Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I am old-fashioned and do love paper or hard bound books; however, I cannot always resist the temptation to read the ebook versions on my i-pad or telephone.

Here are some thoughts for a person to consider in what format to read:

     1. The feel of a book is very special.

        Ebooks feel only varies from i-pad to telephone.

    2. Some books can weigh a fair amount and be difficult for some people to hold.

        Our electronic books are light and the weight is consistently the same no matter the book size!

    3. The artistry involved in the front and back covers are to be enjoyed and spark an interest in 
        what is between the covers.

        The front covers in ebooks are seen but their vibrancy and artistry are often missed. The back 
        portion of the book jacket is often missing.
        I just have to put a plug in for my book cover designer, Jay Monroe. He has done
       a fantastic job with each of my very different books.
All available at www.amazon.com
Proceeds from all three books go
to gynecologic cancer research.

    4. Photos in the middle or end of the book add to an appreciation of the book's message.

        Such photos are not always shown in ebooks.

    5. For me the textures and smells of a hard-bound book add richness to the experience of 
        being a book reader.

        Ebooks lack that kind of stimulation to the senses.

    6. Paperback and hardbound books are more expensive to purchase, but that is because of
        the higher costs to produce them.

        One can purchase ebooks for quite a bit less money. Some are even free.

    7. A disadvantage to "real books" is the temptation to break the spine so the pages are easier
        to read. To a devoted and true book lover, it is almost a sin to break the spine.

        With our electronic books there is no need nor ability to break the spine!

I hope you have learned from and enjoyed my thoughts. The important conclusion is the tremendous value, beauty, and education from reading a book.
                                           SO KEEP ON READING!

                          INDEPENDENT AUTHORS.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


As authors who love to write, often we need to set aside goals to help us as follow our dreams. Here are some techniques I use and I invite you to comment and add any methods you use to achieve your writing goals.

1. I set aside the morning hours to take care of the "busy" activities such as tweeting, posting on LinkedIn and Facebook, and checking emails and comments on my blogs.

2. I spend an hour or more writing, researching, or outlining for my next book, article, or blog. 

3. Take frequent breaks to stretch, breathe deeply, and walk around the block or house. These will help you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

4. Remember to feed your body nutritious snacks and meals; drink plenty of water.

5. I find listening to relaxing music without lyrics is conducive to writing. 

6. I designate which days/times I will take care of household responsibilities: laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.

7. I keep notes and names for future blogs; tracking on a calendar specific to writing events, guest blogs, etc. 

These are just goals. They are not written in stone! They are meant to be adjusted, moved around, or acted upon as they best meet my daily needs. The most important thing is that I ENJOY what I am doing. To feel a sense of accomplishment, however small, is important. 

A writer can be his/her own worse enemy or judge. A published writer does not give up, but perseveres.

               Best wishes to each of you that dream to write, write, and create.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I am honored and pleased to present RRBC & RWISA author, A. M. Manay to today's blog. She is an accomplished author and will share her thoughts about being an author.

                      Five Writing Tips to Rock Your World

 1) First and last sentences are crucial.

The beginning and the end make lasting impressions.  The first sentence of a chapter should draw the reader in.  The last sentence should leave them waning more.  Keep them short.  This is not the time for clause after clause; limit your commas, and steer clear of the semicolon.  Get fancy somewhere else.

2) Listen to conversation.

So many writers ruin books with terrible dialogue.  Dialogue should sound at least somewhat like how people actually talk.  Your characters can sound smarter than average, but they should still be recognizable as residents of this planet, assuming that they are, in fact, human.  Use your ears.

3) Don't act like your readers are stupid.

You do not need to front load exposition in Chapter 1.  If you build your world in essay form at the beginning of the book, you cripple the story.  Let the reader figure things out gradually.  That is half the fun of reading.  You don't have to spell out everything.

4) Limit your adverbs.

English has an abundance of words.  Use them.  If you're putting "very" in front of something, chances are that there's a more precise, evocative word you can use instead.  I'm not forbidding adverbs; just don't go overboard with them.

5) Take your time.

Writing isn't a race.  Don't promise a book sooner than it can develop organically.  A story needs time to grow, just like a plant.  You harvest the fruit too soon, and it will taste sour.
What are your top tips, fellow writers?


1,  How long have you been writing?

    I started my first book about five years ago.

2. How many books have you authored?  Please give us up to 3 titles?


  I've written 3 novels and 1 book of short stories.  The novels are She Dies at the End, She Lights Up the Dark, and She Marches Through Fire.  Now that I've concluded that series, I'm working on a new project.

3. Do you have a writing schedule?

   I don't have a strict one.  I write whenever the other demands of life give me a few minutes free.

4. You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

I feel that my work is intelligent and well-written.

5. Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

  I think my work is informed by my somewhat unusual combination of life experiences.  I have a science background.  I have experience teaching high school in the inner city.  I married outside of my culture and race.  I've adopted a child across race.  I have traveled to Europe and Asia.  I live with a serious chronic illness.  I think my experiences give me a unique voice.

6. If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be?  Why?

 I adore Isabel Allende.  She is amazing across multiple cultures.  I'd love to know more about her process.

7. Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

I think I would try it at least once if I had the chance, just to see how the other half lives.  it would probably be educational.

8. As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself continuing to improve my writing and build my audience.

9. What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

  I use Canva almost daily.

10.  Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members?  Why?

Mae Clair is excellent.  She's a very consistent writer.

11. What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Read great books.

12. Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work? 
I think it really depends on the person, but often fast is not better.

13. If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready?  No matter your reason, please explain why?

I think you don't make promises you can't keep.

14. In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

The writing has to be good.   The characters need to be engaging.  The author needs to have something to say.  For me, those are the three keys.

15. If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do?  And the second?

I'd get a new eye I trust to look it over, and I'd make corrections as necessary.

Author Links for A.M. Manay

Twitter: @ammanay

          Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, and ideas about being an author. 

              Please leave a comment or ask A.M. a question, she welcomes your thoughts. 

Monday, February 6, 2017


Hello and thank you so much for joining me today on this awesome blog, as part of my Rave Reviews Book Club's "SPOTLIGHT" Author Tour.

My thanks to my hostess today.

Sheila Harrington is the primary antagonist in Acts Beyond Redemption. Today I thought I'd allow you a peek inside Sheila Harrington's closet. (The clothes one).

Sheila is deadly in oh so many ways.

Let's begin with her formal attire, like the little black number she wore to the Governor of New York City's Ball, as his date she was expected to shine...

She accessorized the look with these: 


                                                    For a cocktail party she chooses: 

There is nothing simple about Sheila. When she plays, she plays hard...but what does she wear when she's working? Well there's something like this, and the mask is a must.

            Or for those times when her other work means that invisible is the only way to be...

           And she always carries the essentials in her little bag of tricks...doesn't every woman?

                                      Sheila has even been known to rest on occasion...

And, what does she wear at the end of her day?  Just a smile!  She is truly a woman to die for.

                   Thanks again for popping in. I hope you enjoyed the fashion parade.

Please join me again on the next stop on this exciting Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Tour. And another huge and grateful thank you to my host.

Suzanne Burke lives, laughs, writes, and enjoys her life in the beautiful harbor-side city of Sydney, Australia. She is a mother and grandmother, now in her sixties, and considers every moment of every day as a precious treasure to be valued and explored and not simply endured.

Her non-fiction works are written under the pen-name of Stacey Danson. They are both challenging and thought provoking works covering the earliest years of her life, the topic of child abuse, and the PTSD that accompanied her into her later years are not by virtue of their subject matter an easy or comfortable read, yet so many have read them. She will be forever grateful that her readers have assisted in raising awareness into this painful and enduring evil.

An awareness that is vital in any efforts to stem this tide of inhuman acts perpetrated on the most innocent of us all...the children.

She escapes into the world of fiction in her thriller and suspense novels, continually exploring other genres such as paranormal and dystopian, and always delighting in the magical escapism offered in the written word. She is an avid reader and reviewer who enjoys sharing the works she explores.

Follow Suzanne online:
     Facebook @StaceyandSuzie
     Twitter: @purssot
     Website: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/