Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Book Cover Reveal for Sandra Cox's Shape-Shifter Novel, Mateo's Law, Smashwords Sale

Focused on Story Blog with J.Q. Rose

Hello and Welcome!
Today is an exciting day on the Focused on Story blog. My friend and talented author (and "honorary cuz"--that's a long story), Sandra Cox is revealing the cover for her new release on May 4. 


Take a peek at the cover and the intriguing blurb for Mateo's Law
Pre-order is now available. Check out the links below.
Mateo's Law by Sandra Cox
Back of the book:
A modern-day, shape-shifting sheriff.
He’s the sheriff of a sparsely populated county in Montana. His blood brother and childhood best friend is Chief of Police on the Blackfoot Reservation, but they no longer speak. His deputy is a southern transplant with the body of a high-priced call girl, a voice of honey and a mouth of a trucker. And if that’s not enough, he’s got a secret that would stun those that know him best. Other than that, it’s business as usual for Sheriff Mateo Grey.

About Sandra:
Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.
Author Sandra Cox
Her stories consist of all things western…and more. She is a category bestselling Amazon author, Eppie finalist and Golden Ankh Award winner.

Click here to find Sandra at her blog.
Her twitter handle: Sandra_Cox
Click here for Her Amazon Page.

Click here to preorder Mateo's Law.




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Thanks for hosting me, JQ. You rock!

You're very welcome. Can't wait to read this one, cuz!



GOOD NEWS:

Smashwords has extended its Authors Give Back Event through May 31. 
My publisher, BWL Publishing, has put their books on sale for 60% off. The extended stay-at-home order means you can grab some great reads and enjoy reading them at home.
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q.Rose
 A handsome detective, a shadow man, and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
Deadly Undertaking is on sale now for $2.40 at Smashwords in all formats. 
Click here to download your copy now.

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Before you leave to grab the books, please sign up for the Rose Courier and get all the news about JQ, freebies and fun delivered to you once a month. 
Click on the graphic in the sidebar.

Time Out While Staying In--Click image to download
Time Out While Staying In 
by J.Q. Rose
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FREE: To lift your spirits, escape the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic by downloading  
Time Out While Staying In: A Collection of  5 Quirky Short Stories.

Click here and get immediate access to the stories. 

They are the perfect length for a quick coffee break.








Thursday, April 23, 2020

How to Get Through the Tough Times of the Coronavirus Epidemic, Getting the Garden Ready

Gratitude will help us get through these tough times.

Hello and welcome to a different day of posting on the Focused on Story blog. What else can you expect? These days of slogging through the days of the Coronavirus epidemic has taught me that almost everything in my life is different. But, not this blog! Having my blog to write, Facebook group Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle to share ideas on recording your life story and writing my memoir has kept me sane...well, GT may disagree with that!

I think the monotonous days with nothing to look forward to are piling up and taking their toll on my outlook. I miss getting together with friends (in my case Pegs and Jokers games) and family dinners (cookouts if the weather ever warms up) and having a romantic dinner at a restaurant with my husband. (Wait. Usually, dinners with GT are not exactly romantic--Note: the Driftwood Inn's deck)

I was inspired this morning by blogger Kristie Sigler's post at SALT effect. Her uplifting message of how she has lived through a crisis before, never a pandemic, inspired me to take inventory of my life. Her message is to allow yourself to think grateful thoughts. It's not wrong to find something good to be happy about during this sad and dark time. We need to acknowledge our sorrow and emptiness, but to counteract it with joys and a full heart. Probably easier said than done.

Kristie suggests asking these two questions. 
✦ What can you be grateful for right now, in this moment?
✦ What can you learn from this?

I sat straight up when I read those questions. Those are questions I can hang onto. The answers will bring light into my dark day. 

The answers did help me. They inspired me to create the graphic at the top of the page and send it to my two adult daughters expressing how much I love them and am grateful for them. 

Kristie offers many beautiful inspirational quotes on her page. Search online for more "inspirational quotes on gratitude" but remove the quotation marks. Reading through them uplifted me as well as the Bible verse she shared.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.”

At this moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and sit quietly. Focus on one thing you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be big. (Sipping coffee as I write is one thing I'm grateful for.) Thinking of a person or a time in your life can lift your spirits too.

It's okay. Having that moment will strengthen you to face the rest of your day. And probably make you a happier person to live with 24 hours a day!!

Click here to visit the SALT effect page and read Kristie's entire article.
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VIDEO: Getting the Garden Ready for Spring

GT (Gardener Ted) is grateful the garden is tilled up, thanks to our son-in-law and the greenhouse is up, thanks to our grandson. Even if Mother Nature is not warming up West Michigan, having that garden ready is definitely something that puts a lift in his step.
Getting the garden ready for spring!

Are you ready to plant your garden? Thinking about it? It's not too late!! GT and I put together a guide for you with helpful tips on vegetable gardening. Download it now for 99 cents!

Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Starting Your Garden
by J.Q.Rose and Gardener Ted

5 Stars--A Good Basic Gardening Book "A basic guide to growing your own vegetable garden. If you are a beginner this book can help you get started. From why have a garden to planning, planting, and care, this guide is filled with ideas and suggestions for you to be a successful gardener. Even a seasoned gardener may enjoy this as a refresher course and reap some new ideas." Beth W.

5 Stars-- Great Gardening Book "This is a great little book for gardeners. It's got step by step directions and lots of helpful tips." Sandra C.

5 Stars--Simple to Follow Quick Tips "Love the easy flow and down to earth approach! 
Great tips from tried and true gardening. New gardeners and the more seasoned can find helpful ideas to utilize." Starr R.
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Click the links below to download your copy for 99 cents at major online digital booksellers.

More booksellers link: Apple, Kobo, Nook and more









Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Earth Day Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary, FREE Short Stories


Earth Day Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary
by J.Q.Rose
Earth Day April 22
Image courtesy of pixabay.com by PrettySleepy
Since 1970, April 22 has been designated as Earth Day. This year, Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary with the ongoing goals to stop the destruction of our environment and to preserve our world for future generations. 

The movement brought awareness to saving our climate by stopping factories belching black, toxic smoke into the air, factories dumping toxic waste into our water systems, the unlimited use of pesticides and the destruction of the wilderness and loss of wildlife.

According to the Earth Day site, "Earth Day led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws."

In 2020, citizens from around the world focus on the dire need for us all to take care of our planet.

People today are more environmentally conscious. Schools and families make an effort on this day but also throughout the year to educate children to care for our earth. Even the simplest thing like not littering makes a big difference and is an easy lesson for our kids and for us to learn and choose to do.

Being good examples to kids by turning off lights in a room when not in use, not letting the water faucet run and separating recyclables from trash reinforce the importance of saving our environment from destruction.

Reading eBooks is environmentally friendly. Thousands of books can be stored digitally on e-readers and reading devices, saving trees that otherwise would be cut down for making paper.
Blog post originally published on BWL Publishing Insiders Blog

What are some ways you can help our environment, not only on Earth Day but every day? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.


5 FREE QUIRKY SHORT STORIES FOR YOU!

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.


Time Out While Staying In: FREE--
Five Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose
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. You are not signing up for anything else. This is a gift from me to you.

We will get through this difficult time. I think we'll be surprised at how many things will change for the better as a result.

Hugs from J.Q. Rose

PS--


Click the image in the sidebar or click here to sign up for all the news and giveaways from J.Q. Rose. Thank you.

About J.Q.Rose

J.Q. offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery books. She and her husband live the snowbird life, traveling to Florida in the winter and to Michigan for the summer where she spends time with her family including four grandsons and one granddaughter. Travel, photography, reading and playing pegs and jokers help to keep her out of trouble when she isn't writing fiction and non-fiction.

Click here to connect online with JQ.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Yes You CAN Do Video! Giveaway



#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.
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Yes! You CAN Do Video!

Movie Camera
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 
Hands down, video attracts and keeps your viewers/readers on your page 
longer than just text and even longer than photos. 
Photos used to be the HOT item to get people interested in your page. 
Enter the 21st Century and check out some tools to help you create videos. Use them on your blog, social media pages, emails, newsletters. It's fun!

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Here are FREE tools for you to use to make videos
Microsoft PowerPoint-- This program uses slides. Audio can be added to them to make a wonderful presentation. I have used this program to make movies of our travels and presentations for my Life Storytelling Workshops. 
ZOOM  
LOOM --a Chrome Extension
Vidyard --a Chrome Extension
StreamYard --a Chrome Extension
 First, use the Chrome browser. Click here to take you to the Google Chrome Extension Store. Search Vidyard in the box, then click add to Chrome.
Facebook Live 
Video camera/smartphone camera/webcam on a laptop--Definitely not free, but if you have a smartphone, make use of the video camera. You can have someone video you or do it yourself by setting up the video camera or smartphone on a tripod or sit back and relax in front of your webcam on your laptop. 
🎥But, you ask, how do I learn how to use all these tools? The answer is to watch YouTube VIDEOS on each one.!!! Of course. Play around with them. I suggest you start by using FB Live or YouTube Live. 

🎥If you don't want to be on camera, then make a slide show using PowerPoint and narrate the slides as if you were presenting to an audience. 

click here🎥I collected all these possibilities for making videos to encourage people to tell their life stories via video because many folks are not writers. You can video yourself or your grandma to tell her story. Just think what a precious gift that could be for the family. These video tools are listed in Chapter 2--Not a Writer? Not a Problem in Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories. If you need some help sparking memories, how to organize your story and/or how to publish it, click here.
A GIFT FOR YOU
I 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.
Time Out While Staying In: FREE--
Five Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose

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

We will get through this difficult time. I think we'll be surprised at how many things will change for the better as a result.

Hugs from J.Q. Rose

PS--

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.

VIDEO: Speaking of video, here is one I narrated using PowerPoint slides. The video shares our visit to Nova Scotia, Canada.
Nova Scotia Adventure Part One 
with Ted and Janet

Click here for Nova Scotia Adventure Part 2 and more videos on my YouTube Channel.

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




Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Taking a Break, FREE Collection of Quirky Short Stories

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!



I'm taking a break this week from blogging. I'm still focused on story though. I'm working on my memoir, Arranging a Dream, which will be released in June by BWL Publishing.

Dream BIG!!
I also 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.

Time Out While Staying In: FREE--
Five Quirky Short Stories by J.Q. Rose
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.

We will get through this difficult time. I think we'll be surprised at how many things will change for the better as a result.

Hugs from J.Q. Rose

PS--

The April edition of the Rose Courier will be delivered a bit late this month, but it will be in your inbox. Click the image in the sidebar or click here to sign up for all the news and giveaways from J.Q. Rose. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

IWSG Blog Hop: COVID 19 Reveals Our Humanity

Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop!
Always on the first Wednesday of the month.
Happy IWSG Day and Happy April!! 
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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.
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COVID 19 Brings Out Our Humanity

Heart
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

I have faith we will get through these hard times. Remember that the “worst thing is never the last thing.” Surely, we will glean something good from this harrowing experience. Here are a few examples of people helping people now.
  • Stories of people helping people are already in the news--neighbors bonding together every night to dance in the street while keeping their social distance,
  • schools and organizations preparing and delivering food to those in need 
  • teachers keeping in touch with their students in many creative ways, 
  • our heroes in the medical field and first responders fighting to save lives, 
  • wonders of wonders our Congress working together, 
  • and publishers, authors and distributors giving away or discounting books and digital products to help readers pass the time while staying home.
 In these dark days, our humanity shines to reinforce our faith in each other. 

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When you're stuck in your house, every monotonous day melts into another day with no plans to see your friends and family or even go out for dinner. I decided to help folks escape from the bad news and sadness. I collected five of my quirky short stories written for the quarterly Storytime blog hop spearheaded by Juneta Key. I enjoyed re-visiting and revising the stories and saving them into a PDF of about 5000 words. 
I plan to give away the PDF's using mailerlite, but I didn't figure out how to do it, yet, in time for the blog hop. I will have it done in time for the Rose Courier delivery late next week though! I also plan to put the link on the blog. You're invited to come back and download it. 
***Do you put the link in Onedrive or Dropbox or Google for readers to download it? If you have some ideas, I'd appreciate them. 
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Stay well and safe!
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