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Cover Crush: Breaker of Bones by David Penny

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of books and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover. Synopsis B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Torn between duty and survival. Moorish Spain, 1483. As the country prepares for more war, surgeon Thomas Berrington makes a reluctant journey to Qurtuba at his master’s request. What he thinks will be a simple operation and a return home to al-Andalus becomes something much more sinister. A warped killer is murdering young women and creating twisted creatures from their bodies. When Queen Isabel tasks Thomas to hunt down the culprit, he has no choice but to plunge deep into an unfamiliar world of religious mania. Meanwhile, the eunuch Jorge tracks down the family he hasn’t seen in decades, only to learn his newfound niece has been chosen as the killer’s next victim. As Thomas and Jorge pursue a monster known only as The Bonebreaker, they must face their most dangerous challenge yet. Failure to catch the killer in time could rid Jorge of the only family he’s ever known. Breaker of Bones is the second book in the Thomas…

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Interview with Jack Graham

Today we are interviewing Jack Graham, a reader for indieBRAG!  Jack, what is important about reading to you? Jack: The great preponderance of what I know I first encountered by reading. Sometimes, reading would inspire me to “do things” like the Boy Scout handbook, “Handbook for Boys” which after reading I did everything in it to the best of my ability, (and still do). That mostly kept me out of trouble throughout my teenage years... other than that incident with the skunk. Then there were all those textbooks. 20 years of them, through a PhD. And a couple libraries full that I operated at a couple different K-12 schools as a professional school librarian. No, I didn't read them all, but I certainly enjoyed those I read. Most of all, I enjoyed the joy and wonder that appeared on the faces of students when I found the “right book” for them to read. Of course there are no books more inspiring than scriptures, no matter what denomination one practices. Do you enjoy reading for BRAG and what positive experiences have you had? Jack: Yes, I certainly enjoy reading for BRAG! Or I would not have kept doing it for all…

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8 Nights of Rainbow Latkes!

Happy Chanukah                                            From our Foodie Lit Blogger - Susan Weintrob                                                                                     Chanukah is a happy holiday, filled with candles, oil, miracles and victories. How about adding a little color with the traditional latkes? By adding different colored vegetables, you can make hints of yellow, orange, red, green or purple! Try one each night or use all for a party! Top with applesauce, sour cream, our own Pecan-Date Chutney, crème fraîche, horseradish sauce, mango chutney or red pepper jelly. Crash course in Chanukah Chanukah, meaning "dedication," begins in the year 167 BCE and the Greek persecution of Jews is in full swing. Greek troops showed up in the town of Modi'in, which you can visit today in Israel, and demanded that the Jews sacrifice a pig to the Greek gods. The elder of the town, Mattitiyahu (Matthew), who is a Kohen, a priest, refused and he with his…

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Interview with Jennifer Quinlan-Historical Editorial

indiebrag would like to welcome back Jennifer Quinlan today to talk about her editing business. Jennifer, aka Jenny Q, owner of Historical Editorial, is an editor and cover designer specializing in historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. A member of the Historical Novel Society, the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, the American Historical Association, and various local and regional historical organizations, she lives in Virginia with her husband, a Civil War re-enactor and fellow history buff. Jenny, what is your editing business called? Historical Editorial How did you get into editing? I was having a bit of a professional crisis in the corporate world, unsatisfied with my job, but in a down economy, there were not a lot of appealing options available. So I asked myself: If you could do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? And I said: Well, I want to read books all day, but who’s gonna pay me to do that? At that point, I had an established book review blog and a growing network of readers and writers. So I started doing a little research and discovered there was a market for editors in the booming business of self-publishing. But not coming from a publishing…

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Thanksgiving in the New-Found Land

“Thanksgiving?” Matthew looked at his wife, standing with both her hands deep in an oversized pumpkin. “Yup. Puritan tradition – should go down well with a Presbyterian such as you.” She grinned and picked up a second pumpkin. Matthew raised his brows. “There’s a difference.” “I’m sure there is. Compared to the Puritans, you Presbyterians are the life and soul of the party.” Matthew snorted. Discussing theology with his strange time-traveller of a wife was an exhausting endeavour. While surprisingly uneducated about religion and faith, she held strong opinions and tended to be quite vociferous in her condemnation of “narrow-minded bigots” – a definition he sometimes suspected she also applied to him. Not that he considered himself to be a bigot – if nothing else, twenty years with this remarkable woman as his wife had broadened his outlook. “Party?” he therefore said, ignoring her little jibe. “Are we to have a celebration?” “A big one, tomorrow.” Alex wiped her hands on her apron. “All of us round one table.” She looked at the kitchen table. “Not sure if we will fit, though.” “Aye, we will.” He would, at any rate, as no one would dare to take his chair. She…

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Second, or even Third Editions?

This is something I have pondered about for a while. I quite often see a book stating just that, when I scroll through Amazon or such, in search of my latest read. Why is there a need to change your book? Are you saying the original version was incorrect or not to your liking? After all, you have written your masterpiece, read it, corrected it, re-read it. Had it copy edited and proofread. Only then did you press the ‘publish’ button. While awaiting for the first five star review, your friend or family member tells you they have found the dreaded typo. We take comfort that this happens to the most accomplished writers being signed by the largest Publishing Houses and selling millions of books. But now you know about your book, and you will not rest, until it is corrected. Yes, it has also happened to me. To change the printed version proved costly, but had to be done. Correcting typos does not constitute a second edition, and remember, you need to un-publish the first edition once the second one is available. Why a second edition? Maybe your first novel is now part of a series. Hence, there might…

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Wish-List 5: Historical Fiction

I am always thrilled when new B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees are announced and my reading list keeps getting bigger and bigger! One of the featured posts my fellow book bloggers and I do every month is share from our wish-list. This month there is quite a few from the indieBRAG library I have added. Today, I want to share five of them to you. Enjoy! -Stephanie M. Hopkins Four Nails by G.L. Berger Synopsis In ancient India, tragedy strikes a young elephant trainer. Forced into a slave caravan that takes him through perilous lands and into a world at war, Ashoka befriends a special elephant. He and that elephant, Four Nails, together lead Hannibal’s army over the Alps and down the back of Rome. Though a time of constant danger and uncertainty, Ashoka finds beauty and kindness while helping others enslaved for the pleasure of ruthless rulers. To survive this remarkable journey, the elephant trainer calls upon his unique ways with the great greys and a strength known only to those with nothing left to lose. Four Nails has been selected by The Huffington Post as one of only “Four beautiful, pack-your-suitcase worthy reads for summer vacation.” Huffington Post April 19,…

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My Summer Photo Project

I’m so happy I selected the 30-day summer photo project as one of my blog posts for this summer! I used to take many pictures and was an avid scrapbooker, but somehow I lost a bit of my shutterbug these last few years. I’ve had an Instagram account for several years, but hadn’t really done much with it. This photo project was a lot of fun, and it forced me to take snapshots of my day. Since my daughter was home on summer break, she jumped into the action as well, often helping me select the photo for the day. There were quite a few things on our ‘to-do list’ this summer, but we didn’t get a chance to do all that we had planned. Mostly because we got a new puppy! Boy, it really is like having baby in the house all over again! I’ve highlighted a few of the pictures here for you to get a glimpse of my summer. To see all the pictures, feel free to visit my Instagram site. ~ Carrie

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Foodie Lit: Medieval Times & Chicken!

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 novels or memoirs 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. Here's to cooking and reading together! Susan A Swarming of Bees by Theresa Tomlinson     A Swarming of Bees by Theresa Tomlinson is an absorbing murder mystery set in the 7th century Anglo-Saxon Northumbria , in what is now northern Yorkshire. As Indie Food Blogger, I was asked to create a recipe from that time and place and that meant using only ingredients available.  Honey Chicken was a natural creation, as Fridgyth, the herb-wife and confident of the powerful Abbess Hild, keeps bees, an herb and vegetable garden and chickens! Meats were the glory of medieval meals, especially for the royals and the wealthy.  The peasants had meat less frequently, their meals frequently  were a mixture of whole grains and vegetables such as cabbage, chard, onions and leeks, garlic and carrots.  Vegetables were looked upon with some distain by…

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Welcome to the exciting new world of indieBRAG!

I am very excited to announce the re-launch of our indieBRAG website along with our new proprietary book evaluation process. It has taken us six months to develop the process, which was longer than we expected. However, I am confident that the benefits it offers to self-published authors, both here in the United States and around the English-speaking world, as well as to members of our global reader team, will make the wait well worth it for everyone involved. As I have alluded to in the last several editions of my newsletter, the new book evaluation process will enable our readers to provide a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each book they read for us, both those they recommend for a B.R.A.G. Medallion®, and those they do not. This will be done via a simple and quick, user-friendly book report that our readers will fill out on-line. Their reports will then be combined with those completed by the other readers who read the same book, and the results will be provided on an anonymous basis to each author who has submitted a book for our consideration. In so doing, indieBRAG will be able to give indie authors…

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