indieBRAG Blog

Sweet Potato Pie in Julia’s Garden!

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! Laura Wharton’s Julia’s Garden Landscape designer Lily McGuire not only has to take over a big landscaping job after her boss unexpectedly dies, but then has to follow the clues about a long ago disappearance, a buried brooch and an unusual collection of toxic plans! Author Laura Wharton told me, “As I plotted the storyline, I wanted the garden to mirror the characters, who are not at all what they seem, as Lily McGuire finds out.” A strange man shows up in Lily’s office and gives her a 1940’s garden journal, which he says killed her boss and best friend.  This connects Lily to Julie’s disappearance, her buried brooch and her unusual collection of toxic plants—a mystery perfect for a landscape architect to…

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Sarah’s Tomato Pie

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! Susan  the indieBRAG Food Sarah’s Journey by David Beasley Review and Recipe by Susan Weintrob Her father and later her half-brother were her masters.  But family ties did not free her nor guarantee fair treatment. Sarah’s situation worsens, becoming so horrific that she fears for her life from her step-brother-master’s brutality. Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery in 1790, finally escapes to Canada in 1822 with three of her children. "I heard a school librarian in Simcoe mention that a student wrote an essay about a slave who had a son by the town’s richest merchant and that their son became one of the richest men in NYC.” Thus began David Beasley’s research on the life of Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery…

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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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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Erin Davies

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 Erin Davies talks with us about this. Erin, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? Three Why are they important to you? They catch the eye in an overly saturated market and they often offer insight to the story without reading the blurb. What do you not like in book covers? Headless (and arguably brainless) women, gaudy text, and authors' names that are larger than the title of the book. What would you like to see more of in covers? Men. I know, back on my damned soapbox, but hear me out. I'd like to more multi-faceted male models. So often they…

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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Colleen Turner

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 Colleen Turner talks with us about this. Colleen, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? I would say a 4...I love a great cover! Why are they important to you? The first thing that will draw my attention to a book is the cover. If it can catch my eye with his pop of color, detailing, etc. then I'm always going to pick it up and at least read the back of the book to see if it sounds like something I would enjoy. What do you not like in book covers? I don't like too bland a cover...I need…

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Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Lisl Zlitni

  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 Lisl Zlitni talks with us about this.  Lisl, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? I’d probably say in between four and five. Though I add the caveat that there have been books with solid color covers I’ve enjoyed. If a work’s premise appeals to me, I won’t not read it because of a dull jacket, but it is so that such a cover lessens the chances I’ll be drawn closer and discover the richness between the pages. Why are they important to you? A fantastic cover often draws me to a book, even from across a room (or…

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Interview with Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina

We are delighted to welcome Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina today to talk with us about her advice in creating a setting for a story, creating visible backstory, conflict, creating believable dialogue and advice on what to do when writers are stuck on a specific scene. Nicole, what are the steps in creating a setting for your story? Really for me the only two steps are the decision and the doing research. The decision is really based in what will best serve the story, both in terms of historical accuracy and plot/characters. When I can, I like to visit the location (even if I am writing about another time period) because there is no substitute for walking where your characters do. But if I can’t, I look at pictures, Google Maps and Google Earth, read guidebooks and talk to locals (gotta love the internet for that!) To me, the setting has to tell the reader something about the time period (or for contemporary books, the nature of the story) and the characters. It has to be accurate, lush and evocative. So I’ll give two examples. In my Guinevere books, Avalon is a main setting. Obviously, it’s a mythical place, so…

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