Blogging, Book Reviews, Valley of the Bees

Valley of the Bees Book Blog Tour: Stop #1

Author T. S. Dickerson
Author T. S. Dickerson

The With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 book blog tour has officially begun! My first stop is taking place today (right now!) over at author T. S. Dickerson’s blog, where she has posted a book review of my latest novel, which will release on September 1, 2016.

Go check out this book review now, and then check back here later to find out where the With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 book blog tour will be stopping next.

Do you want to be a part of this blog tour? Contact Me for details!

Buy The Book

For a limited time, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is available for only 99 cents. Pre-order your copy today before the book returns to its regular price of $3.99!

Continue reading “Valley of the Bees Book Blog Tour: Stop #1”

Book Reviews, Novel Writing, Uncategorized, Valley of the Bees

Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1

It’s official! I just set up my novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 for pre-order on Smashwords! I completed the first draft of the third and final book of this trilogy, and I finally feel confident that Book One will be ready for publication by its September 1st release date!

With Envy Stung cover with white border
With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is now available for download on iTunes and Kobo. It will soon be available on your Nook as well! See the links within this blog post for more info.

This is such a huge milestone for me. I have been working on this trilogy for about three years now. With Envy Stung has been critiqued and revised until I can’t imagine what else I might possibly do to make it shine any brighter. That is, until I sit down to read through it again and find a few more lines that I could write *just a little bit better.*

Update: I now have direct links where you can pre-order your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 from the retailer of your choice:

As with any work in progress, I will probably always be able to find something else that I could tweak a bit more. But, as with any other work in progress, the time always comes when it’s time for the author to let it go as it is. I feel confident that With Envy Stung has reached that stage in the writing process. The time has finally come to complete my final line edits and format the book for publishing! Continue reading “Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1”

Book Reviews, Digital Marketing, eBooks, Short Story

How to help a fellow #indie author by reading her books for #free

Rain at three, short story
“Rain at Three” is now available at Smashwords for FREE.

I just finished reading the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide in an effort to find more ways to market my books. One of the topics this book discusses is how reviews help improve a book’s discoverability. Additionally, when an author offers at least one of his or her titles for free, it increases the likelihood that readers will 1) discover that book, 2) review that book, thus improving its discoverability, and 3) purchase another book from the same author (if the reader enjoyed the free book). The guide also stresses the point that we, as indie authors, have to help each other out with this.

Anyone who has browsed the free books at Smashwords and other book distributors will know that there are a lot of garbage eBooks out there. However, if you browse long enough, you are bound to strike gold eventually. Most of the time, I know whether or not I want to read a book after reviewing the first page or two. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being the person who discovered the next big author. I definitely wouldn’t mind being discovered in this same way!

Having mulled over this information for the past two days, I have come up with a plan that I think will help both me and other as-of-yet undiscovered authors. Continue reading “How to help a fellow #indie author by reading her books for #free”

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

8 best books of 2015

It’s that time of year again! Time to make our “top however many of whatever of the year” lists and post them on our blogs. As a writer, I am of course obligated to post my top books of 2015. I read a lot of books this year, but only eight of them really stood out for me.

top 8 books of 2015 Continue reading “8 best books of 2015”

Book Reviews

Book Review: Spinster by Kate Bolick

Spinster by Kate BolickIn this fascinating memoir, Kate Bolick turns the history of women and marriage in America as I learned it completely on its head. According to Bolick, much of what has been spouted as truth by the  mainstream these past few decades  turns out to be false. Not just false, but one bald-faced lie after another.

This text so resonated with me, I could not put it down. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about a book, and I have to wonder what has changed in me since my early 20s that I now find it so hard to relate to the characters in the books I read the way I used to. Why is no one writing about strong women whose lives do not revolve around “the question of when to marry and who?” Continue reading “Book Review: Spinster by Kate Bolick”

Book Reviews, eBooks, Poetry, Poetry by Mandy Webster, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Special: Free download of “Loosely Collected”

This weekend only, download the Kindle version of Loosely Collected: A Book of Poems FOR FREE for your favorite mother (including yourself!) This offer is good May 7 – 11, 2015.

Get your free download May 7 - 11, 2015!
Get your free download May 7 – 11, 2015!

Continue reading “Mother’s Day Special: Free download of “Loosely Collected””

Blogging, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

How to fall in love with a reader: Part Three

Cover of “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss
Since my first post, I have now added “The Name of the Wind” to my original list of favorite books. Not sure how I forgot this one!

And finally, the third and final part of my how to fall in love with a reader Q&A series: Continue reading “How to fall in love with a reader: Part Three”

Bibliography, Book Reviews

Closing the gap between east and west in “Persepolis”

Cover of Persepolis 1, 2000. L'Association Fre...
Cover of Persepolis 1, 2000. L’Association French edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her graphic novel, Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi examines the pedagogical issue of “othering” and creates closeness between her western audience and its perceived enemy – the Iranian people – by speaking directly to and carefully instructing the reader on Iran and its people. She explicitly teaches the reader about the Iranian revolution and how she and Iranians like her are very much like us here in the West.

The history of Iran that Satrapi provides in the introduction creates a frame for her story in which the reader must consider the fact that the fundamentalists who now rule Iran were created by the west. She also strives to strip away the “otherness” and show us that we are, in many ways, more alike than we are different. Satrapi uses her text to show her western audience that she and other educated Iranians like her are more like everyday westerners than they are like the fundamentalist Iranians who are so vilified by the west.

Throughout Persepolis, the character of Marji often speaks directly to the western reader. There is no question that Satrapi uses her text to teach to a western audience. For example, in the scene on pages 114-115, Marji walks purposefully down a flight of stairs toward her audience. She may as well be an actor on a stage, pausing the show to step down to audience-level and explain her country’s descent into war. Such a move would not be necessary if she were writing for an Iranian audience. Continue reading “Closing the gap between east and west in “Persepolis””

Bibliography, Book Reviews, Writing Prompts

An analysis of “Plaintext” by Nancy Mairs

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at su...
This image has nothing to do with my post. I just think it’s pretty. And soothing. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. | The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following is my third course autobiography for the course I am taking on women’s writing. I just have to write one more of these and then a 20-page final paper, and my homework will be done for the semester! In this piece, I wrote about how I would use this text to create a framework for a creative nonfiction essay assignment. I think this would also make an excellent writing prompt!

The Embodiment of Labels

In Plaintext, Nancy Mairs explores how individuals embody the labels that are placed on them by society. In her essay, “On Being a Cripple,” Mairs chooses to define herself as a “cripple” regardless of the fact that others may wince at the word. She says, “Perhaps I want them to wince. I want them to see me as a tough customer, one to whom the fates/gods/viruses have not been kind, but who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely. As a cripple, I swagger” (9). She challenges the politically correct euphemisms that others use and would have her use to describe herself. In many ways, she refuses to meet society’s expectations of her as a cripple, even seeking to change the meaning of the word. I would like to teach this text in a writing course where I could ask students to examine their own labels, how they embody their labels, and how societal expectations based on these labels impact the individual, as well as how the individual can impact society by either meeting or shattering those expectations. Continue reading “An analysis of “Plaintext” by Nancy Mairs”

Bibliography, Book Reviews

Annotated Bib: “Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation.”

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Tony Kushner who discusses how the marginalization of Holocaust survivors kept many of them from telling their individual stories until several decades after the end of WWII. You may read the full article here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Kushner, Tony. “Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation.” Poetics Today 27.2 (2006): 275-295. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

This article examines how Holocaust stories were widely ignored in the years immediately following the war and how these stories have recently become of interest to society. By the end of the 20th century, several organizations, having recognized the importance of these stories, had begun to collect the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Continue reading “Annotated Bib: “Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation.””