Connect to Your Fans and Followers with the New Social Icons Widget

This is quite interesting, WordPress users! A new widget. I really need to find out how this works. 🙂

The WordPress.com Blog

We’re excited to introduce the new Social Icons Widget, which allows you to connect with visitors on your favorite social media networks.

The new widget supports over 40 popular social platforms, from the ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter, to crafter haven Etsy, to artsy enclaves like DeviantArt and Dribbble. Highlight music or podcasts through SoundCloud or iTunes, or connect with your community via Meetup or Yelp. Business owners will also appreciate being able to hook up their company’s LinkedIn page.

The new widget offers more flexibility, letting you choose from among three icon sizes: small, medium, and large. Pick the one that looks best on your site! You can even drag-and-drop the links in your Customizer to reorder your social icons.

Drag and drop social icons

Activate it now by going to My Site → Customize → Widgets. For self-hosted WordPress users, this new widget will be available in Jetpack soon.

If you’ve been using…

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Author Spotlight – Kevin James Breaux

Kevin James Breaux is a PRG member

 

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Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kevin James Breaux and I am an award-winning author and artist.

 

1. When did you start writing?

Honestly, I started writing in middle school. My best friend had this weird summer job that he was at like 6 days a week from 8am to 8pm. I know, where were the child labor laws??? So I was bored and started writing stories.

I started trying to write books in college and then in 2007/2008, I sold my first short story which allowed me to officially join the Horror Writers of America. So, professionally ten years.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

I need a proper outlet for my creativity. I went to art school. I can draw, paint, sculpt, and take a damn fine photo…but nothing allows me to truly reach my creative heights like writing does. And I get super inspired by Television and Movies. Good ones…

 

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am a multi-genre author. I write, mostly, in Fantasy and Horror and those subgenres like Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy and Urban Fantasy. I always have elements of Romance in my works. And sometimes they can edge toward erotic. One of my current books, THE LIFEBLOOD OF ILL-FATED WOMEN is a Viking Age Dark Fantasy with elements of Romance and Horror. It is a Norse Mythology Action-Adventure with Historical Fiction. See what I mean?

I choose these genres because they are the genres I enjoy seeing what other artists and authors are creating in. I have always loved fantasy art and role-playing games and video games. Naturally, I went to those directions first. They say “write what you know”. I think I am well-versed in those fantasy and urban fantasy worlds from all the RPG books I have read growing up.

 

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I have been published in print, in ebooks, and on the web. I have been published by small press, traditional press, and independently. I really want to land a series at a big publisher like TOR or PYR or DAW. I’d love to see one of my books made into a movie. But then I’d REALLY want to cast it myself. (no Tom Cruise whammies!)
Oh, and someday I would like to write some comics or a graphic novel. (IDW and Dark Horse Comics, I think you hear me knocking…)

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Nope. Never.

 

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Really look at the publishing world and business how it is NOW. Not how it was years ago with the first Harry Potter or Twilight books. Not how it was with 50 Shades… Look now. Find some authors who are at the mid-range and ask them how hard they work and what kind of living they make. People still have a misgivings about writing making you rich and famous. It doesn’t. It’s a labor of love. So you really need to love it to want to invest the 60+ hours a week to do it. And I’d suggest getting a book written, edited a dozen times, and published…before setting up author pages on social media. There really is no need to rush that.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

 

Well, I have two series out right now. Here is some information on the first books in both of those series.

You can find them, and more, on my author listing at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-James-Breaux/e/B0036L79FO

www.kevinbreaux.com

 

 

ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL – Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Action-Adventure
www.onesmokinghotfairytail.com

This is book one in a series. Book two comes out this month.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29854598-one-smoking-hot-fairy-tail

Buyer’s link: http://a.co/7tunMB3

America’s population is slowly dying due to an epidemic, and Alexander, an ancient, immortal shaman, has medicine that can heal people. It has one small side effect—Alexander’s able to control the minds of anyone taking the drug, nicknamed “dust.”

Alexander plans to take over the country once dust is released to the general public, crushing anyone who stands in the way. He needs just a little bit more of a certain magical ingredient to make the medication work properly: fairy wings.

An intelligent, stunning fairy, Sabrina was also America’s sweetheart—until a video of a crime she was involved in surfaces, nearly destroying her. A year later, she’s finally ready to step back into the spotlight. Together with her bodyguard, Mira, a water spirit in human form, Sabrina’s prepared to start over.

Things are starting to look up until she meets Alexander in a club and goes from social outcast to tortured captive in the blink of an eye. Will she be able to escape the evil shaman and his mind-controlled slaves in time to save herself and everyone she cares about?

Sabrina, a lovely fairy has it all: fame, fortune, and beauty—until her boyfriend Cade, a rebel vampire, films their involvement in a crime as well as the passionate lovemaking that follows.

But Cade loses his camera and the video is posted online, ruining Sabrina’s life. After a year of nursing her wounds, she resurfaces only to find herself hunted for her wings.

The lives of all unearthly beings are at stake—fairies, windigos, mummies, and elemental spirits, caught up in a frightening flood of events that threaten their discovery. Sabrina and Moselle, a sex-starved mummy and the daughter of a wealthy businessman, find themselves in the middle of the conflict, forced to take drastic action to protect their identities and lives.

In trying to save themselves can they also prevent the United States from falling into the hands of an evil mind with horrible intentions?

 

Book Two in the series:

Buyer’s link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE LIFEBLOOD OF ILL-FATED WOMEN – Dark Fantasy/Horror/Thriller/Romance
www.lbifw.com

Book one in a series. Book two comes out in 2018.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1995218578

Buyer’s link: http://a.co/giFvEPd

Astrid the White isn’t an average princess. She has always stayed by the side of her father, King Kol, and learned warfare and weaponry from the best Vikings in the land. When she awakens in the city of Birka and hears the sounds of war, she rushes proudly into the fray. She is more than capable of taking down any enemy wishing to disturb the peace.

This enemy, however, isn’t what she expected. Before Astrid even gets outside the walls, a golden light knocks her out.

She comes to in the snow, in full battle armor. Astrid first suspects that this is a challenge from her father—or even the gods themselves. By acting correctly, she can gain the favor of Odin, the Allfather.

Astrid wants to complete the test, but it becomes more and more difficult as she explores this new part of the world and encounters both monsters and monstrous men. As creatures from the darkest legends reveal themselves, Astrid will discover that her journey isn’t about acting correctly or passing Odin’s test. It’s about pure survival. Before she can even think about finding Birka, she will have to defend herself against the demons of this new world.

For Astrid, there is no greater honor than dying as a true Viking warrior and ascending to Valhalla. She anticipates it in every battle and is always eager for the next fight. When she hears the sounds of war outside her father’s stronghold of Birka, she answers the call. But a golden light envelops her, and she is suddenly gone.

If that light had taken her to Valhalla, she would have been at peace.

Instead, this golden light dumps her into a snowy, awful, godforsaken land. Astrid has no idea where she is or how she got here. She begins to suspect that she is in Hel, the underworld of Norse mythology. As Astrid searches for her home and family, a farmer, Warren, comes to her aid. Astrid doesn’t trust him at first, but she will have to rely on Warren and other companions when her destiny reveals itself.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

 

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A Simple Guide to Book Advances and Royalties

A Writer’s Path’ Ryan Lance has written a very informative and simple guide to book advances and royalties. Thank you very much!

A Writer's Path

by Gary Smailes

When a book publisher offers a book deal to a new author, the contract will talk about ‘advances’ and ‘royalties’. These can be a little confusing to new authors, though a little bit of knowledge will go a long way to helping you fully understand what you are being offered.

In this article, you will learn about royalties and advances, you will discover what is usual for a book publisher to offer and you will find out how the publishing world is changing the way it provides advances and royalties.

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How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Gain Followers and Build Your Audience

Cathleen Townsend provides us with an excellent article about hashtags and how to use them to be successful in gaining followers and audience. I’m sure you’ll find it as informative and interesting as I do.

The Beauty of Words

hashtagOne of Twitter’s advantages compared to other forms of social media is that it’s possible to build a network quickly. But if you don’t want a network with nothing but bots and online marketers, you’ll need to find some real people, hopefully ones who share some of your interests. Hashtags can help.

Hashtags are a word or phrase that come after the pound sign (#) and are included in your tweet. For example:

Come read my #blogbattle winner, Oak: http://wp.me/s6jPnk-oak. #shortstory, #flashfiction, #amwritingfantasy

I’ve never used four hashtags in a tweet before, but the story title was short, and one of the hashtags worked into the message. Generally, I restrict my hastags to only one or two.

Whenever you use a hashtag, you aren’t just identifying with a group, like wearing the jersey for your favorite team. Hashtags do more than that.

On the top right hand side of the menu…

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A Blogging Question

‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ exists now for merely two years. I would say, I have built a nice and supportive audience and wonderful people following and reading and commenting regularly.

This blog was always ever thought of being a writer’s blog. Supporting other authors, posts about writing, re-blogging from other author’s blogs. That’s what it should be.

Occasionally I throw in some small personal posts like Happy… (whatever holiday comes up) and a very few personally important articles like the ‘National Anthem’ day, my showing up on a couple of radio shows or the BOAW blog fest participation posts.

Lately, I was involved in a discussion about fashion. Questions came up, and I had tons of fun thinking about it when all of a sudden the devil on one of my shoulders whispered: “This would be a fun blog post.”

But then there was the little angel on the other shoulder replying: ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ is a writer’s blog. Trivial fashion articles are not to be posted.”

 

 

I know, my little angel is right. ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ is a writer’s blog. But is there anything that speaks against an occasional personal blog post?

And here I’m not sure what to think. My devil ain’t happy with me – nor my angel, if it comes to that. I wouldn’t be surprised if these two started fighting.

But that’s not the point.

I’d like to hear your opinion: What should I – or can I do?  Am I supposed to let an occasional personal article show up on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ or is the blog to be left alone the way it is? What do you think? Please help me out.

Thank you!

Our Jogger – Guest Post by Emily Gmitter (by kind permission from Zoe)…

A guest post by Emily Gmitter on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. It touched me in a very unique and special way. So I decided to re-blog it – in memoriam of Geoffrey.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

profile-pic_my-name-is-zoe

Zoe here, I’m on a break, so I’m going to let my human have my spot this month, but I WILL be BACK.

It seemed the end of an era. I knelt beside the still body that was lying on the sidewalk in front of my house. I touched the back of my hand to his familiar face; it was cool to the touch. Not that I needed to do that; the thin skin on his face was a shade of bluish gray that indicated only one thing. I called 911 and waited for the paramedics to arrive.

Leaning against the stone wall in front of our home, I continued to stare at the body. I knew him, but I didn’t know him. Who were you?

In death, he did not seem as old as he had appeared when he was jogging through our neighborhood, which he did every day…

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How to Recycle Old Blog Content

Suzie speaks provides us with an excellent article about how to recycle old blog content. Thank you very much!

Suzie Speaks

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.

3. My lifestyle has changed for the…

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