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Short Story/Serial Monday – First Impressions – Part 4


Author Don Massenzio This week, I bring in a familiar character from both my Frank Rozzani and Brad Rafferty series. He is a genius hacker/attorney and sometime drummer that has a reputation that is well-deserved that makes him much sought after. Throwing him into the mix of this story creates a bridge in my book and short story universe that connects my works. It’s also fun to fall into writing for an old, familiar character. I hope you enjoy the developments in this installment of First Impressions The swells were unusually high off Jacksonville Beach. At five feet, the surfing was still sedate, but more challenging than usual. As the sun made its final escape from the ocean horizon to the...
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Review of “The Black Swan Company” by Luna DeMasi

I’m not an automatic sucker for any vampire book, but this one won me over quickly.  I loved the focus on investigative journalism as a way to dig deeper into the conspiracies and injustices committed by the authorities in this … Continue reading → Original link
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Emotional Layers: The Gateway to Deep Point of View – From the Writers in the Storm Blog


Author Don Massenzio By Guest Blogger Lisa Hall-Wilson Deep point of view lets your readers experience story through a virtual reality headset. Readers want to take an emotional journey alongside the main character in every scene. This style puts readers IN the story as much as possible. To achieve this, writers have to avoid summarizing or telling how a character feels. Instead, they must present evidence to the reader about how the character feels. Not enough evidence and the reader is lost, too much and the reader is bored. To effectively write in deep point of view, the author must know the WHY in every scene. Why did your point of view character (POVC) say that, do that, hide that, run ...
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Today’s Featured Author – Joanne Otto


Please welcome author Joanne Otto to my blog. Joanne is on a virtual book tour to promote her books The You-Song and Daughter of Jerusalem.  The You-Song The You-Song celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God’s world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who’s helped many children overcome reading challenges, “The You-Song” is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it’s also fun to read aloud to pre-readers. Juvenile Nonfiction Daughter of Jerusalem Daughter of Jerusalem” takes its 21st-century...
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Should Book Reviewers Get Paid For Their Reviews?


Rachel Poli I always say to myself, “I would love to get paid to read.” That would really be the ideal job, right? Sitting on your couch all day with your pet, beverage of choice, snuggled in your pajamas. You can read books upon books upon books. Then get paid to write a review for the books. As lovely as that would be, who would be paying us? Do we really expect authors to pay for reviews even after giving us a free copy of their book? Getting Paid I’ve seen some book bloggers post disclaimers about how they will never accept any monetary compensation for reviewing books. I’ve also seen some book bloggers offer paid services for their reviews. For example, an author can pay a fee in order ...
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Investing in an eye-catching book cover


This post is the fortieth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post. Last week, I discussed two components of your book cover – the title and your author name (and whether a pen name would be beneficial.) Today, I want to cover the designing of your book cover. The cover of your book is probably one of the most important decisions you will make. It doesn’t matter if you have a great story if no one is willing to pick up the book or in the case of e-books, click on the image. The cover is the first thing your readers see and is where they decide if your book is worth their time to even read the book description. Things you want in a c...
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Quote of the Week – June 13

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford Original link
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How To Handle The Story That Keeps On Giving #MondayBlogs #Writing #Writer


BlondeWriteMore Have you ever experienced writing a story that gives you more than just an interesting tale and a collection of fictional people? Let me explain. Last week, in my blog post titled, The Story Which Wants To Show You Other Things , I spoke about how, whilst working on a draft of a story, I had stumbled across a strange hole in a fictional wall. In my story a hole had appeared and in the initial drafts I had completely ignored it. View original post 580 more words Original link
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Learning to deal with tween behavior


Last month my son became a teenager, but so far it my ten-year old daughter who seems to have the teenage attitude. With her I get the exasperated “I know” or the sigh and eye roll or her palm slapped to her forehead. And I am pretty over it. It has become where I don’t even want to talk to her at times. I’ve written before about Lexie’s quest to be different. She has always tried to find what makes her unique whether it is her atypical anatomy or her ability to do something such as draw, heal fast or whatever. Many of her “accomplishments” are more in her head than actual differences. She strives to be different or in many cases “better” than someone else. And part of me gets that. We all l...
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Why Is My Book Not Selling?


Nicholas C. Rossis So, you have written your book and expect royalties to start rolling in. Then… nothing. You start reading about book promotion and realize you need to spend money to make money. You start running free days and countdown deals. You pay for ads and end up paying people to read your book, which is never a good idea. You then start scratching your head. What is wrong with your book? Why doesn’t it sell? I recently received a newsletter from Derek Doepker of ebookbestsellersecrets.com  which addresses this very issue. Derek lists his checklist for a book’s success. As he puts it, if you don’t answer “yes” to ALL of these questions, then there’s a good chance whatever you do to ...
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The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Jemima Pett


Author Don Massenzio It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year. I am honored to continue this series with author Jemima Pett. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my  Author Directory  page. If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Now, please enjoy this interview with Jemima Pett: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Most of my stories creep up on me, then tap me on the shoulder until I write them down.  From that point of...
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Today’s Featured Author – Haris Orkin


Please welcome author Haris Orkin to my blog. His debut novel, You Only Live Once, a comic thriller, was released in March 2018. It is a contemporary take on Don Quixote as a mental patient believes he’s a James Bond-like super spy. This new release already has 19 5-star reviews! Book Blurb James Flynn is an expert shot, a black belt in karate, fluent in four languages and irresistible to women. He’s also a heavily medicated patient in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. Flynn believes his locked ward is the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and that he is a secret agent with a license to kill. When the hospital is acquired by a new HMO, Flynn is convinced that the Secret Service ...
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Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name


This post is the thirty-ninth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post. If you are going to publish a book, even if it is only an e-book, you will need a cover. If you are going with a traditional publisher, the design of your cover may or may not have your input. If you are going the self-publishing route, the cover design is up to you. Before we go into the details of cover design, I want to go over two things that will appear on your book cover – the book title and your author name. Book Title Choosing the title for your book can be one of the hardest decisions. The title is a sales tool. It allows the reader to know something ab...
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This Week in Indie Publishing


Author Don Massenzio If The Adult Coloring Book Craze Is Dead, It Needs A Postmortem In 2015, adult coloring books became the dark horse of the publishing industry, as a surprising surge in sales boosted major players’ revenues. In 2016, there was no end in sight. In 2017, the bottom fell out of the adult coloring book market and, this year, the trend is officially dead. So it seems, at least. It’s possible that adults still enjoying coloring as much as ever, but independent publishers — whose sales numbers aren’t reported with the same rigor as those of traditional publishers — have cornered the market. Here’s a dive into the timeline of the adult coloring trend, as told through the cottage...
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Writers’ guilt syndrome

  Well, having not long finished and published my latest book, I thought I’d take a little break from writing. Am I enjoying it? Hell no! I’ve scrolled through Facebook, ’til I’m sick of cute animal pictures, images of someone’s dinner (why?) and various other inanities. I’ve done the same with Twitter, Pininterest and so […] Original link
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Chaperoning the Kids’ School Fields Trips


Three weeks ago, right before my son’s thirteenth birthday, I wrote about my kids becoming more independent . Typically, as kids become more independent, they want their parents less involved in their lives. And that is normal. But there is one area that they still like for me to be involved – school field trips. Actually, when my son entered middle school I kind of thought school field trips were over. It is one thing for the elementary to take 100 students on a trip but at the middle school, there are roughly 400 kids per grade. This year, for the first time in six years, Jase’s middle school social studies teacher decided to take the kids on a field trip to the Holocaust Museum. To do it,...
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Better Blogging Topics For Authors


No Wasted Ink Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash Traditional wisdom states that if you are an author, you should have a blog to attract readers to your work. The experts tell you to write about your characters, plots, world-building, how your novel is coming along and don’t forget to toss in a little about your cat. Now, I can already hear you moan: “Where is the traffic?” “Writing a blog is hard!” “Isn’t blogging a dead end?” “Nobody cares about my book before I publish it.” And you would be right on all accounts. Blogging about a novel when no one knows who you are is a wasted activity. If you are not publishing your story as a serial, few will care about plotlines or characters. The only pe...
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Indie or Traditional – How does an author pick the right direction?


DSM Publications Jumping into the indie author scene, for me, was a calculated risk. Like I do with a lot of decisions, I looked at the pros and cons. Pros: You can easily publish your work on a number of platforms at little or no cost (Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, etc.).The royalties for sales are good. If you price a book on Amazon over $2.99, for instance, you will get 70% of the selling price as royalties.You can write at your own pace in whatever style you want.You can directly interact with your readers on many platforms (blogs, mailing, lists, social media, author signing events).There is an organized community of independent authors and you can learn from others and help others that are...
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How productive are you, as a writer?

It’s often said that authors will do anything but write, and to a certain extent that’s true. Why is this? Well, there are numerous reasons such as: kids, shopping, work – the general logistics of day-to-living. Put simply, it’s time and the disposition to sit down and get on with it. I suppose I’m luckier […] Original link
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Self-publishing an ebook decisions


This post is the thirty-eighth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post. Last week, we talked about making sure your novel is ready to publish and then went over traditional publishing houses as well as taking the option to self-publish a physical copy of your book. But nowadays so many people have an e-book reader or e-book reader app that it might be worth it not to publish a physical copy of your book and only publish an electronic version. Now with any self-published book, you, the author, make all the decisions. In the next couple of weeks, we will be going over these areas in more depth. Cover One of the most important aspects...
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