Tag Archives: Life

Good News: Reading Is Still Popular

Marketing Christian Books

Reading is still popular. In fact, most people have good intentions about reading!

A study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Rakuten Kobo found that 71% of Americans say they’d like to read more than they currently do. Our busy and distracted lives present barriers to reading more. Survey respondents reported that these main barriers include:

  • Scrolling through social media (49%)
  • Playing games on a phone (30%)
  • Watching TV shows (29%)
  • Sitting in Traffic (28%)
  • Constantly checking their phone (26%)

The good news is that the majority of Americans are still reading. Check out these five findings on books and reading in the United States.

Related Posts:
The Book Industry Is Still Strong
Effective Marketing to a Declining Reading Populace
Is Reading in Trouble?

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Countdown Deal – Blossom on the Thorn

lorettalivingstone

Until the end of 2nd Feb – only 99c/99p

1195
“I should have had nothing to do with those accursed Angevins. I should have run like hell in the opposite direction.”

Giles de Soutenay can scarcely be blamed for his disappointment. Promised an heiress by Queen Eleanor, he is dismayed to discover that, although young and attractive, his bride has all the warmth of a stone effigy.

For the newly widowed Isabella, the reality of a new husband is no cause for celebration. She will do her duty but no more. She will give de Soutenay no reason to complain but he will not have her heart, for any belief in love and tenderness died during those brief years of her first marriage. However, she has reckoned without Giles’ perseverance.

After the snows of winter, spring brings hope, until the arrival of a stranger threatens Giles and Isabella’s blossoming happiness…

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Other people’s opinion

Cristian Mihai

How often do you tell people to go fuck themselves?

If me using the word “fuck” makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself why.

Why do you do what you do? Why do you earn the money that you earn? Why are you happy? Or not? Why do you have the addictions that you have and others don’t? Or you don’t and others do.

It’s been years since I’ve wanted for people to define their hopes and dreams and wants and needs on their own terms, to figure out their why, to figure out what makes them feel alive and do that over and over again until they can’t keep their eyes open. And then, the next day, do that again.

I don’t care about the excuses and lies you keep telling yourself about why you don’t have what you want. I really don’t.

I need you to care enough about…

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When do a Book Reviewer’s Statements Become Libelous?

This isn’t about a bad review. Big Deal. I’ve had those. I know not everyone is going to like or love my books. But this? This is something totally different.

So I want to know, when do a reviewer’s statements become libelous? Is this woman, who wrote the comments in the review that I’ve inserted below, being libelous? Actually, it’s not really a review. It’s accusations. She’s accusing me of ripping- off another author. JK Rowling to be exact. I definitely have not done this. I actually used my very own imagination. Apparently, a novel concept to this person.

And since what she wrote is completely not true, isn’t that libel? Defamation? Slander? Isn’t it ruining my good name as an honest and hard-working author?

She says my magical house is Hogwarts. How can that be? It’s not a school or a castle. It’s a house. Nearly every room and many hallways in the house are magical and have different magical powers in them. Hogwarts doesn’t have that. Of course there are staircases in the house. It’s like ten stories tall. It needs staircases to get anywhere. I have ONE staircase that slithers back and forth like a snake. The others are all stationary. Also, no ghosts wander the house. And apparently no other fantasy story can ever have magical doors or secret doorways? Give me a break, lady.

As for the idea of the house: When I was a real estate agent, I did a lot of open houses. One Sunday I held one at a huge, fancy, beautiful house. Someplace I would’ve loved to live, if I could afford it. That night, I dreamed I lived in a huge, fancy, beautiful house, but for some reason, every room had a different magical power in it. (I dunno why. Maybe it was destiny.) The next day, the Tinker House, or House of Magic, was born. Disclaimer: Hogwarts had no part in the creation of the Tinker House.

I have ONE portrait that Andy falls into and meets the two Tinkers sitting in it. Harry Potter has no portraits like that. And oval windows can never be used in books ever again? Say what?! I didn’t even know Hogwarts had an oval window.

Grandfather has short gray hair, glasses, and a mustache. He also loves to wear bowties. No beards or robes there. And yes, I tried to make him intelligent and wise, like Gandalf and Dumbledore and Vikus (from Gregor the Overlander). Was I supposed to make him stupid? He does keep things from the kids so as not to worry them. So what? When I was a kid, my parents did that to me and my siblings all the time. I’m sure the grand majority of parents out there did the same thing. Nothing new there!

And yes, the kids get in trouble and do a few things behind Grandfather’s back. If anyone can say that they NEVER got in trouble or did things they weren’t supposed to do behind their parents’ backs, then either they’re big ol’ fibbers, or those sweet little angels deserve a million golden stars. (So something else from my childhood, not HP.)

NONE of my characters are based off of or are anything like JKR’s. They’re actually inspired by myself, my family members, and people I’ve known through the years. (Ahem, main bad guy? My horrid ex-husband who always wore his long, dirty-blonde hair back in an ugly ponytail.) The evil Marlowes, also known as the Dark Enemy, are nothing like the Malfoys. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They have yellowish blonde hair, not white, and cold, piercing blue eyes. Their magic comes from a dark magic object. And anyone who reads the whole series will see that there are a whole bunch of those wicked beings causing trouble in my make-believe world.

Yes, Chase has dark-brown hair, just like Harry Potter (Oh no!), but there are only so many hair colors (and eye colors, Chase has dark-brown eyes, BTW) in the world. Was I supposed to make Chase’s hair blue to really distinguish him from Harry? I already had the bad guys with blonde hair and Persephone with auburn. Sheesh! Plus, there are no “Chosen Ones” in my books. Every character has a totally different purpose and personality than the ones in the Harry Potter books.

And Mrs. Periwinkle is just Mrs. Periwinkle. She’s the housekeeper and Persephone’s mom. James, Chase and Andy’s cousin and Janie’s brother, is not Draco. Even though he’s a bully, who acts nice when it suits him, his character is influenced by a girl who bullied me in school. She attacked me one night and tried to pound my head into the sidewalk, then acted really nice to me the next time she saw me. Bullies aren’t a Harry Potter thing. They’re all over MG/YA literature.

Persephone, friend to the other kids, is inspired by my beautiful, wonderful mom. She died before she could read my books. :( Yes, Janie, Chase and Andy’s cousin, can be a know-it-all. So can my brother, along with a lot of other people. I guess you can say I stole that trait from many individuals. (gasp)

And then there’s Andy, Chase’s little brother, he’s one of my favorite characters. I have to admit that I put a little bit of Dash from the Incredibles in his personality. Plus, he wears glasses, loves pizza, and has a tendency to say whatever he happens to be thinking. Not always a good thing. He’s also never jealous of his brother Chase. And even though the two brothers bicker all the time, they’re very close and care deeply for each other. Oh, and they’re not orphans or mistreated and abused by anyone. There are also no pet rats who morph into humans or anything else in my books. Just a cute little ferret named Maxwell. He really is just a ferret.

The story is about two magical families, one good, one bad, fighting over a magical house and the incredibly powerful, magical entity that controls it. I hate to break it to this woman, but JK Rowling hasn’t cornered the market on fantasy, magic, magical places, magical objects, or magical people. It’s all been around for ages. Long before JKR was even born.

Based on her fabrications and delusions, this woman is telling people not to buy or read ANY of the books in my Chase Tinker Series. She only read the first book, for gosh sakes! Who the heck does that with absolutely no knowledge of something? And with all of these lies and accusations, I’m worried it’s going to affect my book sales, especially since Amazon was so kind as to put it at the very top of my reviews. What makes this even crazier, is that a lot of other people have read my books and yet no one, except this woman, has said anything like this in their reviews.

review

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Talent, hard work, and luck

Cristian Mihai

fearMost people like to believe talent, hard work, and luck are among the determining factors of success. For a long time I thought you only needed any two of them to be successful.

But, actually, if you want to be successful, and it doesn’t matter if all you want is to become a great dancer or actor or writer, or whether you want to pick up pretty girls in bars, you just have to be willing to make a fool out of yourself.

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Author Inspiration and Last Week’s Writing Links

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! This is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, and as you’re reading this, I’m either preparing or lying in bed thinking about everything I have to do. Or maybe I’m finally sleeping, exhausted with all that’s going on.

But I don’t mind at all. My family will all be together for the holiday, and I’m feeling blessed.

I won’t be around much this week (see the above mentioned busyness), but I wanted to provide one last quote and series of links before I take the week off. I’m drawing on one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens, and his wise words:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty;
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

I love that quote. And not just for this time of year, but for everyday.

Whether you are in the US and celebrating or…

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Slang, Colloquialisms, and Clichés #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Words are awesome. I love obscure, weird words. J.K. Rowling used the word ‘snogging’ in her Harry Potter series, to describe couples who were engaged in prolonged kissing, or as we sometimes say where I come from,  ‘canoodling.’

Another good word is ‘kerfuffle,’  a Briticism for a  noisy disturbance or commotion. That word has become more common in American conversation over the last few years.

Words are how authors convey the imaginary world to the reader. Artistry comes into play in the way the author assembles their chosen words into sentences and paragraphs. In reading those words, the reader finds themselves in a new reality, a mental picture painted by the author.

English is a mash-up language. It is old Latin glued to an evolving language with completely different roots, Frisian, with a bunch of words and usages invented by William Shakespeare added in.

Thanks to the human drive to…

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