More Amazing Reviews on Jaspar's War #bookreview #goodreads

From Kathyk21
"Jaspar's War goes beyond entertainment, although it does that very well. Jaspar's War forces the reader to look at accepted cultural values and practices. It mandates the re-evaluation of what it means to train a young person to carry out the activities of a soldier, and when the war is ended, to return to "normal" society. Jaspar's war is a very engaging adventure/mystery, full of action and surprises and suspense and hope. But by the time the reader closes the book, they may be besieged by compelling questions that demand discussion. Jaspar's War is one book to be sure to add to your "to be read soon" list."

From My Book Addiction and More MBA's Reviews 
"JASPAR'S WAR by Cym Lowell is an exciting Thriller/Suspense/Mystery set in Greenwich, Connecticut, Italy and other international areas. Fast paced, action thrilled adventure and one with lots of drama and mystery. With high finance, terrorists, kidnapping and the rescue of two innocent children, you will be on the edge of your seat with suspense. A great read! Very interesting and intriguing. Received for an honest review."


Thank you!


How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch (repost from buffer social)

by Kevan Lee

When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.
I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.
If you’re starting from square one, it might feel equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. You know what you want to do and why. You can see that others have climbed the social media mountain; you’ve got few ideas how to get there yourself.
It’d help to have a plan.
We’ve shared before about different parts of a social media marketing plan—the data and research and personal experience behind what works on social media. Now we’re pleased to put it all into a cohesive, step-by-step blueprint that you can use to get started. If you need a social media marketing plan, start here.

Social Media Marketing Plan

Starting at the ground flour and building up, here is our overview of how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch.


(The above article is re-posted from Buffer Blog. 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.)


With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books (repost from NPR)


Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.
The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.
Among the artists participating are Ralph Steadman, who re-created illustrations from his 1973 edition of Through the Looking-Glass; Rae Smith, the set designer for the stage version of War Horse; and How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell.
In addition to the benches, which will be auctioned off in October, the project will include several literary-themed events, "such as an attempt to break the world record for the most number of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes, next to the Arthur Conan Doyle-inspired bench outside the University of London," according to Time Out.
Here are some of our favorites: Check out the REST here.
How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell invites people to sit and "imagine dragons wheeling above you in the skies."



Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay, Part 1 (re-post from Storyfix)

A guest post by Art Holcomb

Part 1 of 2.
In June, I’m speaking at the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Conference on how to adapt a novel into a screenplay and I’m really looking forward to it. A good part of my practice, both with students and professionals, comes from taking a story from one form and telling it in a different form so as to increase both its sales potential and the fan base of my writers. This is the nature of a burgeoning field called transmedia, which offer writers like you a multitude of possible ways to get your stories out there.
Since most of you are novelists and want to find a greater audience for your ideas, I wanted share the highlights of my talk and experiences with you.
So, today, let’s go over the things you need to know before you start screenwriting – and next time, we’ll dive into the actual process of adaptation.
#1: Basic Understanding:
• A screenplay is a VERY DIFFERENT THING than a novel. First of all, screenwriting is a minimalist form, taking roughly 5000 word to tell a two-hour story. The main challenge of adaptation lies in the fact that novels contain between 5 -20 times more information on theme, mood, setting, plot and character development than a film ever could (regardless of what Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings might have you believe). Your job as an adapter is to find the gems moments and quotes within the story that bring forward the real voice and essence of its characters and plot.
• Movies are very much a VISUAL MEDIUM and screenwriting really only has dialogue and description as tools to tell any story. The exciting part here is that film has so many ways of communication your message even within those constraints– through visual action, sounds, music, and cinematography – that you can actually discover new ways to bring your story to life.
• Structure is paramount – so learn all you can: Here is where you, as reader of StoryFix, have an incredible advantage: the principles of structure that Larry teaches in Story Physics, Story Engineering and the great posts here online, contain everything you need to know to get started. Learn and embrace Larry’s concepts of plot points, pinches, set-up, confrontation and resolution and you’ll be farther along than 99% of other adaptors at this point.
• Invest in some good screenwriting software: The film industry currently likes the FINAL DRAFT and MOVIE MAKER products, but you can find others to your liking as well. These programs make the screenplay form easy to emulate and many have apps built-in that make the process simple. They can cost a couple hundred dollars but are well worth it, because bad or incorrect format – usually found when writers try to use programs like WORD to write their screenplays – can get your work tossed out by script readers after the first few pages.
• Read lots of scripts: Just as reading novels makes you a better novelist, reading scripts will incredibly improve your chances of success as a screenwriter. Learn as much as you can about the art – I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. A great place to start is at Scott Myer’s site gointothestory.blcklst.com which not only has more than 80 free screenplays for you to download and study but also many hundreds of pages of great advice on the craft.
• Watch lots of movies: A love of movies can be the single most important part of being a good screenwriter. It always comes out in the writing! A good practice: watch any single movie a couple of time: once for pure enjoyment and then again with a critical eye for structure and content.
#2 – Securing the Rights:
• I suspect that most of you are interested in adapting your own novel into a screenplay. If so – no problems. US Copyright laws grant you the right to do so, no different than your right to write the novel in the first place . But if you want to adapt someone else’s novel, you’ll need to execute an OPTION or PURCHASE AGEEEMENT with them to do so. They’re not complex documents and I can write about in another post if there’s interest, or you can contact me directly at alh.andromeda@gmail.com for more information.
#3 – Do Your Prep Work:
When I get ready to do an adaptation, I start with the following:
Part 2 can be found here.
(The above article is re-posted from Storyfix. 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.)



The Last Man by Vince Flynn *Book Review*

The Last Man 
by Vince Flynn 
(Emily Betsler Books/Atria 2012)

The Last Man is, perhaps, a fitting title for the last book published by Vince Flynn before his early death. Like his other works, it is beautifully written, easily read, intense, and blends Mitch Rapp into an intriguing, current storyline. In this episode, a dangerous assault on the integrity of the CIA is underway with roots in Afghanistan. Rapp is implicated as a bad guy. Can he save the CIA and, secondarily, find his way out way into the clear?

I am an aspiring thriller writer. I find it instructive to synthesize the critical elements of the work of the masters of our craft in the hope of finding keys for my own success one day. In this quest, I have identified elements that I believe to be critical for such success (for me or, probably, a writer in any genre though my focus is on thrillers in their broad scope), as follows:

1. Readable Style: regardless of the presence of other elements, the story must be
easily read and digested. If it is dense, hard to follow, scattered, or otherwise not readily readable, it is not likely to succeed. The Last Man certainly gets a √ here.

2. Early Hooking: the reader needs to be hooked by about the first 20% of the story,
when the elements should have been established. √ as I was certainly hooked by a story framed right about at this point.

3. Sympathetic Characters: readers want and need to be able to identify with the
lead character or characters in the story. Again, Vince Flynn earns a √ here. Mitch Rapp is a fascinating hero. In the Flynn style, there is little development of his emotions or feelings beyond action and nose for reality. I, for one, enjoy understanding the underlying emotions of the characters. How does Flynn really feel about the murder of his wife and child? How about the murderer who he intersects with in this story? A new love?

4. Plot: the story needs to be intriguing in and of itself. In The Last Man,
Flynn and the CIA are being set-up as fall-guys for a global conspiracy that has drawn in senior FBI, CIA, and foreign folks. When it was published in 2012, these elements were the stuff of reality, as well as today. Another √.

5. Engaging: these elements need to be connected in a manner to make a 
page-turning bestseller. In his previous 13 stories, Flynn certainly demonstrated this skill, which receives another √ in The Last Man. The action is intense, chapters short, and connection among characters and twists in story are tight! 


Warms, Cym


How Many Of These Authors’ First Novels Have You Read? {re-post from BuzzFeed Books}

How Many Of These Author's First Novels Have You Read?




(The above article is re-posted from BuzzFeed Books. 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.)



An Unauthorized Guide to Being a Debut Author, Part I: Pre-Promo {re-post from The Daily Dahlia}

The Daily Dahlia

Posted by 

*Since this got super long while writing it, please note that this is now part I in a…more-than-that-part series. Let’s see how this goes.
I don’t know if you guys know this, but I’ve had a book out for two whole weeks now, so I’m kiiiiind of an expert at everything relating to publishing.
Whatever, though, because the truth is, no one really knows WTF they’re doing as far as I can tell, and so much of this business is luck, and I’m only one person with one experience. (Though I am gonna speak based on what I’ve learned from others as well, in a general sense.) But this falls under the category of things I don’t think people blog about enough, which tends to be my forte, so, hey! LET’S DO THIS.
Let’s start from the beginning: the actual announcement. Here are the few things you should know, in case you’ve yet to do this part:
  • It can take days from offer to announcement, or it can take months. Some deals are never announced. This is really about how quickly things move, your agent’s style/preferences, etc. Not every deal can be announced in Publisher’s Weekly, but all announced deals should appear in Publisher’s Marketplace. If your deal goes up in PW (which mine did not), I believe you generally know when that will happen. PM can be more of a crapshoot.
  • Agents are the ones who write the description. They may ask for input; they may not.
  • Do not take an announcement as an automatic sign an agent or publisher is legitimate. It really doesn’t take much to be able to get yourself in there.
So, you have a deal, and you’re gonna debut – yay! Now what?
I am a huge proponent of joining a debut class if you can. I’m a member of OneFourKidLit, and while you get to see some great aspects of that – our lovely website, which lists me as a YA author; tweets and Facebook posts that promote our work; a great blog, which also promotes our work in addition to containing other fun stuff; being interviewed by a member of the upcoming class, which in our case is the Fearless Fifteeners (thank you, Becky!) – you also don’t get to see the private forum in which I’ve learned a ton, gotten to freak out a bunch, and generally had my hair held back by people a lot smarter than I am. There’s a ton to be learned not only from the authors who get published before you, but by the other debuts who happen to be in publishing or work as booksellers or librarians. I cannot emphasize that enough.

And then? 
(The above article is re-posted from The Daily Dahlia. 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.)