A-R International: Mary Smith

Another indie author worth checking out…

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Mary Smith
Authors-Readers International

I was born on Islay. My family moved to the mainland when I was seven and I grew up in Castle Douglas in south west Scotland.

I worked for ten years with Oxfam in Lancashire, fundraising and campaigning on development issues. The next ten years were spent first in Pakistan, then Afghanistan, where I worked for a small health organisation primarily concerned with leprosy and mother and childcare. My experiences living in those countries inform much of my writing.

I returned to Castle Douglas when my son was five years old so he could have somewhere to put down his own roots.

I have always written. As a child I wrote adventure stories in my own books made from wallpaper off-cuts and as a teenager I wrote very bad love poetry. For most of my life I’ve kept a journal. While still working in Afghanistan I…

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Another Sad Chapter in the Story of Mankind

Did you know that Charles Manson co-wrote a book containing his “true confessions”? It’s true – it’s available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also recorded an album. Actually he is credited with many records – the last of which (The Lost Vacaville Tapes) was released in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you also know that the Unabomber’s Manifesto is available on Amazon for $9.95?

There are also books written by John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz and quite a few other notorious killers.

 

I’m sure the list of books written by the worst members of society is surprisingly long, which is a little disconcerting. Not exactly the finest in American Literature, but when it comes to art, whether the written word, recorded music or any other medium, one man’s art is another man’s trash – and vice-versa.

Would it be fair to lump Manson, Gacy and Berkowitz in the same category as Mark Twain, Harper Lee and J. D. Salinger (each of whom has had attempts made to ban their books from school curriculums).

Who is to say which books are good or which ones are bad?

Nobody.

That’s who.

Which brings me to the inspiration behind today’s rant.

This story;

 

https://pen.org/press-release/proposed-book-banning-bill-in-missouri-could-imprison-librarians/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-pug&fbclid=IwAR0uEnZHDx67lBmsXxVZhe72LxW8T1-d6Apdap80JwZwXiarwOPV8PDAoC8

 

This is the third time I’ve blogged about censorship in one form or another – once here and once here –  and it really pisses me off.

Is it just me, or does the concept of banning books from a public library bring with it a bit of deja-vu?

Trying to legislate morality is like trying to prevent your car from breaking down by only driving it on “the good roads.”

It just doesn’t work that way.

I am not an expert in sociology, but it seems to me that banning books only creates a “forbidden fruit” mentality.

This whole affair reminds of the song Harper Valley PTA (Jeannie C. Riley 1968) – where a select group of hypocrites makes it their mission in life to preach about character, morals and integrity.

Does anybody, beside me, see the inherent problem there?

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Time for Another Free Book!

 It’s been a while since I gave away a book – and because a reader left a very nice review of Eyewitness Blues on Amazon today let’s give that one away!

First things first…here is the review:

 

As any author (independent or otherwise) will tell you – getting a nice review is (in my best Rhode Island vernacular) wicked awesome! It’s arguably why we write…it’s at least one of the top reasons. I wish I could personally thank each and every person who leaves a review, but Amazon keeps the reviewer’s identity private. So this is my way of saying thank you!

About Eyewitness Blues…I remember the moment I came up with the “what if” for the story;

The owner of a local pizza parlor had been arrested for assault after attacking a customer who tried to return a calzone. Come to find out – said pizza parlor owner was living here as part of the witness protection program (from New Jersey I believe). Here is a local news story from the incident.

Oddly enough – after the incident made the news he disappeared.

There was lots of speculation around the water cooler about where he had “disappeared to” – maybe the feds had relocated him, or maybe his “friends” from Jersey had paid him a visit.

I never found out, but while talking about it to a co-worker one day I thought; What if there was a guy who was convinced that the only way to escape his crappy life was the witness protection program. The only problem being…he hasn’t witnessed anything.

That was all it took!

Please download your FREE copy of Eyewitness Blues. If you’ve already read it please pass this along to somebody who might enjoy it. You are my best marketing representative!

The giveaway begins at midnight Tuesday, January 14 and runs until midnight Sunday, January 19.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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A-R International: Susan M. Toy

Here is the woman who routinely helps other authors…

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

This promotion post is dedicated to the memory of my sister, Betty Bridgman, a avid reader all her life, an enthusiastic supporter of my writing and publishing career, and one of my biggest fans.

Susan M. Toy
Authors-Readers International

Photo credit: Monique de St-Croix

I have been a bookseller, an award-winning publishing sales representative, a literacy teacher, and a promoter of fellow authors and their books through my company, Alberta Books Canada. I am also an author and publisher, under my imprints, IslandCatEditions and IslandShorts. Through Alberta Books Canada, I represented authors directly, helping them find promotion for themselves and their books, seeking out new readers, and assisting them in making wise career decisions.

I championed Alberta authors in particular, singing their praises throughout the province and online to the rest of the world, and displayed books for authors and publishers at Alberta library conferences. I continue…

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A-R International: Tim Baker

Author Susan Toy constantly goes above and beyond in her promotion of indie authors. Visit her blog and check some of the other fine authors she has featured.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Tim Baker
Authors-Readers International


Let me begin by saying I hate writing bios about myself. I’ve had to do it a few times since I became an author, and it doesn’t get any easier.

It would be nice if I had somebody else to write it for me, but sadly I can’t afford such luxuries yet. I suppose I could have written it in the third person, talking about myself as if I were not me…but I am me so I just couldn’t do it.

Anyway, I was born and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island. I’m old enough to remember Get Smart, The Flintstones and Hogan’s Heroes when they were on in prime-time. I moved to Palm Coast, Florida in 2006 and I love it here. Before I moved, my older brother suggested I visit Florida in August to make sure I could handle the heat. I told him…

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2019 Year in Review

 

…and just like that we are welcoming another new year.

The list of my writing accomplishments in 2019 is a very short one – consisting of four or five blog posts and a couple of thousand words on my work-in-progress. For the non-writers in the audience a couple-thousand words is usually considered a moderately productive weekend – not a year.

2019 now stands as only the second calendar year since Living the Dream was released in 2009 in which I did not release a new book. The last time was 2017 – but I made up for it by releasing two books in 2018 (24 Minutes and Doomed to Repeat) – a feat which I am going to try to match in 2020.

So despite not releasing a book – 2019 was still a very good (nearly flawless) year for me.

The one downer of the year came in late March when I had to say goodbye to my longtime buddy Philbert.

I rescued Phil when he was only 8 or 9 weeks old and he was with me for 16 ½ years before succumbing to liver failure.

Other than that brief blip of sadness – 2019 was the year when, after thirteen years in Florida, I finally purchased a home of my own! It’s a modest place, but it’s in a beautiful area and it suits my needs perfectly. It is indeed my home.

My previous living arrangements ended in January, followed by a few weeks of homelessness where I stayed with a friend before moving into the new place in mid-February.

I had begun work on my next novel (tentatively called Rising Tide) in August of 2018. Progress was moving nicely until the whole moving thing got in the way – bringing production to a halt for a few months while I got settled.

Once I resumed writing in May I still hadn’t developed a routine so the word count wasn’t exactly soaring and Rising Tide hovered at the point of being about two-thirds complete until last weekend (I know…SLACKER!).

Last weekend I finally gave myself the kick in the butt I usually use on procrastinating writer friends who shall remain nameless.

In two days I matched the total word count of the previous four months!

I still have a long way to go – as I said the book is only about two-thirds complete – but I’m finally back in the groove!

The best part is that even though I didn’t do a lot of writing in 2019, I did come up with two really good (at least I think they’re really good) story ideas. Thus my biggest challenge of 2020 will be deciding which one to work on first!

I hope your 2019 was more productive than mine and I hope your 2020 is the best year ever!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Time for Another FREE Book!

Do you like a good action/suspense story?

Do you like a little historical fiction?

Do you like humor?

Do you like FREE stuff?

Do you like Ike?

Do you like pie?

If you answered yes to any of these questions I have good news for you…

From August 15 – 19 my most recent novel Doomed to Repeat is FREE!!

 

…actually – the last question has nothing to do with anything, but who doesn’t like pie?

 

 

Doomed to Repeat, my 11th novel, was released in November of 2018 and has been highly praised!

The story begins in a top-secret Nazi bunker during World War II, but soon lands in modern day Flagler Beach where three men wash ashore – two with amnesia, one dead.  Ike (our hero) tries to help the survivors, but when the dead body is discovered, a routine autopsy results in an international incident. Now Ike has to figure out why the FBI, the KGB and a racist politician are all after his new friends.

It’s a fast and fascinating read, the ending of which may leave you with more questions than answers…

Get Doomed to Repeat FREE from August 15th thru the 19th!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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