Wednesday, February 21, 2018


I have been an avid book reader and lover of books all my life. It began when my grandmother read books to me, probably when I was just a toddler. Both my mother and grandmother were avid readers. My mother loved Erle Stanley Gardner books and Grandma read historical and biographical books.

           Here are some fun facts about book lovers. See if any of them fit you.

1. They have great imaginations.

2. They like to escape to foreign places or become other people through their minds only.

3. Readers like to learn: historical, biographical, scientific, and geographical. The most popular fiction books are romance, crime, fantasy, and horror; for non-fiction it is cooking, biographies, medical/health, and history.

4. Most readers like the feel, smell, and look of a hard-bound or paperback book, but some do enjoy the ease of using an e-book. Only 27% of Americans prefer e-books.

5. Readers enjoy sitting in a comfortable chair, on a beach lounge chair, propped up in bed, or while on a crowded bus, train, or plane for distraction.

6. Speaking of distraction: readers like to read a book rather than listen to mundane chatter, ease off impatience, or escape the hustle and bustle around them.

7. As a child I would hide under the blankets with my flashlight just to read one more chapter despite Mother's instructions, "It's time for bed." I still hide under the blanket with my I-phone in the early morning hours so that I won't wake up my husband.

8. Favorite pasttimes at our grandparent's house was to look at the pictures from Saturday Evening Post, Look, and National Geographic magazine. We would read various articles as they appealed to our interests and reading skills.

9. Avid readers often become authors.

10. An important fact: reading to young children stimulates their brains and imaginations. They will probably become part of the 91% who will read at least 6 books in a year. 

Become a follower and share some fun facts about you as a reader in the comment section. Your name will be put in a basket for a chance to win a free ebook.

My thanks to the following  for some of the content above:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


  Gracie Bradford is an extraordinary woman and an amazing author. It has been my privilege to "meet" her through Rave Reviews Book Club. Her career history goes beyond being an author. She has worked in pediatric medical nutrition, she has mentored at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas, and is CEO of her company, MBradford Management Associates. For the month of February she was given the honor of being the Spotlight Author. Please give her a warm welcome.

                                              Excerpt from June the Prune & Lady Bird:

 “The doctor told us that her goal was to shrink the size of the mass in my head, which was pushing against an area that controlled some of my mental and physical functions while at the same time reduce side effects and maintain my quality of life during and after treatments. She said that surgery was not an option that she wanted to take at this time. I was so glad to hear that they were not going to shave my hair off and cut my head open.
   She explained that they would not cut open my head, but they would have to insert a plastic tube called a “shunt” to drain fluid from my brain and have it flow to another site for ease of elimination from my body. My mom did not want to hear this unsettling news. Frankly, neither did I.
   The doctor told us that she and a radiation oncologist would determine the best drug for me. The drugs would be very potent ones (chemotherapy), which would run through my IV tube for a defined period in an attempt to destroy the bad cells. Then she would check my vitals after the first round of treatment to see if the mass in my brain was getting smaller. She explained that the chemotherapy treatments as a whole could last up to six months. The side effects might be unbearable sometimes. Sometimes the therapy might make me sicker than I was when I first came to the hospital.
   I interrupted her to remind her that I was only ten years old and told her she was frightening my brother. I noticed he looked like he was turning green. But the real reason I reminded her of my age was that she had scared me out of my mind.
   I looked at my parents and thought that my mom might pass out at any moment but noticed a smirk on my stepfather’s face. I looked over at G-Mom. She was the only one who seemed to be holding it together. I expected G-Mom to question the doctor in many ways to get everyone to grasp how serious this was and how long it would take to see results. In a kind and compassionate way, my grandmother grilled the doctor like a drill sergeant!” My doctor gradually realized that G-Mom was the stabilizing force in the family as well as very knowledgeable in medical terms. The doctor would frequently turn to my grandmother, seeking assurance that she was doing well explaining to the rest of the family and me. My doctor did not want to frighten my brother or me, but she felt we needed to understand the journey we were about to go on. I knew it would not be like the trip we had six months ago. I also knew that G-Mom would insist that I keep notes in my journal about my illness just as she did on our trips. I could not tell G-Mom that I had forgotten how to write.”

Ms. Bradford can be contacted, promoted, or followed through these links:


She is the author of these other four books:

       My thanks to Gracie Bradford for sharing her incredible writing talent with us.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


I am pleased to have author, Francois Keyser here as my guest. He chose to leave the corporate world and become an author and entrepreneur. He is the author of "The Junglies" series of books. His books are a true delight for anyone to read, not just children.

Thank you to Karen Ingalls for giving me this wonderful opportunity to write a guest blog.

I was recently asked by someone for some advice on how to make their book writing hobby a full time career.

I can offer this advice and I hope it will be of help to you.

NEVER give up your day job until your writing generates sufficient income for you.

The world is hooked on Amazon and I have nothing against them. However, I think many authors look at Amazon as the God of the published world. Yet, there are so many books on Amazon that publishing your book is like adding a drop of water to the ocean. Publishing is the easiest thing to do in the entire publishing process. The hardest thing to do is marketing your book. And its the most important.

By all means though, go ahead and publish your books on as many platforms as you can. The platforms are sales and distribution channels for you. Try to use channels such as Ingram Spark which distributes to Amazon and many other channels. The bigger the distribution, the less work you have to publish on multiple channels. Many people will have different perspectives about this and you will need to make your own choice ultimately.

So how do you market your book? You should decide who your market is before you start writing. Many of us don't. If you know what your market is then you know where to market it and it's easier to do so.

Social media is necessary but many people have said it doesn't sell books. I tend to agree. I have hardly ever sold books through social media. I just tend to get likes which doesn't put food on the table. Not being ungrateful. Just realistic. It does however create awareness and is therefore very necessary. But you should target your social media to your market. Connect with people in your book's market. It takes time too. Time you could be spending writing. But unless you can find a social media manager who can mange your social media for you fairly inexpensively you have to do it yourself.

I believe you need to be as creative as you can be regarding your book. As authors most of us do not have unlimited budgets for marketing so we need to be careful with how we spend the budget we have.

I promote my children’s books by telling stories from my books (sometimes using puppets) at schools and children’s events. It costs very little to get to the school and sometimes I get paid as well! My wife and I also have an arts and crafts business and we run workshops for children. Sometimes I am able to sell books at those workshops.

Make merchandise using your book or book cover. Make bookmarks you can give away, a puzzle, notebook, fridge magnet, business card holder, key ring, shirts, mugs, caps, tote bags, back packs, stickers and anything else you can think of. Why you ask? Because these items advertise or shout your book out every time someone uses them. It’s always in their face and repetition is so great at getting people to pay attention or reminding them. This goes further than social media. You can then package these items with your book and sell them as a package or at a book launch or give them away with competitions.

Find opportunities to be in the public eye. Contact libraries and ask them if you can do a book signing and reading from your book. Make personal contact with people. Build up followers. Collect e-mail addresses which you can add to an e-mail database that you e-mail regularly with updates about your books. You can also find related topics which you can speak about at your local library. People will get to know you and get to know you are an author.

Keep submitting your books to traditional publishers if you want to. There is of course the point at which you have to decide if you want to wait for a publishing deal, if ever, or get on with it and publish your books yourself.

Connect with other authors and write guest blogs for them. Publish guest blogs from other authors on your site as well. You always keep content fresh and interesting.

Offer creative writing workshops regarding your genre to people. Become an expert on your genre and people will connect with you because of it. This will create more word of mouth about you and your books.

There are many author groups on LinkedIn and elsewhere which offer valuable information. Connect with them as far as possible.

And don’t forget reviews. Do what you have to do to get reviews. This is critical for sales. I may give it one line of attention here but this is almost sacred regarding sales in my opinion.

So when do I write I hear you asking? You have to make the time to write. Consistently.

Good resources for writing are:

Francois has also recently launched his business BookGeniez which offers marketing tools for authors and other publishing related services.

Francois's arts and crafts business, Kreative Keo, manufactures, sells and runs arts and crafts workshops for children encouraging learning and inspiring creativity and reducing time spent on gadgets.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


B. J. Bassett is a writer, teacher, and speaker whose "forte as a writer and teacher is to inspire and motivate others to reach their dreams." She writes short stories, articles, does book reviews, greeting cards, work-for-hire, and devotionals. Please leave Ms. Bassett a comment or feel free to ask her a question.  

                                      OUR WRITING IS A GIFT WE GIVE TO OTHERS

Ask any writer why they write and you’ll receive a variety of answers. Money isn’t usually one of them.

I write because it’s like an itch that has to be scratched. For me writing is like breathing, and it’s a calling. I like to inspire others with my writing. I also like to see my name in print. (That’s my ego part.)

I also treasure writing. I have a letter from my grandfather written on the day I was born. (He died when I was five.) Another letter I treasure is written during the Civil War by one of my husband’s relatives.

I saved all the letters our youngest daughter wrote to us when she was away at college. Later I put them in an album for her. When our middle daughter was stationed in Germany, while serving in the Air Force, she wrote of her adventures. Those letters were put into a scrapbook for her as well. I also have 25 years of Christmas letters I wrote in an album. They contain our family’s history, as well as a keepsake.

Letters from my little brother written while he was stationed in Vietnam are precious to me. After he lost his life there, I took my first writing class. Later, I read that when you lose someone close to you, you may take on one of his or her characteristics. My brother was passionate about writing.

A friend writes to her children about anything and everything. She mails them to herself and when they arrive she puts them into a decorated box for each of her adult children to open after her death. She calls them Letters from Heaven. When the boxes are full, she seals them. She has accumulated several boxes for each of her children. What a treasure they will be to them someday.
Our writing is a gift we give to others. Not all writers are published, yet their gift can touch a heart.


She co-authored a children’s devotional, My Time with God, with over 55,000 copies sold while it was in print. Her novels include Lily and Gillian’s Heart. Sweet Charity will be released in May 2018.

She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and at conferences.

She has four grown children and three grown grandsons. A native Californian, she now lives with her husband of 59 years in Roseburg, OR.

When she isn’t writing, teaching or speaking, she enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.