The Eye Of the Beholder

 

Well, it is the day after. Always a bit sad for me, but I do look forward to the New Year’s Eve celebrations and the first day of the New Year. So it’s not completely over yet! And I always leave the decorations up until after New Year’s Day. It keeps that holiday feeling for just a little bit more.

I don’t do a lot of book reviews on here. I really don’t do much of anything on a consistent basis on this site. I mean, this is not a food, health or parenting blog. It’s a ‘whatever pops into my head’ blog. So for those of you that stop by, it’s always a surprise. Rather the way it is for my children when they stop by our house. They never know what project I’ll be working on! Back to this post…

I first began this blog back in May of 2015. One of my first followers/likes, and a blog that I did the same for was this one: https://eyedancers.wordpress.com/

I was intrigued by the cover of his book, The Eye-Dancers. I also enjoyed his posts, and insights into life, the stories he shared. It reminded me of my teenage years living in upstate New York and Vermont. But since I don’t read Young Adult, I really didn’t think of reading his book. Well, after a year or so of struggling with getting my own books out there, and understanding how very important it is to have reviews of any kind, I decided I would read it. I had purchased it a while back, and then I finally began reading last July.

I don’t normally take so long to read a book, but I’ve had several on my nightstand for a couple years now. I made it a personal goal to read 25 books this year on Goodreads. I reached that goal and reset it to 30. Now I’ve read 32 for 2017…and that feels really good! At one time I loved to read. It was better than watching a movie, or having friends over. But marriage and children put that love on the back burner. Unfortunately I’ve read some not-so-good books lately, and that makes it hard to forge ahead. Just a bit of advice if you are going to self-publish. If you don’t have a degree in journalism, etc., take some writing courses, attend some writing conferences, or have a really fantastic editor. The typos, bad research of a topic, head-hopping and boring plot-line really lose a reader’s attention…and quickly! 

On Christmas Eve morning, I finished reading The Eye-Dancers, and I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. I literally went into it with the idea that it was a book for Young Adults, and just not my cup of tea. What turned it all around and kept me reading was the great writing, well-researched topic, well-developed characters, and the believe-ability of a time-travel book. Me, a 53 year old woman could enjoy the story, and look forward to more. Because I’ve heard there’s another one coming! 😉 Because of all the above, I wanted to share my thoughts here, and support a fellow author and their writing. Below is my review for Goodreads and Amazon:

I don’t normally read YA, but I do enjoy time travel-type books and movies. So I thought I would give this one a try. I rated it a 5-star because ‘it was amazing’ since it was well-written, very thought-provoking, and well-researched. That is saying a lot after some of the books I’ve read lately with the head-hopping, plot holes, etc. The author didn’t ‘dumb-down’ the characters as I’ve seen so many times in YA. The author also nailed the teen years of angst and thought patterns. It made me think of my own years and the struggles I experienced and felt. And somehow, the author made this story feel as though it could really happen…which is fantastic in my mind, considering the plot! It is what I loved about the Time Traveler’s Wife and Somewhere In Time. I read the books behind those movies, and I loved the books even more. Thank you for a very good read! 

You may purchase The Eye-Dancers right here: https://www.amazon.com/Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514136399&sr=1-2&keywords=the+eye+dancers

From the reviews the book has received so far, readers are thinking the same as me.

 

*I purchased the book and wrote the review on my own with no encouragement from the author. These thoughts are my own. Did I cover all the bases? 😉
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Goodreads Giveaway!

It’s the Christmas Season and the time for giving. I shared this on Facebook and Instagram, but not with all of you. I’ve just opened my Instagram account, so still finding my way around there. I’m older, so stick with me, it takes a while to figure it all out. Only yesterday I discovered that I could link my group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216963165342784/

to my author page on Facebook. It’s probably been available for months, or even years, but at least I have it now!

I’m having a giveaway on Goodreads! This is for my newest release and runs until the 8th of January…2018! Wow! It will take me a while to remember that year. Until about July I’m still functioning in the previous one. So, be sure to enter. To date, I’ve given away 18 books in giveaways on Goodreads. So check it out!

Follow this link to enter for a chance to win one of three signed copies of my newest release! https://www.goodreads.com/givea…/show/269283-when-love-grows

That also gives you time to read the first book in the series, When Hope Blooms. You may purchase the first book, or any of my books right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykem…/e/…/ref=sr_tc_2_0…

All books are available in paperback, or kindle editions on Amazon. If you purchase the paperback, the kindle edition is yours for free!

Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million (BAM), and Walmart also carry my books for online purchasing. Please share with all your book-loving family and friends, and remember…reviews are greatly appreciated! Merry Christmas Everyone!

When Love Grows Cover - 6.2 x 9.5 measurements I love the colors on this cover! Red is my favorite one, and it does remind me of Christmas colors.

For Sale!

I’m doing things a bit backward today. But every now and then, that makes life a bit more exciting! I wrote this post for my Facebook author page this morning, so I’m sharing it on here. Usually I post on here and share it to Facebook. Really exciting…huh? Thank you all so much for your support, likes and comments!

My seventh book, When Love Grows will be available in just a few days. 😍This is pretty exciting for me! I have also started working on the third book in this series…which is also…fantastic! Writing is something I love to do. Marketing is not. 😣 I am not a salesperson, and I really need to be to a certain extent to get my books out there.
 
I have so many very talented people in my life. It is amazing to me when I see the items you have made, whether it be art, quilting, building, writing, etc. I would literally love to be able to support each and every one of you by purchasing your product, to give you encouragement, to support your business, and to show you that I really DO care about what you are doing in your life. But I cannot. I try to show my support by reading your posts, liking them, loving them and commenting. I don’t know if that helps or not, but it is time I invest in your lives. In some ways it seems sad that our lives have come down to interaction such as a smiley face, or a little red heart…but it is a way to communicate and show support.
 
As I said, I probably need to be more of a salesperson. But I am not. I don’t like to be hounded, and I know others don’t. I dislike to try to read a post or article and have pop-ups asking me to buy or subscribe. Therefore, I don’t do that to others. I dislike chain messages asking me to show I care. I do, or I wouldn’t comment, like, love your posts. Because my family has asked me not to share some things, especially items about their children on social media, I do not. And I do understand and respect that. Because I write, I have my settings to public to reach my readers.
 
My books are works of fiction, but my life experiences are woven through each one of them. I’m sharing what I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made, and the respect and love I have for my Heavenly Father. I pray this speaks to my readers.
 
Please share this post with your friends. Please share the post I’ll have in a few days promoting my newest release. And if you’ve read any of my books, please, please review in the places that you can. This is a huge encouragement to me! This writing life is all new, and it has a huge learning curve. Please let me know if I can reach you in a different way, if you’d like to hear more or less from me. You can always interact and have discussions on my group page about my books. I would LOVE that! https://www.facebook.com/groups/216963165342784/

Shifting Down

This is a post I’ve debated about writing for several months now. For the month of October, I tried some different things, just to see what that would result in. Some of you gave me feedback. A few people really liked the Monday One Liners and the Friday Trivia. A couple people said they would just rather read a post. To be honest, I’m rather lost in this blogging world. I just don’t know what works...for me.

I’ve blogged regularly for over two and a half years now. For those of you that blog, you know it is a time investment. Some bloggers seem to be able to take the world, (literally) by storm and within a few months they are off and running with thousands of hits and followers. That has not been the case for me, and I’m not really feeling that I’ve found my corner in the blogging world…or if I’m even supposed to.

As a writer, I love to write. I have written most of my life in some form or another. I will continue. But right now, I feel as though I should concentrate more on my novel writing, and those stories I need to tell. And I need time to do that.

So, I will be doing some reconstruction with my social media. My goal is to have more of a website, maybe a section that I blog in once a week, or once a month. I might offer a newsletter every three months or so for those that are interested in my books, and new releases. I have four books written several years ago that are badly in need of edits and covers. So, I want to make those a priority. I also have a little bird whispering to me about a fifth book in the Rubyville series. I also need to concentrate more on events, and speaking engagements.

The most difficult part of this decision is not having the daily contact with those of you that have become a part of my life on here. I so appreciate you! For sharing your lives with others, for the encouragement you have given me, for all the interesting stuff I’ve learned from all parts of the world.

This is not good-bye, but a pulling back and regrouping. I will still be here, and I will still share my life with all of you, just at a slower pace. You can still find me on Amazon right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykeman/e/B01B2BYPK6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1509656300&sr=1-2-ent and my author’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman/?fref=ts

I check Goodreads daily as well. It’s a great place to encourage others, as well as authors. If you’ve read a book of mine, or another author, please leave a review there and follow them. You don’t need to purchase their book to do those two things. Every little bit of encouragement helps an author get their stories out there. It’s not only about purchasing their books, which is wonderful of course…but about getting that author’s name known around the world.

Until next time…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOY0C5F8dfw

 

 

UPDATE: Book Review Awards – Authors in the Running So Far

Wow! It’s an honor to be included in this list so far. Yecheilyah Ysrayl really does an excellent job with her review process, and pours her heart and soul into them. I greatly appreciate all that she does for Indie authors, and this contest is just another example of that. Thank you Yecheilyah!

The PBS Blog

OK, looks like we are going through with this thing!!

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Based upon which I’ve decided that yes, we are going to do this!

First thing’s first, I am getting a logo made. Something simple but nice which I’ll outsource from Fiverr. BUT, if any of you do logos for free, like, let me know. I am not trying to spend a whole bunch of money. I love you but I am not rich so, like, help a sista out.

For now, here are the authors who are currently automatically drafted into the contest due their 5-star ratings on this blog. More authors will be added to this list as I read and review their books. Remember, to be part of this contest means that you must receive a 5-star rating from me. Excellence is priority.

We are just in the preliminary stages so…

View original post 633 more words

Begging Is Good!

Okay, not really. I always told our children, “If you beg, it’s not going to happen.” Ask me once, I’ll consider it, ask me twice, it’s a missed opportunity. I can’t count how many times I’ve been shopping, (and this was ages ago, when I had small children, because you have to drag me into a grocery store now), that I have seen small, and not so small children writhing on the tiled floor. Now there’s a sentence for my editor! 😉 Usually this agonizing event, (for the shoppers), embarrassing event, (for the parent), and demeaning event, (for the child), took place over a box of cereal, or candy in the check-out aisle.

Maybe this didn’t happen for our children for a couple of reasons. I rarely purchased boxed cereal. It was expensive, and not really a great option for breakfast in my opinion. Granola wasn’t packaged nearly so pretty! Candy was also a rare treat. Again, expensive and not high on the food pyramid in our house. But I really think it had more to do with that second sentence I mentioned above. I had no toleration for begging.

So, I’m going to blame this on my O.C.D., which has not been diagnosed. And I am in no way belittling this. I know many people struggle with this mental disorder, and it is real. Extreme cases can keep a person from living a normal life. But in our house, I am the poster child for this. If I eat cookies, I have them in pairs. I group items in my mind. I stress about things like turning off the iron, the stove or a light when I’m several miles down the road. I find it difficult to sleep if I have the washing machine started…I want to finish that load of laundry! For me, the laundry is not done until it’s hung in the closet, or folded neatly in the drawer. I go over and over…and over checklists in my mind. And I know many of you can sympathize with some of this. Much of mine can be related to fatigue, and probably just getting older and forgetful.

If you are a writer, or have any kind of business, or advertise to some extent on Facebook, you know how important that ‘like’ button is. You know how great it is to share a post because it gets many eyes on that post. If you have a page dedicated to your profession, your business, etc. you really, really want likes for that page. It’s all about marketing and selling that business. Recently, our local public library had to begin another Facebook page. This library has been wonderful with advertising my books, having events, and just plain great to work with. So, I contacted all my friends on Facebook, that were local, requesting that they ‘like’ the new library page. It was a way for me to encourage this local business and support them. And it didn’t even hurt me financially or otherwise! 😉

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My author page on Facebook has been hovering in the mid-nineties rage for several months now. It’s beginning to poke at me a bit, and I really want to cross that 100 mark! Yes, it is a goal now! To reach 125 likes on my page would be even more fantastic! And even more than that, I would really like you, the reader on here, to be a part of that Facebook group. I promise it won’t hurt! And it won’t cost you a thing. That’s rather rare in this world today! And while you’re at it, you can request to be my friend, too. Isn’t this a strange social environment that we live in today? A bit like kindergarten, requesting someone to be your friend, rather than just letting it happen. Will have to think on that one some more! Have a great Monday, and start to your week!

So this is new content for Tuesday morning. Now look back at that third paragraph, last sentence. Much of mine can be related to fatigue, and probably just getting older and forgetful. Last night, I woke up in the middle of great sleeping, which is rare for me. I remembered that I had not added a link for you to go to to ‘like’ my FaceBook page! Well duh! https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman

All my family will have a great laugh about this one, and I’m surprised that one of my daughters didn’t see that and let me know! I can’t get by with very many mistakes! Now, have a great Tuesday, and I hope to see you over at Facebook!

No Awards Please

Blogger Award

I have thought about this for several months now. Wondering what I should do, not wanting to seem ungrateful. Because I am not. Each one of you is very precious to me in that you’ve taken the time to stop by here, and read my posts. I am thankful for you!

I have been nominated for several blogger awards over the past few months…and I am really speechless! I hope I have not offended those that have nominated me by not responding immediately. I have not forgotten your kind gesture. I just haven’t known how to proceed.

Blogging is something that at this time is secondary to my novel writing. I enjoy blogging, but admittedly am not very good at it, or as prolific as I probably should be. I just don’t have the time. I have reached so many of you through this blog, and I have met so many wonderful people. And I love that about blogging. I have been inspired, encouraged, and delighted by the sites I have encountered on here. This blogging has opened up another whole world for me. So I will continue to post when I can, because I will always have something to say, and I will always love to hear from you. But taking part in the awards is just more than I can fit in at this time. I think they are a lovely gesture, and I adore reading about those that have been nominated, but I just can’t reciprocate at this time.

The Versatile Blogger Award was one I received from a beautiful lady that I’ve come to know on here. Please check out her site at: https://rhythminlife.net/ She has written some beautiful poetry, and shared the challenges and blessings of her life in a very special way. Thank you, Susan!

https://mycountryepoque.com/ is where I received the One Lovely Blog Award. The colors and beauty on her site really drew me in, and I’m enjoying my journey there. Thank you!

Ellie Holmes at: https://ellieholmesauthor.wordpress.com/ was the first to nominate me for an award. It was very exciting! It’s been so long ago, that I don’t even remember the award, but I did tell her at the time how much I appreciated it. I just didn’t know what I was going to do about awards. She has a couple of books that are on my reading list, which is also something I don’t get much time to do. But I haven’t forgotten, Ellie!

So, a huge thank you to all of those that have nominated me! You are appreciated! Please keep stopping by and sharing your thoughts, and your life with me. I love to hear from you. And I will continue to read about your awards, and will share in your joy.

Mood Music

Sometimes you need some music to set the mood. I have a PowerPoint I need to work on this week. Rather than get frustrated with my lack of knowledge where that program is concerned, I thought I would listen to some music to help ease the pain of inexperience. I found this on YouTube, and I’m pretty excited. The man’s name is Tim Janis. I had never heard of him before, which is not saying much. I don’t get out and around like I once did. If a child or a grandchild doesn’t mention it, or it doesn’t fall on my doorstep, I don’t hear about it. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much! I don’t generally watch the news, or listen to it on the radio. I don’t read a paper. Whatever I see or hear comes to me through the internet when I’m checking my e-mail or Facebook. They may not be the absolute best sources, but that’s what I do.

Tim Janis has been around for awhile. You may read about him here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Janis. In my opinion, he sounds a bit like Enya and John Barry, kind of wrapped up together. Which is wonderful for me, because I’ve always loved their music. Out of Africa was a movie I really enjoyed, and a big part of it was the music from John Barry. (My husband thought it was wonderful music to nap to). Somewhere in Time was the first movie that I saw with his music, and I was enraptured. Our oldest daughter has the middle name of Elise because of that movie!

So no more talk, you can enjoy Tim Janis as well, right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAFRD9hScmI

He has so many tracks you can listen to on YouTube. And they all have gorgeous photography to go along with it. I would love to just sit and watch, but that can’t happen today or I won’t get a thing done! Be sure to ‘like’ and subscribe to his channel. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And if you’re in the area, he will be performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City on December 1, 2017. He must be really good! 😉

The Newest Release!

This book has been a long time in the making compared to my Rubyville series. I had it written in three months, but the editing, cover, etc. took much longer. But today, when I arrived home from my walk, there was the box on my porch! I was so excited to open this shipment of books, and I had to share it with all of you! The book has been available on Amazon for about a week now, but these are actual, real, books I can now hold and take to events. And that’s really exciting for an author. I don’t think that will ever become common-place for me.

This past Saturday, my editor and I attended the Author Fair at the Emporia Public Library. It is always a privilege to be a part of these events, and get to meet other authors. The library staff was wonderful, and whenever water and chocolate is handed out, it’s a great day!

After the library event, we checked out Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore at the recommendation of a couple authors. I’m so happy I did! This adorable bookstore now has all my titles available for purchase. Well, I do need to get this newest release to them! Supporting local authors is huge, and this store is doing a great job of it! Please check out their Facebook page right here: https://www.facebook.com/EllenPlumbs/  and be sure to like their page. Look for me to be announcing more events with this bookstore!

I’m doing a little happy dance, and it’s tingling right through to my fingers, so I need to get to writing on the book that follows When Hope Blooms. Have a great day!

Boldness to Speak

When I sit down to read a book, especially in the summer, I want a light, happy read. I don’t know why this is more important to me in the warmer months, but it is. I desire to read stories about beaches, and warm days on the sand, children playing outside with the fireflies. The long days of summer were always a happy time for me. Hours of swim lessons, and neighborhood friends, riding bikes up and down the sidewalk. Times I thought would go on forever.

But as we all know, they do not.

As far as I can recall, I have not done a book review on here. I review almost everything I can. If I purchase something, I review it. This is important to me because I rely so heavily on reviews of a product before I make a purchase. Sometimes I watch reviews and investigate for months before I buy. I want to know what I’m getting for my money. And usually, the reviews are pretty right-on. Most of the reviews I write are on TripAdvisor and Amazon, and those two places are where I read the most reviews.

So when I read a book, I review it. If I was less-than thrilled with it, I will only give it a star rating. If it was really terrible, I will write my humble opinion, and if I enjoyed it, I will give the reasons why. Today, I read a collection of poems written by a woman that I have come to know through her blog, https://rhythminlife.net

This little book, which you may purchase or read for free if you have kindle unlimited right here: https://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Her-Making-Sense-What-ebook/dp/B07256W1Z3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498058670&sr=1-1&keywords=the+audacity+of+her was an emotional read. As someone that encountered abuse in my early teens, it really spoke to me. The author lets us into her soul, and that’s difficult to do. Only after much healing, physically as well as emotionally, can a person write with such pain and truth, but not bitterness. This book is a must-read for those that have dealt with abuse as children, or are trying to understand a person that has been abused.

No, this book is not a light, beach-read. But it is an excellent, easy read. Because even through the author’s pain as a child, you sense hope in what she has become today. And that makes me happy.

Thank you, Susan for your poems. For letting us see a glimpse of what has made you the strong woman you are today. Someday, I look forward to a collection of poems on the process of healing, because I know those words are there to share.