Writing Blurbs and Bios

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I try not to write at night as I seem to be a different animal than the morning. The vocabulary is different, and a wicked sense of humor appears. It is especially different after a late dinner and red wine, Shiraz preferably.  After imbibing,  I scoot off to the study, my head full of exciting news to share. My fingers fly across the keys and the words flow. I finish with a satisfied smile. The next morning, I read the words, shocked and biting my lip,

I couldn’t possibly put that on the blog. With a sigh, I delete it.

So what to write? Googling and scrolling across the Net, I came across an article by the renowned Richard Ridley on writing blurbs and bios. I was so impressed and copied it into a folder to read often. It is full of tips and advice that are like fresh daisies in a jaded lawn.  I really got caught  up – inspired with his tips on bios and things. Gritting my teeth,  I decided to take the plunge. I ripped out my biography on Author Central. It was kind of boring really, four hundred words of my life history. If I was bored, then my readers must be bored to death.  I mean who wants to know about my grandmother ‘s teeth, or that I soaked my sons’ nappies in a bucket. Those were the days before you could throw them away. Pegs for noses came in handy.  It was a mess I can tell you.

Anyway to continue, I looked into a wide empty screen and asked my inner writer for the words to appear. What could she write that would inspire people. Richard wrote his bio in three lines – I was delighted to read it. Yes! Mine shouldn’t take any more than that.  So here it is:

Katy lives on the South Coast.  You will find her dragged along  the beach by a frenzied dog, all of seven stone, whose main aim in life is to lick everyone.’

Actually, first of all, I wrote, ‘Katy lives on the South Coast with a husband mesmerized by grave stones, and a frenzied dog whose main aim in  life is to drag her along the beach licking everyone.’

I thought that maybe I was being unkind talking about hubby like that. But actually it is true. For instance. when we went to Greece, I was on the beach deciding whether or not I would actually join the other sun worshipers and go topless.  Meanwhile hubby  was in the nearest cemetery looking at Greek grave stones. That was a glorious holiday. I remember  hubby came back from the graveyard with some of the Greek wine from one of the beach cafes. He was legless by the time he reached me. Wine is definitely stronger out there.

I am overjoyed with my new short bio’, since taking off the other three hundred words, I feel naked – free – light and ready to take my frenetic dog down the beach. Actually, it is true about her licking everything.  I did take her to training classes but she’s been expelled twice. Not for being naughty,  but because she loves people to death, one of her things is licking men and women’s bottoms. clothed of course. Honestly, it’s embarrassing for hubby. I can get away with it as the men usually turn around and give me a beaming smile. But poor hubby does get some alarming reactions from ladies  – poor man. By the time he’s finished explaining it’s Lily who’s doing the licking, and not him,  she’s nowhere in sight. Well, she’s in the bushes flirting with the black labrador.

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Wild Turkeys

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It’s impossible to say how many people in the United States will be eating turkey for Thanksgiving this week, and but suffice it to say that there will be a lot! Most will be commercially grown, a few from local farms or raised at home, and even a few turduckhens (a deboned chicken stuffed in a deboned duck which is then stuffed in a deboned turkey). I’m really curious, though, about how many will be wild turkeys. I doubt I’ll ever know, but I know I won’t be eating one of my feral ‘pets!’
There are thousands of wild turkeys here in western Oregon, including the neighborhood flock I’ve watched grow from a few hens and their chicks. Yes, we stop on the road for the foraging birds who will fly short distances when spooked. They make the same ‘gobble gobble’ noise we’ve heard the barnyard variety make. The males do display their tail feathers to impress the females, but I’ve only seen that in the spring when the toms are trying to impress the hens. By the way, the young males are called jakes and look a lot like hens.
A few things I didn’t know: there are six species of Melegaris gallapavo in the US. All of them have keep eyesight and hearing, but have a poor sense of smell. Although their preferred foods are grasses, seeds, berries, and insects, they love creepy crawlies (including snakes and salamanders). They also eat wild flower seeds and quail eggs, and scratch up the ground thoroughly, so some folks consider them a pest. My high ‘deer proof’ fence keeps them out of my yard and garden, but sometimes I wish I could bring them in for a day or three, just so they could eat my arch enemies, slugs! I’d definitely open my gates for a few days if they ate moles and gophers! Since they don’t eat furry vermin, I’ll simply enjoy watching and hearing the moving scenery of the biggest ground bird native to his area: the wild turky.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and be glad it’s not this wily bird. Because they’re so active, their meat is tough..

Looking for a book to help get in the mood for the Christmas season? Right now, I have THREE new novellas in these FOUR box sets. Enjoy 47 stories for $3.96 total (or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited). Download now. These are limited release sets.

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The Joy of Audiobooks by Rachelle Ayala @AyalaRachelle #mgtab

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There’s always something relaxing and soothing about being read to. Perhaps it brings us back to the nights when our moms and dads read good night stories to us or circle time in kindergarten when the teacher swung a picture around while wowing us with the antics of a beagle or a little caterpillar. The lyrical voice of a good storyteller transports us into that magical dimension of a story.

Nowadays, it’s rare as a grownup to have anyone read to you. But you can still recapture the joy by listening to audiobooks. And these days, they are more exciting and engaging than ever, with actors and actresses playing the roles of the characters, wowing and enchanting the listener.

Here are some of the joys of audiobooks.

  1. You can rest your eyes. Close them and lay back, whether on a hammock or porch swing, or even in a bathtub [just make sure not to drop your player into the water.] Let romance seep into the suds and dream about that hot hero and lazy nights at the beach.
  2. You can exercise while listening. Get your steps in on a brisk walk around the lake, or a quiet stroll through the park. If you prefer a faster pace, plug in the earbuds and run to the tune of a heartpounding thriller.
  3. You can cut boredom while waiting in line, sitting on the bus, riding the subway, or driving to work. Extra bonus, listen to a engaging mystery while driving can keep you awake.
  4. You can multitask. Get in a romantic comedy while scrubbing the kitchen or cleaning the bathroom. Don’t worry if someone hears you laughing out loud while chopping vegetables or dusting your living room.
  5. You can babysit your pets. Studies have shown that dogs are calmer and more relaxed when in the presence of their pack–in many cases, that’s you. Hearing your voice or a calming, soothing human voice lowers their heartbeat and anxiety. Many people leave the TV on, but the constant interruptions of commercials, as well as gunshots and violent sounds, can leave your pets more anxious than you’d like. Playing back a playlist of audiobooks allows you to control what your pet is hearing and lets them relax at the sound of familiarity. Perhaps your dog might like to snooze to a classic or get his tail wagging to a hot romance.

This year, as an author, I’ve invested in getting my most popular stories produced in audio. I’ve enjoyed casting the “right” narrator for the mood and tone of my story, from Christmas novellas to steamy sports romances.

I bet you have more ideas on how to use audiobooks. Please comment and let me know how you like your audiobooks served.

Please check out my Audiobooks on Audible.com AND if you don’t have a membership, you can get one of my books free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Here are a few of the most popular ones. [Check out my Audiobook List on my website] or for the complete updated list of books and those with audio [heat level, etc], http://rachelleayala.net/books/

Here’s a review for Her Christmas Chance narrated by Kate Marcin
” …every teardrop worth crying ”

For me reading a story is like watching a movie. In my mind there’s an image of how the scene will play out, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Her Christmas Chance is like a wonderful gift. It inspires and entertains while waking up even the blackest of hearts. The words were all there, the beauty was evident, all that Bella and Chance needed was the perfect voice to bring their fairy tale to life. Kate Marcin proved the right person for that tough job. It’s only fitting that since the author put so much of herself on display that the narrator do likewise. Ms. Marcin made every teardrop worth crying and every smile a well earned reward.

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Are You A Harried Mom? by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz #mgtab

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The moment a child is born, a mother is born also. Being a mom can bring some of the most beautiful and the most frightening experiences in a woman’s life. Running in different directions, doing a dozen things at the same time. Before you know it, you’re a harried mom. If you have kids, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

Here are a few quotes about motherhood:

No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you; after all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. ~C.S. Lewis

May your coffee be stronger than your toddler.

There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one.

A mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.

A worried mother is a better investigator than an FBI agent.

My newest book, FINDING FIONA, is about a harried mom whose husband goes missing. During her journey to locate him, she discovers some things about herself. Here’s a little more about the book:

Finding Fiona

If her husband turns up alive—she’ll kill him!

Explaining to the seriously sexy cop why she hasn’t noticed her husband has been missing for three days is both embarrassing and sobering. But the day Fiona Rowland lifts her head above the churning chaos of kids, carpools, and a million things to do, annoyance turns to fury…then to worry. Where is Stanley?

Having one of those wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee moments changes the way a woman looks at things: marriage, money, family, and friends. And when her best pal from high school arrives (packing her own secrets) to lend support, it turns out even the past isn’t quite what it seems. Scrambling to make sense of the drama unfolding, Fiona discovers there’s an upside to having your whole world turned upside down. It’s easier to grab the good stuff.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and mystery, Finding Fiona has something for every reader. The discussion questions included at the back of the book make this the perfect novel for book clubs and reader groups.

SAVE 60%! PRE-ORDER TODAY!

Get Finding Fiona for $1.99 – After Dec 1, the price jumps to $4.99

US Kindle        UK Kindle 

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Making a Difference by Mona Risk

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi

Some people see themselves as ordinary people going about their daily activities without concerns about their surroundings. They are just happy to make ends meet, put enough food on the table, take care of their families with a little extra on the side for entertainment and vacation. They may complain on and off if things go wrong. When asked about what they do for a living, they shrug and mention they do what they have to do to keep the JOB that gives them a paycheck.  Exactly what I did, when I graduated from University, got married and started a family. All I wanted was a job that would help me make money and improve our difficult beginnings.

Driven by ambition, others are dedicated to their careers and devote every moment to accomplish their goals. When asked about what they do for a living, they talk about their CAREER, about their hard work and perseverance to climb the ladder of success in their field.

That’s me again. At the age of thirty-five, a slipped disc in my back forced me to avoid standing on my feet all day. I quit my job in the lab and enrolled in a Ph.D. program. Once I received my diploma, I changed my goals and worked hard to succeed in my new career as lab manager, and later director of the environmental division of my company.

A few special people want to make a difference in their world. They really believe in a cause larger than themselves and they would go out of their way to make a difference for others. When asked about what they do for a living, they enthusiastically elaborate about their calling, their mission in life, their vocation. Their happiness does not come from money, or status, but from having a positive impact on the lives of others.

I have gone through the three phases.  Burned-out by many years of heavy responsibilities, long hours in the office and continuous traveling, I took an early retirement to write novels and help others around me.

How do you analyze your accomplishments? Wealth? Status? Inner satisfaction? Positive impact on the others?

To start your holidays, I have three books in three very different genres to offer you,  a sweet romance, a sexy mythological adventure, and a sassy modern romance, all at bargain prices.

Just released: a sweet and funny Christmas Story

IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Dr. Sylvia Reynolds promised to be at her parents’ house in time for Christmas dinner. With a blizzard paralyzing the Midwest, passengers are trapped in airports for endless hours. While rushing toward the gate, Sylvia stumbles on a baby rattle, sprawls on the floor, and meets a gorgeous man and his baby niece.
James Alexander must deliver his five-month-old niece to her grandmother. The successful lawyer, who doesn’t know the ABCs of baby care, is at his wits’ end with the crying baby who holds on to Sylvia for sheer survival.
Sylvia helps as much as she can, but when James holds her in his arms…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Armchair Trip to Ancient Egypt with adventure, suspense and hot passion among the gods.
OSIRIS’ SECOND LIFE
Full of adventure, romance and humor this is a great holiday read.”~Love Reading
[The story] takes the reader on an entertaining and fun journey to ancient Egypt,… blend of historical and contemporary feel to it, … with realistic contemporary emotions and expectations.“~nanjar

Special Offer
A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL is free on Kindle Unlimited.
“Who wouldn’t fall for a prince? Dr. Amy Tyrone falls hard for Prince Paul of Rensy Island, though she doesn’t realize he’s royalty. Discovering the truth forces her to make a difficult choice – her patients back home or the man she loves? This charming story whisks you away to the romantic settings of Paris and the Channel Islands for a modern-day fairy tale that will warm your heart.”~ Sue

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World Diabetes Day…My day of thanks! #mgtab by Natalie Ann

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What does November mean to you?

On social media you see all sorts of posts about 30 days of thanks. That’s a great reminder that we should always look for the positive over the negative.

How about Movember? Raising funds for men’s health by growing facial hair. I love this one, but then again I’m a fan of facial hair.

But 10 years ago, the meaning behind November changed for me. It changed my life—my family’s life. Diabetes Awareness Month.

You see, my son was 8 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, also know as juvenile diabetes (though adults can also be diagnosed). The simplest way to describe this is that his pancreas is dead. It doesn’t function at all. The body cannot produce insulin and without insulin we will die. There is currently no cure for Type 1. Though there are all sorts of tools in place to make life more manageable, it’s still not a cure.

Type 2 Diabetes can happen to anyone, not just those who are overweight that most assume it to be associated with. The difference between the two is, with Type 2 your pancreas still produces insulin, just not properly. Diet, exercise and medication can control and sometimes ‘cure’ it.

Those of us who have someone in our lives with Type 1 Diabetes know this is a lifestyle. There is no escaping it for one minute of any day. Your blood glucose could go too high, sending your body into ketoacidosis, which in layman’s terms means the sugar stays in your blood stream and starts to break down your fat and muscles, potentially causing long term issues with your organs.

Or your blood sugar could go low causing you to pass out and yes, die. It’s scary to watch someone you love shaking and lightheaded while staring into space as you force juice and candy down them to keep them alert. Because if they pass out, you have to give them this big nasty shot in the thigh and rush them to the ER, praying you got them there in time.

Why am I explaining all of this? Because today is World Diabetes Day. Yes, that is such a thing. And I’m thankful that I’m able to give a little bit of Diabetes Awareness to my readers.

The next time you see someone shaking, looking pale, acting funny, staring into space or slurring their words. Maybe even looking for food or juice. Don’t assume they may be drunk or on drugs, because the symptoms can actually mimic each other. Ask them if they’re okay, and if there is anything you can do to help them. Blood sugar can drop suddenly with no explanation for some diabetics and many (like my son) don’t feel the symptoms until it’s too late. You could save their life.

Save

Save

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Everyone Can. Will You? #mgtab #beenblessed

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My dilemma today is to post two things in my heart which may or may not flow together, but I’ll do it anyway. First, I’d like to share a labor of love from a group of authors. If you have not read Love Christmas yet, then have a cup of delicious hot chocolate and treat yourself to a heartwarming collection of stories before the Holiday rush consumes your life. I guarantee your spirit will be singing with love, laughter, and cheer by the time you finish. You can find Love Christmas on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Love-Christmas-Holiday-stories-heart-ebook/dp/B01LYLBF86
It’s hard to believe the Holidays are here already. The time of year where our hearts and minds focus our blessings and the ones we love with a little more intentionally than the rest of the seasons. The time of year we rush around looking for the perfect gift or special recipe that says I love you! It’s a time of joyous chaos, gratefulness, and yes, a time of sadness for loved ones who are beyond the reach of our loving arms. So, we bring them close with our memories and pray they’ll know how much they were and are loved.
It’s also a time where many people for different reasons feel as if they are left out in the cold. There isn’t a warm fire of love in their homes. There isn’t the hope of the season in their lives. There isn’t a cheery smile to encourage their day. Which brings me to the second thing I wanted to share with readers today. I recently heard a story of Mother Teresa asking a person what they were doing to help the poor. The person said they replied, they were doing nothing to help, and her answer to him was, Everyone, Can Do Something.
She was right. No matter how little. No matter how seemingly insignificant we can all share a smile, an encouraging word, and a helping hand. We can take a minute out of our lives and show a stranger in any tiny way they are important in life. And for those who can reach out with other resources, there are many other ways to show someone they matter. Samaritan’s Purse (Samaritanspurse.org) sends shoeboxes of love to children around the world. Can you fill a shoebox for a child? Many local organizations minister to those in need and can always use the help.
So, reach out and take an extra moment to do something special for another. If you have either shared or have been blessed with kindness take a moment to tell others with #beenblessed or tweet it out with #beenblessed and share this post with your friends.
Much Love
Jennifer
Remember every day to dream, believe, create, inspire, love, heal, succeed, and grow and share wealth. One Matters.

 

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Die Hard Christmas…Huh? @JoanReeves #mgtab

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I didn’t set out to write a Die Hard Christmas story. It just happened.

It’s funny how the mind works–and doesn’t work. And thereby hangs the tale of a book.

Recently, I uploaded the final manuscript for my latest book, DEAD HEAT, a romantic suspense that surprised me when I realized that it was set a couple of weeks before Christmas!

Now, I didn’t set out to write it as a Christmas book–and it’s not what you’d call a Christmas book unless it’s of the Die Hard Christmas genre. *LOL*

What happened was that I was brainstorming ideas last year about how I wanted to develop the Outlaw Ridge, Texas series. The first book in the series was HEAT LIGHTNING. I knew I wanted the word HEAT in the title of each book, but I didn’t necessarily want the book set in summer.

The phrase, dead heat, fit the scope of the story since the heroine and the villain are in a dead heat with the prize being her life or death.

I decided to set DEAD HEAT in the winter–December in West Central Texas to be precise.

My husband read the manuscript to make sure I got the “guy stuff” correct. (That’s guns, bullets, fighting moves, etc.) He asked, “Is this a Christmas Romance?”

I said, “Huh?”

He laughed and asked, “Do you realize you set it just before Christmas?”

I said, “Huh?”

No, I did not realize that. I was just living in the world of Outlaw Ridge, Texas, and trying to figure out how Sabrina, the covert operative heroine, can keep her secrets from John, the Navy SEAL hero who was her lover, yet enlist his help to save herself from an international criminal intent on capturing her.

I guess it’s a perfect case of tunnel vision. In any event, I ended up happy with this edgy romance that I first finished in August as a 20,000 word novella. When I was bored during Hurricane Harvey’s 4 days of pounding rain, I played around with the story and ended up expanding the novella so much that it became a full-length novel of 63,000 words by the time I typed THE END for the second time.

THE END — now I can live happily ever after with this latest book up on pre-order and due to publish Nov. 14.

About Joan Reeves

Joan is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the underlying premise:  It’s never too late to live happily ever after. Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house in the country where they grow fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, coyotes, deer, and the occasional copperhead snake.

Be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Get a free ebook just for signing up for Joan’s Reader Friends.

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