indieBRAG Blog

Ready for a Creepy Romance for Halloween?

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 t Reverie by  Lauren Rico Steffann Challah French Toast Casserole “To do real damage, you have to know where they [the victims] are and how to push them to achieve maximum destruction.” And Jeremy, the psychopathic character author Lauren Rico creates, aims exactly for that in her novel, Reverie, the first in The Rhapsody Trio. Ready for a creepy romance for Halloween?  Try Reverie by Lauren Rico. Set in a music conservatory in New York City (warming my heart as that is one city where my husband studied violin for many years), we see competition, hard work, romance—and ok, it’s Halloween—a creepy boyfriend, sabotage and murder. Jeremy, a talented horn player and manipulative psychopath, is put into an international competition.Author Lauren Rico told me about how she developed this character. “So, my thought process was, if you…

Read More

indieBRAG Cover Crush: Misha Alexandrov by Jan Karol Tanaka

By Colleen Turner with A Literary Vacation  Synopsis In 1827, when ten-year-old orphan Misha Alexandrov arrives at the Russian American Company’s colony in California, he is forced to step into his father’s shoes as a carpenter. But the boy must also overcome the tyrannical foreman’s hatred of half-breeds. Misha’s own craving for acceptance reveals a character flaw that will threaten his tenuous position even more. Patient instruction in his craft is provided by a gentle Russian carpenter, and an impetuous Kashaya Indian opens his eyes to the wonders of wood lore. On this remote coast of Alta California, a passion for the land takes root in his young heart, and he vows to do anything it takes to make the fortress colony his home. But he will discover that it takes more than personal courage to fulfill the vow. Thoughts on the cover Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE historical fiction! My first impressions of this cover, with its muted colors and writing style, was that this was going to be a historical fiction novel and one that I wanted to know more about. Given the title I assumed it would be somehow based on Russian history, which I…

Read More

Developing a character voice by Colin Weldon

Award Winning Book -A great B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree I’ll be honest. When writing my first novel I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. None. If you had of asked me about character voice development three years ago I would have looked at you like a deer in headlights. The funny thing about writing anything is the sudden appearance of characters that in of themselves are supposed to be fully-fledged human beings that just pop into existence because you need them to tell a story. I am thirty six years old and I am very much still trying to figure myself out so how the hell was I supposed to figure out the nuances of a sixty something year old scientist living on Mars, let alone the inner workings of my twenty something female lead protagonist, but there you are, looking at a blank page about to pop a person into existence in the hopes that that person will seem not only real but have their own hopes and fears and strengths and weaknesses. Hemingway said that “The first draft of anything is shit” and boy was he right so don’t be discouraged if your first read through makes…

Read More

Handling Negative Reviews by Sean DeLauder

Award Winning Author-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Negative reviews happen. Stories and styles are subjective, and sometimes a person with no business reading your book does so anyway—with catastrophic and infuriating results. Maybe the wrong reader was intrigued by the cover or the premise. Maybe the right reader had different expectations for the story? Or maybe, and this will on rare occasions be the case, the reader was inclined toward hostility and decided to victimize your work. Unless you have a superhuman sense of self worth, a negative review, either articulate or gibberish, is going to leave a crater in your heart. Publication does, after all, expose it to bombardment. Sometimes negative reviews can prove useful, identifying genuine flaws in a story: awkward or unnecessary plotting, excessive exposition, lazy characterization. Assuming your book is a living document, you can always correct errors you agree with in future editions. Even Tolkien revised his work after it was published—he rewrote large sections of The Hobbit (1937) and republished 14 years later (1951) to bring it in line with The Lord of the Rings. Other, less savory reviewers take pleasure in ridiculing a book to provide temporary relief for some cloying psychological aberration. These reviews…

Read More

indieBRAG Cover Crush: To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

Award Winning Book: To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead  Cover Crush by Lisl Zlitni Occasionally I marvel at the phrase warning readers not to judge a book by its cover because despite the truth of this caveat, the reality is that a cover image speaks to readers—or doesn’t, as the case may be—nearly as much as the story inside does. It gives one a “visual” into the world of the pages within, and a really great jacket design matches some element or aspect of the narrative: perhaps it depicts a crucial scene or the novel’s background is discernable within its layout. When first I took in the cover for Annie Whitehead’s To Be A Queen, I saw its strength went one step further by including the title in its mood, in a skillfully subtle manner. Now this is no image simply to match a “thing” in the title, for it doesn’t contain a random noun, but rather a mood in itself. My initial thoughts upon seeing the cover drawing were of longing and perhaps loss. Placing myself in the scene would put me near the tree; it occupies the foreground and I could reach out and touch it. Farther away lie…

Read More

How did you discover indieBRAG?

Often times in B.R.A.G. Interviews we ask our authors how they discovered us. In September Stephanie at Layered Pages asked award winning author Justine Avery how she discovered us. Here is what she had to say: "I discovered indieBRAG by relying on a Google search to lead me to award programs or other recognition offered for independently published books and authors—if there were any at all.   I was so glad to find there are organizations, readers, reviewers, etc. devoted to discovering, critiquing, honoring, and publicizing indie books.  And indieBRAG is and does all of these!" -Justine Avery  To read the full interview, click here. Be sure to check out Justine’s interview with her husband, film director Devon Avery here       About Author If you love where storytellers Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl, O. Henry, and Ray Bradbury take you, then you have a new name to learn and love… Professionally, Justine Avery first traversed the murky corporate world of writing and designing technical documents to navigate through writing countless travel stories, reviews, personal essays, and articles. She is now the multi-award-winning author of numerous short stories and novelette-length works. Personally, she has been writing since first…

Read More

Halloween – My Favorite Holiday!

       Gwen Dandridge                                                                                                                            The Stone Lions The Dragons' Chosen Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When you have kids, the holidays take on a life of themselves, morphing into some other worldly sucker-up of time and energy. Halloween  was the best, I could let loose all my creative instincts and cheaply. A couple of us in our neighborhood designed and built costumes, each of us trying to outdo the other. I was single then and living on the east coast: working part time, going to school part time and broke. The end of October there was often chilly. Some of my first designs involve creating structures in which to place a child rather than dressing my children up in store bought outfits.                            …

Read More

The Bitti Chai and The Lost Souls

As we all know themes and getting to know characters so we might connect to them is so important in storytelling. Today Jane Brown is sharing a little about her characters from her stories, The Bitti Chai and The Lost Souls. Share about the themes in your story. The main theme running through The Bitti Chai and the follow up The Lost Souls is the all consuming enduring love between Reigneth and Johnny.   The Bitti Chai tells of Reigneth's formative years, her struggle to come to terms with her gift for foreseeing the future; the ancient prophecy surrounding Reigneth's birth and her families need to protect her from the outside world.  We discover more about her relationship with her family and the huge changes which take place in their life following Reigneth's father's death.  Finally Reigneth meeting and falling in love with Jonathan Wilmott. The Lost Souls continues the young lover's story and the physical changes they both undergo following their marriage.  We see their relationship unfold and grow and Johnny's involvement with Reigneth's cousins Aaron and James deepen and solidify.   The Man with Two Minds to be released in 2017 will take the story further and delve deeper into…

Read More

A Chat with…Nuriel & Zilya

By Award Winning Author Diana L. Wicker B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it? Zilya: We appear together in the newest adventure from the Age of Awakenings set, Legacy of Mist and Shadow. It’s the story of my discovery of my family’s background and where my magics came from. Nuriel: *snorts as he turns to look at her* It is not. It is the story of the rediscovery of my World Beyond. Zilya: hmm…perhaps we should just tell you what the author says about the story and let you decide for yourself. “Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin. The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple…

Read More

Moi Name’s Jenno

‘Allo ev’rybody…! Moi name’s Jenno; leastways, that’s wot most o’ moi friends call me, so Oi reckon as ‘ow yew can call me that an’ all. Actually, moi name is Jean Bryce. Moi mum calls me Jeanie, ‘cept when she calls me “Jean”. But cripes, when she does that, Oi gotta look out, ‘cos it means she’s real cross wiv me. Oi live in a village in England called Widdlington. It’s quite a big village taken all-together, only it’s cut inter two parts by a river an’ a railway going through the middle. Each part ‘as got its gangs. The part, wot we call “The Street” is real old. It were started by the Vikings about 1200 years ago. It’s got two gangs. The new part, wot is where Oi live, were mostly built along Pepper Mill Lane when the railway came. It’s got two gangs an’ all. Each gang ‘as got a territ’ry, an’ nobody ‘ad better go alone inter the territ’ry of anovver gang, ‘cos that’s jus’ plain askin’ fer trouble. Oi’m talkin’ about the kids, o’corse, ‘cos the grown-ups ‘ave got ovver sorts o’ gangs, wot ‘ave ter do wiv political parties, or sport, or religion an’…

Read More