Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EMMA ...To Begin Again by Debbie Brown

As an ER nurse, Emma knows life can change in the blink of an eye. When fate comes knocking, she finds herself far away from the city and back on the mountain ranch where she grew up -with the intention to close up and sell the house so she can move on.                                                      
But fate isn’t done with her yet, and that’s when she finds him, the one Two-Feathers calls ‘Star Brother’. Wounded and unconscious, Emma assumes he’s a military test pilot, until he opens his amethyst eyes and stares into the very essence of her being.  

   She turned back and looked into his eyes. Not blue. Could they be purple? She smiled and forced herself to remain calm.    “Of course.” She reached for the water again. “Would you like some soup, or vegetable stew?” she offered. She was unable to take her eyes off of his, until he closed them and nodded. She wondered if he knew what soup was.
   Silently, she stepped out of the room, grabbed the laundry from the floor and headed toward the kitchen, her mind racing. Purple, his eyes were purple. Who or what was he? Her imagination was coming up with way too many scenarios. Wait, wasn’t there some actress with purple eyes? She headed past the kitchen to the mudroom and dropped the load into the washer. A noise from behind startled her and she spun around, dropping the capful of laundry soap. She clutched at her chest, forcing air into her lungs. “You scared me.”
   Two-Feathers stood in the doorway and nodded. “I guess that means you found him.” Bo danced around his legs, demanding attention.
   She tilted her head and her mouth opened to say something but then shut it. Flustered, she grabbed a dirty towel to pick up her mess and tossed it into the machine before looking back at the shaman. “You want tea?” she asked as she pushed past him to the kitchen.
   He remained in the doorway. “He is not dangerous.” His voice was calm and level. “I came to see if you needed help.”
   She put the kettle on the stove and turned to face him. “’Could have used a hand to get him down from the mountain.” Her eyes met his. She let the reassurance he seemed to send out ease her nerves. “You knew.” It wasn’t a question.

     All her life, Debbie has spun stories in her mind, watching characters come to life, seemingly by themselves. After working as a nurse, teacher, martial arts instructor, artist, and CIC officer in the Canadian forces, not to mention her many hobbies, her life reads like a story itself. And yet, her favorite thing is still a cozy fire, a good book, and country living with her husband JP and her youngest of four children. After graduating from the Institute of Children’s Literature’s advanced writing course, she is finally devoting herself to writing these stories down, taking us all on a ride we won’t quickly forget.

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The book is available through over 100 online bookstores worldwide; you just have to Google it to find it!
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If you have any questions feel free to ask and I promise to get back to you.  Feel free to post comments and reviews.
Thank you for reading!

 Wise advice from Debbie Brown
Making Your Way as an Author
Since I have published my book I have had great pleasure in meeting other authors. I can honestly say I have found an amazing group people from around the world who all share something in common with me, and that’s the love of writing and story telling.
Another thing we have in common is marketing.
Where we may differ is as vast as the ocean…and that’s anything from simple differences like being traditionally, assisted or self-published, to formally trained in writing and journalism or a moonlighter with literary aspirations.
Although I have taken writing courses, which include all kinds of training and preparation from writing short stories, articles and novels to finding an agent or publisher, one thing lacking in these courses is anything and everything to do with marketing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love what I have learned, but I would have gladly taken an extra semester that included marketing.
So, here you are the published author…I guess you could compare that to being dropped into a canoe in the middle of the woods, paddle in hand. Note that I did not say “on or near” the water. That’s because you have to start paddling right where you are, to the nearest stream that might lead to a river or lake. Then what? You are still a long way from the ocean and paddling through gravel isn’t easy.
Once you hit water, you find yourself surrounded by others, paddling feverishly toward the next segment or body of water.
Every author knows all too well the amount of work they’ve invested in their manuscript. So why not make sure what your marketing has every chance of making it to the ocean? How? By making sure some simple principles have been followed.
1) Have your work edited, critiqued and revised.
2) Make sure your book cover is a good one…too often Indie authors have slapped whatever/however on their book. Now this is where countless Indie authors will pipe in telling me just how much time/effort/money went into their covers. My point here is that a few bad ones taint the pool, unfortunately labelling the lot.
3) If you are formatting your ebook on your own and do not have the money to have it done right, then ASK SOMEONE. There are other authors willing to help. Bad grammar is one thing, but getting author name and page number smack dab in the middle of your sentence is annoying.
By following these few tips you now have a quality product to promote.
Here are some things to consider while you’re promoting:
1) Develop your author platform and begin letting people know you’re out there. Pace yourself so that you can keep on top of your pages/sites. Doing too much too fast will show.
2) Join groups and cross market one another. I was told in a webinar that more than 10% self-promoting can turn people off of you. Host authors on your blog, do fun interviews and giveaways.
3) Look into Author Solutions, Writer’s Digest and similar places to keep up with the changing trends, get marketing tips and tools, (they offer free webinars). Get onboard with Goodreads (various groups), there are more threads than is humanly possible to follow from blog tours to reviews and cross-promoting.
4) Consider entering your work into contests. The recognition gained is priceless.
5) Participate in author presentations, book signings and book fairs to give yourself the chance to meet readers and become ‘real’ to them.
OK, so let’s say we’ve made it into a larger body of water…now what?
My best advice comes back to pacing yourself because aside from paying someone to handle your marketing, there’s no way out of it. You will have to roll up your sleeves and paddle your way along the current. Once you get a rhythm going enjoy yourself. Have fun meeting other authors, bloggers, and readers. I must say there are some great people out there and I am thrilled to have made some new friends.