Planning The Next Challenge – April’s A to Z Challenge Is Coming Soon!

#MarWritingChallenge is almost over, and it is time to prepare for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, that is held every year here. There is still time to sign up for the Challenge!

In the middle of all of the craziness of getting ready to publish my book, however, I missed yesterday’s Theme reveal, where we were supposed to reveal our theme for the month. Actually, there is no theme required, but I highly recommend that if you interested in participating, that you should pick a theme.

In honor of the release of the new book, and because my head is already filled with an abundance of information on the subject, I decided to dedicate this month to herbs and spices. Here is the official poster for this blogs A to Z Challenge theme:

Herbs and Spices: The A to Z Challenge Theme

At the end of the challenge, I will put that little exercise together into a pdf and give it away to subscribers of this site! (No worries, a subscription option will be added this week, this site is somewhat under construction, but I am working my little fingers off to get it done before the challenge begins).

And do not forget to sign up for next months writing challenge, as we continue to thrive to writing more than 500 words per day – yes, writing on your blog for the A to Z challenge counts for that! Find out more here . Next months leader will be a wonderful lady, to who I will introduce you to shortly. She just released a novel, and it is on the Amazon Bestseller List! Yay!

Happy Writing!

P.S. Stay tuned for all of the wonderful things that are happening here at Avalon Media. I am giving away tons of stuff over the next few weeks and month, and have more book announcements to make, so take advantage of the form below and sign up for regular updates.  Hugs and blessings! 

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7 Sites To Promote Your Book Cheaply Or Free

7 Sites To Promote Your Book Cheaply Or Free.jpg

We all want our books to get good reviews, rank higher on Amazon and get the buzz going, no matter if we write non-fiction e-book or the next epic novel. Having a limited time free book promotion can help you raise your ranking on Amazon, and you can utilize the following book promotion sites to help you even further along. Exposure and traffic to your book will bring future sales, so take advantage of this type of book promotion.
Some of these require you to register, some offer premium services while others are a little selective and limited to a specific range of genre.

Check them out:

Awesome Gang 
Book Goodies
Free Book Dude 
Pixel of Ink
E-Book Hunter 
FK Books And Tips
Published.com 

 

 

Looking for some more info on the subject of cheap or free book promotion? Check out this book, available on Amazon right now:

Playing With Fire – A Haiku

Haiku: Playing With Fire

burning on my tongue
playing with fire, so much fun
creative pleasure

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Speaking of fire and spices, I am happy to announce the pending  release my newest book, “Mixing Herbs – A Flavorful Guide To Creating Awesome Herb And Spice Mixes”, on April 2nd! It will be available on Amazon! Here is a sneak peak at the cover.

Mixing Spices by Claudia H. Blanton

Book Review: Getting Things Done by David Allen (2015 Edition)

Getting Things Done - A Book Review

Title: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author: David Allen

Genre: Self-Help

Publisher: Penguin Group

Release Date: March 17th, 2015

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Getting Things Done is the classic under the organizing books, the most effective system for those who have to deal with a lot of incoming information and are having a hard time with how to process it all.
GTD as many lovingly refer to this system, has helped many since its original publication, me included, and I was very excited to see that there was an updated version of the same book. Just as before, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to get back into control of their incoming information. This is not just for the high-level executive, but also very valuable for the small business owner, to the housewife running her home. If you do not have the original book, get the new version now

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review)

Friday Gratitude: 5 Reasons To Be Grateful – A Celebrate The Small Things Post

Be Grateful! Five Reasons Why You Should Be!

I found myself looking forward to this post “Celebrate The Small Things” (via dear Lexa Cain)  post this week because there is so much to celebrate!

1. The #MarWritingChallenge is going great! Everyone who is participating is doing such a great job, and I am honored that I am the one to guide them through it this month. This is definitely something I will do again in the near future.

2. Avalon-Media – our soon to be new business adventure is beginning to take shape. I will not reveal too many details, as these can and may change a little, but essentially speaking, we will be offering our own e-books, positive resources and down the line some e-courses. By we – I mean, my husband and I.

3. I am getting better at managing my dogs severe allergies. Well, only one of them has allergies, the other one suffers from anxiety – always has – as a result of the shelter and the too early separation from her mother. My allergy-dog had to be switched to home-cooked foods and has to stay away from even the tiniest flea – which is a chore in Florida. But we are getting there.

4. I love creating posters, infographics and all of that stuff via canva.com. I have been learning a few things from their extensive tutorials, as well as some wonderful people who share their thoughts via YouTube, and I love creating with it. So no more boring pictures!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Looking forward to reading what you were grateful for!

Book Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

Closer Than You Think - A Review

Title: Closer Than You Think

Author: Karen Rose

Publisher: Signet

Release Date: February 3rd, 2015

Rating: 5/5 Stars

This book left me breathless. This is a very fast paced, romantic mystery that had me from the moment I began reading it. First of all, I was impressed by Karen Rose’s tight writing style, that precisely seemed to hit the right notes. No lengthy, unnecessary prose, but filled with so much detail, that I was impressed that she was able to keep all of the details and plot twists, as well as the large amount of characters in perfect order.

Filling up 678 pages with nothing but a dense plot, that had the perfect amount of twists, she managed to create believable characters that came to life on the page. The two main characters were memorable and the romance not rushed, even though the story on takes place over a short period of time,  yet somehow she managed to make the quick connection plausible.

This was my introduction to this Author, but I am very much looking forward to reading a lot more of her. Best book of 2015 so far.

(Disclaimer: I did not receive this book from a publisher or Author. I purchased this book for private consumption)

Three Reason I Like NetGalley – And The One Thing I Do Not Like

Professional Reader - NetGalley

I have been reviewing for NetGalley for since February 2014 and, for the most part, I have really enjoyed the process
Reading is an essential part of becoming a better writer, and dissecting what you read is even a better way to learn about the craft of writing. Reviewing books is a wonderful opportunity to integrate both while driving traffic to this space. A win – win situation.

Dover Books

Here are the three things that I really enjoy about NetGalley:

1. The sign-up process is easy and there are no special hurdles to jump over.

Whether you are a blogger, a professional reviewer on YouTube, a librarian or have a bookstore, there are virtually no limitations to whom can sign up for an account with NetGalley. Your requests to view the books, however, are, for the most part, subject to the approval of the individual publisher, and each publisher can set their own requirements.

2. The books are of the highest quality.

These are not books from the darkest corner of the publishing world, no this service is utilized by the biggest names in publishing (take Dean Koontz for example, I had a chance to read his newest book before publication via NetGalley), to independent publishers. Examples of publishing houses that work with NetGalley are Kensington, HayHouse, Harlequin Romance, and many more.

3. The variety is outstanding.

If you have a niche blog and want to review only specific types of books, you will also find your fill there. I have found everything from books on architecture and photography to business and self-help as well as a variety of genre fiction, from romance to erotica and mysteries.

The one issue I have with NetGalley is that the format in which you can read the books is either Kindle or download on an Adobe Digital Reader. Adobe Digital is rather buggy with any book that has visual content, and it does not save your spot. If you are considering to review for NetGalley, save yourself a lot of trouble by syncing your kindle app with NetGalley, and skip reading it on the web (which I personally would prefer, if it wasn’t for the bugs).
I highly recommend, for additional blog content consider the at least occasional review of a book and to do it via NetGalley.

Happy Reviewing!

(Disclaimer: I did not get commissioned, nor compensated for this review)

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