A Health Break

As some of you might know, a few weeks back being in severe pain I had to go to the ER. After the weekend passed we had found out I had shingles. Trying to arrange my life with shingles wouldn’t be easy, I knew that. It would take a few weeks, but it can be done.

While working on that I developed a high fever. As usually, the flu comes up when you need it least, right? Or so I thought…

With all the medication I had to take for the shingles I did not want to uncontrolled take even more meds and end up unconscious in a corner one day with a cocktail of chemistry in my veins. I had survived the flu before and would survive again. Wonderful me.

Until I started coughing…

It was time to go back to the doctor. Diagnosis was quick: a massive infection… My ‘flu’ turned out to be a bad infection of the upper and lower respiratory system.

This means, sleeping, taking antibiotics, sleeping again… and trying to recover.

It will need a while. And during this recovery process I’m afraid I won’t be found behind the computer too often. I will be back as soon as I can. I miss writing and blogging.

But my health commands a break right now.

See you soon! Take care.

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How To Organize A Blog Tour – Research by A. J. Alexander

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During the past years of activity on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest,’ and the inquiries to publish posts and interviews for different Blog Tours I promised myself once I find the time I would do research on ‘Blog Tours.’ What is this? And why is it so important to writers? Who does organize them and if I have to do that myself, how to do it best?

What is a Blog Tour?

Alessandra Wike writes on “PR by the book”:
The age of the internet gives authors the opportunity to connect with thousands of people. Taking advantage of these seemingly endless possibilities, blog tours provide great publicity for a new book without the hassle (or expense!) of travel. Instead of an author traveling from bookstore to bookstore and city to city, an author’s book can travel virtually from blog to blog and garner hundreds, if not thousands, of views in a short amount of time.

To read the entire blog post, click here.

 

“Reedsy,” writes:

A blog tour is very much like a traditional book tour, where the author would go from town to town to sign their books and meet new readers; except this time, you go from blog to blog. There are countless fiction and non-fiction blogs that have emerged in the past few years, all written by passionate readers who want to share their love of books with other readers. They post book reviews, launch announcements, and interviews with their favorite authors. To continue reading the article on Reedsy, click here.

 

“Bookmaster” for example gives us a hint on what it means to work on a Blog Tour by writing:

A blog book tour can be set up by a publicist, but if an author has self-published and doesn’t have a publicist, they can do the leg work themselves. The key is to find blogs that are relevant to the topic of the book that are interested in participating in the blog book tour. For example, cooking blogs would be the target if you wrote a cookbook and relationship blogs would be the target if you wrote a book that provided love advice. Depending on the topic of the book there could be an unlimited number of blogs, or there might only be a handful if the topic is extremely niche. Each book tour should include a manageable amount of blogs, as the tour requires a significant amount of time from the author. Even though it’s not an in person tour, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. (The article can be found here)

 

Now: what interested me most is: How do I really organize a Blog Tour? Of course, there are several hints, tips, and tricks from different writers; the basic work seems more or less the same – several have apparently had super-success while others complained that their echo was insufficient.

One article that impressed me was an article, published by Penguin Random House.

For example, does the post answer important questions like:

• What are the benefits of putting your book on a blog tour?
• What types of books work best for blog tours?
• How can an author ensure his or her blog tour is a success?
• How can an author work with his or her publicist to set up an effective blog tour?

or

• What are some best practices when preparing for a blog tour?

The entire article can be read here:
http://authornews.penguinrandomhouse.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-organizing-a-blog-tour/

*****

 

By researching further into the topic, I found another impressive and informative post on Joel Friedlander’s Book Designer’s Blog. He published a guest post, 7 Top eBook Blog Tour Sites, written by Greg Strandberg.

Greg informs about seven eBook Tour Sites, gives prices, information and his opinion to them. I think it’s worth checking them out. He as well links their names to their websites. (For copyright reasons I cannot do this below.)

1. YA Bound Book Tours
2. Xpresso Book Tours
3. Enchanted Book Promotions
4. Bewitching Book Tours
5. Goddess Fish Promotions
6. Sage’s Blog Tours
7. Rockstar Book Tours

If you like to read his opinion about these Sites, please check them out on his article by clicking here.

Finally, after hours and hours of research, I found an excellent post, provided by Mixtus Media on

How To Set Up A Successful Blog Tour + A FREE Guide

They not only provide us with an 11-step-guide on how to organize a Blog Tour, they as well provide us with a free Blog Tour Worksheet.

STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL READER
STEP 2: RESEARCH
STEP 3: CREATE A LIST
STEP 4: DETERMINE YOUR RESOURCES
STEP 5: FIGURE OUT YOUR TIMEFRAME
STEP 6: CONTACT BLOGGERS
STEP 7: Stay ORGANIZED
STEP 8: CONSIDER GIVEAWAYS
STEP 9: ANNOUNCE THE TOUR
STEP 10: FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE DELIVERY
STEP 11: FOLLOW UP

Each step is carefully described. To download the Worksheet, which I did, you are first subscribing to their newsletter. But I doubt that’s a problem. They do have more interesting information on their blog. (I didn’t have problems to download their worksheet, just in case your virus program is sensitive. Mine is, and it has carefully scanned the file and found nothing.)

After all the information I had found on Blog Tours I would love to hear from experienced writers how they had found it to organize their blog tours. Is it easy, is it hard? Do you mind providing us with some extra tips, tricks, and hints?

Dangerous Shadow – A Riddle

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He is strong and he is fast

when he strikes, no prey to last.

He hunts in darkness quite with ease

not on the ground but also in trees

**

When he’s hungry, in greatest shape

he kills the monkey and the ape.

On the ground he hunts boar and deer

birds and reptiles live in fear.

**

He’s fast as lighting and still is proud

a soft footed hunter who’s never loud.

He lives alone most of his life

two of them end up in strife.

**

He’s beautiful but very rare

he’s shy and carries unique hair.

His fur was coveted long ago

he’s almost gone from what we know.

**

He can get three feet without the tail

to watch and hunt him ends in fail.

His teeth and claws do make him climb

and hide in trees for quite some time.

**

Strong he is, blends in and linked

soon enough he’ll be extinct.

He has been hunted, hauled and stalled…

Clouded leopard is he called.

*****

(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, June 2017)

 

Picture courtesy of: Charles Barilleaux from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America – Wet Behind the Ears, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27166299

How To Deal With Impatience When It Comes To Writing?

For years already I know that ‘patience’ and myself aren’t on friendly terms. If I want something, I want it now; not sometime in the future, but right now, as in ‘this instant.’ So, me being a writer hasn’t changed me significantly. Sometimes I want too much, too early. The process of writing (or typing into the computer) cannot be accelerated. It still means, to write one letter after the next, one word after the next, one paragraph and then chapter after the next one. I understood that pretty quickly, and that’s not mainly what bugs me.

But being a writer, even deciding to self-publish, means to call on other people’s services. We’re talking about cover designers (even though, mine is faster than lighting!!), editors (and mine is an angel and works with all her heart to make this book look good!!), copyright lawyers, author support service people and so on… Each one of them works with all their knowledge and ability, with all their heart and soul to make my first book a success.

But to me, all I can think of is there are so many people involved in my book – and there’s so much work ahead of me that still needs to be done, that every single delay, like financial straits, is driving me up the walls.

I want to see this book published – and not around Christmas – but now. Now as in ‘tomorrow.’
But: of course, to the same time, I want my book to be perfect. I don’t want anything hasty and sloppy, just because I’m swinging a whip. I want all my supporters and helpers to work at their own pace because I know, they’re excellent in what they’re doing! I’m not impatient with them – I’m impatient with myself, wanting too much too fast – and knowing about it.

My head knows very well tomorrow and the day after won’t be possible – but that little devil on my left shoulder permanently drizzles its poison into my ear and makes my brain fuzzy.
So for the past few months, I have been trying to calm myself down and try to practice patience. How to do that? There are so many different things that are suggested, and I think I tried them all.
Toni Bernhard J.D. writes that she can turn impatience into patience by distracting herself. For example, being stuck in traffic, she starts concentrating on models, colors, and drivers of the other cars. It helps her keep her mind and eyes off the clock.

This, I decided was a good start, but I figured it would be asked to much to listen to the radio to find out where there’s a traffic jam, only to find out how to distract myself… in particular since I’m not in a hurry anyway.

So I tried to distract and calm me with other things. Going for forest walks and swimming helps me a lot, in particular, to focus on myself and my way of dealing with things. Writing lists on what still has to be done, what the delay is and when that particular problem with my delay will be solved. To see it in written form helps me to see more clearly and not listen to my little devil.

I’ve been doing so much research on the things that need to be done before flawlessly publishing a book, that I have been prepared for this and accepted it. Which means, any hold-up is only caused by the weakest link in the chain: myself (or whatever ghost is hunting me currently) Everyone else does a fantastic job with their part of work on my book.

I want it done right, and I won’t let any little devil torpedo my dream, only because I permit my impatience coming the better of me.

This is a wonderful opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to all the people working on this book currently: my cover designer, my editor, and my lawyer. You’re doing such an amazing job!! Thanks so much!!

Are you never impatient? What it is that causes it, in terms of writing? And how do you deal with it? Please let us know, we’re curious.

 

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Fashion For Characters IV

This is the fourth blog post I wrote about Fashion for Characters. The first post I talked about Fashion for Historical Romance, the second about Science Fiction characters and their fashion. The last one was about “my own” genre, fashion for characters in Paranormal Romance.

Today it’s time for fashion in the ‘Fantasy’ genre.

Depending on the characters we’re going to dress, ‘fantasy’ means, we authors are quite free in how to dress our characters.

I impossibly can dress every fantasy character existing in our heads. That’s why I picked just a few.

Let’s start with fairies. What is a fairy to most of us? I would say, a little, thumb sized winged cute nature spirit, able to project herself in human size, if necessary. We can dress her into so many different dresses. I would say: most typical ones would be these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These, of course, are only examples. Our fantasy is unlimited, and so is our taste. Many other writers might have completely different imaginations of how to dress their fairies.

 

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.

Let’s see what we can do about getting our naked elves ready for the public. 😀

What are elves? In my imagination, they’re the taller magic version of fairies, without the wings. (I might, however, be slightly influenced by Mr. Tolkien, but this is not necessarily a bad thing though).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next supernatural creature I would like to dress are witches – or magicians. I’m not talking about the fairy tale witch with the pointed hat and the broom. In my head these are more women, using nature and symbols to perform magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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Of course, there are many more female fantasy characters. I decided on warriors and hunters to be dressed next. In my imagination they’re mysterious, fascinating and at the same time impressive:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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And last, but not least, there are the princesses, queens, and regents. Of course, we are convinced they’re wearing beautiful dresses. In my head, these might be beautiful dresses for them:

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let me know what you think how your fantasy women should be dressed, please. I’d love to read your imagination in my comments.

 

I hope you had as much fun reading these fashion posts as I had writing them.

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(All pictures are courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com)

Poetry Reading – “Let Your Soul Fly Free To Heaven”

November 7, 2016, in a phase of deepest sadness and depression, I wrote and published a poem, “Let Your Soul Fly Free To Heaven”.

Until this day I’m very much convinced that this is probably the rhythmically best poem I ever wrote, and even though, its theme is heartbreak and sadness, I’m still proud of it. That’s why I submitted this poem to the Poetry Festival Page and had it read by a professional actor.

Today I was informed that the poetry reading had been published on their Website. I immediately clicked the link and found it, together with some information about myself.

“Let Your Soul Fry Free To Heaven” is performed by actress Becky Shrimpton and she does a fabulous job. Thank you very much, Becky! And thank you to “Wildsound Fest” who published it on their YouTube channel.

 

Watch it on the Poetry Festival Website:

Poetry Reading: Let Your Soul Fly Free to Heaven, by Aurora Jean Alexander

 

Or on YouTube:

 

 

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Fashion For Characters III

This is the third time I venture to lay hands on fashion for our characters. In my first blog post I dared to talk about the difference between some Historical Romance book covers and the truth; in my second post I showed some past and maybe current and future fashion in the Science Fiction genre.

Right now I decided to peek into ‘my own’ genre, Paranormal Romance. It took me a while to find out what genre I write in. According to Wikipedia, Paranormal Romance means, I write about “Supernatural behavior, abilities, and creatures in our current existing world’. I think this covers it pretty much. I’m sure there are similar or other explanations, telling us more or less the same thing. But this is right. At least that’s what I do.

Let’s take the existing world, mixed with ‘supernatural abilities and creatures.’ These creatures might be all kinds of characters, from trolls to orcs, to fairies, ghosts or even, as I introduced you to: shadows like Rapha Golden, demons, like Ethel, or even this one, unique and mysterious humanoid beautiful ‘Simin Arnatt.’

Let me pick Simin as an example. Simin is mysterious. She holds many secrets, and I am not the one to reveal them, except one: Simin is no spoiled princess. She’s a warrior, a fighter, even a hunter, and exceptionally good at what she does. That’s why, during her work, I dress her into something like this:

 

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course, Simin is a business woman as well, after all, she’s a freelancer in… – never mind. But occasionally she meets clients, agencies or her lawyer. In such a case she has been seen wearing similar outfits like the ones here:

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Simin has the right to be on vacation like other people as well. For these occasions, she has outfits for summer…

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and winter.

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Simin is a unique person, in more than one way. Her life is adventurous and at times dangerous. And still… she’s everywhere and nowhere. She hasn’t known a home for a long, very long time. Her wardrobe is limited. But this doesn’t mean she has no taste or is not fashionable. But I promise, one day, you will find out more about her.

What would you dress your paranormal romance characters in? Do you have published a book in this genre already or are writing one? What are your characters wearing? Please let us know in the comments below.