Congrats to all the #SIBA winners!


I just want to take a moment to congratulate all of the Summer Indie Book Award winners. You all put up an amazing fight, and despite all of the drama that surrounded the Awards, it was a good time for most of us authors.

Thank you to everyone who rallied together to make the first ever Summer Indie Book Awards so amazing.It was extremely competitive and so many people showed us indie authors support.

Thank you to everyone who voted for Sapphire’s Destiny during the awards to. You guys showed me some serious love and I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people who have already fallen in love with The Realms Series as much as I have.

For those of you patiently waiting for the next books to come out, don’t worry, I will be putting you out of your misery soon. I don’t have an exact date yet for Blood Stone or Chasing Fire. I was planning a Halloween release for Chasing Fire but my day job has been demanding more and more of my time lately so I’m trying to work writing into my 6 day work week. I can say it will be finished by Christmas though!

If you haven’t done so, head over to my book club, S.L. Perryman Book Club on Facebook, for an exclusive sneak peak into Chasing Fire. As Nubby and Jeremy search for the newly awakened Gifted they find themselves chasing a murderer! As well as exclusive sneak peaks at Blood Stone, the second book in Sapphires’ journey. There are so many big reveals in this book that I want to get it right before I release it. I think you guys will be shocked!

Anyway, back to my cave I go to submerge myself into the magical world of The Realms. Next time I resurface I will be announcing the official release dates! (I hope:/)

 

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What’s New on SLPerryman.com and What’s to Come


Over the last week I have been working on this site adding new content.

If you look in the menu section you will see a few new additions to the site. My goal is to continue adding new content to the site over the next month or so.

So what’s New?

Aspiring Authors– I was an aspiring author not too long ago. I understand the confusion and unbelievable amount of information you have to learn when first starting out. I created this page to compile all of the information and resources I have found useful into one easily accessible place for anybody who aspires to someday become a published author.

Downloads– This page is a sub-page for aspiring authors. Here you will find handy printables to help you on your journey to publication. You will find everything from fill-in-the-blank Outline Sheets for your next project to help make your ideas flow smoothly, to checklists, and even printable Book Promotion Site Lists. I will continue adding new printables to the page as time goes on so check back regularly or sign up to my email list to be notified when there are updates made.

Winners Circle– This page is dedicated to my giveaways and the winners of the giveaways. Each time I host a giveaway I will post an announcement on the welcome page, blog, as well as in the Winners Circle. If I have multiple giveaways going at the same time they will all be listed in the Winners Circle together.

Store- You will notice that the store tab has moved but is still live so if you want to make purchases you still can.*

*More things to come.

What’s to come?

Realms Merchandise-Very soon you will be able to purchase The Realms Series apparel. I am working on getting some Realms Creature Plushies made as well as some surprises. More on that at a later date.

Free Book when you sign up to my mailing list offer– Very soon I will be offering a Free eBook when you subscribe to my mailing list. If you are already subscribed you will automatically receive the free book when it goes live.

Print and Audio book availability– In the next few months Sapphire’s Destiny will be available to purchase in audio book and paperback formats through the Store. Keep your eye out for the announcement.

Book Promotion Newsletter– Soon you will be able to sign up to receive special emails with Free or Discounted Book Deals. These emails will be sent out once DAILY with new deals every day. Current Newsletter Subscribers keep and eye on your mailbox for the Launch Announcement.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

Bad Reviews Suck! How to deal with Negative Nancy’s.


Dear Aspiring Authors, This post is for you.

You see, when you are first starting out writing you are struck with this idea which you think is amazeballs!

You spend hundreds of hours thinking about this idea and hundreds more creating this imaginary world and it’s characters. Then, after slaving away for months or even years, you release this beast unto the world expecting it to be nothing  less than a New York Times Best Seller.

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You’ve edited your manuscript to perfection and you’ve enlisted dozens of beta readers and reviewers who have all raved about your story.  You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a beautiful cover, amazing blurb, and done a ton of research before you set your masterpiece free. 

The book goes live and you ride the waves of ecstasy as the sales and Amazon Ranking climb. You may throw a release party or you may invest in promotions; either way you’re looking at a decent first paycheck. You’re thinking “Wow, if this continues I’ll be able to quit my day job and take up writing full time within the month!”

And then your first review comes in.

You’re shocked because it’s not a raving 5 star review like all of those beta readers and reviewers said your book was. You become angry as you read this person’s scathing words about your baby. You gasp in shock as this person you don’t know tears your baby to shreds and throws away the pieces. They point out every flaw that was missed, every plot hole that slipped through the cracks, and then go on to insult your writing ability.

“How dare they!”

Then you become angry for a whole different reason. You send a nasty emails to your editor, betas, and reviewers berating them for missing things. You consider removing your book from sale, throwing the hard copy in the grill, and lighting it on fire. Finally, you consider giving up writing all together.

Right now your probably thinking “Wow, talk about melodramatic!”

The sad thing is, this has actually happened before. There have been author who completely gave up on their dream because of a couple bad reviews.

I’m here to tell you that you need bad reviews!

That’s right, I said it! You need bad reviews. Lift your jaw off the floor and listen up.

Bad reviews are essential to your career. A good, bad review will point out all of the flaws in your writing and tell you what the readers want more of. These types of reviews are critical to making your stories everything that the readers want.

You may have written the story for yourself but let’s be honest, the readers are the ones that are going to pay your bills. You need to give them what they want or you will be writing your next novel from a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Every great book has at least one bad review!

Don’t believe me? Go onto amazon and look up the Harry Potter books. Rowling sold millions of copies or the book and millions more copies of the movies. Yet each one of the books in the series has multiple bad reviews.

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Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone: 12, 061 reviews, 176 of them 1 star!
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Harry Potter and  the Order of the Phoenix: 7,783 reviews, 180 of them 1 star!

Fifty Shades Series? Same! Yet those were turned into movies too.

 

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50 Shades of Grey: 66,325 reviews, 10,158 of them 1 star!

Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just means that it wasn’t right for that reader.

My very first review was a 3 star and said the book was boring! (see image below) I took it in stride though and decided to use the criticism constructively and write a post for my writers group  on Facebook Authors Alley : Where Authors Come to Network.

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Sapphire’s Destiny Actual review. Though it got a 3 star review right away, my book went on to get multiple 5 star reviews after!

“So I got my first official amazon review today and I’m really happy with it 🙂 It was a 3 star review (before you ask why I would be happy with a 3 star review let me explain).

First, it’s a legitimate unbiased review of my book from someone I don’t know. Second 3 stars tells me that 1) the book was good enough to finish but 2) could use improvements. For my very first book, to me that is an excellent sign. It means that I’m doing well but have room to grow.

Next, they said the book didn’t have enough action and when there was action, it was short lived. This tells me that readers want more action and that they want the action scenes to be longer (totally doable I might add).

Then they said that a lot of things were left unexplained and that they will be reading the next book to see if they get explained. This tells me that the hook worked, that I need to answer some questions in book 2 (already planned to), and that I’ve pretty much already sold a book before it’s out.

I love these types of reviews, they tell you so much in so little words that help you become a better writer and make your writing more enticing.”

See what I did there?

I read the review, picked out the critical feedback, and turned it into information I can use for future books!

 

You can avoid getting bad reviews by targeting the specific audience your book would do well with. This is called Niche Targeting. Of course investing in a great editor, proofreader, and getting strangers to beta read your manuscript helps a lot but sometimes that’s not enough.

My advice to you?

Read each review but ignore the ones that are just trolling. If the review doesn’t contain anything useful then ignore it. The reviewer may have just been having a bad day or is just a negative person. If you are getting lots of 1 star reviews then step back and really take a good look at your book.

Use the bad reviews as a writers guide.

Take note of each of the issues that are pointed out and fix your manuscript. You can republish it with the new changes, unfortunately you won’t be able to remove those bad reviews unless you take the original down and republish the book as a second edition.

All in all, just enjoy the process! You can’t please everyone! If you are happy with the book then ignore the haters and write the next book. Maybe your first book wasn’t for everyone but maybe your next one will be!

What is the worst review you’ve gotten? Do you have any advice for new authors about dealing with bad reviews?

Post your responses in the comments below!

 

Martine Lewis-Author Interview


Today’s featured author interview :Martine Lewis; Author of Crossing the Barrier- a contemporary young adult romance.martine lewis

 

 

 

 

What are the names and dates of  your published novels?

Crossing the Barrier – The Gray Eyes Series – Book One was published on March crossing the barrier by martine lewis22, 2016

What genre/subgenres do you write in?

I write upper Young Adult Contemporary Coming-of-Age Romance with a touch of Paranormal.

How long have you been writing?

I began to write when I was 11 years old. I use to write ban-fiction and fan-fiction. I wrote one original story in high school, but it was my only original work before this series.

What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?

I have always considered myself a writer, but, I never thought I would publish anything. If anything, when my sister asked, I always told her that I did it for fun and was too lazy to create my own world. Well, not anymore… I think she’s the major reason why I finally ventured to create my own universe.

Who is your favorite author?

I have many but, I want to say Cambria Hebert is my favorite. I love her #hashtag series.

What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?

It’s been too long… Maybe Mercedes Lackey, her first Valdemar trilogy… It’s been way too long…

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy talking about people who fascinate me, taking the time to get to know them, and telling their stories.

How long did it take to write your first and how long to write the last novel?

Usually, I can write a 95,000 words in a month. I use challenge months such as the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), Camp Nano, and Junowrimo to complete my first drafts, and off months to plan and edit. It works for me to have the pressure of a challenge in order to obtain a good word count by a certain date. I think my first draft is by far the easiest part to write. I once wrote a 100,000 words fan-fiction beginning to end in 10 days… But I was never able to repeat that feat!

What three words would you choose to describe your writing style? Energetic, fun, but also angsty.

Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?

Lily was made up. The idea of Malakai came from my looking at a particular player from the high school football games I attend. But Malakai’s character is completely different and he doesn’t play the same position so that’s where the similarity stops.

What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?

Things may be dark, but they won’t stay dark forever.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel?

Lily is a band member with a secret. Malakai is a football player who is rather lonely. Both have issues at home but very different ones. They fall in love and have to face their issues in order to grow and come into their own.

How do you go about building an antagonist?

I don’t really “build” them. They actually come to me and tell me I need to write their stories. It’s unsettling sometimes. That’s how my second series was born. A minor character of my book (who didn’t make the cut!), jumped out of the page and screamed at me to write her story. She came fully developed and all… She hasn’t told me all of her story yet, just some of the background. I think she’s mad that I told her she would have to wait a few years before I can get to her.

What is your writing process?

Usually, a first draft is one month. Then I let the draft sit for at least one month before coming back to it for a first revision. If it’s good enough (which it rarely is), I send it to my legal reviewer and my betas. If it’s not good enough, it sits for another month then receives a second round of revision before going to legal review and betas. When I get it back, I take one month to review it then I send it to development editing. After development editing (usually 2 months – one for my editor, one for me), I send it to copyediting. Copyediting is two rounds of comments from my editor and takes about 2 months of back and forth. Then it’s proofreading with a second editor, and that is also two rounds and take about 45 days. During that time, my cover artist works on the cover. Once it’s all done, I create the the paper copy layout and then the eBooks.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Rollerskate. Yeah, even at my age, I still do.

Do you ever need to escape from writing, if so, what do you do to get away?

I drive… well, it’s not really an escape. It’s when I can figure out my plot issues. Real escape…. Mmmmhhh, rollerskating is one.

What is the hardest part for you as an author? What do you consider the easiest?

Grammar and finding the right word is the hardest part. English is my second language after all. I also struggle with show/tell. Characterization is probably the easiest part.

What is your biggest pet peeve as an author?

Pen color! Even on my white board… Everything needs to follow a certain order of color.

Are there any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?

Cambria Hebert is definitely one of them.

Would you say that you were good at English in high school? If not, what were you good at?

I was okay at everything; even English. I wasn’t the best student ever (I had stuff to write after all), but I was doing all right.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?

Yes, I do. They last for years. Before, I would just wait for it to go away. After all, I was writing fan-fiction so keeping a schedule wasn’t important. Now, I just hope I don’t get one! I don’t know how I would manage it.

Any current projects that we can look forward to?

The Gray Eyes Series is a series of six books; the first in the series is now available. I plan on releasing one book  every six months. After that series, there are two others planned.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

After The Gray Eyes Series is over, I am planning on starting on my second six book series, The Blue Eyes Series, then move on to my third series, The Green Eyes Series. I currently have a five-year schedule that covers the first two series.

Are you planning any spin-off novels?

Not so much a spin-off novel as spin-off content which will be available for free on the website, to my newsletter subscribers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t give up. Don’t listen to mom. Keep on writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. And when you’re ready, seek help and advice. There are so many good writers groups on Facebook. Join a few and ask for help. Writers are generous people, they will help you if you ask.

Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?

I have all sorts of things coming up the pipeline. Please join my newsletter to keep informed.

How can your readers find out more about you and your books? 

Website: www.martinelewisauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinelewisauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorMartine

Instagram: www.instagram.com/martinelewisauthor

Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/martinelewisauthor

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/martinelewis

Homemade Cough Drops- How to Treat a Cough Naturally


My son was sick a few weeks ago and my 20160424_223551husband has been sick for the last 2 weeks, I was feeling overly confident and celebrating the fact that I have been dealing with sick boys for almost a month and hadn’t even gotten a sniffle yet. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

I woke up super early yesterday; we had to drive 2 hours to visit my in-laws in Missouri. The whole way down there I felt fine. We get down there and since it was such a nice day we decided to go mushroom hunting. 2 hours into the forest my sinuses started hurting. I brushed the feeling off as allergies, though I don’t know why because I’ve never suffered from allergies in my entire life.

We trudged through thick forest for well over 5 20160424_223559hours and my only concern was that I would catch a bad case of poison ivy (no symptoms of that yet but I’m super allergic so I will update later) and need to be thoroughly checked for ticks.

Fast forward to today… have you ever gone swimming in a public pool? You know the kind where you can smell the chlorine from 8 blocks away and it never fails, as soon as you get in, someone splashes you in the face and chlorine water rockets up your nose. You spend the rest of the swim trying to get your nose to stop burning but its persistant and won’t stop. Well I woke up and it feels like Satan set up shop in my sinuses and is roasting marshmellows.

Halfway through the day he migrated to my voice box and decided to torture me some more by using a brillow pad to clean my vocal cords and it just so happens that I am completely broke and out of cough drops.

So I decided to get creative. Have you ever been so broke that you turn into a inventor/scientist/researcher? Ya, I’m there.

After a little over an hour on pintrest (my new favorite app) and googling stuff I have on hand, I finally created my own version of Cough Drops.

1 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons honey (any kind will do)

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground clove

3 drops spearmint oil

1/4 cup powdered sugar (if you don’t have any powdered sugar put 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar into a blender until powdered)

Mix sugar, water, lemon, honey, ginger, clove, and spearmint in a saucepan and boil on high for 20-30 minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens to the consistency of syrup or just a bit thicker. It should be thick enough that when you use a spoon to drip some on a paper towel, it beads up and starts to harden. Be careful not to burn the sugar or you will have to start over.

When it reaches the correct consistancy, spoon small dollops onto parchment paper and let cool until it hardens into candies (you can purchase a mold here). If the mixture starts to harden in the pan before you get it poured out, just turn the heat back on and get the mixture soft again.

Once hard, lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over the candies until coated so they don’t stick together and place in a zip lock bag.

Cleanup is a breeze! When you are done boiling the mix and spooning it out, fill the pan with hot water and boil until all of the sugar mix that is left disolves, rinse out with warm water, and wipe down the counters.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen lozenges or more depending on how big you make the dollops. Mine turned out a little funky because I didn’t have a mold but they work all the same.

This summer I’m going to make a huge batch of these and pass them out to all of my family and friends just before flu season hits. They will make excellent pre flu season gifts!

Have you ever made your own cough drops? What are your favorite ingredients to add to homemade cough drops?

Share them down below in the comments:)

Raye Wagner – Author Interview


Today’s Author interview is  Raye Wagner.raye wagner
Names and dates of published novels?
Curse of the Sphinx– August 2015
Demigods and Monsters– April 25 2016
Narcos- Revolution Anthology, June 2016
What genre/subgenres do you write in?
YA urban fantasy/mythology
How long have you been writing?
I started writing June 2010
What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?
When I was 16 I wrote a goal that I wanted to write/publish a book. But the only fiction I wrote was for college classes (you can take that several ways, and I mean most of them). However, many years later, an idea about a girl cursed by Apollo dropped into my head. I thought it had the makings of a great story, and I called my sister, who majored in Creative Writing, to try and convince her to write it. She told me to write the first 10 pages and send them to her. I’ve been writing ever since.
Who is your favorite author?
I have too many to choose. Hmm. I will forever love Leon Uris. I went into nursing because of one of his characters. I love David Eddings who was the author my brother and I followed as young adults. And now I have a list a mile long.
What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?
The Belgariad by David Eddings.
What do you enjoy most about writing?curse of the sphinx
The opportunity to share my imagination with others.
How long did it take to write your first/last novel?
My first novel took 5 years to complete. The second took about a year.
What are three words that you would choose to describe your writing style?
compulsive, neurotic, anxious (that revealed a lot more about me than I thought)
Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?
Some of my characters come to me fleshed out completely. Others have traits from people I actually know, but none of them are actually based on/inspired by people. Although, I am going to have a contest where the winner will get to be or help create a character in book 3.
What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?
Narcos is a political realism piece (11k words) that is meant to inspire readers to take personal responsibility for who and what they are. It is a weightier piece of work than the Sphinx series, but even there I feel strongly that each of us has the power to determine the outcome of our lives. My stories are meant to inspire and empower the reader to take control of their destiny.
Tell us about the main character of your most recent novel.
Hope Nicholas is a monster. Cursed by Apollo, she has the ancient Sphinx’s blood in her veins, and is bound to the same destiny. Hope is sheltered and naïve, but also stubborn and willful. She’s been raised to be self-sufficient on things like cooking, cleaning, and self-defense. However, running from demigods and Skia (think shadow demons from the Underworld) has given her woefully inadequate social skills.
How do you go about building an antagonist?Demigods and Monsters cover 1
I believe antagonists are the protagonists in their own mind. I don’t believe everyone is either good or evil, but both reside in all of us. Those that make poor/bad decisions still are “nice” people. Working with convicted felons taught me this. The antagonists in my stories are moving with intention they believe is best for them, although usually selfishly motivated. I think the defining characteristic of an antagonist is their selfishly motivated actions actually cause harm to someone else. That’s what makes them “bad”.
Can you describe for us your writing process?
I have 3 children (11, 9, and 18 months). I write when I can. Sometimes I get time during the day, other times, it’s late at night. Sometimes, my husband covers for me on a weekend. I’ve discovered it is all about prioritization.
What kinds of activities do you enjoy besides writing?
I love to read. I love to bake. If I don’t exercise I’m a grouch. I love the beach. And I love getting to see family. I have seven siblings, and getting us all together is such a treat.
Do you ever need to escape from writing?
When I was writing Narcos, I would need to take an emotional break and do something cheerful. It is a dark story. What do you do to get away? My favorite getaways have included beach trips, trips to the mountains, and even a day locked away from reality.
What is the hardest part for you as an author?
Not being able to get it all done. I want to be able to do it all. There aren’t enough hours in the day to write, catch up on social media, schedule giveaways, answer emails, help with homework, fold laundry, and make dinner. Not to mention soccer practice, piano lessons, and a quick workout. Easiest? I do love to write.
Any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?
When I finished my first MS I thought I would go the traditional publication route. Then I met A.G. Henley and fangirled at her at Utopia. Shortly thereafter I read Runes by Ednah Walters. Both of these authors put out books that met the same standards I expected from the traditionally published marketplace. I’ve since become friends with both of them, and they’ve been so supportive and great mentors as I’ve travelled down the indie path.
Would you say that you were good at english in highshcool? If not, what were you good at?
I graduated with a 3.7 GPA. I got straight As in English in high school, and even in college. But I excel in analytical thinking. I’m a nurse practitioner by education and profession.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?
Write. Even when the words sound stilted and stiff, write. Eventually, they will start to flow again.
Any current projects that we can look forward to?
I’m working on book 3 in the Sphinx series, Myths of Immortality, that will be released the end of 2016. Book 4, Deities and Destiny will come out in 2017. There will be a spin off book or two for at least one character. There is also a prequel novel I’m working on. I’m also writing a screenplay for a friend of mine. I have a few more ideas for after that, too.
What are your long-term goals as a writer?
To continue to write. I’d like to put out 1-2 novels a year.
Are you planning any spin-off novels?
Yep.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There is no such thing as a destination in this life. It is one long journey. Enjoy the journey. Remember what is important. Let go of the things that aren’t. Do your best work. Be true to yourself.
 What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write. Keep writing.
Any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?
Everyone has challenges. Everyone. Even that girl or guy that looks like they have everything going for them. Sure they’re gorgeous, rich, athletic and smart, or whatever. They might have Crohn’s disease, or their sibling died from cancer, or their father is out of work and they barely have enough to eat. So, two things I think are important. Don’t be surprised when your challenges come. They come for everyone. And you’ll get through them, and be stronger because of them.  Also, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just stop it. Instead be you. Decide how you want to be, and if it’s realistic be that. Almost everything good comes from hard work. Don’t be a victim. You are in charge of you. Don’t relinquish that control for anything or anyone. Be the best version of you possible today, and then do a little better tomorrow.
How can your readers find out more about you and your books? 

Kindle Unlimited- How it works and why you should finish the books you start.


So I don’t know how may of you guys have a Kindle Unlimited membership, but for thoseKU-retail-lp_KindleCards._CB292599245_ of you who do, Sapphire’s Destiny is free on Kindle Unlimited.

For those of you who don’t have a membership, I highly recommend it if you read a lot of books like I do. At $9.99 per month, it’s not that expensive and you can borrow quite a few books at the same time. As an added bonus, you can try Kindle Unlimited Free for 30 days. That way you can make sure you like it before you pay anything!

If you don’t know how Kindle Unlimited works for us authors, let me explain. When you borrow a book, the author gets paid for each page that you read. Right now I think it’s about half a cent per page, so if you don’t finish the whole book the author only gets paid for the pages you read and not the ones after you stop.

So let’s say you borrow a book that has 300 pages but stop reading it after 150 pages. The author would make roughly $0.75. If you finished the whole book, the author would get roughly $1.50.

You can say thank you to all authors, whether you liked the book or not, by skipping all the way through the book. It doesn’t cost you anything extra for finishing any of the books you borrow and the authors will be paid for their hard work.

If you didn’t like the book, you can always skip to the end and leave an honest review explaining what was wrong with it. We authors are notified of every review and most of us read them all. We use your reviews and critiques to make our writing better.

In conclusion, Kindle Unlimited is deffinately worth the money. Remember to show authors some appreciation by finishing the books you borrow in KU and leaving an honest review.

If you don’t have the Kindle App for your smart phone, tablet, or other smart device (android, iphone, or other device) you can get the Free Kindle App Here.

Book review: Breeder by Casey Hays


Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Author Casey Hays

breeder pic

or her books, that is until a Facebook group I am a member of ran a HUGE celebration in which dozens of Dystopian authors joined in the fun and ran a bunch of giveaways.

I can’t say no to a giveaway of anything, so naturally, I entered into everyone of them I could not expecting to win anything. You can imagine how surprised I was to be tagged in multiple winners posts. It turns out I had won quite a few Ebooks; including Breeder by Casey Hays.

To say I was a bit skeptical about reading it is an understatement. The book was so far out of my normal realm that i had to give it some serious thought as to whether or not to read it. I normally stick to Adult fantasy novels, erotica, and supernatural books; all of which Breeder is not!

The books only saving grace was an intriguing description and the fact that it was free to me.

Arrows Flight book 1 : Breeder ♥♥♥♥♥

♦Nestled within the folds of a war-torn and ruined world, there lies a village. It has no name; it is full of secrets.
Its women survive because they seem to have found a remedy for war; its men survive because the women let them. They all survive because Fate allows it.
Kate never thought much about Fate until she decided not to believe in it anymore. Destined to become a breeder, she wakes up on her sixteenth birthday determined to defy this duty at all cost. It is a heavy price. For her open rebellion, Mona, the Village counsel leader, drags her to the Pit and forces her to confront her mate for the first time.
He is not what Kate expected.
Despite Mona’s fierce punishments for Kate’s disobedience, the tug of her heart grows stronger; it beckons her away from this life and lures her toward the truth about herself, about her village, and about the boy assigned to be her mate.
The questions bring her hope… but the answers?
They terrify her.

Now upon reading the books description I had flash backs of a book I once read in junior high called The Giver, which was also about a post-war world that was supposed to be a Utopia but had some extremely dark secrets, and I initially wondered if maybe Breeder was in fact a spin off of The Giver. It’s not but they do share many of the same elements and Breeder turned out to be so much more than just another YA Dystopian novel.

After reading Breeder, which is free on Amazon, I fell in love with the series and went on to read the second installment; The Archer, which continues the story and delves deeper into the mysterious Boys of Eden- a modernized city in a destroyed world.

Arrow’s Flight book 2 The Archer: ♥♥♥♥♥

The bridge between Kate’s primitive village and Ian’s contemporary world is long and wide. Due to a horrifying event that ends in her self-imposed banishment, Kate finds herself at the mercy of Ian and his friends–the boys of Eden with their unnatural abilities and dark secrets. Kate has no idea if life outside the Village exists, but Ian promises her she will have a future in Eden if she will trust him. With Diana by her side, she takes the first step in faith.

The journey is harsh, full of relentless rainstorms, illness, clandestine troublemakers . . . and no sign of another village. Kate begins to doubt her decision to leave everything she’s ever known behind. When Diana’s daughter, Tabitha, is struck with a sickness that forces Ian to leave them behind and go for help, Kate’s hopelessness soars. But quiet and confident Justin takes the reins in Ian’s absence, and Kate feels a subtle bend toward him. Only then do the secrets surface, leaving Kate in a miserable state of shock as her faith in Ian falters.

Meanwhile, inside the modernized walls of Eden, Ian must face horrific truths about the source of his superhuman qualities. Truths that will test whether Kate can ever trust him again.

As for Kate, will entrusting her heart to a boy from Eden place her in graver danger than ever before? Will Eden finally be enough? Or will her heart continue to ache for something greater?

After reading the first two books I must say I am hooked! I am twiddling my thumbs waiting to read the third book in the series Master because book two killed me with its enormous cliffhanger! I just have to wait until payday. Until then, no spoilers in the comments please!

Dandruff: What I Use and What I Avoid


For years I have suffered from dandruff and over the years I have tried so many products hoping to help ease the itching of my dry scalp. You name it, I have probably tried it.

The problem first started my junior year of high school. I didn’t notice it much at first, it just felt like my scalp was a little irritated so for the most part I ignored it thinking that it would go away on its own, blaming the itch on winter related dry scalp problems.

About 2 months into my senior year, I was out roaming the local woods and low and behold I got a bad case of poison ivy. I don’t even have to touch the plant to catch it, I can walk by 20 feet away with the wind blowing toward me and Bam! Little itchy blisters start showing up randomly all over my body and I have to go to the doctor and get a shot in the fatty flesh of my hip to rid myself of the pesky blisters.

It was right about the same time, during the height of my impending itching, that I noticed my scalp itching non stop as well. I was under the assumption that I had accidentally scratched my rash and then my head, spreading the nasty little blisters onto my scalp. So 3 tubes of cream, 2 shots, and 4 bottles of calamine later my body was rash free but my head still itched.

Being in high school is hell, we’ve all been through it but most go without being picked on. I was not so lucky. A girl in my class decided that my incessant itching of my dry scalp meant that i had head lice and that is exactly what she proceeded to tell anyone that would listen. The rumors spread and by the end of the week I found myself sitting in the nurses office being examined like a preschooler. of course I was clean but that’s besides the point. needless to say I was quite pissed and ended up putting my fist through the school wall.

After a long conversation with the schools councilor, principal, and nurse I decided it was time to do something about my issue; and no I’m not talking about anger.

So I bought every kind of dandruff shampoo on the market and started to experiment. Head and shoulders was okay but not as good as selsun blue. T-gel helped for all of 5 minutes but made my hair dry and damaged. I tried medicated, normal, moisturizing, and everything in between an spent hundreds of dollars on special lotions, shampoos, hair oils, and even tried adding expensive essential oils. Still nothing would last.

After my son was born I noticed he had dry skin all the time. I tried lotions which is how I found out that he has sensitive skin and can’t use some of them. One day I noticed that he was able to use baby oil and Johnson and Johnson vanilla oatmeal lotion  but only in very small quantities. The problem was getting him to sit still long enough to put it on him.

That night as I was giving him a bath a thought struck me “What if I put a little bit of both into the bath water?” and vioala! His skin was amazingly soft and there was not a single bad reaction. So I thought “I wonder if this would work for my dandruff?” and amazingly after a few uses it did.

Personally I hate the smell of baby oil so I bought a small container of mineral oil in its place and it works just the same. I use an old lotion bottle fill it half way with baby lotion and add 4 tablespoons of mineral oil and the rest is water. Shake it really well until its well blended and as I take a shower I rub it into my scalp before I shampoo. It works like a dream, no more itch, and better yet it makes my hair feel healthier.

Of course this is just one case of what worked for me and it is not guaranteed to work for you but it could be worth a try.