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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome to 2013 (One Day Early)

source: photo.elsoar.com

Hello and Welcome to 2013, Everyone! I hope everyone came through the Mayan End-of-the-World okay. If you're reading this, I'm assuming that's a yes. :D

I know 2013 doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but I have a weirdness about starting things in the middle of the week. I think it may be a rare form of OCD. (And by rare, I mean common.) So, I've been offline for over a week (SOOO weird since I've been on every day without exception for the past seven months) but now I'm back! Feeling refreshed after a break and ready to tackle the new year...

And I'm starting on Monday.

So, just a few things today. I'm going to list my Resolutions for 2013. Nothing personal on the blog like weight loss or finding a way to marry Chris Hemsworth. Just things pertaining to writing, reading, blogging, marketing, etc.

I'll also introduce some new blog features. So let's get started.

New Years Resolutions -- 2013



This year, it's my goal to read at least 50 books. Now I know most of you book bloggers out there are used to reading several books a week, but I am author. I have writing, editing, and marketing to do. Not to mention I'd like to have a life at some point. So, I have very little time to read. However, I'm no longer working a day job so I'm going to try and read at least one book per week from my TBR list.

In addition, I want to be reading one classic novel and one personal improvement book at all times. I'll be reading them slowly--just a chapter or a percent per day. So, I'll probably only read 2-4 of each this year, depending on length. I figure I'll set up my months like this:

Week 1: a Dystopian or Fantasy novel
Week 2: a Historical Fiction novel
Week 3: a Mystery/Thriller/Crime Drama novel

as these are the genres I write.

Week 4: Freebee. Something of another genre or one of the above--just whatever I want. Or, if I want to take a break, I'll do it during this week.
source: 123rf.com


My goals in this area are many and varied. My first novel, Persistence of Vision will be released nation-wide on January 29th. I'm hoping to get the 2nd installment of the Interchron series out by the end of the year. It's nearly ready to send to the publisher as we speak.

I also already have a second novel, Citadels of Fire, Book 1 of Kremlins, slated for release from Jolly Fish Press in September of this year. It's the first of a trilogy. Kremlins is an interesting case because I wrote it as one continuous story, but it was too long to publish that way. I had to break it into three separate installments. So, while the second and third books definitely need some work, for all intents and purposes they are already written and just need some editing love. My goal as concerns this series to get both the second and third parts of this edited and ready to turn in to the publisher.

In terms of planning, I'd also like to get books 3, 4, and 5 of Interchron planned and outlined and perhaps the third book completely written.

I'm also working on an epic high-fantasy series that has to do with dragons. I'm not sure I could get an entire volume written this year, but I'd at least like to get the series planned out/outlined and, you know, if I could get book one written, that would just be a happy bonus! :D

I'd also like to foray into self-publishing a bit this year, even if it's just in small ways. I want to get to know every part of the industry. In the next couple of months I'm going to publish a small anthology of my own short stories and simply upload it to amazon, using it both to make a little extra income and to explore that aspect of the industry.

Are my goals ambitious? Obviously. A little unrealistic in their scope? Probably. But I believe in reaching for the stars. Even if I can get half of this stuff done this year, it will be a very productive year.


source: avtecmedia.com
I'd like to reach 500 followers on Facebook, 5000 followers on Twitter, and 1000 followers on my blog. I think these types of goals are good to set, even if you have less direct control over who follows you, because it gives you something to aim for and makes you unconsciously (if not consciously) aware of what works and what you can do to improve your social networking.

That's most of my Resolutions for 2013. What are yours?

Of course, talking about blogging is a great segue into the second part of my post: New Blog Features.

New Blog Features, 2013

You may notice that the page about my Persistence of Vision Art Competition is gone. I'm officially cancelling it. I just didn't get enough interest. I'd hoped to use it to promote my book, but hey! You win some, you lose some. Besides, I've gotten an awesome response for my book's blog tour (which will begin January 14--more on that next week) and it's going to be really long-running, so I'll still get plenty of exposure. :D

I'm going to start doing two new sections on my blog: Announcements/Entertainment News and Glorious Gadgets.

Announcements/Entertainment News will be for my own announcements, those of fellow authors and blogger buddies, and other fun stuff I just want to feature. You'll probably see a lot of movie trailers and announcements. I like to keep up with pop culture and movies/T.V. are just another story-telling avenue that I love to follow. :D Of course not every post will feature this section. It will only appear when I have something in particular to put there. :D

Glorious Gadgets will be a section where I feature cool stuff I've found. Most often it will be gadgets, software, apps, etc. that help make life easier or more fun!

Finally, I'm re-vamping my Thoughts for Thursday meme. Check out the tab above to see what it's all about. I'm really just adding prizes to get more participation. I've been a bit inconsistent about having a linky list in each post, but I'll always have one, now. Anyone can contribute a quote via linky (on their blog) or just in the comments section. I'll read every quote contributed and decide which I like the best. This will just be based on my own tastes. Whoever contributes the best quote for the week will get a small prize. (Very small. Probably just a bookmark.) But, every 3 months, I'll have a drawing. Everyone who has won the weekly prize in the last quarter will be automatically entered to win a free book or amazon gift card. This will be a 1 in 12 shot, so pretty good. I'm hoping this will encourage participation in this meme.

source: yogaspy.com
That's pretty much it. All other aspects of my blog(s) will remain the same. Happy New Year's Eve, Everyone!

How about you? Doing anything to re-vamp your blog this year? What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Anna Karenina Book Review + Thoughts for Thursday--16

Anna Karenina Book Review

Welcome to Thursday's Read and Review Hop, hosted by Anya of On Starships and Dragonwings!

So I finally finished Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It took me most of the year. Did I like it? That's kind of a loaded question. It was a fascinating book. More interesting for me, perhaps, than it would be for most others, because I actually know someone who is JUST LIKE Anna.

Anna is flawed in the worst sorts of ways which makes her a fascinating character, but rather annoying at the same time. For those who don't know, this book is about a married woman who has an affair with a younger man. That's not a spoiler. The affair begins near the start of the novel. She makes her decision to have the affair, which will ostracize her in the eyes of nineteenth century Russian society.

If that was what she wanted and she was willing to deal with the consequences, I could be okay with that. But that's not what Anna does. She flaunts her decision for all of this puritanical society to see, and then gets mad when a scandal hatches. She's the kind of woman that creates drama, then sits around crying because there's so much drama in her life.

By the end of the book, I wanted to throttle this woman! Yet, there is a lot of truth in Tolstoy's story because, as I said, I know someone who has made many of the same choices Anna did and is exactly like her. I think Tolstoy must have known just such a person. He describes this type of personality perfectly.

If you like tragic period pieces with class-system drama, this is the book for you! It's a bit slow moving and kind of hard to stay in, but persistence pays off. I read 1-2% a day until I was done. And I must say, I'm glad I did. I view it as an accomplishment and now I can boast that I've read Tolstoy. Yea!

About the writing: it's kind of hard to read. This is the type of book that would never get published today. There's a lot of meandering, repetition, and passive voice. Of course, this could be because the novel was originally written in Russian and translated. But, if you're going to tackle this one, be forewarned.

Overall, I thought the story was interesting and rang of truth. I'm glad I read it but I'm also glad to be done. :D

Thoughts for Thursday--16

devour/123RF Stock Photo
Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quotes I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. 

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Christmas!!!

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find the simplest things--not the great occasions--give off the greatest glow of happiness."--Bob Hope

"Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind."--Mary Ellen Chase

"One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books."--J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

"Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more..."--Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."--Charles Dickens

What do you think? What is your favorite quote about Christmas? Have you read Anna Karenina? Everyone have a Merry Christmas, a great apocalypse, and a Happy New Year! See you in 2013! ;D

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 Tips for Showing vs. Telling

Okay, so we all know that it's much better to show than to tell in our writing. But how do we do that? It's Writing 101, but it's also very hard to explain.

Disclaimer: As always, this is by no means a comprehensive list of dos and don'ts, but rather just some things I've picked up on after four years of being in a writer's group.

1. Show if you can, but if you must tell, don't do both! I see so often someone nail the "show" part and then follow it up by telling what they just showed.

Example: Timmy's face grew red and he pounded his fist on the table. He was angry.

Come on, now. Trust your audience a little bit, here. The second sentence is completely unnecessary. You did a brilliant job of showing that emotion in the first sentence. Leave it at that.

2. Work it into dialogue. You can have your characters talk about how they're feeling, but keep this to a minimum as it can turn cheesy or obvious very quickly. I would only recommend this if the character is a) hiding their emotions for some reason which makes it difficult to show them and/or b) not your point of view character.

Example (bad) : "How do you feel, Katie?"
                         "It makes me sad, Joan."

Obviously this needs to be done with a bit more delicacy than that, but if done right and sparingly, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I did this at one point in my novel, Persistence of Vision. I had two men talk. (Not just about their feelings because that might have been weird.) They were best buds and one of them was particularly stoic and not big on expressing emotion. But the conversation wasn't just about feelings, as I said. Rather, it was about much more complicated things and I just worked some hidden emotions in. When I work-shopped the chapter, I made a point of asking if I was telling too much. The universal reaction was that the conversation worked well.

3. Verbal Story-Telling. For the most part, personal history and back story needs to be revealed gradually. But, if you have a quick history, legend, past baggage, etc. that you want your audience to know about, but it's not relevant to reveal bit by bit, verbal story-telling is a good way to go. So it would go something like this:

Example:  Bob: "So why is that person the way he is?"
               Fred: "Oh, that's because of what happened three years ago. Let me explain...
               (Launches into a few paragraphs of verbal narrative to tell the story.)

Suddenly, both the characters and your audience knows the history without you "telling" it in the narrative itself. Robert Jordan is a master at this in his Wheel of Time series, such as when Moiraine tells the villagers the history of Manetheren, and when Lord Agelmar explains the history of Malkier. It feels very natural and your audience leans forward to listen every bit as much as your characters do.

4. For emotion, think reaction. In my first example, Timmy's face grew red and he pounded his fist on the table. From that, most people would get that he was angry. If you ever find yourself telling an emotion (i.e. he or she was angry, sad, happy, giddy, retarded, etc.) stop and think about how you can describe the emotion. With the exception of smiles and tears, it can be trickier than it sounds. If someone feels abandoned, how do you show that?
a) Ask your character. If they feel x, how do they act? If y happens to them, how do they react?
b) Don't tell the emotion, but show the reaction. Show them punching the wall, rather than saying they're angry. With something complex like abandonment, so a reaction that reflects that emotion. After all, even complex feelings boil down to basic emotions. Does the abandonment make the character feel sad? Angry? Have them react.
c) If the emotion still isn't clear, add what I like to call a "this I believe" line. Have them react in the way they would to the emotion they're feeling, but without any explanation. Then have them give a clarifying statement. This can be done in their heads or out loud to another character they're interacting with.

Example: If I'm trying to convey that Barney feels abandoned...

Barney shoved his hands in his pockets and hunched his shoulders. Scowling, he stomped down the alley. Fred ran up beside him, talking a mile a minute and waving his hands around, going on and on about the circus. He didn't notice Barney's scowl.
"Shut up, Fred!" Barney finally yelled. "No one cares about the stupid circus!"
"What's wrong, Barney?"
"Nothing, I'm going home."
"But you can't just leave."
"Get used to it, Fred. That's what people do. They leave."

At no point did I say, "Barney felt abandoned." Especially if before this we see someone leave him, it's obvious how he's feeling. You don't have to explain it.

5. Showing is really all about trust. Trust that your audience is human enough and receptive enough to pick up on the cues of human behavior.

6. This is also a great job for a critique group. If you have a decent group, and they're not understanding the emotion you're trying to convey, they'll let you know. Trust me!

Well, hope this helps some of you. Admit it, now. Who was picturing a big purple dinosaur in that last example? :D

Hosted by The Geek Twins

Co-Hosted by L.K.Hill, Just a Dash of Geek and Comic Book and Movie Reviews

Come join us for an uber-fun blog hop on January 14th! 

Hosted by the awesome Geek Twins, this blog hop is all about our favorite aliens. To participate, put your name in the linky below. Then on January 14, 2013 just write a post about your favorite alien of all time (Martian or not) and why you love them.

From Evolution Movie
If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave your answer in the comments, or just hop through to meet new bloggers and read some fun posts. 

I'm SO excited for this! I participate in a number of blog hops, but I've never hosted before, and this is such a fun topic. I know I'm going to have a hard time choosing just one favorite alien. There are so many great ones! 

Feel free to put the badge on your blog, and help us spread the word. Let's give our alien buddies as much love as possible this January! :D

Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)!

Yesterday's RMQ was: "What kind of place is this where you almost mean what you say? Where laws almost work? How can you live like that?"

This was said by Djimon Honsou in the movie Amistad. His character was named Cinque. Seriously everyone. Best anti-slavery movie EVER! You have to see it if you haven't. But bring tissues. It's a definite tear-jerker.

Today's RMQ is:
Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles.
 One point for actor, one for film, one for character. Good luck! :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday--Les Miserables + RMQ

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. It's taken all year for me to get through this book, but I've got less than 20% left, which means I'll probably finish it this week.

"At last! After the lapse of four years! He grasped him entire, so to speak, in a single glance. He found him noble, handsome, distinguished, well-grown, a completed man,with a suitable mien and a charming air. He felt a desire to open his arms, to call him, to fling himself forward; his heart melted with rapture, affectionate words swelled and overflowed his breast; at length all his tenderness came to the light and reached his lips, and, by a contrast which constituted the very foundation of his nature, what came forth was harshness. He said abruptly:--'What have you come here for?'"

What great teasers have YOU come across this week?

Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)!

Don't know what this is? Click the tab at the top of the page.

Sorry I haven't been very consistent with RMQ lately. I'll try to be better. :D

Last week's RMQ was, "If you want to receive emails about my upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer."

Okay, so this was a bit of a trick one. It wasn't a movie. This is a line from Friends. Pheobe, played by Lisa Kudrow said it. No one got this one. :D

This week's RMQ is:

What kind of a place is this where you almost mean what you say? Where laws almost work? How can you live like that? 

One point for character, one for actor, one for film. Good luck! :D

Monday, December 17, 2012

Historical Tidbit-George Washington and the Delaware

history notes.net
Did you know...?

What our founding fathers were doing Christmas Day, 1776?

On the night of December 25-26, George Washington decided it was high time this American Revolution was won. He took all his troops and ferried them across the Delaware River. This was a very dangerous maneuver. Logistically it was difficult and time-consuming, made more complicated by the below-freezing temperatures of both the air and the water, and the jagged ice chunks floating down a swift, swollen river.

What they hoped would only take a couple of hours took more than four, and things didn't go according to plan. At all.

Why were they doing this, you ask? Well, as I said, our primo presidente thought it was high time the war was won. His men were starving and wanted to return to their homes and families. It was Christmas, and they were stuck in a freezing, starving, mud-caked war camp.

Meanwhile, across the river in Trenton, New Jersey, a camp of Hessians (German mercenaries hired by England) were holding the American insurrection at bay. Washington guessed that the Hessians would have spent Christmas day eating, drinking, and celebrating. He figured if he could take them unawares, while they were still sleeping off their mead-hangovers, he could take Trenton.

He meant to ferry his men over quickly and stealthily march into the Hessian camp under cover of darkness. Well, as stated above, things didn't go so well. By the time Washington's army reached the Hessian camp, the sun was rising.

But Washington had guessed right about the state of the mercenaries. They had partied and drank all night, and most were still a-snooze when the American troops stormed their camp.

Despite everything that went wrong, the revolutionaries took the Hessian camp without a single American casualty. It was a Christmas miracle. Only days later, on January 2nd and 3rd, they defeated British reinforcements under General Cornwallis. It was a turning point in the American Revolutionary War.

This Christmas season, let's be sure to give thanks for those who came before us, spending Christmas without their families so we could spend ours with our families in a free land.

Let's give thanks for our loved ones, especially our children who are safe in our homes and in our arms at a time when twenty families in Connecticut can't say the same thing.

Let's remember the significance of Christmases 2000 years past, look forward to a New Year (of writing and publishing perhaps?) and live in the moment. Because the moments we have this Christmas will never come again.

And remember, knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Follow Friday--Sad Books

**I'm at the South Towne Expo Center in Utah signing selling books today and tomorrow. If you're local, come by and say hi! :D **

Follow Friday

Increase Blog Followers, gain Book Blog Followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #123
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

The last book that made me cry that I can think of was Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley. It's such a great book and a true story! The very first couple of pages made me tear up. Bradley is the son of one of the marines who helped raise the flag in the famous photo from Iwo Jima. 
The first part talks about how Bradley's father never talked about the war. Whenever reporters called for interviews, the children were instructed to say he was fishing in Alaska and such. Not until after his father's death did he find several boxes of World War II paraphernalia. He was shocked because, despite knowing who his father was, or had been as a young man, it simply wasn't part of Bradley's life. All this is explained in the first two pages and then he reads a letter from his father to his grandparents about the famous flag-raising.
His father wrote (and I'm paraphrasing because I can't find an excerpt and my younger brother stole my copy) "I had something to do with the flag-raising a few days ago and it was one of the proudest moments of my life."
Bradley was stunned. So began his journey to discover what really happened back then and who his father really was.
There are parts when the narrative drags just a bit, but for the most part I bawled through this book. It was soooo good!
How about you? What was the last book that made you tear up?

Thoughts for Thursday--15

Image credit: 
devor / 123RF Stock Photo

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Readers may respond by either commenting on the quotes I put forward or contributing a quote of their own. 

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is abundance!!!

"Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature."--Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth and Being Free
"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into."--Wayne Dyer
"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health."--Henry David Thoreau
"Life in abundance comes only through great love."--Elbert Hubbard
"Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger."--Saint Basil

What are your thoughts on abundance? Which quote is your favorite? Do you have one to add?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tips on Running a Facebook Ad

Okay so yesterday I managed to upload my blog posts and glance through my emails, send a few replies. But that was pretty much it. My internet decide to be stupid for most of the day, so I wasn't online nearly as much as I usually am on Tuesday. Didn't see many Top Ten Lists  :( and I wasn't on Twitter or FB as much either.

By the time my internet was finished with its meltdown, I had other stuff to do.

My point is that I didn't have any time to do blog posts for today. So, I just decided to drop a line about something I recently tried out and was very impressed with. (This is same post is on both my blogs today, FYI.)

So, I'm here to tell you that Facebook ads totally work!

I know this is something that a lot of people are wary about. I get it! I was too. Then, after one of my fan pages reached 200 likes, Facebook sent me a coupon for $50 in free Facebook advertising. Even then it took me awhile to get around to checking it out. I figured it would be something like $50 off as long as you bought $100 dollars worth of advertising or something. But eventually I figured it was worth checking out. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn't be worth doing and so I wouldn't do it, right?

So I went through the process and guess what? I had a $50 coupon, and I could only spend $50 if I wanted. Amazing!

So here's how it works. If you're advertising an outside product or website, you generally pay per click. Like Goodreads' ads, you also always get to set your money limit. So for me, I only wanted to spend $50 and I decided I wanted the ad to run for 10 days. That meant that my daily spending limit was set for $5. Once enough people have clicked to use $5 for the day, the ad will cease to run until the next day, so you never use more than the limit you set.

Now, if you aren't advertising an outside product or website (that is, if you're advertising something that's already part of Facebook like your own fan page) then you pay per impression, rather than paying per click. How this is figured is a bit more complicated, but the concept is the same.

Originally I was going to advertise my publisher's website, which is the only site my book is currently being sold at (until January 29th when it will be released on Amazon and other nation wide retailers. Just sayin'. :D) But then I decided maybe that wasn't the best use of my coupon. Despite wanting to sell books, the publisher's website sells them for 100% of retail value, and most people will probably want to wait until they can get a slightly better deal, especially if they're part of Amazon Prime or some such.

On the other hand, I just started a fan page for my Interchron Series. I have an author fan page, but my publisher suggested I start one for the series, given that this is just book 1. So, I had a bran new fan page with no likes. I asked all my friends to like it, but that only produced seventeen likes. Bottom line, at the beginning of this Facebook ad campaign, I had less than 20 likes for my Interchron Series fan page. It still has two more days to run and I have over one hundred likes!

Facebook ads target the types of people who might like my series, based on the tags I put in the ad campaign information (I went with "book series" and "dystopian"). The people targeted are exactly the kind that will probably like my fan page, and apparently many of them do. :D

As I said, this works phenomenally. I am very impressed and definitely open to actually paying for another Facebook ad campaign in the future.


1) Tag your ad well. As I said, I went with the genre of my book. This is similar to expressing genre in query letters and the like. The more specific you are, the more likely your are to find your target audience.

2) Set realistic goals. It asks you to set a goal, such as getting more likes for your fan page. Set your target goal knowing that it's much easier for people to do that than to plunk down money for a product they're just now hearing about. Not that it's a bad thing to pay per click for an outside product. In fact, it's great exposure. But again, people are less likely to pay for a product until they've seen it multiple times.

3) Don't be afraid to tailor it to your situation. Like me, you can have phenomenal success on a very small budget, as well as a larger one. Don't be intimidated by the process. Just go through the steps and do exactly what suits you. While it may take a few minutes to set up, it isn't hard.

How about you? Have you had any experience with Facebook Ad Campaigns?

Lincoln Movie Review + Top Ten Tuesday-New Authors & RMQ

Lincoln Movie Review

I was SO excited to see Lincoln and the movie did not disappoint. First of all, Daniel Day-Lewis. Need I say more? In my opinion he's one of the more talented actors working today. But this film was replete with awesome actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordan-Levitt (apparently one requirement for this film was that the main roles be filled by actors with three names) and Sally Field. Even the supporting roles were full of familiar faces including David Strathairn (love him!) John Hawkes, James Spader, Hal Holbrook (who played Lincoln in the 1986 mini-series North and South) and Jackie Earle Haley (as a southern ambassador working for Jefferson Davis, no less). All of them did an excellent job and I hope a few of them are recognized by my pal Oscar this year.

The story the film covered was not what I thought it would be. It was not a life-long biography about the U.S.'s favorite president. Rather, it only comprised about a month of his life--the last month--during which he was busy trying to ratify the 13th Amendment. The war was nearly at an end and they simply needed the constitution to reflect the changing beliefs of the nation.

The politics were, of necessity, simplified and many nuances left out. But Lincoln, in all his tranquility and gentle story-telling was superb. He felt real and alive in Lewis' portrayal of him. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of my grandfather, a gentle soul from an earlier time.

There were only two things I disliked about the film:

1) The portrayal of Lincoln's relationship to his wife (played by Sally Field) and how tumultuous it was. I don't know enough about their relationship to speak about it with any authority, and the loss of a child will challenge any relationship, but I do know something about Lincoln, and he was not the sort to be rough with his wife or threaten to throw her into an insane asylum, whether it was warranted or not. Furthermore, I simply don't believe that anyone could do as great things as Lincoln did without a solid support system at home. The way it was portrayed in the film, his wife was just as against him as the slave owners were. I'm sure there are people who have researched the relationship more than I who would be happy to contradict me, but this is just not something I believe to be true.

2) The film was a little rough-and-tumble with Lincoln himself. There's the above example of his insensitive treatment of his wife, but they also had him cursing a lot. Understand that many of today's cuss word weren't in effect back then, and the ones we take for granted and put even in low rated films were considered scandalously bad back then. Not only would Lincoln not have dropped the f-bomb (not even sure it existed back then) but I don't think he would have cursed God's name either. He was far too religious. Finally, there was a scene where, in a lashing-out of fear and sorrow, he slaps his eldest son. Even anti-Lincoln historians agree that that would NEVER have happened. I've found several reviews already that have said as much.

I totally get that certain liberties are always taken to make for better drama, but I didn't particularly appreciate this historical deviance from truth.

That said, they were relatively minor things and overall I was tremendously impressed with the film. It gives a good general idea of what went on and how it was accomplished, and it's inspirational and patriotic like nothing I've seen come out of Hollywood in years. I loved the politics of it. I loved Lincoln and the way he was portrayed. I even teared up a few times. (Shocking for me, I know. :D)

Overall, I would highly recommend the film. It's great for it's history and the importance of the events it portrays. It's sweet and inspirational and one I think everyone should see! :D

Top Ten Tuesday!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Favorite New-to-Me Authors I read in 2012

Okay, this is kind of terrible but I don't think I read ten new authors in 2012. What can I say? Most of the books I read were either re-reads or (more often) new books by authors I like and had definitely read before. As such, these were not necessarily my "favorite" new authors. (If you click through to my reviews you can see whether or not I raved about them.) These were just the only new authors I could think of for this year.

**If it helps, I'm planning to really delve into my TBR pile in 2013, so hopefully I'll be able to answer this question much more satisfactorily next year. ;D **

1. Robin LaFevers--her debut YA novel, Grave Mercy is fantastic! My review here.

2. Bethany Griffin--Masque of the Red Death exceeded my expectations!
My review here.

3. Paul Grossman--His historical fiction, Sleepwalkers, was edgy and eye-opening.
My review here.

4. Leo Tolstoy--I tackled Anna Karenina this year. I'm actually not quite done with it but I'm close and I'll definitely finish by the end of the month. This is one that's a difficult read, but I see it as an accomplishment to have gotten through it (even if it did take me most of the year). :D My reward when I finish will be to treat myself to the Kiera Knightly movie version currently in theaters!
Will review this one soon!

5. Elana Johnson--Her debut novel, Possession is a snarky dystopian read.
My review here.

6. Kendare Blake--Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite books I read this year! :D My review here.

7. Katie McGarry--I'm usually not much into contemporary or YA, but I couldn't put Pushing the Limits down! This is a read-along-questions post but I never actually reviewed this one because I was doing a read-along. :D

8. Gary C. King--Gary's novel, Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Killer, is very detailed (translation: very adult) but it's also true crime at its best. He's also fun to read because he's also a very accessible author. My review here.

9. Phil Jordan--His novel,  Praise of Motherhood is a different sort of read but ends up being a beautiful tribute to his complex mother. My review here.

**All pictures courtesy of Goodreads.com
That it for me! How about YOU? What new authors did YOU read this year?

Random Movie Quotes (RMQ)

Don't know what this is? Check the tab at the top of the page.

Last time's RMQ was, "There is a saying, a very old saying: when the pupil is ready the master will appear."

This was said by Anthony Hopkins in 1998's The Mask of Zorro. No one guessed it. 

Today's RMQ is:

"If you want to receive emails about my upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer."

Who said it? One point for character, one for actor, one for show. Good luck and Happy Tuesday! :D

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Medieval Tidbit: Historical Fiction

Did you know...

I can't take credit for this. I found it on a discussion on Askville by Amazon.

Where did historical fiction start and when?

The Roman Empire. Actually, empires have always been notorious at self-promotion and making the other guy look bad. Thus, Pharaoh Merneptah left behind a pillar in Thebes boasting, "Israel is laid waste; his seed is not" (c. 1200 b.c.) Obviously, he won a battle, went home, and exaggerated. However, the Romans were such experts at their PR that Europeans believed their "histories" for centuries (while ironically questioning the veracity of the gospels . . . go figure.) So good, solid historical fiction really took off with the Romans.
They're the ones we get our notion of "Republic" from! 

Source: http://askville.amazon.com/historical-fiction-start/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=88954597

What do you think? Could this be the origin of historical fiction?