Sunday, September 30, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 30 September 2018

This Week on Books Direct -
30 September 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 30 September 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

Author Ibi Zoboi, the author of American Street, called out a racist book review from The Wall Street Journal that was written by Meghan Cox Gurdon.

Author Ibi Zoboi Calls Out Racism And Classism In The Wall Street Journal Book Review by Princess Weekes for The Mary Sue

Kirkus Reviews, the nation’s leading prepublication journal of book reviews, today announced the six finalists for the fifth annual Kirkus Prize in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Young Readers’ Literature.

Kirkus Announces The Finalists For The 2018 Kirkus Prize for Kirkus Reviews

Scrabble players will have to rethink their game after new words, including OK and ew, added to approved list.

Yowza! 300 New Words Added To Scrabble Dictionary by The Guardian

It’s an exciting time for freelance editors: the needs of professional writers are constantly increasing, and quality freelancing services are in high demand. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been freelancing for years, you’re probably thinking about how to maximize your clientele and profits - and that means learning how to start an editing business.

How To Start A Freelance Editing Business: 10 Actionable Tips by Reedsy Blog

Independent bookshops are the cornerstone of many of our communities, so in conjunction with the Bookseller’s Association, The Guardian has compiled a list of some of the best.

The Guardian’s Guide To Independent Bookstores by The Guardian

If you’re like most writers, the actual writing process is fun(ish) for you. The launch, on the other hand, is probably a soul-sucking, frenetic nightmare. There’s nothing worse than feeling like the people in the graphic, standing on your soapbox announcing to everyone in earshot that you have a new book for sale.

Before, During, And After Publishing: A Marketing Checklist by Staci Toilo for Story Empire Blog

How Beautiful Should Your Sentences Be? by James Scott Bell for kill Zone
Everyone seems to be looking for “up-market fiction” in the traditional publishing world. But what the heck is it?

How Beautiful Should Your Sentences Be? by James Scott Bell for kill Zone

Leveraging The Emotional Spectrum In Your Writing by Bonnie Randall for Janice Hardy’s Fiction University
Hopefully this analysis helps you leverage your character’s emotion to a place that delivers the maximum impact within your story.

Leveraging The Emotional Spectrum In Your Writing by Bonnie Randall for Janice Hardy’s Fiction University

Ah, show, don’t tell. One of the most spouted pieces of writing advice, and one of the most confusing.

How To Master Show, Don’t Tell by K.M. Allan

Five Edits to Strengthen Your Writing, Right Now by Janice Hardy for Janice Hardy’s Fiction University
If you're just looking for the next step to improve your craft, these are good words to search for to find possible places to revise.

Five Edits to Strengthen Your Writing, Right Now by Janice Hardy for Janice Hardy’s Fiction University

Why I Don’t Organize My Bookshelves by Simone Jung for Book Riot
How do you like to organize your bookshelves?

Why I Don’t Organize My Bookshelves by Simone Jung for Book Riot

4 Proven “Hacks” For Winning NaNoWriMo by Jessica Brody for NaNoWriMo Blog
Jessica Brody, author of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, shares how to set yourself up for success by creating a morning writing routine.

If you’re a British history buff, next month is an ideal time to be in London for the British Library’s “once-in-a-generation exhibition”, including the St. Cuthbert Gospel, the oldest surviving intact European book.

Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Preserved And Found In The Coffin Of A Saint by Josh Jones for Open Culture

The UK’s oldest prize for children’s books is to be restructured after a report into failings that left 2017’s award shortlist entirely white.

Carnegie Medal Promises Immediate Action Over Lack Of Diversity by Alison Flood for The Guardian

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Flecks of Red" by Melyssa Harmon

Flecks of Red:
A Poetry Anthology on Mental Illness
by Melyssa Harmon

Flecks of Red: A Poetry Anthology on Mental Illness by Melyssa Harmon

Melyssa Harmon stops by today to share an excerpt from Flecks of Red: A Poetry Anthology on Mental Illness, a collection of poetry written by those affected by mental illness.

Flecks of Red is a unique collection of poetry written by those affected by mental illness. It began as a poetry contest and blossomed into a national fundraiser for DBSA, the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance of America. If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, OCD and other similar illnesses there is sure to be a poem within this collection that will speak to you.

Sorrowful Slumber by Melyssa A. Harmon
Full moon bright shines down to light
My tired shoulders, another night
Of endless toss and constant turn,
In dreams my sorrowful heart does burn,
Need, like fury, deep it creeps
From mind to mouth to ear it seeps
Seeking in you he innocent child
Of yesteryear, my heart beguiled,
To right finally the wrong of my youth
My shameful heart be dying proof
That wish an dream wrap warm your heart
In apology sincere, now years apart.
Heart on sleeve, blushed cheeks of red
Spinning thoughts entrap my head
Low and hung in sorrow deep,
To go without I cannot sleep
As slumber reminds I've yet to say,
I'd change in a heartbeat that fateful day
Returning to you years plagued with me,
Dear Amy I am so sorry.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Feeling connected to other people affected by mental illness is vital and Flecks of Red offers an important reminder, none of us are alone. Each of the anthology’s writers has a voice that is unique, brave and valuable... I can’t imagine anyone not relating to at least one of these poems. Here’s to vulnerability - it’s a beautiful and powerful thing!” ~ Melissa R.
“What an amazing book. Loved the personal passages from the authors. I read the poems and then the personal pieces and went back and read the poems again. What an amazing talented group of writers. Book is very well put together and would highly recommend for anyone and everyone to read.” ~ Linn Hawley
“Beautifully curated book full of poetry that truly touches you when you least expect it to. If you are going through or are close to someone with mental illness you can definitely feel the depths that some of these poems go. Truly wonderful read. Thank you!” ~ Kimberly Rutledge
“This touched me in a way I didn't know possible. It means the world to know I'm not alone in my thoughts and feelings.” ~ Amazon Customer
“This is one of the finest poetry books I have read.” ~ kwame1977

About the Author
Melyssa Harmon
I have been writing poetry since age 12. My life influences include Coach Roger Freeborn and Dr. Robert Schuller. My first collection of poetry was awarded the Pacific Northwest Young Author's Conference award through Seattle Pacific University. I have been writing since then as well as publishing fanzines, a magazine and now a poetry anthology. This latest endeavor began as an online poetry contest and flourished into a fundraiser for the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance. It has been a labor of love collecting poetry for a variety of writers that identify with mental illness.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Falling in Love featuring Jennifer Griffith

My '90s Boy Band Boyfriend
(Teen Queens Book 2)
by Jennifer Griffith

My ‘90s Boy Band Boyfriend (Teen Queens Book 2)  by Jennifer Griffith

During the month of September, we will be featuring 20 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Jennifer Griffith with My '90s Boy Band Boyfriend, available for only $0.99.

Also available in the Teen Queens series: Super Daisy.

Super Daisy by Jennifer Griffith

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance.

Teenage singer Oakley Marsden is having a rough week. Pop-star Hudson’s rough week is twenty-three years long
Sixteen-year-old Oakley just wants to win a spot on TV’s The Next Radio Star. But when her bad audition goes viral, going back to school is a nightmare.
Even more humiliating, she discovers her own mother was a boy band groupie. Cringe. And Mom still has a thing for a nineties boy band killed in the tragic plane crash twenty years ago.
When things can’t get worse, a strange beggar guy ends up carrying Oakley home- and Oakley’s mom loses her mind. She’s convinced he’s the long-dead popstar Hudson Oaks, frontman for Girl Crazy and Mom’s long-lost love.
And the guy isn’t denying it. Curse him.
Oakley has to save her mom from this impostor before Mom does something insane - and before Oakley starts falling for his charm too.

Mom’s voice got that suppressed squealing quality again. “Don’t you know who that is?”
“Who who is?” Oakley refused to believe her mom knew the seventeen/forty-year-old currently in her master bathroom shower. “That guy? He’s probably a drug addict, Mom. Believe me, I see a lot more of them at high school than you see in kindergarten. They’re actually pretty easy to spot: lack of self-care, bad personal hygiene, general disorientation, smell of smoke.”
“Sweetheart.” Mom looked more serious than she had in days, and she grabbed both of Oakley’s hands again for emphasis. “That guy who is now showering in our house is Hudson Oaks.”
The housing development guy from the boy band two decades ago?
“Mom.” Oakley wondered how many times she was going to have to call her mom out today for making wildly ridiculous statements. It was climbing into the dozens category now. “I think you and I both know that’s impossible.”
“He sounds like him, walks like him, says his name is Hudson Oaks. All the reasons. Trust me, I’m probably the greatest living expert on Hudson Oaks besides the man himself.”
That guy in her shower couldn’t be more than seventeen, and therefore not, legally, a man. Her mom should stay right away from that jailbait. Weren’t school teachers specifically trained on stuff like this? Apparently Mom had shelved all that based on seeing a … what?
Oakley’s world shifted on sands she hadn’t even known she’d been standing on. This new version of her life contained a mom who might just run off with a minor.
“Did you look at him, Mom? He’s, like, a seventeen-year-old kid. This whole incident happened over two decades ago. Don’t tell me you can explain that.”
“Of course I can.”
Of course she could. Oakley swallowed all the acid-tinged words and asked, “How?”
“Obvious. Time travel.”
A tiny explosion detonated in Oakley’s brain, but before she could react, a soft knock came at Oakley’s door. Mom hadn’t heard it, too enthralled in her moment of brilliant discovery. But Oakley had.
She looked over.
There in the doorframe, lit from the hall light behind, stood a dripping wet, formerly dirty boy, clad in just a towel at his waist. His hair was combed, and he had a definite young Tom Cruise quality about him—dark hair, charming smile, and those shoulders. Great Gatsby, those shoulders! Oakley caught her breath and had to swallow hard. The way he held his mouth, like he expected every woman to want to kiss it, made a little muscle tremble at the back of Oakley’s stomach.
She immediately tightened the muscle to put a halt to that nonsense.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Loved it! Fun and witty and had enough twists to keep me guessing. The hero was totally swoony and I really identified with the heroine. It had a perfect ending!” ~ Donna H
“Time for a blast from the past! I had a lot of fun reading this book. I loved all the references to 90s music and culture. I had some pretty good laughs every time I came across a reference from that time.” ~ Julie C
“Fun, fun read! Between a time-traveling rock star who looks like Tom Cruise, finding out about her mother’s teenaged craziness, learning to give her stepfather the credit he deserves, and coming to terms with her own insecurities and talent, Oakley has a lot on her plate! Let the fun and games begin!” ~ Traci A
“This brought back a lot of memories as I was a teen in the 80’s. I loved this story. Sweet read & definitely good for teens & pre-teens or adults looking for a clean, fun story with a little romance, a little mystery & feel good ending!” ~ Rose D

About the Author
Jennifer Griffith
Jennifer Griffith writes light, sweet romances she calls Cotton Candy for the Soul. Her Legally in Love Collection stems from the fact she fell in love with a handsome law school student who now serves as a judge - as well as her muse. She also writes the Millionaire Makeover Romances, millionaires and makeovers being some things with which she has less experience.
Jennifer loves old cars, landscape paintings, fresh bread with raspberry jam, and reading. She lived in Japan during college, where she once ate a cricket on a dare. She also traveled through Europe, where she slept a night in a castle on the Rhine. Jennifer worked summers in a cookie factory, and she spent a few years working for the U.S. Congress before becoming a wife, a mom and an author.
Also by the author:

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

"Finding Your Path: A Happy Start to School" by Amba Brown

Finding Your Path:
A Happy Start to School
by Amba Brown

Finding Your Path:A Happy Start to School by Amba Brown

Australian author and psychologist Amba Brown stops by today to share an excerpt from A Happy Start to School, the latest addition to her Finding Your Path series. You can also read my review. 

As a special bonus for our readers, buy the book and apply coupon code BOOKSDIRECT18 at the checkout to receive 15% off! Also available: A Guide to Life & Happiness After School and A Guide to Starting High School with a Smile.

Finding Your Path series by Amba Brown

A fun and original way to socially, emotionally and practically prepare children around the world for starting school. Playful and engaging, this beautifully designed resource is for every child starting to wonder about starting school and needing that little bit of support, encouragement or insight into school life.

Book Video

Hi, I'm Fyp,
So glad you stopped by!
I'm sooooo excited,
And I'm sure you know why.
We're going to school,
Yes - me and you.
But there's more than just us,
All our friends are coming too!

Praise for the Book
“Brilliant ... Such amazing insights for children written in a way that's sure to connect!” ~ Kate Hall, Australian Early Childcare Director
“Very cute little book for little kids starting school. Something different to what's already out there.” ~ Judy

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
The cute rhyming text introduces us to Fyp (short for “Finding Your Path”), a boy who is about to start school. He shares his reassuring message with his young readers that starting school is nothing to worry about. He shows them how to prepare for their first day, what they’ll need to take with them, what they’ll learn, the games they’ll play, how the day is structured, and even how to interact with teachers and other children.
The author has a degree in psychology, and it sure shows. She imbues this book with constant reassurances and positive messages to give young children the confidence they need to try something new.
Full of bright and colourful illustrations throughout, this book is sure to appeal to your little ones. What a great start to their school life!

About the Author
Amba Brown
Amba's an Australian Positive Psychology author, who holds a degree majoring in psychology & sociology, with a Psychological Science Honours specialising in Positive Psychology.
She has also delivered her message on the TEDx Stage.
Amba is also a member of The International Positive Psychology Association and is passionate about alleviating the anxieties of youth. Her goal is to share these tools as far and wide as possible.