indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."

Celebrating Your Children With Reading

With the ever increasing pull of technology we find great efficiencies and learn faster but are we struggling to teach our children the fine art of reading? And are they getting enough of that joyful silence where they steal themselves away and get lost in a great reading adventure. For the members and followers of IndieBRAG, reading is everything we are about, but even for us the struggle exists. Our children and grandchildren play with smart phones and tablets and get use to the immediate gratification that comes with rote learning. And it's quite amazing to see them tackle technology; preparing themselves for a world that we can only begin to imagine. But learning to read is hard work and takes the time and patience that is hard-won in our fast paced lives. Here are a few tips from our team and friends. Make consistent time to read. The easiest way for us all to turn off is to find a chunk of time and turn it into a ritual. Light a fire, make some snacks and encourage the children in your life to slow down and grab a book. Be a good example. Our children aren't the only ones…

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Author Interview with Richard Denning Richard Denning lives with his wife and two children in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands of England where he works as a General Practitioner (family doctor). Away from his medical practice he is a writer of historical fiction and fantasy with a special interest in the early Anglo Saxon period. He owns a sizeable collection of Anglo-Saxon replica items which he takes to school visits and local history societies. Two of his books are BRAG medallion honourees: The Last Seal and The Amber Treasure. A keen player of board games and other games he is one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). He is also a board game designer and his first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666′ was published by Medusa Games and Prime Games in October 2010. Stephanie: Richard I am delighted to be chatting with you today about your book, The Amber Treasure. Your story is one of the best I have read this year. I am so intrigued with the setting and period of your story and how complex your characters are and the vivid historical detail you give... Cerdic is…

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Author Interview with Gwen Dandridge Stephanie: Hey, Gwen! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion! That is wonderful and what high praise indeed for your story. How did you discover indieBRAG? Please tell your audience about your book? Gwen: The Stone Lions is a multi-cultural fantasy that takes place in the late 1300s in Islamic Spain. As a minor note, it also teaches band symmetry so it is idea for the common core curriculum. It can be read as a pure fantasy or used to understand historic Islamic culture or teach symmetry. There are levels upon levels that it touches. Here's the basic story: In the last throes of the 14th century, Islamic Spain is under pressure from Castile and Aragon. Ara, the twelve-year old daughter to the Sultan, finds herself in the center of a political intrigue when her eunuch tutor is magically transformed by the evil Wazir. Can a little girl save her friend and tutor with the help of a Sufi mathemagician? Intertwined in a mystery of math, art and magic, Ara races to find the seven broken symmetries before time runs out. Stephanie: What genre would you say this falls under and why did you chose the middle…

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Author Interview with Merle Saferstein     Stephanie: Hello, Merle! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion and thank you for chatting with me today about your medallion book, Room 732. Before we begin talking about your book, tell me how you discovered indieBRAG. Merle: Thanks, Stephanie. I learned about IndieBRAG from a friend of mine who had written a novel and had become a B.R.A.G. Medallion winner. She suggested that I enter my book. Stephanie: What are your thoughts of the self-publishing industry today? Merle: When I first started to write Room 732, I knew that I was going to self-publish. By 2012, the industry had changed significantly. Instead of the stigma that used to exist years ago, self-publishing had become mainstream and popular. I felt sure that this was the right choice for me. At that point in my life, self-publishing meant I was saving myself from the grueling process of trying to find an agent and the possibility of agonizing rejections. Besides, self-publishing would allow me to have complete control over my work. I could write the book, edit it, submit it and would not have to wait for a publisher's schedule to get Room 732 into readers' hands.…

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Author Interview with Brenda Ortega Presley may be smart, but she buckles under pressure – or more specifically, she alphabetizes. In stressful moments her mind grabs words and compulsively sorts the letters, like a frightened guard dog chasing its tail. So it's no surprise when signs from the universe constantly warn her: stay out of the spotlight. That's hard to do when her Elvis-loving mom, the school secretary, plays embarrassing snippets of The King's hits on the PA every day. It's even harder when the school's biggest goofball nominates Presley for president and her campaign speech turns disastrous. Her greatest refuge from the drama is her adorable nephew. But Luke's mom – Presley's teenage sister – has a secret that threatens to tear the boy from the family forever, unless Presley can stop it. Maybe the universe is out to get her. Or perhaps it's whispering a new message: Stay cool. Step into the spotlight. Summon your inner Elvis. Stephanie: Hello, Brenda! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion and thank you for chatting with me today about your book, THE TWELFTH OF NEVER. Please tell me how you discovered indieBRAG. Brenda: Hi, Stephanie. Thank you so much! I can't tell you…

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Author Interview with Janet O'Kane Janet O'Kane is a British mystery writer. Originally from the south of England she now lives in the Scottish Borders. Her varied career before moving to Scotland and writing full-time included selling underwear to Roger Moore in Harrods, the famous London department store, and marketing nappies for a national chemist chain. It was when she helped run a family doctor's surgery that she decided a doctor would make an excellent main character for the series of crime novels she had always wanted to write. Janet lives with her stonemason husband and a cat, two dogs and far too many chickens. She is now writing the sequel to No Stranger to Death and learning to tap dance. Stephanie: Hello, Janet! I am delighted to be chatting with you today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion! I see that in your bio that it was working in a family doctor's surgery that inspired a character for crime stories...It truly is fun and amazing where you find inspiration for stories. Please tell me about your book, No Stranger to Death and how you discovered indieBRAG. Janet: Thanks Stephanie. I'm thrilled to have been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion for…

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Author Interview with Melanie Kerr   Stephanie: Hello, Melanie! I am so delighted to chat today with you about your book, Follies Past, which has been awarded the prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion. First, I would like to ask you how you discovered indieBRAG and what would you like to say about this company? Melanie: I have so much to say about this subject that I am sure would test the bounds of this interview. Quality control is the missing link in the self-publishing world, and IndieBRAG is really stepping up to fill that void. They are providing precisely the service that I, as an independent author, need in order to get the attention of readers, booksellers, media, even agents and potential publishers. I can only imagine that they will grow in notoriety and importance in the publishing world as self-publishing becomes larger and it becomes even more important for readers to be able to identify the really good books from among the myriads. Stephanie: I am completely thrilled about your book. I love anything Jane Austen and when I read your book description, I knew that I need to read this story as soon as I can. Please tell your audience…

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The God of Sno Cone Blue -Marcia Coffey Turnquist

Author Interview with Marcia Coffey Turnquist   Marcia Coffey Turnquist, an author and journalist, is currently writing her second novel, Skipping the Light. Before venturing into the world of fiction, she spent 12 years as a news broadcaster, working her way back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon and KOIN-TV. Marcia decided to retire from broadcasting to raise the son and daughter who ultimately inspired The God of Sno Cone Blue. Her two children are all but grown now, the youngest just off to college and the other currently studying abroad. Marcia lives with her husband Ed in the soggy-but-green suburbs of Portland. Stephanie: Marcia, congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your book, The God of Sno Cone Blue and thank you for talking with me today. I am hearing absolutely fabulous things about your story and have added it to my wish-list. Before we begin, please tell me how you discovered indieBRAG and what are your thoughts on the B.R.A.G. concept? Marcia: Thanks, Stephanie, I'm thrilled about the Medallion. I've always loved, loved, loved my story, and it feels fantastic to have indieBRAG basically fall in love with it too. Other writers on the Internet essentially introduced me to…

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Talking with Lisa Ard- author of Saving Halloween!

    Thank you for answering my questions Mrs. Ard.Halloween is my favorite holiday so I loved your book. What made you write a book about a spooky family that is really pretty normal?One of the themes of Saving Halloween is that things (and people) aren't always what they appear to be. I think that's true in real life too. Sometimes the kid who seems to have it all and must be really happy, really isn't. Or sometimes a person with a disability, who we may think we'd have nothing in common with, shares our interests and becomes our best friend. The Spavento family may seem strange at first, and kind of spooky, but it turns out they're loving, fun and magical! Which family would you rather be a part of – Halloween's or Anne's?Oh definitely Halloween's! Did you grow up in a normal family or were they a bit strange- not as strange as Halloween's!Oh I suppose I thought they were strange when I was a kid – especially my brother, but looking back I'd say we were pretty normal. Do you have children?I have a 14-year old son named Holden and a 12-year old daughter Molly. An image…

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Author Interview with Pru Batten     Stephanie: Hello Prue! I am delighted to be chatting with you today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion and your other awards- Readers' Favorites award, a Rone Award and a Golden Claddagh Award for you story, Gisborne: Book of Pawns. High praise indeed! How exciting! Prue: Thanks you so much, Stephanie. As an indie writer, I think awards are essential for proving the quality of any given novel. Indie B.R.A.G has extremely stringent standards and to be awarded a medal, a writer knows they have met those exacting conditions. It also gives readers confidence to put their faith in that novel. Stephanie: I agree with you. How did you discover indieBRAG? Prue: I believe it was through Alli, the Alliance of Independent Authors. They have worked very hard to make sure indie writers have opportunities to prove themselves in the marketplace. They provided a list of awards that could potentially give indie novels veracity in the cut and thrust of the book-selling trade. I read the standard required for a B.R.A.G and submitted whilst holding my breath! Stephanie: They are a wonderful site! Please tell me a little about your book? Prue: Here's…

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