Life-O-Suction Guest Post by Queen of Spades

It gives me great pleasure to present to you a very talented poetry and prose writer – Queen of Spades.

I could go on and on about her work and who she is, but I think Queen does a fabulous job of doing that herself.

So, take it away Queen of Spades!!!

Shoebox and Scrapbook

 

For those moments when my thoughts are at their most random, the end results can be a picture or a poem. Some are for a studio audience and others are for the bottom of a fancy shoebox.

Today I’d like to share some of my random pictures, along with a bit of backdrop surrounding them.

Nikki.Image.1

If I’m not mistaken it was around July—close to the time where America celebrates its independence. I was suffering from a bit of massive cabin fever, dying to get out but wanting to feel pretty. Random my design became with the eyes and that was the end result.

A few little lines were inside my head. I jotted them down on a piece of receipt paper that was left in my car.

Funny how we are always celebrating freedom
but more often than not,
we’d rather be Free to be Dumb
that chain ourselves to Knowledge.
If those are the only choices I have,
let me be Intelligence’s slave
and my Emancipation never be paid
with acres or a mule.

There was more but I got busy. With different errands here and there. Once those were completed and I made it back home, I tried to recapture that spirit. Unfortunately, it was gone and so was the spark that began the poem.

Nikki.Image.2

This is just outside of my house, prior to the time change—when one could still see a light sky at around 8 at night. It was the hue of the sky more than anything: varying shades of purple with the yellow here and there.

Lines from that scene … I still have not deciphered what they mean or if they will appear anywhere beyond this guest post.

These branches will never break away. How can they when the roots are in disarray? They will never let her defy gravity to run her fingers through the clouds—too slow for solace, too fast for substance.

Nikki.Image.3

I wanted to zoom in on the fantastic green of the tree, making it the focal point more so than the boat. I think that was accomplished. It was one of the happenstances where my mind was empty—a peace obtained not by mediation but just existed. Those are few and far in between for me, so when they come I cherish them.

Nikki.Image.4

 

Man I can’t feel my face
not because I’ll mess up the mascara
but because I’m still not certain
this is really my face.

Yes, I am a creature of habit but the door has been opened to experimenting. Not too long ago, I went to a department store to have a professional makeover. There are so many things in the world of makeup I didn’t know existed. Brow primer? Brow wax? Lip primer? Different brushes, different techniques. My jaw would have been dropped the whole time, if I didn’t have to keep still for the makeup artist to put product on me. The end result placed a lot of emphasis on my brows and eyes while downplaying my lips. If one looks closely, there’s even a bit of blush on my cheeks which I tend not to do. When I imagine blush, I think of my grandma who would put a rouge dot on each side of her face. So you can understand why blush equaled bolt.

I have not dared to look that grand again recently but I have marked a lot of Beauty Tips 101 You Tube videos as “Watch Later”.

Nikki.Image.5

It’s so easy to put on makeup
and get many likes and shares
but Social Media drowns into whispers, then quiet
if there is something significant
or if one is bare.

A day in my life … after I’m off my day job or a day I’m not working. I do a “howdidya” do—my way of describing an updo obtained without the use of Bobbi pins. First, having long Earth locs can be quite heavy and breaks are needed from time to time to get them off my neck or away from my face. Second, I’m not a fan of Bobbi pins. I can’t sleep in them and if they are in my head for too long, I get the “itchies” and start yanking them out anyway. I’m saving the pins the rejection; they should be thanking me!

In the backdrop are images I use as a bit of a motivational collage, if you will. I take advantage of the fact that the slope of the wall is actually the roof of the house. Besides, it is challenging to hang framed pictures with a strong possibility that they would fall. Cleaning up bits of glass is not my favorite thing.

QOS-Logo copy

For all of my writes that made it to publication, you can check them out at the following retailers:

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords (where you can grab some of my freebies)

and

Feel free to network with me via

Website

Facebook Author Page

Google Author Page

Twitter @authorqspades

The First Seven ’79 Words Story’ Entrants…

This is a great opportunity to hone your writing skills. Why not give it a go?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

79 WSC

Further to the fun 79 word challenge set byAuthor Andrew Joyce– clickHEREto check out HIS story.

I’m delighted to post the first seven entries received (to visit the writers blogs, click on their names or photos) as follows:

〜〜〜〜〜

The Scent‘ by Emily Gmitter

Emily Gmitter

She stood at the stove, wearing one of his white business shirts over her birthday suit. Maple-flavored bacon sizzled in the pan.

The scent must have awakened him; she felt his arms encircle her waist. She did not turn around. They stood in silence for a moment before he whispered in her ear.

That was a great fight last night.”

With her back still to him, she said softly, “I hate you.”

He stroked her hair gently. “I know.”

〜〜〜〜〜

Change by Gigi Sedimayer

Gigi Sedlmayer

I wandered aimlessly, as I did so many times before, around the outback of Australia…

View original post 530 more words

Tips and sites to promote your FREE book to gain marketing success.

Like many authors, I am always on the look out for great ways to promote and sell my books. I’m still trying out some marketing ideas I have learned via the expertise of Nick Stephenson, who has a Free video on how to capture and keep potential readershttp://www.yourfirst10kreaders.com 

The inspirational Joanna Penn, has some very practical advice for the struggling self-published author. http://TheCreativePenn.com

Both authors are brilliant at promotion and passing their knowledge on to fellow writers. Being somewhat rubbish at self-promotion I am happy to attempt to implement their proven strategies for success.

Therefore, I am utilising one of their action plans to gain subscribers and a readers list, by making Whisper Gatherers – book 1 in The Song of Forgetfulness series, FREE to download from Amazon for two days – 8th and 9th October:

 http://http://bookShow.me/B00YMSP1UA

whisperers_bigtype_front

The struggle to survive just got harder.

 In a land disfigured by famine and disease, fear spreads throughout the scattered population of NotSoGreatBritAlbian when the Agro Empire cuts food supplies and kidnaps special children – The Meeks.

But there is hope.

Adara, with her secret power.

 I’m Adara. I’ve got six fingers on each hand, and a secret I cannot share.

There is a rustling in the wind. Lights beyond the boundary fence.

A sign of Agro threat.

A murmur haunts Cityplace.

Something is coming.

whisperers_bigtype_front

Both Nick and Joanna suggest making one of your books, if you have a series, or just more than one book for sale, perma-free to attract readers so that they will buy into the rest of your books.

Seems logical to me, and yet…

Free! Permanently?

This scares me.

So I have decided to ease myself into the concept of having one of my books forever free by doing a KDP promotion for a couple of days to see if I get people to subscribe to my reader list and eventually pay for the other books in the series.

To advertise my promotion, I have used some paid and free sites.

Paid:

Fiverr  https://uk.fiverr.com/ and a particular promoter – bknights. A lot of fellow authors recommended this particular promoter as they have had excellent results from him. Thousands of downloads in fact. We’ll see how it goes.

eBookSoda http://www.ebooksoda.com/authors/  “eBookSoda is a great way to promote your ebook. Our readers tell us what they like, which allows us to match books to readers, sending details of your ebook straight to their inbox.

kboards http://www.kboards.com/ads/ another great place for authors to promote and readers to find bargain and free books. I have done well promoting on this site

Free:

There are dozens and dozens of sites where you can promote your free book without paying. I have listed a few. Some I have used, some I’m trying out.

World Literary Cafe is a site dedicated to the promotion of Indie authors, and boasts a huge following of avid readers. It has a variety of promotional packages, both paid and free. You can list your free books without charge and reach thousands of potential readers.  http://worldliterarycafe.com/

Reading Deals http://ReadingDeals.com

eBookLister:  http://www.eBookLister.net

IDP Promos:  http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing/

Blog posts. A chance to get the attention of another similar genre author’s readership. Always remember to reciprocate.

I am being featured on the wonderful Fantasy Author Autumn M. Birt’s blog: http://www.nomapnomad.com/ww/blog/

Her novel Born of Water: Elemental Magic & Epic Fantasy Adventure (The Rise of the Fifth Order Book 1) is perma-free. You can download it here: http://bookShow.me/B00XGC7ZP2

This time around I have utilised a device called KDRoi, an easy to use Chrome extension that automatically adds your Free book promotion to a dozen or so sites that promote Free books. A very useful tool that takes away hours of filling in forms. You have to pay for it, but if you plan on doing Free offers on  a regular basis, then it is well worth it

You can see how it works here: http://www.kdroi.com/v1/

So don’t forget – Whisper Gatherers is FREE to download 8th and 9th October:

http://http://bookShow.me/B00YMSP1UA

Still not sure?

Then maybe some reviews will help to make up your mind:

“If you like action, and science fiction then you’ll appreciate one of the first books EVER that gives you high powered adrenalin with chilling revelations of utter suspense ! This book is amazing to read and you will not want to put it down!”

“The author does a great job of drawing you in with her futuristic descriptions, at times it felt like I was watching a movie, that’s how enthralled I was with the book.”

“The central character has a convincing mixture of wilfulness and self-deprecation, and the imagined world is sufficiently complex to provoke thought and wonder. Nice to know that there are further episodes to pursue. A good read.”

“There’s danger, humour, pathos, and lots of fast-paced action that makes this book a very exciting read.”

You can purchase all three books in The Song of Forgetfulness series here:

http://amzn.to/1TlwaBP

author banner for FB event

Sign up for my readers list and you can get an exclusive Song of Forgetfulness short story FREE!

To receive your FREE short story ‘Changeling Fog’ just click on this link: http://eepurl.com/buH8qH

I’ll let you all know how I get on with this particular promotion.

Thanks for reading.

You can find out more about The Song of Forgetfulness Here:

http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

‘Meet My Character’ blog tour.

I was tagged for this blog tour by the brilliant author and fellow East Anglian resident, Stevie Turner. You can find out all about her and her wonderful blogs here: http://steviet3.wordpress.com/about/

For my contribution to this blog tour I’m going to promote my YA dystopian series, The Song of Forgetfulness. There are two books to date, Echoes from the Lost Ones and A Silence Heard, which was published a few months ago by Fable Press. I thought you might like to know a little bit about the main character and narrator of the stories.

Echoes cover                                           A Silnce Heard cover sml

  1. What is the name of your character?  Are they a fictional or historic person?

The main character in The Song of Forgetfulness is Adara, who is a fictional character.

  1. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in Scotland three hundred years in the future in what is left of Great Britain, after seas have risen and famine and plague have wiped out most of the population.

  1. What should we know about her?

Adara is seventeen and has six fingers on each hand. She lives in a gated community in a hygiene home with her Santy Breanna and her brother Deogol, a Meek. Adara is special and has a unique talent. She can sing to the elusive birdybirds and make them land. In a time of hunger, her talent is sought after. She wants to be a S.A.N.T. like her aunt and has trained with her in the art of combat and survival. She is tough and self reliant, but prone to big headedness because of her gift.

 

  1. What is the main conflict?

Adara must leave the comfort of her home and go on a hazardous journey to find her brother Deogol and lots of other missing children when they are stolen by the all-controlling Agros for sinister purposes. She must use her power as a weapon and is not sure if she is up to the challenge of saving her loved ones from the Agros.

  1. What is the personal goal of the character?

Adara’s goal is find and save the missing Meeks and help the insurgents to overthrow the Agro rule, and to understand her true potential as a Bringer and powerful weapon.

  1. What is the title?  Where can we read more about it?

The series title is The Song of Forgetfulness. The two books in the series are called: Echoes from the Lost Ones and A Silence Heard.

They are available for sale on Amazon. Here is the US link:

http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Lost-Ones-Song-Forgetfulness-ebook/dp/B00CXSZIGS/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408436005&sr=1-1&keywords=echoes+from+the+lost+ones

http://www.amazon.com/Silence-Heard-Song-Forgetfulness-Book-ebook/dp/B00JMPWRX2/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=16567ZZQKBJ2G2VWY2J8

 

You can also see book trailers on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xJ0A36Ha8U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ8o_mBopYM

Or read excerpts and win a free, signed paperback on BookBuzzr:

http://www.freado.com/auction/4173/6187/echoes-from-the-lost-ones-song-of-forgetfulness-volume-1

Or on the series website: http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

Or visit my author website: http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/

 

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For the next stage in the blog tour I tag the wonderful Karen Einsel. Why not check out her blog: karensdifferentcorners

This is Karen’s biography:

Karen is a kind, caring, compassionate, go-getter who tends to procrastinate!

That is my basic go to bio, but I think I can expand on it just a bit.

I was born and raised in southern California and have never lived farther than 4 miles from the house my parents owned when I was born.

I have always enjoyed creating  and have a vivid imagination. I find it fascinating how things can go from just a few simple items into something completely different. A single seed can produce a massive oak tree and a simple word can create a beautiful story.

I closed up my gift shop where I designed custom gift baskets and party sets back in 2011 and found myself with too much time on my hands and a story in my head and I’ve never, well almost never, looked back.

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger

 

I am very honoured to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Many thanks to Karen Einsel for nominating me.

You can check out her wonderful post here: http://karensdifferentcorners.wordpress.com/

So, here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award – kindly given to me by Karen:

Thank the person who nominated you. In my case it was Karen.

Include a link to their blog, as I have done above.

Nominate 15 bloggers you think deserve the title Versatile Blogger. Mine are at the end of this post.

Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself. And that’s it!!

Okay then – 7 things about me:

I do not enjoy talking about myself. I never know what to say and often come across as very silly indeed. I suppose being an actor for so many years was a wonderful way of hiding behind a character, but now that I am an author, I get asked all sorts of questions about ‘who I am’. Maybe I just don’t know.

storm-me cu

 

I experiment with the visual image and the written word. I love to take photographs of insects, especially in close up and macro. I like the patterns and textures of insects they are so varied and colourful. I find beauty in spiders and beetles and things that make most people go Yeuk!

wave
sacophage-2                                                sacophage

I am very disorganised. I have papers strewn all over my desk and floor in my room. Despite having shelves put up by my husband to store my files and folders, I still throw stuff around. Important things I do try to keep in order.

 

I use food to make poetry. I make soup out of nettles. It is really quite delicious. Nettles are full of good things, such as iron and potassium and other minerals. When asked what it tastes like, I can only say, “Green.”

spaghetti haiku-10

 

I like to stand outside and look at the sky. I especially enjoy watching thunderstorms. Where I live in the countryside, we have terrific storms with lots of thrilling lightening and booming thunder.

sunset-5

I have lots of pyjamas. I get at least two pairs every Christmas. I wear them after I have a bath in the evening and would wear them outside; only I think people would take exception to my dress sense – or lack of it. Especially since I work in schools a lot.

 

I am always rescuing animals. Mice, voles, rats, birds, snakes, insects, and of course cats. I have lots of felines and can’t imagine my life without a cat or six.

kimi

boris-2 copy

 

And here is my list of bloggers:

http://themirrorobscura.wordpress.com/

http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

http://sfoxwriting.com/

http://russelrayphotos2.com/

http://jwpatten.wordpress.com/

http://jenningswright.wordpress.com/

http://donschlising.com/

http://photonatureblog.com/author/photonatureblog/

http://ryan.boren.me/author/ryan/

http://steviet3.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/my-fifth-novel-no-sex-please-im-menopausal-is-publi

http://terraverum.wordpress.com/

http://theopeningsentence.wordpress.com/

http://aewallaceblog.wordpress.com/

http://guyaldous.wordpress.com/about/

http://deidraalexander.com/