Category Archives: authors

Paying It Forward For #RRBC Member / Author D. L. Finn

Today, I am taking part in Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Pay It Forward” day. What this means is, I am promoting a member of the book club here on The Indie Spot.


Now, here’s one of those interesting coincidences: The author I am promoting today is D. L. Finn, whose book, No Fairy Tale, is the book I just happen to be currently reading.

D. L. is an independent California girl, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, she and her husband packed up their kids, dogs, and cats, and relocated to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.

To say D. L. is a reader is a major understatement. She immerses herself in all sorts of books, crossing genre lines that include romance, horror, and fantasy. With vivid imagination, D. L. has long treasured creating her own reality on paper. So, when the family’s move placed her among towering oaks, high cedars, and fragrant pines, her creativity blossomed into a solid skill for telling stories that others are thrilled to read.

Her creations include three indie children’s books and an autobiography with poetry (which is the book I’m currently reading).

In 2016, No Fairy Tale was awarded the New Apple Annual Book Awards Official Selection in the Memoir Category! In 2017, the book became a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA) in the poetry category.

Though D. L. has endured difficult situations in her life, which has included addiction and abuse, she has risen above the turmoil to become one of the better writers in the indie author movement. Her words have a way of pulling the reader into the stories unfolding on the pages. Her poetry is simply beautiful.

It has been my pleasure and honor to introduce this author to the readers of this blog. It is my sincere hope that those who take the time to read this piece will become better acquainted with D. L. Finn and her work.

Let’s now take a closer look at this writer’s work.

The Books:

No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry

You are invited into D.L. Finn’s life, written through a princess’s viewpoint. While it’s usually assumed in fairy tales that the princess is beloved by all, this is one princess who doesn’t feel loved. She dreams of a moment when her father will walk through the castle door, sweep her up in his arms and proclaim how much he misses her. That never happens. Instead, she is introduced to a new step family. Just like in the fairy tales, this is where the story takes a dark twist; where addiction, abuse and adolescence thrive together in retched misery. From her lowest point as a hopeless fourteen-year-old girl who gives up all hope– comes a spark of faith. This is where she begins her quest for a happy ending.

Although the princess ends her very real fairy tale, D.L. Finn steps in and shares her thoughts, poetry and photographs. This entire narrative is the author’s reality from childhood through adulthood. She maintains the privacy of those involved while hanging on to her truth.

An Unusual Island

When Janine’s parents win a vacation to a private island, it’s the same week as her and her twin brother’s 16th birthday. Cool! She can’t wait to lounge on the beach and let the staff pamper her! Much to her disappointment, though, they leave the island to go sightseeing on a boat. Unlike the rest of her family, bouncing around the ocean isn’t her idea of fun. Even when her brother gets their dad to stop the boat to investigate the neon sea creature that he is sure is following them–nothing. Losing her new red hat is the highlight of her trip until an unexpected storm hits, and they shipwreck on an uncharted island. After tending to some wounds from the crash, they search the island in hopes of finding human civilization. Although they don’t find what they are looking for, it appears they aren’t alone. When they return to their campsite—a fully cooked dinner is waiting for them! Why? And a better question is why did they eat it? It was as if they stepped into a fairytale– or nightmare. Who is on the island with them and what do they want?

Elizabeth’s War

It’s April of 1917, and World War I has reached Elizabeth’s family on their wheat farm in North Dakota. Although the battles are being fought overseas, the war has affected her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Elizabeth is thrust into a new role after her brother and father leave the farm to do their part in the war. And she’s only eleven years old!
Having almost died as a toddler, Elizabeth has been babied most of her life. Now she must learn to help out around the farm; cooking, cleaning, and tending to the garden and livestock. No longer can she run from her responsibilities, as she did when her horse Rosie was giving birth. There were complications during the delivery, and Elizabeth panicked and froze. The foal didn’t make it.
Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet as a huge Christmas Eve snowstorm rages outside, cutting her family off from any help; and her mother is about to have a baby! Her brother and sister are laid up with chicken pox. Does Elizabeth face her fears or run from them? Can she help her family, who need her more now than ever? Or will she retreat like she did when Rosie needed her?

Things on a Tree

What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Thirteen-year-old Aimee is sick and missing her dad, who died in a car accident last year. While the rest of her family are outside playing in the snow, she is alone by their Christmas tree. Aimee sighs as the tears begin to fall. She wishes she still believed in Santa Claus. Then she could ask him to change the last year. Yeah, right, she thought. She turns away from the tree, and falls asleep. Later that night, Aimee awakens to a strange noise. Clink! Clink! Clink! Her fever must be higher than she thought, because she can’t believe what she is seeing running down her purple blanket! But everything happening to her is very real, including the fact someone wants her dead. Aimee is thrust into a world of magic, wonder and greed. Her journey takes her from her snowy rooftop, to the streets of New York and the North Pole with the promise to return her father to her family. Who could she trust when things aren’t always what they seem?

 

Social Media:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Trailers:

No Fairy Tale

 

Elizabeth’s War

Gearing Up For the 2017 #RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!

2017 WC&BE

Once again, Rave Reviews Book Club is taking the lead on cutting edge ideas for promoting indie authors. Picking up where we left off last year, this year’s Writers’ Conference & Book Expo promises to be bigger and better! If you are an indie author and you’re still figuring out the marketing landscape, then this event is one you don’t want to miss.

Simply follow the links below for all the latest information you’ll need to know to be involved.

 
This is the year for bigger and better here at RRBC. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach a new audience while gaining new skill sets designed to help indie authors succeed.

 

 

 

Catching Up With #RRBC Spotlight Author Wendy Scott!

Hello, everybody! I am honored to share this blog with a fellow writer and Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author for the month of June. As part of the celebration, Wendy Scott is making the rounds at various blogs. Today, she’s gracing us with her presence here at The Indie Spot! For those who may not know Ms. Scott, Wendy is a super supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club. So let’s all make her feel welcome by leaving her your comments and well wishes. That being said, take it away, Wendy…

Fantasy Author Wendy Scott’s RRBC Journey.

When I first joined RRBC I had no idea of the literary roller coaster I’d jumped on.

I was so excited when my books and book trailers went live on the RRBC catalogue pages.

There was no time to pause for breath before I was involved in my first book trailer party. What a blast! 30 days of book trailers. I was impressed and inspired by the variety of book trailers. I won books and a coveted Book of the Month Spot.

I’m convinced the RRBC Tweet team doesn’t sleep! My followers skyrocketed as my tweets were retweeted into twitterland.

The lovely Gwendolyn Plano interviewed me on Behind The Pen. I was worried no one would understand my Kiwi accent!

Until RRBC I’d never taken part in or hosted a blog tour. Wow – an influx of visitors posted their comments on my site.

RRBC core focus is reading and posting honest reviews of other members’ books. I haven’t made the 100 club yet but it’s on my list! So many wonderful RRBC authors and books.

One of my highlights was when one of my children’s books earned Nonnie’s Seal of Approval.

Another highlight was being invited to join the VIP lounge and RWISA.

Yet another was being accepted as a RaveWaves host for Bring On The Spotlight.

There’s also the annual virtual RRBC Book Expo and Conference where I had fun presenting on a couple of topics.

Other features are the annual RRBC anthologies, the monthly Pipeline Magazine, and the KCT awards.

I was honoured (hugely surprised!) to be presented with a couple of Rave Awards in 2016.

The best part is the family-friendly vibe of this global community of authors where we help promote each other. Pay-it-forward is truly alive and thriving in RRBC-land.

  

 

Readers come and find your next read in the RRBC catalogue.

Authors come and join RRBC’s dynamic community – just say Wendy invited you! https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/

 

 

 

Amazon US 124 reviews 4.4* rating

 

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AMQX7DO

 

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Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/B009B1N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

 

Scrap Irony

Some interesting tidbits here from the blog of Joseph Ajlouny.

J. Ajlouny, Author

Scrap Irony

These items can be described as “things I discovered while looking up other things.” I have tons of them and I will continue to supplement this compilation from time to time. They are in no particular order but each is a great conversation starter. The only thing they have in common is that they are not commonly known, and that’s what makes them fascinating. I have many more such items so I will continue to supplement this compilation when the spirit moves me. So read on and you will learn things you never knew or thought you would.

Giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as do human beings: six.

gcf-15-of-37
Jackie Robinson is well-known as the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, beginning in the 1947 season as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But what is almost completely unknown is the…

View original post 4,482 more words

MOMENTS: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES AND POEMS by Harmony Kent

 

Hello, readers! Welcome to The Indie Spot. Today, I am sharing my space with dear friend—and talented author—Harmony Kent. Harmony is gearing up for the release of her latest creation, MOMENTS: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems. So please spread the word, leave a comment, and show your support.

Take it away, Harmz… 

 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my 4Wills Publishing book blast release tour. Today, I’m celebrating the release of my eighth book! Moments is a collection of short stories and poetry and brings together much of my imagination that has been scattered around for a while, lols. On each of today’s seven posts, you will find a different book excerpt … enjoy!

 

About the book:

 

Come.

 

Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

 

These tales touch upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement.

 

And then, after all that, you’ll find the poems.

 

From the lonely echoes of an empty house to the soaring heights of unexpected love and joy and learning to live as free as clouds and water.

 

For each of us, a moment encompasses a lifetime and, yet, passes in but the blink of an eye. In but a moment, everything can change. And in this very moment, life beckons in all its potentiality.

 

When the shadows fall, what will you do?

 

Excerpt:

(From ‘Twenty-Niner)

 

The pounding in my skull wakes me. I rather wish it hadn’t. Not much, at least that I can think of, can be worse after a night of over-indulging than waking up next to a stranger.

 

Unable to recall his name.

 

Or how we met.

 

And—perhaps, most important of all

—why he’s dead.

 

That realisation snaps me out of my hung-over fog. With a groan, I roll onto my side and push myself upright. Once I have my feet on the floor, I prop my elbows on my knees and cradle my head in my hands. Please, please, please tell me that I didn’t do it again.

 

Is it too much to ask for a normal life? A normal relationship? A normal lifespan?

I pray, dear reader, that you’re not a Twenty-Niner. That your birthday doesn’t fall on the 29th of February. That you don’t age four times slower than everyone else. Or suck the life out of other folks to do it.

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

To buy Moments, please go to AMAZON US or AMAZON UK.

Author Bio and Links:

Indie Author Harmony Kent is an award winning multi-genre author. Her publications include:

 

  • The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved
  • The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree / New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015
  • Elemental Earth (YA Fantasy Fiction)
  • Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015
  • Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)
  • Slices of Soul (Contemporary Poetry)
  • Interludes (Erotic Romance short stories)
  • Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

 

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services.  As well as reviewing and supporting her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena.  She is always on the look out for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

 

For all books available from me, check out my author pages at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

Book Trailer videos: Harmony’s trailers.

My website: http://harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent https://twitter.com/harmony_kent

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

My 4Wills Author Page: https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/our-authors/author-harmony-kent/

RWISA Author Page: https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-harmony-kent/

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Writing Believable Historical Fiction

Putting together a believable historical story, long or short, requires more than a plausible plot. You must pay extra attention to the little things, the details. While preparing to write my novel Jazz Baby, I consulted many sources for those authentic details. A high-school history book proved immensely helpful in creating the right mood for a story set in 1920s Southern USA.

Knowing the era is as important as knowing your characters. You can’t have a young girl in 1925 rural Mississippi (or any other place in 1925) making calls on a private-line rotary phone, much less a mobile phone she carries in her pocket. In fact, my character was poor, and thus would not even have access to any kind of phone even though they existed in her day. Besides, she wouldn’t have anybody to call. Thus:

 

  • KEEP DETAILS CHARACTER-SPECIFIC: Don’t just verify what exists in a period of time. Determine how widespread it is, and consider the likelihood your characters would have access in their particular places and circumstances.

Fashion is important, as well. Knowing what people wore in any particular era is key to verisimilitude. Emily Ann, the POV character in Jazz Baby, had no concept of tennis shoes or fashionable jeans, let alone modern name brands and today’s common designer styles. She did live in the era of flappers, but she would not be exposed to those outfits until she traveled to the big city. Still, would she dress that way—and why? Where would she get the clothes? Would she even know how to wear them properly? We have to consider these issues before deciding how to dress our characters from one scene to the next.

 

  • DETAILS SUCH AS FASHION ARE REGIONAL AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL: Lots of guides, many specifically for writers and media producers, show fashion of different eras, but you must pay close attention to where, when, why, and by whom clothing would be worn.

 

Sure, it’s obvious that Emily Ann wouldn’t see Gulfstream Jets flying overhead or hitch a ride in a Corvette, but you’re not always safe simply putting her in a Model T Ford. I wanted her to hear something important on the car radio while parked, but I dared not assume a radio could be found in the Model T. A bit of research, and I learned radio did not come into any automobiles until 1932. Most readers won’t know such a detail, but some sure will know, so for them the facade collapses beneath such inaccuracy. Keep it as airtight as possible.

 

  • DON’T ASSUME DETAILS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY: Don’t just research the technical detail. Verify all the details that flow from it. If a radio had been available in the 1925 Model T, verify how many and in which areas radios were sold. Don’t have her flipping through various stations late at night when maybe only one station operated in that region—and only during the daytime. If you want her to hear a news announcement, confirm that would happen on local radio back then.

Patient research shines a light on more facts than you might be looking for. Just as whether a car radio would have turning dials or push buttons, verifying might lead you to realize you can’t refer to an FM station back them. Would a character drop a letter in a street-corner mailbox, or did they not exist in small southern towns because people simply left mail in their roadside mailboxes for pickup?

 

  • RESEARCH ALL THE DETAILS: Don’t stop once you have your first question answered. Look closer, read more, find the photos—whatever it takes to get a strong sense of life in that time and place. You will very likely discover even more details you could get wrong without the extra effort.

Pay attention to language, as well. Slang changes from era to era, and from region to region. A young white girl in 1925 Mississippi will not greet her pals with a “Yo, dawg! ’Sup?”

 

  • WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE: As much as possible, read from the era and place, talk to people who lived through it, watch media showing the lifestyle, and consult as many sources as you can find. Not only are you verifying the authenticity of what you want characters to say, but you will likely discover very interesting and flavor-adding ways of talking that you had not considered.

Cultural norms are critical elements of authentic time and place. My story is set during Prohibition, which to many evokes images of either abstainers or scofflaws. However, “bonded liquor,” prescribed by doctors for “medicinal purposes” and sold by pharmacists, was quite popular in many areas, albeit under watchful government eyes. Cultural changes that older readers recognize might not be so familiar to younger readers. In Emily Ann’s world, African Americans were prohibited from patronizing restaurants, and segregated in places like theaters, restrooms, and even from whites-only drinking fountains. Emily’s fraternization with blacks could have cost her her life.

 

  • STUDY THE CULTURAL NORMS: Learn about how people felt, thought, and acted, and consider the true consequences of your characters’ actions in those contexts.

Behavior often is not best described by laws. Though women received the vote in 1920, many were still viewed as the property of fathers and husbands. For a girl who found herself orphaned at 13, the official social-services response rarely happened if kinfolk might be able to “handle the situation.” Thus, Aunt Frannie arranging a marriage that we might find outrageous today would have been applauded as admirably expedient back then. Likewise, looking up the official 1969 USA drug laws would not offer much help in deciding how your young-adult characters actually acted during a campus party.

 

  • OFFICIAL POLICY OFTEN DOES NOT INDICATE HOW PEOPLE REALLY ACT: Look beyond laws, policies, procedures, and other official records of how things were supposed to be in another time and place. Ferret out real accounts and weigh your characters’ actions against what really tended to happen.

 

The point of all this is simply to remind you to check your facts while looking beyond the facts, stay loyal to the era you choose, and wow us all with your brilliant stories.

 

Grab a copy of Jazz Baby in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, Nook, or iBook.

More writers’ resources: GeezWriter.com

 

The Taxing Process of Writing!

200-fingers-typing

Today I am sharing space here with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Traci has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Ms. Sanders…

MY 3 BOOKS

Tip 358: What you can “write off” as an author

(tax deductions)

*This tip can be found in Living The Write Life: Tips on making the most of your writing skills, now available in digital and paperback format.
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Are you an Indie author? If so, you are a contractor, whether you like it or not. Regardless which company you publish with, you will be required to answer a few basic questions to set up your tax account with them. When you sell any books, they need to know how and where to send your money.
Therefore, no matter how much (or how little) money you make on your books, you must claim it, because the publishing companies do.
 
The good news is, you also have tax deductions available.
 
Here is a list of deductions you can claim as an author:
         Office supplies
         Telephone/internet fees
         Cabs, subways, bus fares
         Book, magazines, reference material
         Agents’ commissions (if included in income)
         Film and processing – book trailer fees
         Copying – brochures, flyers for events
         Editorial fees – costs to hire professional editors
         Promotional fees – advertising materials
         Office rent – If you use a dedicated space for your writing – cannot claim for two businesses at once
         Utilities – a percentage for your writing (dedicated) space
         Memberships (professional organizations) – book club fees, writing organizations
         Messengers, private mail carriers, postage – shipping costs for giveaways, etc.
         Business insurance
         Tax preparation fees
         Travel costs – for out of town events – conferences, signings, etc.
         Business meals and entertainment
         Equipment – rentals of video/audio equipment for events
         Software – writing/editing/illustration software
         Legal and professional fees – patent lawyer, copyright lawyer
         I actually claim the books I buy and read because I consider them “study material” for my craft, especially those in my genre.
         As a public figure, for instance, when you do book signings and other events, you must have a professional appearance; therefore, you can write off your salon costs, new clothes, and even the food you serve at the event. Just be sure to keep the receipts and make notes on them.
         If you are at lunch and you pass out a business card or book to someone, write off that lunch by writing the person’s name and the book you talked about at what became your “business luncheon.”
         Treating your writing business like a professional entity will help you save money and avoid tax audits in the process, especially if you are like me and operate a separate business at the same time. The deductions must be kept separate.
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Here are a couple add-ons to this tip, shared by Stephen Geez:
 
Research can be an important expense to track. That 250-word essay I’ll be writing about what it’s like to spend a month scuba diving in the Caymen Islands is definitely going to require some hands-on research…
 
Just thought of another point that used to be very useful: If you’re writing for a client, an assignment, an intended buy, or even if you eventually sell to a client, you might be surprised by how much the end-user will be willing to reimburse expenses that s/he can write off. Don’t leave that money unclaimed if a bit of assertiveness might compensate you. You could find that the combo of reimbursement and your own write-offs can cover 100% of the income.
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Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. 

An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Giveaway!

I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish – Volume I 
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book – Volume II 
To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com.
GOOD LUCK!

Bonus: Video Tip!