Friday Roundup – 21st April

1.  Thanks to The Incompetent Writer for this free writing course:

A Free Writing Course For You

2.  Check out these FREE Creativia books for April, courtesy of Sahara Foley:

3.  Blonde Write More tells of things learned one year into writing a novel:

Things You Learn A Year Into Writing A Novel #MondayBlogs #Writers

4.  Roberta Pimentel gives us 5 ways to drive more readers to our blog site:

5.  D.G Kaye reminds us to be careful when sharing Amazon book links:

6.  Nicholas C. Rossis gives us 6 low cost ways to market books:

7.  Nominations for the 2017 Bloggers Bash Awards are now open:

8.  Story Empire gives some tips for a successful book signing event:

Tips for a Successful Book Signing

9.  Reedsy gives advice regarding building dynamic characters:

10.  Sandra at Build Book Buzz reminds us not to obsess over one star reviews:

11.  LibroEditing gives advice on entering a new line and paragraph:

How to start a new line, paragraph or page or indent a paragraph in Word 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016

Thanks to Chris, the Story Reading Ape, Don Massenzio, and Kim’s Author Support Blog for the re-blogs.


New Book: ‘For the Greater Good’, by Colin Guest

I am pleased to be able to feature Colin Guest’s new book ‘For the Greater Good’ on my site today.

Colin Guest

When Jeff, a specialist in Black Operations, learns his brother has died while in police custody in Yemen, he wants answers. While he is in Yemen he gets involved in a plot to assassinate the self proclaimed president, as it seems this will benefit both the country and world peace and be for the greater good of all concerned.  He carries this out by use of a new and deadly effective method … using his skills to adapt innocent toys.

Colin Guest was born in England in 1940, and became an expat worker in 1993, specialising in high-class interior fit-outs. After obtaining a contract down on the Mediterranean Coast in 1988, he had a house built, and lived there until after his wife’s death in 2007. He is now married to a Turkish lady and lives in Istanbul. His first book, “An Expats Experiences of Living in Turkey,” recently re-published, covers his living in Turkey for over 25 years. His second book, “Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps,” is intended to help readers discover that there is more to life than a boring 9-5 job. Although a memoir, it reads more like an adventure story, covering numerous life- threatening, crazy and hilarious incidents, which occurred while he lived a life most only dream. Colin’s latest publication, “Terror Holiday,” is based on events during the recent attempted coup in Turkey in July 2016.

Apart from writing books, Colin had an article published in a UK expat magazine, and over twelve articles published in online magazines. In between writing books, Colin also writes poems, with several well placed in online contests. Due to his deep concern about nature and the environment, Colin supports several organisations including, Sea Shepherd, and Care for the Wild/Born Free, with his adopting a tiger for the past ten years. After working as a volunteer at Wildlife Rescue/Rehabilitation centers in South Africa and Thailand, he recommends this as a way of giving something back to nature.

You can check out Colin Guest’s website by clicking on the link below:

Easy Formatting for Smashwords #WriterWednesday #Selfpublishing #Smashwords

I must admit I’ve given up on publishing books through Smashwords. One of my manuscripts has had 8 rejections so far, and I consider that life is too short to bother with it any more. However, thanks to D.E Haggerty for this info. Publishing on Smashwords obviously can be done, but hey….

D.E. Haggerty

Like most self-published authors, I use two platforms to publish my works: Amazon and Smashwords. Like it or not, if you want to sell books, you need to be on Amazon. And truth be told, their platform is the most user-friendly of the bunch. But Amazon is not the end all be all. If you also use the Smashwords platform, your book will be distributed to all the remaining major booksellers: Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, etc.

A lot of writers have trouble with formatting. As a lawyer, I’m intimately acquainted with Microsoft Word. Not what you expect, but it’s true. Lawyers are always writing documents, and we use a lot of formatting in those contracts you hate. My former law firm once had one of our clients (we specialized in IT) come and give us a class in Word. I’m not exaggerating when I say we knew more about…

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An Eventful Year So Far

Easter’s over now and I’m into week 4 of radiotherapy.  Hair at the back of my head has fallen out – enough to stuff a cushion.  However, as I had an abundance of hair to begin with, luckily not many people can tell the difference.   My appetite is reduced as everything tastes salty, and my throat is permanently sore.  I have to take anti-sickness medication and tablets for pain, but I keep telling myself that it’s all temporary.

Sam and I had a lovely break on the Isle of Wight.  I must admit I didn’t do much – just sitting outside on the decking while Sam did some little repair jobs to bring our holiday home up to his exacting standards.  We had some nice walks down to the beach and along the seafront.  The holiday park is beginning to fill up for the summer season, but our place is tucked away under the trees right at the back of the park, and so we have peace and quiet.  It’s lovely at night to lay in bed and listen to the sea – very soothing!

What with my mother’s final decline and death, the cruise, the new holiday home and now the radiotherapy, this year is proving to be the most eventful year of my life I think.  But there’s more… when I returned from the Island on Sunday and checked my emails there was one from the Depth of Field International Film Festival (DOFIFF) giving me contact details and inviting me to send my screenplay of ‘For the Sake of a Child’ to an L.A based independent film finance, development and production company for reading, which focuses on feature length film projects starring A-list Hollywood talent!  I had entered it into the DOFIFF contest earlier in the year, and to my delight it won a silver award.  Of course I sent it off pretty sharpish, and now await the outcome…

I wonder what life is going to throw at me next?

I’m not blogging much now as I’m tired quite a lot of the time, so just for your information my psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ will be FREE on Amazon from Thursday 20th April – Tuesday 25th April.  It recently won third prize in the 2016` Drunken Druid International Book Awards contest:

Stevie Repent



Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Book Reading and Interview – D.G. Kaye

Very enjoyable interview. Thanks Sally!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

My guest today has become a friend on and offline and along with Tina Frisco form a little group called the Three Musketeers.. Oh sorry has that name been taken!  Anyway D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies has been popping in to the blog for over three years and has been a huge support during highs and lows. We are finally going to be face to face for the first time at the Blogger’s Bash in June and I am so excited to meet her finally.

Debby writes as D.G. Kaye and has struck many a chord with her frank and down to earth memoirs and non-fiction books. Before we enjoy Debby’s interview I thought I would let her tell you all about herself.

I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories…

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Author Interview: 21 Questions With Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Enjoyed this interview of Yecheilyah Ysrayl. Thanks Dan Alatorre!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host.your humble host

Occasionally on the blog we will talk with one of our author friends, gaining valuable insights into their behind the scene world. Today we meet with Yecheilyah Ysrayl, an extraordinary writer and book blogger, among other things.

Join me as we delve deep – or as deep as we can in 21 Questions; not everybody gives up the goods – with Yecheilyah.


  1.  DAN: Welcome to the blog! What is the working title of your next book?

YecheilyahThank you, Dan, for having me. The working title for my next book is Renaissance and it’s Book One in The Nora White Story. It releases in 116 days, 15 hours, 30mins and 40 seconds from now. Not that you care.

  1. That’s more precise than my alarm clock! Tell me, how hard was it to hit that “Publish” button the first time and send your book into the…

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Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Check out Rachel Poli’s review of Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s new book ‘Renaissance: The Nora White Story’.

Rachel Poli

Book Review | Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah YsraylTitle: Renaissance: The Nora White Story
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
July 15, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
How I got the book: I received a free eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review


When seventeen-year-old NoraWhite successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.

The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.

Shocked by their daughter’s…

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Friday Roundup on a Thursday – 13th April

Off to the Island soon, and so won’t be around until Tuesday.  Happy Easter everyone.  Here’s this week’s roundup a little early:

1.  Thanks to Ryan Lanz for this info regarding dialogue tags:

The Dos and Don’ts to Dialogue Tags

2.  Nice little Mother’s Day writing competition here from Swift River:

3.  Richard Ankers gives us some insight into the book submission process:

The Submission Process

4.  Thanks to Nicholas C. Rossis for these tips on how to promote your book using Facebook groups:

5. Dan Alatorre gives 3 tips on how to win a writing contest:

3 Tips On How To Win A Writing Contest

6. D.G Kaye helps us out with writer’s block:

7.  Janice Wald at Mostly Blogging gives 10 tips for increasing traffic to your site:

8.  Lindsay Lovin’ Life gives 116 ideas for blog topics:

9.  Dan Alatorre gives 5 rules for the first chapter of your book:

5 Rules For Chapter One Of Your Book

10.  Cathleen Townsend gives advice on using Twitter hashtags to gain followers:

How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Gain Followers and Build Your Audience

Thanks to Jean M. Cogdell, Don Massenzio,  Chris, the Story Reading Ape , and Firefly465,  for the re-blogs.

I’m Still Alive

So, here I am about half way through my radiotherapy treatment.  My mouth and throat are on fire and it’s difficult to eat, therefore it’s also doubling as a very successful weight-loss programme (even though I wasn’t overweight to start with).

Sam is a tower of strength, driving me to Addenbrooke’s Hospital every evening.  He sits with his Sudoku book while I’m immobilised in the scanner.  By the time I come out he’s completed another page.

I drove myself to the hairdressers this morning.  By the time I returned I felt like I’d run a marathon, but a girl can’t let her standards slip, can she?  The hair has to be tamed and painted, and tamed and painted it was.  None of it seems to be falling out yet, so perhaps I’ve escaped that bit.  I’ve been told that maybe a small amount of hair will be lost right at the back of my neck, but …so far so good.

There’s just tonight’s treatment and the one tomorrow, and then I have 4 lovely days off for Easter.  Sam’s already packed the car ready for the Island.  Can’t wait to sit on my decking and get away from hospitals and sick people.  I know I’m a sick person myself, but I don’t want to be reminded of the fact.  If I can sit on my decking with a green tea, then I can be just like every other bod sitting with a cuppa on their decking!  Nobody will know there’s a sick person in their midst, and I’m certainly not going to tell them.

Hope you all have a good Easter.  Mine will take an upward turn round about 9.30pm tomorrow evening when we board the ferry for Fishbourne.  Until then it’s endure, endure, endure.  Only another 17 more treatments to go…




Interview with Stevie Turner

I’d forgotten about this one! Thanks Aurorawatcherak for the interview.


Stevie Turner is a long-time friend from the Open Book Blog Hop and I finally got her to interview with me. Welcome to the blog, Stevie. Tell us something about yourself:

StevieTurner AuthorPicI’m a British author, married with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, and live in the East of England. I worked for many years as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital, but took early retirement in 2014 due to side-effects from thyroid cancer treatment (I’m in remission now).  I’ve only been writing seriously since 2013, and since then I’ve written 8 novels, 4 novellas, and 18 short stories.  I’ve also just finished my memoir ‘Waiting in the Wings’, which will be published on November 30th.

Wow. That’s a lot of production in a short time. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since the age of 11 when I won…

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