggling in April (content edits on A COLD TOMORROW, blog posts for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS and a ton of promo for three books), I had a wonderful experience as a Book of the Month for Rave Reviews Book Club.
MYTH AND MAGIC was chosen as one of the three RRBC book of the month choices for April. It was a wonderful experience with so much support thrown my way. My Twitter account exploded for the entire month with other RRBC members Tweeting, retweeting and giving shout-outs. Like someone opened floodgates and the Nile poured in. I literally couldn’t keep up!
I also attended a chat room session (part of the RRBC book of the month program) and I swear nearly everyone in the room who hadn’t already bought the book bought it while we were chatting. I picked up six new reviews from RRBC, with several other members currently reading the book and many more purchasing it and adding it to their TBR.
During April I was also invited to appear on two radio shows hosted by RRBC (I had guested on one previously). Unfortunately, because of my day job and a family commitment, I had to turn both down, but—wow!—this organization is constantly offering ways to promote its members and our works. If you’d like to learn more about Rave Reviews Book Club and all the perks of membership, please see my post Let’s Talk Book Clubs.
All in all, as crazy as April was, it was also highly productive. Now that most of my promo is out of the way (I still have a few promised posts to prepare), I look forward to starting on A DESOLATE HOUR. A writer’s work is never done. How have you been keeping busy?
Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!
Grab yourself something green and pull up a virtual seat. I’d like to talk book clubs.
If you’re a writer and/or a reader you’ve probably stumbled across several online book clubs that offer resources and networking. I’ve been doing the publishing game since 2012 and in the process have tried several. Sadly, none were a good fit. A few promised networking but ended up being little more than endless “buy my book” promos. I ditched those immediately. Others offered forums that never really matched what I was looking for, and one or two, while providing handy resources, lacked a sense of community.
I’d about given up on finding one that was a good fit, and then a friend (thank you, Craig Boyack) pointed me in the direction of Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) run by Nonnie Jules. Um…if there is a fairy Godmother of bookclubs, this is the one. Or perhaps it should be more aptly dubbed the brainchild of Wonder Woman—as I’ve come to realize is a fitting crown for Nonnie.
I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve only been a member for a few months, yet the flush of excitement I’ve had since joining makes me feel like an Old Timer. It’s a comfortable, welcoming fit. Members rolled out the red carpet with tweets and retweets and immediately made me feel like I was part of the crowd. Not just welcome, but special.
Within my second month of membership, I was invited to be a guest on Rave’s Blog Talk Radio Show, where I was able to share information on two of my novels in a causal, chatty atmosphere. If you’re interested in how hosts John W. Howell and Bill Ward put myself and sister author, Jayne Nichols, immediately at ease, you can catch our interview here.
Tweet support has been phenomenal, with my Twitter following growing and so many great Rave Review authors providing RTs and shout-outs. This group does an unbelievable job at networking. As in… Off. The. Charts!
So, exactly what is the idea behind RRBC?
It comes down to a basic and critical key that can make or break an author—support. Writing and publishing is a rough game. No one should have to navigate those choppy waters alone. Founder and president, Nonnie Jules, has put together a club for indie and small press authors who band together to promote each other through purchasing, reading, and reviewing books—PLUS sounding trumpets, gongs, drums, and everything in between to make a resounding splash on social media. RRBC doesn’t believe in ripples. It makes a RACKET of support! After nearly three months in the club, I’m still discovering all the wonderful things it has to offer.
Here’s the basic concept in a nutshell:
Membership is a mere $25.00 per year. When you join, you make a small commitment: You agree to purchase, read, and review a minimum of four books from the Rave Reviews catalog in a twelve month period. Phff! Seriously, we’re talking twelve months.
The catalog is where members list their titles for other members to peruse by genre. The eclectic mix has something for everyone—mystery and suspense (my favorite) fantasy, science-fiction, romance, horror, speculative, comedy, literature, drama, non-fiction, and more. Take your pick and start reading.
RRBC also has featured Books of the Month.
Each month, the club picks three reads and highlights them as the featured club reads of the month. These books get extra promo and a plethora of attention from members. Personally, I find the whole concept super exciting. Every month, I anxiously wait to see what the featured books will be, just like a kid waiting to discover the favored treats of the month. It reminds me of when I was a kid in junior high and those shiny scholastic book catalogs were distributed. Remember those? You were able to choose and buy books. I never missed putting in an order for several, and then devoured them as soon as they arrived. Libraries were fun, but those books always had extra magic for some reason.
As part of your RRBC commitment, two of your four annual reads need to be from the Book of the Month selection. How ridiculously simple is that?
Most authors are also avid readers, so it’s a no-brainer. I average between 50-70 titles a year, so belonging to a club that allows me to be an avid reader as well as support other writers and garner their support in return is a win-win situation. I’m still a newbie in this club, but the glow I’ve felt since joining has placed me on a perpetual high. I’ve finally found a club that works, and a network of authors who have made me feel part of something special—from day one. Put in a little effort and it’s returned ten-fold. The more you contribute, the more support is levelled behind you. I have already made lovely friends through this club.
We all need help with promotion. RRBC also offers weekly club updates where members can announce special pricing and newsy bits to members. There are spotlight authors, Member of the Month, Member of the Week, Pay-it-forward-days and Push Tuesday promotions (each Tuesday the entire club gets behind promoting a specific author through tweets, social media shares and links to their books). These are just a few of the extra promos RRBC organizes.
If you’re looking for that extra something, I highly recommend considering Rave Reviews Book Club. For a minimal fee of $25.00 a year and a small reading commitment (something most authors love to do anyway) you’ll be rewarded many times over. To learn more about the club, visit their website at Rave Reviews by Nonnie Jules. Should you wish to join, you can complete a membership request form here. Please tell them Mae Clair sent you. You won’t be disappointed. If I have any regret, it’s that I didn’t take the plunge sooner.
Do dive in. The water is wonderful!🙂