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Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Adventures of a Southern (Baptist) Buddhist

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Pamela McConnell will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This true story is about a girl who is born up north; into a conservative, fundamentalist/evangelical family—but then becomes a Liberal Buddhist.

Her family moves back to their roots in the Appalachian south, where Pam is molested by her grandfather. She later owns her sexuality by becoming promiscuous; beginning a pattern of serial dating, marrying, and divorcing.

She is first married at 18 to another 18-year-old, who gives her a beautiful son—but he is a redneck and they have nothing else in common. Her second husband is a talented musician but turns out to like sex with men. Her third husband speaks five languages and is a Pakistani, but he beats her up. Her fourth husband is a chef who makes delicious meals but turns out to be a felon and a crackhead. Finally, the love of her life neglects to tell Pam for seven years that he is married.

___________________
THANK YOU 


Thank you for reading Jerry's Circumlocution where I promote independent authors, toss out a few reviews, wax eloquent occasionally on writing, or shamelessly self promote. 

Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up one of our featured author's works please do so. If so, and looking for more to read, please consider one of mine! And on behalf of all Indie authors including the one highlighted here, we live off of good reviews. Please consider dropping one to help them (and me) out! 


Freckles: The Dark Wizard  Middle Grade Fantasy

Simon is bullied. He also just discovered he is the only kid in school who can conjure a dragon.



InPassage

 Dystopian Western

Pitch knows three things. This is not his America, someone is trying to hunt him, and he is very good with a gun.


Or keep an eye out for these other titles!




A book is like a child. The author gives it birth. Then it is raised by the author and a team of teachers, coaches, and family (we call these people editors, beta readers, and publishers). all of this is to prepare the book for its journey into the world where it hopefully will meet you, the reader. I have the privilege of being my books' parent, but you are whom it is truly meant. Thank you.

Interview with John Matthew FOx


Today, we have an opportunity to talk to John Matthew Fox. John Matthew Fox has written the book, “The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments.”

 

First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.

Thejohnfox.com

https://www.instagram.com/bookfox_writer/

https://www.tiktok.com/@johnmatthewfox

The Linchpin Writer

 

That is great. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?

 

I’m John Matthew Fox, and I help authors write better novels, mostly through editing and courses at Bookfox.

 I taught writing at the university level for a decade before moving to Bookfox full time, and I have an MFA from USC and an MA from New York University. Currently, I live in Southern California, in Orange County.

 I started writing because I thought people should listen to what I had to say. Ha! Yes, a bit egotistical, but I was young. Now I’m all about community building and helping writers achieve their dreams of publication.

 

What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?

 

I played a lot of chess when I was young, and so naturally I tried to write a chess novel. I wasn’t quite good enough to make it sexy enough, and then Queen’s Gambit happened and I realized he had written a much better book forty years prior.

 I’m a big board game guy so I also find that I’ve used provocative board games as central ideas for my stories.


 "It’s not about talent. It’s about the number of hours you sit in the chair."

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

 

Well, read my articles on Bookfox, for starters. Or take a course with me, or follow me on Tiktok or Instagram or Youtube. Seriously – I’m giving away a wealth of information.

But I’d also add that you need to find a good community of fellow writers to share your work with.

 

What is the best advice you have ever been given as a writer?

 

It’s not about talent. It’s about the number of hours you sit in the chair.

 I could beat anyone in the Tour de France if you just gave me quadruple the time they had. And any writer who writes four times as long as you do will probably be much more successful than you.

 

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?

I wake up before the family and go out to my shed which doubles as an office, and write there. The most important thing is that I have a program called Freedom that turns off my internet between 5:00 and 7:30. That way I can’t do anything but write.

What is your favorite part about writing?

Probably the imagination. I like to write books that no one else could write. I feel like most books published each year are interchangeable – there are hundreds of thousands of other people who could have written the exact same book.

I’m trying to publish a book that has so much of my imaginative DNA in it that it couldn’t have been replicated by anyone else on earth.


What does literary success look like to you?

Literary success looks like getting a single email from someone who loved my book, and for them to say: this is one of my all-time favorite books.

It doesn’t matter how much money I make or how many glowing reviews I get or how many people read my book.

 Success happens in the tiny human interactions. I’d rather a single person say, “This is one of my top-10 books,” than a thousand people read my book and forget it the next week.

 

Please tell us about your current release.

 “The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments” helps writer level up their craft. Wherever you are as a writer, whether you’re just starting off or you have a few books under your belt, I’ll help you improve.

 The book focuses on key moments inside your novel, the make-it-or-break-it moments (death scene, first character interaction, end of your chapters) and gives practical advice on how to write them better (with plenty of examples!).

 


What exciting story are you working on next?


I’m working on a novel set entirely upon a cruise ship.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 I really enjoy Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Marilynne Robinson, Michel Houellebecq, and Ann Patchett.

 

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The Dwarf by Pär Lagerkvist. Nobody has ever heard of it, and it’s quite a dark little book, but I’m fascinated by it.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

To go to conferences. You meet people and you get jolts of inspiration and insight and connections.

 

What is your writer’s kryptonite?

 The internet. I wish I didn’t have internet at my house.

 

What part of writing and publishing was most difficult for you?

 The publishing side of things. I’ve gotten a lot of rejections over the years. Also, the discipline side of things – it’s a struggle to sit in the chair and pump out words.

 

Are you involved in any writer groups?

Not currently. I was involved in two and I miss them dearly. I’m trying to start up another in North Orange County, CA, so feel free to reach out if locals want to get together!

 



THANK YOU 


Thank you for reading Jerry's Circumlocution where I promote independent authors, toss out a few reviews, wax eloquent occasionally on writing, or shamelessly self promote. 

Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up one of our featured author's works please do so. If so, and looking for more to read, please consider one of mine! And on behalf of all Indie authors including the one highlighted here, we live off of good reviews. Please consider dropping one to help them (and me) out! 


Freckles: The Dark Wizard  Middle Grade Fantasy

Simon is bullied. He also just discovered he is the only kid in school who can conjure a dragon.



InPassage

 Dystopian Western

Pitch knows three things. This is not his America, someone is trying to hunt him, and he is very good with a gun.


Or keep an eye out for these other titles!




A book is like a child. The author gives it birth. Then it is raised by the author and a team of teachers, coaches, and family (we call these people editors, beta readers, and publishers). all of this is to prepare the book for its journey into the world where it hopefully will meet you, the reader. I have the privilege of being my books' parent, but you are whom it is truly meant. Thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Interview and Review : Alison McBain's The New Empire

 



Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Alison McBain.  Alison McBain has written the book, 

The New Empire. 

 

First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.

 

The New Empire

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/New-Empire-Alison-McBain/dp/1954907427/

Author: https://www.alisonmcbain.com/

Editor: https://www.fairfieldscribes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonMcBain


“Write towards the fear.” 


That is great.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?

 

Thanks, Jerry! I appreciate chatting with you today. I don’t even remember when I wasn’t putting pen to paper. I started my writing career at age four with a "self-published" horror story about the monster in the closet. 

That's awesome! Bet the family served as your critics and fans?

The story was highly lauded by my closest family members. Since then, I've received a number of writing awards and accolades from people not even vaguely related to me, but I still have a soft spot for that first short story. I started my career with shorts, and while I’m now getting full-length novels published, I still like to sit down every now and then and dash off a story. They’re addictively fun to write since you can finish them in one sitting and don’t have the same slog as writing a book over the course of months, if not years.

 

Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

 

For me, inspiration is everywhere. I know writers will hate me for saying this, but I don’t know how NOT to be inspired by the world around me – there are always too many stories to write and not enough time. 


"This is a business you have to love with your whole heart and soul before it loves you back. It will always be a slog from start to finish. Keep writing no matter what."


I agree. I have a whole journal filled with ideas I want to get to.

Research, however – that’s another matter. My latest book is an alternate history, so I had wade through stacks of books taller than I am in order to get everything as factually accurate as possible. (And I’m sure I still made a few mistakes.)

 

Book ideas are a bit more complicated. I’m a very straightforward type of person. I envy the writer who overwrites and has to cut back. I’m the opposite – I know where my story is going and head straight to the end without any twists or turns. THEN I have to go back and add all the extras that make a story fun and interesting. I don’t think my writing style would work well in the mystery genre – my book would simply have a Perry Mason ending, ha ha.

 

What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?

 

I have a ton of hobbies, and while I put a bit of myself into every character, I’m not sure how many of my hobbies make it into my books. For example, I’ve never written about a character who can fold origami (learned from my Great Aunt Masako when I was six) or a protagonist who can play pool in a smoke-filled bar and knock down four balls in a row to win the game. Honestly, my hobbies are fun to do, but I make up more interesting people in my books because I find myself to be quite boring.

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

 

Write. Write! WRITE!!!

(laughs) True. True! TRUE!


 If you want to do this as a full-time gig (or even a part-time gig), you have to actually do it. Don’t talk about writing, don’t just outline a story, but get your butt in that chair as many days as you can and fill up that blank page with words. They don’t have to be great words – they don’t even have to be good to start with – but if you write down enough stories, you’ll get there eventually. Be persistent and don’t give up, no matter how much rejection you face. This is a business you have to love with your whole heart and soul before it loves you back. It will always be a slog from start to finish. Keep writing no matter what.

 

Apart from "write, write, write!" what is the best advice you have ever been given as a writer?

 

More than a few years ago, I attended a one-day writer’s conference at Southern Connecticut State University. It was a free event put on by the college and had a variety of professors and graduating MFAs who were talking about their publishing experiences. While there was a fair amount of writing advice that was practical for newer writers, most were things that I already knew, having been in the business for a while.

 

Until one of the organizing professors took the stage. I wish I could remember who it was, but he said something that stuck with me, advice handed down from his own professor when he was in college. And it was this: “Write towards the fear.”

 

That struck me then as significant, and it still sticks with me today. It was a revelation about why some of my writing was much weaker than other pieces. To me, it means don’t shy away from what you’re afraid of. Don’t hesitate to write what you believe, what you feel, what you’ve experienced because it’s taboo or strange or you think no one can relate to it. Look fear in the face and put it down on the page. THAT’S where you will find your true voice, and that’s where you will find that what shocks and appalls you can be great literature.

 

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?

I feel incredibly lucky that all of my work is writing-related. My day job is as a freelance editor and writing coach. I do get paid to write articles, and I have several books published and more on the way, but I’d say writing is about a quarter or less of what I consider as my “real” job that pays the bills.

A good editor is hard to find! How many hours a day do you write your own material?

I don’t believe in the advice “write every day.” That’s a great way to burn out the muse. However, it’s also a business, so if I have a deadline, you better believe I’m writing every day. Depending on what project I’m currently engaged with, if I’m on a book deadline that’s not too pressing, I’ll write about 3-10 hours a day. However, I might not write for weeks at a time when I’m in between projects, so it really depends on what deadlines I currently have.

 


Please tell us about your current release.

 

In The New Empire, the world undergoes a drastic change in the fourteenth century when Chinese ships land in what is currently known as the Bay Area of California. Fast forward four hundred years to a much different America than we know, a land dominated by a tribal confederacy grown out of a strong alliance with Beijing. Told from the main perspective of Jiangxi, a Chinese slave, it’s an epic story that highlights the experiences of characters often overlooked in the history books. In doing so, it tells a unique—but still emotionally relevant—tale of American slavery and freedom that will resonate with readers in today’s conflicted world.

 

And you have won a few awards?


I was thrilled when my book won the Gold Award at the When Words Count Pitch Week contest and was offered publication by Woodhall Press. I’m hoping that this book has enough dedicated readers that I can justify writing the sequel.

 

Can you read / provide us with a small exert? 

 

In this excerpt, Jiangxi’s master Onas has just told a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) tale about a girl who doesn’t listen to her family but is saved from her foolishness by a god.

 

The fire popped as Onas subsided and the spell of the story that held his visitors captive was released. Jiangxi re-gathered the bowls from supper as the men sat thinking. He turned and walked away.

 

As he cleaned the bowls, he thought about the kuksui’s story. And it was then that he had a plan on how to carry out his revenge. The girl in the story was spoiled, and he felt no sympathy with how she made her own unpleasant fate. In fact, he had wanted her harmed for her willfulness, for having the best of everything and being contented with none. It reminded him of the slaveholders, overflowing with abundance and giving the slaves nothing in return.

 

Jiangxi’s plan was simple. He would be the beautiful serpent in their midst. He would smile and nod and be agreeable, and he would lull them into following him into the dark.

 

He would find a way to free the slaves. All of them, not just himself. He would find a way, some way—any way he could—to lead his people to freedom.

 

What exciting story are you working on next?

 

My next book is being published chapter by chapter right now on Pocket FM, a free app for eBooks and audiobooks – the story is a contemporary romance about a woman who inherits a house with a zillion problems that she wants to turn into a B&B. She has two great guys who want to help her out – and ask her out too.

 Link: https://www.pocketnovel.com/novel/1eb53a161008183cfb437891676c0d8c649633ef

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 

There are so many great writers out there that this question is almost as hard to answer as, “What are your favorite words?” Well, depends on the circumstance. But some good ones: Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Moon, Kristan Higgins, Guy Gavriel Kay, Amy Tan, Tanya Huff, Tanith Lee, China Mieville… and about a million more. So many talented writers out there.

 

Yes there are!! I know I often struggle under their standard to do my own writing. What is your writer’s kryptonite?

 

Procrastination. I usually have about 100 things to do and can never get to everything at once. And I tend to prioritize the very LEAST important thing on my list – I don’t know why. I love to write and love the work that I do, but sometimes it’s a real struggle to just sit down and do it.

 

Are you involved in any writer groups?

 

I don’t think my work would exist without the many fabulous writers’ groups I belong to. First and foremost, those I consider family: the Fairfield Scribes. We write, we publish, we run a magazine together, and we’re the closest of friends. If you don’t have a group like that, try and find one – or even start one yourself. You’ll be thankful you did.

 

That is so key! I have the same sine quo non with my two groups:

Crazy Buffet

Corner Scriblers


Also, a shoutout to Shut Up & Write, a great organization that helps writers do just that – they provide a space either online or in person to get your butt in the chair and write. They have free events all day, every day, and you can find them through the website Meetup or their own website: https://shutupwrite.com/.

 

That is great. I will have to check them out. One more time, how do we buy your work?


The New Empire

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/New-Empire-Alison-McBain/dp/1954907427/

Author: https://www.alisonmcbain.com/

Editor: https://www.fairfieldscribes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonMcBain


MY REVIEW:


I appreciated the point of view shift as we watch a Chineese boy travel to America. However, the America is very different. It reminded me a lot of the world building in The Man in the High Castle. The America presented saw the Ming Dynasty arrive first. Europeans are on the horizon on the east coast, but they are not the first to settle and interact with Native Americans.

The story centers around Jiangxi who, though born of noble birth, finds himself sold into slavery. He finds nobility, I think , even in his low station as shown by the end of the novel. Without offering any spoilers, the ending is as real and raw as the world the story is set in. Overall, I would highly recommend this book for those who like alternate histories. The author seems to have done the research necessary to honor the past as well as draw new creativity from it to form a new vision.




Monday, November 14, 2022

Review: Ilsa and Bear's Bangs

___________________

Ilsa and Bear's Bangs

by Rosemary J. Robson

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GENRE: Children's Book

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I'm sorry to say; in fact, very reluctant to tell you that, because you picked up this book to read, your life will never again be the same.

 

I am reluctant because I know your resistance, and I know how much you want things to stay the same. I am reluctant because I know how much work I have caused myself because of your resistance. You need to read this story because it is the first in a series of the most astounding fables. Ilsa is a friendly and warm young lady who is always available to help her friends. Since you have bothered to pick up this book, would you be so kind as to join her as she helps Bear overcome his outgrown bangs? This will offer Bear a renewed sense of energy to help him deal with his mischievous cubs.

 

And so, you must know you have now entered the world of Incredible Ilsa, and there is no looking back. Change, good change, necessary and inevitable change, is happening right now.

Come on in and enjoy the ride.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~




"Ilsa knows that the best way to help someone is to just listen to what they say…with their words and their body."

 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 


Rosemary Robson is a hairstylist, a personal trainer and a yoga instructor. She is a girl and a woman and a mom. She is a writer and loves to cook almost anything. She loves to paint, sing, and write poetry. When there is a problem to solve or a task to be done, she has no problem rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. To create new space, let go of what was to make room for what is. She loves the outdoors and is very good at sipping wine on a patio during a beautiful sunny day, especially when in the company of a very dear friend.

 

 

CONNECT WITH KATHRYN LEE

 

WEBSITE:

https://rjrobson.com/

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/155278239-rosemary-robson

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

 

Amazon.com.au

https://amazon.ca/dp/0228875064

 

Amazon.com https://amazon.com/dp/0228875064

 

Barnes and Noble

Go to B&N here

 

Book Depository

Book Depository Link Here

 

Kindle https://amazon.com/dp/B0B4QTZS21

 

Indigo

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/ilsa-and-bears-bangs/9780228875062-item.html

 

Walmart

https://www.walmart.com/search?q=9780228875062

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Rosemary J. Robson will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

RAFFLECOPTER:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


---------

 My Review:

A great read bolstering self image, confidence, the importance of helping others, and Rhubarb pie as an air freshener. I absolutely adore the end where there is a place for the young reader to write down a wish and what they love about him or her self.

THANK YOU 


Thank you for reading Jerry's Circumlocution where I promote independent authors, toss out a few reviews, wax eloquent occasionally on writing, or shamelessly self promote. 

Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up one of our featured author's works please do so. If so, and looking for more to read, please consider one of mine! And on behalf of all Indie authors including the one highlighted here, we live off of good reviews. Please consider dropping one to help them (and me) out! 


Freckles: The Dark Wizard  Middle Grade Fantasy

Simon is bullied. He also just discovered he is the only kid in school who can conjure a dragon.



InPassage

 Dystopian Western

Pitch knows three things. This is not his America, someone is trying to hunt him, and he is very good with a gun.


Or keep an eye out for these other titles!




A book is like a child. The author gives it birth. Then it is raised by the author and a team of teachers, coaches, and family (we call these people editors, beta readers, and publishers). all of this is to prepare the book for its journey into the world where it hopefully will meet you, the reader. I have the privilege of being my books' parent, but you are whom it is truly meant. Thank you.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Review: Honour's Rest by Judith Crow (YA Magical Realism)

 


 

Honour's Rest

by Judith Crow


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


GENRE:   YA Magical Realism


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 BLURB:

 

“So, it’s – what – like magic?”

No, according to Pen’s uncle, the Rite is not magic at all. But, if it’s not magic, then how could Pen push the school bully into a pond while he was really studying alone in the library?
When Pen’s family realise he has the Rite, he is sent to live with his Uncle Napier, who can help him control his ability.
But Napier has other duties. He is the Rendelf, in charge of the Rite in the UK, and he has gathered many enemies over the years…
…enemies who would be delighted to use Pen against him.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPTS 

“Good, good,” Mr Carling said. “It was a shame about what happened, Pen. You were an excellent student and you’re missed by all the teachers. And most of the pupils as well.”

 

“That’s kind of you to say,” Pen said with a smile, bowing his head again and this time enjoying the puzzlement on the headteacher’s face and the sheer confusion in his mind. “But there’s one thing in particular that I came here to say.”

 

“And what’s that?”

 

“I should apologise for what happened. It was me who pushed Justin.”

 

“Don’t be silly, Pen,” Mr Carling said, with a nervous laugh.

 

“Haven’t your parents told you? A couple of girls were taking pictures outside the library that day, and you were in the background. You couldn’t possibly have done it.”

 

“All the same,” Pen said, trying to hide his annoyance at his mother for not telling him the truth, “I was responsible.”

 

It was a great pleasure to know that the tables had been turned so, at the end of the conversation, it was Mr Carling who was nearly reduced to nervous tears, which wasn’t made any better when Pen accidentally answered a question which had not yet been spoken. It was only when he left the school with a smug sense of achievement and satisfaction that it occurred to him why Napier may have made the demand, and it had more to do with affection than punishment.

 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her work draws inspiration from folklore, experience and the natural world.

The Backwater, Judith’s debut book, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019, and her most recent novel, Honour’s Rest, was a finalist in the Eyelands Book Award.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a teacher at a primary school in Caithness. She sometimes finds that writing gets usurped by crafting, music, and being a generally doting spaniel owner.

 

Website

www.judithcrow.co.uk

www.crowvus.com

 

Twitter

@jayzed_kay

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/JudithZKCrow

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Honours-Rest-Rite-Way-Book-ebook/dp/B09FVM4KTW/

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Judith Crow will be awarding a £25 voucher for Crowvus.com to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

MY REVIEW found on Amazon


A boy in early adolescence discovers he has magic. He ahs a far away uncle who knows how to train and help him. His parents send him. Not all magic is good. Oh, and there are some cool creatures. And as for Pen... Pendragon... there are allusions here I am sure the series will unpack in full detail but book one is in itself a satisfying read. 

On a personal note - I enjoy 1st person narrative but I prefer third person where the author pulls me in close without every chapter being a mind dump of feelings and emotions. I think for young men, Honour's Rest will read more action and adventure (think Harry Potter) than teen internal angst (Hunger Games or Twilight). That for me may be the biggest win of the book and why I give it 5 stars.



 _______________
THANK YOU from this Book Blogger 


Thank you for reading Jerry's Circumlocution where I promote independent authors, toss out a few reviews, wax eloquent occasionally on writing, or shamelessly self promote. 

Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up one of our featured author's works please do so. If so, and looking for more to read, please consider one of mine! And on behalf of all Indie authors including the one highlighted here, we live off of good reviews. Please consider dropping one to help them (and me) out! 


Freckles: The Dark Wizard  Middle Grade Fantasy

Simon is bullied. He also just discovered he is the only kid in school who can conjure a dragon.



InPassage

 Dystopian Western

Pitch knows three things. This is not his America, someone is trying to hunt him, and he is very good with a gun.


Or keep an eye out for these other titles!




A book is like a child. The author gives it birth. Then it is raised by the author and a team of teachers, coaches, and family (we call these people editors, beta readers, and publishers). all of this is to prepare the book for its journey into the world where it hopefully will meet you, the reader. I have the privilege of being my books' parent, but you are whom it is truly meant. Thank you.