A writer inspired by nature and human nature


“Pay It Foward Week” at Rave Reviews Book Club

“Hi, Bethany. It’s great to be part of your Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Tour. Can’t wait to find out more about you and about ‘pay it forward’ too!” ~ Bette A. Stevens

Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour, featuring Bethany Turner.

Author and Rave Reviews Book Club member on "Paying it forward."

Author and Rave Reviews Book Club member BETHANY TURNER.

 

 

 

I don’t know that I have had many experiences throughout this whole publishing journey of mine which have meant as much to me as the introduction of Rave Reviews Book Club’s Pay It Forward Week. Or, to be precise, Bethany Turner Pay It Forward Week. I was humbled and moved to learn my name would be associated with something so spectacular. I was not, however, at all surprised that Rave Reviews Book Club was choosing to take on something so supportive and groundbreaking.

That is just what RRBC does.

And though Pay It Forward Week may include my name in the title, it should be known that in principle, Pay It Forward Week has always been a product of Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC).

I’m very open about the fact that I am not a fan of self-promotion. I don’t mind when you do it, I just personally hate to promote myself. However, I know it is necessary if I ever hope for anyone to read my work – and I am proud of my work. But do you know what I love? I love promoting my friends. I love to find something I am passionate about and then shout it from the rooftops, determined not to give up until everyone is as passionate about it as I am. I love that! For that reason, and a million others, I have found a home at RRBC. I work hard to promote my work, but I also get to work hard to promote the work of a group of people I care about. And guess what? They help me promote my work.

One week in particular—while I was having a big promotion—some of my friends at RRBC went above and beyond in their support. All the while, I promoted myself like crazy. By the end of the week, I thought I was tired of promotion and marketing, and I considered taking a week off. But then I realized…I wasn’t tired of promotion. Only self-promotion. Rather than take a week off, I took a week to promote some of the authors who had helped me out, and put aside my own self-promotion for the entire week. And it was the most wonderful week! I enjoyed every moment of it. And guess what? Unsurprisingly, most of the authors who had been the most supportive are members of Rave Reviews Book Club.

I’m incredibly proud to be a member of RRBC. Promoting myself will probably never be easy for me. But promoting RRBC and its amazing members? That’s something I am passionate about, and I intend to shout it from the rooftops, determined not to give up until everyone is as passionate about it as I am.

Books by Bethany Turner

I've_Loved_These_Day_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNERScenes_From_Highland_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNERTwo_Thousand_Years_Cover_for_Kindle (2) BETHANY TURNER

 

 

 

 

 


Check out Bethany’s Books on Amazon:

 

Find  & Follow Bethany  Online!

 

 

 

 


Bette A. Stevens:

I grew up Boomer too… In fact, I write books about Boomers. I thoroughly enjoyed Marilyn Armstrong’s post and hope you do too!  Marilyn has also written a fascinating memoir: The 12-Foot Teepee. If you enjoy this post, I’m sure you’ll enjoy her book as well. That’s how I got to know Marilyn Armstrong. I not only follow her fabulous blog, I’ve been honored to meet her in the flesh! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

My generation — the post-war baby boomers — had an unusually high percentage of dysfunctional relationships with parents. I thought it was a self-selecting sample. I had a pretty awful childhood. My father was a sociopath who should never have been allowed near children, much less to be a parent. Maybe I was just attracted to kids like me.

1963. I'm in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee. 1963. I’m in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee.

Blogging has given me a broader perspective. Younger generations have issues with parents, but they can talk, if both sides try. In my growing-up years, not so much.

“The Generation Gap” was a laugh line for comedians, a mantra for the young. Most people blew it off as media hype. It was not all hype. My parents, Garry’s parents, most parents of the boomer generation grew up during the world wars. With the Great Depression in between. They learned to be…

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Bette A. Stevens:

Delighted to find author Kathleen Andrews Davis on BOOK CHAT. I’ve interviewed her here on my blog and read THE BLUE VELVET—thoroughly enjoyed it. I know you will too! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on BOOK CHAT:

Books One and Two

By Kathleen Andrews Davis

The Blue Velvet Book One – THE BLUE VELVET

In Book One we meet Emerson Mcbride, a typical American teenager who does the same things any other teen would do. That is, until she is sent up to clean the attic. What happens there will surprise you.

Emerson finds herself on her back in a large room, not her attic.  A strange voice keeps telling her to wake up and is calling her Emma. Lizzy is a housemaid in Harrington Hall.. Though Emerson is confused about everything, Lizzy helps direct her through her household chores and daily life in this huge manor..

Emerson is living in another time and has no idea how she got there, or how to get back home.  What’s more, she is becoming suspicious of the eldest son of the owner of the Manor.

Book Two – SMOKE AND MIRRORSSmoke and Mirrors

In…

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Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

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

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation :). Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:


Celebrate EARTH DAY with a FREE (April 21 & 22) Butterfly Adventure eBook by Bette A. Stevens
AM Look Inside Cover

EARTH DAY April 22

AMAZING MATILDA is an award-winning picture book adventure that follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids life lessons along the way!

“A lovely children’s book, with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and a profound message.” ~ Nicholas C. Rossis, author

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  • Please share... Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch and its habitat.

DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA, the award-winning monarch butterfly picture book at YOUR AMAZON

AM EARTH DAY promoAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Picture Book Summary:

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

AM Look Inside CoverDownload AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale! at Your Amazon

“Science, art and wise lessons for children—
wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!”

 Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

 


It’s National Poetry Month

What’s inspiring you?

Apple Blossom HAIKU bas 2015

 

Here in Central Maine the snow is melting at last, leaving bare ground and brown grasses in ever-growing patches where new tints, tones and shades of greens are magically appearing each day. Lilacs and apple trees will soon be budding. I can hardly wait for apple blossom time. We have six varieties of apple trees here at the farmstead and their blooms are more than enough to regenerate this winter-laden soul. Of course, the real blooms won’t arrive until May, but since April is National Poetry Month, I thought I would check out Wikimedia where I found this perfect picture (before my photo and text edits) to inspire the blooming muse inside a little early. We’re finally enjoying some spring sunshine, but ready for some April showers to bring us those May flowers, too. ~ Happy Spring! ~ Bette A. Stevens

What’s inspiring you this spring?


Guest post by Jill Bennett

Why should you be a book marketer when you can be a book marketing strategist? A marketing strategist:

  • Analyzes data, trends and projections
  • Researches the targeted group of consumers
  • Works with people or teams
  • Figures out the best way to generate sales

A degree in marketing isn’t necessary to be a strategist, but it can help you develop and practice skills, learn essential marketing principles, and understand how to apply these principles to drive sales. But you can also acquire these skills from self-teaching. This guide will help you become an autodidact marketing expert.

1. Sales funnels

Sales Funnell

Read a lot of marketing books and you will encounter this word a lot. A sales funnel refers to the purchasing process customers go through, from awareness to interest to purchase. Imagine a funnel—that conical utensil you use to pour liquids into small-mouthed containers. Now, imagine that liquid is your target customers. How do you nudge people to be aware and interested in your book and then turn them into customers?

To answer this question, you need a solid plan.

2. Goals

Create a list of your objectives and goals. Maybe it’s selling at least 10 books a month or making writing your main source of income. Include the time frame you plan for achieving those goals.

3. Marketing plan: Identify your audience

  • Who are your target audiences? You may already have a good idea of your book’s intended audience, but you’ll never know who else is reading your book until you conduct research. If your book is already out, check your sales channels and social media platforms, such as Amazon and Facebook respectively. Study the profiles of buyers and interested prospects. Who are they? What’s their age? What do they do? Are they women? What other books do they read? If your book isn’t up for sale yet, study the readers of similar books.
  • What needs do your target audience have that your book can satisfy? This is the next question. Once you have this answer, you can find out what can influence their buying decisions. Make your marketing message appeal to their needs and wants.
  • How can you reach them? Through which platforms, media and places can you communicate and influence your audience? These places are your ticket to book sales.
  • Where do they buy their books? Sell your book where customers are searching, and don’t make them jump through hoops to buy your work.

4. Marketing plan: Market analysis

This is the part where you perform market analysis. Consumer behavior, market trends and technological advances can all affect your book’s performance in the market. For instance, since e-book readers are the device du jour, so making your book available in digital format will help bolster sales. There are also trends in genre—there was a time when fictional vampires and werewolves were hot!

Studying the competition is part of the market analysis. This part will determine how you can stand out from the thousands of other books that get published every month. There’s nothing wrong in doing what works for them, and there’s definitely nothing wrong on focusing on what they’re struggling with. Spy on your competitors, legally of course.

5. Action plan

Lastly, create your plan of action. Come up with action-oriented steps that will accomplish your goals and objectives. Use the data you’ve analyzed to create these steps.

Book marketing is a science, and it’s through research, study, measuring data that can turn you into an expert in this field. Identify the following:

  • Promotional items to use (print materials, merchandise, etc.)
  • Events to facilitate (book launch parties, book signings, speaking engagements, etc.)
  • What social networks to use
  • What content to post on your blog and social networks
  • Other offline and online tactics that can give results

Don’t forget to consider budget in all of this. If you’re on a tight budget, run your marketing campaign for as long as your budget will allow.

 

Additional Reference:

About the Author:

 

Jill Bennett a markJILL BENNETTs Profile Piceting specialist for LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has several years of publishing and book marketing experience under her belt. Also under her belt is the mastery in taking care of three cats named Ginger, Pepper, and Marty.

It’s been a pleasure hosting you on 4writersandreaders, Jill. You’ve left us with excellent strategies on how to get our books into the hands and hearts of our target readers.

WRITERS & READERS:

Jill and I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading, Writing & Planning your marketing strategies! ~ Bette A. Stevens


Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

five-star25

Welcome to today’s Five Star Treatment for The Heart of Annie – The Strength of God, by Marianne Coyne. Set in 20th Century America and based on a true story.

About the book.

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Though life in early 20th century America is not always easy, young Annie Salvatore is filled with joy as she embraces the surroundings of her loving Italian family, her everyday life in her adopted country, and the pure happiness of her youth. But as she matures, Annie is awakened to the fact that the love in her heart is not enough without strength. How can she find it? Where does it come from? Through her faith Annie leans on the strength of God as He teaches her heart to forgive and to love more deeply as life unfolds. In surrendering her heart to His strength, Annie discovers the ability to conquer.

Based on a true story…

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Hello and thanks for stopping by! I would like to thank Bette Stevens, my host for today at 4readersandwriters blog , for letting me invade their space. And a big thanks also to 4Wills Publishing for setting up this blog tour for me. For my previous tour stops, please check out the 4Wills current events page.

I am so excited to be able to share my book trailer video with you today for my latest book, Finding Katie.

Who would’ve thought that hospital would be easier than home? Kate hadn’t planned on things turning out how they did, but now they have she has no choice but to suck it up.

Kindle Cover Finding KatieExcerpt from Chapter Three:       

Out of habit, I creep around quietly, walking on my toes. I ease open each door and peek into the room before going in. Once I’ve satisfied myself that the house is empty for real, I head up to my room. Melanie follows. She doesn’t say a word—just watches me.

Self-conscious, I force myself to walk normally, instead of on my tiptoes. Sure enough, my bedroom’s cleaner than the proverbial whistle. My mother needs the psych eval, not me. I hate all the flowers: floral wall-paper, floral bedding, and floral carpet. OMG. You guessed it: … Mother.

Melanie watches while I pack my stuff and shove it into a tatty holdall. She brought the bag along for me. I surprised her yesterday when I mumbled that I didn’t own a suitcase or anything. But she didn’t comment—just raised her eyebrows. And this morning, she turned up with the requisites.

I feel tacky in these clothes. The psych nurse gives me privacy to change, but only after I’ve handed over the bag with my stuff. Is she scared I’ll pack something extra? Does she seriously think I’m thick enough to try and smuggle anything onto the unit?

She pats me down before we leave the house. Gawd, they really do mean business at The Everglades. It feels more like I’m heading for juvie than a mental hospital.

 

Book Blurb:

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.

PREORDER HERE

Meet Author Harmony Kent:

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.

Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …

  1. Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)
  2. Really boring
  3. Has absolutely no sense of humour
  4. Biographer is a compulsive liar
  5. Reads … a lot
  6. Writes … even more
  7. Completely sane(in)
  8. Neighbours are nuts
  9. If you’re feeling extra brave she’s around
  10. Online …

 

Other books by Harmony

 Other Books by Harmony

 Fiction:

The Battle for Brisingamen

The Glade

Elemental Earth

Anthologies:

Concordant Vibrancy

Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul

Non-Fiction:

Polish Your Prose

banner 4WillsPublishing HOSTThanks so much for joining us for Harmony Kent’s Blog Tour today. We would love to hear from you (comments below). ~ Bette A. Stevens  at 4writersandreaders blog.

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