Wonderful Books To Read And Authors To Discover!

Author Blog Challenge – Day 15 – A Slight Diversion!

Today’s prompt….Find someone you know, either online or in the real world, who is a true bibliophile and interview them about their reading habits. Ask questions such as:

  • How many books do they buy per month?
  • How many do they actually read?
  • What do they read?
  • Where do they buy their books?
  • Who is their favorite author (do not take offense if it is not you – that’s not the point here).
  • What do they like about the author?
  • How often do they attend signings/readings? What do they enjoy about them?
  • If they could ask their favorite author any question, what would it be?
  • Which book has most recently surprised or delighted them?
  • Of everything they’ve read so far this year, what would they most recommend?….left me stone cold and uninspired, so I decided to deviate, but not completely ignore the prompt. I didn’t pick ONE person and give them the 20 questions, I trawled social media, asked on Facebook etc. What was your favourite book/author…and I have compiled a list of fav reads out there in the big wide world.

Last weekend I was at a Scrapbooking Expo at the Brisbane Convention Centre and didn’t realise that the Lifeline Bookfest was also on. We have been to the Bookfest many times, usually in January as I always forget they have one in June as well. I usually take the opportunity to stock up on super bargain priced reference books, and have found some doozies over the years that I still use to this day. I have never ventured into the fiction section, as the absolute abundance of books just dazzles me and I don’t know where to start, so I just don’t. So next time I go, this list is coming with me and I wonder what gems I will uncover?

FAVOURITE READS

50 Shades Of Grey          Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiels Series          Paulina Simons Bronze Horseman Series

A Dangerous Fortune              Anne Rice  –  Sleeping Beauty Triology         Wilbur Smith        Kylie Chan – Dark Heaven

Mary Higgins Clark            Lynda LaPlante                    Nora Roberts                  Harlem Coben

Patricia Cornwell                    Faye Kellerman                    Harry Potter Collection                 Ask And It Is Given

Twilight                     Bryce Courtney                    Jude Deveraux                         Dangerous Liasons    

Virginia Woolf                  The Hunger Games

Well, there is quite a few in that list that I have never read before, so will be adding them to my list, what about you?

Author Blog Challenge – Day 14 – I Feel Like Celebrating!

What has been the biggest surprise about writing/publishing your book?

 What has been the most enjoyable or most memorable aspect?

Woo Hoo, it’s Friday, that is worth celebrating!

Woo Hoo, it’s Day 14 of the Challenge and I am still in it, that is definately worth celebrating!

I still can’t believe I actually finished my book, with all the doubts, with the little technical hitches, with the impatience, and time constraints, it is done, and that is worth popping open a bottle of bubbles and pouring a glass or two.

To all of you who have finished your book/s, completed 14 days of this Challenge or who are working your way through your masterpiece, we all deserve to celebrate, we have taken action in the direction we want to go! A book or a blog that is just an idea swimming in your head, will never be read by anyone, or make a difference in someones life until it actually exisits!

What are you celebrating today?

Author Blog Challenge – Day 13 – Keep On Keeping On!

What has been the most challenging part of your book process: writing, building the book, printing, distributing, marketing, etc.? 

Writing a book, provides lot’s of challenges, but everytime you overcome one of them you, it’s happy dance time!

My biggest challenge was definately the actual creation of all those pages of information in a format that others would understand and learn from. I had so many notes, pieces of paper scribbled in the most unlikely places, but if I did not scribble the minute I thought of an additional inclusion, the idea would just disappear into idea oblivion and I would try and rack my brain to bring it back.

It is so easy to make excuses for NOT sitting down and continue to write, I honestly think I sometimes made up excuses just for the sake of it, if I had a week, were not much progress was made. I did not set myself a time limit, it was always just a work in progress and the only one I had to validate any delay’s, was to myself.

Sometimes I would get so angry that I had been slack, but in that frame of mind, if I did force myself to sit and write a little more, it was usually poor quality and the delete button on my laptop worked overtime.

Fortunately, I did have days, were the words just flowed and flowed and I cashed in on those days big time!

As I write this, I am shaking my head, saying OK, tomorrow you ARE going to sit down and put time frames on the next books on the production line and hold myself accountable, better get Miss WW’s in on this to spur me along.

Kids R Klever – How To Help Your Kids Shine!  was a mammoth task for a first effort, but I did it, and I honestly believe  the next books will be much easier, as I know how this all works for me.

Distribution is not an issue as I have chosen to have this book only available in download format, no hard copies required. My next two are shorter and will be in the same format. The third on the line is a different kettle of fish and I am going to jump in the deep end and put it to paper print……OMG!…….more to learn.

If you are in ‘love’ with your publisher, a little name dropping in the comments box would be greatly appreciated!

Author Blog Challenge – Day 12 – Cover Creation

Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What might you do differently next time?

When it was book cover time, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. My only directive that I gave my designer was that it must have stars on it. Simple really, open slather, every designers dream?

My designer is my very tech savvy daughter, nice to keep these things in the family! When it comes to anything requiring any graphical ‘stuff’, she always come to my rescue. Thankfully kids are taught so much computer skills at school these days, that it is just second nature to them.

I think she did an amazing job, and I am very happy with the end result. For my next book I am actually going to have a go at doing this myself. I have had a few ‘lessons’ from my daughter and I have a few idea’s, so it will be very interesting to see what I manage to create, but that’s what this is all about, creating, and that is what I love doing….

Author Blog Challenge – Day 11 – Me, Myself & I

Describe your editing process…..

 Who edited your book? What was your relationship with your editor like? 

My editing process was definately a me, myself and I process…….It was not just the writing of the book that was part of this project, it was seeing if I could see the whole process through and get it on Kindle for sale, all by myself.

With zero knowledge when I started, it was a major learning curve, but a very rewarding one. Even with a few stumbles along the way, like having to lodge the Kindle edition 3 times before I was happy with how it looked and read, I did get it and I am proud of my efforts.

I did all the editing, reading, re-reading and re-reading again. Breaking it down into small chunks, until bit by bit, I got through it. I kept adding more and more, until I finally held up the white flag and went enough is enough, time to stop!

And my editor, well, she is impatient, short-tempered, a perfectionist and one hell of a critic, always nit picking every little thing, but I really do love her (hehe).

I would do it all over again! My titles list keeps growing, so I should become quite the expert, as long as I don’t sack myself and let someone else do the job for me.

Author Blog Challenge – Day 10 – Critically Challenged!

Have you participated in a critique groups? If so, how did it work out for you?

If not, why have you avoided them to this point?

Well I am definately challenged with this prompt, as I have never heard of critique group before!

I could figure out what they were, the name gave me enough info to figure that, but I will be honest, the thought of other authors reading my book and giving me their verdict is a little lot scary!

More often than not, I am my worst nightmare/critic, with all the little voices telling me things I don’t want to hear, but I am learning (slowly) how to silence the critic and allow my happy (you can do it) voice to have more power. I am not sure if I am strong enough to handle a critical attack just yet.

I am going to start searching for a critique group, one that has similar values to me, if there is such a thing, and maybe I will have the nerve to join, maybe I won’t, but the thought of interacting with such a group could be a great learning curve for me………

Any recommendations will be gratefully received!

  

Author Blog Challenge – Day 9 – About Face

If your book is nonfiction, what could you do to turn it into a story?

My first reaction to this prompt, is no way, I don’t do fiction, might have to break my vow about following the prompts each day!

Why do we find it so hard to step out of our comfort zone?

I don’t need to write the book, just rearrange how it is presented, in theory!

So after a lovely ‘girls’ lunch and a couple of wines, I thought what the heck, let’s give this a go and see what happens….

My book Kids R Kelver – How To Help Your Kids Shine! is all about squashing limiting beliefs, living a healthy life and acheiving your dreams, not about ‘I can’t do it’…so here goes…

“Charlie is a tomboy, living on a cattle station, in a remote part of Western Queensland. There is no internet, not even a phone, just a two way radio for contact with the big wide world. Life on the land in Australia is tough, as they battle drought or flood, very rarely getting a nice combination of both. Grocery shopping only happens once a month as it is an 8 hour round trip to the ‘local’ supermarket. If you forget to buy sugar you go without for the next four weeks. Mail is airdropped once a week. Schooling is done via two way radio. All the family work hard looking after 1000’s of head of cattle, trying to keep them alive so they get to market so the bank does not foreclose on the property that has been in the family for over 80 years, but every month the risk is there and it is a stuggle to stay afloat.

Modern technology is creeping out into the county, and internet access arrives, like a gift from the gods. Charlie starts to get a glimpse of what is out there. She has never even seen the ocean, or snow, or a department store, or traffic lights, or ever owned a dress.

Tired of food in cans, she sees so much beautiful fresh produce available for city folk, she manages to get her dad to order in some seed packets, and she goes about building a vegetable patch in the rough barren land that is her backyard. Nuturing it daily with love and water before long the rewards for her toil are beautiful fresh vegetables for the family to adore.

She discovers on-line books, has full access to School of The Air, falls in love with ‘Google’ and realises that she can learn any skill, be anything, and go anywhere. Her brothers will stay on the farm and carry on the tradition, but she will NOT. There is a big wide world waiting for her to embrace…..and nothing is going to stop her……..

Well that was fun, just glad I didn’t have to write the whole book, think it’s time for another glass of wine instead!

Author Blog Challenge – Day 8 – Where The Heck Did It Come From?

Describe the research process for your book. / How prominent a role did the Internet play? 

So where the heck did all the ideas, all the words, and all that informtion for Kids R Klever – How To Help Your Kids Shine! actually come from????????

Blood, sweat, tears, tantrums, exploding internet download limits and sore typing fingers……no not really, wellllllll may be a little!

As a Natural Therapist, with a clinic that provides “pampering treatment with a purpose” (hence the business name – Detox For Life), my training included massage, diet & nutrition, aromatherapy, beauty therapy, EFT and much more. All of this was born from a desire to find natural alternatives to common ailments my girls suffered when they were young.  I tried to not race to the doctors for anti-biotics everytime an ear infection or sore throat occured. I am not against traditional medicine, just like to find a happy medium between the two to keep us all happy and healthy.

I have never stopped learning, I pour through health magazines, and piles of books from the library whenever I have a spare minute. There is always something new to discover. Why bother learning all this wonderful stuff, that can make such a difference to family dynamics and not share it with others?

A huge thank you goes to my best friend GOOGLE as I ploughed through internet pages justifying and verifying everything that I wanted to share. Could not have done it without you!

But, life experience played the biggest role in the how’s, why’s and where’s of my book. I have two gorgeous daughters who are truly my pride and joy, and I am blessed that even though they are 16 and almost 13, I am not struggling with that horrible time that many teenage/parent combo’s go through. I have an amazing relationship with both of them, that includes an open line of communication that lets them to be open with me about what is happening in their lives, that even their friends are a little jealous of how well we get on. They still want me to be part of their everyday lives and don’t sulk and hide in their rooms. They are both excelling at school, have great friends and are in fabulous health. A parent really can not ask for more and I really wanted to help other parents create this style of life as well.

Children are our apprentices, and learn from us, so much more than what schooling provides. Our beliefs become theirs and very few ever question or stretch beyond that. I know I have held myself back from opportunities and let fear rule some of my choices and decisions, I am determined that my girls will not suffer the same way. A large portion of my book, is devoted to helping parents and children understand that the only limits they have are the ones they put there, breaking through this patten and allowing them to acheive anything they desire with lot’s of fun along the way is a much better way to live this precious life we have!

Wishing you a wonderful day…..time to go and cook up a storm, my bestie and her family are coming for dinner to celebrate her birthday!

What limiting belief has stopped you acheiving a desire?

Author Blog Challenge – Day 7 – Paper, Pens and Plastic Pockets!

Describe your outline process for your book.

Day 7 of the Author Blog Challenge, and I have not missed a day, YAY! Must give myself a pat on the back for that…..

Today’s promt makes me feel a bit old, as my outline was created the old fashioned way…with pen and paper!

While I love and embrace modern technology, some things I like to do the ‘old’ way! I have a techno savvy daughter who comes to my rescue regularly when I have to make things work in computer land, but my book started out on my trusty A4 lined pad that never leaves my side when I am hatching and scheming things.

I just start writing and what ever comes out, gets jotted down. When I try and do these things typing, I seem to loose my train of thought as I glance at spelling or punctuation. Lot’s of single line notes as memory joggers fill the pages, so I don’t forget a thing. Then I got a clean sheet of paper and wrote down my proposed chapter titles, or at least what they were meant to include. Lot’s of scribbling, doodles and the odd shopping list make up my draft!

Then I just started typing, and typing and typing. Copy and Paste became my best friend as I shuffled things around, again and again. Throwing in a new chapter and tossing an old one was normal behaviour, until I decided enough is enough, it is great the way it is, leave it alone or it ain’t EVER going to be published.

Enter, the saviour of all things written, the Plastic Pocket, which is the home of all my creations. I can’t stand having pieces of valuable notes flitting around, so I use Plastic Pockets all the time for everything, totally addicted. If I am having a super neat freak day, these plastic pockets actually get put away into folders!

I am happy to confess that I am totally addicted to beautiful stationary, notebooks and pens that write nicely. I will never ditch them completely, as a computer hard drive does not have the same appeal as pretty paper, as my A4 pads are normally purchased in colours not the standard white, I am using a green one at this moment…..

Have you given up the paper habit, if so how on earth did you do it?

Happy Friday everyone!

Author Blog Challenge – Day 6 – Absolutely No Idea!

Where were you when the idea for your book was initially ignited?

I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer….I didn’t decide in my 20’s that I was no longer going to be a Corporate Travel Consultant….I didn’t decide whilst I was sitting at home nursing my young girls that writing was going to be my future path, in fact I have absolutely no idea when I thought about writing a book, and actually doing anything about it.

The idea joined the long line up of idea’s that I have, but as with many of my idea’s they stay just that. Ego steps in and says “you can’t do that”, “you don’t have what it takes”, or “you gotta be joking”, and they just linger around in idea heaven.

BUT this idea was different to many of the others, it kept niggling away in the background, a piece of paper started to get filled with notes, ideas, chapter headings and a title. One day I opened a blank word document and just started typing, saved it on a USB and then again for a long time, nothing more happened.

My gorgeous girls where my inspiration, they are growing up into incredible young ladies, with good manners, lot’s of friends, excellent school results and fabulous health. If I can have kids like this, I must have done something right along the way, and I wanted to give all parents the opportunity to do the same….and Kids R Klever – How To Help Your Kids Shine! was born, but would it ever grow up!

Then last year when I had no more hubbie around to distract me day after day, and a desire to change my life and how I did things, I found a voice, that I didn’t know existed, a voice that wanted to speak via a page not a tone, and I typed and typed and it just kept flowing out. I was amazed how easily it flowed.

I really had no idea what I was doing, I just did it. My super nerd MissWW helped me create the cover, I figured out how to open a Kindle account, and got it up for sale. I learnt how to set up another page on this blog, to have it for sale there as well. It really is amazing how much you can acheive when your heart is behind your action, not your head. I have only very basic computer skills, as they certainly did not teach us about that in school!

There are plenty more book idea’s in the idea bank (aka – my head), with two already under construction, I am loving writing and won’t be stopping in the near future.

Don’t let ANYTHING stop you from acheiving your dream, we are all capable of anything, as long as we let our heart guide us in the right direction….

Do you have anything that you regret not doing?

Author Blog Challenge – Day 5 – Fabulous Feline?

Who is your favorite literary character?

Arrived at Day 5 and this prompt has had me scratching my head, shaking my head, and drawing an absolute blank!

I know I don’t have to follow the prompts, but I decided at the beginning of this challenge, that I was going to use the prompts, even if I had to step WAY out of my comfort zone to come up with something…….well that is what a challenge is all about, right?

Then finally a penny dropped, I didn’t have to find the character that inspired me the most, that I was in awe of or that I highly respected, it was my “favourite” that I was searching for and although this character is frivilous, fake, fat, in my eyes totally fabulous and that is the gorgeous, stripey and not so little GARFIELD…..

For as long as I remember, I have loved this furry feline. I even have my old school recipe book that is plastered with cartoons of him eating hamburgers and lasagne.

When my girls were younger I would take them to see kids movies, as parents do, and honestly most of the time I didn’t really enjoy them, but I am not ashamed to admit I really enjoyed the two garfield movies!

In the name of fun, who is your favourite character?

Author Blog Challenge – Day 4 – Loves And Loathes

Well I have made it to Day 4 and not missed a post, I am usually good at starting these things, but life gets in the way! Was so tempted today too not post, after receiving some news that shocked and saddened me, but decided that I have no control over this nor is there anything I can do about it. Not dwelling in that zone seems like the best choice for me right now!

When it comes to what I am reading, the books around me fall in to just a few catagories and the rest have no room on bedside table….

LOVE

  • Self Development/Self Improvement – We are the ‘authors’ of our own lives and I am making mine the best possible.
  • Historical – Facinated with time gone by, ancient history especially.
  • Business/Success Stories – Love being inspired by the success of others.
  • Harry Potter
  • Magazines – Totally addicted to magazines and would love to subscribe to every fashion, home, food, travel, business, investment or craft mag ever created, thankfully the library provides my ‘fixes’ for free!
  • The Sunday Newspaper – Too much newspaper reading, filled with too much bad news, not my choice for good reading, my homepage gives me all the latest headlines so that I am not totally ignorant to the happenings in the world.
  • Health and Well-being
  • Cookbooks

LOATHE

  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy (other than Harry Potter)
  • Western
  • War
  • Horror, Crime, Murder, or anything else that is going to make me sad or scared, real life can offer enough of that, don’t need to spend my precious reading time feeling depressed!

I adore reading and it really is one of my favourite ways to spend some time relaxing, I love every book that I own, and I really keep my local library busy with very extensive borrowing!

What is your all time favourite book?

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