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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

February 2016

Time to Think on my Garden

It is that time… I need to think about what to put in my garden this year. I had marked several seeds as interesting at Sustainable Seed Co. last year, and they just sent me a reminder.

For those of you who garden, and want heirloom quality foods with Actual Taste and NO GMOs, here is what I marked, in no particular order. Now, to narrow down my choices to what will FIT! 😉

Bulls Blood Beet Seeds

Bulls Blood is an heirloom beet from the 1840s and is primarily grown for its tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy foliage, but the beets are tasty when harvested at…

Price: $2.49


Daikon Radish

This root vegetable reported to have originated in the Mediterranean and brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C. Roots are large, often 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 20 inches…

Price: $2.29


Cylindra Beet Seeds

Dark red, cylindrical and about 6-9″ long. This is not your typical beet as it is much longer. It almost resembles the size and shape of a small sweet potato. This long root make for…

Price: $2.29


Burpee Golden Beet Seeds

Burpee Golden Beet seeds made their debut in 1828. If you are annoyed when those pesky red beets “bleed” all over your counters then this is the beet for you. Want to wow your…

Price: $2.75


Tatume Squash Seed

Tatume is a summer squash popular in Mexico and Texas, round/oval med-dark green to yellow fruits with faint stripes. 5-7″ in diameter. Firm, fine flavor with very vigorous spreading…

Price: $2.29


Auld Sod Tomato Seed

Determinate, small bushy plants produce plum shaped, red fruits that are firm walled with some tang. Huge early yields and some blight resistance. This is a very…

Price: $1.99 (High on my “Probable” list)


Columbianum Wildform Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Massive tresses of medium small red cherry fruits. Good flavor and ability to hold on the plant. Originating in Columbia, from Gerhard Bohl, Germany. Produces sweet, little…

Price: $2.99 (High on my “Probable” list)


Organic Darby Red and Yellow Tomato

Indeterminate. Medium sized red fruit with yellow tiger stripes. Excellent flavor, Developed by Dr. Lewis Darby of the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in Littlehampton UK in the…

Price: $2.99


Indian Dhannat Cilantro

Low growing, heat tolerant cultivar from India. Excellent in chutneys or as an addition to a salsa.  It has also been used for generations as a digestive aid as a tea or directly eating…

Price: $2.99


Collective Farm Woman Melon

Collective Farm Woman has a yellow-gold rind with extra sweet white flesh.  Melons grow 7-10″ in size.  Collective Farm Woman ripens early as you would expect from a cool…

Price: $2.29 (Stays on the list. I love melons!)


Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Not only a colorful addition to salads, but it is really fast producing and very flavorful. I was stunned at the size of this particular strain when I went to see it in our grower’s…

Price: $1.99


Dill, Dukat Herb Seed

Dukat Dill has sea blue-green leaves that impart a delicate herbal fragrance. Dukat Dill has a taste is light and sweetly aromatic, but never bitter or overly…

Price: $1.99 (Also stays on the list)


Organic Forest Fire Tomato Seeds

Determinate.  Crazy early tomatoes borne on bushes that were so early the bush was  9″ tall with few leaves.  If you don’t have great amounts of space and want an…

Price: $2.99 (See why it is so hard to narrow down my choices?!)


Organic katja Tomato Seed

Semi-determinate vines. Katja is a large pink slicer that not only bears early, but produces copious amount of large fruit. Plants are semi-determinate which makes them perfect for those that…

Price: $2.99


Organic Black Seaman Tomato Seed

Semi-Determinate.  One of the most beautiful tomatoes in our trials, these dark purple to crimson colored fruits can get up to a pound in size!  Growing…

Price: $2.99


Thessaloniki Tomato Seeds

Thessaloniki produces a dense foliage needed to protect the fruit from the warm Greek Sun. Excellent disease resistance to fungus. Thessaloniki is famous for producing practically uniform,…

Price: $2.99


Striped German Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate vines with potato leaves.  Striped German tomato is a very colorful tomato!  The flavor is very complex, almost fruity. Striped German needs good staking though. …

Price: $2.49


White Wonder Cucumber Seeds

Released to the market by Burpee in 1893, this variety produces nice yields of 6″ to 8″ long white cucumbers. Excellent for salads, pickles, or gourmet…

Price: $2.29


Organic Amazon Chocolate Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. A wonderful flavored, rich colored tomato, this black will get to beefsteak sizes sometimes near a pound.   One of my personal favorites, it sets the standard for me…

Price: $2.99


Organic Coyote Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. with regular leaves. Coyote made its way from Mexico to Pennsylvania and is now cultivated all over. Coyote is a tiny tomato with a big taste! The…

Price: $3.49


Organic Gail’s Sweet Plum Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate with regular leaves. A very sweet small paste tomato that is also a great producer! What really got us in the trial gardens was the taste – quite good for a paste tomato!…

Price: $2.99


Copia Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Copia was developed from a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. Copia’s interior flesh is yellow/gold and occasionally streaked with red. The flavor is highly…

Price: $2.49


Green Moldovan DF Tomato

Green Moldovan Tomato Seeds

Price: $3.99


Banana Melon

Produces a long (18″-20″) torpedo shaped fruit that can weigh in excess of 5lbs. with a yellow skin that’s smooth with little netting.  Some say the name came from its…

Price: $2.29


Watermelon Radish Seeds

Watermelon Radish Seeds

Price: $2.79


Scallop Yellow Bush Squash Seed

Scallop Yellow was domesticated by the Native Americans and grown by northern tribes.  Delicious when harvested about 2-3 inches in size. It is delicate, tender and beautiful when…

Price: $2.29


Romanesco Broccoli Seed

Has great spiraling designs and shades of apple-green color whirling together to form some of the best tasting broccoli. Grown almost everywhere in Italy for its amazing flavor. Especially…

Price: $2.29


Black Hungarian Pepper Seeds

A great showpiece that can be used as a flowerbed border or the main attraction!  The emerald green foliage is highlighted by purple flowers and later red…

Price: $2.49


Rosemary Herb Seed

Rosemary is a perennial herb that grows upright into a profusion of fragrant needle leaves. Rosemary is drought tolerant, loves full sun, and grows back vigorously after cutting. Plants…

Price: $3.49 (I will look for Rosemary plants instead – seeds don’t take here very well but this is a reminder)


Cornsalad “Mache” Herb Seed

A nutty green used in salads in France for many years, “Mache” is also called lambs lettuce.  Liking cool weather similar to spinach, this tasty green has 3 times more vitamin…

Price: $1.99


Large Leaf Sorrel Herb Seed

Add a lemon zest to any salad with these tastey greens!  Very prolific perennial, Sorrel is an herb missing from most American’s diets – and to their loss!  Best with fish…

Price: $1.99


Hyssop Herb Seeds

Hyssops makes a delightful 2′ hedge producing dark blue flower spikes that are sure to attract any self-respecting butterfly, hummingbird or bee! The foliage is dark green and slightly…

Price: $2.29


Sugar Ann Snap Pea

Sugar Ann Snap Pea

Price: $2.49


Round Zucchini Seeds

Round Zucchini Seeds

Price: $2.29


Organic Red Stuffer Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate. Prolific, producing red-orange fruit with 3-4 large cells inside.  Similar that that of a sweet bell pepper.  Removing the seeds is a snap – fill it with your…

Price: $2.99


Petrillo Tomato Seeds

Indeterminate tomato vines with regular leaves. The USDA says they acquired this tomato in the 1950s from Puerto Rico, however it is rumored to originally have come…

Price: $2.99


Abe Lincoln Tomato Seed

Released in 1923 and hailed as “The Giant of all Tomatoes”. Produces loads of meaty, 8 oz red tomatoes late in the summer in clusters of 4-6. Real true tomato flavor lost in most of…

Price: $2.29


Organic Baby Pak Choi

Who can resist Baby Pak Choi!  Juicy, succulent stems and leaves in only 33 days.  Also called Shanghai Bok Choi.  Pak Choi is fast growing and…

Price: $2.75


Big Rainbow Tomato Seeds

Six foot plus indeterminate plants bear huge ribbed, yellow-orange fruits weighing up to two pounds. Golden fleshed with red streaks and a rainbow of colors. As juicy as it is sweet. Makes a…

Price: $2.39


Tenderette Green Bean Seeds

Tenderette is a delicious, stringless, high-bearing green bean that produces over a long season. Reaching 20″ tall, it bears long, straight, consistent 5″ long green beans with a…

Price: $2.29


Pasilla Bajio Pepper Seeds

Also called “Chile Negro”.  The name in Spanish means little raisin which refers to the wrinkled skin as this pepper dries.  Although classified…

Price: $2.49 (Had these last year. Delicious!!)


Giant Aconcagua Pepper Seeds

Aconcagua is said to be from Argentina where things are known to be spicy, but this pepper is not! In fact it is considered to be very sweet and fruity in flavor. A…

Price: $2.29


Corno di Toro Pepper Seeds

An old Italian Heirloom that is also known as “Bull Horn Pepper”.  Has long 8-10″ fruits that turn deep red when fully ripe.  Very sweet…

Price: $2.49


Mini White Pickle Cucumber Seeds

This cucumber produces loads of small white fruits on short 3′ vines.  One of the absolute best white cucumbers as it has no bitterness.  Excellent for salads, pickles or any…

Price: $1.99


Sakata’s Sweet Melon Seeds

Sakata produces 3-4″ melons that are oh so sweet. They have a high sugar content and edible skins. Crisp flesh and a bright yellow outer skin. Excellent…

Price: $2.99


Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon Seeds

Georgia Rattlesnake is said to have been developed in the 1830s. It has been an old Southern favorite for a long time. Georgia Rattlesnake averages 35-50 pounds….

Price: $2.49 (As much as I would like to grow watermelon, they don’t do well here, at least in my garden. Maybe I am doing something wrong? Anyway, looks like I will be shopping the organic melons at Whole Foods instead. Sigh)


Organic Braising Greens

A growing trend at fine eateries and farmers market is a high quality braising mix. This is a unique blend of different mustards and arugula. Sure to please the most refined palette. A very…

Price: $2.75


Dill, Bouquet Herb Seeds

This variety of dill is one of the earliest and most savory. Reaches 2-3′ tall and produces yellow umbel-shaped flowers.  These flowers are a magnet for many butterflies like the…

Price: $1.99


Texas Hill Country Red Okra

The okra is red in color and “The Texas Hill Country” refers to the limestone hills surrounding Austin/San Antonio area. This okra grows 4-6′ tall. Has 3″ bronze red fruit…

Price: $1.99 (I love fresh okra, but I don’t have space for more than a couple plants. But, since Whole Foods rarely has it, I think I will plant it in the flower beds!)


Sweet Pickle Pepper Seeds

Compact, bushy plants reach 15″ tall and are covered with clusters on 2 inch long fruits, fruits color (through maturity) yellow to orange to red to purple….

Price: $2.49


Mulato Isleno Pepper Seeds

Mulato Isleno are excellent for stuffing as rellenos, very fat, 6 x 3 in. diameter at stem, mild and distinctive flavor. These peppers turn from dark green to red…

Price: $2.49


Marianna’s Peace Tomato Seeds

Marianna’s Peace is an old Czechoslovakia heirloom that produces a 1-2 lb pink beefsteak tomato. The flavor is deep, creamy, very complex and sweet. Just what you would expect from an old…

Price: $1.99


Flame Tomato Seeds

Flame Tomato Seeds

Price: $2.29


Black Spanish Round Radish Seeds

This radish was around when the Mona Lisa was painted! A true heirloom with a snowy white interior and jet black skin. Black Spanish is a great fall/winter planted…

Price: $2.29


Soapwort Flower Seeds

Soapwort Seeds

Price: $2.49


Crosby Egyptian Beet

Crosby Egyptian Beet

Price: $2.29



Organic Purple Tomatillo

You may be familiar with green tomatillos, this is the purple version.  Very hard to find these days.  A wonderful surprise awaits inside the papery…

Price: $3.25 (Deeee-licious!! I made tomatillo salsa last year and it was awesome… didn’t last in the freezer!)


Peppermint Stick Celery Seeds

Peppermint Stick Celery Seeds

Price: $2.75


Double Yield Cucumber

Double Yield cucumber was developed in 1924 by Joseph Harris & Company of Coldwater, NY. Very early. The fruit is perfectly symmetrical, very straight, blunt…

Price: $2.29


Organic Dancing With Smurfs

Who wouldn’t love a blue tomato with a name like “Dancing With Smurfs”! Amazing tomato that is sure to be to talk of your block. Stunning purple/blue tomatoes that turn…

Price: $3.99 (OK, I have to do these for the organic growers group I belong to!)


Basil, Spicy Globe Bush

Spicy Globe Bush Basil

Price: $2.29


Basil, Purple Ruffles

Purple Ruffles Basil

Price: $2.49


Yukon Chief Sweet Corn

Yukon Chief Sweet Corn

Price: $2.99 (Don’t have the room, or the heat, to do sweet corn. Tried it last year and it never ‘took’ so I suppose it is Whole Foods again!)


Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme

Price: $3.49 (I plan on replacing my front lawn with creeping thyme when I can get my head around the work it will take to rip out the grass, fertilize and then get my thyme going. Lots of work, so …… maybe dead grass is OK after all! But wouldn’t it smell and look amazing?)


Organic Pichit Pepper Seeds

Pichit is a New Mexican type pepper from Thailand.  Fruits are moderately spicy with a nice sweet flavor.  It made a great addition to fermented hot…

Price: $2.99


Organic Limòn Pepper Seeds

The Limon pepper is small and yellow with a fresh citrus flavor that is hot like a scotch bonnet. It dries well and makes great hot sauce. Limon is so well loved on the biodynamic farm in…

Price: $2.99 (Ouch. HOT! Do I really want to make my own hot sauce? Hum…….)


Pineapple Tomatillo Seeds

Pineapple Tomatillo

Physalis ixocarpa

Price: $2.99


Organic Clackamas Blueberry Tomato Seeds

Organic Clackamas Blueberry Tomato Seeds

Price: $3.99


Organic Basque Pepper Seeds

Organic Basque Pepper Seeds

Price: $3.49


Organic Athens Tomato

Organic Athens Tomato

Price: $3.49


Sustainable Seed Co.
Phone: 877-620-SEED
URL: Sustainable Seed

No More Baby Colors! ;-)

As a quilter and knitter, I am always interested to see what the “Vogue” fashion colors for each season are going to be. I don’t buy clothing every time something “new and in vogue” comes out (heck, the last time I bought clothes at all it was a bag of socks!) but seeing what I can expect to see in the quilt shop is always interesting.

I had heard that it was going to be all baby pink and baby blue (gag) but when the report actually came out? They are rich and sumptuous. Very nice. I look forward to seeing what shows up in my local quilting and knitting shops!

TOP 10 FALL 2016 FASHION COLORS

Pantone has gone in a new direction for their Fall 2016 fashion color report. We reported in the Holiday 2015 KnitNews that the pastel-shaded 2016 colors of the year might make an unusual choice for fall fashion. Pantone seems to agree: Rather than incorporate these colors into their Fall 2016 lineup, they have instead chosen a palette of ten deeper shades. The selection features six all-new colors, including denim blue Riverside, which WWD reports was the most popular color used in Fall 2016 fashion collections.

READ PANTONE’S FALL 2016 FASHION COLOR REPORT >

A Nice Police Story

We hear every day about bad things that happen when cops are involved. But as with every other human being on the planet, there are good ones and bad ones, and though the good outweigh the bad, well, blood and violence sells, so we don’t always hear all the good in the screaming about how bad the bad are. So, when I came across the article when I was reading the QN Blog, which is part of Quilters Newsletter, I couldn’t help passing this along. Enjoy a smile this morning (or afternoon, as the case may be!) Besides, I raved pretty hard yesterday, time to make up for it with a laugh!


Scrap Bag: Quilting cops, Masopust’s influence, Flint water crisis quilt, and more

One of the Best Quilt shops! Well worth the trip if you will be visiting NYC or Philadelphia! Gammill and Bernina sales as well as Long Arm Rental Programs!:

Do you remember a video that went viral a few weeks ago of a cop who decided to shoot hoops in the street with a group of local boys instead of bust them on a public disturbance call? Well, we quilters now have our own version! Two Burlington City (New Jersey) police officers responded to a call from local quilt shop about a medical emergency. After the person was determined to be fine, the cops hung around and started sewing. One of them showed off some really good free-motion quilting skills, saying he was a professional quilter before he became a cop. (His partner was not as experienced but gave it a try, so good on him.) Click the link to watch the video.

www.nj.comCity of Burlington Police Department - Burlington, New Jersey ...

The U.S. has Gone F&*%ing Mad

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*Vt1a9bWTP7CRTUPcxcX32A.jpeg

James Allworth

Director @Medallia, Co-host @exponentFM, Co-author @MeasureYourLife, Fellow @ClayChristensen‘s thinktank, writer @HarvardBiz. Previous: HBS, Apple, Booz, ANU

WordPress doesn’t allow embedded code, so I can’t post the whole article here, but everyone – American or not – should read his article posted to Medium.com. Click the link to read the whole article. I had no idea that “Those In Power” have decided that the way to stop gun violence in the US, such as the mass shooting in San Bernardino and, pertinent to me as a Colorado resident, the Columbine shooting, is to force cell companies, like Apple, into opening a back door into your phone so they can spy on you. What the fucking fuckity fuck?!?!?

Wow. I know we have a bit of a terrorist problem (nothing, compared to other countries such as Britain, France, and, oh, yeah, The Middle East ((and maybe, just maybe, if we weren’t so bent on controlling the whole world, we wouldn’t PISS PEOPLE OFF so badly)) but….. I got news for you, Old Men With Suits, Cigars, And More Money Than You Know What To Do With At The Expense Of Those You Are Supposed To Be Working For  . . . you are so focused on “Terrorism” (and retaining the payoffs from the NRA) that you fail to acknowledge that, 1) “Lone Gunman” is the more realistic shooter profile, i.e.  “Run off and shoot lots and lots of people because I am a psychotic FREAK, and 2) and listen closely here, You Can’t Shoot Someone With A Cell Phone. Got that, you Pompous, Overfed Windbags? Oh, and should you really get that backdoor – are you really and truly that stupid, that you think that the shooters will use their cell phone to spew out all their secrets and plans, a monologue from a Cartoon Villain?!?!

(OK, yes, I am ranting.)

Are we REALLY this STUPID?!?! Well, seeing as how the world’s largest Pompous, Blowhard Windbag that ever crushed a company and put thousands out of work (come on, the guy Bankrupted a CASINO!!! Don’t they say the house always WINS?!?!?!) is still topping the US Political Scene, I guess that, as a whole, we really are that stupid as a Nation. Just where are all the Intelligent People who should be out there fighting against every bad thing that is happening in this country to turn us all into Robot Slaves to the upper class? Sigh.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
George Orwell, 1984

Teaser Tuesday – Trying To Get Back Into My Groove!

I have been more “off” than  on lately, but with good weather coming soon I am starting to come out of hibernation. Yawwwwwn!!!

TeaserTuesday-ADailyRhythm

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser Tuesday for today is from Grand Theft Griffin: Book Three of Fantasy and Forensics by Michael Angel. If you don’t have it yet, you should!

Newscasters in Fall’s slick new fashions describe the gusts off the desert plateaus to the east of the city the Santa Ana. But the cops know better. They cal it el viento del diablo, the Devil’s Wind, and it does strange things to people at a time when the rest of the country is out shopping for witches’ hats and carving pumpkins.

Sometimes, the winds bring a warning. And this time, there is a very good possibility that not all will survive. If you haven’t read the first two in the series, click the cover below and you can download all three books!

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Alaskan Fire – Book One, Guardians of the First Realm by Sara King – A Keeper

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.” – George R. R. Martin

It wasn’t supposed to be, well, “easy,” not exactly. I mean, moving into an isolated, 10,000 square foot fishing lodge in the backwoods of Alaska isn’t for the weak of heart or soul. But when you inherit a good bit of money, just enough to buy your dream, it is hard to think about all the things that can happen when you are a 6’4” woman with orange hair, huge feet, and a childhood wish to run a back country fishing lodge. So, Blaze dove in, monster feet first. But, well, yeah. Stuff happens.

“Stuff” like your handyman suddenly turning into a were wolverine and attacking not an hour after the bush plane drops her off on the banks of Lake Ebony on the Yentna River. Yep. Things are going downhill from here, toot sweet. Oh, werewolves and wolverine, dragons and Thunderbird and, well, you get the point. And baby, “Something Wicked definitely this way comes…” But, darn it, this is HER place – even if a curmudgeonly, foul tempered, bad mouthed wolverine IS accusing her of being some kind of fantasy creature bent on elbowing in on “his” territory. Hey, she has the proof of her ownership of those thirty acres in her safety deposit box! Jerk.

I was truly surprised and thrilled to find a new-to-me author I am now so enthralled with. Alaskan Fire is a new sort of beast. A fantasy/paranormal with new and fascinating world and character building. Yes, there are the “standard” list of fantasy characters. Weres and dragons, etcetera. But done with an interesting twist of characterization and storyline that created a book I honestly couldn’t put down. And rather than gulping the book in huge bites, I savored it, taking my time and learning to love a couple of pretty unusual oddballs. Let’s face it. Jack the wereverine is someone that I would normally absolutely “despise” in any other situation. From the first, I hated him. I mean really hated him. But stepping back, I began to learn who he was, deep down. All the millennia of being alive, through a time when man was barely walking erect, through the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and beyond . . . centuries without measure, filled with love and loss and more pain than any one creature should be forced to bear. Yep. Jack is a piece of work. And before it was over, well, I may never be a charter member of the Jack Fan Club, but I absolutely want to continue the story. Because this? Well, this was awesome.

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.” ― Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas

I will warn you that Ms. King has an obsessive love affair with misplaced and unnecessary commas, as well as unnecessary hyphens, so expect it. Yes, she needs an editor. But her writing overall is so compelling even I was able to overlook it. And that is pretty darn special. Oh, and this is not the “meet the guy and hump him within five minutes” story. This is much, much better than that. Those are fine, in their place, but this is a real, honest to goodness novel with power to spare. There is a somewhat “HEA” … but I see a lot more in store for Blaze and Jack than some simple ending. A lot more.

“Alaskan Fire” is the first of Sara King’s “Guardians of the First Realm” series. Book two is “Alaskan Fury” and I already have it downloaded. Here’s a hint for Were and Human alike – these are Kindle Unlimited, so what are you waiting for?!

 

10 Trends in Publishing You Need to Know

Once again, Nicholas C. Rossis comes up with a winner article to share, and I had to pass it along. Enjoy!


 

Chloe of the Written Word Media published recently 10 trends in publishing that are of interest to every author – particularly Indie ones: 1. Indie authors will continue to take up a growing …

Source: 10 Trends in Publishing You Need to Know

Groan…. Mouth Orgasm!!

I am not normally one of those self-absorbed people who thinks her friends can’t survive without me taking photos of my food and posting it . . . But for this?

I got my housemate, Linda, a KitchenAid with part of my winnings from SweetFreeBooks.com. This is what she just made.

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Who needs Cinnamon Rolls when you can have German Chocolate Rolls with dark chocolate whipped cream cheese frosting?

See why I splurged on the KitchenAid for her? Hee hee hee 😉

Oh, and here is the new toy itself. And it is Bright Pink… cool!

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Sooo Much Facepalm!

A spanking-new self-published author contacted me this morning, requesting that I read her new books. She glowed that she had finished both of her first two books in a total of two months, and would I read and review for her?

Uh. She Really doesn’t want me doing that. Really.

I sent her the following email, and then I thought, “Am I being too harsh?” But no, I don’t think I am. So, whether I was too harsh, or simply fully equipped with a heavy duty set of “Blinders Shears” I do think the things I mention should be important to any “Bright and Shiny New” writer out there who is looking to self-publish.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Though there are other things I considered, what do you consider the most important “Helpful Pointers” you would give a Newbie?

Thank you for considering me as a potential read and review reader.

Please remember, I am a professional editor and marketer. Hence, my thoughts that follow are meant to assist you as a new author, not demean. With that in mind, please give the following comments your attention.

You placed the email addresses of the persons you contacted in the Cc: field, hence sharing their addresses with everyone. This is very poor email etiquette. Those addresses could be utilized by the unscrupulous to spam everyone on the list. Also, sending your books along without being requested is poor form. There is a site called “Instafreebie” you should look into. Authors, including some the the very best, use the service to deliver their books to readers on their “Read and Review” lists. This ensures privacy for the reader and a smooth system of delivery and tracking for the author.

Your email was not well formatted and contained spelling and punctuation errors, which leads the reader to expect that your books will be equally sloppy. I opened your first book in both PDF and Mobi formats and read the first couple of pages. Both are incorrectly formatted, another issue that speaks to your not spending the time to learn how to properly format your books for self publication.  While I haven’t checked further than the first couple of pages, I am already finding spelling and duplicated word errors. The sentence structure is extremely staccato, uses modifiers and other forms of speech incorrectly, and generally needs a great deal of editorial work.

Overall, while I understand you are terribly excited, you appear to have jumped the gun on publication. There are great books out there (and some very much ‘not so great’ – you have to be choosy) on proper writing. Take English literature and grammar courses at your local community college. Search out and follow websites that focus on proper writing. And above all? Read the greats in your genre, then compare your writing with theirs. What is it about their writing that captures, and keeps, her or his readers over time? Writing style, character and world building, the rhythm and flow of the writing, proper editing, and formatting. These and so many other things control whether a book is a success or a failure. 

Another thing to keep in mind that relates to all these issues is what I call the “Forest Syndrome” in publishing today. Amazon, for one, has literally hundreds of thousands of books on their site. How are you going to encourage readers to search out your particular tree if you don’t give them a product that is flawless? Honestly, I have a “Next!” mentality when it comes to books that are poorly written and edited. If an author doesn’t show pride in their work, I won’t waste my time. Too many books, too little time. Free or not. For all these reasons, I am sorry, but I won’t be reading your books as they currently stand. I could not give an honest review that was anything more than one or two stars based upon what I read. And I won’t do that to you.

Again, I don’t say any of these things to be cruel. I say them so you can Learn. So, grab those English Grammar and Literature classes at the local CC. And don’t forget to take one of your books with you for the class to read. Then, expect to have it ripped apart and put back together again – with you learning the whole way. As Stephen King so bluntly puts it, “To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Again, I wish you the best in your writing career.

Regards,
Leiah

Leiah Cooper, Editor/Reviewer
So, I Read This Book Today
http://www.soireadthisbooktoday.com
Leiah@soireadthisbooktoday.com

“I have always imagined Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

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