Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Memories: The Coliseum Theater

When I was a kid, I spent every Saturday afternoon in this theater as did most of the kids, who lived in the downtown area. We usually walked to the "show". On the next block was Kuhn's, a dime store that had a soda fountain so we usually came to town early and went there first to look around. They served banana splits and deal was that you got to pop one of the balloons that were hanging over the soda fountain bar to find out how much you had to pay for it or if you got it free. Afterward, we headed for the Coliseum and we usually saw old horror movies like one that I still remember called The Brain That Wouldn't Die. It was about a woman who was in an accident and her boyfriend, might have been husband, like rescued her head and she was in his lab. He planned to transplant her head onto a body. That's all I remember. I did love Vincent Price and his voice. I'm sure we saw other movies as well like Westerns or dramas but I mostly recall movies that were considered 'scary' at the time.

Saturday was the first time I've been in the theater in almost 30 years. It hadn't changed much at all. It was built in 1924 by Ben Liddon, the same man who built the castle-like house that we all called the Cat House because of the cats that lived there in the 60's. I didn't remember it being as elegant as it is. I didn't pay attention to architecture when I was a kid. But it is a beautiful building. The stairs are white marble. There's lots of brass and ornate gold trim. It is still painted pink, too. The seats on the main floor have been replaced but the original seats remain on the third-floor balcony. When it was built, it featured vaudeville acts and musical shows. There are box seats flanking the stage and it was easy to imagine women in 1920's gowns sitting in those boxes back when the theater was new and movies were just being born.

There were several sets of framed photos of old movie stars who had autographed pictures for Mr. Liddon

Thursday, May 25, 2017

One Simple Process for Kindle Book Downloads Via Enthrill Codes

Some publishers provide their writers with codes that provide downloads of their books via Enthrill website. These codes can be used to provide a free download to reader or reviewers who request your book, which is all fine and dandy except for the complicated instructions. I had no idea how to explain to a reader how to download the books and up until recently, I was just too busy to try to deal with it. When I got the codes for my third book, I decided the best way was to use a code myself and figure this out.

When it comes to downloading and sending a MOBI file to Kindle, folks, there's NOTHING to it. I used another code to take screen captures to go along with the instructions so I could do this blog post and direct readers to the post to look at the instructions and pictures if need be. 

Step 1

Go to the publisher's link. This process starts on the publisher's webpage. Copy and paste the redemption code in the space provided. Enter your email address. Check the terms and click submit.

Step 2

Next screen will open on Enthrill's site. Go to "Know File Format You Need."  I put the green asterisks on there. Click on Mobi.  

Step 3 

On the next screen, you click on the Download to Computer icon. 

Step 4

On the next screen, just right click on download. I ignored everything else that's written in that box because my plan was to download the Mobi file and email it to my Kindle. When you click on Right Click to Download, you'll get the popup screen to save your file, which is shown in Step 5.

Step 5
So this is what comes up for your download. Save in your documents. I put the file in a folder named "Books"

Step 6

Next email the file to your Kindle. I have been emailing Word files and Mobi files once I started formatting for Kindle for ages. If you are familiar with this process, you are good to go.

If you have never sent a document to your Kindle, go to Send to Kindle instructions and set up your email address so the file will load into your Kindle. 

Once you have emailed your file to your Kindle, the book will appear in a few minutes in your Kindle. It will be identical to a purchased copy. This is the copy I downloaded to my Paperwhite.

That's all there is to it. It took less than five minutes. Note: You can't use the same process for an epub file like for Nook or iBooks because I don't think they are set up like Amazon to send a file directly to your reader. They require side-loading, which is a different process. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Summer Cooking: Deep Dish Pineapple Crumble #Recipe

Pineapple is one of my favorites and here's the recipe for a yummy dessert!

2 c flour, all purpose
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter, soft

Mix sugar, flour and butter together until mix forms crumbly texture

Remove one cup of the crumbly mix and add 2 tsp of cinnamon. Put aside.

Stir 2 teaspoons of baking powder into crumbly mixture.

Then whisk 2 eggs in 3/4 c of unsweetened pineapple juice and lightly stir into crumbly mixture.

Spray 2 qt round casserole dish with cooking spray or rub with shortening.

Pour mixture into dish and top with the cinnamon crumbly mix.

Microwave on medium power
for 8 minutes, turning dish one time. Then cook on high for 2 minutes.



"Overall, Ms. Preston has delivered a marvelous enemy to lovers story in this book where Aaron and Lia have plenty of chemistry and where the story weaved the promise of love, family and happiness for the main characters, if they can overcome the challenges they face."~Book Magic review 

  Pre-Order  Amazon:   

Monday, May 22, 2017

What I Learned at the Book Festival #MondayBlogs

Recently, I attended a 2-day book festival and overall, it was a good experience. One of my oldest and dearest friends joined me for the festival and we had a great time getting to visit, plus she had written a book set in the area so she brought in business to our table.

The great part was meeting readers who were out shopping for books. I think my best moment was when a reader, who had been at the festival Friday afternoon and bought a copy of my short story anthology, Dixie Darlings, returned Saturday, saying she loved the first story, "The Yard Sale," and she came back to buy more of my books. What better compliment than that can you get as a writer?

That being said, I wanted to comment on a few things I think a writer should take into consideration. This is just my personal opinion, which may differ with others.

Remember you are going to meet and greet readers and writers. Not to make money. You may sell some books but due to the cost of the festival it is unlikely you will make any profit. You will need to weigh out the cost and if the expense is worth it.

Do not share a table. Sharing lowers the cost but the size of the table matters. I thought the tables were going to be larger. They were 6 ft, but very narrow. Check with the person in charge of the festival and ask the size of the table if you are thinking about sharing, especially if you have several books to display. Also ask if you will need a tablecloth. The tables at this festival had tablecloths.

You want enough table space to make a nice display. Something that will be attractive and invite readers to browse. Don't crowd your books. There was one table with at least 5 writers and they had stacks of books on their table, next each other, no room between them. In my opinion, the table was too crowded and that stopped people from browsing.

Along with too many books on a table, there is the poster issue. Some people had posters on their table. I think if you want to use a poster, get an easel and put it up behind the table. If you have a poster on your table, especially a small table, it takes up a lot of room and depending on the poster, it may put people off from stopping at your table. They glance at it and decide they aren't interested. I found when people stopped and I got to talk to them about the books, that's when they bought books. So you need people to stop and look at what you have. Also, it was very windy the second day and a lot of the posters went airborne.

Standing up. Okay, so before this festival, I read a blog post that said you should stand up the entire time and there were some writers who did this. There was a pretty young YA writer opposite my table who stood up the entire time. I'm going to say I don't think that's a good idea unless there are throngs of people, sorta like a carnival and you're trying to get their attention. That was not the case at this festival. At slow times, there might be only a couple of shoppers walking down the aisles and to me, standing up looked too aggressive when there was only a few people milling about. I wonder if those writers didn't get avoided. I know they didn't do any more business than the writers who were sitting down. My friend and I remained kicked back in our chairs, joking with people who walked by. And we did as good if not better book sales than most of the writers there. I think you need to make your own call about standing up the entire time. I think standing would work better if you have a drove of people going by and sitting down other times. It seemed that people felt more at ease with someone sitting down rather than standing up facing them.

I did have a credit card chip reader with me and that was a plus for sales. A lot of people weren't going to buy until I said I could take credit cards. I did have a small Square app sign on the table as well. I would say it is worth to get a chip reader if you plan to do festivals and book sales.

I hope everyone has a good week. I am finally getting caught up. I had to get a new computer and re-load software and all that good stuff. Plus my part-time day job has been busier lately, so I've had to put in more time there as well. But, at last, I'm back working on my WIP and life is good!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Everything His Heart Desires #CoverWars and Book Festival

I'm starting this week off with a book cover in the weekly cover art contest at Author Shout. You can vote for Everything His Heart Desires here and if you're an author, you can sign up to enter your cover for a future date. 

The Reader Riot book festival is this weekend in the Shoals area. I think I've finally gotten everything together. I have new respect for people who do arts and crafts festivals on a regular basis. What a job! I had no idea it was going to be so much work. I'm hoping it will be fun and that it won't rain. There are thunderstorms forecast for Friday, so that would definitely put a damper on things. 

Besides getting ready for the festival, I have been doing some outdoor chores that had to be done and I planted some petunias in honor of Earth Day. It felt good to be outside for a change and the weather at that time was pleasant. Now, it is cold. This is what is known around here as Blackberry Winter. I'm ready for Blackberry Winter to be over. 

I've made some promo memes this month for Not Through Loving You, my new book due out in June. Since the book involves an unwanted baby, it was fun to find stock images of babies to us. Easier than trying to find ones that resemble the main characters. The book is available on Net Galley for reviewers, so check it out: Not Through Loving You

I hope everyone is having a good spring! May is just a week away. Only 7 months to Christmas! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Super Busy Spring!

Happy April!!! I'm finally taking a moment to do a blog post. March just flew by while I was working on a number of projects. Between writing a book, working at my other job and getting ready to set up at some library book fairs, I have been burning the midnight oil.

I'm excited about the book festival I'm going to participate in the last of this month. I've decided to set up a Mardi Gras table for fun, plus my historical romance, one of the dear-to-my-heart books, is set in New Orleans. I finally got the book in print. The interior looks great! I used a formatting service that was recommended by a friend. I do my own ebook formatting but I simply didn't have time to learn the print process. I did do a lot when it came to choosing fonts and making sure the book had the look I wanted before I sent it in. To me, that was important.

So the interior is beautiful. The cover, however, has been a more difficult process. I spent a couple of weeks trying to get it right. I had a cover designer help as well and there were still issues. Finally, after dozens of revisions, I hope I've got it right. It looked really good online so I'm waiting to see the actual product.

Also, I gathered up all my humorous Southern short stories for a print anthology, I called Dixie Darlings. I made the cover for Dixie Darlings. That was also a process that took me working a lot in March. I had this image I wanted to use and I worked for days on it. Never was happy so I finally gave up on it and started over. I got the idea to use legs. So I started out with a variety of legs, blue jeans and boots, skirts and bare feet, etc. I was like "meh." Then I found a pic of legs with vintage high heels and I was like "Oh, Darlene would love those!" (Darlene is a character in 2 of the stories)

I found a starry blue background and decided to flip it and put the legs on it. I went with a red-white-blue color scheme. It turned out so cute. Plus the interior of the book looks awesome. Paul did a great job again.

I have a table covered in stuff to haul to this festival. This morning I've been practicing with the Square credit card chip reader, learning how to use it. I like that you can go on their website and put in all your prices plus upload a copy of your cover to go with the price.

I'm hoping to be finished with the book I'm currently writing by the end of May or at least mid-June.
Plus I'm looking at setting up a new website. I did notice that Blogger has a bunch of new templates but I haven't had time to check them out.

Now I have to get back to working on the book. How is your spring going?