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It’s #IndieBooksBeSeen Day!


Bette A. Stevens is an indie author and DYI-er (mostly) who has written and self-published four books—The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, Amazing Matilda, Pure Trash and Dog Bone Soup—since 2012. You can out more about the author and take a ‘Look Inside’ her books on YOUR AMAZON.

FBAS & Books INDIE 2rom the author

I’m an author whose first book was published in 1997 by Windswept House, a small regional press in Mt. Desert, Maine. When the company went out of business and the original rights to the first edition of The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! were returned to this author, I decided to check out local publishing houses and self-publishing as well. In the process I discovered CreateSpace—a self-publishing affiliate of Amazon—and decided to give it a whirl. I had been an editor and desktop publisher for several years before embarking on a teaching career. Self-publishing doesn’t have to be a ‘go it alone’ experience. There are abundant resources available locally and online (excerpt and article link below) to help you get your own book(s) in print and on the way to readers.  ~ Bette A. Stevens

What exactly is an Indie author anyway?

“Indie authorship and self-publishing are not quite synonymous but an independent author will have self-published at least one book.”

Read more about Indie Authorship from New York Times + USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes at http://www.steenaholmes.com/whats-an-indie-author/

 [Bette’s Blog]

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American Boomer fiction: DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens


DOG BONE SOUP—a slice of ‘The American Pie’

Dog Bone Soup takes place in the fifties and sixties, but it could be anytime America as poverty, alcoholism, abuse, integrity, and ingenuity still abound” ~ Linda Loegel

“This kid has grit. Determination. A solid grip on his own worth.” ~ Marilyn Armstrong

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens is the saga of the coming of age of a poor boy in New England. Set in the 1950s and 60s, Stevens’s debut novel tells an American story…
DBS AMERICAN STORY Vignette

I’m often asked why I wrote a book about a poor kid growing up in America in a dysfunctional family in the 1950s and 60s.

As a retired teacher, I have a deep concern for kids living in poverty today—these children are often bullied and looked down upon by other kids and even by some adults, all because of the social status of their families. Poverty and prejudice appear linked through the generations. The bullying I’ve seen isn’t simply relegated to kid stuff. Adults can and should make a difference for the better in the lives of these children—of all children. Many of these kids continue to suffer, and are often traumatized, throughout their lives because they’ve been bullied or intimidated simply because they’re poor. I know, I’ve met many of them. DOG BONE SOUP is a fictional story of the survival and the triumph of a boy who overcomes the odds of repeating the pattern of poverty in his own life back in the 1950s and 60s, an era when most families were living The American Dream.

Unfortunately, DOG BONE SOUP is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately, we do have the opportunity to change these statistics today. As caring and concerned adults, we can all make a difference—one child at a time.

Find out all about it in DOG BONE SOUP. Let’s throw kindness around like confetti! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
KINDNESS & CONFETTI

DOG BONE SOUP on kindle 2Excerpt from DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

(Of Buddies & Bullies)

THE DAYS WE SPENT TRIMMING TREES and typing over at Mrs. Ashley’s flew off faster than a sweet dream, as Mum would say. What Mum couldn’t do with her moccasin, Mrs. Ashley took care of with her typewriter and adventure stories. The three of us took turns reading chapters in ‘The Jungle Book’ together after Saturday dinners that fall. Mrs. Ashley always had chocolate ice cream to go along with her fancy desserts. I liked to chomp on the fancies while Willie gorged himself on ice cream. Mum couldn’t believe it when Willie started working on his spelling and even read a book every now and then at the house.

Uncle Ted took me out to the lake fishing on Sunday afternoons a couple of weeks after we finished our Favorite Things lists. I’m sure that had something to do with Mrs. Ashley, too. Dinner times, she’d be talking to Uncle Ted about her mahogany row-boat. She told him it would be nice if he had a son to take out fishing with him. “You know I hate to see that boat just sitting out in the shed, knowing how much you love your bass fishing,” she’d say.

School never changed much. I still hated it. But, I did find out that Timmy didn’t want to join Buddy that day out on the playground.

A few days after the sing-songing, Timmy came over by me at recess and asked if he could shoot marbles.

“You just go over and play marbles or anything else you like with your best friend Buddy Wentworth,” I snapped.

“Buddy’s not my friend. He’s always mean to me. You hear him. Buddy’s mean to everybody. I just try to stay out of his way. Buddy made me sing with him that day. Said if I didn’t, he’d beat me to a pulp after school. I hate recess and I hate Buddy Wentworth. You’re the only friend I’ve got. You never make fun of me when Buddy gets something going. Can I please play?” Timmy begged.

“Sure. Where’s your marbles?”

He snatched them out of his pocket and I got my only real friend back that day.

If anyone thought that Timmy Doyle was a little slow had watched us play marbles, they’d have known that was nothin’ but a lie. Timmy took to playing marbles, quick as a baby chick takes to peckin’ for its grain.

I kept my grades up to all As and Bs. I sure didn’t want Mum’s moccasin on my butt. Willie was getting Cs on his report cards. Mum was just fine with that. I suppose getting Cs was lots better than the Ds he’d been bringing home before Mrs. Ashley.

###

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

  • A fresh slice of “The American Pie”
    Paperback $9.80 Kindle/eBook $3.99 OR
    Purchase paperback and download kindle version for FREE
    Grab a copy of DOG BONE SOUP today on YOUR AMAZON!

#RRBC SPOTLIGHT shines on Mom & Daughter Duo!


The Rave Reviews Book Club SPOTLIGHT is shining on Maureen K. Howard—pen name of mother/daughter writing partners, Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard.

Bio Pic Maureen K Howard  2 picHow do they do it? The dynamic duo is here at 4writersandreaders today to fill us in… plus, they’ll share an excerpt from their book SUNNY SIDE UP  by Maureen K. Howard, of course! ~ Bette A. Stevens

“Here’s How the Magic Happens”

~by Brigette Howard

Have you ever had a paper to write for school or a letter to compose, and you wished you could just write down all of your ideas, go to sleep, and wake up in the morning with a perfectly formatted and beautifully finished document? Me too. I am lucky enough to have this dream come true when working with my writing partner, who is also my wonderful mother.

People are always very curious about how two people can write a book together. I don’t know how others do it, but in our team, we have come up with a great system that works for us. It also helps that I often feel like we share a brain.

My mom and I live only about a mile from each other in Findlay, Ohio, but our writing is almost always done in separate locations using Google Docs, text messages, and phone calls (or book talk) as we like to call it. Our basic practice is to start with an outline that may or may not have a fully-planned ending. Character names and personalities always seem to be the first thing we try to define. We chat on the phone or over a glass of wine until our cast of characters really take on their own lives. And then the fun begins.

This very rough outline is posted into a new Google document that each of us can access at any time from our own personal computers. From here, we expand from the outline to form our first draft.

SunnySideUpCoverSince we both worked at full-time jobs and the business of everyday life while writing Sunny Side Up, we were hardly ever able to dedicate the same time in our schedules to write, but that was alright because we each fell into our own roles in the creative process.

Personally, I am an idea person. My head is filled with plot twists and zany situations that I can’t put into words fast enough. I get frustrated when I have to worry about punctuation, grammar or finding just the right phrase. My mom, on the other hand, is a word wizard. She has multiple degrees in English language and literature as well as over twenty years experience as a high school English teacher.

On most nights, I sit at my computer sipping a glass of red wine, much as our characters, Francie and June, often enjoy, and I just pour out onto the screen everything I can without worrying about the technical stuff. I often write in bullets, change tenses in the middle of chapters, sometimes adding tons of dialogue, and sometimes realizing that the characters haven’t spoken in six pages, but I get my thoughts down on paper. This is where the magic happens.

When I wake up in the morning or log on to my computer the next afternoon, my three-page jumble of nouns and verbs and scattered punctuation has transformed into a perfectly polished six- to eight-page masterpiece. It is so exciting to see my ideas transform into so much more, and Maureen (Mom) gets the same fun seeing more of the story develop each time she logs on. It has been a great system for us so far and has given us something great to share. (Psst…I can’t wait to see what she does with this piece. I better go take a nap so the elves can do their magic)!

Author Bio:

Maureen K. Howard is the pen name of mother/daughter writing partners, Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard. They both live in Findlay, Ohio. Maureen recently retired from a long career as a high school English teacher and now focuses her time on spoiling her three granddaughters, spending long weekends at the lake with her husband and their golden doodle, and making friends with fellow mystery writers and readers across the globe via social media. Oh yeah, she also writes books. Brigette works full time managing multiple national restaurant franchises. She enjoys taking her charcoal lab on running adventures and spends her free time reading, gardening with her husband, cooking, and planning the perfect murder.

Maureen Online:

Book Links:

Read an excerpt from SUNNY SIDE UP by Maureen K. Howard:

CHAPTER TWO

Did I leave my vibrator on? Oh wait, I don’t own a vibrator, so what was causing the riotous pile of clothes on my bedroom floor to buzz with such urgency? The mundane truth was that I’d switched my cell phone ringer off so I wouldn’t lose focus while trying to assemble my weekend wardrobe. Obviously that wasn’t working out so well for me.

I located the gyrating devil under some discarded tank tops and swiped the answer button on the screen just before the call was switched over to voicemail. “Hello?”

“Francie! Is it a go? Did you get the hubby to agree to run us over to the island in the boat this weekend?”

“It’s good to hear from you, too, June. And no, I haven’t even gotten around to asking him yet. He’s downstairs whipping up one of his gourmet meals, and I sure don’t want to distract him from that. I was trying to figure out what I should pack. How do you prepare for freezing cold mornings, balmy afternoons, torrential downpours and high winds—and fit everything into one suitcase? At least I don’t have to worry about bathing suits. After the winter we’ve just had, the lake probably won’t warm up until August.”

“Sorry. I’m just anxious to get to the island. My editor is jumping down my throat to get this story in before the official start of the season.”

June’s passion was hard to resist. She was like that about everything she did—she took off running and didn’t look back. I could feel myself being lured in to the promise of fun and adventure. It wouldn’t be the first time.

My best friend was a freelance writer. She worked for a consortium of specialty magazines running the gamut from Fruit Aficionado to The Neighborhood Cigar, to my favorite, Lady Sings the Tools. Two years ago she gave up her high-profile job as an investigative reporter for WCLV, the major network news channel in Cleveland. After her divorce, she bagged up all her corporate outfits, chopped off her hair, and set off on a new career path that didn’t hamper her free spirit. Her new job now requires her to spend time with all kinds of interesting people from every walk of life instead of digging up dirt on the lowest of low-life criminals.

Recently, I even got to meet Christie Browne, the beautiful model, while June was working on a story about the latest beauty product the star was endorsing. In our enthusiasm to prove our support for the much-touted self-tanning lotion, we doubled the recommended amount as well as the recommended usage time. Our skin turned a frightening shade of burnt pumpkin, and wouldn’t you know it, I had to accompany Hammond to a formal dinner party given by his firm that same evening. June, on the other hand, was able to postpone her face-to-face interview, and by the time we met Christie, we both looked sweetly sun-kissed. She got rave reviews on her piece. I got put on a prayer list.

“I get that you’re under a deadline, but if I don’t approach Hamm in just the right way, I’m fried. Let me call you back in a little while.”

“Okay, but let me know soon. If I don’t take this assignment, I’ll be stuck documenting the mating behaviors of ferrets for the next two weeks.”

###

(Bette’s Blog)

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Come join us #RRBC WAVE RAVE RADIO SHOW on Thursday, June 18th at 12 noon


Radio Interview with Author Bette A. Stevens this Thursday at Noon

DOG BONE SOUP Struggling to survive

  • Maine author Bette A. Stevens talks about her debut novel DOG BONE SOUP live on #RRBC WAVE RAVE “Spotlight Honors” with Rave Reviews Book Club’s radio host Nancy Bell…
  • WHEN? Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 12 noon EST
  • WHERE? Right here on BlogTalkRadio
  • COME JOIN US!

Call in, Tweet us or just listen in live or later#RRBC WAVE RAVE host chats with author Bette A. Stevens about her debut novel DOG BONE SOUP. You’re invited to join the conversation right here! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub/2015/06/18/rrbc-rave-wave-spotlight-honors-with-guest-bette-a-stevens

  • DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens discounted for 5 days, June 18th through June 22nd. ONLY 99¢ (Retail kindle version $3.99). Grab a copy at YOUR AMAZON and tell your friends.

DOG BONE SOUP on kindle 2Thanks for all of your support, Friends. HAPPY READING! ~ Bette A. Stevens

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“DOG BONE SOUP” by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢ June 18-22


“DOG BONE SOUP, A Boomer’s Journey,” a fresh slice of The American Pie

“The other America, the America of poverty, is hidden today in a way that it never was before.  Its millions are socially invisible to the rest of us.” — Michael Harrington

“DOG BONE SOUP” by Bette A. Stevens is the saga of the coming of age of a poor boy in New England. Set in the 1950s and 60s, Stevens’s debut novel tells such an American story…
DBS AMERICAN STORY Vignette

I’m often asked why I wrote a book about a poor kid growing up in America in a dysfunctional family in the 1950s and 60s.

As a retired teacher, I have a deep concern for kids living in poverty today—these children are often bullied and looked down upon by other kids and even by some adults, all because of the social status of their families. Poverty and prejudice appear linked through the generations. The bullying I’ve seen isn’t simply relegated to kid stuff. Adults can and should make a difference for the better in the lives of these children—of all children. Many of these kids continue to suffer, and are often traumatized, throughout their lives because they’ve been bullied or intimidated simply because they’re poor. I know, I’ve met many of them. DOG BONE SOUP is a fictional story of the survival and the triumph of a boy who overcomes the odds of repeating the pattern of poverty in his own life back in the 1950s and 60s, an era when most families were living The American Dream.

Unfortunately, DOG BONE SOUP is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately, we do have the opportunity to change these statistics today. As caring and concerned adults, we can all make a difference—one child at a time.

Find out all about it in DOG BONE SOUP. Let’s throw kindness around like confetti! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
KINDNESS & CONFETTI

DOG BONE SOUP on kindle 2

 

 

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens
A fresh slice of “The American Pie”
ONLY 99¢
for 5 days: JUNE 18th–22nd.
Grab a copy today on YOUR AMAZON!

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How to Conquer the Book Marketing Monster


Conquering that Marketing Monster

Guest post by Lois W. Stern

marketing.monster2Writing our books is the fun part, as it challenges our creativity, satisfying a need for self-expression. But marketing our books . . . that’s a whole different story. I call it the marketing monster! Many internet sites are out there to help us slay that dragon, but I’d like to share three little gems that you might have overlooked.

Hold on for a second. Before we begin, I want you to build yourself a promotional template. It will take a little time, and you won’t need all of these items for each venue, but trust me, in the long run, it will be a real time saver.

Template Items:

  • Book title:
  • Author:
  • Genre:
  • Book formats (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, other e-reader formats):
  • ISBN #:
  • Author bio:
  • Book teaser or elevator pitch:
  • URL links to any places where your book has a presence:
  • your website or blog
  • amazon.com, Barnesannobles.com
  • Your social media pages (Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon Central page
  • Images:          your headshot            book cover(s)
  • Several compelling reviews of your book”
  • An enticing excerpt:

Here are three ideas I have discovered that I can recommend for free or low-budget book promotion.

newbookreview_banner_full

Submit your book and some of its best reviews to Carolyn Howard-Johnson* for a free posting on her website and you will get some great cross promotion opportunities.

Follow these guidelines.
(or copy and paste: http://www.thenewbookreview.blogspot.com into your browser.)

Watch this brief video to meet Carolyn and learn about her fabulous writing and book marketing credentials.
(or copy and paste: http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com into your browser.)

* Carolyn’s site has been named to Online University’s 101 Best Blogs for Readers.

1000 Words Plus

 

 

 

Recommended through Dan Poynter, One Thousand Words Plus is a fabulous new site where you can actually create a separate web page for each of your published books. You are given the opportunity to:

  • Display a synopsis/description of each of your books
  • Display chosen samples of text from anywhere within your books
  • Direct potential readers to your preferred online retail outlet for your book
  • Direct potential readers to your other relevant URLs

(i.e. publisher’s website, author’s website, blog and social media pages, etc.)

  • Post book cover images and more.

The publishers have agreed to offer a 50% discount for readers of this blog who sign up by the end of this calendar year. By using Code LWS2015, you will be charged only $24.95 for the lifetime exposure for each of your books (normally $49.95). Note: Since there are no annual renewal fees, this is quite a bargain.

To get familiar with their format, go to:

http://www.onethousandwordsplus.com/

Then click on the words: Im an author, I want to learn more to promote your book.

Next Best Thing

The Next Best Thing, sent to me by Linda Maria Frank, host of The Writers Dream LTV Show, is both free and a clever original. It is set up more or less like a blog tour, to help market yourself while helping your fellow authors. The basic idea is to respond to ten questions about your published or about-to-be-published book, while submitting your headshot and book cover images. Follow these directions carefully and click here to see how I set up my page.

Note: I will limit my blog tour to the first ten people who respond. It’s free but I will only have space to include the first ten authors who follow every step of the directions, so read carefully.

Please use the comment area below to share one great marketing tip or lesser known website you have discovered to help conquer that marketing monster.

About the author

lois_charli3_lite_blue

Author Lois Stern

My first two books focused on physical beauty: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery (with sound advice and personal emotional undercurrents to cosmetic surgery) and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour (with chapters written by eleven nationally renowned experts and outstanding practitioners, detailing many of the most current minimally invasive beauty procedures).

Then my writing career took a seemingly sharp turn as I began to focus on inspiring stories, stories to touch the heart and soul. But in truth this was not a new interest for me as I always had a special appreciation for feel-good stories that reach the inner spirit, inspire, motivate, make us question. I started to develop this idea further as I initiated a Tales2Inspire ‘Authors Helping Authors’ project/contest, and with contributing stories from other talented writers, have begun a series of inspiring story anthologies. I have now published the first four of these little jewel books: the Emerald, Topaz, Sapphire and Ruby collections, with more on the way. Each book is enhanced by the inclusion of original photos and drawings.

 

If you think you might be interested in participating in Tales2Inspire™, do visit my website and click on the word CONTEST for details. Winning authors receive an incredible number of platform building opportunities. And isn’t that what all talented authors are seeking? DISCOVERY!

Thanks so much for sharing these great marketing tips with us, Lois.

And, writers, don’t forget to tell us about your favorite marketing tips in the comments section below.

HAPPY WRITING & BOOK MARKETING, ALL!

Bette A. Stevens

Bette’s Blog

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A Day Away, Plus a Poem for May by Bette A. Stevens


Moose Point & Poem 2015 basClick on the photo to enlarge

An Author’s Day Away

How does this Central Maine writer like to kickback and relax? A day trip to the coast is most welcome every now and then. And, it’s bound to be inspiring.

The forecast was perfect—60s and sunny with a coastal spring breeze. We packed the car (jackets/coffee/snacks) and headed south along The Moosehead Trail (Route 7 from Newport to Belfast), then east over Head of Tide Road to meet Route 1, where we drove north to Searsport to enjoy one of our favorite spots—Moose Point State Park. This coastal gem is the perfect spot to savor an afternoon picnic, revel in the views of Penobscot Bay, climb its rock-bound shore and trek the trails through an awe spruce forest. Ah, the magic of Maine!

Thanks for hopping on board, friends. What’s your favorite spot to enjoy on a day away?

~ Bette A. Stevens

Back to Bette’s Blog

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Author Tim Hemlin


The “Rave Reviews Book Club SPOTLIGHT” is a great place to meet new authors and discover great new books. Today, the SPOTLIGHT is shining on Tim Hemlin, author of “The Wastelanders.” ~ Bette A. Stevens, 4writersandreaders.

The New

wastelander-cover-1 2We thrive when the creative spirit pulses through our mind, body and soul and the new suddenly springs to life. And I fully admit that’s me. I love writing first drafts. If I had my way I’d only write first drafts for the rest of my life and they’d magically edit and revise themselves. When I first wrote The Wastelanders it took on a life of its own, surprising me at many turns. The Poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.” This is what I thought of when slowly I developed my little Time Witch in The Wastelanders. Si-Ting has prescient powers and discovers she can “bend time.” Think of the cat in the Matrix. Neo sees it then sees it again and comments he’s had a déjà vu. Instead it’s a glitch. Time has changed. Si-Ting can make changes, though they must be immediate and she is limited to the shadow of the present. It makes her strong, yet it also makes her vulnerable, open to danger. It is a powerful tool for good. Or evil, should this knowledge fall into the wrong hands. I’d not originally planned this for Si-Ting. But I allowed her to grow as the story unfolded, and she showed me the power she had. That’s what the new does for me. This is why I find the new delightful.

Author Bio:

TimHemlinAuthorTim Hemlin is a marathoner, teacher, and has his master’s degree in counseling, but his passion for the environment  sparked him to write The Wastelanders, a dystopian-clifi published in both e-book and paperback by Reputation Books. He is represented by Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency.  Hemlin has also published a Wastelanders short story called ‘Black Silence’ as a bridge between the first book and its sequel. He is currently in the notes and brainstorming stage for the Wastelanders sequel Recently the Muse has kindly allowed TIm to tap into that creative magic and pen a young adult urban fantasy. If all goes well with the edits and revision, the final draft should be completed by early summer.  Finally, in the late 90s Ballantine published the Neil Marshall series of culinary mysteries set in Houston, Texas. These include If Wishes Were Horses, A Whisper of Rage (nominated for a Shamus Award), People in Glass Houses, A Catered Christmas (the one I most enjoyed writing), and Dead Man’s Broth. He has recently gotten the reversion rights and is planning on reissuing them under an elite publishing house out of New Orleans.

Hemingway liked running with the bulls. Tim enjoys running with dragons (that’s what he calls his grandkids).

Where to find author Tim Hemlin?

“The Wastelanders” by Tim Hemlin

Comments to Tim’s post are most welcomed and appreciated. Happy writing and reading, friends! ~ Bette A. Stevens, 4writersandreaders. (Member of Rave Reviews Book Club)

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Sharon K. Connell (Christian Fiction)


Sharon K. Connell is the author of Christian/romance/drama fiction and it’s a pleasure to have her with us today at 4writersandreaders.

What readers are saying

SHARON K Connell BOOKS cropped

Christian/romance (fiction) novels by Sharon K. Connell

A Very Present Help by Sharon K. Connell

This book is artfully written and creatively weaves the plot from beginning to end. It is a great reminder that God is still involved in our lives. This is a must read and leaves the reader filled with hope! ~ Jennifer

It’s wonderful to have you with us today, Sharon. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your books. First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

Meet Author Sharon K. Connell

I was born in Wisconsin, grew up and went to school through College in Illinois.  In 1988, I moved to Florida and graduated from Bible School in 1995.  For most of my adult life, I have worked full-time in the clerical field.  In December 2012, I decided to retire, and in March of 2013 moved to Houston, Texas.  Since then I have been enjoying every minute of retirement from the clerical/business world and I have been writing full-time.

Today, I spend my time doing many things, which I never had the time to do before retiring.  This includes at least one or two hours daily writing stories about people who discover (as I have) that God will only allow those things into your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith.

At the age of twelve years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  There has not been a day that has gone by where I have been disappointed in that decision.  Many trials have crossed my path, most of which I brought on myself.  Nonetheless, God has been with me every step of the way.  I have never once felt that He deserted me or does not love me. 

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

The genre in which I write is Christian/Romance/Drama.  I could possibly add Mystery to the end of that list with the publishing of my fourth novel sometime this year.

While still working full-time, I began my first book around the year 2000—A Very Present Help.

In my stories, I try to bring out some promises in the Bible.  Humor always is added for entertainment, along with a good love story.  Then there is the villain who adds drama and sometimes mystery to the lives of my hero and heroine.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book? 

My latest book published in December of 2014—There Abideth Hope deals with the life of a former Navy nurse, Lieutenant JG Lynne Temple and the man she meets in Florida, a youth pastor by the name of Nick Livingston.  They run into a treacherous villain who recognizes Miss Temple from a murder trial during her college days, one in which she was the prime witness.  While the couple is trying to get to know each other, they wind up dealing with kidnaped teens from a local Rave gone bad, drugs and human trafficking, not to mention attempted murder.  The story goes from Chicago, Illinois to the war in Afghanistan to Pensacola, Florida.

What prompted you to write your novels, Sharon?

This is an easy one to answer.  My dear friend, Alan J. O’Reilly, author of Sound of Battle and Desired Haven, talked me into it.  I call him my adopted brother.  We have known each other since shortly after 1990.  Through the years, we have corresponded, although never met.  When I would relay a story about something that had happened, he would always tell me, “You need to write a story about that.”  After Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, Florida and I went through it all alone, I told him every detail.  Again, he told me that I should write about it.  This time I took him seriously.  However, I did not write about the hurricane.  A story about a girl being lonely came to mind and I was off and running.  That story actually became my second book, Paths of Righteousness, but stemmed the writing of the first, A Very Present Help.

Do you have a favorite line from one of your books? 

“You came within a gnat’s eyebrow of going for a swim with those dolphins, and you’re worried about your heel?” from There Abideth Hope.
(The heel is a high heel and the line is spoken by the hero to the heroine, after she almost fell into the water trying to get a better look at her first live Florida dolphins).  

Who is your favorite character and why? 

I guess my favorite character from my books is Kathryn Kendall from Paths of Righteousness.  She is the heroine I first thought up and started writing about.  She is honest, faithful, gentle, beautiful, and sensitive; yet with an air of pride that gets the better of her at times.

What was the hardest part about writing your books?

Keeping all the events in the lives of my characters in order and consistent.

Do you do anything besides write?  

Yes, besides all my normal house duties, I paint, sketch, blog, take pictures of nature, am a spectator at RC racetracks, I am an active birder (amateur), exercise (mostly by walking the Houston Bayous viewing the many birds that live there) and do some moon and star gazing.

How can readers get copies of your books? 

My books are sold on Amazon and Kindle.  If you look up my Author Page on Amazon, you will find all three novels.

What’s next for author Sharon K. Connell?   

Currently, I am working on my fourth novel—His Perfect Love— about a young woman who has lived a self-centered life, to the point that her family has all but given up on her.  God starts dealing with her by allowing things from her past to catch up with her causing fear and doubt.  She bounces from Illinois to Minnesota, back to Illinois and winds up in Houston, Texas.  You will have to read the book to find out the rest.

After I finish this story and it is ready for all of you readers, I will be begin my next book about a young woman trying to keep her family’s farm in Nebraska from winding up in the wrong hands after her parents pass away.

Where to find author Sharon K. Connell

Sharon also has a Group she’s created on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/

Video Trailers for each book

Sharon, it has been wonderful having you with us today. I’ve already checked out your books and videos. I’ve purchased and downloaded “A Very Present Help” to my kindle and can’t wait to read it. I’m a fan of Christian fiction and your books all sound great. Happy writing!

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Sharon and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to join the conversation (comments below) and be sure to take a look inside Sharon’s great books on Amazon. I think you’ll want to grab a novel or two.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

Aside

MEET THE AUTHOR: Fia Essen


I’m delighted to have Fia Essen here at 4writersandreaders today and can’t wait to find out more about the author and her latest book:

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.

 

Nicholas Blomfield talks about Fia Essen’s latest novel

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fia’s work about Ariel and her struggle to find and develop herself.

Fia has a staggeringly strong descriptive style that I personally loved. It felt as though she had spent a great deal of time considering the characters, their lives, history and personal ups and downs. The vivid and life like descriptions of things gave the story a fantastic atmosphere helping to shape Ariel and her eventual triumph over life’s obstacles. I shall not spoil the plot or give too much away, I strongly advise reading it!

A truly wonderful piece of literature and well worth immersing yourself into Fia’s creative work. I have no doubt this is the start of a long and fruitful writing career – watch this space! Nicholas Blomfield

To begin our interview, tell us a little about yourself, Fia.

I was born in Sweden in 1983. My passport claims I’m still Swedish even though I left Sweden more than twenty-five years ago. I grew up in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And I spent my teenage years living in a stable. Literally. Horses were my next door neighbors. When other girls my age were perfecting the art of applying makeup and discussing boys, I was either mucking out stalls or on horseback, having the time of my life. Now I live in Athens, Greece with Taxi Driver, my Yorkshire Terrier.

How about your family life?

There’s three of us—me and my parents. We’re a small group of nomads. I’m an only child and Taxi Driver is my only child.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I have an active imagination. But I didn’t get serious about writing until 2010. What I write now fits into the Contemporary Fiction genre.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

ARIEL by Fia Essen BOOK COVERAriel is about a half-English, half-American, lifelong expatriate who was born in Hong Kong and now lives in Singapore. At the age of thirty-four, Ariel is in debt and out of luck. She used to have a career, a penthouse, and a group of fun friends. Now she has a dead-end job, a rented hovel of a home, and a rising stack of unpaid bills to keep her company. Just when she is starting to fear she will never be able to get her life back on track, she is contacted by the mysterious Muse Agency. And, suddenly, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself and those around her.

What prompted you to write Ariel?

Every writer has heard the phrase “write what you know” at some point. So that’s exactly what I did. I wrote what I knew. On a personal level, I know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut.

One reader called Ariel “self-help turned fiction”… That’s a genre you don’t see a lot of but it describes Ariel well. What most self-help books fail to mention is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to self-help. Every person on the planet is a unique individual. So I began picking bits and pieces of self-help that helped me, advice that suited my personality. And then I put that into Ariel, hoping readers of the story would find something that could help them in their own lives.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

“Think big, start small, and keep going.”

Who is your favorite character and why?

Ariel is my favorite character. The story is told from her point of view. So, as peculiar as it sounds, she and I became very close while I worked on the manuscript.

What was the hardest part about writing?

I love writing. Writing isn’t hard. The only hard part about being an author is gaining an audience. I’m working on it! I have a long road ahead of me but I’m committed to giving it my all. It’s all part of being an author.

Do you do anything besides write?

I’m the Company Administrator at Essen & Essen, which is a family owned company with interest and ownership in various companies and organizations. We specialize in activities related to business & personal growth, management consulting and interim management services.

How can our readers get a copy of ARIEL?

Ariel is available on Amazon, B&N, and from my publisher’s website.

What’s next for Fia Essen?  

More writing! Solstice Publishing will release Anna this summer. And I’m currently working on a story called Amanda, which will come out in time for Christmas. Ariel, Anna, Amanda… I have a thing for As.

GET SOCIAL with author Fia Essen:

Fia, thanks so much for joining us  today. ARIEL, the story of a young woman caught in a rut, has me tap-tap-tapping my kindle to turn the pages to find out just how she’s going to climb out!

Readers, thanks so much for joining us today. Fia and I would love to hear from you. You’re invited to chat with us (comments below). Be sure to take a look inside Ariel on Amazon and dive right into the pages of a great new book. ~ Bette A. Stevens

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