The Best of The NoteBook Blogairy for 2015!

Image from Radio Valencia San Francisco

Image from Radio Valencia San Francisco

Everyone’s doing a ‘Best of’ list.  I’ll join the bandwagon!  Here are the top 10 posts that many of you came to my blog to read (and re-read).  I’ve removed the two absolute tops – my Home page and my About page.  Adding them into the mix did not seem appropriate.

Without further ado, here are my top viewed posts in the year 2015.

  1. NYC Gluten-Free Party — Lots of Fun!
  2. The E-Squared Way
  3. The Aftermath of Publishing My Third Book
  4. Jewel Me Crazy: My Love Affair with Alexandrites
  5. #IndieRoar 10-Day Challenge: Are You Ready?! (June 1 – June 10)
  6. The #IndieRoar Challenge Winners
  7. #IndieRoar Challenge Time! Are you Ready for June 1st?!
  8. My Journaling: The Greatest Benefit
  9. Cindy Irish’s: The Song That Seduced Paris Book Giveaway + $100 GC
  10. #WriterWednesday Tip: A Strategic Partner — Your Book Editor

By far, the first five were the far and away most read posts for this blog this year.  The second half did well, but not by the same margins as the first five.  It is interesting that number one has nothing to do with writing at all.  Neither does number 2.  Even though, I mention writing in it.

However, overall my top posts are predominately about the writing life, books, some aspect of reading, or readership!  It is only the top 2 that have nothing to do with writing, or reading.  Even more curious?  Several of these posts were not written this year.  In fact, the top 2 were written in 2014.  And, the Q&A with literary agent Jennifer Chen Tran was written last year, as well.

I hope you enjoyed this quick look back.  I can’t wait to chat it up, read it up and live it up with each and every one of you in the next year.

Happy New Year 2016 Pencils

#FridayReads: A Lovely Double Time Slip Moment

I’m reading Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman.

For the first 6% of the book (reading on a Kindle), I kept falling asleep.  The point of view kept changing and the story trying to be relayed was unclear.  By the time I advanced to approximately 16% read THEN it made sense.  The connections between the characters and who the major players was crystal clear by this point.  By 25%, I had it and I was enthused to see where and how the author was going to transport me (as I understand she did for many other readers).

I, too, am keen on this story and am enjoying this author’s bold voice and firm grip on language, style and her amazing ability to interweave the present and past in a single line, or paragraph.  The best part?  It makes sense and is thoroughly fabulous as a reader to “be” in two points of view (well, three actually!) simultaneously.

Here’s one such passage at 43% (Kindle Fire) from Sheri Holman’s Witches on the Road Tonight:

Then, wanting him to kiss her but not knowing how to make the request, Ann had stopped and, with eyes full of trust and complicity and something just a little challenging, asked Eddie the question Jasper now poses like a smart-ass, here, years later, in place of her whom they had left alone with guests, humiliated and drunk now, asking Cary once more what time he left, if Eddie had ordered dessert.  Jasper asks the question Wallis knew had been her mother’s part of the script that night, Are we supposed to believe this? and her father answers it int he same way he had answered her mother that night, as they stood int he center of the railroad tracks that disappeared in each direction off into the woods; he said, and he says: Now, once a year, on this very night, the conductor walks these lonely tracks, swinging his lantern, searching for his missing head…

As if on cue, far away, a point of light appears in the woods.  And as her mother and father watched, as they watch, it advances slowly, flirtatiously, bobbing like a cork on the water.  Wallis has heard of will-o’-wisps and swamp lights, but nothing prepares her for this inexplicable thing coming straight toward her, growing larger with each bounce.  It is a light like a rubber-band ball with no edge or ending, luminous, diffuse, just a brilliant exhalation of the night.

Fabulous!!

This book is my #FridayReads suggestion.  If you’re in-between books, think about this one.  You just might enjoy it.

Until next time — ta-ta for now,

N.B.

7 Sites You’ve Got to Check Out About Journaling!

It’s mid-year.  Okay, a squoosh past mid-year.  Are you where you want to be with your writing goals?  No?  Yes?  Then, why not keep a journal?  Even if you are where you should be/want to be with your writing goals, maybe there are some articles you can read, that can help you excel even more so your WIP can be completed that much faster.  [Dare you hope!]

Here are some great writing tips, blog posts and websites that can share some info that may just be the inspiration you need to get going better, faster and more efficiently via journal writing.  Or, maybe these posts can help you to just get going! 🙂

  1. Writing Forward: This eight-year-old website has TONS of great writerly information to share including a really wonderful piece about descriptive writing.
  2. A great post about the healthy psychological benefits of journal writing specifically for military veterans: http://www.realwarriors.net/veterans/treatment/journaling.php.
  3. Writing to Heal – more on the benefits of journal writing to help us build a healthier immune system by the American Psychological Association (APA). (Who would have thunk it? That thing we do instead of sleep is actually good for us in some way!)
  4. Keeping a Journal to Remember Events – ‘nuf said.
  5. Dawn Herring is a Journaling Guru! Follow her site Refresh so that you can receive prompts & find inspiration for journaling from a new and different perspective.
  6. How and Why You Should Start a Daily Positive Journal – This is just in case you don’t journal…
  7. And for the last one, I couldn’t leave out a nod to the age-old discussion of paper?  Or, computer/laptop?  Here’s a recent study that may shed some factual information that you may, or may not!, like – http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770.

Ta-ta for now,

NB

The #IndieRoar Challenge Winners!

#IndieRoar Challenge Winners!

 

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for!  And the winners are — wait! There’s a tie for first place! 

 
Kelly Sedinger – @Jaquandor – 1st Prize

Rose English – @RoseEnglishUK – 1st Prize

T.W. Barton – @TyWadeBooks – 3rd Prize

AND, there’s one more surprise winner!

Bonus Winner for Participation & Enthusiasm: Phillip T. Stephens – @stephens_pt

What’s your book prize loot?  Check them out below!  To claim your prizes, please email: noveldreams2007 at gmail dot com.

Author Name Book Title Genre Format # of Copies
Barbo, Holly Sunstone Steampunk Thriller Digital 1
Barret, Tabitha The Third Throne: Angel of Darkness Paranormal Romance Print (Signed) 1
Caldwell, Angela The Last Order SciFi/Fantasy – YA Print (Signed) 1
Caldwell, Angela The Last Order SciFi/Fantasy – YA Digital 2
Campbell, Rochelle Fury From Hell Paranormal Thriller Digital 3
Campbell, Rochelle Making Dollars & Sense Work Personal Finance/
Credit Repair
Print (Signed) 1
Cate, Marnie Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic Fantasy – YA Print 1
Chioffi, Barbara Angel Mine Erotic Fantasy Digital 1
Chioffi, Barbara Lycan Love Erotic Fantasy Digital 1
Comnick Straughan, Morgan Spirit Vision Christian Fantasy – YA Digital 1
Dawn, CK Cloak of Shadows Fantasy – YA Digital 1
Franklin, Michelle Khantara: Volume 1 SciFi/Fantasy Digital 1
Guy, Ryan Atomic Aardvark SciFi/Fantasy Print (Signed) 1
Guy, Ryan Atomic Aardvark SciFi/Fantasy Digital 2
Keller, K.J. The Threes Romance Digital 3
Keller, K.J. Africa Bush Creatures Safari Facts from A-Z Educational – Children Digital 1
Lynne, Patricia Being Human Supernatural – YA Digital 1
Lynne, Patricia Snapshots Supernatural – YA Digital 1
Mapstone, Deidre Sigrun, The Bandamann Saga Fantasy – YA Digital or Print 1
Marsden, Kelly S. The Shadow Rises Fantasy Print 1
Marsden, Kelly S. The Witch-Hunter Trilogy (The Shadow Rises, The Shadow Reigns, The Shadow Falls ) Fantasy Digital 1
McFarland, KM Song of the Vampire Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Digital 1
McFarland, KM Under a Bourbon Street Moon Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Digital 1
McFarland, KM Masquerade Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Digital 1
Montague, Rose Norma Jean’s School of Witchery Urban Fantasy/Romance Print (Signed) 1
Morris, T.H. The 11th Percent SciFi/Fantasy Digital (PDF) 1
Morris, T.H. Item and Time SciFi/Fantasy Digital (PDF) 1
Norry, Jay Walking Between Worlds; Book 1: Demons & Angels Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Digital 1
Rockefeller, Laurel Cathering de Valois Nonfiction/History – All Ages Digital 3
Rockefeller, Laurel Mary Queen of the Scots Nonfiction/History – All Ages Digital 3
Rockefeller, Laurel Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni Nonfiction/History – All Ages Digital 3
Schneider, C.L. The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price Epic Fantasy Digital (Kindle) 1
Shaw, Mark The Keeper of the Wind Fantasy – YA Digital 1
Turner, Jacci Bending Willow Adventure – Middle Grade Digital 3
Turner, Jacci Terry The Cage Adventure – Middle Grade Digital 3
Vance, CE How Maxwell Grover Stole My House Adventure – Middle Grade Digital (PDF) 3
Whitley, Lu J BloodMarked Urban Fantasy/Romance Digital (Kindle) 3
Wright, Dan Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince Children’s – Action/Adventure Digital 1

1st Prize (2) – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Bonus Prize — Chose of 2 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Congratulations to our first ever #IndieRoar Challenge winners!

As a reminder, we would love for the winners, and all of the Challenge’s participants, to share the love and give a review, or two, for Indie books you like after you’ve read them!

You can also find this post on the following blogs:

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 10! (Final Day)

Lu_IndieRoar_Banner

Pen your own perfect first sentence to your “Great American Novel” and tweet it! #IndieRoar

Today is the final day of our challenge.  Are you sad?  Are you glad?  Either way, we have to go out with a BANG.  What kind of  Indies would we be if we didn’t write something special for our readers?!

In honor of our collective readers, write the first line of your next novel, the novel you’d always dreamed you would write, the novel your mother/brother/teacher/mentor/friend/husband told you to write — write the first sentence of that book.

The end is nigh.  The fat…ahem…the lady has sung the final aria and the curtain is about to fall.  How will we remember you?  Haunt us. Pleasure us. Entertain us.  We’ll love you for it!

The winners are out there and the prizes are here…

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 12th, 2015.

The books available for the winners to choose from, in addition to their gift cards, is posted on both blogs under “IndieRoar Challenge – Book Prize Listing & Catch Up!”

Remember, you can also find each day’s challenge pinned to the @NoteBkBlogairy Twitter account, and on the following blogs:

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

#IndieRoary Challenge – Day 7!

Lu_IndieRoar_Banner

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 7

Create and tweet a Wordle you created for/about your favorite Indie book/series/author! #IndieRoar

What’s a Wordle?  It’s a great pictogram that contains words of your choosing that relate to your favorite book, series, or author — Indie, of course!

You can find the Wordle page here — http://www.wordle.net/

Once you enter the words of your choice to the Wordle box the rest is up to the program!  You will be amazed at some of the great things that can come out.

Here’s an example of a Wordle…


This would be a great time to start dreaming about the book you might win since the challenge ends on Wed, June 10th!

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 12th, 2015.

The books available for the winners to choose from, in addition to their gift cards, is posted on both blogs under “IndieRoar Challenge – Book Prize Listing & Catch Up!”

Remember, you can also find each day’s challenge pinned to the @NoteBkBlogairy Twitter account, and on the following blogs:

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 5!

Marnie Cate_Day4_IndieRoar_6 4 2015

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 5

Predict the title of your favorite Indie author’s next book! (Funny, or serious — you choose!) #IndieRoar

Okay folks — yesterday’s challenge was a hoot! On straight retweets alone, Marnie Cate’s Photoshopped tweet “won” the day with 20 retweets and 17 faves (see it above).  Then, Keeley’s got second place with 13 retweets.  CE Vance’s Photoshopped tweet came in third with 11 retweets. (By the time you read this things may change but that’s the lay of the land right this second!)

You are all clearly up to the badass Indie challenges we’re throwing your way! Congrats to you all. You made us ALL smile.

Today’s challenge is more intellectual.  We want to know just how well you know — or, think you know! — your favorite Indie author and his/her work.  Tell us what you think they will name their next work.  You can’t tell us a book name that the author has already shared via cover reveal, or an interview! 🙂

Pick another series of theirs, or think about a standalone your chosen Indie Author may very well pen one day.

As always…keep it Indie trendy!

Ya-huh.  We’re back to telling you what you’re going to get if you win this thing!

Here are the prizes:

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 12th, 2015.

You may be wondering about the books that you will choose from once you win, right?  We’ve got that coming! We’ll post the list of books on both blogs below tomorrow, June 5th at 10:00 am EDT in time for #FridayReads.  For your convenience, we’ll pop it in your inbox, too!

Remember, you can also find each day’s challenge pinned to the @NoteBkBlogairy Twitter account, and on the following blogs:

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 2

Lu_IndieRoar_Banner

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 2

 

Tweet a pic of the actor/actress you would like to portray your fave Indie book character! #IndieRoar

 

Yesterday’s challenge was pretty tame. No huge bells or whistles, right? Okay, now time to put on your Indie Movie Mogul hat!

First, figure out your favorite Indie book character (for a stand-alone, or a series).  Second, choose which real-world actress, or actor should portray your favorite character if the book was turned into a movie.   Hmmm…right?! So many choices!  So, many folks to choose from!  And, which pic of them to tweet out?  You never know, maybe you want the actor the way they looked say, 10, 20 – ahem – 30 years ago? J

Only YOU can decide!

Sparkle, tweet and ROAR!

‘Cause at the end of the 10 days, there will be 3 winners.

Here are the prizes:

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 12th, 2015.

Remember, you can also find each day’s challenge pinned to the @NoteBkBlogairy Twitter account, and on the following blogs:

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 1

Lu_IndieRoar_Banner

#IndieRoar Challenge – Day 1

 

Easy Peasy. Tell us what #Indie book you’re #Currentlyreading right now. #IndieRoar

Oh, and don’t forget to include the #IndieRoar hashtag so we can see your entry!

And yes, this challenge is easy!  But know that it’s the easiest one you’re going to get! We’re going to start hitting higher octane levels from here on out. 🙂

However, if you’re like say, an Indie badass and you wanted to get all fancy and do — say — a video review of your current read.  Or, a blog-a-licious shout out linking back to your favorite series — bring it on!

‘Cause at the end of the 10 days, there will be 3 winners.

Here are the prizes:

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from participating #IndieBooksBeSeen Authors

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 12th, 2015.

Remember, you can also find each day’s challenge pinned to the @NoteBkBlogairy Twitter account, and on the following blogs:

https://thenotebookblogairy.wordpress.com/

http://indiebooksbeseen.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Comps%20Giveaways%20Promotions

Can’t wait to hear your first day’s roar!

#IndieRoar 10-Day Challenge: Are you ready?! (June 1 – 10)

 “Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but — and here is the surprise — they are also taking “significant market share in all genres.” Surprising Self-Publishing Statistics, Publishers Weekly, July 28, 2014

When you read the quote above what do you think?  Are you surprised?  Mad?  Thrilled?  We’re here to tell you that your Indie Quotient is not something we’re going to quantify.  However, we want to see your Indie prowess and pride!  To that end, you are cordially invited to join the first ever #IndieRoar 10-Day Challenge!

Show your deep knowledge, love and passion for your favorite Indie books, series and authors by joining this Twitter 10-Day Challenge.  You’ll get a new challenge every day for 10 days starting Monday, June 1st through Wednesday, June 10th, 2015!

You won’t know what’s coming next!  You’ll have to use your Indie ingenuity, your creativity and your special Indie verve in order to come out victorious at the end of this 10-day challenge.

And what do you get out participating in this fun-filled exhilarating non-stop Indie fun parade?  (Other than the sheer joy of sharing your most favorite awesome Indie faves…)

Prizes:

1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 6 Indie Books from the #IndieBooksBeSeen Author book list

2nd Prize — $10 Amazon Gift Card + Choice of 4 Indie Books from the #IndieBooksBeSeen Author book list

3rd Prize – Choice of 3Indie Books from the #IndieBooksBeSeen Author book list

That’s it!  Those are the mega awesome prizes in this first #IndieRoar 10-Day Challenge.

Are you game?  Ready for Day 1?  You don’t have long to wait!  We start Monday, June 1st, 2015!!

Get your Indie Game Face on as we start our #IndieRoar!

IndieRoar Cat

Thanks Marnie Cate for this awesome pic!!!

The Not-So Fine Print: There is one teensy thing we’d love to mention.  And this goes for the winners, and all of you readers out there.  Ahem.   I know you know just like you know I know that you know that the best EVER gift you can bestow upon your favorite author is…YUP!  A book review!  If you are so moved (to tears, to rage, to joy, to blissful ecstasy…) we would love for you to share your book-ly book-tactular passion with others on your favorite site(s)!