This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:
I have been lucky to find and learn from many teachers, who would probably not consider themselves such. People who are successful and empowering in their own way, and many from very different backgrounds, careers, and interests.
Every once in a while some of these teachers choose a platform to connect, and to give their knowledge openly and
for many to see. This May, many of these teachers have decided to give some of that knowledge for free – to all of us via the exciting platform: Creative Live.
This month, the learning platform Creative Live will share with us a motivational and inspiring video every day, featuring
the most interesting, creative and innovative people of our time.
This is just a small portion of the people participating. I know that I am excited to experience these interviews – which can
be watched throughout the day and month at your leisure – and see what I can learn from them. These are all Greats in their field, from Academy Award Winners, and Guinness Book Record Holders, to self-made billionaires.
Throughout this month, I will be posting about the most profound lessons that I have learned from this video series. I hope
you will join me here, and on the Creative Live platform for profound insights, that might be exactly the information
you need to reach your goals and dreams.
Question: Which person on the list are you the most excited about watching this month? Share your favorite in the comment section.
I am looking forward to hearing from you
I am volunteering myself for an experiment.
No, not what you are thinking, there are no taking weird pills, or sacrificing some part of my dignity (okay, that might not be entirely possible to avoid). I am talking about reading some books, doing what they say, and giving you the results.
To be more specific, I am speaking about inexpensive ebooks specifically written to increase blog traffic. I am not doing this out of entirely selfish and obvious reasons – what blogger does not want more traffic, right? – but I am also doing this because I want to dissect the following:
1. Do those quickly written Kindle e-books actually provide real information (more about that subject, and the people that are trying to sell us writer’s, bloggers and internet marketers write about as possible and profitable)?
2. Can they translate to real valuable information for the marketing purposes of writers, artists, print on demand/product on demand designers, and other creatives ( so basically YOU)?
3. Are they all saying the same thing, or do they differentiate in content, so that it makes sense to purchase more than one of them?
4. Should you disregard them completely as humbug?
The 5 books that I am going working through – one a month, beginning Oct. 1st, are:
4. Pinterest for Food Bloggers: How to Grow Your Following and Increase Blog Traffic (markets itself to be useful for any blogger) by Mary Loudermilk
In that exact order.
How this will work:
I will read through the book during the assigned month, putting in practice the advice given, unless it sounds like something I do not agree with, and I will tell you the results. Of course, I can not give you all of the details of the advice that each book gives – you got to buy (or rent for free) the book for that, that would not be fair to the Author, but I can and will give you the answers to the 4 questions I stated above. All reviews and thoughts will be posted no later than the 2nd of the following month, so the review dates are:
Book one: review posted on Nov. 2nd
Book two: review posted on Dec. 2nd
Book three…. well you get the idea.
I hope you will join me, and we will all learn something from this experiment. I sure hope that they do what they promise. Looking forward to sharing that with you.
Author: Lisa Gardner
Release Date: January 4th, 2014
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Seldom does a book get my attention as deeply as Lisa Gardner’s work “Fear Nothing” had managed to do. Absolutely chilling, and superbly written, Mrs. Gardener used a very unique approach to tell this tale, by switching between third and first person, giving us a unique insight into the thought process of a seemingly straightforward, yet interestingly complicated, main character named Dr. Adeine Glen.
From the outside, Dr. Glen is a very sophisticated, highly functioning adult with a rare genetic infliction – she can not feel pain. Yet she manages her day to day life well, even if, added to her already disabling disease, she has not one, but two serial killers in her family.
When another serial killer surfaces, she works together with Boston Detective D.D. Waren to catch this madman.
The twists and turns of this book left me breathless and rooting for people I thought at first as evil, every page a surprise. Even though this book is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone book, as I have done. But be warned, once you read one book by Lisa Gardner, you will want to come back for more.
(Disclaimer: This book was NOT given to me by a publisher, as some of my other books are, in return for an honest review. )
your touch warms the soul
my heart sings in your presence
every day a gift
Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015
I recently wrote about the Royal Holiday collection, a set of four romance novels from publisher Tule Publishing, but not about the last three books of the series. A sense of warmth is the overall emotion one should take from this series, books that feature strong women, and caring men. If you are looking to lose yourself in short romance novels, you should read the entire series, they are really worth it.
The titles in the series are:
The Cinderella Princess (Royal Holiday Book 1)
A must have series for the fan of contemporary romance
A Treacherous Trader (Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries Book 4) is available on Amazon in Kindle Format
I am very exited to present to you today an interview with a dear and wonderful fellow Author, Devon Henry. I recently read her book “Kaijin”, – about which I will post an review later this week – as well as her work on Medium, so I really wanted to share this interesting writer with you. You should really check out her work, but I am going to let her tell you more about herself and her creative endevours.
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your current project:
Well thank you very much for this opportunity! I’m from Los Angeles, I have three dogs. I love avocado and Jurassic Park and I hate kale. I have watched all seven seasons of 30 Rock more than anyone probably should.
Currently I am working on my first full-length novel which I hope to have out later this year. It’s science fiction geared towards younger readers and I’ve been working on it since late 2011. I’m very, very excited for people to finally read it.
I am looking forward to it (and I hear you about kale). What brought you to writing? Did you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my life. As a child I wanted to be a paleontologist and make movies and study different cultures and religions, but there’s always been this caveat that I would write about it too. My profession has always been up in the air but there was never a question about writing.
I really have my parents to thank for that as well. They never questioned it or pushed me into anything else and dutifully marched me to the dollar store two blocks from our house to stock up on Lisa Frank notebooks every Saturday. I’m very grateful for that.
Sounds like a wonderful way to grow up. What are your greatest obstacles to creating your art/finishing a project?
I’m sure most writers will know what I mean when I say there’s that hypercritical part of your brain that gets louder and louder the longer you stare at your work. Then suddenly it’s 3 AM and you’ve spent the better part of the night revising one sentence and you’re over-caffeinated and just thinking, “This is it. This is insanity. Someone take my laptop away.”
How did you or do you overcome these challenges?
I know that a lot of writers work better in seclusion, but I have to say that having a good support system of nosy friends keeps me motivated. It’s very easy, for me at least, to procrastinate and leave a project for ages if I don’t have anyone checking in on me. So to have friends constantly texting and asking to see revisions or making sure I’m sticking to my deadlines really helps.
You are blessed to have such a support system, good for you! What are your future aspirations?
Ultimately I’d really like to carve out a role for myself as a successful comedy writer. It’s my one true passion in life- avocado-based recipes notwithstanding. To be at a point where I could focus solely on that as a career would be amazing.
I think you are on the right track to accomplish this goal. In Kaijin, you chose to use a first person, present tense narrative to express the stories, which I think worked out very well. What made you choose to express the stories in such way?
First of all, thank you! Writing it that way was definitely a risk in terms of storytelling and I’m glad it came across that way.
When I began writing Kaijin, I had a vision of this private slice of Los Angeles full of monsters and demons and banshees and it was important to me to present that vision in a way that would be believable and not read immediately as a run-of-the-mill horror story. So I wrote it all- with the exception of “The Siren and the Immigrant”, in present tense and made a point of never naming the women in my stories. I wanted to make it seem as though the subjects of these stories could be literally anyone.
And you succeeded in that as well. What do you want your readers to know about you, that they might not be aware off?
Let’s see, I am also a trained Improv Performer, Sketch Comedy Writer, Set Designer and I can pick stuff up with my toes. I’m afraid of spiders and elevators. My resume is very impressive, clearly.
That is quite a resume! How can a reader find out more about you?
Well my first book, “Kaijin”, is available in paperback or for Kindle on Amazon as well as the Createspace Marketplace. I also have a Medium profile that I try to update with new short comedic fiction every week for practice (This is also where you can find my ongoing Jurassic Park/Parks and Rec crossover series “Burt Macklin: Raptor Wrangler”). And, of course, readers can get in touch with me via my twitter- which I also keep updated with any new projects or multi-media works that I do. Come say hi, I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you so much, for spending time with us Devon! I am looking forward to hearing more from you!
I will post a review of Devon Henry’s book “Kaijin” later during the week, so please stop by again, and most importantly check out Devon’s work via the links below!
Anyone else exited about Camp NaNoWriMo? For those who are not familiar with this writer’s version of summer camp, here is the short version of what it is:
Camp NaNoWriMo is associated with the National Novel Writing Month, which occurs every year in November, trying to aid and motivate writers to finish their books, by giving advice, and peer motivation. The associated Camp happens every year April and July, and allows writers in a more open environment do the same, not limiting the projects to novels, but also including scripts, non-fiction or collections.
This year will be my first year, I will have time to participate. I am planning on updating the process of the work on the Camp website, but also here.
The Project For This July’s Camp Session:
The Keeper – Book One of the World Walker Series – An Urban Fantasy
A Short Synopsis Of The Series:
We are People of Magic. We live amongst you, hiding our abilities from your sight, because you choose not to see us as we are, unless you need our help.
We are much like you, some good, some evil, but we are also not the same as you. Our abilities scare you, you fear our powers, you tell stories about us, in the dark, shadowy nights, frightening your children, forcing us to hide our true identity.
Then the turmoil began.
Now it is time to tell our story, the story of The Conflict that changed everything.
Before The Conflict began, we were simply two magical families, two of many, the Historians, collectors and keepers of the knowledge of our kind and the Guardians, meant to protect us. But that role is no longer enough. Hunted by some of our own kind, hiding from those who do not understand, we changed, we evolved, we learned.
We became The World Walkers.
We have not abandoned you. We will not allow those of our kind, with bad intentions to harm you or one of our own. We will hunt them down, bring them to justice.
One after the other.
This is a war – a war we did not choose. A war that chose us.
A war we will win.
Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014
Are you participating in the Camp NaNoWriMo this year? What are you writing about?
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House Publisher
Publishing Date: May 6th, 2014
This is book 4 in a series called “Alaskan Courage”. While I usually prefer to read a series from the beginning, even if some books are stand-alone, I do sometimes break this rule, and I am glad I did with this one, as it had come to me to be reviewed.
Full of twist and turns, great and easy to relate characters, with romance and actions, but without being overburdened with background story, Silenced managed to hook me from the first page until the last. I really enjoyed emerging myself into the lives of what where to me, new characters – for fans of the series, I was told there has been a slow build up and many revelations to their connection.
This is not a book you want to put down. Now I am looking forward to all of the other books of the series.
Title: “The Hero” – A Thunder Point Novel
Author: Robyn Carr
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
My first impression of this book was that it had charm, a young woman who is in need, finds help from total strangers, who embrace her and her child with open arms. Kindness, caring, empathy, small town values move from page to page, without making the story boring, introducing many characters, all who are absolutely lovely, and I would be happy to call my friend and neighbor.
The second part of the book feels as if it has been written by a different person, or at least Robyn after a few cups of coffee, a much more straightforward approach to the same subject matter, with an increased tempo. Not that I mind that, after all the first half was charming, but rather not very demanding in the romance department. In the second part all hell breaks loose – well not actually hell, but we are moving from a gentle discovery of some of the characters toward love-making, physical danger, the introduction of more characters (more to that in a minute), and emotional tension. The title is slightly misleading, there is no real “Hero” in the story, just a few characters who take it upon themselves to be kind to a woman in need. They all step up for her, but there is no single heroic act, not in the sense of most novels and stories. If the author referred to a smaller aspect of heroism, then the book should have been named more apt “The Heroes”
The largest downfall of the book was not the switch of the tempo, but the fact that the book introduced too many characters, and therefore leaves someone new to the series – like I am – scrambling to keep up with the individual story lines. Also that leads to some of these story lines to feel rushed – there is only so much individual attention one character can receive in a single novel.
For me, this book is a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon romance novel, one that uplifts, that is charismatic and has potential. It is cute and charming.