SPOOKY PHISHING SCAM TARGETS TRADITIONALLY-PUBLISHED WRITERS – Written By Victoria Strauss

Apparently not even traditionally published authors are safe from crooks. Victoria Strauss on her ‘Writer’s Beware’ blog describes one particular case on her blog. Please read it and be careful. Thank you.


Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

The New York Times has published the story of a strange international phishing scam: unknown actors targeting traditionally-published writers, posing as their agents or editors to obtain copies of their unpublished manuscripts.
Earlier this month, the book industry website Publishers Marketplace announced that Little, Brown would be publishing “Re-Entry,” a novel by James Hannaham about a transgender woman paroled from a men’s prison. The book would be edited by Ben George.

Two days later, Mr. Hannaham got an email from Mr. George, asking him to send the latest draft of his manuscript. The email came to an address on Mr. Hannaham’s website that he rarely uses, so he opened up his usual account, attached the document, typed in Mr. George’s email address and a little note, and hit send.

“Then Ben called me,” Mr. Hannaham said, “to say, ‘That wasn’t me.’”

Mr. Hannaham was just one of countless targets in a mysterious international phishing scam that has been tricking writers, editors, agents and anyone in their orbit into sharing unpublished book manuscripts. It isn’t clear who the thief or thieves are, or even how they might profit from the scheme. High-profile authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan have been targeted, along with celebrities like Ethan Hawke. But short story collections and works by little-known debut writers have been attacked as well, even though they would have no obvious value on the black market.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Merry Christmas – 2020

2020 was an eventful and extremely challenging year for me. However, I decided to use December, the last month of the year, to calm my soul, concentrate on what’s important, on what’s in my heart, and on one emotion in particular:

Picture courtesy of https://www.smallbizdaily.com/

Writer’s Treasure Chest grew again and I have to thank you all, my Followers, Friends, and Readers!

Thank you so much for making my writing adventure a pleasant one!

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com


I wish you and your loved ones

Writers And Painters Are Not That Different


When I read this quote, I felt a little sting inside of me. So far, writing, to me, was something I love doing, but still, it is hard work. Therefore, I considered myself a ‘hard worker’, with some natural creativity, and, hopefully, some God-given talent.

I did not, whatsoever, combine my writing and the world ‘artist’ in the same sentence. And to me, a painter is clearly defined as an artist.

The moment I read that, I tried to find out who said it, and when I read ‘Voltaire’, I was surprised, and a tiny bit proud, too.

Voltaire is considered one of the best writers ever, busy as a bee, and in many ways controversial for the past times. His entire thinking was far ahead of his time. The fact that it was Voltaire, telling me that what I do is ‘painting’, just with words, instead of brushes, made me, for the first time, feel like being an artist.

Yes, I write, yes, I paint, I just paint with words… I paint wonderful pictures for the ones who take the time to stand still and ‘look’ at these pictures; take them in, enjoy them… read them, and imagine them… take my tools and use them to show your own picture in your head, in your dreams, in your imagination.

At this moment I consider this a wonderful Christmas present.

Thank you, Voltaire.


Voltaire Biography

Historian (1694–1778)
Author of the satirical novella ‘Candide,’ Voltaire is widely considered one of France’s greatest Enlightenment writers.
Who Was Voltaire?

Voltaire established himself as one of the leading writers of the Enlightenment. His famed works include the tragic play Zaïre, the historical study The Age of Louis XIV, and the satirical novella Candide. Often at odds with French authorities over his politically and religiously charged works, he was twice imprisoned and spent many years in exile. He died shortly after returning to Paris in 1778.

Early Life

Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet to a prosperous family on November 21, 1694, in Paris, France. He was the youngest of five children born to François Arouet and Marie Marguerite d’Aumart. When Voltaire was just seven years old, his mother passed away. Following her death, he grew closer to his free-thinking godfather.

In 1704, Voltaire was enrolled at the Collége Louis-le-Grand, a Jesuit secondary school in Paris, where he received a classical education and began showing promise as a writer.

Beliefs and Philosophy

Embracing Enlightenment philosophers such as Isaac NewtonJohn Locke and Francis Bacon, Voltaire found inspiration in their ideals of a free and liberal society, along with freedom of religion and free commerce.

As a vegetarian and an advocate of animal rights, however, Voltaire praised Hinduism, stating Hindus were “[a] peaceful and innocent people, equally incapable of hurting others or of defending themselves.”

Major Works

Voltaire wrote poetry and plays, as well as historical and philosophical works. His most well-known poetry includes The Henriade (1723) and The Maid of Orleans, which he started writing in 1730 but never fully completed.

Among the earliest of Voltaire’s best-known plays is his adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus, which was first performed in 1718. Voltaire followed with a string of dramatic tragedies, including Mariamne (1724). His Zaïre (1732), written in verse, was something of a departure from previous works: Until that point, Voltaire’s tragedies had centered on a fatal flaw in the protagonist’s character; however, the tragedy in Zaïre was the result of circumstance. Following Zaïre, Voltaire continued to write tragic plays, including Mahomet (1736) and Nanine (1749).

Writers – Feed Your Brain

Lately, while reading, I noticed my thoughts often wandered away, even though the story is thrilling and I love the characters. I considered myself a bit tired and prepared a ‘brain-boost’ in form of a cup of coffee.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Then I started thinking: I think I read somewhere, that the impact of caffeine on our organism is more illusional than physical. Finally, I started to do some research. After all, we writers are mostly working with our brains! And I consider that our ‘most important’ tool for our work – besides the fingers, computers, pen and paper, and a few other things, of course.

I’m not someone who likes to feed myself lab-produced over-the-counter vitamins and supplements. I try to eat balanced and healthy. But I tried to find out, what other nutrients my brain needs to keep focused. That’s what I found:


  1. Coffee

Coffee indeed has a positive impact on our brain. Caffeine and antioxidants help our brain in several ways:

Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes us sleepy and improves our mood. Also, it boosts our concentration, whether drank in the morning or several cups during the day.

I read about a suspicion that drinking coffee over the long term could reduce the risk of neurological diseases, for example, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

 

2.  Blueberries

It seems science has proven blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and can reduce the effects of age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Also, the study showed that a diet rich in blueberries significantly improved learning capacity and motor skills. Blueberries should be eaten daily.

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3. Broccoli

Broccoli contains strong plant compounds, including antioxidants, and is also high in vitamin K. That vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, which can be found in our brain cells.
It was proven that an extra vitamin K intake leads to better memory.

4. Wild salmon.

It seems deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in Omega3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Other Omega3 rich fish are sardines and herring. It is recommended to include fish in your diet two to three times a week.

5. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great vitamin E sources. It’s recommended to eat them daily, at least an ounce of a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews peanuts, sunflower, and sesame seeds. If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, buy them unsalted. – Also very helpful are pumpkin seeds who contain a high value of Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Iron.

 

6. Avodados

Apparently, avocados are almost as good as blueberries when it comes to improving the health of our brains. Of course, avocado is a fatty fruit, but it contains a particular fat that helps to improve a healthy blood flow. A healthy blood flow means, a healthy brain, and it can contribute to lower blood pressure.

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7. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has strong antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which improves focus and concentration. Also, chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps to lift our mood. Still, as good as it sounds, this one has to be enjoyed in moderation. Less is more when it comes to dark chocolate. It does come with a few side effects.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

Christmas Present – Books – The Council Of Twelve Series – By A. J. Alexander

It’s Christmas Time!

Books make the best presents!


A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


A Winter Tale

December time is winter time, we’re waiting for the show

that white flakes offer when they softly glide down to build snow.

In certain parts on this globe, snow is never seen

For the past two Decembers now, that’s exactly where I’ve been.

**

White Christmas, as described in this one song

is not common in Southern California all along.

I still put up my Christmas tree and will enjoy the time

will live the present, forget the past and listen to the chime.

**

There are moments I admit, I miss the sparkling cold

the flakes, the ice flowers, and that in the sunshine it looks like gold.

I miss the snow angels, the snowball battles and all the fun

snow walks that are romantic, along the lake in the winter sun.

**

But to enjoy the romance back in my life and the love that makes it start

that one man should understand he’s missed and he is in my heart.

Winter time and Christmas time, we’re busier than ever, as it seems

but also, it’s a reflective time, with lots of room for hope and dreams.

**

Enjoy December, that month, the last in the old year

Prepare for new things, for a new start that is quite near.

Open your heart and welcome the good that’s sent from above

be it hope, be it smiles, be it luck or even love.

*****

(Copyright Aurora Jean Alexander, December 2020)

Picture courtesy of Pinterest.com

A Christmas Present For A Writer

Christmas presents are not easy to pick. But it might be even more difficult for a writer. (Unless you’re together with one, have one in your family or as a friend, then it’s not.)

In my experience, many writers like the following items more than anything:

  • pens
  • desk organizers
  • paper notebooks
  • planners
  • more pens
  • coffee & mugs
  • briefcases & bags to transport their books & accessories

Pens

Let’s start with one of the main and most important tools of a writer. Without pens, we’d be lost. I found out, that even though we all have modern computers, many writers still prefer simple pens and paper for personal notes, agendas, calendar entries, and more. A handful of pens to secure a writer’s work is, therefore, always a welcome present.

Now, don’t make a bad mistake here: even though many of us, steal P.R. pens whenever we have the chance to and carry them around with us (I belong to those writers too!), …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… if we get those ‘cheaper by the dozen’ pens as a Christmas present, you could say, we could be a little ‘miffed’.

We love beautiful pens! We enjoy how they feel and we celebrate the time we use them! We just don’t carry them around with us permanently because some of us are a bit absentminded and we tend to forget our pens somewhere, misplace or lose them. Our ‘good pens’ are at home with us! A nice ‘Parker’ or ‘Waterman’ pen as a present, is just the right thing.

 

 

 

 


Desk Organizers

Of course, there are clearly outlined modern designed desk-organizers around that you can buy at every ‘Office Depot’ or ‘Staples’… and you won’t do us, writers, a favor. We prefer the extraordinary. Something that not everyone has, something unique, that makes us feel special.

So this isn’t recommendable:

Try to find something that we don’t see every day. Something personalized, maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paper Notebooks

You can kick us, but as soon as we see paper notebooks, we forget everything around us and focus on that inner voice that tells us: ‘Want – want – want!”

Of course, we’re not talking about a regular scholar 5-subject ring book you can buy at every supermarket. We are talking about extraordinary, leather-bound notebooks! Antique looking ones that we plan to write on with that one special pen we got from you last birthday. And make no mistake: You buy antique, you’ll get rid of it – because we don’t give a hoot does it look antique or is it really old! We will use it!

 

 

 

 

 


Planners

Now, with the planners, I’m a bit insecure. At this place, I can only talk for myself and many other female writers. We need to plan our publishing, our marketing, how many words we write a day, a week, a month, any upcoming events, and many more things. But we’re not at the office, we’re not at our job, we want to work our writing with lots of fun and some unconventional tools. We like planners, of course! But please, don’t pick the ‘business planner’. We’re not at work – we do what we love! Pick the fun one!

(And if there are any male writers who would prefer the fun ones too, please let us know in the comments! We love to be educated!)


More Pens

Of course, if a simple Parker or Waterman pen isn’t enough, just for our Birthday or Christmas that will do, but for Anniversaries, Valentines Day, or Wedding (In case our favorite car model has sold out), we would NEVER say no to a pen that’s worth a bit more than the Staples pen we use to write down the shopping list.

Meisterstueck Geometry Solitaire Champagne Gold Midsize Ball Point Pen

Montblanc

MASTER BALLPOINT PEN

SANTOS DE CARTIER ROLLERBALL PEN

Cartier

Caran d’Ache 1010 Diamonds Limited Edition


Coffee & Mugs

Many writers love drinking coffee before writing, during writing and after writing too. (Mine often gets cold, but who cares…) I love to drink it in a special writer’s mug. (When I moved I couldn’t take mine, so I’m open for new ones. LOL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, a coffee mug and coffee for a writer is a a ‘side-present’, considering it’s a necessity. But I particularly enjoy the brands here below. (They can be bought at World Market)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Briefcases & Bags

Depending on the writer’s age, we have to admit that carrying a bag, over the shoulder or anywhere else, ain’t as easy anymore as it once was. With a heavy heart, we decided on a rolling office bag to transport our valuables. (which normally means our current, the newest, the latest, and a couple other books, the Work in progress, pens, paper, extra paper and pens, electronics, Kleenex, cables, chargers, hand cream, and tweezers, because you never know…)

In clear words: we take half of our office, if not 2/3, and expect our bags are holding it.

Good Luck!

Desert Cart Organizer – Everything Mary

Husky Water Resistant Rolling Tote

 

Levenger Deluxe Portable Office Ensemble

 

Mobile Solution Upright Wheel Carry-All from Samsonite


 

How I Stay Organized While Writing a Story – Written By Sharon K Connell

Whether you’re a traditionally published or an Indie author/writer, whether you are the type who outlines your entire book or write by the seat of your pants, or even if you’re somewhere in between, a writer needs to be organized. That organization may look like utter chaos to others, or your writing space may lean toward the OCD type personality. It does matter, as long as it works for you and helps you accomplish your goals in writing.

Throughout the writing of my now seven books, my writing space has always leaned more toward the chaotic look to others. But I do know where everything on my desk is at the moment it’s needed. Well, maybe not every time, but it doesn’t take me long to find something.

From the beginning of my writing career, I’ve been an Indie Author, and I write by the seat of my pants. No outline beforehand is needed. When I first start to write a story, I start with a 5 subject spiral notebook or a 3-ring binder. Each section is labeled for quick access.

 

The first section is designated for my characters profile. Each character, starting with my main character and then as they show up in the story, has their own page, which is numbered. On that page, I write down everything I know about the character, starting with their appearance. As the story progresses, each time I give a specific attribute to or detail about the character, I list it on the page.

At the top of the page, under the character’s full name, is noted hair color and texture, eyes, height, physique, etc. Later I might add the kind of car they drive, where they work, and even how they drink their coffee. In this way, if it comes up again, the character doesn’t change their appearance or habits. A list of the characters and the page where their information is found is on the front divider for that section.

The next section has what I call a “Running Outline” of the story.

In other words, I mark the chapter and scene in the margin and give a brief explanation of what’s happening in that scene. The day and time, if changed from the previous scene, is also noted.

While I’m creating the running outline, I jot down all special events on a calendar. For instance, if my character is celebrating Thanksgiving dinner in 2020 with a friend out of town, and a fire breaks out which is pertinent to the story, I notate it on the calendar. If an important character shows up for dinner the next day, I notate it on the calendar. In this way, I can see at a glance how many days have elapsed from that event to the next without having to reread all my notes.

It helps to keep your timeline straight.

Major ideas are jotted down in the last section. That also becomes my catchall for all ideas, changes, things I need to check, etc.

The other two sections are used for research notes and misc. like things to check before sending the ms to the editor.

At the end of the spiral, I work backward on the pages to make notes for a book launch, book trailer, etc. Extra tabs come in handy here.

From the picture of my desk above, you can see that I have many notes hanging on my desk. These are information notes I refer to all the time while writing, so I don’t have to keep looking things up in my many resource books.

Being an Indie Author, I don’t have to keep to a strict schedule like writing so many words per day. But I do keep myself on a loose schedule. I know I want to have a new book published during the summer, and something smaller (novella, short story collection, etc.) at the end of the year. But I don’t stress over it. Since I’ve fallen into a pattern of doing the stories this way for the past two years, it now comes naturally.

I hope I’ve given you an idea of how to organize your writing system. Most of you seasoned writers probably already have your own organizational method, but maybe this will help one or two of the newbies on the block. J

Best wishes on your writing journey.

 

Here are the links to my books in order of publication.

A Very Present Help http://amzn.to/2yuF4eE 

Paths of Righteousness http://www.amazon.com/dp/1732923701 

There Abideth Hope http://www.amazon.com/dp/173292371X 

His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI 

Icicles to Moonbeams (Novella) https://amzn.to/2OfcHYi

Treasure in a Field www.amazon.com/dp/1732923736

Sharon’s Shorts~A Multi-Genre Collection of Short Stories https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732923744

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell

 

Here’s a comment or two about my writing to tempt you. J

“The author writes with a uniquely vivid and dramatic touch that keeps the reader engrossed in the narrative throughout. Her characters are strongly drawn, distinctly memorable, and wholly realistic. Her plot-lines are, in this writer’s experience, top-drawer in their nail-biting intensity.” From Author, Alan O’Reilly

“Connell knows exactly how to prime the reader for a knockout climax. She litters her scenes with genius, loaded details to heighten the tension. She increases the stakes with every page. Behind the humor and romance, she builds the danger until any little sound — elevator doors that open in the story and the phone that rings next to you on the side table — sends your heartbeat into a cardio workout.

“The edge of your seat may be frayed, but when your doctor remarks that your heart is healthy and robust, you’ll thank the suspense-induced cardio workout Connell gave.”~Andra Loy, ACFW Scribes member

Please take time to visit me on my website: www.authorsharonkconnell.com I’d love to hear from you.

 

Christmas Present – Books – The Council Of Twelve Series – By A. J. Alexander

It’s Christmas Time!

Books make the best presents!


A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?