Tuesday, June 30, 2020

IWSG BLOG HOP: Looking Ahead at the Book Publishing Industry in 2030

Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts for the July1 posting of the IWSG--  Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox! 
July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?
I would like to see more players than just amazon in the book distributing game. They need more competition. Yes, there are other distributors and I use them, but I understand amazon sells 80% of the ebook market.

The US Ebook Market
According to the  Publish/Drive blog--"With indie books (published without ISBNs), the Amazon market share accounts for 83% of US ebook purchases. The rest is almost entirely shared between Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play Books."
The article has many facts about indie publishing and publishing globally. Click Publish/Drive blog to read the entire article.
Sign up for the Rose Courier from J.Q.Rose
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Happy 4th of July from J.Q. Rose!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Summer Readers Circle: Diane Bator's New Release--Drop Dead Cowboy, Giveaway

Summer Readers Circle
Hello and welcome to the kick-off of the Summer Readers Circle. I will be hosting guest authors the last Tuesday of the month. These talented storytellers will let us in on why they wrote their books and share an excerpt from the books to hook you on that story. Yes, there will be prizes too just as in previous Readers Circle events. A lucky commenter will win the prize, so be sure to enter!!
Drop Dead Cowboy by Diane Bator

I am thrilled to welcome Diane Bator who introduces us to her newly released mystery, Drop Dead Cowboy (Book 1 Sugarwood Mysteries).  This sounds like a great beach read!

Back of the Book:
Audra Clemmings loves Halloween. At least until she sees the display of voodoo dolls in the shop next door that resembles nearly everyone in Sugarwood, Ontario—including her.
Then there’s the matter of the dead cowboy on the bench in front of her shop Stitch’n’Time…

Why did Diane write it?
My newest novel, Drop Dead Cowboy, was released June 1, 2020. It was supposed to be released in September, but Covid and a slow down at work allowed me the time to get it ready early and BWL Publishing had an opening for June. Suddenly, the Halloween themed book I’d anticipated an autumn launch for, came out before summer. I couldn’t be happier!
Audra Clemmings is part-owner of Stitch’n’Time, a craft shop that sells needlepoint accessories, quilting notions, and fabric hobby kits. Her partner in crime-solving, Merilee Rutherford, is a sucker for a new project and works for needles and thread.
The Sugarwood Mysteries series started as a Christmas novella I wrote for a former publisher I worked with. When they stopped publishing the book, the novella sat on my shelf waiting for a renewed life. While I knew it would have one, it took a few years to figure out what that would look like.
In October 2019, a friend challenged me to attempt NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Now it’s an international program where writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in the month of November. With my friend’s help, we both reached well over 50,000 words and I ended up with a fun new novel based on the short story I adored. I borrowed the characters from the original story, Death of a Christmas Witch, and killed off a cowboy on Halloween. I kept the witch. She’ll be back.
This book was a lot of fun to write and I hope readers will enjoy the story as much as I have. Audra, Merilee, and the gang will be back!

Excerpt from Drop Dead Cowboy by Diane Bator--Chapter 1

“Wow, Miss Lavinia sure goes all out for Halloween, doesn’t she?” Merilee set a brown paper tray with two take-out cups on the front counter then slipped off her black leather gloves.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, her shop is always ready for Halloween. It’s her favourite day of the year.” I reached for a cup and took a whiff. Stitch’n’Time was the only thing that kept me busy and happy now that the children were on their own and I had nothing left to do at home but clean the house and stare at walls. Not that I wasn’t good at either. “Mmm, nothing like a cup of pumpkin spice tea on a chilly October day.”
Merilee Rutherford, my best friend and partner in our shop Stitch’n’Time shook her head. “Give me coffee or let me sleep.”
“What are you talking about?” I laughed. “You get up at five in the morning to do your work out. You’re half done your laundry before I even get out of bed. You’re the earliest early bird I’ve ever met.”
“Yeah, well, it starts to catch up by mid-week.”
I sniffed my tea once more. “Does Miss Lavinia plan to do palm readings again for the Halloween Festival on Friday?”
Merilee shrugged. “I didn’t go inside. I just noticed all the creepy little voodoo dolls and shrunken heads in her window. What’s creepy is that one of them looks a lot like your husband.”
“There’s a shrunken head that looks like Rex?” I raised my eyebrows. “No wonder I haven’t seen him much lately.”
“No silly.” She tapped my arm. “A voodoo doll. How would she know what he looks like or have a piece of his blue striped shirt? Has he ever even been inside her shop before?”
I straightened a rack filled with embroidery needles and a dozen fancy crane scissors I’d bought online for a steal from another shop going out of business. “Only when I dragged him in to see her that one time. I hoped she could cure his snoring with one of her essential oil blends.”
“Did it work?”
“Nope.” I sighed. “Rex still snores like a chainsaw. The problem is now Drake has started to snore too. It’s like I’m stuck between two race cars revving their engines at the starting line. Some nights, I go to sleep in the guest room. I couldn’t get the dog or Rex to wake up. I should go check out her decorations.”
Merilee chuckled. “Oh, speaking of interesting decorations. Did you happen to see the new one on the bench in front of Miss Lavinia’s shop?”
I frowned. “Did she put something on the bench? I know a few people who won’t be happy about that. Mr. Ossington sits out there and throws breadcrumbs for the pigeons.”
“We have pigeons?” She stared.
“They’re seagulls, but he’s half blind and doesn’t notice. It’s not so bad all summer, but I worry about him in the winter. At least the chickadees and the stray cats keep him amused.”

Like what you read? Check out more!

Click here to download the eBook or order the paperback from your favorite digital publisher. 
About Diane:

Author Diane Bator
A born writer and storyteller, once Diane Bator started writing, she never looked back and is the author of several mystery novels—and series. When she’s not writing, she works in a theatre which may be subjected to immortality in a whole new series. It’s no surprise she’s even trying her hand at writing a play.

Diane Bator

Please leave a comment below to win the drawing for an ebook copy of Diane's new book, Drop Dead Cowboy. The deadline to enter will be Sunday night at 10 pm EDST.

Thanks, Diane!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group #Authortoolbox Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

Why Create a Facebook Group? by J.Q. Rose

Do you have an author page on Facebook? Have you considered creating a Facebook Group Page? I opened my group in January, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle, and I'm enjoying interacting with folks who are interested in telling their life stories. Every author will have a different goal for their group.  I listed below 3 reasons why I created my group.

Why Create a Facebook Group?

3 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group:

1. Mentoring--My book,Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories, is based on my workshops on life storytelling. The best part of the class was always the time when the participants volunteered to share a life story with us. I was amazed at the gamut of topics folks wrote about and how well they presented such emotional and funny pieces to the members; the participants also appreciated the stories which sparked memories from their lives too. Lively conversations followed the readings.  

Writing memories in the journal offers no way to share the stories with a group. So to give that supportive, interactive piece of the class, I created a Facebook group where it is possible to inspire, motivate, teach, spark memories and a place to post their writings, video or audio recording.
The closed group assures privacy and safety for those who wish to contribute. You do not have to buy my book to join the group.

2.  Author Platform--A group based on your fiction or non-fiction book is perfect for your fans. If your book is about gardening or historical romance, your group may be based on gardening or the era that is the backdrop of your story. Members get perks like unveiling the book cover, being the first to read excerpts, deciding or suggesting a character's name, offering opinions through polls, helping you with research.  Use social media to allow people to get to know, like and trust you, the author. You bet they will share about the book and about you. The members will become a "street team" who are happy to shout about you and your book.

3.  Marketing--If you haven't already realized it, being an author means you are operating a business. You are an entrepreneur with a product to sell. You wrote the book and you want folks to have the experience of reading it for entertainment, information, awareness and so many other reasons. If not, why bother to write it? 
Caution: Avoid saying "buy my book, buy my book, buy my book" every day!

Are you a member of a Facebook group? Why? 
If you have created a group, please tell us about it and why you decided to create a FB group. Please share the link below in the comments.

Thank you for visiting.  Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

I am a life storytelling evangelist. 

I want everyone to tell his/her story. 

Your life is important. 

Join the Facebook group and/or pick up the Journal or eBook to learn how to begin.

Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories
by J.Q. Rose

Click here to join the Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle Facebook group. 

Click here to order the paperback, Your Words, Your Life Story so you can begin telling YOUR life story. This book is a great gift for Father's Day!

Watch the Youtube video from self-publishing expert Dale Roberts in his interview with Facebook guru, Scott Jay Marshal II, about creating and growing a Facebook Group.

VIDEO: Grow Your Facebook Group

Photo courtesy of Canva.com
Have a fantastic Father's Day!
From JQ Rose

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage

Celebrating 50 Years!!

On Sunday, June 14th, 2020 we will celebrate our 50th, yes you read it correctly fiftieth wedding anniversary! Ted a.k.a. GT for Gardener Ted, and I have survived living as a married couple for 50 years.

Wait. Wasn't the wedding just yesterday in my home church, Atlanta United Methodist Church, in Atlanta, Illinois? 50 years is a l-o-n-g time.

I remember the weather that day. The wedding ceremony is more of a blur.  Tornadoes swirled through our area, but we were determined to get a tape recorder in place so we could have a keepsake of our wedding. Sounds easy, but as I recall, nothing goes right when you're in a time crunch with a big storm whirling down upon you.

Ted lived four miles away and had to get back home to change into his tux a.k.a. morning suit. However, Mother Nature had other ideas. Torrents of rain and powerful winds greeted us as we opened the church door to leave. We were trapped in the church waiting for a clearing so we could dart out and into our cars to get home and back again before 4:oo pm.

I prayed the storms on our wedding day did not portend a stormy marriage. The good news is the tornadoes did not stop the ceremony or reception in the church basement. As we left on our honeymoon, driving to Champaign, Illinois for our first night as husband and wife, the skies cleared to see a gorgeous sunset through the car's front window. I took this as a promising sign that our life together would be a good one.

 We have weathered many storms for fifty years, but we also had sunny skies and gentle breezes mixed in with those dark days. Isn't that life? We can expect ups and downs. We rejoice through the ups and move on through the downs, knowing we will come out okay, eventually.

June 14, 1970
Okay, I may be prejudiced, but isn't that the cutest guy in this wedding picture? I loved him when I married him, but I love him even more now. It's a mature love, not the rose petals and butterflies kind in our early marriage. Precious love that grows through time.

Okay. I won't get all squishy and teary talking about our marriage. The whole point of this blog post is to explain why I am having a terrible time writing the book dedication for my upcoming memoir, Arranging a Dream. I am dedicating it to Ted. How do I encapsulate 50 years of living into one sentence in the dedication?

Please take a peek at what I have so far, then leave a comment below with any suggestions you have for me. Thank you!!

Dedication to my husband

Interview at Michigan author Donald Levin's website.
This week, I'm visiting talented mystery author Donald Levin, a fellow Michigander who is featuring Indie authors on his website. Click here to discover how I know I am truly "famous."
Summer Readers Circle is back!
We are gearing up for the Summer Readers Circle every fourth Thursday through September. Guest authors will share their books and why they wrote them. You are welcome to interact with the author via the comment section. Go ahead and ask away. And yes! There will be gifts awarded during the series. Please join us.

Summer Readers Circle kicks off June 23

Readers Circle Guest Authors

June 23  Diane Bator
July 28   Reed Stirling
Aug 25  Tricia McGill
Sept 22  Helen Henderson

Sign up below to receive your June edition of the Rose Courier

A Special Edition of The Rose Courier will be delivered to your inbox this Friday by your favorite news gal. Sign up now to get all the news and tidbits from J.Q. Rose!  

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

IWSG Blog Hop: Writers Have Secrets

Hello and welcome to the 
Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop!
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre and Me!! 

Looking forward to hopping around and visiting with you awesome bloggers.

When you stop by here, please leave your blog URL so I can return the favor. The iced tea and chocolate chip cookies are waiting for you on the table on the back deck. Enjoy!

June 3rd question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

I write mysteries with a dead body or two or twenty in the story. Secretly, I hate having to describe the murder scene. I cringe at the idea of actually seeing blood and guts.  But if it makes me gag, then I have done my job well. We want the reader to feel emotion. However, temper the scene so the reviewer isn't repulsed by it and decides to close the book!

Happy IWSG Day!!

New Rom-Com Release for author Ellen Jacobson!

Review by J.Q. Rose
Smitten with Ravioli (Smitten with Travel Romantic Comedy Series #1)
Smitten with Ravioli by Ellen Jacobson

I have enjoyed reading Ellen's Molly McGhee mystery series with all of the quirky characters and crazy situations. Tipping her toes into a rom-com novel delivers the same humor and entertaining read as in her cozy mystery series. Even the title, Smitten with Ravioli, made me laugh! I loved the Italian setting, the reason that made her dump her graduate studies, her cooking class and fellow students, and of course, the guy she fell in love with but didn't want to fall in love with, of all people! But the extreme lying? Hysterical. Grab this one for a true mental escape from reality. I was given a copy of the book by the author and am voluntarily recommending it to you.

BUY LINK: Amazon and major online booksellers

Your reviews help readers to discover books they would like to read and authors to get the word out about their books.

Be in the know! Click the image in the sidebar or click here to sign up to receive the Rose Courier for all the news and giveaways from J.Q. Rose every month. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Travelogue: Follow the Yellow Brick Road Outdoor Exhibit, the Beloved Story of the Wizard of Oz

Hello and welcome! Tired of "staying-in", we broke out and took a drive with my daughter, Sara and family, on Memorial Day which turned out to be my birthday this year. So we had two great reasons to head out to Holland, Michigan, about one hour from our home.
Lighthouse at Holland

Sara wanted to see the famous tulips albeit late in the season. Ben wanted to look at Jeeps. Read no further if you are looking forward to a tour of the car dealerships featuring Jeeps. 

The characters in the Wizard of Oz along the yellow brick road in front of the Herrick Library.

Why would the city of Holland feature the beloved story, The Wizard of Oz, in their downtown area? Because the author of the book, L. Frank Baum, spent summers along the shores of Lake Macatawa in Holland. I wish I could tell you all about him and how some of the folks in his neighborhood can be seen as the characters in the book! I'll save that for another day because we're here to tour through this amazing exhibit.  It's FREE and Open 24 hours every day.

The 10' x12' open book is made of thousands of annuals a living "floral mosaic. I snapped this photo in September 2017 when we visited. On Memorial Day 2020, the book had not been moved from its winter home in the Holland City greenhouse.

Follow the yellow brick road across the road kitty-corner from this display to the amazing bronze sculptures of the cherished characters in the book. Interaction with the characters is encouraged. In fact, one cannot help but pet the lion, hug the scarecrow and tin man, and adore sweet Dorothy and her darling dog.

Sculptor Nick Christenson and his crew at Brodin Studios have made an outstanding exhibit that will make visitors smile and remember their experiences when reading the Wizard of Oz or seeing the movie based on the book.

I hope you will someday be able to visit when you're in the West Michigan area.
This little host greets you as you walk across the street from the park.

See what I mean? You can't resist the scarecrow!

The perfect word to describe Dorothy is precious. So is her lovable companion. Who can tell me the name of her dog? Leave the name in a comment below and I'll send you a surprise!

Sara and I wanted to climb on the lion, but the hot sun made the bronze sculpture very very hot. I bet little kids wouldn't care. His broad back invites you to sit!

The tin man wins for the best grin.

Now the Fighting Tree was scary, just as in the book. But I ended up laughing.
Sunset over Lake Michigan--Photo taken on the shore of Lake Michigan, one of the best places to view a breathtaking sunset.

Click here for my blog post about more places to visit in Holland, Michigan.

Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Cozy mystery
A handsome detective, a shadow man, 
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
Deadly Undertaking is on sale during Smashwords Authors Give Back Event 
through May 31 for $1.20.  
Click here to download it at Smashwords now.

Buy Links: Deadly Undertaking is available at your favorite digital bookseller.

Universal Link for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.

Available in paperback and eBook at Amazon



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from J.Q. Rose in the Rose Courier

Thank you for visiting today!!


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Taking a Break, Happy Memorial Day Weekend, FREE Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

I'm taking a break this week from blogging. I won't be participating in the Author Toolbox Blog Hop this month, but I'll be back next month for sure. Click here to visit the May blog hop participants.
Coming in January 2021

I will be "focusing" on my memoir, Arranging a Dream. Digging deeper into my memory files to bring you a richer and inspiring story. 
Books We Love Publishing
I will be at BWL Publishing Insider Blog on Wednesday, May 20 sharing recipes to cook over the campfire! YUM. Easy to fix during Memorial Day Weekend. Click here to join me.

I have put together a collection of five quirky stories to give you a break from the burden of dealing with so many challenges, frustration, illness and sadness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please download these approximately 1000 word stories which were originally published on this blog for the Storytime Blog Hop.

Entertaining stories in between rain showers during Memorial Day weekend in Michigan!

I've had a lot of fun re-visiting and revising them for you. Sit back, laugh or gasp for a few minutes. You deserve it.
Click here to download the file.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend from J.Q. Rose!

Books by J.Q. Rose
Click here to learn about each one.