Read an E-Book Week

ebookglasses

This is Read an E-Book Week!  To celebrate I have cancelled my KDP exclusive e-book contract on Amazon and have  published my three novels on Smashwords. They are now available in all formats for any e-reader. Better yet – they are on sale! To add to my excitement, I have launched newly designed covers created for me by Biomance Entertainment. The next printing of books will have the new  cover.

3Covers_Final copy

Click on the cover to be directed to my Smashwords Author Page. When ordering use  coupon code new25. The discount is only valid during Read an E-Book Week, March 3 – 9, 2013.

Prologue from The Life of Meyer

“Tradition tells us that forty days before a male child is conceived, the name of his bride-to-be is announced from heaven.

There is a soul mate for everyone—however, not everyone finds his or her soul mate. We can spend our lives searching for our true partner. If we are one of the lucky ones, we find the match that was made in heaven just for us, the one we are meant to be with, and we will live a long, happy, and productive life together.

Finding that perfect partner  goes beyond the coupling of two hearts destined for oneness, beyond two half-souls joined in completion.  It is our fate,  our destiny.

I’m Meyer Minkowski and this is my story of love, life, and my struggle to find my  soul mate. In order to give you the whole picture, I have to start at the beginning, when I was four years old, because that is when destiny found me, although I didn’t know it then.

Now, you have to understand, no one’s life is just a single strand of thread. On the contrary, each of our lives are a tapestry, woven intricately with the lives of those with whom we cross paths and with whom we share history, destiny. In these pages you will find the strands that make up my life’s tapestry; my history; my struggle—and the path that led me home to my soul mate.”

***

The “Meant to Be” series  is a family saga that explores life, love, relationships and finding that one person who we are meant to spend our lives with.

Some families are born and others are born of circumstance, but the bond of family is the same either way, for it is not about blood—it is about taking care of each other. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, neighbors and friends—they will all have a part to play in each other’s lives and the lives of total strangers.

These incredible families endure. With faith and family values they thrive.

Through love and laughter, tragedy and tears, they band together—it’s all meant to be.

***

growing_together-richard_alan copyGrowing Together, the fourth book in the “Meant to Be” series will be coming out later this month. This will be followed by writing an historical trilogy set in mid-1800 — 1900s about the previous generations of the people you have grown to love in the “Meant to Be” series; their journeys to the United States and on the Oregon Trail. It has been so much fun researching the history of that time period and visiting several places along the Oregon Trail. These were amazing people  who crossed the continent to start  new lives. I hope you will enjoy these novels as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

I hope you will check out the many authors at Smashwords (starting with me, of course) who are participating in Read an E-Book Week by discounting their e-books.  Let me know what titles or genres of books you like to read. Happy reading to all!

 

February is for Lovers *Giveaway* Reminder

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*** ONLY ONE DAY LEFT TO ENTER ***

It is early February and everywhere we see hearts, flowers, candy, and valentine cards. This month raises our awareness of our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, and life partners. As we  all share the love, my gift to you is the opportunity to win copies of my books.  (details below)

I write novels about relationships, love and life in my series called Meant to Be. They are about finding that person who we are meant to be with for the rest of our lives.  Our soul mate, our partner in all things. If I may pick my own classification, my novels’ category is >contemporary fiction/family saga/love/relationships.

GooglePlusCover copy

Meant to Be book 1, The Life of Meyer is told from Meyer’s  point of view. The reader is invited to follow the events that shaped Meyer’s, his family’s, and his friends’ lives. As Meyer tells us, “…no one’s life is just a single strand of thread. On the contrary, each of our lives are a tapestry, woven intricately with the lives of those with whom we share history and destiny. In these pages you will find the strands that  make up  my tapestry, my history, my life – and the  journey that led me to my soul mate.”

Scissors and Paper HeartsMeant to Be  book 2, The Couples is about people who may belong together and how the world around them helps them, or sometimes defeats them in their search for a life partner. It follows the lives of couples, their friends, and their support systems, as they explore their relationships. The Couples continues to follow the lives of people we met in The Life of Meyer in addition to new friends and families, although the book may be read as a stand alone.

Meant to Be book 3, Finding Each Other is a heartfelt continuation of the family saga that began with a young Meyer and his journey to find his  one true love. Mystery and miracles, sacrifice and soul-searching, the ties that bind this group of people to each other are strong. The bond of family is not about blood – it is about taking care of each other. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins,  neighbors and friends – they will all have a part to play in each other’s lives and the lives of total strangers. These incredible families endure and thrive.

heart candyI hope I have whet your appetite for some heartwarming romantic stories. To enter to win copies of my novels CLICK HERE –>  Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s day? Does love inspire you to write?

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

February is for Lovers *Giveaway*

roses

It is early February and everywhere we see hearts, flowers, candy, and valentine cards. This month raises our awareness of our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, and life partners. As we  all share the love, my gift to you is the opportunity to win copies of my books.  (details below)

I write novels about relationships, love and life in my series called Meant to Be. They are about finding that person who we are meant to be with for the rest of our lives.  Our soul mate, our partner in all things. If I may pick my own classification, my novels’ category is >contemporary fiction/family saga/love/relationships.

GooglePlusCover copy

Meant to Be book 1, The Life of Meyer is told from Meyer’s  point of view. The reader is invited to follow the events that shaped Meyer’s, his family’s, and his friends’ lives. As Meyer tells us, “…no one’s life is just a single strand of thread. On the contrary, each of our lives are a tapestry, woven intricately with the lives of those with whom we share history and destiny. In these pages you will find the strands that  make up  my tapestry, my history, my life – and the  journey that led me to my soul mate.”

Scissors and Paper HeartsMeant to Be  book 2, The Couples is about people who may belong together and how the world around them helps them, or sometimes defeats them in their search for a life partner. It follows the lives of couples, their friends, and their support systems, as they explore their relationships. The Couples continues to follow the lives of people we met in The Life of Meyer in addition to new friends and families, although the book may be read as a stand alone.

Meant to Be book 3, Finding Each Other is a heartfelt continuation of the family saga that began with a young Meyer and his journey to find his  one true love. Mystery and miracles, sacrifice and soul-searching, the ties that bind this group of people to each other are strong. The bond of family is not about blood – it is about taking care of each other. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins,  neighbors and friends – they will all have a part to play in each other’s lives and the lives of total strangers. These incredible families endure and thrive.

 

heart candyI hope I have whet your appetite for some heartwarming romantic stories. To enter to win copies of my novels CLICK HERE –>  Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s day? Does love inspire you to write?

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Becoming an Author – Part 2: Criticism: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Worthless

One of the not so happy aspects of being a writer is that everyone who has ever read a book has advice for you. Here are some of my thoughts on the types of advice I’ve received.

The Good

UpwardGood criticism comes from someone who is knowledgeable about writing and editing. It can be about one line, one chapter or an entire book. It consists of specific suggestions that improve my writing. That means a suggestion that mentions a specific problem and a solution that would correct that problem. I’ve written what I think are some excellent chapters for my books but when someone else reads them, they realize that they don’t help move my story along. When you’re busy in your role as a wordsmith, sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees. Good criticism can also come from someone who enjoys your genre, and is a potential reader of your efforts. This usually isn’t as specific but may help guide your story to your intended audience.

The Bad

TheBad_BrokenDownCarHow many times have we been told that someone has an idea for the world’s greatest piece of literature but just hasn’t gotten around to writing it?  Why do these people then give us their idea of sage advice on how to improve and what we should be writing? At least half of these people have trouble speaking in complete sentences let alone communicate a coherent thought. I smile and listen patiently to these well intentioned mental litterbugs. When I was in my career as a mathematician, I didn’t run into these types of people but now that I’m writing they seem to be coming out of the woodwork.

The Ugly

Mud Dancer Wearing a MaskAs soon as criticism becomes personal attacks, it’s time to excuse yourself and walk away. I sent a manuscript to an editor who must have been awfully angry with the world because he attacked everything short of my manhood in describing the problems with my manuscript. And I paid big money for his insults. I don’t mind negative critiques that I can learn from; but angry rants have no value.

The Worthless

When someone says my novel was cute, sweet, or nice, I find they didn’t like it but don’t want to tell me why.

~~~

TheGood_ThumbsUpThe best critique I have received from my readers:

“You write female characters better than most of the authors I have ever read.”

“It brought tears to my eyes when she lost her parents.”

“This is one book I will keep.”

Each of these indicates my success with my most important critics; my readers.

What do you find helpful in critiques? What has been your best and worst advice from readers?

Happy Writing!

Special Give-a-way

Avoid Last Minute Gift Panic

December 21 – 23, 2012

Did you just realize that since the world has not come to an end, there are gifts you need to buy?  Don’t panic.  Here is an easy solution – give the gift of reading.  You can gift all three eBooks for $6, or purchase them individually.  Not bad.

  1 The Life of Meyer, Book 1 in the Meant to Be Series is $0.99 from Kindle from December 21 -23.

2.  The CouplesBook 2 in the Meant to Be Series is FREE from Kindle December 21 – 23.

3.  Finding Each OtherBook 3 in the Meant to Be Series is $4.99 on Kindle.  

~~ Amazon Prime Members may borrow these books at no charge. ~~

Click to purchase Kindle eBooks

Your friends and family will thank you!!!

All of us from Village Drummer Fiction wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year.  We pray 2013 will be a happy, healthy, and prosperous year for all of us.

 

Locked Down at WIWA Retreat

Two weekends ago I attended a writers’ lockdown retreat sponsored by the Whidbey Island Writer’s Association (WIWA).  It was held at the Captain Whidbey’s Inn on Penn Cove in Washington.  Typical for fall in the Pacific Northwest, the air was filled with mist and the ground was covered with a cacophony of colored leaves.  The cool, damp wind, made the historic lodge appear warm and welcoming.  It was a perfect weekend to spend locked down in a rustic lodge on a beautiful lagoon with twenty-two other writers.  A great blue heron watched as I made my way to my room facing the lagoon.

Lagoon View from My Room

I had never been to a writer’s retreat or conference and had no idea what to expect. My concerns ran from the cost (would it be worth the time and money) to wondering if the “experts” would think I couldn’t write.  The twenty-three inmates gathered in the tavern at the beginning of the lockdown.  While enjoying drinks and finger food the wardens provided the rules of our captivity and reviewed the schedule of activities.  Nervously we introduced ourselves to each other.  I could tell my trepidations were shared by most.  It came as a relief that two writers had voluntarily returned to be locked up for a second time.  The camaraderie warmed me as much as the fire roaring in the lodge’s stone hearth.

The Lodge Tavern

Lobby Fireplace

The coach/mentors were Bharti Kirchner, Terry Persun, and Stephanie Kallos. (Click on their names to link to their websites.)   Not only are they each extremely talented, they were generous with their time, advice, teachings, motivations, and encouragement.  The weekend was structured to provide plenty of workshops (with specific topics), salons (for group discussions on any writing topic of interest), and time to write, write, and write some more.  The tranquil environment, complete with its isolation was perfect.  No phones, television, or internet interrupted the peaceful atmosphere of creative minds soaring.

Lodge Lobby – A Great Place to Read!

Prior to the retreat we each submitted a writing sample which was reviewed by our assigned mentors.  On the last day each participant received a one-on-one critique. For some, the experience aided them in moving from “writer wanna-be” to “author”.  Most left with the determination to finish the project they have been thinking of, or working on, for years.  I was in the process of writing my fourth novel, after completing three novels this year.  For me, the experience sharpened the tools I already use and added more to my toolbox.  We all learned from each other during the 2 ½ days we spent together.  We are all better for it.

I would highly recommend attending writer’s conferences or workshops.  In addition to the advice and critiques you receive from the professionals, you share ideas, make new friends, expand your network, learn and support each other.  Kudos to our wardens from WIWA who organized a professional, productive, and fun lockdown.  We were all paroled, but I expect we will be incarcerated again sometime next year.  I look forward to it.

View of Penn Cove

What retreats or workshops do you recommend?  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Richard

Book Four Teaser

Hi Friends and Followers,

It has been awhile since I posted to my blog.  It’s been a very exciting time.  Book Three is in editing and Book Four is taking form.  You can read  the first ten pages of Book Four in the Meant to Be Series.  I hope you enjoy it.  Your feedback is welcome.

We have been very busy with many family happenings in addition to my spending the rest of my free time writing the fourth book.  The summer schedule includes two weddings (one of which is our son’s), a family reunion, a 70th birthday party and a 95th birthday party; all of which have, or will, involve travel.  I’m trying to get back to balancing it all so I will be catching up on reading many of your blogs (which I have missed) and look forward to commenting on them soon.

Enjoy the excerpt.  Happy Reading and Writing!

Richard