Looking for a short thriller for that beach read or a weekend getaway, but don't want to spend a lot? Shards of Trust is now available with a $2 off coupon through Book Shop. Follow this link, SummerSale18, and enter the code at checkout. Enjoy your summer!
Change always requires movement in some direction, and during this movement it can be difficult to determine if it is indeed for the best, until the dust settles. It seems that the publishing industry is in the midst of such change, and as with most change, there are factors that bring it about.
This past spring, I was interviewed by Lisa Roepe, a former newspaper reporter turned freelance writer, who was writing an article on this very topic for Sage Publications Business Researchers. Her article was featured in the May 7, 2018 issue, The Publishing Industry, in which Lisa takes a close look at publishing trends, including a growing number of independent publishers, along with an increase in audio books. She also delves into how practices of large publishers have affected first-time authors and the choices they make when seeking to publish their books.
Change is in the wind. Check out Lisa's article to learn more before the dust settles.
My mom used to quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and tell me that "into each life a little rain must fall." She failed to mention that sometimes it pours, and then you discover that the bucket you're using to bale water with has a hole in it.
That about sums up how 2018 has been for me so far. The loss of my mom and dear sister, along with family illnesses, has taken a toll on my sense of humor. However, that same sister would be the first to say it was NEVER that great, while laughing hysterically and shooting milk out of her nose. Yea, it was like that between us.
Their lives remind me of that bright flash of light from the photographer's camera (which my sister was - a photographer, not a camera), followed by dark spots in my vision that faded to gray before disappearing. I'm still blinking from those circles of darkness, trying to focus on the resulting picture or memories that remain.
They will be missed; Mom, for her advice, and my sister for her laughter. I will hold memories of them forever in my heart. Rest in peace.
Today I finished reading a book by an author whose writing captivates me, leaving me eager to delve into her next novel. As an avid yet finicky reader, I enjoy sharing some of my favorites with my fellow readers. Before I reveal the author, though, let me first begin with some of the qualities of this author's writing that appeal to me.
It may sound simple, but for those of you who write fiction, believable characters are not always easy to portray. This author's characters and their emotions evolve and draw me in, allowing me to be a part of their lives. Their personalities are painted in words like an old house with peeling chips that reveal weathered layers from the past. Bit by bit the paint peels or is chipped away until a fresh new coat replaces the old.
I also appreciate how her settings are interwoven into the story line with ease, adding to the plot rather than halting it. A vivid picture appears in her reader's mind within each scene of her story, enhancing the senses.
The Sound of Glass is a great example of these qualities in Karen White's novels. Although this is only the second of her books that I've read (The Color of Light was the first), I look forward to reading many more. And since I believe she has at least twenty-four novels to choose from, it look like I'm going to have an ample selection.
Have you recently discovered an author whose books welcome you like a cherished friend; maybe someone whose writing style you admire? If so, share their name in the comment section, and I'll try to include them on a future blog.
And don't forget to take advantage of my Spring Sale through the end of April for Shards of Trust. Visit my home page at www.makoontz.com and click on the SPRING SALE button for details.
Blue skies and sunshine today bring warm thoughts of spring just around winter's harsh corner. It's that time of year when those heavy winter coats become as irritating to us as the scratchy sweater that we can't wait to throw off. Both may keep you warm, but at a certain point, the irritation begins to out-way that warmth.
Thankfully, the hope of spring allows us to tolerate winter just a little longer. It's icy tentacles that reach our inner core, will freeze and thaw in cycles, until at last, it is no more.
Past years have shown us what we can expect: budding trees and fresh fragrant bloom will burst their color onto a new green pallet, covering the dull grays of winter. Neighbors will no longer disappear into their homes in a flash, but instead, pause to take in Mother Nature's beauty, and approach us with a smile and greeting.
My anticipation is palpable today. I couldn't wait to share that same feeling with others, and have decided to also share news of my upcoming Spring Special on my book, Shards of Trust. Beginning March 1st through the end of April, I will have a $2 off coupon promotion. Go to www.makoontz.com/shards-of-trust, click on the "BookShop" link under "Paperback," and remember to enter code SPRING18 at checkout to receive the discount.
I realize that this is still weeks away, but like spring, I wanted to give you one more thing to look forward to, because if you're like me, it is always the right season to get comfortable and read a new book.
Do you prefer to recap your past year on New Year's Eve, or are you more of a forward thinking individual (i.e. what's done is done, so move on)? Personally, I find the latter more comforting, because I like the feeling of control that I still have over future events. Granted, I will probably laugh at some point looking back on this statement, when my best-laid plans have been upended by the unexpected events du jour. However, I like that there is still some element of predictability with the new year, whereas, I know what happened last year, and I have zero control over it's history of events.
I am definitely looking forward to writing more as the holidays wind down. Making family a priority during this wonderful season has been great, so I will not apologize for the sporadic writing. Quite the contrary, this pause has created a new passion in me to pursue those swirling thoughts and stories in my head, and coax them into the printed word. (See the photo of the new mug from my daughter, who knows me all too well!)
Focus, alas, will be my greatest challenge in 2018. I find myself pulled by a plethora of interests in this world, and the creative thoughts can sometimes jumble the process, making it difficult to complete a project. That creativity is so necessary, but harnessing it is another story (pun intended)! I would love to hear from those of you who have mastered control over your creative impulses, and how you successfully accomplished this task. Sounds like a good story...
Have a wonderful and productive 2018!
So many smiling faces this past weekend at my book signing at Barnes & Noble started my holiday season off in the best possible way. A huge thank you to everyone who came to chat, purchase a copy of Shards of Trust and allow me the privilege of signing their copy, and especially for supporting Riley Children's Hospital. I was pleased to donate my portion of the book sales to such a worthy cause.
Speaking of smiles, what could be a more perfect gift to give? It's free, you don't have to wrap it, and you don't have to stand in line for it. Returns? Those are the smiles you receive back, and available 24/7.
However, for those individuals who have been stingy with their smiles, others who know you well will wonder what you are up to, but that can make it even more fun. It's a special gift that boosts your spirit as well as the receiver's, making it the best two-for-one deal ever! Even better, it is available any time, unlike the "today only" or "one time only" offers.
The anticipation alone of certain individuals can make you smile. Such pleasant people seem to have an unlimited stock of smiles, so no worries about the disappointing "out of stock" shock. There is a warning with this gift, though; it requires repetition over time from both the giver and receiver. It takes time to be greeted continuously by someone with a smile, to be able to anticipate that warmth. Knowing someone who can make you smile before you actually see them is a great bonus, and who doesn't like getting a little extra unexpected gift?
So let's wrap up our smiles with a hug, a handshake, a fist bump, or however you choose to greet others this holiday season, and spread some much needed cheer.
The month of November gives us so many opportunities to reflect and be thankful for our blessings. Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day, for example, are great reminders of this, and I dare say it is no accident that they occur in the same month.
I took a picture to my mom at the nursing home this past weekend. The photo was of her in her nurse's uniform when she was a member of the Cadet Nursing Corp during WWII. Looking at the youthful woman with a full head of dark wavy hair, donning a white cap with a single stripe and wearing a white nurse's dress, she laughed and said, "I don't remember being that young." The photo of my dad in his navy uniform brought tears to her eyes as she ached for their life that once was -- so different from her current life of dependence on others. I am grateful to both of them for their service and the sacrifices that they made.
My father-in-law was a radar operator on a plane that flew rescue missions in Guam, a topic that he chooses to avoid for obvious reasons. He was particularly saddened this past week by the death of another soldier, except this soldier served in Vietnam. He was the husband of a good friend of mine. She has watched him suffer from numerous symptoms which were the result of exposure to Agent Orange. Over the past few years, he became good friends with my father-in-law while receiving dialysis treatments several times a week. They loved to discuss all things sports during their four hours in the chairs that they occupied side by side at the clinic. To these dear men, I salute them for their service, and for the ultimate price that one soldier has paid.
Because of these individuals and so many more, I choose to be grateful not only for family, health, and all that I possess, but also for the freedoms that I tend to take for granted. I would like to thank all service men and women who have fought in various wars throughout our history for these freedoms that our great nation provides. I am so grateful.
This will be a short blog, but I couldn't wait to congratulate the five winners of the Goodreads Giveaway who have won an autographed copy of Shards of Trust! They were among 890 entrants requesting the short thriller. I should be getting those copies out to you within the next week.
As for the 348 who have shelved my book on their "Want to Read" shelf, I sincerely hope that you get a chance to read it. I realize that for some of you, that shelf can get pretty crowded, so for those avid readers who select my novel, I would love to hear your feedback.
Enjoy the rest of your week, and thank you for your interest!
This time of year conjures up all things frightening and fearful in the spirit of Halloween. While some take delight in such "spooktacular" events such as haunted houses, scary movies, or reading thrillers (#Shards of Trust), others might dread these type of experiences that make their hearts race and sets them on the edge of their seats. What is a thrill for one may be anxiety for another.
That got me to consider the community of writers. How many of us enjoy every aspect of the writing journey? Do we look forward to the challenges that can cause us fright, or do we take flight when risks are required that seem too daunting?
Recently, a new author in an online writer's group was about to seek publication of her new novel. She confided that she became extremely anxious as she considered the marketing tasks that followed publication of her new novel. While she enjoyed writing, the thought of doing book signings or promoting her book, caused her so much discomfort that she sought help from her physician. Her fear of making mistakes was preventing her from moving forward.
I think we can all relate to some extent. Risks, or even fear of the unknown, can be downright scary. Taking risks can lead to mistakes, but what is the alternative? Of course, one could play it safe, but that is stagnating.
Perhaps it is better to take the pressure off of ourselves. I have decided that it is best to make mistakes, even to expect them. In fact, it is by making mistakes that I truly know that I am trying something new and taking risks; it is proof of forward momentum, not the other way around. Oh sure, my palms get sweaty with any new venture, and sometimes I want to run, but the sense of pride and accomplishment after working through it, is so worth it.
Let's support our fellow writers/authors and help them through their fright, because the world could end up missing a great gift if even one of our colleagues chooses flight. Have a happy Halloween! Now let's get out there and make some mistaakes!