Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Develop your own channels in Social Media!


Man, I’ve beaten this horse to death!

But it was always with the thought of it being for authors who needed to network. I never thought of it as an avenue for a student in Public Relations to build up a platform for future use.

Makes sense though, doesn’t it? Anyone in the field of making contact with a lot of people has to be familiar with the ins and outs of the places that will get them in front of the masses.

After all, there are certain paths that have proven to be more effective than others. Don’t blink! They change that fast. So… one needs to keep up with today’s world. (Remember the good old days when we only had television, newspapers, radio, magazines, flyers - blah, blah, blah - peddling to us.)  

And just because some of these sites are the past routes doesn’t make them any the less effective. There are many people who have remained faithful to the old standbys like radio and magazines,  Facebook and Twitter. My reasoning is that those people are just – just people who want to learn about the news of the day or interact with friends. True, some are there to plug their wares. And since our society is so used to that type of interaction, it’s probably ignored.

Then again, maybe it isn’t. Connecting with the person who writes your favorite series can be desirable. Finding a representative who sells your favorite Epicure Products can be a real advantage when you happen to Stumble upon someone in your area. Sharing recipes that are personally recommended by a friend on Pinterest makes you more apt to try it than if you found it in some old cookbook like years past.

It’s the human contact through these networks that makes us want to be involved. Being connected! In today’s world, with the internet, we all have that opportunity. And the sellers of the world know this to be true. Therefore, we’ll have to accept that our favorite meeting places will always be inundated with products for sale.

Until, that is, a newer and better place comes along to grab attention. And it will. So students, learn all about the first social media platforms to see how and why they were so attractive to the ordinary individual. Then go out and set up something brand new for us to flood to.

Don’t blink!


I'm such a shameless promoter -  I hate myself....snicker!

If you have a minute, please like my facebook fan page

Monday, July 29, 2013

Maybe a "Counterfeit Cowboy" - but a truly genuine author - Gail MacMillan!

Today, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a
wonderful author and friend, Gail MacMillan.
Published by... The Wild Rose Press


Her book Counterfeit Cowboy is first on my Kindle which means I'm reading it right now.

Started it today in my bath and the ring around the tub and the wrinkles in my skin (no - not only from old age) tells its own story. I got hooked and couldn't stop.

Now I can't wait to get to bed tonight so I can get back to Shelly and Jordan's story.

Not only does Gail’s writing flow beautifully,

but she's got four troubled teens being mentored by a rich, handsome

country-western singer and a sassy lady vet who wants nothing to do with him.

Now that kind of plot will grab me every time.


I was delighted when my friend Mimi invited me to write about my latest book, Counterfeit Cowboy, on her blog.  Mimi has been a wonderful support and source of inspiration.  I admire both her and her stories. Mimi, like a rare gem, is one of a kind.
(awww shucks!! xoxo)

Now to “Counterfeit Cowboy.”  I started thinking about writing the story several years ago when I was taking riding lessons (I won’t bring my age into the story but let’s just say my children had all graduated from university by that time).  I loved the horse farm where I was taking instruction and the people involved with it.  I saw it as a setting for a story but a definite plot eluded me.  Then, one day while watching a country music video, I began to wonder if any of these “cowboys” actually could ride a horse.  Thoughts began to run together…small, east coast horse farm, country music singing sensation who couldn’t ride a carousel needing to gallop off into the sunset in an upcoming movie.  Where better for him to hide his lack of equestrian skills while learning to master a horse than a secluded New Brunswick farm.  Then make the owner of the farm a no-nonsense veterinarian who saw country music singers as counterfeit cowboys.  Yes, yes!  There were the bare bones of a plot. 

During the time the plot was jelling I was in e-mail correspondence with a remarkable woman, British Columbia rancher Joan Trask.  Joan and her husband Harold generously allowed me to name one of their foals Fancy.  With a silver mane and tail and charcoal grey body, the filly was gorgeous.  Sadly, at two years of age, Fancy became the victim of a tragic accident.  Joan and I wept long distance.  We both knew there’d never be another Fancy. 

The following year I dedicated one of my books to Fancy’s memory but with “Counterfeit Cowboy” I went a step further.  I fashioned the little mare into being one of the  characters.  Thus, “Counterfeit Cowboy” is a tribute to a wonderful animal whose life was like a rose in bloom…brief  but beautiful.   
Also Author of -  Holding off for a Hero - Rogue's Revenge - A Breed Apart - Lady and the Beast - Ghost of Winters Past -  Caledonian Privateer 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Meet a wonderful author - Cheryl Therrien and her book "Letters From Gramma "

***I'm thrilled to be able to welcome Cheryl Therrien to Believe! today. She is a lovely lady with a wonderful book full of heartfelt messages.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to Mimi for welcoming to her blog today. She is a Triberr tribe mate and I am so glad to have made her acquaintance.


Today I would like to share with you a book that is near and dear to my heart, ‘Letters From Grandma: Before You Were Born’. I recently became a grandmother for the first time. This book was written in honor of that milestone in my life.


When my son first told me that I was going to be a grandmother I was thrilled. What happened next may surprise you. I began to think about what I wanted my grandchild to know and how I would relay that information if I was not around to do it personally. Sounds morbid, I know. But if you really think about it no one knows when their time is up. I could walk across the street and get hit by bus and there would be no tomorrow. The writer in me immediately thought of writing letters.


I began the task of writing letters that would convey the values I thought were important for my grandchild to understand. Choose your friends wisely. Believe in yourself. Take care of your health. The kind of values that are meaningful to everyone.


This book is comprised of those letters and can be read at any time in the future and remain relevant. When my grandchild is a teenager he can read these letters and know without a doubt how much he was and is wanted and loved. Doesn’t everyone need that kind of reassurance at some point in their lives? This book is written in such a way that any parent or grandparent can pick it up and find it relevant to them.


Writing these letters changed my life. I realize just how precious time is and not to take it for granted. My grandchild will have this book of letters to remind him of me and all the things I wanted him to know, most importantly how much he was and is loved.


Once again I would like to express my thanks to Mimi for allowing me to share my book with all of you.



Cheryl Therrien aka Geek Girl is an author and blogger. You can find her blog at Grandmother Diaries


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Intensify your communication skills! #SocialMedia

This really sounds like a difficult undertaking, doesn’t it? Intensify is a like a power word and can scare the pants off many. In actual fact, it’s not a big deal. All it means is to quit hiding and hoping readers will find you buried in the bowels of Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

If you haven’t published yet – better still. You will have time to build a network for when you do release your first book. So......
Start now!

Of course, it means you will have to go out of your comfort zone and find the readers.
I know!!! You’re an author. You write books. So do I! And I love writing my stories, staying safe in my little office, hiding from the world, playing with my make-believe characters and being as naughty as I want without any consequences to me personally.

Stop it!!

If you want to make this pastime into a professional career, and I’m talking about where you can earn a living wage, then you MUST take some chances. If you aren’t sure how to ramp up your communication skills take some courses. Research ways on Google. And prepare to be bamboozled with all kinds of offers to get your name out there and of course the only drawback is the cost for many of these proposals. Hell, if you can afford it, why not? Just make sure to choose the best bang for your buck. (Mine is the Free Partays!!)

But that still isn’t helping you to communicate as an individual and that’s where the problem lies. It’s you – the person who writes those wonderful stories that will garner you fans and not just readers. Fans are wonderful folks. You see, they hang in there with you from book to book, and if you’ve linked with them even in a small way, they wait anxiously for you to produce another masterpiece for them to rush to buy and save to read. They have faith that your work will lift them out of their ‘hum drum’ everyday lives and make them glad they know about you and your precious stories. So glad, in fact, that they tend to share their devotion with others. BONUS!!

Now that is the reason you want to meet these precious readers. With their support in writing reviews, following blogs and interacting on facebook, twitter and goodreads, they are the magical component that will bring you the success you crave.

If you’re still hesitating, think of it in this way. It’s your job to write fiction and do it well. There are portions of your work that take a certain amount of energy. Like building your characters, plotting to make your scenes first-class and revising from draft to draft so that your story is tight and the best you can do. Think of promotion as just another step in the process. Be active on at least one of the better known sites so that there is a way for your readers to find you. YOU!

DO IT!!! Please….


Speaking about the Free Partays as one of my ways to promote

both me and my books, we’re at it again…

*** It’s true! ***
There are always different authors joining us with new books, but I just know many of you are now faithful fans of the customary authors who’ve been with many of the partays since the beginning.

So there is a treat in store for you.

Loads of books - FREE - today and tomorrow.
Welcome to our...

The Surrogate's Secret 1st Partay.

Dipping my toes in a new genre -
Contemporary Romance


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Social Media Delusions!! #amwriting #socialmedia


As I mentioned in my earlier post about careers in Public Relations, there are many steps an undergraduate can take to help lift off their career. Volunteering or working student jobs for a specific company they wish to get hired by eventually is one way. But there are many others:

a.     Intensify your communication skills.

b.     Develop your own channels in Social Media.

c.      Explore market strategies in your industry.

d.     Learn suitable time management – advanced planning is key.

e.      Become informed about your product and the competition.

f.       Adapt and quickly learn new methods.

g.     Be persistent.

h.     Work hard on building brand recognition and customer loyalty.

i.       And don’t give up or slack off – there’s always someone climbing up your backside wanting the slot you leave open.


As much as you might consider these to be issues a student should be familiarizing themselves with as they study for their degrees, these steps are just as pertinent to an author who is competing in our promotional jungle.


And anyone who is ready to, or planning to, dip their toes in this book-writing world had better not be under the delusion that they can wait until they actually have a book to sell.


Do not play that silly game with yourself.  Warding off the evil of advertising that lurks in your future today only makes it a bigger boogieman for tomorrow.


If you are serious about wanting a writing career and if you fully intend to make any money whatsoever when you put your book on the market, then mark my words. These steps are difficult but in no way impossible. By putting them off, thinking you haven’t the time to write and take on these extra, time-consuming chores is not a good choice. All you’re doing is setting yourself up to either fail or force the universe to provide you with a miracle in order for success.


And trust me; miracles don’t come along very often. Hard work, consistent publishing and making connections are the way to a solid achievement.   


Next blog - Intensify your communications skills.
***Just a thought - if you have a page on Google+ and need another friend, then please connect with me and I'll be happy to add you into my circles :-) (Hey - I'm getting the swing of this Social Media stuff....(grins)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Social Media Fantasies! #amwriting #socialmedia


When I wrote my first novel, the need to promote it myself never entered into my expectations.

Not once!

That was a job for someone else. Someone with the education and knowledge needed to circumvent the web of social media madness. Certainly, any publisher I would contract with would have that part of the process covered. The thought that I would eventually take on the challenge myself, and even like it, was unthinkable.

Not today! Today it’s all part of my job. A huge part! In fact, I get so immersed in all the promotional chores that fill up my day to where I don’t believe that time can fly by so quickly. They’re never-ending, time-consuming, frustrating and more challenging than anything else I’ve ever tackled. Plus, the competition is fierce. As an author, I can tell you that our arena is filled to the brim with more new products being made available every day. And, let’s face it; we’re all after the same buck.  


From the beginning of my career in 2007, I’ve gained an unbelievable amount of proficiency in these ever-changing promotional sites and found, mostly by trial and error, capabilities and the information that makes life a lot easier. Heck, nowadays, I hardly ever lose it, swear, chaw at my nails, bang my head on my desk…. My problem is virtually a lack of time. Like all authors, my job is to write books. It's what I do... excuse me... what I'm supposed to do.

Since social media has been on my mind lately, I did some research as to what it would take to have a career in Public Relations. Not surprising, I found that the bachelor degree was popular and anyone going to college to gain these skills could help themselves and gain experience by trying for a student job or internship with a company they might want to work with later. Or they could volunteer in order to learn the culture they would earn a living from once they graduate. (Hey, if any student interested in volunteer work is reading this blog and would like to learn how to promote books and build an author brand my e-mail is J Just sayin’… )

With all the different Social Media options today, and more constantly coming on board, most companies have no choice but to add these qualified people to their staff. Public Relations, especially online, has taken on a huge prominence and is constantly shifting and altering. So, you tell me, how can an amateur ever expect to keep up?

(More on Public Relations next blog,)

In case you always wanted to follow me on twitter, there's a little blue T on the top left hand side of the page you can click on....uhuh! Just thought I'd mention it.(grins!) 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Social Media - Time suck or time well spent?

Other than the fact that I’ve met a lot of new people and many have become what I consider my friends today, I’d say working Social Media is a bit of both – a time suck and time well spent.

Back when I first started writing, there were many sites I wasted a lot of my precious hours and energy getting involved in. I set up more profiles than I want to remember, uploaded my book covers nonstop and visited multi forums that ended up getting me nowhere. At the time, I convinced myself that the more exposure I got, the more books I’d sell. It made sense to me then, and just maybe, a few years back, it did help some of the authors.

Just as it does today!

It’s still important to become known to as many readers as possible. I guess it’s just the way you chose to do so that matters.

If you don’t already, please follow me on facebook. I have a Mimi Barbour fan page that desperately needs likes. See how easy begging can be? (I’m so ashamed!)

It’s probably true that the public is getting rather sick and tired of people trying to sell them some kind of product. I know I am. It’s to the point that if you happen to run your mouse over a highlighted word anywhere on the net, some crazy advertisement pops out to smack you in the face. What’s up with that??

On the other hand, if you do have a product that you know in your heart some folks would really enjoy, something that’s taken you a long time to create; then what’s a person to do? How can people buy it if they don’t know it exists?

In comes social media and out goes scruples about putting yourself forward – about not waving a hand to say YAHOO!! I mean what’s an Indie author to do? There are no stores with your books on the shelves waiting for the browser to wander along and get inspired by the fabulous cover. Without people aware of his/her book, there’s no sales – no earnings – and no blasted career.

And the world loses out on some wonderful books. (And yeah – I’m talking about mine…..gulp!)

More about social media next blog – there’s so much to say on this subject isn’t there? I’d love to know - what form of social media is your favorite?



Friday, July 12, 2013

Love scenes... or sex?

Do you write love scenes or sex?

One of the most thought-provoking sentences I’ve heard about this subject is when a friend told me that Nicholas Sparks was known to have said – “I don’t write romance, I write Love Stories.”


Now in my pea brain, I thought romance tales were about falling in love. That if a book was about two people experiencing this phenomenon; it would establish that work as a romance. But then I remembered that there is one thing absolutely imperative in a romance novel. The couple must find their happy ending. Most important, and this is the kicker, they must also be together at the end.


Therefore, I guess there is a slight technical difference in the two phrases – Love Stories and Romance Books. Just as there is a difference when authors write scenes about making love and scenes about having sex. Sure, some of the vocabulary might be the same. The actions involved are certainly equivalent…. ahem!  


But we all know that the difference is about the feelings involved. Sex is more about the physical actions  to some extent whereas making love is all about the emotions.


When I write my romances, I like to take my time guiding my characters to that point where they will “get it on!” There should be a slow process of the two individuals learning about the other, where the buildup includes eyes meeting, initial touch and that wonderful first kiss. By then, the romance should be ready to hook the reader with arousing intensity so they’ll actually experience to some extent what the hero or heroine is going through - the breathlessness of being together.


When I get to the point where the romance becomes sexual, I’ve made sure that the readers will be quite approving that the two people in the tale are in love whether they know it yet themselves or not. That way, the sex is a natural progression. And written properly, can deepen the story to where we get the ummmm! factor.    

Emotional, provocative, and with amazing love scenes.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

People on holidays are wonderful creatures!!!


I’ve just gotten back from a week's holiday in Las Vegas and I wanted to share my conclusions. With temperatures soaring into the high 40’s (over 110F), it was what one might imagine to find in the outskirts of HELL. Seriously!! It was freakin’ hot!!!


Funny thing – it never even slowed us down.


I should elaborate and mention there were three females on this vacation who had all these plans in place.  To shop, have fun, shop, see shows, shop and find great food, shop and maybe if we had time – gamble.

For me, one of my main goals for the trip was to be able to talk to people at the LVMPD (Las Vegas Metro Police Department) so I could have answers to some questions I had in conjunction with my Vegas Series. Questions like – what do detectives yell while banging on a suspect’s door prior to breaking in? What do the female detectives wear while working? And their vehicles - do they all drive the same type?


There were many smaller informational tidbits I couldn’t really research without talking to a real live person. Therefore, I’m happy to say that I have access to that information now and I believe I made it happen because was actually there. Sure, I probably could have phoned from my home, but call me dumb, I never really thought about following up on this until I knew the trip was a go.


Also, it’s been a few years since I spent any time in that city. I wanted to feel the ambiance of the place again. That pulse that belongs to Vegas alone. I’m an insidious people watcher and sometimes forget that I might be invading someone else’s privacy with my stares. What people don’t realize is that I’m inside my head plotting what I’ve just witnessed whether it be a mannerism that attracted me or words that I overhead and thought I needed to note down. There isn’t a better place in the country to see people who’ve let down their… ahhh “hair” so to speak and behaving with much less restraint than usual.


I’ve got so many notes for my "Character Foible's" list and have to admit that I found many lovable, surprising, sweet, strange, weird, freakin' weird and down-right stupid-weird things that can be fodder for my next series.
Vegas is magical! And people on holidays are wonderful creatures!!!

Speaking of wonderful creatures...
The Kick Ass - Stars & Stripes event
starting today is also wonderful and is filled with
fantastic authors
whose books are free for 2 days only!!!
Get your copies now - it's as easy as clicking
and when you do
Check out my part in the promotion for
Angels with Attitudes
3 books - Boxed set

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Being There - The insights into a YA author's past - Jodie Esch!!



In my career as a school administrator, I’ve worked as an elementary school vice-principal, a middle school vice-principal and finally as an elementary school principal.

 Quite a lot for Mimi to process as she highlights and promotes a number of authors. She thought I worked at the high-school level. Thank you Mimi for making that correction.

You're welcome Jodie - when you talked about your "kids" and working with teens, I just took it for granted that you worked at the High School level - must remember to check my facts next time....gulp! One thing I was VERY positive about - the love you had for those teens shone through - just like it does in your wonderful stories.

As a middle school vice-principal (650 students) Grades 6, 7 and 8, I worked with young people who were at a most vulnerable stage in their lives. They wanted to grow up, they wanted independence.

But, most of all, what they wanted was a listener. Sometimes that was a parent, or a school counselor or a best friend. Sometimes it was me. I’d walk with a student up and down corridors or around the perimeter of the grounds. We’d have distance from the ‘vibrations’ sometimes immersed in a school office setting.

They’d walk and talk. I’d listen. Moving and being outside seemed to help. Kind of like a walking meditation. Sometimes they would ask for advice, sometimes they wouldn’t.  A lot of the time, they wanted to share something private, something upsetting, something bothering them.

In my second Young Adult novel Little White Pills  the main character Steph yearns to share a secret but she’s afraid to expose it to the world. I’d love you to take the journey and discover how Steph comes to grip with her problems.


As an elementary school principal I used a degree of creativity to address a common issue. A teacher complained that one of her students was stealing food in her classroom during the lunch period. 

So, I arranged ‘The Lunch Bunch’ a group of students who ate with me at a round table in my office, complete with placemats, napkins, etc. I discretely provided lunches for any hungry students. This was a special occasion for four or five chosen kids, a combination of troubled students and students who were sailing through school.

Both groups learned from each other. I learned the most. It was an opportunity for me to truly listen to my students. I was there for them. No interruptions. My staff was superb as they understood that during that time I wouldn’t be available on the school grounds.  Everyone learned to value the ‘Lunch Bunch’. Students wanted to join and become a member.

I discovered simply by ‘listening’ by ‘being there’ I could make a small difference in the lives of my students. In Little White Pills, I hope you will discover who and what makes the difference for troubled Steph.
Just released Book #2 of the Girlfriend's Series
Book #1 of the Girlfriend's Series

p.s. Jodie - I wish I had a teacher like you when I was in those frustrating teenage grades!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Please meet a wonderful Y.A. author who used to be a "Elementary School" principal, Jodie Esch!!

I love the fact that my friend Jodie was a Elementary School principal for years and has used her exceptional knowledge of how young people behave in her wonderful new YA Girlfriend Series. Her books have been created from a background that understands how troubled teens think and it’s that very awareness which has seeped into her stories to lift them out of the ordinary.

p.s. I know Jodie has many funny sand interesting stories to share about her time as the ahhh... "Boss Lady" so I'm going to try and persude her to return in the next day or so and share with us :-) 

Mimi’s Blog is named Believe!. And in my second Young Adult novel, the heroine Stephanie Baxter has a difficult time believing in herself.

From the outside looking in, she appears to have it all. Perfect looks, perfect grades and a perfect life. However her life is a charade and the person she presents to the world is not how she really is deep inside. She’s like an actor playing a part.

High school is challenging for most students and when someone has confidence issues it can be especially difficult. Steph though discovers the true meaning of friendship as she has to lean on and trust her best friend Rachel.

I hope that you will enjoy this story about two friends who confront a very complex problem and learn to believe in each other.

Thanks Mimi for having me drop by.
(For a short time "Little White Lies" is selling for 
the sweet low price of 99 cents.
Get your copy now!)
Follow Jodie here:


Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet my friend and wonderful author - Katy Walters!

I'm so happy to have you meet Katy Walters today on Believe! I snuck an introduction post for her in my previous blog because it touched me so much that she would write a book to please one fan.

Hi there,

It is great to visit Mimi’s site.  We met when I discovered her wonderful books, the Vicarage Bench Series, they are so original. I was captivated and became a fan with the first novel.  Mimi is such a lovely friend, and has been so caring and supportive, as I underwent surgery on my hands and wrist. Happily, my hands are back in action.

So just a little introduction, I started writing at an early age, when my younger sister, on being diagnosed  with TB spend most of her childhood in hospitals.  As I used to tell her stories in bed, I then wrote them out for her to read in the sanitoriums. This love of writing never faltered during my career as a psychotherapist/research psychologist. I do like to bring a psychological slant to the books, as they do say, write about what you know.  

A creative world gives the writer such freedom.  The only thing is, one has to be humble, baring one’s soul for the reader. Only with such openness can a writer reach out, and touch the reader. In a truly creative work, there are no secrets. The writer has to stay true to the characters, listen to what each has to say and then follow wherever they may lead. I think I know when a book is working, as I feel it, often laughing or crying with or for the characters. They are not two-dimensional  pen and  ink,  or keyboard and PC personalities; they are living, breathing, emotional, irate, loving, imaginative beings in their own creative dimension. Even more, they become my friends – well most of them. Now, after having written a few books, I trust them to lead me into and through the story.  So, I am not a planner, I only ever have an idea, the new friends, when they start talking, drive the story. 

So, I sincerely hope you enjoy meeting my friends who live in  Reunited at Rhonan. I do remember writing to one reader, that when I penned the last line of Reunited at Rhonan; the last book of the trilogy, I felt quite choked as I was leaving the world of Rhonan.  But a new story beckons along with more friends to share their lives with me. Hopefully.
Poodle Puppy and British Longhair Kitten high fiving against white background
Sequel - Newly published from Katy Walters the author of the hugely popular Lords of Rhonan series

Reviewer ***** “Scary Supernatural Romance – will hold you spell bound to the last page.”

Reviewer***** “Paranormal romance. Stunning! This book gripped me from the first page. I love the paranormal and this had me turning the pages. It's a great story and the writer has a fast pace so I was glued. The séances gave me goosebumps - chilling.”
The Incubus relentlessly pursues Jessica, intent on making her his own. As he confronts Jess and Dinah, they find they cannot resist him; but to give in to his sexy demands means certain death. Can Lucy can save them, as she summons Phantom, a vicious feral cat, once an ancient shaman, who shape shifts from cat to puma?
At the Manor, the friends open a Centre for Psychic Studies, where Dinah develops into a strong healer whilst Lucy becomes a powerful physical medium, a channel for good but also a channel through which the demons manifest.
Jess time travels, relentlessly fighting to bring the ghostly lovers Muriall a penniless ward and Lord Duncan of Rhonan together again.

Douglas struggles with his disbelief as a high-ranking demon, rages in the castle dungeons, a demon determined to drag Jess down to hell, a demon so powerful, it pits its strength against the Vatican itself. Will the warrior of God, the Jesuit Tobias Marescas arrive at Rhonan in time to save them from a horrific death?

You can friend Katy on Twitter @bluesytee