Soul Taker Secrets – Katie’s Family Gathering Dinner

Kate is a warmhearted and nurturing person. From the very beginning, she felt the need to tighten the connection with her new ‘family,’ the Council of Twelve and invited them over for dinner. Kate loves to cook, which doesn’t necessarily mean she’s good at it. The Council members keep teasing her about her cooking, but still, they bravely show up to every single one of her invitations, grateful for the two members of the ‘chef-crew’ who are supporting Kate in her ambitions. This is one of the first courses Kate serves to the Council of Twelve.


 

Pecan and dill crusted salmon

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
6 tablespoons butter,
melted 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 (3- to 3 1/2-lb.) boneless, skinless side of salmon
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Parchment paper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°. Pulse first 4 ingredients in a food processor 5 or 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread pecan mixture over salmon. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or just until salmon flakes with a fork.

(Source: SouthernLiving.com)


If you feel like trying out the recipe, please let us know in the comments how it tastes. We’re curious.

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A Tribute To A Wonderful Cat

On paws as soft as velvet
I was approaching you
I needed food, I needed a game
So, I told you what to do.
**
When I entered your home six years ago
You already had two cats
Beautiful, big, calm and sweet
Huge paws, green eyes and ears like bats.
**
No matter how cool they both were
With me they were a little cross.
It only needed one rage outburst
And I became their boss.
**
You told me you loved my kitty voice
So, I talked a lot with you
We cuddled and played many times
And the connection between us grew.
**
Then I got sick, I was in pain,
I felt your horrible inner strife,
While you tried to hide your grief from me
I watched you fighting for my life.
**
For eight months we both have worked
With my vet, no matter how much it cost.
But one day, five years ago you had to see
That the battle for my life was lost.
**
With tears in your eyes, you prevented the worst
The pain in your face, you didn’t want to show
You helped me to the rainbow bridge
Holding me in your Mommy arms, you quietly let me go.
**
The last thing I felt before I left
Was your kiss between my ears
The last thing you whispered before I was gone
“I love you, girl”, blocked by all your tears.
**
I know very much after all these years
My loss in your life still plays its part.
But we both are still a unity
I left my paw prints on your heart.
**
But Mommy, don’t worry about your cat
I know you loved me so.
Believe me, here I wait for you
To the day you will have to go.

*****
(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, February 2019)

Author Spotlight – Ann Chiappetta

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?
I began writing as soon as I could read. I drew picture books first, then a diary, and wrote stories with other friends.

2. What motivates you to write?
I am motivated by a creative desire; I used to draw and center my creativity visually. After I lost my sight, I learned to focus on literary creativity.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I am a poet first; however, I write fiction and nonfiction, too. Writing short stories and essays challenge me the most. I am drawn to writing about the human condition and emotions.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal since the printing of my first book in 2016 is to self-publish one book every two years, more frequently, if possible. I am very happy about being able to finally accomplish this goal. When I was younger and struggling with creating good writing, I never thought my words would ever be printed. Over time, as my work was included in journals and other magazines, I realized my dream would come true one day as long as I worked hard enough to achieve it.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes, I sometimes suffer from a form of it. For me, it is more like I have exhausted myself with a piece of writing and just need to set it on the back burner and allow it to percolate. I haven’t ever had a complete paralyzing form of writer’s block, though — I still write email, reviews, and other projects to keep this from happening. The muscle won’t shrink or cramp if it is stretched and used.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Read, write, then read and write some more. The writing muscle has to be developed over time and the investment of practice will pay off as long as the writer is consistent and purposeful. Only the lucky few actually land a traditional book deal. If you write well, have a great literary support system and dedicate yourself to improving the craft, people will notice and read your work. I save each and every email from folks who have read my books and send a note. This is what I love the most, those sincere and meaningful notes from readers.

Thank you for being my guest, Ann. It was a pleasure having you here.


Connect with Ann:

Email: anniecms64@gmail.com
Website: http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Blog: http://www.thought-wheel.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annie.chiappetta
Twitter: AnnieDungarees


Ann’s Books:

WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS
C 2019 by Ann Chiappetta

Buyer’s link: Amazon

About the Book

In this new collection of poems, essays, and flash fiction, the author once again exhibits her ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. There are numerous poems and stories about nature: its kindness, cruelty, and wonder. There are frank expressions of the sadness and frustration she felt at the progressive loss of her eyesight and a poem about the social isolation that disability can bring. Other pieces, though, sing of joys as diverse as family closeness, the love of dogs, the delights of scents, and the power of the muse. Just as in her first volume of poetry, Upwelling: Poems (2016), there is no fluff here. To read Ann Chiappetta’s works is to feel them deeply, appreciate them mightily, and remember them forever.

From the Introduction

While it is my hope that all the pieces in this book resonate with my readers, I have my favorites. Some of the poems have been previously published; all reflect what lies within. This volume is accented with a few photographs. As I lose the last vestiges of my vision, bringing a meaningful visual array to this collection seems imperative. Finally, dear reader, I want to share the prose that reflects the way I’ve lived my creative life.

If just one poem or essay resonates with you, I have accomplished the purpose. For a moment, as the eye reads and the brain interprets, the reader slips into the shoes of the writer. This is the true spirit of what it means to be creative, open, to offer the emotions in such a way as to give another person the opportunity to appreciate the writer’s experience with the words of life.

 

Upwelling: Poems (2016)

Buyer’s link: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust (2017)

Buyer’s link: Amazon

 

Some Stupid Questions We Writers Get Sometimes

picture courtesy of Google.com

Lately, once again, I have been asked a bunch of those really, really dumb questions I keep hearing over and over again.

I was discussing books with someone, and that person tells me: “For years I plan to write a book, but I just don’t have time. I replied: “Time is not the only thing you need. It needs a lot more to publish a book.” – The question back: “Why would you know?”
My answer: “What do you think?”

Or another situation: We’re talking about hobbies, how we’re spending time off work, and people do things like cooking, sports (often means watching football), walking dogs and so on. Except me, I said. “I write.” And of course one asks me: “You mean, you’re writing a diary?”
I looked at the person and replied scornfully: “Oh, I’m sure writing my personal diary is important enough for me to mention.”
Let’s say, the embarrassment of my conversation partner was clearly visible.

The next question is even worse. “Oh – you published a book? Can I have one?”
I replied: “Of course, you can – the title is ‘Soul Taker,’ you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo…”
(Seriously: What do people think? Am I running around with a stack of my books in my purse to hand it out like candy?)

I’m sometimes surprised how insensitive some people are with authors. There are a few more of these, what I call ‘dumbest things you can ask an author.’

Is it good? What am I supposed to reply? No, it’s the biggest crap you can imagine, but buy it anyway?

Will I like it? What am I, a fortune teller?

How much are you making? So discrete and tactful, your question. (And yes, I’m sarcastic!)

Don’t you have a great time writing instead of having a real job? What the hell do you think I do? Sleeping in, typing three sentences into the computer and then wait until the book magically writes itself?

So you are a second J. K. Rowling then? No, not really. J. K. Rowling is one of the most extraordinary writing talents of the last century, and I admire her! But I don’t want to be a second J. K. Rowling – I want to be a first A. J. Alexander!

Can you write a book on teenage pregnancy/family inheritance rows/vampires and werewolves/superheroes/dystopian futures because I’d love to read that story? No. I’m not a performing monkey. I write what I want to write, what I’m interested in and what I love. Also, YOU (asker of said question) are almost definitely not my target audience!

 

There are so many more stupid questions one can ask an author; this is only a small portion of the insensitivity most of us a facing far too often.
If you have any experience with questions like this, funny situations or similar, let’s hear them in the comments, please. We’re curious.


In my January Newsletter, I asked my subscribers to help me collect stupid questions they are asked occasionally because I thought they make a funny blog post. Here are mine and the ones I got sent by Rachel Twomey. Thank you, Rachel.

Marketing – Soul Taker “on Tour”

 

Lately, I found a link to The Good Ebooks & Books Company online, which offers book ads, free as well as paid ones. I checked it out, and it seems a decently long existing way to advertise my book. I tried it with the free version.

Not even a day after I filled out the form online I got an email which was written politely and friendly, confirming my submission and telling me that they’ll get back to me as soon as possible.

Two days later I received the information that ‘Soul Taker’ is online. Of course, they’re telling me what advantages a ‘premium’ account would have, but I didn’t get the impression they’re telling me: “Either you’ll upgrade or…”

“Good E-Books” connects authors and readers. They placed ‘Soul Taker’ in the middle as a New Release. They set it up with its cover picture, the blurb and linked it to its Amazon page.

https://www.goodebooks.net/releases.html

I will open a free author account with them and see where it will take me. So far I’m happy.

Maybe you want to try it too?

Choosing your Audiobook Voice – Written By Nicholas Rossis

I found this great post on how to pick our audio book voice on Nicholas Rossis blog. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicholas. I’m convinced I’m not the only grateful writer!


As audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, I have been researching that market. One thing I realized is that choosing a narrator is probably the most important decision you make when you turn your book into an Audiobook. People who love audiobooks may buy your audiobook because they like your work, your genre, your cover, or your price. When they actually start listening to your audiobook however, one of the most important factors to decide whether they’ll continue listening to the end, is the quality of the reading.

So, how do you choose the right voice? Leaving out the financial aspects (if you can afford to pay the narrator the fee he is asking for or if you choose a royalty scheme), there are a few issues to take into consideration, from “demographics” to acting performance. Here are a few tips.

Demographics

So. Man or Woman? Younger or Older?

These questions are mostly answered through the characteristics of your book. Obviously, if your book is written in the first person, you need to match the voice to your own narrator. If your narrator is a young woman, so should be your voice. If he is a middle-aged southern cop, you obviously need an older man, possibly with an accent (we will discuss accents in a moment).

The choice is less obvious if your book is not a first-person tale. In this case, there is no rule of thumb, but there are several issues you can take into consideration to form a preference.

Continue reading the blog post here:

Choosing your Audiobook Voice