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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Most Published Book Ever! by Joan Reeves

I was doing research on publishing the other day and came across some statistics about the most published book in the entire world.

If this subject were a category on Jeopardy, I'd clear the board -- "Alec, the answer is: what is The Bible."

A couple of years ago I wrote some blog posts about publishing and one pertained to facts about publishing the Bible. I found the information fascinating and maybe you will too.
  • Johannes Gutenberg was the first European to produce a book printed with movable type. (Books printed using movable type were produced in China more than 500 years before Gutenberg.) Gutenberg’s first book was The Bible which is the most published book in the world.
  • The shortest verse in the Bible consists of two words. "Jesus wept." (John 11:35)
  • Several early English Bibles are famous because of their errors, not their workmanship or beauty. The textual idiosyncrasies have made certain Bibles eagerly sought by collectors.
  • The Breeches Bible, 1560, states that Adam and Eve "sewed fix tree leaves together and made themselves breeches."
  • The Bug Bible, 1551, incorrectly translated the 91st Psalm ("Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night.") as "Thou shalt not be afraid of any buggies by night."
  • The Treacle Bible, 1568, used the word treacle (a dark brown very sweet sugar syrup) instead of balm in the verse: "Is there no balm in Gilead?" became "Is there no treacle in Gilead?"
Post Script

Obscure facts are endlessly fascinating.

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Please visit JoanReeves.com or her blog SlingWords for more information.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, Decisions!

Are you making a lot of decisions this month? I am! 

            A couple of years ago I decided I would need to publish my own books. My collection of rejections pretty much convinced me no editors would fall in love with my stories and characters. Some editors told me my writing was good and that they liked things about my characters and/or stories, but...   No sales.

            Last month I mentioned the editor for Sizzler Editions, an e-publisher, who wanted to see one of my novels.When he offered a contract instead of the rejection I expected,  I had to make a HUGE decision.  I could sign the contract and turn my book and some control over to someone else, or publish that story myself. Funny, I'd always thought I'd jump over the moon to get a contract offer.  No one has EVER offered me a contract! I thought long and hard and read the contract word for word a dozen times. I signed the contract! I even mailed it in. Maybe I could profit from working with an editor.  The working title for this romantic suspense is Protective Instincts. 

Now I need to do a lot of reformatting so I can send the novel back to him to edit and pray he doesn't want extensive revisions. 

     About the second news I mentioned in my earlier post. Can you say Gilded Dragonfly Books?  You might want to practice saying it, since I am now an editor for them.  You can check us out at www.gildeddragonflybooks.wordpress.comwww.gildeddragonflybooks.wordpress.com.  The real website isn't live yet, but it should be soon. I just finished revisions for the short story I wrote for our anthology which will be available for our launch party February 23.

The photo is of some of my fellow editors at work. 

So many authors have written wonderful stories that don't fit the molds used by New York publishers or even small presses and e-publishers.  I get the chance to consider some of those books for our company to publish. Of course I will edit them to help make them shine the way they deserve to.  Then I get to decide which books I can give the attention they deserve. More decisions! 

Want free downloads of my books? Comment and then return and I'll give you coupon codes for two of them.  The Gift and Forever Love

Tell us about big decisions you are making in 2013!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Sequel or Not to Sequel - Is that the Question?

Do you like sequels?  Sequels have really hit their stride.  Movies such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Twilight series are just a few of the most popular.  I’ve never been one to be much interested in sequels, though I do like series books and I have several favorite authors.  When a new book in their series become available, I’m usually one of the first purchasers.  But sequels – I’ve never been that interested.

Until I wrote Riley’s Journey… Even at the time I wrote Riley’s, it was never intended as a future sequel, but I received so many requests, I decided to give it a try.  Unfortunately, the publisher who first released Riley’s rejected the sequel and I was afraid at the time that would be the result.  My editor had left and opened her own online book store and I wondered about trying to sell a second book to an editor who had never read the first.  So I took my sequel to my previous editor’s site and she accepted it immediately, saying it was the perfect sequel and even for a smaller site, Into the Savage Dawn has done very well. I just recently completed the third in the series and my publisher/editor accepted it immediately.  In my heart, the journey started in Riley’s ends with Beyond Tomorrow.  But who can really say?  If the interest is there, my fictional friends just might entice me to write another chapter in their time travel journey.

P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent ebooks – Riley’s Journey and Fiona.

Buy Links:
Riley’s Journey


Monday, January 21, 2013

Hot Tea Month

by: Stephanie Burkhart

For most of us January is a cold, cold month – perfect for National Hot Tea Month in the U.S.

There are a lot of benefits to tea and a taste for everyone. The two biggest advantages include: acting as an aid in weight loss and helping to ward off colds and flu.

Weight Loss
The theory here is that green tea contains catechin, a chemical which has thermogenic properties that promote breaking down fat. Several studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and by the International Journal of Obesity support this theory.

Fighting Germs
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences supported the following conclusion: 3 cups of black tea a day produced germ fighting cells giving tea drinks the ability to fight colds and flu better than coffee drinkers

Feedback: Give a shout out if you're a tea drinker. What types of tea do you drink? What would you recommend?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Her story, Feast of Candles, is available as a 99 cent spicy contemporary romance.

Blurb: Drake is going to take the biggest chance of his life on a bottle of wine. Will he break through the armor that surrounds Lily's lonely heart?


Drake stepped out of his BMW rental, ready to conquer. Yes, like his Viking ancestors claimed Europe, he would do the same here in the heart of California wine country.

Glancing around the parking lot, he observed several couples in evening attire approaching the winery's main doors. She would be inside – Lily Marquand. An indefinable feeling of rightness filled him, and he casually strolled toward the entrance.

The ending with the feast of candles is so romantic you'll want your own feast of candles with your sweetheart. Lovely story!- 5 Stars, Loves Reading, Amazon Review

Buy Link:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Dog Ate It

Note the proximity of
 the chair to Rascal
Who doesn't know that familiar kid's excuse, The dog ate it?

My dog, Rascal, is over 8 years old, yet sometimes she reverts to puppyhood. It's usually when I'm not paying enough attention to her. She knows exactly how to get it. All she has to do is find something of mine and start chewing on it.

When she's in one of those attention-getting moods, anything I leave on the dining room chair is Open Season for her. I made the mistake of  leaving my gloves and knit hat there for a few minutes on Monday, and one of my gloves landed on the floor underneath and in her mouth.

Okay, I'm not exactly dumb. I also know how to get her attention by luring her with a treat to distract her so I can retrieve one of my prized possessions before it gets wrecked. I take that back. Maybe, she's the smart one and knows how to get extra treats from me. Still desperate times require desperate measures.

In Her Handyman, my recent romantic comedy release, FuFu, a Chinese Crested dog, plays a major role in getting Jake, the handyman, and Zoe, the rich artist together. Actually, FuFu is kind of innocent, since she was only playing with her toy when it landed in the toilet, making the water overflow, causing Zoe to call Jake for help.

Or, was it an accident? Maybe Fufu wanted attention, and knew how to get it. We'll never know.Sometimes characters clue me in, and sometimes not.

If you have a dog, maybe yours craves attention also. Or, maybe you know of a fictional one who does.

That's FuFu on the left,
looking innocent.

Her Handyman is 99 cents on Kindle at

Also, available is Morgan's other chick lit
romance, Girl of My Dreams, on Kindle at

Check out Morgan's Chick Lit Faves website
at http://chicklitfaves.com

Morgan Mandel's Amazon Author Central Page:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old wives tales, old battles, and new years

Here we go again, another year. Another chance to clean the slate. Did you have fun over the holidays? Did you hear the fireworks? I confess, I slept right through them!

The previous year has seen much. The best of it , the worst of it. Are you glad it’s over?

Some of the year’s goals seem never ending. Cooking, fixing stuff (the bent mailbox the neighbors ran over in their revelry (again).

Cleaning seems to never end, doesn’t it? Yet so many superstitions revolve around beginnings and cleanings. It makes me wonder why the old wives never pointed that fact out to the superstition-writers. ;) One article I read on the subject said that “Working hard at a task will guarantee a year of hard labor, for instance, since whatever deeds are performed on that day will influence a person's actions for the rest of the year.”*

Oops. Guess what I did New Year’s Day (let's just forget I was sketching out a follow-up to my first $.99 story House of Cards, shall we)?

Last year saw the release of my first novel. I took a chance I never thought I would.  For this year, I see more of the same on tap: more reading, more writing—more revisions. I hope, if nothing else, to write several more new stories concerning my Caitlin and her favorite Fort Pickens ghost. Caitlin too is already planning out her new year, or so her diary says. ;) (Speaking of the Fort. I hope to maybe visit it this year. Did you know the anniversary of “the” battle happened on January 1st?*) I hope to put out another new project before the end of the year. My first novel for a publisher! :) We shall see. In the meantime, I also hope (pipe dream) to crack ye ole top 100. We’ll see… New year, new hope (where’s the salt?)

The winter will end soon and we’ll be looking forward to planting. Or if you’re here in the south, heck, planting may have already started. I know my garden’s schedule is all fouled up. It’s blooming already!

 As with everyone, I’m looking forward to what the year might bring and I hope this year will be better than last. Are you looking forward to 2013? What’s the year hold in store for you?

All my $.99 books, including the new short story in my supernatural fantasy series, (book one, The Artist's Inheritance and Caitlin's Book of Shadows), are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.


Caitlin's Book of Shadows
Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin's long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought her world twisted?

Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.


Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world–slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted SummerDark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. She recently released her debut novel, The Artist’s Inheritance.
She also has an article and book review or two out there.But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour. Find out more about her at http://julidrevezzo.com

Source Suite101: New Year's Superstitions | Suite101 http://suite101.com/article/new-years-superstitions-a204296#ixzz2HrYBsfw3

*Civil War Florida: January 1862: the Second Battle of Fort Pickens, by Dale Cox

Saturday, January 12, 2013

TIME TO CLEAN UP - by Vijaya Schartz

When I lived in Hawaii and took Japanese Martial Arts lessons (I was a black belt in Aikido), our Japanese Sensei, Sadao Yoshioka, used to tell us about Japanese tradition. In Japan (at least in the old days) New Year's eve was a day of cleaning. People cleaned their houses. But most of all, they tried to renew with lost friends, family members, and clean up all the dirt of the past to start the year on a clean slate.

I try to clean up my writing desk, get rid of last year's research folders. Sometimes it's a surprise to see the actual wood under the piles of papers. Then I feel better about starting a new story, without the skeletons of the old one lying around.

This year I am a little late. The book I planned to send to my editor in December is still in the last editing stages, so the research spills over my desk. You can also find there the flier of my last seminar, the History of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, by James Newcomer, papers on blogging topics (yep), reminders of various deadlines for blogs, conferences, book signing events, festivals...

I can't wait until I send out my edited book this week. Then I'll take an entire day putting away all the hard research I've accumulated last year on Luxembourg. Not modern Luxembourg, but the medieval version, much more intriguing to me as a fiction writer, with its legends of ondines in the Alzette River.

Then I will be returning to writing science fiction romance, with a novella for the Desert Breeze Publishing series BOREALIS. I'm looking forward to it. It will be a breath of fresh air after a year buried in heavy, edgy, dark medieval fantasy romance. This time, it will be heroic sci-fi action, a girl bounty hunter with a blaster gun, and a handsome rebel. Don't we love them most of all?

Left is the cover of Black Dragon, published in 2011 in the same series. The working title for the new story is RONIN (masterless samurai) and is scheduled for release in September 2013.

I wish you all a fantastic year for 2013, full of new experiences, new friends, new loves, new excitement, and above all happiness.

Find all my eBooks and paperbacks, including my 99cents titles at: 
AMAZON - B&N - ARE - SmashWords, Sony - Apple - Kobo, and all major retailers.

Vijaya Schartz
Romance with a Kick

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Boxed Sets – do they sell?


This month I have released a new boxed set called Mimi’s Mix. I selected a story from each of my three series’ - books that haven’t reached as many readers as I would like. I chose Partners from the Vegas Series, His Devious Angel, a full-length from the Angels with Attitudes Series and one of my novellas called He's Her from the Vicarage Bench Series.  I put the three into a boxed set and crossed my fingers.

This isn’t my first boxed set. I'd made another just before Christmas. In that case I took the three novellas from The Vicarage Bench Series, which hardly got any attention at all, and put them all together. Much to my surprise, the set has sold wonderfully. Of course the fact that I’ve priced it at $.99 might have made the difference. (Ya think?) And I did hesitate to price it so low.

I mean each of the novellas in the anthology was singularly priced at $.99and still are. Therefore you would think a fair price would be $2.99 which is an acceptable price for three separate stories. But after the set came off a promotion and took off, I just couldn’t put the price back up. The sales now have justified me keeping the price low and giving the readers a treat.

Not to mention that those book have reached thousands of more readers who hopefully will like my writing and search out my other work. I consider it a win-win situation. 

Mimi's Mix - A Book From Each Series!


Another win-win is the fact that there is a
going on right now! Mimi’s Mix is part of this promotion so for January 9th & 10th the set will be FREE along with novels from many of Amazon’s best-selling authors. Please visit and download to your heart's content!

I have a really fun blog that I love to work on called Believe! http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013


It’s no fun being sick on New Year’s Eve and starting a new year with a cold, running nose, cough, sore throat, and ear ache. It seems I’m allergic to holidays since the same thing happened on Thanksgiving and dragged for three weeks.

On the positive side, I’m stuck at home with plenty of free time to write. I wrote a sequel to CHRISTMAS BABIES. One more chapter to type and I’ll be ready to edit, polish, and format.

I also wrote my resolutions, only four easy ones to follow:

1-Email my children every night. A few lines to keep close contact, since they live so far and are always busy with work and family.

2-Write at least 200 words a day. In fact I wrote much more than that and I discovered that if I write every day the ideas flow and the story writes itself.

3- Spend at least 20 minutes at the gym from Monday to Friday. A famous psychologist said that it takes 21 days to build good habits. I badly need good habits! I manage to read when pedaling and even glance at the news on the TV monitor. Talk about efficiency.

4- Last but not least, the difficult resolution. NO SWEETS. And I mean it. No sweets at all. Since I have no will-power to resist sweets, I’m considering myself a ‘sweet-aholic’. Don’t touch, don’t sip, don’t even smell it. So far so good for the last five days. Now I hope I can keep up for the next 360 days. I asked my husband to eat all the chocolate in the fridge or throw it.  

CHRISTMAS BABIES, 99cents,  http://tinyurl.com/burgd9j

A heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas. But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Are you having a family get together for New Year’s Day? Football party? If so, you might want to download my cookbook, complete with menus to make meals easier.

Every region has foods common to that area. Since I live in the Southwest, specifically Texas, I grew up eating foods common to this part of the country. What’s known as “country cooking” or “homestyle” was just that. My mom had eight or nine menus which she seldom varied. Sunday was pot roast, Monday meatloaf, Tuesday meant chicken-fried steak, etc. The variations for her were on weekends. In winter, on Saturdays we had stew, but in summer we had pinto beans and corn bread. Sunday evening in winter might mean waffles instead of leftover pot roast. We joke about it now, but when I was growing up, I didn’t realize her unadventurous style of cooking was unusual.

After my Hero and I married, I discovered a love for cooking and trying new foods and new recipes. I collected cookbooks and recipes cut from newspapers, copied them from magazines, and saved those recommended by friends. I experimented with family recipes until I gave them my personal twist. My mom loved my cooking and the changes I had made to her family recipes. Fortunately, Hero's mom was a mediocre cook, so he loved anything I prepared. Also lucky for me, Hero was taught to eat whatever was put in front of him and be grateful.  You see one of the many reasons I call him Hero.

The exception was when we once had this neighbor who was always giving me recipes she assured me were terrific. She had a degree in home economics, so I thought she should be a great cook. Often when I tried her dishes, Hero would look up from his meal and say, “This is one of ____’s recipes, isn’t it?” He never criticized, but I knew he meant he hated the dish. It didn’t take long for me to realize our tastes and our neighbor’s were very different.

Cover featuring my art work

One day Hero and I decided to create a cookbook from some of the recipes I’d collected over the years. We get these strange ideas occasionally, but they’re harmless. Now our cookbook is available in print or e-book. The result is a list of eight complete menus featuring over fifty recipes. I’ll bet you’ve guessed the e-book’s price, haven’t you? ☺ Yes, it’s only 99 cents. One of the menus is the one we'll have for New Year's Day, with baked ham, sweet potatoes, and a super-easy peach cobbler. Yum!

Here are the buy links:

Smashwords for the E-book

Amazon for print and E-book $3.98 for print, $ .99 for E-book

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Thanks for stopping by!