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. 

Chicken soup for the sick

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I ‘thought’ I was in good health for a woman of age, a spritely silver-haired vixen, but I was as sick as the old gray mare, ready for the glue factory.
Then again, three bouts of pneumonia in four months would probably sap even an Olympic athlete. It was time to supplement all those different antibiotics with old time medicine.
Some of the odd things I found in my online research were red onions, vinegar, and honey. Chicken soup is supposed to be great for a cold; it would probably help with the crud, too.
Not in my research, but known to me was an apple a day. It was too late to keep the doctor away, but was worthy as a component in the super soup I was concocting.

Short version: it works. I’ve polished off the pot of Super Soup, I’m breathing easier, and it’s great to have something hearty to eat at the zap of the microwave.

Components:

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you have)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 red onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp chicken ‘Better Than Bouillon’ or equivalent in bouillon or chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 chopped up cooked chicken breast (or whatever leftover chicken you have)

Saute the solid stuff in the oil until limp. Add the vinegar, chicken ‘flavoring,’ and chicken. If you used chicken stock, you should be good to go. If not, add about 2 cups of water.

Super-meal this!
Add a package of pre-cooked rice or quinoa mix (I like the Seeds of Change brand) or leftover rice. If you don’t have those, add one more cup of water and one cup or Minute Rice. Hearty and satisfying.

You’ll note that I didn’t add any salt. The bouillon has enough salt for the mix. The apple and vinegar gives it a bit of sweet and sour taste—not overwhelming, but fun as a change from ‘all soups taste the same’ stuff I’m used to. Oh, and I never used the honey. Go ahead and eat a big spoonful for dessert.

Enjoy! And if you can, get a pneumonia vaccine. I have to wait 3 months now. I never realized that there were over 36 strains of that strength-sapping, lung-filling crud out there!

NOTE: In 2008, I started writing my first book. In it, the main character (a sweet little old lady from Alaska) had a drug-resistant form of pneumonia. I didn’t know I was writing about myself! If you want to know more about her, and how an overdose of Fountain of Youth water and a drop through a time portal turned her into a young fox in 1780, read Naked in the Winter Wind on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Amazon UK.