Buy Gifts For Christmas – Give Books!

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

It’s almost Christmas Time! If you don’t have a gift for your god-child, your niece, nephew, your best friend’s kids – or feel like reading a paranormal romance for young adults, just because you’re curious, check out A. J. Alexander’s ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the books here:

https://books2read.com/u/m2roOj                     https://books2read.com/u/mgGGeX

A wonderful idea is it, to give signed paperbacks! You can order them on my website! 

Order a signed Soul Taker copy                  Order a signed Sundance copy

(Please order immediately to make sure your signed copy will arrive before Christmas. That service currently is only for the U.S. and Canada)
picture courtesy of: http://www.marketingweek.com

Introducing A Great Place To Write II

It’s been quite some time since I wrote about a great place to write. But a few weeks ago I found one. It was quite unexpected.

It’s getting cooler here… yes, even in Southern California autumn is visible and feelable. A couple weeks ago, I knew I’m going to be cool sitting outside and writing, and there was a breeze that can make writing on paper a bit uncomfortable at times. Besides, I hadn’t eaten that day and was a bit hungry.

I discovered ‘Mimi’s Bistro & Bakery’ in Thousand Oaks and found it inviting on the outside. I decided to go in and see if I could stay for a while, eat, and write.

It was homey and cozy inside as well, and I had a wonderful waitress, called Melissa. They have a quite attractive menu here:

I told Melissa who I am and what I planned, and she beamed like the sunshine and invited me to stay as long as I liked. She paid really good attention to me, did not constantly disturb me, and counted on me looking at her if I needed something.

I was in Mimi’s Bistro for about three and a half hours and loved it! The food is great, the staff was wonderful and polite, and since then, I had been back at ‘Mimi’s’ and enjoyed the ambiance and Melissa’s service again. Drop by and enjoy it!

That particular location of Mimi’s Bistro and Bakery can be found here:

Thousand Oaks
400 N Moorpark Rd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Phone: (805) 373-6161

If you ever go there, to eat – or write – or both, and you see Melissa, please tell her I said hi. She’s amazing!

A TV Show I Loved And Miss – Admiring The Writers

Leverage was an American TV show which aired from 2008 to 2012. The series was produced by executive producer and director Dean Devlin. Leverage was based on a five-person-team:

The team had decided to help people who cannot help themselves. Citizens who are not strong enough to fight corporate or governmental injustices. They say their team starts to work where the law stops.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Story plot:

Most episodes follow a set story structure: After meeting the client, the Leverage team researches the villains to find a weakness to exploit. Each con, either as originally planned or as complications develop, typically requires the specialized skills of all the members of the group. Towards the end of each episode, the villains seem to get the upper hand, only to be outwitted by the team. Because most of the narrative has seemed to follow the team’s point of view, the audience is momentarily uninformed as to exactly how they have succeeded in their con. A flashback then reveals how a seeming complication was either anticipated by the Leverage team, or used in a clever improvisation. These flashbacks, which are featured in most episodes, excepting 113, sometimes reveal only in retrospect that an earlier scene was actually a clue to the Leverage team’s plan. More often, the flashbacks reveal new information to which the viewer has not been privy. This formula is followed by every episode in seasons one, two, and three. With the exception of the final season, each season ends with a two-part finale which involves a two-part, multi-stage con designed to bring down a major adversary, such as an international crime financier in season three, with an ending that advances the team’s story into the new season.  (Source: Wikipedia)


But why am I telling you all this? It’s actually very simple: I watched that TV shows for years. After it was canceled I bought all five seasons on DVD and watched them until I had learned them by heart.

As simple and dray Wikipedia has described the story plot of the episodes and seasons, the pattern the episodes and seasons followed, is quite correctly shown.

The actors gave their hearts to the show and they visibly relaxed around each other and enjoyed working together.

No matter how well the episodes followed that pattern, each one was different and I could not tell two who were the same. Each one was thrilling and exciting.

More and more I admired the writers behind the Leverage show!

Leverage was written by show creators John Rogers and Chris Downey along with a team of writers. The team changed with the seasons, but there were never less than three or more than five writers, along with the season’s script editor.

Let me introduce you to them:

John Rodgers

Chris Downey

Dean Devlin

Wil Wheaton

Keith R. A. DeCandido

James Scura

Armin Shimerman

Marisa Guterman

Kirk Bovill

Rick Emerson


Every single episode to me was an adventure. I saw the characters develop within the show. I saw the actors develop as well and grow as a group and as a team.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who loved the show. It had (and still has) fans all over the world.

We all admired Parker’s physical abilities, we all envied Sophie’s cleverness; also we all wished we had Hardison’s IT and technology knowledge, Nate’s masterful mind – I heard men hoped they had Eliot’s strength and strategic experience – and we girls were all a little bit in love with Eliot.

Let’s celebrate the group of writers who were able to create a TV show of such sophisticated finesse that they kept fans globally on their seats for 5 years.

Thank you, writer-team! Well done! It was great!


Thank you, actor team! You were amazing!

Picture courtesy of https://boardgamegeek.com

How to Choose the Right Antagonist for Any Type of Story – Written By K.M. Weiland

Thank you for an amazing blog post on how to choose the right antagonist. This is an interesting and very educational post.


Here’s how to choose the right antagonist for your story. You know “If I Didn’t Have You”—that song John Goodman and Billy Crystal belt out at the end of Monsters, Inc.? It’s this total bromance duet about the undying friendship of our two favorite monsters. But pretty much every lyric in there could also be crooned in gratitude by any good protagonist to any good antagonist:

I wouldn’t be nothing
If I didn’t have you
I wouldn’t know where to go
Wouldn’t know what to do

The antagonist may not be the big-money reason readers pick up a book or audiences flock to a theater. But he is ultimately the reason the protagonist either a) has a reason to stop wasting her life eating potato chips on the couch or b) doesn’t just coast through every obstacle with boring ease.
So we gotta give our antagonists some love.

Continue reading HERE

 

Five Holiday Challenges Only Writers Will Understand – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb, one of my very favorite bloggers whose wisdom and helpful educational blog I appreciate very much, published an amazing post about writers and the Holidays. Thanks so much, Kristen!


It’s the holiday season, and this is a tough time for most people. For, writers, it’s peace hell on Earth, largely—though not entirely—due to the whole ‘having to wear pants’ thing.

We authors, historically, have been a misunderstood group of people.

Burned as witches. No holiday there. Survival rate after a political coup? Close to zero. Odds of being shot? Pretty much hundred percent, which correlates closely with odds of keeping mouth shut #FunFact.

Friends and loved ones still invite us to holiday gatherings. Sadly, no ‘burned at stake’ or ‘firing squad’ option. Those require pants, but less talking and no prerequisite to bring some dumb@$$ ‘White Elephant’ gift and a nut-free appetizer.

*makes note to hunt down and murder person who invented ‘White Elephant’ game’*

*Why is the elephant white and not pink?*

*makes note to google that later*

*makes note to put that in novel and kill it*

*along with the person who invented it*

Where was I? Oh yes, holiday stuff. Writers. Why writers should be able to qualify for service animals every year. Holiday honey badgers that bite.

Continue Reading Here

 

Top Tips for Marketing Your Book for the Holiday Season – Written By Ronita Mohan – On Nicholas Rossis’ Blog

Thank you very much, Ronita, for a blog post full of marketing ideas for the Holiday season!


The holiday season isn’t just about snow and families and giving gifts—it’s also a great time for marketing your book.

We have some top tips for holiday book marketing—including what to post on social media and include in newsletters—so you can improve book sales and reach customers well into 2020.

Season’s Greetings

How are your fans and audience going to know that you are participating in the holiday season? A simple gesture is all it takes—share season’s greetings on your marketing channels.

This means sending out a holiday-themed post on your social media and sending a holiday email.

But you can go beyond that. Why not also design holiday cards—with card templates—that fans can send to their families?

You can use imagery from your books or, if you prefer, something simple: you in a festive hat, or your books with festive bows tied around them.

Sharing best wishes for the season is a simple way to remind people that you and your books are just what they need to make their holiday season.

Continue Reading Here