Monday, May 20, 2019

Video: Visit Yorkshire, England, and the Bronte Sisters Museum with J.Q. Rose, Memorial Day

Dangerous Sanctuary by J. Q. Rose
Cozy Mystery

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock 
that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Find more mysteries by J.Q. Rose at BWL Publishing
Hello and welcome to the BWL Authors Insiders Blog.
In the US, we'll be celebrating the Memorial Day holiday this weekend. This holiday is considered the kick-off to the summer season and all the fun activities enjoyed in the good ole summertime. Kids are out of school and families take vacations.

Memorial Day, May 27

 In June 2018, my husband and I traveled to England for our summer trip. Today, I'm sharing a video I made of our travels into the county of Yorkshire. 

Please, grab the popcorn and red licorice and sit back in your chair. Join us as we tour through the area and meet up with an English friend in the video, 
Touring England--Visit Yorkshire.

Touring England--Visit Yorkshire

Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Are you planning a vacation this summer? 
Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
Click here to visit the J.Q. Rose, Author Facebook Page. Thank you.

Click here to connect to the Books We Love Website.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Here Comes the Brides of Banff Springs by Stuart R. West

Click here to purchase!
Rarely do I read romance. Even rarer? Rereading a book. But that's exactly what happened with author Victoria Chatham's elegant and entertaining historical romance novel, Brides of Banff Springs. The first time I read the book, I sat back with a sigh, wishing I could spend more time with Ms. Chatham's wonderful characters.

Books We Love LTD recently rereleased an extended second edition of Banff and, of course, I dug right into it. I loved it all over again.

The title refers to a myriad of "brides" of varying social and economic fortunes, a sort-of "brideacopia" of Downton Abbey-styled colorful characters. There's Fliss, a poor, sad maid at the ritzy Banff Springs Hotel in Canada, who's married to a bellhop, but has to keep their unity a secret in order to maintain her job; on the flip side, there's Burma, a brassy, sassy spoiled brat of a socialite who's engaged to a truly cretinous gold-digger; hey, how about the mysterious ghost bride who haunts the Banff Springs Hotel?; finally--and best of all--there's the heroine, Tilly, a down-on-her-luck poor girl who begins her backbreaking duties as a maid at the hotel while maintaining a never give in attitude and upbeat spirits. She's also being pursued by amorous trail guide, Ryan, but holds her own.

I'm certain you'll agree after checking out the following excerpt:

* * *

To Tilly, it was the loveliest evening of her life. Just before Ryan left her, he chucked her on the chin, and she smiled up at him.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said. “Wear pants if you’ve got them. I’m taking you trail riding.” Tilly choked back a groan. There it was again, that proprietary streak that gave Ryan his take-charge attitude. It might work for guides and packers, but it sure wasn’t going to work for her.

She fisted her hands on her hips. “I’m going to marry you. I’m going to take you riding,” Tilly said. “Doesn’t it ever cross your mind that a girl might like to be asked what she wants?”

Ryan looked at her in mild astonishment. “Don’t you want to go riding?”

“That’s not the point,” Tilly sputtered. “Why can’t you just ask me, instead of telling me? I do have an opinion of my own you know.”

His easy-going shrug infuriated her even more. “All right. Would you like to go trail riding with me tomorrow?”

“Thank you.” Tilly tilted her chin up as she glared at him. “I would very much like to go riding with you. And I do have pants and boots.”

“Hmm.” He appeared to be considering her response. The gleam of humour in his eyes put her on edge and she looked up at him warily, waiting for the comeback she knew would trip off his tongue. “So, if you’re coming with me anyway,” he said, “why make all that fuss? Why not just say okay?”

 “Because you can’t just take it for granted that I’ll fall in with your plans.” Tilly pulled away from him. “What if I’d wanted to do something else?”

“Do you?”

“Ryan!” She threw up her hands in despair. “I can see that arguing with you will be like trying to catch a cloud.”

“Don’t waste your time then.” He kissed the tip of her nose, wished her goodnight, and walked off leaving her laughing.

* * *

I adore the character of Tilly. And I think that's the secret to the book's success. Hands down, she's one of the best heroines I've come across lately in fiction. She puts the pluck in plucky. But the other characters are just as vividly drawn by Ms. Chatham's exquisite prose. And did I mention there's a ghost story involved? Something for everyone. Hey, if this ol' persnickety codger fell for the book's charms, ANYONE can.

I give it 5 enthusiastic thumbs (, something like that)!

Check into the lovely Banff Springs Hotel today. Tell 'em I sent you.
Book your reservations now!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Value of Blogging - Janet Lane Walters #Blogging #Promotion

The Value of Blogging

 The Amber Chronicles

It’s all about promotion and there are many ways to get your name out there but a lot of them are expensive. Sure you can promote on Twitter and some of the other frees sites but think of the chances someone will see the post about your new release or your back list books. I’ve found blogging is a great way to go.  At present I have three blogs where I post at least once a month. My own, I do every day but I also promote other people there as well. It’s fun meeting new authors and while I might not read all of their books, I’ve found several new authors to read this way. The Books We Love Blog is one of my regular beats as is Sweet and Spicy Divas. Then once a month, I post on another blog. Usually on Marketing For Romance there are opportunities for blog appearances. Now this may seem like a lot but it takes me not long and that’s because I keep the blog posts short. I once read that if they’re over five minutes people won’t read them. Sometimes mine are longer but these are excerpts.

Another opportunity for getting out there is to do the monthly BookHooks on MFRW. This brings more exposure and perhaps a sale or two. This is a blog hop and I let my twitter followers and my followers on Facebook know about my appearances.

I also try to visit the blogs where my friends have been interviewed or featured in another way and leave a comment. I always learn something when I read the blog posts. I also know a little bit of feedback helps boost an author’s spirits. If I’m featured on someone else’s blog, I promote my appearance on the day of the event. Also I try to go in for a few days after the posting and read the comments and give a thanks.

So if you have a chance to blog somewhere, do it. And if you have a blog, think about opening it to other authors. I know some of you do. The trick these days to selling books seems to be exposure.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

When a rope is not a rope, by J.C. Kavanagh

It's that time of year again when we haul off the canvas tarps, fire up the buffer, and prepare our sailboat, Escape Route II, for the sailing season. I do so love prepping, but it always involves the purchase of: 
Compound ($50)
Wax ($60)
Cleaning solutions ($50)
VC17 keel paint ($100 per can and we need two cans)
Varathane ($50)
Cetol ($50)
And the list goes on.....
Everyone knows what the acronym for BOAT is, right? 
It's Bring Out Another Thousand.
Yes, sailing and owning a boat is an expensive undertaking. The price for material used for 'marine' purpose is at least quadruple what you'd pay for another purpose. Example: the cost of a marine water pump is $800. The cost for the same item, used in a motor vehicle, is $100.
However, the pure joy of harnessing the wind to bring you from Point A to Point B, is - priceless. 
And anchoring? Pure bliss.
But back to spring fitting. 
Our spring fitting (the terms used for prepping the boat for the sailing season), usually involves four or five weekends of hard, physical work. First, we remove the canvas tarps and dismantle the winter structure. This takes one full weekend.

Then we spend two more weekends cleaning the interior of the boat (the interior is referred to as 'down below'), applying compound to the hull, waxing the hull, buffing the hull, washing the decks. I also bring back all my reading materials, cushions, spices for the 'galley' (kitchen), materials for the 'head' (bathroom), sunscreen and insect repellents. (All liquids are removed for the winter and returned in the spring.)
'Down below'
Then another weekend is dedicated to hooking up batteries, changing oil and water filters, testing the engine, and painting the bottom. The mast also needs to be cleaned and the rigging inspected (that's the steel cables, chains and turnbuckles that connect the mast to the body of the boat, as well as the spreaders, shrouds and halyards).

FACT: The ropes from the foresail, aka Genoa, aka Genny, are called 'sheets.'
FACT: Ropes are not referred to as ropes on a sailboat. They are 'lines,' 'sheets' or 'halyards.'
FACT: 'Halyards' are the ropes from the top of the mast leading to the foresail and the mainsail.

When everything has been inspected, cleaned and waxed, then it's time to paint the bottom of the boat and the keel. The keel on our 36' Catalina sailboat is made of lead and weighs approximately 6,600 lbs. The boat when empty, weighs over 14,000 lbs. My partner likes to joke and say when I provision the boat, it weighs 20,000 pounds. NOT TRUE, but funny. Provisioning means I've provided food, water and important materials to survive on the sailboat.

FACT: The lighter the boat, the faster it sails. 

Finally, it's time to launch the boat. A large and powerful wheeled transport 'lifts' the boat from its cradle (the metal structure that holds the boat while it's out of the water. A sailboat sitting on the cradle is referred to as being 'on the hard.')

FACT: the main part of the boat consists of the dining area which is 'down below.' This is referred to as the 'main salon.'

FACT: Bedrooms are called 'staterooms.' Our boat has two staterooms: the v-berth in the forward section of the boat (which is called the 'bow'), and the aft cabin, which is in the stern or 'aft' section of the boat.
FACT: the left side of the boat is called 'port.' The right side of the boat is called 'starboard.'

Last, we use the mast crane to lift and position the 54' mast into place. The shrouds and turnbuckles are attached to the decks; the forestay is locked into place along with the backstay. These 'stays' hold and prevent the mast from falling forward/back. The shrouds maintain the mast's centre position. Then the sails are hoisted into place.

There's one last check to ensure the rigging is not too tight and not too loose.

Then.... the sailing season begins!

Some exciting news to share.... The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends has been short-listed by The Word Guild in the Young Adult Book, General market category. The winner will be announced at their awards/gala event in June. I'll keep you posted!

Take a few moments today to enjoy nature.

J.C. Kavanagh
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2)
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How to frighten away prospective writers

Fellow authors will recognize the following: Upon first meeting someone who discovers we’re writers, the conversations are quite predictable. First comes flattery: I’ve never met a writer before, or, It must be so exciting, and my favorite, You must be making so much money!

Many conversations end at this point, with people regarding us with admiration while we bite our lower lips, studiously avoiding correcting their exaggerations of any literary or other successes.

But some conversations turn serious, with questions on how to become a writer, an author’s lifestyle, or the craft itself.  These require actual honest answers, but a struggle ensues on how to gently deflate the wild expectations of bright-eyed individuals eager to set off on a journey of artistic expression and personal self-fulfillment.

For these people, I have compiled a list of quotes from well-known authors, which I submit for all to use:

Harper Lee
On how to become a writer:

 “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee, WD
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
—Ernest Hemingway

Ray Bradbury
Upon the Author’s lifestyle:

“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”
—Margaret Laurence
“...I have this one nasty habit. Makes me hard to live with. I write...” – Robert Heinlen
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
― Ray Bradbury

William Carlos Williams

On the craft of writing:

“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
—William Carlos Williams
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
George Orwell
“I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.” 
― Clarence Budington Kelland

Finally, if the individual has not run away screaming, we know he or she is ready to take the plunge. Now is the time to give the best piece of advice yet: “Start writing!”

Mohan Ashtakala is the author of "Karma Nation," published by Books We Love.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Characters or friends? Sheila Claydon

I'm taking a break from writing at the moment despite having a half finished manuscript on my computer...the second book of my Mapleby Memories Series. I don't have writer's block, nor am I struggling with my characters, it's just that this year the needs of family and friends have had to come first, and will continue to do so for a while yet.

A few years ago I would have struggled to deal with this. Writing had become an obsession. The need to type words on a page a daily necessity. So what changed? Well having 12 books published, mainly by Books We love, but a couple by other publishers too, made me realise I really was a writer. I had nothing left to prove. I could do it. I could write stories that other people wanted to read. A trickle of fan mail helped too, making my earlier efforts and disappointments all the more worthwhile.

More than that though, and mad as it might seem to a non-writer, it's the stories I've written that have calmed me down. Now, if I choose to, I can live in a world inhabited by a whole lot of characters who, at times, are almost as real as the flesh and blood people around me. I have never been able to start writing until I can see the main protagonists in my mind's eye. I don't draw up astrological charts for them as some writers do, or create detailed past histories for reference, I just need to see them.  And once I can do that, then they start to develop the story all by themselves.

It's not always easy because sometimes they won't follow my plan no matter how hard I try to make it work. Instead they go their own merry way as if they were a real person with ideas of their own, and that's what I mean about my world. I might not have the time to write at the moment but I can still see all those characters from my books, and sometimes, when I visit a place where I've set a story, or I make the same journey a character  made in one of my books, then I can imagine them there with me all over again.

In my experience writing a book expands my world. Sitting in front of a computer for hours might seem lonely to the onlooker, but then they can't see the host of new friends I've created who will always be with me.

One of my favourite characters is Rachel in Remembering Rose, the first Mapleby Memory, and Daniel in Reluctant Date is to die for!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Hidden Women, Hidden History by Eileen Charbonneau

 For details and purchase information click to visit Eileen Charbonneau's BWL author page

I’m delighted to be blogging with my fellow BWL authors.  

By way of introduction, allow me to share my passion for researching the nooks and crannies of history.  My new historical novel Seven Aprils details seven years (1860-1866) in the life of Tess Barton, during which she disguises herself as a man and serves in the Union medical corps during the American Civil War.

As in my fictional account, women were so eager to fight for the cause that they cross-dressed to enlist as soldiers. But both the Union and Confederate armies forbade the enlistment of women. But by estimates ranging from 400 to 800, women shed their bonnets and dresses for a cap and trousers, passed a cursory medical exam, and went off to war. And most succeeded in their deception.

Much of this history is ignored, suppressed, hidden. It is still being discovered in family stories and letters in attics. I found it fascinating.

Here are some of the women Seven Aprils was inspired by.

One was Kate Warne, part of the team that uncovered an alleged plot to assassinate Lincoln en route to his inauguration. She was so good at keeping her secrets that there are no verified images of her…male or female!

Is this Kate?

Kate in a Union cavalryman disguise?

Another was Sarah Edmonds, who, like Seven Aprils' Tess, escaped parental abuse and a forced marriage in male disguise, served as a soldier, then mustered out on her own terms, marrying the man of her choice and starting a family after the war.  

Sarah as a man..

Sarah after the war

Some who served may not have been women at all, but transgendered men.  Here’s Albert Cashier, who was born Jennie Hodgers, loved as "one of the boys" and the shortest member of the 95th Illinois infantry. 

He continued to live as a man until 1910 when in hospital for a broken leg. The doctors tried to make him wear a dress, but his old soldier comrades came to his defense, and got the decision reversed. Here's his grave, still lovingly kept...

What extraordinary lives!  I hope my Tess Barton and her journey through Seven Aprils honor them all.

Video: Visit Yorkshire, England, and the Bronte Sisters Museum with J.Q. Rose, Memorial Day

Dangerous Sanctuary  by J. Q. Rose Cozy Mystery Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock  that includes...