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In Praise of indieBRAG – Alison Morton

Self-publishing is expanding exponentially; it has long ceased to be a minority interest. But along with the glorious freedom of writing any genre, mixed genres or no genre and the ability to control every aspect of a book’s production comes responsibility to the readers. Some authors write books purely for their own pleasure and that’s great fun and personally very satisfying, but today self- or independent publishing is a serious option for commercial writers. However, not everybody is conscientious in producing a well-rounded, page turning book with impeccable production values. How is a reader able to distinguish the dross from the diamonds in today’s avalanche of self-published work? This is where the B.R.A.G. Medallion® comes in. When INCEPTIO, the first in my series of Roma Nova thrillers, was awarded a Medallion, I was delighted; my writing had passed one of the highest bars around. Rapidly becoming recognised in the world of self-publishing as an impeccable seal of excellence, its selection process is rigorous, rejecting 90% of applicants. If a book carries a B.R.A.G. Medallion® sticker, it will be a quality assured read, whatever its genre. I was proud to explain what the sticker meant and people were impressed. More importantly,…

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In Praise of indieBRAG – Denise Barnes

  Thank you so much for your thrilling email that I have achieved the second B.R.A.G award in The Voyagers trilogy, Kitty's Story. You really made my day. Just  to mention that when Kitty's Story was in manuscript form, I offered it to HarperCollins. They loved it, but because I'd self-published Annie's Story (which achieved the B.R.A.G award) and Juliet's Story (which apparently only missed the award by a whisker), HarperCollins decided I should continue to self-publish Kitty's Story. You can imagine my disappointment. But in the next breath they asked if I would write a series for them set in WW2, and the first one, An Orphan in the Snow, under the name Molly Green, came out on 30th November. They've chosen it as one of their leading titles for their Autumn/Winter brochure. I'm still pinching myself! I just thought you might like to hear of a success story from a previously self-published author. Denise Find these award winning books HERE Author Fenella Forster (Denise Barnes) https://www.bragmedallion.com/award-winning-books/#!/author/fenella-forster/  

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Murder and Plum Cake? Sounds good to me!

Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes Just for fun, I took a stab at writing in the style of author Elin Barnes to introduce the Plum Coffee Cake! Susan Saffron and Darcy walked into a small Palo Alto restaurant on University Avenue and took a booth in the back, away from the window. “So what do you want?” Darcy asked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. The hair immediately came out. “I need some serious caffeine!” Saffron said. Darcy motioned the waitress over and read her name-tag. “Two coffees. What’s good in a coffee cake, Lisa?” Lisa smiled at the two. “The bakery just sent over a plum coffee cake to die for! Want me to bring over 2 pieces?” Darcy nodded. “But maybe not to die for.” Elin Barnes’ Justification for Murder Saffron Meadows is being stalked. Someone is trying to kill her. Repeatedly. Speaking to a police detective, she confides, “I feel as if I’m in a bad movie. These things don’t happen to regular people.” ‘You’d be surprised,” he said. At the ame time, Saffron is in a long relationship with Ranjan Balasubramanian whose family is arranging his marriage…

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National Parks Week with Little Miss History

Now that spring has sprung...well, maybe if you live in certain parts of the US, it might still seem like winter. Nothing will stop the change of seasons, and Spring will come. When the weather gets warmer, our thoughts inevitably turn to the outdoors. Did you know that our national parks kick off the season by celebrating National Parks Week from April 21-April 29 this year? Across the country, parks will be holding special e  April 21: Fee Free Day April 21: National Junior Ranger Day April 21: Volunteer Day April 22: Earth Day—Let's get out and celebrate our rivers and trails for their 50th! April 28: Military & Veteran Recognition Day April 29: National Park Rx Day In addition, families may gain free admission to national parks on September 22, National Public Lands Day, and November 11, Veterans Day. I am proud to have had the opportunity to introduce teachers, students and their families to our national treasures through my Little Miss HISTORY Travels to book series. These books are intended to enlighten, inspire and educate young minds to appreciate our historical heritage and have fun while doing so. Spring and summer are the perfect times to get out…

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It’s A Piece of Cake by Laurie Lunsford. Illustrated by Brittani Gothard.

Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes a more open community around the table Laurie Lunsford It’s a Piece of Cake. Illustrated by Brittani Gothard   Such a delightful children's book, one that will be read again and again in schools and libraries.  Charming illustrations help create an important message:  practice and persistence help us succeed.  Laurie explained her choice of topic.  “I raised my three sons to be persistent.  It is a key to developing the character to succeed in many endeavors of life.  It was emphasized in my own upbringing.  I was expected to aim high and try new things.” The paper-cut illustrations by Brittani Gothard are exquisite. Laurie praised Brittani, “Everything was hand cut with an exacto knife and [it] took hours and hours.” This is the second collaboration of the two. The illustrations of the children show a girl in glasses, a boy in a wheel chair, diverse skin and  hair color—a lovely representation of America. Each child tries a different task—swimming, reading, basketball, getting along or climbing trees. Laurie commented about the actions of the children that were included. “I selected skills that fit what a four, five,…

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In Praise of indieBRAG by author Pamela B. Eglinski

" Let me say once again that indieBRAG is a dream to work with.  You are head and shoulders above most every other social media site.  I'm so pleased to work with you, and you never seem annoyed with my questions and requests! Pam Eglinski                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Can-Can Girl Find out more about Pamela B. Eglinski

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In Praise of indieBRAG by author Glen Craney

"I learned about indieBRAG from fellow historical fiction authors who are members of  Facebook groups.  With the emergence of POD and digital publishing, the good news is anyone can now publish a book; the bad news is anyone can now publish a book!  The greates challenge indie authors confront is the stigma of inferiority caused by books rushed into the market without professional design and editing.  indieBRAG offers an invaluable vetting service to readers who might otherwise she awar from indies.  With the rapid changes in the industry, i'm confident the walls between indie and traditional publishing will continue to crumble." Find our more about Glen Craney, multiple B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree author

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A Happy and Healthier Chanukah From our Foodie Lit Blogger!

Crash course in Chanukah Chanukah, meaning "dedication," began in the year 167 BCE when the Greek persecution of Jews was in full swing. Greek and Syrian troops showed up in the town of Modi'in, a town in Israel even today, and demanded that the Jews sacrifice a pig to the Greek gods. The elder of the town, Mattitiyahu (Matthew), a Kohen, (priest) refused. With his five sons, led by Judah the Maccabee (the hammer) formed an army. After 3 years of fighting the foreign army, the Maccabees retook Jerusalem, the capital. They cleaned and rededicated the Temple, which had been used by the Greeks as a pagan sanctuary. On the 25th of Kislev, they lit a menorah but found only one vial of oil. They used this small vial and miraculously the menorah stayed lit for eight days, the time it took for fresh pure oil to be pressed and delivered to the Temple. You can read more in the Book of the Maccabees and in the Talmud. Chanukah is a happy holiday, which begins this year on December 12. Here are three ways to make traditional latkes a bit lighter with fewer carbs, while keeping all the great flavor.  Make your latkes extra special with your own applesauce—so easy to make in a crockpot or microwave. Rainbow…

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Step by Step: Writing to Self-Publishing

More help from editor Chara White at WordsAPlenty: I would not presume to know every step for publishing, but the following is a good rule of thumb to follow beginning the moment you settle down to write. Create an idea for a book. Easier said than done!  For some, it is far more difficult to jump in feet first and begin to write hoping an idea will worm its way from your brain to your fingertips to the key board.  This method can be very stifling to those who need a starting point.  One point to begin is the title … ok, so this can be even harder to come up with than an awesome storyline.  Don’t fret!  There are resources out there for you … here are a few that help you with titles, themes, sayings, content ideas, character names, and more: http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/book-title-generator.php#.WhMrbkpKuUk http://www.mcoorlim.com/random.html http://www.generatorland.com/glgenerator.aspx?id=56 http://www.generatorland.com/glgenerator.aspx?id=141 https://www.name-generator.org.uk/nickname/ Once you’ve come up with an idea, research is next. You need to make sure that what you are going to write about is a full-length book.  The last thing you want is to set your sites on a 75,000 word book only to discover there is only a 30,000 story in…

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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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