Readers Thoughts!

Enjoying Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup “In the Comfort of Shadows”

Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes In the Comfort of Shadows Laurel Bragstad’s novel, In the Comfort of Shadows, opens with a dream—or is it a memory? Main character Ann Olsen wasn’t sure, but she was sure that “adoption” was a bad word and not to be mentioned at home, unless she wanted to get everyone mad at her. Her daddy told her, “It’s a bad word, Annie. Aunt Inga shouldn’t say it, and I never want to hear you say it again.” In her search for her biological parents, Ann does more than pronounce the word.  She risks throwing away a childhood based on lies to find the truth.  “I wanted to know the rest of the story, that’s all. I just never dreamed it would end like this.” The author digs into her own recollections. At a similar age to her character’s separation from her biological mother, Laurel’s mother dies and as an adult, Laurel searches her own and older relatives’ memories to find more about her. Laurel told me, “As a child I used to make up stories in my head about who my mother was as a person,…

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Lunch with Madame Presidentess.

Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes A more open community around the table Madame Presidentess by Nicole Evalina The first woman running for president is a tale filled with intrigue, scandal, enemies and lurid newspaper accounts, sexual innuendoes, financial scandals and marital woes.  Biographical accounts are often brutal and vindictive. You might think I am writing about Hillary Clinton but she in fact was not the first woman to run for President. Victoria Woodhull ran for the office in 1872 on the Equal Rights Party, supporting women’s and workers rights.  Writing about her run for president, Woodhull noted, “The truth is that I am too many years ahead of this age…and the unenlightened mind of the average man.” Nicole Evalina brings us a vivid portrait of Woodhull in her historical novel. She told me, “My portrayal of her comes from how I think she saw herself… I think she believed the ends justified the means.” A constant headline maker in her own time, because of later conflicts with suffragettes, Woodhull became a footnote, mostly written out of their accounts of the decades’ efforts to gain the right to vote for women. Yet…

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Let’s begin a Jolabokaflod!

The small country (329,000 people) of Iceland boasts it has more writers, books published and books read than anywhere else in the world. Can you imagine that? To those of us who are “Book People”, this is astonishing! A tradition we can all be envious of is Jolabokaflod – the “Christmas Book Flood”. Christmas Eve is a time of giving books and stores are sold out long before the special night.  Each person receives at least one print books (not ebooks) along with chocolate to enjoy for the rest of the evening when it is tradition to spend the night reading. It wasn’t long ago that all TV stations in Iceland stopped broadcasting from 6pm-10pm because everyone was reading! The book season kicks off in September when each family receives Bokatidindi, a catalog of new publications from the Iceland Publishers Association distributed free to every Icelandic home.  By early December book stores are sold out. Because of this amazing tradition, Reyckavik has been named by the United Nations as a “city of Literature” and it host the international children’s literature festival and the international Literary Festival. Icelanders have a grand history of storytelling.  The Icelandic Sagas written around the 13th century…

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Reading about a Cop’s Cop.

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within.                     ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together                                                              John Hickman’s Black Bear Killer. Reading about a cop’s cop. Nothing like being a cop and writing a mystery about a cop. You just feel that Sheriff Dell Hinton is the real thing. Author John Hickman, a 25 year veteran of law enforcement, told me, “Dell is basically my alter ego. If I had continued in law enforcement, my ideal retirement job would have been as a Sheriff in a small, rural community.” The crimes and investigations may have a ring of reality…

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Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Terri

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Terri shares with us a little about her reading habits, reviewing books, how she finds books, book covers, and much more. Thank you, Terri for sharing with us today. First please tell us about your reading interest. How do you choose a book to read? I choose a book to read either by recommendation, reading a short synopsis, or the book falls into a genre I enjoy. How much does the cover and title matter?  The cover and title surprisingly matter to me at least. I believe an interesting title and cover give an immediate visual to the book and story.  Without that, I typically won't pick up a book to see what the story is about. When selecting a book, do you check who or how…

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2017 indieBRAG Cover Contest Summary

indieBRAG held their 2017 Cover Contest and had a great turn out of votes. Johnny Big Ears by John Paul Padilla is the overall winner of the contest. What makes a great cover and what are readers and book bloggers opinions about them? Do the covers really matter when deciding if a reader is going to read the book or not? Does the cover help the reader imagine the setting and period of the story in their minds? What do readers not like in books covers and do they consider the covers as part as their rating when reviewing books? To get a picture of these questions, I interviewed the indieBRAG Interview Team Members and you will find their opinions and taste in covers insightful. Interview with Lisl Zlitni Interview with Erin Davies Interview with Colleen turner Interview with Magdalena Johansson Interview with Charla White Interview with Heather Campbell Be sure to visit indieBRAG’s Home Page to view the genre/category winners in the 2017 Cover Contest! The overall opinion of the team is that book covers do matter and play a big role deciding if they will read the book or not. I’d like to thank the team for taking…

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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Heather Campbell

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. We have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Heather Campbell talks with us about this. On the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? I would say a 4. If I'm buying in store it is still the thing that makes me pick it up. If I'm just browsing online it's less important, but seeing a friend share a great book cover will still make me go look it up. Why are they important to you? It's all about what catches my attention primarily, but it also shows value, especially if it's independently published, that the author/publisher spent the time to make their book look polished. What do you not like in book covers? After…

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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Charla White

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. We have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Charla White talks with us about this. On the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? 5 (very important) Why are they important to you? The design draws me in and shows me whether the book was important enough to the author to have it done properly and what type of tone the book is taking (i.e. if the cover has a light fun type cover, then I know that’s the tone of the book; if it’s a commonly used stock cover, then I don’t look at it too closely – and this goes for both physical copies and ebooks). What do you not like in book…

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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Magdalena Johansson

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. This week we have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Magdalena Johansson talks with us about this. Magdalena, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? Oh, definitely 5. There are quite a lot of books out there and if you want to capture my attention, have a nice cover. The risk is otherwise that I will miss the book. Why are they important to you? The cover is the face out. When one browse books, whether it's online or in a bookstore is it the cover that captures your interests first. Well, at least mine. What do you not like in book covers? Computerized figures, people that look like they belong in…

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