Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Soundcloud to Record Your Blog, #AuthorToolboxBlogHop



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.

Use Soundcloud to Record Your Blog Posts

All the blogging experts agree video is the "in" thing to have on your blog to keep viewers on your page. Podcasts are certainly popular too. Part of the reason is people need a break from screen time. Another reason is a lot of time is spent waiting for the kids while they practice soccer, football, sports. How about those long lines waiting to vote??? Don't forget all the lengthy times you have been in the doctor/dentist's office and twiddled your thumbs while stuck in traffic. Entertaining podcasts make the time pass more quickly while waiting.

Today you can add a tool to your toolbox for recording your blog and sharing it. You don't even have to be a podcaster to do it. This may help garner more eyes (or ears in this case) on your blog posts. (Podcasters use this tool too.)

I experimented using Soundcloud to record my blog. The blog is written on the page with photos and links as usual, but before the actual post, I share a link to the recorded blog post for those who prefer to listen to it perhaps due to sight problems or, again, they are waiting in their car for their kids, etc.

Click the link below to listen to a recording of one of my blogs.

Pink Flamingo Day Blog Post Recording

Flamingos on the first book cover of Sunshine Boulevard, a novella

The recording is about a rarely celebrated holiday, Pink Flamingo Day. You'll discover how it came about and why I love flamingos in this 3-minute recording made with Soundcloud.

Click here to listen. 

Check out Youtube for several videos on how to make your recordings. You can also use these in emails, newsletters and social media. There is a learning curve, but it's worth it especially if you don't want to appear on camera. 

Click here to check out this video about how to record using Soundcloud.

Conclusion: I did several recordings of my blog posts with spotty results. One received 25 views, while others only 3 or less! It's all about content, just like everything else. If you have the content and keywords to make readers aware of your blog, then you will have success.

I confess recording is time-consuming. I have not used Soundcloud for a few years, yes, years, but after writing this post, I am inspired to try it again....once I get a couple of projects out of the way.
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed?
Investigating mysterious murders?
These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.

NO alligators! (Listen to the recording to find out about this comment. LOL)

BWL Publishing released Sunshine Boulevard, but it was a revised and expanded edition. Cover artist Michele Lee came up with a book cover that portrays the terror and mystery in the new novel, Terror on  Sunshine Boulevard, a scary read for Halloween.

Click here
to download this scary read, perfect for this month, at your favorite digital bookseller.

Do you listen to podcasts? Want to share your favorites? Do you record your blog or have you ever thought of doing so? Please leave a comment. I look forward to reading your answers.

Thanks for visiting.  Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Rose Courier will be delivered this Friday--Lots of news!!


The Rose Courier October 2020

Hi Gang, I'm on the road again to Florida. Taking some time off, but I wanted to remind you that the Rose Courier will be going out on Friday morning. I hope you're signed up to get the monthly edition in your inbox. There's LOTS of news in it this month. 

There's still time to get your name in and receive the newsletter. Click here to sign up.

🌞I'll be back online next week, probably tanned and gorgeous thanks to sunny Florida! 🌞

 Not! LOL


This is more like me in the picture below, but perfect for Halloween!!!

JQ Rose, the Witch--it's a costume!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop: Let's Compare a Working Writer to a Hobbyist


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.

Question of the Month

Question of the month

October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?
When I think of the term working writer, I believe it means writing is the job of making an income to feed the family and pay the bills. I am not in that category. 
I am a hybrid author of fiction and non-fiction books and a journalist with articles in magazines, newspapers and online magazines). So I don't believe I am an aspiring author. 

That leaves hobbyist, but that sounds like I'm not serious about writing. I am. I love the craft of writing and I try to offer readers a good experience when reading my stories or articles. I want them engaged, informed, entertained and thinking about a message I may have snuck in there. Alright, I think all writers have a message for readers, but sometimes are not aware until the book is written that they really did have a message.

Perhaps another way to define a hobbyist is that I spend more money on writing than I do on making money from my writing. I think everyone knows hobbies are expensive--look at what you need for golfing, sewing, running, baking, cars. They all cost money. This defines me! 
Musing about what to write.
One more way to define hobbyist is a life-long learner. As writers, we learn something new just about every day--new words, new programs, new updates to computers, new friends, new ways to market, social media opportunities, etc. I bet you could add a lot to this list too of all the new things you have added to your writing journey. It sure keeps life interesting to have writing as a hobby, aspiring author, or a working writer!
 Stay-Up-To-Date with J.Q. Rose--articles, news, prizes, sneak peeks, guest authors and books.
Click here to get the October issue of the Rose Courier delivered to your inbox once a month.
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Thank you for stopping here at the Focused on Story Blog with JQ Rose.
Click here to visit more participating bloggers!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Fright in the Night, a Scary Read for October! #MFRWHooks


Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. I'm sharing my scary novel, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. It's the perfect read for this frightul time of year, Halloween!

Mystery, horror

Back of the Book: Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders Not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

Excerpt: Chapter Four, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

Meet Jingles, Mr.Tweeble's Dog

Doris set aside her cereal bowl on the end table. She pulled her frail body from the deep seat ready to make a phone call to Ralph Tweeble to complain about the dog. Of course, once she was up, the pet quit yapping. She looked out the window to scan Ralph’s yard to see if he had let the dog out into the backyard, but the motion light wasn’t on. She cocked her good ear toward his house and listened. Ah, silence from next door. Maybe now she could watch her movie without that annoying barking.

Doris picked up her cereal bowl and returned to the kitchen to fill it with more raisin bran and milk. She settled down in front of the maple TV console. As she brought a spoonful of her midnight snack to her lips, the terrier next door began raising the roof with his howls and yelps again.

She had enough of that damn dog. She wrestled herself up from the recliner as fast as her stiff body would allow and spied out the window. She stood mesmerized by a dazzling yellow light blazing through Old Man Tweeble’s house. Momentarily blinded by the amazing brightness, she scrambled out to her screened-in porch to get a better view and caught a whiff of the most putrid odor she had ever smelled in her seventy-nine years on this earth.

Doris moved as quickly as her legs tolerated to call 911. Where was that dad-burned phone? Whoever thought of cordless phones anyway? When there were phones hooked up to the wall with a cord on the handset, no one ever missed a call because they couldn’t find the damn thing. She was exasperated, but she was more scared the house next door might explode into flames if she didn’t call right away.

Doris checked the kitchen table, the couch cushions and the nightstand by the bed for the phone. Finally, she found it where it should be…on the desk in the charger. She grabbed it and called 911.

“Come quick! There was a flash of bright light next door. Something’s on fire!” Doris clutched her chest, unable to breathe. “Hurry!” Everything turned black as she passed out and fell to the floor, the phone clattering down next to her.

* * *

 In that early morning, the first responders discovered two bodies in their respective homes on Sunshine Boulevard—Mr. Ralph Tweeble and Mrs. Doris Hadley. The aura of death and mystery overshadowed the dazzling sunny day.

* * *

Click here to download your digital copy of Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose from your favorite online bookstore.

Click here to order your paperback copy.

 Stay-Up-To-Date with J.Q. Rose--articles, news, prizes, sneak peeks, authors and books.
Click here to get the Rose Courier delivered to your inbox once a month.
* * *
Thank you for stopping by. Please join in the fun by clicking below to visit more authors and discover entertaining books for your fall reading!


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Readers Circle: Helen Henderson's Windmaster Legacy

Readers Circle Guest Helen Henderson

 Hello and welcome to the Readers Circle. Sadly, summer is just a memory now, so no longer the Summer Readers Circle. I have had a wonderful time hosting guest authors this summer and giving away prizes. 

Talented author Helen Henderson finishes up this season's round of Readers Circle get-togethers. She explains why she wrote her book and shares an excerpt from the books to hook you on that story. Leave a comment below to enter the drawing for the eBook, romance fantasy novel, Windmaster Legacy, so be sure to leave a comment below! The deadline to enter is Sunday, September 27 at 9:00 PM EDST.

Welcome, Helen!

Windmaster Legacy by Helen Henderson
romance fantasy
Choose between magic, survival, or the life of a loved one.

 Why Helen Wrote Windmaster Legacy by Helen Henderson

Windmaster Legacy is the second book set in the world of Windmaster. The series began as a short story. The story of the archmage Dal and Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, haunted me enough that I again put pen to paper. The short story served as the synopsis. Add in some storyboarding, a few images for inspiration and the romance fantasy, Windmaster, came into being. I didn’t want to leave the world of the falaire, and even though I don’t like the deep blue, I liked hanging out with mages and stayed with them.

Since Windmaster did not end on a cliff-hanger, imagination had to work overtime to come up with another story to tell. Eventually, Lord Dal and Captain Ellspeth told of their plans to journey to his mother’s homeland. A documentary on the Australian outback and a picture of Uluru (also known as Ayer’s Rock) provided the setting. While I know I will never visit Australia in person, the research for and writing of Windmaster Legacy allowed me to visit there vicariously.

A series is more than two books, and while there is already a third novel set in the world of Windmaster, there is another one that deserves a mention. Coming October 2020, Windmaster Golem covers the story of the archmage and his lady and takes it to the next generation.

Excerpt: A short excerpt from Windmaster Legacy that introduces the reader to Lord Dal, on the occasion of his formal petition for a handfasting to Ellspeth.

 A man’s ringing tones overshadowed whatever else Mirrim intended to say. “I request permission to speak to the council of the House of Cszabo.”

 A sigh of relief escaped Ellspeth at the recognition of Dal’s voice. She turned and saw him standing in the open doorway of the council chamber. For a moment his eyes, filled with pride, rested on her. Before she took a step, the minute shake of his head squashed her urge to rush to his side. What is going on? Dal’s here before my guild council…in ceremonial garb.

 He’s still the dockworker you thought he was at your first meeting, even though he is in formal wear. How could Dal be there and not say anything? A question ringed with anger rushed forward. How long has that bilge rat been standing there?

 Dal’s smile flashed.

Long enough to share in your joy. Within a heartbeat, that smile disappeared. Even without the difference in his clothing, Ellspeth could tell the dockworker had been replaced by the son of a chieftain. A suspicion as to why Dal had come solidified when Fraunces moved to stand at the wizard’s left, his plain clothes a striking contrast to Dal’s embroidered, fur-trimmed leather tunic. Another old friend, Timmel, the head of the Bard Guild, was in the doorway at Dal’s other side. When Fourth Seat waved the trio forward, Ellspeth wondered how many of the council were in on whatever Dal had planned. They accorded a first-time visitor full courtesies.

 With a stern glare, Mirrim quieted the room. “I have been in negotiations with Lady Eilidh, chieftain of Clan Daimh, ruler of three holds in the Mtwan Mountains. On behalf of her son, Dal, Archmage of the World, member of the ruling council of wizards, and former lieutenant of Telarim the Red, Lady Eilidh has petitioned a handfasting between Lord Dal and my daughter, Ellspeth.”

 Fear mixed with questions swirled in Ellspeth’s mind. Why is my mother doing this in public? What if the council denies the request? She steeled herself to bear the council’s ruling. Formal ceremony or not, approval of the council or not—Dal is yours for as long as you both shall live.

Click on the links to download Windmaster Legacy from your favorite online bookseller. Amazon  Kobo  additional ebook sellers

UPDATE: Helen Just found out that Windmaster Golem, the next book in the tale of Ellspeth and Dal, is being released on October 10th! 

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About Helen:

Although the author of several local histories, and numerous articles on the topics of American and military history, antiques and collectibles, my first love is fiction.

My work in the museum and history fields enables a special insight into creating fantasy worlds. The descendent of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer, my writing reflects the contrasts of my heritage as well as that of my Gemini sign. My stories cross genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romance fantasy (or if you prefer more romance with your action, fantasy romance), I authored the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. I invite you to join me join on travels through the stars or among fantasy worlds of the imagination. Happy Reading!


 Connect online with Helen:

Helen's Website 

BooksWeLove Publishing Author Page  

Amazon Author Page  




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Your Words, Your Life Story: A Guide for Sharing Memories

You can write your story.
How many times have I preached to you on this blog to write your story? Your life story? I don't mean the overwhelming task of writing about your whole life from the time you were born to the present. Your life story is made up of lots of stories. I bet you can think of one right now that you tell around the family dinner table. Doesn't it always get a laugh or spark more tales of comforting memories? That's where you start writing--the familiar stories of your life.

Why? Look at the image below for reasons why you should share your story with family and friends and perhaps, publish it for the whole world to read!

Four reasons to tell your story.

I began leading workshops on writing life stories in 2003.  In the chapters in this eBook I share all that I have learned while presenting the lessons to participants.  The exercises and writing prompts will spark your memories. 

Begin today writing down your experiences during this COVID crisis. Yes, you are an eyewitness to history. Let future generations hear the real story of the 2020 pandemic. Don't let the media spin what they want people to know. 

If you are not a writer, in the book I suggest websites to help you use video and audio to tell your stories.

Remembering the good old days makes the winter fly by. Grab this book and get started. When you're finished, please leave a short review on your bookseller's page so readers will find this guide to help them tell their stories. Thank you.

My Facebook group, Your Life Story and Memoir Circle, is another way of helping you along the path to writing your story. Click here to join the group.

Your friendly Lifestorytelling Evangelist,
JQ Rose

Click here to download the guide now at your favorite online bookseller.

Click here for the paperback version which includes a journal to record the exercises in the eBook and to jot down memories. 
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Please leave a comment below and you will be entered in the drawing to win.

Wishing you a Happy Fall Season!!



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Go, Go, Grammarly for Editing Your Writing, #AuthorToolboxBlogHop



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.

Go, Go, Grammarly for Editing Your Writing by J.Q. Rose

One of my most favorite tools I keep in my Author Toolbox is Grammarly, an online spelling and grammar checker. I only use the free version, but the program always tells me how many advanced issues I am missing because I am not a premium member. So I have been considering joining the premium program since I am editing a nonfiction book for girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women and my memoir, Arranging a Dream.

Grammarly does a fine job of finding typos, misspelled words and punctuation errors. That's what I really need, but the premium program can help find awkward sentences, a wrong word by reading the context of the sentence e.g. there or they're and I bet dangling participles too--whatever that is! I imagine many writerly concerns such as tautology can be pointed out by the AI bot. 

When I am tired and I have read a chapter over and over and over, I can get into Grammarly and it will underline even more words that I missed. I feel more at ease about the editing after using this inhuman tool.

I am looking into more free tools for grammar checking, such as Pro-Writing Aid, and will report on them for you next month.

Below is part of the weekly writing update from Grammarly. (Ha, I find it interesting that the program underlined grammarly as an error when that is its logo spelling without the capital G!) I like the Tone section of the report especially when I'm writing a book for 10-13-year-old girls. I don't want it to be formal sounding.

Take a peek to learn about grammarly besides just the grammar corrections.

Your Weekly Writing Update
Check out the big vocabulary on you! You used more unique words than 92% of Grammarly users. Keep it up!
44 weeks
Next Achievement
See all achievements 
You were more productive than
92% of Grammarly users.
words checked
AUG 2330SEP 0613
You were more accurate than
55% of Grammarly users.
alerts shown
AUG 2330SEP 0613
You used more unique words than
92% of Grammarly users.
unique words used
AUG 2330SEP 0613
Some of the tones that were detected in your writing last week:

What is your process for proofreading your writing? Please leave a comment below.
 Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope you'll visit more bloggers and pick up tips and inspiration along the hop. 
Click here to visit blog hop participants.

Sign up for The Rose Courier
Click here to get the updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, newsworthy events, giveaways. Sign up now to receive your copy at the end of this week. Delivered to your inbox once a month.   
Thank you!!

September issue of the Rose Courier