indieBRAG Blog

A Field of Poppies – Sharon Sala

Author Interview: Sharon Sala I would like to introduce Author Sharon Sala, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion, for her book, "A Field of Poppies".Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com When and where do you like to read? I read when I get a chance and anywhere there's a book and a place to sit down. I care for my 92 year old mother full time in my home. She has dementia and no short-term memory left so it's quite a challenge. And I'm still writing full time, so me time is rare. What was the last truly great book you have read? I'll tell you the book that has stayed with me the longest, although it's not the last book I've read. It was called THE LAST CHILD, by John Hart and when I had finished it, I went back and bought and read everything he's written to date. It was THAT compelling. Do you prefer a book that makes you laugh or makes you cry? One that teaches you something or one that distracts you? I don't like self-help anything and I don't want to read someone else's opinion of how life should be lived, sooo having said…

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Patches of Grey – Roy Pickering

Author Interview: Roy Pickering I would like to introduce Author Roy Pickering, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion, for his book, "Patches of Grey".Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Roy, thank you for the pleasure of this interview. First I would like to ask you questions about your interests in reading. What are you currently reading and what do you plan on reading next? Thank you, Stephanie. I've just started Tinkers by Paul Harding. One of my reading goals is to notch as many Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winners as possible, so Tinkers will move that along. My progress is being charted at my blog A Line A Day: http://lineaday.blogspot.com/2009/03/pulitzer-prize.html Lately I've been plowing through my To Read List via trips to the library, but I happen to own an autographed copy of Tinkers that was won in a contest. Next up I plan to check out Pym by Mat Johnson, unless another title grabs my attention and jumps ahead of it in the never-ending line. Do you prefer a book that makes you laugh or makes you cry? Or one that teaches you something or that distracts you? Out of every 10 books I read I'd say 8 - 9 of them will be in the "teaches…

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Promo or No Promo?

What is the best way to get attention for your book? Renee Pawlish did an interesting piece on her blog - To Become A Writer on what is the best way to promote your book or not to promote at all. According a recent Taleist survey, there seems to be very little benefit to paying for reviews or ads and that most successful authors would agree that word-of-mouth is the number one driving force to success. But how do you generate such word-of-mouth? Certainly your family and friends are great advocates but not enough to drive up sales! Reviews do matter, but one of the issues that we have avoided here at B.R.A.G. is whose reviews. Sites where an author, all of his friends and family fill the reviews with glowing accounts of the best book ever, gives a reader false hope this is going to be a book they will like. I don't believe a reader chooses a book because it is self-published or not, but reading a bad self-published book might give them the impression that most are not worth reading and shy away from a book because it is self-published. Where do you get worthwhile reviews? Well, first of all, here at B.R.A.G. We have a global reading base who are not in any way related to the authors and have nothing to gain but the satisfaction of finding the next really good book. Goodreads and Facebook are also a great way to find reviewers and bloggers to offer your book to. Here is something to consider when you are out trying to get the attention you hope will send your book to the bestseller lists- Make sure this books is well conceived, well written, thoroughly edited (both story and copy) and properly formatted. Let us not forget that word-of-mouth can go both ways. One bad review probably won't destroy your chances for success but several certainly will. Another widely accepted view is that to be a bestselling author, you have to write books! Once fans have discovered your amazing book they will be looking for more and if you don't provide them with more great stories, they will most likely stop talking and that is exactly what you don't want. So my humble opinion is write, write, write and use the advertising money you save on editing and a really great cover. Let the knowledgeable readers on Goodreads, facebook and other social media know your are out there and spend what little time you have left in a day getting reviews. Yes, I think word-of-mouth is the answer – just make sure it is authentic enough to carry your book to the top and, most important, make sure your book is ready for such scrutiny! Oh, and of course, a B.R.A.G.Medallion will tell all readers this is a book worth your time and money!

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Second Thoughts – Bill Harper

Author Interview: Bill Harper I would like to introduce author Bill Harper, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Bill please tell us about your book, Second Thoughts. Thanks to you, STEPHANIE..and your IndiBrag website and to Geri Clouston of B.R.A.G. Medallion for giving me this opportunity to do just that.


 The full title of the book - Second Thoughts: Presidential Regrets with their Supreme Court Nominations gives a pretty good idea of what's between the covers. And, just like all the rest of us, Presidents of the United States do make mistakes and sometimes, just like all the rest of us, they too come to regret some of their actions. 

The difference is, when you and I make a mistake, its effects are fairly marginal. But when the President makes a mistake, it can be monumental. For instance, what do you do when you're Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States, and you appoint and fight for and get a specific Supreme Court nomination? Then, you wake up a few months later to screaming newspaper headlines that your vaunted nominee – to the highest court in the land – has been discovered…

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A Fatal Verdict – Tim Vicary

Author Interview: Tim Vicary I would like to introduce Tim Vicary, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Please tell us about your book, A Fatal Verdict. A Fatal Verdict is the second in a series of three legal thrillers featuring a British barrister (trial lawyer) Sarah Newby. She’s a tough lady who left school when she became pregnant at fifteen and had a hard fight to get to where she is today. In all three of these books Sarah is confronted with trials in which she cannot be certain whether the clients she represents are guilty or innocent. The reader doesn’t know either, until the last minute. This means that although Sarah fights each case as hard as she can, there are difficult moral and emotional choices to be made, by her and the police and everyone else involved.

 In the first book, A Game of Proof, Sarah’s own son, Simon, is accused of a series of dreadful rapes and murders. This is bad enough for any mother, but Sarah is not just Simon’s mother, she is also a lawyer, an officer of the court. So when she uncovers evidence which seems to prove…

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A Cold Snow in Castaway County – John Hickman

Author Interview: John Hickman I would like to introduce John Hickman, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com John, please tell us about your book, A Cold Snow in Castaway County. A former police officer and investigator from the Boston PD, Dell Hinton leaves the city after a controversial shooting. He moves to a small community in Maine where an old school friend lives. After building his home along the shore of a lake, Dell is convinced to run for the job of Sheriff in Castaway County. After winning the election, he meets with the prior Sheriff and learns of a cold case that has been haunting that man for ten years. The story line then centers on how Dell must learn the new duties of being a Sheriff and work to solve the cold case. Considering your experience in law enforcement, I’m sure it helped you a great deal in writing your story. Did you have to do any additional research for your book other than what you already know? Well, I was able to incorporate some stories from my career, as well as some of my training throughout the years. But I did…

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Ebook or Print? Join the conversation!

 Amazon UK's report that ebook sales have outstripped the sales of all print formats combined. According to unaudited figures released by [Amazon UK] on Monday, since the start of 2012, for every 100 hardback and paperback book sold on its site, customers downloaded 114 ebooks.                                                                                                                                        Posted by Victoria Strauss for Write Beware                                                                         Read full article @ http://accrispin.blogspot.com/ Self-publishing is exploding and the number of successful self-published authors is also growing. It is now an accepted and viable alternative to traditional publishing so the debate over whether self-publishing is a wise choice is diminishing. Now the discussion seems to be turning to how best to publish: in print or as an eBook. There are many advantages to eBook publishing; it is cheaper, faster, and, I suppose, the lower purchase price often contributes to higher sales volume. However, it is difficult for many indie authors to give up seeing their precious work sitting on the shelf or desk. The feel, look, and even the smell of a new book all create a feeling that a digital file on an eBook reader never will. Moreover, it is hard to impress your friends with your novel stored in an eBook reader like you can with a book placed casually on the coffee table. "Oh that? It's my latest book". Our B.R.A.G.MedallionTM Honorees have done it all ways: print only, eBook only, and both print and eBook. But which is best? We would love to have your thoughts on this. As readers, which do you prefer? As writers, how did you decide to publish as you did? Join the conversation -

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The History of Vampires in New Orleans

    Vampires and vampire-like creatures have been found in the folklore of every civilization, every culture and every religion since the beginning of recorded time. New Orleans is no exception. The city was settled in the early 1700's and it was during this time in Europe that massive vampire hunts were occurring. The vampire tradition began in the early 1200's in Eastern Europe and spread into Western civilization over hundreds of years. Vampire hunters, usually church representatives, were digging up the dearly departed, driving wooden stakes through the corpses, then beheading and burning the body. The causes of vampirism varied and one could be predisposed at birth for vampirism. Having been born at certain times of the year (New moon, Holy days), born with a red caul, with teeth, or with an extra nipple were sure signs of a vampire. If the child was born with excess hair, white hair, red hair, a red birthmark or with two hearts, the theory persisted. The 7th son of a 7th son was believed to be doomed to vampirism. If the child was weaned too early, suckled after weaning or died prior to Baptism, vampirism was suspected upon death. If the pregnant woman received a curse or was stared at or attacked by a vampire, the child would be cursed to vampirism. This type of predisposition was considered a genetic defect, like a mutation and vampirism was inevitable. Vampirism happened after birth as well. Being fed upon seven or more times by a vampire without dying would guarantee one to become a vampire. Numerous things could happen before or after one's death that could lead to vampirism; committing suicide, practicing sorcery or witchcraft, eating sheep killed by a wolf, leading an immoral life (prostitutes, murderers, alcoholics, rapists), dying without last rites, having a cat jump over the corpse/coffin, having a shadow fall on the corpse, no burial or improper burial rites, death by violence, or death by drowning. There are ways to prevent vampirism should any of the above occur and a number of different things might be done in order to take steps to prevent that body from ever returning from the grave. Weighting the eyes down with coins, tying the mouth closed or stuffing the mouth with garlic were common practices as was placing coins or dirt on the eyes. Our ancestors would cover mirrors in the house and stop the clocks in the home of the deceased. In Louisiana, many families still practice a custom called "sitting up with the dead". When a family member died, a relative or close family friend would stay with the body until it is placed into one of our above ground tombs or is buried. The body was never left unattended. There are many reasons given for this practice today; most commonly respect for the dead but, this tradition actually dates back to vampire folklore in Eastern Europe. While sitting up with the deceased, the friend or family member was watching for signs of paranormal activity i.e. if a cat was ever seen to jump over, walk across, or stand on top of the coffin; if a dog was seen to bark or growl at the coffin; or if a horse shied from it, these were signs of impending vampirism. At that point, steps would be taken to prevent the corpse from returning from the dead. Ways to stop a vampire included burying the corpse face down and burying it at a crossroads. Often family members would place a sickle around the neck, tie body parts together or mutilate the body, usually by decapitation and placing the head at the bottom of feet. The most common remedy for impending vampirism was to drive a stake into the corpse, decapitate it then burn the body to ashes. This method was the only way to truly destroy the undead. By the 1700's, these practices were going on all throughout Western Europe, particularly in France and Germany where many were migrating to New Orleans. Believers insisted that vampires could have been smuggled over in ships with the settlers. The early French settlers brought over brides from Europe who transferred their belongings in large wooden casket-like boxes. According to folklore, even though vampires prefer the night, they are not destroyed by daylight. It was common for the vampire to walk about during the day but they generally hunted and fed at night. They would not have needed to be smuggled in coffins in the hulls of ships. This idea is that of fictional writers such as Bram Stoker. More than likely, vampires would have entered the ships like anyone else and blended in well with society. If being a murderer, rapist, or other criminal element would predispose one to vampirism, it is easy to see how they would have become so prevalent in New Orleans. The city started as a penal colony. All of the original settlers would have been predisposed to it! Once they blended in with the mortals, they could easily feed on the population without raising much suspicion. With people dying in great masses from diseases such as yellow fever, who's going to notice another corpse here or there? Nonetheless, our folklore has remained true to the casket girl theory. These women were housed and educated in the Ursuline Convent, located on Chartres and Ursulines Streets in the French Quarter. They were eventually married off to the settlers in the city. It is believed by many that the original caskets of these brides are stored in the attic of the convent and that the vampires still reside in them. The convent is no longer a working convent but now is a repository for the archives of the archdiocese. Legend states that late at night one of the attic shutters will open and the vampires escape. They attack unsuspecting victims, return and close the shutters before dawn. But is it more than a legend? By Kalila K. Smith New Orleans Paranormal & Occult Research Society, Read the full article at: http://www.neworleansghosts.com/vampires.htm   Fiction: Amaranth by Rachael Wade  

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Riptide – Michael Prescott

Author Interview: Michael Prescott I would like to introduce Michael Prescott, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Michael, please tell us about your book, Riptide. 

I came up with the idea for Riptide pretty much by accident, when I was writing an e-mail to another author. I was spitballing far-fetched story ideas, and one of them concerned a woman who finds the diary of Jack the Ripper hidden in her cellar and realizes there may be a family connection. After typing a few words about that, I sat back and thought, “Actually, that's not bad.” I strengthened it by adding the idea that the woman's emotionally troubled brother may be re-creating the Ripper's crimes in the present day. I set the story in Venice, California, which of course posed the challenge of trying to explain how a killer from London's East End could wind up on the West Coast of America. The story was a little different from some of the others I've done–a little more high concept. I thought it worked out well, but when I tried to sell it to traditional publishers, I hit a wall. Although I had published twenty previous…

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Opening Day – Joe Perrone

Author Interview: Joe Perrone I would like to introduce author Joe Perrone, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Thank you Joe for the pleasure of this interview. Could you please tell us about you book, Opening Day. Opening Day is the second in the Matt Davis Mystery Series, and is set in Roscoe, NY, a small fishing village where I used to be a fly fishing guide. Matt Davis is a former NYPD homicide detective who has taken early retirement following a near-death experience on the job, and has taken a relatively laid-back position as Chief of Police of a three-man department. While out fishing on the opening day of trout season, he stumbles across the badly deteriorated body of what turns out to be a young woman. The body is unclothed; there is no physical evidence or apparent motive; and the victim's identity is unknown. As the story unfolds, readers are introduced to three different young women at a time prior to the murder, any one of whom might be the victim. Their stories are interwoven with the ongoing events and investigation, until eventually two are eliminated, leaving the remaining woman as the…

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