Social Networking Works

Social Networking Works

By Tasha Turner

I’ve been reading a lot lately on why social networking is a waste of time for authors. But all the articles focus on short term sales of books.

Social networking is about building relationships it takes time. (tweet this)

Target Market Relationship Building

If you are an author your goal with social networking should be getting to know your target audience. Have them spend time on your blog. Have them interacting with you on Facebook and whatever the other social media platforms you use. Engage with them.

  • Don’t think so much about selling to them as becoming friends – seriously if you both like the same genre chances are you have lots of things in common
  • Really care about them and sharing things with them that are of interest to both of you. NO not personal stuff. Great articles by others, your comments on others articles, or your own personal expertise on topics of interest
    • Food
    • leisure activities
    • raising a family
    • how to get the best deals
    • where the best beer is
    • how you find the best books in your genre – who your favorite authors are
    • whatever it is that you and your target market are both interested in

Expert Bloggers

Make friends with expert bloggers in the area of interest to you and your target market. Comment on their blog. Ask questions in the comments that help trigger ongoing conversation. If you come across something of interest email it to the blogger with a note for why you thought of them. How will this help you?

  • They would be great guests on your blog and their followers might check your blog out
  • If you leave interesting comments they or their followers might check your blog out
  • They might have you as a guest on their blog getting you in front of a new audience

All of the above could lead to book/product/service sales. It increases your visibility. It helps you become an expert in the topic.

 In Conclusion

By treating your target market with respect and remembering you need them more than they need you they can become an incredible force that can make things happen in amazing and unexpected ways. It takes time to build that kind of relationship. But every author/artist who has taken the time has seen sales soar.

Questions for You

  • What interest do you have in common with your target market?
  • Do you blog about them?
  • Do you tweet/Facebook/Pin/etc. about them?
    • If so, do you feel it has helped connect you with your readers?
    • If not,why not?
  • Any questions for me?

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Liz Crowe Contest

Win a Kindle Fire Tablet, $100 Amazon Gift Card, Set of Autography-signed Stewart Realty eBooks (including ARC copy of Escalation Clause)

Fun, sexy, frustrating, evocative. Romance… for real life ~Liz Crowe (tweet this)

Do you love Liz Crowe’s books?  Have you joined the Romance for Real Life Facebook group?  Love the insider updates, sneak peek excerpts, and exclusive content?  Then this contest is for YOU! If you haven’t joined the group yet the link is at the bottom of this page. To learn more about Romance for Real Life check out Liz’s primer.

Liz Crowe and Tri Destiny Publishing/Sizzlin’ Books want your help to spread the word about Liz’s books to the masses and they’re going to reward you every time you do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

cover escalation clause Liz Crowe Contest

More about Liz Crowe

Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.

When she isn’t sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.

Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

Get to know Liz better by joining her online:

Facebook profile

Romance for Real Life Blog

Romance for Real Life FB group

Twitter @beerwencha2


Find her books on Amazon, ARe, and Barnes and Noble


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Social networking is building relationships

Social Networking is Building Relationships

By building a network you create something bigger than yourself. ~Tasha Turner (tweet this)


It is a wonderful feeling to put two friends in touch and see something wonderful happen. Be it a guest spot on a blog, a book cover, a beta reader, a new supporter, new friendships, I know my network is working. You just never know what the new person you meet might become to you:

  • A best friend
  • New publisher of your book
  • A new partner in business
  • Your best word-of-mouth customer
  • A lurker who you never get to know but who is suggesting you/your book/product quietly
  • Cover artist
  • Editor
  • Your enemy for life that makes you work harder to do better and prove them wrong (hey you never know… LOL)
442643366 d0144faf49 300x199 Social networking is building relationships

Image by wonder_j



If you spend all your time thinking “what will the person do for me” rather than “let’s be friends” and “what can I do for them” you will never find out what they could have been for you.

If you are always wondering what someone can do for you; you are confused about social networking. (tweet this)

If you are wondering how to bring your book/product/service up instead of just being part of the conversation you are confused. Let them find your books/etc. by following you to your blog.

Questions for You

  • What have you gotten from your online network?
  • What were you expecting from your network?
  • What techniques have you used to build your network that have worked?
  • What do you like the least about social networking?
  • Do you agree or disagree with me on social networking being about building relationships and the sales will happen organically?
Image by wonder_j under creative commons licence

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Teaching Target Marketing

Teaching Target Marketing

Teaching target marketing is hard work. Every time I think I’ve mastered how to explain it someone comes to me saying “I’m still confused”.

Today I’m looking for help from my readers. Here are my questions for you:

  • How do you explain what target market is to someone? (tweet this)
  • How do you research your target market?
  • Do you have any favorite websites on target marketing?
  • What is your book genre and who is your target market?


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Book Pitches

 Book Pitches

Today I worked with my publisher Tri Destiny Publishing, co-author Beth-Ann Mason, Author, and my clients on writing pitches for our books.

SatmarVampire 122x150 Book Pitches

cover by Covadonga Palacio Perez


The assignment was: write in 5 sentences or less:

  1. what’s key to your story,
  2. who your readers are,
  3. why it’s unique (aka: why will it sell).

My Pitch for The Satmar Vampire (WIP)

So many vampire books available it can be overwhelming, but what about Jewish vampires? Ones that can go out during the day, are immune to holy water, crosses, even being staked through the heart? Targeting men, women, Jews in their 30s and 40s, my book focuses on best friends turned in one moment from men fleeing a concentration camp into vampires. What if one goes on a killing rampage? How do you decide between human strangers and your best friend and the only other Jewish vampire?

Can you pitch your book in 5 sentences? Challenge your friends (tweet this)

Your Assignment

  1. Comment / critique my pitch
  2. Write a pitch for your book

cover artist,  Covadonga Palacio Perez.

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Among Others Book Review

Among others 95x150 Among Others Book ReviewAmong Others by Jo Walton

Review by Lisa A Alford

Well! This week I got to branch out into one of my favorite fields, Science Fiction!! The book I got to read was Among Others by Jo Walton. Jo….can I call ya Jo, Jo?  Ok THANKS! Jo spins a marvelous tale of  fifteen year old Mori, who has had a tragic past and is trying to bring her world back together.

Morwenna Phelps, aka Mori is a girl with a bit of a past. You guys know I am LOATHE to give away any good plot info, but for this book, maybe just a smidgen lol!  Mori knows Magic, Mori sees Fairies, Mori’s mom is a Witch and wants Mori to be just like her…

Mori is actually everything I wished and sometimes imagined I was at fifteen. She is smart, well read, quirky, and she won’t take no crap from nobody! She has her problems and a physical deformity, yes,  but she tries her best not to let it get in her way or stop her from being herself.

How did she get this deformity you ask? Glad you asked! It was a duel to the death… yup someone died and it was tragic and changed Mori’s outlook on life forever.  She left home, she met the father she never knew, and she went to a new school where, of course, she was not well treated.  OK! That’s IT! No more plot for you guys… READ the BOOK!! It is awesome! It will tug at your heartstrings…

Some of the things Mori has to deal with are everyday teen angst drama stuff.  Living in a dorm with many other girls who of course are posh and snotty, as most elite schools seem to be is not an easy task right?  She doesn’t fit into any cliché and she doesn’t want to.  At one point Mori feels the need to work some magic, and the results are astounding.  Jo Walton weaves, can I say weaves or is that cliche? Whatever, Jo weaves an enticing tale of life, death, fantasy, and a love of Sci Fi through Mori and several of her friends…

Now see what you guys DID!!??? You got me giving away more plot!! Well NO MORE!! This is truly a book worth reading… I am giving it my 5 star rating and hope to be able to read another one of Jo’s books VERY soon!!

You can find Jo Walton online at




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Social Media Coach, Need One?

Social Media Coach, Need One?

By Tasha Turner

I was asked to do an interview recently and one of the questions asked was why do authors need a social media coach. I found I had a lot to say on the topic. Some of this ties in with building online relationships. The best thing a social media coach can do is teach you the skills you need for building online relationships.

Do you need one?

I don’t actually know that it is. If you know who your target market is and you understand how to connect to your target market without spamming them then you don’t need a social media coach. A social media coach should put most of their focus on concepts and not the tools. Why? The tools change all the time. The concepts of networking, good manners, building a relationship, those don’t change as much. Many would have you believe they do. Marketing has changed. But networking that has not. The medium we use has.


Guest 1. If I was at your house for a dinner party and I started handing out marketing material for my business how would you and the other dinner guest feel? When my wall is covered with “buy my book, please” in many ways that is how many people feel – invaded.

Guest 2. If I’m at your house at a dinner party and start talking about a book I read that I think people at the table would love this would probably start a conversation about books we each love. This is not inappropriate behavior. When this kind of conversation happens on my wall I don’t feel like my space has been invaded instead I’m likely to be pulled into the conversation.

What a Good Coach Teaches

A good social network coach will teach you how to talk about your book and link to it without it feeling like an advertisement. They will teach you how to draw people to your blog where your book is on a sidebar, where you have a “my books” tab. They will teach you how to get your new following to be your sales force without actually doing anything other than writing good books, writing good blogs, and making people on your blog feel cared about.

It Takes Time

Authors have to understand that building these relationships take time. Just like any other relationship. They will not see immediate results. While you are building your platform you should be writing more books so you will have a backlist. If you are writing good books, properly edited, with good covers, and have created a good following, the pieces will begin falling together, and you can make a living as an author. Dean Wesley Smith wrote The New World of Publishing: Making a Living with Your Short Fiction which documents how many years and how much writing/sales you need to make to make a living wage writing. While his method may not work for everyone and he does not advocate doing a lot of social networking (note he writes a blog so he is doing social networking) it illustrates my point about taking time and having many books out there to make a career of writing.

There are No Shortcuts/No Silver Bullet

A good coach will help  you understand this so you stop wasting time and money. Putting out poor quality work decreases the chance people will buy your future works. Reputation and word-of-mouth matter. Word-of-mouth is still the best way to sell books. Social media is about building relationships in order to get word-of-mouth recommendations for your books. I say this a lot on Facebook “I’m interested in relationships with real people but not bots”.  Social media is supposed to be SOCIAL. If you are relying on automated tools to do the social for you you are failing in social media. Why? Because you are now a BOT. Are you interested in being in a relationship with HootSuite/tribbr/flavor of the month automated posting software? Well if you are not what makes you think I am? If you don’t have time for me why should I have time for you? I’m just asking?

Its critical that authors understand that everything they do on social media, from pictures they post to comments they make reflect them. If you are friending/being followed by readers think before posting or saying something and ask yourself “is this how I want to be seen?”. This does not mean you can’t be yourself. It just means you have to think a bit before posting things. You may need a totally private personal profile and a public author profile. But keep in mind what is on your private file might be shared or copied by a friend and attributed by you and show up on your public profile and done in a totally innocent way.

Questions for You

  • What annoys you most about things people post on Facebook or Twitter?
  • What automated tools that others use have you come to loathe?
  • Would you prefer Guest 1 or Guest 2 at your dinner table?
  • Do you see more people like Guest 1 or Guest 2 on your Facebook wall?
  • Do you see more people like Guest 1 or Guest 2 on your Twitter feed?
  • Do you wish you knew more about how to be more like Guest 1?
  • Do you wish you knew more about how to be more like Guest 2?
  • What shortcuts have you tried? Have any worked for you?
  • If you could have an hour with a social media coach what would you like to learn?
  • What would you like my next post to be about?

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Welcome Author Kimberly Kinrade

Welcome Author Kimberly Kinrade

by Tasha Turner

Today Kimberly is visiting us. Thanks for joining us. Give her a hearty welcome.

For 2 days only August 20- 21, 2012, Forbidden Mind by Author Kimberly Kinrade is on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon in honor of being featured on EReader News Today! Check out the book trailer on Youtube!

Forbidden Mind 100x150 Welcome Author Kimberly Kinrade

Forbidden Mind
By Kimberyly Kinrade


Sam thinks she’s months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.


Only Sam isn’t normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.


Drake wasn’t raised as a ‘Rent-A-Kid.’ He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.


When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn’t a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.


To survive, they must work together.


But will their powers be enough to save them before it’s too late?


Described as X-Men meets Alias but with a human trafficking twist (and more romance), fans of Katniss and The Hunger Games will find a new heroine to root for in the action-packed Forbidden Trilogy.



“…a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews


“Do not make any plans on the day you begin, as once you start, you will not be able to put it down.” – L.M. Stull, Author of A Thirty-Something Girl


“…hooked me in from the beginning.” – L.E. Manning


“This book was fantastic!” – Patti Larsen, Author of Family Magic


“Forbidden Mind is beautifully written and worth your reading time.” – BookWormSans


“Definite must read. For once you start, you simply can’t stop. 5 out of 5 stars!” – H. Badgwell

Forbidden Mind 100x150 Welcome Author Kimberly Kinrade


The door to the studio hung open just a crack, and angry screams assaulted us as we approached. Luke and Lucy looked to me as if I knew what was going on.
I shrugged my shoulders in the universal I’ve-got-no-freaking-idea way and crept to the door. I could have just slipped into their minds, but listening to people talk both out load and mentally was hard to track and gave me a pretty big headache. At that moment, what they were saying, or rather screaming, to each other was more interesting.

We didn’t want to budge the door and draw attention to ourselves, so Luke pushed his head through. He bobbed in and out so quickly I almost missed it. Being able to walk through anything was mighty handy at times.

I nudged him. “Well?”
”Higgins and Mr. K. They both look pretty pissed.”
They sounded it too. I’d never heard Headmaster Higgins yell at any of the teachers, or students for that matter.

He wasn’t a pushover by any stretch, but he’d always been levelheaded—until today.
Higgins shouted at Mr. K. “How could you enter her without permission from me? Do you realize what you’ve done? This could ruin the school and everything we’re doing here.”

Was Higgins talking about me?

Mr. K replied with the same volume and anger. I could imagine the vein over his left eye bulging. “You have no idea how talented that girl is! She should be at the best art school in the world, not hidden here like a freak of nature. It’s my job to make sure she has a future when she leaves this god-awful place, and I’m not letting you, or the people you work for, stand in my way. Or hers.”

They must have been talking about me, but it made no sense. Why didn’t Higgins want me entering the contest, and why did Mr. K hate this place so much?

“Don’t you mean, the people we work for? They employ us both, and you’d do well to remember that, Mr. Krevner. Their reach extends beyond the gates of this school.”

I couldn’t believe it. Was the headmaster actually threatening my art teacher? What was going on?

“You will pull her from that competition and clean up the mess you’ve made, or your days here are numbered. Am I making myself clear?”

Something crashed into a wall, and my friends and I jumped back in surprise.

“Everything is very clear. You use her and her gifts, rent her and all these kids out to the highest bidder as spies. You make billions on these Rent-A-Kids, as they call themselves. And now you want to snuff her chance to shine doing what she truly loves? No. If you want to destroy her dreams, you can do it yourself. I’ll have no part in it.”

Footsteps approached the door. I tripped back, grabbed Luke and Lucy, and the three of us ducked around the corner of the building. I peeked out just as Mr. K stormed from the studio, his face bright red and contorted in anger. Not his best look.

Headmaster Higgins followed him out moments later. He adjusted his navy blue suit and plastered a calm mask over his face. His midnight black skin did not reveal his recent spike in blood pressure the same way that Mr. K’s pasty complexion had, but the tight way he held his shoulders and the fists he made of his hands spoke to his anger.

Tears stung my eyes, and I swiped at them with the back of a hand still stained with splashes of paint. If they pulled me from the contest, hundreds of hours of hard work would be wasted, and my future would get flushed down the toilet. That couldn’t happen!

When both men were gone, the three of us snuck into the studio and closed the door behind us. My enthusiasm had drained out of me like dirty bathtub water. I sniffled and wiped my traitorous eyes again.

Lucy put her arm around me. “Cheer up, Chica. We’ll figure this out, I promise. They can’t keep you from this, not after all the hard work you’ve done. And you’ll be leaving for New York soon. Luke and I will join you there, and we’ll make all of our dreams come true, just watch!”

I tried to smile, for her sake, but the smile didn’t reach my eyes.
Luke rubbed my head as if I were his pet dog. “Where’s this painting I’ve been hearing so little about?”
I swatted his hand and couldn’t suppress a small, but genuine, smile. Luke could always cheer me: funny, gorgeous, and so much like a brother it sucked.
”Over here.” The canvas draped over my painting appeared undisturbed. A sigh of relief escaped me. At least nothing had happened to it. “Close your eyes.”
They both groaned but did as told.
Fear and nervousness buzzed through me as I pulled the canvas off. What if they hated it? What if everyone hated it and my dreams of being a real artist died before they could even be born? My lungs clenched with stale breath and I exhaled before I got too dizzy. “Okay, you can look.”

They stood there, jaws dropped, stunned into silence. They either hated it or totally loved it.
”Um, is this a bad or good silence?”
Lucy pulled her mouth closed and swallowed before she spoke. “O.M.G. Sam, this is the most incredible, unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. You painted this?” “You like it?”

Her mental voice slammed into me. ‘Would I lie to you? It’s amazing!’

Relief flooded me even as I laughed at her joke. I could read minds, sure, but she was the human lie detector. No one dared lie to her.

Luke hugged me and whispered into my ear, “I’m so proud of you, Sam. This is truly epic!”

We stood there staring for several minutes. This painting represented so much about me, my life, my future… everything. I hated to leave it even for a minute, but my stomach protested its neglect with a loud rumble.

Luke grabbed my hand. “Come on, let’s feed you. My treat.”

With the buzz of success filling me, and Luke’s hand in mind, I entertained a what-if. What if I could get past the whole brother thing with Luke? I took in his tall, well-defined frame, his dark hair and bright blue eyes. Gorgeous inside and out, but… nothing. No spark at all. Such a pity. Of all the guys at school, he was the only one I could even imagine being with, but I couldn’t force the chemistry and neither could he.

We walked to dinner hand in hand, and I consoled myself with the fact that I had the best friends a girl could want. Not a bad consolation prize after all, and worth a hundred boyfriends.

Kimberly 121x150 Welcome Author Kimberly Kinrade


Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children’s fantasy chapter books Lexie World, Bella World, and Maddie World all on Amazon.

She lives with her three little girls who think they’re ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they’re humans, her two cats who think they’re gods, and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.

 You can Find Kimberly online at:

For a list of her books, check out:


For a fun fan experience, join the team at I.P.I. at

For kids and parents of young kids, join the Lost Kids at

Twitter: @KimberlyKinrade

IPI Twitter: @IPIAcademy

Facebook: /KimberlyKinrade

IPI Facebook: /IPIAcademy


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Critics Might be Right

Critics Might be Right

Spent an hour today reading about Saving the Pearls Revealing Eden that really needed an editor or beta reader so it would not have been self-published. I then went through FB, Twitter, Goodreads, to remove Victoria Foyt from my friends list as the book was bad enough but her replies to her critics and the newspaper articles have made me not to want anyone to stumble upon her through me. Just wow.

I tell people not to get depressed over a few negative reviews but to consider if they have merit and whether it makes sense to edit current eBook or keep comments in mind for future. If over 100 Amazon reviewers are telling you that the book you wrote is offensively racist… Don’t write FB and blog posts telling them they are wrong. Find an editor and beta readers that specialize in books with people of color in them and take their advice seriously? Me? I would have advised her to pull the book, apologize, take a year or two off to write a different book, have it edited by professionals and beta readers hoping everyone had forgotten about her by the time the 2nd book in a different genre and different storyline came out. NOT respond and try to justify or explain herself.

What she has done was probably a writing career killer.

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Putting Others Down – Don’t Do It

Putting Others Down – Don’t Do It

1201945 stop sign Putting Others Down   Dont Do It

Stop – Think

by Tasha Turner

Daily tips brought to you by behavior I see going on around me. Its my way to share “don’t do this” or “do this in different way” Today’s daily tip is about putting people down/insulting others and why it will NOT help you build good relationships and the kind of social network platform that you want.

Insulting/putting down others:

  • makes you look small/mean/vindictive/angry especially if the person ignores/does not respond
  • prevents you from building positive relationships as those are not built on negative behavior
  • makes people wonder when you are going to turn on them
  • gives people a reason to wonder if they should trust you if you did not know the whole story and it turns out you were wrong because it is clear you don’t bother to find out the facts
  • lumps you in with others if you jump on the “bandwagon” of someone who regularly insults/turns on people/does not wait to get the whole story before insulting people you get slotted with them in people’s mind and people stop taking you seriously

Which of the following do you want to be known as?

  • As the go to person?
  • The person that makes people smile?
  • The person that makes people laugh?
  • The person that makes people think?
  • The person people recommend others to?
  • The person people don’t trust/avoid/unfriend/block/warn others of?

My questions for you

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree with me that putting people down or insulting them affects your social network platform/building relationships?
  • Are there times when it is appropriate to put someone down?
  • Have you been put down? How did you feel? Did anyone come to your aid?
  • When you see someone putting someone else down what is your 1st thought?
  • Have you ever apologized to someone for following the mob?
  • Has someone ever apologized to you for following the mob?

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Who is Tasha Turner?

Who is Tasha Turner?

Age: Under 50 … LOL don’t you know it’s not polite to ask a lady her age!

Where are you from: Tasha (Malka Esther) Lennhoff’s imagination

A little about yourself `ie your education Family life ect:
Tasha Turner was born full grown as it is a pen name. It also became my professional name overnight. The Satmar Vampire may turn out to be a bit controversial in the Orthodox Jewish community. I thought taking a pen name might be a good idea to hide my identity. Unfortunately I am no good at keeping secrets so within a month everyone knew Tasha Turner was Tasha (Malka Esther) Lennhoff. But I had also made almost 500 Facebook friends. My Lennhoff friends would talk to Lennhoff in chat about personal things and at the exact same time talk to Turner about writing and book publishing. So it was clear that I was meant to be Tasha Turner now that I am working again. And that is the story of how I came to be.


Read more of the interview at the Inspiration Forum

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Help Me Read Lumen

Help Me Read Lumen

My friend Joseph Eastwood has been promising to let me read his soon to be published book Lumen for a while. Its on my Goodreads “to be read” list even. Recently he has announced that he will release it as soon as his Facebook fan page Joseph’s Writing has 2,000 likes. His needs less than 100 likes. I asked if I could do a spotlight on him to help him get those likes so I can get my hands on his book. Below is more information about Joseph and his book.


Lumen2 final Help Me Read Lumen

Lumen by Joseph Eastwood

Lumen is the first book that I will self-publish, the first in a series of four books, and they follow the story of Daniel Satoria. Daniel is not like every other kid that goes to Croft’s Academy, first off, he’s being pushed to go there by his mother, and then secondly, he doesn’t come from money, so he doesn’t have the latest fashions, or technologies. Daniel is a second class citizen to the students there, but the head teacher takes a shine to him, he knows something, he senses it, the untapped power lying dormant inside Daniel.

I kind of hate mentioning that he goes to a school because there are so many stories out there in the YA market about these “magic schools” etc. and it’s also a little bit of false advertising, as the book is not about this wonderful school full of magic and mystery, and the school is the setting for the first book alone, so don’t get too attached by the Greek inspired pillars set outside the academy doors, and how appealing it all might all seem at first… because this isn’t a life you’d want to lead… just one you want to observe from a far.

The story is full of drama, and written in third person so that I can show the other characters off as well… some very exciting and very powerful character, might I just add. I don’t really want to give too much away about Lumen, but I’m just so excited to share stuff.

It’s all set on an island, Templar Island, and it’s cloaked, so that nobody can go to the island, and nobody from the island can go off it, that’s how they contain the island’s energy sources, and by energy I mean, the magical kind that they keep from the rest of the world! *evil glare* how could they keep all of that good stuff from us? It’s not fair.

Who knows, there could be an island, and we’re just unaware of it… just like we’re unaware of Templar Island. Hmm. I promise that I’m not going crazy. Or maybe I’m just psychic and telling Daniel’s story as it unfolds in real time… if so, watch out, because there’s a war coming, a war much bigger than what Templar Island can hold.


Daniel brushed her hand away from his chest. He unzipped his jacket and threw it to the ground, and then took his t-shirt off. As he turned to face Mia, she could see his skin glowing white, and as she pressed her hand up against his chest again, she felt the goose pimples bubbled over his skin. He shivered and rolled his shoulder blades, he rolled them again, and out popped two fully formed wings. The feathers were darker in colour; it had been a while since he’d projected that much energy out of his body.

Mia closed her mouth and gulped. “You’re an angel,” she said. “Am I dead? Are you taking me to heaven? Did I jump?”

“No, what are you talking about,” he laughed, “I’m not an angel, or from heaven, but I said I could do special stuff, stuff like this.”

“Oh, I—I—I knew that, yeah, you are pretty special.”

“The first time we met you were ready to jump. Would you have gone through with it?” Daniel asked.

Mia’s smile faded and she looked away, anywhere but into his eyes. “I don’t know.”

“We can do it now, we can fall.”

She shook her head. “But I’m—No—I’m scared of heights.”

“Then it’s lucky for you that I can use these,” he said, opening his wings to their full span, they were almost twice the size of his height.

Mia took a deep breath. “Will they carry us both?” she asked, biting the inside of her lip.

Daniel grinned, and took her hand, pulling her onto the ledge and into his chest. “Let’s find out.”

Add Lumen to your Goodreads ‘to-read’ list

About Joseph

Joseph Eastwood is the eldest of five siblings, and he lives and grew up in Lancaster, England.

He has always had a giant creative connection in his life, from drawing and writing to having an eclectic taste in music and reading a wide range of books, which he hopes reflects in his own writing. He also loves watching sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy based TV shows and films. Among some of his favourites are Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood. As well as those he loves dramas, like The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives.

Joseph is either busy doing edits and writing, or he’s on his Facebook page being a professional procrastinator. He lives for creativity, striving to be different and thinking up new hoops for his characters to jump through.

Where can you find Joseph?

Joseph Eastwood’s Blog

Joseph’s Writing Facebook page

Joe Eastwood on Twitter

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There for You Giveaway

TFY CoverPhoto There for You Giveaway

Let me start by saying, thank you so very much for having me on your blog today! I am super excited to be here and announce a few things going on over at There for You Editing Services. And of course, when excited about something, I give something away. Makes sense, right? Ok, not really, but that’s how it’s going to be. First, my news!

We have a few new things going on over at There for You. The first thing … lower prices! I now charge only $1.25 per page, in Word doc (12pt, 1.5 spaced) format. The second … I now use beta readers, at no additional cost to you! I have 3 trusted beta’s that I use, and pay for you. What does this mean, you might ask? Well, after I edit the book I send it off to the beta’s. They read over the book, looking for anything that might have been missed, because unfortunately we all make mistakes, and they point out any inconsistencies in flow or story. The beta’s have all been readers, and reviewers, for years … the type of people you want reading the book. So basically, you will have extra sets of eyes looking over your book.

You are probably wondering what type of edit I do. When I edit I am looking for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure errors, as well as the overall “flow” of the story. I never make a major change without first discussing with the author … who I like to stay in close contact with during the time of edit. Also, in addition to all the above, during the time your book is being edited, your cover photo is There for You’s profile picture and your Facebook author page is mentioned almost daily … in hopes of moving some more traffic to your page.

IMG 0033 There for You Giveaway   Well, now that that’s out of the way … the giveaway! Here’s what I am donating to the giveaway! First is an adorable bag, the perfect size to use as a Kindle or Nook holder!

IMG 7258 There for You Giveaway

See how much it fits the There for You and book world?! Well at least my world with the coffee and read :))

I’m also donating two bookmark/business magnet combo’s.

IMG 0635 There for You Giveaway

In addition to the item’s I’ve donated, many of the authors I’ve edited for have been kind enough to donate!

So without further ado … the rafflecopter! Oh, and if you’re interested in using the editing services, or finding out more, I can be contacted at or found on our Facebook page There for You Editing. Also, on the Facebook page, is covers photos of a few of the books I’ve edited. Thank you!

A room without books is like a body without a soul. -Cicero
Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Book Reviewers and Authors Get Along?

Can Book Reviewers and Authors Get Along?

The following posts led to my writing this one.

  1. Ritesh Kala starts it off with I am a blogger, and I am pissed! #1
  2. Natalie Star responds with Why Natalie Star is PISSED
  3. Ritesh Kala follows with I am a blogger, and I am pissed! #2
  4. Tara Chevrestt responds with I’m an Author and I’m Pissed
  5. Natalie Star responds again with A great debate – reviewers authors
  6. Ritesh Kala’s finale I am a blogger, and I am Pissed #3

I wondered after reading all the posts if book reviewers and authors could get along. Both sides have been so angry lately. The above posts were tame compared to some of the things going on recently. Authors claiming they are being bullied by reviewers leaving 1-3 star reviews. Reviewers feeling abused by authors and wondering if they want to continue reviewing books or limiting who they accept books from.

  1. Can the situation be changed? I suspect it is wishful thinking on my part that it can be. If both sides realized that they are professionals and behaved as professionals the situation would change. It would have to. Professionals don’t get in too many online fights as it shows them in a bad light and is bad for business.
  2. Should it be changed? Obviously I think it should. It would be good for everyone if the focus was back on books and not drama.
  3. Do readers care how either side behaves? Book sales show that readers care how authors behave. It is less clear if readers care how reviewers behave.  I have no data one way or another on whether book review sites have less hits a few weeks/month after they have behaved badly.

The complaints I heard about the series of posts I’m responding to was that there was so much anger it was hard to hear the message. My goal is to take each point that was made and rewrite it without anger as I don’t yet have a book out and while I review books so far I’ve had no problems from anyone I’ve reviewed a book for and we don’t yet have submission guidelines so most books I’m reviewing are ones I’m reading on my own or from “friends” on Facebook groups or Twitter.

Reviewers (Recasting of Ritesh’s points)

1. Read the review policy It is important to read the review policy on book review blog sites and to make sure your book falls into the category of books they review. If your book is not a fit you should move on to another book review site and not waste your and their time.

2. Draft personal review requests People like to feel respected. If their name is mentioned on the site it is best to start your query with “hey x and not hey you”. Do not send out batch review emails as this decreases your chance of any of the reviewers choosing to review your book. Think about how you feel about spam email. This is how you make reviewers feel when you send out batch emails instead of taking the time to personalize and send an email to each one of them.

3. Don’t attach your books with the review request Sending your book with your request is seen as arrogant on the part of reviewers. You may not mean it that way and may just be trying to be helpful but the perception is that you assume they will be accepting your book for review.

4. Don’t assume your book is the best thing since sliced cheese It is good to be excited about your book. But you should never assume you are the next great best selling author. That is again seen as arrogant. Its okay to say “I think you might enjoy my book” but to say “My book is the best book since JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings” is just wrong and going to turn most reviewers off. Remember this is a sales pitch be reasonable. You want to interest them in your book. Talk a little bit about why the book is the kind of book they like, read some of their reviews of similar books and share a scene or two (if guidelines permit) that will whet their appetite for more.

5. Not giving out review copies Never, ever expect your reviewer to pay for a copy of your book. They are doing you a favor by reading and reviewing your book. Please respect their time and ask what format they would like the book in and if possible provide it to them. If you cannot provide the book in their preferred format let them know what formats you can provide it in and  ask which of them they would prefer and how they would like to receive it.

6. Put out a good book If you know your book is full of editing problems and the cover is not well done I do not advise asking book reviewers to do a review as they will give it a bad review. If you want a good review of your book you need to put out a professional book, one that has been edited and has a professional cover. If you are unable to do that then don’t ask for reviews as you may be better off without them. When you can afford those things redo the book and then ask for reviews.

7. Help the blogs in return It is important that you promote your review/interview/author spotlight. If you don’t know how to do this ask the blogger for advice. Or check our my post on FB Pitches and TwitPitches. Make sure you comment and respond to comments – not necessarily on reviews of a book as we know you should NOT comment on reviews (more about that later). But on Interviews and Author Spotlights you need to go and check the post regularly for comments or even better thank the host for having you and subscribe to comments. That way you can respond to comments in a timely manner.

8. “Demanding” reviews When a book reviewer does agree to review your book that does not mean they will get to it tomorrow or next week. You may want to ask for a time frame when they first agree but keep in mind life happens. They may have a large back list of books to get to before yours. Many have full-time jobs and families. They do book reviews as a hobby. Constantly checking in with them may cause your books to end up off their list. Its like when you volunteer to do something and then someone in the family gets sick but someone on the volunteer committee keeps calling. Does that make you want to help out more or less?

9. Book pricing This one I’m not sure how to address as I disagree a bit with Ritesh on. I don’t think self-published authors should price their very 1st novel at 9.99 but I also don’t think they have to price it at 2.99. And if someone is a new author with a publishing firm they have zero say what the book is priced at so… Think about your pricing if you are able to set it, think very seriously about it if you have any say in it.

10. Going to war It looks bad all around to be fighting with each other. Authors please don’t respond to bad reviews and don’t attack bloggers/reviewers it will only harm you. You will have a harder time finding bloggers/reviewers for your books. Most readers will watch you as you escalate in the fight and even if they supported you in the beginning they will see your behavior and decide not to buy your books. Just walk away for everyone’s sake.

11. Twitter Twitter is a tool for networking for building relationships with people not bots. If all people see you do is drop links to your book and book reviews they will feel spammed and either unfollow you or simply ignore you.

12. No means No If blogger/book reviewer says no don’t keep asking them to review book. Why would you want someone to read your book who has already told you they are not interested? Do you think you’ll get a good review from them in the end?

13. Behaving on blog tours It is important on blog tours to get your stuff to hosts in a timely manner, respond to emails/requests, and reread point #7.

14. Commenting on blogs If you are interviewed or a blogger does an author spotlight it is important you respond to comments on the blog. For more information reread point #7

15. Replying to ‘bad’ reviews Never ever ever do this… did I mention NEVER. I’m not sure there is a gentler way to say this. Responding to bad reviews usually makes you look worse. Explaining to someone who read your book how they misunderstood you … well I’ll leave you to think about how you feel about someone telling you why you are wrong about what you think about a book/movie/song/politics/religion. The conversation rarely stops at the one comment you make. The longer the discussion goes on the more likely you are to look like a bully or a jerk. After getting a bad review go directly to Amazon, do not stop at Go, do not collect $200, look up your favorite authors, look at how many 1 & 2 star reviews they have and the negative things people say about them. If possible go to living authors that you like. Notice they are not responding to the negative reviews. Pick any of the top 50 best selling books at the moment you will find they have plenty of negative reviews. Smile to yourself. Congratulate yourself for being in such good company. You’ve made it as an author. Go do something to pamper yourself, ice cream, a beer, go to the gym, the spa, celebrate with a friend. Yes you heard me celebrate instead of responding. You are in the company with great authors the best of the best what’s not to celebrate?

Authors (Recasting of Natalie & Tara’s points)


1. Have an easy to find and read review policy Natlie simply asks book review blogs have an easy to find and follow review policy. It is difficult to follow the review policy if you can’t find it. Some review policies are hidden among irrelevant information. Information about your favorite books and other information about yourself belongs in your “about me” page rather than on your review policy page/section.

Next week Natalie and Ritesh will help me create a policy for Tasha Turner Coaching. We are going to do the creation of our policy as a blog post. It will be interesting to see how a reviewer versus an author will recommend I write my policy based on my list of what we accept.

2. Have your name easy to find so authors can personalize their query letters Natalie again asks book review bloggers to have their name easy to find on the review policy. If your name is not all over your blog but some other name is don’t be surprised when the query letter is addressed to the name most used on your blog. This is why it is so important that your name be included with your review policy. So authors can address their query to you and not your character or pet.

3. Don’t attack books makes sense I don’t think this needs a comment from me

4. How should we describe our book as obviously we think it is good? Could some book reviewers give Natalie some ideas of how to describe books that is not arrogant? Is it ok to say “I think you might like my book because… “? or should they simply say “my book matches your review criteria”?

5. Agrees that books should be given to reviewer I think her main point needs no clarification

6. Put out a good book I like that Natalie suggests if you don’t have money for an editor find beta readers. I would also recommend teaming up with another author (edit each other’s work) or finding a critique group. And then have beta reader(s) read over your work before releasing it to the public.

7. Help the blogs in return Natalie and I agree that it is important to promote any blog you are guest/etc. on.  Natalie makes a good point that sometimes the author being “in the house” can hinder dialogue. My response to that is if in doubt check with the blogger rather than just not responding to comments so the blogger knows that you are not just blowing them off.

8. Demanding reviews Natalie agrees with Ritesh here so nothing really for me to say other than remind you to treat reviewers well as they are doing you a favor during their free time.

9. Book pricing Natalie reminds Ritesh that if the book is put out by a publisher the author has little to no say in the price. She also points out that it cost money to get a book published and that people want to get paid for the work they do as well as recoup any expenses they had in publishing the book.

10. Going to war Natalie agrees that authors should walk away. Tasha would like to remind reviewers that giving a bad review does not mean you have to be snarky or attack the author personally. Everyone needs to behave like professionals or the readers will stop trusting reviewers also. Readers do not find our wars entertaining.


6. Readers want a good book but they want it free. I’m not sure how to gentler this one. There is a lot of debate right now over pricing. Are readers willing to to pay for books or do they just want them free? How much are they willing to pay for all the work and money authors put into their books? Good questions.

7. Readers want us to promote their blogs or at least our post on their blog I think the problem here comes down to the need for people to promote and comment any time they are on a blog regardless of whose blog it is or why (except reviews where authors should promote but stay away unless asked by reviewer to comment). We have to work together and promote each other.

8. Yes bloggers have a backlist If they are going to accept and review books be honest with the authors, don’t tell them their book is next if you are going to read something else or let them know if the order has changed. If you have decided not to post a negative review let the author know that. Communication goes a long way.

9. Book pricing As has been stated above authors may not have any say over pricing of a book. If they have a publisher even a small publisher the publisher has the ultimate say. Some small publishers can have as little partnership with authors as the Big 6.

10. Wars It takes both parties to have a war. Both sides need to try to avoid the behavior that leads to online wars between authors and reviewers.

My closing thoughts

So what do you think? Can we get along? Can we change the way we all behave? Can we change the world?

Share, commit, let’s change the world one person at a time. You can make a difference.

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Covert Mission: Under Cover Cop

Covert Mission: Under Cover Cop by Lorraine Nelson

Review by guest blogger Rebbe Landers

Book Blurb

‘“Enjoying the party?” he asked.

“Yes. There’s certainly a good turn-out.”

The band struck up a waltz to slow things down and he rose to his feet, holding out a hand. She knew that being held in his arms was dangerous, but without a doubt, it would be delightful, too. She took his hand and allowed him to lead her to the makeshift dance floor.

Dancing with Blake had every one of her hormones on full alert. His moves were sure and masterful, leading her around with no trouble to follow his steps. She felt as if she glided on air, her feet barely touching the floor.

When the next song proved even slower, he held her so close she could feel every beat of his heart as it thundered in her ear. Blake was a good head taller than she was, her cheek coming to rest against his chest as they danced. All her life she’d hated being short, until she’d found the perfect fit in Blake’s arms. With him, she felt petite and cherished.’

The Review

This is the second book in the Thunder Creek Ranch Series. And I loved this story as much as the first one. It was fun to see how the relationship between Sam and Blake progressed. The sexual tension emitted from the two was very hot and steamy, making me want a cowboy Mountie of my own. Now whenever I see an RCMP officer for some reason unknown to me (Thank you Lorraine) my eyes automatically stray downward to see if this particular officer is as well-endowed as Blake is in this book. I do however find myself speeding a bit more than normal on the off chance I could get pulled over by a scrumptious man like this one.

I give this story a big FIVE STARS for the entertainment and laughter I enjoyed throughout the whole book and as with the first book I had to re-read this just to enjoy the spirit that Sam has and the enjoyment of the give and take between the two as Blake tries to convince Sam that she needs to give them a chance to see where they could go, he knows what he wants, but she isn’t sure of herself or her feelings about not being able to be as much as what she thinks he wants and needs. But then isn’t that just typical of most of us women if you ask me at least.


LorraineNelsonBanner Covert Mission: Under Cover Cop

About Lorraine Nelson

Lorraine Nelson lives in rural New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada. Always a bookworm, she’s read many novels of romance and mystery over the years, finally deciding to put her pen to work at writing one. “To write romantic suspense is my dream job, although my mom says I was born with an avid imagination and pencil in hand, crafting stories from an early age.”

I am mother to three wonderful boys, grandmother to four fantastic grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters. I live alone with an independent yet affectionate tomcat. Now my children have grown and have lives of their own, I have time to indulge my passion for writing. When not at the computer, you can find me spending time with family, gardening, baking and, of course, reading.

LorraineNelson 147x150 Covert Mission: Under Cover CopThis is me. This is who I am and I’m loving it!

Lorraine Nelson can be found at:


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