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Authors are encouraged to have a blog, and what better subject for an author to write about than books.  Author Laura Marshall has a blog that features Christian fiction, called The Old Stone Wall.  On Higher Ground is featured there this week.

If you're an author, this article will give you an idea of what a press release is like, as well as give you an idea for an author's blog.  When authors blog about books, they can trade press releases with other authors who blog about books.  A press release is a story that is already written, and can be republished at no charge.  It makes it easy for everyone.

Here is an article about how to write a press release about your book.

The last five years of my mother's life, she was too feeble to get to a store.  She spent most of her time in a recliner, reading books, working puzzles and watching TV.  Her home was filled with books on a variety of subjects, and when she had reread all of those, she joined a mail order book club.

She appreciated it when I would bring a book to her and say "here, I enjoyed this one.  I think you'll like it, too."  She agreed with me most of the time, and when she didn't, it just gave us something to talk about besides how bad her knees hurt.

Writing book reviews is a continuation of that.  I enjoy giving self published authors a platform in which they can be seen in my newspaper column.  I like helping their rankings and sales, hoping that somehow, someone else will return the favor, and help my books get some exposure and ranking, too.

But the real reason I do it is my mother.  She's not the only one who can't get to a store.  Some people are too busy with their jobs.  Some people have disabilities.  Some people have small children.  I think of my reviews as a ministry to people who can't shop, helping them find a good book to make their life more enjoyable.

When my husband and I attended a retreat about our spiritual lives, we were told that everyone should have a ministry of some kind.  We don't all have to be preachers or missionaries to serve God.  All we need to do is perform some small act of kindness on a regular basis because it helps someone some how.

Perhaps writing book reviews can be your ministry as well.  Help authors like me.  Help people like my mother.  And then go to sleep with a smile on your face because you did your good deed for the day.

I've been looking for books to review for my newspaper column in The Examiner.  I downloaded two books from ereadernews, but after the first chapter, decided to put them down.  It wasn't the writing; that was good.  It wasn't the genre; that was something I liked.  It was the language.

I worked in after school care for four years, and then became a teacher.  Now that I'm "retired" (no longer seeking employment) I work at my church's gift shop.  All three of those professions prevent me from reading books with foul language.

If I read the words, they'll be tucked away in the back of my mind.  Then, on the worst possible day, when I'm exhausted, hassled, and overworked, those words will pop out of my mouth when my guard is down.  And, it will always happen at the worst possible moment, in front of the worst possible person.  And then, I've got trouble.

So, the easiest solution is to just avoid reading or hearing the language to begin with.

Anyone who works with children or who provides a service to the public is in the same shoes.  Foul language is offensive, and it just isn't permissible in a lot of situations.  The easiest solution is to avoid hearing it, reading it or being exposed to it.

So, if you want to sell more books, choose your words carefully.  If you don't absolutely have to use that word, then use a better one.

On Higher Ground is featured in this week's blog at Writing Life.  The book blog is hosted by Mary Anne Benedetto, an author and certified lifewriting instructor.  She is the author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect and From Italy with Love & Limoncello, Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!
I just finished reviewing yet another novel where the heroine was a best-selling author.  Yes, I realize that authors think we have the best job in the world, and we want people to envy us, but the role of being a writer is being used in novels to the point of being a cliché.  And then we complain about all the one-star wanna-be writers that are publishing on Amazon--people who are trying to become the same kind of person we admire.

Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, gave a very moving speech to congress about the lack of skilled tradesmen.  You can hear the speech here  He says that there aren't enough welders to hire.  I know that our school district always has a posting looking for a welding instructor in our local high schools.  If there aren't any teachers today, there won't be any welders in the future.

Perhaps, we as authors should support our country by writing about skilled tradesmen in our books.  I've known several sheet metal workers, ditch diggers and electricians.  They were all nice, loving people with good values, a good head on their shoulders, and compassion for their fellow man.  Perhaps all our heroes really need to be successful is a loving heart, a good home, and a willingness to work hard.  Perhaps if we admire the strengths that make someone truly successful, and pay less attention to fame and fortune, we can encourage more people to become the same way. 

Author Tio Thomas is featuring an author interview with me on her blog, The Eternal Curse Series.  Tio writes dark stories about people with good moral values.  You can check out her books on the page as well.
The interview she is hosting was done several months ago, when On Higher Ground was still a manuscript.  She asked some interesting questions.
The interview has a chance to win a Kindle version of Stars Shine After Dark.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the interview.
Here's the link:

Stars Shine After Dark and On Higher Ground are both featured in an author interview on Empower to Prosper, a blog hosted by Paulette Harper.  You can see the article here:

Paulette is an award winning author herself, with one novel and three non-fiction books.  In addition to being a motivational speaker and minister's wife, she also has a promotional company that arranges for blog tours of books.  You can check out her titles and services on the web site. 
Stars Shine After Dark and Day Camp in Hawaii are being showcased on a UK blog, The Virtual Bookcase.  This blog features quite a variety of books, and can be searched by genre.  It is hosted by Glynis Smy, a British author who write historical novels set during the Victorian Era.  Use these links to learn more about her and this blogging opportunity for authors.
Novels by Glynis Smy 
 Twitter: @ghunibee
 Facebook  Page: Glynis  Smy

 Pinterest: My  Boards!

Stars Shine After Dark is featured on another blog today.  You can read the interview here at
I "met" Jade through Triberr, a free service where bloggers retweet each other's posts.  It's not only an easy way to expand your reach on Twitter, but you get to know some interesting people at the same time.  Jade features a variety of authors on her blog, so check it out!
The Writer's Revolution, hosted by Andrew Hess, features independently published books in a variety of genres.  Check out the two-part interview featuring my books, Stars Shine After Dark and On Higher Ground.
Here is part 1 of the interview.
Here is part 2 of the interview and final post.

Andrew Hess is the author of The Pheonix Blade, a government thriller.  You can check out his book here;