Judge a Book by its Cover by @Dani_Haviland

Picking pretties to read on the phone is FUN!

Do you judge a book by its cover? If you said no, you’re in the minority. The first thing a person sees when it comes to selecting her next read is the cover. Whether it’s the title, the author, or the image, they’re all there together on the cover. It doesn’t matter whether they are displayed in brick-and-stick stores, on smartphones, or on the neighbor’s coffee table, either. Their purpose is to grab your attention.

Of course, there’s the huge possibility you’ll hear the news your favorite author has a new book coming out. If you’re like me, then the cover won’t make a difference. I’ll grab it, sight unseen.

An author’s tastes change as do the buying habits of readers

It was over ten years ago I published my first book, DANCES NAKED. I thought the title would grab attention, but the original cover said nothing. I knew it was a painting of The Trees, the Portal through Time, but it conveyed nothing. The next one, by Kim Killion, was great. I chose the model (Harvey Stables) and she changed his hockey gear into a breechclout. He was supposed to be an older man, but he was so cute, I let it go, hoping his pose was enough. He looks older (and hotter!) in the third version (current).

I wrote twelve more books for the series and used four other cover creators, then came back to Kim Killion. I trusted her to find a theme for my series. Wow! She really delivered! Check these out and see what I mean.

The early versions of my covers lacked continuity. Now you can tell they’re part of a series.

If you like time travel with a splash of Fountain of Youth water or discovering your favorite ‘fictional’ characters are real, check out THE FAIRIES SAGA. You could start with the first one in the series (LOST: THE TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE THAT STARTED IT ALL) which is essentially a prequel and #free, but sometimes you aren’t ready to know everything about a guy.

That’s what happened with James. I fell in love with the British lord even though he was only a minor character in the original first book (now the second) in the series, Naked in the Winter Wind. See what I mean in AYE, I AM A FAIRY. Sharp, compassionate, and willing to come to anyone’s aid despite the consequences. The 21st-century hottie has the heart of a white knight despite his spotty history.

So, turn off YouTube and the TV and tune into a great book (or series of thirteen). Let the cover inspire you, and leave the rest up to the author and your vivid imagination.

Get ready for the FIRST Cozy Mystery Box Set from The Authors’ Billboard!

Preorder for only 99cents. Price goes up soon after release. It will be available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited, though.

Magic for the Multitudes

When prehistoric men marked cave walls with images of animals and events, were they bragging about their kills or letting others know which four-legged food could be tracked and conquered in the area? Magic. Was this art or information sharing?

Generations later, we’re still using Magic, the media changing: oils and canvas, print and cellulose to encrypted data and electricty. We’re able to share images, thoughts, and information beyond the cave to a much broader range and more quickly, the speed not dependent on how fast a courier can transport paintings or printed works, but how fast and strong the internet connections are.

Magic: making marks that will correspond to the words of plans, pacts, and passions can be shared with succeeding generations. Egyptian heiroglyphics and Babylonian cuneiform tablet remains prove that oral histories are limited. A tangible form has always been needed.

I’m grateful to live in a time where I can share my thoughts and fantasies with people around the world via the ‘Magic’ of the internet. My daughter’s great-great-grandparents were missionaires to an isolated area in South Africa, the first white people in that neighborhood. Generations later, she can communicate, share photos, or even play games with people in that part of the world without having to travel long distances, learn a new language, or risk dengue fever, all with the Magic of the internet and digital translators.

What’s next? It seems we have it all now, save a few magic potions to cure the ever-expanding list of plagues and diseases. A cure for cancer? Let’s hope so. How about a vitamin that takes away the urge for alcohol and drug addiction, a tonic for menopause or mental illness? Scientists and physicians are working on these now.

Two ‘Magics’ on my wish list: a Fountain of Youth elixir and safe method of Time Travel. I’ve already ‘claimed’ both. Check out the Time Travel series THE FAIRIES SAGA. The prequel (a parody of Time Travel fanatics) is part of SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS, Fabulous Freebies Collection #4.

FREE! Sweet Romantic Nights! SEVEN by Seven of The Authors’ Billboard ladies.

Meet James, Leah, and others before they knew the ‘truth’ about time travel in the prequel to The Fairies Saga, LOST: THE TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE THAT STARTED IT ALL. Free as a single or in the Authors’ Billboard box set SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS, Fabulous Freebie Collection Book Four. Available all over the world via Amazon, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and a few more venues. 

Are you a reader, a watcher, or a listener?

The Authors’ Billboard: a great place to find Free & Bargain Books & Box Sets

We all love to be entertained… or to entertain. Some of us wear both sombreros. Before there were books, entertainers – jesters and gladiators of one sort or another – strutted their stuff to elicit reactions. Then folks learned to write. Can you imagine the thrill when someone figured out how to go beyond hash marks for tallying sheaves of grain and used scribbles to create words to share stories and histories?
Coming forward a few millennia, new ways have been developed to entertain us. I still like the written word, but I can’t read and drive, shop, garden, or clean house (ugh) at the same time. Well, I can – sort of – if I ‘listen’ to my book. Audiobooks are cool, but unless you have a fantastic public library that lends them, they’re pricey to buy and only a small percentage of books are recorded.

The solution to reading while driving, washing dishes, pulling weeds, swinging from the trees… whatever… is to enable text-to-speech on your phone, computer, or other smart device. Chrome, Apple, and Amazon all have their own versions of TTS. I couldn’t test Apple’s because I have a PC, but here are two other options.
The Chrome Store has a free app that will read several different formats (Kindle, Google Play, Scribd, Overdrive) to you. The reading pace is adjustable in settings, but the speech is mechanical. I’d have to be desperate or really mad at Amazon to use it.


The other way to go is with Amazon. I think all their Echo and Fire devices are now Alexa enabled. I love my Echo units. I can start ‘reading’ (listening) to a book in the car, walk into the store and continue listening through the wee speakers in my Echo glasses frames, come home and listen to more on the Echo Show, then fall asleep as Alexa continues to read on the Kindle Fire. No eyestrain involved plus all the devices automatically sync to each other. Alexa’s voice is sweet and the rate and manner of speech are great, too. Oh, and she also pauses, skips forward or back, or changes books when you tell her to (no fumbling for a keyboard). Awesome if you missed a passage.
Now, no excuses for not checking out a great read. Go ahead. Put in your earbuds and listen to a book while your sweetie is watching a ball game or you’re hauling kids to karate class. You deserve a break today. Just try and time it right so you’re not at an emotional moment in the story when picking out produce. The other shoppers might wonder if you’re crying at the prices or losing it completely. They won’t know it’s because Claire just left Jamie (again).

NEW RELEASE! Sweet Romantic Nights – A Fabulous Freebie Collection

A great place to start! SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS: Seven stories, all sweet, a few are also funny, but all were created with love by @gr8authors from The Authors’ Billboard. Available everywhere for Free. Limited Release, so grab it now.

Apple Strudel and other news… 😊 @melinda_de_ross #mgtab

Happy Apple Strudel Day!

How do you feel about pastries? I adore them, which makes it really hard for me, because I have decided to cut back on sugar and carbs. The pandemic brought me a few extra pounds and a lot more aches and pains than a year ago. While I’ve been putting everything on account of being sedentary, I’m starting to think that eating sugar several times a day might contribute to all that. 🤔

However, I have a lot to show for all those hundreds of hours spent with my butt in the chair, glued to my laptop. It’s been a while since my last news bulletin, so make yourself comfy! 😊

First of all, I am super happy to let you know I sold the gaming rights for three of my books: my suspense romance, The Diary, and two detective mystery romances, Killer Score and Silent Strike, written in my other pen name, Melinda Colt. I don’t know when the games will be developed or in what format, but if you’re subscribed to my NL or follow me on social media, you will be the first to know!

The other news is that you can grab not one, but TWO of my stories for free!

BANG! is a short story that is available exclusively through my newsletter.

The other one, HOOKED, is a re-release of a novella that I wrote last year and which is now free at all major retailers. Whether you’re going on a holiday this summer, you have two beach reads that will give you a free taste of my Lovestruck series – if you haven’t read it already.

Hopefully I left you with a craving for books (and probably pastry). Until next time, I wish you a wonderful summer, stay healthy and happy!

 

Hugs,

Melinda