Halloween Review: Phantoms by Dean Koontz

Recently, I reread an early Dean Koontz thriller, Phantoms. I found the book still captivated me.

Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd tell you why Phantoms by Dean Koontz is my favorite spooky book.

The Premise

I've read most of Mr. Koontz's booklist because I particularly enjoy his blend of mystery, emotion, intellectualism, and captivating characters. Phantoms is a perfect example of this. He takes centuries-old mass disappearances from every culture and creates a sinister entity who suddenly decides to reveal itself in the high country town of Snowfield, California.

No one is better at setting a mood than Dean Koontz, and in the too-silent town of Snowfield as Dr. Jenny Paige returns with her orphaned younger sister, the mood is creepy. The encroaching darkness seems to have smothered all sound.

No kids laughing as they play. No teens listening to loud music. No traffic. Nothing. As Jenny and her sister go from business to business in search of someone--anyone--what they find is enough to strike terror into the heart of the bravest man or woman.

Her call for help brings the county Sheriff and his deputies, but that's only the beginning of the violence and horror that lurks in the town. True to Koontz's intellectualism, the solution to the mystery is a crackpot writer with a universally ridiculed theory.

Koontz Makes You Believe

Koontz is one of the few male authors who can develop a believable romantic relationship, and he does it adeptly with Jenny and the Sheriff.

Takeaway Truth

Phantoms is a superb thriller that works on many levels. Readers of mystery, horror, romance, and suspense should find it riveting.

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Kobo Book News

A couple of days ago, Kobo announced some great news for readers.

They launched a new Super Points loyalty program for all of their customers. Super Points allows users to earn points on every purchase they make from Kobo.

In case you don't know, Kobo has some great ereader devices and also offers the Kobo app for download available for iPhone, etc.

From now through November 2, depending on your country, they're also offering 50% off all titles published through Kobo Writing Life, or KWL. (All of my books are available at Kobo Writing Life.)

To get a title at 50% off, just use the applicable promotion code below (which also shows the applicable dates for that country):

Canada, October 28th – October 31st, Promo Code: CA50SALE

U. S./Australia/New Zealand, October 27th – October 30th, Promo Code: GET50SALE

United Kingdom, October 30th – November 2nd, Promo Code: UK50SALE

Fine Print Details

The 50% off sale doesn't apply to new customers since they get a special deal already. For full details, visit Kobo and click on the 50% sale ad.

If you haven't bought from Kobo before, you might want to read this to make it easier.

Takeaway Truth

Sales are great times to stock up.

Brand Your Name, Not Your Book Title

Setting up a website or blog? What will you name it? That's an important question that may seem to have an obvious answer, but many beginning authors don't see the obvious.

The rule of thumb is always use your name. Many beginning authors with a book to promote and sell, think they're being smart when they name their website or blog with the book title. I see this all the time. Do not make this branding mistake.

Always Brand Your Name, Not the Name of a Book

Why? Because, hopefully, you will publish several books in your career. Are you going to set up a website and blog for every book title? No. That's ridiculous. So what happens if you've already got a website named after your first book title, and now it's time to promote book 2?

Well, you find yourself retrenching and having to start your branding campaign all over in an effort to promote and sell book 2.

It's much easier to start right from the beginning and brand your name and your type of story than to keep reinventing the wheel every time you have a new book out.

Grab Your Name Now

If you're just starting out, grab every iteration of your name now: dot com, dot net, etc. if you can afford to do so. PaigeTurner.com | PaigeTurner.net | Facebook/PaigeTurner.PaigeTurner.com and all the others.

Then grab that name in the blogging platform of your choice and on all the current social media: | PaigeTurner.blogspot.com or PaigeTurner.wordpress.com.

If your dot com is already taken, then create a form of your name that you will use across all websites, social media, and blogs. PaigeTurnerWrites.com | PaigeTurnerWrites.blogspot.com | Facebook/PaigeTurnerWrites, etc.

In the event you get hugely popular, people will buy your dot com, dot net, etc. and offer to sell them back to you at an exorbitant price.

While it's perfectly fine to set up a Facebook page for a book, it's always better to name your website and blog with your author name. You want name recognition because that's what sells books.

Takeaway Truth

Lay the groundwork now, and do it right the first time.

Review: Pentatonix: On My Way Home

I'm a big fan of a cappella, singing without instrumental accompaniment. (You may see it as acapella or a capella, but the correct form is the Italian two word phrase, meaning without music. Oh, and the second word is correctly written as  cappella -- 2 p's and 2 l's.)

Our younger son, who was President of the Texas A&M Singing Cadets during his senior year, always thrilled me when he sang a cappella. Since he sings bass 2 and is talented at beat boxing, I was thrilled when I discovered Pentatonix with their combination of beat boxing, a cappella, and harmony.

Pentatonix: On My Way Home

I watched the film on Netflix. Unfortunately, I didn't find it on Amazon, but it is on Vimeo On Demand so you can rent or buy it there if you don't subscribe to Netflix. The Pentatonix official website has links also to the tour documentary, the group's latest videos, and buy links to the online music stores.

The documentary, directed by Devin Chanda, Matt Mitchenor, and James Rothman, is an affectionate portrait of these Grammy Award-winners and platinum selling recording artists. The film follows them on their 2015 sold out North American tour.

Pentatonix--composed of Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, and Kevin Olusola--hit the public consciousness in 2011. They've sold more than 2 million albums in the U.S., and their YouTube channel has nearly 1 billion views. If you're not familiar with them, watch some of their videos. (I'm just 1 of their 8.1 million+ subscribers to their YouTube channel.)

The documentary shows their journey from talented children to adults who have been called "unlikely rock stars." Three of them were childhood friends, and two joined in their late teens. Avi's sister is tour director. As Pentatonix, or PTX, they are bound by love of music, talent, friendship, and family ties.

By the way, their Grammy was for "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella" for their "Daft Punk" medley. Not only are they talented singers, but they do their own arrangements. Now you can add song writers to their resume.

New Album

Released just last week, Pentatonix (Deluxe Version), their new album of original songs, is already #1 on Amazon music and #3 on iTunes. This is the album they worked on while on tour, and I've already added it to my playlist.

Since the holidays are approaching, now is a great time to pick up their holiday album, That's Christmas To Me, which sold more than a million copies in the U. S. and became 1 of only 4 albums to go platinum in 2014.

Takeaway Truth

Have I raved enough about this amazingly talented group? Just watch some of their "evolution of..." music videos or sample their albums. I think you'll be convinced to add them to your music library.

Thursday3Some: 3 Reasons to Read Still The One

That's right. This week's book sale is Still The One, only 99cents from now to Oct. 22.

Why should you pick up a copy of this romantic comedy other than the fact that it's on sale?

3 Reasons to Read Still The One

1. Review from NY Times bestselling author Cheryl Bolen: "Reeves had me laughing like crazy in the first chapter. I love, love, love this book. It's funny and very romantic. Romantic comedy at its best."

2. Review from C. Rich: "Her hallmark humor is very much in evidence, but as with her other stories, there's an underlying warmth that gives her characters depth and her story meaning. She's got me hooked! I'm now off to read Jane I'm Still Single Jones."

3. Review from Cindy F.: "This was a book that I enjoyed so much. It made me laugh so loud, that my family thought I'd gone completely crazy. I have read several of Joan Reeves books in the past and I have enjoyed every single one."

Blurbing Still The One

Burke Winslow stands at the altar, ready to marry his business partner in a marriage of convenience. The minister solemnly asks: "If anyone here knows why this man and this woman shouldn't be joined in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

A rain-soaked, bedraggled Ally Fletcher limps down the aisle and shouts, "Stop the wedding!"

What follows is a funny, sexy romp that proves when there's love, passion never dies, it just smolders away until you toss some gasoline on it. Burke and Ally provide that gasoline when they find themselves locked in a marriage of--inconvenience.

His cagey grandfather pulls Burke's strings, and her equally cagey grandmother manipulates Ally. Toss in a pretend boyfriend for Ally, and Burke's scorned business partner left at the altar to make for complete chaos.

Can Burke and Ally stop fighting long enough to peel away the layers of the past and discover the truth about their love and passion? Will the truth free them or put them asunder?

Still The One is a rollicking good time--Texas style! Sassy, sexy, and funny!

Takeaway Truth

Best time to buy books? When they're on sale!

Learn From Amazon

While I was on vacation, an email from Amazon hit my Inbox about the Amazon Dash Button.

According to the email, they were offering me a "limited time offer" to buy the "Amazon Dash Button for $4.99 and automatically receive a $4.99 credit with your first purchase using that Dash Button."

What The Dash?!!

The gist of it is they want me to buy an app that allows me to order household products from Amazon. Of course, they do rebate the price of the app with my first order.

As busy as I am, I still manage to get to the supermarket about a half a mile away to stock up on Tide, TP, and other necessities of daily life. This app has no application, if you'll pardon the pun, for me.


I do know people who buy their daily necessities from Amazon. Just because I don't doesn't mean there aren't thousands--millions?--who want the Amazon Dash Buttons. If you're interested in getting one of these smart little buttons, by all means click the link and do it.

Genius Marketing

The reason I'm mentioning this today is that this is a genius marketing idea. Amazon's think tank is always working on ways to increase their market share. If you're a small business--or large--online, you should be doing the same.

Amazon's email went on to say: "Keep Dash Button handy in your pantry, laundry room, bathroom, or anywhere you store your favorite products. When you’re running low, simply press Dash Button, and Amazon quickly delivers your selected item so you never run out of your household favorites again."

Emulate The Big Dogs

You need to figure out how you can come up with the same type of thing: something that automatically gets the viewer to take action and buy your products.

If you can afford to have someone create an app for you that sends visitors to a place where they can buy your products (books if you're an author), that's fantastic.

If you're an author, the back matter in books is a lower cost alternative to your own app. You should have a list of your products (books) and embedded buy links for each. At the very least, have a link directing readers to a website page where you list all your books with all the buy links.

Takeaway Truth

Always study the big boys to see how they market and promote. When they roll out a new idea, see how you can emulate it.

5 Ways to Improve Your Blog

All My Blog Tips To Be Published...?
If you do a search for your name or your blog name, you want it to come up on page 1 of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It should at least appear within the first 2 pages. If you've only had a site up for a couple of months, it might be understandable that it takes 4-5 pages for it to list.

If it's been up longer than two months and it takes more than 4-5 pages to find it listed, then you need an overhaul because your blog isn't working.

5 Ways to Improve Your Blog

1. Make Keywords and SEO Work For You

Search Engine Optimization is the process of using keywords to enable your site to rank high in SERPs. What are your keywords for your blog? Are those keywords in the meta data? Do they appear in your blog description? Have you used the words a searcher would enter in a Search box? Are those keywords sprinkled throughout the rest of the page in an organic manner?

2. Avoid Flash

Did you make the mistake of using a Flash doorway? Looks pretty, but web crawlers do not index those doorway pages so you lose the opportunity to gain valuable rank.

Paying attention to #1 and #2 above will make your blog rank higher. The next tips are to make sure readers come back to your blog again and again.

3. Properly Formatted Text Content

Have you got text that is formatted for Internet writing? Is it a font that's preferred for Internet reading? Is it of sufficient interest, germane to the theme of your website, and keyword rich? Do you have sub-headings in your blog post that help the reader capture the main points?

4. Visual Elements

Is the template or design of your blog pleasing in appearance? Have you avoided the Internet sin of using black background/white text, or worse brightly colored text? Have you avoided changing fonts too many times? (If more than 2 fonts are used, one for headline and one for body, then that's probably too many.)

5. Graphic Images

Do you have appropriately-sized, pleasing graphic images to illustrate your blog posts?

Takeaway Truth

It's not enough to create good content. You have to present that content in a way that blog readers find appealing.

10 Commandments of Online Life

Since it's Sunday, how about a little moral lesson?

10 Commandments of Online Life

1. The Internet is not God.

It's just a vehicle for rapid communication so don't give it your every waking minute.

2. Thou shall not spend more time surfing the Internet and playing online games than you spend playing with your kid and being a companion to your spouse/significant other.

3. Thou shall not send a complaining, cursing, or defamatory email without making sure of the name in the To box.

4. Honor your father and mother, and don't say nasty things about them in your blog.

Seriously. We don't want to hear it. We probably also came from dysfunctional families. If you've got a beef, confront them personally.

5. Thou shall not kill a person's character by defaming them in blogs and forums. People have committed suicide because of things like that.

6. Thou shall not commit adultery with online romances when you have a spouse or significant other in your life. Spend as much time cultivating a real life relationship as you do an online relationship. Besides, in real life, you're guaranteed the person is real. In online relationships, that sexy woman named Bambi may be a lonely eighty-year-old grandmother. Or grandfather.

7. Thou shall not steal the words of others even though it's so dang easy to do in this digital world.

The original author of the book you're scanning to upload to a website worked hard to pull those words out of her brain so why should you take away her livelihood? She only makes money if people buy her books. The blog author who committed to consistently publishing every day spends a lot of time working to make his blog compelling so why should you steal his words and pass them off as yours? Do your own work.

8. Thou shall not bear false witness (that means spreading lies) against your neighbor, your boss, your spouse, your friend, your competitors, or your children's competitors.

Children have committed suicide because of this. So have adults.

9. Thou shall not covet your neighbor's book sales and reviews, Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, or any of the myriad ways you use to compare your success to someone else's.

Work on your own writing and promotion. Work on your own blog. Learn how the leaders in your field got that way. Build your own career.

10. Thou shall not write anything on a website or in an email or forum that you wouldn't want to see printed on the front page of every newspaper in this country.

When you're angry, don't send emails. Don't post on forums. Don't write blog posts. Ill-chosen words have a way of coming back to bite you on the butt. By the way, just in case you didn't know, if you know how to do a comprehensive online search, you can read the text of what are supposed to be private emails. Also, many bulletin boards and forums are crawled by Google which means those comments can also be pulled up. What you say in moments of anger, lives on forever in the digital world.

Takeaway Truth

The Internet is just part of life, not the reason for existence.

Who Are Your Thought Influencers

You hear a lot lately about thought influencers. I think that's an interesting label. Have you ever asked yourself who influences you?

In the online world, it's easy to find thought influencers. Just say something online or publish a book, and the would-be thought influencers come out of the woodwork.

All authors are familiar with that kind of thought influencers. They want to influence others and maybe the author herself with their online negativity.

What's The Alternative

If you find yourself upset by online negativity, then you've met your thought influencer. The real issue is: "Why allow some stranger to influence what you think?"

Don't bitch and moan about how hurt your feelings are and how embarrassed you are by what some reviewer posted. Why give those people the power to influence your thoughts? It doesn't matter what they say or think.

The only thing that matters is what you say to yourself! Remember, happiness is largely dependent on what we tell ourselves.

Takeaway Truth

Who are your thought influencers? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

7 Steps to Faster Blogging

All My Blog Tips To Be Published...?
Blogs are still one of the best branding tools available, but a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of blogging.

I've heard authors bemoan the task of blogging. Their plaintive complaint? "How do I come up with something every day?" Or every other day, every week, or whatever.

7 Steps to Faster Blogging

1. Get over the mental block of thinking a blog takes too much time by getting a calendar. Look at the calendar and block out your daily time commitments. Find a small block of time each day, even if it's just 20 to 30 minutes. Schedule that block of time for your blog.

2. On your desk calendar or Daytimer or whatever kind of planner you use to keep track of your appointments, mark the block of time you found. That way it becomes a scheduled appointment.

3. Use that block of time you found and scheduled to...think. Think of things that interest you, your readers, other writers, and the world at large. What interests you enough to read about it online? Chances are those are good topics you too can write about.

4. Make a list of the topics you found. Either keep this list on your computer or jot them down in a notebook.

5. Study that list of topics. Can you group them into broad subjects? For instance, I blog about (1) the art, craft, and business of writing, (2) reviews of books, movies, television, and music, (3) marketing tips, (4) my writer's life, (5) digital publishing, etc. Group them into these broad categories. Assign days of the week to these categories. So if you are scheduled to blog every day then you have 7 broad categories of topics you'll blog about. Three days of week means you have 3 categories. This is your Editorial Calendar.

6. Now, write a blog post and time yourself. How long did it take from beginning to ready to publish? Could you knock it out within your scheduled block of time? Or would it take 2 blocks of time? Knowing this will help you produce content efficiently.

You'll find that when you have an Editorial Calendar and lists of ideas, it's much easier to write faster.

7. Remember, short is always better. Some bloggers think they have to make long blog posts that are like a mini-lesson or a wise treatise. Wrong. Online readers want short posts they can read in a couple of minutes. Short posts get read. Long posts often get skipped. (This one is probably too long.)

Like I always say, the more you write; the more the words will flow. Blogging frequently will get the words flowing like a wide-open water faucet.

Takeaway Truth

Is blogging a pleasure or a pain to you? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Archetypes Bring Power to Stories

Story structure is embedded in the subconscious of every reader or movie viewer. So is character archetypes.

Archetypes inhabit stories of every genre. If you're new to writing, you may not have understood what experienced authors meant when they talked about archetypes because most beginning writers think they're just going to make up characters in their made up stories.

What those beginners don't realize is that all stories from the beginning of time to present day, are peopled by the same character types with relationships that recur again and again.

Just What Are Archetypes

Carl Jung used the term archetypes to describe common character types, relationships, and symbols. If you'd like a better understanding of this fascinating subject, study The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler or any of the other books about mythic story structure. Gaining an understanding of the archetypes that occur in all cultures and eras will be a major asset for you as a writer.

Think about any good book you've read or any popular movie you've seen. I guarantee you the characters in either represent the Character Archetypes as related by Vogler and many others who have written books about these. Get this, these archetypes can be male or female although later works break down the archetypes differently and identify female archetypes differently. I like Volgler's delineation of the archetypes.

Meet the Archetypes

1. Hero is the character who is on a quest to achieve something and who will change during the progress of the story. (Hero refers to male or female.) In the Bourne movies, Jason Bourne is the hero on a quest for his memory.

2. Mentor (also called Wise Old Man or Wise Old Woman) is the positive character who aids, teaches, trains, or nurtures the hero to aid him in his quest. In the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Gandolf is the Mentor.

3. Threshold Guardians aren't necessarily the villain or antagonist in your story. They're usually the minions whose job is to keep interlopers, like the hero, out. They're a challenge to overcome. In action movies, they're the hired thugs who keep the crooked boss secure.

4. Herald is a character who is the harbinger of change either by issuing a challenge or announce a significant change. In Star Wars, the first appearance of Darth Vader is a herald of change.

5. Shapeshifter is a character who changes appearance or mood. They're difficult to pin down and cast into strict roles because they may mislead or behave in ways contrary to expectation. The female love interest is often the shapeshifter character in books and movies. In some stories, the hero may be a shapeshifter if he's never what he seems on the surface. In The Blacklist, Raymond Reddington is a shapeshifter.

6. Shadow is a representation of the dark side. Like the old radio serial that was made into a movie starring Alec Baldwin (look for it on late night television) says: "Who knows what darkness lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows." The Shadow Archetype is the villain or monster who opposes the hero. Or sometimes they may just be opposed to the way the hero goes about achieving his goal. In Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lechter is a Shadow.

7. Trickster is the character who's usually the comic sidekick, but there are trickster heroes too. The energy and desire for change is embodied in this archetype. Most of Eddie Murphy's early huge hit movies cast him as a trickster hero, i.e. Beverly Hills Cop or 48 Hours.

Remember, every character you can create has a lineage dating back to prehistory. Knowing the archetypes and how they relate to each other will bring power and authenticity to your writing.

Takeaway Truth

What's your favorite movie or book? Can you recognize the archetypes cast as hero and villain? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

4 Ways to Train Your Imagination

Are you an author who's always wondering what to write next? If ideas don't spring instantly from your imagination, here are a few ways you can train your imagination to be more forthcoming.

4 Ways to Train Your Imagination

1. Keep a notebook with you at all times and jot down those fragments of ideas, flights of fancy, snippets of dialog, or words that catch your attention because those little tidbits represent your imagination at work. Writing them down encourages your imagination to expand.

2. Get a blank book and write down your dreams when you awake in the morning. At night, write down things you heard during the day or saw on television or read in a newspaper or online. Describe the two teens you saw at the burger joint as they went through a high school ritual of first stage courting. Remember, don't call this blank book a journal because a lot of people think if you start a journal, you're making a big commitment. That can be too intimidating. No pressure. Just keep it light and fun.

For some reason, doing it old school with paper and pen seems to stimulate ideas. Maybe it's because your brain works faster than your hand moves across the page so the brain knows it's got to produce something when you pick up the pen and open the book.

Once you start jotting down these odd pieces of observation or flights of fancy, you'll be surprised how fast they'll come--sometimes in the middle of the night so keep a pen and your book on the bedside table. Once the floodgates open, you'll be amazed at the flow of thoughts and ideas and memories too.

3. Schedule time to write so that when you sit in front of the keyboard at the appointed time, your brain knows words are expected. An easy way to assure this flow of ideas is to glance through your little notepad or your blank book when you sit down for your scheduled writing time.

4. Just start typing if you're at your computer at the appointed time, and the words are stalled. It doesn't matter whether or not you know what happens next, you just want the words to flow. If you're too inhibited to just write a stream of words until something intelligent shows up, just type: "I don't know what to type. I don't know what to type. I don't know what to type."

Trust me, if you make a bargain with yourself that you will work one hour at an appointed time, and you'll type the above nonsense over and over for one solid hour before letting yourself off the hook, then your brain, out of sheer boredom, will provide you with something intelligent to write.

The words come easy when they're always flowing. The more you write; the better the words flow.

Takeaway Truth

Do you have any tricks to start writing and keep writing? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Remove Fear From Writing

Remove Fear Factor & Let Those Fingers Fly
Writing when you don't know what comes next is just about impossible.

I don't care if you do like to fly by the seat of your pants when writing, you have to know a few things in order to continue to write. Otherwise, you end up staring at a blank page or, in actuality, a blank monitor screen.

Simple Roadmap

Even if you're a pantser or a newbie who doesn't know "how to write a book," draw up a simple roadmap. That's less intimidating than thinking you have to make an outline of the entire book. Without a roadmap, you may well sit in front of the computer, lift your hands to the keyboard, and...nothing happens. You're blank. Your mind is as clean as a wiped slate.

Create Your Map

Many writers get intimidated when they think about writing 75,000 words to create a novel. They hear they should outline each chapter, but they get discouraged just thinking about the enormity of what must be included: characterization, scene and sequel, motivation, conflict, theme, etc.

Take the intimidation factor away. Stop thinking about all of that and just sit down with a piece of paper and think of the book as a vacation you're about to take with stops along the way to see the sights.

At the beginning of your trip (your book), you just need to look at the big picture of a trip from your hometown, to the big destination, and back to your familiar world again.

Write these words: "This story is about..." Write down what you think the book is about. You know this, or you wouldn't feel the itch to tell this story. The short paragraph you write will keep you tightly focused on the actual story.


On any journey, there are planned stops to see the sights or just to rest--waypoints between your hometown and your destination. These waypoints are, of course, the chapters in your story.

Write these words: "This part of the story is about..." In your own words, just say what happens in this small part of the story.

That's what you do for each waypoint (chapter) in your journey (book). Using this technique takes the pressure off and removes the intimidation factor. Get the words down. That gets the book finished. Then you can go back and make the words shine.

Takeaway Truth

Do you think this technique removes the fear factor from writing--whether you're writing a blog post or a book? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Copyright Registration Quick Tip

I filed an application recently for Copyright Registration on two of my published books. One of the applications was a re-application because of a dumb mistake I made.

Back Story

My first mistake was trying to complete several pending issues during the week my brother in law went into hospice care. One of those matters was copyright registration which I'd put off because I was too busy.

So I raced through the online application, paid my $35.00, and uploaded the file.

My second mistake was the file I uploaded. I just opened my Word .doc file, saved it as a PDF, and then uploaded it to the Copyright Office.

Weeks later, I received an email that my application had problems with it. The problem? The file I uploaded also included an excerpt of my next book.

Proper Upload File Protocol

The file you upload must contain only the actual book text. No excerpts, no note from author, no book list, etc.

I knew that, but I'd been in a hurry.

Here comes my third mistake. I had 45 days from the date of notification to correct the application. However, I was out of town when that email came in. Then with all the promotion I was doing for 2 box sets (Love Blooms on Main Street and Summer Fire) and various personal family emergencies, I completely forgot about the needed correction.

My initial haste and being the "go-to" gal for everything and everyone cost me the original $35.00 because the fee you pay when you file your application is non-refundable.

So I had to pay another $35.00 today to file the application again. Dumb, right? I learned my lesson so I'm passing it on so you won't make that mistake.

1. Create your story-only PDF file first.
2. Proof the application carefully before you click SUBMIT.

Takeaway Truth

Respond in a timely fashion if you receive correspondence from the Copyright Office.

Newspaper Statistics

Do you read books? How about newspapers?

I read a lot of books (mostly on my Kindle but many in print) though not as many as I'd like. Newspapers? That's a longer story.

Once, I was a devoted newspaper subscriber. I had my morning coffee and read the newspaper.

After buying our house in the country where we spend a lot of time, I canceled my subscription rather than bug my neighbors to pick up the papers from the driveway when we were gone.

I tried subscribing to the digital edition, but it just wasn't the same. I'm not alone in abandoning my subscription. Newspapers have lost a huge number of subscribers in the last decade.

Fewer subscribers, fewer advertising dollars have translated into smaller newspapers and more content that's focused on entertainment news rather than what made newspapers different: thoughtful news articles and tightly-focused local news.

Scary Stats

Like me, most newspaper readers want to read the paper in print. In fact, readership data from Nielsen Scarborough’s 2014 Newspaper Penetration Report showed "56% of those who consume a newspaper, read it exclusively in print, 11% also read it on desktop or laptop computers; 5% also read it on mobile; and another 11% read it in print, on desktop and on mobile. In total, more than eight-in-ten of those who read a newspaper do so in print, at least sometimes. Only 5% read newspapers exclusively on mobile devices."

I hate to think that the daily print newspaper will one day be a thing of the past, but that seems to be the way this beloved institution is headed. I say beloved because I learned the newspaper habit from my mother who learned it from her parents. I remember listening raptly while my grandfather read the Sunday funny paper to me.

I still subscribe to the weekly paper from my hometown, and I think I've talked myself into subscribing to the local paper again.

Takeaway Truth

Do you subscribe to a print newspaper? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Review: Aliens on the Moon

I couldn't help it. My curiosity got the better of me so I watched Aliens on the Moon on Netflix. (If you don't have Netflix, you can watch it on Amazon.)

According to Aliens on the Moon, this documentary contains never-before-aired NASA footage released under the Freedom of Information act. The documentary purports to present evidence that our Moon is being used as an alien base.

Before you laugh too hard, may I point out that interviews with Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, and Ken Johnston, Former NASA Photo Manager, are part of the film. In case you don't know, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, 

Directed and written by Robert Kiviat and narrated by Roger Leopardi, the documentary features interviews with a host of other scientists, researchers, and the expected paranormal investigators.

In case you're interested, here are the other interviews credited: Amy Shira Teitel, Spaceflight Historian; Joshua P. Warren, Paranormal Investigator;Lee Speigel, Journalist, Huffington Post; Nick Redfern, Author & Researcher; Mike Bara, Writer & Lunar Researcher; Danielle Y. Wyrick, Planetary Geologist; Ron Collins, Lunar Researcher; Don Ecker, Broadcaster & Researcher; Vito Saccheri, Petroleum Engineer; Allan Sturm, Lunar Photo Researcher; Donna Hare, Former NASA Contractor; Dr. John Brandenburg, Clementine Team Member; and Marc D'Antonio, Imaging Analyst.

My Thoughts

I found the documentary fascinating and thought-provoking. I'm forced to believe that the astronauts who were interviewed reported what they saw. Weird, right? Watch it and form your own opinion. I like what Shakespeare wrote: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Takeaway Truth

Do you believe in aliens? I'm cruising the high seas, but leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Vacation Bonus for You

I've spent several days arranging life so I can leave on a cruise vacation. I've shopped the sales for some cool cruise clothes, confirmed the house sitter, and got my prescription anti-seasick patch.

In keeping with my goal to get back to regular blogging, I've scheduled a blog post for each day to keep you entertained and knowledgeable. I've even set up a book to be on sale for only 99cents from now to Oct. 10.

Leave a comment with your email address on any of the blog posts and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my books.

Only 99 Cents Oct. 1 Thru Oct. 10

Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, one of my most popular romantic comedies, is on sale while I'm gone.

"If you like Sweet Home Alabama, you'll love JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES!" ~ Amazon Review

"Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, 1 of 5 great Indie Romance Novels." ~ Amy Edelman of IndieReader

What could be worse for a former high school beauty queen, who never landed the only man she ever loved, than attending--alone--her 10-year high school reunion? Not much, according to textile designer Jane Louise Jones as she prepares to endure the weekend in her hometown, just south of nowhere in the rolling hills of Louisiana, with her grandmother and the rest of the well-meaning Vernon Ladies Bridge Club trying their best to find her a husband.

Jane agreed to attend the reunion because her best friend told her that Morgan Sherwood, the town boy-wonder who made good in a big way, was going to be a no-show. Morgan, once her secret love, was a geeky teen who stole her heart and then broke it before leaving town forever.

Isn't it awful when you can't trust your best friend? Morgan arrives with his entourage in a stretch limo, and he's not a geeky kid any more. He's six feet of tanned, rippling muscles, and he plans to focus his high-powered brain and every seductive charm he possesses on the lovely Miss Jones.

A man and woman who should have ended up together, the matchmaking blue-haired women of the Vernon Ladies Bridge Club, lots of southern charm, a ten-year old betrayal, and plenty of romantic humor. That's Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones.

Amazon Kindle * AllRomanceEbooks * iBooks * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords

Returns to the regular price of $3.99 on October 11, 2015.

Christmas Baby Caper Coming Soon

The matchmaking Vernon Ladies Bridge Club rides again in Christmas Baby Caper, a romantic comedy short story coming in December.

Takeaway Truth

Remember, leave a comment on any post from now until October 10 and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Thursday3Some: The Visionary by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

I've been having technical problems for a few days, but I think they're finally fixed--just in time to welcome award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux, co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana, back to Thursday3Some.

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Pam is multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as "steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message."

Find Pamela S. Thibodeaux Online

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

About The Visionary

Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique,” Taylor Forrestier is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

1. When did you write The Visionary?

I wrote The Visionary in 2003. After years of editing, revising and pitching the novel, I signed a contract with Five Star for their Expressions line. The book was published in 2011, one of the last in the line before it was cancelled.

2. What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I wanted to write a romance story that contained male/female twins. I’ve seen numerous books with one or the other (F/F or M/M) but not many with M/F twins. I initially thought the book would be my “light/fun” romance, but God had other plans.

3. Why do readers buy The Visionary?

The Visionary deals openly and candidly with the horrors of child abuse and the healing process involved in becoming whole. Although no fiction story can adequately express the pain adult survivors of such atrocities experience, I hope to show that healing is not only possible, but promised.

Add The Visionary to Your Library

Amazon Print * Amazon Kindle * CreatSpace Print * B&N Print * Nook * Smashwords * Deeper Shopping

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is coming. Why not add The Visionary to your weekend reading entertainment?