Sunday, October 22, 2017

#Book in the Spotlight from Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

Yesterday was my birthday and today I’m happy to let you know that all my ebooks are currently on sale $0 - $1.99 at Even though this is the season of all things spooky, I thought I’d spotlight something a little romantic.

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.

In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.

A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

Add on Goodreads | Try the chapter by chapter song Playlist

Please enjoy this excerpt from the chapter entitled: That One Thing
Once on the other side, Rebecca could see that she was inside a large crater of some kind. The hole opened up like a basin. The sky was bright and blue. The light revealed a pictorial gallery of treasure all around them. Paul and Rebecca sat back-to-back for a while just staring at the images, silently taking in their beauty and embedding them into their hearts and memory. Finally, Paul had to ask, “Aren’t you going to take any pictures?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Rebecca’s voice was almost a whisper, and Paul responded by holding his breath. “A photo would never do this justice. I think I’ll keep this to myself. It’ll be my one thing, my secret to keep.”

Paul turned slowly and Rebecca followed his movement. “It’ll be our secret,” he said, smiling at her and staring into her eyes.

After a few more gazes, Paul and Rebecca decided to return to the group, hoping they hadn’t missed the bus. When they reached the low valley they’d traveled, they could see that the bus had arrived. They each began to run and shout out, “Wait, don’t leave us! Wait,” but they were too late. Exhausted and out of breath, Rebecca immediately decided to take her frustrations out on poor Paul.

“So, I guess this is the kind of muddle you’re used to. This kind of thing never happens to me.”

“I’m sorry we missed the bus; you don’t have to be so upset.”

Rebecca stood silent for a moment and remembered the Petroglyphs. She knew it wasn’t his fault and that she was wrong to snap at him. “I’m sorry, Paul. I really am. I don’t do well with change. That’s why I plan everything, and this wasn’t part of my plan.”

“No worries,” said Paul. “I learned from my friend Rick, when plans don’t work out, go walkabout.” 

When Rebecca looked up at Paul with pure confusion on her face, he realized he needed to better explain himself. “Rick’s an Aussie. What his statement means is, don’t just sit around. Between the two of us, we have enough food and water to get us fifty miles in a desert. All we need to do is walk about ten.”

“Oh, only ten,” Rebecca muttered. “Ten miles is easy.”

“Come on,” said Paul, “it won’t be that bad. The day is early and long this time of the season. Plus, you’re dressed for it. The quicker we start walking, the quicker we make it back to the inn.”

Rebecca wasn’t going to argue with Paul’s logic, so they got up and began walking. Rebecca assumed she’d have trouble keeping up with Paul’s stride, but it didn’t take long for her to figure out that he’d slowed his pace to keep up with her. Paul actually seemed to be enjoying the time alone with Rebecca, a notion she wasn’t sure if she was comfortable with.

Paul talked most of the way, making the time seem to fly by. He told Rebecca about his mother dying when he was very young from cancer and how he and his dad had been coming here every year on her birthday to visit all the places she loved. Paul told her about him and his father, and how though his father was an old man even when he was a baby; they were more of best friends than father and son. They were very close and talked about everything. It was his father who encouraged him to become a writer. His father told Paul he went into banking because his father was in banking, but that he always wished he’d followed his dream to become a jazz musician.

Before Rebecca realized it, she and Paul had reached the village where the inn was and soon they would be in their warm, dry rooms preparing for dinner. The sky had clouded up and it looked as though rain was imminent, but they didn’t rush back to the inn. They’d walked a long way and knew the end was near; they were okay with catching a few droplets if it came down to it.

A few feet from the entrance of the inn, standing under an old street lamp, Rebecca turned to Paul and smiled at him, breathing a little heavy. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but thank you. I had a really wonderful day.” Instead of offering the customary reply of, ‘You’re welcome’ Rebecca had expected to receive for the kind words she let flow freely from her mouth, Paul decided to show his appreciation for her gratitude in a more expressive manner.

Paul quickly charged through the space separating Rebecca from his touch and enveloped her body. Wrapping his arms around her, he kissed her lips tenderly, savoring every moment. Paul slid his hands up to Rebecca’s neck and massaged it as her head began to tilt back. He continued to press his lips to hers and caress her tongue while taking in her breath and absorbing her warmth and unchecked desire.

Rain began to pour heavily upon them, but Paul didn’t seem to notice. However, Rebecca did. Snapping out of the trance triggered by Paul’s tender kiss, Rebecca turned her head and tried to push herself away from him, but Paul did not want to let her go. Finally, she reached her hands up to his face and held his cheeks. While staring into his wide, wild, brown eyes, she pleaded, with a quiver in her voice, “Please, Paul, let me go.”

Paul looked at her. He sensed her longing and felt the reflexive touch of her hands struggling not to pull him in closer to her. He knew she didn’t really want him to let go, but her words and her eyes said otherwise. As soon as Paul let go of her, Rebecca ran into the inn.

It's Like the Full Moon 2nd Ed © 2016 Toinette Thomas, published as Glorie Townson.

#love, #circleoffriends, #lovetriangle, #30something, #secrets

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Guest Author #OurAuthorGang

We welcome new Author Jennifer Daniels to Our Author Gang today.  Jennifer was born in Upstate, New York where she currently resides with her husband, son, and dog--Kera. She loves camping in the summers, spending time with family and friends, staying up late reading, and crafting during the days. If you'd like to get in touch with Jennifer, she'd love hearing from you. She can be reached at
her Facebook page: or at

Jennifer's debut novel, Opalla, is available at Barnes & Nobel, iBooks, KOBO, KDP, and other international platforms.

Sisters, Scarlette and Lyndy Loftin, had a normal childhood and spent every waking hour with their best friend, Poppy Heller.  Their parents were kind loving people who treasured their children, but went to their graves because of a secret they refused to share with their young daughters.

Now...the girls are grown up and on their own.

Poppy's bubbly personality is perfect for her job as a successful real estate agent. She enjoys nature and photography, and spending time with her friends at the clubs or at home.

Scarlette is an ER nurse with the perfect job. She's dating a hunky doctor, lives with her sister and best friend, and wants for nothing. Slight changes in her perception occur that make Scarlette question what's happening with her.

Lyndy's career as a successful editor allows her to purchase an old silo and renovate it into living space for three on the go women. When an old flame, Luca, comes back into town, sparks fly...literally. Tempers flare, causing physical and emotional changes in Lyndy that leave her wondering why.

The women are thrust into danger and transformation when they find out the secret their parents had been keeping from them. A secret that will take them on a journey of their lives...a journey to Opalla.

Friday, October 20, 2017

True Twin or Fickle Friend #OurAuthorGang

True Twin or Fickle Friend

by Rick Haynes

Part 1 – The Waiters

The flight was long, boring, and you’re tired, but you smile, for yesterday was gone and today is a fresh start. It is time to shed the coat of servitude, and to be the master, allowing others to adhere to your every whim whilst you dance to the tune of sunshine and relaxation for the next two weeks.

Your holiday has begun.

You sit on the beach, the waters caressing your feet like velvet slippers. With both eyes closed, you carefully map out the next fourteen days inside your head. A huge sigh escapes you, involuntary, but your plan is now complete.

“What can I get you, beautiful lady?”

His voice drips like a tap you can’t turn off.

 “A large glass of fresh orange juice please.”

“You wanna help me squeeze the oranges?” 

He oozes insincerity from every pore, but you dismiss his attitude. You have too, as nothing, or no one, is going to ruin the first day of your vacation.

You look the waiter straight in the eye and give him the rhino look just before it charges. That would stop any normal man, but not this one, for his skin is as thick as your rhinoceros and his heart as black as the night. 

Leaving is easy, for you get up, and walk away, telling yourself that you will never return.
Another walk along the beach, another seat, and another waiter materializes. He is polite, efficient and knows his place. Soft liquid soon falls down your eager throat as you slowly sip the orange nectar.

“May I get you anything else?” His voice is deep like the ocean, yet can be gentle like the surf brushing your toes. You chat. He is subservient, easily pandering to your every wish. The setting sun is showering the sea with rays of gold and ochre, and you daydream of a knight in shining armour.  
Yet inside, doubts bubble up to surface inside your brain, for is he simply another womanizer in a different guise?

Part 2 – The Reality 

As you can see I’ve painted two very different pictures here, yet I’ve witnessed both scenarios many times during my frequent travels to the Mediterranean region of Europe.
Some waiters prey on women like a lion hunting down an impala, but only sex with their victim is on the menu. 

Waiters also prey on men, but persuading them to part with as much cash as possible is their priority now. They know how easy it is to give out a couple of free drinks, naturally highly potent, and wallets are quickly emptied. 

Young girls, and young boys, are gullible, and on holiday inhibitions disappear faster than soap suds down a sink. They want a good time and party hard, but tomorrow’s headache is often a massive wake up call to reality.

I can hear the groans, and the screaming, but don’t kill the storyteller, as I’m telling you the way that it is, but read on, for you may be surprised.

Lest we forget, waiters are human beings, and clearly not all are the predators that I have portrayed. 
Seeing a youngster or oldster in distress is never pleasant, but locals rushing to assist are commonplace. Waiters are often the first to help, especially with calling for medical assistance and first aid. Cracking jokes, translating documents, even arranging taxis, I’ve seen their patience and their smiles through adversary.

Waiters are a much-maligned profession, and sometimes that reputation is justified, but alternatively, I’ve seen the other side of their nature.

So take care, don’t be fooled by some smarmy chat, but enjoy a laugh and a joke with someone who genuinely wants to help you choose your perfect meal and wine.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Recipies change as the seasons change #OurAuthorGang

Food for Autumn and beyond
by Grace Augustine

Don't you just love the cooler temperatures? Looking outside your window at the beautiful reds and yellows and oranges that dress the maples? The smell of hot spiced cider?
Hot spiced cider
1 gallon apple juice
1 C granulated sugar
1Tbsp cloves (whole)
1 Tsp. allspice
7 cinnamon sticks broken into chunks
6-8 thin slices of oranges
In a heavy pan, pour apple juice and add spices. Bring to a boil. Cover pan and turn temperature to low and simmer at least one hour.  Uncover and add orange slices. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

One of my most favorite breakfasts on a cold morning is a warm pecan roll. I found this recipe in a magazine collection and over the years have added my own spin on it. It is the easiest and most delicious recipe I've found.
2pkg dry active yeast
2-1/2C lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg white cake mix
6 C all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/3 C canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C melted butter (no substitutes)
2/3 C sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
4 C powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3-4 Tbsp milk

1. In large mixing bowl, stir yeast into 1/2 C warm water and 1 tsp sugar. Let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.
2. Stir in cake mix, 1C flour, egg, oil, salt, and remaining water to the yeast mixture. Beat with electric mixer on high for 3 min, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Using wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour to form a moderately soft dough (dough will be sticky).
3. Cover and let rise in refrigerator over night or until double in size.
4. Lightly grease two 9 x 13 pans and set aside.
5. Remove dough from refrigerator and stir. Divide dough in half and turn one portion of dough onto well-floured surface. Turn to coat lightly with flour. Roll into 12 x 8 rectangle and brush with 1/2 of the melted butter.
6. In separate bowl, mix together 2/3 C sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle half of this mixture on dough and roll jelly roll style, beginning at one of the long sides. pinch edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, butter, and sugar mixture.
7. Cut each roll crosswise into 12 pieces (usually makes more) and arrange cut side down in prepared pans. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place til nearly doubled...will take close to 60 minutes.
8. Uncover pans and place baking sheets under each. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and rolls sound hollow when lightly tapped. Invert on serving plates and drizzle with icing.

Mix 4 C powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, and 3-4 Tbsp of milk to drizzling consistency.

1. Prepare dough as for traditional, only use 1 pkg German Chocolate Cake mix instead of white cake mix.
2. Filling will be 2/3C sugar, 1-1/4C mini chocolate chips and 1C shredded coconut.
3. In saucepan melt 2/3 C butter (no substitutes) 1-1/3C packed brown sugar, 1/3C light corn syrup. Cook until sugar melts. Remove from heat and stir in 2C coarsely chopped pecans.
4. Divide sugar/pecan mixture between the two pans. Slice dough and place on top of mixture and bake as directed.
5. Cool 3-5 minutes before inverting onto serving plates.

Now it's time to sit back with a cup of mocha (freshly brewed coffee, a scoop of hot chocolate mix and topped with whipped cream) and enjoy a good book.

Ginger Farnsworth grew up in the 70's, a very interesting, unique time in history. She was the captain of the cheer squad, led the dance and flag teams, and aspired to be the best chef in the world. We journey with Ginger through the next forty years as she lives life on the edge. Her penchant for cooking takes her to France and turns her into an award-winning pastry chef. We travel through the adversities and joys of her life from beginning a successful business to finally finding Mr. Right.  Mystic Capers, Book 2 of The Acorn Hills Series, will tug at your heart strings as you remember the milestone events of your life. It's funny, romantic, and brutally realistic. Look carefully, you may just see a wee bit 'o ye between the lines.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Angel Lore: part 1 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

from Pinterest via Toyas Tales: " I'll Be Watching You " by Beata Belanszky-Demko. Acrylic on Canvas. 
Here are a few things to know about me. I’m a huge Batman fan, I adore classic Betty Boop, and I love angels and angel lore. When I first started writing my book Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel, I knew I’d need more than my geek-girl fascination with angels to help me flesh out the characters of this story. I didn’t know exactly how my story and the characters would all congregate, after piecing together a reoccurring dream of a man who turns into an angel, but I was ready to take on this exciting research challenge. 

I’ll tell you, my first mistake was typing the word ‘angel’ into a Google search. You’d think I’d never done research before. I quickly began to conduct a different kind of search. I went to and searched for books on angels and angel lore. That too was a grueling process of elimination, but I soon found the book that suited my needs, Angels A to Z. With this new reference tool in hand, I now had some focus and direction for my research. 

Being only a fan of angel lore and a novice student of Angelology, I’m not going to try to wow you with everything I’ve learned, however, I will share some of the most interesting things I’ve come across. Today I’ll share one for each letter from A to E.

Angelolatry is what some might easily derive from its name, the worship of angels. 

The Buddhist faith was split at one point, developing the Theravada and Mahayana sects with the latter nurturing the idea of angel-like beings, the bodhisattva

While many of us in modern, western civilization think of Cherubim as chubby, winged babies, ancient scholars describe them as large winged creatures with animal bodies and human heads. The evolution of how they ended up on holiday greeting cards is a story for another day. 

Devas are either demigod of the Hinde and Buddhists religions or angel-like beings part of the New Age metaphysical culture. 

Enochian Magic is something any fan of the show, Supernaturalalready knows about, but they may not realize that the show didn’t make it up. It is the teachings of angelic magic executed in a special angel language.  

Well, I hope you found that interesting. I’ll be sharing more angel lore with you down the road. If you too have an appreciation for angels and angel-like beings, you may want to enter my giveaway.

Also, while you’re at it, why not try my Eternal Curse Series?

Amazon | Createspace
Amazon | Createspace
Book 1:
Giovanni is a creature out of time. Mira is a doctor trying to classify him. Beauty and the Beast meet Jekyll and Hyde in this paranormal tale with romantic and biblical influences.

Book 2:
A tale for fathers, sons, and daughters, this epic saga touches the past and future. The story of Giovanni will bring you to tears as loss and duty blur the lines of hope for what is to come.

#cursescanbebroken, #angels, #wings, #Pinterest

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

All in the Day's Work #OurAuthorGang

All in the day's work
Erika M Szabo

Today I'll share a story that happened not too long ago...

I do eBook and print formatting for GBBP for the authors who don't have the time to learn how to do it or don't have the time to format the books themselves, therefore, they have to rely on services to have their books correctly formatted.

I want to share this very interesting conversation with an author that got my head spinning. I got a message from her, "I heard from author friends that you format books. I need my book formatted to be acceptable by Createspace and Amazon. Can you do it?"

I replied, "Yes, I can."

Her reply, "Oh, good! Give me your email and I'll send you my book. I want the print 5x8 size."

Ding-ding the bell went off in my head, "Okay, we will discuss the details after you order the formatting service. Here is the link to the page:"

She sent me another message shortly after, "I was under the impression that you format books for free for author friends."

"Formatting a book is tedious work, I don't do it for free."

"Okay, but my eBook was formatted already, I paid $149 for a company to do that, so you should give me a discount because it had been formatted already."

Me, "Then why do you need formatting?"

"Because Smashwords keeps sending me emails about errors and they keep rejecting my book."

"Well, then have the company that formatted your book correct the errors, it must be included in their price."

"Okay, I'll be honest with you, they did correct it and it was accepted, but after I downloaded the book from Amazon and read it, I found a lot of mistakes, and then I realized that I sent them the wrong, unedited file, so there were hundreds of mistakes. I corrected the mistakes in the original file but now the company wants me to pay the same price for formatting that I paid already."

Me, "Sounds legitimate to me, because they have to do the work again."

"That's not right, they should have done it for free, but anyhow, can you at least give me a discount?"

"Usually GBBP gives a discount if the author has more than one book to format, but how much discount you have in mind?"

"I'm thinking half price, at least."

"Well, if you looked at the prices, you must have noticed that you're getting less than half price already compared to what you have paid for that company."

"No, I meant half off of your price!"

I wrote back, "Sorry, I cannot do that. Formatting a book  is tedious work but if you want to save money, you can download formatting guides and learn how to do it yourself."

"Okay, I'll find someone else to do it. Goodbye."

Me, feeling much relief, "Sure, no problem. Good luck with your book."

Respecting the work of others and not trying to take advantage of others are human values, which, unfortunately, are not possessed by everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meet the Gang #OurAuthorGang

 Today the Author Gang members are answering questions about writing

What genre do you enjoy reading and writing?

My favorite genre is fantasy, alternate history, magical realism. I have enough reality in my life, when I write I like to create a fantasy world.

I’m a romance girl all the way.  Although, I’ve been into self-help books lately, as well.

I was going to be flippant and say, “I just wait for the movie to come out.” LOL! But seriously, I don’t read much fantasy anymore, because I write fantasy and prefer to read outside my genre. I like my WWII thrillers, hard-boiled crime, and biographies. Writing fantasy exercises my imagination.

I think Stephen King was right when he said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I certainly read a lot! If I had to read one genre for the rest of my life, I would choose Historical Fiction because I love getting lost in a bygone era! But saying that, Fantasy would come in at a very close second.
I always intended to write historical fiction, but throw in the Arthurian element of my books, and suddenly I found myself writing historical fantasy — which for me is the best of both worlds.

Rich Feitelberg:

I started soaking up science-fiction and slowly changed to fantasy, only to find out speculative fiction covers both. For writing, it’s the same with bizarre/horror mixed in to keep things interesting.

Ruth de Jauregui:

I’ve been a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy since grade school. I love urban fantasy and am working on my first novel, a crime meets urban fantasy set in a Sacramento that exists around the corner and one dimension over...

I enjoy reading all kinds of things. While the speculative genres (Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Paranormal) are my favorite, I also appreciate comedic writing, some romance, action, historical, and mystery. I love comic books and graphic novels; visual storytelling will always be high on my list. As far as my writing goes, I mostly stick with the speculative genres. I do have an alter ego, Glorie Townson, who likes to write romantic comedy, but she’s not as active as I am. Because I work as a Special Education T.A., I’ve been inspired to create educational materials for my students that have been turned into picture books. 

From where do you get your inspiration to write a story?

I research interesting historical facts for my fiction novels and then I let my imagination fly. For my children's books, I get inspiration anywhere. I saw a grandmother struggling to understand her granddaughter after a stroke. When I was a child a cruel old woman tried to drown kittens, or when I saw the saddest expression on a Hispanic boy's face who didn't understand English and his classmates made fun of him.

I find inspiration in all of life experiences. My Acorn Hills series was born from a bad break-up. Then each character seemed to take on a persona and demand their own book.  My love for music bled over into Moonlight & Music. I wanted to document my journey with MS with the hopes of helping others who suffer from the effects of it, and voila...So You Have MS, Now What? was born. I’ve written poetry since 7th grade and put together a compilation of 40 yrs of prose and poetry in Fragments of Reflection. The Diva to the Guides trilogy was based on the card reading talents of a dear friend. My latest release, Protected by His Grace,  shows my faith foundation and belief that we are all protected by our Creator.

Everywhere. The news, things people say, songs, paintings, poems, old movies. 

Mary Anne:
Research! Research! Research! I spend hours researching the era that I want to bring to life.  I think all writers borrow from their own experiences as well, and I am no exception to that rule.

Life. Just about all my experiences are fodder for new stories.

I was actually conversing with a fellow author by private message and we were talking about the bitter life that many authors lead and my main character, Bitter, began coalescing in my head. I’m also inspired by other authors’ works, and influenced by greats like Andre Norton, JRR Tolkien, and modern authors Patricia Briggs, Ben Aaronovitch, Patricia McKillip and CJ Cherryh.

I find that I’m inspired by everyday life. While my first book was the result of a reoccurring dream, none of my other current works have been. However, I have a WIP (work in progress) that totally came from a dream. Even though most of what I write is full of fantasy elements, I know that deep down, on some level (however small), my works are autobiographical. 

Out of all the books you have written which book is your favorite?

My favorite is The Ancestor’s Secrets series because I had so much fun creating a magical, fantasy world using bits of real historical facts and real life events from my years of working as a trauma nurse.

It’s a toss up...I love Blake and Renee from Moonlight & Music, and the storyline. I also love the 5th book of the Acorn Hills series...Richard’s Relics, because of the intense research I did on the Vietnam war and the country then vs. now.

My first, “Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser.” There was a magic in that . . . the magic of innocence because I had no idea what I was doing.

Mary Anne:
I usually favour the book I am currently writing!

N/A. While I have plenty to choose now, I really can’t pick a favorite any more than a parent can pick a favorite child. I like them all. 

Right now my published works are all nonfiction, so I’d have to say that 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, inspired by my mother’s curiosity about those black tomatoes in my garden, is my favorite. (They were Indigo Rose tomatoes.)

I’m not a parent to a human child, and while I love my little fur-baby, Margie, I know better than to make direct comparisons to the mother-child relationship. With that said, trying to choose a favorite among my works is kinda like choosing a favorite kid. I just don’t think I can to it. I feel like the answer will be different every time. But, akin to that mother-child relationship, the first one holds a special place in my heart and the last one (or current one) is the one that I’m always most excited about. My first book, Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel changed my life in more ways than I can get into right now.

Which one of your characters is your favorite?

My favorite character is Ilona in the Ancestors' secrets. She is honest, loyal, and brave, and throughout the story she grows from a naïve girl into a strong, honorable woman. 

Each character has a small piece of me...choosing is difficult, but I’d have to say Renee Manelli from Moonlight & Music. She retired early from her paralegal job to pursue her dream...performing music.

Dorgo the Dowser, my legacy character. He is me, after all. 

Mary Anne:
My favourite character has to be Merton du Lac. Merton is a very complicated soul, with a lot going on. He really challenges me as a writer and I love him for that!

Again, I really can’t do that mostly because many characters of mine aren’t in stories yet. 

Bitter. She’s smart, tough and downright ornery. She’s been a homicide detective for a long time and has connections with agencies and individuals all over the city, which comes in handy when strange things happen in her world. 

While the last question was too difficult to narrow down, I know this one easy. I have many characters that I either adore or love to hate. But until I finish a few more WIPs and have time to evaluate them overall, I’ll say with certainty that my favorite character is, Mira (like miracle), from my Eternal Curse Series. She’s one, of few, human characters surrounded my being with powers beyond her comprehension, yet she’s one of the most important and influential beings in the Eternal Curse world.

When you write, do plan your stories or do you just start writing and let the story develop?

Usually, I only have a vague outline of the story when I start writing and I hate making notes or to follow a formula. I let the story develop as I progress and often end up with a totally different story than what I planned.

I try to be disciplined with a schedule...that I miserably fail more than stick to. Usually write from 9-2 Monday through Friday. Nothing book related on the weekends.  I have an outline notebook for each story...however, I only outline after I write the chapters. The characters get to talking in my head and tell their own stories.

I do some planning, plotting and outlining in advance; if I’m world-building anew, then a lot more prep work. I always wait for the characters to start talking to me and telling me the story. 

Mary Anne:
I know how each book ends — I just have to get my characters to that point! I don’t plan, but it all seems to come together. I don’t know how. It’s a mystery.

Both. I plan for the plot. Then let the character take me where they will. Often I surprise myself. And sometimes I keep it and sometimes I don’t.

I get an idea and start writing. After a bit, the end of the story comes to me and I write it, then jump back to fill in the rest of the story. I’m forcing myself to write Bitter in order instead of my usual jackrabbit approach of writing chapters as they pop into my head. When I’m working on nonfiction, I outline and research the information, then start to write. 

99% of the time I plan out my stories from beginning to end. I outline in great detail, including: storyboards, character profiles, timelines, scene notes and more. I do have one story, at the moment, that started out as a writing challenge. I liked it so much I decided to develop it into a novel, but whenever I try to think about it, nothing happens. When I sit down and start from the last point I stopped, the story flows. Can’t explain it. 

For you, what is the most difficult part of being an author?

Definitely promotion. Writing is fun and exciting, getting the story edited and published is tedious work, but bringing the book to the view and attention of readers is very difficult. No matter how good a story is, until readers find it, it will be sitting in the corner of a virtual bookshelf. Promoters charge thousands, which I cannot afford, so my books are discovered one reader at a time.

The most difficult part of being an author for me is two-fold...promoting to get my name/product/name out there and getting reviews.  I’d prefer in person promoting to social media, but we are such an instant society that social media is the only way to promote.

Editing, proof-reading and The Dread Promotion.

Mary Anne: 
Marketing is probably the most challenging aspect of being an Indie author. Like Erika, I concentrate on one reader at a time!

Getting reviews, marketing, and selling my work. Writing is for sharing, as I’m fond of saying. Without the reader, what’s the point of writing in the first place?

Sitting down to write! It’s all right there in my head, but I have to force myself to stay off social media and get to writing my story. 

I’m not sure if this is cliché or jumping on the band wagon, but it’s definitely promotion. Marketing and promotion is hard. I do it, but it’s hard. Not really much else to say about it. 

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Small Gang of Authors: Strange Symptoms Bizarre Cravings #AurAuthorGang

A Small Gang of Authors: Strange Symptoms Bizarre Cravings #AurAuthorGang: Why do we feel symptoms, and why do we experience cravings? by Erika M Szabo https://books...

Strange Symptoms Bizarre Cravings #OurAuthorGang

Why do we feel symptoms,
and why do we experience cravings?
Erika M Szabo

Sorry, the book is not available on Amazon

The symptoms, our body’s signals of diseases and conditions, are fascinating. This book contains unusual symptoms, strange food cravings, vitamin deficiency and overdose symptoms. Also a list of foods that keeps your body healthy as well as easy, whole body detoxification methods. The main purpose of this book is to urge you to pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you.

The meaning of the word symptom in medicine is: any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a person and is associated with a particular disease.

Subjective symptoms are what you feel such as headache, nausea, anxiety, abdominal cramps etc.
Objective symptoms are what your doctor can observe such as abnormal heart or lung sounds, thyroid gland enlargement, palpable tumors etc.

Symptoms can be clear and simple, such as half sided blinding headache; sensitivity to light with nausea is most likely migraine headache. Or sudden pain under the right ribs, which refers to the back and accompanied by nausea, is most likely a gallbladder problem.

Other conditions are signaled by more complex symptoms, yet still easy to diagnose, such as increased appetite with weight loss, nervousness, faster than usual heart rate, increased sweating, tremor of the fingers and tongue with heat intolerance. These symptoms are usually the signs of hyperthyroidism, and the cause is easy to diagnose.

Symptoms can be unusual and even bizarre at times. You might ask, “What on earth does my earlobe have to do with the condition of my arteries”, or “If I have frequent hangnails do I really have vitamin C deficiency?”

Sounds bizarre but these are signals of our bodies that something is not right.


Small indentations on nails, which resemble gnawing marks, can be the symptom of psoriasis (a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of the skin cells causing buildup rapidly on the surface of the skin).

No half-moons or ridged nails might signal vitamin A deficiency, kidney disorder or protein deficiency. Also, there is a possibility of autoimmune disease such as Lupus (the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s cells and organs) or scleroderma (progressive tightening of the skin and connective tissue) as well as thyroid disease.

Yellow, thick nails and the moons are missing signals lung problems.

Splitting, peeling nails might signal vitamin A and D deficiency, poor circulation, thyroid problems, hydrochloric acid deficiency, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, or protein deficiency.

More in the book...


Ring-like rash, the middle is healing and the edges are getting wider, is a symptom of ringworm infection.

Honey colored crust over the wound is a symptom of impetigo.

Growth, which resembles cauliflower, is a sign of treponema pertenue bacterial infection, also called yaws.

The fingers turn pasty white at times indicates scleroderma.

Butterfly rash on face is a common sign of Lupus.

The skin around the lips is taut and shiny indicates scleroderma.

Small bumps on the outer side of joints can signal high cholesterol.

A newborn has only one crease on palm instead of two indicates Down's syndrome.

More in the book...

Bizarre cravings:

You have the urge to put metallic objects into your mouth:
You need: Iron.
Sources: grains, nuts, eggs, beef, liver, kidney, fish, clam, beans, asparagus, cherry, apricot, green leafy vegetables.

You crave chocolate
You need: magnesium
Sources: apple, lemon, fig, nuts and seeds, corn, vegetables, green leafy vegetables.

You crave sweets
You need chromium, carbon, phosphor, sulfur and tryptophan
Chromium: broccoli, grapes, cheese, beans, liver, chicken.
Carbon: fresh fruit
Phosphor: poultry, beef, liver, egg, dairy, nuts, grains, legumes.
Sulfur: cabbage, horseradish, bilberry.
Tryptophan: cheese, liver, raisin, sweet potato, spinach.

You crave bread, toast
You need: nitrogen
Sources: fish, meat, nuts, beans.

You crave greasy food
You need: calcium
Sources: broccoli, leafy greens, legumes, cheese, sesame seed, nuts, vegetables, fish, beans.

More in the book...

In my opinion, nature has provided us with the right foods for our organs. Moreover, nature even kind of labeled them for us to recognize them easily. They resemble the organs they were meant to protect. Let's see some of them.

Food for the brain:
Walnuts halves look like a brain. Walnut helps to build neuro transmitters and enhances brain function as well as reducing inflammation in the body and lowering cholesterol level. Walnuts are loaded with potassium, calcium, and magnesium as well as a form of vitamin E that is somewhat unusual, and particularly beneficial. Instead of having most of its vitamin E present in the alpha-tocopherol form, walnuts provide high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol, which, according to studies, provides significant protection from heart problems. Walnuts not only taste great, but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.

More in the book...

About vitamin overdose:

Vitamin A
Bone and joint pain, insomnia, fatigue, loss of hair, dryness and fissuring of the lips, loss of appetite and weight, persistent headaches, peeling of the skin, and liver enlargement. Overdose during childhood may cause premature closure of the epiphyses of the bones, limiting their normal growth.

Vitamin B1
Blocks the absorption of vitamin C neutralizes insulin.

Vitamin B3, niacin
Damage to the liver, depression, decreases the effect of cholesterol medications.

Vitamin B6
Restless sleep and nightmares can occur as well as damage to the liver.

Vitamin C
Abdominal cramps, diarrhea. Large doses can deactivate B12, produce demineralization of bones, and interfere with calcium absorption. Excess vitamin C forms calcium oxalate in the urine causing kidney stones.

More in the book...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Award Contest Winners #OurAuthorGang

Our Author Gang did very well in the
Golden Book Award Contest in 2016

Three books from our gang's authors were chosen to be winners


Our Author Gang did very well in the
Golden Quill Award Contest in 2017

Two books from our gang's authors were chosen to be winners



Golden Box Books Publishing is offering
 a 10% entry discount to authors
The coupon code: OJC09 is valid until October 21

Enter your book today