Harvey meets Dorothy

Just a quick note on Harvey and then it’s back to work for us!

For those of you who don’t know our favorite person Dorothy; here’s Dorothy summed up in two pictures:

Born in the 1920’s Dorothy has lived through so many experiences; from depressions, civil right, cold wars, world wars, to babies, weddings, deaths, and blizzards.

A quick visit to Dorothy would be an afternoon going through pictures and hearing stories (our favorite is how as a little girl she and her siblings would sell cloth to the men building roads in Syracuse. an nickle for dry and a dime for wet.)

Her story is still being written…

At 94, Dorothy traveled (not flew…traveled) from our neighborhood in New York to Texas so she could be closer to her family (who are each just as special to us as she is).

At 94, she met Hurricane Harvey, and got to have a National Guard chauffeur when leaving her new home.

Today, she’s still smiling, still LIVING life, still being adventurous, and still being the voice of calm in chaos for everyone around.

We all should grow up to be Dorothy!

Broken Mirror & other morbid tales

 

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Here’s the thing about horror, it’s either beautiful in the way it makes that chill run, like the way “Silent Hill” manages no matter how many times you experience it. Or its…its cheesy, let’s say a “Leprechaun” level of B rating.
Broken Mirror is definitely no Leprechaun. well, ok, fine one Leprechaun, but don’t worry there are plenty more stories than that one in this collection!
You might even find yourself reading a story which such Poe like romantic irony you have to re-read that particular one twice! It was by far my favorite, very poetic, & very sweetly written. For that story alone (Impatient for Death) the entire book is worth a read.

For those if you that need more, the entire collection covers a wide array of fears, pain, emotion. Each character takes you on an instance. One single moment in their existence. You are just lucky enough to get them at their worst. That is probably the best part. You don’t know the beginning, or the end, all you get to see is this snapshot. No background, no foreshadowing, no development to this very instance, no clue as to what happens after the dust has settled. I love the “snapshot” story telling this collection gives you.

Whitby After Dark

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Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson is a novel about a young girl trying to fit into a new town, a new place where nothing ordinary is as it seems when it comes to the inhabitants. Along her short story the main character Lenore stumbles into Whitby’s secret, a life other than that of any normal high school’s student; filled with vampires, ghosts, beasts and creatures. There is no time to process anything surrounding her as there is a crime to be solved, and she is the link to solving it.
The very first handful of pages, I was mesmerized by the unfolding of what I thought would be a heart wrenching tale of sexual abuse. However, just like Lenore we were swept away (for the most part) from that story line into a world of creatures. The entire book was under 100 pages, and it left something to be desired character wise, plot wise, setting wise…you’re left feeling rushed or confused, and parts left me wanting to explore Lenore and her unusual talent more than I was given the opportunity.
The entire supernatural theme in addition to the sparse development of characters gave you more of a sense that the entire story about Whitby was a dream, so close, but yet the cat has your tongue. That was a new experience for me to go through when reading a book, and it made the lack of development make more sense.

Iniquity by Melody Winter

 

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ACN adores books…and fellow #indieauthors. We strive to help you find and and indie author find each other!

Books like:

Iniquity by Melody Winter

Iniquity is a very beautifully described story, about one girls journey through her assigned place in a demon ruled dystopian world. The way Melody Winter writes you can feel the weather through the description as well as see blindly in darkness as the lead character Athena fumbles her way through a life that she wants no part in.
Almost instantly, I adored Paymon as he went from Athena’s village demon, the stories villain, to a compassionate companion. I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say, see how much further his true nature (not that of his demon side) came forward.

And then he was ripped from the story…

It was heartbreaking…

His replacement, Erebus completely rubbed me the wrong way, from the very first sentence he’s written in all I saw in his imagery was Gaston from ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ That visual never went away.  Even when he became the hero opposite of his love interest Athena. 

It didn’t change the way the book was written, the imagery was just as vivid and this quick read is something I would recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read dystopian apocalyptic type novels. It is an easy way into the genre.

Our fans rock!

I woke up the other day to have an email containing this:

“Brought A Charming Nightmare on our honeymoon.  She really enjoys mornings sipping coffee from our ocean view balcony! With love from Lares Puerto Rico.”

This made my morning!  Our fans are amazing people, and seeing as how ACN takes you through time and space I thought it might be fun to see where you bring Catch & Aylin.  Send your pictures of ACN sight seeing in your neighborhood!

Send to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com and title it “Where in the World is ACN Books” put the picture of your digital or hard copy of A Charming Nightmare right in the body of the email with your location, lets see if we can go around the world in 80 days!

 

So far here are some of our favorites:

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A bridesmaid bouquet made solely out of the pages of ACN in a recent Harry Potter/Magic the Gathering themed wedding in Utica, NY.

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Our friends in Sidney, NY excited to begin their journey…

Jenny

Furry fans in Denver, CO reading to mom.

 

Where will you bring ACN?

Have you read Team Charlie yet?

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It is no secret that I simply put adore books, the only thing better than a book is that feeling you get after the last page is read…the book hang over. One of the journeys I get to take as an author is reading books done by others in my field and ‘discovering’ new voices.  Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes and letting my mind take its own spin on their written works.  I especially have a soft spot for indie authors.  Let me introduce to one of my favorites; Mark Lages and his Team Charlie…

Meet Mark Lages (that guy up there in the picture). He’s an indie author who never once considered going traditional, why would he?  He has complete control over his children; Church of the Divine Duck, Andy Bloom, & My Remarkable Little Monkey (to name a few of those kids).  Mark’s books are also anything but traditional…just look at how their described:

“Welcome to the extraordinary world of Mark Lages, a place where monkeys can talk, where Jesus has an older brother named Marvin, and where a sweet, unassuming grandmother suddenly bursts into a raging, car-tossing cousin of Godzilla. Often outlandish, yet also remarkably down to earth, Mark’s tales are always memorable, intelligent, and relentlessly entertaining. Mark’s stories aren’t for everyone. If you don’t like testing the waters of the outrageous, and if you don’t like seeing the status quo poked and prodded for the truth, you probably won’t become much of a Mark Lages fan. But if you like pushing at boundaries and seeing the real world explained and exposed in new ways, these stories might be just right for you…”

While, I will admit I haven’t read many of his novels I already have a favorite in Team Charlie. Team Charlie is the story of Charlie (obviously), who is never alone having a pirate, a priest, an ex-girlfriend, a planet, a hippy, and Bob all trying to talk over each other in his head. While this is a story about mental illness, it takes a viewpoint of Charlie and his voices in a way that I have never read before. Immediately, Mark catches your attention and gets you right in the feels in his introduction of Charlie; a middle aged man, once the pillar of his community now needing someone to attend to him 24 hours a day. When you meet Charlie it is through the voice of Charlie’s father, and it sounds as if he is talking to a child, not a forty-something year old man. It has a Catcher In The Rye feel, the same outpouring of protectiveness you have for Lennie, you’ll instantly feel for Charlie (yes, I am bias, out of all the voices in his head Charlie’s is my favorite).

You watch Charlie follow the voices, you listen to them protect him through death, upheaval, the streets of LA, jobs, women, and anything else that Charlie seems to stumble upon. In each scenario you instantly cheer for Charlie, or you get frustrated at how naïve he is, you find yourself actually agreeing with a voice or two, or wanting to argue with the others, and most of all you wonder how a man can fall so far from Grace and never once notice he’s literally sleeping on rock bottom.

There are a range of instant emotions that the author draws out of you in such a quick read. While one moment I was proud when Charlie found himself, I wanted to slap sense into his family (his children in particular). One minute I’m embarrassed at his innocence in normal day adventures, the next instant I’m saying wait a minute why is that even part of the story????? Throughout the entire book you wait, and wait, and wait, for Charlie to find his Julia. The one thing that can hold him all together, without the voices. But this isn’t that kind of story.

In the end, Charlie teaches us that loneliness is a very very powerful thing. The need to be wanted, or part of something (even if it’s of your own imagination) is vital to everything we are. And even though the ending for me was sad, two steps back for such a giant leap forward, my husband agrees with Charlie telling me he would have done the same exact thing.

I did enjoy the book, the views on life are spot on. But it’s the emotions these characters bring out in you that will keep you saying ‘one more chapter.’

Good job Mr. Lages!

If you want to join Team Charlie or any of the other stories (next in my pile is a tall tale of a talking monkey My Remarkable Little Monkey) you can visit Mark at http://www.marklages.com/ pick up one of his novels on Amazon or email the man himself at marklages@cox.net

 

***Are you an indie author looking for a review? An interview, or want to take over this site and share all that you’ve learned about writing, reading, or life in general?  Contact us at mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com and the podium is yours! ***

Ahhh marketing my dear nemesis

Yup, the title says it all…marketing and I don’t get each other.  Truly.  Perhaps it’s the fact that like most authors I work a day job, have a family, and other life obligations. Or perhaps it’s the fact that in order to get the gold star in marketing you have to either have the gold card in funds or enough reviews to support a large city.  Either way my days go like this; I get up, go to work, come home, feed the troops, go to meetings, and finally after everyone is snug as a bug in a rug I settle down with a cup of tea and start book-ish things.

It’s exhausting…

But you do it anyways…somehow…until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Here is what I learned: A Glimpse Into Social Media

FB groups are FILLED to the brim with people just like you, posting their promotions, telling you their 5 star, burying your work under heaps and heaps of “buy now”.  It looks like a normal day on Wall Street, everyone screaming over the other.  And after all your fighting to get to the top of a FB page that, lets be honest, will sell your book to no one, because everyone is trying the damnedest to get the others attention.  Your readers aren’t on these pages; they’re overwhelmed with the amount of spam we’re all flooding their eyes with.

Try simpler, try finding your target audience.  Join groups that want to talk about what you love.  For me it was science fiction.  I got into a group that is totally kick-ass with sci-fi chicks, and of course you don’t spam them.  You join in, talk, share, laugh, post.  Be a human being int heir society, not an infomercial.  Eventually, they will ask what you do.  Winner winner chicken dinner.  Talk about being an author.  If they ask, and they will, show them your book, or direct them to your own website of FB page.  Seems simple right?  Patience grasshopper, that’s all you’ll need.

Instagram is another one that I don’t mind doing.  I find it fun, and the time of day that I have to work with seems to be when my target audience is online (high point for me is anywhere between 8-10pm).  I adore hashtags, making a game out of it.  I stay away from common combinations like #buy #books #NYC, and instead find tags that have under 3,000 posts.  You’ll be what pops up first longer that way, and smaller audiences means more followers, because you’re not hidden.  I learned not to just spam everyone’s feed with my amazon or B&N link.  I tend to find things that make me laugh and post those with clever hashtags, and then once or twice a week I’ll direct my new followers to my page or my kindle link.  I tend to follow people who share the same interests, rather than strictly following book clubs.  Remember you are you, and you are what sells first on social media, your title comes second.  It’s all about connections.

Lastly, for me at least, there’s Twitter.  I don’t get this, not one bit. But I do it, trying to fit my words and tags in so many characters.  I reply or re-tweet and immediately am lost as to where my comments went.  Thank heavens for millennial children…without them I would have thrown the laptop out the window in the same moment I created the account.

Pretty simple, it seems it would only take moments, but social media keeps me up at night.  Creating images, finding words and tags, trying not to suffocate under the weight of a bazillion other writers looking for a sale.

For example: This is the ad I ran this weekend, the picture took me a couple of hours to create, and posting on social media at just the right moments for my audience (US & UK timelines), and just the right tags took another hour…before you know it, it’s 2:45 am.

“Aylin’s journey through time and space will be on sale for Kindle June 10-14. Download it for her attitude, read it for his story, finish it because you can’t stop…”

How to Get Your Copy

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If anyone knows about other social medias, please comment and share!

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