Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Flash Fiction - THE SLOT MACHINE, a Flash Fiction Fantasy Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

The Slot Machine
By Linda Mooney


            Wendell glanced at the slot machine as he headed for the front door, same as he did every morning when he went to work. It was hard to miss, sitting against the wall between the door and living room window where the morning sun glinted off its chrome and gold-like surface. As per his daily routine, he shoved a quarter into the slot and pulled the handle.
            Heart…dollar sign…cherry.
            The heart again. He knew what the dollar sign and the cherry signified, but he had yet to figure out what the heart symbol meant.
            Sighing, he exited onto the porch to find Herb Willis walking his dog past his house. Herb spotted him first and waved. “Hey! Did you hear? Tom Takasuki won a month’s worth of groceries this morning!”
            “No, I didn’t hear that. Who told you? Tom?”
            “Yeah.” Herb nodded, grinning. “Bing, bing, bing! Three little cherries in a row! Sure beats that month’s worth of gas I won back in January, what with the price of food skyrocketing.”
            Wendell could relate. “Same here.”
            Herb’s dog paused to pee on Wendell’s lawn, giving its owner the chance to extend their brief conversation. “What’s the most you’ve ever won?”
            “I got a refund on my investment for the month,” Wendell confessed. “That was back in December. It wasn’t much. Less than twenty bucks. But it helped.” He shrugged slightly. “I don’t play a lot. Not like some people.”
            Herb snorted. “Wish I could say the same. I probably load that baby up with about fifty or sixty dollars in a month’s time. If you could win anything, what would you prefer?”
            What would he prefer? “I don’t know. Maybe having my electric bill paid. Hey, Herb?”
            “Yeah? Hold on, Cookie,” he ordered the dog impatiently tugging on its leash, eager to keep moving.
            “Any idea what the heart symbol stands for?”
            “Nope. Haven’t a clue. Speaking of, I had a few friends over the other night, and we talked about that. Some of us think it means getting a month’s worth of anything you want.”
            “Is that what you think, too?”
            “I dunno. Maybe it means you fall in love.” The man snorted. “At least, that’s what my wife claims.”
            The mongrel tugged again, whining impatiently. “Look, I’ll talk to you later, okay?” Herb called out to him. Both dog and owner continued on their way without waiting for a response.
            Locking his door behind him, Wendell proceeded down the walkway to the sidewalk. Turning to the right, he headed for the corner of the block where he’d catch the 7:38 to the stop on Wallingstone Street, where he’d then walk the next three blocks to his job.
            Although he tried not to, he glanced over at the little one-story, wood-frame house as he passed by. He half-hoped she would come outside, or at least appear in one of the windows, just so he could hold that brief glimpse of her in his box of memories. It would be enough to get him through another day. And where on the weekends he could reminisce over every mental snapshot.
            Just as it seemed she wouldn’t show, the front door unexpectedly opened, and she stepped outside to begin sweeping off her porch. For a split second their gazes met, and Wendell felt his heart do a somersault.
            “Hi, Wendell!” Murielle called out to him, adding a wave and a smile.
            “Hi!”
            “Win anything this morning?”
            He stopped in his tracks. She was talking to him, and his breath fluttered in his lungs. He glanced toward the end of the block where the bus sign stood, but didn’t see the familiar white transport heading toward it. Even if it was, he knew he couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share a few words with the woman. Words he would replay over and over during those lonely evenings.
            “Uhh, no. You?”
            She shook her head, a regretful expression on her face. “No. I’ve never won a thing, and those machines have been in our homes how long now? Going on a year, isn’t it?”
            “Yeah. It’ll be a year next week.”
            Again, she shook her head. The morning sun highlighted her black hair with streaks of blue. “You know, there are times I wish we hadn’t voted to end all taxing, and opt for the individual slot machines being placed in our homes instead. I’ll bet you there are people who are paying hundreds and thousands of dollars more out of their paychecks now than they were ever taxed in the first place.”
            “I agree with you. I know those first few months I was guilty of over-spending on the damn thing…excuse my language,” he hastily amended.
            To his surprise, she came down the steps to approach him. Wendell felt his stomach tighten into a knot as she drew nearer. She stopped on the other side of the simple picket fence, so close he could see her eyes were the color of a cloudless sky, even through her glasses.
            She perused the end of the block. “Are you waiting for the bus to show?”
            “Yeah.” It was a miracle he could speak, with her standing near enough to take her into his arms.
            “Where do you work?”
            “Beltrans.”
            Her face brightened. “Really? I’ve never been there myself, but I hear it’s a great place to eat. Are you a waiter or something?”
            “I’m a cook. A sous chef.”
            “What does that mean?’
            “I mostly cut up ingredients and assist the main chef.”
            When she smiled, it was as if the sun sent a halo around her face. “I bet you’re good at your job. I can’t cook worth a darn. I burn water.” She laughed softly at her own joke.
            “Don’t downplay yourself,” he gently scolded, and pointed to the broom in her hand. “I’m a lousy housekeeper.”
            The distant sound of an approaching engine alerted them that the bus was nearing the stop. Wendell knew if he wasn’t there, it would continue on. So did Murielle.
            “Hurry! Go! I don’t want you to miss your ride. We’ll talk more later, okay?”
            “Okay. ‘Bye!” He took off running, but already he knew his day would go smoothly because she had spoken to him. He’d seen her, and talked with her, and hopefully someday they’d be able to spend more time in each other’s company.
            That evening, after work, tired but still riding the emotional high from that morning, Wendell entered his empty home. Seeing the slot machine, on a whim, he took one of the quarters he kept in the machine’s well and dropped it in. This time, however, instead of pulling the lever, he slapped the large PLAY button.
            Heart…heart…
            Heart.
            He stared in shock at the three red icons now glowing, and the machine dinging its congratulations. After a full minute, the lights went out, and the slot machine resumed its usual silence. From the back room he heard his computer chime, letting him know he had a message.
            Numbly, he walked into the converted bedroom. The word CONGRATULATIONS! flashed on the monitor, accompanied by CGI confetti. Wendell sat in the chair and clicked the PRESS button highlighted in the lower right-hand corner. The screen went black, gradually fading to white as the message finally appeared.

            CONGRATULATIONS, MR. ARLO! YOU HAVE WON YOUR HEART’S DESIRE!
            EXPECT PAYMENT WITHIN THE NEXT HALF HOUR!
                                                     —The Gaming Commission

He blinked in confusion. He’d won his heart’s desire? That’s what the heart-shaped icons stood for?
What was his heart’s desire? Even he didn’t have the foggiest idea what to expect.
The doorbell rang, jolting him back to the present. Still mulling over the cryptic message, he went over to open the front door, too preoccupied to check through the peephole first to see who it might be.
Murielle was the last person he expected to find standing on his welcome mat.
Flipping on the outside porch light, he noticed the chagrined expression on her face, and an instant of alarm flashed through him.
“Murielle! What are you doing here?” He checked the yard behind her. “Are you alone?”
“Y-you’re not going to believe this, but…” She half-laughed, half-sighed. “I got this crazy urge to play the slot machine just a few minutes ago. It came to me totally out of the blue. I mean, I only play it once a day, in the morning. But for some crazy reason I can’t explain, I felt like I had to play it just now. And you know what? Three hearts came up! Just like that! Ding, ding, ding! But what was crazier was that I got a message from the Gaming Commission telling me that I’d won my heart’s desire, and…and I was told to come to this address to claim it.” She shook her head in confusion. “Isn’t that the nuttiest thing you’ve ever heard?”
“No. No, it isn’t. In fact…” He also chuckled. “The same thing just happened to me. Look. You can look at my machine and see the three hearts still there. And I got the same message from the Gaming Commission. Only, it didn’t give me an address to go to. It told me to expect payment within the next half hour.”
Her eyes widened. “You got the three hearts in a row, too?”
“Yeah. And I have no idea what it meant when it said I’d won my heart’s desire. Do you?”
“No.”
A cool breeze blew over them both. Wendell saw her shudder, and realized she didn’t have a sweater or anything to keep her warm. He stepped aside and gestured for her to enter. “Come inside. I was getting ready to heat up the beef burgundy I’d brought home from work. Have you had supper yet?”
“No, but I can’t intrude on you.”
“You’re not intruding. You’d make me very happy if you’d accept my invitation.”
It took her a split-second to make her decision. She smiled shyly. “I would love some beef burgundy. Thank you.”
She entered his home where they proceeded to discuss their similar experience over a good dinner and a fine wine. And after a while, they no longer wondered what winning their heart’s desire meant, because what they had right then was exactly what the both of them had been wanting for long, long time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New!
Lovin' Large

Erotic Sci-Fi/Paranormal/Futuristic Romance
by Linda Mooney writing as Carolyn Gregg
Word Count: 25.6K
$2.99 e / $6.99 p


A "Choose Your Ending" Romance     

Asa Kelby, Director of Entrapment for WesCept, never knows what his job will entail day in and day out. After the earth passed through a comet’s tail, wiping out 90% of all animal species, life changed drastically for both humans and remaining animals. Gone is the surplus of meat for meals, domestic pets, and farm animals. But companies like WesCept are working hard to reverse that.

Scientists have developed a machine that can reach back in time, seize animals of all shapes and sizes, and transport them forward to current time to repopulate the Earth, bringing those species back from extinction, and also provide food for meat-eaters. The biggest problem is they have no control over what animals the Grabber will trap, or even WHEN in history those animals will come from.

At great risk, Asa’s boss tells him to turn up the power on the Grabber, in hopes of bringing in bigger game, but they weren’t quite expecting it to bring in something quite as large or prehistoric as they are soon facing. When the mistake is realized, it’s too late, and they get more than they bargained for. More than the history of Earth itself ever knew existed.

And it will shake the very core of everyone’s belief as to humanity’s past.

Monday, March 30, 2020

HERE BE NEWS for March 30, 2020

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Monday, March 23 
"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic.

Friday, March 27 -

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'RE QUARANTINING” – From online concerts to celebrities reading aloud, virtual museum tours to cooking and exercise classes, author PG Forte has assembled an amazing list to keep everyone entertained – including great book recommendations! 


Thanks to PG Forte's list, you never have to be bored!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday, March 27, 2020

What To Do When You're Quarantining

Posted by: PG Forte
According to the last figures I saw, one third of the world's population is currently on lockdown. These are scary, uncertain times, which does not make staying home and social distancing yourself any less boring...at least for some of us. I'm looking at you extroverts!

To help us get through this challenging time, I've compiled a list of entertaining options.

If music is your thing, The At Home Concert Series might be just what you're looking for: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2020-03-17/coronavirus-coldplay-john-legend-concert-instagram

For a more classic approach check out these streaming Operas: https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/live-streamed-classical-music-concerts-coronavirus/



I think we can blame Neil Diamond for the current spate of mutated song lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPLgsV_Ms3Q

But then everyone else had to get in on the act, posting their own re-written song lyrics: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/22/entertainment/coronavirus-songs-rewritten-lyrics-trnd/index.html

But this is a blog about books. So here's Josh Gad reading to your kids: https://offspring.lifehacker.com/actor-josh-gad-will-read-to-your-kids-every-night-1842398287

Or...Sir Patrick Steward reading sonnets to you:  https://nerdist.com/article/patrick-stewart-reading-shakespeare-sonnets/


For those DIYers who like to read for themselves (and why not? We know you have the time!) here's a handy Dystopian Reading List: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/15/books-to-read-while-quarantined-coronavirus

Also check out Jenny Schwartz’ awesome Faerene Apocalypse series  (book 5 is out April 6):  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PB3XP8M?ref_=dbs_r_series&storeType=ebooks

One of my publishers, Entangled Publishing, has put a good portion of its catalog on sale. .99 for all category imprints and the first book in all series (including my own Children of Night series) is FREE: https://entangledpublishing.com/books.html?book_genre=186&p=1&order=release_date&dir=desc&mode=grid


 Sometimes, we just want to be entertained. Here's a list of Broadway Plays streaming for free: https://www.silive.com/coronavirus/2020/03/broadway-shows-now-available-to-stream-for-free.html

And, if you really "need a little Christmas" Hallmark is bringing back its Christmas Movies https://www.etonline.com/hallmark-sets-more-christmas-movie-marathons-for-all-your-self-quarantine-needs-exclusive-143656

Here are some suggestions for making art while on Lockdown: https://mymodernmet.com/coronavirus-quarantine-art-club/

And if your kids are also chomping at the bit, here're some kick-ass virtual field


Or you could use this time to get healty with online Cooking Courses: Art in Lockdown: https://mymodernmet.com/coronavirus-quarantine-art-club/

Or online Exercise classes: https://www.insider.com/work-out-at-home-free-gym-fitness-resources-workouts-2020-3 I've moved my yoga practice to my guest bedroom for the duration. 

If you're still feeling bored, surely this list has something to excite you: 100 Things to do while you’re in quarantine: https://www.swtimes.com/entertainmentlife/20200323/100-things-to-do-while-youre-in-quarantine

And if you just want a good laugh: Quarantine Humor: https://www.demilked.com/coronavirus-memes/


More people entertaining themselves during lockdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fHROsJu9G4


Stay safe everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2020

HERE BE NEWS for March 23, 2020

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Monday, March 16 
"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic.

Tuesday, March 17 -
"Celebrating WORLD FOLK TALES and FABLES WEEK" - As long as there have been human beings, there have been stories. Author Dani Harper shares her thoughts on why we need fairy tales and fantasy. 

Thursday, March 19 -
"STAY CALM AND READ" - Author Maureen Bonatch shares how reading can help in times of stress, and also how to find new stories. 

Saturday, March 21 -
This week's Bring It Back(list) features "AEQUANA" and "AEQUANA'S QUEST", sensuous contemporary fantasy romances by Linda Mooney. Scroll below for all the details.





AEQUANA
A sensuous contemporary
fantasy romance 
by Linda Mooney

#mermaid

John "Talon" Eagletalon had no idea what the government intended when it assigned him to its latest secret project - an icy blonde beauty with a miraculous ability.  All he knew was that he owed Uncle Sam fourteen more months of his life, and if it meant being this woman's partner and bodyguard until he'd paid his dues, he'd find a way to endure the ordeal. 

Until he discovered what the government had been doing to her.  And at the same time, discovered he was falling hopelessly in love with her. 

Now it's no longer a matter of protecting her.  It's a matter of keeping her out of their clutches. 
And making her his.

Warning! Contains a wise Indian saying, cold showers, extreme hazardous pay, corrupt scientists, sorry sons of bitches, chains and collars, things that bite, and a two thousand mile journey that ends in an incredible night of love.

Ebook is 99¢ for the month of March

BUY LINKS: https://lindamooney.com/AEquana.htm 
...................................


AEQUANA'S QUEST
A sensuous contemporary
fantasy romance 
by Linda Mooney


#mermaid

She was unique in every way, including the way she loved him.

It will take a long time before AEquana heals from the abuse and torture she endured growing up in those government labs. But Talon's love is helping her vanquish those demons and go forward with life.

Unfortunately, they stumble onto a multi-million dollar gem heist, and are targeted by those who think they're easy prey. Their enemies have no idea who they're up against when they try to take on the ex-Navy SEAL and his mermaid.

Warning! Contains a mountain-side pool, phone bashing, lubricating oil, vicious attacks, the absence of cuffs and chains, and a plea and a promise that will test the strength and depth of two people's love.

Ebook is 99¢ for the month of March

BUY LINKS: https://lindamooney.com/AEquana.htm 

...............................



.................................

Each book is just 99¢ each during the month of March 2020! Purchase links are at https://lindamooney.com/AEquana.htm 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Bring It Back(list) - AEQUANA and AEQUANA'S QUEST, Sensuous Contemporary Fantasy Romances by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney
During the month of March, both ebooks are just 99 cents each! (Available at all vendors and my website.)

John "Talon" Eagletalon had no idea what the government intended when it assigned him to its latest secret project - an icy blonde beauty with a miraculous ability.  All he knew was that he owed Uncle Sam fourteen more months of his life, and if it meant being this woman's partner and bodyguard until he'd paid his dues, he'd find a way to endure the ordeal. 

Until he discovered what the government had been doing to her.  And at the same time, discovered he was falling hopelessly in love with her. 
 
Now it's no longer a matter of protecting her.  It's a matter of keeping her out of their clutches. 
And making her his.

Warning! Contains a wise Indian saying, cold showers, extreme hazardous pay, corrupt scientists, sorry sons of bitches, chains and collars, things that bite, and a two thousand mile journey that ends in an incredible night of love.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She was unique in every way, including the way she loved him.

It will take a long time before AEquana heals from the abuse and torture she endured growing up in those government labs. But Talon's love is helping her vanquish those demons and go forward with life.

Unfortunately, they stumble onto a multi-million dollar gem heist, and are targeted by those who think they're easy prey. Their enemies have no idea who they're up against when they try to take on the ex-Navy SEAL and his mermaid.

Warning! Contains a mountain-side pool, phone bashing, lubricating oil, vicious attacks, the absence of cuffs and chains, and a plea and a promise that will test the strength and depth of two people's love.


Excerpts and Buy Links

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Stay Calm and Read

Posted by: Maureen

By Maureen Bonatch

Spending more time indoors lately? As an introvert, an author, and someone who works remotely at home for the ‘day-job’, spending a lot of time indoors and alone isn’t something new to me. It’s pretty much my way of life. That suits this introvert just fine. That doesn’t mean that all the recent panic in the world hasn’t gotten me a little stressed at times.

Unfortunately, there are many situations where there is little we can do but take care of ourselves and find a way to decompress as we continue with our lives. I’ve found that reading has often provided me with a wonderful way to take my mind away from things that I can dwell on, and worry about, but do nothing to change. This is just one of the benefits of making time to read, and since we’re going to be avoiding social interactions and staying indoors more, it’s a perfect time to catch up on your TBR list and find some new books.

Three Reasons to Read

  1. Reduce Stress- Reading can lower your heart rate, reduce tension and anxiety, reduce stress by 68% and calm your mind. I’ve found it to be a great way to improve sleep for those restless nights. Instead of lying awake with your thoughts, read for a little bit to relax and return to sleep.
  2. Improve Health- Reading and participating in mentally stimulating activities can help keep your brain sharp, improve memory and prevent, or slow diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  3. Practice Self-Care – The term self-care is all the rage over the last few years, although it’s something we should all do ongoing, but often neglect since most of us are accustomed to putting everyone, and everything else before our needs. Reading is a great way to do something that’s just for you, and do it without any guilt (no need- did you read the two reasons listed above? Reading is good for you!)

Three Places to Find Books


When I’m looking for a new book I usually start with my favorite authors to see if they have anything new. Then I might check out other authors that write in a similar genre and take a look at the reviews. But as an author, I can assure you that reviews don’t always tell the whole story. We all have personal preferences of what we like in a story, or a character, and one person’s favorite book may not be someone else’s.

A few other ways to pick out new books include:
  • BookBub- follow authors you like, or friends who read in the same genre on BookBub. Review their recommendations and make some of your own to help someone else out when they’re looking for a new read.
  • Goodreads- follow authors, make friends, read reviews or join groups on this platform to help you choose new books, and recommend to others.
  • Ask for Recommendations- Most of us are all over one social media platform or another and generally we have friends with similar interests in those realms. Ask them what they’ve read lately that they recommend- although you might ask why, because as mentioned earlier, you might not share what they liked in the story, or you might be in the mood for something different and can tuck that book away on your TBR.

Regardless of reviews not telling the whole story, most people do go there first, so if you like a book, help another reader out and leave a review.

Can You Name Other Reasons to Read?


Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBub, Amazon and/or signing up for her newsletter

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Celebrating WORLD FOLK TALES and FABLES WEEK

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author

As long as there have been human beings, there have been stories.

Every culture in the world has its folklore and fables, fairy tales and tall tales, myths and legends, epics and urban legends.

In a word: fantasy.

Cinderella is a great example – this is one of the oldest folk tales we know of, with countless variations in many countries. The shoes change (fur, gold, glass, leather, even sandals) and the names change (Aschenputtel, Katie Woodencloak, Yeh-Shen, Rhodopis, Domitila and Rushen-Coatie), but the bones of the story endure. 

Although most of us experience stories through reading—and in the last century, via television and movies—many tales were originally passed down through generations as oral traditions. That always makes me think of the ghostly campfire stories that held me fascinated as a child, or my Welsh gramma telling me about the faery man who lived in her garden….

But regardless of the method of delivery, the point of any fantasy story is its underlying message. Wikipedia describes the theme of Cinderella as "unjust oppression and triumphant reward". In many versions, however, Cinderella didn't win simply because she was pretty under all that dirt, or because someone felt sorry for her. She chose to be patient and kind in a situation where others were not, and that is what brought her the reward in the end.

The following, from author Neil Gaiman, is one of my favorite quotes.

"Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." 

All readers, myself included, want a good story, something that takes us out of our own little world for a while. We need characters we can care about enough to root for. Add to that a sense of wonder, a little mystery and magic, and voilà, we have entertainment.

But whether we realize it or not, we're often longing for one more small but vital thing: HOPE.

One of the most appealing things about fantasy stories is the promise of hope. Hope that evil doesn't prosper forever, hope that good is eventually rewarded, hope that truth matters, that courage and honor make a difference, hope that kindness, compassion and love can win the day. 

It doesn't matter if it's The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, or The Avengers by Marvel, or the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews, or even Aesop's fable of The Crow and the Pitcher. If the characters overcome differences big or small, if they prevail over minor struggles or overwhelming obstacles, it makes me feel that I can too.

May you discover a story this week that brings you hope.

………………..


Note:  World Folktales and Fables Week is celebrated each year during the third week of March. 

………………..

THE GRIM SERIES by Dani Harper

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…


In this enchanting romance series, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.



Monday, March 16, 2020

HERE BE NEWS for March 16, 2020

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Monday, March 9 
"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the gang at Here Be Magic.

Wednesday, March 11 -
"12 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ST. PATRICK'S DAY" - From the original color (hint - it's not green!) to the traditional foods and more, see how many of these you know! By author Ruth A. Casie on Here Be Magic.  

Thursday, March 12 -

"WAYS AUTHORS CAN USE PINTEREST FOR MARKETING AND INSPIRATION" - Deborah A. Bailey shows how this often overlooked social site can help authors find readers plus connect with other writers. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

from the authors at Here Be Magic


Authors at Here Be Magic may host their own giveaways or take part in larger events with other authors in the genre.
..................................
It's here! 
THE ANNUAL SPRING FLING GIVEAWAY 
at Night Owl Romance

Looking for some fun? Discover new-to-you authors and books in the online romance reader scavenger hunt! 


Enter between March 17th and the 31st. You could win a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, a reader-inspired Prize Bag or Amazon gift cards.

https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Spring-Fling-2020



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest for Marketing and Inspiration

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey
You might not want to be on yet another social media platform, but Pinterest is worth checking out (if you're not already there).

Though I've been on the platform for a while, I wasn't doing very much pinning. Finally, I decided to go back and see if I could do more with it.

First, I created boards related to my books. Then I added boards based on popular Pinterest topics, like food, quotes and home décor. After that, I added boards that reflected my interests: science fiction, fantasy, writing and blogging.

Not only are the boards giving prospective readers (and other writers) a snapshot of who I am, but they’ve also helped me to connect with other Pinterest users.

Organic reach isn't what it used to be on most social media platforms. But, since Pinterest is a search engine, links from there will rank pretty high in Google searches.

Marketers say that someone has to have several touch points before they’re ready to buy (or even to click). Some say 7, others say 20 or more. So, that means you have to get your book in front of your prospective reader many times before they might click for more information.

Ideas for book-related boards:

  • Create boards based on your genre, your book series or individual books. 
  • Pin your book covers (with links back to an online store)
  • Start a board with images to use for inspiration (mood boards)
  • Pin images that you can use as references (I created a board about mythological gods and goddesses from around the world)
  • Collect motivational writing quotes and blog posts 

Because of my pinning, I’ve been asked to join a few group boards for writers and bloggers. Group boards will help your pins to be seen by even more people.

Remember I said Pinterest is a search engine? Well, that means when you search for various items on the platform, pins will show up in the results. Those pins also identify the pinner, so someone can find your pin (and you) when they’re searching for other things.

Pinterest has a lot of advantages for authors who are looking to market and to connect with other writers. Even better, book cover pins look great on the boards. What’s not to like?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

12 Things You Might Not Know About St. Patrick's Day

Posted by: Ruth A Casie

In advance for St. Patrick's Day!

1. Saint Patrick ~ True Blue
Green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day in the 18th century after it was linked to the Irish independence movement. Saint Patrick was true blue through and through. His color was “Saint Patrick’s blue,” a light shade.

2. Saint Patrick Was British

Patrick may have been famous for introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, but he wasn’t Irish. Patrick’s parents were Roman and lives in the Scotland or Wales.

3. The Irish Take Saint Patrick’s Day Seriously
No doubt about it. Saint Patrick’s Day is a big deal in his adopted country and is a national holiday in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

4. Everyone in New Yorker City is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day
New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the world’s largest parades. Since 1762, over 250,000 marchers have tramped the six hours up Fifth Avenue on foot. You can see green beer and green bagels along the parade route. If not marching you can catch people ‘the green.’ Some people are a bit more out there than others with green hair, green makeup and let’s not forget the shamrocks tattooed or temporarily tattooed almost anywhere you can imagine.

5. Chicago Does More Than March
New York has a parade, but Chicago has an event all its own. Since 1962 the city has been coloring the Chicago River with green dye to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to just the right festive shade!

6. It Used to Be a Dry Holiday
In Ireland up until 1970, Saint Patrick’s Day was strictly a religious holiday. Pubs were closed for business on March 17. But it was in 1970 that the day was converted to a national holiday. Since then March 17 has not been dry.

7. Size Doesn’t Count
New York may have its big parade and Chicago its green river, but other cities participate in their own way. From 1999 to 2007, the Dripsey, a cozy Irish village proudly told anyone who would listen that it hosted the Shortest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in the World, 26 yards between two pubs. Today, Hot Springs, Arkansas claims the title. Its parade runs for 98 feet. Hmmm, to me that may be the distance to the bathroom.

8. Why Shamrocks?
According to Irish legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leafed plant as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was introducing Christianity to Ireland.

9. Why Is It Called Corned Beef?
Corned beef and cabbage, a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day staple, doesn’t have anything to do with the grain corn. Corn refers to the large grains of salt, referred to as corns of salt use to cure the meat. By the way, while Ireland traded heavily in salted meat, the average people couldn’t afford it. It wasn’t until they immigrated to the United States where it was a low-cost meat that they could afford it.

10. Put It On My Tab
All of the Saint Patrick’s Day revelry around the globe is great news for brewers. Recent estimates say the total amount spent on beer for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations will be about $275 million. And that’s before tips to pubs’ bartenders.

11. First You Say Its Blue Not Green and Now You Say Its Maewyn Not Patrick
Saint Patrick was born either in Scotland or Wales to Roman parents in 385 AD. His birth name was Maewyn Succat. He changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest.

12. The Lingo Makes Sense
You can’t attend a Saint Patrick’s Day event without hearing “Erin go Bragh.” What’s the phrase mean? It’s a corruption of the Irish Éirinn go Brách, which means roughly “Ireland Forever.”

BONUS: But the Leprechaun Economy Is Thriving
Another little-known fact from Irish lore: Leprechauns earned the gold they guard. According to legend, leprechauns spend their days making and mending shoes. Hmmmm… I thought that story, the Elves and the Shoemaker was from the imagination of the Brothers Grimm.


via GIPHY
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...