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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Social Media and its impact on us all

 Will Shakespeare asks, "What do you read, my Lord?"
Susan Obijiski

You are reading this blog, so it is safe to assume that you are a regular participant in the social media world. You are not alone. The world has embraced the social media phenomenon as a means of communication and sharing. As an author, I share my thoughts through my books, and comment on life, purpose and the world, in hopes of connecting with kindred spirits and offering hope and insight to my readers. I also maintain a number of blogs (Common Sense, Legacy of Dreams, etc). These blogs provide the opportunity to express myself, and to focus on my interests and on writing. I can engage other authors and aspiring writers, and share my interests and opinions with people who browse blogs and participate in social media.

BN | Amazon

It is true that social media, blogging and other internet sharing provide value to the world, but that value does come at a price. There are a number of things that concern me about the world of blogging and social media, and I will share a few concerns with you here.

First, I believe that those who come after the Millennial generation will suffer the consequences of being raised on social media. Already, we see the results of social media fever, in the form of arm's length socializing, poor social skills and shortened attention spans. Our children are less able to socialize face-to-face and less likely to get out there and exercise, or discover the world on their own terms. We play games online and even select prospective romantic partners. How many times have you gone out to dinner and watched the people at the next table texting or looking at their phones instead of talking to each other?

Then there's the problem of anonymity. We no longer have to face the people we talk to, so we can remain anonymous when we snipe at others and revel in character assassination. That anonymity has blossomed into intolerance for other people's opinions and polarized the world, rather than showing us our commonality.

Reading blogs, getting news online and browsing through social media sites also creates a crowd mentality that suppresses the natural human tendency to think for oneself. We read something and assume that the person expressing an opinion is an expert, or they have more information about the topic than we do, and therefore we should listen to that person. In many cases, that is a rash assumption!

Lastly, social media and blogging has accelerated the decline of grammar, spelling and good writing. We always seem to be in a hurry to express our opinion, so we don't bother to choose just the right word to describe how we feel. Our vocabulary is shrinking, and our spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar is appalling! That might not seem to be a big deal, but exposure to good writing and a good turn of phrase creates thought-provoking debate, and conversation. Eloquent writing and speech encourage independent thinking, and expression, and nurture the next generation of writers, artists, poets and thinkers.

So, get out there in the world and experience life for yourself, rather than seeing the world through the filter of social media. And, the next time you jump online, take the time to think about what you are reading, and form your own opinions. Then, think carefully about what you want to say, and express yourself with eloquence, maturity and respect. Blogging, social media and mass communication do not have to contribute to the downfall of civilization. Rather, these tools can be used to encourage intelligent thought, rumination and eloquence of expression!

Susan Obijiski is the author of the 'Legacy of Dreams' metaphysical, fiction book series, including, 'Dreams of the Many', and 'Dreams of the Few', as well as a contributing author for 'Sedona Awakenings'. She lives in beautiful Sedona, Arizona with her husband.
  Introducing DREAMS OF THE FEW
the second instalment of Legacy of Dreams series
 Renowned New York stage actor Brody Murphy must put aside his life and career, and step into a dream world to rescue Casey Wheeler. After seven years of sobriety, and a new life with his wife and son, Brody is faced with the prospect of returning to the nightmare world he once escaped.

Once again, renowned New York stage actor Brody Murphy must put aside his life and career, and step into a dream world to rescue Casey Wheeler. After seven years of sobriety, and a new life with his wife and son, Brody is faced with the prospect of returning to the nightmare world he once escaped. But this time the stakes are even higher; without Brody's help, Casey is likely to die.

This journey will be the most challenging of Brody's life. No one can help him find Casey and return the boy from the desolate landscape of the dream. While his friends and loved ones attempt to support him from afar, Brody grapples with sobriety, repressed memories, and a lifetime of fears and demons that threaten to sabotage Casey's rescue and the very fabric of Brody's sanity.

Can Brody find Casey before it is too late? Can Casey and Brody emerge from the nightmare, whole and unbroken?

Dreams of the Few is a story of friendship, love and devotion. It is a reminder that our purpose in life is to learn, and that we learn best from our trials and challenges.

"Remember, it is not the destination, but rather the journey that is the lesson and the prize."

Monday, 22 December 2014

Indie authors! Take those rose-tinted glasses off! by @ElkeFeuer

Elke Feuer

When a publisher said they wanted to publish my book back in 2012, I thought I’d landed in writers’ heaven. I road euphoria waves for months, but my starry-eyed dreams about my publishing experience became tarnished. 
As a young aspiring writer, I had visions of an amazing editor and publicist who’d love and coach me, being sent on tour by my publishing company, and lines of fans at the bookstores who’d camped out hours before just to have me sign their books. Unrealistic? Perhaps, but it was my dream and I’d clung to it for years.

My aspirations changed the moment I got an email from my publisher saying I was the best person to market my book, along with the eBook Guerilla Marketing. Wait? What? I had to send out my own review requests, take myself on tour, and find my own readers? Suddenly the percentage they were taking didn’t seem in my favor.

My traditional publishing experience made me realize (1) the industry wasn’t what I thought and (2) I had a lot to learn about the art of publishing.

I entered the self-publishing world without my rose covered glasses and discovered hard truths about the industry, the people in it, and myself. I love the control self-publishing gives me, but it wreaks havoc on my life in ways I didn’t expect or anticipate.

I’m going into my third year of publishing and with all its challenges, joys, disappointments, and craziness, I wouldn’t change it. My experiences with traditional and self-publishing strengthened me and my love for writing. The journey showed me I didn’t have to wait until I retired to pursue a writing career and even with all the ups and downs, authors have more options today than twenty years ago that work in our favor.

If you’re just starting your journey, I have one main advice. DON’T GIVE UP! This industry will chew you up and spit you out, but if you love to write you’ll make it through. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

 Introducing Deadly Race

 Race car driver Remy Borden likes fast things: bikes, cars, and men. 
Her plans to become the first woman from the Cayman Islands to race internationally gets sidetracked when she’s injured and pulled from the final race because of a fiery confrontation with another driver.

Amazon | BarnsNoble | Smashwords

Life goes from bad to worse when the racetrack owner is killed and she’s suspect number one because his death puts her back in the race. But racing again proves difficult when Dr. Jackson Wilson insists she stop racing until she heals, making her wonder if his ‘doctor’s orders’ don’t have ulterior motives-the racetrack owner was his friend.

She and Jackson search for the truth behind the murder when accidents start happening at the racetrack, and an adoring fan gets too close. Soon the simmering attraction between her and Jackson boils over, forcing her to admit Jackson makes her think of a life beyond racing.

Elke was born and raised on Grand Cayman and lives there with her husband and two kids who keep her on her toes.

She’s a cof­fee­holic, check­list fanatic, and future space explorer. She has a sarcastic/quirky sense of humor and loves meet­ing new people. When not writing, she's helping other writers in Cayman through her organization CayWriters.

The author of For the Love of Jazz and Deadly Bloodlines, book one in her Deadly Series. She stumbled into writing romantic suspense because of her fascination with serial killers, but writes other genres because characters keep telling her their stories and she's a sucker for a crazy story.

What people say about Elke:

“Elke knows how to create a page turner and will leave you begging for more”.
“Elke is an up and coming author to watch”.

Click for an excerpts of Deadly Races:

Friday, 5 December 2014

Sound Off Time: Why Social Media's Da Bomb!


Millenia Black

s we all know, times are ever changing, ever improving. When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, I had no clue the Internet was on its way in with a vengeance! And in the early 90s when I discovered and fell in love with Sidney Sheldon books, I couldn't have imagined that one day I'd have the ability to simply boot up a laptop and shoot him a hero-worshipping e-mail—which I did many years later and nearly keeled over when he actually replied personally!

So connecting, bonding and sharing our passions with each other has never been easier—or more fun—than it is today. I remember when you actually had to sit down, write letters, lick their envelopes, then stamp and mail them off to New York publishing houses c/o of your favorite authors to let them know just how much you loved their books, or even to invite them to a conference call with your book club.

And as a writer, it's amazing to be able to get a kick in the proverbial butt from your readership when you've spent a little too much time in the procrastination currents and not enough in the flow of inspiration and creativity. As such, RAINDROPS ON ROSES is my first novel in eight years! The Great Betrayal came out in late 2006, and since then there've been several dedicated fans who've found me on Goodreads, Facebook, or on my website asking whether or not I was still writing and when the next book would be coming out. I can't tell you how much those pings inspired me to pick up my pen, get back in the game and reacquaint myself with my trusty old muse.

Currently, I'm enjoying the heck out of Pinterest! It's too bad the site wasn't around when I published my earlier novels because creating a board for the Favorite Things Trilogy has been loads and loads of fun! Visual aids never go out of style, do they? And so my readers get to check out the characters' sense of style, the cars they drive, the music they listen to and of course—lots more of their favorite things! It's pretty neat!

Now I know there are those who say social media's dumbed us down or made us lazy, but to that I say we need to accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives! The pluses far outweigh the minuses when it comes to the convenience and ease of connecting and sharing with others, whether they be long time friends, family members, or a new reader who's discovering your books for the very first time...

Cheers to socializing! Let's connect, bond and be merry!

 From the #1 Bestselling Author of THE GREAT PRETENDER comes a highly anticipated new trilogy! Love, Loss, Jealousy and Vengeance — A Razor-Sharp Love Triangle For the History Books! 

Book One of the sizzling new FAVORITE  THINGS Trilogy  
What happens when the man you love, falls in love with someone else?

Buy now! Amazon
Mayfair Island, Florida. Grief-stricken after the sudden loss of her beloved grandmother, an enduring but reclusive Hollywood icon, young Priscilla Bauer finds herself adrift and looking to find solace in the arms of her vast inheritance, when she meets the kind and considerate corporate brand designer, Michael Frost—a drop dead gorgeous beacon of light in her all too dark night.

Falling hard and falling fast, Priscilla has no idea she’s stepped into dangerous territory...Because someone else has already branded Michael Frost her very own—and she has no intention of ever letting him go.

Passions are high, but bitter vengeance gets even higher!

With RAINDROPS ON ROSES, the captivating Favorite Things Novella Trilogy—takes flight!

About Millenia Black:
Millenia is the bestselling author of the novels THE GREAT PRETENDER and THE GREAT BETRAYAL. She loves to tell a compelling story and is an avid reader. Heralded as a double life and relationship expert, she's been a featured guest on radio shows across the country discussing the 7 SMOKE SIGNALS YOUR MAN IS LIVING A DOUBLE LIFE, a nifty e-book guide everyone should have!

Millenia is an alumni of Keiser University and was born and raised in Florida where she still resides today. She is currently working on BLUE SATIN SASHES, book two of the sizzling FAVORITE THINGS trilogy!

Currently unmarried, Millenia has never dated anyone living a double life...she thinks.

Begin the festive season with Nikki Moore's new release. #lovelondon

Skating at Somerset House  
Book 1, #LoveLondon Series
Nikki Moore 


There’s nothing Holly Winterlake loves more than Christmas and skating, so working as an Ice Marshall at London's Somerset House is a dream come true.

Noel Summerford hates the festive season and is a disaster on the ice, so taking his godson to Somerset House is his idea of the nightmare before Christmas!

Things are bound to get interesting when these two collide…

With a forty foot Christmas tree, an assortment of well meaning friends and relatives, and a mad chocolate Labrador, will this festive season be one to remember … or forget?

More books in the #LoveLondon series coming soon!

Released over December 14 to May 15 by HarperImpulse;

Bk 2, New Year at The Ritz (Short Story)
Bk 3, Valentine's on Primrose Hill (Short Story)
Bk 4, Cocktails in Chelsea (Short Story)
Bk 5, Strawberries at Wimbledon (Short Story)
Bk 6, Picnics in Hyde Park, (Novel)