Spring – Where are you?

Happy spring wherever you are!

View of the pond in my back yard – snow is still evident which makes a person question – where is spring? It is officially spring here in New Hampshire but our snow has not completely melted. The weather was milder until March came in like a lion and is not going out like a lamb. Temps have been colder and snowier than all winter combined.

But we New Englanders are a hearty bunch. We bundle up, take a walk or hunker down in the bitterest of cold days. We enjoy the beauty around us even with a mountain of snow and we did get about five feet of snow over this winter. Less snow than has fallen in previous years though.

Each day I am thankful for a snuggly, warm house, a hearty meal, a wonderful husband and family and all you special online friends.

It feels like spring inside my house with my plants flowering. I want to share them with you since I can’t share any in my yard for a while yet. But I promise to share my flowers all spring and summer with you.

Hibiscus (This plant was given to me two Mother’s Days ago by my son and daughter-in-law, and it is still thriving)

Lily (grown by hyponics with three goldfish in the tank below)

African violet (new plant that replaced one that the cold winter, while sitting on the window sill, killed.)

I hope wherever you live you are happy, healthy, and living life to the fullest.

Thank you for stopping by. I apologize for not blogging more often lately but I have been busy preparing two more books for publication.

My latest book has been well received with several great reviews. Please check out An Angel Among Us, short story collection, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Create Space. 

Book 5 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives is in the works about a ghost and will introduce two new characters (girls) who are cousins. These two cousins, will spin off and have their own series later next year unless I can get to it sooner. Some of my readers requested that I write a series for preteen/teen girls. See, I do listen to your requests, girls.

My husband, John, is working on a children’s book about a giraffe. I was requested to write this book for a woman’s grandson. I hope this woman is reading my blog and will come forward about this book. I don’t have her name. She stopped by at one of my book signings in Derry, NH two years ago. I told her I would get to it eventually. LOL!

Blessings & hugs to all! Thank you for your kind support! I love to hear from you in the form of reviews. They are like early Christmas gifts that I can open!

Remember: Reading Gives You Wings To Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks!

Janice

❤💐

Posted in blogging, Books for all ages, fish, flowers, Jemsbooks, new books, Reading, Short story collection, spring, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Guest Post by Michael J. Sahno – Blog Tour of New Book!

Please welcome professional writer/author/publisher, Michael J. Sahno, to Jemsbooks Blog as part of his blog tour to announce his new book. Nice to meet you, Michael. Thank you for coming and sharing your expertise on marketing with my readers and me.

Marketing for Indie Authors

The topic of marketing for independent authors can invite speculation, ridicule, and a flurry of advice from “experts.”

The bad news: there is no magic bullet. Marketing is not an exact science, and if you try to hit a home run, you still might strike out. I know this from my own experience.

The good news? You’ve always got another chance.

You see, in our brave new world, the options for indie authors are just about infinite. As Lou Reed once sang, “The possibilities are endless.”

One of the biggest problems I see is authors getting overwhelmed by all the options. In a feeble effort to stand out from the noise, they go on social media and post variations on the same basic theme: Buy My Book!

I could write a whole book on why and how this is ineffective (in fact, I did write a short e-book on Marketing for Authors. Join my email list at https://msahno.com, and I’ll give you the PDF. It’s free). Bottom line, though: if all you do is shout Buy my book, no one will want to buy it.

The best way I’ve heard it described: going on Twitter and posting mainly “buy my book” type self-promotional tweets is like going to a cocktail party and walking up to every guest, introducing yourself, and trying to get them to buy something from you. Obnoxious, right?

As an author, I think Twitter is an excellent place to meet and follow (and be followed by) other authors and readers. Thanks to posting interesting quotes and images, using hashtags judiciously, and retweeting other people’s posts, I’ve seen my own Twitter audience grow to over 12K. Each month, I gain about 1,000 new followers. On social media, it’s all about providing value, and building an audience requires just that.

Where Else to Go?

Of course, Twitter is just one of many platforms, and I have an entire course on where to go and what to do there. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. They’re all different, they all have difference audiences and slightly different functions.

And social is just one prong of what needs to be a many-pronged approach. Book blogs, reviews, the Amazon author page, and using Goodreads should all be part of an author’s marketing approach.

In marketing my current book, Miles of Files, I’ve actually started a re-launch campaign. You see, I think it’s my strongest book, but sales haven’t reflected that…at least not yet. This current blog tour is part of a marketing campaign that also includes a new cover, Facebook ads, and outreach to various media.

If you think all this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. It is. But your books are your babies, aren’t they? And no sane author would launch their baby down the river in a basket, Moses-style. You’ve got to keep pitching, and I know I will.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from Miles of Files. Don’t read it while you’re eating!

At 5:38 on the morning of his forty-first birthday, Graham Woodcock awakened to the sound of a cat retching. He heard three distinct thumps as the cat’s larynx contracted, then a sound with a different quality, liquid, gurgling: no doubt the discharge of some vomitous hairball. Or, worse, an entire meal. He saw it in his mind’s eye as he glared through the dark at the red numbers of the alarm clock.


When he finally decided to rise—after another hour’s sleep—he was roused not by the urgency of cat puke, but by the urgency of the breakfast hour. Not his—the cats’. One of them leapt on the bed and nuzzled his outstretched hand with phony affection, a clear message: get up, get up. Giddyup.


Graham crept into the kitchen, trailing the cats in darkness. He scanned the floor to avoid any cat vomit that might be there, but there was none. He flipped on lights and fed the cats, then wandered from room to room in search of vomit. Nothing.


He sat down to eat his breakfast, and everything was fine until one of the cats began to move its bowels while Graham was finishing his cereal. It was Truman, no doubt, whose bathroom routine was maddeningly predictable.


He decided to ignore it and finish the cereal in spite of the odor. Then Truman strutted into the kitchen, waving his tail like a dog. Somehow he’d managed to snake his tail across the gloppy pile of excrement in the litter pan, and a streak of it glistened in his fur like a grotesque flag.


“Bloody hell.”

Michael J. Sahno Executive Bio

Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. Eventually, he was selected for Editor-in-Chief of his high school literary magazine. The quality of his work led to several honorary titles and academic awards by his senior year, which made it clear he was predestined to serve a role in literary excellence.

Mr. Sahno earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.

After college, Mr. Sahno served in several management positions, including Director at a marketing research firm, Assistant Vice President at a Tampa-based mortgage company and college professor in the field of English composition.

Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and, in the following years, wrote more than 1,000 marketing articles on a wide range of topics. His quality copy put him in high demand, and his work has appeared in a variety of national magazines, including Fortune, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Woman’s Day.

Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request. For further information, contact info@msahno.com.

Author links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page: https

Buy Links for Miles of Files

Thank you, Michael, for the helpful tips on marketing. I wish you all the best with your book. I will be checking out your site soon.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Please check out Michael’s site and new book. While you are there pick up your free PDF.

Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!

Blessings & Hugs,

Janice

Posted in Marketing, Michael J Sahno, new book, new novel, Reading, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand
(Traditional Irish Blessing; origin unknown, although some attribute it to Saint Patrick.)

Source: Insights Plaques: Irish Blessing

Blessings of the day to you and wishing you good luck always!

Janice

Addendum:

Here is an interesting story about the origins of corned beef and cabbage that my friend, Steve, sent.

The Story of Corned Beef – By AOH National Historian Mike McCormack

With the recent St. Patrick’s festivities behind us, I can’t count the number of times I was told Corned Beef and Cabbage is not an Irish dish as if we who enjoyed it were being duped by store managers with an abundance of the stuff. I enjoyed telling them the truth only to see their eyes open wide and to know that the nex time they have it, they’ll think of us.

In the Nineteenth century, the Irish tenant farmer had been forced to rely on potatoes as a main food since it produced the greatest yield per acre and most of the land belonged to English landlords. On special occasions one might enjoy a bit of bacon and cabbage with the potatoes, but potatoes were the staple. When blight hit the potato in 1845, it caused a major deficiency in the dietary staple and many were forced to emigrate to survive but that’s another story.
Upon arrival in America without resources, they were generally forced to settle in the least desirable parts of the cities in which they landed. In New York this was the slums of the lower east side around the notorious Five Points. Unskilled and unschooled, they tried to scratch out a living and send a few pennies back to those they were forced to leave behind. Personal gain eluded them as prejudice and No Irish Need Apply signs hindered their climb to economic stability, yet they persevered and eventually succeeded against incredible odds.

Among the hardships families had to endure in a slum environment was the lack of nourishing food. It was generally up to the mother to prepare a healthy meal for her family and in this situation, her ingenuity left us a tradition.

In the mid-19th century, New York was a major port in the China tea trade. From 1841 through 1860, clipper ships dominated that trade. These were the fastest sailing ships in the world at the time. When fully rigged and riding a tradewind, they could reach speeds of more than 16 knots which meant that the trip to China and back would only take about nine months, depending on the route taken. However, an unlucky ship could spend an additional three weeks crossing due to Doldrums – a part of the ocean where they might encounter calms, squalls, and shifting winds.

Carrying a crew of 50 to 60 men, the ships were originally provisioned before leaving New York with enough fresh water, flat bread, oats, coffee, rum, and salted beef to last until they reached China. After gastric complaints about re-provisioning in China for the trip home, many began to carry double provisions for the round trip. These always included a bit extra in the event of doldrums. Upon arrival back in New York, the excess provisions were generally dumped in the harbor for what else could one do with lumps of beef that had been soaking in brine for nine-months.

It was then that coincidence and circumstance collided and the Irish mothers seeking nourishment for their families spotted the floating beef in the river and fished it out. Fortunately, before the advent of power boats, the river was cleaner then. They took it home and soon developed a method of preparing it so that their diet would have meat at least once a week – or at least when the ships came in. They would boil the beef to remove the salt, discard the water and boil it again. They found that repeating that process three times – once each for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost – would remove enough salt to make it palatable, however, while the salt was gone, so was the flavor! That’s when a head of cabbage was added. The last time the beef was boiled, it was boiled in water that had boiled a head of cabbage and a flavor was introduced to the meat. It didn’t take long for ship’s crews to realize there was a market for the old brined beef and returning ships soon saw women lining up for the leftover salted beef which was now sold at a penny a pound. It was a far cry from the bacon and cabbage they might have enjoyed in Ireland, but still it was a welcome dish. In later years, the dish became a traditional favorite for it brought back memories of a mother’s love although the modern dish is far more palatable than the one mom dragged out of the river.

On Saint Patrick’s Day, many people enjoy corned beef and cabbage and some even believe it to be an Irish dish. In a manner of speaking it is, but it should not remind us of Ireland. Rather it should remind us of the ingenuity of Irish mothers, their dedication to their families and their determination to overcome any obstacles put in their path in caring for their families. It should also remind us of the hardships endured by our immigrant ancestors who persevered and overcame the difficulties imposed on them in a tenement slum to bring their descendants to a better life so that we could enjoy a dish of corned beef and cabbage in pleasant company and more enjoyable surroundings.

There you have it! Now when you enjoy corned beef and cabbage just be thankful you didn’t have to pull it out of the river! Enjoy!

Posted in Happy St. Patrick's Day, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Goodreads Giveaway of Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series – The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant!

Goodreads Giveaway of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant.

This book won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. It is part of the series with twins Davey & Derek Donato, self-proclaimed junior detectives. Middle-grade, young adults and all ages love this series!  I am happy to share book 3 with you through this Goodreads Giveaway.

Blurb:

Davey & Derek Donato are twins who love adventures and enjoy being junior detectives. In Book 3 of this series their help is enlisted to find an ivory figurine that has been taken from the local museum.
There are many suspects and danger is not far from the boys as they learn more magic and use their skills to find those responsible for the theft.
Their Aunt Gigi is close by to lend a hand and at the same time help the twins hone their magical gifts.

See Reviews below:

Wonderful Third Installment in a Wonderful Series! Get It!

 on August 10, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
In the third installment of the now eleven-year-old Davey & Derek Junior Detectives series, fabulous children’s book author Janice Spina engages children in the twins’ wonderful new adventure. With elegance and aplomb, Spina allows young readers to accompany the junior detectives as they solve, with the help of their special Aung Gigi and their own special powers, “The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant”. Marvelously entertaining.
Another winner for the prolific writer.
 
 on August 30, 2016  5 STARS!
Format: Kindle Edition

Davey & Derek are twin brothers who are celebrating their 11th birthday. They share a gift between themselves called, “twin telepathy.” They also have an aunt named, “Gigi, who happens to be a witch with magical powers. She helps the boys to understand that they have powers of their own and teaches them how to use them.

A theft occurs at a local museum and Davey & Derek decide to use their talents to find the answers to the burglary.

Full of magic and mystery, intrigue and excitement. Such a cute story!

Janice has a theme throughout her book and that is to teach kids how to be polite, kind, and sensitive to other’s feelings.

This is the third in a series of books that she has written and can be enjoyed by itself or as a complete set. Give your child the gift of reading!

5 STARS  –  THE NEXT HARDY BOYS!
 on September 7, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The twins Davey & Derek are at it again! Who stole the figurine from the museum & how is it connected to Aunt Gigi’s Ivory Elephant Figurine? This is the first book I have read of Janice’s & LOVED it! I was a Beta Reader for her & received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This is a great book for kids who enjoy adventures. I LOVED Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys series as a young girl. Davey & Derek are the next generation of young Detectives, in my opinion. Great work Janice!!

This Giveaway of three autographed books will run from March 19-April 19, 2017 and be available to all in USA, CANADA, UK, AUSTRALIA, ARUBA. I added Aruba into the mix this year since I travel there every year. I hope some of my friends down there will click in for a chance to win.

If you haven’t purchased Books 1,2, & 4, please go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other online stores to get in on all the action, fun adventures, magic and mystery, as Davey & Derek solve more exciting mysteries. Book 5 is coming out this year!

Thank you for stopping by! Good luck!!!

Blessings & hugs!

Janice

Enter below for your chance to win one of three books!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant by Janice Spina

The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant

by Janice Spina

Giveaway ends April 19, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Posted in 5-star reviews, adventure, Award-winning books, book award, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, detectives, Giveaway of Book 4 Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, goodreads giveaway, Jemsbooks, middle-grade series, Mystery, Pinnacle Book Awards, Reading, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels, Young adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I need your help!!!

Please donate to this wonderful cause. Authors please take note – donate your books to Marlena Smith for this cause – make a difference in someone’s life! Blessings & thanks to all!
I will be sending along two of my novels soon in memory of my friend, Anne Gillis Benedetto, who passed in January of this year from breast cancer.

Life As I Know It

Hello, bloggers!

As many of you know, I am very passionate about Relay For Life and the fight against cancer. Cancer has affected my family multiple times. Not only have I lost loved ones, but I know many people that have also suffered the pain of this horrible disease. Cancer is a scary thing and, let’s just be honest, it sucks.

For this reason, I created my own Relay For Life Team – FINDING HOPE. My hometown’s event is scheduled for May, so the planning has already began. The theme this year is “Once upon a cure.” Each Relay Team has to create their own theme from the main one.

Perhaps it’s the writer in me or the awesome book club I’m in, but the first thing I thought about when I heard this was reading. So, from the main theme, I came up with this:

“Fighting cancer, one story at…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Ailsa Abraham, J. E. Spina and Lauren Linwood

I am honored to be included with these talented authors on Sally Cronin’s Blog and Bookstore! Thank you, Sally! Congrats to the other others! Please check their books out and all the wonderful books on Sally’s Bookstore.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to Friday’s update for three of the authors in the bookstore. And first is the lovely Ailsa Abraham with her latest release, Attention to Death, hot off the press today.  In fact there is a launch party on Facebook to celebrate the release.

1.00pm – 8.00pm https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=752363234915685&set=gm.410047022663258&type=3&theater

About Attention to Death

Finding a murderer among a group of killers is not going to be easy for two Royal Army Military Police investigators, Captain Angus Simpson and Staff-Sergeant Rafael ‘Raff’ Landen, whose Christmas leave is cancelled for an investigation into a suspicious death on a base in Germany. The case is further complicated by unhelpful senior officers who make pre-judgements on colour, creed, race and sexuality. Yet the insight of the investigators helps them uncover a sinister plot, although they too have something to hide: their own fledgling relationship.Will Angus and Raff be able to solve the murder…

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Time for some Laffs – Getting older has its moments.

Some funnies to share from Tina Frisco and Sally Cronin to make your Friday start off with a chuckle or two! Enjoy! Thanks Tina and Sally! ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

laffs

My thanks to Mrs T.  the stage name of author Tina Frisco who feeds me funnies from time to time to share on the blog. Details of how you can buy her latest book at the end of the entertainment!

 mail-attachmenttina-2

tina-4tina-5tina-6tina-7tina-9tina-10tina-11tina8

tina-3

And if that was not enough to tickle your funny bone.. Mrs T has sent this over too.

Women versus Men . . . Priceless!
A group of women were at a seminar on how to live in a loving relationship with their husbands. They were asked the following questions:

1. “How many of you love your husband?”

All of them raised their hands.

2. “When was the last time you told your husband you loved him?”

Some said today, a few said yesterday, and others couldn’t remember.

They were told to take out their cell phones and text to their husbands: “I love you, sweetheart.”

They were then…

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Short Story Collection – An Angel Among Us is Now Here – Cover Reveal!

An Angel Among Us

Cover by John A. Spina

IT’S HERE!!!! ALL LINKS NOW AVAILABLE!!!

I am excited to announce that my short story collection, An Angel Among Us, is now available on Create Space and Amazon, and KindleBarnes & Noble and other online stores.

 

Anne Gillis Benedetto BlWt

This book was a labor of love. It is dedicated to my courageous friend, Anne Gillis Benedetto, who passed on January 3, 2017. Everyone who knew Anne loved her. She had an infectious smile, wit, and the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. She will be missed every day. This book, I hope, will help to keep her memory alive. I think Anne would have liked this book. I only wish I could have given her a copy before she died.

There are fifteen stories in this collection. There is something for everyone here.

Book Blurb:

A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story was specially created for her and became the inspiration for the title of this book.

Thank you for stopping by. If you knew Anne please drop me a line some time (jjspina(at)myfairpoint(dot)net) . I would love to hear from you. If you purchase this book I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and reviews wherever you bought it. I always say, receiving reviews is like getting early Christmas presents! I love to unwrap them!

Blessings & hugs,

Janice

**************************

My first review of this book here.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Collection of Short Stories, March 8, 2017
By Michele Rolfe
This review is from: An Angel Among Us: (A Short Story Collection) (Paperback)
The stories are tear jerkers & thought provoking. Very well written & hard to put down! I got caught up in the characters & felt like I was a part of their world. I was gifted a book in return for my honest review.

Another wonderful review!!

on March 11, 2017 –  5 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition

Author Janice Spina is a prolific and eclectic writer, whose creativity knows no bounds and whose books entertain readers of all age groups. Having had the pleasure of reading many of Author Spina’s earlier works, I looked forward to reading her newest creation and am happy to report that her first-ever short story compilation is ever so gratifying.

“An Angel Among Us” is fabulous. The characters that populate the short stories are from all walks of life, real and well-developed. Their touching stories resonate, as the protagonists confront and face up to life’s many challenges. Loss, regret, love and hope are ingredients you’ll find in abundance in this stirring and heart-string tugging book. Highly recommended!

A special ‘thank you’ to both of these reviewers!
Posted in Dedication to Anne Gillis Benedetto, Jemsbooks, Mystery, new book, Reading, Romance, Romantic suspense/thriller, Thrillers, adventures, sci-fi, mysteries, Writing, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

Welcome John W. Howell with My GRL #Action #Suspense #RRBC Author

Please check out John Howell’s wonderful books for heart-pounding excitement and thrills! Congrats to John on his new cover and launch!

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Today, I’m delighted to participate in the relaunch of My GRL, a pulse-pounding adventure novel by John W. Howell, and the first book in his John J. Cannon series. I’ve read all three books, and they are an adrenaline-packed punch!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL

My GRL

The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of

$0.99

Here’s the blurb.

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – John Howell, Janice Spina and M.C.V. Egan

Thank you. Sally Cronin, for the kind mention on your blog. ❤ I feel honored to be included with these talented authors! Hugs to all xo ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

author-update-jpg

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore Update and today I am going to review another book that I received at Christmas as a gift.. the second book by John W. Howell, His Revenge starring John Cannon.

His Revenge John Howell

About the book.

America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.

The second John J Cannon Thriller moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington…

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