Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Without the Veil Between


Without the Veil Between catches both the triumph and the tragedy of Anne's short but quietly courageous and determined life. This book gives us Anne. Not Anne, the 'less gifted' sister of Charlotte and Emily, nor the Anne who 'also wrote two novels', but Anne herself, courageous, committeed, daring and fiercely individual: a writer of remarkable insight, prescience and moral courage whose work can still astonish us today. ~Deborah Bennison, Bennison Books What Denton has achieved is a portrait placed in a time very different from the jangling present, but that resonates in a way that suspends years and centuries .... ~Thomas Davis, author of The Weirding Storm ... meticulous, poetic, luminous, and powerful ... I can't think of anyone better suited to bring us into the world of the sensitive, creative, and quietly courageous Anne. ~Mary Clark, Author of Tally, an Intuitive Life, Miami Morning, and Racing the Sun



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Christmas Carol in Maine


A Christmas Carol in Maine is a holiday message to help fight teen drug use. Set in contemporary Hallowell, Maine, this retelling of the Dickens classic focuses on the issues that affect today's teens including drug and alcohol abuse and teen suicide. In place of old Scrooge there is 16-year-old TJ. Having recently lost his father in Iraq, TJ turns to drugs in an effort to cope with the pressures of modern society. Returning from the dead like Jacob Marley in the original story, TJ's father informs his son of the pending visitations of three spirits. Not sure if his father's image is merely drug induced, TJ is about to have a Christmas Eve that may change his current journey down a path of self-destruction. The message is ideally suited for middle and high school aged teens and especially their families. "A Maine Christmas Carol is a moving replay of the Christmas classic. It comes to life in its portrayal of the character of TJ, a realistic portrait of a disenfranchised youth. He struggles to deal with the loss of his father and fears loving his family in case he loses them also. By becoming totally self-absorbed he only has to think about himself, by putting down others he maintains his wall of uncaring. The author, Philip Harris, has managed to create a sympathetic, understandable character even as TJ scares the elderly and young children alike." ~Barb Radmore, Editor, FRONT STREET REVIEWS


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Friends Incarnate


Gable, though no Don Juan, is lover incarnate in age of baby-boomers. He is master of his own fate, but also a restless spirit haunted by the demons of his own psyche. His girlfriend Ethel gets married to his best friend Fabian, and thus begins the journey of his sinful passion and glorious madness. Remaining true to his love lost, he wades through the waters of a loveless marriage, then divorce, and finally into the furnace of adultery with his brother’s wife. He tumbles down the rungs of depravity, clings to Ethel in his thoughts as one devotee to his patron saint. His sister commits suicide, his brother dies, and so does his friend Fabian, leaving open the gates of paradise for Gable and Ethel as Friends Incarnate. The first part of Gable’s own villanelle sums up his mood of caprice and madness. “Let me sleep in peace, wake me up on judgment day.”


About the Author

Farzana Moon is a poet, historian and a playwright. Writes Sufi poetry, historical, biographical accounts of the Moghul emperors and plays based on stories from religion and folklore. Her published works in religion and spirituality are: Irem of the Crimson Desert; Sufis and Mystics of the World; Prophet Muhammad: The First Sufi of Islam; No Islam But Islam; Sharia Exposed. Published works in the sequels of the Moghul emperors are: Babur, The First Moghul In India; The Moghul Exile; Divine Akbar and Holy India; The Moghul Hedonist: Glorious Taj and Beloved Immortal; The Moghul Saint of Insanity; Poet Emperor of the Last of the Moghuls: Bahadur Shah Zafar. Another of her published book in history is about the partition of India and Pakistan, Holocaust of the East. Her play Osama The Demented had a staged reading in Stockholm. Another of her play, Russian Roulette, is being considered for production. Her book, The American Queen, about the wife of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Ora Ray Baker who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA is being considered for publication.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Saving Boone: Legend of the Half-White Son

New Release!

In 1853 young Boone Tyler is thrust alone into the rapidly changing and dangerous environment west of the Mississippi. Was his white mother killed by his Kiowa father? His mother refused to let Kae-Gon into Boone’s life, but he told Lynelle he’d come for Boone when he was twelve. She swore she’d rather kill Kae-Gon than see Boone live in a world under constant threat. She made Boone swear to stay white, even taught him Shakespeare to help center him in her world in eastern Kansas. After her death, Boone seeks out his grandfather, an army general, to help him kill his father. He quickly learns that many in the white world only see him as Indian. On his adventures alone in the wilds of the western territories, Boone is often saved by the mysterious voice in his head that he thinks is his dead twin brother. Sam’s voice, and the symbols he becomes obsessed with, remind him that he’s more than just a half-white son and to learn more of his father’s world before killing him. Events keep tangling with Boone’s desire for revenge for Lynelle’s death, including a wife, a cattle drive, thieves, Civil War, and people who continue to see him as Kiowa, not white. By 1874 he comes to understand the meaning of being “half-breed,” but is Sam’s voice enough to save their father’s life?

Buy on Amazon:


Tuesday, August 8, 2017



Authored by Margaret Panofsky

Sequoyah Morgan Hummingbird hates his name, his orphaned childhood in a Cherokee residential school, and just about everything else about himself. And he's different, living on the edge of reality where sharing thoughts is as natural as breathing. Even worse, the world's two oddest villains, the Moon People, orbit high above the earth in a small satellite where they manipulate him into doing their bidding. Why? They've seen World War III and humankind's fiery end. Soon Sequoyah hits rock bottom-but there are others like him who can help. In this epic tale of self-discovery, Sequoyah joins three families to sweep across continents and millennia. Serious questions about war and racism lie beneath the surface of this thought-provoking, attention-grabbing story, written with humor, satire, sensuality, and pathos.

"The Last Shade Tree takes readers on an enlightening journey across time and around the world. The profound narrative, expressive writing, and wholly original concept are sure to intrigue and please a vast audience." ~Alex Mcle

About the author:
Margaret Panofsky grew up surrounded by Northern California's live oak trees and golden wild-oat grass, but abandoned what's left of that idyllic beauty to live in New York City. She is a musician who plays the viola da gamba and is founder and director of New York University's The Teares of the Muses, a consort of viols. After years of playing Renaissance and Baroque music, she believes that her first novel has a definite musical lilt. Visit: www.lastshadetree.com 

Monday, August 7, 2017



Authored by Darbie Andrews

Fifteen-year-old Clarissa Cruz must cope with the disturbing behavior of a mother who pursues male compansionship at any cost. Chaos at home leads Clarissa into touble at school, with her stepfather, and with the law. She does a stint in Juvenile Hall, watches her brother Miguel get taken into custody by Child Protective Services, and navigates the twists and turns of first love. And if that isn't enough, shocking secrets are revealed as Clarissa tries to contact her biological father in time to invite him to her QuinceaƱera.

 About the author:
Darbie Andrews is a single parent of two, a bilingual high school teacher, Zumba instructor, and teen counselor in northern California. Her publication credits include Chicken Soup for the Soul - Curvy and Confident. Darbie loves working with youth and creating innovative ways to reach them.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Over the years, we’ve run into a few … ahem … interesting misconceptions about what a writer can and cannot do in certain points of view (POV) narration. What follows is just a peek at the tip of the iceberg, as it were.

First person POV is obvious.  “I” (protagonist) tells the story.  Everything is shown/told by “I”.  It’s a tricky one to do well, although there are writers who have it mastered (Jeff Gephart’s Accidental Adulthood and Amy Krout-Horn’s My Father’s Blood spring immediately to mind for me).
Second person POV—“you”—is rarely used, because it’s almost impossible to do well.  And, as a reader, I dislike being talked to.

What we see most often as narrative style is Third Person POV.  The narrator relates the facts, tells the story.  

In Third Person Objective POV, the narrator has access to nobody’s thoughts.  In Third Person Limited POV, the narrator has access to one person’s thoughts at a time.  In Third Person Omniscient POV, everybody’s thoughts are available all the time, which allows for a great deal of flexibility in narration. This is the most common POV we see in submissions.

We have also been exposed to some misconceptions as to what’s correct in OPOV.  

In OPOV, the narration can say:  John thought it was a bad idea, but he didn’t know why.  The narration cannot say: Why did John think it was a bad idea?  The Third Person does not get to have emotions (cannot say Oh, poor John), cannot ask questions (Why did John do that?), cannot have its own thoughts or opinions (It’s interesting that John did that). It can only relate the facts.  For emotions, questions, and thoughts, the writer must rely on effective dialog, both internal and external.

Another misconception is when a writer believes that because the narrator relates that John thinks something, that makes it John’s internal thought.  If I want to show the reader John’s thought, I need to move into internal dialog, such as:  John mulled it over in his mind. I think it’s a bad idea, but I don’t know why or “I don’t know why I think that’s a bad idea,” John thought, “but I do.”  

Telling (narrative) the reader that John had a thought is third person, not first.  

People do not think in third person.  If my name is Sue and I’m thinking about getting a cup of coffee, is my thought: Sue would like a cup of coffee?  Of course not.  That’d be kind of silly.  Instead, I think:  I would like a cup of coffee.  The same holds true in fiction.  Third Person Narrator can tell the reader that Sue thought she’d like a cup of coffee, but that’s not the same thing as showing Sue thinking she’d like a cup of coffee.  

The other thing we see on occasion is POV head jumping.  It’s perfectly fine to change character perspective /POV—with a scene break or, in some instances, chapter break.  It’s not perfectly fine to run it all together.  

A very simplified example of what not to do:  John picked up a half gallon of his favorite ice cream. That’ll be a nice treat for later. Sue didn’t really like that flavor, but she’d never tell him so, because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.   

John cannot be in Sue’s head.  There is no way that he can know what he’s just told the reader. The fix is quite simple.  Move back into OPOV (or a scene/chapter break if the situation warrants it) and share the information that’s in Sue’s head when John comes home with the ice cream. 
POV is truly important.  It can mean the difference between a well-told tale and a jumble of mixed up perspectives. 

Hope this serves.

Monday, April 17, 2017

NEW RELEASE: Beyond the River of Shame

Authored by Ken Czech

"One hundred English pounds," bellowed a new bidder in a voice that echoed from the high curve of the dome.

Sam hadn't planned on attending a slave auction. He was, after all, on his way to unravel the riddle of the Nile River's sources. Seeing the beautiful and proud Florie offered on the auction block strikes a chord deep within. Sam quickly realizes that his noble attempt to save her presents a dilemma: the scandal will not only destroy his family and reputation in Victorian-era England, but will jeopardize his dreams of fame.

Young Florie von Sass is stunned when British explorer Sam Baker thunders the winning bid for her. Even more shocking is when Sam suddenly abandons her. With the Ottoman governor's slave catchers determined to return her to bondage, Florie desperately follows Sam on a haunting and perilous journey from the savage shores of the Black Sea to the uncharted heart of Central Africa.

Ken Czech's fictionalized account of this true story of Sam Baker and the woman he comes to love follows this unlikely pair into the depths of unknown Africa where they are enmeshed in a struggle against wild beasts, killer diseases, and the horrors of a slave trade that has spread its tentacles to the very headwaters of the Nile.

 About the author:
Ken Czech is a recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and big game hunting. His studies and bibliographies on those subjects are widely quoted by book collectors, rare book dealers, and well-established auction houses. A retired history professor, Ken and his wife live in the Upper Midwest on an abandoned granite quarry. Visit the author's website at www.kenczech.com

Promotional Considerations for New Authors

All Things That Matter Press and award-winning author Roland Allnach offers insights into book promotional considerations for new and experienced authors.

Promotional Considerations for New Authors
by Roland Allnach

            Consider this familiar tale. An author publishes his or her first book. Among the excitement, the author’s friends and family line up for copies. Once this sales circle is saturated, sales stop, and the author is confronted by a stark question: “Okay, now what?”
            Whether or not a publishing career thrives is heavily influenced by an author’s promotional efforts. In this article, we’ll take a quick tour of promotion concepts, consider some basic do’s and don’ts, and look at some lessons from personal experience.

Being an author means being a business

            Let’s take a moment and consider some economic factors. The general rule of thumb for small businesses is that they take three to five years to attain profitability. This wisdom is based on full-time effort to achieve economic livelihood. Even though a typical author will not be solely reliant on book income the concept that profitability takes time is relevant.
What causes the time lag between initiation and potential profitability? Like any other business, it’s the process of building awareness through promotional efforts to establish brand and product identity. In these marketing terms the ability to introduce new products (your books) solidifies you as a reliable brand (credible author). In lieu of newly published titles, keep in mind that certain promotional efforts can help establish your credibility.
Remembering the brand-product relationship will help focus your efforts.

Your book is published: time to go public

            Writing can be a solitary process. Promotional activities, on the other hand, are a public endeavor. It’s a stark transition that can cause authors to stumble.
            Promotional efforts involve time, patience, perseverance, and thick skin to handle rejection and bouts of public apathy. As an author, it’s natural to be passionate about what you wrote. Potential readers, on the other hand, don’t know you or your book. This can often lead to frustration and disappointment when author outreach efforts are met with silence. Often what an author needs to learn in these trying situations is to rephrase the thought pattern. Instead of looking at the situation as, “Why aren’t people interested in my book?” consider the solution residing in, “How do I create interest?”
            Books contain specific themes, emotions, and/or issues respective authors sought to explore. To make readers feel that an author’s brand-product dynamic is something they need to experience, authors need to publicly identify the compelling factors behind the creative drive of their books. Genre labels can guide readers to the general content of a book, but authors can connect to readers on a more pointed level by highlighting a book’s core values.
            Consider this example. An author writes a dystopian science fiction novel involving resource depletion and issues of environmental sustainability. These are the book’s core values. The author can first talk about these topical issues of resource management and sustainability, then move to a second phase where the garnered attention is funneled into specific discussions of the book.
            In the meantime, the author has built awareness as a voice on the topical issues (brand promotion). With branding established, it’s much easier to move into promoting the book (product). Through this it’s not hard to see that public efforts can follow a parallel flow of creative efforts. Creative efforts often begin with generalized ideas or issues; these translate to the initial promotion points. When it’s time to write a book, creative efforts narrow to specific plot and character concerns; likewise, these specific concerns can be shared publicly once initial interest is built through the discussion of generalized issues.

Understanding foundational versus promotional efforts

            It’s natural to think of all promotional activity in terms of book sales. Without a doubt sales bring a smile, but looking at sales alone foregoes a wider perspective.
            The truth of publishing is that beyond the “friends and family” sales circle it can be quite difficult to generate appreciable sales numbers. Assuming the book production is of sufficient quality, the most common sales obstacle is an author’s deficiency as an identifiable brand. At this point in an author’s journey promotional efforts can be viewed as foundational, that is, building an author’s brand awareness.
            Good foundational efforts will help establish identity. Activities in this phase can be thought of as items independent of any single book. Most often this will consist of interviews, awards, and reputable review quotes that speak to you as an author rather than the book in question.
            Whereas promotional efforts are more likely to have their efficacy judged on a cost/return basis, foundational efforts should be viewed as investments that can be amortized over repeated usage. Put simply, if you were to win an award or use a review quote that speaks of your writing quality, every time you cite that award or quote it divides into the expense of submitting for the review or award. As foundational efforts come to fruition they build your author platform and establish brand recognition and definition.
            Public appearances are another effective way to build foundational efforts. For beginning authors, however, it can be difficult to entice a library, bookstore, or other venue to welcome an unknown author. In this regard joining a local author group can be invaluable. Not only does a group break down the inherent isolation of an author’s creative process, a group provides support in numbers. Beginning authors can learn from the experience of more seasoned authors; at the same time, beginning authors can have public anxieties allayed through support of fellow authors at panel discussions or author events. As the old saying goes, there’s strength in numbers.
            With a secure foundational base, the transition to promotional efforts will not only be easier but can enjoy greater effect. It’s much easier to approach a host venue when you can provide a platform statement backed with credentials and show your experience by phrasing these items in a professional manner, rather than coming across with a simple plea to promote. Keep in mind a little secret of promotional efforts: just as you are looking for some benefit from the exercise, so too is the party supporting that exercise. If you want to speak at a library, you need to consider why the library would want you to speak. This holds true with a bookstore presentation or any other public interaction.

Judging promotional investments

            Make no mistake: promoting a book will incur investments of time, money, or both.
            The first thing to consider is the scope of a promotion. Early promotional efforts should start with geographic proximity and build outward. Host venues are receptive to local authors; at the same time, local authors can mobilize support with greater ease from among their own communities. Here too is where promotional efforts differ in character from foundational efforts. Foundational efforts can be pursued without concern for audience proximity.
            It’s tempting for beginning authors to adopt the “go big or go home” mentality and jump directly to national promotion. Not only does this get expensive in a hurry, it also puts the beginning author at a severe disadvantage. On the national level beginning authors effectively compete with A-list authors and their large publishers. It’s very difficult for new authors to secure a footing amid the reader bases of prominent authors, and it’s impossible for beginning authors to compete with the promotional budgets of large publishers.
            A marketing professional once shared a gem of insight with me: within the public realm people look to join momentum rather than build momentum. Beginning authors must secure localized reader bases before hoping to have success on the national stage.

Social media: the elephant in the room

            Social media allows unlimited outreach at no financial cost. Instead of dollars the investment will come in the form of time. Typically, authors who build success through social media possess established followings that were transformed into reader bases.
            Those who do not have an established following are confronted with a conundrum: success builds followers, yet followers are required for success. Pundits typically overlook the crucial step of building a following for the simple reason that there is no easy answer to this process. Followings take time and effort to cultivate, two factors that sit in direct conflict with the common message that social media is a quick and easy way to secure success.
            So how can you build a following? Networking is certainly one solution, but perhaps the surest way is to step away from the computer and get out to local venues. Local promotional activities not only build awareness but also allow you to build a base of reader-followers. Consider as well services such as Goodreads, LibraryThing and AuthorsDen that allow authors to foster social interactions with readers.
            It’s perhaps best to think of social media as a promotional multiplier rather than an end-all solution. The social phenomenon of “going viral” is based on the same behavior as any other promotional effort in that people are more apt to join a following than create one. Social media is all about trends. In essence, it’s a digital popularity contest.


Perseverance paves the road to publishing success

            Regardless of what options you choose or what phase of awareness you’re pursuing for yourself and your book, understand that all efforts take time to bear fruit. The book world moves at a distinctively slow pace. Unlike painting, music, or sculpting, books do not have the ability to provide instant glimpses of their composition. On a similar note, books take time for people to read, as opposed to the narrow time gap of impression and conclusion with visceral arts.
            It’s rare that authors publicly speak about the long arcs of research pursued for promotional efforts. Unless such exercises bear relevance to a book’s content they don’t get exposed to the public for the simple reason that they are of little interest. No matter the time and effort to assemble a creative or promotional effort these expenditures are essentially irrelevant to the outside world.

Is there one answer to the promotion puzzle?

            As a matter of fact, the puzzle has a solution, and it doesn’t come in the form of big budgets, big time expenditures, or pursuits of generic plans from so-called or actual marketing experts. Successful authors build on their intrinsic strengths to in turn build a reader base.
            With that perspective in mind, let’s look at things you should be doing:
Do examine your personal attributes and convert those characteristics into marketing advantages.
Do settle in for the long haul; there are no overnight solutions.
Do join a local author or writing group.
Do start local and build yourself a “home field” advantage.
Do reach out to libraries, art centers, etc.--venues are looking for speakers to present content.
Do keep writing; promotional opportunities expand as you publish new titles.
            Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the spectrum:
Do not overreach with promotional goals; be wary of the “go big or go home” mentality.
Do not expect immediate sales returns; invest with your head, not your heart.
Do not try to go it alone; joining a local author or writing group can be an invaluable resource.
Do not forget the difference between foundational and promotional activities; be mindful when it’s time to switch from one to the other.
Do not wait for opportunities to happen; understand that you make opportunities happen through your promotional activities.

Lessons from Personal Experience

            As for me, I’ve published six books in six years. I’ve tried several different approaches which I like to divide into groups: things I tried before I knew what I was doing, and things I tried while being aware of promotional goals.

I had an opportunity to do a book signing at the LA Times Book Festival with my first book, so I flew out to California. I tried a national promotion campaign with my second book. In hindsight, I realized in both cases that I was chasing the “go big or go home” mentality with little or no foundational efforts to build my platform. As a result, both efforts failed in their immediate goals. On the other hand, they succeeded long term for the wisdom of their experience.

            And what was the wisdom I learned? Everything I’ve outlined in this article. I went back to basics, understood I had to build my platform, and took strides to reach out locally. My platform took shape through award recognition and praise in professional reviews. I rolled those accolades over to pitch myself for interviews, some of which came to me because of those foundational efforts. To get out locally I joined an authors group, in my case, Long Island Authors Group. Upon joining I volunteered to help the group’s event coordinator to learn and understand how to organize an event. I now share this role and book the group at local fairs. Likewise, I sought opportunities to speak publicly. After a number of events I’m now comfortable doing presentations whether I’m in front of two or two hundred people.

            The point of all this is to understand that for every misstep you might take there can be a valuable lesson to learn. Like many authors, I too was visited by the feeling that I was up against hopeless odds and a tidal wave of apathy. Getting past this feeling was more a matter of perspective shift than anything else. I took it as indication and incentive that I clearly had to get out and learn more to change the balance of my situation.
With the experiences I’ve had, I feel much more confident in planning my next move while comforted with the discretionary wisdom earned through experience. Every author has to reach this point sooner or later, and the best way is to get out to the world.

In conclusion

            The common theme comes to this: marketing is an ongoing experiment. What you want to achieve and how you approach that goal will evolve as you move from effort to effort and book to book. The important part is to analyze the balance of expectation, effort, and outcome in every effort. For all the discussion that can be entertained regarding promotional efforts remember that you created a book to share with readers. Your book only exists because you were compelled to present something you believe is of value to others. Without the effort to champion your book readers will never know what they’re missing.

About the Author

After more than twenty years of hospital night shifts, Roland Allnach has witnessed life from a slightly different angle. He’s been working to develop his writing career, drawing creatively from literary classics, history, and mythology. His short stories, one of which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, have appeared in many publications. His first anthology, Remnant, blending science fiction and speculative fiction, saw publication in 2010. In 2012 he followed with Oddities & Entities, a collection spanning the supernatural, paranormal, horror and speculative genres. His third book, Prism, published in 2014, follows a winding road through diverse genres and narrative forms. In 2015 he saw publication of two more books, the dystopian science fiction novel The Digital Now and his first foray into nonfiction with The Writer's Primer: A Practical Guide for Aspiring Authors Seeking Publication. Roland’s books have received unanimous critical praise and have been honored with more than a dozen national book awards, including honors from National Indie Excellence, Foreword Reviews, Readers’ Favorite, Feathered Quill Reviews and Pacific Book Review. When not immersed in his imagination, Roland can be found at his website, rolandallnach.com, along with a wealth of information about his stories and experiences as an author. Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.