Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Well, I didn't do as well this week as I did last week, but I've had family coming into town and lots of family activities going on.  That's my excuse.

I did get 2235 words overall, so that's something and I can feel good about that.  I really need to buckle down, though, because critique group is coming up and you really don't want to face my group unprepared. At least *I* don't.  They give you this look . . . *shiver*

Yeah, I better buckle down.

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Castle Does the 70s

I was so happy to see a new Castle last night.  And having them all dress up in 70s attire with Castle justifying it was hilarious.

We start off with a salvage crew finding a body entombed in concrete.  Castle remembers the case when Vincent Bianchi a crime family boss disappeared in 1978.  The powder blue polyester suit he was wearing was really well preserved which made me laugh. Polyester is not something I miss very much.

They go see the guy, Frank Russo, who took over the crime family when Vincent disappeared, but he had nothing of consequence to offer (although this is where my husband totally called who the murderer was). Frank points them in the direction of Harold Leon, who was Vincent's right hand man.  Harold still thinks it's the 70s and if anything pulls him out of the fantasy, he gets really confused.  He says he knows who killed Vincent, but wants to see the body.  Yeah, totally contrived to get everyone into 70s garb, but so dang funny.

They take him down to the morgue where Lainey is dressed up as Foxy Brown.  She's used the concrete Vincent was entombed in to make a mold of his body and shows it to Harold (after he's made some sexist comments to her that she totally slams him on, jive turkey.)  They get shot at in the morgue and Harold wants protection.  He eventually decides that he'll give a statement at the station which has everyone scrambling to make it look like the 70s with typewriters, large hair, loud clothing, the works.  The funniest part of the episode, though, was Espo and Ryan who are pretending to be a poor man's Starsky and Hutch. Oh man, I laughed so hard at them.  When Espo tries to slide across the car and lands on his butt, I admit, I rewound it just to see it again. So dang funny.

They question Harold because he knows them from their TV show and it cracked me up watching them speak 70s if you get my drift. Espo's phone rings before they get any info other than it probably had something to do with a 70s club called Glitterati.  The boys end up taking Harold there, and doing some dancing, I might add, while Beckett deals with Gates who has returned home early from her trip.  Harold finds Frank Russo, the owner of the club, who is a suspect in the murder, but he denies it.  The gang figures out that Harold and Vincent were in love, that Vincent had rented out the Glitterati club the night he was killed so he could propose to a woman and hide his relationship with Harold, and that the woman he proposed to was the key to this story.

The episode ends with the woman being arrested (Frank Russo's wife) because she was so upset over the fact that Vincent couldn't go through with the proposal in the end.  The team going back to the disco for some dancing. Last Dance comes on and Caskett watch Harold dancing to it.

A really fun episode, although I have to say both Beckett and Castle look pretty good in the 70s style.  On the other hand, I hope that style never comes back.  Haha!  Did you watch it? Did it give you any warm fuzzies for the disco era?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Double Children's Book Review

Today I want to tell you about two children's books that are perfect for a parent or grandparent to sit down and read with their children/grandchildren.

The first one is The Sacrament by John Bytheway.  This is a beautiful poem with wonderful illustrations about a little boy who is on vacation and has to go to his grandfather's church service.  He's bored and easily distracted until his grandfather gives him some good advice we can all ponder during the sacrament.  It was an easy verse, but had lots of things to ponder and talk about.  In the back there was an explanation of what each symbol of the sacrament meant (bread, water, white tablecloth, etc.) that could be used for a Family Home Evening lesson as well.  Beautifully done and a book that is thought-provoking for any age reader.

Here's the back copy:

For years, John has used a poem during fireside talks to help LDS families understand the importance of the sacrament. With full-color illustrations by Nathan Pinnock, The Sacrament will help children of all ages understand what they should be thinking about during this sacred ordinance. John shares the story of a boy and his grandfather and the memory the grandfather shares with his grandson regarding the lesson he learned about the sacrament when he was a young boy.

Ideal for children from three to twelve and a perfect baptism gift.

About the Author: 

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books and audio products. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

The second book is called I Am Strong, I Am Smart by Fay Klingler.  This is a beautiful story about a grandma who helps her young granddaughter cope with bullying at school through a special puzzle. Then, when Grandma needs help recovering, her granddaughter has the opportunity to return the favor by helping her grandma see how much she is loved and needed by those around her.  Parallel stories with a sweet message that will touch your heart.

Here is the back copy:

Luisa May, known to her family and friends as Lu, loves to play games with her grandma. When she’s bullied at school, Grandma has a special puzzle for Lu to help her see how valuable she is—no matter what others say, or how much doubt she feels within herself. Soon after, Grandma has to go to the hospital, and Lu finds out Grandma needs help recovering. Then it’s Lu’s turn to help Grandma see how valuable she is—no matter how much doubt she feels within herself. It’s a beautiful parallel for young and old alike, as each age learns from the other.

Written and illustrated with loving hands, this delightful children’s story offers a heartfelt message that unites and bonds generations. From the award-winning pen of Fay A. Klingler, I Am Strong! I Am Smart! provides to women of all ages a reminder of the tremendous gift of “girl power.”

And click here to watch the book trailer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a regency romance that I haven't read, but was recommended to me.  It's a twist on the Cinderella story and is said to be clean and sweet.

Here's the back copy:

Lucy Sinclair’s London Season was cut short by tragedy. Now, five years later, she is returning but only in the shadow of her lovely step-sister. Belinda is determined to catch a titled husband and Alex, Lord Devlyn fits the bill perfectly.

Lucy finds Alex devastatingly attractive yet knows he will be dazzled by Belinda’s ravishing beauty. Her one chance of love seems lost forever until an unlikely fairy godmother makes Lucy the belle of the ball...

If this sounds like a book for you, click here to get your free Kindle copy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Need An Opinion

So, I'm going through edits and I need an opinion.

If you were an adult, talking to another adult, would you say, "I'm going to puke."  Or "I'm going to throw up."  It's such a silly thing, but I really do want an opinion on it.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has signed up to be on my SWAT team. I am having such a great time getting to know you and working together.  (If you don't know what that is, or if you want to join too, just look on the sidebar.  I'd love to have you on the team!)

How's your day going?  All full of sunshine and happiness?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Word Count Wednesday--I'm Happy!

This week went so much better than last week! I'm almost back on track and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  (And I love all the sunshine we've been getting lately. It makes me feel happy).

And here's a video to help in your own feeling of happiness.  :)

I wrote 8442 new words this week and did a boatload of editing.  It feels sooooo good. I'M HAPPY!

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Marketing Tips for Authors

I recently discovered two little things that authors listed on Amazon can do to up their visibility.

First, every author should have an Amazon author page.  (Click here to see mine)  In the upper right hand corner there is a spot where people can "like" your page.  I'm told that your number of likes factors into the algorithms that Amazon uses. Simple to do and every little bit helps, right?

The second tip is getting into more subcategories on Amazon.  If you've uploaded your book to KDP, you know that they offer a spot for you to plug in seven key words for your book.  This is how people will find your book and how you can be seen in more subcategories.  But how do you know what is the best key word to use?

You need to go here for Selecting Browse Categories.  Now scroll down and click on whatever category your book is, "Romance" or "Mystery" etc.  Then a whole bunch of subcategories with keywords will show up and you can update your books and the keywords you have listed.  This is such a great thing when you know about it, because it ups the chances of your book being seen in those categories, and the more people who see you, the more potential you have for sales.

I love getting little tips like this that can help an author stand out in the ocean of books on Amazon.  I hope it helps you, too!