Monday

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman {book review}




Lying Awake 
by Mark Salzman 
(Vantage Contemporaries, Vantage Books, division of Random House, Inc.)


What is the nature of your faith? Is it a belief in God? Something super-natural? Another person? Or yourself?

I have often explored these questions with thoughtful friends, which seem to arise more frequently as we age and experience life.

In Lying Awake, Mark Salzman explores the subject from the standpoint of a woman named Helen who became a Carmelite nun adopting the name of Sister John of the Cross. After some 28 years in the cloister, she felt abandoned by the God she dedicated her life to serve. She wrote diaries, which were published providing a source of income for the cloister located in the Los Angeles hills. 

Sister John became sick. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is this all there is? became questions tormenting her consciousness.

Sister John had been abandoned by her mother. After so many years, Sister John began coming to grips with her emotions about her mother as what she thought were migraines morphed into an epileptic disorder. It was as if her life could not really begin until the mystery of her mother was resolved. When it was, suffering of the knowledge was drowned in the drudgery of everyday convent life.

A confessor asked if her faith was simply self-devotion, as if Sister John worshipped projections of her own needs. She then asked: what is my dream?

Lying Awake is lovely means of guiding you through your own emotions about faith and the purpose of life. You will enjoy its majesty!

As I read Lying Awake, I was reminded of the story of Punchinello by Max Lucado. It is the story of a carved wooden Wemmick, Punchinello, who had a paint job less attractive than the other Wemmick’s, in his own eyes. The carver on the hill advises him to go back down the hill and discover other things that might differentiate him. In the end, Punchinello discovers that the carver (God) gave him a heart and feelings that were unique unto himself.

Like Sister John and Punchinello, we all need periodic re-examination of our faith and emotions.

Warms, Cym 


Friday

How To Market Your New Book




by Brett Arends, Forbes

You’ve written your book – and now you want to sell it. What should you do?

Marketing a book is supposed to be the hardest part of self-publishing. Services like Lulu.com and Amazon’s Createspace mean it’s never been easier to become an author and publish a book. But getting people to hear about it and actually purchase it is another matter.

Before you despair: Some self-published books go on to great success. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is only the best known.

And lest you think the grass really is greener for those going through traditional publishers, I’ve published two books by that route, and from my experience they don’t do a lot of marketing either. The publishing houses’ traditional marketing strategy consisted of wining and dining the key editors and reviewers for the big newspapers, and then paying to display their authors’ books prominently in the bookstores.

The bookstores are going to the way of all flesh, while the influence of the big name book reviewers is probably doing the same.

So what can you do?

After talking to experts and authors, here are seven thoughts.

1. Be wary of “marketing consultants” who offer to help you market your book for a fee.My Wall Street Journal colleague Adam Najberg wrote a thriller set in China and tried publishing it himself. He found lots of consultants willing to take his money. But none could offer any proven track record of success. Furthermore, when he told the consultants he’d be willing to pay them on a commission basis – so they would only make money if he sold books – they vanished.

2. Don’t get suckered by the Social Media hype.


Click Here for the rest of the article.

-CYM

(The above article is re-posted from Forbes. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)

Wednesday

Is Your Book Cover Design Stopping You From Being On The Bestseller List?



picture of books on a shelf

by Thomas McGee, Write to Done

Would you like to see your book on the bestseller list?
Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing the words “A New York Times Bestselling Author” gracing the cover of their next work?
While it is simply not possible for every author to gain “bestseller” status, even new authors’ books can carry the same quality and professionalism as those of established names in the business.

Bestselling Books Usually Have the Best Designs


As you walk through your local bookstore, you’ll see covers ranging from the bold type of John Grisham’s latest thriller to the frilly embellishments of Beverly Lewis’ newest Amish Romance.
Each carries a level of quality that you immediately equate with professionalism in the content.
It is the combination of the author’s reputation, and the thought and craftsmanship used in the design that persuade you that “this book is for you.”
Let’s face it – if you saw the average, self-designed book sitting next to Karen Kingsbury’s latest, it would stand out, though not for the right reasons.
Self-designed books rarely assure book buyers that they are anything other than, well, self-designed.
In an uncertain book market, getting a potential reader to buy is harder than ever.
The book cover is the first impression, so it has to do the job of convincing the potential buyer that the message inside is worth their time.
If the cover portrays even a hint of “my nephew designed this for his school project,” nine times out of ten, the book will not receive a second glance.
While it is true that a well-designed book cover alone isn’t enough, I can tell you from experience, it certainly helps.

How to Compete with Bestsellers


It is possible to compete with the bestsellers.

CLICK HERE to keep reading...



-CYM

(The above article is re-posted from Write to Done. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)


{Thrillerfest IX} I hope to see you there! Let's meet up... #thrillerfest #thriller #writers



Are you going? Let's meet up!

-CYM



Sunday

22 Thrillers With Kick Ass Heroines


 by 


Charlie Fox in Die Easy by Zoe Sharp

Charlie Fox, ex-Special Forces trainee turned bodyguard, described as “ill-tempered, aggressive and borderline psychotic, Fox is also compassionate, introspective and highly principled: arguably one of the most enigmatic − and coolest − heroines in contemporary genre fiction – Chicago Tribune” and Lee Child said: “If I were a woman I’d be Zoë Sharp. If Jack Reacher were a woman he’d be Zoë’s main character, Charlie Fox.”
snakeskin

Lucy Guardino in Snakeskin by C.J.Lyons

Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock…CJ Lyons’ FBI Special Agent Lucy Guardino has been described by real life FBI Agents as “dedicated, smart, and fearless.”
POE

Alexandra Poe in POE by Brett Battles & Robert Gregory Browne

Half-Iranian bounty hunter reluctantly working for a defense contractor tracking down terrorists worldwide in the hope of finding her father, an Army colonel, who has been AWOL for 10 years. Poe is tough as nails, and never backs down from a fight, occasionally to her detriment.
Keep Reading HERE.
Don't you think Jaspar from Jaspar's War should be on this list??
-CYM
(The above article is re-posted from J.F. Penn. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)

Thursday

Rosemary Beach, FL Book Signing @Hiddenlantern July 4th Benefiting Wounded Soldiers #ONC


{Created by Jennifer & Diane from The Hidden Lantern}


JULY 4 | 9AM - 11AM
SOLDIERS BENEFIT BOOK SIGNING
CYM LOWELL | ROSEMARY BEACH RESIDENT, VETERAN + AUTHOR OF JASPAR'S WAR


An ideal way to spend an Independence Day morning? Popping by The Hidden Lantern Bookstore for a signed copy of the new release JASPAR'S WAR, for which 100 percent of the proceeds support returning wounded soldiers. The details:

OPERATION: NEXT CHAPTER is an initiative founded by Vietnam veteran, tax attorney + author Cym Lowell. Working with Soldiers' Angels, this effort provides voice-controlled laptops to military personnel who, because of injuries sustained supporting our freedoms, are in need of these adapted devices. Lowell is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of JASPAR'S WAR to purchase these computers. Help ensure that every soldier who needs adaptive IT has the ability to obtain it.
Above, author Cym Lowell with James Van Thach, retired Capt., Army, who received a voice-controlled laptop on the deck of the Intrepid, in New York in March of this year. Thach was wounded twice in the line of duty while deployed to Iraq; once in an IED explosion, and then in a rocket attack on base, and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is the first Vietnamese-American to become an advisory to the New Iraqi Army. 
"Jaspar's War wondrously chronicles one brave and desperate woman's attempts to escape a Kafka-esque nightmare. Cym Lowell's brilliant debut strains the boundaries of the thriller genre, even as it seeks to redefine them in this emotionally wrenching tale that reinvents and modernizes the classic Ludlum formula. Written with flare and emotion, as visually polished as it is viscerally powerful, Jaspar's War manages a smooth and savory mix of Vince Flynn and Harlan Coben. Magnificent and not to be missed."
- Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Rain Falling

Check out The Hidden Lantern Bookstore, See you THERE!
-CYM

Monday

We're losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome {The Dissolve}

We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome


By Tasha Robinson

"DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 considerably expands the world introduced in the first film, and that expansion includes a significant new presence: Valka, the long-lost mother of dragon-riding protagonist Hiccup, voiced by Cate Blanchett. 

The film devotes much of its sweet, sensitive middle act to introducing her, and building her up into a complicated, nuanced character. She’s mysterious and formidable, capable of taking Hiccup and his dragon partner Toothless out of the sky with casual ease. She’s knowledgable: Two decades of studying dragons means she knows Toothless’ anatomy better than he does. She’s wise. She’s principled. She’s joyous. She’s divided. She’s damaged. She’s vulnerable. She’s something female characters so often aren’t in action/adventure films with male protagonists: She’s interesting.

Too bad the story gives her absolutely nothing to do."


CLICK HERE for the rest of this great post. I especially enjoyed reading this and relating it to my strong female charter in Jaspar's War.


-CYM



(The above article is re-posted from The Dissolve. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)