Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas stories should be warm and fuzzy - right?



Christmas stories should be warm and fuzzy – right? At least I think so cause I’m a big fan of the season…

 
For me, it’s all about families. I’m a sucker for romance, and old folks and an even bigger sucker for kids. When you join those features into one story and add in a heroine you can’t help but love, then the book is my idea of perfect entertainment.

 
Some of my friends tell me I’m a softie and tend to write naive tales about people who just aren’t that way anymore… kind and thoughtful, loving and giving. I beg to differ!! There is a world full of ‘nice’ people out there. Folks who live every day being helpful to others and generous with their families.

 


There’s one story in particular I’d like to share. My mother-in-law, a tiny, cranky, eighty-eight-year-old woman who has insisted on staying in her little house because she ….well she can. And the reason this is possible is because of her neighbour. A young man, maybe in his forties, has taken her under his wing (no pun intended) and goes there every day, looks after all her yard work, takes her grocery shopping and even to church. When she forces money on him, he’s terribly uncomfortable and has tried to tell her he doesn’t expect payment. See what I mean by angels in our midst???

 
My angel in this Christmas story is an old man called Pi. I created him as close to a real person as possible because I truly believe that we are surrounded by angels in our everyday lives. Ordinary people who behave in extraordinary and loving ways. In many cases, both men and women who come to ones aid without needing to be asked. I have friends like that and I’m sure most of you do also. In fact, you’ve probably acted like that yourself at one time or another. We all have stories to tell of the time that we…!
 
 
So this Christmas tale is my present to those of you who are suckers for romance and prickly little boys and loveable seniors. For your holiday pleasure, I’ve wrapped up all these elements up in an entertaining parcel called “Lovable Christmas Angel”.
 
 
 


 Hint: This would make a perfect gift for someone special on your list who you know is sweet on those special uplifting stories that make the season just that little bit brighter.

 
 
****************
 


 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

All I Want For Christmas!



Welcome to the 
All I Want for Christmas Giveaway
hosted by Mom Loves 2 Read.

This giveaway will start on November 24th at 12:01 am (EST) 
and ends on December 11th at 12:01 am (EST).  
Enter using the rafflecopter form provided.  
The more entries you complete the better your chance of winning 
one of these great prize packages!

****

I love Christmas and am very happy to be a part of this blog hop.
I've made sure that there are a few Christmas stories in my collection to please those readers who like an uplifting Christmas tale. Just released - Loveable Christmas Angel - is the perfect blend of humor, romance and magic.

Special Amazon Sale Price - 99cents Hugs Mimi
 




  Grand Prize Package #1
(value over $500) 

$100 Fandango GC
$100 Lori the Author Swag Bag
Christmas Jewelry Candle (value $40 - $7500)
$50 MilitaryApparelCompany.com GC
The Juppy (color of choice)
Real Kids Shades (color/style of choice)
Funbites (1 of each)
Knot Genie (camo)
Caliope Board Game
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble - signed print
Noah Zarc: Cateclysm - signed print
Claus by Tony Bertauski - ebook


Grand Prize Package #2

(approx value $300)

$100 box of books for the family
Soylicious Country Kitchen Candles (2 of choice)
The Juppy (color of choice)
ediapercakes.com $40 GC
Knot Genie (silver)
Kair Bath Visor (color of choice)
Real Kids Shades (1 girl, 1 boy ages 7-12)
Slice Safety Cutter
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble - signed print
Claus by Tony Bertauski - ebook

Grand Prize Package #3

(approx value $170)

$50 box of books for the family
The Juppy (blue)
Knot Genie (purple)
Melissa & Doug Stamp set
Kair Bath Visor (color of choice)
Real Kids Shades (boy age 7-12)
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble - signed print
Claus by Tony Bertauski - ebook


Grand Prize Package #4
(value over $60) 


$20 PAYPAL
Spontaneous Board Game
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble - signed print
Claus by Tony Bertauski - ebook


Grand Prize Package #5
(value over $25

$10 PAYPAL
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble - signed print
Claus by Tony Bertauski - ebook


~~~**~~~**~~~**~~~
Visit Mom Loves 2 Read for reviews and sponsor posts

Easy to Enter - Just complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form - make sure to complete each of them before clicking Enter - do as many as you like - the more entries you do the greater your chance of winning

a Rafflecopter giveaway



A Special Thank You to all the sponsors of this giveaway event:  
FandangoLori the AuthorMilitaryApparelcompany.comKnot Genie! Slice! Kair!   Caliope Games! ediapercakes.comThe JuppyMelissa & Doug! Chillingly Cheap!  Author Tony Bertauski Author J.S. Wilsoncroft Author D. Robert Pease!


DISCLAIMER:
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Friday, November 23, 2012

What do you like to read in a Christmas story?


*****

Back to Write the Darn Book in a couple of days with Part #5.
 
************
 
I know what I like to read.

 
It’s all about families. I’m a sucker for romance, and old folks and an even bigger sucker for kids. When you join those features into one story and add in a heroine you can’t help but love, then the book is my idea of perfect entertainment.

 

Some of my friends tell me I’m a softie and tend to write naive tales about people who just aren’t that way anymore… kind and thoughtful, loving and giving. I beg to differ!! There is a world full of ‘nice’ people out there. Folks who live every day being helpful to others and generous with their families.

 

There’s one story in particular I’d like to share. My mother-in-law, a tiny, cranky, eighty-eight-year-old woman who has insisted on staying in her little house because she ….well she can. And the reason this is possible is because of her neighbour. A young man, maybe in his forties, has taken her under his wing (no pun intended) and goes there every day, looks after all her yard work, takes her grocery shopping and even to church. When she forces money on him, he’s terribly uncomfortable and has tried to tell her he doesn’t expect payment. See what I mean by angels in our midst???

 

My angel in this Christmas story is an old man called Pi. I created him as close to a real person as possible because I truly believe that we are surrounded by angels in our everyday lives. Ordinary people who behave in extraordinary and loving ways. In many cases, both men and women who come to ones aid without needing to be asked. I have friends like that and I’m sure most of you do also. In fact, you’ve probably acted like that yourself at one time or another. We all have stories to tell of the time that we…!

 

 
So this Christmas tale is my present to those of you who are suckers for romance and prickly little boys and loveable seniors. For your holiday pleasure, I’ve wrapped up all these elements up in an entertaining parcel called “Lovable Christmas Angel”.

 

Hint: This would make a perfect gift for someone special on your list who you know is sweet on those special uplifting stories that make the season just that little bit brighter.

 
 
 
***********

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Write the Darn Book! – Part #4


 

********* 

2. Join some Indie groups so you’re in contact with those who know what to do and will help with advice. The Indie Romance Ink and the Author's Network on yahoo are two good examples. (Go to Yahoo on Google and at the bottom where the lists are located click on Groups.)

 

I’ve listed the two loops above because those are the one’s I’m on and they have helped me tremendously. I have no doubt there are many more out there that will work for you in the same way.

There is a certain language you will run into as you become more involved with the Indie world, and I remember being as green as a mushed avocado and had no idea what many of the terms meant—especially those phrases pertaining to publishing, contracts and promoting. One I remember that got to me was Create space!?? If you take it at its traditional meaning it didn’t make sense where they referred to it. L Oh yeah and Hootsuite?????? Whaaa!!!

Thankfully on these loops, I never felt too shy to ask what I needed to know. And… I always received at least one answer and many times a bunch. Most of the others on the loop are happy to reply and support you both in the good times and when things are going rough.

Not only are your questions answered here but there are friendships to be made and contacts to generate. There are also those, who like yourself, need something in return. For example – they have allotted certain days where they hold “Likes & Tags” swaps for not only the Indie books, but those traditionally published and even for your facebook pages.

There are files on the Database attached to the loop where there is a list of everyone’s twitter handles and facebook pages so you can widen your social media web.

Also, you can find bloggers who will gladly guest you if you have a new release that needs some love and of course vice-versa. Sometimes you’ll be so busy that you can’t even think of writing blogs for your site and so you can depend on the some of the others on the loop to step in and fill your page.

At one time, there were groups being formed to set up one blog among a bunch of writers in the same genre. Cutting down on the amount of work and having a longer reach worked well for many and enabled them to find more followers. See one such group blog I’m on called 99cent Ebooks. If this isn’t happening while you’re on the loop, open the discussion yourself. There’s always many like you who want to be involved.

Some of the best advice I ever received was when I needed recommendations for a good editor or cover artist. Happy authors are always glad to refer the names of their own people, knowing that they need work also. And as you’ll find out in Part #5 this information can be invaluable.


Most of all, this is where you can form lasting friendships with others like yourself who are starting out. Many of the writers I met on this loop are now my beta readers and will gladly review my work when I need those blurbs desperately for a certain promotion—as I happily do for them.

It’s those friendships that will open many doors for you in the future and they’re your cornerstone to building a reader base that takes years. But with a strong, foundation you’ll be on firm ground.
 
********

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FAMOUS FEUDS


***

Today one of my favorite authors is here to visit us on Believe! She writes medieval romances that are so rich with detail on the era that I feel as if I can close my eyes and visualize what exists in her imagination. Her incredibly well-rounded characters come alive in each conflict, and in every romance, which is why I’ve read every book she’s written. Please welcome Anna Markland.

 
***
 

 

Without conflict there can never be change.

 

Change very often brings about its own conflict.

 

Throughout history these truths have manifested themselves and have brought about some notorious conflicts that have resulted in ongoing feuds.

 

Let’s examine some of the more famous ones.

 

Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were rivals, at least in Elizabeth’s mind. After imprisoning her cousin Mary for almost two decades, Elizabeth condemned her to death when evidence of an assassination plot was uncovered. Mary was beheaded in February 1587.

 

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Tensions simmered for years between the bitter political and personal rivals, culminating in a duel on the morning of July 11, 1804. Hamilton, the former Secretary of the Treasury, is shot and fatally wounded by Burr, who is, incredibly, the vice president of the United States at the time.

 

The Hatfields and McCoys. The supposed theft of a pig starts the bloody feud that rages for more than a decade between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. The families, who intermarried in happier times, will jointly lose more than 10 members before the fighting ends, in 1891.

 




 

Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Members of Capone’s gang cap off a Chicago turf war by machine-gunning six members of Moran’s crew (plus a seventh victim, who was not a crew member) on Valentine’s Day 1929. Capone, conveniently on vacation in Florida, is never charged.

 

Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine The sisters’ lifelong strained relationship reaches a breaking point in 1941, when both are nominated for the Oscar for best actress. Fontaine’s win sparks an all-out feud that the sisters, now both in their 90s, continue to this day.

 

You might think that sports rivalries are often taken a little too far, but modern soccer hooligans and hockey goons pale in comparison to the fans of Byzantine-era chariot racing, who caused so much carnage that they were nearly able to overthrow the Emperor Justinian. At the time, chariot racing was the most popular form of entertainment in Constantinople, and supporters of the two most popular teams—known as the “Greens” and the “Blues” because of the color of their uniforms—resembled gangs more than they did sports fans. Chariot racing was so popular that the rival groups even managed to affect politics, and they were often known to shout out demands to the Emperor after a big win. When they weren’t functioning as de facto political parties, members of the Blues and the Greens engaged in a long-running feud that frequently resulted in fighting and even murders.

 

 How Did It End? The feud between the Blues and the Greens reached a fever pitch in 532 AD, when the infamous Nika Riots broke out after the government attempted to punish members of the groups for a series of killings perpetrated after an important chariot race. In a bizarre twist, the two groups briefly put aside their differences and turned on the Emperor, burning down much of the city and nearly taking over the rest. But after they were paid off by Justinian—a longtime supporter of their cause—the Blues turned on the Greens and left them to be slaughtered. In the ensuing bloodshed, thousands of Greens were killed by the imperial army.

 

One of the most notorious feuds in Canada’s history concerns the “Black” Donnellys, an Irish immigrant family that drew the ire of an entire town. The family arrived in Biddulph Township, Ontario in the mid-1840s. At the time, tensions between different factions of Irish immigrants in the area—among them the “Whiteboys” and the “Orangemen”—had escalated into an all-out feud, and it wasn’t long before the Black Donnellys, as they came to be known, had entered the fray. The Donnellys were already known as a rough-and-tumble lot, but after showing up in Biddulph their criminal records grew considerably. Members of the family were arrested for everything from arson and theft to verbal assault, and it seems that the Donnelly’s bad reputation made them a prime target for the local law enforcement. Soon, they were regarded as the town menace, and reports describe a series of beatings, altercations, and livestock murders that occurred between the Donnellys and various townspeople. The feud was taken to a new level in 1857, when the family patriarch James Donnelly killed a local man with a crow bar during a drunken brawl. This set the stage for a bloody showdown.

  

How Did It End? The Donnelly’s feud with Biddulph Township ended under mysterious and violent circumstances on February 4, 1880. In the early morning hours an angry mob made up of the Donnelly’s enemies from in and around Biddulph formed outside their house. The crowd entered the house and attacked the Donnellys with sticks, shovels, and other blunt objects. They killed five members of the family, including James and his wife Johannah, before burning the house to the ground. No one was ever officially charged for the murders, and to this day the massacre of the Black Donnelly’s remains one of the most infamous crimes in Canadian history.


  
 

 







 
Probably the most famous family feud in literature is the one between the Montagues and Capulets that results in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.



 
 





 

The plot of my medieval romance Passion in the Blood revolves around a similar family feud. There is one woman that Robert, Count of Montbryce, is forbidden to love. Her family will stop at nothing to avenge past wrongs.

 

How does it end? Most feuds result inevitably in someone’s death. Suffice it to say my book is a romance, so...




 
 
 
 

Passion in the Blood is FREE November 20 & 21st from Amazon and Amazon UK.

 

***

 

She's Me is FREE also November 20th and 21st from Amazon and Amazon UK


***

 
 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Write the Darn Book! – Part #3


 ***


#1 – Write the darn book. And make it your best work.

We will start with this suggestion because if you don’t learn anything from the subsequent points, this one will ensure you some measure of success.

An author has to have confidence in his/her work in order to market it to others in the same way that you’d have to feel good about any product you’re sticking your neck out to sell.  And that’s what Indie Publishing is all about. It’s you and the book against millions of others in the same exact position. When you have that kind of competition, you better know that your product is as good, if not better than anyone else’s in your particular genre.

Now you might think I’m talking about the big names like Nora Roberts or James Patterson, but I’m not…not really. Even though they sell their books on Amazon the same way the Indie authors do, they’re in a different class. They charge a lot more for their work, have a huge following that are faithful, and don’t worry too much about us undiscovered.

It’s you against others like you who are willing to charge small prices in order to get their work out to as many people as possible. And many have found by past experience lower prices are one of the best ways to do so. When Amazon first releases your book, it’s shown as a new release and this is the first place for your book to catch the reader’s interest. This is where point #5 comes into play. Get the best damn cover on your work as possible. (More about that down the road!)

Many authors have done statistics on what genre is selling best and that’s the type of book they’ve choose to write. Not saying it’s the way to go, but if you don’t have a specific story in mind, it’s a good idea. Why not hedge your bets?

I didn’t. I wrote the stories of my heart and I’ve had to really push them to make any kind of headway whatsoever. In fact I wrote five for the Vicarage Bench series and three for the Angel series, and after banging my head against the wall of— nnah? nnah? (Disinterest in the majority of readers) I finally broke down and wrote the books I knew would be more successful.

Darned if I wasn’t right!!??  (wished I really looked like that!!) The Vegas series – Partners and Roll the Dice have met my expectations and are slowly garnering a small level of success. I have great hope that with the release of High Stakes Gamble in the New Year, that this will help the series to yet more prosperity.  (Fingers held in prayer-like position...) 

 
Of course with Amazon’s small contribution ahem!J

 

 Note: November 20 & 21st I will be enjoying the visit of a lovely author, Anna Markland, but will start back into this series “Write the Darn Book” on November 22nd with Part #4.

 ***

 

 

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Write the Darn Book! - Part #2


This is my second part to the series of “Write the Darn Book” and before I go into each of the points I made in part one (Nov 15th), I wanted to enlarge on some of my remarks in the introduction.

In 2006, when I signed my first contractor with Wild Rose Press, I admit to hyperventilating with excitement for having been blessed with a contract. I couldn’t sleep for dreaming of what I was going to do with all the money I would be making in my new career.  This small e-pub had just recently opened their doors and they were learning the business the same as myself—beginners who braved this new frontier together. And they were wonderful to me and the other authors who signed with them. We all had great experiences with these ladies because most of us had tried the traditional route and had nothing but rejections to show for our efforts.

Now you might think those rebuffs happened because our work was inferior. Well in some cases you’d be right. But in many circumstances the publishers rejected the work for reasons like there were too many characters, the work was too long, too short, not enough romance, too much narrative, the genre wasn’t selling and on and on.  

In my case, and at my age, I didn’t think I had the time to ride out years of the type of treatment many of my colleagues had experienced. Send away work, wait months and months to get an answer, if you were lucky enough to even hear from the agents or publishers at all, and then have to try someone else just to get the same results. So to win a contract on my first try with Wild Rose gave me a huge burst of confidence. Being a person who easily accepts change, I could see the way of the world, the new future of the ebooks, and I had no problem with this route. No one could take away my joy or trample on my success just because I would follow a different pathway to getting my work in print.

In those days, the contracts were for two years, and the time flew by as I kept producing more books to add to my series. But there was one thing that did irk me big time. Every three months when the royalties were to be paid, I would get a notice saying that unless I’d earned over $25, there would be no check. I think it took almost a year before I finally got reimbursed and if I remember correctly, it was around $35. I told myself I needed to get more books out there to earn more money.

So time moved on. Once I had written five books for the series—3 novellas and two full-length, my frustration had peaked. I will admit that in the beginning having my name on a lovely cover did turn me on. And for a while it was enough to satisfy. But those chintzy checks kept coming and not for each period either.

By now I had it figured out. I needed another series…something different than the spirit-time/travel stories I had loved writing so much for the Vicarage Bench. Maybe the readers didn’t appreciate this kind of tale as much as I enjoyed writing them. So I wrote the first book of my next series called My Cheeky Angel and tried to garner interest with some of the traditional houses and even with agents. Again the waiting was intolerable and rejections eventually forthcoming. The overall consensus was that I had too many characters and they wanted vampires, not angels. Meanwhile, way too much time had passed.

Over those years, I had gotten to know a lot of other writers and I’d heard more and more stories about the ones who had decided to try the Indie route. Many were crowing about their successes and I wanted to crow also. So I bit the bullet (as they say in my neighborhood) and got involved with the yahoo loops. I asked so many questions, they must have groaned when they got the daily notices and saw my name there many days more than once. Then I lucked out and found a local group where a few of the members had already started down this path. From them I got invaluable hands-on help and support.

Once I started down this path nothing was going to stand in my way. I knew there would be some expenses involved but I’d already gotten used to paying out money for promotions that never produced any returns. I would just use that money for my new strategy to finally sell my books and see a profit. (Yeah – right!!??)

As you can imagine, what sounds easy can be a nightmare when a person actually puts the plan into motion. Along the way, I learnt many vital lessons and tomorrow I will start to share those with you.

 

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Write the darn book!


I’ve recently spent some time trying to help a friend come to a decision as to whether she wants to publish Indie or not. Which means a choice between traditional publishing with a company who will do all the work, or doing it all yourself.  She needs to ask herself these questions. Is she willing to invest the extra time, energy, hard work, and probably most important for many, a huge outlay of money?

Let’s understand that I’m talking about self-publishing in a professional manner. Many have chosen this route. They make up their own covers, have a friend or relative who is a teacher edit their work, and try to format the inside without any idea of what needs to be done. And then wonder why the book isn’t selling.

Some authors I know (me…gulp!) at the beginning of their careers choose to go with the first E-publisher who offers them a contract and at the beginning were quite satisfied. They found their books on the internet, realized their dream of seeing their name on a cover and sat back to wait for the royalty checks. To wait and wait…. Picture a skeleton sitting in front of a dusty monitor with tears dripping from each cheek bone.  Trust me! I know the feeling.

If you have some computer skills, a lot of energy and a few Indie-author friends close by who can help you (or even some pals online that would be willing to step up), you have a chance. I gave her this list to read before we would talk further.

 

1. Write the darn book. And make it your best work.

2. Join some Indie groups so you’re in contact with those who know what to do and will help with advice. The Indie Romance Ink and the Author's Network on yahoo are two good examples.

3. Get your social media working - twitter, facebook and goodreads at least. Of course, I’m taking it for granted you already have a website and/or blog.

4. Make sure you have at least one, if not two, good editors – a line editor and a content and copy editor. You need to search for these people and not pay top dollar because there's no guarantee that you'll get your money's worth. Getting recommendations is the best way to do this (which is why you need to be affiliated with other Indie authors).  Remember! There are many editors to choose from; people starting in the business who need work.

5. Find a good cover artist - again someone who's recommended. And get rid of the picture you have in your head about the exact way you want the cover. Most times it’s impossible to do, and if they try, which most artists will try, it’s not going to help sell your book.  The best idea is to see what others in your genre have chosen for their cover, authors who are selling really well. Then show those to your cover artist and let him/her come up with ideas. Chances are they have a better vision than you do of what’s popular.

6. Find a formatter to set your book up properly so that your book looks professional. Again, shop around.

7. If possible, either join in with a promoting group like the IBC (Indie Book Collective) group I'm in, or start one yourself so that it isn't just you pushing your own work.

8. Publishing the book on Amazon, or any of the other outlets, is the least work of all but a bit scary when you first do it. Other authors are very good about answering questions for a newbie who is stuck. Hence, the need to join an Indie group.

9. If you think it’s finally time to sit back, relax and wait for the money to roll in, think again. Now is when the real hard works begins. Now you have to promote the book. (This is where a group comes in handy.)

AND

10. Write the second darn book, and make it as soon as possible after you’ve published the first. Make it your best work.

**For the next few days, I will take each of these points and enlarge on them using my own experiences as my imformation source. You won't believe what I went through until I hit it lucky!!??

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Remembering our Angels!


***

 

 
 
Remembrance Day      

From the time I was a child, I never really got it!! I mean – I know it’s the day to remember our fallen soldiers and what they’d given up to protect our country, but for some reason, in my mind, it was always about the ones who we had lost.

As an adult, I now know that is not the case. I like to remember the ones who have returned to us also. They took years out of their lives to give to the service—years where in many instances their families didn’t know if they would return. They lived in fear every day, waking up wearing the worry like an extra layer of bulk to haul, just to go to bed that night, say prayers of thankfulness for having gotten through another day and beg for the same luck tomorrow.

So I do want to acknowledge my thankfulness that we have such (guarding angels)  men and woman in our world. People who willingly take on the role as our caretakers.

Bless you!!

 

 
***

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Meet fantastic storyteller, J. Thorn, in a Kick Ass Book Promo!


 


I loved reading the humorous book of essays called Raising Zombies, and I am thrilled to introduce you to the author and wonderful storyteller, J. Thorn.



Raising Zombies is one of the best books I've read for a long time. So humorous that after I yakked about it ad nauseum to my husband, he finally decided to read it. Just like I knew would happen, I caught him chuckling and at times laughing out loud just as I had. Not only is Mr. Thorn funny, but as a teacher in his earlier career, he's very insightful about children. Many of his observations equalled my own and shone a light on mistakes being made by today's parents who won't let kids just...well...be kids. They don't want children challenged where there might be failure. And they don't want them left alone to discover that imagination can be their best playmate. And heavens if one of their babies gets a bruise or suffers a hurt whether emotional or physical, it's not tolerated without there being an uprising. So how do these little people grow up with any kind of armor against what the world has in store for them as adults?

Other essays took on the ridiculousness of how the some folks try and control our way of thinking by saying that we're offending a segment of the population with our politically incorrect expressions. To show how silly they get sometimes, Mr. Thorn drew up his own list. A couple of my favorites were: Dracula--endorses the irresponsible practice of transmitting bodily fluids. And this one: Skeleton--exhibits insensitivity toward those with eating disorders. I could go on because they were so well done.

Another insightful passage that made me think included these words: "The events that forever change the evolution of the species happen without warning, sparked by the will of the Common Man, not from the wisdom of those in power." I believe this line was pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement. So interesting and so true!

As you can imagine, I could go on and on about this wonderful book. I thought about what I liked most to share that with you and I decided it's the authors voice and his way of sharing his ideas. He doesn't presume to preach, nor does he bore the reader to tears. What he's done is shine a light in areas that we all need to look at more clearly.

 p.s.  If this man was ever to take to the stage as a stand-up comedian, I'd stand in line to buy a ticket.  

 

J. Thorn:

 

Raising Zombies. The title was in my head before the essays were saved to the hard drive. I don’t know if I ever consciously decided to write a narrative non-fiction about my time as a teenager of the 1980s, an educator, and a parent. I did not intend to willingly expose all of my childhood insecurities on Amazon, and I certainly did not intend to have anyone read it. Please laugh at my mullet and my Def Leppard obsession. Go ahead and have a chuckle at my expense. I wrote this collection of humorous essays for closure on a chapter in my life and to address tendencies in our culture around child-rearing that are damaging childrens’ ability to deal with reality. I saw many things that pissed me off but ranting about them to family, friends, and co-workers wore thin. But if you can make people laugh, think for a moment, maybe even begin to question the traditions they’ve so blindly followed, things can change in an instant. If you have any doubt about that, think about how quickly the idea of Communism died in the late 1980s.

 I normally write fiction, horror, and dark fantasy. I often portray zombies as mindless creatures pursuing nothing but their most basic, instinctual urges. So when I had to make a final decision for a title, I never wavered from the initial idea. In a way, many families and schools are doing just that, raising zombies. The “good” kids are the ones who conform and obey. They are not the ones who challenge the system through creativity. Innovation comes from calculated risk-taking and that will never happen if we constantly reward the rule-followers and punish the divergent thinkers.

 Now that Raising Zombies is on the virtual shelf, I hope people will read it and think about what they do with and to their children. I don’t expect every reader to agree with my perspective—I question everything and you should too, including the ideas I present in this book. I pose some opinions that will make mainstream America shudder and I expose other cultural norms that are downright embarrassing. It’s not the Chinese or Al Qaeda that’s keeping America from being a global leader; it’s our sense of entitlement. Teach your children to earn their success.
 
 

J's book is on Amazon for $.99
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